The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) says:
Indeed Allah likes that young man or woman spends his/her youth in Allah’s obedience.
When Adam and Eve stepped on this earth for the first time, they were in their youths, handsome young people having a good physique and a beautiful body. In the histories of the world most of the greatest feats were performed by those who were in their youth and according to the heavenly books, most of the prophets when they were appointed to convey divine teachings to the people, were either youths or had recently stepped into their adolescence. Accomplishments in scientific and technological fields, illumination of historical realities and other important inventions were the results of the enlightened thinking of only the young generation and results of their hard work. Everywhere the faces of youths are prominent.
The people of the world, in these recent times have begun to pay more attention to the young generation, though there was a time when power in various fields was mostly concentrated in the hands of aged people and they used to impose their will on all. However, slowly the world became mindful of the fact that more regard should be paid to the new generation and the young people of the community.
In order to encourage and guide the youths and to prevent them from being misguided, there are various establishments, societies, newspapers and magazines etc. We even have special ministries for youth affairs. All this is so because the life of the youth is most precious. Youth is that
time of life when responsibilities of a person increase and these important days pass away very soon, but it is the time when the personality of the youth is shaped. The foundations of a brilliant future are made firm in this period. In these days the youth selects and chalks out a program for his life according to his own choice. This time is so crucial that if a proper program is not selected and a proper path not chosen, one would have to suffer its consequences forever, and the realization would come only when there is no recourse except to face shame and humiliation, while regret is not a cure.
Therefore it is necessary that at this critical and important juncture of life parents, and their adolescent children, in the light of reason and contemplation, choose the correct path. On this juncture, one should not merely consider the transient world but also keep the hereafter in view. Where along with the world, the success of the hereafter is also assured. Though in education of youths today only those fields and subjects are selected in which there are more worldly benefits. The aim of education is the material world and its comforts, and this is repeated so many times before the young people that they form a mindset that the aim of life is only to earn money and obtain material comforts. The effect of it is that the youth instead of becoming a perfect human being becomes a machine for earning money. Then gradually his
youth begins to decline and he nears old age. All the parts of that machine of youth deteriorate and become useless. When no scope remains for rejuvenation, these same people become a burden for the future generations who await their death restlessly.
These days slogans of progress are raised with regard to young people. What progress does it imply? Mostly when the parents of young adolescents speak of progress, they speak only in terms of this material and transient world. Only the shine and luster of the world and efforts to excel each other in obtaining material wealth and desires to fulfill lusts, while the holy teachings of Islam have not made them criteria of progress and success. Otherwise, instead of the prophets, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Qarun and Abu Sufyan would have been considered successful people.
In the light of Islamic teachings, the criteria of progress and success are faith, good deeds, ethics and good character. Those who possess them are the most advanced and their lives, most successful.
Parents are advised to, in addition to providing worldly education to their children, also pay attention to their ethical training that would make them perfect human beings. Because the youth of their children is a divine bounty and it is very important to teach them discipline and restraint. For progress and success of young people proper atmosphere is necessary at home and in the locality as well as at school and college.
The youth of today feels insulted and thinks he has some shortcomings while the parents think that since their
child has grown up their respect and control has decreased. The youthful child has become disobedient and rebellious and is a prey to bad habits. He hates good behavior. But the question is that the child who was till yesterday obedient and good, how he became so much disobedient after reaching adolescence? Instead of becoming imbued with good moral behavior why he became a collection of bad habits and vices? This applies to those children who were in their early childhood very much well behaved and obedient. Gradually they became disobedient and did not remain in the control of the parents. Since these changes do not appear all at once but gradually become apparent the youth and their parents do not notice these changes and their demands. The result is seen in the tense atmosphere of the house. Now either the children become absolutely submissive to the parents and themselves form no independent views. They refer to their parents in every matter. They ask their parents regarding the most trivial matter and do not take any decision of their own. But the effect of this is that the personality of the youths is undermined and when their future life of independence begins they find it difficult to take their own decision.
Sometimes it is also that the youth is so sure of the correctness of his views and opinion that he considers every advice and view of his parents wrong and useless. He opposes them at every step. Not only this, he also begins to make
fun of them. Though this type of practice makes the youths independent it takes away their ethical capacities, which are the essence of human perfection.
The divine religion is a moderate and disciplined system of life and at every step Islam has paid due regard to justice and equity. Islam is against extremism in every aspect. Neither it advocates absolute control of the parents nor does it accept disobedience and rebellion of the young generation. Rather it endorses the independence of the youth but in the shade of the correct guidance of the parents.
This is indicated in the tradition of the Prophet who says: More than the elegance of youth, I like the advice of senior people. That is why we have to admit that being a young man or woman is not something great, but it is great to be a perfect human being. For which in addition to education, moral training is very much necessary.
In the heydays of the youth there is desire for independence, the wish to express ones personality, free atmosphere of college, lack of ethical training in educational syllabi etc. In such an atmosphere who can teach humanity to the new generation? Who can save them from the evils of materialism? Who can enrich them with ethics?
Keeping these points in view we present this book that deals with the role of youth and their status and position. Furthermore there are analyses of the influence exercised by the youths, both male and female in a clear manner. Our respected readers may study
about the importance of youth in Quran, and the illuminated History of Islam, and then derive lessons therefrom.
Hujjat-ul-Islam Sayyid Ali Akbar Rizvi Qummi
The earlier times speak to us through history. However it is a different matter that we do not listen to them.
They announce loudly that great historical revolutions have occurred only when a courageous youth had come forward with a strong and unwavering decision to do something important. On the other hand the weak-hearted, who are unable to make any change in their mode of life can never change the course of history. Worse than that, if timid and selfish people gather around the oppressor ruling class an atmosphere is created wherein common masses submit to every unjust calamity as their destiny and turn superstitious. But when this situation becomes too troublesome to be tolerated any more, Almighty God raises from those masses an epoch-making character who changes the future of his community; who draws his people out of the alleys of misguidance, making them march ahead on the path of truth.
In ancient times, in Iraq, there were two big cities called “Kildan” and “Babel” which were ruled upon by King Nimrod. He was a merciless and very oppressive ruler who had made his people live very painful life for a long time. People in his kingdom had no rights whatsoever and were not allowed to make any demand or complaint. This miserable condition had made people so demoralized that they were like walking corpses. Nimrod was becoming more and more merciless day
by day and none in his kingdom could do anything but obey him without having any hope of salvation.
King Nimrod, like his people was an idol-worshipper who considered idols worthy of worship; and trustworthy objects; and their temples the holiest and most sacred places. So, Nimrod also was taking every care of those old and worn out idols, knowing well that this idol-worship was the biggest testimony of his people’s ignorance and intellectual poverty.
For quite a long time, Nimrod continued to observe that the residents of Kildan were losing every iota of their intelligence to such an extent that they were considering a pearl a pebble and vice versa: that they were thinking that those lifeless objects were the molders of their destiny. So, Nimrod took undue benefit of his people’s dark ignorance and told them that he himself was ‘God’.
The renegade Nimrod saw that not a single person objected to his claim of divinity. He was all the more glad to see his weak, demoralized and courageless community prostrating before his pomp, glory and royal grandeur and accepting him as God.
The citizens of Babel were also compelled to, besides worshipping all the idols, to consider Nimrod as possessor of divine powers and one who could give life and take life. With the passage of time this situation subjected them to further fearfulness, mindlessness, restlessness and ever-increasing corruption and demoralization, because they were deifying both, the idols and King Nimrod. Their former gods were dumb while the latter vocal. No family had escaped the tortures
and oppression of Nimrod.
In such a dark and fearful atmosphere, Almighty Allah, the most merciful God, commanded His intelligent and wise youthful servant, Ibrahim (a.s) to announce his messengership and prophethood. His father, Tarukh, had expired before Ibrahim was born. So he was nourished and brought up by his maternal grandfather Azar.
Accordingly Ibrahim (a.s) arose and took steps against King Nimrod and all the misguided unbelievers so that he could propagate the oneness of Only One God, and making them aware of his message, awaken them from their sleep of ignorance.
Ibrahim knew well that he was alone as his community was quite courageless; while against him was the powerful army of Nimrod and hence he must very careful. So Ibrahim (a.s) started his missionary work from his own house, thinking that if his family members agree with him, he would go ahead in his work slowly.
Therefore, addressing his maternal grandfather, Azar very politely, he tried to convince him with his logical arguments and said, ”You are a wise man. Have can you consider these lifeless idols gods? I can see that you are, along with your community, advancing on the path of sheer ignorance.” In this way, Almighty God removed all the curtains which were in front of the nature of Ibrahim so that he could see the angels (forces) in the skies and on the earth and could observe God’s might and His innumerable creations in the unending space and so that Ibrahim’s faith may become solid.
Ever since Ibrahim (a.s) became intelligent enough and
began to recognize the people of his community he used to look abhorrently at the stagnant and lifeless idols and at the throngs of people who rushed to worship them on the basis of their self-imagined attributes. He remained very unhappy at this condition.
In view of all these conditions, he moved forward to remove the difficulties and hindrances, which were likely to confront him first. His maternal grandfather, Azar, who besides being an idol-worshipper was also a well-known idol-maker, became his foremost roadblock. So Ibrahim started the work of his messengership on him. In order to reform him, he said very politely and affectionately:
O my father! Why do you worship what neither hears nor sees, nor does it avail you in the least?
O my father! Truly the knowledge has come to me, which has not come to you, therefore follow me, I will guide you on a right path.
O my father! Serve not the Satan; surely the Satan is disobedient to the Beneficent God.
O my father! Surely I fear that a punishment from the Beneficent God should afflict you so that you should be a friend of the Satan.
Thereafter Ibrahim went to Azar and addressed the ignorant idol-worshippers as mentioned by God Almighty in this manner:
And certainly we gave to Ibrahim his rectitude before and we knew him fully well. When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images to whose worship you cleave? They said: we found our fathers worshipping them. He said: certainly you have been, (both) you and
your fathers, in manifest error. They said: have you brought to us the truth, or are you one of the triflers? He said: Nay! Your lord is the lord of the heavens and the earth, who brought them into existence, and I am of those who bear witness to this.
When Azar and his people heard these strange words from Ibrahim (a.s) they became extremely angry with his courageous movement. Azar, besides being himself an idol-worshipper, was also afraid that if Nimrod were to hear this and comes to know that Ibrahim (a.s) was mocking the community and its gods and criticizing them, first of all, he would be asked (by Azar) why did he not took the son of his daughter (Ibrahim) to task and allowed him so much liberty? So he frowned terribly and addressed Ibrahim in these harsh words:
Do you dislike my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist I will certainly revile you, and leave me for a time.
Though Ibrahim (a.s) had got up to pull down the palace of idol-worship and superstition, when he observed that both Azar and all his community became so much enraged in the first instance, he thought that it was not advisable to push the matter further for the time being. However, what happened in the first stage of Ibrahim’s call was that the ears, which were unable to hear any good or truthful words, could hear his voice and also a part of the rust on their hearts was erased to some extent. So
he left his people in that condition for a while that their anger may cool down and then people may be able to think with a cool heart and mind…
The call of Ibrahim declared the truth, gradually the news reached the residents of Urr, another city of Kildan. Ibrahim’s message spread speedily all around and some intelligent and wise people agreed with him. They gave up the worship of gods having shapes, bodies and figures. They also began to advise others to abandon the wrong deed. They warned the people about the anger and punishment of the only true God if they disobeyed Him.
The people of his community used to celebrate an annual feast, when all the residents used to go out of the city and make merry in the open. On one such occasion the entire city had become empty of people leaving only Ibrahim there, as he mostly remained aloof and was fed up with the meaningless old rituals of his community and used to laugh at them indignantly. Considering this an opportunity he took yet another step in his missionary work.
Ibrahim was a youth with God-given strength and capability. His arms were strong, chest wide and eyes bright. He took up an axe in his strong hands and moved calmly towards the temple where people of the town worshipped man-made idols. He broke down all idols with his axe and also disfigured all the indecent images drawn on temple walls. He left only the biggest idol untouched with a hope that
he might then be able to call his people to worship only one God.
And by Allah! I will certainly do something against your idols after you go away, turning back. So he broke them into pieces, except the chief of them, that haply they may turn to it.
Ibrahim (a.s) collected the broken limbs etc. of the idols and kept them aside; and when he was satisfied that he had rooted out the mindlessness and ignorance of polytheism, returned home to take some rest. He was awaiting a hue and cry from people after their return from the annual feast. The people used to cook food articles and gift them to the idols in the temple before going to celebrate. After returning from the feast they brought back the articles home to eat them as sacred benediction. They believed that being pleased by their offer those gods would grant increase in their livelihood.
But this time when they returned from the feast they witnessed a very strange event; that all the idols were lying broken except the big one. The limbs of all the idols lay in a heap at one place. They were so shocked and spellbound that they could not utter a word for quite some time. Finally when they came out of the shock they began to speak and talk with one another as to who has oppressed their gods so much. Whoever it might be, his offence was definitely intolerable!
Someone mentioned the name of Ibrahim (a.s) saying that there lived in that town
a man called Ibrahim who spoke ill of these idols. He must have done this deed. All agreed on this point and were convinced that only Ibrahim was responsible for this escapade. The people were so enraged that they summoned Ibrahim at once for questioning.
Accordingly a committee of judges was formed which appointed a court to which Ibrahim (a.s) was summoned. He was charge-sheeted for the said offence of breaking down their idols so mercilessly. All the people of the town gathered at the court. It must have been a scene worth seeing indeed. There was commotion all around. Ibrahim was then produced before this court for committing a crime of idol breaking.
The huge audience was on their toes, eager to see the outcome of the trial. On one side was Ibrahim (a.s) and on the other, a heap of broken limbs of their gods made of stone and wood. The judges were red hot in anger. At last they shouted, “O Ibrahim! Have you brought this calamity on our gods?” The representative of monotheism replied calmly in a single sentence, which woke the sleeping consciences and he turned the tables calling people to his mission. He said, “This must be the deed of this biggest idol. What happened later may be inquired from him if he is able to speak.”
These words of Ibrahim (a.s) affected the hearts of people so much that all put their fingers between their teeth. No one was able to respond. The judges spoke to one another: It was our
fault that we did not appoint anyone to look after and protect our gods in our absence. All looked down and then said, “When you know that they cannot speak why you ask such a meaningless question?”
Ibrahim was waiting only for this response, so he said fearlessly, “You people call on and worship these gods who can neither give profit nor any loss. Why do you not understand and worship the only one God, Who is Almighty? Why do you not think upon this?”
Those who were seated on the chairs of justice became dumb on hearing these true words from Ibrahim. When they could not reply they became restless and pronounced the judgment: Light up a huge fire and fling Ibrahim in it by means of a big catapult so that he may be burnt to ashes. Help your gods in this way to make them pleased with you.
But the Most Merciful and Beneficent Allah made the fire cool (with His perfect Power) and Ibrahim came out of it safe and sound.
In the words of the Holy Quran:
They said: Who has done this to our gods? Most surely he is one of the unjust. They said: We heard a youth called Ibrahim speak of them. Said they: Then bring him before the eyes of the people, perhaps they may bear witness. They said: Have you done this to our gods, O Ibrahim? He said: Surely (some doer) has done it; the chief of them is this, therefore ask them, if they can speak. Then they
turned to themselves and said: Surely you yourselves are the unjust; Then they were made to hang down their heads: Certainly you know that they do not speak. He said: What! Do you then serve besides Allah what brings you not any benefit at all, nor does it harm you? Fie on you and on what you serve besides Allah; what! Do you not then understand? They said: Burn him and help your gods, if you are going to do (anything). We said: O fire! Be a comfort and peace to Ibrahim; and they desired a war on him, but We made them the greatest losers.
The story of idol breaking by Ibrahim (a.s) and defeat of the judges in the court of Nimrod spread in the entire community like wild fire. Ibrahim’s (a.s) success became the talk of the town. A big group of people sided with Ibrahim (a.s) and, convinced by his logical arguments began to worship only one God and thus through the messengership of Ibrahim (a.s) became Muslims.
On the other hand, all those idol-worshippers whose hearts had become crooked and who were eating the bones thrown to them by Nimrod and thus had become his slaves shamelessly and meekly continued to oppose the truth which had become manifest and stuck to their false beliefs.
When Nimrod who was the God of their gods heard about all this he was enraged. He ordered that young Ibrahim (a.s) should be brought before him so that he could see the one who had dared to perform
such a big adventure disregarding his pomp and power. When Ibrahim (a.s) entered the royal court of Nimrod he found Nimrod sitting on his throne with such pomp that his courtiers could not look at him and were trembling due to his awe. But Ibrahim (a.s) was the representative of monotheism. He stood straight before Nimrod quite fearlessly. Nimrod looked at him and said, “Why did you do this dangerous deed which created turmoil in the entire town? I am the God of these people and their lord; and their destiny is in my hands. Have they any other God than myself?” Ibrahim (a.s) replied, “Yes, He is my God Who is the creator of the entire universe. Whenever He wishes he takes back the lives of His creation.” Nimrod retorted, “This is not a thing, which I cannot do. I allow my servants to live freely when I wish and I am able to kill them when I wish to do so and thus their life and death is in my hands.”
When Ibrahim (a.s) saw that this fellow was boasting too much on the basis of his kingship, he took a step further and said, “I worship the God who raises the sun from the east. If you have any power, let us see whether you can bring it out from the west.” This argument of Ibrahim (a.s) fell on Nimrod’s head like a big rock and he became speechless, spellbound and defeated:
Have you not considered (Nimrod) who disputed with Ibrahim (a.s) about his
lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibrahim (a.s) said: my lord is He who gives life and causes to die, he said: I give life and cause death. Ibrahim (a.s) said: so surely Allah causes the sun to rise from the east, then make it rise from the west: thus he who disbelieved was confused: and Allah does not guide aright the unjust people.
This is the story of a young man whose name was Ibrahim (a.s), the friend (Khalil) of Allah. God chose him for fetching out people from the darkness of ignorance and misguidance. It was the result of Ibrahim’s rising youthfulness and the accompanying unlimited capabilities that he defeated the material powers and false arguments making the truth manifest and bright.
The Young Man Who Offered His Life In The Path Of Truth
The brave soldier of monotheism had finished his fight with the idol-worshippers of Babel. Thereafter when the residents of the town knew well that he was the messenger of God and the only aim of his mission was to make people aware of God and the realization of His Radiance (Noor) and when the influence of Nimrod ended in Babel, he took his wife, Sarah with him and, bidding farewell to Babel went towards Syria. After concluding a long journey he stayed at Harran.
The residents of this place were worshipping the sun, moon and stars. Ibrahim (a.s) staged grand discussions with people here also and drew the attention of people towards the true God Who is the Lord
Creator of the earth, the skies and everything else in the cosmos. He established and proved that the sun, the moon and the stars fade away after shinning for a while and hence they cannot be gods. God, the creator and the protector of the universe remains ever-present and He can be the only one who created the skies, stars and the earth and who is managing all of them under His own administration.
Here also a group of intelligent and wise people accepted the words of Ibrahim (a.s) and took to the path of truth while another group rose up in protest. Ibrahim (a.s) thought that it was not wise, at that time, to take further risks and proceeded towards Palestine and settled there. He stayed there for quite a long time. When a severe drought occurred there, he entered Egypt passing through the desert of Sinai. At first, the king of Egypt showed enmity towards him. But thereafter, he was gifted a big herd of sheep and the king also gave him from his harem an honorable lady named Hajrah so that she may live with Sarah and help her in the household work.
Ibrahim (a.s) spent a large part of his life in Egypt. Rise in the number of his sheep made him wealthy. When the people of Palestine had passed out from famine and forgotten his efforts, Ibrahim (a.s) went back to live there. He established a traveler guesthouse where people could lodge and board. Travelers from Jordan, Lebanon and Syria used to
stay there and benefit from the said facilities.
When, even after a long married life, Sarah could not bear a child, she proposed to Ibrahim (a.s) that he should marry her companion Hajrah telling him that God-willing he may get children through her (Hajrah) whereby the progeny of Prophet Hud (a.s) may continue on the earth. Since this step of Sarah was an instance of sacrifice and selflessness, God Almighty considered it worthy of respect.
In short, Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) married Hajrah and she bore a son for him who was named Ismail (a.s). When Sarah saw that now the progeny of Hud would continue through Hajrah she become worried and restless to an unbearable extent. So she told Ibrahim (a.s) to take away the newborn child and its mother (Hajrah) to a faraway place from where she might not hear anything at all about them. God Almighty ordered Ibrahim (a.s) to fulfill the demand of Sarah and to leave the child and mother in a far off place and then return to Palestine.
Ibrahim (a.s) carried out the divine command. He left Ismail and Hajrah in Hijaz (now called Mecca) praying to God:
O our Lord! Surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Thy Sacred House, our Lord! That they may keep up prayer; therefore make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; haply they may be grateful:
Now also see the miracle of destiny. This event gained such a high regard in human
history that its sounds still ring in human ears throughout the world though centuries have passed away. Hajrah and Ismail (a.s) made their residence at the place, which is now known as Mecca near the Sanctified Mosque (Masjidul Haram). In those olden days, it was a barren stony area, which used to hot up so much as to change the color of human face. There was no water all around and hence it was without human habitation. But history gives witness that a spring of water had gushed out from the spot where Ismail (a.s) had rubbed his tiny heels when thirsty. Thereafter, by and by, people of the Jurham tribe began to come and settle there and kind Arab women treated Hajrah and her child Ismail (a.s) with much respect and served them affectionately.
Days continued to pass away until Ismail (a.s) became a youth. One day when Ibrahim (a.s) got fed up with his people’s disobedience and came towards Hijaz, he found that everything had changed over there. The lonely place had turned well inhabited and a big spring of fresh water was flowing profusely where there was no drop of water when he had left his wife and son there years ago. God commanded Ibrahim (a.s) to reconstruct His House (Baitullaah) which was founded by Adam (a.s) and which was later destroyed in the flood of Noah (a.s).
Accordingly, Ismail (a.s) fetched stones from Mt. Zee Tuwa to Ibrahim (a.s) who was raising the walls of the Ka’ba. The House was thus reconstructed.
Now it was the duty of Ibrahim (a.s) to call all the servants of God (every human being) to visit this House of God. In this way, this building has continued to be till today the center of worshipping only one God. Not only this, it also is one of the most ancient monuments of human civilization and culture. It is its first milestone. Human history will forever remember how an old father had, with the assistance of his youthful son, built a House, which made Mecca an honored place in the precious land of Hijaz.
In the meanwhile, one night Ibrahim (a.s) saw in his dream that he was sacrificing his son in the path of God; that he had cut off the head of his son Ismail. As dreams of prophets carry revelations from God, next morning, Ibrahim (a.s) described his dream to his son Ismail (a.s). The Merciful God has mentioned this in Quran as follows:
So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance.
When Ismail (a.s) became a major and youthful he (Ibrahim) said:
O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see.
Almighty God had intended to test Ibrahim and his youthful son Ismail (a.s) and to examine and measure the faith of an old father and also to see to what extent a youthful son remains steadfast on the true path so that the whole world may also know how powerful are their intentions and how solid are the
faiths of the divine messengers and heavenly guides.
Ismail said: O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones.
When Ibrahim (a.s) carried out Almighty God's command and arranged for the slaughter, Ismail (a.s) said:
“O my dear father! Please while slaughtering me, tie me tightly with a rope so that I may not be able to move my hands and legs at the time of slaughtering so that it may not weaken your intention. Please also cut away my clothes so that they may not redden with my blood, which my dear mother may see. Sharpen the knife well so that my neck may be severed swiftly and I may submit my life to God. I say this because death of a youthful son is very painful to the father.”
When Ibrahim (a.s) saw that his son was so much obedient to God and so ready to sacrifice his life willingly he said, “O my son! You have proved yourself to be my best partner in carrying out God's command.”
Thereafter he embraced his son very lovingly and affectionately and kissed his head and face. Tears rolled out from eyes of both of them.
History was presenting a very painful scene. There was a distance of two farsangs (about 12 Kms) between the plains of Mina and the House of God (Ka’ba). Atmosphere was calm, quiet and serene. There was a sharp knife in the hand of a weak and aged father. God had commanded him to slaughter his son
with his own hands. Both father and son were absolutely and faithfully ready to obey divine orders. Ibrahim, the Friend of God, was an affectionate father and hence his heart was full of love for his son, especially a son who had been the center of his hopes and aspirations throughout his life.
But God commanded Ibrahim (a.s) to sacrifice his son in His path. Now Ibrahim was a messenger of God who could not budge at all from his duty because he knew well the strategy behind God’s command and was fully convinced that God is the best well-wisher of His servants. So he encouraged himself and was ready to cut off his son's head.
Ismail (a.s) said, “O father! Place my face on the ground and blindfold yourself so that paternal love may not come in the way of obedience to God.” He did accordingly and everything came to an end within moments. But at that time the conveyor of revelation announced from Mina saying:
O Ibrahim You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do We reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. Peace be upon Ibrahim. Thus do We reward the doers of good. Surely he was one of Our believing servants.
“Now slaughter this sheep instead of Ismail so that this ritual may last till the Day of Judgment.”
Ibrahim returned to the town, gathered the people and informed
them that God Almighty thus tried him and his son. Then both the father and the son expressed their profound pleasure and happiness over their success. God Almighty rewarded both of them greatly and it became a ritual to slaughter animals at Mina during every Hajj. This continues in Islam and every year Muslims all over the world and pilgrims of Hajj renew this sacrifice. It became a duty of the Muslims of the entire world to remember forever the faithfulness and devotional sacrifice of Ibrahim (a.s) and the exemplary selflessness and self-sacrifice shown by Ismail (a.s) in his youth. Muslims have to remember this great sacrifice through animal sacrifice in every part of the world, and to celebrate feast (Eid) of happiness.
Human History’s Matchless Youth Having An Iron Will And A Unique Foresight
Yusuf (a.s) was the son of Prophet Yaqub (a.s) the son of Ishaq (a.s), the son of Ibrahim through his first wife Sarah. Yusuf (a.s) once saw in his dream that, “the stars, the sun and the moon have come down on earth and they are bowing to him.” When Yusuf (a.s) mentioned this dream to his dear father Yaqub, the latter said, “You will acquire a very high rank. So much so that your father, mother and eleven brothers would bow down before you to accord you respect.” Then he added, “Do not mention this dream to your brothers otherwise they will burn in jealousy and may create some trouble.”
The brothers anyway came to know about the dream and Yaqub’s
interpretation thereof. As a reaction, they took, by some excuse, Yusuf (a.s) to a forest out of Canaan in Palestine. There they threw him in a well. Then they smeared Yusuf’s shirt in wolf’s blood and brought that shirt to their father and said weeping that a wolf had devoured Yusuf (a.s).
But actually Yusuf (a.s) was safe and sound in that well. After a few days a caravan proceeding towards Egypt passed by that well. They lowered a bucket in that well and Yusuf (a.s) came out in that bucket. The caravan men took Yusuf (a.s) to a slave market and sold him away. At that time Yusuf (a.s) was only nine years old. The person who bought Yusuf (a.s) was the King of Egypt having in his hands all power in the country. The Holy Quran has mentioned him as the Aziz of Egypt. The king of Egypt was one of the Arab Pharaohs who ruled over Egypt for centuries. The Aziz of Egypt was almost sure that Yusuf (a.s) belonged to a respectable family and was of a noble race. So he told his wife, Zulaikha, “Take full care of him. Perhaps he can be very useful to us and maybe I could take him as a son.”
Zulaikha was a very beautiful and pompous woman while the Aziz was sexually impotent, therefore he was unable to satisfy her sexual urges. On the other hand, Yusuf (a.s) who had entered this royal house was so handsome, healthy and attractive due to his good manners
that he immediately won the love of anyone who saw him once. As an added value to his noble personality, besides being very handsome he was also extremely modest. This had made him doubly attractive.
Yusuf (a.s) had passed nine years in the house of Zulaikha. During all these times, Zulaikha used to sit by the side of Yusuf (a.s). Gradually she began to be infatuated with Yusuf (a.s). This misplaced love and the elegance of Yusuf (a.s) by and by broke down all the threads of Zulaikha’s patience and she became almost mad after him. Now she saw only Yusuf (a.s) all the time even during her dreams.
One day when the Aziz of Egypt had gone to Saqooyah for some business of the state, Zulaikha called Yusuf (a.s) in her bedroom. She had adorned and beautified herself attractively. When Yusuf (a.s) entered her room, she locked up all doors and told Yusuf (a.s), “O Yusuf (a.s)! Now I am in your control and possession.” Yusuf (a.s) replied, “I seek protection from God. I will never indulge in this evil affair. You are the wife of the Aziz of Egypt. I cannot ever encroach upon his rights. He has done me favors and provided me all kinds of facilities in his palace. How can I be dishonest to him?” Saying this, Yusuf (a.s) ran towards the door so that he could save himself from the sin. Zulaikha also ran after him and caught up the hind portion of his shirt. She tried hard to draw him
back to her room. In this tussle, a part of Yusuf’s shirt was torn and remained in the hands of Zulaikha. Yusuf (a.s) was successful in running out of her room.
Accidentally the husband of Zulaikha, the Aziz of Egypt returned from his journey and saw this strange episode. Zulaikha at once made an allegation against Yusuf (a.s) saying, “If somebody attacks the honor of your wife, the only punishment of such a crime is either imprisonment or severe torture.” Yusuf (a.s) said, “This is a lie. I never intended anything evil nor had I at all advanced towards Zulaikha. It was only she who had ordered me to come to her room and only her intention was evil.” The Aziz saw that the hind part of Yusuf’s shirt was torn. So he understood that Zulaikha was the guilty one and he retorted, “All this is a dishonesty and dishonesty of women. In fact you are the offender.”
It is said proverbially that love and musk fragrance cannot remain hidden; it is necessarily manifested. So the secret of Zulaikha’s love and distress too became open. Women of Egypt began to gossip that Zulaikha had lost her heart to a slave from Canaan and that she was mad after him. Thus she became a target of taunts among the ladies of Egypt.
When Zulaikha became aware of her disgrace, she invited the leading ladies of the town for a feast in her palace. She adorned her apartment; spread valuable carpets on the floor and placed precious pillows by walls.
When the women of Egypt’s high society arrived in the profusely decorated apartment of Zulaikha, she made all of them sit comfortably on the soft seats and according to the custom in vogue in those days, gave everyone of them a lemon and a knife and then said, “I request all the honorable ladies to please cut this lemon when Yusuf (a.s) is made to pass before us.” Then she commanded that Yusuf (a.s) should be brought over there. Accordingly Yusuf (a.s) arrived and passed away before them as ordered. When the eyes of the ladies fell on that handsome youthful gentleman, and they saw his radiant face and his admirable stature all of them became uncontrollable and, in this state of awe cut their fingers instead of the fruits. All exclaimed at once, “By God! Yusuf (a.s) is not a man. Rather he is an angel coming down from the heavens!”
Zulaikha found this occasion fit for her and she said, “This is the man about whom you are taunting and maligning me. Just listen; you have observed him only for a split second whereas I have remained before him for years. Now when the situation has come to this extent I, hereby, announce that if he does not do what I command him he will either pass his life in prison or I will disgrace him in such a way that he will not be able to come out in the open.”
In the words of the Holy Quran:
So, when she heard of their sly
talk she sent for them and prepared for them a repast, and gave each of them a knife, and said (to Yusuf): come forth to them. So when they saw him, they deemed him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Remote is Allah (from imperfection); this is not a mortal; this is but a noble angel.
Many ladies belonging to the high society of Egypt saw that a great personality was serving in the palace of Zulaikha and they cut off their fingers being struck by his elegance! Among them were even some who at once desired to be embraced by Yusuf(a.s)!
When Yusuf (a.s) found himself in a strange situation wherein, on one hand, his handsome youthfulness had made Zulaikha madly desirous of him, so many high status ladies of Egyptian elite were keeping their eyes on him and also that Zulaikha had already threatened that he would be jailed if he did not submit to her desire, he raised his hands towards the heavens praying to the Almighty God:
My Lord! The prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me; and if Thou turn not away their device from me, I will yearn towards them and become (one) of the ignorant.
Prophet Yusuf (a.s) was a messenger of God. He was as steadfast as a rock in his stand. Zulaikha and other noble ladies of Egypt did not like it. Finally Yusuf (a.s) was sent to jail at the behest of Zulaikha. On the day of his imprisonment two
other men were brought to that jail. One of them was a bartender for the Pharaoh and another a baker in the royal kitchen. Both were charged with allegations of poisoning the king. These inmates looked at Yusuf (a.s) with full respect saying:
Surely we see you to be of the doers of good.
By and by, two years passed away in which Yusuf (a.s) remained with the said two inmates. During these years, whenever these prisoners saw a dream they narrated it to Yusuf (a.s) and the latter gave its interpretation, which came true. One day both the prisoners came to Yusuf (a.s) and described their dreams to him. One had seen a true dream and the other mentioned an untrue vision. Yusuf (a.s) interpreted that the bartender would be freed and reinstated in his job whereas the baker who had narrated a false dream would be hanged. What Yusuf (a.s) said came true.
After a long time, Pharaoh saw a dreadful dream. He saw that there were seven thin cows and seven healthy and fat cows and that the fat cows ate up the thin cows; also that there were seven dry and seven fresh green clusters of corn, which were destroyed. The Pharaoh called interpreters of dreams but all of them said that his dream was too confusing to be interpreted by them and hence they were helpless. Now the bartender who had spent two years in jail was also present and he recalled his experience to Pharaoh, “I know a man who can interpret
your dream. His name is Yusuf and he is now in jail.”
Pharaoh ordered his men to go to the prison and narrate his dream to Yusuf and get his interpretation. So some people went to jail and requested Yusuf to interpret the royal dream. Yusuf (a.s) said, “Go to your king and tell him that there will come seven years of full and plentiful crops followed by another seven years of severe famine. So you should keep aside the required quantity of grain produced in the first seven years and store up the rest just as the corn is stored safely in its clusters. The grain so saved should be utilized for feeding the famine-struck people in the next seven years of draught so that people may not starve.”
The Pharaoh was much pleased with such a wise advice of Yusuf (a.s) who was leading a prisoner’s life. He was also astonished with Yusuf’s intelligence and foresight. He called Yusuf (a.s) to his court.
When the king’s men approached Yusuf (a.s) in jail to take him to the king, Yusuf said, “Go back to your king and ask him to explain why I was imprisoned? What was my offense? The ruler should first inquire into this matter and a find out why the high society women of Egypt had cut their fingers in Zulaikha’s apartment? My God knows full well why they did thus?”
The Pharaoh was struck with wonder by Yusuf’s reply. He summoned the elite women to his court and asked for their explanation. All of
them at once replied that Yusuf (a.s) was not at all at fault. He was totally innocent. Now Zulaikha’s love spoke up truly. She got up and revealed the entire episode. She said, “Yusuf (a.s) is not guilty on any account. It was I who had called Yusuf (a.s) to my bedroom. What Yusuf is saying is hundred percent true. His character is absolutely blotless and clean.”
Then the Pharaoh sent a message to Yusuf (a.s) conveying to him that Zulaikha had confessed her sin and it has been fully proved that he was quite unjustly sent to jail. “You are not guilty. Please come out of prison with full respect and honor and see for yourself what will happen to Zulaikha and the concerned womenfolk. They will be punished for their offence.”
Yusuf (a.s) entered the court with all honor and told the Pharaoh, “I do not wish that the ladies be punished.” After a brief but exhaustive talk with Yusuf (a.s) the king was so much impressed by Yusuf’s all round personality, intelligence and honesty that he at once gave up all of his royal state affairs and requested Yusuf (a.s) to take the charge of the state as he saw that it would make Egypt prosperous and the people of his country happy during the aforementioned years of prosperity followed by the said seven years of famine. Taking up the state affairs in his hands, Yusuf (a.s) ordered that all the land should be brought under cultivation; that after harvest the produce should be
preserved and that enough stock be stored up for use in time of need.
Seven years passed away gradually giving abundant crop. A big quantity of it was stored up. Then came the time of draught. People felt severe shortage of food grains and became fearful of starving. Yusuf (a.s) made the following arrangements for selling the stored stuff:
The First Year of Famine: The grain was sold in exchange of gold and silver. Thus all the precious metal in possession of people was transferred to the state treasury.
The Second Year of Famine: Grain was sold in exchange of ornaments, jewels and arms etc to the populace. Thus all precious things came in public trust.
The Third Year of Famine: Wheat was sold to people in exchange of animals like cows, sheep and goats, which transferred all animals to state control.
The Fourth Year: State acquired all slaves and bondmaids in exchange of wheat.
Fifth Year: People sold their houses and bought wheat from the state to save their lives.
Sixth Year: People sold all of their private irrigation fields and canals to state for buying wheat. Thus all this facility came in state control.
Seventh Year: Wheat was sold on condition that every man and woman would serve as a state servant. Thus everyone in populace became slaves to the state.
In this way Yusuf (a.s) became the controller of all the people and their possessions. No one starved or remained hungry and all began to say that Egypt had never before seen such an intelligent ruler who saved the people in
extremely severe years of famine unprecedented in history.
When the emergency was over, Yusuf (a.s) approached the Pharaoh and said, “I never wanted to make people, through these reforms, feel that they are my slaves as it would only mean that a calamity called starvation turned into the trouble called slavery or bondage. You saw that Almighty Allah saved the people through my hands.” The Pharaoh replied, “You are absolutely right. Now the entire populace of Egypt is under your control. It is now for you to deal with them as you please.”
Prophet Yusuf (a.s) said, “I call God Almighty to witness. I believe that Allah is Omnipresent and Omniscient. Thereafter I make you a witness and say that I have freed each and everyone of the countrymen. I am returning all the things, which were acquired from them to them, that they may once again live a happy and prosperous life.”
The Pharaoh who had now become aged died after some time. Yusuf (a.s) became the ruler of Egypt both according to the custom in vogue and also as a result of his popular service to the people and he came to be known as the Aziz of Egypt. His fame spread far and wide all around.
Thereafter Yusuf (a.s) called Zulaikha who had become a widow following the death of the Aziz of Egypt and asked her as to why did she do all that; why she disgraced herself and jailed him for years? Zulaikha replied, “Satan had, at that time excited me to do wrong.
I am very sorry for that. Now I have put faith in your God.” Then Yusuf (a.s) proposed to marry Zulaikha, which she accepted. Then Yusuf (a.s) prayed to Almighty Allah. “My Lord! Zulaikha is very much repentant over her offence. You are All-powerful. Kindly return her youth to her.” Yusuf’s prayer was answered by God and Zulaikha became youthful once again. But now her beauty had doubled. Thus started the new life of Yusuf (a.s).
The news about the new generous ruler reached Prophet Yaqub (a.s) and his other sons. As they also were hit by famine they intended to go to Egypt for importing grains to Palestine. So Yusuf’s brothers made another journey to Egypt. In their second journey they found that this ruler was Yusuf (a.s) whom they had thrown into a well. They told one another, “How wonderful that Yusuf (a.s) not only came out of the well but also attained such status that we now see him as the Aziz of Egypt!” On the other hand they were also feeling guilty and were afraid what would happen if Yusuf (a.s) recognized them.
But Yusuf (a.s) knew them very well. He called them to himself and told them all that had happened. The brothers bowed their heads in shame. Prophet Yusuf (a.s) gave pardon to all of them, behaved very nicely with them and also invited them along with another brother and their parents to Egypt.
Astonishing Story Of An Exemplary Young Man
The stay of Yusuf (a.s) in Egypt and his becoming the
ruler of that country became the cause for Prophet Yaqub and his household to leave Palestine for Egypt. So they came to live there. As the name of Yaqub was Israel his progeny called themselves Bani Israel. Yaqub (a.s) was the son of Prophet Ishaq (a.s) who was the second son of Ibrahim (a.s) through Sarah. Bani Israel, or the progeny of Yaqub were living here for a long time a life of happiness and prosperity. But then, they were gripped in severe trouble when one of the Pharaohs began to oppress them mercilessly. As they were much oppressed they were known as immigrants in Egypt, who had come there through Yusuf (a.s) who himself was also an immigrant. Now they had occupied key posts of administration.
The oppressor Pharaoh considered them as outsiders and hence disliked them. Another reason why the Pharaoh was dealing harshly with Bani Israel was that, like Nimrod, the Pharaoh also depended for consultations on ignorant persons who flattered him to such an extent that he began to call himself God and put pressure on all Egyptians to believe that he was god instead of the Only One God.
The courageless Egyptians too bowed before him and accepted the Pharaoh as their god on earth blindly and obeyed his orders. But among them were also the Bani Israel who were God-worshippers. They knew that they were the progeny of God’s true messengers Ibrahim, Ishaq and Yaqub. They refused to accept Pharaoh as god. Their denial to obey Pharaoh made the latter all
the more oppressive towards them making their life unbearable.
The cruel hand of the ruling Pharaoh oppressed Bani Israel like anything and also did not spare his own populace. There were some tribes who dared to raise their heads but they were suppressed by force. He killed their men folk and spared the women (to mourn their murdered men). This is why the Pharaoh is known as one of the most corrupt mischief-maker rulers of the world.
The Pharaoh had oppressed Bani Israel to such an extent continuously that every one of them was deprived with each and every facility of life and put to every trouble. They could not see any ray of hope to become free. In the meantime yet another calamity befell them. A court astrologer of Pharaoh informed him that a child will would be born in Bani Israel who would end the monarchy of Pharaoh and reduce him to nothing, and that child was then in the womb of his mother.
This dreadful news made the Pharaoh extremely unhappy even though he was claiming to be god who could give life to anyone he wished and to cause anyone he wished to die. He had all material means to rule over people, which had made him extremely proud. Yet this news made him very restless and he feared that his sovereignty was about to end soon. So he prepared a heinous plan. He decided that every child in the womb of a woman belonging to Bani Israel should be destroyed before birth and
those who were already born should be killed.
Under this cruel plan, the spies of the Pharaoh kept an eye on the womenfolk of Bani Israel. There tore up the belly of every pregnant-looking lady, killing the male child and allowing the female child to live. This torture continued for quite a long time.
But the powerless man forgets that his might is nothing before the Might of the Real Possessor Almighty Allah. He despite all that is in his hands can never thwart God’s design and planning. The Most Merciful God brings to life that He wants, instantly.
History bears witness that unwise communities have formed fronts against the Divine Messengers of God and tried to destroy them to prevent them from doing their missionary work. But they have always failed badly and died disgracefully. For example, monarchs like Nimrod, Pharaohs, and Haman etc who were rebellious rulers were wiped out and no one remembered them. But the voices of God’s messengers like Ibrahim, Ismail, Yusuf, Isa and Muhammad are ringing in our ears even today in every part of the world.
Despite all hindrances and objections and the huge spy network, Musa’s honorable mother did become pregnant and Musa’s conception took place in her holy womb. By the power of God no one could trace any sign of her pregnancy until the time of coming in the world of the child about whom the Pharaoh was told that he would ruin his rule and end his corrupt oppression.
Musa (a.s) was born quite secretly by the might of
God. But his mother became fearful that being a woman she would not be able to protect her son from the hands of merciless men appointed by Pharaoh for constant watch. But Almighty Allah revealed to her, asking her to take the child in her arms affectionately and to suckle him and if danger arises drop him in the river Nile without any anxiety as Allah would return him to her very soon and would give him a high rank of a great messenger.
This hidden divine announcement calmed the anxious mother’s heart and she began to nourish her son comfortably and three months passed away in this manner.
Musa’s mother observed that Pharaoh’s agents were becoming more and more oppressive and she became fearful once again. She prepared a small box and placed her dearer- than-life child in it and floated the box in the river waters as commanded by Almighty God. Simultaneously she instructed her daughter (Musa’s sister) to stroll by the bank of the river observing the sight so that the child may not be harmed. Musa’s sister then saw that some of the coastguards of the Pharaoh’s riverside palace dived into the river and fetched out that box. How were they to know that they were not carrying a box but were paving the way to their own destruction!
It should be kept in mind that Pharaoh’s wife had seen that box floating in the river and that it was she who had ordered her servants to bring that box to her. When the
box was opened she saw a moon-like little child joyfully sucking its thumb.
Pharaoh’s wife, the lady named Asiya, was very much attracted with the newfound baby. So she said to Pharaoh, “This is the coolness of my eyes and yours. Do not kill him. He may prove beneficial to us later on or we may adopt him as our son.” But these people did not know what was the secret behind this entire happening.
On the other hand, Musa’s sister entered Pharaoh’s palace and became a resident servant of his wife, the queen. She saw that ladies who were called to suckle Musa failed as Musa turned away his face from every one of them. Musa’s sister told the queen, “I know a very good wet nurse. If you so desire I may call her. Maybe the baby will suck at her.”
At first, the royal guards suspected some plan in this but when all of them saw that the child was not turning his face to anyone of the midwives, they were obliged to bring Musa’s mother, guided by his sister, to the palace. No sooner than Musa’s mother placed her breast in the mouth of the child, Musa began to suckle. In this way Almighty Allah returned Musa to his respected mother so that she might be happy and not remain sorrowful, and know that God’s promise always comes true though many people are not aware of this truth.
Musa (a.s) began to be nourished under affection of the Pharaoh and his wife Queen Asiya. Being
his wet nurse Musa’s mother was also accorded much respect in the palace. Drinking pure milk of his mother Prophet Musa was brought up nicely and entered his youth.
When Musa (a.s) became major people could see that he was a handsome, healthy and a strong young man. His arms were strong, face radiant, forehead broad and eyes bright. His youthfulness was indeed worth observing. He was recognized as the son of King Pharaoh and Queen Asiya. He possessed every comfort and had full freedom. On the other hand his wisdom and intelligence had also become a talk of the town. But the people did not know that these were the signs of his prophethood, which was to bring a revolution one day; that it would be a revolution to free people from the bondage of Pharaoh and break the ego of the proud despot.
By and by poor, needy and oppressed people began to realize that Prophet Musa was very kind and sympathetic towards the enslaved masses. So they sought his help in times of trouble. Musa (a.s) also rushed to help them in every possible way.
One day Musa (a.s) by chance entered a town called Manaf and saw that a servant of Pharaoh was quarrelling with a man from Bani Israel. The Israeli requested Musa to help him. Musa stepped forward and gave a hard fist on the face of the royal servant, which proved fatal instantly. Musa (a.s) repented for this hard hit and said to himself: This can only be called an
act of the devil. He prayed to God saying: My Lord! I never intended to kill this man. I am so repentant and ashamed. Please pardon me.
After some days he once again saw that Israeli quarrelling with another man of the Pharaoh. The Israeli once again called Musa (a.s) to help him. But Musa (a.s) warned the Israeli saying that he appeared to be a quarrelsome man and that sometime back he was also fighting with another man. But when he saw that the life of the Israeli was in danger he tried to scold and turn away the man of Pharaoh. But the Pharaoh’s man thought that Musa was about to attack him so he said, “O Musa! You seem intent to kill me as you had killed another man earlier. It means, you want to become oppressive and do not want to make peace.”
In this way the Israeli exposed the secret of the earlier killing. Pharaoh’s men gathered intelligence of the whole affair and reported to the king who ordered Prophet Musa’s arrest.
At this critical moment, a faithful person among the people of Pharaoh (Believer of the People of Firon) tried his best to save Musa (a.s) from arrest. First of all he, very secretly sent Musa (a.s) to his town. Then he told him, “As the Pharaoh has spread a wide network of his agents everywhere in his territory it is better you leave this place and migrate somewhere else.”
Musa also thought it advisable not to take any more risk. So he
left the town and moved towards Palestine. He traveled for ten days to leave the desert of Sinai behind him. Then he advanced towards Madayan after a troublesome journey. On entering the limits of Madayan, which was under the trusteeship of Prophet Shuaib (a.s), Musa (a.s) found himself a helpless foreigner. No one knew him there. But what consoled him was a feeling that now he was out of the sight of Pharaoh’s secret service agents and hoped that he would be able to live a peaceful life there – God willing. The people of Madayan were Arabs and so was Shuaib (a.s).
On the outskirts of Madayan, Musa saw some people gathered around a well all of whom wanted to water their animals. He found two women waiting their turn, as they wanted to water their sheep when the men folk dispersed.
Helping the weak has always been a part of the nature of God’s messengers and divine representatives. So Musa (a.s) went forward and asked the ladies, “Why are you standing far away? To what tribe do you belong?” The young ladies who were Shuaib’s daughters, replied, “We want to water our sheep but cannot do so before the rush is over. Our father is aged and weak and has none to help him except us.” Musa who was till then hearing with his head down now raised is head to find that the two youthful bashful ladies were figures of respectable modesty. He was astonished. He thought over the entire issue and about the
dignity and honor of the two ladies. He then told them, “It is not advisable for you to keep standing here in the presence of so many people. If you permit, I may take your sheep to the well and water them.” The respectable ladies did not think it proper that an alien and unknown man should help them by moving other people aside for giving water to their animals. So they did not agree with Musa’s proposal.
Prophet Musa asked again, “Is there any other well over here?” The ladies replied, “There is a well nearby which is covered with a big rock. When need arises some sandows remove the heavy rock and get water therefrom.” Prophet Musa went to that well along with the two young ladies and removed the heavy rock with his strong and powerful arms. The ladies gave water to their sheep comfortably, thanked Musa (a.s) and went home.
Musa (a.s) replaced the rock and slept under a nearby tree as he was, by now, quite tired. His feeling of loneliness grew and he prayed to God Almighty, “My Lord! I am in dire need of Your Mercy and Kindness.”
When the daughters reached home somewhat late Shuaib (a.s) asked them for the reason of the inordinate delay. They narrated what had happened and also told their father that the gentleman who helped them was resting under a tree near the well. Prophet Shuaib sent one of his daughters to summon Musa so that he could observe him closely. The daughter approached Prophet
Musa in a very modest and dignified manner and said, “My father has called you so that he can give you the remuneration for watering our sheep.”
Prophet Musa was a solitary person in this area and he had no place of his own. So he took benefit of this chance and accompanied the lady. Incidentally a strong wind began to blow the dress of this beautiful girl who was trying hard to cover her body properly. Naturally Musa’s eye fell on this unusual scene and it was indeed very distressing for a messenger of God. He never liked that his eye should fall on another woman even involuntarily. So he, with a view to protect his eyes, and also in order to safeguard the dignity, respect and honor of the girl asked her, “Kindly stop for a while. Let me step forward and walk ahead of you. When there is crossroad, please throw a stone to guide me in which direction I should walk further. In this way I will reach your home in an appropriate manner – God willing.”
The girl also was, after all, a daughter of a God’s messenger and she at once knew the intention of Musa. So she got all the more impressed with his strong moral character and told herself: Indeed this gentleman, besides being righteous, also possesses very high moral qualities.
Musa entered the house of Prophet Shuaib (a.s) and saluted and after a while narrated to the great old gentleman what had happened to him since his birth until
then. Shuaib said, “You may stay here fearlessly. You have distanced yourself away from the reach of the Pharaoh. God Almighty has protected you.”
Now one of the daughters told her father, “Dear father! It is better to take benefit from this gentleman’s capabilities and services as the best servant or employee is one who is honest as well as strong physically, morally and spiritually.”
In this way, Musa the honest youth who had traveled for hundreds of miles in red hot sandy land got a chance to breathe comfortably in a distant city and that too in the house of a God’s messenger!
One day Prophet Shuaib told Musa, “I intend to give you one of my daughters in marriage but on condition that you live with us for eight years and look after the sheep. If you extend this stay upto ten years it would be much better. But, I make God a witness that I am not putting any force on you. O Musa! I am among the righteous servants of Allah and therefore I can never apply any kind of force to anyone in any matter.”
Musa (a.s) agreed and married Shuaib’s daughter. Her name was Safura, the girl who was sent to summon Musa and who remembered that Musa was anxious to save his eyes from falling on her body when the wind blew strongly.
By and by Musa completed ten years in Prophet Shuaib’s service with perfect honesty and love and did his job painstakingly. He left no stone unturned in taking full care
of the sheep. On completion of his ten-year service, Musa sought permission to leave for Egypt and visit his mother and younger brother, Harun. Shuaib (a.s) allowed him and Musa (a.s) moved with his wife towards Egypt. After entering the Sinai desert Musa decried a fire radiating on a hill. When he went there he saw that there was a spruce fir tree from which flames of fire leapt out but without burning the green tree! Musa was observing this phenomenon with abounding wonder when a voice reached his ears from the direction of the tree: It was a revelation from God saying: From now onwards you are a messenger of God and a guide for His creation. Go to Egypt for guiding the Pharaoh and his misguided community.
Thus a shepherd attained his goal after serving Shuaib wholeheartedly for several years.
A Youth Full Of Faith Encounters An Experienced Warrior
It was a dreary and desolate desert for miles and miles and the Bani Israel, after their exit from Egypt roamed in this lonely desert for years in search of shelter. Many died and those who survived remained painfully restless. After a long time some of them entered the holy land of Palestine and settled there. It was a fertile region where Bani Israel worked hard for a living, which became satisfactory after some time.
In that era it was the only God-worshipping sect so God shed His mercy on them and that too in such a way that He gave to them the Ark of the
Covenant wherein was the secret of their unity and survival so that people may preserve it as a relic from God and that they may, looking at it, never forget to remember Almighty Allah and seek His protection in times of trouble and hardships of war and so that they may find it a source of solace of the hearts.
Hardly two generations had passed when the moral structure of Bani Israel decayed. They began to disobey God, to revolt against God through dishonesty and every other evil behavior and filled the atmosphere with corruption. Sinfulness spread throughout their society and their people lived a life full of immorality and shamelessness.
The idol-worshipper community of Palestine was fed up by the troublesome mischiefs of Bani Israel so they united to drive Bani Israel out of their land or kill them wherever they were found and confiscate their wealth, property and houses and separate their sons from fathers and vice versa and also take away the aforesaid Ark of Covenant from them.
The idol-worshippers of Palestine were a powerful community. Their constant attacks broke down the power of Bani Israel and disgrace became their destiny while their pomp turned into dust.
When seven years of such troublesome and disgraceful conditions passed away, God raised among them His messenger named Saul. Leading persons of Bani Israel approached him in a significant number and requested him, “Kindly announce your honor’s kingship so that you may provide for us means of making our lives righteous and that we may become united, integrated and
able to wage a war in the path of God.”
Shamoil asked them, “Are you sure if I announce my kingship and a time for fighting comes before us, you will not flee from battlefield on seeing the enemy’s army?”
They replied, “How is it possible for us to find excuses at such a critical moment making us more vulnerable when we have been driven out of our homes and our sons are snatched away from us. We are quite ready to face the hardship together.” Then Shamoil (a.s) said, “Then fear God and do not disobey His commands. He has appointed Talut as your commander and king.”
Till that time God’s prophethood had remained in the progeny of Lavi the son of Prophet Yaqub (a.s) and wealth and rulership was in the progeny of Yehuda, another son of Prophet Yaqub. The community chiefs asked Shamoil (a.s), “Talut comes from the progeny of Ibn Yamin the youngest son of Prophet Yaqub (a.s). How did he get kingship? How can he rule over us?”
Bani Israel had always been material-minded. They had never been convinced of fact and truth that there also is a power beyond the apparent world. They relied only on what they could perceive through physical faculties without any regard for the spirit. So a number of them who considered themselves members of Yehudi race did not come forward to be united under the flag of a king lacking in wealth.
Shamoil (a.s) told them, “The Most Merciful God has made Talut your king because he possesses all
virtues required for military discipline and control. He is very brave, courageous and fearless and his wisdom and foresight is also exemplary and he got these virtues and qualification in inheritance. His physique is also very strong and symmetrical. He never steps backward in a battle. Above all he is appointed as your king by the Almighty Lord. God is great. He grants rule to whomever He wants.” Bani Israel had to accept Talut as their commander but they also asked Shamoil, “What is the proof that God has made Talut our king?”
Shamoil replied, “The proof or evidence is that he will procure for you the Ark of Covenant which God had sent down for the peace of your hearts and minds and which contains the relics of Musa and Harun (a.s) and is carried by angels. Is this not a sufficient proof?”
When Bani Israel went out of the town they saw the said casket there and this satisfied them. They gathered their might and an army of seventy thousand men rallied under the flag of Talut but Talut had no trust in the major part of that army. He knew it well that this tribe, which had wandered in wilderness for years, had become totally demoralized. As they had become so weak they might not withstand the enemy assault and could flee from the battlefield. Therefore he decided to test their solidarity and integrity before going to war so that those who fail could be dismissed from the army or kept in the rear.
informed his soldiers about the tactics of the enemy and then said, “God wants to take a test through a water canal. Whoever will drink its water will be disobeying my command. Who will remain patient will be allowed to drink only a handful of its water. One who fails in this test will lose my trust and those who remain steadfast and patient, obeying my order, will gain my confidence and their rank will rise in my view.”
As the soldiers had walked quite a long time in hot sandy land they were very thirsty. Many of them were not prepared to obey the command of Talut. They fell on the water and drank it fully. Only three hundred and thirteen of them were trustworthy and faithful who remained thirsty obeying their chief’s command. This test showed that the majority of them were useless and weak hearted. Only 313 of them were trustworthy and steadfast in their determination that could be relied upon. When the soldiers of Talut crossed that canal (which had probably branched from a Jordanian river flowing in Syria) they saw Goliath advancing towards them along with his huge army in several battalions, well equipped with weapons. Observing their preparations, the soldiers of Talut exclaimed, “We cannot confront this huge army. How long could we fight them? How can we defeat them?” But the faithful 313 announced, “Almighty Allah has always made His few obedient servants victorious over the enemy’s major big armies. Why should we be afraid when our Lord
is with us?” Among this group of courageous and brave minority group was a youth from the village of Bait Tam. He was the youngest of the brothers enrolled in the army of Talut.
When the warriors of Talut lined up to face the army of Goliath they prayed, “Our Lord! Grant us steadfastness and patience so that we may not step back while battling with the enemy and grant us victory.”
At this critical juncture Talut could see that those in his throng who were demoralized and fearful could not show the wisdom of even praying to God. Talut was giving encouragement to each and everyone in his army. Once he addressed them jointly saying, “Today I promise that one among you who shows maximum bravery and kills Goliath will be given my daughter in marriage. I will make him the king and he will inherit me.”
The chief of the army, Goliath, was a very strong and tough sandow from Amaliqah. He came forward and challenged Talut’s army: “Is there anyone among you who can fight with me?”
The fate of this fight depended on the life or death of this champion athlete. If he were to remain alive, it would be impossible for the army of Talut to win.
At this fateful time the eyes of Talut were searching the youths in his army to see who comes forward courageously but in his army there was none who could show such tremendous bravery while the challenging voice of Goliath was ringing in the air.
Then suddenly came out
from Talut’s side a youth named Dawood. He approached Talut and whispered to him, “Please allow me to fight Goliath.” Talut could see that on the one hand was an experienced champion from Amaliqah and on the other this growing youth whose moustache was about to sprout. Talut told the youthful boy, “You are still young in age. Compared to this giant, your stature is also very small and unripe in experience. Be patient for a while so that anyone stronger than you may come forward. Then we will see.”
Now Dawood spelt out his iron will and strong determination in a serious and fearless manner saying, “Please do not look at my young age and short stature. God-willing you will see that this chief of the enemy army will be downed with my hands.”
When Talut saw that this youth was full of courage, faith and wisdom and that he is so strong in his determination and that there was not even an iota of fear in his heart and was insisting so strongly to fight with this well known champion he was obliged to accept his request and allowed him to fight with that giant. But, as it was then customary, Talut put the armor on that youth’s body with his own hands, placed an iron helmet on his head and handed him a spear. But as Dawood had never before worn such an armor he removed it and also threw down both his helmet and the spear. He advanced only holding in his hands
a stick with which he herded his sheep and a sling, picking up a few stones from the ground. Talut who saw this with astonishment asked, “Will you fight this champion warrior with stick and stones instead of arrows and spears?”
Dawood answered courageously, “Yes! With the help of God Almighty you will see how I use my simple weapons with wonder. These stones will write the story of the victory of Talut and the death of Goliath.” Saying this, he came out of the ranks and stood before Goliath.
It was indeed a very strange battle scene. On one side was the proud and hopeful army of Goliath and on the other a small battalion of disheartened and overawed soldiers. All witnessed this astonishing encounter between two extremely unequal fighters.
Looking at the small, weak and young man who had come out to fight with him Goliath exclaimed sarcastically, “O youngster! Are you going to fight with me with this weak body and without arms and armor?”
Dawood replied, “I have gifted all war weapons to you. I will confront you only in this simple style because I have full faith in my Lord. You will soon see how those who have trust and faith in God win.” Then Dawood put a stone in his sling and began to rotate it around his head and once he found full strength in his arms he dropped one of the strings of his sling, aiming the stone at the forehead of Goliath. The stone hit its target and blood began
to flow profusely from Goliath’s head. At the next instant Dawood shot another stone which pierced the champion’s brain and he came down crashing to the ground. Within no time the 313 brave warriors of Talut fell upon the huge army of Goliath, scattered them and returned victoriously.
After this great and manifest victory Dawood (a.s) received the honor of being Talut’s son-in-law. He became a great king of Bani Israel and Almighty Allah granted him prophethood as well as kingship.
Admonition To The Young Son
Luqman was not a messenger. He was a Hakim (the wise one). Almighty God had gifted him much intelligence and a high moral character. It is said that he was the son of Prophet Ayyub’s sister or aunt and lived during the time of Ayyub (a.s).
The Holy Prophet has said that though Luqman Hakim was not a messenger, he was a very wise and farsighted man who worshipped only One God.
Once a man asked him “Are you the same person who used to graze sheep?” Luqman replied, “You are right. I am the same person. But why are you asking this question?” That man continued to ask, “From where did you obtain all this wisdom and intelligence?” Luqman replied, “This is a gift from God, which is granted by telling the truth and by refraining from useless things and by behaving honestly.” Once Luqman went to see Prophet Dawood and found that he (Dawood) was molding iron like clay and making something with it. At first, Luqman (a.s) thought of asking
what Prophet Dawood was preparing. But he remained silent thinking it was better to wait and see what was being manufactured. He saw that Prophet Dawood made armor from molded iron; wore it and then turning to Luqman said, “How nice is this garment for the battlefield?” Luqman learnt everything without questioning and told himself, “Verily, silence is the best wisdom. But few people realize this.” Prophet Dawood said to him, “God has given you wisdom and you are the wise one.”
Luqman was previously in employ of a rich man. Once his master told him, “Slaughter a sheep and bring to me the best part of its body.” Luqman brought the animal’s tongue and heart. The next day the employer asked Luqman, “Bring to me the worst organ of the animal.” Luqman again brought its tongue and heart. The employer asked Luqman with astonishment the reason of bringing the same parts on both occasions. Luqman replied, “If the heart and the tongue are used in a good way they are the best organs granted to everyone by Almighty God but if they are used unwisely and in a wrong manner no part of a body can be worse than them.”
Luqman was repeatedly giving admonitions and advices to his young son. As they are extremely useful for our day-to-day life I am quoting them from Islamic books wherein they have been narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) as well as the Holy Imams (a.s).
Luqman Hakim told his teenager son, “O my son! This world is like
a deep sea. Many people have drowned in it. Therefore you should make a ship for yourself made up of Faith in God, Shariat, and obedience to divine commandments, trust in One God and righteousness and piety to sail through and for being successful in the next permanent life in the Hereafter. God’s help and guidance will be with you and you will attain salvation. If you drown, it will be only as a result of your sins.
O my son! Walk with your companions in a journey. Cooperate with them in good works but never in sinful acts, which defy God’s commands. If they walk on foot you should also walk with them and also help them in their needs. Listen to those who are older than you. If they ask you to do something never say ‘No’ but always say ‘Yes’ because a negative response in itself is an evil thing.
O my son! If you miss your road during a journey, never continue to proceed further. If you find there that only one person is loitering over there, do not ask for guidance from him nor rely on him because no lonely person is trustworthy in a wilderness. He may be a thief.”
Imam Sadiq (a.s) says that Almighty Allah granted wisdom to Luqman not because he was born in a noble family or was wealthy or healthy and handsome but only because he was religious minded, God fearing and God worshipping righteous man. He was living a life of contentment and patience. His thoughts
were high and sight far reaching. No one ever found foul odor emanating from his body. He never slept during the day. He never sought others’ support in any meeting. He never indulged in a reckless or meaningless act. He was very modest. Nobody ever saw him at the time of taking a bath or answering calls of nature. He never laughed at anything nor frowned over anything, which could harm anyone or would result in any kind of loss. He never mocked anyone. Wealth never made him over joyful and poverty never made him sad. Whenever he heard a good word he would ask for its explanation and inquire about its source.
How much valuable was Luqman in the sight of God can be measured by the fact that an entire chapter in the Holy Quran has been named after him. In this chapter Luqman is mentioned advising his youthful son. These are admonitions, which deserve deep thought. The Holy Quran has repeated his golden words for the guidance of the entire youthful race of human beings in a comprehensive manner.
It must be kept in mind that these are the meaningful words, which issued from the mouth of an affectionate father to his son who was dearer than his life. It is noteworthy that while repeating Luqman’s words the holy Quran has adopted a very effective style so as to attract maximum attention of the reader of the divine scripture. Quran says “Luqman was giving admonitions to his son.”
The meaning would have been fully conveyed
if it were said, “Luqman told his son”. But it would not have carried the same importance (This is Quranic eloquence which is unparalleled indeed). The words indicate that the tone of Luqman was not harsh, dictatorial, bitter, neither insulting nor flattering. Rather it had heart-catching aspects of an affectionate father who preserves and protects the self-respect of his dear son while giving him the best kind of training.
Through this Almighty Allah, the Most Merciful desires that every father should admonish his children in the fine manner adopted by Luqman Hakim for adorning them with the best morals, which may appeal to their hearts and which may result in good luck and prosperity.
Luqman says to his son: My dear son! Never consider anyone a partner with Allah because polytheism is an unpardonable offence and an unforgivable sin, the greatest evil. My son! Even if one’s deed is as minute as a grain of mustard hidden in the earth or in the sky or on a mountain, Allah will invariably bring it forth because He is Omniscient and the Knower of each and everything that you indulge in. O my son! Establish prayer and inspire others to do good deeds and make them intent on obstructing evil and when surrounded by troubles, seek shelter in patience, as this is the most pleasant deed in the sight of God. O my son! Do not turn your face proudly like egoists and do not walk on earth with self-centeredness, as God does not like any proud one walking
with pride on His earth. Adopt the middle path while walking and do not raise your voice while talking because the worst of all voices is the loud braying of an ass.
In the words of the Holy Quran:
And certainly We gave wisdom to Luqman, saying: Be grateful to Allah. And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for his own soul; and whoever is ungrateful, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, Praised.
And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: O my son! Do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity-
And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents- his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years- saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming.
And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to Me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did-
O my son! Surely if it is the very weight of the grain of a mustard-seed, even though it is in (the heart of) rock, or (high above) in the heaven or (deep down) in the earth, Allah will bring it (to light); surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware;
O my son! Keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear
patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage;
And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster;
And pursue the right course in your going about and lower your voice; surely the most hateful of voices is braying of the asses.
Who Attained Messengership In Childhood
Faquz had two daughters both endowed with high morals and a pleasing nature. One was Hannah and the other Isha. Both were married to the two noblest men of the town. Hannah had the honor of being the wife of Imran and Isha became the life partner of Zakaria.
Later on Zakaria was chosen by God as His Messenger and Imran was such a respectable and trustworthy person in Bani Israel that he was elected the trustee of Baitul Maqdas. A long time passed in the married life of Zakaria and Isha. Many springs came and went but no flower in the form of a child grew in their garden. Both became quite aged and all hopes of having an heir faded away according to normal expectations.
Zakaria was always remaining gloomy. As a messenger of God what made him worry so much was that the people of his community were readily falling victims to a disgraceful demoralization, which was being spread speedily by the mischievous Jews. Almost everyone was indulging only in useless and undesirable activities. On the other hand, he saw that age had weakened him and there was none to continue
reform work after his death, which was fast approaching. But how long could he burn himself in this fire of restlessness and anxiety? Finally he got tired and left everything to the Will of Almighty God Whom he was worshipping every moment and with every breath.
One day, when Zakaria entered the room of Maryam, who lived in Baitul Maqdas, he saw several heavenly fruits before her. Astonishingly he asked, “From where have these fruits come? Who brought them here?” Maryam replied with ease, “They are from my God.”
This happening jerked Prophet Zakaria as if he woke up from his sleep. He thought over the event deeply and told himself: Of course it is Only One God Who sends to Maryam in winter those fruits, which grow in summer and vice versa. Is it not possible that such Almighty God may grant his wife a child in her old age? So he raised his hands towards the heavens and prayed to Allah hopefully, saying, “My Lord! I am afraid that after my departure from the scene evil fellows will step forward to demoralize people. I know that my wife and I both are aged. But it is not impossible for Your Might to grant me an heir.”
In the words of the Quran:
A mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakaria.
When he called upon his Lord in a low voice,
He said: My Lord! Surely my bones are weakened and my head flares with hoariness, and, my Lord! I have never been unsuccessful in my
prayer to Thee:
And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir,
Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.
O Zakaria! Surely We give you good news of a boy whose name shall be Yahya: We have not made before anyone his equal.
He said: O my Lord! When shall I have a son, and my wife is barren, and I myself have reached indeed the extreme degree of old age?
Prophet Zakaria was yet in the prayer niche praying to Allah when angels addressed him, “O Zakaria! God gives you good news that He will grant you a son whose name will be Yahya because prior to this none has been named thus.”
Zakaria became joyful on hearing this Divine Voice. However, with a view to get peace of mind, as to how could he get a child in that advanced age, he asked his Lord, “My Lord! How will it be so when I have become very old and weak?”
Came the voice once again conveying: He has decided to grant you both a son in these days and in these circumstances. It is very easy for God to do so. The God Who can bring you to life from nothing has the Might to grant you and your wife a son in old age.
Prophet Zakaria, for satisfying his heart, again prayed, “My Creator! Kindly give me some sign.” God sent revelation that
the sign was that his tongue will remain tied for three days and that he will not be able to converse with anyone except through signals.
When the said signal was manifested and a period of six months passed, Almighty God granted Zakaria a son, Yahya and also adorned the child with prophethood in his childhood.
The Quran has mentioned it in the following way:
He said: So shall it be, your Lord says: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing.
He said: My Lord! Give me a sign. He said: Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to the people three nights while in sound health.
Prophet Yahya, even in his childhood, was very handsome, intelligent and attractive, and also endowed with foresight and wisdom to an extraordinary extent.
In his young age he kept himself away from worldly affairs busying himself only with the worship of God and leading a life of purity and righteousness. He toiled so much that he became very thin and physically weak.
As a result of the piety of his soul and due to an inter revolution Yahya used to keep himself away from women and also from other children of his age and remained aloof from the material world. Then God granted him messengership in his childhood. So he began to call people to God worship addressing the audiences forcefully. He prohibited people from disobeying God’s commands. Looking at his knowledge, capability, justice, honesty and truthfulness the Bani Israel used to make
him their arbitrator for settling disputes.
Yahya was a righteous and a good-natured young man. His race was also noble and kind and he never indulged in injustice.
While deciding disputes he used to be harsh towards the unjust and oppressors who did not obey divine commandments. This made his enemies revengeful and finally he was martyred.
The Quran describes Yahya (a.s) in the following words:
O Yahya! Take hold of the Book with strength, and We granted him wisdom while yet a child
And tenderness from Us and purity, and he was one who guarded (against evil),
And dutiful to his parents, and he was not insolent, disobedient.
King Herdolis married a woman named Herodia who had a daughter from her previous husband. The daughter was extremely beautiful and so attractive that she maddened anyone. A grand ceremony was held on the birthday of King Herdolis. This girl staged a captivating and charming dance performance therein which made all in the audience, including the King, spellbound. The King was so much fascinated by her that he asked the girl what she desired so that he could fulfill her desire. It became a talk of the town that the King has fallen in love with his own daughter. People began to hate the king. Prophet Yahya, in order to prevent the king from such evil scolded him harshly and publicly announced that it was an open violation of the Law of Moses and that it was absolutely illegal and a criminal offence on the part of the King to cohabit with that
Feeling that the guardian of the Divine Law was interfering with the pleasures and joys of the mother-daughter duo, they began to conspire against Yahya (a.s).
One day when the King expressed his eagerness to go to bed with his daughter, she replied that it was impossible as long as Yahya was alive. The King who was maddened by the charm of that girl broke all bounds in the upsurge of his passions and lust and ordered the execution of Yahya and issued a command to bring Yahya’s head in a tray before him. Prophet Yahya was only thirty years old at that time. His maternal cousin, Isa (a.s) was living then but had not yet begun his mission.
Finally when Prophet Yahya was decapitated and when the first drop of his holy blood fell on the ground a forceful fountain of blood sprang up from that spot which frightened Bani Israel. Talks of their shamelessness and lewdness spread all around until the King of Babylon in southern Iraq invaded Palestine and destroyed it thoroughly. When a large number of Jews were slaughtered the boiling of Yahya’s innocent blood cooled down and it stopped gushing.
And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life.
A Pious Young Lady Who Became The Leader Of All The Women Of The World
Imran was the son of Mathan, who was from the progeny of Sulaiman son of Dawood (a.s). The children of Mathan and especially Imran
were among the leading religious scholars of Bani Israel. They were residing in Baitul Maqdas. Imran’s wife was Hannah. Both grew old but remained issueless. They wished so earnestly to have children who would keep their memory alive after them and who would continue their holy progeny further.
One day Hannah was sitting under a tree. She saw that a female bird was feeding her chick. This aroused in her the female instinct of becoming a loving mother. She exclaimed, “Would that I too had a child whom I would have fed in my lap with affection.” At that moment she prayed to God in full earnestness and humility, “My Lord! Grant me a child through Your bountiful grace, whom if granted I will dedicate to serve the Baitul Maqdas.”
It was a custom in those days to seek children from God and when granted to entrust the newborns to the trustees of Baitul Maqdas. This made their parents free from their responsibility of caring, training and nourishing. After reaching the age of puberty such children were free either to continue serving Baitul Maqdas or to lead a life of their own choice in the society, and to look after their parents like common people. Such dedication was only in case of male children, not for daughters, because after puberty, girls have menses, which debarred them from the house of God. So female children were excepted.
Almighty Allah answered Hannah’s prayer whereupon she became pregnant despite old age. But before delivery Imran passed away. The pious lady was
extremely sorrowful due to the death of her dear husband and was feeling lonely and helpless. One day she raised her hands towards the sky and prayed to God,
“My Lord! I will give away the child in my womb to serve the House of God. Please accept my prayer, as You are the Hearer, the Knower.” After some time when the child was born it was found that God had granted her a daughter instead of a son. So she again exclaimed, “My Lord! You have granted me a daughter. Your will is always meaningful. You know well that had it been a son it would have been lower than this daughter in nobility.” Then she added, “I have named her Maryam. I seek from Your Holy Self to keep this girl and her progeny from the evil of the devil Satan.”
In view of the sincerity and firm desire of Hannah, Almighty Allah accepted her offer and adorned her daughter with all virtues of piety, chastity and modesty. God granted the noble lady, Maryam such a high rank the mention whereof will remain in the Bible and the Quran till eternity.
All of a sudden it struck to the mother of Maryam (through Revelation) that God had accepted her offering and had honored her exceptionally by allowing her daughter (in place of a son) to have the honor of serving the House of God. This revelation gave peace of mind to Maryam’s mother and she very happily started to arrange the fulfillment of her pledge by
dedicating her fortunate daughter to the House of God.
A few days thereafter she wrapped her daughter in a clean cloth and took her to the trustees of Baitul Maqdas who were from the progeny of Harun (a.s). Entrusting the daughter to them she said, “Take this child in your custody because I had made a vow that I will give her away for serving the House of God.” Then she returned home.
The leading personalities of Bani Israel who were the trustees of Baitul Maqdas accepted the female child, which had been dedicated to the House of God. Then there arose a problem as to who from them would nourish the child. They held mutual consultations. Everyone wished to take the responsibility and they began to show their eagerness because the child was the daughter of Imran whom everyone among Bani Israel held high in esteem and everyone intended to get nearer to him.
At this point, Prophet Zakaria said, “I am the husband of Maryam’s aunt and therefore my right is more. This honor may be given to me.” But the elders did not accept this claim as no one wanted to miss the honor.
After long discussions it was agreed that arguments and counter arguments and claims upon claims would not solve the problem so they should instead draw lots. They decided to throw their pens in water with which they wrote the holy words of Torah and one whose pen does not sink would have the honor of maintaining and nourishing Maryam. Zakaria turned out
to be that fortunate person. Being her aunt’s husband, Zakaria began take care of Maryam to the best of his ability.
The Quran mentions this as follows:
When a woman of Imran said: My Lord! Surely I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service); accept therefore from me, surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.
So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Maryam, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.
So her Lord accepted her with a good acceptance and made her grow up a good growing, and gave her into the charge of Zakaria;
When Maryam attained puberty she saw with wonder that she was quite different from other women of the world in that she did not have monthly periods; she was clean throughout the year. Ever since she had reached the age of understanding, she had passed almost all her time in worship. Her radiant face, her modesty and her symmetrical physique had made her very awful in the eyes of everyone. Her humility and righteousness had become the talk of the town. Every young and old, man and woman looked at her and referred to her with awful respect. Even the trustees of the Baitul Maqdas, including Zakaria, behaved with her with utmost respect. They considered themselves fortunate to accord respect
and honor to Maryam.
When Maryam became major, Zakaria arranged for her a separate room on the first floor of Baitul Maqdas so that she may not have to mingle with males and that she may engage in her devotional occupations with maximum concentration. None was allowed to approach Maryam or to see and talk with her. Only Zakaria could visit her, to look after her requirements.
One day when Zakaria entered the room of Maryam he was stunned to see some fruits before her, which did not appear to be the fruits of this world. He did not say anything. The next day also he observed the same phenomenon. Then he asked, “O Maryam! From where do you get this food?” Maryam replied, “These fruits have come from Almighty God. God grants limitless provision to whomsoever He wishes.”
According to the Quran:
Whenever Zakaria entered the sanctuary to (see) her, he found with her food. He said: O Maryam! Whence comes this to you? She said: It is from Allah. Surely Allah gives to whom He pleases without measure.
Zakaria understood and he was quite convinced that Maryam had won the pleasure of her Lord and that she was higher in rank than all the women. So he paid even more respect and honor to her thenceforth. He considered himself very fortunate on this account.
Now came a time when angels began to visit Maryam and converse with her. One day when she was busy worshipping God, angels arrived and told her, “O Maryam! God has kept you clean and
pious and granted you greatness over all other women of the world. O Maryam! Perform Prayer when others do so and remember Me in Supplications and bow and prostrate for Me.”
These are the events which show how a pious and modest teenaged girl attained spiritual ranks and became a darling of God and how a young daughter passed thirteen years in the House of God under the care of a prophet of God. This became a remarkable instance in human history. So, after 600 years, Almighty Allah retold this event to Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) saying:
This is of the announcements relating to the unseen, which We reveal to you; and you were not with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them should have Maryam in his charge, and you were not with them when they contended one with another.
A Child Whose Birth Was Miraculous And Who Made A Revolution In His Youth Against Oppression
Maryam was passing her solitary life in a room of Baitul Maqdas engaged in God-worship. Thirteen years of her life passed away in this way. Now youth was approaching her speedily and her devotion to worship accompanied with her radiant face and noble form made her a daughter that was a model of morality for the entire world. At the beginning of the fourteenth year of her life some angels sent by God approached her and told her:
O Maryam, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the Messiah, Isa son
of Maryam, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).
And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and (he shall be) one of the good ones.
When Maryam heard this unseen announcement she prayed to God:
My Lord! When shall there be a son (born) to me, and man has not touched me? He said: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.
And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat and the Injeel.
And (make him) an apostle to the children of Israel:
On that day when Maryam was taking bath at a far off place where sunrays were falling and which was closed in all directions. Suddenly she could see that a handsome elegant and shapely young man was looking at her standing in front of her. She was frightened and exclaimed fearfully, “I seek God’s protection from your evil. If you have any fear of God, do not stay here and return at once.”
That comely man told Maryam in reply, “Fear not for God has sent me so that I may gift you a pious son.” Maryam said, “How is it possible for me to get a son when no man has ever touched me nor am I a wicked woman.” The angel told her in response, “God has decreed it only due to these virtues of yours and it
is easy for God to do so. God wants to give you a son in virginity and to make him His sign and that this may be a kind of mercy from God for people and God has already decreed it from the beginning.”
The Quran words this in the following manner:
And mention Maryam in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place;
So she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man.
She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil).
He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy.
She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste?
He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed.
The angel disappeared after this short dialogue and Maryam became pregnant. When she came to know that she was carrying a child, she came out of her residence and camped at a far off place. Finally when she experienced labor pains she took shelter beneath a date tree, to get some comfort. She was full of anxiety and confusion. She was worrying about this event, which was quite abnormal and unnatural, and no one knew
what and how all this happened. But when it will be known how would she make people believe the truth.
She was worrying what would happen to her when people who used to swear about her high morality will see that. She was asking herself as to what will be her reply to the people of Bani Israel and how she would defend herself against the onslaught of taunts which the Jews would hurl. When these thoughts overwhelmed Maryam’s mind, her eyes began to shed tears incessantly and she exclaimed, “Would that I had died before this and would that all had forgotten me forever and I would not have to see these days.” The Quran says:
So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place.
And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!
At the moment when Maryam was experiencing extreme anxiety, worry and hunger and thirst had also weakened her terribly she heard a voice from beneath the tree, “O Maryam! Be not gloomy. God has sprouted a spring under your feet. Shake this tree so that God may make it drop fresh dates for you. When you eat these fresh fruits and drink this fresh water your eye will brighten and you will feel cool. Now the time has come for the birth of your baby. When he is born, take him up in your arms.
If someone asks you as to wherefrom you brought it, you may tell him: I am on fast of silence today and cannot talk with anyone.
Quran describes this thus:
Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you;
And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop on you fresh ripe dates:
So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today.
Maryam was the lady who had, by the Command of Almighty God, delivered a baby without even seeing the face of a husband, which indeed was mysterious. Moreover the newborn was as beautiful as a moon, clean, clear, washed with his umbilical cord already cut and he was also already circumcised.
Maryam who was then only thirteen years old embraced her newborn bud affectionately and went towards her village. After observing Almighty Allah’s powerful miracle she had now become strong-hearted and all her worries were wiped out and she attained full peace of mind.
The narrative in Quran continues:
And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Maryam! Surely you have done a strange thing.
When she arrived in her village and people saw her with newborn child all of them rushed to her and gathered around her speaking bad words to the most virtuous and pious woman of the town. The
word spread everywhere like wild fire and within no time and a big crowd of harsh-natured and merciless Jews confronted her. They were full of anger. Those who were the leaders addressed Maryam saying:
O sister of Harun! Your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.
But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle?
He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet;
And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live;
And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed;
And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.
Elsewhere the Quran justifies the fatherless birth of Isa (a.s) in the following words:
Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.
This means if God can create Adam from dust without mother and father, can He not create Isa from the womb of his mother without a father? He is Omnipotent.
Anyway, the blessed birth of Isa (a.s) was graceful and praiseworthy and he lived a noble life. God almighty had arranged from the unseen that no harm should visit him till he became twelve years old. During this little age
he was holding serious discussions with great scholars of Bani Israel about Taurat with regard to bodily resurrection and accounting of deeds in the Hereafter.
In the beginning, the scholars of Bani Israel, who were very proud of their intelligence and knowledge, felt insulted to talk with a young boy but by and by they began to be convinced that this twelve-year-old boy was full of high quality knowledge and was also very steadfast in his intentions; that he was quite different from other boys. His words and deeds were much higher in excellence than their scholars.
These discussions and dialogues proved very heavy for the Jew scholars. They became envious of him and got up not only to oppose him in every way but also to harm him seriously. Obviously the Jewish scholars had considered themselves to be the protectors of the religion of Prophet Musa. They were issuing commandments and were branding their own decisions the religion of Musa. Thus they were ruling over the community of Musa (a.s). How could they tolerate a situation wherein in a twelve-year-old should try to reform them and oblige them to listen to his words and follow him?
So when Isa saw that opposition to his propagation was intensifying and the misleaders of Bani Israel fanned fire of vengeance against him, he thought it not advisable to take further risks. So he left the limits of Baitul Maqdas and went out.
After sometime, God commanded him to announce his messengership and prophethood. So he did accordingly. Then he raised his
voice against the oppression and corruption spread by the Jews and rebelled against the wrong judgments and partial decisions of their courts. He took up the mission of guiding God’s creation and took steps to rejuvenate the religion of Musa (a.s) by making efforts to issue orders and decrees according to the original Taurat.
In his efforts for propagation of religion, Prophet Isa did not stay at any single place but continued to move from one place to another, inviting Bani Israel towards the religion of God and exposing those who were doing injustice to people to earn their own selfish material benefits. By and by a group of clean-hearted people entered his group and accepted his leadership. Among them were twelve persons who stayed with him all the time. All of them were intelligent, young and youthful men.
In those days Palestine was a very vast country, which included today’s Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Palestine then was upto the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Prophet Isa visited each and every place of this vast land. He recited before people the original commandments of Torah, which was revealed to Musa (a.s) by God and called upon the masses to follow the religion of Musa (a.s). He also pointed out to them what alterations were made by selfish persons and advised the masses against obeying the incorrect orders. In short, the youthful Isa raised his voice against the exploitation of the religion of Prophet Musa and spread God’s original commands throughout the vast territory of Palestine painstakingly.
of Bani Israel were totally hypocrites, pretenders, impostors and oppressors. They demanded that Isa (a.s) should show miracles to prove the truth of his claim of Messengership. So Almighty God gave miracles to Isa (a.s) whereby he could restore health to the lepers and eyesight to born blinds. God also gave him the knowledge of the unseen whereby he could know what was being consumed and what was stored in the houses of the people.
Bani Israel could see that besides these miracles Isa had very strong arguments and his words were convincing logic, which no one could refute. Therefore it made them extremely angry and revengeful because they were losing their leadership and political power. So they decided to kill Isa (a.s) with a view to ensure the continuance of their luxurious lives. Isa (a.s) also knew their intentions. Therefore he went into hiding. The Jewish leaders sought the help of the Caesar of Rome who was then ruling Palestine. With his assistance the Jews spread a wide network of spies all around to find out Isa (a.s). A selfish Jew named Judas Iscariot, who was among Isa’s followers, informed the Jews where Isa was staying.
Bani Israel’s intelligence personnel in charge of this task followed Judas right upto the house where Isa was hiding. First Judas himself entered that house alone. But just see the Might of the Almighty God. He could not find Isa there. God had saved His messenger from being killed at the hands of the enemies. Isa (a.s) was only thirty-two
years old then.
Then Judas came out to tell the secret service men that Isa was not there. But the evil fellow did not know anything about Divine chastisement. God made him to look exactly like Isa before the eyes of the police. So they arrested him at once. Judas yelled and yelled that he was not Isa; that his name was Judas Iscariot that it was only he who had spied on their behalf and told them that Isa was hiding here. But no one listened to what he said. They dragged him to the gallows and hanged him in public.
The Jews thought for sure that they had crucified Isa and thus stemmed the rising influence of his propagation and his teachings. But they were in delusion (and will remain so forever) because the youthful and courageous Isa who was God’s prophet had foiled all of their devilish plans and had awakened the people. So with the passing of time his Book, Injeel, continued to be popular more and more and the awe of Jews went on decreasing.
After hanging Judas Iscariot the Jews understood and believed that they had killed Isa. So those among them who were extremely stone hearted and most mischievous hate-mongers uttered against Maryam a grievous calumny. And said:
Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Maryam, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a
doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.
Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
The Believing Youths And Their Astonishing Life
One of the most interesting stories in the Holy Quran is the story of the People of the Cave. The Merciful Allah says to His Messenger, in Surah Kahf:
Or, do you think that the Fellows of the Cave and the Inscription were of Our wonderful signs?
Kahf means a cave; it was in the mountain called Raqeem. This cave is situated in the outer part of the city of Afsus to the north of Byzantine, which is now known as Turkey.
In those days King Daqyanoos was ruling over this city. He was a merciless idol worshipper who honored temples very much. He was paying much attention to the protection and decoration of temples so that more and more people continue to indulge in idol worship. It was before the advent of Prophet Isa, the Messiah.
Despite all tight regulations imposed by Daqyanoos to ensure that no one ever dared to disobey him and to give up idol-worship, seven youthful handsome boys belonging to a noble family, in order to fulfill the demands of their high nature broke the chains of idol-worship. They stopped worshipping idols and began to worship Only One God, the Creator of the earth, the sky, the sun and the moon as well as the day and the night Who through this creation established His attribute
of being Self Existent as all these creations were the brightest evidences of the Might of the Only One God. But because of the fear of Daqyanoos, they could not announce that they believed in God the Great and had given up idol-worship.
It was this strong faith of these wise and intelligent youths due to which they could break social and tribal bondages. They kicked away the desire of name and fame and relied only on Truth and truthfulness. It was a very great and record braking eventful deed, which they did in that extremely dangerous atmosphere.
The city had plunged in the darkness of blasphemy and polytheism. Men and women were shamelessly taking baths in the waters of immorality. Oppression and injustice had clouded the entire atmosphere. Daqyanoos was forcing everyone to worship the deaf and dumb idols submissively. No one had any courage to disobey him. The decision of the small group of young men in such circumstances was indeed an indication of wonderful courage and steadfastness.
The young men wanted to hide their belief till the time they could get some more people having similar opinion but Daqyanoos become informed of their intentions. As this was an extremely wonderful and interesting story its description varied from mouth to mouth which was against truth to some extent so the verses through which Almighty God described it in the Holy Quran are thus:
When the youths sought refuge in the cave, they said: Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Thee, and provide for us a right course
in our affair. So We prevented them from hearing in the cave for a number of years. Then We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties was best able to compute the time for which they remained. We relate to you their story with the truth; surely they were youths who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.
Daqyanoos summoned the youths to his court and asked, “What is the matter with you? I have heard that you have stopped worshipping idols, which are gods. Are you worshipping any other deity?”
At this time Almighty Allah strengthened the hearts of the youths. They stood up fearlessly in front of the cruel king and said, “Our God is the God of the skies and the earth. We recognize no other God except the Only One God. This is truth. Everything else is untrue. O King! You see that our community does not worship the only true God. They are worshipping other gods and blindly following their forefathers. This is sheer ignorance. They have no clear evidence in support of idol worship.”
Daqyanoos could not give any logical answer to what the youths said. He also noted that they belonged to a great noble family of the city. So he granted them a day’s respite and said, “Return now and ponder over for a night about your future. Come here again after a day and explain your decision so that necessary action may be taken according to the prevalent law and political
When the faithful and courageous youths came out of the cruel king’s court they perceived risk to both their faith and their lives. So they left the city in the darkness of night and headed for a far off cave, which was already in their mind for hiding where they would be able to rest and think about future action in the light of Divine Revelation.
It was a silent and safe corner where they could live calmly. On their way to the cave they met a shepherd with his sheep. He also believed in idol-worship like all others in the society. They tried to guide that shepherd with their convincing arguments but he did not listen.
The youths then moved towards the cave. After a while one of them looked back and exclaimed, “Look, the dog of the shepherd is following us leaving his master.” They pelted him with some pebbles to drive it back but it made no difference and the dog continued to follow them. They feared that if the dog barked, it would draw the attention of other people.
But see again the Might of God. The animal spoke in human language, “O God-worshipping gentlemen! What will you gain by hitting me? Please do not fear me, as I will never be dishonest to you. I befriend the true friends of God. You may rest without worrying. I will keep a watch over you.”
Now it became quite clear to the youths that it also was a great mercy of God. Never mind if the
shepherd did not respond to their selfless admonition here is a dog, which has heard the truth and accepted it. God Almighty guided it. So they took that dog with them, entered the cave and lay down to rest, as they were very tired. The dog also sat at the mouth of the cave putting its head on its outstretched paws keeping a watch.
Summary: The People of the Cave slept restfully. How long, do you think? How many days? How many weeks? How many years…? Three hundred and nine years! Verily God Almighty had decided to show an example of His Might through these youthful and faithful companions who were shining brightly in a dark environment.
Almighty Allah proved that the One who can awaken people hale and hearty after a long sleep of 309 years could certainly make the dead rise after their long sleep and show them what they had done on the Day of Judgment. Verily He is Omnipotent. He kept that cave hidden from the eyes of the world for a long time.
On the other had, when king Daqyanoos came to know that the rebellious youths had fled he sent nine fellows to find them out. The searched for nine years but could not reach the cave. They could not know what happened to the youths.
During this long period, sunrays used to enter that cave from its mouth.
And you might see the sun when it rose, decline from their cave towards the right hand, and when it set, leave them behind
on the left while they were in a wide space thereof. This is of the signs of Allah; whomsoever Allah guides, he is the rightly guided one, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) aright.
In this way the youths slept during this long period in which happened all that God wanted to happen. Light of the sun kept entering their cave from the right at sunrise and from the left at sunset. Its heat made them change sides in sleep, which in turn kept blood flowing in their veins.
When these youths woke up from their long sleep one of them asked the others: For how long have we slept here? All said: Maybe for a day or for some hours. Only God knows the best. But it is certain that we slept for quite a long time. But then they felt hungry and they put off the questioning about sleeping and said: Let one of us go to the city to bring some food. But he must take full precaution so that no one recognizes him because if we are caught we will be either stoned to death or bound so tightly in the law that it will not be possible to be free.
One of them who had some coins headed for the city. But as soon as he entered the city limits he saw that everything had changed. Roads, lanes, by-lanes, mansions, and buildings, nothing was as before. But since he was very hungry
and had also to hide himself from the men of Daqyanoos he paid least attention to all these changes in the environment.
The further he walked the more he observed with utter astonishment that the designs of all the new houses were also nicer and finer. Then he felt that people were staring at him with wonder. So he hastily brought out some coins from his pocket and handed them over to a shopkeeper asking for some food items. He was very anxious to return to his cave before anything detrimental occurred. The shopkeeper continued to stare at that youth for some time and his dress etc. Then his eye fell on the coins given by that youth, which made the shopkeeper all the more astonished.
He held the hand of the youth and asked, “Please tell me from where did you get these coins. If you have found a treasure, kindly let me also know and rest assured that the secret will remain between us.” The youth replied, “No, my brother! I have not found any treasure. This coin is with me since yesterday.” The shopkeeper exclaimed, “Dear friend! You are not telling the truth. This coin is 300 years old.” It belongs to the time when King Daqyanoos was ruling over this city.
These words of the shopkeeper shocked the faithful youth. Then he looked at his nails which had grown long and his beard and mustaches gone out of proportion. He concluded that something very unusual had happened and that Almighty God had caused all
this in a very mysterious and miraculous manner and only He knew what was behind all this.
When the shopkeeper observed that the youth appeared very panicky he consoled him and asked him to tell what had actually happened. The youth narrated everything. The shopkeeper was then fully convinced that this youth was indeed one of those seven faithful youths who had fled from the idolatrous tyranny of Daqyanoos and who were never again seen by anyone anywhere but whose escape was recorded in history. So he ensured the youth of his safety saying that there was none named Daqyanoos or his like to rule over them and that the king then ruling was a Christian, believing in the religion of Prophet Isa and that there was peace, prosperity and absolutely no cause for worry.
Then the news that the companions of the Cave who were missing had reappeared after three hundred years spread like wild fire all around. The king who also believed in Only One God and who had read in history about the seven monotheist faithful youths who had escaped the tyranny of Daqyanoos also became very happy when he was informed that they had reappeared in his country. He called them respectfully to his court and gave them honor and inquired about the whole event. The youth narrated every detail to the new king and informed that he and his companions who were asleep in the cave called Raqeem had woken up today from their 309-year sleep!
Hearing this miraculous story the king and
his high-ranking courtiers went to the cave to bring back the remaining six companions of the cave and to give them utmost protection and honor. Reaching the mouth of the cave the youth who had led the royal personnel entered the cave first and told his companion all that had happened after he had left them in search of food.
When his companions saw that over three centuries had passed and they had become totally alien and that Almighty God had already made them one of His signs, they prayed, “O Lord! Now lift us up (make us lifeless) so that we may not have to go to an alien society and that our faithful hearts may not become rusted with worldly desires.”
So it is Almighty Allah Who cautioned the world that He will definitely bring to life all the dead who too are sleeping (like those in the cave of Raqeem) and that all will have to account for their deeds on the Day of Resurrection.
Those who deny the Day of Judgment should know that God’s promise is true. When the king and the heads of his state saw that the faithful youths had already expired they thought it was of no use to take back their bodies. After consultation it was decided that a masjid should be built over there. The king constructed a mosque there.
In this chapter you will find the figures of those youths whose events are written in gold in human history. They are the shining stars that appeared
on the horizons of the Arabian Peninsula fourteen hundred years ago. They had brightened the entire world with their wonderful noble deeds. We have divided this chapter in three parts as under:
First Part: Period of the Holy Prophet and his faithful companions.
Second Chapter: The period of the Holy Imams till Occultation of Imam Mahdi.
Third Chapter: From occultation till the present times.
Let us begin with the holy life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
The Most Popular Youth Of Mecca Whom Almighty God Appointed As His Last Messenger
In Arabic, the word Muhammad has a unique importance and distinction. Ever since the evolution of this language, no one except Muhammad the son of Abdullah was given this name. Its meanings include: the one who is noble, virtuous, honest, trustworthy, and reliable. Whenever we utter or hear this holy name all these high human qualities come to our mind.
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was the only memorial of Abdullah the youngest of the twelve sons of Abdul Muttalib. Abdullah was very handsome with a shapely body. That is why young girls of Mecca were always desirous of marrying him. So much so that some of them were eager to have at least a temporary wedlock. Some were waiting just for a nod from him for engagement. But Almighty God also makes a choice selection for His chosen servants. Abdul Muttalib gave preference to the noblest tribe of Bani Zahra in Mecca and married his son Abdullah with Amina the daughter of Wahab.
When Abdullah was only twenty-five he went to Syria for
trade purpose and camped in Medina on this return journey. He fell ill and expired in Medina and was buried there.
When Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was born his father had already died. He also lost the affectionate shade of his mother, Amina when he was only five years old.
Losing both of his parents who were yet young was such a painful matter that Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) remembered it throughout his life. He passed the first eight years of his childhood under the care of his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib. When Abdul Muttalib expired, he came to the house of his uncle, Abu Talib according to the will of his grandfather and received very affectionate nourishment till he was twenty-two.
At the age of twelve he had accompanied his uncle, Abu Talib in a trade caravan, which was going to sell goods in Syria. Thereafter he used to do so for several years. During those days, the wealthiest lady of Mecca, Khadijah, who was also called ‘Empress of the Arabs’, was exporting her trade goods to Syria. Abu Talib also was carrying her trade goods to Syria. His young nephew Muhammad was helping him in the said trade caravans.
According to the famous historian Ibn Hisham the young Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) had taken part in the battle of Fujjar when he was about fourteen or fifteen. That battle was fought between Bani Quraish and Bani Qais. The latter tribe lived on the shores of Yemen. It had started when Bani Qais, disregarding the holiness of the prohibited months killed a man of Bani
Quraish. Prophet Muhammad’s uncles Zubair, Hamzah and Abbas (sons of Abdul Muttalib) had also taken their nephew (the Holy Prophet) to that war. The Holy Prophet despite his young age was warding off the arrows shot by the enemies towards Abu Talib.
According to the historian, Muhammad ibn Ishaq; the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was then twenty.
Ever since his young days, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was the center of attention of all men and women in Mecca. Even the noblest persons gave him respect and honor because of his spirituality and high moral virtues. His truthfulness and his honesty were exemplary. All historians have written at length about the high-ranking morality of Muhammad. It is in the fitness of things to quote here from the writings of a famous Western Historian, Geur Geutha, who was from Rome and had spent many years in Arabia as a diplomat. He wrote a book titled: Muhammad, The Prophet who should be introduced from a new angle. Here are some lines from this book:
“It will be totally true and factual to say that Muhammad was one of those gentlemen who had suffered many pains. In this respect none can equal him because Muhammad had, very patiently, confronted many troubles patiently right from his childhood. Though he was under the affectionate guardianship of his uncle Abu Talib, the latter had a very big responsibility of maintaining a very big family where means of provision were limited. It was difficult for him even to provide proper dress and footwear etc. That is why, at an
age when other children play games, Muhammad had, under compulsion, to spend all of his time in earning livelihood. He was looking after sheep both in scorching heat and chilling cold in the dry climate of Arab sandy lands.
This non-Muslim further writes: “A child whose father and mother had expired before he was even eight years old, had to earn his livelihood by hard work. He knew that he must help himself, as there was none to ward off his difficulties. Innumerable troubles and the weight of limitless responsibilities to be faced single-handed had made him forbearing and serene. That is why when he was only twelve, his uncle, Abu Talib thought of taking him along the trade caravans.
It should be noted that there are many shortcomings in this book, as the writer is from Europe who gathered material from general sources. Yet “Maktab-e-Islam” has published a book about it wherein he has been quoted and hence we have quoted here some historically important and valuable things.
In one of his several trade journeys he was passing through Jordan when a Christian monk came out of his monastery and saw Muhammad, who was then only eleven years old. The monk who knew Abu Talib came to the latter and said, “O Abu Talib! Take back this boy to Mecca. Otherwise, if any Jew sees him he will kill him on any excuse. If it is not possible for you to take him back to Mecca, take him to Syria, then take extra care of him.” The
clergy had read in Bible some signs of the last Messenger of God, which he could see in Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). So he congratulated Abu Talib saying, “Your nephew has a very bright future. Take utmost care of him in every possible manner.”
After returning from the journey, as Abu Talib had become very tired, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) used to take his flock of sheep and goats every morning for grazing in the wilderness. He stood for the whole day in the hot sun taking care of the animals.
Years before he was made the divine messenger by God, people of Mecca used to call him Amin (trustworthy) and Saboor (Extremely patient). In Arabic, ‘Amin’ also means absolutely faithful.
In the days of his youth, traders wanted him to sell their goods and to take his due remuneration. Muhammad did sell their trade goods but always took less than what was due to him as reported by Qais ibn Zaid.
Ibn Hanbal writes: After returning from his trade journeys Muhammad always ascertained about his friends. If he found someone in distress, he distributed a portion of his hard-earned money to the needy. This was indeed exemplary on the part of a trader or businessman.
This event took place in the earlier days of youth of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). This nobly active youth gathered the youths of the tribes like Bani Hashim, Bani Asad, Bani Zuhra, Bani Qaiyim in the house of an old gentleman named Abdullah ibn Jazan and formed an organization in which oath was taken from every youth that he
would help every oppressed person in Mecca or who came to Mecca from another place and met with problems; that if someone oppresses others he will be made to give what was due to the oppressed justly. This pact was called Hilful Fuzul.
It is all the more worthwhile to hear the truth from others. Just see what an expert western historian has written:
The Hilful Fuzul organization was like an army formed by a group of brave and courageous justice-loving youths. It was constituted to ensure that each and every oppressed person gets justice and his or her dues. These soldiers were not taking any remuneration from anyone but were serving the society voluntarily. In those days the Arab Bedouins acted freely in whatever way they liked. There was none to check their behavior. If anyone from a tribe killed a member of another Arab tribe the whole tribe of the killed one would wage an all out war against the whole tribe of the killer. There were no norms for warfare.
There was neither police in Mecca nor any court. Every tribe formed their own rules. If anyone arrived in Mecca from another area and fell a victim of oppression there, he had no one to help. He would have to bear the injustice or return from Mecca, complain to his tribe who may come and fight with the Meccans in revenge. But if any tribe from outside arrived to fight with any Meccan tribe, it was being regarded as an insult to the tribe of
Quraish and all the Meccan tribes would jointly fight with the outsiders. Therefore, hardly any tribe from out of Mecca ever dared to wage a war with Meccans.
In such circumstances the above-mentioned youths of Hilful Fuzul used to help every oppressed person. They gathered around the Holy Ka’ba and swore that they would never forget their responsibility of assisting every oppressed person and would assure that the oppressed one got his rightful dues, even if the oppressor was the richest or the most influential person. That is why these volunteers used to rush to help even if the oppressed one did not belong to Mecca, even if he came from another part of the country.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) himself once said: The best part of my past life was spent in the activities of Hilful Fuzul. That service has given me much honor and respect. I would not have stepped out of that agreement even if I were to be offered one hundred red camels.
The same western author writes further: This noble formation of Hilful Fuzul was the main achievement of the youthful days of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), which took place before he was made the messenger of God. It is noteworthy that the idea of providing justice to everyone came to Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) at a time when nobody there even thought of any kind of human rights. Thus it was a very big revolution in social life. His activities weakened all oppressors and when the Holy Quran spread its light every sort of ignorance and
darkness was removed from the land. Before that no one ever dared to question an oppressor.
In addition to the aforesaid moral virtues Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was full of God-given intelligence and wisdom. Otherwise how could he be a prophet? His power of making the most appropriate decisions in every social, personal or political problem was extremely wonderful.
As mentioned earlier Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was also, like other traders of Mecca, taking benefit of the business of Mecca’s most wealthy businesswoman Khadijah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was twenty five year old and yet unmarried. His noble and healthful youth was the talk of the town. His morals and modesty were exemplary. His way of walking, style of talking, mode of dressing and dining and his habit of looking with lowered eyes had made him distinguished among all. When he returned from his second trade journey, he as usual, went to Khadijah to present business accounts.
The noble businesswoman looked at him carefully and observed that this modest youth was a very attractive young man with bright eyes and dark hair, which he used to comb nicely. While talking and smiling the appearance of his milk white teeth added to his elegance. In addition to all these beauties he had an attractive body odor, which every companion would like to feel. That was why he was almost always circled by a group of youths. In those days the Arabs were very fond of scent, which they applied to their bodies and even to their homes and the Holy Ka’ba. But
the historians say that Muhammad never used external scent and yet his body remained ever fragrant. He always talked slowly with enough pauses so that the other person could hear him clearly and would then never forget.
When Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) finished submission of trade accounts, Khadijah turned towards him and asked some indirect questions whereby Muhammad might get the cue that she was interested in marrying him and she might also get an idea about his opinion in this regard. But Muhammad’s response indicated that he was till then not prepared for matrimony. Muhammad’s attractive black eyes, his long black hair, his pleasing smile and the fragrance spreading from his body had awed Khadijah. She liked him very much but could not find ability to put her proposal directly to him.
Historians of Islam have noted that when Khadijah was taking this point with Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) the face of the latter radiated in a way that astonished the former to such an extent that she then and there decided that she will get this handsome and virtuous youth of Bani Hashim for herself at any cost.
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) had no riches. He was just like many other traders who carried Khadijah’s trade goods from one place to other. He did not have even a house of his own. He was living in the house of his uncle, Abu Talib. Yet he was a very respectful youth of twenty-five while Khadijah was forty. Thus there was a difference of fifteen years in their ages. She doubted whether Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)
would agree to this matrimony! So she approached Abu Talib and told him the secret of her heart. She said, “Many of the noble and wealthy chiefs wanted my hand but I have rejected all of them. But now, my wish for Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is beyond my control and therefore I myself am directly putting up this proposal before you. You may proceed further.” She added, “If Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) overlooks the difference in our age I will not look at any of the Arab customs, which demand equality in wealth and position etc.”
Finally Khadijah who had married twice earlier and who held a very high position in the society of Mecca attained the honor of marrying Mecca’s most eligible bachelor, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
Abu Talib discussed this matter with Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and finally got his approval. The wedding ceremony was to be held in the house of Khadijah. Abu Talib read out the formula of marriage. Then turning towards Khadijah’s uncle, Amr ibn Asad said,
“My brother’s son Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib is such a virtuous youth who cannot be compared with anybody else in Mecca. His lineage is also the noblest of all. Of course he does not have wealth but then wealth is not a thing, which remains with one forever. Such material things part very soon. He has inclined towards Khadijah and so has Khadijah towards him. Both are prepared to share love with one another. So now you may fix the dower. I am prepared to give it and ready to recite
the marriage contract.”
Thus the two very distinguished personalities were joined together in a bond of matrimony.
After this marriage, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) became a very wealthy gentleman in Mecca, as Khadijah gave all her property in his authority. Thereafter he called his cousin, Ali; took him in his guardianship and made him a manager of his trade and business.
After a lapse of eleven years he offered freedom to a Syrian slave, who was previously a Christian named Zaid ibn Haritha, who was gifted to him (Muhammad). But the faithful slave did not agree to be away from Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and stayed with him.
Ever since Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) married Khadijah and became wealthy he made every effort to help the needy and the poor. “Finally, I find it necessary to say that no other divine book has put so much emphasis on helping the poor as has the Holy Quran which God revealed to Prophet Muhammad.”
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was thirty-five when the tribe of Quraish barely escaped a very big and bloody civil war. The building of Ka’ba had become dilapidated. The wall around it was about six feet high and there was no ceiling above. At the entrance of Ka’ba there was a very old well about which it was said that there was a great treasure hidden in it and there was a fear of its being looted by robbers. This house of Ka’ba was holy in the eyes of the idol-worshippers and thus a center of their aspirations. Therefore the leaders of Quraish intended to pull
it down for rebuilding.
In the meantime a ship belonging to Byzantine traders arrived at the port of Jeddah. It broke up in the sea and the Quraish chiefs bought all the wood for constructing a ceiling for Ka’ba. An Egyptian carpenter was then living in Mecca. He offered to build the ceiling with the help of Meccans. However the people of Mecca feared that perhaps such a demolition might bring trouble for them. There lived a very big snake in the well of Ka’ba. It used to come out of the well daily and return after taking a round over Ka’ba walls. This had frightened the Meccans more.
One day when that snake was lying on the Ka’ba wall, an eagle swooped down suddenly from the sky, picked up the snake and flew away. The Quraish took this as a good omen and said, “The danger from the snake is also now averted. The Egyptian carpenter is also offering his service voluntarily. Ample wood is also available. Thus when God has removed fear from us why should we not start reconstruction of Ka’ba at once?”
First of all, Walid ibn Mughaira took up a shovel saying, “By God! I intend nothing except the construction of the House of God.” He demolished a corner of Ka’ba. But again there were some people who passed that night very anxiously in fright fearing some sudden trouble as Mughaira had demolished a part of the Holy House. When nothing happened during the night, all got reassured next morning and all joined
in the demolition work. They enlarged its dimensions for making it better and beautiful.
The job was nearing completion when it was decided that the Black Stone should be put at its original place. But, here every tribe wanted to take this honor, which would show their nobility. The dispute turned into near fighting and arms were also taken up. Finally chiefs of all the tribes gathered in the Holy Precincts for larger consultation to settle the dispute.
Among those chiefs, Abu Umayyah Makhzoomi was senior-most in age and experience. He suggested, “You may make your adjudicator the man who first enters the Masjid next morning, and then act as he decides.”
As there was no other solution, all agreed and waited for the next dawn anxiously. They saw that it was the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) who stepped in first of all. All at once exclaimed, “Since Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is honest and trustworthy we are prepared to accept his arbitration.”
They requested Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) to find out the solution for which they had put full faith in him. Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) said, “Please bring a large sheet of cloth and spread it on the ground.” Then he himself picked up Hajre Aswad and placed the stone in the middle of that sheet and asked all the chiefs to hold the sheet, raise it and bring it to the desired level. When they did so, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) once again took up that stone with his own hands and inserted it at its place. Thus he saved the
Meccans from bloodshed.
The Quraish were now fully convinced of the intelligence of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). As he was then quite young, one of the old and aged among them said, “Woe unto you. Despite so many old, aged and experienced men you made a youth your judge and accepted his decision when he is the youngest of all! By the goddesses Lat and Uzza, after this feat, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) has taken up the reigns of leadership in his hands forever and now his name and fame will spread all around.”
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was a portrait of God-given wisdom and intelligence. His morals were exemplary; so he attained his rightful rank. Just have a look at his earlier life. When he opened his eyes, his father was no more. His mother also passed away when he was yet five years old. He arrived in the house of his uncle Abu Talib when he was only eight. There he found an affectionate aunt. His uncle was full of love for him, though he was under crushing pressure of various responsibilities.
The young Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) continued to assist his dear uncle most painstakingly and carefully. His respect continued to rise in the eyes of all. His honesty and selflessness was unfurling the flag of his future leadership.
When forty years of such a noble and hard life passed away, Almighty Allah made him His Messenger and commanded him to announce the same in public.
Angel Jibraeel arrived in the cave of Mt. Hira where Muhammad was busy remembering his Lord. The reader was
reading from the unseen, which was to remove darkness from the world and to establish Divine Rule in the world.
In the words of poet Sadi Shirazi:
Moon veiled its face seeing the brightness of Muhammad’s radiance.
Tall trees appear short before the high stature of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
The height of skies is nothing compared with the loftiness of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
The virtues of all the earlier divine messengers, Adam, Ibrahim, Isa and Musa are combined in the nobility of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
Both the sun and the moon appear dim before the brightness of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
I wish I could see Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) at least in my dreams.
O Sadi! If you have to love anyone, love of Muhammad is sufficient.
Top raking in the battlefield as well as the field of knowledge
Turn over the pages of world history and see if you can find a man who was as brave, courageous, wise and intelligent as Ali Ibn Abi Talib? Doubtlessly ever since the beginning of creation, Ali (a.s) is, for the entire creation, a personality which personifies divine secret. He came down to earth as a light, which beautified the world. His pure life, his noble race, his spiritual loftiness, his high virtues, extraordinary courage and bravery all show that he was rising higher and higher in rank upwards towards heavens.
The good name of his father was Abde Manaf, the second; also known as Abu Talib. Abu Talib was the son of Abdul Muttalib who was a very great personality belonging to the tribe of Quraish in the family of Bani Hashim.
The blessed name of his mother was Fatima binte Asad. She was the daughter of Ibn Abde Manaf. She had also a distinguished personality.
The basic nobility of Ali (a.s) is that he was the first child, both of whose parents belonged to the Hashemite race. His another gracefulness is that he was born in the Holy Ka’ba. No one else could get this honor either before his birth or afterwards. His respected mother is the ninth woman who embraced Islam at the invitation extended by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and thus she is among those fortunate ladies who hastened in embracing the true religion.
As mentioned earlier when Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was only eight years old Abdul Muttalib passed away and the young Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was put under the care of Abu Talib and Fatima binte Asad. They gave the orphaned child parental love and affection. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) could not forget that love even for a second in his whole life.
Days passed by and finally came the time when Fatima binte Asad felt labor pains. In restlessness she came to the wall of the Ka’ba and raising her hands towards the heavens prayed,
“My Lord! I put faith in You and in all the Messengers sent by You and in all the Holy Books revealed by You. I also testify the prophethood of Ibrahim (a.s) who founded this holy house of Ka’ba. O God! Please for the sake of the magnificence of the House of Ka’ba and of high ranks of the one who founded this
Holy House, make easy for me the delivery of the child which is in my womb and which is talking with me and which is my companion in solitude and about whose greatness I have full faith that he is one of the signs of Your Highness and Might.”
Those who were present became spellbound to see that the wall of Ka’ba split and Fatima entered the Holy House and immediately thereafter the wall became, as it was earlier before her entry. The life partner of Abu Talib remained in the Holy Ka’ba for three days as a guest of Almighty God. On the fourth day people again saw that the wall split and Fatima came out with a child in her arms.
Addressing the people Fatima Binte Asad proudly said, “O people! By granting this pious and virtuous child God Almighty has granted me a rank over all the women of the world because till today no woman had the honor of delivering in this House of God. He provided this special facility and kept me as His guest for three days and when I desired to go out He again opened the walls for me and there came a voice from the unseen, “Give this child the name ‘Ali’ which is derived from My name, Aliyul A’laa.”
This was no dream or vision. It all happened before the eyes of people in broad daylight. The great philosopher Mir Damad says:
The Lion of God (Asadullah) came into existence. Whatever was secret has come out in the open.
means tiger. This daughter of a tiger gave birth to a tiger child and that too in Ka’ba the House of God, the holiest piece of land in the whole world.
In those earlier days of Muhammad’s prophethood when all the Arab tribes stood up against him and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and all those who had embraced Islam were in the risk of losing their lives at every step, Abu Talib was the only one who had given Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) protection.
Abu Talib was extremely intelligent, wise and brave. The time immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) announced that he was the Messenger of God was the most crucial time for Islam. Abu Talib and his son Ali were ever ready to protect the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Abu Talib was then safeguarding the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) while maintaining his relations with the chiefs of Quraish. Thus he provided every possible facility for the spread of the Holy Prophet’s message assisting him in the most intelligent manner.
Ten years after the declaration of prophethood when Abu Talib died, the Holy Prophet was seen weeping in the funeral gathering and saying, “O my beloved uncle! How will I live after your passing away? This is indeed a very difficult situation.” He called this year, ‘The Year of Sorrow’ because in this year he lost two of his most dear and helpful personalities viz. Abu Talib and Khadijah (a.s).
We have mentioned earlier that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had lived since he was eight till he married Khadijah, in the house
of Abu Talib and that Abu Talib and his wife Fatima binte Asad were as good as the Holy Prophet’s parents in love and affection. When Fatima binte Asad expired in Medina the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used his shirt as her shroud cloth and then himself lowered her pious body in the grave and recalled the days when he was under her loving care and stayed at the grave so that she might feel happy and peace.
Yes, Ali (a.s) was the son of such gentle and honorable parents. When Ali was six years old, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) brought him to his own home and nurtured him with utmost care. It is no exaggeration to say that Ali (a.s) was brought up in the lap of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and to mention that Ali and Muhammad were both two parts of a single radiance (Noor). This is also what the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said.
Three years later, when Almighty God made Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) His Messenger for the guidance of entire mankind when he was busy worshipping Only One God in the cave of Mt. Hira and when he returned home after getting the first revelations, first of all he narrated the whole event to his younger cousin, Ali (a.s) who was then only nine.
Ali (a.s) accepted the Holy Prophet’s invitation wholeheartedly and testified that Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was the Messenger of Allah. Thus he proved that for whom God created distinction in an unparalleled manner had nothing to do with seniority of age. This is
the first Muslim who understood the meaning of Islam in its totality and attached himself with it fully.
History shows that Ali had never accorded any respect to idols. He had always remained aloof from idol-worship. Even since he opened his eyes he began to recognize himself and found himself in the cool shade of the affection of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). The Messenger of God informed him of the events relating to his prophethood and Ali (a.s) readily testified Muhammad’s messengership. Ali (a.s) has touched upon this matter in Nahjul Balagha:
“If they are asking you to curse me (their intention is that) you may not know that I am the one who first of all put faith in Only One God.”
It is because of this that the Ahle Sunnat people, who recognize him as the fourth caliph, remember him with the title of ‘Karam Allaahu wajhahu’ (high ranking is the face which never bowed before idols) and to the names of other caliphs they add ‘Raziallaahu anhum’ meaning ‘May God be pleased with them.’
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) did not propagate the call of Islam openly for three years after he was made God’s Messenger. The wisdom behind it was that he wanted to bring into effect this program stage-by-stage or step-by-step because all the Arab tribes, especially those in Mecca were staunch idol-worshippers. They would have jointly erected a common wall in the path of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) whose call was to worship Only One God. After three years God Almighty commanded the Holy Prophet
to announce to all of his relatives that God had made him His Messenger, and to start guiding people towards Islam.
And warn your nearest relations,
Accordingly the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) invited all of his uncles and their sons for a feast in the house of his uncle, Abu Talib. Forty members of Bani Hashim attended. After dinner, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) addressed them, “O sons of Abdul Muttalib! God Almighty has made me His messenger for guiding all and especially my near and dear relatives and God has commanded me to warn you against His disobedience.
So I intend to give you two orders, which are very easy for you to carry out, but they are very weighty in the balance of Divine Justice. O sons of Abdul Muttalib! By carrying out these two divine commands, you will become the leaders of the whole world and the whole world will accept your leadership.
These two commands, if obeyed by you, will admit you to Paradise and you will be protected from the fire of Hell. Those two commands are ‘Belief in God’ and ‘recognizing me as God’s messenger’. Please also hear and remember that the one who, before leaving this place, will accept my call and will assist me in my mission will be my deputy, my minister and my legatee.”
Obviously, for the audience, this was a suggestion, which was beyond their imagination. All were wondering at what Muhammad was saying. There was a pin drop silence. All sat with their heads bowed down and no one gave
any response. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) repeated his words thrice but none responded positively. Yes, at all the three occasions, a 13-year-old boy got up and every time announced courageously, “O Prophet of God! I will assist you.”
At last the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) announced before all, “O Ali! You are my brother, my deputy, my minister and my legatee.” This tradition is present in the books of both the Sunnis and Shias and it is known as ‘the tradition of warning’ (Hadith-e-Inzaar).
Ten years after Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was made the Messenger of Allah, the chiefs of Quraish held a secret meeting and planned that Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) be either killed or be externed from Mecca or he may be imprisoned. The chiefs of forty tribes attended that meeting. Majority opinion was to assassinate the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Forty persons surrounded the Holy Prophet’s house that very night. This was one of the most remarkable events in the history of Islam in which a youth of Islam, with his extraordinary courage and faith foiled the evil plan of Quraish.
According to the devilish plan the tribal chiefs had decided to attack a sleeping Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) by all the forty fellows at a time to turn it into a mob offence so that the charge may not fall on any one tribe or man and revenge may be weakened.
But the Omnipotent Allah wanted to protect His Messenger, so under divine order Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) left his house earlier that night making Ali (a.s) sleep in his bed; so that the
enemies might remain unaware of his flight. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said to Ali (a.s),
“O Ali! You sleep in my bed so that the enemies might not feel any doubt about my presence here.” Ali (a.s) replied, “Will your precious life be protected by my sleeping in your honor’s bed?” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) answered, “Yes, O Ali!” So Ali (a.s) did as he was asked to do. Ali (a.s) was only twenty-three at that time. He slept quite restfully and later mentioned that he had never before slept so comfortably and deeply. Thus Ali (a.s) protected the Holy Prophet’s life by risking his own life.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) escaped from the siege and took shelter in a mountain cave of Thawr, which was outside Mecca. Ali (a.s) was in the bed of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The forty planners thought that Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was asleep.
Soon after midnight when the entire city was fast asleep these forty evil fellows, with arms in their hands entered the house of Khadijah and surrounded the bed, which was in the middle of the courtyard. But then, suddenly, they saw that Ali (a.s) removed the sheet from his face and roared, “I am Ali Ibn Abi Talib. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has left the town.”
This stunned all of them who had naked swords in their hands. None of them dared to step forward. They saw that their conspiracy had failed completely, so they left the place in shame.
This courageous deed of Ali in a dark night now shines like
a dazzling star in the annals of Islamic history. This crown on a youthful Ali will continue to shine forever. At that eventful moment the conveyor of divine revelations, angel Gabriel came down to the earth and sat by the side of Ali (a.s) saying: Well done, well done, son of Abu Talib. Almighty God takes pride in mentioning this great deed of yours to angels; and then he recited this verse of Quran, which praises his bravery, faithfulness and courage:
And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.
The first and the greatest confrontation of Islam with blasphemy is the Battle of Badr. It took place in the second year of Migration (Hijrah) at a place called Badr, which was at a distance of about eighteen kilometers from Medina and about six kilometers from the Red Sea. On one side was a huge number of Meccan infidels along with a considerable number of seditious polytheists. On the other was only a small army of new Muslims numbering three hundred and thirteen.
When the polytheists of Mecca came to know that in Medina, the teachings of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his Islamic mission was gaining ground and number of new converts was rising day after day, they decided to root out all the youthful Muslims before their mission spreads all around. In the army of idol-worshippers there were one thousand experienced warriors. With them were also women belonging to every tribe for entertaining
them and for inspiring them to fight on with their songs and music.
When the Prophet of Islam came to know that the army of infidels was advancing towards Medina he prepared an army of the above mentioned three hundred and thirteen fighters comprised of both, the emigrants who had migrated from Mecca and the Helpers (Ansar) who were resident new Muslims. Both the armies came face to face at Badr.
Obviously the strength of Muslims was less than one-third of the infidels and they were also short of arms, horses and war provisions. Yet this was such that if the Muslims were to be defeated in it, Medina would once again go back into the hands of the polytheists and the fifteen-year efforts of the Muslims would have gone in vain. Apparently there was no possibility of Muslim victory because, firstly, they were new Muslims and so there was a likelihood of their being awed by the big and strong Meccan army. But at that moment, Almighty God revealed this verse,
O Prophet! Urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.
This verse encouraged Muslims and doubled their resolve for sacrifice and made them firmer in fighting and the resultant condition of Muslims frightened the enemy forces.
When both the armies confronted one another closely, according to the custom in those days, three
great champion warriors came out of the enemy army named Utbah, his brother Shayba and his son Walid. Walid was very proud. He was of heavy built and had very strong muscles.
As commanded by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), his uncle Hamzah who was the chief of the Muslim army and who had fought many battles courageously, stepped out for a test of strength. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also made another Muslim champion, Ubaidah and Ali to accompany Hamzah. These three stood firmly to confront Utbah, Shayba and Walid respectively. Hamzah was the commander of the Muslim army and he was well known for his bravery. People also knew a lot about the battle experience of Utbah. But no one knew about the level of courage and bravery and the fighting spirit of young Ali.
The battle commenced, Shayba attacking Hamzah, Ubaid hitting Utbah and Walid pounced on Ali (a.s). Both the armies stared anxiously at the contest. When the battle hotted up, Ali (a.s) gave a strong strike and cut off the right hand of Walid. Walid wanted to run away but Ali did not allow him escape and brought him down dead.
Ubaidah attacked his uncle, Utbah with his sword, which tore up the latter’s skull. But in the same condition of serious injury Utbah gave a hit of his sword to Ubaidah’s thigh, which made him faint and die in a few moments. Thus Ubaidah was martyred. Then Ali went forward to help his uncle Hamzah. He saw that both rivals had lost their swords
as well as their shields and were fighting an unarmed battle like wrestlers. Both were badly tired but continued their struggle. Ali very intelligently aimed at Shayba’s head and when he saw Hamzah riding Shayba, he requested the latter to push down the head of Shayba. No sooner it was done, Ali’s sword finished Shayba with a lightning strike of his sword.
Thereafter Abu Sufyan’s son Hanzala who was also a very strong sandow pounced on Ali (a.s) but Ali (a.s) foiled his attack and finished him with his sword. Seeing this all other fighters of the army of polytheists attacked Ali simultaneously but Ali (a.s) continued to kill them one after another. Now the morale of the Muslim army rose up and the small Islamic battalion courageously attacked the multitude of armed enemies, routed them, killed seventy of their well-known persons, chief of whom was Abu Jahl. Out of these seventy, Ali had finished thirty-six.
Utbah was the first to start fighting on behalf of the Meccan infidels. He was the father of Abu Sufyan’s wife; Hind. Abu Sufyan was also the chief of the tribe of Bani Umayyah. It was the fire stoked by him that resulted in the Battle of Badr. This cunning woman (Hind) and her crafty husband Abu Sufyan both were deadly enemies of the Prophet of Islam. In this battle Hind’s father, uncle, brother and son had all fallen prey to Ali’s sword. Therefore the fire of enmity in their hearts against Ali (a.s) never cooled and finally her hypocrite son
Muawiyah and her dirty grandson Yazid made a severe strike on Islam and took complete revenge from the martyrs of Kerbala thus showing their original nature.
The defeat of Meccan warriors despite their superiority in number and arms became a topic of discussion through Arabia. Ali’s heroism became a talk of the town everywhere. The news reached upto Abyssinia and King Negus called migrant Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib and his companions to convey this good news.
After the Battle of Badr, Abu Sufyan’s wife continued to mourn her father, son, uncle and brothers (Utbah, Hanzala, Shayba and Walid) who were, in her words “Like moons for me”. She said, “O Ali! You have broken my back by killing them.”
Ali (a.s) himself, in reply to a letter from Muawiyah, writes:
“O Muawiyah! You are threatening me with war! I am the same Abul Hasan who finished your grandfather, brother, uncle and your mother’s uncle in the Battle of Badr. That same sword is still in the hands of Ali.”
A year passed after the Battle of Badr. Hind’s fire-spitting wailings were still ringing in the atmosphere of Mecca. Abu Sufyan’s heart was full of fire. He did not sit calmly even for a day, and continued to gather war material and men. So those who had fled from Badr after defeat again gathered at a place and all the idolatrous Arab tribes also got prepared to help Abu Sufyan. He rallied three thousand men. Women of Meccan infidels also made a group for assisting and inspiring their men. A
big army with war material, horses and camels left Mecca and advanced towards the field of Uhad, which is at a distance of about six kilometers from Medina.
In response, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also made war preparations. He gathered an army of 700 to oppose 3000. This was the second biggest war between Islam and disbelief, and that too very near to Medina, the center of Muslims. This city was in risk due to this war. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) himself arranged the rows of the Muslim army and appointed fifty persons in a narrow pass between two mountains, making Abdullah ibn Zubair their chief and instructed them emphatically never to leave that position disregarding the victory or defeat of Muslims. They were cautioned to remain armed all the time, as it was a strategic pass.
Command of the opponents was in the hands of Abu Sufyan. He also arranged his army and giving the flag in the hands of Talha ibn Abi Talha told him, “The cause of our defeat in Badr was the flag-bearer who could not uphold the flag.” The flag-bearer of the infidel army Talha ibn Abi Talha came forward and addressing Muslims cried, “O Muslims! It is your belief that if I die by your hands I will go to Hell and if you are killed by my hand you will get Paradise. So whosoever desires to go to Paradise may step forward so that I may send him straight to Paradise.”
In response, Ali (a.s) who was then only twenty-six went
forward into the battlefield. Talha hit him with his sword but Ali (a.s) averted the strike with his shield and gave a strike in return with his own sword, Zulfiqar, cutting off both his legs. Talha came down and the flag, which was a sign of the enemy’s power, also fell on the ground. Ali (a.s) wanted to kill Talha but the latter entreated him to consider his family affinity administering an oath, therefore Ali spared his life.
When Muslims asked Ali (a.s) the reason for leaving him alive, he replied, “The injury is deadly and he is not likely to live any more.” According to the History of Tabari, when the flag-bearer of the infidel army fell on the ground, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) exclaimed loudly, “Allah is the Greatest (Allaho Akbar)” and asked Ali (a.s), “Why did you not kill him instantly?” Ali (a.s) replied, “At that very moment his wife came up before me and administered an oath. So I left him alive.”
Then Abu Saeed ibn Abi Talha stepped forward and picked up the flag of the polytheists but Ali gave no respite even to him and finished him with a stroke of his sword. His brother, Usman ibn Abi Talha was standing behind and he took up the flag; Ali killed him also. The next one to pick up that flag was another brother, Harith ibn Abi Talha. Ali also dispatched him to Hell soon.
When all the four brothers were killed, Abu Aziz, son of Uthman raised their flag. But he could
also not survive the hit of Ali and died. Thereafter their flag was picked by one Abdullah ibn Jamila but he too could not save himself from the sword of Ali. Thereafter the enemy flag was picked up by Artaab ibn Sharahjil, who was the chief of the tribe called Abdud Daar. He too was found dead very soon cut by the sword of Ali (a.s). After him came forward Sawaab, a slave of that tribe to hold their flag but he also was slashed by Ali’s sword.
Thereafter began retreat of the enemy and Muslim army men fell on the defeated army. Ali (a.s), his uncle Hamzah and Abu Dujanah Ansari fought very bravely and routed the enemy forces who began to flee leaving behind them their dead and taking with them whatever provision they could. Some of the Muslims followed the fleeing army and some engaged in gathering war booty.
When the group of warriors whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had stationed in the narrow mountain pass saw that the enemy was defeated, they also left their position and began to gather booty. Only twelve of them headed by Abdullah ibn Zubair did not budge from their position and were martyred by a trick of Abu Sufyan. Abu Sufyan ordered Walid to attack Muslims from the said narrow pass. Accordingly Walid killed the twelve of them and attacked the unaware Muslim fighters who were busy gathering war booty. In the meantime the fleeing army also returned and a very severe war restarted in favor of
the polytheists, as the Muslims were unprepared for such a sudden change of events.
Seventy Muslims were martyred and the remaining began to flee. The polytheists even attacked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Only Ali, Talha and Zubair surrounded the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) to defend him. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) suffered a serious wound on his holy forehead and his teeth were also broken inuring his pious lips. Now the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) ordered, “Break the strength of the infidels.” So this hero of Islam attacked them forcefully, which again scattered them. All of them fell on Ali (a.s) who fought furiously and killed two of them.
Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saw that Muslims were fleeing from the battlefield he became very sorrowful and angry. He asked Ali (a.s), “Why did you not go with the fleeing fellows?” Ali replied, “How can we turn back after embracing Islam? I am your follower.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked Ali, “Stop the army attacks with force.” Hearing this, Ali (a.s) became furious and he gave such a heavy counter attack to the infidels that their army became scattered and the one who was leading them died.
At that moment the conveyor of revelation came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) from the unseen and said, “O Messenger of Allah! This is called courage and sacrifice as was exhibited by Ali (a.s).” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, “Verily Ali is from me and I am from Ali.” Jibraeel exclaimed, “I am from both of you!”
Surely the courage, bravery
and self-sacrifice of Ali have become proverbial in this world of encounters. At a time when the army of polytheists had defeated the Muslims and surrounded the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), attacking him from all sides and when Islam was in severe danger, it was Ali (a.s) who was moving around the lamp of prophethood like a moth caring the least for his own life. He was not only defending the Prophet but was also attacking the enemy. In such a risky situation Ali (a.s) fought so bravely and continued to attack the enemy so furiously that their courage broke down and they retreated. Ali (a.s) suffered ninety wounds all over his body in this exemplary fight. When Ali (a.s) was fighting in this way there came a voice from the unseen:
There is no hero youth like Ali and no sword like Zulfiqar.
When Abu Sufyan observed that many Muslims were martyred and the field of battle had almost become vacant, he, in order to inspire his army and with a view to demoralize the Muslims who had hidden behind mountains raised a slogan loudly, “Long live my God Hubal.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), in order to maintain the morale of Muslims asked Ali (a.s) to raise such a slogan that it may take out the wind out of the enemy cry. Ali said loudly ringing the atmosphere: Allah is my Lord, Who is the Greatest.
Abu Sufyan was compelled to raise another slogan: There is Uzza goddess of the polytheists with us and you have no Uzza. The
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked Ali (a.s) to reply: Our Helper and Protector is the Creator of the universe, Allah and He is not with you. Finally the Sufiyanis lost courage and leaving the battlefield retreated to Mecca.
Ali (a.s) had bathed himself in his own blood. Each of his ninety wounds was bleeding. The great physician, Abu Ubaidah observed Ali (a.s) and said, “I want to give you First Aid and take you to Medina on a stretcher for further remedy. I have never seen anyone who could fight after receiving so many injuries. How did you do all this?”
But Tabari has written in his History that Ali (a.s), in such a seriously wounded condition, brought water in his shield and began to wash the blood from the pious face of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saying, “May God’s chastisement fall on those who colored the face of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in blood.”
Bani Nuzayr was the tribe of the black-hearted Jews, who lived around the suburbs of Medina. After breaking treaties with Muslims, this tribe had begun to conspire to kill the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) learnt about it he prepared an army under the command of Ali (a.s) in the year 2 A.H.
This army surrounded the tribe of Bani Nuzayr. Ali (a.s) had erected a tent for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) at some distance. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was resting in it one night when a Jew shot an arrow towards the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) but it missed the target
and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) remained safe. But he said, “Uproot this tent from here and pitch it in a lower area.” So the order was carried out accordingly.
The Muslim warriors who were guarding the Holy Prophet’s tent could not find Ali (a.s) nearby. They asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) about Ali’s whereabouts. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, “I can see that presently Ali (a.s) is engaged in a job, which would benefit all of you.”
Very soon thereafter Ali (a.s) returned to the tent with the head of the Jew who had shot the above-mentioned arrow towards the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Ali (a.s) threw that head at the feet of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked, “O Ali! How could you know about him?” Ali (a.s) replied, “I had kept a watch from a secret place on the group of enemy men. This man was sitting in their midst. All of them had naked swords in their hands but I attacked so suddenly that my sword hit its target killing this fellow. Others escaped.” Thereafter Ali (a.s) took ten guards from his army and followed those who had fled and killed them all before they could enter their fort.
As this tribe of Banu Nuzayr was likely to cause serious harms and as they were not prepared to embrace Islam either, they were allowed to pack their baggage from that area and move to Syria to join other Jews there.
A year after the Battle of Uhad, Jews living around Medina extended their
hands of friendship towards idolatrous Arab tribes. This aided the idolaters to recollect their strength. Ten thousand warring Jews also joined the idolaters and they advanced to crush Muslims in Medina.
Salman Farsi, whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had honored by calling him ‘Min Ahlil Bait’ (among Ahlul Bait) suggested that a ditch might be dug all around Medina, as was a practice in Iran during wars. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) accepted this suggestion for protecting the life and property of the people of Medina from outside attacks. The Jews and polytheists wondered on seeing this new technique, which they had never seen before.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) ordered that the aged, children and women should gather at a safer place and proper arrangements be made for their protection. At the eight gates of the city, Emigrant (Muhajir) and Helper (Ansar) warriors were posted and the Holy Prophet’s cousin Zubair was made their chief.
The attacking armies surrounded Medina and camped outside the city for twenty-seven days. At last a very strong sandow of Quraish spurred his horse to jump over a comparatively narrow part of the ditch and entered the field crying loudly, “Is there anyone among Muslims who can come forward to fight with me?” His loud voice was heard all over the city but none dared to meet his challenge.
It was only Ali (a.s) who got up and sought the permission of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) to challenge Amr ibn Abde Wudd but the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked him to sit down. Amr sounded another
challenge but all kept sitting head down like cold bodies.
Once again the brave youth of Islam, Ali (a.s) sought the Prophet’s leave but for reasons known only to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) he was again asked to restrain himself. But for the third time the enemy of Islam sarcastically said, “Is there none who can face me?” As written in history books, all were sitting meekly when Ali (a.s) sought permission for the third time and was allowed to proceed and fight the arrogant sandow.
Amr could now see that a gate of the city opened and a youth advanced towards him. When he came nearer, Amr recognized the twenty-seven-year-old youth was none but Ali Ibn Abi Talib. Ali (a.s) told Amr, “Do not make so much haste. The one whose heart and mind are bright and whose determination is firmer than mountains is coming to give you a proper response.”
Amr, exhibiting his pride, did not even look at Ali (a.s). Ali (a.s) once again addressed him saying, “I am a solider of Islam, I give you three options because I have heard that you are in the habit of accepting one of three options put before you. My first condition is that you should embrace Islam. If this not possible for you, then you should go back from where you have come.”
Amr rejected both these demands saying, “I can neither accept Islam nor can I return because my tribe’s women will taunt at me.” Then Ali (a.s) said, “Then come forward and fight with me.”
Amr laughed at these words of young Ali and said, “Is there no one among you who can accept my challenge? I do not intend to kill you with my sword because my relations with Abu Talib were cordial and you are still very young. It is insulting for me to fight you.”
Ali said, “But I want to fight you. My last wish is that since I am on my feet, you too should come down from your horse and start fighting.”
Amr got down from his horse and in a fit of anger gave a stroke of his sword on the head of Ali (a.s). Ali (a.s) averted that stroke with his shield very brilliantly, but the stroke was so powerful that the shield broke into two and Ali’s head was injured.
Now the lion of Islam, Ali (a.s), also frowned menacingly and gave such a powerful stroke with his sword, Zulfiqar that it cut down one of the sandow’s thigh and touched the other one. The champion fell to the ground and Ali (a.s) mounted his chest and was about to behead him, but the arrogant fellow spat on the radiant face of Ali (a.s).
Ali (a.s) got down from him and cleaned the spit with his sleeve. After a few moments when his anger cooled down he again climbed Amr’s chest. The Quraish sandow asked, “Why had you gone away for a while? And why did you come again? Ali (a.s) replied, “Had I killed you at that very moment my feeling of personal revenge
would have tampered my holy intention of fighting only for Islam and for God’s pleasure. Now I want to decapitate the enemy of Islam.” And he cut off Amr’s head and threw the severed head at the feet of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
Thus was killed a champion on which an idolater army was taking pride. Their morale broke down while the morale of Muslims rose and even weak person became brave. The danger lurking on the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was thus removed by Ali (a.s). It was in this war that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) uttered these historical words of truth:
The stroke of Ali (a.s) on the day of the Battle of Ditch is more valuable than the combined worship of men and jinns.
When Ali (a.s) was sent to fight with Amr, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had also said, “The whole faith is going to confront whole disbelief.”
The victory of Islam in the Battle of Ditch is another name of Ali’s success which broke the backbone of the conspiracies of the polytheists and which made the path clear for Islam to advance all around. Such were the everlasting effects of the great deeds of this youth of Islam, named Ali (a.s), the invincible hero of Islam.
After Amr was killed, his sister who was in the army of the Meccans sought the Holy Prophet’s permission to have a last look at her fallen brother. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) allowed it. When she reached the corpse she found that the extremely precious coat-of-mail worn
by her dead brother was safe and intact and that his killer had not even touched it. She asked astonishingly, “Who killed my brother?” People told her that Ali (a.s) had killed him. Amr’s sister exclaimed, “I am proud of the fact that my brother’s killer is extraordinary in bravery and has high respectable virtues.” Then she sang: Had my brother’s killer been anyone other than a brave and honest man like Ali (a.s) I would have continued weeping on Amr forever.
The tribe of Bani Quraiza had broken their treaty with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and joined in conspiring against Islam. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) proceeded toward them taking Ali (a.s) with him as the commander of the Muslim army and surrounded the area where Bani Quraiza resided and gave them a deserving punishment by killing all the troublemaker Jew soldiers including their chief, Huyy ibn Akhtab. When this Huyy ibn Akhtab came to know that his killer was also Ali (a.s) who had killed Amr ibn Abde Wudd, he exclaimed, “I have the honor of being killed by this very great man indeed.” Ali (a.s) retorted, “Yes, the good are been killed by the evil ones and the evil ones are being killed by the good ones.”
After the removal of Bani Quraiza Jews, the risk, which was around Medina, was also removed forever and their women and property came in the control of Muslims.
The world saw one of the most astonishing events relating to Ali on the day when he was asked by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) to write the historical treaty of Hudaibiyah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) intended to perform the Optional Pilgrimage (Umrah) with a large number of Muslims in the 6th year of the Hijri era (after migration to Medina).
When they reached a place called Hudaibiyah, Suhail ibn Amr, a deputy of the Meccan idolaters came and requested the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) not to proceed further, because if armed Muslims were to enter Mecca a battle would necessarily ensue causing much
bloodshed. Thereafter the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was requested to prepare a treaty whereby the armed Muslims might not harm the Meccans. This, Suhail was a cunning fellow who intended to look after the interests of Meccans in every respect.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) called Ali (a.s) and asked him to prepare a treaty so that he might put his seal of confirmation on it. Ali, in the presence of all great men of Islam, placed a red leather sheet on his thigh and inscribed:
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
But Suhail objected to it saying, “As this matter is for both the parties, write it in such a way that it may be acceptable to us also. Write: In Your Name O Allah.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) told Ali, “O Ali! Erase ‘Bismillah’ and write as he says.” The bright-hearted youthful Ali became rather restless and said, ““O Messenger of Allah! Had it not been your order, I would have never erased ‘Bismillah’.”
Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) dictated saying, “Now write: This agreement takes place between Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah and Suhail ibn Amr.”
But Amr objected again saying, “If I accept the words “Rasoolullah’ (The Messenger of God) then it would mean that I have believed in your messengership or prophethood. So change these words and write ‘Muhammad son of Abdullah’.”
Ali retorted, “Muhammad is truly and definitely the Messenger of Allah.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) told Ali, “Remove the words “Rasoolullaah’.” Ali, very painfully said, “O Messenger of Allah! My hand does
not dare to erase the words ‘Rasoolullaah’.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “Just place my hand on these words so that I may erase them myself.” Ali (a.s) complied with this order and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) erased the said words and asked Ali to write: ‘Muhammad ibn Abdullah’ there and complete the agreement.
From this event, can one not measure the extent of Ali’s faith, sincerity and love for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.)? This is the brave youth of early Islam who when he got up to defend Islam, no one even dared to look at him with a bad intention. This is the youth who, after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) from this world, took up the banner of guiding the Muslim Ummah and who shed all his perspiration and all of his blood to water the tree of Islam.
The Muslims returned to Medina after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. Only twenty days had passed when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) heard that the Jews who had fled Medina had joined the Jews of Khyber. Khyber was a huge fort with a number of small castles in it. Nearly 14000 Jew warriors were already there. They had sufficient arms and ammunition, water and other provisions. These Jews decided to attack the Prophet of Islam at a convenient time and take revenge. On hearing about this, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) took pre-emptive action and invaded them before they could attack the Muslims.
There was a ditch dug all around Khyber. So Muslims surrounded it
and camped outside Khyber for about three weeks. The famous historian, Waqidi, has written that this event took place in the 7th year of the Hijri era. About 14000 Jews were living in Khyber, which is situated at a distance of 16 Farsakhs (nearly 96 Kilometers) from Medina on the road to Syria. (It should be noted that a sufficient number of Jews were living in Syria also). Therefore there was a constant danger to Muslims from the Jews living in Khyber as they could attack Medina at any moment, as their hearts were full of hatred towards the Prophet of Islam.
After waiting for twenty days, Abu Bakr took permission from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), and took up the banner of Islam and advanced towards Khyber but returned without success. The next day Umar took up the flag but he also returned defeated by the Jews. He also struck terror in the hearts of Muslims by narrating the strength and bravery of the Jews.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) frowned and said, “Tomorrow, I will hand over the flag of Islam to a man who never shows his back to the enemy, who loves God and His Prophet and whom God and His Prophet also love and who does not return until he gets victory by the help of God Almighty.”
Muslims gathered around the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) next morning. Both Abu Bakr and Umar had wished and hoped that they would be given the flag to make an attack.
Saad ibn Waqqas who was considered a brave warrior
says, “I was sitting just in front of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) so as to attract his attention. I even got up once under some pretext but I lost all hope when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, ‘Call Ali (a.s).’ Those sitting around him said, ‘Ali (a.s) is suffering from sore eyes and is not able to see even the ground under his feet.’ Yet the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, ‘Bring Ali (a.s) to me.’
Ali (a.s) was brought to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who hugged him, applied his saliva to his eyes, which removed all pain and made them bright. Giving the flag of Islam in Ali’s hands, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) prayed to Allah: O Lord! Give victory to Ali (a.s).’”
Saad says, “Ali (a.s) jumped up from his place and rushed at a lightning speed to the fort of Khyber. The Muslim army behind him also attacked the fort.”
Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari says, “Ali (a.s) took such a swift action that I could not even wear my armor.” Saad shouted, “O Ali (a.s)! Just wait a moment so that the brave warriors of Islam may back you up closely.” But Ali heard nothing and reached the fort. As usual the gate of that fort opened and the deadly warrior of the Jews named Marhab came out and attacked Ali swiftly with his sword.
Ali (a.s), the thirty-year-old tiger of Allah, who had won many wars before, offered a return blow. People saw that Ali’s sword Zulfiqar, flashed like lightning and Marhab fell on the ground
dead. No sooner than Marhab died, the Muslim army fell on the enemy soldiers who retreated and closed the huge gate of their fort. Ali (a.s) swiftly reached that gate and gave a mighty jerk to it. Pulling up the heavy gate Ali (a.s) gave it a turn by his hand and flung it away. Muslims went inside the fort and won the war capturing Khyber.
Three champions of the Jews named Harith, Marhab and Yasar (all brothers) got killed in Khyber by the sword of Ali (a.s). Their back broke and they became ready for a truce with Muslims. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) embraced Ali (a.s) affectionately and said, “O Ali! Allah and His Messenger are pleased with you.” Tears rolled down Ali’s eyes. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked the reason for weeping. Ali replied, “O Messenger of Allah! These are tears of joy. They came out on hearing that God and His Prophet are pleased with me.”
Did the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) not see how much strength was there in the arms of Ali (a.s)? Did they not observe how easily and quickly Ali (a.s) uprooted the heavy iron gate, which required many men just for opening and closing it; Ali flung that heavy gate in such a manner that it covered the ditch around that fort? Muhammad Ibn Jurair Tabari a famous Sunni historian reports from Rafe who says, “I was one of the eight persons who were there when Ali (a.s) flung away that heavy gate. All of us together
tried to move that gate aside but could not even move it.”
What calls for consideration is the event when after the Holy Prophet’s passing away, this Ali was dragged with a rope around his neck! The famous Shia scholar, Shaykh Mufid writes: That gate of Khyber required twenty persons for opening and closing it. Praising this tiger of God, Ibn Abil Hadid says:
Forty people were unable to move that iron gate.
The existence of Jews in the land of Hijaz was likely to create a danger to Muslims at any moment. But Ali (a.s) provided ease and peace to Medinites. But how strange is it that when the bravery of Ali is discussed, the readers of history raise various explanations. Was Khyber to be won without Ali (a.s)? Has the shadow of Jews ever fallen on Medina after the capture of Khyber? Perhaps God Almighty wanted that Ali (a.s) should rise up in strong support for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) so that even the biggest trouble to confront Islam and Muslims should be averted by Ali’s sword, Zulfiqar and none should dare attack them again.
Mecca was conquered in the 8th year of the Hijri era. Eight years after the Holy Prophet’s migration to Medina when Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) entered Mecca with a 12000-strong army, the Meccans, without any ado, threw away their weapons and declared faith in Islam before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The Prophet of Islam entered Ka’ba and broke down all the idols with the help of Ali (a.s). Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
told Ali (a.s), “Put your feet on my shoulder to reach the roof and throw down the idols installed over there.”
Obeying the command, Ali (a.s) placed his right foot on the holy shoulder, reached the roof and after breaking the said idols threw them down and then he jumped to the ground directly (without touching the holy shoulders). The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked, “O Ali (a.s)! Why did you not get the support of my shoulder while coming down? I was waiting for it.” Ali replied: O Messenger of God! You had commanded me to do so only for going up and not for coming down. How could I do that without your command? I am thankful to Allah that I averted any disrespect to the honor of His Messenger.”
Surah Barat was revealed in the 9th year of the Hijri era. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) handed over this Surah to Abu Bakr and asked him to proceed to Mecca and read it out to the Hajj pilgrims. It should be remembered that, till then the polytheists also were joining the Hajj Pilgrimage.
Abu Bakr had not gone a long distance when again the angel bringing Divine Revelation came and said to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Allah Almighty says that this duty cannot be carried out by anyone except you or one who is from you. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) told Ali (a.s), “Just get mounted immediately and take the Surah Barat from the hands of Abu Bakr. Tell him that the Prophet has said that this
job is not to be done by him.”
When Ali contacted Abu Bakr and conveyed the Prophet’s message, Abu Bakr asked, “Is there any revelation about me also?” Ali replied, “The propagation of this Surah cannot be done except by the Prophet of God or by me.”
Then Ali reached Ka’ba, which was till then in the control of the polytheists who were carrying out the undesirable rituals of the days of darkness and ignorance. There the brave messenger of the Prophet’s message drew out his sword (as this Surah Barat was a warning to polytheists) and waving it said,
And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce a painful punishment to those who disbelieve.
Thereafter he said, “From next year, no polytheist will be allowed to perform Hajj here and henceforth no one is permitted to circumambulate the holy Ka’ba naked. If I see anyone naked I will compel him or her to put on clothes.” The polytheists got dressed at once and continued circumambulating the Ka’ba.
It was in the 9th year of Hijri era when a group of Christian priests from Najran came to Medina to have a dialogue with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) with regard to the truth of the Holy Prophet’s messengership in the light of their
own beliefs. They asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), “You say that Jesus is a servant of God and not the Son of God. But is it possible that someone could be born without a father?” The angel Jibraeel arrived with the holy verse:
Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.
Stepping forward, the Prophet said, “Isa was born without a father but Almighty God created Adam without father and mother.”
The Christian spiritualists of Najran could not offer any reply and they became spellbound; yet they remained stubborn illogically. Prejudice prevented them from embracing Islam and from conceding to the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) due to their ego.
Under divine orders, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) invited them to an imprecation ceremony (Mubahila). He said:
Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our selves and your selves, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.
The Christian scholars accepted the proposal and the next day they arrived before the people of the town along with their sons and women and their near and dear ones. After some time, they saw the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) approaching them, holding the finger of Imam Hasan (a.s) while Imam Husain (a.s) was in his arms. Behind him was his dearest daughter, Fatima Zahra (a.s) and behind her walked the Master of the Universe, Ali Ibn Abi Talib
The Christian scholars asked the people, “Who are these persons with whom Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is coming?” The Muslims replied, “The one whose finger the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is holding is his grandson Hasan (a.s), the one who is in his arms is his another grandson Husain; the lady behind him is his daughter, Fatima and one behind her is the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali (a.s).”
The Christian priests could see that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was stepping forward with full confidence, peace of mind and total certainty as if he had no fear at all in calling for God’s curse. The radiance of the faces of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his nearest and dearest ones dazzled their eyes and affected them to such an extent that their legs began to tremble. All of them jointly came up to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and requested him, “Please avert cursing. We are prepared to pay whatever tax (Jizyah) you propose.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) conceded their demand and allowed them to go back and did not raise his hands for inviting divine curse.
Ali (a.s) was thirty-two at that time when people knew him as the self of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). It was as if an announcement was made on that day that Ali was the shining face of Islam who had full confidence and trust of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). This explanation is still ringing in the history books and in the commentaries of the Holy Quran.
This high ranking group of the best personalities of
Islam was such that a group of priests from Najran came forward and said, “Verily, if the hands of these persons were to rise in condemnation of the liars then none among Christians would survive on the surface of the earth.”
The list of Ali’s spiritual virtues, his angelic habits and his wonderful achievements is very long. No one else equals it, especially in bravery, courage and moral nobility. The summary of the Holy Prophet’s twenty-three years’ propagation is that none other than Ali (a.s) was entitled to and worthy of being the vicegerent of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
So the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) made arrangement for announcing it in such a way that when he was returning from his last Hajj he halted at a place called Ghadeer Khumm and, obeying Allah’s orders, bestowed his legacy (vicegerency) to Ali (a.s). Angel Jibraeel came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) at this place and said, “Almighty Allah says that you should pronounce before the people whatever We have revealed to you (in the matter of immediate vicegerency of Ali (a.s). If you do not it would mean that you did not perform the duty of messengership. So convey this matter to the people and fear not, because God will protect you from the evil of the people.”
The sun was shedding fire at midday on the sandy land of Arabia. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) of Islam issued orders for halting pilgrim caravans. He also ordered that who have gone ahead should be called back and those who were
behind should be allowed to reach there. When all Muslims gathered at Ghadeer Khumm the sun was at its zenith. The Hajj pilgrims were covering their faces with their clothes to protect themselves from scorching heat. Some had sat down under the shades of their camels.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) ordered that a platform should be prepared and a pulpit raised with the packsaddles of camels. When this was done, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) climbed that high platform and took Ali (a.s) by his hand and raised it so much that the whiteness of his armpit could be seen. The minimum number of that audience is recorded as twenty thousand though some historians have mentioned the figure of one hundred and twenty thousand. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) announced:
O People! Very soon I will go away from you. After me, God Almighty has made Ali (a.s) your leader and guardian and my vicegerent. Then he added: O Allah! Befriend one who is friendly with Ali, and be the enemy of one who has enmity with Ali.
Thus, in a sense, the Day of Ghadeer is the Day of Coronation of the Lion of Allah. This most courageous and bravest youth of Islam was only thirty-two at that time.
A Persian poet, Sarmad has so rightly said:
Though all the days belong to Almighty God Who is Omnipotent and Ever-lasting, the holiest of all the days is the Day of Ghadeer.
The beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), Fatima Zahra (a.s) is the great lady whose virtuous character is a
model for all the women of the world. The aim of Islamic teachings is that women should follow Fatima (a.s) in all affairs like housekeeping, child training, obedience to husband, respect to father and steadfastness on the right path at all costs, to propagate Islam, observing Islamic limitations on women and fighting courageously against falsehood. What Fatima (a.s) did on all these fronts of life has been indelibly recorded in the pages of history. Fatima’s footprints on the sands of time will continue to guide the wise womenfolk forever.
Fatima Zahra (a.s) got her nourishment in the arms of the best man on earth (Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)) and in the lap of the best mother in the world (Khadijah). She was brought up in an atmosphere, which was the fountainhead of wisdom and knowledge, righteousness and gracefulness, respect and honor. She derived all the spiritual and physical virtues from her affectionate father. This sinless lady, who was away from her father for only a little period of three months, had never been separated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). That is why there was striking similarity in the modes of Fatima’s talking, walking and behaving to her father and people said that she was the mirror of her father’s virtues. No wonder that she was called the Empress of the Arabs.
Fatima’s foresight, piety, sinlessness and capabilities etc. were all reflections of the divine revelations. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has introduced Fatima (a.s) as the chief of world’s women.
Today’s world is busy making all efforts to teach human values
and virtues to its young generation, especially young womenfolk, so that their personality may be recognized. Just think about the Arab land of fourteen hundred years ago when ignorance had caused men to bury alive their newborn daughters considering their birth a sign of disgrace and insult. In the words of the holy Quran:
And when a daughter is announced to one of them his face becomes black and he is full of wrath.
In that very atmosphere the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said about his daughter’s children: ‘These are the pieces of my liver.’ and the Holy Quran said:
Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world…
In those dark days the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) brought up his daughter, Fatima in such a magnificent manner that she became an object of honor even for him. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also said that every deed of his daughter is worth following for the whole womenfolk of the world.
Just ponder over the gracefulness of this lady. When she went to her honorable father, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), he used to get up in respect and kiss her forehead saying: I perceive heavenly odor in my dear daughter; my daughter is a Hourie in human form created out of effulgence.
While leaving home for any journey and while returning from any mission the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to visit Fatima (a.s) first and to inquire about her well being.
When Fatima Zahra (a.s) reached marriageable age many proposals came from great Arab personalities. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) declined all of them
but when Imam Ali (a.s) who was then only twenty-six, came and sat before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) most respectfully, things were different. God’s Messenger did know what Ali (a.s) wanted. So he enquired, “O Ali! What material possessions do you have, whereby I may give you my daughter in marriage?” Ali (a.s), most respectfully replied, “May my parents be sacrificed for you. My condition is not hidden from your honor. All I have is a sword, armor and a camel for fetching water.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, “O Ali! The sword is for your defense and for holy war. The camel is also necessary for journeys and for water carriage. Only the armor remains. You may sell it and make preparations therefrom for my dear daughter’s marriage with you.”
Ali (a.s) sold his armor for 400 Dirhams and submitted this amount to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), who, in turn, asked some of his companions to purchase paraphernalia of the bride. Accordingly it was only this little amount with which the household materials were purchased for a lady who is the chief of all the women in the world. It included some perfume, a shirt, a towel, a small mattress, a grindstone, a cane, a water-skin, a jug and a mat made in Bahrain.
Here, it may be noted, that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had put more emphasis on perfume. When the wedding material was readied, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) performed the holy marriage and sent his dear daughter to Ali’s house. Fatima Zahra (a.s) was
only nine at the time of marriage. It must be remembered here that Hijaz is one of the warm climatic zones where girls gain puberty rather early. But it is said that principally, Zahra’s development was rather extraordinary and she looked eighteen when she was nine.
In Islam, three things are required for a marriage: (1) Puberty: A Muslim girl must have attained puberty and must not be less than nine years of age. (2) She must be intelligent enough to understand what is good and what is bad and (3) She should be wise enough to fulfill the individual and collective social responsibilities and duties and must be able to perform household affairs.
Since, at the age of nine, all these qualities were present in Fatima, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave her hand to the most brave and courageous youth of Islam, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s). On the wedding night the Holy Prophet’s wives recited verses of joy. The one recited by Umar’s daughter reads:
“O Fatima! You are the best among the women of the world; your face is shining moon-like. God has given you in marriage to the best youth named Ali.”
While departing after the wedding, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave Fatima’s hand into Ali’s saying: Dearest Fatima! Ali (a.s) is the best husband for you and O Ali! Fatima (a.s) is the world’s best woman. Do appreciate her. Then looking at the heavens, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: O God! Make the progeny of Zahra and Ali numerous.
The Holy Prophet’s dear daughter
saw only eighteen years of her life. Crossing trouble sometimes and facing calamity after calamity she passed away from this world in her eighteenth year. During this short life she remained extremely kind to her husband. She never addressed him by name and could never see him gloomy.
Abu Saeed Khudri says: One day Ali (a.s) asked her, “What is there to eat for us today.” Fatima (a.s) replied, “There is nothing since last two days, neither for me nor for the two children (Hasnain).” Ali (a.s) asked, “Why did you not tell me. I would have done something.” Lady Fatima (a.s) replied, “I felt ashamed of troubling you for something beyond your ability.”
Imam Hasan (a.s) says: One Friday night I saw that my dear mother had remained busy in prayers till dawn. I heard her praying in favor of all believing men and women. When she concluded her supplications, I asked her, “My dear mother! How is it that you did not ask anything for yourself?” She replied, “Dear son! Neighbors first, then ourselves.”
Once the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked Zahra (a.s), “O my dear daughter! What, in your opinion is the greatest virtue for a woman?” Zahra (a.s) replied, “No stranger man should see her and she must not see any stranger man.”
On another occasion, Fatima (a.s) along with her husband Ali (a.s) had been at the Prophet’s house when a visually impaired man arrived, saluted and sat down there. Zahra (a.s) went into another room and did not return until that person had gone
away. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.), by way of testing, asked her, “Why did you leave? That man could not see you.” Fatima (a.s) replied, “Dear father! He could not see me but my eye could fall on him. Moreover he would have perceived my odor.”
Zahra (a.s) had distributed the household work between herself and her slave maid, Fizza. They did domestic jobs on alternate days. One day, Salman Farsi arrived in Ali’s house for some Islamic propagation work. He could see that Fatima (a.s) was grinding barley and blood was oozing from her swollen hands. Her younger son, Husain (a.s) was sitting hungry in a corner with tears in his eyes.
Salman exclaimed, “O daughter of Allah’s Messenger! Why are you working so hard with injured hands?” Zahra (a.s) replied, “Functions have been divided between Fizza and myself. Today is my turn.” Salman said, “O honorable princess of the Prophet’s house! I am at your service. Please order me and let me know whether I should grind barley or mind your baby prince?” Fatima said, “Okay, thank you. Just grind the barley and I am taking care of the child.”
The Prophet’s dear daughter, Fatima (a.s) passed only a short period of nine years with Ali. According to a well-known narration, she lived only for three months and five days after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The youthful flower withered away in her full bloom at the age of only eighteen. Thereafter she became a victim of oppression and was martyred by stonehearted people. Those
were the oppressors who had hijacked Islam for their own material benefits coolly and had become the vicegerents of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Indeed they had reverted to their earlier ignorant nature.
The dearest daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) passed away from this world in the very youth of her life leaving behind two sons and two daughters. Her eldest son, Hasan (a.s) was then only eight. These are the personalities whose characters illuminated the path of Islam by lamps, which cannot be extinguished till the Day of Judgment so that following their footprints Muslims may always be safe from waywardness.
There was a large piece of arable land in the area of Khyber, called Fadak. On conclusion of the Battle of Khyber, in which Muslims came out victorious, the Jews signed an agreement of peace with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) according to which the most fertile part of that land was gifted to the Prophet who used to distribute its produce between Bani Hashim and other needy people of Medina. When the following verse was revealed:
And give to the near of kin his due…
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave Fadak to Fatima Zahra (a.s) and lady Zahra (a.s) continued, as was being done by her beloved father, to spend its income on herself and on the poor and needy people of Bani Hashim and other deserving Muslims.
After the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), when in Saqifah Bani Saidah, the Emigrants and Helpers (who had only worldly benefit in their view) conspired to take the
leadership of the Islamic state and ignored the Wilayat (guardianship and authority) of Maula Ali (a.s) the first to be adopted as caliph was the son of Abu Qahafah. Among the oppressions committed in his time was the confiscation of the farms of Fadak from Fatima.
Abu Bakr based his action on a fake tradition saying: The Prophet said: We messengers of God do not leave anything in inheritance; whatever we leave is charity, which is the right of Muslims. The government dismissed the men engaged by Fatima (a.s) for maintenance of Fadak and appointed their own men.
The Prophet’s daughter produced her husband, Ali (a.s) and her sons, Hasan and Husain (a.s) as witnesses and claimed that Fadak was her exclusive property allotted to her by the Prophet himself during his lifetime and therefore no one had any right to confiscate it.
But Abu Bakr who had grasped power in the same wrong manner, when he saw that the masses were silent, he took its undue benefit and dismissed the claim of Zahra (a.s) and the witnesses of Ali, Hasan and Husain (a.s) on the pretext of the aforesaid concocted tradition. Those world-worshippers whose morale was down and also knew very well that this tradition was false did not support Zahra’s claim. They had not yet forgotten what they had to face for opposing the Prophet in his days.
Thus Fadak, which was an established property of Fatima Zahra (a.s) was snatched away from her by the Caliphate. This misdeed will never be forgotten. The right of the
daughter of the greatest benefactor of Islam was ruined by those in whose veins old blood of ignorance was yet flowing. The strategy behind the usurpation of Fadak, which was in the mind of Abu Bakr, was that Ali (a.s) who was also the son-in-law of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) as well as the noblest son of Islam should not be able to get sympathies of the people of Medina and thereby raise his head against the usurped caliphate.
One could ask here as to why did Zahra (a.s) raise this issue when she knew that her right was intentionally usurped. Principally, such usurpation amounted to be a trespass of a Muslim’s right. What to talk about those who sacrificed everything for Islam and Muslims! No one can even fully thank the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) on this account. What is all the more ugly is that within a very short time after his demise a concocted tradition was produced before Muslims and false allegations hurled against the holy family.
Since silence against falsehood and oppression is also a sin, the Prophet’s daughter raised her voice against this highhandedness and took the dispute to the court of caliphate. In Islam, it is obligatory for everyone, man or woman, to defend one’s right. If the woman is married and it is possible for her husband to gain her rights she need not get up as she can get her dues without interfering herself. But if the things are otherwise than it is not compulsory for her husband to interfere
in the dispute.
Zahra (a.s), at that time, did have a husband over her but they rejected the witness of Ali (a.s). The most reliable person was not accepted by the caliphate in the matter of Fadak because this garden was related to Bani Hashim. How could they, from the viewpoint of worldly politics strengthen the hands of Bani Hashim?
Lady Zahra (a.s) produced her two sons, Hasan and Husain (a.s) as witnesses but Abu Bakr with his diplomatic technique rejected the testimony of these two youths of Paradise also. Not only this, he even made some insulting remarks.
Thus Zahra (a.s) was constrained to come to the mosque to defend her right so that she might say her side of the case herself before the one who sat on the chair of caliphate in the midst of Emigrants and Helpers. She wanted to take objection to those who supported such caliphate so that the sold out historians might not be able to hide facts.
So the daughter of the great Prophet entered the Prophet’s mosque with a very heavy heart and observed that Abu Bakr was sitting on the seat of her late father and the masjid was full of the people of Medina. The white bearded people who had strengthened such a caliphate occupied the front row.
She sat taking support of a pillar with a very heavy heart, remembering the time of her dear father, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) of Islam. She took a deep sigh and said, “Dear father! O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)!” Hearing
these words all in the mosque began to weep. It appeared as if even the walls and columns of the masjid were also complaining. At once a curtain was drawn in front of Zahra (a.s) so that she might be veiled behind it.
What is worth noting most is that Zahra was only eighteen, unwell and pain stricken without the shade of father. And what kind of a father! A father who was the best human being under the sun. Her husband Ali (a.s) was deprived of his God-given divine right. They had usurped the rights of both Ali (a.s) and Zahra (a.s) by concocting a tradition that messengers of God do not leave inheritance and whatever remains of their property is public property.
The fact was that Fadak was the personal property of Zahra (a.s). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had, in his lifetime, given it to his daughter and thus it could not be called inheritance. But the decree of Abu Bakr made it a public property and included it in the state treasury and no one said even a word against it.
When calm prevailed in the initially weeping gathering, Zahra (a.s) addressed Abu Bakr in a very effective and impressive eloquent speech. She invited the attention of the audience and asked them to remember the age of pre-Islamic ignorance. In what condition were they then and how much Islam had elevated them in every way and aspect?
She reminded them saying: You were known to none in the world. It was my late father who
made you recognized all over the world. But you are today rewarding his messengership in this way by usurping the right of a lady who is the sole memorial of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and no one from you is saying anything against such a serious crime.
The strong and impressive speech of Fatima Zahra (a.s) is exemplary and how could it not be so? She was nourished in the lap of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). This is a historical event, which shall not be forgotten till the Day of Judgment. In her speech Zahra (a.s) first of all praised Almighty God describing His attributes and then sent salutations and greetings to her late father, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) of Islam, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). Thereafter she told the people that Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was sent by Allah for the guidance of mankind.
Then she continued, “O people! Know that I am the daughter of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). My word has been one and the same from first to last. It has never altered. I have never adopted any unfair attitude. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had come to show the true and the right path to you all and he had always been most kind to you all. All of you know very well that he was my father and not of anyone among you. Ali (a.s) is the son of my uncle and my husband. He is not a cousin of anyone from you. In what way can you claim to be nearer in relationship to the Prophet than us?
My father fulfilled the duty of divine messengership and kept enemies awed. When the polytheists dared to confront the Muslims, my husband attacked them vehemently and fearlessly and cut down the necks of many of the leading enemies of Islam and Muslims.”
By speaking thus Zahra (a.s) intended to break down the idols seated in their hearts and minds so that the egotists would come to senses and the dark night of ignorance may end and the dawn of light and intelligence might come up and the truthful slogan of “There is no god but Only One God” might reverberate throughout the sandy lands of Arabia.
She added, “O people! Just think of the days when you were on the brink of the well of moral degradation which could break and drown you all at any moment. Tribes living nearby had made you toys to play with and were kicking you around. You were drinking water from pits wherein a little rainwater was collected with camel droppings all around and there were stinking bodies of dead animals nearby. You were constantly living a life of terror and you almost always feared that a neighboring tribe would suddenly attack you. In such a humiliating condition, Almighty Allah relieved you from this degradation and disgrace and removed a constant risk from you, broke the pride of egotists and ended all the conspiracies of the People of the Book against you and drove away all Arab wolves. Whenever they forced a war upon you, my father cooled that fire. Whenever
troublemakers created trouble the Prophet sent his cousin, Ali (a.s) to suppress the enemies and Ali (a.s) did not sheath his sword before killing the mischief-makers. Not only this, in times of Jihad, Ali (a.s) risked his life fully but never hesitated to fulfill the command of God and His Messenger. He left no stone unturned in fulfilling every wish of the Prophet. He is closest to the Prophet and is the chief of all the friends of God. He is ever ready to serve His religion and Muslims in every possible way. He is the greatest well-wisher of the Muslim society and is always trying his best to invite men to the right path of Islam. But the fact is that you have slackened in your faith and have become accustomed to easy life and luxury. You are almost drowned in the wrong kind of worldly desires and lusts. It seems you were waiting to see us surrounded by difficulties and subjected to the worst kind of oppression. So when we came to this type of trouble you distanced from us. Now when Almighty God has called up His Messenger to Him you revealed the old enmity, which was boiling in your hearts against us. You clothed yourselves in your earlier garments of ignorance and began to talk in the earlier hostile language against us and started to malign us, singings hateful songs again and to dance like an intoxicated camel. Now Satan has taken control of your minds and hearts. The devil is
constantly inviting you to him and is drawing you to himself so easily. Now selfishness has reached such a peak that you stamp other’s camel with your mark claiming to be yours. You are encroaching upon others’ land and claiming it to be yours falsely. Not much time has passed since the Holy Prophet’s sad demise and the wounds on our hearts are still fresh. But you forgot every fact. You snatched the right of Ali (a.s) in the matter of caliphate. You are in an illusion that this deed of yours has suppressed public unrest. It is certainly not so. Beware; you have fanned a fire of discontent as a result of which hellfire will very soon devour the mischief-makers.
Woe unto you, O people! Where you are going? What are you doing? Where are your thoughts wavering? Perhaps you do not remember that God’s Book is in front of you and among you and its command is clear. Its commands and prohibitions are forever. You have shown your back to God’s Book. Do you want to disobey Allah’s orders? The consequences of such planning will be disastrous. Anyone who leaves aside the Quran and follows something else will be a misleader and he will not be obeyed by Muslims and his Hereafter will be with sinners and offenders in the other world.
You have created an impression that we cannot get the Holy Prophet’s inheritance. Have you reverted to the age of ignorance? If your faith were perfect you would have understood that no one’s
order is above Allah’s order. Do you not know this truth? Verily, those who know the sun of midday do know that I am the Holy Prophet’s daughter. O Muslims? Despite being the daughter of the Prophet should I be deprived of my right and live a life of dependence under your government? O son of Abu Qahafa! You can own your father’s inheritance by the command of Quran and I should be deprived of my father’s inheritance? Strange planning indeed. Have you freed yourselves of the Command of the Holy Quran? Have you turned away from Allah’s commands?
The Holy Quran shows that Sulaiman inherited Dawood. The Quran, relating the story of Yahya and Zakaria says: Zakaria said: O God! Grant me a son so that he may be my inheritor and the inheritor of the progeny of Yaqub. Not only this, this very Quran also says that the right of inheritance should be given to the nearest blood relative. The Quran also mentions that in inheritance sons get double the daughters’ inheritance. These are solid arguments on the basis of which you people distribute your inheritance. Has Almighty Allah granted some special rank in this matter and has He excluded my honorable father from this right? Or do you imagine that you know more than my father and my husband about the commands of Quran? This is an innovation, which I must oppose. Remember that this field of Fadak is, in fact, like a camel (loaded with materials), which you have taken in your
possession. But, beware, this camel will lead you in the field of gathering on the Day of Judgment where the verdict will be of Almighty Allah and then you would know the seriousness of your crime.”
Thereafter the dear daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said to those who had seen the Prophet with their own eyes and who were proud of remembering him, “O youths of Islam! O protectors of Islam! O you who are proud of Islam! What kind of coolness is this that you are silent instead of assisting me? Did my dear father not say that respecting a man includes protecting his daughters? How soon did you get up to indulge in corruption in pursuance of worldly profits? You have the ability to help me. Why do you not rise? Are you of the opinion that Muhammad is gone and with him is gone whatever he brought? No. This is a great tragedy. Yes, with the passing away of my father you have given up respect for his family members. Darkness has spread on earth. Mountains have quacked. Hopes and aspirations have faded out. The household of the Holy Prophet has been rejected, dishonored and disrespected.”
When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) gave a call for embracing Islam in the great historical city of Mecca those who readily and positively responded belonged to the young and youthful generation. A majority of them had come from the tribe of Quraish. This group had intensely felt their backwardness in comparison with other tribes. They were
fed up with Meccan idol-worship and superstitious rituals. So as soon as they heard the sweet call from the mouth of Mecca’s most popular gentleman, Muhammad ibn Abdullah asking people to give up idol-worship and superstitions based on ignorance they were the first to come forward and embrace Islam and also decided to suffer every difficulty that could arise in their path.
Summary: The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.s.) had put forth his ideas in such a nice and attractive manner, which was both comprehensive and eloquent that it proved extremely effective and impressive. His words appealed directly the hearts of the people and made them readily responsive.
Consequently, those elite and high-class Meccan families, whose youth, both male and female, had left their elders and flocked around the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) became very anxious and fearful about the future and they began to stop their gatherings.
One of them said, “O Muhammad! You have brought an unprecedented calamity to us. You are sharply criticizing our elders for their ancient beliefs and mocking our religion and culture. You are using indecent words for our gods and misleading our youth, thus creating a rift in our families and disunity in the society. If the aim of your mission is wealth and property, we promise to give you so much money that you will become the richest man among us. If your intention is to gain name and fame, we are prepared to give you utmost honor and to make you the most respected person in the society. If you
want to become a king, we will make you our ruler and if you are fond of the most beautiful woman in Mecca, just mention it and we will give you dozens of damsels, but the only condition is that you should stop talking ill of our gods.”
In reply, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “I do not require any wealth, name, fame or kingdom. My God has sent me to guide you to the true and straight path. He has revealed the Divine Book, Quran to me and commanded me to give you good tidings of His Mercy and Kindness and to stop you from disobeying Him. My duty is to propagate among you what He has sent through me for you. If you will accept it (Islam) you will get the good of both this world and the Hereafter. But if you oppose me I will also confront you until I see what God wants.”
After this event, relations between the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the idol-worshippers of Mecca were cut off and the latter began to harm the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his sincere companions in every way and planned many conspiracies. They began to oppress even their own daughters and sisters extremely. But what is all the more noteworthy and important is that the more force they applied the more the youthful and enthusiastic generation became firm in their conviction and became devoted to the heavenly teachings of the Holy Quran. More and more youths from Quraish joined the supporters of the Holy
Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and became so much devoted that they rooted out all ancient ignorant beliefs of their forefathers from their hearts and readied themselves to bear every difficulty for the sake of truth and justice.
In this way, confronting oppression unhesitatingly was the wonderful feat in the history of Islam, which has no parallel.
When the elders of Quraish did not succeed in their talks with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) they began to stall the path of the Holy Prophet’s youthful companions and to give every possible trouble to them. Some imprisoned their own sons to prevent them from meeting the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). They chained them and kept them in dark rooms for long periods.
Abu Jahl who was considered the most wealthy and clever amongst Quraish, whenever he heard that a youth from his tribe joined the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), he used to say humiliatingly, “You have left the religion of your forefathers, which was better than what Muhammad has brought! Now just wait and see how I tear apart your youthfulness and how I destroy your new faith and belief. I will dishonor you in public.” To those men of age (elder ones) who embraced Islam, Abu Jahl said, “Very soon I will finish your trade and business and confiscate your wealth and property.” If a somewhat weaker man embraced Islam, Abu Jahl slapped him, whipped him and gave him every possible trouble.
One of such weak and powerless persons was a black slave named Bilal. He had become a Muslim and started to act in
accordance with Islamic teachings steadfastly. Consequently a fellow named Umayyah ibn Khalaf used to drag Bilal out of his house in scorching heat of midday, take him out of the city and force him to lie down on red-hot sand. Then he put a heavy stone on his chest telling him, “This stone will not be removed until either you die or revert to our religion and begin to worship the idols of Lat and Uzza.” But, what faith! Bilal would cry ‘Ahad’ ‘Ahad’ meaning ‘my God is the Only One God.’
Waraqa ibn Naufal was the uncle of Lady Khadijah and a leading personality of Quraish. Whenever he saw Bilal being tortured in a cruel manner and observed Bilal’s steadfastness, he would also cry out ‘Ahad’ ‘Ahad’.
Among these youths was also a young man named Ammar Yasir. He also bore a lot of torture meted out to him by the Meccan idol-worshippers. They used to manhandle and chastise him in the worst ways. Some people belonging to Abu Jahl’s tribe Bani Makhzoom used to drag Ammar, his father, Yasir and his honorable mother Sumaiyah out of their homes and take them out of the town to burn their faces with hot sand at noon. Whenever the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) passed by them he would console them saying: O family members of Yasir, be patient. Your abode is Paradise.
Yasir and Sumaiyah were martyred as a result of such torture but Ammar survived. Abu Jahl was the one who stuck his spear in the chest of
Yasir’s mother and she became the first female martyr of Islam.
One day some people belonging to the tribe of Bani Makhzoom gathered and met their tribal chief, Hisham ibn Walid ibn Mughaira and said, “We intend to punish those youths who have created trouble among us by accepting a new faith. We want to finish them soon and nip the trouble in the bud before they mislead others and the affair becomes uncontrollable.” Incidentally, Hisham’s brother, Walid was also among the youth who had embraced Islam recently. He said, “Punish my brother also. It is essential to punish him. But see that his life is not put in danger.”
When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saw that living in Mecca had become extremely difficult and hazardous for new Muslims, he advised some of them to migrate towards the Red Sea and enter Abyssinia, as the just king of that place did not oppress anyone.
According to the famous historian, Ibn Hisham, the caravan, which thus left Mecca and migrated to Abyssinia comprised of eighty-three men in addition to women and children. Leaving Mecca in the darkness of the night they stealthily reached the seashore and taking a boat reached Abyssinia. Then they went to the capital to live in peace.
What is interesting is that in that caravan there also were some ladies and gentlemen who were related to the nobles of Medina like Abu Huzaifah the son of Utba’ ibn Rabeeah. Utbah was the brother of Abu Sufyan’s wife Hind (who chewed the liver of Hamzah). There also
was Sahlah, Abu Huzaifah’s wife and the daughter of Suhail ibn Umar, the man who was the deputy of the Quraish at the time of negotiating the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. (Remember that Utbah was killed by Ali in the Battle of Badr.)
Another name is that of Umme Salma, the daughter of Umayyah Ibn Mughaira Makhzoomi, a cousin of Abu Jahl. With her also was her husband Abi Salma ibn Abdul Asad, after whose demise she married the Prophet. Yet another famous name is that of Zubair ibn Awam, the son of the Prophet’s uncle and Khadijah’s sister. He migrated to Abyssinia at a very young age.
About him historians say that he was instigated by Talha to assist Ayesha in the Battle of Camel and was killed in it. Another well-known face is that of Ammar ibn Yasir whose family was not considered of any worth among Meccan nobles. Yet another distinguished name is of Musab ibn Umair who belonged to the family of Bani Abdud Daar. Most of the people of this tribe were dead against the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He had fought the enemy’s front line in the Battle of Badr. Many of his relatives were killed at the hands of Ali (a.s). Musab was quite young at the time of migrating to Abyssinia. He also was very handsome and good-looking.
Another name, oft repeated in history, is that of Umme Habiba who was in the caravan, which migrated to Abyssinia. She was the daughter of Bani Umaiyyah’s greatest figure, Abu Sufyan. She migrated to
Abyssinia with her husband Ubaidullah ibn Jahash. History testifies that Abu Sufyan was the greatest enemy of Islam but his daughter embraced Islam along with her husband and therefore she migrated leaving her parents, relatives, town and motherland.
Her husband, Ubaidullah ibn Jahash was a strong and a handsome man and his youth was worth admiring. He met Negus, the King of Abyssinia several times. A woman who used to be present in the royal court at such times came into contact with him and expressed her love for him. Finally this new Muslim (Ubaidullah) embraced Christianity to marry that woman. This behavior of the husband of a lady (Umme Habiba) who was the daughter of a man like Abu Sufyan was a very big hindrance in the path of Islamic propagation. It could have resulted in a very serious harm for the faithful and this feeling of shame had put Umme Habiba in an extremely unbearable and awkward situation.
On the other hand when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) learnt of this ugly event he sent a letter to Negus, the just and gentle King of Abyssinia:
You are my representative in marriage contract. So please, read out the announcement of my marriage to Umme Habiba at a Dower of 400 gold coins.
This was the highest amount of Dower fixed by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) for his marriage. By this great deed, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) protected all the Muslims in Abyssinia, who were likely to be hit by deviation from the true path and raised the head
of a self-sacrificing lady who suffered so much for the cause of Islam. On the other hand he disgraced Abu Sufyan by marrying his daughter. Now, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was the son-in-law of the greatest enemy of Islam. Later this honorable lady returned to Medina and entered the house of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) as his respectful wife. Her former husband, after passing a few youthful days in apostasy passed away from this world.
A name, which dazzles in the history of Islam, is that of Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib. As he was the leader of the caravan of migration to Abyssinia, who had done exemplary work, it is necessary to set aside a chapter to briefly describe his life.
The Holy Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib had four sons each of whom was ten years younger than his elder brother. Their names in order of seniority were Talib, Aqil, Ja’far and Ali.
Ja’far was among the first of the Meccans to embrace Islam. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to become very happy on seeing Ja’far and said, “O Ja’far! You are very much similar to me in the matter of appearance, mannerism and character.”
When the caravan of Muslim migrants reached Abyssinia this news angered and worried the Quraishite polytheists. They sent a delegation led by Amr Aas to King Negus with a lot of precious gifts so that he may deport the neo-Muslim migrants to Mecca for being punished for their offense of giving up their ancient religion of idol-worship.
Amr Aas first forwarded the presents to
the king and thereafter sought permission to enter his royal court. The king was quite old and experienced. The Meccan delegates, as an extreme gesture of flattery, lay down on the ground and when they were asked to get up they said:
“Your Highness! A group of our community’s young and unwise people have left their houses, relatives and country and entered your territory. Their new belief is not at all in conformity with your religion. Their new faith is also totally against the religion of our forefathers. Their elders and parents have sent us to you so that you may hand them over to us and we may take them back to our country and give them in the custody of their elders. Your honor can realize how disgraceful it is on the part of these youths to run away, discarding their ancient religious beliefs.”
Kind Negus was very wise and intelligent gentleman. He felt disturbed with these accusations and he replied, “These people have given preference to me over other rulers and they have come under our shelter for their personal safety. I cannot send them back with you. Of course, I would like to call them here to know how much truth is there in what you say. If what you say is found correct, I will hand them over to you. Otherwise, instead of giving them to you, we will take more care of them.”
Then Negus called the migrants to his court. When they arrived in an upright and proper manner the king
asked them, “What is the matter? What kind of a new religion have you adopted which compelled you to leave your families and relatives?”
Now Ja’far who was a handsome and gentle young man got up and said, “Your Highness! We were unwise and unintelligent folk. We used to worship man-made idols. We ate carrion and indulged in immoral deeds. We did not know how to honor our elders. We did not behave nicely with our neighbors. The powerful among us starved the poor ones until Almighty God had mercy on us and sent to us His Messenger whom we knew very well as a noble, truthful, honest and most responsible man as he was born in one of our noblest families. This Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) taught us to worship only One God and called upon us to end idol-worship forever which was in vogue since our forefathers’ time. This Prophet taught us to always tell the truth and also to hand over every trust to whom it belongs and to pay honor and respect to our relatives and to love our neighbors and to have friendly and brotherly relations with them and to refrain from everything which is against self-respect.
This Prophet taught us to worship none but only One God and never to consider anyone His partner. He ordered us to establish prayer, to observe fasts and to pay the poor tax… We have testified to his prophethood and have put faith in him and we accept and obey whatever comes to him through revelation
from Almighty Allah, the only One God. We never consider anyone as equal to God Almighty. Whatever he has banned for us, we regard it as a permanently prohibited thing and whatever he has allowed is permissible forever.
But our community rose up to oppose us tooth and nail. They harassed and oppressed us in every painful and degrading way only to make us return to our superstitious faith of idol-worship and to make us indulge in all bad and dirty affairs in which we were engaged earlier. When their high-handedness, oppression and harassment crossed all limits and it became quite unbearable for us and when they swept upon us wildly from all directions to force us to return to the earlier deviated way of life we decided to take shelter in your honor’s kingdom and we gave preference to your honor over all other rulers so that we may be able to live a peaceful life in your territory. We hope that we will no more suffer in the limits of your peaceful kingdom.”
King Negus asked, “Have you the knowledge of any sign, which your Prophet has brought to you from his God? If so, please describe it.”
“Yes,” replied Ja'far.
Ja'far knew that King Negus and his courtiers were staunch Christians and greatly devoted to Prophet Isa (a.s) and his respected mother, Maryam. So, he began to recite Surah Maryam in a most melodious and respectful way.
And mention Maryam in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place; so she took
a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man. She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil). He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy. She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste? He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed. So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place. And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you; And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates: So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today. And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Maryam! Surely
you have done a strange thing. O sister of Harun! Your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman. But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live; And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed; And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.
After he finished the recitation, King Negus wept with such fervor that his cheeks became wet with tears.
Not only this, the Christian scholars seated in the balconies and around the King also wept so much that their Bibles became wet with their tears.
Negus then said, “This speech and whatever Jesus Christ has said are having the same source and center. Then he addressed the agents of Quraish, “You may go back. We can never give these people into your custody.”
Ja'far and other Muslims accompanying him settled down in Abyssinia. Some of them thought that the situation in Mecca might have improved. So they returned to Mecca with their families but when they reached Mecca they saw that the conditions were the same, and they at once retraced their steps
to Abyssinia. A few were also such that they remained in Mecca while some others went to Medina. King Negus and some other influential people of Abyssinia were influenced by the words of Ja'far and they accepted Islam. Thus it was Ja'far who sowed the seeds of Islam for the first time in the African continent. Ja'far at-Tayyar began to be included among the rows of those valiant ones called the foremost (Sabiqoon).
After a period of twelve years Ja’far at-Tayyar came to Medina in the seventh year of the Hijrah along with his companions. At this time the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.) was returning to Medina after the conquest of Khyber. When he was informed that Ja'far has returned from Abyssinia and that he was coming to him, he was very pleased and he waited for him restlessly. When Ja'far arrived, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) arose and walked twelve steps to welcome him. He embraced Ja'far, kissed his forehead and began to weep. He said, “Which joy should we give preference to? The arrival of Ja'far or the conquest of Khyber? According to the text of Khisal of Sadooq, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said to Ali, “I don’t know which victory should I celebrate. Your arrival or the conquest of Khyber at the hands of your brother?” Then he began to weep in joy.
During the pre-Islamic age of ignorance (Jahiliyya), Ja'far Ibn Abi Talib was having a special and prominent personality. When the sun of Islam arose he began to be included among the
known Muslims due to his pure conscience, abilities and merits.
Shaykh Sadooq writes in the Iranian edition of his book, Khisal that it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) that he said: One day the Almighty revealed to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.): “There are four qualities in Ja'far that I like.” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) immediately called Ja'far and asked him what four qualities he had that Allah liked? Ja'far said, “O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)! If the Almighty Allah had not mentioned them, I would not have said anything. The four qualities are:
(1) I have never consumed wine. Because I know that wine makes one lose the intellect.
(2) I never lied. Because I know that lying destroys courage and manliness of a person.
(3) I never fornicated. Because I know that if I fornicate with a woman of some other person, someone would fornicate with my woman.
(4) I never worshipped the idol. Because I know that it can neither protect nor cause any harm.”
In the eighth year of Hijrah, Ja'far Ibn Abi Talib was sent as the commander of 300-strong army towards Jordan where a huge Roman army was preparing to attack the Muslims. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “If Ja'far is martyred the leadership of the army should be given to Zaid Ibn Harith and if he too is killed, the command would go to Abdullah Ibn Rawaja and if he too falls, the Muslims may select a commander through consensus.”
When Ja'far at-Tayyar was departing with the army, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)
bid him farewell and said, “I advise you, O Ja'far and the Muslims in your army that you must all observe piety. Continue to fear the Almighty. Fight Jihad for the sake of Allah and confront the enemies of Allah on the land of Sham firmly. There you would find some people engrossed in worship in their cloisters. Do not disturb their devotions. Do not attack women, children and aged persons. Do not cut down any tree and neither must you plunder or destroy any dwelling houses.”
At a place called Muta, in Jordan the Muslim army consisting of 3000 soldiers came face to face with the Roman army comprised of 10000 or more fighters. This army was all the better equipped than their Muslim rivals. Ja'far’s army was surrounded from all sides. When Ja'far saw that they were about to be routed, he took up the standard in one hand and the sword in the other and fell upon the Roman army with ferocity. Around a hundred Roman soldiers surrounded Ja'far and began to attack him. When one of his hands was severed he took the standard in the other hand and continued to fight till his other hand was also cut off. At last he fell down and was martyred. Immediately the standard was taken up by Zaid Ibn Haritha and he was also martyred in due course. Then the standard was held by Abdullah Ibn Rawaja. When he was also martyred, Khalid Ibn Walid took out the Muslims from the Romans encircling them
and fled the battlefield to return to Medina.
When the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.) received the news of Ja'far’s martyrdom, he wept profusely and said, “Ja'far is that personality whose martyrdom should be mourned.” After that he said, “O Allah! In exchange of the hands of Ja'far, bestow a pair of wings to him, so that he may fly in Paradise with the angels.” Thus Ja'far came to be known as Ja'far at-Tayyar.
A Valiant Youth Who Recited The Holy Quran In The Midst Of Polytheists
Abdullah Ibn Masud was the sixth person to accept the purified beliefs and laws of Islam with a submissive and a sincere heart. He is included among the intellectuals and steadfast members of the Muslim community. When Abdullah Ibn Masud received the invitation for accepting Islam from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and he learnt about the revelation of Quran, he came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Teach me also the words that you recite.” It was a time when Masud was a fresh convert to faith. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) patted with affection the head of this righteous youth and said, “You are the son of a learned man.”
After some days, Abdullah Ibn Masud says, “I have learnt seventy Quranic chapters (Surahs) from Allah’s Messenger and when I recite them, none can dare find any defect in my recitation.” This is that unique personality among the companions who had the courage to recite the Quran in a loud voice in the midst of the Meccan
One day some recently converted Muslims assembled and discussed among themselves, “None from the polytheists has heard the Quran being recited in a loud voice. Is there anyone among us who can accomplish this task?” Abdullah Ibn Masud replied with utmost courage and determination, “I am prepared to render this service.” All the Muslims said, “O Ibn Masud, only a person who has some status and position should go to the polytheists. (That is, he must have a strong family background, so that he could defend himself). While you do not possess such advantage.”
Abdullah Ibn Masud replied, “Leave that to me. My God would help me.” The next day, the Meccan chiefs assembled near the Ka’ba after sunrise. Abdullah Ibn Masud also arrived and stood at the Place of Ibrahim and facing the Quraishite leaders began to recite the Holy Quran:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. The Beneficent God, Taught the Quran. He created man, Taught him the mode of expression. The sun and the moon follow a reckoning. And the herbs and the trees do adore (Him). And the heaven, He raised it high, and He made the balance, That you may not be inordinate in respect of the measure. And keep up the balance with equity and do not make the measure deficient. And the earth, He has set it for living creatures; Therein is fruit and palms having sheathed clusters, And the grain with (its) husk and fragrance. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
He created man from dry clay like earthen vessels, And He created the jinn of a flame of fire. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny? Lord of the East and Lord of the West. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?…
Ibn Masud recited the Quran with such intrepidity that all the Meccan polytheists could hear it clearly; and that too in a beautifully melodious tone. When just a few verses of Surah Rahman remained to be recited some polytheists approached Abdullah Ibn Masud and said, “O son of Umme Mabad! What is this that you recite?” Some of their own people said, “He is reciting the same thing that Muhammad has brought and that which he recites.”
When the polytheists saw that Abdullah Ibn Masud, an ordinary person of Mecca had the audacity to recite the Quran in their midst and that too in a loud voice, they surrounded him from all sides like a gemstone is fixed in a finger ring. Ibn Masud was neither afraid of being surrounded nor did he hesitate. He continued to recite the verses with utmost tranquility and demeanor. The polytheists began to fist him on the head and slap his face. Though they continued to thrash him, Ibn Masud did not interrupt his recitation till he completed the whole chapter of Surah Rahman. After concluding the same, since he was greatly outnumbered by the Meccans, he fled the crowd and returned to the Muslims.
When the Muslims noticed the condition of
Ibn Masud, they were much aggrieved and they said, “Do not go there alone. See what the polytheists have done to you.” Ibn Masud replied, “This is not a problem in the path of Islam. I will go there again and recite the verses of Quran.”
The other Muslims told Ibn Masud, “It is enough, that you have made them hear the Quran once and what you have done is nothing insignificant.”
During the migration from Mecca, Abdullah Ibn Masud was also with the migrants. Then he returned to Mecca and again went to Medina. After that he participated in almost all the battles.
In the Battle of Badr, Abdullah Ibn Masud saw that Abu Jahl had fallen. He at once came to him, beheaded him and brought his severed head to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and threw it at his feet. At that time, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) gave him the good news of Paradise.
Abdullah Ibn Masud was a proficient reciter of the Holy Quran and a great commentator of our heavenly book. His equal is not found in the early period of Islam. He was the first person to refuse allegiance to Abu Bakr after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). However, later he relented for the sake of his life. During the Caliphate of Uthman he raised some objections against the third caliph who ordered Abdullah Ibn Zama to beat him. Ibn Zama dragged Abdullah Ibn Masud outside the Mosque and threw him on the ground. The bones of Abdullah Ibn Masud
were fractured as a result. He never recovered from his injuries and at last passed away after some days. During his last moments, he summoned his friend, Ammar Ibn Yasir and made a bequest to him that caliph Uthman must not be allowed to recite his funeral prayer.
The Youthful Missionary Of The Holy Prophet In Medina
Among the youthful faces of Islam is the name of Musab Ibn Umair. When the sun of Islam arose, Musab who was a young man accepted the Islamic faith through his intelligence, capability, merit and incomparable ability. From that time he engrossed himself in defending the faith of Islam.
Musab Ibn Umair belonged to a prosperous and well-established family. His parents loved him deeply and used to be very affectionate towards him. His mother desired that her son should always be dressed in the best clothes. So she used to purchase expensive raiments for her dear son and had him dressed to her satisfaction. Musab was a youth whose elegance, fair looks and black tresses were objects of attention among the Meccans. He was passing his life in the best and luxurious environment. None in Mecca used the type of perfume he wore.
Musab Ibn Umair used to meet the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) secretly and benefit from the teachings of Islam. He tried his utmost that his parents do not learn about his association with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). But one day Uthman ibn Talha saw Musab praying the Islamic ritual prayer. He at once informed Musab’s mother and his other
relatives that Musab was following the religion of Muhammad and he recited the Muslim ritual prayer. The whole clan was shocked to know this. At last the parents had their righteous son arrested on the charge of following Islam and kept him within the confines of their house.
Musab was spending a life of imprisonment when at last he got an opportunity to escape. He joined the group of Muslims, which was leaving for Abyssinia. Then he returned to Mecca after some time with a group of Muslims.
During the period of ignorance everyone had the freedom of speech in the Hajj season. Every year, on the occasion of Hajj, in addition to the polytheists of Mecca, people from other cities and villages used to congregate at the place called Mina. Taking advantage of this opportunity, every year the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to go among the tribes and discuss Islam with them and inform them about its teachings. During this period the different communities of Medina gathered around the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) at Mina and when they returned to Medina they conveyed the Prophet’s words to other people. As a result of this no house in Medina remained uninformed about Islam.
After a year it so happened that when evening fell on the land of Mina and the moonlight had illuminated the surroundings, a group of twelve Hajj pilgrims came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). The members of this community were inhabitants of Medina. These people recited the words of Islamic faith in the presence of
the Prophet and accepted the religion of Islam. These persons opened a new chapter in the history of Islam and they helped a great deal in removing great difficulties from the path of Islam that were to come in the future.
When this group of new converts was about to depart for Medina, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) sent Musab Ibn Umair also with them, with the instructions that he should recite the Quranic verses among them and teach them about Islam and Islamic law. At that time Musab was very famous. Along with the ascending youth he had modesty, shame, maturity and a stable disposition. All these perfections had added embellishments to his personality.
When Musab arrived in Medina he resided with Asad ibn Zurarah, one of those twelve persons and also a senior leader of the Khazraj tribe. One day Musab went to Saad ibn Mu’az along with his host, Asad ibn Zurarah, to invite Saad towards Islam. We should remember that Saad ibn Mu’az was the chief of the Aws tribe. The other members of that group of new converts also accompanied Musab and Asad when they went to Saad’s place. They all seated themselves around Musab and his host. When all had settled down Musab began to recite the Holy Quran among the people of Aws tribe in an extremely nice manner.
The people of Bani Aws used to speak eloquent Arabic. Since Arabic was their mother tongue some of them began to listen attentively to the Quran being recited by Musab and they did
not feel any bigotry towards it. So much so that the beautiful words and lovely verses of the Holy Quran mesmerized their hearts. When Saad ibn Mu’az heard Musab’s recitation he told Usaid ibn Hafeer another polytheist and a leader of Aws tribe, “Before these two make the weak-minded people of our tribe deviated, send them away from my house with a strict warning. If Asad ibn Zurarah had not been the son of my maternal aunt I would have accomplished this task myself. Since he belongs to my relations I do not want to take such a step.”
Usaid ibn Hafeer picked up a weapon and moved towards them. When he came to them, Asad ibn Zurarah said to Musab, “This is the senior-most member of our community. If possible, convert him to Islam.” Musab said, “If he gives me some respite and listens to me, hopefully he would become a Muslim.”
Meanwhile Usaid ibn Hafeer had reached near them and he began to mouth whatever abuses came to his mind. He told them, “You have come to deviate the simple minded people of this tribe. For the sake of your life, get up at once and begone.” Musab said with utmost dignity and demeanor, “I have a request to you that you please sit down for a moment and listen to what I have to say. If you find my words acceptable, do accept them otherwise there is no problem if you choose otherwise.” No one knows what Usaid thought; he kept his weapon aside
and sat down besides Musab.
Musab told him about the religion of Islam in brief and after that recited a few verses of Quran. The attractive statements about the principles of Islam and the eloquent words of Quran and that too from the tongue of a handsome youth of Mecca had such an effect on Usaid that he suddenly exclaimed, “What a beautiful and spiritual discourse it is!” Sparks of joy flickered in the eyes of Usaid. There was a complete transformation in his personality and his thoughts also underwent a change. He asked, “What should one who desires to accept this religion do?” Musab replied, “He should perform a ritual bath, wear clean clothes, recite the testimony of faith and perform two units (rakats) of prayer.”
Usaid ibn Hafeer did as directed and then said, “There are two persons behind me. If they accept faith none in the Aws tribe would turn away from Islam. I am going and I would send Saad ibn Mu’az to you.”
When Usaid returned to his tribesmen Saad ibn Mu’az looked at him and said, “Though Usaid has returned, his thinking is not the same as what it was when he had gone from here. He is looking completely transformed.” Then he asked Usaid what feat he had performed. Usaid replied, “I have warned them sternly and there is no danger from them anymore. Because I have threatened them so much about their mission that now they would do only as you say.”
After that Usaid said, “O Saad! When I
was returning, I heard that a group of men from Bani Haritha are coming to murder Asad ibn Zurarah and break the treaty of peace.”
Saad ibn Mu’az got up at once, picked up his sword and rushed out thinking that Bani Haritha men may attack Asad ibn Zurarah before he could reach there. But when he reached the place where Musab and Asad were seated he found them safe and sound and no men from Bani Haritha were in sight. He at once realized the ruse of Usaid and spoke caustically to Asad, “If you had not been related to me, being my maternal aunt’s son, you would not have dared to perform that dangerous task which I dislike, in my own house.”
Again Musab resorted to the same mode of action that he had used with Usaid. Saad was also deeply affected. Therefore he also liked the simplicity of Islamic laws and the magnetic verses of Quran. Musab’s statements transformed his heart. He became a Muslim at that very moment. When Saad’s tribesmen saw him they remarked, “By Allah! Saad is not what he was before. He has changed completely.”
Saad came to his people and said, “O people of Bani Abdul Ashmal (another name of Bani Aws)! What is your opinion about me? What position do you accord me amongst yourself?” All replied in unison, “You are the senior-most person among us. You are better than us in intelligence, integrity and purity.” After that Mu’az said, “Now I have the right to say that no
man or woman from among you can speak to me till he or she has not accepted the religion of Islam.”
Asad ibn Zurarah and Musab says that it was such an auspicious day that before the sun set all the people of Aws and Khazraj tribes became Muslims. These two clans were the most powerful, influential and famous tribes of the Arabs. Thus their conversion to Islam meant that Islam became the dominant faith of Medina.
Musab and Asad returned from Saad’s residence and upon reaching home became engrossed in the propagation of religion. It is sufficient matter of pride for Musab that with the help of Asad ibn Zurarah he succeeded in converting the two most influential personalities of Medina, Usaid ibn Hafeer and Saad ibn Mu’az.
When Musab stood up to pray the people of Medina accepted his leadership and the congregational prayers were performed in Medina for the first time. Musab ordered that the call for prayer (Azan) be recited aloud so that other people of Medina may also participate in the congregational prayers. Since the Aws and Khazraj were old enemies of each other all would not have agreed to the leadership of one person but since Musab was from Mecca none had any objection in praying behind him. When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) migrated from Mecca and arrived in Medina, the two tribes buried their mutual enmity after some time.
In this way, much before the migration of the Prophet to Medina, Musab had converted the majority of the people of Medina
to Islam with his foresight, intelligence and meritorious qualities. Musab had actually prepared the ground for the Prophet’s arrival in Medina, and that is the reason that when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) fled the dangerous situation of Mecca and reached Medina he received a hearty welcome. Upon his arrival at Medina he heaved a sigh of relief. Because it was a time when except for Medina every area of the Arabian Peninsula was aflame with the fire of polytheism and infidelity. It was due to the efforts of Musab Ibn Umair that Medina proved to be a refuge for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.).
Musab participated in the Battles of Badr and Uhad under the command of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He attained martyrdom during the Battle of Uhad and was buried near Hamzah, the Prophet’s uncle.
The Young Man Who Was Appointed As The Governor Of Mecca By The Messenger Of Allah
The magnificent army of Islam entered Mecca in the eighth year of Hijrah to find that there was no opposition from the Meccans. They all surrendered themselves to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) issued directions that the inhabitants of Mecca must not be harmed and none should cause any hurt to any Meccan. Seeing the good behavior of Muhammad, the people of Mecca accepted Islam and the surroundings echoed with the sound of “Allah-o-Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest). The Holy Quran has termed this a “manifest victory”. Till the eighth year of Hijrah, Islam had spread to every nook and
corner of the Arab world. Only the polytheists of Taif and Hawazan had remained firm on their false beliefs. Now it was necessary to exterminate them and clean up all future risks from the path of Islam so that Hijaz can be purified of idols and idolaters forever.
Not a long time had elapsed after the conquest of Mecca, when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) ordered the valiant and fearless fighters of the Muslim army to march towards Hunain in order to put an end to the menace of the infidelity of Taif and Hawazin. Mecca had been conquered recently, and the army of Islam was leaving Mecca to march towards Hunain. Therefore it was necessary to appoint an able and a determined person to govern the affairs of Mecca so that none could create mischief in the near future. Also that same governor would assure that Islamic values and Islamic law is upheld in Mecca at all times to come because there was a great risk that mischievous people find disorganization and confusion and create such disruption that the newly converted Muslims may very soon renegade towards apostasy and the period of ignorance would be back in Mecca.
The Chief of Islam, Muhammad al-Mustafa selected a twenty-one-year-old youth, named Ibn Usaid and appointed him as the governor, entrusting him with the affairs of Mecca.
It is noteworthy that a youth of twenty-one years was bestowed the governorship of Mecca. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) also advised Itab that he must pray with the people. Thus Itab became the
first person to establish congregational prayers in Mecca.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) called Itab ibn Usaid and said, “Do you know what post has been entrusted to you? And over which community have you been made a ruler? You are appointed as the ruler and governor over the people of the sanctuary of Allah and the holy town of Mecca. If I had found anyone more worthy than you among the Muslims, I would have definitely given the rulership and administration of Mecca to him.”
At the time the great leader of Islam, Muhammad al-Mustafa gave the command of Mecca to Itab ibn Usaid when he was only twenty-one.
When this young man was given such a great and important post, a wave of shock and discontent passed through the nobles of Mecca. They began to remark how Muhammad could appoint a person who has just stepped into youth, as a ruler over the people of Mecca while there were many qualified, able and senior leaders present? They alleged that Muhammad actually wanted the historical town of Mecca to remain backward and underdeveloped and that is why he has entrusted the administration of Mecca to an inexperienced and immature youth. When these talks reached the ears of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) he wrote a long letter to the nobles of Mecca. Therein he explained in detail the capability, qualifications and suitability of Itab ibn Usaid. He also reiterated that it was the duty of the Meccans to obey Itab ibn Usaid and do exactly as he says. In
the end the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) replied to their objections in brief:
“None of you has the right to object against the young age of Itab ibn Usaid because greatness and excellence do not depend on seniority of age. Rather the criterion of human greatness and excellence is spirituality.”
The firmness of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) on his decision of appointing Itab ibn Usaid as the governor of Mecca and his justifications to those aged nobles of Mecca who objected against this appointment proves that Islam has always favored and trusted fresh blood to lead the affairs of the community. Islam has always encouraged and trusted the new generation.
This revolutionary method of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his unflinching support for Itab ibn Usaid is noteworthy for all Muslims that they must always fight with their words and actions, ignorance, mindless bigotry and groupism and governance and rulership should be given to the qualified and worthy youths of the community so that it can benefit from the young generation.
A Knowledgeable Young Man Who Was Appointed As A Judge In Yemen
Mu’az ibn Jabal belonged to a renowned family of Bani Khazraj in Medina. His name is written with illuminated ink in the list of the youths of Islam. He had accepted Islam through the influence of the teachings of Musab ibn Umair. He was the one at the forefront of demolishing the idols deified by his tribe.
Mu’az ibn Jabal created a special place for himself in the rows of Muslim youths due to his ability, qualities,
sincerity and truthfulness. After a year he accompanied Musab ibn Umair to Mecca and met the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) at the place of Uqbah. He was only twenty or twenty-one years old during the Battle of Badr. He also participated in other battles and fought under the command of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Mu’az ibn Jabal received instructions in the teachings of Islam from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), the leader of Islam, and he was considered among the important companions of the Prophet. He was a youth who was highly respected among the Arabs due to his presence of mind, eloquence, knowledge and sincerity.
His elegant appearance, good habits and charity increased the beauty of his personality. His teeth were like pearls, his eyes were magnetic, and he had luxurious black hair and a fair complexion. Mu’az, who had a very generous disposition, used to fulfill the needs of all those who sought his help. While his friend circle was widening and his fame was spreading swiftly there was a demand from the Muslims and army men that an able, knowledgeable, intelligent and qualified person be sent to Yemen to teach them about Islam and Islamic laws. Thus the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) sent Mu’az ibn Jabal to Yemen to discharge two responsibilities. One was the duty of propagation of religion and the other was to collect whatever funds could be gathered and send them to Medina to fulfill the requirements of the needy.
He was such a beneficial youth that it is mentioned in his
biographical account that when he was in Medina, he used to arrive in the Mosque before the call for prayer and pray behind the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and then he used to return to his relatives and establish prayer among them. He performed the duty of leading congregation prayer among his clansmen.
Thus Mu’az ibn Jabal departed for Yemen. He had to discharge the dual duty of governorship and jurist. Therefore he had the position of an intellectual and a ruler. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) told him that he must teach the army men the fundamentals of religion and the Quran. He also had to collect the Zakat funds and send them for spending on the Muslims. At the time when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) was sending this twenty-nine year old young man to Yemen he asked, “O Mu’az ibn Jabal! If a claimant comes to you for legal recourse what judgment would you give?” “I would deliver the judgment in the light of the Holy Quran,” replied Mu’az. Again the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked him, “What would you do if you don’t find the judgment in Quran?” Mu’az replied, “I would act on the way the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) has done, and deliver the judgment according to that.” Once more the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked, “What if the solution is not found even in my practice?” Mu’az said, “In such a situation I would myself do Ijtihad (Derive the law).” The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) stroked the chest of Mu’az and said,
“I thank Allah that the replies of Mu’az have pleased me.”
When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) passed away from this world, Mu’az ibn Jabal was in Yemen. Abu Bakr approved the governorship and juristic post of Mu’az in Yemen, but during the caliphate of Umar he was ordered to go to Sham where he expired in the 18th year of Hijrah.
A noteworthy point in the life history of Mu’az is that when this young man who was appointed by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) on an important post and was asked about the method of judgment he presented such a reply that it served as a cornerstone for the jurisprudents who were to come in the future at all times. That they must derive the laws of Shariah either from the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet or they must employ reason and logic to reach the correct solution.”
It is enough to prove the merit of Mu’az ibn Jabal that he was having such a deep knowledge about the mechanics of Islamic jurisprudence.
He Was Such A Determined Lad That He Exchanged His Bridal Couch For The Bed Of Martyrdom
Sometimes a green shoot sprouts even from a rock and vegetation grows in arid and salty lands once in a while. Who can understand the perfect power of Allah? He created the living from the dead and the dead from the living.
It is possible that believing children are born to polytheist and infidel parents, which is not beyond the power of Almighty God…Abu Aamir was a Christian
and he was a friend of Abdullah Ubayy the greatest hypocrite in the history of Islam. He was among the most powerful nobles of Medina. During the period of ignorance (Jahiliyya) Abu Aamir was famous by the title of “the Monk” (Rahib). Hanzala was the son of this fellow.
When the propagation of Islam initiated by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) enveloped the whole of Medina, Abu Aamir consulted Abdullah Ubayy, the hypocrite to find out a way to counter Islam because the fire of animosity and jealousy flamed in the hearts of both these men. Today we find that the hidden enemies of Islam have laid traps all around to cause harm to this one and only true religion of God. However, such elements came into being since the early days of Islam in the form of Abu Aamir and Abdullah Ubayy. Thus the duo of Abu Aamir, the monk and Abdullah Ubayy the hypocrite were potentially very dangerous to the Muslim community. Let us study this situation in brief.
The two claimed to be the most respected personalities of Medina. They had also deviated some of the people of their tribes from Islamic faith. Whatever they claimed about their religion and beliefs used to be opposed to reality. They only exhibited their fraud and deceit in the circle of Islam and that is why they were labeled as hypocrites in the history of Islam. Also, it was regarding these fellows especially that the Almighty Allah revealed the Quranic chapter of ‘Munafiqoon’, on His beloved Messenger. The
Surah exposed the machinations of such hypocritical elements in the Islamic society. The Quran denounced them and prophesied that they belong to the lowest compartment of Hell. Abdullah Ubayy had outwardly accepted Islam but Abu Aamir remained firm on his original faith. He never gave up intrigue and conspiring against Islam. When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) had gone on the expedition of Tabuk, these two fellows built a mosque of their own and invited people to attend therein. That is, they had opened a shop of their own posing as a mosque in competition of the Prophet’s mosque.
When the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) returned from the Battle of Tabuk and was informed about this mosque he immediately ordered that this center of mischief and corruption must be demolished and razed to dust. Thus that so-called mosque was razed to the ground. When Abu Aamir learnt that his life was in danger, he fled to Mecca and united with Abu Sufyan. He was present in the Battle of Uhad in the 3rd year of Hijrah. Then he returned to Mecca. Later he migrated to Byzantine lands and was favored by the Roman King, Hebeclus, and lived in great comfort and luxury. When he died in the 9th year of Hijrah the King transferred all his property to his companion, Kinana Abdul Yalil.
As mentioned before, Abu Aamir had a son named Hanzala, who was exactly opposite of his father. He was a sincere and devoted youth of the Muslim community. When Abu Aamir fled to Mecca,
Hanzala married Jamila, the daughter of Abdullah Ubayy, the hypocrite. The amazing thing about this episode is that though their fathers were deadly foes of Islam, this young couple was absolutely devoted to Islamic values and imbued with the teachings of Quran. They were prepared to give any sacrifice for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the manifest religion of Islam.
The intrigue and fraud of Abdullah Ubayy had reached such a level that outwardly he claimed to be a Muslim and mingled with the other Muslims, but he secretly contacted the Jews of Bani Nuzayr and Bani Quraiza and leaked the secrets of the nascent Muslim community. He used to instigate the Jews to organize a new confrontation against the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). He used to hatch new plots everyday and even on the day Muslims were departing for the Battle of Uhad he absented himself and instigated 300 Muslim soldiers to defect towards hypocrisy. All these people were double-faced. That is, apparently they were something and in reality they were altogether different. Due to his instigation those three hundred militiamen refused to go to the battle. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was compelled to take the battleground with only 700 soldiers. By this Abdullah Ubayy intended to weaken and defeat the power of Muslims. This backstabbing was aimed at the destruction and annihilation of Islam.
Hanzala had married Jamila on the very day the battle was announced. After his wedding Hanzala came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and sought his permission to participate in Jihad. The
Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) accorded him the permission. When Hanzala was leaving the next day, his wife asked him to swear before four women of the Ansar community that he has married Jamila and spent the previous night with her. Thus it was to announce that Jamila was the wife of Hanzala and no more a virgin. The aim in taking four women as witnesses was that the testimony of two women equals that of a man.
Thus Hanzala left his house early the morning next day. Since no water was available for the ritual bath after sexual intercourse Hanzala departed for the battlefield in a condition of ritual impurity (Janabat), though he was very much ashamed to do so. When he arrived in the battlefield he saw Abu Sufyan astride a horse with the polytheistic people surrounding him from all sides.
Hanzala attacked with great ferocity and determination and slashed at the legs of Abu Sufyan’s mount. The legs severed, the horse came to the ground bringing with it Abu Sufyan also. But he got up quickly and began to flee. Hanzala chased him but someone shot a spear at him that pierced his back. Though injured, Hanzala wanted to finish off his quarry but the spear had gone very deep and his strength was seeping away. Thus the valiant youth fell down in the vicinity of the corpses of other martyrs like Hamzah and Abdullah Ibn Hazm. Finally this newly married youth embraced martyrdom and bid adieu to the transient world.
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)
has said that he saw the heavenly angels giving bath to Hanzala with the water of heaven. That is why from that moment Hanzala came to be referred as the “one bathed by the angels”.
Yes, this was a youth who belonged to the family of Abu Aamir, the monk who was such a valiant young man and had such deep regard for the religion of God that he gave up the pleasures and comforts of his newly married life and departed for the battlefield early the next morning even though he could not obtain water to perform the ritual bath. Thus, what is so amazing if he was martyred in the way of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and given a ritual bath by the angels with heavenly water?
Later, the people inquired with Jamila the widow of Hanzala what the matter was. Why she had persuaded Hanzala to make a statement in the presence of four women? Jamila said, “When the dawn was about to break I dreamt that the sky had split, and that Hanzala was entering through this gap. When he went inside, the gap closed. I concluded from this vision that Hanzala would be martyred. I asked Hanzala to make the statement so that if I were widowed people would know that the child that would be born to me was fathered by my husband, Hanzala.”
After that episode the days passed away soon and a male child was born to Jamila, whom she named Abdullah. In the year 63 Hijrah, Abdullah ibn Hanzala
was sent by the people of Medina to Sham, where he saw that the most corrupt man in the world, Yazid ibn Muawiyah was occupying the throne. Yazid was engrossed in different types of vices and sinful activities.
Taking note of the situation he returned to Medina and exhorted the people of Medina to rise up in revolt against the government of Sham. They broke up the chains, opened the prison gates and freed the prisoners. They demolished some of the prison buildings also. When Yazid was informed of this he dispatched a huge army against Abdullah ibn Hanzala in Medina to suppress the revolt. Abdullah ibn Hanzala was killed in this battle and the revolt of Medina ended.
Commander-In-Chief Of The Largest Army Of Islam
Haritha was a Syrian who followed the Christian faith. He belonged to an affluent family. Zaid was his son. He had just entered his youth when one day he accompanied his mother on a journey to visit some relatives. On the way they were waylaid by some bandits who kidnapped him and sold him as a slave in the market of Ukaz. Hakim ibn Hazm purchased him for Khadijah, his paternal aunt. When Khadijah married the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) she gifted Zaid to him.
According to historians Zaid was the second person after Ali (a.s) to accept the Islamic faith. On the other hand Haritha was in search for his son when someone informed him that Zaid was in Mecca. When Haritha came to Mecca to take away his son, Zaid,
the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) also did not object and he said that Zaid could go with him if he so liked. However, Zaid was not prepared to go with his father. Haritha also permitted him to remain with the Prophet and himself returned to Syria. Later, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) proposed the marriage of Zaid with the daughter of his paternal aunt, Zainab. The two were married in the due course.
But this marriage did not last long, because Zainab considered herself from the nobility of Mecca and she was since day one not agreeable to marry Zaid who was a mere slave. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), time and again urged them to mend their differences and lead a peaceful married life but all this did not have much effect on Zainab. At last Zaid could not bear the sharp tongue of Zainab anymore and came to the Prophet and requested him to effect their divorce so that he could attain some peace.
Thus, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) had them divorced and after the stipulated waiting period married Zainab himself. This was so because the Prophet himself was the initiator of the marriage of Zaid and Zainab. Secondly it was a sort of recompense for Zainab. Also, since the Prophet was the son of the maternal uncle of Zainab the relationship between the families also survived the crisis. Zainab’s objection was also addressed since the Prophet belonged to the nobility of Mecca.
After that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) married Zaid to Umme Aiman, one of
his maidservants. Umme Aiman was an understanding and an accomplished lady. The marriage proved successful to both the spouses and they began to live a happy and peaceful life. Umme Aiman gave birth to a male child whom Zaid named Usamah.
Usamah belongs to the group of those young men who were born at the time of the birth of Islam in Mecca. He was a capable, intelligent and an accomplished young man.
In the battle of Muta when Ja'far Ibn Abi Talib was martyred, according to the directions previously issued by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) the leadership of the Muslim army fell on Zaid. Zaid engaged the foes in a fierce contest but at last he was also martyred. After the martyrdom of Zaid, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) dispatched an army against the Romans under the command of Usamah to avenge the death of his father, Zaid. This is a brief account of history so far. Now listen to what Falsafi says about what happened after that:
In the final days of his life in the world, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) persuaded the Muslims to fight a war against the powerful country of Byzantine. He organized a huge army and it included the great warriors, stalwarts and battle-hardened officers. Commanders and powerful chiefs of the Ansar and Muhajir communities were also a part of this army. In other words there was no person of any importance among the Arabs, who was not enrolled in this army.
On the day the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) went outside Medina
to inspect the army he saw a gigantic and magnificent host ready to defend religion. Seeing the magnificence of the militia, it was necessary for the Prophet that he appoints an able and intelligent commander to lead the army who was qualified to head such a dangerous expedition. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) summoned Usamah ibn Zaid and entrusted him the command of the army, handing him the standard of Islam and putting the whole army in his charge.
A noteworthy point here is that Usamah was only eighteen years of age at that time. Though I have no right to say that such an example is not found in the history of mankind, at least I can say that such examples are very rare when a youth of eighteen has commanded an army of thousands.
Today in the civilized world it has become common for young people to be appointed to important posts. This is so because their intelligent and integrity is found worthy of such responsibilities. Yet we cannot as yet imagine a youth being appointed the chief of Army of the American nation or a European country to lead an expedition against a powerful enemy having all the latest weapons and training.
The Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.s.) established such an example that it continues to inspire the world even today. It is a very important lesson in support of the youth, which helps in garnering the capabilities and intellects of young people for profitable ends. What is noteworthy is that the huge Byzantine army was
poised for attack and on the other hand the standard of the army of Islam was in the hands of Usamah, a lad of eighteen.
The best of the trained warriors who had passed through the most difficult circumstances in the wars of Islam, and defeated the machinations of the foes and those military chiefs of Islam, who had broken the strength of the enemies with great courage, valor and fearlessness and those Arab stalwarts who had fulfilled the most difficult conditions in the propagation of Islam through the perfection of their abilities, now all these experienced personnel had enrolled for this expedition due to the prophetic command and they were now under the control and command of Usamah, the commander-in-chief of the army.
This matter of subordination to a youth of eighteen was very distasteful for them and they had to bear it without being able to raise any objection against it. The Prophet’s decision that the standard bearer of the army would be Usamah, a boy of eighteen was beyond imagination. Thus the majority of the leaders were shocked at this and they looked at the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) in bewilderment. Some of them were such that they lost the ability to digest this decision and they spoke up whatever lay hidden in their hearts: What is this? Those emigrants who were in the forefront in the battles of Islam and who also acted upon the principles and laws of Islam, how can such seniors be put under the command of an eighteen-year-old boy?
the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) heard about the discontent and whisperings among the military chiefs he was very angry. He mounted the pulpit and after due praise and glorification of the Almighty said:
“O people! What types of objections am I hearing from your side against the appointment of Usamah ibn Zaid as the commander? These ridicules and criticisms from your side are not new. When some years ago I appointed Zaid ibn Haritha, the father of Usamah as the leader, the same types of objections were raised. I swear by the Almighty that at that time also Zaid ibn Haritha was the most capable and qualified person for commanding the army and his son Usamah also is the most capable and qualified for leading the army. A sort of revolt has begun to simmer in the ranks. You must obey him.”
The persuasion of the Prophet and his support of the young generation affected the people and the bias they had towards the youthful generation was removed gradually. In the due course they began to regret their mistake.
Abu Ayyub Ansari, one of the best companions of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), who had always followed and always claimed loyalty to Islam, participated in many battles and proved his unflinching support for the religion of God, he refused to participate in only this expedition. Only for the reason that the standard bearer and the commander-in-chief was a youth of lesser years.
After some years Abu Ayyub was remorseful of this. All the time he remained restless due to his
opposition and sighed in regret: What my end would be? What right did I have to question the appointment of the commander-in-chief? Why did I oppose the leadership of this youth?
The confirmation and emphasis of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) on the appointment of Usamah as the chief and the commander that all the Arab people may gather under his charge is a very important topic in the history of Islam that invites contemplations of all those who possess reason. At that time the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was indisposed and was passing the last days of his worldly life. When Abu Bakr and Umar came to visit him he was very angry with them and he said, “Go, go, go to the army of Usamah! Curse of Allah be on one who agrees for the battle but avoids joining the army of Usamah.”
Taking leave of the Prophet when Abu Bakr came to Usamah’s army, it was ready to move. They were waiting for the final news from Abu Bakr who said that the army had to march forward. The army thus departed for Syria but when it reached there Abu Bakr deposed Usamah and appointed Yazid Ibn Abu Sufyan at the command.
When the deposed Usamah returned to Medina he stood besides the Prophet’s mosque and announced in a loud voice, “O people of Medina! It was only yesterday that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had appointed me as the commander and the standard bearer of the army. And today he is opposing the orders of the
Prophet and trying to impose his orders on me! He has deposed me from the commandership of the Islamic army.”
From The Time Of The Holy Imams Till The Occultation Of The Last Imam
In this part, first of all I would mention the period in which the luminous faces of the holy personalities had illuminated the world. After that we would throw some light on the life of some of these personages and then move ahead. We would also write therein, about the brilliant personalities, firm like rocks, who were the ardent followers of the Holy Imams.
In this section we shall write about those young personalities who are considered the successors of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) by the Shia people of the world.
Guides of Islam
Those Who Fulfilled The Responsibility Of Guiding The People When They Were Of Young Age
We consider ourselves as Shias; that is the followers of the family of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). We accept the Imams of Ahle Bayt as our guides and leaders with textual and intellectual proofs. The history of Islam without any difference of Shia and Sunni has proved clearly that these Holy Personalities were the most excellent and superior personalities of their times from every aspect.
They possessed to the level of perfection all the qualities that are required in a leader and guide like knowledge and intelligence, piety and excellence, determination and faith, patience and forbearance. That is all the praiseworthy qualities were present in them. It is not only the claim of Shias, but all the
scholars of Islam are unanimous on this. Self-respect, nobility of character, generosity and charity, eloquence, trustworthiness and justice are the hallmarks of the People of the House of infallibility and purity. When the general populace of Islam sees these qualities it is compelled to respect and honor them. Both friends and enemies are compelled to humble themselves before their lofty manners.
The Imams of Ahle Bayt were having the most perfect personalities from both the physical and spiritual aspects. A fact that becomes apparent from this subject is that all the Imams were similar in lineage, character, thinking, speech and actions, without any difference whatsoever. Extremism and conservativeness had no role in their families. They all walked on the path of equity and moderation in every circumstance and in all matters. They were sober in all aspects of sleeping, eating, dressing, speaking and thinking etc. They were disciplined also in all these matters, and they were exactly similar to each other. The miracle of their personality was that if one of their enemies aimed to discredit them he himself became the target of that calumny.
Though the Holy Imams were endowed with infallibility and were so excellent due to their divine station and heavenly status but the atmosphere of their homes was such that all those who were bred and brought up in them exhibited the most perfect qualities, nobility of character, knowledge and sobriety. Their faces showed the excellence of their beings.
For example, there was none among them who had any bodily defect. All were of
good disposition, elegant, strong and of moderate physique. Are all these not the signs of the training and nurturing of the family of the Prophet of Islam? Who can refuse that all those who belonged to this household had their names written in golden letters in the pages of history?
The Imams of Ahle Bayt always lived in the same way whether before or after attaining the office of Imamate. Even before getting the position they always acted in a kind and amicable way. They possessed the same elegance; attraction and the same nobility that even the enemy could not claim that they had a particular defect or weakness before becoming Imams. Their discussions with different types of people, their easy answers to difficult questions are all recorded in books. Only these examples of lofty character have testified for us, whose practical and theoretical value is such that no sight could even reach their high status.
For the information of our readers we give below the names of the twelve leaders of Islam and their age at the time of attaining Imamate. So that it can be seen at what young age our Infallible Imams performed, not those great feats, but rather fulfilled the duties of Imamate which is a heavenly office bestowed by the Almighty.
Amirul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s) 32 years
Imam Hasan (a.s) 37 years
Imam Husain (a.s) 47 years
Imam Ali Ibnul Husain (a.s) 23 years
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) 38 years
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s) 31 years
Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s) 20 years
Imam Ali ar-Reza (a.s) 35
Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s) 8 years
Imam Ali Naqi (a.s) 8 years
Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) 22 years
Imam-e-Zamana (a.s) 5 years
When these great personages occupied the office of Imamate it was a time when the majority of Muslims were such that the ability of guidance, faith and rightful justice had died in them. The religion of the Prophet’s period had changed and was distorted. Many evils like oppression, corruption, moral ills, materialism etc. that were against Quranic teachings were growing and spreading in all the Islamic lands. Actually that age was also like the present time and it was the prevalent view that religion was not an aim but a channel to achieve an aim. On the basis of this, the Islamic society of that time had gone much ahead in seeking material wealth and worldly posts and positions. Thus they had completely forgotten the role of the family of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), their capabilities and spirituality. On the other hand the ruling powers were also trying to assure that people do not follow in the footsteps of Ahle Bayt because the lives of the purified Imams was the source of every excellence and the mirror of all the great human qualities.
In conclusion we can say that though twelve centuries have passed the Islamic world had not produced equals of these purified Imams. Because if there had been anyone their equal he would certainly have found a mention in history.
The above was a brief discussion regarding the young age and youth of the Holy Imams.
We have dealt this topic with utmost brevity though volumes could have been written on this subject.
Chiefs Of The Youths Of Paradise
The noteworthy point about Imams Hasan and Husain (a.s) is that at the time of the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) they were aged seven and six years respectively. There was not even a difference of a year between their ages. However the two Imams have narrated innumerable traditions from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). Their childhood memory, their trustworthiness, intelligence and integrity in correctly narrating the traditions show that these personalities possessed a heavenly disposition. Although they were with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) for only a few years.
Whatever Imam Hasan (a.s) heard from his maternal grandfather in the Prophet’s Mosque, he returned home and narrated it to his mother, Fatima Zahra (a.s). One day she was asked how she comes to know about everything the Prophet said in the Mosque? She replied, “My son, Hasan returns from the Mosque and relates to me whatever my father has mentioned.”
One day Ali (a.s) sat in a room in the house in such a way that Imam Hasan (a.s) could not see him while Ali (a.s) could hear what he said. As was his practice, Imam Hasan (a.s) came home and his mother asked him what the Prophet had said in the Mosque that day? Imam Hasan (a.s) began to narrate but he stammered now and then. Fatima asked him why he was stammering. He replied, “May be one who is senior to
me is listening to my words.” Ali (a.s) came out of the room, embraced Hasan and kissed his forehead and cheeks.
Abdullah Ibn Abbas narrates that one day he went to the residence of Ali (a.s) in the company of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). The Prophet called out but there was no response from within. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) entered the house and sat down in a room. Ibn Abbas also sat near him. Soon, Imam Hasan (a.s) entered and the Prophet called him, kissed his forehead and inhaled the smell. Then embraced him and said, “This son of mine is a master.”
A personality develops according to the atmosphere at home, training and upbringing. How should one behave with children, how to speak to them. Even the subtle ways of embracing and releasing are such that leave imprints on the minds of children. Neglecting the children and snapping at them creates defects in their habits.
What is so surprising if it is said about Hasan and Husain (a.s) that they are the Chiefs of the Youths of Paradise? Are they not the ones whose maternal grandfather was the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), their father Ali al-Murtada and their mother, Fatima Zahra (a.s)?
In all the heavenly religions present in the world there is special mention of Paradise as a reward in perfection of life and everlasting success. Thus the follower of every religion cultivates a good character and perfections so that his desire for Paradise is fulfilled and he may create a place for himself in the rows
of the inmates of Paradise.
According to the Muslim faith, Paradise is a place where all the comforts and facilities of life are available. An inmate of Paradise remains pleased and satisfied from all aspects. Grief and unhappiness do not come near him. He does not have to exert himself and old age does not exist there. The fact is that Paradise is the recompense of the good deeds one performs in this world. All the inmates of Paradise would be healthy and youthful. In other words we can say that Paradise is a place, all of whose residents are youths.
Does the tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) not imply that Hasan and Husain are the Chiefs of all the people of Paradise? Because all the inmates of Paradise would be in their youth.
The childhood of Hasan and Husain (a.s) also was an expression of righteousness and guidance. Their personality in childhood could be estimated to some extent from the incident quoted below:
It was a Friday. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was delivering the sermon from the pulpit. At that very moment drumbeats sounded indicating the inauguration of a new market. All the newly converted Muslims present in the mosque rushed out on hearing the drumbeats, ignoring the sermon of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) continued his sermon but only eight people remained in the mosque: Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Husain, Salman Farsi, Abu Zar, Miqdad and Suhaib. Fatima Zahra was listening to the sermon of her father from behind a curtain.
At that moment Jibraeel descended
with revelation and said, “O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)! The Almighty Allah says: O My beloved! If these eight persons had also gone with those people, such a flash of lightning would have struck Medina that none of its inhabitants would have remained alive.”
In the Battle of Siffin, Hasan and Husain (a.s) were present in the service of Imam Ali (a.s). When Imam Hasan (a.s) took up the sword and attacked the enemies, Ali (a.s) told his companions to stand before him and restrain him lest he is martyred in that battle and the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) becomes extinct.
In the Battle of Jamal, Imam Ali (a.s) summoned Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah, handed him the sword and told him to go and slash the legs of Ayesha’s she-camel. So that if Ayesha were to fall to the ground, the heat of the battle could cool down and these foolish people would survive the massacre. However on the opposite side the rows of army were defending with such dexterity that Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah was compelled to return.
Imam Hasan (a.s) took up the sword from Muhammad Hanafiyyah and stepped into the battlefield. He cut through the rows with a speed of lightning till he reached the she-camel of Ayesha. Then he immediately cut off the legs of the animal. When Imam Hasan (a.s) returned victorious, the face of the battle had changed completely and the routed army gave up the fight. In this way the Battle of Jamal reached its conclusion.
Muhammad Hanafiyyah put his head on
his knees and expressed regret that he were unable to perform the task entrusted by his father, Amirul Momineen (a.s) looked at Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah and said, “O my son! Do not be displeased with the victory of Hasan, because he is the son of Fatima and you are only my son.
The confrontation of Imam Husain (a.s) with the forces of Yazid in Kerbala is the unique episode in the history of mankind, which will remain outstanding till the Day of Judgment. Yes, why we cannot call it the greatest episode of history? Has anyone ever come across a battle where a band of seventy-two faced a huge army minimally estimated to be comprised of 30,000 well-trained and well-equipped fighters? In addition to this, the band of seventy-two was initially invited as guests. Then the same people who had invited them took up weapons against them, obstructed their way and forced them to camp in the arid desert and burning sands. Then they stopped food and water supply to this small battalion, while it comprised of people who were absolutely harmless and innocent.
It is worth contemplation…
Who were these personages? Were they descendants of the Prophet or not? Which Prophet? That same Prophet whom these 30,000 strong army followed. By whose name they received their livelihood and passed their days.
Those people who were unprepared for battle and unwilling for martial confrontation, because they had not come with the aim of fighting.
Also, the most remarkable fact about this group was that its majority consisted of women
and children in whose veins flowed the blood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and each of them was a gem of the treasure of Prophethood.
The tragedy of Imam Husain (a.s), the terrible incident of Ashura (10th of Mohurrum) and the horrible scenes of carnage occurred in the 61st year of Hijrah when seventy-two purified youths and loyal personages were martyred. This episode blackened the face of history and the head of mankind bowed down in shame.
The people of Kufa had invited the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husain (a.s) to Kufa so that he could lead them in revolt against Yazid; the deboucherous son of Muawiyah like Imam Ali (a.s) had confronted Muawiyah. After that these disloyal and materialist Kufaites martyred the honorable son of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), along with his companions, brothers and sons in such a cruel way that to describe these atrocities burns the tongue of the narrator and the pen breaks due to shame.
Among these martyrs were eighteen youths of Bani Hashim from the family of Abu Talib. They displayed such daring in the battle that their equal is not found anywhere in history. Imam Reza (a.s) told Reyan Ibn Shabeeb:
“O son of Shabeeb! There were such eighteen youths from Bani Hashim in Kerbala as have no equal on the face of the earth. Except for Imam Husain (a.s) who was fifty-seven at that time all these eighteen persons from Bani Hashim were in their youth. Among them was a thirty-five-year-old man and even some boys hardly aged twelve
or ten years. In other words we can say that the battle of Kerbala was one where the youths predominated.
The following are the martyrs of Kerbala:
6 sons of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s)
3 sons of Imam Hasan (a.s)
2 sons of Zainab binte Ali (a.s), who was the sister of Imam Husain (a.s) and the wife of Abdullah Ibn Ja'far ibn Abi Talib.
5 sons of Aqil Ibn Abi Talib (a.s)
2 sons of Imam Husain (a.s).
This is the list of the names of those young people who achieved martyrdom in the service of their Holy Imam, the honorable Abu Abdillah (a.s). They laid down their lives for the sake of Islam through their perfected valor and unflinching loyalty. They saved the honor of Islam at this dangerous juncture in history by giving up their own blood. When Yazid, the son of Muawiyah arose as an ugly blemish on the shirt of humanity, these youths rose up to confront him and stood like firm mountains against him. It was such a magnificent contest and a great revolution, which squeezed the history of centuries into a few moments, which made the faces of these youths brilliant and shining like the sun.
Even though centuries may pass but the memory of these young men of Kerbala would always remain fresh.
The Brilliant Sun Of Youth
Among the elegant faces of the family of prophethood was one whose name is written, spoken and heard always with the appellation of “the youth”. This is Ali ibn al-Husain, commonly called Ali Akbar, (That is Ali,
This son of Imam Husain (a.s) had just stepped into adolescence. A brilliant face and such a beautiful way of speech and movement that it seemed Providence had created him with special care. On the day of Ashura he was eighteen years old. His mother was the noble lady named Laila. She was a descendant of Urwah Ibn Masood Thaqafi, one of the four bravest warriors of Arabs in the period prior to Islam. Imam Husain (a.s) had named all his sons after his respected father. May be since the names of all the three sons was Ali, they were addressed with different appellations of Ali Akbar (Ali, the elder) and Ali Asghar (Ali, the younger) etc. for the sake of identification.
Ali Akbar resembled Ali (a.s) in his intelligence, valor and personality, and his physical appearance, facial features; way of walking and talking was exactly like that of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.).
Ali Akbar was the first youth to have taken to the field in Kerbala. According to some other reports he was the first of the youths of Bani Hashim who attacked the opponent army with great zeal and achieved martyrdom for the assistance of his respected father.
When Ali Akbar came to Imam Husain seeking permission to take to the battlefield, the Imam glanced at an army of 30000 and then looked at Ali Akbar, that he was going to fight that huge multitude all alone. (We don’t know how Imam Husain felt at that moment). Though he gave the permission, he added,
“My son, Ali Akbar! Bid farewell to your paternal aunt, mother and sisters and then go out for the battle.” Ali Akbar went inside the tent and the ladies surrounded him. There was absolute chaos in the tent. The ladies were saying, “O the memento of the Prophet of Islam, have mercy on our honor and alienhood. We would not be able to live without you.”
But Ali Akbar was such a dignified young man that he saw his father besieged by the foes; and the ferocious army was ready to murder the son of the Prophet. How was it possible to continue seeing the oppressed condition of this father and the painful circumstances to which the women and children were subjected? Thus he bid farewell to the ladies of his family and left for the battleground.
The holy Imam accompanied him for some distance. Then he looked at the sky in an expectant way and said, “O my Lord! Be a witness that one who is going to the battlefield resembles Your Prophet in the ways of talking and walking, facial features and habits. Whenever, we, Ahle Bayt, wanted to have a view of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) we used to look at Ali Akbar and cool our hearts. O God! Remove the bounties of the world from these army men and subject them to confusion and calamities, in such a way that they can never rule upon us. Because they had invited us to come here, and now they are opposed to us and ready
to fight and kill us.”
After that the oppressed one of Kerbala called the son of Saad and said, “May Allah cut off your generations and may you never obtain what you lust for. And may Allah give power to such an oppressor over you as he beheads you when you are in bed. Because due to the martyrdom of this elegant youth you have cut off my generations that were to arrive through him, and you have not even paid any regard to my relationship with my maternal grandfather (the Prophet).”
Ali Akbar arrived in the battlefield and in keeping with custom of that time recited a zealous Rajaz (versified introduction of himself and his aim in brief):
I am Ali the son of Husain, whose grandfather was the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). By Allah! We are the rightfully deserving ones of the vicegerency of Allah. By God! These spurious descendants cannot rule over us. I would indeed fight with you with a sword and even if the sword breaks, I would fight with a dagger till it breaks, so that you know the power of a Hashemite youth.”
After that he launched a terrific attack and scattered the rows of warriors and came back to his place. He attacked in the same way again and again till all the rows and columns of the opponent army were in disarray.
Thirst…such thirst as cannot be imagined. It was only thirst that had changed the condition of Ali Akbar. After he had killed a hundred and twenty Nasibis (enemies of
Ahle Bayt), there were screams for help in the army of Yazid. This youth who displayed the valor of Ali (a.s) came back to his father and said, “Father! Thirst is killing me. If I could get only a little water I would change the face of this battle.” Imam Husain (a.s) did not say that there was no water and that he too was thirsty like Ali Akbar. He kept his tongue in the mouth of his son so that he could suck whatever moisture was there in it. However, Ali Akbar pulled back his tongue and said, “Father! Your tongue is drier than mine!”
After this, Ali Akbar returned to the battlefield and this time enemies surrounded him and attacked him from all sides in unison. Repeated strokes fell on him and his body was cut into pieces and he fell down from his horse.
According to a narration when Imam Husain (a.s) came to his son, he had already departed for Paradise. Imam Husain (a.s) placed his head on his thigh and recited the dirge:
“My son, you have bid farewell to the world. You are released from the griefs and sorrows of the world but your father is left alone for martyrdom.”
At that time when the world had become dark for the Imam he called out, “O youths! Take the last remains of your brother from the field to the camp…”
The Adolescent Warrior Who Sacrificed His Life In Defense Of Religion
Among the famed warriors of Imam Husain (a.s) whose names would remain alive
till the end of the world is the son of our second Imam, Hasan (a.s), Qasim Ibn Hasan. According to traditions he had not even reached the age of maturity. As regards his age, most reports say that he was hardly thirteen years old.
This brave and valiant youth was considered a souvenir of his father, Imam Hasan (a.s) and he had come to Kerbala with his uncle, Imam Husain (a.s).
When on the day of Ashura he saw that the youths of Bani Hashim had brought the last remains of Ali Akbar from the field and kept them near the tent, he lost all interest in the life of this world. Then he saw that the tragedy of the young son had changed the color of Imam’s face and he became restless.
Qasim Ibn Hasan had inherited bravery, intelligence, understanding, presence of mind and capability from his ancestors like the Prophet and Ali (a.s). He decided to give up this world and begged his uncle to permit him to go to the battlefield. Imam Husain (a.s) was very fond of the orphan son of his brother and therefore he was not agreeable to send him against the teeming army of the foes. But when he saw that the young man was stubborn on his request and also dying for a battle, he allowed him. Though he accorded the permission, the uncle and nephew embraced each other and wept so intensely that they both became unconscious, because the Imam knew that permission meant martyrdom. Now Qasim would not
The enemies were also present in such a condition that leaving aside the family of the Prophet they preferred the Kingdom of Yazid Ibn Muawiyah and were prepared to live a life of degradation while for the Ahle Bayt, death with dignity was better than a life of degradation. Therefore, the only option was to continue the battle till one achieved martyrdom. This was the custom of the descendants of the Prophet.
Qasim, who had just stepped into adolescence took the permission of his uncle and arrived to confront the rival army. He recited the war song: May be you do not know me. I am the son of Hasan and a grandson of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). This is my uncle Husain who is surrounded like a prisoner among them. May Allah not bestow His mercy on these wretched people.”
After that Qasim launched a ferocious attack and slew the warriors with his swift sword strokes. Hamid Ibn Muslim who was appointed by Yazid to record the events of this battle says, “I saw a young boy whose face shone like a full moon. He was dressed in a shirt and trouser and wore sandals, one of whose straps was broken. This boy was coming towards me. If I am not mistaken the strap of the left sandal was broken.”
“Umar Ibn Saad al-Azdi said to me, ‘Let me attack him.’ I said, ‘Glory be to God, what do you want to do that for? Leave him. While even one of the family of al-Husain
remains, he will be enough to take vengeance on you for his (death).’ But he insisted, ‘By God, let me attack him.’ So he rushed against him and did not turn back until he had struck his head with his sword and split it into two. The young lad fell face downwards calling out, ‘O Uncle!’”
At this Husain (a.s) appeared like a hawk and launched into attack like a raging lion and struck Umar Ibn Saad with his sword. That man tried to fend off the blow with his arm but his arm was cut off from the elbow. Then he carried his martyred nephew to the tents and laid him besides Ali Akbar and other martyrs.
By his loyalty and sacrifice, Qasim Ibn Hasan opened a new chapter in the history of Islam that mentions the personality, valor and bravery of the youths of the family of the Prophet.
The Most Luminous Personality Of The Youths Of Bani Hashim
Abul Fazl Abbas was the most prominent young man of the Bani Hashim. He was the standard bearer of the Imam’s force. He is the epitome of loyalty and his name would signify devotion for all the days to come. His mother was Fatima, Ummul Baneen who was from a tribe famed for its valor and bravery.
This noble lady had four sons of whom Abbas was the eldest. On the day of Ashura they laid down their lives in such an exemplary manner that even today their blood is gushing with fervor on the sands of Kerbala
and their names are engraved in the history of Islam.
Abbas in the Arabic language means an awful lion. That is a lion, which commands intense awe. Thus he was true to his name in awe-inspiring demeanor. He had a very elegant countenance and a tall physique. When he mounted a horse his knees came very close to the ears of the animal. In addition to a well-built stature he possessed unsurpassed physical strength and great spirituality. He was considered second only to his brother Imam Husain (a.s) among the youths of Bani Hashim.
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s) says, “My uncle, Abbas was a man of enlightened conscience whose faith was very strong. He performed Jihad in the way of Allah along with Abu Abdillah (Imam Husain) and passed the divine test with flying colors.”
The fourth Imam has said, “May Allah have mercy on my uncle Abbas who sacrificed his life for the sake of his brother in such a manner that both his arms were severed. The Almighty Allah bestowed him with a pair of wings with the help of which he glides in Paradise with the angels in the same way as Allah bestowed Ja'far Ibn Abi Talib.
Abbas is a martyr at whom on the Day of Judgment the assembly of all the martyrs would vie that if only they all had been like him. Abbas had the honor of being trained under three Imams; that is his respected father, Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s) and his honorable brothers Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s). His
countenance shone like a full moon and he had unsurpassed elegance. That is why, on the basis of his collective merits he was given the honorific of “Moon of the Hashimites” (Qamar-e-Bani Hashim).
In Kerbala the age of Abbas was thirty-four years. On the basis of this he was the Chief of the Youths of Bani Hashim and according to the unanimity of all the writers and historians he was the most influential and remarkable personality of Kerbala. That is why he was the center of attention of the Infallible Imam.
Abbas was the standard bearer of the battalion of Imam Husain (a.s). When except for him none remained on the side of the Imam he sought permission for Jihad to display his martial feats also. However, instead of according him permission for Jihad, the Imam told him to arrange water for the holy family and the thirsty children who all were on the verge of death.
This ferocious warrior who was second only to Ali (a.s) in his martial expertise attacked the army of the enemies, which had surrounded the banks of Euphrates. There were hardened fighters among them, well versed with the techniques of swordsmanship and archery but Abbas launched a scathing attack on them dispersing the rows and rows of militia to clear his way to water. History records that he slew eighty foes and put his horse into the water. Then he filled the water skin and like a streak of lightning turned to head towards the Imam’s encampment.
Now he only concentrated on how
he could convey this water to the camps. The thirst of Imam Husain (a.s) and the parched throats of the young children and ladies had affected him so much that he took a handful of water and threw it back with distaste saying how could the slave drink when the master was thirsty? Can there be a better example of loyalty, devotion and manliness?
On his return the army that had fled also came back and surrounded him from all sides but the brave one continued to deflect their attacks and kept on racing his steed towards his destination. When the foes realized that attacking him from the front was of no use, some of them attacked from the right severing his right arm. However, the valiant warrior said, “By Allah! Even if my right hand is gone I will continue to fight for the sake of religion in this condition.” So saying he transferred the standard to his left hand.
Soon however a malicious attacker hit from the left and severed his left hand and the standard came to the ground. At that moment he said, “O life! Why to fear these infidels? Good news that the mercy of Allah awaits you! These oppressors have severed my left hand also. O Allah! Make these unjust people taste the fire of hell.” Just then an arrow pierced the water skin and all water spilled on the sands. When the water was gone, Abbas became broken hearted and did not wish that he should go to the camp
anymore. Just then an oppressor hit his head with a mace, due to which he fell down from the horse.
Who can estimate the valor and courage of this valiant youth? For whom, when Imam Husain reached his wounded brother, he sat near him and heaved a sigh of sorrow and said, “O my brother your grief has broken my back. Now I have also washed my hands off this world. It is the time when after you the enemies will attack us.” As he worded these statements a flood of tears flowed from his eyes. An Arabic poet has mentioned this in a beautiful way:
You must weep most on the young man on whom the Imam also wept.
It is that brother of Husain and the son of Imam Ali.
It is Abul Fazl Abbas bathed in his own blood.
The Most Patient And Steadfast Youth Of Kerbala
It was the darkest period of the History of Islam when the fourth Imam (a.s) passed his life. This was so because after the heart-rending tragedy of Kerbala, the Islamic world was ruled by the tyrant Yazid for another three years. And after that the reins of government came into the hands of evil people like Marwan. The members of the family of the Prophet and the fourth Imam themselves witnessed all these happenings and atrocities. During the terrible happenings of Kerbala the age of the Imam was just twenty-two and he was seriously ill at that time. This illness saved him from being martyred like others in the carnage,
and the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) continued through him.
Ahmed Ibn Hanbal says, “The cause of the illness of Ali Ibn Husain was that one day he put on a coat of armor but found that it was large for him. So he broke it with his own hands to conform it to his body size.”
This is that brave young man who possessed unsurpassed steadfastness and patience and he bore hunger and thirst for three days at a stretch in spite of his running temperature and physical weakness due to his illness. Along with this he witnessed the horrific massacre, which ended the lives of his father, brothers, relatives and companions. He witnessed all this and then also watched in horror the plundering of his camp and the burning down of his tents. Even a single calamity of this chain of calamities is sufficient to kill the most courageous person but he was Ali Ibn Husain (a.s)… It is not possible to estimate his patience and forbearance.
It was only the determination of the son of Imam Husain (a.s) that he bore all the afflictions as divine will and bore them with utmost patience and forbearance. How much fortitude it required when he was made the leader of the train of prisoners of war that were taken from Kerbala to Kufa and he entered the court of Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad. And the severed heads of the martyrs of Kerbala were brought in one after the other. In addition to this, the plundered caravan consisted
of ladies tethered in ropes having young children with them. Under the orders of Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad the prisoners were then taken from Kufa towards Syria and the Imam led the train of captives.
The journey towards Syria is filled with such calamities that even the most stonehearted person weeps upon hearing them. Such a perilous long journey! The heartless custodian guards of this captive caravan took their charges from Iraq towards Syria. This caravan traveled through Kufa, Dondril, Asqalan, Nasibeen, Haman, Hamas and Aleppo and reached Damascus after twenty days and entered the court of Yazid.
The streets of Damascus were decorated with resplendent embellishments as if prepared for a grand celebration. When the caravan of Ahle Bayt of Allah’s Messenger passed through these avenues, the ignorant populace was seen dancing in glee and celebrating the occasion. They clapped and shouted ridicules on the prisoners and the severed head atop the points of spears, signaling at the apparent victory of the profligate Yazid. The martyrdom of some of the descendants of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the captivity of others was an occasion of gaiety for the Syrians.
During this arduous journey the youthful Imam continued to comfort the prisoners of Kerbala and alleviated their broken hearts and sorrowful dispositions. He used to support them in such a way that each of them was influenced by the patience, reliance and forbearance of the Imam and they all became imbued with an unsurpassed patience and bore all the calamities with a firm heart.
We should remember that when the
young Imam entered the court of Ibn Ziyad in Kufa along with the ladies and children tied up in ropes, Ibn Ziyad wondered how this young man had escaped alive. So without waiting for any information from others he asked, “Who are you?”
The Imam replied, “I am Ali Ibn Husain.”
The tyrant asked, “Didn’t Allah kill Ali Ibn Husain?”
“He was my younger brother whom the people killed”, replied Imam Sajjad (a.s), “He was also named Ali.”
Ibn Ziyad at once retaliated, “No it was Allah Who killed him.”
Imam (a.s) saw that the shameless governor of Kufa was trying to extol his achievements before the foolhardy populace, thus he recited the verse of Quran:
God receives the souls at the time of their death.
“How dare you answer me like that?” shouted Ibn Ziyad angrily, “And that will be the last of you because of (your) answer to me. Take him away and cut his head off.”
Zainab, his aunt clung on to him, pleading, “O Ibn Ziyad, haven’t you had enough of our blood?”
Then she clung on to him and said, “By God, I will not leave him. If you kill him, kill me with him.”
Ibn Ziyad looked at her and at him and said, “How wonderful is family relationship! I think she wants me to kill her with him. Leave him, for I see him (now) for what he is.” (That is, his illness would itself kill him).”
In brief we can say that Ibn Ziyad issued the command that all the prisoners, along with Ali Ibn Husain should go
to the court of Sham. Imam Sajjad (a.s) was made captive in a heavy chain and this entourage entered the palace of Yazid in the same manner.
It had been a journey of twenty days, the route was torturous, they had to face numerous problems but the worst of all was the spectacle of aunts and sisters all tied up in a single rope. With dust on their heads, the faces of the children had withered. Such was the condition of these noble souls when they were brought into the presence of Yazid.
In order to display the abject conditions of the household of the Prophet, Yazid had invited all the dignitaries and nobles to his court. The chain of the calamities was such for Imam Sajjad (a.s) that none of it had any equal in the history of mankind, and after hearing which even the most merciless person feels remorse and concern.
When the captives were brought to Yazid the following conversation took place between the victor, that is Imam Sajjad (a.s) and the defeated one, Yazid:
Yazid: What is your name?
Imam (a.s): Ali Ibnul Husain (a.s).
Yazid: Hmm! Husain named all his sons, Ali.
Imam (a.s): Yes because my father had deep regard for his respected father, so he named all his sons Ali.
Yazid: Thanks be to Allah that your father is killed.
Imam (a.s): Curse of Allah be on the one who martyred my father.
Yazid: O young man! Your father had desired to gain kingdom but Allah did not allow it, so they were killed and massacred.
Prophethood and rulership has always remained in our family; till you took birth.
Yazid: Your father did not want me to be the ruler of Muslims. He did not consider me deserving of rulership. That is why he confronted me. Since Allah was seeing all this, He became angry on him.
Imam (a.s): The Merciful Lord says in His book:
No misfortune strikes the earth nor yourselves unless it has been written in a book before We bring it into existence. That is easy for God.
“O Yazid! I am not aggrieved on whatever Allah takes away from me. I thank Him for whatever bounties He bestows on me (I do not exult on them).”
Yazid was infuriated at all this and he ordered that the Imam be executed upon which the Imam said, “O Yazid! If you kill me, who would take the daughters of the Prophet back to their hometown? Because except for me they have none who is in the prohibited degree (mahram) for them. O Yazid! If the Prophet comes right now and sees that we are made prisoners and brought here on the bare backs of camels, what justification would you offer?
The ailing Imam who looked emaciated and weak spoke in such a manner that all those present in the court began to weep. Yazid saw that the mood of the courtiers was changing; therefore he unwillingly had the chains untied. After that he addressed the Imam, “O Ali Ibnul Husain, do you know why I have released you from these chains?
Imam (a.s) replied, “So
that someone else does not perform this job.” Yazid said, “You are right.”
Steadfastness, stability and convincing rebuttals for every thing compelled Yazid to deal with the prisoners of Kerbala gently and he refrained from giving them further discomfort. After that he permitted the Imam to mount the pulpit and deliver a sermon on Friday.
The holy Imam ascended the pulpit and spoke about the practical wisdom of his father through which the Islamic Shariah had remained safe and those heart-rending incidents of Kerbala. The Imam’s sermon affected the Syrian so deeply that a revolution seemed to brew among them. Yazid feared that the tumult and agitation may intensify so he ordered that the captives, including the Imam, be released and he also arranged them to be taken to Medina.
When the news reached Medina that Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) was about to reach the hometown with his caravan, there was a tumult in the town. Men, women, children, friends and enemies, all came out of the city limits to receive the Imam. There were wails and shrieks all around. Everyone was weeping. The youths of Medina encircled the Holy Imam who was the sole remainder of Imam Husain (a.s).
When the din decreased, Imam Zainul Abideen signaled for silence so that everyone may hear what he had to say. Then he said:
“O people! The Almighty Allah tested us with great calamities and huge attacks of the enemies. Thanks be to Allah that we passed the examinations. O people of Medina! Abu Abdillah al-Husain has been martyred. The ladies
of the harem and the daughters of Husain had to bear the difficulties of captivity and being tied up in ropes. The heads of our martyrs were hoisted atop the spears points and we were all taken through different towns and areas.” It was such a tribulation that its equal is not found in the history of the world.
“O people! We were made to leave our hometown and we were taken out through towns and abodes like Turk and Afghan prisoners. What was our fault? By Allah! I have never heard about such atrocity from my elders nor witnessed it myself. By Allah! Even if the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had told them to harm us they would not have harmed us more.
We have borne this great calamity that was never seen by anyone in the world. We desire to be rewarded for it only by the Merciful God and we leave its judgment only upon Him. Because He is the Greatest and the Highest, and Allah is powerful and revenge seeking.”
Our Youngest Imam Who Debated With The Chief Qadi While Yet A Young Child
Safwan ibn Yahya was a special student of Imam Ali Reza (a.s). One day he asked Imam (a.s), “Who is our Imam after you?” Imam Reza (a.s) gestured towards his young son who was sitting besides him. Safwan said, “This one? But, may I be sacrificed for you, he is only a child of three.” The Imam said, “Yes, he would be. His young age is no obstruction in his elevated
station. Isa (a.s) was a prophet when his age was even less than three years.”
The Imam also told Muammar ibn Hammad, “Our family is one which has received the position of guidance of the creatures by way of inheritance, whether it be young or old, each of us is capable of fulfilling the duty of successorship.” Imam Reza (a.s) used to tell those who opposed the Imamate of Imam Jawwad (a.s) due to his less years, “The Almighty Allah bestowed prophethood to Isa (a.s) when he was aged less than three years.”
Mualla ibn Muhammad says, “After the passing away of Imam Reza (a.s) when I came to Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s) for the first time I was closely observing his physique so that I could describe it to others. The young Imam, who was aware of this, came and sat down. Then he said, “The Almighty Allah appoints the Imams on the position of Imamate even in young age like He appoints the prophets. The Almighty Allah says:
We granted him wisdom while yet a child.
When Imam Reza (a.s) passed away in Khorasan, his son, Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s) was in Medina. During this period, seeing his capabilities, his brilliant face, the qualities of leadership and knowledge and intellect the Shias of Ali used to accept him as their leader. They used to obtain from him rulings about their religious duties and other matters. When Mamun, the Abbaside caliph came to Baghdad he summoned Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s) also to Baghdad so that he could keep
a close watch on the successor of Imam Reza (a.s). The Imam came to Baghdad but he did not introduce himself.
One day Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s), then aged nine, was standing with some boys in a lane of Baghdad. Seeing the entourage of Mamun all the other boys ran away, but as was his habit, Imam (a.s) continued to stand at his place. Mamun came forward and asked him, “Boy! Why did you not run away?” He replied, “O Chief! The passage was not narrow. There was no expectation that you would punish an innocent person. Then why should I run away?” Mamun liked this explanation and he asked the name of this boy and that of his father. He said, “I am Muhammad and Imam Reza (a.s) was my respected father.”
Mamun was moved by his condition and he spurred his horse forward. At that time he was going for hunting and he had some falcons with him. When he left the habitations he released a falcon to pursue a partridge. The falcon disappeared and returned after sometime carrying a small fish in its beak. Mamun was greatly astounded. On his return he found the same boys playing. All ran away except Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s). Mamun approached him and asked, “Tell me, what I hold in my hand?” He replied, “The Almighty Allah has created little fishes in the sea of His power that the falcons of the kings prey upon and inform the sons of the Ahle Bayt of the Prophet.”
Later, Mamun invited
the nine-year-old Imam to his palace and seated him besides himself with respect and honor.
After that, under advice of his consultants he invited the learned people and scholars to have discussions with Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s). Some of them advised against it, as, according to them, the Imam was very young and first he should be sent to a teacher and only after he has been educated should he be presented for discussion. Mamun however did not pay any heed to this objection but instead invited the Chief Judge of his kingdom, Yahya ibn Aksam to speak with the Imam. Other nobles, officers and dignitaries were also invited for the occasion.
Mamun had a couch placed for Imam Jawwad (a.s) near him and also made suitable arrangements for Yahya ibn Aksam, befitting his status.
Yahya asked, “If you allow me, can I pose a few questions to this lad?” Mamun said, “Good manners demand that you seek his own permission.” Yahya sought the Imam’s leave, which was granted immediately.
Yahya: What is the penalty for the one who hunts in the condition of Ehram.
Imam: (Smiling) This question is absolutely absurd. First tell me, where this person hunted? In the surrounding area or inside the holy sanctuary? Whether he was aware of this matter or ignorant? Whether he did it willingly or by mistake? Whether he was a slave or a freeman? A matured person or a child? Did he do it for the first time or he had done it before also? Whether the hunted one was a
bird or a quadruped? Small or big? Was the hunter regretful of his action or elated? Was the hunt conducted during the night or in the day? Was he wearing Ehram for Hajj or for Umrah?
Just as the Qadi heard these words he became speechless and the color of his face paled. Darkness appeared below his eyes and he continued to sit shocked. When the silence prolonged, Mamun could not restrain himself. He said to the Imam, “Now that you have told this, please also throw some light on its solution.”
Imam: If a person in Ehram hunts in the surrounding area and the prey is a bird, even if it is big, the penalty of the same is a goat. If he hunts a similar prey in the sanctuary, the penalty is two goats. If a young one of a wild animal is hunted in Ehram a ram is to be given as penalty. It should be one that is no more suckled by its mother. If the hunt is that of a deer, a goat is to given as penalty and all these penalties apply for hunting wild animals in the surrounding areas. However, if it is done in the sanctuary the penalty would be doubled. And one who gives the penalty has himself to take the animals to the Ka’ba. If this person is wearing Ehram for Hajj he should slaughter these animals in Mina, if he is wearing Ehram for Umrah, he should slaughter them in Mecca. The aware and the ignorant
are equally liable. One who does it willingly and knowingly is a sinner. Although in event of ignorance there is no sin. For a freeman the penalty is liable on himself, and the penalty of a slave is obligatory upon his master. There is no penalty on a small child. Penalty is incumbent on a matured person. One who regrets this hunting would be saved from the punishment of the Hereafter. And if he is elated at his deed the punishment of the Hereafter is also there for him.
Hearing the reply the whole gathering was astounded and accolades and congratulations arose from everywhere. Mamun was so happy that he continued to repeat again and again, “Allah best knows where to place His message.”
After this Imam (a.s) said to Qadi Yahya, “Now let me ask you a question.” Mamun said, “Ask him, indeed.”
Imam said, “What do you say regarding this problem? A man looked towards a woman while she was prohibited for him. She became lawful at sunrise, unlawful at noon, again lawful in the afternoon, unlawful at sunset and lawful at night. Again unlawful in the middle of the night and then finally lawful in the morning?
Since Yahya was helpless, the Imam explained, “She was a slave-girl whom he purchased in the morning and she became lawful for him, at the noon time he freed her and she became unlawful for him. In the afternoon he married her. At Sunset he recited the words of Zihar (that she is to him like the back of
his mother) and she became unlawful for him. In the night he paid the penalty and she became lawful for him again. During the night he gave her a revocable divorce and she became unlawful for him and finally he took her back nullifying the divorce in the morning, making her lawful for himself.”
Mamun addressed all those present in the court and said, “Is there anyone among you who can solve these religious problems like this young boy?” They all replied in unison, “There is none among us capable of it.”
Mamun said, “May be you people do not know that the members of the family of the Prophet are the owners of excellent qualities. That is why young age is not an obstacle in their perfection. Don’t you remember that Ali (a.s) was only ten when he harkened at the call of the Prophet towards Islam? Don’t you know that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) had designated Hasan and Husain (a.s) as Imams when they were even less than six years old?
As long as Mamun was alive he continued to accord honor and respect to the Imam. He considered respecting him as his duty. So much so that he even married his daughter Ummul Fadl to him. But the times changed. After the death of Mamun, his brother Mutasim came to the throne who had Imam Jawwad (a.s) martyred with poison while he was yet in his youth. He was only twenty-five at that time.
Who Would Appear As An Elegant Young Man
The most remarkable
thing about this episode is that according to the faith of the Shias of Ahle Bayt, from the time of his birth upto his Minor occultation and from that time throughout his Major occultation, and even after the golden period of his reappearance he had been and would be an eyewitness of all the happenings in this world. Years after years and centuries after centuries the world is making an estimation of his birth, his childhood, his outstanding companions who are absolutely exceptional in every aspect. Islam has also mentioned a great deal about this young miraculous child.
Two centuries before his birth, there was a general declaration by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Imams that the ninth descendant of Imam Husain (a.s) would have a concealed birth resembling that of Prophet Musa (a.s).
None but very few selected people would know about his birth and this information would be restricted only among the Shia community. He would have two occultations. One shall be a Minor occultation and the other Major. That is a short and a prolonged disappearance. When mankind would fall into despondence and everywhere there shall be hopelessness, hunger and poverty and every kind of calamity, injustice and oppression, the Almighty Allah would cause his reappearance in the form of a forty-year-old youth though he would have lived for hundreds of years. He would be having a well-built and strong physique. He would be much above the creatures from the aspect of knowledge, intelligence and physical prowess.
Ten thousand exceptional companions of his would provide
help and assistance to the afflicted people of the world. The Imam would unearth the hidden treasures of the earth. He would make the barren earth full of vegetation. He would correct all the evils and through his beneficial programs remove the widespread laziness, sloth and weakness from the people of the world and make the weak-willed and indolent people full of zest and a new life. That is he would enliven the earth once more. Universal justice shall be established and the brotherhood of mankind shall be given the greatest prominence. His government would have innumerable programs of uplifting the conditions of the people of the world. There would be no government and no religion in the world except the rulership of the Progeny of Muhammad and the religion of Islam.
Since traditions had clearly mentioned that the ninth descendant of Imam Husain (a.s) would destroy all oppression in the world, the Bani Abbas Caliph summoned Imams Ali Naqi and Hasan Askari (a.s) so that he could keep a close surveillance on them since they were the tenth and the eleventh Imams of the Shias. Mutawakkil also wanted to assure that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) does not marry since he was supposed to father a male child who would be the expected Mahdi.
In spite of all the restrictions and surveillance that Mutawakkil had arranged for this purpose, Imam Mahdi (a.s) was born in 255 A.H. in an utmost concealed manner. Imam Askari (a.s) lived for another five years after his birth and after that he
was martyred by poison. During these five years, the most selected people of the community who were trustworthy, reliable and pious had the honor of seeing Imam Mahdi (a.s). These people posed religious questions in order to become certain of his high station.
This is the twelfth Imam through whom the Almighty desired to reform this material world so that weak and suppressed people could live peacefully in it and universal justice and equity is established. The people could move about freely and they learn to live a life of righteousness. Also that they may benefit from God-given bounties depending upon their eligibility and disposition. The Imam may also eradicate every type of injustice and oppression, force and compulsion, illness, griefs, difficulties, supervision, opposition, racial and color discrimination and the mankind can see how man can lead a free life.
When his respected father passed away from this temporal world he was only five years old. In this period of five years, none but some of the most trusted and reliable persons knew that Imam Askari (a.s) had a son. The male and female spies appointed by the caliph continued to assure the caliph that the Imam was issueless. That is the reason that Ja'far, the Imam’s brother, who was an evildoer and an agent of the caliph, stepped forward to recite the funeral prayer. At that moment an extremely beautiful and elegant child came out from behind the curtain and came to Ja'far, the liar and pulled him aside saying, “Uncle! I would recite the funeral
prayer of my respected father.”
The young lad recited the funeral prayers then passed through the gathering and left the room. All those present there came to know that the eleventh Imam had not passed away childless. When the caliph was informed about this, he sent his soldiers who searched every room, every nook and corner of the house to find the boy and arrest him. So that he may be put to death and the world can be rid of the twelfth Imam. The search party inspected the whole house but the Imam was not to be found anywhere. He went into the cellar of his house and from there he disappeared to reappear when Allah, the Almighty wills; and that he may fill the earth with justice and equity like it would have been full of injustice and oppression.
Abu Sult Harwi asked Imam Reza (a.s), “What would be the signs of your Qaem at the time of his reappearance?” Imam replied, “His sign is that he would be senior in age but in the view of people he would appear to be a man of forty years or even less. Another sign is that, even through the passage of time he will not age till the time he passes away. He would always remain in the same condition of youth.”
Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “Our Qaem would appear in the form of an elegant youth while the people would say in surprise: We were expecting him to be an aged gentlemen.”
Reyan ibn Sult asked Imam
Reza (a.s), “Are you the master of affair?” The Imam replied, “I am not the master of the affair, who would fill the earth with justice and equity like it would be filled with injustice and oppression. You see that there is weakness and senility in my body. That is why I cannot be the master of affair. Master of affair is the one who at the time of his reappearance would be senior in age but his appearance would that of a youth and his body shall be strong.”
If he wants he could catch hold of a huge tree and uproot it, it would not be impossible for him. Thus when he stands between two mountains and raises a cry the huge boulders of the mountains would fragment into pebbles and begin falling to the earth. He is my fourth descendant. As long as Allah wills he would remain in concealment and when he reappears he would fill the earth with justice and equity like it would be filled with injustice and inequity.”
Amirul Momineen (a.s) says, “In the last days of calamity and ignorance of the people, God will appoint a person and will support him and protect his followers through angels. He will help him through miraculous signs and give him victory over all the people of the world, so that whether they like it or not they will convert to the true religion. He will fill the earth with justice and equity, and brilliance and rationality. The distances between places will shrink
for him in such a way that no unbeliever will remain except that (the appointed one) will bring (to him) faith, and no sinful person would remain except that he will become pious. Even the beasts would live freely. The fertility of the earth would increase. Every part of the earth would be covered with vegetation. Bounties would descend from the sky and the earth would expose its hidden treasures. He would rule the earth from the east to the west for forty years. Those would be fortunate who are born during his divine rule and listen to the words spoken by him.”
The Pious Daughter Of The Seventh Imam
Among the children of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) no one was more respected and honored after Imam Reza (a.s) than this young lady. She is remembered by the name of Fatima Masuma. Ahmed ibn Musa, known as Shah Chirag and Hamzah ibn Musa are the two sons of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) who are buried besides Abdul Azeem Hasani. However, in respect and excellence Fatima Masuma precedes them.
Obviously, this position of excellence is on the basis of knowledge, intellect, purity and piety, otherwise being the Imam’s child or Imam’s sibling is no criterion for excellence and even if one tries to obtain greatness and respect on such a basis, it is not possible.
Today Iran has the unsurpassed honor of hosting the eighth Imam and after that giving a welcome to his sister and later according her a place for burial when she passed away from this
world. The magnificent dome of her mausoleum is a living testimony to the devotion of this people for the meritorious lady of the family of the Prophet. From the time this lady stepped on the land of Qom, it has became famous for its regard for Ahle Bayt and it became an important center of pilgrimage for the faithful.
Even before the arrival of Imam Reza (a.s), many Shia people of Kufa had migrated to Qom and made it their home. From that time this city always remained an important center of Shias. Many great jurists and scholars have come from this city. During the time our Imams stayed at this place, these resident scholars and jurists went all the way to provide them with every sort of facility and assistance. They also served the cause of the propagation of faith through their wealth, sincerity and labor.
That is why Imam Sadiq (a.s) has said that if there had not been the scholars and intellectuals of Qom, the religion of Islam would have become extinct and people would have forgotten the traditions of Ahle Bayt.
The well known religious scholars of Qom include, Zakaria Ibn Adam, Reyan ibn Sult, Shazan ibn Jibraeel, Ahmed Ibn Ishaq Qummi, Saad ibn Abdullah Ashari, Muhammad ibn Hasan Saffar, Muhammad ibn Walid, Ali Ibn Babawayh and his illustrious son Muhammad Ibn Babawayh (Shaykh Sadooq) and Hasan Ibn Babawayh, Ali Ibn Ibrahim Qummi, Ibn Quluwahy Qummi and other thousands of luminaries. In other words it can be said that the city of Qom has
a great role in providing many important scholars of Shia religion.
During the Abbaside Caliphate, Qom was so well known for its fervor regarding Ahle Bayt (a.s) that its governor was always appointed from among its own people. Qom was considered the base of Shias in Iran. Thus it is written about Qom that special instructions were made regarding its governance and in order to assure that there is no civil unrest and other problems the Shia law was applied in all the aspects of its administration. Because it was known that people could not bear the rule of a non-Shia.
As we have mentioned before, since the time of the burial of Fatima Masuma in Qom, the importance and significance of this town is beyond description. Rather, it can be said that her mausoleum is a candle around which the scholars and intellectuals have gathered since ages. In other words there is such a great conglomeration of religious students and other sincere followers of Ahle Bayt for her Ziarat that it would not be wrong to say that it is like a Ka’ba for Shias.
The lady Masuma commands special status after Imam Reza (a.s) among the children of the seventh Imam. Traditions before her birth and after her passing away inform us about the elevated position and the personality of this lady.
Imam Reza (a.s) came to Iran on the behest of caliph Mamun in the year 200 A.H. and he stayed in Merv. In the year 201 A.H., that is after one year, Fatima Masuma left
Medina and came to Iran.
The great scholar Hasan ibn Muhammad Qummi writes in his History of Qom (378 A.H.) that when Fatima Masuma arrived in Sawwa she inquired about the distance to Qom from there. The people informed her that it was 10 farsakhs. She told her attendant to take her to Qom.
When news reached Qom that Masuma was coming there the people of Qom rushed out to welcome her. The senior-most citizen of Qom, Musa ibn Khazraj took hold of the reins of her camel and led it inside the city of Qom and in this way he took the honorable lady and lodged her in his own house.
The Masuma stayed at his place for seventeen days and passed away there. She was buried in Bablan, which was also a property of Musa ibn Khazraj. From that time onwards it is a center of pilgrimage for the Shias. For the Iranian country the city of Qom is a matter of pride or rather a testimony of its honorable position.
There is a religious college, “Satt” at the place where the house of Musa ibn Khazraj stood where the Masuma had stayed. It is one of the oldest religious college of Qom. This area is known as the Maidan Mir-i-Qom. On one side is a mosque called Masjid-e-Behmeen. In Arabic “Satt” stands for “lady”. This mosque and religious college is named after lady Masuma Qom. The Mihrab (prayer niche) of the Masuma is also situated in this building, where travelers and visitors pray. It is a
matter of pity that the date of birth of Masuma is not recorded and neither is the date she passed away in 201 A.H.
However in any case, history certainly proves that hardships and atrocities meted out by the Abbaside rulers and the unfavorable times were responsible for the fact that none of the daughters of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) married. This is so because all the youths of the families of Ahle Bayt lived anonymously during the Abbaside rule. And probably there was no young man among the Shias who could be considered eligible to marry a girl of the noble Ahle Bayt family of infallibility and purity. Or probably the noble ladies themselves exercised caution due to the prevailing circumstances.
Because in 179 A.H. under the orders of Harun Rashid, Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) was summoned to Baghdad and imprisoned, and there he spent four years in confinement and at last bid farewell to the transient world in 183 A.H. and departed for the everlasting abode, while the lady Masuma passed away in 201 A.H., hence at the time of her death she must have been at the most twenty-two years old.
Thus as we have already stated above, the city of Qom which became the place of repose for Lady Masuma Qom acquired the status of a holy city for the Shia people and from that time onwards Sayyid families migrated there and made it their home as long as they lived and later they were also buried there. Therefore their holy tombs in the
vicinity of Qom and the surrounding areas are centers for visitation of the Shias of the world.
Apart from this, the long history of Qom informs us that it was the center of great religious scholars and intellectuals and it is the place selected by numerous rulers, kings and royal ladies as the place of their burial.
In the words of a poet: The daughter of Musa Ibn Ja'far is that brilliant moon due to which the people of Iran rest in safety and peace.
Put your forehead on its threshold.
See, indeed, the life of the universe rests here.
A Young Man Who Was An Expert Of Warfare And An Epitome Of Sincerity
This is an account of a young man who stands out prominently among the devotees of Amirul Momineen (a.s) and who spent his life like a bud just blooming. He is Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr who was born in the tenth year of Hijri. His mother was Asma. Previously Asma was the wife of Ja’far at-Tayyar. After he was martyred she married Abu Bakr, and Muhammad was born of this union. After the death of Abu Bakr, Asma married Amirul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s), the brother of Ja’far at-Tayyar. Another son was born to her through Ali (a.s), named Yahya.
Muhammad was a little boy when he entered the house of Amirul Momineen (a.s) with his mother. He was brought up in the purified atmosphere of this house with Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s). It is here that he reached the age of maturity.
He was a courageous and a strong young man who had perfect faith in Amirul Momineen (a.s), even though his biological father, Abu Bakr and the two caliphs after him had opposed Ali (a.s). Muhammad was also opposed to and detested the rule of the first three caliphs.
Amirul Momineen (a.s) was also very much fond of this lad, as he was brought up in his lap. It is the statement of Ali (a.s) that: Muhammad is my son, born from the loins of Abu Bakr. He also said, “Muhammad is the son of my wife. That is, he is my son and I am his father.”
Muhammad participated in the battles of Jamal and Siffin. He was the son of the paternal aunt of Abdullah Ibn Abbas and the half brother of the sons of Ja’far at-Tayyar, and also the half brother of Yahya the son of Amirul Momineen (a.s) through Asma.
Muhammad had a son named Qasim Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr. Yahya was the greatest scholar and jurist of Medina and a student of Imam Sajjad (a.s). Both Shias and Sunnis confessed to the knowledge and intellect of Yahya.
Qasim had a daughter name Umme Farwa. She was married to Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) and she became the mother of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s), the sixth Imam of the Shias. During his caliphate, Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s) appointed Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr as the governor of Egypt and issued him the following instructions:
Treat them (the Egyptians) with respect. Be kind and considerate with them. Meet them
cheerfully. Be fair, just and impartial in your dealings so that even the influential persons may not dare take undue advantage of your leniency and the commoners and the poor may not be disappointed in your justice and fair dealings.
O creature of Allah! Remember that the Almighty Lord is going to take an account of each one of your sins, major or minor and whether committed openly or secretly. If He punishes you for your sins, it will not be an act of tyranny and if He forgives you it will be because of His Great Mercy and Forgiveness.
O creature of Allah! Remember that pious persons passed away from this world after having led a respectable and fruitful life and they are going to be well-rewarded in the next world (when compared with the worldly-minded people they had equal opportunities of gathering fruits of this world and utilized them to the best of their abilities and at the same time kept away from all wicked and vicious ways of life). They did not jeopardize their salvation like worldly-minded persons. They led a more contented, more respectable and happier life than those who lived wickedly. They enjoyed the fruits of their labors and they had more gratifying, sober and healthy experience of the pleasures of life than the rich and the wealthy. They regaled themselves with the joys, the facilities and the bliss of this world as much as the tyrant and vicious people desired to enjoy. Yet while leaving this world they carried with them
all that would be of use to them in the next world. While living in this world they enjoyed the happiness of relinquishing its evil ways.
They made themselves sure that in the life to come they will be recipients of His Grace and Blessings, their requests will not be turned down and the favors destined for them in Paradise will not be lessened or reduced.
O creature of Allah! Fear the inevitable and unavoidable death, which is so near to everybody. Be prepared to meet it. Verily, it will come as the most important and the greatest event of your life; it will either carry unmixed blessings and rewards for you or it will bring in its wake punishments, sufferings, and eternal damnation. There will be no chance of its lessening or redemption or any change for the better. It is for you to decide whether to proceed towards perpetual peace and blessings - Paradise, or towards eternal damnation - the Hell. Remember that life is actually driving you towards death, which will meet you if you are ready to face it and which will follow you like a shadow if you try to run away from it.
Death is with you as if it has been twisted and tied around your head in between your hair and life is being rolled away from behind you with each exhalation of your breath, never to be unrolled.
Be afraid of the fire - the Hell, whose depth is fathomless whose intensity is enormous and where new kinds of punishments
are constantly being introduced. The Hell is an abode where there is no place for His Mercy and Blessings. Prayers of those who are thrown there will neither be heard nor accepted and there will not be any lessening in their sufferings and sorrows.
If it is possible for you to be sincerely afraid of Allah as well as have sincere faith in His Justice, Mercy and Love of His creatures, then try to hold these two beliefs firmly because a man entertains and cherishes the love, reverence and veneration of Allah in proportion to His fear and awe that develops in his mind.
Verily, among men is he who fully believes in His Justice and is afraid of it, as well as likes it and expects the best rewards from Allah.
O Muhammad, son of Abu Bakr! Remember that I have entrusted you with the command of the most important section of my army, which is Egyptian. Do not allow your whims and passions to overrun your judgment. Keep on guarding and defending your religion and the State given under your trust. Take care that not for a single moment in your life, you incur the Wrath of Allah, to gain the pleasure of any person. Remember that the Pleasure of Allah can substitute the pleasure of everybody else and it will be the most beneficial substitute for you but His Pleasure cannot be substituted by anything. Offer your prayers on time, do not rush through them, and never delay in offering them. Remember that piety
and nobleness of all your activities are subject to sincerity and punctuality of your prayers.
Remember that a true Imam and leader cannot be equal to the one who leads humanity towards wickedness and vice and eventually towards Hell nor can there be an equality between a follower of the Prophet and his sworn enemy.
Remember the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said that so far as his followers are concerned he was not afraid of encroachments upon any true Muslim by a heathen because Allah will protect every true Muslim from evil deeds on account of the sincerity of his faith and He will expose and avert the evils introduced by heathens, but the Prophet felt anxious about the activities of hypocrites among Muslims, activities of those outwardly wise and learned people who loudly proclaimed greatness and virtues of their good deeds but who secretly indulged in vices and sins.
When Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr arrived in Egypt, the conditions were very unfavorable. The people of Egypt were supporters of the first three caliphs and considered Muhammad among the killers of Uthman. Therefore, from day one they were ready to oppose him. Muhammad also detected this and thus he began to exercise caution regarding his own safety. On the other hand, Muawiyah, the ruler of Sham did not sit idle. He wanted Egypt to break away from the dominion of Amirul Momineen (a.s), and that Muhammad should be killed. So he began to dispatch mercenaries to Egypt to foment unrest among the people.
When Amirul Momineen (a.s) came to know
this he sent Malik Ashtar to Egypt to take over the reins of the government so that it does not pass out of his control, and that a new calamity may not befall Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr. However, when Malik Ashtar landed on the coast of Mediterranean and camped at a place called Al-Areesh, an agent of Muawiyah managed to administer poison to him mixed in honey and he was martyred there, even before he could reach Egypt. Before the reinforcements accompanying Malik Ashtar could reach Egypt to support Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr, Muawiyah sent an army there to attack the forces of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr. A fifth column accompanied this battalion and it surrounded the forces of Muhammad from all sides. Since the enemies had internal support also, Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr was attacked with greater intensity. Gradually the enemies got the upper hand and Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr fought valiantly till he was seriously wounded and martyred in the most merciless manner. In this way Muawiyah managed to gain control over Egypt.
At that time the age of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr was only twenty-eight years. Someone from Syria came to Amirul Momineen (a.s) and said that he had never seen the Syrians in such a joyous and a festive mood. Amirul Momineen (a.s) said, “Our grief is much more than their gaiety.”
After that he wrote a letter to Abdullah Ibn Abbas the maternal cousin of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr and the governor of Basra appointed by Ali (a.s). Therein he mentioned about
the martyrdom of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr and the annexation of Egypt by Muawiyah:
Ibn Abbas! Muhammad, (may his soul rest in peace), died as a martyr and Egypt has fallen in the hands of the enemies. I beseech the Reward of Allah for the sorrow I feel and the grief I suffer on account of the martyrdom of this young man who was like a son to me. He loved me. He was faithful to me. So far as the defense of the Islamic State is concerned he was like a sharp sword and an impregnable fort.
Long before this deplorable event I had issued orders to the Heads of various provinces and to the people of Kufa to reach him or send help to him when he calls for it. I had repeated these orders. Some went to his help but half-heartedly, others started submitting excuses, while some sent false reports of important engagements and did not co-operate with him.
I feel disgusted and pray to Allah to relieve me of the society of such faithless and worthless people.
I swear by Allah that had I no desire of dying as a martyr, and had I not been ready for my death awaiting night and day, I would not have liked to live amongst them even for a day and I would not have come out with them to fight against the enemies of Allah and Islam.
The Imam was very aggrieved upon the martyrdom of this young man who was unsurpassed in courage and bravery on the
battlefield and was also a humble worshipper of the Almighty and well versed with the teachings of Islam. That is why Abdullah Ibn Abbas arrived from Basra to Kufa to pay condolence to Amirul Momineen (a.s). Ayesha who was the sister of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr continued to curse Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan and his commander Muawiyah ibn Khadijah.
The Youthful Missionary Of Shia Islam
When there is discussion about young people who possessed exceptional capabilities and who were having unsurpassed merits and excellence it would not be fair to ignore Hisham Ibn Hikam, the youthful missionary of Imamate. He was among the best students of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s) and the incidents connected with him are very interesting and thought provoking.
Hisham, the best student of Imam Sadiq (a.s) had a debate with Amr Ibn Ubaid, the Mutazali scholar of Sunni faith. The debate is very interesting and clear.
Hisham was a great scholar of jurisprudence, a traditionalist, a scholastic theologian and an eloquent speaker. He was an expert in religious debates and his forceful and convincing arguments silenced even the most proficient opponents. Hisham was the most outstanding among the four thousand students of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s). He possessed such intellect, understanding, knowledge and wit that his fame had spread far and wide.
His debates and discussions with the great scholars of Ahle Sunnat are found in books to illustrate points of fundamental beliefs and juristic matters.
Hisham was born in Kufa, a center of Shias and he was brought up in Wast near Baghdad. He traveled
to Baghdad on business.
He is the first person who discussed in rational terms the principles of Islamic faith and belief and especially the matter of Imamate. He also penned books on this topic leaving precious material for the coming generations. He has explained and proved his premises in such a beautiful manner with the help of logical and textual proofs that the Shias of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s) in particular and all the Muslim scholars in general have benefited to a great degree by his argumentative methods.
He was such a meritorious knowledgeable personality that he never fell short in discussion about divine recognition. No one ever was able to defeat Hisham in any religious debate. Rather he used to single-handedly defeat a large group of opponents.
Every year Hisham used to travel for Hajj pilgrimage and after that arrived in Medina to be in the presence of Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s). After that he continued to benefit from the company of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s). He had the advantage of gaining knowledge from these two Imams. He had his difficult scientific problems solved through them and also asked them questions regarding other sciences and arts. Then he committed to memory whatever replies he received. In this way he used to return to his native place with a great wealth of knowledge.
Yunus Ibn Yaqub who was another prominent student of Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “It was the Hajj season and Hisham met Imam Sadiq (a.s) in Mina. At that time Hisham was just entering into youth and
his facial hair was just appearing. When he reached the company of Imam Sadiq (a.s) there were many senior people present whose life had passed in acquisition of knowledge, like Humran ibn Uyoon, Qays ibn Masir and Abu Ja'far Ahwal (Momin al-Taq) etc.”
At that time Imam Sadiq (a.s) instructed Hisham, who was very young in age, to sit at a place of prominence thus according him precedence over all other people in the gathering, and in order to assure that no one should feel ill about it, he said, “Gentlemen! This is a young man who helps me with his words, deeds and heart.” Then he said, “O Hisham! Narrate to us the debate you had with Amr Ibn Ubaid and inform us what you told him.”
Hisham said, “May I be sacrificed for you. I consider your position and status so elevated that I cannot dare to speak in your presence. My tongue stammers to say anything before you.” The Imam said, “O Hisham! Do as I say and take this matter to conclusion.” Thus Hisham did as commanded by the Imam and began to narrate as follows:
I received information that Amr Ibn Ubaid had daily sittings with his students in the Basra Mosque, and there he spoke about the subject of Imamate and debated and discussed about it. They used to take the Shia belief of Imamate as their target practice. I did not like this at all and I planned a journey to Basra.
When I reached Basra it was a Friday. I went
to the mosque where Amr Ibn Ubaid held his classes. I saw that a multitude of students had surrounded Amr who was wearing a black silk dress and had a cloth like a cloak put over his shoulders. All the students were posing questions to him one after the other and he was replying them. I reached near him and requested those present there to allow me some space to sit and I sat down close to him. Then I addressed Amr Ibn Ubaid and said: “O Intellectual gentleman! Please permit me to ask you something.” He replied, “You may!”
Hisham: Do you have eyes?
Amr: Young man! What kind of a question is that? Ask something proper.
Hisham: I will ask these kinds of questions only.
Amr: All right! Ask and I will answer, though your question is foolish.
Hisham: Do you have eyes?
Hisham: Of what use are these?
Amr: They see colors and shapes.
Hisham: Have you a nose?
Hisham: What is it used for?
Amr: To smell.
Hisham: Have you a mouth?
Hisham: What do you use it for?
Amr: To taste food.
Hisham: Have you mind and intellect?
Hisham: Of what use is it?
Amr: Everything that I sense through my organs (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.), I recognize with my mind and intellect.
Hisham: Don't your organs make you independent of your intellect?
Hisham: Why, when all your organs are intact?
Amr: When the organs face a doubt, they refer to the intellect to remove the doubt and confirm the truth.
Hisham: This means that God has given us intellect to remove the doubts of
our senses and to inform them of the truth.
Amr: Yes, of course.
Hisham: So we are dependent on the intellect in all circumstances.
Hisham: God has not left our organs and senses without an Imam who can clarify their doubts, but the same God has left His creatures amidst their doubts and did not ordain any Imam for them who could remove their doubts and confirm the truth?
Amr remained silent for some time, then asked, “Are you Hisham?”
“No,” said Hisham.
“Do you frequent his company?”
“Then what is your native place?”
“I am a native of Kufa”
“Then it is confirmed that you are Hisham Ibn Hikam.”
Then he seated Hisham in his place and as long as Hisham remained there, he refused to answer the questions of all the people gathered around him. After sometime Hisham returned.
After Hisham had related this incident to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s), the Imam smiled and asked, “Who taught you this argument?”
Hisham replied, “The words automatically came on my tongue, O son of Allah’s Messenger!”
The Imam said, “Hisham, this method is present in the scrolls of Ibrahim and Musa.”
The Young Teacher Of Aged Students
Rabi-ur-Raay was one of the knowledgeable jurists of Medina. Many people who had seen the times of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to benefit from his knowledge. Among them some were poets of high caliber and when they recited their compositions the audience were left enchanted. Such an accomplished young man used to impart lessons in religion from the Prophet’s Mosque. He was surrounded by students that became luminaries in the
world of Islamic sciences. One of his students was Malik Ibn Anas, a renowned Sunni scholar and the founder of the Maliki School of jurisprudence.
The respected father of Rabi departed to Khorasan with the army of Banu Umayyah and stayed there for a very long time. The name of Rabi’s father was Abdul Rahman Farokh. When he departed from Medina, his wife was pregnant and she gave birth to a male child after some days. The mother named her child as “Rabi”. Since the mother of Rabi was an accomplished lady herself, in the absence of her husband she brought up her son with utmost care and labor. She provided him with the best religious instruction and gave him the most excellent training. Under the care and training of his mother the child gradually scaled the stages of perfection. By the time he reached his youth he became a famed intellectual of Medina.
When Farokh was leaving for Khorasan he had deposited three thousand Dinars with his wife for safekeeping so that she may return them to him on his return. Farokh stayed in Khorasan for a long period of twenty-seven years and one day he returned to Medina on a horseback holding a spear in his hand. He opened the door of his house and entered therein unannounced. At that time Rabi was staying with his mother and when Farokh entered he was sitting with his mother.
Seeing Farokh he said, “O enemy of Allah! What has happened to you that you enter the house of
other people like this?” Rabi moved forward so that Farokh may not step further. Farokh said, “Actually you are the enemy of Allah who is ready to associate with my lawful wife.” The matter reached to physical altercation between the two and the neighbors gathered to watch the spectacle.
The news reached Malik Ibn Anas and he arrived with other intellectuals to see what the matter was. The people could not believe that a personality like Rabi could be involved in such a dispute.
Rabi was infuriated and he said, “I will not rest till I hand this man to the Qazi (Judge) and having him punished.” Farokh also reiterated, “By Allah! I will not rest till I take you before the authorities, because you are sitting in my house with my wife.” During this argument Farokh’s wife realized that it was her husband who had changed so much after all these years. She at once said, “O People! This is my husband and Rabi is his son.” When the father recognized the son, both of them embraced each other and tears of love flowed between them.
After some time Farokh entered his quarters and sat down with relief. Then he asked his wife where she had kept those three thousand Dinars. He gave her another four thousand and told her to keep them in safe custody with the previous amount.
Farokh’s wife said, “The amount you gave me previously has been deposited by me at a safe place. Now I also accept this amount which you have brought
after so many years.”
Sometime later Rabi came of his house and arrived in the mosque of Medina to conduct his classes. At that time his students included Malik Ibn Anas, Hasan ibn Zaid, Ibn Ali Lahbi Masahiq and other notable scholars of the time.
When Rabi had left the house, Farokh’s wife told her husband, “Please go out to the Prophet’s mosque for sometime and then come back and take a rest.” When Farokh entered the Prophet’s mosque, he saw a huge gathering of students receiving instructions from an elegant young man wearing a cap. Seeing his father, Rabi bowed down his head and Farokh did not recognize him. He stood between the students and watched the scene. Then he asked a student sitting near him who that great teacher was. He replied, “Rabi Ibn Abdul Rahman Farokh.”
There was no limit to the joy of Farokh. He said, “What a great position Allah has bestowed to my son!”
After that he returned home happily and related the whole episode to his wife. The wife said, “Very good! Now tell me whether you value this more or those Dinars you had left with me?”
Farokh said, “By Allah! I value my son more.”
The wife said, “Then you should know that I have spent the money you left on your son so that he could be provided with the best education through which he has reached this position.”
Farokh said, “By Allah! You have utilized my money in the best way and you have not wasted it.”
Who Lived From The
Time Of The Minor Occultation Of Imam Mahdi (A.S) Till The Fourteenth Century Of Hijrah
The scope of this book is not so vast as to include all the luminaries that lived during this period. Therefore we have selected some of the most noteworthy personalities and written about them in brief.
The Renowned Philosopher And Physician Of The East
Among the greatest intellectuals of Islam is the name of Abu Ali Husain ibn Abdullah ibn Sina, the well-known philosopher. Abu Sina is called “Bu Ali Sina” and “the chief Shaykh”. This great personality was a national of Bukhara, which at that time was a part of the Iranian kingdom. His father had come from Balkh but they had settled down in Bukhara.
Not only this intellectual is the matter of pride for the Islamic world and the people of the East, he is counted among the greatest thinkers and intellectuals of the world.
Ibn Sina was an expert of all the sciences of his time like Rationalism, philosophy, medicine, logic, and mathematics and also wrote books on these subjects.
The writings of Ibn Sina even after a period of a thousand years are considered valuable not only in the Islamic world but non-Islamic centers of knowledge are also studying and doing research on these writings. Thousands of scholars and students have benefited from his books and continue to do so in every corner of the world. The fact is that Ibn Sina was one of the enlightened brains of the world. He was of those who have few equals and
who possessed an outstanding position over the rest of the people.
Regarding his natural gift of intellect it is written that during his infancy when a child has not even reached the age of understanding, lying in his cradle he used to study the stars in the heavens, and committed all this to his memory for the rest of his life. He possessed an extraordinary ability of memorization and many episodes are recorded to illustrate these qualities. Other incidents connected with him prove his insight, understanding and God-given knowledge and perfect manners.
His respected father was in the service of the Sasanid government. When it was felt that Husain has reached the age of understanding he was put under a teacher to learn the holy Quran.
After that he went to the teachers of literature for further education. So sharp was the mind of the child that he committed to memory whatever the teacher taught to other students.
Within a brief period of one and a half years he completed the study of books like Gharibul Musannif, Adabul Katib, Tasrif Mazani, Al-Kitabul Sibuya, Riyaziyat, Hisab Hindi and Jabr-o-Muqabela etc. At that time he was only ten years old. By the time he was twelve he had become proficient in jurisprudence and religious law and became capable to deliver religious edicts (Fatawa).
Umar Abu Abdullah Nayli was the foremost scholar of that time. Once when he came to Bukhara, the father of Ibn Sina invited him to their residence and kept him as a guest for some days during which Ibn
Sina studied under him the books of logic and philosophy. It is apparent that how much Ibn Sina must have gained from the knowledge of this scholar can only be known to the teacher. This much however is known that after the study he posed such questions to his teachers and raised such points and doubts that even the teacher was unable to solve them.
After that, the teacher went towards Khwarizm and during this time Ibn Sina was busy in the study of natural and divine sciences and other areas of research, especially medicine. He collected many books of philosophy and medicine and he made such a deep and vast study that he became the most accomplished and expert physician of his time.
During this period many researchers from far-off places began to come to him. They used to study under him and learn the knowledge he had obtained through his own experiments. By the time he was eighteen, Ibn Sina had mastered all the sciences of his age. In spite of this he used to be engrossed in studies and did not waste a single moment. Whenever he was confronted with a difficult problem he used to perform ablution, go to the Jame Masjid of Bukhara, pray two units of prayer and invocate Allah for the solution.
In that period Nuh ibn Mansur, the Samanid ruler, fell ill. He summoned Ibn Sina for his treatment. The treatment provided by this youthful physician cured the illness and the Sultan accorded him a permanent place in his court.
Samanid dynasty had a huge library having all the books on every subject prevalent in that period. Some of the books were priceless and very rare. Ibn Sina used them to further his knowledge and even committed to memory the most important treatises. When this library was burnt to ashes all the rare manuscripts perished but they were safe in the memory of Ibn Sina.
When he was twenty-one, he began writing and compilation. When he was twenty-two, his father passed away and the same year he was appointed as the Diwan (Prime Minister) of the Samanid Kingdom. When the Samanid kingdom began to decline and the royal treasury was almost empty, Ibn Sina bid adieu to Bukhara and moved to Gurganj in Khwarizm, the seat of the Maimoniya kingdom. There he became close to the ruler of Khwarizm, Ali Ibn Mamun Ibn Muhammad and his Vizier, Abul Hasan Ahmed ibn Muhammad Sahli who was a great intellectual of his time. He stayed there for many years and wrote many books.
Later when Mahmud Ghaznavi planned that all the intellectuals of Khwarizm should move to his court, Ibn Sina left Khwarizm and went to Nishapur, Tus and Samangan towards Gurgan, since he was of Shia faith and he feared that there would be discrimination at the court of Ghazna and he may be a target of the Sultan’s bigotry and enmity.
But the ruler of Gurgan, towards whom Ibn Sina headed, was killed in 403 A.H. and Ibn Sina went towards Dahsan. After some days he left Dahsan
again and traveled to Gurgan and there he completed most of his writings. In 405 A.H. he went to Rayy. There he treated Majdud Dawla the son of Fakhrud Dawla Daylami and wrote his book, Maad.
This young philosopher and physician left Rayy also and went to Qazwin and from there to Hamadan. He lived there for sometime and wrote his famous books Shifa. He was approximately thirty-seven years of age when Shamsud Dawla the son of Fakhrud Dawla appointed him as Vizier. After some days there was a mutiny and he was stripped of his post. However after some months he was reinstated in his position. However, the hectic life of a Vizier did not deter him from his studies. He continued to write books after books.
After the death of Shamsud Dawla he went to Isfahan and became a close confidant of the ruler, Alauddin Kakooya. In 468 A.H. he traveled with his mentor to Hamadan and died there at the age of 58, where he was buried.
Ibn Sina was an expert of two languages: Arabic and Persian, thus he wrote in both the languages. He was also a poet. His well-known writings are: Shifa, Isharat, Danish Nama Alayee (Persian), Nijat, Commentary on Shifa and Qanun Tibb. These books are very famous in the East. In spite of his difficulties and homeless wanderings he wrote more than a hundred volumes on different subjects.
Ibn Sina was a strong, active and an elegant young man. He possessed the delicacy of manners and well articulated behavior. Despite his
intense studies, research and writings he never felt tired and indolent. That is the reason that royal posts, company of rulers and extensive travels never became barriers in his writing work. For the most part of the nights he was buried in pages of books and journals but all this never affected his presence of mind. He was always witty and never did he fall short intellectually. Many strange episodes are recorded about his exceptional capabilities.
He became an expert physician at the age of eighteen and discovered the modern methods of diagnosis and cure.
An Enlightened Adolescent And A Teacher Of Aged Pupils
Muhammad ibn Babawayh, known as Shaykh Sadooq in the world of knowledge, lived in the fourth century Hijri. He is considered the father of the science of traditions and is a well-known personality of Shias. His father was Ali Ibn Babawayh and he was the most prominent scholar of Qom and he wrote twenty books, which are well known in the literary circles. He had married the daughter of his uncle but even after the passage of so many years they did not have any issue. In 305 A.H. he traveled to Baghdad and met Husayn Ibn Rauh Nawbakhti, the special deputy of the twelfth Imam (a.s) and through him sent a request letter to the Imam of the time. Husain ibn Rauh conveyed his request to the Imam who replied as follows:
“You will not have any children with this wife. I have petitioned Allah in this regard and soon you will get
two righteous and worthy sons from a lady of Daylam.” Shaykh Sadooq has mentioned this episode in the introduction to his book, Kamaluddin. Thus not many days passed when Ali Ibn Babawayh married a Dailamite lady and two sons were born through her. One he named Muhammad and other Husain. The two became well known scholars of their time.
The elder was Muhammad who later became famous as Shaykh Sadooq. He had extraordinary intelligence and an analytical mind and he was incomparable in his intellect, wisdom and perfections.
Muhammad was born in Qom. He first studied under his respected father, and then received instructions from Muhammad ibn Walid Qummi and other scholars of Qom. Not much time passed when he earned for himself a distinguished place in the literary circles.
While yet in his youth he occupied the position of a teacher and also initiated the work of writing and compilation. His honorable father expired in 329 A.H. and from that very year he acquired the position of “point of reference” (Marjaiyat) and the people of areas around Qom used to refer to him regarding their problems and religious questions.
Traditionalists and jurists, senior in age used to attend his classes. Despite the fact that he had just stepped into his youth, many senior scholars used to attend his daily lectures on the science of traditions. This proves that he possessed extraordinary capabilities and an exceptional memory.
Scholars of traditions and intellectuals were perplexed at his memory and intellectual perfections. And when people expressed their astonishment to him he said,
“What is astonishing about it? I am born through the prayers of the Imam of the time.”
When his fame spread beyond the area Ruknud Dawla the ruler of Rayy invited him. He went to Rayy upon the royal invitation where he was accorded the most honorable welcome by the vizier, Sahib ibn Abbad. Thus he spent most of his life in Rayy. The spiritually inclined Shias of this province used to visit him and benefit from his knowledge.
Later Ibn Babawayh traveled to Khorasan, Nishapur, and Balkh and performed the Hajj pilgrimage and Ziarat of the holy Imams in Hijaz and Iraq. During his stay in Kufa and Baghdad, the Shias there gained from his religious knowledge and continued to visit him one after the other. Then he returned to Iran and passed away in Rayy in the year 381 A.H. Many of his students later became famous as great scholars of their times, like Shaykh Mufid and Husain ibn Ubaidullah Ghazaeri etc.
Shaykh Sadooq has written three hundred books on religious sciences, of which the most important are Man La Yahzarul Faqih, which is one of the four canonical books of Shias. Other famous books, Khisal, Maniul Akhbar, Ilalush Sharai, Itiqadat, Uyun Akhbar Reza and Tawheed.
The tradition scholars and jurists of the Shia world look upon Shaykh Sadooq with utmost respect due to his scholarly services and since the last thousand years till today they all agree about his greatness, reliability, truthfulness and insight. They consider him so well versed in the science of traditions that
they say, ‘as if he understands even the modulation and accent of Ahle Bayt (a.s)’.
The Young Scholar Of Great Fame Who Had Just Entered Youth
Doubtlessly, Sayyid Razi is the most famed Shia scholar and he possessed an enlightened disposition and was a high caliber intellectual. He is the luminous star that shone on the skies of Baghdad, which had always been the center of the world of knowledge in every age. This brilliant scholar was born in 359 A.H. in the city of Baghdad.
He belonged to a family, every member of which, whether male or female possessed a sound mind, was accomplished in every aspect and faithful to religious laws. All of them were appointed to rear and train this child. During his childhood itself he was endowed with all the good qualities and fine traits of character and intellect. His fame began to spread while he was just a young boy and people prophesied that one day he would become a distinguished scholar.
When Sayyid Razi joined the school he astonished his teacher and classmates by his exceptional abilities. Therefore as he scaled the steps of progress his retractors and enemies also increased. But there also was no dearth of intellectuals who accorded him due respect and honor.
Thus among the strange anecdotes connected with his life is also the mention about the fact that his classmates and teachers used to be perplexed at his accomplishments. Sayyid Razi and his brother Sayyid Murtada became famous scholars in their adolescence when they obtained knowledge of religious
jurisprudence and other sciences from their teacher Shaykh Mufid. Sayyid Razi studied Sharh Usul-e-Khamsa and Al-Umdah under Qadi Abdul Jabbar the renowned Mutazalite scholar of Sunni faith. In the same way he studied traditions under Muhammad ibn Imran Murzabani and Abu Musa Talakbar, both of whom were great Shia scholars.
According to the report of Abu Hafs ibn Umar Kattani, his teacher in jurisprudence was Abu Wabi and in recitation it was Muhammad ibn Amwani Khwarezmi and it is said that he studied Tahani under Muhammad Asadi Ikfani and Syntax and Arabic grammar from Ali Ibn Isa Rumani. He was trained in prosody under Abu Ishaq Zajjaj, who was considered the father of prosody. He obtained knowledge of rhyming from Akhfash, who is considered a master of Arabic grammar. He also studied some Arabic under Ibn Haba and eloquence and literature under Ibn Nabaya. Sayyid Razi had obtained expertise in all the above-mentioned sciences even before he reached the age of maturity, and he began to be considered an expert of Arabic language and literature.
This young lad, whose fame spread among the common people as well as the nobles regarding his intellectual capacities and his insight, began to compose verse while he was yet ten years old. When he was twelve he composed a panegyric in the honor of his chaste and accomplished mother, which reflected the extent of his literary merits. A collection of the panegyrics he composed at that age is present and people with literary taste read it and are perplexed at his
deep insight, control over the language and God-given intellectual capabilities.
He began to write and teach from the age of eighteen. By the time he was twenty he had mastered all the sciences of his age.
Sayyid Razi was very much obsessed about acquiring knowledge. If he had any opportunity to learn something from anybody he did not hesitate to disregard his self-esteem and went ahead to learn it. In this matter he did not discriminate between Shia or Sunni, Muslim or non-Muslim.
By the time he was twenty he had become a master of jurisprudence, traditions, exegesis of Quran and other religious sciences in Arabic. According to Thalabi who was his contemporary: Sayyid Razi was the inheritor of his ancestor Abu Talib as regards his literary arts. This was so because great luminaries of the literary world have appeared in the progeny of Abu Talib.
Though many great men of letters lived during the Buwayhid period there was none who could surpass the eloquence and literary merits of Sayyid Razi either in prose or poetry.
Sahib ibn Abbad was a scholar and a litterateur of the Buwayhid dynasty. He served the royalty as a vizier. He had collected the couplets of Mutanabbi, a renowned poet of Arabia that he used to quote now and then. When he heard the verses of Sayyid Razi, he sent a messenger to him with instructions that he should compile the verses of Sayyid Razi for him. At that time Sayyid Razi was twenty-six years old.
When he was twenty-three, he composed an ode about
Abu Tahir Nasirud Dawla. Such were the beautiful words and expressions of this composition that the teacher of Sayyid Razi, “Janna” wrote a commentary on the verses. Thus at such a young age he earned great accolades from his teacher. Such a relationship between a teacher and a student is rare.
Sayyid Razi was a man of self-respect, honor, chastity, generosity and all the perfect qualities. There was none who could equal him during his time. He was very particular in performing religious duties. He did not like flattery and false praise.
He never accepted any recompense for the verses he composed in honor of the rulers. He refused many times the gifts sent by Bahaud Dawla Dailami. Even when he composed verses in praise of his own father and the father tried to make a present to him in return he refused to accept it saying: Is gift a recompense of a couplet? But Sayed Razi himself was very generous and charitable.
Sayyid Razi had a friend named Abu Ishaq. For years they communicated through letters. This person was a Sabian and a man of letters of his time. He also had mystic tendencies. When he died Sayyid Razi composed a dirge in his favor while the Ahle Sunnat people made fun of him. Upon this Sayyid Razi justified, “I have expressed sorrow at the passing away of a man of letters and the loss incurred to the literary world. I am not concerned about the way he looked or what type of body he had.”
Razi, his father was the Amir of Hajj for the Shia pilgrims and also an ambassador between different Islamic kingdoms. He was responsible for working out treaties and agreements between various principalities. After his demise the exalted post came to Sayyid Razi when he was just twenty-one years old. This proves the extraordinary merits and excellence of this young scholar.
The duty of the Amir of Hajj was to make arrangements for the Hajj pilgrims and provide them with all the facilities on the way to and from Mecca and Medina. The curatorship of the two holy sanctuaries were also included in this.
Though previously this duty was discharged by his father and brother jointly, now the responsibility was solely his at the age of twenty-one.
Sayyid Razi was only 47 years old when he passed away from this world in 406 A.H. leaving behind a legacy for those in quest of knowledge. The voice of his writings still echoes in the world of knowledge.
The news of the untimely and sudden demise of Sayyid Razi spread in the city like forest fire. People rushed barefoot to his residence. All the scholars, intellectuals and jurists whether Shia or Sunni rushed to participate in his funeral. His elder brother, Sayyid Murtada was so shocked that he saw the bier once and went to the shrine of the seventh Imam and sat there in grief. He did not even have the strength to accompany the funeral procession.
The Shia vizier, Fakhrul Mulk performed the funeral prayer and buried the late scholar. Then
he came to the shrine of the seventh Imam and took Sayyid Murtada back to his residence from there. We should remember that Sayyid Razi is the compiler of Nahjul Balagha, which is a book second in importance only to the Holy Quran. Shias and Sunnis both accept that it is a priceless gift for the world of Islam.
Nahjul Balagha is such a book that since the time it was compiled till today, that is, even after a thousand years, it remains an object of attention for the litterateurs, scholars and intellectuals of the world. Not only this, it also shows the high merits of the compiler and his enlightened thinking.
Sayyid Razi collected the sermons, letters, advices and sayings of his ancestor Amirul Momineen (a.s) and arranged them in a beautiful way. The book contains the secrets of a successful life and a prosperous hereafter. Treasures of wisdom are found in this book of the sayings and writings of the Master of the Faithful. The arrangement is very convenient and presentable. Sayyid Razi labored a great deal sifting through the multitudes of books and manuscripts to make the collection. In addition to this he wrote an eloquent and meaningful introduction where he mentioned subtle points and delicate matters of the expressions of Ali (a.s).
Sayyid Razi has performed such a magnificent service by compiling this book that it would continue to provide enlightenment to all those who are in search of knowledge and research.
This is so because the personality of Ali (a.s) is only next to
the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) that provides directions for salvation to mankind. Thus such a comprehensive, authoritative and a perfect book is a great service to mankind in general and the Shias in particular.
Thus the influences of Sayyid Razi would endure as long as Nahjul Balagha survives.
Such An Intelligent Youth Whose Fame Regarding His Foresight Would Endure Forever
Muhammad ibn Tusi, famous as Shaykh Tusi is the most well known jurist and Mujtahid of the Shias who lived during the first half of the 5th century A.H. He was originally an inhabitant of Tus and was born there in 385 A.H. He received primary education in his homeland of Iran and after that he moved to Baghdad for higher studies.
During those times Baghdad was the seat of Abbaside caliphate and a great center of learning in that period. Without any exception the Abbaside rule stretched from Spain and south Arabia to China and from the Mediterranean coast to North Africa. Baghdad was a seat of learning and scholars and intellectuals from all parts of the world flocked there.
The greatest personality of this period was Shaykh Mufid who resided in the Shia neighborhood of Karkh in an opulent atmosphere. He commanded great respect and influence. Shaykh Mufid was a great intellectual personality having knowledge in every field and subject and he was a poet and a literary critic also.
In this period of history the Buwayhid rulers Muizud Dawla Daylami and Azdud Dawla were of Shia faith and they were very powerful and influential; therefore the Abbaside caliphs
were in awe of them. They did not dare to take any action against them or engage with them in a martial conflict.
The great scholars and intellectuals of Islam continued to gather in Baghdad and remained engaged in their pursuits of teaching and learning, writing and compilations etc. with absolute freedom. A youth aged twenty-three, whose name was Muhammad ibn Tusi also arrived in Baghdad for higher studies. Since he belonged to the Shia faith he lodged in the Karkh area and enrolled into the classes of Shaykh Mufid.
The powerful thinking of this intelligent youth, his unlimited capabilities and fervor were worth paying attention to. Therefore when he found himself an alien in this city he immersed himself, day and night in the acquisition of knowledge, deep study and research.
Muhammad ibn Tusi remained under the care of Shaykh Mufid for five years and all this time he did not ignore his studies even for a moment. He also attended the lectures of other scholars, like Ibn Abi Junaid Baghdadi, Ibn Sult Ahwazi, Abdullah Ghazaeri and Ibn Abduh, from whom he learnt Islamic jurisprudence, science of narrators and traditions. However, the best training he received was from Shaykh Mufid, whose fame had spread all over the country.
At the age of twenty-five Shaykh Tusi wrote a commentary of Shaykh Mufid’s Al-Muqna, a book of religious jurisprudence and Shaykh Mufid expired in 413 A.H. During the lifetime of Shaykh Mufid itself, Shaykh Tusi had completed his book, Taharat and also concluded the commentary on The Book of Prayer.
After the demise of his teacher this brilliant youth completed other commentaries and named the collection, Tahzibul Ahkam. At the age of twenty-five, he brought out the volumes of his book, Tahzib in which he had based his arguments on traditions and also explained the method through which he has arrived at a particular conclusion.
Tahzib is a collection of 13590 traditions. In the beginning of this book he writes about the conflicting traditions in Shia collections and goes on to state that Ahle Sunnat people had raised the objection that though Shias initially criticized them for conflicting reports in their books, the Shias themselves are having such traditions.
Replying to the objection Shaykh Tusi says, “Such doubts are entertained only by those who are deficient in knowledge and who are not capable to view the meanings of the words of traditions from different angles. Thus they are unable to understand the type of differences…”
“However, it is necessary to collect all such traditions and write them with explanations as such a venture would be a great service to religion and earn the pleasure of Almighty.
A gentleman suggested to me that an exegesis of Shaykh Mufid’s Al-Muqna must be composed so that the opponents come to know that the apparently conflicting traditions in Shia texts are not actually conflicting. Rather it is requirement of a manifest religion and they are within the ambit of variable meanings.”
A noteworthy point here is that this book is one of the four canonical books of Shias. Jurists and scholars have been using
this book since the last one thousand years. We must remember that Tusi wrote this book in his youth. Later this man became famed as Shaykh Tusi and due to his exceptional expertise also was referred to as Shaykh-ut-Taifa. The fact is that all the jurists and intellectuals have considered him their teacher and leader. Thus though we have a long list of scholars and intellectuals but none was ever given the appellation of Shaykh-ut-Taifa.
It is astonishing that from the aspect of his age he is described as a young man while on the basis of his accomplishments he is given the title usually reserved for those senior in age. The fact is that he was unique in having expertise in all fields since his youth. He wrote books on various branches of jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, exegesis, traditions, science of narrators; scholastic theology, history and Arabic literature. Among the four canonical books of Shias two are written by Shaykh Tusi: Tahzib and Istibsar. The other two books are Al-Kafi of Muhammad ibn Yaqub Kulayni and Man La Yahzarul Faqih of Shaykh Sadooq.
After the passing away of his teacher, for twenty years, Shaykh Tusi studied under Sayyid Murtada Alamul Huda. After him, he took over the responsibility of imparting knowledge to the Shia world and administration of their religious affairs. In 468 A.H. communal riots erupted in Baghdad. Shaykh Tusi left Baghdad and settled in Najaf al-Ashraf.
During that time Najaf was not even worth calling a hamlet. However, gradually it became a center of Shia
learning and people flocked from all over the world to obtain religious instruction. Shaykh Tusi also is considered the founder of the first religious college in Najaf al-Ashraf.
The Son Of Allamah Hilli
Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin, Muhammad, the worthy son of Allamah Hilli is among the enlightened minds of the Shias. Like his father Allamah Hilli this young man was such a great juristic scholar that he became famous in the world of knowledge. Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin was born in the Islamic month of Jamadius Thani in 682 A.H. in his native town of Hilla, which was a center of education and was situated in southern Iraq. His father, his grandfather, Sadidul Deen and the mentor of his father, Muhaqqiq Hilli were all jurists of the Shia faith and each of them holds a special place in the field of Islamic knowledge.
Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin obtained his primary education and knowledge of the prevalent sciences of that time like, theology, logic and traditions etc. from his father. It is noteworthy that he had already completed his studies in the above sciences before he reached the age of maturity.
The famous personality, Martyr Qadi Nurullah Shustari writes in his book, Majlisul Momineen: Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin was the revivalist of the textual and rational sciences. He was a researcher of great insight and had a broad vision. Thus a Shafei intellectual narrates that when he came to the court of Sultan Muhammad Khuda Banda in Qazwin with his father he showed himself to be an accomplished and meritorious personality.
Hafiz Abroo writes in Majma-ut-Tawarikh that
in 709 A.H. when Sultan Muhammad Khuda Banda accepted Shiaism at the behest of Allamah Hilli, Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin accompanied his father to Iran. At that time his age was twenty-five years and in those days he was considered a first class scholar.
Qadi Nurullah says that due to the teachings and training of his respected father the brilliance of Ijtihad (Islamic jurisprudence) shone from his forehead. He himself writes in his commentary on Qawaid that he suggested to his father to write a comprehensive book on Shia Islamic Jurisprudence. He says that at that time he had already studied numerous books of Shia scholars. Qadi Nurullah says that at the time his age must not be more than ten years because the difference between his year of birth and the writing of Qawaid is less than that. Therefore when his father wrote it he had already become a Mujtahid. However, it is not surprising because there are instances of people mastering the religious sciences even at the age of as young as four years. An example is of Shaykh Taqiuddin Hasan ibn Dawood, a friend and classmate of Sayyid Ghayasuddin (Abdul Karim) Ibn Tawus, who had become needless of a teacher at the age of four.
It is narrated from Ibrahim ibn Saeed Jauhari that he saw a four-year child being brought in arms to the court of caliph Mamun the Abbaside. The child recited the Holy Quran and spoke about religious topics, and as his age demanded when he felt hungry he began to cry like
ordinary children. Ibn Sina has also testified to this episode.
The famous jurist and intellectual Muhammad ibn Hasan Isfahani, known by the title of Fazil-e-Hindi writes in the beginning of Kashful Itham, which is a commentary on Allamah Hilli’s Qawaid quoting the words of Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin that, “It is possible that many people may be surprised how a ten-year-old lad could reach the level of jurisprudence. But I know that he was born in 682 A.H. and his father wrote in 692 or 693 A.H. that Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin has at the age of ten already crossed the last step of Ijtihad. Then he writes that it is the grace of Allah. He bestows it to whomsoever He wishes; nothing is beyond His power.
However, the most noteworthy point is that Allamah Hilli addresses Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin and says, “O my son! I have written in detail for you in this book all the Islamic laws and religious verdicts.”
Thus in other words the text of this book is also very eloquent and very unambiguous.
As we have mentioned above, Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin accomplished the lofty levels of an intellectual and scholarly qualities while in his youth. The father and son were unique in their level of intellectual merits. When they reached Hilla from Iran they again focused their attention on the completion of their writings and immersed themselves in teaching and training students who went out to become famous scholars whose fame still endures in the world of knowledge. The most famous student was Shahid Awwal, the first martyr, who is
a great Shia luminary.
Important writings of Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin include Sharh Mubadi Al-Usul, Sharh Tahzibul Usul, Sharh Nahjul Mustarshideen and Al-Fawaid dar Sharh Mushkilate Qawaid. Most of these were commentaries on the books of his father and they show the depth of his insight.
Though Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin occupied an outstanding position in the field of religious knowledge, he also possessed incomparable expertise in literature and ethics. One never finds such a father and son pair who in spite of each of them being so much accomplished accorded so much respect and honor for each other.
For example Allamah Hilli writes in the introduction of his book, Alfayn that consists of two thousand proofs in support of the Imamate of Ali (a.s), “I have dictated the text of this book at the behest of my dear son, Muhammad. May Allah improve his affairs of the world and the Hereafter. He is also never deficient in according honor and respect to his parents. May Allah give him the joys of the two worlds as he spends all his mental and emotional capacities in my obedience. I am satisfied with his words and actions.”
Allamah Hilli completed the last volume of this book in the year he traveled to Iran with his son who was twenty-five years old at that time.
The Brilliant Daughter Of Allamah Majlisi
The family of Allamah Majlisi has to its credit incomparable services for the cause of Islam four hundred years ago in Iran especially and the world in general. Allamah Majlisi is known as Majlisi, the second.
He was the son of Mulla Muhammad Taqi Majlisi or Majlisi, the first; and his name was Mulla Muhammad Baqir. He is the author of the Islamic Encyclopedia titled, Biharul Anwar. Both these gentlemen are objects of pride for the whole Shia community and are greatly venerated in Iran. The father and son, both were like shoreless oceans of knowledge. They had presence of mind and were intelligent to a degree of perfection. It would not be misplaced to say that the two Majlisi’s left a heritage of writings that are the foundations of a revivalist movement in the Shia religion. Majlisi, the first had a long list of students who went on to become great scholars of their own standing. The name that heads this list is that of Mullah Salih Mazandarani.
Mullah Salih Mazandarani was such a sincere and serious student that he was always immersed in his pursuits of knowledge. However he was very weak financially and had to undergo many difficulties during the period of his education. He didn’t even had enough to purchase a lamp to study at night. His father was also not able to provide assistance to his son.
When Mulla Salih arrived in Isfahan for religious studies he had already completed much of education in spite of his young age. Thus when he arrived in Isfahan he easily got admission in the religious college of Mulla Taqi Majlisi. Within a short time he had earned a place of honor in the view of his teacher and other students due
to his sincerity and exceptional talents.
Though he had reached the age of marriage he was still a bachelor. Thus his teacher Allamah Majlisi thought that it was a pity that such a good student who was an example for others should remain unmarried. Hence he decided to see that he is married as soon as possible.
One day after the class Allamah Majlisi called Mulla Salih and said to him, “If you say, I can get you married so that you are freed from the troublesome life of bachelorhood?” Mulla Salih bowed down his head before his teacher implying his willingness.
Allamah Majlisi came home and told his daughter Amina Begum, who was herself an accomplished scholar of religion and had literary expertise, “I have found a husband for you, who though weak financially has no equal in terms of merits, excellence and knowledge. But now you have to take a decision about it. I am waiting so that you may inform me.”
The chaste and intelligent daughter said to her father respectfully, “Dear father! Poverty and financial problems are no defects for men.” In this way she expressed her willingness. Thus at an auspicious hour the two were married and Mulla Salih brought his bride to the bridal chamber.
When the son-in-law moved the veil and looked at the beautiful face of the bride he thanked Allah and then went into a corner of the room and immersed himself in study.
By chance he came across a problem that he could not solve. No matter how many books he
referred he could not find the answer. At last the bride herself asked, “Tell me what the problem is and which book would have the solution to it?”
At last it was dawn and the son-in-law left the house without having touched the bride and headed towards his classes. Amina Begum came to the study table to see the problem that her husband had failed to resolve. She found the solution to it and also noted down the reference of the book that contained the answer.
Mulla Salih returned home and as was his practice sat down to study. He was surprised to find that his wife Amina Begum had solved the problem and also noted down the references in her own handwriting. That very moment he spread the prayer rug and spent the whole night in worship and continued to thank Allah. Three days passed in the same manner and Mulla Salih did not even speak to his wife.
When Mulla Majlisi came to know about it he called his son-in-law and asked him, “If you do not like my daughter, I can look for another woman for you to marry.”
Mulla Salih replied, “It is not that I do not like your righteous and brilliant daughter. Rather I want to thank Allah about it as much as I can for giving me such a wife. But I know that how much ever I thank for it I found it to be less. Therefore I remain engrossed in worship.”
When Mulla Majlisi heard this from his gifted son-in-law and
intelligent student, he said, “Yes, it is true that if a person confesses that he is deficient in thanking Allah to the degree He is deserving of it, Allah includes him among the thankful ones.”
Amina Begum was a pious lady and herself a jurist of Islamic law. She also wrote books on religious laws. In addition to this she also assisted her brother Mulla Baqir Majlisi in collecting traditions and making arrangements for his magnum opus, Biharul Anwar. Even her husband Mulla Salih used to seek her counsel on the text of Allamah Hilli’s Qawaid and benefit from her advice.
We should also know that many great personalities of Shia Islam came into existence through this accomplished lady. The great Wahid Behbahani, Allamah Bahrul Uloom, Sayyid Ali Tabatabai (writer of Riyaz) and Allamah Burujardi of the current age and many other great Shia luminaries belong to her lineage. A noteworthy point about this lady is that both her father and husband were geniuses of their own times. Muhaddith Qummi writes in Qawaidur Rizvia that the Late Majlisi the first, writes in the explanation of the chapter of the Prayer of the Dead from the book Man La Yahzarul Faqih: By the grace of Allah, I know these gentlemen since the last four years. They had sincere faith in Allah, prayers, heaven and hell as if they were before their eyes. They used to perform the midnight prayer. They used to recite the Morning Prayer in congregation. They used to impart good advice to the children, and
obtain the knowledge of Quranic verses and traditions from their respected father.”
Wahid Behbahani writes in his journal Ijtihad al-Akhbar: “My grandfather, Mulla Salih had written marginal notes on Maalim when he was very young. Whoever reads these notes is astonished how he could have penned them at such a tender age?”
A Child Prodigy And An Intelligent Youth
There is an intellectual among our scholars who led a life of anonymity. His name was Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn Muhammad Isfahani, and he was known by the appellation of Fazil-e-Hindi. If he is called as a great personality it is not beyond reality because he was indeed a great personality but what is actually needed is to bring out his personality from the shadows of anonymity. This is so because he was not an ordinary scholar; he has to his credit great services in the field of knowledge.
This great personality was born in 1062 A.H. in Isfahan and since he had traveled to India (Hindustan) during his childhood he began to be addressed as Fazil-e-Hindi.
His father Tajuddin Hasan ibn Muhammad Isfahani was among the great scholars of his time. He is the writer of the commentary of Baher-e-Mawaj.
Fazil-e-Hindi is not known to the general readers, not even among the scholars. But the religious jurisprudents and the great Shia intellectuals know him well. Al-Hajj Mirza Husain Noori narrates from his teacher Shaykh Iraqain that the writer of Jawahir has expressed great trust in the book of Kashful Atham. Till the time he did not have this book in
front of him he never wrote any portion of Jawahir and he used to say, “But for Fazil-e-Hindi the science of religious jurisprudence would have become extinct in Iran.”
The great jurisprudent Shaykh Asadullah Shustari in his first book Maqabis presents Fazil-e-Hindi in such a way as if he is arguing about Imamate and the rights of Ali (a.s) with the Ahle Sunnat. Thus in one of his commentaries he writes, “Among his writings is the book, Al-Manahij-ul-Sawiya which is the commentary of Rawdatul Hayya. I have seen some of its volumes.”
His book Salat is authoritative, lucid and brimming with benefits and research. It was completed in 1088 A.H., which shows that the author was only twenty-five at that time. This young man also experienced those days when the Afghans created great mischief and Isfahan was broken away from Iran. Those days he spent a very difficult life of grief and calamities. Fazil-e-Hindi has written around eighty books and he expired in 1137 A.H. The most well known of his book is Kashful Atham, which is the commentary on Allamah Hilli’s Qawaid. In the introduction of this book he has repeated the words of Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin that why people are surprised if some are endowed with knowledge at a young age. Allah gives to whom He pleases.
He says, “I myself was not even thirteen when I had studied all the prevalent sciences. I was not even eleven when I had started writing and compiling books. When I was fifteen I wrote Munyatul Harees Dar Sharh Talkhis.
I was only eighteen when I used to lecture on Taftazani…
Therefore the readers must know that the level of their competence was so high that it would not be out of place to call them geniuses.
A Story Of A Young Philosopher Who Had The World Of Capabilities
There was a small town near Zanjan. Shahabuddin Yahya ibn Habash Suhurwardi, known as Shaykh Ishraq was an inhabitant of this town. He was born there and became famous for his knowledge and intelligence. It is said that he was born before 550 A.H.
When he had entered his youth he traveled to Muragha and there he studied medicine and science of principles under Majduddin Habili. In that same period he visited Isfahan and studied the best books of philosophy under Zahiruddin Fari or Farsi. After that he met all the great personalities of the area and visited and toured many places. First he toured the various cities of Iran and met the great intellectuals and scholars of the time, held discussions with them and impressed them by his knowledge.
During the time he was studying in Muragha under Majduddin, Fakhruddin Razi was his class fellow. Fakhruddin also obtained many sciences from Majduddin.
Ibn Khallikan writes in his book Wafayatul Ayan:
Suhurwardi was unique in his command on sciences and arts. He had comprehensive knowledge about philosophy and medicine and in jurisprudence he possessed an astonishing capability. He had great intellect and insight.” Then he writes: He was killed in the last part of 576 A.H. At the time of his death
he was thirty-six years old.
Ibn Hajar Asqalani, who was a great scholar of his time, writes in his book Lisanul Mizan: He never held discussions with anyone but that he had the upper hand. Then he says: It is related from Fakhruddin Mardini that he said: I am fearful of this young man that his intelligence and sagacity would destroy others.
It is narrated from Sifr Halabi that he said: Suhurwardi arrived in Aleppo in 573 A.H. and lodged at Madrasa Halawiyah. He secured the permission to enter the gathering of Iftikhar Halabi who was the teacher there. There he entered into a very prolonged discussion.
Ibn Abi Asiba says: Shaykh Ishraqi did not have any desire for any material thing.
Yafai also writes in Miratul Jinan: He was an expert in medicine, philosophy, principles of jurisprudence and theology. He was endowed with great intelligence and sagacity. He was an eloquent speaker and very good at debates. It is said that he was even conversant with alchemy.
In such a short period of life, that is less than 36 years, Suhurwardi wrote more or less 50 books, most of whom are present with me. He writes in a very engaging way and his writings are very fine from the literary point of view. And whatever he wrote in Persian, the prose of it is a masterpiece of that age because later the same text became a story of a philosopher whom a community began to follow.
During the fourth century of Hijrah, the power of the Abbaside caliph had become
very restricted and the provincial rulers were mostly Shias. And they had great expertise in rational sciences, traditions and narrative reports. Hence they commanded great influence in the Islamic lands. Thus this age is known as the golden age of philosophy.
From the aspects of his subjects and conditions Suhurwardi continued to lay the standards of discussions for two centuries after that though all his life he was also involved in teaching, writing and compilation. As a result of his innovative theories he left a great legacy for the people of later times, due to which he would be remembered forever.
His writings are either in Arabic or Persian, and in both the languages his style is very engaging and lucid, which shows his intellectuals capabilities and high thinking that the Almighty had bestowed to this young man.
The following books of Suhurwardi were collected by the author of Hikmatul Ishraq: Matarahat, Talwihat, Hikmatul Ishraq, Alwahul Amadiya, Ilaihakul Nuriya, Al-Maqalat, Bistanul Quloob, Al-Bariqatul Ilahiya, Lawame-ul-Anwar, Itiqatadatul Hikma, Risalatul Ishq, Risala-fi-Jalatul Tafwiliya, Risale Aqle Surkh, Rozi ba Jamat-e-Sufiya, Aawaz Pare Jibraeel, Partu Nama Yazdan Shinakht, Safir Simurgh, Bakht-e-Moran, Risalatul Tayr, Dawatul Kawakib, Alwahul Farsiya, Ilaihakul Farsiya, Al-Wardatul Ilahiya, Tauraqul Anwar, Al-Naghmatul Samawiya etc.
A noteworthy matter is that Suhurwardi says in his book, Hikmatul Ishraq: There are many treatises that I have written in my boyhood. Qutubuddin, the commentator of Hikmatul Ishraq says: By treatises he means the books of Alwah, Hiyakul Anwar and other many treatises.
The most important books of Suhurwardi are: Hikmatul Ishraq, Hiyakul Anwar, Risalatul Ishq, Mataharat
Suhurwardi wrote Hikmatul Ishraq in Arabic. Qutubuddin Shirazi wrote the commentary of this book in Arabic. He was a great scholar of his time. Dr. Ja'far Sajjadi, a professor at Tehran University has translated this book into Persian.
Among the commentators on the books of Suhurwardi are the names of those who are highly respected scholars. In the seventh and eighth century Ibn Kamuna Shaharzori and Allamah Hilli wrote glosses on Talwihat. In the ninth century Jalaluddin Dawani wrote a gloss on Hiyakul Anwar. In the ninth and tenth century respectively Jalaluddin Dawani and Abdur Razzaq Lahiji wrote glosses on Hiyakul Anwar. Many other scholars have also passed who have written much on Suhurwardi. They include Khwaja Nasiruddin Tusi the famous philosopher of the seventh century. He has written extensively on the philosophy of Suhurwardi and defended him against the philosophy of Ibn Sina.
After Iran other countries of Asia like India benefited a great deal by the philosophy of Suhurwardi and during the Safavid rule in Iran the Ishraqi philosophy exercised great influence on the Islamic thinking.
In India many books of Suhurwardi were translated into Sanskrit at the behest of the Mughal kings. These books were also translated into Hebrew. Thus his thoughts were spreading to people of other faiths like the Hindus and Jews.
Qutubuddin Shirazi says that the book of Hikmatul Ishraq is full of wisdom and learning though small in size.
In Itiqadatul Hikma, Suhurwardi writes: Some people say philosophers and thinkers do not have faith in Allah and the Last Day: Thus I
have compiled in this book the sayings of great philosophers about their beliefs.”
It is very interesting to note that though Fakhruddin Razi was a staunch opponent of philosophy he was a classmate of Suhurwardi and after Suhurwardi was murdered, when once Fakhruddin Razi was given a copy of Talwihat he first kissed the book then remembering his student days wept in nostalgia.
In the final years of his life Suhurwardi traveled to Syria and stayed in Damascus for sometime. He met the scholars there and engaged them in debates and discussions. Then he went to Aleppo and repeated his methods. In Aleppo, Malik Zahir was ruling in place of his father, Salauddin Ayyubi who was in Egypt. Though initially Malik Zahir accorded welcome to Suhurwardi and gave him a place of honor in his court, later when the Sunni scholars defeated by him in debates complained to Salauddin Ayyubi, Malik Zahir was compelled to have him imprisoned. Later he was given a choice to choose death by starvation or execution. It is said that Suhurwardi chose the former as he was much in favor of penance. However some people say that he was finally executed.
Thus this young philosopher became a target of religious bigotry.
The second century of Hijrah was the age when Islamic sciences spread far and wide. It could be said that this was the time when the sun of sciences and knowledge was rising on the Islamic horizons and spreading its brilliance all around. Students in quest of knowledge were flocking in all
the universities and colleges, especially those connected with the study of religious jurisprudence, traditions, and Quranic exegesis. In all these countries where Islam was the predominant religion a personality was gauged depending upon knowledge and intelligence and on this basis alone one was remembered even after one passed away.
Kufa, Baghdad, Basra and Medina were the centers of education during this period. This is an episode of the reign of the Abbaside, Mahdi the third, that one day the caliph arrived in Basra with all the royal pomp and glory in order to tour this city, which had earned the reputation of being a great seat of learning. Thus he came to Basra accompanied by the great scholars and military officers of his kingdom. When his entourage passed through the city the great scholars of the place were leading the procession. It was the time when scholars also permitted and favored according respect to royal figures, and this was the method of paying homage. The Abbaside caliph saw that a young man, whose name was Ayaz ibn Muawiyah standing in the front surrounded by rows of scholars all around him, because this youth was having divinely gifted intelligence and astonishing knowledge. Not only this, he had just stepped into adolescence, when he scaled the peaks of intellectual accomplishments. Seeing this spectacle the caliph was very much distraught and addressing the scholars said, “Shame on your white beards. Is there none among you who could come forward and send this youth to the rear?”
After that, the caliph
looked towards Ayaz and said, “What is your age?” Ayaz who was a witty genius having great presence of mind replied at once, “O Caliph! My age is same as the age of Usamah ibn Zaid when the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) appointed him as the commander-in-chief of the army. And this army included among other companions, Umar, Abu Bakr and other senior people and all were obliged to accept the leadership of this lad.”
When the haughty caliph heard this reply he was astonished at the intelligence, wit and wisdom of this young man. He said, “Bravo! You indeed deserve to walk before these scholars.” At that time Ayaz was only seventeen.
The Iranian Brain Who Later Became The Father Of Arabic Literature
Amr ibn Uthman ibn Qambar, popularly known as Sibuya was a master of Arabic syntax and is accepted as the father of this field.
Ibn Nadim says that Sibuya was a slave of a person of Bani Harith ibn Kaab tribe and he was connected to Bayda a hamlet near Shiraz but was born in Basra. Some people say that he was born in Bayda itself but came to Iraq during his childhood and resided at Basra.
Sibuya started learning Arabic syntax, which was the most important field of study in those days. His first teacher in the subject was Khalil ibn Ahmed an expert of Arabic syntax. He also studied under Isa Ibn Umar, Yunus Ibn Habib and Akhfash and also gained from the teachings of Asami. But the fact was that he reached
the pinnacle of perfection in his particular field due to his own merits, divinely gifted intelligence and hard work. According to Ibn Nadim, if anyone has the proficiency to judge the books written in the past he would indeed admit that the book written by Sibuya is such that none like it has ever been authored before and none shall ever be compiled like it.
Ibn Khallikan writes that Sibuya is among the ancient scholars of Arabic syntax and grammar and he was the most intelligent and expert in the field of Arabic language. Till date he is the final authority on the subject. After the Al-Kitab no book has ever been written of the same caliber. All the books compiled after it owe everything to this book.
Jahiz, himself a reputed Arabic grammarian says, “One day I thought of going to meet the vizier of Abdul Malik. I deliberated on what gift I should take for him and decided that nothing was worthier in my view than Al-Kitab. After I presented him with the book I mentioned my view also.” The scholarly vizier replied, “Indeed, you could not have given me a better present.”
Ibn Khallikan narrates from Ibn Natah that he said, “A gentleman was sitting with Khalil ibn Ahmad when Sibuya arrived. Khalil said, “Welcome to the one who is never tired of taking classes.” Abu Amr Mahzumi narrates that Sibuya was not as much fond of any of his teachers as he was of Khalil. “I never saw Khalil according such a welcome to
any other student.”
All the experts of the Arabic language have unanimously without any difference of opinion remembered Sibuya as “The Teacher”. They all benefited from his writings and explanations.
The most surprising thing is that an Iranian youth had scaled these heights of expertise in Arabic grammar and he became a teacher to the Arabs and taught them the intricacies of their own tongue. All the Arabic scholars accept the prominence of Sibuya. It is not that being an Iranian himself the writer of this book is heaping undeserving praises on this young man.
But when we contemplate, the closest companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was Salman Farsi, the leader of the greatest school of Sunni jurisprudence was Abu Hanifah, also an Iranian, the compiler of the most important book of Ahle Sunnat Sahih Bukhari was Muhammad Ibn Ismail Bukhari, an Iranian. The greatest philosophers of the Islamic world Abu Farabi and Ibn Sina were Persians. The father of gnosticism, Imam Ghazzali was an Iranian and so on…
It is an admitted fact that Iran has greatly contributed to the expansion of the study of Arabic.
The book of Sibuya gained such prominence that it was also published from Berlin, Germany, India and Cairo, Egypt.
It is said that Sibuya was once engaged in a debate with Hamzah Kasai the tutor of Amin the son of Harun Rashid and that Sibuya was defeated in this debate. Sibuya could not bear the defeat hence he developed tuberculosis fever and died due to it. Some however say the Sibuya surrendered willingly,
considering that Hamzah was the tutor of Harun’s child. In any case he developed the aforesaid illness and passed away when he was only thirty-two years of age.
After his debate with Hamzah, Sibuya came to Shiraz from Baghdad, and passed away after some days. He is buried in Shiraz. According to the writer of Athaarul Ajam his tomb is in the Sang Siyah locality.
We should however remember that the debate of Sibuya with Hamzah did not conclude with Sibuya’s defeat. The facts were in support of Sibuya but the unscrupulous opponents distorted the arguments and ruled in favor of Hamzah.
This episode is recorded in detail in History of Ibn Khallikan under the heading of “Qaziya-e-Zamboor” and according to this author Sibuya expired at the age of thirty.
As far as his importance is concerned, his book Al-Kitab is sufficient because we know that Abu Hayyan Gharnati, the famous Arab grammarian of Spain relied on the books of Sibuya and he had memorized them all.
 Wasaelush Shia, Vol. 4, Pg. 97
 This is what the original Persian writer of this book says, though it is generally believed that Azar was an uncle of Prophet Ibrahim-God knows best. (Translator)
 Surah Anam 6:74-75
 Surah Maryam 19:41-45
 Surah Anbiya 21:51-56
 Surah Maryam 19:46
 Surah Anbiya 21:57-58
 Surah Anbiya 21:59-70
 Surah Baqarah 2:258
 Surah Ibrahim 14:37
 Refer verses 125-131 of Surah Baqarah
 Surah Saffat 37:101
 Ibid 102
 Ibid 101
 Majmaul Bayan, Tabarsi
 Surah Saffat 37:103-111
 Maybe he was from the line of Pharaohs, one of whom had confronted Musa (a.s.)
and who were very oppressive rulers of their times.
 Surah Yusuf 12:31
 Surah Yusuf 12:33
 Almighty God has always remembered His messengers like this.
 Surah Yusuf 12:36
 Please see Surah Qasas, Verse 3 in the Holy Quran
 See Surah Yasin, Verse 81
 See Surah Qasas
 See Majmaul Bayan
 See Surah Qasas
 See Surah Qasas, verse 9
 See Surah Qasas, verse 12
 See Surah Qasas, Verse 13
 See Surah Qasas, verses 16-17
 See Surah Qasas, verse 19
 See Surah Qasas. Verse 23
 See Surah Qasas: 22-30 Commentary from Majmaul Bayan of Tabarsi
 Surah Luqman 31:12-19 Commentary from Majmaul Bayan of Tabarsi
 Surah Maryam 19:2-8
 Surah Maryam 19:9-10
 See Holy Quran, Surah Maryam, 19:1-14
 Surah Maryam 19:12-14
 Surah Maryam 19:15
 In those days Maryam meant a devout worshipper
 Surah Aale Imran 3:35-37
 Surah Aale Imran 3:37
 Surah Aale Imran 3:44
 Surah Aale Imran 3:45-46
 Surah Aale Imran 3:47-49
 Surah Maryam 19:16-21
 Surah Maryam 19:22-23
 Surah Maryam 19:24-26
 Surah Maryam 19:27
 Surah Maryam 19:28-33
 Surah Aale Imran 3:59
 The Jews did not believe in physical resurrection
 Surah Nisa 4:157-158
 Surah Kahf 18:9
 Surah Kahf 18:10-13
 Surah Kahf 18:17
 Please refer to verses 8-21 in Surah Kahf
 See Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 101
 See Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 12
 From Persian translation by Zabeehullah Mansoor, pp. 304
 Musnad, Cairo, 1368 H.E., Pg. 225
 Muhammad, the Prophet who should be introduced from a new angle
 Sayed Karrar Husain Waiz Hindi has in his book Maleekatul Arab proved through various narrations that Khadijah was neither then
40 year old nor had she married twice before. God knows best. (Translator)
 Ibid, Pg. 33
 Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 125-127
 Murujuz Zahab, Vol. 2, Pg. 2780
 Highest of the high
 Surah Shoara 26:214
 It can be seen in books like Tabaqat by Muhammad Ibn Saad, Vol. 1, Pg. 124, Kanzul Ummal Vol. 6, Pg. 397 quoted by Tabari, Abu Naeem Isfahani, Baihaqi and others.
 See Usdul Ghabah, Ibn Athir, Vol. 4, Pg. 25, Mustadrak, Nishapuri Vol. 3, Pg. 4, Musnad, Ahmed bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Pg. 341
 Surah Anfal 8:65
 A’laamul Waraa, Pg. 86
 Irshad of Mufid, A’laamul Waraa, Tabarsi, and Tafsir of Ali Ibn Ibrahim and Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Ibn Abil Hadid
 Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Faizul Islam, 5: 822
 Tarikh, Tabari, Vol. 3
 A’laamul Waraa, Tarikh, Tabari Vol. 3, Pg. 17 and Tafsir, Ali Ibrahim: Pg. 106
 Tarikh, Tabari Vol. 3, Yaqubi Vol. 2, Ibn Athir Vol. 2, A’laamul Wara, Tabarsi Pg. 9, Muhammad Payghambari… Pg. 25, 261
 Tarikh, Tabari, Vol. 3, Pg. 20
 Tarikh, Tabari, Tarikh, Ibn Athir, Ibn Abil Hadid, A’laamul Waraa, Majmaul Bayan, Tabarsi.
 Irshad of Mufid
 A’alaamul Waraa, Pg. 1
 This eventful Battle of Khyber is recorded in almost all Shia and Sunni books like A’laamul Waraa, Tabarsi, Tarikh, Tabari, Yaqubi, Ibn Hisham, Kamil, Ibn Athir and Sahih Bukhari etc.
 Surah Tawbah 9:3
 This is mentioned in reliable Tafsir and Hadith books by both the Shias and the Sunnis and there is no dispute regarding this event.
 Surah Aale Imran 3:59
 Surah Aale Imran 3:60
 Surah Nahl 18:46
 Nawadir, Rawandi, A’laamul Waraa, Tabarsi, Manaqib, Shahr Ashob, Kashful Ghumma
 Surah Bani Israel 17:26
 See Tafsir Durre Manthur, Suyuti Vol. 4, Pg. 177
 Ihtijaj, Tabarsi, Najaf Edition
 Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 191 and Sirat Halabiyyah, Vol. 1, Pg. 488
 Sirat, Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, Pg. 212
 Surah Maryam 16:33
 Sirat, Ibn Hisham Vol. 1, Pg. 323
 Al-Istiab, Ibn Abde Barr Andulusi on the margins of Al-Isabah Vol. 1, Pg. 212, Khisal, Shaykh Sadooq, Iran Edition, Pg. 107
 Al-Isabah Vol. 1, Pg. 239, 240, Sirah al-Halabiyyah Vol. 2, Pg. 786.
 Surah Rahman
 Usdul Ghabah fi Marefat-e-Sahaba, Vol. 3, Pg. 359
 Qamus Rijal Vol. 6, Pg. 136, quoted from Waqidi
 History, of Waqidi, 2, Usud al-Ghaba
 Al-Isabah Fi Tamiz as-Sahaba Vol. 3, Pg. 40, Sirah, Ibn Hisham Vol. 2, Pg. 284, Usud as-Ghaba, Vol. 2, Pg. 369
 Sirah Halabiyyah Vol. 3, Pg. 120
 Usud al-Ghaba Vol. 3 Pg. 358
 Nasikhut Tawarikh, Pg. 387
 Jawan Az-Nazar Aql-o-Ahsasat, Guftar Falsafi; Vol. 1, Pg. 18
 Tabaqat Kubra, Vol. 1, Pg. 120, Al-Istiab of Ibn Abde Barr, under “Maaz”
 Biharul Anwar Vol. 20, Pg. 55, Al-Isabah Vol. 1, Pg. 36
 Usud al-Ghaba, Vol. 3, Pg. 3
 Al-Isabah, Vol. 1, Pg. 545
 Usud al-Ghaba, Vol. 1, Pg. 64
 Usud al-Ghaba, Vol. 2, Pg. 81
 A’laamul Wara, Pg. 135
 Manaqib, of Ibn Shahr Ashob, Vol. 1, Pg. 8
 Fazailus Hasan, where both the above narrations are quoted from Sunni sources
 Farogh-e-Hidayat Pg. 272
 Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 2, Pg. 651
 Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashob Vol. 2, Pg.
 Al-Irshad, Shaykh Mufid
 Al-Irshad, Shaykh Mufid and Nafasul Mahmoom
 Manaqib, Ibn Shahr Ashob Vol. 4, Pg. 142
 Surah Zumar 39:42
 Al-Irshad, Shaykh Mufid
 Surah Hadid 57: 22
 Al-Irshad, Shaykh Mufid, Nafasul Mahmoom, Tadkeratul Khwas of Ibn Jawzi and Manaqib of Ibn Shahr Ashob
 Biharul Anwar Vol. 10, Nafasul Mahmoom
 Surah Maryam 19:12
 Sawaiqul Mohreqa
 Ritual dress of one who performs Hajj or Umrah
 A’laamul Wara of Tabarsi Pg. 331-338, Manaqib, Ibn Shahr Ashob Vol. 4, Pg. 388
 Refer Mahdi Maood, Vol. 13, Biharul Anwar, Allamah Majlisi
 Nahjul Balagha
 Nahjul Balagha
 Biharul Anwar
 Al-Kafi Vol. 1, pg. 169, Rijal Kishi, pg. 232
 Wafayatul Ayan, Ibn Khallikan Vol. 2 Pg. 50
 Ali Duali: Kitab Darakhshan
 Tarikhul Hukama Pg. 413
 Tarikh Adabiyat Dar Iran, Zabihullah Safa
 Yatimatud Dahr, Thalabi Vol. 3 pg. 116, Lisanul Mizan, Ibn Hajar Vol. 5 Pg. 141, Ad-Darajatul Rafia Pg. 268, Rawdatul Jannat etc.
 Mustadrakul Wasail, Vol. 3, pg. 402
 Wafayatul Ayan Vol. 5 pg. 314
 Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Lisanul Mizan Vol. 3, pg. 157
 Hikmatul Ishraq Suhurwardi, Dr. Sayyid Ja'far Sajjadi pg. 68
 Fihrist, Ibn Nadim, Persian translation, pg. 89, Wafayatul Ayan of Ibn Khallikan, Vol. 3, pg. 133, Danishmandan Sukhan Sarapan-e-Fars, Vol. 3, pg. 211
In the name of Allah
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