[Paraphrased from Our Beloved Nabi Kareem صلى الله عليه و سلم by Moulana Moosa Olga]
When Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) turned twelve, Abu Taalib decide to travel to Syria with a trade caravan of the Quraish. Abu Taalib was not keen to take Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) along as it was sure to be an arduous journey. However, at the actual moment of departure, he noticed signs of sorrow on Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلم)’s face and relented.
En route Syria, they halted at Busra, where Jarjis (more popularly known as Bahira), a Christian monk, lived. He was well acquainted with the signs of the final Prophet as mentioned in the divine books of yore.
In Jam’i Tirmizi (volume 2; page 202) it is narrated on the authority of Abu Musa Ash’ari (رضى الله عنه) that this group of high ranking elders of the Quraish passed by this priest many time before but he never casted a glance in their direction once. When they were with Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلم), though, the mink unexpectedly emerged from his quarters and preceded to scrutinize each one if the travelers until he came to Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The moment he laid eyes on Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم), he grasped his hands and exclaimed: “This is the leader of the worlds. This is the messenger of the worlds. Allah has commissioned him as the embodiment of mercy for the peoples of the world.”
The elders of the Quraish, quite dazed at this, asked: “How do you know this? What emboldens you to make such a claim?” The mink replied: “When you emerged from the valley of the mountain, every single boulder and tree stooped down in prostration. And trees and boulders don’t voe down to anybody but a Prophet. Furthermore, I recognize him from his seal of prophethood that is similar to an apple and appears just below his shoulder blade.”
Saying this, the monk departed. Because of Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم), he prepared a meal for the whole caravan of travelers. When all of them turned up to eat, Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was conspicuously absent. When he enquired, the monk established that Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was out herding the camels. He sent for him. When Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) appeared, a cloud was sheltering him from the fierce rays of the sun. As he approached his people, he noticed that they had already taken whatever available shade there was under the tree. Since there was no shade available, Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) sat down to one side. The moment he sat down, the tree stooped in his direction to offer him some shade. The monk remarked: “Look at this tree; how it is bending towards him.” The monk then got to his feet committing the travelers by force of oath not to take the young boy with them to Rome. If they catch sight of him, the monk explained, they would identify him from his attributes and features and they would surely put him death. Whilst pleading with them, the monk suddenly noticed a group of seven Romans coming his way, searching for something.
The priest asked them what they were searching for. They replied, “We are hunting for the messenger (whose glad tidings have been cited in the Torah and Injil and whom we have learnt will be traveling some time this month). We have dispatched men in all directions and launched an extensive manhunt for him.”
The priest responded: “Okay, tell me if the Almighty has already decreed something, is anyone able to prevent it happening?” They replied in the negative. The seven Romans thereafter pledged before Bahira that they would refrain from hounding him. Furthermore, they eventually resolved to settle down with Bahira because the very reason they set out for unexpectedly underwent a rapid transformation. They reckoned it to be unbecoming to return home. Hence, the decision to settle down with Bahira.
Swearing an oath to the travelers, the monk then enquired who Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)’s guardian was. They pointed towards Abu Taalib. The monk pleaded with Abu Taalib to send Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) back to Makkah. Abu Taalib sent Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) back with Abu Bakr and Bilal. The monk also provided some bread and olive oil as provisions for the return journey. According to a narration of Bayhaqi, Bahira rose to inspect Rasoolullah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)’s blessed back where he noticed the seal of prophethood between his shoulder blades. He discovered it to be exactly like how he imagined it to be.
Don’t forget to recite as much Durood as you can!
Love and Duas,