A Short Biography of the “Mothers of the Faithful”


The wives of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, hold a special place in Islamic piety.  The Quran calls them “Mothers of the Faithful” (Quran 33:6).  They were his wives in this life and shall be in the life to come.  They were young and old, widows and virgins, poor and wealthy, aristocrats and freed slaves.  Each one played their specific role in forming the history of Islam.

Khadeejah

Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married her when he was twenty-five, while she had reached the age of forty.  She was a widow, twice married.  He was at the peak of his youth.  Impressed by Muhammad’s honesty and moral character, she send a relative to propose marriage.  They were married for twenty five years until her death.  Through every persecution, Khadeejah was his sole companion and helper.  Khadeejah, along with Aisha, played a major contribution in the establishment and spread of the Islamic civilization.  Khadeejah bore four daughters with the Prophet(pbuh): Zainab, Umm Kulthoom, Ruqayya, and Fatima.  All four grew to maturity and accepted Islam.  They all died in the lifetime of their father, except Fatima who died six months after the Prophet(pbuh).  Khadeejah also bore two sons, Qasim and Abdullah, both of whom died at an early age.

Sawdah

Months after the death of Khadeejah, the Prophet(pbuh) had returned from an unsuccessful mission in Taif, helpless and persecuted.  At this time he married Sawdah, another widow, who possessed neither beauty, nor social status, nor wealth.  She had been forced to escape to Abyssinia with her husband from the persecution of pagan Meccans to find some security.  Her husband died in exile, giving his life for the sake of his faith.  He had migrated with his wife from his home for the cause of his religion, and he left her in utter poverty.  Driven by a sense of generosity, the Prophet(pbuh) of Mercy married her, raising her to the spiritual level of “Mother of the Faithful.”  The Prophet(pbuh) did not marry another woman for the first three years of his Marriage to Sawdah.  She died a few years after the death of  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).

Aishah

Aishah was the daughter of one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), Abu Bakr.  An old friend of the Prophet(pbuh), Abu Bakr was one of the earliest converts to the faith and was considered to be the most sincere, earnest, and devoted in faith.  Seeing the loss of the Prophet(pbuh), one of the woman companions proposed Abu Bakr’s daughter to him and approached Abu Bakr on behalf of the Prophet(pbuh).  But there were two problems.  One, Aishah was already betrothed to Jubair bin Mut’im, a pagan Meccan.  Jubair, it turned out, had lost interest because of the wide gulf between paganism and Islam.  In addition, Aishah had not yet reached puberty, and this also contributed to Jubair’s disinterest in pursuing the betrothal.  Thus, she was betrothed to the Prophet(pbuh) while still in Mecca, and three years later, when both were in Medina and she had reached puberty, he consummated his marriage.  She was the only virgin he married, though they did not have any children.  Aishah was a leading scholar of Islam and played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Islamic civilization.  She taught for forty years after the death of the Prophet(pbuh) until her death at the age of sixty-seven.

Hafsah

Hafsah was the daughter of Umar, the man closest to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) after Abu Bakr.  She migrated with her husband to Medina, but was left a widow after the Battle of Badr.  With a fiery temper like her father, she had remained without a husband ever since.  Umar first asked Abu Bakr, and then Uthman, to marry her, but each refused in turn, much to his ire.  This shows the unavailability of marriageable males at the time.  At last, Umar approached Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).  The marriage took place in the third year after migration.  The Prophet(pbuh) divorced her once, but was commanded by God to take her back.  She was charged with keeping the official copy of the Quran during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar.  She passed away four years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Zainab

In the same year, the third year after migration, the Prophet(pbuh) married Zainab, made a widow after the Battle of Uhud.  Her kindness to the poor had earned her the nickname of “mother of the destitute.”  She was past the prime of her life and when she was wed by him, and she died a few months after their marriage.  She is the only wife beside Khadeejah who passed away in the Prophet(pbuh)’s lifetime.

Umm Salama

A year later, the Prophet(pbuh) married another widow who had suffered persecution, at one time losing the custody of her children to her pagan in-laws.  After the Battle of Uhud, she was left a widow with four children.  Abu Bakr first proposed to her, but she refused because she did not think anyone could be patient with her children.  Finally, the Prophet(pbuh) proposed, assuring her the children would be taken care of; Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married Umm Salama because of this noble motivation.  The faithful loved their Prophet(pbuh) all the more and honored him as the Prophet(pbuh) of God.  They saw in him a father to the destitute, the deprived, the weak, and the poor as well as to everyone who had lost his father in the cause of God.  Umm Salama was the last wife of the Prophet(pbuh) to die.  She passed away forty nine years after his death at the age of eighty-four.

Umm Habeebah

Umm Habeebah was the Muslim daughter of Islam’s archenemy, Abu Sufyan.  Umm Habeebah was one of the early coverts to Islam in Mecca.  She had migrated with her husband to Abyssinia who converted to Christianity over there.  On his death, the Prophet(pbuh) sent a proposal to her while she was still in Abyssinia.  She returned to Medina three years before the death of the Prophet(pbuh).  She passed away thirty four years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Zainab, the Divorced Wife of Zaid

Zainab was the cousin of the Prophet(pbuh), who was married to Zaid, an orphan slave whom the Prophet(pbuh) liberated and then adopted.  The Prophet(pbuh) proposed the marriage of Zainab with Zaid to her brother, but he refused to let his sister, a noble girl of Hashimite and Quraishite ancestry and the first cousin of the Prophet(pbuh), become the wife of a former slave.  Such a union was regarded by the Arabs as a thing of great shame.  For the daughters of the aristocracy to marry their slaves, even freed slaves, was unthinkable.  The Prophet(pbuh) sought to wipe out racial and class distinctions between men.  He was to educate the world that no Arab is superior to any non-Arab unless it be in virtue and piety, as God had said,

“…Indeed, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most god-fearing…” (Quran 49:13)

The Prophet(pbuh) did not choose to force this principle on a woman outside his own tribe.  It was his cousin Zainab who, in complying with the Prophet(pbuh)’s wishes for Zaid, willingly opposed the Arabian custom.  And Zaid, a freed slave, was the person of too low a lineage for marriage into Meccan aristocracy in her family’s eyes.  Thus, the Prophet(pbuh) encouraged Zainab to agree to marry Zaid, and, when Zainab agreed, insisted that her brother accept the adopted orphan as a brother-in-law.

However, after the marriage, Zaid found it hard to live with her.  Zaid consulted the Prophet(pbuh) who advised him not to divorce her.  Never-the less, once all attempts to work out the marriage had failed, divorce was the only alternative left.  After the divorce, she and her relatives insisted that the Prophet(pbuh) marry her.  Feeling bound to meet their wishes after a failed marriage that he had arranged, the Prophet(pbuh) was hesitant.  The pagan custom allowed marrying step-mothers and mothers-in-law, but looked upon the marriage of the divorced wife of an adopted son as unacceptable.  To undo the custom and to set an example, God commanded the hesitant Prophet(pbuh) to marry Zainab.  Their marriage took place in 5 A.H.  She died ten years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Juwairiyah

In the same year, a large number of prisoners fell into the hands of Muslims at the Battle of Bani Mustaliq.  Among them was Juwairiyah, the daughter of an Arab chief, who approached the Prophet(pbuh) with a ransom for herself to which her captor readily agreed.  The Prophet(pbuh) then proposed marrying her, and she, in turn, accepted.  As soon as the Muslims heard the news of the marriage, they released their prisoners from the tribe of Banu Mustaliq. They felt they could not keep a tribe honored by the Prophet(pbuh) in captivity, so some one hundred families from the tribe of Banu Mustaliq were freed as a blessing of her marriage with the Prophet(pbuh).  Juwairiyah was one devoted to worship.  Once, the Prophet(pbuh) passed by her after the dawn prayer and found her busy in worship in her place of prayer.  The Prophet(pbuh) passed by her again during late morning and found her still in her place, whereupon he commented,

“You are still in your state (of worship)?”

She responded, “Yes.”

“Should I not teach you some words greater in reward!  Say, ‘How perfect is God, I praise Him by the number of His creation and His pleasure, and by the weight of His Throne, and the ink of His Words.’” [1]

She died some forty years after the Prophet(pbuh).

Safiyyah

Safiyyah, daughter of a Jewish chief of Banu Nadheer, was taken as a prisoner in the Battle of Khaibar in the year 7 A.H.  The Prophet(pbuh) liberated and then married her.  Upon marriage, the Prophet(pbuh) found marks of abuse on her cheek about which he was curious.

She explained, “I saw a dream in which the full moon rose over Medina and fell in my lap.  I told the dream to my cousin who slapped me and said, ‘You want to marry the king of Medina!’  This mark is from his slap.”

When the Prophet(pbuh) was on his deathbed, she wept and said, ‘I wish I could be in your place, O Messenger of God,’ to which he replied, “By God, she is telling the truth.

Maimoonah

Maimoomah, another widow, requested marriage to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, in Mecca in 7 A.H.  She was from his tribe and was already over fifty.  Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) married her in order to support her, a poor relative of his.  Her nephew, Ibn Abbas, who later became the greatest scholar of the Quran, learned much from her knowledge.


[1] Musnad, Abu Daud

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The Spring of wellness- Zamzam.


                  ZAMZAM WATER

The miracle in Zamzam water:

“Zamzam water is what one intends to drink it for.
When one drinks it to be healed, Allah heals him;
when one drinks it to be full, Allah makes him full;
and when one drinks it to quench his thirst, Allah quenches it. ” [ Ahmad, and Ibn Majah]

Zamzam water

History:

According to Arab historians, the Zamzam Well, except for a few periods when it became dry or  was buried under sand, has been in use for around 4000 years

Location of Zamzam well.

The well marks the site of a spring that, miraculously, had issued forth from a barren and desolate wadi (non perennial stream) where the Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him-pbuh), under Allah’s command, had left his wife Hajar(Peace be upon her) and their infant son Ismail (pbuh).  In her desperate search for water, Hajar(Peace be upon her) ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwa to provide water for Ismail (pbuh), who was dying of thirst.  Allah, in His mercy, sent the Angel Gabriel, who scraped the ground, causing the spring to appear.  On finding the spring, and fearing that it might run out of water, Hajar(Peace be upon her) enclosed it in sand and stones.  The name Zamzam originates from the phrase ‘Zomë Zomë ‘, meaning ‘stop flowing’, a command repeated by Hajar during her attempt to contain the spring water.  The area around the spring, which was later converted to a well, became a resting place for caravans, and eventually grew into the trading city of Makkah, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) later returned to rebuild the Ka’ba, the first Bait-ul-Allah (House of Allah), originally said to have been built by Adam (pbuh).  It is the holiest place on Earth.  The Ka’ba now stands in the center of the Holy Mosque, also called Al-Haram.  The Zamzam well is located within the Holy Mosque, about 20 m east of the Ka’ba.

The report about the chest of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being washed with the water of Zamzam is proven in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him), who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “My roof was opened when I was in Makkah, and Jibreel (peace be upon him) came down and opened my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a gold basin full of wisdom and faith, poured it into my chest, and closed it up again. Then he took me by the hand and ascended with me into the first heaven.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3/429).

Zamzam well.

VIRTUES OF ZAMZAM WATER:

According to the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said concerning the water of Zamzam, “It is a blessing, and it is food that satisfies.” (Muslim).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/1018; see Al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah by al-Sakhaawi, p. 359).

The difference between the believers and the hypocrites is drinking one’s fill of Zamzam water.(Narrated by Ibn Maajah)

Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The people used to compete over Zamzam during the time of Jaahiliyyah(ignorance)(period before Islam). People who had children used to bring them and give them to drink, and this was their early-morning victuals(provisions). We used to used to think that it was a help for people who had children.” Al-‘Abbaas said: “During the Jaahiliyyah, Zamzam was known as Shabaa’ah (satisfaction).

”Al-‘Allaamah al-Abbi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “(The water) is for whatever purpose it is drunk for, and Allaah made it food and drink for Ismaa’eel and his mother Haajar.

 Ibn al-Mubaarak entered Zamzam and said, “O Allaah, Ibn al-Mu’ammal told me, from Abu’l-Zubayr from Jaabir that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for,’ so, O Allaah, I am drinking it (to quench) my thirst on the Day of Resurrection.”

Etiquttes of drinking Zamzam water:

Zamzam water containers.

It is sunnah to drink one’s fill of Zamzam water and to quench one’s thirst.

The fuqaha have mentioned the etiquette that is mustahabb (recommended) when drinking Zamzam water, such as

  • facing the Ka’bah,
  • saying Bismillah
  • ,pausing to take a breath three times,
  • drinking one’s fill,
  • praising Allaah after one finishes

As regards the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said, “I gave the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) Zamzam water to drink whilst he was standing,” (reported by al-Bukhaari, 3/492), it is taken to mean that it is permissible to drink zamzam whilst standing; showing the utmost respect

‘Aa’ishah(R.A.) reported that she took Zamzam water home with her in bottles, and said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took some of it away with him, and he used to pour it on the sick and give it to them to drink.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 4/37).

Technical information

The Zamzam well was excavated by hand, and is about 30 meters deep and 1.08 to 2.66 meters in diameter. It taps groundwater from the wadi alluvium and some from the bedrock. Originally water from the well was drawn via ropes and buckets, but today the well itself is in a basement room where it can be seen behind glass panels (visitors are not allowed to enter). Electric pumps draw the water, which is available throughout the Masjid via water fountains and dispensing containers near the Tawaf area.

Hydro geologically, the well is in the Wadi Ibrahim (Valley of Abraham). The upper half of the well is in the sandy alluvium of the valley, lined with stone masonry except for the top meter which has a concrete “collar”. The lower half is in the bedrock. Between the alluvium and the bedrock is a half-meter section of permeable weathered rock, lined with stone, and it is this section that provides the main water entry into the well. Water in the well comes from absorbed rainfall in the Wadi Ibrahim, as well as runoff from the local hills. Since the area has become more and more settled, water from absorbed rainfall on the Wadi Ibrahim has decreased.

The Saudi Geological Survey has a “Zamzam Studies and Research Centre” which analyzes the technical properties of the well in detail. Water levels were monitored by hydrograph, which in more recent times has changed to a digital monitoring system that tracks the water level, electric conductivity, pH, Eh, and temperature.. Other wells throughout the valley have also been established, some with digital recorders, to monitor the response of the local aquifer system.

Remarkable information:

The water level is 3.23 meters (about 10.59 ft) below the surface. A pumping test at 8000 liters/second for more than a 24 hour period showed a drop in water level from 3.23 meters below surface to 12.72 meters and then to 13.39 meters, after which the water level stopped receding. When pumping stopped, the water level recovered to 3.9 meters below surface only 11 minutes later. This data shows that the aquifer feeding the well seems to recharge from rock fractures in neighboring mountains around Mecca.

Features of Zamzam water:

Zamzam Water has no color or smell, but it has a distinct taste, and its pH is 7.9–8.0, indicating that it is alkaline to some extent, like seawater.

A study conducted in American laboratories showed that traces of thirty elements were identified in Zamzam water by means of energizing neutrons. Some of these elements scored less than 0.01.

After matching up the chemical analysis to international specifications, especially to the specifications of the World Health Organization (WHO), results proved the potability of Zamzam water as well as its beneficial effect on the body health. Additionally, sodium is very high in Zamzam water and the international specifications do not put a limit to the measurement of its composition.

Minerals Percentages

  • Calcium 198
  • Magnesium¨ 43.7
  • Chloride 335
  • Sulfur 370
  • Iron 0.15
  • Manganese 0.15
  • Copper 0.12

(Analysis of a study conducted in the laboratory of the Department of Water and Waste Water Treatment, the Western Province, Saudi Arabia, 1400 H.E.)

Rich Chemical constituents of Zamzam water:

 

CALCUIM & MAGNESUIM IN ZAM ZAM WATER:
The difference between Zamzam water and other water (city water )is in the quantity of calcium and magnesium salts. The content of these is slightly higher in Zamzam water. This may be why this water refreshes tired hajis.

FLOURIDE IN ZAMZAM WATER:
But more significantly, the water contains fluorides that have an effective germicidal action.
Speacial features of this Speacial water:

Never Dried Up: This well has never dried up(except for a few periods when it was dry or was buried under the sand ). on the contrary it has always fulfilled the demand for water.

Same Salt composition: It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence.

Potability: Its potability has always been universally recognized as pilgrims from all over the world visit Ka’aba every year for Hajj and umrah, but have never complained about it. Instead, they have always enjoyed the water that refreshes them.

Universal taste: Water tastes different at different places. Zamzam water’s appeal has always been universal.

No Biological Growth: This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities.Biological growth and vegetation usually takes place in most wells. This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and odour problems. But in the case of the Zamzam water well, there wasn’t any sign of biological growth.

Comparative study between the chemical composition of

potable water and Zamzam water in Saudi Arabia:

The analyses were carried out at the King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology(KACST)

Analysis of  Chloride. Sulphate, nitrate, fluoride, CaCO3, Carbonate (CO3)  Bicarbonate (HCO3) sodium(Na) , potassium(k) and Analysis of Total Hardnes   was carried out.

The following research was undertaken to analyze the chemical composition of  Riyadh drinking tap water and compare it with that of Zamzam water when compared to Riyadh tap water; Zamzam water from both sources showed highly significant readings in all

inorganic elements:Na,Ca,Mg,K,HCO3,Cl,Fl,NO3,SO4, TDS

(total dissolve alkalinity) except the pH which was almost similar in Riyadh tap water. (7.2) to that of Zamzam water (7.9 – 8 )

FINDINGS:

 Fluoride: The World Health Organization regards 1.5 ppm as the upper limit of fluoride exposure that is appropriate.(higher that 1.5ppm leads to dental flourosis)

Zamzam water contains higher levels of fluoride(0.72 and 0.68ppm for well and pipe respectively  compared to 0.26-0.43ppm for potable(general) drinking water)

Calcium:

Ionic calcium in water is the best form to use, being the only physiologically active form of this element. All sources of this mineral compounds, whether through the diet or from the bones (serve as a storage deposit) and teeth must be broken down to its ionic form before it can be used by the body. Usually calcium absorption takes place in duodenum on the other hand ionic calcium(calcium in dissolved form) digestion is not required, the body will absorb minerals immediately upon entering the mouth and a majority of the minerals will be absorbed before it ever enters the lower stomach, needs no stomach acid to be absorbed and assimilated. Calcium absorbed in our bodies from calcium lactate compound (commonly found in dairy product) is 33% or 105mg of usable calciumwhile 98% or 392mg in ionic calcium is absorbed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Zamzam water from both sources (well and pipes) has proven to contain high levels of fluoride when compared to potable water.

Ionic calcium in water is the best form to use to insure its proper absorption by the bones and teeth.

The role of fluoride in the prevention of dental caries is very well established.

Calcium raises the body’s resistance to viruses, parasites, cancer as well as bacteria which causes tooth decay.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of exposure to fluoride sources other than potable water;it is currently impossible to draw firm conclusions thus further studies are needed to study the independent effect of solely drinking Zamzam water and its advantages over

potable water.

ANOTHER RESEARCH:

A research was carried out by Tariq hussain,Riyadh in the year 1971 when an Egyptian doctor wrote to the European press, a letter saying that Zamzam water was not fit for drinking purposes.

Fortunately, the news came to King Faisal’s ears who got extremely angry and decided to disprove the Egyptian doctor’s provocative statement. He immediately ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Zamzam water to European laboratories for testing the portability of the water.

The ministry then instructed the Jeddah Power and Desalination Plants to carry out this task.

Tariq hussain was appointed the desalting engineer and he carried out the research.Samples were also sent to European laboratories.

The results of the Samples tested under European laboratories and those tested in Riyadh were identical ,Alhamdulillah proving that it is not only fit for drinking purpose but also a healing and cure.

Hence the statement made by the Egyptian doctor was proved false. When this was reported to King Faisal he was extremely pleased and ordered the contradiction of the report in the European Press. In a way, it was a blessing that this study was undertaken to show the chemical composition of the water.

In fact, the more you explore, the more wonders surface and you find yourself believing implicitly in the miracles of this water that Allah Ta’ala bestowed as a gift on the faithful coming from far and wide to the desert land for pilgrimage.
Personal experiences of some of the scholars:

Sheikh Abdur Rashid Ibrahim rahmatullahi alaihe states, ‘I spent weeks on Zamzam to satisfy my hunger.

Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Tantawi spent the last ten days of Ramadhaan in I’takaf within Haram Shareef. For the duration of the ten days he had nothing to eat or drink except for Zamzam.

An ustaadh of Makkah Mukarramah, Jaamiah Ummul Qura`, was afflicted with an illness in which he could neither open his mouth to talk or to eat. During his illness he survived only upon Zamzam and he states that for seventeen days not only did he not feel hungry or thirsty but he also recovered.

Allama Ibnul Qayyum Jawzi rahmatullahi alaihe has written in  ‘Zaadul Ma`ad’ that I have seen such a person who has lived only on Zamzam as his source of food for half a month or more but he did not feel hungry and he continued to perform tawaaf as normal.

He also states that the person informed him, ‘On some occasions I have lived on Zamzam for approximately forty days with no change to my physical strength. I would fast, perform tawaaf and fulfil the duties to my wife.

Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas  states that Zamzam was a great help for him in raising a family. He states that they termed it as ‘Shabba’ah’ (filler of the stomach).

Some incidents relating to the Miracles of ZamZam

Yusria Abdel-Rahman Haraz said that she was affected by a ulcer in her eye. It affected her by a severe headache which could not be cured by tablets. She was about to become blind in the affected eye. She went to a famous doctor who suggested to give her an injection which will stop the headache but it will also dysfunction the affected eye and consequently she will loose the sight in the affected eye. Mrs.Yusria was confident of the mercy of Allah. She thought of performing Umra and supplicated to Allah to cure her. She come to Makkah and performed Tawaf, there were not many people and the areas not crowded, therefore, she could be with the Zamzam water for long time. She washed her eyes. When she came back to the hotel she found that her affected eyes was cured and the ulcer disappeared. This event proves that it is a confirmation of the Hadeeth which says, “Zamzam water fulfils the purpose for which it ………

There are many of such events, which proves the truth of what Prophet Muhammed(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said and the holy nature of Zamzam water. Dr. Farooque Antar tells his own story. He says that he had been affected by a stone in his ureter and the doctor could not remove or destroy it without a surgical operation. But he postponed the operation two times. Meanwhile he performed Umra and supplicated to Allah to cure him without undergoing operation. He drank from Zamzam water and prayed two Rakaats. Then he felt a benching in his ureter and hurried to relieve himself, only to see the stone come out and he was cured without undergoing a surgical operation. The doctors who were treating Dr. Farooque were surprised at this.

There are many  more such incidences where the Zamzam water treate many diseases including cancer.

The birth of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and his early life


The Birth of Muhammad (pbuh) is blessing for the whole world.

The Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was born on Monday 12th Rabi-ul-awal (571AD) which is approx. 20/22 of April. After he was born, Amina,his mother , sent word to his grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib of the joyous news. Abdul Mutallib was at the Kaaba, he rushed back to see his beloved newborn grandson.

Abdul-Muttalib tenderly held this newborn baby in his arms. He then took him to the Kaaba and prayed to Allah and thanked him for such a great blessing. He then named him Muhammad – the praised one, which was not a name common to the Arabs. Muhammad (pbuh)  was circumcised on the 7th day, which was the custom of the Arabs.

It was the general custom of the Arabs that their young children were sent to the desert to be brought up with the Bedouins. The tough desert life gave the child a good start in life and the language of the Bedouins was a much purer Arabic. For a few year, they grew up in this harsh but healthy desert life before returning to their parents.

The Prophet(pbuh) was entrusted to Halima Sadia. She was a poor wet nurse. She and her husband only had a donkey and old she-camel. She did not even have enough milk to feed the other child in her care. It was also the year of famine and drought so they would constantly pray for rain.

None of the other Bedouin wet nurses wanted to take the child Muhammad (pbuh)  because he was an orphan. When a child was returned to the family of the foster child, they would reward the wet nurse generously. They couldn’t expect to gain many riches from a child who was an orphan. Every woman got a child to bring up but Halima, who had arrived last and did not find a child to foster. She was ready to go back when she decided to return and collect the child Muhammad, even though he was an orphan.

As soon as she lifted Muhammad (pbuh), her fortunes turned right around and her life was filled with immense good fortune. Both Muhammad(pbuh) and the other foster child were fully fed, even though the previous night there was no milk for the other child. The old she camel, which had not given a drop of milk, was soon over flowing with milk. Halima was at the very back of the group of women but now was at the front of the group. This was indeed a great blessing for this poor Bedouin family.

Halima knew that she had a blessed child with all the miracles and blessings she was seeing with her own eyes. Halima’s herd of goats used to come home full, and over flowing with milk. The rest of the Bedouins’ goats used to come home scraggy and empty. They used to complain to the shepherd to take the sheep and goats to the same place that Halima takes her flock! There were many more signs about how her life was turned around.

After two years, Muhammad (pbuh) was returned to His mother Amina, but soon Amina was persuaded by Halima to return the baby back with them for another two years. At this time, Halima told Amina about the great blessings that she had received when Muhammad (pbuh) was in her care. There was also an illness in Makkah and the child would be protected from it.

A strange incident took place in the prophet’s childhood. Once both Muhammad (pbuh) and his foster brother were playing in the yard with the goats when the Angel Jibrael appeared to them. The Angel came, split open Muhammad(pbuh)’s chest, took out his heart, removed a blood clot and washed it in Zamzam. The angel then returned the heart to Muhammad(pbuh)’s body before going away. The angel said this was the part of shaytan in you.

His foster brother ran to Halima and said that Muhammad(pbuh) has been murdered. She rushed out and found Muhammad (pbuh) standing with a pale white face. She checked over his body and found that he was fine.

Very shortly she returned him to Amina, his mother. Amina found out from Halima about the events that had taken place. Amina assured Halima that Muhammad (pbuh) was not under the influence from any devil or jinn but even when she was expecting him she had seen great marvels and miracles. Muhammad (pbuh) was returned to the care of his mother Amina and continued to live with her and Barakah.

Barakah was a slave girl who had been purchased in the slave markets and given as a present to Abdullah. She lived in the household of Abdullah and Amina. When Abdullah passed away she looked after Amina and later took care of Muhammad(pbuh). She was dedicated to looking after Muhammad(pbuh) her whole life. She also loved him immensely and was with him throughout his sadness and joys. Muhammad (pbuh) also had great respect and love for this woman.

When Muhammad(pbuh) was six years old, he accompanied Amina and Bakarah on a trip to Yathrib. This was a chance for Muhammad (pbuh) to become acquainted with his uncles in Yathrib and also to see the grave of his father, whom he had never met. On his journey, Amina told Muhammad (pbuh) about his father and his uncles but when they got there, Amina became ill and also passed away. Muhammad(pbuh) and Bakarah both returned in tears and Abdul Mutallib began to look after this orphaned child.

This was the second tragedy to strike this six-year-old child. His father passed away before he was born and now his mother had also passed away! He came under the guardianship of his grandfather Abdul Mutallib. Abdul Mutallib had loved Abdullah so much and had been greatly saddened when Abdullah passed away. In Muhammad(pbuh) he could see the beauty and character of Abdullah and he loved Muhammad (pbuh) dearly. He had extra compassion for his orphaned grandchild, Muhammad(pbuh) than for his other grandchildren.

Abdul Muttalib loved Muhammad (pbuh), in fact some say he took compassion on Muhammad(pbuh) and loved him more than his own children. Abdul Muttalib thought that one day his grandchild Muhammad(pbuh) would be a very special and significant person. He saw Muhammad (pbuh) ‘s kind and generous character and there was a special noor inside of him, which he couldn’t explain.

Abdul Muttalib often took Muhammad (pbuh) to the Kaaba with him. When Abdul-Muttalib used to lie on the couch near the Kaaba, Muhammad (pbuh) was always near him sitting on the mattress. The rest of Abdul Muttalib’s children would sit on the floor around the couch.

Hence, Muhammad(pbuh) came under the care of this kind and generous old man, his grandfather. Although Muhammad(pbuh) had suffered so much tragedy in his life, he never felt that he wasn’t loved. His grandfather surrounded him with love and looked after him as if he was his own son.

However, this love would not last for long. Another great catastrophe was ready to strike. When Muhammad(pbuh) was eight years old, Abdul-Mutallib passed away and that episode in the young child’s life also ended. He was heart broken at the death of his grandfather but would soon find much love and happiness under the care of his uncle Abu Talib. Abu Talib was by no means rich but was a kind and generous fellow. He was respected by all the tribes that lived in Makkah.

Living with Abu Talib wasn’t a life of ease so he tended sheep on the outskirts of Makkah as a youngster. This proved him to be a responsible and honest person. All the prophets were shepherds before they were given prophethood. He did have a loving guardian and was offered much love and friendship by Abu Talib’s family. This he appreciated for the rest of his life.

 

History of Islam during the Lifetime of the Prophet and the Rightly Guided Caliphs (1of 2)


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)- A Brief Description

He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

“HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD” ,May Peace of God Be Upon Him

He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E., started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God ) at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.

During this short period of 23 years of his prophet hood, he changed the complete Arabian Peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence.

Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since – and all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since – and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father – all in one.

No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life – but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to achieve such incredible perfection.

Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was nothing more or less than a human being but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God.

He always described himself as, ‘A Servant and Messenger of God’ and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life – but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Caliph: An Introduction

Meaning of the Word ‘Caliph’

The word ‘Caliph’ is the English form of the Arabic word ‘Khalifa,’ which is short for Khalifatu Rasulil-lah. The latter expression means Successor to the Messenger of God, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The title ‘Khalifatu Rasulil-lah’ was first used for Abu Bakr, who was elected head of the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet.

The Significance of the Caliphate

The mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), like that of the earlier messengers of God, was to call people to the worship of and submission to the One True God. In practice, submission to God means to obey His injunctions as given in the Holy Qur’an and as exemplified by Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet). As successor to the Prophet, the Caliph was the head of the Muslim community and his primary responsibility was to continue in the path of the Prophet.

Since religion was perfected and the door of Divine revelation was closed at the death of the Prophet, the Caliph was to make all laws in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. He was a ruler over Muslims but not their sovereign since sovereignty belongs to God alone. He was to be obeyed as long as he obeyed God.

He was responsible for creating and maintaining conditions under which it would be easy for Muslims to live according to Islamic principles, and to see that justice was done to all. Abu Bakr, at the time he accepted the Caliphate, stated his position thus:

“The weak among you shall be strong with me until their rights have been vindicated; and the strong among you shall he weak with me until, if the Lord wills, I have taken what is due from them… Obey me as long as I obey God and His Messenger. When I disobey Him and His Prophet, then obey me not.”

 The Rightly-Guided Caliphs (Al-Khulafa-ur-Rashidun)

Those Caliphs who truly followed in the Prophet’s foot steps are called ‘The Rightly-Guided Caliphs’ (Al-Khulafa-ur Rashidun in Arabic). They are the first four Caliphs: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmân and Ali. All four were among the earliest and closest Companions of the Prophet (peace be on him).

They lived simple and righteous lives and strove hard for the religion of God. Their justice was impartial, their treatment of others was kind and merciful, and they were one with the people – the first among equals. After these four, the later Caliphs assumed the manners of kings and emperors and the true spirit of equality of ruler and ruled diminished to a considerable extent in the political life of Muslims.

It should be clearly understood that the mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), and hence that of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, was not political, social or economic reform, although such reforms were a logical consequence of the success of this mission, nor the unity of a nation and the establishment of an empire, although the nation did unite and vast areas came under one administration, nor the spread of a civilization or culture, although many civilizations and cultures developed, but only to deliver the true message of God to all the peoples of the world and to invite them to submit to Him, while being the foremost among those who submitted.

 

Umar’s Care For The Poor


Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab was the second caliph of Islam. He was such a responsible and caring ruler that every night he used to stroll on the streets to know the problems of his people. The following is an incredible example of his dutifulness as a caliph.Today, no poor can even dream that the ruler of the land will bring them their essential food supplies himself.

It was the year of the famine. Umar made efforts to ensure that adequate relief reached all people, and  that there were none in the city who went to sleep hungry.

One night as usual Umar went on his round. He was accompanied by his slave Aslam. As he strolled from  street to street all was quiet and the people seemed to be asleep. Umar thought to himself, “Thank God,  there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted.”

"Thank God, there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted", Umar said

Then as he turned a corner he saw a cottage where light was burning, and from where the sound of the  weeping of the children was heard. Umar went to the cottage. He saw that the lady of the house was  cooking something on the hearth, and the children were crying.

The sound of children weeping was coming out of a cottage

Umar knocked at the gate, and addressing the lady of the house Umar enquired why were the children  crying. She said that they were crying because they were hungry. “And what are you cooking”, asked  Umar. The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones. That was to while away the  children that food was being cooked for them. She hoped that exhausted the children would go to sleep.

The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones.

Hearing this tale of woe, Umar felt guilty. He had thought that because of the arrangements made by him,  no one was afflicted in the city and here was a family which was starving. Umar said to the lady that he  would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar said to the lady that he would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar went to the Baitul Mal. There he put the necessary provisions in a bag and carried the bag to the  cottage. His slave insisted that he would carry the bag, but Umar said that he would carry his burden  himself. Umar handed over the bag of provisions to the lady. Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady  cook the meals.

Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady cook the meals.

When the meals were ready the children were awakened and served with the delicious  meals. As the children ate to their fill and were satisfied they smiled the smile of happiness. Seeing the  destitute children smile Umar also felt happy.

Umar enquired of the lady whether there was none to support. She said that the father of the children  had died, and there was no body to support. Whatever little was in the house had been gradually used  up and they were starving since the last three days.

Umar asked the lady why she had not brought her distress to the notice of the Caliph. The lady said that  in spite of her poverty she had some sense of self-respect and she could not go and beg the Caliph for  any favor. She added that it was incumbent on the Caliph to ascertain that there was no one in his  charge who was starving.

Umar said, “You are right. Please excuse me for the remissness in the past. For the future it will be my  responsibility to see that your wants are satisfied.”

And when the lady realized that the man who had come to her relief was the Caliph himself, she felt  satisfied that the Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

The pre-Islamic period: Jahiliyah (The period of ignorance)


The pre-Islamic period: Jahiliyah (The period of ignorance)

Islam is the basic monotheistic faith proclaimed by prophets throughout history. The Qur’an does not present a new revelation but rather provide a complete, accurate, and therefore final record of the message.

Islam is the religion of all Prophets - Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad (peace be upon them all)

As the basis for a historical community and tradition of faith, however, Islam begins in Mecca with the life and work of Muhammad in the early seventh century.

The pre-Islamic period was the darkest age in human history. It was a time of ignorance and anarchy in the religious and social life in the world.

Pre - Islamic Arabia

The political, social and cultural life developed by the peoples of the ancient world was shattered by the barbarians. The social and religious order organized by Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism had disintegrated.

The people had forgotten the ideal of their religion. Morality had fallen at low ebb. Corruption, intolerance, persecution and wrangling of creeds and sects prevailed everywhere.

Greatest anarchy prevailed in the social life of the Arabs. There was no ideal morality or discipline in the society.

Corruption, vices superstition, unrestrained freedom and unrestricted enjoyment ruled supreme in the Arab society. Plurality of wives and husbands was the order of the day.

Evil was spread in the whole society.

Adultery was common among the pre-Islamic Arabs. Step sons could marry their step-mothers and even the brothers sometimes married their own sisters. Men and women could have full liberty with their opposites.

Human beings were sacrificed to propitiate gods. Fathers sometimes killed their children also for fear of poverty.

The position of the women was very degrading in the Arab society. They were treated as chattels and with contempt. The birth of a female child was considered as a great curse and she was often buried alive by the heartless father.

Women could not have any share of the property of the husbands or the fathers in a word, no status in the society. Slavery, in its worst form, prevailed in the Arab society; the master can even put his slave to death.

Slaves were deprived of even basic necessities of life.

Economically, pre-Islamic Arabian society was very much in the primitive stage the soil being barren; there was little of agriculture in the country.

Prior to the rise of Islam, worst anarchy and confusions prevailed in the religious life of the Arabs. There were some Jews and Christians in Arabia, but they had become corrupt and not hold any higher religious ideal to the Arabs.

Exception the Jew and Christians, the rest of the Arabs followed the most primitive form of religious belief. They were idol worshipers, adoring many gods and goddesses.

The above mentioned evils not only existed among Arabs but in most of the world civilizations at that time.

There were no basic human rights and the rich ruled the poor and imposed whatever laws they wanted. The world society was primarily divided into ruling class and the ruled.