REPOST – The Prayer of the Prophet (PBUH) When the Last Grave Had Been Filled; The Names of the Martyrs Found in a Book Purchased in Medinah; The Cover of the Heavy Book Where the Spelling is Ohoud; Things Are Darkest Before the Dawn Brought Me Hope; The Names of the Martyrs, Fatima Visited the Graves Often  

(First Published 2023/06/22)

It is excruciatingly painful to read of the death of the martyrs, so eloquently expressed in the pages of Martin Lings’ Muhammad: The Life Based on the Earliest Sources. These words must be read I their entirety, as does the entire book. It is only then can one realize and respect the sacrifices made by the Prophet (PBUH) and the earliest believers. The death of these men decimated the burgeoning Islamic Faith. There were few faithful followers at the time and these men were the brightest and the best – to analogize to modern day WWi. The similarity in the Western world took place during WWi when the ‘brightest and best ‘of the British aristocracy were killed in the trenches. It decimated a generation and generations to come. 

The conclusion of Lings’ chapter 54 offers great insight into the brilliant mind and immense leadership qualities of the Prophet (PBUH) 

“When the last grave had been filled the Prophet called for his horse and mounted it, and they set off down the gorge, the way they had come at dawn. When they reached the beginning of the lava tract told them to stand in a linnet give praise and thanksgiving to God, and the men formed two lines facing Mecca, with the women behind then, fourteen women in all.Then he glorified God and prayed, saying: “Oh God I ask of thee Thy blessings and Thy mercy and Thine grace and Thine indulgence. O God I ask of Thee the eternal bliss that fadeth not nor passeth away. O God, I ask of Thee safety on the day of fear and plenty on the day of destitution.” (Page 200) 

Destitution  is a such powerful word: poverty so extreme that one lacks the means to provide for oneself:. Its synonyms leave one feeling rather desperate:  dire poverty, impoverishment, penury indigence, ruination, pauperdom; neediness, want, dire straits, deprivation, distress,. 

Plenty is the exact opposite, the Prophet prayed for plenty in the face of deprivation, distress ad ruination. Such a powerful image, such powerful words. 

In December 2022 when visiting Medinah for the first time, I purchased a ‘souvenir’ a book that must weigh fifteen pounds causing the payment of  overcharges for heavy baggage when I carefully brought it home to Canada. It has, admittedly, been languishing  on my bookshelf. Brilliantly I recalled its presence when writing the tale of my riveting photograph. I lugged it over to the bed, where I do my writing and research, opened it, discovering sheer gold.  (A photo of the oversize book will follow the written word.) Nestled inside the covers of the book were treasures beyond belief, which you shall be made privy to.  A list of the names of the martyrs, are preserved in those pages. The martyrs are revered, their sacrifices honored at the time and throughout these many years in the knowledgable Islamic community. Their sacrifices are honored., revered to this day.  During my pre Muslim much younger days I visited Normandy, and was in awe of the burial grounds housing the  dead of the Allied Forces.  But that was nearly as impressive as the tributes paid to these martyrs of long ago.  

Discerning readers will notice a change in spelling. The heavy book (as I call it) spells the name of the place Ohoud. This is a bit confusing, but trust me, they are talking about the same place.

 The pages of the heavy book describe in detail visitations made by the Prophet (PBUH) and the earliest believers. This to me, was most evocative.

“Zoraiq narrated that Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, used to visit the graves of the martyrs every two or three days. Abi Jaafar said that Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH). Used to visit the grave of Hamza, may Allah be pleased with him. She used to repair it and she put a stone to refer to it. Al-Hakim narrated from Ali, may Allah be pleased with him that Fatima used to visit the grave of Hamza every Friday and cry at it.”  

Evocative, an adjective, means bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind. Synonyms that capture its meaning are vivid, powerful, haunting, moving, poignant. The description of is so powerful, vivid, powerful and poignant to me personally  because my Muslim name is Fatimah (which I spell with an h at the end, for some reason). 

The Prophet (PBUH)’s daughter is known for her sense of humor and the laughter that emanated from the home of she and her beloved, husband Ali. Nevertheless, she visited the grave of Hamza and cry at it. 

I am often criticized by unfeeling people for my tendency to mix laughter and tears. My ups and downs, as they call them. I somewhat defensively say onto them: 

Me: I would rather have ups and downs then just always have constant downs, which you seem to experience. 

They: Is that a criticism. 

Me: No, just an observation. A fact as I see it. 

These criticisms were levied upon me during my pre-Islamic days. My response now would be different. 

They: You have constant ups and downs. 

Me: So did Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter and she was most beloved by her husband, by her father and by Allah (SWT). 

I am certain that will leave them speechless and is, actually, a kinder, more humane response. I shall give it a try the next time someone says that to me. I shall report my findings on this blog. What would I do without it?  Talk to myself, write to myself. But I love knowing that others, many others as a matter of fact, read my words. 

This early morning found me sad, weeping during Fajr prayer. This saying came immediately to mind, during my prayers. “Things are darkest before the dawn.” After prayers, I Googled it (of course). “This proverb says that just before the sun rises the sky is at its blackest, suggesting that when times are at their worst for us they will soon get better.” The first person to use this proverb was Thomas Fuller, an English theologian, in the year 1650. It appeared in his work titled A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine and the Confines Thereof. I do thoroughly love this quote; “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Oh by the way, you critical people who may be reading this blog with no access to me. 

They: You must be bipolar, manic-depressive. 

Me: No I am not, most certainly not. I could give you the name of a psychiatrist who could testify to that, but there is the doctor-patient privilege and he would not be able to speak to you without my permission. You would not want him to be in an awkward position, I am sure. 

You: Why were you so sad before prayers? 

Me: I was reading, studying the desperate Palestine on-going situation. I am too empathetic, that has been proven. I suffer for those Palestinians. I would like to think hope is on the way after 75 years of horror. I actually can see hope in the future. 

You: Tell me about that – how could there be hope. 

Me: I intend to learn more about it – if it is not a pipe dream, will let you know later. 

You: How will you let us know? 

Me: How do you think? Through the blog of course. 

On that rather upbeat note I shall conclude. I do not reveal the nature of my relationship with the Creator, but this I said when I thought of the proverb: things are darkest before the dawn. 

Me: Thank you Allah, for this revelation, for bringing this to light. It has helped already.  

A photograph of the heavy book and a page showing the names of the martyrs will follow.