Secret of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
By: Dr. Hatem Abu Shahba
We now return to Muhammad (SA), the man with the noble manners, kind heart, simple, humble, soft, and gentle man who lives in peace with himself and with others. With these noble manners and attributes, Muhammad (SA) have grown and developed his luminary and divine component within himself. He chose the side of his luminary self by his own free will, and so this divine part dominated him.
Hence, it purified and cleansed more of his attributes and Allah (SWT) have blessed him as we demonstrated earlier. So it was natural and logical that Muhammad would be attracted to his Creator and the source of his light and enlightenment. It is natural that he tries to know more about His Creator and get closer to Him, and to occupy his thoughts and mind in this matter and for it to be the focus and axis of his life and his main concern!
So, we find Muhammad immediately abandoning the worship of idols and does not do what his people and ancestors used to do. He never prostrated to an idol or sacrificed for it. Rather, his enlightened heart and self that is attached to its true Lord and Creator yearned for the religion of his great-grandfather, Abraham (SA), which is the upright and true faith.
This religion was distorted and disfigured by idol and statue worshiping to the point that the sacred House of Allah (SWT) which Abraham and Ishmael (AS) built by the command of Allah (SWT) so that people can perform pilgrimage and worship in it became surrounded by idols! This house in Mecca is the origin and source of the upbringing of this nation. It is a manifestation of its gathering and the focus of its veneration and sanctity. This house has been filled with idols and became a place to worship these idols instead of Allah (SWT).
The enlightened and purified heart of Muhammad (SA) guided him to the fact that his true Lord is really the Lord of his grandfathers Abraham and Ishmael (AS) and that He (SWT) is the true Lord of this House, the Lord of Moses and Jesus (AS), the Lord of the Jews and Christians, and the Lord of all the prophets and messengers who called for oneness and worship of God, by His command.
However, Muhammad (AS) sees the religion of Abraham (AS) abandoned and forgotten, while the religion of Moses and Jesus (AS) has been distorted and changed, and the worship of idols have prevailed once again! He (SWT) observes that ignorance, misguidance, fabricated stories, fantasies, and darkness have become widespread.
There is no guider to guide the people, no instructor to seek the true knowledge from, and no source of light in the midst of this darkness and misguidance. The true believers were waiting and anticipating the appearance of a prophet whom Allah (SWT) will send to lead the people from darkness of ignorance to the light of guidance, and to lead them to the true path of God.
Muhammad (SWT) was one of those devout believers who loves his Lord and seeks His worship and pleasure. But Muhammad is different from most or all of them as he follows the way of his grandfather Abraham (AS) who stated before, "I will go to my Lord! He will surely guide me [37:99]!”
And Abraham (AS) also said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among those who go astray [6:77]."
Muhammad (SA) resorts to Allah (SWT) directly just like Abraham (AS) who was the first to accept Islam and the first to surrender to Allah (SWT) directly seeking His guidance. So, Allah (SWT) made Abraham a prophet and friend and honored and elevated him, and gave prophecy to his progeny and gave him the best and most noble attributes.
Similarly, Muhammad did the same. He resorted to his Lord directly asking for guidance and light and he headed towards it by his own free will, submitting his affairs to Him and seeking His help to take him out darkness and bring Him closer to Him and get to know Him better. He did all that with a surrendering, intact, and humble heart and an anxious soul to meet his Lord!
That is why Muhammad (SA) used to go out to the mountain alone from time to time to be away from the people and stay inside a cave to worship his God alone sincerely and seek his guidance and light. He used to leave his beloved wife and household, his friends and his loved ones, and leave his home and place of comfort…to go out in the darkness of night in the midst of the desert and rocks and mountains…exposing himself to great dangers, beasts, scorpions, snakes, and thieves…to climb the mountain and enter a small dark cave!
All that was for the sake of his Lord and out of love for Him. This amazing scene repeats itself time and time again while Muhammad has all the perseverance to do so for years without being bored or desperate, and with all certainty that Allah (SWT) will guide and respond to him, just like he responded to his father Abraham (AS). Allah (SWT) witnesses all that from him day after day and He (SWT) knows the clarity and sincerity of his heart and his intentions.
You can imagine the amount of love, sincerity, and attraction to the one creator which drove Muhammad, who lived in the midst of idol worshippers, and in the midst of a materialistic, petrified, and luxurious society. After all, there is no place for God or His worship.
Everyone is busy and occupied by his trade, business trips, journeys, livestock, pleasure, entertainment, social gatherings, battles, poems, and idols, and that is all the lifestyle of the community, and nothing else. So why in the midst of all that atmosphere do we find Muhammad attracted to the worship of his Lord and Creator in such a way such that he leaves his family, friends, business, and daily comfort to go out in the desert and dangerous mountains alone, seeking the worship of his true Lord, and desiring to learn more about Him and get closer to Him, and seeking His help and guidance?
No one on the face of earth during that time or even before or after did such an act in such a community and in such circumstances. Why didn’t the historians, writers, and Orientals, whether Muslim or non-Muslims, pay close attention to this unique phenomena?
Why didn't they give it the required attention and focus the spotlights on it and research and study this matter carefully? Everyone passes by this truth quickly without paying much attention, whether intentionally or unintentionally, or out of ignorance.
As a result, this unique phenomenon stayed hidden and ignored in the darkness of history. You can barely see or know its value although it is an important and logical introduction to faith and belief in the prophecy of Muhammad and the divine selection for him to become the Seal of Prophets and Messengers.
After all, if this phenomenon had been studied and presented well, it would've had a great effect in convincing the non-Muslims everywhere that Muhammad was indeed a prophet sent by God, because the prophecy of Muhammad and the divine selection to him did not rise from nothing!
The heart of Muhammad had been totally occupied with the love and worship of Allah (SWT) almost all his life even before his prophecy. He used to sit down to glorify Him with His Praise, contemplate, remember, pray and worship while his heart is very attached to that Great Creator whom the people became misguided from His worship.
The heart and mind of Muhammad was totally occupied and attached to his Lord to the point that we don't find him entertaining and enjoying like the other youth used to do. We don’t find him having any personal ambitions in life. He did not seek to become wealthy or have fame or power or leadership or authority, despite the fact that he had all the capabilities and talent which would enable him to achieve and acquire all that.
Unlike his people and generation at that time, we do not find him having concerns with wealth or women or poetry or travel, or social gatherings, or meetings, or hunting, or any of these things which occupied the minds of his people during that time. Why?
Muhammad was not a merchant but he did trade. Nor was Muhammad a Shepard, but he herd the sheep. Muhammad did not take on a profession or occupation to give it all his time and concern even though he had lots of talent. Why?
The answers to these questions lay in one thing only. It is the heart and mind of Muhammad which was totally occupied by his relationship in getting to know his God and Creator!! This matter dominated his whole being and left no place for any other occupation or concern. It was a secret between him and his Lord, and that is what pushed him to go out secretly at night to a dark cave inside a mountain, in the midst of a tough and endless desert and between imminent dangers! He was alone without any announcement or propaganda.
He was there to freely practice his only hobby which is the love and worship of his creator and seeking help and guidance from Him alone, on the path of his father Abraham (AS). When Muhammad went out to the cave, he was like a lover who would go out to a special date with a dear and beloved one who owned his heart, mind and conscience and preoccupied his self and spirit.
It was as if there was a very special secret between him and his Lord, so he goes out to softly talk to Him without the people knowing that. That is because Muhammad didn’t want anyone to know the secret of his life which took over his heart. Exactly like any loved one does with his lover. He kept his love and relationship with his lover a secret between himself and his loved one in order to protect his love and very special relationship with his loved one.
Muhammad didn't have any hobby, interests, or ambitions in this life except to pray, worship, supplicate, and love His Lord. All that was before his prophecy! For that reason, the luminary and divine part in Muhammad grew and completely dominated him, so it escalated him to a very high rank. Thus, his feelings softened, his manners became perfected, and his self purified. Among his people, he was the truthful and trustworthy one who did commit lies, foolishness, envy, or arrogance.
He was clement, wise, smart, and intelligent. He used to keep contact with his kin and was very hospitable to his guests. He came to the rescue of any one facing tough time. He was very kind and compassionate with the poor, the weak, the children, orphans, servants and slaves. He was loyal to his companions, steadfast in righteousness, and he had dignity and respect.
Everything good in him was reflected first in his household. So he was the best of husbands, the best of fathers, the best of kin, the best of sons, the best of friends, the best of merchants, and the best of companions. He was fair and gave everything its due right. He was easygoing as his parable is that of water flowing freely from a purified spring! This was the state of Muhammad (SA) was before his prophecy.
Such was also the case with the prophets and messengers before Muhammad (Peace be upon him). They were men whose hearts were attached to their creator, so it preoccupied them and kept them busy from giving attention to anything or anyone else. Hence, their hearts were cleansed and purified, so Allah (SWT) chose them to deliver His Message. He (SWT) honored them by permitting them to speak on His Behalf and in His Name.