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VI- Prophet's Biography

Up to Revelation

Message to Immigration

Battles to Victory of Islam

86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Lesson 87

Youth and Maturity

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[6] His travel with his uncle Abu-Tālib to the Levant (old Syria)

 When Abu-Tālib wanted to travel to Syria on business, the Prophet (SAWS) wanted to accompany him. Therefore, the uncle took Muhammad (SAWS) on that trip, and he was at the age of twelve then. When they reached Busrā, the first Syrian city from the direction of the Arabian Peninsula, they met a Christian monk called Bahīrā who had a hermitage there. He asked them about a Prophet of the Arabs who was going to appear in that time.

 When he watched the young Muhammad (SAWS) carefully and talked to him, he knew that this boy is the Prophet whom Mūsā (Moses) (SAWS) and `Īsā  (Jesus) (SAWS) had told about. He told the uncle that this boy would be of great concern, and he advised him to take the young boy back, and to beware lest the Jews might harm him. Accordingly, Abu-Tālib did not stay for long, and returned to Makkah as soon as he finished his business. Muhammad (SAWS) stayed in Makkah. He became an example of perfection, stayed away from the moral flaws of the Jāhiliyyah (Pre-Islamic period), and was chivalrous and courageous. He witnessed with his uncles the War of Al-Fijār and Hilf Al-Fudūl (the Alliance of the Virtuous) at the age of twenty.

 As to Al-Fijār war, it broke out between Kinānah tribe, in alliance with Quraysh, and the Qays tribe. It started in the area between Makkah and At-Tā’if, and it reached the Ka`bah. As a result, the sanctity of this house which the Arab regarded as sacred was violated. For this reason, it was called the War of Al-Fijār (Arabic: Immoral or unlawful, as it broke during the prohibited months, Al-Ash-hur Al-Hurum).

 As to Hilf Al-Fudūl (the Alliance of the Virtuous), it was in the wake of this war. It was a pledge held by the chieftains of Quraysh to restore rights to the wronged people in Makkah, whether natives or strangers.

[7] His second trip to Syria on a trade caravan for Khadījah  bint Khuwaylid

 For Quraysh, trade was the main means of livelihood.  Khadījah bint (daughter of) Khuwaylid (the descendant of Asad son of `Abdul-`uzzā, son of Qusayy) was a wealthy lady who used to entrust men to trade on her behalf.   When she heard about the Prophet’s (SAWS) honesty and faithfulness, as he was well known as “the trustworthy”, she sent for him offering to send him to Syria on trade with her money.   She promised to give him more profit than anyone else.   The Prophet (SAWS) then accepted her offer and traveled with her servant, Maysarah.   He traded and returned with enormous profits.

 On this trip, Maysarah witnessed many of the Prophet's blessings, and witnessed Allah (SWT) honorings to him.  When the Prophet (SAWS) reached Syria, he stopped under the shade of a tree, near a monk's hermitage.  The monk told Maysarah that nobody sat under this tree but Prophets.  Maysarah used to witness the Prophet (SAWS) on his camel shaded from the hot sun, even though he had no umbrella.   

[8] His marriage to Khadījah bint-Khuwaylid

 Maysarah, on returning, told the wise and resolute Khadījah, what he saw of the Prophet’s (SAWS) blessings, and Allah's honorings to him.  She sent to the Prophet (SAWS) saying “O! Cousin, I wish to marry you, for kinship and for your truthfulness and honesty.”

 She addressed him “cousin”, as it was the habit of Arabs in calling the relatives from the father’s side, and they both descended from Qusayy.  Khadījah mentioned what Maysarah told her to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who was versed in the scriptures and stories.  Waraqah said: “Muhammad is the Prophet of this nation.  I knew there was an expected Prophet for this nation and it is about time for him to appear.” 

 Khadījah (may Allah be pleased with her) was sought after for her noble lineage as well as her high rank among her people.  The Prophet (SAWS) consulted his uncles about the marriage, and they approved it.  They headed to her with him, and concluded the contract of marriage.  `Amr ibn Asad, Khadījah’s uncle, was her representative in the contract, while the Prophet’s (SAWS) uncle, Abu-Tālib, was his representative. 

 Khadījah’s dowry was twenty firstborn camels.  Khadījah was forty, while the Prophet (SAWS) was 25 years old then.  The Prophet (SAWS) did not marry any other woman before her death.  Before him she was married to a man called “Hind”, and she had a son called “Hālah”, who became the step-son of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).  After his marriage to Khadījah, the Prophet (SAWS) kept working in trade and kept his devoutness to Allah, until Allah (SWT) sent him as a Messenger and a mercy for mankind.

[9] The Prophet witnesses the building of the Ka`bah

 The Ka`bah is the first house to be appointed for worship on earth.  It was built by Prophet Ibrāhīm (Abraham) (SAWS) and his son Ismā`īl (Ishmael) (SAWS).  It was rebuilt three times afterwards; it was built of stones, and was just higher than a man's height.  It is also said that the Ka`bah was first built by Adam (SAWS) the father of mankind.

 When Quraysh was going through the basis of the Ka`bah, they reached the foundations laid by Prophet Isma`īl (SAWS), where it was said that some papers were found, which included aphorisms for people to come.

 Quraysh’s nobles were very keen to put only pure money into the building of the Ka`bah, so they excluded the dowry of prostitutes and usury.  When they had shortage of pure money to complete the building on the foundations of Prophet Ibrāhīm (SAWS), they excluded the Hijr and built a short wall over it to indicate that it belongs to the Ka`bah. 

 When Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) turned 35 years old, it is reported that a great flood hit Makkah, the thing that added to the weakness to the walls of the Ka`bah, which were already weak after a fire.  Therefore, tribes of Quraysh assembled and demolished the Ka`bah in order to rebuild it higher than before.  Their noblemen were competing to move the stones and to carry them on their own shoulders.  The Prophet (SAWS) was one of those who carried the stones to the building location together with his uncle, Al-`Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him). 

The Ka`bah was built to the height of eighteen cubits then; nine cubits higher than its original size.  The door was raised, so it could not be reached except by using ladders.  When the building was completed, the nobles of Quraysh disagreed on the person who would put the black stone in place, and they remained at odds for four days.  Abu-Umayyah (Al-Walīd ibn ul-Mughīrah), the oldest of Quraysh, suggested that they choose someone whom they agree on as judge.  They agreed that the judge would be the first one to pass by As-Safā gate (i.e. from the direction where this gate was after building the Holy Mosque; not built by then). The first to come was the Prophet (SAWS).  That was a relief for them, for they knew about his wisdom, honesty, and faithfulness to the truth. 

 They said: "We accept the judgment of the trustworthy Muhammad." When he reached them and they told him about the matter, he spread his garment out on the floor, put the black stone on it, and said: "Let each tribe hold an edge of the garment, then lift it together to its prescribed place".  Then the Prophet (SAWS) put it with his own hands.  Thus, the problem that might have led to war between them ended.