Category Archives: Holy propeht mohamad (s.a.w)

Prophet’s marriage (PBUH&HP) with Lady Khadijah (PBUH)

Prophet’s marriage (PBUH&HP) with Lady Khadijah (PBUH)

As mentioned in the previous part, Lady Khadijah (PBUH) was one of the wealthiest merchants of Quraish. She dispatched some men to different cities to trade; afterwards, she would get her share from the profit of their business.

When Lady Khadijah (PBUH) was informed of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) truthfulness, moral virtues, and his trustworthiness (as he was well-known for), she offered him to go to Syria for trade.  She also gave him a larger share than the rest men.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) accepted this offer and left for Syria; he was being accompanied with Meysara, Lady Khadijah’s (PBUH) special servant.

When they arrived in Syria, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) came down in the shadow of a tree near a monastery. A monk asked Meysara: “Who is the man under that tree?” Meysara replied:” He is of Quraish tribe and from Mecca.” The monk said: “I swear to Allah that he is no one except a Prophet.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) sold what he had brought; he bought some other material and then returned to Mecca. In this journey, all businessmen made profit, especially Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) who made more than others. Once they returned, Lady Khadijah (PBUH) asked Meysara about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP); he said that whatever he did was orderly, logical and wise. He also narrated the happenings throughout the journey and said: “When one of the traders asked him to swear to Laat and Ozza, the two famous idols in Mecca, he refused to do that and said: ‘To me, nothing is inferior to Lat and Ozza.'”

Once Lady Khadijah (PBUH) became aware of these incidents, she sent a messenger to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to express her proposal for marriage.  She wanted to marry him because of his dignity amongst family, truthfulness, moral virtues, and trustworthiness.

Once Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was informed of this issue, he sent his uncles to house of Lady Khadijah (PBUH) to propose for her hand in marriage.  In the proposal session, Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle, praised Allah (SWT) and then spoke of the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). He proposed marriage on behalf of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to Lady Khadijah (PBUH).  Lady Khadijah (PBUH) accepted the proposal and got married to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).  At that time, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was twenty-five years old, and according to some narrators Lady Khadijah (PBUH) was 40.  Other narrators, however, record that Lady Khadijah (PBUH) was younger.



This article is a continuation of the article about “The Birth of the Prophet (PBUH&HP).” It includes important events and stages of the Prophet of Islam’s (PBUH&HP) life. In this article we will briefly mention the following subjects:



Prophet Mohammed Stories Video (english)

Prophet Mohammed Stories – Prophet’s Childhood

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 2. The Blessed Food

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 4. The Trustworthy of Mecca

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 3. Prophet’s trip to Syria

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 5. Inviting the Relatives

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 6.Stopping People embracing Islam

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 7. Emphasis of Science/Knowledge

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 8. The Humility of the Prophet


Prophet Mohammed Stories – 9. Co-operation

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 10. Vain Pride


Prophet Mohammed Stories – 11. Vain Pride


Prophet Mohammed Stories – 12. Vain Pride


Prophet Mohammed Stories – 13. Neighbours rights

Prophet Mohammed Stories – 14. Minor Sins














“Islam did not rise except through Ali’s sword and Khadija’s wealth,”

Khadija al-Kubra

Ameerat-Quraysh, Princess of Quraysh, and al-Tahira, the Pure

Wife of Prophet Muhammad
( Peace be upon him and his pure and cleansed progeny )

If you wish to research the life of this great lady, and if you do not have al-Majlisi’s voluminous [110 Vol.] encyclopedia titled Bihar al-Anwar, the best references are: al-Sayyuti’s Tarikh al Khulafa, Abul-Faraj al-Isfahani’s Aghani, Ibn Hisham’s Seera, Muhammad ibn Ishaq’s Seerat Rasool-Allah, and Tarikh al-rusul wal muluk by Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (839-923 A.D.). Of all these books, only al-Tabari’s Tarikh is being translated (by more than one translator and in several volumes) into English. One publisher of Tabari’s Tarikh is the press of the State University of New York (SUNY). This article has utilized a number of Arabic and English references, and it is written especially for those who appreciate history, our great teacher, be they Muslims or non-Muslims, and who aspire to learn from it.


Islam did not rise except through Ali’s sword and Khadija’s wealth,” a saying goes. Khadija al-Kubra daughter of Khuwaylid ibn (son of) Asad ibn Abdul-`Uzza ibn Qusayy belonged to the clan of Banu Hashim of the tribe of Banu Asad. She was a distant cousin of her husband the Messenger of Allah Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. Qusayy, then, is the ancestor of all clans belonging to Quraysh. According to some historians, Quraysh’s real name was Fahr, and he was son of Malik son of Madar son of Kananah son of Khuzaimah son of Mudrikah son of Ilyas son of Mazar son of Nazar son of Ma`ad son of Adnan son of Isma`eel (Ishmael) son of Ibrahim (Abraham) son of Sam son of Noah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon the prophets from among his ancestors. According to a number of sources, Khadija was born in 565 A.D. and died one year before the Hijra (migration of the Holy Prophet and his followers from Mecca to Medina) in 623 A.D. at the age of 58, but some historians say that she lived to be 65. Khadija’s mother, who died around 575 A.D., was Fatima daughter of Za’ida ibn al-Asam of Banu `Amir ibn Luayy ibn Ghalib, also a distant relative of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Khadija’s father, who died around 585 A.D., belonged to the Abd al-`Uzza clan of the tribe of Quraysh and, like many other Qurayshis, was a merchant, a successful businessman whose vast wealth and business talents were inherited by Khadija and whom the latter succeeded in faring with the family’s vast wealth. It is said that when Quraysh’s trade caravans gathered to embark upon their lengthy and arduous journey either to Syria during the summer or to Yemen during the winter, Khadija’s caravan equalled the caravans of all other traders of Quraysh put together.

Although the society in which Khadija was born was a terribly male chauvinistic one, Khadija earned two titles: Ameerat-Quraysh, Princess of Quraysh, and al-Tahira, the Pure One, due to her impeccable personality and virtuous character, not to mention her honorable descent. She used to feed and clothe the poor, assist her relatives financially, and even provide for the marriage of those of her kin who could not otherwise have had means to marry.

By 585 A.D., Khadija was left an orphan. Despite that, and after having married twice- and twice lost her husband to the ravaging wars with which Arabia was afflicted- she had no mind to marry a third time though she was sought for marriage by many honorable and highly respected men of the Arabian peninsula throughout which she was quite famous due to her business dealings. She simply hated the thought of being widowed for a third time.


Who were Khadija’s children by her second husband? This is another controversy that revolves round the other daughters or step-daughters of the Prophet (pbuh) besides Fatima (as). These daughters, chronologically arranged, are: Zainab, Ruqayya, and Ummu Kulthoom. Some historians say that these were Khadija’s daughters by her second husband, whereas others insist they were her daughters by Muhammad (pbuh). The first view is held by Sayyid Safdar Husayn in his book The Early History of Islam wherein he bases his conclusion on the contents of al-Sayyuti’s famous work Tarikh al-khulafa wal muluk (history of the caliphs and kings). We hope some of our Muslim sisters who read this text will be tempted to research this subject. Here is a brief account of Khadija’s daughters:


One particular quality in Khadija was quite interesting, probably more so than any of her other qualities mentioned above: she, unlike her people, never believed in nor worshipped idols.


Since Khadija did not travel with her trade caravans, she had always had to rely on someone else to act as her agent to trade on her behalf and to receive an agreed upon commission in return. In 595 A.D., Khadija needed an agent to trade in her merchandise going to Syria, and it was then that a number of agents whom she knew before and trusted, as well as some of her own relatives, particularly Abu Talib, suggested to her to employ her distant cousin Muhammad ibn Abdullah (pbuh) who, by then, had earned the honoring titles of al-Sadiq, the truthful, and al-Amin, the trustworthy. Muhammad (pbuh) did not have any practical business experience, but he had twice accompanied his uncle Abu Talib on his trade trips and keenly observed how he traded, bartered, bought and sold and conducted business; after all, the people of Quraysh were famous for their involvement in trade more than in any other profession. It was not uncommon to hire an agent who did not have a prior experience; so, Khadija decided to give Muhammad (pbuh) a chance. He was only 25 years old. Khadija sent Muhammad (pbuh) word through Khazimah ibn Hakim, one of her relatives, offering him twice as much commission as she usually offered her agents to trade on her behalf. She also gave him one of her servants, Maysarah, who was young, brilliant, and talented, to assist him and be his bookkeeper. She also trusted Maysarah’s account regarding her new employee’s conduct, an account which was most glaring, indeed one which encouraged her to abandon her insistence never to marry again.

Before embarking upon his first trip as a businessman representing Khadija, Muhammad (pbuh) met with his uncles for last minute briefings and consultations, then he set out on the desert road passing through Wadi al-Qura, Midian, and Diyar Thamud, places with which he was familiar because of having been there at the age of twelve in the company of his uncle Abu Talib. He continued the lengthy journey till he reached Busra (or Bostra) on the highway to the ancient city of Damascus after about a month. It was then the capital of Hawran, one of the southeastern portions of the province of Damascus situated north of the Balqa’. To scholars of classic literature, Hawran is known by its Greek name Auranitis, and it is described in detail by Yaqut al-Hamawi, Abul-Faraj al-Isfahani, and others. Arab trade caravans used to go there quite often and even beyond it to Damascus and Gaza, and few made it all the way to Mediterranean shores to unload their precious cargoes of Chinese paper and silk textiles bound for Europe.

What items did Muhammad (pbuh) carry with him to Busra, and what items did he buy from there? Meccans were not known to be skilled craftsmen, nor did they excel in any profession besides trade, but young Muhammad (pbuh) might have carried with him a cargo of hides, raisins, perfumes, dried dates, light weight woven items, probably silver bars, and most likely some herbs. He bought what he was instructed by his employer to buy: these items may have included manufactured goods, clothes, a few luxury items to sell to wealthy Meccans, and maybe some household goods. Gold and silver currency accepted in Mecca included Roman, Persian, and Indian coins, for Arabs during those times, including those who were much more sophisticated than the ones among whom Muhammad (pbuh) grew up such as the Arabs of the southern part of Arabia (Yemen, Hadramout, etc.), did not have a currency of their own; so, barter was more common than cash. The first Arab Islamic currency, by the way, was struck in Damascus by the Umayyad ruler Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (697-698 A.D.) in 78 A.H., 36 years after the establishment of the Umayyad dynasty (661-750).

The time Muhammad (pbuh) stayed in Busra was no more than a couple of months during which he met many Christians and Jews and noticed the theological differences among the major Christian sects that led to the disassociation of the Copts, the Syrian (Chaldean) Nestorian, and the Armenian Christians from the main churches of Antioch (Antakiya), Rome, and Egyptian Alexandria. Such dissensions and differences of theological viewpoints provided Muhammad (pbuh) with plenty of food for thought; he contemplated upon them a great deal. He was seen once by Nestor the monk sitting in the shade of a tree as caravans entered the outskirts of Busra, not far from the monk’s small monastery. “Who is the man beneath that tree?” inquired Nestor of Maysarah. “A man of Quraysh,” Maysarah answered, adding, “of the people [the Hashemites] who have guardianship of the Sanctuary.” “None other than a Prophet is sitting beneath that tree,” said Nestor who had observed some of the signs indicative of Prophethood: two angels (or, according to other reports, two small clouds) were shading Muhammad (pbuh) from the oppressive heat of the sun. “Is there a glow, a slight redness, around his eyes that never parts with him?” Nestor asked Maysarah. When the latter answered in the affirmative, Nestor said, “He most surely is the very last Prophet; congratulations to whoever believes in him.”

One of Muhammad’s observations when he was in that Syrian city was the historical fact that a feud was brewing between the Persian and Roman empires, each vying for hegemony over Arabia’s fertile crescent. Indeed, such an observation was quite accurate, for after only a few years, a war broke out between the then mightiest nations on earth that ended with the Romans losing it, as the Holy Qur’an tells us in Chapter 30 (The Romans), which was revealed in 7 A.H./615-16 A.D., only a few months after the fall of Jerusalem to the Persians, just to win in a successive one. Only four years prior to that date, the Persians had scored a sweeping victory over the Christians, spreading their control over Aleppo, Antioch, and even Damascus. Muhammad (pbuh) was concerned about either of these two empires extending its control over the land inhabited by Muhammad’s Pagan fiercely independent Pagan people. The loss of Jerusalem, birthplace of Christ Jesus son of Mary (as), was a heavy blow to the prestige of Christianity. Most Persians were then following Zoroastrianism, a creed introduced in the 6th century before Christ by Zoroaster (628-551 B.C.), also known as Zarathustra, whose adherents are described as worshippers of the “pyre,” the holy fire. “Persia,” hence, meant “the land of the worshippers of the pyre, the sacred fire.” Modern day Iran used to be known as “Aryana,” land of the Aryan nations and tribes. Not only Iranians, but also Kurds, and even Germans, prided in being Aryans, (Caucasian) Nordics or speakers of an Indo-European dialect. Some Persians had converted to Christianity as we know from Salman al-Farisi who was one such adherent till he fell in captivity, sold in Mecca and freed to be one of the most renown and cherished sahabis and narrators of hadith in Islamic history, so much so that the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) said, “Salman is one of us, we Ahl al-Bayt (People of the Household of Prophethood).”

The war referred to above was between the then Byzantine (Eastern Roman) emperor Heraclius (575 – 641 A.D.) and the Persian king Khusrau (Khosrow) Parwiz (Parviz) or Chosroes II (d. 628 A.D.). It was one of many wars in which those mighty nations were embroiled and which continued for many centuries. Yet the hands of Divine Providence were already busy paving the path for Islam: the collision between both empires paved the way for the ultimate destruction of the ancient Persian empire and in Islam setting root in that important part of the world. Moreover, Muhammad’s (and, naturally, Khadija’s) offspring came to marry ladies who were born and raised at Persian as well as Roman palaces. Imam Husain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), Muhammad’s grandson and our Third Holy Imam, married the daughter of the last Persian emperor Jazdagird (Yazdegerd) III son of Shahryar and grandson of this same Khusrau II. Jazdagerd ruled Persia from 632-651 A.D. and lost the Battle of Qadisiyyah to the Muslim forces in 636, thus ending the rule of the Sassanians. Having been defeated, he fled for Media in northwestern Iran, homeland of Persian Mede tribesmen, and from there to Merv, an ancient Central Asian city near modern day Mary in Turkmenistan (until very recently one of the republics of the Soviet Union), where he was killed by a miller. The slain emperor left two daughters who, during their attempt to escape, following the murder of their father, were caught and sold as slaves. One of them, Shah-Zenan, ended up marrying our Third Holy Imam Husain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), whereas her sister married the renown scholar and acclaimed muhaddith (traditionist) Muhammad son of the first Muslim caliph Abu Bakr. Shah-Zenan was awarded a royal treatment and was given a new name in her own Persian mother tongue: Shahr Banu, which means “mistress of the ladies of the city.” The marriage between her and Imam Husain (as) produced our Fourth Holy Imam (Zainul-Abidin, or al-Sajjad) Ali ibn al-Husain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (as).


The profits Khadija reaped from that trip were twice as much as she had anticipated. Maysarah was more fascinated by Muhammad (pbuh) than by anything related to the trip. Muhammad (pbuh), on the other hand, brought back his impressions about what he had seen and heard, impressions which he related to his mistress. You see, those trade caravans were the only links contemporary Arabs had with their outside world: they brought them the news of what was going on beyond their drought-ridden and famine-stricken desert and sand dunes.

Waraqah ibn Nawfal, like Bahirah, the monk who had seen and spoken to Muhammad (pbuh) when Muhammad (pbuh) was a lad, adhered to the Nestorian Christian sect. He heard the accounts about the personality and conduct of young Muhammad (pbuh) from both his cousin Khadija and her servant Maysarah, an account which caused him to meditate for a good while and think about what he had heard. Raising his head, he said to Khadija, “Such manners are fit only for the messengers of God. Who knows? Maybe this young man is destined to be one of them.” This statement was confirmed a few years later, and Waraqah was the very first man who identified Muhammad (pbuh) as the Messenger of Allah immediately after Muhammad (pbuh) received the first revelation at Hira cave.

The trip’s measure of success encouraged Khadija to employ Muhammad (pbuh) again on the winter trip to southern Arabia, i.e. Yemen, the land that introduced the coffee beans to the rest of the world, the land where the renown Ma’rib irrigation dam was engineered, the land of Saba’ and the renown Balqees, the Arabian Queen of Sheba (Saba’) of Himyar, who married King Solomon (Sulayman the wise, peace be upon him), in 975 B.C. (after the completion of the construction of the famous Solomon’s Temple.he land of natives skilled in gold, silver and other metal handicrafts, not to mention their ingenuity in the textile industry and domestic furniture…, and it may even be the land that gave Arabic its first written script which, as some believe, was modelled after written Amheric, then the official language in Ethiopia and its colonies. Yemen, at that time, was being ruled by an Ethiopian regent. This time Khadija offered Muhammad (pbuh) three times the usual commission. Unfortunately, historians do not tell us much about this second trip except that it was equally profitable to both employer and employee. Some historians do not mention this trip at all.


By the time he was gone, Khadija sought the advice of a friend of hers named Nufaysa daughter of Umayyah. The latter offered to approach him on her behalf and, if possible, arrange a marriage between them. Nufaysa came to Muhammad (pbuh) and asked him why he had not married yet. “I have no means to marry,” he answered. “But if you were given the means,” she said, “and if you were bidden to an alliance where there is beauty and wealth and nobility and abundance, would you not then consent?” “Who is she?!” he excitedly inquired. “Khadija,” said Nufaysa. “And how could such a marriage be mine?!” he asked. “Leave that to me!” was her answer. “For my part,” he said, “I am willing.” Nufaysa returned with these glad tidings to Khadija who then sent word to Muhammad (pbuh) asking him to come to her. When he came, she said to him: 

O son of my uncle! I love you for your kinship with me, and for that you are ever in the center, not being a partisan among the people for this or for that. And I love you for your trustworthiness, and for the beauty of your character and the truth of your speech.

Then she offered herself in marriage to him, and they agreed that he should speak to his uncles and she would speak to her uncle `Amr son of Asad, since her father had died. It was Hamzah, despite being relatively young, whom the Hashemites delegated to represent them on this marriage occasion, since he was most closely related to them through the clan of Asad; his sister Safiyya had just married Khadija’s brother `Awwam. It was Abu Talib, Muhammad’s uncle, who delivered the marriage sermon saying,

All praise is due to Allah Who has made us the progeny of Ibrahim (Abraham), the seed of Isma`eel (Ishmael), the descendants of Ma`ad, the substance of Mudar, and Who made us the custodians of His House and the servants of its sacred precincts, making for us a House sought for pilgrimage and a shrine of security, and He also gave us authority over the people. This nephew of mine Muhammad (pbuh) cannot be compared with any other man: if you compare his wealth with that of others, you will not find him a man of wealth, for wealth is a vanishing shadow and a fickle thing. Muhammad (pbuh) is a man whose lineage you all know, and he has sought Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid for marriage, offering her such-and-such of the dower of my own wealth.

Nawfal then stood and said,

All praise is due to Allah Who has made us just as you have mentioned and preferred us over those whom you have indicated, for we, indeed, are the masters of Arabs and their leaders, and you all are worthy of this (bond of marriage). The tribe (Quraysh) does not deny any of your merits, nor does anyone else dispute your lofty status and prestige. And we, furthermore, wish to be joined to your rope; so, bear witness to my words, O people of Quraysh! I have given Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah for the dower of four hundred dinars.

Then Nawfal paused, whereupon Abu Talib said to him, “I wished her uncle had joined you (in making this statement).” Hearing that, Khadija’s uncle stood and said, “Bear witness, O men of Quraysh, that I have given Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah.”


These details and more are recorded in Ibn Hisham’s Seera. After his marriage, Muhammad (pbuh) moved from his uncle’s house to live with his wife in her house which stood at the smiths’ market, an alley branching out of metropolitan Mecca’s long main bazaar, behind the mas`a, the place where the pilgrims perform the seven circles during the hajj or `umra. In that house Fatima (as) was born and the revelation descended upon the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) many times. This house, as well as the one in which the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) was born (which stood approximately 50 meters northwards), were both demolished by the ignorant and fanatical Wahhabi rulers of Saudi Arabia last year (1413 A.H./1993 A.D.) and turned into public bathrooms. The grave sites of many family members and companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) were all demolished by the same Wahhabis in 1343 A.H./1924 A.D. against the wish and despite the denunciation of the adherents of all other Muslim sects and schools of thought world-wide.


The marriage was a very happy one, and it produced a lady who was one of the four perfect women in all the history of mankind: Fatima daughter of Muhammad (pbuh). Before her, Qasim and Abdullah were born, but they both died at infancy.

Khadija’s period of happiness lasted no more than 15 years after which her husband, now the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), started his mission to invite people to the Oneness of God, to equality between men and women, and to an end to the evils of the day. Muhammad (pbuh) was forty years old when the first verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed to him. They were the first verses of Surat al-Alaq (chapter 96), and they were revealed during the month of Ramadan 13 years before the Hijra, at the cave of Hira in Jabal al-Noor (the mountain of light), his favorite place for isolation and meditation, a place which is now visited by many pilgrims. Muhammad (pbuh) went back home heavy-hearted, profoundly perplexed, deeply impressed by the sight of arch-angel Gabriel and by the depth of meaning implied in those beautiful words:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Proclaim (or read)! In the Name of your Lord and Cherisher who created (everything). (He) created man of a (mere) clot of congealed blood. Proclaim! And your Lord is the Most Bountiful Who taught (the use of) the pen, Who taught man that which he knew not… (Qur’an, 96:1-5)

He felt feverish, so he asked to be wrapped and, once he felt better, he narrated what he had seen and heard to his faithful and supportive wife. “By Allah,” Khadija said, “Allah shall never subject you to any indignity…, for you always maintain your ties with those of your kin, and you are always generous in giving; you are diligent, and you seek what others regard as unattainable; you cool the eyes of your guest, and you lend your support to those who seek justice and redress. Stay firm, O cousin, for by Allah I know that He will not deal with you except most beautifully, and I testify that you are the awaited Prophet in this nation, and your time, if Allah wills, has come.” After a short while, Khadija told her husband about the prediction of the Syrian monk Buhayra regarding Muhammad’s Prophethood, and about her dialogue with both her servant Maysarah, who had informed her of what Bahirah (or Buhayrah) had said, and with her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal. She then accompanied her husband to Waraqah’s house to narrate the whole incident. “Let me hear it in your own words,” Nawfal said to Muhammad (pbuh), adding, “O noble master!” Having heard the Prophet’s words, Nawfal took his time to select his words very carefully; he said, “By Allah, this is the prediction which had been conveyed to Moses (as) and with which the Children of Israel are familiar! [Moses] had said: `O how I wish I could be present when Muhammad (pbuh) is delegated with Prophethood to support his mission and to assist him!'”


t was only natural for Khadija to receive her share of the harassment meted to him by none other than those who, not long ago, used to call him al-Sadiq, al-Amin. Khadija did not hesitate to embrace Islam at all, knowing that her husband could not have put forth any false claim.


It was only natural for Khadija to receive her share of the harassment meted to him by none other than those who, not long ago, used to call him al-Sadiq, al-Amin. Khadija did not hesitate to embrace Islam at all, knowing that her husband could not have put forth any false claim. Yahya ibn `Afeef is quoted saying that he once came, during the period of jahiliyya (before the advent of Islam), to Mecca to be hosted by al-Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, one of the Prophet’s uncles mentioned above. “When the sun started rising,” says he, “I saw a man who came out of a place not far from us, faced the Ka`ba and started performing his prayers. He hardly started before being joined by a young boy who stood on his right side, then by a woman who stood behind them. When he bowed down, the young boy and the woman bowed, and when he stood up straight, they, too, did likewise. When he prostrated, they, too, prostrated.” Then he expressed his amazement at that, saying to al-Abbas: “This is quite strange, O Abbas!” “Is it, really?” retorted al-Abbas. “Do you know who he is?” al-Abbas asked his guest who answered in the negative. “He is Muhammad ibn Abdullah, my nephew. Do you know who the young boy is?” asked he again. “No, indeed,” answered the guest. “He is Ali son of Abu Talib. Do you know who the woman is?” The answer came again in the negative, to which al-Abbas said, “She is Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid, my nephew’s wife.” This incident is included in the books of both Imam Ahmad and al-Tirmithi, each detailing it in his own Sahih. And she bore patiently in the face of persecution to which her revered husband and his small band of believers were exposed at the hands of the polytheists and aristocrats of Quraysh, sacrificing her vast wealth to promote Islam, seeking Allah’s Pleasure.


Among Khadija’s merits was her being one of the four most perfect of all women of mankind, the other three being: Fatima daughter of Muhammad (pbuh), Maryam bint `Umran (Mary daughter of Amram), mother of Christ (as) and niece of prophet Zakariyya and Ishba (Elizabeth), and `Asiya daughter of Muzahim, wife of Pharaoh. Prophet Zakariyya, as the reader knows, was the father of Yahya (John the Baptist), the latter being only a few months older than prophet Jesus (as). The Prophet of Islam (pbuh) used to talk about Khadija quite often after her demise, so much so that his youngest wife, `Ayesha daughter of Abu Bakr, felt extremely jealous and said to him, “… But she was only an old woman with red eyes, and Allah has compensated you with a better and younger wife (meaning herself).” This caused him (pbuh) to be very indignant, and he said, “No, indeed; He has not compensated me with someone better than her. She believed in me when all others disbelieved; she held me truthful when others called me a liar; she sheltered me when others abandoned me; she comforted me when others shunned me; and Allah granted me children by her while depriving me of children by other women.” Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Hatim, al-Dulabi, al-Tabari, and many others, all quote `Ayesha saying: “One day, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) mentioned Khadija affectionately, so I was carried away by jealousy and said about her what I should not have said. It was then that his face changed color in a way I never saw it change except when he (pbuh) was receiving revelation, so I realized what I had done and felt overwhelmed by regret to the extent that I could not help uttering these words: `O Lord! If You remove the anger of Your Messenger right now, I pledge not to ever speak ill of her as long as I live.’ Having seen that, he forgave me and narrated to me some of her merits.” Both Muslim and Bukhari indicate in their respective Sahih books that among Khadija’s merits was the fact that the Lord of Dignity ordered Jibraeel (Gabriel), peace be upon him, to convey His regards to her. Gabriel said to Muhammad (pbuh): “O Muhammad! Khadija is bringing you a bowl of food; when she comes to you, tell her that her Lord greets her, and convey my greeting, too, to her.” When he (pbuh) did so, she said: “Allah is the Peace, and He is the source of all peace, and upon Gabriel be peace.” Khadija died of an attack of fever on the tenth or eleventh day of the month of Ramadan, ten years after the start of the Prophetic mission (in the year 619 A.D.), 24 years after her marriage with Muhammad (pbuh), and she was buried at Hajun in the outskirts of Mecca. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) dug her grave and buried her… Funeral prayers (salat al janaza) had not yet been mandated in Islam. It is reported that by the time she died, her entire wealth had already been spent to promote Islam; she left not a single gold dinar nor a single silver dirham, nor anything more or less…

O soul that are at rest! Return to your Lord,
well-pleased (with Him),well-pleasing (Him),
so enter among My servants, and enter into My garden.
(Qur’an, 89:27-30)

Holy Prophet in his Youth

Holy Prophet in his Youth

From this discussion we can hopefully know and follow the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) better than before.

1- Prophet (S.A.W.) in his childhood

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was breastfed by his mother Amena (A.S.) in the first three (or seven according to some historians) days after his birth. Afterwards, as a famous Arabian tradition, a nurse was chosen to breastfeed and take care of him outside the city in desert of Arabia. There were a number of reasons for this tradition: First, children would grow stronger and healthier in desert. Second, since those who lived in deserts had far less communication with foreign people, children could learn the Arabic language purely and without foreign accents. Third, children would be protected from deadly diseases that prevailed within the cities.

Historians believe that the Prophet (S.A.W.) had two nurses:

1. Thuwaybah Aslamiah: To the end of her life, she gained very high respect from the Prophet (S.A.W.) and his wife Khadijah (A.S.)because of nursing and breastfeeding the Prophet (S.A.W.). The Prophet (S.A.W.) was greatly grieved by her demise.

2. Halimah Sa’diah: The daughter of Dhu’ayyab, along with one of her three daughters took care and nursed the Prophet (S.A.W.). The story that she was selected as the nurse of the Prophet (S.A.W.) is briefly mentioned as follows.

Four months after the birth of the Prophet (S.A.W.), all the nurses of Bani Asad tribe came to Mecca to breastfeed the Prophet (S.A.W.). The Prophet (S.A.W.) drank the milk of none but Halimah; thus she became the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) nurse.

Halimah explains that with the entrance of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), blessings showered her life such that their property and herd increased daily. Although drought had spread throughout the deserts and cities, Halimah’s sheep were healthy and full of milk. Their shriveled trees prospered and grew back green leaves. The camels regained their milk. Furthermore, a number of ill people who came to their house were cured because of the presence of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) stayed with the Bani Asad tribe for five or six years till he grew up. During this period, Halimah took him to visit his mother, Amena (A.S.), three times and the last time she did not take him back.

It has been narrated that when the Prophet (S.A.W.) and Khadijah (A.S.)got married, Halimah came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and complained about the drought. The Prophet (S.A.W.) gave her some sheep and camels and she returned to her family. After the appointment of the Prophet (S.A.W.), Halimah and her husband came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and converted to Islam.

2- The adolescence period

When Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) reached the age of six, his mother took him to Yathrib (present day “Medina”) so he could visit his relatives and his father’s grave. They stayed there for one month.

Upon their return to Mecca, Lady Amena (A.S.)passed away. After her demise Abd al-Muttalib (PBUH), the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) grandfather and the master of Quraish who had the glory of the kings and the majesty of the prophets, took the responsibility of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). It has been said that there was always a carpet placed near the Kaaba for Abd al-Muttalib (PBUH). No one else dared to sit on the carpet in respect of Abd al-Muttalib (PBUH), however when the little Muhammad (S.A.W.) joined their gatherings, Abd al-Muttalib (A.S.)would place him on the carpet next to himself and would say: “I swear by Allah that he has a high rank. I seem to view a day where he will become your master.”
When the Prophet (S.A.W.) became eight years old, Abd al-Muttalib (A.S.)passed away as well. This incident made the Prophet (S.A.W.) very sad.

After that Abu Talib (PBUH), the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) great uncle and the master of Quraish, accepted to look after him. He, like his father, Abd al-Muttalib (PBUH), looked after Muhammad (S.A.W.) carefully. Although Abu Talib (A.S.)was not rich, he and his honorable wife Fatimah bint Asad (the mother of Imam Ali (PBUH)), tried their best in looking after Muhammad (S.A.W.).

His presence in his uncle’s house was not ordinary. Signs of his greatness could be seen everywhere. His entrance to their house brought bountiful blessings to the house of Abu Talib (PBUH). Lady Fatimah the daughter of Asad has said, “From the moment that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) entered our home, the tree, which had dried up for years, prospered and offered fruits.”

Abu Talib narrates that they would hear Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) praying at nights. Though it was against the custom of Arabs to remember Allah (SWT) while eating, the little Muhammad (S.A.W.) would not start eating or drinking unless reciting the name of Allah (SWT). He would also end his meal by thanking Allah (SWT), the exalted.

2.1 The travel to Shaam

Quraish’s businessmen used to go to Shaam and Yemen every year. Abu Talib used to go with them from time to time. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) attended one of these trips to Shaam with his uncle when he was 12 years old.

Abu Talib was the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) guardian after the demise of Abd al-Muttalib (PBUH). In the trip, their caravan rested in the city of “Basri”.

A great Christian monk named Bohayra had been living in Basri for many years. Unlike every year, Bohayra came out of his monastery and invited the passing caravan for a meal. While the others were having their meal, Bohayra seemed to be seeking something. Finally, he found what he was looking for in the young Muhammad (S.A.W.). Bohayra was carefully watching his actions and behaviors. After everyone finished their food, Bohayra came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and asked him couple of questions from his past and other issues. Then he looked upon the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) shoulder and found a speckle like he had expected (which later became known as the seal of Prophethood). Bohayra told Abu Talib that this young man would become a great person. He also made a suggestion to Abu Talib (A.S.)to return Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) back to his hometown in order to be safe from the Jews.

3- The adulthood period

3.1 The youth agreement

Another important aspect of Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.) life before his appointment to prophecy was his enrollment in “the youth agreement.”

All tribes in Mecca were related to each other, thus they created treaties between each other to insure the security from attacks. However, for a stranger this was not the case. There was no one to protect a stranger if he had been oppressed.

A man came to Mecca from another town to do some business. Aas Ibn Wa’el, a citizen of Mecca, purchased the man’s materials and didn’t pay anything in return. The man went to the tribe of Quraish and asked for help, but no one helped him. As a result of this event a group of youth from Quraish gathered and agreed to stop any oppression on strangers. They named the agreement as “Helf al-Fodul”. Being one of the main members of establishing this agreement, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) joined the agreement. Later on he regarded it as an excellent event.

3.2 Lady Khadijah (PBUH)

Before discussing Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.) marriage with Lady Khadijah (PBUH), let us briefly discuss her character.

She is the first woman who accepted the invitation of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and converted to Islam.

According to most historians, she was 68 when Prophet (S.A.W.) moved from Mecca to Medina. Her father was Khuwaylid Ibn Asad and her mother was Fatimah bint Za’idah. Lady Khadijah (A.S.)was related to the Prophet (S.A.W.) from her mother’s side.

Some of the researchers have said that Fatimah al-Zahra (A.S.)was her only child; however, most scholars say that she had other children as well.

Lady Khadijah (A.S.)was known as a clever person and she had great morality. Moreover, at that time, it was common amongst Arabs to disrespect women and kill their daughters. In such a period however, Lady Khadijah (A.S.)was famous for titles such as “the pious” or “the Lady of the women of Quraish”.

She was one of the richest merchants of Quraish. She used to lend some goods to other merchants who went to other cities such as Yemen and on their return they would share the profit of that business. Although most great merchants of Quraish were willing to marry Lady Khadijah (PBUH), she chose to marry Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) who was financially in a lower class. After marriage, she devoted all her wealth in spreading Islam. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “Khadijah’s wealth was the most useful wealth I ever had.” In the 6th year after Prophet’s appointment, when Muslims were surrounded in an area called “She’eb Abu Talib”, Lady Khadijah (A.S.)used her wealth and power among Quraish to help surrounded Muslims. She spent all of her wealth for Muslims to the extent that before her demise, she had nothing left.

She was one of the greatest women of the world and her rank is as high as the great Mary (PBUH), mother of Prophet Jesus (PBUH). Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) says about her: “Four greatest women of the world are: Khadijah daughter Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Mary bint Emran and Asyeh bint Masher, the wife of Pharaoh.”

It has been narrated several times that, Gabriel, the angle of revelation, inspired to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and brought Allah’s (SWT) salute for Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and Lady Khadijah (PBUH). This inspiration indicates the great rank of Lady Khadijah (PBUH), because –according to the Holy Quran– Allah (SWT) salutes to his Prophets (PBUT).

Gabriel said: “O Muhammad! Salute to Khadijah from Allah”. Prophet told Khadijah (PBUH): “This is Gabriel who has brought Allah’s salute and peace for you. Khadijah (A.S.)replied: “Allah is all peace; peace is from Allah and my salute to Gabriel.”

Lady Khadijah (A.S.)had a great value in the eyes of the Prophet (S.A.W.) to the extent that he did not marry a second woman while she was alive. The year that she passed away, was coincident with the demise of Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib (PBUH). As a result that year was called “the year of sadness.” After her demise, the Prophet (S.A.W.) regarded her many times as a great woman.

Aisha, one of the Prophet’s wives, narrates: “The Prophet never left our house unless he reminded well of Khadijah.” Aisha also narrates: “Whenever, Prophet Muhammad slaughtered a lamb he would say: ‘Send this to friends of Khadijah.’ Once I asked for the reason of this action and he replied: ‘I like friends of Khadijah as well.”

Considering her high position, it might be easier to realize why she gained the glory of being the Prophet’s wife and the honor of being mother of Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH), the Lady of all women of the worlds.

3.3 Prophet’s marriage (S.A.W.) with Lady Khadijah (PBUH)

As mentioned in the previous part, Lady Khadijah (A.S.)was one of the wealthiest merchants of Quraish. She dispatched some men to different cities to trade; afterwards, she would get her share from the profit of their business.

When Lady Khadijah (A.S.)was informed of Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.) truthfulness, moral virtues, and his trustworthiness (as he was well-known for), she offered him to go to Syria for trade. She also gave him a larger share than the rest men.

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) accepted this offer and left for Syria; he was being accompanied with Meysara, Lady Khadijah’s (A.S.)special servant.

When they arrived in Syria, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) came down in the shadow of a tree near a monastery. A monk asked Meysara: “Who is the man under that tree?” Meysara replied:” He is of Quraish tribe and from Mecca.” The monk said: “I swear to Allah that he is no one except a Prophet.”

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) sold what he had brought; he bought some other material and then returned to Mecca. In this journey, all businessmen made profit, especially Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) who made more than others. Once they returned, Lady Khadijah (A.S.) asked Meysara about Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.); he said that whatever he did was orderly, logical and wise. He also narrated the happenings throughout the journey and said: “When one of the traders asked him to swear to Laat and Ozza, the two famous idols in Mecca, he refused to do that and said: ‘To me, nothing is inferior to Lat and Ozza.'”

Once Lady Khadijah (A.S.) became aware of these incidents, she sent a messenger to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) to express her proposal for marriage. She wanted to marry him because of his dignity amongst family, truthfulness, moral virtues, and trustworthiness.

Once Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was informed of this issue, he sent his uncles to house of Lady Khadijah (A.S.) to propose for her hand in marriage. In the proposal session, Abu Talib, the Prophet’s uncle, praised Allah (SWT) and then spoke of the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). He proposed marriage on behalf of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) to Lady Khadijah (PBUH). Lady Khadijah (A.S.) accepted the proposal and got married to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). At that time, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was twenty-five years old, and according to some narrators Lady Khadijah (A.S.) was 40. Other narrators, however, record that Lady Khadijah (A.S.) was younger.

3.4 Putting Hajar al-Aswad in its place

Another important event that occurred before the Prophet’s mission was the replacement of Hajar al-Aswad in its place. It has been recorded in history that even before Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.) appointment the house of Allah (SWT) (Kaaba) was greatly revered by the Arabs. The Prophet (S.A.W.) and some of his ancestors used to do rituals around the Kaaba.

One year, there was a flood in Mecca which destroyed the walls of Kaaba. Quraish, who took the control over this house, decided to repair it. Once they built the walls, a serious dispute raised amongst them, which was going to cause a bloody war. Each tribe wanted the honor of putting the sacred stone of Hajar al-Aswad in its place. Finally an old man who was highly respected by the Quraish tribe suggested that the first man, who entered the mosque area, should become the judge between them. Everyone accepted this suggestion. Meanwhile, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) entered the mosque and the great men of Quraish accepted that he should be the judge.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) commanded them to widen a peace of cloth on the ground. Then he put Hajar al-Aswad on it and called the head of every tribe to take one corner of the cloth.

When they picked up the cloth by the wall, the Prophet (S.A.W.) took the stone and put it in its place. With this wise judgment he put an end to the probable bloody war.

This event shows us that although he was only 35 years old by that time, the Prophet (S.A.W.) was greatly honored by the Quraish and they all agreed on the honesty and trustworthiness of him.

4- The moral characteristics of the Prophet (S.A.W.)

By looking at the life of the great men and their spiritual characteristics, we may know them and their distinguishing characteristics better. The study of different stages of Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.) life could give us a chance to know more about his moral characteristics and also may help us to follow his path as an ideal human.

It should be noted that what we say here is a little part of his moral characteristics and we will consider this case more deeply in an article titled as: “Moral Characteristics of the Prophet (S.A.W.)”.

In short, his forty-year life period before the appointment was associated with chastity and honesty, trustworthiness and rightness, doing good with the poor and the lower, hatred towards the immoralities within the society along with its custom of idol worshiping. His high moralities and generosity in his behaviors gained the praise of all, to the extent that Allah (SWT) praised him in the Holy Quran for his high moralities. The Prophet (S.A.W.) was nicknamed as “the trustworthy” from the beginning of his youth, thus people trusted him to watch over their properties.
Mostly everyone was against his mission as the Prophet (S.A.W.), but no one doubted in his trustworthiness and thus he continued to secure their properties. Despite the enmity that existed toward him in the city, no one doubted his honesty. Therefore when he decided to migrate from Mecca to Medina, he appointed Imam Ali (A.S.)to pay the debts and to return the properties to their owners.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) never accompanied the people of Mecca in their wining, dining, and unethical nightly parties. Due to the great suffer he endured in that society, he would head towards the cave of Heraa to worship Allah (SWT) for long periods. (You may refer to the article of “The Appointment of the Prophet (S.A.W.)” for more information).

He always named Allah (SWT) before eating, and never ate meat that was not properly slaughtered. Like other prophets, he spent part of his youth as a shepherd. Being a shepherd had great impact on the prophets. It allowed them to separate themselves from the bad deeds of the society; it taught them to endure the difficulties, and it increased their faith in Allah (SWT) as they saw the power of Allah (SWT) and the order He has arranged for nature.

As noted in the section “The Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W.) Marriage”, the Prophet (S.A.W.) spent part of his youth doing trade. It was his high moral characteristics that attracted Lady Khadijah (A.S.)towards himself and eventually led to their marriage.

Hajoon tomb in Mecca. Abu Talib was born 35 years before holy prophet (SW)’s birth in Mecca. He was born in a conspicuous and pious family. His father was Abdul Motalib, holy prophet (SW)’s grand father. He was married to Fatima binte Asad and was an uncle of the Islamic Prophet, Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW). He had four sons and two daughters. His real name was Imran but he is better known as Abu Talib because he had a son named Talib. Talib was his the oldest son. His second son was Aqil and third of them was Ja’far who was called as Ja’far Tayyar. And his the youngest son was Hazrat-e Ali (AS). His older daughter was Fakhteh and his younger daughter was Asma. All of his children were from Fatima binte Asad. He was a son of Shaiba ibn Hashim and Fatimah binte Amr, thus a full brother of Muhammad’s father ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, who had died before Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW)’s birth. Abu Talib took care of Muhammad after the death of Shaiba ibn Hashim, Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW)’s grandfather and Abu Talib’s father, when Muhammad was 8 years old. Abu Talib also protected Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW) against other sub-clans of Banu Quraish, who were the enemies of the Islamic Prophet Mohammad (SW). When Muhammad was a child, Abu Talib was head of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe. Once Muhammad got older, he took responsibility for Abu Talib’s son Ali ibn Abu Talib. Abu Talib had a trading caravan business with Syria. In one of his trip, he took Hazrat-e Mohammad (SW) along with himself. During this trip, a monk by the name of Boheyra, brought good news about Hazrat-e Mohammad (SW)’s prophecy.After Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW) began preaching the message of Islam, increasingly more members of the Quraish tribe came to feel threatened by Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW). In attempts to quiet him, they would lean on Abu Talib to silence his nephew or control him. Despite these pressures, Abu Talib did nothing but support Hazrat-e Muhammad (SW) and defended him from the other heads of the Quraish. Abu Talib died in 10th year of Be’sat, at around the same time as Muhammad’s beloved wife Khadijah, leading to an immensely sad time for him. When he passed away, number of Moslems was less than 50 and by his death, they had lost their best supporter.  This year was known as the saddest year of the life of the prophet, the Year of Sorrow. His body was buried in Hajoon tomb in Mecca. This place is known as Abu Talib Cemetry.

The Needy and the Rich

The Needy and the Rich

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Prophet Muhammad (S), the Messenger of Allah, was sitting in his house as usual. His companions and friends were sitting around him in such a way that it seemed there was a bezel (Precious stone) in the centre of the ring. At this moment, a poor Muslim, dressed in rags entered the audience of the Prophet (S) keeping in view, the Islamic traditions – in the light of which everyone is considered equal – and as per the etiquette of the session, the newcomer should sit in the vacant place he finds; and he should not think that such and such a place was not suitable according to his status and prestige. Therefore, that poor man started searching for a vacant place.

He looked in all the four directions and then found a vacant place in a corner. So, with perfect silence, he sat at that place. Incidentally, a rich man was already sitting next to him. Seeing this poor Muslim sitting next to him, the rich man pulled his costly clothes and shifted aside. The Messenger (S) of Allah was keenly observing all this.

Seeing this behaviour of the rich man, the Prophet (S) of Islam said to him: “Were you afraid that his poverty and pauperism would cast its shadow on you?”
v “No, O Messenger of Allah! No!”

“Then what was the reason that on seeing this poor man, you shifted aside?” (asked Muhammad (S)).

“O Messenger (S) of Allah! I committed a mistake and I accept my mistake. I am ready to pay a ka f f arah (fine or expiation) for this sin of mine. And in the form of kaffarah, I want to give one-half of my wealth to this poor and needy brother of mine.”

Hearing the remarks of the rich man, the poor man said: “But I am not at all ready to accept this wealth.”

All the people sitting in the audience of the Messenger (SA) of Allah, enquired: “Why after all?!”

(The poor man replied:) “I am afraid that the abundance of the wealth might not make me also so proud that I too start behaving with my poor Muslim brothers in the similar manner as this fellow did with me.”


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The Prophet, an ‘Ummi’

One of the specific challenges in the Qur’an to prove its miraculous nature is the position of the recipient of the revelation, prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
In one of the verses, Allah commands the prophet to say to his people that before the revelation, he lived a lifetime among them. During this time, he had not received any formal education; nor did he write even a single line of poetry or read anything. Muhammad was an orphan and a poor shepherd behind those mountains where he was commissioned by Allah to spread the message of Islam.
Say: If Allah had desired (otherwise) I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have taught it to you; indeed I have lived a lifetime among you before it; do you not then understand? (10:16)
What is the meaning of the statement, “The Prophet was an Ummi”?
Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel… (7:157)
Allamah Tabataba’I in his tafseer al-Mizan (English volume 1) says the word “Ummi” is related to the word al-Umm (= mother) probably because the mother is so much in love with her child that she does not entrust the child to any outside teacher other than herself. In the same way, Allah loves His Messenger so much so that He teaches him rather than allowing his mind to be touched by a human teacher! Hence we say that the Prophet was like a flower nourished by the Eternal Gardner.
Some people say that the word “Ummi” means the inhabitant (one of the illiterates) of Mecca like in the term ‘al umm al-Qura’. However, most exegetes and scholars agree that the word “Ummi” when used for the Prophet in the Qur’an means “unschooled” or “unlettered” but not “illiterate” and has a special relation to the miraculous nature of the Qur’an.

Did the Prophet read or write anything before the revelation?
And you did not recite before it any book, nor did you transcribe one with your right hand, for then could those who say untrue things have doubted. (29:48)
This verse clearly proves that the Prophet did not read or write anything before the Qur’an. Does it mean therefore that the Prophet could not read or write anything? We all know that reading and writing are some of the tools used to acquire and share knowledge. Since Allah has given the Prophet the required knowledge, therefore there is no need of such tools because the knowledge is already had. This kind of knowledge is called “intuitive knowledge” and has to include the ability to read and write if needed.

Did the Prophet read or write anything during the revelation?
The opinions among the scholars and exegetes are mixed regarding this issue. However, even those who say that the Prophet did write during the prophetic call, unanimously agree that it was very little that the prophet wrote for example the writing and signing of treaties, etc. Those who say that the Prophet did not read or write anything during this period do not imply that he could not read or write.

The position that the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an Ummi – in the sense that he did not read or write anything during his lifetime, is one of the proofs that the Qur’an is indeed the word of God and a living miracle. When the Qur’an was revealed, the giants of literature were reduced to pygmies and the experts in poetry were tongue-tied. However, one should not misconstrue the word Ummi to mean “illiterate” because the prophet had intuitive knowledge and his teacher was the Almighty God Himself.