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The Life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) Makkan Period

We ask Allah (SWT) to bless this gathering. We ask Allah (SWT) to benefit us from what we learn. We ask Allah (SWT) to teach us that would benefit us. We ask Allah (SWT) to make us of those who follow the ways of Rasoolullah (SAW) and love him wholeheartedly. And we ask Allah (SWT) to make us of those who will be with him in Jannah (Paradise). Let us start first of all with the definition of seerah. What does the word seerah mean? The word seerah has linguistic meaning and that is 'a path'. Walking is called sair. When you walk from one place to another it is sairat ul ain such as a person is walking. So seerah is the path that a person takes during his life time. The dictionary gives the translation of the word seerah as conduct; compartment; demeanor; behavior; way of life; attitude; position; reaction; way of acting; biography. All of these are the meanings of the word seerah. In general, seerah is the biography of a person, not necessarily of Muhammad (SAW). However, we are used to this word so much that when we say seerah almost all the time the life of Muhammad (SAW) comes to our mind. But you may also speak about the seerah of Abu Bakr, seerah of Umar and seerah of so and so. It can be the biography of any person. It is the life of a person. In this session, however, we are dealing with the seerah of Muhammad (SAW), the greatest man on the surface of the earth. What is the importance of studying seerah?

Through the life of Muhammad (SAW), you are acquainted with the history of Islam. In other words, you are studying the concise history of Islam by studying the life of Muhammad (SAW). In his seerah we find situations and circumstances that would help us in everything we need to know during our course of da'awa. So the life of Muhammad (SAW) is really the fundamental history of Islam. We are not only studying the biography of a person but also the history of our religion. Saad bin Waqqas, was one of asharah tul mubasharah bil jannah (the ten who were given the glad tiding of Paradise). His son Muhammad says: Our father would teach us how the battles were fought by Muhammad (SAW) and give us lessons on his seerah. He would tell us: these are the traditions of your father; so follow them. He used to talk in detail about maghazi (battles) because the later part of Muhammad (SAW) was mostly spent in battles. So he would refer this word maghazi to the whole life of Muhammad (SAW). Ali bin Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Talib, the grand son of Ali ibn Abi Talib says: We were taught the seerah of Rasoolullah (SAW) like you are taught Quran. That is how important the seerah was for them. That makes sense because if you want to study the life of Moosa, Eesa and other Prophets you will go through the Quran. But if you want to study the life of Muhammad (SAW) you will go through his seerah, though in the Quran it is in bits and pieces. We will talk about the influence of seerah in understanding Quran. The second reason for studying seerah is to develop proper love of Muhammad (SAW) in our hearts. Loving Muhammad (SAW) is ibadah. It is part of our religion to love Muhammad (SAW). He says: None of you attains true faith until he loves me more than his parents, children and the whole world. We dont really become true believers until we love Muhammad (SAW) more than anything else. So it is part and parcel of Islam to love Muhammad (SAW). Umar bin al-Khattab, who was very honest and straightforward person, said to Muhammad (SAW): O Rasoolullah (SAW)! I love you more than everything and anyone except my own self. Rasoolullah (SAW) told him: You dont really attain complete faith until you love me more than your own self. Afterwards Umar bin al-Khattab came back and said: O Rasoolullah (SAW)! I love you more than my own self. Rasoolullah (SAW) said: Now you have perfectly achieved the faith. Even today the ummah today loves Muhammad (SAW). If you ask any Muslim: Do you love Muhammad (SAW) he would say, yes, of course. But love cannot be so deep and sincere unless you know each and everything about a person you love. With shallow information about someone you cant really love him a lot. To love a person you need to know him more and more. And this is especially true of Muhammad (SAW) because the more you know him the more you will be inspired with his love and impressed with his personality. So even though the masses of the ummah today have shallow information about him they still love Muhammad (SAW). Yet they cannot have true and deep love of Muhammad (SAW) unless they know him in detail. The more the sahaba (RA) knew him the more they loved him. Amr ibn alAas was one of the tenacious enemies of Muhammad (SAW) and deadliest against Islam. However, later on he became a devoted and dutiful Muslim. While he was passing away he started weeping and crying at his death bed. His son asked him: O my

father! Why are you weeping? Didnt Rasoolullah (SAW) give you the glad tidings of Jannah? It is reported in hadith that Rasoolullah (SAW) said: amana Amr (Amr has attained faith). This was evidence from Rasoolullah (SAW) that Amr ibn alAas was really a momin (true believer). He was not only Muslim but had attained the higher level of eemaan. Thus his son was trying to remind his father that he was a true believer in the words of the Prophet. So how come he was crying before his departure? Amr ibn al-Aas turned around and said: I have gone through three stages of my life. At the first stage the most despised man to me was Muhammad (SAW), and na'oo zo billah, my desire was to get hold of him and kill him. It was my nasty aspiration to kill Muhammad (SAW). Had I died at that time, I would have been definitely in the Hellfire. But then Allah put his love in my heart. I went to him and said: O Muhammad (SAW)! I want to become Muslim. Extend your hand so that I may pledge my allegiance to you. Muhammad (SAW) extended his hand forward but I pulled my hands away. Rasoolullah (SAW) asked me: Whats wrong? I said: I have a condition to make. Rasoolullah (SAW) asked me: What is your condition? I said: my condition is that you pardon me and promise me clemency because I know that the great crimes I have committed against the Muslims are sufficient for my execution. I wanted to make sure that Muhammad (SAW) might not hold me accountable for what I had been doing in the past. Rasoolullah (SAW) smiled and addressed to me: O Amr! Dont you know that Islam erases everything before it, hijra erases everything before it and so Hajj erases everything before it? I was quite satisfied and readily embraced Islam. At that stage Muhammad (SAW) whom I deemed as my enemy became the most beloved person to me in the world. Then I loved him so much and revered him so much that I dared not to get full glimpse of his face. Whenever I saw him I would stare downwards. And if you ask me today to describe his features to you I am unable to do so. Had I died during that stage I would have hope to be in Jannah. But then later on conditions changed and we now dont know where we stand. There is another part of the hadith, but the part that concerns to us is that Amr ibn alAas was the worst enemy of Muhammad (SAW) but when he got to know him and was closer to him Muhammad (SAW) became the most beloved person to him. Sohail bin Amr was sent by Quraish to negotiate with Muhammad (SAW) before Sulaih Hudaybiyah (the truce of Hudaybiyah). He had been an international negotiator. He had seen the Emperor of Abyssinia and had been to the courts of the Persian and Roman Emperors. After he saw Muhammad (SAW) he had firsthand experience how the sahaba (RA) treated Muhammad (SAW). When Sohail bin Amr went back to Quraish he told them: I have visited Najashi, the Roman and the Persian Emperors with all their supreme powers and authorities but I have never seen in my life a leader that is loved and respected so earnestly by his followers like Muhammad (SAW). I saw amazing things. Muhammad (SAW) was making wudu (ablution) and the sahaba (RA) were rushing like moths to grab the water dripping from his body. So my suggestion is: Do whatever you want. But remember these are people wholl never give up their leader. All of them are ever ready to sacrifice each and everything they have, and even their lives for him. So if you really love Muhammad (SAW) you need plentiful knowledge about him. I have already said that even though the masses of the Muslims love Muhammad (SAW), they

dont have much information about him. They dont know a lot about his seerah because it is not part of the curriculum that is covered in the Muslim schools and colleges. Nevertheless, Muhammad (SAW) is still the most beloved figure that ever lived in humanity. His name is the most familiar, popular and widespread throughout the world. In the annals of history there is no other person honored and adored to such a degree that even his name was exalted and glorified. In the past and even at present numerous people have named themselves as Muhammad. When I was in the college in the United States we had an imam who was from Nigeria. He was Hafiz-i-Quran and his name was Muhammad al-Ashir. The word ashir means 'the tenth'. For a long time I assumed that al-Ashir was his last name. One day I asked him: What is Ashir? Is it the name of the tribe or clan to which you belong? He said: No. My father named all his sons as Muhammad. We are ten brothers, and just to distinguish between us he had to number us. So there was Muhammad the first, Muhammad the second, Muhammad the third, and so on. As I was the youngest so I am Muhammad the tenth. My father didnt like any other name. In India you will find abundance of people with the name of Muhammad; Muhammad Haroon, Muhammad Suleiman, Muhammad Younus, Muhammad Adam. Here, there, and everywhere, you will find so many people with the name of Muhammad. This is because Muhammad (SAW) is the most beloved figure on the globe. His name is the most frequently mentioned name. Around the clock there is minaret upon which a muezzin is calling to prayer the name of Muhammad (SAW). As the Muslims are worldwide and are found in every timezone, so in every minute of the day there is a muezzin who would be saying:

The name Muhammad means the praised one. And there is no one who is praised like Muhammad (SAW). His name is really in conformity with the meaning. Whenever we hear his name we say salla llahu alayhi wa sallam. So if want to develop love of Muhammad (SAW), the best way is by studying his life. The more we study him the more well love him. And this is command of Allah (SWT): Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah). (9:24) Here is stated that our love for Allah and His Messenger and strivings in the cause of Allah should be paramount and above everything else, fathers or sons or brothers, mates or kindred, everything. Allah, His Messenger and Islam should be the dearest thing to every one of us as Muslims.

Why do we study seerah? We study seerrah in order to follow the way of Muhammad (SAW). Ibn Hazm says: Whoever seeks preeminence of the Hereafter, wisdom of this life, the just purpose and the embodiment of morality and character, let him follow Muhammad (SAW), the Prophet of Allah. Muhammad (SAW) is the embodiment of khuluq (ethics) and the perfect character. By studying his seerah well be more able to follow his way. Understanding Quran: There are some aya'at in Quran that are independent of the circumstances of revelation like aya'at of al-Akhira (the end of times). Then there are some aya'at that deal with the event that happened in the times of Muhammad (SAW). Some of them were revealed prior to the events, some were concurrent to the events, and some aya'at were revealed after the events. Seerah gives us satisfactory explanation of these aya'at like Surah Ahzab. Many aya'at in this sura were revealed regarding the battle of Ahzab. Many aya'at in Sura al-Imran are related to the events that happened in the times of Rasoolullah (SAW). A major section of al-Imran comprises a dialogue between the Muslims and the Christians when the Christian delegation came from the Najran to Madinah. A later part of al-Imran gives details of the battle of Uhud. So we cannot fully understand these aya'at without going through the seerah. Illustration of the methodological steps of the Islamic movement: Rasoolullah (SAW) went through stages that started with a secret da'awa before it became public and then ended in Jihad. Studying all these stages is important to understand the Islamic movement. Gharban says: We believe that this methodological progress of the Prophets life is divinely directed; Allah guided His Prophet in all of his steps and it was not a result of reaction to emerging circumstances. So the events that happened in the life of Rasoolullah (SAW) were not haphazard, but were planned by Allah so that they would be guidance for us in our attempts to establish Islam in the future. It is very important for us to observe each and every stage that he went through his da'awa. Rasheed Riba says: For our education and training, verbal directions would not suffice. We need a profound study of seerah as it gives us guidelines and trains us how to be just and moderate in all matters. Quran and Sunnah are verbal teachings but how should we apply these teachings is indicated by the applications of Rasoolullah (SAW). The sahaba (RA) took the verbal teachings into actions and that is something that only the Muslims are blessed with. The followers of all other religions lost traces of the seerah of their Prophets and so lost their original Books. But we know how Quran is to be practiced. We know how the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (SAW) is practiced and applied. There is an ayat in Quran that says that you continue eating and drinking at night in Ramadan until the white string is distinguished from the black string. Adi bin Hatim, one of the sahaba (RA) took it literally. He placed a white string and a black string on his pillow and continued eating. Meanwhile he would see if both the white and the black strings were visible. And then he went to Rasoolullah (SAW) to make sure if he was right what he doing. He said: this is what I have done. Am I right? Rasoolullah (SAW) smiled and said: It doesnt mean that you take the strings in your room and have a look at them. The white string means the first appearance of light in the horizon. Thus Rasoolullah (SAW) told the sahaba (RA) how to apply that ayat. It doesnt mean that if I am in dark room with no

window I should have black and white strings with me and continue eating even if it is noon. To sum up, the application of aya'at and ahadith of Rasoolullah (SAW) are shown to us in the life of Muhammad (SAW) and the lives of the sahaba (RA). Study of seerah as ibadah: We do not study the seerah to entertain our selves. This is ibadah and there is a reward of studying it. We worship Allah by coming together and studying the life of Muhammad (SAW). This is like halqa (session) of zikr. Such gatherings are surrounded by angels and overwhelmed with showers of mercy and tranquility by Allah (SWT). No other gathering is better than this. In the Quran, Allah says: Say (O Muhammad PBUH to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (3:31) Developing Muslim identity: There is a global culture that is being protected and promoted and then forced down the throats of every one on the face of the earth at present. Thomas Freeman, a famous writer in the U.S. New York Times, says: The hidden hands of the market cannot survive without a hidden fist. McDonald will never flourish without the designers of the Attic team. In other words we are not only dealing with the global culture that is benign or compassionate. This is a culture that gives you no choice. Either accept McDonald or McDonald Douglas will send their F-15 above your head. It is an intolerant culture that cannot coexist with anything else. It uproots every other culture on the face of the earth. You have a quote by Alexander who is a famous historian and writer. He says: To destroy the people you must first sever their roots. So its really destruction of the people of the earth as every other country is being demolished. So it is not global culture that coexists with others but it will replace others. And the only ideology that is standing up against this global culture is Islam. But still as Muslims and especially as Muslims of the West we are suffering from serious identity crises. You would find that even though the brothers and sisters are practicing Islam but the Islamic identity itself is lost. I mean the person who would have more in common with a Rock-star or a soccer player than he would have with the Companion of Rasoolullah (SAW). You would find that the Muslim youth today know more about pop stars than they know about the sahaba (RA) of Rasoolullah (SAW) or the umbiyah. How many of your youth know the names of the umbiyah of Allah? How many of your youth know the names of the sahaba (RA)? But ask the same person to name the soccer players of his favorite team he will go down the list. So there is a serious identity crisis that is going on among the Muslims. And the way we can counter that the way we can develop Muslim identity is 1. By having profound study of Islamic history that consists of the lives of the Prophets of Allah, the life of Muhammad (SAW), the lives of the sahaba (RA) and in general study of the Muslim history. Thus we can develop our identity by having attachment with history because history is our life line; we are an extension of Ummah, we are not separate, not severed from our roots.

And 2) by being part of the worldwide Muslim Ummah: We are part of the glorious Ummah that needs to be recognized and realized. Our local identity should not override our Muslim identity. My identification written with America or Pakistan or Kuwait or any other country should not override Islamic identity. The nation-state concept is something that Islam came to abolish. We owe our loyalty to Allah (SWT) and to Islam and we must not forget that we are part of the world-wide Ummah. Therefore we need to be acquainted with our Muslim brothers living all over the world. What happens in Palestine should concern every British Muslim. What happens in Kashmir should concern every American Muslim. Whatever happens in any corner of the Muslim world should concern me as if it is happening within my own house. Thus these are the two important elements in building our identity: 1) by having a deep understanding of our history and 2) being part of the Ummah and caring about the Ummah. Again let us guard ourselves against what was proposed to Alexander: to destroy the people you must sever their roots. We dont want our roots to be severed. We want our roots to be deepened and strengthened. Studying the seerah of Rasoolullah (SAW) is the most important ingredient of our history. The life of our beloved Prophet is a testimony of his Prophethood. Though Muhammad (SAW) has many miracles but the greatest miracle he is blessed with is Quran. By just studying his life we obtain evidence of his Prophethood. We meet a human being who had been leading a normal life for forty years. The outstanding thing in those forty years is his morality and character, honesty, integrity and truthfulness. But he did not show any sign of aspiration to power or influence in the society. There was none of that at all. He was leading absolutely a normal life and was the most popular and modest person among the poor and the needy. And then suddenly after the age of forty he brought about the greatest change that the world has ever seen. Thats a great phenomenon, a great miracle. He was illiterate. He couldnt read or write. And then he presented before the world the greatest book that was never produced before and even after. There are several things that can be explained only if we reckon him as the last Messenger of Allah who was endowed with the Divine power otherwise it was impossible. There is no way to explain his seerah except to acknowledge that he was a nabi (Prophet) from Allah. It is impossible for a person to achieve what Muhammad (SAW) achieved simply because he was especially and exceptionally assisted by Allah (SWT) through revelation. It is a testimony and one of dalail (proofs) of his nuboowah (Prophethood) that Muhammad (SAW) was leading a normal life for the first forty years but then suddenly he became a religious leader, political leader, military leader, lawmaker, teacher, imam, head of a Muslim state, and whatever goes on and on in the list of things that Muhammad (SAW) used to do. Is it not the magnificent miracle that all of that was done in only twenty-three years? It leads to the next point that we are studying the life of the greatest man that ever set foot on the face of the earth. He is, without exaggeration, the greatest and whichever benchmark you want to use for greatness he will invariably emerge as the greatest. Michael Hart wrote a book The Hundred, portraying the most influential people that ever lived in history. I hope that you are familiar with this book. After studying the leaders throughout history it became clear to the write that Muhammad (SAW) is indisputably the greatest

man that ever lived on the face of the earth. In his introduction he feels obliged to respond to the readers of the book might think because he is mostly writing for the nonMuslim audience. Since he guessed that many people would question his choice of Muhammad (SAW) therefore in his introduction he writes: My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. And then he goes on to say: Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as a religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all times. So we see that Michael Hart was compelled by the facts. He didnt conceive any doubt that Muhammad (SAW) is the greatest. But then he has to apologize from his readers that there was no way to put anybody else to lead the list of the influential figures. Michael Hart writes: Of many important historical events, one might say that they were inevitable and would have occurred even without the particular political leader who guided them. For example, the South American colonies would probably have won their independence from Spain even if Simon Bolivar had never lived. But this cannot be said of the Arab conquests. Nothing similar had occurred before Muhammad, and there is no reason to believe that the conquests would have been achieved without him. Thus if we take Muhammad (SAW) as just only a military leader even in that aspect he will come out as the greatest. If we take the religious aspect of Muhammad (SAW) he will still be the greatest. As a political leader he will again emerge as the greatest. So even if you dissect the different aspects of his personality and take them piece by piece he will still rise as the greater than anybody else that ever lived. After all, we are studying the life of alMustafa. Mustafa means the chosen one. Allah (SWT) chose him out of all of His noble creation. There are some other reasons why we are studying seeerah but we leave them and discuss the sources we have used. We are using two primary sources for this course. 1.The seerah of Muhammad (SAW) narrated by Ibn-i-Katheer. Ibn-i-Katheer actually did not write a book on seerah. He compiled an encyclopedia of history called albidayah walnihaya that means The Beginning and the End. It deals literally with the beginning and the end of the world. He started from the beginning of the creation and went all the way until people entered either Jannah or Naar (the Hellfire). One of his volumes is related with the life of Rasoolullah (SAW). Another volume is about the Prophets and then he has a volume on Khilafat-ur-Rashidah, Khilafat-um-Umayyah and Khilafat-u-Abbasiyyah. He went all the way up to his time. The last volume is about Al-Fitn (the Signs of the Day of Judgment), then the Day of Judgment and Jannah and Naar. So we are going to be taking his part on seerah as a primary source. Well talk a little bit on why I have selected Ibn-i-Katheer as our primary source. The second book that I have used in the compilation of my notes is Sahiha-as-Seerat-unNabi by Ibrahim al-Ali. Traditionally seerah has been a separate subject from hadith; even though there are some areas where there is overlapping. Still seerah has a different set of rules compared to hadith. Scholars of hadith are very stringent and strict in their rules while the scholars of seerah are liberal and flexible in the selection of their matter. The reason is when they are dealing with hadith and drawing ihkam (rulings) they want

to make sure that their rulings are based on ahaadith that are sound. They do not to want to make us obey and worship Allah with rulings that are based on weak sources. So thats why they apply strict rules to hadith. However, when it comes to seerah, they are more flexible because they see it as history that does not affect ihkam. There are no ihkam based on a biography. So Imam Ahmad Ibn Humbal who is a scholar of hadith says: When we come to history we are more flexible. So you will find that the writers of seerah accept narrations that they wont normally accept if they are dealing with hadith. That was one track that was followed by our early scholars and consequently the books on seerah were written by Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sad according to the flexible rules in narration. Recently we find a new trend among our scholars. They want to apply the rules of hadith also on seerah. Why? These scholars say: Now we are living in an era when the history of Rasoolullah (SAW) should be in the category of ihkam for us. In the time of Imam ibn Humbal Khilafah was established. So when they studied of the life of Rasoolullah (SAW) they were studying it to learn general lessons from it; it was not to guide them in a methodology of a movement because Islam was already established. But now we need to go through the seerah and learn rules from it; how to do da'awa and how to establish Islam again. So it is becoming similar to fiqh applied to us. Therefore, they prefer to apply the same rules on seerah. The second book Sahiha-as-Seerat-un-Nabi is based on the rules of hadith. So what the scholars did they went through the books of hadith like Bukhari, Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawood and gathered bits and pieces related with seerah and then compiled biographies of Muhammad (SAW) purely based on hadith. So rather than turning to the book of Ibn Ishaq they would go through Bukhari (an authentic compilation of ahadith), rather than going through the book of Maqreezi or Ibn Husham they liked to benefit from the Muslim (another authentic compilation of ahadith). Saeed Hawwa has written a book based on hadith al-Asas-fil-Sunnah. He has also followed the same line. The reason why I chose Ibn Katheer as a primary source is because he combines both sources and draws information from books of seerah as well as from those of hadith. So your will find him narration from Bukhari, and also narrating from Ibn Ishaq. And that is what makes the seerah of Ibn Katheer unique. There is, however, one drawback in the seerah of Ibn Katheer and that is it is a bit complicated and convoluted to use because he would mention all the chains of narration; sometimes he would not stick to chronological order and sometime he would bring in information that seems to be contradictory. But in spite of all these shortcomings it is an excellent source and Al-Humdu Lillah (all praise be to Allah) now it is available also in English language. It has been recently translated by a professor in the United States. It is a very good translation. Other books that I may not be using but I want you to be familiar with some of them like Minhaj al-Haraki by Moeen-ul-Gharban. The peculiar quality of this author is that he often tries to draw our attention to movements from the seerah dividing them into secret stage, public stage and after hijrah discusses different stages of jihad. He tries to construct a curriculum of movement from the seerah. Then there is seerah by Muhammad al-

Ghizali. The good thing about him is that he extracts for us some lessons of tarbiyah (training). And there is also another book by the same name Fiqh-us-seerah by Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Booti who emphasizes on fiqh. He draws lessons of fiqh for us. And then there is a book al-Ghuraba that deals with ahadith of the strangers. It tries to draw coalition between the strangers in the times of Rasoolullah (SAW) and the strangers of today. The books al-Asas-fil-Sunnah (already mentioned) and at-Tareeq Ila-al-Madinah are written by Saeed Hawwa and by Muhammad Abduhu respectively. Both of them draw various lessons from seerah. Some terminologies that I would like to mention before I start with the seerah because sometimes I have the habit of using Arabic words but forget to translate them. So let me go through their translation now so that if I forget their translation at least you may know what they mean: Salla llahu alayhi wa sallam means may the blessings and peace of Allah be on him. This is what we say when we hear the name of Muhammad. It is mandatory for us to say salla llahu alayhi wa sallam the first time we hear the name of Muhammad. Any time after that it becomes recommended. So in this lecture the first time you hear the name of Muhammad say salla llahu alayhi wa sallam. Thereafter it is recommended as long as you are in the same gathering or meeting. That is the hukm (order) of salawat and salam on Muhammad (SAW). Rasoolullah (SAW) means the Messenger of Allah. Jahilyah: the word jahilyah I would be referring to means the ignorance of the pre-Islamic era. Jahilyah denotes a time period but it is also a concept. Whenever there is time that resembles the pre-Islamic era it is called jahilyah. You will note that Syed Qutab uses this word a lot with reference to the time we are living in. He says that there is a lot of resemblance between the present period and the early period of jahilyah. It comes from the word jahal that means ignorance. So it is the time of ignorance as it shows the absence of the message of Islam. Even if the message is there the people are deprived of the spirit of Islam. Manifestly it is jahilyah. Eemaan means faith, Jannah means Paradise, Naar is the Hellfire. In the last section we were discussing between the scholars of hadith and seerah and pointed out that the scholars of hadith are most stringent in narration and scholars of seerah are less stringent and flexible in narration because they want to get the stories and we mentioned that we are using a combined approach. So I will use hadith and in the situations where there is no hadith Ill fill in the gaps by referring to seerah. This is an introduction to the series. We shall start Insha' Allah the next session and talk about some background history.