Seerah of the Prophet (saw) [STRUCTURED LESSONS]

INTRODUCTION

Poem Title: Al Arjoozah al Me’iyah

Author: ‘Alee ibn ‘Alee ibn Muhammad ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafee, student of hafidh Ibn Katheer (rh).

Purpose: To highlight the main points of the life of the Prophet (saw) and how we can benefit and implement them into our lives.

Benefit of This Poem: The poem is in chronological order of events.

Benefits of Learning the Seerah

  1. It tells us everything about his (saw) life, manners and character.
  2. It ingrains love in our hearts for the Prophet (saw).
  3. It increases our emaan when we see how his (saw) relationship was with Allah.

Unique Points of The Seerah

  1. Everything in the life of the Prophet (saw) was recorded. We know everything about him (saw).
  2. The Prophet (saw) was sent to the whole of mankind.
  3. He (saw) didn’t spend his entire life with those whom he loved, yet he didn’t have anything bad recorded against him (saw).
  4. He (saw) was complete; the perfect man.
  5. He (saw) was the same at all times; he wouldn’t be different indoors compared to outdoors.
  6. His (saw) Seerah wasn’t only about miracles. Had it been so, we wouldn’t have been able to follow him (saw).

How Was the World During the Time of the Prophet (saw)?

There Were Many Different Empires

Roman Empire:

The Romans were the superpower of the world at that time.

Their Emperors were living a very luxurious life and their people were living poorly.

Persian Empire:

Their leaders were almost worshipped.

Side Point: As the scholars of the past would say, read history as there are lessons in history. One can benefit his entire life by reading the history of the past.

Europe:

They were going through the dark ages. It was a dirty place and there was no development. Women were disrespected and despised. Europe was behind the rest of the world.

Arabia:

Known to worship everything; graves, Prophets, animals, dates.

With regards to their shirk, Amr ibn al Hay al Khuzaaie brought shirk to the land. The people were initially close to the religion of Ibrahim (as).

He went on a trip to Syria and saw people were worshipping idols. He was amazed by what they were doing as Syria was known to be the land of the Prophets and scriptures. So, he brought an idol back with him called Hubul. He placed it in the middle of the Ka’bah and told people to come and worship this idol. After this, the shirk spread and they started to introduce new idols.

India:

In India, the soothsayers had a lot of sway in society and there was a caste system. In this caste system, the people known as the Brahmans were the best caste. After them it was soldiers, farmers, business men and slaves. The lowest caste wasn’t even allowed to touch the highest caste.

Virtues Related to the Prophet (saw)

The Prophet (saw) was asked about The Hour (Yawmul Qiyaamah). The Prophet (saw) said, what have you prepared? The man replied, I have nothing except I love Allah and His Messenger (saw). So, the Prophet (saw) said, you will be with those whom you love.

  • This shows the gentleness of the Prophet (saw). He (saw) was always positive.

Anas (ra) commented on this and said, we have never been happier after we heard this narration.

The reason is because he said I love the Prophet (saw), Abu Bakr (ra), ‘Umar (ra) and due to my love for them, I hope I will be with them, even though my deeds are not similar to theirs.

He (saw) had a huge responsibility. The first Prophet to be sent to the entire mankind. This is why it was allowed for him (saw) to have so many wives as he spent so much time with them and from them we learn so much about him (saw).

He (saw) was never asked something except that he (saw) gave it.

  • In the Battle of Badr the Sahaabah used to use him (saw) as protection. This has been authenticated by Ibn Taymiyyah (rh).
  • He (saw) wanted to forgive Abdullah ibn Ubay, the head of the munaafiqoon, when he slandered his wife A’isha (ra).
  • He (saw) never spoke evil, even about food, as A’isha (ra) mentions. If he didn’t like a particular type of food, he didn’t criticise it and left it.

Why Were the Arabs Chosen for This Message?

  1. They were known for their intelligence.
  2. They had a vast comprehensive language.
  3. They had excellent communication skills.
  4. They had amazing memories; they would know 1000 words for the word sword.
  5. They were known for their generosity.
  6. They were straightforward people.
  7. Due to all of these qualities it made it easy for them to accept the message.
  • When going through the Seerah you must take benefits. You are not just reading for history or pleasure. You are reading to implement.

Qualities of the Seerah of the Prophet (saw)

  1. There are more than 1000 Seerah books in the Urdu language alone.
  2. The Seerah has been recorded in a reliable way.
  3. Other religions don’t have details, nowhere near the Seerah, about their prophets like Islam does for the Prophet (saw).
  4. Generally speaking, the Prophet’s (saw) life was easy to follow.

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All praise is for Allaah, The Eternal, The Maker;

followed by His salaah upon the chosen one.

Author starts by praising Allah.

  • Al Qadeem: One that has none before Him. This is not from the names of Allah.
  • Al Baari: The Creator who created when there was nothing. The Originator.
  • As Salaah: Praising of the Prophet (saw) by Allah in the company of the highest of angels.
  • Mukhtaari: The chosen one. The Prophet (saw) was chosen by Allah as the khaatabi nabieen.

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Here is the Messenger’s biography

in poem form with succinct sections.

Whenever you see “Wa ba’du”  this means movement from one topic to another. Some people claim that Dawood (as) was given this.

Seerah:

Linguistically: A way. Something good or bad.

Shari’ah: It is knowing about the Prophet (saw) from the day he was born till the day he died.


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His birth was on the tenth of the distinguished month,

Rabee‘ al-Awwal, in the year of the elephant.

This line is talking about the birth of the Prophet (saw). Ulema say that his birth was on the 10th of Rabee al-Awwal in the Year of The Elephant. This is approximately 20th April.

  • At this time, they didn’t have calendars so they remembered the year by events.

This was the year when Abrahah tried to come and destroy the Ka’bah, as the Makkans urinated in a building that he made that was to compete with the Ka’bah.

The following incident is mentioned in Surah Feel of the Holy Quran and it happened during the period of the birth-year of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Abraha Al-Ashram was the governor of Yemen on behalf of the king of Ethiopia. He (Abrahah) thought to build a house (like the Ka’bah at Makkah) in Sana (the capital of Yemen) and call the Arabs to perform the pilgrimage there in Sana instead of the Kaaba in Makkah, with the intention of diverting the trade and benefits from Makkah to Yemen. He presented his idea to the king of Ethiopia who agreed to it.

 So, the house (church) was built and he named it Al-Qullais; there was no church of its like at that time. Then a man from the Quraish tribe of Makkah came there and was infuriated by it, so he relieved his nature (stools and urine) in it, soiled its walls and went away. When Abrahah Al-Ashram saw that, he could not control his anger and raised an army to invade Makkah and demolish the Ka’bah. He had in that army thirteen elephants and amongst them was an elephant called Mahmud which was the biggest of them. So that army proceeded and none amongst the Arab tribes that faced them (fought against them) but was killed and defeated, till it approached near Makkah.

 Then there took place negotiations between Abrahah Al-Ashram and the chief of Makkah (Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim, the grandfather of the Prophet), and it was concluded that Abrahah would restore the camels of Abdul Muttalib which he had taken away, and then he (Abrahah) would decide himself as regards the Ka’bah. Abdul Muttalib ordered the men of Makkah to evacuate the city and go to the top of the mountains along with their wives and children in case some harm should come to them from the invading oppressors.

 Then that army moved towards Makkah till they reached valley Muhassir. While the army was marching towards Makkah, in the middle of the valley, suddenly it was overtaken by flocks of birds, flocks after flocks, air-raiding that army with small stones slightly bigger than a lentil seed. There never fell a stone on a soldier except it dissolved his flesh and burst it into pieces.

 So, they perished with a total destruction. Abrahah Al-Ashram fled away while his flesh was bursting into pieces till he died on the way (back to Yemen). Such was the victory bestowed by Allah, (the All-Majestic, All-Powerful) to the people of Makkah and such was the protection provided by Him for His House (Ka’bah in Makkah).

Benefits of Story:

Sometimes we don’t know what is good for us. We don’t know the divine wisdom behind something but we submit to it.

Just as sheep have a Lord (owner) so does this house (Ka’bah). Abdul Muttalib took the little means he had and left the rest to Allah. Allah destroyed Abrahah.

The Prophet’s (saw) Lineage Has 3 Parts

  1. Confirmed
  • Muhammad bin Abdullah
  • Abdul Muttalib (Known as Sheba)
  • Bin Haashim (Ammar)
  • Bin Abdul Manaf (Mugheera)
  • Ibn Qusay (Zayd)
  • Ibn Qilaab
  • Ibn Murra
  • Ibn Ka’ab
  • Ibn Lu’ay
  • Ibn Ghaalib
  • Ibn Fihr (was called Quraish)
  • Ibn Maalik
  • Ibn an Nathar
  • Ibn Kinaana
  • Ibn Khuzaymah
  • Ibn Mudrika
  • Ibn Ilyas
  • Ibn Mudar
  • Ibn Nadhar
  • Ibn Mu’ad
  • Ibn Adnan (Father of the Arabs)
  1. Some inconsistencies and differences. Goes from Adnan to Ibrahim (as).

3. Highly doubted. Goes from Ibrahim (as) to Aadam (as).


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However, the common view is that it was the twelfth,

on a Monday at the break of dawn,

The author mentions the most famous view of the birth of the Prophet (saw) as being the 12th on a Monday. There is no disagreement on the day. However, with regards to the date, there is no clear-cut evidence for this. This shows that it is not something important for us to know.

Ibn Kathir (rh) mentions the night the Prophet (saw) was born. The Rabies and Priests noticed it was a special night by a special star in the sky and they said it is the night of Ahmad. Some of them were awaiting him (saw).

When he (saw) was in his mother’s womb there was a light coming from his (saw) mother’s stomach that was glowing to Shaam. This was mentioned by his (saw) mother.

Regarding Mondays:

  • Hadith about the Prophet (saw) fasting on Mondays
  • The Prophet (saw) was born and died on this day
  • He (saw) reached Medina
  • The fath of Mecca
  • Abu Bakr (ra) died

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Corresponding to the twentieth of April.

Prior to that, his father passed away.

Before the Prophet (saw) was born, his father died (there is a difference of opinion in this). Some say he (saw) was born and then his father died. The strongest view appears to be that his father died before he (saw) was born. This is a complete type of orphanage.

  • This shows an orphan can reach the highest of levels.

Other Orphans:

  • Ibn Hajar (rh)
  • Imam Shaafi’ee (rh)
  • Imam Bukhari (rh)

We also learn from this that the best way a person helps his family is by doing good deeds.

  • Sa’id Ibn Musayyib was asked by his son, why are you doing good deeds? He said, so Allah will take care of you when I’m gone.

Why did Khadir uncover the treasure for the orphans? Allah tells us that their father was righteous.


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Two years later he was weaned

and brought back safe and sound by his wet nurse,

When he (saw) was born, his mother Amina suckled him (saw) for a few days and then Thuwaybah suckled him (saw). She was the free slave of Abu Lahab.

  • Suckling is the right of the child.

Some narrations in Sahih Bukhari mention that Abu Lahab was given a little bit of water to drink in Jahannum because his freed slave suckled the Prophet (saw) in this dunya.

After this, Halima took the Prophet (saw), as was custom of the Arabs at that time. They would give their babies to the people of the desert. This is because it would keep the child away from the city life and away from diseases. It would toughen the child up and they would also learn the pure Arabic language.


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Haleemah, to his mother. She then returned

with him to her own family as she had desired.

Halima realised that when she had the Prophet (saw) she had a lot of barakah in her life. Her animals that didn’t give milk would now give milk. Her general blessings increased. When the time was up to give the Prophet (saw) back, she asked for an increase in time due to the blessings he (saw) would be giving her.


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Two months later his belly was cleaved open,

though some say it was when he was four years old.

By this stage, the Prophet (saw) had reached approximately two years and a few months in age. During this time, Jibreel (as) came to the Prophet (saw) and wrestled with him (saw) and then he opened his (saw) chest, took out a clot / vein from his (saw) heart and said, this is the share of Shaytaan in you.

The children saw the Prophet (saw) and told Halima. They said Muhammad has died. The colour of his (saw) face had changed. They could actually see where the chest had been stitched up. Due to this, Halima became frightened and returned the Prophet (saw) back to his mother.

Some narrations mention Jibreel (as) washed his (saw) heart with Zamzam water.

Ibn Hajar (rh): The Prophet’s (saw) heart was taken out three times in total.

  1. When he (saw) was young. Two views; two months later and four years old
  2. Before revelation
  3. Al isra wal mi’raaj

What We Learn:

  • Everyone has evil in them. If the Prophet (saw) had his share of Shaytaan in him (saw) then how about us?
  • We have to work on our hearts. Jibreel (as) did it for the Prophet (saw).

 Side Point:

Sufyan al Thawri (rh) was sitting with his hand on his chin, thinking about how to clean his heart. One of his students brought him water to do wudu for Qiyaam Ul Layl. From Isha to Fajr he still had his hand on his chin thinking about how to fix his heart.


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At six years and one month, while returning,

his mother passed away at al-Abwaa’.

The author mentions the death of the Prophet’s (saw) mother. She wanted to show him (saw) to her relatives in Medina. On the way, back she fell ill and died. Now he (saw) has become a complete orphan and he (saw) hasn’t even hit puberty yet.

  • This shows the importance of maintaining the ties of kinship, even if it means going out of your way at times. The closer a person is to you the more right they have to have the ties of kinship maintained.

Sahih Muslim: The Prophet (saw) visited the grave of his mother and he (saw) cried. All those around him cried too. He (saw) said, I asked for permission to pray for her forgiveness and I was refused. I asked if I could visit her grave and I was given permission.

  • The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Visit the graves, for they remind you of the Hereafter.”

(Narrated by Muslim, 976)

Another narration mentions the Prophet (saw) stopped at a grave and said, for a day like this we should prepare ourselves. The meaning of this Hadith is correct.

What We Learn:

We must obey Allah every second of our lives. So much so, one of the Salaf would make his food easy to swallow to not waste time chewing.


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And his paternal grandfather, ‘Abdul-Muttalib,

passed away while he was eight, no lie.

At eight years old, his (saw) grandfather died. He loved his grandfather a lot. His (saw) grandfather would have a special carpet in the Haram in the Ka’bah where only he (saw) would sit. This is where ‘Abdul Muttalib’s own children would sit. Yet, when the Prophet (saw) would come he would allow him to sit on it also. When the people would question Abdul Muttalib, he would say, leave him for this boy has a great future.


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Then his paternal uncle, Aboo Taalib, took on

his guardianship, and later to ash-Shaam he travelled.

Before Abdul Muttalib died, he persuaded his (saw) paternal uncle, Abu Taalib the Prophet’s (saw) father’s blood brother, to take over. At that point, he had the Prophet (saw) for approximately two years. He (saw) was with his grandfather from the age of 6 to 8 years old.

Abu Taalib took over to look after the Prophet (saw). He was generally a poor person and had lots of children and he loved the Prophet (saw) a lot. When he would travel he would take the Prophet (saw) with him and he would take him to Shaam for business.


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That was while he was twelve years old

and the well-known incident with Baheeraa took place.

They travelled to Shaam and a monk by the name of Baheera saw the Prophet (saw) and he told Abu Taalib that this man is a Prophet because we saw the trees leaning down to give him shade and we also saw the clouds giving him shade.

Baheera told the Prophet’s (saw) uncle to take him away from here because if the Jews and Romans find out, they will kill him.

The above is a weak narration because there are many strange things in it. For example, it mentions Abu Bakr (ra) but the Prophet (saw) hadn’t become a Prophet yet.

Before this event occurred the Prophet (saw) became a shepherd. Later in his life he (saw) mentions, in an authentic narration in Bukhari, that there was no Prophet before him except that they were a shepherd.

Benefits of Being a Shepherd

  • Ulema mention that shepherds have soft hearts
  • Dealing with sheep teaches patience as they are very disobedient
  • It teaches you to deal with different kinds of personalities
  • Sheep move very slowly so you can’t get angry at them otherwise they won’t eat.

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The best of mankind again travelled to ash-Shaam

at the age of twenty-five – remember it –

The Prophet (saw) went to Shaam for business for Khadijah (ra) and he (saw) was 25 years old at the time. There are many different reports.

Khadijah (ra) sent Nafisah to check on the Prophet (saw) to see how he (saw) was in business.


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as a trader for our mother, Khadeejah,

and he returned that year after profitable trade, happy.

The Prophet (saw) returned and he was very successful in his trade/business.

We learn that the Prophet (saw) was known to be trustworthy. Is being trustworthy enough to recommend someone today? No.

‘Umar bin Khataab (ra) needed someone for a position and someone was recommended to him. He asked, do you know this person? The man said yes. So, ‘Umar (ra) said, have you travelled with him? The man said no. Have you lived with him? The man said no. Have you dealt with him in money? The man said no. ‘Umar (ra) said, you don’t know him.


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In that year was his marriage to her,

and he later consummated his marriage with her.

As Khadija (ra) was soo impressed with him (saw), she (ra) proposed to him (saw). She sent Nafisah with the proposal. There is a large difference of opinion in this area.

  • We learn that when you find someone righteous you will be successful. When you are doing something sincerely for Allah, Allah will make it easy for you.

The correct opinion is that the Prophet (saw) was 25 and Khadijah (ra) was 28. We learn from this that there can be an age gap between husband and wife.

Benefits:

A woman can work if it complies with the Islamic conditions. The asl is that it’s better for her to stay in the home.

A man works because there was not a single Prophet except that he was a shepherd (Sahih Bukhari).

There are different narrations as to whether he (saw) or she (ra) proposed. Khadijah (ra) sent Nafisah to inquire about the Prophet (saw).

In some narrations, it says that he (saw) could afford to get married. This means he (saw) was able to provide for his (saw) wife with food, shelter and clothing.

The marriage contract was done and then he (saw) consummated the marriage with Khadijah (ra) and didn’t marry anyone else whilst married to her (ra).


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All his children were from her except Ibraaheem.

The first to earn that distinction was al-Qaasim.

The author mentions that all of the Prophet’s (saw) children were from Khadijah (ra) except Ibraheem. The first child was Qaasim. He passed away in the Meccan period. The Prophet (saw) still kept the kunya Abul Qaasim.

  • Ibraheem was from another woman; Maariya al-Qibtiyya.

All of his (saw) children were born before Prophethood except for Ibraheem. He died when he was 18 months.

He (saw) had seven children in total; four girls and three boys.

Boys:

  • Qaasim
  • ‘Abd-Allah
  • Ibraheem

Girls:

  • Zaynab
  • Ruqayyah
  • Umm Kulthoom
  • Faatimah

 

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