Al Ihsan Blog

51-Sirah 2-The Prophet’s (SAW) Birth, Childhood and Adolescence

Description & Lifestyle

While Muḥammad was living in Banu Sa’ad when he was four years old, he went with his foster brothers to take the animals to graze. Suddenly his foster brother came running back to Ḥalīmah and said that two people dressed in white came and laid our Qurayshi brother (Rasūlullāh) on the floor. Ḥalīmah and her husband Ḥārith ran looking for Muḥammad. They found him standing in a place and his face was very pale. They both took the child to their chest and asked him what had happened. He said two men clothed in white came to me and laid me down. They opened my chest and searched it for I know not what. Ḥalīmah and her husband looked around but could see no sign of these men. There was no sign of blood or even any scars on the blessed body of this child. But the children would not take back their words.
 
Who were these two men? The blessed Angels of Allāh; Jibrīl (AS) and Mikāīl (AS) had come that day dressed in white with a gold basin full of snow. They split open the chest of Rasūlullāh (saw) and took out his heart. His heart was then opened, and they took out one or two clots of blood which was the portion of Shayṭān. They then placed the heart in the gold basin and washed it with the snow. The heart was put back in its place and they placed a seal in between the sides of Rasūlullāh (saw).
 
Some Muhadditheen say that “Muhammad Rasoolullah” was written on the Seal of Prophethood. The Prophet’s (SAW) back and in between his shoulders, there was a protrudent piece of flesh shaped like an egg and it also had hair on it.
 
(Sirah of Muhammad-Part 3: Life before Prophethood by Maulana Ebrahim Noor)
 
(Zubdah tu Shamael by Moulana Mohammad Ilyas Ghumman)

Sirah & Our Lives Today

حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل
 
“Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs.” Despite the death of the Prophet’s (saw) father before his birth, the death of his mother at the age of 6 and the death of his grandfather at the age of 8, the loss of the people closest to him, the Prophet (saw) lived to be the greatest of mankind. Muslims should submit their will to Allah and leave your affairs with Him, because sometimes Allah (swt) may have better plans for us, one that may be completely different from what we had planned.

Weekly Sunnah

Rasūlullāh (saw) mentions in a Ḥadīth from Sunan Abū Dāwūd, “Whoever sends one durūd (blessings) upon me, Allāh sends 10 blessings to him.”
Hadith:
 
حَدَّثَنِي إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ الْمُنْذِرِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مَعْنٌ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرِ بْنِ مُطْعِمٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لِي خَمْسَةُ أَسْمَاءٍ أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، وَأَحْمَدُ، وَأَنَا الْمَاحِي الَّذِي يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِي الْكُفْرَ، وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ الَّذِي يُحْشَرُ النَّاسُ عَلَى قَدَمِي، وَأَنَا الْعَاقِبُ ‏”‏‏.‏
 
Narrated by Jubair bin Mut`im: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “I have five names: I am Muhammad and Ahmad; I am Al-Mahi through whom Allah will eliminate infidelity; I am Al-Hashir who will be the first to be resurrected, the people being resurrected there after; and I am also Al-`Aqib (i.e. There will be no prophet after me). (Bukhari 3532 )

The Birth of the Prophet (SAW)

Āminah was chosen from the tribe of Banū Zuḥra. She was the daughter of Wahb ibn ꜤAbd Manāf & Barrah bint ꜤAbdul ꜤUzza. Āminah and ꜤAbdullāh, the son of Abdul Muttalib got married and she was pregnant when ꜤAbdullah went on a trade journey and fell ill. He stayed in Yathrib, and the trade caravan returned to Makkah. ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib sent his eldest son Ḥārith to find out what had happened. Upon reaching Madīnah, Ḥārith found out that his younger brother had passed away.
 
50 or 55 days after the incident with the people of the elephant, Rasūlullāh was born in the house of his uncle Abū Ṭālib. It was the year of the elephant corresponding to 571 CE, in the month RabīꜤ Al-Awwal and on a Monday morning. Contrary to popular belief, there is no unanimous or fixed position regarding the precise date of his birth. The preferred view is that it was the 8th or the 9th. He was born on a Monday during Ṣubah Ṣādiq, which is true dawn. When Rasūlullāh was born, Āminah called for his grandfather ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib so he could come and see his grandson. He came, took his grandson in his arms, and took him inside the Holy KaꜤbah where he prayed and gave thanks to Allāh.
 
There were many miraculous events which took place during the birth of Rasūlullāh. Fāṭimah bint ꜤAbdullāh, mentions that she was with Rasūlullāh’s mother during his birth. At that time, she saw that the whole room was filled with light, and she saw that the stars in the sky bowed down, until she thought that the stars would fall on her.
 
On the 7th day, ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib performed the Aqīqah of his grandson and invited all the Quraysh. He then named his grandson Muḥammad. The Quraysh asked him, “Oh Abul Ḥārith, Why have you given him a name which none of your forefathers have ever given to anyone before?” ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib said ‘I have named him this because Allāh’s creation in the Heavens and Allāh’s creation on the Earth can praise this child.
 
Meaning of the word “Muhammad”
 
The root word for Muḥammad is “Ḥamd” which means praise. And the meaning of Muḥammad is that person who is praised. The perfect name for the person who is the most praised person to have ever set foot on the earth.
 
Early Days
 
After the birth of Rasūlullāh, his mother Āminah suckled him for 3 or 4 days. Then Thuwaybah, who was the slave girl of Abū Lahab, gave him milk. Abū Lahab was one of Rasūlullāh’s paternal uncles. Thuwaybah had gone to her master Abū Lahab to inform him of the good news that his nephew had been born. Upon hearing the good news, he was so happy that he freed her. Thuwaybah also suckled Ḥamzah, therefore both him and Rasūlullāh are milk brothers.
 
In Arabian culture, young children born in the noble households would be sent to the desert to spend the early part of their lives. This would be so they can be brought up in a clean environment, whilst learning pure Arabic.
 
Ḥalīmah came to Makkah with the women from her tribe of Banu Sa’ad ibn Bakr. Rasūlullāh was presented to all of the women from Banū SaꜤad, but as soon as they found out he was an orphan they would refuse to take him. If a child does not have a father, then how will they be rewarded for looking after him? All the women managed to find a child except Ḥalīmah. When the time came for the women to return, she found it difficult that she should return home empty handed. All of a sudden, she found an urge to take this orphan child, Muḥammad.
 
So, with this hope, Ḥalīmah took the child and because of this, Allāh opened the doors of blessings for her and her family. Previously, she had no milk to feed her other child but as soon as she took in Muḥammad, she had enough milk not only to feed him but also the other child as well.
 
Ḥalīmah arrived home at Banu SaꜤad with her family and Muḥammad. Ḥalīmah and her family continued to witness many blessings from Allāh while Rasūlullāh was in their care.
 
After the incident with the splitting of the chest, Ḥalīmah got worried that something might happen to Rasūlullāh . She took him back to his mother Āminah and told her what had happened. When Āminah heard, she didn’t get worried at all. Āminah mentioned the things that used to happen to her when she was pregnant with Rasūlullāh and at the time of his birth. She said the status of my child will be very high. Ḥalīmah then returned home to Banū SaꜤad and left Rasūlullāh with his mother.

The Prophet's (SAW) Childhood and Adolescence

Death of his mother
 
When Rasūlullāh reached 6 years of age, his mother Āminah decided to go to Madīnah, which was still known as Yathrib at the time. Umm Ayman accompanied them. Āminah stayed for one month with her family and then she left to go back to Makkah. On the way home, she fell ill. They reached a place called Abwa, and there the mother of Rasūlullāh passed away. Rasūlullāh was brought back to Makkah with Umm Ayman and given to his grandfather ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib.
 
Guardianship of Abdul Muttalib
 
Rasūlullāh was now looked after by his grandfather ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib. ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalibs’ real name was Shaybah, the son of Hāshim and Salmah. He had come to Makkah with his uncle, Muṭṭalib. ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib always kept his grandson Muḥammad with him. Whenever ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib used to go to the KaꜤbah, a special couch was put in its shade, and no one had the audacity to even place a foot on it. His own children would sit around it or on its edge, but when Muḥammad used to come, he used to sit on it without any worries. His uncles used to try and move him, but ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib used to say to them, leave him there. He then used to call Muḥammad near him, sit him down and get pleased in watching what he was doing.
 
Rasūlullāh stayed under the guardianship of his grandfather for 2 years, until he was 8 years old. ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib now passed away. Before he passed away, he handed over guardianship of the child to Abu Ṭālib, as he was Rasūlullāh’s real uncle. ꜤAbdullāh & Abu Ṭālib both shared the same mother and father. ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib advised Abu Ṭālib to bring up the child with love and affection.
 
Umm Ayman mentions that when ꜤAbdul Muṭṭalib’s Janāzah (funeral) was being taken, she saw Rasūlullāh following it while crying. He was only at the tender age of 8 and had now lost both of his parents and Grandfather. His maternal Grandfather ‘Wahb’ had also passed away before his parents’ marriage.
 
Guardianship of Abu Talib
 
After the death of his grandfather, Rasūlullāh was looked after by Abu Ṭālib and his wife Fāṭimah. Abu Ṭālib looked after his nephew even more than his own children. He fulfilled the rights of guardianship dutifully. Abu Ṭālibs’ love for his nephew Rasūlullāh was immense, but he never embraced Islām. Rasūlullāh reached 12 years of age and Abu Ṭālib decided to go to Shām (Syria) with a trade caravan. He had no intention of taking his nephew with him but at the time of departure, upon seeing how upset his nephew was, he decided to take him along.
 
They made their way to Busra which is a town in Shām. A Christian monk used to live there whose name was Georges but was known as Baḥīrā’. Baḥīrā’ was familiar with the signs of the final Prophet which had been mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. When the caravan from Makkah came, upon seeing the face of Rasūlullāh, he realized that this is none other than this last Prophet. The leaders of the Quraysh said to Baḥīrā’, ‘how do you know this?’ Baḥīrā’ said, ‘when you came, there was no tree or stone which did not bow down, and trees and stones only bow down to Prophets’. He also said he recognised the seal of the Prophet. Baḥīrā’ prepared food for the whole caravan and when Rasūlullāh arrived, there was a cloud over him giving him shade. All the people had sat under the shade of the tree and there was no shaded area left. So, Rasūlullāh went and sat on the side of the tree. As soon as he sat, the shade of the tree moved towards him. Baḥīrā’ said, look at the shadow, how it went towards Rasūlullāh. He asked who the guardian of this child was. Everyone pointed to Abu Ṭālib. Baḥīrā’ then told Abu Ṭālib to send Rasūlullāh back to Makkah for his protection, and he did.
 
(Sirah of Muhammad-Part 3: Life before Prophethood by Maulana Ebrahim Noor)

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