Monthly Archives: August 2013

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Prophetic Bodyslam: How the Prophet Gave Dawah

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Prophetic Bodyslam: How the Prophet Gave Dawah

8-13-2013

Episode 52: Prophetic Bodyslam: How the Prophet Gave Dawah

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).

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was just as determined as ever to continue preaching the message of Islam. A da’ee, preacher, must have the following qualities:

  1. Have full conviction that the message preached is the unequivocal truth.
  2. Be motivated, driven, passionate and determined.
  3. Be tactful when delivering the message.

In this post-boycott period, around the 10th year of Prophethood, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is 50 years old. This story recounts how the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) spread the message of Islam to a man called Rukana, who was famed at the time for being the strongest man in Quraysh. A distant relative of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he came from the tribe of Banu Abd-Manaf. We learn the tactful manner of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)- he understood people and dealt with them according to their personalities.

 

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw Rukana in one of the outer areas of Makkah. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Do you not have any consciousness of God and that you would accept what I invite you to?’ Rukana replies, ‘Oh Muhammad, if I know what you are saying is the truth, why would I not follow you?’ Some narrations say that Rukana actually challenged the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) challenged Rukana to wrestle with him: if he managed to beat Rukana, would Rukana accept his word as the truth? Rukana agreed to these terms.

 

Rukana stands and starts to wrestle the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) grabbed him and slammed him on his back. Rukana had never been beaten- being body-slammed was an alien experience to him. He was not able to get up and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had him pinned down.

 

Rukana challenges him again: the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) slammed him again. Rukana says, ‘This is the most bizarre thing that has happened to me’. He could not believe he was being beaten. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said he would show him something more amazing if he would be conscious of Allah and follow what he told him to follow. Rukana asks further and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) says, ‘You see that tree over there, I will call that tree to me and the tree will move towards me’. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) called the tree and the tree moved from the spot and came and stood right in front of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prohet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then told the tree to return to its place and it does so.

 

There are two versions of what happened next:

  1. After seeing this, Rukana goes to his family and says that everything on the earth has been enchanted by the magic of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and that he had never seen a greater magician than him.
  2. The stronger narration recounts that Rukana was slammed three times in total. After seeing the tree move, he declared the Shahadah.
 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: The Amazing Story of Tufayl Bin ‘Amr From Daws

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: The Amazing Story of Tufayl Bin ‘Amr From Daws

8-8-2013

Episode 51: The Amazing Story of Tufayl Bin ‘Amr From Daws

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).

 The Amazing Story of Tufayl Bin ‘Amr

In the 10th year of Prophethood, there was a man called Tufayl, a leader of the tribe of Daws. He was considered a great intellectual by his people. Quraysh recognised his status amongst his people- when he came to Makkah, all the leadership gathered to welcome him. They made him aware of the situation in the Makkah, with Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) claiming Prophethood. They wanted to warn him not to approach the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as they anticipated the consequences of him potentially accepting Islam. Tufayl recounts that they forbade him from meeting the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), to the point where he stuffed his ears with cotton before going to the Haram. He saw the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) praying near the Ka’ba and became intrigued.

 

Tufayl stood close to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), but he could not hear what he was saying. When Tufayl heard the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) words, he was impressed. Tufayl questioned what was wrong with himself: being an intelligent man who could tell the difference between good and bad, he wondered why he could not listen to what Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had to say for himself. He followed the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) home and asked him to present his thoughts so he could decide for himself. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) recited the Quran to him. Tufayl accepted Islam.

 

He vowed to return to his people and invite them to Islam. The first person he met was his father. He explained that things had changed and on further enquiry as to the reason why, his father accepted Islam. Tufayl said the same to his wife, who also accepted Islam. However, the rest of the people did not accept the message. Tufayl returned a few days after to Makkah, where he asks the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to make dua against them for preferring idolatry. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), however, raised his hands and instead asked for the people of Daws to be guided. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) advised Tufayl to return to his people and to be gentle and kind with them.

 

Tufayl returned to his people and spoke to them about Islam. 8 years later, at the Battle of Khaybar time, he meets the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in Madina with his people who had accepted Islam. He arrived with 70 or 80 families from Daws. He stayed in Madina until the victory over Makkah.

 

Tufayl died an honourable death as a martyr in battle.

 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Uthman Bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah & Abu Bakr Attempts to Leave

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Uthman Bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah & Abu Bakr Attempts to Leave

8-6-2013

Episode 50: Uthman Bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah & Abu Bakr Attempts to Leave

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).

 

The Uprising against the Boycott

There were a few people who opposed the boycott. Gradually, opposition grew and the people gathered together to speak out against it. Hisham went to Zuhair bin Abi Umayyah bin Mughirah. Hisham questioned his acceptance of the boycott, whilst his family suffered.  Zuhair said he was unhappy, but felt helpless. He felt they needed a third person to oppose the boycott. Mu’tim bin Adi was approached and they discussed the same issue. Mu’tim also disagreed with the boycott. These three influential people approached Abul Bukhtari and they go together to Zama bin al-Aswad, who also joins the opposition. They all agreed to gather together and make a stand at the Haram. This is the start of the abolition of the boycott discussed in the previous episode.

 

Uthman bin Mazh’un Returns to Makkah

Scholars say that the first return of the companions from Abyssinia occurred after the boycott. They heard rumours that the Makkans had accepted Islam and thought it was safe to return, but the harsh reality was that things were just as dangerous for the Muslims. It was the tradition at the time that if a respectable man would grant his protection to someone, that person would be saved from violence or harm.

 

Uthman bin Mazh’un, an early companion of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), was looking for protection. Walid bin al-Mughirah granted this to him and announced it to the community at the Ka’ba.  However, Uthman could not reconcile that he was being protected by someone who did shirk, but his fellow Muslim brethren were suffering. Thus, he publicly returned the protection, saying he was happy with Allah as his protector. A heated conversation ensued between Uthman and a poet from the Quraysh, resulting in Uthman being struck and suffering injury to his eye. Walid commented that if he maintained his protection, Uthman’s eye would have been fine, but Uthman retorted that the sacrifice was worth it if it was for the sake of Allah, and the other healthy eye was in need of injury for this cause. Uthman felt he needed no greater protection than the Almighty Allah.

 

Abu Bakr (RA) Attempts to Leave

With everything that had happened, Abu Bakr (RA) went to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with a heavy heart to seek his permission to go to Abyssinia. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) gave his permission. Abu Bakr (RA) packed his things and had travelled a day or two outside Makkah, where he met Ad-Dughna, the chief of Banu Kinanah. They had an alliance with Quraysh. Questioning where Abu Bakr (RA) was going, he explained that his people had forced him out, having made his life difficult. Ad-Dughna was shocked to hear this, as he knew the good Abu Bakr (RA) had contributed to society. Ad-Dughna advised him to return to Makkah under his protection, and the Quraysh were reprimanded for their actions. The good we do in society is the biggest statement of our beliefs.

Abu Bakr (RA) would pray at the front of his house and people would come to listen to his prayers and recitation: they would often cry and soften to what they heard. Quraysh complained to Ad-Dughna, saying that Abu Bakr (RA) was causing problems by encouraging the ‘weak-minded’ to gravitate towards him. Subsequently, Abu Bakr returned the protection extended by Ad-Dughna, satisfied instead with the protection of Allah. Within the next few days, Abu Bakr (RA) had dust thrown over him by an ignorant young man, and the Quraysh taunted him that this was brought on by his own actions. Abu Bakr (RA) sought patience by reflecting on the patience and forbearance shown by Allah to his servants, despite their disbelief and disobedience.

 
Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Aftermath of the Boycott – Consolation & Support from Allah

Seerah – Life of the Prophet: Aftermath of the Boycott – Consolation & Support from Allah

8-1-2013

Episode 49: Aftermath of the Boycott – Consolation & Support from Allah

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).

This episodes recounts the multiple times Allah supported the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) by sending down revelation to guide him through difficult situations.

 

1)      1) During the boycott, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) missed visiting the Ka’ba: the confrontations started again when he returned. Abu Jahl told the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to stop cursing their idols, or they would curse his deity. However, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) never cursed their idols profanely- he just said not to worship them. Allah revealed:

6: 108 [Believers], do not revile those they call on beside God in case they, in their hostility and ignorance, revile God. To each community We make their own actions seem alluring, but in the end they will return to their Lord and He will inform them of all they did.

 2)      Another key opposition leader, Nadr bin al-Harith, approached the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and sat with him. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) always seized these opportunities to give da’wah. He recited some Quran and invited him to Islam. Nadr bin al-Harith began to tell stories of his own and claimed the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not have better stories than himself. Allah revealed:

25:1 Exalted is He who has sent the Differentiator down to His servant so that it may be a warning to all people.

25:2 It is He who has control over the heavens and earth and has no offspring––no one shares control with Him––and who created all things and made them to an exact measure.

25:3 Yet the disbelievers take as their gods things beneath Him that create nothing, and are themselves created, that can neither harm nor help themselves, and have no control over death, life, or resurrection.

25:4 The disbelievers say, ‘This can only be a lie he has forged with the help of others’––they themselves have done great wrong and told lies––

25: 5 and they say, ‘It is just ancient fables, which he has had written down: they are dictated to him morning and evening.’

25:6 Say, ‘It was sent down by Him who knows the secrets of the heavens and earth. He is all forgiving, all merciful.’

 3)      The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sat with Walid bin al-Mughirah and Nadr bin al-Harith came and sat again. He interrupted and insulted the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Allah sent down:

21: 98 You [disbelievers] and what you worship instead of God will be fuel for Hell: that is where you will go-

21:99 if these [idols] had been real gods they would not have gone there- you will all stay there.

21:100 There the disbelievers will be groaning piteously, but the [idols] will hear nothing.

When he recited this, Nadr bin al-Harith became quiet and speechless. Someone else approached him and gave him some advice about a rebuttal. He advised Nadr bin al-Harith to question the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) about how he could reconcile the apparent issue of Isa (AS) being burnt in the Hellfire because people worshipped him. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) clarified that everyone or everything that claimed to be a deity and commanded people to worship them would be in the Hellfire. This would not be the case of good people who were wrongly turned into deities. Allah revealed:

21:101 But those for whom We have decreed Paradise will be kept far from Hell-

21:102 they will not hear a murmur from it- and endlessly they will enjoy everything their souls desire.

 

21:26 And they say, ‘The Lord of Mercy has taken offspring for Himself.’ May He be exalted! No! They are only His honoured servants:

21:27 they do not speak before He speaks and they act by His command.

21:28 He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede without His permission––indeed they themselves stand in awe of Him.

21:29 If any of them were to claim, ‘I am a god beside Him,’ We would reward them with Hell: this is how We reward evildoers.

 

4)      4) Once, Walid bin al-Mughirah was sitting with Quraysh and he questioned how divine revelation could come to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instead of himself and the chief of Taif, Abu Masood. Allah revealed:

43:30 But when the Truth came to them, they said, ‘This is sorcery. We do not believe in it,’

43:31 and they said, ‘Why was this Quran not sent down to a distinguished man, from either of the two cities?’

43:32 Do they distribute the mercy of your Lord? It is We who have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.

 5)      Multiple people came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to mockingly question how God would bring a crushed bone to life. Allah revealed:

36:76 So let not their speech grieve you. Indeed, We know what they conceal and what they declare.

36:78 And he presents for Us an example and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?”

36:79 Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.”

 6)      When the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was making Tawaaf on one occasion, a group of Quraysh stepped in front of him and offered a partnership where they would worship whatever he worshipped, as long as the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) worshipped their deities. Allah revealed Surah Kafirun in response, categorically rejecting this proposal.

 7)      Abu Jahl started to mock the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) by inviting everyone to eat Zaqqum- this is a thorny tree in the fire of hell which people will consume out of desperation. Allah revealed:

44:43 Indeed, the tree of zaqqum

44:44 Is food for the sinful.

44:45 Like murky oil, it boils within bellies

44:46 Like the boiling of scalding water.

44:47 [It will be commanded], “Seize him and drag him into the midst of the Hellfire,

44:48 Then pour over his head from the torment of scalding water.”

44:49 [It will be said], “Taste! Indeed, you are the honored, the noble!

44:50 Indeed, this is what you used to dispute.”

 8)      Allah was always there to show the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) how to handle situations. On this occasion, Allah advised him to give all people chances, as he can never predict the result of spreading the word of God- someone may accept and go on to benefit from the dawah, whereas others may reject. Abdullah ibn Umm-Maktum was a blind man who lived with his mother. He accepted Islam in the early days. Once, Walid bin al-Mughirah seemed to be more positive towards the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was encouraged he may be softening towards Islam. Abdullah ibn Umm-Maktum came and interrupted their discussion unknowingly and Walid started to leave. This bothered the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he turned away and frowned. Allah revealed:

80:1 The Prophet frowned and turned away

80: 2 Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting].

80:3 But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified

80:4 Or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him?

 
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