Books · Knowing the Prophet · Seerah · Tajjaliyat e Nabuwat

Prophet Muhammad’s Noble Ancestry and Birth


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The Noble Genealogy

The Prophet’s genealogy is: Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abd al-Mutalib ibn Hashim ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusay ibn Kilab ibn Murra ibn Ka’ab ibn Luwai ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn Nadhar ibn Kinnah ibn Khuzaimah ibn Muddarika ibn Ilyas ibn Mudhar ibn Nizaar ibn Ma’ad ibn Adnan.

ACTIVITY: Try to memorize his genealogy, also teach it to your children.

Adnan, undisputedly, were from the lineage of Isma’eel ‘alayhi salaam.  

Prophet’s Father: ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib

Prophet’s Mother: Aminah bint Wahb bin ‘Abd Manaf bin Zahra bin Kilab (Kilab is the same person that appears in the genealogy of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib.)

Quraysh – the Tribe of the Prophet

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam belonged to Quraysh which was the most revered tribe on the entire Arabian Peninsula. It was the title of Fihr bin Malik bin Nadhar, mentioned in the genealogy above. It was this tribe that held the custodianship of Ka’abah.  (We have given a brief account of how leadership came to the Quraysh in a previous post.) Being the custodians, they held the keys to Ka’abah and would open its door to whoever and whenever they wished.

As part of the pilgrimage ritual, they would prepare a lavish meal for the pilgrims and feed them generously. A special drink of dates, honey, or raisins would be prepared and served to the pilgrims.

Hashmi – the Prophet’s Tribal Subsection 

The Prophet’s tribal subsection was Hashmi from his great grandfather Hashim (shown above in genealogy). The Hashmites were responsible for hosting the pilgrims – a responsibility that remained with them till the coming of Islam. We have already mentioned the background of the name Hashim.

The Birth of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was born an orphan in the spring season on a Monday. It was the same year when Abrahah came with his elephants to attack Ka’abah and was destroyed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. This year is known as “Aam al-Feel” meaning the Year of the Elephants. In the Arabic language, elephants are called feel (also written as fil). According to the Gregorian calendar, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was born on April 22nd, 571 A.D.

[Read: The Summary of the Story of the People of the Elephants]

After the birth of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his mother saw a light leaving her body. The words that appear in a hadeeth state, “…and the visions of my mother who saw, as she bore me, a light came forth from her that lit up the castles of Syria.” She also stated that carrying Muhammad (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in her womb was without any difficulty.

The news was sent to the grandfather who took the infant to Ka’abah, thanked Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and prayed for his well-being. He named his grandchild, Muhammad – so that he will be praised by others.

On the seventh day, ‘Abd al-Muttalib made a sacrifice (Aqeeqah) and invited the Quraysh to see the baby.

Baby Muhammad (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was looked after by his father’s slave woman Umm Aimen – an Ethiopian lady whose real name was Baraka [Barkat]. She was especially favored by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala; she witnessed the Prophethood and embraced Islam. She was the mother of Usama ibn Zayd radhiAllahu ‘anhu and the wife of Zayd ibn Harith radhiAllahu ‘anhu. The Prophet’s death deeply grieved her because the revelation was now ceased. She lived for five or six months after the death of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The Suckling of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

The first woman to suckle baby Muhammad after his mother was Thuwayba (some Urdu speaking people read it as Soubia/Sobia which is incorrect). She was a freed-slave of his uncle Abu Lahab.

In Saheeh Bukhari, it has been recorded that after the death of Abu Lahab one of his relatives saw him in his dream. The man asked, “What happened to you?” Abu Lahab replied, “I experience nothing good after (leaving) you, except for being given to drink from this for my having emancipated Thuwayba.” He pointed to the hollow between his thumb and adjoining fingers. It is said that when Thuwayba gave him the news of the birth of his nephew (Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he emancipated her at once by the signal of his thumb and adjoining fingers.

[The Arrogance of Abu Lahab]


This brief incident teaches us that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not ignore the good deeds of people no matter how small they might be. “So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it,” [az-Zalzalah 99: 7 – 8]. Abu Lahab’s freeing his slave on the birth of Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was an act that pleased Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Freeing of the slaves is a deed that deserves high rewards. And because of this act, Abu Lahab is being provided with water in the Hellfire.  May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us from the punishment of the fire and grave, ameen.

Prophet’s uncle Hamza and companion Abu Salamah radhiAllahu ‘anhum were also nursed by Thuwayba.

[Adapted from the talks of Dr. Farhat Hashmi on the book: Tajjaliyat e Nabuwat by Maulana Safi ur Rahman Mubarakpuri. Some material has also been taken from Imam Ibn Katheer’s book: Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiya]

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