Bismillah

THE LIFE OF 

MUHAMMAD
(Sallalahu Alayhe Wassalam) 

THE MAKKAN PERIOD 

IMAM ANWAR AL AWLAKI 

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 Shaikh Abu Hasan Al Nadavi: was an Indian historian, Islamic scholar, and author of well over fifty books in various languages
Ref: 01_04_01 

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The situation of Arabia and the world were very desperate and needed the light of Prophethood. Shaikh Abu Hasan Al Nadavi has written an excellent book on this topic called – What has the world lost by the downfall of the Muslims? There is a whole chapter talking about the situation in the world at the time of Rasoolullah (SAW), Here we have just the situation of Arabia but in that book he talks about Persian Empire, China, India, Roman Empire All around the World.

It wasn’t entirely evil; people around the world still retained some good qualities. Al Boothy relates some of the good qualities of the non-believers of the Arabs had at the time of Rasoolullah (SAW). He mentions few examples like generosity, hospitality, fulfilling of pledge, pride and denial of shame and injustice, firm will and self determination, perseverance and deliberateness, pure and simple life.

These were some of the aspects that were taken advantage by Islam. Sahabah (ra), because they had these qualities, were successful in spreading the religion. Their generosity and hospitality made them welcome in the nation they would go to , people around the world welcomed the Sahaba (Rah). They weren’t like a despised occupier, The Sahaba were welcomed in the land they went to. People saw them as liberating army that free them from slavery and servitude that they were going through. History of Egypt and Syria are examples of that. They were ruled by Romans before being liberated. They did not see as the army coming in and displacing another occupying army , they saw them people who are liberating them.

The Sahabah (ra) didn’t care for power and authority; that’s another quality they had. Wherever they would go, they would train the local people and hand the control to them. The Sahaba (r) were out to call the people to Islam but not to rip their resources Unlike the Colonial era of Europe and Imperial Powers of Europe (France , Brittan, Italy, Holland) These European powers went all over the world taking advantage of their people and stripping them of their wealth. That was not the case of the Armies of the Sahabah (ra ).

People counted on them because of their fulfillment of pledges, firmness and determination. They were strong and you can count on them When they gave a word, they would stick to it. There is no compromise.

These are qualities that very important for Dawah and that’s the reason why Allah (SWT) chose that particular area to host the Last Message. It wasn’t something that haphazard; Allah (SWT) chose Mecca to be the Birth place of Rasoolullah (SAW) The people in that area at that time had qualities , which made them the to carry on the Message. They pledged and sacrificed their life for Islam.

We talk last time about the story of the Elephants (al-feel) Rasoolullah (SAW) was born in the Year of Elephant; the year Allah (SWT) destroyed the army of Abraha. There are many stories mentioning about the birth of Rasoolullah (SAW) the Miracle that happened . (You could go thru other books to study these stories , we are not going to go thru them , for simple reason that , we are trying to stick to certain standard of narrations , and these stories are usually weak ) His father Abdullah was on a journey to Sham while his mother Amina was pregnant. 

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Al-Boothy
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 Abdullah ended up dying close to Madina and was buried there. He died before the birth of Rasoolullah (SAW).  During the delivery of Rasoolullah (SAW), his mother Amina saw a light coming out of her reaching towards Sham. The light was interpreted as the light of message of Rasoolullah (SAW) reaching to the world.  Rasoolullah (SAW) says about his lineage, there are few hadith we will state  . First of all, Allah (Swt) says

Surat Al-An’aam 6:124

Allah is most knowing of where He places His message
Allah is most knowing of where He places His message

Allah knows best to place His prophethood. He chose the best to be His Messenger – Muhammed (SAW)

Imam Ahmad narrates the hadith about people were talking different things about Mohammed (Saw) for ex. Like Mohammed(saw) like a green tree grown in a desert , What they are trying to say is , Mohammed(Saw) is only good person among his clan

Narrated Al-Muttalib bin Abi Wada'ah:

"Al-Abbas came to the Messenger of Allah (), and it is as if he heard something, so the Prophet () stood upon the Minbar and said: 'Who am I?' They said: 'You are the Messenger of Allah, upon you be peace.' He said: 'I am Muhammad bin 'Abdullah bin 'Abdul-Muttalib, indeed Allah created the creation, and He put me in the best [group] of them, then He made them into two groups, so He put me in the best group of them, then He made them into tribes, so He put me in the best of them in tribe, then He made them into houses, so He put me in the best of them in tribe and lineage.'"

 Jami` at-Tirmidhi » Chapters on Virtues
English reference          : Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3607
Arabic reference            : Book 49, Hadith 3966



He is saying that he is not a good person among a group of evil people. He is saying the best, but also among the best. His clan and tribe is the most noble.

In Another Hadith

Narrated Wathilah bin Al-Asqa': that the Messenger of Allah () said: "Indeed, Allah chose Kinanah from the children of Isma'il, and He chose Quraish from Kinanah, and He chose Hashim from Quraish, and He chose me from Banu Hashim."

Jami` at-Tirmidhi » Chapters on Virtues
English reference          : Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3605
Arabic reference            : Book 49, Hadith 3964


Rasoolullah (SAW) was greatest among Banu Hashim and Banu Hashim was most nobal among Quraish and Quraysh is most nobel  among kinaana and Kinaana was most nobel among the decedents of Ismail .

Rasoolullah (SAW) says in another hadith, “I was the product of true marriage; not fornication – right from Adam to when my father and mother had me. I am not at all tainted by fornication of jahiliya.”

In the time of jahiliya, because of the corruption and lewdness that occurs when people are far from the true message, hearts become perverted and lot of immoral acts occurs among the people. However, such things never affected lineage of Muhammed (SAW). This is something Allah (SWT) granted to Rasoolullah (SAW).

Names of Rasoolullah (SAW)

The famous names of Rasoolullah (SAW) are Muhammed and Ahmed, but he has some additional names.

The name given to him by his parents was Muhammed. Abdul Muthalib, his grand father, named him Muhammed. The name means – “to be eternally praised”.

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Allah (SWT) fulfilled the meaning of his name. There is no human being in history that is praised like Muhammed (SAW). He is praised day and night for  his characteristics, sayings, and actions.

The name Ahmed is derived from the same root as Muhammed which is hamd (praise). Ahmed means – “he praises Allah (SWT)”. Both the names Mohammed and Ahmed are derived from same root.  Mohammed means the person who draws praise  and Ahmed means he praises Allah, so he is praised There is no other person ever lived who praises Allah (AzZaujal) like Rasoolullah (SWT).

Here you have two meanings Mohammed means who is most praised and Ahmed means he is the one who praises Allah the most. These are the two famous names of Mohammed(Saw).

Rasoolullah (SAW) told us about some of his other name in hadith.

“al-Haashir” meaning the Gatherer. Rasoolullah (SAW) would be the gatherer to whom humanity will be resurrected in his wake. The Prophet (SAW) will be the first to be resurrected among the creation followed by humanity in the day of Judgement. So the first person to be resurrected will be Mohammed(saw) and people will come after that. So he is the first on the day of judgement.

“al-Maqaffee” – the successor. Rasoolullah (SAW) is the last of the Messengers and there will be none succeeding him.

“al-Mahi” – the eraser who will eradicate Kufr. There is no Prophet that will succeed in eradicating Kufr entirel except for Muhammed (SAW). That mission has not been fulfilled yet. His Ummah is still carrying on the mission. The eventual victory of Islam which will be the combination of human history will be a moment of time when the whole world will be Muslims and that will be carried on by the Ummah of Muhammed (SAW) under the leadership of Isa (alaihissalam, Jesus may peace be upon him). So, Mohammed (saw) will be the one who is successful in eradicating, erasing Kufr from the face of the earth. So he called al-mahi , who will erase and eradicate Kufr.

One of his other name is Nabi-ul-Malhama , the prophet of the  fearest battle . Malhama is fearest battle and also series of battles . Rasoolullah (SAW) was named after the Prophet of the fearest battle or named after the Prophet of the series of battle. One can give different interpretation to that one meaning is that His Ummah are greatest in terms of Jihaad. There is no ummah that has fought jihad like the ummah of Mohammed(Saw) that’s one meaning.

Another meaning that could be drawn from the name of Rasoolullah (SAW) the future of humanity after Mohammed(saw) will that of very fears battles. And we have seen example of that in World War I and World War II.

History is divided into Stages. We are living in the stage of Mohammed(saw) which will extend until the Day of Judgement. Evens that happening now even though that might not be done by Muslims but we are still living in the era of Mohammed (Saw).  And every one living in the face of the earth is part of the ummah of Mohammed(saw) .in the sense that he is the Prophet. Whether they accept or not it is a different Question but they are part of his ummah and they will come on the Day of Judgement and will be asked about you (Mohammed(s)). They wont be asked about Isa(as) they wont be asked about Musa(as) but they will be asked about Mohammed(Saw), did you follow him or not?.

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Rasoolullah (SAW) was initially nursed by his mother and Umm Ayman whose name is Baraka. Umm Ayman is an Abysinian woman who lived in Mecca and later became Muslim. Zaid ibn Haritha(ra), the emancipated slave of Rasoolullah (SAW), He(saw) freed him  and Zaid ibn Haritha married her.

There was a tradition among the urban Arabs to send their children to grow up in the desert. They used to believe that the desert is more pure, is a cleaner environment and is healthier to grow in, they also believe that this will strengthen the character because of their harshness, It will make them stronger, so they will send their children out of the cities to live in the desert, That happen to Rasoolullah (SAW) he was brought up in the land of banu s’ad. They realized that city is not a good environment to bring up their children, especially with Mecca because it received lot of visitors from all over Arabia. They could bring with them different diseases and germs into town. The desert is pure, hot and dry which makes it unsuitable environment for the growth of bacteria. They also believe that it would strengthen their character due to harshness of the desert.

Rasoolullah (SAW) was also sent to the desert. Haleema Saadia narrates the story. She says that she came to Mecca with her friends so that they could take with them children to nurse or adopt. For them, this was something they were paid for. That particular year was the year of famine and people were very poor.

She and her friends went around the house of Mecca searching for children who need to be nursed. Muhammed (SAW) was presented to each and every one of them and they all declined to accept him because he was an orphan. They were saying “What good is an orphan? Who will pay us if his father is dead?” The practice during those days was not to agree on a certain amount of money. What they would do is, they would nurse the child for which they would be given some financial compensation as a gift. Since Muhammed (SAW) was an orphan, no one would accept him since he did not have a father to pay for him and his mother may not be able to pay what they were expecting.

Rasoolullah (SAW) was initially nursed by his mother and Umm Ayman whose name is Baraka. Umm Ayman is an Abysinian woman who lived in Mecca and later became Muslim. Zaid ibn Haritha, the emancipated slave of Rasoolullah (SAW), He(saw) freed him  and Zaid ibn Haritha married her.

There was a tradition among the urban Arabs to send their children to grow up in the desert. They used to believe that the desert is more pure, is a cleaner environment and is healthier to grow in, they also believe that this will strengthen the character because of their harshness, It will make them stronger, so they will send their children out of the cities to live in the desert, That happen to Rasoolullah (SAW) he was brought up in the land of banu s’ad. They realized that city is not a good environment to bring up their children, especially with Mecca because it received lot of visitors from all over Arabia. They could bring with them different diseases and germs into town. The desert is pure, hot and dry which makes it unsuitable environment for the growth of bacteria. They also believe that it would strengthen their character due to harshness of the desert.

Rasoolullah (SAW) was also sent to the desert. Haleema Saadia narrates the story. She says that she came to Mecca with her friends so that they could take with them children to nurse or adopt. For them, this was something they were paid for. That particular year was the year of famine and people were very poor.

She and her friends went around the house of Mecca searching for children who need to be nursed. Muhammed (SAW) was presented to each and every one of them and they all declined to accept him because he was an orphan. They were saying “What good is an orphan? Who will pay us if his father is dead?” The practice during those days was not to agree on a certain amount of money. What they would do is, they would nurse the child for which they would be given some financial compensation as a gift. Since Muhammed (SAW) was an orphan, no one would accept him since he did not have a father to pay for him and his mother may not be able to pay what they were expecting.

Haleema says at the end of the day all of her friends were going back to the camps with children except herself. She found no one to take with her. So at night she told her husband, “I am going tomorrow morning to accept that child called Muhammed since we have no one else. I am not going home empty handed.” Her husband agreed and went next day morning to meet Muhammed’s (SAW) mother, Amina binth Wahab. She accepted the child to take with her.

Haleem says. “The night before, we couldn’t get any sleep because our camel was not providing any milk and because of the famine and the hunger. I wasn’t able to provide my own child with milk. So he would cry throughout the night keeping us awake. As soon as I picked up Muhammed (SAW) and took him back to my camp, my breast immediately welcomed and provided him with all the milk that he needed until he was satisfied. The milk was enough for my son. That was the first night that we were able to have good sleep.” So immediately the barakah of Rasoolullah (SAW) was apparent.

She says her husband went out to milk the camel and it was providing so much milk that he came back and said, “Oh Haleema, you have brought us a blessed soul. There is something going on. All of this blessing is showering us since you brought this young child in our house”

They started back to the desert with Muhammed (SAW).

e day all of her friends were going back to the camps with children except herself. She found no one to take with her. So at night she told her husband, “I am going tomorrow morning to accept that child called Muhammed since we have no one else. I am not going home empty handed.” Her husband agreed and went next day morning to meet Muhammed’s (SAW) mother, Amina binth Wahab. She accepted the child to take with her.

Haleem says. “The night before, we couldn’t get any sleep because our camel was not providing any milk and because of the famine and the hunger. I wasn’t able to provide my own child with milk. So he would cry throughout the night keeping us awake. As soon as I picked up Muhammed (SAW) and took him back to my camp, my breast immediately welcomed and provided him with all the milk that he needed until he was satisfied. The milk was enough for my son. That was the first night that we were able to have good sleep.” So immediately the barakah of Rasoolullah (SAW) was apparent.

She says her husband went out to milk the camel and it was providing so much milk that he came back and said, “Oh Haleema, you have brought us a blessed soul. There is something going on. All of this blessing is showering us since you brought this young child in our house”

They started back to the desert with Muhammed (SAW).
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Haleema says, “When we were coming back to Mecca, I was riding a donkey that was so old and weak, it was slowing down the whole group and it was annoying everybody else [She said this donkey was old and weak]. However, while going back, my donkey was the fastest among the group. My friends started asking – is this the same donkey that you brought with you when you came back to Mecca? And I said that’s true. They said – by Allah, some thing is going on”.

Now they were back to their land.

Haleema said, “Me and my husband send out our goats to graze. They would come back full and we would milk them whenever we want while every other animal in our tribe would be hungry and provide no milk.” People started to complain to the Sheppard telling why don’t they go and graze the animal the same place where Halima is grazing hers. They would take their animals following Haleema’s to the same place, yet Haleema’s would come back full and others would come back empty.

She says the child was growing up and we would see the blessings of Allah on all of us because of him – “And God went on blessing us this way and we recognized it”.

When Rasoolullah (SAW) reached two years of age, he was already growing as a fine boy unlike other children. “I swear by the age of two, he was a sturdy boy so we took him to his mother.” – Now, its time to return the child.

They went to Mecca and told Amina, “ We want to keep Muhammed with us. You know its not good for him to be in Mecca and it might be dangerous” They were bringing up all kind of excuses. They wanted to keep Muhammed (SAW); they loved him so much; they knew he is blessed; they kept on trying and trying until Amina agreed.

So they took him back with them. One day Muhammed (SAW) was playing with his foster brother.

His foster brother came in rushing and said, “My brother from Quraish!”

They asked, “What happened to him?”

“Two men dressed in white came down and knocked him to the ground and then they opened up his abdomen.”

Haleema and her husband went rushing to see Muhammed (SAW). His colour was pale and they asked him what happened?

He said, “Two men came and they opened my chest. They took out something from it.”

Haleema loved Muhammed (SAW) so much that she didn’t want anything to harm him; especially when he is with her. She rushed back to Mecca to see Amina and said, “Here is Muhammed and now you can have him. We have fulfilled our responsibility”.

Amina said, “How come you are bringing him back when you are so interested in keeping him.”

They did not reply. She insisted, “Tell me what happened. You were so insistent on keeping him and now you want to keep him. What happened?”

She kept on asking question until they eventually told her what happened.

Amina responded, “Are you afraid for him that Satan might hurt him? By Allah, that will not happen. When I was pregnant with him, it was the lightest pregnancy. When I delivered him, his birth was unlike any other child. When he came out, I have seen light that reaching to Sham. So the protection of Allah is with him and I am sure he will have a great future.”

Rasoolullah (SAW) is now with his mother. His mother passed away at the age of six. He is alone losing his father and mother. His grand father, Abdul Muthalib, adopted and raised him up. Abdul Muthalib passed away when Muhammed (SAW) was at the age of eight. He was then take care of by his uncle Abu Thalib; who protected, helped and supported him for the next forty years of the life of Prophet Muhammed (SAW).

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Few events before Prophethood

Rasoolullah (SAW) was protected by Allah (SWT). He would not commit sins which were usual and normal amongst his people. Allah (SWT) was keeping him away from these sins.

Rasoolullah (SAW) narrates an example of this, “I was a shepherd and one day I told my friend, who was also a shepherd with me, that tonight I want to go in to Mecca to attend the parties my peers attend.” He was a young man at that time and all of his friends would attend parties, except him. He was the only one who would not join them. “I told my friend to take care of my flock until I returned and he agreed”.

Rasoolullah (SAW) says, “I went into Mecca and arrived at the place where the party was going on. As soon as I was hearing the music, Allah (SWT) struck my ears and I fell down asleep. By the time I woke up, the party was over.”

He said, “The next day, I decided to attend another party. I had same arrangement with my friend and went into Mecca again. As soon as I reached the place and started hearing the music, Allah (SWT) struck my ears again and I fell down asleep. When I woke up after the party is over, I realized that this is a sign to me from Allah (SWT).”

Another example mentioned by Zaid bin Haritha(ra), who was the servant of Rasoolullah (SAW). He says, “There was a brass idol called isaaf-al-naaila which the polytheists would touch as they performed tawaaf. The messenger of Allah said – don’t touch it.” How Rasoolullah (SAW) know not to touch it? It was hidayah coming from Allah (SWT). “So as we would go around the Kaaba, I would touch it to see what would happen. When I did so, Messenger of Allah asks me – were you not forbidden to do that? The Messenger of Allah never saluted an idol up to when Allah, the Almighty honoured him and he gave him the revelation.”

Rasoolullah (SAW) never sujood and never toughed the idols in sense of worship .  Rasoolullah(saw) had a natural dislike to idol worshipping and he even applied those rules on his family , Zaid ibn Harith who was his servant , Rasoolullah (SAW) told him don’t involve in touching these idols and that’s why Ali bin Abi Talib who grew up in his household never made sujood or worshiped  to an idol. He never worshipped idols because he brought up the Messenger. When Abu-Talib was poor Rasoolullah (SAW) was offered to take care of his son Ali-ibn-Talib. Ali-ibn-Talib raised up by Rasoolullah (SAW).

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Allah (SWT) was guiding Rasoolullah (SAW) towards some ibaadat that nobody knew about.  During Hajj, [Hajj compose of different rituals, Taffaf around Al-Kaba, Saee between As-safa-Walmarva,  Standing in Arfah, Camping in Mina, ]Quraish was the only people who would not participate in the day of Arafa because Arafa was considered out of al-Haram and they thought they don’t need to go to Arafa as they are already inside the boundary of al-Haram. They would stop at the borders of Arafa. Al Mutha’m bin Jubair, once lost his camel during the time of Haj and he went out looking for it. He ended searching for his camel in Arafa. To his amazement, he find Muhammed (SAW) there. Al Jubair said, “isn’t he from among the people of Quraish? What is he doing in Arafa?” Allah (SWT) was guiding Muhammed (SWT) by fitra to go to Arafa during the time of Hajj

The first profession for Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wassalam was shepherding. In Sahih Bukhari, Rasoolullah (SAW) says, “Allah has not sent a prophet who is not a shepherd”. His companions then asked “and you?” “Yes I used to herd sheep for compensation from the people of Makkah”.


Its striking that Allah subhanahu wa thaala trained all of His prophets as shepherds especially that of sheep. There are some lessons to be learned from the Anbiya being shepherds specifically that of sheep (or goats), that is what hadith says, hadith did not made unqualified statement that they were shepherds, it says that they were shepherds of sheeps , actually the hadith says “raa-al-qanam”, it could mean either sheep or goat.  The same word in Arabic refers to both.

Responsibility

The most important lesson or training that they learn being shepherd is responsibility. Rasoolullah (SAW) says in the hadith, “You are all shepherds; you are all responsible for your herds”


A shepherd usually takes care of someone else’s flock. They are hired and need to be reported to a higher authority. The shepherd cannot go back to the owner and say, “I am sorry, I lost a sheep today. That sheep happened to be stupid.” It doesn’t matter what the sheep does, how bad the flock goes, how intelligent it is, whether they are united or not, whether they obey or not – the shepherd is held accountable.  The shepherd is responsible for the herd even though the herd is not responsible for itself.

The Anbiya of Allah one day will be accountable to Allah (SWT) for their people.  Similar is the case with anyone who is accountable for their family, group, community, society or nation.

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Patience

Herding sheep teaches the Anbiya patience. That’s the second lesson that Anbiya learn. Sheep take their own time on their own pace to fill their tummy. Shepherd need to have patience and wait accommodating their pace. The sheep might end up fighting each other or sometimes spending their time playing. You can’t really tell them, “Come on guys, finish up. We need to leave” You need to sit there waiting and you are doing this day in and day out. That takes a lot of patience. You have to bear with them even if you are not able to communicate well with them or if they can’t communicate well with you.

The Anbiya learned to be very patience with their people. Remember what Moosa alaihissalam went through Bani Israel. His experience was terrible; however Moosa had a training in shepherding more than probably any other prophet. He was a shepherd for 10 years. When he left Egypt and got married to the daughter of Shuaib, he was asked to take care of Shuaib’s flock of sheep for 8 or 10 years. The contract was for 8 years, but then Shuaib said it would be favour Moosa would do for him if he herded his sheep for another 2 years.

The ayah in the Quran does not state if the Moosa did it for 8 or 10 years, however Rasoolullah (SAW) wants to know. He asked Jibreel how long did Moosa work for Shuaib. Jibreel said, “He worked for the most complete and perfect term” In other words ten years. As Anbiya of Allah, he did the best job.

Nuh aliahissalam spent 950 years in da’wah and he was so patient with his people. He tried every different way to persuade his people to the straight path. He tried publicly and privately; at night and day time; every way and they were rejecting his message. Imagine doing the same thing again and again for 950 years. That takes a lot of patience.

Being patient does not mean you should not toughen up. As a Muslim, there are times when you need to do more than just dawah. You should be prepared to go into situations that may challenge you.

Protection

The third lesson that the Anbiya of Allah learn is protection. There are various dangers, seen or unseen, that sheep could face. There could be wolves and other beasts around. There could be diseases that could inflict the sheep. The shepherd needs to be consistently on top of all these making sure that the sheep is free of all dangers.

The Anbiyas of Allah are very protective of their people. They need to be protective both physically as well as psychologically.

In Madina, at night, a commotion was heard. So, some of the Sahabah picked up their swords, got on to their horses and raced to the source of the commotion. They found to their amazement that Rasoolullah (SAW) was already on his back from the source telling them everything is fine. Even though the Sahabah was so fast and swift in getting there, Rasoolullah (SAW) was already there checking what’s happening.

Rasoolullah (SAW) would warn his people from shaitan and any other possible dangers that they would face. He warned us of every possible dangers both in the present as well as that would happen in the future. He told the Sahabah, “I’ve warned you of dajjal like no other prophet”. He provided more details than anybody else. “If he comes out while I am among you, I will take care of him. If he comes out after I pass away, then everyone is responsible for their own protection.”

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The sheep is closer to earth and their sight is very limited. They can see so far that a small obstacle can block their view, but a human being standing tall has a longer view and from that vantage point of view can see any approaching danger sooner than the sheep. He can therefore give advance warning to the herd of any approaching danger a few feet away.

Similar is the case with the Anbiya. They sense and detect any dangers before us. They have the clearest vision, the longest view, and the vantage point that none of us have and they know what is good for us. Rasoolullah (SAW) says “the analogy of me and you is like someone sitting next to a fire at night.  I am grabbing you by your clothes dragging you away from it while you are releasing from me jumping into the fire” .  When you have a fire or a lamp, it attracts insects and bugs at night. They are attracted by any source of light. When they see fire, they think its light not knowing it will burn them. So the analogy of Rasoolullah (SAW) is like him standing next to a fire while we are attracted to it, jumping in it, without knowing the dangers.  He is there grabbing by our clothes preventing us from jumping into the dangers, while we are forcing towards it. He knows its fire, the danger that we don’t know.

What happens if you see a blind man walking towards a trench? You are not going to sit there, watching him approach the trench and telling him “hey man, you are gonna fall soon”. You are going to scream at the top of your voice giving him immediate warning “Watch out. Be careful.” There is no time to think of any polite words to tell him. That’s exactly what the Anbiyas were telling. They were giving us plain straight words of the upcoming danger. It’s not because they lack in sensitivity or that they want to hurt the feelings of others; because they want to save other people. They really cared about them. The shepherd may hit the animals, not because he wants to hurt them but to save them.

So whenever we see a Nabi of Allah standing up and giving us staunch warning, it’s because they care about their people. When Rasoolullah (SAW) stands on the minbar and says, “anzarthukum un naar, anzarthukum un naar, anzarthukum un naar” (I am warning you from hell fire, I am warning you from hell fire), his voice go up and up in such a way that the people in the market could hear what he was saying. He was repeating the same thing again and again

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Simplicity

A shepherd lives a simple life. You cannot have all the accessories of life in the middle of the desert. You cannot take your BMW, air conditioner, couch, TV, remote controls, refrigerator, and different types of food in the desert. All you can carry out there is a few items and that’s it! You have to give up all other things even if you are a wealthy person while you are shepherding.

So shepherding teaches the Anbiya how to lead a simple life and to be accustomed to different environments. It could be raining, cold, hot, and windy and they still need to feed the animals. Rasoolullah (SAW) would travel from one place to another getting accustomed to various conditions such as battles. All this was possible because he was trained as a shepherd.

Closeness to the creation of Allah

The life of a shepherd pulls you out from the artificial world. You are out with the creation of Allah, close to nature. The life we are leading could create some harmful scars on our hearts and our way of thinking. Living in this concrete world where everything is artificial is against the natural disposition of our creation. We were created from this earth and we are close to nature and are part of it. Keep us away from that, in this artificial world, is like keep us away contemplating the creation of Allah. Look at how many references in the Quran is made to the creation of Allah – the sun, the moon, stars, heavens, rivers, oceans, the plants, etc. Why are they mentioned? It is draw attention to His creations so that we are aware of His abilities. The creations of Allah are the attributes of Him. If you want to learn the Greatness of Allah, look at His creation. If you want to learn the Wisdom of Allah, look at His creation. If you want to learn the knowledge of Allah, look at His creation. Basically if you want learn all the Names of Allah, you will its reflection in His creations.

A shepherd is given the opportunity to contemplate about nature. Not every one of them takes advantage of it, but the opportunity is given and the Anbiya made the most of it. Rasoolullah (SAW) used to spend a lot of time thinking about the creation of Allah, wondering about it.

Why specifically sheep?

These are some of the lessons to be learned being shepherds. Now what about sheep? How come it’s specifically sheep? How come it wasn’t about camels or cows? We can argue that Rasoolullah (SAW) grew up in Arabia and it is not custom to raise cows, however they did raise camels. Rasoolullah (SAW) was never in his life a shepherd of camels. Similar is the case with other Anbiyas, it was specifically sheep.

CD04 : 00:50



Sheep are weak animals, and much weaker than cows and camels and need more protection and care. Due to this weakness, they can easily fall prey, and when Rasoolullah (SAW) wanted to warn us from Shaitan, he would bring in his experience and he would say; Narrated AbudDarda (ra) ': I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: If there are three men in a village or in the desert among whom prayer is not offered (in congregation), the devil has got the mastery over them. So observe (prayer) in congregation), for the wolf eats only the straggling animal. Sa'ib said: By the word Jama'ah he meant saying prayer in company or in congregation. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Book #2, Hadith #0547)

Rasoolullah (SAW) learned, that if one sheep goes astray, that will be the target of the wolf. The wolf will not target the herd, but the animal which is alone. As humans, we are weak as these sheep when it comes to the temptation and attack of shaitan.

Sheep are weak animals compared to camels and cows. Therefore they need more protection and care. Because of this weakness, they could easily fall prey. When Rasoolullah (SAW) warn us from shaitan, he brought his experience, and he would say, “Stick with the Jamaa (group), because the wolves feasts from the strayed sheep” He was literally saying be with the group of Muslims or you will be in trouble. He learned this from his experience as a shepherd. The wolf does not hit the flock, but the lonely one. We are weak as these sheep when it comes to shaitan. Shaitan can tempt us and attack us. Being part of a group of Muslims help us to avoid such temptations.
Another lesson to learn from shepherding sheep is that we are affected by the environment we work in. Our work leaves permanent influence on our personality. Shepherds of sheep are different from the shepherd of camels or shepherds of cows. They are different than cowboys. Why? They are dealing with a different animal. Sheep tend to be very compassionate, very merciful, and weak. So the shepherd of sheep tends to become merciful and kind with them because they are fragile animals. You cannot be too harsh with sheep. The Anbiya of Allah learned how to be compassionate with their people.

When it comes to camels, the animal tend to be arrogant and you cannot be soft with it otherwise it will take advantage of you. With the camel, you will have to meet its arrogance with strength. You meet the pride with pride. That made the shepherds of camels rough, tough and sometimes rude. That is something the shepherds learn from the environment they live in.

A Side Note

We are affected by our surrounding environment and it leaves a lasting effect on our personality. Shepherds of sheep are different than shepherds of cows and camels. Shepherds are different than cowboys and cowboys differ from shepherds of camel. This is due to their raising of different animals which has an effect on their personality.
Sheep are very compassionate, merciful and weak, so the shepherd learns to become kind and merciful toward them as they are fragile animals and one cannot be too harsh toward them.

The Prophets of Allah Ta'aala learned how to become compassionate toward their followers. Camels on the other hand are very arrogant animals, and one cannot be soft with a camel as it will take advantage of you. The arrogance of the camel must be met with strength as opposed to kindness and compassion. Shepherds of camel are therefore very rough, tough and may be rude, which is learned via their environment.

Similarly, teachers have a different personality than doctors. Doctors tend to have a different personality than engineers. Engineers have a different personality than skilled workers, etc.

For example, being a teacher for many years, may tend to make one into a fatherly figure, as they constantly giving advice to the children they are teaching etc. This may tend to make them behave around and treat their peers in a similar fashion, even though they are outside the working environment, due to their constant work environment and therefore fashioning of their personality.

Politicians, who are constantly lying and deceptive due to their work, tend to behave in this manner outside of their working environment.

The Prophets, therefore, had their personality and behaviour fashioned through their environment of herding sheep, thus reflecting this personality and behaviour toward their followers.

What you do affects you. Teachers tend to have different personality than doctors. Doctors have a different personality than engineers. Engineers have a different personality than skilled workers. Skilled workers such as a mechanic have a different personality than farmers. Your work affects your personality. Usually doctors, after being in practice for a while, tend to start scribbling instead of writing legibly. They need the help transcriptionists.  Being a teacher for some time, makes you such a fatherly figure and is always giving advice; they might even do this with their peers. People who stay in the academic field for long time tend to be scholarly and there is a level of sophistication in the way they speak, they tend to pick words and phrases unlike someone who has less education. The influence could be both ways. Your personality will affect your profession and your profession will affect. You tend to choose a profession that suits your personality, but then that profession would push them further in those trades.

Usually a person who stays long in the sales or marketing world tends to be deceptive than others. It also depends on the type of business you’re working in. You tend to trick your customers to buying your products even though it does not have much value than other products in the market. That’s because of the daily business you deal with. Similar is the case with politicians who are usually assumed by others as tricky and deceptive. An actor, who keeps on putting different faces daily, teaches them something. It affects their personality. As a Muslim, we need to be careful of the profession we choose. This does not mean to say that we should not spread in other fields, but keep in mind that you need to choose a profession that suits your personality and also keep in mind that your work will affect you. Every type of work out there has something good in it, and it’s up to us to take advantage of that good and to eliminate the bad of the field. Being deceptive and tricky in politics doesn’t mean we should not go for such field. As Muslims, we need to change image of politics. If you look at the history, you would find very few Sahabis who did not assume office after the time of Rasoolullah (SAW). Whether it is governorship of a state or being a mayor of a town or leading an army, you would find them there. But the political environment that they lived was absolutely different than what we see today. It was an environment of honesty and straight forwardness, accountable and responsible, and serving the people.


Side notes

About a scholar Ibn Hajar askalani: who represents the entire realm of the Islamic world in the field of Hadith. He was the scholar of not only hadith but fiqh ,aqeedha.  His best of the work is Fath al-Bari – considered the most prominent and reliable commentary on al-Bukhari's Jami` al-Sahih: In 1414 (817 A.H.), since this haidth is in bukharee, a quote from ibn hajar on this particular hadith. He says “Ibn Hajar states, "The wisdom behind having the Prophets as shepherds before prophethood is that they may become skilled in herding a flock, as they will be responsible for their respective nations in the future. In herding, one attains for bearance and mercy, and endures patience, for when a shepherd is obliged to gather his flock and herd it from one area to another at once, knowing the traits of all, and all the while protecting from predators, he has thus attained the skills necessary to lead the nation and protect it from its enemies, both within and abroad."

"Thus the Prophets learn patience when leading their people and attained an understanding of the different natures of people. They learned to show kindness to the weak, and resolve with the dominant. The reasons for which Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aala chose the sheeps for the Prophets as opposed to the communal cows or camels, is that they are animals which are weak and need extra guidance and attention. Sheep are more difficult to maintain as a flock because of their propensity to go astray and wander away."

"This is akin to human traits within a society and it is the divine wisdom of Allah to train these Prophets accordingly. The Prophet's sallallahu alayhi wa sallam mentioning of this humble trait shared by all Prophets attests to his humility to Allah."

Muhammad Al-Abda, a writer, comments on Rasoolullah (SAW) living in the desert and being brought up there and states “This faith excels through the free-thinkers, the courageous, the intelligent, and those who are just. And one cannot encompass it except by distancing themselves from lowly character. It is therefore incumbent upon the Muslims to take on the pure characteristics embodied in humanity’s natural disposition. This was the example sought by the early Khalifa, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, when he pleaded with his people to toughen up on how to ride the steed. He feared for his people the longing for this life and adopting reprehensible characteristics. This does not mean that one must abandon urban living in order to attain the stated objectives, but it does mean that one should abandon those things in their life that turn them away from the difficulties of this message.

He is actually commenting that Rasoolullah (SAW) living as a shepherd in desert and also Rasoolullah (SAW) been brought up in desert in the early years of his life. Then he is saying about Omar-bin-Khatab(ra) , when he was a califa . he could have the access to the best of this world could offer but he still lived a simple life and he was warning the muslims telling them you need to toughen up . because this message demands some time when you going to be in difficult situation then you need to be prepared and ready for that , dawa is one acpect . A Daee cannot be sincere and whole heartedly involved in dawa if they do not have patience and they are not willing to go in to difficult situation




Hilf ul fudhool

The next import event that happen  During the early times of Rasoolullah (SAW), there was a pact called “hilf ul fudhool”. The story behind this is – a man from Zabeel in Yemen came to do business in Makkah. His merchandise was taken away by al-Aas bin Waal who promised to pay him back. Al-Aas bin Waal refused to pay him back after a while. He took advantage of the fact that the man is a foreigner and expected him to walk away. But the man didn’t and stood up for his rights. He went to a public place in Makkah and started calling the people of Quraish. He was telling, “I am oppressed in your land. Are you people who are going to stand up for my rights? Will you allow this oppression to happen in your land?” He said some emotional words that some clans of Quraish decided to meet together to bring about an agreement on protecting the rights of the weak in Makkah. Among the families of Quraish was the family of Rasoolullah (SAW) – his uncles.

Rasoolullah (SAW) was a young boy at that time. He said “my uncles took me with them to the meeting”. The meeting was held in the house of Abdullah bin Jad’aan who was a generous man at that time and someone who would stand up for others rights. It was symbolic to have this meeting at his place. The meeting to concluded, deciding that all of them would stand up together, to protect the rights of the oppressed. This meeting happened before prophethood. It was a pact that occurred between non-believers.

Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “I witnessed in the house of Abdullah bin Jad’aan a pact made that I wouldn’t have exchanged for the choices heard. And if it had been suggested after Islam I would have responded to it positively.” What essentially he was saying is “If I am invited today after the message of Islam has been given to me, I would have still responded to it even though it was held by a non-believers” The important lesson to learn is that Muslims should side with what is right no matter what the source is or where the call for help is coming from. As a Muslim, we should stand for human rights and the needy no matter what their religious background is. We should stand up for what is good and what is right. The man was given back what belonged to him.

An incident happened in the time of Amawiyeen (or Umawiyeen (ie) banu Umayya) , few decades after Rasoolullah (SAW) passed away, between al-Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib(ra) and al-Walid bin Utba who is the governor of Madina. Because al-Walid was the governor of Madina, he was taking advantage of his position and took away some property that belonged to al-Hussein. Al-Hussein went to al-Walid and said, “You either give me what belongs to me otherwise I am going to walk into Masjid invite people to hilf-ul-fudhool”. At that moment, Abdullah bin Zubair(ra) was with al-Walid and said, “I too swear by Allah, that if he does invoke hilf-ul-fudhool, I will draw my sword and stand there with him until he gets justice or we will all die together”. Some other people who heard about it al-muvar bin makrama, Abd-rahaman-bin utmaaan-bin ubaid and others  also gave similar statements. As the heat was picking up, al-Walid realised its dangerous to ignore and he gave back the belongings of al-Hussein(ra).

Muslim would not allow wrong to happen in front of them. They stood up for their rights during the time of leaders like al-Walid even if they had to give up their life.

Sheik Mohammed bin Gazali comment on this statement and says This pacts shows that no matter how dark lights becomes and oppressors dictators become Nobel Characteristic will still remain in certain people who stand up for justice and then it is righteousness . Allah(swt) has made the co-operation in enjoining good and obligation upon Muslims , which he has called to in the Verse and Co-operated in Virtue and Taqwa  and do not help one another in Sin and Transgression . for a group of Muslims who enter in to a Treaty or contract such as aforementioned in may permissible because it is only re-enforcement of Islamic obligation , however this by definition must be dissimilar to the situation of Masjid birar  [This was a masjid build in Madina , to excludes looks of Muslims ], he says where the co-operation turns in to nationalistic strategy to exclude Muslims . as for the Muslims contracting with the people of other faith in order to remove the oppression or to face an oppressor , this become permissiobel for them if there in it the welfare of islam and muslim in the present and future , the basis for this is essentially the Prophet (saw) willingness to answer the call of the this pact even after Islam.




End of
 THE MAKKAN PERIOD 
CD - 04