Prophet Muhammad [s]A Brief Biography

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Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
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Prophet Muhammad [s]A Brief Biography

Author: Al Balagh Foundation
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
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Prophet Muhammad [s]A Brief Biography

Prophet Muhammad [s]A Brief Biography

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

Prophet Muhammad [s]:

A Brief Biography

Simple account of the life of the final Messenger (s)

Publisher(s): Al Balagh Foundation

WWW.ALHASSANAIN.ORG/ENGLISH

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The State of the World before Islam 6

The Makkan Society 9

1. The Arrogant Wealthy 9

2. The Deprived (slaves and the oppressed) 9

3. The General Public 9

Birth and Ancestry 10

The Upbringing of the Prophet 11

Mother and Grandfather Die 11

Abu Talib Assumes Guardianship 11

Note 11

The Prophet's Marriage 12

Note 12

Truthful and Honest 13

Muhammad (S) The Good News of the Prophets 14

Notes 17

The Beginning of the Prophetic Mission 18

Note 18

The Making of Early Muslims 19

The Secret Call 19

The Public Call 19

The Mission Continues 19

The Makkan Period 21

1. The First Revelation 21

2. Da'wat Dhul-Ashira 21

3. Isra’ 21

4. The First Martyrs 21

5. The Emigration to Abyssinia 22

6. Siege and Social Boycott 22

7. The Year of Great Grief 22

8. The Retirement to Ta'if 22

9. Meeting with a Yathrib Delegation 23

10. The First Allegiance of Aqaba 23

11. The Second Allegiance of Aqaba 23

12. Conspiracy to Assassinate the Prophet 23

Yathrib - A Brief Description 25

Note 25

Important Events of Madina 26

1. The Building of the First Mosque 26

2. Fraternization 26

3. The Islamic State 27

4. Jihad 27

5. End of Jewish Plots and Treacheries 28

6. The Treaty of Hudaibiyah 28

7. The Conquest of Makkah 28

8. Monarchs, Heads of State and Tribal Chiefs Invited to Islam 29

9. Event of Mubahala 29

10. The Farewell Pilgrimage 30

11. Ghadir Khum 30

12. The Prophet's Death 31

Notes 32

Glimpses of the Prophet's Conduct 33

Contemplation and Wisdom 33

Punctuality and Daily Schedule 33

Modesty and Simplicity 34

Kindness and Generosity 34

Courage and Valour 35

A Perfect Family-Man 36

Notes 37

Introduction

He did not speak or advocate the cause of some particular race or ethnic group, but stood up for all humanity irrespective of race, color, class, language or geographical barriers. The Message he preached was universal, transgressing all obstacles whether artificial or otherwise. A Message so complete and comprehensive that it not only revolutionized the era in which it was proclaimed, but even today its timeless beauty has lost none of the original charm and continues its profound appeal to the human intellect.

What was that unique Message and who was the Messenger? Is it capable of solving the modern world's myriad problem? Will it cater to the complicated aspects, characteristics and needs of human beings, especially those of contemporary man? Does it provide political or social answers? Can it stimulate the intellect for scientific and technical discoveries? And how about morals and spiritual aspects? Did the Messenger set any worthy example by practicing what he preached, or was he just one of those fanciful visionaries?

The answer to all the above questions and even many more is, yes, it does. If the principles of this immortal message are sincerely observed, and if we are ready to tread the footsteps of that fantastic man, not only does it guarantee us a harmonious co-existence on this earth but also a blissful life in the hereafter. The moment modern man is ready to cast aside his bunkered lenses of prejudice and vain pride, he will understand that the eternal truth called 'Islam' and the final Prophet named Muhammad were not something special or essential to the Arabia of 14 centuries ago, but are capable of remarkably solving the complex issues of our era, the Space Age.

Islam is a derivative of the word 'Salaam' (peace) and literally means submission. Submission to none except the One and only Allah, Who designed this vast universe, shaped the human race as the most excellent form of life, and moreover endowed them the power of intellect. Wonderful indeed! Because this unique submission frees mankind from all other forms of submission to idols, objects, ideas and the supposedly mysterious powers of nature.

As it is quite clear, Islam was not just some spontaneous burst or mirage on the burning sands of Arabia. In fact it marks the culmination and perfection of all previous divine messages ever revealed. And to carry out the great task of proclaiming His final message, the Almighty chose Muhammad (the Admirable) as the last Prophet, who was prophesied in all earlier Scriptures and whose life-style serves as a perfect model for us.

What can we write about a man who changed the destiny of the world and saved the human race from sure disaster! The loss in words becomes more apparent when we consider that he was divinely chosen for this great task and carried out the mission entrusted, in a most impeccable and flawless manner. He was every inch a perfect man, so complete that even his detractors and enemies could not find the smallest fault in his glowing personality.

When the Qur'an describes him as the “Noblest Exemplar” for the human race including generations to come, it becomes all the more obvious that Prophet Muhammad (S) was something extraordinary and endowed with all fine qualities such as patience, courage, wisdom, generosity, intelligence, love and magnanimity - to cite a few - which show us how to mould our own lives.

This Foundation in its endeavours to enlighten mankind with the eternal truth of Islam, is pleased to present this booklet on the life and times of the greatest Prophet. We hope it will be of interest to our dear readers, whose great enthusiasm has encouraged us to carry on our mission. May Almighty Allah accept our humble work.

Al-Balagh Foundation

The State of the World before Islam

When Almighty Allah sent His last and greatest Prophet, Muhammad (S), mankind was immersed in a state of degeneration. The messages of the past prophets had been distorted and ignored, civilisation was on the decline and humanity had slumped into an age of darkness, with disbelief, oppression and corruption rife everywhere. The whole world presented the gloomiest picture ever of human history. Hence, the Qur'an's terming of this chaotic state of affairs as 'Ignorance', or to put it exactly in the words the Holy Book has used 'Jahiliyah'.

Consequently it is incorrect to view 'Jahiliyah' as something of the remote past, for it is quite clear from the Qur'an's terminology that any people rejecting Divine Messengers, turning a deaf ear to the Almighty's revelations and overcome with carnal desires, can aptly be termed an ignorant lot. Therefore broadly speaking, the term 'Jahiliyah' is not limited to any particular era cut can also be applied to all similar societies irrespective of whether they existed in the past or are still found in our contemporary era, the so-called, Space Age.

Accordingly, it is easy to recognize the symptoms of 'Jahiliyah', there is oppression and corruption, because the salient features of such a society are disbelief, deviation, breach of divine commandments, spread of injustice and vices such as usury, drinking alcohol, adultery, gambling, bloodshed, moral decadence, etc. Thus any society in which such perversions prevail is without doubt 'Jahiliyah'.

Such was the sad state of affairs in which mankind lived, before Allah sent them a Prophet, describing him as a 'Mercy for the creation'. The Arabs among whom Muhammad (S) was born were fragmented into a number of heterogeneous tribes constantly engaged in internecine bloodshed. They had replaced Abraham's monotheism with the worship of idols, stars, angels and demons, turning the Ka'aba built for the One and Only Creator, into a pantheon of idols. Tribal rivalries and blood feuds, fuelled among them like the burning desert sands of Arabia.

Ignorance was not confined to the Arabs alone, for on the fringes of Arabia where the desert gives way to hospitable lands, met the ever changing borders of 'World Arrogance', the two superpowers of the age; the Persian and the Byzantine Empires. Both bidding for hegemony over the known world had bled white with wars, and despite their massive territories, it was obvious they were in their death throes.

The fire-worshipping Persians with their strange concept of dualism were further plagued by the still weirder Mazdakite doctrine which advocated communal ownership and went to such an extent as to rule women to be the common property of all men. Like Mani a few centuries earlier, who had claimed a new religion by combining the teachings of Jesus and Zoroaster, Mazdak's movement was also a reaction to the corruption of the traditional priestly class. Both creeds had flattered to deceive and died away after the execution of their proponents, who more or less depended on royal patronage. On the other hand the Sassanian aristocracy aligned with the Zoroastrian clergy was steeped in pleasures burdening the downtrodden masses with heavy taxes and oppression.

At the other end was the Byzantine World, which though claiming to profess a divinely revealed religion had in fact polluted the monotheist message of Prophet Jesus (a) with the sediments of ancient Greek and Roman pagan thoughts, resulting in the birth of a strange creed called Christianity.

Way back in 381 A.D., the Greco-Roman Church council had declared as heresy, the doctrine of Arius of Alexandria, to which most of the eastern provinces of the empire adhered, and in its place the council had coined the absurd belief that God and Jesus are of one substance and therefore co-existent. Arius and his followers had held the belief in the uniqueness and majesty of God, Who alone, they said has existed since eternity, while Jesus was created in time.

Throughout the 5th and 6th centuries the church continued to be racked by a myriad of controversies over its illogical attempts to define the alleged dual (divine and human) nature of Jesus in the light of Greek mythology and Persian Mithraism, the influence of both of which was quite visible on the Christian church.

In addition, weirder beliefs like Holy Ghost, Mother of God (Mary) and Trinity cropped up which caused trouble in Syria, Egypt and North Africa, where the Monophysite Christians held 'god the father' to be infinitely superior to 'god the son'. In short, terror, oppression and sectarian persecution were the order of the day in Christendom.

Scattered here and there across West Asia and North Africa were colonies of Jews, to whom several outstanding Messengers had been sent by the Almighty. But these divine favours had failed to reform the crime hardened Jews, whose very name had become synonymous for treachery.

They had long deviated from the commandments of Allah, distorting the laws brought by Prophet Moses (a), tampering with divine scriptures, slaying prophets and in the end coining the chauvinist creed called Judaism. It was more a racial sedition rather than a set of beliefs and the Israelites' vehement opposition to the last great reformer, Prophet Jesus Christ (a), was still fresh in the minds of the people.

Further to the east lay the once flourishing cultures of China and India which were now groping in the dark. Confucianism had confused the Chinese, robbing their minds of any positive thinking.

The Sui dynasty (581-618) espousing the cause of Buddhism had plunged China into a blood bath. If Buddhism was never intelligible to the masses, Taoism the religion of the former court was even more remote and expensive to practice looking like a huge complex of rites, cults and strange rituals. The victims of these feuds were of course the poor masses, bewildered as ever and seething under oppression.

In the subcontinent, the fabric of the Indian society was in even more shambles. Hinduism and the absurd philosophy of the caste system it preached had created water-tight compartments between the human race reducing the so-called lower classes to the ranks of mere beasts of burden.

Hinduism had no universal pretensions whatsoever, and had evolved and was peculiar to the geographical confines of India, or more properly Northern India and its Aryan invaders. Conversion of foreigners was difficult because one had to be born in a particular caste and it was the mystery of 'Karma' that determined one's fate.

In addition, India presented a confusion of castes and creeds and a pantheon of idols more weird and in erotic postures than found anywhere else. Tantric rites including demon-worship, sacrifice of humans and possibly cannibalism were the order of the day. No intermarriage, no inter-living, burning of the widows on the dead husband's pyre, exploitation of the so-called lower class women dedicated to temples as devdasis but whose actual work was to satisfy the carnal desires of the priests, were some of the sordid affairs in practice.

Outside the periphery of the civilized world, beyond the River Jexartes in the endless steppes of Central Asia, dwelt the marauding Turks and other related tribes. They adhered to the magical rites of Shamanism and ancestor worship.

Africa, beyond the Sahara was steeped in animism while in Europe bands of barbarians such as Avars, Bulgars, Germans, Franks etc. wandered around pillaging what remained of the Roman civilization.

In short, wars, bloodshed, slavery, oppression of women and the deprived held sway everywhere. Might ruled right. The world was in dire distress but no one seemed around to deliver it from darkness. No religion, ideology, creed or cult could offer any hope to the agonies and frustrations of humankind.

None of the religions in currency had any universal outlook or even pretensions and were limited to insurmountable geographical and psychological barriers, preaching discrimination and the narrow-minded superiority of a particular race.

Thus it was in such a chaotic state of depression that Almighty Allah sent His last great Prophet, with the universal Message of Islam to save mankind from disbelief, oppression, corruption, ignorance and moral decadence that was dragging humanity towards self-annihilation.

The Makkan Society

The society at obscure Makkah where Prophet Muhammad (S) opened his eyes, was rife with vices and oppression. It was as barren as the harsh Arabian landscape, with declining morals, rising perversion, ignorance and poverty. Like the rest of Arabia it was polytheist in nature, deeply engrossed in the worship of a multitude of idols.

The Makkan society roughly speaking was divided into three classes as follows:

1. The Arrogant Wealthy

In their hands was vested the wealth, authority and leadership of Makkah, and it was this class which vehemently opposed the Messenger of Allah and his call to Islam. They terrorised and forbade people from believing him, for fear of losing their unjust hegemony over Makkah. To this class belonged Abu Jahal, Abu Sufyan, Abu Lahab, Walid bin Mughira, Uqba bin Abi Moayyit, Aas bin Wael Sahm and others, who had built up large fortunes by oppression and foul means.

2. The Deprived (slaves and the oppressed)

This class was composed of the downtrodden like Ammar and his parents Yaser and Sumaiyya, Bilal the Abyssinian, Suhaib the Roman, Khabbab bin Arat etc., who all eagerly hastened towards the call of Islam, because they found it to be the truth and a way of deliverance from oppression, slavery and disbelief.

3. The General Public

These were neither part of the landed oligarchy nor were subjected to slavery. They could well be termed the middle class. Affiliated to their respective tribal chiefs or clan heads they blindly followed the path chosen by their leaders.

Thus since the Islamic Da'wah (call) strives for justice and equality among the human race, removing the artificial barriers of class set up by 'Jahiliyyah', the tyrants and oppressors did all they could to stop its eventual spread. Sensing that its Monotheist message, preaching submission to the One and Only Creator and forsaking the worship of idols and man-made images, would bring an end to their domination over Makkah, the pagan Quraish, decided to gang up against Prophet Muhammad (S).

Birth and Ancestry

Muhammad (S) was born at Makkah in the year 570 AC. known in the annals of Arabian history as the 'Year of the Elephant' because of a miraculous event. That year Abraha the Christian governor of the Abyssinian King, who had already subdued Yemen, marched upon Makkah with a huge army of elephants.

His intention was to destroy the Ka'aba and shift the centre of pilgrimage to San'aa, where he had built an imposing church. But the very moment Abraha's awesome army was poised for the attack, the Almighty sent a swarm of flying creatures, who blackened the sky pelting the mighty force with pebbles, and within minutes destroyed elephants and warriors alike. Thus Almighty Allah humbled the arrogantly ignorant by means of an obscure creature.

Muhammad (S) was born on the eve of 17th of the lunar month of Rabi-ul-awwal and according to some versions on the 12th of the same month. His father was Abdullah the son of Abdul Muttalib the son of Hashim and his mother, Amina, was the daughter of Wahab. His grandfather Abdul Muttalib had many wives and children, out of whom Abdullah and Abu Talib were from the same mother. Thus Prophet Muhammad (S) was a scion of the noble Bani Hashim clan a sub-division of the large Quraish tribe, descended from Prophet Ishmael (a) the elder son of Prophet Abraham (a).

He was a posthumous child, as his father Abdullah had died three months before his birth, while on a visit to Yathrib (Madina). The birth of the orphan turned the grief of the bereaved family into unbounded joy, and none were more happy than his mother, Amina and grandfather Abdul Muttalib, who were in a state of shock at Abdullah's untimely death.

The family burst into happiness, slaughtering sheep and throwing a grand banquet for the Quraish, to celebrate the auspicious occasion. Makkah overflowed with joy as throngs of people flocked to Abdul Muttalib's house to congratulate him on the birth of his grandchild.

The Upbringing of the Prophet

As was the custom in those days, babies of noble families were normally entrusted to the care of strong and healthy wet nurses, who not only gave suck but taught their wards manners and etiquette. The young Muhammad (S) was accordingly put under the care of a noble wet-nurse called Halima bint Hareth As-Saadiyah, who brought him up along with her own children; Abdullah, Eisa and daughter Shaima.1

After four years Halima brought back the child to his mother and grandfather. Everyone was happy as the toddler started to grow up into a pretty, sober and intelligent boy, marked out from the rest of the children by his suave manners and loved and admired by all.

Mother and Grandfather Die

At the age of six, his mother took him to Yathrib to visit her family. Umm Ayman their maid accompanied them on the journey. At Yathrib, the young boy saw the grave of his father, whom he had never seen in life. What a moving scene it may have been when mother and son, set eyes on Abdullah's grave!

After a short stay in Yathrib they started back, but on the way Amina became seriously ill. The party stopped to nurse her but her condition became worse and finally she breathed her last and was buried at a place called Abwa, situated between Makkah and Madina. The child was naturally sad at loosing his only surviving parent, at the tender age of 6. Now he was an orphan on both sides and alone in this wide world. But Almighty Allah is Great and Omnipresent and He alone decrees destinies. Umm Ayman escorted Muhammad (S) to Abdul Muttalib, who was shocked on hearing news of his daughter-in-law's sudden death. The doting grandfather took upon himself the task of bringing up the young orphan, never letting him feel the slightest discomfort. But there was yet another shock in store for Muhammad (S), for when he reached the age of 8, he lost his loving grandfather too.

Abu Talib Assumes Guardianship

Before his death, Abdul Muttalib instructed his son Abu Talib to see his orphaned grandson's upbringing. Accordingly, Abu Talib gladly assumed guardianship of his nephew and took young Muhammad (S) under his roof. Abu Talib and his wife Fatimah bint Asad raised the orphan as their own child, never making him feel the slightest thought of being a destitute. They loved him dearly and he loved them in turn. In later years he was often heard saying that Fatimah bint Asad, (the mother of Imam Ali) was like a mother to him.

Note

1. A deep affinity developed between the Prophet and his foster brothers and sister, and later in life they also accepted Islam.

The Prophet's Marriage

Muhammad (S) grew up in his loving uncle's house, blossoming into a handsome youth of exceptionally good character, which marked him out from rest of the young Makkans. He soon began to assist Abu Talib in trade and commerce and once accompanied his uncle's trading caravan to Syria, ably revealing his talents and integrity. His honesty and reputation preceded him and sometime after his return to Makkah he took up a trading job with one of the wealthiest and noblest Quraishite women, Khadija bint Khuwailid. He accepted to work for Khadija and was entrusted with some money, with which he busied himself in commerce. He again travelled to Syria and made great profits for Khadija during the trip.

Naturally Khadija was pleased and soon came to admire Muhammad's (S) intelligence and honesty. Eventually she offered her hand in marriage which was accepted by him. Muhammad (S) thus married Khadija and they lived a harmonious life full of love, co-operation and sincerity, sharing each other's joys and sorrows. They formed a perfect husband and wife pair, the likeness of which is something rare in human history.

When finally the Divine Message was revealed to Muhammad (S), the devout Khadija at once believed in her husband without ever expressing the slightest doubt. She was the first among women to accept Islam and subsequently put all her vast wealth and property at the Prophet's disposal for the spread of truth and justice.

Khadija bint Khuwailid was from the Quraish tribe and was born and bred in Makkah. Even in the days of Jahiliyyah she was known among the Quraish women for her nobleness of character and virtue, that is why she was called by the Makkans as Tahera 'the pure'. She married Muhammad (S), 15 years before revelation came to him from Allah.

As long as she was alive the Prophet never took a second wife and even in later years of his life after numerous marriages, he used to cherish her loving memory and refer to her as the most beloved of his spouses. She endured with him hunger, poverty and calamities inflicted by the Makkan polytheists. She bore Muhammad (S) many children, all of whom except for Fatima (a) died in infancy, including son Qasim1 from whom the Prophet's kunya (agnomen) 'Abul Qasim' is derived.

Finally in the tenth year of the Prophetic mission, shortly after the small Muslim community quarantined by the heathens in Shaib Abi Talib had come out of the valley, Khadija breathed her last. It was a great tragedy for the Prophet. The year is known as the 'Year of Grief' in history because the Prophet suffered a further blow that year losing that other great benefactor, his uncle Abu Talib.

Note

1. Khadija bore the Prophet one more son named Taher; who also died in infancy. Later in life Prophet Muhammad (S) had another son named Ibrahim, through his Egyptian wife Maria Qibtia, who also died in infancy. Hence, the Prophet's progeny survives today through his daughter Fatima and her two sons Hasan and Husayn who are the ancestors of all 'Seyyids' (descendants of the Prophet).

Truthful and Honest

Muhammad (S), right from his childhood was known for his virtue and lofty conduct and was far removed from the prevalent vices of the day like idolatry, dishonesty, drinking, gambling, cowardice etc., which were the hallmarks of the Makkan society. His noble character stood him out as the most impeccable one ever, to the point that his people called him 'as-Sadiq' (the Truthful) and 'al-Amin' (the Honest). They put their complete trust in him and always turned to him as an impartial judge in their frequent disputes.

He was a born believer whose heart was free from the filth of disbelief and polytheism. Never had the boy been near idols let alone worship them. The All-Knowing Allah, Who had singled out the child for the greatest task and blessings that lay ahead, had inspired Muhammad's (S) young heart with His Greatness, Power and Majesty.

His pristine purity was indicative of his future greatness, for how could people believe in him and put their trust in him if they see him prostrating before manmade objects and indulging in vices like any ordinary Arab of the day.

Surely, none would have responded to his call to Islam, towards virtue and towards deliverance from oppression, and none would have believed him if they were not sure of vouchsafing his truthfulness and honesty.

Thus Divine providence was at work, right from the beginning in his case, grooming, inspiring and educating the young Muhammad (S) and finally introducing him as a model of emulation and messenger for all of mankind.

Muhammad (S) The Good News of the Prophets

It is now clear that both Judaism and Christianity had completed their historical missions, for the process of abrogation and perfection is a natural matter with respect to the divine laws. It was known that humanity should resort to another divine law in accordance with the divine will. In addition to that, both religions had been distorted and tampered with.

So, logically and with respect to following the revealed path, it is irrelevant to adopt them as ways of life. The substitute is Islam, the promised divine faith for all mankind. It is the faith about which the prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) (a) gave good news.

Should seekers of truth be certain of the fact that Muhammad (S) was the Prophet promised by Musa, and Isa (a), and that he was mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, this would constitute a miracle pertaining to him and be confirmation of his prophethood. It rests as a proof on the Jews and Christians who believe in the Pentateuch, the Bible and Pre-Islamic history.

Humanity was waiting for the advent of a new prophet. The Qur'an argues with the Jews and Christians on this point and reminds them of this fact:

“When there came to them a Book from Allah, confirming what was with them - and aforetimes they prayed for victory over those who disbelieve - When there came to them the truth which they recognised, they disbelieved therein. The curse of Allah is on the disbelievers.”Holy Qur'an (2:89)

The Pentateuch and the Bible did mention the characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (S), the place of his appearance and his message. A great number of Jewish and Christian religious scholars, at the time, embraced Islam, and believed in the Prophet (S), because they found his name and attribute in the Pentateuch and the Bible. The Qur'an drew their attention to this fact and called on them to return to the Pentateuch and the Bible:

“...the Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Torah and Injeel...” Holy Qur'an (7:157)

Let us, then, read the Old and New Testaments, and the works authored by the researchers and thinkers, particularly the Christian intellectuals like Professor David Benjamin Kildani,1 concerning the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (S).

When emphasising the character of the promised Prophet, the other prophecy, attributed to Musa (Moses), is, in any case, conducive when it speaks of the 'the bright light of God which comes from Faran'2 which is the wilderness of Makkah.

In chapter 33, of the Pentateuch, the second sentence states:

“The Lord came from Sinai, and shined to them from Saer, and gleamed from the mountain of Faran. And ten thousand saints came with him. From his right hand the fire of a law for them appeared. So the brightness of the Lord is likened to the light of the sun, 'The Lord came from Sinai, and shined to them from Saer.' He gleamed with glory from Faran. He appeared with ten thousand of his followers, carrying a divine law for them in his right hand. None of the Israelites had anything to do, Christ included, with Faran. Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il (Ismael), her son, wondered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Then, they settled in the wilderness of Faran.3

We read in another text, page 33:

“The other prophecy is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 21, verses 13-17. It says: 'This is a message about Arabia. You people of Dedan, whose caravans camp in the barren country of Arabia, give water to the thirsty people who come to you. You people of the land of Tema, give food to the refugees. People are fleeing to escape from swords that are ready to kill them, from bows that are ready to shoot, from all the dangers of wars.' Then the Lord of Kedar will be at an end. The bow-men are the bravest men of Kedar, but few of them will be left.'“4

In another text, we openly and self-evidently read about the good news of the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (S):

“During that rare chance, God sent His servant, the Prophet Haggai to console those sad people. He carried with him this important message:

“I will overthrow all the nations, and Hamada will come to all nations. I will fill this temple with wealth. Such the Lord of the soldiers said. All the silver and gold of the world is mine. And there I will give my people prosperity and peace. The Lord of the soldiers had spoken.”

“I had translated this paragraph from the only copy which was in my possession which was borrowed from a lady who is a cousin of mine. This copy was written in the national language.”

Let us return to the English translation of the Bible, which we believe to have changed the word 'Hamada' from the Hebrew origin to 'Amniya', and the word 'Shalom' to 'Islam'.

The priest-professor Abdul-Ahad, who later on embraced Islam, said:

“... therefore we should view this prophecy truthful beyond question. It is identified with the character of Ahmad and his message Islam. That is because both the words Hamada and Shalom or Shalama give precisely the same meaning and have the same importance of Ahmad and Islam5... in many of Christ's statements we read the good news of the Prophethood of Muhammad (S) and the mentioning of his name.

Jesus' Prophecy about Muhammad (S):

“And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Surely I am the Apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which was (revealed) before me of the Torah, and giving the glad tidings of an Apostle who will come after me, whose name is Ahmad...”Holy Qur'an (61:6)

“Those who follow the Apostle - Prophet, the Ummi whom they find ordained for them in the Torah and the Evangel, he enjoins them good and forbids them evil...” Holy Qur'an (7:157)

The Gospel of Jesus (a) brought into sharper focus the identity of the one who would fulfil the promise to make the line of Ishmael (a) a great nation. In the Gospel of John - a New Testament book which is not the Gospel of Jesus (a) and which may be considered as representing only in general terms portions of his teachings.

Christ informs his close companions that his work among them was drawing to conclusion, but God would send someone else after a time to carry forward the prophetic movement. This someone, however, would be the last of the prophets.

The following passages of the New Testament lend further proof to the Prophethood of Muhammad (S):

“And this is the record of John (the Baptist) when the Jews sent priests and levites from Jerusalem to ask him, who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, “what then? Art thou Elias?” And he said: “I am not.” “Art thou That Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

And they asked him, and said unto him, “why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither That Prophet.”

John (1: 19-21, 25)

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”

John (14: 15-16-26-30)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I shall send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”

John (15:26)

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement:

Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

Of judgement because the prince of this world is judged.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

John (16:7-14)

A careful study of these passages brings to light the following facts:

1. Jesus Christ (a) prophesies the coming of a Comforter after him.

2. The coming of the Comforter depends on Christ's departure.

3. He is sent by Almighty Allah.

4. He will teach everything.

5. He will draw attention towards what the Christ had foretold.

6. He will testify and glorify Christ.

7. He will not speak by himself but what he divinely hears.

8. He will foretell future events.

9. The world will follow his religion.

10. He will stay forever.

In view of these glaring facts if we cast a glimpse at the life of Prophet Muhammad (S) we will discover the amazing truth that these points perfectly tally with his mission and confirm beyond doubt that he is the Comforter Promised by Jesus.

Notes

1. Father David Benjamin Kildani embraced Islam and changed his name to Professor Abdul Ahad Dawood. He was from the Kildani sect related to the Roman-Catholic Church, holding a bachelor's degree in Theology. After embracing Islam he wrote a book under the name of 'Muhammad in the Holy Qur'an'.

2. Faran is the wilderness of Makkah. It is a reference to the place where the Prophet Muhammad (S) was chosen to prophethood. He came to Madina at the head of ten thousand warriors to conquer Makkah. This is widely known as recorded by historians.

3. Abdul-Ahad Dawood, Muhammad fi al-Kitab al-Muqqaddas (Muhammad in the Holy Bible), 3rd ed, pp. 31-33.

4. Ibid, p.33.

5. Ibid, p.50.

The Beginning of the Prophetic Mission

Muhammad (S), though endeared and respected by Makkans for his wisdom and virtues, preferred solitude and kept his distance from the polytheist society. Disgusted with the corruption all around, he used to retire to the Cave of Hira, in a mountain a few kilometers from Makkah, meditating Allah's Majesty and worshipping Him.

Initially he used to remain in the cave for a day or two and sometimes even 10 nights or more but the next few years saw him spending a whole month in that cave, praying to Allah and contemplating guidance for the deviated people.

Finally the day dawned which was change the history of the world. When he had reached the age of 40 and was engrossed as usual in praying to Allah at his retreat of cave Hira, suddenly that harbinger of Divine tidings, the Archangel Gabriel, appeared with the first verses of the Holy Qur'an:

“Recite in the name of your Lord Who created. Created man from a clot. Recite and your Lord is most Generous. Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.”Holy Qur'an (96:1-5)

With these verses, Gabriel (a) announced to Muhammad (S) that Almighty Allah had formally chosen him to be His last and final Messenger to humankind.

Muhammad's (S) heart was filled with joy, and he thanked Almighty Allah for bestowing this great honour upon him. He hurried to his house to tell his wife Khadija about his appointment to Prophethood.

Khadija on hearing the event at once believed in her husband's Prophethood and so did his young cousin Ali (a). Consequently Ali and Khadija became the first ever male and female Muslims respectively. Thus started the beginning of a divine mission which was destined not only to cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of the filth of polytheism but whose radiance would eventually dispel darkness from all over the world.

Muhammad's (S) formal announcement of his Prophethood had a mixed reaction on Makkan society. While the oppressed classes hastened towards the call of Islam, happy that the day of deliverance had finally dawned, the Makkan oligarchy and those who felt a danger to their vested interests and hegemony; ganged up to ridicule the Prophet, in their desperate bid to nip in the bud the final revelation to the human race.

Undeterred by Jahiliyah's arrogant attempts, Muhammad (S) continued to propagate the great divine mission entrusted to him, and the next 23 years of his lifetime saw the gradual unfolding of the grand miraculous event; the Holy Qur'an, Allah's own words sent down through the Archangel Gabriel.1

Note

1. Even today after 14 centuries, Allah's book the Holy Qur'an stands as a living miracle for humanity. Its revelation was completed a couple of months before the Messenger's passing away, and besides containing the 'Shariah' (canonical laws) for the Muslims, it is a source of knowledge goading man to contemplate and discover the mysteries of science, inspiring high ethical values and morals in its readers and showing the perfect path for mankind's happiness both in this world and the hereafter.