Some Events in the Life of Holy Prophet (S.A.WA.)
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
The Last and Universal Messenger of Islam
On 27th of the Islamic month of Rajab in the year 13 prior to the Hijra, God formally commanded the 40-year old Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) to announce his mission to mankind as the Last and Universal Messenger of Islam. This historic event occurred at Cave Hera on Mount Noor on the outskirts of Mecca with the descent of Archangel Gabriel with the initial verses of the holy Qur’an, the scripture, which would gradually be revealed over the next 23 years as the finest and most perfect code of life for humanity.
Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), who was known to the pre-Islamic society as an impeccable person of flawless character, hailed as “Sadeq” or Truthful, and “Amin” or Trustworthy, first and foremost invited his near relatives to inform them of God’s commandment. At this gathering which is known as Zu’l-Ashira, when the Prophet proclaimed “Ash-hado an la ilaha il-Allah, which means “I testify there is no god but Allah”, his still pre-teen cousin, Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) who was present on Mount Noor on the day of entrustment of the Divine Mission, stood up said: “Ash-hado anna Mohammadan Rasoul-Allah”. This day is thus known as Mab’ath which means Resurgence of monotheism and all humanitarian values.
Hazrat Abu-Taleb, the uncle and protector of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.A)
On 26th of the Islamic month of Rajab in the third year prior to Hijra, according to an account, Abu-Taleb, the father of Imam Ali (AS) and the uncle and protector of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), passed away in Mecca. On the death of his father, Abdul-Muttaleb, he and his wife, Fatema bint Asad took charge of the 8-year orphan of his deceased brother Abdullah, and brought up the future Prophet as their own son.
Abu Taleb was a staunch monotheist following the creed of his ancestor, Prophet Abraham, and when God formally appointed his now 40-year old nephew as the Last and Greatest messenger to mankind, he firmly believed in the message of Islam and protected the Prophet against the taunts and even attacks of the pagan Arabs.
When the Meccans imposed the social-economic boycott of the Prophet, he took his nephew and the whole neo Muslim community under his protection to the safety of the gorge outside Mecca which is still called She'b Abi Taleb in his honour. His death saddened the Prophet and since the same year, the Prophet's loyal wife, the Mother of all True Believers, Omm al-Momineen Hazrat Khadija also passed away, the year is known in Islamic history as "Aam al-Hozn" or the Year of Grief.
The Me'raj or the Ascension to the heavens of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA)
On 17th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan, on this day in the year before Hijra, the me'raj or the Ascension to the heavens of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) took place from Mecca, as indicated by the opening ayah of Surah al-Isra'. It is indeed God's greatest favour to His Last and Greatest Messenger to physically lift him, in a fraction of a night, to the highest echelons of the ethereal heavens where no creature including Archangel Gabriel, cannot venture, and then return him to earth.
The Unseen but Omnipresent Creator, whom no eye could perceive, showed Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) the mysteries of the heavens and earth, and the fate of mankind in afterlife. God, Who is far Glorious to have shape, form, place, time or voice, spoke to him in the voice of his dear cousin, Imam Ali (AS), since this was the most soothing voice for the Prophet.
Masjid an-Nabi in Madinah
On 18th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal, a few days after Hijra, work started for construction of Masjid an-Nabi or Prophet's Mosque in Medina after the entry of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in this city which was then called Yathreb. The Prophet personally took part in the construction, and adjacent to it rooms or quarters were built for him and some of his companions. The Prophet, not only held the daily congregational prayers in this mosque, but used it as a place for handling the various affairs of the Muslim society. The Masjid an-Nabi, in whose precincts, the Prophet reposes in eternal peace, is the second holiest mosque for the Islamic Ummah after the Masjid al-Haraam in whose midst God's symbolic house, the holy Ka'ba stands.
The Accord of Fraternity among Muslims
On 12th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 1 AH, the Holy Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), some six months after his migration to Medina from Mecca, established the Accord of Fraternity among Muslims, with each Mohajer or Migrant from Mecca becoming the brother-in-faith of an Ansar or Helper from Medina. The Accord of Fraternity was a key factor in fostering unity and burying the age-old tribal differences of the Arabs. It was so firm and enduring that if a pair was martyred in battle (the infidels used to impose upon Muslims), he would instruct the two to be buried in a single grave. By the command of God, he paired 740 of his companions, every two of them on the basis of their characteristics, sharing of habits (whether good or bad), and above all their natural inclinations and friendship towards each other.
For instance Salman Farsi and Abu Zar Ghffari were paired as brothers, while another pair was Meqdad ibn Aswad and Ammar ibn Yasser – these four were noted for their lofty degrees of faith and firm adherence to the path of truth which would become manifest both during the Prophet’s lifetime and after him when they would stand firmly beside his divinely-decreed vicegerent. Of the others paired together were Zubair and Talha; Abu Bakr and Omar Ibn Khattab; Osman Ibn Affan and Abdur-Rahman Ibn Auf, etc. For his own, part, the Prophet, whose merits and superiority were beyond any Mohajer or Ansar, held the hand of his worthy cousin, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), to declare him brother in this world and in afterlife.
The Battle of Badr
On 17th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 2AH, the pagan Arabs imposed the first ever armed encounter upon Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), at a well called Badr, some distance from Medina, but thanks to divine support, the poorly armed group of 313 Muslims emerged victorious over the fully equipped almost 1000-strong armed-to-the teeth Arabs.
For the first time, the Prophet's young cousin and defender, Imam Ali (AS), displayed his brilliant swordsmanship by killing several famous Arab pagan warriors.
Muslims campaign against the Israelite tribe of Bani Nadheer
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 4 AH, the Muslims started the campaign against the Israelite tribe of Bani Nadheer around Medina by besieging their forts, when the Jews, in alliance with the Arab infidels and hypocrites, refused to leave, despite their breach of the covenant of Medina for peaceful co-existence by inciting Meccan polytheists to attack Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), in addition to their own attempts on his life. God Almighty revealed the ayahs of Surah Hashr, allowing the Prophet to take action, and he subsequently entrusted the standard to his cousin and vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS), to launch the campaign. In a few days, the rebellious Israelites sued for peace, and were allowed to leave on 600 camels along with their women, children, livestock and riches. Some settled in Khaybar while others left for Syria. Centuries earlier, Israelite tribes had migrated to Hijaz from Palestine to await the advent among the Arabs of the Last and Greatest Messenger foretold by God in the Torah and other heavenly scriptures. But when Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) proclaimed his mission, the Israelites denied him, even though they recognized him as the one prophesied by Moses and other prophets. The Prophet, as per divine commandment, offered peace and truce to the Jews, as the People of the Book, but despite their pledges the Israelites never kept their words and always plotted against Islam and the Prophet.
The Battle of Bani Mustaliq
On 19th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 6 AH, the Battle of Bani Mustaliq occurred near a place called Muraysi between Jeddah and Rabigh, when on hearing news of the intention of pagan Arabs led by Hareth ibn Abi Dirar, to attack Muslims, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) led an expedition.
The refusal of the pagan Arab tribe to cease hostilities and heed the call of Islam, resulted in attack on the Muslims, whose strength was not much since the Prophet had only 30 riders with him and his forces also included some hypocrites, many of whom deserted on hearing that most Arab tribes were allied with Hareth.
The Muslims had no other option but to defend themselves with arms. Imam Ali (AS) led the charge and soon disposed off some of the leading pagans such as Malik. The Muslims emerged victorious although some descendants of the Prophet’s grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, were martyred. The fruits of this victory were the capture of several hundred pagan Arabs, including the fearsome Bani Mustaliq chief, Hareth, who later, along with many members of his clan became Muslim.
It was during this expedition that God revealed “Surah al-Munafiqoun” since some of those who accompanied the Prophet from Medina and claimed to be Muslims, like Abdullah bin Ubbayy, were hypocrites at heart, planning to undermine Islam.
The impregnable fortress of Qamous(Khaybar) was single-handedly captured by Imam Ali (A.S.)
On 24th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 7 AH, the impregnable fortress of Qamous in the vast tract of Khaybar, 150 km north of Medina on the road to Damascus, was single-handedly captured by the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), who after overcoming in personal combat the fearsome Israelite warlords, Marhab and Antar, pulled from its hinges the huge gateway that several Jewish strongmen used to open and close.
Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had to undertake the campaign on learning of the plots and seditions of the ever-rebellious Israelites, who in violation of the accords were contemplating military measures, including raid on Medina, in addition to their funding of pagan Arab tribes to attack Muslims from time to time.
The Prophet’s sudden arrival on the scene with some 1,500-odd Muslims caught the estimated 10,000 armed Israelite force off guard, and forced the leaders of various Jewish tribes to agree to pay tribute. Of the forts that resisted, the Muslims forced almost all of them to surrender after several weeks of siege. The principal Israelite fortress of Qamous, however, not just continued to hold out but its defenders drove away with losses the expeditions led by the Prophet’s companions.
At last the Prophet said he would be giving the command tomorrow to the person “who loves God and the Prophet and is in turn loved by God and the Prophet; an intrepid attacker (Karrar) who never retreats (Ghayra Farrar).” On the morning the Prophet invoked the famous phrase “Nad-e Aliyyan Mazhar al-Aja’eb” (Call Ali the Manifestation of Wonders). His dear cousin and son-in-law, who because of eye inflammation was not participating in the campaign was brought before him. The Prophet applied his saliva to his eyes, which were miraculously cured. The rest is history, and the Prophet gave fair terms to the Jews after surrender, allowing them to live in peace.
It is worth noting that before this campaign the Prophet had received the vast orchard of Fadak as a personal gift without the involvement of Muslims, arms, and hostilities. On God’s command he gave Fadak to his daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), who used to spend its income for the poor and needy, until it was seized from her by the first and second self-styled caliphs.
Holy City of Makkah Liberated by Muslims
On 20th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 8 AH, Mecca, the then centre of paganism, peacefully surrendered to Muslims at the approach of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) without notice with some 10,000 believers, following the breach of the Treaty of Hodaibiyyah signed two years earlier by the Arabs. The Prophet declared general amnesty to his bitter foes and even did not retaliate against the killers of his dear uncle, Hamza, that is, the Abyssinian slave Wahshi and his masters who had ordered him to commit the savagery at Ohad five years earlier – Hend and her husband Abu Sufyan.
He spared them by using the Arabic term “tulaqa” (freed slaves). This display of the clemency of Islam had a profound effect and multitudes of Qoreish started embracing the truth of Islam, as borne out by Surah Nasr revealed by God on this day. The Prophet ordered demolishment of temples and the holy Ka’ba was cleansed of the idols the polytheists had installed at Abraham’s edifice of monotheism.
One of the chief idols atop the Ka’ba was pulled down by Imam Ali (AS), who was lifted by the Prophet on his shoulders to deliver the coup de grace to idolatry.
Ibrahim, the infant son of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.A.)
On 18th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 9 AH, Ibrahim, the infant son of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) died at the age of a year and six months. His mother was the virtuous lady Maria Qibtiyya (Mary the Copt), who was sent as a gift to the Prophet from the Byzantine governor of Egypt, Muqawqis, along with other presents, in response to the letter of invitation to Islam.
The Prophet wept at his death and personally laid him in the grave in the Baqie Cemetery, addressing the dead child with tearful eyes that this is all the will of God. Earlier in his youth the Prophet had also lost to the cold hands of death his two infant sons by the faithful wife, Khadija al-Kubra (SA). They were named Qassim and Abdullah.
The vast orchard of Fadak
On 10th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 329 AH, the Abbasid caliph, Raazi-Billah, returned the vast orchard of Fadak to the Prophet's descendants. Fadak was the personal property of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and was situated north of Medina near Khaybar. The Prophet had given it in his lifetime to his only daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), who used its revenues for the upkeep of the poor and destitute Muslims. After the Prophet passed away, the new regime in Medina seized Fadak by coining a spurious hadith that Prophets do no leave inheritance and whatever they leave is the property of Ummah, despite Hazrat Fatema's memorable defence of her rights by citing the ayahs of the holy Qur'an which speak of Prophet Solomon inheriting Prophet David, and Prophet Yahya inheriting Prophet Zachariah. In the subsequent years, Fadak was returned and retaken several times.