Episode 22: Muhammad the Family Man & Renovation of the Kabah
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).
After marrying Khadija (radi Allahu anha) aged 25 years-old, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) dedicated the next 10 years of his life to establishing a home and a family. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the best person among people is the one who is best to his family, and he said that he is the best to his family. Being a role model is more credible if you have experienced the relevant situations: thus, it necessitates that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was the ultimate family man. He offered insights as to how to interact with one’s family e.g. engaging in physical intimacy whole-heartedly; feeding one’s spouse with your own hand; not sacrificing family time for worship e.g. he would pray the fard prayers at the mosque and Sunnah prayers at home. Even in Madina, as a head of state, he was engaged in educating his children e.g. the tasbeeh after prayers is called the ‘Tasbeeh of Fatimah’.
We should learn that dedicating time to one’s family should not be seen as a waste, in terms of financial loss because of reduced time at work, or even as a sign that someone is not religiously committed, because they cannot dedicate so much time to the mosque. Family time is investing in the Akhirah as well as the community, as the community ultimately comprises groups of healthy families.
When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was 35 years-old, a major complete renovation of the Ka’ba occurred. The walls were literally falling apart, from wear-and-tear and water damage. The low door made theft possible as well. The Quraysh were very nervous about the potential consequences of changing the Ka’ba. A distant relative of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the brother of his paternal grandmother, decided to be the first to start proceedings: he grabbed a stone from its place and it immediately moved back into its original place. He interpreted this as being a sign from Allah that the reconstruction should be approached carefully: the building should not be demolished all at once, but piece-by-piece renovations should occur, and only pure money should be used. We should also be mindful of the sources of money we give in Zakat, Sadaqah, etc. and bring only the purest of wealth. It is also reported that there was a well near the Ka’ba that had been empty and boarded-up for a long time. A huge serpent came bursting out and started circling the Ka’ba. On announcing this pact to only use pure money and approach the project piece-by-piece, the snake receded away or was collected by a large bird.
A fight ensued as to which tribe would be responsible for the reconstruction. The senior leader Walid ibn Mughirah said the project would be approached together: each tribe would have responsibility for separate parts of the Ka’ba. Then, the tribes were too scared to start the project for fear of divine repercussions: Walid ibn Mughirah started the project alone. Once everyone saw nothing happened to him, they all started the reconstruction. They reached the base and hit the foundations of Ibrahim (peace be upon him), causing a mini-earthquake: thus, they decided to leave this in place.