Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reading Martin Lings' Biography of Prophet Muhammad (Part 9)


25. The Hour

The Koran sprinkles words of angels
as the disbelievers contended
why the messenger was a man
if God be God an angel would warrant

The Koran speaks aplenty
on the horrors of the Hour
the end of time
so near at hand

It warns so many
that the good would strive to excel
and the bad might just rebel
"Verily We have given them in this Koran
ample reason
to take heed
yet it doth but increase them in aversion"

26. Three Questions

The Qurayshis were increasingly restless
of their problems posed by the prophet
sent delegates to Yathrib
consult the Jewish rabbis they did

"Ask him three questions"
the delegates were told
if Muhammad was a true prophet
i. about the young men who left their folks
ii. about the traveller who reached the farthest east and west
iii. about the Spirit
if he but knew?

So the envoys returned to Mecca
asked him they did as told
The prophet said:
"Tomorrow I will tell you"

Fifteen nights had passed
Prophet got distressed
waiting for clues to the answers
No revelations had come to pass

Gabriel eventually appeared
though the Prophet was first reproached
"And say not of anything:
verily I shall do that tomorrow,
except thous sayest:
if God will." - InshaAllah

The story of the youths, so he understood
the sleepers of the Ephesus of the 3rd century
escaped to the cave
in favor of their worship of the One God
while their people muddled in idolatry

And a Revelation answered the second question
That of the traveller named DhulQarnayn
who traversed to the East and the West
and a place and a feat another
onto whom God granted power
protect the people from Gog & Magog
until it is time for the appointed Hour

The Spirit is above any man's mind
so the Revelation answered the third question
for it functions on the Lord's command
little knowledge but are given

Many more followers converted
at the answers they were amazed
and the wrath of the disbelieers increased
onto the new converts vented their anger

Umayyah tortured his slave
Bilal would be taken out under the hot sun
onto whose chest a large rock he placed
lest Muhammad he should renounce

Bilal determined of his faith
"One, One, One" he did repeat
Then Waraqah came by to testify
"It is indeed One, O Bilal"
Umayyah finally set him free
on the offer of Abu Bakar the wealthy

Abu Jahl was the other great tormentor
that of the rich and the poor
Yasir, Sumayyah and Ammar their son
became victims of his evil clansmen

The prophet realized the believers' sufferings
urged them to migrate to Abyssinia
where the king is fair and they could find relief
the first emigration in Islam, a new beginning

27. Abyssinia

Eighty of them not including the children
travelled in small groups in much secrecy
In Abyssinia they were well received
Quraysh leaders felt deceived
plotted a bribe for Negus and his army

But King Negus defended the refugees
with whom he summoned a meeting
together with his learned bishops
who were impressed with them all

Among them were Uthman & Ruqayyah
so were Ja'far and his wife Asma
Ja'far acted as their spokeperson
the one whom the Prophet favored
"Thou art like me in looks and in character"

Mus'ab of ad-Dar flanked the emigrants' chief
a remarkable young man so gifted
And Shammas was another handsome youth
the Prophet's cousins were with them too

To the emigrants the king questioned
Ja'far answered with great eloquence
recited the Chapter of Mary
made Negus and bishops weep publicly

The two Quraysh envoys were chased away
But Amr refused to give up easily
the next day he met the king again
"O King, they utter an enormous lie
about Jesus the son of Mary"

The King demanded for clarification
So Ja'far had to answer as per God's own words
that Jesus is a slave of God and His Messenger
Negus eventually agreed along wih his bishops

To Mecca, Amr and his companion returned
their gifts of bribery rejected
while Negus had to explain to his people
feared their king had left his religion
while Ja'far and the exiled community
were granted relief and safety

[To be continued InshaAllah]

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