A glimpse of the Prophet’s life before Prophethood

It is the Will of Allaah The Almighty that He has chosen His Prophets and Messengers, may He exalt their mention, from among humans, and who were not, in any way, special, except for certain qualities He endowed them with, which were essential to properly assuming their distinctive responsibilities. Hence, like all of mankind, prophets fell ill and became hungry; they worked to earn their livelihood and acted human in every way.

Similarly, Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, participated in nearly all activities practiced by his people. For instance, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, worked as a shepherd early on in life when his paternal uncle, Abu Taalib, who took custody of him after the demise of his grandfather, was financially unable to provide for his family. In order to help, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would tend to the sheep of the people of Makkah, in return for a wage.

He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was not alone in this, as Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Allaah did not send any prophet but he shepherded sheep.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Perhaps, it was because this line of work that involves dealing with animals, imbues people with forbearance, mercy, kindness and humility – indispensible qualities of a Prophet.

Further, when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, became an adult, he went with Abu Taalib on business trips to Ash-Shaam (the Levant) and neighboring regions. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, learned the art of trade in a short period of time, becoming a successful merchant, well known for his honesty and trustworthiness.

The people of Quraysh used to hire the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to invest their money, as did Khadeejah before marrying the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and starting a family with him.

Even in terms of active combat, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, participated in resisting against the tribe of Hawaazin when it attacked Makkah, attempting to sacrilege its holy places. As a fourteen-year-old, his role was restricted to collecting arrows and giving them to his paternal uncles.

He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also participated in meetings held by his people to discuss important issues. For example, he partook in the alliance of Al-Fudhool, which was formed by some Makkan tribes, including Banu Haashim, Banu ‘Abd Al-Muttalib and Banu Asad; its purpose was offering protection and help to any wronged person against the wrongdoer, regardless of his status. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, praised this union, saying: “I participated in forming an alliance in the house of ‘Abdullaah ibn Jud‘aan. Such a coalition is more valuable to me than the most precious of camels; if I were invited to create a similar alliance [even] now that Islam has reigned, I would accept.[Ahmad]

When he was thirty-five years old, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his paternal uncle, Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, contributed to the renovation of the Ka‘bah, whose walls were crumbling due to flooding and rain, by moving the stones.

Further, he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was even chosen by his people to arbitrate between the tribes who all wanted the sole honor of placing the Black Stone in its position. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, suggested that the Black Stone be placed on a piece of cloth, whose edges be held by a designated member of each tribe, until they reach the Ka’bah, whence he would position it in himself. Thus, he diffused a potentially explosive situation.

However, the lifestyle of his people in Makkah and their sins of idol worship and intoxication, did make the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, uncomfortable. Therefore, he would spend much of his time in seclusion in the cave of Hiraa’, to worship Allaah The Almighty and to ponder the secrets of the universe.

He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would stay in there, several days at a time, until he would run out of food. Then, he would return home for more provisions. The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “once stayed in the cave of Hiraa’ for a whole month, uninterrupted.”[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

This seclusion helped him to attain spiritual purity and increase his love of his Creator. It also nurtured in him the qualities vital to conveying the message of Islam to all people in the future. And it was not long until, as he continued his seclusion, the Revelation descended on him at the age of forty.

Ref : www.islamweb.net

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