After this journey, the youth of Muhammad seems to have been passed uneventfully, but all authorities agree in ascribing to him such correctness of manners and purity of morals as were rare among the people of Mecca. The fair character and the honorable bearing of the unobtrusive youth won the approbation of the citizens of Mecca, and b y common consent he received the title of “Al Ameen,” The Faithful. In his early years, Muhammad was not free from the cares of life. He had to watch the flocks of his uncle, who, like the rest of the Bani Hashim, had lost the greater part of his wealth.
When Muhammad was twelve years old, he accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on a mercantile journey to Syria, and they proceeded as far as Busra. The journey lasted for some months. It was at Busra that the Christian monk Bahira met Muhammad. He is related to have said to Abu Talib: ‘Return with this boy and guard him against the hatred of the Jews, for a great career awaits his nephew
Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Mecca ( Makkah), Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi’ Al-Awal (2 August A.D. 570). His mother, Aminah, was the daughter of Wahb Ibn Abdu Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, ‘Abdullah, was the son of Abdul Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Ishmael, the son of Prophet Abraham in about the fortieth descend. Muhammad’s father died before his birth. Before he was six years old his mother died, and the doubly orphaned Muhammad was put under the charge of his grandfather Abdul Muttalib who took the most tender care of him. But the old chief died two years afterwards. On his deathbed he confided to his son Abu Talib the charge of the little orphan.
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The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once told his wife: ‘Avoid Cruelty and injustices..and guard yourselves against miserliness, for this has ruined nations who lived before you.’ Riyadh-us-Salaheen:203
Ishaaq Ibn Bishr reported, on the authority of Ibn’ Abbas and others, that Ezra was a saint and a wise man. He went out one day to his own farm, as was his custom. About noon he came to a deserted, ruined place and felt the heat. He entered the ruined town and dismounted his donkey, taking figs and grapes in his basket. He went under the shade of the khaiba tree and ate his food. Then he got up to look at what remained of the ruins. The people had long been lost, and he saw bones. “Oh! How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death?” (Ch 2:259 Quran) He said this not out of doubt but out of curiosity. Allah sent the Angel of Death to take his life. He remained dead for one hundred years. After one hundred years had passed and there had been changes in Israelite affairs, Allah sent an angel upon Ezra to revive his heart and his eyes in order for him to feel and see how Allah revives the dead. The angel said: “For how long did you sleep?” He said: “A day or part of a day.” He said this because he knew he had slept early in the afternoon and woke up late in the afternoon. The angel said: “You remained asleep for one hundred years.” He ate and drank the food which he had prepared before he was overtaken by that long sleep. Then the angel revived his donkey. Almighty Allah said: “And look at your donkey! Thus We have made of you a sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.” When this was clearly shown to him he said: “I know now that Allah is able to do all things.” (Ch 2:259)
According to our belief Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) is the most exalted person after the Prophets (may peace be on all of them). The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) himself conveyed to him the glad tidings of his being the head of a group of persons in Paradise. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once remarked: “Abu Bakr’s name shall be called outfrom all the gates of Paradise. and he will be the first of my followers to enter it.” With all these virtues and privileges, Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) used to say: “I wish I were a tree that would be cut and done away with.” Sometimes he would say: “I wish I were a blade of grass. whose life ended with the grazing by some beast.” He also said: “I wish I were a hair on the body of a Mo’min.” Once he went to a garden. where he saw a bird singing. He sighed deeply and said: “0, bird! How lucky you are! You eat, you drink and fly under the shade of the trees, and you fear no reckoning of the Day of Judgement. I wish I were just like you.” Hadhrat Rabiah Aslami (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates: “Once I had some argument with Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho), during which he uttered a word that I did not like. He realized it immediately and said to me ‘Brother, please say that word back to me in retaliation.’ I refused to do so. He persisted, and even spoke of referring the matter to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), but I did not agree to utter that word. He got up and left me. A few people of my clan remarked, ‘Look! How strange! The person does wrong to you and, on the top of that, he threatens to complain to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam)’. I said, ‘Do you .know who he is. He is Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho). To displease him is to displease the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and to displease the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is to displease Allah, and if Allah is displeased then who can save Rabiah from ruin?’ I went to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and narrated the whole story to him. He said, ‘You were quite right in refusing to utter that word. But you could have said this much in reply: ‘0, Abu Bakr, (Radhiyallaho anho) May Allah forgive you!” Look at the fear of Allah in Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho)! He is so anxious to clear his accounts in this world that no sooner has a slightly unpleasant word been addressed by him to a person, than he regrets it and requests him to say that word back to him in retaliation. He is so particular in this that he threatens to have the retaliation done through the intervention of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam). We are in the habit of saying offensive words to others, but we fear neither the retaliation nor the reckoning in the Hereafter.
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Hadhrat ‘Umar (Radhiyallaho anho), of whom all the Muslims are justly proud. and the disbelievers still dread, was most adamant in opposing the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and very prominent in persecuting the Muslims before he embraced Islam. One day. the Qureysh in a meeting called for somebody to volunteer himself for the assassination of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasal lam). ‘Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) offered himself for this job, at which everybody exclaimed: “Surely, you can do it, ‘Umar!” With sword hanging from his neck, he set out straight away on his sinister errand. On his way he met Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas of the Zuhrah clan. Sa’ad inquired: “Whither! ‘Urnar?” ‘Urnar: “I am after finishing Muhamrnad.” Sa’ad: “But do not you see that Banu Hashim, Banu Zuhrah and Banu Abde Munaf are likely to kill you in retaliation?” ‘Umar (upset at the warning): “It seems.that you also have renounced the religion of your forefathers. Let me settle with you first.” So saying, Umar drew out his sword. Sa’ad announcing his Islam, also took out his sword. They were about to start a duel when Sa’ad said: “You had better first set your own house in order. Your sister and brother-in-law both have accepted Islam.” Hearing this, Umar flew into a towering rage and turned his steps towards his sister’s house. The door of the house was bolted from inside and both husband and wife were receiving lessons in the Qur’an from Hadhrat Khabbab (Radhiyallaho anho). ‘Umar knocked at the door and shouted for his sister to open it. Hadhrat Khabbab (Radhiyallaho anho) hearing the voice of ‘Umar, hid himself in some inner room, forgetting to take the manuscript pages of the Holy Qur’an with him. When the sister opened the door, ‘Umar hit her on the head, saying: “0, enemy of yourself. You too have renounced your religion. ” Her head began to bleed. He then went inside and inquired, “What were you doing? And who was the stranger 1 heard from outside?” His brother-in-law replied, “We were talking to each other.” ‘Umar said to him, “Have you also forsaken the creed of your forefathers and gone over to the new religion?” The brotherin- law replied, “But what if the new religion be the better and the true one’?” ‘Umar got Stories of the Sahaabah beside himself with rage and fell on him, pulling his beard and beating him most savagely. When the sister intervened, he smote her so violently on her face that it bled most profusely. She was, after all, ‘Umar’s sister; she burst out: “‘Umar! we are beaten only because we have become Muslims. Listen! we are determined to die as Muslims. You are free to do whatever you like.” When ‘Urnar had cooled down and felt a bit ashamed over his sister’s bleeding, his eyes fell on the pages of the Qur’an left behind by Hadhrat Khabbab (Radhiyallaho anho). He said, “Alright show me, what are these?” “No,” said the sister. “you are unclean and no unclean person can touch the Scri pture.” He insisted, but the sister was not prepared to allow him to touch the leaves unless he washed his body. ‘Urnar at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the leaves. It was Surah “Taha”. He started from the beginning of the Surah, and he! was a changed man altogether when he came to the verse: “Lo! I, indeed I am Allah. There is none worthy of worship save Me. So serve me and establish Salaat for My remembrance.” He said: “Alright, take me to Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam).” On hearing this, Hadhrat Khabbab (Radhiyallaho anho) came out from inside-and said: “0 ‘Umar! Glad tidings for you. Yesterday (on Thursday night} the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) prayed to Allah, ‘0, Allah strengthen Islam with either ‘Umar or Abu lahl, whomsoever Thoir Iikest’. It seems that his prayer has been answered in your favour.” ‘Umar then went to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and embraced Islam on Friday morning. ‘Umar’s Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the unbelievers, but still the Muslims were few in number and the whole country was against them. The disbelievers intensified, their efforts for the complete annihilation of Muslims and the extinction of Islam. With ‘Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) on their side, the Muslims now started saying their Salaat in the Haram. Abdullah bin Mas’ood (Radhiyallaho anho) says: ‘Umar’s Islam was a big triumph, his emigration to Madinah a tremendous reinforcement, and his accession to the Caliphate a great blessing for the Muslims.”
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Hadhrat Ammaar (Radhiyallaho anho) and his parents were also subjected to the severest afflictions. They were tormented on the scorching sands of Mecca. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) while passing by them would enjoin patience giving them glad tidings about paradise. Arnrnaar’s father Yasir (Radhiyallaho anho) died after prolonged sufferings at the hands of persecutors, and his mother Sumayya (Radhiyallaho anha) was killed by Abu . Iahl, who put his spear through the most private part of her body, causing her death. She had refused to renounce Islam in the face of terrible torture in her old age. The blessed lady was the first to meet martyrdom in the cause of Islam. The first mosque in Islam was built by Ammaar (Radhiyallaho anho). When the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) emigrated to Madinah, Ammaar (Radhiyallaho anho) offered to build a structure for him where he could sit, take rest in the afternoon, and say his Salaat under its roof. He first collected the stones and then built the musjid in Quba. He fought against the enemies of Islam with great zeal and courage. Once he was fighting in a battle when he said rejoicingly: “I am to meet my friends very soon, I am to meet Muhammad (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and his companions.” He then asked for water. He was offered some milk. He took it and said: “I heard the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) saying to me, “Milk shall be the last drink of your worldly life. ” He then fought till he met his coveted end. He was then aged about ninety-four.
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Hadhrat Bilal (Radhiyallaho anho) is one of the best known amongst the galazy of Sahaba as the Moazzin of Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam)?s Masjid. He was an abbysinian slave of the disbeliever in Makkah. His conversion to Islam was naturally not liked by his master, and he was therefore persecuted mercilessly. Ummayah bin Khalaf who was the worst enemy of Islam would make him lie down on burning sandat midday and would place a heavystone on his breast, so that he could not even move a limb. He would then say to him, �Renounce Islam or swelter and die� Under these afflictions Bilal (Radhiyallaho anho) would exclaim, �Ahad! The one Allah! Ahad! The one Allah!� He was whipped at night and with the cuts thus received. made to lie on the burning ground during the day to make him either forsake Islam or to die a lingering death from wounds. The torturers would get tired and take turns (Abu [ahl, Umayyah and others) and vie with one another in afflicting more and more painful punishment. but Hadhrat Bilal (Radhiyallaho anho) would not yield. At last Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) bought his freedom, and he became a free Muslim. As Islam taught implicitly the oneness of the Almighty Creator. ,while the idolaters of Mecca believed in many gods and goddesses with minor godlings, therefore Bilal (Radhiyallaho anho) repeated: “Ahad (The One). Ahad (The One).” This shows his love and devotion to Allah. Allah was so dear to him that no amount of persecution could distract him from reciting His Holy name. It is said that the urchins of Mecca would drag him in the streets, with his words “Ahadl, Ahad!” ringing in their wake. Look how Allah rewarded his steadfastness! He was to have the honour of becoming the Prophet’s moazzin. He was always to remain with him at home and abroad to call out the Azaan for his Salaat. After the Prophet’s death it became very-hard for him to continue his stay in Madinah where he would miss him at every step and in every corner. He therefore left Madinah, and decided to pass the rest of his life striving in the path of Allah. Once he beheld the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) in his dream saying to him: “0, Bilal! How is it that you never visit me.” No sooner did ‘he get up than he set out for Madinah. On reaching there. Hadhrat Hasan and Hadhrat Husain (Radhiyallaho anhuma) (The Prophet’s (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) grandsons) requested him to call out the Azaan. He could not refuse them, for they were very dear to him. But as soon as the Azaan was called. the people of Madinah cried openly out of their anguish at the memory of the happyoid days of the Prophet’s (SallalIaho alaihe wasalIam) time. Even the women came out of their houses weeping. Hadhrat Bilal (Radhiyallaho anho) left Madinah again after a few days and died in Damascus in 20 A.H.
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