Prophecies about the advent of Muhammad (peace be upon him)
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلوة والسلام على نبينا محمد وعلى اله واصحابه اجمعين
It was a common practice amongst the Arabs to send their infants to the rural areas to be nurtured by foster mothers. The intent behind this practice was to enable to make them courageous, hardworking and strong. Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be on him) was no exception. He was entrusted to the care of his foster mother Haleema As-Sa’diya (May Allah be pleased with her). When Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be on him) was four years old, a strange event took place while he was playing with his foster brothers. Some angels descended to him and split his chest open, took out his heart and washed it with water from Paradise. His foster brothers ran to their mother to inform her about the incident, but by the time she reached the spot, the angels had already departed. However, Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be on him) narrated the whole incident to her. This incident took place twice in the life of the prophet, once in childhood which is mentioned above and the other during Al-Israa Wal-Mi’raaj (ascension to the heavens to meet Allah). The wisdom differed in each case. The wisdom behind this incident taking place in his childhood is as follows:
- To grant him firmness and strength to handle his pre-prophethood period. A time when there existed all sorts of evils such as polytheism, bloodshed, etc.
- To ensure that the prophet had a clean and pure life before his prophethood, so that it would be easy for him to preach the people about Islam.
Allah mentions about this in the glorious Quran (10:16):
The meaning of which can be translated as : Say (O Muhammad ): "If Allah had so willed, I should not have recited it to You nor would He have made it known to you. Verily, I have stayed amongst You a life time before this. Have You Then no sense?"
History bears witness to the fact that the prophet was free from all kinds of evil and sin even before attaining prophethood. He was amongst the foremost to aid anything that leads to virtue, justice and peace.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: There is no one among you but he has with him a constant companion (qareen) from among the jinn and a constant companion from among the angels. They said, You too, O Messenger of Allah? He said, Me too, but Allah has helped me against him (the devil-companion) and he has become Muslim. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I used to see the mark of that stitching on his chest. The above narrations confirm the incident of the splitting of the chest through the divine channel of Wahy (Revelation).
From the above narrations, we learn that the character of a Daee must be exemplary and outstanding. The better the character of the Daee, better is the impact of his Dawah. Our prophet (Peace and Blessings be on him) was the highest in character and at the same time, he was the best daee. The Quran praises and bears witness to his exalted character in Surah Al-Qalam (Chapter 68: Verse 4). It is a well-observed fact that a Daee who does not give due attention to improving his character often brings more injury than benefit to the image of Islam.
When the prophet was 6 years old, his mother passed away. When he was 8, his grandfather too passed away, leaving him to the care of his uncle, Abu Taalib. As soon as he came under the guardianship of his uncle, he started to shepherd a flock of sheep. The first profession of Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings be on him) was shepherding. Prophet (Peace and Blessings be on him) said Allah has not sent a prophet that was not a shepherd.
Every Prophet has been a shepherd, It’s striking that Allah has trained all of His Prophets (Peace be on them all) by going through this line of work, being a shepherd. By choosing this profession for all his prophets, Allah intended to teach them the most important traits and qualities any leader should have before taking charge, viz. responsibility, patience, care, farsightedness and tolerance.
The prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be on him), at the age of 12, accompanied his uncle Abu Taalib during a business trip to Syria. On his way, Buhaira, a jewish monk identified the prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be on him) as the awaited prophet. He advised Abu Taalib to send back Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be on him) to Makkah, due to the danger for his life at the hands of the Jews who would become jealous of his lineage through Prophet Ismail (Peace be on him) . Abu Taalib did as advised.
A point to note here is that the Jews were in wait of the promised Messenger. They had read about him in their divine books. Not only is the prophet mentioned in their books, but also the similitude and description of his companions and his city were also present in their books. Jews only denied our prophet due to their envy for the fact that the last prophet had come from the lineage of Ismaeel instead of Ishaaq, which was an assumption that the Jews had strongly set their minds towards, though they had no evidence concerning it.
Allah mentions in Chapter 2: Verse 146, the meaning of which can be translated as:
Those to whom we gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise Him (Muhammad or the Ka'bah at Makkah) as they recongise their sons. but Verily, a party of them conceal the Truth while they know it - [i.e. the qualities of Muhammad which are written In the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)].
A lesson for Daees here is that the mention of our prophet Muhammad in the previous books can be quoted as an evidence and prove to them that Muhammad is the promised Messenger. Dr. David Benjamin Keldani or Dawud Benyamin (1867-c.1940) was a Catholic priest who converted to Islam and adopted the name Abd ul-Aḥad Dāwūd. He started an attempted to disprove claims by Muslims that Muhammad is mentioned in their Bible, but to his surprise he ended up asserting the claim and accepting Islam. He wrote Muhammad in the Bible - originally published in 1928. To read the book “Muhammad in the Bible” visit: http://dawah.invitetogod.com/ebooks-muhammad-in-the-bible-former-bishop-abdul-ahad-dawud
We see many contemporary neo-Muslims and Muslim Scholars alike using the mention of Muhammad in even the Hindu scriptures such as Vedas. Ignoring the argument around Vedas being a divine book or not, it is permissible for us to use these mentions as a supplementary evidence to convince their believers.
Today we see that the Ummah has gone into two extremes concerning the usage of the other scriptures. A group of them considers it haraam to quote the scriptures, whereas the other group has memorized a fair portion of these scriptures while not being able to recite the Quran properly. The moderate and correct view in this issue is that it is permissible to quote their scriptures to convince them about the mention of our prophet in their books, but at the same time the establishment of Proof against the disbelievers can ONLY be done by the Quran and the Hadith. The other scriptures cannot serve as a means to establish the proof against the disbelievers.
On the authority of Ata' Ibn Yasar, al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih: I met Abdullah Ibn 'Amr Ibn Al-'Aa's and asked him, Tell me about the description of Allah's Messenger which is mentioned in Torah. He replied, Yes. By Allah, he is described in [the] Torah with some of the qualities attributed to him in the Qur'an as follows: "O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a giver of glad tidings, and a warner." (33:45)
So it was a practice amongst the companions who accepted Islam, to look for the mention of Muhammad (peace be upon him) in their books.
Allah mentions in Chapter 3: Verse 93, the meaning of which can be translated as:
All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for himself before the Taurât (Torah) was revealed. Say (O Muhammad ): "Bring here the Taurât (Torah) and recite it, if You are truthful.
Bukhari (Vol.8. Hadith No. 809): “Narrated Ibn Umar (RA): A Jew and a Jewess were brought to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) on a charge of committing illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet asked them: What is the legal punishment (for this sin) in your Book (Torah)? They replied: Our priests have innovated the blackening of faces with charcoal and Tajbiya’ (being mounted on a donkey, with their faces in opposite directions, then mortified in public). Abdullah bin Salaam said: 0 Allah’s Messenger, tell them to bring the Torah. The Torah was brought, and then one of the Jews put his hand over the Divine Verse of the Rajm (stoning to death) and started reading what preceded and what followed it. On that, Ibn Salaam said to the Jew: Lift up your hand. The Divine Verse of the Rajm was under his hand. So Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered that the two (sinners) be stoned to death, and so they were stoned.”
وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى اله واصحابه اجمعين و الحمد لله رب العالمين