RAMAZAN 1441 H – ( April – May 2020) came in the midst of COVID 19 Lockdown and from the start of the Lockdown in March end, had been sharing posts and messages, a little different and more in depth and reflective like when the world was busy sanitising their hands to protect themselves I was posting messages that would help in sanitising the thoughts to remove phantoms of our Mind and releasing uncalled fear and anxiety resulting from WhatsApp University.
It is OK to feel vulnerable but having Faith in Allah and having compassion and emphaty will open up new hopeful vistas in our mind space and make us trust in our core self.
As Sehrullah approached I made a niyat ( resolve) to share messages that were not COVID 19 related and took the opportunity to share daily post on Akhbar, knowing everyone this time round had time on their hands and an inclination. Knowing my efforts will keep me gainfully occupied and generate interest in my readers, I started reading and taking notes of Akhbar from my old mail records and posts and with downloads of books and relevant articles.
In all 28 posts were shared each day of Sehrullah and I intend to publish it in three posts adding a new post at the end.
Beginning with my Akhbar posts shared during ‘ Rehmat daska’
The Akhbar ( historical narratives) which are many in Quran are there to give us Anwaar as each of them have powerful messages and lessons by which we can mould our lives for betterment, and avoid pitfalls as we journey towards Akherat.
The narratives invite us to contemplate deeply and hold on to our faith with conviction and acquire true knowledge.
In Surah Al Baqarah : Ayats 249 to 251 the Akhbar which we are very familiar with is narrated.
It is about a small dedicated band of Nabi Talut ( Saul) and Nabi Dawood ( David) overcoming the mighty Jalut ( Goliath )
The Anwar is that they obeyed Allah and refrained from drinking the water from the river which came in their path.
Allah thus gave Nabi Dawood the kingdom and taught him of that which HE WILLED.
Hope to share Akhbar of the land which we yearn for all our lives and it’s people the Arabs and our Nabi ( SA) and his times.
Let us embark on our Akhbar journey by understanding the land of Arabia and continue our journey by knowing the history of the Arabs and in particular the lives and times of our beloved Nabi ( SA )
Arabia is a large tract of country in the south west of Asia. To the north lies the hilly tracts and than comes Hijaz proper. Hijaz stretches from North to South between the Red sea and a chain of mountains which runs down from Suez canal to the Indian Ocean.
The vast tract has no navigable rivers and the rivulets which exist here and there make the soil fertile. The rainfall is scanty and vast tracts are arid.
(Ref : Short History of Saracens by Sayed Ameer Ali )
What is interesting though is the facts below.
Arabia is surrounded by and is the meeting point of three continents. What is interesting is illustrated by the above triangle.
Makkah’ s geographical and climate features represent that of Africa – Sahara continent.
Taif ‘s geographical and climate features represented that of Europe
Madina’s geographical and climate features represent that of Asia.
WOW ! It seems providential that this triangle standing in the middle of major hemisphere was a miniature reproduction of the entire world and the birthplace of the great Prophets.
The Arab people have been divided according to lineage into three broad groups.
1. Perishing Arabs of whose history little is known but Quran mentions them in Surah Al Furqan : Ayah 38, 39
And the tribe of A’ad and Tamhood and the inhabitants of Ar Ras and the generations between them , we did give examples and everyone (of them) we did destroy with utter extermination.
2. Pure Arabs who originated from the progeny of Yakub b Yashjub b Qahtan. They are called Qahtanian Arabs and lived in Yemen and comprised of many tribes, the two main were Himyar and Kahlan who had between them many sub divisions.
3. Arabized Arabs : Who originated from the progeny of Moulana Ishmael (AS) Nabi Ibrahim ( AS) lived in the town called ‘ Ar’ near Kufa. Excavations have brought to light many details of the town. Ibrahim Nabi left ‘Ar’ for Harran and then for Palestine in which land he started is preaching and called everyone to One and Only ALLAH.
Most of the Arabs had followed with the teachings of Nabi Ishmael (AS) and worshiped Allah and professed His Oneness.
ALLAH mentions how the inhabitants of Ar Ras met their fate for rejecting the Prophet of Allah.
Ar Rass was the name of the stream in Azerbaijan on whose banks where twelve townships – Aban, Aazar, Dee, Teer etc:
In Isfandar which enjoyed a central and prominent town, a pine tree was planted by Yaftah bin Nuh and from its seeds one of this tree was planted in all other towns.
The inhabitants worshipped the trees and in New Year everyone gathered at Isfandar and worshipped the King tree and offered sacrifices.
Allah sent a prophet from the line of Yahyd ( Javoha) bin Yaqoob who tried to prevent them from this heretic worship but they did not listen and rejected him and decided to kill him.
So they dug a well in the stream and threw him and closed it mouth with a stone. Thus the prophet died in extreme agony.
Divine retribution followed and severe hot winds blew over them and sulphuric lava erupted from underground with which even their bones were melted and all the inhabitants of Ar Rass died for disobeying the Prophet of ALLAH.
Covid 19 has also made us all reflect as to the reasons of the suffering of humanity. Many conjectures are being made but we mumineen should see in this an opportunity to connect with ALLAH in the month of Sehrullah.
However with the passage of time idol worship was introduced. We will see how a chief of Khuza’ah brought idol worship from Syria.
Most of the Arabs followed the teachings of Nabi Ishmael (AS) They professed Oneness and worshipped Allah, but with passage of time the belief was diluted.
Idol worship was introduced by a very prominent Khuza’ah Chief Amr bin Luhai who during his trips to Syria was greatly influenced by practise of some people who managed to convince him and had influence over him.
He bought with him an idol ( hubal ) and placed it in the centre of Kaba and summoned people to worship it.
As prominent people of Makkah being custodian of Kaba and the whole of surrounding area weilded much influence, within a short span great many idols bearing different names were being worshiped through out Arabia.
Al Lat in Ta’if – Manat in Al Mushallal, Al Uzza in the valley of Nakhlah.
Amr bin Luhai through knowledge of a sorcerer went to Jeddah and managed to dig out the idols Wadd , Suwa, Yaguth and others which were worshiped by the people during Nabi Nuh ( SA) time.
Each household had their own idol and as we all know at the time of Fath – e -Makka Moulana Ali climbed on the shoulders of Nabi ( SA) and cleansed the Kaba of 360 idols which were broken and cast to flames.
Surah 5 Ayat 103.
Allah has not instituted things like Bahirah or Sa’ibah or Wasilah or Ham. But those who disbelieve, invent lies against Allah and most of them have no understanding.
Herein Allah is refering to one of the evil practise of dedicating certain animals to the idols.
Bahirah and Sa’ibah were she camels who gave birth to ten female camels and not a single male camel. Likewise Wasilah were female sheep.
Amr bin Luhai was the principal architect of many false innovation.
Quran prohibited many of the evil practises in many Ayats, like some males running naked around the Kaba during pilgramage seasons and Makkans coming out of holes dug in their homes and not from the doors during that season which they thought as showing piety and humbleness.
The Ahle bait ( AS) were persecuted by rulers of Sham ( Syria) from the same country Amr bin Luhai brought the evil practise of idol worship.
Surely Akhbar is Anw’ar for people who reflect.
From the previous post we have gathered that the religious life in Arabia was full of polytheism, idolatry, superstition and evil practises although they believed in One Ilah which was some how lost in all these pagan practises.
Under the circumstances it was easy for Judaism and Christianity to make inroads through trading caravans and migrations.
The first phase was when in 587 BC their temple was destroyed in Jerusalem and thousands were made captive and taken to Babylon by King Bukhtanassar.
During this period many Jews migrated to Hijaz from Palestine.
The second phase was in year 70 AD when Roman General Butas occupied Palestine and committed atrocities resulting in large scale migration.
The Jews were successful in converting many polytheist Arabs to Judaism.
Before Islam dawned the Jewish community had a large presence, specially around Yathrib and Khaibar and had many strong fortification and became affluent and wielded much political clout in the region.
Christianity first made its appearance in Arabia following the entry of Abyssinian and Roman colonists, between 340 and 378 AD.
A missionary named Fimion by his piety and good character influenced many to convert specially in the area around Najran.
In October 523 AD a Jewish Arab Ruler Yusuf Dhu Nawas of Najran ordered the Christians to convert to Judaism, when they refused, he ordered a pit of fire be dug, and all the Christians in thousands were thrown in the burning pit.
Quran Surah Al – Buruj refers to this incident.
By 525 AD there was a sizable presence of Abyssinian Christians in Yemen.
The principal tribes that embraced Christianity were Ghassan, Taghlib, Tai ( the famous Hatim of Tai ) and some Himyarite kings.
The Arabs had a very robust and rich tradition of maintaing family lineage and tribe identities.
The Lineage and Family of our beloved Nabi ( SA)
The Lineage of our Nabi ( SA) has been traced back by biographers and genealogist right back to Shith bin Adam.
It falls broadly into three sections.
First : Nabi ( SA) to Ma’ad bin Adnan.
Second : Adnan to Nabi Ishmael ( SA) who settled in Hijaz.
Third : Beyond Nabi Ibrahim ( SA) right back to Nabi Adam (SA)
However all the leading biographers hold the First group to be the most authentic, and there are lot of disagreements on the second and third stages of Lineage.
Here it is :
Nabi Muhammad ( SA) bin Abdullah b Abdul Muttalib b Hashim ( named ‘ Amr) b Abd Manaf b Qusai b Kilab b Murra’h b Ka’b b Lo’i b Ghalib b Fihr ( who was called Quraish and the tribe was named after him) b Malik b Kinanah b Khuzaimah b Mudrikha b Elias b Mudar b Nizar b Ma’ad b Adnan.
The Hadees of Nabi ( SA) in respect of his Lineage.
Allah selected Ishmael from the sons of Ibrahim, Kinanah from the sons of Ishmael, Quraish from the sons of Kinanah, Hashim from the sons of Quraish and HE selected me from the sons of Hashim.
‘ anabno zabihayen…
I am the offspring of the slaughtered two’ ( meaning Ishmael and Abdullah )
Now having coming to know the Lineage of our beloved Nabi ( SA ) let us know the Akhbar of a few of his ancestors.
The principal tribe among the Arabs were the Quraish who descended from Fihr who lived in the third century AD. The Quraish were considered as the noblest section of all Arabs.
In the fifth century AD Qusai made himself master of Makkah and gradually whole of Hijaz. Makkah which was largely a village consisting of huts and tents grew up into a flourishing town where inhabitants started living in houses built of stone and Qusai built for himself a palace like house which had a chamber called Dar ul nadwa ( Council Hall ) for public meeting and business dealings.
He also made rules for proper government, collecting of taxes and arrangement for providing food and water to the pilgrims.
Qusai died in 480 AD and was succeeded by his son Abd ul Dar. On his death a dispute broke out amongst his brother and the grandsons. The administrative duties were divided.
Moulana Hashim who was noted for his generosity and a wealthy merchant was entrusted with the duty of providing food and water to the pilgrims. He was the first among Quraish to start two journeys a year one in summer and another in winter.
Moulana Hashim had secured guarentee from Caesar for the Quraish to ply their caravans, duty free in their territories.
When the Quraish faced famine Moulana Hashim travelled to Syria and ordered to bake bread in large quantity and loading it on camels returned to Makkah and making them into small pieces and adding it to soup served the famished people and likewise he use to serve the pilgrims. Thus he came to be known as Hashim and his actual name was ‘Amr.
Our tradition of making ‘husmo’ is in a way honouring the memory and generosity of Moulana Hashim.
It is narrated that on his return journey from Syria he halted at Madinah where he married Moulatena Salma the daughter of ‘Amr of Bani Adi tribe. He stayed for some time and again he left for Syria while she was pregnant.
While on journey Moulana Hashim died at Ghazzah in Palestine in 497 AD.
The Quraish lost a prominent leader and many elegies were composed in his memory.
Just a few lines from one :
O my eyes ! shed tears for the loss of generous and noble person. For Hashim was of exalted excellence, mighty, generous and sincere.
He was strong, eloquent, lion hearted a man of generosity and forbearance…
In Madinah Moulatena Salma gave birth to a son who was called Shaibah on account of grey hair on his head. His birth was not known to his father’s family in Makkah as Moulana Hashim died enroute on a caravan journey.
In Makkah when the family came to know of the death of Moulana Hashim, the duty of serving food and water to the pilgrims was entrusted to his brother Al Muttalib b Abd Manaf, who was like his brother generous, honest and trustworthy.
Al Muttalib came to know of Shaibah son of Moulana Hashim after several years when his friend Thabit Ibn Al Mundhir met him during pilgrimage.
Thabit informed Al Muttalib about his nephew Shaibah describing him as a culmination of beauty, reverance and nobility.
Al Muttalib set out for Madinah and made enquiries and finally found Shaibah shooting arrows with his maternal uncles.
Tears swelled in Al Muttalib’s eyes when he saw the child resembled so much like his father. He embraced him and made him wear the Yemini dress he had brought for him.
Moulatena Salma was reluctant to part with her son, but Al Muttalib convinced her that reuniting with his Quraish family was good as he will restore the authority of his father Moulana Hashim and live in the vicinity of Kaba.
She asked for three days to stay with her son and then bid him a fond farewell with tears in her eyes.
As Al Muttalib entered Makkah with Shaibah people thought him to be a slave to which Al Muttalib said ‘ he is my nephew son of my brother Hashim.
Shaibah who was brought up in the household of Al Muttalib came to be known as Abdul Muttalib .
On the death of Al Muttalib in Bardman in Yemen Moulana Abdul Muttalib took over and managed to maintain his tribes prestige with his honourable behaviour which we earned him Makkans deep love and high esteem.
Moulana Abdul Muttalib witnessed two historic events.
The digging of Zamzam well as ordered in his dream and the marching of the army of Abraha As Sabah Al Habashi with the intent to destroy Kaba.
When the well of Zamzam gushed with water, the Quraish made a claim to be partners but Abdul Muttalib refused their demand on the ground that Allah had singled him out for the honour and thus started the tradition of serving Zamzam water to the pilgrims by the Hashimite family.
If was during this time when the dispute was settled in his favour that he made a solemn vow to sacrifice one of his adult children if he had ten sons.
to be contd: