The Acquintance of Nabi Saheb (SAW) with Buhaira ur Rahib

Mulla Juzar Shk Yusuf bhai Noorani

The fortunes of Abd Al-Muttalib had waned during the last part of his life, and what he left at his death amounted to no more than a small legacy for each of his sons.

Some of them, especially Abd Al-Uzzah who was known as Abu Lahab, had acquired considerable wealth of their own. But Abu Taleb was poor, and his nephew felt obliged to do what he could to earn his own livelihood. This he did mostly by posturing sheep and goats, and he would thus spend day after day alone in the hills above Mecca or on the slopes of the valleys beyond.

His uncle took him sometimes with him on his travels and on one occasion when Mohammad was about twelve , they went with a merchant caravan as far as Syria. At Bostra, near one of the halts where the Meccan caravan always stopped, there was a cell which had been lived in by a Christian Monk for generation after generation.

When one monk died, another took his place and inherited all that was in the cell including some old manuscripts. Amongst these was one which contained the prediction of the coming of a Prophet to the Arabs.

Buhaira, the Monk who now lived in the cell, was well versed in the contents of this book, which interested him all the more , he felt that the coming of ‘The Prophet’ would be in his lifetime.

He had often seen the Meccan caravan approach and halt not far from his cell, but as this one came in sight his attention was struck by something the like of which he had never seen before.

A small low hanging cloud moved slowly above their heads so that it was always between the sun and one or two of the travelers. With intense interest he watched them draw near. His interest now changed to amazement, for as soon as they halted the cloud ceased to move, remaining stationary over the tree beneath which they took shelter, while the tree itself lowered its branches over them, so that they were doubly in the shade.

Buhaira knew that such a portent, though unobtrusive, was of a very high significance. Only some great spiritual presence could explain it, and immediately he thought of the expected Prophet. Could it be that he had at last come, and was amongst these travellers?

The cell had recently been stocked with provisions, and putting together all he had, he sent word to the caravan of Quraysh:

"Men of Quraysh, I have prepared food for you, and I would like that ye should come to me, every one of you, young and old, bondman and freeman."

So they came to his cell, but despite what he had said they left Mohammad to look after their camels and their baggage. As they approached, Buhaira scanned their faces one by one. But he could see nothing which corresponded to the description in his book, nor did there seem to be any man amongst them who was adequate to the greatness of the two miracles.

Perhaps he thought they had not all come.

"Men of Quraysh, let none of you stay behind. There is not one that hath been left behind,"

They answered,

"Save only a boy, the youngest of us all"

The Monk replied,

"Treat him not so, but call him to come, and let him be present with us at this meal."

Abu Talib and the others reproached themselves for their thoughtlessness.

"We are indeed to blame, that the son of Abdullah should have been left behind and not brought to share this feast with us!"

The boy was fetched to join in the feast.

Buhaira at a glance at the boy’s face, was enough to explain the miracles to him. Looking at him attentively through out the entire meal he noticed many features of both the face and body, which corresponded to what was in his books.

When he had finished eating, the Monk went to his youngest guest and began asking him certain questions about his way of life and about his sleep and about his affairs in general. The boy readily informed him of all of these things for the old Monk was indeed quite venerable and his questions were courteous and benevolent. Nor did he hesitate to draw of the boy’s cloak, when he finally asked if he might look at his back.

Bahira had already felt certain. But now now he was in no doubt at all. For there, between his shoulder blades, was the very mark he expected to see. The seal of ‘Prophethood’ even as it was described in his Books, in the self same place!

He turned to the boy’s uncle Abu Taleb and asked,

"What kinship hath this boy with thee?"

Abu Taleb replied,

"He is my son"

The Monk smiled and shook his head and gently said to Abu Taleb,

"He is not thy son. It cannot be that this boy’s father is alive."

Abu Taleb taken aback said,

"He is my brother’s son"

The Monk pressed,

"Then what of his father?"

Abu Taleb said, "It is as ye said, he’s dead. He died, when the boy was still in his mother’s womb."

The Monk then said,

"Take thy brother’s son back to his country, and guard him well against the Jews. For by God, if they see him and know of him that which I know. They surely will contrive much evil against him. For great things are in store for this brother’s son of thine."

Note: The Name Buhaira-ur-Rahib is spoken frequently , but the correct pronunciation is Bahira-ur Rahib. I have also heard Huzurala TUS pronounce the name as Bahira. However, the former has been used here for its popularity.

by: Mulla Juzar Shk Yusuf bhai