Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Birth and Childhood
Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Birth and Childhood
Compiled by Reza Soltani
Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) was born in the year 570 CE (53 years before the Hijrah) in the town of Mecca, a town in the high desert plateau of western Arabia. His name derives from the Arabic verb Hamada, meaning "to praise, to glorify." He was the first and only son of Hazrat Abdullah ibn `Abdul Muttalib and Hazrat Aminah bint Wahab. Hazrat Abdullah ibn `Abdul Muttalib died before Prophet Muhammad'sbirth. The precise date of his birth is disputed among the historians, but Ayatollah Rohullah Musawi al-Khomeini (RA), the founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran declared the week between 12th and 17th Rabi al-Awwal as "Haft-e-Wahdat" meaning "the week of unity amongst Muslims." Muslims all over the world are urged to get together and celebrate [Eid-E-MiladNabi] the birth of Hazrat Mohammad for the whole week.
The year in which Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) was born is called the Year of Elephant [Aam al-Fil]; because of the famous incident in which the ruler of Yemen, Abraha tried to destroy Ka’aba using his army of Elephants, however, a vast flock of small birds like swallows, carrying pebbles in their beaks darkened the sky and pelted them down upon the heads of Abraha's army causing deep puncture like wounds which killed many. It is also said that at the same time for the first time in Arabia, the diseases of typhoid and smallpox appeared, affecting the whole army. Abraha himself suffered from smallpox, and remained alive only until he reached Yemen and died there.
The tribe that Hazrat Mohammad came from was named "Quraish". This tribe was one of the most influential tribes that ruled Muslims for centuries after Islam.
The birth of prophet Mohammad (PBUH) gave rise to numerous wonderful incidents in the sky and on the earth, especially in the East, the cradle of civilization. News of these events spread quickly. This newborn child was predestined to destroy the people's old superstitious beliefs and customs and to lay new foundations for human progress and prosperity.
Just as Hazrat Mohammad's birth and the events that followed his blessed birth were extraordinary and suggestive of his majesty and supreme character, so his behavior and manner of speaking in childhood also made him different from other children. HazratAbd al-Muttalib, the chief of the Quraish tribe, did not treat his grandson like other children, but held him in great respect and reverence.
When Prophet Mohammad was chosen by Allah. By the will of Allah the holy Qur'an was sent to be the book of guidance for people of the world. Prophet Muhammad has said the following words about the holy Qur'an:
"The Holy Qur’an is superior and excellent to everything other than Almighty Allah (SWT)."
"Whenever mischief and seditions surround you like a part of the darkness of the night then (take refuge and) go towards the Holy Qur’an." (Bihar al-Anwar)
Birth of Imam Sadiq
The sun of the existence of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (PBUH) arose from the lap of his mother Umm-e-Farwah on the 17th of Rabi’e al Awwal, 83rd A.H., in the city of Medina. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq has the same birth date as that of our Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq has three titles; they are: al-Sadiq, al-Fadil and al-Tahir.
His father Imam Mohammad Baqir (PBUH) was much happy and pleased by the birth of his son. His mother Umm-e-Farwah was the granddaughter of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakar, who was one of the companions of Imam Ali (PBUH). Imam Ali repeatedly said about him that, "Mohammad is my spiritual and moral son." Asma bint Umais was the mother of Mohammad ibn Abu Bakar, and she was considered to be a pious woman. She was continuously in the service of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA) and was very proud of that. After the martyrdom of her husband Ja’faribn Abu Talib in the Battle of Mu’tah, Asma bint Umais married Abu Bakar Siddiq and after his death, married Imam Ali.
After the martyrdom of Imam Hossein (PBUH) the government of Bani Umayyad was shaken which turned the people into their enemy and pessimist about them. This opened the avenue for the formation of Bani Abbasid government. The gap in between these two powers opened the way for the propagation of the Shiite ideology.
The life of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (PBUH), like the other Imams was the enlightened lesson of the real and true Islam. He himself was considered to be the good example of the Islamic ethic, moral and conduct.
About the ethical value and virtue of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, it suffice to say that out of four thousands of his students even a single one did not object or criticize upon the moral character and conduct of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, and did not find a weak point in him. He was a practical example for the Muslims with respect to eating, relaxing and resting, walking, speaking, and conducts with others. He had the same social conduct with his friends as he had with his children.
During the Imamate of the sixth Imam greater possibilities and a more favorable climate existed for him to propagate religious teachings. This came about as a result of revolts in Islamic lands, especially the uprising of the Muswaddah to overthrow the Umayyad caliphate, and the bloody wars which finally led to the fall and extinction of the Umayyad’s dynasties. The greater opportunities for Shi'ite teachings were also a result of the favorable ground the fifth Imam had prepared during the twenty years of his Imamate through the propagation of the true teachings of Islam and the sciences of the Household of the Prophet.
Martyrdom of Eleventh Imam Hassan ibn Ali (al-Askari)
The infallible imam died in Samarra Iraq on 8th Rabi’e al-Awwal 260 Hijra when he was 28 years old. The period of his imamate was 6 years.
Samarra [SurreMun Ra’] was a garrison town about 60 miles north of Baghdad. River Euphrates flows in the middle of the town, and because of the surrounding hills a cool breeze keeps the area cooler in comparison to Baghdad. The word ‘Asker’ in Arabic is used for army. Our eleventh Imam’s title became known as Askari, the one who lived all his life in a garrison town. There is another story related with this name by many historians. Once the Caliph called him in his palace and ordered his army to march before him. The Caliph wanted to boast or to impress the Imam about his power or to dissuade the Imam from any thoughts of revolution against the Abbasid Caliphate. When the march was over, Imam asked the Caliph to gaze between two of his fingers. What the Caliph saw was a huge army of lancers and swords men marching, a much bigger crowd than the Caliphs army. He was astonished at this miracle and named him Askari, i.e. the man with a big army.
The life of Imam Hassan al-Askari (PBUH), from childhood to adulthood, was spent in the house where his father Imam Ali al-Naqi (PBUH) was to remain under house arrest. But despite this close guard on Imam, he conducted his duties as an Imam from inside the house. He taught people Qur’an and instructed his followers the true teachings of Islam as taught by the Prophet of Islam and his household. In fact Imam Hassan al-Askari wrote a complete interpretation [Tafseer] of Qur’an which was mentioned by many scholars, historians and exegetes, including Kulaini and Saduq.
Imam’s life in Samarra was not in peace even under house arrest. From time to time he was taken to Baghdad, questioned and put in prison there. On one such occasion, Imam was taken by the Turkish guards to Baghdad where he was kept in prison during the short reign of the Caliph al-Muktadi and al-Mu’tamid afterwards.
During the rule of Al-Mu’tamid poison was given to the Imam mixed in some fruit and he died on 8th Rabi al-Awwal 260 Hijra. He left only one son, whose name was Mohammad and was only five years old when his father died.
In the presence of Imam Hasan Askari when someone asked him regarding the hadith that was related from his forefathers, namely: "The earth will never be void of God's proof [hujjat], and anyone who dies without acknowledging the Imam of the time dies the death of ignorance." The Imam responded: "Yes, indeed the matter is as clear and real as daylight." The person went on to ask: "Who is the hujjat and the Imam after you?" He said: "After me the hujjat and the Imam will be my son Mohammad. Anyone who dies without acknowledging him will die a death of ignorance. Be aware that my son will go into occultation. The people, because of that, will experience confusion. Those who are unfaithful will perish, whereas those who fix the time of his appearance will be uttering falsehood. When the period of his occultation comes to an end he will launch a revolution. I see the white flags waving over his head in Najaf." (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 51, p. 160)
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