Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) Differences and disputes arose among the Children of Israel. They introduced alterations and changes in their beliefs and laws. Thus truth was extinguished and falsehood prevailed, oppression and evil became widespread, and people needed a religion that would establish truth, destroy evil and guide people to the straight path, therefore Allah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): “And We have not sent down the Book (the Qur’aan) to you (O Muhammad, except that you may explain clearly unto them those things in which they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a folk who believe” [al-Nahl 16:64] Allaah sent all the Prophets and Messengers to call for the worship of Allah alone, and to bring people from darkness to light. The first of these Messengers was Nooh and the last of them was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allaah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taaghoot (all false deities, i.e. do not worship Taaghoot besides Allaah)’” [al-Nahl 16:36] The last of the Prophets and Messengers is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so there is no Prophet after him, as Allaah said: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last (end) of the Prophets” [al-Ahzaab 33:40] Every Prophet was sent exclusively to his own people, but Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to all of mankind as Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah revealed to His messenger the Qur’aan by which to guide people And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a Warner to all mankind, but most of men know not” [Saba’ 34:28] Allaah sent the Qur’aan to His Messenger, to guide people and bring them forth from darkness to light by the will of their Lord. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “(This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allaah and Islâmic Monotheism) by their Lord’s Leave to the path of the All Mighty, the Owner of all praise” [Ibraaheem 14:1] The messenger of Allaah, Muhammad ibn Abd-Allaah ibn Abd al-Muttalib al-Haashimi al-Qurashi was born in Makkah in the year of the Elephant, the year when the companions of the Elephant came to Makkah to destroy the Ka’bah, but Allaah destroyed them. His father died before he was born, and after he was born, Haleemah al-Sa’diyyah nursed him. When he was six years old, he visited his maternal uncles in Madeenah with his mother Aaminah bint Wahb. On the way back to Makkah, his mother died in al-Abwaa’. Then his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib became his guardian. But ‘Abd al-Muttalib died when Muhammad was eight years old. Then his paternal uncle Abu Taalib became his guardian. He took care of him, treated him kindly and defended him for more than forty years, but when Abu Taalib died he had not come to believe in the religion of Muhammad lest he be reproached by Quraysh for abandoning the religion of his forefathers When he was young, Muhammad used to tend sheep for the people of Makkah, then he traveled to Syria to do business on behalf of Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, and he made a good profit. Khadeejah was impressed with his character, and his sincerity and honesty, so he married her when he was twenty-five, and she was forty, and he did not marry any other woman until after she died. Allaah made Muhammad grow in a good manner, and Allaah took care of him, so he was the the best of his people in physical wellbeing and in attitude, he was the most generous, the most patient, the most truthful, the most sincere and the most honest, so his people called him al-Ameen (the trustworthy) . Then he was given an inclination towards solitude, so he used to spend many days and nights alone in the cave of Hiraa’, worshiping and praying to his Lord. He hated idols, alcohol and promiscuous conduct, so he never paid any attention to them all his life When Muhammad reached the age of thirty-five he took part in the rebuilding of the Ka’bah, which had been destroyed by a flood. A dispute arose concerning who should put the Black Stone back in its place, and they appointed him as an arbitrator to resolve the dispute, so he called for a garment and placed the stone on it then he told the tribal chiefs to hold the garment at the edges so that all of them could lift it together, then Muhammad put it in place and put stones and mortar around it. The people of the Jaahiliyyah used to have some good characteristics such as generosity, loyalty and courage, and they used to follow some teachings of the religion of Ibraaheem, such as venerating the Ka’bah and making Tawaaf around it, performing Hajj and ‘Umrah, and offering sacrifices. But besides that they used to have some bad habits and traditions, such as fornication, drinking alcohol, consuming ribaa (usury or interest), killing their daughters, oppression and worshiping idols. The first one to introduce changes in the religion of Ibrahim, and to call for the worship of idols was ‘Amr ibn Luhayy al-Khuzaa’i, who brought idols to Makkah and other places, and called people to worship them. Among these idols were Wudd, Suwaa’, Yaghooth, Ya’ooq, and Nasra. Later on, the Arabs also worshipped other idols such as the idol of Manaat in a place called Qadeed, and al-Laat in al-Taa’if, al-‘Uzza in Wadi Nakhlah, Hubal inside the Ka’bah, and other idols around the Ka’bah, and idols in their homes. People used to consult soothsayers, fortunetellers and magicians to judge between them. When shirk and corruption became so widespread, Allaah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when he was forty years old, to call the people to worship Allaah Alone and to give up idol-worship. Quraysh denounced him for that and said: “Has he made the aalihah (gods) (all) into One Ilaah (God — Allaah). Verily, this is a curious thing!” [Saad 38:5 – interpretation of the meaning] These idols continued to be worshipped instead of Allaah until Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with the Message of Tawheed (Oneness of Allaah). So he and his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) broke them and destroyed them, truth prevailed and falsehood was vanquished: “And say: ‘Truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism or this Qur’aan or Jihaad against polytheists) has come and Baatil (falsehood, i.e. Satan or polytheism) has vanished. Surely, Baatil is ever bound to vanish’” [al-Israa’ 17:81 – interpretation of the meaning] The first revelation that was sent down to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was in the cave of Hiraa’ where he used to go to worship, when Jibreel came to him and commanded him to read. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “I am not a reader.” This happened again, and on the third time, he said to him: “Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous [al-‘Alaq 96:1-3 – interpretation of the meaning] The Messenger went back home, his heart pounding. He entered upon his wife Khadeejah and told her what had happened, saying “I feared for myself.” She calmed him down and said, “By Allaah, Allaah will never forsake you, for you uphold the ties of kinship, help the weak, honour your guests, give in charity and help when some one is stricken with calamity.” Then she went with him to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who had become a Christian. When he told him what had happened, he gave him glad tidings and told him, this is the Naamoos whom Allaah sent to Moosa. He encouraged him to be patient if his people persecuted him and expelled him. Then the wahy stopped for a while, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was saddened by that. Then whilst he was walking one day, he saw the angel again, between the heavens and the earth. He went back to his house and wrapped himself in his blanket. Then Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): “O you (Muhammad) enveloped in garments! Arise and warn!” [al-Muddaththir 74:1-2] After that, revelations came one after another to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet stayed in Makkah for thirteen years, calling for the worship of Allaah alone, in secret then openly, when Allaah commanded him to proclaim the truth. So he called them in a gentle and kind manner, without fighting. He called his clan and closest relatives, then he warned his people and those around them, then he warned all the Arabs, then he warned all of mankind. Then Allaah said: “Therefore proclaim openly (Allaah’s Message Islamic Monotheism) that which you are commanded, and turn away from Al Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, and disbelievers)” [al-Hijr 15:94] A few people, rich people, nobles, the weak and poor, men and women, believed in the Messenger. All of them were persecuted for their faith. Some were tortured and some were killed. Some of them migrated to Abyssinia, fleeing from the persecution of Quraysh, and some of them were persecuted with the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), until Allaah caused His religion to prevail. When the Messenger reached the age of fifty and ten years of his mission had passed, his uncle Abu Taalib, who had protected him from the persecution of Quraysh, died. Then his wife Khadeejah, who had been his consolation, also died, and the persecution of his people intensified. They harrassed him and persecuted him with all kinds of torments, and he bore it with patience, seeking the reward of Allaah. May the blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him. When the persecution of Quraysh became too intense, he went out to al-Taa’if and called its people to Islam but they did not respond; instead they insulted him and threw stones at him, until his heels started to bleed. He went back to Makkah and continued to call his people to Islam during Hajj and at other times. Then Allaah took His Messenger on the Night Journey from al-Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah to al-Masjid al-Aqsaa (in Jerusalem), riding on al-Buraaq, accompanied by Jibreel. He stopped and led the Prophets in prayer, then he was taken up into the lowest heaven, where he saw Adam, with the souls of the blessed to his right and the souls of the doomed to his left. Then he was taken up to the second heaven where he saw ‘Eesa and Yahyaa; then to the third heaven where he saw Yoosuf; then to the fourth heaven where he saw Idrees; then to the fifth heaven where he saw Haroon; then to the sixth heaven where he saw Moosa; then to the seventh heaven where he saw Ibraaheem. Then he was taken up to Sidrat al-Muntaha (the Lote-tree of the utmost boundary), and his Lord spoke to him and enjoined fifty prayers upon him and his ummah each day and night. Then that was reduced to five prayers to be performed, with a reward for fifty, and the prayer was confirmed to be five prayers each day and night for the ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Then he returned to Makkah before dawn came, and he told them what had happened to him. The believers believed him but the kaafirs did not. “Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allaah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al?Masjid Al?Haraam (at Makkah) to Al Masjid Al Aqsaa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All Hearer, the All Seer [al-Israa’ 17:1 – interpretation of the meaning] Then Allaah sent to His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) people who would help and support him. During the Hajj season, he met a group from the tribe of Khazraj in Madeenah. They embraced Islam, then they went back to Madeenah and spread Islam there. The following year, they were over ten people, whom the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) met, and when they left he sent Mus’ab ibn ‘Umayr with them to teach them the Qur’aan and Islam. Many people became Muslim through him, including the leaders of the tribe of Aws, Sa’d ibn Mu’aadh and Usayd ibn Hudayr. The following year when the Hajj season came, more than seventy men from al-Aws and al-Khazraj came and invited the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to come to Madeenah after the people of Makkah had persecuted him and boycotted him. During the night of one of the days of Tashreeq, the Messenger made an appointment to meet them at ‘Aqabah. When one third of the night had passed, they came out to meet him and found the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), accompanied by his uncle al-‘Abbaas, who was not a believer, but he wanted to take care of his nephew’s affairs. Al-‘Abbaas, the Messenger and the people spoke together in a pleasant manner, then the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted their oath of allegiance on the basis that he would migrate to them in Madeenah and they would protect him, support him and defend him, and Paradise would be theirs in return. They gave their oath of allegiance, one by one, then they left. Quraysh found out about them, so they set out in pursuit of them. But Allaah saved them from them, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) remained in Makkah for a while: “Verily, Allaah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allaah is All Strong, All Mighty” [al-Hajj 22:40 – interpretation of the meaning] Then the Messenger commanded his companions to migrate to Madeenah, so they migrated in groups except for those who were prevented from doing so by the mushrikeen. Then there were no Muslims left in Makkah apart from the Messenger of Allaah, Abu Bakr and ‘Ali. When the mushrikeen realized that the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had migrated to Madeenah, they feared that he would join them and become strong. So they agreed to kill him. Jibreel told the Messenger of Allaah about that, so the Messenger commanded ‘Ali to sleep in his bed, and he returned the things that had been entrusted to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to their owners. The mushrikeen spent the night at the door of the Messenger, waiting to kill him when he came out, but he came out in the midst of them and went to the house of Abu Bakr, after Allaah had saved him from their plot. And Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): “And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home, i.e. Makkah); they were plotting and Allaah too was plotting; and Allaah is the Best of those who plot” [al-Anfaal 8:30] Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) resolved to migrate to Madeenah, so he and Abu Bakr set out to the cave of Thawr and stayed there for three nights. They hired ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Urayqit, who was a mushrik, as their guide, and the ylet him lead their camels. Quraysh were alarmed when he left, and they looked for him everywhere, but Allaah protected His Messenger. When the search for them died down, they travelled to Madeenah. When Quraysh despaired of finding them, they offered to anyone who could bring one or both of them to them two hundred camels. So the people intensified their search and on the way to Madeenah, Suraaqah ibn Maalik found them; he was a mushrik and he set out after them, so the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed against him and his horse’s legs sank into the ground. So he realized that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was protected, so he asked the Messenger to pray for him and said that he would not harm him. So the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed for him and Suraaqah went back, and diverted the people away from them. Then he became Muslim after the conquest of Makkah. When the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) reached Madeenah, the Muslims exclaimed “Allaahu akbar!” with joy at his coming. Men, women and children came out to meet him, rejoicing. He stayed in Quba, where he and the Muslims built the mosque of Quba. He stayed there for over ten nights, then he rode on Friday and prayed Jumu’ah amongst Bani Saalim ibn ‘Awf, then he rode his camel and entered Madeenah, with the people all around him taking the reins of his camel so that he would come and stay with them. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told them to leave her, for she would be guided (by Allaah), so she walked on until she sat down in the place where the Mosque is today. Allaah made it possible for His Messenger to stay with his maternal uncles near the mosque, so he stayed in the house of Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari, then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent someone to bring his family and his daughters, and the family of Abu Bakr, from Makkah, and thus he brought them to Madeenah. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions started to build his mosque in the place where the camel had sat down. He made the qiblah facing towards Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). Its pillars were made of tree trunks and its roof was made of palm branches. Then the qiblah was changed to the Ka’bah more than ten months after he had come to Madeenah. Then the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) established brotherhood (mu’aakhkhah) between the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made a treaty with the Jews and wrote a document agreeing to peace and to defend Madeenah. The Jewish scholar ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Salaam became Muslim but most of the Jews insisted on remaining kaafirs. In that year the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). In the second year, the adhaan was prescribed, and Allaah changed the qiblah to the Ka’bah, and the fast of Ramadaan was enjoined. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) remained in Madeenah and Allaah supported him with His help. The Muhaajiroon and Ansaar consolidated their ranks around him, and their hearts were devoted to him. The mushrikoon, Jews and hypocrites came together to oppose him; they slandered him and fabricated lies against him, and they declared war on him, but Allaah commanded him to be patient, forbearing and tolerant. When their evildoing became too intense, Allaah gave the Muslims permission to fight, and the aayah was revealed (interpretation of the meaning): “Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those (believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged; and surely, Allaah is Able to give them (believers) victory [al-Hajj 22:39] Then Allaah enjoined the Muslims to fight those who fought against them: “And fight in the way of Allaah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allaah likes not the transgressors” [al-Baqarah 2:190 – interpretation of the meaning] Then Allaah commanded them to fight all the mushrikeen: “and fight against the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) collectively as they fight against you collectively [al-Tawbah 9:36 – interpretation of the meaning] The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions began to call people to Allaah and to strive in jihaad for the sake of Allaah. He foiled the plots of their enemies and relieved the oppression of the oppressed. Allaah supported them with His help, until the religion was all for Allaah. He fought the mushrikeen at Badr in 2 AH, in Ramadaan, and Allaah granted him victory over them and he defeated them. In 3 AH the Jews of Bani Qaynuqaa’ committed treason by killing one of the Muslims, so the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) expelled them from Madeenah to Syria. Then Quraysh avenged their dead who were slain at Badr. They camped around Uhud in Shawwaal of the year 3 AH. Battle raged and the archers disobeyed the command of the Messenger, so the Muslims did not achieve victory, but the mushrikoon went back to Makkah without having entered Madeenah. Then the Jews of Bani al-Nudayr committed treason and resolved to kill the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by throwing a rock on him, but Allaah saved him. Then he besieged them in 4 AH and expelled them to Khaybar. In 5 AH the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) attacked Bani al-Mustalaq in order to repel their aggression. He was victorious over them, and took their wealth and their women and children as booty. Then the Jewish leaders tried to incite the Confederates (al-Ahzaab) against the Muslims, in order to put an end to Islam in its heartland. So the mushrikoon, al-Ahbaash and the Jewish tribe of Ghatafaan gathered around Madeenah, but Allaah foiled their plot and granted victory to His Messenger and the believers: “And Allaah drove back those who disbelieved in their rage: they gained no advantage (booty). Allaah sufficed for the believers in the fighting (by sending against the disbelievers a severe wind and troops of angels). And Allaah is Ever All Strong, All Mighty” [al-Ahzaab 33:25 – interpretation of the meaning] Then the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) besieged the Jews of Bani Qurayzah, because of their betrayal and their breaking the treaty. Allaah granted him victory over them so he killed their men, took their women and children prisoner, and took their wealth as booty. In 6 AH, the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) resolved to visit the Ka’bah and perform Tawaaf around it, but the mushrikoon prevented him from doing so. He entered into a treaty with them at al-Hudaybiyah, to stop the fighting for ten years, during which time the people would be safe and could choose what they wanted. Then the people entered Allaah’s religion in crowds [cf. al-Nasr 110:2]. In 7 AH, the Messenger attacked Khaybar in order to put an end to the Jewish leaders who were harming the Muslims. He besieged them, and Allaah gave him victory over them. He took their wealth and land as booty, and he sent letters to the kings of the earth, inviting them to Islam. In 8 AH, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent an army, led by Zayd ibn Haarithah, to deal with the aggressors. But the Romans gathered a huge army and killed the Muslim commanders, but Allaah saved the rest of the Muslims from their evil. Then the kuffaar of Makkah broke the treaty, so the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) headed towards them with a great army and conquered Makkah. He cleansed the Ka’bah of idols and and freed it from the custodianship of the kuffaar. Then came the campaign of Hunayn in Shawwaal of 8 AH, to repel the aggression of Thaqeef and Hawazen. Allaah defeated them and the Muslims captured a lot of booty. Then the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) continued his march to al-Taa’if and besieged it, but Allaah did not decree that it should be conquered, so the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed for them, then went away. They subsequently became Muslim, then he went back and distributed the war-booty. Then he and his companions performed ‘Umrah, then they went back to Madeenah. In 9 AH the campaign of Tabook came at a time of difficulty, hardship and intense heat. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to Tabook in order to defeat the plots of the Romans. He camped there, but no fighting took place, but he made a treaty with some of the tribes. He captured war-booty, then he came back to Madeenah. This was the last military campaign in which he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought. In the same year delegations came from the tribes, wanting to enter Islam. Among them were the delegations from Tameem, Tayy’, ‘Abd al-Qays and Bani Haneefah. They all became Muslim, then the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded Abu Bakr to lead the people in Hajj that year. He sent ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) with him and told him to recite Soorat Baraa’ah [al-Tawbah] to them, to declare disavowal (baraa’ah) of the mushrikoon. He told him to call out to the people, so ‘Ali said on the Day of Sacrifice: “O people, no kaafir will enter Paradise, and no mushrik will perform Hajj after this year, and no naked person shall perform Tawaaf around the Ka’bah. Whoever has a treaty with the Messenger of Allaah, then the treaty will stand until it expires.” In 10 AH, the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) resolved to perform Hajj, and he called the people to do likewise. Many people from Madeenah and elsewhere performed Hajj with him. He entered ihraam at Dhu’l-Haleefah and reached Makkah in Dhu’l-Hijjah. He performed Tawaaf and Sa’ee’, and he taught the people their rituals. He gave a great and comprehensive sermon at ‘Arafaah, in which he affirmed the just rulings of Islam. He said: “O people, listen to my words, for I do not know if I will meet you again after this year. O people, your blood, your wealth and your honour are sacred to you as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this land of yours. Every practice of the jaahiliyyah is beneath my feet and the blood feuds of the jaahiliyyah are cancelled. The first claim of blood that I abolish is that of Ibn Rabee’ah ibn al-Haarith, who was suckled among the tribe of Bani Sa’d and was killed by Hudhayl. The ribaa of the jaahiliyyah is abolished, and the first ribaa that I abolish is that of ‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib. It is abolished completely. Fear Allaah concerning women, for you have taken them on the security of Allaah and have made their bodies lawful to you by the words of Allaah. Your right over them is that they should not allow anyone whom you dislike to sit on your bed. If they do that, then hit them, but not severely. Their rights over you are that you should be kind to them and clothe them properly. I have left you with something which, if you adhere to it, you will not go astray after I am gone: the Book of Allaah. If you were asked about me, what would you say?” They said: “We would bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), fulfilled (the trust) and advised us sincerely.” Then he pointed with his index finger towards the sky and then towards the people, and said, “O Allaah, bear witness, O Allaah bear witness,” three times. When Allaah perfected this religion and its basic principles had been established, Allaah revealed to him in ‘Arafaah: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion [al-Maa'idah 5:3 – interpretation of the meaning] This Hajj is called Hujjat al-Wadaa’ (the Farewell Pilgrimage) because in it the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) bade farewell to the people, and he did not perform Hajj after that. Then after completing his Hajj, the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) returned to Madeenah, In 11 AH, in the month of Safar, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fell sick. When the pain became too intense, he told Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) to lead the people in prayer. In Rabee’ al-Awwal, his sickness became worse and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died in the morning of Monday 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal 11 AH. The Muslims were grief-stricken by that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was washed (ghusl) and the Muslims offered the funeral prayer for him on the 13th, in the evening, and he was buried in the house of ‘Aa’ishah. The Messenger died, but his religion will remain until the Day of Resurrection. Then the Muslims chose the one who had been his companion in the cave and during the Hijrah, Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) to be their khaleefah. After him, the position of khaleefah passed to ‘Umar, then to ‘Uthmaan, then to ‘Ali. These are the Khulafaa’ al-Raashidoon (the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs), may Allaah be pleased with them all. Allaah blessed His Messenger Muhammad greatly and enjoined upon him noble characteristics, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Did He not find you (O Muhammad) an orphan and gave you a refuge? And He found you unaware (of the Qur’aan, its legal laws and Prophethood) and guided you? And He found you poor and made you rich (self sufficient with self contentment)? Therefore, treat not the orphan with oppression. And repulse not the beggar. And proclaim the Grace of your Lord (i.e. the Prophethood and all other Graces)” [al-Duhaa 93:6-11] Allaah honoured His Messenger with noble characteristics which were not combined in any other person, to the extent that his Lord praised him for these characteristics: “And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character” [al-Qalam 68:4 – interpretation of the meaning] With these noble and praiseworthy characteristics, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was able to bring people together and soften their hearts, by Allaah’s leave: “And by the Mercy of Allaah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allaah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allaah, certainly, Allaah loves those who put their trust (in Him)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:159 – interpretation of the meaning] Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to all of mankind. He revealed to him the Qur’aan and commanded him to call people to Allaah, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner, And as one who invites to Allaah [Islamic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allaah (Alone)] by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah the legal ways of the Prophet” [al-Ahzaab 33:46] Allaah favoured His Messenger Muhammad over the other Prophets in six ways, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have been favoured above the other Prophets in six ways: I have been given the ability of concise speech; I have been supported with fear [in the hearts of my enemies]; war booty has been made permissible for me; the earth has been made pure and a mosque [place of worship] for me; I have been sent to all of mankind; and I am the seal of the Prophets.” (Narrated by Muslim, 523) All of mankind must believe in him and follow his sharee’ah in order to enter the Paradise of their Lord: “and whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success” [al-Nisaa’ 4:13 – interpretation of the meaning] Allaah praises those among the People of the Book who believe in the Messenger, and He gives them the glad tidings of a two-fold reward, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Those to whom We gave the Scripture [i.e. the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before it, they believe in it (the Qur’aan). And when it is recited to them, they say: ‘We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves to Allaah in Islam as Muslims (like ‘Abdullâh bin Salâm and Salmân Al Farisî). These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them” [al-Qasas 28:52-54] The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three who will be given a two-fold reward: a man from among the People of the Book who believed in his Prophet then lived until the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and believed in him and followed him – he will have two rewards…” Whoever does not believe in the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is a kaafir, and the punishment of the kaafir is Hell, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whosoever does not believe in Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), then verily, We have prepared for the disbelievers a blazing Fire [al-Fath 48:13] The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one among this ummah, Jew or Christian, hears of me then dies not believing in that with which I have been sent, but he will be one of the people of Hell.” (Narrated by Muslim, 154) The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was a human being who did not know anything except that which Allaah taught him. He did not know the unseen and he had no power to benefit or harm himself or anyone else, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say (O Muhammad): ‘I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe’” [al-A’raaf 7:188] Allaah sent him with Islam so that it might prevail over all other religions: “He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior to all religions. And All Sufficient is Allaah as a Witness” [al-Fath 48:28 – interpretation of the meaning] The mission of the Messenger was to convey the message with which he was sent; guidance is in the hand of Allaah: “But if they turn away (O Muhammad, from the Islamic Monotheism, which you have brought to them). We have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a Haafiz (watcher, protector) over them (i.e. to take care of their deeds and to recompense them). Your duty is to convey (the Message)” [al-Shoora 42:48 – interpretation of the meaning] Because of the great favour that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has done to the rest of humanity, by calling them to this religion and bringing them forth from darkness into light, Allaah forgave him all his past and future sins, and commanded us to send blessings upon him on many occasions. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah sends His Salaah (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet (Muhammad), and also His angels (ask Allaah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salaah on (ask Allaah to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islamic way of greeting (salutation, i.e. As?Salaamu ‘Alaykum). [al-Ahzaab 33:56] The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) strove to spread this religion, and his Companions strove with him, so we have to follow his example and his Sunnah, and adhere to his teachings, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much” [al-Ahzaab 33:21] Islam is the religion of the fitrah (natural state of man) and justice, the religion which Allaah has chosen for all of mankind. It includes basic principles and minor issues, etiquette, acts of worship and rulings on interaction with others. The ummah can never succeed unless it follows Islam and Allaah will not accept any other religion from people, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85] O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent blessings upon Ibraaheem and upon the family of Ibraaheem, for You are the Praiseworthy, Full of Glory. From Usool al-Deen al-Islami by Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Tuwayjri.