When the term was fulfilled and the moment of delivery approached, the holy house, the Kaaba at Mecca all at once was seen to split in two.
The Quraysh were appalled by this event and everybody searched for an explanation. The Bani Hashim said, “This is on account of Abdullah, the son of Abdul-Muttalib’s (RA) death that this happened” while the Bani Zuhair said. “This holy house split asunder because the father of Amina (RA), Wahb ibn Abdu Manaf died, and he was one of the bravest men of Quraysh.” While they were thus engaged in finding explanations for this inexplicable happening, they heard a voice coming from inside the Kaaba that said, “Oh men of Quraysh! This holy house has not come apart on account of the death of any, but rather because the time of birth has drawn nigh for the Light of this world, the Glory of the world to come, the shining Lamp of Paradise, Muhammad bin Abdullah (SWS) to emerge from his mother’s womb. he is to be a great prophet, he will cleanse this holy house of the abominations and idols that are polluting my precincts, and he will make me pure and pristine once more with the light of true faith; I will become Qibla of all his nation and the annual pilgrimage will be held on my grounds. Know that it is an honour of his long desired advent that this edifice has cracked and split.”
The night that Muhammad (SWS) was born Allah Almighty, Exalted be He, commanded angels to open all gates of heaven and of paradise; on that day the sun shone with more brilliance, and greater was its light than on other days. and the whole world was gladdened.
Abdullah bin Salam reports: On the night the Prophet (SWS) was born, I was sitting together with a learned Jew. He raised his face to heaven and spoke to me, “Ya Ibn Salam! This very night at Mecca the Arabian prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (SWS) is to be born who will illuminate the world.” I said to him. “I have been watching the skies, and I see now such a light as has not been seen since the world began. That is how I came to know of this event.” I entered a dark room, and I saw seventy candles burning in it so that it was brilliantly lit. I knew then that unusual things were happening. When I came to Mecca, I asked about this light, and I found a Jewish scholar had told me the truth; it had indeed been the night in which the Prophet Muhammad (SWS) came into this world.
The Prophet’s (SWS) blessed mother, Amina (RA), relates: At the time I was ready to give birth there was no one with me, neither man or woman attended me (for everyone, including Abdul-Muttalib (RA), had gone to make Tawaf of the Kaaba.) I was all alone in the house. Suddenly there was a terrifying noise and I felt great fear. Then a white bird alighted upon my breast and my fear left me, I became calm and no trace of pain or anxiety remained. Next I was handed a cup of weet white sherbet, and when I drank of it, my heart filled with peace, joy and light. After this, I beheld a number of tall women approaching me, tall and slender as cypress trees, and of astounding beauty. I took them to be the daughters of Abdu Manaf. They came and sat around me in a circle and I was mostly surprised and wondered how they had come to know of my condition and who had informed them. While I was yet pondering this question in my heart, one of the ladies spoke and said, “I am Hawa, the wife of the prophet Adam (AS),” and another one of them said, “I am Sarah wife of the prophet Ibrahim (AS).” Yet another said, “I am Asya the wife of Fir’aun of Egypt.” And another said, “I am Maryam, the daughter of Imran, the mother of Isa (AS).”
The others introduced as the Huris of paradise, all of whom had come to usher the Holy Prophet (SWS) into his earthly life and to welcome him with due veneration.
All the while the noises I had been hearing became stronger and louder and more fearful. Suddenly I perceived a white curtain being drawn from the skies down to earth, so that I was veiled from the eyes of the Jinn. There there was a flock of birds with beaks of green emerald and ruby red wings. These birds flew down and fluttered about me so closely that I could feel the beating of the wings upon my skin. They flew around and around me as if in Tawaf (circumambulation). The Lord Almighty then removed the veil from my eyes so that I beheld the whole world from east to west. Three flags I saw them bring down from heaven: one they planted in the east, one in the west and one right atop of the Kaaba. In the heavens, that were open to my eyes, I beheld mean bearing bejewelled vessels of gold, and they assisted at the birth of the blessed child, and I suffered neither pain nor trouble.
And when I looked again, I saw that the child was born circumcised, and that his umbilical cord was cut and he as wrapped in a piece of white silk. He touched the ground with his blessed head, lifted the forfinger of his right hand, and made humble supplication to Allah Almighty. I bent down to hear what he was saying, and these were the words I heard:
“Ash-had an la ilaha ill’Allah
wa inni rasul-ullah;
Allahu Akbar kabiran,
Wa-subhanallahi bukratan wa asilan.
Allahumma, ummatiy, ummatiy….”
There is a narration from Saffiya (RA), daughter of Abdul-Muttalib(RA): I was present the night the Prophet Muhammad (SWS) was born. At the very moment of birth I saw a great light appear. During the night, I beheld six signs; the first was the instant the holy child was born, he bent down his head and performed a prostration; the second that he lifted up his blessed head and spoke clearly and distinctly these word; La ilaha ill’Allah, inni rasulullah; the third that a great light was manifested; the fourth that when I wished to wash the child, I heard a voice speakign to me that said, “Oh Saffiya, do not trouble yourself, we have already washed and cleansed him; the fifth sign was this that he was born already circumcised and his umbilical cord was cut; the sixth sign was that when I looked for something to swaddle the child, I noticed upon his back a certain mark, looking at it closely, I was able to read the words: La ilaha ill’Allah Muhammad Rasulullah.
Saffiya also said, “When he prostrated himself, he spoke some words in secret. I bent my ears to his blessed lips to hear that he was saying and I heard him say ,” Ummatiy, Ummatiy….'(my nation, oh my nation.)”
Now let us pause briefly to consider this point: this noble prophet of unequalled rank and highest station prayed to his Lord from the very moment he was born, entreating Him for our sake, for the safety of his nation, while we, who stand in dire need of his prayer and intercession in this world and the next are enveloped in headlessness. We forsake the example of his radiant and honoured Sunna (example) and are negligent in our observance of the Sharia that we have the privilege of knowing. Day and night we are careless in the recital of Salawat (praises and prayers on the Holy Prophet SWS) being engulfed in our own sloth. How can we be worthy of such lofty intercession? If we paused to consider this for a moment and reflected on the implications, we would realise that we are totally overcome by our heedlessness, whereas we should busy ourselves constantly with the application of the holy ways of the law, and try to make all our actions accord with the guidance it contains and to tirelessly recite praises and prayers on the Holy Prophet (SWS). May Allah – Exalted be He – effect betterment for us all and improve our state, and grant us success and favour, for the sake of the prince of all among the Divine Messengers, Amin.
To resume our narration, Amina (RA) , The mother of the Holy Prophet (SWS) recounts: “I then beheld a white cloud in the sky moving towards me, and from it came as if the sounds of horses. This cloud descended and enveloped the little child Muhammad (SWS) and carried him away out of my sight. I heard a voice calling: “We are taking Muhammed (SWS), to show him the whole world. We shall encircle it and dive into the depths of the oceans, so that all that lives in and under the earth may know of the advent of the noble being and shall have seen his face and learnt of his arrival. Hereafter the world shall be filled with the light of faith. Of unbelief and rebellion against the Lord almighty nothing will remain. I heard the voices speak to me.”
After a brief moment, that cloud alighted anew, and I saw my son Muhammad (SWS) again, wrapped now in a piece of green silk, dripping with milk. His face was radiant as the moon on her fourteenth night, and he exuded a fragrance sweeter than that of yellow musk. I then beheld three persons standing aside; one of them held in his hand a jug of silver, another held a bowl of green emerald, and the third held a piece of folded white silk. The later unfolded this bit of silk and took from its folds a ring so bright it dazzled the eyes of the beholder.
“The first took the baby Muhammad (SWS) and washed him seven times from the silver jug; then the next person took a ring form the folds of silk cloth and impressed its bezel in a place between the baby’s shoulders. After that he wrapped it up again in the bit of silk. He then took the baby Muhammad (SWS) from me and held him under his wing for a whole hour, all the while whispering many secrets into his ears. At last he kissed him upon both his eyes and said, “Tuba laka, ya Muhammad (SWS), blissful tidings to you, oh Muhammad (SWS), in all Allah’s creation, you are the most awesome and venerable of all that serve Him Almighty. Triumph and has been given to your companions and your nation. It is you who holds the keys to the castle of bliss.”
It is related by Ibn Abbas (RA): The night the Holy Prophet (SWS) was born, all idols in the Kaaba fell from their places and broke into pieces. At that time a voice was heard calling our from the unseen and it said,”Woe and perdition on Quraysh, for the glorious and trusted prophet (SWS) has come in truth, embellished with adornments from the loftiest gardens of paradise. Lat and Uzza and all other idols are now finished and done for, Iblis himself is imprisoned.”
The Kaaba itself was inwardly hung with golden lamps from paradise, and all creatures of the heavens and the earth, the youths and the maidens of paradise, all created beings other than mankind rejoiced and gave each other the glad tidings, “Oh Muhammad (SWS)” they wished, “may Allah make you happy and always pleased, for there is no creature born with greater honour than you, and none that is more excellent. Never have the angels celebrated any birth of any created being as they now celebrate your birth into this world!” Between heaven and earth there were raised pillars of support and all were made of precious stone and not one of them was alike unto another.
More Events Surrounding the Birth of the Holy Prophet (SWS)
Muhammad bin Khatim reported:
There once lived a man in Egypt who every year on the night of the Prophet’s (SWS) birthday used to arrange great festivity and invite the poor and orphans and widows to his feast. There would be Quran readings, litanies of praise would be recited and Maulids sung and a banquet was prepared in order of the holy prophet (SWS). This pious man had a neighbour who was a Jew. Once his wife asked him “I’ve been wondering what it means that our neighbour makes a great feast every year and invites all the destitute people he can find and treats them in such a magnificent way, what is this occasion ?” Her husband answered her ” It is the night of the birth of the holy prophet (SWS) which they always celebrate in gratitude and remembrance of the event.”
That night this woman saw in her dream a personal very beautiful and light filled aspect, he was awesome and his face radiant as the sun. He was surrounded by great number of companions whose faces would like the morning star. All the shining people were headed for the house or the neighbour always gave the feast. In her dream, the woman was irresistibly drawn to this beautiful appearance, and she asked one of the companions, “Who is this person, I have never seen anyone so sweet and full of love ?” The companion answered her,” This noble being is the pride of creation, the prince of all mankind, the Messenger of God, the beloved of Allah, Muhammad Mustafa (SWS). All these companions have come to pay their respects and to show him honour.”
The Jewish woman thought to herself “I will ask a companion whether I can wait for him, whether I can approach him when he comes out and ask my question”. She asked if she could address the prophet (SWS) so when he came out, and ask him a question. He replied “No need to wait outside just go in. There is room enough, no one is going to prevent you from reaching his blessed presence. You may ask whatever you need to know, he will not turn you away, nor will he leave your questions unanswered.” The Jewish woman then went inside and beheld the blessed presence, surrounded by his companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. She then approached the holy prophet (SWS) and said “Ya Muhammad!” the holy prophet (SWS) turned towards her and answered “Labbayk I am here with you.” She then said “How can it be that a great, much-honoured personality such as you, the prophet of Allah Almighty deigns to speak to a plain and undistinguished person such as me, answering me with “Labbayk?” Particularly as I am not even of your religion “. The holy prophet (SWS) then says to her, “No sooner had I seen your face and I knew that the Lord has singled you out for the guidance of Islam. He has honoured you with the light of Islam, therefore I answered you with Labbayk.” Again the Jewish said “You are a noble Prophet (SWS) actually you hold high and lofty stations in the Divine presence; what can be the wisdom of secret of your appearance in a place and neighbourhood such as ours?”
Again the Holy Prophet (SWS) spoke to her and said, “Out of love for us the owner of this house has invited his gathering of people of goodwill and sound heart, from among the needy and indigent, as from among the readers and revivers of the holy Quran, and he has expended large sums of money in order to feast them all lavishly. He has shown largesse and generosity, therefore, by the leave Allah Almighty, I too come to visit him and have so entered his house. In recognition of my coming to this man’s house, the Lord has vouchsafed to all visitors to this house safety and freedom from tribulations for a whole year, and he showers blessings and all manner of favours upon all those present at this time.”
The Jewish woman then said “What if I to attend your religion and prepared such feast for you would you consent to come to my house? The Holy Prophet (SWS) smiled and said, “Yes I would come to your house also.” The Jewish then said ” I hereby renounce the religious creed I have clung to up till now, as it is obsolete, and I say “Ash hadu an la ilaha ill’Allah wa ash hadu annaka rasulullah” and thus she entered the fold of Islam. Similarly, she vowed to prepare a great feast and to expend large amount in the way of Allah. In the morning when she woke up from this dream, she found herself bathed in light, her heart radiant with the faith she had found, and she waited for further manifestation of diving guidance.
When her husband had gone out that morning, she went before a judge to make official her conversion to Islam. She then began proceeding to divorce her husband, and was ready to hold a great celebration in honour of the holy prophet (SWS). She declared that she was prepared to follow his guidance from that day on. At this very moment, she saw her husband coming to her asking how many sheep and chickens she required to be slaughtered and what else she might need. The woman was confused and could not understand, until he explained to her he too had seen the same dream as she had that night, and he too had been granted the honour of entering into Islam. The Holy Prophet (SWS) had said to him “You have no possessions of your own, so you may assist your wife in going out and buying what is needful for the Maulid she intends to prepare”; thus the woman was even happier than before and they both made their new faith openly known.
Therefore if the mere presence of a pious neighbour who spends his wealth for the love of the holy prophet (SWS) is of such benefit to a Jew who happens to live in his vicinity, if it is sufficient to bring to such a one the great favour of becoming Muslim and the mercy and guidance of Islam, how much more reward is coming to the person who has the Maulid performed, how much unlimited favour will be bestowed on him! This story should serve as advice and as a reminder.
May Allah almighty guide us all to the love and veneration of his Holy Prophet (SWS) and give all the Muslims who are yet to come their fair shares. Amin
Salawat: Allahumma salli wa salli was barik ‘Alaih
(Extract of the birth of the Holy Prophet from The Last Prophet by Haji Amina Adil (KS)