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    January 2010

    Sidi Muhammad Press is pleased to announce the availability of the original artist's proof by Huda al-Jamal on the cover of the newest release "The Ship of the Family of the Prophet."  It has Arabic written on the masts of the ship. The main mast says: The Family of the Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.  The right and left mast says: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.  Four other masts have the names: Khadijah, Ayisha, Fatimah. and Zanab, may Allah be pleased with all of them.  To order, please visit the on-line store.

    Also available is the 99 Names of our Lord poster which were given to us by Sidi Shaykh in his book "The Meaning of the Names of Our Lord" published in 2001.  The poster contains the Arabic, the transliteration, and the English from the book. 

 

    This month Sidi Muhammad Press is releasing a collection of poems titled "A Scattered Mist." It is often in the expression of poetry that we reveal to another what lies hidden within the heart.

from A Scattered Mist

The Gathering of My Shaykh

He says, we are the people of the inner circle
we give life and holiness to the land
we are the salt in the earth
the food for lovers and seekers
those who have arrived and are arriving.
Put your hand in their hand, he says
put your trust in theirs
they are the generous.

Come to my abode and be as he wants you to be
veil yourself with a mirror from the created reality
and give your wine to everyone.
Be the lantern he wants you to be –
the lantern lit from al-jabarut,
which lights the way of the ascending steps
reaching out to all with mercy.
Do not busy yourselves in this created world
His community, building and all
has a celestial abode
only in this place does it carry the trust.
This is the group gathered around my holy father
they are the ones who safeguard His orders
they are busy with His love
only from these can you taste His protection
they answer His call
and they flee from other
they are the ones who provide shade for you to rest

they are the connected ones
whose hearts are illuminated
they are the people of Allah by Allah, not by another
they are those who remember Allah
they are those who walk for the Pleasure of their Lord
they are the ones in the station of Ibrahim
burning all the idols, sacrificing everything for Allah.
They are the ones becoming slaves
through attraction to Him not through deeds
He is the One Who moves their hands and feet.
They are purified by the attraction of their spirit to the Light
they drink the essence of the wine
only from Muhammad,
may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,
and their witnessing is Light upon Light
Then know that if He makes you anything
He makes it for Himself
Join the gathering around my Shaykh and do as he says,
worship Allah until you realize yourself
flee to Him and pray the prayer of the heart
where He resides.
Be the Bride of the True Unity of Existence
whose branches naturally extend to the created world
Drink the wine from the Divine Cup
without adding anything to it.
Go beyond separation and gathering.
Fill your cup with the  wine
that is the source of the Shadhuliyyah.
 

 

     Ocean of the Mercy: Chapters 25-28

 

       Chapter 25

“But if you turn your backs, I have delivered to you what I was sent with to you, and my Lord will make a people other than you successors; you will not hurt Him anything. My Lord is Guardian over everything.” [Q11:57].


Meanwhile, the Quraysh had become increasingly disturbed by the threat to them of Muhammad’s (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) presence in Makkah, and by the continually growing numbers of people who were following him, in spite of all their efforts to put an end to his Message. It also filled them with dismay and anger to see how some of his Companions and followers had been able to settle peacefully in Abyssinia where under the Negus’ protection, they were able freely to practise their religion. There was also the fact that Muhammad’s (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) uncle Hamza ibn 'Abdu-l-Mutalib, and 'Umar ibn al-Khatab who, in his case, was no blood relation of the Prophet’s, were standing firmly behind him, both of them being strong, resolute, and well-considered presences in Makkah.


But the most disquieting thing for the Quraysh was that news of the Religion of Allah was also spreading into other parts of the Arabian peninsula. It was therefore in the year 616. C.E. that they decided that their only course of action was to deal a heavy, personal blow to the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and to those who were most closely related to him. This they did by declaring a ‘ban’ on the two tribes of the Bani Hashim and the Bani al-Mutalib who were now to be confined to their own area, which became known as Sha'bu Abi Talib.


From now the men of these two tribes were forbidden to marry any woman except one from among themselves; and no woman of any other tribe was permitted to marry any one of their men. At the same time, no other member of the Quraysh was permitted to talk to them, nor to have any dealings with them whatsoever.

This meant that there could be no trading between the two banned tribes and any of the other clans of Makkah and its surroundings. To add weight to the importance of this ban, the Quraysh nailed the document up on one of the walls inside the Ka'bah.

Although this ban created a serious situation for the Prophet and his family and near relations, his Lord was always his Mighty Help in everything, and continued to send him revelations reassuring him that, as His Messenger, he had a very special role to perform in the Holy City of Makkah, and that He, the All-Mighty, was always his Protector Who would prevent the Quraysh from dealing him a mortal blow, although they would try to harm him in many devious ways.

As soon as the boycott was announced the two clans of Bani Hashim and Bani 'Abdu-l-Mutalib went to Abü Talib and promised him their full allegiance, in this way joining together with him against all the rest of the Quraysh. The only one of them to refuse to do this was Abü Lahab, the Prophet’s uncle who went over to the other side with the unbelievers of the Quraysh, thus becoming a traitor to his own family and relatives.
This boycott continued for a period of two years, which were very severe for the Bani Hashim and Bani 'Abdu-l-Mutalib, for nothing was allowed to reach them from outside their designated area (Sha'bu Abi Talib) except what came to them secretly under cover of night from the Prophet’s Companions and followers and sympathizers who were not of the two banned tribes. For example, it was said that Abü Bakr (radiya-allahu 'anhu), who was a wealthy man, provided so much food for the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his family during the boycott years that afterwards, for a considerable time, he himself was reduced to poverty.

In addition to the boycott, people like Abü Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil spent all their time plotting and planning ways for tormenting and insulting the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his family since they now felt that they had him in their power, and were determined to make the best of their captive. Allah, Glory be to Him, said about them, “Perish the two hands of Abü Lahab, and perish he. His wealth and children will not benefit him. He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames. And his wife too who carries wood. Around her neck is a twisted rope of palm fibre.” [Q111]. Umm Jamil, ‘the bearer of the wood’, was so referred to because she helped to fuel the fire of enmity which her husband Abü Lahab created and also because she liked to carry bundles of thorns, which she strewed on the path where the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was in the habit of walking.

However, in the four ‘sacred months’ of the year, the boycott could not be imposed, so that at those times the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his close relatives were able to move about more freely, and as he loved to do, he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) would go to the Ka'bah to pray and to remember the Name of his Lord, sitting in the shelter of His Holy House.

One day, while he was there, Umm Jamil came hurrying up carrying a heavy stone pestle intending to hit the Prophet on his mouth with it, thinking that he would then no longer be able to pronounce any more revelations against her and her husband. For like many of the rebellious unbelievers of the time, she imagined that any cursing words (hijq) carried a spell which could bring about the fate described. But Allah, Glory be to Him, protected His Prophet and veiled him from Umm Jamil’s eyes, so that she could not see him although she saw Abü Bakr ('alayhi-s-salam) who was sitting beside him. But he (radiya-allahu 'anhu) not being of the Bani Hashim nor of the Bani 'Abdu-l-Mutalib, was free from her threat, so she had to be content to go away uttering curses upon the Messenger of Allah.

Another of the Prophet’s (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) enemies whom he had to bear with was Umayya ibn Juma˛ who had been Bilal’s (radiya-allahu 'anhu) master before Abü Bakr (radiya-allahu 'anhu) had freed him from him, and who, whenever he saw the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), openly slandered and reviled him. It was about him that the revelation came, “Woe to every slanderer and backbiter – who has gathered wealth and counted it. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.” [Q104:1-3].
Some of the Quraysh mocked at the Messenger of Allah calling him nothing but a poet and an inventor of stories, for they asked, “When shall be the Day of Resurrection?” [Q75:6] and suchlike jibes.

One of those who considered himself to be the greatest chief of the Quraysh used to say, “Does Allah send down revelations to Muhammad and ignore me?” But Allah’s answer, Glory be to Him, to such people was for the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) to say, as the Prophet Hud ('alayhi-s-salam) had said, “By the bounty of Allah and His Mercy – therein let them rejoice – that is better than that they amass.” [Q10:58].

It so happened that this same chief, al-Walid ibn al-Mughira, was the cause of a wisdom which Allah, the All-Mighty, wanted to show to His Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) about being careful about these leaders and chiefs of the Quraysh, and what was hidden in their hearts about him. For one day, when this person was sitting with the Messenger of Allah in a long conversation, a blind man, 'Abdullah ibn Umm Maktüm, passed by them and asked the Prophet to recite the Qur'an for him. This distracted the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) from his conversation and he felt that this interruption was preventing him from a favorable opportunity to convince this big chief about his Message, in this way hoping that he would surrender to Allah’s Religion and join him as one of his followers. So when ibn Umm Maktüm continued asking him, the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) got up and left. Then Allah, the All-Mighty, revealed to him (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), “He frowned and turned away – because there came to him the blind man. But what could tell you that perchance he might become pure (from sins), or that he might receive admonition and that the admonition might profit him. As for he who thinks himself self-sufficient – to him you attend. What does it matter to you if he will not become pure. But as to him who came to you running – and he is afraid (of Allah and His Punishment) – of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another. Nay, it is an admonition. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it.” [Q80:1-12].

This was a reminder to the Prophet’s heart, as Allah, Glory be to Him, said, to be constantly aware of what was in the hearts of those who came to him, seeking his presence, and of the importance of not being influenced by the presence and bearing of the rich, that this could be more pleasing to Allah than the presence and heart of the poor man, with his physical disability and lack of material means, but who was nevertheless rich in his love for the knowing of the Truth. After this admonishment the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was deeply sad and asked for his Lord’s forgiveness, and later when he and his family and Companions had all moved to al-Madinah, and when he had to leave the City to go out on raids or for battles with their enemies, he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) usually left ibn al-Maktum, (radiya-allahu 'anhu) who was then one of his Companions, as the “’imam” in his absence, to lead the prayers in the Mosque. For he could be sure that the hearts of his followers who remained in the City, were safe in the hands of a Companion whose love for Allah, the All-Mighty, and whose faith in Him was well-pleasing to his Lord.

Through the example of the Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) life we are brought back, again and again, to the Wisdom of Allah in His creating of the Veil which covered all His Prophets and Messengers, from their eyes which, through the coarseness of human material existence, were blind to them. For Muhammad’s role (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) among the people was to give all manner of them the Mercy and the Caring from God in the measure that they needed, but which was not necessarily what they wanted, or wished for. It was then surely from Allah’s Wisdom that he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was an orphan without a human family, without having had any formal education, nor knowing how to read or write. He was, therefore, alone and entirely dependent upon what his Lord did with him, and sent him; and with His Help and His Guidance in what he needed for his Message, throughout the years of his life in the world. This was another, but less obvious, miracle which Allah, the All-Mighty, gave to Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) to be able to supply the needs of all those who sought his help.

But also, unknown to all but his closest Companions, it was the strength of his Spirit which supported and sustained his entire Community during the years that he lived on the Earth. And still his Spirit supports, and is the true life, and well-being for all humanity; and for the existence and sustenance of the entire Creation. So it was from the beginning, without any beginning, and it will be to the end, without any ending, in the Knowledge of Allah, Glory be to Him, the Living the Everlasting.


Chapter 26


“They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the Guidance from their Lord.” [Q19.23].


One day, as the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) had been circumambulating the Ka'bah, he was met by four men whom the people of Makkah held in high respect, who said to him, “Muhammad, come let us worship what you worship, and you worship what we worship. You and we will be together then in this matter. If what you worship is better than what we worship, we will take a share of it, and if what we worship is better then what you worship, you can take a share of it. Then Allah, the All-Mighty, revealed to His Prophet about these people, “Say, ‘O unbelievers, I worship not that which you worship. Nor will you worship that which I worship. And I shall not worship what you are worshipping. Nor will you worship that which I worship – to you be your religion and to me be mine.” [Q109].

For it was important for Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) to always remind his people that his Message, which his Lord had ordered him to give, came through His Angel to him (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) as Allah, Glory be to Him said, “By the star when it goes down – your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has he erred nor does he speak from [his own] desire. It is only an inspiration that is inspired. He has been taught by one mighty in power.” [Q53:1-5].

So although the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was always most anxious about the hearts and well-being of his people and that they should repent of their arrogant ways of disbelief, and self-satisfaction, it was important for him never to be tempted to compromise with them, nor to fall a prey to the traps which they were continually setting for him in trying to win him over to follow them; in this way to make the peace in Makkah.

On the other hand, about the idols which the Quraysh worshipped, the All-Mighty said, “Have you then considered al-Lat and al-'Uzza and Manat, the other third?” [Q53:19-20]. This referred to the fact that these three idols which the Quraysh most favored were all female. Therefore Allah, Glory be to Him, added, “Is it for you the males and for Him the females? That indeed is a division most unfair. They are but names which you have named – you and your fathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority; they but follow a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the Guidance from their Lord?” [Q53:21-23]. Therefore, how could he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), as the Messenger of God for all the world, ally himself with such a belief?

Because of the Prophet’s outright refusal to acknowledge the religion of the leaders of the Quraysh, and the fact that more and more of the ordinary people in Makkah were now opening their ears and hearts to his Message and to the revelations which he was receiving, his Companions were increasingly harassed and threatened.

This was especially the case of Abü Bakr (radiya-allahu 'anhu) who was known to be very close to the Prophet, being respected, loved, and trusted by him. He, may Allah be pleased with him, had now decided that the moment had come when he would have to leave Makkah, and to join the other Muslim migrants in Abyssinia. He was about to set out from Makkah when he met with one of the leaders of the Ahabish clan of the Bani Harith, a man called Ibn Dughanna, who stopped him and asked him what he was doing, and why. When Abü Bakr told him about how difficult his situation and that of his family had become and that he had therefore resolved to leave Makkah for Abyssinia, Ibn Dughanna said to him, “But why do this?” For he added, “You are an ornament of the tribe and a standby for the people in misfortune, always kindly in supplying the needs of others. So come with me and be under my protection.” So he proclaimed to all the people of Makkah that he had taken Abü Bakr al-Quhafa under his protection, and that henceforward no one must do him any harm, or they would be answerable to him for it.1
It was the custom among the Arab people for a person of standing in his community who for some reason or other feared for his personal safety and well-being to have the protection of a respected and influential man of their city, or town, to be a surety for them against harm. In Abü Bakr’s case he had never sought anyone’s protection because such an idea had not entered his heart, since he himself had always been a respected and highly considered man among his people. However, he now decided to accept Ibn Dughanna’s proposal, and accordingly it was proclaimed publicly in Makkah that Ibn Dughanna was his protector.

Soon after this Abü Bakr (radiya-allahu 'anhu) had a small mosque built near the door of his house, and here he liked to pray. The mosque had low walls and no roof and so was open to the sky, and also anyone praying inside it could be seen and heard by those passing by on the street outside. It was a well-known fact that Abü Bakr loved Allah very deeply and that when he prayed and recited from the Qur'an, he would often be moved to tears, and his face would be filled with the Light of the love of his Lord. As the people passed by they could see and hear him praying and reading the revelations from Allah, and many of them would stop and look at him and listen to what he was reciting, moved by his love for God and the beauty of his face.

When the Quraysh leaders heard about this mosque, they became disturbed and a group of them went to Ibn Dughanna and said to him, “Have you given this fellow your protection so that he can do us harm? He prays and recites what Muhammad has produced, and his heart becomes soft, and he weeps. He has a striking appearance so that we fear that he will lead astray our youths and women and weaker ones. So go to him and tell him to go inside his own house, and to do what he likes there, but not on the street.”

Ibn Dughanna, therefore, went to Abü Bakr (radiya-allahu 'anhu) as the Quraysh told him to do, saying to him, “I did not give you protection so that you could injure my people. They dislike the place you have chosen for praying in, and they suffer hurt therefrom. So go into your own house, and do what you like there. But if you persist in your intention, then I must withdraw my protection from you.” Abü Bakr’s (radiya-allahu 'anhu) reply was to say, “I wish then to be absolved from your protection, for I am content with the protection of Allah.”

Meanwhile, the boycott against the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his people of the Bani Hashim and the Bani 'Abdu-l-Mutalib was still in force, and was causing them all considerable suffering and hardship. However, as the days went by the hearts of the Quraysh began to stir, and to feel uncomfortable about what they were doing to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his clans, who were after all their own people. So that a group of their younger ones came to see that this boycott was wrong and, at the same time, it did not seem to be turning things in their favor.

It also happened, at that time, that one day the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said to his uncle Abü Talib, “O my uncle, my Lord has given worms the power over the Quraysh document. I see that they have destroyed its injustice, boycott, and malice, leaving only the Name of Allah on it.” Abü Talib replied, “Did your Lord tell you this?” Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said, “Yes.” Abü Talib was amazed for no one had come to him telling him this. So he immediately decided to go and inform the Quraysh of what Muhammad had said, and advised them to go and look at their document, adding, “I make you an offer that if it is as my nephew says, then end your boycott and your present way of acting. If he is lying, I will hand him over to you.”
The Quraysh being satisfied with this offer accordingly agreed to it. So they went to the Ka'bah and looked at their document, which had been nailed up, only to find that the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was right in what he had said. However, instead of keeping their agreement which they had made with Abü Talib, the Quraysh leaders became even more virulent and malicious against his nephew.

But Allah, Glory be to Him, is the Merciful, the Just, and not all the Quraysh felt the same way as some of their leaders. Notably a younger person, Zuhayr ibn Abü Umaya ibn al-Mughira, a son of one of the nobles of the Quraysh, who during this time had been helping the Bani Hashim and the ‘Sha'bu Abü Talib’ under cover of night, secretly sending them supplies of food and clothing, now went around to the more moderate of their leaders to try to persuade them to lift the boycott.


Some of them told him that they had, in fact, not been really satisfied in the first place with what had been written down on the document. One of them even went so far as to declare, “By Allah! I feel I will not sit down until this document is torn up!” Another of them said, “We take Allah as our witness that we now dissociate ourselves from this whole idea, and of what is written on the document.” He himself went into the Ka'bah intending to tear up the piece of parchment which had been nailed up inside it. But what he saw was that, as the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) had already said, Allah, Glory be to Him, had already done this for them, for worms had eaten away all of the document except for a thin strip of parchment which still remained at the top of it, bearing the words, “In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate (bismi-llahi-r-rahmani-r-rahim).


Chapter 27


“But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds – then he will be among those who are successful. And your Lord creates whatsoever He chooses; no choice have they. Glorified be Allah and Exalted above all they associate as partners with Him.” [Q28:67-68].

The lifting of the boycott against the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his relatives was a great blessing, as they were now once more free to move about as they wished, and their everyday livelihood was no longer restricted.

Nevertheless the Quraysh, whose hearts were still full of rancour and hidden envy towards him (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), continued to persecute him in any way that came to them, short of inflicting bodily harm upon him. But the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) always tried to counsel them, and to be patient with them, and to help them in any way that was possible, at the same time being wary of all their wiles and deceptions.
His Message continued to spread and enter into the hearts of all manner of people, both the humble and those entrusted with authority among men, and now it was no longer confined to the City of Makkah. Because of this, the Quraysh who were always extremely jealous of their own authority in the Holy City, warned all new-comers to Makkah to beware of Muhammad and those of the people who were with him.

One of those who came to visit the Holy City was al-Tufayl ibn 'Amr al-Dawsi who was an intelligent man, a poet, and a person of standing among his people of Daus. Therefore, as soon as the Quraysh leaders heard of his arrival in Makkah, they took him aside and warned him against having anything to do with Muhammad. They said, “In fact he talks like a sorcerer and separates a man from his father, his mother, and his wife, and we fear that he may have the same effect upon you and your people; so beware of speaking to him, or of having anything to do with him.”

Al-Tufayl then recounted in his own words what happened to him in Makkah, as he said, “When I wanted to go to the Mosque, they were so insistent about my not having anything to do with Muhammad that I went so far as to stuff cotton in my ears, fearing that I might overhear a word or two against my will.

“When I got to the Mosque there was the Prophet of Allah standing in prayer by the Kafibah, so I stood near him. Allah, Glory be to Him, had ordered for me that I should hear something of what he said, and I heard a beautiful saying. So I said to myself, ‘May Allah bless my soul! Here I am, an intelligent man, a poet, knowing very well the difference between good and evil, so what is to prevent me from listening to what this man is saying? If it is good I shall accept it, and if it is bad I shall reject it.’”

Al-Tufayl then continued with his story as follows, “I stayed until the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) went to his house, and I followed him, and entered his home with him. I told him about what his people had said, and how they had so frightened me about him, that I had stuffed cotton into my ears in case I should hear what he was saying. But Allah, Glory be to Him, had not allowed me to remain deaf, and I had heard most beautiful words. Then I said to him (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), ‘So explain the matter to me.’ The Messenger of Allah then explained Islam to me and recited to me from the Holy Qur'an. By Allah! I had never heard anything finer nor anything more just. So I became a Muslim and bore true witness. I said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, I am a man of authority among my people, and when I return and call them to Islam, pray to Allah to give me a sign which will help me to speak to them.’ He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said, ‘O Allah, give him a sign.’”

Al-Tufayl then said, “So I went back to my people, and when I came to the pass which would bring me down to the settlement, a light like a lamp played between my eyes, and I said, ‘O Allah, not in my face! For I fear that they will think that a dire punishment has befallen my face because I have left their religion.’ So then the light moved and came to rest on the top of my whip, while I was coming down the pass to them. When I reached the settlement, my father who was a very old man came to greet me, but I said, ‘Be off with you father, for I have nothing to do with you, nor you with me!’ He said, ‘But why, my son?’ I said, ‘I have become a Muslim, and I now follow the religion of Muhammad.’ He said, ‘All right! my son, then my religion is your religion.’ So I said, ‘Go and wash yourself and clean your clothes, then come and I will teach you what I have been taught.’ He did so, and I explained Islam to him, and he became a Muslim.

“Then my wife came to greet me, and I sent her away, saying, ‘Be off with you, for I have nothing to do with you nor you with me.’ She said, ‘Why? May my father and my mother be my ransom.’ I said, ‘Islam has divided us, and I follow the religion of Muhammad.’ She said, ‘Then my religion is your religion.’ I then said to her that in that case she must go to the place of [a certain] idol to cleanse herself from it. She asked me if there was danger for her or her children in so doing? ‘No,’ I replied ‘I will be the surety for that.’ So she went and washed and when she returned I explained Islam to her and she became a Muslim.”
 Al-Tufayl (
radiya-allahu 'anhu) then began to teach his people of Daus, but they still held back from believing in him, so he returned to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) in Makkah to ask him for his help with the foolishness of his people and their backsliding, begging him to call down a curse upon them. But the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said, “O Allah, guide Daus!” Then he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said to al-Tufayl, “Now go back to your people and teach them gently.”

So al-Tufayl continued to call his people to Islam and to teach them the Religion of the One God, until some eight years later he was able to bring seventy to eighty families of the Daus to be with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) as his true followers, and to fight with him against his enemies around al-Madınah. Al-Tufayl (radiya-allahu 'anhu) remained close to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) until Allah, the All-Mighty, took His Messenger from this world, and in the years which followed, he fought with the Muslim armies until the whole of the Najd was overcome. Then he went to the Yamama with his son 'Amr, where he was killed as a martyr, and his son was severely wounded. 'Amr (radiya-allahu 'anhu) also died as a martyr, but this was in the Battle of Yarmük, some years later in the time of the khalifah 'Umar (radiya-allahu 'anhu).



Chapter 28


“And put your trust in the Mighty, the Most Merciful – Who sees you when you stand up alone, and your movements among those who fall prostrate. Verily He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Q26:217-220].


In the year 619 C.E., which came to be known as ‘the Year of Sadness’, not long after the boycott on the Prophet and his family had been annulled, the Messenger of Allah suffered a deep loss in the death of his beloved wife Khadija, at the age of 65 years. She had been his wife, his companion and his helper in everything, and the first person to believe in him and in the Message with which he had been sent. In the twenty years that they had been together she had been his consolation and support to which he could always turn. She had contained his heart and his spirit, as he grew into his Message, and she was his perfect mirror in which he could always trust to see himself in his Truth. Their years together had been full of love, mutual consideration and many deep blessings from Allah, for she had shared with him alike in everything that Allah had sent him of His generosity and also hardships. Khadija had borne him seven children, and it was surely a deep test of her love and trust in Allah that she had seen Him take her three sons, al-Qasim, 'Abdullah and al-Tayyib all in infancy. But she was no ordinary woman, and as the true and perfect wife of the Prophet (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), she was the example for everyone who knew her of how to bear suffering and loss with patience and trust. In after years, the Prophet’s young wife Aisha was heard to say, “Never did I feel jealous of any wife among the wives of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) as I feel in the case of Khadija (though I had never seen her) for he praised her very often.”

The Prophet’s four daughters were overcome with sadness at the death of their mother, but he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) comforted them by telling them of what the Angel Jibra'il had said about her, “Give Khadija greetings from her Lord, and the Good Tidings of a pavilion in [Paradise] of brilliant pearls (qasab) wherein there shall be no clamour and no toil.” As for the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) himself, he knew that the love which he had for Khadija was eternal and that although her presence was no longer with him, theirs was the Love of Allah which would continue to grow in a bond without any ending through their hearts and spirits in the World of the Unseen.

But now, in the Wisdom of Allah, the All-Mighty, the Order for Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was for a station and rank in the knowledge of his life as the Messenger of Allah, whose Reality only his Lord could know of and contain. There was now to be no companion soul with him in everything that he would meet and experience, as had been the case with his beloved wife Khadija. Until his daughter Fatimah came to womanhood, and was then the only person to know him in his Reality as the Messenger of Allah. For now he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was to know of what was to be obligated of him, as the Seal of the Prophets, the Seal of the Messengers, the Ocean of the Mercy, the Intercessor for all the Creation, the one for whom only Allah was the Sufficer, and all the other names by which he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) has been called. He was the solitary one, about which he himself (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said, “Now Allah has reckoned for me a time when it is a truth that my only travelling companion is Allah” and also, “I will be the Master of mankind on the Day of Resurrection.”

Not long after this first deep loss, the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was to suffer another in the death of his uncle Abü Talib whom he had dearly loved, and who had always been like a father to him, and one of his faithful supporters in all his difficulties with the leaders of the Quraysh. Much of his sadness about his uncle’s death was because although Abü Talib had been a good and honourable man, he had never been able to become one of his nephew’s followers in the Religion of the Unity, which was what the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) had so deeply wished for.

It was said that when Abü Talib fell ill and it seemed that his condition gave cause for great concern, the Quraysh leaders decided to visit him to make sure that they had his continued support; and that he would not leave them as Hamza ibn Abü-l-Mutalib and 'Umar ibn al-Khatab had done, in joining themselves with Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) and his followers.

So 'Utba and Shayba, Abü Jahl, Umayya ibn Khalif and Abü Sufyan together with others of the Quraysh went to Abü Talib as he was lying in his bed in a very serious condition. They said to him, “You know of your standing with us, and now that you are about to die, we are greatly concerned on your account. You know of the trouble between us and your nephew, so call him and let us make an agreement that he will leave us alone, and we will leave him alone; let him have his religion and we will have ours.”
When Muhammad (
sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) came, as they had proposed, Abü Talib said, “My nephew, these notables have come to you so that they may give you something and take something from you.”

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) answered, “Yes, you may give me one word by which you can rule the Arabs and subject the Persians to you!” “Yes,” said Abü Jahl, “and ten words.”

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) said, “You must say, ‘There is no God but Allah’ and you must repudiate what you worship besides Him.” The Quraysh leaders then clapped their hands, saying, “Do you want to make all the gods into one God, Muhammad? That would be an extraordinary thing.” Then Abü Talib said, “My nephew, I do not think that you asked them anything extraordinary.”

When he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) heard his uncle say this the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) had a deep hope that he would accept Islam; so he urged him, saying, “You say it my uncle, and I shall be able to intercede for you on the Day of Resurrection.”

Seeing how much his nephew longed for this Abü Talib said, “If I said this, it would be to give you pleasure.” Al-'Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle, put his ear close to Abü Talib’s face and said, “By God, my nephew, my brother has spoken the words you gave him to say.” But the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) replied, “I did not hear it.” The next moment Abü Talib died.

Abü Talib’s death also meant that the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) had now lost the protection of a noble and much respected leader of the people of Makkah, for so long as he had been alive no one could do him any bodily injury without provoking the people’s outrage.

In addition to this, Abü Lahab now became the leader of the Bani Hashim, so how could he then expect any protection from him? Although he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) knew that Allah, the All-Mighty, was in truth his Protector, he realized that knowing the customs of his people it would be wise for him nevertheless to seek clan protection from someone who was a respected leader among his people.

Accordingly, he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) decided to go to Ta'if, a town not far to the north of Makkah, where three of its leaders were related to him, and to ask any one of them as his protector. Having reached their house the Prophet invited them to accept Islam and to help him in his Message, but he was met with a stony refusal, and then with mockery and insults. One of them even said, “If Allah has sent you as His Messenger I will tear up the covering cloth of the Ka'bah.” A second one of them, then added, “Could Allah not have found someone better than you to send?” The third one said, “Let me never speak to you! For if you are a Messenger of Allah, as you say, then you are too great a person for me to address, and if you are lying, it is not fitting that I should speak to you.”

After hearing their replies the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) immediately left them seeing that he could hope for nothing from such people. But he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) still hoped that he might be able to give his Message to other people of the township, whose hearts might be open to him.

With this in mind, he started to walk through the streets of the town hoping to find people to whom he could speak. But the three leaders of the town, who had angrily dismissed him, had immediately gone amongst their people, stirring them up against this stranger from Makkah who spoke like a madman, so that they now came out of their houses to stare at him and to shout abuse at him as he passed by. Some of the youths of the town then gathered together in a large band and ran after him pelting him with stones, until he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) was forced to seek shelter from them amongst the trees and vines of a nearby orchard belonging to two brothers, 'Utba and Shayba ibn Rabi'a, who happened to be working there at the time.

When the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) reached safety in the orchard, he sat down on the ground under the shelter of a large vine, and in his distress, called to his Lord, saying, “O Allah! to You I ask help for my weakness, poverty of resource, and my lowliness before men. O Most Merciful One, You are the Lord of the weak, and You are my Lord. To whom then will You give me? To someone far distant who will misuse me? Or to an enemy to whom You have given power over me? If You are not angry with me, then I do not care about anything. For Your Favor is more widespread for me. I take refuge in the Light of Your Face by which the darkness is illumined, and the matters of this world and of the Hereafter are ordered, lest Your Wrath should fall upon me. It is for You to be satisfied until You are well pleased. There is no power and no might but in You.”

Meanwhile the two brothers 'Utba and Shaybah had seen everything that had taken place, and had noticed the man, who was a stranger to them, taking refuge in their orchard. They then called to a young Christian slave of theirs, and told him to take some grapes to offer to the stranger. The slave boy did as his masters told him to do, and when he offered the fruit to the unknown man he saw him put his hand upon it, saying, “In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” before eating it. The young slave looked at the stranger’s face and said, “By Allah, this is not the way in which the people of this country speak.” The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) then asked him, “From which country do you come and what is your religion?” The slave boy replied that he came from Ninevah, and that he was a Christian. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) then said, “From the city of the righteous man Yünus, the son of Mattal?” The young slave then said, “But how do you know about him?” The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) replied, “He is my brother; he was a Prophet and I am a Prophet.” On hearing these words the young slave bent over the stranger kissing his head, his hands and his feet.

When the two brothers 'Utba and Shaybah saw what was taking place between the stranger and their slave, one of them said to the other, “He has already corrupted your slave.” So when the young boy went back to his masters they asked him, “Why were you kissing that man’s head, hands and feet?” He answered that he was the finest man in the whole country, who had told him things that only a Prophet could know about. But all that his masters said to him was, “You rascal, don’t let him turn you away from your religion, for it is better than his.”

It was now clear to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) that he could not expect any help from the people of Ta'if, so he decided to return to Makkah, and to wait there for whatever Allah, the All-Mighty would send him.

On his way back to the Holy City, he was moved to turn off the road and to climb up again to the Cave of Hira, which had always been a refuge for him from the world, it being the special place where he had received the first revelation from his Lord, when His Angel Jibril had come to him with the first announcement of his Messengerhood. Here he (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) prostrated himself in prayer to his Lord asking Him for His help in his present situation. Immediately He, Glory be to Him, answered His slave by telling him to ask for protection from a certain person who in fact lived in Makkah and who was also more closely related to him than the three leaders of Ta'if who had so blindly rejected him. This person was Mut'im ibn Naufal who was also one of those who had worked hard to annul the boycott which the Quraysh had imposed upon him and his relatives.

The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam), therefore, followed what his Lord had revealed to him, and sent a message to Mut'im who immediately answered him with the reply, “Enter the City in peace.” The following morning he himself, together with his sons and others of his close friends came, fully armed to escort the Messenger of Allah from the Cave of Hira into Makkah.

When this group, with the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) in their midst, arrived at the Kafibah, Abü Jahl who was sitting nearby, on seeing them, called out, “Have you become followers of Muhammad?” To which they replied, “We are giving him our protection.” So the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa salam) returned to Makkah with full protection from the people and Abü Jahl was forced to say, “We give protection to him whom you protect.”

 

     




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