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?”
Allah blessed the descendants of Adam. His children and grandchildren spread and multiplied. Adam’s descendants founded many villages. They built houses, ploughed the land, grew crops and lived in comfort. They worshipped only Allah. They did not worship anything else besides Him.
Satan refused to bow down to Adam when Allah commanded him to do so. So he was cast out and damned forever. He, therefore, decided to take revenge on the progeny of Adam so that they would go to the Fire with him.
When the Quraysh found out that the Prophet (pbuh) had departed, leaving only Ali in his bed, covered with his mantle, they became very angry. They offered a reward of a hundred she camels to whomever brought the Prophet (pbuh) back dead or alive.
The Quraysh’s Plot to Assassinate the Prophet (pbuh) Fails
The Quraysh were very upset by the emigration of the Muslims to Madinah. When they saw that the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions had helpers in Madinah, over whom they had no power, the Quraysh were alarmed by the emigration of the Muslims. They knew that if that happened, then they would have no means to stop it. They held a meeting at Dar An-Nadwah, their assembly place. Formerly, in that meeting, the Quraysh nobles consulted with one another on what to do concerning the Prophet (pbuh). The emigration of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions to a rival city was very harmful to them.
Makkah was no longer a safe place for Muslims to live in. The disbelievers of Makkah were quick to realize the significance of Abu Talib’s death. They intensified their attacks on Muslims. They sought to eradicate the Muslims and Islam. Muslims had no security and no rights in Makkah. Their lives were under threat. Their property was a fair game for the Quraysh.
The Prophet (pbuh) then directed those who had returned from Ethiopia and other Muslims to emigrate and head for Madinah. Quietly, they began to move out. In a few months, more than a hundred families left their homes and emigrated to Madinah.
The Second Pledge took place a year after the first one, which was the concluded in the twelfth year of Prophethood. That year during the haji season, many of the people of Yathrib, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, came to Makkah, The Muslims had decided that they would not leave the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in Makkah to be expelled and persecuted. Seventy-three men and two women, Nusaybah bint Ka’b and Asmaa bint Amr, contacted him in secret and agreed to meet him in secret at night in the mountain pass that is next to Jamrat al-Aqabah.
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
The Israa’ and the Mi’raaj (The Night Journey and the Ascension)
It is in this period that the Prophet’s night journey (Israa’) from Al-Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah to Al-Masjid al-Aqsaa in Jerusalem, and his ascension (Mi’raaj) from there through the heavens took place. He was accompanied in this journey by Angel Jibreel, and was taken on a wonderful animal called al-Buraag, which was bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule, and whose stride reached as far as his eye could see.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Abu Talib died in the same year: the tenth year of Prophethood. The Prophet’s grief was deep. He was keenly aware that he was left not only without a caring wife, but also without a protector. His pagan enemies saw in the death of Abu Talib an opportunity to harm and persecute him. The neighbours of the Prophet (pbuh) who were opposed to him, under the leadership of Abu Jahl and his wife Umm Jameel, intensified their attacks against him. The Prophet (pbuh) used to remove the dirty refuse, which they repeatedly threw into his courtyard and in front of his door.
The year in which Khadijah and Abu Talib died became known as Aam al-Huzn (the Year of Grie) because of the great loss to the already persecuted Prophet (pbuh).
Prophet Muhammad’s memoirs pertaining to the period of shepherding are interesting as well as instructive. One such episode has been narrated by the Prophet (pbuh) himself in these words: “I had no inherent at traction for all those pleasant pastimes that the Makkan pagans indulged in so fondly. On two occasions even when I had intended to enjoy those recreations God intervened in between me and my desires. Once I and another shepherd from the Quraish were tending our cattle over the hills of Makkah. I told my colleague that I was going to the city for the night in quest for some rest and recreation I requested him to take care of my goats as well. When the other shepherd consented I set out for the city. As I neared the very first house sweet melodies of flute and tambourine struck my ears. I was told that the inmates were busy celebrating a wedding function. I too went in and sat among them. I had hardly started enjoying the music when God suddenly shut my ears. Sound slumbers of sweet sleep overwhelmed me so completely that only the rays of the following morning’s sun could wake me up. I remained utterly unaware of the proceedings of that merry marriage party. Then I hastened to return to my companion in the hilly pasture and reported him the entire episode.”
On the untimely demise of young Muhammad’s mother the honour of looking after him fell rather exclusively to the lot of his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib. He undertook that responsibility with great affection and dedication. Unfortunately, however poor Muhammad (pbuh) had not yet recovered from the trauma of his loving mother’s death when his noble grandfather also breathed his least. The young boy was hardly eight then. His infancy was punctuated by a rapid succession of tearful tragedies. When he joined his grandfather’s funeral procession torrential tears trickled down his innocent cheeks. The lovely little boy presented a pathetic picture of grief and depression.