Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy

  • bookcover

  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy

  • I Am
    the Prophet,
    No Lying

    To whom belongs Godhead?

    To whom belongs Lordship?

    To whom belongs Worship?

    To Allah1,
    the One, the Almighty Alone, Who has no partner or associate. This is belief. This
    is religion. This is Islam.

    To attribute partners instead of or besides Allah is Shirk2 and clear disbelief.

    Either Godhead and
    Lordship are declared to Allah exclusively, which means submission to Allah Alone,
    worship of Allah Alone, obedience to Allah Alone, and following the Law of
    Allah Alone without any partner; for He Alone is the One Who lays down for
    people the laws, the standards, the codes of their lives, and the systems of
    their societies.

    No part of this right is permissible for any other than Him,
    whether individuals or groups, unless based upon the Law of Allah. This right
    exclusively appertains to Godhood and stands as its most prominent, distinctive


    Or Godhead and Lordship are claimed to belong to a
    creature of Allah (either as a partner with Him or entirely instead of Him),
    which is submission to other than Allah, worship of other than Allah, and obedience
    to other than Allah by following the codes, systems, laws, values, and
    standards laid down by humans, without founding them on the Book of Allah and
    His Authority. Rather, they found them on other bases from which they derive
    their own authorities. This means no religion, no belief, no Islam, but rather Shirk,
    disbelief, disobedience, and rebellion.3

    Islam Striving

    Jahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Days of
    Ignorance of Allah) is not a past epoch of history. Jahiliyyah is every
    doctrine that embodies the worship of humans by humans, by people submitting to
    human-made beliefs and laws.

    Islam is the only law of life that frees humanity from
    worshiping humans, because people receive all beliefs and laws from the Hand of
    the All-Merciful King.

    When they bow their heads, they are bowing them to Allah Alone.
    When they obey the laws, they are obeying Allah Alone. When they submit to
    systems, they are submitting to Allah Alone. They are truly freed from the
    worship of slaves by slaves like them, when they become Slaves of Allah Alone,
    without partner.4

    This is Islam. Once it truly touches the human heart, it brings
    a total turnabout in beliefs, feelings, way of life, and relationships between the
    individual and groups. It is a turnabout based on full equality between all
    humans; none is superior over the other except by piety. It is based on dignity
    for all and absolute justice that tolerates no injustice and endures no wrong.

    Once the human feels the heat of this faith, they, with their whole
    being, move to fulfill it in their actual life. They can no longer tolerate falsehood,
    silence, or inaction.

    The positive-directing spiritual energy of true faith, once it
    settles within human conscience, strives to realize itself outside in the form
    of righteous deeds. It cannot remain dormant and motionless inside, but must
    show signs of its life in the self of the believer; otherwise, it is false or
    dead. 5

    The people of Quraish
    realized the true nature of this Call. They knew that the Testimony of Faith, “There
    is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
    ” was a
    declaration of mutiny against all human dominion and an escape to the Godhead
    and Dominion of Allah Alone.

    To them Islam was the breaking-free force that accompanied the
    pronunciation of this Testimony of Faith. The force of pulling oneself away
    from the community of Jahiliyyah, together with its beliefs, leadership,
    power, and laws, and pledging oneself body and soul to the leadership of the
    Islamic Call and the Muslim league that wanted to realize submission to Allah
    Alone in the actual world.

    That was the gravity of the Testimony of Faith in the eyes of the
    Quraish community, who witnessed and felt the danger they posed on their own
    entity and on the social, political, economical, and doctrinal status upon
    which that entity was based.

    That was what truly troubled the people of Quraish, planting a
    nightmare of unrest in their minds from the spread of Islam, from this Qur’an.6

    Therefore, the disbelievers of Quraish hungered to silence the
    advocate of the new Call once and for all. An obstinate obstacle stood in their
    way, embodied in Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle, and the powerful social
    standing he enjoyed, along with the protection and support he secured for his

    Thus, the Mushrikin approached Abu Talib and insisted
    that he should either stop his nephew or not interfere between them and him; otherwise,
    this would embroil him in severe hostilities.7

    Even if they put the sun and moon in my hands

    Abu Talib was deeply distressed at this
    open threat and the imminent breach with his people and their enmity, but still
    he could not desert Muhammad r.

    He sent for his nephew and told him his people’s threat. “Spare
    me and yourself and put not a burden on me that I cannot bear
    ,” he said to

    Muhammad r
    understood his uncle to be deserting him and withdrawing his support, so he r
    uttered his memorable words of unshakable adherence to faith, unsurpassable in
    sincerity, flowing with singular loyalty to the Religion of Allah: “O my
    uncle! By Allah, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left
    hand on condition that I abandon this cause, I will never abandon it until
    Allah makes it prevail or I perish therein.

    The Messenger of Allah r was overcome with tears.
    He r
    wept and then rose up. While leaving, his uncle called him back, saying, “Come
    back my nephew
    .” When he r approached, Abu Talib
    said, “Go and preach what you please. By Allah, I will never desert you.”8

    The Quraish realized that Abu Talib would never desert his
    nephew and hand him over to them, even if this incurred their enmity.

    They attempted another compromise, taking with them a youth
    called ‘Amarah bin Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah to exchange for his nephew who
    opposed their ancestral religion, sowed dissension among people, and disparaged
    their way of life, for them to kill, just a man for a man.

    Abu Talib replied, “By Allah, what an evil bargain you are
    making with me. You give me your son to feed him for you, and I give you my son
    to kill him. This by Allah shall never be


    The Mushrikin of Makkah started
    to devise other plans. They formed an alliance to boycott Banu Hashim and Banu
    Al-Muttalib. They decided not to have with them any sort of intermarriage,
    transactions, social relations, even verbal contact, until they handed over to
    them the Messenger of Allah r to kill.

    A parchment imposing these merciless measures was written down and
    hung inside the Kabah:
    Never to accept any reconciliation with Banu Hisham, and never to be taken
    by pity for them until they hand him over to be killed

    Banu Hashim and Banu Al-Muttlib sided with Abu Talib when the Quraish
    signed this unjust pact. They joined him, believers and disbelievers, in his
    confinement in the mountain pass (Shi‘b of Abu Talib), all except Abu

    It was a stifling siege that lasted for three years.

    The Mushrikin used to buy whatever food commodities
    entered Makkah to prevent any provisions from reaching them.

    They tightened their grip on this siege so tightly that Muslims
    and those besieged with them used to eat tree leaves and animal skins. Cries of
    women and children suffering from hunger could be heard from outside the pass.

    Under such a horrible siege, it was revealed to the Messenger
    of Allah r
    that Allah U
    made termites eat the parts of the parchment that referred to oppression,
    rupture of relations, and injustice, leaving only those parts bearing the Name
    of Allah.

    Abu Talib went to the Quraish and told them what the Messenger
    of Allah r
    had informed him. He contended that if his words proved untrue they would no
    longer interfere between them and him; but if he r was telling the truth,
    they should desist from the oppression and severance of relations they
    exercised against them.

    They went, opened the door of the Kabah, and entered to
    see the parchment, which they found completely eaten except for the words: “In
    the Name of Allah

    The war of starvation and banishment failed, just as the
    strategy of allurement by wealth and worldly supremacy before it, and so did
    the strategy of abuse, slander, mockery, and denial. The disbelievers were left
    with no other choice but to conspire to kill the Messenger of Allah r,
    especially after the death of Abu Talib.

    They weaved a plot to accomplish that end without subjecting
    themselves to the reprisal of Banu Hashim. This conspiracy took place on the
    Eve of the Hijrah [Prophet’s emigration from Makkah to Al-Madinah].


    On Thursday, Safar 26, the fourteenth
    year of prophethood, (September
    12, 622 A.C.) the Parliament of Makkah held its most serious
    meeting ever. Delegates representing all the Quraishi tribes attended the
    meeting to deliberate on a final plot that would take the life of the flag
    holder of the Islamic Call.11

    Proposals of expulsion from Makkah and imprisonment for life
    were put forward and turned down. After a lengthy debate the arch criminal of
    Makkah, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, suggested a grievous proposal, unanimously
    accepted: they must assassinate the Messenger of Allah r.

    Assassination by one man would expose the murderer and his
    family to the reprisal of Banu Hashim. A difficulty that was soon solved by Abu
    Jahl, who suggested that they should choose from every tribe a strong, highborn
    youth, and hand to each youth a sharp sword. They all should aim at Muhammad r
    and stab him with their swords, the strike of one man, and thus kill him. The
    guilt of his shed blood would lie equally on all tribes. Thus Banu ‘Abd Manaf
    would not be able to fight all their people and would accept blood money.12

    To execute their devilish plan, the chiefs of Makkah had chosen
    eleven men: Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Al-Hakam bin Abu Al-‘As, ‘Uqbah bin Abu
    Mu‘ait, An-Nadr bin Al-Harith, Umaiyah bin Khalaf, Zama‘ah bin Al-Aswad,
    Tu‘aimah bin ‘Adi, Abu Lahab, Ubai bin Khalaf, Nabih bin Al-Hajjaj, and his
    brother Munbih bin Al-Hajjaj.13

    they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the Best of planners
    .)14 Angel Jibril
    (Gabriel u)
    was sent down to Prophet Muhammad r to reveal to him the
    plot of Quraish and give him his Lord’s Permission to emigrate from Makkah to
    Al-Madinah. He specified to him the time of Hijrah and told him not to
    sleep that night in his usual bed.15

    The Prophet r went to Abu Bakr t,
    his head and face covered, at an hour that was not his usual expected visiting

    Abu Bakr t
    said, “Let my father and mother be sacrificed for him. By Allah, he has not
    come at this hour except for an urgent matter

    The Messenger of Allah r came and asked permission
    to enter, and he was allowed in.

    The Messenger of Allah r entered and then said
    to Abu Bakr t,
    Let those who are with you leave.”

    Abu Bakr t
    replied, “They are only your family; let my father be sacrificed for you, O
    Messenger of Allah.

    The Messenger of Allah r said, “I have been
    given permission to emigrate

    Abu Bakr t
    said, “Companionship, let my father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of

    The Messenger of Allah r said, “Yes.”16

    The Messenger of Allah r used to sleep during
    the early hours of the night after offering Isha’ (Night) Prayer, then
    go after midnight to Al­-Masjid
    (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) to spend the night there in prayer.

    On that night the Messenger of Allah r
    told ‘Ali bin Abu Talib t
    to sleep in his bed, and cover himself with his green mantle, and assured him
    that no harm would come to him.17


    Under the cover of the darkness, when
    silence prevailed and most people were asleep, the assassins stealthily came
    and banded together at the door of the Prophet’s house, vigilantly watching
    him, thinking him asleep, waiting for the moment he r
    would rise and leave his house to pounce on him and execute their plot.

    They were too confident of the success of their devilish plan.
    They kept vigil all night long, laying a tight siege to the Prophet’s house and
    waiting for the zero hour, forgetting that it is Allah, Alone, Who has full
    power and control over all affairs. In His Hand is the dominion over
    everything. He protects all, while against Him there is no protector.

    The plot of the Quraish utterly failed. The Prophet r
    came out of his house and made his way through them. He r
    then took a handful of dust and started to sprinkle it over their heads after
    Allah took away their sight, so they did not see him, while reciting18: (And We have set a
    barrier before them, and a barrier behind them, and We have enshrouded them in
    veils so that they cannot see.

    Dust was placed on the head of every man among them. Then the
    Prophet r
    proceeded directly to the house of Abu Bakr t, who immediately
    accompanied him and both set out by night.

    Knowing that the Quraish would leave no stone unturned to find
    him and that their eyes would be searching for him on the northern side,
    towards Al-Madinah, the Prophet r took a road least
    expected, lying south of Makkah towards Yemen.

    Prophet Muhammad r traveled along the road
    for five miles and then reached a mountain called Thawr that was high,
    rough, rocky, and difficult to ascend, which he r climbed until his feet
    got sore. Some said that he r walked on tiptoe along
    the road to hide his footprints. The Prophet r and Abu Bakr t
    then took refuge in a cave at its lofty peak, called Thawr Cave, where they stayed for three days.20

    The besiegers, however, kept waiting for the zero hour at the
    door of his house, when a man, who was not with them, approached them and
    asked, “What are you waiting for here?

    They answered, “Muhammad.”

    He said, “Allah has defeated you. By Allah, Muhammad came
    out to you and left no man among you without placing dust over his head, and
    then he set out after his goal. Can you not see what has happened to you?

    Every man then placed his hand over his head and found that on
    it there was dust.21


    The Quraish were mad with rage when
    they found out that the person they had watched all night who was lying in the
    Prophet’s bed was ‘Ali t,
    not Muhammad r,
    and they became certain of the Prophet’s escape.

    They beat ‘Ali, dragged him to the Ka‘bah, and imprisoned
    him for an hour in an attempt to find out the whereabouts of the Prophet r
    and Abu Bakr t,
    but to no avail.

    They went to Abu Bakr’s house and stood at his door. Asma’ came
    out to them. They asked her, “Where is your father, O daughter of Abu Bakr?
    She answered, “I do not know, by Allah, where is my father.” Whereupon,
    Abu Jahl, who was vulgar and evil, lifted his hand high and slapped her face with
    such force that her earring was cast off.22

    The Quraish decided, in an urgent meeting, to use all possible
    means to arrest the two men. All the ways out of Makkah were placed under
    heavily armed surveillance. A prize of a hundred
    camels was announced in return for
    each of the two handed to the Quraish, dead or alive.

    Horsemen, infantry, and trackers set off in hot pursuit,
    spreading over the mountains, valleys, hills, and plains.23 The rapid,
    feverish paces drew nearer and nearer until the pursuers reached the mouth of Thawr
    Cave. Nothing stood in the way of finding their quarry but to look under their

    But indeed, Allah U has full power and
    control over everything. The pursuers were thrown into confusion when they saw
    a spider web spun across the mouth of the cave. They said, “If he entered
    therein, a spider web would not be across its mouth!

    Do not grieve... Allah
    is with us

    In that difficult moment, Abu Bakr t
    lifted his head and saw the feet of the pursuers above their heads.

    Pitying his companion and his sacred Message, he said to the
    Prophet r,
    If any of them looked down his feet, he would certainly see us.”

    The Prophet r answered, “O Abu
    Bakr, what do you think of two when Allah is their third?

    Indeed, Allah U was with His Prophet r
    all along the way. All material power was in the hands of his enemies, who
    beset him on all sides; but Almighty Allah, the Best of Supporters, was by his

    To eternalize this great incident of Divine Support, glorious Ayat
    were revealed giving a vivid account of the two Companions in the cave, and the
    forces through which Allah made His Messenger r triumph. Allah U

    you do not help him (Muhammad), Allah has already helped him when those who
    disbelieved had driven him out (of Makkah), the second of the two. When they
    were in the cave, and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is
    with us.” Then Allah sent down His Sakinah (calmness, tranquility, peace) upon
    him, and strengthened him with forces (angels) which you saw not, and made the
    word of those who disbelieved the lowermost, while the Word of Allah that is
    the uppermost. And Allah is Exalted in Might, All-Wise.

    Allah, Alone, made Islam and Prophet Muhammad r
    triumph. At the age of forty when Muhammad r declared his mission
    from heaven, there was no political party, or royalty, and certainly no family
    or tribe to back him up. His people – the Arabs, immersed in idolatry and
    fetishism – were not by any means a docile people; they were no easy meat. They
    were a very volatile people, given to internecine and fratricidal wars, subject
    to all kinds of fierce sincerities.

    For one man to singlehandedly wean such a people from idolatry
    and fetishism required nothing short of a miracle. A miracle did happen. Allah Alone
    could have made Islam and Muhammad r triumph with such flimsy,
    gossamer support.27

    It is Divine Victory. It is Allah U
    fulfilling His Promise:

    (Verily, We will indeed
    make victorious Our Messengers.

    1 The Name indicative and all-inclusive of every
    Divine Name and Attribute of Absolute Perfection: the One God, the Maker, the
    Almighty, the All-Merciful, etc.; in Arabic it means: The One exclusively
    worthy of deification and worship.

    Associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship.

    Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, Surat An-Nisa’ [3:
    thirty-sixth edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, introduction to
    Surat An-Nisa’ [3],
    thirty-sixth edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    5 Sayyid Qutb,
    Dirasat Islamiyah
    chapter of Islam Striving; and In the Shade of the Qur’an, Surat Al-Asr
    Dar Al-Shorouk.

    Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an, interpretation of
    Surat Al-Anfal [8: 31],
    edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah: Delegation of Quraish to Abu Talib
    concerning the Messenger
    r, vol. 1; Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq
    ; Second Phase (Open Preaching): Delegation of Quraish to Abu

    8 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah: Abu Talib Demanding From the Messenger r to Stop
    Preaching Islam and the Answer He
    r Gave Him, vol. 1; Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Second Phase (Open Preaching):
    The Quraish threatening Abu Talib.

    9 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah:
    The Quraish offering
    ‘Amarah bin Al-Walid to Abu Talib, vol.
    1; Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum;
    Second Phase (Open Preaching): The Quraish Approaches Abu Talib Again.

    10 Details of the boycott: Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah: The
    Boycott Parchment;
    Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq
    : General Boycott; Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Hajj (Pilgrimage
    to Makkah), Hadith no. 1487; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported
    by Muslim (2316), Abu Dawud (1719, 2522), Ahmad (6942, 10546), and Ibn Majah

    11 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; The Outset of Hijrah.

    12 Details of the plot: Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; The Outset of Hijrah: In
    An-Nadwah (Council) House [The Parliament of Quraish].
    Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah: Hijrah
    of the Messenger
    r, vol. 2. Musnad Ahmad, Book of Banu Hashim, Hadith
    no. 3081.

    13 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Hijrah of the Prophet r: Besiegement
    of the Messenger
    ’s House. Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Zad Al-Ma‘ad: The Conspiracy of the Mushrikin of Makkah to Kill
    the Messenger of Allah
    r before His Hijrah with His Companion.

    Translated meanings of Al-Anfal 8: 30.

    15 Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum; Hijrah
    of the Prophet
    r: The Planning of Quraish versus the Planning of Almighty Allah U. Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah:
    Departure of the Prophet
    r and Appointing
    ‘Ali to Sleep in His Bed, vol. 2.
    Musnad Ahmad, Book of Banu Hashim, Hadith
    no. 3081.

    16 Narrated by Lady ‘Aishah: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book
    of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3616; similar versions of the Hadith are also
    reported by Al-Bukhary (1994, 3784, 5360, 5615), Abu Dawud (3561), and Ahmad
    (24445, 24592).

    17 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Hijrah of the Prophet r: Besiegement
    of the Messenger
    ’s House. Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah:
    Departure of the Prophet
    r and Appointing
    ‘Ali to Sleep in His Bed, vol. 2.
    Musnad Ahmad, Book of Banu Hashim, Hadith
    no. 3081.

    18 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Hijrah of the Prophet r: Departure of the Messenger r from His House. Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah
    : Departure of the Prophet
    r and Appointing ‘Ali to Sleep in His Bed, vol. 2.

    Translated meanings of Ya-Sin 36: 9.

    20 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Hijrah of the Prophet r: From the
    House to the Cave.

    21 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah,
    Departure of the Prophet
    r and Appointing ‘Ali to Sleep in His Bed, vol. 2. Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Hijrah of the Prophet r: Departure of the Messenger r from His House.

    22 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah
    , Abu Jahl Beating Asma’, vol. 2.

    23 Safi-ur-Rahman
    Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum
    ; Hijrah of the Prophet r: In the

    24 Musnad Ahmad, Book of Banu Hashim, Hadith no. 3081; Safi-ur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum;
    Hijrah of the Prophet
    r: In the Cave.

    25 Narrated by Anas bin Malik: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book
    of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3380; similar versions of the Hadith are also
    reported by Al-Bukhary (3629, 4295), Muslim (4389), At-Tirmidhy (3021), and
    Ahmad (11).

    Translated meanings of At-Tawbah 9: 40.

    27 Adapted
    from Ahmad Deedat, Muhammad the Greatest.

    28 Translated meanings of
    Ghafir 40: 51.


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