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Tuesday 31st of January 2023
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The Quraysh Clan Chiefs

Their Opposition to Islam

The followers of the Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) were continually increasing, but whenever a new convert came to him and pledged his or her allegiance, it was more often than not a slave, or a freed slave, or even a member of Quraysh of the outskirts or else a young man or woman from Quraysh of the Hollow, of the influential family but of no influence in themselves, whose conversion would increase tenfold the hostility of their parents and elder kinsmen.

The Holy Prophet longed very much to win over some of the Quraysh Clan Chiefs, not one of whom did or show any real interest of converting to Islam and becoming Muslims.

All, except for the faithful guardian and protecter his Uncle Abu Taleb(as), the clan Chief of the Bani Hashim tribe of Quraysh, who had shown inclination and interest to enter Islam, when he attended the invitation of forty of the Bani Hashim elders for supper at his home.

 

Waleed, The Clan Chief of Makhzum Tribe

It would greatly help him to spread his message if he had the support of some of the other prominant Quraysh Leaders, such as a man like Abul Jahl's uncle, Waleed, who was not only chief of the Makhzum but also the unofficial highly respected leader of Quraysh at that time.

However Waleed was moreover, a man who seemed much more open to serious argument than many of the other Quraysh Clan Chiefs; and one day an opportunity came for the Prophet to speak with Waleed alone.

The Blind Man

One day when the Prophet and Waleed in the Masjid were deep in converse a blind man came past, one who had just recently entered Islam, and on hearing the Prophet's voice he voiced a question towards the Prophet interrupting the conversation.

When asked to be patient and wait for a better moment, the blind man became so importunate that in the end Umar and some of the Companions frowned disapprovingly at the blind man continued insistance in interrupting the sensetive conversation to speak with the Prophet.

In the end harsh words were exchanged and the blind man was rudely ejected and turned away from the presence of the Prophet.

The Prophet's conversation now had been totally ruined by the interruption and of the outcry of rebuke that followed, at the blind man.

Here Waleed did not hesitate, but to take the oportunity to excuse himself and left the Prophet abruptly.

Then a new Surrah was revealed almost immediately, and it began with the words:

"He frowned and turned away, because the blind man came to him."

The Revelation continued:

"As to him who sufficeth unto himself, with him thou art engrossed, yet is it no concern of thine if purified be he not. But as for him who cometh unto thee in eager earnestness and in fear of God, from him thou art drawn away."

However not long after this, Waleed was to betray his own self satisfaction by saying:

"Why are these Revelations, are sent to Mohammad and not to me! Am I not the Chief man of Quraysh and their Lord? Then why are they sent neither to me nor to Abu Masoud, the Lord of Thaqif, when we are the only two great men of the two townships?"

Abu Jahl

The reaction of Abu Jahl was less coldly confident and more passionate. The possibility that Mohammad might be a Prophet was too intolerable to be entertained even for one moment.

"We and the sons of Abdu Manaf, have vied for honour, the one with the other. They have fed food, and we have fed food. They have borne others burdens, and we have borne others burdens. They have given, and we have given, until, when we were running equal, knee unto knee, like two mares in a race, they say: One of our men is a Prophet; Revelations come to him from Heaven! And when shall we attain to she like of this? By God, we will never believe in him, never admit him, to be a speaker of truth."

Shamsite Utbah 

As to the Shamsite Utbah, his reaction but almost equally lacking in sense of Proportion; for was not that Mohammad must be followed if he were a Prophet but that his Prophethood would bring honour to the sons Abdu Manaf.

So one day, when Abu Jahl pointed derisively at the object of his hatred and said to Utbah:

"There is your prophet, O Sons of Abdu Manaf!"

Utbah snapped sharply at him:

"And why shouldst thou take it amiss if we have a prophet, or even a king?"

This last word (king) was a reference to Qusayy, and a sutbtle reminder to the Makhziimite that Abdu Manaf was Qusayy's son, where as Makhzum was only his cousin. The Prophet was near enough to hear this altercation and he came to them and said:

"O Utbah! Thou wast not vexed for the sake of God, nor for the sake of His messenger, but for thine own sake. And as for thee, Abu Jahl, a calamity shall come upon thee. Little shalt thou laugh, and much shalt thou weep!"

The fortunes of the various clans of Quraysh were continually fluctuating. Two of the most powerful at this time were Abdu Shams and Makhzum. Utbah and his brother Shaybah were the leaders of one branch of the Shamsite clan.

Abu Sufayan

Their cousin Harb, the former leader of its Ummayyad branch, had been succeeded on his death by his son Abu Sufayan, who had married, amongst other wives, Utbah's daughter Hind.

Abu Sufayan's success, both in politics and in tracte, was partly due to his reserve of judgement and his capacity for cold and patient deliberation and also forbearance, if his astute sense of opportunity saw that an advantage could thereby be gained.

His cool-headedness was a frequent cause of exasperation for the impetuous and quick-tempered Hind, but he seldom if ever allowed her to sway him once his mind was made up. As might have been expected, he was less violent than Abu Jahl in his hostility towards the Prophet.

 

Rejection of the Message

But if the leaders of Quraysh differed somewhat from each other in their attitude towards the Messenger, they were all unanimous in their rejection of the message itself!

Having all attained a certain success in life though the youngermen hoped that for that for them this was merely the beginning they had by common consent achieved something of what had come to be accepted in Arabia as the ideal of human greatness.

Wealth was not held to be an aspect of that greatness, but it was in fact almost a necessity as a means to the end. A great man must be greatly in demand as an ally and a protector, which meant that he must himself have reliable llies.

This he could partly contrive by weavin for himself, through his own marriages and the marriages of his sons and his daughters a network of powerful and formidable connections. Much in this respect could be achieved by wealth, which the great man also needed in his capacity as host.

The virtues were an essential aspect of the ideal in question, especially the virtue of generosity, but not with a view to any heavenly reward. To be extolled by men, throughout all Arabia and perhaps beyond, for lavish bounty, for leonine courage, for unfailing fidelity to one's word.

Whether it had been given for alliance, protection, guarantee or any other purpose to be extolled for these virtues in life and after death was the honour and the immortality which seemed to them to give life its meaning.

Men like Waleed felt certain of such greatness; and this generated in them a complacence which made them deaf to a message that stressed the vanity of earthly life the vanity of the very setting where their own success had taken place.

Their immortality depended on Arabia remaining as it was, on Arab ideals being perpetuated from the past into the future. They were all sensitive, in varying degrees, to the beauty of the language of the Revelation.

But as to its meaning, their souls spontaneously closed themselves to such verses as the following, which told them that they and their honoured forefathers had achieved nothing, and that all their efforts had been misplaced: This lower life is but a diversion and a game;

"And verify the abode of the Hereafter, that is Life, did they but know."

The Companions

Of The Holy Prophet Mohammed

The true meaning of the term of The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) Companions

The Arab historians have estimated the total number of the Sahabbah meaning 'companions or friends' of The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), is at an astonishing figure of 150,000 persons.

Their definition of a companion or a friend of The Holy Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf)

"Is any Muslim who saw him with his own eyes."

But this is a very loose definition and lacks precision

It is like stating that an person who saw the leader of his country at a political rally or even passing by in a motorcade, and waved at him. Perhaps the leader had also noticed him, and waved back at him, and this act of seeing each other or being seen by each other, makes both of them "friends" of each other.

In the case of our Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf), it is entirely possible that 150,000 Muslims saw him with their own eyes. But it should be borne in mind that many among these Muslims were youngsters, and some were even children. Many others among them were fresh converts to Islam, and since most of them were illiterate Bedouins, their knowledge of the Articles of Faith and the Principles of Islam, or of the character, personality and mission of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), was minimal.

Perhaps it didn't extend beyond their ability to repeat the Shahada, meaning the declaration that,

" God is One, and Mohammed is His Servant and Messenger!"

Still others "accepted" Islam but their sincerity in doing so, was open to question.

In fact, the sincerity of their faith was questioned, not by their contemporaries, but by The Holy Koran, The Holy Book of Allah(swt), in other words by God Himself! As we read in the following verse:

"The wandering Arabs say: We believe. Say (unto them, O Mohammad): Ye believe not, but rather say, 'we submit,' for the faith hath not yet entered into your hearts. Yet, if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not withhold from you aught of (the reward of) your deeds. Lo! Allah is forgiving, Merciful."

Koran: 49 verse:14

But The Koran was not content merely with questioning the faith of the Arabs; it also had many other reservations about them, and it was unequivocal in expressing them as and when the occassion arose.

There were, for example, those Arabs who believed that by accepting Islam, they had placed, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), under an obligation to themselves. Perhaps they expected him to acknowledge his "indebtedness" to them for accepting Islam. But The Holy Koran Al-Majeed didn't agree with them, and said about them:

"They make it a favour unto thee (Mohammad) that they have surrendered (unto him). Say: Deem not your surrender a favour unto me; Nay, but Allah doth confer a favour on you, inasmuch as He hath led you to the Faith, if ye are earnest."

Koran: 49 verse: 17

Some companions of The Holy Mohammed Mustafa, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), were too easily distracted by the craze for some petty gain or amusement. They could leave him standing alone in the act of praying in the mosque for the sake of closing a business deal or for watching some passing show. About them we read in The Koran:

"But when they spy some merchansdise or pastime they break away to it and leave thee standing. Say: That which Allah hath is better than pastime and than merchandise , and Allah is the best of providers."

Koran: 62 verse: 11

The Holy Koran has also taken notice of those Muslims in Medina who loved their own lives more than they loved the life of The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf). If his life was in peril, they could desert him, perhaps without any remorse or pangs of conscience. The Koran has pointedly reminded them that:

"It is not for the townsfolk of Al-Medina and for those around them of the wandering Arabs to stay behind the Messenger of Allah and prefer their lives to his life."

Koran: 9 verse 120

One of the most important duties of the Muslims was to wage Jihad, i.e., to fight in defence of the Faith, and in defence of the Community of the Faithful. But it was a duty the zeal for which was nor shared equally by all companions of the Prophet of Islam(pbuh&hf).

Among them, there were those who were only tepidly interested in fighting against the enemies of the Faith. About them Koran says:

"Even as thy Lord caused thee (Mohammad) to go forth from thy home with the Truth, and Lo! a party of the belivers were averse (to it):"

"Disputing with thee of the Truth after it had made manifest, as if they were being driven to death visible"

Koran: 8 verses: 5 and 6

Some of the Believers disputed concerning the "truth." They did not feel sure that the course recommended, was the true and right course. They thought it would be certain destruction: they saw death almost staring them in the face.

If the companions could desert The Prophet Mohammed, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), while he was praying in the Mosque, they could also abandon him while he was fighting in the battlefield. Most of them bolted from the battlefield of Uhud just to save their own lives.

 

Following is the account of The Koran on their performance in the battle of Uhud:

"When ye climbed (the hill) and paid no heed to anyone, while the Messenger, in your rear, was calling you (to fight). Therefore He rewarded you grief for (his) grief, that (He might teach) you not to sorrow either for that which ye missed or for that which befell you. Allah is Informed of what ye do."

Koran: 3 verse 153

And then there were the brazen "Muslims." Their brazenness was matched only by the brazenness of the infidels. They did not flinch even from such a hideous act like making an attempt to kill The Holy Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf) himself, even though lying was their greatest benefactor.

A modern reader would find it incredible that a Muslim, no matter how depraved, would ever contemplate such a crime. And yet, those "Muslims" went beyond contemplating the crime; they actually made the attempt. Following is the testimony of The Holy Koran Al-Majeed on the subject:

"They swear by Allah that they said nothing (wrong), yet they did say the word of disbelief, and did disbelieve after their surrender (to Allah). And they purposed that which they could not attain, and they sought revenge only that Allah by His Messenger should enrich them of His bounty."

Koran: 9 verse: 74

The reference here is to a plot made by the Apostle's(pbuh&hf) enemies to kill him when he was returning from Tabuk. It was all the more dastardly in that some of the conspirators were among the men of Medina, who were enriched by the general prosperity that followed the peace and good government established through Islam in Medina.

Trade flourished, justice was firmly administered with an even hand. And the only return these men could make was a return of evil for good. That was their revenge, because Islam aimed at suppressing selfishness, stood fortherightsof the poorestand humblestandjudged worth by righteousness rather than by birth or position.

The times of The Prophet Mohammed, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), were, without a question, the best and the most blessed of times. But this does not mean that the people living in those times, were all saints and angels.

Of course, there were many saintly, angelic, pious and God fearing men and women among them.

 

Munafiqeen or Hypocrites

But also among them, there were the sycophants, the opportunists, the parasites, and the tuft-hunters. These latter have been designated by The Holy Koran as Munafiqeen meaning Hypocrites.

These Munafiqeen had declared themselves to be Muslims but they had done so with many mental reservations. By their duplicity and double-talk, they had earned for themselves the most stinging broadsides in The Koran, which, inevitably, had made them very conspicuous.

They were conspicuous, not only by their quality but also by their quantity.

But when The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), died, they also "disappeared" from the scene. Their disappearance synchronized with the death of The Prophet(pbuh&hf).

(M. Shibli, the Indian historian of Islam, says in his biography of Urnar Ibn Al-Khattab, the 2nd chlipha of the Muslims, that at the death of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), "Medina was then full of Munafiqeen. They were awaiting an opportune moment such as the death of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), to strike a death blow to Islam..." (AI-Farooq).)

The sinister and unwelcome presence of the Munafiqeen in Medina, was attested, repeatedly and most emphatically, by The Holy Koran, and yet their "disappearance" went totally unnoticed. It's incredible but true that it did not occur to anyone in Medina to ask where did the Munafiqeen go.

No one would suggest that the death of The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf), was the signal the Munafiqeen were awaiting to become sincere and devout Muslims. Actually, they had not "disappeared." They were all present in Medina, watching the drift of events, taking stock of the new situation, and hatching plans to manipulate it.

During the lifetime of The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf), the recipient of revelation from Heaven - the Munafiqeen had lived in constant fear of being mortified by The Koran, as they frequently were. About their fear we read in The Holy Koran as follows:

"The hypocrites fear least a surah should be revealed concerning them, proclaiming what is in their hearts. Say: Scoff (your fill)! Lo! Allah is disclosing what ye fear."

Koran: 9 verse: 64

But the death of The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf), freed the Munafiqeen from fear of indictment by The Koran. His death "invested" them with a new sense of "security," and assurance. And since they were "pragmatic" men, they took the simple step of "blending" - quietly and imperceptibly - into the general body of Muslims.

In fact, they did better; they changed their status from Munafiqeen (Hypocrites or nominal Muslims) to Momineen meaning true believers.

The Muslim society in Medina then became a "crucible" in which all distinction was lost between the genuine and the fake Muslims, and it became impossible to identify, much less to isolate, the latter.

But the judgment of The Koran has consistently been stern and severe on the Munafiqeen (Hypocrites). Some of its verses in which it occurs, are as follows:

"Lo! the hyprocrites (will be) in the lowest deep of the fire, and thou wilt find no helper for them;"

Koran: 4 verse: 145

"Allah promiseth the hyprocrites, both men and women, and the disbelievers fire of hell for their abode. It will suffice them. Allah curseth them, and theirs is lasting torement."

Koran: 9 verse: 68

"And among those around you of the wandering Arabs there are hyprocrites, and among the townspeople of Al-Medina (there are some who) persist in hypocrisy whom thou (O Mohammad) knowest not. We, We know them, and We shall chastise them twice; then they will be relegated to a painful doom."

Koran: 9 verse 101

All these men whose portrait The Holy Koran Al-Majeed has drawn in the verses quoted in the foregoing pages, were Muslims, and they had seen The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf), not once but on countless occasions. They probably saw him many times every day.

After all, many of them gathered in the Great Mosque to say their prayers behind him five times every day.

Without a doubt, it was one of the greatest blessings and honors for a Muslim to have seen the Last and the Greatest Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf) on this earth, with his own eyes. But friendship with him called for a few other requirements also such as a Muslim's unquestioning obedience to Allah(swt), and transcendental love for Him and for The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf).

Without obedience to Allah(swt) and love for His Messenger(pbuh&hf), such a claim would only be a burlesque of friendship.

 

A companion or friend of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf)

Would have to be more than a mere Muslim contemporary of his:

He would have to be a man with a firm commitment to uphold the ideals of Islam, and a proven ability, or, at least, a resolve to strengthen the mission of its Prophet(pbuh&hf).

He would also have to be ready, willing and able, to offer material sacrifices, and if necessary, to offer his own life, as well as the lives of his loved ones, as sacrifice, in the defence of Islam.

For such a man, it would not even be necessary to have "seen" The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) with his own eyes.

He would qualify for the honor of the companionship of Mohammed Mustafa(pbuh&hf) even without seeing him with his own eyes.

There was such a man. 

His name was Owais Qarni, and he lived in Yemen. He loved The Prophet(pbuh&hf) such as few others ever did, and he was eager to sacrifice his fortune, his limbs and his life - all for Islam. He was a bosom friend of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), and yet the two never met each other.

Conversely, mere physical propinquity with The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) was no guarantee that a companion's faith would be invulnerable to temptations of any kind. Notwithstanding his propinquity with The Prophet Mohammed Mustafa(pbuh&hf), he could be just as liable to deviate from the prescriptions of Islam as a non-companion. But in his case, deviation would only be much more reprehensible.

It would be quite logical to assume that the crude impulses and the primitive instincts of the Arabs were sublimated in the company of The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf). It would, therefore, be just as logical to assume that they: -

The Muslim contemporaries of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) - were models of excellence, and many of them were.

But not everyone! 

Among them, there were those men who lapsed from excellence. Following examples will make this point clear.

One of the Muslims claiming that he was a friend of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), was Hassan Ibin Thabit. He was the "press agent" of the Prophet(pbuh&hf), and the poet laureate" at his court in Medina. He figured very prominently in the scandal called the "incident of Ifk."

The incident of Ifk took place in December 626 AD when The Prophet(pbuh&hf) of Islam was returning to Medina from a campaign. Ayesha who was one of his wives, had accompanied him in the campaign. She was inadvertently left behind when the army marched out of its camp, and some of the Munafiqeen (hypocrites) seized the opportunity, to smudge her reputation.

One of the companions who joined the scandal-mongers in the character-assassination of Ayesha, was Hassan Ibin Thabit - the court poet of The Prophet(pbuh&hf) himself.

Later, a verse was revealed vindicating Ayesha, and Hassan Ibin Thabit had to pay the penalty of maliciously spreading gross imputations. His misdemeanor was not condoned because of his status as a companion of The Prophet(pbuh&hf).

Mohammad Husayn Haykal writes in his book, The Life of Mohammed (Cairo, 1935), that Hassan Ibin Thabit was "brought into the marketplace, and was flogged 80 stripes."

No companion or friend of The Prophet(pbuh&hf) of Islam could presume on his position. In the egalitarian society of Islam, a companion (or a non-companion) could stand or fall strictly on the merit (or lack of it) of his deeds.

 

Hudaybiyya

Another incident showing want of restraint or lack of inhibitions in a companion of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), took place in 628 AD in Hudaybiyya. Amin Dawidar, the Egyptian historian, writes in his book, Su war Min Hayat er-Rasul (Pictures From the Life of the Prophet), (Cairo, 1953), about it, as follows:

In February 628 AD, The Holy Prophet Mohammed, the Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), signed a treaty of peace with the pagans of Mecca. The treaty had just been signed when a young Meccan, newly converted to Islam, escaped from captivity in Makkah, arrived in the Muslim camp, and sought asylum.

He was loaded in chains, and he begged The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf) to take him under his protection.

There was a heart rending scene. 

The Prophet(pbuh&hf) had already given a pledge to repatriate any Muslim escaping from Makkah. If he had taken the fugitive under his protection, his position in the sight of the pagans would have been compromised.

This he could not allow. The Prophet(pbuh&hf) had no choice but to abide to the terms of the agreement. The fugitive, therefore, had to be turned away, much to the chagrin and mortification of the Muslims.

The Prophet(pbuh&hf) then left Hudaybiyya to return to Medina. He was at one or two days journey from Makkah when a new chapter of The Koran, called Surrat Al-Fath (Victory), was revealed to him from Heaven. In this chapter, the Treaty of Hudaybiyya was called "The Manifest Victory."

The Prophet Mohammed Mustafa, the Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), assembled the Muslims, and read to them the new revelation which begins with the following verse:

"Lo! We have given thee (O Mohammad) a singal victory,"

Koran: 48 verse: 1

But some of the Muslim were still in a sullen and a resentful mood. They could not see the Treaty of Hudaybiyya as "a Manifest Victory." One of them tartly observed:

"This is not a victory. We have been prevented from entering the House (Kaba), and Mohammed has turned away a believer who had sought sanctuary from him."

These remarks were brought to the attention of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), and he said:

"What a foul speech! Yes, this (the Treaty of Hudaybiyya) is the greatest of victories..."

The companion in this story, whose name has not been disclosed by Amin Dawidar, apparently believed that the Treaty of Hudaybiyya lacked such components as prudence, foresight and perspicacity.

He was disagreeing, not only with The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), but with Allah(swt) Himself Who called the Treaty of Hudaybiyya "the Manifest Victory" in His Book, which in fact it was, as events were very soon to show.

The companions of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), also had to work, like any other people, to make a living for themselves and their families.

Thus:

The Muhajireen (the Immigrants from Makkah) 

who were, for the most part, traders, merchants and peddlers.

The Ansar (the Supporters; the citizens of Medina), 

who were mostly farmers.

In both groups, there were craftsmen such as:

Carpenters, blacksmiths, weavers, tailors, masons, shoemakers etc.

There were also unskilled workers such as:

Porters and shepherds

And everyone of them found a niche for himself in the economic life of Medina.

 

Abu Hurgyra

One of the socalled companions of The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) who was a late comer into the ranks of the Muslims, this was Abu Hurgyra.

He accepted Islam in A.D. 629 but he probably decided not to do anything to make a living. He figured that he would be more comfortable if he fed himself from the sadaqat (charity) of the Muslims. He was thus able to free himself from the anxieties and problems of earning a competence.

Once Abu Hurayra made his decision to live on welfare, he had unlimited leisure at hand. He utilized his leisure hours by spending them in the court of the Prophet of Islam(pbuh&hf)where he knew that he would always find something to eat. The Prophet(pbuh&hf), of course, never turned him or anyone else away from his door, hungry.

But Abu Hurayra was so much in the presence of The Prophet of Islam(pbuh&hf) that he made himself almost "obtrusive." The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf) was well-known for his courtesy and condescension. In some matters, he was excessively fastidious.

For example, he did not like to hurt anyone's feelings. And yet, he felt constrained to quote before Abu Hurayra, the Arabian equivalent of the English adage: Absences make the heart grow fonder.

In other words 

The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), suggested to him to put some intervals between his visits. But the Prophet's remark was too subtle, and Abu Hurayra did not understand its purport.

In later times, Abu Hurayra revealed a great flair for narrating The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) Hadeeth, and became famous for his contributions to the Hadeeth literature.

He probably narrated more Hadeeth than any other companion of the Prophet(pbuh&hf). There was never an occasion when recollection did not come to him of something that the Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf) had said to him.

Gibbon, the historian, says in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayra required some corroboration.

This should also be borne in mind by the students of the early history of Islam that there was no such thing in Medina, after the death of The Prophet(pbuh&hf), as a "test" of one's faith, or, a "censor" of the personal conduct and character of the people who had seen him.

Therefore, anyone could claim that he was The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) companion or friend, without any fear of being challenged as to his "credentials" for such companionship or friendship.

 

After the conquest of Mecca

Too many of The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) contemporaries were candidates for that honor. Some of them, without a doubt, wished to ingratiate themselves with him.

And after his death

The only way some of them could make themselves important in the sight of others, was to claim that they were his companions.

The definition of a "companion" of The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa, the Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), as a Muslim who saw him with his own eyes, is, as we have seen, too loose, and is, therefore, unsatisfactory. We have, therefore, to find another definition of the term 46 companion of The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf).

There could probably be many definitions but I think that the most logical definition of a companion of, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf), would be a man whom The Prophet(pbuh&hf) himself called his companion.

The choice of companions and friends should be left to him. Afterall, He could pick and choose them better than anyone else, surely! If he did not call a man his companion, then the latter's claim to be The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) companionship could have no meaning.

The Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) did not call and could not call 150,000 men his companions. He probably never even saw most of them, and with many of them he had perhaps little more than a nodding acquaintance, and with still others, he perhaps did nothing more than exchange a greeting, and that too not more than once.

The True Companions of The Prophet(pbuh&hf)

But there were those men who were the companions and true friends of The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf).

They were his companions and friends because:

He chose them for the honor of his companionship and friendship.

Not only did they love him, but most importanly, he also loved them.

 

They were truely remarkable men, and their love for him was just as remarkable.

It was remarkable, among other things, for its consistency.

It was love that never faltered.

They loved him because they knew that he was:

The Perfect One

The Infallible One

They loved him because they knew that he was:

The loved one of Allah(swt).

It was their glorious destiny to be the members of the "team" which under his leadership, laid the foundations of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.Their sacrifices, their tenacity, their courage and their dedication to duty were to be the underpinnings of that Kingdom.

 

The Holy Koran Al-Majeed itself paid its tributes to them in the following verse:

"And the first to lead the way, of the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them in goodness - Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He hath made ready for them Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherin they will abide forever. That is supreme triumph."

Koran: 9 verse: 100

The true companions and friends

These faithfull companions and friends of The Prophet Mohammed(pbuh&hf) had won the pleasure of Allah The All Mighty(swt).

There is not, and there cannot be a greater honor for a mortal in this world or in thehereafter: 

Than to win the pleasure of:

Allah(swt) The Creator of all life, the worlds, the Universe and all things!

Allah(swt) bestowed accolades upon them in His Book, and He was "well-pleased" with them.

But these recipients of the accolades of Heaven, were, in the nature of things, very few in number, and they belonged to the select group of the favorites of The Holy Prophet Mohammed Al-Mustafa, The Messenger of Allah(pbuh&hf).

 

Ghadeer Khumm

“O Messenger! Make it known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord God.

And if thou do it not, then thou will not have conveyed His message.

Allah will protect thee from mankind.

For, Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk.”

The Holy Koran: 005 verse:67, Surrah Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread)

The Gathering of all the pilgrims

The Messenger of Allah, The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) suddenly stopped and froze on hearing the above 'Ayah' from The Archangel Jibraeel(as).

He looked at his cousin Ali(as) intently, who was ridding next to him. He then quickly ordered the halt of the caravan in astonishment of all his Companions and followers under the hot blazing midday sun, at such a desolate and arid place in the desert called Ghadeer Khumm.

The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) listened patiently and confronted their complaints and pestering for halting them in such an un welcomed place. But The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) would only calmly say, with a smile, that he was commanded by God to address the multitude of travellers, here and now, and it is not for him to question Allah(swt) for His choice of the time or place!

And what was he commanded to tell them by Allah(swt) they questioned impatiently. He would only say, that he was commanded to convey to them all, of what he had been revealed to him now. Before the masses begin dispersing in all directions in the desert to their individual homes and destination.

The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) then quickly commanded one of his trusted faithful and close companion the black man Balaal to immediately cry out the Call to Prayer. So that to call the thousands of Muslim travellers together and gather before him.

The Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf), then quickly ordered the clearing of the desert's dry prickly plants from the hot sandy ground, for the masses to stand before him. Then he ordered for some camel saddles to be piled up, so as to make shift a pulpit, upon a small elevated sandy mound, for the people to see him.

Then The Messenger of God(phuh&hf) awaited patiently sweating under the hot burning sun for the straddlers of people that were still behind to gather together, before him.

 

As soon as the multitude were gathered before him

The holy Apostle(phuh&hf), then stood upon the make shift pulpit of camel saddles piled up on the small sandy mound before them, so that he was high enough to be seen by all the congregation before him.

The massed crowd before him quickly quieten down, the sound of their questioning murmur soon died down, as soon as they saw their Prophet(phuh&hf) standing high before them.

He then gestured to Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as) and invited him to join him and stand on his right on the make shift Minbar of piled camel saddles upon the small sandy mound.

The masses of people now of each one of them was standing on his woollen cloak on the ground to protect their feet from the burning hot sands around them, baked by the blazing hot noon sun. They waited and watched in wonderment at the two before them, and again started to murmur to each other. Each providing their own explanation of what was to cme.

The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) gestured with his hand and the murmur ceased and all the masses listened attentively as The Messenger of God(pbuh&hf) slowly began his address.

He started first by praising and to Glorify God, The Allah Almighty(swt), The Creator of all the worlds and of the Heavens.

 

His coming death 

He then proceeded to give them the sad news to their dismay of all the congregation, of his own nearing death saying,

"I have been summoned, and it is the moment for me to answer, for the time has come for me, to depart from you. However I do leave behind me, amongst you, two precious things. And, if you cleave to them, you will surely never go astray!

The Holy Book of God and, my Offspring the Al-Ahlu Al-Bayt.

For they will never abandon you, until they have led you to me, at the sacred shores of Heaven!"

The masses of people who had gathered before him, now wept openly in sorrow at news of his nearing death.

The Messenger of God(pbuh&hf) to die? Never! How could this be! They questioned themselves?

But who would lead and guide them? Who would take his place? What would become of them? What would become of Islam without him? They worriedly murmured to each other in puzzlement and panic?

When they all had quickened down. The Prophet(pbuh&hf) then called out at the top of his voice.

"Am I not more appropriate to rule over you than yourselves?"

The people replied in earnest,

"By God. Yes you are!"

The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) then continued by taking hold of both of Ali's(as) arms and raised them high above his shoulders, so much so that Ali's sleeves slipped down his arms and rested on his shoulders, exposing Ali's(as) naked white armpits.

The Prophet(pbuh&hf) went on to proclaimed that Ali(as) as his successor and the legitimate Calipha of Allah(swt).

"Then whosoever, I am master of, Then this man, Ali is his master."

"O God! Befriend him, who so ever befriends him. Oppose him, whosoever opposes him.

Support him, who so ever supports him. Desert him, whosoever deserts him."

That through the revelation, Allah(swt) that had been made known to him earlier. That Ali(as) standing here before them is the Chosen Successor by God Himself, upon His own death.

After the masses pledge of allegiance ceremony had completed. The Prophet(pbuh&hf)looked above to the sky and wept, then he raised a finger declaring in a loud clear voice for all to hear:

"As God is my Judge!

Bear witness then for me, that today I have surely completed and fulfilled your religion for you, and have successfully conveyed, The Message, that has been bestowed upon me by Allah.....

Oh Muslims have I not!?"

The Muslims all shouted repeatedly and replied in great earnest,

"Yes You have, Oh, Messenger of God! Yes you have."

The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) then immediately prayed 'two Rukas' on the spot, so as to commemorate the historic occasion. And when he had finished his prayers. It was then time for the noon prayers and Balaal once again he cried Prayer Call. But this time it was made for the compulsory Noon Prayers.

After The Prophet(pbuh&hf) finished leading the noon prayers. He then quickly called Ali(as) to follow him into the tent that was pitched earlier under a lone tree.

He then sat Ali(as) down on one side and he himself then sat opposite to him on the other side of the small tent.

The Great Apostle of God(pbuh&hf), then ordered all the Muslims and his Companions to each personally make an oath of allegiance to Ali(as) in his very presence.

All the Muslims, did as he asked and formed a long queue and each gave of them gave his solemn 'Oath of Allegiance' with The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf), standing by Al(as), and accepting their congratulations and looking on as personal witness to their testaments and the occasion.

 

As for the accompanying women folk

A large bowl of water was prepared in front of Ali(as). Then a small makeshift screen was erected in front of Ali(as). And then Ali(as) passed his right hand under the screen and dipped his hand in the bowl, which lay immediately near the screen.

Then the women were led in one by one, and each dipped her right hand in the bowl full of water in front of her and before the screen, and gave her 'Oath of Allegiance' to Ali(as) who sat behind the screen.

As soon as the last Muslim had given his pledge of Allegiance. The Prophet(pbuh&hf) embraced Ali(as) warmly and congratulated him on his appointment as the,

Khalifat Rasul Allah 

Meaning: The Viceregent for the Messenger of God over all the Muslims after his death

The joyous crowd surrounding them were moved greatly at the sacred sight before them. They then all shouted their approval and wept with sheer happiness.

But there were some who harboured envey and ill feelings in their hearts towards Ali. While these persons gave their allegiance and openly congratulated Ali and The Prophet on the appointment of Ali as the Successor. These same persons would later deny this wonderful day and usurp the sacred Khalifat for themselves and cause the division of the whole Muslim nation!

But as for today The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) proudly praises Ali(as) and named him officially as,

Meaning: The Commander of all the faithfuls

This was the very first time ever, that this term was ever heard of and ever used before in addressing any Muslim. Hence this honourable title only belongs to Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as), and no one else!

Following The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) example the rest of his accompanying Companions followed suit amongst them most notably was, Umar Ibin Al-Khattab. Who joyfully said to Ali(as) aloud,

"Oh bravo, bravo Ali! 

You have now become my Master and the Master of every believing Man and Woman!"

Then the poets began composing their poetry commemorating this happy and wonderful occasion of the history of Islam.

The holy Messenger of God(pbuh&hf) who was accompanied by his son-in-law Ali(as) at his side, then commanded the huge masses of returning Pilgrims to begin their long travel north to their home city of Al-Medina. Others bade their farewell to their Prophet(pbuh&hf) and dispersed in small and large groups each in the direction of their homes. Some never saw The holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) alive ever again!

Hamzah Abdul Muttalib was born in Mecca in 570 AD in the year of the Elephant. He was The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) Uncle and his foster brother, for he was suckled and weaned by the same foster parents.

Hamzah was clearly destined to be a man of great mighty stature, endowed with great physical strength. He was already a good horseman, skilled with a sword and a good wrestler in all of Mecca.

He was a man of the desert who liked to be alone. The desert stillness, with it's desert nights was very pleasing to him than the heat and stink of Mecca. So it was natural for him to spend days and even weeks alone in the desert in chase for gazzell.

On one of his desert trips Hamzah was awakened by a noise. Only to see a lion had entered his camp. No doubt drawn to the smell of the freshly killed gazzell. Alone and armed with only a javiline he not only fought off the lion bravely but in the process he killed the king of the beasts.

Which he later skinned the lion and threw it over his saddle and rode into Mecca triumphantly. When the people of Mecca saw the lion's skin they were greatly awed with admiration and love that from that day on he was warmly known as the 'Lion of the desert'. His enemies grew to fear him, even on the mention of his name he was held in great respect.

 

Hamzah and Abu Jahal

One day, despite himself, Abu Jahal the most spitefull of all the leaders of Quraysh and the most aggressive enemy to The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) and Islam. Indirectly did the new religion a great service.

The Prophet(pbuh&hf) was sitting outside the Mosque near the Safa Gate, so named because the pilgrims go out through it to perform the rite of passing seven times between the hill of Safa which is near the gate and the hill of Marwah some 450 yards to the north. A rock near the foot of Safa marks the starting point of the ancient rite, and The Prophet(pbuh&hf) was alone at this hallowed place when AbuJahal came past.

Here was an opportunity for the Makhziimite to show that he at least was not overawed; and standing in front of The Prophet(pbuh&hf) he proceeded to revile him with all the abuse he could muster.

The Prophet(pbuh&hf) merely looked at him, but spoke no word; and finally, Abu Jahal having heaped upon him the worst insults he could think of, he entered the Mosque to join those of Quraysh who were assembled in the Hijr.

The Prophet(pbuh&hf) in overwhelming sadness slowly rose to his feet and returned silently to his home.

 

Hamzah enteres Mecca

Scarcely had Mohammad(pbuh&hf) gone when his cousin Hamzah came in sight from the opposite direction on his way from a long chase, with his bow slung over his shoulder. The friends of Abu Jahal, who were at the Santuray square saw Hamzah and feared the consquense of him hearing of what Abu Jahal had done against his nephew. So they all cried out nervousily announcing that this formidable Arabian horseman was indeed approaching Mecca, and they sent someone to warn Abu Jahal.

"Hamzah, here comes Hamzah!"

With a mixture of joy and apprehension the rest of the people ran out happy to greet him as he approached the Holy Kabah on his magnificient Arab stallion.

It was his custom, whenever Hamzah came back from hunting, he would do honour and homage to the Holy House before he joined his family. Seeing him approach, a woman came out of her house near the Safa Gate and addressed him. She was a freedwoman of the household of the now dead Abd Allah Ibin Jud'an of Taym, and she herself, being well disposed to The Prophet(pbuh&hf) and his religion of Islam, had been outraged by Abu Jahal's insults, every word of which she had overheard.

"Abu Umarah, if only thou hadst seen how Mohammad, thy Brother's son, was treated even now by Abul Hakam, the son of Hisham. He found him sitting here, and most odiously reviled him and abused him. Then he left him."

She pointed towards the Mosque to indicate where he had gone

 

"And Mohammad answered not a word."

Hamzah was of a quiet friendly nature and had an easy disposition. He was none the less the most stalwart man of Quraysh, and when roused he was the most formidable and the most unyielding. His mighty tall frame now shook with anger. Such as he had never felt, and his anger set free something in his soul, and brought to completion an already formed resolve, that no one had seen from him before that day.

Hamzah confronts Abu Jahal

Striding into the Mosque he made straight for the seated Abu Jahal; and, standing over him, he raised his bow and brought it down with all his force on his face. Knocking the wicked man senseless over onto his back on the ground. Again and again he whipped the wretched man on his body with his bow, until his angre subsided. When finlly he stopped and still standing over the crouched enemy of God at his feet, he said.

"Wilt thou insult him, now that I am of his Religion, and now that I vouch what he voucheth? I bear witness that their is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is His Servant and Messenger! Strike me then, blow for blow, if thou canst."

The humilated Abu Jahal recovered his senses and cowered before the Lion of the desert still standing meancingly over him. So when some of the Makhzumites tribesmen present rose to their feet as if to help him, but he quickly motioned them to remain seated. Then still crouched on the ground at the Arabian warrior's feet, not daring to look up into Hamzah's striking eyes. Instead the miserable coward humbly said:

"Let Abu Umarah be! For by God, I did so reviled his Brother's son with a right ugly reviling."

Their was a deafening silence as Hamzah stood menacingly before all the leaders of Quraysh starring with contempt at each one of them coldly in the eye. Inviting anyone who dared to fight him. But each man slowly retreated and sat back in their seat in the Mosque. And when all were seated, Hamza kicked some dust of the sandy floor into their faces and strolled out casually with his bow in hand.

Abu Sufayan the most influencial of all the leaders of Quraysh seated remarked.

"Mohammad now has a powerfull ally, who everyone fears just by reputation!"

From that day, Hamzah faithfully maintained his Islam and followered all The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) behests. Nor did his conversion fail to have its effect upon Quraysh as a whole. Who were now more hesitant to harass The Holy Prophet Moammad(pbuh&hf) so directly, knowing full well that Hamzah, 'the Lion of the Desert' would not lie still and certainly would protect him vigorously.

 

The Hypocrites

Zayd's successful ambush on the eastern caravan route turned the thoughts of Quraysh once more to the western route which they so much preferred; and they now stirred up their own Red Sea coast allies, the Bani Mustaliq, a clan of Khuza'ah, to make a raid on Medina, hoping no doubt that the raiders might gather support from other coastal tribes, and thus open up the way once more for themselves.

But the other clans of Khuza'ah were more favourably disposed to the holy Prophet than the Meccans realised, and news of this project reached him in good time.

He was thus given the opportunity to demonstrate his undiminished and even increased power along the western route also, to within a few marches from Mecca itself.

After eight days, considerably before the Bani Mustaliq were prepared to set out, he was already encamped on their territory at one of their watering places. From there he advanced and by a quick manoeuvre was able to close in upon the tent dwellers, who surrendered without much resistance.

Only one Muslim was killed, and of the enemy no more than ten. About two hundred families were made captive, and the booty included some two thousand camels and five thousand sheep and goats.

The army camped there for a few more days, but its stay was cut short by an untowar incident. A quarrel broke out at one of the wells between two coastal tribesmen, from Ghifar and Juhaynah, as to which bucket belong to which, and they fell to fighting.

The Ghifarite, whom Umar had hired to lead his horse, shouted for help; "O Quraysh" while the Juhaynite called on his traditional allies of Khazrai, and the more hot headed of both Emigrants and Helpers rushed to the scene.

Swords were drawn and blood might have been shed had not some of the closer Companions, who intervened on both sides. This would normally have been the end of the matter.

But it so happened that more of the hypocrites than usual had taken part in this expedition; it was in familiar and well watered territory, and from the outset there had been hope of an easy victory and spoils well worth the effort.

They were not, however, prepared to change their point of view but still persisted in looking on the expeditions which set out from Yathrib as forays of Khazraj and Aws supplemented by auxiliaries.

It was therefore to the sons of Qaylah that the camp belonged: the Quraysh refugees were there, as elsewhere, merely on sufferance.

In this frame of mind Ibin Ubayy was sitting apart with a group of his intimates when the sound of the quarrel came to their ears, and one of them went to see what was the matter. He returned to report, quite truly, that Umar's man had been entirely to blame, and that it was he who had struck the first blow.

This served to fan afresh the embers of bitterness which were still smouldering from the ordeal of the Trench.

For the last five years the tension had gradually mounted until the presence of Mohammad and the other Emigrants had brought the whole of Arabia against them.

Added to this, the rich and hospitable Jewish tribes which had played so important a part in the community had been rooted out - two of them exiled and the third massacred.

The civil wars of the oasis had indeed called for a solution, but Ibin Ubayy was convinced that if he had been made king he would have known how to put an end to the discord without involving his people in more dangerous hostilities. And now these impoverished refugees had had the effrontry to obstruct the passage of their benefactors to the well, Ibin Ubayy said:

"Have they gone so far as this? They seek to take precedence over us, they crowd us out of our own country, and naught will fit us and these rags of Quraysh but the old saying: 'Feed fat thy dog and it will feed on thee.' By God! When we return to Medina, the higher and the mightier of us will drive out the lower and the weaker."

A boy of Khazrai named Zayd, who was sitting at the edge of the circle, went straight to the Prophet and told him what Ibin Ubayy had said. The Prophet changed colour, and he said:

"What if men should say, that Mohammad slayeth his companions?"

Meantime one of the Helpers had gone to Ibin Ubayy and asked him if he had in fact said what the boy had reported, and Ibin Ubayy came straight to the Prophet and swore that he had said no such thing. Some of the men of Khazraj who were present also spoke in his defence, anxious to avoid trouble.

The Prophet let it seem as if the incident were closed; but a surer way of avoiding trouble was to busy men's minds with something else and he gave the order to break camp immediately.

Never before had he been known to move off at that hour: it was not long after midday; and with brief halts at the times of prayer they were kept on the march through the heat of the afternoon, then all through the night and from dawn until the heat of the next day became oppressive.

When they were finally told to pitch camp, the men were too tired to do anything but sleep. During the march the Prophet confided to Sa'ad Ibin Ubddah, who for the Muslims had been gradually replacing Ibin Ubayy as the chief man of Khazraj, that he believed young Zayd to have spoken the truth.

"0 Messenger of God. Thou, if thou wilt, shalt drive out him, for he is the lower and the weaker and thou art the higher and the mightier."

He asked him none the less to deal gently with Ibin Ubayy, nor was the Prophet intending to mention the incident again; but soon after his talk with Sa'ad the matter was taken out of his hands.

For the Revelation descended upon him and that chapter was revealed which is named the Surah of the Hypocrites, one of whom it quotes, though not by name, as having said the very words spoken by Zayd.

The Prophet did not however give out this chapter until they had returned to Medina. But he rode up to Zayd and lening towards him took hold of his ear.

"Boy! thine ear heard truly, and God hath confirmed thy speech."

Meantime Abd Allah, the son of Ibin Ubayy, was deeply distressed for he knew that his father had spoken those words. He had also been told that Umar had wanted the Prophet to put his father to death, and he was afraid that the sentence might be passed and the order given at any moment. So he went to the Prophet and said:

"O Messenger of God, I am told that thou art minded to slay Abd Allah Ibin Ubayy. If thou must needs do it, then give me the order, and I will bring thee his head. Khazraj know full well that there is no man amongst them of more filial piety unto his father than myself, and I fear that if thou shouldst give the order unto another my soul would not suffer me to look upon the slayer of my father walking amongst men, but I would slay him, and having thus slain a believer on behalf of a disbeliever I would enter the fire of Hell."

But the holy Prophet said:

"Nay, but let us deal gently with him and make the best of his companionship so long as he be with us."

Ibraheem(as)

The Prophet Nuh's(as) Ark had stopped at Mount Judi which is far to the north of Mesopotamia which is now known as Iraq.

Now hundreds of years after that great flood. The children and the great grandchildren of the Prophet Nuh(as) spread out living all throughout the land. There sprang up a great kingdom ruled amonst them, by those who called themselves the Chaideans.

Their capital was in Babylonia in the land of Ur. After a time they had a king who became very rich and powerful. His name was Nimrod. The Chaldeans believed that there was one great God but only gods and goddesses could go near Him. They used to build these gods and goddesses out of stone and worship to them. Among them there was a man called Azar - who was a descendant of Sham. He had a nephew, his brother's son, whose name was Ibraheem(as).

Ibraheem(as) was an intelligent young boy. As he grew up he could not believe that these gods and goddesses made of stone could help anyone, let alone themselves. They did not talk to him. They could not move. Still more puzzling to him was that they were crafted by men. Then how could these stone Idols create Man let alon help him?

Ibraheem(as) was forever questioning where or who can God the Creator of men and life could be. One night as he lay on the ground he gazed at the night sky sparkling full of stars and questioned wheather they could be gods. But when the full Moon rose in the sky and shone, the stars almost faded. So he thought the Moon's light was stronger so it must be the Great God. But when dawn approached and the Moon began to set. He abandoned the Moon as not being god.

"God can never die, and can never go away. He cannot disappear and set."

He said to himself and when the Sun rose and lit with it's magnificent, he thought,

"Now I have found the Great God."

But when the Sun also set he said in despair,

"No the Sun is no God either."

Ibraheem(as) said to himself and sat up and pondered futher on the question of God. Then he said,

"Surely God, is He, who had created the Sun, the Moon and the Stars."

Gradually he became more and more certain. God made him strong in his faith and gave him deep knowledge.

On the next day satisfied now with his finding, Ibraheem(as) thought that he should share his findings with the people. So he goes to the busy market place, and called out to all the people to gathere around him, and asked them,

"To whom do you worship?"

They said,

"To these Idols."

He said,

 

"Do they listen to you when you call on them? Do they do any good or harm to you?"

"No."

Ibraheem said,

"Then why worship and pray to them if they cannot help you?"

They replied,

"Why, because our fathers and forefathers before us prayed and worshiped them. And we do the same also."

They replied.

"Then you are all wrong and your fathers and forefathers were wrong to worship them too. Only the Great One God can help. He has made the Sky above and the Sun and the Moon and the Stars. God guides me, gives me food and drink. He will take me away. I hope He will forgive me and put me in Heaven. Those who will not pray to God will be put into the fire of Hell. O God, save me from that fire. So these stone Idol of gods and goddesses of yours are my enemies. "

He also told his uncle not to pray to such idols. His uncle was proud and cocieted and got angry at his son.

"I'm you uncle and elder thus wiser. What makes you more knowledgable than me of such things?"

He was furious at his son's suggestion, so he decided to teach him a lesson. So he said,

"Ibraheem, you want me to give up what my father and his forefathers believed in. You have become insolent. If you say ever repeat this again I shall surely punish you severely."

Ibraheem(as) was truely sorry for him, and said,

"I shall pray to God for you so that you may become good."

One day when all the people had gone to a big market Ibraheem(as) took a hammer and broke all the Idols except the large stone Idol. He left the hammer hanging from the neck of the large stone Idol. So when the people came back they saw that all the Idols were destroyed and only one stood unharmed with a hammer hanging around it's neck. They became confused and angry.

"Who could do such a thing?"

Someone said,

"It must be that small boy Ibraheem. He's always tells us to give up our gods. Who else would do such a disrepectful thing!"

Another said,

"Let us go to Azar's house and confront Ibraheem."

They rushed to Azar's house, called out for Ibrahim(as) and his uncle and brought him back to the Temple and questioned him.

"Have you done destroyed our gods?"

Ibraheem said,

"Why are you accusing me? Ask that large stone Idol of yours he must have seen who had done this. Surely he would know the truth?"

They looked at each other in bewilderment. Then one of them said,

"But you know they can't talk or see or hear."

"But still you worship them, even when they can't help you or themselves?"

"O then, you are surely the one to blame."

His uncle then said to his nephew,

"I warned you before of speakung ill of our gods. Now come along. I must now take you to the King. He will know how to punish you."

They took him to the King Nimrod court, who demmanded of him,

"Why do you ask us to pray to your God?"

He said,

"Because He is the giver of life and death."

Nimrod said,

"Here I'm the King and Master of all. I only choose and say who lives and dies to whomever I like."

Ibraheem(as) said,

"Then, if you are the master of life and death, command thee the sun to rise in the Wast, instead from the East".

Nimrod knew he could not do that, and said to the younge boy before him,

"If then as you say your God is your Master and most powerfull, Then let Him now save. For I shall throw you to burn alive in a great fire."

He then ordered that his people collect wood and pile it up as high as a man outside the Temple where Ibraheem(as) destroyed their gods of Idols. When all the wood was collected and piled up as high as a man. King Nimrod then ordered it to be lit and that Ibraheem(as) to be taken to the roof top of the temple and thrown down into the raging hot fire.

The fire was lit, and Ibraheem(as) knew that none but God could save him now. So he started to pray to Allah(swt), as they were taking Ibraheem up to the temple rooftop. Then they thre him into the great raging hot fire below him. But God ordered the fire to,

"Bear no harm to Ibraheem. Be cool and as soft as a bed of flowers."

The Fire was changed into a soft bed of flowers. Ibraheem landed safely on his feet and bathed in the cool flames of the huge fire. All men and women were amazed for the heat of the fire made them retreat from its burning heat. They could not believe their eyes. But for fear of the King many would not follow Ibraheem(as).

The King and some leaders thought he was a great magician. They allowed him to stay and live and move freely within there city. But on many occassions they secretly plotted to kill him, but The Lord God looked over himmand protected him. So they brought harm to those few who dared followed him and belive in The One Almighty God, Allah(swt).

However Allah(swt) one commanded him to leave with his family and tribe and followers to a better and promised land to live in peace and in harmony with Allah(swt),

"This land is cursed. Rise and go to Canaan. I have blessed that land. There your people will prosper.

Ibraheem(as) then left with all his followers all the way from Assyria in the East to the land of the Canaans in the West. His brother's son, the Prophet Loot(as), accompanied him on his jouney. Then there, arriving beside the river Jordan, he found a wonderful land, green and rich.

A Need for a Son 

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) was growing old. His wife Sarah(as) was barren and could not give him a son. He wanted to taken another wife so that she would give him a son. He asked for Sarah's(as) permission to remarry. She relunctantly granted him, her permission.

He married a most beautifull and younge Eygptian Princess girl named Ha'jar(as), who was Sarah's faithfull and loyal handmaiden. She was a gift from the King of Eygpt. He had a son by her, and named him Ismaeel(as). Who also later became a great Prophet. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) was very happy and loved his son Ismaeel(as) and his mother Hajar(as).

Sarah(as) grows jealous 

Sarah(as) was jealous of Hajar's(as) soft white skin and beauty and fear her husband would leave her for Hajar(as)

Sarah(as) jealousy grew even more when Hajar(as) bore the Prophet Ibraheem(as) a son. She couldn't bear to see her husband fondness of his son, and his mother. Sarah's(as) jealousey of Hajar(as) became open and very hostile. Sarah made the Prophet Ibraheem's(as) and Hajar's(as) life very unhappy. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) was very distressed and did not know what to do, for he also loved his wife Sarah(as).

The Banishment 

Then one day Sarah could no longer contain herself and demmanded her husband to banish them away from the land. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) refused angrily and rebuked Sarah for her jealousy and told not to sercum to Satan. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) turned to Allah(swt) for guideness.

Ismaeel(as) was only a few months old when Allah(swt) ordered the Prophet Ibraheem(as) to travel south to and He would guide him to valley where Hajar(as) and her infant baby Ismaeel(as) should live and stay at that place.

Becca Valley 

The next day to the delight of Sarah(as) the Prophet Ibraheem(as) took his wife Hajar(as) and her son Ismaeel(as) out of the land of Canaan south down the Arabian peninsular along the Red Sea to a valley called Bacca. It was a desolute hilly and barren land with rocky mountains on all sides.

In that valley they saw a mound, that Allah(swt) had tpld them of. Unknown to them, under the sandy mound was hidden the wooden broken house of Allah(swt) built by the Prophet Adam(as). The Prophet Ibraheem(as) found the place to be hostile, lonely and dry, completely without any water. But he knew had to obey Allah(swt).

He spread a small woolen skin on the Mound and sat Hajar(as) and her baby son sleeping on her lap, with what little provisions he had with him, a bag of dates and a small goat skin of water. He then silently prepared to leave and Hajar(as) holding her sleeping baby Ismaeel(as) asked him,

"O Ibraheem, where are you going, leaving us all alone in this strange hot desert? There is no one here and nothing to eat or drink."

He did not reply and dared not turn to face her afraid that Satan would weaken him. She then asked after him,

"Has Allah ordered you to do this?"

He said,

"Yes, it is Allah's command."

Then she said,

"Then, Allah will not let us die."

Zam Zam Well 

With great courage and faith in her Lord she sat and prayed and 

waited for Allah's(swt) help. She sat patiently and let the child suckle quietly at her bossom. The sun was high and hot she reached for the small water skin and sprinkled some water on her son's face and body to keep him cool. She drank with her eyes constanly scanning the hot desert barren land, for help.

The water skin had run dry and her grew thirsty and her bossom dried up and the baby cried out loudly. She must get some water or she and her son would surely die, she thought.

She quietened the child and she lifted it from her bossom and laid him on the ground in her cloak. Hajar(as) now desperate rushed quickly to a nearby hill and climbed its summit of Safwah, to scan the horizon for any help or water. There was nothing to be see but only the scorching barren desert sands and no water.

Then she ran to the another hill on the other side of the desert Marwah and also climbed its rocky summit and scanned the horizon for help and water. In her despair she ran seven times in prayer to Allah(swt) for help between those to peaks of the two hills of Marwah and Safwah.

Then suddenly she heard someone calling out to her. She looked at the horizon and saw a tall Angel in the form of a man pointing to her son. She feared for her son and ran towards her baby, and as she neared her son. She saw beneath is tapping little heels water seeping out of the ground. The flow of water became more and more until it threathen to drown her baby. She quickly picked up the baby and drank and bathed her son of the sweet water.

She rejoiced and thanked her Lord God and filled the goat skin. The Holy Angel brought them food and watched over them while they rested and slept. The next day Hajar(as)

The next day a small caravan paid Hajar(as) money to rest and water his animals and she brought a tent, food and other supplies. More and more travellers, shepards and caravans came their way and paid to rest and water their thirsty animals.

In time she began to dig a well around the waterhole and called it Zamzam. She and her younge son Ismaeel then began to live beside Zamzam, in the valley of Becca. Later to be known as Mecca, and so lived off the caravans and shepards passing through the valley to drink and water their animals. Hajar(as) and her child lived happily beside the well all by themselves.

Then one day an Arab tribe called Jurhum came down from the north. They were of Yemen and of the race of Sham, one of the sons of the Prophet Nuh(as). They saw a bird circling around in the sky above the valley and knew that there must be water there. Their leaders went down to the valley and met Hajar(as). With her permission they settled there in the valley and later sent some of their men to call the people of their tribe to come and they came and started to build houses and shelters of mud and rock.

Hajar(as) saw she and her son Ismaeel(as) were no longer alone and praised Allah(sw) for His gift.

The Sacrifice of Ismaeel(as)

Ismaeel(as) grew up and learnt Arabic. He became one of the Jurhums. But they always admired him for his noble character.

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) one day dreamt. In his dream he heard Allah(swt) ask him what was precious to him in the world. And the Prophet Ibraheem(as) said that his first born Ismaeel(as) was the most precious to him. Allah then commanded of him to sacrifice his precious younge son Ismaeel(as), to Him. The next morning he packed his camel and travelled to from Canaan to the south to place called Hijaz. He came upon the valley of Becca and was was happy to see the house of his first wife Hajar(as) and their son Ismaeel.

 

He told Ismaeel(as) of his dream, and his son Ismaeel(as) said,

"O my father, do as you have been ordered to do. If Allah wills, you will find me patient."

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) told his son to bring a cord and a knife and they both went to Mount Thabir.

On the way Ibleese came to them in the shape of a man and said first to the Prophet Ibraheem(as),

"You must have seen Satan in your dream telling you to cut the throat of your son."

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) reacted by throwing a stone at him and said,

"Away with you. The enemy of Man."

Ibleese then turned to Ismaeel(as) and said,

"Do you know, my child, that he says that Allah has told him to cut your throat?"

The child returned,

"Yes, let Allah's will be done. Go away,"

And younge boy Ismaeel(as) threw a stone at him. Ibleese again tried to persuade him not to go. But Ismaeel(as) became angry and took many stones into his hands and started throwing them at him. The evil Satan then turned to his mother Hajar(as) and said to her.

"O mother of Ismaeel, Ibraheem will kill your son."

"No, he loves him."

She said.

"But, he says it is Allah's order."

The Devil replied.

"Then, let what Allah has ordered be done."

Satan was defeated by the strength and steadfasteness of all their faith.

To this day there are the three places where the Hajjis (pilgrims) go and throw stones as a compulsory part of the Hajj rituals. And like that of the Prophet Ibraheem(as) and Ismaeel(as), they drive away Satan from them.

The next day at first light, the Prophet Ibraheem(as) took his beloved only son Ismaeel(as) up Mount Thabir. He prepared the place where he would sacrifice his son to God, and younge and faithfull Ismaeel(as) said,

"Father, bind my hands so that I cannot struggle and fight you off. And bind feet so that I couldn't kick at you and escape. Turn my body to one side so that my spurting blood doesn't gush over you,and turn me on my face so that you are not moved by your love."

Then the Prophet Ibraheem(as) bound his son's hands and feet tightly and laid him down, on his side on a large flat rock. Then he turned his son's face away from him and closed his own eyes tightly shut so that he couldn't see his son's face. He then drew out his sharp knife and started to cut at his son's throat. But, it wouldn't cut the flesh.

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) withdrew his knife looked astonished at it. He again tried to cut his son's throat. But again it wouldn't cut or draw any blood. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) again looked belwildered at his knife and tested it sharpness by slicing at a nearby small tree branch, and it cut it off cleanly. Satisfied of it sharpness, he gain turned to cut his son's throat. But this time Allah(swt) through His Angel spoke to His most obeidiant servant.

"O Ibraheem, you have acted according to your dream. We therefore give you a victim in place of your son."

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) stopped his cutting, and opened his eyes, and untied his son's hands and feet and embraced Ismaeel(as) and they both rejoiced. Then behold the Lord sent down to them a fatted ram. They both approached it but the ram ran away from them down the hill to the valley of Muna. There they caught it and made sacrifice to Allah(swt).

That is why that today the Muslims sacrifice some animals in Muna on the day after completion of the Hajj so as to discard their Ihrams and wear new and clean clothes.

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) brought his son back to his awaiting mother Hajar(as). Allah(swt) had already told her of the test that they both had passed and that her son was not sacrificed. All three of them rejoiced together and the Prophet Ibraheem(as) stayed for a while then returned back to Canaan to his other wife Sarah(as).

The Sacred Covenant of God 

Then Allah appears to the Prophet Ibraheem(as) through His Holy Angel and reveals to him that it now time to fulfill His old promise to the Prophet Ibraheem(as):

The rite of Circumcision is now for the very first time formally introduced and instituted and is immeadiately executed.

The Prophet Ibraheem(as), now at his ninetieth year of age, circumcises his son Ismaeel(as) and all orders all his male servants to be each circumcised immeadiately.And the sacred "Covenant" between God and the Prophet Ibraheem(as) with his only begotten son is made and so sealed, with the blood of the circumcision.

The Treaty is thus concluded between The Heavens and the Promised Land in the person of Ismaeel(as) as the only legitamite offspring of the nonagenarian Patriarch. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) promises allegiance and fealty to his Almighty Creator, Allah(swt), and in turn God promises to be forever the Protector and God of the posterity of Ismaeel and his people.

Through the sacred Divine Covenant of The Lord God, the Prophet Ismaeel(as) inherited all the lands and extended territories from the river Nile to the river Euraphates, which were all inhabited by some ten different tribes.

The Building of the Holy Kabah 

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) visited the Hijaz again. This time Ismaeel(as) had then grown up and was a big man and a Prophet to his people.

When the Prophet Ibraheem(as) first came to the his son's house and he could not find Hajar(as) or Ismaeel(as). Instead he met a young Jurhumi woman, her name was Ri'lah who was in a house and around the house were a few goats. Rilah was the daughter of Mudad Ibn'Amn and the wife of his son the Prophet Ismaeel(as). She welcomed told the Prophet Ibraheem(as) that her husband had gone out hunting and the goats were a present given to her husband, the Prophet Ismaeel(as)

Ri'lah was very good to the Prophet Ibraheem(as). She washed and combed his hair. Cleaned his clothes and rested him. Then she milked a goat and killed a lamp for him and prepared a good meal for her husband's father to eat.

When the Prophet Ibraheem(as) had awoken from his sleep she brought him all his clean clothes to wear and the cool milk and hot food she had prepared. After he had eaten. He asked her about his wife Hajar(as). She told him that she had died some years ago and she lay buried near that place.

When the Prophet Ismaeel(as) returned, the Prophet Ibraheem(as). He congratulated him on a fine wife and told him of how she cleaned his hair and clothes and how she rested and fed him. He asked his son to show him his mother's grave so that they might all pay their respect to her.

Back at the house of the Prophet Ismaeel(as) his fasther told him of the reason he had come this time. He told him that The Lord Allah(swt) had commanded him to build His House here in the Becca valley. But where would they build it the Prophet Ismaeel(as) had asked? His father told him that Allah(swt) said he would tell them where to build His House.

The next morning they prepared all their tools to build God's House. As they went out of the Prophet Ismaeel's(as) house. They waited for guidance from Allah(swt). Then a dragon shaped out of a cloud came and hovered above the place to build the House. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) and his son looked above at the dragon and saw that its shadow had fallen on a small rocky mound nearby.

They quickly started to dig at the ground and found to their surprise the ruins of the original house made out of wood and mud, that the Prophet Adam(as) had built many years before.

Here they raised new foundations and built a house of stone. No mortar was used. Stone was laid on stone. It had no roof.

While building the walls the Prophet Ibraheem(as) had to stand on a piece of rock which the Prophet Ismaeel(as) had brought for him. The marks of his feet were left on this stone. Since they had no ladder Allah(swt) had made the stone rise and move as the walls got higher and higher. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) and his son the Prophet Ismaeel(as) completed building the Holy Kabah. But they did not give it a roof.

 

The Holy Black Stone

Then Allah(swt) told them to place a special stone on the far eastern corner. From their they would start the ritual of walking around His Holy House The Kabah in Homage and prayer. But the Stone was no ordinary stone. So they all search for a unique Stone to be embedded in the eastern corner of God's Sacred House.

Allah(swt) again guided them with a bright light that shone from a white Stone as white as milk on the grave of the Prophet Adam(as) in Mount Abu Qubais. They brought the Stone to the House that they had built. Then the bright white Stone shone even brighter and started to move by itself and floated and fitted itself into the prepared part of the eastern corner.

This bright white Stone which still is embedded in the eastern corner of the Kabah has in time become black, ad is at present known as the Haj'rl Al-Aswad or the 'Black Stone'. The Pilgrims start the ritual of going around the Holy Kaba at the Sacred Black Stone.

Later The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) had said that the Stone had turn from white to black due to impurities within the masses hearts who had touched it.

After building the Holy Kabah they prayed to God. The Prophet Ibraheem(as) said,

"O Allah, make this town a secure town. I have placed my child here and his children will remain here. Give food and fruits to the believer."

Allah(sw) said,

"Even the unbelievers will enjoy life here and get food here but they will suffer in the afterlife."

They also prayed,

"O our Lord, accept our prayers, guide us so that we submit to you. Show us the way. Be merciful to us. Raise from our children people who will believe in You and obey You. Ra'se up a messenger (Rasool) from among these people. Surely Thou art Mighty and Wise."

Allah(swt) accepted their prayer, and that is why Allah(swt) had sent The Holy Prophet Mohammad Al-Mustafa(pbuh&hf) among these people of Becca valley in Arabia.

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) and the Prophet Ismaeel(as) went round the the Holy Kabah seven times. Then they walked and ran seven times to Safa and Marwa to commemorate what Hajar(as) had done in panic, when the Prophet Ismaeel(as) was a little baby.

Finally, the Prophet Ibraheem(as) bade goodbye to his beloved and son now the Prophet Ismaeel(as) , and went back to Canaan to his baran wife Sarah(as).

Coming of The Three Holy Angels(as)

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) now had by this time grown quite old. He was then ninety. He had no child by his first wife Sarah(as), who was baran, and had also grown old and frail. The Holy Angels(as) had come to the Prophet Ibraheem(as) with good and bad tidings.

The Prophet Ishaq

Sarah to have a son

The Prophet Loot

The Destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

One day a group of very handsome young men came to his camp. As the Prophet Ibraheem(as) always is used to eat with a guest. He was especially glad to have these three guests come to him. But when he offered the young men food they did not eat. He then understood who his three guest really were and said to them,

 

"You are Angels of Allah. Why has Allah sent you here?"

The Three Angels all replied in one voice to him,

"We have been sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, for their inhabitants are wicked and evil people."

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) remembered that his nephew the Prophet Loot(as) was a prophet of Sodom and Gomorrah . He said to them,

"But Loot is my dear nephew, and is living there!"

Again the Three replied in one distintic clear echoing voice,

"We have been ordered to save him, his daughters and only his good followers, 

but not his wife. For she is a wicked and evil woman."

The Banishment of Hajar(as)

The Prophet Ibraheem's(as) ageing wife Sarah(as) had finally given him a son, as Allah(swt) had promised, and he called him Isaac(as).

His mother Sarah(as) was also blessed with bountifull of milk in her bossom and it was she herself who suckled the baby.

When he was weaned she demanded that her husband the Prophet Ibraheem(as) to banish both the Eygptian Hagar(as) and her small infant son Ismaeel(as) out of their Household.

The Prophet Ibraheem(as) rejected her demand and was deeply saddened. For he loved deeply both his son Ismaeel(as) and his mother Hagar(as).

But God spoke to him, and told him to not be so grieved and to do as his wife Sarah(as) had asked, and He would guide him to where they both shall live.

Allah(swt) promised him that his beloved son Ismaeel(as) will be greatly blessed and a great nation will be from him, and a great and beloved Prophet(pbuh&hf) from him shall rule over them.

The Almighty God, Allah(swt), had guided Ibraheem(as), his wife Hagar(as) and their infant son Ismaeel(as), south to a small barran and desolute valley of the Arabian desert.

The valley was called Becca, because of its narrowness and of the hills surrounding it on all sides except for three passes, to the south, to the north and to the west towards the nearby red sea. There in Becca the Prophet Ibraheem(as) was commanded to leave his wife Hagar(as) and her infant son Ismaeel(as).

 

The Lady Hajar(as)

She was shooked to see that her husband was actually going to leave them all alone in the hot barran desert with scarcely any food and water. She pleaded with her husband not to leave them both in this desolute place. But only when the Prophet Ibraheem(as) told her that it was commanded of him by God, only then did she relinquished, and he left them.

Now for three days the thirsty Hagar(as) sat in in the middle of this desolute dry hot stoning valley clutching her crying infant son to her bossom, always scanning and searching the hot desert around her for someone to help them in their plight! The baby was now screaming and her bossom was dry.

Hajar, now feared for her son, for he was dying. She quickly placed him under her makeshift sun screan and started to run from from one small hill top Marwah, Their stopping at the summitt looking around desperatly for anyone to help them, but no one was to be seen.

Then she would run to another hill top Safwah again using the hill top summit as a vantage point to search the land before her for help, and again their was no one in sight. In desperation she ran back and forth seven times between those two hill top of Marwah and Safwah.

Hagar(as) on the seven turn suddenly stopped running, as her son's screams grew silent. She turned helplessly to look towards her thirsty infant son, when suddenly on the horizon she saw an angel in form of a man who spoke to her, in the words of:

"And God heard the voice of the lad; 

and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her: 

What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise and lift up the lad and hold him in thy hand, for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water."

Genesis:17/20

The water miraculously gushed out of the hot stoning sands beneath the crying baby's tapping heels on the ground. Hagar(as) now fearing her son will drown in the water, quickly rushed down the hill and grabbed her baby into her arms.

There after the valley soon became a resting place for carvans and travellers, by reason of excellence and abundance of the water, and the miracle well was called Zamzam.

Building of The Holy Kabah

Years later Ibraheem came to visit his wife Hagar and her son Ismaeel at the holy place of the Zamzam well. God then showed the Prophet Ibraheem(as) and his son the Prophet Ismaeel(as) where they should build a Holy sanctuary.

God told them how it must be built. Its name, Kabah, meaning cube, is in virture of its shape. Its four corners are pointing towards the four points of the compass. An Angel brought to the Prophet Ibraheem(as) a celestrial stone from the Paradise in Heaven, and he placed in the eastern corner of the Kabah. Later The Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) said,

"It had desended from Paradise whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam had made it turn black!"

When finally the construction of the sancturay was completed, God spoke to the Prophet Ibraheem(as) and bade to institute the rite of the Pilgrimage of Becca, or Mecca, as it was later came to be called,

"Purify My House for those who go the rounds of it and who stand beside it and bow and make prostration. And proclaime unto men the pilgrimage, that they may come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel out of every deep ravine"

Hagar told Ibraheem of her search for help, and so he made it part of the rite of the pilgrimage that all the pilgrims shoul pass seven times bewtween the mounts of Safa and Marwah, for so the two eminences between which she had passed had come to be named, and the Prophet Ibraheem(as) prayed,

 

"Verily I have settled a line of mine offspring in a tilthless valley at The Holy House... Therefore incline unto them men's hearts, and systain them with fruits that they may be thanfull."


source : Roots of Terroris/by Moulana Jan Ali Kazmi
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