Islam flourished in Mecca and the Muslims became
stronger and stronger. But south of Mecca lived a tribe of warriors called Hawazin, who had not become Muslim. They made an agreement with another tribe from Ta'if, called Thaqif to fight the Muslims and destroy them before they could spread their religion throughout Arabia.
The Thaqif, who were known for their courage, soon won the support of other tribes living around the Ta'if area, especially when such tribes were told: 'Look what has happened! If Quraysh, the largest tribe of all, have fallen to Muhammad, it is only a matter of time before the same will happen to the rest of us. We should strike now before the Muslims are established in Mecca and have the support of Quraysh.' The Chief of one of these tribes, a fearless warrior called Malik Ibn 'Awf, was chosen as the leader. He put forward a plan: 'You should all go out to battle accompanied by your families, your tents, your sheep and goats, for with all your belongings at stake, none of you will dare give up the fight.'
Everyone agreed with Malik except an old, blind man called Dorayd. He had been a great warrior in his day and because of his experience and valuable advice still accompanied the men into battle. 'I don't like Malik's plan', he insisted. 'If a man is so cowardly as to leave a battle,
then he will leave his family as well. The women and children will be a great worry to us and if we are defeated all our wealth will fall into enemy hands.' But Malik ignored this advice and stuck to his original plan. When the Prophet (pbuh) heard what the enemy tribes were planning, he found himself forced to fight and ordered his army towards Ta'if. He had twelve thousand men and the enemy only four thousand. The Muslims were proud of their strength and as they looked around at their number, said to themselves, 'We will never be defeated!' On hearing this the Prophet (pbuh) knew that the Muslims had become too proud and because of this would not succeed.
He warned them, 'Look to Allah and not to your own strength.'
The time for battle came. The Muslim army advanced along the Hunayn path, a narrow way in the rugged mountains, towards the valley where the Hawazin and the other tribes were waiting. It was very early morning and not yet light. The Muslims were unaware that,
under cover of darkness, the Hawazin warriors had already climbed up the mountain and were waiting for them. As soon as all the Muslims were trapped in the narrow passage-way below, the Hawazin ambushed them. First they threw rocks down upon them and then attacked with arrows and swords.
In surprise and fear, the Muslims started to retreat. The Prophet (pbuh) was bitterly disappointed to see them fleeing in terror but he stayed firmly in his place with Abu Bakr, 'Ali, his uncle al-'Abbas, and a few companions at his side. Al-'Abbas then called to the Muslims to return and not to abandon the Prophet (pbuh). Ashamed at what they had done, and seeing the Prophet (pbuh) facing the enemy almost alone, the Muslims quickly returned to fight. Then Allah sent His angels-the hosts ye cannot see-to their aid. A fierce battle followed. The Muslim warriors advanced, attacking furiously, driving the Hawazin back from the path into the valley, where the fighting went on long and hard. At the end of the day the Muslims won but not before having learned a hard lesson about the danger of pride.
Just as the old man had predicted, the defeated enemy fled, leaving their families and possessions to be captured. Later all the leaders of the tribes except one came to ask for them back and to declare their acceptance of Islam. The Prophet (pbuh) forgave them and returned their families to them, but not their belongings. The one exception was the leader of Hawazin. He fled to Ta'if, where he sought protection in the castle, but the Muslims pursued him and surrounded the city, which they besieged for about three weeks.
They tried to break into the castle but after losing many men in the attempt the Prophet (pbuh) ordered a withdrawal. The story did not end there, however, for shortly afterwards Hawazin and most of the other tribes came to Mecca and declared themselves Muslim, including Malik Ibn Awf, who had led them in battle and whom the Prophet (pbuh) now made their leader.
After the battle of the Hunayn Valley, the Prophet (pbuh) distributed what goods had been taken between the people of Quraysh and the other Bedouin tribes. The Ansar from Medinah, who had been his only support during the long hard years before the conquest of Mecca, received nothing. They felt angry about this and went to the Prophet (pbuh) to complain. He said to them, what is this I hear of you? Do you think badly of me? Did I not come to you when you did not know the truth and Allah guided you; when you were poor and Allah made you rich; when you were enemies and Allah softened your hearts? Are you covetous for the things of this world that I must use to gain people's trust so that I can then lead them to Islam? Surely for you Islam is enough? Are you not satisfied that while some men take away flocks and herds you take Allah's Messenger back with you to Medinah?' On hearing this, all the men felt very contrite and began to weep then with great humility and reverence their spokesman said: 'We are indeed well pleased to have Allah's Messenger as our gift in this life.
' Perhaps we could ask ourselves the same question. Are we not blessed to have the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Book, guiding us in what really matters for ever and ever? Is this not so much more important than thinking about the momentary pleasures of the day?
Shortly after this the Ansar left for Medinah accompanied by the Prophet (pbuh). He could have stayed among his own people and lived out his days in Mecca, but he returned as he had promised, to live among the people of Medinah, which was a great blessing for them.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"Allah gave you victory on many fields and on the day of Hunayn, when you exulted in your great numbers it was of no help to you, and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you; then you turned back in flight; Then Allah sent His peace of reassurance down upon is Messenger and upon the believers, and sent down hosts you could not see,
and punished those who did not believe. Such is the reward of disbelievers. Then afterwards Allah will relent toward whom He will; for Allah is Forgiving, Merciful". (Koran ix.25-27)
Tabuk-The Test Of Faith
News of the growing power of the Muslims, as more and more of Arabia followed the Prophet (pbuh), eventually reached Heraclius, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Romans saw the uniting of the Arabs in Islam as a possible threat to their Empire and the Emperor's advisors and generals, therefore, decided that the best thing to do would be to attack the Muslims from the north and east at the same time and destroy Islam once and for all.
Two years had passed since Heraclius had told them of the Prophet's letter asking them to submit to Islam, but just as then, they were in no mood now to listen to such ideas. When the Prophet (pbuh) heard of the Romans' plans, he decided that it would be better to meet the Roman army in Tabuk,
some 500 kilometers form Medinah on the route to Syria, than to await an attack on Medinah. One reason for this decision was that the Prophet (pbuh) felt that if the Muslims were defeated at Medinah, the city as well as the army would be taken, which would mean the end of Islam. This was a very hard decision for him to make because not only was Tabuk a very long way away, but it was also harvest time and a particularly hot year. Added to this was the fact that the enemy had an enormous army. Now at this time there were some people living in Medinah who were not true believers. They were called 'hypocrites' because they pretended to believe but hid what was truly in their hearts. When the Prophet (pbuh) invited everyone to war, these hypocrites tried to create fear and doubt among the Muslims, saying 'How can we hope to defeat the Romans whose great empire stretches over vast areas of the world? And even if we could, we will not get the chance because the long journey and the heat will defeat us first. In any case,
our crops and fruits are ready to be harvested; how can we leave them? We will be ruined if we do!'
All that the hypocrites said severely tested the Muslims. Who would continue to fight for his religion against such odds? Who would have the courage to give his wealth to help equip an army? This test of faith would indeed show who the true Muslims were. On this question, Allah revealed the following verse:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"O you who believe! What aileth you that when it is said unto you: Go forth in the way of Allah, you are bowed down to the ground with heaviness. Do you take pleasure in the life of the world rather than in the Hereafter? The comfort of the life of the world is but little in the Hereafter". (Koran lx.38)
To form and equip an army the Prophet (pbuh) needed a great deal of money and despite all that the hypocrites had said, many Muslims, especially the Prophet's close friends,
were willing to help. 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan, for instance, generously provided horses and arms for ten thousand soldiers and Abu Bakr gave all that he had in the world. 'Umar, too, gave a great deal, and in this way the Prophet (pbuh) was able to equip an army of forty thousand soldiers.
Finally everything was ready but just as they were about to leave, seven more men came to the Prophet (pbuh) to ask if they could go with him. Unfortunately, he had to refuse because there were no animals for them to ride. The seven men were so upset that they wept as they left. With nothing more to be done, the army moved off, but just then several spare camels were found. On learning of this, the Prophet (pbuh) sent for the seven men, who were overjoyed to find that they could join him in his fight.
By now the Romans had heard that the Muslims were coming out to meet them. They felt even more sure of victory when they heard this because they believed that it would be quite impossible for an army to cross a waterless desert in the scorching summer sun.
Even if by some miracle the Muslims succeeded, they would be so exhausted that it would be easy to defeat them.
As it happed the heat was so intense and the journey so difficult that several Muslims did turn back. The Prophet (pbuh) and most of the others, however, continued until they finally ran out of water. The expedition now seemed hopeless as the men grew thirstier and thirstier. The Prophet (pbuh) prayed to Allah for help and, as he finished his prayer, the first drops of rain came splashing down. The rain continued to fall until all the Muslims had drunk their fill. That night they slept soundly for the first time in days, refreshed by the water and confident that Bilal would wake them as usual for the dawn prayer. But Bilal slept so deeply that he did not wake up. It was the first time that the Muslims had missed a prayer and they were very upset. The Prophet (pbuh), however, was not angry with Bilal and told the Muslims that they need not be upset because they had not intentionally missed the prayer.
The Prophet (pbuh) and his army continued their trek across the desert and finally arrived at the oasis of Tabuk. When they got there, however, they were surprised to find that the Roman army had retreated in fear on hearing of the miraculous crossing of the desert by the Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) waited at the oasis for a while but when it became apparent that the Romans were not going to fight, he gave the order to return home. The enemy was not pursued because the Prophet (pbuh) only fought when attacked. The long march to Tabuk had been yet another test of faith for the Muslims. Even so, there were still some among those who made that heroic journey who were hypocrites, pretending to be sincere while being enemies of Islam in their hearts. No one could have suspected that anyone who had made that journey across the desert with the Prophet (pbuh) would be an enemy of his.
several hypocrites plotted to kill the Prophet (pbuh) by pushing him off the top of a high, rocky passage that ran between the mountains of 'Aqabah. Before the army reached this rocky passage, however, Allah warned the Prophet (pbuh) about this wicked plan. The Prophet (pbuh), therefore, ordered the entire army to travel through the valley while he and his two guards went by way of the cliff. As the plotters approached, he shouted to them so that they could see that he knew of their plan, whereupon they quickly ran back to the army and tried to hide among the rest of the soldiers.
Later, the Prophet (pbuh) gathered his followers around him and told them what had happened. He picked out the men who had plotted against him and even told them the exact words they had spoken to each other. Some of the Prophet's companions said that these men should be killed, but the Prophet (pbuh) forgave them. As soon as he arrived back in Medinah, the Prophet (pbuh) went to the mosque and prayed. Many of the hypocrites and the lukewarm who had not gone with him to Tabuk came to give their reasons for not having done so.
Three men of spiritual value who had not joined the army were subjected by the Prophet (pbuh) to the discipline of waiting for Allah's forgiveness. For fifty days no one spoke to them. Finally, Allah revealed a verse to the Prophet (pbuh) which declared that these three men were forgiven:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"Allah hath turned in mercy to the Prophet, and to the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of hardship. After the hearts of a party of them had almost swerved aside, then He turned unto them in mercy. Lo! He is full of Pity, Merciful. And to the three also (did He turn in mercy) who were left behind, when the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for them, and their own souls were straitened for them till they understood that there is no refuge from Allah save toward Him. Then He turned unto them in mercy that they (too) might turn (repentant unto Him).
Lo! Allah! He is the Relenting, the Merciful. O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with tile truthful". (Koran ix.117-119)
The Farewell Pilgrimage
The Prophet (pbuh) had become the most powerful leader in the whole of Arabia. After the idols in the Ka'bah had been smashed and Quraysh had become Muslim, most of the other tribes of Arabia came to declare their Islam. The year in which they came was later to be called the Year of Deputations. As each tribe joined Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent his men to teach them about their new religion. Many people also came to Medinah to question the Prophet (pbuh) himself. One tribe sent a man called Dimam, who was large and strong. On arriving in Medinah, he went straight to the mosque, where the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was sitting with some of his companions, and stood over the Prophet (pbuh). In a loud, rough voice he asked, 'Which of you is the son of 'Abd al-Muttalib?' When the Prophet (pbuh) answered him Dimam went on,
'I am going to ask you a hard question, so do not misunderstand me. I ask you to swear by Allah, your Allah, the Allah of those before you and the Allah of those who will come after you, has He sent you to us as a messenger?' 'Yes, He has', replied the Prophet (pbuh). 'Has Allah instructed you to order us to serve Him; to pray these five prayers; to pay alms; to fast; to make the pilgrimage and to follow the other laws of Islam)?' continued Dimam. When the Prophet (pbuh) answered that Allah had indeed instructed him in this way, Dimam became a Muslim and, as he left, added, 'Then I will do the things we are told to do and avoid the things we are forbidden-no more and no less.` As Dimam mounted his camel to leave, the Prophet(pbuh) told the people around him, 'If this man is sincere, he will go to Paradise.' When Dimam reached his people they all thought he had gone mad but by nightfall, after he had finished speaking, there was not among one them that had not accepted Islam.
When the time came for the yearly pilgrimage, it was proclaimed that the prophet (pbuh) would be going to Mecca. The Muslims flocked to Medinah from all over Arabia to join him on his journey to the Ka'bah. As the tribes arrived they camped around the city until they finally numbered more than thirty thousand.
The Prophet (pbuh) went out with his family and friends to pilgrimage, but before setting off, he led all the Muslims in prayer. After the prayers, the Prophet (pbuh) got on his camel and headed towards Mecca followed by the pilgrims, all of whom, for the first time in centuries, worshipped Allah, the One God. The Prophet (pbuh) and his companions were deeply moved by the sight of the huge number of Muslims accompanying them to Mecca, carrying no arms, and fearing no one. They could not help but remember their original flight from Mecca when they had been so few in number and were forced to leave in order to avoid the anger of Quraysh. Throughout the journey the Muslims repeated a prayer taught to them by the Prophet (pbuh) which he in turn had received from the Archangel Gabriel.
This prayer, the talbiyah, has been part of the Hajj ritual ever since. It is in answer to the call Abraham was commanded to make when he and Ishmael finished building the Ka'bah.
Labaik Allahumma labaik, labaik la sharika laka labaik in al-hamd wa al-ni'amatu laka wal-mulk, la sharika laka. Here I am, O Allah, at Thy service. Here I am, Thou art without partner, here I am. All Praise and blessings are thine, and Dominion! Thou art without partner!
After ten days the pilgrims marched at sunset through the same pass by which they had entered on the Day of Conquest of Mecca. When they reached the Ka'bah, the Prophet (pbuh) stood before it in prayer, then he and all the Muslims walked around it seven times saying their prayer aloud. Next, just as Abraham had done, they went towards the Mount of Mercy at 'Arafah, which the Prophet (pbuh) ascended on a camel. From the mountain he led the people in prayer and then spoke to them as they stood assembled on the vast plain below.
What the Prophet (pbuh) said is known as the 'Farewell Sermon', because it was the last speech the Prophet (pbuh) made before he died. He said, 'surely you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your works.' He asked the Muslims to take their guidance from the Koran and from his own example. This, he said, was the best way to live. He ordered them to cease living in the way they had before Islam.
Revenge, one of the oldest traditions in Arabia, was ended forever; usury was prohibited; property was to be respected. Things which previously were forbidden during the four sacred months of the year were now forbidden at all times. He then commanded, 'Know that every Muslim is a Muslim's brother', which was a completely new idea to the tribes who had so often quarreled in the past. He also said, 'Allah has given everyone his due-exactly what each one deserves. After each point the Prophet (pbuh) asked,
'Have I explained it well? Is it perfectly clear?' Everyone answered, 'Yes.' For these were the people who would have to pass on the Prophet's message and instructions to those who were unable to be present that day and to future generations. The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'I have left you two things. If you hold on to them you will be saved. They are Allah's Book and the words of your Prophet.' He then asked, 'Have I not conveyed the message?' The multitude shouted out, 'By Allah, yes!' The Prophet (pbuh) ended, '0 Allah! Bear witness to that.'
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
". This day those who disbelieve are in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so do not fear them, but fear Me! This day I have perfected your religion, for you, and I have completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as a religion AL-ISLAM". (Koran v.3) Many Muslims started to shed tears, knowing that if the Prophet (pbuh) had completed his message, his life must be near its end.
After spending the rest of the day of 'Arafah in prayer and contemplation, the Muslims began to complete the pilgrimage by returning to Mecca with the talbiyah prayer still on their lips. The first night of the return journey was spent at Muzdalifah. Here they gathered pebbles, which they carried with them the next day to Mina. There they stood before a huge rock and stoned it in remembrance of Abraham's meeting with the Devil in that very place. When Abraham received the order from Allah to sacrifice his son Ishmael as a test of his faith, the Devil had tried to convince him not to do it. He came to Abraham at Mina, as he was on his way to carry out Allah's command, but Abraham took some stones and hurled them at the Devil to drive him away since the casting of stones at Mina on the Prophet's 'Farewell Pilgrimage', this has become another ritual which Muslims perform on the annual pilgrimage to remind them that they, too, must continue to drive the Devil away when he tries to prevent them from being obedient to Allah.
After throwing the stones, the pilgrims sacrificed sheep and camels and gave the meat to the poor. In this way the great faith of Abraham was remembered, for when he had been ready to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah had sent a sheep in his place. The Muslims then completed the pilgrimage by again circling the Ka'bah seven times. They then cut their hair and nails and changed out of their white clothes to show they had returned to their daily lives. Before returning to Medinah, the Muslims spent three nights in the valley at Medinah where the final preparations were made for the journey home.
As for the Prophet (pbuh), he made one final visit before leaving Mecca. This was to the grave of his devoted wife, Khadijah, who had been the first person to believe in Allah's Revelation through him. The Prophet (pbuh) knew that this would be the last time he would see the grave, or Mecca, because during the pilgrimage he had received the chapter of the Koran called 'Help',
form which he knew that his death was not far away.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"When Allah's help and triumph comes And thou seest, mankind entering the religion of Allah in troops, Then hymn the praises of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness of Him. Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy". (Koran cx.1-3)
The Prophet's Death
One Night, shortly after his return to Medinah, the Prophet(pbuh) woke up at midnight and asked his servant' Abd Allah to saddle his mule. They then left the house and went to the Baqi al-Gharqad, the burial ground of the Muslims. There the Prophet (pbuh) stood in the front of the graves and, as though he could see the Muslims buried in them, spoke to them and prayed over them. Later, 'Abd Allah reported, 'The Prophet (pbuh) told me that he was ordered to pray for the dead and that I was to go with him.'
After the Prophet (pbuh) had prayed he turned to 'Abd Allah and said, 'I can choose between all the riches of this world, a long life and then Paradise,
or meeting my Lord and entering Paradise now.' 'Abd Allah begged him to choose a long, rich life, followed by Paradise, but the Prophet (pbuh) told him that he had already chosen to meet his Lord now rather than remain in the world. The following morning the Prophet (pbuh) awoke with a terrible headache, but despite this he had led the prayers at the mosque. From what he said afterwards to the people assembled there, they understood that his death was near. The Prophet (pbuh) praised his best friend, Abu Bakr, who had begun to weep, and told everyone that he knew they would all meet again at a pool in Paradise. He added, however that although he was sure they would always worship Allah alone, he feared that the pleasures of the world would attract them, and they would begin to compete with one another for material possessions, forgetting spiritual things. Soon after the Prophet (pbuh) requested that he be moved to the room of A'isha, one of his wives. As the days passed his fever grew worse, until one day he was so ill that he could not even get to the mosque,
which was next to where A'isha lived. The Prophet (pbuh) told A'isha to tell the Muslims to let Abu Bakr, her father, lead the prayer, which made them very sad for this was the first time anyone had taken the Prophet's place.
Later, on the 12th day of Rabi al-Awal, in the 11th year of Islam (June 8th 632 A.D.), the Prophet (pbuh) heard the voices of the people in prayer. With great effort he got up and looked from his door at all the Muslims who were assembled in rows behind Abu bakr; he smiled with great satisfaction. Abu Bakr saw him and stepped back to give the Prophet (pbuh) his place. The Muslims were happy, thinking he was going to pray with them as before, but the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who looked radiantly beautiful that day signaled to them to continue on their own. He prayed in a sitting position at the right of Abu Bakr, after which he went back inside and lay his head on 'A'ishah's lap. He was in such pain that his daughter Fatimah cried out in pity.
Then the Prophet (pbuh) said, 'There is no pain for your father after this day; truly, death has appeared to me. We must all suffer it till the Day of Judgement.' As he lay there, A'ishah remembered that he had once said, Allah never takes a Prophet to Himself without giving him the choice.' Then she heard the Prophet (pbuh) speak. His last words were, 'Nay, rather the Exalted Communion of Paradise.'
A'ishah then said to herself, 'So, by Allah, he is not choosing us!' When the people in the mosque heard that the Prophet (pbuh) was dead, they were filled with grief. 'Umar could not, and would not, believe it, and exclaimed that it was not true. Abu Bakr then went out and spoke gently to the people, saying 'All praise belongs to Allah! 0 people, whoever worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. But for him who worships Allah, Allah is living and never dies.'
He then recited this verse from the Koran which had been revealed after the battle of Uhud:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? He who turns back does no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful. No soul can ever die except by Allah's permission and at a term appointed.
Who so desires the reward of the world, We bestow on him thereof; and whosoever desires the reward of the Hereafter, We bestow on him thereof We shall reward the thankful". (Koran iii.144-145)
After this the people pledged their loyalty to Abu Bakr, whom the Prophet (pbuh) had chosen to lead the prayer. Abu Bakr accepted and concluded what he had to say with these words: 'Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. But if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, you owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, Allah have mercy upon you!' The people rose and asked him; 'Where will the Prophet (pbuh) be buried?' Abu Bakr remembered that the Prophet (pbuh) had said, 'No Prophet dies who is not buried on the spot where he died.
' And so the Prophet (pbuh) was buried in a grave dug in the floor of A'ishah's room, in the house next to the mosque. The spot became known as the Haram al-Nabawi and Muslims from all over the world go there to pray and to give their blessings and greetings of peace the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And Lo! thine verily will be a reward unfailing. And Lo! thou art of a tremendous nature. (Koran lxvii. 3-4)
Abd Allah : Abd al-Muttlib's youngest son. Father of the Prophet
Abd Allah Ibn Ubayy : One of the rulers of Yathrib before the Hijrah. He became a Muslim but secretly plotted with the Meccans against the Prophet.
Abd Al-Muttalib : Son of Hashim. He took the place of his father as the head of Quraysh. He dug the well of Zamzam.
Abd Allah Ibn Abu Rabiah : Was sent with Amr Ibn al-'Ass to Abyssinia.
Abdu Manaf : Son of Qusayy; took over as leader of the Quraysh after his father's death.
Abrahah : King of Yemen who came to Mecca with a big army to destroy the Kabbah.
Abraham (Ibrahim) : The founding father of the three monotheistic (worshipping one God only) religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The descendants of his son Ish maci (fsma'ii) formed the tribe of Quraysh, which is the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad
Abo Bakr : A rich and much respected merchant of Mecca. The first man to believe in the Prophet and embrace Islam. He was the Prophet's closest friend and companion.
Abu Dujanah : One of the great Ansar warriors. lt was he who died Shielding the Prophet with his ownbody during the battle of Uhud
Abu Jahl : One of the important men of Quraysh. Violently opposed to Islam, he did many things to harm the Prophet. He was killed at Badr.
ABU LAHAB: One of the Prophet Mohammed's uncles, who was a great enemy of Islam. He is referred to in the Koran in Surah cxi.
Abu Sufyan : One of the leaders of Quraysh who led the unbelievers in their fight against the Prophet. He finally became a Muslim. His wife was Hind.
Abo Talib : The Prophet's uncle, father of 'Ali, one of the respected men of Quraysh He took care of the Prophet after his grandfather died and continued to protect him until his own death.
'Addas : A Christian servant of one of the big tribes of Ta'if and the only person from this town to believe in the Prophet ~ at the time of his first visit there.
Adhan : Call to prayer.
'Aishah : The Prophet's wife and daughter of Abu Bakr.
Al-'Abbas : One of the uncles of the Prophet . Converted to Islam and joined the Muslims just as they were about to enter Mecca.
Ali : Son of Abu Talib. First cousin of the Prophet. 'Ali later married Fatimah, the youngest daughter of the Prophet.
Allahu Akbar : Phrase meaning 'God Allah is Great'.
Alms : Money, clothes or food given to the poor.
Amenah : Aminah bint Wahb. The mother of the Prophet.
'Amro Ibun Al'ass : An important and clever man from Quraysh; was sent to Abyssinia to bring back the first Muslim emigrants. Later became one of the great Warriors of Islam.
Ansar : The inhabitants of Medinah who became Muslims and asked the Prophet to come and live with them.
Apostle : Person sent to teach men about God.
Wa Aleikum Assalamu Wa Rahmatullah Barakatuhu : Phrase used by the Muslims in greeting, meaning: 'May the Peace, Mercy and Grace of Allah be upon you.
Bani Hashim : The branch of Quraysh to which the Prophet belonged.
Bani/Banu Qurayzah : A Jewish tribe who were living in Yathrib
at the time the Prophet arrived there. Several times they betrayed their Covenant with
the Prophet, forcing him to fight them.
Bedouin : Nomadic Arabs of the desert, usually shepherds.
Bilal : The Slave of Umayyah ibn Khalaf. He became a Muslim against the will of his master and was persecuted cruelly but never lost his faith. Later he became the first mu'adhdhin (the person who calls the adhan).
Bismillah Arrahman Arrahim : The phrase meaning 'In the Name of Allah
the Merciful, The Compassionate'.
Booty : Things captured from an enemy in war.
Buraq : Animal ridden by the Prophet Muhammad ~
on his ascent to heaven (the Isra' and Mi'raj).
Caravan : A group of travellers, usually merchants
with their goods.
Clan : Large family or tribe.
Congregation : Gathering of people for prayer.
Convert : To change from one state into another,
usually said of religion.
Copt : An Egyptian Christian.
Descendants : People originating from a certain person (children, grandchildren, etc.).
Destined : Fated, already decided by God.
Famine : Scarcity of food.
Fast : To go without food and water, e.g. the month of Ramadan.
Fitrah: The pure original nature God gave to man.
Gabriel (Jibril): The Archangel who conveyed the Revelation of the Quran to the Prophet from Allah.
Graze: To feed on grass, as sheep do.
Guardian: One who is responsible for someone (e.g. a child)? A place, or thing.
Hadith: An account of what the Prophet ~ said or did, or his silent approval of something said or done in his presence
Hagar (Haajar): Abraham's second wife and mother of his first son Ishmael.
Halimah :A Bedouin woman from Bani Sa'd, who cared for the Prophet during his early childhood.
Hamzah: The Prophet's uncle; one of the bravest and strongest of the Muslims. Fought at Badr and was killed in Uhud.
Hashim: Son of Abdu Manif. Organized the caravan journeys of Quraysh to Syria and Yemen.
As a result Mecca grew rich and became a large and important centre of trade.
Heraclius: Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Hermit: A holy man who lives far away from
Hijrah: The flight from Mecca to Medinah; emigration
Hind: Abu Sufyan's wife.
Imam: A man who leads the Muslims in prayer.
Ishmael: (Isma'il): The first son of Abraham from his wife Hagar. Settled in Mecca where he helped his father rebuild the Kabah. From his descendants came Quraysh.
Islam: Religion revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
Ja'far Ibn Abu Talib: A cousin of the Prophet and brother of Ali, he was the spokesman of the Muslims who emigrated to Abyssinia.
Khalid Ibn Al-Walid: A great warrior, very skilled at warfare. He planned the defeat of the Muslims at Uhud, but later converted to Islam and fought even more strongly for his new faith.
Martyr: One who dies in the cause of God.
Maysarah: Khadijah's slave. Accompanied the Prophet on his journey with Khadijah's caravans.
Minaret: Tower from which the call to prayer is made.
Mosque: Building in which Muslims pray.
Muslim: One who submits to God, usually referring to the followers of the Prophet Muhammad.
Oasis: A small area in the desert where water and trees are to be found.
Paradise: Place to which the souls of good people go after death
Pilgrimage: Journey to a holy place, e.g. Hajj