Trials, Elevation, and Hope – In the Footsteps of the Prophet

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In this chapter, Muslims regained some strength due to the Islam of Umar and Hamzah RA. Then, Quraysh united again against them, agreeing not to interact with them. A year of sorrow passed, then the Prophet was raised in the night journey. By the end of this chapter, the Prophet was given permission to migrate to Yathrib.

Some interesting things I learned from this chapter:

  1. After the story of Umar’s conversion, the author notes how to some people, guidance takes only a few seconds, a few Quraanic words. For others, however, it takes years of doubt and search to finally reach the truth.
  2. Forty Quraysh leaders agreed to banish Bani Hashim clan. Abu Talib refused to participate; therefore, his clan was also included in the banishment. Banu Hashim and Muttalib moved together to the same area for security. Some clan leaders thought the ban was unnecessary, but Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab always refused stopping the banishment. But at some point, 3 years later, the boycott opposition got so strong that Abu Jahl dared not speak. It was lifted.
  3. Upon returning from Al Taif, and during preforming the famous prayer, the Prophet was seen by two owners of the orchard. They sent their slave to him, Addas, who was a Christian, with grapes. The Prophet said “Bismillah”, which caught the attention of the slave. The slave was from the land of Nineveh.  The Prophet exclaimed, “The land of Jonah the just, son of Matta!” The slave surprised how the Prophet knew this piece of information, accepted the message of Islam.
  4. On his way back to Mecca from Taif, the Prophet meet horsemen. He asked them for protection but they refused. The prophet then went to ghar Hiraa, where he met Mutim. The Prophet asked Mutim, the chief of Bani Nawfal , to grant him protection, as the Prophet didn’t want to re-enter Mecca in such bad circumstances. He greeted the Prophet in the Kaba enclosure to publicize the fact.
  5. Upon returning from the night journey, the Prophet saw a caravan on its way to Mecca. He announced this to Quraysh, giving them clear descriptions, so that they believe his story about the night journey. The caravan truly arrived a few days later.
  6. During the night journey the pillars of faith were revealed and the prayer obligation. Prayer being revealed while the Prophet was in the heavens, implies that during prayer, one has to ascend to the higher levels of being.
  7. The Prophet approached pilgrims settling in Mina during the festival period. He delivered his message to them. He also met Al Khazraj in Al Aqaba, invited them to Islam and they accepted it.
  8. People always advised the Prophet to remarry but he never pursued the matter. He had two dreams in which Aisha was offered to him in marriage. Then Khawlah, who was taking care of him after Khadija’s death, suggested that he marries Aicha and/or Sawdah (a widow). Polygamy was the norm back then. He saw that as a signed, married Sawdah and got engaged to Aicha. Aicha was already “engaged” to Mutim’s son, so they had to negotiate with Mutim to let the Prophet marry Aicha. She was around six back then, and the actual union took place several years later.
  9. A year later, the Prophet met a delegation from Yathrib in Al Aqaba (12 people, 2 of which were from Bani Aws). They updated him about what was happening there. He sent back with them Musab, who read the Quraan beautifully.
  10. A year later, 73 people (2 women) came from Yathrib to meet the Prophet. They pledged to protect him and there fellow Meccan Muslims. The Prophet then started encouraging Meccan Muslims to emigrate to Yathrib secretly.
  11. The Prophet continued to trust the trustworthy non-Muslims, including his uncle Abbas, who attended many confidential meetings. Non-Muslims also continued to trust the Prophet. They still left deposits with him.
  12. Two Muslims left Islam after suffering a lot of torture: Ayyash and Hisham. No action was taken against them. Ayyash later reconverted to Islam full of remorse. The verses 39:53-54 was sent to ease his pain. Upon hearing them, Hisham also reconverted.
  13. When Mutim died,  the non-believers agreed to kill the Prophet. They said that all the clans should kill him together so that Bani Hashim can’t ask for blood money. The Prophet dreamed about a flourishing city and people welcoming him. Angel Gabriel came to confirm his dream and announce that he must prepare to emigrate to Yathrib with Abu Baker.

Favourite Quote:

The Miraj is thus more than the archetype of the spiritual experience; it is pregnant with the significance of prayer, which, the Eternal Word, enables us to liberate our consciousness from the contingencies of space and time, and fully comprehend the meaning of life and of Life.