Rising Light – Birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

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Rising Light – Birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

On 9 Rabi Al-Awal the year of the Elephant, corresponding to 22 April , 571 CE, a Monday, Prophet Muhammad were born before sunrise.

Father of Prophet Muhammad

Abdullah is the youngest son of Abdul Muttalib.

One Abdul Muttalib saw in his dream the location of the Zamzam well and started digging for it. In the same spot two idols Isaf and Nailah were being kept as well.  The Quraish resented this disturbance and became hostile.  But both father and son kept on digging.  After a short period the well appeared.  The appearance of the Zamzam well established the prestige of Abdul Muttalib over the Quraish and all of them acknowledged his leadership and virtues.

Only a few days before the year of the Elephant, Abdul Muttalid married his son Abdulla to Aminah bint Wahib belonging to a noble family of the Quraish from Yathrib (Madina).  Abdullah was 24 at that time. At that same time Abdul Muttalib himself marrried Halah bint Wuhaib a relative of Aminah. Hamza was born from this marriage.

Only a few days after the marriage, Abdullah was sent to Syria alongside a trade caravan.  On his return he fell sick and stayed in Yathrib.  His brother Harith was sent to bring Abdullah back to Makkah but Abdullah died before Harith reached Yathrib and was already buried in the graveyard of his relative, Banu Najjar.

Before the birth of Prophet Muhammad, his mother dreamt that the baby to be born is named Ahmad.    Thus she named him Ahmad, while Abdul Muttalib named his grandson Muhammad.

Initially, after his birth, Thuwaibah the freed slave girl of Abu Lahab bin Abdul Muttalib suckled him for seven days.  She is also the one who did the same for Hamzah, the uncle of Prophet Muhammad.  Based on the customs of the Arab nobles, Halimah of the Banu Sad clan continued providing this service.  Arabs believed that children breast fed by Bedouin women would become healthy and strong in the open and free environment of the desert.

At the end of four years, Prophet Muhammad’s mother summoned him to Makkah.  When he was six, his mother took him to his relatives in Yathrib (Madina).  On the return journey after a month, she passed away at Abwa.  Abdul Muttalib took upon himself the responsibilities of looking after the young boy.

According to some narrations, some say that Prophet Muhammad stayed with Banu Saad until five years of age.  This is when the event of opening up of his chest occurred.  According to a narration of Seerat Ibn Hisham, Halimah bint Abu Dhuaib relates this event in the following words:

“One day both of my children came fearfully to me and said that two cleanly dressed persons seized our Quraishi brother and split open his chest.  I went to the location along with my husband and saw that Him (PBUH) sitting with his face turned pale.  Upoin questioning he stated that two cleanly dressed persons came to him, laid him down with his face up, took out his heart and extracted something from it.”

Halimah found no trace of any injury or spot of blood.  She brought him to Makkah without loss of time and related the whole event to his mother.  But his mother, instead of being afraid, spoke with confidence at her command that her son would achieve a very distinctive place in the world and would surely remain safe from all calamities.

Death of Abdul Muttalib and Support of Abu Talib

After being brought up for two years under the care of Abdul Muttablib, Propher Muhammad was eight years of age when his grand father passed away.  Abdul Muttalib had entrusted him to his son Abu Talib before his death.

Abu Talib took special care of his nephew and held him dearer than his own sons.  Prophet Muhammad’s childhood passed in a manner quite different for the Arabian society.  Instead of playing with children of his age, he preferred to be in solitude.

Prophet Muhammad was twelve years old when Abu Talib planned to go with a merchant caravan to Syria.  Although initially planning to go alone he finally agreed to take his nephew with him.  When the caravan reached Basra, a Christian monk named Bahira saw and recognized him as the last prophet.  He came to Abu Talib and informed him that his nephew is to become the last Prophet and advised him to leave quickly for their own safety.

Trade

When Prophet Muhammad became a young man, he turned towards trade as a vocation.  His uncle liked his work and support his nephew in his ventures.  Several times he accompanied trade caravans with his merchandise and every time he returned with a substantial profit.  People during these trade trips had ample opportunity to observe his qualities of honest dealings and graceful behavior.  Everyone who trade with him witnessed gracious, trusty, truthful and upright character.

Not only in Makkah but also throughout Arabia his character earned him the title of As-Sadiq and Al-Amin.

Khadija bint Khuwailid, a noble lady of Banu Asad was a wealthy woman of the Quraish tribe.  A widow after death of her second husband, who left behind significant wealth and property for her was herself engaged in trade activities.  She would send her merchandise to Iraq, Syria and Yemen.  When she came to know of the honesty of Prophet Muhammad, she asked him to work for her.  Prophet Muhammad, after consulting his uncle Abu Talib accepted the proposal.

On his second trip to Syria, his caravan stopped near monastery in Syria.  There lived a monk named Nastura.  When he saw Prophet Muhammad, he informed his companions the based on evidence found in his books saw all signs of him being a Prophet.  This journey was also crowned with substantial success and profit.

Marriage to Khadija

His honesty and trustworthiness were no longer a secret from Khadijah.  Through a woman named Nafisah, she sent a marriage proposal for Prophet Muhammad to Abu Talib who accepted the proposal.  All the relatives from both sides participated in the marriage ceremony.  At the time of marriage, the Prophet Muhammad was 25 years of age and Khadija was 40.  She gave birth to three sons and four daughters.