#22: Daar Al-Arqam & The Secret Call

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

As the Prophet ﷺ began further embracing his divine mission of Prophethood, so did the blessed souls that surrounded him. The likes of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها – the blessed wife of the Prophet ﷺ, the blessed children of the Prophet ﷺ, Sayyidinaa Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Sayyidinaa Zayd ibn Harithah , Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr, Sayyidinaa Uthman ibn Affan, Sayyidinaa Zubair ibn al-Awwam, Sayyidina Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Sayyidinaa Saa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and the rest of blessed early pioneers would privately meet with the Prophet ﷺ to learn about Islam at every opportunity they could, رضي الله عنهم أجمعين. During this period the Prophet ﷺ continued to privately call those closest to him towards the message of Islam.

Phase 1: The Secret Call

This period was known as the “Secret Call”, the first three foundational years of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission. During these years the Prophet ﷺ would build the alliance of the first believers, re-introducing their yearning souls to the one they yearned for: Allah سبحانه و تعالی. The Prophet ﷺ would spread light of Imaan and Tawheed as his Nubuwwah began to flourish in the depths of the night. By day, the leiges of Jaahiliyyah, would continue their reign of Kufr (Disbelief) and Dhulm (Oppression), fuelled by the darkness of their materialistic passions, driven by the devils that flowed within them like the blood that coursed through their veins. But by night – and in the depth of the shadows – a man of light whom was free of any shadow would rise as a radiant moon to purify the soul of Makkah, and ward off the Shayateen (Devils).

The Prophet ﷺ would gather those who possessed souls of beauty, to remember the name of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, to listen to the Qur’aan and to learn about their Lord. These slowly became gatherings of light in the midst of the night, that would invite the presence of Angels commanded by Allah سبحانه و تعالی to soar the earth in search of such congregations. This was a period of laying the foundations of the Prophet’s ﷺ epic mission, which would soon become an unstoppable force of light, covering the horizons. It was a time of silent acts with powerful effects. A time of remembrance and patience. A time to develop themselves first, and work on the inner aspects of Imaan, until the time would come for it to shine forth from within their hearts. Allah سبحانه و تعالی was preparing His Beloved Messenger ﷺ, and the early Sahabah رضی الله عنهم around him ﷺ for their great mission ahead. They were being prepared to subdue their own selves to the Lord of the Worlds, before they could subdue the world. He سبحانه و تعالی was preparing them for the realisation that it is not the brightest minds, nor the loudest voices, but rather the brightest hearts that can change the world – forever…

But as this blessed group began to grow, they needed a base to operate from. A place to congregate with the Prophet ﷺ and learn each night.

Daar Al-Arqam

From amongst the earliest of companions to accept Islam was Sayyidinaa Arqam ibn Abi Al-Arqam رضی الله عنه. He would be as early as the seventh or eighth person to become a companion of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ. His house was located in the blessed precincts of Mount Safa, and was an ideal location for the Sahaabah to meet with the Prophet ﷺ. Realising the utmost need at hand, Sayyidinaa Arqam رضی الله عنه dedicated this house of his for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, and for the mission of the Prophet ﷺ. His home would become the very first Madrasah of Islam, the Madrasah of the Prophet ﷺ. By day it would be the Daar (Home) of Arqam رضی الله عنه, and by night it would become the Bayt of Muhammad ﷺ and his very first pioneering students. This small house would be accepted by Allah سبحانه و تعالی as the humble foundation for the spread of His Deen. It was small yet vastly expansive in reach. Silent in operation but unstoppable in effect.

Cultivating Minds & Hearts through the Power of Knowledge

It would be the first station of ‘Ilm (Knowledge) for the companions. From here the vital importance of this ‘Ilm would be perpetuated. It was from within these blessed walls that Our Beloved Prophet could cultivate minds and hearts through the power of knowledge. The cultivation of these blessed souls would become the foundation upon which men and women of piety and purity could embark upon cultivating entire communities with the Prophetic light.

Greatness of Purpose, Smallness of Means

And thus, with these limited worldly resources he ﷺ began his mission in the humblest manner: A handful of students quietly whispering in darkest night, enclosed in the small house of Al-Arqam in the vicinity of Mount Safa. But one day His ﷺ Ummah would congregate to form the largest annual gathering in the world, glorifying their Lord in brightest day, in the open expanse of the Masjid Al-Haram, the largest structure in Makkah Al-Mukarramah.

Astounded by the effect of this humble foundation that led to such momentous triumph, the renowned French writer and historian comments on Our Master Muhammad ﷺ :

“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modem history with Muhammad? …the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

– Alphonse de Lamartine | HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, PARIS 1854, VOL. 11, PAGE 276-77

The Sacrifice of Knowledge

This blessed house continued to aid the growth of Islam, and drew more hearts towards it, until it housed a gathering of over forty blessed Sahabah, including men, women and children. But these blessed companions would risk their lives each day and night, with an unwavering desire to sacrifice everything for the chance to sit in the noble countenance of the Prophet ﷺ, and feel drawn to Allah سبحانه و تعالی through him ﷺ. Amongst them were companions who would risk being spotted or captured by their so-called masters – many of whom were from the rich and oppressive chieftains of Quraysh – as they stealthily escaped from the captivity of their slave-huts. As each day passed their hearts were withdrawn from the deep-rooted materialism of this world, and were transitioning to the realm of realities. They began feeling like strangers and travellers in this fleeting world. Their homes slowly became temporary residences during their stop in this finite abode. Work, trade or any task of the day soon became a formality they had to endure, whilst studying with the Prophet ﷺ became a reality they yearned to flee back towards. Their sacrifices would cement their place in the blessed heart, and mission of the Prophet ﷺ, in this world and the Aakhirah.   

Salaah – The First Worship

During this period Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام visited the Prophet ﷺ and demonstrated the performance of Wudhu (Ablution) as a form of ritual purification for Allah سبحانه و تعالی. He علیه السلام also demonstrated the performance of Salaah, showing how to stand, bow and prostrate to Allah سبحانه و تعالی just as every prophet before was commanded to do so. In time the Prophet ﷺ taught the first believers the method of Wudhu and Salaah, along with the recitation of the Qur’aan. Thus, the worship of the one true creator had begun, and the air of Makkah began to change. In isolation and congregation, the Blessed Prophet ﷺ, his family and the Sahaabah would worship Allah سبحانه و تعالی, the only one worthy of worship.

As these blessed souls continued to grow, and become the first to stand beside the Prophet ﷺ, the light of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی) began to flourish. By day, the devils of flesh continued to darken Makkah, upholding the practices of Jaahiliyyah, and meeting in Daar Al-Nadwah (The Parliamentary Lair of the Leaders) to pursue their greed of worldly status and riches. By night, Makkah would become illuminated, as the Radiant Moon ﷺ would rise, whilst his shining stars would risk their lives to gather around him ﷺ, to uphold the pure teachings of Islam, gathering in the blessed Daar Al-Arqam to pursue the life of the Aakhirah (Hereafter). For the next three years, this phase of the secret call would continue, until the light of Islam began to spread like the rays of the morning sun tearing through the darkness of the night. The echoes of Laa Ilaaha Illallah! (There is no god except Allah!) reverberated throughout the air, and even began faintly reaching the ears of the leaders of Quraish. There was a change in the air, and the hearts that possessed darkness and disbelief began feeling challenged by this change. Their eyes were now set like hawks, to find the source of this tremor they felt. Their minions would begin reporting back to them daily, as rumours began to emerge of a new Prophet, who calls to the one Almighty Allah.

Join us tomorrow as we continue in the blessed Seerah with the next article “The Open Call: 3rd Year of Prophethood”

#20: The Dawn of Prophethood

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

The Prophet ﷺ had received the initiation of his Nuboowwah (Prophethood) on that beautiful Monday of Ramadhan, in the Night of Power. Now the Prophet ﷺ would arise – not just as the greatest man alive – but as the greatest and final Nabi (Prophet) of Allah. The light of Nuboowwah (Prophethood) was growing and flourishing in his blessed heart which contained the words of His Lord سبحانه وتعالی. He ﷺ was the first of all the Prophets in creation, the final of them to manifest and the foremost of them all in greatness. He ﷺ was the one who will now purify the world of Shirk (Paganism), and Jaahiliyyah (Ignorance), and connect them back to the light of the heavens of the earth: Allah  سبحانه و تعالی.

 قَدْ جَآءَكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ نُورٌۭ وَكِتَـٰبٌۭ مُّبِينٌۭ

“Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light (Prophet Muhammad ﷺ) and a clear Book (this Qur’aan).” (Surah Al-Maa’idah 5:15)

The First to Witness the Light of Islam

The Prophet’s ﷺ heart was now fortified by a force beyond human measure and illuminated with a light that could not be extinguished. The absolute Yaqeen (Conviction) of Tauheed, the power of his love for the All-Powerful and the magnificence of the Qur’aanic verses in his heart had an immense magnitude that could not be contained. This magnitude began drawing those who were blessed with hearts of purity, until the magnetism of this light brought them face to face with the Prophet ﷺ. Their hearts then became illuminated by his sight, and were filled with absolute Imaan (Faith) and Mahabbah (Love) for Allah  سبحانه و تعالی and His Beloved Prophet ﷺ.

The likes of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها had instantly felt this irresistible magnetism from the first moment she was exposed to the spiritual magnitude and awe of the Prophet ﷺ upon his return from the Cave, as was Waraqah ibn Nawfal رضی الله عنه. This light continued to radiate from the heart of the Prophet ﷺ, until his entire house was illuminated by it, and the Prophet ﷺ began conveying the message of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی to his family. Within the first day of his Nuboowwah, the likes of Sayyidinaa Ali ibn Abi Taalib رضی الله عنه and Sayyidinaa Zayd ibn Haarithah رضی الله عنه – both of whom lived under the care of the Prophet ﷺ – accepted the message of Islam and their hearts were filled with the light of Imaan. (Uyun Al-Athar, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham)

As this magnitude increased and grew stronger, Allah  سبحانه و تعالی instilled an intense determination within the heart of the Prophet ﷺ to rise and spread this beautiful light of Islam. The force of this light within his ﷺ blessed heart now transcended beyond the walls of his home, growing stronger and stronger, an unstoppable force that would continue spreading till the end of time, until it flourished throughout the world.

After his blessed family, the Prophet ﷺ first set out to see his closest and dearest friend; Sayyidinaa Abu Bakr As-Siddique رضی الله عنه. The Prophet ﷺ informed him in regards to the message of Islam, and Allah  سبحانه و تعالی instantly filled his heart with absolute certainty for the truth of Islam. His heart was filled with Imaan (Faith) in an unmatched manner, and Allah  سبحانه و تعالی would likewise honour him with an unmatched status.

The Sahaabah: The Illuminated Stars

When the moon rises amidst the dark night – standing out in sheer brilliance – it begins by illuminating the stars that immediately surround it, and they begin twinkling through the reflection of its radiance. Likewise, the Prophet ﷺ was more radiant than the moon, in a world that was darker than the night sky. As this radiant moon rose over Makkah, the magnitude of his light began illuminated those stars that Allah  سبحانه و تعالی had chosen and placed to surround his ﷺ blessed vicinity. As the light of Nuboowwah began spreading throughout Makkah, these special souls started to witness dreams that Allah  سبحانه و تعالی showed them in the depths of their sleep. Dreams of a blessed moon that captivated them due its purity and brilliance, which they started following wherever it guided them. Each of them would be led to the Prophet ﷺ and guided to Islam, through our own uniquely inspiring journeys. (Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaq)

From amongst the first of these blessed souls were Sayyidinaa Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, Zubair ibn Al-‘Awwaam, Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, Saa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarraah, Al-Arqam ibn Abi Al-Arqam, ‘Uthmaan ibn Maz’oon, Sa’eed ibn Zaid, his wife Faatimah bint Al-Khattaab (the sister of Sayyidinaa ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab), Asma bint Abu Bakr and many more virtuous souls who accepted Islam within the first few days, رضی الله عنهم اجمعین

They would continue to grow in number, becoming the first of the blessed Sahaabah (Companions) of the Prophet ﷺ. In addition to the beauty and perfection of the Prophet ﷺ, they were drawn by the magnitude of the Qur’aan in his blessed heart, and the spiritual radiances that emanated in his blessed presence. They attentively listened to his every word as it penetrated into the depths of their heart and soul, and they found the answer that every soul is yearning for, that every heart is beating is for: Allah  سبحانه و تعالی!

Phase One: The Secret Call

From this day onwards, the first phase of the Prophet’s ﷺ mission had begun. This first phase was known as “Da’wah As-Sirr” (The Secret Call). Our Master Muhammad ﷺ would embark upon this first phase at the foundational level of Nuboowwah (Prophethood). As a Nabi, he ﷺ would spend the next three years calling to Allah  سبحانه و تعالی in secret, inviting those special souls that Allah  سبحانه و تعالی had chosen to be the foremost pioneers. This first phase would continue until the third year of Prophethood, after which the Prophet ﷺ would be blessed with the rank of Risaalah (Messengership), and the second phase of his mission would begin: “Da’wah Al-Jahr” (The Open Call).

Zaman Al-Fatrah: The Period of Cessation

During these first three years, the Prophet ﷺ did not receive any further revelation. The Prophet ﷺ was experiencing the Zaman Al-Fatrah (The Period of Cessation), explained as a grace period for the Prophet ﷺ bear the weight of Nuboowwah (Prophethood) and Wahi (Divine Revelation).

With each passing moment, the Prophet ﷺ yearned to be in contact with his Lord again, to feel the radiances of the spiritual realm, and enrich his heart with the revelation of the Qur’aan. The pain of this yearning would become unbearable as the days increased, until the Prophet ﷺ would stand atop a mountain and Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام would appear over the horizon and powerfully declare:

یَا مُحَمَّد ؛ اِنَّكَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ حَقًّا

“O Muhammad! ﷺ You are indeed the true Messenger of AIlah.” (Fath Al-Baari)

This would fortify the blessed heart of the Prophet ﷺ and would grant ease in to his yearning. This cycle continued for the remainder of the next three years of cessation until the Prophet ﷺ was commanded with the open call towards Islam and the following verses were revealed:

فَٱصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Now, proclaim what you are commanded to, and turn away from those who ascribe partners to Allah.” (Surah Al-Hijr 15:94)

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ ﴿٢١٤﴾ وَاخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢١٥﴾

“And warn, [O Muḥammad ﷺ], your closest kindred. And lower your wing [i.e., show kindness] to those who follow you of the believers.”(Surah Al-Shu’araa 26:214-215)

After that, revelation would continue to flow and increase in frequency. In time Allah سبحانه وتعالی would reveal powerful verses such as Surah Ad-Duhaa. In these verses, Allah سبحانه وتعالی assured His beloved Prophet ﷺ, that just as He سبحانه وتعالی never ever abandoned him ﷺ throughout his childhood and orphanage, likewise He سبحانه وتعالی will never abandon him ﷺ in his Prophethood, and will always be with him ﷺ:

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَالضُّحَىٰ ﴿١﴾ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَىٰ ﴿٢﴾ مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَىٰ ﴿٣﴾ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَىٰ ﴿٤﴾ وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ ﴿٥﴾ أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ ﴿٦﴾ وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ ﴿٧﴾ وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ ﴿٨﴾ فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ ﴿٩﴾ وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ ﴿١٠﴾ وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ ﴿١١﴾

“By the morning brightness. And [by] the night when it covers with darkness, Your Lord has not taken leave of you, [O Muḥammad], nor has He detested [you]. And the Hereafter is better for you than the first [life]. And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied. Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge? And He found you unaware of the way (the Shari’ah), then He guided you. And He found you in need, then made you need-free. So as for the orphan, do not oppress [him]. And as for the beggar, do not scold him. And proclaim the Grace of your Lord.” (Surah Ad-Duha 93)

Salaah: The First Act of Worship

During these first three years of secret call, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام came to the Prophet ﷺ and illustrated the first act of ‘Ibaadah (Worship) for Allah سبحانه وتعالی. This was a milestone moment for the Prophet ﷺ to witness and learn how to worship the one true God, in the true manner. Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام struck his heel upon the ground, from which a spring of water was made to gush forth. He then illustrated the performance of Wudhu (Ablution), the method of purification required for the slave to address Allah سبحانه وتعالی, who is Al-Qudoos (The Pure One). Thereafter Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام demonstrated the method of performing Salaah (Prayer) to Allah سبحانه وتعالی, including the Ruku (Bowing) and Sujood (Prostration) to Allah سبحانه وتعالی who is the Rabbul ‘Aalameen (Lord of the Worlds) and Al-Aa’laa (The Highest).
(Ibn Ishaaq)

The Prophet ﷺ then returned home to Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, and just as she was chosen to be the first to hear and believe, she also became the first to learn and practice. The Prophet ﷺ taught her the method of Wudhu and Salaah, as they would now pray together and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها would bear the honour of being the first member of this Ummah to prostrate to the Lord of the Worlds.

Thereafter the Prophet ﷺ taught the method of Wudhu and Salaah to the rest of the Sahaabah, as the blessed soil of Makkah was once again honoured by feel of feet standing in the worship of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, and the touch of faces in Sijdah (Prostration).

The Shooting Stars & The Shielding of the Heavens.

The area above the first heaven is a pivotal station, whereby the forthcoming commands of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی descend and are dictated to the responsible angels, who then carry out their duties and travel through the busy portal of the first heaven. For millions of years, the Shayateen (Devils) would ascend towards the border of the first heaven, and attempt to eavesdrop into this station of descending commands, taking whatever sounds they could decipher as foretold news to the devils of man, such as the soothsayers and fortune-tellers. However, things were about to change for these dark creatures.

As they began to approach to the edge of the heavens – per their usual practice – they suddenly felt a strange shift in the atmosphere. To their sudden shock they looked up to see that the border of the heavens was suddenly shielded. Before they could even comprehend the nature of this sound-proofing barrier, the edge of the heavens became a visual spectacle, as they witnessed huge beams of blinding light in the form of shooting stars that speedily began striking them one by one. As these devils plummeted towards the earth, the remaining spirits turned back in fear and panic as they rushed to Iblees (The Arch-Devil). Frantic and terrified, they began blurting out the shocking changes they had just witnessed and beseeched him to help them. Iblees immediately sent his minions to scour the earth and bring a soil sample from every piece of land. Iblees’ response was strange and suspicious to the Jinn and Shayaateen, almost as though he feared something they were unaware of.

As soon as they returned, he began examining each sample, until he reached a particular town and looked as though his fear had come true. He told them the answer to the heavens being shielded in such a manner would be found in the land of Makkah. The agents of darkness immediately rushed to Makkah to identify what had happened. They travelled through the streets and mountain passes in search of an answer when suddenly, they witnessed a scene that set them back. They watched as the Prophet ﷺ stood above a mountain, and the foremost pioneers of this Ummah stood closely behind him performing Salaah. They listened in awe as they heard the Prophet ﷺ recite the Qur’aan and glorify Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, an experience that even their hearts could not resist being affected by. The blessed feet of Allah’s greatest Prophet ﷺ, and the feet of his firm followers had transformed the entire soil of Makkah, and the spatial border of the first heaven had been now been shielded, for the Qur’aan was to descend through it. (Ibn Ishaaq, Uyun Al-Athar)

Daar Al-Arqam

As the days went by, the number of Sahaabah entering into Islam through the private efforts of the Prophet ﷺ were increasing. With many of them being enslaved or socially weak and oppressed. Due to the nature of the secret call, they yearned for a space where they could meet and learn about Allah  سبحانه و تعالی without being spotted.

From amongst these blessed pioneers, Sayyidinaa Al-Arqam ibn Abi Al-Arqam رضی الله عنه dedicated a residence of his known as Daar Al-Arqam for the the lovers of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی and His Prophet ﷺ to gather and study.

These blessed Sahaabah would work through the day and risk their lives to secretly convene after dark. They would be the first students to enrol into the Madrasah of the Prophet ﷺ, learning and growing within the humble precincts of Daar Al-Arqam. Together, they would form a league of the most extraordinary individuals in all of humanity, under the leadership and guidance of the most extraordinary individual in all of creation. They would be honoured by their Lord in the Qur’aan as As-Saabiqoon Al-Awwaloon (The Foremost Pioneers).

These first three years had proved pivotal in setting the foundation for the blessed mission of the Prophet ﷺ, the first of those to accepted Islam, the humble base of Daar Al-Arqam and the journey to the open call on Mount Safa would have lasting effects throughout the next twenty years of the Prophet’s ﷺ Nuboowwah.

Join us tomorrow as we continue in the blessed Seerah with our next article: “As-Saabiqoon Al-Awwaloon: The Foremost Pioneers”

#19: Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها: The First Believer

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

After the Prophet’s ﷺ first encounter with Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام, he ﷺ rushed towards Makkah. His blessed heart was racing and filled with pure awe and majesty due to the Qur’aan that was now preserved within it. Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was waiting in their home when suddenly, she saw the Prophet ﷺ rush inside in a frightened and shocked state. The Prophet ﷺ called out to her:

زَمِّلُونِي زَمِّلُونِی

“Cover me! Cover me!”

Sayyidah Khadijah RA rushed to cover the Prophet ﷺ in a blanket and console him ﷺ until he felt calmer. The Prophet ﷺ then addressed her and told her the shocking events of the cave as he ﷺ said:

لَقَدْ خَشِيتُ عَلَى نَفْسِی

“I fear that something may happen to me.”

Though the events were clear and undeniable, the Prophet ﷺ was extremely worried. In addition to the unbearable power of the Qur’aan in his heart, the effect of the Tajalliyy (Manifestation of Divine Glory) was coursing through his body. Exposure to the realities of the spiritual realm and – even more so – being in contact with Allah سبحانه و تعالی in any form is extremely powerful and can feel absolutely unbearable for a normal human being. In fact, on the day of judgement, even the mighty prophets such as Sayyidinaa Aadam – Nooh – Ibraahim – Musa – ‘Isa علیهم السلام will all not be able to address Allah سبحانه و تعالی, due to the infinite might, power and majesty of the Lord of the Worlds. Yet this was no ordinary human being, nor just a Prophet, he ﷺ was the greatest of creation and the leaders of all the Prophets ﷺ. His heart and body were being initiated to bear heights of Divine Majesty that no other creation was destined to.

Nevertheless, this was the first time he ﷺ experienced such a phenomenon, which out of this world. The Prophet ﷺ knew the enormous weight of Prophethood, to bear the responsibility of conveying the words of Allah ﷺ to mankind, and to fulfil your Fardh (Obligation) to your creator when it seems impossible that people will listen. In addition, the Prophet’s ﷺ immense humility would naturally mean that he ﷺ would not jump to conclusions and see himself as worthy of such greatness, though – in reality – there was no one more worthy in all of creation. Owing to these factors, the Prophet ﷺ was frightened and extremely worried about what just happened.

Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, understood this and Allah سبحانه و تعالی placed it in her heart to say exactly what His beloved Prophet ﷺ needed to hear:

كَلاَّ وَاللَّهِ مَا يُخْزِيكَ اللَّهُ أَبَدًا۔ إِنَّكَ لَتَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ، وَتَحْمِلُ الْكَلَّ، وَتَكْسِبُ الْمَعْدُومَ، وَتَقْرِي الضَّيْفَ، وَتُعِينُ عَلَى نَوَائِبِ الْحَقِّ

“Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your relatives, you help the poor and the destitute, you honour your guests generously and assist those rightfully in need amidst calamity.”

With these words, Allah سبحانه و تعالی granted Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها immense resolute and guided to her to rise and take the Prophet ﷺ to the one whom Allah سبحانه و تعالی had placed in their vicinity for the purpose of this night.

Tٓo The House of the Waraqah

The vicinity of Makkah – though founded by Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام – was drowned by paganism, with no trace of divine scripture or any Abrahamic faiths. In addition to this, they only spoke Arabic, whilst the remains of all Prophetic scripture were in non-Arab languages such as Aramaic or Syriac. Furthermore, a lot of people did not even have a high level of literacy in their own language of Arabic, let alone reading ancient scripture. Yet, Allah سبحانه و تعالی had placed one man in this vicinity, whose life was prolonged for the sake of this day. A man who Allah سبحانه و تعالی guided to learn the language of Abrahamic scripture, and allowed him access to study them. Scriptures which were filled with the prophecies of the Final Messenger, and the Final Revelation of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, as every prophet had foretold their nation. Scriptures which contained verses such as:

לאחר הגלות לבבל: יכניה היה אביו של שאלתיאל; שאלתיאל היה אביו של זרובבל;

أَوْ يُدْفَعُ ٱلْكِتَابُ لِمَنْ لَا يَعْرِفُ ٱلْكِتَابَةَ وَيُقَالُ لَهُ: ٱقْرَأْ هَذَا. فَيَقُولُ: لَا أَعْرِفُ ٱلْكِتَابَةَ

“Then the book shall be delivered to him who is unlettered, saying, “Read this.” And he shall say, “I cannot read.” (The Bible, The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 29:12)

Such verses which had been preserved from thousands of years before the life of the Prophet ﷺ, and continue to be till this day. This man would be studying such scriptures, in the extremity of old age. Unbeknown to him, Allah سبحانه و تعالی had chosen him and made him live long enough to witness to this night of power. This man, was none other than Waraqah ibn Nawfal, the cousin of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها.

Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها arrived at the house of Waraqah at this hour of night. She entered with the Prophet ﷺ and explained to Waraqah in regards to what happened. Waraqah then asked the Prophet ﷺ for his account of what had transpired in the cave and what he ﷺ saw. Waraqah had become frail and lost his eyesight in his extreme old age, yet as soon as he heard this, he became elated and exclaimed:

هَذَا النَّامُوسُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ عَلَى مُوسَى صلى الله عليه وسلم يَا لَيْتَنِي فِيهَا جَذَعًا، لَيْتَنِي أَكُونُ حَيًّا إِذْ يُخْرِجُكَ قَوْمُكَ

“This is the same Namus (a name given to Jibra’eel علیه السلام in the Jewish canon), whom Allah had sent to Moses! I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out!”

Hearing this was intriguing and alarming. In addition to the eventful nature of this night, the Prophet ﷺ had just been told that he would face such difficulty and challenges in his mission that his own people would exile him from the homeland of his father, away from Kaa’bah. The Prophet ﷺ naturally asked:

أَوَمُخْرِجِيَّ هُمْ  

“Will they drive me out?”

Waraqah replied:

قَالَ نَعَمْ، لَمْ يَأْتِ رَجُلٌ قَطُّ بِمِثْلِ مَا جِئْتَ بِهِ إِلاَّ عُودِيَ، وَإِنْ يُدْرِكْنِي يَوْمُكَ أَنْصُرْكَ نَصْرًا مُؤَزَّرًا

“Yes, never has a man come with the likes of what you have brought, except he was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.”

Waraqah then kissed the blessed forehead of the Prophet ﷺ as their meeting came to a close. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Ishaaq)

After this night, Waraqah passed away within a very short period of time, and the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said regarding him:

رأيت ورقة على نهر من أنهار الجنة

“I saw Waraqah, by a river from the rivers of Jannah” (Zurqani, Bayhaqi)

In addition to meeting with Waraqah, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها strove to become such a pillar of support to the Prophet ﷺ, that she continued her search through the night to find further clarity and ease for the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. Through her endeavours she came to know of a man called Addas, a slave who would work in the grapevines outside of Makkah that belonged to one of the elite leaders of Makkah: Utbah ibn Rabi’ah. She wished to seek answers from Addas who was a follower of the Christian faith, in the hope that he may know something additional about the events that had transpired. (Ibn Ishaaq)

The Mission Begins

As the night finally came to a close, the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها could now return to their home, but their lives would never return to the way they were. Our Master Muhammad ﷺ was now the Prophet of Allah سبحانه و تعالی. His blessed heart contained the words of the Qur’aan, and possessed a growing recognition of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, besides whom there is none worthy of worship. His heart was increasing with pure love and yearning for the Lord of the Worlds سبحانه و تعالی, who chose him as his Final Prophet and Messenger.

Mean whilst, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was now the wife of the final and greatest Prophet in all of mankind. She was blessed to be the first to hear the glad-tidings of Prophethood, and the first to believe in them, as her heart was filled with Imaan (Faith) since the moment she heard the words of the Prophet ﷺ. She was now the First Believer to proclaim:

لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰه مُحَمّدٌ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰه

“There is no god but Allah! Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger of Allah!”

Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “The Dawn of Prophethood”

#18: The Arrival of Jibra’eel علیه السلام

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

The Light of Prophecy & The Preserved Tablet

At the very inception of time and the initiation of creation, Allah  سبحانه و تعالی formed a Noor (Light) which transpired into the realm of creation. This light would be the key to the story of creation, a key that would connect the Khalq (Creation) back to Al-Khaaliq (The Creator of All). This light, was the Seal of the Prophecy, and the pinnacle of Allah’s creation ﷺ. (Rooh Al-Ma’aani, Zurqani, Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah, Madaarij An-Nubuwwah, Sharh Shifaa Li Mulla Ali Qari)

Amidst this inception, Allah  سبحانه و تعالی created ‘Al-Qalam’ (The Pen of Divine Decree) and the ’Lawh Al-Mahfoodh’ (The Preserved Tablet), and ordered the decree of creation to be scripted in entirety from his infinite knowledge and wisdom. (Tirmidhi)

This tablet would be sanctified in the most preserved quarters above the highest heaven, heavily guarded by a host of celestial bodies created to protect it. Within its inscription were the details of every decree in creation, the names of every soul, every event, every birth, every death, every day and every night. It contained the details of every single one of over 224,000 Ambiya (Prophets) and Rusul (Messengers), their missions and their scriptures. Inscribed within this tablet was the blessed Seerah of the Seal of Prophets ﷺ, and the compendium of the greatest and most powerful speech of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی to transpire in all of creation: The Glorious Qur’aan.

A Noor (Light), an ‘Aalam (Realm) and a Lawh (Tablet), whose reality and marvel is truly known only to the one who possesses the infinite power and might to initiate His creation by them: Allah  سبحانه و تعالی

The Birth of Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام

During this early period of creation, before the inception of Jannah (Paradise), Jahannam (Hell), and before the jinn, Allah سبحانه و تعالی created a beautiful creature, whose very fabric was formed by light. His soul was instilled within him and he was named: “Jibra’eel” علیه السلام. He was the first of his kind and was made the leader of the Malaa’ikah (Angels), the legions of God’s decree throughout the universe. Many angels were created in innumerable measure, until a handspan of the heavens did not remain empty of them, but Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام was the Arch-Angel and the greatest of them all. He علیه السلام would live through the development of the universe, the creation of the Jinn, the rise and fall of Iblees (The Arch-Devil), the manifestation of darkness and evil in our universe, the birth of the Shayaateen (The Devil Race), the formation of the earth, the demotion of jinn kind as its successive rulers, the announcement of their substitution, and the creation of man.

Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام then became acquainted with the legacy of Nuboowwah (Prophethood), and as the arch-angel, was commissioned as the Ameen Al-Wahi (The Treasurer of Divine Revelation). From this moment onwards, he علیه السلام would be sent by Allah  سبحانه و تعالی to initiate the prophethood of each mighty Prophet, and deliver the details of their mission through Wahi (Divine Revelation) and Suhoof (Divine Scripture).  (Zurqani)

His علیه السلام mission was to assist the Prophets علیه السلام in their mission, as they strove to connect the creation back to Allah  سبحانه و تعالی. His heart yearned for the day he could stand by the side of the greatest of all Prophets ﷺ, when he would not just be delivering physical scripture, but witnessing the direct revelation of the divine word of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی as it enters into the heart of his greatest and Final Messenger ﷺ.

The Descent of The Qur’aan

As the billions of millenniums passed, the moment had finally arrived. It was the year when the Glorious Qur’aan would finally be unlocked from the Lawh Al-Mahfoodh (The Preserved Tablet), and descended from the loftiest heaven in an extremely guarded manner that befits its majesty and magnificence. The angels watched as the Qur’aan was transferred to the Bayt Al-‘Izzah (The Station of Honour) at the spatial borders of the first heaven. (Nasa’i, Bayhaqi, Ibn Abi Shaybah)

As this night came to pass, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام watched this grand descent in elation, as he was about to embark his greatest mission yet: delivering the Qur’aan to the heart of the Prophet ﷺ.

The Night of Power, 610 AD

During the Night of Power, in Ramadhan 610 AD, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام braced himself, as he bolted through the billions of lightyears – faster than the speed of light – with the rush of love and excitement. As he carried the first words of revelation from the Glorious Qur’aan, he approached the atmosphere of earth and headed for Makkah Al-Mukarramah. It was at this moment, the Du’aa of Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام was about to be fulfilled by the decree of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی:

رَبَّنَا وَٱبْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Our Lord, raise in their midst a Messenger from among them, who should recite to them Your verses, and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and make them pure. Indeed You and You alone, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:129)

As Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام flew through the skies at breakneck-speed, the Prophet ﷺ sat in the peaceful, serene silence of the Cave of Hira. This was the area where the Prophet ﷺ could focus deep within his pure heart and soul, and engage in reflection, decoding the truth behind the luminous force within his blessed heart. Then suddenly, this peaceful, dimmed cave became astonishingly illuminated as the Prophet ﷺ looked to see an absolutely startling and overwhelming sight.

SUBHAANALLAH! There he was – Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام – the Leader of the Angels, standing before the Leader of Mankind ﷺ, bringing the final and greatest message of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, to the final and greatest Messenger of Allah ﷺ.

This was an absolutely spectacular and overwhelming moment of awe for both Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام and Our Master Muhammad ﷺ. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی alone knows how the heart of Jibra’eel علیه السلام rushed as he stood in front of the one most beloved to him in all of creation, witnessing the moment he had been anticipating for over a billion millenniums, yearning to embrace him since the day he kissed his innocent forehead as a child outside the home of Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها over thirty-five years ago.

Mean whilst the Prophet ﷺ watched this shocking and overwhelming sight, that was completely unperceivable. Allah  سبحانه و تعالی alone knows how the heart of His beloved felt at that moment. For years he was hearing the overwhelming statements of his Prophecy and special status, words that were almost fearsome for a humble being who sincerely felt the gravity of being a Prophet of God. Yet this was no monk, nor a man, nor a woman, but an angel – and that too the arch-angel – who was unlike any other being he ﷺ had ever seen. A startling sight that instantly signified the nature of Prophecy.

Without a moment to absorb this enormous sight, the Prophet ﷺ suddenly heard Jibra’eel علیه السلام powerfully declare:



This sudden proclamation began adding to the rush of this experience, as the Prophet ﷺ started feeling something he had never felt before. These words were extremely perplexing for the Prophet ﷺ who was Ummiyy (Unlettered), and thus could not fulfil the powerful proclamation of this unknown being. He ﷺ innocently said:

مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ

“I am not one who can read”

No sooner did he ﷺ say these words that suddenly he witnessed this unknown being rush towards him and instantly take hold of him in an extremely powerful embrace. As Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام held the Prophet ﷺ tight, Allah  سبحانه و تعالی alone knows the reality of what transpired at this moment, and he سبحانه و تعالی alone knows how Jibra’eel felt finally embracing his most beloved Master Muhammad ﷺ!

However, this embrace was extremely difficult and physically exerting for the Prophet ﷺ, until he ﷺ felt he could no longer survive, when suddenly he was let go of and he heard this unknown being powerfully proclaim a second time:



Without even a moment to catch his breath from such an exerting and exhilarating experience, the Prophet ﷺ once again innocently replied:

مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ

“I am not one who can read”

He ﷺ barely finished this sentence when he bore the startling sight of this being forcefully rushing towards him and powerfully embracing him in the same manner again. The Prophet ﷺ continued to persevere a second time and he once again felt he could no longer bear it, just before he was released a second time.


“RECITE!”, the angel powerfully proclaimed again in the same manner as the Prophet ﷺ once again innocently pleaded: “I am not one who can read”.  The angel flashed forward again and powerfully embraced the Prophet ﷺ for a third time, completely exerting the Prophet’s ﷺ strength beyond human endurance, until the Prophet ﷺ felt lifeless and feared his soul was about to leave his body. Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام then released the Prophet ﷺ for a third and final time. Now the Prophet ﷺ watched – completely exhausted – as Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام powerfully declared:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ ﴿١﴾ خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ﴿٢﴾ اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ ﴿٣﴾

Recite in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), created man from a clot. Recite! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (Surah Al-Alaq 96:1-3)

This time the Prophet ﷺ experienced something different, and began proclaiming these verses himself, word for word, letter by letter, as it suddenly felt like these words were etched in his blessed heart. (Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Sahih Al-Bukhari)

The Heart of the Prophet ﷺ

The Prophet ﷺ had just experienced the verbatim word of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی being revealed and preserved in his heart. Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام witnessed this miraculous moment, as the weight of the mighty speech of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی transferred into the very heart which he علیه السلام washed and held all those years ago. This was a momentous scene for Jibra’eel علیه السلام to see with his own eyes. No other vessel in creation was strong enough to yield the force of the direct revelation of the Qur’aan.

The Tajalliyy (Manifestations of Divine Glory) of Allah  سبحانه و تعالی, are intensely powerful and majestic, beyond the limits of what creation can bear, and such was the Tajalliyy of Wahi (Divine Revelation). Sayyidina Jibra’eel علیه السلام was aware that when Sayyidinaa Musa علیه السلام earnestly begged Allah  سبحانه و تعالی for the blessing of seeing his Lord, Allah  سبحانه و تعالی showed Sayyidinaa Musa علیه السلام the inability of bearing the divine sight by manifesting his Tajalliyy upon a mighty mountain which instantly turned to dust and immediately made Sayyidinaa Musa علیه السلام unconscious. (Surah Aa’raf 7:143).

Yet he just witnessed the heart of Prophet ﷺ bear the intense Tajalliyy of the Qur’aan Al-Kareem, whilst remaining completely safe and sound. It is in reference to this that Allah  سبحانه و تعالی tells us in the Qur’aan:

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍۢ لَّرَأَيْتَهُۥ خَـٰشِعًۭا مُّتَصَدِّعًۭا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ ٱلْأَمْثَـٰلُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“If We had sent down this Qur’aan upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and splitting from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:21)

The pure heart of the Prophet ﷺ was the strongest and most-fortified vessel in all of Allah’s creation, which could solely bear the weight of the Qur’aan being revealed straight to it.

The Weight of The Qur’aan

The Prophet ﷺ felt such an exhilarating and exerting embrace from Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام, which initiated his heart for this task. In his ﷺ later years, the Prophet’s ﷺ heart continued to grow even stronger and bear even more powerful modes of direct revelation. The weight of these words was so mighty that the strongest of animals would suddenly buckle to the ground as soon as the Qur’aan began descending upon him whilst he was riding atop them. The heat of the glory and majesty that accompanied the verses of the Qur’aan was so intense that he ﷺ would sweat on the coldest of days. The stages of revelation continued to increase stronger and stronger until the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said in regards to the first form of revelation:

وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُهُ عَلَیَّ

“And it was the lightest (form of revelation) upon me” (Sahih Abu Awaanah, Al-Itqaan)

This is what Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ would endure for a single verse of the Qur’aan, and yet, we have the audacity to abandon its recitation to the extent that Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ will say on the day of Qiyaamah:

وَقَالَ ٱلرَّسُولُ يَـٰرَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِى ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ مَهْجُورًۭا

And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’aan as [a thing] abandoned.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25:30)

May Allah  سبحانه و تعالی adorn our hearts with the Qur’aan and guide us to fulfil its true right. Ameen!

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ

After witnessing this, Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام left the cave. The Prophet ﷺ watched as this unknown being disappeared, and he ﷺ had to stand up alone after experiencing such a bewildering and shocking experience. He ﷺ rushed outside the cave as his blessed heart was racing, when he ﷺ suddenly heard the words:

يا محمد ، أنت رسول الله، وأنا جبريل

“O Muhammad! ﷺ You are the Messenger of Allah, and I am Jibra’eel” (Ibn Ishaaq)

He ﷺ looked up to see the same unknown being over the horizon. Wherever he ﷺ turned, he saw him علیه السلام, repeating the same frightening statement over and over. The Prophet ﷺ quickly ran down the mountain as he rushed towards Makkah, whilst Sayyidinaa Jibra’eel علیه السلام watched the Seal of Prophecy, and the Leader of the Messengers ﷺ begin his journey of twenty-three years, with his heart now bearing the mantle of Prophethood, and the eternal words of his Lord…

Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “The First Believer: Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها”

#16: Rebuilding the Kaa’bah

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ وَ الصَّلوٰةُ وَ السَّلَامُ عَلىٰ اَطْيَبِ خَلْقِ اللهِ نَسَبًا وَ حَسَبًا وَ صَهْرًا , سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلىٰ آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ وَ بَارِكْ وَ سَلِّمْ

After the Prophet’s ﷺ blessed marriage to Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, their blessed home had grown and developed as the years passed. It had now been ten years since, and the Prophet ﷺ was now thirty-five years old.  . He walked through the streets of Makkah brightening its day with His beautiful smile which uplifted the hearts of all he passed, as a beacon of hope for the poor and oppressed, the socially rejected and the communally abandoned. The situation of Makkah had now become more concerning than ever for the Prophet ﷺ. His ﷺ pure heart was pained by the rampant practices of Shirk (Paganism) & Jaahiliyyah (Ignorance), as well as the prevalence of deceit and immorality that had swept throughout Makkah. 

His ﷺ blessed heart was especially grieved when witnessing the condition of the Kaa’bah. This was the legacy of his forefather Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام, a structure he was commanded to build for the remembrance of Allah سبحانه و تعالی and the establishment of Tawheed. Yet the Prophet ﷺ would now see it surrounded by over three-hundred and sixty idols with repulsive forms.

The Original Kaa’bah

At this point in time the Kaa’bah was still upon the foundations and construction of Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام, the shape and form of which was different to the cubic structure we see today. The Hateem or Hijr (the open semi-circle in front of the Kaa’bah) was enclosed within its structure, and thus the shape was more rectangular with a semi-circular edge on one side. Its walls were made of layered stone and were not very high, being slightly above the average head-height. The roof of the Kaa’bah was open without any form of ceiling enclosure.

An approximate visualisation based on reports of the Kaa'bah at that time.

The Need for Renewal

In addition to the placement of idols, the structure of the Kaa’bah was also greatly neglected at this point. On one occasion a woman had heedlessly set fire to the Kiswah (The Outer Drapes of the Kaa’bah), through which the fire spread across its walls. Ignorance and greed had spread to the extent that thieves began seeing the lack of a roof as an opportunity to jump over its walls and steal any entrustments the Quraysh had placed within it. In addition to this, Makkah was affected by torrential flooding in this year, due to which the structure of the Kaa’bah – which was already in a state of disrepair – was irreversibly damaged.

After the effect of the flooding, the Kaa’bah was urgently in need of renovation. The leaders of Quraysh thus came to the realisation that they must now de-construct the current remains and build the Kaa’bah anew. Even though the people of Makkah and its elitist leaders had fallen into corrupt states, Allah سبحانه و تعالی preserved a special love and veneration for the Kaa’bah in their hearts. The decision to renovate was finalised and the preparatory discussions were underway.

The Planning Phase

The Quraysh began discussing the primary logistical factors for the project at hand, including funding, materials, structural engineering and the distribution of responsibilities. Concerns were raised in regards to various aspects, as the people of Makkah were not skilled in craftsmanship, nor did they have access to the required materials. Thereafter the matter of funding – which was perceived as the least concern – also became a major topic of concern, ultimately proving to be their biggest challenge in the end. However, they failed to realise… this was the plan of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, and to quote the words of the Prophet’s ﷺgrandfather Abdul-Muttalib:

ولهذا البيت رب هو يمنعه

“This house has a Lord, He will protect it!” (Ibn Ishaaq)

The next few events that transpired show us a glimpse of the detailed perfection and vast scale of Allah’s سبحانه و تعالی perfect decree for all things.

Pure for Pure

With the involvement of such wealthy and influential leaders, the matter of funding was considered the least of concern. However, their corrupt nature ensured that most – if not all – of their wealth was attained through illicit and immoral means, acquired unlawfully and oppressively. Would such sanctified walls be built upon such detestable foundations? Certainly not! Allah سبحانه و تعالی protected the sanctity of His house and placed it in the heart of Abu Wahab ibn Amr (the brother of the Faatimah bint ‘Amr, the Prophet’s ﷺ paternal grandmother), to take a stand and ensure that only pure wealth – gained through lawful and honourable means – would be utilised for this blessed project. Upon his statement, Allah سبحانه و تعالی endowed their hearts with a firm resolve to only bring forth the pure of their wealth.

With the matter of funding concluded, their remained the question of sourcing materials and finding a skilled-craftsmen for the structural engineering of the new Kaa’bah:

A Ship With a Purpose

From this moment onwards the books of Seerah give us a glimpse into the marvellous plan of Allah سبحانه و تعالی. He سبحانه و تعالی is the “Musabbibul Asbaab” (The Producer of Means). He سبحانه و تعالی is the one who brings forth grains from the depths of the earth and navigates them across oceans and shores, causing them to be held in the grasp of our plates for us to consume, little does man reflect! In the same amazing fashion, Allah سبحانه و تعالی caused a range of the finest materials to be gathered amidst a huge ship which would be dispatched for a construction project.

As we zoom out from the mountains of Makkah and into the gardens of Rome, a Byzantian king was loading a great ship of the finest building materials for the construction of a temple in Yemen. As this ship sets its course for Yemen, Allah سبحانه و تعالی sent a gale of wind and set the ship upon its true course: Jeddah. The ship thus washed up on the shores of the Jeddah port, the closest port to Makkah Al Mukarramah. Transition back into Makkah and we see that news of this ship reached the nobles of Quraysh, who immediately agreed upon its acquirement. When they reached the port to purchase all the materials, they were met with one more surprise: Baqoom, an extremely skilled craftsmen who was consigned to oversee construction alongside the materials on board.

Entering back into Makkah, we now find all the preparations underway and it was simply a matter of commencing the first phase of the project: Deconstruction.

The Audacity to Strike

The date was set and the greatest nobles of Quraysh gathered around the Kaa’bah to witness this ground-breaking event. There was only one problem: who dare have the audacity to strike any part of the Kaa’bah?

With all the great and mighty hands present, none had the strength to do so. After much commotion Al-Waleed ibn Al Mugheerah – one of the senior leaders of Quraysh – decided to initiate this blessed project and take the first step.

He reluctantly struck a portion of the wall between Rukn Al-Yamani (The Yemen-facing corner of the Kaa’bah) and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad. A great fear of punishment befell those who were present and they could not continue further. They decided to wait for a period and see what outcome befalls Al-Waleed ibn Mugheerah, citing him as a test of whether to proceed or not. The next-morning they found Al-Waleed safe and enthusiastically proceeding with demolishing the wall. Upon seeing him safe, others rushed to follow and the momentous project was initiated at his hands.

The Honour of Acceptance

An important point to reflect upon at this juncture is the matter of Al-Waleed ibn Mugheerah and his true nature. Whilst Al-Waleed ibn Mugheerah was accepted for the initiation of the project, this acceptance was of no avail to him in the end, for he possessed a corrupt heart and was devoid of the light of Imaan. He became one of the worst enemies to Our Prophet ﷺ and his mission, leading himself to the Hell-fire in the worst of manners. In short this is an eye-opening reality for all of us to ponder upon. True acceptance is not in our names being accepted, but rather in our deeds being accepted by Allah سبحانه و تعالی. The reality of good does not lie within our hands, but in our hearts.

Thus, when Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام completed the huge task of constructing the Kaa’bah upon divine instruction, he did not dwell upon the privilege of being accepted for such a deed, but rather feared if the efforts produced at his hands were accepted by Allah سبحانه و تعالی. He supplicated to Allah سبحانه و تعالی upon completion saying:

وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَٰهِـۧمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَـٰعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“And [mention] when Ibraahim was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Isma’eel, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:127)

Thus, for all of us who have been accepted for the service of this religion, we must purify our intentions and seek that our efforts and actions be accepted by Allah سبحانه و تعالی. We must not concern ourselves with merely being accepted for such roles and titles.

Construction Commences

All of the walls at surface level were demolished and the Hajr Al Aswad was safely placed aside. They continued digging further, deep into the ground until they witnessed a layer of green cobalt stones that were merged in succession like camel humps. This was the original foundation placed by Sayyidinaa Ibraahim علیه السلام, firmly established in the ground through divine assistance. In the fervour of demolition, one of the Makkans rushed to dig beyond this foundation and barely completed striking between two stones when a huge tremor struck him, increasing in magnitude as it rippled throughout Makkah. This stopped them in their tracks and they knew not to touch this blessed foundation which was protected by Allah سبحانه و تعالی.

Under the supervision of Baqoom, the materials, roofing and framework were underway and the responsibility of construction was divided into the four sections of the Kaa’bah, with each section being assigned to a tribal faction of Quraysh.

In the footsteps of Sayyidinaa Isma’eel علیه السلام

As construction was on course, the Makkans worked throughout the day to complete the project. Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ personally contributed, working hard in the scorching heat of the sun. He took upon the same responsibility of his forefather Sayyidinaa Ismaa’eel علیه السلام, carrying the bricks which would build the walls of the blessed Kaa’bah.

Due to the severe heat and physical exertion, the people would dress in a single lower-garment in wrapped at waist-level. This left their shoulders and upper chest exposed to the grazing of the rough surfaces they carried. Our Prophet ﷺ was carrying the bricks with his paternal uncle Sayydinaa Abbas رضی الله عنه, when his uncle noticed the blessed shoulders of Our Prophet ﷺ being grazed. He رضی الله عنه advised that the lower-garment wrap be removed from the waist and placed over the shoulders to protect the skin. Many individuals had already done so without hesitation, even though this rendered them partially naked and exposed their private regions. The impact of Jahiliyyah had desensitised them from true Hayaa (Modesty) and normalised such a shameful act.

In such a society where nakedness was becoming normalised, the pure Hayaa of Our Prophet ﷺ was such that he barely removed his garment (upon the instruction of his uncle) when he ﷺ almost lost consciousness and immediately rushed to cover himself. This was the pure Fitrah (Nature) of Our Prophet ﷺ, even before prophethood. When a person loses such an integral part of their very essence, they repel the fabric of their nature and destroy an imperative branch upon which Imaan rests, as we know from the beautiful Hadith:

إِنَّ الْحَيَاءَ شُعْبَةٌ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ

“Indeed modesty is a branch of faith.” (Ibn Maajah)

Without this pillar of Hayaa, not only does one destroy themselves internally, but also prevents themselves from upholding Imaan, thus the Prophet ﷺ said:

إِذَا لَمْ تَسْتَحْيِ فَاصْنَعْ مَا شِئْتَ

 “If you do not feel Hayaa (Modesty/Shame), then do whatever you like.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Budget Constraints

Construction was reaching great progress, with an overwhelming majority of work nearing completion. It was at this moment that the Quraysh realised they were faced with severe budget constraints. The insufficient funds could not be replenished either, as all of the Halaal (lawfully acquired) wealth had already been depleted. Due to this obstacle and other contributing factors, an executive decision was made to alter the plans and reduce the final build of the Kaa’bah. This would result in the Kaa’bah being built 75% from one side, as they worked their way across the original foundation of Sayyidina Ibraahim علیه السلام, and then a wall being built to cap off the structure just before the Hateem (the semi-circle in front the Kaa’bah). The unconstructed area would then be fenced off with a trellis to mark the section where the walls originally would have been if construction was completed.

Hajr Al-Aswad: The Quest for Honour

As construction flowed steadily, they reached the phase of placing the blessed Hajr Al-Aswad (The Black Stone) back into its position. At this critical juncture, the question arose as to who would yield this honour?. Various notables and tribal leaders rushed to the opportunity, insisting they must acquire this prestigious task. The situation became intense as their insistence turned into persistence. Voices were raised and the debate intensified, with each person fighting for their tribe to be rightful. This led to a halt in construction and delayed progression for a number of days, until the fierce quarrels erupted and physical combat was imminent. Swords were drawn and bloodshed was in order for the attainment of this honour. Each fighting party determined to exclude the rest, so they alone could bear the pride of its imposition.

At this critical moment, Abu Umayyah ibn Mugheerah Al-Makhzoomi – one of the oldest and wisest men of Quraysh – called out in one final attempt of desperation. He wished to prevent the fighting by offering an alternative solution that everyone may find plausible. The people turned their attention towards him amidst this fierce, blood-rushing moment, awaiting his solution to this issue. But a wise man is called so for a reason. Abu Umayyah knew not to put himself in between this fierce cross-fire, as any solution would result in a number of excluded parties being infuriated and seeking vengeance upon the provider of the solution. Abu Umayyah however, proposed a different path. He advised that all the tribes focus their attention towards the entrance of the sacred precincts of the Haram, and whomsoever will be the first to enter may decide which tribe will be elected. The people agreed to this and quickly focussed their attention on who will enter.

All eyes were now set upon the entrance of the haram. Their blood was still rushing in infuriation, whilst their hearts began pumping rapidly in suspense. Each of them wondered whether the one who enters will favour them and exclude the others, or will the opposite be so? The sound of their racing-hearts began drowning out the rush of thoughts erupting in their minds, when suddenly the sound of footsteps emerging in the distance reached their ears. Intensity levels were raised to the maximum as and their sights were fixing in towards the entrance when suddenly…none other than Our Master Muhammad ﷺ graced the haram with his blessed presence.

A cheer of smiles and chants instantly erupted and echoed throughout the haram, as the spirits of one and all – including the Kaa’bah and the ground of the haram itself – were uplifted. Each of them chanting:

هَذَا الْأَمِينُ، رَضِينَا، هَذَا مُحَمَّدٌ

“This is Al-Ameen (The Trustworthy), We are pleased! This is Muhammad!” (Ibn Hisham)

This was the only soul that had never wronged a single person. Due to the beauty of his character, each person felt they were the dearest to him and he ﷺ would certainly favour them. This scene was completely sudden and unexpected for the Prophet ﷺ, who was surrounded by the rush of people. The issue was raised to the Prophet ﷺ amongst the bustle of voices calling out, each of them asking who should be chosen and who should be excluded. However, they could not see any other solution besides elimination and exclusion. But this was the heart of the Prophet ﷺ, they were asking. His heart would not exclude anyone from that which was good and beneficial. He would always strive to include everyone in matters of good. 

When the Prophet ﷺ was born into this world, Iblees (The Arch-Devil) violently screamed out in despair, knowing he had lost to the one who would save more people from being excluded to the hell-fire, than all of the Prophets that came before him ﷺ (Al-Bidaayah Wa Al-Nihaayah)

The Prophet ﷺ instructed that a large sheet be brought, upon which the Hajr Al-Aswad will be placed. Thereafter every tribal representative will hold the edge of the sheet together – in unity – and manoeuvre the stone to its designated position. Finally, the Prophet ﷺ fixed it into its place as the cloth was removed.

Thus, the Prophet ﷺ – as a young man of thirty-five – displayed his immense wisdom and intellect, which not only provided an ingenious solution that removed the obstacle of construction for this blessed project, but also prevented a civil war in the blessed precincts of the haram.

A New Hope

After this, the construction flowed rapidly and the new Kaa’bah was built. The constructed portion was in the form a square and was approximately fifteen meters high. The Hajr Al-Aswad wall and its adjacent side were ten meters wide, whilst the remaining two sides were twelve meters wide. The Black Stone was positioned 1.5 meters above the ground.  The door of the Kaa’bah was raised higher at two metres above ground level. A roof was constructed from Timber and held up by six internal pillars. (Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Ibn Hisham)

The renewal of the Kaa’bah was a momentous project which caused rejoice throughout Makkah. The context of its timing however, foreshadowed a much greater renewal: The renewal of the entire city of Makkah, and the whole world as we know it…

Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “The Cave of Hira: The Prelude to Prophethood”

#15: Bayt Muhammad ﷺ: The Prophetic Household

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ وَ الصَّلوٰةُ وَ السَّلَامُ عَلىٰ اَطْيَبِ خَلْقِ اللهِ نَسَبًا وَ حَسَبًا وَ صَهْرًا , سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلىٰ آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ وَ بَارِكْ وَ سَلِّمْ

After the blessed marriage of the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, their blessed home flourished with love, purity, tranquillity and stability. It was the first home to be established upon piety, completely free from idol worship, pagan rituals and the ignorant practices that swept across the people of Makkah. Their blessed household was a model of understanding and co-operation, with the selfless essence of pure love at the forefront of everything. They had become an embodiment of the blessed verse:

وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦٓ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًۭا لِّتَسْكُنُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةًۭ وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Surah Al-Room 30:21)

The Prophet ﷺ as a Husband & Father

As a husband, the Prophet ﷺ was pro-active around the house. He ﷺ assisted his wife, catered for his family, mended his own shoes and more, without ever falling short in his responsibility to provide for and shelter his family. He ﷺ made his family and household a priority in his life as they deserved, putting them first before his own self.

The Prophet ﷺ was kind, gentle and friendly with his wives and his entire family, treating them with love and affection. He ﷺ was playful and easy-going as well as firm and protective. He embodied his responsibility as a husband and father. He would accommodate the needs of his family and exercise patience with them. The Prophet ﷺ would adorn himself and purify himself for his blessed wives in the home. He ﷺ would greet his family with love when leaving and entering the home. He ﷺ would kiss his wives when bidding farewell. He would kiss his children and play with them. He ﷺ gave great importance to the treatment of one’s family and instructed the Sahaabah:

خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي

“The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family” (Tirmidhi)

Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها as a Wife & Mother

As one of the wealthiest and most successful traders in Makkah, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها never allowed the hours required for her work, nor the lure of success to distract her from her family, whom she dearly loved. She would always fulfil her responsibility to her husband and her family before anything else, she made it clear that there was nothing in this world she loved more than Muhammad ﷺ, and her children. Her wealth, and her success meant nothing to her in comparison to her love for her family. She was ready to deplete every penny she earned just to see them smile.

Together they had become a force for good, aiding the community and assisting the weak and impoverished. The Prophet ﷺ, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, and their blessed family were ready to stay hungry, but give preference to the poor and needy, to their neighbours, to the travelling wayfarer, and even a small animal in need.

The Blessed Family of the Prophet ﷺ

Along with the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, the children of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها from her previous marriages were also a part of this beautiful new home. The Prophet ﷺ loved and cared for them, standing in the position of a father, which they did not have for all these years. This included two boys: Hind ibn Abi Halah, Halah ibn Abi Halah, and one girl: Hind ibn Ateeq. They dearly loved the Prophet ﷺ, with Hind ibn Abi Halah giving us one of the best narrations describing the beautiful form of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ.

Over the next ten years, their lives flourished together and their family grew, with the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها being blessed with children of their own:

  1. Sayyidinaa Qaasim رضی الله عنه
    He was the first child of the Prophet ﷺ. He brought great joy to the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. Through his birth the Prophet ﷺ had officially become a father, entering a new phase in his blessed life. The Prophet ﷺ was born in this world without his father, and thus could not be held in his arms. After all these years, the birth of Qaasim was a deep and emotional sentiment for Prophet ﷺ, experiencing this moment as a father, and holding his son in his arms. His birth also granted the Prophet ﷺ his Kunyah (Title/Appellation) of “Abul Qaasim” (The Father of Qaasim). However, after approximately two years, Qaasim passed away in infancy. The Prophet ﷺ saw his beloved wife in tears, as she held on to her innocent baby boy who was no longer breathing. After losing his father as an only son, the Prophet ﷺ had now lost his only son as a father. The Prophet ﷺ once again painfully returned to Jannah Al-Mu’alla, the Makkan cemetery where he witnessed his grandfather being buried when he was eight years old, whilst his heart felt the shattering pain of burying his pure baby boy.

  2. Sayyidah Zaynab رضی الله عنها
    She was their second child and their eldest daughter. After the pain of losing Qaasim, her upbringing brought joy and solace to their hearts. She was extremely beloved to her parents and grew up to be a reflection of her blessed mother. She would remind the Prophet ﷺ of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها even after she passed away. When she grew up, she was the first to bless them with the happiness of a wedding in their home. She was married to Abul ‘Aas ibn Rabi’ رضی الله عنه who was also a family relative. She also gave the Prophet ﷺ his first grandchildren, her son ‘Ali and her daughter ‘Umamah. She faced struggles in the path of Allah سبحانه و تعالی, with her husband being forced away from her and even suffering a miscarriage due to the torture and oppression. She passed away during the final years of the Prophet’s ﷺ life in the eighth year after Hijrah (Migration) to Madinah Munawwarah.

  3. Sayyidah Ruqayyah رضی الله عنها
    She was their third child and second daughter. She grew up in the likeness of her parents and was dearly beloved to the Prophet ﷺ. As she grew older, she was married to Utbah, the son of the Prophet’s ﷺ uncle Abu Lahab. She was extremely forbearing and endured great tests for Islam, including an unjust divorce whilst she was still classed as a bride. Abu Lahab had ordered his sons to divorce the daughters of the Prophet ﷺ even before the marriage was consummated, as an act of rebellion against Islam and to punish his nephew for calling to the worship of Allah سبحانه و تعالی alone. She was later proposed to by – and married – the great companion Sayyidinaa Uthmaan ibn Affaan رضی الله عنه, one of the most handsome, wealthy and influential youths of Makkah. She migrated with her husband for the sake of Islam, and experienced the loss of an infant child. Her gentle heart bore great pain and sacrifice for Allah سبحانه و تعالی, until she passed away in the year 2 AH (After Hijrah)

  4. Sayyidah Umm Kulthoom رضی الله عنها
    She was their fourth child and third daughter. She grew up closely with her sister Ruqayyah رضی الله عنها, even marrying into the same family as her. She was married to Utaybah ibn Abi Lahab and was likewise oppressively divorced in the same manner. She spent the longest period supporting her father in the Prophetic ﷺ household. After her sister passed away, Sayyidinaa Uthmaan relieved the heart of the Prophet ﷺ once again by marrying Sayyidah Umm Kulthoom رضی الله عنها. As Sayyidinaa Uthman loved, sheltered and cared for the pure, innocent heart of Umm Kulthoom رضی الله عنها in the same manner, he was blessed with the unique honor of Dhun-Nurain (The Bearer of Two Lights). He became the only man in all of creation to love and marry two daughters of a Prophet, and that too the daughters of the Greatest Prophet ﷺ. She passed away during the lifetime of the Prophet ﷺ in the year 9 AH.

  5. Sayyidah Faatimah Al-Batool Az-Zahra رضی الله عنها
    She رضی الله عنها was their fifth child and their youngest daughter. She bore the name of the Prophet’s ﷺ paternal grandmother (Fatimah bint Amr), her maternal grandmother (Faatimah bint Zaa’idah, the mother of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها), as well as Prophet’s ﷺ dear aunt and mother-figure Sayyidah Faatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها. She was immensely close to her beloved father and the dearest to him. She was married to Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib رضی الله عنه and gave birth to three boys and two girls. Her sons were Sayyidinaa Hassan رضی الله عنه, Sayyidinaa Hussain رضی الله عنه and Sayyidinaa Muhsin رضی الله عنه. Her daughters were Sayyidah Umm Kulthoom رضی الله عنها and Sayyidah Zaynab رضی الله عنها. She was the only child to live throughout the life of the Prophet ﷺ, and passed away approximately six months after the Prophet ﷺ.

  6. Sayyidinaa Abdullah رضی الله عنه
    He was their sixth child and their youngest. He was extremely beloved to his parents and bore the name of the Prophet’s ﷺ father. He was born around the time of receiving Nuboowwah, either just before or shortly after (Ibn Saa’d). He was the first son that was born after the demise their first child Qaasim رضی الله عنه and was lovingly called Al-Tayyib and Al-Taahir (The Absolute Pure). His innocent smile, his pure eyes and his adorable hands and feet were a joyful solace that the Prophet ﷺ could come home to amidst the painful struggle of his mission. However, Abdullah رضی الله عنه too passed away in infancy, deeply paining the heart of the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, as he ﷺ buried another child with his own hands.

All of the children of the Prophet ﷺ were born from Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, except for Sayyidinaa Ibraahim رضی الله عنه who was born towards the final years of his ﷺ life in the year 8 AH. In addition to their blessed children, the household of the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was also a home to:

  1. Sayyidinaa ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib رضی الله عنه
    He was the son the Prophet’s ﷺ beloved uncle Abu Taalib and his dear aunt Sayyidah Faatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها. The Prophet ﷺ was extremely fond of Sayyidinaa ‘Ali رضی الله عنه and raised him in his home with love and care.

  2. Sayyidinaa Zayd ibn Haarithah رضی الله عنه
    During the corrupt and oppressive landscape of Jaahiliyyah, slave-traders and child-traffickers were rampant throughout the world and free to do as they pleased, even holding an open-stall in the marketplaces to auction and sell ‘children’ as commodities. Due to this practice, Sayyidinaa Zayd رضی الله عنه was kidnapped as a child and eventually sold as a slave in the vicinity of Makkah. His parents were absolutely distraught and his father Haarithah wandered the vast Arabian deserts in an endless search for his son. Eventually Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was ‘gifted’ this slave-child as the people of Makkah saw them as commodities of trade and house-hold accessories, not as human beings or children. The blessed of heart of the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidinaa Khadijah رضی الله عنها were completely averse to such evil practices. They were champions for the liberation of slaves. In the later years of Nuboowwah, the Prophet ﷺ instructed the freedom and liberation of slaves as an essential act of Islam, even making it an obligation to free a multiple of slaves every time a penalty was required for violations such as breaking the compulsory fasts of Ramadhan.

    Thus the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنه took Sayyidinaa Zayd into their home and nurtured him like their own children. They embraced a scared, innocent boy that had been kidnapped from his parents, and gave him a home, a place to belong and feel cared for.  They raised him as an adoptive son and showered him with such love, that years later when his father finally found him, he could not bear to separate from the Prophet ﷺ, choosing him over his own parents. The Prophet ﷺ would state for years to come that Sayyidinaa Zayd رضی الله عنه was the “most beloved of people” to him ﷺ (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

May Allah سبحانه و تعالی bless Our Beloved Master Muhammad ﷺ, his pure wives, his blessed off-spring and his pure blood-line, and allow us to be connected with them in this world and in Jannah. Ameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalameen!

Join us tomorrow for our next article: “Rebuilding the Kaa’bah”

#14: Marriage to Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ وَ الصَّلوٰةُ وَ السَّلَامُ عَلىٰ اَطْيَبِ خَلْقِ اللهِ نَسَبًا وَ حَسَبًا وَ صَهْرًا , سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلىٰ آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ وَ بَارِكْ وَ سَلِّمْ

In a marketplace dominated by the criminally corrupt leaders of a city rampant with Jahiliyyah (Ignorance), the doors of deceit open daily to the traders and clients of the Makkan marketplace. Some were there to survive, others simply for greed. Amidst the elite host of deceitfully successful tradesmen, there stood the trade counter of one honest and noble woman that strove to earn for her family, and her community. This was the case of Sayyidah Khadijah bint Khuwaylid رضی الله عنها. Her intelligence and business acumen led her to be one of the wealthiest traders in Makkah. Being a woman amidst a male-dominated market did not stop her from achieving such heights, as she continued to successfully trade with accuracy and precision.

Who was Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها?

Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was of noble descent, sharing her ancestry with the Prophet ﷺ. She was the daughter of Khuwaylid ibn Asad, the leader of the Banu Asad faction of Quraysh. When she was a young girl, she had married a man by the name Abu Haala Hind ibn Zurarah At-Taymi, and became a mother to two sons. After some time, her husband Abu Haala passed away, and as she grew older, she married Ateeq ibn Aabid Al-Makhzoumi, and gave birth to a baby girl.

Her father was a celebrated leader, whilst her husband was extremely wealthy. She started being known as the princess of Quraysh. She was a woman of immense beauty, nobility, intellect, modesty and purity. She was amongst the few who were averse to idolatry and the practices of Jahiliyyah. Her older cousin – Waraqah ibn Nawfal – studied the scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths and affirmed his belief in them. Through the conclusion of his studies, he was in sincere anticipation of the final Prophet foretold as a beacon of guidance and rectification for the world at large.

Life began to change for her when her father was killed during the Harb Al-Fujjar (The Sacrilegious War), and her then husband – Ateeq – passed away shortly before that. She was left without a father, as a widowed, single-mother raising her children alone amidst the increasingly darkening society of Makkah. Allah سبحانه و تعالی had blessed her heart with immense strength, and trained her to remain calm, composed, and determined in the face of challenges. Using the wealth left-over by her deceased husband, she began providing for herself and her children by venturing into trade, in a market that was increasingly exploitive of every new trader, and even more exploitive of women.

A Decade in Trade

Now over ten years had passed – and Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها – had achieved great success through her perseverance and dedication. She had become one of the wealthiest, most-successful entrepreneurs in Makkah without ever-compromising her honesty, her dignity, her modesty or her children. In an industry filled with corrupt and exploitive men, she guarded her chastity to such an extent that she became known – throughout Makkah – as Al-Taahirah (The Pure Lady). She successfully operated her business from the comfort of her home. She conducted her dealings via a young apprentice – Maysarah – who was like a nephew to her, preventing any opportunity for corrupt men to even speak to her without her consent.

Yet, after all these years of success, she did not allow greed to consume her. She always placed her family, her children and her community first. No amount of wealth and business acumen removed her loving, motherly-nature towards her children. The more she earned, the more she gave back to the poor and needy, even marking the door of her home as a safe-haven for all those in need. She empowered the young-girls of her community, even paying for their needs and sponsoring their marriages, so every girl could have a wholesome wedding.

She was known for the radiance of her beauty, the warmth of her love, the nobility of her lineage, the excess of her wealth and the dignity of her repute. Many great leaders and men of stature wished to marry her and sent proposals. The likes of Abul Hakam ibn Al-Hisham (aka the infamous Abu Jahl), Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ait and Abu Sufyaan RA were amongst the most-reputable men in Makkah, all of whom had proposed to her and were rejected. Her heart desired more than the material repute these men possessed. Neither their wealth, nor their status appealed to her. Allah سبحانه و تعالی protected her, for neither of these men were greater than the one her heart was destined for…

The Struggle for Honesty

One of her biggest struggles – even after all these years – was finding upright tradesmen to carry out her business-ventures outside of Makkah, those who possessed both honesty and proficiency in trade. Thus, it was a matter of time before she came to know of a newly-initiated trader that was incredibly successful and known as Al-Saadiq Al-Ameen (The Truthful & Trustworthy).

As Abu Taalib began facing financial difficulty and economic constraints, the Prophet ﷺ continued trading to support his uncle and aunt, and provided for his household as best as he could. Within a short-space of time, his honest yet successful venture into business granted him a rare and unique reputation. Thus, it was a matter of unstoppable fate that Sayyidah Khadijah RA earnestly sought the opportunity to hire this honourable young man that was a breath of fresh air amidst the smug market of Makkah. She sought to hire Muhammad ﷺ to carry out an official business envoy and trade on her behalf in the lands of Shaam. She displayed her keen determination to hire him by offering to pay him an even higher wage than normal.

The Prophet ﷺ trades on behalf of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها

As the agreements were finalised, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها dispatched her trusted employee – Maysarah – to accompany Muhammad ﷺ on this business trip. Throughout their travels, Maysarah could not help but admire his amazing companion. Maysarah was awe-struck watching the Prophet ﷺ work, watching him trade, seeing his refined nature, his moral-principles, his gentle character and his noble conduct amongst deceitful and quarrelsome traders. Maysarah enjoyed his ﷺ wholesome company and selfless nature, whether on road, on trade, on break or on lunch. He was seeing the man behind the revered reputation they had heard about.

During the journey Maysarah also witnessed wonderous incidents that occurred with the Prophet ﷺ; whether it was the reaction of Nasturah – a Syrian monk – upon seeing him ﷺ, or the solitary cloud that constantly hovered above him ﷺ, shading him from the scorching sun. Maysarah could not contain the flame that ignited within his heart, for he was mesmerised by Muhammad ﷺ. (Ibn Saa’d, Ibn Ishaaq)

A Yearning Heart

During her days in Makkah, Sayyidah Khadijah RA was slowly feeling a longing developing in her heart, a yearning for something she could not understand, nor express in words. Though she had been unmarried for a number of years, she knew the wish of her heart was more than the need for companionship.  The long line of great, handsome and reputable men waiting for her hand made no difference to her. Her heart wished for something greater, for someone greater.

Amidst a serene night in Makkah, Sayyidah Khadijah RA was attending a banquet with her friends. During this peaceful evening, the crowd of women were suddenly startled by a man screaming in fear and anguish. The man was a traveller from amongst the people of Abrahamic scripture, and had been informed through the astronomers, rabbis, scholars and the interpreters of signs, that the final Prophet had emerged in this very land they were passing through.

Startled and frightened, the women began pelting the man out of their gathering. The man began frantically repeating: “The Prophet is soon to emerge in your city! The Final Prophet is soon to emerge in your city!”. Whilst the rest of the women mocked his statement as the mumblings of a mad-man, there remained the one single heart of Al-Taahirah, that became ignited with a flame, as she prayed to become the wife of the Final Prophet of Allah. Allah سبحانه و تعالی endowed in her heart, the perception that his Final Prophet was indeed to emerge, and she now understood the longing she was experiencing in her heart. (Zurqani)

Al-Taahirah Meets Al-Ameen ﷺ

As their journey came to a conclusion, Maysarah and Our Master Muhammad ﷺ were on their way back, moments away from entering Makkah. As the afternoon sun reached its peak, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها was in the upper floors of her home. As her eyes fell upon the lofty view of Makkah from her upper floor, she witnessed the glorious sight of the sun’s beaming rays glistening against the thick glossy hair of the Prophet ﷺ – which would bounce off his broad shoulders – as he majestically entered Makkah riding on his camel. She was instantly in awe whilst witnessing him being miraculously shaded amidst the scorching heat. (Ibn Saa’d, Ibn Ishaaq, Abu Nu’aym)

She was overwhelmed by the purity, innocence, sincerity, honesty and the indescribable light that emanated from his radiant face. Before she knew it, Maysarah was approaching her home with the Prophet ﷺ, impatiently waiting to run in and tell her all about the trip. Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها walked down to see to Maysarah, who could not contain himself whilst recalling how amazing Muhammad ﷺ was in every aspect. He could barely take a breath from the rush of words rolling off his tongue, with sheer excitement and admiration of this pure being. He momentarily accounted for the great success of their trade and the profits that had multiplied before returning back to how amazing his companion was. He continued until he said the shattering statement, that this wonderful man possessed the quality of a Prophet! These words arose the heart of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها as her heart was in awe. She rushed to ensure that Maysarah gave double the agreed payment to the Prophet ﷺ as a token of her appreciation. (Ibn Saa’d, Ibn Ishaaq)

A Heart Captivated

As the rush of this moment came to calm, Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها found herself deep in thought. After hearing and witnessing the accounts of the journey, she felt convinced that there could be none other than him ﷺ, that possessed the worthiness of a Prophet. She recalled the statement of the traveller from the banquet and felt there was no other man in the whole city that aspired the notion of being a man of God, except Muhammad ﷺ. (Zurqani)

She thus went to her cousin Waraqah, whose seniority and knowledge put him in a fatherly-position to her. As one of the only individuals who was well-versed in the nature of the One True God, and the succession of His Prophets, she confided in him and mentioned what she had heard and witnessed. Waraqah affirmed that this Ummah is patiently waiting to be graced by a Prophet whose advent is imminent, and if what she says is true, this man certainly possesses the soul of a Prophet! (Uyoon Al-Athar)

These words furthered her realisation that Muhammad ﷺ was an exceptional man, unlike anyone she had ever known. Unlike youthful-tales and romanticised novels, she felt something pure and unique in her heart for this extraordinary being. She was indeed captivated by something that was more than just skin-deep, but rather something that was unique about the purity of his character.  

إنِّي قَدْ رَغِبْتُ فِيكَ لِقَرَابَتِكَ، وَسِطَتِكَ فِي قَوْمِكَ وَأَمَانَتِكَ وَحُسْنِ خُلُقِكَ، وَصِدْقِ حَدِيثِكَ

“Indeed, I am captivated towards you due to our close relativity, and your honourable repute amongst your people, your trustworthiness, the excellence of your character, and the integrity of your speech.” (Ibn Hisham, Bayhaqi)

Nafeesah – A Trusted Friend

She thus called her close friend Nafeesah, who was like a sister to her. She expressed all that was in her heart to her intimate friend – who took it upon herself to ease her heart amidst this elation. Nafeesah approached the Prophet ﷺ and first enquired as to his marital status. She approached this in an intelligent manner by asking him why he had not yet married? He ﷺ humbly replied: “I do not have the means to marry”. Relieved by this response, she had ascertained his availability and thus proceeded to the second enquiry, what does he ﷺ perceive about her friend Khadijah رضی الله عنها? For this she began by first anonymously asking in regards a woman who matched her description. She said: “But if you had the means, would you accept the proposal of one who possessed beauty, wealth, nobility and compatibility?” The Prophet ﷺ ingeniously replied by asking the question “Then who is she?”. Nafeesah realised she was outsmarted and answered by directly saying “Khadijah”.

Hearing her name, the Prophet ﷺ replied: “And how might I attain that?”, a response that brought great joy to Nafeesah who gladly replied: “Leave that to me….” (Ibn Saa’d)

The Proposal

Nafeesah rushed to tell her friend the amazing news of what transpired. As Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها heard the delightful response, her heart became enlightened. She calmly thought through her decision and after some time, she sent an official proposal to the Prophet ﷺ for marriage.

She did not share his ﷺ youth, nor he her wealth, but their hearts were connected and binded by the purity of their souls.

وَٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَٱلطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ

“…and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity…” (Surah Al-Noor 24:26)

Upon the Prophet’s ﷺ interest in the proposal, they both discussed their intent with their elders. Though both their parents had passed away, the Prophet ﷺ and Sayyidah Khadijah RA honourably approached the parental-figures in their lives, from amongst their uncles, seeking their advice and counsel. The uncle of the Prophet ﷺ thus agreed the marriage with Amr ibn Asad Al-Makhzoumi – the uncle of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها whom she had approached. With the blessing of their parental figures, the preparations for their marriage started taking shape.

A Blessed Wedding

On the day of their blessed wedding, the Prophet ﷺ set out towards the residence of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها with his uncles Abu Taalib, Hamzah and other respected elders.

As the families gathered together, Abu Taalib then stood and initiated the wedding with the following Khutbah (Sermon):

محمد بن عبد الله، لا يوزن برجل إلا جح به، فإن كان في المال قل، فإن المال ظل زائل، وأمر حائل، ومحمد ممن قد عرفتم قرابته، وقد خطب خديجة بنت خويلد وبذل لها ما آجله

“Muhammad is a young man who, if weighed against any other youngster from the Quraysh, Muhammad will outweigh the other in nobility, eminence, intellect and graciousness. He may be lacking in wealth but wealth is after all a passing shadow and a trust to be ultimately surrendered. He is interested in getting married to Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and she also cherishes the same interest.” (Bayhaqi, Rawd Al-Anf)

Upon this, the respective uncle of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, as well as her cousin Waraqah responded with a similar gesture as they gave the hand of Sayyidah Khadijah RA into the marriage of Muhammad ﷺ

The Prophet ﷺ was now married – at the age of twenty-five – to Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها who was approximately forty-years of age. Whilst it undoubtedly must have been painful to see the absence of his parents, The Prophet ﷺ shared this emotional moment with his beautiful mothers, Sayyidah Umm Ayman رضی الله عنها, and also Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها

When Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها met with them, she saw the love and joy they bought to the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. Seeing this, her heart burst out of love for them, and she rushed to shower the likes of Sayyidah Haleemah RA with a great wealth of gifts. Seeing this only increased love for her in the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. (Suhayli, Rawd Al-Anf, Zurqani)

As their wedding day came to a close, the beautiful new bride and groom departed towards the house of Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, which would now become their new home. The Prophet ﷺ was about to experience something truly emotional; returning to a ‘home’ he could call his own…

A New Chapter

From the moment his blessed mother closed her eyes at Abwa – when he ﷺ was only six years old – the Prophet ﷺ had spent the last nineteen years passing through hands of guardianship. But now, his marriage to Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها opened up a new chapter, one that was not simply about finding a spouse, or companion. The Prophet ﷺ now had a place to call home, and a loving family to come home to. A home that not only gave shelter, but gave love, care and a sense of belonging. Sayyidah Khadijah ra was the key to initiating the next chapters of his blessed life. From this moment onwards, her love would be so powerful, and her companionship so pivotal, that the Prophet ﷺ would describe it akin to the nourishment of life itself:

إِنِّي قَدْ رُزِقْتُ حُبَّهَا

“I was nourished by her love”

(Sahih Muslim)

May Allah سبحانه و تالی bless our mother Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها, for all the love, support and sacrifices she gave for Our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, and may Allah سبحانه وتعالی grant us all a lasting companionship like theirs…

Join us tomorrow as we continue in the blessed Seerah with our next article: “The Prophetic ﷺ Household

#13: The Most Beautiful Man ﷺ

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

After the events of the Harb Al-Fujjar (The Sacrilegious War) and the consequent coalition of Hilf Al-Fudhool (The Pact of the Virtuous), Makkah was slowly on the path to recovery. The Prophet ﷺ had now been living in the care of his uncle and aunt – Abu Taalib and Sayyidah Fatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها – for almost ten-years, as they watched him ﷺ grow from his late-childhood, through to his formative teenage years. The Prophet ﷺ was now a young boy approaching the final years of his teenage life – from the age of seventeen onwards – entering into his early twenties. The next ten-years would see them witness the Prophet’s ﷺ transition – from a teenager – to an adult, maturing into manhood as his blessed mind, body and soul were developing towards their fullest form.

Allah سبحانه و تعالی developed the inner and outer traits of His beloved young Prophet ﷺ until both his “Khalq” (Physical Form) and his “Khuluq” (Character) reached the height of beauty and excellence. As a man, he ﷺ embodied the very essence of his name “Muhammad” (The Praiseworthy). No one in creation could match a single quality of his perfection, nor match a single word – with justice – to his excellence. Allah سبحانه و تعالی alone can praise the pinnacle of His creation: Muhammad ﷺ, the greatest man to ever grace this universe and all that flows beyond it.

As the famous American poet Amir Sulaiman beautifully articulates:

“You a shoreless sea; a night-less day!”

– Amir Suleiman

The Beauty of the Prophet ﷺ

Both Abu Taalib and Sayyidah Fatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها, as well as the wider populous of Makkah could not help but stop in awe as they witnessed the perfection of his ﷺ beauty forming by the day. As the Prophet ﷺ walked through the streets of Makkah, he passed not a single person, except that he caught their eye. Rather, their sights were captivated to the point that they wished his vision would not leave their frame of view, as they yearned to endlessly gaze upon his beautiful smile.

He ﷺ was an equilibrium of perfection and balance in every aspect and detail. Nothing about him ﷺ was extreme, nor was it underwhelming. Those who saw him would struggle to find words beautiful enough to describe him, and eventually realise they could not do justice saying:

لَمْ أَرَ قَبْلَهُ، وَلا بَعْدَهُ مِثْلَهُ

I have never seen the like of him, neither before him nor after him.” (Tirmidhi)

One of the most beautiful examples of the captivating vision of his ﷺ beauty and conduct comes from Sayyidah Umm Maa’bad رضی الله عنها, whose words etch that vision in our yearning hearts as she says:

رَأَيْتُ رَجُلًا ظَاهَرَ الْوَضَاءَةِ أَبْلَجَ الْوَجْهِ حَسَنَ الْخَلْقِ لَمْ تَعِبْهُ ثُحْلَةٌ، وَلَمْ تُزْرِ بِهِ صَعْلَةٌ وَسِيمٌ فِي عَيْنَيْهِ دَعَجٌ وَفِي أَشْفَارِهِ وَطَفٌ وَفِي صَوْتِهِ صَهَلٌ، وَفِي عُنُقِهِ سَطَعٌ، وَفِي لِحْيَتِهِ كَثَاثَةٌ، أَزَجُّ أَقْرَنُ، إِنْ صَمَتَ فَعَلَيْهِ الْوَقَارُ، وَإِنْ تَكَلَّمَ سَمَاهُ وَعَلَاهُ الْبَهَاءُ، أَجْمَلُ النَّاسِ وَأَبْهَاهُ مِنْ بَعِيدٍ، وأَحْلَاهُ وَأَحْسَنُهُ مِنْ قَرِيبٍ، حُلْوُ الْمِنْطَقِ، فَصْلٌ لَا هَذِرٌ وَلَا تَزِرٌ، كَأَنَّ مَنْطِقَهُ خَرَزَاتٌ نَظْمٌ يَتَحَدَّرْنَ، رَبْعٌ لَا يَأْسَ مِنْ طُولٍ، وَلَا تَقْتَحِمُهُ عَيْنٌ مِنْ قِصَرٍ، غُصْنٌ بَيْنَ غُصْنَيْنِ فَهُوَ أَنْضَرُ الثَّلَاثَةِ مَنْظَرًا، وَأَحْسَنُهُمْ قَدْرًا، لَهُ رُفَقَاءُ يَحُفُّونَ بِهِ، إِنْ قَالَ أَنْصَتُوا لِقَوْلِهِ، وَإِنْ أَمَرَ تَبَادَرُوا إِلَى أَمْرِهِ، مَحْفُودٌ مَحْشُودٌ لَا عَابِسٌ وَلَا مُفَنَّدٌ

“I saw a man of visible radiance, His appearance beautiful, His face bright – handsome and fair. His eyes were deep black, and His eyelashes lush. His voice was mellow and soft. The whiteness of His eyes was bright and the pupils of His eyes were black. His neck was long, His beard full. When He was silent, He appeared dignified. When He spoke, He was eminent, and crowned with magnificence. His speech was sweet, his words precise, like a string of pearls flowing down. He was the most striking and beautiful of people when seen from afar, and the fairest of them when seen from up close. He was of medium height, not too tall nor too short.” (Haakim, Bayhaqi, Tabarani)

Brighter than the Sun, More Radiant than the Moon

He ﷺ walked through the streets of Makkah, outshining the sun with his beautiful face. He was a sun of guidance, nobility, purity, excellence, truth, uprightness and justice. In the clear skies of a moon-lit night, his face would be more radiant and beautiful than the full moon.

Sayyidinaa Jaabir رضی الله عنه narrates: “I once saw the messenger of Allah ﷺ on the night of a full moon. On that night he wore red (striped) clothing. At times I looked at the full moon and at times at the Messenger of Allah. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was more handsome, beautiful and more radiant than the full moon.” (Tirmidhi)

The Most Beautiful in Creation

The parable of him ﷺ walking through Makkah – captivating sights, hearts and minds – is a kin to the Qur’aanic description of Sayyidinaa Yusuf علیه السلام when he had reached manhood in the minister’s quarters. Sayyidinaa Yusuf علیه السلام was bestowed with beauty equivalent to half of all beauty (Sahih Muslim). Those of Zulaikha’s (the minister’s wife) companions who saw him whilst cutting fruit sliced into their hands in awe of his beauty. But, if this was the effect of seeing Sayyidinaa Yusuf علیه السلام, how would it be if they had seen Our Master Muhammad ﷺ? The answer is eloquently articulated in two lines of poetry – often ascribed to Sayyidah Aa’ishah رضی الله عنها – which exemplify the reality of this comparison:

لوائم زليخا لو رأين جبينه
لآثرن فى القطع القلوب على اليد

“If the companions of Zulaikha were to see his ﷺ countenance too,
They would not have cut their hands, but even their hearts in two!”
(Rooh Al-Ma’aani, Zurqani)

Subhaanallah! The depth in these verses display that the captivation of Sayyidinaa Yusuf’s علیه السلام beauty overcame their senses to the extent of momentarily overshadowing their heightened sensation of pain. However, this captivation still seized when the pain had overcome it. But for the lasting captivation of Our Master Muhammad’s ﷺ beauty, even if a person reached the extent of human sensory function, even if life itself came to a halt, it still would not overcome the magnitude of his ﷺ sight.

A Portrait of Perfection

Thus, as the Prophet ﷺ developed into manhood, his uncle and aunt would see their beloved son-like nephew rise to the morning dew, as his thick, wavy locks rolled down towards his shoulders. His glossy black hair glistening in the reflection of the scorching sun. His wide, masculine forehead giving way to his perfectly-arched eyebrows. His long, lush eyelashes lifting up and revealing his striking white eyes that surrounded his deep pupils. His perfectly aquiline nose sitting between his smooth, silky cheeks. His beautifully wide and articulate smile lifting up his dense, full-bodied beard that beautifully contrasted his perfectly-toned skin. A tone which was neither completely deprived of colour, nor intensely absorbed by it, but radiated a beautiful wheat-like hue of the “Badr Moon” (The Full Moon on the 14th / 15th).

They would see His long, radiant neck holding his perfectly-sized head, on his perfectly-formed body that was neither too short, nor too tall, but at the balanced height of four arm-lengths (approximately 6.3ft per modern metric-calculations). They would gaze at His strong, deep shoulders holding his well-built arms that merged with his fully-fleshed hands and smooth palms. The upper-width of his wide-plated chest converging inwards towards his slender-waist. His perfectly-formed abdominal-muscles glistening with pearl-like beads of sweat to reveal his lean, athletic-physique. His strong, muscular thighs connected to his well-formed legs that lifted up his beautiful, fully-fleshed feet. With simple white-attire he ﷺ outmatched the beauty of even the most lavishly-dressed youngsters in his generation, whilst also surpassing the masculinity of their fathers. He ﷺ was growing into the most beautiful man the world had ever seen, or ever will see…

Physical Strength & Physique

In addition to the beauty that was visible to the eye, his physique was also immaculate and his strength unmatched. The vigour of his walk allowed him to trail tall-mountains with ease (Sahih Al-Bukhari), whilst his fluid agility allowed him to scale-down tall trees as though walking (Sahih Muslim).

The Prophet ﷺ was immensely pro-active. He ate little and rested adequately, but productively engaged in physically exerting tasks. He ﷺ used to work with his hands whether at home, in the kitchen, or with his companions collecting wood for fire. He would practice horse-riding and train in various forms of combat.

Bravery & Combat Skills

The people of Makkah applauded bravery and the skill of weaponry, training their children from a young-age. Whilst the developing young men in his ﷺ age-group were mastering swords, spears and a blood-thirsty nature for killing, Allah سبحانه و تعالی placed His Messenger ﷺ on the path of higher-ethic and well-refined nature. He ﷺ outmatched all his sword-yielding peers in bravery, but did so without losing an iota of his calm-composure, his intellect, his humanity, his mercy or his love. He ﷺ was a master of sword-based combat and a skilled horse-rider, but excelled further into the rarer and more complex skill of Archery. Allah سبحانه و تعالی nurtured his beloved young Prophet ﷺ to master the bow and arrow, a form of combat that calmed the nerves, refined the mind and required a much greater level of concentration and co-ordination. Coupled with his perfect eyesight that could spot distant stars, he ﷺ possessed focus and perfection in his aim, and the ability to never lose sight of his target, whether in the field of combat or in the field of life.

An example of his physical precision and skill can be seen when he ﷺ was faced by an on-coming combatant, galloping on his horse at blazing-speed to attack him on the day of Uhud. The Prophet ﷺ – even in a severely wounded state – quickly took a spear and instantly aimed it so perfectly and precisely that he ﷺ was able to achieve his aim by the sharp-tip of the spear ever-so-perfectly grazing the desired area of the opponent’s neck with pin-point precision and throwing him off his horse. (Al-Bidayah w. Al-Nihayah)

An Exalted Character

No matter how brave, or how strong he ﷺ became, his heart remained the mildest of all, filled with love and mercy for all who passed his way. He ﷺ was intensely kind, gentle and merciful. He possessed the greatest perfection of character, such that there existed not a single-soul who did not admire him.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍۢ

And indeed, you, are on an exalted standard of character.” (Surah Al-Qalam 68:4)

His smile enlightened lives, his hands lifted the burden of the weak and his feet worked hard to assist his uncle and his family. Surrounded by the many apostles of darkness and greed that hovered over Makkah, He ﷺ stood out distinctly, and became known as a dignified, polite, young man. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ remained perfectly chaste when society around him was immoral. He ﷺ stayed away from conflict in a society that would have wars over minor inconveniences. He ﷺ remained truthful in a society riddled with lies and corruption. He ﷺ remained trustworthy in a society filled with cheating and deceit.

Shepherding: The Occupation of the Prophets

As a young man, he ﷺ did not sit around and engage in frivolous entertainment like his peers. He began working hard to support his uncle and aunt by earning whatever he could, even if it meant working long, intense-shifts for little pay. The Prophet ﷺ thus began earning a livelihood by shepherding goats and sheep – an occupation He ﷺ would later say is the occupation of every prophet:

“‏ مَا بَعَثَ اللَّهُ نَبِيًّا إِلاَّ رَاعِيَ غَنَمٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ لَهُ أَصْحَابُهُ وَأَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ وَأَنَا كُنْتُ أَرْعَاهَا لأَهْلِ مَكَّةَ بِالْقَرَارِيطِ ‏”‏

“Allah has not sent any Prophet but he was a shepherd.” His Companions said to him: “Even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Even me, I used to tend the sheep of the people of Makkah for a few Qeerats (a coin weighing approximately 0.2g of Silver)” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

This occupation was no easy feat. With goats remaining unpredictable, or suddenly darting off in any given direction, a shepherd must constantly and patiently remain watchful, keeping a keen eye on every member of the herd; ensuring none are attacked or killed by nearby predators. In addition to this, the task of herding, navigating, guiding, training and teaching a species that could not be communicated with by words required a great level of care and patience. It would be in Allah’s سبحانه و تعالی perfectly prepared plan that these years of tending to goats would be a preparation for him ﷺ tending to mankind. As he ﷺ was reported to have said:

كُلُّكُمْ راعٍ وكلُّكُمْ مَسْؤُوْلٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

“All of you are shepherds, and all of you will be questioned regarding your flock.”
(Abu Dawood)

Just as a goat tends to bolt from its shepherd, so does a human being from his Prophet. The Shayaateen (Devils) are always preying to lure man away from the truth, and the mission of the Prophets is to protect them from these lures. Guiding, teaching and navigating those who would turn a deaf ear to the word of Allah, required bringing them to the truth with love and patience when words had no effect. This further trained the Prophet ﷺ in his tolerance and determination and also increased his ability to give individual love, care and attention to each member of his Ummah, just as he individually identified with each sheep in an otherwise identical-looking herd.

Al-Ameen: A Man of His ﷺ Word

As a young man dealing with people on various levels, the Prophet ﷺ quickly became known as Al-Ameen (The Trustworthy) and As-Saadiq (The Truthful). There was not an individual in Makkah, except they felt the honour and integrity of his being. People would rush to leave their most valuable belongings in his care, knowing there was no one more trustworthy.

The Prophet ﷺ was also highly punctual, and always fulfilled his word. He ﷺ did not need to take an oath or a promise, but would strive to honour his every word as though it was the highest of oaths. Thus a man once confirmed a meeting with the Prophet ﷺ at a specific time and location. True to his word, The Prophet ﷺ arrived on location, punctual as per the agreed time. The man however, was not present, and did not show up even after a long period of time. The man had forgotten and did not manage to fulfil his agreement. Three days later that very man passed by the agreed location, only to see that the Prophet ﷺ was still waiting there – even after the three days – to fulfil his agreement. (Abu Dawood)

Subhaanallah! Such was the esteemed nature of the Prophet ﷺ. In his later years we see that Allah سبحانه و تعالی would fulfil and honour the word of his Beloved Prophet ﷺ, even if it meant halting the sun due to his ﷺ statement. (Al-Khasaais Al-Kubra)

As-Saadiq: An Honest Young Man Enters the World of Trade

As the Prophet ﷺ grew older, the Prophet ﷺ followed in the footsteps of his father – Sayyidina Abdullah رضی الله عنه – and his uncle – Abu Taalib – as he ventured into the occupation of trade. Whilst this was a field that took mild-mannered men into the depths of dishonesty, greed and exploitation, the Prophet ﷺ entered into trade gaining the title of “As-Saadiq” (The Truthful). His honesty and integrity not only stood firm in the face of deceitful tradesmen, but also destroyed the notion that honest trade would result in failure and loss. He ﷺ quickly surpassed others to become one of the most-sought after trade-partners in the whole of Makkah.

A Masterpiece of Perfection

The Prophet ﷺ had now entered into his early twenties, and began embracing adulthood. He ﷺ was now walking in the streets of Makkah as a young man, the most virtuous of them all, and the most handsome. His wisdom, his intellect, his beauty and his eloquence continued to develop as he grew older. As he supported his household, enlightened the streets of Makkah, elevated the art of combat, braced his bow, uplifted the weak and defenceless, refreshed the marketplaces and trade-routes, steered his horse in grandeur and herded sheep with patience, he ﷺ had become the masterpiece of perfection in all of Allah’s creation.

Even fourteen-hundred years later, every author who attempted to compile a book on his ﷺ blessed Shamaail (The Prophetic Description), found themselves captivated beyond measure. Each of these authors would journey through twenty, thirty, forty, if not a hundred chapters, detailing every aspect about him ﷺ, only to find themselves wishing there was more to compile. They did not wish to conclude their works, just so they could keep their minds captivated in the awe of his beauty. And thus, in the end they felt the same yearning-pain of Imaam Tirmidhi رحمة الله علیه – and coped with that desperation the same way he did, by finally concluding their works… on the chapter of “Dreaming” of him ﷺ! A sincere intent of loving-desperation, seeking that their hearts be blessed to witness all that they have compiled, so they too could remain in the captivation of his beauty, just as the people of Makkah had now become…

May Allah سبحانه و تعالی bless us all with his ﷺ beautiful vision in our dreams and in our awakened states! Ameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalameen.

Join us tomorrow as we continue the blessed Seerah with our next article: “Marriage to Sayyidah Khadijah رضی الله عنها

#12: Hilf Al-Fudhool: Rebuilding Makkah

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

In the aftermath of the Harb Al-Fujjar (The Sacrilegious Wars), Makkah was left in an even greater paradox. On the one hand, a vast majority of lives were negatively impacted and left amidst the post-war ruins. Whilst on the other hand, the rich and elite continued to enjoy their lives of luxury. Just as they ravished their extravagant meals without the slightest consideration for the blood, sweat and toil of the slaves who prepared them, they were also completely oblivious of the consequences and suffering that resulted from their feuds and battles.

Amidst, the blood-shed, broken homes, suspended livelihoods, elevated poverty levels, numerous orphans and countless widows, Makkah was desperately in need of a welfare system to restore families and re-build lives. These were the circumstances amidst which the Prophet ﷺ was entering into his youth, during the latter-half of his teenage years.

A New Generation Forms

Born of noble and aristocratic blood, the Prophet ﷺ was classed as part of the new generation of elites forming. Lavish silk-brocades, designer-apparel and imported accessories adorned the privileged sons of Makkah’s nobles and chieftains. From a host of servants, extravagant meals, and luxury-conveyances, they lived in the spoils of their father’s riches, inheriting their pride, their arrogance and their elitist mindset. They would spend their days enjoying frivolous sports and material-pleasures, riding through Makkah on expensive stallions without a care or concern. Their sole concern – besides indulging themselves into the ways of their fathers – was to grow into the family business of self-centred leadership, dishonest trade and relentless exploitation. They had no concern for the needs of those devoid of their riches and status, and their charitable endeavours were covered by their father’s “public displays” of generosity.

However, there still remained – amongst this new generation – a group of youths that were silently distinct from the spectacle of the rest. Those who – at varying grades – did not completely walk in the shade of their fathers, possessing an air of humility and sincerity as the traits of Kufr and Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) had not cemented within their hearts.

Beyond them all, Our Beloved Master Muhammad ﷺ was uniquely different from each and every one of them. Allah سبحانه و تعالی ensured His beloved ﷺ was completely free from all of the negative traits that adorned the youth of his generation. His heart was absolutely pure, filled with humility and sincerity. He lived in simplicity with his uncle and aunt, grateful and appreciative of whatever food and clothing was available. He worked hard and brought a great sense of Barakah to their household. His intellect reached a level of maturity and sensibility that exceeded all in his age-range, a quality that he ﷺ displayed since infancy as Sayyidah Haleemah رضی الله عنها narrates. (Al-Khasaais Al-Kubra, Mawaahib Al-Ladunniyyah)

Despite also being from the aristocratic families of Makkah, the Prophet ﷺ would never look down upon the poor and destitute. In a time where people were discriminated due to race, tribe, social-class and wealth, he ﷺ would treat all with mercy, equity and justice. He ﷺ would never take the right of another, but rather strive to fulfil the rights and needs of others.

Hilf Al-Fudhool: “The Pact of the Virtuous”

A brilliant example of his ﷺ unique excellence over the entirety of his generation is seen during the immediate aftermath of the sacrilegious wars. Whilst the Prophet ﷺ had shown no support to the injustice and motives of the conflict – with some narrations reporting his total exclusion from engaging at any level – he ﷺ was at the forefront when it came to restoring the lives destroyed by it.

Zubair ibn Abdul-Muttalib – the uncle of the Prophet ﷺ – led the initiation of a special conference after the post-war situation of Makkah, to discuss the need for a welfare system that could protect the honour and rights of the oppressed.

The conference was held at the vast quarters of Abdullah ibn Jad’aan, who was an extremely wealthy and generous individual. A coalition was formed between the various tribal leaders and representatives to ensure that justice would always be served in the right of the oppressed, whether they be from Makkah or not. This pact was then known as “Hilf Al-Fudhool” (The Pact of the Virtuous).

Whilst all of these senior leaders, wealthy statesmen and wise elders came together, a young teenage boy stood amidst them to witness the formation of this virtuous endeavour.

The Prophet ﷺ stood – as a teenager – amidst great, wealthy elders, without possessing any form of wealth or position, only a world full of mercy and ambition brimming from his young heart. He ﷺ was determined to empower the weak and impoverished, to protect the rights of the innocent, and to uphold justice in the face of the exploitation Makkah’s elite practiced all too freely.

He ﷺ said in regards to this:

لَقَدْ شَهِدْت فِي دَارِ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ جُدْعَانَ حِلْفًا، مَا أُحِبّ أَنّ لِي بِهِ حُمْرَ النّعَمِ وَلَوْ أُدْعَى بِهِ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ لَأَجَبْت”

“I witnessed a pact in the quarters of Abdullah ibn Jad’aan, I would not (even) love (to have) Red Camels in exchange for (my witnessing) it, and were I to be invited to it in Islam (i.e now after Nuboowwah), I would certainly accept!” (Ibn Ishaaq)

Here the reference to “Red Camels” is the seventh-century equivalent of what we may now refer to as the sleekest new “Red-Speedster”. Thus, the Prophet ﷺ is powerfully stating that he would even reject an entire group of the most expensive commodities, just so he ﷺ could take part in aiding and assisting others.

Subhaanallah! Such was the heart of the Prophet ﷺ. In a world full of greed, a hoard of Red Camels meant nothing to the one who was indeed sent as a mercy for the worlds. From this we can see that even from an early age, the Prophet ‎ﷺ was deeply concerned about upholding justice, fulfilling the rights of others, and assisting those in need…

May Allah سبحانه و تعالی bless the pure heart of Our Prophet ﷺ, and bestow us with hearts that live to uphold justice, fulfil the rights we owe, and assist those in need… Ameen Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalameen.

Join us tomorrow, as we continue with our next article in the blessed Seerah: “The Most Beautiful Man

#11: Harb Al-Fujjar: Wars & Jahiliyyah

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
الحمد لله رب العالمين الذي منّ علی المؤمنين اذ بعث فيهم رسولا من انفسهم يتلوا عليهم ايته و يزكيهم و يعلمهم الكتاب و الحكمة و ان كانوا من قبلُ لفي ضلال مّبين

Our Prophet ﷺ continued to grow and develop in his teenage years, living in the home and care of Abu Taalib and Sayyidah Fatimah bint Asad رضی الله عنها. Outside their loving home, he ﷺ would also be accompanied by his extended family, especially the likes of his young uncles; Sayyidinaa Hamzah ibn Abdul Muttalib رضی الله عنه and Sayyidinaa Abbas ibn Abdul Muttalib رضی الله عنه, both of whom were also growing up alongside the Prophet ﷺ.

This was however, a time when Arabia – and the world at large – was amidst a dark-age of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance). Over half a millennium had passed since the last mighty Prophet of Allah; Sayyidinaa ‘Isa علیه السلام had been raised to the heavens, and the perils of disbelief had bought the world to its knees. The people of Makkah had particularly become deeply-rooted in this darkness of ignorance.

The Age of Ignorance

The pure Tawheed (Oneness) of Allah that Makkah was founded upon by Sayyidinaa Ibrahim علیه السلام was overshadowed and forgotten to such an extent, that the remaining few became known as outcasts and labelled the “Muwahhidoon” (The Proclaimers of One God). Shirk (Paganism/Polytheism) and idol-worship had contaminated its now built-up streets, whilst the pure Kaa’bah was surrounded by three-hundred and sixty gruesome idols. The hearts of its people had been shackled by fear, superstition, and false-beliefs concocted by its corrupt leaders.

Honesty and integrity were mere facades, portrayed by hearts that only sought to exploit. Hayaa (Modesty) was stripped to the toe, in men and women alike. Women had been made commodities of pleasure without right. Daughters were buried alive, children were sold and bought, and human-trafficking was an open-sport.

The rich and elite chieftains conducted a monopoly over every aspect of governance, ensuring their needs were suited. The rich were enriched and the poor impoverished. They ensured people would only do, say and believe as they wish. From open-drinking to a limitless count of wives, they strove to enjoy every luxury possible. Their table-spreads could not contain the masses of food they indulged in and wasted. Wine flowed like water, and meat was prepared more abundantly than grains. All whilst the remaining majority of the city starved and survived on scraps, sleeping on the streets and working hard throughout the day.

Tribalism and nationalism were ingrained in their blood. The concept of superiority deluded their hearts to endless pursuit. Racism, prejudice and apartheid were glorified and instilled in one and all, as though it was an indisputable birth-right of the self-proclaimed “racially and socially elite” to be served and revered by those they classed as inferior.

Greed and oppression were rampant throughout the city. The rights of the weak and defenceless were relentlessly trampled upon. Slaves and servants were starved and tortured, women mercilessly beat, customers exploited and fierce wars fought like harmless sport. Yet there was no single system of justice or welfare to protect the rights of any individual, only the corrupt chieftains that had assumed the role of judge, jury and executioner, however their flame filled eyes saw fit.

Mean whilst, there also existed a paradox amidst these evils, whereby these same individuals displayed virtuous and praise-worthy traits. Hospitality, generosity, respect, integrity, moral obligation and the honour of one’s word would be extensively upheld, but only for the sake of glory and self-repute, competing with others in the most in-sincerest of manners.

However, the innocent eyes of the Prophet ﷺ grew up witnessing such a world, whilst his pure heart was filled with absolute repulsion for all of these atrocities. He ﷺ grew up in this corrupted environment while being free from any such influence. Even in these dark streets, the Prophet ﷺ was protected upon the pure fitrah of Sayyidinaa Ibrahim علیه السلام. His ﷺ heart saw mercy for such a society contaminated by ignorance and oppression.

War, and the Struggle for Peace

In addition to the daily brand of corruption, many awful events unfolded before his ﷺ blessed eyes as he was growing up. During the teenage life of the Prophet ﷺ, when he was approximately fifteen years of age, a well-known battle named “Harb Al-Fujjar” (The Sacrilegious War) took place. It was given its name due to its inception being the result of unethical and unjust events that occurred in and violated the code of the “Ash-hur Al-Huram” (The Sacred Months).

The people of Makkah had still upheld some of the most salient features of the Abrahamic tradition – albeit with a twisted dilution that suited their corrupt agendas. From amongst these, was the practice of Hajj and the observance of the four sacred months; Muharram, Rajab, Dhul Qa’dah and Dhul Hijjah. The sanctity and observance of these months involved a number of restrictions with absolute Hurmah (Prohibition) that could not be violated at any cost. This included many forms of war and battle. However, on the occasion of the Harb Al-Fujjar, major incidents occurred during these months and their sanctity was violated through this war.

This ‘Cold War’ style conflict took place between the clans of Qays and Quraysh, as a result of a trade-related dispute. The heated dispute concluded with the murder of one individual at the hands of the other party. The culture of the Arabs dictated that the supporting clans would ally to defend against the ‘honour-seeking opposition’ instead of settling the issue with alternative means, such as retribution or blood money. The years that followed was a type of stalemate, as neither party wanted a full-scale war, thus only five days of total-warfare occurred.

Due to the central involvement of the Quraysh, the immediate family of the Prophet ﷺ was also in danger of the cross-fire and had to rise to the defence. Whilst the Prophet ﷺ had shown no support to the injustice and motives of the conflict – with some narrations reporting his total exclusion from engaging at any level – it is related that he bravely rose to the challenge when it came to defending his family. Although he ﷺ was too young to participate, he assisted his uncles by collecting fallen arrows from the opposing enemy for re-use.

The aftermath of these incidents had left the society of Makkah in an extremely war-torn state, with countless blood-shed, broken homes, suspended livelihoods, elevated poverty levels, numerous orphans and countless widows. Makkah and its people – now more than even – were in desperate need of a system of welfare that could help restore families and re-build Makkah from the post-war ruins it was facing.

Join us tomorrow as we continue with our next article: “Hilf Al-Fudhool: Rebuilding Makkah