Seerah: Episode 60. An Unlikely Ally

— After speaking with Addas & resting for a bit, the Prophet & Zayd bin Haritha picked up their journey back to Makkah

  • During evening, they stopped & camped at a place called Nakhlah, which was very immediately outside of Makkah
  • At the camp, the Prophet was offering the qiyam (night) prayers & reciting Qur’an

— There were a group of 7  jinns passing through Nakhlah & they heard the Prophet reciting the Qur’an. This event is mentioned in Surat Al-‘Ahqaf

  • “And [mention, O Muhammad], when We directed to you a few of the jinn, listening to the Qur’an. And when they attended it, they said, ‘Listen quietly.’ And when it was concluded, they went back to their people as warners.” [46:29]
    • The jinns were passing by the area when they heard the Prophet. The Qur’an was so captivating that the jinn turned their direction & they went up to the Prophet & started listening very intently to the Prophet’s recitation
    • When they got close to the Prophet’s presence, some of the jinn must have been talking & asked, “Why are we stopping? Why are we changing direction?” The other jinn replied, “Be quiet and listen.”
    • When the Prophet was done reciting the Qur’an in his prayer, the jinn turned back to the rest of their tribe as warners
  • They said, “O our people, indeed we have heard a [recited] a Book revealed after Moses confirming what was before it which guides to the truth & to a straight path. O our people, respond to the Messenger of Allah & believe in him; Allah will forgive you your sins and protect you from a painful punishment. But he who does not respond to the Caller of Allah [Muhammad] will not cause failure [to Him] upon earth, and he will not have besides Him any protectors. Those are in manifest error.”  [46:30-32]
    • The jinn called their tribe to answer to the Prophet of Allah. They didn’t say, “Respond to the call of Allah, but answer to the caller (Muhammad) of Allah
    • This was how they understood the message – the jinn who took the Qur’an from the Prophet did not separate the Prophet from the Qur’an. They didn’t understand these two things to be separate & independent, but this does not compromise the sanctity of the Qur’an in any shape or form. The Qur’an & the Sunnah are two separate sources of our deen, but they are not independent of one another. They are connected to one another
    • Word that’s used for protection is yujikum an najaat, but word here used isyujirkum. In olden times, some person in a position of power & influence would grant you protection if you were in some disagreement. If another person approaches you with mal-intent, then it’d be like declaring war on the protector. Same if Allah protects you, & another person attacks you, then that’s like declaring war on Allah.
  • These jinn did not interact with the Prophet. They heard the Qur’an & taught it to their people
    • Later on in the Seerah, the Prophet would go outside of Makkah (to Ukaaz, when there were no annual festivals taking place) with some of his Sahaba to actually dialogue with the jinn. This event will be followed by the revelation of Surat Al-Jinn
  • These ayat was revealed to the Prophet after the jinn left. “You had some interesting visitors tonight, Rasul.”
    • It is a source of comfort for the Prophet, that even though his messages are falling on deaf ears on the Arabs (for 10 years), there was entirely another creation of Allah that was listening to his message (the jinn). The Prophet was rejected by both the largest tribe in Makkah & the largest tribe in Ta’if, & then an unexpected victory presents itself in the form of jinn going back to their tribe as advocates of the Prophet
    • Allah gave the Prophet something he didn’t even expect

— The Prophet was camped out of Makkah, but not going in to Makkah. 2 possible reasons

  • He didn’t think it was smart to go to Makkah because this could be an opportunity for people to attack him. OR
  • Some Sahaba received the news that the Prophet was camped out of Makkah & went meet him there to tell the Prophet that it’s not safe for him to come back yet

— One of the Sahaba, Abdullah bin Uraiqet, was sent by the Prophet to Akhnas bin Shuraikh, who was a Quraysh leader & opponent of the Prophet

  • Akhnas was also one of the 3 individuals (with Abu Jahl & Abu Sufyan) who would go listen to the Prophet’s Qur’an recitation at night
  • Abdullah was sent to ask Akhnas to grant his yujiru/yijara (protection) to the Prophet
    • Akhnas declined. “I can’t help.”

— Abdullah came back with the news that Akhnas won’t grant the Prophet his protection, so then the Prophet sent Abdullah to Quraysh leader Suhayl bin Amr, whose son later accepted Islam

  • Suhayl bin Amr was one of the individuals who was part of the Treaty of Hudaybiya (which occurs a decade later). He was a very pragmatic individual
  • Suhayl was also asked by Abdullah bin Uraiqet to grant his protection to the Prophet
    • Suhayl declined. “I can’t help you. This is a Banu Hashim issue. I’m Banu Amr.”

— Abdullah came back to the Prophet with negative news, so then the Prophet sent Abdullah to Mut’im bin ‘Adi to ask for his protection for the Prophet

  • Mut’im bin ‘Adi was another leader of Quraysh. He had supported Abu Talib & gained a lot of support to end the boycott of the Prophet, Banu Hashim, & other Muslims for those 3 years of the Boycott in the Shib of Abu Talib
    • Mut’im went around, gained some support from other Quraysh members, & led the delegation to end the boycott of Banu Hashim
  • Mut’im was not a Muslim himself, but the Prophet knew that Mut’im was a man of principle & ethics. He stood for the well-being of Muslims during the boycott
    • Mut’im agreed to grant the Prophet his protection
  • The Prophet & Zayd bin Haritha entered Makkah & went straight to house of Mut’im bin Adi
    • They stayed the night & were treated as guests in Mut’im’s home

— The following day, the Prophet & Zayd left the home of Mut’im bin Adi along with his 7  sons, who have strapped themselves with swords. They were all packing heat.

  • The Prophet, Zayd, Mut’im, and Mut’im’s 7  sons all went to the Haram. They enter into the Ka’bah, & everyone sees this gang of people. “They’re rolling heavy.”
  • The 7 sons of Mut’im took out their swords & lined up in a semi-circle with their backs to the Ka’bah
  • Mut’im told the Prophet, “Make tawaaf for your re-entry into Makkah.”
    • This is a longtime tradition, going back to Ibrahim (as). The mushrikoon who would leave Makkah & then return later would do tawaaf around the Ka’bah after returning home. This was their birthright as Makkans

— The Prophet made tawaaf, making the dhikr of Allah

— Abu Sufyan, Abu Jahl, & other opponents of the Prophet were sitting there with their jaws on the floor. They had this whole plan that when Muhammad came back to Makkah, they were going to ambush him, hurt him

  • But now, the Prophet came back to Makkah & had this whole security detail from a leader of Quraysh. Mut’im bin Adi had a reputation of being able to throw down if he needed to; he was not known just for being a diplomat but was also known for his fighting skills. All of his 7 sons were trained by Mut’im
  • Abu Sufyan got up & very peacefully approached Mut’im. Abu Sufyan said, “Are you simply giving Muhammad protection, or are you actually following him now? I’m just asking. Don’t get offended. I just want to know where you stand.”
    • Mut’im replied, “No, I don’t believe in his message. I don’t even understand what he’s talking about, but I am granting him my protection [mujir].”
  • Abu Sufyan said, “In that case, your promise will not be violated.”
    • Meaning, Mut’im gave his word to Muhammad that he would be protected, so if Muhammad is harmed, then it would be like disrespecting Mut’im himself
  • To make a gesture to Mut’im & let him know that he meant when he said that he would not harm Muhammad, Abu Sufyan said “Have a seat, and I will sit with you”
    • Mut’im sat down & Abu Sufyan sat down with him
  • Prophet then left the Haram. Then Mut’im & his 7 sons also walked out with the Prophet
    • Abu Sufyan then back to his gathering letting his crew know that Mut’im was giving Muhammad his protection. “It is what it is, Muhammad’s got protection now.”

— After the Prophet made Hijra about 2 years later, Mut’im still had not accepted Islam. The Prophet received news that Mut’im had passed away

  • Whenever the Prophet asked Hassan bin Thabit (a Sahabi, the Prophet’s personal poet on demand to recite poetry), Hasan would recite poetry from the podium by the minbar at the masjid
  • When Mut’im passed away, Hassan said, “I will say a few words to commemorate Mut’im.”
    • Prophet did not object. Mut’im was not a Believer, but he did show the Prophet respect & granted him protection
  • Hassan recited, “You amongst all the Believers & all the people have granted your protection to the Rasulallah. And because of the kindness, the honor, & dignity that you showed in dealing with the Prophet, the Believers have become slaves to you (indebted to you). We as Believers are indebted to you, Mut’im. You granted support & you granted protection to the Prophet.”

— A few years after Mut’im’s passing, the Battle of Badr took place. This was the first full scale major battle between the Muslims in Medina & the mushrikoon of Makkah.

  • 70+ of the Quraysh were taken as prisoners by the Muslims. The Prophet sat down with the Sahaba to hold a council to decide what to do with the prisoners
  • The Sahaba decided that either their Quraysh prisoners’ families can send ransom OR the prisoners can teach Muslim kids to read & then can go free
  • However, regarding the usara (POWs) of Badr, the Prophet said, “If Mut’im bin Adi were still alive today, and if he would have asked me in regards to these people. As a gift to Mut’im bin Adi, I would have released all the prisoners to him.”
    • That’s how much respect the Prophet had for Mut’im bin Adi

Seerah: Episode 59. The Return from Ta’if & the Story of Addas.

— This event is narrated by someone in Ta’if, who later accepted Islam

  • When Prophet was leaving Ta’if & he was being throw rocks, being jeered & mocked, he continued to walk along & did not respond to anyone
    • The Prophet kept only asking Allah for strength. He was reciting Surat at-Tariq in its entirety, over & over again for 3 miles
    • “By the sky and the night comer, and what can make you know what is the night comer? It is the piercing star. There is no soul but that it has over it a protector. So let man observe from what he was created. He was created from a fluid, ejected, emerging from between the backbone and the ribs. Indeed, Allah, to return him [to life], is Able. The Day when secrets will be put on trial, then man will have no power or any helper. By the sky which returns [rain] and [by] the earth which cracks open, indeed, the Qur’an is a decisive statement, and it is not amusement. Indeed, they are planning a plan, but I am planning a plan. So allow time for the disbelievers. Leave them awhile.” [86:1-17]
  • The narrator memorized the Surah that day just from listening to the Prophet
    • This was before the narrator became Muslim. He used to read this surah later on in his Salah
  • Later on, Thakeef people saw the narrator listening & repeating the Prophet. They asked the narrator, “What did you hear this man (Muhammad) reciting?”
    • The narrator then recited the Surah for the people. Some of them were very affected by Surat at-Tariq
  • Some of the people who were there who listened to the narrator recite Surat at-Tariq were members of Quraysh, who were visiting Ta’if
    • When the members of Quraysh saw that the members of Thakeef were becoming affected by the Qur’an, the Quraysh interjected, “Whoa, slow down. This guy Muhammad, who came up with this mumbo jumbo, we know him better than you do. We know him very well; he’s one of us. If what he was reciting actually the truth, then we would have followed him a long time ago. We’ve been hearing this for 10 years. So don’t get overly emotional. Don’t get too impressed.” The Quraysh dismissed the narrator

— The Prophet later said of the stoners at Ta’if, “I did not find any type of comfort. I was not able to recover. They did not leave me alone. They did not release from this torture until I reach Qablal Manazen. I raised my head up, & saw a cloud that covered me & shielded me. This showed me that the mercy of Allah was with me.”

  • This experience in Ta’if teaches us something valuable – his dua
  • It’s known that the Prophet is the Habib of Allah – most beloved of Allah’s creations
    • Yet, Allah allowed the Prophet to go through a number of trials. That was not in vain. Mercy of Allah was with him still
  • “I raised my head & there was a cloud covering me, and I saw Jibril inside of that cloud.”
    • The Prophet was being reminded physically when he looks up in the sky that his Lord has not forsaken him. The cloud was from his childhood – way back to the Halimah years
  • After the Prophet made his dua, that’s when Jibril descended down with the angel of the mountains to speak with the Prophet

— After the angels left, the Prophet rested against the tree. Close enough to the tree was a garden that was owned by Utbah & Shayba (sons of Rabi’a). They were very staunch & stubborn adversaries to Islam & the Prophet back in Makkah. Hind & Abu Sufyan were part of this family/gang

  • This garden was like a vacation home for them
  • The sons Utbah & Shayba heard the commotion & witnessed the people of Ta’if pelt Prophet with rocks. They saw Prophet covered in blood. They saw everyone leave & the Prophet making du’a. They also saw Zayd bin Haritha trying to hold up the Prophet since he was close to fainting
    • Even these brothers, who were always against the Prophet, felt compassion & brotherhood for the Prophet after witnessing all this. They had been mocking & torturing the Prophet & his followers for 10 years, but after seeing the Prophet in his bloody compassion, they felt pity toward the Prophet
  • Utbah & Shayba called their slave Addas, a Christian to gather a basket of water, cloth, & grapes and to look after the Prophet
    • Grapes were a very expensive delicacy since they were not common in Arabia

— Addas did as he was told. Addas put down the grapes before the Prophet, & said, “Please eat.”

  • When the Prophet saw Addas, he asked for the kind stranger’s name
    • No matter what came his way, Prophet never forgot his etiquette. Surah Qalam was the 2nd revelation, & it instructed the Prophet to never compromise his akhlakh & adab
    • Addas said, “My name is Addas. Utbah & Shayba, from amongst your tribe, are my masters. They have sent me to you with this food & water to tend to you. Please eat.”
  • The Prophet put his hand in the bowl of grapes, said Bismillah, & then ate
    • Addas looked in the face of Prophet; he was completely staring at the Prophet with his jaw open, with such intensity that the Prophet noticed Addas’s stare on him
    • Addas looked at Prophet very intently, & said, “Wallahi, what you just said – your people don’t say that. Bismillah. You said Bismillah before you ate. Your people don’t talk like this.”
  • The Prophet said, “Well okay. If my people don’t say this, then where are you from? What land/people are you from that you do know this? And what religion do you follow?”
    • Addas said, “I’m Nasrani (Christian). I’m from the people of Neenawah.”
  • Prophet: “Oh, that’s very interesting, you’re from Neenawah. You’re from the same town as the great righteous man, Yunus ibnu Matta.”

— Now Addas is beside himself. He exclaimed, “How do YOU know what Yunus is?” How do you even know the word Yunus? How do you even know the name Yunus? Nobody here knows about Yunus – they’re all idol worshippers!”

  • The Prophet replied, “Of course, I know Yunus. He’s my brother. He was a Prophet, wasn’t he? I am also a Prophet. He was sent by Allah, wasn’t he? I was also sent by Allah. So of course I know him. We belong to the same fraternity.”

— Addas was sitting in front of the Prophet, shocked at this conversation

  • As soon as Muhammad talked about being a Prophet of Allah, Addas sprung forward (jumped) & started to kiss the head of the Prophet. He grabbed & kissed hands of the Prophet. Addas kissed the Prophet’s bloody & torn feet
  • Addas said, “I sit in front of the Messenger of Allah. I grew up learning about these great men. We grew up knowing that we were from the town of a great man (Yunus), and we prided ourselves about this fact. And I get to sit in the presence of one of these men?”
    • Of course, this whole dialogue & scene is expression of the fact that Addas accepted Islam right then & there

— The Prophet’s passion & resilience for sharing Allah’s message to mankind never wavered

  • He’s bloody, bruised, beaten, wounded, yet he continues giving da’wah. But in this situation, he has an entire conversation with a man because maybe just this situation will guide a man to the righteous path, to Allah. The guidance of one individual is important for the Prophet
  • The Prophet told Ali, “Oh Ali, even if one man is guided toward Allah through you, this is better for you than a red she-camel. This is better for you than whatever the world contains.”
    • We say this hadith, but the Prophet lived it. He was beaten, bloody, & exhausted, but if opportunity presented itself to be the means of guidance for one man, a slave, someone that could be overlooked very easily, then the Prophet would go after that opportunity

— Everything that happens in the Prophet’s life is a lesson & a reminder for us. While the Prophet is being stoned, he’s reciting the Book of Allah. When he stops by the tree, he’s making dua. He kept maintaining his connection with Allah, which led him to stay committed to his mission, his imaan, & his proper conduct

  • It doesn’t matter what role we fill or in what capacity we do da’wah. You could be advertising, marketing, working in logistics, cleaning up, speaking, or deliver the message. Only thing to remember is that our dawah will only be as fruitful & as beneficial as our relationship with Allah is strong
    • In doing dawah, organizing in this community & this organization, keep & set aside time to make dhikr & personal quality time with Allah
  • The Prophet said, “Example of such a person (who doesn’t make time of Allah) is a candle that burns”
    • Candle illuminates a room. But as it gives off light, it’s burning & withering away. The candle (person) will become puddle of wax. The candle will not only be gone, but also won’t give off light anymore. It will become a distant memory, & that too will be forgotten when the next candle comes along
  • The Prophet said, “Sometimes, Allah will strengthen the imaan of someone through the efforts of a person who himself lives in complete open disobedience to Allah.”
    • Meaning: someone else might benefit from that by strengthening their own imaan when they see someone live in open rebelliousness of Allah

— Utbah & Shayba were watching all of this unfold. They see Addas put the food in front of the Prophet, they see Addas & the Prophet have a conversation, then next thing they know is that Addas is jumping up & kissing the Prophet. “Whoa, what happened there? Nobody saw that coming.”

  • One brother said to other brother, “Muhammad just ruined your slave. He just messed up someone else.”
  • When Addas came back to them with supplies in hand, the brothers said to Addas, “What’s wrong with you, stupid man? Why were you kissing that man’s head, hands, & feet? We just sent you to give him some food, some water. Make sure he’s okay. But you were sitting there kissing his hand, kissing his feet, talking to him forever. What’s going on with you?”
  • Addas said, “O master, there is not a single thing in this entire earth that is better than that man right there. He told me something that only a Prophet would know.”
  • The brothers cursed Addas, “Get out of here. Don’t let him make you change your religion. Your religion is better than his religion.”
    • This was funny coming from them. Addas is a Christian, & Utbah and Shayba are idol-worshippers but even they said that Addas’s religion is better.

— The Prophet stayed there for a while & started his journey again to Makkah after recovery.

Link to the next episode

Seerah Episode 58. The Prophet Goes to Ta’if

— The Prophet was in sujood at the Haram for an extended period of time

  • Abu Jahl was dared by other Quraysh leaders to put his foot on the Prophet’s neck & choke him while he was in sujood
  • Abu Jahl made his way over to the Prophet, when Abu Bakr stepped in front of Abu Jahl & said, “No, I see the look on your eyes. You have bad intentions. Get away from here.”

— Such type of behavior was a daily occurrence for the Prophet – being mocked, insulted, finding filth on his doorstep

  • Due to all the circumstances in Makkah, which progressively got worse, Prophet decided to do da’wah to the people in Ta’if

— 2 major cities of Arabia at the time were Makkah & Ta’if because they were home to the 2 most powerful & largest tribes. We might think that it was Makkah and Yathrib but it was not the case at the time, because Yathrib was not a major city at the time.

  • Makkah was home to the Quraysh
    • Abul Hakam (Abu Jahl) was most influential political leader in Makkah
  • Ta’if was home to Banu Thakeef
    • Abu Mas’ud was most influential political leader in Ta’if

— Ta’if was also considered one of the most religious center  (from a pagan perspective)

  • Al-lat was one of the idols that the pagan Arabs worshipped. Al-lat was housed in a temple in Ta’if.
    • The people of Ta’if hoped that temple of Al-lat would attract similar attraction as the Ka’bah in Makkah
  • Remember that previously, the people of Ta’if conspired with Abraha (Year of Elephant)
    • They feared that Abraha would just slaughter them, so they allied with him, in hopes that he’ll bulldoze the Ka’bah to the ground & that would make Ta’if the new popular pilgrimage site

— The Prophet realized that Ta’if could become a strategic ally in terms of preaching

  • Makkah was very dangerous for the believers
    • If the people of Ta’if accepted Islam, then that would boost the number of Believers & the city would provide a sanctuary for the Makkan Muslims
  • The city of Ta’if was also considered an attractive place
    • Many Quraysh leaders had homes near Ta’if or in Ta’if because the weather & scenery was very nice. Many of the Quraysh had summer/vacation homes in Ta’if

— The Prophet had very meager means at this time. He didn’t have much money for transportation

  • The Prophet took Zayd bin Haditha (3rd person to convert to Islam, after Khadijah & Ali) with him
    • Zayd was in his early to mid-20s at the time
  • Ta’if is about 70 miles from Makkah
    • The Prophet is over the age of 50 at this time. He & Zayd were humbly equipped individuals who made this entire journey on foot through mountainous regions & miles of desert
    • This journey to Ta’if was 10 days long

—  The Prophet & Zayd bin Haritha arrived in Ta’if

  • This is a newcomer arriving in an established community
    • The Prophet made his way to the leadership of Ta’if. For the next week or so, the Prophet went around scheduling appointments with different leaders of Ta’if
  • There were some leaders who were a bit wary of Islam & the Prophet, so they were stonewalling him

— There were 3 brothers (sons of Amr bin Umair, a leader of Ta’if) with whom the Prophet specifically wanted to talk to: Abd a’lil, Mas’ud, & Habib

  • One of the brothers was married to a woman of Quraysh, from Banu Jumah
    • The Prophet wanted to speak to that man, since he had in-laws in Makkah
  • The Prophet sat down & spoke to one of the brothers & explained his purpose & gave dawah
    • The man responded, “If God has in fact sent YOU as a Messenger, then I will go all the way to Makkah & I will rip the cloth from the Ka’bah & rip it into shreds.”
    • This man dismissed the Prophet
  • The Prophet then sat down with the 2nd brother
    • The Prophet hasn’t even engaged with the community yet. He arrived as a respectful traveler & showed respect to the community of Ta’if through his conduct & words. He spoke to the leadership before even talking with the community
    • After the Prophet explained his purpose, the 2nd brother responded “Aside from you, could God not send any other Messenger? You? Are you really the only option? Really? Must be slim pickings out there.”
    • This brother also dismissed the Prophet
  • The Prophet then sat down with the 3rd brother, who had a Qurayshi wife
    • Before the Prophet could even get started, this man said, “I swear by God I will not speak with you. If you are in fact the Messenger of God, as you say you are, then you are an extremely dangerous individual in case I reject you. Ignorance is bliss. I would rather not know who you are. On the other hand, if you’re lying about God, then I will not speak to you. It’s not my status to speak to someone who is a liar.”

— All 3 brothers dismissed the Prophet. The Prophet realized that now was not the time to preach Islam to these people

  • The Prophet told the brothers, “Fine, you’re doing whatever you want to do. I tried to talk to you all, but you aren’t listening. I have one request. Let’s not blast us out to the public. You said you’re not interested; I respected your wishes & left you in peace. Let me leave in peace. Let me leave quietly.”
    • The brothers of course decide that they could not have that
  • The Prophet decided to leave Ta’if. He told Zayd to pack up & head out
    • In the meantime, some leaders of Ta’if decided that this is not good enough for them. They sent the word out to street thugs & others, “Listen, this man who arrived to our city is now leaving. Be creative & make things difficult for him.”
    • The leaders of Ta’if actually made offers to these people as a reward to make things difficult for the Prophet’s departure

— The Prophet was at boundary of Ta’if with Zayd, on their way back to Makkah

  • Over a 100 people from Ta’if gathered on the highway. They lined up in 2 rows or sat down on 2 rows by the side of the road
    • They all had carried rocks & stones with them
  • As soon as the Prophet stepped foot outside the boundary of Ta’if, everyone threw a rock at the Prophet. With every single step the Prophet took, they people of Ta’if would throw rocks at him
    • A lot of them were targeting the Prophet’s feet. As soon as the Prophet’s foot would touch the ground, they would throw rocks at his feet
    • These people were told not to kill him, because that would lead to a war between Ta’if & Makkah

— When Zayd saw this, he freaked out. Everyone was throwing rocks at the Prophet from both sides of the line

  • Zayd jumped in front of the Prophet, trying to deflect rocks from the Prophet
    • One large rock hit Zayd in the head & he started bleeding
  • The Prophet pushed Zaid out of the way & said, “They’re targeting me. Get out of the way.”
    • The Prophet told Zayd that these people would probably not kill the Prophet, (because he was of Banu Hashim) but wanted to hurt him. On the other hand, Zayd was considered a nobody to the people of Ta’if, so they wouldn’t hesitate to kill Zayd

— As the Prophet moved forward, the rows would run out & get shorter, so the people would gather up more stones & rocks, & line up for the next 100 feet or so to continue throwing rocks at the Prophet

  • They did this all the way from the boundary of Ta’if to a place called Qablal Manazan
    • Qablal Manazan had gardens where the Quraysh owned some houses
    • This stretch of land from boundary of Tai’f to Qablal Manazan was 3 miles long
  • Consider the gravity of this situation
    • The Prophet was stoned for three miles. He didn’t have any transportation, so he couldn’t just ride away on his animal. He was over the age of 50 & walked with luggage the entire way, with people stoning his feet for 3 miles
    • For at least an hour,  for every second, for every step, the Prophet faced this abuse non-stop, getting pelted with dozens of stones & rocks

— When they reached the gardens of Qablal Manazen, the people finally decide to stop & headed back to Ta’if

  • By this time, the Prophet was injured & bloody in multiple places on his body
    • His feet were completely torn & soaked in blood. He had blood running down his legs & arms
    • The Prophet used to wear leather sandals. Leather soaks things up; his feet bled so much that his shoes had become colored red with blood
    • When the blood had dried up, it crusted his sandals & feet
  • The Prophet sat down under the shade of a tree
    • He had to literally peel & scrape the sandals off his feet
    • In this condition, the Prophet prayed 2 rakat

— Sitting in the shade, Prophet made du’a

  • Allahuma inni ashku ilayka da’fa quwwati
    wa qillata hilati wa hawani ‘alan naas
    ya arhamur rahimeen
    annta Rabbul mustad’afeen wa anta rabbi
    iliman takiluni?
    illa ba’eedin yatajahhamuni?
    aw li ‘aduwwin mallaktahu amri?
    illam yakun bika ‘alay ghadabun fa la ulbaali
    walakin ‘aafiyatuka heya awsa’u li
    a’uthu binoori wajhika allathi ashrakat lahu a thulumaat
    wa salaha ‘alayhi amrudunya wal akhira
    min an yanzila bi ghadubak aw yahilla ‘allaya sakhutak
    lakal ‘utbu hatta tarda
    wala hawla wala quwwata illa billah al ‘alyul ‘atheem
  • To You, my Lord, I complain of my weakness, lack of support, and the humiliation I am made to receive.
    Most Compassionate and Merciful!
    You are the Lord of the weak, and you are my Lord.
    To whom do You leave me?
    To a distant person who receives me with hostility?
    Or to an enemy You have given power over me?
    As long as you are not displeased with me, I do not care what I face.
    I would, however, be much happier with Your mercy.
    I seek refuge in the light of Your face by which all darkness is dispelled and both this life and the life to come are put in their right course against incurring your wrath or being the subject of your anger.
    To You I submit, until I earn Your pleasure.
    Everything is powerless without Your support

— After the Prophet made this dua, Jibril came down to the Prophet & said salaam to him

  • Jibril said, “Allah heard what those people said to you and He has also seen what they did with you. Your dua has shaken the heavens. Allah has sent me to you & He has sent the angel in charge of mountains to you at your disposal so you can command him to do whatever it is that you want to do with these people.”
  • Then the angel of the mountains appeared & said salaam to the Prophet. The angel said, “Ya Rasul, Allah has heard what these people said to you. I am the angel appointed to the mountains (Ta’if is a valley, sitting between mountains). Your Lord has sent me to you to be at your command. If you want, I can command these mountains to collide and crush the people that live between them.”
  • The Prophet replied, “No, I have no ill will toward these people. Instead of ordering you to destroy these people, I’d rather hope that Allah will bring forth a progeny from these people who will worship Allah alone & will not associate any partners with Allah.”

An 18/19 year old young Muslim man from the next generation of Ta’if traveled to SE and South Asia. He traveled to Sindh & converted thousands of people from that region in the span of a year

— This is how the Prophet handled the brutal treatment at the hands of the people

  • He made dua, hoping that Allah was not displeased with him
  • Then when given the opportunity of retribution, the Prophet instead made dua that the children of the people of Ta’if would accept Islam

— Best times to make dua

  • Yum al Jummu’ah
  • After Asr
  • Between adhaan & iqama
  • Last one-third of the night
  • Right before iftaar

Someone who regularly asks Allah for forgiveness, throughout the day, Allah will provide every single way for the person that the person can’t even imagine.

— Dua of the slave of Allah is constantly accepted as long as the person doesn’t…

  • Become impatient
  • Make dua with a sin
  • Make dua with severing of family relations

— Dua of the slave of Allah is constantly accepted as long as the person doesn’t

  • Become impatient
    • “I don’t see my dua’s being accepted.”
    • When you become impatient, you’re showing that you don’t trust Allah. You will lose hope in that situation & quit making dua
    • Don’t demoralize yourself
  • Make dua with a sin
    • “Tomorrow I’m robbing a bank. Please put baraqah in my action. Please help me rob the whole bank.”
    • Don’t let dua accompany a sin
  • Make dua with severing of family relations
    • Don’t make dua to destroy a family
    • Don’t make dua while engaged with destroying a family. If you’re the abusive one, your duas are not accepted, since you’re violating the rights of another person
    • What if you’re keeping distance from a family member due to a serious issue (abuse)? The Qur’an gives you generic advice. Abuse is extreme, so seek extreme-specific counsel


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Seerah Episode 57. The Year of Sorrow

— The 11th year of nubuwwah was known as  Aam ul-Huzn: Year of Sorrow

— The Prophet said, “Quraysh had not done anything very egregious. They had not personally gotten physically aggressive with me until Abu Talib passed away.”

  • After Abu Talib passed away, the Prophet’s protection died with him. The Prophet became open season to the Quraysh

— Eventually, the Prophet got back to preaching

  • The Quraysh, with Abu Talib’s protection no longer there, went on the offensive. They threw out every decency & hesitation out the door & came for the Prophet as hard as they could
  • It became a daily event for the Prophet to deal with these hacks

— A few days after Abu Talib’s death, the Prophet came out of his home & was walking around Makkah to take care of some errands

  • The Prophet was a single father at this point, raising a very young Fatimah on his own
  • The Prophet passed by Walid bin Mughira, Abu Jahl, & Umayyah bin Khalaf
    • Instead of offering their condolences or even letting Prophet alone, the Quraysh leaders started taunting & mocking the Prophet for his losses
  • Obviously, this bothered the Prophet. The Prophet usually kept a cool head, but this mocking really bothered him

— Allah acknowledges the Prophet’s suffering. Allah revealed an ayah from Surat An’am

  • “And already were messengers ridiculed before you, but those enveloped by that which they used to ridicule.” [6:10]
    • Allah was telling the Prophet that he belongs to the fraternity of Prophets who were mocked before him. It’s to let the Prophet know that he’s not alone in his suffering; other Prophets were also mocked by their respective people
  • “Just as they would mock & jeer the Messengers of Allah, Allah would cause them to be tormented the same way in this life and the next. Those people would be ruined for the way they taunted the Messengers. Allah took care of the Messengers.”
  • Allah also told the Prophet, “The Messengers before you were rejected as liars, but they were steadfast in their patience. They were also harmed. Eventually, the time came when Our help came to the rescue. There is no changing of the words of Allah. This is exactly why the stories of the Prophets of the past have been related to you, so that you may find comfort in their experiences, which you’re experiencing.” [6:34]

— One time, the Prophet was praying in the Haram

  • Abu Jahl was sitting with other Quraysh leaders nearby. They were pointing at the Prophet & mocking him
    • One of them challenged Abu Jahl, “I bet you won’t go & do something to Muhammad as he’s praying.” This was after the passing of Abu Talib
  • Abu Jahl went up to the Prophet. Abu Jahl took his scarf that he was wearing & then started to strangle the Prophet
    • Abu Bakr saw this & knocked Abu Jahl in the ground. Other people were also shocked that Abu Jahl tried to strangle someone in broad daylight
  • Abu Bakr saw other people around the area & repeated the words of a family member of Firaun
    • “When the people of Firaun threatened to kill Musa & were plotting Musa’s murder, the believing man (who concealed his faith) stood up in front of his people & said, “Are you really plotting the murder of a man simply because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah’ while he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he’s lying, then he’ll be exposed for what he is. But if he is truthful & you oppose him, then what he has promised you as an outcome of your actions, that will also come back to bite you. So you be careful.’” [Surat Ghaafir; 40:28]
      • The believing man was then martyred by the Firaun

— In a separate incident, the Prophet was again praying at the Haram

  • Again, the Quraysh leaders challenged one another to bother the Prophet. Abu Jahl scooped up the intestines of a slaughtered camel & dumped it on back of the Prophet while he was in sujood
    • The intestines crushed the Prophet under its weight. The Prophet became pinned to the ground & was unable to move
    • Some of the Quraysh leaders started to laugh & point. It became a scene
  • Fatimah, a child, entered the masjid & saw her father trying to get up with the innards of camel pinning him down
    • She rushed up, screaming, “What is WRONG with you people?!” She pushed the innards off the Prophet’s back
  • The Prophet got up, with his clothes completely ruined. Other people were still jeering at him
    • He looks at Fatimah’s face; she was crying & terrified. The Prophet was angry & upset

— The Prophet looked to the sky & made dua, “O Allah, look how they treat me.”

  • Jibril came down to the Prophet. He said, “Yes, ya Rasul. What can I do for you?”
    • Jibril & Mikail are who the Prophet depended upon on in the sky. Abu Bakr & Umar are who Prophet depended upon on the earth
  • The Prophet told Jibril of his displeasure of the way the people were treating him, & how upset he was to see his own family members upset by the Quraysh leaders’ treatment

— The following shows the status of the Messenger in the sight of Allah. It shows what someone invites upon themselves when they behave in a poor manner with the Messenger of Allah

  • Jibril pointed to Walid bin Mughira’s leg
    • Qufitahu. He has been taken care of on your behalf, ya Rasul.”
  • Jibril then pointed to Aswad bin Mutallib’s neck
    • Qufitahu. He has been taken care of on your behalf.”
  • Jibril then pointed to Aswad bin Abdi Yahud’s head
    • Qufitahu. He has been taken care of on your behalf.”
  • Jibril then pointed to Al Hadith bin Aithar’s stomach.
    • Qufitahu. He has been taken care of on your behalf.”
  • Jibril then told the Prophet, “Ya Rasul, walk with me.”
    • Jibril passed by Al A’as bin Wa’il. Jibril pointed to Al A’as bin Wa’il’s neck.
    • Qufitahu. He has been taken care of on your behalf, ya Rasul.”

— Not too long after that, Walid bin Mughira was passing by & was taking care of business in Makkah

  • A man was sitting nearby, fitting & adjusting his bow & arrow
    • The bow slipped from the man’s hand
    • Walid walked by & the arrow hit his leg. Walid fell to the ground & bled out on the ground

— Aswad bin Abdi Yahud ended up developing some type of sore or boil on his head

  • It was disgusting & gross. The boil on his head became infected & he died from it shortly thereafter

— Aswad bin Mutallib went blind

  • One day he was sitting in his garden leaning against the tree. He called out to his family, “Where are my children? Come here, hurry! Why aren’t you helping me?” He was just freaking out there, leaning against the tree
    • The kids said, “What’s wrong?”
    • Aswad screamed, “I’ll be killed! I’ll be killed!”
    • Kids reply, “We don’t see anything. What’s wrong with you?”
  • Aswad carried on being panicked. He said, “I feel like someone is taking thorns & pushing them into my eyeballs.”
    • Imagine how much someone would scream & flop around in pain if he was pinned to the ground with needles being pushed in his eyes
  • Everyone was just standing there, asking, ‘What do we do? There’s nobody here. He’s freaking out for no reason.”
  • This screaming kept on going for a few hours. Aswad keeps writhing on the ground screaming & yelling.
    • Everything finally subsided. Aswad got up & said, “I can’t see anything.” He went blind

— Al Hadith bin Aithar developed a disease in which he got yellow water in his belly

  • Eventually it got so bad that he couldn’t hold his food down. He would vomit all the time
  • He died eventually from the disease

— Al A’as bin Wa’il got struck in the head by something (like a thorny branch) & it gave him a wound in his head

  • He died from the infection

— This was one of the ways that Allah took care of His Habib

— In one of these incidents, the Quraysh leaders were ridiculing the Prophet & insulting him. They just wouldn’t let up, & one day, this type of behavior left the Prophet very upset & very angry

  • The Prophet made dua, “O Allah, help me against them. With 7 years of drought just like the ones given during Yusuf.”
  • A drought occurred that year in Makkah. Severe famine affected them
    • All the food & water resources were exhausted
    • Eventually, the Makkans began to eat carrion (camel dropped dead a day ago from heat)

— There was a delegation from among the Quraysh leaders sent to the Prophet. Abu Sufyan was part of that delegation

  • Abu Sufyan said, “Ya Muhammad, let me get this straight. You’ve been telling us that you’ve been sent as a mercy to mankind, & your people are dying & suffering. Make dua for them. Ask your God to alleviate their suffering.”
    • This is reminiscent of Firaun approaching Musa after each of the plagues. The Firaun would say to Musa, “O Musa, ask your Lord to remove such inflictions.”
  • The Prophet was extremely merciful. He made dua for the Makkans, “Allah, remove their suffering.”
    • Then it immediately started to rain. It rained for 7 days straight

— These people came back to the Prophet. They ridicule/torture/persecute & ask Prophet for a favor. Now they said, “Oh now you know what, it’s raining a bit too much. Can you fix it?”

  • The Prophet made dua, “Allahumma hawalayna wa la ‘alayna. Allahumma alal akaami (wal ajaami) wal dhiraabi wal ‘awdiyaati wa mana bi tish shajar.
    • “O Allah, let the rain fall around us and not upon us, O Allah, (let it fall) on the pasture, hills, valleys and roots of trees.”
  • The rain started to move. Clouds started to break open from spot where the Prophet was standing, & the clouds kept breaking open until those clouds moved away to outside of the urban area of Makkah, where the fields & pasture were located

— Abdullah bin Mas’ud (ra) recited an ayah when recalling this story, “We are removing the punishment for you just little.”

  • Meaning: You’ve been given rain for now, but fire is on your way
    • Those people who went to the Prophet to make it rain went right back to business after they got what they wanted. They continued to torment the Prophet
  • Abdullah bin Mas’ud gave his tafseer: “They continued their disbelief in Islam. Their punishment was removed from them until the Day of Resurrection.”
    • In another narration, Abdullah said, “Their punishment was removed from them until the day of Badr.”
    • Allah said, “Be very wary the day is coming that We will snatch you with a Day of Reckoning.”

— While this drought was occurring, out of desperation, people were taking wool, dipping it in blood, & cooking it on top of a fire. They would then eat that

  • “And We had gripped them with suffering [as a warning], but they did not yield to their Lord, nor did they humbly supplicate, [and will continue thus]
  • Until when We have opened before them a door of severe punishment, immediately they will be therein in despair.” [Surat Al-Mu’minun; 23:76-77]

— Allah continued to console the Prophet from the ayat of Surat Al-Hijr

  • “Then declare what you are commanded and turn away from the polytheists. Indeed, We are sufficient for you against the mockers who make [equal] with Allah another deity. But they are going to realize what they have done.” [15:94-96]
    • Allah mentions the partners that are associated with Him as a way of telling the Prophet, “Look how offensive they are towards Allah. I give them everything, I sustain them, give them food, I take care of them, but in the end, they associate partners with Me. So don’t be shocked by the fact that they disrespect you. They disrespect Me, so of course they will disrespect you. These people have no honor.”
  •  “And We already know that your breast is constrained by what they say.” [15:97]
    • Meaning: We know for a fact, without a doubt, that your chest becomes tightened, that it disturbs you what those people say. But We understand. Allah acknowledges the pain of Prophet.
    • We (the Ummah) shouldn’t be high & mighty with people who are going through adversity. “Brother you should have imaan. Then you wouldn’t be depressed.” This is not what Allah told the Prophet. Instead, when the Prophet was troubled or saddened by something, Allah would tell the Prophet, “I understand & acknowledge your pain.”
  • “So exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate [to Him]. And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).” [15:98-99]


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Seerah Episode 56. The Death of Abu Talib

— Authentic books of Seerah say there was about 35 days between the passing of Khadijah and Abu Talib (some debate on who passed away first)

  • Khadijah passed away in Ramadan
  • Abu Talib passed away in Rajab or Shawwal (before or after Ramadan)

— The Prophet was 8 years old when Abu Talib took him under his guardianship

  • 8-year-old Muhammad lost closest thing to a father he had – Abdul Mutallib. He lost his father, mother, & grandfather, & also has no biological siblings
  • Then Abu Talib stepped in, to honor dying wishes of his father to take care of Muhammad
    • In time, Prophet & Abu Talib grew very attached to each other

— Abu Talib was the closest to a parent that the Prophet had in his life. Abu Talib was not just some random uncle, but he was a man who raised, clothed, & fed Muhammad

  • When Muhammad was 16, he wanted to financially help out Abu Talib, so he asked his uncle for permission to start working
  • When Muhammad got his first chance to do major-league business (with Khadijah), which required traveling, he asked Abu Talib for permission
  • When Khadijah’s relative approached Muhammad for marriage proposal, Muhammad asked Abu Talib, “What do you think?”
  • When the Prophet started preaching about Islam, Abu Talib threw full support behind his nephew, even though he himself was not accepting Islam

— Abu Talib was around in his 80s & was terminally ill

  • When the Quraysh leaders realize that Abu Talib is on his deathbed, they all go to him as a delegation to visit Abu Talib
    • Abu Sufyan, Utbah, Umayyah bin Khalaf, Shayba, Abu Jahl, & all the team leaders of Quraysh, who are also the head of opposition against the Prophet go to Abu Talib
  • When they approach Abu Talib, the Quraysh leaders told him, “Ya Aba Talib, you know your position amongst us (we respect you as the top leader of Quraysh). You also understand what your physical condition is. We fear the worst for you (you’re going to die). You also know very clearly where we stand in regards to the Message of your nephew, so please call him. He respects you & we respect you. You negotiate something with him between us, since you’re the neutral party between us. We have some terms for Muhammad. We’re here to compromise & meet in the middle. So what do you say? If he leaves our religion alone, we’ll leave him & his religion alone.”

— Abu Talib called for the Prophet & told him, “My beloved nephew, these are the dignitaries of your people. They gathered here for you, so they will give you something & in exchange you give them something.”

  • The Prophet replied, “Yes, absolutely.”
    • The Prophet never negotiated in terms of tawhid. There should never be any compromise of tawhid, but the Prophet was always respectful
    • He didn’t yell NO & slam the door behind him
  • Instead, the Prophet respectfully told the Quraysh leaders, “You’ve come to speak, and I’ve also come to speak. I want nothing more than to be able to put our beef  & grudge aside. But you have to understand, there are some things I cannot compromise on.”
    • Such is the sunnah of the Prophet

— The Prophet said, “Sure, let’s talk. One word. I’m making only one request. If you can give this to me, if you can meet me in the middle on one term, just one condition, then you will rule over all the Arabs & even the non-Arabs will come to you & follow you.”

  • Abu Jahl said, “Absolutely, by your father (expression for “most definitely”). If you’re talking about ruling over Arabs & even non-Arab kingdoms, then I’ll agree to 10 things.”
  • The Prophet said, “Just accept the fact that no one is worthy of worship except for Allah. And you leave everything else that you worship other than Allah. That’s my condition. Tawhid is my one condition. I’m willing to sit here & work everything else out.”
  • The Quraysh leaders all clapped their hands. It’s a sign of displeasure (like a face palm)
    • “Here he goes again.”
    • “Muhammad, you want us to trade all of our idols for your one God? We don’t understand you.”
  • Some leaders turn to each other & said to one another, “Look, this guy’s not really here to compromise. So just go & let’s keep doing what you’re doing & let him do what he’s doing. We’ll see who comes out on top of things”
    • Then the Quraysh leaders all disperse from Abu Talib’s home

— The Prophet was sitting there

  • Abu Talib said, “I swear to God, beloved nephew, I don’t think you asked them for a lot. You were willing to discuss everything & anything. You just wanted one condition.”
  • The Prophet now thought this was the opportunity. He said, “Beloved uncle, if you don’t think I was asking them for a lot, then you should say it. La ilaha illallah. I’ll vouch for you on the Day of Judgment.”
  • Abu Talib replied, “Yabna akhi (son of my brother), if I wasn’t afraid what these people would do to you & your family members after I was gone, and if I didn’t think the Quraysh would assume that I just did it to escape death, then I would definitely say it. But I will not say it. The only reason I would say it would be simply to please you, but I won’t.”
  • The Prophet acknowledged that he tried

— A few days later, the Prophet received word that Abu Talib is gravely ill & is basically breathing his last

  • The Prophet ran to his uncle’s house to be at his side when Abu Talib takes his dying breath
    • Abu Jahl & other leaders also get word of Abu Talib dying, & they got there before the Prophet made it there
    • The Prophet sat down by Abu Talib’s head, & held his uncle’s hand with tears in his eyes
  • Abu Talib is the Prophet’s whole family from the age of 8. Even after the Prophet was a grown man with children of his own, Abu Talib never left his nephew’s side. Abu Talib always threw his support behind his nephew in his Prophethood

— The Prophet leaned in close to his 80-year old-uncle, who was struggling to even breathe, & the Prophet said, “Dear uncle, say la ilaha illallah. Just one phrase. Just say it once. I will fight on your behalf in front of Allah. I will argue on your behalf to Allah. I will represent you in front of Allah. Please, just once.”

  • Before Abu Jahl headed toward Abu Talib’s house with 3 other men, he addressed the Quraysh, “Hamza & Umar ibn al-Khattab, two influential figures of Makkah have already accepted Islam. Abu Talib would be a loss that we can’t afford. We can’t have Abu Talib going over to his nephew’s side. We have to make sure we don’t lose him.”
  • Abu Jahl saw the Prophet & Abu Talib in this emotional state, with the Prophet telling his uncle,  “I will FIGHT in front of Allah for you, please just say it once.”
    • When Abu Jahl saw this, he started screaming & shouting, “YA ABA TALIB, are you trying to leave the religion of your father? You’re going to leave it now?!” He kept yelling this.
    • Umayyah bin Khalaf, Abdullah ibn Umayyah, & others also started chiming in & screaming, & repeating Abu Jahl’s words. They were heckling the Prophet
  • Finally, Abu Talib looked over at Prophet. He said, “Ala-deeni Abdul Mutallib. Upon the religion of Abdul Mutallib.” Then he breathes his last
  • While still holding his uncle’s lifeless hand, the tear-stricken Prophet said, “As far as I’m concerned Uncle, I will continue to ask for forgiveness on your behalf until I am forbidden from doing so.”
    • Allah revealed the following ayah from Surat At-Tawbah:“It is not appropriate for the Prophet and those who believe in the Message of the Prophet that they seek forgiveness on behalf of those who have died with shirk, those who have died without imaan, even if they be close relatives.” [9:113]

— Some Sahaba who knew what Abu Talib meant to the Prophet were waiting outside Abu Talib’s home. The Prophet lost the father who raised him

  • When the Prophet came out of Abu Talib’s home, the Sahaba could see the devastation on his face
  • The Prophet was also second-guessing himself. “Could I have said something else? To convince him otherwise?”
  • That’s when Allah revealed the ayah from Surat Al-Qasas: “Indeed, O Muhammad, you do not give guidance to the ones whom you have loved, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the rightly guided.” [28:56]
    • This ayah is not reprimanding the Prophet. It is Allah consoling the Prophet. This is Allah comforting the Prophet – We know you’re hurting, but don’t beat yourself up because guidance wasn’t in your hands

— 10 years after Abu Talib’s death, there was an incident. The Prophet returned back to Makkah at the time of Conquest of Makkah. It was during Ramadan. It had been 10 years since Abu Talib’s death, but the pain was still fresh to the Prophet

  • The Prophet was sitting near the Ka’bah
    • Abu Bakr walked into the Haram. Abu Quhafa (father of Abu Bakr) was a very elderly blind man & he was holding his son’s hand. They were walking very slowly ino the masjid
  • When the Prophet saw his friend & his friend’s father, the Prophet stood up & approached them. He asked Abu Bakr, “Why didn’t you leave our elder at home? I would have gone to him if he needed to talk to me.”
  • Abu Bakr said, “No, no, he’s come to accept Islam. He has come to you.”
  • The Prophet asked them to sit down, took Abu Quhafa’s hand, & started to give him the Shahadah
    • The Prophet looked over at Abu Bakr, smiling at this beautiful moment that this elderly man is accepting Islam at this age. The Prophet was smiling at this moment, but Abu Bakr was crying

— The Prophet said, “Tears of joy, ya Aba Bakr? You’re so happy witnessing the Islam of your father that you break down like this?”

  • Abu Bakr said, “No, Rasul, these are tears of sadness.”
  • The Prophet is shocked. He said, “Your father accepted Islam at this age, & you cry out of sadness?”
  • Abu Bakr replied, “I can’t help but think how quickly I would trade places between my father & Abu Talib. I would  give up my father’s place right now sitting in the Haram, his hand in your hand reciting the Shahadah; I would give up my father’s place right now to Abu Talib. I’d do it in a heartbeat –switching places with my father & your uncle. I remember how much pain & agony you experienced at your uncle’s passing.”
    • Think of how severe the pain must have been for the Prophet at the passing of Abu Talib for Abu Bakr to feel so strongly about Abu Talib & talk about such sacrifice for Abu Talib

— Within 5-6 weeks, the Prophet had buried the 2 people who were the center of his universe

  • The death of Abu Talib was compounded by the aftermath. In the days after both Khadijah’s and Abu Talib’s passing, the Prophet didn’t leave his home as much. He was a bit quieter. He didn’t come out of his home a lot
    • The Prophet would come out of his home only every few days. He had kids who lost their mother
  • The Prophet’s pain was so profound, that when Abu Lahab heard how much his nephew was struggling, he went to his nephew’s home & asked, “What’s wrong? What’s going on with you?”
    • The Prophet said, “I’m trying to regroup. I’ve got kids who have lost their mother. I’m trying to put pieces back together.”
    • Abu Lahab was so moved by this sadness that he said, “Abu Talib used to keep people away from you & protect you. Now, I’ll take care of things.”

— Abu Lahab, who had always been so against the Prophet & constantly opposed his nephew, was moved by his nephew’s pain. The Prophet’s pain & grief must have been very visible & obvious for Abu Lahab to do a 180 degree turn & say, “I’ll take care of things.”

  • Abu Lahab went to the other leaders of Quraysh & said, “Everyone, stay away from my nephew.”
  • The Quraysh leaders were taken aback. They started whispering among themselves. “Did Abu Lahab accept Islam? That’s gonna be really bad for us.”
  • Some sons of Abu Lahab & leaders of Quryash confronted Abu Lahab, “You understand what’s going on? You’re putting your support behind Muhammad. Other tribes have heard that Quraysh has endorsed Muhammad’s religion, & now these tribes are getting ready to come here to accept Muhammad’s religion.”
    • After a few days passed of Abu Lahab seeing the Prophet in so much pain, Abu Lahab said, “No, I withdraw my support & protection from Muhammad. You can do whatever you need to do. We cannot let this religion spread.”

— A few days later, the Prophet left his home & tried to get back into routine. When he left his home, something that has never happened in the previous 11 years of Nubuwwah took place

  • A young thug from the streets of Makkah walked toward the Prophet. This young thug wouldn’t dare cross the Prophet on a regular day because the Prophet has Abu Talib’s protection
    • He reached down & scooped up a handful of dirt & threw it on the head of the Prophet. The thug taunted, “What are you gonna do? Your uncle ain’t here to protect you now.”
    • The Prophet is a 51 year old man, so think of the level of disrespect that the young teen showed the Prophet
    • Sometimes thugs like that boy would often shove the Prophet & mock him
  • The Prophet then went home. He got to his doorstep & saw that his entire doorstep is covered in garbage & filth
    • The Prophet rolled up his sleeves & moved those garbage aside so he can walk through
  • Other people comes out of their homes & watched this scene, smirking & laughing at the Prophet
    • The Prophet looked around & said, “What type of neighborly treatment is this, Quraysh? You don’t like me, you don’t like my message, that’s fine. But you’re Quraysh. You’re the sons & daughters of Hashim. You’re the caretakers of the Haram. What kind of treatment is this?”

— The Prophet then walked into his home with his hands dirty. His shirt is torn a little. He had dirt in his hair & face

  • His daughter Fatimah was a small girl at the time. She looked at her father & gasped, “Father, what happened to you? What is this?”
  • The Prophet sat down. Fatimah grabbed a bowl of water in it & took a small towel
    • As she washes her father’s face, Fatimah cries, “Why are they doing this?”
  • The Prophet said, “My beloved daughter. Don’t cry. Allah will not forsake your father. This religion that your father has come to preach will reach far and wide. Allah will protect your father. Don’t cry.”


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Seerah Episode 55. The Prophet Loses Khadijah

— The Prophet lost Khadijah in the 11th year of Nubuwwah

  • This was the beginning of a huge shift in the life of the Prophet & Nubuwwah. This is the first of many events that led to the establishment of the Ummah
  • Khadijah was the first person to accept Islam & the first one in the ummah to perform salah
    • She covered the Prophet & consoled him when he was shaken by the experience in Mt. Hira

— Jibril came to the Prophet & said, “Ya Rasulallah, this is Khadijah. She’s going to becoming right now. She will come back with some food. When she arrives home with the food, then please deliver Salaam to Khadijah on behalf of her Lord & on behalf of me. Congratulate her – she will receive a home in Paradise that will be carved out of a giant pearl, symbolizing her status in the eyes of Allah. There will be no noise or difficulty in that home.”

— Khadijah’s qualities as a wife

  • She stood by the Prophet
    • This was especially true during the first 10 years of Nubuwwah, when the Prophet had to dedicate a lot of his time & energy  in the teaching & preaching of Islam
  • Khadijah aided the mission of the Prophet – she had to make sacrifices along the way by the side of the Prophet
  • Years after Khadijah passed away, the Prophet still spoke of her, which showed how deeply in love he was with her

— The Prophet once saw a necklace that used to belong to Khadijah (this was after her passing)

  • The necklace was passed down to their daughter, Zaynab
  • When the Prophet saw the necklace, he became overwhelmed with emotion & tears flooded his face
    • The Sahaba asked the Prophet what’s wrong
    • The Prophet said, “Everything is fine, but this necklace used to belong to my beloved wife. Seeing this reminds me of her.”

— Aisha narrated, “I never envied anyone until it came to the Prophet’s love for Khadijah. She passed away before the Prophet married me. I used to hear him describe her. Allah had directly commanded the Prophet to tell Khadijah that she would be receiving a palace in Jannah.”

  • She continued, “Whenever the Prophet slaughter an animal for food, he would always take some of the meat & cut off the leg, & send it to the friends of Khadijah to honor the memory of Khadijah.”

— Aisha used to tell the Prophet, “Sometimes you act like there’s no other woman alive in the world but Khadijah.”

  • The Prophet replied, “She was and just was.”
    • “Where do I even begin to describe who Khadijah was. You can’t even begin to understand how unbelievable she was. She was the love of my life. She was the mother of my children.”

— Aisha mentioned that Khadijah had a sister named Hala bint Khuwaylid, who accepted Islam. Hala bint Khuwaylid sometimes visited Prophet.

  • When she used to visit the Prophet, Hala would knock on the door in a special way; it would remind the Prophet of the way Khadijah would knock on the door
    • The Prophet would say “Allahumma Hala” (“Allah, let it be Hala”)
  • Hala was very similar in mannerisms & speaking of Khadijah
  • Hala & the Prophet would reminisce about Khadijah during these visits

— Khadijah bint Khuwaylid was an amazing & honorable woman even before her marriage to the Prophet

  • Khadijah & the Prophet were attracted to each other because of each other’s character. They were deeply in love with another
    • They had 6 children together
  • Between the ages of 25-40, there are not a lot of narrations from the Prophet’s life. His primary activity during those years was building a home & family with his beloved Khadijah

— Khadijah had recognized the truth of Islam as soon as it came to the Prophet

  • She was someone that the Prophet had great respect & admiration for. Her piety & righteousness was validated & acknowledged by Allah Himself
    • Allah sent His salaams to Khadijah
  • In the first 10-11 years, the Prophet had gone through many difficult times with his preaching. Khadijah had been by his side through every step of the way

— When the Prophet was 51 years old, Khadijah passed away

  • Some of their children, like Fatimah were very young at the time of Khadijah’s death
  • The Prophet & Khadijah had been married for 25 years
    • Your lives become one life when you’re with a person for 25 years, but then to lose that person must have extremely difficult for the Prophet

— The Prophet said there are 3 women who have the highest status in sight of Allah

  • Asiya, wife of Firaun
  • Maryam bint Imran, the mother of Isa
  • Khadijah bint Khuwaylid

— The Prophet lost Khadijah at a critical time, when dealing with difficulty upon difficulty as the situation in Makkah worsened

  • 35 days after Khadijah passed away, the Prophet’s beloved uncle Abu Talib passed away


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Seerah Episode 54. The Undeniable Truth

— The Prophet used to embrace the disenfranchised people of his society

  • He was instructed by Allah to never cast out people who remember Him morning and evening. These people included the poor, outcasts, & the downtrodden of society

— The Prophet used to visit a slave named Jabbar from time to time

  • Jabbar was a Nasrani (Christian) man who belonged to one of the Quraysh families. He was treated very badly by his owners, so the Prophet would visit him, console him, embrace him, & make sure he’s alright
    • The visits weren’t preachy; the Prophet would just visit these kinds of oppressed people time to time & break bread with them
  • The oppressed people (slaves, poor) noticed the Prophet’s kindness over time. “This man has nothing but good in him, so what he has to offer me must be good as well.”

— Some time passed with the Prophet visiting slaves. One day, the Prophet was walking in Makkah

  • Some Quraysh leaders go, “See Muhammad? He goes & sits with those Christians. Those Christians have got these weird beliefs. They have one God, & prophets, & angels, afterlife, Jahannam, & Jannah. Muhammad also talks about that stuff a lot.”
    • The Quraysh leaders started propaganda, claiming that the Christian slave & the Prophet sit together & come up with these strange ideas, & then they go around spreading this nonsense. The Quraysh try to convince others that Jabbar & the Prophet scheme together
  • Allah said in the Qur’an, “They (the Quraysh) say that it is a man (Jabbar) who teaches him [Muhammad]. The tongue, the language of that man, that they try to attribute to Muhammad is an ajamin (the slave doesn’t speak Arabic – it’s ajamin). This Qur’an, this divine scripture is the Arabic tongue that is very clear, very eloquent, & very concise Arabic tongue. It is a masterpiece of the Arabic language.”
    • So the Quraysh’s claim was very shallow & bogus to begin with; their lies were easily seen through. The Qur’an is in the Arabic tongue, when Jabbar barely spoke it
    • It was also impossible for the Prophet to be getting revelations & his message from this Christian slave. Jabbar’s own faith was Christianity, but by no means was he a scholar, so the Prophet couldn’t go to Jabbar to get theology, spiritual foundations, or legal structure about religion

— The Prophet had a practice of waking up in the middle of night & recite the Qur’an in the Tahajjud namaaz. He would recite Qur’an out loud often times

  • There were 3 individuals amongst many who ran into one another. This account is told by Abu Sufyan, who was one of the 3. Before Abu Sufyan accepted Islam, Abu Jahl, Akhnas bin Shuraik, & Abu Sufyan were leaders of the Quraysh & were in the head of the opposition against the Prophet & his message
  • These 3 Quraysh leaders would sneak up to a window/door of the Prophet’s house & listen through the window/crack of door to the recitation of Qur’an. It captivated them
  • Abu Sufyan would be outside the Prophet’s door for several hours at a time (at night) listening to the Qur’an. He would stay there until morning came, when he would run back home so that no one would see him
    • The whole time they were slandering the Prophet & persecuting Muslims during daytime, they’d listen to the Prophet’s Quran recitation at night

— One night, Abu Sufyan left the Prophet’s home in middle of night & along the way he ran into Abu Jahl & Akhnas bin Shuraik

  • All 3 oppose the Prophet & Islam
  • They’re all standing there, & had that awkward moment. They’re trying to figure out what they’re doing there at that moment
    • “What are you doing here?”
    • “Me? What are you doing here?”
    • “What is he doing here?”
  • One of them finally fessed up, “I came here to listen to Muhammad recite the Quran. You know just checking on what he’s talking about these days.”
    • “Me too.”
    • “Same”
    • They save a little face & try to justify to one another, “Yeah, we have to keep up with the things Muhammad says. We have to keep track & know what he’s going to talk about with people tomorrow.”
  • They said to one another, “We can’t keep doing this. If someone else sees us & find out that we listen to Muhammad, then other people will tell others. They’ll tell others that it’s okay to listen to Muhammad & accept his message.”
    • The 3 Quraysh leaders then made a pact to not come back outside the Prophet’s home to listen to him recite the Qur’an

— The next day, Abu Sufyan came back to the Prophet. “I need to know. I need to listen.” That’s the seed of imaan taking root in his heart

  • He listened to the Prophet for a little while & as Abu Sufyan was going back to his house, he ran into Abu Jahl & Akhnas bin Shuraikh again
    • “What are you doing here?”
    • “What are YOU doing here?”
  • Abu Jahl said, “We gotta put an end to this. This is not good.”
    • “Alright, alright, we’re not coming back here.”

— On the third night, Abu Sufyan, again being restless, went to listen to the Prophet’s Qur’an recitation again. He thought to himself, “There’s no way the other guys are going to come tonight. They’ve already been busted twice.”

  • Abu Sufyan listened to the Prophet for a bit, then left. On his way home, Abu Sufyan ran into other 2 yet again
    • “Again?”
    • “We have to stop.”
    • “It’s gone way too far. No more of this. Nobody can come here again.”
  • Again, the 3 made a pact
    • After that point, they didn’t visit the Prophet too often. Occasionally, the 3 would separately listen to the Prophet’s Qur’an in the middle of the night, but at the very least, they didn’t run into each other

— But Abu Sufyan narrates that he just could not leave it be. He still itched to listen to the Qur’an

  • Akhnas bin Shuraik also felt the same way. He went to Abu Sufyan & asked, “What do you think about what we hear?”
    • Abu Sufyan replied, “I can tell you this: some of what I hear, I understand & I know. But there’s some stuff I hear him reciting is so beyond me & the human realm, I don’t fully grasp it & I don’t definitely know where it comes from. But I know this – it’s not from Muhammad. He’s not making this stuff up. There’s a lot of what he recites that just baffles me.”
  • Akhnas bin Shuraik then went to Abu Jahl with same question, “What do you think of what Muhammad recites?”
    • Abu Jahl replied, “I can tell you this much. Banu Amr (us), we’ve competed with Banu Abd Munaf for a very long time. We always try to outdo one another, in terms of fame, prestige, influence, wealth, & political power.  We’ve always been in competition. They throw a festival, we throw a bigger & better one. They spend some money, we spend more money. They do this, we do that. All of a sudden, they’ve come telling us now that one of them is a prophet. He’s got this unbelievable Qur’an that he recites to us. Based on purely what I hear, we are justified to accept it, because it’s divine. But if we acknowledge what Muhammad has to say, that he’s a Prophet, then we have to be able to provide the same thing to maintain our social standing. We won’t be able to do that. So the best thing to do is not accept his message. This discussion is off the table. No one is believing in him. Go home & get this out of your system.”
  • These same people try to discredit the Prophet & push people away from the Prophet, but they contradict themselves (their own propaganda) by listening to the Prophet recite the Qur’an & then discuss his Qur’an
    • The only reason they don’t accept Islam is due to their pride & to maintain their social standing
    • They’ve set into the role of “Whatever Muhammad says, we say the opposite”
  • This is around the 11th year of Nubuwwah. The Prophet is around age 51
    • Many Muslims in Makkah keep their imaan secret, because part of standard life in Makkah was that the persecution & torture of Muslims

— 23 years of Nubuwwah is split in 2 periods:

  • Makkan (13 years)
    • 1st stage: First 3 years were Private preaching
    • 2nd stage: Open preaching in Makkah
    • 3rd stages: Profound experiences in the life of the Prophet that served as a transition from 2nd to 3rd stage (upcoming)
  • Medinan (10 years)


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Seerah Episode 53. Uplifting the Fallen

— The Prophet would regularly pray at that Baitul Haram. Then he would spend some time there & sit at the Ka’bah, where he would be joined by many of his Sahaba

  • Many of the Sahaba would wait for him beforehand at the Ka’bah. They’d sit around him to learn from him & to just benefit from the company of the Prophet
    • Khabbab, Ammar, Suhaib, & Bilal were former slaves. Many of these Sahaba had been victims of the Quraysh. They would see the Prophet & huddle up around him because they want to learn from him.

— The Quraysh would see these Sahaba sitting around the Prophet & see it as an opportunity to mock them

  • “Look at that. Those are Muhammad’s companions, and he wants us to join him. What Muhammad is trying to say is that Allah has chosen these people over us? That these weak slaves would get preference over us in terms of blessings of what Muhammad calls Islam? If what Muhammad has to offer is so beneficial, then these people wouldn’t have beaten us to it – Allah wouldn’t have chosen these people over us with this realization.”
  • The Quraysh had 2 problems
    • At this point of time, the truth of Islam was making sense to them. They feel inclined to at listen to the message of Islam. But problem is that if they accept Islam now, then someone like Khabbab, Amr, Suhaib (people with perceived low status in Makkan society), then the Quraysh would be admitting that these former slaves figured it out before they did
    • Just going & sitting with them in of itself was a problem since the circle was made of slaves, laborers, or poor people. Quraysh leaders are aristocrat. A Quraysh leader can’t sit with those types of riffraff. What’s everyone else is going to say? What is Abu Jahl going to say? “They’re beneath me; I will be an outcast.”

— These particular Sahaba were aware of the tone of dialogue regarding their status.

  • So of course they felt hurt & dehumanized
    • They were looked down upon & there could have also been some level of guilt: “Am I the reason people aren’t accepting Islam? Am I holding some people back? Maybe I shouldn’t sit with the Prophet anymore, since I’m a deterrent from accepting the message.”
    • The Quraysh looking down upon these Sahaba undermined their confidence as believers & people
  • The Prophet heard about these dialogue about his Sahaba as well, & he is of course, beyond such thoughts about anyone, so it hurt him that his Sahaba were hurt by the bullying of Quraysh

— Allah revealed some ayat from Surat An’am regarding this issue

  • “Do not ever cast aside or overlook those who call out to their Lords in the morning and evening. All they want in this life is the pleasure of Allah. You are not accountable on their behalf, nor will they have to answer on your behalf. Then you would become one of the oppressors.”
  • “Don’t ever overlook them. Don’t underestimate them, because if you were to overlook their value & the khair Allah has placed in them, then that would be indicative of the fact that you’re more inclined toward the glitz and glamour of this world. Do not ever give in or fall victim to the rhetoric/propaganda of someone whose heart Allah says has made devoid of remembrance (people like Abu Jahl – no dhikr or imaan in their hearts). All of their efforts are in vain. No fruits will come about from what the Quraysh are doing.”
  • “And when those come to you who believe in Our verses & miraculous signs, say, ‘Peace be upon you. Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” [6:52-54]
  • “This is a test that We have created amongst people. Some are a test for others amongst them. That’s why they are unable to believe that God has blessed these (weak Sahaba). Doesn’t Allah know best about those people who are truly grateful to Him?”

— There’s a clash in Makkan society – those who believe & those who don’t

  • The people who accept the Message & keep company of the Prophet come from unfortunate & low social circumstances. The people who oppose the Message & defame the Prophet come from the elite & wealthy status
    • This is how Allah teaches us that wealth, fame, power, popularity, & seniority are not prerequisites to imaan. If it were, then Abu Lahab, Walid bin Mughira, Abu Jahl would have accepted Islam
    • A person’s faith can be influenced by their circumstances without a doubt, but it doesn’t necessitate faith. Faith is not inherently more available or afforded to people of power or money or influence. Similarly, it’s not more natural or more afforded to impoverished people
    • Rather, it is gratitude that Allah rewards with faith. The grateful are rewarded with imaan
  • When inspiring imaan with people (dawah work), you need to instill an attitude of gratitude – to remind people of how blessed they are
    • Gratitude leads to imaan
    • Allah didn’t say that the Believers, the Muslims, the downtrodden, & the impoverished are the ones blessed with imaan – those who are grateful are blessed with imaan
    • Once that imaan enters the heart, whether the person is at top or the bottom, that person will submit to Allah

— When Ammar (ra) came to Quba (ran off to Abyssinia, then to Makkah, then to Medina), he was homeless & sleeping in the masjid. He had no family, no food, & was wearing all the clothes that he owned. He had only a small sack with his belongings

  • When the Prophet came to Quba, he was the VIP of all VIPs. He was the ultimate guest of honor
    • All the families were standing out to greet the Prophet, each bearing gifts. These people were all ready to invite the Prophet into their homes & feed him
    • Hundreds of faithful were there to welcome the Prophet. Little kids were singing to welcome the Prophet, presenting him with gifts & flowers
  • In the midst of all this fanfare, the Prophet saw Ammar standing there. Amr was a vagrant (no home & no family), & the only thing that kept him going was to be able to see the Prophet again
    • The Prophet saw Ammar & said, “Marhaba, that’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen! I missed you!”
    • The Prophet called Ammar out from the crowd & gave him a hug in front of everyone. Can you imagine the feeling that Ammar would have?

— Later the Prophet sat down with all the food nicely presented in front of him

  • Suhaib, one of the Sahaba who had to give up everything to make hijra, was also there at Quba. Suhaib was blocked by some Makkans who wouldn’t let him leave, but he managed to convince them to let him go in return for his hard-earned money & possession. He was also like Ammar, with no home, family, or money
    • The Prophet invited Suhaib over, shared food with him, & joked with him
  • Suhaib picked up the dates & he had a sore eye
    • One of the rules at that time was that if you had an infection, you weren’t supposed to eat dates. It wasn’t good for the infection
  • The Prophet saw this, & said, “Whoa, easy there. Got an infection in your eye. You gonna eat those dates?”
    • This was the Prophet paying close attention to his Sahaba. Never mind that the Prophet was surrounded by admirers, but he had the utmost love & respect for his Sahaba, some of whom who came from nothing & had nothing
  • Suhaib replied, “Don’t worry ya Rasul. I’m eating it from the other eye.”
    • This was the relationship between the Prophet & his Sahaba. They were tight. Allah told the Prophet, “Tell them that not only you love them, but Allah loves them as well.”

— “Your Lord has mercy upon Himself”

  • Arabic expression for your Lord will deal with you in a merciful manner. Your Lord’s policy with you is mercy. If you ever mess up, your Lord’s policy is that if you ever mess up from ignorance, but if you repent & correct your course of action, then you will most definitely be forgiven & treated to Allah’s mercy


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Seerah episode 52: Prophetic Bodyslam – How the Prophet Gave Dawah

— Even after 10 years of hardship, the Prophet had no quit in him

  • He was still motivated to preach. He didn’t take a moment’s leave from his life mission – give da’wah

— 3 primary characteristics of a da’i (person who sets out on the objective of sharing the truth of Islam to people), as embodied by the Prophet

  • Have full conviction in what you are teaching
  • Be motivated & driven about the teaching of the message. Don’t give up easily
    • In first day & a half that Abu Bakr was Muslim, he brought 7 people to Islam
    • Abu Bakr wasn’t obnoxious; he was that one person who was beloved by everyone
    • The Prophet said about Abu Bakr, “The most merciful of my ummah towards my ummah is Abu Bakr.”
  • Be tactful. Don’t be abrasive when giving dawah
    • It’s one thing for people to not agree or accept your message; that’s in the hands of Allah. But if people are finding you abrasive in the way that you approach people & teach them, then you need to revisit the example of the Prophet & learn some tact
    • Persian scholars used the following terms, & take those into consideration when giving da’wah
      • Mardun shunasi: know who you’re talking to
      • Moka shunasi: know the circumstance (situation, time)

— “Hirs” – To desire something, to work to achieve to acquire something

  • This word is used to describe the pursuit of material things: wealth, fame, etc.
  • Allah uses this word figuratively as well
    • Haris al alaykum: well-being of others
    • The Prophet was concerned about our well-being

— During the post-boycott period (10th year of Nabua, when the Prophet is 50 years old), there was a famous man named Rukana, who was from Banu Abd Munaf, & a distant relative of the Prophet

  • Rukana was very well-known as ashaddu-Quraysh (strongest man of Quraysh)
    • Shaykh Abdul: “You know how they have the World’s Strongest Man Competition? They’re not even human beings. They don’t even look like human beings. They’re usually like 6’ 8”, and about as wide as this table.”
  • Makkah would have carnivals, bazaars, & the season of Hajj, festivals
    • Rukana would show up at these functions & display a show of strength. He would wrestle 5 people at one time or lift heavy things. He was a celebrity for these things

— The Prophet once ran into Rukana in one of outskirts of Makkah, where bazaars were set up

  • They both see each other, but Rukana pretended that he didn’t see the Prophet & kept on walking
  • The Prophet called out, “Ya Rukana, don’t you have any consciousness of God & that you’d accept what I invite you to?”
  • Rukana replied, “Ya Muhammad, if I know what you’re saying is the truth, why wouldn’t I follow you?”

— Ibn Kathir says that the Prophet then presented the challenge of wrestling (more authentic). Other narrations say it was Rukana who challenged the Prophet

  • The Prophet didn’t start da’wah by giving Rukana a lecture. He is talking to someone physically gifted, someone who makes his living by wrestling. Rukana’s whole world is being the strongest man in Quraysh, so that’s how the Prophet approaches him, by asking Rukana to wrestle, not by reciting the Qur’an to him initially
  • The Prophet said, “Hey, Rukana, how about we wrestle? What do you think about that?”
  • Rukana is of course very confident in his abilities, so he accepts the Prophet’s challenge
    • this is like challenging Muhammad Ali to one-on-one boxing, So of course, he’s gonna be like, ‘Alright, sure…
  • The Prophet said, “If I beat you in wrestling, then will you understand that what I’m saying is the truth?”
    • Keep in mind that Rukana is not the man who gets knocked down. He is the one who knocks.
    • Rukana was not only young & the strongest man in Quraysh, but the Prophet at this time was 50 years old
  • Rukana said, “Yes, I’m ready to go. If you beat me, I’ll acknowledge that what you’re saying is the truth.”

— Rukana stood up & started to wrestle the Prophet

  • The Prophet grabbed him, and slammed Rukana on his back
    • Shaykh Abdul: “Just try to get the mental image of me dunking over Dirk Nowitzki. It’s preposterous.”
  • The Prophet picked up this mountain of a man, & just slammed him on his back
  • The Prophet slammed Rukana flat on his back, & the wind gets knocked out of Rukana
    • Rukana has never been beaten, so being body slammed was an alien experience to him. Rukana was so dazed that he couldn’t even get up for a few moments

— After getting up, Rukana said, “Let’s go again, Muhammad. You were hustling me.”

  • They wrestled again, & the Prophet slams Rukana again & pinned him down
    • Rukana is on the ground, pinned down, & said, “O Muhammad, wallahi, this is the most bizarre thing that’s happened to me. You keep beating me!”

— The Prophet said, “If you will be conscious of Allah & listen to what I have to say to you, then I’ll show you something amazing. ’l’ll show you something even more bizarre & amazing than me slamming you twice.”

  • Rukana asked, “What is that?”
  • The Prophet said, “You see that tree over there in the distance? I will call that tree toward me, and that tree will move towards me.”
  • Rukana said, “Do it.”
  • The Prophet called the tree, “By the command of Allah, I ask you to come to me.”
    • The tree moved from its spot & stood right next to Prophet
    • Then the Prophet told the tree, “Return to your place,” and the tree moved back to where it was

— When the Prophet visited Makkah at the time of Fathul Makkah (Conquest of Makkah), he was with some Sahaba

  • The Prophet walked by a big boulder that had always been there. The Prophet stopped in his steps & looked at the rock, & told his Sahaba, “Long before the Iqra (the First Revelation), this rock used to say salaam to me. I didn’t know what to make of that, so I would keep walking.”
  • Allah tells us in the Qur’an that each & every single thing in the creation of Allah praises & glorifies Allah, but “You are unable to comprehend & understand.”
    • Allah doesn’t say, “You don’t hear”, but He says, “You are unable to comprehend.”
    • From the sounds that animals make to thunder, the sound of streams & rain, trees blowing in the wind – we don’t comprehend that these creations all glorify Allah
  • Those same creations of Allah also recognize  the Prophet & attest to his Prophethood

— Ibn Kathir presents 2 narrations of what happened next (after the tree moved back to its place)

  • One narration mentions that after Rukana sees this, he doesn’t say anything, & goes to his family & says, “Everything existing in the face of this earth has now been enchanted by the magic of this man. I’ve never seen a greater magician than Muhammad.”
    • Then Rukana told his family what he saw. He did not accept Islam
    • This narration of Rukana not believing in Islam is authentic

— Another (more authentic) narration

  • Rukana & Prophet wrestled 3 times (Prophet wins all 3 times). In the beginning, they made sort of a bet
  • Rukana said, “If you beat me, I’ll give you 100 goats.”
  • The Prophet said, “There’s no need. I don’t need your goats.”
  • Rukana pledged 100 more goats for each time the Prophet beat him. He was arrogant, & very confident in his abilities, so he didn’t think that the Prophet would beat him
    • The ayat about gambling being forbidden had not been revealed yet, but people of high caliber considered gambling to be an immoral practice
  • The Prophet said, “I don’t want your wealth. I just want you to listen to my message.”

— Rukana is taken aback when the Prophet defeated him in wrestling, not once but 3 times

  • The Prophet then called the tree & told Rukana about Islam
  • Rukana said, “Ya Muhammad, nobody has ever put my back to the ground. To be honest with you, when you saw me earlier today, you saw me give you the cold shoulder. I didn’t acknowledge your presence because there’s nobody on this earth that I hate more than I hate you. I dislike you. I don’t like what you stand for. I don’t like the people that keep company with you. I just don’t like you. But what I’ve experienced today leads me to the undeniable truth of Islam, & I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah & you’re the Messenger of God.”
    • The Prophet replied, “Alright, Rukana, mubarak. Now get going before I body slam you again. You can keep your goats.”

— The Prophet approached each person as appropriate to their personalities. Da’wah isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal. If we want to be effective in preaching Islam, we have to interact & understand people first.

  • “Whilst the truth of Islam is a truth of its own right, Prophet Muhammad recognized that as individuals, we all have different interests. In this scenario, the Prophet appealed to Rukana, a famous wrestler, with the thing which he was most famous for, wrestling. Thus, whilst the preaching of the truth of Islam remained constant, it was the approach to inviting Rukana to Islam which was specific to Rukana’s nature
  • Similarly, when we take steps to teach people about Islam, we should endeavor to do so not only on the simple truths of Islam, but on a platform and an environment which they can understand, and fully appreciate the values of Islam, and Allah knows best”

— So we see that the Prophet did not only preached with his words all the time, even though he was a very gifted speaker. In the Medinan era of Prophethood, the Prophet once gave a lecture straight to his Sahaba from Fajr to Dhur

  • Not a single person moved from his place, until they got up to pray Dhur
  • Then the Prophet talked straight until Asr. They didn’t move until they got up to pray Asr
  • Then the Prophet talked from Asr to Maghrib, & not a single person moved until they got up to pray Maghrib
  • Then the Prophet talked from Maghrib to Isha, & not a single person moved. Finally, after praying Isha, the Prophet said, “Alright, everyone go.” That’s when the Sahaba left
    • The Prophet understood that these Sahaba had enough training & development of Imaan, so they would be able to sit through & listen to the lecture for a full day

— Shaykh Abdul shares a story from his student days

  • When Shaykh Abdul was young, he had a teacher named Maulana Tariq Jameel, who was very well-known for preaching throughout Pakistan & other parts of the world
  • Shaykh Abdul traveled with Maulana Tariq to visit a wealthy landowner, who was usually busy
    • It was difficult to gain an audience with this individual, but Shaykh Abdul & Maulana Tariq were able to meet with this busy man at his estate
    • It was known that this man would give visitors just 10 minutes tops of his time, & then he’ll go to take care of his affairs
  • This man came out to meet Shaykh Abdul & Maulana Tariq, & they said salaam to each other. Maulana Tariq is a huge & well-known scholar, but it didn’t register with the man that Maulana Tariq is anyone “noteworthy.” The man came out, said salaam, & asked, “How can I help you?”
    • Maulana Tariq said, “I noticed you have some stables on your estate. Do you have horses?”
    • The man replied, “Yes, I do!”
    • Maulana Tariq asked, “What kind of horses?”
    • The man talked a bit about his horses, probably wondering whether the Maulana knows a lot of horses to begin with
    • Maulana Tariq then talked about different lineages, builds, breeds, speed of various types of horses
  • Shaykh Abdul: “I had no idea what they were talking about. I’m from Texas. If anybody should have known horses, it was me, but I didn’t even know what they were talking about.”
  • The man & Maulana Tariq talked for 2 hours (rather than the 10 minutes that was expected)
    • About 30 minutes into the conversation, the man called one of his workers for some tea. After another 30 minutes, the man called for some juice. At the end of that 2 hour conversation, the man invited Maulana Tariq & Shaykh Abdul to have lunch with him
    • During lunch, they were able to talk about other things & the man agreed to accommodate some of the requests that Maulana Tariq had
  • Shaykh Abdul: “It was remarkable, but when I was sitting there for 2 hours, and I was still a young-un at that point, I would understand now what the Shaykh was doing, but I was a young-un at that point, you know, a student of knowledge,  you know?”
    • “So I’m sitting there thinking, ‘This is a shaykh who is an ocean of ilm & he’s sitting here talking about something like the dunya, like horses. Astagfirullah, astagfirullah.’ I took out my tasbeeh & started doing istighfar, ‘Talking about the dunya, Astagfirullah, astagfirullah.’ And I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘Two hours you talk about horses, like what kind of da’wah is this?’”
    • “Only to realize that after 2 hours, this man, who was known to be confrontational, who was known to have dislike for religious people, invited us to his home, breaks bread with us, introduces us to his children, his family. We actually ended up praying inside his home. The shaykh led the prayer. We all made jamaat. Then finally at the end, this man accommodates our request & actually came out to one of the shaykh’s programs after that.”
  • So this is wisdom. This is da’wah.
    • After 10 years of preaching (10 years), even with Makkans still pitted against Muslims, even with the likes of Abu Jahl against the Prophet, the Prophet still hadn’t lost his motivation. He was just as driven & inspired as he was from Day 1


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Seerah episode 51: The Amazing Story of Tufayl bin ‘Amr from Daws

— Summary of the First 10 years of Nubuwwah (Prophethood)

  • First 3 years of Nubuwwah was private & quiet
  • Then 4 years (when Islam became public) of persecution, torture, assassination attempts, migration to Abyssinia
  • Then 3 years of isolation & exile

— These 7 years were emotionally taxing for both the Prophet & the Believers

  • One of the blessings during those trying times was that non-Muslims led the end of the Boycott of Banu Hashim. They were sympathetic to the sufferings of the Muslims
    • Many Muslims were also receiving protection from the non-Muslims in the community

— Allah continues to provide Prophet with solace & wins

  • Suffering was by no means over. There were more difficult times ahead in the life of the Prophet
    • Year of Sorrow, when both Khadijah & Abu Talib passed away
    • Journey to Ta’if, where the Prophet was stoned
    • Prevented re-entry to Makkah
  • Allah consoles the Prophet, by giving him certain wins here & there. If a person keeps experiencing difficulty without any relief along the way, then that person will become fatigued
  • Surat Yasin talks about this reality to the Prophet, “Decisions have been made that a lot of these people will not believe. But you, Muhammad, are there to warn people who will follow you and congratulate those people with forgiveness & reward.”

— Spiritual fatigue & exhaustion is definitely a reality, because you can’t expect to have high Imaan all the time

  • The Prophets of Allah are perfect, & their spirituality is defined divinely & developed divinely
    • Part of their divine training is acknowledging that they have a task, & they should keep doing that task, knowing full well that it’s going to be difficult along the way
    • Even a Prophet needs small victories along the way to the ultimate goal
  • Allah taught us that even the Prophet needed small victories along the way because of the human reality of adversities
    • E.g. Prophet were consoled with the acceptance of Islam by Hamza & Umar ibn al-Khattab

— In terms of the ummah, none of us are divinely trained or inspired. We take training & inspiration directly from the divine source (the Qur’an), but we are not divinely connected (through revelations)

  • Leadership & scholarship of the community are responsible for the continued spiritual development of the individual & community at varying levels
  • At the higher level, we begin to take things for granted  & we tend to forget that spiritual fatigue & exhaustion is a reality
  • “Oh brother/sister if you were doing it for Allah or if you were sincere, then you’d not be fatigued in your deen.”
    • This rhetoric is contradictory to what Qur’an tells us. This is spiritual blackmail
    • For continued spiritual development, you need small victories, as shown from the Prophet’s life

— Prophet & his Sahaba had just come out from 3 years of trauma, only to deal with even more adversity

— Tufayl ibn Amr al-Dawsi was the leader of his tribe, Daws

  • He was also considered a great intellectual of his people & a source of pride for his people
  • The Quraysh recognized Tufayl’s status among his people
    • When Tufayl came to Makkah, all the leaders of Quraysh gathered to welcome Tufayl. Part of this was also to let him know of the situation in Makkah about a man claiming to be a Prophet & how a bunch of people are following him
  • The Quraysh told Tufayl, “We don’t want you to think we’re not on top of our game.”
    • They also want to warn him about the Prophet because of the potential disaster here
    • Tufayl is a leader of his people, he’s a genius, & he has a great reputation, but if he ended up falling prey to the Prophet’s rhetoric, then the Quraysh will have a tough time explaining it to people
  • Tufayl, when recalling this incident, said that the Quraysh forbade him from meeting with Prophet or listening to him
    • In fact, the leaders wouldn’t even let Tufayl leave until he swore to them that he will not meet with or listen to the Prophet, so much so that they scared him
    • Basically the next morning, when Tufayl decided to go to the Haram, he stuffed his ears with cotton before he left to go to the Haram

— Tufayl went to the Haram, minding his own business. He recalled, “I saw the Prophet praying near the Ka’bah, & I was intrigued. My natural mode was to investigate. I stood close to him, but I had trouble listening to him so I came close enough to listen to him, & I heard very beautiful things (the Qur’an).

  • Tufayl thought to himself, “What’s wrong with you? Why didn’t your mother disown you? I’m an intelligent man who’s very well-acquainted with poetry & eloquence. I can tell the difference between good & bad, between right & wrong. Maybe these simple-minded Quraysh can’t. So what’s preventing me from objectively listening to & analyzing what this man Muhammad has to say? If in reality what he has to say is remarkable, then I’ll embrace it. If what he says is reprehensible, then I’ll walk away from it. Really, what is there to lose?”
  • Tufayl stayed until the Prophet was done with his salah. Then he followed the Prophet to him home
    • Then he either knocked on the door of the Prophet or stuck his foot in Prophet’s door to stop it from closing
  • Tufayl said, “Ya Muhammad, there’s no reason to be alarmed, but your people have been saying this-and-this about you.  They kept on scaring me, so much so that I stuffed cotton in my ears. Then I decided to give you a fair chance & I decided to listen to you, & I heard something beautiful. So I’m asking you to make your presentation. I’m a fair man.”
    • The Prophet then presented Islam to Tufayl. The Prophet recited the Qur’an to him

— The Prophet was a very eloquent man. The Prophet was able to say a whole lot with very little words; there are 2-worded hadith, & one of these hadith alone would take hours to explain. But when he preached, he usually would use Quran as his mean of da’wah.

  • The Qur’an tells us, “We did not teach him poetry because it was not appropriate for him. Muhammad is the vessel & medium for divine revelation, so to not create any doubt about what is divine revelation vs. what is his poetry, Allah sealed the deal & did not teach the Prophet poetry.”
    • The Prophet didn’t even like to make his duas rhyme. He didn’t like overdoing things in making things rhyme & make it sound poetic
    • The Prophet didn’t forbid poetry, but he was just naturally eloquent
  • Subhannallah wa bihamdi, subhanallah al adheem
    • Light on tongue, heavy in deeds, beloved to Ar-Rahman – this is one of the beautiful hadith that shows how eloquent the Prophet was – this hadis can be found in Sahih Bukhari.

— After the Prophet recited the Qur’an, Tufayl said, “Wallahi, the Quraysh were wrong. I’ve never heard anything more beautiful & balanced (intellectually sound & pure) than the Qur’an.”

  • Tufayl took his Shahadah then and there
  • Tufayl said, “Ya Nabi Allah, I’m a man who is listened to amongst his people. I will go back & invite my people to Islam.”

— Scholars of Hadith & Seerah mention that the following part of the story is mursal (debated) in its authenticity

  • Tufayl said to the Prophet, “Make dua that Allah provides for me some type of miracle that will help me invite my people toward Islam.”
  • The Prophet made dua, “O Allah, make a sign for him.”
  • Tufayl then left for his city. All of a sudden, light shone from his forehead
    • Tufayl made dua, “O Allah, not in my face. Don’t put that sign on my face because my people will think that something bizarre is going on with me.”
  • He had a walking (traveling) staff. The top of his walking staff began to glow with noor

— Tufayl got back home, & the first person he met was his father

  • Because he was an intellectual & an academic, Tufayl was direct & straightforward
    • His people worshipped an idol. Tufayl didn’t really jive with it, but now that he accepted Islam, he now had little-to-no tolerance with this idol worship
  • His father is an elderly man. Tufayl said, “You & I are very different now, Father. You & I have different understanding of things.”
  • His father asked, “Why, my son?”
  • Tufayl said, “I have accepted Islam & way of life taught by Muhammad.”
  • His father said, “My beloved son, my religion is your religion. I trust you. I know that you want what’s best for me, so I’m in agreement with you.”
  • Tufayl said, “Go take a shower & clean your clothes. Then come to me so I can teach you what I’ve been taught.”
  • Tufayl’s father did as asked. He came back & Tufayl taught him about Islam, & his father accepted

— Tufayl did the same with his wife. He gave dawah to her, & she accepted Islam as well

  • Dhush-shira was the idol that Tufayl’s people worshipped
    • Women had responsibility of offering devotion to the idol
  • Tufayl said to his wife: “Absolve yourself of any obligation to the idol. Hands off. You’re done with that.”
    • She accepted Islam later

— Tufayl then went to address his people about Islam, but they didn’t accept Islam

  • Tufayl then went back to Makkah, to meet with the Prophet
    • Tufayl recalled, “I was basically beaten by fornication (the people of Daws care more about their decadent lifestyle).” The people of Daws were obsessed with alcohol & fornication
  • Tufayl said, “O Rasulallah, make dua upon the people of Daws. Pray against these people. Pray for the destruction of these people.”
  • The Prophet raised his hands to make dua. Some narrations say that the Sahaba who were there say that they were terrified for the people of Daws.
    • But when Prophet parted his lips, he said, “Oh Allah, guide the people of Daws. Bless the people of Daws with guidance.”
  • The Prophet told Tufayl, “Now you go back to your people. Invite them to Allah.”
  • Tufayl replied, “Check. Already tried that.”
  • The Prophet said, “Be very gentle. Be very kind with them. Give them time. Nurture their imaan.”

— Tufayl went back. Again, he was not successful. Tufayl tried his best, but he wasn’t built to be very nurturing; he tended to be a bit harsh & direct. He had to be gentle with people & invite his people Allah on the methodology of Prophet’s dawah

  • Tufayl recalled, “I continued to stay & invite my people to Islam until the Messenger migrated to Yathrib. Not only did he migrate to Medina, but 2 years passed & Battle of Badr happened, & another year passed & Battle of Uhud happened, & 2 years passed & Battle of Trench happened, until I reached Rasulallah at Battle of Khyber (5 and ½ years into the Medinan era).”
  • Tufayl had been living & preaching amongst his people for eight years
    • This is the same guy who went home & returned to Makkah 2 days later, with the mentality, that’s it. They’re done; just make dua that Allah destroys this people. Let’s just cut our losses. You got me, my dad, my wife; the three of us are good to go. You can’t win ‘em all
    • This same guy went back & stayed with his people for over 8 years, preaching to them in baby steps, inviting them to Islam & guiding them in their new religion

— Tufayl then arrived in Medina with 70-80 baytamin dawsen (70 families of tribe of Daws; perhaps 500 people).”

  • These 500 people recognized Allah. Tufayl started from the bottom, with just his father & wife accepting his dawah, and now 8 years later, he raised up to 500 new Muslims
  • Tufayl recalled, “I stayed with Prophet at Khyber until Allah gave the Prophet victory over Makkah. I asked the Rasulallah to send me to the tribe that worships Dhil Kafain so that I can destroy that idol.”

— The Prophet sent Tufayl to that place. Tufayl has been holding it in for 8 years (a model of patience) & now wants to wreak some havoc

  • As Tufayl was destroying the idol, he said, “O Dhul Kafain, you are not to be worshipped. What we worship is much older than what you worship. I have put fire inside of your mouth (I’m burning you from the inside out).”
  • Tufayl then came back to Medina & stayed with the Prophet until he passed away

— Many of the Bedouin tribes left Islam after the Prophet’s death. Tufayl went out there to deal with that situation

  • Tufayl had a son that time as well
  • Tufayl had a dream, in which his head had been shaved. A bird came out from his mouth. Then he was entered back into the womb of a woman. Tufayl’s son is in the dream. They’re trying to reach to each other, but are unable to
  • Interpretation of the dream was realized as Tufayl was dying. Tufayl was injured in a battle, & died as a shahid
    • His shaved head meant that he receive a fatal wound
    • Bird being released from his mouth meant his soul leaving
    • Entering the womb meant he would enter earth (grave)
    • Being unable to reach his son meant that his son was also injured in that battle, but recovered & died in another battle as a shahid

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