01 – Biography of Prophet Muhammad – Detailed History – Ammar Nakshawani


Please recite surah Fatiha for marhumeen of the volunteer who has contributed to fix the subtitles as well as the Thaqlain team. You can help us as well. E-mail us at [email protected]
Subscribe to our channel for latest videos! “Thus give unto the near of kin their
rightful portion, as to the needy and the traveler of no fixed station, thus will
be best for those who seek God’s dairy pleasure and it is they who surely
prosper.” [Quran, 30:38] (short Arabic Khutbah) (short Arabic Khutbah) (short Arabic Khutbah) (short Arabic Khutbah) (short Arabic Khutbah) (short Arabic Khutbah) [Recitation of Quran, 42:23] بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ The first of our loud salawat in honour of RasoolAllah, Muhammad (s.a.w) [salawat] The second in honour of Amir al-Mu’minin, Ali ibn Abi Talib [salawat] The third, with your loudest voices, in
honour of the Imam of our time, Imam Sahib Al-‘Asr Wa Al-Zaman [salawat] There is a request for the brothers to
come as close to the front as possible. [salawat] Respected scholars, brothers and sisters;
Salam alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), [salawat] was born in the year 570. Known as the
‘Year of the Elephant’. He occupies a prominent position within the religion
of Islam and is revered as the greatest personality within the religion. A man
whose life has to be examined in depth, for there are many lessons to be learnt
and indeed many examples to be derived. And indeed a man whose biography has
been, unfortunately, very much undervalued and indeed very much underestimated.
Therefore it is vital that we discuss his biography, from the day that he was
born until the day he died. In order that we are able to: Number one;
take as many practical lessons from his life and apply them into our own lives.
And then number two; remove any misconceptions that surround his
biography. For there was a period in medieval Europe when he was seen as
being the devil incarnate, or he was seen as being the false messiah, or he was
seen as being the Antichrist. And therefore there is a need for us to
dissect the biography, in order that we present him in his true light: as a mercy
for mankind and a moral exemplar to everyone. As we said he was born in the
year 570, known as the ‘Year of the Elephant’. The Arabs did not have a
calendar dating system as such. The Arabs what they used to do, they used to look
at what was the important event in that particular year, and then give the name
towards the year. As in; for example if there was a famous personality who died,
they would name the year after that personality. Or if there was a war that
took place, they would name, for example the year after that war. The year within
which the Prophet was born was called ‘Āmu l-Fīl’, the ‘Year of the Elephant’.
Because of an incident that took place involving an army of elephants. Because
what you had at the time, you had within Arabia people who used to go and visit
the Kaaba. In Yemen there was a church which was built by an Ethiopian man, by
the name of Abraha. Mark the words ‘Ethiopian’, because Abraha’s niece is Bilal al-Habashi’s mother. Abraha’s niece, later on when she’s caught
as a prisoner, she gets married within one of the arabian tribes and she gives
birth to a son by the name of Bilal. Hence when Bilal is known as of the
people of Habash, it’s because his mother’s uncle was this Abraha who was
an Ethiopian, but was the governor of Yemen. Abraha had always been envious of
the fact that there were people who would go towards the Kaaba, but not come
towards his church in Yemen. He tried to send emissaries and ambassadors to go
towards the Kaaba and to try and tell the Arabs that: “Listen, leave your place
of worship because your place has been polluted. Originally you are people of
Abraham, but now you worship idols. It’s better that all of you come to my church
in Yemen and make my church the main center of the area.” When he had sent one
of his emissaries, when he noticed that the emissaries were not successful, the
narrations tell us that he decided it’s better for him to take his army and
march into the Kaaba, and to take an army of elephants.
Hence, within the religion of Islam you have a chapter called ‘Surah al-Fil’, chapter 105 of the Quran. And the chapter :begins
“بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ . أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ”
[Quran, 105:1] “Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the People of the Elephant?” Because when Abraha came, he came with
elephants. There was only a few elephants that he brought, but as we know elephants
are oversized that there only needs to be a few for them to capture
your attention. When he came towards Arabia, he came with these elephants and
there were people who definitely were scared. That’s why the main person who
counteracted him was who? Was Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet.
Abdul Muttalib told the people, number one: Go and hide in the desert
hills. So they went to hide in the desert hills. Then Abdul Muttalib
was chosen by the people to go and meet Abraha. Notice from the beginning of the
biography of the Prophet we see that the line of Abraham through Isma’il is
still looking after the birthplace of Isma’il. Yesterday, we said in Genesis
chapter 17, verse 18-20: “God promised Abraham that in the line of Isma’il
there will be twelve princes who are part of a fruitful generation…”
Abdul Muttalib, what did he do? Abdul Muttalib, at this moment came to Abraha, he entered Abraha’s tent. Abraha was sitting down. When he entered the tent,
Abraha looked at him. He saw quite an imposing figure; he then said to him sit
down and he said to him: “What is it that you want?” He said: “I want my camels.” He [Abraha] said: “Sorry?” He said: “I want my camels. You took my camels. I want my camels returned back to me.” He [Abraha] looked at him and said: “You know when you entered my tent I had a lot of respect
for you, but now I’ve lost all that respect.” Abdul Muttalib said: “Why?”
He said: “When you entered my tent, I thought this is a man who wants his ‘black cube’
known as the Kaaba protected, instead all you want is the camels?” He said: “That house has a Lord for its own to protect it; and I am the protector of my lot of
camels. I want my two hundred camels being given back to me.” He said to him: “Get out! Get out! There is no agreement between us.” Abdul Muttalib came back a
second time to try and persuade him; again Abraha wouldn’t agree. Abraha
decided he’ll take his elephant – and most of the narrations indicates another six
or seven elephants – and march towards the Kaaba. They march towards the Kaaba and the
Quran put it quite beautifully when the “أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ” :Quran said “أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِي تَضْلِيلٍ. وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا أَبَابِيلَ”
[Quran 105:1-2] You all see that What Allah (s.w.t), what did he do? He ensured that if you plan and I plan, I’m the greatest of
planners. These elephants who are coming they were ready to bring their victory.
The narrations state very clearly that some birds, with these stones, pelted them
until the opposition army was defeated. In other words RasoolAllah, the year that he was born, the Arabs hadn’t begun the Hijra calendar. We know the Hijra
calendar began after what? The Hijra calendar began after the Prophet migrated from Mecca
to Medina. Then you had 1 AH, 2 AH, 3 AH, 4 AH… Before that, what did you
have? Years according to incidence. So the date of his birth is differed on between
the different schools in Islam. Our brothers in other schools celebrate his
birth on the 12th of Rabi ul-Awwal, we celebrate his birth on the 17th of Rabi ul-Awwal. It is vital that this isn’t a cause of friction between us, why?
Sayed al Khomeini, may Allah bless his soul used to stress on this week being a week
of unity between Muslims because all of us are sharing a common denominator, and
that is the life of our Prophet. It should be a case where on the 12th of Rabi ul-Awwal our mosques go, or our imams go to the mosques of our brothers and
celebrate with them, and on the 17th our brothers are welcomed into our
mosques to celebrate with us. There is a difference of opinion, and in the
historical research you’ll find, I think barring Sheikh al-Kulayni,
most of the others will say that he was born on the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal.
It wasn’t an easy first few years for him. Imagine in your first few years your
father passes away; according to some narrations, only a few months into his
life. His father Abdullah passes away and therefore RasoolAllah is born an orphan;
hence the Quran saying: “أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ” [Quran, 93:6] When the Quran says:
“أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ”, what does it mean? It means: did we not find you an
orphan? The Prophet when he was born was born an orphan. His mother Aminah was
alive, but his father Abdullah had passed away, and his mother Aminah did what most
Arabs do to their babies at the time. If you were of the noble aristocracy of
Mecca, what would you do to your baby? After eight days of the birth of your
baby, the Meccan aristocrats would take their babies to the desert, so that their
babies are suckled and breast-fed by a wet nurse in the desert. Someone asks: “Why, as in; Aminah is his mother. Why can’t she suckle him? Why does she
have to take him to the desert?” There were a number of reason the Arabs would
take their babies to the desert, and especially the ariostocrats. If you
were poor it wasn’t that easy, but if you were an aristocrat you take your baby to the
desert for a number of reasons. Number one; and please understand these reasons, because
they have a major role in the upbringing and the psyche of the Prophet. The first
reason: It allows you to grow up in an
environment where you are independent and you are a free thinker for the first
few years of your life. What do we mean? We mean; in the desert there isn’t
buildings and there isn’t all of these forests surrounding you, and lots of
humans and shops, and markets and trade. In the desert it’s open. You can sit
there and look at the creation and reflect upon your own creation, reflect
upon your own meaning in life, reflect upon your own role. The Arabs who would
send their babies to have their first eight or ten years in the desert would want
that baby to be living in a world where they grow up as a child who is not told
what to think, but is rather shown how to think. First reason they take them there, is that.
The second reason is because Mecca’s climate wasn’t a healthy climate for
children both in terms of what they saw and what they breathed. Imagine you’re a
child growing up in a climate where you see baby girls being buried alive. Is
that a good start to your life? Or you see people performing tawaf of the
ka’bah – circumambulating the Kaaba – naked. The Arabs used to go around the Kaaba
naked, because they said: “God created us free so there’s no need for clothes;
clothes are impure. Let’s go and circumambulate His house like how He created
us.” Completely in the nude. The Prophet, his mother Aminah wanted him to be
growing up where? Grow up in the desert so he doesn’t see this. Number three;
because Mecca’s wind and air, as I said; it was hot, it was unhealthy.
There were pests and epidemics. So his mother, Aminah did what? She made sure
that he was sent there. The first lady to have breast-fed him, and the most narrations say two, the first one and both of them were chosen
by who? By Abdul Muttalib, his grandfather. The first one to have breast-fed him was
Suwaiba, the servant of his uncle Abu Lahab. Remember Abu Lahab, before the Prophet announced his prophethood, used to love the Prophet because he used to
see him as his younger brother’s son. Abdullah is Abu Lahab’s younger
brother, isn’t he? So he used to see him as his younger brother’s son. So first Aminah asked
Abdul Muttalib, Abdul Muttalib said: “Suwaiba.” Suwaiba also suckled Hamza because RasoolAllah and Hamza’s ages are very similar. And that’s why when RasoolAllah was one day
told to marry Hamza’s daughter, he said: “We cannot because in Islamic law we
suckled from the same wet nurse.” Then number two; Abdul Muttalib chose who? He
chose Halima Sa’adiyya. Halima Sa’adiyya was a pious God-fearing
lady. Abdul Muttalib chose her as the one who
would suckle the Prophet, and she herself would say that: “I saw vast riches and
goodness affect my life the moment I started to suckle the Prophet.”
Some narrations in Islamic history try and tell us that when the Prophet was with
Halima as a two-year-old, he remembered – mark the words – ‘he remembered’. It’s quite
interesting. As a two-year-old ‘he remembered’, he was sitting down one day.
Two men came, opened his chest, gave him a ‘heart transplant’ because there was the
black dot of Shaytan on his heart, then put a new heart in and that was the
pure Muhammad after that day. We of course differ with this idea. As in; number one: if I have the dot of Shaytan, it’s not on my physical heart. The dot of
Shaytan is meant to be on my nafs, isn’t it? So I don’t need a
heart change. Number two: the Prophet was born with this purity. He did not need
people to come and open him up, have an operation, and then move on. For the Quran
would later say: “أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ” [Quran, 94:1]
“We are the ones who expanded that breast which was able to take in knowledge.”
Therefore, some narrations try to say Halima saw this in the Prophet. We differ
with this. Halima twice went back to Aminah, the mother of the Prophet, and said
to her: “Do you want to take him back to Mecca?” Aminah twice replied back to her: “O Halima, keep him there, because I see diseases and epidemics which will affect
him.” And therefore, some people ask the question: “If God loves Muhammad so much,
why let him have such a difficult beginning as an orphan?” As in; why
doesn’t God allow him to have a natural beginning like everybody else, a father
and a mother. When the Imam was asked this question, he replied: “God wanted to
ensure nobody protected and brought up Muhammad but Himself.” He wanted to
oversee that the Prophet would not show obedience to anybody, even from his early
life, except Himself. Sometimes your parents may sway you one way or the
other. Even though his parents were loyal
believers in God’s message, the Imam said: “He wanted that God is the One who
oversaw his development.” Therefore, you find from a young age his father dies,
then his mother dies, then after that what? After that his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, he looks after him. His grandfather dies within a couple of
years, then he’s brought up by his uncle Abu Talib. His uncle Abu Talib acts as
the backbone not only to him, but to the message of the religion of Islam. That
uncle Abu Talib, preferred his nephew even above his sons. And his wife,
Fatima bint Asad, was exactly the same. His wife Fatima bint Asad, when the Prophet buried her, said: “This is my mother. This is the lady who preferred me above
her sons. This is the lady who used to clothe me
and wash me and look after me and she is the one who nourished
me.” You notice that these were the two who looked after him, and that’s why the
Prophet from a young age, there is a certain question that is asked: “What do
we know about him before the age of 40?” Because in a few moments we’ll look at
him from after the age of 40, but before the age of 40, if you were to ask many
Muslims: “Tell us about your Prophet before the
age of 40.” Many are unaware of his biography. You notice that before the age
of 40, when Abu Talib was bringing him up, Abu Talib – the Prophet would latch on to him
everywhere, to the extent that Abu Talib himself narrates: “One day I was
about to leave for Syria on a commercial expedition. The young Muhammad was only
12, and he latched on to me as I was leaving. When he latched on to me, it hurt me
that my nephew is an orphan, let me take him with me.”
The narration states that he took him towards Syria. On the way towards Syria they
walked past a monastery. The monk, when he sees these people coming, they say to him:
“We are coming here to reside for the night.” The monk looks at them, what does
he say? The monk says to Abu Talib: “All of you
can come and are welcome to eat what you want to eat, but Abu Talib, I want to ask you a question.” He said: “What is it?” He [the monk] said: “You know that
young man was walking alongside you? Bring him tomorrow with you as well.”
Abu Talib said: “Very well, I will bring him tomorrow.” The next day when Abu Talib
came, he looked at him and he said to him: “Where is the young man? That young man
who was walking alongside you?” He [Abu Talib] said: “My nephew?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “He’s just over
there.” He said: “Call him towards me.” At the age of
12, and this is one of our proofs within Islamic theology that from a young age
he was already inspired with the knowledge of God and the knowledge of
His mission. At the age of 40, it’s not that he became a prophet, it’s that he
was now told to announce his prophethood. Before that he knew, because when that
monk comes and he sees him, he says to him: “In the name of Allat and Uzza.” As soon as
the Prophet heard this is, he said to him: “Do not bring those names in front of me. Those
are the most detested names to me.” They were the idols of Qureish. Then the
monk said: “I want to give you some sadaqa.” He [the Prophet] said: “We do not accept sadaqa.”
Then he said to him: “Can I see the mark between your shoulders?” He allowed him to
see the mark between the shoulders, he looked at Abu Talib, he said: “Abu Talib, if you did not know already – because Abu Talib is already knowing – if you did not
know already, then know that this young man is – what? – he is
the prophet whom Jesus spoke about, and whom Moses spoke about, and beware of the
enemies that he’s going to face.” And he [Abu Talib] at that moment said to him: “How did you know?” He said: “Forget these signs, when you were walking and
Muhammad was next to you, I saw every tree bow down after Muhammad left it.”
Therefore, what do you have? You have from a young age, at the age of twelve, but even
after the age of twelve there is this innate love for justice and removal of
oppression. In which way? One of the greatest incidents in his young age was
at the age of 20, and years later he would always refer back to this. At the
age of 20 he refers to when he joined and formed a group called “Hilf ul-Fudhool”.
What was it? In Arabia many people would come for the
markets. When they’d come for the markets, they’d come from outside the market
area. When they’d come from outside the market area, the narration state; they’d
come from outside the market area and they’d bring goods and the people of Arabia would buy. One of these people came from Banu Zubayd, or some say Banu Zabid, he came to sell some of his goods to Aas ibn Wa’il, the father of Amr. When he sold his goods, he said to the father of
Amr, he said: “Al-Aas, give me my money.” He replied back to him by saying: “Which
money?” He said: “You’ve just taken my goods, I want my money back.” He said: “There is no money for you and you are a stranger in our land. You’re not going to get your
money back and I’m one of the aristocrats of Arabia so you might as well
forget about it.” This person, what did he do? He was so enraged, he went on one of
the mountains in Arabia and he said: “O people of Arabia! I have come as a
stranger to your land and I have been involved in a business transaction. And
none of you have sought to help me when this man has taken my rights. At least
one of you speak up!” A 20 year old called Muhammad speaks up for him. He gets up
and he says: “It is unjust for us to be like this with a person who is a guest
in our location; and secondly, in a business transaction, how can we be
unjust when the goods have been sold? Let us form a league which looks after the
rights of business employees and let us form a league which protects
transactions within the Arabian state.” How old was he? Remember; he wasn’t old, he
was 20. There is still no announcement of his prophethood; but from that young age
the first sign people noticed of him; a man who speaks out against injustice.
We in 2011; the first example we take of him, how many of us speak out against
injustice? be it the injustice against Muslims or non-Muslims? Our Prophet didn’t look
at that man and say: “Well, that man is not a Muslim so I’m not going to speak up
for his right.” Whenever we see any oppression anywhere in the world, we must speak out against that oppression because our
Prophet from his young age taught us this. This is number one. Number two: not only
at age of 20 did he achieve this, later on he achieved two attributes which the
Arabs would honor him for. They gave him the title “as-Sadiq” and “al-Amin”. The truthful and the trustworthy. Notice that the Arabs didn’t know he was
a prophet nor did they receive any book from him, but they were concerned with his
ethics as a human being. You know when the Kaaba was affected by a flood, the
Kaaba was damaged, they needed to put back Hajr al-Aswad – you know the
black stone in the Kaaba – they needed to put back Hajr al-Aswad into the
Kaaba. The Arabs had a fight with each other – and you know unfortunately some of
these Arabs were fighting a bit too easily.
The Arabs had a fight with each other and amongst the fights that they had was
this one. Who puts Hajr al-Aswad back in its position? One tribe said: “We should
put it back.” Another says: “We should put it back.”
A third says: “We should put it back!” A fourth says: “We!” They said: “Ok, let’s do this. The
man who walks in next into this meeting, he will be the one who chooses which tribe
puts it back.” As soon as he walked in, they didn’t say: “Muhammad has walked in.”
They said: “As-Sadiq… al-Amin has walked in!” The focus wasn’t on the name, the
focus was on the morals of the man. Today in Islam there is too much focus on
names and not morals. When he began his mission, before he began, you can’t just
come out in front of people and say: “People! I am a prophet. Follow me!” No, you
need to have attributes where, for 40 years, no one can find a black dot on you.
A human being has a funny way about themselves. You know what we do as humans?
If you give us a white piece of paper and there’s a black dots in the middle
and you ask us: “What’s on that paper?” We’ll say: “A black dot.”
None of us will focus on the white, will we? We love to focus on the dots. Even if
there is so much white about someone’s character, all we can remember is the black
dot; whereas the Prophet did not allow them to point at one black dot – Sadiq. Amin.
When he therefore, came to announce his prophethood, he came to them and used
this is, he said: “Did you not call me as-Sadiq? Did you not call me al-Amin?
When Hajr al-Aswad was to be placed, was I not the one who said, ‘O you four tribes, why
do you fight each other? One of you hold one part of the cloth, another hold the
second, a third hold the third, a fourth hold the fourth; carry Hajr al-Aswad
all four of you and I will pick it up from you and I’ll place it.'” When he announced
his prophethood at the age of 40, the question arises: What was the aim of his
prophethood? The aim was nothing more but allowing mankind to meditate and
reflect on their existence, in order that, after meditation and reflection, mankind
not only had respect for themselves but they had respect for other creations of
God as well. That’s it. We made our Prophet’s religion
complicated, whereas his mission from the beginning was a mission which was
simple. Arabians were in ‘jahiliyyah’. If any society is stagnant,
it means it’s a society which doesn’t reflect; and when the human doesn’t
reflect, then he’s the cause of a virus in his society. When the Prophet began
his mission, did he begin by saying: “All of you pray namaz right now”? Did he say: “All of you, shahr Ramadhan.. Fast! Fast!” “All of you, keep a beard!” “All of you wear hijab!”?
He began first by saying: “Mankind, reflect on your existence. Have an hour of
reflection, it’s greater than 70 years of dry worship.” Today’s Islam is too
dogmatic. It is too focused on ‘halal, haram, halal, haram, wajib, makrooh, halal, haram.’ You’re looking at them and say: “This is what Muhammad brought you?”
No! The Prophet began his mission, and the first part of the mission was what? A
true human is one who is reflecting on their role in this world. The moment they
reflect, everything else will fall into place.
Today’s Muslims, we focus on the jigsaw pieces we’ve forgotten the puzzle. Notice; Miqdad, what does he say? He says: “In those early days in Islam – what were we doing – he
says: “In those early days in Islam I heard the Prophet through – for example –
one hadith saying, I heard the Prophet saying, ‘An hour of reflection is greater
than a year of worship’; and then I heard Ibn Abbas say that Prophet said: ‘An hour
of reflection is greater than seven years of worship’; Then I heard another companion
say: ‘An hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of worship.’ So I said, I’m going
to go to the Prophet and ask him, how in one hadith are you telling the
people an hour reflection is greater than a year; in a second you’re saying an hour of
reflection is greater than seven years of worship; in a third you’re saying an
hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of worship?” When he told the Prophet, the
Prophet said: “Miqdad, come with me. Let’s ask the first person.” They asked the first
person: “How do you reflect?” He said: “I look at the creations of the heavens and
the earth and I think to myself these cannot have come by an accident.”
the Prophet said: “His one hour of reflection is greater than a year of worship.” Then
they went to the second they said to him: “How do you reflect?” He replied by saying:
“I think about the Day of Judgment and the questions I’m going to be asked,
about what I did in public, but what I did in private as well.”
Rasool said: “His one hour of worship is greater than seven years – his one
hour is greater than seven years of worship.” Then he went to the third: “How do you reflect?”
The third said: “I’m going to be very frank with you, I think about hellfire and
I get scared.” His one hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of
worship, because the moment you think about that it will make you change your
ways quite quickly. The origin of the religion was what? The Prophet began
first by saying: “One hour of reflection in this religion is greater than 70
years of dry worship.” You can fast and pray, and fast and pray, and fast and pray,
but if you fast for 30 days in the year, but the other 335 you’re not
reflecting on your life, on your role, on your meaning, on your objectives, then you
haven’t understood the true message of the religion of Islam. Then after that,
the moment you reflect on your creation that you were one day insignificant, you
weren’t worth mentioning, you came from something where if you look at it you
are disgusted, then you look around those around you and you’ll say: “If I am so low,
then why am I so arrogant to those who are around me?” That’s why, when he began
his mission first at the age of 40, he asked people to reflect on their
existence. Then he said now that you’ve reflected, the first area I want you to
remove is the area of racism in your society. Why? Because he knew when the
human reflects, they’ll never be a racist human being.
Because what am I? Yes, because I’m a certain color, I’m better than another
human? No. We were both sons of Adam created from dust. You found that the
first part of his biography was he spoke out against racism of any type. As in; how
did Bilal come to Islam? Bilal came to Islam when, one day, he saw Ammar ibn Yasir was captured. When Ammar ibn Yasir was captured the early
aristocrats of Qureish looked at Ammar and they said: “O Ammar, are you the one
who’s trying to come forward and you’re trying to say that Muhammad’s religion
is the one we should follow?” Ammar said: “Yes.” He said: “Explain to me Muhammad’s
religion.” He replied by saying: “The Prophet talks of one God and
that God is one whom is merciful to His creation. He has given them free will and
that God has a Day of Judgment where He will judge us, but He will not
judge us on our race. He’ll judge us on our consciousness of His presence.”
Bilal was standing there, he was a slave. At that moment, Bilal – one of the people
said: “Bilal torture Ammar.” Bilal said: “No.” He said: “What? Bilal! You
black slave, torture Ammar!” He said: “No.” “How dare you, Bilal! We brought you up. Torture him!” He said: “I have never heard of a message, where there is a religion, where
a man with my skin complexion is protected, where a man of my skin
complexion is honoured.” Notice here that Bilal – when he came towards Islam, it’s
because, number one; there was the avenue of reflection by the Prophet. He allowed
the religion to be intellectually spread, not emotionally. Intellectually there was
a spread. When Bilal heard this,
Bilal would later on – the Prophet would destroy any area of racism. How? He would
come forward and say, when he reached Medina later on, the Prophet would come
forward and say that: “I want someone to call for prayer.” The people came forward
and they said: “Who is it that you’re gonna call?” He said: “Bilal, go up and
recite the adhan.” In one step he destroyed racism right from the beginning.
Therefore, number one; racism, RasoolAllah taught that is to be destroyed
from the beginning of his message. Number two; not only do you respect people of
different races, learn to respect people of different religions. Because in the
early years of his prophethood, his companions were being tortured, so the
Prophet came to Jafar ibn Abu Talib, Jafar the son of Abu Talib, he said: “Jafar, go to Abyssinia. Leave with the
companions.” Jafar said to him: “Where shall we go, and why?” He said: “Jafar, go to Abyssinia because you will meet a Christian priest.” Notice the message. On
the first level he wants to remove racism, you respect other humans, then
number two; respect people of other religions. If their principles are the
same as ours then they are closer to us than people of our religion who are
hypocrites with our principles. Jafar goes to Abyssinia and he meets the
Christian priest. Amr ibn Aas is alongside Jafar. When Jafar comes, the
Abyssinian priest sayes to Amr ibn Aas: “Who are these people?”
Jafar replies by saying, what? He replies by saying: “We are people who believe in
all the prophets and the final prophet of God, who spoke about Jesus, son of Mary.”
When the priest heard this, he said: “What does your book say about Jesus, son of
Mary?” He said: “Our Book says that Jesus, son of Mary, was born from a virgin birth and a chapter is named after his mother
Maryam.” This Abyssinian priest – the Prophet could have easily said: “But he’s a
Christian and they believe in crucifixion and we don’t believe in
crucifixion.” No, he is a fellow believer in God, and there is more in common
between us than there are differences. Notice the attitude at the beginning of
the religion. It wasn’t an attitude like some Muslims
today, where they don’t look at another human being as a fellow member of
humanity. Rather they look at them as disbelievers. The early message was
what? Number one; no racism. Number two; respect people of other religions,
because those people have principles which we preach and understand. And
that’s why Jafar, because of this was allowed to stay in Abyssinia and build
the early Muslim community in Africa. That was number two.
Number three; in the early years in Mecca, he noticed, not only respect other
humans, not only respect other religions, respect the other gender as human beings.
Because these girls were being buried alive. The Prophet was noticing that
these people had no morals, they were taking the girls and burying them alive.
Even someone like Umar ibn Khattab himself narrates: “In the days of jahiliyyah, before Islam came, we used to
bury our daughters alive.” He says: “There are two things, one of them makes me cry
and one of them makes me laugh.” He said: “The one that makes me laugh is that we
used to worship a god made out of dates.” They made an idol made out of dates – you
know dates, which you eat? And he says: “We used to worship it, but when no one is looking we
take a date and we eat it. By the end of worship that god was dead.”
Then he says: That used to make me laugh.” Then he says: “There was an area which
made me cry, when I used to bury my daughter alive. Since my daughter held on
to my beard as I was burying her, but I got the spade and I hit her and I buried her alive. RasoolAllah, the Prophet, would notice; if
I’ve come to this society, I first told them to reflect. They’ve begun to reflect.
First; let them respect fellow nations and not be racist. Second; let them be
tolerant of other religions. Thirdly; let them respect the role of a woman in
society, because if I give the rights to the woman then we’ll have great nations.
Notice what he does. First; the woman is not to be buried alive. Second; a woman
is to inherit and not be inherited. In the past, women would be inherited, the
Prophet comes and says: “No she has the right of inheritance.” Number three; a
dowry is to belong to the woman. In the days of Arabian jahiliyya, the dowry goes to
the father of the girl, not the girl. When he came, he said dowry goes to the girl herself.
Number four; heaven lies underneath the feet of a woman. Heaven
lies underneath the feet of the mother. When the Prophet – one day a Jewish young
man becomes Muslim, he comes to the Prophet, he says: “O prophet of God, my
mother is Jewish, but I am a Muslim. How do I treat her now that I became a
Muslim?” The Prophet said: “You treat her better than you used to treat her before.” He
went home, he started doing all the chores, his mother looked at him, she said:
“Ever since you became a Muslim, you behave like this. Why? He said: “My Prophet
tells me heaven lies under your feet.” She said: “If this is what the Prophet
preaches, then I want to join the religion of this Prophet.” That was then
number four. Then number five; as part of his moral system,
even his enemies would respect him. In the idea that many of them would
keep their trusts with him. On the night that he left Mecca – 13 years he was in
Mecca, 10 years he was in Medina – on the night that he left Mecca, he left Ali ibn Abi Talib behind to sleep in his bed. Was that the only role of Ali ibn Abi Talib?
No, Ali ibn Abi Talib had a second role.
“O Ali, after you have left my bed, the next day return the trusts of my
enemies that they entrusted with me.” Imagine the enemies of Qureish would say
to the Prophet Muhammad: “We don’t believe in you, we hate you, we think
you’re crazy… do you mind looking after our gold necklace for us?” Because it was
an ethical trait where even though the person is my enemy I as a prophet of God
have not come to make enemies. If I can show that I am trustworthy, let my
enemies deposit with me. Therefore, after Mecca thirteen years, he moved on to
Medina. And the fifth important area when he left after thirteen years, at the age
of 53 when he went to Medina, when they fought him in these battles; many people
would come and say: “Muhammad spread his religion by the sword.” Whereas the
reality is: those battles that occurred were defensive battles and they were not
offensive. If they were offensive then you could say that he spread the
religion by the sword. Whereas on the contrary, they were what? They were
defensive battles. Were they defensive battles to protect Muslims only? No. The
Quran came forward in chapter 22, verse 39-40 saying what? “Were it not for Us
telling Our Prophet to come out and protect himself, there would not be a
single church, synagogue or mosque in existence in
Arabia.” I ask you; if this prophet came to spread his religion by the sword, why
is the Quran talking about churches and synagogues? Chapter 22, verse 39-40.
“Were it not for Our Prophet defending himself, there wouldn’t be a single
church, synagogue or mosque.” The reason is Islam was trying to say: “When we are
defending ourselves in Medina, we are looking to defend every single area of
worship which says: ‘There is only one God.'” It’s not just for us. The Quran would
come with a statement: “Say, O People of the Book! (قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا) [Quran, 3:64] O People of the Book, O Jews, O Christians; come! We don’t want to fight
you.” Muhammad’s original message was; we don’t want to fight the People of the
Book. “O People of the Book, come to a joint word between us and you.” Chapter 3,
verse 64. That we will only worship one God, we will not put partners to God,
and we will not take lawgivers besides God. After those early battles, you even
notice a focus in his message on education. That after the Battle of
Badr, when he takes those prisoners, some of his companions say to him, quite
recklessly: “Let’s kill them.” He says: “No. Let’s treat them with the best of
treatment and let’s say to them something.” They say: “What is it?”
He says: “We will ransom them if they teach 10 of our people how to read and write.” From the
beginning it was a message, in Medina, on a focus on education. “Seek knowledge from
the cradle to the grave.” Today’s Muslims seek knowledge from the
cradle till marriage, after that become lazy. “Seek knowledge from the cradle to
the grave.. Read until the final moments of your life.. The value of a believer is,
what, is their knowledge, is their wisdom.” You notice what does he do? He doesn’t want
the prisoners tortured. No. If you can teach reading and writing then these are
the basis of a great society. Then after that, in establishing himself as the head
of the state in Medina, does he say the Jews should be kicked out, or the
Christians should be kicked out? No, he forms a constitution called “The
Constitution of Medina”. The Jews will worship in their synagogues, the
Christians will worship in their churches, and the Muslims will worship in
their mosques. There is nothing wrong with having a society of multi-religious
dimensions, and even after that in Medina, when he is ordered by his Lord to go to
Mecca – he hasn’t returned to Mecca since he was expelled – when he returns to Mecca
his companions say: “Let’s go back and fight those Meccans.” He says: “No, we will
conduct a peace treaty with them.” His companions say to him: “What do you mean ‘peace
treaty’? Surely it is our chance to destroy these people’s lives, to finish
them like they tortured us, like they finished us, they killed us.” The Prophet said:
“No, let’s have a peace treaty with them and allow them to be opened up to the
mercy of the religion of Islam.” And that’s why – do you know when the Prophet
opened Mecca – he taught us an ethical lesson; like the ethics of removing
racism, like the ethics of respecting other religions, like the ethics of
respecting the other gender, he taught us the ethical lesson by the name of
forgiveness. Many Muslims find it hard to forgive
today. A person who wrongs me, or a person I see committing wrong, I find it
hard to forgive them. You tell them: “But the years have gone.
Maybe the person changed, maybe the person repented.” “No, I saw the
person do this, or the person said this, and I’ll never forgive them.” Whereas,
their Prophet was the most forgiving of men. When Mecca was opened, there were two
men who came towards him who he forgave, who me and you would never forgive. The
first of them was Wahshi, the man who mutilated the body of his uncle Hamza.
Imagine your uncle, who brought you up alongside Abu Talib, you saw his body
mutilated by this man to the extent.. Do you know what Hind, the mother of Mu’awiya,
did? She cut so many pieces of Hamza’s body, she made the necklace for
herself and this Wahshi ripped Hamza’s chest apart. When Mecca was opened,
Wahshi, Abu Sufyan, Hind and people like Habbar ibn Aswad, they
thought to themselves: “We’re never gonna get forgiven by Muhammad. Muhammad is
gonna enter Mecca and he’s gonna execute us for what we did.”
Wahshi and Habbar said: “But we hear Muhammad is a man of mercy and that his
religion is merciful and forgiving. He “.came to perfect the akhlaq of man
“إنما بعثت لأتمم مكارم الأخلاق” “I have come to perfect the morals of
mankind.” So they said: “Let us go and approach him.” Wahshi went to him,
when Wahshi came, he said: O Prophet of God, forgive me. I was in the days of
ignorance. I didn’t know about the message of Islam.
I heard rumors but they weren’t true. O Prophet of God,
forgive me for what has happened.” And the reply was: “O Wahshi, you are forgiven. Now
leave this area.” Then Habbar ibn Aswad came. Do you know what Habbar ibn Aswad did?
The Prophet, one of his daughters – or in some narrations
stepdaughter – Zaynab, she was pregnant, and she was meant to go towards Medina.
Habbar wanted her to miscarry. So on her way towards Medina, he came and scared
her in a way where she ended up misscarrying her child. When the
Prophet heard this, he was saddened. When he opened Mecca, Habbar came and he said: “O Prophet of God, I am the cause of the miscarriage of your grandchild. I scared your daughter in a way where I caused her to miscarry her child, but I was
ignorant. They deceived me about your behavior and your character. When I see
you now, I see a man of morals. Please allow me to be forgiven.” The Prophet..
If it was me and you, and someone hurt us in this way, would we forgive them? Ask
yourself; as Muslims today, how forgiving are we of our brothers, our sisters, our
aunties, our uncles, our grandparents, our cousins?
Whereas, our Prophet came and taught: even this man who caused my daughter to
miscarry, he told him: “You are forgiven by Allah (s.w.t).
Do not worry over what you have done.” And that’s why his focus would also be that
the basis of a great community is all of these ethics of tolerance, and patience,
and forgiveness. Especially patience. You think us as
Muslims today, we have to be patient? We take it from him. some of us have to be
patient in our marriages, some of us have to be patient with our children. You
find he had to be patient with his marriages and with his children. With his
marriages; would you believe he had married a lady by the name of Shamba.
this Shamba, the narrations say she was called Shamba
the daughter of Amr al-Ghaffariyya. This Shamba, when she saw his son Ibrahim die –
we know he had Qasim, Abdullah Tahir and Ibrahim – you know when she saw
his son Ibrahim die, she was his wife, she saw his son die. She looked at him,
she said: “If you’re really a Prophet of God, God would not have caused your son to
die; I’m leaving you!” and she left. Do you know how much patience you have to have
when you’re married to someone and they talk like that to you? For you to tolerate?
But he was patient. He had another wife by the name of Malika. This Malika heard
some people say: “Your dad – the cause of his death was Muhammad.” She said: “Take all
your possessions,” she left. Sometimes in our lives, we say: “Look what we face.” Your
Prophet, had to face more. Your own Prophet had to face more, but he used to say:
“Patience is to faith like the head is to the body.” There can be no body without a
head, and there can be no faith without patience. Even he had to see a loss of
his children, his son Ibrahim died, his son Qasim died, his son Abdullah died.
Some of us today say: “How come our children died? How come my friend’s
children died?” When we say: “RasoolAllah is an ‘uswa’ – an example, it’s because everything
that we face, the Prophet faced in his life as well. And that’s why before he
died, he did what any great leader will do. He made it clear to his people that
even though I am dying I will first ensure that I leave behind guidance for
you. He left behind guidance from the day of Ghadir, when he raised the hand of
Ali and he made it clear to the people that: “I will never leave this world,
without ensuring that there is a guide for you who continues to protect the
message in the way I gave you the message.” But his final act was a true act
of charity. His final act was – in Islam causing a smile for a fellow human is an
act of charity – when his daughter Fatima came towards him, when he was dying, there
is a narration which states that first she cried then she smiled. In this one
act, the Prophet was showing us that, from the beginning of my life until the end,
ethics and morality was the message of my biography.
When Fatima turned around they said: “O Fatima, you cried and you then laughed?” She said:
“I cried because he told me he is about to pass away; but then I smiled because
he told me I will be the first of his family to join him.” Notice from the
beginning until the end the man was a man who brought a smile into the life of
humanity, and left with a smile, and that’s why until today – as a conclusion –
it’s not only Islam that respects him but others. Guru Nanak believed Muhammad
was an agent of Brahman. You find for example, that somebody like the
Christians, the Latter Day Saints say: “Although we do not believe in him as a
prophet, we say he was a moral exemplar to mankind.” And no better words than
the words of Gandhi when he said: “It is impossible that millions are attracted
to this man because of his sword. No, it’s not his sword.
It was his pledges which he kept and his simplicity in his life and his devotion
to his family and friends that made this man the man that he was.”
Gandhi then said: “I was saddened when the second volume of his biography.. I
finished reading, because I wished I had learned more about this man, a man whom
there is none like. A man like, Muhammad.” [Salawat] Let us raise our hands and pray to Allah (s.w.t)
to raise us with Muhammad and ale Muhammad, to allow us to
implement the lessons from his biography, and to allow us to receive his
intercession; in this world and the hereafter. InshaAllah tomorrow we will
continue with the biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib. Assalamualaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

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