The Childhood of Sayyidina wa Mawlaana Muhammad from Rauza Tus-Safarevised by El-Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Jilani al-Hashimi
These are some of the events that occurred during and after A’bd-ul-Muttalleb bestowed his lordship the refuge of prophecy (saws) to Halimah who served as his wet-nurse.
Halimah: ‘Inquiring for his name and position, I was told that he was A’bd-ul Muttalleb, the prince of the Quraish; accordingly I approached him and presented myself. He asked me who I was, whereon I informed him that I was of the tribe Bani Sa’ad and that my name was Halimah. He replied: Felicity (Sa’ad) and meekness (Halam) are two sweet good qualities which cause eternal salvation.” Then he continued: “I have an infant orphan, Muhammad (saws) by name, whom I offered to all the women of the Bani Sa’ad, but they replied: ‘He has no father, and no profit results from an orphan;’ I hope however, thou wilt take him.” I replied that I would go and consult my husband; A’bd-ul-Muttalleb consented, and when I explained the matter to my husband the Almighty filled his heart with joy, and he exclaimed: “Halimah, make haste and take the child, lest others should make away therewith.” But my cousin said: “Alas! the women of the Bani Sa’ad have taken the infants of noble and wealthy people, and have thus obtained riches and honors, and thou hast taken an orphan child, which will only become an occasion of more sorrow to you.” Halimah continued: ‘These words shook my firmness, but immediately the revelation dawned upon my mind: “If thou abandonest Muhammad (saws) thou wilt never be happy.” I therefore ran to A’bd-ul-Muttalleb and asked for the boy. He immediately prostrated himself, and after raising his head exclaimed: “O Lord, make this woman a blessing to Muhammad (saws).” Then he took me to the house of Amish, whose face I beheld shining like the moon. She smiled at me and showed me her infant, whose countenance was radiant like the world-illuminating sun. I was so excited by his beauty and attractiveness that mill began suddenly to flow in my veins. I placed the nipple of my right breast into his mouth, and he began immediately to suck it; but when I presented to him my left breast he refused to do so.’ Ibn Abbas says that even at that time the sense of justice was so great in his lordship that he left the other breast for the use of his partner.
Halimah says: ‘During the whole time his lordship always took mild only from my right breast, and whenever I desired to wipe his blessed lips after he had done sucking, I was forestalled in that act from the invisible world; nor would my son take the nipple into his mouth until the prince of the world had finished. In short, my husband, having perceived the beauty of his lordship, fell on his face in adoration, and said: “O Halimah, I have never seen a more handsome boy among the children of men.”
During the week we remained in Mekkah, we went every day to the house of Aminah, had taken place during her pregnancy, and at the time of her confinement. When we departed to our home we took leave of her; I mounted our donkey and took Muhammad (saws) in front of me. The donkey capered, raised his head skywards, placed it thrice on the ground, returned, and joyfully left Mekkah, so that he took in the journey the lead of all the others. The women of the Bani Sa’ad were astonished, and exclaimed: “O Halimah, is this the same donkey who had no strength to walk when we journeyed to Mekkah, and who was the hidmost of all? A secret is in this, and something great is in store for thee.” I overheard the donkey saying to himself: “By Allah! it is a great matter that I have been revived, and have acquired strength. Ye women of the Bani Sa’ad, are you aware whom I am carrying? I am the bearer of Muhammad (saws), the apostle of the Lord of the universe, upon whom the joy of this world and the light of the next depend!” During that journey I also heard the words: “O Halimah, thou hast been favored in the latter part of they life, and hast become the noblest among the women of the Bani Sa’ad.”
Halimah says: ‘In every stage we alighted we found plenty of water; grass and fruit-trees sprang into existence by the power of Allah, and during that journey I witnessed so many strange and wonderful events that the tongue of eloquence is unable to record them.
When we arrived in the country of the Bani Sa’ad, it looked parched and without grass, other sheep returned home without milk, but ours, which had before been sickly and emaciated, had now grown healthy and fat; when they came home every evening from their pasturages they were replete with food and milk, whilst quite the contrary was the case with the sheep belonging to other people.
When the men of the tribe became aware of this great difference, and saw our meadows full of water and grass, but theirs dry and parched, they complained to their chiefs that our cattle were grazing in their pasturages. It was related that for this reason the Lord blesses also the flocks of the whole tribe, and as long as Muhammad (saws) was among us, many benefits redounded on the tribe, because of the favor of his presence.’
Halimah says: ‘Muhammad (saws) never answered the calls of nature in his clothes, but had an evacuation every day at a fixed time, and whenever I intended to wash his body I found it pure and clean. Nor did that infant hate anything more than to have his limbs bared, but cried and became angry every time suck a thing took place, until they were again covered. Otherwise he never wept, nor showed signs of bad humor, so that everyone who saw him fell in love with him.
One night I awoke and heard him pronouncing the following words, better ones than which do not exist: “There is no God but Allah the Most Holy as long as long as eyes endure, the Merciful One who is not overtaken by slumber or sleep!” and these wore his first words. From the time he began to speak he never handled anything without saying: “In the name of Allah.” Nor did he ever touch anything with his left hand.
Scission of the Breast of that Prince of Exalted Dignity
Halimah said that he had two milk-brothers who went every day into the desert to pasture the sheep, and that when his lordship was three years old he said to her: “How is it that I have not seen my brothers these two days?” She replied: “During the day they are engaged in pasturing the sheep.” He queried further: “Why sendest thou not me with them?” She answered: “No doubt thou wishest to be in their company.” Accordingly, she combed his hair next morning, inserted collyrium into his blessed eyes, dressed him in a robe, and tied a string of Yaman shells round his blessed neck to avert the evil eye; but he immediately tore it off, threw it away, and said: “He who is my guardian will be with me!” Sending him away with his [milk-] brothers, she enjoined them to take care of him, but about noon her son Zobeir came running in great distress and bathed in perspiration, exclaiming: “O mother rescue Muhammad (saws) but I believe thou wilt not be able to reach him.” She asked what had happened, and he continued: “Two men, dressed in green, came from the sky, took him away from us to the top of the mountain, ripped open his abdomen, and they are still with him.” Halimah says: “I, my husband, and several women of my tribe, rand helter-skelter to the meadow, and saw him standing on the top of the mountain, looking towards heaven. My husband asked him what had happened and he replied as follows: “Two men alighted from the atmosphere, brought a vase full of snow-water, laid me down, opened my abdomen, and ripped up my breast. They took from it a small black grain, washed it with snow-water, and filled it with light. Then they passed their hands over my body, whereon it became again as it was before.”
Halimah reports that the prince of this world said: “They weighed me first against ten men, but I preponderated; then with five hundred, and I preponderated; one of them said the other: “Let him alone. If he be balanced with the whole nation he will preponderate.” Halimah says: “When I brought Muhammad (saws) back to the house, the people said: “He ought to be taken to a soothsayer, because he is touched by the jinni. But Muhammad (saws) replied: “I am free, and safe from what you imagine, nor has anything befallen me.” The people, nevertheless, insisted so much that we were obliged to comply. After we had stated the circumstances to the sorcerer, he desired the boy himself to explain them, as he was more familiar with them [than we could be]. When Muhammad (saws) had narrated the event, the soothsayer jumped up, pressed him to his breast, and exclaimed: “O Arab people, put him to death and me also. For if he remains alive he will consider your wise men to be fools, and will abolish your religion. He will invite you to worship a God whom you do not know, and to profess a religion contrary to your own.” Halimah says: “When I heard these words I snatched Muhammad (saws) from his arms and said: “Thou art a fool! Had I known that thou wouldst utter such sentiments I would not have brought the child. Find a man to kill thee, for we shall not slay Muhammad (saws).”
Halimah returns Muhammad (saws) to Mekkah
When we had determined to go to Mekkah, I heard a voice exclaiming every night: “Prosperity, blessings, and security are departing from the country of Bani Sa’ad! Hail to you, Battha and Mekkah, as long as an individual like thee, O Muhammad (saws), sojourneth there! O best of men, as soon as Mekkah becomes thy abode, the inhabitants of the sanctuary will be preserved and protected from calamities!” Halimah said further: “I mounted a beast and seating Muhammad (saws) in front of me, watched him incessantly whilst I heard awful voices on all sides. When I arrived at the gate of Mekkah I alighted, and necessarily likewise took down Muhammad (saws)., etc.; on that occasion a small white cloud descended and I heard wonderful sounds. When I had terminated my business, I looked around, but could not see Muhammad (saws), wheron I began to lament so bitterly that young and old took pity on me. An old man asked me for the cause of my grief, and I swore by the God of Ebrahim that if I could not see Muhammad (saws) I would precipitate myself down from the mountain; but the old man replied: “Weep not, but enter the idol-temple and beseech Hobal to restore thy child,” but I replied: “O decrepit old man, hast thou not heard what happened to Lat and to Uzza on the night of his birth?
Hemistich: “U’zz had no honor, and Lat no power.”
“The old man continued: “Woman, thy great distress makes thee speak nonsense! I shall enter and intercede, that he may again restore thy child.” The foolish old man went to Hobal, and after praising him as is the fashion of idolaters, he continued: “This woman of the Bani Sa’ad says that she lost Muhammad (saws), the son of A’bd-ul-Muttalleb; restore him to her if it so pleaseth thee; for she bemoans him as lost.” As soon as that misguided individual had pronounced these words Hobal fell prostrate on his face, and from the cavity of his statue the words were heard: “What have I to do with Muhammad (saws) who will be the cause of our destruction? and Allah the Most High and Glorious, who alone is to be worshipped, will not abandon him. Tell the idolaters that he is the great sacrifice; that is to say, he will kill all, except those who will be so fortunate as to follow him.” Halimah says: “When the little old man came out from the temple he exclaimed: “I have never experienced anything like this from Hobal! Call thy son, for a great destiny is in store for him.” When I despaired of finding Muhammad (saws), I was forsooth compelled to disclose the circumstance to A’bd-ul-Muttalleb, who immediately ascended the Mount Safa and assembled the Quraish, but they were unable to find the child, although they searched all the places in and around Mekkah. After being thus disappointed, A’bd-ul-Muttalleb entered the mosque of the sanctuary alone, circumambulated it seven times, and heard the following words: “Muhammad (saws) has a God who will not cause him to be lost.” A’bd-ul-Muttalleb answered: “O herald where is Muhammad (saws)?” Whereon he heard the reply: “He is sitting under a tree in the Wadi Tahamah.” A’bd-ul-Muttalleb immediately armed himself, proceeded in that direction, and met on his road Waraqah Bin Naufil, who joined him in the search after Muhammad (saws) and they discovered his lordship reclining under a myrtle-tree.” There is another tradition that Masu’d Thaqfi and A’mru Bin Naufil found his lordship the seal of prophecy sitting under a myrtle-tree gathering the leaves thereof, and that A’mru asked him: “Who are thou?” And he received the answer: “I am Muhammad, the son of A’bdullah, the son of A’bd-ul-Muttalleb.” When they had taken him back, and the eyes of A’bd-ul-Muttalleb were illuminated by the aspect of the prince of creatures (saws) he bestowed much gold and innumerable camels on deserving persons, and presented Halimah with many gifts, whereon she returned joyfully to her home.