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The Last Hours of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)

the holy prophet (pbuh)

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) returned from the Farewell Haj at the end of the month of Zilhaj of 10 A.H. After passing the one month of Muharram, he fell ill at the beginning of Safar 11 A.H.

At that time, news was received that the Romans to the north west of Arabia were preparing to attack the Muslim capital of Medina. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) reacted to this dangerous situation by ordering the mobilisation of a huge Muslim army under the command of Usama bin Zayd. He specifically ordered all the Muhajir who had migrated with him to Medina to participate in the battle, except for Imam Ali (A.s). To arouse the morale of the Muslims the Holy Prophet (PBUH) tied the banner for Usama with his own hands and then instructed him, "Fight in the name of Allah and in His path. Fight the enemy early in the morning, and cover the distance to that place so quickly that you reach them before they are aware of your march."

Usama fixed his camp at Jurf, 3 miles outside Medina, so that the Muslim soldiers could gather there ready for the expedition. Usama was a young man of 20 years and the son of Zayd, who was a freed slave. The people of Meadina protested that they did not want to follow such a young commander. When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) heard of the reluctance of the Muslims, he warned them that whoever kept back from Usama's army in spite of his clear orders, would earn the Curse of Allah. Even then, the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not proceed, using his illness as an excuse to remain in Medina. As time passed, the condition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) grew worse and ultimately the expedition of Usama never materialised.

The expedition to Syria under Usama shows that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had two things in mind. Firstly, he wanted to teach the people that age was not important in the distribution of responsibility and power, and the criteria for leadership were personality and ability.

This valuable lesson was ignored in the following months by Abu Bakr and Umar, who denied the rights of Imam Ali (A.S) on the grounds that he was too young to lead the people. The second interesting point is the insistence of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that Imam Ali (A.S) remain behind while other prominent Muslims should accompany Usama. This was to keep the biggest hypocrites out of Medina so that Imam Ali (A.S) could take over his appointment as Caliph without interference.

However, the hypocrites were aware of the plan of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and used his weak condition as an excuse to disobey him. They wanted to make certain that they were in Medina at the time of his death so that they could plot to steal the Caliphate from Imam Ali (A.S).

History shows that Abu Bakr, Umar and others managed to do exactly as they planned.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was well aware of the plan by the people to deny the right of Imam Ali (A.S). When his fever took a turn for the worse, he knew that he did not have much time left. He requested the companions around him to bring some paper and a pen so that he could dictate a will for the guidance of the people.

Umar, who at once realised that his plans would not succeed if the Holy Prophet (PBUH) left a written document, protested by saying that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was out of his mind due to the fever and did not know what he was saying. He stated that the Holy Qur'an was enough for them and that there was no need for a will. Other companions disagreed and there was a loud commotion as they argued. As the voices grew louder, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) felt disturbed and indicated that all of them should leave. It is important for us to realise that this one action of the Umar caused an eternal division between the Muslims and he is responsible for the thousands of deaths that have resulted from conflicts between the Shia and the Sunnis over the centuries.

As the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) slipped away, his dear family were around him all the time. Bibi Fatima (A.S) could not bear the thought of the loss of her beloved father and tears fell continuously from her eyes. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) gently asked her not to weep and then whispered something in her ear that made her stop crying and smile. When she was asked about it later by Ayesha, Bibi Fatima (A.S) said that her father had told her not to worry because she would be the first after him to leave the world and join him.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said his farewell to his companions and kept on reminding them to follow the Holy Qur’an, and not to abandon the Ahl-ul-Bayt, who would guide them on the right path of virtue and truth. He then called his grandsons and hugged them warmly. With tears in his eyes, he kissed Imam Hassan (A.S) on the mouth and Imam Hussein (A.S) on the neck.

When asked about this he said that one of his grandsons would be given poison to drink while the other would have his neck cut.

As the condition of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) worsened, the whole of Medina was immersed in grief, sorrowful at the thought of losing the beloved Prophet of Allah, who had taught them everything about the true path to salvation.

Source: ‌imamreza.net

Other links:

Imam Khomeini’s Statements on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

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