Category Archives: Muaaz bin Jabal

Biography of Allah’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ in 29 Nights with Podcasts (1-10)

Herewith my notes for the Sīrah discussion I intend giving this year after Tarāwīḥ, Allāh willing. If we had all the time in the world we could not do justice to the greatest personality that ever walked the face of the earth. Yet in view of the lack of knowledge on the basics of his life by the general public I am using this platform for this purpose, on the premise that one can only truly love someone if one knows that person. As long as we are ignorant about the life and character of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ    our love for him cannot be as complete as it could be.

سليمان الكندي
Twitter: @sulayman_Kindi

Contents

  1. The World Before Islam.. 3
  2. Lineage. 3
  3. Birth of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ 3
  4. Childhood. 4
  5. Youth. 4
  6. Marriage. 4
  7. Revelation. 5
  8. Preaching. 5
  9. Opposition & Migration (year 6). 6
  10. The Boycott years (7-9). 7

 

1.     The World Before Islam

  • “A bounty is appreciated when its lost.” To appreciate the light of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ understand the darkness before and what we would be in today without him.
  • State of the Arabs.
  • Byzantium and Persia, the superpowers of the day.
  • Yemen, under Persia, land of maternal ancestry of Quraysh.
  • Kaʿbah, its origins and origins of idolatry. Do Muslims worship the Kaʿbah?
  • ʾIbrāhīm and ʾIsmāʿīl ʿalayhimas salām.

2.     Lineage

  • ʾIbrāhīm and ʾIsmāʿīl ʿalayhimas salām.
  • Jurhum of Yemen.
  • Banū Khuzāʿah. Migrated to Makkah 5 centuries before Islā Quṣṣāy married woman of Khuzāʿah, hence generations later allied with Muslims, ultimately conquest of Makkah. Tafsīr of Sūrah Sajdah – destined matters are set in a thread of motion a thousand years before.
  • Hāshim married woman of Yathrib, where his son, Shaybah = ʿAbdul Muṭṭalib grew up.
  • Zamzam lost and found.
  • Year of the Elephant. Delicacy of Arabic – ʿĀmul Fīl, NOT Sannatul Fīl.
  • Abraha and the Elephants.

3.     Birth of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

  • Makkah, 570, Exact date not absolutely known.
  • Most narrations of miracles at birth are not authentically proven, except for the light which Aminah saw that extended all the way to Syria.
  • The four “mothers” of Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ  . Abū Lahab frees Thuwaybiyah, as a result his punishment is alleviated in Hell. One moment of love is eternally rewarded, how then if a Muslim is steadfast in Sunnah?
  • Name – almost unique amongst the Arabs.

4.     Childhood

  • Never saw his father, ʿAbdullāh died during the pregnancy period.
  • Quraysh sent their children to be raised in the desert – for health reasons and to learn pure Arabic.
  • Banū Saʿd bin Bakr – a tribe which specialised in this kind of child rearing. Spoke the purest of Arabic and Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ later attributed his amazing eloquence to them. Experiencing drought.
  • Ḥalīmah as-Saʿdīyah i.e. of Banū Sʿad, accompanied wet-nurses of her tribe to Makkah. All rejected Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ due to his perceived poverty. Ḥalīmah turned back and accepted custody as a last resort and immediately perceived blessings. Her old goat started producing milk again. Her riding animal became fast.
  • Asked Āminah for an extension at age 2.
  • At age 4 Jibrīl opened his chest and removed black spot from heart. Returned to Āminah.
  • Age 6, Āminah dies at ʾAbwā. Umm ʾAyman takes him back to ʾAbdul Muṭṭalib.
  • Age 8, ʿAbdul Muṭṭalib dies. Entrusted to Abū Ṭālib, the poorest of all the uncles.

5.     Youth

  • Teenage years spent as a shepherd.
  • Allāh created circumstances e.g. fainting/ barriers against the customs of the time e.g. parties, working naked.
  • Ḥilful Fuḍūl – oath to protect the oppressed. Al-Āṣ bin Wāʾil refused to pay the Zubaydī merchant from Yemen. Decent men gathered around ʾAbdullāh bin Jadʿān to halt such practice, including Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ . He was happy about this oath even after Islām, i.e. good can be done with non-Muslim cooperation.
  • Learnt trade from Abū Ṭālib in Syria, but the incident of meeting the monk is denied by several scholars.

6.     Marriage

  • Khadījah bint Khuwaylid, may Allāh be pleased with her, twice-widowed and had considerable wealth. Had children from her first husband. She is called aṭ-Ṭāhirah, the Pure Woman and her descendants are Banū Ṭāhirah
  • Hired Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   to sell her merchandise in Syria.
  • She was so impressed with his ability, honesty and character that she proposed to him, a poor man, having rejected the proposals of the elite of Makkah.
  • Muḥammad صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   was 25 and she was 40. He was not worried about her age, he loved her character.
  • She bore all his children except for ʾIbrāhīm son of Māriyah
  • At age 35 Kaʿbah was destroyed by flood. The various clans argued who would replace the Black Stone. Agreed that whoever entered Masjid first could decide.
  • Honour of even pagans. No Ḥarām funds allowed at the insistence of the worst pagan, Abū Jahl. So Kaʾbah was shortened to its present dimensions when Ḥalāl funds were depleted.

7.     Revelation

  • When Muḥammad صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   approached his 40th year he began to feel an intense spiritual agitation and desire to worship in seclusion.
  • Rocks greeted him and years later he remembered a particular rock. How then if we greet him with love?
  • For 6 months before Ramaḍān he experienced true dreams.
  • Monday during that Ramaḍān, first revelation, Cave of Ḥirāʾ in Mount Nūr.
  • Darkness, Jibrīl’s form was not seen. Squeezed Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ  thrice so hard he thought he was going to die.
  • Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   was anxious and it was our Mother, Khadījah raḍiyallāhu ʿanhā who comforted him at this critical juncture. She mentions his good character, not his ritual worship, e.g. assist the less fortunate, hospitable to guests, etc
  • No further revelation for a while, people mocked, that his “demon” had abandoned him. In other words ,he was the first person to be tested.
  • Khadījah raḍiyallāhu ʿanhā, took him to her cousin, the Christian monk, Waraqah bin Nawfal, who testified to his truth and that he would be persecuted. He died shortly thereafter and is known to enter Paradise.

8.     Preaching

  • Quiet preaching at the outset for three years. Most early coverts were poor, e.g. Bilāl, but also rich, e.g. ʿUthmān, may Allah be pleased with him.
  • Invited his close relations to meals and preached to them, only ʾAlī, who was a child, accepted.
  • First public preaching at Abū Qubays. Abū Lahab threw sand and cursed, “May you be destroyed for the rest of your day.” Sūrah Lahab revealed in response.
  • Continuous preaching at all public venues – Kaʿbah, markets etc.
  • Quraysh attempt to stop Muḥammad صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   through Abū Ṭālib, offering him wealth, kingship and women. Rasūlullāh صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ     responds, “O my uncle, were they to place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, and ask me to abandon this course, I would not turn from it until Allāh makes it victorious or I perish therein.”

9.     Opposition & Migration (year 6)

  • Quraysh attempted various means to stop Islām. Shouting so that the Qurʾān could not be heard. Propaganda, telling people that Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ    was insane and should not be heard. Seeking advice from the Jews on how to combat him academically, (Sūrah Yūsuf and Sūrah Kahf).
  • Al-Bazzār narrates: ʾAlī رضي الله عنه continued, “Indeed I saw the Quraysh grabbing Rasūlullāh صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   . One held him while another violently shook him. They were saying, ‘You are the one who made the gods one!’ By Allāh! None of us dared go near except Abū Bakr. He struck at one of them, pulled back another and shook another, whilst saying, ‘Woe unto you! Do you kill a man for saying my Lord is Allāh?’”
  • Torture – Bilāl رضي الله عنه dragged through the streets. Beaten.
  • Khabbāb رضي الله عنه branded with heated iron.
  • Ṭalḥah رضي الله عنه seen dragged through the streets of Makkah as a young man. A woman was the most severe in abusing him. A foreigner asked who she was, it was his own mother.
  • Sumayyah رضي الله عنها  the first martyr. Abū Jahl speared her through her private part.
  • Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   gave permission to the persecuted Muslims to migrate to Abysinnia, Ḥabshah, Ethiopia. 15 Muslims migrated the first time,e.g. ʿUthmān.
  • Negus, an-Najāshī, title of the Emperor, not name.
  • Christian ruler known for his justice.
  • They returned after 3 months, heard false rumour that the Quraysh accepted Islā
  • Some accepted protection of Quraysh leaders.
  • 2nd migration was more than 70. This time the Quraysh sent a delegation under Amr bin al-ʿĀṣ to retrieve the “rebels and trouble makers”
  • Jaʿfar bin Abī Ṭālib defended the Muslim position. He had refused the Quraysh example of bowing before the Emperor.
  • His speech is lauded by scholars as the one of the best concise and comprehensive invitations to Islām
  • فقال له جعفر: أيها الملك كنا قوما على الشرك نعبد الاوثان ونأكل الميتة ونسئ الجوار، يستحل المحارم بعضنا من بعض في سفك الدماء وغيرها، لا نحل شيئا ولا نحرمه.
    فبعث الله إلينا نبيا من أنفسنا نعرف وفاءه وصدقه وأمانته فدعانا إلى أن نعبد الله وحده لا شريك له ونصل الارحام ونحمي الجوار ونصلي لله عزوجل، ونصوم له، ولا نعبد غيره.،
  • “O King! We were a people upon polytheism. We worshipped idols and ate carrion. We forgot our neighbours and regarded the unlawful as lawful, in that we shed each other’s blood amongst other things. We had no real concept of the permitted and the prohibited. Allāh then sent a Prophet unto us. We knew his loyalty, honesty and trustworthiness. He called us to worship God alone, without any partners; to maintain relations; to protect neighbours; that we pray unto God, fast for His sake, worshipping none but Him.” [Ibn Hishām]
  • The Emperor granted the Muslims protection and evicted the Quraysh delegation with their gifts. It is probable that he died upon Islā Rasūlullāh صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ   performed the funeral of a Negus although the body was in another continent. It is probable that this was a second Negus and both were Muslims.

10.                        The Boycott years (7-9)

  • ʿUmar bin ʾal-Khaṭṭāb, arch-enemy of Islām becomes great defender of Islām, Dārul ʾArqam. First public cry of Takbīr which is how Muslims express joy. Not hand-clapping and other pagan customs.
  • Abū Jahl led the Quraysh to impose a boycott on Banū Hāshim which would last three years.
  • They were not allowed food, drink, trade, marriage with other clans, and went into exile in the Glen of Abū Ṭālib.
  • Non-Muslim Hāshimīs maintained solidarity and accepted exile as well, excluding Abū Lahab.
  • Banū Muṭṭalib voluntarily joined Banū Hāshim. Some laws of Sharīʿah remain specific to Banū Hāshim and Banū Muṭṭalib.
  • Extreme hunger, eating leaves.
  • Muṭʿim bin ʿAdī and others used to smuggle in some food.
  • Eventually Zuhayr, son of Ātikah bint ʿAbdil Muṭṭalib led some Quraysh to tear up the boycott decree. Allāh had already sent termites to eat the document, excluding, “Bismikallāhumma”

و صلى الله على راكب البراق كامل الأخلاق

Lemons into Lemonade

عجبا لأمر المؤمن إن أمره كله خير ، وليس ذاك لأحد إلا للمؤمن ؛ إن أصابته سرّاء شكر ؛ فكان خيراً له ، وإن أصابته ضرّاء صبر ؛ فكان خيراً له . رواه مسلم 
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The affair of the believer of most amazing. His affair is good in its entirety, and that is for none but a believer. When happiness comes to him, he is grateful and that is good for him. When harm strikes him he is patient and that is good for him.” [Muslim]
It is amongst the miracles of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that his words were concise, yet are a deep ocean from which more and more pearls can be extracted from ever deeper levels. Besides the obvious injunction of inculcating the qualities of gratitude and patience and adopting them as per occasion, the Hadith also implies that situations are not always good or bad for an individual in themselves, but become good or bad depending on our attitude. This theme is found in other Ahadith as well. For example, when Mu’aaz bin Jabal radiyallahu ‘anhu bids his final tearful farewell, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam clarifies that however geographically far he may be, he is in fact close to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam as long as he adopts Taqwa. In contradistinction, one who has no Taqwa is far from him however physically close he may be.
Death is the decree of Allah. Those who misbehave and break the laws of Allah, such as inheritance and Hijaab, make the situation into a bad one for their Aakhirah. Those who are patient and uphold Allah’s Laws, despite their personal grief, make the same situation into a benefit for their Aakhirah.
At the end of the year many Muslims are going to graduate from various institutions with various qualifications. This is not an accomplishment in itself. Some will use their achievements for personal aggrandisement  and accumulation of wealth. They will become armchair generals in their old age and berate everyone besides themselves for the state of the Ummah. see Othello & the mental dichotomy of muslim intelligentsia. There will be others who will earn a Halaal income and use their every resource in service of Allah. They are successful.
A personal defect I have to work on, is my penchant for focussing on negatives. I should be grateful that Allah has given me Tawfeeq to overcome this in one matter and turn a negative into a positive.
A certain school catering for “special needs” primary school students in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg is said to be possibly the best in the country for this purpose. Wednesdays first period is religion period. Other students would go to their religious teachers, but up until now the Muslim students had not been catered for. An Egyptian mother had her own mini Tahreer Square and arranged for me come in on Wednesdays. 
However, the principal stipulated that she wants a written report of whatever I teach. Besides my laziness for report writing in general, I somehow got the impression that the other religions were exempt from this requirement. (Did I mention that the school administration is Jewish dominated?) I put up a weak defence that I would not formally teach for the first 2 weeks, so would not report in the beginning, but it then occurred to me to use the advantages of what is supposed to be an incumbrance. In effect, Islam can be explained to a Kaafir in the same way I would teach special needs youngsters. These people would never be interested in learning about Islam in an authentic manner, but by me presenting my reports in a certain manner, they would be forced to hear the words of Allah and His Rasul  sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, like it or not! Lemons into lemonade….
Here is a copy of my first report:
_____________ School: Islamic Classes Report
Lesson 1: Islamic Greeting
Date: 12th October 2011
·         Had intended the first two meetings at least should be informal introductory meetings.
·         Spent 10-15 minutes in informal chat, getting to know and understand the students.
·         Concern that students would be aloof at initial stage unfounded. Students exhibited desire to express themselves.
·         Students insisted on learning something.
·         Commenced lesson on Islamic greeting, a basic emphasised in Islam.
·         Elicit response from students, “How did you greet me when I entered?” Correct group response.
·         Meaning of, “Salaam” not known. Played hangman game where answer, “PEACE” was achieved.
·         Muslim character, well-wishing, peace unto all.
·         Origin of Salaam – creation story of Adam peace be upon him.
·         Muslims manners require mentioning alayhis salaam (peace be upon him) after all prophets.
·         Exercise – recite name of prophet – Adam, Moses, Jesus…..  to elicit Islamic response.
·         Role play – each student to act as Adam (عليه السلام) and greet the “angels” who must reply.
·         Importance of Adam  (عليه السلام) in Quraan as father of ALL humanity. Hence Islam emphasises brotherhood irrespective of race, age, creed etc.
·         In first speeches when Prophet Muhammad  (peace and blessings be upon him) entered city of Madinah he said, “O people! Spread the greeting of peace amongst you.”
·         Every lesson to be permeated with Islamic creed directly or indirectly – monotheism of God and example and pure character of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).   
·         Role play – student to choose example with partner of greeting situation and enact.
سليمان الكندي
Sulayman al-Kindi