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A Short Biography of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad

(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)
(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him)
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and all his companions. Ameen! On the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal of every year an honoured and glorified memory shines over the whole world, and is commemorated by the entire Muslim world. Every honest Muslim participates in commemorating such an honourable memory to praise Allah for the blessing and a great gift to mankind of Prophet Muhammad - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This occasion is the date of the Honourable Birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) according to the view of the majority of scholars. How can one not celebrate a birth of a Perfect Man that had changed the face of history? This birth was one of the best gifts that one can ever receive. It is because of this Holy Prophet - may Allah raise his rank - that we are Muslims. What is better than becoming a Muslim, remaining steadfast to Islam and dying as a Muslim? We thank Allah for this birth and for making us among the followers of this great Prophet of Islam. The Year of the Elephant: Their lived once a king of both Yemen and Habashah who was a non-believer. His name was Abrahah. When he realized that the people were visiting Makkah rather than his countries, and that good things were happening in Makkah, he decided to destroy the Kabah. The Kabah is the cubic structure in the Holy Mosque of Makkah, originally built by Prophet Adam (AS) in obedience to Allah, and later rebuilt by Prophet Ibraheem (AS). Abrahah also built a huge temple in order to divert the people from the Kabah. He tried to glorify this new temple by decorating it with lots of jewels and precious stones. After that, this king of Yemen and Habashah prepared a vast army with huge elephants led by his men. When the Arabian tribes heard about Abrahahs plan to destroy the Kabah, they fought to the best of their abilities. The tribes however could not prevent the elephants or the army. The huge army kept going until they reached the borders of Makkah. When Abrahah was ready to destroy the Kabah, he directed his elephants towards it so that they would demolish it. But the elephants refused to move and sat idly. They tried to force the elephants to move but they did not succeed. When they changed the direction of the elephants to south and away from the Kabah they obeyed. They tried the north, the elephants again obeyed. When they turned the elephants again towards the Kabah, it would not move an inch. The huge elephant refused to destroy the Kabah. Allah then sent birds from the sea with rocks placed between their feet and in their beaks. Each and every rock had imprinted the name of the person it was going to strike. They dropped them on that army until they killed them all. Imam Al-Qurtubi (ra) said that the army was of 60,000 soldiers. Due to this significant incident people named that year The Year of the Elephant. (For further details, read the tafsir of Surah Al-Feel) Page 1

In that year, our beloved Prophet Muhammad was born. He was born in a house on a street called Suqul-Layl in Makkah. According to the Shaikh al-Hadith of the Indian subcontinent, Shaikh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dihlawi (may Allahs mercy be upon him) discusses the date of the Mawlid in his renowned book Madarij al-Nubuwwah and writes: Know with certainty that the vast majority of the people of prophetic biography and history are of the opinion that the birth of the noble Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) occurred during the year of the elephant and forty or fifty five days after the incident of the elephant. This second opinion of fifty five days is the most correct and authentic. It is well known (mash-hur) that it was the month of Rabi al-Awwal and the date was the twelfth. The scholars are in agreement over this. (Madaarij al-Nubuwwah, volume 2, page 15) Imam Muhammad Abu Zahra (Allah have mercy upon him) in his prophetic biography Khaatam alNabiyyeen elaborates on this issue in the following manner: The great and vast majority of the scholars of narration (riwayah) are in agreement that the birth was during the year of the elephant, on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal. (Khatam al-Nabiyyin, volume 1, page 115) The Prophets parents: Aminah Bintu Wahb (Radiyallahu Anhaa) was the name of the Prophets mother. Many good things happened to Aminah during her pregnancy with the Prophet: She never felt the weight of the fetus, which resulted in an easy carriage. She dreamt of a star falling in her lap, and when she sought interpretation, they told her that she will give birth to the master and leader of the people. If she ever sought water from a well, the water itself would rise up to her out of honouring the foetus of the great Prophet-to-be she was carrying. One time she said: While I was half asleep, someone came to me and asked me if I felt pregnant. I answered that I did not. Then he told me that I am pregnant with the master and the Prophet of this nation. That incident assured Aminah that she was pregnant. It was also said that when the Prophets mother gave birth to him a light came out with him, illuminating what is between the East and West. The Prophet fell on the ground resting on both his hands as in sajdah, with his eyes opened and then looked towards the sky. Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophets father, did not live to see his son Muhammad (SAW). He died while Aminah was still pregnant. His father did not get the opportunity to see the best and the last of all Prophets. His Name and Lineage: As for the name and lineage of our beloved Prophet, many people do not realize how important it is to memorize his name and the name of his grandfathers. In Islam, it is considered important issue to memorize the lineage of the Prophet up to 20 grandfathers. He is Muhammad , the son of Abdullah, the son of Abdul-Muttalib, the son of Hashim, the son of Abdu Manaf, the son of Qusayy, the son of Kilab, the son of Murrah, the son of Kab, the son of Luayy, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fihr, the son of Malik, the son of an-Nadr, the son of Kinanah, the son of Khuzaymah, the son of Mudrikah, the son of Ilyas, the son of Mudar, the son of Nizar, the son of Maadd, the son of Adnan, and after that his lineage goes back to Prophet Ismail (Alayhis Salaam) the son of Prophet Ibrahim peace be upon them. On the Day of his Birth: On the day Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born, the huge fire of the fire worshippers which had been lit for 1000 years to that day died out. The water of Lake Saawah in Iraq dried out. Also, the palace of the arrogant dictator Kisra (Chosroes) trembled, and 14 of its balconies fell to the ground.

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Halimah as-Sadiyyah (Radiyallahu Anhaa): It was the habit of the Arab women to breast-feed other than their own children. It is important to know that when a woman breast-feeds a child a certain amount of milk she becomes his foster mother and her children would become siblings of that breast fed child. The story of how Halimah (RA) became the breast-feeding mother to the prophet is amazing and as told by Halimah as-Sadiyyah herself: It was the year of drought when I travelled to Makkah with other women from the tribe of Sad seeking to breast-feed babies. I was riding a donkey. Our camel hardly produced any milk, and my child kept us awake crying out of hunger. Even my breast hardly produced any milk for my child. We had nothing but hope. We reached the city of Makkah. When the breast-feeders realized that baby Muhammad (SAW) was an orphan, none of the women accepted to breast-feed him. The breast-feeders were hoping for the financial generosity of the childs father and Muhammad (SAW) was an orphan. Each of us thought that his mother would not be as helpful. We kept refusing to take Muhammad, until all of the other women found children to breast-feed except me. Hating to return empty handed, I told my husband that I will take that orphan Muhammad (SAW). I swear by Allah, the moment I put him on my lap, my breast became full with milk. He took my breast for milk as much as he needed and my child did the same. That night my husband went out to check on our camel, and to his surprise its udder was full of milk. Soon we were both full and satisfied. My husband looked at me and said: I swear by Allah, you have picked a blessed soul. The Prophets Upbringing: Halimah (RA) raised the Prophet until he was 2 years and 2 months old, after which she returned him to his mother. The Prophets growth was unlike any other persons. He used to grow in one day as much as a regular child would grow in a whole month. He would grow in one month as much as a regular child would grow in a whole year. One day while the Prophet was playing with his brothers (sons of Halimah) behind the house, an extraordinary thing happened. The Prophets brother ran terrified to his parents and said: Help my brother, two men came to him and cut opened his stomach. Halimah and her husband ran out to the Prophet. They found him standing with a pale face. Halimah hugged him and so did her husband who asked: Whats with you son? The Prophet replied that two men wearing white clothes came to him, laid him down and cut opened his abdomen, but he did not know what they did. The fact is that those two men were the angels Jibreel (AS) and Mikaeel (AS) who came to the Prophet in the shape of men. It was said that they cut opened his abdomen and washed his heart with Zamzam water, hail water, and snow water. Then they stitched it by the Will of Allah and stamped him on his back between his shoulders with an oval mark, which was the seal of Prophethood (Nubuwwah). Even as a growing child, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) displayed particular habits. If he ever wanted to urinate or defecate, he would go so far where no houses were in sight. When he used to go through the valleys and the mountains every tree and stone he would pass by would say: Peace be upon you O Messenger of Allah. The Prophet would look left and right, but he would not see anyone. After Halimah returned the Prophet to his mother Aminah, he stayed with her till the age of five. Aminah then took him to see his uncles in al-Madinah. She stayed there for one month. On her way back she died leaving the Prophet to be raised by his grandfather Abdul Muttalib. It was said that when the Prophets mother died his grandfather hugged him and showed feelings towards the Prophet that he never showed towards his own sons. When his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib was dying, he recommended to the Prophets uncle Abu Talib to take care of the Prophet. The Prophets uncle used to love Prophet Muhammad very much, and he used to favour him over his own children.

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His First Wife Khadijah (Radiyallahu Anhaa): Prophet Muhammad stayed with his uncle Abu Talib and went out with him to trade caravans. Lady Khadijah Bintu Khuwaylid was highly respected, honourable and a patient woman. She was the richest amongst her people. Lady Khadijah was presented with many offers for marriage but she refused in spite of all them being very generous. When the Prophet became 25 years old, he was offered to marry Lady Khadijah. She was the owner of some caravans and at that time the Prophet used to work for her. The Prophet accepted to marry Khadijah (RA) who became his first wife. Some of the Miracles of Prophet Muhammad: Denying miracles amounts to denying Allah's existence; Muhammad's (SAW) Prophethood as well as the Qurans Divine authorship. The Noble Prophet (SAW) declared that he was a Prophet. And to prove his Prophethood presented the Glorious Quran and nearly 1000 miracles. Their occurrence cannot be denied - for even the most obstinate unbelievers charged him with sorcery. Unable to deny the miracles, they took them to beGod forbidsorcery to justify their unbelief and continued misguidance of their followers. Below are accounts of some of the other miracles of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The Ahaadith mentioned below are all from Sahih al-Bukhari, the most authentic book amongst the collection of Ahaadith. Splitting of the Moon -- Volume 6, Book 60, Number 388: Food Multiplication -- Volume 4, Book 56, Number 780: Water Multiplication -- Volume 4, Book 56, Number 779: Supplication for Rain -- Volume 8, Book 73, Number 115: Lights to guide Companions -- Volume 1, Book 8, Number 454: Crying of the stem of the Date-palm Tree -- Volume 4, Book 56, Number 783: Glorification of Allah by the Prophet's meals -- Volume 4, Book 56, Number 779: The expulsion of a liar's corpse by the Earth -- Volume 4, Book 56, Number 814: The Speech of the Wolf -- Volume 3, Book 39, Number 517: The Prophet's Night Journey to Jerusalem and Ascent to the Heavens -- Volume 5, Book 58, Number 228: Physical Description of our beloved Prophet: The Prophet was not extremely tall, nor was he short. He had a fair complexion and black hair. The Prophets hair was not straight rather it was slightly wavy and long down to his shoulders. His aroma was more pleasant than the pure musk itself. He had a clear forehead, long eyelashes, broad shoulders and a firm stomach. The Prophet was fast in his walk, and it was narrated that seeing his face one would think that the sun is rising from it. The Prophets Death: Our beloved Prophet immigrated to Madinah in obedience to the commands of Allah and he lived there for ten years after which he died at the age of sixty three. He was buried there in the chamber of his wife Aishah, may Allah reward her greatly and raise her rank. Muslims all around the world believe that it is highly rewardable to visit him at his grave and send their salaams (salutations) to him. Our love for the Prophet (SAW): The very basis of a Muslims love for Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is their conscious choice of accepting Islam as their only way of life. Their love for Islam and their love for the Prophet overlap each other and are intertwined and indistinguishable; equally their love for Allah and that for the Prophet are inseparable. The governing spirit of a Muslims love for Muhammad is discussed in a number of verses in the Noble Quran. Some are mentioned below:

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Say (O Prophet!): If your fathers, and your sons, and your brothers, and your wives, and your kindred, and the wealth you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear, and dwellings which you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah brings about His command (of punishment). Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. (9:24) But no, by your Lord (O Prophet!), they will not have Imaan until they make you judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which you have decided, and submit with full submission. (4:65) Narrated by Anas (RA): The Messenger of Allah said: None of you have Imaan until he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind. (Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 014). Narrated by Abdullah bin Hisham (RA): We were with the Prophet while he was holding the hand of Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA). Umar said to him: O Allahs Messenger! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self. The Prophet said, No, by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, (you will not have Imaan) until I am dearer to you than your own self. Then Umar said to him, However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self. The Prophet said, Now, O Umar, (now you are a believer)." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 008, Book 078, Hadith Number 628). Recommended books on the Prophets biography: 1. Sirat Ibn Hisham: Biography of the Prophet This is basically the Seerah of our beloved Prophet by Ibn Ishaq as narrated by Ibn Hisham. This abridged work is based on one of the earliest studies of the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The abridgement is a kind of facilitation for those who are unable to read the original and it serves to link today's youth to their heritage. Allah willing, you would be able to read this book in a few days and acquire an immediate benefit, while reading the original, if possible, would take a few months. Free PDF files can be downloaded from 2. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad : Allamah ibn Kathir(ra) (English translation of Ibn Kathir's Al Sirah Al Nabawiyyah) This biography was compiled in the 14th century AD by a prominent Syrian scholar Allamah Ibn Kathir. It is a full examination - in chronological order - of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Drawn from the earliest and most reliable Arabic sources, it offers, in this close English translation, the fullest available account of the historical circumstances and personalities most important in the founding of Islam. 3. Seerat-un-Nabi (SAW) By Shaykh Shibli Nomani (ra) & Shaykh Syed Sulaiman Nadvi (ra) Seerat-un-Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is arguably one of the best and most authentic biographies of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), written in Urdu by Shaykh Shibli Nomani and his student, Shaykh Syed Sulaiman Nadvi in 6 volumes. It has been now translate in English. Free PDF files can be downloaded from 4. The Sealed Nectar (Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum), by S. al-Mubarakpuri This is a complete and authoritative account of the life of the Prophet. It was awarded First Prize by the Muslim World League at a 1979 literature competition for biographies of the Prophet, held in Makkah. The author is a resident scholar at the Centre for the Services of the Prophet's Biography at the Islamic University in Madinah. Free PDF download from 5. Noble Life of the Prophet, by Dr. Ali As-Sallabee. (Translated by Faisal Shafeeq). In this book, the events of the Prophet's life, from the day he (Peace be upon him) was born - and even before that day for background information - until the day he (Peace be upon him) passed away, have been recorded. Page 5

Beyond enumerating the events of the Prophets life, lessons and morals from those events have been drawn to point out the significance of events and the wisdom behind the Prophet's actions or deeds, the Islamic ruling that is derived from a particular incident, and the impact that a given event should have on our character or choice of deed. Free PDF download from 6. Muhammad: His Life based on Earliest Sources Martin Lings Martin Lingss biography of our beloved Prophet is an internationally acclaimed, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the life of the Prophet. Free PDF download from Conclusion: Let us ponder over just a few of the many lines of poetry composed by one of the Prophets beloved Companion Hassan bin Thaabit (radiyallu anhu) which he composed in the love and praise of our beloved Prophet (SAW): (Wa ahsanu minka lam tara qattu 'ayniy) I have never seen anyone better than you (Wa ajmalu minka lam talidinnisaau) Nor did any woman give birth to anyone more beautiful than you (Khuliqta mubarra-an min kulli 'aybin) You were created free from all faults (Ka-annaka qad khuliqta kamaa tashaau) As if you were created just as you desired. Shaikh Saadi Shirazi (rahmatullahi alayhi) a well-known Persian poet - writes the following in the love and praise of our beloved Prophet (SAW): Balaghal ulaa bikamaalihi (He reached the highest place by his own Perfection) i.e. in Miraaj Kasha fad-dujaa bijamaalihi (He removed darkness by his Beauty) Hasunat jameeu khisaalihi (Beautiful indeed are all his Attainments) Salloo alayhi wa aalihi (Send blessings to him and his Family) All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; and peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family. Ameen! Requesting your humble duas! Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir 01 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1433 26 January 2012

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