Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Reading Martin Lings' Biography of Prophet Muhammad (Part 10)

Dr. Martin Lings (Shaykh Abu Bakar Sirajuddin)
Author of 'Muhammad - His life based on the earliest sources'
(1909 - 2005)


28. 'Umar

The two envoys returned from Abysinnia
news of failure angered the Qurayshis further
Umar - nephew of Abu Jahl triggered to rebel
charged on Muhammad for a murder

Nu'aym stopped this 26 year old man
a man of resolute and piety
made him confront Fatimah & Said instead
for they had already embraced Islam
while Nuaym sent words of caution to the Prophet

Stormed to his sister's house with fury
he heard words of Koran named Ta-Ha
Khabbab was the one reciting
quickly went into hiding
Fatimah ditched the manuscript under her gown
as Umar grabbed Said his brother-in-law

Ferocious Umar swung his sword
Fatimah ran to defend Said
gave her a wound and bleed
Umar eventually calmed down

He asked Fatimah for the manuscripts
reluctant she was at first
then Umar took to recite it by himself
words he found so beautiful and noble

Khabbab came out of his hiding and confessed
that the Prophet had prayed for his conversion
Umar instantaneously acknowledged
"O Khabbab, where will Muhammad now be,
that I may go to him and enter Islam?"

To the house of Arqam he went
where Prophet and companions had been waiting
fear abound that Umar was coming to kill
yet Umar testified his faith in God and His Messenger
to which the Prophet exclaimed
"Allahu Akbar!"

Umar made known of his conversion
immediately to all and any
the first and foremost was Abu Jahl
the uncle who now became enemy

29. The Ban and its Annulment

Umar began to pray openly
unlike many others who did so in secret
Hamzah, Umar and a small party went to Ka'abah
so the Quraysh leaders would leave in dismay

Angry Quraysh had to retaliate
Drafted an evil plan against the Hashim clan
Boycott their woman, marry them not
and halted all kinds of trade

Forty Quraysh leaders signed the deal
Though some were reluctant
Unlike Abu Lahab, the Muttalibs declined,
so they too were banned
In the Ka'bah the Quraysh kept their wicked pact

Bani Hashim gathered around Abu Talib's quarters
They had to stick together and stay close
But it wasn't all too solid a ban
Though Abu Jahal was eager to impose

One day he caught Hakim red handed
Poor boy was to bring flour for his aunt Khadijah
Abu Jahal and Hakim argued
Abul Bakhtari came to side the Hashim
and knocked some sense on Abu Jahal
literally he did with a camel's jawbone!

There were many others who sympathized
Hisham ibn Amr had no blood ties
but for the Hashim, food and clothes he secretly delivered
on a camel's back headed for Abu Talib's quarter

Two years have passed
Abu Bakar and Umar became helpless about the ban
All the former's wealth spent
Food became scarce
the blessed clan was on the brink of famine

During sacred months, Muhammad frequented the Sanctuary
Qurayshis took the opportunity
throwing insults and jeers
Nadr of Abd ad-Dar a champion-sneer:
"By God, Muhammad is no better a speaker than I am.
His talk is but tales of the men of old..."

Muhammad defended not, save with Qur'anic verses
"When Our Revelations are recited unto him,
he saith: Tales of the men of old.
Nay, but their earnings are even
as rust over their hearts."

Little did they know
the Prophet's state was like no other
though his eyes asleep, his heart awake
the heart of the faithful could see wonder

Then a Revelation came
a direct attack on Abu Lahab and wife - stern!
the pair bound for Hell said God
this made Umm Jamil jumped, rabid
armed with a stone pestle, she hunt for the Prophet
but her eyes, God miraculously covered
she saw not the Prophet except Abu Bakar, stunned, quiet

Umm Jamil recited her poem of hatred
"We disobey the mudhammam..."
- the blamed one, a reprobate
But Muhammad took it lightly
saying, they blame Mudhammam, not me
Muhammad I am, not he!

Two years since the ban started
more and more Qurayshis doubted
Hisham the secret food delivery man
led the change of mind
he engaged Zuhayr, son of the Prophet's aunt
Mut'im ibn 'Adi became third supporter
Abul Bakhtari became the fourth
Zam'ah ibn al-Aswad joined this new band of five

Zuhayr volunteered to lead
in front of the Ka'bah, addressed the Meccan he did
"By God, I will not be seated
until this iniquitous ban be torn up."
A heated debate took place
before Mut'im rushed to fetch the ban paper
Ah! Worms had eaten all evils that were written
save the opening: "In thy Name, O God"
The ban revoked at last, none could deny the omen

Bani Hashim and Bani al-Muttalib saved
glad tidings unto them came
But the Quraysh wanted to negotiate
so Muhammad would agree to accommodate
but to the Prophet, God revealed
Surah al-Kafirun was the Prophet's reply
"...For you your religion and for me mine."

30. Paradise and Eternity

The turn of event made the emigrants return in fear
Umar's brother in law needed protection
Walid offered Uthman ibn Maz'un a helping hand
but Uthman turned it down afterwards
out of consideration for his brethren

One day Uthman heard of Labid's poem recital
one of the better Qurayshi poets he was
Labid said: "Lo, everything save God is naught."
Uthman responded: "Thou hast spoken true!"
Then Labid said: "And all delights away shall vanish."
Uthman replied, not true, the delight of Paradise will not

Labid taken aback
that someone would interrupt his public recital
Brave Uthman, exchanged more remarks
inciting anger among the Qurayshis
so punched him, Labid did
But Uthman's faith waver not
"...I am under His protection who is mightier
and more determining than thou."
Uthman declined Walid's second offer for safety

The Prophet was not around to witness
he later endorsed what Labid said
"Lo, everything save God is naught."
"The most truthful words Labid ever spoke", said he

Then Qur'an came to clarify
on matters which would vanish
and that which are eternal and not evanesce
Of the Resurrection, the Judgment
Hell and Paradise

Of the Paradise, the Prophet did elaborate
About God giving a bigger reward
He will say to the inhabitants of the heaven
"Shall I not give you better than that?"
"I will let down upon you my Ridwan"
So the believers could expect a double surprise
as did admit the Prophet
- "the meeting with my Lord and Paradise."


To be continued Insha Allah, Bi-iznillah. 
Each part will have a summary for three chapters of the book by Dr. Martin Lings. There are in total 85 chapters, so it's a long way to go! After not doing this for a long time, it was heart warming to read the kind words written by three generous English gentlemen who gave me the precious book more than 10 years ago - Anwar, Ilyas and A.H. God bless you all!

Click on image to enlarge and read.
Beautiful people they are!

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

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