(BEING CONTINUED FROM 25/08/13)
The Treaty with the Christians of Najran
The 9th year of Hijra was of great importance because of the treaty with the Christians of Najran, This treaty is regarded of vital importance because it was the result neither of war nor of any discussion but ended in Mubahela between the Holy Prophet and the Christians of Najran.(This means cursing each other).
The Christians of Najran were unhappy because of the rapid spread of Islam in the land of Arabs. They wished to discuss this matter with the Prophet and arrived in Madina. Few learned scholars were selected by the Christians who had a continuous dialogue with the Prophet for three days.
It started on Saturday, when Sunday arrived and they asked to leave to go outside the city to pray the Prophet told them to stay and pray inside the Mosque of the Prophet which they did to their surprise.
Prophet of Islam was setting the example that there is freedom of worship in Islam for all who believe in God. After their Sunday service their discussion continued. They were unable to arrive on any mutual understanding. The sticking point was the claim by the Christians of the divinity of Jesus Christ as the son of God.
The Holy Prophet told them, “ The birth of Jesus Christ is similar to the birth of Adam. Allah created Adam without father and mother while Jesus was born without a father and from his mother only. None of the two was the son of God.
This is the truth, for you accept the creation of Adam without parents yet do not claim him to be of divine essence. Why then do you deviate from this truth.” When they did not agree on this point revelation from Allah came on the Prophet.
(3:61) The Verse reads like this
“If you are not prepared to accept the truth after the fact that you have failed in your arguments, Say, Come now, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our Selves and Your Selves, then let us humbly pray and so lay God’s curse upon the ones who lie.”
The next morning the Holy Prophet emerged from his house with his closest family. He held the hand of Imam Hasan (as) walking beside him, held Imam Husayn (as) in his arms, followed by his daughter Fatimah (S). She was followed by ‘Ali (as).
He came and stood with this family in front of the Christian Bishops who also came forward to perform the Mubahela. The chief of the Christians was Bishop Abul Harris.
When he saw this small family of the Prophet he turned towards his fellow Christians and told them, “Do not indulge in Mubahela with this family, for I am observing such pious faces that if they would order the mountain to come to them the mountain shall move towards them.
It is therefore prudent to make treaty with them rather than confrontation of this spiritual imminence. They asked the Prophet for peace and it was accepted. The Holy Prophet extended the hand of friendship towards them, a treaty was signed and both parties left on friendly terms.
The last pilgrimage
On the 25th Zeeqaad of the 10th year of Hijra the Holy Prophet left Madina for a pilgrimage to the Holy Ka’aba at Makka. This was to be the last pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet.
A very large number of people were with him who performed this last pilgrimage with the Prophet. At the mount of Arafat the Prophet gave his last sermon and came out of Makka towards Madina. Half way through their route the caravan arrived at a place called Ghadeer-e-Khum. It was 18th of Zilhijja 10th year of Hijra.
The Prophet stopped there and made a general announcement to stop all those pilgrims with him. When all companions were assembled at the place the Prophet announced, “Know all my followers that I am about to leave this mundane world. I am leaving behind two valuable things for your future guidance. One is the Book of Allah and the other is my Ahlul Bayt, that is my family. If you follow these two you will never be misled.”
After this the Holy Prophet took ‘Ali by his hand, raised him up so that all can see him. The Prophet said, “ Do you accept that my Self is above your Selves. When all the companions replied in unison, “Yes, Prophet of God, we accept, “then he announced that whoever accepted him as his master, then ‘Ali is to be their master. “O’ God, be witness that I have passed your message as thou have ordered. Those who have love for ‘Ali will have love for me and those who will love me will love Allah.”
After this Khutba the Prophet arrived back in Madina at the end of the month of Zilhijja.
The Death of the Holy Prophet
In the month of Safar 11 Hijra, the Holy Prophet fell ill. Most of this time with the agreement of his wives the Prophet stayed at the house of Ayesha from where he would come out to the mosque and lead the prayers. One day he was very ill so he asked Ayesha to call ‘Ali for prayers. She called her father Abubakr instead and asked him to lead the prayers.
While Abubakr was leading the prayers The Prophet woke up. When he realized who was leading the prayers, he came out of the house with the help of his uncle Abbas and his Moazzin Bilal, stood in front of Abubakr and led the prayers. From there the Prophet returned to the House of his daughter Hazrat Fatimah where he stayed until the last day of his life.
Pen and Paper
It is narrated in Saheeh Bukhari and Muslim that Ibne Abbas narrated:
When the Holy Prophet was seriously ill, and all of us were around him, he opened his eyes and said, bring me pen and paper so that I may write something which shall always guide you and shall keep you on the Right Path and shall save you from being astray.
Hearing these words from the lips of the Holy Prophet, Omar said, ” Ur- Rajulo la -Yahjur” meaning this man was talking which makes no sense.”Hasbona Kitab Allah” The Book of God is sufficient for us.
This gave rise to a dispute among the companions. Some were of the opinion that as the Holy Prophet was to be obeyed at all times and under all circumstances a pen and paper should be provided to him, while some of them were on the side of Omar.
The hot discussion on that point between the companions gave rise to noise and the Holy Prophet angrily told them to go away from his presence and leave him alone.”
Whenever Ibne Abbas, who was the most profound scholar and commentator of the Holy Qur’an and the most reliable narrator of the traditions, remembered the event of the day, he used to weep and would say, “Alas, what an unfortunate day it was when the Holy Prophet demanded that a pen and paper be provided to him and there arose a dispute among his companions and they made such a noise that the Holy Prophet told them to get away from him and leave him alone.”
The Holy Prophet asked ‘Ali to come close to him. ‘Ali (as) came and observing the ailing condition of the Holy Prophet raised his head and placed it on his own chest. The Prophet passed away while his head was resting on the chest of ‘Ali (as) .
The news of the death of the Holy Prophet spread quickly among the companions. All of them came out of their house weeping and crying loudly. Umar was very upset. He took his sword out and said, nobody should say that the Prophet was dead. Then he took Abubakr away from the place to a house outside Madina called Saqeefa Bani Sa’ada.
Many companions went with them. While ‘Ali (as) and most of the Bani Hashim stayed in the house of the Holy Prophet while ‘Ali (as) prepared for his burial. The Historian Ibnul Wardi mentions in his book that the funeral bath to the Holy Prophet was given by ‘Ali (as) , assisted by his uncle Abbas and many other relatives.
The Holy Prophet laid to rest on the night of Wednesday. He was 63 years of age. He was buried in the house of his daughter Fatimah which was annexed to the Mosque of the Prophet.
A glimpse of the Holy Prophet (S)
The best known description of the Holy Prophet appears in ‘Universal History’ by Tabari(d.Baghdad 310AH 923 AD) and is attributed to Imam ‘Ali (as) Prophet’s cousin and also his son-in-law.
Asked for details of the Prophet’s external appearance, ‘Ali said, “ He was of medium height, neither very tall nor very short. His complexion was pinkish white, his eyes were black, and his hair was thick, glossy and beautiful. A full beard framed his face. Hairs of his head were long, falling to his shoulders. They were black.
His walk was so energetic that you would have said that he tore himself from the rock with each step, and yet at the same time he moved so lightly that with each stride he seemed not to touch the ground. But he did not walk proudly, as princes do. There was so much gentleness in his face that once in his presence, it was impossible to leave him.
If you were hungry, you were satisfied by looking at him and thought no more of food. Any man suffering from an affliction forgot his troubles when in his presence, charmed by the gentleness of his features and his discourse. All, who saw him, agreed that they never met, neither before nor after, a man whose discourse was so delightful.
His nose was straight; there was a gap between his teeth. Sometimes he would let the hair of his head fall naturally, at other times he wore it knotted into two or four bunches. At sixty three years, no more than fifteen hairs on his whole body had yet become white with age.”
Some selected sayings (Traditions) of the Holy Prophet
1. “Seek knowledge even if it were in China.” It was knowledge of good from evil, which made man worthy of getting the great job of the vice-regency of God on earth. Knowledge has given man superiority over more powerful creatures. It is self evident that nations, which had more knowledge, acquired greater power. The above tradition stresses the need of acquiring knowledge even if one has to travel long distances.
2. “Masses follow the religion of their rulers.” A deep study of history surely reveals the truth of this proverbial saying. Christianity was going through a very hard time until Constantine the great made it a state religion of the Roman Empire.
After acquiring this status Christianity spread throughout the Empire like bush fire. More or less the same thing happened in the East when Islam became the religion of the ruling class. Even now in this age of so called individual freedom and a democratic life style, in most countries force is used to subdue and subjugate the people who dare to defy the policy of the ruling classes.
This clearly means that a just and guided ruler is essential for the up lifts of the people as a whole, hence the need of the presence of an Imam to guide them.
3, “ Refrain from slanderous situations. People say that such and such a person associates with thieves, he must be a thief himself. A wise man keeps himself away from such situations.”
4. “ Actions are determined by their intentions.” Saying prayers while your mind is somewhere else is worthless.”
5. “To associate with a learned man for an hour is better than the company of a worshipper for seventy years.”
6. “ Someone asked the Holy Prophet during the battle of Badr, “What is Deen”. The Prophet replied, Belief in One God and service of the people.”