Muhammad A Blessing For Mankind by Jamal Badawi


Muhammad (PBUH) (Blessings and Peace be upon him) was born in Makkah, Arabia, on Monday, 12 Rabi' Al-Awwal (2 August C.E). His mother, Aminah was the daughter of Wahb bin Abd Al-Manaf of the Zahrah family. His father, Abdullah, was the son of Abd Al-Muttalib. His genealogy has been traced to the noble house of Isma'il, the son of Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) (May Peace be upon him) in about the fortieth descent. Muhammad's father had died before his birth and his mother died when he was about six years old making him an orphan. In accordance with the tradition of noble families of Makkah, he was taken by a foster mother, Halimah, to her village where he lived for a few years. During these years he was taken to Makkah several times to visit his mother. After the death of his mother, he was placed under the custody of his grandfather, Abd Al-Muttalib. When the grandfather died, he was under the care of his uncle, Abu Talib. By this time he used to look after sheep around Makkah and used to accompany his uncle on trade journeys to Syria.

In his youth he believed firmly in the Oneness of Allah (God)(SWT). He lived a very simple life and hated vanity and pride. He was compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans and shared their sufferings by helping them. He avoided all vices, which were commonly practiced among young people such as gambling, drinking wine, vulgarity and others. He was well-known as As-Sadiq(the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy). He was always trusted as a mediator between two conflicting parties in his homeland, Makkah.



The Prophet of Islam by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah

[Taken from Introduction to Islam by Muhammad Hamidullah (Centre Culturel Islamique, Paris, 1969), with some changes to make it more readable. The changes are marked by pairs of brackets like around this paragraph.]

The Prophet of Islam - His Biography

IN the annals of men, individuals have not been lacking who conspicuously devoted their lives to the socio-religious reform of their connected peoples. We find them in every epoch and in all lands. In India, there lived those who transmitted to the world the Vedas, and there was also the great Gautama Buddha; China had its Confucius; the Avesta was produced in Iran. Babylonia gave to the world one of the greatest reformers, the Prophet Abraham (not to speak of such of his ancestors as Enoch and Noah about whom we have very scanty information). The Jewish people may rightly be proud of a long series of reformers: Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, and Jesus among others.


Chapter 303: Prohibition of Consultation with Soothsayers

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Chapter 303
Prohibition of Consultation with Soothsayers


1668. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: Some people asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about soothsayers. He (PBUH) said, "They are of no account.'' Upon this they said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! But they sometimes make true predictions.'' Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "That is a word pertaining to truth which a jinn snatches (from the angels) and whispers into the ears of his friend (the soothsayers) who will then mix more than a hundred lies with it.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The narration in Al-Bukhari is: "The angels descend in the clouds and mention matters which has been decreed in heaven; Satan steals a hearing (listens to it stealthily) and communicates it to the soothsayers who tell along with it a hundred lies.''

Commentary: Kahin (soothsayer), Munajjim (astrologer) and Arraf (foreteller) have similar characteristics but with a slight difference. All of them make predictions about the future. Kahin would overhear some jinn and disclose the secret to people which would sometimes prove true, because the jinn's source of information was Satan who sometimes stole away some information from the angels. But after the annunciation of the Prophet (PBUH) it was made impossible for jinns and satans to overhear anything in the skies. Moreover, Kahin and others of his ilk would make predictions on the basis of certain signs and circumstantial evidence which could go wrong or right. This is so even to this day. Astrological prediction is also a form of foretelling but this is often wrong. Al-`Irafah, or what is known to be as divination is also an indication of some future occurrence on the basis of certain causes and events. All the three occult arts supplement each other and also take the help of similar other things. In other words, these are all different forms of soothsaying. Geomancy also tries to tell about the invisible future. At-Tarq is the art of taking omen by striking birds with gravel on their wings or by throwing barley, etc., before them. In the latter formula, if a bird flies towards the right side, it would be a good omen; and if it goes towards the left it will be a bad one. All such things are unlawful and have been strictly forbidden by Islam. If anything predicted by these means comes by chance true, it does not furnish any justification for their validity.


1669. Narrated Safiyyah, daughter of Abu `Ubaid, on the authority of some of the wives of the Prophet (PBUH) who said, "He who goes to one who claims to tell about matters of the Unseen and believes in him, his Salat (prayers) will not be accepted for forty days.''

Commentary:  We learn from this Hadith that visiting soothsayers and astrologers for the purpose of knowing from them what lies hidden in future is such a great offense that he who does it, loses all merits of his forty days Salat. Some people try to detect the culprits involved in a theft case through the so-called fortunetellers or seek their advice in matters relating to business, marriage etc. All such things are unlawful because Allah Alone knows the invisible world.


1670. Qabisah bin Al-Mukhariq (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "The practice of `Iyafah, the interpretation of omens from the flight of birds, the practice of divination by drawing lines on the ground and taking evil omens are all practices of Al-Jibt (the idol, the diviner, or sorcerer).''
[Abu Dawud].

Commentary:  Iyafah is an occult practice in which the practitioner rapidly draws lines on the soft ground in the presence of his client in such a manner that the lines cannot be counted then he effaces the lines in pairs. If at the end of the exercise two lines are left on the ground, it is taken as a good omen; if it is a single line, it is a bad omen. Some people have also described certain other forms of this occult formula. In any case, it was one of the formulas practised by the soothsayers of the Period of Ignorance. This practice, like others of this kind, was prohibited and Muslims were made to understand that such things could neither benefit nor harm anyone, and were mere tricks and frauds; and any reliance on them was absolute superstition and heresy. How sad it is that a large number of Muslims of the present age have faith in such occult practices and believe in superstitions. May Allah grant us guidance and save us from such evils. Al-Jibt covers a wide meanings. It means anything worshipped other than the true God (Allah), i.e., all false deities, be they an idol, Satan, graves, stars, angels, saints, Jesus the son of Mary, etc.


1671. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who acquires a branch of the knowledge of astrology, learns a branch of magic (of which he acquires more as long as) he continues to do so.''
[Abu Dawud].

Commentary: In this Hadith, astrology has been regarded a part of magic. In Islam the learning of magic has been held equivalent to infidelity. Thus, it is evident that in Islam, astrology and soothsaying are highly dangerous, and learning them is a great sin. Astrology here stands for that pseudo-science on the basis of which future events are predicted with reference to the movements of stars. There is another science called astronomy by means of which timings of sunrise and sunset are calculated. This branch of science, however, is a genuine science because it is based on experiment and observation.


1672. Mu`awiyah bin Al-Hakam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have recently emerged from ignorance and Allah has favoured me with Islam. There are still some men among us who visit the soothsayers to consult them (on matters relating to the future).'' He (PBUH) replied, "Do not visit them.'' I said: "There are some men who are guided by omens.'' He replied, "These are the ideas which come up in their minds but you should not be influenced by them (i.e., these things) should not prevent them from pursuing their works.'' I said: "There are some men who practise divination by drawing lines on the ground.'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, "There was a Prophet who drew lines, the line which agrees with the line drawn by that Prophet would be correct.''

1. This Hadith has already appeared earlier [Hadith No 701]. "
These are the ideas which come up in their minds'' means that sometimes something appears and one's mind at once takes it as a bad omen. This is something instinctive and natural and one is not accountable for it. But if one acts in accordance with that omen then what he does is wrong and is, therefore, forbidden. For this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) said, "(i.e., these things) should not prevent them from pursuing their works.''

2. The drawing of a line mentioned in this Hadith is different from the drawing of lines in `Iyafah mentioned earlier. Moreover, that was an act of a Prophet which was done by him in the light of Wahy sent to him by Allah and, therefore, was certainly correct. But now, nobody possesses that knowledge and cannot, therefore, be adopted. The statement of the Prophet (PBUH) that: "The line which agrees with the line drawn by that Prophet would be correct'' was by way of elucidation. It does not mean that that act can also be done by anyone today, for how can it be done without knowing its principles. How did that Prophet of Allah draw that line? What were its principles? Since that knowledge has passed away with that Prophet, it is now no longer valid, nor would it be fruitful.

Who was the Prophet who did it? Some people say it was Prophet Daniyal (Daniel), while other think it was Prophet Idris. Allah Alone knows the truth.


1673. Abu Mas`ud Al-Badri (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited the price of a dog, the earning of an prostitute, and the money given to a soothsayer.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

1. "
Prohibition of the price of dog'' signifies that the sale and purchase of dogs is forbidden. This a general order which applies to dog of every kind, whether it is for hunting or protection of farms (which is permissible) or is a tamed one. The reason being that dog is an absolutely unclean animal no matter what breed it is. Some `Ulama' are of the opinion that the sale and purchase of such dog which one intends to keep for lawful needs such as hunting and protecting farms is permissible. So far as reasoning is concerned, the views of the majority of `Ulama' are quite strong because we find absolute prohibition of dogs in this Hadith.

The earning of a vile woman has been called `Dower' in the Hadith because of its evident form, otherwise it is unlawful and nobody accepts its justification. Similar is the case of soothsayers, astrologers, fortunetellers and all those who fool people by telling them about future and thus swindle money from them. Their income is also unlawful.

2. It is also unlawful to make any payment to such swindlers because when it is not lawful for them to make money in this manner, how can we consider the money given to them lawful?

Short Quotes

Enter Islam in whole

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ادْخُلُواْ فِي السِّلْمِ كَآفَّةً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

(2:208) O Believers, enter completely into Islam and do not follow in the footsteps of Satan, for he is your avowed enemy.
God demands that man should submit, without reservation, the whole of his being to His will. Man's outlook, intellectual pursuits, behaviour, interaction with other people and modes of endeavour should all be completely subordinate to Islam. God does not accept the splitting up of human life into separate compartments, some governed by the teachings of Islam and others exempt. (Tafheemul Quran)