Birth and Education – In the Footsteps of the Prophet

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The story of the Prophet PBUH begins. In this chapter we learn about his upbringing. Some interesting facts I learned:

  1. During Jahiliyah, there were people who followed Abrahamic monotheism, They were called the hunafa. They, as well as the people of the book around Mecca, were attacked often by the polytheists.
  2. Ibn Ishaq reports that Aminah had a vision while she was pregnant that announced to her the birth of the master of the people. The name Mohammed, not very known at the time, came to her in that vision.
  3. Wet nurses from the Bedouins didn’t want to take the Prophet into their custody since he was an orphan and they feared not getting paid. Halimah arrived late to Mecca, and the Prophet was her only option. She took him in out of fear of being mocked by her tribe for returning empty handed. Her tribe was called Banu Sad.
  4. After the split chest incident, that was witnessed by Halimah’s son, Halimah was afraid that harm has happened to the Prophet since he was very pale. So, she sent him back to his mother.
  5. Abdullah, the Prophet’s father, died while on a trip to Yathrib. His mother, also died on the way back from Yathrib (they were visiting relatives). She is buried in Abwa. Barakah, her servant, took the Prophet back to his grandfather.
  6. On his grandfather’s death bed, he told his uncle Abu Talib to take care of the Prophet.
  7. The Prophet reported that once, he heard that a wedding was going to be celebrated in Mecca. He was on his way, when he suddenly felt very tired, sat by the road and fell asleep. Thus, God protected him from wrong.
  8. A hadith: “There was no prophet who was not a shepherd.” -Bukhari
  9. When in Madina, a verse, 3:190 revealed to the Prophet, caused him to weep all night. He said, “Woe to anyone who hears that verse and doesn’t meditate upon it.”

Due to the events of the prophet’s upbringing, we realize how God was being his Educator. He was shaping him into the man he would later become, suitable to carry the message of prophet-hood.

  • During his stay with Halimah and the Bedouins, the Prophet mastered the spoken language. He learned how to express ideas in concise phrases.
  • Also his life as a nomad, shaped his view regarding this life. Nothing is constant; we are all travelers in this world.
  • The desert opens the human mind to observation, meditation and initiation into meaning. His stay there fashioned his outlook preparing him to understand the signs of the universe.
  • Later, the loss of his caregivers, his mother and grandfather, taught him to depend only on God; it taught him humility and vulnerability.
  • As a young man, his work as a shepherd taught him solitude, patience, contemplation and watchfulness.

In short, God prepares and shapes us, through circumstances, to later carry our different missions in life. He initiates us, teaches us to later withstand bigger tests. He is our Educator.

In Surat el Duha, God reminds the Prophet of how He was “with” him during hardships (before the revelation). He then invites the Prophet to treat people, going through similar difficulties, with kindness.

93:6-11 Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge? And He found you lost and guided [you], And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient. So as for the orphan, do not oppress [him]. And as for the petitioner, do not repel [him]. But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].

In this Surah, we learned to convert our past and experiences, even if dark, to positive teaching for our selves and others.