- 1 His noble lineage
- 2 The Prophet’s tribe
- 3 The Prophet’s Family
- 4 The Birth of the Prophet
- 5 With the tribe of Bani Sa’d
- 6 Blessings in the household of Haleemah
- 7 The Prohet’s chest is opened
- 8 Back to his merciful mother
- 9 In his affectionate Grandfather’s care
- 10 Under his kind uncle’s care
- 11 Journey to Shaam and Bahira the Monk
- 12 The Fijaar War
- 13 The Fudool Alliance
- 14 His First Profession
- 15 Marriage to Khadeejah
- 16 His children from Khadeejah
- 17 The Prophet’s character before Prophethood
His noble lineage
Just as he is the most complete of people in terms of character, the Prophet is superior to all other human beings in terms of his noble lineage. The Prophet said, “Verily, Allah – ‘Azza wa-jall chose Ismaa’eel from the children of Ibraaheem; Kinaanah from the children of Ismaa’eel; Quraish from Kinaanah; the children of Haashim from Quraish; and me from the children of Haashim.” [Sahih Muslim]
He is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib ibn Haashim ibn ‘Abd-Manaaf ibn Qusai ibn Kilaab ibn Murrah ibn Ka’ab ibn Luaiy ibn Ghaalib ibn Fihr ibn Maalik ibn An-Nadar ibn Kinaanah ibn Khuzaimah ibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyaas ibn Mudar ibn Nizaar ibn Ma’ad ibn ‘Adnaan.
It is agreed upon that ‘Adnaan is from the descendents of Ismaa’eel . But, what is unknown is how many are between ‘Adnaan and Ismaa’eel , what their names are and in what order.
As for the Prophet’s mother, she is Aamina bint Wahb ibn ‘Abd-Manaaf ibn Zuhra ibn Kilaab.
Kilaab is the fifth grandfather of the Prophet from his father’s side. So, this is where the Prophet’s mother and father meet in their lineage.
The real name of Kilaab was Hakeem. It is also said ‘Urwah but because he used to hunt a lot with dogs he became known by Kilaab (meaning dogs).
The Prophet’s tribe
The tribe of the Prophet is Quraish. They are an honourable tribe with a high status, a noble origin and praised position amongst the ‘Arabs. Quraish is the nickname of Fihr ibn Maalik or An-Nadar ibn Kinaanah. All of the men from this tribe were leaders and had a high status amongst their people during their time.
Amongst them Qusai and his name was Zayd was the most distinguished. He stood out in a number of ways:
- He was the first one to be in charge of the Ka’bah from the tribe of Quraish. In his hands were the keys of the Ka’bah and he would open it for whoever he wished whenever he wished.
- He was the one who settled Quraish right in the middle of Makkah. Before this they lived on the outskirts of Makkah and scattered amongst the different tribes.
- He was the one who instituted As-siqaayah(supplying water to the pilgrims) and Ar-rifaadah (providing food and shelter to them).
- He built a building to the north of the Ka’bah that was known as daaru nadwa (The Council Chamber). It was a place the Quraish would come to settle their affairs. No wedding ceremony would take place without it being held here and no matter would be settled amongst them except here.
- He would carry the war flag and war could not be declared except with his approval.
Qusai was an honourable man and had a great interllect. He had authority amongst his people and no one would question his words.
The Prophet’s Family
As for the Prophet’s family, they are known as Al-Haashimiyyah after the Prophet’s great grandfather Haashim. As-siqaayah and Ar-rifaadah was passed down to Haashim from Qusai, after that it went to his brother Muttalib, then it came back to the children of Haashim until Islam came then it stayed like that.
Haashim was one of the noblest and generous people amongst the people of his time. He used to crumble bread in a meaty broth and serve it to the pilgrims. Haashim was his nickname because of this but his real name was ‘Amr. He was also the one who started the Rihlatayn – the two journeys of summer and winter.
On one of his travels to Shaam for trade he passed by Yathrib (madina) and married a woman by the name of Salmaa bing ‘Amr from the tribe of bani ‘Adiy bin najaar. He stayed with her for a while and then made his way to Shaam while she became pregnant. He died in Gazza in Palestine.
In Madina Salmaa gave birth to a son and named him Shaybah because of the grey hairs on his head. This boy grew up in Madina amongst his maternal uncles while his paternal uncles in Makkah had no idea that he even existed. When they learned of his existence at the age of 7 or 8 his paternal uncle Muttalib came to Madina and took him to Makkah with him.
When they entered Makkah and the people saw Muttalib with a young boy they assumed he was his slave so they called him ‘Abdul-Muttalib – the slave of Muttalib. So this name stuck and he became well known by it.
‘Abdul-Muttalib was one of the best, noble and honourable amongs his people. He was very genrouse to both humans and animals. He had the honour of digging up the well of Zamzam after it was buried by the tribe of Jurhum when they were leaving Makkah.
Also during his time the incident of the elephant occurred. Abraha Al-Ashram the Ethiopian general in Yemen decided to build a large church in San’a in order to attract the Arab pilgrims. A man from the tribe of Kinaanah understood this move by Abraha so he entered the church stealthily at night and besmeared its front wall with excrement. When Abraha heard of this he got very angry and decided to demolish the Ka’bah. He took sixty thousand warriors and about nine or thirteen elephants with him. He chose the biggest elephant for himself.
When he reached the valley of Muhassar between Muzdalifah and Mina, the elephant refused to go forward. He would go in other directions but directed towards Makkah he would kneel down and not move an inch. Then Allah Azza wa-Jal destroyed them, as Allah said “Have you not considered, [O Muhammad], how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant? Did He not make their plan into misguidance? And He sent against them birds in flocks, Striking them with stones of hard clay, And He made them like eaten straw.” Surat Al-Fīl [1-5]
This incident occurred only two months before the birth of the Prophet .
As for the Prophet’s father ‘Abdullah, he was the best of the children of ‘Abdul-Muttalib and the most beloved to him out of them. He is Ad-Dabiih (one to be slaughted as a sacrifice). This is because when Abdul-Muttalib dug up Zamzam well Quraish wanted to take it away from him, which made him feel powerless, so he made an oath right there and then, that if Allah were to give him 10 sons, and they reach the age where they are able to defend him, he would sacrifice one of them.
When his wish came true he drew divination arrows in order to pick one of them. ‘Abdullah’s arrow came up and he was taken to the Ka’bah by his father ‘Abdul Muttalib in order to be slaughtered but Quraish intervened and wouldn’t allow him to do so. So eventually his father had to pay 100 camels as a ransom for him.
‘Abdullah got married to Aaminah bin Wahb ibn ‘Abd-Manaaf ibn Zuhrah ibn Kilaab, whose lineage was very noble indeed. Either before the prophet’s birth or shortly afterwards (historical accounts differ in this regard), ‘Abdullah died and was buried in Al-Madeenah, alongside his uncles from the Banu ‘Adee ibn An-najjar clan. He had gone to Shaam for a business trip, and death overtook him in Al-Madeenah, during his return journey, but he had already impregnated his wife. And so it was as if it was being said to him:
“Your mission in life is complete, as for this pure child you leave behind, Allah will, with his Wisdom and Mercy, take care of him and prepare him for the task of taking mankind out of darkness and bringing them into the light.”
The Birth of the Prophet
The prophet was born in the pass of Banu Haashim in Makkah. On a Monday morning the ninth (some say twelfth) in the month of Rabee’ul-Awwal in the year of the elephant. The ninth is the correct date but the twelfth is the more famous one amongst the people. This date corresponds to twenty-second of April, 571 A.D.
Shifaa bint ‘Amr, the mother of ‘Abdul-Rahmaan bin ‘Auf served as the midwife. While his mother was pregnant, she reported that she had a dream that a light issued from her lower body and illuminated the palaces of Syria.
When ‘Abdul Muttalib heard of the news, he was very pleased and came straight away, then took the new born baby to the Ka’bah, thanked Allah, made du’aa for him and named him Muhamed meaning ‘he who is praised’, in the hope that he would grow up to be someone great who is praised. He then shaved the baby’s head and circumcised him on the seventh day and then put on a big feast as was the tradition of the Arabs.
Along with his mother the Prophet was nursed by Umm Ayman, an Ethiopian woman who was the slave of his father. Her real name was Barakah. She became Muslim and made Hijra to Madina. She died six or seven months after the death of the Prophet .
The first person to suckle him after his mother was Thuwaybah, the female slave of Abu Lahab. She suckled the Prophet along with her son by the name of Masruuh. Before him she suckled Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet and after him she suckled abu Salamah bin ‘Abdul-Assad Al-Makhzuumi. So Masruuh, Hamza and Abu Salamah are the Prophet’s brothers because they were all suckled from the same breast.
Abu Lahab freed Thuwaybah at this time because of his extreme job at the birth of the Prophet but he became one of the worst enemies of his when he called the people to Islam.
With the tribe of Bani Sa’d
It was the custom of the Arabs living in towns that they would send their newborns off to the desert in the hope that they would grow strong in the clean environment of the desert and also learn the pure Arabic language that was untainted by different peoples coming into the towns and cities.
Allah decreed that a group of women from the tribe of Banu Sa’d ibn Bakar ibn hawaazin come to Makkah at that time and offer their services to Quraish in order to take the children away for a while and care for them. The Prophet was offered to them but they all refused because he was an orphan. This is because they feared they would not get a good enough reward from a child with no father.
All the women found a child to nurse but one amongst them by the name of Haleemah bint Abu Dhuwayb did not. When she saw that there was only an orphan left who was rejected by the others she took pity on the infant and decided to take him.
The name of Haleemah’s father was ‘Abdullah ibn Haarith. The name of her husband was Al-Haarith ibn ‘Abdul-Uzza and both of them were from the tribe of Banu Sa’d ibn Bakar ibn hawaazin.
The children of Haleemah and Al-Haarith ibn ‘Abdul-Uzza are the foster brother’s and foster sisters of the Prophet by way of being breastfed by Haleemah. Their names are ‘Abdullah, Anisa, and Judhaamah (she was better known as Shaymaa and she also nursed the Prophet ).
Blessings in the household of Haleemah
The household of Haleemah saw a great deal of blessings while the Prophet was amongst them.
Haleemah herself narrated that she brought Muhammad to her home during a drought. Her she-camel would not give a drop of milk. Haleemah’s child would cry the whole night out of hunger, which made it difficult for the parents to sleep at night. Things changed, however, when Haleemah brought Muhammad home and placed him on her lap. Her breasts overflowed with milk so that both Muhammad and her own child drank their fill of milk and fell fast asleep.
When Harith went to the she-camel, he was amazed at what he saw. The she-camel’s udders were full of milk and ready to overflow. It gave so much milk that Haleemah’s family was able to sleep that night on full stomachs.
Haleemah’s household suddenly appeared to be untouched by the drought, although they lived in Dayaar Banu Sa’d, the most drought-stricken spot in the region. The family’s goats would return from grazing with their stomachs full of grass and their udders bursting with milk. Husband and wife would milk their goats often while others failed to get even a drop of milk.
Haleemah’s household continued to be blessed for the next two years, after which she weaned Muhammad . Although he grew up during a great drought, he had developed into a strong, healthy child.
Haleemah asks to keep the Prophet longer
Every six months Haleemah would return the Prophet to his mother and family and then take him back. After two years when the breastfeeding period was over it was time to hand him over for good. But Haleemah was not ready to do that as she saw many great blessings from Allah because of this child so she asked his mother for permission to keep him longer in order that he grow stronger and healthier in the desert. His mother consented and Haleemah took him back very much pleased with this. After this he stayed with her for another two years. Then the incident occurred which terrified Haleemah and her husband and prompted them to return the Prophet to his mother, and this event was the opening of the Prophet’s chest.
The Prohet’s chest is opened
It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that that Jibreel came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was playing with the other boys. He took hold of him and threw him to the ground, then he opened his chest and took out his heart, from which he took a clot of blood and said: “This was the Shaytaan’s share of you.” Then he washed it in a vessel of gold that was filled with Zamzam. Then he put it back together and returned it to its place. The boys went running to his mother – meaning his nurse – and said: Muhammad has been killed! They went to him and his colour had changed. Anas said: I used to see the mark of that stitching on his chest.
Narrated by Muslim.
Back to his merciful mother
After this incident the Prophet was returned to his mother in Makkah. He stayed under her care for two years. She then took the Prophet with her and made a trip to Yathrib in order to visit her family. It was also where his father was buried. Also on this trip was ‘Abdul-Muttalib and Umm Ayman. She stayed in Yathrib for a month then decided to return to Makkah, but on the way back she fell ill and died in a place called Abwa between Makkah and Yathrib and was buried there.
In his affectionate Grandfather’s care
‘Abdul-Muttalib returned the Prophet back to Makkah and felt great sorrow over the tragedy that had befallen this young boy. He felt tenderness in his heart much more than he had even for his own children, and a need to protect and care for this young boy that had lost both his mother and father. He would greatly honour him and show him love and respect because he was sure Muhamad was destined for greatness. He would sit him on a carpet next to him, a position no one else was allowed to occupy.
‘Abdul-Muttalib died after two years when the Prophet was aged 8 years, 2 months and 10 days.
Under his kind uncle’s care
Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet who was the full brother of his father Abdullah then took him under his care. Abu Talib was not a rich man but Allah put Baraka in what little he had, such that food for one person would be enough for his whole family. And the Prophet was the example of contentment and patience.
Journey to Shaam and Bahira the Monk
Abu Talib wished to travel to Shaam with the rest of the Quraish to do business. Abu Talib took the Prophet with him because they both didn’t want to be separated. The age of the Prophet at this stage was 12 years old. It is also said 12 years, 2 months and 10 days.
When they got to close to their destination they stopped for a break at the city of Busra on the border of Shaam. A Christian monk by the name of Baheerah who came out to them, welcomed them, and went straight to the Prophet bypassing everyone. He took him by the hand and said, “This is the leader of the world. The messenger of the Lord of the world. Allah has sent him as a mercy for all of mankind”.
They said to him “why do you say this?” He told them “When you were coming over the mountain, the trees and the stones were prostrating to him. And they don’t do this for no one except a Prophet. Also I recognised him from the seal of Prophethood, which lies like an apple on the soft bone below his shoulders. It is mentioned in our scriptures. ”
Then he urged Abu Talib to return him to Makkah and not to take him any further because he feared the Jews and Romans would recognise him and harm him. Abu Taalib heeded this advice and took him back to Makkah.
The Fijaar War
When the Prophet was twenty years old, a ware occurred between the Arab tribes over a dispute that started at the market of Ukaadh. On one side were the tribes of Quraish and Kinaanah and the other was the tribes of Qays ‘aylaan.
This war was called fijaar meaning wicked because it took place in a sacred month when war was prohibited.
The Prophet took part but only in a minor role which was to pick up the stray arrows from the enemy and hand them to his uncles.
The Fudool Alliance
In the month of Dhul Qi’dah, in the wake of the Fijaar war an alliance was formed between five tribes of Quraish. They were Banu Haashim, Banu Muttalib, Banu Asad, Banu Zuhrah and Banu Taym. The reason for this alliance was because a man was wronged in Makkah, but none of the tribe leaders would help him because the one who wronged him was a noble man just like them, and they didn’t want to go against him. The wronged man instead of giving up climbed a hill and told everyone of how all his goods had been taken and asked if anybody would come forward and help him. Zubair ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, one of the Prophet’s uncles stepped up and volunteered to help him.
As a result of this the Quraish gathered together and had a meeting at the house of ‘Abdullah ibn Jud’aan. They pledged and swore by Allah that not a single person would be wronged in Makkah regardless of tribe affiliation. They then returned the rights of the wronged man.
The Prophet was present at this meeting and later on in his life he said “I was present when a covenant was agreed upon in the house of ‘Abdullah ibn Jud’aan, and I would not accept even a red camel in lieu of it. Had I been asked to uphold it even in the days of Islam, I would have agreed.”
His First Profession
Since the Prophet’s father and grandfather were dead he had no inheritance to rely upon. His first job was that of tending goats for Banu Sa’d with his foster brothers but when he came back to Makkah he tended goats for the Quraish for a small amount of money. Him tending sheep was very important for his development as he later on said, “There has been no prophet who has not tended sheep”.
Trade journey to Shaam on behalf of Khadeejah
Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid was the best and noblest woman of the Quraish. She was a wealthy business woman and when she heard of Muhamad’s honesty and good traits she wanted him to work for him.
She sent him to Shaam with her slave Maysarah. The Prophet bought and sold on her behalf, and returned to her a good profit.
Marriage to Khadeejah
After hearing about the wonderful character, nobility and truthfulness of the Prophet from Maysarah and also seeing the blessings in her business dealings, Khadeejah had a heart to heart with her close friend Nafeesah and told her about the positive feelings she had towards Muhammad . Nafeesa went to the Prophet and proposed to him on behalf of Khadeejah. The Prophet was pleased with the proposal, but he went to his uncles first to get their advice. They all agreed he should marry her. Khadeejah was the noblest women amongst the Quraish. She was twice widowed having been married to Ateeq bin Ayed and then to Abu Hala. While married to Abu Hala, she bore a son. After her last husband had died, almost every Makkan chieftain proposed to her and she refused them all.
When they got married the Prophet was aged twenty-five and Khadeejah was aged forty. Some say she was aged twenty-eight and other ages are mentioned as well.
She was the first woman that the Messenger of Allah married, and he didn’t marry any other woman until she died. She gave birth to all of his children except for Ibrahim (his mother was Maariyah al-Qibtiyyah).
His children from Khadeejah
They were in order of birth (there is a disagreement between the scholars about the order and exact number of children):
- ‘Abdullah (he was also known as At-Taahir and At-Tayyib)
All the sons died during childhood.
As for the daughters they all embraced Islam, married and made hijrah. They all died before the Prophet except for Fatimah. She lived for another six months after the Prophet’s death .
Important role of the Prophet in rebuilding the Ka’bah
When the Prophet was thirty-five years old, a flood came and damaged the Ka’bah. Before this the Ka’bah had already been weakened by a fire. Therefore the Quraish decided to rebuild it.
They stipulated among themselves that the costs of rebuilding it would only come from a clean and pure source. Dirty money such as the proceeds of prostitution, usury (riba), ill-gotten gains and the like would not be allowed.
When it came time to demolish the walls of the Ka’bah they feared that Allah would be angry with them so they hesitated. But Waleed ibn Al-Mugheerah said to them “Allah will not destroy those who do good”, and he started to pull down the walls. When they saw that no punishment had befallen him they joined in. They razed the Ka’bah all the way down to the original foundations laid by Ibraaheem .
Each clan worked separately and were assigned a specific task. Even the noble ones amongst them joined in and would carry stones on their shoulders. The Prophet and his uncle ‘Abbaas were among those carrying stones.
Overseeing the operation was a skilled Roman by the name of Baqoom.
Before they could completely rebuild the Ka’bah, their money run out, and since haram money was not allowed, they decided to build a small wall showing the boundaries of the original foundation by Ibraaheem, and therefore signify to the people that it is part of the Ka’bah. This area enclosed by the small wall was about 6 cubits or about 9 feet on the north side of the Ka’bah and is known as Hijr Ismaa’eel.
When it came time to place the Black Stone (Al-Hajr Al-Aswad) a dispute broke out between them because each clan wanted the honour of putting the Black Stone in place. This lasted for about four or five days and reached to the point where people were getting ready for war and making alliances.
But before blood was spilt in the Haram, Abu Ummayah ibn Mugheerah Al-Makhzoomi, who was the oldest man among the Quraish, saved the day with his wisdom by getting them to agree to let the next person who entered the Ka’bah be the one to settle their dispute. Allah decreed that the Prophet was that first person to enter the Ka’bah. When they saw that it was the Prophet they were all pleased and shouted in one voice “This is Al-Ameen (the trustworthy one), we are pleased with him. This is Muhamad”.
When he was told of the situation he asked for a sheet and put the black stone in the middle, then he asked the leader of each clan to pick up a corner and lift it up. When they reached its place in the wall he picked it up with his hands and placed it. This was an excellent solution by the Prophet that pleased everybody because all the clans shared in the honour of placing the Black Stone and war was averted. The building was then continued and completed above it.
The Prophet’s character before Prophethood
From childhood, the Prophet exceptionally intelligent and chaste and was highly regarded for his honesty, valor, justice, piety, patience, modesty, loyalty and hospitality.
He maintained good relations with his family, bore others’ burdens, and guided the destitute towards self-sufficiency.
Allah guided him and made him dislike all that those around him were engaged in such as idolatory and paganism. He would not attend their celebrations and festivals that involved Shirk and were intended for their idols. He would never eat meat slaughtered for other than Allah . He would never touch these idols and detested hearing others swearing oaths to Lat and Uzza, their two most famous idols.
He would never drink alcohol or waste his time in playing games or visit the gatherings that was beloved to young people of his age that were a place to dance, drink and party.