Inspired by the class taught by Sheikh Mokhtar Maghraoui on the Reflections on the Quran in the Meccan period, Uskudar, Turkey.
He was tall, fair and handsome; at least that is what the history of the Arabs in those days tells us. He came with an astute business sense, and Allah had given him the gold of Midas without the curse of it yet. He had a deep sense of belonging and was completely immersed in the Arabian society and was acutely aware of maintaining status, image and the portrayal of a wealthy, generous man of words.
On the artistic side he was a poet, and the words poured from his pen like water and had a huge fan club in the elite of Mecca. He was the one with 10 sons, which was a source of great pride in the Pagan society of those days where girls were buried alive, and sons were a source of pride and honor. His wealth and his business were famous in far-flung areas and the poor and the rich respected him.
In addition he had recruited the approval of the religious elite in the sense of polytheism by offering to not only pay for the rebuilding of the Kaaba but broke the superstition by taking the axe to the old building when everyone else was hesitant to do so.
From his loins came the son who was to be named as the “sword of Islam” but he would not live to see that.
It is said that the arrogant are those who actually are insecure of their own validity and thus it was with him, his arrogance outshone all others and yet no one knew that he was an illegitimate child in a society in which lineage was all important. Allah in the Quran uncovered his “base” birth, which came as a shock for all.
This was Waleed Ibn Mughaira, who in the eyes of Mecca had everything that a man could want, brain, brawn, art and wealth.
Yet some are damned by their base Nafs that has covered their innate pure fitra and are driven to do good for the sake of propping up an image in society. This intense desire on his part to maintain an image was fueled with arrogance, the glibness and talent of poetry, the success of his business and the fast and sure climb to the zenith of the polytheistic society. However although these very things were the source of his popularity as well as his ultimate downfall/ it is like when you tell one lie then one lie begets another to cover the previous lie.
Allah warns us in the Quran that the Punishment of mocking the rasool is severe, but its timing varies in each individual but it is a sure thing. Sometimes it happens in this dunya like it happened to Waleed Ibn Mughaira who died a prolonged painful death from a minor injury and sometimes it is saved for the Day of Judgment as in the case of Abu Lahab, which is graphically described in surah Lahab.
An analysis of the downfall of Waleed ibn Mughaira is essential to get a perspective how Allah operates and He does not keep it a secret either.
In Mecca when the Prophet pbuh was openly giving the message of Allah the Quraish in their private club for the elite had forbidden anyone to listen to the Quran and they warned incoming businessmen of this also before they entered the precincts of Mecca.
In the Club Waleed Ibn Mughaira was asked: what do you think of what Muhammad recites, you are a poet, is it poetry? Is he a magician or sorcerer, does he hypnotize people? Waleed Ibn Mughaira said: “ I cannot give an opinion as I haven’t heard him”.
It is a sentinel fact that Allah Subhanawataala gives a living chance to each of us, no matter how misguided or sinful we may be and no matter if our past is checquered with sinful mistakes.
Thus it was for Waleed Ibn Mughaira, a respected pillar of society, but internally he knew he was nothing but abased with an illegimate birth. Allah offered him salvation: He went to the Kaaba where Prophet Muhammad pbuh usually was found reciting the Quran.
It was at the time of one of the prayers and Prophet Muhammad PBUH stood unafraid and with an aura of peace and light in iqamah alone, his hands humbly folded in front of him, his head bowed and the sweet melody of the word of Allah perfect in rhyme and reason floated into the waning heat of the day bringing coolness to all the souls around him.
The impact of the recitation of the Quran on Waleed Ibn Mughaira was so intense that he sat down, he knew from both his knowledge of poetry and his exposure to numerous written odes and ballads that what was suspended in the precincts of the Kaaba was not from a human source. Though Muhammad pbuh was reciting it he was the vessel carrying this purity of sound and words and meaning they were not his words.
The recitation finished and the Prophet bowed in ruku. Unnerved and overcome with the recitation Waleed Ibn Mughaira got up and slowly made his way home. What he had experienced had shaken him and his analytical mind had come to a stand still while the recited verses of the Quran rang in his ears. He went home and was not seen by the Quraish for many days. This concerned many of the elite in the Quraish, they went looking for him and wanted him to give an analysis of what he had heard.
He was silent. His inner fitra was emerging from the darkness of Kuffar.
“People are collecting charity for you” his friends from Quraish said. This sentence was enough to raise the ugly head of his Nafs and fill him with unexpressed anger. He looked at the friend who had delivered this blow to his status with questioning countenance: “ They say that you are going to Muhammad to beg for food”
His eyes blazed and his Nafs became an unleashed wild beast.
“Muhammad is a sorcerer” he said and turned back to join the club members in their meeting. Little did he know that his sentence sealed his fate, he was now being ridden by His Nafs and spurred on by his anger instigated by Shaytaan in full gallop. He was welcomed back and complimented on his astuteness and then began an era where it became his focused habit to mock the gentle Prophet peace and blessings upon him. He demeaned him (pbuh) in public unashamedly using his God given talent of his poetic vocabulary.
His friends in the elite club of the Quraish commended his mockery of the Prophet and spurred him on very much like digging ones heel into a racehorse that is at the end of his physical stamina and yet makes that last burst to please its jockey and the screaming crowd yelling for him to cross the line……..and that is exactly what Waleed ibn Mughaira did. With the mockery of the gentle Prophet peace be upon him he crossed the line from the possibility of Jannah or Araaf ( the neutral zone) to the certainty of Naar. (74:11-27)
Recognition of who rules our life:our Nafs or our love for Allah and His Rasool is the first step to prevent us from crossing the line to Naar (FIRE)
DUA: May Allah Zojal protect us from the FIRE and instill the love of the gentle Prophet Muhammad pbuh in our hearts and lighten our souls with Light.
Surah Muddasir surah 74: