Section 2: Muhammad From Birth to Prophethood
Chapter One: The Ancestors of the Holy Prophet
Chapter Two: The Holy Prophet’s Childhood and Adolescence
Chapter Three: The Holy Prophet’s Youth
The Holy Prophet’s ancestors up to the twentieth before his father included: Abd al-Muttalib, ‘Abd Manaf, Quzay, Kilab, Murrah, Ka’b, Lu’ay, Ghalib, Fihr, Malik, al-Nadhr, Kinanah, Khuzaymah, Mudrikah, Ilyas, Mudhar, Nizar, Ma’ad, and ‘Andan.1 However, there is no agreement concerning his other ancestors up to Prophet Ishmael, Prophet Abraham’s son.2 It is narrated that when the Holy Prophet enumerated his ancestors, he refused to call any other ancestor prior to ‘Adnan,3 and recommended others to do so.4 Regarding the work of genealogists concerning his lineage and the names of his other ancestors between ‘Adnan and Isma’il, the Holy Prophet used to say, “Genealogists lied.”5
The Arab tribes are divided into Qahtani and ‘Adnani groups. Quraysh, due to its relation with ‘Adnan (the Holy Prophet's twentieth ancestor) belongs to ‘Adnan. All clans whose lineage leads to al-Nadhr ibn Kinanah are called qurayshi, since Quraysh was their nickname.6 The tribe of Quraysh is of different branches,7 such as Banu-Makhzum, Banu-Zuhrah, Banu-Umayyah, Banu-Sahm, Banu-Asad and Banu-Hashim8 to which the Holy Prophet belongs.
Among the Holy Prophet’s ancestors, we have a lot of information about ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the first ancestor, since he lived at a time close to the Islamic era. ‘Abd al-Muttalib was a beloved, generous, wise and unique personality.9 He, like all great divine personalities, was the chief of his time. Despite his long life, he never took on the corrupt traits prevalent in the society of Mecca. In those days, nobody in Mecca believed in the Resurrection; and even if this belief existed, it was not strong. Not only did ‘Abd al-Muttalib believes in the Resurrection but also emphasized the chastisement of that Day; he used to remark:
“There is a world after this one in which good-wishers will get their rewards and evildoers their punishment.”10
Although a tribal dogmatism prevailed in the Arabian Peninsula in those dark days and everybody defended the rights of his relatives without considering justice, ‘Abd al-Muttalib was not such a person. He put a lot of pressure on one of his relatives, called Harb ibn Umayyah, to pay the blood money of a Jew who had been killed under instigation and persuasion.11 He used to encourage his children to stay away from the nasty deeds of this world and engage themselves in good deeds.12
‘Abd al-Muttalib believed in a number of traditions which were approved of in Islam; among them we may refer to the prohibition of drinking wine, the prohibition of adultery, the punishment of adulterers; the cutting of the thief's hand, the banishment of ill-named Meccan women, the prohibition of burying daughters alive, the prohibition of marriage with intimates, the prohibition of being naked in circumambulating the Kaaba, carrying out one's vows and obligations, the observance of the sacred months, and finally engaging in mutual cursing (mubahalah).13 It is narrated that ‘Abd al-Muttalib was the evidence of God and Abu-Talib God's Representative.14
Prophet Muhammad's household was a household of monotheism. According to the beliefs of researchers who believed in Imamate, Prophet Muhammad's father and his ancestors from Adam to ‘Abdullah were all monotheists. There was no atheist among them—a fact asserted by many Qur'anic verses and narrations. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
“God led me from the clean men's loin into the clean women's wombs and put me into your world and never let me be mingled with the corruptions of the Ignorance Era.”15
We know that no dirt is worse than atheism or disbelief. If ever there were an atheist or disbeliever among the progeny or progenitors of anybody, he would not be considered clean. The Twelver Imamiyyah scholars believe that Abu-Talib and Aminah bint (daughter of) Wahab—the Holy Prophet’s mother—were monotheists.16 In this regard, Imam ‘Ali (a.s) has stated:
“I swear to God that my father and ancestors, ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Hashim and ‘Abd Manaf, did not believe in any form of idolatry. They were true followers of Prophet Abraham’s religion and used to perform prayers to God at the Kaaba.”17
The Arabs at the Ignorance Era did not have any constant historical starting point; rather, they considered some significant local events, such as the death of a distinguished man or a bloody war between two tribes as a temporary historical point of reference.18 No such historical point existed among all Arab tribes either. Rather, each tribe used a specific historical point of reference of its own.19
When the army of elephants, under the leadership of Abrahah, the Ethiopian commander, came to Mecca to destroy God's House,20 it was severely defeated through God's hidden power. This event overpassed all other events and that year became the historical point of reference for many years to come.21 On that same year, Prophet Muhammad (S) was born in Mecca.22 This event, with regards to some pieces of evidence such as the emigration (Hegira) in 622 AD and the Holy Prophet’s demise in 632 AD at the age of 60-63 years must have occurred in the years 569-570 AD.23
When Prophet Muhammad (S) became two years old,24 his father, ‘Abdullah, on his mercantile journey from Damascus, passed away in Yathrib, where he was buried.25 Referring to the orphanage of the Holy Prophet, the Holy Qur'an states:
Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter; and find you lost (i.e. unrecognized by men) and guide them to you; and find you in want and make you to be free from want? (93:6-8)
Aminah's infant was breast-fed by his mother for the first days of his birth;26 he was then breastfed by Thuwaybah, a female servant freed by Abu-Lahab.27 According to Arab customs,28 he was submitted to a nurse, named Halimah al-Sa’diyyah, from the tribe of Banu-Sa’d ibn Bakr who used to live in the desert.29 Halimah breastfed the Holy Prophet30 for two years, cared for him for five years and finally submitted him to his family.31
Most probably, they put the keeping of the Holy Prophet in the hands of a desert-dwelling nurse because his wanted him to nourish in the clean air of the desert and to stay away from the disease of cholera epidemic in Mecca.32 Another reason was that they wanted him to learn the eloquent Arabic from the nomadic tribes. Some historians have referred to this factor.33 Attesting this fact, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said,
“I am more eloquent than all of you because I am both a Qurayshite and have been breastfed among the tribe of Banu-Sa’d ibn Bakr.”34
Concerning the adoption of Halimah as the special nurse for Muhammad (S), there are some accounts in historical documents to the effect that since Muhammad (S) was an orphan, nobody would accept to take care of him. This was because a nurse would receive some money from the child's parents and such a means was not available to Muhammad (S). Halimah had to accept him since there was no other option for her to be busy.35 Lack of acceptance of Muhammad (S) on the part of nurses due to his orphanage does not seem accurate for the following reasons:
As we have already said, ‘Abdullah passed away several months after Muhammad's birth; thus, at that time, he was not yet an orphan.
Due to ‘Abd al-Muttalib's privileges in Mecca and because of his high socio-economic status, nurses and caretakers would not refrain from taking care of him; rather, they were extremely zealous to take care of such a family.
This topic has not been discussed in many historical documents.36
Upon receiving her child from Halimah, Aminah, together with her child and Umm-Ayman, ‘Abdullah's bondwoman, made a journey to Yathrib with a caravan in order to pay a visit to his maternal uncles.37 After a stay of one month in Yathrib and on her way back to Mecca, she passed away at a house called Abwa, where she was buried. At that time, Muhammad (S) was six years old.38 Umm-Ayman took him to Mecca with the caravan and submitted him to ‘Abd al-Muttalib39 who then resumed Muhammad's guardianship and took good care of him as long as he was alive. He used to say, “Muhammad will definitely have a high status.”40
When Muhammad (S) was eight years old, ‘Abd al-Muttalib died and Abu-Talib, his full uncle, resumed his guardianship.41 From then on, Abu-Talib, a generous and respectful dignitary, became Muhammad's guardian42 although he was extremely poor.43 He was a man of high self-esteem among Quraysh.44 He was fond of THE Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) whom he loved more than his children.45
Abu-Talib's wife, Fatimah bint Asad, had a significant role in the education of Muhammad (S). She did her best in this regard. She loved him like a genuine mother and preferred him to her own children. Never did Muhammad (S) forget her care; he always referred to her as his genuine and natural mother.46
On his journey to Damascus for trade, Abu-Talib accompanied Muhammad with him according to his request while he was 8, 9, 12 or 13 years of age, according to different documents. When the caravan reached Buzr,47 they rested next to a hermitage in which there was a monk, called Bahira, who was a well-known Christian priest. Among the crowd, the monk paid a special attention to Muhammad in whom he could see some signs of the expected Prophet. Talking with Muhammad (S) for a short time and asking him some questions, the monk predicted his prophethood and advised Abu-Talib to take good care of and protect him against the Jews' danger molestations.48 However, the following points should be taken into consideration concerning this event:
(1) This event is referred to in some historical records briefly; while in others, it is dealt with in more details. The essence of the event is not doubtful, because in several verses of the Holy Qur'an, the predictions of previous Prophets about Prophet Muhammad have been stated.49
(2) The signs that the religious scholars had about Muhammad (S) were of two kinds: indicative of his personal life and body features (for instance, his orphanage, facial features and his name) and others related to his family background (such as his being an Arab and his marriage).One of the most distinguished signs on his body was a speckle (birthmark) between his shoulders, which is called the Prophet's speckle or the Prophet’s seal.50
(3) Bahira's prediction was only new to the people of the caravan because Abu-Talib and Muhammad's other close relatives had already been aware of his bright future.51
Some Orientalists have distorted the event of Muhammad's encounter with Bahira, claiming that during this visit, Muhammad learned the teachings of the Torah and the Gospel.52 Will Durant, rather subtly, refers to this event:
“When Muhammad was twelve years old, his uncle Abu-Talib took him with a caravan to Buzr, a city in Damascus. He probably learned some aspects of Judaism and Christianity during this journey.”53
To answer these irrational claims and distortions, the following points should be considered:
(1) Historians unanimously acknowledge that Muhammad (S) was illiterate.
(2) At that time, he was less than thirteen years old.
(3) The interval between this visit and his prophethood was a long time.
(4) His meeting with Bahira was rather short; it included the monk’s questions and Muhammad's replies. How would it be possible to imagine that an illiterate boy within a short period of time could have learned the aspects of Judaism and Christianity so well that he could have presented it as a complete religion at the age of forty?
(5) Had Muhammad (S) learnt anything from the monk, the aggressive and excuse-seeking Quraysh would have used it against him. However, there is no sign of this aggression against him in the history of Islam. Quoting Quraysh's accusations and answering them, the Qur'an does not make any reference to such an event.
(6) If such a thing were correct, how come those people on the caravan did not refer to it?
(7) If such an account were correct, why did Christian natives of Damascus not claim at that time that they had been Muhammad's instructors?
(8) If this claim were correct, Islamic teachings would be the same as those of the Torah and the Gospel. However, these teachings are not only contradictory, but also most of the Jewish and Christian ideas and teachings of the Torah and the Gospel have been rejected by the Holy Qur'an.54 Once, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab asked the Holy Prophet to let him write down the narrations which he had heard from the Jews. The Holy Prophet remarked,
“Are you confused in your own religion like the Jews and the Christians? I have brought you this holy and luminous religion. If Moses were alive, he would follow my way now.”55
In Medina, where a great number of Jews used to live, Muhammad (S) used to show his disagreements in many religious plans and orders with the Jews56 so much so that they used to say “This man wants to disagree with us in all of our programs.”57
Constan Virgil Giorgio, a Christian who desired to spread lies against Islam, has narrated the event with so many distortions and illogical details that his account is not only contrary to any standard of thinking but also in disharmony with the claims of the Christians themselves. He writes:
“Ibn Husham, an Arab narrator, writes: Contrary to people's beliefs, Bahira was not Christian; he was Manichean, a follower of a man called Mani who claimed prophethood at the time of the Sasanids. Bahram I, the Sasanid King, ordered him to be crucified across the entrance of Gondi Shapur in Khuzestan in 276 AD. Mani and his followers, including Bahira, believed that God is not in the monopoly of a specific nation; rather, he belonged to men all over the world. This is because all the world nations belong to Him and God will send a prophet to a nation to speak with the people in their own language whenever He wishes so.”58
By the name Ibn Husham, the writer most probably refers to ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Husham (213 AH), the author of the famous book al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, one of the significant documents of the history of Islam. However, there is neither any mention of the word Manichean relating to this issue in Ibn Husham's book nor in any older Islamic sources. This man is introduced as either Christian or even rarely Jew. Now the question is: How did Giorgio get this information?
Furthermore, Manichaeism did not have any follower in Damascus; the center for Manichaeism was Iran. In the word of a scholar, Manichaeism is ascribed to Bahira for purpose of establishing that Islam has imitated the uniqueness of God and the universalism of Islam from Manichaeism. During the last centuries, Islam has been confronted with similar issues. It is not important for the accusers to ascribe the most advanced form of thoughts to the weakened religions because these old religions do not have genuine followers to be proud of. Islam stands so high that the world of Christianity even centuries after the Crusade campaigns, still worries about the expansion of Islam and tries helplessly to de-emphasize Islam's glories.59
Hilf al-Fudhul,60 the most important Qurayshi treaty,61 was held among some branches of Quraysh tribe, because one of the Banu-Zubayd tribe had entered Mecca and sold some goods to al-’Az ibn Wa'il of Banu-Sahm. The goods were delivered to al-’Az ibn Wa'il who refused to pay the price to the seller. A man from Banu-Zubayd then came to Wa'il to receive his money, but he received nothing. There was a strong tribal system in Arabia in those days and every tribe tried to defend its own interests and those of its members. If a foreigner was wronged, there was nobody to help or protect him. The Zubaydi man had to climb Abu-Qubays Mount and say passionate poems to let the leaders of Quraysh hear what injustice he had suffered.
At that time, these leaders had gathered below the mountain to have a meeting. Having heard the man's call for justice, Zubayr ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib encouraged the leaders of Banu-Hashim, i.e. ‘Abd al-Muttalib, Banu-Zuhrah, Banu-Tamim and Banu-Harith (who were among the prominent clans of Quraysh) to gather at the home of ‘Abdullah ibn Jad’an al-Taymi. They convened a treaty according to which nobody, either weak or poor, was to be the subject of any act of injustice. Then they went to the home of al-’Az and received the money for the Zubaydi man.62 At that time, Muhammad (S) was twenty years old.63
The participation of Muhammad (S) in this treaty was a brave act. It is interpreted now as a symbolic act of protection of human rights in that backward and ignorant society. His brave and just act is appreciated when we notice that the youngsters of his age in those days were participating in pleasure-seeking parties and did not have any concept of protecting the oppressed or carrying out justice. After prophethood, he used to remember his participation in that treaty with a lot of joy. He said:
“I took part in a treaty at the home of ‘Abdullah ibn Jad’an which made me even more delighted than receiving red-haired camels. If at this era of Islam I am invited to such a pact, I will joyfully accept it.”64
Since this pact was superior to any other treaty, it had the name of Hilf al-Fudhul.65 This pact was a stronghold for the homeless and the miserable. Later on, it was repeatedly used to protect the oppressed ones in Mecca against tyrants and oppressors.66
Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid, was a rich, honorable and dignified trader who used to employ men for trade purposes, provide them with capital and pay them wages in return.67 When Muhammad (S) was twenty-five years old,68 Abu-Talib said to him, “I have become broke and empty-handed. Now a caravan is on its way to Damascus. I wish you to go to Khadijah and ask for a job.”
At this time, Khadijah had become aware of Muhammad's traits of honesty and good manners. She sent an errand to him saying, “If you accept the supervision of my caravan, I will pay you more than others and I would send my special servant, Maysarah, to help you.” Muhammad (S) accepted this offer69 and accompanied the caravan to Damascus accompanied by Maysarah.70 He could make more money than others.71
Maysarah observed such feats of magnanimity in Muhammad (S) that he was surprised. During this trip, Nustur the monk predicted his prophethood. He observed that Muhammad (S) had some arguments with a man over trade. That man said, “You should swear to Lat and ‘Uzza so that I could accept your statement.” Muhammad (S) replied, “I have never sworn to Lat and ‘Uzza in my whole life.”72 On his return to Mecca, Maysarah told Khadijah what he had seen in Muhammad (S).73
Khadijah was a farsighted, provident, honorable and dignified woman of noble lineage. She was superior to all women of Quraysh.74 Due to her high moral standards, she was nicknamed Tahirah (immaculate)75 and Sayyidah (doyenne) of Quraysh.76 She is said to have married twice but her previous husbands had died.77 Every Qurayshi nobleman desired to marry her.78 Some well-known persons such as ‘Uqbah ibn Abi-Mu’it, Abu-Jahl, and Abu-Sufyan had asked her for marriage but she always turned them down.79
On the other hand, Khadijah was a relative of Muhammad (S) and both of them had the common ancestor of Quzay. She had recognized the bright future for Muhammad (S),80 and was pleased to accept him as her spouse.81 She made an offer of marriage and he consulted with his uncles who accepted this marriage, which took place in a family gathering.82 It is said that at that time, Khadijah was forty years old and Muhammad (S) was twenty-five.83 She was his first wife.84
Muhammad's excellent manners, honesty and decency had attracted the Meccan people so much that everybody called him amin meaning trustworthy.85 He was so reliable that they decided to use his good judgment in the installation of the Black Stone.86 He resolved their problem through high prudence and discretion. Due to the flood which descended from the mountains of Mecca, the walls of the Kaaba had broken on several sides. This event took place when he was thirty-five years old. Up to that day, the Kaaba had no ceiling and its walls were low. For this reason, its internal treasures were unprotected. People of Quraysh decided to build a roof; however, they were not able to carry out their plan. After the event of the flood, the leaders of the Meccan tribes decided to destroy the building to reconstruct it with a roof over it. At the time of the reconstruction, there were disagreements among the tribes over the location of the Black Stone. Once again, competitions and resorting to tribal pride surfaced. Each tribe desperately tried to have the honor of installing the stone. Some tribes, by thrusting their hands into a vessel full of blood, vowed not to let any other tribe have the honor of the installation.
Finally, upon the suggestion made by the eldest man of Quraysh, they decided to follow the opinion of the first person who would enter the Mosque from the entrance called Bab al-Safa. Suddenly, Muhammad (S) entered the mosque from that direction. Everybody declared that Muhammad (S) was trustworthy and they would listen to his judgment. A piece of cloth was brought in by the order of the trustworthy man of Quraysh i.e. Muhammad (S). He spread the piece of cloth, wrapped the stone inside it and asked the Qurayshi leaders to take each corner of it and collectively carry it to the wall. As soon as the stone was taken to the wall, Muhammad (S) installed it in its original location.87
With his delicate discretion and prudence, he solved their problem stopping a potentially huge amount of bloodshed.
A devastating famine occurred in Mecca after the reconstruction of the Kaaba and several years before Muhammad's prophethood. Abu-Talib, the Holy Prophet's uncle, was insolvent. Muhammad made the proposal to his other uncle ‘Abbas who was one of the richest members of Quraysh that each one of them would take one of Abu-Talib's children to his home to protect them against famine. ‘Abbas accepted this proposal. Both of them went to Abu-Talib and offered so. Thus, ‘Abbas took Ja’far, and Muhammad (S) took ‘Ali home to protect and educate. ‘Ali stayed at Muhammad's home until he was promoted to the status of prophethood. Then, ‘Ali confirmed and followed him.88 At that time, ‘Ali (a.s) was six years old and his personality was in the making.89 Muhammad (S) wanted to compensate for the hardships Abu-Talib and his wife, Fatimah bint Asad, had gone through when he was young by adopting one of his children, namely ‘Ali. He saw ‘Ali as the most competent of Abu-Talib's children. This is evident by Muhammad's remark after he had adopted ‘Ali, “I have selected the one who has been selected by God to help me.”90 Muhammad (S) showed a lot of respect and affection to ‘Ali (a.s) and did everything possible to educate him well. Fadhl ibn ‘Abbas, one of ‘Ali's cousins, says:
I asked my father, “Which one of his children did the Prophet love the most?” He replied, “‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib.” I said, “I have asked you of the Prophet's sons.” He replied, “The Prophet loves ‘Ali more than any of his sons and showed affection towards him more than others. The Prophet would never let go of ‘Ali except for those days when he attended Khadijah's caravan. We have never seen a father more affectionate towards his son than the Prophet and we have never seen a son more obedient to his father than ‘Ali to the Prophet.”91
After his prophethood, Muhammad (S) had so much emphasis over ‘Ali's education in the Islamic issues that if he received a Divine revelation at night, he would teach it to ‘Ali before dawn. If he received Divine revelation during the day, he would inform ‘Ali of it before sunset.92 Once, ‘Ali (a.s) was asked, “How come you learned more narrations from the Prophet than his other followers?” He answered, “Whenever I asked the Prophet anything, he would answer; and whenever I was silent, he used to start telling me a narration.”93
When ‘Ali (a.s) was the caliph, he referred to his religious education with the following remarks:
“You, followers of the Prophet, are well aware of my close relationship with him; and you know that when I was a small boy, he used to embrace me close to his breast and let me sleep in his bed in such a way that I could touch his body and feel his smell; he even used to put food into my mouth. I used to follow the Prophet like a child going after his mother. He used to teach me one of his ethical virtues each day and ordered me to adopt that virtue. Each year, he used to pray God at the Hara' Mountain; I was the only person to be with him. When he received the Divine revelation, I could vividly hear Satan's voice. I asked the Prophet what that noise was. He answered that it was Satan's noise and that it had a terrible sensation for not being obedient on the earth. He says that I could hear what he heard and see what he saw; the difference was that he was the Prophet and I was not; I was his vizier and representative for doing good on the earth.”94
This discourse might just refer to the Prophet's prayer at Hara’ after his prophethood, but since most of the Prophet's prayers were done at Hara’ prior to his prophethood, we can be sure that this issue is related to the era prior to his prophethood and Satan's noise of discomfort is related to the descent of the first revelations. Anyway, ‘Ali's spirit and continuous education from the Prophet prepared him to see and hear things which were not possible for ordinary people to hear or see. These were due to his sensitive mind, piercing eyes, sensitive ears and specific insight.
- 1. Tarikh al-Tabari 2:191; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 1:13; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 5-6.
- 2. Ibn al-Athir, op cit, pp. 13; al-Bayhaqi, Dala'il al-Nubuwwah, pp. 118; Mas’udi, al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 195-196; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:33; Ibn ‘Anbah, ‘Umdat al-Talib, pp. 28.
- 3. Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:56; Al-Kalbi, Jamharat al-Nasab, pp. 17.
- 4. Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib 1:155; Tabarsi, op cit, pp. 6; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 15:105.
- 5. Ibn Shahrashub, op cit, pp. 155; Ibn ‘Anbah, op cit, p28.
- 6. Ibn Shahrashub, op cit, pp. 154; Ibn ‘Anbah, op cit, pp. 26; Tabarsi, op cit, pp. 6; Ibn Qutaybah, al-Ma’arif, pp. 67; Tabarsi, Majma’ al-Bayan 10:546; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:96; Ibn ‘Abd-Rabbih, al-’Iqd al-Farid 3:312; Ibn Kathir, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:84; Muhammad Amin al-Baghdadi, Saba’ik al-Dhahab, pp. 62, Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 1:204.
Some genealogists have considered the children of Fihr ibn Malik ibn Nizar as part of Quraysh. See Kalbi, op cit, pp. 21; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, p55; Ibn Anbah, op cit, pp. 26; Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 96; Muhammad Amin al-Baghdadi, op cit, pp. 62; Ibn Wadhih, op cit, pp. 204; Ibn Hazm, Jamharat Ansab al-’Arab, pp. 12; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 1:25-26.
There are some other statements regarding this issue. See al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 1:27.
- 7. The Arab groups and tribes are given different names, such as sha’b, qabilah, ‘imarah, batn, fadkhdh and fazilah in accordance with their extension and size. For instance, Khuzaymah was a sha’b; Kinanah qabilah, Quraysh ‘imarah, Quzay batn, Hashim fakhdh, and ‘Abbas fazilah. See Ibn ‘Abd-Rabbih, al-’Iqd al-Farid 3:330; Husayn Mu'nis, the History of Quraysh.
On the basis of this typology, some researchers have attributed Quraysh to qabilah and some to ‘imarah. But the very nature of this typology is a suspect; some researchers would not accept it as such. See The History of Quraysh, pp. 215-216. Here, we will refer to Quraysh as a qabilah (tribe).
- 8. Mas’udi states that the tribe of Quraysh had twenty-five branches and he mentions them by names. See Muruj al-Dhahab 2:269.
- 9. Halabi, op cit, pp. 6.
- 10. op cit, p6; Shukri al-Alusi; Bulugh al-Irab 1:324.
- 11. Halabi, op cit, pp. 6, al-Alusi, op cit, pp. 323; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:15, al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 1:73.
- 12. Halabi, op cit, pp. 7; Mas’udi, Muruj al-Dhahab 2:109.
- 13. al-Alusi, op cit, pp. 324, Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:7; al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 1:7; Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Khizal 2:312-313.
- 14. Saduq, al-I’tiqadat, pp. 135; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 15:117; Uzul al-Kafi 1:445.
Among the issues concerning ‘Abd al-Muttalib is his vow to sacrifice one of his children for God. The report on this vow, despite its fame, suffers some documental considerations and needs further clarifications. See ‘Ali Dawani, The History Of Islam From The Start To Hegira, pp. 54-59; Shaykh al-Saduq, Man-La-Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih 3:89.
- 15. Saduq, op cit, pp. 135; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 117; Mufid, Awa’il al-Maqalat, pp. 12; Tabarsi, Majma’ al-Bayan 4:322.
Some researchers have interpreted this narration in the form of the cleanliness of the progenitor. See Sayyid Hashim Rasuli Mahallati, Some Lectures On The Analytic History Of Islam 1:64.
- 16. Mufid, op cit, Saduq, op cit.
Some Sunni distinguished scholars, such as al-Fakhr al-Razi and al-Suyuti, believe the same thing in this regard as the Twelver Shi’ah. See Bihar al-Anwar 15:118-122.
- 17. Saduq, Kamal al-Din, pp. 175; al-Ghadir 7:387.
- 18. For further information regarding these events, see Mas’udi, al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 172-181; Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati, The History Of The Prophet Of Islam, pp. 26-27.
- 19. Mas’udi, op cit, pp. 27.
- 20. Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali, pp. 80-82; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, pp. 94-97; Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 44-55; al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 67-69; Muhammad Ibn Habib, al-Munammaq, pp. 70-77.
- 21. Prior to the event of the Elephant Army, Quraysh had appointed the death of Quzay as a historical point of reference. See Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:4.
- 22. Shaykh al-Kulayni, Uzul al-Kafi 1:439; Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:4; Mas’udi, Muruj al-Dhahab 2:274; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 15:250-252; Halabi, op cit, pp. 95; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, pp. 72-73; Ibn Kathir, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:201; Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:101; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 1:14; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nubawiyyah 1:167; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, The Clarification Of The History Of Damascus; Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wal-Maghazi, pp. 61.
- 23. ‘Ali Akbar Fayyadh, the History of Islam, pp. 62; ‘Abbas Ziryab, Sirat Rasulillah, pp. 86-87; Sayyid Ja’far Shahidi, Tarikh Tahlili Islam ta Payan Umawiyyan, pp. 37.
Concerning the exact date of the Holy Prophet's birthday, whether it occurred in the Elephant Year or prior or after it, the matter is not clear. For Further information, see Muhammad The Last Of The Prophets 1:176-177; the article of Sayyid Ja’far Shahidi in Rasuli Mahallati’s Lessons from the Analytical History of Islam 1:107; Ibn Kathir, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:203; Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:281-282; Sayyid Hasan Taqizadah, From Parviz to Genghis, pp. 153; Husayn Mu’nis, the History of Quraysh, pp. 153-159.
Furthermore, some European historians explained the motive behind Abraha's military campaign to be an ambition for territorial expansion against Iran via the northern part of Arabia, which took place due to the Roman instigations. In Muslim reference books, the motive is said to be religious due to the competition between the Church in Yemen and the Kaaba in Hijaz. See Fayyadh, op cit, pp. 62; Abu’-l-Qasim Payandeh, introduction of the translation of Qur’an into Persian.
- 24. Shaykh al-Kulayni, op cit, pp. 439; Ibn Wadhih, op cit, pp. 6. al-Karajaki, Kanz al-Fawa'id 2:167.
The age of the Holy Prophet at his father's death is also recorded as eleven months and twenty-eight days. See Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:100.
- 25. Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 17:282; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:99; Mas’udi, al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 196; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 2:176; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:10.
- 26. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:6; Halabi, op cit, 1:143.
- 27. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:6; I’lam al-Wara, pp. 6; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, pp. 110; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 1:15; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 15:384.
- 28. Halabi, op cit, 1:146.
- 29. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:7; Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:171; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 110; Mas’udi, al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 196, Muruj al-Dhahab, 2:274; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 6; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, pp. 101-102; Ibn Kathir, al-Siyar wal-Maghazi, pp. 49.
- 30. Al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 1:94; al-Maqdisi, al-Bad’ wal-Tarikh 4:131; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 15:401; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:112.
- 31. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:7; Ibn Shahrashub, op cit, 1:33; al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 44; Mas’udi, Muruj al-Dhahab 2:275.
- 32. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 13:203; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 401.
- 33. Ja’far Subhani, Forugh Abadiyyat 1:159; Sayyid Ja’far Murtadha al-’Amili, al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A’¨am 1:81.
- 34. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, 1:176; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 113; Halabi, op cit, pp. 146; Khargushi, Sharaf Al-Nabi, pp. 146.
It is said while the Holy Prophet was living with Halimah al-Sa’diyyah in the desert when the case of opening his chest took place. However, experts in the history of Islam regard this as invented and false for many reason. See Sayyid Ja’far Murtadha al-’Amili, al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A’¨am 1:82; Sayyid Hashim Rasuli Mahallati, Lessons From The Analytical History Of Islam 1:189, 204; Sheikh Muhmud Abu-Rayyah, Adhwa'un ‘Ala al-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyyah 1:175-177.
- 35. Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:171-172; al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 93, Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 110-111.
- 36. Ibn Shahrashub, a distinguished narrator, has dealt with this issue but has not dealt with the Holy Prophet’s orphanage. See al-Manaqib 1:33.
- 37. Salma, the mother of ‘Abd al-Muttalib was from Yathrib and from Banu’l-Najjar. See al-Bayhaqi, op cit, 1:121.
- 38. Ibn Ishaq, op cit, p65; al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 94 Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 116; Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 177; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, p121; Tabarsi, op cit, pp. 9; Saduq, Kamal al-Din 1:172; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:7; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:223.
- 39. Halabi, op cit, 1:172.
- 40. Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:178; Saduq, op cit, pp. 171; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 406; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:9.
- 41. Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 189; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 406; Tabari, op cit, 2:194.
- 42. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi, pp. 1; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:119; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 407; al-Suhayli, al-Rawdh al-Anif 1:193.
- 43. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:11; Jawad ‘Ali, al-Mufazzal 4:82.
- 44. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 15:219.
- 45. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:119; Ibn Shahrashub, op cit, 1:36; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 407; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:285.
- 46. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:11; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, op cit, 1:14; Uzul al-Kafi 1:453.
- 47. A village in Hawran, a province of Damascus. See Yaqut al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan 1:441.
- 48. This issue is brought up by the following Muslim historians and narrators: Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:191-193; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 2:195; Sunan al-Tirmidhi 5:90, h. 2620; Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wa’l-Maghazi, pp. 73; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:121; Mas’udi, Muruj al-Dhahab 2:286; Saduq, Kamal al-Din 1:182-186; al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 1:96; al-Bayhaqi, Dala'il al-Nubuwwah 1:195; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 17-18; Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib 1:15; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:270, 354; Ibn Kathir, Sirat al-Nabi 1:243-249, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 2:229-230; al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 1:141; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 15:409.
- 49. Qur’an 2:41, 42, 89, 146; 7:157; 6: 20; 61: 6.
- 50. Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:193; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, pp. 195; Sunan al-Tirmidhi 5:590; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:278; Ibn Kathir, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:245; Saih al-Bukhari 5:28.
- 51. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:11; al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 1:81; Uzul al-Kafi 1:447.
- 52. Gustav Le Bon, The Islamic And Arab Civilization, pp. 101, Ignáz Goldziher, Doctrine and Law in Islam, pp. 25; Muhammad Ghazzali, Trial of Goldziher the Zionist, pp. 47; Karl Brockleman, History of Muslim Peoples, pp. 34; Treason in Historical Accounts 1:220-225
- 53. Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, pp. 207.
- 54. Qur’an 4:47,51,171; 5:72-73; 9:630.
- 55. Shaykh ‘Abbas al-Qummi, Safinat al-Bihar 2:727; Ibn al-Athir, al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-hadith wa’l-Athar 5:282.
- 56. Murtadha al-’Amili, al-Sahih mi Sirat al-Rasul al-A’¨am, pp. 106.
- 57. Halabi, op cit, 2:332.
- 58. Muhammad, a prophet who should be re-evaluated, pp. 5. This book includes weak points, errors and distortions which decrease the scientific value of its content. The style of the translator, too, is quite peculiar; see Nashr Danish Magazine, eighth year, Issue, 2, pp. 52, Article: a phenomenon called Zabihollah Mansuri, written by Karim Emami.
- 59. Muhammad, the last of the prophets 1:188, the article of Sayyid Ja’far Shahidi. Some contemporary Iranian historians have raised some doubts on the issue of the Holy Prophet’s visit to Bahira, such doubts and disturbances should be taken care of. We shouldn’t that even if we superficially believe that this visit has not taken place, nothing is taken away from the grandeur of the Holy Prophet, because there were numerous other predictions of the coming prophet beside Bahira. The reason why we have brought up the claims of the Orientalists here is to show that they have used this issue to make some distortions in the history of Islam.
- 60. One of the events in which the Holy Prophet is said to have participated in while he was young was the war of al-Fujjar. It is said that this war had taken place prior to Hilf al-Fudhul when the Holy Prophet was 14-20 years old. However, since his participation in this war is doubtful, we will not follow it up here. See al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A’¨am 1:95-97; Some analytical lessons of the history of Islam 1:303-503.
- 61. Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:128; Muhammad Ibn Habib, al-Munammaq, pp. 52.
- 62. Muhammad Ibn Habib, op cit, pp. 52-53; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 128; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:13; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:142; al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 2:12.
- 63. Muhammad Ibn Sa’d, op cit. It is recorded that the age of the Holy Prophet was even older at this time. Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:13; al-Munammaq, pp. 53; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 15:225.
- 64. Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 142; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi, op cit, pp. 13; al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 16; Muhammad Ibn Habib, op cit, pp. 188.
- 65. Muhammad Ibn Habib, op cit, pp. 54-55
- 66. al-Buladhari 2:13. The memory of this treaty was still fresh at the start of Islam. For instance, during the reign of Mu’awiyah al-Walid ibn ‘Utbah ibn Abi-Sufyan was the governor of Medina. He quarreled with Imam al-Husayn on a financial issue about the grove of Dhu’l-Marwah. Imam al-Husayn said, “Is al-Walid acting arrogantly against me because he has ruling authority? I swear by Allah, if he does not give me my due, I shall take my sword and stand in the Mosque of Allah calling by the name of Hilf al-Fudhul.” When his word was conveyed to ‘Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, he cried out, “By Allah I swear, if al-Husayn calls by the name of Hilf al-Fudhul, I shall certainly take my sword and support him; and then, either he will be given his due or we die altogether.” When al-Walid was informed of these situation, he had to give al-Husayn his due until he pleased him. See Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:142; al-Buladhari, op cit, 2:14; Halabi, op cit, 1:215; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, op cit, 15:226; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:42.
- 67. Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:199; Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wa’l-Maghazi, pp. 81. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, in Tadhkirat al-Khawazz pp. 301, says “Khadijah used to employ them in the form of limited partnership.” Ibn al-Athir, in Usd al-Ghabah 1:16, says: “She used to employ either in the form of limited partnership or on a wage-system.”
- 68. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:129.
- 69. There are some pieces of evidence which show that the Holy Prophet’s job was in the form of limited participation and not on the basis of wage-earning system. See al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A’¨am 1:112.
- 70. Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 199; Ibn Ishaq, op cit, pp. 81.
- 71. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 130.
- 72. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 130.
- 73. Ibn Ishaq, op cit, pp. 82; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, p131; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:39; Tarikh al-Tabari 2:196; al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwah 1:215; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 5:435; al-Dulabi, al-Dhurriyyah al-Tahirah, pp. 45-46.
- 74. Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:200-201; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:131; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, 1:215; al-Dulabi, op cit, pp. 46; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:39.
- 75. Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 5:434; Halabi, op cit, 1:224; ‘Asqalani, al-Izabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah 4:281; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isi’ab 4:279.
- 76. Halabi, op cit, 1:224.
- 77. Her previous husbands were ‘Utayq ibn ‘A’idh and Abu-Halah Hind ibn Nabbash. See Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 5:434; Ibn Hajar, op cit, pp. 281; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, op cit, pp. 280; Halabi, op cit, 1:229; Khargushi, Sharaf Al-Nabi, pp. 201; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:302.
According to some documents, Lady Khadijah had never married before the Holy Prophet who, accordingly, was her first and last husband. Some contemporary experts emphasize this point. Murtadha al-’Amili, al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A’¨am 1:121.
- 78. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, al-Bayhaqi, op cit, pp. 215; Tabari, op cit, 2:197; Halabi, op cit, Ibn al-Athir, op cit, Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:40.
- 79. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 16:22.
- 80. al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 20-21; Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:203; Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib 1:41.
- 81. al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 21-23.
- 82. Ibn Ishaq, op cit, pp. 82; al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 1:98; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:16; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:40; Dulabi; op cit, pp. 46; Halabi, op cit, pp. 227; al-Majlisi, op cit, 16:19.
- 83. al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 98; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:132; Tabari, op cit, 2:196: Halabi, op cit, pp. 228; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isi’ab 4:280; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 5:435; al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:39.
Regarding Lady Khadijah’s age, there are various statements and records. See Amir Muhanna al-Khayyami, Zawjat al-Nabi wa-Awladuhu, pp. 53-54.
- 84. Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:201; Dulabi, op cit, pp. 49; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, 1:216; Khargushi, op cit, pp. 201; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:302; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 5:434.
- 85. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:121; Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:210; al-Bayhaqi, op cit, 1:211; al-Majlisi, op cit, 15:369.
- 86. This stone, being the most sacred component of the Kaaba, is introduced as a heavenly stone which became a component of Kaaba by Prophet Abraham due to God's command. See al-Majlisi, op cit, 12:84, 99; al-Azraqi, Akhbar Makkah 1:62-63. Al-Hajar al-Aswad is a reddish-black, oval piece of stone set in the eastern side of the Kaaba at a height of one meter and a half from the ground. It is the center of circumambulation.
- 87. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 1:145-146, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:14-15; al-Majlisi, op cit, 15:337-338; al-Buladhari, op cit, 1:99-100; Mas’udi, Muruj al-Dhahab 2:271-272. Some historians have given other reasons for the reconstruction of the Kaaba. However, every historian has referred to the Holy Prophet’s Judgment. See Ibn Ishaq, al-Siyar wal-Maghazi, pp. 103; Ibn Husham, op cit, 1:205; al-Bayhaqi, Dala'il al-Nubuwwah.
- 88. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:262; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 2:213; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:58; al-Buladhari, Ansab al-Ashraf 2:90; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 13:119, and 1:15.
- 89. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 1:15; Ibn Shahrashub, Manaqib, 2:180.
- 90. Abu’l-Faraj al-Izfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, pp. 15.
- 91. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, op cit, pp. 13, pp. 200.
- 92. Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali, pp. 624.
- 93. Al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa', pp. 170.
- 94. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 192.