The Prophet Muhammad: The Year of Grief

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Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Year of Grief

Abu Talib’s Death:

In Rajab[], the tenth year of the Prophethood, Abu Talib fell ill and passed away, six months after leaving the confinement at Ash-Sh‘ib. In another version, Abu Talib breathed his last in Ramadan, three days prior to the death of Khadijah - may Allah be pleased with her - . On the authority of Al-Musaiyab, when Abu Talib was on the death bed, the Prophet Pbuh entered the room where he saw Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Omaiyah. He requested his uncle:

• "My uncle, you just make a profession that there is no true god but Allâh, and I will bear testimony before Allâh (of your being a believer)".

Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Omaiyah addressing him said: "Abu Talib, would you abandon the religion of ‘Abdul-Muttalib?" The Messenger of Allâh Pbuh constantly requested him (to accept his offer), and (on the other hand) was repeated the same statement (of Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abi Omaiyah) — till Abu Talib gave his final decision and he stuck to the religion of ‘Abdul-Muttalib and refused to profess that there is no true god but Allâh. Upon this the Messenger of Allâh Pbuh remarked:

• "By Allâh, I will persistently beg pardon for you till I am forbidden to do so (by Allâh)".

It was then that Allâh, the Magnificent and Glorious revealed this verse:

• "It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allâh’s forgiveness for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh) even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)." [9:113]

And it was said to the Messenger of Allâh Pbuh:

• "Verily! You (O Muhammad Pbuh) guide not whom you like." [28:56][]

It goes without saying that Abu Talib was very much attached to Muhammad Pbuh. For forty years, Abu Talib had been the faithful friend — the prop of his childhood, the guardian of his youth and in later life a very tower of defence. The sacrifices to which Abu Talib exposed himself and his family for the sake of his nephew, while yet incredulous of his mission, stamp his character as singularly noble and unselfish. The Prophet Pbuh did his best to persuade his octogenarian uncle to make profession of the true faith, but he remained obdurate and stuck to the paganism of his forefathers, and thus could not achieve complete success. Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib narrated that he said to the Prophet Pbuh"You have not been of any avail to your uncle (Abu Talib) (though) by Allâh, he used to protect you and get angry on your behalf." The Prophet Pbuh said: "He is in a shallow fire, and had it not been for me, he would have been at the bottom of the (Hell) Fire."[]

Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri narrated that he heard the Prophet Pbuh say, when the mention of his uncle was made, "I hope that my intercession may avail him, and he be placed in a shallow fire that rises up only to his heels."[]

Khadijah passes away to the Mercy of Allâh:

Only two months after the death of his uncle, did the Messenger of Allâh Pbuh experience another great personal loss viz., the Mother of believers, his wife Khadijah passed away in Ramadan of the tenth year of his Prophethood, when she was sixty-five years old, and he was fifty[]. Khadijah was in fact a blessing of Allâh for the Prophet Pbuh. She, for twenty-five years, shared with him the toils and trials of life, especially in the first ten years of his ministry of Prophethood. He deeply mourned over her death, and once he replied in an honest burst of tender emotions:

• "She believed in me when none else did. She embraced Islam when people disbelieved me. And she helped and comforted me in her person and wealth when there was none else to lend me a helping hand. I had children from her only."[]

Abu Hurairah reported that Gabriel came to Allâh’s Messenger Pbuh and said: "Allâh’s Messenger, lo, Khadijah is coming to you with a vessel of seasoned food or drink. When she comes to you, offer her greetings from her Lord, and give her glad tidings of a palace of jewels in Paradise where there is no noise and no toil."[]

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