Fiqh Lesson by Umm Ahmad / Amirah ( 19th March,2013)

The Prophetic Biography (the Sirah)
Question 137: How can I really know that Mohammad was a true messenger of God?
Answer 137: We have to point out that:
A. The belief that Mohamed (pbuh) is a messenger of God is a sub-issue that is based on the belief in God.  It is illogical to give a single proof that Mohammad (pbuh) is a true messenger of God to an atheist.
B. Looking back into the history of mankind, we realize that God sent a messenger and/ or prophet to each nation to teach them His book(s) and wisdom, and to show them the right path they should follow to enjoy a comfortable and peaceful life, so that they would form a virtuous society and apply His system on earth.  No society would ever enjoy righteousness unless its members follow the commands of their Creator, because He knows best what is good for them in this life and the hereafter, since, originally, He ordains what is good for them.  But if ordaining is left to people, the society will not be safe.  Man-made systems have never been complete, because the human mind cannot comprehend what is good for them in this life and the hereafter. 
However, in order to Answer the original Question we can say:
1. I refer the reader to the argument above in which I gave evidence that the Holy Qur’an is the word of God.  To prove that the Holy Qur’an is the word of God is at the same time to prove that Mohammad (pbuh) is His prophet and messenger, because it is universally agreed that the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Mohammad (pbuh).
2. Mohammad (pbuh) claimed that he is a messenger of God fourteen centuries ago; since then, God has not sent any other messenger to contradict this claim.  On the contrary, we have seen that God supported Mohammad (pbuh) by giving him many miracles to corroborate his claim of being a true messenger of God.
3. Prophethood is claimed either by an absolutely truthful person, or by a complete liar, and only the ignorant won’t be able to distinguish between the two.  There are many ways to distinguish between a liar and a truthful person in matters that are even less important that the claim of prophethood, so it should be easier to distinguish between the two in such matters.
No liar has ever claimed prophethood without being exposed by aspects of ignorance, lying and profligacy, and without showing signs of being obsessed by demons.  A true messenger/prophet has to tell about things, give commands and do things that show either his lying or truthfulness.  Those who knew the messenger and his truthful nature, knew for sure that he was not lying in his claim of prophethood.  A knowledgeable person can tell when a man is satisfied, and when he is in the state of, love, hatred, happiness, sadness, and other states of mind that show on the face of a person.   God says
“Had We so willed, we could have shown them up to thee, and thou shouldst have known them by their marks: but surely thou wilt know them by the tone of their speech! And God knows all that ye do (Holy Qur’an: 37: 40).”
Uthman ibn Affan (the third caliph) said: “No one has ever intended something secretly without getting exposed by God by showing signs of his secrets on his face and making the person say accidentally what he is hiding”.  If this is true of normal daily matters, it is even more so when a crucial issue like prophethood is involved.
Khadijah (the prophet’s first wife) knew his truthfulness and honesty.  Therefore, when the messenger (pbuh) told her, having received the first revelation, that he was afraid, she said to him:” Nay.  God will never let ye down.  For you keep good relations with your kith and kin, tell the truth, look after the sick, receive your guests hospitably, give to the poor, and help people in their daily affairs”.  She praised his high values and character, and, surely, God never lets down people with these qualities and values.  Khadija soon accompanied the messenger to Warqa’ ibn Nawfal (one of her relatives who was well known Christian priest and among the first to write the Bible in Arabic) and asked him: “Hear thee, uncle, what (Mohammad) says.”  Having heard Muhammad, Waraqa’ said “This is the kind of revelation (Angel) that used to come to Moses.”
Negus, who was Emperor of Ethiopia during the messenger’s time, said about him: “His preaching and that of Moses come from the same source”.
Hercules, the Roman emperor, having received a letter from Mohammad (pbuh) inviting him to Islam, summoned all Arabs who were in Al-Sham (greater Syria) at the time, including Abu Sufian who was there on business.  Hercules asked about the qualities and status of Mohammad (pbuh), and he realized from Abu Sufian’s Answers that he (Mohammad) carried all the signs and qualities of all the true messengers mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, and which Hercules knew only too well.  It was documented that Hercules would have become a Muslim had he not feared the wrath of his people, and the loss of reign.  The following conversation took place between Hercules (H) and Abu Sufian (AS).
H: ”Has anyone claimed (prophethood) before him?”
AS: ”No”.
H: “Does he have a good lineage among the Arabs?”
AS: “Yes he has”.
H: “Has he ever been accused of lying before he claimed prophethood?”
AS: “Not really, we have never known him to be a liar”.
H: “Was he followed by the weak people or the rich and powerful ones?”
AS: “The weak ones”.
H: “Was anyone of his ancestors a king?”
AS: “No”.
H: “Are his followers on the increase or decrease?”
AS: “They are on the increase”
H: “Has any of his followers apostatized?”
AS: “No”
H: “Does he betray?”
AS: “No”
H: “Have you fought him?”
AS: “Yes”
H: “How is your war with him progressing?”
AS: “Sometimes we win sometimes, somettimes he does.”
H: “What does he ask you to do?”
AS: “To worship one God only and associate Him with nothing; to abandon the commands of our ancestors, perform prayer, be truthful, chaste, and to have good relations with our kith and kin”
H: “I asked you about his ancestry, you said he had good lineage, and messengers are usually chosen from good ancestry.  I asked you if anyone of you claimed to be a prophet before him, you said no, and I say had someone before him claimed to be a prophet I would have said that he was just emulating other people.  I asked if any of his ancestors was king, you said no, and I say that had any of his ancestors been king I would have accused him of seeking his ancestor’s reign.  I asked if you ever accused of being a liar before he claimed prophethood, and you said no.  I say that he wouldn’t have left lying to people to lying to God.  I asked if his followers were the weak or noble people, and you said that they were the weak, and those are the followers of messengers.  I asked if his followers were increasing or decreasing, you said they were increasing, and this is the way of faith until it is complete.  I asked if any of his followers apostatized, and you said no, and that is how faith is when it touches the heart.  I asked if he betrays, and you said no, and messengers never betray.  I asked what he orders you to do, and you said to worship God and associate no one with Him, and forbids you from worshipping idles, and orders you to pray and be truthful and chaste.  If all what you say is true, he will conquer my own kingdom.  I knew he was forthcoming, but I did not expect him to be one of you (an Arab).  If I knew I could reach him, I would have made an effort to meet him, and if I were with him I would wash his feet.”
4. The holy Qur’an that was revealed by God to Mohammad (pbuh) foretold many future events that happened later on in the same way the Qur’an said they would.  These events include:
a. God says in the Holy Qur’an: “Truly did God fulfill the vision for His messenger: Ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if God wills, with minds secure, heads shaved, hair cut, and without fear.  For He knew what ye Knew not, and He granted, besides this, a speedy victory” (Holy Qur’an: 48: 27).. And this is what exactly happened, the prophet’s companions entered the Holy Mosque with their heads shaved or their hair cut, feeling secure.
b. God says in the Holy Qur’an: “God has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion –the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived ), to one of security and peace: ‘they will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.’ If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked” (Holy Qur’an: 24: 55).And, truly, God fulfilled His promise in a short time, for within thirty years of the caliphate era, Muslims reached the borders of China in the East, and the Atlantic Ocean in the West.
c. God says in the Holy Qur’an: “When comes the Help of God, and Victory * And thou dost see the people enter God’s Religion in crowds” (Holy Qur’an: 110: 1-2).  Later on, Mecca was conquered, and people entered the religion of God in crowds.
d. God says in the Holy Qur’an: “Say to those who reject Faith: ‘Soon will ye be vanquished’.” (Holy Qur’an: 3: 12).  And this is exactly what happened later on, and the non-believers became vanquished.
5. The messenger (pbuh) foretold many events before they actually happened.  Some of these events include:
a. When he described the immigration to Medina to his companions, and it happened as he described.
b. He predicted that Muslims would conquer Mecca, Jerusalem, Yemen, Al-Sham (greater Syria) and Iraq.
c. He prophesied that security would prevail in the Arabian Peninsula so much so that a woman would be able to travel from Hira to Mecca fearing nothing but God.
d. Once he told his companions that Ali would conquer the town of Kheibar the next day, and he did.
e. He predicted that Muslims would distribute the treasures of the Persian and Roman Emperors.
f. He said that Persian women would serve in the homes of Muslims, and this happened during the life of his companions.
g. He foretold that the era of the companions would last for one hundred years, and the last companion died in the year 110 H.
h. He predicted that sedition amongst Muslims would not appear as long as Omar, the second caliph was alive.
i. He said that Uthman, the third caliph, would be killed while reading the Holy Qur’an.
And there are plenty of other similar events.
6. In order for people to believe messengers in their claims to be true messengers of God, and in order to strengthen their positions, God aided them with miracles.  Some miracles are physical such as the camel of Saleh, Moses’ club, and the miracles given to Jesus such as curing the blind and the leprous and bringing the dead back to life, etc.  Miracles could also be abstract and mind challenging such as the Holy Qur’an.  Since Mohammad (pbuh) is the last prophet and messenger, God blessed him with many physical, abstract and mind challenging miracles.  Some of these are: splitting the moon, the flow of water from between his fingers, increasing the quantity of food and drink, talking to animals, foretelling future events that happened later, being greeted and obeyed by trees and stones, curing the sick, and many other miracles.  We recommend the reader here to refer to the book of the Prophet’s Miracles, which is written by Al-Hafiz Abi Al-Fida Ishmael ibn Katheer.  However, Mohammad’s greatest everlasting miracle is the Holy Qur’an, which is miraculous in many ways: the choice of its vocabulary, its rhetorical structure that challenged humans and Jin to bring forward a similar one and they failed, then the Holy Qur’an challenged them to bring forward ten suras like the ones it contains and they failed, and they even failed to meet its challenge to bring forward one sura.  Such a challenge would only emanate from a Source that is sure that the Holy Qur’an cannot be imitated by humans.  Had it been produced by a human being, such a challenge would not have been posed.  The Holy Qur’an is also miraculous because it is so precise in relating the history of ancient nations and their stories with their prophets.  It also foretold future events that actually happened later on in the way the Holy Qur’an said they would.  These are all miracles, especially since Mohammad (pbuh) was illiterate, and did not study history.  The fact that these historical and future events were told by an illiterate man can only serve to give evidence that he was a true messenger of God.  The just and comprehensive laws and regulations stipulated in Holy Qur’an provide a further proof that it is miraculous.  Thus, the Holy Qur’an is miraculous in its entirety: its choice of vocabulary, telling of events, and its verdicts.  It is a physical and mind challenging evidence on the true prophethood and message of Mohammad (pbuh).
Question 138: Islamists are nowadays accused of being terrorists and fundamentalists because they often resort to violence, which they call jihad.  Is this religiously justifiable?
Answer 138:  In order to Answer this Question, we have to take some matters inot consideration:
1. We have to keep in mind that the media steers the public to the direction that its owners desire.  Today, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the only remaining enemy of the West is Islam, because it is the only religion that the West could not, and will not be able to, distort its teachings, suppress its voice, and stop its spread throughout the world.  People of knowledge should not become victims of the media that tries to make the general public think that Muslims are terrorists and fundamentalists who exploit the name of jihad in their terrorism and fundamentalism.
2. We need to ask: Who does describe Islamists as terrorists?  The enemies of Islam who live inside and outside Islamic countries, and who are afraid of Islam, are the ones who invented this label to Muslims with the aim of degrading Islam and Muslims, alienating people from it, and to put Muslims in the position of the accused in the eyes of international community that is dominated by the USA.  In his book The Arab World Today Murd Burger says:
The fear of the Arabs and our interest in the Arab nation does not stem from the existence of oil in huge quantities in their area, but because of Islam!  Islam has to be fought to prevent the unification of the Arabs, because this unification could strengthen them.  The strength of the Arabs has always coincided with the strength and spread of Islam”[1].
Dan Quail, the former American vice president said: “The only remaining enemy of the West is Islam”[2].  Quail classified Islam in the same category as Communism and Nazism, and the Western media coined a new word to describe Islam “fundamentalism.”  The Times magazine once published on its cover a picture that combines a mosque minaret with a machine gun under the headline: “Islamic Danger.”  Our natural response to such a description cannot be taken seriously because it comes from an enemy, and enemies have never been fair.  Moreover, those who follow the biased Western media that invented these descriptions of Muslims, and those who follow the writings and declarations of Western thinkers and politicians realize that using these descriptions of Muslims when Muslims defend their religion, usurped Holy places, occupied lands, stolen rights and their dignity.  This was the case when Afghanis and their Muslim bretherns fought the occupying forces of Communism, which violated international law by occupying other people’s land and killing the people of this land.  The West, represented in its media and politics, did not describe then such actions as terrorism or violence, but when the Afghani people rose to defend themselves, their land and religion, their enemies condemned that and described them as terrorists and fundamentalists, and the lying Jewish media promoted these accusations that spread very quickly throughout the international community.  This is quite natural given the fact that almost the whole world listens to the West and its media, thinkers, and politicians.  They want Muslims to surrender to their enemy, give up their religion and abandon their rights without any resistance; when they do so they resist they will be called terrorists, and what was said about the Afghani people is being said now about the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel.  The struggle of the Palestinians is being called terrorism and violence, because they are defending themselves, their Holy places and their land.
On the other hand, what the Jews did in Qubayyah, Deir Yaseen, Sabra and Shatilla, Qana, and other ugly massacres that were carried out against the Palestinian people were not in the eyes of the West and its media terrorism nor violence, but self defense.
The most obvious example in our modern day are the fabrications surrounding the Bosnian war that was witnessed by the whole world, and the international tribunal in The Hague prosecuted its war criminals.  We pose the Question: has the West found one Muslim war criminal? Weren’t all the criminals either from the Serbs or the Croats? So who should be called terrorists: Muslims or the others?
The same can be said about what is happening to Muslims in Germany, where extremists are killing Muslims and burning their houses, and in France, where Muslim women have been prevented from wearing the Islamic veil.  So who should be called terrorists, those who simply want to practice their religion, or those who massacre innocents, burn houses, and deprive others from their basic personal freedom and religious rights?  Many events like these are taking place all over the world, where Muslims are being persecuted and deprived from their personal human rights that should be respected by all international laws, yet the international media promotes the idea of Muslims being terrorists and extremists!
This is the twisted logic and reckless judgment of the international community today, a community that turns away from the message of God, suffers from ignorance, and does not follow the right path of God.  God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment” (Holy Qur’an: 20: 121).
Muslims are, now more than ever, required to be strong in order to raise the Islamic nation above, and feared by all other nations, so that no side will ever think of hurting Muslims or attacking their beliefs, God says:
“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of God, and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know” (Holy Qur’an: 8: 60).
Concerning this Qur’anic verse Sayyed Qutb says gives the following commentary:
Islam has to have the sort of power that enables it to advance throughout the world to free Man, and the first domain where this power should be used is the domain of Da’wa (preaching Islam): to make sure that those who chose to be Muslims are free to do so, and are not afraid of getting persecuted for becoming Muslims.  Secondly, this power should be used to intimidate the enemies of Islam, so that they do not contemplate attacking the Muslim nation that is protected by this power.”[3]
Thus, Muslims are requested to frighten the enemies of God and His messenger who defend His religion, because such enemies should live in humiliation and disgrace, for this is the way of God with His creatures, and not the laws of Darwen who says:
It is natural disposition that only those who prove to be fit should survive, and those who perish do so because they are too weak that they deserve to perish, and those who survive deserve to survive.[4]
What “natural disposition” is he talking about? This is certainly not the way God has meant humans to be.
However, when Muslims deal with each others they are requested to show humbleness, sympathy and and provide each other with valuable advice.  This is how our forefathers were “…Lowly with the Believers, mighty against the Rejecters…”(Holy Qur’an: 5: 54).
The West, which promotes the image of Muslims as terrorists, aims at keeping Muslims busy defending themselves to exhaust their resources while they try to clear themselves of the accusations that have been wrongly thrown at them, and thus they do not find the time to unveil the bad face of the Western culture which talks carries the banners of Human Rights and other colorful slogans, while dominating other peoples’ fortunes, and to keep silent while massacres take place here and there to achieve their goals.
As for the second part of the Question:(Do they accuse all Islamists of being terrorists?), we can say that it is noted that enemies of Islam target their accusations mainly on ardent and committed Muslims, who seek the application of the Islamic Law, refuse to make alliances with anyone but God and His messenger and call for the unity of Muslims, of being terrorists because they do not yield to the wishes and commands of enemies of Islam, and decline to facilitate the theft of the fortunes of the Islamic nation by these enemies.  But so-called Muslims who ally themselves with the West and its civilization, and accept to be lead by the West in obvious contradiction with Islamic teaching, are called “moderates” by the West.
However, there are some individuals who commit acts of aggression against innocent civilians in different parts of the world in the name of jihad, and some of these acts are attributed to Islam although they are committed by non-Islamic organizations.  To this we say: jihad has its rules and means, and killing innocent civilians is not part of it.  Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) forbid the killing of women, children and covenanters.  He says:”He who kills a covenanter will not (even) smell paradise, (although) it can be smelled from a forty year walking distance”[5]. There are many proofs and a lot of evidence in the Holy Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet that prohibit killing innocent civilians and destroying towns.  If someone goes against these teachings of Islam, blame should no be put on Islam, but on the person himself.
Question 139: Why did prophet Muhammad marry several women and limited the marriage of Muslim men to only four women?
Answer 139: This Question has some confusion appearing in “limited the marriage of Muslim men to only four women.”  Every Muslim knows that Muhammad (pbuh) is a messenger whose basic task is to convey what has been revealed to him from God.  He can not limit out of his own will and does not make something legal to himself.  God the Almighty allowed Muslims to marry more than one woman, He says:
“but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice” (Holy Qur’an: 4: 3).
Concerning the prophet (pbuh), God the Almighty said:
“O Prophet (Muhammad (pbuh)! Verily, We have made lawful to you your wives, to whom you have paid their mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), and those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses – whom God has given to you, and the daughters of your khal (maternal uncles) and the daughters of your khalah (maternal aunts) who migrated (from Makkah) with you, and a believing woman if she offers herself to the Prophet, and the Prophet wishes to marry her – a privilege for you only, not for (the rest of) the believers.  Indeed We know what We have enjoined upon them about their wives and those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, in order that there should be no difficulty on you.  And God is Ever oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.  You (O Mhammad can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside (her turn temporarily), it is no sin on you (to receive her again); that is better that they may be comforted and not grieved, and may all be pleased with what you give them. God knows what is in your hearts. And God is Ever All-Knowing, Most Forbearing. It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this, nor to change them for other wives even though their beauty attracts you, except those (slaves) whom your right hand possesses. And God is Ever a Watcher over all things”(Holy Qur’an: 4: 3).
Examine the above holy verses which show that God the Almighty who allowed the prophet to marry the wives whom he had granted bridal-money, and God took the responsibility to explain that in order to silence all who talk about the messenger of God (pbuh), as if God the Almighty said, “We made you marry those women, and that is the original thing, i.e. God sent him to his creatures and he was being taken care of by God the Almighty as he was in his care in all of his matters, including marriage.
We also see that in those holy verses, God the Almighty prevented him from marrying any more women after those whom he married by saying to him “It is not lawful for you (to marry other) women after this” i.e. those are your wives only, so you cannot marry other ones.  So lawfulness and unlawfulness, permission and prevention are God’s concern, not the messenger’s.
Polygamy was a common practice in the human and Arab environment before Islam; it was familiar to previous prophet and their followers.  The prophet (pbuh) said that one of the prophets of the Jews, married one hundred wives, and Solomon (pbuh) married more than that.
As to why the prophet married several women and limited Muslims to four, that was one of the specialties, i.e. it is not lawful for any other Muslim to imitate him in this.  He has other specialties, like continuing to fast after sunset; when his companions continued their fast after sunset, he prohibited them by saying: “I am not like you, God provides me with food and drink;” and like the unlawfulness of his wives’ marriage after death, as they are the mothers of believers; and like the unlawfulness to marry more than his nine wives or divorce one of them.[6]  
Pondering into his biography, we find that the prophet (pbuh) did not marry more than one until he emigrated to Medina, and that was after exceeding fifty three of his age, an age when, usually, no one marries for purely sexual purposes or desires.  All the ladies whom he married in Medina were widows, except Aishahh; as was mentioned earlier, the prophet married these ladies for legislative and reformative purposes, including:[7]
1. Spread of education: It suffices to know that half the society were women, and they needed culture and education exactly as men did and that are, two or three could not perform their role in transmission, education and guidance.  Therefore, a group of women were indispensable to educate the other women of the society, especially in matters relating to women, as they feel shy to ask men about it.  For example, it is cited in Bukhari and Muslim that Aysha reported that one Ansari woman asked the prophet about the after-menstruation-bath.  The prophet told her what to do by saying: "Purify yourself with a piece of cloth scented with musk."  The woman asked, "How shall I purify myself with it."  The prophet felt shy to clarify it any further; at which appropriate time, I (Aysha) pulled the woman aside and told her: "Use the cloth to rub the place soiled with blood."[8]
The prophet’s various houses were centres for teaching women their religious rules, and especially to enlighten men about matters relating to women.  Verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed in support of this by addressing the mothers of believers (the prophet’s wives):
“And remember (O you the members of the Prophets family, the Graces of Your Lord), that which is recited in your houses of the Verses of God and al-Hikmah (i.e. Prophet’s Sunnah – legal ways, so give your thanks to God and glorify His Praises for this Qur’an and the sunnah). Verily, God is Ever Most Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 34).
2. Completing the Legislation: The prophet (pbuh) married several women for legislative purposes, like abolishing the adoption custom[9], and contributing to the subject of relating the prophetic traditions, which are the second source of legislation after the Holy Qur’an.  The prophet’s wives contributed to the narration and conveyance of every tradition they heard from him and every act of the messenger they saw.  In this way, a big number of prophetic traditions reached the Muslim community through his wives.  Narrators of the traditions mentioned that the number of hadith the prophet’s wives related were more than three thousands.
3. Achievement of solidarity: The prophet (pbuh) married women who had nobody to look after them, especially after they had lost husbands.  He married them out of mercy, like the Makhzomite lady Hind Ummu Salamah, Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan and other ladies whose biographies had been mentioned in the biographies of the prophet (pbuh), which show us that his mercy (pbuh) upon women like these, his care for orphans, sponsorship of widows and consoling those inflicted with calamities.
4. Exemplification: The messenger of God (pbuh) is the good example and high ideal of good treatment of his wives and achievement of justice among them and respect of their opinions, helping them in their household works, and loyalty to those who died from them.  Anyone who looks for a good example and a high idea in dealing with wives, he needs to learn about the guidance of the prophet (pbuh) in the books of his biography, which embodied and portrayed to us his life with his wives, as if we were living with him (pbuh) and in his homes.
Question 140: There is a contradiction between the Qur’an and the events in the prophetic traditions.  God promised Muhammad and his companions victory, but they were defeated in Uhud, for example. How do you explain this?
Answer 140: The first side of this Question involves the victory, which God promised His messenger and believers and means the outcome of the struggle between them and their enemies.  God the Almighty crowned the jihad of His prophet, and the companions who supported him, with decisive victory.  All Arab tribes pledged their obedience to the prophet and became subjects to the state of Islam—something that appeared clearly in the Delegations Year (the tenth year after hijra) as delegations came one after another to Medina from the various Arab tribes and pledged their obedience to the messenger of God for Islam.  All these tribes ultimately became subject to Islam and recognized the state of Islam.  The messenger of God with his own eye witnessed this victory during his lifetime.  Also The prophet foretold great victories to his companions, victories which were achieved after his death.  Only a few years passed after his death when Muslims conquered the two greatest empires of the day, the Persian and Roman empires; and subjected their territories and most of their peoples to the Islamic rule.  Thus, God’s promise of victory to his believing servants was achieved.
On the way to reach final victory the prophet (pbuh) and his companions were exposed to various kinds of pain, wounds, losses in property and souls, but that is God’s law.  God says:
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of God?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of God is near!”’ (Holy Qur’an: 2: 214).
This is the nature of conflict between truth and its supporters on the one hand and falsity and its party.
The way of calling to God is a thorny one paved with obstacles, hardships, wounds and pains, which are like lessons to the believing league which may have its violations, or they are like examinations to test the believers and purify the Muslim row from the greedy, the vindictive and opportunistic.  That is what happened in Uhud Battle when Muslims learned a real and practical lesson as a punishment for violating the order of their prophet and leader (pbuh).  After the notorious victory the Muslims had achieved in Badr Battle (the first battle in Islam), some Muslims thought they would never lose a battle whatsoever, so long as they were Muslims and others infidels.  In the Battle of Uhud the Muslims were shocked by what had befallen to them.  God says:
“(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: “From where does this come to us?” Say (to them), “It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds.” (Holy Qur’an: 3: 165).
The other side of the Question is that the Muslims not only were defeated in Uhud Battle, but many were killed and injured.  Militarily speaking, the Muslims achieved victory in spite of the great losses they had in the battle.  Victory can be explained in this way: first, the Muslims were victorious in the beginning; they chased the polytheists out of their camp and surrounded their women and property, and dropped their banner in the field of war, but when, after the end of battle, the Muslim hurlers violated the prophet’s order and abandoned their strategic positions and hurried down to take their shares, Khalid Bin al-Waleed (a polytheist then) returned to the battlefield again, ambushed the Muslim army, and caused them a great deal of loss.  Yet those polytheists were unable to destroy the Islamic movement, neither physically nor morally.  Later, the Muslims were able under the leadership of the messenger of God (pbuh) to overcome this crisis and gained the upper hand in the battle; soon the enemies ran away.  Had the polytheists been triumphant, the euphoria of victory would have urged them to stay in the battlefield in order to conquer the Muslim army, or at least its leading figures, about whom Abu Sufyan asked at the end of the battle; they are the Messenger of God (pbuh) Abu Bakr and Umar Bin al-Khattab.  The polytheists would have attacked Medina in which there were only women, old people and supporters of the polytheists of hypocrites and Jews. It would have been an opportunity for them, but Abu Sufyan, the leader of the polytheists, realized that what happened in the second round of the battle was not because of the bravery and courage of his soldiers; he knew them in the first round of the battle when they ran away before the Muslims, and that was only because of the mistake of the Muslims.  That is how it happened as a matter of fate destined by God for some reasons He wanted.  The Muslims under the leadership of the prophet (pbuh) the following morning chased the polytheists to Hamrah al-Asad.  When the polytheists learned about this, they continued their way hurriedly towards Makkah for fear of the Muslims, whose spirits were high and whose will was strong.  Here I ask: “Does a defeated army chase its enemy, and does a victorious army flee?  This cannot happen from a military point of view and cannot be accepted by wise people.
The third aspect of the truth of the victory of the Muslims in Uhud Battle can be recognized when we know the fact that every single nation must make some mistakes, and those mistakes are natural in the lives of nations, but nations have different attitudes towards their mistakes in their lives.  Some nations make mistakes, and then more mistakes but they do not learn a lesson from them (not to make the same mistakes later on).  Such nations are ones whose insight has been blinded, so they stumble on their way of construction and their pursuit for reaching their aim was impossible; and some nations make mistakes but they learn lessons from them, so their mistakes decrease in their lives, and goodness and building excel evil and destruction.  So their conditions improved and their building developed.  Such nations have insight and achieve victory.  That is what happened to Muslims in Uhud Battle.  The companions made use of this newly learned lesson and learned a great deal from their mistakes.  We know that from what happened the following morning, when the prophet declared jihad among his companions who were injured the day before in Uhud battle, all of them attended in spite of their wounds and pains, although some of them were not able to walk except between two men to lean on.  The benefit of the Muslims from their mistakes is itself considered a great victory.  If the Muslims make use of their mistakes and learn lesson, as their ancestors did, their situation will change considerably.  God the Almighty, after this battle, addressed Muslims to show them that what happened was a natural law, the law of God, that you will defeat or be defeated, and that the natural result will be in your favor, but after jihad, infliction and putting you to test.  The triumph of the polytheists over the Muslims in the second round of the battle is not an established law, but a transitory event behind which there is a lot of heavenly wisdom and lessons.  God said:
“Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away before you (as you have faced in the battle of Uhud), so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who disbelieved (in the Oneness of God, and disobeyed Him and His Messenger. This (the Qur’an) is a plain statement for mankind, a guidance and instruction to those who are al-muttaqun (the pious). So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior(in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers. If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. Ad so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that God may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And God likes not the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers). And that God may test (or purity) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers. Do you think that y will enter Paradise before God tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are as-sabirun (the patient)” (Holy Qur’an: 3: 137-142).
Question 141: Are Muslims required to follow the example of the prophet (pbuh) according to what came in his biography?
Answer 141: The prophetic biography as a whole is a true method of life pure of any stains and blemishes.  It suffices that it is a true picture of the life of a man chosen by God as a mercy for mankind.  Therefore, every Muslim who hopes for escape for himself and success in this life and in the hereafter is required to study and contemplate the biography of the prophet (pbuh) to benefit from his worship, to call to Islam, jihad and all of his life.  His life (pbuh) is all lessons and wisdom, those who follow it succeed and escape and those abandon it lose and perish.
Dr. Rajih Abdulkareem al-Karm says:
Understanding the biography of the Messenger (pbuh) is, in fact, part and parcel of understanding Islam, for its is a practical and lively witness showing the fruit of faith and absolute belief in his religion embodied by the Messenger of God (pbuh) as a practical and high ideal.[10] 
He adds:
Studying the Messenger’s biography plays an important role in the interpretation of the Holy Qur’an, which is the trusted record of actions and events of the biography and the invasions, events and causes of revelation and method of calling to God, bases of legislation and direction, which the Messenger of God pointed out and implemented practically.  So, the prophet’s biography is an explanation of the Holy Qur’an and an interpretation of it.  Studying it is a study of the interpretation of the Holy Qur’an. As such, understanding Islam is connected with the understanding of the Holy Prophetic biography.[11]
Furthermore, studying the prophetic biography is a legal necessity to imitate the prophet (pbuh) about whom God said: “Indeed in the Messenger of God (Muhammad (pbuh) you have a good example” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 21).  Studying the prophetic biography carefully and sincerely helps the sincere Muslims to imitate the prophet (pbuh).  I conclude that the major part of his biography (pbuh) especially the one related to his life after the mission until his death (pbuh) includes a great deal of divine rules relating to peace, war, settlement and travel; to health, illness, worship, dealings and other things we are required to follow and worship God by doing so.  On the other hand, the other side of his biography (pbuh), especially those relating to that period before the mission, does not show divine rules and Muslims do not have to follow them.  They are personal or general matters Muslims can read for the sake of knowledge and not worship.  For example, his biography shows that as a baby, he was breastfed in the desert of Bani Sa`d.  In his youth he worked sometimes as a shepherd, sometimes in trading, and so on.  No Muslim is required to follow this side of his life (pbuh), but may be some lessons could be deduced and more feedback acquired about the true personality of the prophet.  God says, “Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger (Muhammad) so hey deny him?” (Holy Qur’an: 23: 69).
Question 142: Muslims say that Muhammad had performed miracles.  How can one differentiate between these miracles and magic?
Answer 142: A miracle is originally a supernatural event that goes against the natural law.  People witness it and God allows it to happen at the hands of his prophets, while “magic” is an event whose cause is unseen and imagined to be something different.  It uses the method of camouflage and misleading, and it is all seen as true and accurate.
The most famous kind of magic of is the one based on the use of earthly spirits like jinn, where magicians usually get assistance.  Magicians also rely on a devil or a goblin to achieve something he wants; hence, magic is associated with blasphemy.  God said,
“They followed what the shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels. Harut and Marut, but neither of these two (angels  taught anyone (such things) till they had said, ‘We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us)’.” (Holy Qur’an: 1:102).
Al-Nisai mentioned that Abu Hurayrah related that the prophet (pbuh) said:
“Any one who knots a knot then blows in it, he has performed magic and anyone who performs magic has associated another deity with God, and anyone who hangs am amulet, he is given to it.”[12]
There is also the magic of deceiving and misleading the eyes, as God said about the Pharaoh’s sorcerers:
“they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic” (Holy Qur’an: 7:116), i.e. they camouflaged what they did until people thought that the ropes and sticks were moving.  God said, “And their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast” (Holy Qur’an: 20: 66).
Hence we can know some differences between a miracle and magic, like a miracle is a support from God to his prophet or messenger to prove his prophecy and message, so what he performs is miraculous, and the Holy Qur’an mentioned many of them, while magic is a support of the devil to his followers.  A good servant of God, a messenger or a prophet performs a miracle, and a good servant cannot be a magician because magic is blasphemy.  God may allow a good servant to perform miraculous things, a servant who is not a prophet or a messenger, and that is a blessing while magic comes from someone who denied God, associated someone with Him, and followed the Devil.  Therefore, if you see something miraculous performed by someone, we should examine his state.  If he is a servant of God, does what God orders and abstains from what God prohibits, pure in appearance and heart away from every kind of evil action, then learn that it is a miracle that he is performing, and if he is an evil lecherous malignant person who commits sins and disobeys God, then he is a sorcerer.
A miracle changes the reality of things and makes it a real fact, and that is the secret of the embracement of Islam of Pharaoh’s sorcerers when Moses threw his stick which tuned into a snake that swallowed the sticks and ropes of the magicians, which we see to have been transformed under the effect of sorcery into snakes, except the magicians who were not charmed themselves. They saw Moses’ stick, which was transformed into a snake eating their sticks and ropes.  God said:
“And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. Saying: “We believe in the Lord of the alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists), the Lord of Moses and Aaron” (Holy Qur’an: 26: 46-47).
Magic does not change the reality of things, but a sorcerer affects the senses of people so that they feel that the things before them have taken new forms and shapes, while the things themselves continue to be the same, without changing their reality, as the sorcerers of Pharaoh did, they bewitched the eyes of people when people were made to imagine that the sticks and ropes became snakes in the arena, and in fact, they remained the same, unchanging ropes and sticks.
A miracle is performed to achieve a noble intention like healing the blind and the leprous, healing patients, supporting messengers, and strengthening the believers, etc.  It always achieves something good, whereas magic is used for evil purposes, like separation between husband and wife, inflicting people with disease and illness and maybe death.
Miracles and magic are, then, essentially two things different in essence and purpose and those who perform them are dissimilar except in some apparent effects, but it is easy for every understanding person to differentiate between them.  In addition, any act if it is magic and not a heavenly miracle; it means that it is a human act that can be performed by magicians on earth, whereas God makes a miracle.  Therefore, it can be achieved in the same manner by any human being.
Question 143: God says about Muhammad: “God will protect you from mankind” (The Holy Qur’an: 5: 67). How was he bewitched, poisoned and, more than once, wounded?
Answer 143: The verse mentioned in this Question is part of the fifth verse of Chapter (sura) 67 (Holy Qur’an: 5: 67) from al-Maida.  God said:
“O Messenger (Muhammad (pbuh)! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord, And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. God will protect you from mankind. Verily, God guides not the people who disbelieve.” (Holy Qur’an: 5: 67).
In this holy verse, there is an order from God the Almighty to his Messenger to pursue his call to Islam and inform others of what he has been informed regardless of the enemies, their intrigues and conspiracies against him (pbuh).  Before the revelation of this verse, while calling to God, the prophet felt afraid about himself that he might be killed or assassinated, and God the Almighty knew what went on in the heart of his chosen prophet, and knew that the enemies intended to kill His Messenger.  He, therefore, revealed this verse to him to appease him and tell him that he is in His protection, care and maintenance, and anyone who is under God’s care and protection, what could the weak enemies do to him?  Imam Ahmad related that Aishah related: “The Messenger of God stayed up late at night while I was beside him.  She said, she addressed the prophet saying ‘What is wrong, Messenger of God?’  He Answered: ‘I wish one righteous companion of mine would guard me tonight.’ She said, ‘While I was listening to him, I heard a weapon cluttering.’  He said, “Who is there?” He [the one outside] said, ‘I am Sa`d ibn Malik.’  He said, ‘What brought you here at this moment?’ Sa’d said, ‘I’ve come to guard you.’  She said, ‘Then I heard the Messenger of God soundly asleep.”[13]  Ibn Abi Hatim mentioned that Aishah said: “The prophet used to be guarded until the verse “And God will protect you from people” was revealed.  She said, “The prophet  watched out of the dome and said, “O, people!  You could leave, God has protected us.”[14]  What is meant by the Arabic word (‘Isma) in the prophetic tradition is God the Almighty will protect His messenger (pbuh) from killing.  The prophet (pbuh) was exposed, especially after hijra to Medina, to many assassination attempts by the Jews, the hypocrites, the pagans and others.  Except for the protection of God, the prophet would have been killed from the very early days of his public call to Islam.  Anyone interested in learning about those attempts, he could refer to the book entitled And God will Protect You from People by Ahmad aj-Jadi` in which he described the attempts of assassination of the prophet (pbuh) starting with that big attempt by Quraish, so God saved him from them, and allowed him to emigrate to Medina.  As to verbal and practical harm less than killing, the Messenger of God (pbuh) was exposed to many incidents, especially in Makkah, and this is the situation of callers to God everywhere all the time and that is God’s law of testing and trying, as He said:
“Verily, (many) Messengers were denied before you (O Muhammad (pbuh), but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt; till Our help reached them, and none can alter the Words (Decisions) of God.  Surly there has reached you the information (news) about the Messengers (before you)” (Holy Qur’an: 6: 34).
And the prophet himself said, “The most inflicted amongst you are the messengers, then those who are similar to them, and then those are similar to them” and God’s protection of his Messenger from killing was particular to him (pbuh) unlike other callers and conveyers, as he is the one conveying the message of God.  Therefore, he was protected from killing until he conveys God’s message in the manner that God wanted.
Question 144: There is a controversy and ambiguity around the marriages of the prophet to Zainab Bint Jahsh.  Could you clarify this ambiguity and explain the circumstances of this marriage clearly?
Answer 144:  Zainab Bint Jahsh is the prophet’s cousin on his father’s side.  Her mother is Umaymah Bint Abdulmuttalib and she is the sister of Abdullah Bin Jahsh who was martyred in Uhud Battle.  The Messenger of God married her after she was divorced by his slave Zayd ibn Haritha without a human contract, because it was God the Almighty who married her off to him, in order to cancel the custom of adoption and the custom of prohibiting marriage to the wife of adopted sons, which was common then amongst Arabs. God the Almighty revealed some verses to be recited from the Holy Qur’an to show that.  He says:
“And (remember) when you said to him (Zayd bin Harithah the freed-slave of the Prophet) on whom God has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad (pbuh) too) have done favor (by manumitting him): “Keep your wife to yourself, and fear God.” But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what God has already made known to you that he will give her to you in marriage) that which God will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., their saying that Muhammad (pbuh) married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas God had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And God’s Command must be fulfilled” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 37).
God also says,
“But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what God had already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which God will make manifest, you did fear the people” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 37) 
The minds of people started wondering as to what the prophet concealed from them and forgot about God’s words which is understood to mean that God the Almighty revealed in His words what the Messenger had concealed.  The verse is clear that God the Almighty revealed in it that Zainab being a wife of Muhammad, not anything else.  The right thing to do was to contemplate the Holy Qur’an and not give a free rein to their imagination and to say about the prophet (pbuh) what should not be said. Let’s explain the story of this blessed marriage:
Zayd ibn Harithah is an Arab from the tribe of Bani Kalb.  One tribe attacked his and took him captive as this usually happened before Islam and sold him.  Hakeem ibn Hizam bought him to his aunt Khadeejah and she, in turn, offered him to her husband, the prophet.  His folks had been looking for him to restore him; they learned about his whereabouts, in Makkah.  They came to the prophet (pbuh) and asked him and begged him to give them their son back.  They were the caretakers of the Holy Mosque and deserve this good deed.  The prophet, in turn, made them another offer, i.e. to come to Zayd and make him choose between his father and folks or staying with Muhammad.  He chose Muhammad after seeing his sublime manners, good treatment and nice dealing.  His folks said to him, “Do you prefer slavery to freedom?”
The prophet (pbuh) announced in Quraish Club the adoption of Zaid and that he could inherit him.  Zayd was called afterwards Zayd ibn Muhammad, then God revealed Islam and Zayd was the first slave to embrace Islam.  When he grew under the care of the prophet (pbuh), the prophet wanted to reward him back, he married him to his cousin on his father’s side, Zainab, to confirm his freedom and adoption of him, and to raise his social status.
The prophet proposed to Zainabl for Zayd.  She declined as she was Quraishi from a noble family and she found Zayd below her social status.  So God the Almighty revealed: “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when God and His messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 36).  So Zaynab said, “O, messenger of God, I have accepted what you have accepted for me.”  Zayd married her and lived with her for around a year.
This has been related by as-Sadi.  He said, “We learned that this verse was revealed for Zainab Bint Jahsh, whose mother is Umayyma Bint Abdulmuttalib, the aunt of the prophet (pbuh) who wanted to marry her to Zayd Bin Haritha – his slave – so she was reluctant to do so.  Then she accepted what the prophet did and he married her to him, then God informed His prophet (pbuh) that she is one of his wives.  The prophet was shy to inform her of her divorce, and people knew that Zainab and Zayd were married.  The prophet (pbuh) told him to keep his wife and to fear God and was afraid that people would blame him and say that he married his daughter-in-law as he had already adopted Zayd as his son.  What the prophet (pbuh) concealed was not love to Zaynab, as some liars claimed, as had it been love to Zainab, God the Almighty would have showed that in the Holy Qur’an, and the prophet would not have done that as he was infallible, and as he was described by God in this way “And Verily, for you (O Muhammad are on an exalted (standard of) character” (Holy Qur’an: 68: 4).  What he really feared was that people would say and the hypocrites and Jews would say: “How could he prohibit marrying the daughter-in-law and he himself marry the wife of his (adopted) son? The marital life did not last between Zayd and Zaynab, so she was divorced.
Anas said, “When Zainab finished her confinement after divorce, the Messenger of God (pbuh) said to Zayd, ‘Propose to her for me.’ He said, ‘I set out and said to her “O, Zainab, I have a good news for you.  The prophet wants to propose to you.’  She said, ‘I’m not doing anything unless I am ordered by my Lord God.  She went then to her prayer room and the verse was revealed to the prophet (pbuh) and he went in to see her without permission’.”[15]  Ibn Hajar said:
That was the greatest event to happen then, and that her previous husband would be an in-between in order that nobody would think that it was done by force without his satisfaction, and it tests whether he has feelings towards her: “Did anything remain there?[16]
And God the Almighty says:
“So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them)” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 37).
So, prophet (pbuh) married her to nullify two pre-Islamic customs which were common then; the custom of not marrying the wife of the adopted son, and the habit of superiority and pride of belonging to a noble family, as a nobility would not conventionally marry someone humble, and to confirm the basis of preference, God says: “Verily, the most honorable of you with God is that (believer) who has at-taqwa [i.e. he is one of the muttaqun (the pious)]” (Holy Qur’an: 49: 13).

[1] SeeTowards a Deeper Understanding of the Islamic Reality, by Dr. Abdul Karim Bakkar.
[2] ibid
[3] Sayyed Qutb, In the Shadows of the Holy Qur’an, 24th edition, Part Three.
[4] Abu Al-Alaa’ Al-Mawdudi, The Status of Muslims and How to Raise Them.
[5] Cited in Bukhari, The Book of Jizya, hadithe No. 293.
[6] Abdullah Nasih Alwan, Polygamy in Islam.
[7] Alwan, Polygamy in Islam.
[8] Cited in Bukhari and Muslim.
[9] This will be explained below in detail.
[10] See Dr. Rajih Abdulkareem al-Karmi’s book, A Shining Beam from the Prophetic Biography During the Makkan Period.
[11] See Ibid.
[12] Cited in Nisai.
[13] Cited in Bukhari.
[14] Muhammad Naseeb ar-Rifa`i, Abridged Interpretation of the Interpretation of Bin Katheer.
[15] Cited Ahmad, Muslim and Nisa`i.
[16] Fath-ul-Bari.


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