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NIGHT JOURNEY

Follow the footsteps of him who came with true faith from his Lord;
Do not, 0 Hamzah, be a rejecter of faith!
It made me glad when you said that you are a man of faith; Be then a true supporter of the Messenger of Allah in Call openly the people of Quraysh to that which you yourself have been given;
Proclaim to them that Ahmad is indeed not a magician!

THE PROPHET’S NIGHT JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
AND HIS HIDING IN A RAVINE BELONGING TO
ABU TALIB

The Messenger of Allah was transported by Allah from Mecca to Jerusalem, (see Qur. 17:1). Gabriel carried him thither on al-Burăq (a celestial horse), and showed him the prayer chambers of the prophets before him. After the Prophet had led them all in prayer, Gabriel brought him back to Mecca. On his way back, the Prophet passed by a caravan belonging to the people of Quraysh. They had with them water in a vessel, from which he drank, and poured out the rest. They also lost one of their camels and went out in search of it.
Next morning Muhammad recounted to the people of Quraysh: “Allah transported me by night to Jerusalem where He showed me the signs and stations of the prophets. I have also passed by a caravan in such and such a place, where they lost one of their camels. I drank from a vessel of water which they had, and poured out the rest of the water.” Abu Jahl said: “You have now an opportune moment; ask him, therefore, how many columns and lamps are in Jerusalem!” They thus said to him: “0 Muhammad, here is someone who

has been to Jerusalem!” Describe for us its columns, lamps, and prayer chambers!” Gabriel came and suspended an image of Jerusalem befothe Prophet’s eyes, and he told them whatever they wished to know about the holy city. When he had informed them, they said: “Let us wait until the caravan returns and we question the people about what you have told us:” “The sign of the truth of what I have said is that the caravan will appear at sunrise led by a red camel carrying two white sacks”, the Prophet said.
Next morning, they went out looking towards the hill outside the city and saying: “The sun shall soon rise.” As they were thus wondering, the caravan appeared, led by a red camel, just as the disk of the sun was becoming visible. They asked the men with the caravan about the things which the Messenger of Allah had told them. The men answered: “It is true, it was as he said. We lost a camel in such and such a place; we left water by night, but when we woke up next morning, the water was all poured out.” Yet, all this only increased the people of Quraysh in their stubbornness.
They then all gathered in their assembly hall and pre-pared a written pledge neither to share food with the sons of Häshim, nor to speak to them. Nor would they transact any trade with them, or intermarry with them. They would not even socialize with them in any way, until they turned Muhammad over to them that they might kill him. They agreed to be as one hand against Muhammad, either to assassinate him, or kill him openly.
When Abü Talib learned of all this, he gathered the sons of Hăshim, forty men in all, and went into a secret ravine. AbU Tălib swore to them by the Ka’bah, the haram, the rukn and the station (ma qdm of Abraham) that if even a thorn was to prick Muhammad, “I will steadfastly fight against you all, 0 sons of Hăshim.”

BOYCOTT OF BANU HASHIM

AbU Tălib fortified the ravine and set up guards over it night and day. At night he kept guard himself with his sword, while the Messenger of Allah slept. Then he had him get up and sleep in another spot, guarded by his own sons and the sons of his brother. They watched over the Prophet during the day as well.
In the end, they endured much hardship. Thus it was that no one of the Arabs entering Mecca dared buy from or sell anything to the family of Hăshim, for fear that his wealth would be seized. To that end, Aba Jahl, al-’As ibn Wă’il as-Sahmi, an-Na~r ibn al-klärith ibn Kaladah and ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ay~ used to go out to the roads leading to Mecca, and anyone they saw carrying goods, they forbade to trade with the sons of Hăshim. Otherwise they threatened to seize his wealth. Khadtjah, however, had much wealth, which she spent in caring for the Messenger of Allah while he was in the ravine. Mut’im ibn ‘Adiyy ibn Nawfal ibn ‘Abdi ‘1-Muttalib refused to sign the pledge, saying: “This is wrong-doing.” The document was, nonetheless, sealed with forty seals, representing all the notables of Quraysh. They then hung it in the Ka’bah. AbU Lahab also concurred with them in this action.
During the special seasons (when fighting was banned), the Messenger of Allah would go around the Arab tribes and plead with them: “If you would protect me, I would recite to you the Book of my Lord, and your reward with Allah shall be Paradise.” Abü Lahab would follow close behind him and say: “Do not accept his offer! He is my brother’s son. He is a magician and a liar.” Thus it went On, and the sons of Hăshim remained in the ravine for four years, having no security except during special seasons, nor could they buy or sell anything except during these seasons. There were two seasons held in Mecca every year: that of the ‘urn-rah (lesser pilgrimage) during Rajab, and the pilgrimage season

in Dhü ‘l-Hijjah (the 7th and 12th months respectively). Hence, only when either of these two special seasons come did the sons of Hăshim leave their ravine to buy and sell. Then no one of them dared venture out till the next season. They therefore suffered much hardship and hunger.
The people of Quraysh sent a message to AbU Talib, saying: “Turn Muhammad over to us that we may kill him; then we would make you king over us.” In response, Abü Tălib recited a long poem,in which he says:
When I saw that these people had no love,
having cut off all ties and means of friendship,

(I said): Do you not know that we do not regard our son as a liar,
Nor does he utter vain words.
Pure is he, that for the sake of his face prayers for rain are answered;
Generous towards orphans is he, and a protection for widows.
The errant of the clan of Hdshim crowd around him; For with him they find bounty and generous gifts.
You lie, by Alldh ‘s house! We shall never abandon Muhammad;
Rather we shall wield the sword and strive to protect him.
We shall never betray him, until we fall slain before him; For his sake we shall neglect our sons and wives.
By my life! I have been charged with great affection for Ahmad!
I loved him with the love of a faithful lover.
I have sacrificed willingly my soul for him and protected him
,~
I have defended him with all that is precious, even the bones of my breast!
He remains an object of beauty in this world for its inhabitants;
A harsh match to anyone showing enmity toward him is he, and the ornament of every assembly.
He is clement, wise, unwavering and not foolish;
Friend of the Lord of Truth, never indulging in vain disputation.
Thus the Lord of human servants has strengthened him with His victory;
He caused a religion to prevail whose truth knows no falsehood.

When they heard this poem, they despaired of convincing AbU Tălib.
Abu ‘l-’As ibn Rabi’, who was the Messenger of Allah’s son-in-law, used to bring by night camels laden with wheat and dates to the entrance of the ravine and call out loudly to them, so that they would rush in, and the sons of Hăshim would have provisions. The Messenger of Allah used to say:
“Abu ‘1- ‘As has established a tie of marriage with us and has honored well this marriage relation. He brought laden camels to us when we were besieged and delivered them to our ravine by night.”
When the Messenger of Allah had spent four years in the ravine, Allah sent against the hostile document of the Quraysh an earthworm which licked clean all words of un-kindness to next of kin, and all wrongdoing and oppreSSiOn. It only spared the name of Allah.
Gabriel came down to the Messenger of Allah and told him about it. The Messenger of Allah then told Abü Talib, who went to the men of Quraysh as they assembled in the mosque. When they saw him they said: “AbU Tălib has finally given in; he has now come to turn his nephew in. He drew near and greeted them with the salutation of peace. They all rose up and received him with deference. They then said: “0 Abü Talib, we know that you wish
ndship and return to our society! You will turn your ‘hew over to us.” lie answered: “No, by Allah, it is not this that I have come to you. Rather my nephew tells
- and he utters no lies - that Allah has told him that sent an earthworm against your hostile document, which every word of unkindness to next of kin, of wrongdoing
oppression. It only spared the name of Allah. Bring tr document, and if what he says is true, then fear Allah abandon your wrongdoing, oppression and unkindness ‘ard blood relations. If, on the other hand, what he says alse, I will turn him over to you. If you wish, you may him, or if you wish you may spare his life.” They brought document down from the Ka’ball, still bearing forty s. When it was brought before them, every man saw his When, however, they opened it, they found no letters ~pt the phrase: ‘in your name, 0 Allah.’ Abü Tălib then ~ded with them saying: “0 people, fear Allah and desist n what you are doing!” But the people dispersed, and ne spoke a word. Abü Tălib then returned to the ravine recited his poem rhyming with the letter ‘b’ and which ns as follows:
Who shall endure standing on guard till night’s end, Or the retreat which your divided people have decreed.
In the document there was indeed a lesson;
Anyone knowing about it would surely marvel.
4lldh had Himself erased from it their rejection of faith
and insolence,
As well as their hostility toward him who Proclaimed the truth openly.
Thus what they said came to nought,
For anyone invenfalsehood only tells lies.
Yet the son of Abdulldh has been truthful among us, in spite of our people’s wrath.
!Jo not think that we shall betray Muhammad;
For neither our honor nor fidelity would permit it! A strong Hdshimite hand shall protect him;
He whose deeds among men are the best of deeds.

Then some of the sons of ‘Abd Manaf and the sons of Qusayy, as well as other men of Quraysh who were born to women of the sons of Hăshim - among whom was Mut’im ibn ‘Adiyy ibn ‘Amir ibn Lu’ayy, an old man of great wealth and many children, and Abu ‘l-Bakhtari ibn Hishăm and Zu-hayr ibn (Abi) Umayyah al-Makhzümi and other of their no-tables - said: “We dissociate ourselves from this document.” AbU Jahl likewise said: “This is a matter which was decided in the dark.” Thus the Prophet and those who were with him were able to leave the ravine.
Two months later, AbU Talib died. Khadijah also died soon after. These were two grave occurrences which the Messenger of Allah had to endure, and he was greatly sad-dened. He went in to see Aba Tălib while he was breathing his last. He said: “0 uncle, you cared for a child until he grew up. You supported him when he was a grown man, and cared for him as an orphan. May Allah, therefore, reward you on my behalf with the best reward. Give me a word (that is, the shahădah) that I may intercede with it on your behalf with my Lord.” AbU Talib replied: “0 son of my brother, were I not to fear the reproach of people after me, I would have gladdened your heart.” * Saying this he died.

* Even if these words were true, they do not indicate lack of faith on the part of Abü Tălib in the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and the people of his household. They only indicate that he concealed his faith. It is reported in many traditions that he disclosed unbelief and concealed faith. as-Sadăq reported the same tradition in his book
Kamdlu ‘d-Dfn,
on the authority of the sixth Imăm as.Sădiq. Thus, when he died, Allah revealed to the Messenger of Allah: “Depart from it (that is, Mecca), for you have no supporter therein.”37 He then migrated to Medina. al-Kulayni also reported in his book aZ-Kdfi on
Muhammad ibn Ishăq reported that Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid, and Abü Tălib died in the same year.4’ Thus afflictions followed one another for the Messenger of Allah after the death of Khadijah and Abü Tălib - for she was a true helper (wazlr) to him in Islam, and he found comfort in her. Abü ‘Abdillăh ibn Mandah reported in the Kitdbu ‘1-Ma’rifah that Khadijah died three days after Abü Talib.42 al -Wăqidi claimed that they all left the ravine three years before the Migration. In that year Khadijah and AbU Tălib died within the space of thirty-five nights.

THE PROPHET OFFERS HIMSELF TO NEIGHBORING ARAB TRIBES. THE ALLEGIANCE OF THE ANSAR TO HIM, AND THE EVENT OF AL-’AQABAH

It is reported in the book entitled Dald’ilu ‘n-Nubuw-wah43 on the authority of az-Zuhri (a well-known tradition-ist), that the Messenger of Allah used to offer himself as a prophet to the Arab tribes every year during the pilgrimage season. He used to speak to the chief of every tribe, request-ing only that they give him shelter and protection. He said:

the authority of Aba ‘Abdillăh (the sixth Imăm) who said: “The case of Abü Tälib was like that of the People of the Cave [see Qur. 18:9 -261; they concealed their faith and disclosed shirk (that is, association of other things with Allah). Yet, Allah bestowed upon them a double reward.”38 It is also reported that Abü Talib did not depart this world until he fulfilled the Messenger of Allah’s pleasure. It is reported in the book entitled Dald’ilu ‘n-Nubuwwah39 that when Aba Tălib was at the point of death, he was seen moving his lips. al-’Abbäs (the Prophet’s uncle) bent down to listen to what he was saying. He then lifted his head and said: “By Allah, he has uttered the word which you requested, 0 Messenger of Allah!” In the same book it is also related that the Prophet stood at the funeral of Aba Tilib and said:
“You have indeed acted kindly to your next of kin; may you be well rewarded, 0 uncle!”40 (ed.)
“I shall not ask anyone of you to do anything he does not wish to do. For anyone of you who accepts what I have come to call you to, it is well. But I shall not compel any-one who would refuse. I only ask that you protect me from those who wish to kill me, so that I might convey the mess-ages of my Lord - and Allah decrees what He wills for me and those who will follow him.” Yet no one of them ac-cepted him. Everyone he spoke to of these tribes would say:
“The people of this man know best his claims. Do you think that a man can reform us when he has corrupted his own people, and who have therefore, abandoned him?”
When AbU Tălib died, trials increased greatly as never before for the Messenger of Allah. He thus turned to the tribe of Thaqfl’ in the city of at-Ta’if in the hope that they might give him shelter. He sought three men, who were the notables of Thaqif in those days. They were brothers: ‘Abd Yălayl ibn ‘Amr, Habib ibn ‘Amr and Mas’üd ibn ‘Amr. He offered himself to them and told them of the trials that had afflicted him at the hands of his people. One of them exclaimed: “I swear that I would even steal the curtains of the Ka’bah, if Allah had truly sent you with anything!” The other said: “Could not Allah send someone other than you?” The third exclaimed: “By Allah, I shall never speak to you henceforth. By Allah, if you are truly the Messenger of Allah, you would be of too great honor for me even to speak to you. If, on the other hand, you lie concerning Allah, you would be too evil for me to speak to you.” They mocked him and revealed to their people their conversation with him.
The men then placed people in two lines in his way. When the Messenger of Allah passed between the two lines, he did not lift his feet or put them down but that they pelted them with stones. They repeated this until his feet bled. He escaped from them with his feet gushing blood,
and ran to one of their gardens and took shelter under a tree, sad and suffering much pain.
‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah and Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah were in the garden. He therefore did not wish to remain with them, as he knew their great hostility to Allah and His Mess-enger. When they saw him, they sent to him a servant of theirs called ‘Ad dăs who was of the people of Naynawa (Nineveh), with grapes. When ‘Addăs came to him, the Messenger of Allah asked: “From which land are you?” He answered:
“I am of the people of Nineveh.” He said to him: “So you are from the city of the righteous man YUnus (Jonah) son of Mittä (Matthew).” ‘Addăs asked him: “How do you know who YUnus was?” The Messenger of Allah, who never looked down at anyone so much as not to convey to him the mess-age of his Lord, answered: “I am the Messenger of Allah. Allah, exalted be He, informed me of the account of Yünus ibn Mittă.” When he had told him what Allah had revealed to him concerning Yünus ibn Mittă, ‘Addăs fell prostrate before Allah and began to kiss the Prophet’s feet while they continued to gush blood. When ‘Utbah and Shay-bah saw what their servant was doing, they kept silent. But when he returned to them they asked: “Why did you prostrate yourself before Muhammad and kiss his feet, while we never saw you do so to any of us?” He answered:
“He is a righteous man who told me things which I recog-nized concerning a messenger whom Allah had sent to us, whose name was YUnus ibn Mittă.” They laughed and said:
“Let him not tempt you away from your Christianity, for he is a deceitful man.” The Messenger of Allah then returned to Mecca.
‘All ibn Ibrăhim ibn Hăshim (al-Qummi) reports that when the Messenger of Allah returned from the city of at-Ta’if and approached Mecca with the intention of performing the ‘umrah (lesser pilgrimage), he did not wish to enter Mecca

where he had no protector. He saw a man of the Quraysh who had secretly embraced Islam and said to him: “Go to al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq and tell him that Muhammad asks you to protect him until he performs the circumambulations (tawăf, around the Ka’bah) and the running (sa ‘1) between the two hills of a~-Safa and al-Marwă, for he has come to per-form the ‘wńrah.” The man went to al-Akhnas and con-veyed to him what the Messenger of Allah had said. al-Akh-nas answered: “I am not of the Quraysh, but only an ally, and an ally cannot offer protection. I fear that they would violate my protection, and that would be an insult.” The man returned to the Messenger of Allah and told him. The Messenger of Allah was hiding in the ravine of Harră’ with Zayd ibn al-Hărithah. He said to the man: “Go to Suhayl ibn ‘Amr and ask him to protect me only until I circum-ambulate the House (that is, the Ka’bah) and perform the sa ‘1 (running between a~-Safă and al-Marwa) .“ The man went and told Suhayl, but he answered: “No, I will not.” The Messenger of Allah sent the man to Mut’im ibn ‘Adiyy (ibn ‘Amir) to make the same request. When the man went to him he asked: “Where is Muhammad?” The man, however, did not wish to tell him where the Prophet was. He rather answered: “He is nearby.” Mut’im said: “Go to him and say that I shall give you protection. Come, therefore, and circum-ambulate and run as you wish.”
The Messenger of Allah entered the city. Mut’irfl said to his sons, his sister, and to his brother,who was called Tu’aymah ibn ‘Adiyy: “Take up your arms, for I have offered Muhammad protection! Stay around the Ka’bah until he performs the circumambulation and running.” There were ten men in all who took up arms. Mutianimad, the Messenger of Allah, then came in to the mosque. AbU Jahl saw him and said: “0 people of Quraysh, here is Muhammad alone. His supporter has died; do with him,
therefore, as you please.” Tu’aymah ibn ‘Adiyy said to him:
“0 uncle, do not speak, for AbU Wahb (that is, Mut’im) has offered Muhammad protection.” AbU Jahl went to Mut’im and asked: “Are you a protector, or one who has abandoned his religion for another?” He answered: “I am only a protector.” AbU Jahl said: “In that case your protec-tion will not be violated.”
When the Messenger of Allah had finished his circum-ambulation and running, he came to Mut’im and said: “0 AbU Wahb, you have protected and done well! Release me now from your protection.” Mut’im replied: “What would prevent you from remaining in my protection?” He answered:
“I detest remaining in the protection of an Associator for more than one day.” Mu~’im then exclaimed: “0 people of Quraysh, Muhammad has released himself from my protection!”
‘All ibn Ibrăhim (al-Qummi) reported that As’ ad ibn Zurărah and Dhakwăn ibn ‘Abd Qays, both of whom were of the Khazraj tribe of Medina, came to Mecca during one of the pilgrimage seasons. At that time a state of war, which had already lasted for a long time, existed between the Aws and Khazraj (both of which were Medinan tribes). The people did not lay down their arms by day or night. In the last engagement between them on the day of Bu’ăth44, the Aws tribe had prevailed over the Khazraj. As’ad ibn Zurärah and Dhakwän came to Mecca for the ‘umrah of the sacred month of Rajab seeking an alliance against the Aws tribe. As’ad ibn Zurărah was a friend of ‘Utbah ibn Rabi ‘ah. He thus came to him as a guest and said: “A long period of war has pre -vailed between us and our people. We have come, therefore, seeking alliance against them.” ‘Utbah answered: “Your dwellings are far from ours, and we have an important preoccupation which prevents us from undertaking any other.” As’ad asked: “What is your preoccupation, when

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