The Journey to Syria and Meeting Baheeraa – The Seerah of Rasullullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) – Part Nine

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was twelve years of age, Abu Taalib decided to travel to Syria with a trade caravan of the Quraish. Considering the difficulties encountered in travelling, Abu Taalib did not intend to take Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with him.

As he was about to depart, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) held onto the reins of his camel and addressed him saying, “O my beloved uncle! To whose care will you entrust me in your absence? I have neither a father nor a mother!” Hearing these words, Abu Taalib was overcome by sympathy and compassion and thus decided to take Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with him on the journey.

On coming to the city of Busraa, the caravan passed by the monastery of a Christian monk whose name was Jarjees, and was popularly known as Baheeraa. Baheeraa was well acquainted with the signs of the final Prophet that were mentioned in the divine scriptures.

On numerous occasions prior to this, many trade caravans had passed by Baheeraa, but he had never before come out to meet any caravan nor did he show any interest in the caravans. However, on this occasion, when the trade caravan of the Quraish halted near the monastery, Baheeraa unexpectedly emerged from his monastery, came to the caravan and began to examine each one of the travellers, as though he was searching for something. When he came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he grasped him by his blessed hand, and in excitement, he exclaimed:

هذا سيّد العالمين هذا رسول رب العالمين يبعثه اللّٰه رحمة للعالمين

“This is the leader of the worlds. This is the messenger of the Rabb of the worlds. Allah Ta‘ala will send him as a mercy for the people of the worlds.”

The leaders of the Quraish asked the monk, “How do you know this?” The monk replied, “When you emerged from the valley, I saw every single rock and tree fall into prostration, and trees and rocks only bow down before a Nabi. Furthermore, I recognize him from his seal of prophethood that resembles an apple and appears just below his shoulder blade.”

According to the narration of Imaam Baihaqi (rahimahullah), Baheeraa inspected the blessed back of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) where he saw the seal of prophethood between his shoulder blades. Upon examining it, he found it to be exactly as recorded in the divine scriptures. Out of happiness, he then kissed the seal of prophethood.

Thereafter, Baheeraa entered his monastery, and on account of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he prepared a meal for the entire caravan of travelers. At the time when the people of the caravan arrived to eat, Baheeraa noticed that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was absent. Upon enquiring as to where Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was, he was informed that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was out grazing the camels. Hearing this, he immediately sent someone to call him.

When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thereafter came, Baheeraa witnessed that a cloud was giving him shade. As Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) approached the place where the people were seated, he found that they were seated under a tree and had already taken all the places of shade. Since there was no shady area available, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sat on one side in the sun. However, the very moment he sat, the shade of the tree moved towards him. Observing this, Baheeraa remarked, “Look at the shade of this tree and how it moved towards him!”

Upon witnessing all the signs of prophethood in Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Baheeraa was convinced that this young boy was none other than the final messenger of Allah Ta‘ala. Baheeraa thus asked the people of the caravan regarding who was the guardian of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

When he was told that his guardian was Abu Taalib, Baheeraa addressed Abu Taalib saying, “Take him back to his hometown, and be careful of the Jews, for I fear that if they see him, they will certainly oppress and persecute him out of hatred for him! Undoubtedly, this child has a very bright future and he will enjoy a special position of honour in the world, as recorded in our scriptures.”

In another narration, it is reported that Baheeraa said to them, “Ensure that you do not take him to Rome, for I fear that if the Jewish Romans see him, they will recognize him to be the final messenger of Allah Ta‘ala by his qualities and signs and they will want to kill him.”

Abu Taalib agreed and returned to Makkah Mukarramah with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Thereafter, Abu Taalib never again took Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) out on a journey due to the fear he had over his safety. It is reported that before returning, Baheeraa provided them with some bread and olive oil as provisions for the return journey.

However, prior to the caravan departing, some of the Jews had spotted Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and recognized him to be the final messenger. Hence, they wished to seize the opportunity to kill Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) under some deceptive pretext, but before doing so, they decided to first come to Baheeraa and consult with him regarding their sinister plan.

When they mentioned their evil mission and malicious plot to Baheeraa, he immediately prohibited them and forbade them from fulfilling it. He said to them, “Tell me, if Almighty Allah has already decreed something, is anyone able to prevent it from happening?” They replied in the negative.

Baheeraa also told them, “Have you seen how accurately he fits the description of the final messenger mentioned in the scriptures? When he is decreed to be the final messenger of Allah Ta‘ala then you will certainly not succeed in bringing any harm to him or killing him as he is divinely protected by Allah Ta‘ala.”

In this manner, the Jews realized their folly and abandoned their plot to harm Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

(Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah 2/263-266, Seerah Halabiyyah 1/117, 119, Majma’u Bihaaril Anwaar pg. 267, Seeratul Mustafa 1/88)

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