Twice while Muhammad (pbuh) was still a young man he went on business trips with his uncle. On both trips, separate holy men warned Abu Talib to care for Muhammad (pbuh). They could see that he would be the great Prophet. Muhammad's (pbuh) uncle began to watch Muhammad (pbuh) more closely.
Muhammad (pbuh) was twenty five when he married his first wife, Khadijah. Khadijah was wealthy and came from a very respected family among the Quraish. She was forty and had been widowed twice. Both men had been wealthy and left her all of their money.
Abu Talib heard that she was looking to hire a man to take a caravan of merchandise to Syria. So on behalf of his nephew, he told her about Muhammad (pbuh). Khadijah had heard of how honest this young man was and agreed to allow Muhammad (pbuh) to lead the Caravan. During this trip, he was accompanied by Khadijah's personal servant, Maisarah.
Muhammad (pbuh) not only made a very successful trip psychically, but also financially. He had treated each trade with such fairness and honesty that Maisarah was overwhelmed. Maisarah was astounded at the way Muhammad (pbuh) conducted himself. He relayed all of this to Khadijah. Khadijah was very pleased at the great success of her trading mission.
Muhammad (pbuh) was soon rewarded with more. Khadijah having spoke with Muhammad (pbuh) and having heard the accounts of the trip from Maisarah, fell in love with Muhammad (pbuh). She confronted her best friend Nafisa. It was Nasfisa that went to Muhammad (pbuh) and asked him why he was not married. He replied that he was to poor to marry. Nasfisa told him of Khadijah and her love of him. She asked him if he would merry Khadijah. Muhammad (pbuh) accepted.
The authority in Mecca was divided among the ten senators who constituted the governing body of the Arabian Commonwealth. A storm had ripped threw Mecca, damaging many of the building's including the Ka'bah. A group of young men from each tribe had assembled in shifts to repair the Ka'bah, afraid that it would collapse. Though most of Mecca was worshiping idols, many of them felt the Ka'bah was the only remaining connection to the Prophets of the past.
The project was half way completed, and was time to replace the Hajai Aswad (the black stone). The tribes began to argue on who should have the honor. They all decided, the next one to enter the courtyard would decide the matter for them. The first to come was Muhammad (pbuh), the people cried out ‘Al Ameen, he will decide’. Muhammad (pbuh) listened to the tale of what happened. Then he got a large sheet and placed the black stone on it with his bare hands. He asked the chiefs of each clan to take hold of the cloth and carry it to the wall. When they reached the wall he told them to raise it up high. Muhammad (pbuh) again took the stone with his hands and placed it in position. The tribes we’re all very pleased with his wisdom. Muhammad (pbuh) had averted a war between them.
Muhammad (pbuh) and Khadijah had been married for fifteen years they had many children. Unfortunately many died early in childhood. It was during this time that Khadijah turned all of her wealth over to her husband. She had done so, because Muhammad (pbuh) had no wealth of his own. She knew how much he wanted to help others. Muhammad (pbuh) never abused the wealth, using it only when he needed to help an unfortunate. He even paid off part of his Uncle Abu Talib debt, out of gratitude for having raised him. Muhammad (pbuh) also helped to raise his uncles children, and adopted a boy who was bought as a slave.
Muhammad (pbuh) had never believed in the worshipping of idols. He knew that Allah was a much higher power then these wood and stone figures could ever represent. He could see how lawless cruel behavior and superstitious immoral conduct had engulfed the tribes of Arabia. The land was fueled with bitter quarrels and bloodshed, that was slowly destroying them. To elevate his heartache, Muhammad (pbuh) would retreat to a cave known as Hira, in the mountains surrounding Mecca. He would meditate over the intricacies of the universe and creation.
He was forty in the year was 610AD. He was is a deep concentration in the cave. The Angel Jibril appeared, with a dazzling light. “Read!” the voice boomed echoing against the walls of the cave. Muhammad (pbuh) was so startled the only thing that he could think of saying was “I can not read.” This was true he did not know how to read or write. “Read!” commanded the voice again, louder. Muhammad (pbuh) was desperate, pain had seized his chest. He cried out again “I cannot read!” Muhammad (pbuh) chest was squeezing even harder and he was frantic. “Read!” boomed the angel. Muhammad (pbuh) wanting the pain inside of him to stop he said “What should I read?” The pain stopped. The Angel continued "Read! In the Name of Your Lord, Who has created all that exists, has created a man from a clot. Read...and your Lord is the Most Generous, Who has taught the writing by the pen, and has taught man that which he knew not." Muhammad (pbuh) repeated the words to Jibril. The angel disappeared and the cave went dark.
Muhammad (pbuh) scared and shaking, not comprehending what had happened ran from the cave. He was stumbling down the path to his village, when he heard the voice call after him. “Muhammad (pbuh) you are the messenger of Allah, and I am the angel Jibril.” Muhammad (pbuh) cried out for Khadijah “cover me! cover me!” laying in her arms trembling threw the night. Feverishly he slept till morning. When he awoke he narrated the story to his wife. Khadijah was worried about her husband, but knew of the prophecy of his life. She even spoke to her cousin Waraqa Ibn Naufal, who was old and blind and who knew the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians. He told her that Muhammad (pbuh) was visited by the Namus (The Holy Spirit) who came to Moses. He told Muhammad (pbuh) to be brave and hold his faith.
Muhammad (pbuh) was dreadfully concerned, how was he going to make them listen. His people had been indulging for generations. Most of the town was rich and had very little concern for others. Six long months passed with out another revelation. It seemed that the Muhammad (pbuh) would go mad. He thought that, he had displeased Allah in some way. He was then visited again by the Jibril. "O you (Muhammad (pbuh)) enveloped (covered in cloth) Arise and warn! Your Lord (Allah) magnify!" He awaked sweating and told Khadijah. This was the will of Allah and he had to warn the people. She accepted the revelations and abandoned the idolatry of her people and was the first to except Islam.
In the following weeks the angel Jibril came to Muhammad (pbuh) teaching him the importance of purity, the manner of absolution and how to pray. Once this was completed Jibril taught him the most important surah. Surah Al-Fatiha . It took twenty three years, for the rest of the Quran to be revealed.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ اهْدِنَ الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَل الضَّالِّينَ
[001.001] In the name
of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Muhammad (pbuh) began his mission with his family. Many ridiculed Muhammad (pbuh) and we’re in disbelief. Those who knew him well, accepted the truth. Zayd ibn Harith, his adopted son embraced Islam. Ali, his cousin was the next to convert. Ali was the son of Abu Talib. Abu Talib came to the Prophet and said: "O son of my brother, what is this religion you are following?" "It is the religion of Allah of His Angels, of His Messengers and of our ancestor Abraham," answered the Muhammad (pbuh). "Allah has sent me to his servants, to direct them towards the truth, and you, O my uncle, are the most worthy of all. I should thus call upon you and you should accept the truth and help in spreading it." Abu Talib replied that he could not abandon the religion of his fathers. He also said that as long as he lived he would not let any harm come to Muhammad (pbuh). Ali's conversion was followed by Abu Bakr, from the elders of his people. Abu Bakr was a close friend of the Prophet (pbuh).
Muhammad (pbuh) took his message to the people of the Ka'bah. He explained the oneness of Allah. How they must abandon their idols and accept the truth. The people we’re too reluctant to give up the their false tangible gods, that had been handed down to them for generations. They became hostile with Muhammad (pbuh) and the Muslims for offending them.
The wealthy and powerful non believers in Mecca disagreed with the teachings of Muhammad (pbuh). Many Muslims we’re tortured and slain for not giving up their belief in Allah. Realizing that brute force was not going to waiver the Muslims, they decided to bargain with Muhammad (pbuh). Muhammad (pbuh) was offered the position as Chief of Mecca along with any maiden he wished for a bride, and as much money as Muhammad (pbuh) wanted. The only condition was, that he must stop his teachings. Muhammad (pbuh) replied that his mission was beyond the riches of this life. No amount of money or gifts or power would stop him from his duty as messenger of Allah.
Failing to convince his own people he began to approach the travelers that would come to Mecca. The Quraish adverted these efforts, hastening to meet the strangers first and warn them. They would lie, describing the Prophet as a dangerous magician. When they would return home they would take this news to their people.
It was the fifth year of spreading Islam, the Muslims we’re still under persecution. The hostile Quraish prevented the Prophet (pbuh) from offering his prayers at the Sacred House of the Ka'bah. More people began convert following the conversion of a few powerful citizen’s. The Quraish afraid that they would loose their social stance, and power in the community became more hostile toward the Muslims. Each family took oaths to stomp out the new religion from their own clans. They resulted to throwing them in prison, starving, and beating them. The hills of Ramada and the place called Bata thus became scenes of cruel torture.
Muhammad (pbuh) had heard that the king of Abyssinia was very kind. He commanded his people to leave Mecca and head to the Christian kingdom of Abyssinia under the rule of King Negus. Seven men and four women made the journey. This is called the first hijrah (migration) in the history of Islam and occurred in the 615AD .The second journey to the land was made by eighty two Muslims they we're always met with kindness from the people.
Outraged, the Quraish sent a representative to King Negus. He took along with him gifts and other goods, asking for the extradition of the fugitive’s. He claimed, they disrespected their gods and upset the tradition of the people in Mecca. This did not waiver the kings decision, he was a Christian and despised the worship of Idols. The representative then lied, saying that the Muslims had spoken badly of 'Isa (pbuh) and his mother Maryam (pbuh).
Seeing the seriousness of the allegations, the king asked the representative of the Muslims to come forward. He told the king of how they had come from the lowest of people, and how the Quran had taught them to love, and to respect others. To treat there woman with kindness and protect them as mothers, sisters and daughters. He also recited a section of the Quran that described the birth of 'Isa (pbuh). The beauty and style of his words moved those present to tears. The king said that no longer would these people be considered refugees, they we’re guests of his kingdom. The refugee's would be granted the freedom to live and trade as they saw fit, under his protection.
The disbelievers, were more than furious at the Prophet's increasing preaching against their religion. The unsuccessful trip to Abyssiran only fueled their anger. The Quraish leaders approached Abu Talib asking him to stop Muhammad (pbuh). Abu Talib told him that he could not.
A group was led forcing the followers to hold up in a fortress known as She'be Abi Talib. The year was 616 AD they made a treaty to excommunicate all of the inhabitants of She'be Abi Talib. The Quraish demanded from Abu Talib either surrender unconditionally, or to hand over Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers. Abu Talib refused to waiver and along with the Muslims suffered the blockade. It was three long years they lived under the protection of Abu Talib, practicing there beliefs. Even in the face of such hardships, people we’re still embracing the message of the Prophet.
The idolaters, grew tired of the blockade and withdrew. The Muslims returned to there homes, and what was left of their businesses. Two months after their release Muhammad (pbuh) dear uncle Abu Talib died. It would only be three days after the death of his uncle his beloved wife Khadijah also passed away. Muhammad (pbuh) was crushed in grief.