Prophet & Pillars of Deen

Bio of Prophet Mohammad saw


  • About Prophet Mohammed saw

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Mecca shud b read as Makkah


Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 CE Common Era) in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula, part of modern day Saudi Arabia. As his father had died shortly after marriage, his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib became his guardian. ‘Abd al-Muttalib was the respected head of the clan of Hashim and the tribe of Quraysh, to which his clan belonged. With the Quraysh being the biggest and most influential tribe in Mecca, ‘Abd al-Muttalib was seen as the master of all of Mecca. The Quraysh had a special status in Mecca because they used to be in charge of the sacred Ka’ba. The Qur’an tells us that this holy edifice was built by Prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael: And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House [Abraham prayed]: “Our Lord! Accept from us; surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing (2.127). Our Lord! Make us Muslims and raise from our offspring a nation of Muslims. Show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Surely, Your are the Relenting, the Merciful” (2.128). This means that the Ka’ba was built around 1900 BCE, which is when Abraham is thought to have lived. The Ka’ba maintained its venerable status as the destination of pilgrimage in the eyes of the pilgrims and the Arab population of the Arabian Peninsula down the centuries. ‘Abd al-Muttalib was personally in charge of the Ka’ba. The Prophet was only about five to six years old when he lost his mother. 


Orphan Muhammad then lost his grandfather and custodian ‘Abd al-Muttalib at the age of eight. Now one of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s sons, Abu Talib, became the guardian of his orphan nephew. Though respected by the clan of Hashim and the people of Mecca in general, Abu Talib did not possess the high status and influence of his father. Had he been more fortunate financially, he might have aspired to acquire that special leadership status. When Muhammad was twenty five years old, he was hired by a woman called Khadija to take her merchandize to Syria. Khadija, a widow fifteen years Muhammad’s senior, later proposed marriage to him, which he agreed to. They lived together for almost a quarter of a century, until the death of Khadija about 8-9 years after the revelation of the Qur’an. It is interesting to note that Muhammad did not get married to any other woman during Khadija’s life, despite the fact that polygamy was common practice in that society. Living out his youth with only one woman in that highly polygamous environment contradicts Muhammad’s lecherous image in the Western mind. Muhammad was deeply interested in matters beyond this mundane life. He used to frequent a cave that became known as “Hira‘” on the Mountain of “Nur” (light) for contemplation. The cave itself, which survived the times, gives a very vivid image of Muhammad’s spiritual inclinations. 


Resting on the top of one of the mountains north of Mecca, the cave is completely isolated from the rest of the world. In fact, it is not easy to find at all even if one knew it existed. After visiting the cave, I found myself concluding that Muhammad must have been divinely guided to that hideaway, even if he had chosen it consciously. Once inside the cave, it is a total isolation. Nothing can be seen other than the clear, beautiful sky above and the many surrounding mountains. Very little of this world can be seen or heard from inside the cave. The inhabitant of that cave was obviously interested in things beyond this world and its material riches. It was in that cave in 610 CE, i.e. at the age of forty, that Prophet Muhammad received from Allah the first verses of the Qur’an. Then and there, history changed. The Qur’an continued to be revealed in fragments to Prophet Muhammad over the following twenty two years. The last words of the Book were revealed to the Prophet shortly before his death in 632 CE. We will read more about the Qur’an in section 2.2. In the first two to three years after the revelation, the Prophet preached Islam secretly to individuals whom he trusted. When he started calling people to Islam publicly, the new religion gradually attracted more people but, not surprisingly, also increasing hostility from the idol worshipping population of Mecca. The Prophet was subjected to harassment and abuse. 


However, armed with patience, resilience, and determination, and protected by his uncle Abu Talib and the clan of Hashim, the Prophet was able to carry on preaching the new faith to people. Converts to Islam, some of whom were slaves, had to suffer all kinds of persecution, including brutal torture and murder, at the hands of the enemies of the new religion in Mecca. In 614 CE, the Prophet had to instruct a group of Muslims to escape the persecution to Abyssinia and seek the protection of its just Christian king. The Quraysh then sent a delegation to the king, carrying precious gifts, to secure the extradition of the Muslim refugees. The king, however, rejected the bribe and let the Muslims stay in Abyssinia. One year later, the Quraysh imposed economic and social sanctions on the Prophet, his followers, and his clan. As a result, the Muslims withdrew to a mountain in Mecca. The sanctions lasted about three years before collapsing in 618/619 CE without achieving their goals. Soon afterward, the Prophet lost his wife Khadija. Matters got worse quickly with the death of his uncle and protector. Prophet Muhammad started to suffer more from the disbelievers’ relentless attempts to uproot Islam and destroy its followers. During the pilgrimage season in 622 CE, Muhammad met in Mecca with a number of chiefs from the city of Yathrib, where he had previously sent some Muslims to settle in. Having converted to Islam, the chiefs made a secret pledge to protect the Prophet should the Quraysh try to kill him. However, the Quraysh learned about the agreement, so the people from Yathrib had to return quickly to their city. Sensing that the danger to Muslims has increased, Muhammad instructed them to immigrate individually or in small groups to Yathrib. The Qurayshites tried to prevent Muslims from fleeing Mecca to Yathrib, but the converts continued to sneak out gradually. 


The continuing immigration of Muslims to Yathrib where they had allies was already very bad news for the Qurayshites. This could yet get much worse if Muhammad also would move to that city. They decided that they had no other option but to kill him. The various clans of the tribe of Quraysh agreed to act as one and assassinate the Prophet while asleep. The idea behind acting collectively was that no one party could be blamed for the killing and become embroiled in a war of vengeance with the clan of Hashim. The assassination plan, however, was sabotaged by divine intervention. The night the murder was planned to take place, Allah informed His Prophet of the danger and ordered him to secretly leave Mecca and head to the city of Yathrib. The latter became known as “al-Madina al-Munawwara” (the illuminated city), or “al-Madina” for brief, after the arrival of the Prophet. This famous event, known as the “Hijra ” (immigration), occurred in 622 CE, about twelve years after the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an. This flight was destined to have far-reaching consequences in establishing the Islamic community, strengthening the position of Islam, and spreading its message. The Prophet lived in al-Madina for about ten years. By the time of his departure from this world in 632 CE, Islam had become well established as the religion of the Arabian Peninsula and had made inroads in neighboring regions; Muslims had become a major force to be reckoned with in the area. There are a number of good, detailed English biographies of Prophet Muhammad. One biography written by a non-Muslim is Karen Armstrong’s Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (London: Phoenix Press, 2001). Another one written by a Muslim is Martin Lings’ Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Inner Traditions Intl Ltd, 1987). 


For easy reference, this is a short chronology of major events in the life of Prophet Muhammad: Date (CE) Event 570 Birth of the Prophet in Mecca. His father was already dead when he was born. 575-576 The death of the Prophet’s mother. 578 The death of the Prophet’s grandfather and custodian ‘Abd al-Muttalib. The Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib became his guardian. 610 The first revelation of the Qur’an. 612-613 The Prophet started calling people to Islam publicly. 614 The first immigration of Muslims to Abyssinia escaping the persecution of the idol-worshipping Meccans. They stayed there for three months. A second immigration to Abyssinia, involving more Muslims, took place later on. This time, the immigrants stayed in Abyssinia until 628 CE when they rejoined the Prophet in al-Madina. 615 The tribe of Quraysh imposed economic and social sanctions on Muslims and the clan of Prophet Muhammad, Hashim. 618-619 The collapse of the sanctions. 618-619 The death of Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle, triggering increased hostility from the Meccans toward the Prophet. 622 The emigration of the Prophet from Mecca to al-Madina. 624 The first major battle of the Muslims against the disbelievers, known as the battle of Badr. 630 The Muslims conquered Mecca without fighting. 632 The last revelation of the Qur’an. 632 The departure of the Prophet from this world in al-Madina. 


Q & As selected: 


GuestDr Hala Hammadhank you,sir for your very useful paper. I am trying to discover information beyond your paper. where can I get info about the prophet’s relationship with his wives and children? Intimate family life of the prophet is not common knowledge. I am looking for the family man, the husband ,the father ,the cousin, the milk Brother,…etc.I was raised reading bits and pieces as a child and youth reading about this lovely man who paved the way for humanizing his followers. Much ,I have lost and forgotten during migration and refugee life from one country to another. I appreciate Sir any… Read more »5


REPLY GuestRajiv DarmoMuhammed appears to have many admirable qualities as a human being. To be quite frank,I think one of the things that makes nonmuslims reluctant to endorse him as among the greatest of all prophets or holy men is his caravan raiding to support his community and the use of force , perhaps quite justified for the 7th century. However those activities don’t seem consistent with the highest aspiration of human goodness for the modern sensibility. Nevertheless his concern for the poor and oppressed gives much for nonmuslims to appreciate about him

 

GuestSarahDear Mr.DamroInstead of just looking at the prophet(pbuh) as someone who looted caravans,It is better you realize whose caravans were looted. The caravans belonged to the Quraish of Mecca,who had seized the properties of Muslims and thrown them out of mecca.The Muslims were oppressed and had lost everything they owned,leaving them penniless and homeless just because they believed in the oneness of god.Later when the new Islamic state was established in Medina,revenge for the lost property was unleashed by attacking the quraish caravans which had to pass via  

A Very Important Clarification

The difference between sending salams on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and sending blessings.


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Highlights on prophet Mohammad saw

Assumption is Sin

For a hadid to b authentic it has to b verified by the ayahs of Qur'an.

Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

 

The 'Five Pillars' of Islam are the foundation of Muslim life:


Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;

Establishment of the daily prayers;

Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;

Self-purification through fasting; and

The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.


Iman or Faith

"There is none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." This declaration of faith is called the Shahadah, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. The significance of this declaration is the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey God, and this is achieved through the teachings and practices of the Last  Prophet, Muhammad. 


Salah or Prayer

Salah is the name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and there are no priests. Prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Qur'an and is generally chosen by the congregation.

Prayers are said at dawn, mid-day, late-afternoon, sunset and nightfall,  and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. These five prescribed prayers contain verses from the Qur'an, and are said in Arabic, the  language of the Revelation. Personal supplications, however, can be  offered in one's own language and at any time.

Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may  pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Oftentimes visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life.

A translation of the Adan or Call to Prayer is:

God is Great. 

God is Great. 

God is Great. 

God is Great. 

I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God. 

I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God. 

I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. 

I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. 

Come to prayer! 

Come to prayer! 

Come to success! 

Come to success! 

God is Great! 

God is Great! 

There is none worthy of worship except God.


Zakah 

The financial obligation upon Muslims.

An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakah means  both "purification" and "growth." Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakah individually. This involves the annual payment of a fortieth of one's capital, excluding such items as primary residence, car and professional tools.

An individual may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa-h,  and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as "voluntary charity" it has a wider meaning. 

The Prophet said, "Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is an act of charity." The Prophet also said: "Charity is a necessity for every Muslim." He was asked: "What if a person has nothing?" The Prophet  replied: "He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity." The Companions of the Prophet asked: "What if he is not able to work?" The Prophet said: "He should help the poor and needy." The Companions further asked: "What if he cannot do even that?" The Prophet said: "He should urge others to do good." The Companions said: "What if he lacks that also?" The Prophet said: "He should check himself from doing evil. That is also an act of charity." 

Sawm or Fasting

Every year in the month of Ramada-n, all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown--abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations with their spouses.

Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, are permitted to break the fast and  make up an equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy and able. Children begin to fast (and to observe prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of God.  God states in the Qur'an:  "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint." (Qur'an 2:183) 


Hajj or Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage to Makkah (the hajj) is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to do so. Nevertheless, over two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another.

The annual hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that hajj and Ramada-n fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include going around the Ka'bah seven times, and going seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar (Hajir, Abraham's wife) during her search for water. The pilgrims later stand together on the wide plains of 'Arafat (a large expanse of desert outside Makkah) and join in prayer for God's  forgiveness, in what is often thought as a preview of the 


Day of Judgment.

The close of the hajj is marked by a festival, the 'Id al Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This and the 'Id al Fitr, a festive day celebrating the end of Ramada-n, are the two holidays of the Islamic calendar.


Acknowledgement: The images and text are based from the Poster Exhibit of Discover Islam.

compiled by Ishaq ZahidS

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