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    Biography / The Life of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)

    Mecca before Islam

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the messenger of Allah and the last prophet, was born in the city of Mecca. Mecca is in the west of the Arabian Peninsula, which lies between Asia, Europe and Africa, within the Hejaz region. It is important to be aware of the history of Mecca, the Kaaba and the Quraishi tribe to understand the life of the Prophet.

    The known history of Mecca dates back to the time of Prophet Abraham, but there is not much information about any earlier history. Prophet Abraham brought his son Ishmael, who was an infant, and his wife Hagar to Mecca on the order of Allah, leaving them there to return to Palestine.

    The valley of Mecca is described as an "uncultivable valley" (Abraham 14/37), being a desert with a hot, dry climate. Thus, Hagar and Ishmael were soon thirsty. According to religious accounts, just as Hagar, who had been running between the Safa and Marwa Hills in order to find water, had become desperate and abandoned hope for her son's life, a source of water sprung from under the feet of her son. The source was an abundant spring called the zamzam and subsequently became a stopping-off place for caravans. After a certain time, the Jurhum tribe from Yemen settled in the outer sections of Mecca. Ishmael learned Arabic from them and married a girl from this tribe.

    Prophet Abraham, who was living in Palestine, paid occasional visits to Hagar and Ishmael. On his third visit to Mecca, Prophet Abraham, in accordance with the order of Allah, began to construct the Kaaba with his son Ishmael. It can be understood from certain verses of the Holy Quran (al-Baqarah 2/127; Al-Imran 3/96; Al-Hajj 22/26) that the Kaaba had existed before the time of Abraham; however it had been destroyed and its location was obliterated over time until Prophet Abraham once again found its place and rebuilt it.1 Although there is no information about who built the Kaaba before Abraham, it is recorded in some sources that it was built by Prophet Adam or his son Seth. When Prophet Abraham completed the construction of the Kaaba, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and taught him how to perform the pilgrimage (hajj).

    The administration of Mecca and the Kaaba, which had been the duty of Ishmael, passed to the Jurhum tribe after him. The Jurhum tribe first accepted the religion conveyed by Ishmael, but they deviated with time, performing immoral acts, stealing gifts that were brought to the Kaaba, and not treating the people who came to the city for pilgrimage well. After a certain time, the Khuza'ah tribe, which had migrated to Mecca from Southern Arabia, defeated the Jurhum tribe in a battle and removed them from the city. The Jurhum tribe returned back to Yemen, their homeland, after removing the Hajarul Aswad (Black Stone) from its place and covering over the zamzam well to disguise its location. The Ishmaelites did not take part in the battle, due to their small number, and they continued to stay in the city after concluding an agreement with the Khuza'ah tribe. Amr bin Luhay, one of the leading figures of the Khuza'ah tribe, broke the tradition of monotheism and allowed for the emergence of idolatry when he took over the administration of Mecca and the Kaaba.

    Quraishis under the leadership of Qusay bin Kilab, an ancestor of Prophet Muhammad five generations removed, took over the administration of Mecca in the first part of the fifth century by after defeating the Khuza'ah tribe. Accordingly, the services of the Kaaba, which represented great honor and respect, passed to the Quraishis. Qusay gathered together the Quraishi branches, which were living around Mecca, and he placed them around the Kaaba. Also by performing the necessary regulations, Qusay gained control of the following services: the administration of Mecca (the administration of Darunnadwa-Council of the Meccan infidels) commander-in-chief (kiyada), flagmanship (liva), maintenance of the Kaaba, security of the Kaaba's door and keys (hijaba or sidana), supply of water to the pilgrims (sikaya), and accommodation for the pilgrims (rifada). The Darunnadwa which was built by him continued its existence up to the Islamic period as a meeting place where important issues were discussed and various ceremonies were held.

    The administration of Mecca and the services of the Kaaba were continued by the descendants of Qusay bin Kilab after his death. Hashim bin Abdumanaf, the grandson of Qusay and an ancestor of Prophet Muhammad three generations removed, worked hard to provide food and water for both the pilgrims who came to Mecca and the Quraishi tribe.

    Hashim, known for his generosity, and his brothers Abdushems and Nawfal made trade agreements with Byzantium, Yemen, Ethiopia and Iran. They also signed nonaggression pacts with the tribes along the trade routes.


    Accordingly, trade in Mecca gained international importance. The Quraishis were able to make journeys for trade without threat to Yemen and Ethiopia in the winter, and to Syria and through Anatolia in the summer because of the prestige they had won from the performance of the Kaaba services. On his way to Syria, Hashim went to Yathrib (Medina) and stayed there for a while, marrying Salma, the daughter of Amr bin Zayd from Najjarian. Abdulmuttalib (Shayba), the grandfather of Prophet Muhammad, was their child. Hashim died in Gazza in Palestine during his travels, and he was buried there. Abdulmuttalib stayed in Medina for eight years and later was brought to Mecca by his uncle Muttalib. Abdulmuttalib was raised by his uncle and his uncle transferred the leadership of the tribe to him before his death. After a dream, Abdulmuttalib located the place of the zamzam well that had been covered by the Jurhum tribe before they left Mecca, and he reopened the well. He undertook the duty of bringing food and water to the pilgrims.

    The religious and commercial importance of Mecca, in addition to its geographical location, caught the attention of states such as Byzantium, Iran (Sassanian) and Ethiopia. Abraha, the Yemeni governor of the kingdom of Ethiopia, built a church in San'a to try to prevent the visits of the Arabs to the Kaaba. When this attempt failed, he decided to destroy the Kaaba and abolish Mecca's status as a religious center by invading it and stopping the trade activities of the people there. Abraha and his army came as far as the area surrounding Mecca with his army and stayed there. The grandfather of Prophet Muhammad, Abdulmuttalib, who was the leader of the Hashimite branch of the Quraishis, met Abraha and reminded him that the Owner of the Kaaba, which was known as Baytullah (the House of Allah) would protect it. Abraha ordered his soldiers to strike, but the elephant in front of his army refused to take a step towards the Kaaba. According to Surah Fil (105/1-5) his army was destroyed by small stones that were dropped by birds flying overhead which had been sent by Allah. This incident was called the Incident of the Elephant, and the year in which it occurred was called the Year of the Elephant. The fact that Abraha's attempt failed caused the Arabs to give more importance to the pilgrimage than was ever seen before. As a result, the prestige of Mecca and the Quraishis was raised.


    Mecca was the leading city of the three prominent cities of the Hejaz region, the other two being Yathrib (Medina) and Taif. Mecca, the intersection point on the roads that lead to Yemen to the south, the Mediterranean to the north, the Persian Gulf to the west, and the Red Sea port of Jeddah to the west, was located at an economically strategic point. Moreover, the Kaaba was located in the city, thus making the city the center of religion in Arabia. People from all parts of Arabia would come to visit the Kaaba during certain months of the year and trade activities would be heightened in the city. People would set up fair grounds and poetry competitions would be held. As Mecca was unsuitable for agriculture, due to geographical conditions, trade constituted the essence of business life.

    Like the rest of the Arabian Peninsula in general, idolatry was also prevalent in Mecca. The number of idols in the Kaaba and its surroundings was 360; the biggest of these idols was Hubal, the most important Quraishi idol. In addition to this, there were idols in most of the houses. Arabs accepted that Allah was the creator and ruler of the skies and the earth, but they worshiped the idols, which they thought could bring them closer to Allah. They deviated from the monotheistic belief that commanded they worship Allah alone, and thus they committed the sin of shirka (idolatry) by associating partners with Allah. Yet, although their numbers were not great in Mecca, there were the Hanifs who still practiced the monotheistic belief that had been introduced by Prophet Abraham.

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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    The Birth of Prophet Muhammad

    The Birth of Prophet Muhammad

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born in the city of Mecca, which is located in the Hejaz region on the western part of the Arabian Peninsula. His exact date of birth is not known. The reason for this is that no particular calendar was used among the Arabs at that time. According to common opinion, he was born 50 to 55 days after the Incident of the Elephant in the month of Rabi' al-awwal on a Monday. Different estimates state that the date of birth of Prophet Muhammad was April 20, (Rabi' al-awwal 9) 571 or June 17, (Rabi' al-awwal 12) 569 Monday. The first one was suggested by the Egyptian astronomer Mahmud Pasha al-Falaki (1302/1885), and the second date was suggested by the famous Islamic scholar of our time Muhammad Hamidullah (2002).

    The father of Prophet Muhammad was Abdullah bin Abdulmuttalib from the Banu Hashim branch of the Quraishis, and his mother was Amina, the daughter of Vahb bin Abdumanaf, who was a member of the Banu Zuhra branch of the Quraishi tribe. The Prophet was their only child.


    The father of the Prophet, Abdullah, was a handsome young man admired by his friends. He had a beauty and brightness in his face that the other young men lacked. This is considered to be the "light of nubuvvat" (the light of prophethood, Nur-i Muhammadi) that belongs to Prophet Muhammad. Some accounts assert that when the father of Abdullah (the grandfather of the Prophet) Abdulmuttalib found the Zamzam Well and repaired it, some of the prominent members of the Quraishis tried to ridicule and humiliate him. At that time, Abdulmuttalib had only one son, Haris, and he was defenseless against them. He said that if he had ten sons he would sacrifice one as a votive. Later on, his wish came true and he had ten sons. In his dream, he was reminded of what he had sworn and Abdulmuttalib decided to draw lots among his sons to determine which one would be sacrificed. Abdullah, his youngest, was chosen.

    Abdulmuttalib decided to sacrifice him but many people opposed him, especially his daughters. While deciding how to perform his sacrifice, he received some advice that he should draw a lot between Abdullah and ten camels, which were sacrificial animals at that time. But again Abdullah was chosen. Abdulmuttalib continued to draw lots, each time increasing the number of camels by ten. When the number of camels reached 100, the camels were chosen and Abdulmuttalib sacrificed these 100 camels. In this way, he saved his beloved son Abdullah. Prophet Muhammad once said "I am the son of two sacrifices" referring to the sacrifices, both of which were prevented, of his father Abdullah and his ancestor Ishmael, son of Abraham. Abdullah refused many marriage proposals in his adolescence and eventually on his father's advice he married Amina, the daughter of Vahb. Abdullah was eighteen years old when he married. While he was on his way back from Syria, where he had gone for purposes of trade, he stopped in Yathrib (Medina) and visited Adi bin Najjar, his father's uncle.

    However, Abdullah became ill and died after staying with his relatives for a month; he was buried in Yathrib. When he learned of Abdullah's condition, Abdulmuttalib sent his elder son Haris to Yathrib, but Abdullah had died before Haris arrived in the city. The Prophet was thus born without a father. Most Islamic scholars believe that Abdullah did not suffer any pain in the afterlife and that he was granted deliverance as he did not live to see the prophethood of his son.

    Amina, the mother of Prophet Muhammad, held a place of respect among the Quraishi girls. Her father Vahb was a prominent member of the Zuhra tribe. Abdulmuttalib and his son Abdullah asked for Amina's hand from her father, or according to another account, from her uncle Vuhayb.

    According to the traditions of those times, the first three days of the marriage the couple stayed in Amina's house. It is believed that the light of the prophethood on Abdullah's forehead was passed to Amina. Islamic sources state that some supernatural incidents happened during Amina's pregnancy. According to one account, Amina had a dream during her pregnancy and she was told in this dream that she would give birth to an important person and she was told to name this child Muhammad or Ahmad. Some accounts assert that Amina felt no pain during delivery. A famous account tells that Prophet Muhammad was born already circumcised. When he learned that his grandson had been born Abdulmuttalib held a banquet; during this banquet Abdulmuttalib named the baby Muhammad. Abdulmuttalib said that he had named him Muhammad so that people would remember him with kindness.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    The Prophet's Childhood and Adolescence

    The Prophet's Childhood and Adolescence

    After his birth Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stayed with his mother Amina, and then, per tradition, he was handed over to his wet-nurse. The purpose of giving children to a wet nurse was so that they would be raised in the desert, which was a healthier place to grow up in comparison to the city and so that they would learn fluent Arabic. In accordance with this tradition, Prophet Muhammad was given to Halima bint Abu Zuayb, who was a member of the Sa'd bin bakr branch of the Havazin tribe. In a year of famine, Halima had gone to Mecca with her husband and other Bedouin women who earned their lives by nursing; however, she was unable to find a child from a rich family to nurse. But when she learned that Muhammad had lost his father she did not hesitate to take him, and she agreed to be his wet nurse so that she would not return home empty-handed. After two years, Prophet Muhammad was brought back to Mecca by his wet-nurse Halima, however Amina wanted her child to stay with Halima for a little longer, as she believed that the desert air was good for her child, and according to some accounts, there was a plague in Mecca. Prophet Muhammad stayed with his wet nurse until he was five or six and then he was brought to Mecca and handed over to his mother. The husband of Prophet Muhammad's wet nurse was Harith bin Abduluzza. The couple had sons called Abdullah, Unaysa and Shayma.


    According to what has been reported, after receiving the care of Prophet Muhammad, Halima and Harith became wealthier; their camels and sheep began to provide much more milk than before. In addition to this, it is said in the sources that the shakk-i sadr incident occurred during time when Prophet Muhammad was staying with his nursing mother. This was an event in which two angels came down to earth, cut open Muhammad's chest, took out his heart and purified it from all evils, washing it with heavenly water and then putting it back in its place. It is recorded that when Halima and Harith learned about this incident they were very anxious as they were unable to explain some extraordinary characteristics of Muhammad that they had witnessed many times before; they now thought that it would be better for the child to be back with his family.

    When Prophet Muhammad reached the age of six, his mother Amina started to take care of him with her helper Ummu Ayman and took him to Yathrib (Medina). While there, they visited the grave of Abdullah and the members of the Banu Najjar, who were relatives of Abdulmuttalib's mother.

    After staying in Yathrib for a month, Amina became ill and died, at a young age, on the way back to Mecca in Abva, located 190 km from Medina. It is said that before her death, Amina looked at her little child and said: "All living people die. Everything new gets old. Everything that is in abundance grows less. Everything large disappears and I will die too, but I will always be remembered, because I leave my son to the world as a fine future."

    After his mother's death, Muhammad was an orphan and was brought back to Mecca by Ummu Ayman and given to his grandfather Abdulmuttalib. Prophet Muhammad revisited Abva in the sixth year after the migration (628 AD) and visited his mother's grave. During this visit, he repaired the grave with his own hands and cried when remembering the affection and compassion of his mother. Affected by his grief, the Companions could not hold back their tears and cried with him.

    Abdulmuttalib took great care of Muhammad, as he was a precious gift from his son Abdullah, who had died at an early age. He would sit at the table with Muhammad, and from time to time took him to the divan that was under the shadow of the wall of the Kaaba; he took his grandson to the meetings in Darunnadva over which he presided, and he tried to provide the child with a fatherly compassion and love in order so that he would not miss that which would have been given to him by his parents.


    When Abdulmuttalib was over eighty he handed the custody and protection of his grandson Muhammad to the boy's uncle, Abu Talib, and then the old man passed away. Abu Talib was the brother of Prophet Muhammad's father. Abu Talib loved his nephew more than his own children, believing that the child had brought fortune to the family and he made great efforts to raise him well. He would take Muhammad with him on his journeys. When Abu Talib decided to go to Syria for trade, Muhammad was about nine (or twelve) years old and he wanted to accompany his uncle. When his nephew insisted on this, Abu Talip agreed to take the boy with him. The caravan stopped in Busra, which is inside the borders of Syria. A monk called Bahira, who was living in a monastery, invited the caravan for a meal. Bahira told Abu Talib that Muhammad could be the prophet who had been described in the Bible and called attention to some of the dangers that he might encounter, advising Abu Talib to protect the boy well. Upon this, Abu Talib ended the journey and returned to Mecca.

    It is known that when Prophet Muhammad was about ten years old he worked as a shepherd for a while in order to help his uncle Abu Talib, who had a large family. After becoming prophet he would refer to this time, saying, "There has never been a prophet who did not herd sheep". When the Companions around him asked, "Did you herd sheep Holy Prophet?" he replied, "Yes. I herded the sheep of Mecca".

    Abu Talib's wife Fadima bint Asad took great care of Muhammad, caring for him more than her own children. After the Prophet grew up, he never forgot the good deeds of his aunt. He would visit her in her house in Medina and sometimes would sleep there in the afternoons. When his aunt passed away, the Prophet was very sad and made a shroud for her from his own shirt, personally leading her funeral prayer. When speaking of his sadness about her death, he showed his loyalty with the following words: "I was a child who was in need of her custody. She would feed me even if her children were hungry. She would leave her children and comb my hair.

    She was like my mother." Abu Talib stayed with his nephew after he became a prophet and although Prophet Muhammad's persistent requests that Abu Talib accept Islam were never answered, Abu Talib did his best to protect Prophet Muhammad, both as a child and later when he became prophet.

    There were frequent wars between the Arab tribes in the Age of Ignorance. The Prophet had to join in such a war when he was an adolescent. The most reliable account states that the Prophet and uncles participated in the great battle that broke out between the Quraishi-Kinane and Qays-Aylan alliances, but that he did not actually fight in the war, rather protecting the belongings of his uncles, deflecting arrows with his shield and then collecting them to give to his uncles. It is thought that he was either fourteen, fifteen, seventeen or twenty years old at that time.

    Prophet Muhammad participated in a meeting when he was twenty for an agreement known as the Hilf al-Fudul. The Hilf al-Fudul was drawn up to prevent injustices that were being practiced against the weak and weary people who came to Mecca for pilgrimage or trade, and to prevent the tribal wars that frequently broke out. The Hilf al-Fudul was drawn up under the auspices of Zubayr bin Abdulmuttalib, Prophet Muhammad's uncle, and under the leadership of Jud'an at-Taymi, the richest, oldest and most influential tribal leader in Mecca.



    The term Hilf al-Fudul means "the alliance of the virtuous". The people who joined in this movement swore that they would protect everyone, be they natives or strangers, who encountered injustice and that they would act as one and help each other financially to ensure that these people got what they deserved. Prophet Muhammad talked about this alliance, praising it, and said: "I was present in Abdullah bin Judan's house when they concluded a pact so excellent that I would not change my part in it even for a herd of red camels; if I was asked now, in Islam, to take part in it, I would gladly agree." According to an account by Balazuri, in the Islamic period Abu Jahil refused to pay the price of something that he had purchased from a man who was a member of the Arash. A polytheist who knew the hostility of Abu Jahil towards the Prophet jokingly told the aggrieved trader that he could apply to the Prophet who was in the Kaaba and that the Prophet would give him his money back. Upon hearing these words, the trader went to the Kaaba, explained the situation to Prophet Muhammad and asked for his help. The Prophet went to Abu Jahil's house and took the money without any confrontation.

    Prophet Muhammad made his living through trade, like many of the Quraishis in Mecca. Prophet Muhammad embarked on his career in trade by helping Abu Talib, who was involved in trade in cloth and grain. Prophet Muhammad continued this trade when his uncle became older. It is known that Prophet Muhammad traveled to various places for purposes of trade.


    It is known that Muhammad went to the Hubasha emporium when he was a teenager, to Yemen once or twice, to the Mushakkar and Daba emporiums in eastern Arabia, and even to Ethiopia. As a result of these journeys, Prophet Muhammad not only learned about the necessities of commercial life, but also became acquainted with the people living in certain regions of Arabia, and learned about their languages, dialects, religions, and political and social conditions. In all sources it is stated that Prophet Muhammad lived an honest life and remained removed from the wrong-doings in the Age of Ignorance. At the age of twenty-five, he was known as Muhammadu'l-amin or Al-Amin (the Trustworthy) because of his decency, bravery, compassion, fairness, and his honesty and reliability in trade. The Meccan trader Qays bin Saib stated that he had made many deals with Prophet Muhammad but that he had never come across a partner in trade who was better than he. He said: "When he set out on a journey, I would give him some transactions to carry out for me. After the journey he would not return to his house until he had told me about the transactions to satisfy me. In contrast, when I set out on a journey travel and he gave some transactions to carry out, upon my return he would ask only whether I was healthy and in good condition, unlike other people, who asked me questions about trade."
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    The Prophet's Marriage to Khadijah

    The Prophet's Marriage to Khadijah Khadijah was the daughter of Khuwaylid bin Asad, a prominent member of the Quraishis. Her grandfather Qusay was related to ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Khadijah, who was married twice before marrying the Prophet, was a noble, beautiful and rich woman. She received many marriage proposals after the death of her second husband, but she refused all these proposals.

    Khadijah made her living by carrying out trade with people whom she considered reliable. Upon advice, Khadijah contracted a partnership agreement with Prophet Muhammad, who was known as a decent and reliable young man. She asked him to go to Syria for trade with her slave Maysarah. This journey to Syria was very successful in terms of trade. Khadijah was very pleased with this success and realized that Prophet Muhammad was an honest and reliable man. Maysarah spoke to her about Prophet Muhammad's morality and attitudes, praising and complimenting him. Upon hearing these words, Khadijah trusted Muhammad more and her feelings of admiration for him grew stronger over time. According to one account, Khadijah proposed marriage to Prophet Muhammad a short time after this, either personally or via a woman named Nufaysa bint Umayyah (Munya). Prophet Muhammad was rather surprised, but accepted this proposal after thinking about it for a while. Abu Talib and the other uncles of the Holy Prophet went to Khadijah's uncle Amr bin Assad to get his permission, as her father was no longer alive at the time. Upon receiving an affirmative reply from Amr bin Assad the marriage was performed. Prophet Muhammad moved from Abu Talib's house to Khadijah's house and thus a happy household was formed. It is known that Prophet Muhammad was twenty-five years old and Khadijah was forty years old at that time. However, there are some accounts that assert that Khadijah was younger than forty at the time of the marriage.

    The couple had seven children; Qasim, Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Qulthum, Fatima, Abdullah (Al Tayeb), and Al Taher. Abdullah and Al Taher died before the prophethood of Muhammad. Some sources state that Al Tayyeb and Al Taher were two different children, while other sources assert that these were both nicknames for Abdullah.

    Except for his youngest daughter Fatima, the Prophet's children all died before him. Fatima lived six months after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad was also known by the name Abu'l-Qasim because of his eldest son Qasim. Two people joined the household of the Prophet during his marriage with Khadijah. One of them was Zayd bin Harisa, a slave given to him by Khadijah. Prophet Muhammad set him free, and later adopted him.

    The other was Ali bin Abu Talib, the son of his uncle Abu Talib. Ali was five years old when he joined the Prophet's household according to some accounts. Prophet Muhammad took in Ali bin Abu Talib in order to help his uncle when a drought occurred in Mecca. Later on, Prophet Muhammad approved a marriage between Fatima and Ali.

    The Prophet's lineage continued with his grandsons Hassan and Hussein.

    Khadijah remained married to the Prophet Muhammad for about twenty-five years, and she always supported the Prophet financially and morally. The first person to believe in the revelations was Khadijah and she remained with him through rough times. Khadijah was the first wife of the Prophet and mother to all his children except for Ibrahim.

    The Holy Prophet never forgot her good deeds and her faithfulness. Prophet Muhammad did not marry any other woman while Khadijah was alive, and all his other marriages after her death were to serve a variety of purposes. The Prophet always remembered Khadijah with kindness and once said of her: "Allah never gave me a better wife than Khadijah. She believed in me at a time when other people denied me. She put all her wealth at my service when other people withheld theirs from me. And what's more, Allah gave me children through Khadijah."
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    The Arbitration at the Kaaba

    The Arbitration at the Kaaba

    The arbitration the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) directed between the Quraishi people when he was thirty-five years old during the renovation of the Kaaba is extremely important. The Quraishi wanted to rebuild the Kaaba in 605 AD as it had been damaged by fire and flooding. During that time, news of a Byzantine ship striking the ground at the port of Shuaiba near Jeddah reached Mecca.

    According to reports, the ship had been sent from Egypt to Ethiopia on the order of the Byzantine emperor and it was filled with marble, wood and iron that were to be used to restore a church in Ethiopia. Valid bin Mugira and his friends went to Shu'ayba, purchased the wood from the ship and invited the carpenter and construction worker Baku mar-Rumi to Mecca to help repair the Kaaba. During the repair work Muhammad worked alongside his uncle Abbas, carrying stones and helping him; however a dispute occurred as to the location of the Hajarul Aswad (the black stone that is thought to have descended from heaven). Each tribe wanted to have the honor of placing the stone, some people even suggested fighting for the honor.

    Finally, Abu Umayya bin Mugira, a leader from among the Quraishi, suggested that "the decision of the first person who enters from the Banu Shayba gate of the Kaaba should be binding"; the Quraishis agreed and began to wait. When the people around saw that Muhammad was entering the gate they expressed their pleasure, saying "there he is, Al-Amin, there is Muhammad". Muhammad brought a cloth, the Hajarul Aswad was put on it and each tribe's leader took hold of the cloth. When the stone reached the level where it was to be placed, Muhammad took it and placed it in the building. As a result, a conflict that could have occurred among the Quraishis was prevented with a sensible and fair proposal.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    The Coming of the First Revelation

    The Coming of the First Revelation Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was appointed as a prophet by Allah when he was forty years old. It was recognized that he was more inclined to think about Allah, to search for how to believe and worship Him after the repairs to the Kaaba and the al-Hajar al-Aswad had been put back in its place. Prophet Muhammad never showed any interest in the idols of the Meccan people or those of the other many Arab tribes. He came to the conclusion, using his reason and sense, that worshipping idols was of no use. Perhaps he was thinking like the small number of Hanifs who were trying to practice the monotheistic religion of Abraham.

    However, Muhammad was in agony because he did not know how or what to do about this issue and he began to withdraw into solitude. Starting a few years before his prophethood, in the month of Ramadan, like his grandfather Abdulmuttalib and some other Quraishis, he began to retreat to a secluded cave on Mount Hira.

    When Muhammad ran out of food, he would go to the city, help the poor, circumambulate the Kaaba, take food from his home and return to the cave. From time to time, he would take Khadija with him. According to what Aisha said, during this period the Prophet began having "sadiq (lucid) dreams" and this period continued for six months; subsequently his dreams came to be realized. There are also accounts in the sources that state that during this period Prophet Muhammad heard voices greeting him as "Assalamu Alayka ya Rasulallah -Salutations to you O Messenger of Allah", but when he turned and looked around he was terribly worried as there was no one there, and these voices seemed to come from the trees and rocks. Due to the above-mentioned incidents, some of which have an extraordinary quality, it is possible to say that this period was a preparation process for the revelations.


    In the year 610, during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan, when Prophet Muhammad was in Hira, Gabriel appeared to him; it is thought that this could have occurred on the twenty-seventh night and according to some accounts on a Monday morning.

    Gabriel informed Muhammad that Allah had assigned him as a prophet. This first revelation was reported by Prophet Muhammad as follows: "That night Gabriel came to me and said ‘Read (Iqra). I responded ‘I cannot read'. Upon this, the angel took me; pressed me until it was almost too much to bear. Then he released me and said ‘Read'. I again replied ‘I can not read' He embraced me again firmly and said ‘Read'. When I responded ‘What shall I read?' the angel embraced me till I had no more strength left and after releasing me the angel read these verses to me: ‘Recite in the Name of your God, Nourisher and Sustainer Who created man from a clot. Recite! And your God is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not" (Al'Alaq 96/1-5). After this incident, Mohammad became anxious and fearful; he left Hira and went to his home, went to bed and told his wife Khadija to cover him. After Muhammad woke up, he told his wife what he had experienced. Khadija told Muhammad that she believed in him and reassured him by saying; "Allah will never disgrace you. You maintain good relations with your kin, you bear the burden of the weak, you help the poor and the needy, you serve your guests generously, and assist those who are afflicted by calamity." Then she took Prophet Muhammad to Waraqa ibn Nawfal, her cousin. Waraqa was an old Christian who knew the Holy Bible.

    After listening to Muhammad, Waraqa replied that what had appeared to him was the angel who brought revelations to all the prophets and then added: "They will call you a liar; they will treat you badly. They will wage a war and drive you out. If I can live until then I will help you for the sake of Allah." After Waraqa stopped speaking, he leaned towards Muhammad and kissed him on the forehead. Both the Prophet and Khadija were quite relieved by the explanations of Waraqa and returned back home.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    Interruption in the Course of Revelation (Fatrat al–Wahy)

    Interruption in the Course of Revelation (Fatrat al–Wahy)

    The revelations stopped for a while after the first one. The discontinuance of the revelations caused Prophet Muhammad great anxiety, since the worry and difficulty of the first revelation had not been completely eliminated. He would frequently go to the Hira cave and wait for Gabriel to come, yet the angel did not appear. The Prophet experienced days of apprehension as he thought that God had forsaken him. In the sources the duration of this period, known as Fatrat al-Wahy, ranges from a couple of months up to three years.

    However, it is possible that the period of three years has been confused with the period of the secret invitation, which lasted three years, and that the duration of discontinuance was actually much less. One day when Prophet Muhammad was returning back from the Hira cave, he saw Gabriel; he was again filled with fear and concern and returned home and slept. Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in his house and read the first verses of the Surah Al Muddaththir (74/1-5). In these verses, it is said that the time had come to convey the divine message to mankind, but that first of all Muhammad must rely on Allah while fulfilling the task and that he needed to stay away from moral impurity.

    According to the accounts, during this period Gabriel taught the Prophet how to perform the ablution and prayer; Prophet Muhammad taught Khadija what he had learned from Gabriel and they performed the prayer together in their home.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    The First Muslims

    The First Muslims From that day on, Prophet Muhammad invited the people who were close to him to the religion of Islam. This invitation lasted for as long as three years. After Khadija, his close friend Abu Bakr, Ali ibn Abu Talib and Zayd ibn Harisa, and the Prophet's daughters Zaynab, Ruqiyya and Umm Qulsum all became Muslims. Other than the people mentioned above, Abu Bakr's close friends Uthman ibn Affan, Zubayr ibn Avvam, Abdurrahman ibn Awf, Talha ibn Ubaydullah, Sa‘d ibn Abu Vaqqas, Uthman ibn Maz‘un, Said ibn Zayd, Ayyash ibn Abu Rabea and his wife Asma bint Salame, Abû Ubayda ibn Jarrah, Arqam ibn Abu'l-Arqam, Abû Salame, Ja‘far ibn Abu Talib and Ubayda ibn Haris came to Prophet Muhammad and accepted Islam. During this period, Prophet Muhammad performed the prayer in his own house, on the outskirts of the mountains and in the Haram when it was not crowded; he sometimes had the opportunity to perform these practices together with other Muslims.

    Meanwhile, he recited the Quranic revelations that had been imparted to him to other people, and spoke about the belief of tawheed that is based on monotheistic faith and obedience to God, as well as issues related to morality and the Judgment Day on which people are responsible for their deeds on earth. He was careful not to convene and worship together with the Muslims when there were many polytheists around. During this period of secrecy, the Prophet and the Muslims assembled on the outskirts of the Safa Hill in the house of Arqam ibn Abu'l-Arqam, who had accepted Islam. In addition to it being a location where they could easily meet those who were coming to Mecca for pilgrimage, it was also a place where Muslims acted with solidarity and met Prophet Muhammad.

    Such activities in this house continued until Umar ibn Hattab became a Muslim. Dar al-Arqam, the name given to Arqam's house, is a phrase used in the sources to indicate the date when the companions embraced Islam and the spreading of Islam, and has taken a place in Islamic history.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    Open Invitation-1 -The Beginning of the Public Invitation-

    The Beginning of the Public Invitation

    The public invitation to Islam started in Mecca after the fourth year of the prophethood. The first and most important respondents to Prophet Muhammad were the Quraishis. The Quraihis had placed their idols inside and around the Kaaba and directed the practices of both the hajj and umra pilgrimages, practices which had been continuing since the time of Abraham and Ismael; it was for this reason that the Quraishis had power and eminence among the other tribes. They had erected idols of various tribes around the Kaaba in order to attain full benefit from those who visited the Kaaba. Difficult times were about to come for Prophet Muhammad, who had invited his family members and close friends to Islam.

    This was because he was now asked to openly convey the truths that were revealed to him without keeping his activities secret from the idolaters (Al-Hijr 15/94) and he was commanded to warn everyone of the revelations, beginning with the people around him (Ash-Shuaraa 26/214).

    The Prophet began this difficult task by inviting his close friends to a feast; the invitation to Islam was to continue for nearly twenty-one years, starting from this time until the conquest of Mecca. About forty-five people, members of the Hashemite and Muttalibi branches of the Quraish, attended this feast. However, after the feast, without giving the Prophet a chance to talk, his uncle Abu Lahab said; "I have never seen a person who has brought such a bad thing to his tribe" and the guests left the feast. Saddened by this result, Prophet Muhammad organized a new meeting a few days later. During his speech at the meeting he stated that Allah was one, that He had no equal; Prophet Muhammad went on to say that he trusted in Allah and added that he would never lie to his guests. He finished up his speech with the following phrases: "I am the messenger of Allah who has been sent specifically to you and to all of mankind. I take an oath before Allah that you will die like you fall into sleep and become resurrected like you awake; you will be held liable for your deeds, you will gain goodness for your good deeds and be punished for your bad deeds. Heaven and Hell are eternal. You are the first people that I have warned."

    Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet told him that his words were beautiful and that he would support him, but went on to say that he would not abandon the religion of his ancestors. His other uncle, Abu Lahab, on the other hand told his relatives to prevent Muhammad, saying that they would fall into vileness if they accept his invitation and that they would be killed if they protected him. Upon this Abu Talib announced that as long as he was alive he would protect his nephew. Abu Lahab and his wife had always been opposed to the Prophet and displayed animosity against him; they personally persecuted him after he gave a speech to people who came from outside Mecca. They said that his words were not true and told everyone that Muhammad was a wizard who was causing conflict in the tribe. It is probably for this reason that there is a chapter of the Quran in which Abu Lahab's name is mentioned, stating that he and his wife would perish in hell. (Al-Lahab 111/1-5). Although statements, deeds and even intentions of people who showed animosity to the Prophet and the Muslims are mentioned in the Quran, no other names are mentioned.

    One day Prophet Muhammad decided to go up to the Safa Hill and inform all the people of Mecca about Islam. To the people who were gathered there he said: "O Quraishis! Would you believe me if I told you that there is an enemy squad behind that mountain?" The Quraishis responded, "Yes, we have never witnessed a time when you have lied" and the Prophet continued: "Then, I inform you that you will be subjected to great agony... Allah commanded me to warn my closest relatives. Unless you accept that ‘There is no God but Allah' you will not gain any benefit from me in this world or in the afterlife..."

    The leading figures of the Quraish opposed Prophet Muhammad's invitation to Islam. When the Prophet began to read revelations which criticize idolatry and announce that the idolaters would go to hell, those people understood that his message was a great risk to their way of life, and began to act with animosity, doing anything they could to prevent him.

    Moreover, the possibility that this monotheistic faith could prevail, leading to the abolishment of the idols made them concerned for the loss of their duties and benefits which ensured their superiority over the other Arabian tribes. On the other hand, the Quraish, who possessed a traditional culture that entailed tribal rigidity, attached high values to the traditions inherited from their ancestors. They saw idolatry almost as a cult that needed to be preserved, and thus frequently reiterated this point, announcing that they would never forsake the beliefs and practices of their ancestors. The morality of the Quraish was not at a level that would have made it easy for them to accept the invitation of the last prophet.

    Within the society of Mecca, where the mentality of the Era of Ignorance was prevalent, there were many bad habits, such as indulging in alcohol, gambling, adultery and lying; there also existed support for illicit gains, exploitation and suppression of people, fueled by the perception of their tribal superiority. The Holy Quran criticized these attitudes and announced that superiority among people could only be acquired through affection towards the Creator and compassion towards the mankind (Al-Hujurat 49/13); it went on to state that people who exhibited attitudes contrary to these would be subject to punishment in the afterlife.

    The Quraishi began to humiliate and insult Prophet Muhammad when they saw that he was gaining support with his criticism of their beliefs and attitudes; after a certain time they did not abstain from resorting to violence. The sources sometimes provide details related to the ruthless torment inflicted by the idolaters on the Muslims. In particular, torture inflicted by notorious idolaters such as Abu Jahil, Abu Sufyan, Abu Lahab, Umayya ibn Khalaf, Valîd ibn Mughira, Uqba ibn Abu Mu‘ayt and Hakam ibn Abu'l-As are a stain on the name of humanity. The people who were most affected by this torture were the slaves, concubines and people who came from outside the Mecca. These people were subject to torture. They were left hungry, laid out on the hot sand with rocks being piled upon them. The Yasir family experienced the harshest of these tortures.


    Yasir, who came to Mecca to look for his lost brother, came under the protection of Abu Huzaifa from the Banu Mahzum tribe and married his concubine Sumayya. The famous Companion Ammar ibn Yasir was the child of this marriage. Yasir, Sumayya and Ammar were among the first Muslims and responded to the tortures of idolaters with patience. As a result, Sumayya died from the brutal tortures of Abu Jahil and gained the title of the first martyr in Islamic history. Yasir was also martyred on the same day. Ammar, who survived, was forced to speak in favor of Lat and Uzza and against the Prophet as he could no longer bear the harsh torture. As soon as he escaped from the idolaters, he went to Prophet Muhammad and told him about the situation. The Prophet, seeing that Ammar was greatly distressed, asked him what he had felt while he was saying those words. Amman replied that there was no change in his faithful heart. Upon this, the Prophet told him that as long as he kept his faith it was not wrong to act in such a way, and advised him to act the same if he were subjected to the same treatment again. (See also An-Nahl 16/106).

    Slaves such as Bilal Habashi, Suhayb-i Rumi, Habbab ibn Arat and Abu Fukayha and concubines such as Zinnire, Umm Ubays, Nahdiya and Lubayna also faced great difficulties for the sake of their beliefs. Among the slaves, Bilal Habashi, the first person to accept Islam after Khadija, became subject to severe tortures by his master Umayya ibn Halaf. A rope was put around his neck and he was pulled through the streets of Mecca by the children. At noon, Umayya ibn Halaf laid him out on hot sands, put huge scorching stones on his chest and ask him to abandon belief in Allah and to have faith in the idols Lat and Uzza. Despite all these hardships, Bilal, who could hardly breathe, remained firm in his faith, saying "Ahad!" "Ahad" (Allah is one). On the other hand, wealthy Muslims were also exposed to various torments and tortures. For instance, Uthman's uncle, Hakam ibn Abu'l-As, exerted pressure on him by cutting off his financial support and tried to reconvert him in this way. Sa‘d ibn Abu Vaqqas faced the resistance of his mother. A revelation was even imparted for this reason, and it ordered that obedience to mothers and fathers was not required if they urged their children to deny Allah (Al-Luqman 31/15). After becoming a Muslim, Abu Ubayda ibn Jerrah faced great animosity from his father. Because Abdullah ibn Mas'ud publicly recited the revelations of Allah, he was beaten in the yard of the Kaaba. As a result, he was covered with blood and fainted. Mus‘ab ibn Umayr, a son of a rich family who grew up in prosperity, became a Muslim and faced a strong reaction from his family; his financial needs were not met and even his clothes were taken from him. When Abu Dhar from the Ghifar tribe announced that he had become Muslim, he was beaten until he passed out. Since reciting or reading the Quran in public was forbidden by the Quraish, Abu Bakr, who had a good reputation in Mecca, built a masjid in the garden of his house. The garden was protected by thick walls and he was able to carry out his Islamic practices there.

    In addition to the behavior listed above, people threw filth and thorns on the road used by Prophet Muhammad, they threw stones at his house and they even attempted to strangle him when he was praying. In particular his uncle Abu Lahab and his wife Ummu Jamil, the sister of Abu Sufyan, exhibited great cruelty to Muhammad. Ummu Jamil forced her two sons to divorce their wives, both of whom were Muhammad's daughters. Upon this, the following surah was imparted: "The hands of Abu Lahab will perish, and they will! His wealth and gains will not exempt him. He will be plunged in flaming Fire. And his wife, the wood-carrier will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fibre." (Al-Lahab 111/1-5)

    The torture, threats, unjust treatments and cruelty exhibited by the idolaters did not turn the Muslims to other religions; instead these actions strengthened their faith. The hardships that were experienced by the Muslims in the name of Allah increased their determination to struggle and showed people that faith was a precious treasure. Unable to decide what to do in response to the impressiveness of the Quran which addressed the minds and hearts of humans, the Quraish started to speak against it. They claimed that Prophet Muhammad was a clairvoyant, madman or a poet, that he had learned the Quran from a Christian, and that this book was a spell or tales of ancient times. However, the false claims that were continuously made against the revelations and divine messages sent to the Prophet were always confuted.

    The Quraish met with Abu Talib, the uncle of the Holy Prophet, three times to try to prevent Prophet Muhammad inviting others to Islam. Abu Talib deflected the first request with calming and kind words. When the Quraish used threatening words at the second meeting, Abu Talib called Prophet Muhammad and said that he could not resist his tribe anymore.

    Thinking that his uncle would no longer protect him, the Prophet said: "O uncle, if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to stop me from preaching Islam, I would never stop. I will keep preaching until Allah makes Islam prevail or I die." Upon hearing these words, Abu Talib comforted Muhammad with the following words: "Say whatever you please; for by Allah I shall not ever desert you." When the Quraish met with Abu Talib for the third time, they proposed "Give us your nephew, and we will give Umarah, son of Al-Walid ibn Al-Mughirah, as a son." Abu Talib refused this offer. In the meantime, some of the Quraish met with the Prophet and tried to dissuade him from his mission. For instance, Utba ibn Rabia said to the Holy Prophet: "...if your intention is to become rich, we will give you goods and property. If you ask for a position and prestige, we will make you our ruler." He even went as far as to say:

    "If you are acting like that as a result of mental illness, we will cure you." After Utba completed his speech, the Prophet read the first verses of Surah Fussilat (41/1-6) and told him that he was a prophet appointed by Allah. Although Utba was influenced by the verses and the words of the Holy Prophet, he did not accept Islam.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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    Acceptance of Islam by Hamza ibn Abdulmuttalib and Umar ibn Hattab

    Acceptance of Islam by Hamza ibn Abdulmuttalib and Umar ibn Hattab

    The acceptance of Islam by two people during the conveyance activities in Mecca period is of particular importance. One of these was Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet (pbuh), and the other was Umar ibn Hattab. In the 6th year of prophethood (616), a concubine who had witnessed Abu Jahil and his men's insulting Prophet Muhammad, spoke of what she had seen to Hamza, who had come to circumambulate the Kaaba after a hunt. Hamza was so angered on hearing of the insults heaped upon his nephew that he sought out Abu Jahil, struck him on the head with his bow and announced that he had accepted Islam with the following words: "I too have become a Muslim. Come and fight me if you have the guts." The Prophet was in Dar al-Arqam at that time, and he was very pleased that his uncle had accepted Islam. The Prophet, who made tremendous efforts to ease the obstacles experienced by Muslims in performing their duty of conveying the message of Islam, prayed to Allah that some influential and prosperous people be shown the right way, thus enabling the victory of Islam. One of these was Umar. According to Ibn Ishaq, one day Umar left his house to kill the Prophet. One his way, he learned that his sister Fatima had accepted Islam and went to her home. He beat his brother-in-law and his sister when he saw them reading Surah Taha. When he saw Fatima's determination despite her bleeding he was deeply moved and regretted his action.

    Umar asked to see the pages they were reading. Influenced by the first verses of Taha and Abasa, Umar became a Muslim in front of Prophet Muhammad in Dar al-Arqam. The Prophet said the takbir in response to the acceptance of Islam by Umar. The people around him also said the takbir and they all left Dar al-Arqam and went to the Kaaba together.
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    Ya öğreten, ya öğrenen, ya dinleyen ya da ilmi seven ol. Fakat sakın beşincisi olma; (bunların dışında kalırsan) helâk olursun. Hadis-i Şerif

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