Everything good that is written is from Allah, every mistake below is from my own self.  TaqabbAllahu Minni wa minkum wa astaghfiruAllah, All comments are welcome.


2007/04/29

THE LIGHT THEY FOLLOWED

THE LIGHT THEY FOLLOWED

What a teacher he was, and what a man! He was filled with greatness, honesty, and sublimity! Truly, those overwhelmed with his greatness have their excuse, and those who sacrificed their lives for his sake are the most triumphant.

Muhammad lbn Abd Allah was Allah's Messenger to the people in the midsummer of life. What mystery was available to him that made him a man to honor among human beings And what grand hands did he extend towards heaven to let all the gates of mercy, blessing, and guidance open widely. What faith, what chastity, and what purity. What modesty, what love and what loyalty. What devotion to truth and what reverence to life and the living?

Allah bestowed upon him the amount of blessing to qualify him to carry His standard and speak for Him, and made him capable of being the last of His messengers. Therefore, Allah's bounty towards him was great. But however the brains, inspiration, and pens compete to talk about him or to sing hymns of praise to reveal his greatness, they all seem insignificant due to his superior traits.

* * *

If the introductory pages of this book need to start with a talk about the Messenger (PBUH), they cannot hope to give him his due of praise nor claim that they are really introducing the great Messenger to the readers. It is only a mere reference to his eminence and some of his superior qualities which make people cherish him and which drew him an unprecedented loyalty by some of the figures mentioned in the book whether they were Muhaajiruun or Ansaar or from the Quraish.

No sooner had life emerged than Allah made all its breeze hail his coming, and sent messengers to all men everywhere, carrying the principles of the divine call and the fragrance of the caller, the truth of the teachings, the eminence of the master, the enlightenment of the message and the compassion of the Messenger (PBUH).

That is true. This was the main objective, no more. It is to perceive in the light of one of his beams some of the traits of his rare eminence that brought about the believers' loyalty and made them perceive in him the goal and the way, the teacher and the friend.

What made the nobles of his people hasten to his words and his religion. Abu Bakr, Talhah, Az-Zubair, `Uthmaan Ibn Affaan, Abd Ar-Rahman Ibn `Awf, and Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqaas, all abandoned in haste the wealth and glory of their community which surrounded them, receiving at the same time heavy burdens in life, full of cares, troubles, and conflict.

What made the weak of his community seek his protection, hasten to his standard and his call, when they saw him without wealth or weapon, with harm inflicted upon him and evil following him in a terrifying way, without his being able to avoid it;

What made the pre-Islamic tyrant `Umar lbn Al-thattaab, who went to cut off his noble head with his sword, return to cut off with the same sword - made sharper through faith - the heads of the Prophet's enemies and his persecutors.

What made the city's elite and noble men go to him and promise to be his companions, voluntarily embracing a set of trouble and terror, knowing that the struggle between them and the Quraish would be more horrifying than terror itself.

What made those who believed in him increase and not decrease, though he declared day and night, "I hold no good or harm for you. I do not know what will become of me or you"!

What made them believe that the world would open its countries to them and that their feet would be wading in the gold and crowns of the world. And that the Qur'aan they were reciting in secret would reverberate in strong tones and ringing voice, not only in their own generation or in their own peninsula but throughout the ages and everywhere.

What made them believe the prophecy told them by the Messenger, though when they turned right and left they found nothing except heat, barren land, and stones emitting boiling vapor, their pointed heads looking like devils' heads.

What filled their hearts with certainty and will- power. It was lbn `Abd Allah, who else could have done that they saw themselves with their own eyes all his virtues and all that distinguished him. They saw his chastity, his purity, his honesty, his straightforwardness, and his courage. They saw his superiority and his compassion. They saw his intellect and his eloquence. They saw the sun shining the way his truth and eminence shone.

They heard the growth of life running in his veins when Muhammad started to bestow upon them his daily revelation and his past contemplation. They saw all these and more, not through a mask but face to face and in practice, through their own vision and perception.

When an Arab of those days saw something, he would talk as an expert. The Arabs were people of perception and intuition. If one of them saw some footprints on the road, he would tell you, "These are the footprints of such-and-such a person." He would smell the breath of the one talking to him and realize what truth or falsity was inherent.

These men saw Muhammad and were his contemporaries since his coming into existence as a newborn babe. Nothing was concealed from them in his life. The stage of childhood which is unperceived by other than the child's people and close relations was, in the case of Muhammad, seen and perceived by all the people of Makkah. That was because his childhood was not like any other. It drew attention to itself for its early signs of manliness and initiative, and for rejecting the usual play of children for the seriousness of men.

As an example, the Quraish used to talk about `Abd Al Muttalib's grandson who kept away from the children's playgrounds and their celebrations, and used to say whenever he was invited to them, "I was not created for that."

Moreover, when his wet-nurse Haliimah took him back to his people, she told them her observations, her experience with the child, and what she saw in him to convince them he was not an ordinary child. She believed there was a hidden secret in him, unknown except to Allah, which might be revealed one day.

As to his youth, what chastity! He was clearer and more translucent. His people's preoccupation with him and their talk about him were more constant and praising. As to his manhood, it was fully perceived by every eye, ear, and heart. Above all, it was his community's conscience, measuring through his conduct and behavior all their visions of truth, goodness, and beauty.

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It was, then, a transparent and comprehended life from cradle to grave. All his visions, his steps, his words, his movements, even his dreams, his hopes, and his remembrances were the right of all the people from the first day he was born. It was as if Almighty Allah wished it to be like that to tell the people, "That is My Messenger to you; his way is through reason and intellect, and that is his whole life since he was a baby."

Therefore, with all you possess of reason and intellect, examine his life and judge. Do you perceive any sense of suspicion? Do you see any false matter? Did he ever tell a lie or betray anyone? Did he ever treat anyone unjustly? Did he ever expose a defect? Did he ever abandon his kinship relations? Did he neglect a duty or leave a noble action? Did he insult anyone or worship an idol? Peruse well and meticulously and investigate, as there is no stage of his life that is hidden or veiled.

If his life as you see and perceive is nothing but purity, truth, and eminence, does it appeal to reason or logic that a man of such traits would tell lies after the age of forty? About whom would he lie? About Allah in order to claim he was His Messenger (PBUH), chosen, selected, and inspired by Him?

No, this is the answer of feeling and intuition. What is your way of thinking and what right do you have to tell lies?

This, we believe, was the attitude of the early believers towards Allah's Messenger (PBUH), the Muhaajiruun as well as those who sheltered and supported him.

It was a firm and swift attitude that did not leave any place for hesitation or idleness. A man who had such a pure and enlightened life could not play false with Allah. With such sharp insight, the believers saw the light of Allah and the followed.

They would thank their insight when they saw later how Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was supported by Allah and how the whole peninsula was obliged to him. Many unperceived blessings and spoils were bestowed upon them while he became more modest, more austere, and more pious, until he met Allah at the appointed time, lying down on a mat that left its impressions on his body.

And when they saw him, the Messenger whose standards victoriously and proudly filled the horizon, descended the pulpit and received the people, saying while he wept, "Whoever's back I whipped, here is my back, let him take his revenge; whoever's money I took, here is my money, let him take of it."

The believers saw him while his uncle Al-Abbaas was asking him to offer him one of the jobs obtained by ordinary Muslims, and he gently apologized, saying, Truly, uncle, we do not offer that job to someone who asks or someone who cares for it."

They saw him not only sharing the trouble and hunger that befell people, but establishing for himself and his folk an unforsaken principle which was, "To be the first to feel hunger if people go hungry, and the last to satisfy his hunger when people were starving." Yes, the early believers would be more thankful for their insight which perceived things well even before they came, thanking Allah Who had guided them to faith.

They would also see that life which was the best proof of the truth of the Messenger (PBUH) when he said to them: "I am Allah's Messenger unto you." His life was truly eminent. Its eminence and purity are the best evidence of the truth of the great teacher and noble Messenger (PBUH). Its level of excellence and eminence never declined nor fell, but remained steadfast from cradle to grave. Throughout life and after reaching his prime, it was as clear as day that the man who led that life and conveyed such a message was not seeking wealth, money or sovereignty. When these were offered him on a golden platter associated with his triumphant leadership, he rejected them all and lived his life till the last breath devoting himself to Allah, repentant and chaste.

He never deviated from the purposes of his great life the breadth of a hair, and never broke a promise to Allah in worship or in jihaad.

No sooner would the latter part of the night begin than he would get up, make his ablution and remain as he was accustomed to do, invoking Allah, praying, and crying.

Mountains of wealth and money were accumulated in his possession, yet he did not change and never took of it except as the poorest and lowest of Muslims did. Then he died leaving only his armor in mortgage.

All the countries of the world came closer due to his call, and most of the kings of the earth stood before his message, in which he called them to Islam, in awe and supplication. Yet, not an atom of boasting or arrogance crossed his way even at a great distance. When he saw people approaching him troubled and disturbed out of awe and reverence, he said to them, "Be easy, my mother used to eat dried meat in Makkah."

When all the enemies of his faith put down their weapons and bowed their heads waiting for him to pass judgment and while 10,000 swords of the Muslims were glittering on the Day of Conquest over the hills of Makkah, he merely said to his enemies, "Disperse, you are free!"

Even at the height of the victory for which he devoted his life, he deprived himself of it. He walked in the victory procession on the Day of the Conquest bowing his head down until people could not see his face and repeated hymns of thanks to Allah in low tones, wet with tears, humbly raising his words to Allah until he reached the Ka'bah. He then confronted the idols and did what he did to them and said, "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished, indeed, falsehood is bound to vanish" (17: 81).

Is there any more doubt about his message? He was a man who dedicated his whole life to a call in which he had no personal gain of wealth, position, sovereignty, or power. Biographical immortality was not even considered by him because he believed solely in the immorality of the second life when one is in the hands of Allah.

He was a man who spent his life from childhood till the age of forty in purity and contemplation. Then he spent the rest of it in worship, guidance, jihaad and struggle, and when the world was brightened to him he rejected all its false glory and adhered to his way, his worship, and his message. How could such a man be a liar? Why should be tell lies? Surely, such a man and such a messenger was above that!


* * *

We have mentioned that logic and reason were - and still are- the best proof of the truth of Muhammad (PBUH) when he said, "I am Allah's Messenger." It does not appeal to good logic or to sound reason that a man who lived such a good life lies about Allah. Early believers who hastened to believe in his message, and whom we are honored to know something about through the pages of this book, had such a relation with him after their guidance from Allah, which is the best evidence of logic and reason.

We see Muhammad (PBUH) before his message, and we see him after his message. We see him in his cradle, and we see him shrouded by death. But, have we seen any contradiction or inconsistency in all his life? Never!

Let us now approach the first years of his message. Those were years one rarely finds an equal to in the annals of history for the constancy, truth, and eminence. Those were the years which revealed, more than any others, all the facets of the teacher and guide of all humanity. Those were years that opened the living book of his life and heroism and, more than any other years, represented the cradle of his miracles.

Throughout those years, the Messenger of Allah was alone. He left all he possessed of comfort, security, and settled life. He approached the people with what they were not familiar, or rather with what they detested. He approached them and directed his words to their reasons, and it is a difficult task for a person who directs his speech to the minds of people instead of their feelings. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) did not only do that, since the consequence of addressing the mind might be bearable if you are standing within the circle of common conventions and common aspirations. But when you call them towards a distant future which you perceive but they do not, which you live in and they are not aware of, it is a difficult task. Indeed, when you address their minds and rise to destroy the essence of their lives from the base, though you do that in a sincere, honest way and not urged by a certain purpose or glory, it is a risk which cannot be taken except by the leaders of the righteous people and messengers.

The Messenger (PBUH) was the hero and great master of that situation. The form of worship at that time was worshiping idols, whose rites were observed as a religion. The Messenger (PBUH) did not turn to any maneuvers or intrigues. The unpaved road and the heavy burden would have been good excuses if he had used his brilliant mind to prepare them for the word "monotheism" instead of surprising them with it. He was able and it was his right to prepare to isolate the community from its idol-gods which had been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. He could have started by going around the issue to avoid as much as possible a direct confrontation he knew would bestir all the envy of his people and draw upon them all their weapons against him.

Yet, he did not. This illustrates that he was a Messenger (PBUH). He heard a divine voice within him telling him to rise, and he did, and telling him to deliver the message, and he did so without the force of weapons and without fleeing! He confronted them from the first instant with the essence of the message and the core of the case: "O people, I am the Messenger of Allah unto you, to worship Him and not to set partners with Him. These idols are intellectual falsehood. They are of no harm or benefit to you".

From the very beginning he faced them with such clear and plain words, and from the very beginning he faced the severe struggle which he had to undergo his departure from life!

Or were the early believers in need of a prompting power to support the Prophet (PBUH)!

What awakened conscience would not be stirred by such a rare and unique scene! It was the scene of a man known to the people to have full intellectual power and immaculate behavior, standing alone, facing his people with a call which could bring mountains down. Words were issuing forth from his heart and lips, obedient and superb, as if in them lay all the power, will, and design of the future, as if it were fate announcing its proclamation! But perhaps this was the prompting of a good spirit, after which Muhammad (PBUH) would worship his Lord as he liked, leaving the deities of his people in their place and leaving his community's religion alone.

If such a thought occurred to some minds at that time, Muhammed (PBUH) soon dissipated it. He made it quite clear to the people that he was a Messenger and had to convey the message, that he could not be silent nor turn into himself after being guided by the truth and enlightenment. All the powers of the world and nature could not have silenced him or stopped him because it was Allah Who made him speak and move and Who guided his footsteps.

The Quraish's reaction came as swift as flames stirred by a violent wind. Troubles began to be wreaked upon a soul unaccustomed to anything but absolute grace. The Messenger (PBUH) then began to teach his first lessons with utmost mastery and amazing loyalty. The image of this scene is paramount in all places and at all times, as well as in history. Those with an awakened conscience in Makkah were pleased, filled with admiration, and came closer. They beheld a lofty and majestic man. They did not know whether his neck had become longer until it was able to touch the sky or the sky had come down to crown his head. They beheld loyalty, steadfastness and eminence.

However, the best scene they beheld was on the day when the noblemen of the Quraish went to Abu Taalib saying, "Verily, we cannot tolerate a person who insults our fathers, mocks our dreams, and finds fault with our deities. You either stop him or we fight both of you until one of the parties is destroyed." Abu Taalib sent a message to his nephew saying, "My nephew, your people have approached me and talked about your affairs. You have to think of me and yourself and not burden me with what I cannot endure."

What then was the attitude of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)?

The only man who had stood with him seemed to be abandoning him, or rather seemed unable to confront the Quraish who sharpened all their teeth. The Messenger (PBUH) did not hesitate in his reply, and his determination did not waver. No! He did not even search for the words to show his tenacity. It was already there, efficiently rising to deliver one of his most significant lessons to the whole of humanity and to dictate its highest principles.

Thus he spoke: "O uncle, by Allah, if they put the sun on my right and the moon on my left in order to abandon this matter until it is manifested by Allah or I perish by it, I would never abandon it!" Peace be upon you, O Prophet of Islam, you who were colossal among men, and your words were colossal.

Abu Taalib thereupon restored his courage and the courage of his forefathers at once, clasped the right hand of his nephew with his two hands, and said, "Say what you like, for, by Allah, I will never force you to do anything at all."

Muhammad (PBUH) then did not depend on his uncle for protection and security, though his uncle was capable of that, but he was the one bestowing security, protection and steadfastness on people around him.

Any honest person who beholds a scene like that cannot but hasten to love, be loyal to, and believe in that Messenger (PBUH).

* * *

His persistence regarding truth, his perseverence with the message, and his patience during great troubles were all for the sake of Allah and not for personal benefit. All these were bound to attract brilliant minds and to awaken the conscientious people to follow the light beckoning to them and hasten to the honest and true Messenger (PBUH) who came to purify our souls and guide us. People beheld him while harm was reaching him from every comer. The condolence he had sought in his uncle Abu Taalib and his wife Khadiijah was denied him because they both died within days of each other. Whoever desires to imagine the extent of persecution and war launched by the Quraish against the unarmed Messenger, suffice it to know that Abu Lahab himself, who was his most bitter rival and enemy, was so conscience-stricken one day by what he beheld that he announced he would protect the Messenger, help him, and stand against any aggression against him. But the Messenger refused his protection and remained lofty, raising his head and remaining loyal to his message. Nobody could avert harm from him because nobody dared to do so! Even the eminent Abu Bakr could do nothing but weep.

One day, the Messenger (PBUH) went to the Ka'bah and, while he was circumambulating it, the nobles of the Quraish who were waiting for him suddenly ran and surrounded him, saying, "Is it you that say such-and-such a thing about our deities?" And he calmly answered them, "Yes, I say that." They held him by the end of his clothes while Abu Bakr pleaded for his release, saying with tears pouring, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, Allah is my Lord?"

* * *

Whoever saw the Messenger on the day of At-Taa'if was sure to see some example of his truth and loyalty worthy of him. He turned his face towards the tribe of Thaqiif, calling them to Allah, the One and the Vanquisher.

Was not what he was encountering from his clan and his folk enough? Did it not warn him of an increasing harm when it comes from people he had no blood relations with? Absolutely not, because these harmful consequences were not considered by him. Almighty Allah had commanded him to deliver the message, and that was enough. He remembered the day when the intransigence of his community increased and he went home covering himself in bed in sorrow. He heard the voice of heaven reaching his heart, and immediately he heard the voice of revelation casting the same matter as on the day of the cave: "O you encovered --- Arise and warn" (74:1-2).

Then he had to deliver the message and warn. Therefore, he was a Messenger who did not care about harm and did not search for comfort. Let him go then to Al-Taa'if to convey the word of Allah to its people.

There, however, the nobles of the community surrounded him and were more cunning than their mates in Makkah. They set children and hooligans against him, and they abandoned the most sacred of the customs of the Arabs, which is hospitality to guests and protection of the one who asks for help.

They set their hooligans and their young boys after the Messenger (PBUH), throwing stones at him. This was the one for whom the Quraish offered to collect money to make him the richest among them and to be their leader and king! Yet, he refused saying, " l am but the slave of Allah and His Messenger."

Now we behold him in At-Taa'if where he retired to an orchard to be protected by its walls from the pursuit of the hooligans. His right hand was stretched towards heaven praying to Allah while his left hand was protecting his face from the stones thrown at him. He was calling to his Creator and Lord, saying, "If You are not angry with me, I do not care for other things, but granting me Your mercy is too generous of You.!'

Indeed, he was a Messenger who knew how to address his Lord with courtesy! When he declared that he did not care about harm for the sake of Allah, he also declared that he was in dire need for mercy granted by Allah. In a situation like this, he did not feel proud about his endurance and courage, nor did he boast. Boasting in such a situation might suggest bestowing favor on Allah, and this fact could not be hidden from Muhammad. Therefore, the best way to express his courage and endurance in such a situation was his pleading and his invocation.

So he went on asking Allah's pardon and invoking Him, "O Allah, to You I complain of the weakness of my strength, my inability to find a way, and my humiliation by the people. O the Most Compassionate, You are the Lord of the weak, and You are my Lord. To whom do You entrust me? To a distant relation who ignores me or to an enemy who has power over me? If You are not angry with me, I do not care about other things, but granting me Your mercy is too generous of You. I seek refuge in the light of Your face that brightens the darkness and amends the affairs of this world and the next. Do not be angry or dissatisfied with me. I beg Your favor until You are satisfied with me. There is no strength or power except through You." What loyalty the Prophet (PBUH) had to his call! He was an unarmed person faced with plots everywhere he went. He had nothing in life to strengthen him, yet he carried all that persistence, all that steadfastness and loyalty!

People beheld him returning from Al-Taa'if to Makkah without any sense of despair or defeat, but more hopeful, optimistic, and dedicated. Moreover, he presented himself to the tribes, reaching them in their own localities and districts. One day he went to Bani Kindah, another day to Bani Haniifah, then to Bani `Aamir, and thus from one tribe to another. He said to them all, "I am the Messenger of Allah to you. He commands you to worship Allah and not to take partners with Him, and to abandon what you worship of idols." At the houses of the close-by tribes, Abu Lahab used to follow him, saying to the people, "Do not believe him, for he is calling you to what is false."

People beheld the Messenger of Allah in such a critical situation seeking believers and assistants, but he was met with ingratitude and enmity. They saw him refusing any bargains and refusing to have a worldly price for faith.

In those scorching days, he presented himself to Bani `Aamir lbn sa`sa`ah and sat with them speaking about Allah and reciting some of His words. They inquired, "Do you believe that if we supported you in your affair and then Allah raised you above those who opposed you, we would take the matter after you?" He (PBUH) answered saying, "This matter is in the hands of Allah. He puts it wherever He wishes." There and then they dispersed, saying, "We need not your affair." The Messenger (PBUH) left them, looking for believers who do not buy a little worth with their faith.

* * *

People beheld him, but few believed in him. Despite their number, he found in them comfort and company. But the Quraish decided that each tribe should be in charge of giving lessons to the believers among them. So, suddenly, persecution descended like a mad storm and hit all the Muslims. The polytheists did not know a crime but committed it against the Muslims. However, here an unexpected surprise took place. Muhammad (PBUH) gave orders to all the Muslims to emigrate to Abyssinia and decided to remain alone to face the aggression!

Why did he not emigrate to convey the word of Allah in another place, for Allah is the Lord of All the Worlds and not the Lord of the Quraish alone? Or why did he not let them stay with him, since in their staying there was confirmed benefit? Surely their stay in Makkah, in spite of their small number, would have induced others to embrace Islam, the religion of Allah.

Furthermore, there were among them a good number of the noblest families of the Quraish, the strongest and the most powerful. From the tribe of Bani Umaiyah there were `Uthmaan lbn `Affaan, `Amr lbn Sa'iid lbn al-'Aas and Khaalid lbn Sa'iid Ibn Al-'Aas From Bani Asad there were Az-Zubair lbn Al-' Awaam, Al-Aswad lbn Nawfal, Yaziid lbn Zam'ah ,and `Amr lbn Umaiyah. From the tribe of Bani Zahrah there were `Abd Ar-Rahman lbn `Awf, `Aamir lbn Abi Waqqaas Maalik Ibn Ahyab, and Al-Muttalib Ibn Azhar. There were these and others whose families would not be patient for long with their persecution and infliction of harm upon them. Why, then, did the Messenger (PBUH) not let them stay with him to support him and to be a sign of possible power in his hands?

Here the eminence of Muhammad (PBUH), the Messenger of Allah shines. He did not want commotion or civil war, even if the probability of his success was there, or even if he was sure of his success! Here the Messenger's humanity and compassion are illustrated, for he could not bear to see people persecuted because of him, although he was well aware that sacrifice was the price paid in every noble struggle and in every great mission. Sacrifice should be made whenever it was inevitable. But now, when it is possible to avoid suffering, let the Muslims turn that way. Why, then, did he not join them?

He was not commanded to depart. His place was there where idols were. He would keep uttering the name of Allah, the One. He would keep receiving pain and harm without anxiety or disquietude since it was he who was harmed and not those weak people who believed in him and followed him and not even those noble men who also believed in him and followed him! Whoever knows examples of such cases of steadfastness and nobility of sacrifice, let him come up with them. It is a lofty matter capable only of leading messengers and chosen ones.

* * *

The man and the Messenger came together in Muhammad (PBUH) in such a magnificent and well-knit encounter. Those who had doubts in his message did not have any doubt in his eminence, the purity of his quintessence, or the purity of his humanity. Allah, Who knew where to place His Message, had chosen such a man who was the best humanity could achieve in elevation, loftiness, and honesty. People heard him reprimanding them for any exaggeration in glorifying him or even when they merely stated his eminence without any exaggeration. He prohibited them even from standing up in his presence when he came upon them when they were seated. He said, "Do not stand as non-Arabs do when they glorify one another."

When the sun eclipsed on the day of the death of his beloved son Ibraahiim, the Muslims mentioned that it was an eclipse out of sadness for the loss of Ibraahiim. But the great and honest Messenger (PBUH) hastened to refute and negate this assumption before it turned into a legend. He stood among the Muslims, addressing them as follows: "The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah. They never eclipse for the death or life of anybody."

He was the one trusted with the minds of people and their thinking, and so accomplishing what was entrusted to him was more worthy than the glory of all the world. He was certain that he came to humanity to change their way of life and that he was not a Messenger to the Quraish alone, or to the Arabs only, but was Allah's Messenger to all the people on earth!

Almighty Allah directed his vision to how far his mission would reach and his banner flutter. He perceived the truth of the faith he announced, the living immortality it would have until Allah inherits the earth and those upon it. Nevertheless, he did not see in himself, or his religion or his unprecedented success more than a brick in the construction! This great man stood to proclaim this idea in one of his best statements, saying, "The relation between prophets who came before me and myself is like a man who built a house and constructed it well and decorated it, except for a brick in one of its corners. This made people go round it and express their astonishment, saying, Won't this brick be placed? I am such a brick, and I am the last of the Prophets."

All that long life he lived, all his struggles and heroism, all his glory and purity, all the victory achieved in his life for his religion and the victory he knew would be achieved after his death were nothing but a brick, a mere brick in a lofty and deeply founded building. He was the one who proclaimed this and reiterated it. In addition, he did not make up such a speech out of assumed modesty, to nourish a hunger for glory. He emphasized the situation as a fact. Its delivery and transmission he considered part of the quintessence of his message. Though modesty was one of the essential characteristics of Muhammad (PBUH), it was not the only sign of his greatness, which reached an unrivaled level of excellence and superiority to be a sign and a symbol itself.

* * *

That was the teacher of mankind and the last of the prophets. He was the light seen by the people, and he lived among them as a human being, and then after his departure from this world, he was seen by the whole world as a truth and a memory.

Now, while we meet a number of his noble Companions on the following pages of this book where we will be astonished by their faith, their sacrifices, and the good cause they set for their lives, which was unprecedented - the reason for their marvelous lives will be clear before us.

This reason was nothing but the light they followed who was Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Almighty Allah had combined in him the vision of truth and self-dignity, which honored life and illuminated the destiny of mankind.

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