The Life of Muhammad: The Dawn (Chapter 2)

Muhammad: The Promise and its Fulfillment

The Dawn: The Promise and its Fulfillment

The brightest day follows the darkest night. So it is in the world of living men. Arabia was plunged in the darkness of evil and superstition. The rest of the world was no better. But after the gloom of ages there appeared in the person of Muhammad (peace be upon him) a bright sun on the firmament of human history.

The Promise

Prophecies about his advent are met with in the previous sacred books. The Qur'an emphatically asserts that the birth of Prophet Muhammad was foretold by each and all the foregoing Prophets through whom covenant was made with their respective peoples that they would accept him when he came.

When Allah made (His) covenant (1) with the Prophets. [He said:} Behold that which I have give you of the Scripture and Knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him. He said: Do you agree, and will ye take up My burden [which I lay upon you in this matter]? They answered: "We agree". He said: "Then bear ye witness. I will be a witness with you. (3:81)

Similarly, the last of the Israelite prophets, Jesus, promised his people the arrival of a Comforter:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.(2)

Being aware that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was destined to come after him and that he would be a prophet-king, Jesus said:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter (3) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement. (4)

Referring to the completion of Scriptures and the exposition of all truths by Muhammad (peace be on him), to his prophecies and to his revelation, Jesus observed:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. (5)


I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (6)

The expression "their brethren" in the verses refers tot he children of Isma'il who are the brethren of the Israelites.

The Fulfilment

All these prophetic words predict in clear terms the dawn of a spiritual light. This light came into the world on 22 April, 571 A.D., on the ninth of Rabi al-Awwal, of the first year of the Elephant. (7)

Muhammad's genealogy has been traced beyond all shadow of doubt to the noble house of Isma'il in about the fortieth descent. He was the son of 'Abd Allah, the son of 'Abd al-Muttalib, the son of 'Abd Manaf, the son of Qusayy, the son of Kilab. Qusayy was the effective ruler of Mecca. The Prophet's mother Aminah was the daughter of Wahb ibn 'Abd Manaf of the Zahrah family. Thus his father and mother stood eminent in respect of nobility of descent and sublimity of character.

It is recorded that in pursuance of his divine mission Muhammad (peace be on him) on his return to Mecca, sent several envoys to the neighbouring rulers calling them to the fold of Islam. One of the noted emperors to whom an emissary was despatched was Heraclius of Byzantine. He treated the messenger with great respect. Before leaving Syria, however, he tried to acquaint himself with the character of the man who had sent him that message. With this objective he summoned some of the Arab merchants who had arrived at Gaza with a caravan from Arabia. Curiously enough, Abu Sufyan, who was still a deadly opponent of Muhammad and his Divine mission was among those who had come on a commercial visit. He was also summoned to the court. Among the numerous inquiries that Heraclius made about the character and personality of Muhammad and his teachings, one pertained to his descent. In spite of the grudge that he nursed against Muhammad (peace be on him), Abu Sufyan could not deny the fact that he came of a noble family. (8). At this, Heraclius at once remarked: "The apostles belong to pure and genuine nobility." (9) The stories relating to the base and plebian origin (10) of Muhammad (peace be on him) are thus calumny of evil minds. These are all baseless, too preposterous to deserve the consideration of any serious person. (11)

Sometime after his marriage, 'Abd Allah, the father of the Prophet, Muhammad (peace be on him), set out on a commercial journey to Syria and on his way back he fell ill and passed away at Medina. He was hardly twenty-five years (12) of age and Aminah was still expectant. The Prophet Muhammad was born as a posthumous child. He was, therefore, left to the care of his grandfather, 'Abd al-Muttalib, one of the most influential men of Mecca, and his gentle and heartbroken mother Aminah. The grand old man received the news of the birth of his grandson with mingled feelings of joy and sorrow. He was glad to be blessed with a male child from the loins of his departed son, but was deeply grieved to see that his son was not alive to share this happiness. He hurried to the house of his son, tears rolling down his cheeks. He took the baby in his arms and went to the Ka'bah; and as he stood beside the sacred house, he gave thanks to God.(13)

The grnadfather named the new-born child as Muhammad. (14) This and the other name, Ahmad, which has approximately the same meaning, are both derived from the Arabic root hamd "to praise".


1. This covenant refers, according to Qurtubi, to Holy Prophet. See his Tafsir-al-Jami' al-Ahkam al-Qur'an (Cairo, 1957) Vol. IV, p. 125.

2. John, xiv. 15-16.

3. There is a preponderance of evidence in support of the view that the original word which has been translated Periklutos, meaning praised and illustrious, meant the same as the words Muhammad and Ahmad; not Parakletesmeaning comforter as is amply shown by Rev. Heorne in his Introduction to the Critical Study of the Scriptures.

4. John, xvi. 7.

5. Ibid., 12-13.

6. Deuteronomy, XVIII: 18-19.

7. It alludes to the famous Abyssinian attack on Mecca in which the invaders had employed a large number of elephants.

8. Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. II, p. 252.

9. Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol. 11, p. 162.

10. In his book Muhammad and the Rise of Islam, Margoliouth says: "Muhammad came of a humble family; this crops up in many places. The Kuraish in the Koran wonder why a prophet should be sent to them who was not of noble birth" (p. 47). Margoliouth is perhaps referring to the verse of the Holy Qur'an: "And they say: if only this Qur'an had been revealed to some great man of the two towns." (xliii: 31). In this verse teh "greatness" to which Quraysh referred does not mean the nobility of the family, it is the worldly wealth on which they prided. "Is it they who apportion their Lord's mercy? We have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of the world, and raised some of them above others in rank that some of them may take labour from others; and the mercy of the Lord is better than (the wealth) that they amass." (xliii: 32).

Ibn 'Abbas, one of the oldest exegetists of the Holy Qur'an, in his famous Commentary has said in clear words: "The word mercy (Rahmah) signifies prophethood and the Book (Qur'an) and 'they amass' means: what the Infidels collect in the form of riches and worldy pomp and show." (p. 387).

11. Zurqani in his famous book Sharh al-Mawahib al Ladunya has discussed this point; see Vol. I, p. 61.

12.Ibn Kathir: Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. II, pp. 263, 264; Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma'ad, Vol. I, p. 32.

13. Ibn Sa'd, Al-Tabqat al-Kubra, Vol. I, p. 103 and Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 160.

14. According to its derviation, the word signifies an eminent personality who, on account of his great and genuine qualities, is praised with feelings of love and adoration. It also means one who is the best embodiment of the most perfect and admirable qualities.

Muhammad: Prophet's Childhood (The Infant)

The Dawn: The Prophet's Childhood (The Infant)

The infant Muhammad, shortly after his birth, was made over to Thuwaybah, the slave girl of his uncle Abu Lahab, who had lately suckled Hamzah. Though nursed by her only for a few days, the Prophet retained a deep sense of kinship and always looked upon her and her family with profound respect and gratitude. When the Prophet was married to Khadijah, Thuwaybah would often come to him and she always received from him the love and affection of a loving son. Muhammad could not forget her and after his migration to Medina, he used to send her clothes and many other gifts as a token of his love and respect. At the time of the conquest of Mecca, he inquired about her and her son but they had died and she had left no other relative to mourn her. (1)

It was the general custom of the wealthy Arabs to send their children away to bedouin nurses so that they might grow up in the free and healthy surroundings of the desert whereby they would develop a robust frame and acquire the pure speech and manners of the bedouins, who were noted both for chastity of their language and for being free from those vices which usually develop in sedentary societies and accompany material abundance and prosperity.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was later entrusted to Halimah, a bedouin woman of the tribe Banu Sa'd, a branch of Hawazin. The lady did not accept the child without reluctance, since the care of a fatherless child was less likely to be well rewarded than that of the one whose parents were alive. She proved, however most faithful to her trust. The infant was carefully and lovingly tended, and was growingup as a healthy and vigrous child when, at the age of five, he was finally returned to her mother's charge. Traditions delightfully relate how Halimah and the whole of her household were favoured by successive strokes of good fortune while the child Muhammad lived under her care. It will suffice to give the best known of the accounts as embodied in Ibn Hisham. Jahim B. Abu Jahim, the client of al-Harith b. Halib states that Halimah, the nurse of the Messenger of God (God bless him), narrated that she, along with her husband and a suckling babe, set out from her village in the company of some women of her clan in quest of children to suckle. She said:

It was a year of draught and famine and we had nothing to eat. I rode on a brown she-ass. We also had with us an old she-camel. By God we could not get even a drop of milk. We could not have a wink of sleep during the night for the child kept crying on account of hunger. There was not enough milk in my breast and even the she-camel had nothing to feed him. At length we reached Mecca looking for children to suckle. Not even a single woman amongst us accepted the messenger of God (God bless him) offered to her. As soon as they were told that he was an orphan, they refused him. We had fixed our eyes on the reward that we would get from the child's father. An orphan! What are his grandfather and mother likely to do? So we spurned him because of that. Every woman who came with me got a suckling and when we were about to depart I said to my husband: "By God, I do not like to go back along with the other women without any baby. I should go to that orphan and must take him." He said, "there is no harm in doing so and perhaps God might bless us through him." So I went and took him and I did it simply because there was no other alternative left for me but to take him. When I lifted him in my arms and returned to my place I put him on my breast and to my great surprise, I found enough milk in it. He drank to his heart's content and so did his foster brother and then both of them went to sleep although my baby had not been able to sleep the previous night. My husband then went to the she-camel to milk it and, to his astonishment, he found plenty of milk in it. He milked it and we drank to our fill and enjoyed a sound sleep during the night. The next morning my husband said: "By God, Halimah, you must understand that you have been able to get a blessed child." And I replied: "By the grace of Allah, I hope so." (2)

The tradition is explicit on the point that Halimah's return journey and her subsequent life, as long as the Prophet stayed with her, was encircled with a halo of good fortune. The donkey that she rode when she came to Mecca was lean and almost foundered; it recovered speed much to the amazement of Halimah's fellow travellers. By the time they reached the encampments in the country of the clan of Sa'd, they round the scales of fortune turned in their favour. The barren land sprouted forth luxuriant grass and their beasts came back to them satisfied and full of milk. (3) The child grew up to be strong and healthy and learnt the pure, chaste Arabic of the desert. The Prophet himself was conscious of this attainment. Abu Bakr once said: "O Messenger of God, you are very eloquent in your expression." The Prophet replied: "I was born in a family of the Quraysh and suckled by a lady of Banu Sa'd." (4)

Muhammad (peace be upon him) remained for full five years in the desert with Halimah and her family int eh quiet serenity of the country-side. During these years he developed the habit of mediation and reflection which persisted throughout his life. The handsome child, grateful by nature, loved Halimah and her children and helped them in their daily errands. He developed such a deep attachment to Halimah that he cherished a life long affection for her family. Halimah used to visit him in Mecca after his marriage with Khadijah. It was a year of draught in which so many cattle heads had perished. Muhammad's affectionate nurse went to Khadijah and that generous lady sent her away with the gift of a noble riding camel and a flock of forty sheep. (5) On another occasion the Prophet spread out his mantle for her to sit upon as a token of special respect. (6) Many years later his foster-sister was brought to him along with many other captives in his expedition ot Ta'if. She claimed that she was his foster sister. Muhammad (peace be upon him) inquired how he could verify this statement, and she replied: "Once you gave me this bite upon my back, while I was carrying you." The Prophet recognised the mark, spread his mantle, and asked her to sit upon it. He gave her the option of remaining in his house with honor and comfort, but she preferred to return to her people with the gifts the Prophet had given her.

It was during his stay with Halimah that the Prophet's heart was purified by the angels. (7) In this again, we see an Arabic version of the Psalmists' prayer, "Create in me a clean heart, O Lord."


1. Suhayli, Rawd al-Unuf, Vol. 1, p. 108 and Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol. IX, p. 124.

2. Ibn Hisham, vol. I, p. 163.

3. Ibid., Vol. I, p. 164.

4. Suhayli, op. cit., p. 109.

5. Ibn Sa'd, Vol. I, pp. 1131.

6. Ibid., p. 114.

7. Ibid., p. 165.

Muhammad: The Prophet's Childhood (The Child)

The Dawn: The Prophet's Childhood (The Child)

Muhammad was hardly six years old when his mother died and the charge of the child then fell exclusively on his grandfather 'Abd al-Muttalib. He loved him as dearly as his own life. But Muhammad's sorrows were not yet over. Two years later, his aged grandfather who was not eighty-two also died. The young boy followed the bier of his grandfather at the age of eight, with a heavy heart and terful eyes. The charge of the Prophet was now passed on to his uncle Abu Talib, who was the brother of the Prophet's father 'Abd Allah. Like all other young boys of his age, the Prophet tended the sheep and goats of Mecca and grazed them upon the neighbouring hills and valleys. While he was in Medina he used to remember this period of his life and he remarked: "It has a certain similarity with the function of the Prophets. Moses had tended flocks of goats and the same was the case with David. Now I have been commissioned with this office, and I also tended the goats and sheep of my family at the place known as Ajyad. (1)

This occupation of tending the flocks is congenial to the thoughtful and meditative temperament which is an indispensable quality of a Prophet. "While he watched the flocks, his attention would be riveted by the signs of an Unseen Power spread all around him. The twinkling stars and bright constellations gliding through the dark blue sky silently along, would be charged to him with a special message; the loneliness of the desert would arm with a deeper conviction that speech which day everywhere utters unto day; while the still small voices, never unheard by the attentive listener, would smell into grandeur and more imperious tones when the tempest swept with its forked lightening and far rolling thunder along the vast solitudes of the mountains." (2)

The Holy Qur'an also calls upon man to ponder over both the world external to him (afaq) and the wolrd within his self (nafs).Therein he will find, according to the Qur'an, not only the signs of the Lord, but the eternal principle of harmony and balance:

We have not created the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is between them in sport. We have not created them except to bear the truth, but most people know it not. (44:39)

The Qur'an stresses that there are signs of the Ultimate Reality in the sun, the moon, in the lengthening out of shadows, in the alternation of day and night and in the variety of human complexions and tongues; in successes and reverses among people, in fact, the whole of nature as revealed to the sense-perception of man and the records of man's past. And it is the duty of every sincere man, who is anxious to be in harmony with the demands of Reality, to reflect on these signs and not to pass by them, "as if he is deaf and blind". This note 'as if he is deaf and blind' is of very great significance. Wherever attention is drawn to the manifestation of life calling for reflection and introspection, expressions as "herein are portents"; "herein are signs for the folk who reflect"; "for men of knowledge"; "for the folk who heed"; and for the folk who understand echoes and reverberate only to emphasize the importance which the Qur'an attaches to reflection as a means of obtaining insight "Show us the nature of things as they really are," is a characteristic prayer of the Prophet. The first step on the road to it is reflection. Thus opportunity for meditation is provided to the Prophets by bringing them to the heart of nature.

There is a tongue in every leaf

A voice in every rill,

A voice that speaketh everywhere,

In flood and fair, through earth and air,

A voice, that's never still.


1. Ibn Hajar, op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 364, of Ijarah. See also Bukhari, "Kitab al Ijarah."

2. William Muir: The Life of Muhammad (London, 1894(, pp. 18-19.

Muhammad: Misinterpretations About the Prophet as a Shepherd

The Dawn: Some Misinterpretations About the Prophet's Experience as a Shepherd

It is, however, significant that the Western biographers of the Prophet, while writing his life-story, have greatly stressed the mental experiences of the Prophet as a shepherd. They want to give the impression that what the Prophet called revelation was nothing but the early reminiscences of his pastoral life. "Thus, we may presume," says William Muir, "was cherished a deep and earnest faith in the Deity as an ever-present, all-directing Agent; a faith which in after days the Prophet was wont to enforce from the memories, no doubt, of these early days by eloquent and heart-stirring appeals to the sublime operations of Nature and the beneficent adaptations of an ever-present Providence." (1)

This view is absolutely erroneous. The direct contact with nature no doubt provided the Holy Prophet with an opportunity to "see into the life of things" and perceive in its mirror, the presence of a Master Mind. But it is wrong to say that the experiences gathered during this period were later transfigured into revelation. The reflections over the phenomenal world and the world within man's self brighten our intellect and chasten our emotions, delight our senses and raise and sooth our spirits, and thus enable us to appreciate fully the words of Allah; but these cannot serve as substitutes for revelation. These may be regarded, at best, as mental and emotional training in order to prepare a person to receive "the visions of Him Who reigns".

The vision of the physical phenomena may lead us to the right conclusions about the universe and its Creator, but that is not enough. We want to be acquainted with the spiritual principle working at the heart of things, and this we can get neither by means of deductive reasoning, nor is the subject such as to lead itself to direct observation. The only means left is revelation. Matter and energy do not exhaust the contents of the universe. There is 'something' beyond them. This 'something', which is most important, perhaps even indispensable, for human life, is neither physical phenomenon nor mere transformation of energy, its ceaseless kaleidoscopic change, but the disclosure of spiritual substance and an Infinite Reality under the flux and reflux of phenomena. No man, not even the Prophet, can obtain, by means of his own intellectual perception, the complete view of this Infinite Reality. The Holy Qur'an informs Muhammad of this important limitation:

This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee. Thou thyself knowest it not, nor did thy folk (know it) before this. (11:49)

The Qur'an further states that it is the responsibility of the Creator to illuminate the right path by revealing His message to His Prophets.

It should also be borne in mind that the period of tending flocks of sheep forms the training ground for the guidance of mankind. The shepherd is always on the alert with regard to his flock and takes full care of the animals so that these may not go astray or fall victims to the beasts of prey. So also is the case with a Prophet. He is the shepherd of humanity; always thinking of their welfare and always trying to lead them along the straight path to their well-being. It is from this experience as a shepherd that there sprang up love for man and passion to alleviate the sufferings of mankind steeped in ignorance. Such was the anxiety of the Holy Prophet to bring people to the path of Allah that it began to have a telling effect on his health and he was warned by the Lord in the following words:

It may be that thou tormentest thyself, (O Muhammad) because they believe not. (26:3)


1. William Muir: The Life of Muhammad (London, 1894), p. 18.

Muhammad: The Prophet's Youth

The Dawn: The Prophet's Youth

When Muhammad was twelve years old, his uncle Abu Talib who was a trader, undertook a business trip to Syria. He was reluctant to take Muhammad with him because of the hardships of the journey. Muhammad was, however, unwilling to remain separated from his uncle. He clung to him and after a good deal of pleading prevailed upon his kind uncle to take him to Syria along with him. It was during this journey that he is said to have met Bahira, a Christian monk. This meeting has been time and again emphasized by several Christian scholars who deduce that it was from Bahira that he learned to hate the idols.

The authentic records of the life-story of Muhammad (peace be upon him) prove beyond all shadow of doubt that there is not a grain of truth in this deduction. That Bahira met Muhammad is a fact, but the claim that he learnt from the Christian monk the concept of God and hatred against idolatry is absolutely baseless. On the other hand, we learn that the Holy Prophet in his very first talk showed his utmost contempt for idol-worship that had taken a firm hold on the minds of the people around him. We reproduce below a passage from Ibn Hisham in order to give an idea of what actually transpired between Muhammad and Bahira:

When Bahira saw him he began to eye him keenly and to observe the features of his body so as to find out in him the signs (of prophethood) which he already knew already knew (from the Holy Scriptures). Then, when the party had finished eating and had broken up, Bahira went up to him and said, "Young man! I adjure you by al-Lat and al-Uzza to answer my questions." Bahira said that to him only because he had heard his people swearing by these two. They say that the Messenger of God (God bless him and preserve him) said to him, "Do not ask by al-Lat and al-Uzza for by God there is absolutely nothing I detest so much as these two." So Bahira said to him, "Then, in God's name, answer what I ask you." "Ask what seems good to you," he said. So Bahira began to ask him about certain particulars of his condition in sleep. Then the Messenger of God (God bless and preserve him) set about answering him and what he said agreed with the description of him in Bahira's (book)…

Then he (Bahira) went to his uncle Abu Talib, and said:

Return to your own country with your nephew, and take care of him against the Jews, for, by God, if they see him and know what I know about him, they will desire evil; for great fortune is in store for your nephew. So hurry to your country with him.

His uncle Abu Talib set out with him quickly and soon reached Mecca on the completion of their trade in Syria. (1)

Muhammad was hardly fifteen (2) when the "sacrilegious" wars (harb al-fijar) - which continued with varying fortunes and considerable loss of human life for a number of years broke out at 'Ukaz between the Quraysh and the Banu Kinanah on the one side and the Qays Aylan on the other. In one of these battles the Prophet (peace be upon him) attended on his uncles but did not raise his arm against their opponent. His efforts were confined to picking up the arrows of the enemy as they fell, and handing them over to his uncles.

At the conclusion of these wars, when peace was restored, people felt the need of forming a confederacy at Mecca for suppressing violence and injustice and vindicating the rights of the weak, the indigent, and the destitute. Muhammad played an important role in its conclusion and this league exercised a strong moderating influence amongst the different tribes of Arabia. (3)

The authorities agree in ascribing to the youth of Muhammad (peace be upon him) a modesty of deportment and purity of manners rare among the people of Mecca. During all this time he proved himself to possess a noble and spotless character, to be an absolute believer in one God, and thoroughly trustworthy in respect of his companionship, help and guidance. He was affectionate, kind, and sympathetic to his compatriots; always considerate, truthful, and sincere; perfectly faithful in respect of all trusts and promises. He kept himself aloof from gambling, drinking, vulgar wrangling, voluptuousness, and all the vices rampant among his compatriots. He was always fair and honest in all his dealings; generous and obliging to his friends and benefactors. He walked humbly and thoughtfully in the midst of the arrogant, headstrong and marauding tribes of Arabia. He hated all appearance of show, vanity, and pride and would readily attend to the addresses of children and spare no pains in alleviating the sufferings of the poor, old, and the weak. He always impressed his people by his wise, tranquil and piety-inspiring countenance and, by his genuine kindliness and graceful manners, won the heart of everyone who came into contact with him, passing by all the temptations of vice with a majestic indifference. The spotless character and honourable bearing of the unobtrusive youth won the approbation of his fellow-citizens, and earned the titles, by common consent, of al-Amin and al-Sadiq, meaning trustworthy and truthful.


1.Ibn Hisham, I, p. 182. Some of the modern critics of Hadith and of the early biographers of the Holy Prophet have said that this incident is not authenticated by authentic traditions, but it is not correct. 'Asqalani says that the incident as recorded in Tirmidhi is authentic even according to the criteria in respect of transmission.

2. Ibid, p. 184.

3. Ibn Sa'd, Vol. I, p. 129.

Muhammad: The Trader

The Dawn: The Trader

Thus respected and honoured, Muhammad lived a quiet life in the family of Abu Talib. He was never covetous. All through his life he showed no enthusiasm for the pursuit of riches. If left to himself, he would probably have preferred the quiet life. But he was always anxious to help his uncle who had the burden of a large family upon him. So whenever the Holy Prophet found any opportunity he cheerfully helped him.

The account given by Ibn Sa'd is as follows:

When his nephew was five-and-twenty years of age, Abu Talib addressed him in these words:

"I am, as you know, a man of scanty means, and truly the times are hard with me. Now there is a caravan of your own tribe about to start for Syria and Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid, is in need of the services of men of our tribe to take care of her merchandise. If you offer yourself for this enterprise, she would readily accept your services. "Muhammad (peace be on him) replied, "Be it as you say." Abu Talib went to her and inquired whether she would entrust this enterprise to his nephew. Khadijah, who had already heard of the honesty, trustworthiness and high moral character of Muhammad (peace be on him) lost no time in accepting this offer and said: "I would give him twice of what I would give to the other men of your tribe." (1)

So the matter was settled and Muhammad (peace be on him) undertook the journey. When the caravan was about to set out his uncle commanded him to the men of the company. Maysarah, the servant of Khadijah, likewise travelled along with Muhammad (peace be on him). The caravan took the usual route to Syria, the same which the Holy Prophet had traversed with his uncle known as Basra, on the road to Damascus, and he sat down to take rest under a shady tree. A Christian monk who lived near by, on seeing him, rushed to the spot and said: "Right from Jesus, the son of Mary, none ever sat here but a prophet." He then turned towards Maysarah and said: "Do these streaks of light always glisten in his eyes?" Maysarah replied in the affirmative. Upon this he remarked: "He is the Prophet and the last of the Apostles." (2)

The Holy Prophet was at that time busy in trade transactions. In the meanwhile there was an altercation with a customer. He asked him to swear by Lat and Uzza in support of his contention. "I have never done that," was the prompt reply. "When I happen to pass by their images, I purposely avoid them and take a different course." The man was struck at these words and said: "You are honest, and whatever you contend is absolutely true. By God, here is a man whose glory has been sung by our scholars, and foretold by our books." (3)

This is the full account that we find in the authentic records of Muhammad's (peace be on him) biographies. We do not find any trace of all those stories which have been deliberately fabricated by the western biographers of the Holy Prophet: that it was to his meeting a Nestorian monk that Muhammad (peace be upon him) owed his knowledge of Christian doctrines and wherefrom he imbibed his hatred of idolatry.

Like all other Prophets of God, Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a natural aversion to all those evil practices that we find in an idolatrous society. He was instinctively a monotheist and would under no circumstances invoke any other deity except Allah, the sole Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

At that time the concept of monotheism had lost much of its meaning. The way in which the dogma of Trinity was forced upon the people with the misleading and offensive zeal of Eutychian and Jacobite partisanship, and the gross form in which the worship of Mary (Mariolatry) was preached to the masses, could hardly make any appeal to Muhammad (peace be upon him) who had been, from the very beginning of his life, an ardent believer in One God.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) conducted business in Syria with such prudence and sense of duty that he returned from the trade expedition with an amount of profit larger than usual. Khadijah was so deeply impressed by the intelligence and integrity of Muhammad (peace be upon him) that she decided to marry him. The conversation that ensued between the maid-servant of Khadijah, who had been deputed to convey the message of marriage and the Prophet, clearly reveals that before this offer of marriage, Muhammad (peace be upon him) had absolutely no idea of this alliance.


1. Ibn Sa'd Vol. I, p. 129.

2. Ibid., p. 130.


Muhammad: The Prophet's Marriage With Khadijah

The Dawn: The Prophet's Marriage With Khadijah

The maidservant said: "What is it that hinders you from marriage?" "I have nothing," replied the Prophet, "in my hands with which I can meet the expenses of the wedding." "But if haply that difficulty is removed and you are invited to marry a beautiful and wealthy lady of noble birth who would place you in affluence, would you not desire to have her?" "And who," said Muhammad (peace be upon him), startled at the novel idea, "might that be?" "It is Khadijah," was the reply. "But how can I have access to her?" "Let that be my care," said the maid-servant. The mind of Muhammad (peace be upon him) was at once made up and he answered, "I am ready." (1)

She returned and told Khadijah the whole story. No sooner was she apprised of his willingness to marry her, Khadijah sent a message to his uncle and fixed a time when they should meet. On the appointed day Muhammad (peace be upon him) along with his uncle Abu Talib and Hamzah and several other chiefs of his tribe, went to Khadijah's house. Suhayli, a well-known biographer of Muhammad (peace be upon him), asserts that Khuwaylid, the father of Khadijah, had died before the wars of Fijar and it was her uncle 'Amr, son of Asad, who gave her hand in marriage to him.

At the time of her marriage to Muhammad (peace be upon him) Khadijah (may God be pleased with her) was forty hears old and the Prophet was hardly twenty-five. From this time on for a quarter of a century Khadijah remained his angel of hope and consolation. She gave Muhammad (peace be upon him) ease of circumstances, freedom from the cares of daily life, strength and comfort of deep mutual love, the factors which contributed to the furtherance of the mission of the Prophet.

In spite of conspicuous difference in age, Muhammad's (peace be upon him) love for Khadijah never wavered. When death parted her from the Prophet, after having shared with him for years the trial and reproach which greeted him the first years of his preaching, he deeply mourned her death. Once 'Aishah asked him if she had been the only woman worthy of his love, Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied in an honest burst of tender emotion: "She believed in me when none else did, she embraced Islam when people disbelieved me; and she helped and comforted me when there was none to lend me a helping hand. (2)

Muhammad's (peace be upon him) grateful and affectionate remembrance of her persisted till the very end of his life. He was kind to all her friends and occasionally sent them gifts. "Never was I jealous of any of the Prophet's wives, " said 'Aishah, "than I was of Khadijah, although I never saw her; for the Prophet remembered her much. Once I hurt his feelings on this issue and he replied gravely, "God has blessed me with her love."

Khadijah bore the Holy Prophet several children. The first-born was named Qasim after whom, according to Arab custom, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the kunya, Abu al-Qasim, "the father of Qasim". Then were born Tayyib and Tahir. All of them died in their infancy. Amongst the daughters Ruqayyah was the eldest; then came Zaynab, Umm Kulthum, and last and best known of them all, Fatimah.


1.Suhayli, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 122.

2. Ibid.

Muhammad: The Trustworthy

The Dawn: The Trustworthy

It was before the call that an incident took place which throws light on the wisdom and popularity of the Prophet. The Ka'bah was threatened with destruction by a flood and the alarmed Quraysh resolved to rebuild it. The work was divided among the leading families and went on in harmony till the time came to put the sacred Black Stone in its proper place. Then strife broke out among the chiefs, each contesting for the honour of placing the stone in its position. Daggers were on point of being drawn and great bloodshed seemed imminent. Luckily, the oldest among the chiefs Abu Umayyah b. Mughirah made a proposal which was accepted by all: : He said: "Let him who enters the haram first of all tomorrow decide the point." Next morning Muhammad (peace be upon him)was the first to enter the sanctuary. When the other people appeared on the scene he was already there. "Al-Amin" (the Trustworthy) has come," they cried with one voice. "We are content to abide by his decision." Calm and self-possessed, Muhammad (peace be upon him) reeived the commission and at once resolved upon and expedient which was to conciliate them all. He spread his mantle on the ground and placed the Stone in its centre. He then asked the representatives of the different families of the Quraysh to lift the stone among them, all together. When it had reached the proper place, Muhammad (peace be upon him‚ laid it in the proper position with his own hands. This is how a very tense situation was eased and a grave danger averted by the wisdom of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). (1)

The last messenger of God had been endowed not only with the highest ideals, but also with the wisdom necessary to translate these ideals into practice.


1. Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 193; Suhayli, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 127; Ibn Sa'd, Vol. I, p. 146.