The Upbringing of the Prophet

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The Upbringing of the Prophet

Post by Shiabelievers on Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:39 am

The Upbringing of the Prophet
As was the custom in those days, babies of noble families were normally entrusted to the care of strong and healthy wet nurses, who not only gave suck but also taught their wards manners and etiquette. The young Muhammad (s.a.w.) was accordingly put under the care of a noble wet-nurse called Halima bint Hareth As-Saadiyah, who brought him up along with her own children; Abdullah, Eisa and daughter Shaima. (A deep affinity developed between the Prophet and his foster brothers and sister, and later in life they also accepted Islam.).
After four years Halima brought back the child to his mother and grandfather. Everyone was happy as the toddler started to grow up into a pretty, sober and intelligent boy, marked out from the rest of the children by his suave manners and loved and admired by all.
Mother and Grandfather Die:

At the age of six, his mother took him to Yathrib to visit her family. Umm Aiman their maid accompanied them on the journey. At Yathrib, the young boy saw the grave of his father, whom he had never seen in life. What a moving scene it may have been when mother and son, set eyes on Abdullah's grave!
After a short stay in Yathrib they started back, but on the way Amina became seriously ill. The party stopped to nurse her but her condition became worse and finally she breathed her last and was buried at a place called Abwa, situated between Mecca and Medina. The child was naturally sad at loosing his only surviving parent, at the tender age of 6. Now he was an orphan on both sides and alone in this wide world. But Almighty Allah is Great and Omnipresent and He alone decrees destinies. Umm Aiman escorted Muhammad (s.a.w.) to Abdul Muttalib, who was shocked on hearing news of his daughter-in-law's sudden death. The doting grandfather took upon himself the task of bringing-up the young orphan; never letting him feels the slightest discomfort. But there was yet another shock in store for Muhammad (s.a.w.), for when he reached the age of 8, he lost his loving grandfather too.
Abu Talib Assumes Guardianship:

Before his death, Abdul Muttalib instructed his son Abu Talib to see his orphaned grandson's upbringing. Accordingly, Abu Talib gladly assumed guardianship of his nephew and took young Muhammad (s.a.w.) under his roof. Abu Talib and his wife Fatimah bint Asad raised the orphan as their own child, never making him feel the slightest thought of being a destitute. They loved him dearly and he loved them in turn. In later years he was often heard saying that Fatimah bint-Asad, (the mother of Imam Ali) was like a mother to him.
KHADIJEH MOTHER OF THE ORPHANS
Though she was even wealthier than other rich people, unlike them, she always thought about helping the poor and sharing their sorrow and difficulties, and solving their problems.
For this reason, Khadijeh (S.A.) ordered her servants to never close the doors of her house to any poor person and to always have ready at hand the things the poor needed. She commanded her servants to inform her whenever a poor person wanted to talk to her or wanted something from her during the day or night. She could not bear the thought that a poor leaves her house in sorrow, not having received something from her.
So the deprived and poor knew the way to Khadijeh's house and called that house, "The house of hope and security." More than any other, the orphans sought refuge in her house, because Khadijeh (S.A.) sympathized with them a lot and she would care for them in a motherly way. So they called her "Ummul Yatama", meaning, "The Mother of the Orphans".
Having talked about Khadijeh's (S.A.) house, the following lines will help you gain a conception of her house.
The house where lived Khadijeh (S.A.) and from where she performed all the benevolent tasks for the poor, was one of the nicest in Mecca. It had two floors, each one of which was decorated by a small balcony. The northern section of the house so faced the Ka'aba (House of Allah) that the latter could be seen from its small windows. In addition to this, the visitors to Allah's house could be seen too. The windows of the other three sides faced three of Mecca's roads and every passenger entering Mecca could be seen from those windows. There was a green dome at the top of the building, which made it look a hundred times more beautiful. The interior of the house was divided into two sections, one of which Khadijeh (S.A.) kept for private usage and where no one was allowed without her permission.
She chose the northern section of the house, which faced the Ka'aba as her living quarters, and from there she stood in front of the house of Allah and prayed to Him everyday.
The other section of Khadijeh's (S.A.) house was for the guests. Special servants entertained the guests, looking after their needs. Everybody was satisfied when they left Khadijeh's house. This is why all the people living in the region would call Khadijeh's house, "the house of generosity and kindness". In hard times, people would go and come back, hands full and happy. We can say that the section of Khadijeh's house open to the public was home to many homeless, the poor, refugees, orphans and the oppressed. If anyone was looking for shelter, people would send him to Khadijeh's house.
A famous writer described Khadijeh's house as follows:
"Every orphan who didn't have anyone to depend on,
Every father who couldn't get food for his children,
Every woman who was homeless,
Everybody who suffered and became shelter less,
All of them knew the way to Khadijeh's (S.A.) house and went there.
They took refuge in her kindness and wealth.
The sore hearts of those people were treated with her favour and grace."
This was why Khadijeh's house was always full of people. Whole day and night, there were coming and going activities there. Khadijeh (S.A.) would come to that section accessible to the public a few hours everyday. She would sit with her poor and homeless guests, talk and listen to their distress and difficulties. She would caress the children and wipe the tears of the mothers. Then she would call her private servant and he would bring some bags of money. Khadijeh (S.A.) would then distribute the money amongst the people.
Kind Khadijeh (S.A.) would always sit with the orphans at dinner and eat with them. She would herself feed the delicious food to them. She would place her hands around their faces, caress and kiss them, saying: "My dear children! Don't feel like orphans. (I am your mother). I will support and love you like my own child."
Khadijeh's (S.A.) support and protection was not only for the orphans who didn't have any parents, but also for those who had parents. During those days, known as Al-Jahiliyya (The age of Ignorance), some fathers who were narrow-minded and foolish would bury their own daughters alive, for different foolish reasons. They were proud of this ugly and indecent act. On every opportunity, they would boast about what they had done. However, they never thought about the day of Judgement and that Allah will judge them:
"When the female (infant) who was buried alive will be asked for what sin was she killed." (Al-Qur'an, 81:8-9)
During those days, this ugly and indecent act was common amongst some Arab tribes. They would kill their innocent daughters because of poverty and believed that having a daughter is something to be ashamed of. They would cowardly bury their daughters alive.
Then glowed the light of Islam forbidding such a practice. Allah says in Al-Qur'an:
"And do not kill your children for fear of poverty; We give them sustenance and yourselves (too); surely to kill them is a great sin." (Al-Qur'an, 17:31)
As a result, when some mothers gave birth to a girl, their husbands would get angry at them. They either had to give their daughter to their cruel husband, who was free to do whatever he wanted to do to the innocent baby, or send the baby to Khadijeh's (S.A.) house from where it could be supported and saved from being buried alive. Now we are going to tell you one of those stories.
One night, when darkness covered the region of the Hejaz (Arabian Peninsula), the wealthy, who had no conscience, were sleeping in their comfortable beds, putting their arrogant heads on their comfortable pillows. They were sleeping comfortably and never bothered about anyone or anything else as they had everything in the world. Also money was always at their disposal and they could do whatever they wished, even irrational. They thought that as long as the earth exists, they would have power.
On the same night, the poor and helpless people were sleeping in their dirty houses or beside the walls of some rich person's house in the city or in Khadijeh's (S.A.) house and they would try to forget all about their sorrow and misery, at least for that night.
During this dark night, the stars and moon were hiding behind the dark clouds. Not willing to see the prejudice and inequality amongst the human beings, they had stopped shining.
On that night, everybody was asleep except Khadijeh (S.A.) and her special servant and............
Khadijeh (S.A.) was thinking in her private room. She was swimming in the sea of dreams and had surrounded herself with the turbulent waves of her thoughts.
Then suddenly someone knocked at her door. Khadijeh (S.A.), still dreaming, lifted her head and asked: "Who is it?" Someone answered: "It is me, my lady, Maysareh." Khadijeh (S.A.) replied: "Come in! I am awake. I can't sleep tonight." The door opened and Khadijeh's special servant, Maysareh, rushed into the room, all confused.
Maysareh said: "As Salaamu Alaikum, my lady, I am sorry if I am bothering you."
Khadijeh (S.A.) replied: "Wa Alaikum Salaam. What is wrong, Maysareh? I see that you are worried. Has something happened or...?" Maysareh answered: "No, no! Don't worry. You yourself said that we should tell you whenever an indigent, helpless or an oppressed person wanted to see you."
Khadijeh (S.A.) said: "Yes, yes. I myself said that. Now what has happened and who wants to see me and why?" Maysareh answered: "My lady, a young woman carrying a heavy sack has come to the house. She was shaking and crying and her hair was untidy. She begged me to bring her to you. It seems that she came here because she is afraid and depressed."
Khadijeh (S.A.) answered; "Very well. There is no problem. Tell her to come in. I myself told you to call me anytime, day or night if any helpless or homeless person wanted to see me. Don't let that person leave this house in sadness or with empty hands".
Maysareh went to call the young woman to take her to Khadijeh's room.
Khadijeh (S.A.) started thinking about that young woman and she told herself: "Oh Allah! What has happened to this poor woman in the middle of the night? What kind of problem has she faced that has caused her to leave her house alone at this time and to come to my house? Who is this helpless woman? Where does she come from? And why did she come here? Maybe she is a mother who came here with her sick child so that we can provide food and medicine for it.
"Maybe she is a slave who has come here because of her unjust master. Or maybe she is a chaste woman whose house the street ruffians entered by force to kill her husband or take her innocent child. Maybe none of these, but maybe her cruel husband wanted to take her innocent daughter away from her and bury the girl alive under the cold dust of the desert. Maybe for this reason, she took the baby and brought her here seeking refuge in my house."
Many thoughts occupied the chaste mind of Khadijeh (S.A.) when suddenly the door opened. A young woman, whose head and face were covered with a veil, entered, crying. Tears had completely wet her red and dusty cheeks. Her arms and legs were shaking out of sorrow and she could only say: "As Salaamu Alaikum." She then sat down on the floor and tried to kiss Khadijeh's feet, but the latter stopped her and hugged her and kissed her face like a kind mother. Khadijeh (S.A.) asked her: 'my daughter! What has happened? Why are you so upset? Be sure that whatever I can do I will do for you. Tell me, my daughter. Tell me what has happened."
The young woman moved away from Khadijeh's embrace and opened the heavy sack and placed it in front of Khadijeh (S.A.). She removed a beautiful baby from it, which was like the blossom of spring and hugged it.
After the young woman gave the baby many long and warm kisses while still in tears, she placed the baby in front of Khadijeh (S.A.) and said:
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Re: The Upbringing of the Prophet

Post by Shiabelievers on Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:41 am

"Oh Lady of Quraish! Oh kind Khadijeh (S.A.) I beg you, please have mercy upon my baby and me. Look how beautiful it is and what beautiful black eyebrows it has. For the sake of Allah look how it looks at me with its sweet eyes. See what a beautiful smile it has. It seems that the baby understands what I say because it looks at me this way. The baby knows that I want to take it away from myself and give it to somebody else."
Then the young woman looked at the sky and said: "Oh Almighty Allah! Save us from this insecure and ignorant situation and from dirty deeds. Send us a savior who can stop this savage situation and the cruel killings. What did this innocent baby do that makes its father want to bury it alive with no fear? What did I do wrong that I must give up my baby?
The woman prayed to Allah and then started crying even more. The baby, afraid of her mother's cries started crying also.
Khadijeh (S.A.), who was quiet until this time, took the woman's lovely baby and hugged it and sympathetically said to the young woman: "My daughter! Don't worry. "I will keep and protect your baby like my own daughter, I know how you feel now and why you are so upset. I am a mother and I know the heartache of mothers. I will raise her and whenever you want, you can come here and see your baby."
The young woman said: "What if my husband comes and wants to take her from you? He is an obstinate person. When I was pregnant, he told me: 'If it is a boy, he is mine. If it is a girl, it belongs to the grave.' He repeated this sentence everyday to bother me.
"Today when I felt the pains of delivery, I took refuge in the desert so I could deliver the baby. There, this beautiful girl was born. I didn't return to the house because I knew if I took it to the house, it would have meant the grave for it; as a result, I came to your house because I knew that my daughter would be protected here.
"Oh kind Khadijeh (S.A.)! We, the women of this region, know you very well. We know that you protect the orphans better than their parents, but I am still afraid that my angry husband may come here and get the baby from you.
"He may even hurt me and kill me for having given the baby to you. But it doesn't matter. Let him kill me but my daughter will be alive."
The young woman uttered these words and fell down at Khadijeh's (S.A.) feet and started crying very hard. Khadijeh (S.A.) picked her up and placed her hand on the dusty hair of the young woman and very kindly said: "My daughter! I told you not to worry about your baby. I will raise her like my own baby and I will never give her to your husband. He can't do anything here. If he comes here, I will hide her. Be sure that your baby is in a secure place. Now get up and rest a little bit. You don't feel well. You have come a long way. Leave everything to Allah because Allah is closer and kinder to a person than anyone else."
After the young woman heard the kind words of Khadijeh (S.A.), she went to a corner of the room and fell into a deep sleep. The great Khadijeh (S.A.), whose pure spirit was shaken by the recent incidents thought very hard about the things that the young woman had told her. Then she asked herself: What is this misfortune that is over coming the Arab fathers, that causes them to become so cruel and conscienceless as to bury their innocent babies alive with their own hands under tons of black soil? Do they fear poverty or feel ashamed?
The Lady of Quraish kept thinking about this unfortunate situation and deliberated as to how long this practice would continue. Having pondered deeply, she started to pray and commune with Allah. She said:
"Oh Allah! I swear by your Prophets and the people who are close to You. I beg You to send the Saviour that Jesus and the other Messengers have promised for these unfortunate and ignorant people so that this ugly, and unfortunate situation comes to an end. Only then would innocent mothers be able to hold their unprotected and innocent babies in their arms."
After prayer, she went to sleep. She dreamt that the sun was rising from the sky and turned several times around the house of Allah. It then moved towards her house, where its huge brightness dazzled her eyes.
She woke up and realized that the day of Islam was near.


PROPHET MARRIGE WITH BIBI Khadija (S.A)
Muhammad (s.a.w.) grew up in his loving uncle's house, blossoming into a handsome youth of exceptionally good character, which marked him out from rest of the young Meccans. He soon began to assist Abu Talib in trade and commerce and once accompanied his uncle's trading caravan to Syria, ably revealing his talents and integrity. His honesty and reputation preceded him and sometime after his return to Mecca he took up a trading job with one of the wealthiest and noblest Quraishite women, Khadija bint Khuwailid. He accepted to work for Khadija and was entrusted with some money, with which he busied himself in commerce. He again traveled to Syria and made great profits for Khadija during the trip.
Naturally Khadija was pleased and soon came to admire Muhammad's (s.a.w.) intelligence and honesty. Eventually she offered her hand in marriage, which was accepted by him. This event took place in the month of Shawwaal. Muhammad (s.a.w.) thus married Khadija and they lived a harmonious life full of love, cooperation and sincerity, sharing each other's joys and sorrows. They formed a perfect husband and wife pair, the likeness of which is something rare in human history. When finally the Divine Message was revealed to Muhammad (s.a.w.), the devout Khadija at once believed in her husband without ever expressing the slightest doubt. She was the first among women to accept Islam and subsequently put all her vast wealth and property at the Prophet's disposal for the spread of truth and justice.
Khadija bint Khuwailid was from the Quraish tribe and was born and bred in Mecca. Even in the days of Jahiliyyah she was known among the Quraish women for her nobleness of character and virtue, that is why she was called by the Meccans as Tahera 'the pure'. She married Muhammad (s.a.w.), 15 years before revelation came to him from Allah. As long as she was alive the Prophet never took a second wife and even in later years of his life after numerous marriages, he used to cherish her loving memory and refer to her as the most beloved of his spouses. She endured with him hunger, poverty and calamities inflicted by the Meccan polytheists. She bore Muhammad (s.a.w.) many children, all of whom except for Fatima (a.s.) died in infancy, including son Qasim (Khadija bore the Prophet one more son named Taher, who also died in infancy. Later in life Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had another son named Ibrahim through his Egyptian wife Maria Qibtia, who also died in infancy. Hence, the Prophet's progeny survives today through his daughter Fatima and her two sons Hasan and Husain who are the ancestors of all 'Seyyids' (descendants of the Prophet).), from whom the Prophet's Kunya (agnomen) 'Abul Qasim' is derived.
Finally in the tenth year of the Prophetic mission, shortly after the small Muslim community quarantined by the heathens in Shi'ab Abi Talib had come out of the valley, Khadija breathed her last. It was a great tragedy for the Prophet. The year is known as the Year of Grief in history because the Prophet suffered a further blow that year losing that other great benefactor, his uncle Abu Talib.


Muhammad (s.a.w.), right from his childhood was known for his virtue and lofty conduct and was far removed from the prevalent vices of the day like idolatry, dishonesty, drinking, gambling, cowardice etc., which were the hallmarks of the Meccan society. His noble character stood him out as the most impeccable one-ever, to the point that his people called him as-Sadiq (the Truthful) and al-Amin (the Honest). They put their complete trust in him and always turned to him as an impartial judge in their frequent disputes.
He was a born believer whose heart was free from the filth of disbelief and polytheism. Never had the boy been near idols let alone worshipping them. The All-Knowing Allah, Who had singled out the child for the greatest task and blessings that lay ahead, had inspired Muhammad's (s.a.w.) young heart with His Greatness, Power and Majesty. His pristine purity was indicative of his future greatness, for how could people believe in him and put their trust in him if they see him prostrating before man-made objects and indulging in vices like any ordinary Arab of the day. Surely, none would have responded to his call to Islam, towards virtue and towards deliverance from oppression, and none would have believed him if they were not sure of vouchsafing his truthfulness and honesty.
Thus Divine providence was at work, right from the beginning in his case, grooming, inspiring and educating the young Muhammad (s.a.w.) and finally introducing him as a model of emulation and messenger for all of mankind.
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