Prophethood came to an end with Muhammad (pbuh ), whom Allah made the “seal of all the Prophets” (khoofcm an-nabiyyeen) and by whom the religion (deen) was completed and perfected. The words of Allah were finally revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) through Angel Jibreel over a period of twenty-three years, from the age of forty to sixty-three, when he passed away.
The Quran states, “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”
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?”
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.”
According to the customs prevalent among the Makkan elites a few days after birth the new-born babies were entrusted to the custody of rural womenfolk who specialized in the art of nursing the babies such desert-living ladies would visit Makkah periodically in caravans to carry away foster babies of their choices. They would then engage themselves in their feeding and upbringing in the free and bracing environment of the desert. When the foster babies grew a bit older they were returned to their parents. Foster mothers were rewarded by parents for their service.
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.
A great of the Prophet’s mission was to bring peace to the world. One way of doing so was to convince people that all men and women, although living in very different regions of the world, and seemingly different from one another in color, culture and language, etc., were in fact each other’s blood brothers and sisters. The Prophet would preach to his followers: “You are all Adam’s offspring and Adam was made of clay.” And in his prayers to his Creator, he would say, “O Lord, all your servants are brothers.”