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Adolescence of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Jubayer Ahmad

Adolescence of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

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Prophet’s (PBUH) fortunate father Abdullah died a few months before His birth during the pregnancy of His mother (Ameenah). His mother Ameenah died during return trip from Madinah when boy Muhammad was six years old. After his mother’s death, the Messenger of Allah started his life in the care of his grandfather Abdul Muttalib. Abdul Muttalib used to love the orphan, Muhammad, very much. He did not want to go anywhere without his grandson. He would feed him the most delicious portion of the meal and would not allow to begin eating until he came. According to Ibn Hisahm’s narration, a mat would always be laid out in the shade of holy Ka’ba for Abdul Muttalib and His children used to sit around that mattress in honour of their father. No one used to sit on this mat except Abdul Muttalib. Only boy Muhammad (PBUH) was allowed to sit on this mat with him. Abdul Muttalib’s children would often want to separate our beloved Prophet from this mat; however, their father would say: "Leave my grandson. I swear by Allah, In the future, his reputation and glory are going to be great”. Then the prophet would sit with him on the mat, wipe his back and allow him to do anything he wanted.

Abdul Muttalib would become worried if the young Muhammad (PBUH) went out of his eye-sight even for a while. Our beloved Prophet was passing a very comfortable life under the guardianship of grandfather Abdul Muttalib. But it was a great tragedy that Abdul Muttalib had become seriously ill one day and his illness was gradually increasing its level of intensity. He died at the age of 82 years old when the Prophet was only eight years two months and ten days old. Before his death, Abdul Muttalib handed over the responsibility of taking care of his grandson Muhammad to his son Abu Talib. Although Abdul Muttalib had several wives but Prophet’s (PBUH) father Abdullah and Abu Talib were the son of same mother.  

Abu Talib fulfilled the rights due to his nephew in the best way possible. He put him with his children and preferred him to all of his sons. His love for Muhammad (PBUH) was increasing day by day because of his good manners and great politeness. It was a rainless year, Makkah and its surrounding area was undergoing a severe drought. The ground was dry and cracked due to lack of water. Leading people of Quraysh came to Abu Talib and requested him to supplicate to Allah (SWT) for rain. They were saying, 'O Abu Talib, the valley has become rainless and our children and animals started to die due to drought and famine! Please pray for rain for us.’ Abu Talib went to the Kaaba with his nephew Muhammad (PBUH) because he had seen in many events that Muhammad attracted blessings and grants. He led his nephew to the Ka`ba and stood with his back against it. Then he started to pray to the almighty for rain. Immediately it started to rain heavily and caused the flow of springs and growth of plants in the town and the country.

It was a common practice of the people of Makkah to go to Syria on a business trip once in a year. When the Prophet (PBUH) was 12 years old, Abu Talib planned to start a business journey to Syria. Boy Muhammad desired to go with Abu Talib who accepted the request. He took his nephew Muhammad with him. On the way to Syria, when the caravan reached Busra, a renowned town of Syria they stopped their journey. A very interesting incident took place when they were resting there.

There was a monastery in Busra. Christian monk Bahira who was the monk of this monastery was looking forward to the appearance of a new Prophet because he knew from the authentic copy of bible that was in the monastery that Muhammad the last messenger of Allah will come after Eisa (AS).  Bahira saw the cloud moving with the caravan overshadowing the men of caravan. He realized that this caravan was different; there was something special about it. He sent some servants to invite all the men of the caravan to have a meal. The caravan traders accepted the invitation and arrived at the monk’s place. All men of the caravan entered the monastery to attend the dinner leaving behind the Prophet. When Bahira saw that the cloud stopped at the place of where the boy Muhammad was seated. Bahira asked if someone from the caravan has not come. People of the caravan said that all have come except a boy. Bahira said: Call that boy also. The Prophet was invited and when he set out from there the cloud also accompanied him. Bahira scrutinized the boy in the light of expectations according to Christian books. Consequently he understood that this very boy would be a Prophet one day.

After having the food, Bahira approached Abu Talib and said to him, what relation do you hold to this child? He replied: He is my son. Bahira rejoined: It cannot be so, because, according to bible, his father died before his birth, and his mother when he was six years old. Abu Talib confirmed that the boy was in fact his nephew. Bahira then turned to Muhammad and said: I would like to ask you three things, and adjure you by Laat and Uzza to answer. Muhammad (PHUH) said: Ask nothing in their name; verily they are my greatest enemies in the shape of two stone idols. The monk then asked him about what does he see when he sleeps, and concerning most things relating to his character and condition, and found all to agree with what he had read in books. Then Bahira requested to allow him to see the shoulders of the boy. No sooner did he behold the seal of prophethood (which was an oval shape protruding just below the prophet’s shoulder blades) than he cast himself down, kissed it and wept, and said: “This is the master of all humans, Allah (SWT) will send him with a message which would be a mercy to all humans” Bahira warned Abu Talib that by getting the identity of the future Prophet as described in the old scriptures, some Christians or Jews would harm the boy. He requested to send the boy back to Makkah and not to take him to Syria. Abu Talib obeyed and sent him back to Makkah with some of his men servants. (Ibn Hisham).

 

The writer is Khatib of Baitush Shafiq Mosque and Principal of Baitul Hikam Academy, Gazipur