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MUHAMMAD [S.A.W]

Muhammad (pbuh) was
born in Mecca
( Makkah), Arabia, on
Monday, 12 Rabi' Al-
Awal (2 August A.D. 570).
His mother, Aminah, was
the daughter of Wahb
Ibn Abdu Manaf of the
Zahrah family. His
father, 'Abdullah, was
the son of Abdul
Muttalib. His genealogy
has been traced to the
noble house of Ishmael,
the son of Prophet
Abraham in about the
fortieth descend.
Muhammad's father died
before his birth.
Before he was six years
old his mother died, and
the doubly orphaned
Muhammad was put
under the charge of his
grandfather Abdul
Muttalib who took the
most tender care of
him. But the old chief
died two years
afterwards. On his
deathbed he confided
to his son Abu Talib the
charge of the little
orphan.
When Muhammad was
twelve years old, he
accompanied his uncle
Abu Talib on a
mercantile journey to
Syria, and they
proceeded as far as
Busra. The journey
lasted for some months.
It was at Busra that
the Christian monk
Bahira met Muhammad.
He is related to have
said to Abu Talib:
'Return with this boy
and guard him against
the hatred of the Jews,
for a great career
awaits your nephew."
After this journey, the
youth of Muhammad
seems to have been
passed uneventfully,
but all authorities agree
in ascribing to him such
correctness of manners
and purity of morals as
were rare among the
people of Mecca. The
fair character and the
honorable bearing of
the unobtrusive youth
won the approbation of
the citizens of Mecca,
and b y common
consent he received the
title of "Al Ameen," The
Faithful.
In his early years,
Muhammad was not
free from the cares of
life. He had to watch
the flocks of his uncle,
who, like the rest of
the Bani Hashim, had
lost the greater part of
his wealth.
From youth to manhood
he led an almost
solitary life. The
lawlessness rife among
the Meccans, the
sudden outbursts of
causeless and bloody
quarrels among the
tribes frequenting the
Fair of Okadh (The
Arabian Olympia), and
the immorality and
skepticism of the
Quraish, naturally
caused feelings of pity
and sorrow in the heart
of the sensitive youth.
Such scenes of social
misery and religious
degradation were
characteristic of a
depraved age.
When Muhammad was
twenty five years old,
he traveled once more
to Syria as a factor of
a noble and rich Quraishi
widow named Khadijah;
and, having proved
himself faithful in the
commercial interests of
that lady, he was soon
rewarded with her hand
in marriage. This
marriage proved
fortunate and singularly
happy. Khadijah was
much the senior of her
husband, but in spite of
the disparity of age
between them, the
most tender devotion
on both sides existed.
This marriage gave him
the loving heart of a
woman who was ever
ready to console him in
his despair and to keep
alive within him the
feeble, flickering flame
of hope when no man
believed in him and the
world appeared gloomy
in his eyes.
Until he reached thirty
years of age,
Muhammad was almost
a stranger to the
outside world. Since the
death of his
grandfather, authority
in Mecca was divided
among the ten senators
who constituted the
governing body of the
Arabian Commonwealth.
There was no such
accord among them as
to ensure the safety of
individual rights and
property. Though family
relations afforded some
degree of protection to
citizens, yet strangers
were frequently
exposed to persecution
and oppression. In many
cases they were
robbed, not only of
their goods, but even
of their wives and
daughters. At the
instigation of the
faithful Muhammad, an
old league called the
Federation of Fudul, i.e.,
favors was revived
with the object of
repressing lawlessness
and defending every
weak individual -
whether Meccan or
stranger, free or slave
- against any wrong or
oppression to which he
might be the victim
within the territories of
Mecca.
When Muhammad
reached thirty-five
years, he settled by his
judgment a grave
dispute, which
threatened to plunge
the whole of Arabia into
a fresh series of her
oft-recurring wars. In
rebuilding the Sacred
House of the Ka'ba in
A.D. 605, the question
arose as to who should
have the honor of
raising the black stone,
the most holy relic of
that House, into its
proper place. Each tribe
claimed that honor. The
senior citizen advised
the disputants to
accept for their
arbitrator the first man
to enter from a certain
gate. The proposal was
agreed upon, and the
first man who entered
the gate was
Muhammad "Al-Ameen."
His advice satisfied all
the contending parties.
He ordered the stone
to be placed on a piece
of cloth and each tribe
to share the honor of
lifting it up by taking
hold of a part of the
cloth. The stone was
thus deposited in its
place, and the rebuilding
of the House was
completed without
further interruption.
It is related that, about
this time, a certain
Usman, Ibn Huwairith,
supported by Byzantine
gold, made an attempt
to convert the
territory of Hijaz into a
Roman dependency, but
the attempt failed,
chiefly through the
instrumentality of
Muhammad.
These are nearly all the
public acts related by
historians in which
Muhammad took part in
the first fifteen years
of his marriage to
Khadijah. As for his
private life he is
described to have been
ever helpful to the
needy and the helpless.
His uncle Abu Talib had
fallen into distress
through his endeavors
to maintain the old
position of his family.
Muhammad, being rather
rich at this time by his
alliance with Khadijah,
tried to discharge part
of the debt of
gratitude and obligation
which he owed to his
uncle by undertaking
the bringing up and
education of his son 'Ali.
A year later he adopted
'Akil, another of his
uncle's sons.
Khadijah bore
Muhammad three sons
and four daughters. All
the males died in
childhood, but in loving
'Ali he found much
consolation.
About this time,
Muhammad set a good
example of kindness,
which created a
salutary effect upon his
people. His wife Khadijah
had made him a present
of young slave named
Zaid Ibn Haritha, who
had been brought as a
captive to Mecca and
sold to Khadijah. When
Haritha heard that
Muhammad possessed
Zaid, he came to Mecca
and offered a large sum
for his ransom.
Whereupon Muhammd
said: "Let Zaid come
here, and if he chooses
to go with you, take
him without ransom; but
if it be his choice to
stay with me, why
should I not keep him?'
Zaid, being brought into
Muhammad's presence,
declared that he would
stay with his master,
who treated him as if
he was his only son.
Muhammad no sooner
heard this than he took
Zaid by the hand and
led him to the black
stone of Ka'ba, where
he publicly adopted him
as his son, to which the
father acquiesced and
returned home well
satisfied. Henceforward
Zaid was called the son
of Muhammad.
Muhammd was now
approaching his fortieth
year, and his mind was
ever-engaged in
profound contemplation
and reflection. Before
him lay his country,
bleeding and torn by
fratricidal wars and
intolerable dissension's;
his people, sunk in
barbarism, addicted to
the observation of rites
and superstitions, were,
with all their desert
virtues, lawless and
cruel. His two visits to
Syria had opened to him
a scene of unutterable
moral and social
desolation, rival creeds
and sects tearing each
other to pieces,
carrying their hatred to
the valleys and deserts
of Hijaz, and rending
the townships of Arabia
with their quarrels and
bitterness.
For years after his
marriage, Muhammad
had been accustomed
to secluding himself in a
cave in Mount Hira, a
few miles from Mecca.
To this cave he used to
go for prayer and
meditation, sometimes
alone and sometime
with his family. There,
he often spent the
whole nights in deep
thought and profound
communion with the
Unseen yet All-Knowing
Allah of the Universe. It
was during one of those
retirements and in the
still hours of the night,
when no human
sympathy was near,
that an angel came to
him to tell him that he
was the Messenger of
Allah sent to reclaim a
fallen people to the
knowledge and service
of their Lord.
Renowned compilers of
authentic traditions of
Islam agree on the
following account of the
first revelations
received by the
Prophet.
Muhammad would
seclude himself in the
cave of Mount Hira and
worship three days and
nights. He would,
whenever he wished,
return to his family at
Mecca and then go back
again, taking wihim the
necessities of life. Thus
he continued to return
to Khadijah from time
to time until one day
the revelation came
down to him and the
Angel Gabriel (Jibreel)
appeared to him and
said: "Read!" But as
Muhammad was
illiterate, having never
received any instruction
in reading or writing, he
said to the angel: "I am
not a ...


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