The biography of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) ibn Abdillah is clearer than those of all prophets preceding him, because as a result of the lapse of time and historical changes, their books, shari'ahs, and even their personalities have been distorted and their biographies have become ambiguous.
In fact, there are no clear documents other than those imparted to us through the divine book of Islam, viz, Qur'an and the speeches and statements of Prophet Muhammad (S) and the Ahl al-Bayt (as). But there is a clear history on the life of Prophet Muhammad (S) which describes the characteristics of his life adequately.
The Holy Prophet (S) of Islam is the last prophet appointed by the Almighty Allah to lead the people of the world.
Fourteen centuries ago, mankind lived in such a condition that nothing was left of Tawhid except nominally and when people had completely deviated from Tawhid and theism. Human manners and justice had died away in their society. Holy Ka'bah had turned into an idol-temple and the religion of Ibrahim (as) had converted into idolatry.
Arabs led a tribal life and even a few of their cities in Hijaz and Yemen and elsewhere were governed in the same tribal manner. The Arabs lived in the meanest and most backward conditions. Instead of culture and civilization, they indulged in unchastity, sensuality, alcoholism, and gambling. They buried their daughters alive. Most people subsisted by Way of theft, banditry, murder, and plundering each other's belongings, livestock, and cattle. Cruelty and bloodshed were regarded as the greatest honors.
In such an environment, the compassionate Allah appointed Prophet Muhammad (S) to reform and lead the people of the world. Allah revealed the Holy Qur'an to him, consisting of divine education, theism, the ways of implementation of justice, and beneficial advice. Allah commissioned him to invite people toward humanity and adherence to the truth using that divine authentic Book, Qur'an.
Prophet Muhammad (S) was born in the city of Makkah in 570 AD (53 years before Hijrah) in the noblest and most honourable Arab family.
Muhammad's (S) father died before he was born. He lost h is mother when he was six years old. After two years, his grandfather (Abdul Muttalib), who was his guardian, died. Then the Prophet (S) was put under the guardianship of his kind uncle, Abu Talib (the father of the Leader of the Faithful, 'Ali [as]).
Abu Talib held him den just like one of his own children. Until a few months before Hijrah, he always did his best for the protection and support of Muhammad (S) and he was never negligent.
The Arabs of Makkah, like other Arabs, indulged in breeding sheep and camels. They sometimes used to trade with neighboring countries, especially with Syria. They were illiterate people who made no effort to educate their children.
Like all his people, the Prophet (S), too, had not learnt to read and write, but from the beginning of his life, he was privileged by having a series of praiseworthy attributes. He never worshipped idols, lied, and committed theft and treachery. He guarded against evil, disrespectful, and indecent actions and was wise and efficient. Therefore, he gained considerable popularity among the people within a short period and became known as "Muhammad al-Amin" meaning "Muhammad the trustworthy".
The Arabs often entrusted him with their belongings and talked about his honesty and efficiency. When he was about twenty years old, a wealthy lady of Makkah, Khadijah al-Kubra, designated him as her representative in commercial trade. As a result of his truthfulness, honesty, wisdom, and efficiency, she earned a great deal of profit. She was naturally attracted by the personality and magnanimity of the Holy Prophet (S) more than ever and finally proposed to him for marriage. Afterwards also for years, she continued commercial works with her husband.
Being considered as one of the people, the Holy Prophet (S) had an ordinary association with people until the age of forty. Of course, he differed from them in that he had a praiseworthy and decent behavior and guarded against indecent deeds and conducts which had spoiled others. He did not possess cruelty, hard-heartedness, and status consciousness, thus had earned the respect and confidence of people.
It was such that when the Arabs were reconstructing the House of Ka'bah, a quarrel and dispute arose among the tribes on the erection of Al-Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone). The people unanimously chose the Holy Prophet (S) as an arbitrator. He then ordered the people to spread a cloak to place Al-Hajar al-Aswadwithin. The nobles of the tribes lifted the sides of the cloak and the Holy Prophet (S) installed the Al-Hajar al-Aswad in its place, thus bringing the conflict of the people to an end without any massacre and bloodshed.
Before his Al-Bi'that al-Nabawiyyah (appointment for prophethood), although the Holy Prophet (S) worshipped Allah and refrained from idol-worshipping, the people did not bother about him because he did not explicitly struggle against the superstitious beliefs of idolatry. The same applied to those belonging to other religions such as Jews and Christians, who lived respectfully among the Arabs without being bothered by them.
While the Holy Prophet (S) lived with his uncle, Abu Talib, and while he had not yet reached adolescence, Abu Talib set out for Damascus on business and also took the Holy Prophet (S) along.
It was a massive caravan and a great number of people travelled along with a huge quantity of merchandise until they arrived in Syria and entered the city of Busra. In the vicinity of a monastery, they pitched a tent and took rest. A monk, whose title was "Buhayra", came out of the monastery and invited them to a feast. Everybody accepted Buhayra's invitation and entered the monastery. Leaving his nephew, Muhammad (S) with his belongings, Abu Talib also attended the feast along with others.
Buhayra asked: "Is everybody present?" Abu Talib replied, "Everybody is here except a youth who is the youngest of all." Buhayra said: "Bring him along as well!" Abu Talib called on the Holy Prophet (S) who was standing under an olive tree and came to the monk.
Buhayra cast a deep glance at the Holy Prophet (S) and said: "come a little bit closer, I have something to tell you." Then, he took the Holy Prophet (S) aside. Abu Talib also went near them.
Buhayra told the Holy Prophet: "I am going to ask you a question and, by swearing on Lat and 'Uzza, would you answer me" (Lat and 'uzza were the names of two idols worshipped by the people of Makkah).
The Holy Prophet (S) stated: "These two idols are the most hated ones to me".
Buhayra said: "By swearing on Allah, would you tell the truth". The Holy Prophet said: "I always speak the truth and I have never told a lie; you ask your question".
Buhayra asked: "What do you like the most"?
The Holy Prophet (S) answered: "Loneliness".
Buhayra asked: "What do you look the most at and what do you like to look at"?
The Holy Prophet said: "The sky and the stars within it".
Buhayra asked: "What do you think of"?
The Holy Prophet (S) remained silent, but Buhayra carefully glanced at his forehead.
Buhayra asked: "When do you sleep and with what thoughts"?
The Holy Prophet stated: "When I fix my eyes upon the sky, I see the stars and I find them in my lap and myself above them".
Buhayra asked: "Do you see dream also"?
He stated: "Whatever I see in dream, the same I see while I am awake."
Buhayra asked: "What do you dream of, as an example"?
The Holy Prophet (S) kept quiet, Buhayra also kept quiet.
After a while, Buhayra asked: "May I take a look at the centre of your shoulders"?
The Holy Prophet (S), while standing still, stated: "Come and see."
Buhayra stood up, came closer, and pulled the dress of the Holy Prophet (S) off his shoulders. A mole appeared. Buhayra took a look and said in a murmuring voice: "He is the very person".
Abu Talib asked: "Which one? What do you mean"?
Buhayra said: "Tell me, what is your relationship with this youth"?
Since Abu Talib loved the Holy Prophet (S) as one of his own children, he said: "He is my son".
Buhayra said: "No, the father of this youth must have died".
"How do you know"? said Abu Talib; "That is true, this youth is my nephew".
Buhayra told Abu Talib "Listen, this youth will have a very bright and astonishing future. If others see what I have seen and recognize him, they will kill him. Hide and protect him from the enemies".
Abu Talib said: "Tell me, who is he"?
Buhayra replied: "His eyes bear the signs of the eyes of a prominent prophet and a clear mark of prophethood is on his back".
After a few years, the Holy Prophet, acting as a representative, set out for Damascus once again along with the merchandise belonging to Khadijah al-Kubra. Khadijah sent her servant, Masirah, along with the Holy Prophet (S) and advised him to fully obey his orders. In this trip, too, when they arrived in Syria, they landed under a tree in the vicinity of the city of Busra. There was a monastery belonging to a monk called "Nestorius" who was acquainted with Masirah.
Nestorius asked Masirah: "Who is the man resting underneath that tree"?
Masirah replied: "He is a person from the family of Quraysh".
The monk said: "under this tree, no one but a prophet from among the prophets of Allah has lodged or can lodge".
He added: "Is there redness in his eyes".
Masirah said: "Yes, his eyes are always like this".
The monk said: "That's it. He is the last prophet of the prophets of Allah. I wish I could find out the day when he will invite the people."
Many Jewish tribes, having read about the attributes and location of the Holy Prophet (S) in their books, had left their homeland for Hijaz and taken abode in Madinah and its suburbs, waiting for the advent of the Holy Prophet (S), the Ummi (unschooled). As they were a group of wealthy and rich people, the Arabs used to disturb them from time to time and robbed them of their belongings.
Complaining against the injustice of the Arabs, the Jews told them that they would tolerate their cruelty and robbery until the migration of the Ummi prophet from Makkah to Madinah. They said that on that day, they would have their faith in him and would take vengeance on them. One of the main factors that led to the rapid belief of the people of Madinah in the Holy Prophet (S) was the memory they had about these news. Finally, they acknowledged their faith, but the Jews refrained from believing in him due to their strong communalism and prejudice.
In His words the Almighty Allah refers to these good tidings in many instances. Regarding the faith of a group of people endowed with a book, the Qur'an states:
"Those who follow the Apostle-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Tawrat and the Injl, (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them...(7:157)."
Again, He states:
"And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they already had, and aforetime they were seeking victory against those who disbelieved - yet when there came to them that (Book) which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it...(2:89)."
In the gloomy atmosphere of the Arabian Peninsula that can literally be called "the swamp of misery" and the centre of corruption and in a world full of cruelty and injustice, the Almighty Allah appointed His Prophet (S) as a blessing for the people of the world and ordered him to invite the people to Tawhid and worshipping the One Allah.
He also ordered him to call people to justice, righteousness, and strengthening their social relations. Allah also ordered him to rise in observance of truth and follow the path of the followers of righteousness and to lay the foundation of man's prosperity on the basis of faith, piety, cooperation, and self-sacrifice.
Initially, the Holy Prophet (S) was charged with the responsibility of inviting the people. Since the environment was full of obstinacy, ruthlessness, and injustice, the Prophet (S) talked his mission over only with people who were more or less susceptible to conversion. Thus a limited number of people believed in him and (according to narrations) the first man was 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), the son of his uncle and educated by the Prophet (S) himself, and the first woman was his wife Khadijah al-Kubra (as).
Then, Muhammad (S) was commissioned to invite his close relatives and companions (who were about forty people) to his house and described his divine mission. Then, by the order of Allah, the Holy Prophet (S) proceeded to an overt and public invitation, thus bringing forward the luminous torch of divine guidance from within the house to the arena of the world.
The reaction of the Arabs, especially the people of Makkah, was very severe against this invitation specifically after it was publicized. Unbelievers and polytheists responded negatively, savagely, and in a cruel way to this immaculate and pure invitation without using any proper logic whatsoever.
Sometimes, they called the Holy Prophet (S) a soothsayer and magician, while at times they called him lunatic and poet and used to make fun of him. Whenever he wanted to invite the people to the newly-grown religion of Islam or wanted to worship Allah, the people used to make noise and disrupt his actions.
They threw garbage and thorns on his head and used to beat and abuse him. Sometimes, they stoned him, while at times they tried to allure him by giving enticing and sweet promises such as of wealth and leadership, so that through these means they could shake up his resolution and determination. But the Holy Prophet (S) displayed no weakness and withdrawal. Sometimes, he regretted and became sad because of the ignorance and stubbornness of his people.
In this regard, Qur'anic verses were frequently revealed by which the Almighty Allah expressed His consolation to him and ordered him to be patient and forbearing. Sometimes, verses were revealed to prohibit the Holy Prophet (S) from showing the least willingness to the remarks of the people or from displaying any weakness and leniency.
Those who believed in the Holy Prophet (S) were severely tortured and punished by the kafirin. In many instances, they died under torture. Sometimes, the matter became so serious that they were tortured to the extreme and then they sought the permission of the Holy Prophet (S) to start a bloody movement and finalize their destinies. The Holy Prophet (S) said: "I do not have an order from the Almighty Allah in this respect. You must wait". A group of people took their belongings with them and left their homeland due to the heavy pressure on them.
After a while, things became much harder on the Muslims due to the extreme torture. The Holy Prophet (S) allowed his disciples to migrate to Ethiopia to be relieved of the torture and harassment of their people for a while. This group of people, led by Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, the brother of 'Ali (as) (Ja'far was one of the most trusted friends of the Holy Prophet [SA]), migrated to Ethiopia along with their families.
After being informed of the Hijrah of the Muslims, the Kafirin of Makkah sent two of their experienced men, along with a large number of gifts and souvenirs, to the king of Ethiopia, requesting the extradition of the immigrants of Makkah. Bu t with a speech delivered in the presence of the king of Ethiopia, Ja'far ibn Abi Talib explained the entirely illuminating personality of the Holy Prophet (S) and the sublime principles of Islam for the king, the Christian priests, and top authorities present at the time. He also cited several Qur'anic verses of Surah (Chapter) Maryam.
The immaculate statements of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib were so attractive that the king and the audience started shedding tears. Thus the king rejected the request of the people of Makkah and declined all gifts and souvenirs sent to him. The king issued instructions to provide all means of convenience, peace, and comfort for the immigrant Muslims in every respect.
After this event, the Kafirin of Makkah decided to break their relations with Banu Hashim (family of Hashim) who were the relatives of the Holy Prophet (S) and his followers. They also decided to totally stop all relations, discourse, and transactions with them. In this respect, they wrote a special agreement, got it signed by everyone, and left it in Ka'bah.
Banu Hashim, accompanied by the Holy Prophet (S), had to inevitably leave Makkah and take refuge in a valley known as "Shi'b Abi Talib" and lived there almost in utmost hardship and hunger. In this period, no one dared to come out of the Shi'b. During the days, they had to endure the burning heat and in the nights, they were faced with the wailing of women and children.
After three years, as a result of the obliteration of the agreement and because of the denouncement by the tribes settled around, the unbelievers dispensed with their agreement and Banu Hashim came out of their refuge.
But at that time, Abu Talib, who was the lone supporter of the Holy Prophet (S), and also Khadijah al-Kubra, the kind wife of the Holy Prophet (S), died. As a result, things became much harder for the Holy Prophet (S) and he was unable to appear in public or reveal his identity to anyone, or stay in a specific place. Altogether, he had no life-security.
The year in which the Holy Prophet (S) and Banu Hashim came out of the Shi'b Abi Talib, was l3th year after al-Bi'that al-Nabawiyyah. The Holy Prophet (S) made a short trip to Ta'if (a city about 100 kilometers from Makkah) at that time and invited the people of Ta'if to embrace Islam. But the ignorant people of Ta'if attacked him from every place, abused and stoned him, and at last drove him out of the city.
The Holy Prophet (S) returned to Makkah from Ta'if and remained there for a while. But since he had no security of his life, he did not appear among the people. Since the circumstances were favorable to exterminate the Holy Prophet (S), the elders of Makkah assembled in Darun-Nadwah, which was like a consultative assembly and hatched up the final plot in a secret session to exterminate him once and for all.
The plot was designed to select one man from each Arab tribe. The selected men were then to rush into the house of the Holy Prophet (S) collectively and kill him. The purpose of selecting one representative from each tribe was to prevent the relatives of the Holy Prophet (S) from rising in revenge and from fighting with all those tribes who would direct the murder. Also the participation of one person from Banu Hashim would also keep the mouths of Banu Hashim shut regarding this matter.
This decision was finalized. About forty people from various tribes were nominated to kill the Holy Prophet (S). They surrounded his house at night, so as to enter it at dawn in order to carry out their plot, but the divine will was above the determination of these people and thwarted their plans. The Almighty Allah sent His revelation to the Holy Prophet (S), informed him of their intention, and ordered him to come out of Makkah at night itself and set out for Madinah.
The Holy Prophet (S) informed 'Ali (as) of the current situation, ordered him to sleep in his place, and gave him his last wills. He left the house at night and seeing Abu Bakr along the way, he took him also along and set out for Madinah.
Some of the dignitaries of Madinah had already met the Holy Prophet (S) in Makkah and had expressed their faith prior to his Hijrah. They had also made an agreement to support and vindicate the Holy Prophet (S), if he came to Madinah, just as they would defend their own life and honor.
The Holy Prophet (S) reached a cave in Mount Thawr near Makkah and hid there for three days. After three days, he left the cave and continued his journey until he reached Madinah where he was welcomed by the people of Madinah.
On the other side, the infidels of Makkah who had surrounded the house of the Holy Prophet (S) at night, dashed inside at dawn, and went to his bed with their swords pulled out. They unexpectedly found 'Ali (as) sleeping in the bed of the Holy Prophet (S). As soon as they found out that the Holy Prophet (S) had left Makkah, they began searching for him around Makkah, but after a thorough search they returned with a great disappointment.
The Holy Prophet (S) stayed in Madinah where the people most willingly converted to Islam and wholeheartedly supported him. The city of Madinah turned into an Islamic city. Until then, this city was called "Yathrib", but after this occurrence, it assumed the name of "Madinat al-Rasul" (the City of Prophet) and became the first Islamic city. Of course, although munafiqin (hypocrites), the Arab minorities of Madinah who formed about one-third of the city's population, being scared of the majority, pretended to be Muslims.
The sun of Islam began shining in the clear sky of Madinah and began shedding its light. In the first place, the state of conflict which had existed for many years between the two main tribes of Aws and Khazraj turned into peace and compromise. The believers of Madinah encircled like butterflies around the candle of prophetic mission. Gradually, the tribes in the territory of Madinah embraced Islam and the divine precepts descended one after the other and were implemented.
Everyday one of the roots of corruption and indecent behavior was eradicated and replaced by piety and justice. Gradually, the followers of Islam, who had remained in Makkah after the Holy Prophet's (S) Hijrah and were under the harassment and severe torture by the unbelievers, left their homes and fled to Madinah where they were received with warm hospitality by their religious brethren.
Muslims who had remained in Makkah gradually migrated and gathered in Madinah. These people were called muhajirin (immigrants) and the believers in the city of Madinah were called "Ansar"(helpers).
There were many tribes of Jews in Madinah, its suburbs, Khaybar, and Fadak whose information and scholars constantly notified the Arabs of Madinah of the good tidings of the Holy Prophet's (S) mission. But when these tribes were invited to Islam after the Hijrah, they did not accept this invitation and turned away from Islam. Finally, a non-aggression treaty was signed between the Jews and Muslims with specific terms.
The rapid advancement of Islam seriously annoyed the unbelievers of Makkah and increased their wrath and animosity towards the Holy Prophet (S) and the followers of Islam. They were after a pretext to disrupt the unity of the followers of Islam. On the other hand, the followers of Islam, too, especially the Muhajirin of Makkah who were quite unhappy with the unbelievers, expected a divine permission to punish the cruel unbelievers for their evil deeds and to liberate their women, innocent children, and helpless old people living under persecution and torture in Makkah.
The first battle between the Muslims and the unbelievers of Makkah took place at Badr (a valley between Makkah and Madinah) in the second year of the Hijrah. In this battle, the number of fully equipped unbelievers was about one thousand. The Muslims were about one-third of them and lacked all necessary war equipment, but divine dispensation afforded the Muslims a bright victory and defeated the unbelievers in the worst possible way.
Suffering heavy casualties and many captives and losing their entire stock of equipment in this battle, the mushrikin (polytheists) ran away to Makkah. It is said that in this battle, seventy unbelievers were killed, out of which almost half of them were killed by the sword of 'Ali (as). Also seventy people from the unbelievers were taken as captives.
In the third year of Hijrah, the unbelievers of Makkah, led by Abu Sufyan again rushed towards Madinah with three thousand men (and according to one narration with five thousand men). They confronted the Muslims at Uhud outside Madinah. In this battle, the Holy Prophet (S) arrayed seven hundred Muslims to face the enemy. In the beginning of the battle, the Muslims had the upper hand again, but after a few hours due to the mistake of some Muslims, the army of Islam was defeated. At this time, the unbelievers attacked from all sides and the Muslims suddenly found themselves surrounded on all sides by the swords of unbelievers.
In this battle, the Muslims sustained heavy losses. Hamzah, the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S), along with seventy other disciples of the Holy Prophet (S) who were mostly Ansar were martyred. The forehead of the Holy Prophet (S) was wounded and one of his front teeth broke.
One of the unbelievers who inflicted a blow on the Holy Prophet's (S) shoulder shouted: "I killed Muhammad". Hearing this, the army of Islam dispersed. Only 'Ali (as), along with a few men, remained steadfastly near the Holy Prophet (S). All these were killed but 'Ali (as) resisted the enemy until the end of the battle and defended the Holy Prophet (S).
On the last day, those who had fled away from the army of Islam gathered around the Holy Prophet (S) once more and prepared for battle. But the army of Abu Sufyan, however, considered only that much success as enough, stopped fighting, and set out for Madinah.
After travelling a few kilometers, the army of the unbelievers seriously regretted why they had not pursued the battle to final victory and why they had not taken Muslims' women and children as captives, and plundered their properties.
They even got busy with consultation to attack Madinah once again, but received the information that the information that the army of Islam was following them to continue the battle. Having received this information, the unbelievers became intimidated, gave up the idea of returning to Madinah, and hastily set out for Makkah.
Surely what they had heard was true, because the Holy Prophet (S), by the order of Allah, had mobilized an army from the injured who were led by 'Ali (as) to follow the enemy.
Although the Muslims sustained heavy casualties in this battle, in fact, it finished to the advantage of Islam and Muslims. The Muslims drew a more important conclusion out of this battle and experienced the inauspicious consequence of violating the order of the Holy Prophet (S). Having given up the battle, both the confronting sides promised to fight another battle in Badr next year at the same time. The Holy Prophet (S), with a group of his disciples, went to Badr on time, but the unbelievers refrained from coming.
After this battle, the Muslims became very well prepared and made advancement on all sides in the peninsula except in the region of Makkah and Ta'if.
This was the third battle declared by the Arab unbelievers against the Holy Prophet (S). It was also the last battle under the leadership of the people of Makkah. It was a very severe battle in which the unbelievers had fully equipped themselves with their forces and powers. In the history, this battle is known as the "Battle of Ahzab" and "Khandaq".
After the battle of Uhud, the leaders of Makkah, led by Abu Sufyan, decided to inflict the final blow upon the Holy Prophet (S) to put off the light of Islam for good. To this end, they instigated the Arab tribes and asked for their cooperation and assistance.
In spite of the non-aggression treaty signed by the Jews and Muslims, the Jewish people also had secretly involved themselves with the plot and violated the treaty and signed a cooperation agreement with the unbelievers.
Thus, in the fifth year of Hijrah, a fully mobilized army comprising of Quraysh, various Arab tribes, and Jewish people rushed to Madinah totally equipped.
Having come to know of the intention of the enemy beforehand, the Holy Prophet (S) consulted his disciples over the matter. After a long discussion, they dug a trench all around the city of Madinah according to the proposal of Salman al-Farisi who was an intimate Companion of the Holy Prophet (S). They then got fortified within the city. After reaching Madinah, the army of the enemy found no way to enter the city. They inevitably besieged the city and started the battle in that position. The siege and battle continued for sometime.
It was in this battle only that ' Amr ibn 'Abdwudd, a most renowned equestrian and a most famous brave man of Arabia, was killed by the powerful hands of 'Ali (as). Finally, as a result of wind, cold, the fatigue of the Arab idolaters from the extended duration of the siege, and the difference and separation between the Jews and Arabs, the siege got broken without any result; thus the army of the unbelievers dispersed from around Madinah.
After the Battle of Khandaq, originally provoked by the Jews who cooperated with the Arab unbelievers and who had openly breached their treaty with Muslims, the Holy Prophet (S) proceeded to punish the Jewish tribes in Madinah by the order of Allah. He fought several battles, all of which ended in the victory and triumph of Muslims. The most important of these battles was the Battle of Khaybar. The Jews of Khaybar had several fortifications in hand and a considerable number of belligerents with adequate equipment at their disposal.
In this battle, 'Ali (as) killed Marhab of Khaybar, the well-known hero of the Jews, and dispersed the Jewish army. Afterwards, he rushed to the Fort of Khaybar, unhinged its door, and entered the fort along with the army of Islam. He then hoisted the banner of victory on its top. With these very battles which ended in the fifth year of Hijrah, the problem of the Jews of Hijaz came to an end.
The Holy Prophet (S) settled in Madinah. Gradually, a great number of the Muslims of Makkah, who were under the torture by the unbelievers, relinquished their homes and belongings and migrated to Madinah. Ansar also kept their promise and received them wholeheartedly.
The Holy Prophet (S) constructed Masjid al-Nabi at Madinah. Other mosques were also built. Missionaries of Islam were sent to the outskirts and treaties were signed with Jewish tribes of Madinah and its suburbs and also with some Arab tribes. Thus Islam began to flourish with its enormous luminosity.
In the 6th year of the Hijrah, the Holy Prophet (S) sent letters to the rulers and kings such as the King of Iran, Qaysar (Caesar) of Rome, Khedive of Egypt, and Al-Najashi (Negus) of Ethiopia and invited them to embrace Islam.
After some time, the unbelievers of Makkah breached the treaty and, as a result of this, the Holy Prophet (S) decided to conquer Makkah. In the 8th year of the Hijrah, the Holy Prophet (S) rushed to Makkah with ten thousand soldiers and conquered Makkah without any fighting and bloodshed. He also toppled and broke many idols placed in Ka'bah.
People of Makkah accepted Islam. The Holy Prophet (S) summoned all the leaders of Makkah, who had in the last 20 years shown their animosity and behaved inhumanely with him and his followers, and pardoned them all with utmost magnanimity and without showing the slightest harshness and moroseness.
After the conquest of Makkah, the Holy Prophet (S) proceeded to clear out the suburbs of the city and fought numerous battles with the Arab idol-worshippers, one of which was the Battle of Hunayn.
The Battle of Hunayn was one of the most important battles of the Holy Prophet (S). It took place in the valley of Hunayn against the tribe of Hawazin. The army of Islam, with twelve thousand soldiers, arrayed in front of the army of Hawazin which was equipped with a few thousand men. A heavy battle took place between them.
In the beginning of the battle, Hawazin severely defeated the Muslims, so much so that everybody ran away, except Ali (as) who was carrying the banner of Islam and a few others, who fought in front of the Holy Prophet (S). But after a few hours, initially the Ansar and then other Muslims returned to their bases and defeated the enemy after a very heavy fighting. In this battle, five thousand enemies were taken as captives by the Muslims, but all of them were released by the Muslims at the request of the Holy Prophet (S). The Holy Prophet (S) bought the share of the dissatisfied Muslims by paying them money and releasing their captives.
In the 9th year of Hijrah, the Holy Prophet (S) dispatched an army to Tabuk (located at the borders of Hijaz and Damascus) to fight a battle with Rome, because the rumors had spread that the Qaysar of Rome was preparing an army comprised of Romans and Arabs in that area. The Battle of Mu'tah was previously fought there with Rome, leading to the martyrdom of the commanders of the army of Islam such as Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, Zayd ibn Harithah, and 'Abdullah ibn Rawahah.
The Holy Prophet (S), with an army of thirty thousand soldiers, proceeded towards Tabuk, but the people gathering there had dispersed before the arrival of the army of Islam. The Holy Prophet (S) stayed in Tabuk for three days, cleared out that territory, and then returned to Madinah.
Within ten years of his stay in Madinah, the Holy Prophet (S) fought almost eighty major and minor battles other than those previously mentioned. The Holy Prophet (S) personally participated in almost one-fourth of the number of these battles.
In the battles in which he participated, unlike other commanders who remained in shelters and only issued the orders for attacks and killing, the Holy Prophet (S) himself took part in the battlefield along with other soldiers, but no occasion arose for him to embark upon killing anyone.
Makkah was the last city whose conquest led to the absolute domination of Islam over the Arabian Peninsula. It has the Haram (Sacred premises) of Allah and the site of Ka'bah. This city fell in the hands of the army of Islam in the 8th year of Hijrah. Shortly afterwards, the city of Ta'if was also conquered.
In the 10th year of Hijrah, the Holy Prophet (S) set out for Makkah to perform the Hijjatul Wada' (last Hajj). After performing the Hajj manasik (rituals) and giving necessary instructions to the people, the Holy Prophet (S) headed for Madinah. In the course of his journey, he ordered to stop the caravan at a place called "Ghadir (Pond) Khumm."
Among one hundred and twenty thousand Hujjaj (pilgrims) who had gathered for Hajj from all parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the Holy Prophet (S) took 'Ali's hand in his own, lifted him up, and announced his Imamah (succession of Prophet Muhammad [SA]).
By this action, the matter of succession, which controls the affairs of the Muslims, guards the Book and ahadih, and protects the divine instructions and laws, was resolved. Thus the order given by Allah in the following Ayah was executed:
"O Messenger! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message;...(5:67)"
Shortly, after returning to Madinah, the Holy Prophet (S) passed away.
The invitation of the Holy Prophet (S) to Islam was widely extended in Madinah and it had embraced every home, association, district, and quarter. The people embraced Islam in groups and multitudes in such a way that the people in Makkah, Madinah, and all the tribes in the surrounding areas submitted to Islam. During the ten years of the Holy Prophet's (S) stay in Madinah, absolute domination of Islam established in the entire Arabian Peninsula.
In these ten years, the Holy Prophet (S) was preoccupied with carrying out his mission and never took rest.
He received wahy and taught the people the sublime teachings of Islam concerning education, ethics, and laws revealed to him by the Almighty Allah. The Holy Prophet (S) gave people the necessary advice, answered their questions, discussed and debated with the opponents and scholars of various nations especially those of the Jews, and managed the affairs of the country, thus enabling the people to administer lives.
In spite of all these preoccupations, the Holy Prophet (S) devoted a considerable part of his time for worshipping Allah. He observed Sawm on many days of the year, that is to say, he observed Sawm almost continuously during the three consecutive months of Rajab, Sha'ban, and Ramadhan and also observed Sawm for about a month on different occasions during the year.
Sometimes, the Holy Prophet (S) observed the Sawmul Wisal (continuous fasting) which was one of his special characteristics, i.e., he did not take anything for several consecutive days and nights. He used to spend some of his time in the management of household affairs and necessities of life. Also, at times, he spent his time to earn his subsistence.
The Almighty Allah has briefly mentioned the events of these ten years in His words:
"They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse (61:8)"
Allah is the One who has sent His messenger with divine guidance and true religion to the people to make His religion dominant over all other religions and faiths, even if this is unpleasant for the polytheists.
As it is evident, this divine promise had been well realized during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (S) and after his passing away to the present day when more than one billion Muslims live all over the world.
He also states:
"You are the best of the ummahs (peoples) raised up for (the benefit of) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah ... (3:100)"