Seerah- Notes of 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th lessons- teacher Yumna

Dated, November 1, 2013
                                              Sirrat of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Main Points:

1-Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Knowledge and the experience of meditation. (Page 85-87)
2- Answers on our sister 's previous question with links of the answers

Meeting with the Monk Bahira

The Prophet’s first meeting with a Christian occurred when he, as a young boy aged between nine or twelve, joined his uncle’s merchant caravan for a trip to Syria.1 The Christian whom the Prophet Muhammad encountered was the monk, Bahira,2 who was living in Bostra, a Roman colonial city.3 Monk Bahira was known for his belief that a prophet was soon to appear among the Arabs. Bahira had studied old manuscripts, where he had learned of the coming of a final prophet, and he was convinced that this prophet would appear in his own lifetime. He was particularly interested in the Arab merchants who visited Syria, to see if his conviction would come true.

Bahira’s attention was struck in particular by a caravan from Makka, which to his amazement, was shaded by a cloud that hovered closely above them. The cloud moved as the caravan moved, and did not go any further when they stopped; it was as if it were providing shade for a person or people in the group. When he also noticed that a tree lowered its branches over the caravan to provide further shade, he immediately realized that this caravan must contain an extraordinary person or persons. He invited all of the individuals in the caravan to a meal at his place, but none of their faces revealed the capacity of the expected Prophet. He inquired if there was anyone who had not joined the meal; the answer he received was that Muhammad had been left behind to watch the caravan. He was keen to see Muhammad; and when he actually saw him he realized that he carried all the signs that the awaited Prophet was to have, as describ-ed in his books.4 He told Muhammad’s uncle to take him back to Makka as soon as possible in order to guard him against potential enemies.5 

This incident is used by some Western scholars as a basis to claim that Muhammad learned about the Judeo-Christian tradition from this monk, and that he later converted this knowl-edge into a new religion, i.e. Islam.6 However, it would not be logical or reasonable to adopt such an idea; Prophet Muhammad was far too young to acquire such an immense knowledge and the conversation between the monk and Muhammad was not a protracted one. 

But Christian writers conceal the detail of their conversation, while repeatedly chant, the ‘encounter of Muhammad with Bahira’. So the historical event is misinterpreted. Hence, the relevance of Daniel’s agony, ‘To read San Pedro and Ibn Ishaq side by side is to be given a striking lesson in the way the same material can be used in order to give totally different impressions’(Daniel, Islam and the West, p. 237).

    A.M.Shaboo also is moved by this confusing practice of the same event: “…after a lengthy discussion of the Bahira story, Shaboo deduces that Muslims tell the story apologetically to prove Muhammad’s Prophet hood while Christians, with Al-Kindi as typical example, refer to the story to disprove exactly that and show Bahira as a heretical Nestorian (A. M. Shahoo, ‘An Evaluative study of the Bahira story in the Muslim and Christian Tradition Unpublished M.A Thesis, Dept. of Theology, University of Birmingham UK, 1984, quoted in Image of Prophet by Bauben P.15).

    Why does the same event create confusion? The strict line between the two methodologies, as hinted earlier, is that, they conceal the quintessence of the discussion while we reveal it. Let us put the event in the lab.
When Bahira happened to see the clouds spreading shadow to a boy, he invited the group and prepared a feast for them. Everybody of them took part in it, except Muhammad, he being the youngest. When Bahira couldn’t see him he wanted to invite him also. When he entered he started looking him detectively and scrupulously. When all other went out, he started speaking in the name ‘Latha’ and ‘Uzza’ the gods of Quraysh, to which he protested to answer. Then, he spoke in the name of Allah, and asked many questions to which he gave apt answers, which were cent percent agreeable to that he knew. Bahira detected the seal of Prophet Hood and confirmed the things as they are; later, he talked to Abu Talib:-
Bahira : Who is this boy?
Abu Thalib : my son.
B              : He is not your son. The father of this boy is not likely to live.
A              : Certainly, he is my brother’s son.
B              : What happened to his father?
A              : Died, his mother being pregnant.
B              : You are true. Go back with nephew. And keep an eye on Jews. In the name of God Allah, if they saw him, and realized what I did, they will put an end to his life. This boy is going to have something.

    Abu Thalib rushed him to Makkah with him and never had a trip to Syria with him again.
This event has been reported by Ibn Hisham Vol.1 pp: 194-6, Ibn Katheer vol. 2 pp 365-6, and Baihaqi in Dalayil Al-nnubuwwa vol.2, pp 26-9. the event is famous among the historians of wars as said by Baihaqi vol.2p. 26 and all the historians have agreed upon it, even William Muir, who denied it in his ‘life of Muhammad’ agreed it. Even though the event has been denied by scholars for the reports are ‘Mursals’(2) for some infidelities. Mursals of Sahaba are acceptable to majority of Muhadhiths(3) and Islamic jurists (Abdu Rahman Bava bin Muhammad Al Malabari, Seerathu Sayyid Al Basher, Darul Ma’arif, India, 2001, P.51,52 with foot note).
The allegation of copying leads us to Bahira who certified Muhammad to be the foretold prophet!


In The Name Of Allah
Dated, November 15, 2013
                                              Sirrat of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Main Points:

1-Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) youth.
2-The Prophet's marriage.

By the time Muhammad (pbuh) was twenty-five he was famous for his
honesty. He was respected by everyone, even the elders of Mecca. The
purity of his nature increased with the years. It seemed he had an inner
knowledge that other people did not have. He believed in one God-
Creator of the world-and he worshipped Him with all his heart and with
all his soul. Muhammad (pbuh) was the finest of his people, the most
kind, truthful and reliable person in Mecca. He was known among
Quraysh as ’the trustworthy’ (al-Amin) because of the good qualities
Allah had given him. He spent many quiet hours in a cave in Mount Hira,
not far from Mecca, thinking about Allah.

This was the period of zealous, youthfulness, active instincts and far reaching ambition. Muhammad (PBUH) was a man with great strength that was noticed even forty years afterwards. Abu Hurarrirah said:''I never saw anyone more handsome than the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). It was as if the sun was shinning in his face and I never saw anyone walk more quickly than the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).It was as if the earth folded itself up for him!
Whenever we walked with him, we would exert ourselves while he stayed cool"

Although Muhammad's (PBUH) manhood was of the highest perfection, his moral and spiritual purity endowed it with the good qualities of discipline, uprightness and contentment. Moreover, he was free from those hateful psychological complications which affect the youth: they love greatness with pomp and show and seek leadership with flattery and the purchasing of sentiments. If we add to that his fierce dislike for the idols which were worshipped by his people, his contempt for the myths and superstitions which prevailed throughout and beyond the Arabian Peninsula and his awareness that truth was something totally different from all that, it becomes clear to us why he preferred the mountains and the open air, why he felt comfort in grazing sheep in these far-off places   and was content with the little earnings he gained from them.

 He spent many quiet hours in a cave in Mount Hira,
not far from Mecca, thinking about Allah. Among Quraysh was a
respected and wealthy woman named Khadijah. She was involved in
trade and on hearing of Mohammed.s reputation, sent for him and asked
him to take her goods and trade with them in Syria. Muhammad (pbuh)
agreed and left for Syria with one of Khadijah’s caravans. With him went
her slave, Maysarah, and they spent a great deal of time talking together.
Maysarah soon came to admire Muhammad (pbuh). He thought he was
quite different from all the other men of Quraysh.

Two unusual events took place during this journey which puzzled
Maysarah very much. The first happened when they stopped to rest near
the lonely home of a monk. Muhammad (pbuh) sat under a tree while
Maysarah was busy with some work. The monk came up to Maysarah
and asked, ’Who is the man resting under the tree?’ ’One of Quraysh, the
people who guard the Ka.bah’, said Maysarah. ’No one but a Prophet is
sitting beneath this tree’, replied the monk. The second event occurred on
the journey back to Mecca. It happened at noon, when the sun is at its
hottest. Maysarah was riding behind Muhammad (pbuh) and as the sun
grew hotter he saw two angels appear above Muhammad (pbuh) and
shield him from the sun’s harmful rays. The trading was very successful
and Muhammad (pbuh) made more profit for Khadijah than she had ever
received before.

When they arrived back in Mecca Maysarah told Khadijah everything
about the trip and what he had noticed about Mohammed.s character and
behavior. Khadijah was a widow in her forties and as well as being rich and highly respected she was also very beautiful.Many men wanted to marry her but none of them suited her. When she met Muhammad (pbuh), however, she thought he was very special.

She sent a friend to ask Muhammad (pbuh) why he was not married.
Muhammad (pbuh) said that it was because he had no money, to which
the friend replied: ’Supposing a rich, beautiful and noble lady agreed to    
marry you?’ Muhammad (pbuh) wanted to know who that could be. The
friend told him it was Khadijah. Muhammad (pbuh) was very happy,
because he greatly respected Khadijah. He went with his uncles, Abu
Talib and Hamzah, to Khadijah’s uncle, and asked his permission to
marry her. The uncle gave his permission and soon after, Muhammad
(pbuh) and Khadijah were married.

Their marriage was a joyful one and Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah
were well suited. Their life together, however, was not without some
sadness. They were blessed with six children, two sons and four
daughters. Sadly their first born, a son called Qasim, died shortly before
his second birthday, and their last child, also a son, only lived for a short
time. Happily, their four daughters-Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum,
and Fatimah-all survived.

For a few years Muhammad (pbuh) lived a calm and quiet life as a
merchant in Mecca. His wisdom benefited many people. One such time
was when Quraysh decided to rebuild the Ka.bah. It was a difficult
decision for them because they had to knock it down before rebuilding it
and the people were afraid that Allah might be angry with them for
knocking down His sanctuary. At last one of the wise old men of Quraysh
decided to begin, then everybody followed him. They worked until they
reached down to the first foundation that Abraham had built. As soon as
they began to remove the stones of this foundation, however, the whole of
Mecca began to shake.

They were so afraid that they decided to leave these stones where they
were and build on top of them. Each tribe brought stones and they built
the Ka’bah up until they reached the place where the black stone was to
be set. They then began to argue about who should have the honor of
carrying the black stone and lifting it to its place in one of the corners of
the Ka’bah.
They almost came to blows but fortunately one of the men offered a
solution. He suggested that they should be guided by the first person to
enter the place of worship. They all agreed and as Muhammad (pbuh)
was the first to enter everyone was pleased, because they all trusted him.
They told him the cause of the argument and he asked them to bring a
large cloak. They did as he asked, and after spreading the cloak on the
ground he placed the black stone in the centre of it. Then he asked a man
from each tribe to hold one edge of the cloak and together to raise it to the
height where the stone should be see. When this was done, he took the
stone off the cloak and put it into place himself. This story shows how all
Quraysh respected and trusted Muhammad (pbuh) and how, by his
wisdom and good sense, he was able to keep the peace.

Dated, November 15, 2013
                                              Sirrat of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Main Points:
1-Cave of Hira'

                                                                 2-The reaction of Khadija

Muhammad (pbuh) believed that there was only one Allah, Creator of
the sun, the moon, the earth, the sky, and of all living things, and that all
people should worship only Him. Muhammad (pbuh) would often leave
the crowded city and go to the cave in Mount Hira’. He liked to be alone
there, away from all thoughts of the world and daily life, eating and
drinking little. In his fortieth year, Muhammad (pbuh) left Mecca to
spend Ramadan, the traditional month of retreat, in the cave. There he would detach himself from the world and turn towards the Lord of the world with his eager heart. From the covered cave a lone soul could look down upon the world which was heaving with troubles, rivalries and disappointments. Then it would withdraw into itself, full of sorrow and helplessness because it did not know of any way out of all that nor did it know of any cure! In that far off cave a penetrating eye observed the legacy of the previous prophets sent by Allah and found it to be like a deep mine from which the precious metal could be extracted only by tremendous effort, and even then the ore would be mixed with the earth and no human being could separate them.                                            

       In the second half of Ramadan, Allah began to reveal His message for mankind through Muhammad (pbuh). This first Revelation occurred as follows. The Archangel Gabriel came to Muhammad (pbuh) in the cave and commanded him to ’Read’. Muhammad (pbuh) replied ’I cannot read.’ At this the Archangel took Muhammad (pbuh) in his arms and pressed him to him until it was almost too much to bear. He then released him and said again ’Read.’ ’I cannot’, replied Muhammad (pbuh), at which the Archangel embraced him again. For the third time the Archangel commanded Muhammad (pbuh) to read, but still he said he could not and was again embraced. On releasing him this time, however, the Archangel Gabriel said: .Read: In the Name of thy Lord who createth, Createth man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who teacheth by the pen, Teacheth man that which he knew not.
 (Qur’an 96.1-5)

Muhammad (pbuh) repeated these verses, just as the Archangel had said them. When the Archangel was sure Muhammad (pbuh) knew them by heart, he we away. Now that he was alone Muhammad (pbuh) could not understand what had happened to him. He was terribly afraid and rushed out of the cave. Perhaps the cave was haunted? Perhaps the devil had taken a hold of his mind? But he was stopped by a voice from heaven which said; ’Muhammad (pbuh) you are the Messenger of Allah, and I am Gabriel.’ He looked up at the sky and wherever he turned he saw the Archangel Gabriel.

In a state of confusion he returned home to Khadijah. When his wife
saw him she became very worried as he began to shiver, as though in a
fever. He asked her to wrap him in blankets, which she did. After a while
he recovered sufficiently to tell her what had happened at Hira’. Khadijah
believed all that he told her and with great respect said: ’Be happy,  son
of my uncle and be confident. Truly I swear by Allah who has my soul in
His hands, that you will be our people’s Prophet.’ Muhammad (pbuh), the
Messenger of Allah, was eased by her faith in him, but after all that had
happened he was exhausted and felt fast asleep.

Khadijah left the Prophet (pbuh) sleeping and went to see her cousin,
Waraqah Ibn Nawfal, to ask him what he thought about all that had
happened. Waraqah was a very wise man who had read many books and
had become a Christian after studying the Bible. He told Khadijah that
Muhammad (pbuh) had been chosen by Allah to be His Messenger. Just
as the Archangel Gabriel had come to Moses before and had ordered him
to guide his people, so, too, would Muhammad (pbuh) be the Prophet of
his people. But Waraqah warned that all the people would not listen to the
Prophet and some would mistreat his followers. He must, however, be
patient because he had a great message for all the world. From that day
on, the Archangel Gabriel came often to the Prophet (pbuh) and the
verses he taught him, the message from Allah to man, were later written
down, and are known to us as the Holy Qur’an.

It was as if the previous forty years were only a day, and the morning of the next day began the Revelation. That searching, yearning mind could now expect the light of truth, and that troubled heart could now feel the coolness of certainty and the expanse of hope. That far-reaching change had occurred it was prophethood! How wonderful was the coming blessing and how great were the anxieties Muhammad (PBUH) would have to face on its behalf.
Thus he quickly regained his composure, and his wife's reaction to it was one of the noblest reactions to come from a woman. She soothed him when he was perturbed, she made him rest when he was exhausted and she reminded him of the virtues of his character, emphasizing that righteous people like himself could never be humiliated, and that when Allah moulded a man with the most excellent traits of character it was to bestow honour and kindness on him. With this well balanced opinion and purity of heart, she deserved the Salutations sent to her by Lord of the Worlds through the faithful spirit Gabraiel.


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