Why don’t we talk about you?

The context of certain lines in the video are narrated below, very briefly. They leave out many details and do not begin to scratch the surface of the splendor of the life of the Prophet ﷺ.

when you cried for real / it was us for whom you cried / and you held us so dear

Seeing their Prophet ﷺ in tears as they returned from a journey, his Companions asked him: “What makes you cry, oh Messenger of Allah?”
“I miss my brothers,” said the Prophet ﷺ.
Surprised, they asked: “Are we not your brothers, Oh Messenger of Allah?”
“No,” said the Prophet ﷺ. “You are my Companions. My brothers are those who will come after me and will believe in me without having seen me.”
(Ad-Darami, At-Tabaraani, Al-Hakim)

The word “brothers” in Arabic includes “sisters”. It means all brothers and sisters in faith. Terrified of what punishments we might face if not guided, he beseeched Allah often in tears for the forgiveness of his Ummah (all believers from the 7th century until the end of time).

He was once reciting the prayers of Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and Eesa (Jesus), peace be upon them. The Quran retells their pleas of forgiveness for their appointed nations. When he recited the prayer of Prophet EesaAS :

إِنْ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِنْ تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ 
“If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Quran: 5:118)

He raised his hands and said, “Oh Allah, my ummah! My Ummah!” and began to cry.

The angel Jibril (Gabriel) AS said: “O Muhammad what makes you cry?”

He replied: “My Ummah, my Ummah!”

Allah then said, “Oh Jibreel, go to Muhammad and tell him, ‘Indeed, We will please you regarding your Ummah, and We will not cause you to grieve’.” (Sahih Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said:

Allah has given one Dua (supplication) to every single prophet and every single messenger, that he has guaranteed that He will respond to. And every single prophet has used up this Dua for himself in this world, except for me. I have saved it and I have not used it and I will not use it in this life. I have kept it for my Ummah and I will use it for them on the day of judgement. And my Dua will be, O Allah, forgive my entire Ummah. (Sahih Muslim)

AishaRA said that once when the Prophet ﷺ came up to her cheerfully, she asked him to pray for her. The Prophet ﷺ said, “O Allah, forgive Aisha for her past and future sins in secret and in public.” AishaRA was so immensely pleased about this that she smiled until she dropped her head onto her lap. The Prophet ﷺ asked, “Does my supplication make you happy?”

“Why would your prayer not make me happy?”

The Prophet ﷺ said,

“By Allah, it is my supplication for my Ummah in every prayer.” (Sahih ibn Habban)

Referring to his mercy and compassion, Allah the Almighty uses two of His own Most Beautiful Names to describe the Messenger, رَءُوفٌ  and رحيمٌ:

Certainly there has come to you [O humankind] a Messenger from among yourselves: the thought that you might suffer weighs heavily on him; full of concern for you [is he, and] full of compassion and mercy towards the believers. (Quran: 9: 128)

when your eyes became wet as you beheld her necklace years later

ZainabRA was the first child of the Prophet. Before he reached prophethood, she was happily married to Abu al-As, and they both loved each other dearly.

But after Muhammad ﷺ became a Prophet, only ZainabRA accepted Islam, while her husband did not. It was the early days of Islam in Makkah and the laws of family and marriage had not yet been revealed by Allah. So the couple lived together with their two children, ZainabRA waiting in loving patience for her husband to come around. But he did not. Eventually he joined the army of the Quraysh and fought against her father’s army in the Battle of Badr, a battle which had sprung up unexpectedly for the Muslims, who had recently been persecuted and robbed of their livelihoods, emigrated to Madina, and had only two years ago restarted their lives from scratch. But Allah gave victory to the 300 or so Muslims over the 1000-strong army of the disbelievers. Since it had never been the intentions of the Muslims to slaughter humanity without reason – they took prisoners of war from the remaining enemy soldiers when the battle was over. They treated the prisoners well, and many were allowed to go for a ransom in terms of finances or social services that might benefit the new Muslim community.

Amongst the prisoners was ZainabRA‘s husband Abu al-As, the son-in-law of the Prophet ﷺ. ZainabRA, being the daughter of a prophet, believed in justice. If a ransom was required to free a captive and to be of benefit to the poor and struggling Muslims, then a ransom she would give. She sent an onyx necklace to the Prophet ﷺ. Her mother, Khadija-tul-Kubra RA, the love of the Prophet ﷺ’s life, had passed on her own necklace to her as a wedding gift. Back in Madina, while receiving the ransoms and for the prisoners, the Prophet ﷺ came across the necklace. He recognized it instantly.

“Whose payment is this?” he asked. He was told it was for a certain Abu al-Aas ibn Rabee.
“This is Khadija’s necklace,” he said. His heart pounded in memory of his late wife of 25 years. His vision blurred with tears. There was a long moment of silence, heavy with emotion.

The people around him depended on the ransom of the captives to help in building their lives again and the new religious community that they were creating. Much of this ransom was their own wealth that had been taken away from them in Makkah. But the Prophet ﷺ could not bring himself to receive his late wife’s necklace for his son-in-law’s freedom. So he made no demands, but simply mentioned the situation to the people around him and asked if they would give their permission to have the necklace returned to his daughter. His companions loved him deeply, saw the delicacy of the situation, and wholeheartedly told him to free Abu al-As without the ransom.

Abu al-As was freed, but the Prophet ﷺ asked if he would let ZainabRA come to Madina to live with the Muslims, as he was not himself a Muslim and the two could not live as a couple any more. This was according to the new laws that had been revealed to the Prophet ﷺ. Abu al-As still loved his father-in-law, and his wife, but had too much pride in his reputation with the disbelievers to accept Islam. He agreed to let ZainabRA go.

when your pregnant daughter lost her baby to their violence

When the time came for ZainabRA to leave Makkah, she set off for the home of a foster brother who would accompany her to Madina. She was riding on her camel on the way to his house, when a Qurayshi man, Habbar, took notice. He saw her as a Muslim, the daughter of the man against whom they had just lost a battle, and was revolted. He grabbed a spear and attacked the pregnant ZainabRA. She fell from her camel, wounded and bleeding. A man came to stop Habbar, and eventually ZainabRA left some days later, when it was dark.

But the wound killed her baby.

More than six years after ZainabRA arrived in Madina, and another episode of captivity and freedom, Abu al-AasRA professed Islam. The couple were reunited with joy.

Their joy was short-lived. Only a year later, ZainabRA succumbed to complications that had arisen from the old wound of Habbar. Like her unborn child, she passed away to the mercy of her Lord.

when they stoned you and cornered you

Social status in pre-Islamic, 7th century Arabia revolved around one’s associations with strong tribes and allies. When the Prophet ﷺ was given the momentous task of Prophethood from Allah, his uncle Abu Talib was his ally, a respected elder of the Quraysh tribe. He did not accept the Message of Islam but offered his protection and support to his nephew, much to the annoyance of the rest of the Makkan nobles. As is common amongst upper class society, the Quraysh resented the Prophet ﷺ because he brought a revolution that changed the status quo. It robbed them of their unchallenged power and offered justice and prosperity to the common people.

When Abu Talib died and his protection ceased, Muhammad ﷺ was suddenly an open target to his oppenents’ hositility. The Makkan persecution picked up in enormous proportions – they attacked him and persecuted him, physically and verbally, openly throughout the town.

But the Prophet ﷺ could not do the job that God had entrusted him with like this. It was hard to teach a whole ideology and build a model society for all of humankind, while himself and his people were struggling for life. Hoping to find an ally outside of Makkah, the Prophet ﷺ headed on foot to journey outside of the city and up to the mountains of Taif. His foster mother had been from that town – perhaps he would find friends there. It was a long and staggering climb. When he finally reached Taif, he arranged meetings with the chiefs, and delivered his message to them.

They rejected him with contempt.

He addressed the common people, but they rejected him also. They not only demanded that he leave, they sent their children and town hooligans after him to gang up against him and chase him out. They lined the street as he walked it, stoning him, pressing him down a narrow path, hurling abuse.

He was stoned and hit until he bled, and he bled until his shoes were filled with blood, and when he was finally alone, he had to peel them painfully off his feet.

It was hardest day of his life, he would later tell his wife.

But he did not complain to Allah. When he raised his hands, he confessed his own inability to carry out his task, saying that as long as God was pleased with Him, nothing else mattered.

As the Prophet ﷺ himself said:

I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and I could not relax until I found myself at a tree where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me. I looked up and saw Gabriel in it. He called me saying, “Allah has heard what your people said to you and how they have replied. Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.” The Angel of the Mountains greeted me and he said, “O Muhammad, order what you wish. If you like, I will let the mountains fall on them.”

But the Prophet ﷺ asked for not the slightest revenge at all.

“No,” he replied to the angel. He expressed his hope instead that they live on and that perhaps their descendants hear the message of Allah and salvation.

(Sahih Muslim and Bukhari)

when you spent silent hours in the cave of Thawr / and assassins above shuffled by

After his persecution in Makkah and Taif, the Prophet ﷺ was inspired to leave for Madina, where hope had finally appeared. Two of the greatest tribes were at the brink of a huge war and needed a third party as an arbitrator to prevent it, and some of the people of Madina had heard of his message and invited him.

But he could not leave out in the open. The people of Makkah had already made multiple assassination attempts on his life.

So he left the city in the night with his closest friend Abu BakrRA. He left his brave young cousin AliRA sleeping in his bed, entrusting him with the things that the people of Makkah had left with him to take care of. Despite their opposition to his Prophethood, they trusted him like no one else. Men from several tribes waited around his house that same night to murder him, but the Prophet ﷺ left without their seeing him, by a miracle from Allah. They waited till the morning, only to discover that the person sleeping in his bed was AliRA. They rushed out immediately with their hound dogs to find the Prophet ﷺ.

The Prophet ﷺ and Abu BakrRA had gone into hiding in a cave called Thawr in the South of Makkah, and had been careful about covering up their trails in the sand. But the Makkan intelligence was hot in pursuit. They reached the mouth of the cave of Thawr, and were so close that Abu BakrRA whispered, “If any of them should look under his feet, he would see us!”

But the Prophet ﷺ remained completely unwavered, an ocean of serenity.

“Oh Abu Bakr,” he said comfortingly, “what do you think of two (persons), the third of whom is Allah?” (Sahih Bukhari)

Allah the Almighty refers to this moment in the Quran:

“[It matters little] if you do not help him (the Prophet), for Allah surely helped him when the disbelievers drove him out [of his home] – and he was one of the two when they were in the cave, and when he said to his companion: ‘Do not grieve. Certainly Allah is with us.’ Then Allah caused His tranquillity to descend upon him… ” (Quran: 9: 40)

Allah had inspired a spider to weave its web over the mouth of the cave, and a bird to build its nest right there as well. So the search party moved on, assuming that no one could be hiding inside or they would have disturbed the web and the nest. The Prophet ﷺ and Abu BakrRA quietly reached Madina. This was the great migration called the Hijrah, which begins the counting of the Islamic calendar. (AH = After Hijrah)

when you held the small body of your dying son

The Prophet ﷺ took one of his companions by the hand and walked with him to his son IbrahimRA. He was a baby of sixteen months. The Prophet ﷺ held him close, and kissed him and smelled him.

When IbrahimRA was in his last breaths, the Prophet ﷺ’s eyes started spilling tears. `Abdur Rahman bin `AufRA said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He replied, “O Ibn `Auf, this is mercy.” His tears did not stop, and he said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! Indeed we are grieved by your separation.” (Bukhari, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)

The Prophet ﷺ outlived all of his children except his youngest daughter FatimaRA. This father was given the task of burying six of his own children with his own hands, as well as his first and most beloved wife.

It is one of the proofs of the Quran’s being Divinely revealed that in spite of decades of trauma and grief, the pain of the Prophet ﷺ’s personal life never once leaked into the speech of the Quran. On the contrary, periods of distress in the Prophet ﷺ’s life were marked by the revelation of Quranic verses that clearly reverberated with positivity, consolation, and strength, while periods of success were marked by verses of humility and reminders of submission.

Only a man of God could face the death of his family members one by one, and his closest friends and relatives over years of torture and struggle, and in spite of it all, not only hold not a single grudge against the people responsible for these deaths, but actively invite them to their own happiness and salvation.

when you trembled and asked for the comfort of your dear wife

The life of the Prophet ﷺ has been verified and recorded in history in incredible detail, from the minutae of his personal habits to his greatest expeditions. He was known to be gentle yet fearless – strength and resilience marked his character. But on the night that he was entrusted with Prophethood, he was overcome with fear.

He was meditating one night in the month of Ramadan, in one of his regular spiritual retreats to a cave of the mountains surrounding the valley of Makkah. It was his habit to retreat from the hustle of town, and from the false ideas that people worshipped, searching for truth and purity.

On this night, the Night of Decree, the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) AS suddenly appeared to him and commanded him to read. The angel embraced him powerfully, squeezing him until he could barely breathe, asking him to read, three times. He responded each time that he could not read. The angel then recited the first words that were revealed of the Quran:

“Read! In the name of your Lord who created -created man from a clot. Read: for your Lord is Most Bountiful, who teaches by the pen, teaches man that which he knew not.” (Quran 96:1-5)

The Prophet ﷺ was neither a Christian nor Jew, nor knowledgeable of religions that followed a Divinely inspired book. He was not familiar with angels and Revelation.
He was terrified.

He hurried out of his cave, and an enormous voice cried out: “Muhammad! You are the messenger of God, and I am Jibreel”.

He looked up and saw JibreelAS on the horizon, across the whole sky. Wherever he looked – he saw the chilling vision of JibreelAS, inescapably present.

He rushed home to KhadijaRA, his greatest comfort in the world, shaking, asking “Cover me! Cover me!”

And so she did. She grabbed a cloak and covered him, and when he told her what had happened, she did not doubt his sanity, she did not panic, she did not cry out.

She trusted him, held him close and solaced him.

“Never! By God, God will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your relatives, help the poor, serve your guests generously, and assist those hit with calamities.” (Sahih Bukhari)

She was his first believer.

As her husband’s Prophethood progressed, difficulties mounted upon the couple and their family. She was one of the wealthiest women of Makkah, and she gave her wealth to support her husband’s mission and serve the community.

When the Prophet ﷺ and his family were banished to the outskirts of Makkah, with a brutal embargo forced upon them, she went with him. When the Muslims were reduced to such poverty that their children cried incessantly in hunger, and people scoured the ground and the trees for leaves that they might eat – KhadijaRA was with him. Eventually, soon before the embargo was lifted, her health gave way. After three years of her bearing the circumstances with patience, the Prophet ﷺ lost his greatest comfort.

The year of her loss was called the Year of Grief.

He never forgot her, never failed to praise her memory, and forever after passing away, he would send regular gifts to her relatives and friends. If questioned about it, his eyes would fill with tears. KhadijaRA had a sister, HalaRA, who resembled her in the way that she spoke, and whenever Hala asked for permission to come in, the Prophet ﷺ was reminded of KhadijaRA, and his heart ached. “Oh, Allah! Hala!” he said.

“She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.” (Sahih Bukhari)

– adapted from a biography of the Prophet online.

when they hacked at the liver of your dead uncle

Hind bint Utbah had a slave called Wahshi, who had impeccable spearing skills. Before the battle of Uhud, she promised to free him from slavery if he would kill HamzaRA, one of the Prophet ﷺ’s uncles. Hind’s father had fought against the Prophet ﷺ, and HamzaRA had killed him.

Her slave Wahshi did not care for the battle – he focused himself on only one single task – his freedom. He kept his eyes on HamzaRA as the battle raged on. He watched from afar, and when the opportunity came, he struck. He hit his target, and left. HamzaRA fell. He had been beloved to the Prophet ﷺ since both of their childhoods, and a powerful support of the new Muslim community.

When the battle was over, Hind went into the battlefield to look for the body of Hamza. In hatred and vengeance, she mutilated him, took out his liver, chewed on it and spat it out.

The Prophet ﷺ had played with Hamza from his childhood and loved him dearly. Yet he did not want revenge. HindRA and WahshiRA both became Muslims later, were full of remorse for their earlier actions, and were forgiven by the Prophet ﷺ and by Allah. Allah immortalizes the praises of the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ in the Quran for all of humankind to come.

the streets that you traced were overthrown with waste

The people of Makkah used to throw garbage and animal’s filthy refuse to insult the Prophet ﷺ, on his doorstep, and even on his blessed head when he would kneel down in prostration.

more than ten years of pain later when you returned / a rightful king but too aware of your King to burn

The struggles of the Muslims in Makkah lasted for thirteen years, after which the Prophet ﷺ and his followers were commanded to migrate to Madina.

In Madina, the Prophet ﷺ built a peaceful, vibrant state, and finally re-entered Makkah after ten years, in a virtually bloodless conquest. Once more, he stepped into the town of his birth, where he had played as a child, sat under the shade of the Ka’ba with his grandfather, grown up and worked, spent years of happiness with his most beloved wife and four daughters, but had then been abused, tortured and driven out by his own relatives and friends and community. He could have walked down the same roads of his past again, and demanded compensation for every drop of blood and every moment of pain that he and his followers had had to endure, but he did not. Although rightfully now the ruler of much of Arabia, he showed no pomp. His head was bent so low in humility and gratitude to his Lord that his neck touched the back of his mount. (Sahih Bukhari)

The people of Makkah remembered the atrocities they had committed against the Muslims. They knew they deserved to be punished.

The Prophet ﷺ addressed them,

“O Quraish, what do you think I will do to you?”

They said, “You are a brother, the son of a noble brother.”

He ﷺ said: “Go your way, for you are free.”

(Al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Hisham)

This was a military conquest where no houses were looted, no streets were destroyed, no women were raped, and the general peace of the city was not disturbed – it was only multiplied and protected for all times to come.

when your army was startled and scattered / but you stood out tall as you called from your saddle / “I am the Prophet, in truth, come to me!”

This is a reference to the Battle of Hunayn, a valley between Makkah and Taif.

With the conquest of Makkah, many notable tribes accepted Islam, which influenced others to follow suit. The previously embittered Arabia that had been lost in the turmoils of many petty wars, was gradually falling peacefully together under a single just ruler. But the tribes of Hawazin and Thaqif resisted – they were the same people of Taif who had earlier stoned and abused the Prophet ﷺ when he had delivered his message to them. They now gathered all their men and horses and even their women and children, and numbered 20,000. This time they hoped to finish the Muslims once and for all.

When the news reached Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, he assembled 12,000 people, the largest army that the Muslims had ever had. They reached the valley of Hunayn at dawn and began to proceed. But the enemy had already stationed its forces over the valley. Hundreds of arrows suddenly ripped down at the Muslims and swordsmen hurtled towards them from above. Much of the Muslim army consisted of the new converts to Islam after the Conquest of Makkah. They were not used to such situations. They had not prepared for this, had no time to think of what to do, and scattered in a panic, needing a moment to recollect their wits.

Only some of the older Muslims who had been with the Prophet ﷺ through thick and thin stood firmly by him.

It was in this moment of confusion and terror that the Prophet ﷺ remained fearless and composed, continued to proceed towards the enemy, and called out to his people:

“O servants of Allah! Come back to me! I am the Messenger of Allah!”

Al-‘Abbaas bin ‘Abd Al-MuttalibRA narrated:

When the Muslims encountered the disbelievers, the Muslims fled, but the Messenger of Allah ﷺ began to spur his mule towards the disbelievers. I was holding the bridle of the mule of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to prevent it from going too fast.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “O ‘Abbaas, call the people of Al-Samura.” [Al-‘Abbaas, had a loud voice, and he shouted out], “Where are the people of Al-Samurah?” [Al-‘Abbaas continued], By Allah, when they heard my voice, they came back like cows that come back to their calves, and said, “Here we are here! Here we are!” They then began to fight the disbelievers. Then there was a call to the Ansaar… “O party of the Ansaar! O party of the Ansaar!” The Banu Al-Haarith from the Khazraj were the last to be called.

Al-Bara’ bin `Azib said to a man who asked him, “O Abu `Amarah! Did you run away during Hunayn and leave the Messenger of Allah?”

Al-Bara’ said, “But the Messenger of Allah did not run away. Hawazin was a tribe proficient with their arrows. When we met them we attacked their forces and they ran away in defeat. The Muslims started to worry about collecting the spoils of war and the Hawazin started shooting arrows at us, then the Muslims scattered. I saw the Messenger of Allah proclaiming, — while Abu Sufyan was holding the bridle of his white mule,

“I am the Prophet, no lie! I am the son of Abdul-Muttalib!”

The battle took a very different turn after the Prophet ﷺ called out, and the Muslims defeated Hawazin and Thaqif.

Sources: Sahih Muslim, Sahih Bukhari, Questions on IslamIslam WebQTafsir

when the most beautiful of all / that He designed, the most praised

The Prophet ﷺ is referred to here, the most spectacular human creation of Allah, the most overflowing of love and sensitivity, and the most beloved to Allah.

The name of the Prophet ﷺ is Muhammad. It is derived from the Arabic triliteral root Hamida – which means “to praise”. The word Muhammad does not mean “one who is praised” but “one who is excessively, consistently praised”. His name is true.

The call to prayer in Islam is sounded 5 times a day, and it includes the testimony of Prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ, twice. Therefore he is praised ten times a day, every day of the year, in every mosque in the world – throughout all the countries of the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim, from the 7th century to date. And mosques in Muslim countries are found easily in almost every neighborhood. Even in the absence of a mosque, Muslims often sound the call to prayer before prayer. In addition, love and remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a part of the religion of Islam, and is recited before the end of the obligatory prayers, so enormous populations of Muslims send additional blessings upon him inside and after every one of the five daily prayers. These blessings are especially multiplied, innumerably, on Friday. It is part of Islamic guidance to praise him by sending God’s blessings on him every time his name is mentioned. On this post alone, blessings have been sent to him approximately 50 times. And in the billions of pages of all the copies of the millions of books of his teachings, that have been written from the 7th century and continue to be written today, with every Hadith recorded in history, he is praised again. This praise happens on every instance that those pages are opened and read, by the scores of students of Islam, throughout the world, for the past 15 centuries. Today there are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, about a quarter of the world’s population. Heartfelt love and blessings are showered upon Muhammad ﷺ more times than we can count. However, whether or not humankind praise the Messenger makes no difference. Because God Himself sends him blessings, and so do His several thousands of angels:

Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. Oh believers, you too also bless him, and pray him peace.(Quran: 33: 56)

Therefore it is hard to imagine any amount of negative media press or propaganda that could possibly succeed in countering the well-deserved praise attributed to the Prophet ﷺ.

Recommended Biographies of the Prophet ﷺ

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), by Leila Azzam & Aisha Gouverneur.
A smooth and enjoyable read for youngsters, new Muslims or non-Muslims.

When the Moon Split, a clear reader by Saif-ur-Rehman Al-Mubarakpuri, who wrote the award-winning biography Ar-Raheeq ul-Makhtoom (The Sealed Nectar).

The Sealed Nectar is the English translation of Ar-Raheeq ul-Makhtoom, an award-winning in-depth, authoritative biography of the Prophet Muhammad by Saif-ur-Rehman Al-Mubarakpuri.

 

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