Medina, the city of calm and peace, sheds tears for the first time since it became the city of the Prophet. People rush out of the clay houses, crying loudly in the city streets. Crowds of people gather at the sound of Umar’s sword cutting through the air, this famous wrestler of the Uqaz fairs, master of horses and weapons. A loud shout echoes in all the streets of Medina:
“Muhammad is not dead. I will behead those who claim that he is dead.”
Crowds cower; all mourning seeks shelter at the sound of this powerful voice.
A pleasant scent diffuses through the courtyard of the al-Masjid al-Nabawi from Aisha’s room; the door is pushed open and Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the Companion who sheltered in the cave with the Prophet, enters. He shows his respect and falls on the body of Prophet Muhammad, which is covered by a striped cloak. He opens the cloak to kiss the face. A single sentence emits from between his lips, wet with the tears of sadness: “You are just as fragrant after your death as you were during your life.”
This noble friend, who devoted his entire existence to Prophet Muhammad, comes to the courtyard and announces: “O People! Those of you who worshipped Muhammad know that he is dead. But those of you who worshipped Allah know that he is alive and will live forever.”
The outcries of “Muhammad is not dead”, which show the sorrow, but not the collapse of the people, diminish, wave by wave, and the truth starts to dawn in their hearts, which are barren like the land with their separation from the Prophet who revivified their lives. The bodies, which have been addressed with a new divine message everyday in the hottest part of the earth, those that have been saved from the suffocating desolation of this geography by a prophetic touch, are relieved. The affection for Prophet Muhammad was sown into the hearts of the people so that it would blossom again. The Age of Happiness may have come to a close, but humanity has been given a great inheritance that will open the gates of happiness. From now on, the Prophet guides the believers not with his existence but with his absence.
From this little window which we open onto the world of the last Prophet, we invite you to take a journey that will show you how the heritage of the Prophet has been perceived through the ages. We will visit the sacred cities which sustained the Prophetic message with the utmost joy, we will follow the closest friends of the Prophet, the Companions, and we will explore the splendor of the palaces of the sultans and reflect their fascinating life-styles back to you. In this way, we will witness how one book that contains the same message addressed to all of humanity has been brought to life in a multitude of ways throughout history. Each time we touch upon history, and more significantly, on the reminiscences of the Prophet, this touch will transform into a volcano erupting from within us or sometimes into a grave with which we wish to cover our shame. The past and the present will lead to areas of conflict that bring together the volcanoes and the graves and we will cry out that we must make a meaningful contribution to history.
History will not always shed a light on the present, but sometimes the present can shed a light on history. Looking from today, our hopes that have been extinguished within the dusty pages of history will be revived.