By Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
Since the time immemorial man has been seeking knowledge through his senses. Thus by perceiving things he tried to overcome his problems. In the process he made experiments and ultimately by trial and error he arrived at a workable solution for his problems. Based on this concept and practice, science developed enormously in dimensions and various fields of its applications.
In this modern age of science hundreds and thousands of research laboratories are engaging the attention of scientists who are making wonderful discoveries and inventions of unbelievably accurate gadgets and tools. Yet the only things that science has failed so far to capture is the social problem. Obviously, social problems are the human problems. And human problems are such that they cannot be precipitated in a test tube. To give credence to this fact one knows it very well that for instance, science has not yet been able to offer answers to the discord and hatred that exist among the people or the class distinction that is rampant in various strata of human society.
History tells us of great civilizations that flourished in the past and ultimately perished. We are left with only the mute remains and dumb ruins which tell us the hoary past of the mankind. Science of course is discovering the facts of life through excavations, and by studying the relics and fossils embedded in the rocks. But despite all this no tangible results have come forward with regard to the man’s manifold problems.
Imam Ali gave a bit of his mind to his son which is pertinent to the relevant issue. He said:
“My dear son! though the span of my age is not as large as that of some other people who have passed away before me, but I took great care to study their lives; assiduously I went through their activities, I contemplated over their deliberations and deeds, I studied their remains, relics and ruins; and I pondered over their lives so deeply that I felt as if I have lived and worked with them from early ages of history down to our times, and I know what did them good and what brought harm to them.”
True, history has recorded all facts, pleasant and detestable, but what is to be regretted is that nobody ever cared to go into the depth of their root causes. As to the real solution of a problem, big or small, no effort on the part of man is traceable in history. Only unimportant matters have been dwelt upon with uncanny details.
Since history is a recorded statement of events of the past, it owes its existence to its compilers. The people who wrote history were not immune from personal, racial or parochial prejudices and, therefore, it’s very purpose seems to have been defeated. On the face of the misinterpretation and fabrication of facts, an ordinary reader of history is at a loss to understand the truth of the matter. It is like a doctor who, if he has no correct information about the case-history of his patient, will not be able to diagnose the actual malady of his patient.
One bright aspect of history of course is that it carries the life sketches of great men of the ancient past. These men in fact created history as they brought about revolution and change in the life pattern of mankind.
Amongst such great personalities no one led as eventful, revolutionary and meaningful a life as Prophet Muhammad did. None of them left such a lasting impression upon the society he sprang from as the Prophet of Islam did. This is a fact which has been acknowledged by almost all the historians whether of the East or of the West.
The study of the life of Prophet Muhammad, the greatest of all men, is thought-provoking, awe-inspiring and self-enlightening. A chain of events before and after the birth of this great man provides food for thought for anybody who has even a slight grain of intelligence and sense of proportion.
The birth of the Prophet as a posthumous child and the death of his mother, Aminah, when he was only six and his upbringing first by his grandfather and then by his uncle are something extraordinary.
After passing an eventful life, his confinement to the Cave in Mt Hira and the subsequent Divine Revelation, the invitation to the religion of Allah, the resistance of the infidels and idolaters, their oppression and persecution, his continued steadfastness in upholding the Message of Allah during the first thirteen years of his prophet-hood in Makkah until the time of his migration to Madina, are the events finish have no parallel in history.
The last ten years of his life in Madina, his intensifying the efforts of his mission for the spread of Islam, his participating in the numerous battles with the infidels and the final conquest of Makkah are still greater events which are seemingly unbelievable, but have been recorded in history as miraculous achievements.
Hundreds of books have been written on the life and mission of the Prophet but these cannot be taken as a complete treatise on his attributes and achievements. Especially the writings of the orientalists are punctuated with prejudices, errors and misinterpretations.
This book not only presents an inspiring material but it is also based on authentic historical documents. One of its salient features is that the author has taken extreme care in narrating historical events and at the same time he has endeavored as a research scholar, to approach them with an analytical mind also.
Another interesting feature of this book is that it is absolutely free from heresies and concocted stories invented by vested interests. In other words, it is quite in keeping with the required standard of the historical veracity. In short, it is addressed to the Muslims in general without any bias and prejudice.
We hope that this book will serve its noble purpose of enlightening the young generation who has a keen urge to acquire authentic and reliable information about the great Prophet of Islam, and trust our young Muslims will derive inspiration from this book in fashioning their lives in accordance with the dictates of Allah as well as the noble attributes of the Holy Prophet and his Chosen Descendants.