Muhammad-the Trustworthy

The Most Popular Youth Of Mecca Whom Almighty God Appointed As His Last Messenger

In Arabic, the word Muhammad has a unique importance and distinction. Ever since the evolution of this language, no one except Muhammad the son of Abdullah was given this name. Its meanings include: the one who is noble, virtuous, honest, trustworthy, and reliable. Whenever we utter or hear this holy name all these high human qualities come to our mind.

Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was the only memorial of Abdullah the youngest of the twelve sons of Abdul Muttalib. Abdullah was very handsome with a shapely body. That is why young girls of Mecca were always desirous of marrying him. So much so that some of them were eager to have at least a temporary wedlock. Some were waiting just for a nod from him for engagement. But Almighty God also makes a choice selection for His chosen servants. Abdul Muttalib gave preference to the noblest tribe of Bani Zahra in Mecca and married his son Abdullah with Amina the daughter of Wahab.[1]

[1] See Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 101

When Abdullah was only twenty-five he went to Syria for trade purpose and camped in Medina on this return journey. He fell ill and expired in Medina and was buried there.

When Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was born his father had already died. He also lost the affectionate shade of his mother, Amina when he was only five years old.

Losing both of his parents who were yet young was such a painful matter that Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) remembered it throughout his life. He passed the first eight years of his childhood under the care of his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib. When Abdul Muttalib expired, he came to the house of his uncle, Abu Talib according to the will of his grandfather and received very affectionate nourishment till he was twenty-two.

At the age of twelve he had accompanied his uncle, Abu Talib in a trade caravan, which was going to sell goods in Syria . Thereafter he used to do so for several years. During those days, the wealthiest lady of Mecca , Khadijah, who was also called ‘Empress of the Arabs’, was exporting her trade goods to Syria . Abu Talib also was carrying her trade goods to Syria . His young nephew Muhammad was helping him in the said trade caravans.

According to the famous historian Ibn Hisham the young Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) had taken part in the battle of Fujjar when he was about fourteen or fifteen. That battle was fought between Bani Quraish and Bani Qais. The latter tribe lived on the shores of Yemen . It had started when Bani Qais, disregarding the holiness of the prohibited months killed a man of Bani Quraish. Prophet Muhammad’s uncles Zubair, Hamzah and Abbas (sons of Abdul Muttalib) had also taken

their nephew (the Holy Prophet) to that war. The Holy Prophet despite his young age was warding off the arrows shot by the enemies towards Abu Talib.

According to the historian, Muhammad ibn Ishaq; the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was then twenty.[1]

Ever since his young days, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was the center of attention of all men and women in Mecca . Even the noblest persons gave him respect and honor because of his spirituality and high moral virtues. His truthfulness and his honesty were exemplary. All historians have written at length about the high-ranking morality of Muhammad. It is in the fitness of things to quote here from the writings of a famous Western Historian, Geur Geutha, who was from Rome and had spent many years in Arabia as a diplomat. He wrote a book titled: Muhammad, The Prophet who should be introduced from a new angle. Here are some lines from this book:

“It will be totally true and factual to say that Muhammad was one of those gentlemen who had suffered many pains. In this respect none can equal him because Muhammad had, very patiently, confronted many troubles patiently right from his childhood. Though he was under the affectionate guardianship of his uncle Abu Talib, the latter had a very big responsibility of maintaining a very big family where means of provision were limited. It was difficult for him even to provide proper dress and footwear etc. That is why, at an age when other children play games, Muhammad had, under compulsion, to spend all of his time in earning livelihood. He was looking after sheep both in scorching

[1] See Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 12

heat and chilling cold in the dry climate of Arab sandy lands.[1]

This non-Muslim further writes: “A child whose father and mother had expired before he was even eight years old, had to earn his livelihood by hard work. He knew that he must help himself, as there was none to ward off his difficulties. Innumerable troubles and the weight of limitless responsibilities to be faced single-handed had made him forbearing and serene. That is why when he was only twelve, his uncle, Abu Talib thought of taking him along the trade caravans.[2]

It should be noted that there are many shortcomings in this book, as the writer is from Europe who gathered material from general sources. Yet “Maktab-e-Islam” has published a book about it wherein he has been quoted and hence we have quoted here some historically important and valuable things.

In one of his several trade journeys he was passing through Jordan when a Christian monk came out of his monastery and saw Muhammad, who was then only eleven years old. The monk who knew Abu Talib came to the latter and said, “O Abu Talib! Take back this boy to Mecca . Otherwise, if any Jew sees him he will kill him on any excuse. If it is not possible for you to take him back to Mecca , take him to Syria , then take extra care of him.” The clergy had read in Bible some signs of the last Messenger of God, which he could see in Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). So he congratulated Abu

[1] From Persian translation by Zabeehullah Mansoor,pp. 304 [2] Ibid

Talib saying, “Your nephew has a very bright future. Take utmost care of him in every possible manner.”

After returning from the journey, as Abu Talib had become very tired, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) used to take his flock of sheep and goats every morning for grazing in the wilderness. He stood for the whole day in the hot sun taking care of the animals.

Years before he was made the divine messenger by God, people of Mecca used to call him Amin (trustworthy) and Saboor (Extremely patient). In Arabic, ‘Amin’ also means absolutely faithful.

In the days of his youth, traders wanted him to sell their goods and to take his due remuneration. Muhammad did sell their trade goods but always took less than what was due to him as reported by Qais ibn Zaid.

Ibn Hanbal writes: After returning from his trade journeys Muhammad always ascertained about his friends. If he found someone in distress, he distributed a portion of his hard-earned money to the needy. This was indeed exemplary on the part of a trader or businessman.[1]

The Pact of Hilful Fuzul

This event took place in the earlier days of youth of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). This nobly active youth gathered the youths of the tribes like Bani Hashim, Bani Asad, Bani Zuhra, Bani Qaiyim in the house of an old gentleman named Abdullah ibn Jazan and formed an organization in which oath was taken from every youth that he would help every

[1] Musnad, Cairo , 1368 H.E., Pg. 225

oppressed person in Mecca or who came to Mecca from another place and met with problems; that if someone oppresses others he will be made to give what was due to the oppressed justly. This pact was called Hilful Fuzul.

It is all the more worthwhile to hear the truth from others. Just see what an expert western historian has written:

The Hilful Fuzul organization was like an army formed by a group of brave and courageous justice-loving youths. It was constituted to ensure that each and every oppressed person gets justice and his or her dues. These soldiers were not taking any remuneration from anyone but were serving the society voluntarily. In those days the Arab Bedouins acted freely in whatever way they liked. There was none to check their behavior. If anyone from a tribe killed a member of another Arab tribe the whole tribe of the killed one would wage an all out war against the whole tribe of the killer. There were no norms for warfare.

There was neither police in Mecca nor any court. Every tribe formed their own rules. If anyone arrived in Mecca from another area and fell a victim of oppression there, he had no one to help. He would have to bear the injustice or return from Mecca , complain to his tribe who may come and fight with the Meccans in revenge. But if any tribe from outside arrived to fight with any Meccan tribe, it was being regarded as an insult to the tribe of Quraish and all the Meccan tribes would jointly fight with the outsiders. Therefore, hardly any tribe from out of Mecca ever dared to wage a war with Meccans.

In such circumstances the above-mentioned youths of Hilful Fuzul used to help every oppressed person. They gathered

around the Holy Ka’ba and swore that they would never forget their responsibility of assisting every oppressed person and would assure that the oppressed one got his rightful dues, even if the oppressor was the richest or the most influential person. That is why these volunteers used to rush to help even if the oppressed one did not belong to Mecca , even if he came from another part of the country.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) himself once said: The best part of my past life was spent in the activities of Hilful Fuzul. That service has given me much honor and respect. I would not have stepped out of that agreement even if I were to be offered one hundred red camels.

The same western author writes further: This noble formation of Hilful Fuzul was the main achievement of the youthful days of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), which took place before he was made the messenger of God. It is noteworthy that the idea of providing justice to everyone came to Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) at a time when nobody there even thought of any kind of human rights. Thus it was a very big revolution in social life. His activities weakened all oppressors and when the Holy Quran spread its light every sort of ignorance and darkness was removed from the land. Before that no one ever dared to question an oppressor.

In addition to the aforesaid moral virtues Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was full of God-given intelligence and wisdom. Otherwise how could he be a prophet? His power of making the most appropriate decisions in every social, personal or political problem was extremely wonderful.[1]

[1] Muhammad, the Prophet who should be introducedfrom a new angle

His Marriage with Khadijah

As mentioned earlier Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was also, like other traders of Mecca , taking benefit of the business of Mecca ’s most wealthy businesswoman Khadijah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was twenty five year old and yet unmarried. His noble and healthful youth was the talk of the town. His morals and modesty were exemplary. His way of walking, style of talking, mode of dressing and dining and his habit of looking with lowered eyes had made him distinguished among all. When he returned from his second trade journey, he as usual, went to Khadijah to present business accounts.

The noble businesswoman looked at him carefully and observed that this modest youth was a very attractive young man with bright eyes and dark hair, which he used to comb nicely. While talking and smiling the appearance of his milk white teeth added to his elegance. In addition to all these beauties he had an attractive body odor, which every companion would like to feel. That was why he was almost always circled by a group of youths. In those days the Arabs were very fond of scent, which they applied to their bodies and even to their homes and the Holy Ka’ba. But the historians say that Muhammad never used external scent and yet his body remained ever fragrant. He always talked slowly with enough pauses so that the other person could hear him clearly and would then never forget.

When Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) finished submission of trade accounts, Khadijah turned towards him and asked some indirect questions whereby Muhammad might get the cue that she was interested in marrying him and she might also get an idea about his opinion in this regard. But

Muhammad’s response indicated that he was till then not prepared for matrimony. Muhammad’s attractive black eyes, his long black hair, his pleasing smile and the fragrance spreading from his body had awed Khadijah. She liked him very much but could not find ability to put her proposal directly to him.

Historians of Islam have noted that when Khadijah was taking this point with Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) the face of the latter radiated in a way that astonished the former to such an extent that she then and there decided that she will get this handsome and virtuous youth of Bani Hashim for herself at any cost.

Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) had no riches. He was just like many other traders who carried Khadijah’s trade goods from one place to other. He did not have even a house of his own. He was living in the house of his uncle, Abu Talib. Yet he was a very respectful youth of twenty-five while Khadijah was forty. Thus there was a difference of fifteen years in their ages. She doubted whether Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) would agree to this matrimony! So she approached Abu Talib and told him the secret of her heart. She said, “Many of the noble and wealthy chiefs wanted my hand but I have rejected all of them. But now, my wish for Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is beyond my control and therefore I myself am directly putting up this proposal before you. You may proceed further.” She added, “If Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) overlooks the difference in our age I will not look at any of the Arab customs, which demand equality in wealth and position etc.”

Finally Khadijah who had married twice earlier and who held a very high position in the society of Mecca attained the honor of marrying Mecca ’s most eligible bachelor, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).[1]

Abu Talib discussed this matter with Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and finally got his approval. The wedding ceremony was to be held in the house of Khadijah. Abu Talib read out the formula of marriage. Then turning towards Khadijah’s uncle, Amr ibn Asad said,

“My brother’s son Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib is such a virtuous youth who cannot be compared with anybody else in Mecca . His lineage is also the noblest of all. Of course he does not have wealth but then wealth is not a thing, which remains with one forever. Such material things part very soon. He has inclined towards Khadijah and so has Khadijah towards him. Both are prepared to share love with one another. So now you may fix the dower. I am prepared to give it and ready to recite the marriage contract.”

Thus the two very distinguished personalities were joined together in a bond of matrimony.

After this marriage, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) became a very wealthy gentleman in Mecca , as Khadijah gave all her property in his authority. Thereafter he called his cousin, Ali; took him in his guardianship and made him a manager of his trade and business.

[1] Sayed Karrar Husain Waiz Hindi has in his book MaleekatulArab proved through various narrations that Khadijah was neither then 40year old nor had she married twice before. God knows best. (Translator)

After a lapse of eleven years he offered freedom to a Syrian slave, who was previously a Christian named Zaid ibn Haritha, who was gifted to him (Muhammad). But the faithful slave did not agree to be away from Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and stayed with him.

Ever since Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) married Khadijah and became wealthy he made every effort to help the needy and the poor. “Finally, I find it necessary to say that no other divine book has put so much emphasis on helping the poor as has the Holy Quran which God revealed to Prophet Muhammad.”[1]

Bloodshed avoided

Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was thirty-five when the tribe of Quraish barely escaped a very big and bloody civil war. The building of Ka’ba had become dilapidated. The wall around it was about six feet high and there was no ceiling above. At the entrance of Ka’ba there was a very old well about which it was said that there was a great treasure hidden in it and there was a fear of its being looted by robbers. This house of Ka’ba was holy in the eyes of the idol-worshippers and thus a center of their aspirations. Therefore the leaders of Quraish intended to pull it down for rebuilding.

In the meantime a ship belonging to Byzantine traders arrived at the port of Jeddah . It broke up in the sea and the Quraish chiefs bought all the wood for constructing a ceiling for Ka’ba. An Egyptian carpenter was then living in Mecca . He offered to build the ceiling with the help of Meccans. However the people of Mecca feared that perhaps

[1] Ibid, Pg. 33

such a demolition might bring trouble for them. There lived a very big snake in the well of Ka’ba. It used to come out of the well daily and return after taking a round over Ka’ba walls. This had frightened the Meccans more.

One day when that snake was lying on the Ka’ba wall, an eagle swooped down suddenly from the sky, picked up the snake and flew away. The Quraish took this as a good omen and said, “The danger from the snake is also now averted. The Egyptian carpenter is also offering his service voluntarily. Ample wood is also available. Thus when God has removed fear from us why should we not start reconstruction of Ka’ba at once?”

First of all, Walid ibn Mughaira took up a shovel saying, “By God! I intend nothing except the construction of the House of God.” He demolished a corner of Ka’ba. But again there were some people who passed that night very anxiously in fright fearing some sudden trouble as Mughaira had demolished a part of the Holy House. When nothing happened during the night, all got reassured next morning and all joined in the demolition work. They enlarged its dimensions for making it better and beautiful.

The job was nearing completion when it was decided that the Black Stone should be put at its original place. But, here every tribe wanted to take this honor, which would show their nobility. The dispute turned into near fighting and arms were also taken up. Finally chiefs of all the tribes gathered in the Holy Precincts for larger consultation to settle the dispute.

Among those chiefs, Abu Umayyah Makhzoomi was senior-most in age and experience. He suggested, “You may make

your adjudicator the man who first enters the Masjid next morning, and then act as he decides.”

As there was no other solution, all agreed and waited for the next dawn anxiously. They saw that it was the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) who stepped in first of all. All at once exclaimed, “Since Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is honest and trustworthy we are prepared to accept his arbitration.”

They requested Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) to find out the solution for which they had put full faith in him. Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) said, “Please bring a large sheet of cloth and spread it on the ground.” Then he himself picked up Hajre Aswad and placed the stone in the middle of that sheet and asked all the chiefs to hold the sheet, raise it and bring it to the desired level. When they did so, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) once again took up that stone with his own hands and inserted it at its place. Thus he saved the Meccans from bloodshed.[1]

The Quraish were now fully convinced of the intelligence of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). As he was then quite young, one of the old and aged among them said, “Woe unto you. Despite so many old, aged and experienced men you made a youth your judge and accepted his decision when he is the youngest of all! By the goddesses Lat and Uzza, after this feat, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) has taken up the reigns of leadership in his hands forever and now his name and fame will spread all around.”[2]

[1] Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 125-127 [2] Murujuz Zahab, Vol. 2, Pg. 2780

Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was a portrait of God-given wisdom and intelligence. His morals were exemplary; so he attained his rightful rank. Just have a look at his earlier life. When he opened his eyes, his father was no more. His mother also passed away when he was yet five years old. He arrived in the house of his uncle Abu Talib when he was only eight. There he found an affectionate aunt. His uncle was full of love for him, though he was under crushing pressure of various responsibilities.

The young Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) continued to assist his dear uncle most painstakingly and carefully. His respect continued to rise in the eyes of all. His honesty and selflessness was unfurling the flag of his future leadership.

When forty years of such a noble and hard life passed away, Almighty Allah made him His Messenger and commanded him to announce the same in public.

Angel Jibraeel arrived in the cave of Mt. Hira where Muhammad was busy remembering his Lord. The reader was reading from the unseen, which was to remove darkness from the world and to establish Divine Rule in the world.

In the words of poet Sadi Shirazi:

Moon veiled its face seeing the brightness of Muhammad’s radiance.

Tall trees appear short before the high stature of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).

The height of skies is nothing compared with the loftiness of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).

The virtues of all the earlier divine messengers, Adam, Ibrahim, Isa and Musa are combined in the nobility of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).

Both the sun and the moon appear dim before the brightness of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).

I wish I could see Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) at least in my dreams.

O Sadi! If you have to love anyone, love of Muhammad is sufficient.