the chief of created beings, the mediator of existing creatures, and bestwoer
of the essence of individuality, Muhammad (saws) the chosen was born of
Aminah, the Daughter of A'bd Munaf Zohri, during the year of the elephant,
at the end of the eighty-second of the Alexandrian era, and manifested
his word-adorning countenance to the denizens of the earth.
The following are some of the miraculous events of that night, which became to everybody as plain as daylight: The dissappearance of the water from the lake Sadah; the overflowing of the river Samavah, which is one of the watercourses of Syria, and had been dry during one thousand years. But possibly when the water of the lake Sadah was absorbed by the earth, it bubbled forth again in the Wadi Samavah, as Shekh Kamal-ud-din, that model of piety-may his secret be sanctified- has said:
Aminah related that just before her confinement her whole body trembled for a very short time, and after that she saw the house excessively illuminated, so that fright and terror overcame her, and she felt a white bird rubbing its wings against her. When her apprehensions vanished she felt very thirsty; then an extrememly white beverage was given her, which she imagined was milk, but drinking thereof she found it more sweet than honey. After that she beheld a number of women of tall stature, whom she considered to be maidens of the Beni A'bd Munaf. She took confidence in them and wondered whence they had come, but they calmed her mind. Hereon she saw a piece of long white brocade, and heard the allocution: 'Keep her concealed from the eyes of people.' She perceived a company of men, standing in the air with vases of silver in their hands. Then perspiration was dripping from her which had the odour of musk, and she exclaimed: 'I wish A'bd-ul-Muttalleb were here!' She beheld, as it were, the whole world ina blaze of light; a legion of birds with emerald beaks and ruby wings had entered the house, and the Lord Most High having raised the veils, she bodily saw the eastern and western regions of the world. On the roof of the Ka'bah and in other places banners had been erected, and many shocks were felt in the house without seeing movers. The moment Muhammad (saws) was born he prostrated himself in adoration, and raised his head towards the sky, as if in the act of supplication and prayer. All of a sudden a hand appeared from above, which covered and snatched him up into a cloud out of sight, and the words were heard: 'Receive him in teh series of prophets, invest him with the robe of honour of the orthodox religion, show him to his ancestor Ebrahim, and take him to the ocean that the inhabitants of the sea may know that in his time unbelief and idolatry will be abolished.' After that, upon a folded woollen cloth, and piece of silk was spread under him for a couch. He had keys in his hands, and a voice was heard saying: 'This is Muhammad, who holds in his hands the keys of prophecy, victory, and confirmation.' After a short time another cloud descended, which was more luminous than the first, from which the neighing of horses and flapping the wings of birds was heard, and when Muhammad (saws) had for a long time remained concealed fromt eh sight of his mother, she heard a voice saying: 'Take him round the earth! Present him to the saints among genii and men,' and exclaiming: 'Endow him with the purity of Adam, with the strenth of Nuh, with the friendship of Ebrahim, with the nature of Eshaq, with the eloquence of Esma'il, with the glad tidings of Ya'qub, with the beauty of Yusuf, with the voice of Daud, with the abstinence of Yahia, and with the kindness of I'sa. Immerse him into the sea of the morals of the prophets and the ispired messengers.' A considerable time afterwards she again beheld him with a piece of white silk in his hand, and the water of (Divine?) succour distilling from him, and heard a voice saying: 'Muhammad having the whole world in his grasp, every creature will obey and revere him.'
It was also related of Aminah that after the presence and disappearace of Muhammad (saw) she saw three men, whose countenaces were shining like the sun. One of these three individuals had in one hand a silver pitcher, exhaling the odour of musk; in the other a dish of emerald, with two handlesl of mother-of-pearl, and at the same time the following expressions were heard from the other would: 'As he has selected the Ka'bah, we have there mad the Qiblah and his habitation.' The third man held a piece of white silk in his hand, which contained his (Muhammad (saws)) seal. Then the holder of the dish placed Muhammad (saws) into it, poured water on him, and washed him seven times. These three men then kissed his feet. He who held the piece of silk was the gardener of paradise; he wrapped him into a piece of silk, perfumed him with very fragrant musk, and took him under his wings. When he again took him out from beneath his wings, he spoke many words to Muhammad (saws), which his mother could not understand. He also pronounced an incantation over him, rubbing his hand over the back and head of the infant, saying: 'O Muhammad! glad tidings to thee, for the sciences of the prophets have been desposited in thy heart. Thou hast become the most learned and viliant among them. the keys of paradise are in thy hands, and awe of thee has so taken hold of the hearts of men that, hearing only thy voice, they will be subject to fear and trembling.' Suddenly a man appeared, who placed his mouth on the infant, in the same way as a bird feeds its little one, and Muhammad (saws) asked with his finger for more. Then this man said: 'O Muhammad! glad tidings to thee, for every good quality has been bestowed upon thee.' Then he rubbed oil on his head and face, combed his hair inserted collyrium into his eyes, and, taking him up in his arms, removed him out of sight.
At that time Aminah became much distressed, amazed, and said: 'Where are my people? It seems that they have become annihilated in this emergency, from the labour of parturition, and no one comes near me!' At that time the same man (whose countenance shone like the moon, and who smelt like musk) brought back Muhammad (saws), and said: 'I have carried him about the earth, and have presented him also to Adam, who took him on his breast, pronounced a blessing upon him, and said: 'O Lord tidings to thee! Whoever firmly adheres to thy religion and obeys thee will be resuscitated in thy company on the day of Judgment!' At that time A'bd-ul-Muttalleb entered, and Aminah informed him of everything that had taken place. He, in turn, said: 'This night I was engaged in prayer in the house of the Ka'bah, and I suddenly perceived that it inclined itself towards the place of Ebrahim, again recovered its former position, and exclaimed: "Allah is greatest! O Lord Muhammad (saws), purify me of the idolaters!" I also beheld Habal, the chief idol, prostrate on its face, and heard the announcement: "Aminah has given birth to a son, over whom a Divine cloud has alighted, and a plate has been brought from the Sanctum in which to wash him. Muhammad (saws) will lead out the people from darkness into the light of guidance. He will obtain a mission, and will be a shining light. He will be an apostle, inviting and addressing all mankind. O ye angels! witness that we have presented to him the keys of the treasuries of prophecy. Rejoice ye, therefore at his nativity!" A'bd-ul-Muttalleb further said to Aminah that on hearing these words, his tongue became benumbed in his palate, and that he thought he had been dreaming. But on rubbing his hands over his eyes he found himself awake, and proceeded from the gate of the Bani Shaibah towards Battha. He beheld Safa exalted adn Merva abased, and heard a voice exclaiming: 'O Prince of the Qoraish! why do I see thee in fear and trembling?' Then he went to the house of Aminah to see Muhammad (saws), but when he reached the door he saw thereon a white bird with spead wings, the light whereof illuminated the mountains around Mekkah. Over the house there was a white cloud, which hindered him from entering. He therefore sat down awhile, and said to himself: "I wonder whether I was awake or asleep when I saw all these things?' The odour of musk issuing from the house was so strong that he could not enter it; at last, however, he mustered courage, went in, and found her in the condition above described.
It is related that when A'bd-ul-Muttalleb entered the house and shook the rung of the door, Aminah replied in a feeble voice, and said: 'Open quickly, for my heart is well nigh breaking!' When she let him in he could not see the holy light of prophecy on her countenance, and, ready to tear his garments, exlaimed: 'Woe to me! Where has that light from they face departed to? For I cannot see it!' She replied that she had been delivered of a child, and informed him of everything in detail that had happened on the occasion. But he retorted that he disbelieved her allegation, as he perceived no traces of child-birth upon her. Aminah continued: 'By Allah! I speak the truth, and the white bird which thou hast seen is quarrelling with me when I gave milk to Muhammad (saws), and desires to suckle him alone.' A'bd-ul-Muttalleb exclaimed: 'Then show me the new-born infant.' But she rejoined: 'Alas! how couldst thou see him, since a man had brought a dish of emerald and washed him therein, and told me not to show my babe to anyone during three days?' He continued 'Show him to me, or else on of us two must die at my hands.' When she perceived how incensed A'bd-ul-Muttalleb was, she directed him to a certain house, and told him that he would there find the child, swaddled in woollen cloth. But when he entered and wished to behold the world-adoring beauty of the lord of creatures, he perceived a man of terrible aspect approaching him with a sabre, and exclaiming: 'Return! for no one can see him until all the angels have finished their visits!' Hearon A'bd-ul-Muttalleb began to tremble, and wished to leave the house. When, however, he departed he bacame mute, and it is said that he was unabel to utter a single word during seven days.
It is related that the excellent Fattimah said: 'I was present with Aminah on the night of her confinement, and beheld stares moving towards us as if about to fall on the ground.' After the birth had taken place, a light detached itself from Aminah which illuminated the apartment in such a manner that I could see nothing except brightness.
It is related of Shafai, the mother of A'bd-ur-rahman, who was the midwife of Aminah, and when Muhammad the elect--u.w.b.--was born, the exclamation 'May the Lord have mercy on thee!' was heard, and the horizon was so lit up from east to west that she was able to perceive several castles of Syria. But all the strange things witnessed by Shafai on that night are recorded in chronicles.
There was also a tradition that on the day after
the birth of his propehtic lorship, the Jewish priests asked A'bd-ul-Muttalleb
whether an infant had been born in his tribe during the past night, and
that he replied: 'There is a case of pregnancy among us, but I cannot tell
whether the birth has taken place or not.' They continued: 'We have
found in the Torathah that last night, was the nativity of the prince of
former and latter times in the sacred valley, which will become the place
of pilgrimage to Arabs and the foreigners; and verily that high banner
and shinning light has entered existence last night.' Hereon A'bd-ul-Muttalleb
dispatched someone to Aminah to make inquiries, and she replied: 'Last
night I gave birth to an infant, circumcised, with his umbilical string
cut, looking as if he had been washed of the impurities adhering to infants.
A light shone from him which illuminated the world, as I had seen in my
sleep. He came to the ground without my feeling any pain or distress,
and pointed with his finger to the heaven; whereon I received the injunction
from avove to keep him concealed for three days.' When this news
was brought to A'bd-ul-Muttalleb, the Jewish U'lama exclaimed: 'God is
great! the prediction of the Torathah has been fulfilled!' Hereon
A'bd-ul-Muttalleb entered the house, renewed his inquiries, obtained the
same information, sat down in a room to receive the congratulations of
his friends, and saughtered several camels for the purpose of feasting
his guests. Being asked what name his grandson was to receive, he
said: 'Muhammad.' And being told that none of his ancestors bore
that name, he replied: 'I wanted him to be praised in heaven and earth.'
After three days he went to the house of Aminah, took possession of the
lord of prophecy, carried him to the Ka'bah, and, prostrating him in front
of it, on the palms of his hands said: