Oh, dear brother,
I apologize. I thought the book WHO WROTE THE QUR'AN? would be in the www.ourbeacon.com library. But it is not.
I am asking the webmaster to place it in the Library ASAP.
I can send you a free hard copy (only for the mailing cost).
Here are all your answers in Part 3 of the book. Please excuse the length.
WHO WAS MUHAMMAD?
(A brief biography)
We have seen a glimpse of the illumination issuing forth from some brilliant minds, mostly Western. Isn’t it time that we listened to these sincere voices and did some of our own reflection instead of getting carried away by hearsay?
Why Should We Know Muhammad?
We must, because he was by far the most remarkable and the most influential man that ever set foot on this earth. If we do not know him, we will remain oblivious to what phenomenal potential we as humans are endowed with and how this potential can be actualized.
He preached a most glorious System of Life, founded a state, built a nation, set up a moral code, initiated countless social and political reforms, set forth a dynamic and powerful society, and revolutionized human thought and behavior for all times to come. And he accomplished all these wonders in an astonishingly short span of 22 years!
When Muhammad died in 632 CE, the whole Arabia had changed from paganism and idol worship to the devotion of One True God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from violence to tranquility, from lawlessness and anarchy to orderly living, from moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. History has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since.
He was a most versatile personality, a social reformer, a moral guide, a political thinker, a military genius, a superb administrator, a faithful friend, an honest and successful merchant, an ideal neighbor, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father, and a farsighted, inspiring leader. And he was a model of perfection in each of these areas.
Yes, there have been other great leaders in the world. But none combines so many qualities to such an amazing level of perfection as did Muhammad. The lives and teachings of other great figures in history are shrouded in the mist of time and legend. There is so much speculation about the time and place of their birth, the mode and style of their lives, the nature and detail of their teachings that it is impossible for humanity today to reconstruct accurately and precisely the personalities and teachings of those great figures. Not so with this man, Muhammad. Not only was he born in the fullest blaze of recorded history, but every detail of his private and public life, of his actions and utterances, has been accurately documented and preserved to our day in one simple Book, the Quran.
Muhammad not only preached the most wonderful ideas, but also successfully translated each one of them into action. At the time of his death his teachings were not mere precepts and ideas straining for fulfillment. They had become the very core of life of tens of thousands of perfectly trained individuals. In a few decades, his followers had established the greatest empire in history. Such was the prosperity and peace in this empire that it was almost impossible to find a single person worthy of receiving alms and charity. A young woman could travel alone hundreds of miles without any fear but the fear of God. At what other time or place and in relation to what other political, social, religious system, philosophy or ideology - did the world ever witness such a perfectly astounding phenomenon? The answer is, NEVER AND NOWHERE!
In spite of the phenomenal success that crowned his success, he did not for a moment claim to be anything but only a human being who was chosen and ordained by the Creator to be a teacher of truth to mankind and be a complete model and pattern for their actions. He was a man with a noble and exalted Mission - and his unique Mission was to unite humanity under One God and to teach them the way to honest and upright living in accordance with the Command of God.
Today, after the lapse of some 1,400 years, the character, personality and teachings of Muhammad have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation in one inviolable Book, the Qur'an. Today they offer the same undying hope for treating mankind’s many ills as they did when Prophet Muhammad was alive. This is our honest claim and this is the inescapable conclusion forced upon us by the critical and unbiased study of the dynamics of human history.
As thinking, sensitive, concerned human beings, we owe it to ourselves to stop for one brief moment and ask, “Could it be that these statements, extraordinary as they sound, are really true? Supposing they are really true and we did not know this man, Muhammad or hear about his teachings - Or did not know him well enough to be able to benefit from his guidance and example. Is it not time we responded to this tremendous challenge and made some effort to know this man?” It will cost us nothing but it may well prove to be the beginning of a brand new vibrant era in our lives.
Come! Let us make a new discovery, know this wonderful man Muhammad, the like of whom never walked this earth, whose example can change our lives and our world for the better.
This is the appropriate time to study a brief biography of the incredible man called Muhammad of Arabia.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS:
570 CE : Muhammad, the exalted, born in Makkah. His father, Abdullah dies before the Prophet is born.
576 : Mother Amena dies. Grandfather Abdul Muttalib becomes the guardian.
578 : Grandfather dies. Abu Talib, a paternal uncle, assumes guardianship.
582 : First trading journey to Syria with Abu Talib.
595 : Marriage to Khadijah r.a.
605 : Muhammad (S) helps rebuild Ka'bah after a flood.
610 : Angel Gabriel visits Muhammad (S) - The First Revelation
613 : The Message of Islam begins reaching the community. Persecution of Muslims begins.
615 : The Prophet orders some Muslims to migrate to Ethiopia-Abyssinia.
617 : Persecution increases. The Prophet (S) and his followers are boycotted by Makkans. Many people of the far away town (270 miles North) Madinah embrace Islam and invite the Prophet and his followers to live among them.
619 : Khadijah and Abu Talib die.
622 : The Prophet migrates to Madinah. Islamic State established. New Constitution declared.
623 : The Prophet (S) marries Ayesha r.a.
624 : The Battle of Badr - The Turning Point
626 : The Battle of Uhud
627 : The Battle of the Trench or Clans (Khandaq or Ahzab)
628 : The Treaty of Hudaibiyah
628 : Invitation to Emperors
630 : Conquest of Makkah
632 : Last pilgrimage to Makkah and the Farewell Address
632 : The greatest man departs
YEAR OF THE ELEPHANT 570 CE:
Muhammad (S), the greatest man ever to set foot on earth, was born in Makkah in the year 570 CE commonly referred to as 'Aam-il-Fil (Year of the Elephant). He belonged to Quresh that were the most honored tribe of Arabia for being the custodians of Ka'bah, the holiest shrine in the land.
Note: Scholars have agreed that even after the most diligent research, it is almost impossible to determine the exact dates of events during Muhammad's (S) lifetime.
Muhammad (S), like all Arabs, belonged to the progeny of Hazrat Ismail. Ibrahim (a.s.) on Allah's Command, had settled his elder son, teenager Ismail a.s. (Ishmael) to reside permanently in Makkah along with his mother Haajirah. Contrary to the Biblical statement, Hagar was not a bondwoman. She was the daughter of the Egyptian/Syrian king. Abraham kept traveling between his second wife Haajirah (Hagar) in Makkah and first wife Sarah in Can'aan (Syria-Palestine). Ismail married a woman from the Qahtani Tribe of Jurham and became the ancestor of Musta Ribah (Arabianized Tribes or the Arabs.)
So the Arabs are, interestingly, descendants of a Hebrew father, Ishmael and a Qahtani Jurham mother, Wasiqa. They had twelve sons in their long and happy married life. The Qahtanis are still abundantly found in the Arabian Peninsula. They were a wandering tribe in Southern Arabia who had settled around Makkah before Ismail a. s.
The “Wilderness of Beer-Sheba” of Genesis 21:14, embraces Southern Palestine and Hijaz (roughly, the land between and around Makkah and Madinah). Therefore, the Bible and the Quran are in agreement concerning where Hazrat Ismail and his mother Haajirah had settled after moving from Can'aan.
This history also explains why the Quran repeatedly asserts that the Arabs had not received any Scripture before the Quran. Obviously, the Arabs became a community long after their ancestor, Ishmael had passed on.
THE KINGDOM OF SHEBA: In Yemen had collapsed in 115 B.C. They were overtaken by the Himairis who ruled until 300 CE when other tribes overtook the control of Yemen. They were in turn defeated by the Christian Kingdom of Ethipoia-Abyssinia when they invaded Yemen in 525 CE. The kingdom appointed Abrahah as the Viceroy of Yemen.
ABRAHAH PLANS TO DEMOLISH KA'BAH: The Roman and the Abyssinian Christians longed for converting the idolaters of Arabia to Christianity. They also sought control of the trade routes between Arabia, Syria, Persia and the Western Roman Empire. They saw Ka’bah in Makkah as a hindrance to their imperialistic and religious designs. Abrahah, the Viceroy of Yemen, made a smart move. Between 550 and 555 CE he built a gorgeous cathedral Ekklesia in San’aa, Yemen and invited his people and neighboring nations to come for pilgrimage there instead of going to Makkah. But Ekklesia remained unpopular and Abrahah decided to invade Makkah to demolish the Ka’bah and its surroundings.
Anticipating the presence of hostile tribes en route, he came up with a 60,000 strong army aided by thousands of horses, camels and thirteen elephants.
I agree with the research of Hamiduddin Farahi, 'Maulana' Amin Ahsan Islahi and Allama G.A. Parwez on what eventually happened. As Abrahah’s army approached Makkah, the Makkans who had been alerted by some travelers beforehand, saw flocks of birds that normally fly over caravans in search for food. The Makkans mounted the hills around and threw stones on the troops. The elephants, and in turn, other rides panicked and trampled the soldiers. This incident took place in 570 CE, the year when the exalted Messenger was born. The event carried such significance that the Arabs marked “Year of the Elephant” (‘Aam-il-Fil) as a point of reference in history.
THE ARABIAN PENINSULA
WHAT MUHAMMAD (S) SAW IN HIS FORMATIVE YEARS
As a little bright youngster, he observed with dismay many wrongs in the society. All of Arabia was divided into warring tribes and there was no rule of law. In the absence of organized government and courts of law, total chaos in political, social, economic and moral arenas was the obvious consequence.
SOCIAL INEQUITY: A few elite were extremely wealthy while the vast majority lived in abject poverty and humiliation. These rich people were ruthless in their behavior to the poor. Slavery was rampant therefore, those in power owned slaves and concubines. The laboring slaves were beaten with whips for little or no reason. No one cared for their welfare or emancipation.
STATUS OF WOMEN: Women were primarily the objects of pleasure and subservience and they were exempted from all human rights. The concubines served their masters and were sexually molested frequently. The free women were expected to obey men, be objects of sensual pleasure for them and pour wine in their company, labor within and outside the home and bear children. Some Arabs respected women especially those who had born children, and possessed knitting, weaving and cooking skills. Some women were hired or forced to sing and dance in public and in social gatherings. The birth of a girl was considered a matter of disgrace so much so that some Arabs buried their daughters alive. Men and women both were immodest. Disrobing in public was considered fashionable and they circled around the Ka'bah naked. As an exception, the wives of tribal leaders enjoyed a high status in the society and their jewelry, garment design, hairstyle, and mode of conduct became a fashion only to be dreamed by the poor majority. These "noble wives" wielded significant influence on their husbands, families and their own tribe. A tribe would be proud of a beautiful, smart, fashionable and artistic woman and she was seen as a prized potential booty by the adversary tribes.
ALCOHOL AND GAMBLING: Alcohol was rampant and quality drinks were considered as a status symbol. People got drunk, lost self-control and misbehaved; as a result, bloody feuds were a daily occurrence. Gambling was a part of everyday life. One who avoided alcohol and gambling was labeled a berm, meaning outcast. No person would befriend a berm. Men would put their wives as stakes in gambling and betting. If a person lost in gambling or could not pay his debt, he became a slave often along with the women of his family.
THAAR (CHAIN REVENGE):- Tribes fought endless wars in chain revenge on menial issues such as a goat or camel having grazed at someone else's field. Aggression was considered to grant dignity and superiority to a tribe and its leader. Looting and raiding other tribes was considered honorable. There was total disregard for other people's life, honor and property. Seeking revenge was a sacred duty and people took revenge even for their remote ancestors.
SUPERSTITIONS: A vast majority of the Arabs were pagans. The society as a whole was ridden with superstition. They believed in good and bad omens, wild interpretation of dreams, magic, clairvoyance, evil spirits, demons and witches, evil eye, arrows of good and bad luck, lucky and ominous stars, stones, days and numbers. Each family and tribe had their own special "gods". The fear of unseen creatures was common. Poets, fortune-tellers, soothsayers, diviners, and religious leaders easily exploited them.
MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD: Raising herds of livestock, camels, goats, sheep, cows, owning date palm trees and orchards, vineyards, parts of oasis, and looting were the common ways of making a living. Barter and trade were popular but honesty was unknown. Usury was rampant making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Big businessmen sent trade caravans to distant lands. The trade caravans were frequently looted. The proud rich wasted a lot of resources. They would kill their camels in competition. If one killed some camels the other would slay twice as many just to impress others.
DIVERSITY OF RELIGIONS: Although most inhabitants were pagans, it was a diverse, albeit peaceful, society. Jews and Christians in the Arabian Peninsula numbered quite a few thousands. There were among them Sabians (Nature worshipers), those who believed only in Yahya a. s. (John the Baptist), Agnostics, and followers of Deen-e-Hanif (Strict Monotheists that followed the remnants of Hazraat Ibrahim and Ismail's teachings).
This society was devoid of a government and any rules or standards of conduct. Immorality and corruption was an accepted part of life. "Might is Right", was the order of the day to solve all disputes. These were the circumstances when the exalted Prophet would herald the greatest Mission ever.
Muhammad, the Ideal Prophet, was born in Makkah on 20th April 570 CE. Makkah is a town in today's western Saudi Arabia. Bani Hashim, a branch of the Quresh tribe, were a noble and honored people among whom he was born. His grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, was the chief of his tribe and the chief of Makkah as well. Abdul Muttalib was in charge of the Ka'bah which is the symbolic First House of Monotheism. It was built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail, about 2000 BC.
THE PARENTS, THE GRAND OLD MAN OF MAKKAH AND THE LITTLE ORPHAN:
The chief, Abdul Muttalib had 10 sons. Abdullah was the youngest. The family arranged his marriage to a beautiful, gentle, and intelligent young lady. Her name was Amena bint Wahab. Abdullah means the servant of Allah and Amena means someone who is at peace and provides peace. Both were about 20 years old at the time of their marriage. Soon after, Abdullah went to a business trip to Syria. While returning home, he became ill and died in Madinah at the home of his maternal grandparents. Amena was devastated, but she had excellent support from her illustrious husband's family.
Muhammad was born after his father's untimely death. His mother and family members took very good care of him. But another misfortune struck when he was only 6 years old. His loving mother died of a brief febrile illness, possibly sun-stroke. She was in the middle of Madinah and Makkah returning with Abdul Muttalib after visiting her deceased husband's grave in Madinah. Prophet Muhammad was at a great disadvantage from the beginning. Fortunately, his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, was a very kind and caring personality.
NO EDUCATION: In Makkah, there were no schools in those days. The young boy had no siblings and few like-minded youngsters. We may wonder how such a smart child spent his time! The summers were too hot with outdoors temperature in the desert rising as high as 116, and it got feezing cold in winters. Mud and wood houses and big shady trees afforded the only respite from harsh weather. There was no library, no mode of learning or teaching. Only 23 people in Makkah knew how to read or write.
NO VEHICLES, NO LAMPS: Older nations had wheel-carts three to four thousand years before the Prophet's time. The people of Egypt and the Indus Valley (now in Pakistan) used wheelbarrows, bullock carts, chariots and horse carriages. In Arabia, however, no one had a vehicle. People used donkeys, ponies, horses, mules and camels for traveling. Of course, there were no media. Poetry, stories, and gossip were the sole means of communication. It is hard to conceive, but people of Arabia did not use any sort of lamps at night.
THE LITTLE BRIGHT MUHAMMAD IN THE DARK ENVIRONMENT:
It was in this environment that the Prophet (S) was learning about life. The smart, peaceful child created his own resources and never wasted his time. Some may wonder why the little boy Muhammad is called Prophet. The reason is that all prophets were born as such although commissioned to the Divine Office later. The Quran states that they were chosen individuals, hence, none can become a prophet by striving to do so. Muhammad (S) was commissioned to prophethood and received the first Message from Allah in his 40th year but he was a prophet by birth.
The young, bright, orphan boy was raised in Makkah and in the desert around the town. Very early in his life, he learned to ride the bareback ponies, mules, horses and camels. There were no swimming pools in those days but rainwater did collect in natural ponds. So the little boy learned how to swim. He also kept busy by taking the sheep and goats of his family and neighbors out for grazing. He also liked to play with his bow and arrow in the safety of the desert. Running after the arrows, herding animals, riding and swimming, all kept him very fit. Herding livestock made him feel very responsible. No one at that time had the faintest idea that this brilliant, lovely child would one day become the greatest leader of mankind.
As he grew, the clear days and nights of the desert offered a vast view of Nature. Allah teaches us through the Quran but we also learn from His other Book, the Universe around us. Muhammad closely observed the wonders of Nature around him. He understood that there is great discipline in the Universe. The sun rose in the East and set in the West everyday. The moon and the stars appeared at night. Seasons changed in regular sequence. Seeds grew into plants. He knew in his heart that there could be only One Creator and Sustainer to keep such remarkable order and discipline in the Universe. He was surrounded by adults and children who worshipped the sun, the moon, the stars, rocks, idols and trees. There were hundreds of idols in the Ka'bah. They thought that the angels were the daughters of God. Jews and Christians in Arabia assigned children to God such as Osiris and Jesus, respectively. Even as a child, Muhammad never worshipped any of these false gods.
THE FANCY DRESS SHOW: One day, when he was a teenager, youngsters promised to take him to a nice place. In fact, it was an immodest fancy dress and dancing show on stage. Muhammad did not waste any time. He turned back home alone and never went to any shows again.
When others wasted their time in vain talk and senseless play, Muhammad the exalted, was helping people. He helped the elderly, the sick and the widows with their needs. He even milked their cows and goats and fed any hungry animals. He always did his own chores and even repaired his own shoes. Everyone in town loved him. They called him Ameen (Trustworthy) and Sadiq (Truthful).
GRANDFATHER AND UNCLE: The grand old man of Makkah, Abdul Muttalib died at the age of 82. Muhammad (S) was about 8 years old at that time. A son of Abdul Muttalib, Abu Talib raised Muhammad (S) from then on.
When the exalted Prophet was born, he was named Muhammad by his celebrated grandfather. This was a very special name since no one ever had this name before. People asked Abdul Muttalib, "Why a brand new name?" He responded, "I want this child to be praiseworthy." Muhammad means the praised one.
When Muhammad (S) was 12 years old his uncle Abu Talib, started taking him with trade caravans to Syria. Makkah was an important business center in those days. Camel and horse caravans frequented between Yemen, Makkah, Madinah and Syria.
EARLY QUALITIES: Even when the exalted Prophet was very young, he had exceptional qualities. He respected elders and was very kind to children. He realized that time made up life, so he never wasted it. Rather, he was learning new skills everyday. Later on he would remark, "One whose two successive days go in an identical state has lost worthy opportunities." Unlike other youngsters, he did not indulge in vain sport or talk. He would rather serve the community day and night. There were no banks or safe deposits in those days. People of Makkah deposited their valuables with the teenager Muhammad because he was trustworthy. They knew him as a young man of life upright. He shunned intoxicants, gambling, violence, and bad company.
NOT A "BERM": But no one thought of him as a berm, because:
He had a decent sense of humor and enjoyed good poetry. He was an extremely good listener and spoke softly, slowly, and clearly. He was a man of word and people could depend on him. He used to draw great lessons from history and shared them with others. Muhammad (S) took deep and sincere interest in human, animal and plant life. He was extremely environment conscious and did exemplary community service. No one ever saw Muhammad (S) losing his temper. Overall, he had a matchless nobility of character. The Prophet would later tell the people of Makkah, "I have spent a lifetime in your midst. Don't you reflect?" It is amazing to note that even his enemies could find no fault in him throughout his life.
THE PEACE DEAL: When he was about 25 years old, Muhammad, the exalted, helped formulate a very important document. He sat down with the influential leaders of the town. Keeping in mind the insecurity of that society, they reached the following conclusions:-
01. Travel must be made safe.
02. Tribal raids must be halted.
03. The poor must be helped.
04. The weak must be protected. Most tribes of Makkah agreed with the idea.
Their leaders signed this historical document, Halaf-il-Fudhool (The Vow of Bounty, also named as such since three of those tribal leaders were named Fadhl) and hung it on the door of Ka'bah.
BRITISH KNIGHTS FOLLOW SUIT IN THE 16TH CENTURY: It is interesting to note that 1000 years later the United Kingdom adopted this historical document. In the 16th century Britain, any person becoming a knight had to pledge his allegiance to the above mentioned four rules.
AN IMPORTANT TRUCE: During Muhammad's (S) youth, the Ka'bah was damaged by a flood. The local chiefs helped repair it. Now, the 'sacred' black stone had to be placed in its corner. Traditionally, this black stone is a meteorite. It had been used as a mark for pilgrims to walk around the Ka'bah. Every tribe wanted the honor of fixing it. Heated arguments took place and violence was about to break out. Then one of the leaders suggested finding a judge to resolve the matter. It was decided that whoever entered the Ka'bah first thing in the morning would be the judge. The next morning, the first man to enter happened to be none else but Muhammad (S). The leaders screamed with joy, "Here is Ameen, here is Sadiq!" Muhammad (S) peacefully obviated a sure bloody feud. He laid his shawl on the floor, placed the black stone in the middle, and then he asked the chief of each tribe to hold the shawl at and between each corner. They walked together to the assigned corner thus. Muhammad (S) then lifted the black stone and placed it where it belonged. A bloody and highly destructive battle had been avoided to the joy of all.
MARRIAGE: There was a noble widow, a highly successful businesswoman in Makkah. Her name was Khadijah bint Khawailid. She used to send trade caravans to Syria and her business was flourishing. She heard of a man in Makkah, whose name was Muhammad. What a wonderful name -'The praised one!' And the Makkans seldom called him by his first name. They referred to him by his titles "As-Sadiq" and "Al-Ameen." Khadijah requested this trustworthy and truthful man to lead her caravan. She sent her servant Maiysarah, to accompany him. The long trip turned out to be very successful and profitable. Maiysarah was incessantly showering laurels on Muhammad (S). He told Khadijah r. a. how intelligent, patient, hard working, and honest Muhammad (S) was. The prosperous, noble and honored lady of Makkah was very impressed. She sent in a proposal for marriage through a lady friend. The young Prophet and his uncle Abu Talib gladly accepted. Khadijah was 40 and Muhammad (S) 25 at the time of their marriage.
THE CALL TO PROPHETHOOD: Like other prophets, Muhammad, the exalted, was chosen by God. The time was right. The place was perfect.
TIME: Human beings had advanced in learning through the ages, and civilizations had developed with time. The earlier prophets were given messages for their times and their nations. Then, humanity grew up enough to receive the Final Message - The Final Word of God, for all, for all times. The time was so right that it could not have been more suitable. The Message to the Last Prophet could now be preserved, every word of it. This Word would remain modern for all times. Books and writings could be easily saved on parchment and widely published in the 7th century.
PLACE: No place could be better than Makkah to receive the Last Word of God. The city of Makkah was a center of trade caravans. It already had the widely revered First Symbolic House of Monotheism. The Ka'bah had been built by Prophet Ibrahim 2,500 years before. Being the loftiest and earliest Symbol of True Monotheism, it is a constant reminder to people that all humankind is One Community just as their Creator is One. The people of Makkah were respected in Arabia because they took care of the Sacred House. Makkah in the vast desert expanse was far removed from other civilizations. The people of the town were rugged and shrewd since they had to survive in very formidable natural and lawless environment. Very importantly, they had never been ruled by foreign powers, and therefore, they had all the qualities of a free nation. They were bold, strong and straightforward. They always kept their word and would lay down their lives for it. If a tribe violated the amnesty given to someone by the other, one shout could fetch them to the battlefield. Dying in bed was a matter of shame for them while giving life in battle was highly regarded.
Only a few people in Makkah knew how to read and write. So, they relied on their memory for history and knowledge. Consequently, they had very sharp memories. It appears that according to Divine Plan, they had been grooming and perfecting their Arabic language making it fit to receive Allah's Final Revelation. Poets, story-tellers, genealogists, and good narrators enjoyed special distinction in the Arab society. Many of these qualities made Makkah the best place in the world to receive the Final Message.
We have briefly examined the good and the bad in Arabian society. Prophet Muhammad (S) knew that his society needed a drastic change. He used to do a lot of thinking about it never knowing until the Day of Revelation that the Noble Task would be eventually assigned to him.
29:48 For, (O Prophet) you were never able to read a book or Scripture before this (Quran), nor could you write anything with your own hand. Or else, they who try to disprove the Truth might have some cause to doubt it.
Sometimes, he went out of the town to find solitude. Until this day, there exists the Mountain of Light (Jabl-in-Noor), a few miles from Makkah. This mountain has a little cave called Hira. It is about 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. The Prophet (S) used to spend an occasional day there, contemplated and prayed for guidance. He would then come back to town, and continue business as usual. He helped his community more than ever. The Quran keeps the legend in proper perspective by stating that Allah found him searching for Guidance and He granted it.
93:7 And He found you looking for guidance, and showed you the way.
WHEN MUHAMMAD (S) IS COMMISSIONED, 4/16/610: It can be stated without exaggeration that April 16th, 610 CE was the most significant day in all human history. He was still under 40 on that epoch making day of 25th Ramadhan, April 16th, 610 CE. On this day, the unseen Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet with the first Message from Allah. As soon as he shared his experience with his noble wife, Khadijah, she immediately accepted the Revelation. She said from her heart, "You are loyal to your family, truthful and trustworthy. You always help the poor and needy, take care of the widows and orphans, are hospitable to your guest and comfort the grieved. Allah will never let you be unsuccessful."
THE QURAN: It is worth noting here that, contrary to popular reports, the Quran was revealed to the exalted Prophet in the exact order as we see it today. The entire Book was, so to speak, down-loaded on his heart but came to his tongue and was conveyed to people in stages over a period of 22 plus years. It was written down by honored scribes on well-scored parchment complete with vowels and punctuation. All reports that a particular Surah (Chapter) or verse was revealed as demanded by a certain situation (Shaan-e-Nuzool) are totally false. All claims that the Book was arranged in the currently available order by the Prophet (S) are unsupported by the internal evidence. Similar is the situation with conspiracies that the Quran was initially written on stones, waste leather, bones, tree-barks and leaves, and that it was compiled by the third Caliph, Hazrat Uthman. The Quran was indeed very much present, written on parchment and in book form right in the lifetime of the exalted Prophet. The Quran states, "Zaalik-al-Kitaab" (This is the Book), in the very beginning.
(From "The Quran As It Explains Itself" by Shabbir Ahmed, understanding, not translation) 2:2 This Book is the Guidance you asked for! There is absolutely no doubt concerning its authority and authenticity. This Divine Writ, Al-Quran, is a Monograph that finds its own way from your mind to your heart. And you will soon notice, as you proceed, that this Scripture leaves no lingering doubts in a sincere, seeking heart. If you remember that this is a Book of Guidance, and hence, consult with it as such, the glittering reality will dawn upon you that this is a Beacon of Light! It is a Guide for all those who wish to journey through life in true honor and security. [Recorded on parchment by honorable scribes appointed by the Messenger - The Almighty Himself guarantees the Truth of this Revelation, its explanation and its preservation. And you will find it free of contradictions. ‘Al-Quran’ = The Lecture or Monograph that finds its own way to sincere hearts, becoming ‘Az-Zikr’ = The Reminder. 4:82, 10:37, 15:9, 29:48-49, 32:2, 52:2-3, 75:17-19, 80:13-16]
THE NOBLEST MISSION STATEMENT EVER: At the outset of the call to the prophetic office, the exalted Muhammad announced the highest and the noblest possible Mission Statement ever, "We will establish a State wherein a beautiful young woman laden with jewelry will be able to travel alone from Yemen to Busra (in Syria, about 2000 miles). Yet, she will have no fear but the fear of Allah."
This meant that in the Muslim Empire, the life, honor and property of all citizens would be safe. It promised peace and rule of law in the society beginning with discipline in the hearts. The exalted Prophet achieved this lofty mission in his lifetime! Sall-Allahu-'Alaiyhe-Wasallam
THE FIRST BELIEVERS: Family and friends know us best. The first ones to accept the message were his family and friends:-
01. Khadijah, his wife, instantly believed.
02. Abu Bakr, his closest friend accepted right away.
03. Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet's young first cousin, immediately said yes.
04. Zaid bin Haritha, the Prophet's adopted son, showed no hesitation.
Others to soon follow suit were: Hazraat Uthman bin Affan, Zubair bin Awam, Abdur Rahman bin Awf, Sa'd bin Abi Waqas, Talha bin Ubaidullah, Abu Ubaida bin Jarrah, Abu Salma, Arqam Mahzoomi, Ubaida bin Harith, Sa'eed bin Zayd along with his wife Fatima bint Khattab.
THE OPPOSITION: In Makkah there were men of great power and wealth. An average leader had about 7 wives, 10 concubines and 15 slaves. On the average, there were five slaves to one free man.
The Makkan leadership and people under their control vehemently opposed the exalted Prophet. It is easily conceivable why they opposed him. Well, he proclaimed strict Monotheism dismissing their pagan gods. But for the highly intelligent leaders, there was another much bigger consequential reason as well that struck at their vested interests. He taught that just as God is One, humans are one. Every human being is born honorable (Laqad Karramna Bani Adam). Honor is a birthright of every person regardless of any man-made distinctions, and thus all men and women are equal. The only criterion of superiority would be one's conduct. Color, job, lineage, ethnicity, national affiliations, wealth, power, family and tribe would impart distinction to none. There is no master and no slave. The only True Master is Allah, the One True God.
Among the enemy leaders, the most prominent were: Abu Lahab (the Prophet's paternal uncle who was the chief priest of Ka'bah), Abu Lahab's wife Umm Jamil, Abu Sufiyan, Umar bin Hasham (Abu Jahl), Umayya bin Khalaf, Waleed bin Mugheera, Atbah bin Rabee', Suhail bin Umro, Aqaba bin Mu'eet and Aas bin Waael. People like these tried their best to block the Noble Mission. They threatened the Prophet, mocked him, and severely persecuted him and his companions in every possible way.
About 12 years of preaching in Makkah had brought only 300 converts to Islam in the entire Peninsula, including only 21 from Makkah. This should give plenty of strength and motivation to the Da'ee (caller to Islam) of today.
THE PROPHET'S DETERMINATION: The leaders of Makkah contrived a plan. They went to Muhammad (S) and said, "O Muhammad! We will accept you as the King of Arabia. We will grant you all the wealth you desire. We will find the most charming, honorable, and beautiful queen for you. Just stop conveying your message to people." But, the exalted Prophet knew the Way of Life that makes everyone feel like a king or queen. He said, "No, thank you!" to them. He was conveying the Message of God following His Command. So, how could he stop!
Leaders of the tribes now decided on another tactic. They went to the Prophet's uncle, Abu Talib, with threats. The old man feared that the powerful leaders might harm his beloved nephew. The exalted Prophet responded, "My dear uncle! Even if they place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left hand, I will not give up my Mission. By Allah! Either I will succeed or lose my life in pursuing my Mission." Abu Talib got struck with his determination and promised undaunting support.
An Important Note On Abu Talib: Most of the Sunni historians biased against Shias remain adamant that Hazrat Abu Talib never embraced Islam and even refused to recite the KALEMAH at his death-bed. How could that be the attitude of this great benefactor of Islam who consistently put his life in line to defend the prophet (S) and his Call?
A GREAT ANALOGY: One day, the exalted Prophet climbed Mount Safa and called people. When they assembled, he asked, "My dear fellows, I am standing on the peak of this mountain. If I tell you that an army is on the way to attack you, will you believe me?" The people replied, "Of course, you are truthful and trustworthy." The Prophet (S) then said, "You know (from where I am standing) I can see what you don't. Similarly, by the Revelation of Allah I see what you do not - The Way of Life that can grant you Paradise in this life and in the next." Upon the instigation of Abu Lahab, people dispersed murmuring.
DEATH OF KHADIJAH AND ABU TALIB, 619 CE: The grand lady of Makkah, Khadijah bint Khuwailid r. a. passed away 3 years before Hijrah (Migration) in 619 CE. She was 65 then while the exalted Prophet was 50 years old. Their family life had been exemplary since their relationship was based on mutual trust, kindness, equity, love and understanding. Khadijah took care of the home while Muhammad (S) ran the business. Together they did a great deal of community service and strove to make Makkah a better place to live. On their way they would pick up thorns and nails and would not mind clearing the streets of trash. The comfort and welfare of people was always their top priority. The whole town knew that Muhammad (S) was always there to help and Khadijah r. a. was always the ideal companion to her husband.
HIJRAH (MIGRATION TO MADINAH – JUL 16, 622 CE)
Madinah is a town about 270 miles north of Makkah on the western coast of today's Saudi Arabia. The Prophet (S) had advised some Makkans to migrate to Ethiopia (615 CE) and later to Madinah. Ethiopia's Christian King Negus (Najashi) was a kind-hearted man. He saw the common grounds, sheltered Muslims and soon embraced Islam. During the past 12 plus years, some people of Madinah also had embraced Islam. The Muslims of Madinah had been inviting the exalted Prophet to move to their town. It was in the year 622 CE when Muhammad (S) made his move to Madinah. This was the most influential migration in history since it was to change the future of humanity. Traveling 270 miles on camel back usually took about 2 weeks. The exalted Prophet rode to Madinah on camel back with Hazrat Abu Bakr as his companion. The people of Madinah welcomed the Prophet with great joy. Men, women and children all were extremely delighted. The Day of Hijrah or Migration marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The exalted Prophet brought peace to Madinah. He ended tribal warfare and signed peace treaties with the local tribes, the Jews and other groups. The previous name of this blessed township was Yathrib. From this point on, it came to be known as Madinah-tun-Nabi (Town of the Prophet).
OTHER WIVES? The exalted Prophet was now also Head of the State. Quite a few Muslims had been killed in battles and by persecution. There were women who accepted Islam while their husbands did not. The Quran does not allow a Muslim woman to remain wedded to a Non-Muslim. In these circumstances, there were many women and their children who needed shelter. The Prophet (S) and his companions accommodated them in their homes. To prevent slander, these widows and divorcees simply signed marriage contracts in their new households.
To emphasize the point again, the exalted Messenger married only Hazrat Khadija when he was 25, and she was 40. They lived an ideal married life for 25 years. Hazrat Khadija died in Makkah at 65. Three years after her death and soon after migration to Madinah in AH 1, Muhammad (S) married Hazrat Ayesha, a sister of Hazrat Abu Bakr. She was then 48.
During the blessed times, the Central Government run with Shura used to issue a deed of marriage to all women seeking asylum with Rasool (S) and Sahaba Kiraam in order to prevent slander. This is the reason why the Quran mentions the exalted Prophet's wives in plural. Please reflect on the many shades of the meaning of Nikah. Also consider why NONE BUT Hazrat Khadijah bore any children to the exalted Prophet.
Maria, the bondwoman reportedly "gifted" to the exalted prophet by the Egyptian ruler, is nothing but a malicious fabrication. How could the exalted prophet accept bondwomen and slaves when the Quran was emancipating them? One might assume well and think, "Well, in order to grant them freedom." But our brilliant historians insist that Maria always remained a concubine!
These concealed books are scarcely available in Arabic only under strict protection of the Muslim clergy, under custody of the autocratic Arab world.
Their stray copies are found in the Istanbul Museum, the library of Madinah University, Tashqand (Tashkent) Muslim Library in the former Soviet Union, Jame'ah Al-Azhar of Cairo, Maktaba Adnan in Beirut and in some cases they have been personally inherited by the progeny of the ancient scholars. These books are so well-guarded that only a few scholars have been able to partially photograph these precious documents. They are closely guarded since they demolish our mythical, but 'canonized' histories such as by Tabari, Ibn Atheer, and Ibn Khaldun and the conjecture based Biographies (Seera-tun-Nabi) of the Prophet (S) by Ibn Ishaq? - and Ibn Hisham.
I am extremely grateful to my respected readers who, at the risk of life and imprisonment, have been mailing me these photographed excerpts.
1. *** Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab, by Sheikh Hammad bin Hakam
2. *** Meezan-il-Faris by Hujjatullah Abdul Qadir Ali Al-Moosvi pg 249-26
3. *** Takmilatil Lughatal 'Ain 'Urfa by Al-Ustaz Jalaluddin Al-Ash'ari on Imam Al-Khalil ibn Ahmad Shikoh Tabrezi vol 2 pg 3-5
4. *** Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad (S), by Abdul Jabbar Qaramati, written 150 years before Tabari, the first ever 'canonized' historian
5.***Darul Afaq Publishing Company of Beirut
6. *** Haroon Wa Baramikatil Faras by Sheikhul Ifta Salman bin Abu Qasim Baghdadi. Vol 1 pg 31-55
7. *** Mujahid-al-Munafiq Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal by Abdul Muhsin bin Mullah Ali Al-Qari, pg 67-135
I do not know if Maktaba Adnan in Beirut and Darul Afaq Publishing Company of Beirut are still surviving after the 2004-5 bombing of the city by Isreal.
THE PROPHET'S (S) BATTLES: It must be noted that all battles during the lifetime of the exalted Prophet took place within a radius of 80 miles of Madinah. Makkah, the center of the arch-enemies was 270 miles away. This fact proves beyond doubt that they were fought in self-defense. Ghazwah Hunain is the only exception in that it was fought in the Valley of Hunain between Taaif and Makkah (Feb 630). The peaceful Muslims were attacked by opponents when the Prophet (S) and the Sahaba Kiraam were returning from the conquest of Makkah.
HOW MUCH BLOODSHED: - For the greatest Revolution in history? In the 19 Ghazwaat (Battles in which the exalted Prophet participated) and 63 Sarayah (skirmishes in which he did not personally participate) the total loss of life was minimal with 259 Muslims and 759 opponents getting slain, a total of 1,018. Not a single non-combatant was killed or harmed in these 82 battles.
Much detail, usually irrational, can be found in history books about these battles. Please recall Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal's confession: "Three kinds of books are absolutely unfounded, Maghazi, Malaham and Tafseer" (Battles in which the exalted Prophet was present, Skirmishes and Expositions of the Quran). The above well-researched paragraph on the Battles sums up the basics. Any reports contradicting these basics have been found to be non-Quranic and, therefore, fabricated. We can save much valuable time here by briefly describing only some of these important Battles.
THE BATTLE OF BADR: Apparently a minor event, the Battle of Badr, turned the tide of human history for all times to come. It was the second year after Hijrah (624 CE). The pagans in Makkah knew that Islam was conquering hearts and minds in the state of Madinah. They were afraid that the revolution would eventually reach them, so, they decided to nip it in the bud and came to attack Madinah with over 1,000 well-equipped warriors aided by plenty of cavalry of horses and camels. The exalted Prophet decided to meet them at a small oasis, Al-Badr, south of Madinah. The mere 313 poorly equipped Muslims included the old and the young, most of them being foot soldiers. The "soldiers" were in fact civilians and their armory was scant and clumsy. Within a few hours, the weak and out-numbered Muslims stunned the mighty enemy and won the battle decisively. Most of the powerful leaders of Makkah were slain. Muslims treated the captives with great care and kindness. They were fed and dressed better than the victors. Many of them accepted Islam. The rest were very soon set free to go back to their hometown.
THE BATTLE OF UHUD: Shortly after Badr, the people of Makkah raided Madinah with a much bigger army of 3,000 in 626 CE. The Battle took place just outside Madinah. Uhud, still standing, is the name of the famous mountain where the two forces met. The Muslims were greatly outnumbered, only 700, and under-equipped. Yet they were about to achieve another swift victory. Seeing this, 50 archers left their positions rather prematurely and there was a temporary setback for Muslims when the fleeing Makkans returned and counter-attacked. Finally, with nearly equal amount of casualties on both sides, the Makkans turned back.
THE BATTLE OF AL-AHZAAB (CLANS): In 627 CE, the Quraysh Tribe of Makkah amassed 24,000 strong troops. This force included Jews and several tribes and clans from Madinah and suburbs, the groups that had broken peace treaties with Muslims. After due consultation with his companions, the Prophet (S) decided to meet the enemy outside of the town. Women that were unfit for combat were secured in a guarded fort along with children. While the enemy laid siege around the Muslim army of about 2,000 for 25 days, the Muslims remained vigilant and resorted to patient waiting. The sandstorm season was fast approaching and soon the weather became very hostile with storm winds uprooting the enemy tents and overturning their utensils, water tanks and fire-places. The enemy got demoralized, packed up their tents, lifted the siege and turned back. The traitors of Madinah and the tribes around who had violated the peace treaties were exiled. Madinah was never again attacked!
THE ULTIMATE VICTORY
In the 6th year of Hijrah (June 628 CE), a truce was signed between the Muslims of Madinah and the non-believers of Makkah. This truce was called the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. Although the treaty, in detail, was apparently unfavorable for the Muslims, the exalted Prophet accepted it. This truce proved to be a blessing for Muslims and Islam. The people of Makkah and Madinah started meeting freely. Everyone could see and experience the truth and beauty of Islam established as a System of Life. More and more people kept embracing Islam.
The Magians of Persia and Christians of Byzantium (the Eastern Roman Empire) were oppressed by their rulers. They constantly requested the blessed State of Madinah to help liberate them. The Quran says that Muhammad, the exalted is "A Mercy for the Worlds." Therefore, his message is for all times and all people. Seizing advantage of the relative peace, the Prophet (S) invited kings and rulers of that time to accept Islam. He sent special ambassadors with brief yet effective letters.
Kisra, (Khusro Parwaiz) the Magian King of Persia, was the most powerful emperor of the time. He became enraged and tore the sacred invitation apart. The letter from the Prophet contained a touchy quotation, "Mend your ways of tyranny. Learn about Islamic justice before the plight of your own people befalls you." The Prophet, with his God-given insight, predicted that Khusro's Empire would tear apart just as he tore apart the letter. Soon, the prediction came to pass as we shall see in a chapter to follow.
Heraclius, the Christian Emperor of Byzantium was very inclined to accept the blessed invitation. Unfortunately, his courtiers threatened to rebel if the King chose Islam. Even then, Heraclius could not hold back his emotions of reverence. With tears in his eyes he said, "If I were to meet with the Prophet, I would wash his feet with my own hands."
Muqooqus, the pagan ruler of Egypt, received the Islamic ambassador with great hospitality. He went into deep thought and deferred his decision. The reports of his sending two concubines to the exalted Prophet are obviously fabricated. Everyone knew that he was emancipating slaves in the State of Madinah. The King of Abyssinia/Ethiopia, Najashi (Negus), already impressed with the Muslim immigrants, upon hearing some verses of the Quran, burst into tears and entered the blessed fold of Islam.
THE CONQUEST OF MAKKAH JAN 630 CE, RAMADHAN AH 8:
During theprevious 2 years of relative peace, Quraysh, the pagans of Makkah, were closely watching the long strides Islam was making. Wilfully and repeatedly they violated the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, attacked small bands of peaceful Muslims and ultimately revoked it in writing. As Head of the State of Madinah, the Prophet had no choice, but to attack Makkah. With 10,000 soldiers, he marched to Makkah in 630 CE. Please note that in that blessed era, every able-bodied Muslim man and woman used to serve as a soldier in the defense of the Islamic State. There was no standing army as such. The Makkans were taken aback! The city was captured without any bloodshed. The exalted Prophet rode on his camel through the gate of the city while his opponents trembled in fear. Instead of showing royal pride, he was very humble and kept his head bowed in humility. Then he immediately declared amnesty for all, "This day there is no blame on you. All of you are completely free." Upon hearing this, everyone was stunned in amazement! Almost instantly, all of Makkah embraced Islam.
Among those Makkans, there were people who had driven Muhammad (S) and his family and companions out of their homes. There were those who had looted their property and killed many Muslims. They had severely persecuted the Prophet and Muslim men and women. They had tried their utmost to destroy Islam and Muslims. Yet the merciful Prophet tells them, "This day there is no blame on you." All of human history will fail to cite one example of clemency like this.
In a few days, the Muslims led by Muhammad (S), returned to Madinah. The unexpected Battle of Hunayn on the way back has been mentioned earlier. However, in the following few months most of the tribes, clans, and people in the Arabian Peninsula had embraced Islam. Since "No Compulsion in Religion" is the Law, most of the Jews, Christians and some Idolaters stuck to their old ways. The State of Madinah became a peaceful pluralistic society with a beautiful example of unity in diversity. A young beautiful woman laden in jewelry could travel anywhere in the State and she had no fear but the fear of Allah. The Lord's Kingdom had been established on earth for the first time ever.
THE FAREWELL ADDRESS (THE LAST SERMON)
In the year 632 CE (tenth year of Hijrah), the exalted Prophet came back to Makkah for the Final Pilgrimage. People had kept joinining the Noble Caravan on its way to Makkah and there was a congregation of 140,000 people whom the Prophet (S) addressed from a mountaintop:
"O mankind! I believe we will not meet in this Congregation again.
Remember, your blood (life), your property and your honor is sacred unto each other. Very soon you will have to explain your actions before Allah.
O People! Your Sustainer Lord is One and your ancestry is common. No black is superior to a white, and no white is superior to a black, and no Arab is better than a non-Arab and no non-Arab is better than an Arab. Honor is the birthright of every human being. The only criterion of superiority amongst you is nothing but good conduct.
Treat those under your care equitably. Be kind to your servants. Feed them what you eat and clothe them as you clothe.
This day, the ways of the Jahiliyyah (the Age of Ignorance) are trampled under my feet. All bloodshed of the Jahiliyyah is declared null and void. This day, I revoke all previous warfare, contention, bloodshed, and chain revenge. I am the first one to forgive the murder committed against my family, that of Rabee'ah bin Harith.
All usury (interest on money) of Jahiliyyah is null and void from this day on. First of all, I revoke the interest owed to my family on behalf of my uncle Abbas bin Muttalib.
O Men! Be fearful of Allah in all matters concerning women. They have rights upon you as you have rights upon them. Treat them well and be kind to them. Remember, they are your companions, colleagues, and partners in life.
Just as you honor this month, this day and this place, likewise your blood and property is inviolable unto one another. All believers are brothers and sisters unto another. Nothing from a believer is permissible unto another unless it is given with cheerful consent.
Remember that everyone is a shepherd. You will be questioned about those under your care. If a non-Muslim were wronged in our State, I would personally plead on his or her behalf. Avoid extremes in religion. Peace, O Mankind! Peace.
O People! I am leaving behind one thing among you. If you hold it fast, you will never go astray. What is that thing? - The Book of Allah.
Even if an Ethiopian slave is chosen among you as Ameer (Ruler) and he takes you along the Book of Allah, obey him and follow him. Serve your Sustainer Lord by serving His creation and you will enter Paradise.
O People! Sincerity in action, working for the betterment of fellow humans, and unity among the Ummah are three things that keep the hearts refreshed and clean.
O Mankind! No prophet will come after me. And there is no Ummah (an Ideology-based Community) after you.
It is incumbent upon you to convey this Message of mine unto those who are not present here. Allah will ask you about me on the Day of Resurrection. Tell me, what you will say. The noble companions and the congregation repeating after a Sahabi's voice proclaimed, "We witness that you have conveyed the Message of Allah and fulfilled your Trust."
On hearing this, the Prophet (S) raised his hands and said, "O Allah! Be witness. O Allah! Be witness. O Allah! Be witness."
At this point, Allah revealed again part of a verse to the exalted Prophet, 5:3 ----- This Day I have perfected your DEEN for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen for you Al-Islam as the System of Life. ----.
THE GREATEST MAN DEPARTS,
June 8, 632 CE, R. Awwal 12, 11 HIJRAH
The Prophet (S) returned home to Madinah. Only a few months later, he breathed his last, in peace. Chest pain and high fever in his last few days point to possible Pneumonia as the terminal illness. He had nominated Hazrat Abu Bakr as his successor and the Caliph would get the vote of confidence from the masses.
THE TRULY REMARKABLE LAST WORDS:
"Allahumma Rafeeqil A'laa" (Allah is the Glorious Companion). Even in his last words, the Prophet (S) raised humanity to great heights. Thinking of Allah as our Companion confers tremendous dignity upon humankind. Thus, we become the lesser companions. When we live according to His Laws, we figuratively join hands with Him, thereby creating Paradise on the earth and inheriting it in the Hereafter.
HAS MUHAMMAD, THE EXALTED DIED? :
Physically yes, but his Noble Mission is marching on. In this sense, he is living. The Quran foretells more than once that its Noble Message (Deen) will prevail over all religions and ways of life (9:32-33).
THE STATE OF MADINAH - THE CONSTITUTION - THE GOVERNMENT
Just as the Creator is One, mankind is One Community.
The first ever Islamic State had been established during the exalted Prophet's lifetime on greater than 1.5 million sq. miles of land. The Ideological State maintained that no human has the right to rule over another human.
12:40 "All ruling belongs to Allah alone. He has commanded that you serve none but Him. That is the Right Way of Life but most people know not."
Since Allah does not walk in our midst, His obedience will mean obeying His Laws enshrined in the Quran. This is the only way total freedom can be achieved.
According to Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah: "In Islam, the ultimate obedience belongs to God alone. The only way to follow His Guidance is the Holy Quran. Islam does not preach obedience to a king, parliament, person or any institution. The Islamic government means Rule of the Quran. And how can you establish Rule of the Book without an independent state? In this state, legislation will take place in the boundaries drawn by the Quran."
18:26 "They have no guardian apart from Him and He allots no one a share in His Rule."
During the blessed life of the Prophet, following were, then, the basic principles of the government.
None has the right to govern people but Allah.
The Constitution of the State is nothing but the Quran.
Obedience of Allah's Commands means His obedience.
These Commands and Laws are preserved in the Quran.
Implementation of these Laws is the prime duty of the government.
The Quran leaves minor details open for changing times.
The Central Authority works out these details suited to the time and place.
The Shura (Counsel) convenes every Friday to make the by-laws.
Rule of Law was the cardinal feature of the State of Madinah, the first ever Kingdom of the Lord on earth.
NOMINATION: Anyone could propose names for the office-bearers who must accept the nomination without any compulsion. They had to get a vote of confidence (allegiance) from the people of their respective townships. Candidacy, self-promotion or coveting an office would automatically disqualify an individual from government service. Anyone possessing special skills that are unknown to public might propose one's own name. So, there was no such thing as campaigning for elections.
4:59 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (the Central Authority of the Divine System) and those whom the System has appointed as office-bearers. If you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to the Central Authority. If you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day this is the best approach for you, and more seemly in the end.
THE CONSULTATIVE BODY: (Shura): The chosen office-bearers would elect the Consultative Body among themselves. The Shura members were required to get allegiance from the residents of the capital, Madinah or the respective towns. Conducting all matters of public interest with mutual consultation is one of the basic qualities of the believers.
42:38 And who respond to their Lord, and establish the Divine System and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation. ----.
HEAD OF THE STATE: Muhammad (S) was gleefully nominated and accepted by the masses as the Head of The State of Madinah in 626 CE. They used to come in throngs for taking the oath of allegiance at the Prophet's hand. He wasted no time in establishing a Benevolent Order and signing peace treaties with Jews, idolaters and other tribes of Madinah. He set up true brotherhood between the Immigrants (Muhajireen) and the Helping Locals (Ansaar). The exalted Prophet was the first ever leader to establish the Divinely ordained Charter of Human Rights and Constitution.
THE FIRST CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE FIRST CONSTITUTION EVER:-
01. It guaranteed every citizen Freedom, Security, and Justice.
02. Security of Faith, Mind, Life, Honor and Property.
03. Freedom of Speech and Assembly.
04. Freedom of Worship for Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
05. Rule of Law. All people in the State were equal and had equal rights.
06. The Right to Trial. Everyone considered innocent unless proven guilty.
07. Protection against external threat or attack.
08. Economic Justice and Equity.
09. All slaves were emancipated since the only Master is Allah.
10. Very shortly, the following seven basic needs were guaranteed by the State to all citizens: Food - Shelter - Clothing - Employment - Tools - Transportation to and back from work - Free Medical Care.
Social Security: The elderly and the disabled received regular stipends from the State.
DEMOCRACY OR NOT?
Whether a monarchy, communism, theocracy, any kind of despotism or democracy, all systems of government inevitably come up with two classes of people, the ruler and the ruled. The very term 'rule' necessitates a ruling class and a ruled class. "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people" is quite an attractive slogan but in a very subtle manner it conceals, 'over the people'. So, democracy essentially is the government of the majority over the minority. It may sound astonishing but, according to the Quran, the majority of mankind is wrongdoers and misguided. At best we can say, "Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people, over the people." The majority in a democracy can make any laws against the will of the minority. The constitution can be amended even to authorize inappropriate moral conduct if the majority so wills. Since this is not a treatise on democracy, we need not go into countless other flaws of the system pointed out by some of the brightest western minds.
The Islamic System of government is close to democracy in some ways like the public having a voice and leaders sitting in mutual consultation but there are differences of paramount importance. For example, no amount of majority can trespass the Quran and declare alcohol and gambling as permissible. Same goes for homosexuality and mutual cohabitation without marriage, unjust aggression, usury, pornography, prostitution etc.
THE POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS:
The State of Madinah during the Prophet's life encompassed the entire Arabian Peninsula with its capital as Madinah. There were seven provinces each managed by a governor (Waali) nominated by the federation and accepted by the local population through the system of allegiance. Any dissension of thought was addressed according to 4:59 quoted above. The exalted Prophet was the Head of the State, Commander-in-Chief and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Each province had its local governor who was also the commander of the forces. The governor would nominate officials and judges in consultation with the local Shura. The potential office-bearers would, in turn, seek vote of confidence.
THE ROLE OF WOMEN:
Nothing that was allowed for men was forbidden for women. However, they did have an extraordinary advantage. Working a job or doing business was entirely their choice. As mentioned earlier, women used their skills of sewing, weaving, tending farm animals, milking, midwifery, nursing the sick and wounded, and took charge of the household matters like cooking and rearing and training children. However, the primary bread-winners for the family had to be men.
4:34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women. They shall take full care of women with what they spend of their wealth. Allah has made men to excel in some areas and women to excel in some areas. Men must see to it that women are provided for, and that they are able to stand on their feet in the society.
9:71 Believing men and believing women are colleagues of one another. They enjoin virtue by personal example and forbid vice by example. Together, they help establish the Divinely System of Life, and set up the Just Economic Order of Zakaat. This is how they obey God and His Messenger. These are the ones on whom God showers His grace of success. Certainly, God is Exalted in Power, Wise.
BAIT-UL-MAAL (THE TREASURY):
As total peace and security were being established, the government devised policies that encouraged and honored hard work and labor. Special attention was paid to agriculture, manufacturing, farming, setting up stables and dairy farms. Horses, oxen and camels were raised for transportation and defense. Farmers herded cows, goats and sheep. The agricultural land belonged to those who would work on it. There was no feudalism or land-lordship. Honey bee and poultry farming were developed in Arabia for the first time. Towns were soon overflowing with honey, milk, meat, vegetable, fruit and their byproducts. The Islamic State soon was making the best weaponry in the world. Women crafted the finest handicrafts and made carpets, blankets, tents, silk and cotton cloth. Blacksmiths and goldsmiths designed excellent utensils, warfare and jewelry. Agriculturists worked on improving water-supply and creating oases in the desert. The State and the individuals traded as far as Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Ethiopia, Syria, Iraq and India. Economy in the government and private sectors flourished because the inhabitants of the empire were extremely loyal to the moral values inculcated in them by the Quran. Honesty and trustworthiness could be taken for granted. People turned over excess money to the treasury. A laborer, craftsman, soldier, official was provided housing and paid salary considering his or her responsibilities and the size of the household. "They worked according to their capacity and got paid according to their needs."
2:219 --- And (O Prophet) they ask you what they should give to fellow man. Say, "All that is surplus." ---
The Federation, through the Bait-ul-Maal, transformed the State where everyone worked according to his capacity and got paid according to the needs. Within the first century, it became impossible to find a person in the Muslim Empire who would accept charity!
THE ROLE OF THE MASJID:
One thing that instantly facilitated efficient governance in the Islamic State was a wide network of mosques serving as government centers. From the very first year of Hijrah, Muslims had been building mosques in their locales. The Federal, provincial and township governments oversaw that mosques were built in proper locations in every neighborhood. One call from the Muezzin (caller of Azaan), "Ya Salaatil Jami'ah" used to be sufficient to assemble the available men and women to the Masjid. There was no clergy or "Imams" to run and manage these Masjids or conduct congregations. The government official of each area was the leader of the area mosque. The Masjid was not a temple of worship. It was the School, the Assembly, the Municipality, the Parliament and the Government House. The respective leader would discuss real issues about the community, entertain questions, present bills, announce decisions of the Shura (Counsel) and the Assembly would legislate. People came up with their ideas for betterment of the society and devised plans for social welfare. Every citizen remained informed of the condition of the needy, the orphans, the sick and the widows. People brought up news of any socio-economic problems facing any families and they were immediately addressed. What a cohesive System! Masjid was also the place where the leaders and officials were elected, ambassadors received, and defense matters decided. What a convenient and ready-made infrastructure for the government and public! Centuries later, a Hadith was invented that it was Haraam to discuss "wordly matters" in the mosque. Alas! With this single stroke of pen, by the fourth century Hijrah, the Masjid had been reduced to what we see today, a temple of worship!
Contrary to popular reports, there was no Zakaat tax or Jizyah tax in the State of Madinah. The truly Islamic government gives Zakaat and does not receive it from her people. Other than the product of labor and the produce of land, international trade was booming and making the State of Madinah prosperous by the day. No enemy won a battle against the State of Madinah. War damages only added funds to the State treasury.
Jizyah has often been misconstrued. It is not poll tax on non-Muslims citizens, rather it is the damages of war. [9:29, 18:94]
22:41 Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish Salaat - the Divine System - set up the Just Economic Order of Zakaat (in which wealth circulates freely to nourish every member of the society, and the basic needs of all individuals are taken care of). Their rule ensures that the Divine Moral Values are promoted, and what the Quran forbids, is discouraged. And in their governance all affairs are decided according to Allah's decrees in the Quran (5:44).
THIS WAS A BRIEF LIFE HISTORY OF THE GREATEST MAN EVER TO SET FOOT ON EARTH.