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We review the story of when the prophet PBUH allegadly meets the monk Buhayra wi

th his uncle Abu Talib, Abu Bukr and Bilal. However as we said last time - this
story raises problems and indeed several scholars, mainly Imam Az-Zahabi, have s
aid this must be a fabricated hadith. And certainly if we take this to be true,
then the non muslim scholars can use this story as the source of knowledge for t
he prophet PBUH as they will say he got his information about the Musa, Isa and
Bani Isreal from this monk even though this in and of itself is absurd as it mea
ns at 11 years old the prophet PBUH learnt and memorised all this knowledge, onl
y to relay it 40 years later which isn't possible. Refer to the end of the previ
ous epsiode for extensive detail on this story and the critical analysis.
The next phase of the prophet PBUH life was when he was a young man, around 14/1
5. As we mentioned we have very little about the prophet PBUH at this age. There
is no writing in Mecca or records. Additionally those who lived long were very
few so they couldn't relate any stories when he was a child. Even our own father
s, we know very little when they were young men - how about someone 14 centuries
ago when there are no records or photographs etc. So we have a lot of blanks in
this regard.
We do however know the first job of the prophet PBUH and the hadith is in Bhukar
i so it authentic. The prophet PBUH said "Allah never sent a prophet except that
he was a shepard". The sahaba asked "not even you?". This shows most sahaba did
n't even know he was a shepard let alone the other details! So they thought he w
ould be an exception but the prophet PBUH replied "yes I was and I used to tend
to the flock of the people of Mecca in return for some (pennies)". In another ha
dith the prophet PBUH saw some of the shepards taking care of the sheep they had
and said "I advise you to find the tree of the Araak (a specific tree) and find
the darker branches as this will better for your flock". And they were shocked
and asked "how do you know this?" And he said "I used to be a shepard and every
prophet of Allah was a shepard". In another narration its said "Musa and Dawud A
S were sent when they were shepards and I was sent when I was a shepard in the v
alley of Adjaaj". If Allah willed the prophet PBUH could have been born rich wit
h money as a child, young man and adult. But some of the wisdoms are:
1. Being a shepard gives you the opportunity to engage in solitude and think. Yo
u take your flock and you go away and think, contemplate and infer about the pur
pose of life. Indeed those people who are engrossed with their jobs and dunya ar
e the least spiritual. It's not a coincidence athiesm is more popular amongst th
e rich countries and those with highly paid jobs. But farmers are more religious
and contemplating. You cannot be an athiest if you are tending the flock, seein
g nature etc. You will develop this imaan due to your natural fitrah. But people
of the city that are immersed in materialism have harder hearts and thus find i
t easy to claim there is no God.
2. Sheep are similar to men. They need to be taken care of or else they will go
astray. They need a shepard and every single animal has a personality. You need
to treat every animal according to its need. Some are stubborn, soft etc. Some k
now where they are going, others. The shepard knows each sheep individually and
deals with each animal accordingly. And this is what a leader needs to do. And f
urther this is what the prophet of Allah needs to do.
3. Being a shepard makes you soft and tender for your own flock, but also brave
and courageous in fighting wolves and attacks against your flock. And our prophe
t PBUH said "the people who own horses are the ones who are full of pride, the p
eople who own camels are the ones who are full of arrogance and people who own s
heep are the ones of humility and humbleness". This is indeed a factual statemen
t. And this is why Allah made every prophet a shepard. It's not a coincidence th
at the prophet PBUH was very tender towards animals. In a hadith its narrated th
at a camel came to the prophet PBUH making noises, and tears came to its eyes. A
nd the prophet PBUH soothed the camel until it stopped crying. Then the prophet

PBUH asked "where is the owner?". And the owner came and said "this animal has c
omplained against you, that you overwork it, underfeed it and you beat it so fea
r Allah with regards to this animal that Allah has blessed with you". Subhan'All
ah this shows the tenderness of the prophet PBUH.
4. It shows he understands he needs to earn money - not just be a freeloader but
rather be independant and help his uncle out.
5. To show the simple lifestyle of the prophet PBUH. That he used to the most ba
sic, difficult and low paid manual labour. This shows us there is no dishonour i
n working for your own money. The prophet PBUH said "the purest money you can ea
rn is that which you earn with your own hands". Even prophet Dawud AS did this he was an iron smith and a carpenter.
This also shows even when the prophet PBUH became a prophet, he was not embarras
ed to tell people of his simple past. This is the reality of everything - you ne
ed to start at the bottom and then work to the top. This is true success and its
the reality of business as it is for akhira. Look at the most rich people - the
y all started from the bottom and they are the ones who then built a large empir
e. The same applies for the prophet PBUH - he started right at the bottom and re
ached the pinnacle at the top. Certainly when you reach the top you won't apprec
iate it if you didn't go through the hardships of being at the bottom.
And certainly we see this in Surah Ad-Duha: Your Lord has neither forsaken you n
or hated you. And indeed the Hereafter is better for you than the present (life
of this world). And verily, your Lord will give you so that you shall be well-pl
eased. Did He not find you an orphan and gave you a refuge? And He found you una
ware and guided you? And He found you poor, and made you rich? Therefore, treat
not the orphan with oppression, And repulse not the beggar; And proclaim the Gra
ce of your Lord.
After this incident of being a shepard there are only a few narrations before th
e prophethood began. When the prophet PBUH was a teenager between 15 and 18, clo
ser to 15 (as he didn't fight and in those days around 15 is when you became an
adult), the Quraysh fought in the wars of Fijar. The tribe of the Quraysh belong
s to a much larger branch Kinana. And another large branch was called Kais Ajlaa
n composed of tribes such as Guffafan and Hawazin. A person from the Kinana kill
ed somebody from the Hawazin and when they found out the Hawazin attacked the Ki
naanaic tribes. So the Kinaanaic tribes including the Quraysh rushed back to Mec
ca. And they did this because the rule was "whoever enters the haram you are saf
e". The Hawazin followed them and because they were so angry they didn't care ab
out the sanctity of the haram and they attacked the Kinana. Now this is interest
ing: the initial fault was that of the Kinanaic tribes but the rebuttal is much
more severe. Indeed killing one person outside the haram is a crime but attackin
g the sanctity of the haram is a much bigger crime. And thus the Quraysh declare
d all out war on Hawazin and the Kais Ajlaan tribes. The initial fault was with
the Kinana tribes but now the fault is the with other tribes for breaking the sa
nctity of the haram. So all out war broke out called the wars of Fijar. Initiall
y Quraysh was losing but eventually they won over and finally a peace treated wa
s agreed upon. The prophet PBUH said "I remember participating the Fijar wars (e
vil wars as the sanctity of the haram was broken) and I would collect arrows for
my arrows and hand them back". So the prophet PBUH's job was to find and look f
or these arrows and return them to his uncles. And the prophet PBUH said I do no
t regret participating in that war. Also whenever the prophet PBUH would appear
on the day with the Quraysh they would win over; but whenever he was at home, th
ey would lose ground. And so Abu Talib saw this and said "by Allah you are going
to stay with us".
In another few years a more famous incident occured called the Hulf Al-Fadool al
so called Hulf Al-Mutayabeen - the treaty/pact of Fadool or Mutayabeen. At this

stage the prophet PBUH is probably in his early 20s. This pact occured in Dhul-K
haida. A person from the tribe of Zubaid (from Yemen) - so in Mecca this tribe w
as considered to be relatively low class. Also its far away so there aren't peop
le ready to fight for you. All of this guy's allies are all the way in Yemen. So
this person from the tribe of Zubaid sold an item before hajj to Al-'As ibn Wa'
il who is a chiefton, politician and a rich businessman in the Quraysh. So Al-'A
s ibn Wa'il told him that I'll give you the money after Hajj before you go back
to Yemen. So this man performs the Hajj and goes to Al-'As and asks for his mone
y. Al-'As says come back tomorrow. So he does so. But then Al-'As says again com
e back tomorrow. And this continued until this man realises he won't get his mon
ey back. So this person goes to the subtribes in Quraysh i.e. Banu-Hashim. But e
veryone makes an excuse as Al-'As is a rich politician therefore feeling complet
ely trapped he decided to make this a public issue. In those days they would wri
te poems and announce them. So he said a poem out loud one day when everybody ha
s gathered "Oh family of Fihr (Quraysh), I am one who has been unjustly treated,
I am in the valley of Mecca, far away from my home and away from protection, I
am still in my ihram, my hair is not combed nor have I finished my umrah; where
are my men to help me? Between the hijr and the hajr you are doing this to me. T
he true haram belongs to those who are noble; there is no sanctity to the one wh
o wears a thobe while he is a cheat, steal and lowly person." So he is basically
saying you are cheaters and losers and are taking advantage of me just because
I am far away from land. The news spread like wildfire and Az-Zubaid ibn Abdul M
uttalib heard of this and decided something had to be done. So he convened a gat
hering in the house of Abdullah ibn Judhaan (a distinct uncle of Aisha RA and wa
s considered to be the most noble of the people of Mecca in terms of hospitality
and geniune sincerety). And here is where they agreed to a treaty that they wou
ld side with the oppressed against the oppressor regardless of tribe. Even if th
e one who is shown injustice and the oppressor is from Quraysh. And they all wen
t in front of the ka'bah and they signed their name on a document. Now of course
they are all illiterate - they can't read or right. In those days what you woul
d do is dip your hand in perfume and put that perfume on the ka'bah on the same
place. And this is why it's called Hulf Al-Mutayabeen - this means perfume so th
is is the treaty of those who have perfumed themselves. Also Hulf Al-Fadool beca
use when Al-'As has heard of this, he said "why did they get involved in a matte
r that's none of their business (fadooly)". And the arabs have never heard of su
ch a pact before. And the prophet PBUH said in Bhukari "I witnessed a treaty tha
t were I asked to uphold it in Islam I would do so. And I would not be willing t
o give up my place for a lot of red camels". Meaning the prophet PBUH was very p
roud to be apart of this treaty and would not give up a place in it for alot of
money. They all agreed rights would be honoured and this was justice.
We can derive many benefits from these two stories:
1. The prophet PBUH did not regret participating in the wars of Fijar. Note he n
arrated this later on and he said "I do not regret this" showing what he did is
something he thought was correct. This shows us it's permissable to fight in war
s that is not necessarily religious. Indeed this is a war where both sides pagan
. Of course he didn't directly participate but he aided. The bottom line is that
even in wars that not purely religious the muslim has some leeway in participat
ion because the prophet PBUH did do something and in these wars it's not clear c
ut good v evil as both sides had done evil, one side more than the other. And th
us regarding the current day wars, many are not religious so the question of whe
ther we can help or not is some fiqh that can be discussed.
2. The prophet PBUH was actively involved with the society of his time. Even tho
ugh the society was not muslim. And he was proud of this involvment. And the cau
ses he got involved with were not purely religious causes. Involves justice, tru
th and helping the oppressed and later on he is saying "I am proud of being ther
e and even now I would uphold this treaty". This shows us getting involved in pu
blic causes is a part of being muslim. And this is a big issue in that as an umm

ah we think we should only get involved in purely islamic causes - we don't get
involved with racism, oppression, poverty, abuse etc. We only care about Syria,
Palestine etc. These are all good causes but at the same time we learn the proph
et PBUH was an active member of society who supported justice regardless of reli
gion. And this is a fault in that we still don't have a connection with the soci
ety. Imagine the effect of our dawah if a muslim talked against racism, oppressi
on etc. Nothing about Islam but the message in and of itself is dawah. This is w
hat the prophet PBUH said. Basically oppression and racism are the same regardle
ss of what religion you are. It effects all of us. When we become involved with
society they see you as sincere, then when you say you are a muslim, Islam becom
e a sincere faith. And this is what the prophet PBUH did. When he became a proph
et he is loved, respected and accepted. And nobody could say to the prophet PBUH
"Where were you when society needed you? who are you to preach to us?" as the p
rophet PBUH was an active member. And this is a problem with the current muslim
community in that we are disconnected from society. We don't have active engagem
ent with the society. Once we become active in society and then say we are musli
ms people will listen and accept the message, just like the prophet PBUH did. So
the bottom line is there are human values, justice, security etc and the muslim
needs to be at the forefront of these issues. When we support justice and we ha
ve the proper theology it will come as a total package. Unfortunately dawah is o
nly talking to people - this is only one aspect. This also clearly demonstrates
the status of the prophet PBUH in that he is called to witness the treaty and he
is the youngest participant at 20 years old. This shows us they saw in him a fu
ture leader - one who is truthful and honest and well respected. Also despite al
l the differences and problems of the Quraysh they had characterisitics of nobil
ity, virtue etc. Thus even though it was the time of Jaheleya there was an eleme
nt of good and because of this Allah sent the prophet PBUH in their midst.
Next time we will discuss the prophet PBUH's marriage with Khadija RA, the build
ing of the ka'baha and how the prophet PBUH was protected as a young man but aft
er this we have no more stories before the prophet PBUH became a prophet at 40.
These are all the stories we have which shows indeed how little we have before t
he age of the 40.