فَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ لِلَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
These give to the near of kin their rightful portions, as to the needy and the traveller of no fixed station; this would be best for those who seek God's very pleasure, and it is they who surely prosper. (Holy Qur'an, 30:38)
RahimAllah min qara suratul Fatiha..... Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. Al-hamdulillah rabb al-'alameen, wal salaat wa-salam 'ala sayiddina wa 'adheemina, wa habibi quloobina wa shafi' nufoosina Aba al-Qasim Muhammad. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Wa 'ala Ahli baytihi al-tayibeen al-tahireen wa as-habihi al-ghurr al-mayameen. Al-hamdulillah alladhi ja'alana min al mutamisikeen bi wilayat sayyidi wa mawlay Ali ibn abi Talib. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. Al-hamdulillah alladhi hadaana li hadha wa makunna linahtadiya law la an hadaana Allah. Amma ba'ad yaqul Allah fi kitabihil kareem: Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim, Qul la as'alakum 'aleyhi ajran illal mawadata fil qurba(42:23).
The first of our salawat in honour of Rasul Allah Muhammad, sala Allahu 'aleyhi wa aalih wa salam. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. The second, in honour of Amir al-Mu'mineen Ali ibn abi Talib. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. The third with your loudest voices in honour of the Imam of our time Imam Sahib al-'asr wal zaman. [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]. There is a request for the brothers to come as close to the front as possible. Sallu 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]
Respected scholars, brothers and sisters, Salam alaykum wa rahmatullah, wa barakatahu. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, sallalahu alayhi wa 'aali wa sallam, was born in the year 570, known as the Year of the Elephant. He occupies a prominent position within the religion of Islam and is revered as the greatest personality within the religion, a man whose life has to be examined in depth, for there are many lessons to be learned and indeed many examples to be derived. And indeed, the man whose biography has been unfortunately very much undervalued and indeed very much underestimated. Therefore, it is vital that we discuss his biography from the day that he was born until the day he died, in order that we are able to, number one, take as many practical lessons from his life and apply them into our own lives and then number two, remove any misconceptions that surround his biography, for there was a period in medieval Europe when he was seen as being the devil incarnate or he was seen as being the false messiah, or he was seen as being the Anti-christ. And therefore, there is a need for us to dissect the biography in order that we present him in his true light as a mercy for mankind and a moral exemplar to everyone.
As we said, he was born in the year 570, known as the Year of the Elephant. The Arabs did not have a calendar dating system as such. The Arabs, what they used to do, they used to look at what was the important event in that particular year and then give the name towards the year. As in, for example, if there was a famous personality who died, they would name the year after that personality. Or if there was a war that took place, they would name, for example, the year after that war. The year within which the Prophet was born was called Amil Feel- "the year of the elephant" because of an incident that took place involving an army of elephants. Because what you had at the time, you had within Arabia people who used to go and visit the Kaaba.
In Yemen there was a church which was built by an Ethiopian man, by the name of Abraha. Mark the words Ethiopian, because Abraha's niece is Bilal al Habashi's mother. Abraha's niece later on, when she was caught as a prisoner, she gets married within one of the Arabian tribes and she gives birth to a son by the name of Bilal. Hence when Bilal is known as of the people of Habash it's because his mother's uncle was this Abraha who was an Ethiopian but was the governor of Yemen. Abraha had always been envious of the fact that there were people who would go towards the Ka'aba but not come towards his church in Yemen. He had tried to send emissaries and ambassadors to go towards the Kaaba and to try and tell the Arabs that, listen, leave your place of worship because your place has been polluted. Originally you are people of Abraham, but now you worship idols. It's better that all of you come to my church in Yemen and make my church the main center of the area. When he had sent all of his emissaries, when he noticed that the emissaries were not successful, the narrations tell us that he decided it's better for him to take his army and march into the Ka'aba and to take an army of elephants.
Hence, within the religion of Islam, you have a chapter called Suratul Feel, Chapter 105 of the Qur'an. And the chapter begins- Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. Alam tara kayfa fa'ala rabboka be as'haabil feel. 'Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the people of the elephant?' (105:1) Because when Abraha came he came with elephants and there was only a few elephants that he bought but as we know elephants are of a size that they only needs to be a few for them to capture your attention. When he came towards Arabia, he came with these elephants and they were people who definitely were scared. That's why the main person who counteracted them was who? Was Abdul Muttalib- the grandfather of the Prophet. Abdul Muttalib told the people number one- go and hide in the desert hills. So they went to hide in the desert hills. Then Abdul Muttalib was chosen by the people to go and meet Abraha. Notice from the beginning of the biography of the Prophet, we see that the line of Abraham through Ismail is still looking after the birthplace of Ismail.
Yesterday we said in Genesis Chapter 17, verse 18 to 20, God promised Abraham that in the line of Ismail there will be 12 princes who are part of a fruitful generation. Abdul Muttalib, what did he do? Abdul Muttalib at this moment, came to Abraha and entered Abraha's tent. Abraha was sitting down. When he entered the tent, Abraha looked at him. He saw quite an imposing figure. He then said to him, sit down. And he said, 'What is it that you want?' He said, 'I want my camels'. Sorry?! He said, 'I want my camels. You took my camels. I want my camels returned back to me'. He looked at him and he said, 'You know, when you entered my tent, I had a lot of respect for you, but now I've lost all that respect'. Abdul Muttalib said, 'why? He said, 'When you entered my tent, I thought, this is a man who will want his black cube known as the Ka'aba protected. Instead, all you want is the camels'. He said, 'That house has a Lord for its own to protect it. And I am the protector of my lot of camels. I want my two hundred camels being given back to me'. He said to him, 'Get out, get out. There's no agreement between us'. Abdul Muttalib came back a second time to try and persuade him.
Again, Abraha wouldn't agree. Abraha decided he'll take his elephant and most of the narrations indicate another six or seven elephants and march towards the Ka'aba. They marched towards the Ka'aba and the Qur'an puts it quite beautifully. When the Qur'an said: "Alam tara kayfa fa'ala rabboka be as'haabil feel. Alam yaj'al kayda hum fi tadhleel. Wa arsala 'alayhim tayran ababeel." (105:1-3) You all will see what Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala, what did He do? He ensured that if you plan and I plan. I'm the greatest of planners. These elephants were coming. They were ready to bring their victory. The narrations state very clearly that some birds with these stones pelted them until the opposition army was defeated.
In other words, the year Rasul Allah (saw) was born the Arabs hadn't begun the Hijrah calendar. We know the Hijrah calender began after what? The Hijrah calender began after Prophet (saw) migrated from Mecca Medina. Then you had 1 AH, 2 AH, 3 AH, 4 AH. Before that, what did you have? Years according to incidents. So the date of his birth is differed on between the different schools in Islam. Our brothers in other school celebrate his birth on the 12th of Rabi al Awwal. We celebrate his birth on the 17th of Rabi al Awwal. It is vital that this isn't a cause of friction between us. Sayyid al-Khomeini, May bless his soul used to stress on this week being a week of unity between Muslims. Because all of us are sharing a common denominator and that is the life of our Prophet. It should be a case that on the 12th of Rabi al Awwal our imams go to the mosques of our brothers and celebrate with them. And on the 17th, our brothers are welcomed into our mosques to celebrate with us. There is a difference of opinion and in the historical research you will find, I think barring Shaikh al-Kulayni most of the others will say that he was born on the 17th of Rabi al Awwal.
It wasn't an easy first few years for him. Imagine in your first few years your father passes away, according to some narrations, only a few months into his life, his father Abdullah passes away and therefore Rasul Allah (saw) is born an orphan. Hence the Qur'an says 'alam yajidka yateeman fa aawaa' [93:6]what does it mean? It means 'Did We not find you an orphan?' The Prophet, when he was born, was born an orphan, his mother Aminah was alive, but his father, Abdullah, had passed away and his mother Aminah did what most Arabs do to their babies at the time. If you are of the noble aristocracy of Mecca, what would you do to your baby? After eight days of the birth of your baby, the Meccan aristocrats would take their babies to the desert so that their babies are suckled and breast fed by a wet nurse in the desert.
Someone asks why, as in Aminah is his mother, why can't she suckle him? Why does she have to take him to the desert? There were a number of reasons the Arabs would take their babies to the desert and especially the aristocrats. If you are poor towards it was not that easy. But if you are an aristocrat, you take your baby to a desert for a number of reasons. Number one. And please understand these reasons because they have a major role on the upbringing and the psyche of the Prophet.
The first reason: it allows you to grow up in an environment where you are independent and you are a free thinker for the first few years of your life. What do we mean? We mean in the desert, there isn't buildings and there isn't all of these forests surrounding you and lots of humans and shops and markets and trades. In the desert it is open. You can sit there and look at the creation and reflect upon your own creation, reflects upon your own meaning in life, reflect upon your own role. The Arabs who would send their babies to have their first eight or 10 years in the desert, would want that baby to be living in a world where they grow up as a child who is not told what to think, but is rather shown how to think. The first reason they take him there is that.
The second reason is because Mecca's climate was not a healthy climate for children, both in terms of what they saw and what they breathed. Imagine you're a child growing up in a climate where you see baby girls being buried alive. Is that a good start to your life? Or you see people performing the tawaf of the Ka'aba, circumambulating the Ka'aba naked. The Arabs used to go around the Ka'aba tawaf naked because they said God created us free. So there is no need for clothes - clothes are impure. Let's go and circumambulate His house like how He created us completely in the nude. The Prophet, his mother Aminah wanted him to be growing up where? Grow up in the desert so he doesn't see this.
Number three because Mecca's wind and air as I said, it was hot. It was unhealthy. There were pests and epidemics. So his mother Aminah did what? She made sure that he was sent there. The first lady to have breast fed him, and most narrations say two, the first one and both of them were chosen by who? By Abdul Mutallib, his grandfather. The first one to have breast fed him was Thuwaybah, the servant of his Uncle Abu Lahab. Remember Abu Lahab, before the Prophet announced his Prophethood, used to love the Prophet because he used to see him as his younger brother's son, Abdullah is Abu Lahab's younger brother, isn't he? So he used to see him as his younger brother's son. So first Aminah asked Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib said Thuwaybah. Thuwaybah also suckled Hamza because Rasul Allah and Hamza's ages are very similar. And that's why when Rasul Allah was one day told to marry Hamza's daughter, he said, we cannot because in Islamic law we suckled from the same wet nurse.
Then number two Abdul Muttalib chose who? He chose Halima Sa'diya. Halima Sa'diyah was a pious, god-fearing lady. Abdul Mutallib chose her as the one who would suckle the Prophet. And she herself would say that I saw vast riches and goodness affect my life the moment I started to suckle the Prophet. Some narrations in Islamic history try and tell us that when the Prophet was with Halima as a two year old, he remembered. Mark the words he remembered. It's quite interesting. As a two year old, he remembered he was sitting down one day, two men came, opened his chest, gave him a heart transplant because there was the black dot of Shaitaan on his heart, then put a new heart in. And that was the pure Muhammad after that day. We, of course, differ with this idea. As in number one, if I have the dot of Shaitaan, it's not on my physical heart. The dot of Shaitaan, the meaning is meant to be on my nafs, isn't it? So I don't need a heart change. Number two the Prophet was born with this purity. He did not need people to come and open him up, have an operation and then move on.
For the Qur'an would later say 'alam nashra halaka sadrak' 'We are the ones who expanded that breast'[94:1], which was able to take in knowledge. Therefore some narrations try to say Halima saw this in the Prophet. We differ with this. Halima twice went back to Aminah, the mother of the Prophet, and said to him 'Do you want to take him back in Mecca?' Aminah twice replied back to Halima, 'Keep him there because I see diseases and epidemics which will affect him'. And therefore some people ask the question, If God loves Muhammad so much, why let him have such a difficult beginning as an orphan. As in why does not God allow him to have a natural beginning like everybody else, a father and a mother? When that Imam was asked this question, he replied, God wanted to ensure nobody protected and brought up Muhammad but Himself. He wanted to oversee that the Prophet would not show obedience to anybody, even from his early life except Himself. Sometimes your parents may sway you one way or the other, even though his parents were loyal believers in God's message.
The Imam said He wanted that God is the one who oversaw his development. Therefore, you find from a young age his father dies, then his mother dies. Then after that's what after that, his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, looks after him. His grandfather dies within a couple of years. Then he is brought up by his uncle Abu Talib. His uncle Abu Talib acts as the backbone not only to him, but to the message of the religion of Islam. That uncle Abu Talib preferred his nephew, even above his sons and his wife, Fatima bint Asad was exactly the same. His wife Fatima bint Asad when the Prophet buried her, he said, 'This is my mother. This is the lady who preferred me above her sons. This is the lady who used to clothe me and wash me and look after me. And she is the one who nourished me'. You notice that these were the two who looked after him. And that's why the Prophet from a young age, there is a certain question that is asked, what do we know about him before the age of 40?
Because in a few moments we will look at him from after the age of 40, but before the age of 40, if you were to ask many Muslims, tell us about your Prophet before the age of 40, many are unaware of his biography. You notice that before the age of 40, when Abu Talib was bringing him up, the Prophet would latch onto him everywhere. To the extent that Abu Talib himself narrates- one day I was about to leave for Syria on a commercial expedition. The young Muhammad was only 12. He latched onto me as I was leaving. When he latched onto me, it hurt me that this my nephew is an orphan. Let me take him with me. The narrations state that he took him towards Syria. On the way towards Syria they walked past a monastery. The monk, when he sees these people coming, they say to him, 'We are coming here to reside for the night'. The monk looks at them. What does he say? The monks says to Abu Talib- 'all of you can come and are welcome to eat what you want to eat. But Abu Talib I want to ask you a question'. He said 'What is it?' He said, 'Do you know that young man who was walking alongside you, bring him tomorrow with you as well'. Abu Talib said, 'Very well. I will bring him tomorrow'. The next day when Abu Talib came, he looked at him and he said to him, 'Where's the young man? That young man who was walking alongside you'. He said 'My nephew?' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'He is just over there'. He said, 'Call him towards me'.
At the age of 12, and this is one of our proofs within Islamic theology that from a young age, he was already inspired with the knowledge of God and the knowledge of his mission. At the age of 40, it's not that he became a Prophet, it's that he was now told to announce his Prophethood. Before that, he knew, because when that monk comes and he sees him, he says to him, 'In the name of Al-Laat and Uzza'. As soon as the Prophet heard this, he said to him, 'Do not bring those names in front of me. Those are the most detested names to me'. They were the idols of Quraysh. Then the monk said, 'I want to give you some sadaqah'. He said, 'We do not accept sadaqah'. Then he said to him, 'Can I see the mark between your shoulders?' He allowed him to see the mark between the shoulders. He looked at Abu Talib. He said, 'Abu Talib, if you did not know already? [Because Abu Talib is already knowing]. If you did not know already, then know that this young man is the Prophet who Jesus spoke about and Moses spoke about and beware of the enemies that he is going to face'. And at that moment Abu Talib said to him, 'How did you know?'
He said, 'Forget these signs, when you were walking and Muhammad was next to you, I saw every tree bow down after Muhammad left it'. Therefore, you have [this] from a young age, at the age of 12? But even after the age of 12, there is this innate love for justice and removal of oppression. In which way? One of the greatest incidents in his young age was at the age of twenty. And years later, he would always refer back to this. At the age of twenty he refers to when he joined and formed a group called Hilful Fudhul. Hilful Fudhul, what was it? In Arabia many people would come for the markets. When they would come for the markets they'd come from outside the market area. When they'd come from outside the market area, the narrations state, they'd come from outside the market area and they'd bring their goods and the people of Arabia would buy. One of these people came from Banu Zubaid, or some say, Banu Zabeed. He came to sell some of his goods to Al- Aas ibn Wail, the father of Amr. When he sold his goods, he said to the father of Amr. He said, 'Al-Aas, give me my money'. He replied back to him by saying, 'Which money?' He said that you have just taken my goods. I want my money back. He said, 'There is no money for you and you are a stranger in our land. You are not going to get your money back. And I am one of the aristocrats of Arabia, so you might as well forget about it'. This person, what did he do? He was so enraged. He went to one of the mountains in Arabia and he said, 'O people of Arabia, I have come as a stranger to your land and I have been involved in a business transaction. And none of you have sought to help me when this man has taken my rights. At least one of you speak up.'
A 20 year old called Muhammad speaks up for him. He gets up and he says it is unjust for us to be like this with a person who is a guest in our location. And secondly, in a business transaction, how can we be unjust when the goods have been sold? Let us form a league which looks after the rights of business employees and let us form a league which protects transactions within the Arabian state. How old was he? Remember, he was not old. He was 20. There was still no announcement of his Prophethood. But from that young age, the first sign people noticed of him, a man who speaks out against injustice.
We in 2011, the first example we take of him, how many of us speak out against injustice, be it the injustice against Muslims or non-Muslims? Our Prophet did not look at that man and say, well, that man is not a Muslim, so I'm not going to speak up for his rights. Whenever we see any oppression anywhere in the world, we must speak out against that oppression because our Prophet from his young age taught us this. This is number one.
Number two, not only at the age of twenty did he achieve this, later on, he achieved two attributes which the Arabs would honor him for. They gave him the title As-Sadiq and Al-Amin; the truthful and the trustworthy. Notice that the Arabs did not know he was a Prophet, nor did they receive any books from him. But they were concerned with his ethics as a human being. You know, when the Ka'aba was affected by a flood, the Kaaba was damaged. They needed to put back Hajar Al-Aswad, the black stone in the Ka'aba. They needed to put back Hajar Al-Aswad into the Ka'aba. The Arabs had a fight with each other. And, unfortunately, some of these Arabs were fighting a bit too easily. The Arabs had a fight with each other. And amongst the fights that they had was this one - who puts Hajar al-Aswad back in its position. One tribe said we should put it back.
Another says we should put it back up. A third says we should put it back. A fourth says we. They said, ok, let's do this. The man who walks in next into this meeting, he will be the one who chooses which tribe puts it back. As soon as he walked in, they did not say Muhammad has walked in. They said As-Sadiq Al-Amin has walked in. The focus was not on the name. The focus was on the morals of the man. Today in Islam, there is too much focus on names and not morals.
Before he began his mission - you can't just come out in front of people and say, 'People, I am a Prophet, follow me' - no, you need to have attributes where for forty years no one can find a black dot on you. A human being has a funny way about themselves. Do you know what we do as humans? If you give us a white piece of paper and there's a black dot in the middle and you ask us what is on that paper, we will say 'a black dot.' None of us will focus on the white, will we? We love to focus on the dots, even if there is so much white about someone's character, all we can remember is the black dots. Whereas the Prophet did not allow them to point at one black dot. Sadiq, Amin. When he therefore came to announce his Prophethood, he came to them and used this. He said, 'Did you not call me As Sadiq? Did you not call me Al Amin? When Hajar Al-Aswad was to be placed, was I not the one who said all four tribes? Why did you fight each other? One of you hold one part of the cloth, another holds the second, a third holds the third, a fourth holds the fourth; carry Hajar Al-Aswad all four of you. And I will pick it up from you and I will place it'.
When he announced his Prophethood at the age of 40, the question arises what was the aim of his Prophethood? The aim was nothing more but allowing mankind to meditate and reflect on their existence in order that after meditation and reflection mankind not only had respect for themselves, but they had respect for other creations of God as well. That's it. We made our Prophet religion complicated. Whereas his mission from the beginning was a mission, which was simple: Arabians were in Jahiliyyah. If any society is stagnant, it means it is a society which does not reflect. And when the human does not reflect, then he is the cause of a virus in his society. When the Prophet began his mission, did he begin by saying all of you pray Namaz right now? Did he say all of you Shahr Ramadan fast. All of you keep a beard. All of you wear Hijab. He began first by saying mankind reflect on your existence. Have an hour of reflection - it's greater than 70 years of dry worship. Today's Islam is too dogmatic. It is too focused on halal and haram, wajib makrooh, halal haram. You are looking at them and saying, 'This is what Muhammad brought?' No. The Prophet began his mission and the first part of the mission was what? A true human is one who is reflecting on their role in this world. The moment they reflect everything else will fall into place. Today's Muslims, we focus on the jigsaw pieces. We have forgotten the puzzle.
Notice Miqdad. What does he say? He says those early days in Islam, what were we doing? He says, in those early days in Islam, I heard the Prophet saying, 'an hour of reflection is greater than a year of worship'. And then I heard Ibn Abbas say, 'The Prophet said an hour of reflection is greater than seven years of worship'. Then I heard another companion say, 'an hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of worship'. So I said, I am going to go to the Prophet and ask him how and what hadith are you telling the people? An hour of reflection is greater than a year. In a second an hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of worship. In a third your saying an hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of worship. When he told the Prophet, the Prophet said Miqdad- Come with me. Let's ask the first person. They asked the first person, 'how do you reflect?' He said, 'I look at the creations of the heavens and the earth, and I think to myself, these cannot have come by an accident'. The Prophet said, 'His one hour of reflection is greater than a year of worship'. Then they went to the second. They said to him, 'How do you reflect?' He replied, 'I think about the Day of Judgment and the questions I'm going to be asked about what I did in public, but what I did in private as well'. Rasul said, 'His one hour of reflection is greater than seven years of worship'. Then they went to a third, 'how do you reflect?' The third said, 'I am going to be very frank with you. I think about hellfire and I get scared'. His one hour of reflection is greater than 70 years of worship, because the moment you think about that, it will make you change your ways quite quickly.
The origin of the religion was what? The Prophet began first by saying one hour of reflection in this religion is greater than 70 years of dry worship. You can fast and pray and fast and pray and fast and pray. But if you fast for 30 days in the year. But the other three hundred and thirty five you are not reflecting on your life, on your role, on your meaning, on your objectives, then you haven't understood the true message of the religion of Islam. Then after that, the moment you reflect on your creation, that you were one day insignificant, you were not worth mentioning. You came from something where if you look at it, you are disgusted. Then you will look at those around you and you will say, 'If I am so low, then why am I so arrogant to those who are around me?' That's why when he began his mission first at the age of 40, he asked people to reflect on their existence.
Then he said, 'Now that you have reflected, the first area I want you to remove is the area of racism in your society'. Why? Because he knew when the human reflects, there will never be a racist human being because what am I? Yes, because I'm a certain colour, I'm better than another human. No, we were both sons of Adam created from dust. You found that the first part of his biography was he spoke out against racism of any type. As in how did Bilal come to Islam? Bilal came to Islam when one day he saw Ammar bin Yasir was captured. When Ammar bin Yasir was captured, the early aristocrats of Quraysh looked at Ammar. And they said to Ammar, 'Oh, Ammar, are you the one who's trying to come forward? And you're trying to say that Muhammad's religion is the one we should follow?' Ammar said, 'yes'. He said, 'Explain to me Muhammad's religion'. He replied by saying the Prophet talks of one God and that God is one who is merciful to His creation. He has given them free will and that that God has the Day of Judgment where He will judge us, but He will not judge us on our race. He will judge us on our consciousness of His presence.'
Bilal was standing there, he was a slave. At that moment, one of the people said, 'Bilal, torture Ammar'. Bilal said, 'no'. He said, 'What? Bilal, you black slave, torture Ammar'. He said, 'no'. 'How dare you, Bilal? We bought you up - torture'. He said, 'I have never heard of a message where there is a religion where a man with my skin complexion is protected, where a man of my skin complexion is honoured'. Notice here, that Bilal when he came towards Islam, it's because, number one, there was the avenue of reflection by the Prophet. He allowed the religion to be intellectually spread, not emotionally. Intellectually there was a spread. Later on the Prophet would destroy any area of racism. How? He would come forward and say when he reached Madina later on, the Prophet would come forward and say that I want someone to call for prayer. The people came forward and they said, who is it that you are going to call?
He said, 'Bilal, go up and recite the adhan'. In one step he destroyed racism right from the beginning. Therefore, number one, racism - Rasul Allah taught that that is to be destroyed from the beginning of his message. Number two- not only to respect people of different races, learn to respect people of different religions, because in the early years of his Prophethood, his companions were being tortured. So the Prophet came to Ja'far ibn Abu Talib. Ja'far the son of Abu Talib.
He said to him, 'Ja'far go to Abyssinia, leave with the companions'. Ja'far said to him, 'Where shall we go and why?' He said, 'Ja'far, go to Abyssinia because you will meet a Christian priest'. Notice the message - on the first level, he wants to remove racism. You respect other humans. Then, number two, respect people of other religions. If their principles are the same as ours, then they are closer to us than people of our religion who are hypocrites with our principles. Ja'far goes to Abyssinia and he meets the Christian priest. Amr ibn al-Aas is alongside Ja'far. When Ja'far comes, the Abyssinian priest says to Amr ibn al-Aas, 'Who are these people?' Ja'far replies by saying, 'We are people who believe in all the Prophets and the final Prophet of God who spoke about Jesus son of Mary'. When the priest heard this, he said, 'What does your book say about Jesus son of Mary?' He said, 'Our book says that Jesus son of Mary was born from a virgin birth and a chapter is named after his mother Maryam.'
The Prophet could have easily said, 'but he is a Christian and they believe in crucifixion and we don't believe in crucifixion. No, he is a fellow believer in God. And there is more in common between us than there are differences. Notice the attitude at the beginning of the religion. It was not an attitude like some Muslims today where they don't look at another human being as a fellow member of humanity. Rather, they look at them as disbelievers.
The early message was what? Number one, no racism; number two, respect people of other religions, because those people have principles which we preach and understand. And that's why Ja'far because of this was allowed to stay in Abyssinia and build the early Muslim community in Africa. That was number two. Number three, in the early years in Mecca, he noticed not only respect other humans, not only respect other religions, respect the other gender as human beings, because these girls were being buried alive, the Prophet was noticing that these people had no morals. They were taking the girls and burying them alive. Even someone like Umar ibn al- Khattab himself narrates that in the days of Jahiliyyah before Islam came, we used to bury our daughters alive. He says there are two things. One of them makes me cry and one of them makes me laugh. He said, the one that makes me laugh is that we used to worship a God made out of dates. They made an idol made out of dates, you know, dates which you eat. And he says, we used to worship it, but when nobody's looking, we'd take a date and we'd eat it. By the end of worship that God was dead. Then he says, that used to make me laugh. Then he says that was an area which made me cry, when I used to bury my daughter alive. He says my daughter held onto my beard as I was burying her. But I got the spade and I hit her and I buried her alive.
Rasul Allah the Prophet would notice, if I have come to this society, I first told them to reflect. They have begun to reflect. First, let them respect fellow nations and not be racists. Second, let them be tolerant of other religions. Thirdly, let them respect the role of the woman in society. Because if I give the rights to the woman, then we will have great nations. Notice what he does. First, the woman is not to be buried alive. Second, the woman is to inherit and not be inherited. In the past woman would be inherited. The Prophet comes and says no, she has a right of inheritance. Number three, a dowry is to belong to the woman. In the days of Arabian Jahilliyah, the dowry goes to the father of the girl, not the girl. When he came, he said, the dowry goes to the girl herself. Number four, heaven lies underneath the feet of a woman. Heaven lies underneath the feet of the mother. One day a Jewish young man becomes Muslim, he comes to the Propert, Oh Prophet of God, my mother is Jewish but I am a Muslim, how do I treat her now that I have become a Muslim?
The Prophet said, 'You treat her better than you used to treat her before'. He went home, he started doing all the chores. His mother looked at him. She said, 'Ever since you became a Muslim, you behave like this. Why?' He said, 'My Prophet tells me heaven lies under your feet'. She said, 'If this is what the Prophet preaches, then I want to join the religion of this Prophet'. That was then number four. Then number five as part of his moral system, even that his enemies would respect him, in the idea that many of them would keep their trusts with him. On the night that he left Mecca, 13 years he was in Mecca, 10 years he was in Madina. On the night that he left Mecca, he left Ali ibn Abi Talib behind to sleep in his bed. Was that the only role of Ali ibn Talib? No. Ali ibn Abi Talib had a second role: 'Oh Ali after you have left my bed, the next day return the trusts of my enemies that they entrusted with me'.
Imagine the enemies of Quraysh would say to the Prophet Muhammad: we don't believe in you; we hate you; we think you are crazy; do you mind looking after our gold necklace for us? Because it was an ethical trade where even though the person is my enemy, I, as a Prophet of God, have not come to make enemies. If I can show that I am trustworthy, let my enemies deposit with me. Therefore, after 13 years, he moved on to Madina and the fifth important area when he left after 13 years at the age of fifty three, when he went to Madina, when they fought him in his battles, many people would come and say Muhammad spread his religion by the sword. Whereas the reality is those battles that occurred were defensive battles and they were not offensive. If they were offensive, then you could say that he spread the religion by the sword, whereas on the contrary, they were defensive battles. Were they defensive battles to protect Muslims only? No. The Qur'an came forward in chapter 22, verse 39 to 40 saying what? 'Were it not for Us telling our Prophet to come out and protect himself, there would not be a single church, synagogue or mosque in existence in Arabia'(22:39-40). I ask you if this Prophet came to spread his religion by the sword, why is the Qur'an talking about churches and synagogues?
Chapter 22, verse 39 to 40: were it not for Our Prophet defending himself, there would not be a single church, synagogue or mosque. The reason is Islam was trying to say, when we are defending ourselves in Madina, we are looking to defend every single area of worship which says there is only one God. It is not just for us. The Qur'an would come with a statement, 'Say oh people of the Book' - "Qul ya Ahlal Kitab, ta'aalaw" Oh people of the Book, Oh Jews, Oh Christians - come. We don't want to fight you. Muhammad's original message was we don't want to fight the people of the Book. 'Oh people of the Book come to a joint word between us and you [Chapter three verse sixty four] that we will only worship one God. We will not put partners to God and we will not take laws given to us from besides God'. After those early battles, you even notice a focus in his message on education.
That after the battle of Badr, when he takes those prisoners, some of his companions say to him quite recklessly, 'Let's kill them'. He says, 'No. Let's treat them with the best of treatment and let's ransom them if they teach 10 of our people how to read and write' . From the beginning, it was a message in Madina on a focus on education. Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. Today's Muslims seek knowledge from the cradle till marriage, after that become lazy. Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, read until the final moments of your life. The value of a believer is their knowledge, is their wisdom. You notice what does he do? He does not want the prisoners tortured. No. If you can teach reading and writing, then these are the basis of a great society. Then after that, in establishing himself as the head of the state in Madina, does he say the Jews should be kicked out or the Christians should be kicked out? No. He forms a Constitution called the Constitution of Madina.
The Jews will worship in their synagogues, the Christians will worship in their churches and the Muslims will worship in their mosques. There is nothing wrong with having a society of multi religious dimensions. And even after that, in Madina, when he is ordered by his Lord to go to Mecca, he hasn't returned to Mecca since he was expelled. When he returns to Mecca, his companions say, ' 'Let's go back and fight those Meccans'. He says, 'No, we will conduct a peace treaty with them.' His companions say to him, 'What do you mean peace treaty? Surely it is our chance to destroy these people's lives, to finish them like they tortured us. Like they finished us. They killed us.' The Prophet said, 'No, let's have a peace treaty with them and allow them to be opened up to the mercy of the religion of Islam'. And that is why, do you know when the Prophet opened Mecca, he taught us an ethical lesson like the ethics of removing racism, like the ethics of respecting other religions like the ethics of respecting the other gender. He taught us the ethical lesson by the name of forgiveness. Many Muslims find it hard to forgive today. A person who wrongs me or a person I see committing wrong, I find it hard to forgive them. You tell them, 'But the years have gone. Maybe the person changed, maybe the person repented'. 'No, I saw the person do this or the person said this and I will never forgive them'. Whereas their Prophet was the most forgiving of men.
When Mecca was opened, there were two men who came towards him who he forgave who me and you would never forgive. The first of them was Wahshi, the man who mutilated the body of his uncle Hamza. Imagine your uncle who brought you up alongside Abu Talib, you saw his body mutilated by this man to the extent, do you know what Hind, the mother of Muawiyah did? She cut so many pieces of Hamza's body, she made a necklace for herself.
And this Wahshi ripped Hamza's chest apart. When Mecca was opened, Wahshi, Abu Sufyan, Hind, people like Habbar ibn al Aswad thought to themselves, we are never going to get forgiven by Muhammad. Muhammad is going to enter Mecca and he is going to execute us for what we did. Wahshi and Habbar said, but we hear Muhammad is a man of Mercy, and that his religion is merciful and forgiving. He came to perfect the akhlaaq of man. 'Innama bu'istuli utammema makarimul akhlaaq' - I have come to protect the morals of mankind. So they said let us go and approach him. Wahshi went to him. When Wahshi came, he said, 'Oh, Prophet of God, forgive me. I was in the days of ignorance. I did not know about the message of Islam. I heard rumors. But they were not true. Oh Prophet of God, forgive me for what has happened'. And the reply was, 'Oh Wahshi, you are forgiven. Now leave this area'.
Then Habbar ibn al Aswad came. Do you know what Habbar ibn al Aswad did? The Prophet, one of his daughters or in some narrations, his step-daughter Zainab, she was pregnant and she was meant to go towards Madina and Habbar wanted her to miscarry. So on her way towards Madina, he came and scared her in a way where she ended up miscarrying her child. When the Prophet heard this he was saddened, when he opened Mecca al Habbar came and he said, 'Oh, Prophet of God, I am the cause of the miscarriage of your grandchild. I scared your daughter in a way where I caused her to miscarry her child. But I was ignorant. They deceived me about your behavior and your character. When I see you now, I see a man of morals. Please allow me to be forgiven'. If it was me and you and someone hurt us in this way, would we forgive them? Ask yourselves as Muslims today how forgiving are we of our brothers, our sisters, our aunties, our uncles, our grandparents, our cousins. Whereas our Prophet came and taught us even this man who caused my daughter to miscarry, he told them, 'You are forgiven by Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala do not worry over what you have done'.
And that's why his focus would also be that the basis of a great community is all of these ethics of tolerance and patience and forgiveness, especially patience. You think of us as Muslims today. We have to be patient. We take it from him. Some of us have to be patient in our marriages. Some of us have to be patient with our children. You find he had to be patient with his marriages and with his children. With his marriages, would you believe he had married a lady by the name of Shamba? Narrations say she was called Shamba, the daughter of Amr al Ghaffariya. This Shamba, when she saw his son Ibrahim die - we know he had Qasim, Abdullah, Tahir and Ibrahim - when she saw his son Ibrahim die, she was his wife, she saw his son die, she looked at him. She said, 'If you are really a Prophet of God, God would not have caused your son to die. I am leaving you' and she left.
Do you know how much patience you have to have when you are married to someone and they talk like that you for you to tolerate? But he was patient. He had another wife by the name of Malika. This Malika heard some people say your dad, the cause of his death was Muhammad. She said, 'take all your possessions'. She left. Sometimes in our lives we say, look what we face. Your Prophet had to face more. Your own Prophet had to face more. But he used to say, 'Patience is to faith, like the head is to the body'. There can be no body without a head and there can be no faith without patience. Even he had to see a loss of his children. His son Ibrahim died. His son Qasim died. His son Abdullah died. Some of us today say how come our children died? How come my friend's children died. When we say Rasul Allah is an Uswa, an example, because everything that we face, the Prophet faced in his life as well. And that is why before he died, he did what any great leader will do. He made it clear to his people that even though I am dying, I will first ensure that I leave behind guidance for you.
He left behind guidance on the day of Ghadeer when he raised the hand of Ali and he made it clear to the people that I will never leave this world without ensuring that there is a guide for you who continues to protect the message in the way I gave you the message. But his final act was a true act of charity. In Islam, causing a smile for a fellow human is an act of charity. When his daughter Fatimah came towards him when he was dying, there's a narration which states that first she cried, then she smiled. In this one act, the Prophet was showing us that from the beginning of my life, until the end, ethics and morality was the message of my biography. When Fatimah turned around, they said, 'Oh Fatema you cried, then you laughed'. She said, 'I cried because he told me he is about to pass away. But then I smiled because he told me I will be the first of his family to join him'. Notice from the beginning until the end, the man was a man who brought a smile into the life of humanity and left with a smile. And that's why until today, as a conclusion, it's not only Islam that respects him, but others. Guru Nanak believed Muhammad was an agent of Brahmin.
You find, for example, that somebody like the Christians, the latter day Saints say although we do not believe in him as a Prophet, we say he was a moral exemplar to mankind. And no better words than the words of Gandhi when he said it is impossible that millions are attracted to this man because of his sword. No, it is not his sword. It was his pledges which he kept and his simplicity in his life and his devotion to his family and friends that made this man the man that he was. Gandhi then said, I was saddened when the second volume of his biography I finished reading, because I wished I had learnt more about this man, a man who there is none other, a man like Muhammad, sallalahu alayhi wa 'aali wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad]
Let us raise our hands and pray to Allah, Subhana Wa Ta'ala to raise us with Muhammad and Aale Muhammad. To allow us to implement the lessons from his biography and to allow us to receive his intercession in this world and the hereafter. InshAllah, tomorrow we will continue with the biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib. Wassalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullah wa barakatu.
فَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ لِلَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ