Wednesday, October 31, 2012

House of Abu Bakr (r.a.)

This is the approximate place where the house of Abu Bakr (r.a.) was located in Makkah and from where Hijrah to Madinah commenced. It is in the Makkah Towers Hotel block, where a masjid (Masjid Abu Bakr) has been built on the 4th floor.

- When the decision to assassinate the Prophet (s.a.w.) had been made by the Quraysh, Jibraeel (a.s.) was sent down to the Prophet (s.a.w.) to reveal to him the plot and to give him his Lord’s permission to leave Makkah.

- Having been given the command for migration, the Prophet (s.a.w.) called at the house of Abu Bakr (ra) at noon when the burning sun had forced the people indoors. Since it was an unusual time to visit, Abu Bakr (r.a.) speculated that migration must have been ordered. First of all he (s.a.w.) inquired if there was any strange person in the house. When he was informed that there was no one in the house except Abu Bakr (r.a.) and his daughters, Asma and Aisha (r.a.), he disclosed that migration to Madinah had indeed been ordered. “Who will accompany you on the journey?” Abu Bakr (r.a.) asked. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “You will accompany me.” Having heard this, tears of joy trickled down from the eyes of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and he said, “O Prophet of Allah! I have already bought two she-camels for this purpose and have made them strong and stout, and I offer you one.” The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I will purchase it.” Thus he paid for it and Abu Bakr (r.a.) had to accept it. And from that moment, preparations for migration started. Asma (r.a.) made them provisions of parched barley and some other food, Aisha (r.a.) was at that time still of a very tender age. After telling Abu Bakr (r.a.) of the plan, the Prophet (s.a.w.) went back to his home.

- That night, the Prophet (s.a.w.) slipped past the assassins surrounding his house and made his way to the house of Abu Bakr (r.a.). The two of them left Makkah hastily before the beginning of Fajr salat. Abdullah, the son of Abu Bakr (r.a.) also accompanied them as they first journeyed to Jabal Thawr.

- When the Quraysh disbelievers realized they had been deceived and the Prophet (s.a.w.) had escaped, they called at the house of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and knocked at the door. Asma (r.a.) came out. Abu Jahl angrily asked, “O girl! Where is your father?” She flatly replied, “I know nothing about him.” Hearing this Abu Jahal slapped her so violently that her earrings fell down on the ground.

- When Abu Bakr (r.a.) emigrated to Madinah in the company of the Prophet (s.a.w.), he took with him all his money, thinking that the Prophet might need it. It was approximately 6,000 dirhams. After the departure, his father Abu Qahafah (who was blind and who had not till then accepted Islam) came to express his sympathy to his grandaughters.

- Asma (r.a.) says: “Our grandfather came to us and said, 'Your father has shocked you with his migration to Madinah, and seems to have put you to further hardship by taking all his money with him.' I said, 'No grandfather, do not worry. He has left a lot of money for us.' I collected some pebbles and deposited them in the recess where my father used to keep his money and covered it with a cloth. I then took my grandfather to the place and placed his hand over the cloth. He thought that the recess was really full of dirhams. He remarked: 'It is good that he has left something for you to live on.' By Allah, my father had not left a single dirham for us, I played this trick simply to pacify my grandfather.” This was the spirit of self-sacrifice embued in the Muslims of that time.

- The Prophet (s.a.w.) once said, "Nobody's wealth has benefitted me so much as that of Abu Bakr (r.a.). I have compensated everybody for the good done to me, except Abu Bakr. He shall be compensated by Allah Himself."

Mount Abu Qubays

This large structure, adjacent to Mount Safa, is the location of Mount Abu Qubays. It was from the top of this mountain that the Prophet (s.a.w.) pointed to the moon and split it into half.

Valley of Abu Talib

This is the valley of Abu Talib (She’eb Abi Talib), where the members of Banu Hashim and Banu Al-Muttalib (Muslims and non-Muslims) were forced to withdraw from Makkah and live here in a painful boycott for three years.

- When Islam began to spread the Makkans asked Abu Talib, the uncle and protector of the Prophet (s.a.w.), to hand him over to them for execution but he steadfastly refused. Abu Talib acted fast and called on the members of Banu Hashim and Banu al-Muttalib to meet at the Ka’bah and convinced them to pledge that they would protect their clansman, Muhammad (s.a.w.). Abu Lahab, another of the Prophet’s uncles and self-proclaimed sworn enemy, refused to take the pledge and declared he was on the side of the Quraysh.

- The Quraysh held a meeting and decided to outcast the Banu Hashim and Banu al-Muttalib by placing them under a total social boycott. The other clans from the Quraysh would not marry their daughters, transact business with them, keep company with them, nor would they accept any peace overtures from these two clans until they handed over the Prophet (s.a.w.). Once all the people present had agreed with the points mentioned above, Baghid bin Amir bin Hashim put this pact in writing. The Quraysh chiefs signed this document and the parchment was hung in the Ka’bah in order to give it authority. This was done on the 1st Muharram, in the seventh year of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) mission. When the deed was done, Baghid’s hand, or at least some of his fingers, became paralyzed.

- The Prophet (s.a.w.), along with Abu Talib and and clan memebers of Banu Hashim and Banu al-Muttalib were forced to withdraw from Makkah and live in She’b Abi Talib, which was a subsection of one of the gorges that ran down to Makkah.

- The boycott was devastating and for many months they lived in misery. It was so rigorously applied and food was so scarce that they had to eat the leaves of trees. The women, and more specially the children and suckling babies would cry with hunger which could be heard all over the valley. The Quraysh told the merchants not to sell any goods to them. Prices were increased to prevent them from buying even essentials. They remained in that state for three years. Apart from some kind Qurayshi people who secretly sent food to them they were totally abandoned. Despite such grim circumstances, the Prophet (s.a.w.) never ceased inviting non-Muslims to Islam. He was particularly active during the time of Hajj. It was at this time that he would speak to tribes that had travelled to Makkah from all over the Arab world.

- A group of fair-minded Quraysh, led by Hisham ibn ‘Amr, hated this unfair boycott. Hisham was highly respected among his people. He contacted some men of the Quraysh whom he knew to be kind-hearted and considerate. He told them it was shameful to allow such tyranny to continue and asked them to abandon the unjust contract. When he had persuaded five men to agree, they met togather to work towards this end. When the Quraysh were assembled the next day, Zuhayr ibn Abi Umayyah, whose mother was the aunt of the Prophet (s.a.w.), faced the people and demanded, “People of Makkah! Do we eat and clothe ourselves while the Banu Hashim are perishing, unable to buy or sell? By Allah, I will not sit down until this unjust document is torn up!”

Abu Jahal became suspicious of the sudden rebellion but Abu Talib saw his opportunity to step in. He had come into the precincts of Ka’bah to tell the Quraysh that the Prophet (s.a.w.) had received a revelation about the fate of the wicked parchment. He stood up, and facing the Quraysh, told them that Allah had revealed to the Prophet (s.a.w.) that termites had eaten the parchment inside the Ka’bah. The only thing that remained of the document, Abu Talib said, were the words “In Your Name, O Allah.” Abu Talib then challenged the Quraysh, saying that if the Prophet’s claim turned out to be false, he would no longer stand between them and the Prophet (s.a.w.). However, if the Prophet had spoken the truth, the Quraysh should end the boycott. The Quraysh accepted Abu Talib’s challenge.

When Mut’im bin Adiy rose to retrieve the parchment, the assembly saw that it had been destroyed. Its only remaining words were “Bismika Allahumma” (In Your Name, O Allah) and Allah’s name. Allah (swt) had given the Quraysh yet another sign but once again they refused to admit their error and accept Islam. Their only concession was to end the boycott. The Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Companions came out of the mountain pass and were allowed to live in Makkah once again.

Masjid Ra’yah

Masjid Ra’yah (masjid of the flag) is located on the spot where the Prophet (s.a.w.) had his flag planted when he conquered Makkah. It is also known as Masjid Jowdariyyah.

Jahiliyyah cemetery

This area, in a district south-west of the Haram, is where prior to the advent of Islam some of the pagan Arabs used to bury their daughters alive as they believed them to be a sign of disgrace. It is also believed that Sumayyah (r.a.) is buried here; she was the first person to be martyred in the cause of Islam.

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