The Life of Prophet Muhammad By Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall

 

The Life of Prophet Muhammad

Taken, with some editorial changes, from Pickthall’s introduction to his translation of the Qur’an.

The Prophet’s Birth

The Ka`bah today

Muhammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttalib, of the tribe of Quraysh, was born in Makkah fifty-three years before the Hijrah. His father died before he was born, and he was protected first by his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, and after his grandfather’s death, by his uncle Abu Talib.

As a young boy he traveled with his uncle in the merchants’ caravan to Syria, and some years afterwards made the same journey in the service of a wealthy widow named Khadijah. So faithfully did he transact the widow’s business, and so excellent was the report of his behavior, which she received from her old servant who had accompanied him, that she soon afterwards married her young agent; and the marriage proved a very happy one, though she was fifteen years older than he was. Throughout the twenty-six years of their life together he remained devoted to her; and after her death, when he took other wives he always mentioned her with the greatest love and reverence. This marriage gave him rank among the notables of Makkah, while his conduct earned for him the surname Al-Amin, the “trustworthy.”

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The Fallacy of Utilitarian Morality

Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:

 إَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءنَا وَرَضُواْ بِالْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّواْ بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ

أُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمُ النُّارُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

 

Surely those who do not expect to meet Us, who are gratified with the life of the world and content with it, and are heedless of Our signs,their abode shall be the Fire in return for their misdeeds. (The Holy Quran, 10:7-8)


The statement that is being made here is that rejection of the doctrine of the Hereafter necessarily entails the punishment of Hell, and the argument that is being proffered in support of it is that those who are oblivious to the Hereafter commit, because of their disbelief in it, evil deeds which can only lead to them suffering the torments of Hell. This argument is corroborated by the entire record of man's past. It is quite clear that the lives of those who do not believe that they will not be held to account by God for their deeds; who work on the assumption that life is merely confined to the span of worldly existence; who measure human success or failure only in terms of the extent of material comfort, fame and power that a person is able to enjoy; who under the influence of such materialistic notions do not even care to pay attention to those signs of God which point to reality, assume an altogether wrong direction with the result that their life is vitiated. Hence they live a totally unbridled life, develop the worst possible character traits, and fill God's earth with injustice and corruption, with sin and transgression, and ultimately end up meriting the punishment of Hell.

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Chapter 186: The Excellence of Adhan

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Chapter 186
The Excellence of Adhan

 

1033. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Were people to know the blessing of pronouncing Adhan and the standing in the first row, they would even draw lots to secure these privileges. And were they to realize the reward of performing Salat early, they would race for it; and were they to know the merits of Salat after nightfall (`Isha') and the dawn (Fajr) Salat, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: This expression 'to crawl' is used to illustrate the high merit of praying `Isha and Fajr in congregation in the mosque. This Hadith also urges to make best to occupy the first rows, as the `Angels of Mercy' pray for the Imam first, then for those who pray immediately behind him in the first row, then those behind them, and so on. The Hadith also points out the excellence of Adhan and the great reward of the person who pronounces it.

 

1034. Mu`awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: "The Mu'adhdhinun (callers to prayer) will have the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith highlights the eminence of Mu'adhdhin and Adhan. Adhan means calling people to the worship of Allah. Mu'adhdhin (the caller) gets reward for the Salat of all those who hear his Adhan. The phrase "will have the longest necks'' has been given different interpretations. One of them is that they are those who long for the Mercy of Allah more than anyone else. Another interpretation is that their necks will grow longer on the Day of Requital and so sweat will not reach them, for every one will sweat on that day depending on his deeds: sweat will reach up to one's ankles or knees or waists. In the case of some people, sweat will reach up to their mouths. Another interpretation is that those who call Adhan will have an honourable and great status on the Day of Requital.

 

1035. `Abdullah bin `Abdur-Rahman reported: Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) said to me: "I see that you like living among your sheep in wilderness. So whenever you are with your sheep or in wilderness and you want to call Adhan, you should raise your voice because whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human or jinn or any other creature, will testify for you on the Day of Resurrection.'' Abu Sa`id added: "I heard this from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).''
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  Shayun is used for everything, or every other thing, and covers animals, vegetables and inanimate matter. On the Day of Requital, Almighty Allah will grant the faculty of speech, and all these things will testify for the Mu'adhdhin, as would be done by mankind and jinn.

 

1036. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When Adhan for Salat is pronounced, the devil takes to his heels and breaks wind with noise so as not to hear the call. When the Adhan is finished, he returns. When the Iqamah is announced, he turns his back, and after it is finished, he returns again to distract the attention of one and makes him remember things which he does not recall in his mind before the Salat, and says `Remember this, and this,' and thus causes one to forget how many Rak`at he performed.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The words signify that Satan runs with great speed and he breaks wind, or he intentionally does so. In any case, it shows that he has an aversion for Adhan. The second point that we learn from this Hadith  is that the concentration of mind is a must for Salat to defeat all attempts of Satan to disrupt it.

1037. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "When you hear the Adhan, repeat what the Mu'adhdhin says. Then ask Allah to exalt my mention because everyone who does so will receive in return ten rewards from Allah. Then beseech Allah to grant me Al-Wasilah, which is a high rank in Jannah, fitting for only one of Allah's slaves; and I hope that I will be that man. If any one asks Al-Wasilah for me, it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him.''
[Muslim]

Commentary:  To invoke blessings upon the Prophet (PBUH) means to recite "Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima wa `ala ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majid.'' Wasilah literally means that mode or method by which one attains his goal, but here it stands for that high rank in Jannah which will be awarded to the Prophet (PBUH). The word Shafa`ah  means to beg someone to pardon somebody's faults and shortcomings or to request someone for doing a virtuous deed. In the context of this Hadith, it refers to the privilege of intercession of the Prophet (PBUH) due to which he will request for the forgiveness of such people for whom he will be given permission by Allah.

 

1038. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When you hear the Mu'adhdhin (pronouncing the call to Salat), repeat after him what he says.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith also tells us to repeat the words of Adhan when we hear it. But when he says "Hayya `alas-Salah'' or "Hayya `alal-Falah'' we must say "La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.''

 

1039. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who says upon hearing the Adhan: `Allahumma Rabba hadhihid-da`wati-ttammati, was-salatil-qa'imati, ati Muhammadanil-wasilata wal-fadhilata, wab`athu maqaman mahmuda nilladhi wa `adtahu [O Allah, Rubb of this perfect call (Da`wah) and of the established prayer (As-Salat), grant Muhammad the Wasilah and superiority, and raise him up to a praiseworthy position which You have promised him]', it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection.''
[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary:  This Hadith tells us the merit of (the prayer by maens of which one attains his  should be recited in the manner narrated by `Abdullah bin `Amr, which says that one should first repeat the wording of Adhan, then recite the prayer asking to exalt the mention of the Prophet (PBUH) and then pray Allah to grant him the Wasilah.

1040. Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who says after the Adhan: `Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah Wah-dahu la sharika Lahu; wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa Rasuluhu, radhitu Billahi Rabban, wa bi Muhammadin Rasulan, wa bil Islami Dinan [I testify that there is no true god except Allah Alone; He has no partners and that Muhammad (PBUH) is His slave and Messenger; I am content with Allah as my Rubb, with Muhammad as my Messenger and with Islam as my Deen],' his sins will be forgiven.''
[Muslim].

Commentary:  This Hadith mentions another prayer which should be recited beside the already mentioned Du`a-al-Wasilah.

 

1041. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The supplication made between the Adhan and the Iqamah is never rejected.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Short Quotes

An Illuminating Lamp

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا" O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good tidings and of warning, as a caller to Allah by His leave and as an illuminating lamp," [Qur'an (33:45 - 46)]