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Ismaili History 303 - Ancestry of Muhammad

The historians traced the genealogy of Muhammad from Ismail, the son of Abraham. Ismail was born in 1910 B.C., and Muhammad in 571 A.D., therefore, the time elapsed between these two personages was almost 2480 years. During this period, there were seventy generations from Ismail to Muhammad. The most ancient and authentic of all the traditions of Arabia have been acknowledged without the least hesitation that the temple of the Kaba at Mecca had been constructed in 19th century B.C. by Abraham, who was assisted in his work by his son Ismail. The original name of the temple was Beth-el (House of God), but it received the general appellation of Kabaas being of a cubical form. At the time of its erection, the temple of Kaba remained in possession of Ismail, after whose death his descendants became the supreme guardians of the sacred building. His descendants for the most part, migrated to different portions of the peninsula. After another considerable interval of time, the Amalekites became the sole owners of the Kaba. On this occasion, the Ismailites and the Jorhamites united together in driving out their common foe, the Amalekites, and having succeeded in so doing, the Jorhamites became the masters of the hallowed edifice.
Ismail had 12 sons, one of them being Kaidar by name whose progeny spread over the Arabian province of Hijaz. Again, it is concured on all hands among the Arabs that Adnan, to whom Muhammad traced his descent, was also a scion of Ismail in about the fortieth generations. Further down, in the ninth descent from Adnan, there followed Nadzr bin Kinana. Another descent in the genealogical scale and then comes in the ninth place, one, Qassi by name. The supreme charge of the sacred temple then fell into the hands of Qassi in due course. Qassi established a consultative body, its meetings were held in the Kaba for decisions to be taken with regard to war, trade, tribal affairs etc. Qassi collected the scattered tribe, which gave him the title of Qoraish, the word is derived from taqreish means one who brings together to the clans. Qassi died probably in 480 A.D., and from him the charge of the Kaba descended to his eldest son, Abdul Dar, from whom the chief offices held by him were transferred to his brother, Abd Munaf.

It must be known that the principal offices in connection with the Kaba were five altogether:- 1st, Sicaya and Rifada, the exclusive privilege of supply water and food to the pilgrims; 2nd, Kiyada, the command of the army in time of war; 3rd, Siva, the right of becoming standard bearer; 4th, Hijaba, the guardianship of the temple of Kaba, and 5th, Nadwa, the right of presidency of the council. After the death of Abd Munaf, a family strife arose among his sons, on which account the offices were divided in the following order:- Hashim was invested with the charge of Sicaya and Rifada, while the descendants of Abdul Dar retained the custody of the Kaba, the presidency of the council and the right of becoming standard bearer.

When Hashim was installed to the offices, he was proved a capable and generous. He married a girl from his own family and she gave birth to his son, Asad, who in due course became the maternal grandfather of Ali bin Abu Talib, as Asad's daughter, Fatima bint Asad was Ali's mother. Hashim's second marriage actualised with a girl of Banu Najjar being noble from both sides. She gave birth to a son, called Abdul Muttalib, who later rose to be a man of great nobility and fame. Hashim died in 510 A.D., who left his dignities to his elder brother, Almutallib, after whom his nephew, Abdul Muttalib, the son of Hashim, succeeded to his paternal offices.

The Zamzam, which is a well at present in Kaba, was in days of yore, a small rill of water flowing from one of the neighbouring hills, it being the same fountain which Hagar, the mother of Ismail had discovered in the desert, and where she and her son settled. After a time, however, the water ceased gushing from its mountain source, and the little stream completely dried up. A considerable time afterwards, Abdul Muttalib had a well dug on the very spot where the spring originally was in extant. It was also in the time of Abdul Muttalib that the Yamenite king, called Abrahah invaded Mecca, but was discomfited in his attempt and compelled to make a disgraceful retreat. Since Abrahah's army had come on elephants which the Arabs had never seen before, therefore, they named the year of the event as amul feel (the year of elephant). Abdul Muttalib died in the height of his glory and left indelible marks of his greatness. Abdullah was one of the sons of Abdul Muttalib, who married to Amina bint Wahab. To this noble couple was born Muhammad, but before he was born his revered father died while on a journey.

From this land originated a great revolutionary wave called ISLAM, in the 7th century - a period of darkness when the sun of Islam rose on the horizon of the Arabian peninsula. Mecca (the Greek's Macoraba or Rabba), a town in the Arab peninsula, has been celebrated through the ages because it encircles the House of God (ka'batullah), an ancient sanctuary sacred to the Arabs.

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