Blessings of Daughters

Children are no doubt a great gift from Almighty Allah to all parents. Parents must think of their children as such treasures that all the wealth and material resources are worthless as when compared to one’s children. We, as parents, should thank and be grateful to Almighty Allah for blessing us with children whether they are boys or girls.

Today, it is quite disheartening to see that some parents rejoice when the newborn child is a male and show their dissatisfaction when the child is a female. But, this should not be the attitude. Islam does not condone this type of behavior, as such was the manner of the parents in the time of ignorance.

In pre-Islamic times, the Arabs used to be disheartened and annoyed with the birth of girls, so that a father, when informed his wife had given birth to a girl, said, “By Allah she is not as blissful as a son; her defense is crying and her care is but stealing!

He meant she could not defend her father and her family except by screaming and crying, not by fighting and carrying arms. She also cannot be good to them and care for them except by taking from her husband’s money to give to her family. Their traditions allowed the father to bury his daughter alive for actual poverty, or for expected poverty, or out of fear of a disgrace she might bring upon them when she grew up. In that context, the Qur’an says, denouncing and derogating them:

“And when the girl-child who was buried alive is asked. Upon what sin was she killed for.” [Surah al-Takweer, Verses 8-9]

The Qur’an also describes the condition of fathers when daughters were born:

“And when one among of them receives the glad tidings of a daughter, his face turns black for the day, and he remains seething. Hiding from the people because of the evil of the tidings; “Will he keep her with disgrace, or bury her beneath the earth?”; pay heed! Very evil is the judgment they impose!” [Surah al-Nahl, Verse 58-59]

The Qur’an led an uncompromising campaign against those cruel people who kill children-whether male or female. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Indeed ruined are those who slay their children out of senseless ignorance and forbid the sustenance which Allah has bestowed upon them, in order to fabricate lies against Allah; they have undoubtedly gone astray and not attained the path.”[Surah al-Anaam, Verse 140]

And Allah Almighty says:

“And do not kill your children, fearing poverty; We shall provide sustenance to them as well as to you; indeed killing them is a great mistake.” [Surah Bani Israel, Verse 31]

Some ancient laws gave the father the right to sell his daughter if he wished; while others allowed him to hand her to another man who would either kill her or own her if the father killed the other man’s daughter.

When Islam was revealed, it decreed a daughter – like a son – was a gift from Allah, to be granted to whomever Allah wishes of His worshipers:

“For Allah only is the kingship of the heavens and the earth; He creates whatever He wills; He may bestow daughters to whomever He wills, and sons to whomever He wills. Or may mix them, the sons and daughters; and may make barren whomever He wills; indeed He is All Knowing, Able.” [Surah al-Shoora, Verses 49-50]

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) of Islam made Paradise the recompense of every father who conducts himself well with his daughters, has patience in raising them, provides their moral education, and observes Allah’s commands concerning them until they come of age or until his . The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) made the place of the father in Paradise next to him. Hadrat Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam said,

Whoever brings up two girls till they reach the age of puberty, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection like this,” (and he joined his blessed fingers.)

The beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) has stated that

“When a boy is born, then he brings one Noor (light) and when a girl is born, then she brings two Noors.”

It has been narrated in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) has stated that

“If parents are kind and generous towards their daughters, then they will be so close to Him (The Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) in Jannah, like one finger is to the next.”

The Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) has also stated that

“The person who is faced with hardship due to his daughters, and makes Sabr (is patient), then his daughters will be a Pardah (curtain) between him and the Hell-fire.”

Hadrat Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam said,
“…and whoever brings up three daughters or a like number of sisters, training them well and showing kindness to them till Allah enriches them (i.e. till they reach the age of puberty), Allah will guarantee Paradise for him.” A man asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Does this apply to two also?” He said: “even to two.” If they had asked whether to one also, the Messenger of Allah would have said that, “even to one…”

Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu) recounted,

“Whoever had a female who was not buried nor insulted by him, and had not preferred his male children to her, Allah admits him to Paradise.”

Daughters are without doubt a great blessing from Almighty Allah. They are a means of salvation and a path to Jannah (Heaven) for their parents. The crux of one narration states that

“One who loves his daughters and withstands the hardship of grooming and getting them married, Almighty Allah makes Jannah compulsory (Waajib) on him and keeps him protected from the Fire of Hell.”

And in another Hadith, the beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said:

“They will be a shield for him from the Fire.”

The beloved Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam commanded:

“Whenever you buy anything from the market place first present it to your female children then to your male children.”

“Daughters are a gift from Almighty Allah. Those parents who are kind towards them, then Almighty Allah is generous towards such parents. Those who are merciful to their daughters, Almighty Allah is Merciful towards them.”

“When a girl is born to a family, then between the parents and Hell, there shall be a distance of five hundred years.”

It has been stated that:

When parents rejoice at the birth of a daughter, this is greater than making Tawaaf of the Kaaba seventy times.

When Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu) would hear that one of his relatives or friends had a baby girl, he would say to them,

“Congratulations for the Prophets were mostly fathers of daughters.”

Muslims should also remember that the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) is from his beloved daughter Sayyidah Fatima Zahra (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anha).

With these open and authentic texts, with the enhanced and repeated good news, the birth of girls is not at all a fearful burden nor is it a bad omen. On the contrary, it is a blessing to be thanked for and a mercy to be desired and requested because it is a blessing of the Almighty and a reward to be gained.

Dear brothers and sisters! Rejoice on the birth of your daughters, love and guide them and give them that which is due to them from your belongings. Do not deprive them of their inheritance as they also have say in this. Remember! Daughters are a blessing and not a burden.

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Jumuah Gem

Advice of the Prophet (Pbuh) to his companion (R.a) :

Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.

[Narrated by At-Trimidhi. Book-Forty AHadith Imam Nawawi, No.19]

Sayyiduna Khabbab(RA)

A woman named Umm Anmaar who belonged to the Khuza-a tribe in Makkah went to the slave market in the city. She wanted to buy herself a youth for her domestic chores and to exploit his labor for economic gains. As she scrutinized the faces of those who were displayed for sale, her eyes fell ON a boy who was obviously not yet in his teens. She saw that he was strong and healthy and that there were clear signs of intelligence on his face. She needed no further incentive to purchase him. She paid and walked away with her new acquisition.

On the way home, Umm Anmaar turned to the boy and said:

“What’s your name, boy?”

“Khabbah.”

“And what’s your father’s name’?”

“Al-Aratt. “

“Where do you come from?”

“From Najd.”

“Then you are an Arab!”

“Yes, from the Banu Tamim.”

“How then did you come into the hands of the slave dealers in Makkah?”

“One of the Arab tribes raided our territory. They took our cattle and captured women and children. I was among the youths captured. I passed from one hand to another until I ended up in Makkah . . .”

Umm Anmaar placed the youth as an apprentice to one of the blacksmiths in Makkah to learn the art of making swords. The youth learn quickly and was soon an expert at the profession. When he was strong enough, Umm Anmaar set up a workshop for him with all the necessary tools and equipment from making swords. Before long he was quite famous in Makkah for his excellent craftsmanship. People also liked dealing with him because of his honesty and integrity. Umm Anmaar gained much profit through him and exploited his talents to the full.

In spite of his youthfulness, Khabbab displayed unique intelligence and wisdom. Often, when he had finished work and was left to himself, he would reflect deeply on the state of Arabian society which was so steeped in corruption. He was appalled at the aimless wandering, the ignorance and the tyranny which he saw. He was one of the victims of this tyranny and he would say to himself:

“After this night of darkness, there must be a dawn.” And he hoped that he would live long enough to see the darkness dissipate with the steady glow and brightness of new light.

Khabbab did not have to wait long. He was privileged to be in Makkah when the first rays of the light of Islam penetrated the city. It emanated from the lips of Muhammad ibn Abdullah -Rasulullah SAW as he announced that none deserves to be worshiped or adored except the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He called for an end to injustice and oppression and sharply criticized the practices of the rich in accumulating wealth at the expense of the poor and the outcast. He denounced aristocratic privileges and attitudes and called for a new order based on respect for human dignity and compassion for the underprivileged including orphans, wayfarers and the needy.

To Khabbab, the teachings of Muhammad SAW were like a powerful light dispelling the darkness of ignorance. He went and listened to these teachings directly from him. Without any hesitation he stretched out his hand to the Prophet in allegiance and testified that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.” He was among the first ten persons to accept Islam .

Khabbab RA did not hide his acceptance of Islam from anyone. When the news of his becoming a Muslim reached Umm Anmaar, she became incensed with anger. She went to her brother Sibaa ibn Abd al-Uzza who gathered a gang of youths from the Khuzaa tribe and together they made their way to Khabbab RA. They found him completely engrossed in his work. Sibaa went up to him and said:

“We have heard some news from you which we don’t believe.”

“What is it?” asked Khabbab RA.

“We have been told that you have given up your religion and that you now follow that man from the Banu Hashim .”

“I have not given up my religion” replied Khabbab RA calmly. “I only believe in One God Who has no partner. I reject your idols and I believe that Muhammad is the servant of God and His messenger.”

No sooner had Khabbab RA spoken these words than Sibaa and his gang set upon him. They beat him with their fists and with iron bars and they kicked him until he fell unconscious to the ground, with blood streaming from the wounds he received.The news of what happened between Khabbab RA and his slave mistress spread throughout Makkah like wild-fire. People were astonished at frankness of Khabbab’s . They had not yet heard of anyone who followed Muhammad SAW and who had the audacity to announce the fact with such frankness and deviant confidence.

The Khabbab RA affair shook the leaders of the Quraysh. They did not expect that a blacksmith, such as belonged to Umm Anmaar and who had no clan in Makkah to protect him and no asabiyyah to prevent him from injury, would be bold enough to go outside her authority, denounce her gods and reject the religion of her forefathers. They realized that this was only the beginning . . .

The Quraysh were not wrong in their expectations. Khabbab’s RA courage impressed many of his friends and encouraged them to announce their acceptance of Islam. One after another, they began to proclaim publicly the message of truth. In the precincts of the Haram, near the Kabah, the Quraysh leaders gathered to discuss the problem of Muhammad SAW. Among them were Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, al Walid ibn al-Mughira and Abu Jahl ibn Hisham. They noted that Muhammad was getting stronger and that his following was increasing day by day, indeed hour by hour. To them this was like a terrible disease and they made up their minds to stop it before it got out of control. They decided that each tribe should get hold of any follower of Rasulullah SAW among them and punish him until he either recants his faith or dies.

On Sibaa ibn Abd al-Uzza and his people fell the task of punishing Khabbab RA even further. Regularly they began taking him to all open area in the city when the sun was at its zenith and the ground was scorching hot. They would take off his clothes and dress him in iron armor and lay him on the ground. In the intense heat his skin would be seared and hit body would become inert. When it appeared that all strength had let him, they would come up and challenge him:

“What do you say about Muhammad’?”

“He is the servant of God and His messenger. He has come with the religion of guidance and truth, to lead us from darkness into light.”

They would become more furious and intensify their beating. They would ask about al-Laat and al-Uzza and he would reply firmly:

“Two idols, deaf and dumb, that cannot cause harm or bring any benefit…”

This enraged them even more and they would take a big hot stone and place it on his back. Khabbab’s RA pain and anguish would be excruciating but he did not recant. The inhumanity of Umm Anmaar towards Khabbab was not less than that of her brother. Once she saw the Prophet SAW speaking to Khabbab RA at his workshop and she flew into a blind rage. Every day after that, for several days, she went to Khabbab’s RA workshop and punished him by placing a red hot iron from the furnace on his head. The agony was unbearable and he often fainted.

Khabbab RA suffered long and his only recourse was to prayer. He prayed for the punishment of Umm Anmaar and her brother. His release from pain and suffering only came when the Prophet SAW, peace be upon him, gave permission to his companions to emigrate to Madinah. Umm Anmaar by then could not prevent him from going. She herself became afflicted with a terrible illness which no one had heard of before. She behaved as if she had suffered a rabid attack. The headaches she had were especially nerve-racking. Her children sought everywhere for medical help until finally they were told that the only cure was to cauterize her head. This was done. The treatment, with a ret hot iron, was more terrible than all the headaches she suffered.

At Madinah, among the generous and hospitable Ansar, Khabbab RA experienced a state of ease and restfulness which he had not known for a long time. He was delighted to be near the Prophet SAW with no one to disturb his happiness. He fought alongside the noble Prophet at the battle of Badr. He participated in the battle of Uhud where he had the satisfaction of seeing Sibaa ibn Abd al-Uzza meet his end at the hands of Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib RA, the uncle of the Prophet SAW.

Khabbab RA lived long enough to witness the great expansion of Islam under the four Khulafaa arRashidun–Saidina Abu Bakr RA, Saidina Umar RA, Saidina Uthman RA and Saidina Ali RA. He once visited Umar RA during his caliphate. Umar RA stood up–he was in a meeting–and greeted Khabbab RA with the words:

“No one is more deserving than you to be in this assembly other than Bilal RA.” He asked Khabbab RA about the torture and the persecution he had received at the hands of the mushrikin. Khabbab RA described this in some detail since it was still very vivid in his mind. He then exposed his back and even Umar was aghast at what he saw.

In the last phase of his life, Khabbab RA was blessed with wealth such as he had never before dreamed of. He was, however, well-known for his generosity. It is even said that he placed his dirhams and his diners in a part of his house that was known to the poor and the needy. He did not secure this money in any way and those in need would come and take what they needed without seeking any permission or asking any questions.

In spite of this, he was always afraid of his accountability to Allah SWT for the way he disposed of this wealth. A group of companions related that they visited Khabbab RA when he was sick and he said:

“In this place there are eighty thousand dirhams. By Allah, I have never secured it any way and I have not barred anyone in need from it.”

He wept and they asked why he was weeping.

“I weep,” he said, “because my companions have passed away and they did not obtain any such reward in this world. I have lived on and have acquired this wealth and I fear that this will be the only reward for my deeds.”

Soon after he passed away. The Khalifah Ali ibn Abu Talib RA, may Allah SWT be pleased with him, stood at his grave and said:

“May God have mercy on Khabbab RA. He accepted Islam wholeheartedly. He performed hijrah willingly. He lived as a mujahid and Allah SWT shall not withhold the reward of one who has done good.”

Subhaanal Khaaliq! The torture these great personalities endured resulted in you and I being reciters of the Kalima! What a sacrifice! We need to ask ourselves,: “what am I sacrificing for my Deen?”
May Allah grant us all Towfeeq and Istiqama, Aameen.

The first Revelation

The first revelation

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was appointed as a Messenger by God when he was forty years old. After the repairs of the Ka’ba and his inserting the Black Stone back in its place, people began to notice that Muhammad tended towards thinking about God and seeking the ways of belief in and worship of Him. Not once showing any interest in the idols of the Makkans or those of the many other Arab tribes, he reached the conclusion of the futility of worshipping idols, by way of reason and conscience. It is quite possible that he was thinking along the same lines as the small number of Hanif who were trying to practice the monotheistic religion of Abraham (peace be upon him). However, while experiencing the sorrow of not knowing what to do and how to do it, Muhammad began to take pleasure in withdrawing into solitude; as of the few years prior to his Prophethood, in the month of Ramadan, he began to retreat in the secluded cave of Mount Hira, as had done his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib and other members of the Quraysh.

When Muhammad (peace be upon him) ran out of food, he would go to the city, help the poor, circumambulate the Ka’ba, take food from his home and return to the cave. From time to time, he would take Khadija (Allah be well pleased with her) with him. According to a narration from A’isha, during this period the Prophet began having “sadiq (true) dreams” and this period continued for six months; the dreams that he saw in this period became a reality one-by-one. There are also accounts in the sources that state that during this period, Prophet Muhammad heard voices greeting him with the words, “Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah,” but when he turned around and looked to find no one there he would thus become quite anxious; authentic narrations state that these voices came from rocks and trees. Due to the above-mentioned incidents, some of them miraculous in nature, it is possible to say that this period constituted a phase of preparation for revelation.

In the year 610, during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan, when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was in the cave of Hira, Archangel Gabriel appeared to him; it is thought that this could have occurred on the twenty-seventh night and according to some accounts on a Monday. Gabriel (peace be upon him) informed Muhammad that God had assigned him as a Prophet. This first revelation was reported by Prophet Muhammad as follows: “That night Gabriel came to me and said ‘Read (Iqra’). I responded, ‘I am not of those who read’. Upon this, the angel took me; pressed me until it was almost too much to bear. Then he released me and said, ‘Read’. I again replied ‘I am not of those who read’ He embraced me again firmly and said, ‘Read’. When I responded ‘What shall I read?’ the angel embraced me till I had no more strength left and after releasing me the angel read these verses to me: “Read in and with the Name of your Lord, who has created – Created human from a clot clinging (to the wall of the womb). Read, and your Lord is the All-Munificent, who has taught (human) by the pen – Taught human what he did not know.” (Al’Alaq, 96:1-5). After this incident, Muhammad became anxious and fearful; he left Hira and went to his home, went to bed and told his wife Khadija (Allah be well pleased with her) to cover him. After Muhammad woke up, he told his wife what he had experienced.

Khadija told Muhammad that she believed in him and reassured him by saying; “God will never disgrace you. You maintain good relations with your kin, you bear the burden of the weak, you help the poor and the needy, serve your guests generously, and assist those who are afflicted by calamity.” Then she took Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Waraqa ibn Nawfal, her cousin. An old Christian Scholar well-versed in the Holy Bible, Waraqa listened to Muhammad and then told him that the being who came to him was the Angel of Revelation who was sent by God to all the Prophets. He then added: “They will call you a liar; they will treat you badly. They will wage a war against you and drive you out of this city. If I live to see those days, I will help you for the sake of Allah.” After Waraqa completed his words, he leaned towards Muhammad and kissed him on the forehead. With the support of Khadija and the explanations of Waraqa, the Prophet returned to his home feeling much relieved.

The lineage of Our Prophet (SAW)

The lineage of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) can be traced back to Prophet Ishmael, the son of Abraham, through Adnan, a descendent twenty-one generations removed. Thus, the northern Arabs, of which the Prophet’s family was a part, were called Ishmaelites or Adnanis. (The other branch of Arabs was the Kahtanis, who resided in southern Arabia.) Prophet Muhammad himself traces his lineage back to Adnan. It is known to be as follows: Muhammad, son of ‘Abd Allah, son of ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Shayba), son of Hashim, son of ‘Abdulmanaf, son of Qusayy, son of Kilab, son of Murra, son of Ka‘b, son of Luayy, son of Ghalib, son of Fihr (Quraysh), son of Malik, son of Nadr, son of Kinana, son of Khuzayma, son of Mudrikah, son of Elias, son of Mudar, son of Nizar, son of Ma’ad, son of Adnan. Prophet Muhammad was the son of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, a member of the Hashimite family of the Quraysh tribe which was the Adnani branch of the descendents of Prophet Ishmael.

The Prophet (SAW)’s upbringing

After his birth, Prophet Muhammad stayed with his mother Amina for a while and then, as per tradition, was handed over to his wet-nurse. The purpose of entrusting children to a wet nurse was so that they could be raised in the desert –a healthier environment in which to grow up when compared to the city– and so that they could learn fluent Arabic. In accordance with this tradition, Prophet Muhammad was given to Halima bint Abi Dhuayb, who was a member of the Sa’d ibn Bakr branch of the Hawazin tribe. In a year of famine, Halima had gone to Makka with her husband and other Bedouin women who earned a living through nursing; however, she was unable to find a child from a rich family to nurse. But when she learned that Muhammad had lost his father she did not hesitate to take him, and she agreed to be his wet nurse so that she would not return home empty-handed. Halima brought Prophet Muhammad back to Makka two years later; however, Amina wanted her child to stay with Halima for a little longer, as she believed that the desert air was good for her child and, according to some accounts, there was a plague in Makka. Prophet Muhammad stayed with his wet nurse until he was five or six years old and was then brought to Makka and handed over to his mother. Halima’s husband was Harith ibn Abdil ’Uzza. The couple’s children, ‘Abd Allah, Unaysa and Shayma, were the Prophet’s foster siblings.

According to narration, Halima and Harith witnessed great abundance and blessing after taking Prophet Muhammad in their care; their camels and sheep began to provide much more milk than they had before. In addition, the sources reveal that the Splitting of the Chest (shaqq al-sadr) incident occurred during the time Prophet Muhammad was staying with his wet nurse. This was an event in which two angels descended to earth, split open Muhammad’s chest, removed his heart and purified it from all evils, washing it with heavenly water and then putting it back in its place. It is recorded that when Halima and Harith learned about this incident they were very anxious as they were unable to explain certain extraordinary characteristics of Muhammad that they had witnessed many times before; they now thought that it would be better for the child to be back with his family.

When Prophet Muhammad reached the age of six, his mother Amina took him in her care, and together with her helper Umm Ayman, took him to Yathrib (Madina). While there, they visited the grave of her husband ‘Abd Allah and the members of the Banu Najjar, who were considered uncles of the family due to ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s mother. After staying in Yathrib for a month Amina, still young at the time, became ill and later died in Abwa –located 190 km from Madina– while on the way back to Makka. It is said that before her death, Amina looked at her child and said: “All living things perish. All things new get old. All things in abundance diminish. All things great disappear. Certainly I too will die, but I will always be remembered, because I leave to the world my son as a benevolent future.” Orphaned with the death of his mother, Muhammad was brought back to Makka by Umm Ayman and entrusted to the care of his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib. Prophet Muhammad revisited Abwa in the sixth year following the Emigration (628 AD) and visited his mother’s grave. Tidying the grave with his own hands, he shed tears as he remembered the affection and compassion of his mother. Greatly affected by his grief, the Companions could not hold back their tears and cried with him.

‘Abd al-Muttalib took great care of Muhammad, as the precious gift from his son ‘Abd Allah, who had died at an early age. He would sit at the table and eat with Muhammad, offer him the seat of honor located in the shadow of the wall of the Ka’ba, take him to the meetings inDar al-Nadwa (Council Hall) over which he presided, and through all his actions, tried his utmost to ensure that his grandson did not feel the absence of fatherly compassion and love. More than eighty years-of-age at the time, ‘Abd al-Muttalib passed away not long after he had handed over the custody and protection of his grandson, then eight years-of-age, to the latter’s paternal uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib was born from the same father and mother as the Prophet’s father. He loved his nephew more than his own children, believing that the child had brought fortune to the family, and he made great efforts to raise him well. He would take Muhammad with him on some of his journeys. And so, when the Prophet was nine (or twelve) years old and his uncle had decided to go to Syria for trade, he wanted to accompany Abu Talib. Seeing his nephew’s insistence on this, Abu Talib took the Prophet with him on his journey. The caravan stopped in Bosra, located in Syria. A monk called Bahira, living in a monastery, invited the caravan to join him for a meal. After Bahira told Abu Talib that Muhammad was the awaited Prophet foretold in the Bible, he cautioned Abu Talib against some of the dangers that his nephew could face and advised Abu Talib to protect his nephew well. Upon this warning, Abu Talib ended his journey and returned to Makka.

It is known that when Prophet Muhammad was about ten years old he worked as a shepherd for a period of time in order to help his uncle Abu Talib, who had a large family. He would later refer to this time during his Prophethood saying, “There has never been a Prophet who did not herd sheep.” When his Companions asked, “Did you herd sheep O Messenger of God?” he replied, “Yes. I herded the sheep of Makka.”

Abu Talib’s wife Fatima bint Asad took great care of Muhammad, caring for him more than her own children. The Prophet never forgot the goodness of his aunt when he grew up. He would visit her in her house in Madina and would sometimes sleep there in the afternoons. Very grieved when she passed away, the Prophet used his own shirt for her shroud and personally led her funeral prayer. When speaking of his sadness to those around him, he showed his great sense of loyalty with the following words: “I was a child who was in need of her custody. She would feed me even if her children were hungry. She would leave her children and comb my hair. She was like my mother.” Abu Talib stood by his nephew after he became a Prophet and although Prophet Muhammad’s persistent requests that Abu Talib accept Islam were never answered, Abu Talib did his best to protect Prophet Muhammad, both as a child and later when he became a Prophet.

There were frequent wars between the Arab tribes in the Age of Ignorance, so much so that there would even be warfare during the sacred months (Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) during which bloodshed was prohibited. Such battles were known as fijar (sacrilegious) wars because of their being fought in the sacred months. The Prophet was compelled to join such a war in his later teens. The most reliable account states that the Prophet and his uncles participated in the great battle that broke out between the Quraysh-Kinanah and Qays-‘Aylan alliances, but that he did not actually fight in the war, rather protecting the belongings of his uncles, deflecting arrows with his shield and then collecting them to give to his uncles. It is thought that he was either fourteen, fifteen, seventeen or twenty years old at the time.

Prophet Muhammad participated in a meeting when he was twenty for a league known as the Hilf al-Fudul (the Alliance of the Virtuous). The Hilf al-Fudulwas drawn up to prevent injustices that were being carried out against the weak and defenseless who came to Makka for pilgrimage or trade, and to prevent the tribal wars that broke out frequently. TheHilf al-Fudul was drawn up under the auspices of Zubayr ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Prophet Muhammad’s uncle, and under the leadership of Jud’an at-Taymi, the richest, oldest and most influential tribal leader in Makka.

Those who joined the league took an oath that they would protect everyone in Makka who encountered injustice, be they natives or foreigners, acting as one and helping each other financially to ensure that justice was served. Prophet Muhammad talked about this alliance, praising it, and said: “I was present in ‘Abd Allah ibn Judan’s house when they concluded a pact so excellent that I would not change my part in it even for a herd of red camels; if I was asked now, in Islam, to take part in it, I would gladly agree.” According to an account by Balazuri, in the Islamic period Abu Jahl refused to pay the price of something that he had purchased from a man who was a member of the Arash. A polytheist who knew the hostility of Abu Jahl towards the Prophet jokingly told the aggrieved trader that he could apply to the Prophet who was in the Ka’ba and that the Prophet would give him his money back. Upon hearing these words, the trader went to the Ka’ba, explained the situation to Prophet Muhammad and asked for his help. The Prophet went to Abu Jahl’s house and took back the money without any confrontation.

Prophet Muhammad made his living through trade, like many of the Quraysh in Makka. He embarked on his career in trade by helping Abu Talib, who was involved in trading cloth and grain. Prophet Muhammad continued this trade when his uncle became older. It is known that Prophet Muhammad traveled to various places for purposes of trade, such as to the Hubasha trade fair when he was a teenager, to Yemen once or twice, to the Mushakkar and Daba fairs in eastern Arabia, and even to Abyssinia. As a result of these journeys, Prophet Muhammad not only learned about the necessities of commercial life, but also became acquainted with the people living in certain regions of Arabia, and learned about their languages, dialects, religions, and political and social conditions. There is consensus among the sources that Prophet Muhammad lived an honest life and remained removed from the wrongdoing prevalent in the Age of Ignorance and came to be known, at the age of twenty-five, asMuhammad al-Amin or Al-Amin (the Trustworthy) because of his decency, bravery, compassion, fairness, and his honesty and reliability in commercial life. The Makkan trader ‘Qays ibn Saib stated that he had many commercial dealings with Prophet Muhammad and that he had never come across a partner in trade who was better than he. He said: “When he set out on a journey, I would refer to him some transactions that needed to be carried out for me. After the journey he would not return to his house until he had told me about the transactions in such a way as would make me content. In contrast, when I set out on my travels and he gave me some transactions to perform, upon my return he would only ask whether I was healthy and in good spirits, unlike other people, who only questioned me on issues relating to their business.

Mass Production

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was tasked with the huge responsibility of conveying the guidance of Allah (swt) – a process that spanned 23 years.

 

And yet…he (saw) still made time to be caring and generous with his wives; he still made time to play with children and take care of orphans; he still made time to worship Allah (swt) with great dedication. Needless to say, you won’t find another person as productive as him (peace be upon him).

 

In our journey of attempting to make a living and follow our dreams, we sometimes sideline other important people and things in our lives.

We might work long hours and get home late from the office, barely interacting our kids for a few moments before bedtime. We might neglect our health because we’re too “busy” to care about how we eat and how we exercise. And we might neglect our worship in favour of worldly gains.

 

In a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he says, “Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.”

 

If you’re continuously neglecting your family, your health, your studies or your worship in favour of something else, then you haven’t achieved the balance that’s necessary for a meaningful, productive life.

 

Find balance in your life and learn how you can become a master of time at www.TimeTravellerOnline.com