Episode 4: HILFUL-FUDUL
 

    It was during this period that the Quraysh came to agree upon one of the noblest covenants made in which Muhammed peace be and blessings upon him played a prominent part. It so happened that a man from Zabid (A town in Yemen) came to sell his merchandise in Makkah. One of the Quraysh chieftains in the person of Al'As Ibn Wayel purchased the whole of it but paid nothing in return. Because of this, Zabid approached several influential Quraysh leaders but none of them agreed to confront Al'As Ibn Wayel. Having been turned down by those that he had previously asked for help, Zabid called upon the people of Makkah exhorting every bold and fair-minded young man to come to his rescue. At last, many of them, moved by embarrassment, assembled in the house of ‘Abdullah Ibn Jad’an who entertained everyone that came to his house. Thereafter, they formed a pact, in the name of Allah, for repression of acts of lawlessness and restoration of justice to the weak and the oppressed within the walls of Makkah. The covenant was called Hilful-Fudul wherein all its members finally approached Al'As Ibn Wayel and forced him to return the merchandise of Zabid. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 257-59).
    Muhammed peace be and blessings upon him had been one of the prominent movers of the pact and he always made it a point to express his satisfaction over the execution of this agreement. Once he remarked: “I had a hand in making such an arrangement in the house of ‘Abdullah Ibn Jad’an to which if I were invited again to help even after the advent of Islam, I would have undoubtedly participated once more”. Through such Hilful Fudul, they had agreed to restore upon everyone what is due of him and to protect the weak from the exploits and manipulations of the oppressors.”

    The Advent of Prophecy
    UNREST

    Muhammed peace be and blessings upon him was approaching his fortieth year. He felt a mystifying internal unrest, yet he did not know the rationale behind

it. He was himself not aware what the inexplicable confusion meant to him; nor did the idea that God was about to honor him with revelation and Prophethood ever crossed his mind. This was how the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him felt, as has been attested by God in the Qur’an: “And thus We have inspired in thee (Muhammed) a Spirit of Our Command. You knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of our bondmen. And Lo! You verily dost guide unto a right path.” [Qur?aan 42:52]
At another place, the inability of the Prophet peace be and blessings upon him to know the reason for his internal unrest has been demonstrated in these words: “You hast no hope that the Scripture would be inspired in thee; but it is a mercy from Your Lord, so never be a helper to the disbelievers.” [Qur?aan 28:86]

    It pleased the Will of God, All-wise and All-knowing, that His Prophet peace be and blessings upon him should remain a stranger to the arts of reading and writing. His contemporaries could thus never accuse him of himself editing the divine revelations. This, too, has been subverted by the Qur’an to settle the matter as evidenced by the following verse: “And You (O Muhammed) was not a reader of any Scripture before it, nor didst You write it with Your right hand, for then might those have doubted, who follow falsehood.” [Qur?aan 29: 48]
    That is why the Qur’an calls him an ?unlettered Prophet peace be and blessings upon him?. ?Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the gospel (which are) with them—He commands them for Al-Maruf
(monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbids them from Al-Munkar (disbelief and all that Islam forbids)” [Qur?aan 7:157]

 

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