The Prophet Muhammad: 2010

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Prophet PBUH, Attributes and Manners

The Prophet PBUH combined both perfection of creation and perfection of manners.

This impression on people can be deduced by the bliss that overwhelmed their hearts and filled them with dignity. Men’s dignity, devotion and estimation of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH were unique and matchless. No other man in the whole world has been so honoured and beloved. Those who knew him well, were fascinated and enchanted by him. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of saving a nail of his from hurt or injury. Being privileged by lots of prerogatives of perfection that no one else had been endowed with, his Companions found that he was peerless and so they loved him.

Here we list a brief summary of the versions about his beauty and perfection. To encompass all which is, addmittedly, beyond our power.

Beauty of Creation:

Describing the Messenger of Allâh PBUH, who passed by her tent on his journey of migration, Umm Ma‘bad Al-Khuza‘iyah said to her husband:

• "He was innocently bright and had broad countenance. His manners were fine. Neither was his belly bulging out nor was his head deprived of hair. He had black attractive eyes finely arched by continuous eyebrows. His hair glossy and black, inclined to curl, he wore long.

His voice was extremely commanding. His head was large, well formed and set on a slender neck. His expression was pensive and contemplative, serene and sublime. The stranger was fascinated from the distance, but no sooner he became intimate with him than this fascination was changed into attachment and respect. His expression was very sweet and distinct.

His speech was well set and free from the use of superfluous words, as if it were a rosary of beads. His stature was neither too high nor too small to look repulsive. He was a twig amongst the two, singularly bright and fresh. He was always surrounded by his Companions. Whenever he uttered something, the listeners would hear him with rapt attention and whenever he issued any command, they vied with each other in carrying it out. He was a master and a commander. His utterances were marked by truth and sincerity, free from all kinds of falsehoods and lies."[]

‘Ali bin Abi Talib describing him said: "The Messenger of Allâh PBUH was neither excessively tall nor extremely short. He was medium height among his friends. His hair was neither curly nor wavy. It was in between. It was not too curly nor was it plain straight. It was both curly and wavy combined. His face was not swollen or meaty-compact. It was fairly round. His mouth was white.

 He had black and large eyes with long haired eyelids. His joints (limbs) and shoulder joints were rather big. He had a rod-like little hair extending from his chest down to his navel, but the rest of his body was almost hairless. He had thick hand palms and thick fingers and toes. At walking, he lifted his feet off the ground as if he had been walking in a muddy remainder of water. When he turned, he turned all. The Prophethood Seal was between his shoulders. He is the Seal of Prophets, the most generous and the bravest of all.

His speech was the most reliable. He was the keenest and the most attentive to people’s trust and was very careful to pay people’s due in full. The Prophet PBUH was the most tractable and the most yielding companion, seeing him unexpectedly you fear him and venerate him. He who has acquaintance with him will like him. He who describes him says:

• ‘I have never seen such a person neither before nor after seeing him.’ "[]

Jabir bin Samurah reported that Allâh’s Messenger PBUH had a broad face with reddish (wide) eyes and lean heels.[]

Abu At-Tufail said: "He was white, good-looking. He was neither fat nor thin; neither tall nor short."

Anas bin Malik said: "He had unfolded hands and was pink-coloured. He was neither white nor brown. He was rather whitish. In both his head and beard there were as many as twenty grey hairs, besides some grey hairs at his temples." In another version: "and some scattered white hairs in his head."[]

Abu Juhaifa said: "I have seen some grey colour under his lower lip." Al-Bara’ said: "He was of medium height, broad-shouldered, his hair went up to his earlobes. I saw him dressed in a red garment and I (assure you) I have never seen someone more handsome. At first he used to let his hair loose so as to be in compliance with the people of the Book; but later on he used to part it."[]

Al-Bara’ also said: "He had the most handsome face and the best character." When he was asked: "Was the Messenger’s face sword-like?" "No," he said: "it was moon-like." But in another version: he said, "His face was round." Ar-Rabi‘ bint Muawwidh said:

"Had you seen him, you would have felt that the sun was shining." Jabir bin Samurah said, "I saw him at one full-moony night. I looked at him. He was dressed in a red garment. I compared him with the moon and found that — for me — he was better than the moon."[]

Abu Huraira said: "I have never seen a thing nicer than the Messenger of Allâh PBUH. It seems as if the sunlight were moving within his face. I have never seen one who is faster in pace than the Messenger of Allâh PBUH. It seemed as if the earth had folded itself up to shorten the distance for him. For we used to wear ourselves out while he was at full ease."[]

Ka‘b bin Malik said: "When he was pleased, his face would shine with so bright light that you would believe that it was a moon-piece."[] Once he sweated hot at ‘Aishah’s, and the features of his face twinkled; so I recited a poem by Abu Kabeer Al-Hudhali:

• "If you watch his face-features, you will see them twinkling like the lightning of an approaching rain."[]

Whenever Abu Bakr saw him he would say:

• "He is faithful, chosen (by Allâh), and calls for forgiveness. He shines like a full-moon light when it is far from dark (clouds)."[]

‘Umar used to recite verses by Zuhair describing Haram bin Sinan:

• "Were you other than a human being, you would be a lighted moon at a full-moon night."

Then he would add: "Thus was the Messenger of Allâh PBUH.[]

When he got angry his face would go so red that you would think it were "an inflected red skin-spot with pomegranate grains on both cheeks."[]

Jabir bin Samurah said: "His legs were gentle, delicate and in conformity. His laughter is no more than smiling. Looking at him will make you say ‘He is black-eyed though he is not so.’"[]

Ibn Al-‘Abbas said: "His two front teeth were splitted so whenever he speaks, light goes through them. His neck was as pure and silvery as a neck of doll. His eyelids were long haired but his beard was thick. His forehead was broad; but his eyebrows were like the metal piece attached to a lance, but they were unhorned. His nose was high-tipped, middle-cambered with narrow nostrils.

 His cheeks were plain, but he had (little hair) running down like a rod from his throat to his navel. He had hair neither on his abdomen nor on his chest except some on his arms and shoulders. His chest was broad and flatted. He had long forearms with expansive palms of the hand. His legs were plain straight and stretching down. His other limbs were straight too. The two hollows of his soles hardly touch the ground. When he walks away he vanishes soon; but he walks at ease (when he is not in a hurry). The way he walks seems similar to one who is leaning forwards and is about to fall down."[]

Anas said: "I have never touched silk or a silky garment softer than the palm of the Prophet’s PBUH; nor have I smelt a perfume or any scent nicer than his." In another version, "I have never smelt ambergris nor musk nor any other thing sweeter than the scent and the smell of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH."

Abu Juhaifa said: "I took his hand and put it on my head and I found that it was colder than ice and better scented than the musk perfume."[]

Jabir bin Samurah — who was a little child then — said: "When he wiped my cheek, I felt it was cold and scented as if it had been taken out of a shop of a perfume workshop."[]

Anas said, "His sweat was pearl-like." Umm Sulaim said: "His sweat smelt nicer than the nicest perfume."

Jabir said: "Whoever pursues a road that has been trodden by the Messenger of Allâh PBUH, will certainly scent his smell and will be quite sure that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH has already passed it." The Seal of Prophethood, which was similar in size to a pigeon’s egg, was between his shoulders on the left side having spots on it like moles.[]

The Perfection of Soul and Nobility:

The Prophet PBUH was noted for superb eloquence and fluency in Arabic. He was remarkable in position and rank. He was an accurate, unpretending straightforward speaker. He was well-versed in Arabic and quite familiar with the dialects and accents of every tribe. He spoke with his entertainers using their own accents and dialects. He mastered and was quite eloquent at both bedouin and town speech. So he had the strength and eloquence of bedouin language as well as the clarity and the decorated splendid speech of town. Above all, there was the assistance of Allâh embodied in the revealed verses of the Qur’ân.

His stamina, endurance and forgiveness — out of a commanding position — his patience and standing what he detested — these were all talents, attributes and qualities Allâh Himself had brought him on. Even wise men have their flaws, but the Messenger of Allâh PBUH, unlike everybody, the more he was hurt or injured, the more clement and patient he became. The more insolence an ignorant anybody exercised against him the more enduring he became.

‘Aishah said:

"The Messenger of Allâh PBUH, whenever he is given the opportunity to choose between two affairs, he always chooses the easiest and the most convenient. But if he is certain that it is sinful, he will be as far as he could from it. He has never avenged himself; but when the sanctity of Allâh is violated he would. That would be for Allâh’s not for himself. He is the last one to get angry and the first to be satisfied. His hospitality and generosity were matchless. His gifts and endowments manifest a man who does not fear poverty."[]

Ibn‘Abbas said: "The Prophet PBUH was the most generous. He is usually most generous of all times in Ramadan, the times at which the angel Gabriel - peace be upon him - comes to see him. Gabriel used to visit him every night of Ramadan and review the Qur’ân with him. Verily the Messenger of Allâh PBUH is more generous at giving bounty or charity than the blowing wind."

Jabir said:

"The Prophet PBUH would never deny anything he was asked for."[]

His courage, his succour and his might are distinguishable. He was the most courageous. He witnessed awkward and difficult times and stoodfast at them. More than once brave men and daring ones fled away leaving him alone; yet he stood with full composure facing the enemy without turning his back. All brave men must have experienced fleeing once or have been driven off the battlefield at a round at a time except the Prophet PBUH. ‘Ali said: "Whenever the fight grew fierce and the eyes of fighters went red, we used to resort to the Prophet PBUH for succour. He was always the closest to the enemy."[]

Anas said: "One night the people of Madinah felt alarmed. People went out hurriedly towards the source of sound, but the Prophet PBUH had already gone ahead of them. He was on the horseback of Abu Talhah which had no saddle over it, and a sword was slung round his neck, and said to them: ‘There was nothing to be afraid for.’"[]

He was the most modest and the first one to cast his eyes down. Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: "He was shier than a virgin in her boudoir. When he hates a thing we read it on his face.[] He does not stare at anybody’s face. He always casts his eyes down. He looks at the ground more than he looks sky-wards. His utmost looks at people are glances. He is willingly and modestly obeyed by everybody. He would never name a person whom he had heard ill-news about — which he hated. Instead he would say: ‘Why do certain people do so....’"

Al-Farazdaq verse of poem fits him very much and the best one to be said of:

• "He casts his eyes modestly but the eyes of others are cast down due to his solemnity, and words issue out of his mouth only while he is smiling."

The Prophet PBUH is the most just, the most decent, the most truthful at speech, and the honestest of all. Those who have exchanged speech with him, and even his enemies, acknowledge his noble qualities. Even before the Prophethood he was nicknamed Al-Ameen (i.e. the truthful, the truthworthy). Even then — in Al-Jahiliyah — they used to turn to him for judgement and consultation. In a version by At-Tirmidhi, he says that ‘Ali had said that he had been told by Abu Jahl that he (Abu Jahl) said to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH: "We do not call you a liar; but we do not have faith in what you have brought."[] In His Book, Allâh, the Exalted, said about them:

• "It is not you that they deny, but it is the Verses (the Qur’ân) of Allâh that the Zalimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) deny." [6:33]

Even when Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan: "Have you ever accused him of lying before the ministry of Prophethood?" Abu Sufyan said: "No."

He was most modest and far from being arrogant or proud. He forbade people to stand up at his presence as other people usually do for their kings.

Visiting the poor, the needy and entertaining them are some of his habits. If a slave invited him, he would accept the invitation. He always sat among his friends as if he were an ordinary person of them. ‘Aishah said that he used to repair his shoes, sew or mend his dress and to do what ordinary men did in their houses. After all, he was a human being like others. He used to check his dress (lest it has some insects on). Milking the she-sheep and catering for himself were some of his normal jobs.[]

The Prophet PBUH was the most truthful to his pledges, and it is one of his qualities to establish good and steady relationship with his relatives — ‘Silat-Ar-Rahim’. He is the most merciful, gentle and amiable to all people. His way of living is the simplest one. Ill-manners and indecency are two qualities completely alien to him. He was decent, and did not call anybody names. He was not the sort of person who cursed or made noise in the streets. He did not exchange offences with others. He pushed back an offence or an error by forgiveness and overlooking. Nobody was allowed to walk behind him (i.e. as a bodyguard). He did not feel himself superior to others not even to his slaves (men or women) as far as food or clothes were concerned.

Whoever served him should be served by him too. ‘Ugh’ (an utterance of complaint) is a word that had never been said by him to his servant; nor was his servant blamed for doing a thing or leaving it undone. Loving the poor and the needy and entertaining them or participating in their funerals were things the Prophet PBUH always observed. He never contempted or disgraced a poor man for his poverty. Once he was travelling with his Companions and when it was time to have food prepared, he asked them to slaughter a she-sheep. A man said: I will slaughter it, another one said: I will skin it out. A third said: I will cook it. So the Messenger of Allâh PBUH said: I will collect wood for fire. They said: "No. We will suffice you that work." "I know that you can do it for me, but I hate to be privileged. Allâh hates to see a slave of his privileged to others." So he went and collected fire-wood.[]

Let us have some of the description of Hind bin Abi Halah: "The Messenger of Allâh PBUH was continually sad, thinking perpetually. He had no rest (i.e. for long). He only spoke when it was necessary. He would remain silent for a long time and whenever he spoke, he would end his talk with his jawbone but not out of the corners of his mouth, i.e. (snobbishly). His speech was inclusive. He spoke inclusively and decisively. It was not excessive nor was it short of meaning. It was amiable. It was in no way hard discoroning. He glorified the bounty of Allâh; even if it were little. If he had no liking for someone’s food, he would neither praise nor criticize.

He was always in full control of his temper and he would never get seemed angry unless it was necessary. He never got angry for himself nor did he avenge himself. It was for Allâh’s sanctity and religion that he always seemed angry.

When he pointed at a thing he would do so with his full hand-palm, and he would turn it round to show surprise. If he were angry he would turn both his body and face aside. When he was pleased, he cast his eyes down. His laughter was mostly smiling. It was then that his teeth which were like hail-stones were revealed.

He never spoke unless it was something closely relevant to him. He confirmed the brotherhood relationship among his Companions; and thus he made them intimate and did not separate them or implant enmity among them. Those who were honourable with their peoples, were honoured and respected by him and were assigned rulers over their own peoples. His cheerfulness was never withdrawn at anyone’s face; even at those whom he warned his people from or those whom he himself was on the alert of. He visited friends and inquired about people’s affairs. He confirmed what was right and criticized the awful and tried to undermine it. He was moderate in all affairs. He was equal to others and was not privileged. He would never act heedlessly, lest the others should get heedless. Each situation was dealt with in its proper due.

Righteousness was his target; so he was never short of it nor indifferent to it. People who sat next to him were the best of their people and the best of them all were — for him — those who provided common consultations. For him, the greatest ones and the highest in ranks were the best at providing comfort and co-ordination and succour. Remembrance (of Allâh) was a thing he aimed at and established whenever he sat down or stands up. No certain position was assigned for him to sit on. He sits at the end of the group, seated next to the last sitter in the place. He ordered people to do the same. He entertained his participiants in social gatherings alike so that the one addressed would think that there was no one honoured by the Prophet PBUH but himself. He whoever sat next to him or interrupted him in order to ask for his advice about an affair of his, would be the first to start the talk and the one to end it. The Prophet PBUH would listen to him patiently till he ended his speech. He never denied a request to anyone, if unapproachable, then few gratifying words would work, instead.

His magnanimity, broad mindedness his tolerance could embrace all people and entitled him to be regarded as father for them all. In justice, all of them were almost equal. Nobody was better than another except on the criterion of Allâh fearing. A favoured one, to him, was the most Allâh fearing. His assembly was a meeting of clemency, timidness, patience and honesty. Voices were not raised in rows or riots. Inviolable things were never violable. Fearing Allâh and worship were their means to sympathy and compassion. They used to esteem the old and have mercy on the young. They assisted the needy and entertained strangers.

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH was always cheerful, easy, pleasant-tempered and lenient. He was never rude or rough nor clamorous or indecent. He was neither a reproacher nor a praiser. He overlooked what he did not desire, yet you would never despair of him. Three qualities he disposed of: hypocrisy, excessiveness, and what was none of his concern. People did not fear him in three areas: — for they were not qualities or habits of his —: He never disparaged, or reproached nor did he seek the defects or shortages of others. He only spoke things whose reward was Divinely desirable. When he spoke, his listeners would attentively listen casting down their heads. They only spoke when he was silent. They did not have disputes or arguments about who was to talk. He who talked in his presence would be listened to by everybody till he finished his talk. Their talk would be about the topic discussed or delivered by their first speaker. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH used to laugh at what they laughed at and admired what they used to admire. He would always show patience with a stranger’s harshness at talk. He used to say:

• "When you see a person seeking an object earnestly, assist him to get his need. And never ask for a reward except from the reward-Giver, i.e. Allâh."[]

Kharijah bin Zaid said: "The Prophet PBUH was the most honoured among the people with whom he sat. His limbs could hardly be seen. He was often silent and rarely talked when speech was not a necessity. He turned away from those whose speech was rude or impolite. His laughter was no more than a smile. His speech, which was decisive, it was neither excessive nor incomplete. Out of reverence and esteem and following the example of their Prophet PBUH, the Companions’ laughter at his presence — was smiling, as well."[]

On the whole the Prophet PBUH was ornamented with peerless attributes of perfection. No wonder to be like that for he was brought up, educated and taught (the Qur’ân) by Allâh. He was even praised by Allâh:

• "And verily, you (O Muhammad PBUH) are on an exalted standard of character." [68:4]

Those were the attributes and qualities that the Prophet PBUH enjoyed which made the hearts of souls of the people close to him, draw near to him and love him. Those traits made him so popular that the restraint and enmity of his people grew less and they started to embrace Islam in large crowds.

This description is in fact no more than a rapid review or rather short brief lines of Muhammad’s PBUH aspects of full perfection. Trying to encompass the whole perfect picture of the Prophet PBUH. No one can ever claim to be possessed of full knowledge or complete mastery of the great attributes of the greatest man in this universe. No one can ever give this man, the top of perfection, his due descrpition. He was a man who always sought Allâh’s light, to such an extent that he was wholly imbued with the Qur’ânic approach.

• O Allâh! send your blessings (and the Holy Words of Yours) upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You have send blessings upon Ibrâhim and the family of Ibrâhim. You are worthy of all praise, All Glorious.

O Allâh! bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You have already blessed Ibrâhim and the family of Ibrâhim. You are worthy of all praise, All Glorious.

The Prophetic Household

The Prophetic Household

1. Khadijah Bint Khuwailid: In Makkah — prior to Hijra — the Prophet’s household comprised him PBUH and his wife Khadijah bint Khuwailid. He was twenty-five and she was forty when they got married. She was the first woman he married. She was the only wife he had till she died. He had sons and daughters with her. None of their sons lived long. They all died. Their daughters were Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah.

Zainab was married to her maternal cousin Abu Al-‘As bin Al-Rabi‘ and that was before Al-Hijra. Ruqaiya and Umm Kulthum were both married to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan - may Allah be pleased with him - successively (i.e. he married one after the death of her sister). Fatimah was married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib; and that was in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The sons and daughters that Fatimah and ‘Ali had were Al-Hasan, Al-Husain, Zainab and Umm Kulthum.

It is well-known that the Prophet PBUH was exceptionally authorized to have more than four wives for various reasons. The wives he married were thirteen. Nine of them outlived him. Two died in his lifetime: Khadijah and the Mother of the poor (Umm Al-Masakeen) — Zainab bint Khuzaima, besides two others with whom he did not consummate his marriage.

2. Sawdah bint Zam‘a: He married her in Shawwal, in the tenth year of Prophethood, a few days after the death of Khadijah. Prior to that, she was married to a paternal cousin of hers called As-Sakran bin ‘Amr.

3. ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr: He married her in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra. She was six years old when he married her. However, he did not consummate the marriage with her till Shawwal seven months after Al-Hijra, and that was in Madinah. She was nine then. She was the only virgin he married, and the most beloved creature to him. As a woman she was the most learnèd woman in jurisprudence.

4. Hafsah bint ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: She was Aiyim (i.e. husbandless). Her ex-husband was Khunais bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH married her in the third year of Al-Hijra.

5. Zainab bint Khuzaimah: She was from Bani Hilal bin ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a. Was nicknamed Umm Al-Masakeen, because of her kindness and care towards them. She used to be the wife of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, who was martyred at Uhud, was married to the Prophet PBUH in the fourth year of Al-Hijra, but she died two or three months after her marriage to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH.

6. Umm Salamah Hind bint Abi Omaiyah: She used to be the wife of Abu Salamah, who died in Jumada Al-Akhir, in the fourth year of Al-Hijra. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH married her in Shawwal of the same year.

7. Zainab bint Jahsh bin Riyab: She was from Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah and was the Messenger’s paternal cousin. She was married to Zaid bin Haritha — who was then considered son of the Prophet PBUH. However, Zaid divorced her. Allâh sent down some Qur’ânic verses with this respect:

"So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e., divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage." [33:37]

About her, Allâh has sent down some verses of Al-Ahzab Chapter that discussed the adoption of children in detail — anyway we will discuss this later. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH married her in Dhul-Qa‘dah, the fifth year of Al-Hijra.

8. Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith: Al-Harith was the head of Bani Al-Mustaliq of Khuza‘ah. Juwairiyah was among the booty that fell to the Muslims from Bani Al-Mustaliq. She was a portion of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas’ share. He made her a covenant to set her free at a certain time. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH accomplished the covenant and married her in Sha‘ban in the sixth year of Al-Hijra.

9. Umm Habibah: Ramlah, the daughter of Abu Sufyan. She was married to ‘Ubaidullah bin Jahsh. She migrated with him to Abyssinia (Ethiopia). When ‘Ubaidullah apostatized and became a Christian, she stoodfast to her religion and refused to convert. However ‘Ubaidullah died there in Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The Messenger of Allâh PBUH dispatched ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damri with a letter to Negus, the king, asking him for Umm Habibah’s hand — that was in Muharram, in the seventh year of Al-Hijra. Negus agreed and sent her to the Prophet PBUH in the company of Sharhabeel bin Hasnah.

10. Safiyah bint Huyai bin Akhtab: From the Children of Israel, she was among the booty taken at Khaibar battle. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH took her for himself. He set her free and married her after that conquest in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.

11. Maimunah bint Al-Harith: The daughter of Al-Harith, and the sister of Umm Al-Fadl Lubabah bint Al-Harith. The Prophet PBUH married her after the Compensatory ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). That was in Dhul-Qa‘dah in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.

Those were the eleven women that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH had married and consummated marriage with them. He outlived two of them — Khadijah and Zainab, the Umm Al-Masakeen. Whereas the other nine wives outlived him.

The two wives that he did not consummate marriage with were, one from Bani Kilab and the other from Kindah and this was the one called Al-Jauniyah.

Besides these, he had two concubines. The first was Mariyah, the Coptic (an Egyptian Christian), a present gift from Al-Muqauqis, vicegerent of Egypt — she gave birth to his son Ibrâhim, who died in Madinah while still a little child, on the 28th or 29th of Shawwal in the year 10 A.H., i.e. 27th January, 632 A.D. The second one was Raihanah bint Zaid An-Nadriyah or Quraziyah, a captive from Bani Quraiza. Some people say she was one of his wives. However, Ibn Al-Qaiyim gives more weight to the first version. Abu ‘Ubaidah spoke of two more concubines, Jameelah, a captive, and another one, a bondwoman granted to him by Zainab bint Jahsh.[]

Whosoever meditates on the life of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH, will conceive that his marriage to this great number of women in the late years of his lifetime, after he had almost spent thirty years of his best days of youth sufficing himself to one old wife — Khadijah and later on to Sawdah, was in no way an overwhelming lustful desire to be satisfied through such a number of wives. These marriages were in fact motivated by aims and purposes much more glorious and greater than what normal marriages usually aim at.

The tendency of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH towards establishing a relationship by marriage with both Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and his marriage to ‘Aishah and Hafsah — and getting his daughter Fatimah married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, and the marriage of his two daughters, Ruqaiyah and Umm Kulthum to ‘Uthman — indicate clearly that he aimed at confirming the relationship among the four men — whose sacrifices and great achievements in the cause of Islam are well-known.

Besides this, there was that tradition of the Arabs to honour the in-law relations. For them a son or a daughter-in-law was a means by which they sought the consolidation of relationship and affection with various phratries. Hostility and fights against alliances and affinities would bring an unforgettable shame, disgrace and degradation to them.

By marrying the Mothers of believers, the Prophet PBUH wanted to demolish or break down the Arab tribes’ enmity to Islam and extinguish their intense hatred. Umm Salamah was from Bani Makhzum — the clan of Abu Jahl and Khalid bin Al-Waleed. Her marriage to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH produced good results. Khalid’s deliberately undecisive attitude at Uhud — for instance — was due to the Messenger’s marriage to Umm Salamah. Khalid went even further than that, in a short time he willingly became a keen obedient Muslim.

After the Messenger of Allâh’s marriage to Umm Habibah, Abu Sufyan, her father, did not encounter him with any sort of hostility. Similarly his marriage to Juwairiyah and Safiyah made the two tribes stop all sorts of provocation, aggression or hostility against Islam. Better still, Juwairiyah, herself, was one of the greatest sources of blessing to her own people. On the occasion of her marriage to the Prophet PBUH , his Companions set a hundred families of her people free. They said: "It is for their affinity with the Messenger of Allâh PBUH." No need to say what great good impression this gratitude had on everybody’s soul. One of the greatest motives of all is Allâh’s bidding his Prophet to educate and purify the souls of people who had known nothing whatsoever about courtesy, education and culture. He had to teach them to comply with the necessities of civilization and to contribute to the solidification and the establishment of a new Islamic society.

An essential fundamental rule of the Muslim society is to prohibit mixing of men and women. Providing direct education for women, though highly compelling, is impossible in the light of this Islamic norm. Therefore, the Prophet PBUH had to select some women of different ages and talents, and indoctrinate them systematically in order to educate she-bedouins and townswomen, old and young, and thus furnish them with the instruments of propagating the true faith. The Mothers of believers (i.e. wives of the Prophet PBUH) were in such a convenient position that they could convey the state of the Prophet PBUH and his affairs to people (men and women). Being educated and taught the teachings and rules of Islam, his wives, especially those who outlived him, played a very important role in conveying Prophetic traditions Ahadith to the Muslims. ‘Aishah, for instance, related a large number of the Prophet’s deeds and statements.

His marriage to his paternal cousin Zainab bint Jahsh was a peculiar case which aimed at eradicating a deeply rooted pre-Islamic tradition — i.e. the adoption of children. In Al-Jahiliyah the Arabs used to consider an adopted person exactly like a real son or daughter as far as rights and sanctities are concerned. That Jahiliyah tradition had been so deeply rooted in their hearts that it was not easy to remove or uproot it. This tradition in fact affronts the basic principles of Islam; especially those concerned with marriage, divorce and inheritance and some other cases, and brought about lots of corruptions and indecencies. Naturally Islam stands against such deeds, and attempts to remove them from the Islamic society.

For the eradication of this tradition, Allâh, the Exalted, bid His Messenger PBUH to marry his cousin Zainab bint Jahsh, who was an ex-wife to Zaid. She was at variance with Zaid to an extent that he intended to divorce her — that was at the time when the Confederates (Al-Ahzab) were making an evil alliance against the Messenger of Allâh PBUH and against the Muslims. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH feared that the hypocrites, the idolaters, and the Jews would make a propaganda out of it and try to influence some Muslims of weak hearts. That was why he urged Zaid not to divorce her, in order not to get involved into that trial.

Undoubtedly this hesitation and partiality were alien to the character of the Prophet PBUH . They did not apply to the power of determination and will with which he had been sent. Allâh, the Exalted, blamed him for that by saying:

• "And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin Haritha may Allah be pleased with him - — the freed slave of the Prophet PBUH ) on whom Allâh has bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad PBUH too) have done favour (by manumitting him), ‘Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allâh.’ But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allâh has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allâh will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e. Muhammad PBUH married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allâh had a better right that you should fear him." [33:37]

Finally Zaid divorced Zainab and the Messenger of Allâh PBUH married her at the time he laid siege to Bani Quraiza. That was after she had finished her Iddat (i.e. period during which a widow or a divorcee may not remarry). Allâh Himself had already ordained it, and so gave him no other alternative. Allâh had even started the marriage Himself by saying:

• "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)." [33:37]

And that was in order to break down the tradition of child adoption in practice after He had done it in words:

• "Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just near Allâh." [33:5]

"Muhammad (PBUH) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allâh, and the last (end) of the Prophets." [33:40]

Lots of deeply-rooted traditions cannot be uprooted or demolished or even adjusted by mere words. They must be matched and associated with the action of the advocate of the Message himself.

This could be perceived through the deeds practised by the Muslims at Al-Hudaibiyah ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage) during which ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ud Al-Thaqafi saw certain Muslims tend to pick up any expectoration that fell down from the Prophet PBUH . He also saw them race to the water of his ablution and they almost quarrelled for it. There were others who competed to pledge allegiance to death and some others pledged not to flee from (the battlefield). Among those people, were eminent Companions like ‘Umar and Abu Bakr, who although dedicated all their lives to the Prophet PBUH and to the cause of Islam, but refused to carry out the Messenger’s ordres with respect to slaughtering sacrificial animals after the ratification of Al-Hudaibiyah Peace Treaty, the thing that perturbed and caused the Prophet PBUH to feel anxious. However, when Umm Salamah - may Allah be pleased with her - advised that he take the initiative and sacrifice his animals, his followers raced to follow his example; a clear evidence in support of the saying: Actions speak louder than words, in the process of exterminating a deeply-established tradition.

Hypocrites aroused a lot of suspicions and made a broad false propaganda against that marriage. Their acts and talks about that marriage had ill-effects on those Muslims whose Faith was still weak, particularly that Zainab was the fifth wife — and the Noble Qur’ân limited the number up to four only; Zaid was traditionally his son, and so a father marrying his son’s divorcee was a heinous sin in the eyes of the Arabians.

Al-Ahzab Surah was revealed to shed full light on the two issues, i.e. Islam does not recognize adoption of children, and the Prophet PBUH is given (by Allâh) more freedom as regards the number of wives he can hold than other Muslims in order to achieve noble and honourable purposes.

However, the treatment of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH to his wives was of honourable, noble, and superb nature. His wives were on tops in respect of honour, satisfaction, patience, modesty, and service (that is to say the performance of housework and marriage duties). Although the Messenger’s house-life was hard and unbearable, none of his wives complained. Anas said about the Prophet’s life: "According to my knowledge, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH has never tasted a thin flattened loaf in all his lifetime, nor has he ever seen with his own eyes roasted mutton."[]

‘Aishah said: "Over two months have elapsed — during which we have seen three crescents — and yet no fire has been kindled in the houses of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH (i.e. they did not cook food)." "What did you eat to sustain yourselves?" ‘Urwah asked. She said "The two blacks: dates and water"[]. Lots of information about the hard life of the Prophet PBUH were told.

In spite of these hardships, straits and adversity of life in the house of the Prophet PBUH , none of his wives uttered a word of complaint worthy of reproach — but once. This exception was required by human instinctive inclinations. However, it was not so important and consequently it did not require the decree of a legislative rule. Allâh has given them an opportunity to choose between two things, as clearly stated in the following verses:

• "O Prophet (Muhammad PBUH)! Say to your wives: ‘If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, — then come! I will make a provision for you and set you free in a handsome manner (divorce). But if you desire Allâh and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, then verily, Allâh has prepared for Al-Muhsinat (good doers) amongst you an enormous reward.’" [33:28,29]

They were so noble and honest that none of them preferred ‘the life of this world and its glitter’ to the abode in the Hereafter.

Although they were many in number, nothing of the dispute occurrences that normally happen among co-wives, took place in their houses. Very few cases could be the only exception; but they were quite normal. Allâh reproached them for that, so they ceased to do such a thing. This incident is mentioned in At-Tahreem Chapter:

• "O Prophet! Why do you ban (for yourself) that which Allâh has made lawful to you …" [66:1] (to the end of the fifth verse).

Discussing polygamy — in my opinion — is not a necessity; since a person who is familiar with the Europeans, and indecent practices, sufferings, wickedness, their sorrows and distresses, the horrible crimes they commit in this respect as well as the trials, the disasters that they are involved in, and which emanate directly from their disregard of the principle of polygamy form a good reason (to justify the soundness of polygamy). The distorted picture of life in Europe with the ill-practices featuring it, could truthfully justify the existence and practice of polygamy. In this, there are Divine signs for all people possessed of lucid mind.

The Journey to Allâh, the Sublime

Symptoms of Farewell:

When the Call to Islam grew complete and the new faith dominated the whole situation. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH started to develop certain symptoms that bespoke of leave-taking. They could be perceived through his statements and deeds:

• In Ramadan in the tenth year of Al-Hijra he secluded himself for twenty days in contrast to ten, previously.

• The archangel Gabriel reviewed the Qur’ân twice with him.

• His words in the Farewell Pilgrimage (i.e. Al-Wida‘):

"I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year."

• The revelation of An-Nasr Chapter amid At-Tashreeq Days. So when it was sent down on him, he realized that it was the parting time and that Surah was an announcement of his approaching death.

• On the early days of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, the Prophet PBUH went out to Uhud and observed a farewell prayer to the martyrs. It looked like saying goodbye to both the dead and the living alike. He then ascended the pulpit and addressed the people saying:

• "I am to precede you and I have been made witness upon you. By Allâh, you will meet me at the ‘Fountain’ very soon. I have been given the keys of worldly treasures. By Allâh, I do not fear for you that you will turn polytheists after me. But I do fear that acquisition of worldly riches should entice you to strike one another’s neck."[]

• One day, at midnight he went to Al-Baqee‘ cemetry, and implored Allâh to forgive the martyrs of Islam. He said: "Peace be upon you tomb-dwellers! May that morning that dawns upon you be more relieving than that which dawn upon the living. Afflictions are approaching them like cloudy lumps of a dark night — the last of which follows the first. The last one is bearing more evil than the first." He comforted them saying: "We will follow you."

The Start of the Disease:

On Monday the twenty-ninth of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, he participated in funeral rites in Al-Baqee‘. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over his headband.

He led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days though he was sick. The total number of his sick days were either thirteen or fourteen.

The Last Week:

When his sickness grew severe he asked his wives: "Where shall I stay tomorrow?" "Where shall I stay?" They understood what he wanted. So they allowed him to stay wherever he wished. He moved to ‘Aishah’s room leaning — while he was walking — on Al-Fadl bin Al-‘Abbas and ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. Head banded as he was, he dragged his feet till he came into her abode. It was there that he spent the last week of his life.

During that period, ‘Aishah used to recite Al-Mu‘awwidhat (Chapters 113 and 114 of the Qur’ân) and other supplications which he had already taught her.

Five days before death:

On Wednesday, five days before he died the Prophet’s temperature rose so high signalling the severeness of his disease. He fainted and suffered from pain. "Pour out on me seven Qirab (water skin pots) of various water wells so that I may go out to meet people and talk to them." So they seated him in a container (usually used for washing) and poured out water on him till he said: "That is enough. That is enough."

Then he felt well enough to enter the Mosque. He entered it band-headed, sat on the pulpit and made a speech to the people who were gathering together around him. He said:

• "The curse of Allâh falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have made their Prophets’ tombs places of worship."[]

Then he said:

• "Do not make my tomb a worshipped idol."[]

Then he offered himself and invited the people to repay any injuries he might have inflicted on them, saying:

• "He whom I have ever lashed his back, I offer him my back so that he may avenge himself on me. He whom I have ever blasphemed his honour, here I am offering my honour so that he may avenge himself."

Then he descended, and performed the noon prayer. Again he returned to the pulpit and sat on it. He resumed his first speech about enmity and some other things.

A man then said: "You owe me three Dirhams." The Prophet PBUH said: "Fadl, pay him the money." He went on saying:

• "I admonish you to be good to Al-Ansar (the Helpers). They are my family and with them I found shelter. They have acquitted themselves credibly of the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have to do. You should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that they have shown, and should overlook their faults."

In another version:

• "The number of believers would increase, but the number of Helpers would decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. So he who from among you occupies a position of responsibility and is powerful enough to do harm or good to the people, he should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that these benefactors have shown and overlook their faults."[]

And said:

• "Allâh, the Great, has given a slave of His the opportunity to make a choice between whatever he desires of Allâh’s provisions in this world, and what He keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter."

Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: "Upon hearing that, Abu Bakr cried and said: ‘We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ We wondered why Abu Bakr said such a thing. People said: ‘Look at that old man! The Messenger of Allâh PBUH says about a slave of Allâh who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world and the bounty of Allâh in the Hereafter, but he says: We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake!’ It was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH was the slave informed to choose. We also acknowledged that Abu Bakr was the most learned among us."[]

Then the Messenger of Allâh PBUH said:

• "The fellow I feel most secure in his company is Abu Bakr. If I were to make friendship with any other one than Allâh, I would have Abu Bakr a bosom friend of mine. For him I feel affection and brotherhood of Islam. No gate shall be kept open in the Mosque except that of Abu Bakr’s."[]

Four days before his death:

On Thursday, four days before the death of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH , he said to people — though he was suffering from a severe pain: "Come here. I will cause you to write something so that you will never fall into error." Upon this ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab said: "The Prophet of Allâh PBUH is suffering from acute pain and you have the Qur’ân with you; the Book of Allâh is sufficient unto you." Others however wanted the writing to be made. When Muhammad PBUH heard them debating over it, he ordered them to go away and leave him alone.[]

That day he recommended three things:

1. Jews, Christians and polytheists should be expelled out of Arabia.

2. He recommended that delegations should be honoured and entertained, in a way similar to the one he used to do.

3. As for the third — the narrator said that he had forgotten it. It could have been adherence to the Holy Book and the Sunnah. It was likely to be the accomplishment and the mobilization of Osamah’s army, or it could have been performance of prayers and being attentive to slaves.

In spite of the strain of disease and suffering from pain, the Prophet PBUH used to lead all the prayers till that Thursday — four days before he died. On that day he led the sunset prayer and recited:

• "By the winds (or angels or the Messengers of Allâh) sent forth one after another." [77:1][]

In the evening he grew so sick that he could not overcome the strain of disease or go out to enter the Mosque. ‘Aishah said: The Prophet PBUH asked: "Have the people performed the prayer?" "No. They haven’t. They are waiting for you." "Put some water in the washing pot." Said he.

We did what he ordered. So he washed and wanted to stand up, but he fainted. When he came round he asked again "Have the people prayed?" Then the same sequence of events took place again and again for the second and the third times from the time he washed to the time he fainted after his attempts to stand up. Therefore he sent to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer himself. Abu Bakr then led the prayer during those days.[]
They were seventeen prayers in the lifetime of Muhammad PBUH.

Three or four times ‘Aishah talked to the Prophet PBUH to exempt Abu Bakr from leadership in prayer lest people should despair of him, but he refused and said:

• "You (women) are like the women who tried to entice Joseph (Yusuf) into immorality. Convey my request to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer."

A Day or Two prior to Death:

On Saturday or on Sunday, the Prophet PBUH felt that he was well enough to perform the prayer; so he went out leaning on two men in order to perform the noon prayer. Abu Bakr, who was then about to lead the prayer withdrew when he saw him coming; but the Prophet PBUH made him a gesture to stay where he was and said: "Seat me next to him." They seated him on the left hand side of Abu Bakr. The Prophet PBUH led the prayer, and Abu Bakr followed him and raised his voice at every ‘Allâhu Akbar’ (i.e. Allâh is the Greatest) the Prophet PBUH said, so that the people may hear clearly.[]

A Day before his Death:

On Sunday, a day before he died, the Prophet PBUH set his slaves free, paid as a charity the seven Dinars he owned and gave his weapons as a present to the Muslims. So when night fell ‘Aishah had to borrow some oil from her neighbour to light her oil-lantern.

Even his armour was mortgaged as a security with a Jew for thirty Sa‘ (a cubic measure) of barley.

The Last Day Alive:

In a narration by Anas bin Malik, he said: "While the Muslims were performing the dawn prayer on Monday — led by Abu Bakr, they were surprised to see the Messenger of Allâh PBUH raising the curtain of ‘Aishah’s room.

He looked at them while they were praying aligned properly and smiled cheerfully. Seeing him, Abu Bakr withdrew to join the lines and give way to him to lead the prayer. For he thought that the Prophet PBUH wanted to go out and pray." Anas said: "The Muslims, who were praying, were so delighted that they were almost too enraptured at their prayers. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH made them a gesture to continue their prayer, went into the room and drew down the curtain."[]

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH did not live for the next prayer time.

When it was daytime, the Prophet PBUH called Fatimah and told her something in a secret voice that made her cry. Then he whispered to her something else which made her laugh. ‘Aishah enquired from her after the Prophet’s death, as to this weeping and laughing to which Fatimah replied: "The first time he disclosed to me that he would not recover from his illness and I wept. Then he told me that I would be the first of his family to join him, so I laughed."[]

He gave Fatimah glad tidings that she would become the lady of all women of the world.[]

Fatimah witnessed the great pain that afflicted her father. So she said: "What great pain my father is in!". To these words, the Prophet PBUH remarked:

• "He will not suffer any more when today is over."[]

He asked that Al-Hasan and Al-Husain be brought to him. He kissed them and recommended that they be looked after. He asked to see his wives. They were brought to him. He preached them and told them to remember Allâh. Pain grew so much severe that the trace of poison he had at Khaibar came to light. It was so sore that he said to ‘Aishah: "I still feel the painful effect of that food I tasted at Khaibar. I feel as if death is approaching."[] He ordered the people to perform the prayers and be attentive to slaves. He repeated it several times.[]

The Prophet PBUH breathes his Last:

When the pangs of death started, ‘Aishah leant him against her. She used to say: One of Allâh’s bounties upon me is that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH died in my house, while I am still alive. He died between my chest and neck while he was leaning against me. Allâh has mixed his saliva with mine at his death. For ‘Abdur Rahman — the son of Abu Bakr — came in with a Siwak (i.e. the root of a desert plant used for brushing teeth) in his hand, while I was leaning the Messenger of Allâh PBUH against me.

I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak, so I asked him — for I knew that he wanted it — "Would you like me to take it for you?" He nodded in agreement. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him "Shall I soften it for you?" He nodded in agreement. So I softened it with my saliva and he passed it (on his teeth).

In another version it is said: "So he brushed (Istanna) his teeth as nice as he could." There was a water container (Rakwa) available at his hand with some water in. He put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said:

• "There is no god but Allâh. Death is full of agonies."[]

As soon as he had finished his Siwak brushing, he raised his hand or his finger up, looked upwards to the ceiling and moved his lips. So ‘Aishah listened to him. She heard him say: "With those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace with the Prophets and the Truthful ones (As-Siddeeqeen), the martyrs and the good doers. O Allâh, forgive me and have mercy upon me and join me to the Companionship on high."[] Then at intervals he uttered these words: "The most exalted Companionship on high.

 To Allâh we turn and to Him we turn back for help and last abode." This event took place at high morning time on Monday, the twelfth of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of Al-Hijrah. He was sixty-three years and four days old when he died.

The Companions’ concern over the Prophet’s Death:

The great (loss) news was soon known by everybody in Madinah. Dark grief spread on all areas and horizons of Madinah. Anas said:

• "I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the Messenger of Allâh PBUH came to us; and I have never witnessed a more awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allâh PBUH died on."[]

When he died, Fatimah said: "O Father, whom his Lord responded to his supplication! O Father, whose abode is Paradise. O Father, whom I announce his death to Gabriel."[]

‘Umar’s Attitude:

‘Umar, who was so stunned that he almost lost consciousness and stood before people addressing them: "Some of the hypocrites claim that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH died. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH did not die, but went to his Lord in the same way as Moses bin ‘Imran did. He stayed away for forty nights, but finally came back though they said he had been dead. By Allâh, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH will come back and he will cut off the hands and legs of those who claim his death."[]

Abu Bakr’s Attitude:

Abu Bakr left his house at As-Sunh and came forth to the Mosque on a mare-back. At the Mosque, he dismounted and entered. He talked to nobody but went on till he entered ‘Aishah’s abode, and went directly to where the Messenger of Allâh PBUH was. The Prophet PBUH was covered with a Yemeni mantle. He uncovered his face and tended down, kissed him and cried. Then he said: "I sacrifice my father and mother for your sake. Allâh, verily, will not cause you to die twice. You have just experienced the death that Allâh had ordained."

Then he went out and found ‘Umar talking to people. He said: "‘Umar, be seated." ‘Umar refused to do so. People parted ‘Umar and came towards Abu Bakr, who started a speech saying:

• "And now, he who worships Muhammad PBUH. Muhammad is dead now. But he who worships Allâh, He is Ever Living and He never dies. Allâh says:

‘Muhammad (PBUH)is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allâh, and Allâh will give reward to those who are grateful.’" [3:144]

Ibn ‘Abbas said: "By Allâh, it sounded as if people had never heard such a Qur’ânic verse till Abu Bakr recited it as a reminder. So people started reciting it till there was no man who did not recite it."

Ibn Al-Musaiyab said that ‘Umar had said: "By Allâh, as soon as I heard Abu Bakr say it, I fell down to the ground. I felt as if my legs had been unable to carry me so I collapsed when I heard him say it. Only then did I realize that Muhammad PBUH had really died."[]

Burial and Farewell Preparations to his Honourable Body:

Dispute about who would succeed him PBUH broke out even before having the Messenger of Allâh’s body prepared for burial. Lots of arguments, discussions, dialogues took place between the Helpers and Emigrants in the roofed passage (portico) of Bani Sa‘ida. Finally they acknowledged Abu Bakr - may Allah be pleased with him - as a caliph. They spent the whole Monday there till it was night.

People were so busy with their arguments that it was late night — just about dawn of Tuesday — yet his blessed body was still lying on his bed covered with an inked-garment. He was locked in the room.

On Tuesday, his body was washed with his clothes on. He was washed by Al-‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Al-Fadl and Qathm — the two sons of Al-‘Abbas, as well as Shaqran — the Messenger’s freed slave, Osamah bin Zaid and Aws bin Khauli. Al-‘Abbas, Al-Fadl and Qathm turned his body round, whereas Osamah and Shaqran poured out water. ‘Ali washed him and Aws leant him against his chest.

They shrouded him in three white Sahooli cotton cloth which had neither a headcloth[] nor a casing and inserted him in.

A sort of disagreement arose with regard to a burial place. Abu Bakr said: "I heard the Messenger of Allâh PBUH say: ‘A dead Prophet is buried where he dies.’ So Abu Talhah lifted the bed on which he died, dug underneath and cut the ground to make the tomb.

People entered the room ten by ten. They prayed for the Prophet PBUH . The first to pray for him were people of his clan. Then the Emigrants, then the Helpers. Women prayed for him after men. The young were the last to pray.

This process took Tuesday long and Wednesday night (i.e. the night which precedes Wednesday morning). ‘Aishah said: "We did not know that the Prophet PBUH was being buried till we heard the sound of tools digging the ground at the depth of Wednesday night."[]

The Last Expeditions

The Last Expeditions

The pride of the Byzantine State made it deny Muslims their right to live. The Byzantine arrogance made them even kill those agents of theirs, who embraced Islam. Killing Farwah bin ‘Amr Al-Judhami, who was their agent on Mu’an, was an evidence of their arrogance.

Due to that arrogance and presumptuousness of the Byzantines, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH started to mobilize a great army in Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra and made it under the command of Osamah bin Zaid bin Haritha with orders to have the horses of Muslims tread on the lands bordering Al-Balqa’ and Ad-Darum of Palestine.

 His aim was to terrorize Byzantines and to implant confidence into the hearts of Arabs who were settled at the borders of the Byzantines. His other purpose was to deliver a message to everybody there, so that no one may dare say that the Church brutality can’t go with impunity; and that Islamization is not synonymous with fear and vulnerability.

The leadership of Osamah was subject to criticism. Because he was still too young, people tarried at joining his expedition. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH addressed people saying:

• "No wonder now you contest his leadership, for you have already contested the ex-leadership of his father. Yes, by Allâh, his father, who was one of the most beloved people to me, was quite efficient for leadership; and this son of his is one of the most beloved individuals to me after his father."[]

So people started tending towards Osamah and joined his army. The number of volunteers in his army was so enormous that they formed such a long queue that they had to descend the escarpment — which was a parasang off Madinah.

The anxiety-provoking news about the Messenger of Allâh’s sickness, however, made the expedition tarry again in order to know what Allâh had willed as regards His Messenger PBUH.

It was Allâh’s Will that Osamah’s expedition would be the first one dispatched during the caliphate of the veracious Abu Bakr.[]

The Farewell Pilgrimage

The Farewell Pilgrimage

After the accomplishment of the Call, the proclamation of the Message and the establishment of a new society on the basis of ‘There is no god but Allâh,’ and on Muhammad’s mission, a secret call uprose in the heart of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH telling him that his stay in the Lower World was about to terminate. That was clear in his talk to Mu‘adh whom he had dispatched to Yemen in the tenth year of Al-Hijra: "O, Mu‘adh! You may not see me after this current year. You may even pass by this very Mosque of mine and my tomb." Upon hearing that Mu‘adh cried for fear that he would part with the Messenger of Allâh PBUH.

Allâh’s care was so bounteous as to let the Prophet PBUH see the fruits of his Call for the sake of which he suffered various sorts of trouble for over twenty years. Those twenty years had elapsed actively. He used to spend his last days meeting, at the outskirts of Makkah, members of tribes and their representatives who used to consult him and learn the laws and legislation of Islam from him, and in return he used to exact their testimony that he had delivered trust and communicated the Message and counselled the people.

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH announced an intention to proceed with this blessed pilgrimage journey himself. Enormous crowds of people came to Madinah, all of whom seek the guidance and Imamate of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH in the pilgrimage (Al-Hajj).[] On a Saturday of the last four days of Dhul-Qa‘dah, the Prophet PBUH started the departure preparations procedure.[]

 He combed his hair, applied some perfume, wore his garment, saddled his camel and set off in the afternoon. He arrived at Dhul-Hulaifa before the afternoon prayer. He performed two Rak‘a and spent the night there. When it was morning he said to his Companions:

• "A comer, sent by my Lord, has called on me tonight and said: ‘Pray in this blessed valley and say: I intend ‘Umrah combined with pilgrimage (‘Umrah into Al-Hajj).[]

Before performing the noon prayer, he bathed for Ihram (ritual consecration), and ‘Aishah - may Allah be pleased with him - perfumed him on both his body and head with her hand with a Dharira (a plant) and with a perfume containing musk. The thick sticky layer of perfume could be seen among his parts of hair and beard. He left it unwashed, wore his loincloth and garment.

 He performed the noon prayer shortened, two Rak‘a. He proclaimed pilgrimage procedure associated with ‘Umrah at his prayer-place. He, then mounted his she-camel ‘Al-Qaswa’, and proclaimed: ‘There is no god but Allâh’. When he moved into the desert, he acclaimed the Name of Allâh.

He proceeded with his journey till he approached Makkah. He spent the night at Dhi Tuwa and entered Makkah after performing the dawn prayer. He had a bath on Sunday morning, the fourth of Dhul-Hijjah the tenth year of Al-Hijra. He spent eight days on the way, which was an average period. As soon as he entered Al-Haram Mosque he circumambulated Al-Ka‘bah and walked to and fro (Sa‘i) between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. He did not finish the Ihram (ritual consecration) because he was Qarin (i.e. intending ‘Umrah and Al-Hajj associated).

He then took Al-Hadi (i.e. the sacrificial animals) in order to slaughter them. He camped on a high place of Makkah — Al-Hajun. As for circumambulation, he performed only that of Al-Hajj (pilgrimage circumambulation).

Those of his Companions who had no Hadi with them to sacrifice, were ordered to observe Ihram (i.e. the state of ritual consecration) into ‘Umrah (i.e. lesser pilgrimage), and circumambulate Al-Ka‘bah and stride ritually to and fro between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. After that they could relieve themselves from Ihram. They, however, showed reluctance to do what they had been told.

Thereupon, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH said: "Had I known beforehand what I knew afterward, I would not bring Hadi, and if I did not have Hadi, I would break Ihram. On hearing these words, his Companions obeyed the orders to the latter.

On the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah — that is the Day of Tarwiyah, he left for Mina where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset, the evening and the dawn prayers. — i.e. five prayers. Then he stayed for a while till the sun rose up then he passed along till he reached ‘Arafah, where there was a tent built for him at Namirah. He sat inside till the sun went down. He ordered that Al-Qaswa’, his she-camel, should be prepared for him. They saddled it and had it ready, so he went down the valley where a hundred thousand and twenty-four or forty-four thousand people gathered round him. There he stood up and delivered the following speech:

• " O people! Listen to what I say. I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year.[] It is unlawful for you to shed the blood of one another or take (unlawfully) the fortunes of one another. They are as unlawful, (Haram) as shedding blood on such a day as today and in such a month as this Haram month and in such a sanctified city as this sacred city (i.e. Makkah and the surrounding areas)."

"Behold! all practices of paganism and ignorance are now under my feet. The blood-revenge of the Days of Ignorance (pre-Islamic time) are remitted. The first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibn Rabi‘a bin Harith who was nursed in the tribe of Sa‘d and whom Hudhail killed. Usury is forbidden, and I make a beginning by remitting the amount of interest which ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib has to receive. Verily, it is remitted entirely."

"O people! Fear Allâh concerning women. Verily you have taken them on the security of Allâh and have made their persons lawful unto you by Words of Allâh! It is incumbent upon them to honour their conjugal rights and, not to commit acts of impropriety which, if they do, you have authority to chastise them, yet not severely. If your wives refrain from impropriety and are faithful to you, clothe and feed them suitably."

"Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah (Traditions) of His Messenger which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray."[]

"O people, I am not succeeded by a Prophet and you are not succeeded by any nation. So I recommend you to worship your Lord, to pray the five prayers, to fast Ramadan and to offer the Zakat (poor-due) of your provision willingly. I recommend you to do the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of your Lord and to obey those who are in charge of you then you will be awarded to enter the Paradise of your Lord."[]

"And if you were asked about me, what wanted you to say?"

They replied:

• "We bear witness that you have conveyed the message and discharged your ministry."

He then raised his forefinger skywards and then moved it down towards people while saying:

• "O Allâh, Bear witness."

He said that phrase thrice.[]

The one who repeated the Prophet’s PBUH statements loudly at ‘Arafat was Rabi‘a bin Omaiyah bin Khalaf.[]

As soon as the Prophet PBUH had accomplished delivering the speech, the following Qur’ânic verse was revealed to him:

• "This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." [5:3]

Upon hearing this verse ‘Umar cried. "What makes you cry?" He was asked. His answer was: "Nothing succeeds perfection but imperfection."[]

Bilal called for prayer after the speech, and then made the second call. The Prophet PBUH performed both of the noon and the afternoon prayers separately, with no prayers in between. He then mounted his she-camel Al-Qaswa’, approached the location of the vigil, directed his face towards Al-Qiblah, kept on standing till sunset when the sky yellow colour vanished a bit and the disc of the sun disappeared. Osamah added that the Prophet PBUH moved onward to Muzdalifa. where he observed the sunset and the evening prayers with one ‘First call’ and two ‘second calls’.

 He did not entertain the Glory of Allâh between the two prayers. Then he lay down till it was dawn prayer time. He performed it with one first call and one second call at almost daybreak time. Mounting on his Al-Qaswa’, he moved towards Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haram. He faced Al-Qiblah and started supplicating:

 "Allâh is the Greatest. There is no god but Allâh." He remained there till it was clear morning and before the sun rose high, he made his way to Mina. He walked a little and threaded the mid-road leading to the big Jamrah where he stopped and pelted seven pebbles at it saying

"Allâh is the Greatest" each time. They were like small pebbles hurled from the bottom of the valley. Then he set off to the sacrificial place, where he sacrificed sixty-three camels with his hands, and asked ‘Ali to slaughter the others, a hundred and thirty-seven altogether. He made ‘Ali share him in Al-Hadi. A piece of meat from each slaughtered animal was ordered to be cooked in a pot and from which both men ate, and drank the soup.

Then the Messenger of Allâh PBUH mounted his she-camel and returned to the House where he observed the noon prayer at Makkah and there he came upon the children of ‘Abdul Muttalib were supplying drinking water to people at Zamzam Well. "Draw up water, children of ‘Abdul Muttalib, I would draw up with you if I were not afraid that people would appropriate this honour after me." They handed him a pail of water and he drank to his fill.[]

At the daytime of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah on the Slaughtering Day (Yaum An-Nahr) The Prophet PBUH delivered another speech. That was at high time morning, while he was mounting a grey mule. ‘Ali conveyed his statements to the people, who were standing or sitting.[] He repeated some of the statements that he had previously said the day before. The two Sheikh (Bukhâri and Muslim) reported a version narrated by Abi Bakrah who said:

• The Prophet PBUH made a speech on Yaum An-Nahr (day of slaughtering) and said:

"Time has grown similar in form and state to the time when Allâh created the heavens and the earth. A year is twelve months. Four of which are Sacred Months (Hurum). Three of the four months are successive. They are Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Al-Muharram. The fourth Month is Rajab Mudar, which comes between Jumada and Sha‘ban."

"What month is this month?" He asked. We said: "Allâh and His Messenger know best of all." He kept silent for a while till we thought he would attach to it a different appellation. "Is it not Dhul-Hijjah?" He wondered. "Yes. It is." We said. Then he asked, "What is this town called?" We said:

"Allâh and His Messenger know best of all." He was silent for a while till we thought he would give it a different name. "Is it not Al-Baldah? (i.e. the town)" asked he. "Yes. It is." We replied. Then he asked again, "What day is it today?" We replied: "Allâh and His Messenger know best of all." Then he kept silent for a while and said wondering: "Is it not ‘An-Nahr’ (i.e. slaughtering) Day?" "Yes. It is." Said we. Then he said:

"(Shedding) the blood of one another and eating or taking one another’s provisions (unwillingly) and your honour are all inviolable (Haram). It is unlawful to violate their holiness. They must be as sacred to one another as this sacred day, in this sacred month, in this sacred town."

"You will go back to be resurrected (after death) to your Lord. There you will be accounted for your deeds. So do not turn into people who go astray and kill one another."

"Have I not delivered the Message (of my Lord)?"

"Yes you have." Said they. "O Allâh! Bear witness! Let him that is present convey it unto him who is absent. For haply, many people to whom the Message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience,." said he.[]

In another version it is said that the Prophet PBUH had said in that very speech:

• "He whoever plunges into misfortune will certainly aggrieve himself. So let no one of you inflict an evil upon his parents. Verily Satan has utterly despaired being worshipped in this country of yours; but he will be obeyed at your committing trivial things you disdain. Satan will be contented with such things."[]

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH spent At-Tashreeq Days (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) in Mina performing the ritual teachings of Islam, remembering Allâh (praying), following the ways of guidance of Ibrahim, wiping out all traces and features or polytheism. On some days of At-Tashreeq he delivered some speeches as well. In a version to Abu Da’ûd with good reference to Sira,’ the daughter of Nabhan; she said: "The Messenger of Allâh PBUH made us a speech at the Ru’us (Heads) Day in which he said: "Is it not this the middle day of At-Tashreeq Days."[]

His speech that day was similar to that of An-Nahr Day’s. It was made after the revelation of Surat An-Nasr.

On the second day of An-Nafr (i.e. Departure) — on the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah, the Prophet PBUH .proceeded with An-Nafr to Mina and stayed at a high place of a mountain side at Bani Kinanah from Al-Abtah. He spent the rest of that day and night there — where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset and the evening prayers.

Then he slept for a short while and mounted leaving for the Ka‘bah. He performed the Farewell Circumambulation (Tawaf Al-Wada‘), after ordering his Companions to do the same thing.

Upon the accomplishment of his religious rituals he quickened his move to the purified Madinah. He went there not to seek rest but to resume the strife and struggle in the way of Allâh.[]

The Success and Impact of the Call

The Success and Impact of the Call

Before we move one more step and meditate on the last days of the Messenger of Allâh’s life, we ought to cast a quick glance at the great work that was a peculiarity of his. That very peculiarity that made him excel all other Prophets and Messengers and made him so superb that Allâh made him atop the formers and the latters. It was him that was addressed by:

• "O you wrapped in garments (i.e Prophet Muhammad PBUH)! Stand (to pray) all night, except a little." [73:1,2]

And said:

• "O you (Muhammad PBUH) enveloped (in garments). Arise and warn!" [74:1,2]

So he arose and kept on like that for over twenty years. During those years he undertook to carry the burdens of the great expectations on his shoulders for the sake of the whole mankind and humanity, the Faith and Jihad in various fields.

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH undertook the burdens of struggle and Al-Jihad in the conscience of mankind which was then drowning in the illusions of Al-Jahiliyah and its images that were loaded with the ground weights and gravitations.

 He took upon his shoulder to free man’s conscience which was chained with desires and lusts. As soon as he had freed the conscience of his Companions from the burdens and heaps of Al-Jahiliyah and earthly life, he started another battle in another field or rather successive battles against the enemy of Allâh’s Call, and against those who conspired against it.

 It was a battle against those who conspired against the believers and against those who were so careful to tend that pure plant in its implantation before it grew up and stretched its roots in soil and extended its branches up into the air and thus dawned upon other areas. No sooner had he finished the battles in the Arabian Peninsula than the Byzantines began preparations to destroy this new nation on the northern borders.

The first battle — i.e. the battle of conscience — was not over yet. It was in fact a perpetual one. Satan, who was its leader did not spare a moment without exercising his activity in the depth of human conscience. Muhammad PBUH, on the other hand was attending on calling to Allâh’s religion there and he was keen on fighting that perpetual battle in all fields in spite of their hard circumstances and the world’s conspiracy against him. He went on calling effectively and actively surrounded by the believers who were seeking security through ceaseless toil and great patience.

The Companions acted perpetually and patiently by day and they spent the night worshipping their Lord, reciting and memorizing the Qur’ân glorifying and magnifying Allâh and imploring Him by night; all that at the behest of their Lord, the All-Mighty.[]

For over twenty years the Messenger of Allâh PBUH had been leading that progressive steady battle, disregarding any other affairs that kept him off that noble goal. He went on that way till the Islamic Call proved to be successful on a large scale that puzzled all men possessed of good reason.

The Islamic Call eventually prevailed all over Arabia. It removed all traces of Al-Jahiliyah from the horizon of the peninsula. The sick minds of Al-Jahiliyah grew healthy in Islam. They did not only get rid of idol-worship, but they also knocked them down.

 The general atmosphere began to echo "there is no god but Allâh." The calls to prayers were heard five times a day penetrating space and breaking the silence of the dead desert and bringing back life through the new belief. Reciters and memorizers of the Qur’ân set out northwards and southwards reciting verses of the Qur’ân and carrying out Allâh’s injunctions.

Scattered people and tribes were united and man moved from man’s worship of man to man’s worship of Allâh. There were no more oppressors nor oppressed; no masters nor slaves, nor people bound to other people, nor aggressors that would practise aggression. All people were slaves of Allâh. They were beloved brothers obeying Allâh’s rules. Thanks to Allâh they disposed of arrogance and the boastful spirit:

• "An Arab is no better than a non-Arab. In return a non-Arab is no better than an Arab. A red raced man was not better than a black one except in piety. Mankind are all Adam’s children and Adam was created from dust."

Thanks to the Islamic Call, the Arab unity had become a reality, and so was the case with human unity and social justice as far as their earthly and heavenly affairs were concerned. The time course of events had changed, the features on the earth’s surface and the crooked line of history had grown straight and the mentality had been rectified.

The spirit and the corrupted conscience of people, the distorted values and measures of Al-Jahiliyah had overwhelmed the whole world during that period of Al-Jahiliyah. The prevalence of slavery, injustice, extravagant luxury, adultery, depression, deprivity, disbelief, stray from the straight path and darkness; all of those were fait accomplis in spite of the existence of the heavenly religions. The teachings of those religions had grown weak and lost all influence on men’s souls and spirits and became mere lifeless ritual traditions.

When this Call had accomplished its role in human life, it freed mankind’s spirit of superstitions, illusions, white slavery, corruption and man’s worship of man. Islam had freed the human society of filth, dissolution, injustice and tyranny. There were no more social distinctions, nor clergymen’s or governors’ dictatorship. Islam had set up a world built on solid virtuous and clean foundations, it was based on positivity, righteous construction, freedom and renewal. Truth, faith, dignity active steady deeds, the development and improvement of means of living and reclaim of rights were all bases upon which the Islamic state was built.[]

Thanks to these evolutions, Arabia witnessed such an unprecedented blessed resurrection, since construction and establishment found its way to it. Never had its history been so religious, pious and brilliant as it had been during those peculiar days of its life.

The Delegations

The Delegations

The number of delegations listed in Ahl Al-Maghazi were over seventy. Investigating such a large number is not an accessible thing; besides stating them in detail is not of a great benefit. Therefore, I am going to reveal an expose about what is historically wonderful or highly significant. Anyway a reader should always keep in mind that whilst the majority of tribes arrived in Madinah after the conquest, there were also pre-conquest delegations.

1. The delegation of ‘Abdul Qais: This tribe had two arrivals. The first was in the fifth year of Al-Hijra or before that date. Munqidh bin Haiyan, a member of that tribe, used to trade in Madinah. So, as soon as he heard of Islam when he had arrived in it for trading — that was after the migration — he embraced Islam and carried a pledge from the Prophet PBUH to his people who eventually became Muslims too.

Thirteen or fourteen of them came to the Prophet PBUH in one of the Hurum Months. It was then that they asked the Prophet’s advice about the Faith and drinks. Their chief was Al-Ashaj Al-Usri, to whom the Messenger of Allâh PBUH said: "You have two qualities that Allâh likes: They are deliberatenessandclemency."

Their second arrival was in the Year of Delegations. They were forty men. Al-Jarud bin Al-‘Alâ’ Al-‘Abdi, who was Christian but turned to be a good Muslim, was one of that group.[]

2. Daws Delegation: The arrival of this tribe was in the early times of the seventh year and that was when the Messenger of Allâh PBUH was in Khaibar.

 At-Tufail bin ‘Amr Ad-Dawsi, that we have already talked about and explained how he became a Muslim at the time the Messenger of Allâh PBUH was in Makkah. He went back home to his people where he kept calling people to Islam but they tarried till he despaired of them and returned to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH and asked him to invoke Allâh against Daws but the Messenger of Allâh PBUH invoked Allâh to guide Daws.

Later on, Daws embraced Islam. So At-Tufail arrived in Madinah accompanied by seventy or eighty families of his people in the early times of the seventh year of Al-Hijra, at the time that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH was at Khaibar, so he overtook him there.

3. Farwah Bani ‘Amr Al-Judhami’s messenger: Farwah was an Arab leader in the Byzantine army.
He was a Byzantine agent ruler by proxy on the Arabs allied to the Byzantines. His home was at Mu‘an and the surrounding area of Ash-Sham lands. Seeing the stamina and courage of the Muslims he became a Muslim.

The battle of Mu’tah — which took place in the eighth year of Al-Hijra — compelled his admiration. He sent a white mule gift with a messenger of his to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH to inform him of his conversion into Islam.

When the Byzantines learnt of his embracing Islam, they sent him to prison. At first they gave him an opportunity to choose one of the two — "either he defects from Islam or death shall be his punishment." Refusing to defect they crucified him and cut his neck at a water (fountain) called ‘Afra’ in Palestine.[]

4. Sudâ’ Delegation: The arrival of this delegation was after the departure of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH from Al-Ji‘ranah in the eighth year of Al-Hijra. It was because the Messenger of Allâh PBUH had already dispatched a mission that comprised four hundred Muslims and asked them to go to where Sudâ’ was.

Sudâ’ was (a fresh-water fountain) in Yemen. While the mission was camping there at the starting point of a canal. Ziyad bin Al-Harith As-Sudâ’i learned of their stay, so he came to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH and said:

 "I have come to you as a deputy of my people, so tell your army to go back and I guarantee of my people." The army were sent away off the canal. In his turn As-Sudâ’i went back, cherished and urged his people to come and meet the Messenger of Allâh PBUH. Eventually fifteen of them came and pledged allegiance to him as true Muslims. Returning home, they in their turn, urged the rest to be Muslims. Thus Islam spread among them. Later on, a hundred men joined the Messenger of Allâh PBUH in Hajjatul-Wada‘ (Farewell Pilgrimage.)

5. The arrival of Ka‘b bin Zuhair bin Abi Sulma: Ka‘b who was a member of a family of poets, was considered one of the most poetic Arab poets. He used to satirize the Prophet PBUH when he wasn’t a Muslim. In the eighth year of Al-Hijra and at the time that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH had already gone back from At-Ta’if invasion, Bujair bin Zuhair wrote a letter to his brother Ka‘b warning and advising him:

"The Messenger of Allâh (PBUH) had killed some men in Makkah who used to satirize and harm him, and that the other poets who had survived fled in all directions for their lives. So if you want to save your skin, hasten to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH. He never kills those who resort to him as repentant.

 If you refuse to do as I tell, it is up to you to try to save your skin by any means." The two brothers corresponded with one another for a long time till Ka‘b was awkward and felt as if the earth had constrained on him. Arriving in Madinah, he stayed at a man’s house from Juhainah as a guest.

 They performed the dawn prayer together; but when he was about to leave, the man suggested that he go to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH. He went there, sat by him, put his hand in his. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH who had never seen Ka‘b before, did not recognize him. Ka‘b then said:

"O, Messenger of Allâh! Ka‘b bin Zuhair has come to you as a repentant Muslim; will he be secure and forgiven if I fetch him?" The Messenger of Allâh PBUH said, "Yes." "I am Ka‘b bin Zuhair," said he. Upon hearing that one of the Helpers rose to his feet and asked the Messenger’s allowance to cut his throat.

"Leave him alone!" Said the Prophet PBUH , "He has become a repentant Muslim after his disposal of the past." Ka‘b then recited his well-known poem "Su‘ad appeared..." in which he praised the Prophet PBUH , thanked him and apologized for the wrongs he had done. He acknowledged Muhammad’s mission. Both Emigrants and Helpers were spoken of in this poem but differently.

He praised the Emigrants but criticized the Helpers, for one of them demanded a Prophet’s permission to kill him. Later on Ka‘b tried to compensate for that by praising the Helpers too but that was in another poem.

6. ‘Udharah Delegation: This delegation which consisted of twelve men, had arrived in Madinah in Safar, the ninth year of Al-Hijra. They spent three days there. One of them was Hamza bin An-Nu‘man. When they were asked who they were, they said "We are Bani ‘Udharah, the foster brothers of Qusai to his mother.

We are the ones who supported Qusai, and removed Khuza’a and Bani Bakr from the bosom of Makkah. We have relatives and kinspeople." So the Messenger of Allâh PBUH welcomed them and gave good tidings to them, which was Ash-Sham Conquest; but he, on the other hand, forbade them from consulting a soothsayer and from eating the slain animals they slaughtered. Eventually they became Muslims, stayed there for several days then went back.

7. Bali Delegation: Their arrival was in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, the ninth year of Al-Hijra. They embraced Islam, stayed in Madinah for three days. Their chief Abu Ad-Dabeeb wondered whether hospitality was rewarded by Allâh. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH said:

"Yes, and so is any charity you offer to poor or rich people that is Sadaqah."

He also inquired about the time allotted to hospitality. "Three days," said he. "What about the stray ewe?"The Prophet said: "It is either yours or your brother’s, otherwise it goes to the wolf." He inquired about the stray camel. "It is not of your business. Leave it alone! Its owner will try to find it."

8. Thaqif Delegation: Their arrival was in Ramadan, the ninth year of Al-Hijra, after the return of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH from Tabuk. As to how they became Muslims, this could be deduced from the following:

Their chief ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ud Ath-Thaqafi came to see the Messenger of Allâh PBUH after the latter’s return from At-Ta’if in Dhul-Qa‘dah in the year 8 A.H. ‘Urwah became a Muslim. He thought that when he will tell his people and call them to embrace Islam, they would obey him, because he had always been an obeyed Master.

He was even more beloved to them than their own firstborn. But contrary to that, when he called them to Islam they shot arrows at him from everywhere and killed him. They remained as they were for months before they started discussing the situation again among themselves. Upon realizing that they were incapable of fighting the neighbouring Arabs who had paid allegiance to the Prophet PBUH and converted to Islam, they made up their mind to dispatch a man to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH . They concluded that ‘Abd Yalail bin ‘Amr would be the right messenger.

‘Abd refused to do such a thing lest they should kill him as they had killed ‘Urwah. "I will not do such a thing till you send some other men with me," said ‘Abd. So they sent two men of their allies and three others from Bani Malik. The six of them including ‘Uthman bin Abi Al-‘As Ath-Thaqafi who was the youngest among them all.

When they entered into the Prophet’s PBUH audience, a tent was pitched up in a corner of the mosque so that they might listen to the Qur’ân and see people at prayer. During their stay they came again and again to the Prophet PBUH who kept on calling them to embrace Islam, till their chief asked the Messenger of Allâh PBUH to enter into a peace treaty between him and Thaqif by means of which he allows them to commit fornication, drink wine and deal with usury. They also asked him not to injure their tyrant idol "Al-Lat" or to oblige them to perform the prayer.

 Finally they insisted that they would not knock down the idols themselves. But the Messenger of Allâh PBUH turned down all their requests. They went aside to council. Realizing that there were no other alternatives they yielded and professed Islam. The only condition that they insisted on was that the demolition of Al-Lat should be dealt with and handled by the Messenger of Allâh PBUH whereas Thaqif should in no way knock it down themselves. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH agreed and took a pledge with them.

Being the most attentive and the keenest to study jurisprudence and learn Qur’ân, ‘Uthman bin Abi Al-‘As was appointed by the Messenger of Allâh PBUH a prince on his people. His keenness and carefulness to learn the Qur’ân and study jurisprudence were clearly discernible through his behaviour during their stay.

Everyday morning, the group of delegates used to go and see the Messenger of Allâh PBUH . Being the youngest one, ‘Uthman bin Abi Al-‘As was left behind with their camels and things to keep an eye on. At noon when they came back and slept, ‘Uthman used to go to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH in order to learn the Qur’ân and inquire about religious matters.

 If it happened that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH was asleep, he would then go to Abu Bakr for the same purpose. With the passage of time, he turned out to be a source of blessing to his people. For at the Apostasy Times (Ar-Riddah) when Thaqif were determined to apostatize, he addressed them saying: "O, folkmen of Thaqif! You have been the latest at embracing Islam, so do not be the first to apostatize." Consequently they gave up apostasy and clung fast to Islam.

The group of delegates returned home but they were determined to conceal the truth for a while. They told their people to expect fight at any moment. They pretended to be grieved and depressed. They claimed that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH demanded that they should embrace Islam and abandon adultery, drinking wine and dealing with usury and some other things, or else he would fight them.

 Seized by the arrogance and zeal of Al-Jahiliyah (pre-Islamic traditions), Thaqif remained for days intent on fighting. Then Allâh cast terror and dismay in their hearts in such a way that they gave up fighting and thought that the delegation should go back to him and announce their approval. It was until then that the group of delegates told them the truth and revealed the items of their peace-talk with the Prophet, consequently Thaqif embraced Islam.

The Messenger of Allâh PBUH sent some men to demolish the idol called "Al-Lat" under the command of Khalid bin Al-Waleed. Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, stood to his feet, held the hoe and the ax and said: "By Allâh, I will make you laugh at Thaqif." He struck with them, and pretended to fall down while running. The people of Thaqif trembled at that sight and said:

"May Allâh dismay Al-Mugheerah off. The goddess has killed him." Hearing that Al-Mugheerah leapt up to his feet and said: "May Allâh bring shame on you. Al-Lat is nothing but a mass of dirt and stones." Then he struck the door and broke it. He mounted its highest wall, and so did the other men. They knocked Al-Lat down till they levelled it with the ground. Then they dug up its foundation and brought out its jewels and garments; to the great astonishment of Thaqif. Khalid bin Al-Waleed and his group came back to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH carrying Al-Lat’s jewels and garments. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH distributed them and thanked Allâh for helping his Prophet and solidifying his religion.[]

9. The message of the Yemeni kings: After the return of the Messenger of Allâh PBUH from Tabuk, a message came to him from the kings of Himyar, Al-Harith bin ‘Abd Kilal, Na‘eem bin ‘Abd Kilal, An-Nu‘man bin Qeel Dhi Ra‘in, Hamdan and Mu‘afir. Their messenger was Malik bin Murrah Ar-Rahawi. They sent him in order to inform the Prophet PBUH about their embracing Islam and their parting with polytheism. In reply to their message, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH gave them the pledge of Allâh and the pledge of His Messenger provided they paid the tribute, which was still overdue. He sent to them some of his Companions under the command of Mu‘adh bin Jabal - may Allah be pleased with him -.

10. Hamdan Delegation: The arrival of this delegation was in the ninth year of Al-Hijra after the Messenger’s return from Tabuk. So the Messenger of Allâh PBUH gave them a pledge to guarantee the fulfillment of their demands. He sent to them Malik bin An-Namt as their chief, and appointed him as an agent on those of his people who embraced Islam. Khalid bin Al-Waleed was appointed for them all with a purpose of calling them to Islam. He stayed with them for six months calling them to Islam but no one responded to his call. Later on ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was dispatched there and Khalid was ordered to come back. Upon arriving at Hamdan, ‘Ali communicated to them a message from the Messenger of Allâh PBUH and called them to Islam. They responded to the call and became Muslims. ‘Ali wrote to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH informing him of the good tidings. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH was briefed on the content of that letter, so he prostrated, then raised his head up and said: "Peace be upon Hamdan. Peace be upon Hamdan."

11. The Delegation of Bani Fazarah: Upon the Messenger’s return from Tabuk, the delegation of Bani Fazarah came to see him. That was in the ninth year of Al-Hijra. The group of delegates were over ten men. They came in order to profess Islam and complain about the drought of their region. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH ascended the pulpit, lifted his hands up and implored Allâh to send rain forth onto them and said:

"O Allâh let rain fall down, and water Your country and animals, and spread Your mercy and bring to life the dead lands. O Allâh send rain that would be saving, comforting, and sprouting grass, and overwhelming vast areas sooner and later. Let it be useful rain and not harmful. O Allâh let it be rain of mercy and not rain of torture and chastisement. Let that rain not be destructive or floody. O Allâh send us down water and help to fight the enemies."[]

12. Najran’s Delegation: Najran is rather a big area of land. It was at a distance of seven trip stages southwards of Makkah towards Yemen. It included seventy three villages. It took a fast-rider one day ride to get there.[] Its military forces consisted of a hundred thousand fighters.

Their arrival was in the year 9 A.H. The delegation comprised sixty men. Twenty-four of them were of noble families. Three out of twenty-four were at one time leaders of Najran. Al-‘Aqib, i.e. who was in charge of princehood and government affairs. His name was ‘Abdul Maseeh. The second was As-Saiyid (the Master) under whose supervision were the educational and political affairs; his name was Al-Aiham or Sharhabeel. Abu Haritha bin ‘Alqamah was the third. He was a bishop to whom all religious presidency and spiritual leadership belonged and were his charge.

When that group of delegates arrived in Madinah, they met the Prophet PBUH, exchanged inquiries with him; but when he called them to Islam and recited the Qur’ân to them, they refused. They asked him what he thought about ‘Isa (i.e. Jesus), - peace be upon him - , he PBUH tarried a whole day till the following Qur’ânic reply was revealed to him:

"Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allâh is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ — and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt. Then whoever disputes with you concerning him (Jesus) after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, (i.e. Jesus being a slave of Allâh, and having no share in Divinity) say: (O Muhammad PBUH) ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves — then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the Curse of Allâh upon those who lie." [3:59-61]

When it was morning, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH told them what ‘Iesa (Jesus) was in the light of the recently revealed verses. He left them a whole day to consult and think it over. So when it was next morning and they still showed disapproval to admit Allâh’s Words about ‘Isa or to embrace Islam, the Prophet suggested Al-Mubahala that is each party should supplicate and implore Allâh to send His Curse upon him or them if they were telling lies. After that suggestion of his, the Prophet PBUH came forward wrapping Al-Hasan and Al-Husain under his garment whereas Fatimah was walking at his back.

Seeing that the Prophet PBUH was serious and prepared to face them firmly, they went aside and started consulting. Al-‘Aqib and As-Saiyid (i.e. the Master) said to each other:

"We shall not supplicate. For, I swear by Allâh, if he is really a Prophet and exchanges curses with us, we will never prosper nor will the descendants of ours. Consequently neither us nor our animals will survive it." Finally they made their mind to resort to the Messenger of Allâh’s judgement about their cause. They came to him and said: "We grant you what you have demanded.

" The Messenger of Allâh PBUH then admitted that agreement and ordered them to pay Al-Jizya (i.e. tribute) and he made peace with them for the provision of two thousand garments, one thousand of them to be delivered in Rajab, the other thousand ones in Safar. With every garment they had to pay an ounce (of gold). In return they will have the covenant of Allâh and His Messenger.

He gave them a covenant that provides for practicing their religious affairs freely. They asked the Prophet PBUH to appoint a trustworthy man to receive the money agreed on for peace, so he sent them the trustworthy man of this nation Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah to receive the amounts of money agreed on in the peace treaty.

By the time Islam started to spread in Najran, naturally, they did not have to pay Al-Jizya that usually non-Muslims paid. Whatever the case was, it was said that Al-Aqib and As-Saiyid embraced Islam as soon as they reached Najran on their journey back home. It is also said that the Prophet PBUH sent to them ‘Ali too, for the collection of charities and tribute.[]

13. Bani Haneefa Delegation: They arrived in Madinah in the ninth year of Al-Hijra. They were 17 in number and included the Master of Liars, Musailima[] bin Thumamah bin Kabeer bin Habeeb bin Al-Harith of Bani Haneefa The group of delegates were housed in a Helper’s house. They came to the Prophet PBUH and declared their Islamization. As for Musailima the liar, versions vary concerning his embracing Islam. Contemplation of all these versions shows clearly that Musailima expressed disapproval and revealed haughtiness, boastful spirit and expectations to be a prince.

At first the Prophet PBUH attempted going on well with him. he dealt with him nicely and charitably but that did not do with him. The Messenger of Allâh PBUH perceived evil in his soul and recognized that he was one of those three evils he dreamt of while asleep.

The Prophet PBUH had already dreamt that he had been granted the treasures of earth. His hand fell upon two golden bracelets, which distressed and worried him a lot.

 He was taught by inspiration to blow them off, so he did that and they were gone off. They were interpreted to be two liars who would turn up after the death of Muhammad PBUH .

So when Musailima acted that way and showed disapproval, he realized that he would be one of the two liars. However Musailima used to say, "If Muhammad appointed me a successor of his, I would be a Muslim. Later on the Messenger of Allâh PBUH came to him, with a piece of palm leaf in his hand, and in the company of his orator, Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas.

 He was among some of his friends. The Prophet PBUH talked to him but Musailima addressed him saying: "If you agree to transfer the whole thing to me after your death, I will not stand in your way.

" The Messenger of Allâh PBUH replied: "If you asked me to give you this (i.e. a piece of a palm leaf), I would not grant it to you. You are doomed. Even if you repented and stopped what you were doing, Allâh appointed that you would be slain. By Allâh, I swear, that I see you now in the very state that has been revealed to me. Here is Thabit! You will hear my answer (from him)." Then he went away.[]

Finally, the Prophet’s predictions of Musailima came true; for when Musailima returned to Yamama, he kept on thinking about the Prophet PBUH and how he would be his partner.

His dreams and thoughts went so far as to claim that he himself was a prophet. To confirm his prophecy he started uttering rhymed statements. He said that it was lawful to drink wine and commit adultery.

He, however, bore witness that the Messenger of Allâh PBUH was a real Prophet. His people, who were fascinated by what he allowed them to do, followed him and made bargains with him. He grew so prominent among them that they called him the beneficent of Al-Yamama. He wrote to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH saying: "I have been appointed an associate with you, so I will have a half and Quraish will have the other half of the people’s affairs." The Messenger of Allâh’s reply was a letter saying that:

"Verily, the earth is Allâh’s. He gives it as a heritage to whom He will of His slaves, and the (blessed) end is for the Muttaqûn (pious)." [7:128][]

On the authority of Ibn Mas‘ud, he says: When the two messengers of Musailima — Ibn An-Nawaha and Ibn Athal — came to the Messenger of Allâh PBUH , he asked them: "Do you bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allâh?" Their reply was "We testify that Musailima is the Messenger of Allâh." "I believe in Allâh and in His Messenger," said the Prophet PBUH , "If I had ever thought of killing a messenger I would have killed you both."[]

Musailima’s pretence to prophethood was in the tenth year of Al-Hijra. But he was killed in Al-Yamama war during Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq era, in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the twelfth year of Al-Hijra. He was killed by Wahshi, the killer of Hamzah. The second person who claimed to be a prophet was Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi who was in Yemen. He was killed by Fairuz. His head was cut off a day and a night before the Prophet’s death. So when the delegates came he told them the news that reached him through Divine Revelation. News about his death reached Abu Bakr - may Allah be pleased with him - from Yemen.[]

14. The Delegation of Bani ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a: Among the group of delegates were ‘Amir bin At-Tufail — the enemy of Allâh, Arbad bin Qais — Labid’s maternal brother, Khalid bin Ja‘far, and Jabbar bin Aslam. All of them were the leaders and satans of their people. ‘Amir was the one who double-crossed the group of Ma‘una well. When this delegation made their mind to come to Madinah, ‘Amir and Arbad conspired to kill the Prophet PBUH .

So when the group of delegates arrived, ‘Amir kept on talking to the Prophet PBUH whereas Arbad turned aside trying to draw his sword. He managed to draw a span of hand long but Allâh stilled his hand so that he was unable to proceed with its withdrawal. Allâh protected the Prophet PBUH . The Prophet PBUH invoked Allâh against them. So when they returned, Allâh sent down a thunderbolt unto Arbad and his camel and he was burnt. As for ‘Amir he called at a house of a woman who was from Bani Salul and had a gland sore. He eventually died while he was saying: "What am I like? I have a gland similar to a camel’s. And here I am dying in the house of the woman from Bani Salul."

In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is narrated that ‘Amir came to the Prophet PBUH and said: "I grant you an opportunity to choose one of two: you will have the flat land people and I will have townspeople; or I will succeed you. Otherwise, I will invade your people with a thousand he-camels and a thousand she-camels." But, later on he got plague-stricken in a woman’s house. So he said: "What! I have a gland similar to a camel’s, and here I am in a woman’s house of Bani so and so people. Fetch me my mare!" He mounted it but died on its back.

15. Tujeeb Delegation: They came to Madinah carrying the surplus of charities (Sadaqat) of their people. That is to say the extra charities they had after they had distributed the poor-due. They were thirteen men. They asked about the Qur’ân and Sunnah (the Prophet’s saying, deeds and sanctions) so that they might learn them. They demanded things from the Messenger of Allâh PBUH to which he gave them pledges. They did not stay long; so when the Messenger of Allâh PBUH acknowledged their demands and allowed them to depart, they sent him a boy whom they had already left at their property. The young man said to the Prophet PBUH : "By Allâh, I swear, I have left my home (for Madinah) with a purpose that you invoke Allâh, the Great and All-Mighty for me to forgive me and have mercy on me and to make my heart a source of content and sufficiency." The Messenger of Allâh PBUH supplicated Allâh to grant him what he demanded.

From that time on, he was the most contented person. In Ar-Riddah (i.e. the Apostasy Times), he stoodfast as a Muslim and warned his people and reminded them of Allâh and went on preaching them till they stoodfast and did not apostatize. The group of delegates met the Prophet PBUH again in the Farewell Pilgrimage in the tenth year of Al-Hijra.

16. Tai’ Delegation: One of that group of delegates who came to meet the Prophet PBUH was Zaid Al-Khail. They talked to the Prophet PBUH who urged them to embrace Islam. They agreed and grew good Muslims. About Zaid, the Messenger of Allâh PBUH said: "The Arabs are never exact at estimating people. They have never told me about the virtues of a man correctly; for when I see the man concerned I realize that they have overestimated him except Zaid Al-Khail, when I met him I knew that they had underestimated him." Then he named him ‘Zaid Al-Khair’ (i.e. Zaid, the bounteous).

The delegations arrived successively in Madinah during the ninth and tenth of Al-Hijra. Biographers and invasion-writers have written down about some of Yemen delegations. They were Al-Azd; Bani Sa‘d Hadheem from Quda‘ah, Bani ‘Amir bin Qais; Bani Asad, Bahra’, Khaulan, Muharib, Bani Al-Harith bin Ka‘b, Ghamid, Bani Al-Muntafiq, Salaman, Bani ‘Abs, Muzainah, Murad, Zabid, Kinda, Dhi Murrah, Ghassan, Bani ‘Aish, and Nakh‘ which were the last group of delegates. Nakh‘ Delegation comprised two hundred men and they arrived in the middle of Muharram in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra. The majority of these groups of delegates arrived during the ninth and tenth years of Al-Hijra. The arrival of some of them tarried till the eleventh year of Al-Hijra.

The succession of these delegations indicated the great degree of the entire acceptance which the Islamic Call reached. It manifested its influence and domination on vast areas of Arabia . The Arabs observed Al-Madinah with such a great respect and estimation that they could do nothing but surrender and submit to it. Al-Madinah had become the headquarters of all Arabia; so it was impossible to avoid it. We dare not say that all the Arabians were possessed and enchanted by this religion. There were lots of hard-hearted bedouins — among the Arabs — who surrendered (i.e. became Muslims) only because their master did so. Their souls were not sanctified yet. Their tendency to raids had been deeply rooted in their souls. The teachings of Islam had not crystallized their souls well yet. Accounting some of them the Qur’ân says:

• "The bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to be in ignorance of the limits (Allâh’s Commandments and His legal laws, etc.) which Allâh has revealed to His Messenger. And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise. And of the bedouins there are some who look upon what they spend (in Allâh’s cause) as a fine and watch for calamities for you, on them be the calamity of evil. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower." [9:97,98]

The Qur’ân praised others saying:

• "And of the bedouins there are some who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, and look upon what they spend in Allâh’s cause as approaches to Allâh, and a cause of receiving the Messenger’s invocations. Indeed these are an approach for them. Allâh will admit them to His Mercy. Certainly Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [9:99]

Those of them who were present at Makkah, Madinah and Thaqif and in many other areas of Al-Yemen and Al-Bahrain were different because Islam had been firmly rooted in their souls. Some of them were great Companions and Masters of Muslims.[]