Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 1Mercy for the Worlds Series - No. 5 Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet His Life, Manners and Characteristics By Dr. Adel ibn ‘Ali al-Shiddy Associate Professor of Quranic Sciences at King Saud University and Speaker at the Ministry of Exterior Residential Compound Mosque Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 2 In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 3 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Contents:Introduction…………………………………………….61. Some Rights of the Prophet –1…......….…122. Some Rights of the Prophet – 2……........183. The Prophets Guidance in Ramadhan-1.....254. The Prophets Guidance in Ramadhan- 2....305. The Prophets Guidance in Ramadhan - .....356. His Noble Lineage……….…………………...….407. His Truthfulness and Trustworthiness…....448. The Covenant and the Prophets Foretelling of Muhammad …………………………....…...499. The Prophet of Mercy – 1……………....….....5510. The Prophet of Mercy – 2……………...……...6011. Some Merits of the Prophet ……...………..6512. His Birth, Early Childhood and Allahs protection of Him…………………...……………7113. His Marriage……………………………...……… .7614. The Prophet and Women – 1……… ...……8015. The Prophet and Women – 2……… ...……85
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 416. His Prophethood and Invitation to His People…........................................................……9017. His Patience in the Face of Abuse………...…9518. Allahs Protection of His Prophet …..…10019. Love of the Prophet ………………….….….10620. The Greatest Sign of Prophethood…….…....11221. The Prophets Worship……………………….11822. The Initial Spread of Islam……………...……12423. The Migration to Madinah………...…………12924. The Prophets Lifestyle………………....…….13425. The Establishment of a Nation……...……. 13926. The Prophets Courage…………………....….14527. The Battle of Badr………………………...…….15028. The Battle of Uhud……………………...………15629. Lessons from the Battle of Uhud……...…...16230. The Prophets Leniency with His People – 1…......................................................................16731. The Prophets Leniency with His People – 2….....................................................................17232. The Battle of al- Ahzaab………………........................……..…….177
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 533. The Prophets Justice………………....……....18334. The Jewish Plots and the Prophets Attitude Toward Them…………………………......…….18935. Why Was Fighting Ordained?................. 19336. The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah……….......…….19837. The Prophets Faithfulness……………..… 20438. The Conquest of Makkah……………...…… 21039. The Prophets Pardon……………....…………21640. The Prophet of Mercy – 3……………......... 22141. The Prophet of Mercy – 4……………....…...22542. The Prophets Generosity……….....………..230
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 6 In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Introduction Praise be to gracious Allah, who honoured usby sending Muhammad ibn `Abdullah as ateacher, educator, leader and guide. As Allahsaid in the Quran:"Certainly did Allah confer [great] favour upon thebelievers when He sent among them a Messengerfrom themselves, reciting to them His verses andpurifying them and teaching them the Book [i.e., theQuran] and wisdom, although they had been beforein manifest error." (3:164) And blessings and peace be upon the mostnoble and purest of creation, our ProphetMuhammad , a role model and leader of therighteous, seal of the prophets and messengersand a mercy for all the worlds. He was chosen byAllah, who said:
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 7"And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses."(28:68)And He said:"Allah chooses messengers from among the angelsand from among the people." (22:75)So, He sent him"as a witness, a bringer of good tidings, a Warner,one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and anilluminating lamp." (33:45-46) 1 And Allah, (the Exalted), has decreedhonour, contentment and distinction for thosewho follow his path and decreed humiliation,misery and degradation for those who go againsthis order. So may the blessings and peace of ourLord be upon him as often as the righteousmention him and as long as night follows day. It is agreed that no meeting or encountercould be more honourable than one with the١ From henceforth the Arabic symbol will be used.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 8Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him)2.And although his companions (may Allah bepleased with them)3 had the honour of meetingwith him in this world and partaking of histeaching, instruction and education, Allah, outof His mercy and generosity, has facilitated forus also a way to learn his biography, his Sunnah4,his guidance and the features of his personality,which was characterized by extensive mercy,leniency, nobility, generosity and morality. Some time back, the thought occurred tome to write some of these encounters in a briefand simple way in order to present Muslims witha glimpse of his life, his guidance and some of theaspects which made him a role model, thus aidingthem to apply the words of Allah:٢ From henceforth the Arabic symbol will be used.٣ From henceforth the Arabic symbol will be used.٤ “Sunnah” in Islamic terminology means the divinely ordainedway or method followed by Prophet Muhammad .
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 9"There has certainly been for you in the Messenger ofAllah an excellent model for anyone whose hope isin Allah and the Last Day and who remembersAllah often." (33:21)And "And whatever the Messenger has given you –take; and what he has forbidden you – refrainfrom." (59:7) I have taken care not to weight thesepresentations down with a lot of extra notes thatmight distract the reader from grasping some oftheir objectives. I also took care to make themsuitable for the imam of a mosque to read to hiscongregation or a teacher to read to his students. I cannot forget to thank all those whocontributed thought and effort toward producingthe book in this form. Special thanks go toBrother Khalid Abu Salih for his great job ingathering and organizing the material and toMuhammad at-Taabi` for his review andcorrections, as well as to Imam Arafah, owner ofAl-Fustat Press, for typesetting and also his
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 10cooperation in reducing the cost of the book toassist those intending charitable distribution.Indeed, I hope that everyone who reads theseencounters will remember me in his prayers andcontact me by e-mail to offer comments andsuggestions at:firstname.lastname@example.org I pray to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, toenable us all to fulfil the right of our Prophet and to make us among those who serve hisSunnah and spread his noble guidance. And Ipray that Allah will increase us in honour andposition in this world and the next by enablingus to follow the example of His Prophet andthat He will grant us the Prophetscompanionship in Paradise. May He make ourdeeds purely for His acceptance, and may Hisblessings and peace be upon our ProphetMuhammad and all of his family andcompanions.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 11 Dr. Adel ibn Ali al-ShiddyAssociate Professor of Quranic Sciences at King Saud University and Speaker at Ministry of Exterior Compound Mosque in Riyadh
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 12 In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful First Encounter Some Rights of the Prophet – 1 Allah has honoured us by sendingProphet Muhammad and has favoured us bymaking known his message.He said:Certainly did Allah confer [great] favour upon thebelievers when He sent among them a Messengerfrom themselves, reciting to them His verses andpurifying them and teaching them the Book [i.e., theQuran] and wisdom, although they had been beforein manifest error. (3:164) Indeed, the Messenger of Allah has manyrights over us which we should observe, upholdand beware of neglecting. Among them are:
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 131. Belief in him The first right of the Prophet is belief inhim and in his message, for whoever does notbelieve in the Messenger of Allah and that he isthe last of the prophets and messengers is adisbeliever, even if he should believe in all of theprophets who came before him. The Quran contains many versescommanding belief in the Messenger of Allah and in the message he brought. Therein Allahhas said:So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the light[i.e., Quran] which We have sent down. (64:8)And He said:The believers are only those who have believed inAllah and His Messenger and then do not doubt.(49:15) And He stated that disbelief in Allah andHis Messenger is a cause of destruction andpainful punishment, saying:
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 14That is because they opposed Allah and HisMessenger. And whoever opposes Allah and HisMessenger – indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.(8:13)And the Prophet himself said, "By Him in whose hand is Muhammads soul, noone from this nation or a Jew or a Christian willhear about me and then die without believing inthat with which I was sent but that he will be of theinhabitants of the Hellfire." (Narrated by Muslim)2. Following him Following the Prophet is the real evidenceof belief in him. Anyone who claims faith in theProphet but then does not obey his order,cease what he prohibited and follow his Sunnahhas lied about his faith. For faith is what hassettled in the heart and is proven by deeds.Allah shows that His mercy is for the believerswho follow the Prophets example. He said:My mercy encompasses all things. So I will decree it[especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 15and those who believe in Our verses – Those whofollow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet...(7:156-157) In addition, Allah has promised a badconsequence for those who ignore the guidanceof His Messenger and oppose his instruction:So let those beware who dissent from his order, lesttrial strikes them or a painful punishment. (24:63) And Allah commanded wholeheartedcompliance with the Messengers judgement,saying:But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believeuntil they make you, [O Muhammad], judgeconcerning that over which they dispute amongthemselves and then find within themselves nodiscomfort from what you have judged and submitin [full, willing] submission. (4:65)3. Loving him Among the rights of the Prophet upon hisnation is complete and perfect love for him.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 16He said, "None of you [truly] believes until I ammore beloved to him than his child, his parent andall people." (Al-Bukhari) So any person who does not love theMessenger of Allah cannot be a believer, evenif he should have a Muslim name and live amongMuslims. The greatest degree of love for the Messengerof Allah is to love him more than oneself.`Umar ibn al-Khattab once said to him, "OMessenger of Allah , you are more beloved tome than everything except myself." The Prophet replied, "No, by the one in whosehand is my soul – not until I am more beloved toyou than yourself."Then `Umar said, "Now, by Allah, you aremore beloved to me than myself." So theProphet said,"Now [you have believed], `Umar." (Al-Bukhari)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 174. Supporting him This is among the most clearly confirmed ofhis rights both in life and after death. During hislifetime his companions fulfilled this duty in thebest way. After his death, however, supportinghim entails defence of his Sunnah whenever it isexposed to attack by enemies, distortion by theignorant or criticism by those who seek to annulit. It also includes the defence of his noble personwhenever he might be abused, ridiculed ordescribed in an unsuitable manner. In recent times, there has been an increase incampaigns to dishonour and discredit theProphet of Islam . The entire Ummah(community of believers) must arise to thedefence of its Prophet by every means possibleto force opponents to end their lies, insults andslander.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 18 Second Encounter Some Rights of the Prophet – 2We continue with the mention of rights of theProphet upon his followers:5. Spreading his message Loyalty to the Messenger of Allah includes spreading his invitation to Islamthroughout every part of the earth, because he said,"Convey from me, even if only one verse." (Al-Bukhari)He also said, "That should Allah guide through you a single manis better for you than possessing red camels." 5 (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)And he stated,٥ Meaning the best of worldly possessions.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 19 "Through you [Muslims] I will have morenumerous followers than [other] nations on the Dayof Resurrection." (Ahmad) Among the ways his nation will increase isthrough da`wah, or invitation to Allah, whichbrings people into Islam. Allah stated thatinvitation to Him has always been theoccupation of the prophets and their followers.He ordered:Say, "This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight,I and those who follow me." (12:108)The Muslim Ummah must fulfil the duty forwhich Allah raised it, which is da`wah anddelivery of the message, enjoining right andforbidding wrong. As Almighty Allah has said:You are the best nation produced [as an example] formankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid whatis wrong and believe in Allah. (3:110)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 206. Revering him in life and death This is among the rights which manypeople have neglected. In the Quran, Allahsaid:Indeed, We have sent you as a witness and a bringerof good tidings and a Warner, that you [people] maybelieve in Allah and His Messenger and honour himand respect him [i.e., the Prophet] and exalt Him[i.e., Allah] morning and afternoon. (48:8-9) Ibn Sa`di explained: "To honour andrespect the Messenger means to revere him,hold him in esteem and fulfil his rights becauseof the great debt of gratitude you owe him." The Prophets companions used tohonour him, respect him and hold him in greatesteem, so much that when he spoke theywould listen to him attentively, as if birds wereperched on their heads. After Allah hadrevealed:O you who have believed, do not raise your voicesabove the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 21speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lestyour deeds become worthless while you perceive not(49:2), Abu Bakr said, "By Allah, I will notspeak to you after this except [softly] with facialexpression." As for respecting him after his death, it is byfollowing his Sunnah, by deference to his order,by acceptance of his rulings, by courtesy towardhis sayings and by not preferring any opinion orschool of thought over his teachings. Imam ash-Shafi`i said, "All Muslim scholars agree thatwhoever has understood the Sunnah of AllahsMessenger is not permitted to abandon it forthe opinion of another."7. Invoking Allahs blessings upon him6 whenever he is mentioned Allah has ordered believers to invokeblessings on him, saying:٦ By saying, "Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam", meaning: MayAllahs blessings and peace be upon him.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 22Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, andHis angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who havebelieved, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon himand ask [Allah to grant him] peace. (33:56)And the Prophet said,"May the nose be rubbed in dirt of a man who,when I am mentioned before him, does not invokeblessings upon me." (Muslim)And he said,"The closest of people to me on the Day ofResurrection will be the ones who invoked blessingson me the most." (At-Tirmidhi – graded as Hasanby al-Albani)And, "The stingy one is he before whom I ammentioned and does not invoke blessings on me."(Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi – graded as Saheeh by al-Albani) It is indeed discourtesy for a Muslim to hearthe mention of Allahs Messenger and then betoo miserly to invoke blessings on him. ImamIbn al-Qayyim mentioned many of the benefits of
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 23invoking blessings on the Prophet in his bookentitled “Jalaa al-Afhaam fis-Salaati was-Salaami`ala Khayr il-Anaam”.8. Alliance with his allies and hatred of his enemiesAllah has said:You will not find a people who believe in Allah andthe Last Day having affection for those who opposeAllah and His Messenger, even if they were theirfathers or their sons or their brothers or theirkindred. (58:22)Alliance to him also means alliance to hiscompanions and love for them, devotion tothem, acknowledgement of their rights, praisingthem, following their example, asking forgivenessfor them, refraining from discussion of theirdisagreements and animosity toward theirenemies and those who insult or defame them.And it means alliance to the members of hishousehold, support and defence of them, but atthe same time, avoiding excessive praise andexaggeration of their attributes.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 24And alliance to him includes love for the scholarsof Ahl as-Sunnah, support of them and avoidanceof disdaining or dishonouring them. And itincludes animosity towards their enemies amongthe disbelievers, the hypocrites and those whoadvocate innovation and error.A man from among the latter group once said toAyyub as-Sakhtiyani, "May I ask you about aword?" He turned away from him with a sign ofhis finger meaning, "Not even half a word," outof reverence for the Prophets Sunnah andenmity toward its enemies.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 25 Third Encounter The Prophets Guidance in Ramadhan – 1 Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah havemercy upon him) said, "The guidance of AllahsMessenger in Ramadhan was the mostcomplete and perfect for achieving the desiredobjective with ease. Fasting Ramadhan was madeobligatory in the second year following theHijrah,7 so at his death he had fasted nineRamadhans. At first, the choice was given betweenfasting and feeding a poor person for each day,and then the choice was abrogated and fastingwas required. Feeding the poor remained anoption only for the elderly man and woman whofast with difficulty; they were allowed to feed thepoor for each day missed. Sick and travellingpersons were permitted to break the fast andmake up the missed days later. The same applied٧ The Prophets emigration from Makkah to Madinah.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 26to pregnant or nursing women if they fearedharm to themselves. But if they feared harm tothe child, they had to feed the poor in additionto making up the days. That is because, in thiscase breaking the fast occurs whilst healthy andnot due to fear of illness; hence, it iscompensated by feeding the poor as healthypeople did at the beginning of Islam.Increase in Worship The Prophet used to intensify his acts ofworship during Ramadhan. The angel Jibreel(Gabriel) would meet with him in this month toreview the Quran. And when Jibreel met him he was faster than the wind in doing good deeds.He was the most generous of people; but he was more generous than ever in Ramadhan,wherein he increased charities, acts ofkindness, recitation of the Quran, prayer,mention of Allah and seclusion in the masjid.He used to worship during Ramadhan morethan in any other month, and sometimes wouldcontinue fasting throughout the night in order tomake use of the time for worship. He
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 27prohibited his companions from doing so,however, and when they said to him, "But youcontinue through the night,"He would say, "You are not like me. I remainwith my Lord who gives me food and drink."He forbade them from continuing their fast allnight out of mercy to his Ummah, and allowedthem to continue only to the hours before dawn.In Saheeh al-Bukhari, Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri reported that he heard the Prophet say,"Do not continue fasting all night. Anyone whowishes to may continue until the hours beforedawn."That is easier on the fasting person and actuallytakes the place of his dinner, although at a latertime. One who fasts has one meal, so if he eats itbefore dawn he has only shifted it from thebeginning of the night to the end.His Guidance in Confirming the Month He would begin the fast of Ramadhanonly after a verified sighting of the new moon or
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 28the evidence of one Muslim witness. He fastedon the testimony of Ibn `Umar , and once onthe testimony of a Bedouin. He depended ontheir information and did not make the witnesspronounce the shahadah. In case the moon wasnot sighted and without any witness, he wouldcomplete Sha`baan as thirty days and then beginfast. He did not begin fasting on a cloudy day,nor did he order it. Rather, he ordered thecompletion of Sha`baan as thirty days when itwas cloudy. That was his practice and what heordered, and it does not contradict his saying,"If it is overcast, estimate it." (Al-Bukhari andMuslim) For an estimate is ones calculation, andit means: complete the month when it isovercast, as stated in the hadith saying, "Completethe days of Sha`baan." (Al-Bukhari)His Guidance in Ending the Month He ordered people to fast on thetestimony of one Muslim man and terminatedthe fast based on the testimony of two witnesses.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 29If two witnesses gave testimony about sightingthe moon after the Eid prayer time had passed,he would break his fast and order people to doso. Then he would perform the Eid prayer at itstime the following morning.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 30 Fourth Encounter The Prophets Guidance in Ramadhan – 2Imam Ibn al-Qayyim continued, "The Prophet used to hasten to break thefast [at sunset] and ordered the people to do so.He also used to delay his suhoor8 and encourageothers to do the same. He would encourage breaking the fast ondates and if there were none, on water. This wasout of consideration for his Ummah, as theempty stomach is naturally more accepting ofsomething sweet, and it strengthens the bodysfunctions, especially the eyesight. In Madinah,dates were the customary sweets; when driedthey were food and provision and when freshthey were fruit. As for water, the liver becomesdehydrated during fasting. So when it is firstmoistened with water it operates more effectivelywhen food follows. Therefore, it is best for one٨ . A pre-dawn meal for those intending to fast
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 31who is hungry and thirsty to begin with a littlewater before his food. This is in addition to theparticular properties of dates and water whichhave a beneficial effect on the heart, somethingrecognized only by heart specialists.With the Prophet at the Time of Breaking HisFast He would break his fast before prayingthe maghrib prayer. He would break his fastwith fresh dates or, if unavailable, with dry dates;and if he had none, with a few sips of water. Itis reported that upon breaking his fast he would say:"Thirst has gone, the veins have been moistened andthe reward is assured, if Allah wills." (Abu Dawud)And he said,"Indeed, the supplication of a fasting person at thetime of breaking his fast is not refused." (Ibn Majah)He is also authentically reported to have said,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 32 "When the night has come and the day has gone theone fasting has broken his fast." (Al-Bukhari andMuslim) An explanation of this is that the fast isbroken according to law whether or not theperson intended it since the time for that hasarrived.Manners During Fasting He prohibited the fasting person fromsex and improper speech, from noisy arguments,insults and from responding to them. Heinstructed that if one is cursed or insulted heshould only say,“I am fasting.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Some scholars mentioned that he should sayit with his tongue, which is most likely. Otherssaid it is within his heart – to remind himself thathe is fasting. And yet others said that duringobligatory fasting he should say it with histongue but during voluntary fasting in his heartbecause that is farther away from showing off.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 33His Guidance for Travel during Ramadhan The Messenger of Allah travelled inRamadhan and sometimes observed fasting andsometimes broke his fast. He gave hiscompanions the option to do either, but he would order them to break their fast when theyapproached an enemy in order to be strong forbattle. When the journey did not involve jihad,Allahs Messenger told them it was facilitation,so whoever took advantage of it – it was good,and whoever preferred to fast was not to beblamed. He travelled in Ramadhan for two of thegreatest campaigns: that of Badr and the conquestof Makkah. It was not of his guidance to designate aspecific distance beyond which a traveller couldbreak his fast, and nothing authentic was relatedin this regard. When setting out on a journey hiscompanions did not stipulate passing beyond thetowns residential area as this was not from theSunnah.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 34 Ubayd ibn Jabr reported: "I boarded a shipfrom Fustat with Abu Basrah al-Ghifari, acompanion of Allahs Messenger , duringRamadhan. We had not yet left the settlementbehind when he called for a meal, saying,Come. I said, Dont you see the houses? AbuBasrah said, Are you disinclined to the sunnahof Allahs Messenger ?" (Ahmad and AbuDawud) Muhammad ibn Ka`b said, "I went to Anasibn Malik in Ramadhan. He intended to travelso his camel had been prepared and he had wornhis travelling clothes. He ordered some food andate, so I said to him, Is it a sunnah? He said, Itis a sunnah, and mounted." (At-Tirmidhi)These narrations clearly show that whoeverbegins a journey during a day of Ramadhan maybreak the fast.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 35 Fifth Encounter The Prophets Guidance in Ramadhan – 3 His guidance was also that if he was in astate of sexual impurity at the break of dawn he would perform ghusl9 after the fajr adhan andobserve the fast. And he might kiss one of hiswives while fasting in Ramadhan10 and comparedit to rinsing the mouth with water.His Guidance Concerning Eating or DrinkingOut of Forgetfulness He ruled that a fasting person need notmake up the day if he ate or drank out offorgetfulness, saying that it was Allah who hadfed him and given him drink. So one is not heldresponsible for that food and drink and it doesnot break his fast since it is only broken by what٩ . A complete bath١٠ The scholars dislike kissing during fasting for those whocannot control themselves.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 36he does deliberately. It is like eating or drinkingin ones sleep, and the acts of someone asleep orsomeone who has forgotten are not accountable.What Breaks or Invalidates the Fast The Prophet stated that the fast is brokenby deliberate eating or drinking,11 drawing blood(cupping) and vomiting. The Quran states that sexual intercourseinvalidates the fast, as does eating and drinking,and there is no disagreement over this. He did not mention anything aboutapplying kohl, but it is reported that he woulduse the tooth stick (miswak) while fasting. Andhe did not forbid using the miswak no matterwhether early or late in the day. Imam Ahmadmentioned that he would pour water on hishead while fasting. And he used to take waterinto his mouth and nose while fasting but١١ Including what is similar, such as smoking and injections fornourishment.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 37warned people not to take it too deeply into themouth. Imam Ahmad also said that he wouldnot have himself cupped while fasting. 12His Guidance in I`tikaaf He performed i`tikaaf regularly duringthe last ten days of Ramadhan until his death.Once he missed it in Ramadhan but made upthe days during the month of Shawwal. He once did i`tikaaf in the first ten daysof Ramadhan, then in the middle ten days, thenin the last ten days, seeking Laylatul-Qadr. Afterthat it became clear to him that it comes withinthe last ten days, so he continued to do it thenuntil he died. He used to order that a tent be set up forhim in the mosque in which to seclude himselfwith his Lord. When intending i`tikaaf, he would begin it after performing the fajr prayer.١٢ Seclusion in the masjid for worship.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 38 He used to perform i`tikaaf ten daysevery year, and in the year before he died he did it for twenty days. Angel Jibreel would cometo hear his recitation of the Quran once everyyear, but in his final year he came to hear ittwice. And Jibreel would recite it to him everyyear but recited it to him twice that year. When he performed i`tikaaf he wouldenter his tent alone. He would only go to hishouse for answering a call of nature. From themasjid he used to put his head into Aisha’s roomfor her to comb and wash his hair, even whenshe had her menses. One of his wives would visit him during hisi`tikaaf, and when she would get up to leave he would stand up and accompany her to thedoor, and that was at night. He did not havesexual relations with any of his wives duringi`tikaaf, neither kissing nor anything else. During i`tikaaf he would have hismattress and bed put in the place where he stayed. When he went out to relieve himself he
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 39might pass a sick person on the way and not stopor ask about him. Once he performed i`tikaaf in a Turkishtent and placed a straw mat over its entry inorder to achieve the objective and spirit ofi`tikaaf (seclusion). This is in contrast to thepractice of ignorant people who make it a placefor gathering friends and visitors to converseamong themselves. Theirs is one way, but thei`tikaaf of the Prophet was another. AndAllah is the giver of success.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 40 Sixth Encounter His Noble Lineage He was Abul-Qasim, Muhammad ibn`Abdullah ibn `Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn`Abdi Manaf ibn Qusayy ibn Kilab ibn Murrahibn Ka`b ibn Luay ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr ibnMalik ibn an-Nadhr ibn Kinanah ibn Khuzaymahibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyas ibn Mudhar ibn Nizaribn Ma`add ibn Adnan. This is the consensus ofthe scholars, who also agreed that Adnan was thedescendant of Prophet Isma`eel (peace be uponhim).His Names Jubayr ibn Mut`im reported that theMessenger of Allah said,"I have certain names: I am Muhammad, I amAhmad, I am al-Mahi (the Eliminator) throughwhom Allah eliminates disbelief, I am al-Hashir(the Gatherer) at whose feet people will be gathered,and I am al-`Aaqib (the Last) after whom will be noother." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 41 And Abu Musa al-Ash`ari reported: "Themessenger of Allah named himself somenames. He said, I am Muhammad, Ahmad, al-Muqaffi (theFinal), al-Hashir (the Gatherer), the Prophet ofRepentance and the Prophet of Mercy." (Muslim)His Pure Origin This is something which needs no proof,for he was the chosen one from Bani Hashimand from the descendants of Quraysh. So he isthe most noble of the Arabs in lineage; and he was from Makkah, the most beloved city toAllah, who said:Allah knows best where He places His message.(6:124) Before he accepted Islam, Abu Sufyanadmitted the excellent lineage and nobility of theProphet when he was asked by Heraclius abouthis ancestry. He replied, "He is of high lineageamong us." Heraclius said, "And that is howmessengers are sent among their peoples." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 42 And the Prophet said, "Allah, the Mightyand Majestic chose Isma`eel from the sons ofIbraheem and chose Kinanah from the sons ofIsma`eel and chose Quraysh from the sons ofKinanah and chose Bani Hashim from Quraysh andchose me from Bani Hashim." (Muslim) Allah kept his parents from falling intofornication; thus, he was born of a validmarriage and not out of wedlock.He said, "I came out of marriage, not fornication, from [thetime of] Adam until my father and motherproduced me, and I was not at all affected by thepromiscuity of the [pre-Islamic] days of ignorance."(At-Tabarani – graded as hasan by al-Albani)And he said,"I came from [the time of] Adam through marriageand not fornication." (Ibn Sa`d – graded as hasanby al-Albani) Ibn Sa`d and Ibn Asaakir related that al-Kalbi said, "I recorded for the Prophet five
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 43hundred mothers, and did not find anypromiscuity among them or anything of thepractices of the days of ignorance." By "mothers"he meant grandmothers, great grandmothers, etc.from both his fathers and mothers side.A poet said:From the time of Adam the loins and wombskept protecting his lineageUntil he was transferred in pure marriage; notwo had met in what was unlawful.He appeared as a full moon the night of his birth,unblemished by the darkness.Darknesss vanished at his bright lights, for lightwill not let any darkness remain.Thanks to Him who gave us this blessing whosenature is not within an illusion.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 44 Seventh Encounter His Truthfulness and Trustworthiness The Prophet was well-known among hispeople for honesty before his prophethood, andused to be called "al-Ameen" (the Trustworthy).This is a name that would not be given except toone who was extremely truthful, trustworthyand upright. Even his enemies testified to this. Abu Jahl,in spite of his hatred for the Prophet anddenial of him, knew that he was truthful. A manasked him, "Is Muhammad truthful or is he aliar?" He replied, "Woe to you! By Allah,Muhammad is truthful and he has never told alie. But, if the sons of Qusayy acquire thestandard, the distribution of water for pilgrims,the custodianship of the Ka`bah and prophethood,what will be left for the rest of the Quraysh?" And Abu Sufyan, who before acceptingIslam was the most adamant enemy of theProphet , was asked by Heraclius, "Did you
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 45ever accuse him of lying before he said what hesaid?" Abu Sufyan said, "No." So Heracliusconcluded, "I knew from what you told me thathe would not have refrained from lying to peopleand then lie about Allah." And his wife, Khadijah , when theProphet came back to her, trembling andsaying, "Wrap me up," after revelation firstdescended upon him in the cave of Hiraa, said tohim, "Good tidings! No, by Allah, Allah willnever humiliate you. For you keep ties withrelatives and you speak the truth..." (Al-Bukhariand Muslim) Ibn `Abbas reported: "After the verseAnd warn your closest kinsmen13 was revealed,The Messenger of Allah went out, climbed thehill of Safa and shouted to get their attention.They said, "Whats this?" and gathered beforehim. He addressed them, saying,١٣ Quran - (26:214).
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 46"If I was to inform you that horsemen were in thevalley behind this hill ready to attack you, wouldyou believe me?" They replied, "Yes, for we have never knownyou to lie". He said,"Indeed, I am a Warner to you of severepunishment." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) The honesty and integrity of the Prophet caused the polytheists confusion over how todescribe him. Sometimes they would say he was alying magician, sometimes a poet, sometimes asoothsayer and sometimes that he was mad; andthey would express disapproval of one anotherover this because they all knew that these werenot attributes of the Prophet . An-Nadr ibn al-Harith, who severely abusedthe Prophet , said to the Quraysh, "You arebeing afflicted with something the likes of whichyou have never experienced. As a young man,Muhammad was the most intelligent, truthfuland trustworthy among you. But when younoticed grey hairs at his temples and he conveyed
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 47to you what he conveyed, you called him amagician. No, by Allah, he is not a magician.And you called him a soothsayer. No, by Allah,he is not a soothsayer. And you called him apoet. No, by Allah, he is not a poet. And yousaid he was mad... O company of Quraysh! Lookinto this matter of yours, for by Allah, you havebeen afflicted with something tremendous." The Prophets integrity was the actualcause of Khadijahs wish to be his wife. He was incharge of her business transactions in Syria andshe learned from her servant, Maysarah, of hishonesty and noble manners. The greatest trust carried by the Prophet and fulfilled by him to the utmost degree wasthat concerning the revelation and the messagethat Allah had charged him with conveying tothe people. He conveyed it and fulfilled histrust in the most complete and perfect way. He opposed the enemies of Allah with irrefutableevidence and then by the sword, so Allahgranted him conquests and opened hearts to hisinvitation. People believed in him, aided and
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 48supported him until the word of tawheed (Lailaha ill-Allah) became dominant and Islam spreadeastward and westward. There remained not asingle house but that Allah had caused Hisreligion to enter it. May the blessings and peace of Allah beupon the truthful and trustworthy Prophet ,who strove for the cause of Allah with thestriving it deserved until he was finally taken bydeath.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 49 Eighth Encounter The Covenant and the Prophets Foretelling of MuhammadAllah said in the Quran:And [recall, O People of the Scripture], when Allahtook the covenant of the prophets, [saying],"Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdomand then there comes to you a messenger confirmingwhat is with you, you must believe in him andsupport him." [Allah] said, "Have youacknowledged and taken upon that Mycommitment?" They said, "We have acknowledgedit." He said, "Then bear witness, and I am with youamong the witnesses." And whoever turned awayafter that – they were the defiantly disobedient.(3:81-82) Ali ibn Abi Talib and his cousin, Ibn`Abbas , both said, " Allah did not send asingle prophet except that He took from himthe promise that if Allah should sendMuhammad during his lifetime he would
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 50believe in him and support him; and He orderedhim to take the pledge from his nation that ifMuhammad was sent while they were alivethey would believe in him and support him."14As-Suddi related something similar.And Allah quoted the supplication of ProphetIbraheem: 15"Our Lord, and send among them a messenger fromthemselves who will recite to them Your verses andteach them the Book and wisdom and purify them.Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."(2:129) Ibn Katheer commented: " Allahmentions the invocation of Ibraheem for thepeople of the Haram [in Makkah] asking that Hesend among them a messenger from themselves,i.e., from the descendants of Ibraheem . Thisinvocation was according to what Allah hadpredestined concerning the appointment of١٤ Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/493١٥ Abraham.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 51Muhammad as a messenger among the gentiles,to them and to all other races of mankind andjinn. Imam Ahmad related from `Al-Irbaadh ibnSariah that the Messenger of Allah said, "I was to Allah the seal of the prophets while Adamwas still clay, and I shall inform you of itsbeginning: it was the supplication of my ancestor,Ibraheem, tidings of me from `Isa, son of Maryam16and the dream which my mother saw; that is whatthe mothers of prophets see in dreams."He continued to be mentioned among thepeople until the seal of the prophets of BaniIsraeel, `Isa, spoke his name when he stoodand addressed them, saying,"Indeed I am the messenger of Allah to youconfirming what came before me of the Torah and١٦ Jesus, son of Mary.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 52bringing good tidings of a messenger to come afterme, whose name is Ahmad."17 (61:6)That is why the hadith said, "the supplication of my ancestor, Ibraheem andtidings from `Isa, son of Maryam."18 The mention of his excellent qualities anddeeds in the early scriptures are confirmed by thewords of Allah:Those who follow the Messenger, the unletteredprophet, whom they find written in what they haveof the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon themwhat is right and forbids them what is wrong andmakes lawful for them the good things and prohibitsfor them the evil and relieves them of their burden19and the shackles which were upon them.20 (7:157)17 Another name of Prophet Muhammad .١٨ Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 1/243.19 Difficulties in religious practice.20 Extreme measures previously required for repentance.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 53 `Ataa ibn Yasaar reported: I met `Abdullahibn `Amr ibn al-`Aas and said, "Inform meabout the description of Allahs Messenger inthe Torah." He said, "Yes, by Allah, he isdescribed in the Torah with the same descriptionas in the Quran:O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witnessand a bringer of good tidings and a Warner, (33:45)and also as a sanctuary for the gentiles.[Allah said:] You are My servant and Mymessenger; I have called you al-Mutawakkil (thedependant on Allah). He is not rude or harsh,nor is he noisy in the marketplaces. He does notcompensate a bad deed with another; rather, hepardons and forgives. Allah will not cause him todie until he has amended the altered religionthrough him with their saying, La ilaha ill-Allah. Blind eyes, deaf ears and closed hearts willbe opened by him." (Al-Bukhari) Al-Bayhaqi narrated from Ibn `Abbas :"Al-Jarud ibn `Abdullah came and acceptedIslam. He said to the Prophet , By Him who
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 54sent you with the truth, I found your descriptionin the Gospel. The virgins son (i.e., Jesus sonof Mary) gave tidings of you." And Abu Musa al-Ash`ari reported thatan-Najashi said, "I testify that Muhammad is theMessenger of Allah and that the one who gavetidings of him was Jesus. If not for mypreoccupation with the affairs of the kingdomand the responsibility I carry for the affairs ofmy people, I would have come to him to carryhis shoes." (Abu Dawud)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 55 Ninth Encounter The Prophet of Mercy – 1Mercy toward His Enemies The Prophet was a mercy for allhumanity. Allah described him as such, saying:"And We did not send you [O Muhammad] but as amercy to the worlds." (21:107) And the Prophet himself said, "Indeed, Iwas sent as a mercy." (Muslim) His mercy was a general mercy whichincluded the believer and the non-believer. WhenTufayl ibn `Amr ad-Dausi gave up hope on theguidance of his tribe he went to the Prophet and said, "O Messenger of Allah , the tribe ofDaus has disobeyed and refused so supplicate toAllah against them." The Prophet faced theQiblah and raised his hands, and the people werecertain that Daus would be destroyed when hesupplicated against them. But the Prophet ofmercy only said,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 56 "O Allah, guide Daus and bring them [to Islam]."(Al-Bukhari and Muslim) He supplicated for their guidance and notfor their punishment or destruction because he only wished good for people and hoped for theirsuccess and salvation. The Prophet went to Taif to invite itspeople to Islam but they met him with denial andridicule and encouraged street boys to throwstones at him until his feet bled. His wife,`Aishah, related what happened after that: "Iasked the Messenger of Allah if he ever had aday more difficult than that of the battle ofUhud. He said,I endured much from your people, and the worst Iendured from them was the day of al-`Aqabah whenI offered myself to Ibn `Abdi Ya Layl ibn `AbdiKulal. He did not respond as I had wished, so I left,absorbed in my worries, and did not come arounduntil I had reached Qarn ath-Tha`alib. I raised myhead and found that a cloud had shaded me; Ilooked and there was Jibreel within it. He called to
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 57me, "Indeed, Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, hasheard what your people say to you and how theyrespond to you. He has sent you the angel of themountains, so order him to do whatever you wish tothem." The angel of the mountains addressed me,saying, "O Muhammad! Indeed, Allah has heardwhat your people say to you and how they respondto you. I am the angel of the mountains and Allahhas sent me to you to order me to do whatever youwish. If you wish, I will crush them between the twomountains." But the Messenger of Allah replied, "Rather, I hope that Allah will bring forthfrom their loins those who will worship Allah alonewithout any partner and not associate anythingwith Him." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) This was the mercy which enabled theProphet to forget his bleeding wounds andbroken heart, only thinking of how to bringgood to those people and bring them out fromdarkness into the light and guide them to thestraight path. And when the Prophet conqueredMakkah, entering it with ten thousand warriors,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 58Allah gave him the decision concerning thosewho had abused and persecuted him, plotted hisassassination, expelled him from his homeland,killed his companions and tortured them becauseof their religion. One of his companions said,"Today is a day of massacre." But the Prophet said,"No, but today is a day of mercy." Then he went before the defeated peoplewhose eyes were wide with fear and whose heartswere trembling, waiting to see what thevictorious conqueror would do with them. Theirown custom was that of betrayal, vengeance andmutilation of those killed, as they had done tothe Muslims in the battle of Uhud and elsewhere.But the Prophet said to them,"O Quraysh, what do you suppose I should do withyou?" They replied, "What is good. You are agenerous brother and the son of a generousbrother." The Messenger of Allah replied, "Go,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 59for you are free." They felt as if they had beenretrieved from their graves. Such an all-inclusive pardon was the resultof mercy in the Prophets heart, which was sogreat that it included those enemies who hadharmed him and his companions most. If not forhis mercy such a pardon could not haveoccurred. How true were the words of theProphet when he said,"I am but a bestowed mercy." (Al-Hakim)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 60 Tenth Encounter The Prophet of Mercy – 2His Mercy Toward Animals and ImmobileThings We have mentioned that the propheticmercy included not only the monotheisticMuslim but the disbeliever as well. Here we mayadd that the Prophets mercy went beyondhumanity to include animals and even inanimatethings. He said,"While a man was walking he became very thirsty,so he descended into a well and drank from it.When he came out he found a dog panting andeating the soil due to thirst. He said, This creatureis suffering what I suffered, so he went down again,filled his shoe and climbed up holding it in hismouth to give drink to the dog. Allah appreciatedthat from him and forgave his sin." His companions asked, "O Messenger ofAllah , is there a reward in [kindness to]animals?" He replied,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 61"In every living creature is reward." (Al-Bukhariand Muslim) By this principle, "in every living creature isreward", the Prophet was the forerunner of allorganizations and associations for the protectionof animal rights and kindness to them. He preceded them by hundreds of years when he said,"A woman was punished on account of a cat. Sheconfined it until it died and entered the Hellfirebecause of it. She neither fed it nor allowed it tosearch for its own food." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) By this the Prophet meant to teach hiscompanions kindness to animals and goodtreatment of them and to show them that killingan animal unlawfully or causing its death couldlead one to enter the Hellfire. This is somethingunknown in man-made laws which govern peopletoday. And he warned against killing an animalwithout reason, saying,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 62"No person kills a bird or anything larger withoutright but that Allah will ask him about it on theDay of Resurrection." Someone asked, "OMessenger of Allah, what is its right?" He said,"Its right is that one slaughters it to be eaten andnot merely cuts off its head and throws it away."(An-Nasai)The Prophet also ordered kindness whenslaughtering. He said,"Indeed, Allah has decreed ihsaan (precision) for allthings. So when you kill, kill well; and when youslaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of yousharpen his blade, and let him spare suffering to theanimal he slaughters." (Muslim)One scholar mentioned that some westerners hadaccepted Islam when they learned about theIslamic manner of slaughter, which points to theperfection of this religion in every aspect. Allpraise and thanks are due to Allah.And Allahs Messenger said,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 63"Do not take anything in which has a soul as atarget."(Al-Bukhari and Muslim) He meant not to make a living animal atarget to shoot at as that is contrary to the mercywhich should be part of the believers character.He used to prohibit injustice and oppression toanimals and was much concerned with thismatter. Once he entered a garden belonging toa man from the Ansar. There he found a camel,and when it saw the Prophet it moaned and itseyes shed tears. The Messenger of Allah approached and stroked its head and it becamequiet. He said,"Who is the owner of this camel?" An Ansariyouth said, "I am, O Messenger of Allah. So theProphet said,"Will you not fear Allah concerning this beast ofwhich Allah has given you ownership? Indeed, it hascomplained to me that you starve and exhaust it."(Abu Dawud – graded as saheeh by al-Albani)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 64 Even trees had a share in the mercy ofMuhammad . Al-Bukhari narrated that whenthe Prophets pulpit was built, a palm tree bywhich he used to give his sermon cried out likea child. The Prophet descended from thepulpit and hugged it, and it moaned as a childdoes when being quietened. He said,"It wept at no longer being able to hear thereminder." When al-Hasan related this hadith hewept and said, "O Muslims, a piece of woodlonged to be with the Messenger of Allah , andyou are more worthy to long for him."21٢١ Fat·h al-Bari 6/602
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 65 Eleventh Encounter Some Merits of the ProphetYou should know that our Prophets meritsand distinctions are many. Among them are: 1. The noble manners and fine qualities forwhich Allah praised him when He said:"And indeed, you are of a great moral character."(68:4)The Prophet himself said,"I have been sent to perfect the noble traits ofcharacter." (At-Tabarani) 2. Mercy and compassion for his Ummahand toward all people for which Allah praisedhim, saying:And We have not sent you [O Muhammad] except asa mercy to the worlds. (21:107) And he has beenmerciful to the believers. (33:43) So by mercy fromAllah, you [O Muhammad] were lenient with them.And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 66heart, they would have disbanded from about you.(3:159)And the Prophet said, "I am but a bestowedmercy." (Al-Hakim – graded as saheeh by al-Albani) Allahs care for him from the time of hisbirth, as He said:Did He not find you an orphan and give [you]refuge? And He found you lost and guided [you].And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient. (93:6-8) 3. Allahs mention of expanding hisbreast22 and exalting his reputation: Did We not expand for you your breast? And Weremoved from you your burden which had weighedupon your back and We raised high for you yourrepute. (94:1-4) 4. His being the "Seal of the Prophets" asAllah said: Muhammad is not the father of [any]22 i.e., enlightening, assuring and gladdening his heart with guidance.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 67one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allahand seal [i.e., last] of the prophets. (33:40) TheProphet explained:"The example of me and the prophets before me islike a man who built a house. He did it well andcompleted it except for the place of a brick at one ofthe corners. People began to walk around it andwonder at the building, saying, Shouldnt a brickbe placed here to complete your building? I am thatbrick." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) 5. His distinction over other prophets, as he said, "I was favoured over the other prophets in six ways:I was given concise but comprehensive speech, I amsupported with terror [in the hearts of my enemies],war booty has been made lawful for me, the earthhas been made for me a means of purification andplace of prayer, I have been sent to all creation andthe prophets are ended with me." (Muslim) 6. He is the most righteous of creation andmost honourable, as evidenced in the hadithsaying,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 68"I am Muhammad ibn `Abdullah ibn `Abdul-Muttalib. Allah, the Exalted created the creationand placed me among the best of them; then Hemade them into two groups and placed me in thebest group; then He made them into tribes andplaced me in the best tribe; then He made them intofamilies and placed me in the best family. So I amthe best of you in family and the best of you as anindividual." (Ahmad and Abu Dawud – gradedas saheeh by al-Albani) 7. He is the owner of the Pool and theintercessor on the Day of Resurrection. For he said,"I will be at the Pool before you, awaiting you.Some men from among you will be brought up tome until, when I have recognized them, they will beremoved from me. I will say, My Lord, mycompanions! But it will be said to me, Indeed, youdo not know what they innovated after you." (Al-Bukhari)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 69The Prophet also said,"For every prophet is a supplication which he madeand was answered, but I have saved my supplicationto be intercession for my Ummah on the Day ofResurrection." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) 8. He will be the peoples leader on theDay of Resurrection, as he said,"I will be the leader of the children of Adam on theDay of Resurrection, without pride; and in myhand will be the standard of praise, without pride.There will be no prophet, not Adam or any other,but that he will be under my standard, and I will bethe first to intercede and the first intercessor,without pride." (Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi – gradedas saheeh by al-Albani) 9. He will be the first to enter Paradise onthe Day of Resurrection. He said,"I will be the first to knock on the door of Paradise,and the keeper will say, Who are you? I will say, Iam Muhammad. So he will say, I shall stand upand open for you. I have never stood for anyone
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 70before you and I will not stand for anyone afteryou." (Muslim) 10. He is a good example for every personwho hopes to meet Allah, to enter HisParadise and escape His Hellfire. Allah said:There has certainly been for you in the Messenger ofAllah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope isin Allah and the Last Day and who remembersAllah often. (33:21) 11. He did not speak anything out of hisown desire. In fact, everything he said about thereligion and its legislation is considered to be ofthe inspiration which contains no falsehood. AsAllah stated:He does not speak from [his own] inclination. It isnot but a revelation revealed. (53:3-4)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 71 Twelfth EncounterHis Birth, Early Childhood and Allahs Care for Him The Prophet was born on Monday in themonth of Rabee` al-Awwal. It was said to havebeen on the second, on the eighth, on the tenthor on the twelfth. Ibn Katheer said, "What iscorrect is that he was born in the "year of theelephant", which was stated by Ibraheem ibn al-Mundhir, the shaykh of al-Bukhari, by Khalifahibn Khayyat and agreed on by others. The scholars of biography have said, "WhenAminah became pregnant with him she said, "Idid not find him heavy, and when he emerged alight emerged with him that lit up everythingbetween the east and the west." Ibn `Asakir and Abu Na`eem related fromIbn Abbas : When the Prophet was born,`Abdul-Muttalib made the `aqeeqah for him witha ram and named him Muhammad (i.e., Praised).People said to him, "O Abul-Harith, what made
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 72you name him Muhammad, and not a name ofhis forefathers?" He replied, "I wanted that Allahshould praise him in the heaven and that peopleshould praise him on the earth."His Fathers DeathHis father died while he was yet in hismothers womb. It has also been said that it wassome months after his birth, but the firststatement is more widely accepted. He was breastfed a few days byThuwaybah, a freed slave of Abu Lahab, who hadfreed her out of joy at the birth of this boy. Thena wet nurse was sought for him among Bani Sa`d,so Halimah as-Sa`diyyah breastfed him. He stayedwith her among Bani Sa`d for about five years.There, his chest was opened and the angelsremoved his heart, washed it and extracted fromit the share of the ego and of Satan. Allah thenfilled it with light, wisdom, kindness and mercyand they returned it to its place. Halimah fearedfor him after that occurrence so she returned him
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 73to his mother, telling her what had happened,but it did not alarm her. As-Suhayli commented, "This purificationoccurred twice: first, during his childhood to purify his heartfrom the prompting of Satanand second, when Allah willed to raise him upto the divine presence to pray with the angels ofthe heavens, so he was purified internally andexternally and his heart was filled with wisdomand faith.His Mothers Death When the Messenger of Allah reached theage of six, his mother, accompanied by UmmAyman, took him to Madinah on a visit to hismaternal uncles of Bani Udayy ibn an-Najjar. Shestayed with them for a month but then died at al-Abwaa while returning to Makkah. When Allahs Messenger passed throughal-Abwaa on his way to Makkah in the year ofthe conquest, he asked permission of his Lord
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 74to visit his mothers grave and it was granted. He wept and those with him wept. Then he said, "Visit the graves, for they remind (you) ofdeath." (Muslim) After his mother died, Umm Ayman tookcare of him. She was his slave that he hadinherited from his father. His grandfather,`Abdul-Muttalib, became his guardian, but whenhe was eight years old his grandfather died. Hehad instructed that his uncle, Abu Talib, takecustody of him, so he became his guardian andgave him the best of care. When Allah appointed him as a prophet Abu Talib aided andsupported him completely, even though heremained a polytheist until his death. Because ofhis support Allah has lightened hispunishment, as was mentioned in a hadith.Allahs Protection of Him from theContamination of Pre-Islamic Practices Allah protected His Prophet fromchildhood and purified him of the evil customs ofthe days of ignorance before the advent of Islam.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 75He made idols detestable to him so that henever worshipped an idol or revered a statue. He never drank intoxicants or joined the youthsof Quraysh in their immoralities. On thecontrary, he was far removed from everythingshameful and had noble morals and actions. He was known among his people only as "theTrustworthy" due to what they observed of hispure character and truthful speech. They used toaccept his judgement and comply with hisopinion as is evident from the account of how he set the Black Stone in its place. They acceptedhis plan when he requested a cloak, put the Stonein the middle of it and told each tribal chief tolift it up while holding a corner of the cloth.Then he pushed the Stone into place himself,so the people became calm and the impendingwar between the tribes was averted.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 76 Thirteenth Encounter His Marriage The Prophet married Khadijah when hewas twenty-five years of age and she was forty. Itwas after he had travelled to Syria on abusiness trip for her with her servant, Maysarah,who was much impressed by him and hisintegrity. Upon their return, he informed her ofwhat he had observed. She sent a proposal ofmarriage to him and he married her. Khadijah died three years before theProphets Hijrah (emigration from Makkah).He had been with her for twenty-five years,and she was his only wife until she died at the ageof sixty-five. The Prophet was about fifty atthat time. After that he married a number ofwomen for various noble causes and aims. Thisrefutes what is claimed by some orientalists andopponents that the Prophet was driven by lustand was seeking pleasure. How could this bewhen he had remained with one wife, fifteen
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 77years his senior, without marrying another untilher death and after the age of youthful desireshad passed? Was his sexuality latent all thoseyears and then suddenly appeared when hereached the age of fifty? This is something nointelligent person will accept. Many western scholars and intellectualshave themselves found this claim to beridiculous. The Italian researcher, Dr. LauraVaghlieri said, "During his years of youth whensexual desire is greatest and in spite of havinglived in a society such as that of the Arabs beforeIslam, where marriage as a social institution wasalmost non-existent and where plural wives wasthe rule and divorce extremely easy, Muhammad did not marry but one wife. She was Khadijah,who was much older than himself. He remainedher loyal, loving husband for twenty-five yearsand never married a second time or more thanone except after Khadijah died and after he hadreached the age of fifty years." All of his subsequent marriages had asocial or political motivation. They were based
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 78on the intent to honour women who wereknown to be righteous or to establish ties ofkinship with some other tribes in order tofacilitate the spread of Islam. With the exceptionof `Aishah, Muhammad did not marry anyvirgin or young woman. Can this be seen as lust? Given that he was a man and not a god, it isalso possible that he married out of desire for ason, as those he had from Khadijah had died. Without much source of income, he tookon the responsibilities and burdens of a largefamily. But he always observed perfectly equaltreatment for all his wives, never once claimingthe right to separate from any of them. His conduct was in accordance with thetradition of the former prophets, Moses andothers, whom people have never criticized forplural marriages. Could this be because we donot know the details of their personal lives while
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 79we do know everything about the family life ofProphet Muhammad ?23His Wives After the death of Khadijah the Prophet married Sawdah bint Zam`ah, then `Aishah bintAbi Bakr as-Siddiq, and she was the only virgin he married. Then he married Hafsah bint`Umar ibn al-Khattab and then Zaynab bintKhuzaymah ibn al-Harith. And he marriedUmm Salamah, whose name was Hind bint AbiUmayyah, and Zaynab bint Jahsh and Juwairiahbint al-Harith and Umm Habibah, whose namewas Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan. And after theconquest of Khaybar he married Safiyyah bintHuyayy and then Maymunah bint al-Harith , andshe was the last woman he married.٢٣ From the book They Say About Islam by Dr. Imad ad-DeenKhalil, pp. 120-121.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 80 Fourteenth Encounter The Prophet and Women – 1 Enemies of Islam never tire of repeating theclaim that Islam is unjust to women, oppressesthem, deprives them of their rights and considersthem no more than servants and a means ofenjoyment for men. But this is a falsehood refuted by what hasbeen authentically narrated about the Prophet regarding the honour he accorded women andhis concern for their condition. He used toconsult women, deal with them gently, supportthem in all situations and give them theircomplete rights in a way never dreamt of before. Before Islam, the Arabs disliked havingdaughters and considered them a source ofshame. Some of them were even known to haveburied their female children alive. The Qurandescribes it as follows:And when one of them is informed of [the birth of] afemale, his face becomes dark, and he suppresses grief.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 81He hides himself from the people because of the ill ofwhich he has been informed. Should he keep it inhumiliation or bury it in the ground? Unquestionably,evil is what they decide. (16:58-59) And in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance when awomans husband died, his sons and relativesinherited her as property; if they wished they wouldmarry her to one of them and if they wished theycould prevent her from remarrying and keep herthus until death. Islam did away with all thatthrough its just rulings which guarantee the rightsof women as well as those of men.The Prophet declared that women are equal tomen in all aspects of humanity, saying, "Women are but sisters of men." (Ahmad, AbuDawud and at-Tirmidhi) So in Islam there is noconflict between the two sexes as its opponentsimagine; rather, a brotherly relationship of mutualcooperation exists between them. The noble Quran has confirmed the equality ofmen and women in the realms of faith, action and
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 82compensation in the Hereafter, for as Allahstated:Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, thebelieving men and believing women, the obedient menand obedient women, the truthful men and truthfulwomen, the patient men and patient women, thehumble men and humble women, the charitable menand charitable women, the fasting men and fastingwomen, the men who guard their private parts and thewomen who do so, and the men who remember Allahoften and the women who do so – for them Allah hasprepared forgiveness and a great reward. (33:35)And He said: Whoever does an evil deed will not be recompensedexcept by the like thereof; but whoever doesrighteousness, whether male or female, while he is abeliever – those will enter Paradise, being givenprovision therein without account. (40:40)Allahs Messenger mentioned his love forwomen, saying, "Beloved to me from your worldare women and pleasant scent, and my greatestpleasure is in prayer." (Ahmad and an-Nasai –
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 83graded as saheeh by al-Albani) So if the Prophet loved women, how could he belittle or oppressthem? And while the Prophet abolished thecustomary hatred of daughters and the terriblepractice of burying them alive, he encouragedraising them well and treating them kindly. He said, "Whoever cares for two girls until they reachpuberty will come with me thus on the Day ofResurrection," and he brought together his twofingers. (Muslim) This shows that one attainshigh position and nearness to the Prophet owing to his care and protection of his daughtersuntil they reach the age of puberty andresponsibility. He also said,"Whoever has three daughters or three sisters or twodaughters or two sisters and lives with them inkindness, fearing Allah in regard to them, will enterParadise." (At-Tirmidhi – graded as saheeh by al-Albani)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 84 And the Prophet was concerned witheducating women. He even appointed a day forthem to assemble and would come to teach themfrom that which Allah had taught him.(Muslim) He did not make woman a prisonerwithin the house, as they claim, but allowed herto go out to take care of her needs, visit herrelatives and visit the sick. He allowed her tobuy and sell in the marketplace as long as sheadhered to modest conduct and proper dress. He also allowed her to attend the mosque andforbade preventing her, saying,"Do not prevent your women from [coming to] themosques." (Ahmad and Abu Dawud)`And he urged kindness toward her with thewords,"Be advised to be good to women." (Al-Bukhari andMuslim) This involves good treatment, respectfor her rights, concern for her feelings andavoidance of any kind of harm.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 85 Fifteenth Encounter The Prophet and Women – 2 The Prophet encouraged husbands tospend on their wives. He said,"You will not spend any expenditure seeking theapproval of Allah but that you will be rewarded forit – even the bite of food you put into the mouth ofyour wife." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) And he pointed out that what is spent onthe family is the best expenditure, saying, "The best dinar is the one a man spends on hisdependants." (Muslim)He also said,"When a man gives his wife a drink of water he isrewarded." (Ahmad – graded by al-Albani ashasan) When `Irbaadh ibn Sariah heard thishadith he hastened to bring some water to hiswife to drink, telling her what he had heard fromthe Messenger of Allah .
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 86 This is how the Prophet taught hiscompanions good treatment of women, affectionand sympathy towards them, providing themwith all kinds of benefit and spending on themappropriately. The Prophet made clear that goodtreatment of women is a sign of the nobility of amans soul and generosity of his nature. He stated,"The best of you is the best of you to your wives."(Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi)And he forbade hatred of ones wife, saying, "Let not a male believer hate a femalebeliever; if he dislikes one trait of hers he will bepleased with another one." (Muslim) Thus, the Prophet ordered men to lookfor the positive aspects and praiseworthy actionsin women and overlook the errors and negativeaspects, because looking for bad behaviour anddwelling upon it leads to aversion and dislikebetween the spouses.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 87 He prohibited beating women, saying,"Do not strike the female servants of Allah." (AbuDawud) And he threatened those who harmthem with the words:"O Allah, indeed, I make binding the right of thetwo vulnerable ones: the orphan and the woman."(Ahmad and Ibn Majah) It meant that he would not make lawful theharming of either of them, and whoever does sohas exposed himself to difficulty and punishmentin this world and the next. He also prohibited husbands fromexposing the secrets (private aspects) of theirwives, as he prohibited wives from exposing thesecrets of their husbands. He said, "The worst ofpeople in position before Allah on the Day ofResurrection will be a man who has intercoursewith his wife and then spreads her secret."24(Muslim)٢٤ i.e., describes it to others.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 88 The Prophet also honoured women byprohibiting husbands from assuming evil abouttheir wives or suspicion of them. Jabir reported:"The Messenger of Allah prohibited men fromsurprising their wives by night, suspecting betrayalor seeking to catch their faults." (Al-Bukhari andMuslim) As for the conduct of Allahs Messenger with his own wives, it was of the utmostsensitivity and kindness. Al-Aswad reported: "Iasked `Aishah how the Prophet was with hiswives. She said, He was in the occupation ofhis wife, meaning that he assisted her in herwork. But when it was time for the prayer he would get up for prayer. (Al-Bukhari) He would try to please his wives andamuse them with pleasant conversation and sweetwords. An example is when he said to`Aishah, "I know your anger and yourcontentment."
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 89She said, "How do you know that, O Messengerof Allah?" He said,"When you are content you say, Yes, by the Lord ofMuhammad. But when you are angry you say, No,by the Lord of Abraham."She said, "Yes, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah; I do not abandon except your name." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) She meant that her love ofhim was firm in her heart and did not change. The Prophet never forgot his wife,Khadijah after her death. Anas reported:"When the Prophet got a gift he would say,Take it to so-and-so, for she was a friend ofKhadijah. (At-Tabarani) This is how our Prophet honouredwomen, so how do those who call for the"liberation of women" compare to it?
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 90 Sixteenth EncounterHis Prophethood and Invitation to His People The Messenger of Allah was appointed toprophethood at the age of forty, which is the ageof complete maturity. The angel appeared to himin the cave of Hiraa on Monday, the 17th ofRamadhan. When revelation descended on him,it was very difficult for him; his face changed andhis forehead perspired. When the angel, Jibreel, first came to him,he told him, "Recite." He replied, "I am notone who can recite." The angel then pressed himhard and said, "Recite."He said, "I am not one who can recite." Thistook place three times until he said,"Recite in the name of your Lord who created -created man from a clinging clot. Recite, andyour Lord is most generous, who taught by the
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 91pen - taught man that which he knew not."(96:1-5) The Messenger returned to Khadijah,trembling, and told her what he had seen. Shereassured him, saying, "Glad tidings, for byAllah, Allah will never humiliate you. You keepties of relationship, speak the truth, bear theburden of the weak, help the needy, provide forthe guest and assist those afflicted by calamity." Then she took him to her cousin, Waraqahibn Nawfal. He had become a Christian in thepre-Islamic period and used to write scripture inHebrew. He had written part of the Gospel inArabic – as much as Allah willed him to write,and was an old man who had become blind.Khadijah said to him, "O my cousin, listen toyour nephew." Waraqah asked, "O nephew, whathave you seen?" So the Prophet informed himof what he had seen. Waraqah said, "That isthe angel Allah sent to Moses. If only I wasyounger and could be alive when your peopledrive you out." He asked, "Will they drive meout?" "Yes", replied Waraqah, "For no man has
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 92ever come with anything like what you havebrought but that he was harmed. If I should liveto see that day, I will support you vigorously."But he died shortly thereafter. After that there was a pause in the revelation.The Messenger of Allah remained as long asAllah willed without experiencing anything,and he became depressed and longed for it todescend once again. Then the angel appeared to him seated on achair between the heaven and the earth. Heencouraged him and assured him that he wastruly the Messenger of Allah . But he wasfrightened, and upon returning to Khadijah, said,"Wrap me up." Then Allah revealed:O you who covers himself, arise and warn. Andyour Lord glorify, and your clothing purify, andcontamination avoid. (74:1-5) Allah ordered him in these verses to warnhis people, invite them to Allah and to purifyhimself from misdeeds. The Prophet prepared himself to carry thisgreat responsibility, for he now knew that he
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 93 was really the Messenger of Allah. He obeyed his Lord to the utmost degree invitingeveryone to Allah – the young and old, thefree man and the slave, the male and the female,the black and the white. From every tribe somepeople responded, those whom Allah hadwilled to be successful in this life and theHereafter. They entered Islam based onenlightenment and vision, but the weak-mindedof Makkah began to abuse and harm them.Allah protected the Messenger of Allah through his uncle, Abu Talib, who was honouredand obeyed among the Quraysh. They dared notupset him by harming the Prophet since theyknew of his love for him. Besides, he adhered totheir religion, which made them tolerant of himand not openly hostile. Ibn al-Jawzi wrote: The Prophet continuedfor three years concealing his da`wah; thenAllah revealed to him: Declare what you arecommanded (15:94)so, he announced it openly. After Allah revealed:
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 94And warn your closest kindred (26:214) the Messenger of Allah went out, ascendedthe hill of Safa and shouted to get their attention.The people asked, "Who is that shouting?" Theywere told it was Muhammad. They assembledbefore him and he said,"If I was to inform you that horsemen were in thevalley behind this hill ready to attack you, would youbelieve me?"They said, "Yes, for we have never known you tolie". He said, "Indeed, I am a Warner to you of asevere punishment." But his uncle, Abu Lahab, replied, "May you beruined for the rest of the day. Is this what yougathered us for?" and got up. Thereupon Allahrevealed:May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruinedis he (111:1) - to the end of the Surah. (Al-Bukhariand Muslim)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 95 Seventeenth Encounter His Patience in the Face of Abuse The Prophet had become involved inda`wah and embarked on the path of advice andinstruction. He invited the people to worshipAllah alone, associating no partner with Him.And he called upon them to abandon thepagan customs of their forefathers: polytheism,idol worship and all immoral and unlawfulpractices. Only a few believed in him; themajority did not. Although Allah had safeguarded andprotected his life by means of his uncle, AbuTalib, the Prophet was abused, restricted andpersecuted severely. In the seventh year ofprophethood, Allahs Messenger , Abu Taliband the clans of Bani Hashim and Bani Muttalibtook refuge in a small piece of land belonging toAbu Talib. The Quraysh decided to forciblyconfine them to it, both the Muslims and non-Muslims who had supported their kinsmen,
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 96except for Abu Lahab. They agreed to enforce aboycott of the Prophets extended family, tonot accept from them any terms of settlement, tostop them from entering the marketplaces and toprevent any provisions from reaching them untilthey handed over the Messenger of Allah tothem for execution. They put this injustice inwriting and hung the parchment inside theKa`bah. The Prophet then told his companionsto emigrate to Abyssinia in view of the increasedoppression. This was the second emigration –eighty-three men and eighteen women migrated -and some Muslims from Yemen joined them. The Prophet and those with himremained in exile for nearly three years in a stateof extreme hardship and hunger, managing onthe little that was slipped through secretly, untilthey were finally reduced to eating the leaves oftrees. This continued until the tenth year ofprophethood, when some men of the Qurayshput an end to the boycott and they were able toget out.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 97 That same year the Prophets wife,Khadijah, passed away, and after two months, hisuncle, Abu Talib. With his uncles death, theQuraysh were free to persecute him more thanever, and increased their hostility and abuse ofhim.25 In the authentic collections of al-Bukhariand Muslim, it is related that the Messenger ofAllah was once praying near the Ka`bah whileAbu Jahl was sitting with some of his friendsnearby. The previous day they had slaughtered ashe-camel, so Abu Jahl said, "Which of you willtake its dead foetus and put it on Muhammads back while he is prostrating?" So the mostwicked of them went and brought it, and whenthe Prophet prostrated he placed it between hisshoulders and they laughed until they fell overone another. His daughter, Fatimah, came andthrew it off him and began to curse them. Whenthe Prophet had completed his prayer he raised his voice supplicating against them, saying,٢٥ Lubaabul-Khiyaar fee Seeratil-Mukhtaar, pp.37-40.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 98"O Allah, deal with Quraysh" three times. Whenthey heard this they stopped laughing, fearing hissupplication. He continued, "O Allah, deal with Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, `Utbahibn Rabi`ah, Shaybah ibn Rabi`ah, al-Waleed ibn`Utbah, Umayyah ibn Khalaf and `Uqbah ibn AbiMu`eet." Ibn Mas`ud said, "By the One who sentMuhammad with the truth, I saw those whom henamed fallen dead on the day of Badr; they weredragged and thrown into the well of Badr." And al-Bukhari narrated that one day`Uqbah ibn Abi Mu`eet grabbed the Prophet byhis shoulders and wound his clothing around hisneck, choking him severely. Abu Bakr camerunning and pushed him back, shouting,"Would you kill a man for saying, My Lord isAllah?"26 When persecution of Allahs Messenger worsened he set out for Taif to invite the tribesof Thaqeef to Islam, but only met from them٢٦ He was quoting from the Quran - 40:28.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 99obstinacy, ridicule and abuse; they threw stonesat him until his heels bled. So he decided toreturn to Makkah, and on his way, at Qarn ath-Tha`alib, he looked up and found a cloud hadshaded him. Within it was Jibreel, who called tohim, "Indeed, Allah has heard what your peoplehave said to you and how they respond to youand He has sent you the angel of the mountainsso you may order him to do whatever you wishconcerning them. The angel of the mountainsaddressed him, saying, "O Muhammad, indeed,Allah has heard what your people have said toyou and how they respond to you. I am the angelof the mountains and Allah has sent me to you toorder me to do whatever you wish. If you wish, Iwill crush them between the two mountains [ofMakkah]." But the Messenger of Allah replied,"Rather, I hope that Allah will bring forth fromtheir loins those who will worship Allah alonewithout any partner and not associate anythingwith Him." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 100 Eighteenth Encounter Allahs Protection of His ProphetAllah told His Prophet :O Messenger, announce that which has beenrevealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not,then you have not conveyed His message. And Allahwill protect you from the people. (5:67) Ibn Katheer commented, "It means: ConveyMy message and I will protect you, support youand aid you against your enemies. I will give youvictory over them, so do not fear and do notgrieve. None of them will be able to harm you.Before the revelation of this verse the Prophet used to be guarded [by men]." Abu Hurayrah reported that Abu Jahlsaid, "Will Muhammads face be made dusty byany among you?" Someone said, "Yes." He said,"By al-Laat and al-`Uzza,27 if I see him٢٧ Two of their most revered goddesses.
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 101[prostrating], I will step on his neck and rub hisface in the dust." But when the Prophet cameto pray, and he approached to do as he had said,they only saw him retreating and shieldinghimself with his hands. They asked him "Whathappened to you?" He said, "Between me andhim was a pit of fire, something terrible andwings!" The Messenger of Allah said, "If he hadcome closer to me the angels would have plucked offhis limbs one by one." (Muslim) And Ibn `Abbas reported that Abu Jahlhad said, "If I see Muhammad praying at theKa`bah, I will step on his neck." When theProphet heard about it he said,"If he had done so the angels would have seizedhim." (Al-Bukhari)Jabir ibn `Abdullah reported that theMessenger of Allah was at war when anopening was seen in Muslim ranks. A man calledGhawrath ibn al-Harith approached until hestood over the Messenger of Allah and said,"Who can save you from me?" The Prophet
Forty Encounters With the Beloved Prophet 102said, "Allah." The sword fell from his hand andthe Prophet took hold of it and said, "Who cansave you from me?" He said, "be the best taker [ofransom]." The Prophet said,"I bear witness that there is no god except Allah andthat I am the Messenger of Allah." He replied,"No, but I promise you I will not fight you, norwill I be allied with any people who fights you."So he let him go, and upon his return he said, "Ihave come back to you from the best of people."(Al-Hakim, who graded it as saheeh) Anas reported that there was a Christianman who entered Islam and used to recite SurahsAl-Baqarah and Aali `Imraan and write for theProphet . Then he reverted to Christianity andsaid, "Muhammad does not know except what Iwrite for him." So Allah caused him to die andthey buried him. But by morning the earth hadcast him out. They said, "This was done byMuhammad and his companions; because he leftthem they dug him up and pulled him out." Thenthey dug him another grave, making it deeper,but by morning the earth had cast him out. They