At the beginning of the fourth year of the prophetic mission, the polytheists, having realized the futility of previous attempts to stifle that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) called to, decided to organize a full-scale campaign against Muslims. Following some lengthy deliberations, they reached a decisive decision to take measures deemed to stop the ‘tidal wave’ of Islam through different means. They were determined to spare no effort, in combating the ‘new faith’.
Umm Habeebah Umm Habeebah was the Muslim daughter of Islam’s archenemy, Abu Sufyan. Umm Habeebah was one of the early coverts to Islam in Mecca. She had migrated with her husband to Abyssinia who converted to Christianity over there. On his death, the Prophet sent a proposal to her while she was still in Abyssinia. She returned to Medina three years before the death of the Prophet.
The wives of Prophet Muhammad, may God praise him, hold a special place in Islamic piety. The Quran calls them “Mothers of the Faithful” (Quran 33:6). They were his wives in this life and shall be in the life to come. They were young and old, widows and virgins, poor and wealthy, aristocrats and freed slaves. Each one played their specific role in forming the history of Islam. Khadeejah Prophet Muhammad married her when he was twenty-five, while she had reached the age of forty. She was a widow, twice married. He was at the peak of his youth.
Although Abu Sufyan was to eventually embrace Islam, for most of his career during the life of the Prophet r, he was bitterly opposed to it. He was the leader of the Umayyad clan of the Quraysh tribe and was the chieftain of the entire Quraysh tribe, making him one of the most powerful men in Makkah during the lifetime of Muhammad r. His great-grand father was Abdul Shams ibn Abd al-Manaf, whose brother was Hashim, the great-grandfather of the Prophet r, so there was a distant cousin relationship between them.
Description: A look at the physical and moral characteristics of the Prophet of God, Muhammad r.
“I began to look at him and at the moon, he was wearing a red mantle, and he appeared to be more beautiful than the moon to me.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
This is how Jabir ibn Samurah t described the Last of the Prophets, the Chief of the Pious, the Prince of the Believers, the Chosen One of the Most Merciful – Muhammad r, the Messenger of God.
When Muhammad was twenty-five years old he married for the first time. His wife, Khadijah, was fifteen years older than him. She remained the only wife of the prophet for the next twenty-five years, until she died (may Allah be pleased with her).
By Jeremy Boulter
(part 3 of 3): Heraclius Invites His Subjects
Description: The acknowledgement that Muhammad was a prophet, the invitation made by Heraclius to his subjects, and their reaction to it. A discussion of some legends concerning how the letter was handed down as an heirloom.
The Public Reading of the Letter
After Heraclius had confirmed that he believed Muhammad to be a prophet, he said:
By Jeremy Boulter
(part 1 of 3): An Introduction
Description: The background and context in which the letter was written, the message it contained and how it was received.