Allah's (s.w.t.) Protection of the Orphaned Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from “The Prophet Muhammad Musthafa the Elect (s.a.w.),” by Shaykh Osman Nuri Topbas.

The Blessed Child (s.a.w.) was not left unprotected by Allah (s.w.t.), despite having lost his father and his mother within a few years in succession.  Thereupon, he was taken under the caring wings of his loving grandfather, ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.), who showed his beloved grandson a mercy and love that he had not shown even his own children.

Not a single person was allowed to enter ‘Abd al-Muththalib’s (r.a.) room when he was alone or asleep except for Muhammad (s.a.w.), who enjoyed the unreserved freedom of seeing his grandfather at will.  Similarly, out of respect, none of his own sons could dare to take ‘Abd al-Muththalib’s (r.a.) seat near the Ka’bah except for Muhammad (s.a.w.).

The Beloved Child (s.a.w.) would be warned by his uncles not to sit in his grandfather’s seat, only to have his imposing grandfather interject on his behalf: “Let him sit in my place.  I swear, by Allah, he is destined for greater things.”

‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) would always have his dear grandson sit by his side, enjoying and approving of whatever the Child (s.a.w.) would do.  He would never start a meal without his grandson and would send for him when he was not around.  When the food was served, he would always make sure to give him the most delicious part.

Makkah was once struck by a severe drought, leaving the locals in distress.  Helpless, the Makkans climbed Abu Qubays Mountain to supplicate the Almighty for rain.  Climbing with them was also ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.), carrying Muhammad (s.a.w.) on his shoulders.  Once they reached the top, people lined up near ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.), who then began supplicating the Almighty for rain, lifting his hands aloft to the skies in desperate hope of a downpour, with the Blessed Child (s.a.w.) atop his shoulders.  It did not take long for heaven’s gates to open.  The clouds burst immediately after they began descending the mountain and generously inundated the parched Makkan soil.

These delightful days went by in a flash, and when the Prophet (s.a.w.) reached the age of eight, his grandfather, ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.), passed away.  All his worldly supports, it seemed, had ended.  His only protector, friend and trainer thereafter was to be his Lord, Allah (s.w.t.).

There is immense wisdom underlying the fact that the Blessed Prophet (s.a.w.) was left without parents and a grandfather at an early age.  By these losses, the disbelievers were to be left without excuse to deny his prophethood in the future.  They could no longer claim that he may have been trained by his parents or grandfather, in alleging to receive Revelation.  Being an orphan, furthermore, meant protection from the corrupt customs of his society, sustained more often than not by passing on from father to son; it means he was to be educated and trained, thereafter, exclusively by the Almighty.  Confirming this is the following hadits: “My Lord Trained me, and Perfectly has He Trained me indeed.”  This is mentioned by Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.).

That he developed to attain the highest level of morality in spite of growing up without the privilege of receiving parental support and training is another enormously significant proof of the veracity of the prophethood of the Noble Messenger (s.a.w.).

Growing up as an orphan helped the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) develop a merciful, refined heart, whereby he learned what it was to fully trust in the Almighty.  Enduring a variety of difficulties that come with being an orphan and a lack of family support enabled the Prophet (s.a.w.) to become the protector of orphans and other vulnerable alike from all levels of society.  And so, he has declared, “Whoever protects an orphan from among his relatives or another, will be next to me in Paradise as close as the index finger is to the middle finger.”  This hadits is found in ash-Shaykhayn.

Another subtle reason behind the raising of the Blessed Child (s.a.w.) as an orphan is that for mankind to find examples of all kinds of social status in his life, the Almighty Put his Prophet (s.a.w.) through all kinds of situations, from the feeblest position of an orphan to the highest as the head of state.


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