Al Ihsan Blogs

60-Sirah 11-The Year of Sorrow

Description & Lifestyle

Anas (RA) narrated: When the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) married the mother of the believers, Zainab bint Jahash (RA), my mother said to me “Anas, the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) will greet the morning as newlywed, and I suspect he has no food. Bring me that pot and dates I had prepared? She then ordered me to take this food to the newly wedded couple, which I did in a container made of stone. He (SAW) asked me to leave it at the front of the house and fetch Abū Bakr, ʿUmar, ‘Uthmān, Ali and other companions (RA), as well as those in the masjid and in the streets I pass. I began to be amazed at the little food present compared to the many men asked to attend.
On everyone’s arrival, he (SAW) then asked me to bring him the container. He (SAW) dipped his three blessed fingers into the food, and it began to rise and broth. They began to eat until everyone ate, after which the same amount of food I bought was left over. He then asked for it to be presented to Zainab (RA). Anas (RA) was asked, “How many ate?” he replied, “Seventy-two people.”
(The Touch of Prophecy by Mohammad Zakariya Ibn Isma’il)

Sirah & Our Lives Today

“We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure—who, when faced with a disaster, say, “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will ˹all˺ return” They are the ones who will receive Allah’s blessings and mercy. And it is they who are ˹rightly˺ guided.” (2:155-157)
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) experienced many losses throughout his life on numerous occasions. He had endured the biggest loss during “The Year of Sorrow”, the loss of both his wife, Khadijah (RA) and his uncle Abu Talib.
Patience and steadfastness are the excellence of the Sabirun (the patient people). We should strive to display patience in times of hardships as the reward of mercy is granted to those who strive and persevere to be patient. The quality and degree of patience varies from person to person; therefore, everyone will be rewarded individually according to their quality of patience. By saying Inna lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon, it brings excellent rewards, relieves from the burden of sorrow and suffering and consoles effectively the grieved heart.
(Maariful Quran by Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani)

Weekly Sunnah

Hadhrat Ka’b (RA) reports that Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) used to eat the food with three fingers and also licked them later.
One of the etiquettes of eating food is to eat with three fingers (middle finger, first finger and the thumb) because eating with one finger is a means of earning Allaah Ta’ala’s displeasure. To eat with two fingers denotes pride and arrogance. To eat with three fingers is a Sunnah and to eat with four-five fingers denotes avarice and greediness. If the food is such that it is difficult to eat with three fingers, then there is no harm.
To lick the fingers after eating is also a Sunnah. From some narrations, it is proven to lick thrice, and, in some narrations, the sequence has also been mentioned i.e. the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) licked the middle finger first, then the first finger and then the blessed thumb.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: A person doesn’t know in which part of his food Allaah Ta’ala has put blessings (Barakah). (Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 2033)
(Zubda Tu Shamael by Moulana Mohammad Ilyas Ghumman)

Qur'an & Hadith

إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِى مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِٱلْمُهْتَدِينَ
“You surely cannot guide whoever you like ˹O Prophet˺, but it is Allah Who guides whoever He wills, and He knows best who are ˹fit to be˺ guided.” (28:56)
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ لَمْ يَتَزَوَّجِ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى خَدِيجَةَ حَتَّى مَاتَتْ‏.‏
“‘A’isha reported that Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) did not marry any other woman till her (Khadija’s) death.” (Sahih Muslim 2436)

620 CE-The Year of Sorrow

It was now the 10th year of Prophethood. The Muslims had left the valley of Abū Ṭālib and returned to Makkah. This year became known as the ‘Year of Sorrow’ due to the events which would occur in it. Just a few days after returning to Makkah, either in the month of Ramaḍān or Shawwāl, Abū Ṭālib passed away. And either 3 or 5 days after that, the wife and companion of Rasūlullāh (SAW), the first person to accept Islām, Khaḍījah (RA) also left this world.
The Death of Abu Talib
When Abū Ṭālib approached death, Rasūlullāh (SAW) came to Abū Ṭālib and found that Abū Jahal ibn Hishām and ʿAbdullāh ibn Abū Ummayah ibn Al-Mughayrah were with him. Rasūlullāh (SAW) said to Abū Ṭālib, “Oh uncle, say Lā ilāha illallāh, a word I will bear witness for you with it, with Allāh’. Abū Jahal and ʿAbdullāh ibn Abū Ummayah said to Abū Ṭālib, ‘Will you turn away from the religion of ʿAbdul Muṭṭalib?’ Rasūlullāh (SAW) continued to ask Abū Ṭālib, and Abu Jahal and ʿAbdullāh ibn Abū Ummayah kept on repeating what they were saying. Until the last words that Abū Ṭālib said were that he was on the religion of ʿAbdul Muṭṭalib and refused to say the kalimah. Rasūlullāh (SAW) said I will continue to ask forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden by Allāh (SWT) to do so.
Allāh (SWT) then revealed verse 113 of Sūrah At-Taubah:
“It is not for the Prophet and those who believe that they seek forgiveness for the Polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are the companions of the fire.”
The Burial of Abu Talib
Alī (RA) came to Rasūlullāh (SAW) and said, ‘Indeed Abū Ṭālib has died’. Rasūlullāh (SAW) told him to go and bury him. We must remember that Abū Ṭālib was ʿAlī (RA) father. ʿAlī  said, ‘He died as a polytheist’. Rasūlullāh (SAW) again told him to go and bury him. After ʿAlī (RA) had buried him, he returned to Rasūlullāh (SAW) who then told him to bathe.
It goes without saying that Abu Talib was very much attached to Rasulullah (SAW). For forty years, Abu Talib had been the faithful friend- the prop of his childhood, the guardian of his youth and in later life a very tower of defence. The sacrifices to which Abu Talib exposed himself and his family for the sake of his nephew, shows his character as noble and unselfish.

Khadijah (RA) Passes Away

Either 3 or 5 days later, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) experience another great personal loss, the mother of believers, his wife Khadijah (RA) passed away in Ramadan of the 10th year of his Prophethood when she was sixty-five years old, and he was fifty. Khadijah (RA) was in fact a blessing of Allah for the Prophet (SAW). She, for twenty-five years, shared with him the toils and trails of life, especially in the first ten years of his prophethood. He deeply mourned over her death.
These two painful events took place within a short lapse of time and added a lot to his grief and suffering. The death of Abu Talib rendered the Prophet (SAW) vulnerable and the Makkans now openly declared their campaign of torture and oppression.
The Prophet (SAW) marries Saudah (RA) and Aisha (RA)
About one month after the death of Khadijah (RA), the Prophet (SAW) married Saudah bint Zam‘a (RA) in the month of Shawwal. Saudah (RA) had previously been married to her cousin, Sakran bin Amr. The couple had been among the early Muslims who had migrated to Abyssinia. After returning to Makkah, Sauda’s husband died. At the end of her period of mourning, the Prophet (SAW) married her.
A year later the Prophet (SAW) married Aishah (RA) in the month of Shawwal. This marriage was also solemnized in Makkah. At the time, Aishah (RA) was only six years old; however, she was sent as a bride to the Prophet (SAW) when she was nine. She was the most beloved wife of the Prophet and the greatest female scholar of Islam. The relationship between the Prophet (SAW) and her has given Muslims an insight into the Prophet’s role as a husband and the deep love he inspired in her. The camaraderie between them, the painful episode of the slander against Aishah (RA) and the confidences he divulged to her all give us insights into their rich, complex and profound relationship.
(The Sealed Nectar by Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri)
(When the Moon Split: A biography of Prophet Muhammad by Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri)
(Sirah of Muhammad (SAW) Part 6-The Middle Years of the Makkan Period by Maulana Ebrahim Noor)


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