Monday, January 30, 2012

Reading Martin Lings' Biography of Prophet Muhammad (Part 6)


16. Worship

After the first few revelations
Muhammad began to share
with Khadijah and trusted companions
about his encounter with the Angel
and the holy words' descent

One day Gabriel appeared again
on a hilltop he made water gushed
washed himself as in the ablution
Muhammad copied the angel and learned

Then Gabriel stood, inclined, prostrated and sat
showed the postures and movements of the prayer
From Allahu Akbar to Assalamualaykum
Muhammad observed and practised
performed before Khadijah at home
then both eventually prayed together

The religion's foundation established
on the two premise
of ritual purification and prayer
Khadijah was first to embrace
Then Ali and  Zayd

Then came Abu Bakar
a man of influence and calibre so good
urged people to follow the Prophet
Abdu Amr and Abu Ubaydah were the firsts to listen
Abdu Amr later changed his name to Abdul Rahman
the slave of the Infintely Good

A man by the name of Khalid
consulted Abu Bakar about his terrifying dream
while on the verge of a fire pit Muhammad saved him
Khalid entered Islam at the hand of the Prophet
a secret kept from his powerful father Sa'id

Uthman too had a dream
a voice told him
"Sleepers, awake,
for verily Ahmad hath come forth in Mecca"
He crossed path with Talhah
who received words from a monk in Bostra
about a Prophet named Ahmad the son of AbdAllah

Talhah and Uthman compared notes
on their return to Mecca they visited Abu Bakar
Talhah's cousin brought them to the Prophet
into the faith the duo committed

Abdullah ibn Mas'ud converted too
for he saw a miracle of Muhammad
who made a ram's udder swelled with milk
said dry and it dried, to his amazement
Ibn Mas'ud entered Islam and proved a good talent
memorized the Qur'an by heart,
a cause of wonderment

Prophet Muhammad was distressed by the heavenly silence
until one night when he was awakened
"O thou art wrapped in thy cloak, arise and warn!
Thy Lord magnify! Thy raiment purify!
Defilement shun!.."

On another night came another warn
"O thou who art wrapped in thy raiment
keep vigil all the night save a little...
and with care and clarity chant the Koran"

The stern revelations were followed with more gentle ones
Onto Khadijah God sent His Salam
so the Prophet conveyed the message from Gabriel
"God is Peace and from Him is Peace,
and on Gabriel be Peace"
was Khadijah's response

As more revelations poured forth
Prophet Muhammad transmitted them to those near
Sacred words were recited, memorized,
and passed from one to another

The Qur'an taught many a subject
of earthly things, death, Resurrection
and the Last Judgement
of Hell & Paradise, of the Glory of God
His Oneness, Truth and  Wisdom
of Goodness, Mercy, Bounty and Power
His Signs, the nature and of harmony
all pointing towards the Sole Originator

Meanwhile, the believers greeted each other
"Peace be on you"; "And on you be peace"
Phrases of gratitude too was practised
So was Bismillahirahmanirahim

17. "Warn Thy Family"

The pioneer believers multiplied
they were mostly young and devout
Then came many more of the Prophet's cousins
Ja'far, Zubayr, AbdAllah ibn Jahsh,
UbaydAllah and Abu Salamah
Sa'd Abu Waqas and his brother Umayr

All his four uncles were reluctant though
with Abu Lahab showing the most resent
But the Prophet was asked to warn
all his family and nearest kin
a task seemed hard to overcome

The Prophet called Ali to prepare a feast
so he could gather the family and said his piece
Ali had brought only a small portion
but Prophet made it enough for all to drink and eat
So Ali witnessed the Prophet's extraordinary feat

They all ate and before he could address them
Abu Lahab said something and made everyone leave
The next day Ali was asked to do the same
Prepared meals and called upon them
"O sons of Abd al-Muttalib,
I know of no Arab who hath come to his people
with a nobler message than mine.
I bring you the best of this world and the next.
God hath commanded me to call you unto Him.
Which of you then will help me in this
and be my brother, mine executor
and my successor amongst you?"

Ali was the first to speak up and pledge
But he was ridiculed, for he was too young a boy
One of the Prophet's aunt - Saffiyah did too
Then Umm al-Fadl and later her three sisters
Then another woman - Umm Ayman
Zayd married her and bore him a son
Usamah grew up in the noble household
as the Prophet's beloved grandson

18. Quraysh Take Action

The Companions often ventured to the Mecca suburbs
pray together in private they would
but one day some idolaters mocked them
Angry Zuhrah instantly injured one of them

It was an isolated incident
for the companions refrained from violence
when the revelation came calling for patience
"Bear with patience what they say
and part from them with a courteous farewell
and also deal gently with the disbelievers
give them respite for a while"

Some of the leading men of Quraysh
confronted Abu Talib
intolerant of Muhammad they had become
threatened to fight both of them

Prophet Muhammad made known of his stand
"I swear by God, if they put the sun in my right hand
and the moon in my left
on condition that I abandon this course
before He hath made it victorious
or I have perished therein
I would not abandon it"

Muhammad stood up to leave his uncle
as tears welled up in his eyes
Abu Talib instantly made a vow
"Son of my brother,
go thou and say what thou wilt,
for by God I will never forsake thee
on any account"

The Qurayshis were upset about Abu Talib's defiance
Muhammad's new religion was becoming a big threat
Their idols would be challenged at the upcoming pilgrimage
no doubt that he was acting like an evil sorcerer
The Qurayshis positioned teams on all inroads of Mecca
Visitors were forwarned of a Meccan persona
one who was loved, whose eloquence unmatched
his majestical presence they tried to mar

Tried they did but to no avail
not to one by the name of Abu Dharr
on hearing from his brother Unays about a Prophet
off to Mecca he went in search of Muhammad
asked him to recite the words of the Koran

Surprised that he was a man of Bani Ghifar
robbers they were as highwayman
"Verily God guideth whom He will"
so he testified as a Muslim man

Then it was the turn of Tufayl
a poet and a remarkable man of Bani Daws
the Qurayshis made a special effort to warn
"O Muhammad, thy people told me this and that
and they so frightened me about thy state
that I stuffed mine ears
lest I should hear thy speech.
But God would not have it but that
He should make me hear thee...."

The religion of Muhammad
was greatly talked about
both the good and the bad
and toward Yathrib the faith then spread

[To be continued InshaAllah]

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