Sitting in silence on a red sofa, gaze transfixed to a muted tv. January 2011. I had hardly left that sofa just watching history unfold via al Jazeera, this time I was squeezed between Syrian friends with tears in their eyes. We were in Syria and the revolution was in Egypt and of all the […]
There are different narrations about the place from where the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (SAW) was ascended to the heavens. One narration reads: “…while I was resting in the House [i.e. the Ka’bah]”, and another narration reads: “…while I was in Al-Hateem (Al-Hijr, i.e. the area adjacent to the Ka’bah enclosed by a low semi-circular wall).”, another narration reads: “…(while I was) in Al-Hijr”, and another narration states: “The ceiling of my house was opened while I was in Makkah.” Another narration reads that he spent the night in the house of Umm Haani’ who said: “I missed him by night and he said that Jibreel came to him…”
The scholars may Allah have mercy upon them reconciled between these different narrations; Ibn Hajar may Allah have mercy upon him said,
“To reconcile between these statements, the Prophet SAW was sleeping in the house of Umm Haani’ and her house was in the Sh’ib (valley) of Abi Taalib and the ceiling of his house was opened – the house here belongs to him because he used to dwell in it – and from it [the opening in the ceiling of the house] the angel descended and took him out from the house to the mosque and there he [Prophet SAW] was lying down and sleepy. Moreover, in a Mursal Hadeeth (i.e. narrated by a Tabi’ie (successor of the Prophet’s companions) while omitting the companion’s name whom he heard the Hadeeth from) reported by Ibn ‘Is’haaq from Al-Hasan Al-Basri may Allah have mercy upon him it states that Jibreel came to him and he took him out to the mosque and he made him mount the Buraaq (a very vast animal whose stride is the farthest distance its eye can see); indeed, this strengthens this reconciliation.”
Allah Knows best.
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Beyond a shadow of the doubt, the biography of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) manifestly represents an exhaustive embodiment of the sublime Divine Message that he communicated in order to deliver the human race from the swamp of darkness and polytheism to the paradise of light and monotheism. An image, authentic as well as comprehensive, of this Message, is therefore only attainable through careful study and profound analysis of both backgrounds and issues of such a biography…..
Beyond a shadow of the doubt, the biography of Prophet Muhammad manifestly represents an exhaustive embodiment of the sublime Divine Message that he communicated in order to deliver the human race from the swamp of darkness and polytheism to the paradise of light and monotheism. An image, authentic as well as comprehensive, of this Message, is therefore only attainable through careful study and profound analysis of both backgrounds and issues of such a biography. In view of this, a whole chapter is here introduced about the nature and development of Arab tribes prior to Islam as well as the circumstantial environment that enwrapped the Prophet’s mission.
Location Of The Arabs:
Linguistically, the word “Arab” means deserts and waste barren land well-nigh waterless and treeless. Ever since the dawn of history, the Arabian Peninsula and its people have been called as such.
The Arabian Peninsula is enclosed in the west by the Red Sea and Sinai, in the east by the Arabian Gulf, in the south by the Arabian Sea, which is an extension of the Indian Ocean, and in the north by old Syria and part of Iraq. The area is estimated between a million and a million and a quarter square miles.
Thanks to its geographical position, the peninsula has always maintained great importance. Considering its internal setting, it is mostly deserts and sandy places, which has rendered it inaccessible to foreigners and invaders, and allowed its people complete liberty and independence through the ages, despite the presence of two neighboring great empires.
It’s an external setting, on the other hand, caused it to be the center of the old world and provided it with sea and land links with most nations at the time. Thanks to this strategic position the Arabian Peninsula had become the center for trade, culture, religion, and art.
Arab kinfolks have been divided according to lineage into three groups:
- Perishing Arabs: The ancient Arabs, of whose history little is known, and of whom were ‘Ad, Thamûd, Tasam, Jadis, Emlaq, and others.
- Pure Arabs: Who originated from the progeny of Ya‘rub bin Yashjub bin Qahtan. They were also called Qahtanian Arabs.
- Arabized Arabs: Who originated from the progeny of Ishmael. They were also called ‘Adnanian Arabs.
The pure Arabs – the people of Qahtan – originally lived in Yemen and comprised many tribes, two of which were very famous:
- Himyar: The most famous of whose septs were Zaid Al-Jamhur, Quda‘a, and Sakasic.
- Kahlan: The most famous of whose septs were Hamdan, Anmar, Tai’, Mudhhij, Kinda, Lakhm, Judham, Azd, Aws, Khazraj and the descendants of Jafna — the kings of old Syria.
Kahlan septs emigrated from Yemen to dwell in the different parts of the Arabian Peninsula prior to the Great Flood (Sail Al-‘Arim of Ma’rib Dam), due to the failure of trade under the Roman pressure and domain on both sea and land trade routes following the Roman occupation of Egypt and Syria. Naturally enough, the competition between Kahlan and Himyar led to the evacuation of the first and the settlement of the second in Yemen.
The Emigrating Septs of Kahlan Can be Into Four Groups:
- Azd: Who, under the leadership of ‘Imran bin ‘Amr Muzaiqbâ’, wandered in Yemen, sent pioneers and finally headed northwards. Details of their emigration can be summed up as follows:
- Tha‘labah bin ‘Amr left his tribe Al-Azd for Hijaz and dwelt between Tha‘labiyah and Dhi Qar. When he gained strength, he headed for Madinah where he stayed. Of his seed are Aws and Khazraj, sons of Haritha bin Tha‘labah. Haritha bin ‘Amr, known as Khuza‘a, wandered with his folks in Hijaz until they came to Mar Az-Zahran. Later, they conquered the Haram and settled in Makkah after having driven away its people, the tribe of Jurhum. ‘Imran bin ‘Amr and his folks went to ‘Oman where they established the tribe of Azd whose children inhabited Tihama and were known as Azd-of-Shanu’a. Jafna bin ‘Amr and his family, headed for Syria where he settled and initiated the kingdom of Ghassan who was so named after a spring of water, in Hijaz, where they stopped on their way to Syria.
- Lakhm and Judham: Of whom was Nasr bin Rabi‘a, father of Manadhira, Kings of Heerah.
- Banu Tai’: Who also emigrated northwards to settle by the so-called Aja and Salma Mountains which were consequently named as Tai’ Mountains.
- Kinda: Who dwelt in Bahrain but were expelled to Hadramout and Najd where they instituted a powerful government but not for long, for the whole tribe soon faded away.
Another tribe of Himyar, known as Quda‘a, also left Yemen and dwelt in Samawa semidesert on the borders of Iraq.
The Arabized Arabs go back in ancestry to their great grandfather Abraham from a town called “Ar” near Kufa on the west bank of the Euphrates in Iraq. Excavations brought to light great details of the town, Abraham’s family, and the prevalent religions and social circumstances.
It is known that Abraham left Ar for Harran and then for Palestine, which he made headquarters for his Message. He wandered all over the area. When he went to Egypt, the Pharaoh tried to do evil to his wife Sarah, but Allâh saved her and the Pharaoh’s wicked scheme recoiled on him. He thus came to realize her strong attachment to Allâh, and, in acknowledgment of her grace, the Pharaoh rendered his daughter Hagar (Hajar) at Sarah’s service, but Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham as a wife.
Abraham returned to Palestine where Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. Sarah became so jealous of Hagar that she forced Abraham to send Hagar and her baby away to a plantless valley on a small hill in Hijaz, by the Sacred House, exposed to the wearing of floods coming right and left. He chose for them a place under a lofty tree above Zamzam near the upper side of the Mosque in Makkah where neither people nor water was available and went back to Palestine leaving with his wife and baby a leather case with some dates and a pot of water. Not before long, they ran out of both food and water, but thanks to Allâh’s favor water gushed forth to sustain them for some time. The whole story of Zamzam spring is already known to everybody.
Another Yemeni tribe – Jurhum the Second – came and lived in Makkah upon Hagar’s permission, after being said to have lived in the valleys around Makkah. It is mentioned in the Sahih Al-Bukhari that this tribe came to Makkah before Ishmael was a young man while they had passed through that valley long before this event.
Abraham used to go to Makkah every now and then to see his wife and son. The number of these journeys is still unknown, but authentic historical resources spoke of four ones. Allâh, the Sublime, stated in the Noble Qur’ân that He had Abraham see, in his dream, that he slaughtered his son Ishmael, and therefore Abraham stood up to fulfill His Order:
“Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allâh), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering); and We called out to him: “O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream (vision)!” Verily! Thus do we reward the Muhsinûn (good-doers, who perform good deeds totally for Allâh’s sake only, without any show off or to gain praise or fame, etc. and do them in accordance to Allâh’s Orders). Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial — and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a ram)” [37:103-107]
It is mentioned in the Genesis that Ishmael was thirteen years older than his brother Ishaq. The sequence of the story of the sacrifice of Ishmael shows that it really happened before Ishaq’s birth and that Allâh’s Promise to give Abraham another son, Ishaq, came after narration of the whole story.
This story spoke of one journey – at least – before Ishmael became a young man. Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, reported the other three journeys; a summary of which goes as follows: When Ishmael became a young man, he learned Arabic at the hand of the tribe of Jurhum, who loved him with great admiration and gave him one of their women as a wife, soon after his mother died. Having wanted to see his wife and son again, Abraham came to Makkah, Ishmael’s marriage, but he didn’t find him at home. He asked Ishmael’s wife about her husband and how they were doing. She complained of poverty, so he asked her to tell Ishmael to change his doorstep. Ishmael understood the message, divorced his wife and got married to the daughter of Mudad bin ‘Amr, chief of the tribe of Jurhum.
Once more, Abraham came to see his son but again didn’t find him at home. He asked his new wife the same previous question, to which she thanked Allâh. Abraham asked her to tell Ishmael to keep his doorstep (i.e. to keep her as wife) and went back to Palestine.
A third time, Abraham came to Makkah to find Ishmael sharpening an arrow under a lofty tree near Zamzam. The meeting, after a very long journey of separation, was very touching for a father so affectionate and a so dutiful and righteous son. This time, father and son built Al-Ka‘bah and raised its pillars, and Abraham, in compliance with Allâh’s Commandment, called unto people to make a pilgrimage to it.
By the grace of Allâh, Ishmael had twelve sons from the daughter of Mudad, whose names were Nabet, Qidar, Edbael, Mebsham, Mishma’, Duma, Micha, Hudud, Yetma, Yetour, Nafis and Qidman, and who ultimately formed twelve tribes inhabiting Makkah and trading between Yemen, geographical Syria and Egypt. Later on, these tribes spread all over, and even outside, the peninsula. All their tidings went into oblivion except for the descendants of Nabet and Qidar.
The Nabeteans – sons of Nabet – established a flourishing civilization in the north of Hijaz, they instituted a powerful government which spread out its domain over all neighboring tribes and made Petra their capital. Nobody dared challenge their authority until the Romans came and managed to eliminate their kingdom. After extensive research and painstaking investigation, Mr. Sulaiman An-Nadwi came to the conclusion that the Ghassanide kings, along with the Aws and Khazraj were not likely to be Qahtanians but rather Nabeteans.
Descendants of Qidar, the son of Ishmael, lived long in Makkah increasing in number, of them issued ‘Adnan and son Ma‘ad, to whom ‘Adnanian Arabs traced back their ancestry. ‘Adnan is the twenty-first grandfather in the series of the Prophetic ancestry. It was said that whenever Prophet Muhammad spoke of his ancestry he would stop at ‘Adnan and say: “Genealogists tell lies” and did not go farther than him. A group of scholars, however, favored the probability of going beyond ‘Adnan attaching no significance to the aforementioned Prophetic Hadith. They went on to say that there were exactly forty fathers between ‘Adnan and Abraham.
Nizar, Ma‘ad’s only son, had four sons who branched out into four great tribes; Eyad, Anmar, Rabi‘a, and Mudar. These last two sub-branched into several septs. Rabi‘a fathered Asad, ‘Anazah, ‘Abdul Qais, and Wa’il’s two sons (Bakr and Taghlib), Hanifa and many others.
Mudar tribes branched out into two great divisions: Qais ‘Ailan bin Mudar and septs of Elias bin Mudar. Of Qais ‘Ailan were the Banu Saleem, Banu Hawazin, and Banu Ghatafan of whom descended ‘Abs, Zubyan, Ashja‘ and Ghani bin A‘sur. Of Elias bin Mudar were Tamim bin Murra, Hudhail bin Mudrika, Banu Asad bin Khuzaimah and septs of Kinana bin Khuzaimah, of whom came Quraish, the descendants of Fahr bin Malik bin An-Nadr bin Kinana.
Quraish branched out into various tribes, the most famous of whom were Jumah, Sahm, ‘Adi, Makhzum, Tayim, Zahra and the three septs of Qusai bin Kilab: ‘Abdud-Dar bin Qusai, Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza bin Qusai and ‘Abd Manaf bin Qusai.
‘Abd Manaf branched out into four tribes: ‘Abd Shams, Nawfal, Muttalib and Hashim. It is, however, from the family of Hashim that Allâh selected Prophet Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib bin Hashim.
Prophet Muhammad said:
“Allâh selected Ishmael from the sons of Abraham, Kinana from the sons of Ishmael, Quraish from the sons of Kinana, Hashim from the sons of Quraish and He selected me from the sons of Hashim.”
Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib quoted the Messenger of Allâh as saying:
“Allâh created mankind and chose me from the best whereof, He chose the tribes and selected me from the best whereof; and He chose families and selected me from the best whereof. I am the very best in person and family.”
Having increased in number, children of ‘Adnan, in pursuit of pastures and water, spread out over various parts of Arabia.
The tribe of ‘Abdul Qais, together with some septs of Bakr bin Wa’il and Tamim, emigrated to Bahrain where they dwelt.
Banu Hanifa bin Sa‘b bin Ali bin Bakr went to settle in Hijr, the capital of Yamama. All the tribes of Bakr bin Wa’il lived in an area of land which included Yamama, Bahrain, Saif Kazima, the seashore, the outer borders of Iraq, Ablah and Hait.
Most of the tribe of Taghlib lived in the Euphrates area while some of them lived with Bakr. Banu Tamim lived in Basra semi-desert.
Banu Saleem lived in the vicinity of Madinah on the land stretching from Wadi Al-Qura to Khaibar onwards to the eastern mountains to Harrah.
Thaqif dwelt in Ta’if and Hawazin east of Makkah near Autas on the road from Makkah to Basra. Banu Asad lived on the land east of Taimâ’ and west of Kufa, while the family of Tai’ lived between Banu Asad and Taimâ’. They were five-day-walk far from Kufa.
Zubyan inhabited the plot of and between Taimâ’ and Hawran.
Some septs of Kinana lived in Tihama, while septs of Quraish dwelt in Makkah and its suburbs. Quraish remained completely disunited until Qusai bin Kilab managed to rally their ranks on honorable terms attaching major prominence to their status and importance.
Sources: Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum.
The commands to read, or Iqra’, was not meant solely for Prophet Muhammad but is also a continuous command to all humankind. This is because the essence of this noble command is the key to one’s happiness and success in this world and the hereafter. If we study the opinions of experts in the Arabic language, we will find that their…
Educators should be wise and responsible and underscored the critical role of a religious educator. To be such an educator, one has to comprehend the basis of the philosophy of “Iqra’” which mean “Read”– the first revelation from Allah to our beloved Messenger, Prophet Muhammad. Allah says:
Meaning: “Recite in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous; Who taught by the pen; Taught man that which he knew not.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-‘Alaq, verse 1-5]
The commands to read, or Iqra’, was not meant solely for Prophet Muhammad but is also a continuous command to all humankind. This is because the essence of this noble command is the key to one’s happiness and success in this world and the hereafter.
If we study the opinions of experts in the Arabic language, we will find that their discussions on the meaning of Iqra’ is extensive and deep. It does not only mean “read”. The word has hidden meanings that can bring about positive effects to humankind. The command to read inspires every educator and teacher to continue to read, study, comprehend, explore its characteristics, and continue to pass it on. These early verses aim to remind us that when a Muslim reads any material, he has to read responsibly. This includes ensuring that whatever he reads is accurate and true to the source of the information as much as possible.
Furthermore, he should read in detail and examine if what he reads is truly beneficial, or otherwise. A believer (Mukmin) who reads for the sake of Allah, will not simply accept and believe news or information that reaches him without a comprehensive assessment of the material. For example, we may receive information via Whatsapp regarding food items, ingredients or products which are claimed to be haram. Sadly, there are many who often rush to forward such information to others without verifying its authenticity. What is more worrying is when it causes mass confusion, doubts (was-was) and misunderstanding. Such a trait does not correspond to the principle of knowledge, which requires one to study and be responsible for acquiring and spreading knowledge or information.
Besides that, the aforementioned Quranic verses also remind us that knowledge that we gain by reading books and papers should be enriched by studying its positive and negative effects, as well as the maslahah (greater good) towards mankind. For example, we know that many ulama or scholars have agreed that smoking is a habit that should be avoided seeing that it causes harm to the health of the individual as well as those around him. However, how do we deliver such religious advice?
We need to take into account the situation of an individual. Has he tried to throw away the habit for years, but still fail miserably? Or has he just returned to the right path, and is slowly living his life the Islamic way? Thus, he would have more important and critical things to learn and embrace. Hence, in trying to achieve a maslahah, do not neglect the maslahah of the individual who is working towards change and goodness. Based on this spirit of iqra’, we have witnessed and continue to witness, the persistence of the ulama in their continuous efforts to seek knowledge.
Knowledge or ‘ilm is something that is noble and extremely valuable. It cannot be acquired through shortcuts. Knowledge requires effort, diligence and a deep level of understanding. Rasulullah said,
Which means: “Ulama are the heirs of prophets, and prophets left no Dinar or Dirham but they left knowledge and anyone who takes from it will have inherited a great legacy.” [Hadith reported by Imam Tirmidzi].
This is why we read many stories on the diligence of the ulama in seeking and delving deeper into the search for knowledge. Observe the diligence of Imam Ibn Al-Mubarak. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said, “No one else during the time of Ibnul Mubarak was more diligent in seeking knowledge than him. He went to Yemen, Egypt, Syam, Basrah and Kuffah. He was among those who passed the knowledge and was perfect for it. He studied from the old and the young.”
Therefore, do not make the religious information that we obtain from the Internet, books, social media applications and so on, be the only methods of obtaining knowledge. If we truly want to acquire knowledge, there are several rules we need to observe. As mentioned by Imam As-Syafie:
“My brother, knowledge cannot be obtained except by these six ways and I will tell you the details: (1) intelligence, (2) zeal, (3) determination, (4) having sufficient means, (5) befriending (studying from) a teacher who can guide you, (6) a lengthy period of time.”
Hence as Muslims, we have to work hard to be a community that reads, thinks, and strive to dignify itself and develop future civilization for the benefit of future generations.
May Allah grant us opportunities and open the paths that will lead us to attain His pleasure in this world and the hereafter.
Isphahan is a beautiful city in Persia. In this lovely city there once lived a very great learned man. He was also very poor. His name was Muhammad Baqar. Because he lived in Isphahan he is known as Mohammad Baqar al-Isphahani which means Muhammad Baqar of Isphahan city….
Isphahan is a beautiful city in Persia. In this lovely city there once lived a very great learned man. He was also very poor. His name was Muhammad Baqar. Because he lived in Isphahan he is known as Mohammad Baqar al-Isphahani which means Muhammad Baqar of Isphahan city.
Muhammad Baqar al-Isphahani was poor and therefore he could not afford good food. He had no money to buy good food. For many years he had been living on simple food. Once he felt like eating liver. Food made from the liver is tasty and rich in strength. So he began to save money each day from his small earnings so that he could buy a pound of liver and thus satisfy his desire.
After many days he saved enough money to buy a pound of liver He was happy. He went to the bazaar and bought a nice piece of his favourite liver.
Feeling very, very happy he was returning home from the market with the parcel in his hands. On the way home, near a ruined house, he saw a dog with her puppies. The dog with her young ones looked very hungry. Her stomach had gone deep inside. She was not able even to give milk to her little ones and feed them. The dog and her puppies were also shivering from the cold climate.
Mohammad Baqar al-Isphahani felt sorry for the poor animals. He went near them and stroked them kindly. Then he opened his parcel of liver and cut small pieces and then piece by piece fed them.
The dog while eating looked thankfully at Mohammad Baqar al-Isphahani and then at the sky as if she was thanking Allah for the favour and praying for the generous and kind man.
Having fed the animals Mohammad Baqar al-lsphahani went home. Tired and hungry he slept that night shivering in the cold. But, somehow he felt happy.
Soon after this incident, he began to get rich. Gradually he became richer and richer until he was a millionaire. He became so rich that once when the King of Isphahan was in need of money, Muhammad Baqar al-Isphahani gave him a loan of 20,000 dinars.
There was a king who had a sorcerer, and when that sorcerer became old, he said to the king, “I have become old and my time is nearly over, so please send me a boy whom I can teach magic.” So, the king sent him a boy and the sorcerer taught him magic. Whenever the boy went to the sorcerer, he sat with a monk who was on the way and listened to his speech and admired them.
There was a king who had a sorcerer, and when that sorcerer became old, he said to the king,
“I have become old and my time is nearly over, so please send me a boy whom I can teach magic.”
So, the king sent him a boy and the sorcerer taught him magic. Whenever the boy went to the sorcerer, he sat with a monk who was on the way and listened to his speech and admired them.
So, when he went to the sorcerer, he passed by the monk and sat there with him; and on visiting the sorcerer the latter would thrash him. So, the boy complained about this to the monk. The monk said to him,
“Whenever you are afraid of the sorcerer, say to him: `My people kept me busy.’ And whenever you are afraid of your people, say to them: `The sorcerer kept me busy.”’ So the boy carried on like that (for some time). Then a huge terrible creature appeared on the road and the people were unable to pass by. The boy said, “Today I shall know whether the sorcerer is better or the monk is better.”
So, he took a stone and said, “O Allah! If the deeds and actions of the monk are liked by You better than those of the sorcerer, then kill this creature so that the people can cross (the road).” Then he struck it with a stone killing it and the people passed by on the road.
The boy came to the monk and informed him about it. The monk said to him, “O my son! Today you are better than I, and you have achieved what I see! You will be put on trial. And in case you are put to trial, do not inform (them) about me.”
The boy used to treat the people suffering from congenital blindness, leprosy, and other diseases. There was a courtier of the king who had become blind and he heard about the boy. He came and brought a number of gifts for the boy and said, “All these gifts are for you on the condition that you cure me.” The boy said, “I do not cure anybody; it is only Allah who cures people. So, if you believe in Allah and supplicate to Him, He will cure you.” So, he believed in and supplicated to Allah, and Allah cured him.
Later, the courtier came to the king and sat at the place where he used to sit before. The king said, “Who gave you back your sight”The courtier replied, “My Lord.” The king then said, “I did?” The courtier said, “No, my Lord, and your Lord – Allah” The king said, “Do you have another Lord beside me?” The courtier said, “Yes, your Lord and my Lord is Allah.”
The king tortured him and did not stop until he told him about the boy. So, the boy was brought to the king and he said to him, “O boy! Has your magic reached to the extent that you cure congenital blindness, leprosy and other diseases”He said, ” I do not cure anyone! Only Allah can cure.”
The king said, “Me?” The boy replied, “No.” The king asked, “Do you have another Lord besides me?”The boy answered, ” My Lord and your Lord is Allah.” So, he tortured him also until he told about the monk.
Then the monk was brought to him and the king said to him, “Abandon your religion.” The monk refused and so the king ordered a saw to be brought which was placed in the middle of his head and he fell, sawn in two. Then it was said to the man who used to be blind, “Abandon your religion.” He refused to do so, and so a saw was brought and placed in the middle of his head and he fell, sawn in two. Then the boy was brought and it was said to him, “Abandon your religion.” He refused and so the king sent him to the top of such and such mountain with some people. He told the people, “Ascend up the mountain with him till you reach its peak, then see if he abandons his religion; otherwise, throw him from the top.”
They took him and when they ascended to the top, he said, “O Allah! Save me from them by any means that You wish.” So, the mountain shook and they all fell down and the boy came back walking to the king. The king said, ” What did your companions (the people I sent with you) do?” The boy said, “Allah saved me from them.” So, the king ordered some people to take the boy on a boat to the middle of the sea, saying, “If he renounces his religion (well and good), but if he refuses, drown him.” So, they took him out to sea and he said, “O Allah! Save me from them by any means that you wish.” So they were all drowned in the sea.
Then the boy returned to the king and the king said, “What did your companions do?” The boy replied, “Allah, saved me from them.” Then he said to the king, “You will not be able to kill me until you do as I order you. And if you do as I order you, you will be able to kill me.” The king asked, “And what is that?” The boy said, “Gather the people in one elevated place and tie me to the trunk of a tree; then take an arrow from my quiver and say: ‘In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.’ If you do this, you will be able to kill me.”
So he did this and placing an arrow in the bow, he shot it, saying, “In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.” The arrow hit the boy in the temple, and the boy placed his hand over the arrow wound and died. The people proclaimed, “We believe in the Lord of the boy!”
Then it was said to the king, “Do you see what has happened That which you feared has taken place. By Allah, all the people have believed (in the Lord of the boy).”
So he ordered that ditches be dug at the entrances to the roads and it was done, and fires were kindled in them. Then the king said, “Whoever abandons his religion, let him go, and whoever does not throw him into the fire.”
They were struggling and scuffling in the fire, until a woman and her baby whom she was breastfeeding came and it was as if she was being somewhat hesitant of falling into the fire, so her baby said to her, “Be patient mother! For verily, you are following the truth!”)
This story from Imam Ahmad who recorded from Suhayb that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)
Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels.
When passing through a mountain pass, a Bedouin (a nomadic Arab ) once came across an old man who was blind and who seemed to be afflicted with various ailments all over his body….
When passing through a mountain pass, a Bedouin (a nomadic Arab ) once came across an old man who was blind and who seemed to be afflicted with various ailments all over his body.
It was clear that he was wasting away. He was even paralyzed and was constantly forced to remain in a seated position. The Bedouin could clearly hear him say, “All praise is for Allah, Who has kept me safe from ailments with which He has tested many among His creation; and He has indeed preferred me over many among those that He created.”
“My brother!” exclaimed the Bedouin. “What have you been saved from? By Allah, I think that you have been afflicted with every single kind of ailment!”
“Go away from me,” said the old man, as he raised his head. “Do I not still have a tongue with which I can pronounce His Oneness, and with which I can remember Him every single moment? And do I not still have a heart with which I can know Him?”
These words of the old man were enough for the Bedouin to repent to Allah for his sins and ask Him for forgiveness.
Remember, there is always someone else who is in more problem than you.
Around the turn of the century, Shaykh Mahboob was on his way to the pilgrimage in Mecca, on a camel caravan from Syria. He was accompanying his teacher, Shaykh Ahmed Mekki. The journey took three months and along the way, there were many difficulties, non-the least desert robbers….
Around the turn of the century, Shaykh Mahboob was on his way to the pilgrimage in Mecca, on a camel caravan from Syria. He was accompanying his teacher, Shaykh Ahmed Mekki. The journey took three months and along the way, there were many difficulties, non-the least desert robbers.
On one afternoon, they came across another caravan heading east to China. They shared camp that evening exchanged stories of their lands and experiences. The leader of the caravan warned the pilgrims to be very careful in the next few days, as there were reports of the presence of an infamous thief in the area. His infamy was on the fact that he was a ruthless man, not caring whom he robbed or killed and not even sparing the caravans of pilgrims.
The next day, while having traveled for many miles, the Shaykh’s caravan stopped to perform the afternoon prayer (Asr prayer). As they were doing their ablutions, shouts were heard from all quarters of the caravan. Soon there were shots heard and the caravan was under siege by the band of thieves under the leadership of the infamous marauder, who they had been warned about the night before.
The thieves were relentless in their appetite for blood. Many peoples were killed and the caravan was ransacked. Shaykh Mahboob could see the chief thief in the distance. Like a proud king or landowner, he remained away from the camp, until most of the damage was done. Then he entered the camp to survey the booty his men had collected. As he moved through the crowds of the vanquished peoples, all heads bowed in fear of catching his eye and disfavor, risking death or a beating.
As he came closer, Shaykh Mahboob lifted his head and challenged the chief thief. He admonished him for laying siege on a caravan of helpless peoples on their way to the holy pilgrimage. Most were astonished at the courage and bold stance the Shaykh had taken. Fear ran through most though; fear that this would be the invitation of their deaths. The thief addressed the Shaykh, saying, “Do you know who I am? Do you know that I have killed men for less than what you have done today!’ The Shaykh answered, ” I only fear Allah, my life is in His hands and in His hands only. If it be that I should die today having challenged evil, than let it be so.”
The thief dismounted his camel and approached the Shaykh. He addressed the Shaykh saying: “I fear no man or God, but I am the one feared by all” The Shaykh answered “Then I pity your illusion, and I will pray for you to repent”. The thief was so impressed with the Shaykh’s courage, that he had all his men gather around Shaykh Mahboob to introduce him as an equal to himself. He extolled the Shaykh’s courage in standing up, and speaking to himself. In respect to Shaykh Mahboob, he let him live and brought to him a gift of three camels, gladdened with gold and silver. Shaykh Mahboob asked his Shaykh if he could accept the three camels of gold and silver from the infamous thief. His Shaykh was clear and direct in his response. He could not accept these gifts, as they were surely, stolen from others. It would be haram, or forbidden.
As Shaykh Mahboob returned to where the thief was to refuse the gifts, the Shaykh surprised everyone when he in fact, accepted the gifts. The thief was gratified and with his men disappeared into the desert. Shaykh Mahboob had now become an outcast. His Shaykh refused to see him and he was sent with his camels to the end of the caravan, forbidden to eat, or fraternize with the rest of the caravan’s. He even was stoned and spat on several occasions.
After many days, the Shaykh’s caravan came across the royal caravan from the Khalifa of Turkey. There was blood everywhere. The infamous thief had laid them siege to several days before. He had stolen all the gift supplies that the Khalifa had sent to Mecca and Medina to help for the Hajj. There were also three camels of gold and silver taken. This was a special gift from the Khalifa, intended to feed and clothe the poor peoples on pilgrimage. From the back of the caravan, Shaykh Mahboob came forward with the three camels of gold and silver, and placed their reins on the hands of their rightful guardians. A roar and cheer went up throughout the two caravans. Shaykh Mahboob was now a hero. As the roar and shouts praising his insight and courage died down, his own Shaykh emerged from the crowd. As he approached Shaykh Mahboob he bowed slightly, taking Shaykh Mahboob’s hand and kissing it, saying from this day forward you are a Shaykh of Tariqa.
From Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him), which related the following story in his famous historical book; ‘Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah’, about the generosity of ‘Abdullah bin Mubarak. The scholar who was also a businessman, ‘Abdullah bin Mubarak (may Allah have mercy on him), set out to perform Hajj.
From Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him), which related the following story in his famous historical book; ‘Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah‘, about the generosity of ‘Abdullah bin Mubarak.
The scholar who was also a businessman, ‘Abdullah bin Mubarak (may Allah have mercy on him), set out to perform Hajj.
As ‘Abdullah was passing by a certain region, he noticed a bird that had fallen from the sky and died, so he ordered that it be thrown in a heap of garbage. Later on, when he passed by that very heap of garbage, he saw a young girl coming out of her home going to the pile of garbage and taking the dead bird, leaving with it and hurrying back to her home.
‘Abdullah went to her and asked her about what she did. The girl replied,
“My brother and I live here and we own nothing except for our clothing. We have no sustenance except for what is thrown in that heap of garbage; for the past few days, even the dead carcass has become permissible for us. Our father used to have a lot of wealth, but he was wronged, his wealth was taken away from him and was killed.”
‘Abdullah ordered for the supplies of the trip to be taken back to his home, and he said to his agent, “How much do we have in terms of spending money?” He said, “1000 dinars.” ‘Abdullah said, “Take from that 20 dinars which should be enough for our return journey, and give the rest to her, for that is better than our (voluntary) Hajj this year.”
He then returned home.
Moral of the story
This story shows us the character of the scholar from the past, ‘Abdullah bin Mubarak and his generosity towards people.