Muhammad (pbuh) the Final Prophet (Part 2)

Muhammad (pbuh) the Final Prophet

The Archangel disappeared just as suddenly as he had appeared, and Muhammad (pbuh) was left all alone in the cave. Over whelmed and deeply awed by what had just happened, Muhammad (pbuh)hurriedly left the cave, and made for his home in Makkah. But he was not far from the cave, when he heard a voice from above him saying, “O Muhammad (pbuh)! You are the Messenger of God, and I am the angel Gabriel.” Muhammad (pbuh) looked up at the sky and, wherever he looked, there was the Archangel Gabriel

Exhausted, he returned to his house, his body shaking as if with fever. He requested his wife Khadija to cover him with a cloak or blanket. This she did, watching him with tender concern.

When he felt more in control of himself, Muhammad (pbuh) related to Khadija what had happened with the Archangel, and recited to her the verse that Gabriel had taught him. Khadija then left Muhammad (pbuh) to rest and went to see a cousin of hers, a learned and pious man, whose name was Waraqa bin Nawfal. Waraqa had studied the holy books. He had read the Gospel and had become a Christian. Khadija related to him all that Muhammad (pbuh)had told her. Waraqa listened with great interest. When Khadija had finished, he declared to her that Muhammad (pbuh) would be the prophet of his people, and that Gabriel had come to him bringing a message from the Lord, just as he had done with Moses and Jesus before. Then he confided in his cousin that he feared for Muhammad (pbuh), for no messenger was ever sent to mankind but suffered hardship for preaching the message of God

After that first night, Gabriel appeared to Muhammad (pbuh) again and again reciting verse after verse of the Holy Quran. These Muhammad (pbuh) repeated and memorized with the greatest care.

Muhammad (pbuh) made ready to deliver the message of God to his closest and most intimate companions. Khadija was the first person to believe in his mission. The first boy to convert was ‘Ali, the son of his uncle Abu Talib. ‘Ali was Muhammad’s constant companion and had become a member of his household. Next, Abu Bakr ti, an elder  of Quraysh and a wealthy merchant, was converted.

Soon there was a small group who followed Muhammad (pbuh). They used to meet secretly in one or another of their houses, or they go out of the city into the desert so that Muhammad (pbuh) could teach them the worship of the One God.

After a time, Gabriel brought Muhammad (pbuh) a command from God to start preaching the message publicly to people in Makkah and to the other tribes in the Arabian peninsula. So gathering the Makkans all together, Muhammad (pbuh) told them that God had chosen him as their Prophet. He told them that they must stop worshipping idols and return to worshipping God alone just as their ancestor Abraham and Ishmael had done. Finally, he advised them to obey God’s Word, and warned them that God would punish them if they were to disobey.

Upon hearing what Muhammad (pbuh) had to say, the crowd was, at first, dumbstruck. Certainly they knew him well. They knew of his honesty, of his piety and goodness. Yet, what was this he was now asking them to do? Muhammad (pbuh) informed them that he was simply a messenger conveying the message of God. He only wanted their salvation and nothing else. At this, the crowd erupted against him. Laughing and jeering, they asked him how he expected them to abandon the ways of their fathers.

When the elders of Quraysh realized how determined Muhammad (pbuh) was to preach his message, they tried all sorts of ways to stop him. They attempted to bribe him with wealth and power. When this failed, they went to his uncle, Abu Talib, and d him to prevent his nephew from preaching his message and from speaking ill of their idols, Muhammad (pbuh) paid no heed to all the to hinder him, and Aba Talib did not cease to protect his nephew.

Deeply disturbed at the growing success of Muhammad’s (pbuh) activities, Quraysh were at a loss as to what to do next. Finally all the elders met together and decided to boycott the Muslims, as the followers of Muhammad s had come to be known, and to refuse to do business with them. Nothing was to be sold to the Muslims and nothing was to be bought from them. There were to be no relations whatsoever with the Muslims. They were even to be denied food and drink, To this effect, the leaders of Quraysh drew up a special document and hung it upon the Kaba.

For three years, this boycott of Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers continued. During this time the Muslims suffered terrible hardship. Yet, they bore their suffering patiently and did not abandon their religion. At the end of three years, Quraysh realised that their plan had failed and they ceased boycotting the Muslims. They went to take the document off the Kaba. But to their amazement they found that it had been eaten up by insects. Sadly, the end of the boycott had come too late for Khadija; she had and soon after died. Not long after her death, the Prophet’s e uncle, Abü Talib also passed away. With the death of these two people, Muhammad (pbuh) lost both his beloved wife, and the care and protection of his uncle.

But God was not about to abandon His Prophet (pbuh). One night, as Muhammad (pbuh) was lying down to sleep, Gabriel suddenly appeared before him. He led him outside where a white steed was waiting. Muhammad (pbuh) mounted the steed and, together with Gabriel, soared high into the sky. They travelled for some time before coming down in the holy city of Jerusalem. There, Muhammad (pbuh) found Abraham, Moses, Jesus and a lot of other prophets, Muhammad e led them in prayer, then he was told by Gabriel that they must continue their journey.

Glory be to God who did take His servant for a journey by night, from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque (Jerusalem) whose precincts We did bless, in order that we might show him some of Our signs

(Quran, 17:1)

High into the skies they ascended, moving through the heavens one upon the other. At last, they reached the proximity of God. God revealed certain verses of the Holy Quran to Muhammad (pbuh), as well as the five daily prayers or salat. Gabriel then guided Muhammad (pbuh) back through the heavens to Jerusalem and then to Makkah. This event in the life of Muhammad (pbuh) is called the Isra and the Miraj. It was a great consolation to him for all the suffering he had undergone and a tremendous confirmation of his prophethood.

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