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.

 

Advertisements

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 Slander against Ayesha (ra) (Mother of the Believers) and her Vindication by Allah


This extremely painful incident took place on the Prophet’s return from the expedition against Bani Mustaliq. The Muslim army had to halt for a night at a place, a short distance from Madinah.
In this expedition, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was accompanied by his noble and talented wife, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) As it so happened, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) went out some distance from the camp to attend to the call of nature.
When she returned, she discovered that she had dropped her necklace somewhere. The necklace itself was of no great value, but as it was a loan from a friend, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) went out again to search for it. On her return, to her great grief and mortification, the army had already marched away with the camel she was riding, her attendants thinking that she was in the litter as she was then thin, very young and light of weight.
In her helplessness she sat down and cried till sleep overpowered her. Safwan bin Mu‘attal, an Emigrant, who was coming in the rear recognized her as he had seen her before the verse enjoining the veil was revealed, and brought her on his camel to Madinah without saying a single word to her, himself walking behind the animal.
The hypocrites of Madinah led by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubai bin Salul, sought to make capital out of this incident and spread a malicious scandal against ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) and unfortunately some of the Muslims also became involved in it. On arrival in Madinah, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) held counsel with his Companions, who pronounced different opinions ranging from divorce to retention.
The incident almost roused a fight between two rival factions, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, but the Prophet’s intervention silenced both parties on the sport. ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) unaware of the rumours being circulated, fell ill and was confined to bed for a month.
On recovering, she heard of the slander and took permission to go and see her parents seeking authentic news. She then burst into tears and stayed for two days and one sleepless night ceaselessly weeping to such an extent that she felt her liver was about to rip open.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) visited her in that situation, and after testifying to the Oneness of Allâh he told her, “If you are innocent, Allâh will acquit you, otherwise, you have to beg for His forgiveness and pardon.”
She stopped weeping and asked her parents to speak for her, but they had nothing to say, so she herself took the initiative and said “Should I tell you I am innocent, and Allâh knows that I am surely innocent, you will not believe me; and if I were to admit something of which, Allâh knows, I am innocent, you will believe me, then I will have nothing to make recourse to except the words of the father of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph):
“So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose Help can be sought against that which you assert.” [12:18]
She then turned away and lay down for some rest. At that decisive moment the Revelation came acquitting ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) of all the slanderous talk fabricated in this concern.
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) of course, was wholeheartedly joyful and praised Allâh thankfully. Allâh’s Words in this regard went as follows:
“Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) — the wife of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) are a group among you.” [24:11]
The principal elements involved in the slander affair, Mistah bin Athatha, Hassan bin Thabit and Hamnah bint Jahsh, were flogged with eighty stripes.
 
As for the man who took the principal part, ‘Abdullah bin Ubai, he was not flogged, either because the corporal punishment commutes the chastisement in store for him in the Hereafter, and he does not deserve this merit, or for the same public interest for which he was not killed previously. He, moreover, became the butt of reproach and humiliation amongst his people after his real intentions had been unequivocally exposed to all the public.
 
Almost a month later, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab were engaged in the following talk: “Don’t you see ‘Umar if I had had him (Abdullah bin Ubai) killed, a large number of dignitaries would have furiously hastened to fight for him. Now, on the contrary, if I ask them to kill him, they will do so out of their own free will.” ‘Umar replied “I swear by Allâh that the Prophet’s judgement is much more sound than mine.”
Taken from Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum – The Sealed Nectar, by Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri