At the age of forty, Allāh honoured him with His grace and commissioned him to convey His message. Jibrīl (AS) came to him while he was in the cave of Hirā, a mountain in Mecca. He then remained in Mecca for thirteen years, some say fifteen years and others ten, but the correct opinion is..
His Hajj and `Umrah
Hammām ibn Yahyā reports on the authority of Qatādah who said, ‘I asked Anas how many times the Prophet (SAW) performed Hajj and `Umrah and he said, “He performed Hajj once and `Umrah four times: the first time when the polytheists prevented him from arriving at the House; the second in the following year when the treaty was signed, the third from al-Ji`rānah wherein he apportioned the booty of Hunayn in Dhū’l-Qa`dah, and the fourth was the `Umrah he performed with his Hajj.”’ The hadith is agreed upon.
These were all performed after his arrival in Madīnah, as for the period while he was in Mecca, nothing is preserved concerning this. His Hajj was the farewell Hajj in which he said, “It is well possible that you will not see me after this year of mine.”
He (SAW) himself participated in twenty-five military expeditions according to the famous view and this is the view stated by Muhammad ibn Ishāq, Abū Ma`shar, Mūsā ibn `Uqbah and others. It is also said that he participated in twenty-seven such expeditions. The number of raiding parties were around fifty.
He (SAW) actually fought in nine battles: Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, Banī Quraydhah, Muşţaliq, Khaybar, Fath Mecca, Hunayn and Ţā’if. It is also said that he fought at Wādī al-Qurā, al-Ghābah and Banū al-Nadīr.
His scribes and envoys
His (SAW) scribes were: Abū Bakr al-Şiddīq; `Umar ibn al-Khaţţāb; `Uthmān ibn `Affān; `Alī ibn Abū Ţālib; `Āmir ibn Fuhayrah; `Abdullāh ibn al-Arqam al-Zuhrī; Ubayy ibn Ka`b; Thābit ibn Qays ibn Shimās; Khālid ibn Sa`īd ibn al-`Āş; Handhalah ibn al-Rabī` al-Asadī; Zayd ibn Thābit; Mu`āwiyah ibn Abū Sufyān; and Shurhabīl ibn Hasanah.
The most prolific scribes were Zayd ibn Thābit and Mu`āwiyah.
He (SAW) sent,
- `Amr ibn Umayyah al-Damrī to al-Najāshī, his name is Aşhamah which means ‘a gift’. He took the letter of the Messenger of Allāh (SAW), placed it between his eyes, descended from his throne and sat on the floor. He then accepted Islām in the presence of Ja`far ibn Abū Ţālib and his Islām was good. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (SAW) prayed his funeral prayer on the day that he died and it is reported that light was always seen on his grave.
- Dihyah ibn Khalīfah al-Kalbī to Heraclius, the leader of Rome. He asked questions about the Prophet (SAW) and became convinced of the truth of Islām. He wanted to accept Islām but his people did not agree to this and hence he remained non-Muslim for fear of losing his position.
- `Abdullāh ibn Hudhāfah al-Sahmī to Chosroes, the King of Persia. He ripped the Prophet’s letter apart and the Prophet (SAW) said, “May Allāh rip his kingdom apart” and this happened.
- Hāţib ibn Abū Balta`ah al-Lakhmī to al-Muqawqis, the Governor of Egypt and Alexandria. He said some good words and almost accepted Islām and gifted the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) with Māria, the Copt and her sister Sīrīn. The Messenger of Allāh (SAW) in turn gifted Hassān ibn Thābit with Sīrīn and she bore him his son, `Abdu’l-Rahmān ibn Hassān.
- `Amr ibn al-`Āş to the two kings of `Umān, Ja`far ibn al-Julandī and `Abd ibn al-Julandī, and they accepted Islām, he remained with them until the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) passed away.
- Salīţ ībn `Amr al-`Āmirī to Hawdhah ibn `Ali al-Hanafī in al-Yamāmah. He honoured him and gave him residence and wrote to the Prophet (SAW), ‘How excellent and wonderful is your call, I am the spokesperson of my people and their poet, grant me a share of rule in this.’ The Prophet (SAW) refused and he did not accept Islām. He died during the time of the Conquest of Mecca.
- Shujā` ibn Wahb al-Asadī to al-Hārithah ibn Abū Shamir al-Ghassānī, the King of al-Balqā’, Syria. He read the letter and tossed it aside and resolved to go to the Prophet (SAW) but was prevented from doing so by Chosroes.
- al-Muhājir ibn Abū Umayyah al-Makhzūmī to al-Hārith al-Humairī, one of the leaders of Yemen.
- al-`Alā’ ibn al-Hadramī to al-Mundhir ibn Sāwī al-`Abadī, the King of Bahrain, who believed and accepted Islām.
- Abū Mūsā al-Ash`arī and Mu`ādh ibn Jabal al-Anşārī to Yemen, calling its people to Islām. The generality of its inhabitants accepted Islām voluntarily, leader and subject.