Prophet Mohammed: A Messiah for Our Time:
Prejudice is like poison. Unless purged out of one’s mind in early
stages, it can spread like cancer and make one incapable of
differentiating between right and wrong. Of the many kinds of
prejudice, the worst is to believe that one’s....Read
Square shaped Holy Ka’aba in Makkah in
the Arabian Desert has always been a sacred place for pilgrimage.
From generations, Quraysh – among the most respected tribes in
Makkah, was charge de affairs of the Holy Ka’aba. After the flood in
Makkah sometimes in 605 AD damaged the walls of the Holy Ka’aba,
Quraysh decided to reconstruct the holy structure. The
reconstruction began with much fanfare but stopped due to the
dispute over the honour of the coveted task of placing Hajr-e-Aswad
- the sacred stone to its place. For days everything in Makkah came
to halt. A fight was imminent. At this juncture Abu Umayyah Makhzumi
proposed a solution. The first person to enter into the Masjid Al
Haram would be our adjudicator, he suggested. Masjid Al Haram is the
mosque in Makkah that surrounds the Holy Ka’aba. The suggestion
received acceptance from everyone. In utmost anticipation and with
their eyes glued to the entrance they waited for hours. Finally they
saw a man entering the mosque. He was yet to arrive at them but
elated they began shouting in unison, “He is the most trusted one
among us. He is our adjudicator. He is Mohammad.” Mohammad had a
solution that satisfied everyone. An imminent bloody fight was
Mohammad was thirty-five years old
then and it was the time when neither he nor others had a hint about
him being bestowed with responsibility of the prophecy by the
Almighty Allah. Strangely the very man, who was regarded as one of
the most trusted, the most respected and the most gentle among them
and the very man, who had earned total faith from everyone in the
Arabian Desert, was forced to leave his home after becoming the
Prophet. The people who till then were all praise for him turned
against him. However, the man of integrity as he always was,
Mohammad remained the same.
Early life in Makkah
Fourteen hundred and thirty-eight
years ago in April 571 on 9th, and by some accounts on 12th,
of the ongoing month Rabi-ul-Awwal in the Islamic calendar, a baby
was born in Banu Hashim, the most respected household of Quryash.
Abdul Mutallib, grandfather of the newly born and chief of Banu
Hashim was ecstatic. “Ecstatic, he took his grandson to Holy Ka’ba.
Prayed for him and named him as Mohammad”, renowned historian Ibne
Hesham has narrated.
Mohammad as he grew older earned
praise and trust from everyone. “He is the one who is treating the
kindred well, speaking the truth, restoring what is entrusted on
him, bearing the burden of the helpless, helping the poor,
entertaining the guests and the one who is cooperating in good
works”, Imam Bukhari has quoted the Prophet’s noble wife Khadeeja as
saying. Khadeeja owing to these virtues combined with his
unprecedented honesty, years before Mohammad became the Prophet
proposed to him for marriage.
On August 10, 610 with the first
revelation while praying inside the cave at Mount Hira two miles
from Makkah Mohammad was commissioned as the Messenger of Allah. He
had now been entrusted with the responsibility of preaching for
equality, justice, peace and for a life accountable to Allah. These
were the values unheard of in those days. On expected lines the
Message did not go well with those enjoying the corridors of power.
They felt threatened and with this began the testing time for
Mohammad. His own relatives were now enemies. His friends behaved
like a foe. At times they also lured him with various offers.
Failed, they even tried to assassinate him. Makkah that till then
was generous to him became exactly opposite to say the least. Even
worst the suffering was not limited to him alone. It took his family
and the companions also into its grip. Abu Laheb, his paternal uncle
and neighbor, forced his two sons to divorce Mohammad’s daughters.
Despite all odds, however, Mohammad remained firm and maintaining
restraint went on to preach what he believed was right.
Migration to Madinah and Conquest of Makkah
After fourteen years of persistent
suffering, at last Allah granted Mohammad the permission to migrate.
He reached Yathrib on September 27 in 622 AD where a grand welcome
awaited him. With his arrival in Yathrib 600 miles from Makkah, it
became Madinat-ur-Rasool – the City of the Prophet and its natives
became Ansars. They opened their hearts for the migrants, the
Muhajereen. With the migration began emerging a new society based on
equality and justice.
Nevertheless the development was
unacceptable for his rivals in Makkah. They began targeting Mohammad
and his companions with renewed vigor. They tried to assassinate him
afresh. At one time they had almost decided to desecrate his
mother’s grave. Their tirade left Mohammad with no option but to
defend. Within eight years he was back in Makkah, this time as a
victor. In Makkah those who were up for his life and involved in
heinous crimes against him and his companions in one way or the
other, were all at his mercy. Mohammad at this deciding moment
reaffirmed how gentle and merciful he was. He didn’t take revenge
from anyone. Not even from Hind, the woman who had mutilated his
beloved uncle Hamzah’s dead body after he was martyred in the battle
of Uhud. "There is no revenge today”, the Prophet declared after the
conquest and pardoned them all.
The Message crosses the Arabian Peninsula
Even before winning Makkah, Prophet
Mohammad had sent his emissaries to various places including the
empires of Roma and Persia, the superpowers of the time. With the
Conquest of Makkah began not only the formation of a confederacy of
various Arabian tribes under the banner of Islam but it also began
spreading to the areas beyond the Arabian Peninsula.
For Hajj in Makkah in 632 AD (10 AH)
Mohammad, the Prophet delivered the historic sermon that later
turned out as the last sermon of his life. The sermon had all that
is needed to build a safer, beautiful and just society. On top among
these guidelines were the rights of the women. “O People, it is true
that you have certain rights with regard to your women. Do treat
your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and
committed helpers”, the Prophet asserted. The mission was
accomplished. Few months after delivering the sermon, the Prophet
(PBUH) died. He was 63 when he breathed last on 12th of
Rabi-ul-Awwal, 11 AH in 632 AD. However his mission still goes on. (The Times of India,
Mumbai, March 10, 2009)
With inputs from Ar Raheequl Makhtoom,
the book written by the Indian scholar
Safeeur Rehman Mubarakpuri.
The book had won the
King Faisal International Award in 1978