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Sirat Rasoul Allah

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2- Khadija

When the apostle of Allah was twenty‑five years old he married Khadija, a rich and noble merchant‑woman who engaged men to sell her merchandise and allowed them part of the profits; the Quraysh was a trading tribe. She had heard of the veracity, honesty, and excellence of the apostle of Allah, and sent for him to propose that he take some of her goods to Syria as a trader. She promised to allow him a larger profit than other merchants, to send with him her male slave, Maysara. The apostle of the offer and departed with the goods and the slave.

On his arrival in Syria the apostle of Allah alighted in the shade of a tree near the hermitage of a monk, who approached Maysara and asked, ‘Who is this man under the tree?’ Maysara replied, ‘This man is one of the Quraysh from the sacred city.’ And the monk said, ‘Under this tree no one ever alighted except a prophet.’

Then the apostle of Allah sold the goods he had, purchased others and returned with Maysara to Mecca . It is said that

Maysara saw, at noon during this return journey when the heat was strong, two angels shading the apostle of Allah from the sun while he rode on his camel. When he arrived at Mecca and came to Khadija with his goods, she sold them and found their value doubled or almost so. Maysara, too, informed her of what the monk had said, and what he had seen of the two angels shading the apostle; and Khadija ‑ who was an intelligent, noble and good woman, predestined to great favour by Allah ‑ sent for the apostle of Allah and spoke the following words: 'O son of my uncle! I have taken a liking to you on account of our relation­ship, your respectability among the people, your honesty, charac­ter and veracity.' Then she offered herself to him for a wife. She was at that time the most honoured woman among the Quraysh because of her lineage, the highest in nobility, and the richest in property; for this everybody envied her. When she had made this proposal to the apostle of Allah he mentioned it to his uncles, and his uncle, Hamza, went with him to her father, whom he asked for her; and he married her. The apostle of Allah gave her twenty young camels for a dowry. She was the first wife he married, and he never married another until she died.

Khadija bore to the apostle of Allah all his children except Ibrahim. She gave birth to al‑Qasim, and to al‑Tayyib, to al­Tahir, to Ruqayya, to Zaynab, to Umm Kulthum and to Fatima . Al‑Qasim, al‑Tayyib and al‑Tahir died during 'ignorance' [before the promulgation of Islam], but all the daughters of the apostle of Allah lived to see the establishment of Islam, made profession of it, and emigrated with him to Medina.

Khadija told her cousin, Waraqa, who was a Christian well versed in sacred and profane literature, what Maysara had related of the conversation of the monk and what he had seen of the two angels shading the apostle of Allah, and Waraqa replied, 'If this be true, o Khadija, then Muhammad is the prophet of his people. I know that a prophet is expected at this time.'

Waraqa had been one of the men of the Quraysh known as the 'four inquirers', who had gone in search of the true religion of Abraham. This happened in the following manner:

Some decades earlier the Quraysh had begun to establish the of 'The Hums', which imposed acceptance of Quraysh priority over the other Arab tribes. 'We are the sons of Abraham, men of honour, governors of the house of Allah, inhabitants of Mecca . No Arab has such virtue as we, nor such dignity as we. No man of the Quraysh should honour territory which is secular in the way he honours that which is sacred. For if he does so the Arabs will slight his honour, and will say of the Quraysh, "They have honoured that which is profane [outside the sacred limits] in the same way as that which is sacred [within .the sanctuary of the holy territory of Mecca ]." ' Accordingly the Quraysh abandoned certain holy ordinances of pilgrimage enjoined by the religion of Abraham, saying: 'We are the inhabitants of the sacred city of Mecca and it is not proper for us to leave it and honour another place as we honour Mecca . We are the Hums, the people of the sacred place.' But they imposed the ordinances on all other Arabs born either without or within the limits of Mecca .

They next invented new observances for themselves. They announced that it was not proper for the Hums to prepare eqth [milk be dried and reduced to powder], to melt fat, or to enter a camel‑hair tent whilst they were in a state of purity and sanctity [performing the ceremonies of the pilgrimage]. They added even to these rules, saying that persons who had come from outside the sacred city ought not to eat food they had brought in with them, whether they came as pilgrims or visitors. The pilgrims’ first circuit of the Kab a should be made in dress provided by the Hums, or, if such could not be procured, in no dress at all; but rich men or women unwilling to do either could walk around the temple in the garments in which they had arrived, provided they afterwards threw them away and neither touched them any more nor allowed anyone else to touch them. The Arabs were induced to agree to this and made the circuit of the Kaba, the men naked, and the women clad only in an open cassock.

One day, when the Quraysh held a festival near one of the stone idols which they honoured, for which they slaughtered sacrifices, near which they assiduously prayed, and around which they walked in procession, four men (one of whom was Waraqa) separated from the rest, saying one to another: 'Will we make a covenant of mutual friendship and protection?' And each said, 'Indeed we will! Our people have no religion! They have lost the religion of their father Abraham! What worth has a stone that it should be walked around, which can neither hear nor see anything, neither hurt nor profit anyone? O ye Quraysh, seek a religion for yourself, for, by Allah, you have none whatever.'

And the four dispersed to various countries to seek the religion of Abraham. Waraqa decided on Christianity and followed the books of its teachers until he had obtained knowledge of the scripture. Ubaydullah remained in doubt until, after the revelation, he made profession of Islam and went to Abyssinia ; but when he arrived there he became a Christian and died thus, after having renounced Islam.

The third, Uthman, went to Byzantium , where he became a Christian and attained high office.

The fourth man, Zayd, became neither Jew nor Christian, although he renounced the religion of the Quraysh and aban­doned idols, blood, and sacrifices slain for idols, and condemned the burying alive of female infants. He said, 'I worship the Lord of Abraham', and, when he was a very old man, was to be seen leaning with his back against the Kaba, saying, 'O ye Quraysh people! I swear by Him in whose hand the life of Zayd is, there is not one among you of the religion of Abraham, except myself. O Allah ! If I knew which way is most pleasing to Thee, I would worship Thee according to it, but I do not know it.' He set forth in search of the religion of Abraham and made inquiries from monks and Jewish priests. He passed through Mesopotamia, and then wandered through the whole of Syria until he found a monk in whom the knowledge of Christianity was concentrated. Him he asked about the orthodox religion of Abraham, and the monk replied, 'You are in search of a religion to which no one can guide you at present; but the time is at hand when a prophet will arise in your country; he will be sent with the religion of Abraham. Adopt it, for he comes now, and this is the time.' 

Shortly after this Zayd departed for Mecca , but he was attacked and died by the way.  When the apostle of Allah was thirty‑five years old some evil men stole the treasure which was kept in a well inside the Kaba. The treasure was found again in the possession of a manumitted slave, and the Quraysh cut off his hands, although they believed others had stolen the treasure and merely left it with the slave.

The      Quraysh now felt it necessary to rebuild the Kaba and roof it in, but they were afraid to demolish it, because there was a serpent which always came up to the wall to warm itself. The people feared it because when anyone approached it raised itself, hissed and opened its mouth. One day, however, whilst it was warming itself as usual in the sun on the wall, Allah sent a bird which snatched it up and flew off with it. Thereon the Quraysh said: 'Allah must approve of our intention. We have a workman, we. possess wood. and Allah has delivered us from the serpent.”

They were now firmly determined to pull down the Kaba and build it up again, and Abu Wahb rose and took a stone from the Kaba. But the stone leapt from his hand and returned to its place, and he exclaimed: 'O ye Quraysh people! In the building of the Kaba, do not employ any of your goods unless they be of righteous origin; do not use in it the profit of iniquity, nor of usurious sale, nor of injustice towards any man.'

The Quraysh had decided that different parts of the Kaba should be demolished by different sections of the community, but the people were still afraid to destroy the edifice. Then al-Walid said: 'I shall make a beginning for you', and he took up a pickaxe,stood up before the Kaba and declared: 'O Allah! Let us not be afraid! We want only what is good”. Then he began to pull down the wall between the two buttresses. But the people waited that night, saying: 'We shall see; and if anything happens to al‑Walid, we shall not demolish it, but leave it as it was; but if nothing befalls him, Allah is pleased with what we have done demolition.' The next morning al‑Walid continued his work of demolition, and the people aided him till they reached the foundations. In the buttress they found an inscription in Syriac, and knew not what it meant until a Jew read it for them. It was as follows: 'I am Allah, the lord of Mecca ! I created it when I created the heavens and the earth, when I fashioned the sun and the moon, and I have appointed over it seven angels; Mecca will not perish until its two hills perish! It will be blessed to its inhabitants in water and milk!” When they reached the foundations they found them to be green boulders adhering together like a single stone, and when a man of the Quraysh inserted a lever to separate the boulders, the whole of Mecca began to shake; so the people touched the foundation no more.

The groups of Quraysh now collected stones for the re­building, each group gathering separately, and they built until they reached the spot for the ruku [the sacred black stone]. Then all the people quarrelled, because each group wished the honour of lifting the stone into place; so bitter were the quarrels that the groups made alliances and prepared to fight. One group pro­duced a dish filled with blood and entered into a covenant unto death with another group by dipping their hands into the dish ‑they were therefore called blood‑lickers. The situation remained thus for four or five nights; then the Quraysh assembled in the mosque to consult and reach a decision, and the oldest man among them said at last, 'Why not let he who next enters through the door of this mosque be the arbiter in this quarrel, and let him decide it?' They agreed, and the first man who entered was the apostle of Allah. And they said, 'This is the faithful one! We agree that he shall judge.' When he came near they told him of the problem and he said, 'Bring me a cloak'. When they had brought one, he placed the ruku [black stone] in it with his own hands, saying, 'Let every group take hold of a part of the cloak.' Then all of them lifted it together, and when they reached the spot, the apostle placed it in position with his own hands, and the building was continued over it. 

Thus matters stood when Allah sent for Muhammad, His prophet, and revealed to him His religion and the proper usages of the pi    1grimage. 'Therefore go [ye Quraysh] in procession as the people [the other Arabs] go in procession, and ask pardon from Allah; because Allah is forgiving and merciful.' As for the prohibitions invented by the Quraysh concerning cooking, dress, the circuit of the Kaba, and food brought from beyond the sacred territory, Allah revealed the following: 'O children of Adam! Wear decent apparel at every place of worship, and eat, and

drink but be not prodigal, for He loveth not prodigals. Say, who has forbidden the decent apparel of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of His providing? Say, these benefits, especially on the day of resurrection ­            shall be for those who were believers during their present life”.   Thus, when Allah established Islam by sending his apostle, he set aside the observances the Quraysh had invented for their own people.


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