Emmissaries Entertained in Madinah
Liberation of Makkah
A Guidance to follow
Economy (Expertise & Outlook)
Respect for Women
Messengers of Allah
Muhammad (PBUH) (Blessings and Peace be upon him) was born in Makkah, Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi' Al-Awwal (2 August C.E). His mother, Aminah was the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Al-Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, Abdullah, was the son of Abd Al-Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Isma'il, the son of Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) (May Peace be upon him) in about the fortieth descent.
Muhammad's father had died before his birth and his mother died when he was about six years old making him an orphan.
In accordance with the tradition of noble
families of Makkah, he was taken by a foster mother, Halimah, to her village
where he lived for a few years. During these years he was taken to Makkah
several times to visit his mother. After the death of his mother, he was
placed under the custody of his grandfather, Abd Al-Muttalib. When the
grandfather died, he was under the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. By this
time he used to look after sheep around Makkah and used to accompany his
uncle on trade journeys to Syria.
In his youth he believed firmly in the Oneness of Allah (God)(SWT). He lived a very simple life and hated vanity and pride. He was compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans and shared their sufferings by helping them. He avoided all vices, which were commonly practiced among young people such as gambling, drinking wine, vulgarity and others. He was well-known as As-Sadiq (the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy). He was always trusted as a mediator between two conflicting parties in his homeland, Makkah.
When he was about 25 years old, his uncle urged him to work with the caravan which belonged to a wealthy widow named Khadijah. He accepted and undertook the journey to Syria. He conducted business with such prudence and sense of duty that he returned with larger profit than usual. Khadijah was so impressed by the honest and attractive personality of Muhammad (PBUH) that she offered to marry him which Muhammad (PBUH) accepted. This marriage was a happy one. They had children. Khadijah was so far his only wife until she died at the age of 51.
Muhammad (PBUH) was born amidst a polytheistic (unbeliever) society. He was saddened and sick of the corrupt society around him. He often went to Hira cave in the mountain near Makkah, later known as Jabal An-nur (the mountain of Light) where he meditated and pondered over the prevailing darkness brought about by ignorance. There he often remained deep in thought in communion with the unseen yet All-Pervading God of the Universe.
One night, while he was meditating in the Hira cave, the Angel Gabriel (peace be upon him) came to him. The Angel aroused him and his mighty voice reverberated in his ears. He was perplexed and did not know what to do. He was asked to read. He replied: "I cannot read!" The Angel repeated three times asking Muhammad (PBUH) to read, but he replied the same answer. Finally the Angel asked:
These series of revelation were arranged according to the divine guidance given to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and later collected in the form of a Mushaf (book) the Qur'an (Reading). Most of its verses have clear meaning. Some verses are interpreted in conjunction with other verses and some others were interpreted by the Prophet (PBUH) himself through his words, actions and agreements which are known as his Sunnah (Traditions).
The Qur'an and the Sunnah together constitute the guidance and way of life for those who submit their life to Allah (God) (SWT). People who follow this guidance and way of life are guaranteed by Allah (SWT) to be saved in this world and the Hereafter.
When the Prophet (PBUH) called the people to the way of Allah, not many people listened to his call. Most of them were members of his family and from the low class society. Among them were Khadijah, Ali, Zayd and Bilal. When he intensified his mission (da'wah: Call to Islam) by publicly announcing the religion he preached, he won more followers but at the same time had to face many challenges from the nobles and leaders who found their position being threatened and jeopardized. They stood together, under the pretext of defending the religion of their ancestors, to fight the new religion.
The morale of the few people who embraced Islam was heightened when a small group of the respected people of Makkah joined the religion.
Notable among them were `Uthman bin `Affan, Zubair bin Al-`Awwam, `Abd Ar-Rehman bin `Awf, Talhah bin `Ubaydullah, Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas, Arqam bin Abi Arqam, `Ubaydullah bin Harith, Sa'id bin Zayd, `Amr bin Nufail, Fatimah (the wife of Nufail), Asma binti Abu Bakr, `Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Ja'far bin Abi Thalib (May Allah be pleased with them) and many others. Before this group, Abu Bakr was the first among the earlier followers that impressed the Prophet (PBUH) very much. The Prophet (PBUH) said about him: "I never invited anyone to the faith who did not display any hesitation in embracing it except Abu Bakr. When I had offered Islam, he showed no hesitation at all in accepting it."
As the result of these challenges from the Makkan unbelievers, some Muslims were subjected to torture, persecutions, isolations and boycotts. The Prophet (PBUH) had to be patient and had to look for the protection of Muslims. He asked Negus, King of Ethiopia to allow Muslims to migrate to his country. Negus welcomed the Muslims emigrants in his territory and refused to hand them over to the Makkan unbeliever rulers.
By the end of the Makkan period, the Prophet (PBUH) lost two people who were dear to him. They were his most affectionate uncle, Abu Talib, and his faithful and loving wife, Khadijah. After their deaths, the Makkans felt free to do what they wanted to impose to the Prophet and his followers.
In many Makkah was the Ka'bah (the Holy Mosque), which was built by Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) centuries before as a holy place to worship Allah (SWT), the One. But in the course of time, the place had been converted by unbelievers to the worship of objects other than Allah (SWT). People added to it many tradition of their own. They used to visit this place for a few months in a year for pilgrimage. They came from all parts of Arabia, representing various famous tribes. The pilgrimage, inspite of its religious bearing, constituted for the Arabs a yearly festival where people met and indulge in their cultural activities. The Prophet (PBUH) took this opportunity to spread Islam.
Among those who were interested in his call, were a group of people from Yathrib (Madina) in the North of Arabia. They met secretly with the Prophet (PBUH) and a few Muslims from Makkah in a village called `Aqabah. After becoming Muslims, they took an oath of allegiance to protect Islam, the Prophet and the Makkan Muslims.
The following year, the group of Muslims from Yathrib came again to Makkah. They met the Prophet (PBUH) at the same place where they previously met. This time, `Abbas bin Abd Al-Muttalib, the Prophet's uncle who was himself not a Muslim yet, was present at the meeting. They invited the Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims from Makkah to emigrate to Yathrib. They promised to treat them as true brothers and sisters. A long dialogue was held between the Muslims of Yathrib with the Prophet's uncle to make sure that they really wanted to welcome the Makkan Muslims in their town. The Prophet (PBUH) agreed at the end to emigrate to the new land.
Upon knowing that, the Muslims had planned to leave Makkah, the Makkan unbelievers tried to stop the immigration but the first group had already migrated to Yathrib. The Makkans had fearthat the movement to Yathrib would give the Muslims a new base to spread Islam.
Within two months nearly all Muslims fMakkah, except the Prophet, Abu Bakr, Ali and a few helpless people had migrated. The Makkans then decided to kill the Prophet (PBUH). They made a plan for this purpose, but Allah (SWT) had made another plan over them, to quote the Qur'an. With various tactics and a good planning, the Prophet finally arrived peacefully in Yathrib, which was later known as Madinat Ar-Rasul (The city of the Prophet).
In Madinah the Prophet (PBUH) was able to work freely in spreading Islam. The followers of Islam increased day after day. But the threat by the Makkans did not stop. A few physical confrontations with the Makkans were ensued. Sometimes the battles were won by the Muslims, and sometimes by the Makkans. The Prophet (PBUH) also engaged in battles with the Byzantine and Persian powers that were jeopardizing the existence of Islam from the north and the east. But confrontation with the Makkans stopped for a while after the treaty of Hudaibiyah had been signed between the Muslims and the unbeliever Makkans.
During the Madinah period, the Muslims also established treaties with the Jews of Madinah and the tribes around the city. The Jews broke the treaty, which led to their expulsion out of the Arabian peninsula.
In Madinah, the Prophet (PBUH) succeeded
in establishing Islam as a way of life in its true meaning. He was not
only giving guidance on purely religious matters such as salat (prayers),
Saum(fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage)
and examples in these matters, and also provided Muslims with rules and
laws covering social, economic, political fields.
Emissaries Entertained in Madinah
It was in Madinah that the Prophet (PBUH) received envoys and emissaries from various tribes and nationals, asking matters of various sorts, demanding dialogues, negotiations etc. Among the emissaries were an envoy representing the Christian community in Najran (South Arabia). The Prophet (PBUH) welcomed them, entertained them as honoured guests and even allowed them to conduct their religious service in his city.
It was a good occasion to share each other's views on matters of religion. Some members of the envoy were deeply impressed by the treatment they received from the Muslims, thus leading them to embrace Islam.
Liberation of Makkah
The treaty of Hudaibiyah gave the Muslims a big opportunity to exemplify the true Islam in personal conduct and in relations with peoples and communities. But the peace did not stay long due to the attitude of the Makkan tribal chiefs who broke the treaty. Soon the Prophet (PBUH) marched very quietly to Makkah in the 8th year of the Hijrah (emigration) to Madinah. The Makkans gave no resistance and by the whole city surrendered to the Prophet (PBUH). He announced a general amnesty for all his enemies and treated all citizens of the city with generosity. A verse of the Qur'an was revealed on the occasion:
In time the whole Arabia had become the land of Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) intended to perform the Hajj (pilgrimage). He announced his intention to the Muslims in Madinah and the surrounding areas and asked them to join him. This was in fact the only Hajj performed by him during his life time.
On this occasion he taught those who were present with him and to the whole world about the Hajj and the divine message that Allah had entrusted him to all mankind.
At the last gathering with the Ummah (nation) during the Hajj season, the Hajj of Wada' (Farewell) a sermon was delivered by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the valley of Arafat about 81 or 82 days before his death. It contained the very fundamentals of Islam. Seated on his camel, he spoke with a clear tone and asked who heard his speech to convey it to those who were not present there. Among others he said:
O people, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury, therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived.
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hopes that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.
O people, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in mildness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to commit adultery.
O people, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah (SWT), say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in zakat. Perform hajj if you can afford to. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. You are all equal. Nobody has superiority over the other except by piety and good deeds.
Remember, one day your will appear before Allah (SWT) and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not go astray from the path of righteousness after my death.
O people, no Prophet or Messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore,
O people, and understand my words, which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness O' Allah, (SWT) that I have conveyed Your message to Your slaves."
By the perfection of this religion, it means that there's no need for humanity, and for the Muslims in particular, to look for another alternative way of life. As long as one holds fast to the two things left behind by the Prophet (the Qur'an and the Sunnah), one will never go astray.
About two months after returning from Makkah for Pilgrimage, the Prophet (PBUH) became ill but he was still able to perform his prayers in the mosque and give directives to the companions. His health was deteriorating day by day. At the last moment he asked Abu Bakr to lead the prayers in the mosque, Every member of his family and every companion was worried about his health. It was on Monday, 12th Rabi'Al-Awwal, the year 11A.H., when he passed away at the age of sixty three years.
Many people did not believe that he had passed away. They thought that the Messenger of Allah would live forever. It was Abu Bakr, who had the feeling, since the Farewell Pilgrimage that the death of the Prophet (PBUH) was coming near, He convinced the congregation that the Prophet (PBUH) had actually passed away. Abu Bakr said to the congregation that if they worshipped Mu, Muhammad had died , and if they worshipped Allah (SWT),He lives forever. Then hrecited from the Qur'an:
Muhammad as a man had already died, but as a Prophet (PBUH) he left behind him a legacy in the form of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. He stressed the urgent need to hold firmly to these two sources during his farewell speech in the valley of Arafat. If people hold fast to them, they will never go astray.
The teachings he left for us if put into practice in their true spirit and proper way will bring a happy life in this world and besides the indubitable rewards that will be received by those who believed in them in the life after death. In this sense, Islam is a worldly religion which cares first for the worldly affairs of humanity. The Hereafter is merely a continuation of the worldly life. It is difficult to portend that man can be saved in the Hereafter without being saved in this world. The safe way is to follow the way shown to us by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). When his wife, `Aishah, was asked by a companion about the Prophet's (PBUH) daily conduct, `Aishah replied that the conduct of the Prophet (PBUH) was the Qur'an which is the guidance from Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) was given authority by Allahto interpret it. That is why his conduct was the exemplary of human conduct. Islam as brought by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is very much misunderstood, as a religion perceived to contain souls and rituals like prayers, fasting, almsgiving and pilgrimage. Thanks to the new developments in the world, Islam is now looked upon in a wider perspective than the narrow-minded view in the past.
The increased interest in Islamic studies by Muslims and non-Muslims supported by the advanced printing technology has begun to open the eyes of the world about the true teachings and intrinsic values of Islam.
Economy (Expertise and Outlook)
In the field of economic development, the goal is not material gain, but human welfare in general. Islam exhorts that the balance between the material and physical aspects, between the individual and societal needs, be maintained in order to narrow the gap between two opposite sides of human world. It is stated in the Qur'an:
The Prophet (PBUH) himself was a businessman before he was appointed as a Prophet. His ability to run business prudently, by his fairness and truthful conduct in dealing with people had won him the heart of his employer, Khadijah who later offered him marriage. He advocated Muslims to follow the spirit of Prophet Daud's (PBUH) (David) industriousness who earned his living from his own labour. He also said that faith of a Muslimis not complete if he is not good in his profession. He said:
"If you leave matter to those who are not professional, you are waiting for a disaster".
If he works in the production line, his products must be compatible with product of other companies or factories. In order to be marketable, it must suit the taste of buyers and their standards of living. In this regard, Islam teaches not to cheat in offering the product to the market. It must be shown as it is without any publicity it does not deserve. In the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH), he found many cases in market places where the merchants tried to cheat the customers. The Prophet (PBUH) said to them:
The first thing in the religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the concern for cleanliness. The concept of cleanliness in Islam covers physical and spiritual, mundane and religious domains.
Before performing any rituals prescribed by Islam, one should cleanse his body, and his dress, his place of worship and his environment should also be clean.
Prior to carrying out his prayers or starting for pilgrimage, one has to make his Wudu (ablution). If he or she is in a state of impurity after having had a lawful intimate intercourse or post-natal period or other reasons, he or she has to take a complete bath by pouring clean water over the whole body.
In the case of daily prayer, every Muslim has to clean his/her private parts, face, hands, feet, mouth, nose, and ears at least five times every day for the five daily prayers. This also reminds him/her to keep his/her soul clean from unlawful deeds.
Cleanliness is not in the physical sense only. The body should be purified as well from evil doings that might harm his relationship with others and with Allah (SWT). He has to clean his mind from bad intentions or committing unlawful acts. He has to clean his heart from jealously, hypocrisy and other evil desires. He has to embody hope, truthfulness, forgiveness, compassion, holiness, the sense of brotherliness, neighborliness and other noble qualities.
He has to pay special attention to his diet against all unhealthy food medically and religiously. He has to keep his eyes, ears, tongue from evil. These are among the noble characteristics as exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
To clean the wealth, Islam instituted the zakat system (way of purifying wealth). A person whose wealth has reached a certain point is obligated to pay zakat (alms) which is a duty enjoined by God and undertaken Muslims in the interest of society as a whole.
For those capable persons whose wealth does not reach the minimum chargeable rate, he can also give voluntary contribution to the needy. This does not mean that the needy should always be receiving help from the affluent ones.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
In Islam the possession of more wealth does not raise a man's dignity, nor does poverty degrade him. It is true that wealth is necessary for man to live on this earth but it is only a means, not the end. The end is happiness in life by attaining the higher values and not losing sight of in the pursuit of wealth.
Among the great virtues of Islam is the command to do good and the prohibition to do evil. The good should be preserved and the evil should be discarded. In short, Islam is actually composed of a series of commands and prohibitions. Allah the most Knowing, the Most Merciful, did not decree any law and regulations but for the good and benefit of his creatures.
The prohibition was decree because of its evil implications to humanity. The evils were created to test the human conscience and challenge their freewill in choosing between right and wrong.
All the commands and prohibitions from Allah as transmitted through His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was intended to purify the human soul in order to live a pure and clean life adored by Allah (SWT) and human beings.
One of the teachings of Islam is about orderlin. Discipline, regulation, management, planning and all other terms relating to organization are mostly considered as alien to Islam. On the contrary, Islam exhorts people to live in orderliness and to put the right thing in the right place. The foundation of Islamic order rests on two main principles, the crucial faith in one Allah (God) and the oneness of humanity. All the frame works were laid down in the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) applied himself to working out the essential details of that order.
One of the great values taught by Islam in this regard is to make use of the time left to humanity. The Qur'an and the Sunnah (Prophetic traditions) mentioned about time, day, week, month, year and century. People are lost if they did not spend the time available to them during this life for good things. It is a great loss if people have to waste the valuable time they have at their disposal for useless activities. It is true that life should be enjoyable but not at the expense of human resources and values which are essential for the continuation of their well-being.
Allah the Most Knowing had created time and space suitable for human activities for they can attain achievements in life. There are times for work, study, recreation, resting and even celebration. All are parts of activities in worshipping Allah (SWT) and serving His cause. The Qur'ansays that Allah (SWT) had created the day for earning and night for resting and enjoyment. He created the sun, the moon and all outer-space objects so that man on the earth can fix the time and arrange the calendar. By having standard time and standard calendar and the movements of astronomical objects, people are able to regulate their timetable in choosing the right moment for them in doing business and carrying out their activities.
Islam prescribes certain times for the daily prayers, certain month for the obligatory fasting and certain time in one's life time for performing the Hajj or pilgrimage which indicates that the religion brought by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) places the life of Muslims in systematic order. For every move and occasion made by Muslims there is a rule governing it, be it in the form of advice, spiritual guidance or practical directive. If all these directives are followed and understood properly, people will have high discipline and a well-managed life.
Islam encourages people to think correctly before taking any decision. This means planning. There are many verses in the Qur'an admonishing against doing things unthinkingly and jumping to conclusions.
The Prophet (PBUH) also showed a good example in fulfilling promise and staying true to treaty, agreement or contract made between parties.
As a man of honour he always remained true to the principles agreed in the treaty, depicting his high discipline and inclination of doing everything in proper order.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a warmhearted and faithful friend. He loved his companions. He extended greeting to those he knew and to those he did not know. He treated all people around him with kindness and affection.
He was very courteous to all those who met him. He never contradicted anybody who is not opposed to the teachings of Islam. He treated equally the humble and the lofty. He claimed no distinction and lived amongst his companions as if he was not their leader.
He regarded the neighbors as brother and sisters because of their closeness and living in the same vicinity. He once smelt the aroma of the soup cooked by his wife. He told her to give some of it to the neighbours who also smelt it. He said it was not right a Muslim to sleep with a full stomach after having had a good meal but let his neighbour starve. He laid down the foundation for a friendly relation and co-operation among neighbours exemplifying that living as a neighbour, one has one's right and responsibility.
In regard to the rights of a neighbour, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
He was a good exemplar to those who subscribe to a harmonious society. Islam exhorts people not to violate the rights of others and injure their interest, but should positively cooperate with each other and establish a mutual relationship and social cohesion.
To safeguard the unity and solidarity of the nation and to achieve the welfare and well-being of the community, Muslims have been enjoined to avoid mutual hostility, social dissension, backbiting one another, and hurting others with their hand or tongue.
Islam as brought by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) exhorts Muslims to visit the sick, to help to the needy and assist the weak. Islam makes no discrimination on the basis of race, colour or language. Its appeal is to the entire humanity.
Respect for Women
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) brought changes for the betterment of womens conditions.
Woman is recognized by Islam as a full and equal partner of man in the procreation of humankind. He is the father, she is the mother, and both are essential for life. Her role is no less vital than his. By this partnership she has an equal share in every aspect; she is entitled to equal rights; she undertakes equal responsibilities, and in her there are many qualities and so much humanity as there are in her partner.
She is equal to man in bearing personal and common responsibilities and in receiving rewards for her deeds.
She is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge.
Islam enjoined the seeking of knowledge upon Muslim, it makes no distinction between man and woman, who is entitled to freedom of expression as much as man is. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she is a female.
Islam grants woman equal rights to contract, to enterprise, to earn and possess independently. Her life, her property, her honor are as sacred as those of man.
Islam has also given woman a share of inheritance. Before Islam, she was not only deprived of that share, but was herself considered as property to be inherited by man.
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) arrived at Madinah, he initiated the formation of an Islamic state. After establishing politics, brotherhood and the authority of the state of Madinah, he began negotiations with various tribes around the city and made treaties with them.
When the Makkan unbelievers launched a series of attacks on Madinah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was able to confront them, and when the Makkans were finally defeated in the battle of Al-Khandaq (Trenches), he was able to make truce with them at Hudaibiyah for ten years. This treaty was a masterpiece of practical statesmanship on the part of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
His diplomacy in sending and receiving envoys to and from the various chiefs of tribes and foreign rulers, his fairness in conducting judiciary, and his general pardon at the liberation of Makkah, was another proof of his lofty statesmanship.
The State he established in Madinah was not a matter of chance. It was the very nature of his mission that he would establish a state to enforce the way of Allah. People might accept a new faith but it would take time to change their habits, custom and ways of life. And even if a small group of people succeeded in changing their ways of life there would be many others who would not let these people practice their belief and try to stop them by force. So the Islamic State became an urgent necessity to protect the Islamic way of life.
The State founded by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was built physical force, as every state must necessarily be, to fulfill its function of stopping aggression and oppression.
A democratic system in Islam is expressed through the term shura (council). The Qur'an translation reads:
Below are the names of the 25 Rasul (Messengers of Allah)
|When starting to do something||Bism-illah|
|When intending to do something in future||Insha-Allah|
|When in pain and distress||Ya-Allah|
|When expressing appreciation||Masha-Allah|
|When thanking someone||Jazak-Allah Khayran|
|When awakening from sleep||La-ilaha-illallah|
|When thanking Allah or When sneezing||Alhamdu-lillah|
|When someone else sneezes||Yar-Hamuk-Allah|
|When repenting of a sin||Astagh-Firullah|
|When taking oath||Wallah/Billah|
|When someone supplicates||Ameen|
|When death message is received||Inna-Lillahi-wa- inna-ilaihi Raji-oun|