Bilal ibn Rabaah was an Ethiopian slave. He belonged to some people of the tribe of Banu Jumah. He was known for his hard work and loyalty to his master Umayyah ibn Khalaf, a leader of his tribe. He was one of the very early converts toIslam. He was tortured mercilessly by his master until Abu Bakr bought him and freed him.
When Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) began preaching Islam, Bilal was so deeply moved by the wonderful character of the Prophet (pbuh) and the remarkable teachings of Islam he was calling to that he decided to embrace this new religion. In fact, he was the first slave to become Muslim in the history of Islam.
He was Abu Ubaidah Amir ibn Abdullah al-Jarraah. He embraced Islam at an early period of the Islam ic mission. He was popularly known as Abu Ubaidah. He was a tall and thin man with a wonderful face. He was very sensitive, modest and full of life and vigour. He was not boastful but was fiercely courageous. He was bright and sharp like the blade of a sword.
He embraced Islam after Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, Abu Bakr himself brought Abu Ubaidah to the told of Islam. In fact, he was among the first followers of the Prophet (pbuh) beside his own household.
He was Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah al-Ghifaaree. He was one of the early converts to Islam. He was probably the fifth Muslim from among the freeborn men.
During his early life, he achieved fame as a daring raider. The Ghifaar tribe to which he belonged lived in the Waddan Valley. The Makkan caravans, laden with their many goods and riches, had to pass through this valley, and Abu Dharr used to lead the youths of his tribe in raids on the trade caravans. The tribe members lived by what these caravans gave in return for protection. If they refused to pay the price, Abu Dharr with his company of youths would attack them and cause great damage to the trading caravan.
She was Khadijah bint (daughter of) Khuwaylid ibn (son of) Asad ibn Abd-ul-Uzzaa ibn Qusayy. Khadijah was of the Quraysh. The lineage of the Prophet (pbuh) meets with her in the celebrated Qusay. Qusay was the great founder of Makkah and was the famous patriarch of the Quraysh.
When Khadijah heard of the Prophet’s wonderful moral conduct, she requested him to head her trading caravans. When he went on a business trip to Syria along with her trusted slave Maisarah, this trip proved extremely profitable. During the journey, Maisarah noticed wonderful qualities in the Prophet (pbuh), such as honesty, adherence to noble principles, agreeable dealings and business skills. The Prophet (pbuh) succeeded very well in his business mission. The profits were unusually high.
The Thamood are another ancient people next only to the Aad in fame
The Thamood lived in the north-western part of Arabia, which is still called al-Hijr. Today there is a station on the Hijaz railway between Madinah and Tabuk. This is called Madaain Salih, which was the capital town of ood, and was then known as al-Hijr, the rock-hewn city. This has survived to this day and is spread over thousands of acres. It was once inhabited by no less than half a million people. During the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Arab trade caravans passed through the ruins of this city.
Allah blessed the descendants of Nuh who spread over the earth, and one community from them was Aad. These were ancient Arab people who were very well known throughout Arabia for their glory and greatness.
According to the Quran, the people of Aad lived mainly in the Ahaaaf region, which is situated to the southwest of the Empty Quarter, between Hijaz, Yemen and Yamamah. It was from there that the people of Aad spread to the western coast of Yemen and established themselves in Oman, Hadramawt and Iraq.
Allah answered Nuh’s supplication. He willed that the fate of the arrogant disbelievers would be drowning in a great flood.
Allah wanted to save Nuh and the believers, and so He commanded him to build a huge ship with no precedence, the ark. Nuh immediately began building the ark. Every time the leaders of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. They said, “You are making a boat in the desert. How would it float?” Nuh would say, “You will learn soon!” they would mockingly say, “Nuh, you have become a carpenter after being a prophet! Where is this ship going to sail? The sea is a long way from here. Who is going to pull the ship?”