Seerah episode 24: The Approach of Revelation

— Muhammad (saw) is the Seal of the Prophethood, the seal of divine revelation

  • The Prophet mentions the large gap of divine revelation between Isa (as) and Muhammad (saw) – more than 6 centuries between these two prophets

— In the 2 years before receiving his first divine revelation, Muhammad developed the habit of spending more & more time in the cave of Hira to meditate (initially for a few hours and then turned to days and to weeks – his meditation kept getting longer and longer)

  • Khadijah would pack food & take it up to him when she figured that his provisions had run out

— The more knowledgeable of the Ahlul Kitab knew of the coming of the new Prophet; they had observed & knew of several signs of his arrival

  • If such signs were written about centuries ago about the coming of the Prophet, then why did the people of Makkah dismiss Muhammad when he claimed to be the Messenger of Allah? Why didn’t more people accept Islam?
  • Some of the scholars of the Scripture knew of the prophecies of the arrival of the new Messenger, but such individuals were very few in number – perhaps just a handful only
    • They did not actively talk about these prophecies
    • If they did, they tended to be written off as crazy people; the general mass public did not believe these scholars about a new prophet
    • These scholars also were reclusive in nature, biding their time for the Prophet’s arrival so they can go to him & accept his Message

— Many rabbis from amongst the Jews & priests among the Christians had this knowledge that the Prophet of the Last Time was soon to receive his revelation

  • Surat Al-A’raf, 7:157
الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
  • Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be the successful.
  • Surat As-Saf, 61:6
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ
  • And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.” (Surat As-Saf, 61:6)
  • The Prophet was called Ahmad by his mother Aminah & his milkmother Baraqah (aka Ummu Aymen). Ummu Aymen stil continues to call him by that name.
  • Surat Al-Fath, 48:29
مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ مِنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُمْ مَغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
  • Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.
  • Surat Ali-Imran, 3:81
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
  • And [recall, O People of the Scripture], when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], “Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him.” [ Allah ] said, “Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?” They said, “We have acknowledged it.” He said, “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.”
  • Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates, “Whenever Allah sent a prophet, He took a covenant for him. If Muhammad would be sent after that prophet, they would have to believe in Muhammad & aid Muhammad.”
  • After Ibrahim (as) finished building the Ka’bah, he made du’a – Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:129
رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
  • Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise


— Muhammad was made a Prophet long before mankind even existed

  • Abu Umama (ra) asked the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah, how did your affair begin? How did your story begin?”
    • The Prophet responds, “I am the du’a of my forefather Ibrahim (as). I am the good news that Isa (as) delivered. My mother saw a light, a noor, illuminated from her, and it illuminated the palaces of Bilad As-Sham.”
  • The Prophet said, “I am the slave of Allah. I am the seal of all the prophets. Adam (as) was in between water & clay (in the process of formation) when I was appointed as the Prophet of Allah.”
    • The Prophet also mentioned that all the women who gave birth to Allah’s Prophets throughout time would have the same dream that the Prophet’s mother Aminah had seen, that they were about to give birth to a very special person
  • Maysara al-Fajr asked the Prophet, “When were you given Prophethood?”
    • The Prophet said, “I was made a prophet when Adam was in between being just a soul & in between his body (before Adam’s soul was breathed into his body).”
  • Abu Huraira asked the Prophet, “When was Prophethood decreed to you?”
    • The Prophet replied, “Between the time Adam was formed into his physical form & before his soul was in his body.”
  • All of the Prophets before Muhammad all foretold their followers about the Last Prophet, Muhammad

— Some of the kuhhan (soothsayers) became a bit curious. They started to feel that something was up. Allah’s message was not just for mankind, but also for jinn

  • Some of the bad jinn (shayatin) would try to eavesdrop on the angels in the heavens. They would bring in news from the heavens to the earth to the soothsayers
    • The soothsayers would use the little bit of information they’d get from the shayatin & deceive people. They would mix the true information gathered from the sky and add deception into the info.
  • As the time of Revelation of the Qur’an approached, the shayatin were not bringing in as much information to the soothsayers as much as they used to
  • Astrologers who would study the position of the stars observed more shooting stars in the sky
    • The angels would launch shooting stars at the jinn to drive them out of the heavens so that they cannot eavesdrop the information.

— There was a Jewish man named Abu Hayaban, who was from Bilad Al Shaam (modern day Syria) & had a lot of knowledge of the ancient Scripture

  •  He moved to the city of Yathrib. As-Sham was a lot nicer area, but Abu Hayaban took up residence in Yathrib
    • He was reclusive in nature, so the other Jews in Yathrib left him alone mostly
  • The primary standard of living in Yathrib was farming. Yathrib at the time was going through a huge drought.
    • People would ask Abu Hayaban to pray for rain. No sooner did he pray that it would start to rain, so people realized that there’s something special about Abu Hayaban

— When he was approaching death, Abu Hayaban called some people over

  • He asked, “Doesn’t it make your curious why I would leave the beautiful hills & wonderful weather of As-Sham & come to live here in the desert of your terrible city?”
    • Yathrib wasn’t a desirable place to live compared to Bilad al Shaam. It didn’t rain there, & the weather was awful
  • Abu Hayaban: “Why would I come here to live? It’s a horrible place. Aren’t you curious why I came here, especially in my old age?”
    • “I came because I read in the scriptures about the coming of a prophet. The prophet will migrate here, so I hoped to Allah to live to see the day he’d come. And I would follow him, believe him. I would place my hands in his hands. But alas, I’m dying & the day hasn’t come. So if you live to that day, make sure you follow him & believe him.”
  • Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:89
وَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ كِتَابٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَهُمْ وَكَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ يَسْتَفْتِحُونَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ مَا عَرَفُوا كَفَرُوا بِهِ ۚ فَلَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ
  • And when there came to them a Book from Allah confirming that which was with them – although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved – but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it; so the curse of Allah will be upon the disbelievers
  • They actually knew that there will be a prophet raised. But when Muhammad was raised, they didn’t believe in him just because he was not from the Jews.

— Ibn Abbas mentions that the Yahud who lived in Khaybar were at war with tribes of Ghadfaan

  • They’d make du’a whenever they’d meet the Ghadfaan in the battlefield. “Oh Allah, We ask you to grant us victory.” The Yahud would win whenever they made du’a like this
  • The tribes of Ghadfaan were told of the Prophet’s coming, but they disbelieved in him

— Salmat, a Badri Sahabi (who’s from Ansar, Yathrib) had a neighbor who was Jewish & belonged to the tribe of Banu Abdul Ash-ha

  • The Jewish man, named Yushaa (after the Prophet) came out of his home & he sat down next to Salmat with his family on the porch, who was a young boy at the time
    • Yushaa told them about the Hereafter, Day of Judgment, Scale of Deeds, Paradise, Hellfire
    • He was saying all of that to the Mushrikoon, the idol worshippers, who didn’t believe any of that
  • The family said, “What’s wrong with you? You actually believe there’s a hereafter?”
    • Yushaa said, “Yes, I do! I swear by Allah.”
  • The family said, “What sign do you have of this? Why should we believe you?”
    • “There’s a prophet who’s about to come from this region,” Yushaa said as he pointed in the direction of Makkah
  • The family asked, “What can you tell us about him?”
    • Yushaa looked at Salmat, a young boy. “If this boy continues to live, he will see him.”
  • Salmat says, “Some time passed. Finally that day came. When Allah sent the Prophet (when Prophethood was bestowed), the Jewish neighbor of ours was still alive. And we believed in Muhammad, and that neighbor did not believe in him! Out of jealousy, hatred, or rebellion. Because I remembered our conversation all those years ago, I went to him, and asked, ‘Why don’t you believe in the Messenger? Are you the same man who told us about the Prophet?’ The Jewish man said, ‘Yes, I’m that guy. But it wasn’t this guy – I didn’t expect it to be him.’ “
    • Yushaa’s issue was that Muhammad was Arab. Most Jews expected the new prophet to be from one of the Jewish tribes

— Story of Salman al-Farsi conversion to Islam

  • I was from the people of Asbahan, in a town called Hai. My father was the leader/mayor of our town. I was the most beloved thing to my father in the world. Because of that, he was a bit overprotective of me. He’d keep me locked up in the house sometimes. That’s how I was raised. Due to that, I didn’t have much outdoor activity. I just used to worship. I’d also dedicate myself to fire-worship, so much so that it was my responsibility to never let the fire go out.
    • Salman would take cotton balls, roll it up, & keep dropping those balls every hour or so that the fire would keep burning

— My father once said, “Someone owes me money. My hands are tied up. I’m going to give you the task of getting the money. Just get the money & come right back. Don’t get distracted. I don’t like sending you out but I have no other choice.”

  • I pass by a monastery, & I hear them worshipping. I entered the monastery and started watching them. When I saw them praying, I was amazed by it. And I liked what they were doing. That their religion was better than the one I practiced. I stayed with them until evening, and when they finished, I asked them, “Where did you learn this from?”
  • They replied, “From the Syrian region.”

— When I finally went back to my father, I found that he was already out looking for me

  • My father was frantic. “Where were you?! I told you to come straight home after getting the money.”
  • I told my father, “I passed by some people who were worshipping and I stayed with them. What they do is a lot better than we do.”
  • My father ‘frightened’ me. “No, no, no, you’re going to practice the religion of your forefathers, no questions asked.”
    • Then he shackled me and kept me chained in the house. He confined me to my home

— I sent a message to the same people I saw worshipping in the monastery. “If you know of any travelers going to As-Sham, let me know.”

  • Finally some businessmen came from As-Sham, & the people from the monastery sent me a message of their arrival
  • I sent them another message: “The day they go back to As-Sham, send me another message.”

— The day those businessmen were going back to As-Sham, I picked the lock from my chains & ran away from home. I gave them a bit of money and travelled with them to As-Sham.

  • I asked them who is the most knowledgeable & pious man of their town. I was pointed to a man, to whom I asked if I could stay with him &worship with him.
    • The man said, “Sure, but you have to work for me,” which I agreed to

— But I found out that this guy was the most terrible human alive. He’d collect charity under false pretenses and bury it. He’d bury the money behind the church & was hoarding all the money for himself

  • I couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I went to the people & told them that the priest was stealing their money & showed them where all the gold & silver is buried. The people dug up the place & found all the gold buried there behind the church
  • They took the guy & hung him. His body was left there to rot. No one buried him to make an example out of him

— The people of As-Sham found another priest to replace the corrupted one. This man was the most honest & pious person. I stayed with him until his death days. I told him, “I learned so much from you. Tell me of someone who I can go to who’s like you, a good man.”

  • I went to the person whom the good priest recommended & worshipped with him. I stayed with him until he was about to die, & then I told him, “Please direct me to someone who’s like you.”
  • Again I went to another recommended priest. This happened 3 or 4 times with different priests, who would direct me to another priest with whom I would study.

— The last priest I was with was in a place called Ammu-Riyah. I asked him, “Who can I go to?”

  • The priest replied, “There’s no one else I can recommend. You need to go to this specific area – in Hijaaz (Arabia), where they do agriculture & farm. You’ll find people who are mostly idol-worshipping. You need to go & wait there, because the Prophet of the Last Times will be there soon. You’ll need to watch out for the signs of Prophethood – he will accept gifts, but he will not take anything from charity for himself. Between his shoulder blades you’ll see the Seal of Prophethood. Go & wait for him.”

— I stayed with the priest until he died. Then after some time, I met a group of businessmen who were traveling to Arabia. I asked to go with them, and they agreed

  • When we reached a place near Arabia, they did something terrible to me. They chained me up & sold me off as a slave
    • I was sold to a person who lived outside Medina. The man who had bought me sold me to his cousin, who was a  Jew from Banu Quraidhah – Medinan Jew.
    • My new master took me to Medina. I recognized that this was the place I needed to be. Even though I’m in slavery, unjustly, I’m still in the place where I need to be

— One day I was in the trees, doing landscaping work. The man who owned me – one of his cousins came & said, “We might be in some trouble. All those idol-worshipping Arabs are gathering out In Quba’, greeting a man who claims to be a Prophet.”

  • When I heard that, I almost fell out of the tree
  • I got down, and said to my owner, “What’d you say? What’d you say?”
  • My owner slapped me & told me to get back to work

— I waited for some time. Later, I went to Quba’ & saw the Prophet. I scraped whatever money I have and bought some fruits & gave it to the Prophet. “This is Sadaqah. I know you have some poor people with you & this is for them.”

  • I went at a distance and I saw him call some of his Sahabah. He gave all the fruits to the Sahabah. He ate none for himself.
  • I gathered some more pennies. Later when I visited the Prophet, I bought him more fruits. “This is a gift for you. I noticed you didn’t eat any fruits last time, so this is yours, as a gift.”
    • The Prophet took one for himself & gave the rest to his Sahabah.

— Then I left. I came back after a day or two. I greeted him again, & sat behind him. I saw that he was wearing an upper garment & a lower garment.

  • I tried to sit at some angle to catch a sight of the mark of Prophethood
  • The Prophet noticed me acting funny, & he said, “I know what you want to see.”
    • He dropped the upper garment & I could see the Seal of Prophethood on his back.
  • No sooner did I see that, I ran up & hugged the Prophet from behind. I kissed the mark of Prophethood on his back & started to cry
    • “I spent decades. I spent my life searching for you. I tolerated slavery to find you. Now I have found you.”
    • I later accepted Islam

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