The Life of Muhammad (PBUH)

By: Allama Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Translation by: Abdullah al-Shahin

p. 139-164
The people of Quraysh had no patience with the principles and values the Prophet (a.s.) declared and which were to destroy their idols and beliefs, and instead, to build a new life that they were unfamiliar with, based on true justice and truth. All means failed them to do away with this new mission. Besides, many of their children, women, servants, and slaves everyday turned Muslims. They found that the policy of violence made no use. Therefore, they agreed on meeting the Prophet (a.s.) directly. They formed a delegation headed by Utbah bin Rabee’ah who was one of the notable chiefs of Quraysh. The delegation of Quraysh met with the Prophet (a.s.) in the Kaaba. Utbah addressed the Prophet (a.s.) leniently saying,

“O my nephew, you are to us, as you know, of honor in the tribe, and high rank in lineage. You have brought your people a dangerous thing by which you separated their unity, refuted their opinions, censured their gods and religion, and considered their past ancestors as disbelievers. Listen to me; I will offer to you some things to ponder on that you may accept some of them.”

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “Say, O Abul Waleed, I will listen.”

Utbah said, “O my nephew, if you want, by this matter which you have brought, money, we will collect to you from our monies until you shall be the wealthiest of us. If you want, by it, honor, we will make you the master over us that we shall not decide anything without you. If you want, by it, authority, we shall make you the ruler over us. And if this that comes to you is a vision that you cannot withstand, we will find you a remedy and spend from our monies until we shall heal you from it. Magic may overcome a man, but he can be cured from it.”

When Utbah finished his speech, the Prophet (a.s.) said to him, “Have you finished (your speech) O Abul Waleed?”

Utbah said, “Yes, I have.”

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “Would you listen to me?”

Utbah said, “Yes, I would.”

The Prophet (a.s.) recited,

(In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Ha Mim. A revelation from the Beneficent, the Merciful Allah. A Book of which the verses are made plain, an Arabic Qur’an for a people who know. A herald of good news and a warner, but most of them turn aside so they hear not. And they say: Our hearts are under coverings from that to which you call us, and there is a heaviness in our ears, and a veil hangs between us and you…)[1] The Prophet (a.s.) kept on reciting the Sura, and Utbah was astonished. Then the Prophet (a.s.) said, “You have heard, O Abul Waleed, what you have heard. It is up to you then.”

Utbah went back to his people full of reverence to what he heard. Changing and astonishment appeared on him. His companions asked him what happened and he said, “I have heard a saying that, by Allah, I have never heard like before. By Allah, it is neither poetry, nor magic, nor divination. O community of Quraysh, obey me and leave this man alone with what he is in. leave him alone! By Allah, to his saying that I have heard there will be a great influence. If (other tribes of) the Arabs do way with him, you shall be relieved from him by other than you, and if he prevails over the Arabs, then his authority shall be yours and his glory shall be your glory, and you shall be the happiest of people by him.”

They said to him, “He (the Prophet) has bewitched you O Abul Waleed.”

Utbah said, “This is my opinion about him. Do to him whatever you like.”[2]

They gave Utbah deaf ears and remained insisting on their deviation. They kept on resisting the Prophet (a.s.) with all means they had. If they had had a bit of reason, they would have responded to win glory in this life and in the afterlife. However, not many years passed when people began entering in the religion of Allah groups by groups…when the Islamic army attacked them and they remained at their houses surrounded by horror and fear until the messenger of Allah (a.s.) did them a great favor. He pardoned them and did not punish any of them for all the oppression and harms they did to him before.

As-Sahifah (document)

The men of Quraysh were very angry and were filled with spite against the Prophet (a.s.) who faulted their idols and criticized their beliefs, habits, and life that was full of sins and vices. They could bear no more; their children, women, and slaves turned Muslims. Disputes took place between children and parents, wives and husbands because of faith and unfaith. The life of Quraysh was disturbed and troubled. Therefore, the men of Quraysh held a meeting to discuss their conditions. In this meeting, they decided:

1. Not to marry any of their women to any man from the bani Hashim or bani Abdul Muttalib.

2. Not to get married to any Hashimite woman.

3. Not to sell anything to them.

4. Not to by anything from them.

They wrote down these items in a document and hung it inside the Kaaba to affirm it and to be bound by it. The man, who wrote the document, was Mansur bin Akrimah whom the Prophet (a.s.) prayed Allah against and some of his fingers were paralyzed.[3]

In the Shi’b (defile) of Abu Talib

The people of Quraysh imposed a house arrest on the Prophet (a.s.) and the rest of the Hashemites and prevented them from mixing with people lest they would brainwash them. The Hashemites stayed at the Shi’b of Abu Talib suffering there the severest kinds of persecution. Khadijah supplied them with all that they needed until she spent all her abundant wealth.

The Prophet (a.s.) and the Hshemites remained in the Shi’b two years or more suffering indescribable exhaustion and hardship. They were in total isolation and all means of life were blocked before them.

Allah willed to save His messenger and his fellow believers from this disaster and grant them deliverance. Woodworms ate the document of the blockade hung in the Kaaba leaving only the name of Allah safe. Gabriel told the Prophet (a.s.) about that, and the Prophet (a.s.) told his uncle Abu Talib saying to him, “My Lord Allah the Almighty has sent the woodworm to the document of Quraysh, and it left every name that was of Allah safe in it (the document) and removed injustice, alienation, and falsehood.”

Abu Talib asked the Prophet (a.s.), “Has your god told you about that?”

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “Yes.”

Abu Talib set out to Quraysh saying to them, “O people of Quraysh, my nephew has told me so-and-so. Look at your document; if it is as my nephew has said, then give up our alienation and end what there is in it (the document). And if my nephew is untrue, I will deliver him to you.”

The men of Quraysh agreed and they hurried to the document. They found it as the Prophet (a.s.) had told. However, this only made them more insolent and more spiteful.[4]

The Hashemites remained in the Shi’b under the burden of the severe blockade suffering exhaustion until the news of the document that was eaten by the woodworm spread among all people of Quraysh. Then, some men of Quraysh headed by Zuhayr bin Abi Umayyah agreed to annul the blockade. Zuhayr made a speech before the people of Quraysh saying, “O people of Mecca, do we eat food and wear clothes while the Bani Hashim are exhausted neither is sold to them nor is bought from them? By Allah, I will not sit down until this unjust document will be torn.”

Abu Jahl replied, “By Allah, it will not be torn.”

Some supporters of Zuhayr denied and opposed Abu Jahl who then said, “This is a matter prepared in the darkness (it is a plot)!”

The oppositionists won and Abu Jahl could do nothing. The blockade was broken and the Hashemites were free from the Shi’b. The Prophet (a.s.) left the Shi’b more fixed and determined inviting people to believe in Islam and reject idolatry. He enjoyed the protection of his uncle Abu Talib who encouraged him every moment to fulfill his mission. He said to him,

“So, reveal your mission openly feeling no fear,

And be delighted at that and rest in relief.

By Allah, they shall not reach you with all their crowds,

until I shall be buried in the ground.”[5]

The Prophet and the tribes

The Prophet (a.s.) began offering his mission to the Arab tribes and inviting them to worship Allah the Almighty and reject idols. He spent ten years following the pilgrims (of the Kaaba) to their abiding-places in Mina and al-Mawqif (place of standing), and coming to them in the seasonal markets like Ukadh, Mijannah, and Thul Majaz to inform of the missions of his Lord.[6]

The Prophet (a.s.) went to the abodes of the tribes of Kindah inviting them to Islam, but they refused to respond to him.[7] He did the same with the Bani Hanifah and they refused and replied to him impudently. He went to the bani Aamir bin Sa’sa’ah and invited them to Islam. Bayharah bin Firas said to him, “If we pay allegiance to you on your matter, and then Allah makes you prevail over your opponents, will the matter (authority) be to us after you?” Bayharah thought that the Prophet’s mission was a matter of authority and rule, but the Prophet (a.s.) said to him, “The matter is to Allah; He puts it wherever He wills.”[8]

Bayharah said, “Are our necks cut by the Arabs for you, and when Allah makes you prevail, the matter shall be to other than us? We are in no need of your mission.”[9] The Prophet (a.s.) went back and they did not respond to him too. Some men of this tribe told one of their wise old men about the Prophet’s invitation, and he blamed them and said, “By Him in Whose hand my soul is, no Isma’ili[10] had claimed it (prophethood) falsely at all. He is true. Where was your reason?!”[11]

The Prophet (a.s.) went to the tribe of Thaqif. He met three brothers from the notables of the tribe. He invited them to Islam. One of them said to him while he was tearing the clothing of the Kaaba, “If (it is true that) Allah has sent you?!”

The second one said to him, “Has Allah not found other than you to send him (as a prophet)?!”

The third one said to him, “I do not talk to you at all. If you are a messenger from Allah-as you say-then you are much greater than refuting your saying (by me), and if you fabricate lies against Allah, then I should not talk to you.”

The Prophet (a.s.) was too distressed. The people of this tribe asked him to get out of their land to anywhere he liked. They asked their children and slaves to abuse and insult him. People crowded around him in two rows and began shooting him with stones until they wounded his legs. He sat on the ground and could not get up. Two men of them caught him by his arms and made him get up. They again began throwing on him stones while they were laughing. His head was wounded and his legs bleeding.[12]

The Prophet’s supplication

When the Prophet (a.s.) was saved from the tribe of Thaqif, he supplicated Allah with this supplication,

“O Allah, to You I complain the weakness of my power, my inability, and my insignificance near people, O the Most Merciful of the merciful. You are the Most Merciful of the merciful and You are the Lord of the disabled. To whom You leave me; to a far enemy that scowls on me or to a near friend that You make overcome me? If You are not angry with me, I do not care, but Your soundness is better to me. I seek refuge with the light of Your face by which darks have shone, and the affairs of this life and the afterlife have been right, not to let Your anger distress me or Your wrath afflict me. We apologize to You until You will be satisfied. And there is no power and strength except in You.”[13]

The Prophet (a.s.) also invited to his mission many other Arab tribes such as the Bani Abs, Bani Sulaym, Bani Muharib, Fazarah, Murrah, Bani an-Nadhr, Uthrah, and al-Hadharimah, but they met him impudently. They said to him, “Your family and tribe were more aware of you where they did not follow you.”[14]

The Night Journey and the Ascension

Allah the Almighty had singled out Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) with the Ascension from among the rest of the prophets (a.s.). Allah says in the Qur’an, (Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Inviolable Mosque to the Farthest Mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing).[15]

The Prophet (a.s.) was made to journey in the night from the Inviolable Mosque in Mecca to the Farthest Mosque in Jerusalem. The Prophet (a.s.) had journeyed by his body and soul.[16]

Historians were different about the date of the Night Journey and the Ascension; some said it was eighteen months before the hijra (the Prophet’s emigration to Medina), [17] some said it was on Monday one year before the hijra, some said one year and five months before the hijra,[18] some said it was in the eleventh year after the Advent,[19] some said ten years and three months after the prophethood,[20] and some others said other than that.

Historians were also different about the month and the night of the Ascension. Some said it was on the seventeenth night of Rabee’ul Awwal,[21] some said on the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab,[22] and others said it was on the night of Saturday, the seventeenth of Ramadan.[23]

As for the place of the Night Journey and the Ascension, there are some different traditions about it. Anas bin Malik narrated that the Prophet (a.s.) had said, “While I was in the Inviolable Mosque (al-Masjidul Haram) half asleep, Gabriel came to me with the al-Buraq (the means by which the Prophet (a.s.) had ascended to the heavens).”[24]

Malik narrated that the Prophet (a.s.) had said, “While I was in the House (the Kaaba) half asleep, a gold washtub was brought to me full of wisdom and faith.”[25]

Umm Hani narrated, “On that night, the messenger of Allah spent the night with me in my house. He offered the Isha’ Prayer, and then he slept and we slept too. Before the dawn, he wakened us. When he finished offering the Fajr Prayer which we offered it with him, he said, ‘O Umm Hani, I offered the Isha’ Prayer with you as you saw me, and then, I went to Jerusalem and offered prayer in it, then I offered the dawn prayer just now as you saw.’”[26]

Abu Tharr al-Ghifari narrated that the Prophet (a.s.) had said, “I was in Mecca when Gabriel came to me and said: O the sleeping one, get up! Then, he held my hand and took me up to the Lower Heaven.”[27]

During the Ascension, Gabriel ordered the Prophet (a.s.) to offer prayer in Mount Sinai because Allah the Almighty had talked to Prophet Moses (a.s.) there. Then, Gabriel ordered the Prophet (a.s.) to offer prayer in Bethlehem because Jesus Christ (a.s.) was born in it. When the journey ended in Jerusalem, Gabriel took the Prophet (a.s.) down to the Mosque. He offered a two-rak’as prayer and the prophets offered the prayer behind him.

The Ascension

The Prophet’s Ascension declares the bright Islamic intellect that is too far from intellectual stagnancy. It invites man to set out in this wide universe to discover all the facts therein in order to have faith in Allah based on knowledge and proofs not a faith of partisanship and imitation. Passing from this universe to the outer space was impossible at that time, but the Prophet (a.s.) proved that it was possible by the will of Allah the Creator of everything. The Prophet (a.s.) passed the great distances in a short period that even light cannot pass. In that short time, the Prophet (a.s.) journeyed from Mecca to Jerusalem and then he ascended to the high heavens and came back to the earth. The Ascension was, in the scientific view, the strongest evidence on monotheism and the exalt position of Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) near Allah.

In this divine journey, Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) met with his grandfather Adam (a.s.), Jesus Christ (a.s.) who welcomed him with great reverence, Prophet Joseph (a.s.), Prophet Moses (a.s.), and Prophet Idris (a.s.).[28]

Besides these wonderful scenes of his meeting with the great prophets (a.s.), Prophet Muhammad (a.s.) saw terrible scenes; he saw groups of people being punished severely. They were the ones who slandered and defamed innocent people (in the earth), and ones who ate the properties of orphans wrongfully, and ones who were usurers. The Prophet (a.s.) saw the severe punishment of those people just to inform his nation of the heavy sins those people had committed lest no one of his nation would follow the same way.[29]

With the Exalted Creator

The Prophet (a.s.) got the honor of listening to the speech of his Exalted Lord, either directly or by a means, as Prophet Moses (a.s.) had got that honor before. The Prophet (a.s.) said, “When I was made to ascend to the Heaven, I was called, ‘O Muhammad!’ I said, ‘My Lord, here I am! You are blessed, exalted.’ I was called, ‘O Muhammad, you are my slave and I am your Lord; worship Me and rely on Me because you are My light among My slaves, and My messenger to My creatures, and My authority on My people. To you and to whoever follows you I have created My Paradise, and to whoever opposes you I have created My Fire, and to your guardians I have assigned My honor.’”[30]

There is another tradition narrated in this way: The Prophet (a.s.) said, “When I was made to journey in the night, Allah the Almighty called me saying, ‘O Muhammad, your prophethood has come to an end, so who shall be to your nation?’ I said, ‘O my Lord, I tested Your creatures and I could find no one more obedient and more beloved to me than Ali bin Abi Talib.’ Allah the Almighty said, ‘O Muhammad, inform him that he is the banner of guidance, the imam of My guardians, and a light to whoever obeys Me.’”[31]

The goals of the Ascension

We think that the goals of this blessed Ascension were:

First, the Prophet (a.s.) saw the great kingdom of Allah the Almighty and His wonderful creation in the outer world; the other galaxies that any of their stars was million times greater than our planet that we live on.

Second, this journey was one of the strongest, irrefutable proofs on the existence of the Great Creator of this universe.

Third, this blessed journey had filled the Prophet’s soul with patience and determination to fulfill the mission of his Lord and spread the teachings of Islam to better the lives of all societies.

The influence of the Ascension in Mecca

The news of the Prophet’s Ascension spread in Mecca and Muslims believed and received it with satisfaction, but the unbelievers denied and suspected it and their minds could not bear this great news.

Historians say that the Prophet (a.s.) told Umm Hani (his wife and Imam Ali’s sister) about this ascension and wanted her to spread the news among the people of Quraysh, but she hesitated and felt fear for the Prophet (a.s.) from the tyrants of Quraysh. She said to him, “I ask you by Allah not to talk to Quraysh about it that those, who believe you, may disbelieve you.”

The Prophet (a.s.) paid no attention to her and he left. She asked her maid to follow after the Prophet (a.s.) to see what he was going to do. He went to some men from Quraysh in al-Hateem, between the Kaaba and the Black Rock. Al-Mut’im bin Adiy and Abu Jahl bin Hisham were there. The Prophet (a.s.) told them about his Night Journey to Jerusalim and his ascension to the Heaven. Abu Jahl began mocking at the Prophet (a.s.). He called people to gather together, and when masses crowded, he said to the Prophet (a.s.), “Tell your people about what you told me.”

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “I was made to journey in the night to Jerusalem. A group of prophets were made to receive me there among whom there were Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace be on them). I led them in prayer and talked with them.”

Abu Jahl said mockingly, “Describe them to me!”

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “As for Jesus, he was neither short nor tall, somehow reddish as if pearls were flowing down of his beard. And as for Moses, he was big and tall as if he was from the men of Shanu’ah. And as for Abraham, by Allah he was the most of people in looking like me in shape and morals.”

People disagreed; the believers believed the Prophet (a.s.) and others denied him. Al-Mut’im bin Adiy said to the Prophet (a.s.) denyingly, “Before this day, your matter was easy except this saying today. It proves that you are a liar. We beat the camels to Jerusalem a month in going and a month in returning, and you claim that you have gone to it and come back within one night!

By al-Lat and al-Uzza, I do never believe you and this, which you say, could not happen.”[32]

Thus, some circles of Quraysh denied the news of the ascension and did not believe it.

The Ascension: spiritual or bodily?

Scholars are different about the Prophet’s ascension whether it was by his soul or his body. The famous opinion is that the Night Journey and the Ascension took place by the Prophet’s holy soul, but other scholars say by his body. Allama At-Tabarsi says, “The apparent opinion in our companions’ belief and the famous thing in their news is that Allah the Almighty has made the Prophet (A.S.) ascend to the Heaven by his body alive, until he saw with his eyes the Kingdom of the Heavens, and it was not in sleep.”[33]

Allama al-Majlisi says, “Know that his (the Prophet) ascension to Jerusalem and then to the heaven by his body within one night has been affirmed through verses and recurrent traditions by the Shia and the others, and denying this matter or interpreting it into the spiritual ascension or in sleep, result from the lack of studying the traditions of the immaculate imams, or the lack of faith, or the weakness of certainty.”[34]

At-Tabari says that the Prophet’s ascension was by his soul and not body. He quoted that from Huthayfah who narrated, “The Ascension was a vision, and the Prophet’s body was not missed, but his soul was made to journey in the night.” At-Tabari quoted that from Aa’ishah and Mo’awiya too.[35]

Arguments

Those, who say that the Prophet (a.s.) had ascended to the Heaven by his soul and not body, justify their opinion by saying:

First, the material movement in such a very high speed is not reasonable.

Second, the ascension of the Prophet (a.s.) to the heavens required the piercing of the orbit.

Third, if the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension by his body were true, it would be one of his greatest miracles and this must be in the presence of people so that they would believe him. What was the use of his journey in the night while all people were inattentive?!

Fourth, man is considered as the soul alone that remains since the beginning of his life until its end, whereas the bodily parts are in continuous changing.

Fifth, they justify their opinion by referring to this Qur’anic verse, (and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men).[36] They say that this vision was the very matter of the ascension and it was a trial for people because many of those who had believed in the Prophet (a.s.), apostatized when they heard of this matter.

These are some of their justifications that I may answer them here:

If the Prophet’s ascension within one night was impossible, the descending of Gabriel from the Throne to Mecca in one moment would be impossible too, and the same would be said about the movement of the jinn and Satan. Allah had subjugated the wind to Prophet Solomon (a.s.) that it made a month’s journey in the morning (till midday), and a month’s journey in the afternoon (till evening). Allah has said, (One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye).[37] The throne of Balqis was in Yemen whereas Prophet Solomon was in Sham…what affirms this fact is what is said that the ray moves from the eye to the planets in the same moment. This proves that the ascension is possible in itself, but what makes it incredible is that it is a miracle and unusual, and this is not limited to the ascension only but it includes all miracles that are unusual to ordinary happening such as the cold and peacefulness of the fire to Abraham (a.s.).

As for the use of the Prophet’s ascension, it gave the Prophet (a.s.) great benefits. He saw the celestial world, the Throne, and all the wonders there which made him absolutely devoted to Allah the Almighty.

Anyhow, what I see is that the power of Allah the Almighty is much greater than to be described or limited. He is the Creator of miracles in the space and no one can keep them except the might of Allah the Almighty Who is the Creator of astonishing miracles, and the Prophet’s ascension to the outer space is one of the simplest and easiest things to Allah.[38]

Farid Wajdi’s opinion

Farid Wajdi was the only one who thinks that the Prophet’s Night Journey was by his body whereas the Ascension was by his soul. He said, “The Night Journey by the body and the soul from Mecca to Jerusalem was something possible and not impossible. It has been proved by the European scientists’ experiments in the spiritual matters that what they called as spirits that brought to them fresh flowers from the farthest points of the land, like china and India for example, and scattered them on them while they were sitting in their rooms. This thing was proved to the scientists who had spent tens of years on experiments and written that down in their books. The denying of some stagnant persons, who have neither attended such experiments nor written any book about them, has no any value. If this is proved, a prophet can move from a country to another far one by supernaturality, for Allah the Almighty is more able to move objects and other things.”

He adds, “Those, who saw with their eyes spiritual experiments and read what experimenters had written like William Crookes, Roussel, Parks, Lodge, and other English, German, and French scholars who did not consider this matter as impossible.

As for the matter of the ascension to the Heaven, it is impossible because it has scientifically been proved that the sky is not a material roof, but it is an infinite space where stars and planets swim; some of which are burning like the sun, and others are cold, and there are worlds like ours. What has been mentioned in the Qur’an is other than this and it must be interpreted in some certain way.”[39]

This is some of what Farid Wajdi has mentioned about the Night Journey and the Ascension (al-Isra’ wel Mi’raj). I think, after pondering, there is no place for these details after believing in the infinite power of Allah the Almighty, the Creator of all wonderful things that mind cannot imagine.

Anyhow, there were some things that faced the Prophet’s Ascension by his body such as the escaping from gravitation, the escaping from the atmosphere, the escaping from meteors, the matter of weightlessness, and some other things that some writers consider as obstacles facing the ascension, but the exceptional power of Allah that everything in the existence has submitted to refutes that…He, who ponders on the wonders of the creation of Allah the Almighty and His great wisdom, determines easily that the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension were by his soul and body.[40]

The year of sorrow: Abu Talib’s death

After the Prophet (a.s.) had left the Shi’b where he and his followers were forced to undergo home arrest, he began announcing his mission among the tribes that came to Mecca. He felt safe in that under the protection of his uncle Abu Talib who had devoted his life, position, and all his abilities to serve Islam and protect the Prophet (a.s.) though he was about eighty years old and attacked by illnesses.

The notables of Quraysh came to visit him. They said to him, “O Abu Talib, you are to us (respectable and honorable) as you know, and now has come to you wh there between us and your nephew. So leave him alone and take to him from us and take to us from him so that he may leave us alone and we leave him alone, and he may leave us to our religion and we leave him to his religion.”

Abu Talib sent for the Prophet (a.s.) who when came and knew what those men had intended, said to them, “One word that you give to me you shall prevail by it over the Arabs and the foreign peoples shall submit by it to you.”

Abu Jahl said, “Yes, by your father, ten words!”

The Prophet (a.s.) said, “You say ‘there is no god but Allah’ and you give up what you worship other than Him.”

Some of them denied that and said to the Prophet (a.s.), “Do you want, O Muhammad, to make the gods into one god?”

Those men of Quraysh were desperate of the Prophet’s response to them. One of them said, “This man will not give you anything of what you want.” They left while were angry and disappointed.

Abu Talib’s will

Before leaving to the better world, Abu Talib recommended his children and family members with this moral will and to care much for the Prophet (a.s.). Here are some passages from Abu Talib’s will:

“I recommend you to glorify this building (the Kaaba), for in it there is satisfaction to the Lord, a means of living, and affirmation of settlement. Retain your kinship and do not cut it because the retaining of kinship is a cause of delaying one’s death and increasing his family. Refrain from oppression and help the needy! Keep to truthfulness in speaking and give deposits back to their owners, because it causes love among the near and honor among the public.”

He added, “I recommend you (to take care) of Muhammad because he is the loyal one in Quraysh and the truthful among the Arabs, and he has had all what I have recommended of. He has brought to us a thing that the soul has accepted and the heart perceived.

By Allah, as if I see the paupers of the Arabs, the people of countryside, and the disabled will have responded to his mission, believed his saying, and glorified his matter, and then he will advance by them and the heads and heroes of Quraysh will be subordinates and their houses will be destroyed, and then the cruelest one of them to him (the Prophet) will be the neediest of them to him, and the farthest of them to him will be the nearest one to him. The Arabs will give him their love and deliver to him their leadership. O community of Quraysh, here is your nephew! Be to him supporters and to his party protectors! By Allah, no one follows the path of Muhammad except that he will be successful, and believes in it except that he will be happy. If there is a space of time in my life and a delay in the term of my death, I will save him from troubles and defend him against disasters, but I acknowledge his witness and glorify his beliefs.”[41]

To immortality

Abu Talib faced many hardships in supporting the Prophet (a.s.), protecting, and defending him against his opponents. Therefore, illnesses attacked him and death approached him rapidly. At the last moments of his life, he recommended his family and children to support the Prophet (a.s.) and protect him against the plotting and oppression of Quraysh. Then, he breathed his last and his pure soul ascended to Allah the Almighty.

Imam Ali (a.s.) ritually washed his father’s body and enshrouded it. Masses of people hurried to escort Abu Talib to his last abode and to end, by this moment, the life of this great hero by whom Allah had supported Islam and the prophet of Islam.

The Prophet (a.s.) was really afflicted by the death of his uncle who was his supporter, protector, and defender. He stopped at the tomb full of sadness and sorrow saying, “May mercy come to you O uncle! May you be rewarded with good O uncle! You have brought up and adopted (me) when a child (I was) and protected and supported when grown-up. By Allah, I will pray Allah to forgive you and intercede for you an intercession that will make men and the jinn wonder at.”[42]

The Prophet (a.s.) felt much sorrow at his uncle until that year was called ‘the year of sorrow’. The Prophet (a.s.) lost his supporter and defender and the strong fort that he resorted to. After Abu Talib’s death, Quraysh found the Prophet (a.s.) alone, and so they could harm him too much. He said, “Quraysh could not harm me with anything I hated until Abu Talib died.”[43]

The people of Quraysh were excessive in oppressing the Prophet (a.s.) after his uncle’s death. They threw earth on him. One of them threw a placenta of a sheep on him while he was offering the prayer,[44] besides many other kinds of harming.

Anyhow, Abu Talib had done every Muslim a great favor by his services to the religion of Allah. It is nonsense to say that this great mujahid died while unbelieving. This was falsehood fabricated by the Umayyads and the Abbasids who were spiteful toward Imam Ali (a.s.) and the rest of the Alawids.

How would the Prophet (a.s.) be so sorrowful at the death of an unbeliever and how would he call that year as ‘the year of sorrow’? How could he pray Allah to have mercy on him and shed on him all kinds of respect and reverence if he was an unbeliever? How could he eat and drink in Abu Talib’s house whereas Islam considers the unbelievers as impure?

May Allah reward Abu Talib with the best of reward and resurrect him with His prophets and great saints.

Khadijah’s death

Lady Khadijah stood beside the Prophet (a.s.) confirming and supporting him in all his situations and relieving him from the sufferings he faced from Quraysh. Ibn Isaaq narrated that whenever the messenger of Allah (a.s.) heard something of spiting, denying, and disbelieving and became sad, Allah relieved him by Khadijah when he came back to her. She confirmed, relieved, and believed him, and made the troubles of people easy to him. She helped him in bearing the burdens of life and she was still doing so until she left to the neighborhood of her Lord.[45]

Khadijah spent all her abundant wealth to serve Islam. She spent liberally her monies to spread the Islamic mission. When the Prophet (a.s.) and all his family of the Hashemites were home-arrested in the Shi’b and subjected to the severe blockade, she provided them with all what they needed throughout the period of the blockade. She offered all her wealth to Islam until she had nothing even a mat to sit on.

Because of her devotedness to Islam, Khadijah got a high position near Allah Who thanked her services and sent her a greeting via the Prophet (a.s.).[46] Allah has granted her with a palace in the High Paradise. In a tradition the Prophet (a.s.) said, “I have been ordered (by Allah) to bring good tidings to Khadijah that she shall have a house of reeds in the Paradise wherein there shall be neither noise nor tiredness.”

As for the Prophet (a.s.), Khadijah had occupied his passion and feelings and got an exalted position near him. He had great love and reverence to her. Aa’isha narrated, “When the messenger of Allah wanted to leave the house, he often and always mentioned Khadijah and praised her. Once, he mentioned her and I became jealous. I said, ‘Was she but an old woman that Allah has given you in place of her better than her?’ The Prophet became angry until the front of his hair shook of anger. He said, ‘No, by Allah! Allah has never given me in place of her better than her; she believed in me when people disbelieved, comforted me with her wealth when people prevented me, and He gave me children from her where he deprived me of children from other women (wives).’”[47]

One day, Halah sister of Khadijah came to the Prophet’s house. When he heard her voice, which was like Khadijah’s voice, in the yard, he said, “By Allah, she is Halah.”

Aa’ishah could not control herself and she said, “What do you remember from an old woman from the old women of Quraysh?… She died since long, and Allah has given you in place of her better than her.”

The Prophet (a.s.) became very angry and he shouted at Aa’ishah, “By Allah, Allah has not given me in place of her better than her; she believed in me when people disbelieved, believed me when people accused me of lying, comforted me with her wealth when people denied me, and Allah granted me offspring from her when he did not granted me from wives other than her.”[48]

When the Prophet (a.s.) slaughtered a sheep, he said (to servants), “Take (some meat) to the friends of Khadijah!”

Once, Aa’isha said to him, “Why do you do that?”

He said, “I do like her beloveds.”[49]

Envy often overcame Aa’isha whenever she heard the Prophet (a.s.) praising Khadijah. She said, “I did never envy a woman like I did to Khadijah. The messenger of Allah (a.s.) did not marry me except after her death.”[50]

The gifts of Allah on her

Allah the Almighty had endowed Khadijah with gifts that no any other one of the Prophet’s wives had been endowed with. From the great gifts of Allah to her was that Allah had made her the mother of the best woman Allah had ever created in the earth since the beginning of the creation until the Day of Resurrection; Fatima (a.s.) the principal of the women of the worlds, and made her the grandmother of the two grandson of the Prophet (a.s.), two infallible imams, and two masters of the youth of Paradise; Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (peace be on them), and the grandmother of Lady Zaynab, the first wronged and oppressed woman in Islam. Allah had made Khadijah the grandmother of the infallible imams who were His authorities on His people. These heavenly gifts that Khadijah had been endowed with had not been given to any woman other than her at all.

To the Paradise

Diseases attacked the Mother of Believers Khadijah and death approached her soon. In the last moments of her life, she felt pain whenever she looked at her only daughter Fatima az-Zahra’ (a.s.) who was a young child then. She looked at Fatima (a.s) with pain and sigh. She recommended the Prophet (a.s.) to take much care of her.

It was not long until Khadijah left to the better world and her pure soul rose towards its Creator surrounded by angels and received by the prophets of Allah.

The Prophet (a.s.) was afflicted by the great loss of Khadijah who filled his life with satisfaction and tranquility, and relieved him from the persecution of the oppressors of Quraysh. He was very sad when she died.

Anyhow, he washed, enshrouded, and offered the prayer on her. He dug a grave for her and buried her in it.[51] The loss of Khadijah caused the Prophet (a.s.) a great sorrow until he called that year where also his uncle Abu Talib died in as “the year of sorrow”.

Death took Khadijah, who was the most loyal to the Prophet (a.s.), the most loving, and the best supporter to him and to his mission. Lady Khadijah died in the month of Ramadan when she was sixty-five years and after living with the Prophet (a.s.) twenty-five years.[52]

[1] Qur’an, the Sura of Fussilat (41:1-5).
[2] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol. 1 p. 293, 294, Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p. 289.
[3] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol. 1 p. 375.
[4] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol. 2 p. 16-17.
[5] Asnal Matalib fee Najat Abi Talib, p. 25.
[6] Fat~h al-Bari, vol. 3 p. 695.
[7] Hayat ar-Rasool al-Mustafa, vol. 1 p. 236.
[8] Nihayatol Irab, vol. 12 p. 204.
[9] Al-Kamil fee at-Tareekh, vol. 2 p. 61.
[10] A descendent of Prophet Ishmael (a.s.).
[11] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol. 2 p. 66, as-Seera al-Halabiyyah, vol. 2 p. 3.
[12] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by Zayni Dahlan, vol. 1 p. 141.
[13] Ibid., p. 142.
[14] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by Zayni Dahlan, vol. 1 p. 147.
[15] Qur’an, 17:1.
[16] Nihayat al-Irab, vol. 16 p. 293.
[17] Fiqh as-Seera, p. 145.
[18] At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 1 p. 214.
[19] Tafsir of Rooh al-Ma’ani, vol. 15 p. 6.
[20] Hayat ar-Rasool al-Mustafa, vol. 1 p. 232.
[21] Nihayat al-Irab, vol. 16 p. 293.
[22] Seerat ar-Rasool, p. 101.
[23] Hayat ar-Rasool, vol. 1 p. 232.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Ibid., p. 233.
[26] Hayat Muhammad, by Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal, p. 189.
[27] Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol. 1 p. 97.
[28] Sahih of Muslim, vol. 1 p. 104, As-Seera al-Halabiyyah, vol. 1 p. 146, As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by ibn Hisham, vol. 2 p. 48-49, Safeenat al-Bihar, vol. 1 p. 174.
[29] Safeenat al-Bihar, vol. 1 p. 176.
[30] Safeenat al-Bihar, vol. 1 p. 176.
[31] Amali of as-Saduq, p. 286.
[32] Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century, vol. 6 p. 316, 317.
[33] Majma’ al-Bayan, vol. 9 p. 174.
[34] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 8 p. 229.
[35] Mafatih al-Ghayb, vol. 5 p. 266.
[36] Qur’an, 17:60.
[37] Qur’an, 27:40.
[38] Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century, vol. 6 p. 324, quoted from Nidhamuddeen al-Hasan an-Naysaburi in his Tafsir.
[39] Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century, vol. 6 p. 328, 329.
[40] The Prophet’s Ascension to the outer Space, (manuscript) by Kadhim Shareef al-Qurashi that we have made use of in this study.
[41] Sharh Nahjol Balagha, vol. 2 p. 213, ad-Darajat ar-Rafee’ah, p. 61, Thamaratul Awraq, p. 294, Asnal Matalib, p. 20.
[42] Abu Talib and his Children, p. 103.
[43] Al-Kamil fit-Tareekh, vol. 2 p. 34.
[44] Ibid.
[45] Al-Isabah, vol. 4 p. 273, al-Istee’ab, vol. 6 p. 275.
[46] Al-Isabah, vol. 4 p. 274, quoted from Sahih of Muslim and Mustadrak al-Hakim.
[47] Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol. 5 p. 485, al-Isabah, vol. 4 p. 275, al-Istee’ab, vol. 4 p. 278.
[48] Sahih of Muslim, vol. 7 p. 134.
[49] Al-Istee’ab, vol. 4 p. 278.
[50] Al-Isabah, vol. 8 p. 62.
[51] Ad-Durr al-Manthur, p.180.
[52] As-Seera an-Nabawiyyah by Zayni Dahlan, vol. 1 p. 139.
Source: maaref-foundation.com


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