Muhammad (s.a.w) was born in such a family on Friday, the 17th Rabi'-ul-Awwal, 1st year of 'Amul-Fil (corresponding to 570 C.E.) to bring the Message of God to the world. In Sunni circles, 12th Rabi'-ul-Awwal is more famous. Thus, the prayer of Ibrahim while constructing the Ka'bah was granted:
Lord! And raise a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thine verses, and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them, indeed Thou art the Mighty, the Wise (Qur'an, 2:129).
And the tidings of Christ came true:-
O Children of Israel! Surely, I am the messenger of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Torah and giving the good news of a Messenger who will come after me whose name will be Ahmed. (Qur'an, 61:6)
'Abdullah, father of the Prophet, died a few month before (or two months after) his birth, and his grandfather 'AbdulMuttalib took over the care and upbringing of the child. After a few months, according to the age-long custom of the Arabs, the child was entrusted to a bedouin woman Halimah by name, of the tribe of Bani-Sa'd, for his upbringing.
When he was only six years old, he lost his mother as well; so, the doubly-orphaned child was brought up by 'Abdul-Muttalib with the most tender care. It was the will of God that the Prophet to-be should undergo all the sufferings, pains and privations incidental to human life in order that he might learn to bear them with becoming fortitude and raise his stature in human perfection. Not two years had passed before 'Abdul-Muttalib also expired.
'Abdul-Muttalib died at the age of 82, leaving the care and custody of the orphaned Muhammad (s.a.w) to Abu Talib. Abu Talib and his wife, Fatimah Bint Asad, loved Muhammad more than their own children. As the Holy Prophet himself said, Fatima Bint Asad was his "mother" who kept her own children waiting while she fed the Holy Prophet, kept her own children cold while she gave him warm clothes. Abu Talib always kept the child with him day and night.
Abu Talib had succeeded 'Abdul-Muttalib in Siqayah and Rifadah and was an active participant in the trade caravans. When Muhammad (s.a.w) was 12 years old, Abu Talib bade farewell to his family to go to Syria. Muhammad (s.a.w) clung to him and cried. Abu Talib was so moved that he took the child with him. When the caravan reached Busra in Syria they, as usual, stayed near the monastery of a monk, Buhayra. It is not possible to give here the full account of that visit. Suffice it to say that the monk, seeing some of the signs, which he knew from the old books, was convinced that the orphan child was the last Prophet-to-be. To make sure, he started a conversation with him, and at one point said: "I give you oath of Lat and Uzza to tell me..." The child cried out: "Don't take the names of Lat and Uzza before me! I hate them!" Buhayra was now convinced. He advised Abu Talib not to proceed to Damascus "because if the Jews found out what I have seen, I am afraid they will try to harm him. For sure, this child is to have a great eminence."
Abu Talib, acting on this advice, sold all his merchandise for cheaper prices then and there, returning at once to Mecca.
Muhammad (s.a.w) marries Khadijah
Now, Muhammad (s.a.w) was old enough to go with the trade caravans. But Abu Talib's financial position had become very weak because of the expenses of Rifadah and Siqayah, and it was no longer possible for him to equip Muhammad (s.a.w) with the merchandise on his own. He, therefore, advised him to act as agent for a noble lady, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, who was the wealthiest person in Quraish. It is written that in the trade caravans, her merchandise usually equaled the merchandise of the whole tribe put together.
Her genealogy joins with that of the Holy Prophet at Qusayi. She was Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid ibn Asad ibn 'Abdul-'Uzza ibn Qusayi.
The reputation which Muhammad (s.a.w) enjoyed for his honesty and integrity, led Khadijah to willingly entrust her goods to him for sale in Syria. He traded in such a way that the goods earned more profit than expected, and yet he was praised for his integrity, honesty and generosity. Khadijah was very much impressed. Only two months after his return to Mecca, he was married to Khadijah. He was twenty-five years of age and Khadijah was forty and a widow.
Reconstruction of the Ka'bah
In about 605 A.D., when the Holy Prophet was 35 years old, a flood swept Mecca and the building of the Ka'bah was badly damaged. The Quraish decided to rebuild it. When the walls reached a certain height, a dispute arose between various clans as to whom should the honor of placing the Black Stone (Hajar Aswad) in its place go. This dispute threatened to assume serious proportions but, at last, it was agreed upon that the first person to enter the precincts of the Ka'bah the next morning should arbitrate this issue.
It so happened, that first person was none other than Muhammad (s.a.w). The Quraish were pleased with the turn of the events because Muhammad was well recognized as the Truthful and Trust-worthy personality.
Muhammad (s.a.w) put his own robe on the ground and put the Black Stone on it. He told the disputing clans to send one representative each to hold the corners of the robe and to raise it. When the robe was raised to the required level, he took hold of the Stone and put it in its place. This was a judgement, which settled the dispute to the satisfaction of all the parties.
At this time, he had entered into several business partnerships and always acted with great integrity in his dealings with his partners. 'Abdullah, son of Abu Hamza, narrates that he had entered into a transaction with Muhammad (s.a.w). Its details had yet to be finalized when he had suddenly to leave promising that he would return soon. When, after three days, he went again to the spot, he found Muhammad (s.a.w) waiting for him. Muhammad (s.a.w) did not remonstrate with him. He just said that he had been there for all those three days waiting for him. Saib and Qays, who also had business transactions with him, testify to his exemplary dealings. People were so impressed by his uprightness and integrity, by the purity of his life, his unflinching fidelity, and his strict sense of duty that they called him "al-Amin," the trusted one.
Source: The Life of Muhammad The Prophet by Syed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father's name: al-Husayn Sayyidu 'sh-Shuhada'.
Mother's name: Shahr Banu, daughter of Yazdeger III, the King of Persia.
Birth: In Medina, 5th Shaaban 38 AH.
Death: Died at the age of 58, in Medina; poisoned by al-Walid ibn 'Abdi 'I-Malik ibn Marwan on 25th Muharram 95 AH; buried in Jannatu 'I-Baqi', in Medina.
The holy Imam 'Ali Zaynu'l -'Abidin is the Fourth Apostolic Imam. His epithet was Abu Muhammad and was popularly titled as "Zaynu'l-'Abidin". The mother of this Holy Imam was the royal personage, Shahr Banu, the daughter of King Yazdgerd, the last pre-Islamic Ruler of Persia. Imam Zaynu'l-'Abidin spent the first two years of his infancy in the lap of his grandfather 'All ibn Abi Talib and then for twelve years he had the gracious patronage of his uncle, the second Holy Imam al-Hasan ibn 'All.
In 61 AH, he was present in Karbala', at the time of the gruesome tragedy of the wholesale massacre of his father, his uncles, his brothers, his cousins and all the godly comrades of his father; and suffered a heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands of the devilish forces of Yazid. When Imam Husayn had come for the last time to his camp to bid goodbye to his family, 'Ali Zaynu'l-'Abidin was lying semiconscious in his sickbed and hence he escaped the massacre in Karbala'. Imam Husayn could only manage a very brief talk with the inmates of his camp and departed nominating his sick son as Imam.
The Holy Imam Zaynu'l-'Abidin lived for about thirty-four years after his father and all his life he passed in prayers and supplication to Allah and in remembrance of his martyred father. It is for his ever being in prayers to Allah, mostly lying in prayerful prostration, that this Holy Imam was popularly called "Sajjad". The knowledge and piety of this Holy Imam was matchless.
Az-Zuhri, Al-Waqid; and Ibn 'Uyaynah say that they could not find any one equal to him in piety and godliness. He was so mindful of Allah that whenever he sat for ablution for prayers, the complexion of his face would change and when he stood at prayer his body was seen trembling.
When asked why this was, he replied, "Know ye not before whom I stand in prayer, and with whom I hold discourse?"
Even on the gruesome day of 'Ashura when Yazid's forces had massacred his father, his kith and kin and his comrades and had set fire to the camp, this Holy Imam was engrossed in his supplications to the Lord. When the brutal forces of Yazid's army had taken the ladies and children as captives, carrying them seated on the bare back of the camels, tied in ropes; this Holy Imam, though sick, was put in heavy chains with iron rings round his neck and his ankles, and was made to walk barefooted on the thorny plains from Karbala' to Kufah and to Damascus; and even then this godly soul never was unmindful of his prayers to the Lord and was always thankful and supplicative to Him.
His charity was unassuming and hidden. After his passing away, the people said that hidden charity ended with the departure of this Holy Imam. Like his grand-father 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, 'Ali Zaynu'l-'Abidin used to carry on his own back at night bags of flour and bread for the poor and needy families in Medina and he so maintained hundred of poor families in the city.
The Holy Imam was not only hospitable even to his enemies but also used to continually exhort them to the right path. Imam Zaynu 'l-'Abidin along with the Ahlu 'I-Bayt passed through dreadful and very dangerous times, for the aggressions and atrocities of the tyrant rulers of the age had reached a climax. There was plunder, pillage, and murder everywhere. The teachings of Islam were observed more in their breach. The heartless tyrant al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqaf; was threatening every one who professed allegiance or devotion to the Ahlu 'I-Bayt; and those caught were mercilessly put to death. The movement of the Holy Imam was strictly restricted and his meeting with any person was totally banned. Spies were employed to trace out the adherents of the Ahlu 'I-Bayt. Practically every house was searched and every family scrutinized.
Imam Zaynu 'l-'Abidin was not given the time to offer his prayers peacefully, nor could he deliver any sermons. This God's Vicegerent on earth therefore, adopted a third course which proved to be very beneficial to his followers. This was in compiling supplicative prayers for the daily use of man in his endeavour to approach the Almighty Lord. The invaluable collection of his edited prayers are known as as-Sahifah al-Kdmilah or As-Sahifah as-Sajjddiyyah; it is known also as Az-Zabur (Psalm) of Al Muhammad The collection is an invaluable treasury of wonderfully effective supplications to the Lord in inimitably beautiful language. Only those who have ever come across those supplications would know the excellence and the beneficial effect of these prayers. Through these prayers the Imam gave all the necessary guidance to the faithful during his seclusion. On the 25th of Muharram 95 AH when he was in Medina, al-Walid ibn 'Abdi 'l-Malik ibn Marwan, the then ruler got this Holy Imam martyred by poison. The funeral prayers for this Holy Imam were conducted by his son the Fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery of Jannatu 'l-Baqi' in Medina.
Allamah Tabatabai writes:
Imam Sajjad ('Ali ibn al-Husayn entitled Zaynu'l-'Abidin and Sajjad) was the son of the Third Imam and his wife, the queen among women, the daughter of Yazdgerd the King of Iran. He was the only son of Imam Husayn to survive, for his other three brothers 'Ali Akbar, aged twenty-five, five-year-old Ja'far and 'Ali al-Asghar (or 'Abdullah) who was a suckling baby were martyred during the event of Karbala'. The Imam had also accompanied his father on the journey that terminated fatally in Karbala', but because of severe illness and the inability to carry arms or participate in fighting he was prevented from taking part in the holy war and being martyred. So he was sent with the womenfolk to Damascus. After spending a period in imprisonment he was sent with honour to Medina because Yazid wanted to conciliate public opinion. But for a second time, by the order of the Umayyad caliph, 'Abdu 'l-Malik, he was chained and sent from Medina to Damascus and then again returned to Medina. The Fourth Imam, upon returning to Medina, retired from public life completely, closed the door of his house to strangers and spent his time in worship. He was in con- tact only with the elite among the Shi'ites such as Abu Hamzah ath-Thumali, Abu Khalid Kabuli and the like. The elite disseminated among the Shi'ah the religious sciences they learned from the Imam. In this way Shi'ism spread considerably and showed its effects during the Imamate of the Fifth Imam. Among the works of the Fourth Imam is a book called Sahifah Sajjadiyyah. It consists of fifty-seven prayers concerning the most sublime Divine sciences and is known as "The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet."
Some of the sayings of Al-Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husayn, (A):
• Refrain from lying in all things, big or small, in seriousness or in jest. For when one starts lying in petty matters, soon he will have the audacity to lie in important matters (also).
• A man need not fear Allah except on account of his own sins, and should place his hopes only with his Lord.
• When about something one does not know, one should not be ashamed of having to learn about it.
• Patience is to faith what the head is to the body; one who does not have patience also lacks faith.
• Once, one of his companions complained to him that out of jealousy some people whom he had served very well were treating him badly. The Imam gave him some advice which was:
• Guard your tongue and do not speak about people whatever comes out of your mouth, otherwise you will turn your friends into your enemies.
• Avoid saying things which the minds of people are not prepared to accept.
• He who does not have wisdom will be ruined by the a smallest thing (Mistake).
• What harm will come to you if you take all Muslims to be your family and your relations? Consider your elders to be your parents, those younger than you as your children and those of your age as your brothers. If you do so who is going to harm or abuse you?
• Whenever a thought comes in your mind that you are better than any other person, then think along these lines:
• If the person is older than you then remind yourself that this person is better than you in matters of Islam because he has done more good deeds than you have.
• If the person is younger than you then remind yourself that this person is better than you because he has committed less sins than you have.
• If he is of your age than your argument should be: he is better than you in matters of Islam since you know of your own sins but not of his.
• If people show respect to you, think that this is because the people are very good not that you are good. If the people say bad things about you, think that something is really wrong with you. If you live in this way, life will become pleasant for you, you will make many friends and your enemies will be few.
• Do not have relationship with, nor talk with nor give company to 5 types of people:
• The Liar: because they are like mirage: With their words they show things different from what they really are. What is near they make it look far and what is far they make it look near. In this way, they take you away from truth.
• The Greedy and the Sinner: because you cannot rely on their friendship; for a small piece of food or even less than that, they will sell you.
• The Miser: because they will let you down when you need them most.
• The Fool: because even when they try to do you good, they will end you in difficulties.
• Those Who have cut relationship with their relatives, because Allah has cursed them in the Qur'an.
• Try to earn a high position in Paradise (Jannah). Remember: Highest positions will be given to those who have been most useful to their brothers in faith and who have been most helpful to the needy.
• Remember: There are times when a person says but one good sentence and that brings him very near to Allah and brings his freedom on the Day of Judgement.
• Never think that what you do for your brother in faith is unimportant because these are the things that will be of much use to you on a day when nothing else will be of any use.
• Drinking (Alcohol and other forbidden drinks) and Gambling are such sins that they destroy the power to stop committing other sins.
• (Speaking) Good words increase a person's wealth and sustenance (Rizk), prolong his life, make him to be loved by his wife and children and take him to paradise.
Article copied from Facebook posting by Sh. Jehad Ismail on Facebook.