Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Advent of the Prophet's (s.a.w.) Birth

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Some men of Makkah went on a trip to Syria.  On the way, they met a monk.  Four of them decided to stop for a while to speak with the monk.  In those days, monks lived in places where there were very few people so that they could have solitude to worship.  They also were people who read books and knew many stories.  Only a few Makkans knew how to read.  All they knew was trade and enjoying themselves.  They knew they would hear interesting and entertaining stories from the monk.  After talking for a while, the monk asked the men, “Where are you from?”

They replied, “We are from Makkah.”

The monk then told them, “Allah will Send a prophet to Makkah soon.”

The four men continued on their journey thinking about the things the monk had said.  Each of them wished that the new prophet would be his own son.

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) was asleep in Ka’bah.  He had a strange dream.  He saw a tree growing until it reached the sky.  The tree had branches that spread to the East and the West.  It appeared that a very bright light was shining on the tree.  ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) saw the Arabs and the non-Arabs bow to the tree.  The tree continued growing larger, higher, and brighter.  Then he saw some people from Quraysh holding to the branches of the tree, while other Qurayshis tried to chop down the tree.  A very handsome youth stopped them from chopping down the tree.  ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) saw himself put his hand out to grab the tree, but he could not reach it.  He woke up from his sleep frightened.

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) pondered over the dream and what it meant, but he could not find an explanation for it.  The next morning he went to the priestess of the Quraysh to ask her to explain the dream.  The Arabs always asked the priest or priestess for the interpretation of dreams.  They functioned as soothsayers as well.  When he finished relating the dream to her, she said, “If your dream ever comes true, then one of your sons will control the East and the West.  All the people will follow him.”

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) was pleased with what the priestess had told him.  Later, when he met his son, Abu Thalib, he told him about the dream and what priestess had said.  Then he said to Abu Thalib, “I hope you are the one the priestess meant.”

But the intended one was not Abu Thalib.  The one the priestess meant was the yet unborn grandson of ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.).  ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) had son, ‘Abdullah (r.a.), who was married to Aminah (r.a.), daughter of Wahb.  Aminah (r.a.) was expecting a baby.  While she was still expecting, ‘Abdullah (r.a.) had gone on a trading trip.  He became ill on the trip and passed away before he could return.  ‘Abdullah (r.a.) never saw his son.

During her pregnancy, Aminah (r.a.) felt no pain or discomfort.  She had always heard women complaining about the hardships of pregnancy, but she felt very well.  During these months Aminah (r.a.) had many dreams.  One night, in a dream she saw a light coming out of her. The light was shining on castles of Syria.

Another night she heard a voice in her dream say, “Aminah, you are carrying the greatest man in the world.  When you give birth, give him the name, ‘Muhammad’ and tell no one about this dream.”  Aminah (r.a.) woke up and looked around but there was no one in the room.  She tried to go to sleep again but she was still thinking about what she had heard in the dream.

Aminah (r.a.) gave birth to a beautiful, clean baby boy.  Since the boy's father had passed away months earlier, Aminah (r.a.) sent the news to her son’s grandfather, ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.).  ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) was sitting in the Ka’bah when the news came.  He was delighted.  He went to Aminah (r.a.) and carried the boy happily to the Ka’bah.  When he brought the baby back to her, he said, “I have named him ‘Quthm’.”

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) had a son named Quthm but he had passed away when he was nine years old.  So when Aminah (r.a.) gave birth to a boy, ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) wanted to name him after his deceased son.

Aminah (r.a.) had to tell him, “I was ordered in a dream to call him ‘Muhammad’.”

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) picked up the baby, kissed him and said, “I hope that my grandson, Muhammad, will be a great man.”

On the seventh day after Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) birth, ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) ordered animals to be slaughtered and asked the people of Makkah to come to a feast.  After everyone had eaten, ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) brought out his grandson, Muhammad (s.a.w.), to show the people.  Everyone said that he was such a beautiful baby.  The people also felt sad for the baby because he was an orphan.  His father had passed away before seeing him.  One of the men asked ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.), “What did you name him?”

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) answered, “I have named ‘Muhammad’.”

Another man asked in surprise, “Why did you name him ‘Muhammad’?  No one in your family or our people was ever named ‘Muhammad’.”

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) did not want to reveal that Aminah (r.a.) was asked in a dream to name him ‘Muhammad’, so he said, “I wanted Allah to Praise him in Heaven and I wanted people to praise him on Earth."

When the visitors left, not one of them realised that this orphan baby was the one chosen to lead them from darkness to light.  They did not know he was the answer to Ibrahim’s (a.s.) prayer the day Ibrahim (a.s.) was Ordered to build the Ka’bah:

سُوۡرَةُ البَقَرَة
رَبَّنَا وَٱبۡعَثۡ فِيهِمۡ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيہِمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ (١٢٩)

“Our Lord!  Send amongst them a Messenger of their own who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and Purify them; for Thou art the Exalted in Might the Wise." (Surah al-Baqarah:129)


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