By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
"I bear witness that you were (descended) through pure loins and chaste wombs.”
We are on the eve of one of the most auspicious days in the history of the world. It is the day on which God Almighty sent into the world, through an unbroken chain of virtuously monotheistic fathers and mothers, His Last and Greatest Messenger.
It was on the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal that the Best of God’s creation was born in a monotheistic family, and as confirmed by the above-mentioned phrase which is found in standard forms of salutation to the Messenger of Mercy and his Infallible Ahl al-Bayt, it was no ordinary birth.
He was born in the year known as "Aam al-Feel” (Year of the Elephant, corresponding to 570 AD), because of a manifest miracle that brought Divine Wrath upon the Abyssinian governor of Yemen, Abraha's elephant-led abortive attempt to attack the holy Ka'ba, in the form of a flock of small birds that showered force with a hail of deathly pebbles.
On the eve of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWA) birth, the idols that the infidel Arabs had placed in Prophet Abraham’s edifice of monotheism, the holy Ka’ba, fell headlong.
The forces of Jahiliyyah, whether in the Arabian Peninsula or elsewhere in the supposedly civilized world, witnessed events that heralded the end of the days of ignorance.
History bears witness that the sacred fire of the Zoroastrians that had been kept burning in Persia proper for over a thousand years, suddenly died down to the horror of the Mobads.
In Ctesiphon (Mada’en near Baghdad in Iraq), a crack suddenly appeared in the huge arch of the magnificent hall of audience of the Sassanid king of kings (Shahenshah). At the same time, 14 parapets came crashing down from atop Khosrow Anushirvan’s palace.
They were others portents in other parts of the world including China, India, Africa and Europe, that are outside the scope of this brief column, in which I intend to point out that none of the ancestors and ancestresses of the person sent by God as "Mercy unto the creation” (holy Qur’an 21:107), were other than staunchly virtuous monotheists.
This is confirmed by all respected scholars of Islam, whether Sunni or Shi’a Muslims, and disproves the allegation of hypocrites that Abraham’s father was Azar the idol-worshipper – actually his misled uncle, while his father’s name was Tarakh.
The famous Sunni scholar of Mamluk Egypt, Jalaluddin as-Suyuti (1445-1505) has written extensively on this subject to prove that all the ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) were true believers.
This has also been confirmed by Shaykh Abdul-Haqq Muhaddith Dehlawi of Mughal India (1551-1642), who writes: "All the ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) from Adam up to Abdullah were pure and clean from the uncleanness of disbelief and paganism. It was not possible for Allah to put that Holy Light (of the Prophet) into dark and dirty places, i.e. the loin of a pagan man or the womb of a pagan woman. Also, how could it be possible for Allah to punish the ancestors of the Prophet on the Day of Judgment and thus humiliate him in the eyes of the world?”
Allamah Muhammad Baqer Majlisi of Safavid Iran (1616-1698) has written that it is the unanimous belief of Shi’a Muslim scholars that the father, mother and all ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) followed the true religion, and his Light never entered into the loin of any pagan man or the womb of any pagan woman. Also, the authentic hadith say that all his ancestors were "Siddiqun” (Truthful Ones): They were either prophets or successors of prophets.”
The sceptics, both among the followers of other creeds and those who claim to be Muslims, might raise eyebrows in this regard, because their hearts have yet to be enlightened by the Celestial Light Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) was, as he himself says in a famous hadith: "The first thing God created was my Light.”
Thus in order to better understand the Seal of Prophets, his mission Islam, and his authentic Sunnah and Seerah (practice and behaviour) we have to trace our sources to Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and his Blessed Household (Ahl al-Bayt), rather than those idolatrous Arabs who became Muslims in the last days of his life (and that too for a variety of reasons, and not out of sincere conviction).
Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) himself has said: "I was always being transferred from the loins of the pure ones to the wombs of the pure ones.”
It means after Prophet Ishmael, all his ancestors were "Awsiya” (legatees) of Ishmael. In several hadith we find the mention of the name of the Prophet’s grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib as a "Hujjah-Allah (Proof of the One and Only God) of his time, and that after him his son Abu Taleb was the "Wasi” (legatee).
Now it becomes clear to, as to why Divine Providence entrusted the upbringing of the orphaned Muhammad (SAWA) to Abu Taleb, and why the Prophet (on the express commandments of God at Ghadir-Khom) proclaimed his equally purely and pristinely descended cousin, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), as Vicegerent.
Imam Ali (AS) himself has said in this regard: "By Allah, neither my father ever worshipped idols, nor my grandfather Abdul-Muttalib, nor his father Hashem, nor his father Abd Munaf. They prayed facing towards the Ka’ba and followed the religion of Abraham.”
No wonder, it is highly recommended to visit the shrine of Imam Ali (AS) in Najaf or to salute him from afar, on the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Heartiest Congratulations on the Birth Anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA)