This link was established between the Creator and the creation on the Night of Ascension (Meraj) when Allah took His perfect creation Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) to the journey above the seven skies and gives him His Audience -- a status which was never given to any of His creation, even not to the angels at His service.
The Sufi thoughts establish that the arrival of the Holy Prophet in this world was not an ordinary event rather it was the culmination of Allah's mercy upon the human being that He sends his Lover as "Sufficient for the Humanity and Mercy for the Worlds."
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was born in Mecca on Monday, Rabi-al-Awwal 12, 53 B.H., or December 9, 571 A.D., 50 days after the attack of Abrah, the ruler of Yemen, with his army of elephants on Ka'aba (as described in Holy Qur'an in Surah Feel -- Chapter Elephant). He belonged to the clan of Hashim -- Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abdul Muttalib Ibn Hashim. Banu Hashim was a noble branch of the prestigious and influential tribe of Quraish. His father had died before his birth. He was nursed by Thobia and then by Halima Sadia, with whom he stayed for four years.
When he was six-year-old, his mother Syeda Amna fell sick and died in Abwa, near Madina (then Yithrab). She was buried there. His grandfather brought him up for two more years, until he also died. Orphaned three times at the age of eight, he went to live with his uncle, Abu Talib.
In his prime youth, he travelled to Syria to trade on behalf of Hazrat Bibi Khadija (R). He did good business. Hazrat Bibi Khadija (R) was informed about his honesty, personality, and his business acumen, she was very much impressed. Consequently, she proposed marriage and he accepted her offer. He married her when he was 25 years of age and she was 40.
Since his early age, He remained pensive and withdrawn in temperament and always displayed an acute moral sensitivity. He avoided all kinds of luxuries, lust and whatever may fall in the purview of bad habits. He never lied, never even touched any sort of intoxicants, or passed near any game of chance. As a traditional brave and noble Arab, He was forced to take part in tribal wars but never had any one killed by his hands rather he opted for other difficult tasks like helping the injured or removing them to safer places. In his ordinary routine, he preferred to be alone and used a cave in nearby mountain called Hira for contemplation and meditation under the faith given by Prophet Ibrahim (A) (Abraham). He sought seclusion so as to reach the Divine Presence of Almighty Allah. In view of such qualities, the Arabs rightly knew him as the Truthful and Trustworthy (As-Sadiq Al-Amin).
When he was 35 years of age, the Quraish tribe was renovating the Ka'aba -- the House of Allah. A dispute arose among them as to who should place the sacred Black Stone (Hajr-e-Asswad) in its place. The dispute among them heightened to a fierce proposition, when an aged man, taking the cognisance of the situation, advised them to put off the matter for the next morning and leave it to that whoever enters the Ka'aba precincts first and ask for his mediation. On next day, the first one who entered the Ka'aba was Muhammad (P.B.U.H.). He (P.B.U.H.) then resolved the dispute amicably by asking all the tribal notables to join hands to carry the Hajr-e-Asswad near its place and then he (P.B.U.H.) himself lifted the stone and fixed it in its place. Hence, a fierce battle among Arabs was avoided.
Before Islam, the prophet (P.B.U.H.) followed the religion of Prophet Ibrahim (A) (Abraham). He used to sit in the cave of Hira for meditation and remembrance of Allah. As the time passed, the permanent remembrance of the Omnipresent and recitation of His sacred Appellation, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) attained such a purity of heart that the divine epiphany glittered his heart and then appeared to him the Arch-Angel Jibrail (Gebriel), asking him to declare himself as the Messenger of Allah. (Sal-al-Allah-o-Alaih-e-was-Sallam).
Since then he preached Islam. Exalted Allah revealed upon him the Final Charter for the mankind, the Holy Qura'n. For 13 years the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) stayed in Mecca, calling the people towards Allah's religion, preaching the belief in one transcendent but personal God, the Last Judgment, and social and economic justice. Allah, he asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history, but, having failed to reform themselves, those nations were punished and perished by Allah. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) proclaimed the Qur'an revealed upon him by Allah, to be the last revealed Book and himself to be the last of the prophets, consummating and superseding the earlier ones.
In public the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) gave guidance needed for daily life, and in private he used to give the special advice needed for attaining the state of Ihsan (perfect good character). That is why Abu Huraira (R) said in an authentic Hadith mentioned in Bukhari, "The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) has poured into my heart two kinds of knowledge: one I have spread among people and the other, if I was to disclose it, they would cut my throat."
The knowledge Abu Huraira referred to is the knowledge and the divine light he used to pour into the hearts of those who had exalted themselves by strictly obeying him. It was related to individual's own toil for seeking the nearness of Allah. And these were the orders and attainments of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) that make foundations of Sufism, and it is believed beyond any shadow of doubt that this Noor, (Divine Light) commonly called as the 'Amanat', shall always remain in the heart of a person capable of carrying it till the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet's (P.B.U.H.) such Sufi followers were countless. Each one had its own peculiar status. But non of them was to the status of Abu Bakr Siddiq (R) who founded the Naqshbandia Order.
The infidels of Mecca were unmoved to embrace the Islam. Instead those infidels tortured ruthlessly all those who did believe the Prphet (P.B.U.H.) and made their lives miserable. The new Muslims suffered all kinds of cruelty at the hands of the unbelievers. However, insisting on the necessity of social reform, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) advocated improving the lots of slaves, orphans, women, and the poor and replacing tribal loyyalties with the fellowship to the Islamic faith. This egalitarian and reformist tendency quickly aroused the enmity of the rich merchants who dominated Mecca. They persecuted some of his weaker followers. The infidels even asked for a miracle or a sign of his divine status. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) with the pointation of his finger, divided the full moon in two pieces in front of their eyes. Some of them believed and some of them did not.
In 615 A.D. the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) ordered 83 families to take refuge in Ethiopia. The King of Ethiopia gave them refuge and became a believer in the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). They stayed there for five years and some of them returned to Mecca. In 619 A.D., The Prophet's (P.B.U.H.) wife Khadija Kubra (R) and uncle Abu Talib died who were his staunchest supporters. As such this year is called year of sadness and grief in the Islamic history.
A year and a half later, there came the Night of Ascension (Meraj). He was physically called to the Presence of Exalted Allah. He travelled accompanied by Arch-Angel Gebriel from Mecca to Quds (Jerusalem) where he had the Prayers in Masjid-al-Aqsa leading all the Prophets. From Quds, he ascended to the Heavens by means of Buraq, a heavenly mount who carried him up. All the prophets in the different levels of Heaven came to greet him. He ascended higher and higher to approach the Divine Presence, until Arch-Angel Gebriel stopped and said that he could not continue further, or he would be burnt. So the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) continued alone. Driven by love for Allah, He approached closer and closer, achieving the State of utmost closeness to Allah, seeing nothing except Him. Then Allah told him, "O Muhammad, come closer." He moved nearer, so nearer to Allah like the gap between "two ends of a (single) bow." [Qur'an: 53:9]. At that time the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was seeing nothing but Allah, even inside his own self." This is the perfect sign of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah), when nothing exists except Allah Himself.
Sufis consider this stage as complete 'Fana-Fillah' (coalescence into the existence of Allah). Which the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) achieved by the utmost blessing of Allah and any other follower can achieve this by truly toiling on the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) through his able deputy of the time.
He returned from that Journey of the Meraj (the Night of Ascension), and the first one to believe him was Abu Bakr Sidiq (R). The infidels, hoping to ridicule him, asked him to describe Jerusalem. He described it in all its details, and the infidels were humiliated.
Later, the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) went to the nearby town of Taif. Where the local people, in their own thought put the highest degree of humiliation and miseries upon the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). The infidels of Taif told their children to throw stones at him. The persecution made the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) so hurt and physically feeble that he could not walk and fell. Taifites thought they had killed him. Here Gebriel approached and conveyed him the message of Allah: "If You wish, Allah will perish Taif like He had punished other non-believers of previous prophets." But the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) as called by Allah as the Mercy for Worlds said: "I will bring them about Islam."
After returning to Mecca, persecution against the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and his followers escalated. Then Allah sent him the Ansar (helpers) from Yithrab (Madina), a city about 300 km (186 miles) to the north of Mecca. A delegation from Madina approached the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and requested him to come to Madina and arbitrate into their local feuds. They offered him considerable authority. After careful negotiations, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) accepted the offer and asked his followers to emigrate from Mecca to Madina.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) left Mecca just as his enemies had connived to murder him. He (P.B.U.H.) left at night with Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) leaving behind Hazrat Ali (R) to impersonate him in his bed.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) arrived in Madina eight days later on Monday Rabi-al-Awwal 1, 1 AH., or September 20 622 A.D. His flight became known as the Hegira (Arabic Hijra, "emigration") and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar year.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was given supreme authority in Madina, and he began to establish the ritual practices of Islam and to carry out social reforms. He (P.B.U.H.) soon converted Madina into the corner stone of Islamic empire and the first ever social welfare state in the world. According to Qur'anic injunctions, he (P.B.U.H.) promulgated a complete code of life envisaging every aspect of human conduct. He also specified the rights and relationships of the Muslims, Jews, and other groups of the world. The Meccans, meanwhile, persisted in their hostility, demanding the extradition of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and his Meccan followers. They were supported in Madina by a group, referred to in the Qur'an as the hypocrites, who had submitted to Islam but were secretly working against it. This group in turn was aided by the three Jewish tribes that were residing in Madina.
In 624, the first major battle occurred, in which the Muslims, despite their inferiority in numbers and weapons, soundly defeated the Meccans. In the next major battle, the following year, the Meccans had the advantage but were unable to achieve a decisive victory. A Meccan army of 10,000 besieged Madina in 627 but failed to take the city. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) meanwhile eliminated his enemies within Madina. After each of the battles he expelled Jewish tribes.
In 630, the Meccan infidels, unable to conquer Madina despite their number of militarily expeditions and crippled by the severing of their trade routes, finally submitted peacefully to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) treated the city generously, declaring a general amnesty. Tribal delegations arrived from throughout Arabia, and their tribes were soon converted to Islam. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), now the most powerful leader in Arabia, enforced the principles of Islam and established the foundation of the Islamic empire. He ordered the destruction of the idols in Ka'aba, the traditional place of pilgrimage in Mecca, which then became the holiest shrine of Islam. He granted Jews and Christians religious autonomy as "Peoples of the Book," whose revelations anticipated Islam. On his last visit to Mecca, at the time of the annual pilgrimage, he gave a sermon in which he summarised his reforms, declared the brotherhood of Muslims, and repudiated all distinctions of class, colour, and race.
Soon after returning from the farewell Hajj, the Prophet fell sick. He then moved to the house of Ayesha -- his wife. He was sick for 12 days. He ordered Abu Bakr Sidiq (R) to replace him as the leader (Imam) during the prayers.
He passed away on a Monday, Rabi-al-Awwal, 12, 11 AH., June 7, 632 A.D.). He was given final ablution by his close relatives and wrapped in his nightgown. His companions entered his house one by one to pray on him, then ladies prayed on him, then children prayed on him. He was buried at the same place where he passed away, in the house of Ayesha (R).
The secret of Allah's strong support and pure guidance passed from Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) to his beloved friend and able deputy Abu Bakr Sidiq who succeeded him not only as his political successor (Caliph) but also as his spiritual Caliph.
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was the most generous and just among the people and the bravest. He was never afraid of anything in this world nor lured by any lust or temptation. He was the most modest of his person, the most sincere, and the most pious. He never spoke just to spend time. He preferred silence to speech and never showed pride, although he was the most eloquent speaker. Allah gave the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) mastery in all sphere of the human conduct. Allah raised him from the land of ignorance, taught him the best of manners and the best of ethics. "Truly you are of a magnificent nature." [Qur'an: 68:4], and "Kindest and Most Merciful" [Qura'n: 9:128] .
Prophet Muhammad is the founder of Islam, whose prophetic teachings, encompassing political and social as well as religious principles, became the basis of Islamic civilisation and have had an impeccable influence on the world history.
Some of the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)
o "First of all, Allah created my Noor (Luminance)."
o "Allah says: 'O my Friend, had you been not there, I would not have created skies and would not have manifested my Lordship."
o "I am created from the Noor of Allah and Momins (Faithful) are created from my Noor."
o "There was time when I was with Allah and no angel, dear one nor the prophets had access."
o "Anyone who has not any Shaikh (spiritual leader) then his leader is Satan."
o "The Shaikh among his tribe is just as the prophet among his nation."
o "If the Faith of Abu Bakr is weighed against my nation, the pan of Abu Bakr's Faith will be heavier."
o "Allah says, whoever comes against one of My saints, I will declare war against him."
o "Allah's saints are under his cloak (attributes of Allah). No one knows them except He Himself."
o "How many people welcome a day whose end they will not live to see, and expect a tomorrow which they do not reach?"
o "Say the truth, even if to your detriment."
o "Make everything easy and don't make it difficult. Give good tidings and don't cause people to run away."
o "Allah says, O Son of Adam, you will get what you have intended, and you will be with the one whom you love more."
o "Keep Allah and He will keep you. Keep Allah before you. If you need help, ask for His help."
o "Be austere in this world and Allah will love you. Be austere with what is in the hands of people and the people will love you."
o "The one who has the most perfect mind is the one who is most fearful of Allah.
o "Refrain except from good speech."
o "Give back the Trust and don't betray it."
o "When Allah loves someone, He will put him into difficulties."
o "When Allah wants good for His slave, He will guide him to someone that shows him the way."
o "Forgive, and Allah will forgive you."
o "Be merciful, Allah will be merciful with you."
o "Allah manifests His epiphany on all His creations in general way, and on Abu Bakr in especial way."
o "Ask for Allah's forgiveness and health."
o "The most sinful person is the one whose tongue is always lying."
o "All creation is a servant of Allah. The most beloved to Him among them is the one that helped his brothers."
o "The best deed is when people will be safe from your tongue and your hand."