Monthly Archives: October 2011

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: History of Zamzam

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: History of Zamzam

10-25-2011

Episode 6: History of Zamzam

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Two significant incidents occurred in the life of the grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Abdul-Muttalib. The digging up of the well of Zam Zam and the invasion of the army of elephants both preceded the momentous birth of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

In multiple dreams, Abdul Muttalib was told to dig up the well of Zam Zam. Drinking Zam Zam has the virtue of being an act of worship, as it is part of the Sunnah in Umrah and Hajj. Zam Zam serves whatever purpose it is drank for. The etiquettes of drinking it include: facing the Kaba, saying ‘Bismillah’ at the start, drinking it in parts by pausing to take three breaths, drinking to your fill, and ending by thanking Allah.

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was born in the same year as the invasion of the army of the elephants. Abraha, a ruler of Yemen, wanted to divert people away from the Kaba at Makkah, and thus built a church in Yemen. A man from the Arab tribe of Banu Kinanah defiled the church disrespectfully. This enraged Abraha, who vowed to destroy the Kaba. He gathered 60,000 troops and marched to Makkah. Further details are explored in Episode 7.

 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Monotheism Before Islam

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Monotheism Before Islam

10-18-2011

Episode 5: Monotheism Before Islam

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Although idol worship was rampant in Pre-Islamic Arabic, there remained a few people who followed the religion of Prophet Ibrahim- the ‘Hunafa’, and these individuals are explored. The singular form ‘Haneef’ means to ‘focus constantly’. Two notable personalities include:

1. Zaid bin Amr bin Nufayl: he travelled outside Arabia in search of the true message. He strongly denied idolatry and its associated practices, as well as saving newborn girls from being buried alive. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is narrated to have said that he will be resurrected as an Ummah by himself between the Prophet Muhammed (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and Isa bin Maryam (alaihissalam).

2. Waraqa bin Nawfal: he also travelled with Zaid bin Amr bin Nufayl to explore the truth, and converted to Christianity. A cousin of Khadija, the wife of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Waraqa was the person consulted after the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) received the first revelation. He proclaimed his belief, but died soon after.

The lineage of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is explored back to Prophet Adam (alaihissalam).

 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Pre-Islamic Society Pt 2

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Pre-Islamic Society Pt 2

Episode 4: Pre-Islamic Society Pt 1

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

In this episode, the religion of Pre-Islamic Arabia is explored. In surah Yasin, it is mentioned that Prophet Muhammed (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was sent to warn the people.

‘That you may warn a people whose forefathers were not warned, so they are unaware.’ (V36:6)

Guidance had not been sent for a long time: the message of monotheism had been brought by previous prophets. Over time, the message had been diluted and corrupted. Christianity and Judaism were practiced by the fringes of society.

Notably, idol worship was introduced to the area by a leader named Amr bin Luhayy. Although Allah was accepted as the supreme God, the idols were considered to have their own levels of influence as intermediaries. In each area, mini sanctuaries similar to the Kaba in Makkah were established with idols at their centre. Ultimately, the idols became the ends and not the means of worship.

Lack of religious guidance gave rise to the practices of superstition, belief in evil omens, and the use of gambling and divination by shooting arrows, watching the directions of flight of birds, and astrology. The minor remnants of the practices of past prophets were that the Kaba in Makkah was seen as a sacred place and that the idols were accountable to the higher authority of Allah. However, innovations far from the practices of past prophets also crept in, like doing tawaaf naked, whilst clapping and whistling. Religious practice was amended to suit the people, for example, with the rearranging of sacred months during times of warfare.

 
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