were with her, saw a brilliant, widely scattered light, about which they said: “At the time of his birth we saw a light so bright it lit up the east and the west for us.”1
The Second: That night most of the idols in the Ka‘ba toppled over and fell to the ground.2
The Third: That night the famous aywan of Chosroes’ palace shook and cracked apart, and its fourteen pinnacles collapsed.3
The Fourth: That night the small lake of Saveh, which was considered to be holy, sank into the ground,4 and at Istakhrabad the fire which, burning continuously for a thousand years, the Zoroastrians had worshipped, was extinguished.5
These four events indicated that the person who had just been born would abolish fire-worship, destroy the palace of the Persian kings, and prevent those things being sanctified that God did not permit.
The Fifth: Although they did not coincide with the night of Muhammad’s (UWBP) birth, certain events that took place not long before it are also included in the irhasat. One is the War of the Elephant, which is mentioned in the Qur’an in Sura al-Fil. Abraha, the king of Abyssinia, came to destroy the Ka‘ba, driving a huge elephant called Mahmudi before his forces. When they came close to Mecca, the elephant was unable to move. They could not make it move forward, and had to retreat. While retreating, a flock of birds attacked and routed them, and they fled. This extraordinary story is recorded in detail in the history books. The event was one of the proofs of Muhammad’s (UWBP) prophethood, for it occurred close in time to his birth and saved the Holy Ka‘ba, his qibla, birthplace, and native land, from Abraha’s destruction.6
The Sixth: According to the testimony of Halima al-Sa‘diya and her husband, when God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) was with them in his childhood, they frequently saw a cloud above him shield
Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 466; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 750; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 311; al-Sa’ati, al-Fath al-Rabbani xx, 2030.
Suyuti, al-Khasa’is al-Kubra i, 119-31; ii, 272; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa i, 19.
‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 750; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa i, 126; Suyuti, al-Khasa’is al-Kubra i, 128; ii, 272.
Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 366; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 751; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa i, 127; Suyuti, al-Khasa’is al-Kubra i, 128.
Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 367; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 751; ‘Ali al-Qari al-Makki, al-Masnu’ fi Ma’rifat al-Hadith al-Mawdu’ al-Mawdu’at al-Sughra’ (Tahqiq: Abu Ghudda), 18.
Ibn Hisham, al-Sirat al-Nabawiyya, i, 44-54; Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, i, 90-2; Abu Nu’aym, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, i, 144-51; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, ii, 157-60.