Greatest Institution: The House of Al-Arqam ibn Abi Arqam

University of Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford and MIT – we all know too well the prestige of all these universities. Some keeners amongst us may even know which scientist graduated from which university and what awards he/she were given.

But do we know which was the greatest institute of all times in the history of mankind through which the most noble men and women graduated?

‘The house of Al-Arqam ibn Abi Arqam was the greatest institution of higher learning that mankind has ever known; how can this not be so, when its teacher was the Messenger of Allah SAW, the teacher of all mankind.[The Noble Life, Vol. 1, pp. 172]

–Background–

Introduction

‘It is mentioned in the books of Seerah that the house of Al-Arqam was chosen as the secret meeting place of the Muslims after Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas RA became involved in the first ever skirmish between Muslim and polytheists. Ibn Ishaq said, “When they would pray, the Companions RA of the Messenger of Allah SAW would go to the mountain passes (that were close to Makkah); in this manner they were able to keep their prayers a secret from their people. Once, while Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas RA was among a group of the Messenger of Allah’s Companions in one of the mountain passes of Makkah, a number of polytheists passed by them while they were praying. The polytheists came upon them and censured them for what they were doing until they ended up fighting them. On that day, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas RA struck a man from the polytheists with the leg-bone of a camel, (with this blow) he broke (one of) the man’s (bones). That was the first time in Islam that blood was spilled. [Ibn Hishaam 1/236]

As a central meeting place for the Muslims, the house of al-Arqam was where Muslims would hear newly revealed verses from the Prophet SAW; it was where the Prophet SAW reminded them about Allah SWT, where SAW would train them under his direct supervision, and where they would inform him about their problems.’  [The Noble Life, Vol. 1, pp. 166]

Why the House of Al-Arqam?

‘The decision to choose Al-Arqam’s house was certainly not an arbitary one; to the contrary, there are a few factors that, in a strategic sense, made al-Arqam’s house an ideal place for the Muslims to conduct secret meetings:

1. Al-Arqam RA dud bit ioebky declare gus Uslam, so it was highly unlikely that anyone would that the Prophet SAW and his Companions RA were meeting one another in his house.

2. Al-Arqam ibn Abi Al Arqam RA was from the Banu Makhzoom clan, the same clan that carried the flag of war (or enmity) against Banu Haashim clain (of which Prophet SAW was a member). Even if one suspected Al-Arqam RA of being a Muslim, one would still not hink that the Muslims secretly met in Al-Arwam’s hoese, for since all neighbouring houses belonged to other members if th Banu Makhzoom clan, it would mean that the Muslims were meeting in the middle of the enemy territory. Any polytheist in Makkah would probably would have thought this to be a highly unlikely scenario, which makes the choice of Al-Arqam’s house all the more wise and intelligent.

3. When he embraced Islam, Al-Arqam ibn Abi Al-Aqram RA was merely an adolescent, being approximately 16 years of age. If the leaders of the Quraish did eve rthink about trying to discover the location of the Muslims’ secret meeting place, it would not have crossed their minds to search the houses of adolescent followers of the Prophet SAW; rather, their gazes would have been fixed on the Prophet’s house or on the house of his  older and more prominent followers -such as Abu Bakr RA. Otherwise, they might have suspected that the Muslims met in one of the houses of the Banu Haashim clan. Because of these reasons, it is clear that, in terms of maintaining security, choosing Al-Arqam’s house was a profoundly wise decision – which turned out to be correct decision, for it is not relate din any book (at least in any book that I have come across) that the Quraish ever found out where exactly it was that the Muslims gathered together to learn their religion.’  [The Noble Life, Vol. 1, pp. 175-176]

***

What care they had to take and how we complain and find a billion excuses that it’s difficult to practise Islam in the West or anywhere for that matter. Fine they had Prophet SAW but we still have him too you know! He SWT has preserved Prophet SAW’s ahadith for us so that they can be used in the same way and practised in the same way like they originally were thousands of years ago.

May Allah SWT help us and guide us.Ameen.

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