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Chapter III

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The gloomy period between JESUS and MUHAMMAD (peace upon them)

It has already been discussed in previous chapters that the religion preached by Jesus was changed. St Paul fabricated incarnation into Christianity, and later Trinity was invented. Thus during the period of 560 years between Jesus and Muhammad (alaihum al-salam), the teachings of Jesus were utterly defaced, the truth taught by him was annihilated. The Holy Quran portrayed this position in the following words:

"The Jews call Uzair a son (Uzair i.e. Ezra.) Of God, and the Christians Call Christ the Son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (In this) they but imitate What the Unbelievers of old Used to say. God's curse Be on them: how they are deluded Away from the truth! i They take their priests And their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of God, And (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary;

Yet they were commanded To worship but one God: There is no God but He. Praise and Glory to Him: (Far is He) from having The partners they associate (With Him)" (9/30-31)

Jews and Christians both detracted from their religion. They wor shipped Ezra and Jesus as son of God, invented the doctrine of Incarnation and Trinity. We find that the people had left the worship of one God and had forgotten their Creator and were in complete darkness of disbelief in God the Unique. They trampled upon the truth. They copied the unbelievers of old in derogation of God and dishonored God's name by blasphemies or by setting false gods and fetishes. The men were deified and worshipped. The path of rectitude was left. The peoplesí perversity transformed the truth into false hood, and religion into superstition. We see that the truth given by several prophets including Jesus had disappeared, only very few could preserve the real faith as reported in the narrative of Salman. Therefore, the advent of the Prophet who will give all truth was very much being awaited, For a full appreciation of the Truth given by Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam), it would be necessary to preview the conditions prevalent before his advent.

The history tells us that the word of king was law, his promulgations were unquestionable, the people were on the bare mercy of the rulers, the rulers enjoyed fully the legal, executive and judicial powers. Only there will was enforced. They were not guided by any constitution. lf at all there was any nominal legal frame work in some of the Kingdoms, there too, the will of the ruler prevailed over his own rules. The criminals or the culprits were thrown before the lions or they were dragged behind the horses, or they were branded blind. The captives were kept in permanent bondage, the prisoners were left with fetters to beg their livelihood. East and West both presented the state of anarchy. The Chiefs were monarchs in their domains, the strong did never respect the weak, the might was right, the righteousness, justice and fair play were unknown, the moral values were far- remote, adultery, incest and fornication were common. There was no law for marriage and divorce, a man could have any number of wives, the gamblers, the intoxicated knew no ethics, robbery and dacoity was common, the caravans were plundered, the free were made the bondmen, the civil liberties did never strike to human mind, every word against the crown or ruler amounted to sedition and was punished with instant death. The women had no separate entity, had no civil or economical rights, she could not claim divorce, they were considered an item of subjection, only to satisfy the lust of men. The women were loathsome to the degree that even St: Cyprion thought them" " Woman is the instrument which the devil uses to gain possession of our souls." St: Gregory the Great said:-" Woman has the poison of an asp, the malice of a dragon." Some of the Arab tribes thought their disgrace in marrying their daughters, so they buried them alive in their childhood. The tribal feuds were terrible. Bakar and Taghlab (two famous Arab tribes) fought each other for half of century. The cruelty and barbarism was the fashion of mighty people, the weak were reduced to slavery and the history recorded the most barbarous the most inhuman treatment with bondmen.

MUHAMMAD (SALLALLAHO ALAIHI WASALLAM) BREAKS THE GLOOM.

Quraish were the noblest tribe of Arabia, the tribe to which belong the Prophet himself. Quraish were sons of Prophet Ismail who was the son of Abraham. Abraham laid the foundation of Kaaba at Mecca. He and his son called people to monotheism. Abrahamís connection with Kaaba gave it great antiquity. Quraish had the custody of Kaaba which became the Central Shrine of Arabia. On account of being custodian of Mecca, they had a commanding influence over other tribes, their central position gave them honour and profit and it facilitated their trade. The Mecca territory was inviolable from the ravages of war and private feuds by Arabian custom. Their position, as the servants of the sacred Shrine of Kaaba enabled them to obtain covenants of security and safeguard from the rulers of neighbouring countries, on all sides protecting their trade journeys in those regions.

However they were over run by ignorance and adopted polytheism. Every tribe had its own idol and in Holy Kaba three hundred sixty idols were placed. The Kaaba which was the place of universal pilgrimage became the central place of idol worship. There among them in 570 A.D. the Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abdul Muttalib was born. He was from Bani Hashim the noblest tribe of Quraish. The Prophet's grand father Abdul Muttalib was the direct descendant of the Prophet Ismail. He held the office of custodian of Kaaba, the common Pantheon of Pagan Arabia. From the very birth the Prophet led the purest life, even in his childhood he never told a lie, never played with children, never uttered any impure word and never worshipped idols. His excellent character and his honourable bearing won for him the general appreciation of Quraish and they called him AI-Amin i.e. true, the honest and the faithful.

FIRST JOURNEY

At the age of nine Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) accompanied his uncle Abu-Talib on a mercantile journey to Syria. When they reached Basra the Christian Monk Bahira met Muhammad. He recognized him as the last Prophet and (for confirmation of his recognition he removed the garment and kissed the seal on his back and told Abu-Talib we find a great grandeur and a great personality which is foretold in our books for your this nephew. Guard him against the hatred of Jews. It is my sincere advice that you return to your city immediately.

ANOTHER JOURNEY

At the age of 25 he undertook another journey to Syria. That was on the request of a noble and rich Qurashite widow Khadija. He led her trade caravan to Syria. On return the Prophet rendered to her all the profits. On her request he married her though Khadija was senior in age and was in her forties. Yet the marriage proved to be most successful. She always consoled him in his desparity and disappointment. The Prophet passed all his period of youth with Khadija who had bom Muhammad 3 sons and 4 daughters. All the males died in childhood. Khadija was the first woman who sacrificed every thing she had on the cause of Islam, the first mother of faithful who never allowed the Prophet to dishearten when Quraish offered him the severest persecutions. During her life the Prophet did not take a second wife, though Quraish offered to crown him as their king, to give him any amount of gold and silver he desired, and to present before him the most beautiful girls, only for one thing that he should give up the call for Islam. The Prophet rejected outright their offer. His latter marriages were as willed by God to preserve his private life as pattern for Muslim men and women.

At the age of 40 in the cave of Hira (Mecca) the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) was given the Divine Commission to preach Islam and proclaim God's Message, to blazon forth all the truth for the benefit of erring humanity. But Quraish who were drunk in polytheism (idol worship) became inveterate enemy of the Prophet. For 13 years they offered him and to his handful companions the severest torture ever recorded in the human history. The truth spread and after migration of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) to Medina Islam gained strength far and wide.

The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) called mankind to the worship of One Eternal, Everlasting, Indivisible God. He guided people from disbelief to the faith in Islam, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of religious knowledge, from arrogance to obedience, from oppression to justice, from hatred to love, from disruption to unity. All his teachings have been preserved in many volumes of Books of Traditions and it is impossible to write them down in this Book.

The people were filled in gloom of disbelief, they thought the stones or some fictitious spirits behind those stones were the masters of human destinies. The people of the Book had changed their religion, planted Incarnation and Trinity as already discussed. The Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) rejected outright all those dogmas and called people to the real truth i.e.:

"There are no partners to God He is Unique. Muhammad is Apostle of Allah." He called peop|e to believe in One God Who is free of partners. Who is Unique, Who is independent of time and space and with a twinkle of an eye He has power to do all things. His call cut deep into the hearts and the entire Arab Nation, during his life time, came out from the gloom of polytheism to the light of monotheism. Confirming the teachings of the previous prophets, he told people, not only to believe in One God but also to believe in His angels. His Books, His prophets, who preceded him, in the day of Resurrection and predestination. The world Prophet preached Islam which means resignation or surrender to the Will of God. The root of this word is 'silm' which means peace and tranquility. The very purpose of Islam is to bring peace and tranquility in the social order, to attain peace of mind and conscience and to have such satisfaction of heart and soul which melts frenzies and cares. With this great purpose in view the world Prophet gave such a social order which virtually brought the real peace, the tranquility which was never seen by mankind. His social order covered all aspects of human life