Sadly, Prophet Muhammad’s father died before Prophet Muhammad was born, and he was raised by his mother. At the time, it was a custom for Arabs living in towns to send their young boys to the desert to live with a wet nurse and a Bedouin tribe for a few years, so they could grow stronger and healthier in the harsh climate, learn the ways of the desert, learn from their manners, and it represented a return to their roots. No one originally wanted to take Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as a child to suckle because he was an orphan, and they wouldn’t have gotten much money from him. Then Prophet Muhammad’s mother, Aminah, eventually sent her child to live with a poor lady named Halima and her husband to spend a couple of years or so in the desert. As soon as they brought on Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as a child, they began to see miracles around them. Their old goat that stopped producing a while back started to produce milk again, and their camel, which was weak and slow, gained strength and speed.
While prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was out playing with his foster brothers, Angel Gabriel came down in a human form. The other kids saw him and ran screaming in terror to Halima and her husband, thinking Prophet Muhammad was being abducted. Prophet Muhammad was four years old or so at the time and was fearful but did not scream. Angel Gabriel forced him to the ground as Prophet Muhammad struggled to get lose, but Angel Gabriel overpowered him. Angel Gabriel pulled out a golden utensil with a golden tray filled with Zam-Zam Water and began to split open his chest and take out his heart to wash it. Angel Gabriel took out a black blood clot and threw it away, saying, ‘this is Shaytan’s (Devil) portion.’ He took out the root of all sins, freeing Prophet Muhammad from evil influences, as Allah, the Glorious, wanted to protect Prophet Muhammad from Shaytan (Devil) and sins. He then stitched him back up.
Halima and her husband rushed over to Prophet Muhammad, whose face was pale from fear. Halimah’s husband comforted him with a hug and took him in to rest. They realized that there was something special with this boy and decided it was best to return him to his mother, Aminah in Mecca. He lived with her for a short period, and then sadly, she passed away from illness on her way back from the city of Yathrib, later to be called Medina.
His loving grandfather Abdul Muttalib ended up raising him for 2 years. He loved Prophet Muhammad more than he loved his own children. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, would watch and learn from his grandfather what it would be like to be the leader of the Arabs as his grandfather was the most prestigious and senior statemen of Quraish, the ruling tribe and custodians of Mecca.
At the age of 8, Prophet Muhammad’s grandfather passes away, and the charge of Prophet Muhammad was passed down to his uncle Abu Talib, who was the brother of Prophet Muhammad’s father. His uncle also loved and preferred him over his children. Being an orphan taught Prophet Muhammad wisdom and helped mature him quickly, and he learned to be independent. He experienced and learned from his early hardships, and it helped prepare him to bear the tough life and battles he would later go through.
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