The world history committed a crime by ignoring a great incident. In seventh century AD the two super powers of the era, the Byzantine and Persian empires were at loggerheads. The Abyssinian also joined struggle on the side of Christian Byzantine against the Zoroastrian Persians. The Abyssinians captured Yemen and moved to Makkah to establish their influence over Hijaz. But how this great army with elephants was defeated and annihilated without a battle with any rival force, history is deaf and dumb on this subject.
It was the second half of the sixth century AC when Yemen was under the rule of Christian Abyssinians who had driven out the Jewish Himyar ruler. When Abraha the Abyssinian governor, established himself at Yemen he noted that all Arabs of Yemen Najd, Hijaz and Tihama look towards Makkah with great reverence and perform annual Haj of the Ka’aba with a great festival there. It motivated a great social, literary and commercial activity.
Abraha enquired about Makkah. It was a small town with Holy Ka’aba, a four walled house without roof in the centre of the town. No citadel, no fort and no apparent force to defend it. He exclaimed, I will build Grand House of worship at Sana’a decorated with marble, jewel and gems for the Arabs and demolish this old House of Makkah. Poor creature, Abraha could not see and assess that to whom this House belonged.
He built a marvellous Temple, decorated it with gold, silver and precious stones. He invited the people to worship but nobody turned up to his call. He issued an order that (Chiragh P.296) no person from Yemen will go to Makkah to perform Haj. They should come to this new temple and circumambulate it. This news caused a turmoil among the people and none came to worship it. Ibn Ishaq reports that an Arab trader entered the temple and passed feaces in it. Ibn Kathir reports that some other person tried to put it on fire. Abraha turmed mad on the desecration of his temple and failure of his plan.
He raised a large army of 60,000 warriors and vowed to demolish Holy Ka’aba at Makkah. He travelled more than 1,000 miles on camel back from Yemen to Taif. In a further move to frighten the Arabs he employed few elephants in the front of his army as a show of strength.
Intoxicated with power and fired with religious fanaticism he led a big expedition to Hijaz and arrived at Taif. Banu Thaqeef who ruled Taif sent a delegation under Masood to Abraha supporting him and requesting him not to destroy their temple of Laat at Taif. Abraha accepted their submission and asked them to provide a guide to lead his way to Makkah. Banu Thaqeef agreed and deputed Abu Righal to lead the army but he died on the way before reaching Makkah. Arab tribes for years have heaped stones on the grave of Abu Righal and taunted Banu Thaqeef for this unholy act of leading the Abraha’s army to Holy Ka’aba to save their temple of Laat at Taif.
Abraha encamped at a place called Maghmas. His soldiers spread in suburbs of Makkah and captured the grazing camels which included 200 camels of Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet. Abdul Muttalib was strong and brave. He went direct to Abraha who received the Makkan chief with honour and seated him next to himself. He thought that Abdul Muttalib had come to negotiate about Holy Ka’aba. But when Abdul Muttalib talked only about the release of his camels, Abraha was astonished. He said, “You are talking about two hundred camels which belongs to you and you did not talk about the Holy House which is your religion and faith of your ancestors and I have come to demolish it”. Abdul Muttalib replied in the words which are recorded on the forehead of the world history.
“These camels are mine, but this House belongs to the Lord and He will protect it”.
These words show the height of Abdul Muttalib’s faith in One Lord Allah and his firm belief in His Soccour. Abraha was wonder struck on these words but intoxicated with his military might he uttered (as many dictators do). “Today nobody can save it from me”. Abdul Muttalib returned to Makkah with his camels and he advised the people to avoid resistance with the large army, vacate the town and hide themselves in the hills.
It is a great contrast of the world history. A great army, well equipped with arms is advancing towards a small town with a lone House of Allah standing in the middle. All warriors have run away and taken refuge in the hills. There is not a single soul to shoot a single arrow against 60,000 strong army. The great disaster is apparent. No human can see beyond, no mind can perceive ahead and no heart of a person can apprehend.
Abdul Muttalib ignited by his firm faith in One Lord Allah returned with few persons to Holy Ka’aba and they applied the biggest weapon of human knowledge – a prayer to the Lord. This is the device which can move the mountains and can produce brightest light in the thickest of darkness. Abdul Muttalib clinged to the Holy Kaaba, grasped the handle of the Door and cried to his Lord :
O Lord! They stopped caravans to Thy House O Thee, seal their advances to it Their Cross will not prevail upon us (and never in the past, present or future) Nor their efforts succeed against Thine
It is noteworthy that though there were 360 idols in and around Ka’aba but Abdul Muttalib called none of them and beseeched Almighty Allah alone in this critical hour of distress.
The actual tussle started. Abraha ordered his army to march towards Makkah and brought his famous elephant Mahmood in front to demolish the Holy Ka’aba. But what, Mahmood refused to advance towards Ka’aba. It sat down and did not move at all, though beaten and even injured but the mammoth creature did not move at all towards Ka’aba though it tried to run in other directions.
Abraha advanced with full pomp and show. Drums were beaten and trumpet were blown at the highest pitch but what ? Suddenly flight of small birds like sparrows appeared in the sky wave after wave. These flocks of birds covered the army and rained upon them small pebbles which they brought in their beak and clutches. These pebbles acted like atomic bullets, they pierced through the body of every soldier and made them like eaten straw or dung of animals. Even Abraha and his elephant was drilled through their bodies.
This happened all in a few hours at Muhassar, a valley near Mina and the birds disappeared after completing their mission. Abraha ran towards Sana’a but organs of his body fell apart and he died disgracefully. Surprisingly, these birds were not seen before and after this incident. They did not kill a single person of Makkah or targeted any person other than that of the invading army.
The whole of Makkah saw it, the whole Arabia knew it and the news of miraculous destruction of Abyssinian army reached Yemen, then to Habasha, then to Byzantine ruler in Syria and then to Constantipole and then to the Persian emperor in Iran, then to the whole world. The destruction of Abyssianian army was a miracle and good news to the Persian ruler who soon attacked Yemen and snatched it from Abyssinians. This happened all in 571 AD .
The little birds targetted the invading army only. Surprisingly, not a single person from Makkah was killed in this disaster. Aisha and Asma narrate that they saw a man who was blind and leper begging in Makkah. He was the one who drove the great elephant named Mahmood in Abraha’s army. Nofil bin Moaviya (Chiragh P.309) narrates that he saw even those pebbles which were pea-size and of dark red colour.
Ibn Umar (R.A.) narrated that once Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) on the way showed him the grave of Abu Righal who led the Abraha’s army to Makkah. People stoned the grave so much that it looked like a mound of stones. Abraha was an Abyssinian Christian his grand church was left unattended, isolated and it perished in due course. Even the Abyssinians rule over Habasha and Yemen ended in dismay.
The Holy Quran narrates all this long story as an admonition in five short verses :
Sees thou not How thy Lord dealt With the companion of elephant Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray And sent against them Flight of birds Striking them with stones of baked clay Then He made them like An empty field of stalks and straw (of which the corn) has been eaten up ( 95:1-5)
Holy Quraan addresses the entire Arab population that, had they not seen with their open eyes how miraculously Abraha was dealt with, who came to show his strength with elephants and was annihilated by little and feeble sparrows. His entire treacherous plan failed and his large army turned into an eaten stalk of straws.
Abraha was destroyed in 571 AD and this incident was revealed in the Holy Quran in 612 AD (approx.) only after 42 years). There was a full generation of Makkah who saw this great destruction with their open eyes. but not a single person `Mushrik’ or `Munafiq’ in Makkah or Madinah or even in the whole Arabia uttered a single word against this revelation in the Holy Quran.
This miracle was a dawn of new era. The whole world was given an advance alert that something great is going to happen. Doctrines of the pure faith of Ibrahim shall gain momentum. A House built by him for his Lord will be cleaned and sanctified. The great army which marched to demolish it apparently seeing it unguarded was told in clear terms that there “ IS “a Guardian of this House.
This was the Divine Declaration that the time of Revival of Ibrahim’s Faith has come. The old age of Roman and Persian empires is over. New world order has to be established. And in this tussle all material powers shall fail and the Divine Will shall prevail. Whosoever will ever come with great might to combat with apparently weak and feeble persons carrying the Message of Allah shall be wiped out. Resultantly, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood alone with Divine Message against the entire humanity and with His great help and support established the New World Order on the earth.
It was on Monday, the 12 th Rabi’ al awwal 53 B.H. (22nd April 571 A.D.), when Abdul Muttalib was circumbulating the Holy Ka’ba, someone informed him that a grandson is born to him. He rushed to the house and saw the new baby who was born after the death of his father Abdullah. Abdul Muttalib took him in his lap, brought him to Holy Kaaba and prayed for him. He named him ‘Muhammad’ (s.a.w.), meaning the “One who is much praised”. A new name in Banu Hashim. Some one asked him why he named so, he replied, “I pray to Allah that he may be much praised in the world”. How true were the words of Abdul Muttalib for this posthumous child.
Muhammad (s.a.w.) was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father Abdullah expired at the young age of 25 , just three months before his birth. All property that he left behind ,was a sword, 5 camels, one herd of goats and one maid servant, Barakah renouned as Umm Ayman.
Mohammed came from the noble and refined family of Quraish of Makkah. His ancestory is divided into three stages, (i) From Prophet Muhammad to Adnan, (ii) from Adnan to Prophet Ibrahim, and (iii) from Prophet Ibrahim to Adam. Adnan lived at a time very close to Prophet Jesus, while Prophet Ibrahim’s period was about 2000 B.C. and Adam was the first man on earth.
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) narrated his lineage upto Adnan which runs as follows :
Abdullah 2. Abdul-Muttalib 3. Hashim 4. Abd Manaf 5. Qusayy 6. Kelab 7. Murrah 8. Kaab 9. Loi 10. Ghalib 11. Fahar (Quraish) 12. Maalik 13. Nadir 14. Kananah 15. Khuzaimah 16. Mudrika 17. Ilyas 18. Madar 19. Nizaar 20.Mo’ad and 21. Adnan
Prophet Mohammad ( S A W )IN BANU SAAD
After his birth, Muhammad suckled for a few days, Thuwaybah, the maid servant of Abu Lahab she had also suckled Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib earlier (Raheeq U 102).
Later, he was given to Haleema of Banu Saad for desert dwelling. There was a general tradition of Arabs to send their children out to Bedouin nurses to get them grow up in natural surrounding, healthy atmosphere of the desert and learn pure Arabic dialect. Haleema in the beginning was reluctant to accept Muhammad (s.a.w.). She herself narrates the story.
At length we reached Macca looking for children to suckle. Not even a single woman amongst us accepted the messenger of Allah ( God bless him) offered to her. As soon as they were told that he was an orphan, they refused him. We had fixed our eyes on the reward that we would get from the child’s father. An orphan ! What are his grandfather and mother likely to do ? So we spurned him because of that. Every woman who came with me got a suckling and when we were about to depart I said to my husband : “By God, I do not like to go back along with the other women without any baby. I should go to that orphan and must take him. “He said, “There is no harm in doing so and perhaps God might bless us through him. (AHS-53)
Infant Muhammad lived five years with Haleema Saadia. Nature was his first nursery school. Palm grooves were his classroom and open desert was his playground. He came back as a good robust and vigorous boy built on deep roots of hard desert life and sown with the seeds of pure Arabic dialect.
Halimah used to visit him in Mekka after his marriage with Khadijah. Once it was a year of draught in which so many cattle heads had perished. Mohammed’s affectionate nurse went to Khadija and that generous lady sent her away with the gift of a noble riding camel and a flock of forty sheep. On another occasion the Prophet spread out his mantle for her to sit upon as a token of special respect. Many years later his foster-sister was brought to him along with many other captives in his expedition of Ta’if. She claimed that she was his foster sister. Muhammad (peace be upon him) inquired how he could verify this statement, and she replied : “ Once you gave me this bite upon my back, while I was carrying you.” The Prophet recognised the mark, spread his mantle, and asked her to sit upon it. ( AHS – 55 )
He was hardly six years old when his loving mother Aamena expired and his charge was taken by his old grandfather. He was hardly eight years of age when Abdul Muttalib expired. Before his death he gave his hand to Abu Talib, his real uncle who kept this trust with full honesty up to the time of his death in 619 A.D. He supported his nephew against all odds of life and protected him against all the opposition of Quraish.
: TENDING SHEEP: Abu Talib was not a richman and he had a large family to feed. The young boy Muhammad (s.a.w.) supported his uncle with honesty and hard work. He grazed his goats at Ajyad. He was also hired by Uqbah bin abi Moeet for tending his goats in the desert. Though apparently tending of goats was for earning livelihood for the family but it had a great significance as a training for future. Once he remarked;
“It has certain similarity with the function of the prophets. Moses had tended flocks of goats and same was the case with David. Now I have been commissioned with this office, and I also tended the goats and sheep of my family at the place known as Ajyad.”
This occupation of tending the flocks is congenial to thoughtful and meditative temperament which is an indispensable quality of a prophet. “While he watched the flocks, his attention would be riveted by the signs of an Unseen Power spread all around him. The twinkling stars and bright constellations gliding through the dark blue sky silently along, would be charged to him with a special message; the loneliness of the desert would arm with a deeper conviction that speech which day everywhere utters unto day ; while the still small voices, never unheard by the attentive listener, would smell into grandeur and more imperious tones when the tempest swept with its forked lightening and far rolling thunder along the vast solitudes of the mountains.” (William Muir as quoted by AHS – 56 )
Professionally tending flocks of sheep forms the training ground for the guidance of mankind. The shepherd is always on the alert with regard to his flock and takes full care of the animals so that these may not go astray or fall victims to the beasts of prey. So also is the case with a prophet. He is the shepherd of humanity ; always thinking of their welfare and always trying to lead them along the straight path to their well-being. It is from this experience as a shepherd that there sprang up love for man and passion to alleviate the suffering of mankind steeped in ignorance. (AHS – 59)
WITH TRADING CARAVANS: When Muhammad (s.a.w.) was a boy of twelve years he accompanied his uncle Abu Talib with a trading caravan to Busra in Shaam to share his burden. There Muhammad (s.a.w.) was identified as a future Prophet by a Christian monk, Bahira, who advised Abu Talib to take Muhammad (s.a.w.) back home quickly.
HARB AL FUJJAR: When Muhammad (s.a.w.) was fifteen years of age a great battle between Quraish and Qais Ailan erupted in Makkah during the sanctified months. As both tribes fought in sacred territory and in sacred months this battle is called as Harb al Fujjar. Though Muhammad (s.a.w.) attended the battle, he did not shoot a single arrow on the other tribe.
HALF -AL-FUDHUL TREATY: FUDHUL TREATY: FUDHUL TREATY: There was no law and no justice in Makkan society. Oppression and loot was in rampant. Generally outside traders were looted and plundered in bright day. Few elders of the Banu Hashim and Bani Tiyam convened a meeting at the house of Abdullah bin Sadaan at Makkah. An old Charter of Peace drafted by three persons named Fazal bin Fazala, Fazal bin Vada’a and Fuzail bin Harith was revived. These tribes agreed to support the oppressed persons and to establish justice until the mountains of Hira and Thabeer are standing on their roots. This Charter of Peace was the first noble act of Makkan society and Muhammad (s.a.w.) happily supported it. As this charter was first drafted by three persons named Fazal, this is known as ‘Treaty of Fazul’ in history. Abdullah bin Sadaan in whose house the meeting was convened, was a cousin of Aisha bint Abu Bakr (R.A.). (Raja Sh 78)
TRADING FOR HAZRAT KHADIJA (R.A.): When Muhammad (s.a.w.) was twenty five years of age and his uncle Abu Talib was struggling hard with financial problems of the family, he suggested as Ibn Saad quotes :
“I am, as you know, a man of scanty means, and truly the time are hard with me. Now there is a caravan of your own tribe about to start for Syria and Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid, is in need of the services of men of our tribe to take care of her merchandise. If you offer yourself for this enterprise, she would readily accept your services. “Muhammad (peace be on him) replied, “Be it as you say.” Abu Talib went to her and inquired whether she would entrust this enterprise to his nephew. Khadijah, who had already heard of the honesty, trustworthi-ness, and high moral character of Muhammad (peace be upon him) lost no time in accepting this offer and said: “I would give him twice of what I would give to the other men of your tribe.” (AHS – 63-64)
Muhammad (s.a.w.) though a novice in trade performed the job with full honesty hard work and wisdom. This brought much more profit than expected. The people saw a new trend in trade and Muhammad (s.a.w.) returned with big amounts of profit for Khadija (R.A.). Further, her servant Maysera, who accompanied Muhammad (s.a.w.) on this trip reported her the eye witness cases of his honesty and high morals. Khadija (R.A.) was so much impressed with the performance and high qualities of Muhammad (s.a.w.) that she started dreaming the other way.
She was a widow of 40 years of age and she had rejected many offers of re-marriage by many Makkan notables but this time her heart throbbed for the noble soul of Muhammad (s.a.w.) and instead of awaiting an invitation from his side, she sent her trusted maid Nafisa secretly to him with the offer. Muhammad (s.a.w.) was surprized he discussed the offer with his uncle Abu Talib who agreed gladly to the nice proposal.
KHADIJA (R.A.), THE GREAT LADY : Khadija (R.A.) was the noble lady of Quraish. Her ancestry joined the ancestry of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) at Qusayy as under :
Khadija bint Khuwalid bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza bin Qusayy
She was first engaged with Warqa bin Nofil when 15 but this marriage could not take place and she was first married to Hind bin Nabbash Abu Hala who got three sons named Hala, Tahir and Hind. All the three later embraced Islam and were among the Sahabas (companions). But he expired when Khadija (R.A.) was 22. She was secondly married to Ateeq bin Aayed Makhzoumi who got a daughter named Hind from Khadija (R.A). and she also embraced Islam. Ateeq also expired at an early age.
She was thirdly married to Saifi bin Umayyah who left a son from Khadija (R.A.) and was killed in the Battle of Fujjar. Khadija (R.A.) was so much grieved with subsequent deaths of her spouses that at the death of Saifi, when she was 32, she decided not to marry again and to stay alone in her life. Few chieftains sent her offers even with 1,000 camels as `Mehr’, but she refused all their offers. Khadija’s (R.A.) father Khuwailed bin Asad was a leading businessman. When he was old enough he entrusted all his business to his well qualified daughter Khadija (R.A.) who managed it wisely and within a short time she became one of the richest traders of Makkah.
Muhammad (s.a.w.) married Khadija (R.A.) and this couple though with 15 years gap in their ages proved an ideal pair in Islamic history. Khadija (R.A.) gave birth to Qasim after whose name Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is called as Abul Qasim. Later, she got Abdullah who was also known as Tahir and Tayyab but both sons expired in infancy. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) got four daughters Zainab, Ruqaiyya, Umm Kulsum and Fatima (R.A.) from Khadija (R.A.). They all embraced Islam. The first three daughters expired during the life time of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and Fatima (R.A.), the wife of Ali (R.A.) and mother of Hasan and Husain (R.A.) expired at the age of 27, on 3rd Ramadhan, 011 A.H., within six months from the demise of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
Khadija (R.A.) was 40 when married to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). She remained with him for 25 years and expired at the age of 65 in 03 B.H. She entrusted all her wealth to her husband which provided him release from the financial burden and great support to his mission. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) never married another woman in her life time. When she expired Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was 50 years of age having had six children from Khadija (R.A.).
Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) marriage with Khadija (R.A.) proved to be an ideal relationship. All her wealth and influence was utilised in advancing the Islamic mission. Husband and wife are the best judge and supporter of each other in Islam. When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) returned home from Mount Hira he was trembling with fear. He said to Khadija (R.A.), “Cover me, cover me”. She covered him and then he told the whole story to her and said, “I am afraid of my life”. Khadija (R.A.) consoled Muhammad (s.a.w.) in the most impressive words which are recorded in history. She said,
“Allah will never bring you any disgrace. You unite blood relations, You bear the burden of the weak, You help the poor and the needy, You entertain the guests, and You endure in the path of truthfulness”. (AHS-74)
In these brief five sentence Khadija (R.A.) summed up the whole personality and character of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). She was the closest and nearest person to know her husband and this statement of hers was not made for public use or publicity.These five sentences are the gist of 15 years of close relationship of Khadija (R.A.) with Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Further, she was the first to embrace Islam on the face of earth.
When Khadija (R.A.) expired at 65, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) married Aisha (R.A.), the daughter of Abu Bakr (R.A.).
When death parted Khadija from the Prophet (s.a.w), after having shared with him for years the trial and reproach which greeted him the first few years of his preaching, he deeply mourned her death. Once ‘A’ishah asked him if she had been the only woman worthy of his love, Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied in an honest burst of tender emotion. (AHS – 67 )
‘She believed in me when none else did. She embraced Islam when people disbelieved me. She helped and comforted me,when There was none to lend me a helping hand’.
Is there any better praise of a husband and wife by each other in the annals of history.
THE TITLE OF AL AMEEN : When Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was 35 years of age, another confrontration erupted among the Quraish but it was avoided and resolved with his wisdom and the trust people showed in his person. The structure of Ka’ba was old enough and a new flood alarmed Quraish about its safety. They decided to rebuild the Sacred House and divided the work among the main tribes. Waleed bin Mughaira began to demolish the walls with good will. The others followed the suite.
Quraish also declared that because of its sacredness no illegal earning will be donated for the construction of Ka’aba. As the money was short thay excluded the southern portion from Ka’aba which is still out and is called as `Hateem’.
The Quraish raised the walls on the foundation of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) but when they reached at the height of Hajar – Aswad (Black Stone) question arose who will fix it at its place. This was the honour every tribe tried to win. The work stopped and even a bloodshed in Harem seemed imminent.
This was a very critical situation. An old chief named Abu Umayyah Makhzoumi suggested that whosoever enters the Harem first tomorrow, let him decide the point. Next morning, fortunately, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was the first to enter Harem. When the people saw him they exclaimed in one voice :“Al Ameen has come, we are content to abide by his decision”.
Calm and self-possessed, Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the comission and at once resolved upon an expedient which was to conciliate them all. He spread his mantle on the ground and placed the Stone in its centre. He then asked the representatives of the different families of the Quraysh to lift the stone among them, all together. When it had reached the proper place, Muhammad (peace be upon him) laid it in the proper position with his own hands. This is how a very tense situation was eased and grave danger averted by the wisdom of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). (AHS – 68)
AT THE CAVE OF HIRA: At the youthful age of 25, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) had all the luxuries of life. A loving wife, pretty children and plenty of wealth. There was none who could stop him in going the wrong way. But strange enough, by the uprightness of his nature , he bent towards deep thinking and meditation. He went to no school and attended no class on Judaism or Christianity though the saints and monks were living in Makkah.
Nature alone was his Academy of Learning. “The beautiful panorama of the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars floating in the endless space testify that all this is the creation of a Great Power. The existence of order and design in this limitless universe, where all the components function in perfect cohesion and harmony leads to the belief in the existence of a Supreme Power, One and Alone, who not only created but also governs and sustains the entire universe. “ (M.M. Pickthall iii)
Young Muhammad (s.a.w.) knew that Holy Ka’aba was built by Prophet Ibrahim for worship of One God but the presence of Laat,Manat, Uzza, Hubal and other 360 `gods’ of stones, wood, clay and even of cotton in and around Ka’aba were a great mockery to Him. He was also disgusted with the cruel, criminal, unjust and oppressive society of Makkah.
He used to walk away from this rotten atmosphere and sit alone in lone valleys of Makkah where he will see the grandeur of his Lord in the height of mountains, in the beauty of wild flowers, in the flow of breeze in the flights of birds and the whisper of the wind. His favourite place was a lonely cave named Hira at the top of the Jabal Noor. He spent continuous days and nights at Hira thinking about the lofty ideals and vast kingdom of God.
Muhammad’s heart was perturbed by the sad lot of the human race. He would reflect for hours. Given to solitary musing, he was to pass long periods in retirement among the hills and revines in the neighbour-hood of Mekka. Of these one in particular was his favourite resort — a cave Hira, in the Mount al-Nur.
Muhammad’s soul was struggling to comprehend the mysteries of creation, of life and death, of good and evil. Here in the cave he often remained plunged in thought deep in communion with the unseen yet all – pervading God of universe. He was, however, unaware of the great responsibility which was going to fall on his shoulders. At this stage, when God had not yet sent His revelation to him, he would catch a glimpse of Reality, not in full consciousness, but lapsing into deep reflection, a state of drawing oneself in the soul stirring whispers of nature already referred to. It was just a mysterious and sweet – tasting wisdom which often came so clearly to the inmost parts of his soul.(AHS. 69 – 70)
Muhammad was quite unaware of the fact that he was to be commissioned by God as the last of prophets. We do not find any hint — direct or indirect — that his mind was preparing blueprints of any religious adventure. His was a quiet life following its natural course in peaceful obscurity, not knowing at all the great assignment coming. The impostors who contemplate spiritual legerdemain at any period of their lives betray their designs in spite of themselves. Their outbursts and activities reveal that they are cooking something in the innermost chambers of their minds; that they have some enterprise before them to embark upon and some plans to execute. This unawareness of Muhammad (peace be upon him) about his exalted position to which he was going to be elevated, then is the greatest testimony of his sincerity. (AHS. 70 – 71)
It was after having led such a quiet life that he was suddenly called upon to shoulder the burden of a mighty message.
The Holy Quran testifies to this in the following words; Thou had no hope That the Scripture would be Inspired to thee But it is a mercy from The Lord, So never be helper to the dis-believers (28:86)
Rashid Rida has explained the above verse in the following words:
The Almighty God has perfected his blessings on humanity by revealing this Holy Qur’an to you.O Mohammed, You could never acquire this position by dint of your knowledge or good deeds and you even never aspired for that. The whole record of the Hadith is silent on the point that the Holy Prophet was expecting the prophet-hood and that he would be chosen by Allah to take up this mighty mission. (AHS. 71.)
The Prophet was no doubt un-conscious of his great assignment but this does not mean that he was allowed to grow up like an ordinary person. His life and all its activities were directly shaped by God and he was thus, unknowingly, being prepared both mentally and morally for the huge task that lay ahead. From the very beginning the Almighty God had endowed him with those qualities of head and heart which befitted a prophet. Ibn Hisham succinctly remarks:
“The Holy Prophet attained his youth under direct care of God. His life was free from all the impurities of jahiliyah, since God had decided to endow him with Prophet-hood, Muhammad (peace upon him) achieved perfection in kind and polite behaviour, in forbearance, in truth-fulness, and integrity. He had stainless character and was thus recognized as Amin ,the Trustworthy amongst his fellowmen. (Ibn Hesham thru AHS. 72.)
Ibn al-Qayyim, in his famous book Zad al-Ma’ad, has discussed this point at great length. He says that although prophet-hood is not something which can be acquired and is bestowed by the Almighty, it is however, erroneous to suppose that it is distributed at random by Him. The prophets are raised according to divine plan but only the persons endowed with rare qualities are elevated to this exalted position. There are some intrinsic virtues in the prophets which are pre-requisites for this office.
It is recorded in the Holy Qur’an that the Quraysh constantly observed the signs of God but they were not prepared to embrace Islam. Whenever they came across a sign of God they said: “We will not believe till we are given that which Allah’s messengers are given”. Upon this God replied: “Allah knows best with whom to place His prophet-hood”. This verse clearly elucidates the point that every human being is not competent to hold this exalted position ; it is given to those alone whom Allah deems fit. (AHS. – 73)
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) passed a very pious and simple life silently during these 40 years. The whole story was summed up only in three verses by Holy Quran:
Did He not find thee an orphan, And gave thee shelter (and care).
And He found thee wandering,And He gave thee guidance.
And He found thee in needAnd made thee independent. (93:6-8)
Though he was born an orphan but Allah arranged for his protection and he came from a poor family, Allah arranged for his prosperity and when his thoughts were wandering He alone gave him a direction.
It stands as an established fact that young Muhammad (s.a.w.) never even dreamt to be a Prophet or a guide to the mankind. It was Allah’s great mercy and award bestowed upon him, Who chose him to be on the top of the world leaders. His name Mustafa (the chosen one ) is a proof of it. Allah Himself revealed in Quran :
Thou had no hope that the Scripture would be inspired to thee But it is mercy from the Lord. (28:86)
And who can be more trust worthy and truthful than Almighty Allah. No doubt, there is none.
AT THE JABAL(Mount) SAFA : Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) lived a very cool, calm and contented life in Makkah. He never tried to show him off or to gain leadership and popularity. When he was spared with his liveli-hood problems by the trade of Khadija (R.A.), he devoted himself to meditation at Hira. His forty years career was like an open book in Makkah.
“During all this time he proved himself to possess a noble and spotless character, to be an absolute believer in one God, and thoroughly trustworthy in respect of his companion-ship, help and guidance. He was affectionate, kind, and sympathetic to his compatriots ; always considerate, truthful, and sincere ; perfectly faithful in respect of all trusts and promises. He kept himself aloof from gambling, drinking, vulgar wrangling, voluptuousness, and all the vices rampant among his compatriots. He was always fair and honest in all his dealings ; generous and obliging to his friends and benefactors.
He walked humbly and thoughtfully in the midst of the arrogant, headstrong and marauding tribes of Arabia. He hated all appearance of show, vanity and pride and would readily attend to the addresses of children and spare no pains in alleviating the sufferings of the poor, old, and the weak. He always impressed his people by his wise, tranquil and piety-inspiring countenance and, by his genuine kindliness and graceful manners, won the heart of everyone who came into contact with him, passing by all the temptations of vice with a majestic indifference. The spotless character and honourable bearing of the un-obstrusive youth won the approbation of his fellow-citizens, and earned the titles, by common consent, of al-Amin and al-Sadiq, meaning Trustworthy and Truthful.” (AHS 62 – 63)
After sometime of the mission Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was commanded to declare his Message openly to the Makkans. This was the first public declaration. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) ascended the hill of Safa and traditionally cried `Wa Sabaha’. The Quraish rushed to listen to the declaration. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said :
“O People of Quraish ! Were I to tell you that an army is advancing to attack you from the yonder hills, would you believe me “? “Yes” They cried in one voice, “We have always known you to be truthful”.
The whole Makkan society standing on the foots of Safa and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) standing at the top of the hill recorded these words when Holy Prophet was 43 years of age. And this is the best proof and great attestation of his character from the whole Makkan leadership, just a moment before starting the mighty mission publicly.
THE DIVINE LIGHT ILLUMINATES HIRA LUMINATES HIRA
It was the month of Ramadhan and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was meditating in Hira cave as usual. Suddenly an angel in human form appeared to him and showed him a piece of cloth with written verses on it and said, “IQRA” (read or recite loudly). Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “I cannot read”. The angel pressed him against his body and said again, “IQRA” and Muhammad (s.a.w.) again replied, “I cannot read”. This happened three times. Then suddenly words began flowing from his mouth and he read the four verses taught to him as the first revelation. Sahih al Bukhari records the event in the following words: “
After (the period of true visions) solitude became dear to him, and he would go to cave, Hira, to engage in Tahannuth (devotion) there for a certain number of nights before returning to his family, and then he would return to them for provision for a similar stay. At length unexpectedly the truth (angel) came to him and said, “Recite.” “I cannot recite,” he (Muhammad) said. “Then he took me and squeezed me vehemently and then let me go and repeated the order ‘Recite’. ‘I cannot recite’, said I, and once again he squeezed me and let me till I was exhausted.Then he said ‘Recite in the name of they Lord;’ I said, ‘I cannot recite.’
He squeezed me for the third time and then let me go and said: ‘Recite in name of thy Lord Who created man from a clot of blood, for thy Lord is Beneficent. The Prophet repeated these verses. He was trembling with fear. (AHS 74) These first five verses revealed were as follows:
Proclaim ! (or Read) In the name Of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created. Created man, out of A (mere) clot Of congealed blood. Proclaim ! and thy Lord is Most Bountiful. He Who taught (The use of) the Pen. Taught man that which he knew not. (96:1-5)
After the first revelation there was a gap of many months which was very hard upon him. But in the next revelation he was addressed:
O Thou wrapped up (in a mantle)
Arise (get up) and deliver thy warning
And thy Lord do thou magnify
And thy garments keep free from stain
And all abomination shun
Nor expect in giving any increase for (thy self)
But for thy Lord’s (cause)
Be patient and constant. (74:1-7)
The entire mission is briefed in the above few verses as:
O, Our Messenger! Get up and proclaim the mission. Pray and praise thy Lord which will give you strength and support. Adopt piety and keep away from all dirty things.And don’t expect any reward from any human being. Thy Lord will reward you alone. And be firm, strong, constant and patient on all the trial which may come forth. Ultimate success is destined for you.
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) stood firm to the call and challenged the whole world. One man alone against all men on earth. He dedicated his life, his wealth, his honour , his body and soul, everything for the sake of Islam. During the long span of twenty three years he spared no moment either praying Allah or preaching His message or beseeching Him for help. A period of 15 years from his marriage to prophet-hood was very peaceful and comfortable but ten years of his life in Makkah after the declaration of prophethood, were most painful and disgracing in his own home and tribe. And this all,he bore only for the sake of Islam and nothing else.
Khadija (R.A.) was the first person on earth to embrace Islam. Abu Bakr (R.A.) was the first among men. He embraced Islam instantly without the least hesitation. Ali (R.A.), was the first among the boys of under teenage and Zaid bin Haritha, the first among the slaves. These persons embraced Islam on the first day. Abu Bakr (R.A.) was a close friend of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). He was a cloth merchant and an influential person in the business community of Makkah. He had many friends. He invited his friends Usman bin Affan (R.A.), Zubair ibn al Awwam (R.A.), Abdul Rehman bin Awf (R.A.), Talha bin Ubaidullah (R.A.) and Saad bin Abi Waqqas (R.A.) and they all embraced Islam. Out of these five, four are included among the ten `Ashara Mubashsharah’. Later the following persons entered in the fold of Islam who were among the first forty Muslims of the world: Ammar bin Yasir Khabbab bin Art Abu Ubaidah al Jarrah Saeed bin Zaid Ubaidah bin Harith Jaafer bin Abi Talib Abdullah bin Mas’ood Abu Salma Usman bin Mazuun Suhaib Rumi Arqam bin Arqam Qudama bin Ma’zun Abdullah bin Mazuun Bilal bin Rabah Among the ladies following were the pioneers to embrace Islam: Lubaba bint Harith wife of Abbas Asma bint Abu Bakr Fatima bint Khattab sistrer of Umer bin Khattab (May Allah be pleased with them all)
THE DECLARATION OF FAITH FROM HOME TO THE WHOLE WORLD
Islam is the universal religion. Literally, Islam means ‘Obedience’ and ‘Peace’ or ‘Peace by Obedience’. The entire universe – the sun, the moon, planets floating in the endless space, even the zoological, botanical and geological world – they are all obedient to Almighty Allah. The Sun never slips an inch in a year or two, and moon never goes to honeymoon. A lion never eats grass and elephant never tastes beef. The mango produces mango, never produces grapes. The glaciers moves by His orders and volcanoes erupts with His command. They are all obedient to the Omnipotent, All Knowing and Wise. The scientists termed it erronously as Law of nature. But who is the Originator of Nature and designer of it’s Laws?
The entire universe is subjected to His Laws and operates in perfect Peace and Harmony. This is Islam. But the man is a different substance. God awarded him the faculty of intellect to identify the good from bad and gave him the authority to select right from wrong. But the man is more apt to the charming evils and forgets or neglects, the admonition of his Creator Who will reckon his deeds after his death tomorrow. Fortunate are those who follow the right path and bear the hardships but for a comfortable future, long long future.
Almighty Allah is really very Kind and Merciful to send Prophet after Prophet to guide the astraying humanity and to show them the right path. When Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was commissioned to the task, the Arab society was in a rotten stage. Jaafer bin Abi Talib, who was son of the soil, describes the condition in the open court of Abyssinia (Habasha) as under :
O King! we were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism, we adored idols, we lived in unchastity, we ate dead bodies, and we spoke abominations we disregarded every feeling of humanity and the duties of hospitality and neighbourhood, we knew no law but that of the strong. (AHS. 95)
It was a Himalyan job to overhaul such a society and convert it into a most refined people of their age, and of all ages.
Preaching of Islam began in a very natural way and moved stage by stage. The first command of preaching came within three years of his mission. Almighty Allah . Almighty Allah revealed . Almighty Allah revealed :
And warn thy tribe of near kindred And lower thy wing (in kindness) Unto those believers who follow thee (26:214-15, MMP)
It was the first declaration of Islam which Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) broadcasted from the top of Safa hill inviting all his tribe and Quraish to believe in One Lord Almighty Allah and reject all gods semi gods and demigods designed by them. The entire pagan society of Makkah suddenly, turned against him and they started a long campaign of mockery, humiliation and oppression against the Prophet (s.a.w.). But ignoring all those howlings, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) continued his mission with full enthusiasm. After a while, Almighty Allah enlarged the circle of his mission from a tribe to a full Makkan society and revealed:
Thus We have sent By inspiration to thee An Arabic Quran That thou mayest warn Ummul Qura (Makkah) And all around her And warn (them) of The day of Assembly Of which there is no doubt (When) some will be in the Garden And some, in the Blazing Fire. (42:7)
It was, and still is, a message in clear terms to the entire humanity,that there is no third choice. There is only one alternate – either a person is in Paradise or in the fire of Hell. O Muhammad (s.a.w.) you proclaim this message in the whole of Makkah and the towns around it.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) rose to the command of his Lord and called publicly everyone in Makkah or visiting Makkah from the neighbouring tribes. Later he made visits to the nearby towns including Taif.
When the Islamic call was reaching in the towns of Hijaz and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) showed his undaunted courage against the onslaught of the pagans against him and his followers, Almighty Allah granted him the higher appointment and revealed:
We have not sent thee
But as a (messenger)
To all mankind giving them
Glad tiding and warning them (Against sin)
but most men Know not. (34:28 )
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood worthy of all designations. Though harassed by others, but he was never harassed, though frightened by pagans, but he was never frightened. His ship sailed over all turbulent waters hoisting the banner of Islam high, in open skies and he was always in a higher spirit. Finally Allah Almighty raised him to the highest rank and revealed:
Blessed is He who
Sent down the Criterion
To His Abd (servant)
That it ( or he)
May be an admonition
To all creatures. (25:01)
This was natural growth of a message from a tribe to the whole mankind nay to all the creatures of the universe. There is a beautiful parable about this growth in Taurat and Injeel as revealed in Holy Quran:
Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the Apostle of Allah
And those who are with him
Are strong against unbelievers (but)
Compassionate amongst each other .
Thou wilt see them bow
And prostrate themselves (in prayer)
Seeking Grace from Allah
And His Good Pleasure.
On their faces are the marks (being)
The traces of their prostration.
This is their similitude
In the Taurat
And their similitude
In the Injeel (Gospel) is
Like a seed which sends forth
It’s blade, then
Makes it strong; it then
Becomes thick, and it stands
On its own stem (filling)
The sowers with wonder and delight
As a result it fills
The unbelievers with rage at him
Allah has promised those
Among them who believe
And do righteous deeds
Forgiveness and a great Reward. (48:29)
How beautiful is the narration. When a hard seed is buried in the soil, this little seed sprouts in a tender shoot. Then this soft leaf is turned into a hard stem and stands on the ground establishing its entity in the world. Even at this stage the cultivator is well delighted but the jealous is jealous. What joy a gardener feels when he sees this little plant turned into a tree and trees into garden and gardens into blossoming and fruits. Cultivator of thorns does the same toil and tilling but gets nothing at the end except the thorns. The difference is that of the seed whether he selected a good seed or bad, right or wrong. Almighty Allah’s promise stands firm and unshaken. For those who believe and do good deeds, there is forgiveness and Great Reward. This message is a universal declaration. In the words of In the words of the Holy the Holy Quran:
This is a declaration
For the (entire) mankind.
A guidance and admonition
Unto those who ward off (evil) (3:138)
There is no question now, of race or nation of a `Chosen People’ or the `Seed of Abraham (A.S.)’ or the `Seed of David (A.S.)’ or Hindu Arya Varta, of Jew or Gentile, Arab or Ajam , Turk or Tajik, European or Asian, white or coloured, Aryan, Semitic, Mongolian or Polynesian. To all men and creatures who have any spiritual responsibility, the principles universaly apply. (AYA Note 2762)
This Quranic declaration is for all. But Bible shows a strong contrast. When it reads that Jesus (A.S.) advised his disciples. Give not that is holy unto the dogs (meaning non Jews) Neither cast your pearls before swine (meaning non Jew). (Mathew 7:6)
Holy Bible terms non-Jewish men and women as dogs and swine. We doubt. These cannot be the words of Jesus Christ who was a Prophet of Allah. But this is what the present Bible says. The words revealed to Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) are addressed honorably to every person, male or female, colored and non colored on the face of earth.
- TEN YEARS OF TURMOIL 9. TEN YEARS OF TURMOIL
For the first three years of Prophet-hood Apostle of Allah (s.a.w.) preached Islam secretly and silently and raised the first contingent of 40 persons. But when Almighty Allah commanded him to declare the mission openly he adopted the most popular way for a call at Safa. He first enquired the gathering about himself and they unanimously said, “We have always known you to be truthful”. How intelligent was he to take an attestation of his character before declaring the message of Allah. Then at the second moment he declared his `Mission of Islam’. And suddenly the whole Makkan society turned into hostile gathering. Nobody answered his call, they dispersed murmuring among themselves. It was only Abu Lahab (his own real uncle) who cursed Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) saying “Perdition to thee (You be ruined). For this you invited us”.
This was an strange experience. The whole society which was testifying his piety, nobleness and truthfulness just a minute ago suddenly turned against him and even his own blood relation started cursing upon him in the public. Abu Lahab’s behaviour was very tragic. Almighty Allah cursed Abulahab in the same words in Holy Quran saying, Perdition to Abu Lahab.
“The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish. His wealth and gains will not exempt him. He will be plunged in flaming fire” (111:12-3 MMP).
Historically the Muslims around the world are repeating the words “Perdition to Abu Lahab” for the last 1400 years for his crime. He was the only opponent denounced by name in Holy Quran. Surprisingly, a surah just before it, reads about the great triumph of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) showing the great success of his mission.
When comes the help from Allah and Victory.
And thou dost see the people
Enter the religion of Allah In crowds. (110:1-2)
The Makkans noted the prophet-hood of Muhammad (s.a.w.) for three years as his personal matter. But with the declaration at Safa it became an open challenge to the entire pagan society. Then started a campaign of hatred, humiliation, mockery, teasing and torturing Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his followers. This painful campaign continued for complete ten years. But on the other hand Almighty Allah commanded him to proclaim his mission in clear words, guaranteeing his success and protection :
So Proclaim that which
Thou art commanded
And turn away from the idolaters
Lo We defend thee from the scoffers. (15:94-95 MMP)
The call of Islam moved forward through all hurdles and hardship as a ship sails through rocky ridges and turbulent seas. Many new converts were beaten, tortured and even killed but whosoever embraced Islam once, never forsook it but safe-guarded it, even at the cost of his or her life. Sumaiyyah (R.A.) was the first lady, martyred in Islam. Ammar bin Yasir (R.A.), Khabbab bin Art (R.A.), Uthman bin Affan (R.A.), Amir bin Fuhairah (R.A.), Bilal bin Rabah (R.A.),and Musai’b bin Umair (R.A.) were the people most tortured by their relatives and masters for embracing Islam.
The analysis of all blames hurled upon the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) shows that they tried to mislead the people by calling him a `Liar’, `Kahen’ (soothsayer), `Majnun’ (a diseased or possessed by jinn) a `Shair’ (poet) or a `Sahir’ (magician). Holy Quran quoted their mischiefs in different Suras as (6:15, 4:38, 51:68, 5:25, 4:25, 103:16) and defended him against all these false allegations.
On one occasion, the pagans reported all these bad titles about Holy Quran and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to their mischief leader Waleed bin Mughaira but he refuted them all, saying that Holy Quran, what Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) recites, was so beautiful, meaningful and rythmatic. Holy Prophet in his person also has no such sign or symptoms that he may be termed with any such notorious titles.
Similarly, another pagan chief Nadr bin Harith who had enough experience in travelling to Syria and Iraq and met many type of people said:
Muhammad (s.a.w.) grew up here among you and always proved to be highly obliging, the most truthful and trustworthy young man. However, later on when he reached manhood, he began to preach a new faith alien to your society, and opposed to your liking so you began to denounce him at a time as a sorcerer, at another as soothsayer, a poet, or even an insane man. I swear by Allah he is not anyone of those. He is not interested in blowing on knots as magicians are, nor do his words belong to the world of soothsaying; he is not a poet either, for his mentality is not that of a rambler, nor is he insane because he has never been witnessed to develop any sort of hallucinations or insinuations perculiar to madmen. (Raheeq E90)
Almighty Allah refuted all these allegations about Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and said that he was not only Truthful and Trust worthy (Ameen) but on “ Khuluq -in-Azeem”. (Sublime morals).
The Islamic mission was passing through a critical stage when suddenly Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib declared his Islam to Abu Jehal and other pagan chiefs. This incited them more and they increased their wrath on the Muslim converts.
When the situation became intolerable Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) suggested few families to migrate to Habasha (now Eritria) across the Red sea. Subsequently, the first group of sixteen persons left their hearth and home for the sake of their faith in Rajab 08 BH. Uthman bin Affan (R.A.) and his wife Ruqaiyyah (daughter of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)) were among them. They caught ready boats at Shoeba port (80 km south of Jeddah) and escaped. The pagan followed the group upto Shoeba but failed to prevent them.
Then another great incident occured. Umar ibn al Khattab was another arch enemy of Islam like Abu Jehal bin Hisham. He used to beat a Muslim slave maid Labeena (Lubaina) until he was tired. He was a great drunkard and staunch supporter of pagan society and ancestral rites. But one day Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) prayed to Almighty Allah:
My Lord Allah,
strengthen Islam With one of the two persons
Umar ibn al Khattab or Abi Jahal bin Hisham
Whosoever be more favourite to Thee. (Raheeq E 109)
Umar (R.A.) was fortunate to be worthy of this prayer. One day he was on the climax of his fanatism. He marched with bare sword in his hand, God forbid, to Kill Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) but a little incident overhauled his conscience and he turned to be the first powerful Muslim in Makkah with his sharp sword in defence of Islam.
Dar Arqam echoed with the slogan of Allah-u-Akbar when Umer embraced Islam and Muslim group came out for the first time to offer Salaat in Harem Shareef openly.
The declaration of Islam by Hamza (R.A.) and Umar (R.A.) and safe migration of Muslims to Habasha were three great factors which stabilised the growth of Islam in native as well as in foreign land.
The Mushrikeen of Makkah were out in their rage they broke their vengeance on the poor Muslims. This resulted in the second migration to Habasha. This time 82 men and 18 women left their home to a foreign land to save their faith. The Mushrikeen again tried to arrest them at Shoeba. But Allah Almighty saved them and they escaped unhurt. The Makkans so disgraced, sent a deputation to the court of King Najashi to arrest and extradite these Muslim from Habasha.
Amr ibn al Aas and Abdullah bin Rabia , (who both embraced Islam later) stood in the Royal Court levelling charges against Muslims. Jaafer bin Abi Talib (R.A.) advocated for Islam and gave his master-piece speech which moved the heart of King Najashi Arch bishop and the courtiers. And the Makkan deputation returned to Makkah in utter failure.
The Mushrikeen realised the real gravity of the situation. The message which they were opposing with mockery and persecution had taken the real shape. It won two chiefs of Makkah and also got deep footing abroad.They decided now to deal with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) direct. There were only two choices. Either to stop him from his message or to wipe him out from the scene. They approached Abu Talib and complained about his nephew.
“O Abu Talib ! your nephew curses our gods; finds faults with our way of life, mocks at our religion and degrades our forefathers ; either you must stop him, or you must let us get at him, for you are in the same position as we are in opposition to him : and we will rid you of him.” Abu Talib tried to appease their wrath by giving them a polite reply. The Holy Prophet continued on his way preaching God’s religion and calling men hitherto. (AHS. 86)
The Mushrikeen were further infuriated and they warned Abu Talib in clear words either to stop his nephew or to face the consequences. Abu Talib was much perturbed and he said to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.),
O my dear nephew, Spare me and yourself And put not burden upon me That I can’t bear. (AHS P.86)
Though, Abu Talib, his uncle, had not embraced Islam, but he was his strong supporter and because of him, the Mushrikeen had no courage to harm him. But now Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) felt that his uncle was also drifting away leaving him alone in Makkah. He realised the critical situation but his confidence in his faith was so strong that he replied to Abu Talib in his historic words,
“O my uncle, by God, if they put The sun in my right hand And the moon in my left, On condition that I abandon this cause, I would not abandon it Until Allah made me victorious Or I perish therein”. (AHS P.86)
These words depict the depth of his determination. One man alone against all men on earth but so firm in his faith and undaunted in his courage. There is no such example in the world history. This is not the discussion whether Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) is great or not. The question is that, IS there any person greater than him in the whole history of mankind?
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) replied to his uncle and left, with tears in his eyes. Abu Talib was moved with these forceful words. He called him affectionately and said:
Go back my nephew and preach By God I will never forsake you. Then he recited the following couplet:
“By God they cannot reach thee
Even if they came in big group
Until I am buried in the ground fighting for thee
( And they walk on my grave)
Go back my son, and declare the Truth openly
Be glad and cool thy eyes happily”. (Raheeq U 169)
On another occasion Mushrikeen contacted the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and tried to hammer out a deal with him direct. They said,
We have seen no other man of Arabia, who has brought so great a calamity to a nation, as you have done. You have outraged our gods and religion and taxed our forefathers and wise men with impiety and error and created strife amongst us. You have left no stone unturned to estrange the relations with us. If you are doing all this with a view of getting wealth, we will join together to give you greater riches then any Qurayshi has possessed. If ambition moves you, we will make you our chief. If you desire kingship we readily offer you that. If you are under the power of an evil spirit which seems to haunt and dominate you so that you cannot shake off its yoke, then we shall call in skilful physicians to cure you.
“Have you said all ?” asked Muhammad (s.a.w); and then hearing that all had been said, he spoke forth;
I require none of the things that you offer me. I demand nothing, neither riches nor high status, not kingship, in return for what I have brought for you. I have been sent to you as a messenger by God, a herald of glad tidings and a warning. I have performed my duty by delivering His message to you which has nothing but goodness for you. If you accept then I assure you the good of this world and the world to come. If you reject, I shall remain patient and watch for the verdict of Allah.(AHS. 127)
Actually they found themselves in a very critical situation.”They were unwillingly to abandon their religion, because they knew that it would deprive them of so many sources of exploitation and self-aggrandisement. They realised that with the acceptance of Islam as their code of life they would be required to exercise so many restraints on their untamed lusts and surrender so many material benefits which they had been enjoying since long by unjust and immoral methods. They had been avoiding Islam purposely and had been trying to check its tidal wave and in this they actually had ulterior motives. (AHS. 124)
When finding no way out they decided to kill Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). First they gave an offer of ransom money to Abu Talib which he vehemently refused. Then they brought Amara bin Waleed bin Mughaira to Abi Talib and said to him, “You take this young man as your son and handover Muhammad (s.a.w.) to us”. Abu Talib replied: By God, How bad is this deal You give me your son to bring him up And I give you my son to slaughter him By God! It can never be so. (Raheeq U 170)
Practically all efforts of Mushrikeen to suppress the mission failed. They tried to threaten the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) through all means but every time he emerged more powerful in his determination. But Abu Talib thought that they might kill his nephew in a sudden attack by all tribes at one time and Abu Talib alone has no strength to fight them all. So according to Arab tradition he called all sons of Hashim and Abdul Muttalib and told them plainly that he had been protecting their nephew Muhammad (s.a.w.) all alone until today. But now because of his old age and increasing enemity of Quraish he needed their help in this task.
All descendants of Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib, whether Muslims or non Muslims, stood on Abu Talib’s call to protect Muhammad (s.a.w.). It was only Abu Lahab, his brother, who detatched himself from the clan and stayed with other Mushrikeen.(Raheeq U.188) This allegiance added fuel to the fire. They came out to avenge with Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib for their support to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
The Mushrikeen of Makkah gathered in Wadi Muhassib and signed a pact together for complete social and economical boycott of Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib. They decided not to have any business dealing, marriage, social relation, humanitarian aid, and even verbal talk to any person of these clans until they surrender and hand over Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) for a proposed assassination. The pact was written by Bughaidh bin Amir bin Hashim in Muharram 6 BH. (Raheeq,U 190).
This document began with the word `O Lord Allah in Thy name’ and after completion, was hanged inside the Holy Ka’ba. This pact was a serious threat to a section of Makkan society. It forced all these families to confine themselves in a valley called, `Shoeb Ali’. They lived a very hard life because nobody was allowed to sell even foodstuff to them. Similarly, nobody bought anything from them to cut their financial resources. Shortly,they were deprived of all amenities of life and forced to eat even the leather and tree leaves to kill their hunger. This situation continued for three years.
Later a few notables of Quraish, like Hisham bin Amr, Zuhair bin Abi Umayyah, Mut’am bin Udai, Abul Bakhtari, Zam’a bin Aswad joined their hands and challenged Abu Jehal against this in-human pact. They decided to tear it off but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) told them that it had already been eaten up by moth in Holy Kaaba and nothing remained on the parchment except the name of Allah. Consequently, this cruel confinement of Banu Hashim ended after three years of hardships. Surprisingly, the march of the mission continued even during this period of siege and many people embraced Islam up to 03 BH.
NAJRAN DELEGATION : Almighty Allah gave a great triumph to His Messenger, immediately after the siege. A group of Christians came from Najran to enquire about the last Prophet (s.a.w.) who was mentioned in their scriptures. They met Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), listened Holy Quran, recognised the truth and the whole group embraced Islam. Abu Jehal was much annoyed and said to them, “We never saw more stupid group than yours who came simply to enquire about him and rejected their age old religion instantly”. They were fully convinced that they had not rejected the faith of Jesus Christ (A.S.) but rather confirmed it by embracing Islam. They replied to Abu Jehal, That was not your concern and that you are responsible for your deeds alone and we ,for ours. We do not like frivolous discussion. This logic is still true and the incident is referred in Holy Quran. 28:52-55.
DEATH OF ABU TALIB : DEATH OF ABU TALIB : After six months of ending the siege of Shoeb Ali, Abu Talib expired at 85. He was a loving uncle and good supporter of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). He nourished him like his own sons and fought the whole Quraish tribe for his protection. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) persuaded him to recite `Kalima’ “Lailaha illallah,once and enter the folds of Islam. But in presence of Abu Jehal and other notables he said, “I die on the religion of my father Abdul Muttalib”. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was much grieved on his death without Islam but Almighty Allah consoled him saying that he could not guide to whom he liked. It is Almighty Allah who guides to whom He wishes.
No doubt Abu Talib was a great supporter of Islam. His wife Fatima bint Asad (R.A.) and his three sons Aqeel, Jaafer al Tayyar and Ali (R.A.) and two daughters Hind (Umm Hani) and Hajana embraced Islam. Ali (R.A.) was later, married to Fatima , the daughter of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and was elected as the fourth Caliph of Islam.
KHADIJA (R.T.A.) EXPIRES : KHADIJA (R.T.A.) EXPIRES : Within a few days after Abu Talib’s death, Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) got the great shock of Khadija’s death in Ramadhan. They lived together for 25 years. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was fifty and she was 65 when expired. Though it was a practice to have more than one wife in those days but Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) married none else during this period. She gave birth to his two sons, Qasim and Abdullah, both of whom expired in infancy. (Third son Ibrahim was born to Maria ) and four daughters, (I) Zainab, who was married to Abul Aas who got from her Amama (ii) Ruqaiyya who was married to Usman bin Affan (R.A.) and she migrated to Habasha and Madina with him,and died in 02AH (iii) Umm Kulthum. She was also married to Usman bin Affan after the death of Ruqaiyya. (iv) Fatima, who was married to Ali (R.A.), and gave birth to Hassan, Husain and Umm Kulthum.
Khadija was the first lady who embraced Islam on the first day. She was an ideal wife who supported her husband in the tough ordeal of his mission. She was very brave and generous and dedicated all her wealth to the service of Islam.
MARRIAGE WITH SAUDA AND NIKAH WITH AYESHA:
After the death of Khadija, family life was much disturbed. Fatima was only 15 years of age. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), on the persuasion of Khola bint Hakeem married , Sauda bint Zam’aa, a lady from Quraish. She was a widow of 50 years. She embraced Islam in the beginning and migrated to Habasha with her husband Sakran . But he expired on the way back to Makkah. She was left alone without a supporter. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took this old lady of 50 years in his marriage.
Abu Bakr (R.A.) was the first Muslim and a close friend of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). He supported him in all trials and protected him from the Mushrikeen. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to tie his friendship into strong relationship. He had a young daughter Aisha. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) proposed to marry her and enter her in Ahl bait (the family of the Prophet). Abu Bakr was much pleased at this offer and he engaged his daughter Aisha to him. She lived with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) for about a decade and even 40 years after his death. She became one of the most learned ladies of Islam and educated thousands of persons, male and female in her life. More than a thousand Ahadith are narrated by her which are a part of Islamic Sharia.
VISIT TO TAIF : VISIT TO TAIF :
When the land of Makkah dried up spiritually and no person listened to the message of Islam any more and their behaviour turned more hostile, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to preach the message in nearby towns and tribes. He decided to visit Taif which was next important town near Makkah and Banu Thaqeef were a big tribe there. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took Zaid bin Haritha, his freed slave, and travelled on foot to Taif preaching to other tribes on the way. It took him 10 days to reach Taif.
There he met with three sons of Amr bin Umair Thaqafi namely Abdyalel, Masud and Habeeb. They were related to him as Atika, the mother of Hashim bin Abd Manaf was from Banu Sulaim who had an alliance with Banu Thaqeef. He met the three brothers and invited them to Islam. But they did not accept Islam, replied absurdly and extended no support to him. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said to them not to publicise it to avoid the negative impact on the cause of Islam. Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) spent another ten days in Taif inviting other people to Islam but none responded to his call.
To hasten the departure of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) from Taif the notables of Thaqeef called a crowd of vagabond and wicked persons to push the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) out of the town. This unruly mob hooted him in the streets and even pelted stones upon him. Zaid tried to cover Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) but he was also injured.
The noblest soul on earth walked through the streets of Taif followed by a howling crowd like barking dogs throwing stones upon him. His body was injured, blood flowed through his heel and tainted the streets of Taif. (Let those blood soaked sandals be the crown on my head). This was not for the sake of name, fame or leadership but for the sake of Islam. He found himself all alone in the whole world. None to protect him save Allah. This was the climax of hardships and toughest day in the whole history of Islam.
When the mob returned after driving him out from the town, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) weary and exhausted entered in a cool vineyard and rested against its wall and raised his hands calling his Almighty Supporter in the following words :
O Lord ! To Thee alone
I complain of my helplessness
The paucity of my resources
And my insignificance before mankind
Thou art the most Merciful of the mercifuls
Thou art the Lord of the helpless and the weak
O Lord of Mine Into whose hands
Wouldst Thou abandon me
Into the hands of an unsympathetic foe
Who would sullenly frown at me
Or to the enemy
Who has been given control
Over my affairs.
But if Thy wrath does not fall upon me
There is nothing for me
To worry about
I seek protection in the light
Of Thy Countenance,
Which illuminates the heavens
And dispel every darkness
And Which controls all affairs
In this world as well as in the hereafter.
May it never be that I should
Incur Thy Wrath or that
Thou shouldst be wrathful to me
And there is no power
Nor resources, but Thine alone.
No one can read this prayer without having deepened within him a sense of the Majesty of God, the completeness of His over ruling providence, His concern with the smallest detail of human life. This prayer affords an insight into the working of the Prophet’s mind and one can easily read in it the loftiness of his thinking, the purity of his spirit, and the nobility of his feelings. There is no prevarication, no hiding or suppression of truth, no luxuriant display of poetic fancy but a spontaneous expression of his deep love for God, his implicit faith in His mercy and help, and his cheerful resignation to the Will of the One Who dwells in majesty over all the creation in invisible, inseparable omnipotence, far above the humanly conceivable — the eternal Cause of all effects. (AHS. 91)
Almighty Allah responded to his call and sent down Angel Gabriel with an Angel of the mountain who said, “Almighty Allah heard your call and sent me to perform what you wish. Here is the angel of mountains. If you desire he can grind these people between the two hills”. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had the full right to curse them like Noah (A.S.) and Moses (A.S.) who cursed and punished their nations. And this was a good chance to show to the entire world that how a people can be crushed if they ridicule the Messenger of Allah.
But surprisingly, the words uttered by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in such a miserable condition were something different. He said, “O Lord! Guide my nation as they are ignorant”. He replied to Gabriel (A.S.), No (I do not pray Allah to crush them) I hope Almighty Allah will bring out a nation from their progeny who will worship Allah alone without a partner”. (Raheeq U 221)
How great was he. Not only he saved these wild barbarics who behaved in the most humiliating style but he also prayed for them and for their generations to come. And these words came true. Within ten years the entire Taif was at his feet. They embraced Islam, tribe after tribe and great scholars and warriors arose from Taif who raised the Banner of Islam in different corners of the world. Muhammad bin Qasim who opened the Indian sub continent to Islam was one of them.
Near by was the vineyard belonging to ‘Utbah and Shaybah, sons of Rabi’ah the wealthy citizens of Mekka. They watched with pain the condition of the Holy Prophet and moved by compassion, sent to him one of their Christian servants with a tray of grapes. The Holy Prophet accepted the fruit with pious invocation : “In the name of the Lord.” The Christian servant Addas was greatly impressed by these words and said : “These are the words which the people of this land do not generally speak.” The Prophet inquired of him whence he came and what religion he professed. Addas replied: “I am a Christian by faith and come from Nineveh.” The Prophet then said : “You belong to the city of righteous Jonas son of Matta.” Addas asked him anxiously if he knew anything about Jonas. The Prophet significantly remarked : “He is my brother. He was a prophet and so am I.” Thereupon Addas paid homage to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and kissed his hands. His masters admonished him at this act but he replied : “None on the earth is better than he. He has revealed to me a truth which only a prophet can do.” (AHS. 90)
The whole burden of his heart was flushed out and he realised that he was not alone. Almighty Allah is always with him wherever he may be. He moved cheerfully to Makkah and re-entered in the protection of Mat’am bin Adayee bin Nofel bin Abd Manaf.
This was the period when no more persons from Makkah were embracing Islam. But as the message echoed in whole Hijaz, the people came from out side, with due curiosity to enquire and after their satisfaction, embraced Islam. Among those pioneers were: 1. Suwaid bin Samit from Yathreb 2. Ayas bin Maadh from Yathreb 3. Abu Zar Ghifari from Yathreb 4. Tufail bin Amr al Dosi from Dos near Yemen 5. Zimad Azdi from Yemen After embracing Islam, they returned to their tribes and preached it there with good results.
ME’RAJ -THE HEIGHT OF HUMAN HUMAN ACCESS
No person on earth who was born out of a mother’s womb attained the height of access what was bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). The greatness of the incident may be calculated in this context that there is no word in any language to define and designate the height of his destination.
According to modern researches the size of the universe is few billion light years in length and few billion light years in breadth. And it is still expanding. They are unable to see and define the last edges of the universe. What is beyond this universe not even the great scientists of the day can apprehend. But a Muslim on the authority of Divine Knowledge knows that this whole paraphernalia what we can behold and what a scientist can apprehend is located in the first sky alone.
And there are six skies more beyond it. On the last sky there is the Arsh al Rahman or the THRONE OF SUPREME LORD who governs and controls the whole creation by His immense Wisdom and Strength. With material resources it needs few billion light years to cross the few skies. But the command of Lord of the Universe can cover this distance in a winking of an eye as a human thought and imagination crosses the limits of time and space in a fraction of a second.
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was a great warrior in the cause of Almighty Allah. When nominated as a Prophet he stood with undaunted courage and fought the whole world alone. The incident of Taif was the toughest trial of his life and that of his mission. A person who was designated as `Mercy for all the worlds’ walking wretchedly was ridiculed, insulted and even stoned on the streets of Taif. But strange enough, inspite of all this humiliation, he did not reject the call or resented the Divine mission but turned towards his Lord Almighty Allah complaining his own weakness and lack of resourceful-ness. This was a great success. He passed the toughest trial with great distinction.
As a reward of his success Almighty Allah invited him in person to meet Him and to see the whole world of the Hereafter with his open eyes in order to get full confidence of what he was preaching and prophessing to the people. And this was the greatest reward given to any person on earth. Even the great Prophets like Ibrahim (A.S.), Moses (A.S.) and Jesus Christ (A.S.) were not conferred with a `Holy See’. Prophet Moses (A.S.), to whom Almighty Allah spoke on Mount Sinai, when requested, “O Lord, I want to see Thee”, he was replied that “By no means canst thou see Me (direct) (Holy Quran 7:143.). But in case of Holy Prophet , he was invited without request. Further Almighty Allah lifted Jesus Christ to heaven alive, and he did not come back but in case of Holy Prophet, he was taken to the heaven and then returned to this world again in one night. This is a great miracle and unique example in world records.
In the history of space exploration, Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.) `Meraj’ is the first detailed travelogue of a humans’ trip beyond the universe. The incident of Meraj gave to the philosophers and the scientists, the first concept and courage of man’s travel in space and beyond the boundaries of our world. “The Spaniard, Miguel Asin, Arabic Professor in the University of Madrid, has shown that this Meraj literature had great influence on the medieval literature of Europe, and specially on the great Italian poem `The Divine Comedy (or drama of Dante)’ which towers like a landmark in the medieval European literature”. (AYA, p 691)
The whole incident of Miraj is mentioned in the Holy Quran with great abbrevity as under:
Glory to (Allah)
Who did take to His Abd (servant)
For a journey by night
From the Sacred Mosque
To the Farthest Mosque
Whose precincts We did Bless
In order that We show him
Some of Our Signs
For He is the One Who heareth
And seeth (all things). (17:1)
The following questions arise about the above verse :
- Why the verse begins with special `Glory to Allah’?
- Meraj was a dream or a vision or actually a body travel to Jerusalem.
- What was the Farthest Mosque?
- Why he travelled to Masjid Aqsa? The Ulema define that when something great, gigantic, sometime beyond the perception of human mind is described in the Holy Quran, it begins with Great Glory to Allah. Prefixing this word alone, indicates that some great news is coming to the mankind. Then Meraj is described. This was a miracle that a journey of 60 days, to and fro on camel back, a person covers in 60 minutes or even less. It was not a dream nor a vision but an actual travel with body and soul.
The House of Worship at Quds (Jerusalem) was first built by Prophet Isaac (A.S.) 40 years after the foundation of Holy Ka’aba at Makkah by his father Prophet Abraham (A.S.) and his brother Prophet Ismail (A.S.). Prophet Solomon (A.S.)renewed it and the Jews called it Temple of Solomon (A.S.). They forgot that it was a Mosque or Place of Worship of One God and not a temple of Idol worship. Holy Quran was the first to call it a MOSQUE like the Sacred Mosque of Makkah. This is the high rank awarded to Al Quds by Islam.
Moreover, there is very chequered history of construction and destruction of this House. It was finished by Prophet Solomon (A.S.) about 1004 B.C. destroyed by Babylonians under Nebuchad-nezzar about 586 B.C., rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah about 515 B.C. turned into a heathen idol temple by one of Alexander’s successors, Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C. restored again by Herod B.C. 17 to A.D. 29 and then completely razed to the ground by Emperor Titus in A.D. 70” ( AYA note 2168). It was again built in 135 A.D. by the Jews and again destroyed by the Christians later.
From that time onward there was no Temple of Solomon at its place. The Christian who hated the Jews throughout the history and persecuted them, marked the Jews House of Worship as a place of dumping the rubbish and offal. When Holy Quran designated it as the Farthest Mosque there was nothing at the place except the ruins of the old House.
When Muslim forces conquered Jerusalem and Caliph Umar Ibn al Khattab visited the site he built a mosque in the Holy Precincts. Later the Dome of Rock was built by Caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan in 72 A.H. (690 A.D.) and after his death Waleed bin Abdul Malik completed the Masjid Al Aqsa which stands until today. Muslim have high respect for Masjid al Aqsa as it is the first Qibla of Islam and one of the Three Harems.
Another significant point, as to why Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was taken to Jerusalem, why not to Yemen or to India (place of Prophet Adam A.S.) or to Europe or America ? Jerusalem was the place of another sacred House on earth. It was a place of Divine revelation and monotheism preached by Prophet Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ (A.S.). It was the seat of Judaism and Christianity who were the Divine leaders (Imam) of the then Spiritual world.
The mission to carry Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to Bait al Maqdis(Jerusalem) miraculously was to handover the charge of Divine leadership from Prophet Moses (A.S.) and Prophet Jesus (A.S.) to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) or from Judaism and Christianity to Islam. It was a ceremony of Transfer of Power. The Jews were told in clear words .
(They have incurred Divine displeasure):
In that they Broke their Covenant;
That they rejected the Signs Of Allah
that they slew The Messengers
in defiance of right; that they said,
“Our hearts are the wrappings
(Which preserve Allah’s Word; We need no more)
Nay, Allah hath set the seal
on their hearts for their blasphemy,
And little is it they believe. (4:155-158).
Similarly the Christians were warned in clear words:
Say, O People of the Book
Ye have no ground to stand upon
unless Ye stand by the Law
The Gospel and all the revelation
that has come to you from your Lord.
It is the revelation that cometh to thee
from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them
their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy.
But sorrow thou not over (these ) people without Faith. (5:71)
O People of the Book!
Commit no excesses in your religion:
nor say of Allah aught but truth.
Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than)
An apostle of Allah,and His Word
Which He bestowed on Mary,
And a Spirit proceeding from Him
So blieve In Allah and His apostles
Say not “Trinity” : desist
It will be better for you
For Allah is One Allah: Glory be to Him:
(For Exalted is He) above having a son
To Him belonging all things in the heavens and on earth.
And enough Is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.(4:171)
Because of their crimes, blasphemy and the alterations in the Holy Scriptures the Jews and Christians were suspended from the high rank of spiritual leadership and the Honour was transferred to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his Ummah upto the end of the world.
Isra in Arabic means night journey and not a dream and Me’raj stands for Accession. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) travelled on a heavenly flying steed from Makkah to Jerusalem and then ascended to the highest point of the Heavens called `Sidratul Muntaha’ (the Last Edge) where he was in Presence of his Lord Allah and had conversation with Him.
Later he passed by the Paradise and the hell. He saw the whole world of after death with his own eyes. This VISUAL experience planted strong confident belief in his heart about the whole mission of Islam and its ultimate success. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) returned to his bed the same night as if the whole flow of time was stopped for some time.
Sahih al Bukhari records the full details of Miraj. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also led a congregational prayer of the prophets at Bait al Maqdis and then ascended from the Holy Rock.
The account of the Mi’raj, as given in the Qu’ran and Hadith, is clearly indicative of the fact that it was not a dream, but an astounding experience. The description in chapter XVII begins with the glorification of the Lord for the extraordinary favour that He had conferred on Muhammad. Had it been merely a dream, its special mention was absolutely uncalled for and the limited span of time i.e. a part of the night, would have been meaningless because one can have a glimpse of both the worlds in a state slumber even in the fraction of a minute. (AHS.137- 138)
The next morning Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) narrated the whole story in presence of Quraish notables. They ridiculed him and pelted him with questions about the details of Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem which Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had never visited in his life. But to the great astonishment of them, he replied all the questions accurately. For the true Muslims the incident of Miraj was no surprise. Almighty Allah who can send Angel Gabriel (A.S.) from the heaven to earth in a fraction of a second, can also carry His Prophet (s.a.w.) from earth to heaven in one night. He is Most Powerful over all the things. Even today no Muslim in the world has any surprise or doubt about the Miraj. Abu Bakr (R.A.) expressed the feeling of a true Muslim in a most impressive style,when he was informed about the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.) statement of Meraj.
“It is recorded in the Hadith that the unbelivers came to Abu Bakr and inquired whether he believed in the truth of the story of his friend Muhammad, that he went to Jerusalem and then came back within a part of the night. Abu Bakr inquired if the Holy Prophet had actually said that. “Yes” they answered. Upon this he said : “Yes, I do verify it.” The unbelivers then said : “Do you testify that Muhammad went to Jerusalem and then returned within the short span of a night?” He replied : “Yes, I am prepared to testify to events even more wonder-provoking than this one, i.e, the heavenly messages come to the Prophet day and night. This event (his ascension) is not more astounding than that. “
To Abu Bakr, therefore, the acceptance of the Mi’raj was just like the acceptance of the prophethood of Muhammad. It was on this occasion that he earned the title of al-Siddiq (the verifier of the truth) from the prophet.
The apt reply given by Abu Bakr is very meaningful and beautifully epitomises the Islamic point of view about God and the universe and their mutual relationship and the significance of miracles in the scheme of revealed religions. (AHS. 141 – 142)
It is very significant that daily five time obligatory Salaat of a Muslim is the gift of Miraj. Almighty Allah bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his followers (Ummah) another, miniature, Miraj. When a person stands in Salaat he or she stands in the same way as Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood in Presence of his Lord Allah. And surprisingly he repeats the same dialogue in each pair of Salaat what was conversed between the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Lord Allah in these words:
(When standing in His Presence Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said,
To Allah belong all the greetings
Prayers and all things good
(Almighty Allah replied)
Peace be upon you, O Prophet
And the Mercy of Allah
And His blessings
(Prophet Muhammad said),
Peace be upon us and upon
All the righteous servants of Allah
I witness that there is no god Except Allah and I witness
That Muhammad is His servant
And His messenger.
Thus a Muslim person rehearses the incident of Miraj five times a day and throughout his life. This is the great gift that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) brought from Miraj for every Muslim person. He said, The daily Salaat is the Miraj of (every) Momin (Muslim male and female).
Standing at the height of esteem and ovation and receiving greetings and Peace from Almighty Allah and then to call himself His Abd (servant) and to remember his Ummah is of very great significance
HIJRAH THE TURN OF HUMAN HISTORY
The Islamic era begins with Hijrah calendar. The word Hijrah or migration is itself a big question mark on the world history. Who migrated, why migrated, how migrated and what were the consequences of migration ? Surprizingly the word Hijrah alone is the whole Message of Islam in a nutshell. The answer of these questions is that 1400 years ago a man named Mohammed at the inspiration of Almighty Allah, stood alone at Makkah to invite the people to the worship of one God in the dark ages of idolatory. Except for few persons the society turned against him and forced him at the cost of his life, either to leave his message or to leave his home.
He opted for the second choice. For the sake of his mission he sacrificed every thing. He left his home and migrated secretly as the people also tried to kill him. He reached Madina , the people welcomed him with open heart. There Almighty Allah gave him success and power. The Makkans attacked the small town of Madina few times but failed to stop his mission. And a day came when he returned with a large force of 12000 volunteers to Makkah and conquered it. Makkans the arch enemies stood like prisoners in his presence. And he with the greatness of his character and generosity of his nature pardoned them all.
They entered the new religion in thousands and took this message to the four corners of the world. And today over 150,000,000 people on the face of earth embrace Islam and celeberate the event of his migration every year. This is the definition of Hijrah word alone with which the Islamic calendar begins.
There are other calendars of the Jews, the Christians,the Persians,the Arabs and the Hindus but none has such a significance. The Jews start their calendar with Noahs Diluge,or the Great Flood.The Christian invented a calendar in 532 AD and rolled it back to the birth of Jesus Christ. But they committed a mistake of four years. Jesus Christ was not born in 01 AD as generally presumed but he was 04 years of age in 01 AD.
The Pagan Arabs began their calendar of Elephant from Abrahas attack on Makkah. The Persians began their era from the enthronement of Nosherwan and the Hindus started their Sambat Bikrami from the enthronement of Bikramaditya a king in north India. There is nothing significant, nothing adventurous and nothing miraculous in the events to show the strength and Divine support for the welfare of the humanity at large.
The most popular Gregorian calendar today, begins from the birth of Jesus Christ. When we study the history carefully we do not find any incidence of significance in 01 AD. It was only the presumed birth of Prophet Jesus (a.s.)But the idea of beginning a calendar from the birth of Jesus Christ was originated by an Egyptian monk named Dionysius Exiguus in 532 AD ie after more than five centuries from his birth. This happened only 38 years before the birth of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in 571 AD. Moreover when we study the history of the first six centuries of Christian era we do not find it more eventful. It records normally the flow of political events of the old world. The Europe and Asia had petty political changes. There were the two super powers of the time , the Romans of Europe and Persians of Asia who had a continous tussle in the Middle East and North Africa.
The most important events of the era recorded, are when the Persians defeated the Romans and captured Damascus and Jerusalem in 614 AD. They took the Holy Cross of Christians to Persia and over ran Egypt in 618 AD. The Romans faced double attack by Avars and Persians at Constintinpole, but it was repelled by Heraclius. Surprizingly the Byzantines defeated the Persians decisively at Nineveh in 627and Heraclius recovered Jerusalem and the Holy Cross from Persians in 629. Chosroes II the Persian emperor was murdered by his son and sucessor Kavadah II in 628.
Frankly speaking the second half of the sixth century AD was the turn of world history. One superpower of the ancient world was defeated by the other. Surprizingly the first defeat of Romans in 614 AC is mentioned in Holy Quran with a prophecy reading that, “within a decade the Romans will defeat their rival the Persians” which actually happened in 624 AC. This was a turn of history initiating the new world order and this is the time when Hijrah era begins in the world History. Hijrah era is more appropriate and compatible with the active historical events of the world and subsequently it may be called the real calendar of the New World.
BLESSINGS AWAIT MADINA :
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) availed every opportunity to convey the message of Allah to the people. The pagans of Arabia, though distracted from the right path, still used to gather at Makkah every year to perform Haj on the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim. The people from Yemen in the south and Madina (then called Yathreb) in the north travelled to Makkah and Mina for Haj. Madina was then populated by two big tribes of Aus and Khazraj. They were the descendants of Qahtan from Yemen. When breaking of Iram dam caused a big flood called Sail al Iram, in Yemen the two brothers called Aus and Khazraj migrated and settled in Madina. Later they grew into two powerful tribes as masters of the land and agriculture. The Jews were already there in Madina . They could not tolerate the progress and prosperity of Aus and Khazraj. They played their old tactics of creating dissentions among them and getting them to mutual war and financing them with usuary.
This is the old practice, the Jews are still playing in the Muslim world. Their motto is , keep them fighting, keep them financing , keep them debtors and keep them begging (for money and machine). Subsequently the Yemenees were cheated by the Jews. The sons of two brothers Aus and Khazraj fought perinial wars killing their braves and sacking their resources. Ultimately they became debtors and sub-ordinates to the Jews. The last battle they fought was Biath when Aus were defeated by Khazraj.
Whenever the Jews were challenged by the Yemenees, they threatened them saying that “As written in our Holy Scriptures, the time has come for the new Prophet to appear. We shall follow him and destroy you as the people of Aad and Thamud were destroyed in Yemen.”
This was the situation when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) met with a group of six at Haj in Mina and presented Islam to them. They were quite intelligent young men . They recognised the the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) as described by the Jews and foresaw a new era of peace and prosperity in his message. They said to themselves, You know how our braves have been killed and how much we, the sons of two real brothers are divided against each other. This message of Islam will unite us all and give us a superiority upon our enemies specially the Jews. Sub-han Allah (Glory be to Allah) How true were the words and expectations of this noble group. Almighty Allah united them under one honourable title of Ansars and defeated and expelled the Jews from Madina for ever.
This noble group of six youth from Khazraj embraced Islam in the Haj of 02 BH(July 620) and returned to Madina with new enthusiasm of preaching it. These six were 1. Asad bin Zararah 2. Auf bin Harith 3. Raafe bin Malek 4. Qutba bin Aamer bin Hadeda 5. Utba bin Aamer bin Naabi 6. Harith bin Abdullah. When they returned to Madina they declared publicly that the Promised Prophet has appeared and we met him at Makkah. We are fortunate to see him with our own eyes and to hear Holy Quraan with his mouth. Come and join us.
THE FIRST BAI’AH OF AL AQABA :
The six pioneers of Islam in Madina did marvellous work. They popularised the Islamic message and many people showed their inclination towards Islam. Next year in Haj twelve persons five old and and seven new , ten from Khazraj and two from Aus returned. They came determined to embrace Islam and swore:
We will not worship any but One Allah
We will not steal
Neither we commit adultry nor kill our children
We will obey Holy Prophet in all that is good. (AHS 148)
The seven new who embraced Islam were:
- Zakwan bin Abd Qais
- Abada bin Samet
- Khalid bin Mokhalled
- Abbas bin Abada
5 Maadh bin Harith
- Abul Haitham bin Taihan
- Owaim bin Saeda.
After their Bai’ah (allegiance) Holy Prophet sent Musaab bin Umair and Abdullah bin Umm Maktoum as teachers and preachers to Madina who stayed with Asad bin Zararah. Musaab taught Holy Quran and basic teachings of Islam to many people. Two great chiefs Usaid bin Haseer and Saad bin Maadh embraced Islam at his hand. Saad converted his whole tribe of Bani Ash-hal to Islam in one day.
THE SECOND BAI’AH OF AL AQABA :
Next year 73 gents and two ladies (Naseeba bint Kaab and Asma bint Amr) came to embrace Islam and after Haj they met secretly at the appointed place in the night. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was accompanied by his uncle Abbas bin Abdul Muttaleb though he was not yet a Muslim but he was concerned about his safety. He was the first to speak:
Ye people of the Khazraj ! you all know the position that Muhammad holds among us. We have protected him from our people as much as we could. He is honoured and respected among his people. He refuses to join anyone except you. If you think you can carry out what you promise while inviting him to your town, and if you can defend him against the enemies, then assume the burden that you have taken. But if you are going to surrender him and betray him after having taken him away with you, you better laeve him now because he is respected and well defend in his own place.(AHS 149)
The people of Madina, who were later termed as Ansars were ready to take Holy Prphet (s.a.w.) to their town at the cost of their lives and property. They assured Abbas of the same and said: O the Messenger of Allah; It is now for you to speak and take from us any pledge you want regarding Allah and His Messenger.Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) addressed Ansars, first he recited Holy Quraan and invited them to Islam saying:
“ I call you in the name of Allah to worship none but One God and to give me a pledge that you will give me whole hearted cooperation in the cause of Allah.”
Biraa bin Ma’roor extended his hand and said; O Messenger of Allah we accept all these conditions. At this stage Abul Haitham bin Tayyehan interrupted and took grand commitment from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) who replied in beautiful words:
“ Prophet of God ! between us and the Jews there are agreements which we would then sever. If Allah grants you power and victory, should we expect that you would not leave us.
Prophet replied : Nay, it would never be: your blood will be my blood. In life and death I will be with you and you with me. I will fight whom you fight and I will make peace with those with whom you make peace. (AHS 150)
As the decision was very critical. A group of eighty people was taking the responsibility to fight the whole world, some elders of Ansars wanted to warn their people against the great danger and test their seriousness about this historic decision, Abbas bin Ubada Ansari again alerted the people saying;
O, Ye people of the Khazraj ! do you know the significance of the pact that you are entering into with this man? You are in fact avowing that you will fight against all and sundry. If you fear that your property will be at stake or the lives of your nobles will be endangered, then leave him now, because if you do this after the pledge it will be degrading for you both in this world and the world to come. But if you think that you can carry out what you are called upon to do in spite of the loss of precious lives and property, then undertake this heavy responsibility, and I swear by God, that herein lies the good of this world and that of the next. (AHS 150)
The Ansar exclaimed: We accept this even at the cost of our lives and property. But O Prophet of Allah, if we remained un-shaken in our resolution, what will be the reward for us.” “Paradise”, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) exclaimed in brief, and the whole group extended their hands and took the pledge in the following words. Asad bin Zarah and Bira bin Ma’roor were the first to take the oath:
We all will obey you, O Prophet of Allah! in all sets of circumstances: in plenty as well as in scarcity, in joy as well as in sorrow, that we would not wrong anyone. We will speak the truth at all times; and that in Allah’s service we would fear the censure of none. (AHS 151)
Then Holy Prophet appointed twelve Naqeeb from among them ( 9 from Kahzraj and 3 from Aus) to guide them and preach Islam in Madina . Those were: 1.Asad bin Zararah 7. Saad bin Rabia 2.Abdullah bin Rawaha 8. Rafe bin Malek 3.Bira bin Ma’roor 9.Abdullah bin Amr 4.Abada bin Samet 10.Saad bin Ubada 5.Munzer bin Amr 11.Usaid bin Hudair 6.Saad bin Abi Khaithma 12. Rifa bin Abdul Munzer (Raheeq U 259)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) assigned them their responsibility saying; “You are responsible on your people as the Hawarees of Jesus Christ (a.s.)were for them, and I am responsible for my people i.e the whole Ummah”.
And after this great historic decision the people returned to their tents secretly in the darkness of night. The Makkans got some clue of the secret meeting and rushed to enquire the pagans of Madina who had not participated and they replied that there was no truth in the report. But agian they rushed to catch the Madinians on the way but they all escaped un-harmed.
After the second Bai’ah al Aqaba Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) allowed the Muslims to migrate and within a short time tens of Muslim families migrated secretly to Madina. “Within two months nearly all the followers of Muhammad (s.a.w.), except Abu Bakr, and Ali, and those helpless noble souls who had been detained in confinement or were unable to escape from slavery, had migrated to their new abode. “They were welcomed with cordial and even eager hospatility by their brethren at Medina, who vied with one another for the honour of receiving them into their homes, and supplying their domestic wants.” (AHS 152-53)
Abu Salma was the first to migrate to Madina. When he started from Makkah with his wife Hind and his infant son Salma, the people of his inlaws snatched his wife saying that you are free to go but we will not allow our daughter and her son to wander with you. Then the people of his own tribe snatched her son saying that if you will not allow your daughter to live with our son we will not allow our grand son to live with your daughter. Abu Salma was so determined to save his faith that he left his wife and infant son in two different tribes and set out for Madina all alone. His wife Hind or Umm Salma was among the first converts of Islam and she had migrated to Habasha with her husband then returned to Makkah and had faced great difficulties for the sake of her faith.
After the separation of her husband and child, she spent about a year wailing and wandering in the valleys of Makkah. Later one of her kins favoured her and got her released from her family. She took her baby and started on a long and frieghtenning journey of 500 klm to Madina on a camel back, all alone. On the way she met with Usman bin Abi Talha at Tan’eem and when he knew that she was going alone to Madina he led her upto the destination and she joined her husband.
Abu Salma participated in the battle of Uhod and was injured. He expired in 04 AH. Umm Salma was 25 years of age and had four children. Holy Prophet seeing her steadfast-ness of Islam and loneliness in Madina patronised her and married her in 04 AH. She lived with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) for about seven years and expired after him in 63 AH at the age of 84. She was the last to live among the wives of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) . Abu Hurairah led her funeral prayers and she was buried in Jannatul Baqie at Madina Munawwara.
Sohaib Rumi was another case of migration. When he started from Makkah with all his belongings on a camel back, the Makkans oppressors caught him and said, “You came to Makkah as a poor man and earned a lot of money. Now we will not allow you to leave with your wealth. Sohaib immediately bargained and said, “What you decide if I leave the whole of my wealth for you”. They were much pleased and said, “Then we will allow you to proceed.” Sohaib left all his life long earned wealth for them and set out alone in bare two garments on his body to Madina. When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) heard about his dealing he said, ‘Sohaib dealt profitably, Sohaib is the winner”.
Umer ibn al Khattab also migrated to Madina. But he was a different man. He declared in Harem to all the braves that “He plan to leave Makkah who ever wishes that his mother should mourn him tomorrow, should come to stop him”. The Makkans were so afraid that none came to stop him to proceed to Madina Munawwara.
It is a unique example. Tens of persons male and female left their comfortable homes and charming ancestoral native place only to save their faith and to worship their Lord Allah openly. There was no worldly gains or a luxurious life awaiting them in Madina . The only charm in Hijrah was observance of their faith without any hinderance.
With in few months of second Bai’ah al Aqaba few quarters of Makkah were locked up with empty houses. Only AbuBakr and Ali bin Abi Taleb remained with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in Makkah along with poor Muslims who were jailed by the pagans.
MADINA WELCOMES HOLYPROPHET (S.A.W.)
Hijrah is a great significant event of Islamic history. When the campaign of mockery, hatred and oppression by pagans at Makkah crossed all the limits, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) suggested his people to migerate to Madina. Subsequently most of the Muslims left Makkah secretly but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed alone undaunted among his enemies. He entrusted all his affairs to Almighty Allah and awaited a command from His side. Abu Baker and Ali were the only two persons left with him in Makkah. ”The event also made it plain that the safety and security of the Prophet’s life depended upon Allah alone and the Prophet, therefore, need not bank upon support of any individual or agency: that the Almighty Who had the power to create man and the universe also had the power to save Muhammed from the danger that beset him. “ (AHS 154-155 ).
The Makkans were alerted on the mass migration of Muslims to Madina and the support they were getting there. Madina lied on their trade caravan route to Sham and they smelled a direct threat to their economic life-line which earned an average of 250,000 dinars annually. Further they found Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) all alone in Makkah. There was no supporters like Abu Talib and Khadeja with him. Subsequently they convened the Makkan parliament at Daral-Nadwa on Thursday the 26th Safar 14 N (12th September 622 AD) under Abu Jehal. Surprisingly Iblees (the Satan) in the shape of an unknown Sheikh of Najd also participated in the debate of fatal plans against the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). They were unanimous to get rid of the Prophet (s.a.w.) but differed in the ways and means of doing that.
Finnally Abu Jehl proposed that a person from each tribe should be selected and that they should attack all, at one time and (God forbid) kill the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). This way Bani Abd Manaf will not be able to fight with all the Arab tribes or to claim a ransom for his blood,from them. This malicious proposal was accepted by all and the persons were nominated from each tribe for an attack in the night. When Makkans were passing these resolution, Almighty Allah informed Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) through Angel Gibrael of all their machinations and gave glad tiding of Allah’s decision to protect him and defeating their plans.
And call to the mind
The unbelievers devised their plans against thee,
that might imprison thee
or slay thee or expel thee from the city
Yes,they devised plans but
Allah also devised plans. ( 8:30 )
According to the plan the following twelve persons under the command of Abu Jehl were selected for this dirty assault:
Abu Lahab 2. Uqba bin Mueet 3. Nadar bin Harith 4. Umayya bin Khalaf 5. Zamaa bin Aswad 6. Tuaima bin Adi 7. Ubayy bin Khalaf 8. Nubaih bin Hajjaj 9. Munabbeh bin Hajjaj. 10. Hakam Bin Aas. 11. Abu Sufyan 12. Jaber
How splendidly did it come true that nine of the above conspirators were killed in the battle of Badr and remaining three namely Abu Sufyan, Jabir and Hakam embraced Islam later.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) came to the house of Abu Bakr at noon time and advised him that Allah commanded him to migerate. Abu Bakr asked, would he accompany him?. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, Yes. Abu Bakr was so over spilled with joy that tears of happiness got burst from his eyes.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) knew that the whole Makkah is united to kill him and they are surrounding his house in vigil but he returned undaunted to his house and stayed there up to mid night. He asked Ali bin Abi Talib to sleep on Prophet’s bed , covering his green sheet and assuring him that nobody can harm him . Ali reported that on that bed he had such a deep slumber in that night that he never had it before. The whole house was cordoned by the blood thirsty enemies. They were many at the gate. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to leave and walked through them throwing dust upon them and reciting the Quranic verse :
And we have put a bar in front of them
And a bar behind them,
And further we have covered them up
So that they cannot see (36 : 9 )
And Almighty Allah really made a curtain upon them, blinded them and they could not see him walking through them. They stayed up to the dawn, peeping through the door and knowing that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was sleeping under the green sheet. But when at dawn they rushed in and found Ali sleeping on the bed, they beaten their faces. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had already left and their whole dirty plan was ruined.
Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) came to Abubaker and then both set out on the historical journey . They left Makkah before sunrise and walked briskly up to a cave on the top of Jabal al Thaur located about five miles south of (but now in )Makkah This dark cave was hardly 2×2 meter in size and was lived by birds, spiders and snakes. Abubakr entered the cave first, he cleaned it and plugged all the holes with pieces torn from his clothes and then asked Holy Prophet ( SAW ) to enter and take rest, who was much tired and his feet were bleeding.
The escape of Holy Prophet ( SAW ) created an up-roar in the whole town. The people were mad with the failure of their assassination plan. They rushed in all directions. Abu Jehl declared a prize of 100 camels for a person who could bring Holy Prophet( SAW ) or Abubaker dead or alive. All roads leading to out side Makkah were cordoned and the people were running in all direction but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was sleeping comfortably at that time in Thaur cave.
When starting from the house Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had a wise plan in mind. He left home trusting alone on Almighty Allah. He adopted a strategy very intelligently. Instead of marching towards Madina he moved in reverse direction towards the south. The whole Makkah was duped . They all rushed towards north and never thought seriously about the south. Secondly Holy Prophet (s.a.w) rested at the cave for three days. During this period all efforts of Quraish came to a halt. Thirdly Abdullah bin Abubakr was deputed to inform them about the happenings in Makkah. He collected all the information in day time and passed it to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in the night. Amer bin Fuhaira, a slave of Abubakr, grazed few goats upto the cave and fed the two guests with fresh milk.In the morning he led the goats back on the the route of Abdullah to erase his foot prints on the sand lest the watch dogs sniff and reach the cave.
The greed of 100 camels prize took the pagans to every nook and corner of Makkah and its suburbs. They left no vale and valley without search around the city. Some of them were experts in tracing the foot prints and at one time they reached up to the cave. When Abu Bakr raised his head he found them chatting at the mouth of the cave. He trembled with fear. He was not afraid of his life but of the Prophet (s.a.w.). He thought if he (AbuBakr) is killed, only one person is killed but if something happens to Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) the whole mission of Islam will be nipped in the bud. In deep fear and desperation he whispered to the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) “If they look through the cervice they will detect us”. (AHS157)
The words uttered by the Prophet (s.a.w.) at such a horrifying situation are the real exhibit of the height of his courage and the depth of his faith in Almighty Allah. There were many lords and the leaders of the world in history who tried to escape from their enemies but when caught in the sheer danger none of them showed such a lofty courage and firm faith. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) replied to Abu Bakr with his God inspired courage and calmness “ O Abu Bakr (what you think about) the two (persons)and the third (with them) is Allah” Abubakr : Have no fear Allah is with us.”
And Almighty Allah really protected them and turned the searching party away from the mouth of the cave from such a location that if they would cast their eyes down they could see the two. “There is no possibility of some one being in the wild cave” they murmured and returned. Their return from the cave was a TURN of the world history. Holy Quran describes this great incident:
“If Ye help not (Your guide)
( it is no matter) for Allah did indeed help him”
When the unbelievers drove him out
He had no more than one companion
They were two in the cave
And he said to his companion
Have no fear For Allah is with us
then Allah sent down
His peace upon him.
And Strengthened him with forces
which ye saw not.
And humbled to the depth
the word of the unbelievers
But the word of Allah
Is exalted to the heights.
For Allah is exalted in Might, Wise. (9: 40 ).
When the vigorous search campaign subsided, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) came out from the cave. Abu Bakr had already hired Abdullah bin Araiqat who was expert of desert routes. He came with two camels of Abu Bakr which he had bought for this purpose few months earlier.Abu Bakr offered one of his camels to Holy Prophet(s.a.w.). He accepted one but on payment. Asma bint Abu Bakr brought food packages and tied them with camels’ saddle. But she had no cord to tie them. She tore her waist belt into two pieces and tied it. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) saw her intelligence and called her “Zu Nataqain” (Lady of two waist belts). This honourable title she kept her for the whole life. Amer bin Fuhaira the servant of Abu Bakr also accompanied them on their journey.
This little caravan of four persons moved from Thaur cave on Monday the 30th Safar 01 AH (16th Sep 622 A.D ).They marched southward on Yemen route then turned towards west and moving parallel to the public road reached Asfan.
The caravan travelled the whole night and up to mid-day. The sun of September was burning hot in the desert and there was no tree even for a shade. They took rest under the shade of a rock and again marched on a lonely route. After crossing Asfan they saw a tent of Umm Maabed a very hospitable lady at Qudaid. But at that moment she had nothing to offer to them. All her goats were out. Only one weak and sick was lying in the tent. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) milched it with her permission. The goat gave plenty of milk miraculously and they all drank it to their satisfaction and marched again leaving the rest for her.
Her husband, Abu Maabed, returned to the tent and saw plenty of milk. He asked Umm Maabad who came to the tent and she told the whole story. He guessed that it should be Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companion. He enquired about his appearance and this desert lady replied saying:
“His was innocently bright and broad countenance. His manners were fine. Neither was his belly bulging out nor was his head deprived of hair. He had black attractive eyes, finely arched by continuous eye brows. His hair, glossy black, inclined to curl, he wore long. His voice was extremely commanding. His head was large and well formed and set on a slender neck. His expression was pensive and contemplative, serene and sublime. The stranger was fascinated from the distance, but no sooner he became inmate with this fascination was changed into attachment and respect. His expression was very sweet and distinct. His speech was well set and free from the use of superfluous words, as if it were a rosary of beads. His stature was neither too high nor too small so as to look repulsive.
He was a twig amongst the two, singularly bright and fresh. He was always surronded by his companions. Whenever he uttered something the listeners would hear him with rapt attention and whenever he issued any command, they vied with each other in carrying it out. He was a master and commander. His utterances were marked by truth and sincerity, free from all kinds of falsehood and lies.
On hearing these words, Abu Maabad recognised him and said, By God , he is the man who is zealously debated about amongst the Quraish now-a-days. I have determined cheerfully to accept his yoke. (AHS 161)
Suraqa bin Malik bin Ja’sam was another person who rushed for the declared prize of one hundred camels. Near Rabigh he got the news that the little caravan was moving near the sea coast. Equipped with arms he rode a swift horse and caught the glimpse of the caravan. Abu Bakr saw him at a distance and informed the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) saying “O Prophet of Allah we are lost. He replied “Don’t be cast down, verily Allah is with us” . There was no shield to protect them. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) prayed Almighty Allah to save them and said “O Allah sink him.” Suddenly the mighty horse stumbled in the sand and Suraqa fell down on the ground. He was amazed as it never happened to him before . He mounted the horse again and ran but again stumbled and fell. This happened three times. He was alerted and he realized that it was a warning from Allah against his evil design.
Suddenly he felt a change at his heart and Allah converted this sworn enemy into an honest believer. He appealed for mercy from a distance and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) allowed him to come. There he expressed his loyalty and begged for a token of peace. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) told Abu Bakr who gave him a writing of amnesty on a parchment.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also said to him.”O Suraqa what would you feel when the bangles of Kisra (the Emperor of Iran ) will be adorned on your hands? Suraqa could not understand it. How surprising were these words? Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) himself traveling in desert between fear and hope could see in the distant future.
He could have seen that he arrived at Madina, people welcomed him, Islamic state has been established, people are embracing Islam group after group and tribe after tribe. Abu Bakr followed him as first Caliph. The zeal of Jihad is flooding, Muslim forces are marching towards the east and the west, Omar has been elected as second Caliph, the great empires of Rome and Persia are trembling, Rustam the legendary brave person of Iran has been killed, Kisra the emperor of Persian empire, ran away, his centuries old wealth has been captured as booty by the Muslim forces and sent to the Caliph, the gems and jewels are being distributed in Masjid-e-Nabawi at Madina and Asawir (the Bangles) of Emperor Kisra have been awarded to this man, Suraqa. The whole chain of incidents was comprehended in a single moment by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) when pronouncing these words.
And it actually happened in 15 AH when Saad Bin Muadh conquered the whole of Iran and Iraq and sent the enormous booty loaded on camel caravans to Madina Munawwara. And the then Caliph Omar Ibn al Khattab (RA) called Suraqa bin Ja’sem and said “ O Suraqah raise your hands today, I will adorne them with the bangles of Kisra. Great is Allah, who snatched these Asawer from Kisra and awarded to Suraqa”.
Suraqa bin Malek returned and he diverted other people who met him on the way, saying that there was none on that route. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) continued his journey. For seven consecutive days and seven nights they travelled across mountains, hills, and the desert whose sand was glowing with heat. They found nothing to alleviate the hardship of the sun and the thirst. They hide themselves during the day of the scorching heat and moved with haste in the darkness. The stillness of the night and the brightness of the stars provided a safe cover to this little caravan.
Buraida Aslami was another person who appeared to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in his pursuit but when he saw the noble person and heard the message he embraced Islam with his seventy tribesmen. He was so much impressed that he opened his turban and hoisted it like a flag on his lance and marched in front declaring that the “Prophet of Peace” is arriving. This was the first flag (of white colour which has been taken as a symbol of peace internationally) which was raised in Islam by Buraida Aslami. Later Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) met Zubair ibn al Awwam who was returning as head of trading caravan from Syria. He presented white garments as gift to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and told him that the people of Madina were eagerly waiting for him.
THE NEW MOON IN MADINA :
It was on Monday the 8th Rabi al Awwal 01 AH. when Holy Prophet ( s.a.w.) arrived at Quba a suburb (now a quarter) of Madina . The people were so eager that they used to climb on hill tops and look out for him until the sun was hot. It was not an idolater but a person from the “People of the book “the Jews, who caught the first sight of the caravan and cried “O Ye people of Arab, he has come. He has come for whom Ye have been eagerly waiting“. There was an uproar in Madina and the people rushed to welcome Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and raised the slogan ALLAHO AKBAR.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) honoured Kulthum bin Hidm, the chief of Banu Amr bin Auf, at Quba and stayed there as his guest, for few days. He used to meet the people at the house of Saad Bin Khaitma. It was there that Ali arrived from Makkah. Zaid came with Sawda wife of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) Fatima and Umm Kulthum, Umm Aiman and his wife Zainab bint Jahash. At the same time Abdullah bin Abu Bakr came with his sisters Ayesha, Asma and his mother Umm Ruman .
The people came to welcome Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) group after group. He was sitting silent and Abu Bakr was receiving the people with warmth. The persons who had not seen Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) earlier mis-took Abu Bakr as the Prophet and gave him priority in greetings. When Abu Bakr felt it he stood immediately and shaded the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) with a sheet from the hot sun. Then the people realized that he was a follower of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
The first job done by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) during his stay at Quba was the foundation of a mosque. The ground was donated by Kulthum bin Hidam and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) with Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali and other Sahaba participated in person in the construction of the mosque. He lifted heavy stones in his own hands. When Sahaba rushed to take the stone from him he gave it to them and picked up the other one. Thus was the first mosque of Islam built by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). It still stands today as a glorious marble structure. Holy Quran glorified this mosque in the following words:
There is a mosque whose foundation was laid
from the first day on Purity,
It is more worthy of the standing forth ( for prayer )there in,
In it are men who love to be purified,
And Allah loveth those who make themselves (9 : 108)
On the morning of Friday Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) rode towards Madina. The people gave him a rousing reception. Well dressed and armed they lined up the whole path up to the city and raised the slogans of ALLAHO AKBAR loudly. He halted at Banu Saalem and offered Friday noon prayer giving a Khutba (semon) there.
This was the first Friday Prayer in Islam. The Khutba which Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) delivered at extempore is unique in the history of world oratory. It was not a well worded, written speech as done by the lords and the leaders of the day. In its eloquence exhortation and eulogy of faith, it is a matchless public address. He said;
“Praise be to Allah, I seek His help, guidance and forgiveness and declare my implicit faith in Him and abhor Kufr. I declare that Allah is One and Muhammed is His Messenger whom his Lord has blessed with guidance, light and wisdom and has sent him to the people at the time when the Apostles had ceased to come and the people had forgotten the teachings of the previous apostles and were led astray.
The Day of Resurrection was at hand . Whoever obeys Allah and His Prophet finds righteousness and whoever disobeys goes astray beyond doubt, and is in error manifest. I admonish you to fear Allah. The best advise that a Muslim can give to his brother is to exhort him to piety. Avoid that which Allah has commanded you to avoid. There is no better precept than that of piety and fear of Allah. These are the sources of strength and help in the next life.
Your relation with Allah, whether in the seen or unseen sphere of your life, should be based on truth and fidelity and this objective can be achieved when you have no other end to pursue except that of seeking the pleasure of Allah. Such a course of life will enable you to get honour and fame in this world and it will prove to be a boon in the Hereafter, when man stands badly in need of good actions and wishes that there had been a great distance between him and misdeeds.
Allah admonishes you with His power and Authority and this He does because He is very Compassionate and Merciful towards His men. Allah is Truthful and fulfils His promise as He says in the Quran : My words cannot be changed nor am I indeed unjust to the slaves” (1.29) . Therefore fear Him in this world and the world to come in the seen and in the unseen since who fears Him, Allah grants him redemption for his sins and favours him with great reward. Such person alone is , in fact, highly successful. Fear of Allah saves man from His wrath, His punishment and anger. This will brighten the faces of people and elevate them on the Day of Judgment. Fear Allah, walk on the path of virtue and piety. Do not show any slackness in obedience to Allah.
Allah has revealed the Book for your teaching and has made the right path clear for your guidance so that truth can be distinguished from falsehood. Just as Allah has shown you His favour, likewise you should obey Him in right earnest. Look upon His enemy as yours and exert your best for winning His favour. Allah has chosen you for Himself and has given you the name of Muslims, God has ordained that those who are to be destroyed will be swept away and those who survive, after the clear signs have come to them, would live with insight and on the strength of evidence (from the Lord).
No power is of any avail except the Power of Allah. Therefore remember Allah as much as you can and live for the Hereafter. The man whose relation with Allah is based on sincerity, Allah will help him against evil. None will be able to harm him. Allah’s command is supreme over the people. But people cannot command Allah. Allah alone is the Master of all men and men have no share in His lordship. Therefore keep your relation with Allah on the right footing. Do not bother about others. Allah is the Great Protector. Allah is Great and there is no Power but that of Him. (AHS 163-165 )
These are the amazing words from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). A person persecuted for his faith, forced out from his home, traveling in the harsh climate of the desert, enemies in his pursuit, said nothing about the grievances of his person. When he spoke publicly to his followers, he spoke only about the greatness and mercy of his Lord Allah and exhorted the people to purity and piety. A man suffers for thirteen years all kinds of insults at the hands of Quraysh; stones and filth are throne at him ; he is rebuked by the young and the old, and is ex-communicated. Then a plot is hatched to put an end to his life and he is forced to leave his hearth and home. He is put to all kinds of torture, physical and mental, for no fault of his. He only says : “Surrender yourself to Allah”.
After having been driven from his native place and having suffered hardships and perils of long journey, when he finds an opportunity to address people, not a SINGLE word of bitterness is uttered by him. He has nothing to say of his personal sorrows and griefs, of the atrocities perpetrated on him by the people of Mekka, of the privations that he has constantly suffered. The noble heart is free from all stains of personal anguish. (AHS 165-166)
After Friday prayer Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) rode to Madina again. The whole city gave him a rousing reception. The people adorned in their nice dress and arms lined up his path to the city. The ladies crowded the roof tops. The children chanted the welcoming slogans, and the young girls of the Madina sang the most noble song ever recited for any person in the world history.
Full moon has arisen upon us
From the hill tops of the south
Thanks to Allah is, now an obligation upon us
Until a caller remains to call Allah on earth
For the nice gift of Faith brought thee
O, Beloved Prophet thou art
Truly the Messenger of Allah among us
Thou didst come with His commands
For our obedience and compliance
These beautiful words in Arabic with beautiful meanings uttered by beautiful lips of the pretty little girls of Madina were recorded on the forehead of history and are still enchanted by thousands of Muslims in their celeberations every where in the world.
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) entered Madina the people thronged upon him. They offered their houses in his hospitality. Repeatedly they caught the reins of his camel and requested him to stay in their houses. But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) refused to none. He said politely, Leave my Naqa (she camel) free. She is deputed by Allah and where ever she sits I will stay. How nice was the reply that no body was disappointed.
Through the song and slogans, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived at a place where Masjid al Nabawi stands today. And the camel stopped and sat down. She again stood walked around and sat at the same place again. Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) dismounted and asked whose house is nearer to this place?. Abu Ayoub al Ansari was burst with joy, he rushed to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and exclaimed, Here it is, here is my door, I am the nearest to this place. He picked up the saddle quickly from the camel and rushed to his house. Asad bin Zarara caught the Naqa and took her to his house for service and it remained with him through out his life.
Khalid bin Zaid well known as Abu Ayyub al Ansari* in history,was the first person to host Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). He was from Banu Najjar, a tribe from where Hashim married Salma and she was the mother of Abdul Muttalib, grand father of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
When Banu Najjar heard the great news of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.) stay with them they were over spilled with joy. They rushed to welcome him. Their little girls sang an appropriate song in his honour. We are the daughters,
little and pretty
From the tribe of Banu Najjar
How fortunate are we
That the Prophet of Allah
is Staying as a neighbour to us.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) came to these butterflies and asked them do you love me they cried in one voice,Yes, then Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said, “ Allah knows it well, my heart loves you all”. It is said that when Khilafat-e-Osmania was established in Hijaz in 923 AH, they surveyed the descendent of these little daughters who sang the welcoming song of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in Madina and granted big prizes to their descendants in their honour.
Thus was the Hijra, which began on 27th Safar 01 AH.(12/13 Sept 622 AD) with one person with him, but ended in thousands with him on Friday the 12th of Rabi al Awwal 01 AH (27th Sept 622 AD). (Raheeq U 275).And it is in commemoration of this journey that the Muslim era of Hijri calendar begins and the event is celebrated every year through out the Muslim world.
Ayyub al Ansari offered his whole house to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) but he preferred the ground floor as the people visited him more frequently. Abu Ayyub was very hospitable and used to send all his food first to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his guests and then he and his family ate what remained from them. One night the earthen jar broke at the upper floor spilling plenty of water. Lest it may cause in-convenience to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), they soaked it all invtheir quilt, while they had only that quilt in the severe winter nights. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed with Abu Ayyub Ansari for seven months and shifted to new Hujerat in Ramadhan 01AH (April 623 A.D).
THE FOUNDATION OF MASJID NABAVI
After his arrival at Madina Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to built a mosque. A site was selected, where he dismounted from the camel. This land belonged to two orphans named Sahal and Suhail. They offered it free to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) but he declined to accept it and purchased it for the mosque. The ground was cleared of the herbs, shrubs and the graves. And the construction began. Mohajereen, Ansars and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) himself labored hard to build the mosque and sang the Rajz (encouraging song of war & work):
There is no life but the life of Hereafter
Allah forgive Ansars and Mohajereen
This mosque was square in form, each side measuring approximately 50 yards, facing towards north and having three gates one each of the remaining three sides.The southern door was for public entrance and the western gate was called Bab al-Rahman and the eastern gate, reserved for the household of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
To the north of the mosque a place was reserved for those companions of Muhammad (s.a.w.) who had neither family nor home. They were known as As-hab al-Suffah (the people of the Suffah). This was a kind of seminary attached to the mosque for those who devoted full time to the study of religion. Adjoining the mosque were erected two Hujras (rooms) for the household of the Prophet. The mosque was a monument of simplicity, the walls were made of mud bricks and the roof supported by trunks of palm trees. Being covered with palm leaves and twigs it could not keep out rain, which sometimes made the unpaved floor muddy.
This simple mosque was the venue of glorious scenes. It was here that the Prophet imparted his teachings to the Muslims. It was here that the embassies from different tribes were received. It was here that the edicts were issued to the kings and the emperors. (AHS 170-171)
These Hujras (residing rooms) of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his family were the simplest structures. The walls were built of mud bricks and some cells were made with palm twigs. Worn out blankets were hanged on the doors, providing privacy to the noblest family. After few decades these dwellings were annexed to the mosque. “Were these rooms kept in tact, the world would have seen the austere and simple living of the last Prophet in whose hand had been placed the keys of the worldly treasures. (AHS 171).
The Caesar and Khusro marveled in luxury and lust but perished. And Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marveled in piety and austerity but succeeded in setting an example for millions of persons in the world.
MAAKHA:THE ISLAMIC BROTHER HOOD
Islam knows no social, political or racial boundaries among the Muslims. All the Muslims are one brotherhood without any consideration and discrimination of race, colour or continent. There is no word Ajaneb (stranger or foreigner ) for a Muslim in Islam. “A Muslim is a brother of Muslim” said Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) Holy Quran gave a verdict.Verily all Muslims are one brotherhood”.Dividing the Muslims in political nationalities is a conspiracy against the Muslim Ummah. Islam divided the humanity into two segments only : Muslims and non-Muslims (believers and non believers).
After the arrival of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) the people changed the name of the city from Yathreb (a Jewish name) to Madinat -un-Nabi or Madina Munawwara. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also welded Aus and Khazraj the two warring tribes of Madina into one entity of Ansars (the Supporters). When many Muahajereen arrived empty hand in Madina, sacrificing everything in Makkah for the cause of Islam, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) tied them together with Ansars in Individual brotherhood of Moaakha. This was a unique concept of supporting one segment of the society with the other.
“The pages of history bear testimony to the fact that it was a marvellous and spectacular reform. Before the advent of the Prophet the Arabs were an uncompromising people, a nation torn into mutually hostile clans and tribes, who were always ready to unsheath their blood-thirsty swords for petty reasons. It was due to the teachings of Islam and the untiring efforts of Muhammad (s.a.w.) that the spirit of brother-hood began to surge across Arabia.The entire past of tribal animosities was obliterated and a new society was summoned into existence which had a deep-rooted sentiment for the brother-hood of man,a consciousness of mutual rights and duties and love, and a humane and noble outlook on life. “ (AHS 176-177)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) created a pattern of support for generations to come. Hijrat for the sake of Islam was to become a common phenomenon. He showed an example how an established community termed as Ansars should support a migrating community called Mohajer. The Ansars also proved themselves to the worth. They offered to share their Mohajer brothers in all their wealth and properties and even desired to inherit them after death.
“This brotherhood was indeed unique in the history of the world. The fellow-feeling and love on which this new relationship was established found a wonderful expression. For example Sa’d b. Rabi , an Ansari ( helper ) said to his fellow brother ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Awf, “I am the richest man amongst the Ansars. I am glad to share my property half and half with you. I have two wives, I am ready to divorce one, and after the expiry of ‘Iddah’, you may marry her”.
But Abdul Rahman b. Awf was not prepared to accept anything neither property nor home. So he blessed his brother and said : “ Kindly direct me to the market so that I may make my fortune with my own hands”. The Ansars were extremely generous to their brethren-in-faith. They once approached the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) with the request that their Orchards should be distributed equally between the Muslims of Madina and their brethren from Makkah “(AHS 175)
This spirit of brotherly support proved very healthy in Islamic history. Whenever a Muslim family migrated from one corner of the earth to the other, they found the unknown persons as their own family members without any strangeness. When Muslims were uprooted from Spain and Sicily other Muslim communities welcomed them like brothers. The writer when visited Honolulu in 1988 he found there the Imam of the mosque, a Muslim from China and his followers from Sudan Pakistan and U. S. all welded into one Ummah. Again when Muslim of Bukhara and Samarkand were persecuted by Communist regime they migrated as far as Hijaz. More recently when Jews committed on-slaught on Muslims in Palestine they were well received in neighboring countries.
THE BATTLE OF ULTIMATE SUCCESS F ULTIMATE SUCCESS
It was the 15th year of Islamic mission. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) crossed a period of toughest trials. The Muslims were forced to leave their native land for the sake of Islam. The tender plant was trans-planted on the fertile soil of Madina Munawwara. But the whole Makkan society was burning with jealousy and wanted to uproot Muslims from Madina too. This was a moment when a decision was required as who is to live and prosper and who is to fail and perish. Who is to get honour and success and who is to get defeat and disgrace. And Almighty Allah decided to exhibit the truth: So that who had to die may perish with clear signs and who had to live may survive with clear signs (8:42)Holy Quran records:
But Allah willed to Justify the truth
According to His words
And to cut off the roots of the un-believers
That He may establish Truth
as truth And prove Falsehood, false
Distasteful though it be To those in guilt. (8:7-8)
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived at Madina Munawwara, he established the first Islamic state. First he signed a peace treaty with the Jews of Madina and the tribes around it. Then he moved ahead inviting other tribes to contract peace and protection with the state of Madina.
Madina was an agricultural town not far from the international route of Hijaz which extended from Makkah to Sham in the north and Yemen in the south. This route was a lifeline for Makkans and for the whole Arabs in the western region. It passed from Badr and Buwat near the sea coast which were not far from Madina. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) first travelled to Vaddan in Rabi al awwal, 02 AH and then to Buwat. He concluded peace treaty with the tribes of Banu Damra, Buwat and Banu Madlaj on the trade route.
Makkans were not un-aware of these activities. They sent Kurz Jaber al Fahri with a contingent to harras the Muslims in Madina. He launched a surprize attack on suburbs and drove plenty of camels away. This was a show of strength. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood true to the occasion and sent seventy Mujahedeen upto Badr to capture him, but Kurz escaped.
The surprize attack of Kurz at Madina was a challenge to the new born state. It alerted the Muslims for their safety and security. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent a secret mission under Abdullah bin Jahash with twelve Mujahedeen to Nakhla, a place between Makkah and Taif. They were instructed to record the movement of Makkans in that region and report to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) .But when Abdullah bin Jahash with his party arrived there, he found a rich carvan with four persons passing infront of him without proper guards. It was the last date of Rajab the sanctified month, where fighting was forbidden. But Abdullah mis-took it as first of Shaban the new month. They attacked the carvan . Amr al Hadrami was killed by an arrow of Waqed bin Abdullah, Usman bin Abdullah and Hakam bin Keshan were arrested. Nafel bin Abdullah escaped and he shouted in Makkah about the incident.
Abdullah bin Jahash reserved the Khums (one fifth of the booty) for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and distributed the rest among themselves. But when he reached Madina and told the whole story, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was not happy with it. He said he never sent him for a fight in the sacred month of Rajab. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) refused to accept the Khums, released the two captives and also paid the blood money for the person who was killed inadvertantly. (Raheeq u 332) The Makkans created an up-roar that the Muslims now de-sanctify the forbidden months. Holy Quran waved off their objection saying:
…Fighting there in is a grave (offence)
But graver is it in the sight of Allah
To prevent access to the path of Allah
To deny Him
To prevent access to the sacred Mosque
And drive out its members
Tumult and oppression are
Worse than slaughter….( 2 :217)
Another important factor of the Battle of Badr was the Makkan trade carvan which was returning from Sham under Abu Sufyan. In fact it was a funding campaign for an all out war against Muslims. The carvan was comprised of 1000 loaded camels with goods worth 50,000 Dinars( 262.5 kg in gold) for the whole Makkah and it had only 40 guards. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to intercept the carvan and to disrupt the war preparations.
Abu Sufyan was already apprehensive of an attack. He smelled the danger and sent a fast rider Damdam bin Amr Ghifari to Makkah. He entered Makkah in a dramatic style and shouted. “Carvan, Carvan, Mohammed and his party attacking your goods with Abu Sufyan. I doubt you would get it.”
This news flashed like a wild fire. As the whole carvan wealth was under threat, the whole Makkah rose in arms. All arch enemies of Islam like Utba bin Shaiba,Umayya bin Khalaf and Abu Jehal ( Abu Haakam bin Hisham) came out. There was no family without participation. Abu Lahab could not go by himself but he sent one of his debtors on his behalf. There were 1300 fighters with 1000 camels 100 cavalry and 600 armours under Abu Jehal. Besides this they took the drums of wine and band of singing girls to get full enjoyment of the trip. (Raheeq 342).
When the news of trade carvan reached Madina , Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent a word for Ghazwa and good number of Mujahedeen gathered around him. When he encamped out side Madina they were 86 Muhajereen and 231 Ansars (61 from Aus and 170 from Khazraj). They had only 70 camels to ride six armours and two horse-men named Zubair ibn al Awwam and Miqdad bin Aswad. Abu Lubaba bin Manzar was designated as viceroy at Madina during the absence of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) .
The Muslim force moved from Madina to Roha, Nazia, Rahqan and Safra. When they arrived at Zafran valley, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) got the news through Ibn Amr and Odai, that the carvan is arriving within two days and that a large Makkan force have moved to Badr. This was very critical situation. The initial target at the departure from Madina was a carvan with forty guards and not a force of over a thousand warriors. Now there were three choices with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) .
- That he should return to Madina. But this would have been termed as his retreat and defeat in plain words.
- That he should attack the carvan which was not yet far away from them. But then Makkan force would have marched direct to Madina and plundered it.
- That he should trust upon Allah and give a brave combat to Makkan force. And this was the prestigeous choice he opted for.
But this was his personal opinion. He had to prompt his commanders and Mujahedeen for this Prophetic decision. He convened a general Shoura at Zafran valley, and called his Sahabas for consultation. He explained them the whole situation and said “Hallemuni , Come around me and give me your opinion.”
Abu Bakr was the first who spoken on the occasion and assured the Prophet of the unreserved obedience to his command. ‘Umar was the next to stand up and supported the views expressed by his noble friend. Then al-Miqdad got up and said : “O Apostle of Allah ! Proceed where Allah directs you to, for we are with you. We will not say as the children of Israel said to Moses, ‘Go you and your Lord and fight and we will stay here;’ rather we shall say, ‘Go you and your Lord and fight, and we will fight along with you.’ By God ! if you were to take us to Bark al-Ghimad, we will still fight resolutely with you against its defenders until you gained it.” The Prophet thanked him and blessed him. (AHS 222)
Then he again repeated his word towards Ansars who were in majority in the force and had no binding upon them to fight a blood battle out side Madina. Saad bin Moaadh who was from among the Ansars grasped the point . He stood up and said:
Prophet of Allah ! We believe in you, and we bear witness to what you have vuochsafed to us and we declare in unequivocal terms that what you have brought is the Truth. We give you our firm pledge of obedience and sacrifice. O Messenger of Allah, you set out of Medina with a different objective but Allah ordained otherwise. Do whatever you deem fit. Cement relations with those whom you like; and sever them with those you dislike. Make peace with those whom you prefer and fight against those whom you look upon as your enemies. We will remain on your side under all circumstances. You have every right to obtain out of our belongings as much as you like and spare for us whatever you desire. We would look upon the portion accepted by you far more valuable than that which you spare for us. We will obey you most willingly in whatever you command us.
If you order us to go to Bark al-Ghimad, we will show no reluctance and by God, Who has sent you with the Truth, if you were to ask us to plunge into the sea we will do that most readily and not a soul will stay behind. We do not grudge the idea of encounter with the enemy. We are experienced in war and are trustworthy in combat. We hope that Allah will show you through our hands those deeds (of valour) which will please your eyes. Kindly lead us to the battlefield in the Name of Allah.” AHS 223
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was delighted as Muhajereen and Ansars both, inspite of the meager resources , opted for a higher and noble cause. There was also a wisdom in this critical situation which was suddenly created, that if Muslims were attacked by such a large force of Makkans at Madina, they would have repelled it easily because they were in their town. But Almighty Allah brought them in open desert for a combat with pagans force to show who is to die and who is to survive with clear signs. The decision of such a small ill equipped contingent to combat with such a well armed large force was really a matter of extreme trust in Allah’s support and extreme confidence in the prophet-hood of Mohammed (s.a.w.) .This is the incident which Holy Quran records in the following words:
Remember ye were
On the higher side
Of the valley, and they
On the farther side
And the caravan
On lower ground than ye.
Even if ye had made
A mutual appointment
To meet, ye would certainly
Have failed in the appointment:
But (thus ye met), That Allah might accomplish
A matter already enacted;
That those who died might die after a clear Sign
(Had been given), and those who lived
Might live after a Clear Sign
(Had been given). And verily
Allah is He Who heareth
And knoweth (all things). (8:42)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) encamped at Badr and in consultation with Habab bin Manzar (Raheeq u 348) selected a strategic site for the battle. It was a sandy slope facing west. The Muslim Mujahedeen were much tired , they took a nice sleep without caring for the consequence of war. Surprizingly there was a rain in the night which stabilised the sandy slope of Muslim camp. The Makkan encamped in the lower plain facing the east. The rain created a mud in the enemy’s camp. They also felt difficulty in advancing in war towards Muslim camp in the east as the sun was glaring in their eyes.
The Quraish were well off in comparison to Muslims. They were slaughtering ten camels a day in general feast. They had three times upper hand on Muslim forces (1000 : 300)and fifty times in cavalry (100 : 2)When Banu Zohra and Banu Udai tribes heard on the way that the carvan has escaped and was out of danger they detatched from Makkan force and returned. Hakeem bin Hizam also tried to persuade other leaders to return home with out a war. Utba bin Rabia agreed but Abu Jehal rejected the proposal and called Amer bin Hadrami to cry in public for the blood revenge of his brother Amr who was killed at Nakhla. He cried and subsequently they all stood for war.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) arranged the battle field. He fixed the Mujahedeen in two parallel rows along with left and right wings and gave them combat guide lines.It is said that it was the first field plan in Arab history as the people used to attack a crowd in a crowd. After field arrangements Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) returned to Areesh, a hut prepared for him on the hill commanding the battle field. (Today a grand mosque stands at the same place at Badr and is called Masjid al Areesh)
“The Muslim soldiers were only a little more than three hundred and many of them inexperienced in warfare. The Ansars of Medina who formed the spine of the Muslim army were mainly peasants and were thus no match for the blood-thirsty fighters of Mekka. Moreover, the Muslim army was meagrely equipped, having only two horses, seven camels and a few swords. On the other hand, the number of Meccans was three times greater than that of the Muslims. They were all well-equipped and were fierce and trained warriors. The Prophet was fully aware of this striking disparity and was conscious of the fact that moral strength alone, unaided by God’s assistance, could not make up for this big disparity in material strength. He, implored his Lord to send such help which might, on the one hand, manifestly turn the tables of war against the Mekkans and secondly, provide clear and undeniable proof of His existence and His constant vigilance over the affairs of human beings. AHS 228
After arranging these material resources, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) turned towards his Lord Almighty Allah and offered long special prayer beseeching Him and imploring for His help,most humbly for the whole night. Once he said with tears in his eyes:
O my Lord Allah, here come the Quraish
Exulting in their vanity and pride
Contending with Thee and
Calling Thy apostle a lair
O Allah , Grant the help which
Thou didst promised me.
And then he called his Lord most humbly:
O my Lord Allah
If this small group perished today
There would be none to worship Thee
In the whole world and forever. (Raheeq U356)
“The Holy Qur’an had described the day on which the battle was fought as the Day of distinction (Yaum al-furqan), because it was decisive in the history of mankind in the sense that the truth in spite of its meagre material resources gained clear victory over the falsehood with all its material strength and glory. A different result would perhaps have changed the entire course of human history. On the one side were arrayed the forces of evil with all their might, and on the other side the servants of Allah had appeared on the stage of history to stem their rising tide. They were weak and helpless. It was an anxious moment and if the tidal wave of evil were to sweep away the rising force of Islam, it would have given a serious blow to the moral order of the human society. (AHS 228-29)
After sunrise the battle began. It was Friday the 17th Ramadhan 02 AH ( 11th March 624 AD). Three braves, Utba bin Rabia flanked by his brother Sheba and his son Waleed emerged from the enemy ranks and called for a matching combatant. Auf and Moaviya sons of Harith and Abdullah bin Rawaha the three youths from Ansars jumped out on his challenge. But he declined to fight with Ansars and again called for a Quraish combatant. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) dircted Hamza bin Abdul Muttaleb, Ali bin Abi Taleb and Obaida bin Harith bin Abdul Muttaleb all from his family. They jumped out zealously. Hamza killed Shaiba (father of Hind wife of Abu Sufyan) and Ali killed Waleed. Obaida wounded Utba but his leg was cut by Utba. Then Hamza and Ali pounced upon Utba and slaughtered him instantly.
Makkans were horrified upon the loss of their bright stars. They ordered a general attack. The crowd rushed to Muslim ranks but its advance was hindered by muddy soil, glare of the sun and the barges of arrows from Muslim archers.The main flank was broken into clashing groups while Muslim stood firm in strong rows. They took the best advantage of field planning and fought bravely. When the battle was at highest pitch Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took a hand ful of dust and threw it upon the enemy saying “Shahat al Vujooh” (the faces may be mutilated). He did not shoot a single arrow in the battle but Almighty Allah turned this handful of dust into a sand storm which reached every pagan fighter. This incident is referred in the Holy Quraan where Almighty Allah said “ It were not you who threw (the dust). It was Allah Who threw it (on their faces) 8:17
Muslims were fighting with full patience and confidence. There was no chaos in their ranks. Two young boys who flanked Abdur Rahman bin Auf (Chir. 505) asked him about Abu Jehal. He pointed out him on a horse to them. They rushed to him but they could not reach him in height. One boy pulled his leg down and injured it, the other injured the leg of his horse. He fell down and they also injured him fatally in the battle field.These boys were Mauudh and Muaadh, the two sons of Afra Ansari. Later Abdullah bin Masuud found Abu Jehal breathing last, he informed him about the grand success of Muslims and shameful defeat to Makkans. Abu Jehal said Alas I was not injured by any brave person in combat but by two sons of a cultivator and killed by you O the shephered. Abdullah bin Masuud severed his head and dragged it to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) .
The enemy strength was shattered into pieces. They fought bravely then retreated dis-orderly and then took to heels finally. By noon time the entire battle field was empty. They left seventy deads and seventy arrested in Muslim hands. No Muslim Mujahed was arrested by Makkans. All big crimnals were killed. This included Shaiba, Utba, Abu Jehal,Abul Bakhtari, Zamaa bin Aswad, Aas bin Hisham and Umayya bin Khalaf. (Mohsen 389)
The entire leader-ship of Makkah was ruined at Badr . Only Abu Lahab was left over at Makkah who died of plague after eight days of hearing the news of defeat at Badr. Abbas was arrested by Muslims. Consequently Abu Sufyan became the un-challenged leader of Makkah. He vowed not to comb his hairs and not to cohabit with his wife untill he took the revenge of the defeat.
The pagans fled to Makkah leaving plenty as dead plenty arrested and plenty spoils for Muslims.There was no house in Makkah without a suffering. The Makkan leader-ship banned any mourning on their deads. The hearts were bleeding with pain but they were not allowed to cry and weep. It was a very grim situation. They wanted to weep but could not weep. Aswad bin Abdul Muttaleb lost his three youthful sons in the battle of Badr. His breast was bioling but he was not allowed to wail. Suddenly he heard voice of a wailing woman and thought that perhaps Quraish have now allowed to wail. He rushed his servant to enquire but he returned and told him that a camel is lost and a woman is crying for that camel. Aswad could not control himself and cried saying an Arabic couplet:
Is she cryig on her loss
That a camel is lost to her
Say dont weep on your camel
But if you wish to weep
Then cry on the deads of Badr
Cry on Aqeel and on Harith
And cry on Abu Hakeema
Cry on my brave beloved sons
Who were lions of the lions. (Seerat by A.Shibli, p334)
“Their defeat was a matter of great shame and grief for Mekkans. In almost every house there were tears and wailings either for the capatives or the dead. The Mekkans were burning with humiliation and were thirsting for revenge. “Weep not for your slain,” was the counsel of Abu Sufyan, “mourn not their loss, neither let the bard bewail their fate. If you lament with elegies, it will ease your wrath and soften your enmity towards Muhammad and his followers. And, should that reach their ears, and they laugh at us, will not their scorn be worse than all ? Haply the turn may come, and ye may yet obtain revenge, As for me I will touch no oil, neither approach my wife, until I have gone forth again to fight with Muhammad. AHS 235-36
From Muslim ranks fourteen Mujahedeen were martyred. It was a miraculous situation. Makkans were three times of Mujahedeen but they were killed in a ratio of 5:1 The pious fourteen souls who sacrificed their lives at Badr were six from Muhajereen and eight from Ansars. Those were : 1. Obaida bin Harith bin Abdul Muttaleb. 8. Mubashsher bin Manzar 2. Omair bin Abi Vaqqas 9. Yazid bin Harith 3. Zu-Shamalain 10. Umair bin Hamam 4. Aaqel bin Bukair 11. Rafea bin Moalla 5. Mahjah bin Saleh 12. Hartha bin Suraqa 6. Safwan bin Baida 13. Auf bin Harith 14.Mauudh bin Harith (Chiragh531) (Our salaams to all) May Allah be pleased with them all.)
THE MIRACLES AT BADR:
The fervent appeal of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the Almighty Allah for support of the nascent forces of Islam and in response to that the miraculous aid given to the Muslims by His supernatural agencies, bears ample testimony to this important fact of human life.
This is how the Prophet poured forth his soul before his Creator :
O, Lord, I beseech Thee, forget not
Thy promise and assurance.
O Lord ! if this small force Of Islam is vanquished (today)
then There would be none to worship Thee.
The Prophet repeated these words in such humility and pathos that Abu Bakr, who was standing nearby, was moved to tears. He put the mantle on the Prophet’s sacred shoulders which had slipped down in a state of deep absorption and consoled him thus:
O, Messenger of Allah ! enough are these entreaties. Allah shall surely grant you victory and fulfill the promise held out unto you.
Immediate was the response from Allah, Who sent down angels from the heavens for the help and assistance of the Prophet and his companions. The Holy Qu’ran observes :
And recall what time ye implored your Lord
And He answered you :
Verily, I am about to succour you
With a thousand angels, rank in rank.
And Allah made not this save as a glad tidings
And that your hearts might thereby set at rest
And succuor cometh not but
From Allah. Verily Allah is Mighty, Wise. (8:9-10)
The records of Hadith speak eloquently of the fact that the angels did appear on this day and they fought on the side of the Muslims. At the instance of Gabriel the Holy Prophet took a handful of gravel, cast it at the enemyand said “confusion sieze their faces.” As Mohammed (s.a.w.) flung the dust, a violent sandstorm blew up suddenly. Burning wind came directly from behind Muhammad and blew like furnance blast into the eyes of his enemies ! The Quraysh had already begun to waver. Their movements were impeded by the heavy sands on which they stood ; and when the ranks gave way, their numbers added but confusion. The Muslims followed eagerly their retreating steps, slaying or taking captive all that fell within their reach. Retreat soon turned into ignominous rout; and the flying host, casting away their armour, abandoned beasts of burden, camp and equipage.AHS 230-31
The Qur’an also makes a pointed reference to the false hopes which the Mekkans had madly pinned on this battle. They were confident that their superior numbers, their better equipment and greater experience would prove helpful for them and they would be able to inflict a blow on the rising force of Islam. But Allah had ordained otherwise. He had decided to grant victory to the forces of good. With a play upon the word Fat,h (victory, decision, judgement) the Meccans were told:
If ye besought a judgement, then surely a judgement hath come unto you. (8:19)
Then the Qur’an describes this battle as decisive, as it served to shake the very foundations of evil in this world and to establish the supremacy of good.
And recall what time Allah was promising you
One of the two parties that it should be yours
And ye fain have that the one without arms were yours.
And Allah willed that He should cause
The Truth to triumph by His words
And cut off the root of the disbelievers
In order that He might justify the truth
And falisfy the falsehood,
However the guilty might oppose. (8:7-8) . (AHS 232)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) laid the foundation of the rules of war and peace in the world history. He had seventy blood thirsty enemies lying dead in the battle field. He would have chopped them to pieces and thrown to dogs or left them open to the vulture’s clutches. But he gave them better treatment as human beings and buried them all.
The Muslim Martyres were buried with due honours and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) prayed for them witnessing their steadfastness on Islam. A little courtyard in the battle field which enshrines these noble souls still stands at Badr. And the pilgrims from all over the world pay their homage with tearing eyes to them round the year.
Later he distributed the prisoners to the Muslim families in Madina. They had full right to kill them by work load or starve them out. But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) advised them to do good to their captives. Abu Uzair, brother of Mussab bin Umair, who was a prisoner at Madina, later said the family where I was a captive, fed me on good food and they lived upon simple dates. I was ashamed of that.
Abbas bin Abdul Muttaleb as a captive needed a long shirt. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had no such a long shirt, he took it from Abdullah bin Ubai the well known Munafeq for Abbas. In turn Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) adorned Abdullah at his death with his own shirt for his coffin.
The prisoners of war, as per Arab tradition , were to be killed or enslaved for the whole life. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) introduced a system of freeing them on ransom. Subsequently they were released alive and remained free through out their lives. The ransom varied from 1000 to 4000 dirhams according to the financial status of the prisoners. Few captives who were un-able to pay the ransom were not forced to borrow or to sell their house holds but were set free, free.
Surprizingly some of the literate captives were set free on the condition that they will tutor ten Muslim boys each and teach them the art of reading and writing Arabic language. This is a unique example of promotion of learning from a person who was himself unable to read and write.
This noble attitude which they showed can be fully appreciated if we review it in the context of the circumstances which led to the war. The Prophet and his companions had endured for full fifteen years unspeakable insults and injuries at the hands of the Quraysh of Mekka so much so that they were obliged to bid good-bye to their native place and seek shelter into a far-off place. The Mekkans who were thirsty for their blood did not allow them to lead a life of peace even in their new abodes. They fell upon them with all their forces in order to exterminate them root and branch. Fate, however, decided otherwise and they were defeated by a small army of the Muslims. Amdist such feelings of bitterness the Prophet remained calm and self-possesed. No atrocity was perpetrated upon the prisoners.(AHS 233)
And further “Blessings on the men of Medina,” said one of these (captives) in later days, “they gave us wheaten bread to eat when there was little of it, contening themselves with dates.” It is not surprising, therefore, that some of the captives, yielding to these influences, embraced Islam and were therefore immediately set free. The rest were kept for ransom. But this was long before Quraysh could humble themselves to visit Medina for the purpose. The kind treatment was thus prolonged and left a favourable impression on the mind seven of those who did not at once go over to Islam.”
The ransom of each prisioner varied with his financial position, ranging from one thousand dirhams to four thousand. The poor who could not afford to pay were set free without any compensation. Those who could read and write were given the charge of small children. Each one of them had to ten of their wards and when they became proficient in reading and writing, their instructor was granted liberty. This condition of securing freedom throws a good deal of light on the value which Islam attaches to learning. (AHS 233-34)
The spoils of war system was also regularised by Islam. According to Arab customs, who so ever captured any thing was the owner of that. This practice encouraged plundering rather than fighting in the noble cause of Allah. Further those persons who were on the rear or on the guard of the high command were not to gain any thing. Islam prescribed the basic rules. All spoils were to be deposited at one place and then distributed according to prescribed rules.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed at Badr for three days. Then he marched towards Madina Munawwara. When he arrived at Safra valley, Obaida bin Harith, who was wounded at the battle field expired. He was buried there and the valley was filled with fragrance. Once Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) passed through Safra and the companions said we feel a sweet fragrance at this place. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Yes Obaida the first martyr of Badr is buried here.”
Two arch enemies who were captives were killed on the way.Nadr bin Harith the flag bearer of the Mushrekeen was slaughtered by Ali bin Abi Taleb at Safra. He was a great orator and incited the people against Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and Islam. It shows that media magnate and journalists against Islam are equal criminals like armed enemies.
Uqba bin Moeet was another enemy who tortured Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and other Muslims at Makkah, was slaughtered at Irq Zabia. (Raheeq 374).It was he who once brought the offal of a camel and dumped it on the head of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) when he was praying in Harem (AHS 84/ Raheeq153).This punishment terrorised the captives and sent shock waves to Makkah. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Abdullah bin Rawaha and Zaid bin Haritha to Madina Munawwara with the good news of grand success to the Muslims where the Jews were inventing rumours that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his handful followers have been massacred at Badr. The whole Madina gleamed with joy at the good news.
Battle of Badr is the most important land-mark of Islamic History. It is a battle of CRITERION which certified the Truth and condemned the false-hood. It was a battle of Divine support against the material resources.It was a tussle between the forces of evil and the strength of rightousness. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was a partisan and Almighty Allah was not a Spectator alone. He responded to the earnest call of His apostle and supported him with unseen forces.
It is quite transparent from the events that Holy Prphet (s.a.w.) was not depending upon material sources. He never decided to retire or turn away or run away from the battle field. Neither he sent envoys to loyal tribes to rush to his help, not even to Madina for reinforcement. He arranged the available force at the battle field as an apparent factor but inwardly he turned completely towards his Lord Allah crying for His help and spport through out the night. Almighty Allah awarded him GRAND success and Islam emerged as driving force in the world history.
Battle of Badr is proof of Divine help whenever Muslim leadership turned towards Allah, sincerely, not minding the numerical majority and hardware supermacy of the enemy, Allah granted them grand success. This was true in the battle of Yarmouk against Roman empire, and at the battle of Qadsiya against Sassenids and at the battle of Khanwa against Hindu confederacy of India and in the Battle of 17th Ramadhan of Egypt in 1973 against the state of Israel.
Battle of Badr was a great succes to Muslims and Battle of Ohud was a great sacrifice by the Muslims. Almighty Allah established the Muslim power firmly through Badr and then refined it through Ohud. Almighty Allah revealed an eternal command in Holy Quran for Muslims throughout the ages and upto the end of the world, That “You shall always be the higher (winner) if you are true in your faith” (3:139) It also carried the hidden message that reverses shall surely come to you if you are diverted or drifted from His path. This principle always has been a standard test in the Islamic history.
Quraish were a rich community with good fighting experience. Being the Custodian of Holy Kaaba, they also claimed Divine help with them. This was the reason that they had an upper hand in Hijaz and the whole Arabia held them in high esteem and good respect. The people allowed their trade carvans to the north and the south, unhindered and offered gifts and sacrifices to them annually during their visit to Holy Kaaba.
With the battle of Badr their whole prestige as rich martial community and the people of God was ruined. Their carvan route was not safe. They were beaten by untrained and ill equipped,cultivators (the Ansars who made the majority at Badr),and no Divine help came to them as it came at the time of Abraha’s attack.
These calculations devastated the whole Makkan community. With seventy warriors killed seventy arrested and tens wounded , left no house in Makkah which was not bewailing in the town. Further the extraction of about 250,000 Dirham as ransom money paid to Muslims for release of their captives sacked the Makkan economy and strengthened that of Muslims at Madina.
Thus was the total humiliation which forced the new leader-ship of Abu Sufyan to declare that he will not comb his hairs nor co-habit with his wife until the revenge was taken for the defeat. The whole Quraish community was in fret and fumes on this sudden, unprecedented and unexpected defeat of disgrace. They were like a wounded wolf searching for a revengful attack to re-eshtablish their image in the whole of Arabia .
This was a question of their survival on a do or die basis. They sent envoys to various tribes and succeded in winning the support of two well known tribes named Kinana and Tihama.
They also decided that all the profit gained from the escaped carvan of Abu Sufyan, should be devoted to the future war preparations. Holy Quraan termed this, and all such contrubutions against Islam , as an anguish to the contributors and declared that they will never succeed in containing the tide of Islam.
The unblievers spend their wealth To hinder (men) from the path Of Allah , and so will they Continue to spend; but In the end they will have (Only) regrets and sighs; At length they will be overcome: And the unblievers will be Gathered together to Hell;. (8:36)
With all these vigorous preparations, the Makkans suddenly appeared in the suburbs of Madina and encamped near the Ohud mountain. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called his Shoura and consulted them. The opinion of the elderly Sahaba was that the Muslims should stay in Madina and see, if they attack, they will fight in every street. But young Mujahedeen and those who could not participate in Badr, pressed that we should come out and give battle in the front . Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood silently, entered the house and came out , dressed in full arms.
It was Friday the 6th Shawwal 03AH (March 22, 625AD)when Muslims emerged from Madina. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) selected a very strategic site taking Ohud hills on his rear and the left. There was a small hillock called Jabal Eir on the right. He appointed fifty strong archers under Abdullah bin Jubair upon it and gave clear instructions that they should not leave the position, though whatever may happen to the Muslims. This was an important post to prevent the enemy attack from the rear on the Muslim camp.
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was marching to Ohud he saw a well armed contingent coming to join Muslims, he enquired , Who are they. He was told that they are the Jews allies of Abdullah bin Obai. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) refused to admit them saying ,We do not take help from a Kafir against Mushrik. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed over night at the site and designated the commanders of the contingents.
The Muslims were 1000 in strength. Suddenly Abdullah bin Obai the Munafeq (the hyprocrite) broke away with 300 followers and marched away from the Muslim camp. It was a treacherous plan to demoralise the Muslims in front of the Muskrekeen who were 3000 in strength. Two other tribes, Banu Hartha from Khazraj and Banu Salma from Aus, also thought to return but Almighty Allah gave them strength to stay in the batlle field.
On the enemy front there were 3000 fighters including hired Ahabeesh (Ethopian mercenaries who were professional fighters) 700 in armour and 200 in cavalry. The Quraish also brought ladies to encourage them in the battle. When the front was ready, the ladies contingent walked around singing (as the media beats the drums today):
We are the damsels like bright stars We roll on the silky carpets If you advance, we shall embrace you But if you turn back, we shall repell you And shall never love you again. (Seerat p374)
The Makkans also tried to break more Mujahedeen from the Muslim camp. Abu Sufyan sent a secret message to Ansars that “We dont want to fight with you. Leave our nephew alone”. But they pushed his offer back on his face. Then Abu Aamer the Christian monk of Aus tribe appeared and cried, “O my tribe I am Abu Aamer come along with me.” The Aus replied, ”O the enemy of Allah : Thou shalt never succeed.” He returned dis-appointedly.
THE FIRST PHASE : THE FIRST PHASE : The battle began. Talha bin Talha the Makkan flag holder appeared first. He was a wrestler and strong fighter of Quraish. He cried for a match. Zubair ibn al Awwam jumped over him and killed him. The Makkan flag was taken by his brother Usman. Hamza bin Abdul Muttaleb gave a duet and killed Usman. Then came his brother Abu Saad. He was killed by Saad bin Abi Vaqqas. Then came Musafeh bin Abi Talha and was killed by Aasem bin Thabet. Then came Kilab and Jalas. They were killed by Zubair and Talha bin Obaidullah. All the six sons of Talha were killed one by one in challenging duets. Then three more were killed near the flag. The situation became so worse that no one dared to raise the flag of Makkans. This was a sign of clear defeat. They had no more courage, they ordered a general attack on the Muslims.
Hamza bin Muttaleb, Ali bin Abi Taleb, Musaab bin Umair, Abdullah bin Jahash, Saad bin abi Vaqqas and Abu Dajana played havoc in the enemy ranks. Suddenly Hamza was killed treacherously by Wahshi, a slave of Jubair bin Mut’em who was given a promise of freedom for this job. He hid himself behind a rock and then killed Hamza by throwing a lance upon him, which crossed his stomach and came out at the back. Hamza died on the spot. There were no other big casualities on the Muslim side.
The Mujahedeen were fighting a four time larger force bravely. The Makkans got great losses, all their flag bearers were killed and there was none to raise it. Their ranks were routed. Ultimately they began to retreat and left the camping ground open. Their ladies ran away,weeping and crying on their heels. The Muslim force was truimphant. They rushed behind them, looting their camps. Khalid bin Waleed the Makkan flank commander was also among the runners.
THE SECOND PHASE : THE SECOND PHASE : When there were clear signs of enemy defeat, the archers appointed at Jabal Eir left the post and ran to plunder the enemy camp. Abdullah bin Jubair resisted and reminded them the instructions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) not to leave the post. But forty of them ran away saying that these commands were only for the duration of the battle and now the battle is over. Abdullah stood fast with his ten archers guarding the pass. Khalid bin Waleed who was an experienced general, noted the post unguarded. He, with his contingent took a turn and killing all the eleven guards attacked the Muslim fighters from the rear,when they had no fear of an attack upon them and were busy in collecting the spoils.
The sudden attack on Muslim camp created a panic in their ranks and they ran here and there in vain. Some of them killed their own persons in confusion. Yaman the father of Huzaifah ibn al Yaman, though a Muslim was killed by a Muslim. Within this chaos, Holy Prophet (saw ) was left alone in the battle field. There were only nine persons around him. He called the fighting Mujahedeen, but they were away and enemy was very close to him. The Makkans detected Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) all alone in the battle field. They joined the forces and cordoned him strongly. The main Muslim force was un-aware of this situation.
The Makkans attacked Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) from all around. Utba bin abi Vaqqas targetted a stone and hit at Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) on his face. He fell-down on his side breaking a tooth in his lower jaw ( this was second right from the front) and injuring his lower lip. Abdullah Shehab another enemy injured his fore-head. Then another rider Abdullah bin Qimya attacked with his sword on the shoulder of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) but it could not cut his double armour. Then Ibn Qimya (la’natullah alaih) again attacked him by sword on his face and said, “Take it, I am ibn Qimya” Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Aqmaakallah”, May Allah break you, (later he was pushed away from a hill top by a ram and was broken into pieces). With this attack, two steel chain rings of his head wear sunk into facial bones of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). His face, fore head and mouth were bleeding and his shoulder was seriously paining. In this crucial moment and wiping blood from his face, he said , “O my Lord: Bless my nation with guidance and forgiveness as (still) they do not know me.”
Musaab bin Umair, the Muslim flag bearer rushed to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and fought Ibn Qimya bravely but his troops surrounded Musaab and martyred him. He had very much resemblance in face with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) . Ibn Qimya thought that he (Nauuzo billah) killed Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) . He ran to his camp crying madly, “I have killed Mohammad.”
When Mushrekeen cordoned Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) he had only nine persons around him, seven from Ansars and two from Mohajereen named Saad bin Abi Vaqqas and Talha bin Obaidullah. All the seven Ansars were martyred one by one protecting Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) . Among them were Saad bin Rabie and Zaid bin Harith.
Talha bin Obaidullah took Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) behind him and fought furiously. Abu Dajana Ansari covered Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) like a shield, taking all the arrows on his back.Saad bin abi Vaqqas repulsed the attack by shooting the arrows constantly. He shot about 1000 arrows that day. He lost his two fingers and got thirty nine wounds on the body and his arm was paralysed.At the pitch of the battle Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said to him, “Irmi fidak abi va ummi” (shoot , may my parents be altared upon you). These prestigeous words Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said to none in his life except Saad bin abi Vaqqas.
Naseeba, Umm Ammara a lady from Ansars who came to provide water to the wounded Mujahedeen, also took sword and protected Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) from all around. She got 12 wounds and an arrow pierced in her neck. Obai ibn Khalaf a Quraish leader came nearer to attack but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took a lance and spiked in his neck. Obai ran crying madly and died at Saraf on the way back to Makkah. He was the only person who was attacked by a weapon by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in his life time.
When Mujahedeen heard the loud cry that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has been martyred, they suddenly lost all the courage. Few of them ran to the camp , few of them to Madina and some stood idle on their places saying, “For whom to fight when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is no more with us” Anas bin Nadar (uncle of Anas bin Malik) and Thabet bin Dahdah cried to the people,” If Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is no more with us what will you do living here , come and fight for his cause.” The mood of Mujahedeen changed with this call and they gathered, and gave a tough fight to the enemy again.
THE THIRD PHASE : THE THIRD PHASE : Kaab bin Malek was the first to see that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is alive. He cried with joy,” O the Mujahedeen, Good news to you (here is the Prophet). The people rushed to him. Abu Bakr was the first to arrive, other Mujahedeen followed him breaking the cordon of Quraish fighters and took him to a higher place on the foot hill of Jabal Ohud. He was very weak because of heavy bleeding of the wounds. He could not climb the hill, Talha took him on his shoulders and laid him in a little cave comfortably. Malek bin Sinan (father of Abu Saeed al Khudri) cleaned his face.
Obaida bin Jarrah pulled out by his teeth, the two steel chain rings from the jaw bone of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) . The two front teeth of Obaida broke out in this operation and he was proud of this breakage through-out his life. Fatema cleaned the wounds of her father and Ali brought fresh water in his shield and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) drank that.
The Mushrekeen tried to climb the camp but Saad bin abi Vaqqas and Omer ibn al Khattab repulsed them by arrow shots. Hateb bin Balta followed Utba bin abi Vaqqas, a Mushrik, and killed him, though Saad bin abi Vaqqas, his brother, was more curious to kill him.
The Makkans left the field and packed for the return journey. Abu Sufyan came nearer to the Islamic camp and cried,”Do you have Mohammed, Do you have Abu Bakr and Omer” Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked them not to reply. Then he cried again, “All are slain”, Omer Ibn al Khattab burst upon him saying,” O the enemy of Allah, they are all alive to bring woe upon thee”. Then Abu Sufyan chanted his national slogan (as many do now a days in the name of their idols and land) “Hubal be raised”.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) advised not to raise any racial slogan and said to reply, “Allah Aala va ajall” (Allah is Highest and Magnani-mous).Then Abu Sufyan said, “What a nice achievement today, this is to equalise Badr.” Omer said, “No, It is not equal. Our deads are in Paradise while yours are in Hell.” Then Abu Sufyan called, “O Omer come to me.” Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) allowed him to go then he asked, “O Omer, tell me truth by God, have we killed Mohammed ? Omer replied, “By God no, rather he is listenning all your conversation now.” Then Abu Sufyan said, “You are more trust worthy than Ibn Qimya to me.”(RU,452)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) came down from the hill. The battle field was littered with the bodies of Mujahedeen, sixty six Ansars and four Muhajereen were martyred. Makkan barbarics mutilated the bodies of dead Mujahedeen. They cut their ear, nose and other limbs. Hind bint Utba, the wife of Abu Sufyan, ripped the balley of Hamza open and chewed his liver madly. She wanted to eat but could not swallow it.Muslims killed 37 pagans (RU,460)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) wept bitterly (as never again) when he saw Hamza in this condition. He named him “Sayyed al Shohada” (the champion of Martyers). All bodies were collected and buried with full honours.
On this day there were many pathetic scenes of sacrifice in the cause of Allah. Humna bint Jahash lost Hamza, her maternal uncle, Abdullah bin Jahash, her brother and Musaab bin Umair her husband, all at one time. Another lady of Banu Dinar moved from Madina , the people told her “ Your father is dead, She said how is he (s.a.w.) Then she was told,” Your brother is dead,” Again she said ,”Tell me how is Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). She rushed to the battle field then she was told ,”Your husband is dead”. She again said Show me, how is the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). And when she saw him well this great lady cried, “All fatalities after seeing you are of no significance.”(RU 459)
The conclusion of the battle was that Makkans failed to achieve their target. They wanted (God forbid)to kill Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his two leautinents, Abu Bakr and Omer as called by Abu Sufyan, but they were dis-appinted. This was a very costly war to them. They contributed huge wealth and hired hundreds of mercenaries but their flag was down at the first challenge. They were clearly defeated in the first assault when they left their camp for plundering and their ladies ran crying behind them.
But Muslims were caught in surprize by the contingent of Khalid bin Waleed in the second assault. And this was a moment when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was alone and was cordoned by a large contingent. But with the sacrifice of seven Ansars and courage of two Muhajereen, Talha bin Obaidullah and Saad bin abi Vaqqas and later by Abu Dajana and Naseeba Umm Ammara they could not reach their target.
In the third assault Muslims succeeded to break the cordon and to carry Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to a safe place where he was treated comfortably. The enemy also tried to reach the upper camp but was defeated by Omer and Saad.Consequently they lost two assaults and had upper hand in one only. The calculated success remains with Muslims alone.
According to Arab tradition the victory was established by the following achievements;
- When the enemy runs away from the battle field
- When enemy camp is plundered by raiding forces.
- When enemy fighters are arrested and taken as captives.
- When raiding forces stay in the battle field to establish their victory un-challenged.
An analytical review shows that none of the above four conditions were fulfilled by Makkan forces. On the contrary Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed over night at his Ohud camp and no Muslim was taken as prisoner of war.
From casualities point, Muslims were at a winning position. A joint assesment of the two battle shows a different picture. The conclusion show that while fighting a well armed and experienced force, in the two battles Muslim lost 84 Mujahedeen but killed 107 and arrested 70 fighters from the enemy camp. No Muslim was taken as captive. Subsequently battle of Ohud, by no means, was a triumph for the Makkans but for the Muslims, and this was the fact what Abu Sufyan realised after leaving the battle field and arriving at Asad al Hamra.
Holy Quraan dealt the Battle of Ohud at length showing the weakness to the Muslims. It mainly criticizes on the two points.(i) Muslims dis-obedience to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and (ii) Greed of worldly gains. Frankly speaking this WAS and still IS a lesson to the Muslims of all times to come. Whenever Muslims show their weakness in following the right path and run behind worldly gains, defeat after defeat befall upon them. Holy Quraan reads
So lose not heart
Nor fall into despair
For ye must gain mastery
If you are true in Faith
If a wound hath touched you
Be sure a similar wound
Hath touched the others
Such days (of varying fortunes)
We give to men and men
By turn: that Allah may know
Those that believe
And that He may take
To Himself from your ranks
Martyr witness (to Truth)
And Allah loveth not
Those that do wrong ( 3 :139-140)
An analysis of the events at Ohud reveals the following points
- Allah shall help Muslims as long as they obey the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)
The reverses in Ohud resulted from the neglect of the archers of against the explict command of the Holy Prophet and leaving the spot which they were ordered to safeguard till the end. The Holy Qur’an has alluded to this incident in the following words :
Allah verily made His Promise with you
when ye routed them by His leave
until ye flinched and fell to disputing
about the order and disobeyed it
after He brought you in sight (of the booty)
which ye covet. Some of you desired the world
and some of you desired the Hereafter,
wherefore He turned you away from them,
that He might try you.
And he has certainly pardoned you
and Allah is Gracious to the believers. (3:152)
The above verse states in clear terms that the success of the Muslims depends upon their obedience to the Holy Prophet. As long as they carry out his behests, God will help them in facing all kinds of odds. But when they will set aside his commands in their pursuit of worldly riches, they are bound to come to grief
- Prophets are not God. Secondly, the harm to the Holy Prophet and his companion is indicative of the fact that prophets are human beings.They no doubt win eventually, and the truth which they preach prevails, but they also share, like all other human beings, the pleasures and pains of human existence. 3. The sufferings sifted the Muslims and the hypocr
- The sufferings sifted the Muslims and the hypocrites. Moreover, the victory of the Muslims in the ba s ttle of Badr and their sufferings on the field of Uhud provided them opportunities to learn from the life example of Muhammad (peace be upon him) how to remain calm and self-possessed both at the time of joy and in the hour of distress. Neither victory should intoxiate them nor should injury depress their spirits.
With the glorious success of the Muslims at Badr there had entered many hypocrites in the fold of Islam who were not sincerely attached to the Holy Prophet but professed faith in his leadership since he was the symbol of the rising power in Arabia and their alliance with him were likely to secure them some material benefits. It was not the truth of his mission which impressed them but the worldly power which his leadership promised to bring in its train.
Sifting between sincere believers and insincere pretenders to faith in Islam was necessary since the presence of a large number of hypocrites within its body politic was a constant threat to its very foundations. (And this is also a necessary operation even in our present times) The sufferings of the Muslims at Uhud drew a clear line of demarcation between the true followers of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the hyprocrites who paid only lip homage to him but were in fact not with him, being shorn of faith. In the words of Qur’an :
Allah is not one to leave the believers
in the state wherein ye are until He hath
discriminated the impure from the pure.
And Allah is not one to acquaint you
with the unseen, but Allah chooseth him
whom-soever He willeth of His apostles.
Believe wherefore in Allah and His apostles,
and if ye believe and fear, yours shall be a vast reward.
If a wound has afflicted you,
a wound like it has also afflicted the (unbelieving) people.
These are (only) the vicissitudes
which we cause to follow one after another
for mankind to the end that Allah may know
those who believe and may choose witnesses
from among you ; and Allah loveth not wrong-doers. (3:140MMP)
It has been clearly laid down in these verses that in this fight for truth if the Muslim had been hurt, their adversaries (enemies) had previously suffered hurt likewise, the more so as they had no faith to sustain them. The verses made it plain that there was no occasion to grumble over the harm that had come upon them, as they did not see the whole of God’s plan. For, success and failure in this world alternate. And above all, it became obvious that it was adversity which proved a man’s mettle.
- Martyrdom is the greatest achievement. Death is not always a sign of misfortune. The death which is courted for a just and right cause according to the command of Allah is not a matter for grief or sorrow but an enviable privilege and honour, since it leads a believer into the paradise. It should, therefore, not be considered a loss at all.
The Meccans had not won a victory but had been given a little rope to proceed heedlessly towards their own destruction, as we find in the battle : “The orgies of cruelty indulged in by them , after what they supposed to be their victory at Uhud filled up their cup of iniquity : it lost them in the support and adherence of the best in their own ranks ; and hastened the desteruction of paganism from Arabia.”
- Precaution against possible reverses in future.The battle of Uhud had an abject lesson for the Mu . slims to realize fully that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the true Messenger of Allah and that he would, therefore, bid good-bye to this mortal world sooner or later. The Qur’an stresses upon the Muslims to keep this always in their mind, for it was noticed on the field of battle that panic had seized a number of Muslims the moment the rumour of the Prophet’s death spread so much so that a few Muslims even said in a state of utter despair : “Of what avail is the fighting now when the Prophet is no more amongst us?” The Qur’an warns against pessimism and raises the question of faith the question or disbelief from the plane of devotion to a person to that of devotion to Allah.
Muhammad is naught but an apostle.
Apostles have surely passed away before him.
Will ye then, if he dies or is slain,
Turn back on your heels?
And whosoever turneth back on his heels,
Hurteth not Allah at all, and anon
Shall Allah recompense the grateful. (3:144)
In these verses the Qur’an makes it clear that Muhammad (peace be upon him) like all earlier prophets is an apostle of Allah and as such he must some day taste the cup of death. There is no escape from that. He was not himself immortal but the cause that he held and the mission that he preached was immortal and divine. This verse served an important purpose on the occasion of the death of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Seven years later when the soul of the Prophet left his heavenly abode and his body was lying motionless in the bed, it “produced such a consternation among his devoted followers that they expected the heaven to brust open and the earth to cleave asunder and wondered how long it would be for the end of the world to come. The loving ‘Umar was entirely beside himself. It was a scene of stromy emotions that the tender-hearted but ever tranquil Abu Bakr arrived from the suburb of Medina where he went. He said to the assembled crowd with the sureness of conviction that had won him the title of ‘Siddiq’
: O men !he who worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad has already passed away ; but he who worshipped Allah, let him know that verily Allah is living and shall never die. And then he recited : ‘And Muhammad is no more than an apostle…
This allayed all doubts and fears, and a great tranquillity ensued. People who had constantly read the verses that Abu Bakr so appositely quoted, stated that when he recited it on this memorable occasion, it seemed as if it had just been revealed.
The misfortune at Uhud was thus as important for the Muslims as the victory at Badr from the moral, social and political points of view. It showed them the necessity of strict adherence to the commands of the Holy Prophet. It also awakened the believers to grave responsibilities that fell upon them as the standard bearers of the Divine mission and the hardships which they had to face in establishing its supremacy in the world. It also explained the true status of the Prophet as the Messenger of Allah : the unbounded kindness and the Mercy of the Lord. In short what came to pass at Uhud was to serve as a beacon of hope and courage for the succeeding generations, lest they should in time of distress, fall a prey to despair and turn their backs upon the ‘”Religion of Allah.” (AHS 246-251)
The Battle of Ohud is a clear warning to entire Muslim Ummah that Divine support and their success lies in unwavered obedience to Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.). They have also to carry this mission in Prophet’s life time and after him upto the end of the world. If they follow it, the world leadership is theirs. But if they dis-obey him, defeat and humiliation awaits for them and they have to lament none except them-selves alone for it.
ALLIED ATTACK AND THE DIVINE SUPPORT
In Rabi I 04 AH. Banu Nadeer the Jewish tribe broke the peace treaty with Muslims and conspired to kill (Nauuzo billah) Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and so they were turned out from Madina Munawwara. They were allowed to carry all their belongings whatever they could load on camel back. Some of them returned to Syria and some of them, under their leader, Hai bin Akhtab, settled at Khaiber. This treacherous person decided to avenge the Muslims for their expulsion. But he was not brave enough to appear on the battle field. When he heard about the Muslims set back at Ohud and further killings at Bier Mauna and Rajie, he was much happy and much encouraged.
He took a deputation of Salam bin Mushkam , Kanana bin Rabie, Hawza bin Qais and Abu Amara to Quraish of Makkah and levelled them for an all out war against Muslim assuring them their full co-operation and support.
Abu Sufyan the un-challenged leader of Makkah, collected a much larger force of four thousand fighters and marched to Madina. Then the Jews delegation went to Banu Ghatfan and other Arab tribes and encouraged them for a joint assault at Madina. Consequently a large force of 10, 000 Quraish, the Jews and pagan Arabs marched towards Madina. This strength was much more than the total population of Madina Munawwara at that time.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was well informed about this planned attack from all sides on Madina. The situation was more critical as a large Jew tribe of Banu Quraiza was living within the precincts of Madina. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called his Shoura and a full aspect of the dangerous situation was analysed. Madina, geographically was surrounded in the east and the west by two plains of molten rocks called Harra. In the south, were the thick palm groves. Only northern flank was open from where such a great army could attack on Madina.
Salman Farsi, who was experienced in war fare, suggested to dig a wide defensive trench on the northern front. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) approved the idea and accordingly divided 5m length of the trench on a group of every 10 persons. The trench was about 5m wide, 5m deep, running 1,500 meter long from east to west and was completed in twenty days.
“The task of digging the ditch was undertaken at once and the Prophet (s.a.w) himself participated in it like an ordinary labourer side by side with his companions, an unparalleled example of the keen sense of responsibility, sympathy, equality and humility, the distinguishing features of the Prophet’s character. (AHS 257)
“The record of Hadith reveal that the Muslims dug this ditch under very trying conditions. They had to work with empty stomach exposed to the blasts of cold wind. The Holy Prophet also shared with his men the pangs of hunger. Whenever anybody offered him something to eat, he would never avail himself of that but would share that with his companions. (AHS 258).
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) did not reserve a place of a commander for himself while designing the trench. He shared the task and joined them in digging as a common man. He shifted the soil and broke the heavy stones. If they were suffering in severe cold, he was also suffering with them. If they were hungry, he was hungry with them. Abu Talha complained him of killing hunger and showed his stomach where he had tied a stone to stop hunger. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) raised his shirt and showed, he had two stones tied on his stomach. He worked like a labour and sang song with them. But he turned the labour songs into the worship and sang:
O Allah : There is no life but the life of the Here-after
O Allah : Have mercy on Ansar and Muhajir folk.
Then the people said:
We start our work in the name of Allah.
How unfortunate it would be for us.
If we worship any one else except Him.
How nice and good is our Sustainer.
How fine and excellent is our Religion.
We are those who pledged themselves to Muhammad.
That we will strive, as long as we live.
We are those who pledged themselves
to Islam so long as we live.
The Prophet himself frequently repeated the following (poetic) verses, indistinguish-able as he was from the rest owing to his deep humility.
O, Lord ! Without Thee,
we could not be guided rightly !
We should neither have given alms,
nor yet have prayed.
Send down upon us tranquility
and in battle give us endurance.
For they has risen against us,
and have sought to entangle us
in mischief, We refused to be ensnared
by that, yea, we refused. ( AHS 259 – 60).
“Life is an organic whole which cannot stand the ordeal of fragmentation. When a man submits himself to Allah, his whole is spiritualised and even those of his activities such as the digging of the trench for the purpose of defence, which, to a superficial observer, appears to be almost a wordly action, becomes an act of religious devotion. Islam does not recognize the religious urge in man as a mere passing phase in his intellectual, moral and physical development, but makes it the ultimate source of all his thoughts, actions and concepts of morality.
Human life is not a series of isolated events, but it is an expression of man’s outlook that runs like a golden thread in the warp and woof of the variegated pattern of his many-sided life. There is no scope in Islam to argue in the manner of Machiavelli that there is one rule for business and another for religion, since this attitude opens a door to an orgy of unscrupulousness which undermines the very basis of human dignity. (AHS 260 – 61)
As soon as the trench was completed the huge force of 10, 000 Mushrekeen appeared from every high and low of the valley. It looked as if the whole Arabia had flooded to wipe out the Muslims from Madina. But when they reached the im-pass-able trench, they were wonder struck. They never saw such a trench before. This war strategy was unknown to Arabs and they were unprepared for it. The huge hostile army encamped in front of the trench. At this time, Banu Quraiza the Jew tribe, tried to stab in the back
“The whole of Arabia was thirsting for Muslim blood. It was at this critical juncture that a huge number of hypocrites seceded from the Prophet on one pretext or the other. The Banu Qurayzah who had been his ally, also deserted to the hostile camp since Huyayy b. Akhtab the head of the Banu Nadir had promised them all kinds of concessions and rewards.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) deputed Sa’d b. Mu’adh and Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah to negotiate with them and persuade them to honour their agreements with the Prophet. All the attempts of these devoted sons of Islam proved to be futile. It was as hour of distress for the Muslims. The Holy Qur’an has referred to this state of affairs in the following words:
When they came upon you
from above you and from below you
and when eyes turned aside
and hearts reached the gullets
and of Allah ye were imaging various things.
There were the believers proven
and shaken with a mighty shaking.
And when hypocrites and those
in whose hearts is disease were saying :
‘Allah and His apostle have promised us
naught but delusion.’
And when a party of them said
‘O inhabitants of Yathrib, there is no place for you,
so return.’ And a party of them asked
leave of the Prophet saying :
‘Verily our houses lie open ;
whereas they lay not open ;
they only wished to flee. ( 33:10-13).
This was a very critical situation. The host of enemy has encamped in front of the small town. But the trench kept them away to come nearer to the Muslim camp. Whenever they tried to reach the trench, a barge of arrows from Muslim archers repulsed them away. They had no ladders or bridge making equipment with them. A renowned brave man named Amr bin Abd Wudd galloped his horse and crossed the trench with Ikrama bin Abu Jehal and Darar bin Khattab. But Ali was clever to come in their rear and block the passage of their safe return. Amr challenged Ali binAbu Taleb but he splitted him into two halves. Seeing the fate of their champion, Ikrama and Darar escaped on their heels. Later nobody dared to cross the trench.
Mushrekeen were lost in their campaign. Such a large army was sitting idle in front of small Muslim force. They besieged the town from north but that too could not prove any fruitful to them. This was the stage when Hai bin Akhtab, the core enemy of Islam, went to the Jews and incited Banu Quraiza living inside Madina to raise arms against Muslims. Kaab bin Asad the chief of Banu Quraiza, at the first instance, refused to break peace with Muslims. But Hai bin Akhtab, finally succeeded to win him to his plan. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was much disturbed with this new machination. The Muslim women and children were in Madina in small unprotected castles. If the Jews attacked them in the rear, the Muslims on the front-line will run to save their families and the Mushrikeen will run over the trench, like grinding the Muslims and their families between the two stones. Munafiqeen also began shouting against Muslims.
This was a very frightening situation. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Saad bin Muadh, Saad bin Abada and Abdullah Bin Rawaha to Bani Quraiza to remind them of their peace treaty with Muslims and its consequences if they abrogated it. Jews refused to listen any advise and rebuked Muslims in plain words. This was very critical situation for the Muslims. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) implored his Lord Almighty Allah to help him as He helped in the Battle of Badr and Ohud. His prayer was accepted. He got new courage.He stood with a new vigour.He sent two contingent under Muslama bin Aslam and Zaid bin Haritha to protect Muslim families in Madina. He also thought to make peace with Banu Ghatfan and break the alliances by offering a portion of dates crops of Madina to them but Saad bin Maadh and Saad bin Abada suggested him not to offer peace on these terms, which he accepted
“The allied forces with full supplies of arms and provisions, had besieged Medina, while Muslims, hungry and weary, guarded the trench day and night. The allies made several attempts to draw the Muslims out from their trenches. Muhammad (peace be upon him), however, refused all temptations to fight the enemy , except on his own terms. Every attack upon the moat was repulsed with a heavy loss to the confederacy. Now and again there was a rain of arrows, the charge of horsemen, movement of great companies of men—but, for all their stratagems, the Mekkans and their allies found Medina impregnable.
As each day rolled by, the morale of the confederacy degenarated. Dissension and discontentment appeared in the ranks of the enemy. They were also running short of provisions. (AHS-263).
In the meanwhile Naim bin Masud bin Amer Ashjaii, one of the Chiefs of Banu Ghatfan came to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and said that I have embraced Islam and my tribe is still not knowing it. I am ready if I can do any service to you. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) prayed for him and said that Muslims are facing a large force of different tribes if you can try to break their alliance. Nuaim deviced a plan and return to Banu Quraiza.
He went to see the chiefs of Banu Quraiza and whispered in their ears not to trust Quraish nor fight with them unless the latter pledge some hostages. He tried to lend support to his counsel by claiming that Quraish would forsake them if they perceived that victory over Muhammad (s.a.w.) was far fetched, and the Muslims then would have terrible revenge on them.
Na’im, then headed for the camp of Quraish and managed to practise a similar strategem in its final result but different in content. He claimed that he felt that the Jews regretted breaching their covenant with Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his followers. He told them that the Jews maintained regular correspondence with the Muslims to the effect that Quraishite hostages be sent to the camp of the Muslims with full Jewish allegiance paid to them as already agreed upon. Na’im them exhorted Quarish not to send hostages to the Jews. On a third errand, he did the same with the people of Ghatfan.
On Saturday night, Shawwal 5 A.H., both Quraish and Ghatfan despatched envoys to the Jews exhorting them to go into war against Muhammad (s.a.w.). The Jews sent back messages that they would not fight on Saturday. They added that they needed hostages from them to guarantee their consistency. On receiving the replies, Quraish and Ghatfan came to believe Na’im’s words fully. Therfore, they sent a message to the Jews again inviting them to war and asking them to preclude that condition of hostages. Na’im’s scheme proved successful, and a state of distrust and suspicion among the disbelieving allies prevailed and reduced their morale to deplorable degree. Raheeq 319.
The Quraish, Banu Ghatfan and Banu Quraiza developed mistrust in their hearts for each other and they felt themselves alone against any sudden attack by Muslims.The core of their joint strength was shattered. The cold wind of Madina was piercing their bodies, the provisions were running out. This large force of over 10,000 needed regular supply of food for them and fodder for their animals. And they were sitting idle like simple spectators for a month. This all contributed to make a final decision by Abu Sufyan who was the CNC of the Allied Command.
Suddenly a thick-dark icy wind storm gripped the enemy camp. Their tents were uprooted, their fire was extinguished, their cooking pots were turned down, their animals were set free. The piercing cold wind crossed through their bodies and the dust storm blinded them in darkness. Their courage to fight Muslims collapsed and Abu Sufyan declared a secret plan to retreat and run away in the thick of the night, lest the Muslims may attack in the darkness.
Next morning when the storm subsided and there was a clear comfortably cool climate, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) found that the whole battle field was empty. Almighty Allah wrapped and parcelled out the allied forces by a little wind storm. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had sent Abu Hudhaifa as a spy in the enemy camp in the night and he brought the good news of their abrupt retreat.
This was not a war of weapons, but of strategy and tactics. And Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) by his sheer wisdom and prayer won this war over five times greater enemy, without much casualties. When the Quraish ran-away from the battle field, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said :
“They will never be able to attack us again . (This is our turn).Now we shall attack them. And we shall march over them.” (RU p. 507)
How true were these words. The entire Arabia was never united again to march against Muslims in Madina.On the contrary Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) gained an upper hand and after uniting the Arab tribes, under the banner of Islam, he marched to Makkah and conquered it with in the next three years.
The Quraish stayed infront of the ditch for 25 days. Six Mujahideen were martyred in this battle, while 10 persons were killed from the enemy camp. But the greater loss was, that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) missed his four Salats (prayers) in one or two days at the thick of the battle. He was much grieved for this singular incident in his life.
It was not possible for any general or marshal to protect a small town against a large invading army of more than 10,000 fighters. But it was clearly a Divine help and support which defeated the enemy, ruined their hopes and discouraged them for ever to raise arms unitedly against Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
Ghazwa Babu Quraiza was another gift from Almighty Allah. While returning from the Trench battle Holy Prophet (s.a.w) marched against Banu quraiza to punish them for their treachery.They were besieged, arrested and finally killed on the judgement of Saad bin Muadh, a Muslim ally of the Jews.They were 600-700 fighters.Their families were enslaved and sold in Nejd. Muslim got 1500 swords 2000 spears, 300 armours and 500 shields along with other booty. The notorious Jewish chief, Hai bin Akhtab was also killed with Banu Quraiza. Almighty Allah revealed in Holy Quran:
And Allah turned back
The Unblievers for (all)
Their fury: no advantage
Did they gain; and enough
Is Allah for the Blievers
In their fight. And Allah
Is full of Strenght, Able
To enforce His Will.
And those of the people
Of the Book who aided
Them –Allah did take them
Down from their strongholds
And cast terror into
Their hearts, (so that)
Some ye slew, and some
Ye made prisoners.
And He made you heirs
Of their lands, their houses,
And their goods,
And of a land which
Ye had not frequented
(Before). And Alllah has
Power over all things. (33: 25-27 )
- HUDAIBIYA TREATY :
It was after a year of Trench Battle that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) saw in a dream that he is entering Makkah Mukarramah and performing Tawaf around Holy Kaaba. He took it as a Divine indication and declared his intention to perform Umrah. This news was hailed by Muhajereen who had not seen Holy Kaaba for the last six years. Ansars and other tribes were also zealous to perform Umrah with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Shortly he left Madina Munawara and encamped at Zulhulaifa out side the city.
It was Monday the 6th of Zulqaada 06 AH when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) donned Ihram for Umrah at Zulhalaifa. He marked his seventy camels for sacrifice and took no other arm with him except sheathed sword. It was a clear indication that he is going to perform Umrah and not to attack Quraish at Makkah. He also took Umm Salma (r.t.a.) his wife with him. About 1,500 pilgrims also donned Ihram with him and took no arms with them except swords. This Pilgrim carvan moved to Makkah calling Talbiah (Labaik, Allahumma, Labaik ). When they arrived at Usfan, Bishar bin Sufyan, who was sent as a vanguard to Makkah, informed him that Makkans have rose in arms and decided to give a battle to the Muslims.They encamped at Zu-Towa and sent Khalid bin Waleed with 200 cavalry in forward to stop the Muslims on the way.
This was flagrant default on the part of Quraish, because, as per Arab tradition, any battle in the sacred month of Zulqaada was Haram (forbidden) and they had no right to stop any Arab tribe to come for performing Umrah at Makkah. But Quraish had not forget the brunt of Trench battle a year ago, when they returned with great moral and material losses. This campaign they assumed as further humiliation to them seeming that Muslims can make their way to Holy Kaaba by force.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) wanted no war. He changed his route and instead of heading towards Tan’eem he came to a place called Hudaibiya on the border of Harem territory. There he declared that he will honour the sanctity of Holy Harem and will not oppose Quaraish if they bargained any term about it.
Quraish sent Budayl bin Warqaa al Khuzaa to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to enquire the purpose of his visit. He said I have no other purpose, but to perform Umrah at Holy Kaaba. Budayl returned to Quraish and informed them. But they resisted saying, “Does Mohammed want to enter with his army for Umrah. Arabs will know that he entered upon us by force and we are at war with him. No by God, it will never happen.”Then they sent Halees bin Alqama, Chief of Habashi force. He was much impressed by the real spirit of Muslims to perform Umrah. He said. “No, these people should not be stopped. Whether Lakham, Jazam and Humair tribes might perform Haj and the son of Abdul Muttaleb should be stopped. No never to be so.” But Quraish also rejected his opinion taunting him “as a layman knowing nothing about the tactics of war.” Then they sent Urwa bin Masood al Thaqafi, the chief of Taif. He was a shrewd statesman.
In the course of discussion he said to the Prophet : “Muhammad ! have you gathered around yourself a mixed people and then brought them against your own kith and kin in order to destroy them ? Quraysh have come out with their milch-camels, clad in leopard skins, swearing that you shall never enter Mekka by force. By God I think I see you deserted by these people tomorrow.” AHS 273.
At this Abubaker stood and said, “ Pity upon you. You think we shall leave Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) alone.” Urwa, while talking to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), as per Arab style, was touching his beard. One armoured person hooded him to keep his hand away. He was much annoyed and asked who was he. The man was Mughaira bin Shaoba his own nephew. Urwa bin Masud returned to Quraish and said:
I have been to Chosroes in his kingdom, and Caesar in his kingdom and the Negus in his kingdom, but never have I seen a king among a people like Muhammad among his companions. If he makes his ablutions they would not let the water thereof fall on the ground: if a hair of his falls down they vie with each other in order to secure that. They will not abandon him for anything in any case. Do what you please. AHS 273.
He advised them to allow Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to perform Umrah. But they said, “No, we shall not allow him this year. He should return now and no matter, come back next year for Umrah.” The time passed and negotiations went on without any success. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Kharash bin Umayyah to Quraish but they injured his camel and maltreated him.
Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Uthman Bin Affan who had good influence on Quraish. He explained the purpose of their visit but they refused to allow Muslim to enter Makkah However they told Uthman that you can perform Tawaf of Holy Kaaba but he said, “ How is it possible that I avail my self of this opportunity when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is denied of this.” They also stopped Uthman in Makkah. The situation was very tense and critical. When Uthman’s arrival was delayed, there appeared a rumour that he was killed by Quraish. This was too much to the tolerance of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
He changed his mood and stood up with a firm determination. He declared that now he will not return without a revenge of Uthman’s blood. He called the people to take a pledge on his hand for a fight unto death. All people gathered around him and took the solemn oath under a tree. Abu-Sinan Asadi was the first to give his hand in the hand of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also took an oath by himself on behalf of Uthman. All pilgrims resolved to fight on their life. This was a very strong commitment by a group of 1,500 persons. When the news reached to Quraish, they lost all their courage. They released Uthman instantly and sent Sohail bin Amr hurriedly to forge out a deal with Muslims. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was satisfied with the return of Uthman bin Affan. He wanted, at heart, to make a peace deal with Quraish of Makkah. This pledge is known as Bait-i-Ridwan and gave a great honour to the participants. Almighty Allah revealed in Holy Quran:
Allah’s Good Pleasure was on the Blievers
When they swore Fealty to thee under the Tree:
He knew what was in their hearts,
and He sent down Tranquility to them,
and He rewarded them with a speedy Victory;
And many gains they will acquire(besides)
And Allah is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom. (48:18-19)
Suhail bin Amr was a tough man to be handled but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) dealt him softly. When the terms of treaty were agreed and Ali bin Abi Taleb began to write with the words “Bismillah hiarraman al raheem” (In the name of Allah the most Beneficent and Merciful). Suhail objected that he knows nothing about “al Rehman” and insisted upon customary wording “ Be Ismeka Allahumma”, In the name of O,Allah.” Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) accepted it. Then he dictated, “ This is what Mohammed the Messenger of Allah has agreed”. Suhail again protested ‘Had we acknowledged you as a Prophet, we would not have fought against you . Write your name and the name of your father.” This was too much for Muslims. They were boiling with anger.But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) again accepted it and asked to delete the word, Rasool Allah. Ali had no courage to wipe it out then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) himself wiped out the word. With these insignificant remarks all steam of Suhail bin Amr was out and the agreement was completed on the following terms.
- That year the Muslims were not to perform their Umrah.
- Next year they would be permitted to do so, provided they did not stay in Mekka for more than three days.
- The Muslims should bear no arms except sheathed swords during their next visit.
- Whosoever wished to join Muhammad or enter into treaty with him, should have the liberty to do so; and likewise whosoever wished to join the Quraysh, or enter into treaty with them, should be allowed to do so.
- If any one went over to Muhammad without the permission of his guardian, he should be sent back to the Quraysh, but should any of the followers of Muhammad return to Quraysh, he shall not be sent back.
- War should be suspended for ten years so that the people might live in peace. AHS 277.
Apparently the terms were not pleasant to many Muslims, but most of them kept quiet, leaving the whole matter to the Will of Allah and the decision of Holy Prophet(s.a.w.). But Omer ibn al Khattab could not digest it.
He said to the Prophet, “Arn’t you the true Messenger of Allah ?” The Prophet replied calmly, “Why not ?” ‘Umar again spoke and asked: “Arn’t we on the path of righteousness and our enemies in the wrong ?” Without showing any resentment Muhammad (s.a.w.) replied that it was so. On getting this reply he further argued: “Then we should not suffer any humiliation in the matter of faith.”
The Prophet was unrufflled and with perfect confidence said: “I am the true Messenger of Allah, I never disobey Him, He shall help me.” AHS 277-78
Omer was silenced but he was not satisfied he went to Abu Bakr and expressed his feelings to him. But Abu Bakr replied him in the same manner as Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) did. Then Omer asked. “Did he not tell us that we shall perform pilgrimage at Makkah in full security ?”. Abubakr replied. “Did he mention the word, this year”? Omer was pacified. Later he said he regretted his hot conversation with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) through out his life. He prayed a lot, gave plenty money in charity, observed fasts and freed many slaves in repentance of this incident.
After concluding the agreement Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked his companions to sacrifice their camels and come out of Ihram. But the people were so dejected that no body moved from his place. This was a strange scene for him. He said to them thrice but their grief glued them to the ground. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) entered the tent and told this astonishing behaiour to Umm Salma (r t a ) his wife. She was very intelligent lady and knew the sentiments of the companions.
She gave most wise advise and said “Don’t press them hard, you have gained a great victory as a peace treaty with Makkans but they are returning without entering Harem, so they are dejected. You go out and do what you asked them to do, they will follow you.” Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) came out and slaughtered his camel and called the barber to shave his head. The people under stood that “Done is Done.” They stood and followed him silently. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed two days at Hudaibiya and then returned to Madina Munawarah.When he was at Kara Ghameem, Almighty Allah revealed Surah Fatah declaring Hudaibiya Peace treaty as Great Victory for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.):
Verily We have granted thee
A manifest victory,
That Allah may forgive thee
Thy faults of the past and those to follow.
Fulfil His favour to thee and guide thee
On the Straight Way
And that Allah may help
thee with powerful help.
It is He Who sent down Tranquillity
Into the hearts of the Believers
That they may add Faith to their Faith
For Allah belong the Forces of heavens and the Earth
And Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom. (48:1-4.)
Almighty Allah termed it ‘Fatha al Mubeen’ and revealed a Surah of this name in Holy Quran which declared the Peace treaty of Hudaibiya as a Victory Manifest for the Prophet(s.a.w.) and special forgiveness and award of Paradise for the Muslims of Hudaibiya campaign like that of Badr. It is significant that the award of Badr was given on the tense situation of war and award of Hudaibiya was given on the tense situation of peace. It depicts that a Muslim’s success is not lying in Hot war or Cold peace but in total obedience to Allah and His Prophet, whether in war or in peace.
ABU JANDAL AND ABUL BASEER : When Suhail bin Amr was reading the agreement for signing, a young Muslim named Abu Jandal appeared in chains at the Muslim camp and cried for help against oppression of Quraish for the sake of his Islam. The whole assembly was moved but Suhail recognised the new comer, it was his own son.He lifted his hands from the agreement and said, “Yes this is the first test of this agreement you have to return this Muslim to Quraish”. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Leave him for may sake”. But he was so adament and refused to release him. To add fuel to the fire, he slapped Abu Jandal and his people pulled him in chains to Makkah again, while he was bloating like a goat going to slaughter house. Every body was moved on this tyrant treatment. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) consoled Abu Jandal and said:
“Be patient, resign youself to the Will of Allah. Allah is going to provide for you and your helpless companions relief and means of escape. We have concluded a treaty of peace with them and we have taken the pledge in the name of Allah. We are, therefore, under no circumstances prepared to break it.” AHS 278-79
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) returned to Madina Munawara, another Muslim Utba Bin Thafaqi well known as Abul Baseer escaped from the oppression of Makkah and came to Madina Munawara. Quraish sent two persons to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to return Abul Baseer as per peace treaty and he entrusted Abul Baseer to them. When they were on their way back Abul Baseer said to one of them. “By God your sword looks very fine and sharp. He was inflated with flattering and said, “Yes it is really very fine.” Abul Baseer said, “Let me have a look”. He gave his sword to Abul Baseer to look and this look took his life.The other guard ran away to Madina Munawwara. Abu Baseer also followed him and told Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) that you full filled your obligation towards Quraish. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) told him to go where he likes but not to stay in Madina Muawara. Abul Baseer returned to desert and stayed at a place on Quraish trade route to Sham.
It was a good start. Many other Muslims who escaped from Makkah and could not go to Madina joined Abul Baseer. Abu Jandal also fled from Makkah and came to the new camp. Shortly this group of about seventy Mujahedeen raided the passing caravans of Quraish and threatened them to rout. This was a new menace to Quraish. They abrogated the term in Peace treaty and requested Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to call these Mujahedeen back to Madina Munawwara for the safety of their trade route. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent a letter to Abul Baseer asking him to return to Madina. Abul Baseer was much delighted on this invitation because he left Madina on his advise. But he was on death bed, he could not return and expired at his camp. Abu Jandal with other Mujahedeen returned to Madina Munawwara honourably.
In another incident, few Muslim married women including Umm Kulthum bint Uqba bin Moeet, (sister of Usman bin Affan from his mother side) came to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).Quraish again demanded their return. But Holy Prophet s.a.w.) rejected their request, saying that Peace treaty reads for return of men.There is no word about women. So she can not be returned. Almighty Allah revealed in Holy Quran that those women should be tested for the intention of their migration and should not be returned to non Muslims.
THE WISDOM OF PEACE TREATY:
The treaty of Hudaybiya was really a boon in disguise. Apparently it was not-tasteful but in reality it was full of wisdom and strength.
In fact, every clause of this treaty was a masterpiece of paractical statesmanship. It was a triumph beyound doubt. No one, except ‘perhaps Suhayl, had thought back, as had Muhammad, when the Quraysh stood before him. No one except these two, recollected the beatings, the stonings, the escape by night, the hiding in the cave. No one thought of the hazardous exile with the seventy followers. The contrast between now and then was unbelievable, miraculous. That the Quraysh were willing to deal with Muhammad at all, to recognize him as someone worthy of their attention, to admit him as the ruler of the Arab Community was beyond the bounds of all expectation. AHS 280-81.
- From Holy Prophet’s side he wanted to avoid blood shed in Harem territory. He had already declared in Hudaybiya that he will honour any term of Quraish to protect the sanctity of the Holy Sanctuary. He succeeded in his mission even though he had to wipe out words Rasoolullah with his own hands.
- On the contrary the Quraish raised arms in the month of Zul-Qaadah which was a sacred month for Arabs and any fight was prohibited in it. Further they stopped the march of pilgrims to Makkah. They did not allow a single person to carry the animals for sacrifice to Makkah. Those were all slaughtered at Hudaibiya. This was all against Arab tradition.
- The first advantage Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) got from this treaty was recognition of his status as head of Islamic state of Madina. Before this event Quraish never acknowledged Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) except as a trouble maker,a rebel of the society and a person who was to be killed even on a big prize. But now he was a person of equal status to the authority of Quraish.
- Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) never raised arms against Quraish. They were the first to incite war at Badr, the first to come to Ohud and first to besiege Madina at the Battle of Trench. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) wished to have peace with them and succeeded in achieving the same.
- At the time of treaty there were many poor Muslims who could not migrate to Madina. And there were many who were Muslims at heart but had not declared it. In case of a battle there was a great risk to their lives at the hands of Muslims or by Quraish to kill them in revenge. They were saved and they declared their Islam after the treaty without any fear.
- The treaty had a disturbing clause of run away converts, that if a Muslim went to Madina without his guardian’s permission, he will be returned to Makkah but if a Muslim ran away from Madina to Makkah he will not be returned. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) accepted it. And Quraish thought it a great victory for them. But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had a different view. He calculated that no true Muslim will run away from Madina or from Islam. But if someone betrayed, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “We don’t need him.” For those who came as a Muslim to Madina and were returned to Makkah, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “They will act as a preacher and Allah will create a facility for them.” This was quite satisfactory reasoning. Almighty Allah created a facility for Abul Baseer and Abu Jandal and Quraish themselves requested to abrogate this clause.
- At Hudaibiyah, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was at better position of war. More than 1,500 Mujahedeen had pledged to fight unto death. This had no comparison with half hearted Quraish and the hired ones Ahabeesh. But he preferred a peaceful solution and no war pact for ten years with Quraish.
- There were three hostile communities actually allied together, the Quraish of Makkah the Jews of Khaibar and Banu Ghatfan. By this peace treaty with Quraish, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) destroyed their unity and promise of mutual support in case of war. Now Quraish were not in a position to raise arms against Muslims for ten years which was a good period to deal with other rivals. After controlling Quraish by Hudaibiya treaty Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marched against conspiring Jews of Khaiber and defeated them. Banu Ghatfan could never dared to attack Muslim State alone.
- Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also needed a period of understanding and cordial relation with Quraish. This peace treaty replaced arms with gifts and hostility with friendship and stubbornness with reasoning. Subsequently hundreds of Makkans entered the fold of Islam during a short period of two years.
- Hudaibiya Peace Treaty also provided free access to all Muslim pilgrims next year without any fear. This was another great success. The Harem which was closed for Muslims for the last six years was opened to all Muslims and for ever. When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) entered Makkah Mukarramah next year the Quraish chiefs vacated the city and Abdullah bin Rawaha walked in front of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) singing loudly in his praise: O you dis-believers get out from his way All righteousness lies in the path of His Prophet. The best death is the death on His way Today we shall fight you about His revelation Our strokes will force your head to fly From the joint of your shoulders And every friend will run away from his friend (Raheeq U 621)
- Hudaibiya Peace Treaty also opened door for Quraish war lords to think seriously.They realised the Truth of Islam and within short time three great generals, Khalid bin Waleed, Amr ibn al Aas and Usman bin Abi Talha the Key Holder of Holy Kaaba marched to Madina Munawwarah and declared their Islam. It added new strength to the cause of Islam.
- After the treaty thousands of persons embraced Islam in Makkah Mukarramah and around it. The Jewish strength in Khaiber was crushed. Many tribes from central Arabia embraced Islam. Banu Khazaa at Makkah Mukarramah also sided Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in the treaty.
- Resultantly when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marched to Makkah after two years from the treaty there were 10,000 Mujahideen with huge armament with him. Makkah Mukarramah was also surrounded by loyal tribes. Quraish lost all courage of any resistance and surrendered themselves and the city without spilling blood. This was the Grand Victory at the wisdom of Huadaibiya Peace Treaty.
- From that day until now during the last 1,400 years Makkah Mukarramah had been in Muslim hands. Almighty Allah selected, this Ummah to be the servant of His House. No power in history, may it be the non-Muslim Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Abbassinians and Egyptians, could take control of Makkah Mukarramah and Holy Kaaba from the Muslim hands. And Insha-Allah, shall never be in a position to take it upto the end of the world.
This treaty had wonderful effect on the local tribes and what the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had foreseen in this connection proved to be perfectly true. Within a few days of signing the document, which had caused a stir among some of his men,chiefs from all around were coming to swear allegiance to him.(AHS 281)
Abu Bakr put this blessing in his historical words when he said “ There was no greater victory than Hudaiabiya in Islam but the people could not understood it, what was between Mohammed (s.a.w.) and his Lord Allah. The people act in haste but Allah never acts in haste for them, until the matters ripe as he wished.” No doubt Hudaibiya Peace Treaty was a boon for Muslims but in disguise and the people having unshaken faith in the Prophet hood of Mohammed (s.a.w.) could fore see it clearly
Hudaibiya Peace Treaty laid the first foundation of Islamic State at Madina Munawwarah.There was little brittle peace with Makkah Mukarramah but the atmosphere around Madina Munawwarah was quite hostile and volatile. And though the state of Madina Munawwarah was in its infancy, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) through his Prophetic vision, could foresee the future expansion of Islam in the four corners of the world.
He was not a king but he wrote letters to great kings and emperors of his time. It was a very bold step. There was not a single soul in the ancient world who addressed the world ruling powers in such a dictating style. He was not appointed a king by Almighty Allah but entitled as “Mercy to the Mankind”, to save the people from disobedience of their Lord and subsequently from the fire of Hell.
Once he called his companions and addressed them in the following words: “O Ye men, Allah has sent me as a blessing to all mankind to carry the message of Islam to all the corners of world.” These words opened new horizons beyond all political boundaries. This message WAS a glad tiding to the companions but it IS also a liability on entire Muslim Ummah even today. And by the Grace of Allah, they have better potential and prospects to propagate it today.
Arabia in those days was surrounded by four great powers of the world. Byzantine or Roman Empire was the largest and the most powerful super power of the age. It occupied Syria, Turkey and half of Europe. There was Persia the other super power which controlled Iraq, Iran, central Asia and territories upto India.
These two super powers ruled in the north of Arabia. These empires at their Royal Court had the ambassadors and envoys from their vassal states in Europe, Asia and Africa. When the credential of a Muslim envoy in Roman Court were presented and the Prophetic document was read publicly, it was attended and listened by many princes and lords from various states of the world.
Similarly when a declaration was made in Royal Persian Court, its message would have echoed upto Central Asia and India through their ambassadors. Thus by these two letters alone, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) conveyed his message up to the extreme boundaries of Europe and Asia which was the then known world.
The Egypt was another bigger kingdom on the western flank. It was a land of Pharoes and was ruled by a Coptic King Makokas. The message thus passed to the region of North Africa by sending an envoy to Egyptian Court.
Abyssinia (Habasha) was a large kingdom located south of Egypt. It was ruled by a very kind king named Najashi (Negus). He had already supported Muslims during the first migrations to Habasha. The message peneterated to Sudan Somalia and central Africa when a letter was sent to Najashi by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)
Besides these four great kingdoms Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also sent envoys to Bahrain, Oman, Yamama (in Yemen) Ghassanides State (Jordan) and State of Busra near Damascus.The envoys were carefully selected. Those were the people who had experience in attending the particular courts, and knew the customs and the language of the country. They were not the persons like postman but Muslims of high courage having deep faith in Islam. Their task was very difficult and it carried the risk on their lives.
They declared the supremacy of Islam on the religion of the ruler in his full court. It was a challenge open to all. But they delivered the message boldly with undaunted courage. It was his training which created persons who talked to the Persian emperor and his commander Rustam in dictating terms.
There is a great significance in sending these letters to the selected rulers of the world. It was not an invitation to the single person but to the entire nation under him. The religion in those days was also a part of the kingdom. Most of the states were ruled on the authority or support of a religion and the people generally followed the religion of the monarch. If the ruler was Christian the people also followed Christian faith and the king also permitted and promoted Christianity in his kingdom.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) invited the emperors and monarch to Islam. If they accepted it, Islam was the state religion. If they tolerated it, this was a permission to preach Islam in their kingdom. If they rejected the invitation, Muslims designed their policies to deal with them accordingly.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also arranged for a Silver Seal with three words “ Mohammed Rasool Allah “( Mohammed the Messenger of Allah) for sealing the letters in diplomatic style. The close study of the text of the prophet’s letters reveals many aspects.
They were very brief, written in bold Arabic characters clearly. They were sent in pouch duly sealed. All letters began, not with the praise of the king but with the praise of Almighty Allah. This was a unique style for them. Again the name of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was written before the name of the king. This was also against their vanity. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) addressed them as Chief of their nation but designated himself not as a king, not as a leader but Messenger of Allah. He clearly wrote that, “If you embrace Islam you will be safe (in this world and the Hereafter) but if you failed, the sin of your whole nation will be upon your neck (in this world and the Hereafter). Though the theme and spirit of all letters were the same but every letter was addressed with a different reasoning according to the belief of the ruler.
The envoys and the letters were the Seeds of political relations of Muslim governments for the future. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) showed the way. How brave should be the people to represent Muslim state, what should be the language,tone and more emphatically what should be the purpose of political relations. It was not to seek the worldly gains. It was to invite the people to Islam. This is the purpose still liable on the Muslim governments of the world. But how many of them write a diplomatic letter to a friendly ruler to embrace Islam or to allow Muslim preachers to work in his country. Late President Zia ul Haq was the first Muslim ruler who invited the whole world to Islam in the General Assembly of United Nations Organization in 1980 and in presence of tens of Arab and Muslim rulers and their ambassadors.
The following letters were sent after Hudaibiya Peace Treaty to the rulers of the world, through the selected envoys:
- To Najashi of Abyssinia through Amr bin Umayyah Damari .
- Heraculius of Rome through Dehya bin Khalifa Kalbi.
- Chosroes of Persia through Abdullah bin Hadhafa Sahmi.
- Makawkas of Egypt through Hateb bin Abi Balta.
- Hauza bin Ali of Yamama in Yemen through Saleet bin Amr Aamri.
- Ruler of Busra through Harith bin Umair Azdi who was martyred.
- Harith bin Abi Shammar ruler of Damascus through Shujaa bin Wahab.
- Manzar bin Sawi ruler of Bahrain through Ula bin Hadrami.
- Jeefar ruler of Oman through Amr ibn al Aas
The following is the history of these letters;
- Deputation to Habasha (Abysinia) was well receivedd by King Najashi whose actual name was As-hama bin Abjar. He was a true Christian by faith. He acknowledged Jesus Christ as son of Mary and not Son of God. He also knew about the appearance of the Last Prophet as recorded in their Holy Scripture. When Amr al Damri entered the court and presented the letter, Najashi descended from the throne and honoured the letter by touching it with his eyes. The letter was read loudly as under (Original text in Arabic).
“In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merci the Merciful.
This letter is being sent by Muhammad, the Apostle of God, to Negus, the king of Abyssinia. Salutations. Glory be to Allah, there is no God but He, the Sovereign, the Holy, the Author of safety, the Giver of peace, the Protector, the Mighty. I bear witness that Jesus, the son of Mary, is the Spirit of God and His word which He cast into Mary, the virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus. God created him from His Spirit and His breathing as He created Adam by His hand and breathing. I call you to God, the Unique, without any associate and to His obedience and to follow me and to believe in that which came to me, for I am the Messenger of Allah. I invite you and your men to the Great Lord. Please listen to what I say and accept my advice. Peace be upon him who follows true guidance.” AHS 287
He was much impressed with the simplicity of Islam and its approval of all Prophets including Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ (p.b.u them all). He realised that it is the same faith preached by all Prophets. And Mohammed (s.a.w.) is the same Prophet whose appearance is mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.
He embraced Islam at the hand of Jaafer bin Abi Taleb who was in Habasha in those days. He wrote a reply to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). stressing the correct status of Jesus Christ as mentioned in the Bible in those days. He regretted that he could not appear in person in Madina Munawwarah to serve the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
His letter to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) read as under. “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merci the Merciful.
From the Negus to Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah. Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah ! and mercy and blessing from Allah beside Whom there is no God. I have received your letter in which you have mentioned about Jesus and by the Lord of heaven and earth Jesus is not more than what you say. We fully acknowledge that with which you were sent to us and we have entertained your nephew and his companions. I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah, true and confirming (those who have gone before you), I pledge to you through your nephew and surrender myself through him to the Lord of the worlds.” AHS 288
He was first Christian ruler to embrace Islam. He expired in Rajab 09 AH. And Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) led his funeral prayer (in absentia) in Madina Munawwarah. Islam flourished in Habasha and about 90% population turned to Islam. Bilal bin Rabah the black slave, who became a favourite servant of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) came from Habasha. Later this country was enslaved by colonial powers and even now Christian Presidents rule the Muslim majority countries of Habasha i.e.Etheopia and Eriteria.
- When Muslim envoy reached Palestine, Heraculius the Roman Emperor was in Jerusalem to express his thanks to Almighty Lord for his victory over Persians. He was quite a wise and experienced person. He received the Muslim envoy with due respect. Before handing over the letter Dahiya Kalbi delivered an introductory address in the court as under :
“O Caesar of Rome ! The one who has sent me as an envoy to you is better than yourself and the Great Lord Who has sent him to us as Prophet is the Greatest of All. So listen to me with full attention and give an earnest reply. If you do not pay full heed you may not be able to catch its meaning and if your answer does not come out of sincere heart, it will not be just. O King ! you are well aware of the fact that Jesus, the son of Mary, offered prayers.”
The King replied in the affirmative. “Then I invite you,” said Dihyah Kalbi, “to the Great Lord to whom Jesus offered his prayers, prostrated himself and Who shaped him in the womb of Mary and Who created the heavens and the earth. Then I invite you to that unlettered Prophet whose advent has been foretold by Moses and Jesus and you have a complete knowledge of all these facts.
If you accept the message preached by him you shall get immense reward in this world and the world to come. But in case you reject it, you shall be denied of them. Believe me there is one Great Master Who crushes the dis-believers and changes their fortunes.” AHS 284-85
Later the letter was read loudly to the whole court and translated in their language which was as under.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, th In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Mercif e Merciful.
This letter is being sent by Muhammad to Heraclius, the Emperor of Rome. Blessed are those who follow true guidance. I invite you to embrace Islam. If you do so, you shall be safe and secure. If you come within its fold, God will give you double reward and in case you turn your back upon it, then the burden of the sins of people shall fall on your shoulders.
O People of the Book ! come to the word that is common between us and between you that we shall worship none save Allah and that we shall not associate aught with Him and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that verily we are Muslims. (AHS 285)
The Emperor sought for a more personal testimony. He invited any Arab group to his court. Accidentally Abu Sufyan and all his non Muslims collegues were in Jerusalem.They were called to the Imperial Court to attest the authenticity of the prophet-hood. This was very critical situation because Abu Sufyan was an avowed enemy of Islam and leader of the pagan society. There was none to refute him at the court. He himself told later that he wanted to charge any blame to disqualify the Prophet (s.a.w.) but he could not do so. Almighty Allah made his conversation with Heraculius, a living testimony of the prophet-hood of Mohammed (s.a.w.).
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, narrated that Hercules sent for Abu Sufyan and his companions, who happened to be trading in Ash-Sham, (Jerusalem). That was during the truce that had been concluded between the polytheists of Quraish and the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.). Hercules, seated amongst his chiefs of staff, asked, “Who among you is the nearest relative to the man who claims to be a Prophet?” “I (Abu Sufyan) replied: ‘I am the nearest relative to him from amongst the group.’ So they made me sit in front of him and made my companions sit behind me. Then he called upon his translator and said (to him). ‘Tell them (i.e. Abu Sufyan’s companions) that I am going to ask him (Abu Sufyan) regarding that men who claims to be a Prophet. So if he tells a lie, they should contradict him (instantly)’. ‘By Allah had I not been afraid that my companions would consider me a liar, I would have told lies”, Abu Sufyan later said.
Abu Sufyan’s testimony went as follows: “Muhammad descends from a noble family. No one of his family happened to assume kingship. His followers are those deemed weak with numbers ever growing. He neither tells lies nor betrays others, we fight him and he fights us but with alternate victory. He bids people to worship Allah Alone with no associate, and abandon our fathers’ beliefs. He orders us to observe prayer, honesty, abstinence and maintain strong family ties.” “Hercules, on hearing this testimony, turned to his translator bidding him to communicate to us his following impression which reveals full conviction in the truthfulness of Muhammad’s Prophethood:
‘I fully realize that Prophets come from noble families; he does not affect any previous example of Prophethood. Since none of his ancestors was a monarch, we cannot then allege that he is a man trying to reclaim his father’s monarchy. So long as he does not tell lies to people, he is for the more reason, immune to telling lies as regards Allah. Concerning his followers being those deemed weak with numbers ever growing, it is something that goes in agreement with questions of Faith until the latter assumes its full dimensions geographically and demographically. I have understood that no instance of apostasy has as yet appeared among his followers, and this points to the bliss of Faith that finds its abode in the human heart.
Betrayal, as I see, is alien to him because real Prophets hold betrayal in abhorrence. Bidding worship of Allah with no associates, observance of prayer, honesty and abstinence and prohibition of paganism are traits bound to subject to him all my possessions. I have already known that a Prophet must arise but it has never occurred to me that he will be an Arab from among you.If I was sure I would be faithful to him, I might hope to meet him, and if I were with him,I would wash his feet.” Raheeq E 356-57.
It is said that Hercules was much inclined towards Islam but the Pope and clergy class present at the court created a tense atmosphere. Hercules at his heart had two choices: Islam or the Throne, as the Christian Courtiers would have de-throned him and the weak hearted Hercules opted for the later. This is generally the situation even today, with many people in Asia, Europe and Americas. They like Islam but cannot break the shackels of social and economical status in their feet. They opt for a little comfort in this world in place of perineal punishment in the Hereafter.
Hercules dispersed the court and gave a farewell to Dahiya with many valuable gifts to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Abusufyan returned dis-appointed and dismayed. While on his way Dahiya was attacked at Husma by Juzam tribe and all the gifts were looted. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Zaid bin Haritha with 500 Mujahedeen who punished them for their attack. It was not long before that the whole Syria and Palestine from the kingdom of Heraculius, entered the fold of Islam and Al Quds (Jerusalem) was conquered by Muslim forces under Abu Ubaidah al Jerrah in 16 A.H. (ATH Chrono. p58)
- The third letter was sent to Chosroes II the Emperor of Persia through Abdullah Ibn Huzaifa al Sahmi The letter read as under:
“In the Name of Allah,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to Chosroes, King of Persia.Peace be upon him who follows true guidance, believes in Allah and His Messenger and testifies that there is no god but Allah Alone with no associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I invite you to accept the religion of Allah. I am the Messenger of Allah sent to all people in order that I may infuse fear of Allah in every living person, and that the charge may be proved against those who reject the Truth. Accept Islam as your religion so that you may live in security, otherwise, you will be responsible for all the sins of Magians. (Raheeq 354-55)
The proud monarch was enraged by the style of the letter as the name of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was written before his own name. Without considering the content he tore the letter in pieces. (This letter has recently been discovered). When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) heard of it he said, “Allah will tore his empire into pieces in the same way as he has tore my letter”. History proved that how true were these words.
Chosroe also directed Bazan his governor of Yemen to send troops to Makkah (as Hijaz and Yemen were under Persian control in those days) and send Prophet (s.a.w.) to his court. The two persons came to Madina Munawwarah and advised him of the Royal order. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked them to see him tomorrow.
When they met him on the next day he told them that the person who ordered them to get him is no more alive and has been killed by his own son last night on 10th Jumadi I, 07 A.H. He also told them to tell their (new) king that “ Islam shall prevail upon the whole territory of the Persian Empire and even beyond it up to the extent where no camel andbhorse can go (ie.Tundra and North Russia). And if you embrace Islam I will bestow all your kingdom to you and crown you king of your nation.”.The two persons could not believe the news and rushed back to Yemen . But when they arrived there, they were surprised to know that the words of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) were perfectly true and Chosroe Parvez was assassinated and succeeded by his son Sheroe in 628 A.D.
The decay of the Persian empire had begun. Bazan embraced Islam. Sheroe II also sent a letter to Bazan not to disturb Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). After few month Kabad-II Sheroe was killed and Persian empire was usurped by Sherberaz But he was also murdered with in two months and the anarchy prevailed in Persia in 629. And it was within nine years when Saad bin Abi Vaqqas defeated Persians at the famous battle of Qadsiya in 16 A.H. (637 A.D) (ATH Chrono.p 58) and the whole Persia entered the folds of Islam.
- The fourth letter was sent to Juraij bin Matta (R.U571) called Maqauqas, the Coptic ruler of Egypt and Alexandaria. Hateb bin Abi Balta the envoy addressed the king in his court and said.
“There used to be someone before you who had arrogated the status of the Supreme Lord, so Allah punished him and made an example of him in the Hereafter, and in this life; therefore, take warning and never set a bad example to others.” Maqawqas answered: “We are in no position to relinquish our religion except for a better one.” Hatib resumed: “We invite you to embrace Islam, which will suffice you all what you may lose. Our Prophet has called people to profess this Faith, Quraish and the Jews stood against him as bitter enemies, whereas Christians stood closed to his Call.
Upon my life, Mose’s news about Christ is identical to the latter’s good tidings about the advent of Muhammad; likewise, this invitation of ours to you to embrace Islam is similar to your invitation to the people of Torah to accept the New Testament. Once a Prophet rises in a nation, he is eligible for positive response, hence you are subject to the same Divine Law. Bear in mind that we have not come to dissuade you from religion of Christ but rather bidding you to adhere to its tenets.” ( Raheeq 353-54)
How beautiful and logical was the extempore address of Hatib. It is still valid for all the Arabs who follow Christian faith. King Maqauqas was impressed by this logical address. Then the letter was read:
In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
From Mohammad slave of Allah and His Messenger to Maqawqas the ruler of Egypt. Peace be upon him who follows true guidance. Thereafter , I invite you to accept Islam. Therefore if you want security, accept Islam. If you accept Islam Allah the Sublime, shall reward you doubly. But if you refuse to do so, you will bear the burden of the transgression of all the Copts. Say, (0 Mohammad s.a.w. ) O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then if they turn away, say Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Al Qur’an 3:64)
Maqawqas said, “ I concentrated about the Prophet (s.a.w.) and concluded that he, neither orders any thing which is undesirable nor prohibits any thing which is desirable. Neither he is an stray magician nor lying sooth-sayer. But I find in him the signs of Prophet-hood that he discloses the secrets and knows even the whispering. I will reconsider this matter again”.
He took the letter and kept it in an ivory casket. Then he called a secretary and asked him to write the following reply in Arabic:
“In the Name of Allah,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
From Muqawqas to Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah.Peace be upon you. I have read your letter and understood its contents, and what you are calling for. I already know that the coming of a Prophet is still due, but I used to believe he would be born in Syria. I am sending you as presents two maids, who come from noble Coptic families; clothing and a steed for riding on. Peace be upon you .”
Muqawqas did not embrace Islam but sent gift as token of high respect which were accepted, Maria the first maid stayed with the Prophet (s.a.w.) and gave birth to his son Ibrahim the other named Sirin was given to Hassan bin Thabit al Ansari. The steed was named Duldul and remained in the service of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) for a long time.(Raheeq 354)
- The fifth letter was sent to Hauza bin Ali ruler of Yamama in Najd (AHS -288) through Saleet bin Amr. He received the letter with due respect and showed his inclination towards Islam. But he was much greedy and demanded a share in the authority of the state. He tried to bargain his Islam for wealth and authority which is against the spirit of Islam. He forbade the envoy with few gifts. When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) knew about his demand he rejected it and said, “ I will not bargain even a single plot of land to him. He will be destroyed with all (his wealth) what he has in his hand.”
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was returning from the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah he was informed that Hauza bin Ali expired. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said. Now an imposter will appear in Yamama and he will be killed after me by my people. Subsequently Musailma Kaddab appeared in Yamama and was killed by Wahshi during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr. Thus whole Yamama entered the fold of Islam.
- Harith bin Umair Azdi was sent to the ruler of Busra in Sham (Syria) a place, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) visited on a business tour before prophet-hood. Harith was intercepted by Sharahbail Ghassani the Christian Arab ruler. When he discovered that Harith was an envoy to Busra from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) he killed him. This was a serious threat and resulted in the first Muslim attack at Christian territory at the battle of Mauta in September 629 AD.
- Another letter was sent to Harith bin Abi Shammar the Governor of Damascus through Shuja bin Wahab but he ignored the letter and said, “ Who can snatch my kingdom from me and I will send a large force to fight Muslims.” He wrote to Hercules to allow him to attack but he advised him to postpone till he comes to Jerusalem. Harith returned Shuja bin Whab with some gifts. Later his kingdom was conquered by Abu Obaidah bin al Jerrah in 14 A.H (ATH Chrono p56)
- Ola Hadrami was sent as his envoy to Munzir bin Sawi the ruler of Bahrain. His rule included the main Island and coastal territory of Dammam, Alkhobar and al Ahsa on the main peninsula and it was a vassal state under Persian empire. Munzer received the envoy well and sent the following reply to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
“Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) ! I received your injunctions. Prior to this, I read your letter, which you wrote to the people of Bahrain extending to them an invitation to Islam. Islam appealed to some of them and they entered the fold of Islam, while others did not find it appealing. In my country, there live Magians and Jews, and therefore you may inform me of the treatment to be extended to them.”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) wrote the following letter in reply to him:
“In the Name of Allah,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
From Muhammad, Messenger of Allah to Mundhir bin Sawa.Peace be upon you ! I praise Allah with no associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Thereafter, I remind you of Allah, the Mighty, the Glorious. Whoever accepts admonition, does it for his own good. Whoever follows my envoys and acts in accordance with their guidance, he, in fact, accepts my advice.
My envoys have highly praised your behavior. You shall continue in your present office. Give the new Muslims full chance to preach their religion. I accept your recommendation regarding the people of Bahrain, and I pardon the offences of the offenders; therefore, you may also forgive them.
Of the people of Bahrain whoever wants to go on in their Jewish or Magian faith, should be made to pay Jizya. Raheeq 358 -59
It show that Munzer bin Sawi and good number of people embraced Islam.The people who preferred to remain as Jews and Magians were not forced to embrace Islam and they paid the Defence Service Exemption Tax called Jizya.
- A letter was sent to Jaifar and Abd, sons of Jalaidi, rulers of Oman, through Amr ibn al Aas. The younger brother Abd received the envoy well and discussed many points about the reaction of other rulers to Islam. Amr told him that Najashi of Habasha embraced Islam and some of the Christian clergies also followed him and the Emperor Hercules knows about it . Abd said, “ How you know it”. Amr replied,
“Najashi always paid tribute to Hercules but when he embraced
Islam and attested the prophet hood of Mohammed (s.a.w.) he
said by God now I will not pay a single penny to Hercules.
When the news reached Hercules his brother Yanaq said
“Would you leave your slave not to pay his tax and adopt a
religion of another person .” Hercules replied. “It is a person
who chose a religion for him and adopted it. What can I do of him.
By God , were I, not greedy of my kingship, I would do the same.”
It proves that this wise man accepted the truth of Islam but he had no courage to declare it. In reality he was afraid of the Pope and clergy class who would have deposed him in favor of his brother. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) never deposed any ruler if he embraced Islam rather Muslims might have supported him to retain his empire.
Then Abd asked about the tenets of Islam. Amr said: He ordains us to obey the commands of Allah and prohibits us from His dis-obedience. He advises us to maintain blood relations and forbids us aggression and oppression, adultery, drinking wine, idolatry and worshipping the Cross.
How nice are the fair rules to whom he is inviting. If my brother would have followed me, we could have rushed to Holy Prophet and embraced his religion. But my brother is too attached to his kingship to become a follower.
Amr removed his doubt about the king ship and advised that if he embraced Islam, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) will affirm him on his kingship but we will collect little wealth tax from the rich persons and distribute it on YOUR poor persons.
Abd was fully convinced about the truth of Islam and its noble principles. He counseled his brother wisely. After few days of stay, King Jaifar called Amr to his court and after some conversation both the brothers embraced Islam.
With Roman and Persian Empires in the North, Egypt and Ethiopia in the West, Yamama and Bahrain in the East and Oman in the South, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent his message to the ruling class in the four directions of Hijaz. There were few, who embraced it, few sympathized with it and there were few who rejected it. Rulers of Oman in the South East and Habasha in the West were the first to embrace Islam. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) confirmed them on their thrones and prayed for them. Chosroe, the tyrant tore, Holy Prophet’s letter to pieces and Almighty Allah tore his vast kingdom into pieces within short time. How fortunate were those who heard his message in the past and adopted it. And how fortunate are those who hear his message in Europe and Americas and Philippines, Japan and Koreas and even today embrace it.
.THE CONQUEST OF MAKKAH
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) recorded rare examples in every field of life. It was the boon from Allah to show the coming generations and the mankind as a whole as how to encounter the problems and how to welcome the success. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) established a great example at Hudaibiya and even a greater at the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah.
According to Hudaibiya Peace Treaty the Arab tribes were given liberty to join either camp. Subsequently Banu Bakr joined Quraish and Banu Khaza’a entered into alliance with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). But these tribes had a long history of enmity and war between them. Banu Bakr kept quiet for some time but in the month of Shaban 08 AH they made a surprise attack in the night on Banu Khaza’a and killed many persons.
Banu Khaza’a ran towards the sanctuary of Harem but Banu Bakr followed them and their chief Nofel bin Moawiya did not spare them even in the Harem territory. This was great a challenge. Banu bakr not betrayed the peace treaty alone but also de-sanctified the Harem territory. Quraish of Makkah Mukarramah supported them with man power and arms in this campaign guessing that Muslims are in Madina Munawwarah too far to help Banu Khaza’a. It was a grave mistake and breach of agreement on their part.
Amr bin Salem Khazaii with twenty men rushed to Madina Munawwarah and informed Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) about the surprise attack on his tribe and killing of the people in Harem territory. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood to his commitment and he said: ” By God you shall be protected as we protect ourselves”. Amr was satisfied and returned. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent a person to Quraish and offered them three choices:
- Pay ransom for the persons killed by them.
- Terminate their alliance with Banu Bakr.
- Consider the Hudaibiya Peace treaty as abrogated.
The Quraish in their arrogance and vanity said that we shall neither pay the ransom nor terminate our alliance with Banu Bakr but are ready to terminate the alliance with you. The envoy returned. Later Quraish thought the consequences of an end to the state of peace they were enjoying for the last twenty months. They rushed Abu Sufyan to Madina Munawwarah to re-instate the peace treaty. Abu Sufyan went to Madina Munawwarah and he spoke to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in the mosque but he gave no affirmative reply. Then he went to Abu Bakr, Umer and Ali, but all refused to plead his case to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). He went even to Fatima and said that let Hassan say a word about the treaty. But she said it was not possible for a boy of six years to enter into such affairs. Abu Sufyan returned to Makkah Mukarramah disappointed and his people blamed him for failure of his mission.
It was not advise-able for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to sit silently in Madina Munawwarah and watch the high handed-ness of Quraish. If Banu Khaza’a were not helped at this stage, there was no value to any peace treaty and any alliance with Quraish. Banu Bakr even desacrated the Harem territory and Quraish abrogated the Peace treaty by helping them with men and arms. This was a great challenge to the Muslims. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took the right decision and planned a punitive attack on Quraish. But it was not practical as Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) wanted no blood-shed in Harem territory.
He made a secret plan to surround Makkah Mukarramah in surprise with a large army so that Makkans may surrender the city without a fight. This was super strategy. But the secret of its success laid in secrecy. Because if Quraish knew about this campaign and they gathered their allies with arms, a war was inevitable. So Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) kept it as a top secret and prayed Almighty Allah to keep Quraish fully un-aware about it. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) declared war preparation with out naming the target and called Muslims to gather in Ramadhan in Madina Munawwarah. Islam had taken great leap during the two years of peace. Many tribes around Madina Munawwarah and in the north had embraced Islam after the conquest of Khaiber and Taima. The Muslims came in thousands. The famous tribes of Aslam, Sulaim, Ghifar, Muzaina, Ashjaa and Juhaina joined the Islamic force.
When these large preparation were going on an un-toward incident occurred. Hateb bin Belta, who was a true Muslim and the one who participated in the Battle of Badr feared for his family in Makkah Mukarramah. He sent a secret message through a woman to Quraish writing about a full scale attack on Makkah Mukarramah.Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) when informed of this incident, sent Ali, Zubair and Miqdad to catch the women at Roda Khakh and get the letter from her. When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) got the letter, he called Hatib to explain. Omer was so much enraged that he said : “O Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) allow me to chop his head”. But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) gave a chance to Hatib to explain his position and he said:
“O Messenger of Allah ! I have no affinity of blood with the Quraysh; there is only a kind of friendly relationship between them and myself. My family is at Mekka and there is no one to look after it or to offer protection to it. My position stands in striking contrast to that of the Muhajereen whose families are secure due to their blood ties with the Quraysh. I felt that since I am not related to them, I should, for the safety of my children, earn their gratitude by doing good to them. I swear by God that I have not done this act as an aspostate, forsaking Islam. I was prompted only by the consideration explained above.”
‘Umar wanted to cut his head off as a hypocrite, but the Apostle of Allah accepted his excuse and granted him pardon and addressed ‘Umar in these words:
“Hatib is one of those who fought in the battle of Badr. How do you know, my companion ! that he is a hypocrite, perhaps God looked favourably on those who participated in that battle. AHS 309
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marched from Madina Munawwarah at the head of strong force of over ten thousand Mujahedeen. It was the month of fasting and the season was quite hot. Allah allowed Muslims to postpone fasting during travelling and Jehad. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) drank water in the open public so that the people may know that he was not fasting and follow him.
At Abwa (where his mother Amena is buried) Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was joined by Abu Sufyan bin Harith bin Abdul Muttaleb (brother of Obaida bin Harith who was martyred at Badr) and Abdullah bin Umayya brother of Umm-e-Salma (Prophet’s wife) the two arch enemies, and they embraced Islam. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) pardoned them both and prayed for them cheerfully.
At Johfa, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) met his uncle Abbass bin Abdul Muttaleb who after embracing Islam was coming with his family to Madina Munawwarah. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was much happy on his success he asked him to accompany him to Makkah Mukarramah and send the family to Madina Munawwarah .
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) encamped at Marr Zahran near Makkah Mukarramah and strategically, he ordered his men to kindle fire separately for every group. The Islamic force covered an area of thousands tents.The light of thousands fires illuminated the whole valley and plain in the night. It looked like a Haj festival of today at Mina. Accidentally, Abu Sufyan and Hakeem bin Hizam (nephew of Khadija) the two pagan leaders, walked out of Makkah Mukarramah on a servillance visit. They were stunned at the very sight of this huge army.
Abbas was on another round of the large camp. He listened Abu Sufyan talking to Hakeem in darkness. He rushed to him and told him the whole situation. He took him on his mule to the tent of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). He persuaded Abu Sufyan to embrace Islam. How peaceful this religion was and how noble was Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), who pardoned even his arch enemies. Abbas also informed Abu Sufyan that he himself embraced Islam. When Omer ibn al Khattab saw Abu Sufyan he wanted to kill him. But they rushed to the tents of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) who gave him a respite and asked Abbas to get him Abu Sufyan next morning.
Abu Sufyan analysed the whole situation. How cruel was he to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). He himself was the reason of the Battle of Badr. He was the person to shout at Ohud that Mohammed (s.a.w.) is dead. He was the leader to surround Madina Munawwarah with a large force of 10,000 and he was the person to stop Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to enter Makkah Mukarramah from Hudaibiya. But how soft, cool, calm and clement was he (the Prophet), who did not pass an order of ‘shoot on sight’ for him nor allowed Omer, his right hand, to chop his head. He weighed all the values and de-values through-out the night and concluded that Mohammad, was really a Messenger of Allah and a Mercy to Mankind.
Next morning he went to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) with Abbas and suddenly embraced Islam. Abbas said to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) that as he has been a chief of Quraish he likes to be honoured. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) declared, “Who so ever enters the House of Abu Sufyan is safe and secured”. This amnesty was a great honour to Abu Sufyan.He rushed to Makkah Mukarramah to announce that a large army is attacking Makkah Mukarramah and who so ever enters my house is safe. The people also knew instantly that Abu Sufyan their leader has embraced Islam and has been honoured by Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.). This created a positive impact on Makkans for Islam as their Flag Holder has already raised the Flag of Islam high at his house.
It was Tuesday 7th of Ramadhan 08 AH, when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marched from Marr al Zahran to Di Tuwa towards Makkah Mukarramah. He sent Khalid bin Waleed with a force to enter Makkah Mukarramah from the lower part and reach finally at Safa. Further he sent Zubair ibn al Awwam from upper part of Makkah Mukarramah and to hoist the flag high at Hijoon as High Command’s Head Quarter. Abu Obaida was sent from a third route to join finally with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
When the army moved from Marr al Zahran, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked Abbas to take Abu Sufyan on a hillock from where he can see the march of Islamic forces. Abu Sufyan was perplaxed, he said, Who has the strength to face this strong army. Meanwhile Saad Abu Abada with the Flag of Ansar passed through the gorge and when he saw Abu Sufyan he said in marshal zeal.:
It is the day of great slaughter.
Even Holy sanctity will be sacrificed today .
And Allah degraded Quraish.
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was informed of this slogan from, one of his great generals, he disliked it and said:
Today is the day when
Holy Kaaba will be adorned
Today is the day when Quraish
Will get their lost honour.
He ordered to take the flag from Saad bin Abada and gave to his son Qais.(Raheeq U 648). It was a great example of Islamic discipline.
While entering Makkah Mukarramah Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) designed a perfect plan to avoid war and blood shed in holy Sanctuary. He declared whoso enters Holy Harem is secured, whoso enters House of Abu Sufyan is secured, who so even closes door of his house is secured. The people rushed to Harem and their houses. They never knew such a peaceful behaviour from an invading army. The result of this declaration was that the whole Makkah Mukarramah looked deserted as in curfew, and there was none to raise arm or to give battle to the Muslim forces who surrounded the whole Makkah Mukarramah and left no place for any one, even to escape. It was only with Khalid that a small Makkan contingent under Ikrama bin Abu Jehal and Hamas bin Qais gave battle and their twelve persons were killed. Kurz bin Fahri and Khunais (bin Khaled bin Rabea) the two Mujahedeen were detached from the main force and were martyred.
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) entered Makkah Mukarramah he was not entering like a loin with inflated bosom, boasting on his large army and un-matched weaponry. No victory bands were singing the Tune of Triumph and no cannons were firing the shots of Honour. He was riding a camel with Osama bin Zaid sitting behind him. He was bent on his saddle as he was prostrating to Allah. His eyes were cast down and his head was so low that his beard touched the saddle. He was an embodiment of submission to his Lord, Allah, bowing down in gratitude as a symbol of grace, for Allah’s great favour upon him. He repeated loudly:
There is no god save Allah
There is no partner to Him
He fulfilled His promise
He awarded grand truimph to His servant
And He alone defeated all alliances
He entered Makkah Mukarramah without any resistance and encamped at Hajoon, Head Quarter. After a while, and with legions of Muhajereen and Ansar he moved to Holy Harem which was crowded with the fearful Quraish. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) performed Tawaf around Holy Kaaba and touched Hajar Aswad (The Black Stone) and he offered Salat at Muqam-e-Ibraheem. Then the death and destruction came to ages old idols clinging the Holy Kaaba.There were about 360 idols of gods and goddesses made of stone, clay and even wood in and around Holy Kaaba and even on the top of it. There were so-called pictures of Prophet Ibraheem and Ismail holding arrows of gambling painted on the walls inside the Holy Kaaba. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) cleansed the Holy Precincts from all these dirty objects of false worship. He took a bow in his hand and hit the idols saying: And say
“ Truth has (now) arrived And False-hood perished.
For False-hood is (by its nature) bound to perish (17:81)
The rest of the idols were broken by Ali bin Abi Taleb and Bilal bin Rabah.Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called Usman Abi Talha, the Key Holder of Holy Kaaba and took the keys from him. He entered Holy Kaaba cleansed it from idols and offered prayer to One Lord Allah at His House.Then he came out and standing on the elevated gate of Holy Kaaba and with keys of the Holy House in his hands, he gazed on the thronging multitude of Makkans below and said :
“There is no god but Allah alone. He has no associate. He made good His promise that He held to His bondman and helped him and defeated all the confederates along. Bear in mind that every claim of privilege, whether that of blood, or property, is under my heel, except that of the custody of the Ka’bah and supplying of water to the pilgrims. Bear in mind anyone who is slain, even though unintentionally, may be with club or whip, for him the blood wit is very severe: hundred camels, forty of them to be pregnant. O people of Quraysh ! surely God has abolished from you all pride of the time of ignorance and all pride in your ancestry, (because) all men are descended from Adam, and Adam was made out of clay.”
Then he recited to them the verse:
‘O Mankind ! verily We have created you of a male and female and We have made you nations and tribes that ye might know one another. Verily the noblest of you with Allah is the most God-fearing of you; Verily Allah is Knowing, Aware.” AHS 315
This is one of the great addresses in the World’s History. This is the sermon, which for the first time, in history declared the equality of man and abolished all barriers from man to man. It dissolved the distinction of black and white, Arab or Ajam, high or low by birth and every partition of mankind.
There is no distinction between man and man. All are equal, because they are descendants of the same parents. Superiority of one over another in this vast brotherhood does not depend on nationality, wealth or rank, but on one’s conscious adherence to the Commands of Allah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was sent to the world to break off all kinds of chains which the clever amongst the human race had forged in order to keep it in perpetual bondage. The idols of caste, creed and colour were also destroyed along with the idols of stone and clay. Humanity could not have regained its lost dignity if these were not broken. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), in his declaration, struck at the very root of all kinds of false distinctions and established the brotherhood of mankind.
Tribe, race and nation are convenient labels by which their differing characteristics are known, but they should have none of the imperialistic designs which we find in the aggressive nationalism of the past and the present – a nationalism which is based upon feelings of vanity and arrogance and fear and hatred against others. AHS 317-18
Now came the real test of his ideal character. A multitude of thousands criminal was standing, with their heads bowed down, infront of him.There were the people who mocked at him, ridiculed him, humiliated him, and even threw rotten filth upon him. They forced him to leave his hearth and home and declared a prize to arrest him living or dead.They also tried to de-stabilise him in his new home. They attacked Madina Munawwarah several times and killed his beloved uncle Hamza and even wounded his own person. All these criminals were standing looking at him with fearful eyes. His one word would chop their heads from the shoulders. Standing at the elevation of Holy Kaaba, he threw the weight of decision upon the oppressors :
O, The people of Quraish:
What do you think of the treatment
I am about to accord to you
They replied in harrased voices,
“O noble brother and son of a noble brother
We expect nothing from you except goodness.
Upon this Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
I speak to you in the same words
As (Prophet ) Yousuf spoke unto his Brothers.
This day there is no reproof against you
Go ahead happily you are all free.
Is there any example of such a kind behaviour in the annals of the world history. Today standing at an elevated place he became the highest elevated person of the whole mankind.
Read the account of the entry of Muhammad into Mekka side by side with that of Marius of Sulla into Rome. Compare all the attendant circumstances, the outrages that preceded, and the use made by each of his recovered power, and we shall then be in a position better to appreciate the magnanimity and moderation of the Prophet of Arabia. There were no proscription lists, no plunder,no wanton revenge. (AHS313,Gibbon in Mohammad & Mohammadan-ism)
There was an explosion of joy in Makkah, some of the people burst into tears on such a noble treatment. He is really a Mercy for the whole mankind. The dark lens of stubborn-ness and hate was removed from their eyes and the people saw him like a bright moon. The truth of Islam revolutionised the sons of Abraham and Ismail who were distracted from the right path. They rushed to accept the reality. They thronged to embrace Islam in thousands.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called Usman bin Talha and gave him the key saying. “This will remain with you forever. Nobody will snatch it from you except an oppressor.” This is the same Usman who once stopped Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) from entering the Holy Kaaba before Hijrah. This is the value of Holy Prophet’s words that no king or emperor in the whole Islamic History of more than 1,400 took the key from the descendants of Usman. They are called Shaiby and even today in 1420 AH the key of Holy Kaaba is in their own possession.
Then came the time of Salat. Every body was desirous to call the first Azan at Holy Kaaba. There were many notable Quraish in Muhajereen and there were many favorites among the Ansars who aspired for this honour. But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) called Bilal Bin Rabah, a black Ethiopian slave who was tortured on the burning sand of Makkah for the sake of Islam, to climb on the top of Holy Kaaba and from there he called at the highest pitch.
Allah is Great, Allah is Great
I witness that there is no God save Allah
And I witness that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah ….
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), then sat on Safa and the people thronged to embrace Islam at his hand. How fortunate were those who gave their hands in his hand.
After men ladies came to embrace Islam at his hand. But he never touched hand of any woman. He put his hand in a big bowl, full of water and ladies dipped their hands in the bowl when taking the Bai’ah or Islamic pledge. The ladies solemnly said:
We shall not associate any partner to Allah, the One.
We shall not commit stealing, adultery , infanticide
Nor utter false hood nor speak ill of other women
Nor disobey Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in good deeds.
In six short words Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) en-compassed the entire character of a Muslim lady. This is essential that Muslim ladies weigh their character on these lines and their ingredients even today. Among the ladies came Hinda bint Rabiea the avowed enemy of Islam. It is she who incited the Quraish at the battle of Badr and Ohud. It is the lady who ripped open the belly of Hamza, the beloved uncle of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and chewed his liver like a beast. But today the chemistry of characters was changed and after some conversation she exclaimed. You were the most hated person O, Mohammed (s.a.w.) to me but today you are the most beloved person to me.
Among the men were the bitterest enemies of Islam such as Ikrama the son of Abu Jehal, Uteba and Mo’teb the sons of Abu Lahab , Safwan bin Omayyah, Sohail bin Amr, Wahshi the Hamza’s assassinate and Kaab bin Zuhair who ridiculed Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) through his poetry. Sub-han Allah (Praise be to God) Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) dealt them all in such a way that every avowed enemy became the ardent supporter of Islam.
Ikrama bin Abu Jehal ran away from Makkah in fear but his wife Umme Hakeem who had embraced Islam before the conquest of Makkah sought amnesty for him and rushed to the sea coast where Ikrama was planning to escape. She gave the good news which Ikrama could not believe but later he appeared to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) who stood and gave him a warm welcome and prayed for him. Ikrama embraced Islam and in his later life became one of the favourite companions.Sohail bin Amr who dictated his terms at Hudaibiya Peace Treaty and refused to release one person for his sake, hid himself in Makkah but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent his words to him, saying that : Sohail is a wise an honourable person and he cannot ignore Islam. When Sohail heard this message he exclaimed Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is an embodiment of virtues whether he was young or old and he embraced Islam.
Safwan bin Omayya the main plotter against Muslims ran away from Makkah in fear of death but Omair bin Wahab sought amnesty for him and it was granted. Safwan could not believe it and asked for a proof. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) gave him his Amama (turban like head wear) which he was using on the day of conquest. How great he was who gave his honoured head wear to the avowed enemy of Islam. Omair rushed to sea coast where Safwan went to throw himself into the sea (Yaqeen 214) and brought him back to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Safwan was wonder-struck he asked two month’s respite.And Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said Safwan, you take four months. Safwan experienced his graciousness and embraced Islam.
Kaab bin Zuhair who ignited fire among Qurish through his poetry against Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) ran away in fear from Makkah. But he found no peace anywhere in the world, and returned to Madina Munawwarah to seek mercy from him. He wrote few couplets in the honour of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and praising Islam. When he read these couplets in presence of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) he gave his ‘Burda’ (The Shawl he was wearing) as a gift to Kaab bin Zuhair.This eulogy is renowned in history as Qaseeda Burda Shareef and is still recited by saints in their gatherings. Kaab embraced Islam and refined his poetry with the radiance of Islam.
Every attempt was made to grant pardon to the people. Ikramah,( Abu Jahl’s son) who had attacked Khalid’s detachment at the time of the entry into Mekka was forgiven. To Wahshi, the murderer of Hamzah, the Prophet’s uncle, and to Hindah, who had chewed his liver, was also extended his generous clemency. The same generous treatment was accorded to Habbar who had attacked Zainab,the Prophet’s daughter with a spear while on her way from Mekka to Medina, so grievously that she suffered abortion ultimately died of the fatal injuries. AHS 319-20
Only four persons named Ibn Khatal, Muqais bin Sababa, Harith bin Nofail (Raheeq -656) and Arnab, a she-slave of ibn Khatal were put to death. The first two among them were the apostate, who had embraced Islam, committed a crime, rejected the faith and ran away from Madina.
It was on this ocasion that Abu Qahafa, the father of Abu Bakr, an old man of above eighty years was brought to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.): The father of Abu Bakr also approched the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) leaning on his son’s arm. Muhammad (peace be upon him) accosted him kindly: “Why didn’t you leave your aged father in his house, Abu Bakr, and I would have gone and seen him there ?”But Abubakr replied: “It was more fitting that he should visit thee, O Prophet than that thou shouldst visit him.” The Prophet seated the aged man beside him with respect and, affectionately pressing his hand upon his bosom, invited him to make profession of Islam, which he readily did. AHS 319
Abubakr was very fortunate and proud that his four generations embraced Islam at the hands of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Mohammed bin Abdur Rahaman bin Abu Bakr bin Abu Qahafa were all Muslims and Sahaba (the blessed companions of Holy Prophet). Moawiya bin Abu Sufyan who later founded Banu Ummayyah ruling dynasty in Islamic history also embraced Islam this day. His sister Umm Slama was (Muslim and) already married to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) returned to the house of his cousin sister Umm Hani the daughter of Abu Taleb. He did not go to the house where he was born or to the house where he lived with Khadija claiming them as his ancestoral property. Umm Hani welcomed him and also sought anmesty for Harith bin Hisham and Zuhair bin Abi Umayyah the two bitter enemies. She hid them in her house as her brother Ali wanted to kill them. She was granted the anmesty generously for the two persons who were brothers of her husband.
Now the whole Makkah was under the control of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). The Muhajereen, when leaving Makkah eight years ago, left all their property which was grabbed by Quraish. This was the time when they could recover it. Abu Ahmed bin Jahash approached Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) for the recovery of his house.
Upon this the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) remarked: “As for your land and property of which you have been deprived in the cause of Allah, I do not approve of its possession by you.” On hearing these words, the Muhajereen kept silent and did not cherish the possession of the property which they had abandoned for the sake of Allah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) did not make even the slightest reference direct or indirect to his own house in which he was born and where he was married to Khadijah. AHS 321
Uttab bin Usaid was a youth of 19 years of age. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) appointed him as the governor of Makkah Mukarramah and permitted one dirham perday for his expenses. He was much happy on this appointment and held the post during the whole period of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and the caliphate of Abu Bakr. He expired on the same day when Caliph AbuBakr died in Madina Munawwara . He was the first Governor of Makkah Mukarramah of the Islamic State.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) decided to dig out the roots of idolatory from the Arabian peninsula. On 25th Ramadhan, he sent Khalid bin Waleed with thirty riders to demolish the Idol of Uzza at Nakhla. It was the goddess of Quraish and Banu Kanana. Khalid cut the idol into pieces and returned. Amr ibn al Aas was sent to Banu Hudhail three miles away from Makkah Mukarramma to demolish the idol of Suwaa. The people had a high superstition about their god and they warned Amr not to touch it and avoid its wrath upon him. But Amr shattered it into pieces infront of them and Suwaa could harm nothing to him .and he returned safely to Makkah Mukarramah.
Saad bin Zaid Ash-hali was sent to Mashlal on the sea side near Qudaid to demolsih the idol of Manat. It was the god of Khaza’a, Aus, Khazaraj and Ghassan tribes. The people warned Saad against the idol’s wrath but he cut it into pieces in front of them and returned safely. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) also sent people to announce in the streets of Makkah Mukarramah that who so ever believe in Allah and the life Hereafter should not leave any (big or small) idol in his house and demolish it.
The idol demolition in and around Makkah had a great significance. Lat, Manat, Suwaa and Uzza were the great gods of Arabs. They reverted to them in all their desires, aspiration and reverses. They offered great wealth and sacrifices to the icons. They regarded them as the owners of their luck and fate. Monotheism and worship of one God was abandoned in those days throughout the world. They had firm belief that nobody could harm their gods and goddesses. If any one approached them with bad intentions, he will be burnt to ashes. This was the situation when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent his generals to demolish these idols in front of their worshippers. So that they may realise that these stone and clay idols have no authority on the affairs of man, who is in fact, much higher with them.
The people were perplexed when they saw their gods knocked down helplessly by single strokes. They realised that they were in sheer illusion and darkness about them. In some cases the worshippers themselves deformed, mutilated and demolished their own idols and these poor gods could do nothing to them. On the contrary they saw that one man from among them stood alone to call the people to worship one God Allah and with in short time Allah granted him great success over his thousands of enemies. They also noted that when Abraha marched towards Kaaba he was humiliated on the way. But when Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) marched to Makkah and demolished all the idols around it, he was granted the grand success. The people realised the truth of monotheism and entered into its folds in thousands.
“One of the greatest blessings which Islam has brought to East and West alike has been the emphasis which at a critical period in human history it placed upon the Divine unity. For, during those Dark Ages both in East and West, from 600 to 1000 A.D., this doctrine was in danger of being overlaid and obscured in Hinduism and in Christianity itself, owing to the immense accretions of subsidiary worship of countless demi-gods and heroes. Islam has been, both to Europe and India, in their dark hour of aberration from the sovereign truth of God’s unity, an invaluable corrective and deterrent. Indeed, without the final emphasis on this truth, which Islam gave from its central position,- facing India and facing Europe-it is doubtful whether this idea of God as One could have obtained that established place in human thought which is uncontested in the intellectual world of today.”(AHS 316-317)
The world history is unable to quote an example when a city of tooth enemies was besieged by a well equipped large army and the whole city surrendered, but no festival was celebrated, no victory march was displayed. No person was killed, no house was plundered and no woman was molested which are the common practices of the so called civilized nations today. This is how Mekka was conquered, not by means of the sword, but by peace and goodwill. The highly magnanimous treatment of Muhammad (peace be upon him) had not only disarmed all opposition, but had also awakened the Mekkans to the Call of Truth which the Prophet had preached. Their minds were agitated and their conscience was stirred and they began to reflect calmly over the blessings which the Divine Faith had in store for them. Blind hostility gave way to sober reflection as a result of which the people entered into the pale of Islam not by ones or twos, but in crowds. AHS 322
HUNAIN: A MATTER OF HUNAIN: A MATTER OF ISLAMIC DISCIPLINE
Conquest of Makkah Mukarramah was a great challenge to pagan society. Most of the tribes were impressed with the plain truth of Islam and were coming out from the age old darkness of idolatry to the brightness of Islam. But two large tribes of Hawazen and Thaqeef near Taif assembled to give a tough resistance to Muslim forces. They were also joined by Mudar, Jatham and Banu Saad. Maalik bin Awf Nasri their young leader of 20 years age decided to take all their cattles, camels and families to the battle field so that they may fight unto death in defence of their prestige and property. This whole armada with more than 20, 000 fighters moved from Hunain to Awtas.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was not unaware of the events. When he heard about the great preparation of Hawazen and Thaqeef he marched to Hunain with his 10,000 Mujahideen from Makkah Mukarramah. About 2,000 new converts and few local pagans also joined the march. This large Muslim force of 12, 000 well armed and well spirited fighters moved towards Taif. It was the biggest force of Mujahideen that had hither to assembled under the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). They felt greatly elated with their strength and preparation of war. Some one, out of excitement, cried in admiration. “Today we shall not be over powered by the small-ness of numbers”.
This feeling was a great fault on their part as their confidence and cause of success was shifting from Allah to men and machinery. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) never liked it. And this was the reason that Muslim forces with all their strength and majority were routed in the first attack. The people who boasted for majority could see that without Allah’s support their majority could bring nothing but defeat.
This was a matter of Islamic Discipline. Almighty Allah is the sole supporter of Muslims. If they depend upon Him and have full confidence in Him, He will grant them success even if they were poor in power of men and machinery as He did in the battle of Badr. But if they shifted their confidence to their numerical majority or superior weaponry and did not implore Allah for His help they will be defeated. This phenomena was established well in various battles fought by Muslims in Islamic history. Recently it proved well when Muslim army of Egypt fought against well equipped Jewish army in 17th Ramadhan war (which was the day of Battle of Badr) in 1974. They crossed Suez Canal and smashed Brezenhoff defence line of Israel which was thought to be impregnable.
The Hawazen and Thaqeef marched towards Makkah Mukarramah and this huge crowd encamped at Awtas.There was an old war veteran named Dareed bin Samma with them. He criticised the new commander, Maalik bin Awf Nasri saying, Why he ordered to bring all the camel and families to the battle field? Maalik replied, So that they may fight unto death to save their dignity and property. Dareed advised, You did a mistake. Nothing can stop a defeated soldier from running.If you lost the battle every thing will be lost. Malik taunted Dareed by saying, You are too old and your wisdom is old and out dated too.But the events proved that Dareed was correct.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marched from Makkah Mukarramah on 6th Shawwal and arrived at the scene on 10th Shawwal 08AH (Jan 630 AD). The Muslim forces entered the valley in the morning after Fajr salat.
The vanguard composed of Banu Sulaym and led by the famous general Khalid bin Waleed, marched onward through the steep and narrow pass, when suddenly the enemy sprang from his ambuscade and charged furiously upon them. “Straggered by the unexpected onslaught, column after column fell back and choked the narrow pass. Aggravated by the obscurity of the hour, and the straitness of the rugged road, panic seized the army. They all turned and fled.” It appeared that a general rout had taken place. The knell on which the Prophet stood was now isolated, the archers concentrated their attack upon it; the enemy was making straight for that spot. But the Holy Prophet, perfectly confident of the promise of Divine help, remained clam and self-possessed at this hour of trial. He showed no excitement, no fear. The same unfailing source of solace-unswerving faith in the power of Allah and implicit conviction of the rightness of his cause and its final triumph sustained him now as ever. AHS 325-26
There was a sudden attack when Muslim troops were entering the valley in the mist before sunrise. They were attacked from all sides by the archers hidden in the hilly gorges. Barges after barges of sharp arrows from all sides pierced the bodies of the fighters. Khalid bin Waleed was also wounded . There were many new converts in the front who could not sustain the first thrust.They turned their camels back and fled. The fleeing front contingent also discouraged the rear ranks and they also joined them in the run. Within a very short time the large Muslim force was on the run and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood alone with hardly 12 persons around him.
He was firm on his faith, unmoved with odd circumstances and fully assured of Allah’s help to him. He called with a confident voice loudly:
“ I am the Apostle of Allah Beyond any doubt. I am (Mohammed ) Son of Abdul Muttaleb.”
The weak hearted persons lost the courage. Some new converts and pagan who had joined the battle in the greed of booty, passed pinching remarks on this occasion.Abu Sufyan bin Harb the deposed commander of pagans and new convert said “Their flight will not stop before they get to the sea”. Jabala bin al Hanbal brother of Safwan bin Umayyah cried “Surely the magic has disappeared today. Shaiba the brother of Uthman bin abi Talha said “Now I will take my revenge on Mohammed” (his father was killed at Ohud battle).However Safwan bin Umayyah and Ikrama bin Abu Jehal defended Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) against such remarks.
Amidst all such adverse circumstances Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was standing firm on his position. He wanted to go a head by force. Abu Sufyan bin Harith was stopping his mule by reigns and Abbas bin Abdul Muttaleb was holding him by pedals. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked Abbas (who had a loud voice) to call his favourites .
Abbas’s voice roared upon the running troops. “O the People of Ansar , O the People of Bait-al-Ridwan, O Bani Harith, O Bani Khazraj, come to the Prophet (s.a.w.). Allah Almighty gave strength to this voice. It flashed like a thunder in the darkness. It stopped the running multitudes. They cried, Lab-baik (here are we at thy command). The favourites turned their camels towards him and the ones who could not stop their running camels quickly, jumped down and ran on foot with their swords to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
The slogan of Labbaik resounded from all sides and Mujahedeen surrounded him like moth around a candle. They were about a hundred. They gave battle to the enemy and repented for their false idea of majority success. Seeing the new position as stable, the running multitude also returned and gave fierce battle to the enemy. The archers were over powered. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) threw a handful dust towards the enemy saying, Shahat al Wujooh (Allah mutilate their faces). After few hours of tough resistance, the enemy ranks were broken and they began to flee towards Taif. The Muslim forces gained the field and captured a large booty.
There were 6,000 captives with 24,000 camels 40,000 goats and 4,000 Oqya (1480 kg) of silver in the hands of Muslim forces. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent them all to Jairana a nearby place, under the charge of Masud bin Amr al Ghifari.
This was a unique experience for Muslim Mujahideen. A grand success at Makkah Mukarramah then a large force marching to Huanin, then their sudden defeat then turning the defeat into success with the largest booty. Holy Quran analysed the situation and advised the Muslims as under :
Assuredly Allah did help you in many battlefields
And on the day of Hunain
Behold your great numbers elated you
But they availed you naught ,
The land for all that it is wide did constrain you
And ye turned back in retreat.
But Allah did pour His calm on the Apostle
And on the Believers
And sent down forces
Which Ye saw not
He punished the the Unbelievers
Thus doth He reward those without Faith. ( 9:25-26)
The defeated enemy ran in three directions to Nakhla, Awtas and Taif. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Abu Amer Ashaari to Awtas. He defeated the enemy but himself was also martyred. Dareed bin Samma was killed by Rabea bin Rafea. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) marched himself to Taif and besieged the castle. The enemy was well protected in the large castle. They had good water supply and food storage for more than a year. They rained stones upon Muslim forces. Abdullah bin Abu Bakr was wounded who died after few years. Abu Sufyan bin Harb lost his one eye in the battle. Twelve other Muslims died with the wounds. Muslim forces installed “Manjaneeq” (Stone cannons) and used Dabbaba (Armoured Vehicle) to reach the castle but the shower of burning iron rods by the enemy could not allow them to reach the walls.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) moved his camp to the place where Ibn Abbas mosque stands today and ordered to destroy their vine yards and palm grooves by cutting the trees to destroy their economy but later he stopped it on their appeal. He also declared that any slave who comes out from the castle and joins the Muslim ranks will be freed.This was a good offer, 23 persons managed to come out from the castle. One man hanged himself by a pulley and descended from the castle wall he was freed and named Abu Bakara (a man of the pulley).
The siege prolonged for weeks. It was not the purpose of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to kill them but only to harras them so that they may not attack Muslims again. Their strength was already shattered with the arrest of 6000 persons and 64,000 cattle. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) consulted Nawfel bin Moawiya about the siege. He replied “The fox has entered its hole, if you prolong the siege you will catch it but if you leave it, it can not harm you.” Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered the lifting of siege and march back to Jairana.
Few people asked Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to curse upon the tribe of Thaqeef. Strange enough, for the people of Taif who had insulted him and wounded him few years ago, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) prayed “O my Lord Allah, grant guidance to the tribe of Thaqeef and direct them on to me” (AHS- 328). And surprisingly the people came to him within weeks and embraced Islam. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) with all Mujahedeen returned to Jairana and waited few days more for Thaqeef and Hawazen to come and get release of their captives. But when nobody appeared Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) distributed the booty in a unique style.
Among the Muslims ranks were few leaders and warriors of pagan society who had not yet embraced Islam. This included Safwan bin Omayyah and Sohail bin Amr. Further Abu Sufyan bin Harb, Hakeem bin Hizam, Oyaina bin Habis and Aqra bin Habis the new converts stood empty hands, suspended from their old leadership. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) honoured them so lavishly, that they were perplexed on his generosity. For instance, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) gave 100 camels and 40 Oqya silver to Abu Sufyan bin Harb. Then he said, And what to my son Yazid ? Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said The same for him. Again Abu Sufyan asked and what to my other son, Moawiya ? Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said the same for him. Thus Abu Sufyan alone gained 300 camels and 120 Oqaya silver for him.
Safwan bin Omayya saw a valley full of goats. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked him, Is it (the whole valley full of animals and goats) looking wonderful to you. He replied “Yes”. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said “This is all for you”. He was wonder struck on this behavior of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) though he had not embraced Islam yet. This generosity overhauled his innerself and after few weeks he embraced Islam. Hakeem bin Hizam got 40 Oqya silver and 100 camels like Abu Sufyan and when he repeated his request Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) doubled and tripled the share but later he took the basic grant of 100 camels alone. Aqra bin Habis , Oyana bin Habis, Haarith bin Kilda and Abbas bin Mardas, all got 100 camels each. Other Quraish of Makkah Mukarramah also got 50 and 20 camels each. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) then asked Zaid bin Thabit to account the rest of the booty and distribute it as 4 camels with 40 goats for every foot soldier and 12 camel with 120 goats for every rider.
He distributed all this vast booty so generously that the people said. “He has no fear of any poverty. “When the distribution was over few bedoeins pounced upon him demanding the booty. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took few hairs from the camel’s hoop and said: “O people By Allah, I have not taken even like these hairs from the booty for my self. If I had cattles like the (thousands) trees of Tihama region I will distribute upon you (Raheeq 675). You will never find me a liar, timid or miser.
It was strange enough that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) granted lavishly to the Makkans Muslims and non Muslims but gave nothing to Ansars. This created an in-different feeling in the heart of young Ansars but the elder ones thought that perhaps Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is displeased on any act of them. This sense developed into whispering among them. Some one of them said “Quite strange, he is awarding (all) to Quraish and left us aside, while the blood is still dropping from our swords” (Yaqeen 224 ). They could not guess the wisdom of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). When he heard about it, he called them all through Saad bin Abada in a large tent and said:
“O tribe of Ansar, what is the talk that has reached me from you ? What is this anguish that you feel in your hearts ? Did I not find you going astray and Allah guided you through me ? You were disunited and fell upon one another. Did Allah not unite you through me. You were needy did Allah not enrich you through me.”In response to each of the questions they cried : “Allah and His Apostle are bountiful.”He said, “What prevents you from replying to the Apostle of Allah, O tribe of Ansar ?” They said, “What should be the reply, O Apostle of Allah, while to the Lord and to His Apostle belong all benevolence and grace.”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) again said : “But by Allah, ye might have answered and answered truly, for I would have testified to its truth myself : you came to us belied and rejected and we accepted you; you came as helpless and we helped you; a stranger, and we took you in; poor and we comforted you. Ye Ansar, do you feel anxiety for the things of this world, where with I have sought to incline these people unto the faith in which you are already established.
Are ye not satisfied, O group of Ansar that the people go with ewes and camels while you go along with the Messenger of Allah to your dwellings. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, had there been no migration, I would have been one of the Ansar. If the people would go through a valley and passage, and the Ansar go through another valley and passage, I would go through the valley and passage of the Ansar.
The Ansar are the inner garment and the people are outer ones. You will surely face, after me, a wave of terrible selfishness. Then have patience until you meet Allah and His Apostle. Verily, I shall be on the ‘Haudh’. Allah ! have mercy on the Ansar, their sons and their sons’ sons.”
The audience wept until tears rolled down their beards as they said: “Yes, we are well satisfied, O Prophet of Allah ! with our lot and share.” AHS 331-32. The people burst into tears and their beards were drenched.
The speech of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) removed all these doubts and convinced them of the fact that the worldly riches were immaterial for him, and he wished that his followers should rise for above the material temptations of life in their duties towards Islam. AHS 333
Further Almighty Allah granted a grand certificate of His Pleasure to Ansars which is a Public Declaration of their loyalty to Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) much precious than the spoils of war.
The vanguard(of Islam) The first of those
Who forsook (their homes) and
Those who gave them aid and (also) those
Who follow them in (all) good deeds,
Well pleased is Allah with them,
As are they with Him
For them hath He prepared Gardens
Under which river flow, to dwell there in for ever,
That is the Supreme Felicity. ( 9:100 )
After the distribution of booty a delegation of fourteen persons, who embraced Islam, from Hawazen and Banu Saad, came to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) under Zuhair bin Surad and Abu Barqaan [foster uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.) (Raheeq 678) and they pleaded for the release of their captives in a heart touching appeal. They said:
“There, in those huts among the prisoners are your foster mothers and sisters,- they that have nursed thee and fondled thee in their bosoms. We have known thee a suckling, a weaned child, a youth generous and noble, and now thou hast risen to this dignity, be gracious unto us, even as the Lord hath been gracious unto thee.” AHS 328
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was moved with these words. He told them that actually he waited them for a week but when none came to him to get the release of the captives, he distributed them. However he said, I can release all the captives of the Banu Muttalebs’ share. And for the remaining captives, he will recommend their case to Mujahedeen. When next day delegation appealed in the mosque, after Zuhar Salat to the grand assembly, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) recommended their case to his followers. All the companions followed in his foot steps. About six thousand captives were freed in a day by Mujahedeen who fought this battle under the shower of arrows.
But the pleasure of Allah and that of His Prophet (s.a.w.) was more comforting to them then the captives. And to those who were some reluctant to release, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) promised a booty of six camels in future for each captive and they also released their share happily. Before their departure each captive was given a nice Egyptian (coptic) shawl as a gift. This behaviour won their hearts as it was un-precedented in the history of tribal wars.
The family of Malik bin Awf al Nasri the commander was also among the captives. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent them honourably to Makkah Mukarramah to stay with their aunt Umm Abdullah bin Umayyah and sent a word to Maalek that if he appears to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) as a Muslim, he will release all his wealth and his family to him. Further he will also award him 100 camels as a gift. When this message of grand graciousness reached Malek he retired secretly from the castle of Taif and embraced Islam at the hand of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) at Jairana and won all his promised awards. (Yaqeen 226). Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) appointed him a chief of Hawazen Muslims.
Among the captives a lady named Shaima, claimed that she is the sister of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). She was brought to him and she said that I am the daughter of Abu Kabsha and Haleema bint Abu Zuwaib al Saadiya your foster mother. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) welcomed her and spread his shoulder shawl on the ground for her. She told that when you were young you had a bite on my shoulder which is still a mark on my body. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) recognised that and tears rolled down upon his cheeks remembering those olden days. He offered her to stay with him. She embraced Islam and consented to go back to her tribe. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) gave her a gift of one maid – servant with few camels and goats. Shaima returned to her tribe happily and honorably. How nice was this captivity for her. (Chira
After the settlement with Hawazen and Thaqeef, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) donned Ihram from Jairana and came to Makkah Mukarramah to perform Umrah thanking Allah on the great success. Then he appointed Uttab bin Usaid as the first Muslim governor of Makkah and he was paid one dirham per day for this assignment. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) left for Madina Munawwara. He arrived there on 24th Ziqaada 08 AH. The whole campaign of Makkah Mukarramah, Hunain and Taif was completed with in 75 days. It is note- worthy that no pagan leader talked about Hudaibiya Peace Treaty, which was already abrogated by Quraish by helping Banu Bakr against Banu Khazaah. This ended the centuries old enmity of Arab tribes within weeks and they entered the fold of Islam as one Ummah.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was now, returning to Madina Munawwara with a large force of 10,000 Mujahedeen, leaving thousands of Muslims in Makkah Mukarramah and Taif behind him. The whole pagan society of Makkah Mukarramah and their self-made gods were crushed under his feet. The entire resistance in the whole of Arabian Peninsula was dissolved. Compare it with his first migration from Makkah Mukarramah in Rabi I – 01 AH when he was trodding his way alone with only one person to Madina Munawwara. What a great contrast. This all great success was recorded with the Grace of Allah within eight years as if these eight years were as large as eight centuries.
THALEBA : A CASE OF DISGRACE DISGRACE The life of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was full of instances for the guidance of the whole Ummah. He showed the benefits of Jehad for earning the highest rewards in paradise but at the same time he also told about a Mujahid, that he was in hell. Because he stole a piece from the booty of war. Similarly there is another example of Thaleba which is recorded by Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer al Quran. This person is not Thaleba bin Hateb al Ansari who was a very pious and devoted person. He attended the battle of Badr and was martyred at Ohud. This is other Thaleba who lived up to the Caliphate of Uthman bin Affan (RA). Once this Thaleba came to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and asked him to pray for him that Allah may grant him great wealth. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said to him:
“O Thaleba, that small wealth upon which you can express your thanks to your Lord is better than that great wealth upon which you can not express thanks to Him.”
In reality, it was a very sincere advice to Thaleba and it is still, a very virtuous advise to every Muslim and Muslima in our times who long for more wealth and high bank balances besides their magnificent villas , cars and luxurious lives. Thaleba listend this advice and returned. But the greed of wealth was deep rooted in his heart. He again came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) second day and repeated the same request. Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) advised him in clear words.
“O Thaliba don’t you like to follow on my foot steps? By the Lord who controls my life. If I WISH that all the hills and hillocks of the Madina Munawwara be converted into that of gold Allah Almighty will do it. But O Thaliba the greed of wealth is not a good habit.”
But Thaliba did not heed to this advise and said “ O Prophet of Allah , By God, who sent down you with the truth, if I am given plentious wealth I will pay every body’s right upon me.” It was a vow which Thaliba made with Almighty Allah. Consequently Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) raised his hands and prayed “O my Lord Allah bestow wealth upon Thaleba.” Abu Umama Baheli the narrator says that Thaliba has few goats. Suddenly those goat started growing in numbers and they multiplied at such speed that there was no place left over in his house. Thaleba transferred himself to a yard out side the city. But the growth of goats was like germs of the yeast and they turned into thousands. Thaliba had to leave that yard and go to a distant valley which was shortly filled with his ever increasing herds.
In the beginning Thaleba attended five time prayers daily in Masjid an Nabavi (Ptrophet’s Mosque). Later he attended only two, the Zuhar and Asr salat in the mosque and left three for his house. But when his engagement increased in his goats out-side Madina Munawwara he came to the Mosque weekly,only for Friday prayer. But when he engaged himself more in goat business, he forgot even the Friday prayer at the Prophet’s Mosque and was cut off from the Muslim community.He used to ask the travellers that what Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and other companions think about him and whether any one asks about him. But they replied him in negative.
Once Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) asked about Thaleba. The people told him the speedy growth of his goats and his departure to out-skirts and then to a distant valley. They also told him about his day and night engagement with his goats and that he misses even his Friday prayers at the Mosque. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sadly said: Pity upon Thaleba, he repeated it thrice.
Later when Zakat was cannonised, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent two persons with his letter to Thaleba and Sulmy to collect Zakat from them. When Thaliba read the letter he was surprised and said “As if it is a tax upon me” I don’t know what this Zakat is? Any how let me think upon this”. The two persons left Thaleba and went to Sulmy. Before they arrived to Sulmy he selected the best animals from his herd and brought them as Zakat to the envoys. They told Sulmy that these camels seemed the best cattle of your herd and we have been advised not to select the best animals for Zakat we should take from the medium grade. But Sulmy replied. “I wish to donate my best cattle in the cause of Allah and I offer them happily to you.” The persons accepted the Zakat and prayed for him. The two persons again returned to Thaleba on the way back but he did not give a single goat in Zakat to them and said, “You go, I will again consider this matter, and I may come to Madina Munawara with my Zakat.”
Thaleba committed a crime. When he was told that Almighty Allah decreed Zakat upon the wealth of Muslims, he said it looks like a tax. Then again when he read the letter of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) he said “I will consider it” AS IF his opinion was higher than that of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
When the envoys returned to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and before they could report any thing to him, he said ‘Thaleba has been destroyed” and he prayed for Sulmy. Later they narrated the story of Thaliba and Sulmy to him. It was this occasion when Almighty Allah revealed in Holy Quran.
Amongst them are men who made
A Covenant with Allah that if
He bestowed on them of His bounty,
They would give (largely)In charity
And be truly amongst those who are righteous
But when He did bestow of His bounty,
They became Covetous, and turned back
(From their covenant) averse (from its fulfilment)
So He hath put, as a consequence
Hyprocricy in their hearts (to last )
Till the Day whereon they shall meet Him
Because they broke their covenant with Allah
And because they lied (again and again) (9:75-77)
Some-one from Thaleba’s relations heard these verses and he rushed to Thaleba and told that you have been condemned and branded as Munafiq (Hypocrite) in Holy Quran. Thaleba came to Madina Munawwara with his goats for Zakat and offered them to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) but he refused to accept his Zakat. Thaleba requested again and again but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) reminded him his advise which he had not accepted.
Thaleba returned with his goats to his valley and engaged himself again in his herds. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) never accepted his Zakat in his life. When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) expired and Abu Bakr (RA) was chosen as the First Caliph, Thaleba again brought his Zakat and requested him to accept. Abu Bakr (RA) said. “How can I accept what was not accepted by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), take away your cattles I will never accept them”.
When Abu Baker (RA) expired and Umer Ibn al Khattab was nominated as Second Caliph, Thaleba brought increased number of goats for Zakat to him. But Umer replied to Thaleba that “Your Zakat was rejected by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and then by his follower Abu Bakr, how Omer can accept it. Take away, I will never accept it. When Omer was assassinated after 12 years of his caliphate and Uthman bin Affan (RA) was chosen as Third Caliph, Thaleba again approached him but he replied in the same way rejecting his Zakat.
When Thaleba returned from Uthman bin Affan (RA) he announced on the streets of Madina Munawwara that “Animals of Zakat are being distributed free. O people rush and collect them”. But when the people came to know that this was Zakat of Thaleba, they refused to accept them. Alas! Even the poor people of Madina Munawwara rejected the Zakat of Thaleba and after few years he died in disgrace. (Chiragh p659)
Had he taken the sincere advise of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) that “little of thankfulness is better than the heap of nonthankfulness”. Thaleba spent all his comfort and energies in rearing the goats and died leaving the herd for others but carrying the blame and sin upon his shoulders. Unfortunately many people spend their lives in hoarding the wealth by fair and foul means and die leaving it for the heirs and carrying the sin on their own shoulders.
- TABUK CAMPAIGN: THE FEW TEARS
Islam was a rising force at Madina Munawwara. A new government was taking shape. With in a short period of eight years Muslims had established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The conquest of Makkah Mukarramah was a great alarming signal to the neighbouring states. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)’s letters to the Persian and Roman Emperors had indicated his intention clearly to them. It was not a threat to attack but a revolution. Romans had given a crushing defeat to Persian at Issus in 622 AD and regained Jerusalem which was lost to them in 614 AD. Consequently Byzantines (the eastern Romans) were the sole super power of the world at that time.
Establishment of Islamic State at Madina Munawwara threatened their trade route to Hijaz and it also created a spirit of freedom among the bordering Arab tribes to throw the yoke of Roman slavery from their neck. The Christian Romans (the Europeans) wanted to keep the Arabs under their control.This new religion was a great threat to Roman Empire. To crush a small desert state with no standing army and resources was no matter of concern. They had million men in arms and enormous funds and resources at their disposal. But strange enough, they were afraid of Muslims, as they are even today.
Heraculius encouraged Shurahbel bin Amr Ghassan a Christian Arab ruler as his agent to attack the tiny state of Madina Munawara and eleminate it. He provided him few brigades of regular army and enormous funds. Shurahbel had already killed Harith bin Amr Azdi the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s envoy to Heraculius. He began to enrol the soldiers and enmass them on the border. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) got the news and realised the gravity of the situation. If Ghassanides were allowed to peneterate the Muslim territories they, with the help of local hypocrites, the Jews, the Christians and the remaining Idolators will annihilate the Muslim state of Madina Munawwara. He took a bold decision. A decision which turned the face of world history. He decided to strike at Roman forces before their advance. This was a strange decision. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had no army, no funds, no transport and even no food supplies. But he had one great weapon. That was his confidence in Almighty Allah’s support.
For the People of Madina Munawwara it was a very hot season. The date crop was ready to ripe and the distance to Tabuk was over 700 kms through the desert and barren hills. They had no weapons to fight the largest trained army of the world. They knew it. But the champion of Battle of Badr placed all his hopes in Almighty Allah’s favour and the people crowded around him. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) declared a call for Jehad and sent envoys to different tribes. Because of the severity of the campaign, he disclosed his intention openly for a march to Tabuk so that the people may come prepared for the rough road and tough climate.
As the people gathered in thousands, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) for the first time, made an appeal for voluntary contribution. The people responded to his call in a historic way. Uthman bin Affan donated a full carvan of 300 camels fully equipped, and 10,000 gold Dinars.(AHS 337). Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was delighted and he prayed for Uthman. Omer ibn al Khattab contributed the half of his all house hold belongings to the fund. And Abu Bakr Siddique swept his house clean and packed every thing of the house, even his wearing cloths and brought it to the fund. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was excited on this scene and he asked Abu Bakr! “What you left in the house for your family”? He replied “I left the name of Almighty Allah and His Messenger in my house”.
The other Sahaba (companions) also contributed generously. Abdur-Rahman bin Awf brought 200 oqya (29.40 Kg) silver, Asem bin Odai came with 90 Wasaq (13,500 Kg) dates. Abbas, Talha, Saad bin Abada and Mohammed Maslama also contributed generously. The ladies donated their jewelry like necklaces, bangles, rings and ear-rings, to the Prophet (s.a.w.). Even the poorest class shared the honour. A companion from Ansar laboured the whole day drawing water from the well of a Jew and brought the dates which he got as wages for donation. Just imagine a poor labour bringing handful dates towards the heap of Gold and Silver. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was excited on his spirit, and he told to spread the dates on the top of the heap of gold and silver.
Though this was a great contribution from a small society, but it was not sufficient for a large force of 30,000 Mujahedeen. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) appointed Abu Bakr as the Chief Command of the campaign and deputed Ali bin Abi Taleb to take care of his family at Madina Munawara. Mohammed bin Maslama was left as viceroy at Madina Munawwara.
The march took place on Thursday in Rajab 09 AH. There were 3-10 persons on each camel to ride in alternation. Dry dates were the only staple food for them. Later the limited date stock also exhausted and Mujahideen lived on bare leaf of the barren trees which caused the swelling of their lips.
The crossing of the desert by the Muslim force was a grim ordeal. “No marching was carried out until after sunset, but this was not much compensation. The dusk brought relief from the direct rays of the sun on helmets and breast plates, but the night was not long enough for the land and the air to cool off. In the day-time the only shadow was afforded byrocks which were so hot that they could not betouched. The ground blistered the feet as burning coals. The scarcity of water added to the misery. The hot wind made life intolerable. None of the men, not even the oldest nomad, had undergone such a trial of heat and privation.”
“Muhammad rose above himself. His behaviour was exemplary. He was not a nomad, he was not young or even middle aged. In addition to the actual physical test, he had to cope with a thousand responsibilities. Yet he never flattered. In just over a week he brought an entire force with all its baggage train to Tabuk on the frontier of Roman Empire.” AHS 338-39
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) bore all the hard ships of the journey and finally arrived at Tabuk. It was a vast desert land with no vegetation. A little water stream trickled water drop by drop. There was no source to support life at this place. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) collected some water from the stream and washed his face and poured it back in the stream praying Allah for help. Suddenly the water gushed out in abundance and the people relaxed themselves. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said to Muaadh bin Jabal that if you lived longer (ie within 10 to 20 years) you will see this whole area covered with green gardens. How true were his words. Shortly Tabuk became a green house in the north and that stream still exists today gushing out water as a living miracle. (The writer visited Tabuk first time in 1387 (1967) and took the water from that well).
At Tabuk Muslims found another scene. There was no army to fight as if there was no truth in the news. But actually when Romans heard about the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) march to Tabuk they thought twice on their marshal plan. They knew that at the battle of Mauta, just a year ago, a small contingent of 3,000 Mujahideen clashed with a large regular army of 100, 000 Roman soldiers and they could not grind them out. It was a ratio of 1: 30 but Muslims retired safely with only 12 casualties (Raheeq 632). Now there was a force of 30,000 under the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) himself. It needed more than a 1,000,000 soldiers to combat and God’s help, which was not on their side. Almighty Allah injected terror in their hearts. Consequently they decided not to fight with Muslims and they dispersed their forces hurriedly and disappeared from the scene before his arrival.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was crowned with great success without a trial. He addressed Muslim forces in a heart touching sermon, giving glad tiding on their virtuous acts which washed out all pain of their travel hardships: He praised Allah and thanked Him and said:
Well, verily the most veracious discourse is the Book of Allah. The most trustworthy handhold is the word of piety. The best of the religions is the religion of Ibrahim. The best of the precedents is the precedent of Muhammad. The noblest speech is the invocation of Allah. The finest of the narratives is this Qur’an. The best of the affairs is that which had been firmly resolved upon. The worst in religion are those things which are created without sanction. The best of the ways is the one trodden by the Prophets. The noblest death is the death of a martyr. The most miserable blindness is way wardness after guidance. The best of the action is that which is beneficent. The best guidance is that which is put into practice. The worst blindness is the blindness of the heart.
The upper hand is better than the lower hand. The little that suffices is better than what is abundant and alluring. The worst apology is that which is tendered when death stares one in the face. The worst remorse is that which is felt on the day of Resurrection.
Some men do not come to Friday prayer, but with hesitance and delay. And some of them do not remember Allah but with reluctance. The tongue which is addicted to false expression is a bubbling spring of sins.
The most valuable possession is the contentment of heart. The best provision is that of piety. The highest wisdom is fear of Allah, the Mighty and the Great. The best thing to be cherished in the hearts is faith and conviction; doubt is infidelity.
Impatient wailing and fulsome laudation of the dead is an act of ignorance. Betrayal leads one to the fire of hell. Drinking amounts to burning. Obscene poetry is the work of the devil. Wine is the mother of all evil. The worst thing eaten is one which belongs to the orphan. Blessed is he who receives admonition from others.
Each one of you must resort to a place of four cubit (grave). Your affairs would be decided ultimately in the next life. The worst dream is false dream. What ever is in store is near.
To abuse a believer is transgression; raising arms against him is infidelity. To backbite him is a disobedience to Allah. Inviolability (and sacredness) of his property is like that of his blood.
He who swears by Allah (falsely), in fact falsifies Him. He who pardons others is himself granted pardon. He who forgives others, is forgiven by Allah for his sins.
He who represses anger, Allah rewards him. He who faces misfortunes with perseverance, Allah compensates him. He who acts only for name and reputation, Allah disgraces him. He who shows patience and forbearance Allah gives him a double reward. He who disobeys Allah, Allah chastises him.
I seek the frogivness of Allah.
I seek the forgivness of Allah.
I seek the forgivness of Allah. AHS 339-41
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed twenty days at Tabuk. But no brave Roman came to show his face on the border. Even Sharahbel Ghassan did not turn up though a large threatenning force of Muslims was en massed on his border. This was a great achievement for Muslim State. The ultimate aim of Tabuk campaign was to fix the boundry and to threaten Roman Empire and to show them that Islam is a force to be reckoned with. And this fact was well established through Tabuk Campaign. Next time it was not the Roman empire who marched on Muslim territory but it was Muslim forces who trodded the Roman territory giving them first defeat at Marj al Safar by Khalid bin Waleed and then the conquest of Damascus by Obaidullah ibn Jarrah in 14 AH. (ATH Chrono. p56).
As a consequence to Tabuk cxampaign, the Roman Empire lost their influence in the region. Even the Christian chiefs of the area acknowledged Muslim supremacy. They turned to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to negotiate peace treaty with him. He did not force them to embrace Islam as this is not incumbent upon Muslims at all. They are bound to explain Islam in words and deeds but not to impose Islam by force on others as the Christians did in pre Islamic era. If Islam was to spread on the tip of the sword then this was the best occasion for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to threaten these small tribes and yeald them to Islam. But he accepted them as Christians and negotiated full guarantee of peace to them, their properties, their shrines and their faith against very nominal defence-duty exemption tax called Jizya which was much less than what the Roman Empire extracted from them. They gladly accepted to pay it.
Yohanna bin Ruba, the Christian ruler of Eila (Aqaba) was the first to sign a peace treaty. Later he was joined by the people of Jarba and Azrah. This was the first Muslim treaty with Christian ruler. Let the whole Christian world read it word by word and acknowledge the generosity of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Let them also compare it with their treaties what they signed with the Muslim rulers in the past and the present. The treaty reads:
“In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful. This is a guarantee from God and Muhammad, the Apostle of God, to Yuhanna b. Ru’ba and the people of Alya, for their ships and their caravans by land and sea. They and all that are with them, men of Syria and those of Yemen and seamen, all have the protection of Allah and that of His Apostle. Whoso contravenes this treaty, his wealth shall not save him; it shall be the fair prize of him that takes it. Now it should not be lawful to hinder the man of Alya from any springs which they have been in the habits of frequenting, nor from any journey they desire to make, whether by sea or by land.” (AHS 342)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Khalid bin Waleed with 400 Mujahideen to Domat al Jandal. He arrived there and arrested Akedar bin Malek and brought him to Tabuk. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) released him and signed a peace treaty with him. Thus Muslim state extended fromTabuk to Doma in the north. Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in consultation with Umer, returned to Madina Munawwara. This was a good decision as it provided sufficient time to consolidate the new state at Madina Munawwara and to receive the depudations who were coming to embrace Islam. Tabuk was the last campaign attended by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). It had far reaching effects.
With the silence of Roman Empire, all hopes of anti Islamic forces comprising of the Jews, the Christians, the idolators and the hypocrites were dashed out and Islam emerged as the main uniting and guiding force on Arabian peninsula. Subsequently most of the tribes visited Madina Munawwara during the coming year and vowed their allegiance to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
When on the way to Madina, a young Mujahid, Abdullah Bajaden (who left every thing for Islam and came out in one sheet from his house and lived with As-hab-e-Suffa) expired, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) buried him,and prayed for him. Abdullah bin Masud seeing this honour said that he wished he were at his place to be buried by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
When Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was crossing a gorge alone with Huzaifa ibn al Yaman and Ammar binYaser, few Munafiqeen (hypocrites) in masks, tried to attack him in surprise in the night but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) discovered it and Huzaifa hit their camel’s faces by his shield. They ran away in darkness but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) told names of all these twelve persons and their intention to Huzaifa and told him to keep it secret. It was a fatal attack on Prophet’s life but he never told any body’s name on his face. Huzaifa ibn al Yaman also kept it secret through out his life and subsequently he was known as Ameen al Ummah,(Man of secrets) of the Prophet (s.a.w.). When Omer ibn al Khattab, during his Caliphate, wished to appoint any person at a place of trust, he took the attestation from Huzaifa that the person was not among them.
There were four persons among the good Muslims who legged behind in Madina Munawara and did not proceed to Tabuk with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). One of them was Abu Khutaima. (Mohsen 459). One day when he was sitting in a cool house with good food and his two beautiful wives, he jumped with the idea and cried “No it cannot be that Allah’s Messenger is travelling in the hot sun and without proper food and Abu Khutaima is enjoying all these luxuries here.
No by God I will not accept it.” He rode his camel and rushed to Tabuk and joined Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) on his way winning his pleasure for him. The other three persons were Kaab bin Malek, Marara bin Rabea and Hilal bin Umayya.They were those favorite Mujahideen who participated in the battle of Badr. There was no doubt about their sincerety and faithful-ness. But there was slackness, weakness and thought-less-ness on their part, which kept them away from the participation. Islam is not compromising on basic tents. Jihad is one of the duty bound on every Muslim.When a call of genuine Jihad is made, it is incumbent upon every male adult Muslim to join it without hesitation.
These three persons who are known as “Mutakhallefeen”(who were left behind) were boycotted by Muslim society. Later their wives were also separated temporarily from them under the instructions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). This was a lesson to be imparted to Muslims that whatever their degree of piety may be, no body is allowed to be negligent about the basic tenets of Islam. These three persons repented sincerely and repeatedly. As they were true in their words, Almighty Allah accepted their repentance and in His infinite Mercy, granted them pardon and revealed it in the Holy Quran after fifty days of trial:
(He turned in mercy also )
To the three who were left behind
(They felt guilty) to such a degree that
The earth seemed constrained to them,
For all its spaciousness.
And their (very) souls seemed straitened to them.
And they perceived that there is
No fleeing from Allah and no refuge but to Himself
Then He turned to them that they might repent
For Allah is Oft Returning ,Most Merciful. (9:118).
When returning to Madina Munawara, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Malek bin Dakhsham and Moen bin Udai Ajlani (Raja 481) in advance to burn down a building which was built in the name of a Mosque called Masjid Dirar by Munafeqeen at the instructions of Abu Aamer the Christian monk. It was a secret center of anti-Islamic machinations. Allah revealed its reality in Holy Quran and its was reduced to ashes.
And there are those who put up a mosque
By way of mischief and infidelity
To disunite the Believers.
And in prepearation for one who warred
Against Allah and His Apostle aforetime,
They will indeed swear that their intention is
Nothing but good but Allah doth declare
That they are certainly liars. (9:107-108)
FEW TEARS IN EYES:
Sincerity and faithfulness are the most valuable elements in Islam. It super-cedes all worldly calculations. Once Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said that: “To give a handful of dates in Sadqa (charity) with sincerity is more virtuous than spending pure gold equal to mountain of Ohud for personal show”. When the contribution was being collected for Tabouk campaign few poor Sahabas [(companions of Prophet (s.a.w.)] brought their daily wages for the fund. Though those were meagre dates but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) spread them on the top of the collected contribution of gold and silver.
Still there was another class, poorer in the society. They brought their person alone for Jihad but they had nothing else to contribute. They asked Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to provide them a mount for journey. As the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had a shortage of riding camels, he told them that I find nothing which can carry you (to Tabouk). Upon hearing these words this group of seven did burst into tears on their helpless-ness and indegence that they had nothing with them which could carry them to the field of Jihad.
They wept and cried in open and the tears rolled down on their beards. This was a unique scene of zeal and poverty, high spirit of sacrifice and low level of resources. Almighty Allah accepted their sentiments and granted them great honour. Verses were revealed in Holy Quran making them a model of Islamic character. It was a great encouragement to poor Muslims for their sincerity to Islam. It has been great incentive in history, to Muslims who lack worldly resources. These few tears of seven Ansar companions were weighed in the Pearls of Paradise and were preserved in Holy Quran. The whole Ummah, for the last 1,440 years, honour these tears and remember these brothers when they read :
Nor (is the blame)
On those who came to thee
To be provided with mounts
And when thou saidst
“I can find no mounts
For you” they turned back
Their eyes streaming with tears
Of grief that they had
No resources wherewith
To provide the expenses. (9:92)
These seven people are known as Bakka-oon (the weepers) in Islamic history. Those are:
- Salem bin Umair. 2. Utba bin Zaid. 3. Abdur-Rahman bin Kaab. 4. Amr bin Hamam. 5. Abdullah bin Maghfal (orAmr) al Muzni. 6. Hermi bin Abdullah. 7. Irbas bin Saria.
Later other Muslims rushed to help them. Three were equipped by Uthman bin Affan, two by Abbas and two by Ibn Yameen bin Amr bin Kaab. Though they all participated in Tabouk campaign but because of their sincerity and love of Jehad, their few tears are still glittering on the forehead of Islamic history.
HOLY QURAN: THE OF MIRACLES
What is a miracle? The Dictionary defines: A wonderful act beyond the power of men or, A person, thing or event that excites admiring awe. or, An act beyond human power, an impossibility.
It is quite logical that greater the impossibility, greater the miracle. For example should there be a convention of Doctors of Literature at Oxford University and Doctors of the Doctor’s are going to deliver the convocation address, then suddenly an unlettered simple person walks in take the dais and delivers a Doctoral Dissertation which surprises all the Doctors present at the function, it would be a miracle that if he further challenges them that none of you and even all of you cannot deliver such a Dissertation throughout the ages. It would be turned into the miracle of the Miracles.
This is the case with Holy Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) and his message Holy Quran.
The earlier Prophets were bestowed with Miracles. Prophet Moses was given nine Miracles to convince the erratic Pharoes and further the flow of sea was broken into two pieces like two standing mountains of water, giving the way to Moses and his followers and drowning Pharoes and his paraphernalia.
Similarly Prophet Jesus Christ was given the miracle of curing the people who were blind by birth and the lepers and raising the deads by the command of Almighty Allah. But all these miracles were assigned to them during their lifetime. We cannot see them today. But the Miracle of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was awarded in a permanent shape. We can see it today and its challenge stands valid even today after passing 1,400 years from it’s revelation. It is a living and everlasting miracle of the last Messenger of Almighty Allah. Holy Quran declared its miraculous nature in clear words:
Say! If the whole mankind and Jinn
Were together try to produce the like of this Quran
They could not produce the like there of
Even if they back up
Each other with help and support. (17:88 )
Years passed and nobody was able to meet the challenge. Later and after several years the challenge in Holy Quran was eased, asking for any one to produce even Ten Suras like those in it.
Or they may say, he forged it.
Say bring then ten Suras forged like unto it.
And call (to your aid) whomsoever you can!
Other than Allah, if you speak the truth. (11:13)
Again years passed and nobody was successful to meet the challenge. Later the challenge was again eased for the second time to produce even One Sura, instead of ten, like or similar to the Suras in Holy Quran:
And if you are in doubt
As to what we have revealed from time to time
To our Abd, then
Produce a Sura like there unto,
And call your witness or helpers (if there are any)
Besides Allah, If what you say it true. (2:23)
Holy Quran validates its challenge with no expiry date, up to the end of the world and warn the non-believers of dire consiquences:
But if ye cannot (produce even one Sura similar to it).
And of a SURETY Ye cannot (produce it).
Then fear the Fire.
Whose fuel is Men and the Stones.
Which is prepared for those
Who reject the Faith. (2:24)
”Since more than Fourteen hundred years have passed and no body has met the challenge, and no body will, upto the end of the world. Holy Quran is the only existing Holy Scripture containing the word of Almighty Allah which no man can match or imitate. The most eloquent people of the Arab world, including the 19 million Christian Arabs of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, along with the host of Orientalists, spent years going over and searching the Quran word by word and trying to find a single, weak or in-adequate word or sentence but they could not. They even went further, trying tofind a way to substitute a word or sentence in the Quran hoping to convey a similar meaning as the original one, but they desperately failed.
There is a very befitting example of an American oriental scholar who spent his life in studying Arabic literature as quoted by Sheikh Tantawi in his commentary of the Holy Quran entitled “al Jawahir fi Tafseer al Quran al Kareem”
“On 13 June 1932,” Tantawi writes, “I met an Egyptian writer, Kamil Gilani, who told me an amazing story. One day he was with an American orientalist by the name of Finkle, with whom he enjoyed a deep intellectual relationship. ‘Tell me, are you still among those who consider the Qur’an a miracle? whispered Finkle in Gilani’s ear, adding a laugh to indicate his ridicule of such belief. He thought that Muslims could only hold this belief in blind faith. It could not be based on any sound, objective reasoning. Thinking that his blow had really gone home, Finkle was visibly pleased with himself. Seeing his attitude, Gilani too started laughing. ‘Before issuing any pronouncement on the style of Qur’an,’ he said, we should first have a look and see if we can produce anything comparable to it. Only when we have tired our hand, shall we be able to say conclusively whether humans can produce anything comparable to the Qur’an or not.”
Gilani then invited Finkle to join him in putting a Quranic idea into Arabic words. The idea he chose was: Hell is extremely vast. Finkle agreed, and both men sat down with pen and paper. Between them, they produced about twenty Arabic sentences. “Hell is extremely vast,” “Hell is vaster than you can image,” “Man’s intellect cannot fathom the vastness of Hell,” and many examples of this nature, were some of the sentences to express this idea. Gilani looked at Finkle triumphantly. “Now that we have done our best, we shall be able to see how Qur’an stands above all work of men,” he said. :What, has the Qur’an expressed this idea more eloquently?” Finkle enquired. “We are like little children compared to the Qur’an, “Gilani recited this verse from Surah Qaf: “On the Day when We will ask Hell: ‘Are you full?’ And Hell will answer: ‘Are there any more?”’ (50:30)
Finkle was startled on hearing this verse. Amazed at the supreme eloquence of the Qur’an, he openly admitted defeat. “You were right, quite right,” he said,“ I unreservedly concede defeat.” “For you to acknowledge the truth,” Gilani replied, “is nothing strange, for you are a man of letters, well aware of the importance of style in language.”This particular orientalist was fluent in English, German, Hebrew and Arabic, and had spent all his life studying the literature of these languages.. (W.Khan 190-191)
The beautiful panorama of the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars floating in endless space, testify that all this is the creation of a Great Power. The existence of order and design in this great universe, where all the components function in perfect cohesion, leads to the belief in the existence of a Supreme Power, who not only created but also governs and sustains the entire universe. This is clearly stated in all revealed Scriptures.(MMP iii)
The entire universe is an organic whole. All its components are beautifully and harmoniously inter-related. Each part follows a prescribed course in a prescribed period. There is not the slightest deviation. The sun, the moon and the stars follow their fixed paths. The earth revolves round the sun along a fixed orbit and completes the revolution in a fixed period. All submit to the laws of nature in the language of science and to the laws of God in the language of religion. (MMP iii)
For his ordely existence on this planet, man needs, not only resources to support life, but also Divine Guidance. The Lord of the Universe has provided, in full measure, for both these needs. In His bounty the Almighty has gifted the earth with all kinds of resources that fill human needs and sustain life on the planet. For His guidance, the Creator has raised from time to time His chosen ones from among human beings and revealed to them the proper code of conduct. Known as Prophets or Messengers of God, they have appeared among all people since the creation of man. Throughout the ages, they have conveyed the message of God for the guidance of mankind. (MMP iv)
All the Revealed Scriptures have conveyed same guidance for the mankind, belief in God, belief in Angels, belief in the Day of Judgement, belief in human accountability on the basis of the gift of free will and belief in ultimate reward or punishment from the Creator. The Holy Qur’an also enjoins belief in God, in all His Prophets and all His Revealed Books. It says :-
“Say, We believe in Allah
and that which is revealed unto us
that which was revealed unto
Abraham and Ishmael and Issac
and Jacob and the tribes,
and that which Moses and Jesus
received and that which other Prophets
received from their Lord.
We make no distinction between any
of them and unto Him we have surrendered.” (2:136) (MMP v)
“The Qur’an urges mankind to attain purity of mind, purity of action, and purity of speech, to love good and detest evil. It lays stress on faith, hope, and charity (known as the Theological virtues), and on wisdom, fortitude, justice, and temperance (called the Platonic virtues). The Qur’an contains emphatic precepts on placing complete reliance of God in religious and temporal affairs. It inculcates on mankind the virtues of righteousness, beneficence, benevolence, philanthropy, self-sacrifice, generosity, service to humanity, piety, chastity, truthfulness, restraining anger, forgiveness, forbearance, patience, courage, prudence, etc. It commends the establishment of universal fraternity, enjoins the propagation of the Islamic faith and emphasises a number of other virtues.
The Qur’an forbids all sins relating to property, such as cheating, fraud, swindling, theft, robbery, bribery, accumulation of wealth by unfair means, usurping movable and immovable properties of others and their rights over them, hoarding, under-weighing, usury, gambling, prodigality, squandering wealth, even indiscriminate charity.
The Qur’an forbids all sins of thought and feeling, scepticism, agnosticism, malevolence, malice, jealousy, suspiciousness, self-conceit, haughtiness, unjustifiable hatred, vindictiveness, spite, niggardliness, lethargy, despair, duplicity, craft and cunning, etc.
The Qur’an forbids all sins of the tongue (speech) such as perjury, falsehood, misrepresentation, slandering, backbiting, tale-bearing, boasting, foul speech, gossip, idle and ill-natured talk, even sneakish whispering in a meeting, impertinence, insulting, and hurting the feelings of others, inquisitiveness about other people’s private affairs and spying except on enemies in a war, hypocrisy and dissimulation.
The Qur’an forbids all sins relating to the palate or taste, such as eating pork, the flesh of certain animals and birds which is hurtful to the health, drinking blood, taking strong drinks and intoxicants. The Qur’an disapproves selfindulgence and gluttony, and enjoins eating and drinking in moderation.
The Qur’an strictly forbids sexual immorality, and strongly condemns all sins of the flesh such as adultery, fornication, sodomy, homosexuality, debauchery and libertinism, obscenity and lewdness in every form, as heinous crimes. The Qur’an has prescribed exemplary punishments for such sins, flirtation and immodest conduct are forbidden. Alas, among most of the atheistic nations of today, hedonism is the approved philosophy and a chartered libertine may indulge in all sorts of forbidden carnal pleasures with impunity.
The Quran forbids all sins affecting the human body, such as homicide, causing physical hurt of any kind to anyone by any means, except the hurt that is caused in self-defence, or is required by justice. Suicide is condemned as a mortal sin.
The Qur’an enjoins good manners, rules or etiquette, decency and decorum, shows the right way to behave in public and private life, and teaches how to walk humbly and talk politely. It emphasises perfect physical cleanliness, without which ritual worship is forbidden. No religion of the world insists on physical cleanliness so persistenlty as Islam does.
The Qur’an has laid down laws relating to inheritance, gifts and testments, marriage, dower and divorce, and civil laws to be administered by the judiciary. It has laid down penal laws prescribing punishmnets for a number of sins.
The Qur’an requires every Muslim to be a missionary and social worker. His most important social duties are to be propagate the teachings of Islam, to preach righteousness, and prevent wickedness, to make mankind God-fearing, to fight cruelty and aggression, to help the oppressed, the needy, and the destitute, and to be generous, kind and courteous to relatives, friends, neighbours, orphans, widows, and slaves, to feed the starving, to treat Muslim slaves as brothers, and to look to the comforts of prisoners.
The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to honour the treaties, pacts and alliances which they may have entered into with foreign nations, and to fulfill their individual promises, obligations, and commitments.” (POM 288-91)
“We know the Ten Commandments of Moses relating to moral behaviour. Let the reader compare them with the following concise and condensed passage of the Qur’an which allows no virtue or vice to escape it.
“Be-hold ! God enjoineth justice,
Beneficence, and the giving to near ones
Whatever should be necessary for them;
And He forbiddeth lewdness,
Wickedness and oppression.
He warneth you that haply ye may be mindul” (16:90).
In the above passage justice, beneficence and charity are commended and lewdness, wickedness and oppression are condemned. What else does moral philosophy teach? This passage is recited in every Firday sermon, since it embodies all the moral teachings in a nutshell. “ (POM 298)
“The Study of Holy Quran provides miraculous Joy. “Every earnest and reverent student of the Qur’an, as he proceedes with his study, will find, with an inward joy difficult to describe, how this general meaning also enlarges his own capacity for understanding increases. It is like a traveller climbing a mountain , the higher he goes, the farther he sees.” (AYA-V).
How much greater is the joy and sense of wonder and miracle when the Quraan opens our spiritual eyes. The meaning which we thought we had grasped expands. New worlds are opened out. As we progress, still newer worlds “swim into our ken.” The miracle deepens and deepens, and almost completely absorbs us. And yet we know that the “face of God”- our goal- has not yet been reached. We are in the Mulk of Sulaiman (Q 2:102) which the evil ones denied, belied, and even turned into blasphemy. But we can ignore blasphemy, ridicule and contemp, for we are on the thresh-hold of Realities and a little perfume from the garden of the Holy Quraan has already gladdened our nostrils. (AYA-V).
Every Prophet is given a miracle – a sign. The miracle of the Prophet of Islam is the Qur’an. The Prophet-hood of Mohammad, on whom be peace, was to be valid until the Last Day. It was imperative, therefore, that his miracle also be one which would last for all time. The Qur’an was, therefore, assigned to the Prophet as his everlasting miracle. (W Khan 177)
Arabic, the language in which the Holy Quran was revealed has miraculously been preserved for over 2,000 years. The languages in which all the ancient scriptures were revealed have been locked in the archives of hisotry. The only exception is Arabic, the language of the Qur’an, which is still current in the world today. Millions of people still speak and write the language in which the Qur’an was revealed nearly 1430 years ago. This provides stunning proof of the miraculous nature of the Qur’an, for there is no other book in history which has been to make such an impact on its language; no other book has moulded a whole language according to its own style, and maintained it in that form over the centuries.
Take the Injil, known as the New Testament. Though it is the most recent Divine acripture after the Quran, one still cannot be absolutely sure about even the language that Jesus, on whom be peace, spoke. Generally, it is thought to have been Aramaic. But the oldest copy of the New testament existing today is in Greek, not Aramaic. We only possess a translated account of what the Prophet Jesus said and did; and that in ancient Greek, which is considerably different from the modern language.
By the end of the 19th century the Greek language had changed so much that the meaning of at least 550 words in the New Testament – about 12% of the entire text – was not known. At that time a German expert, Adolf Deissman, discovered some ancient scrolls in Egypt. From them it emerged that biblical Greek was in fact a colloquial version of classical Greek. This language was spoken in Palestine during the first century AD. Deissman was able to attach meanings to some of the unknown words, but there are still fifty words whose meanings are still unknown. (W Khan 178).
“The Injeel (Bible) or the New Testament’s origin and authority is still a matter of suspicion. ‘‘In the first place, the New Testament consists of four books which purport to be different accounts of essentially the same subject-matter. If they agree in part, they also disagree in part. Secondly, they are in essence biographies, the on-lookers accountss of the life and teachings of Jesus. Thirdly, the biographers, themselves are practically anonymous, and even fictitious, and seem to report more from hearsay than from any direct, personal or even verified information. Fourthly, none of the four books is in Jesus’ own language or even purports to be a translation of anything earlier exsisting in Jesus’ language, in spite of the fact that some of those who were most actively associated with Christianity from its inception, nor only knew Jesus’ language and met some of his closet companions, but also have had their own statements preserved with fullest textual accuracy. And, fifthly, all records of or about Jesus’ life existing in Jesus’ own language were officially suppressed and destroyed by the Christian Church itself.
Three circumstances combine to give this linguistic discrepancy a very special significance. In the first place, Jesus lived and taught exclusively to the Jews, and that on deliberate purpose. The New Testament, such as it is, reports: Jesus saying:
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mathew 10:5-6).
“But he (Jesus) answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mathew 15:24).
Since the house of Israel was, thus, the sole recipient of Jesus’ dispensation, it was with that house and with its lost sheep that the true account and the right record must be expected to lie. It is a universally recognized rule of evidence that the record that comes from such natural custody is presumed to be true and correct unless otherwise established. And yet in this particular case, that was precisely the sort of record that was sought, deliberated to be suppressed and destroyed. In 325 A.D., the Nicene Council, the first general council of the Christian Chruch, ordered that all original Gospel in Hebrew script should be destroyed. An edict was issued that anyone in possession of such Gospels shall be put to death.
This proceeding, by the universally accepted canons of common sense and justice, amounted to deliberate destruction of primary evidence, or at least the best evidence that was then available, and was a clear case of perverting justice, and preventing truth from reaching out to the world.
Pauline version which came ultimately to be incorporated in the New Testament was being opposed from the very start. The entire east, which had, had the occasion to hear or see Jesus himself or his immediate audiences and followers, and which understood the language of Jesus and of his disciples and was acquainted with the social, cultural and spirtual context in which Jesus and his immediate disciples lived and preached, not only refused to accept the Pauline version, but actively opposed it. So much was this so, that Paul himself was led to complain: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me”. (II Timothy 1:15).
And the opposition was neither local nor limited, and was finally put down only by the ruthlessness of the Imperial Roman arms. Force might settle the fate of religious and of revelation for the purposes of their earthly success, but neither truth nor justice of their dispensation can be established by any such means. And those who were thus silenced without being convinced ultimately opted for Islam. A very detailed account of those events and adentures is given in one of the most monumental historical works of modern times, in Edward Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’. (Sandeela 7-9)
Dr. Maurice Bucaulle comments:
“The Old Testament represents a vast number of literary works written over a period of roughly nine hundred years. It forms a highly disparato mosaic whose pieces have, in the course of centuries, been changed by man….
“..The authors of the Gospels were not eyewitnesses of the data they recorded.. The ineviatble result of the multiplicity of sources is the existence of contradictions and oppositions: many examples have been given of these…..
“The Quranic Revelation has a history which is fundamentally different from the other two. It spanned a period of some twenty years and, as soon as it was transmitted to Muhammad by Archangel Gabriel, Believers learned it by heart. It was also written down during Muhammad’s life. The recensions of the Qur’an were effected under Caliph Uthman starting some twelve years after the Prophet’s death.They had the advantagee of being checked by people who already knew the text by heart, for they had learned it at the time of the Revelation itself and had subsequently recited it constantly. Since then, we know that the text has been scrupulously preserved. It does not give rise to any problems of authenticity.” (Sandeela 18-19).
The Christianity was actually remodelled and popularised by Paul. The Institution of Church was also initiated by him. …”The reports reaching us about Jesus are fragmentary and often unreliable. They nevertheless, disclose a great and good personality. That, however , does not solve our problem or concern us primarily.For the religion with which we are concerned is the product of the visions of Paul, and not of the teaching of Jesus as reported in those accounts of his ordinary, tangible, temporal exixtence. Comparative value of Christianity depends on the credibility of Paul, not of Jesus. This is necessitated ;not only by Paul’s being the founder of the Christian church and claiming to be the direct, extra-temporal and supra-sensual recipient of the message he made over to mankind at large, but also because of his message being at complete variance with that of Jesus. The message of Jesus is not just glossed over, it is absolutely negatived. (Sandeela 22-23)
Holy Quran as a matter of fact is the first book of Modern Science which unlocked the secret of nature and invited every serious person to think, study and observe the mighty forces created by Almighty Creator for the benefit of His Creatures. Holy Quran asserts the basic rules of scientific research when it says that Almighty God created every thing for the benefit of mankind and that nothing has been created in vain or without a purpose. This verdict alone opened a gigantic field of research and stimulated the urge of discovery.
The study of the matter, the mass,the element, the study of solids, liquids and gases, the study of over 5,000,000 creatures, animals, birds and fishes and over 5,000,000 botanical plants herbs, and shrubs, on the surface and corals under water, the study of gems, jewels and pearls. The study of the sun, moon, mountains, clouds, thunder, rain storms, loins, snakes, birds, vultures and eagles which were designated as gods and objects of worship and respect by many ancient religions and further the study of man himself, a mortal being who some-time claimed himself to be as high as Almighty God, or son of God or a partner of God, is the greatest criteria of Islam.
“The scentific revolution of modern times is in fact a by-product of the Islamic revolution of the Prophet’s time. Through the revolution brought about by the Prophet, God brought certain factors into play. A process of historic change, finally culminating in the scientific revolution of modern times, was initiated.
As the historian Arnold Toynbee has pointed out, natural phenomena were considered objects of worship, so they could not possibly become objects of investigation. With Islam and the advance of monotheism, the awe in which worldly phenomenna had been held collapsed. People realized that all things besides God were objects of His creation. There was no cause to consider worldly phenomena as sacred: their natures could be analysed and investigated.
The liberation of the human intellect which Islam brought about started at the very beginning of the Islamic era, in the time of the Prophet. On the occasion of a lunar eclipse, the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) pointed out that lunar and solar eclipses were signs of God. They were not signs of the birth or death of any human being, as had been thought during the age of superstition that preceded Islam. In this way the Prophet refuted both human and material greatness asserting the greatness of God alone. In so doing, he initiated a trend in human thought which eventually reached Europe and resulted in the scientific revolution of modern times. (W. Khan p213).
The scientific mind sought to understand the universe in the light of experiments and observations. As a result of scientific research, mysteries of the universe which confirm Islamic teachings on a high intellectual level were unravelled. Human research has revealed, for instance, that throughout the entire universe, one law of nature applies. Both celestial and terrestrial circumstances are determined by the same set of everlasting rules. This shows that the Lord of the Universe is one. If there were many gods, then there would also be many laws at work in nature. (W. Khan p214).
In the ancient world Greeks were the pioneers of knowledge but it was all confined in mental exercise called Philosophy. Muslims prompted by Holy Quran, were the first to move in the field of real knowledge, with Divine Light. They initiated the knowledge by experiment, selecting what proved true and rejecting or amending what proved false. They were the founders of Applied Science. Actually word modern science began with Muslims advances in the field of knowledge. They introduced these sciences in Damascus, Baghdad, Tashkent, Delhi, Agra, Cairo, Istanbul, Qairwan, Morocco, Cordova and later through their students in Paris, London, Munich and Chicago.
“The stress which the Holy Qur’an has laid, said Maulana Abdul Haleem Siddiqui in 1934,on the scientific study of the universe is a phenomenon unique in the religious literature of the world. Repeatedly it calls our attention to the multifarious phenomena of nature occurring around us. Repeatedly it exhorts the Muslims that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is one of their religious duties. Repeatedly it emphasises the great truth unknown to the pre-Qur’anic world that every thing in nature is for the service of man and should be harnessed by him for his use.
It exhorts us to study the structure and function of the human organism, the structure, functions and distribution of animals, the form, structure, functions, classification and distribution of plants, and these are problems of BIOLOGY.
“It exhorts us to study the order of nature and the general properties of matter as affected by energy, which is the problem of modern PHYSICS.
“It exhorts us to study the properties of substances both elementary and compound and the laws of their combination and action one upon another which is the problem of modern CHEMISTRY.
“It exhorts us to study the structure and mineral constitution of the globe the different strata of which it is composed, the changes that take place in its organic and inorganic matter, etc, etc., which are the problem of modern GEOLOGY.
“It exhorts us to study the general description of the earth, its physical divisions into seas, rivers, mountains, plains, etc., and the minerals, plants and animals in each, and its political divisions which are the problems of modern GEOGRAPHY.
“It exhorts us to study the causes which bring about the alternation of day and night, the variation of the seasons, the movements of the planets and other celestial phenomena, which are the problems of modern ASTRONOMY.”
“It exhorts us to study the movements of winds, the formation and evolution of clouds and the production of rain, and other similar phenomena, which are the problems of modern METEOROLOGY.”
For centuries, Muslims were world leaders in the field of scientific learning. Then slowly, the leadership began to slip away from their hands. Muslims had failed in their leadership role and materialistic Europe moved forward to fill the vacuum in leadership created by Muslims.
Further, the Maulana records the contribution made by the Muslims:“The intellectual upheaval created by Islam was a gigantic one. There is not a single department of learning which the Muslim scholars have left untouched and which they have not carved out a high position for themselves.
“In truth, Islam intends the Muslim community to be a community of intellectuals, and the cultivation of science and all other forms of learning is one of the primary aims of Islam. Had it not been for the Muslims, Europe would never have seen its way to the Renaissance and the modern scientific era would never have dawned. Those nations who have received their knowledge of science from Europe are in fact indirectly the disciples of the Islamic community of the past. Humanity owes to Islam a debt which it can never repay and gratitude which it can never forget.” The silver-tongued orator (the Maulana abdul Haleem) ended his masterful exposition of the topic – “CULTIVATION OF SCIENCE BY THE MUSLIMS,” with the words:
“Before I conclude, let me affirm once more that the Muslim community is out and out a creation of Islam which in its turn is rooted in Divine revelation. Nothing but belief in and the practice of Islam can make an individual a Muslim. Islam has laid it down as a religious duty that a Muslim should enquire into the reality of objects around him, so that his scientific enquiry may lead him to the knowledge of his Creator. Scientific enquiry in Islam is not an end but a means to the attainment of a higher end. And this is really the true end to humanity. ‘TO ALLAH WE BELONG AND TO ALLAH IS OUR RETURN’. (al Qur’an Deedat p24-27)
Islam showed the Man, his real and correct postion in the world rather in the Universe. He is neither so big as to claim himself as God or an object of worship nor, so small as to be afraid of every big or small creature on earth and worship it. He is like an astronaut in the space-ship probing the mysteries of the universe but under the command and control of Almighty Allah. If he breaks his link with the Control Tower of All Wise, he is lost and his wandering ship may land any day in any big, big, black hole among the galaxies. This is real the situation today. Muslims were the first astronauts to probe the mysteries of Universe under the Command of Almighty Allah. But the new Astronauts of athiestic Science are wandering in the space of human knowledge breaking their link with the Divine Control Tower.
Man is not Omnipotent, All knowing, All wise. He is rather limited potent, limited knowing and limited wise. He knows what has been told, taught, gifted, inspired and visualised to him. By himself he is ignorant. By his gifted wisdom he can see, conceive and apprehend, a portion, a fraction but not the Whole.
“The demand to actually see invisible realities like God, revelation and the world of eternity has become untenable: “For the first time in known history, the inherent limitations in the scope of human knowledge have been conclusively established. Man’s scientific research into the mysteries of the universe has showed him one truth with staggering clarity. That is: it lies beyond the powers of his limited intellect to fully encompass the world of realities. This dicovery is highly importance from an Islamic point of view, for it highlights the need for prophet-hood. On the one hand, we have man desperately anxious to gain an understanding of ultimate reality. On the other we have him, owing to built-in limitations, incapable of doing so. There is a vacuum in man’s spiritual make-up which only divine guidance, or prophethood, can fill. In acknowledging the the antellectual limitations of man, science points on a purely academic level, to the need for revelation. There is nothing else that can make up for what man lacks.” ( W. Khan p215).
Islam encourages scientific research. Jesus Christ, who also preached monotheism would not have been against science, but the invented Christianity and self structured papacy placed high walls against scientific research. It was the Christianity which burnt the books of knowledge and forced scientists to suck the cup of poison against their researches. There is no such example in the whole Islamic history. No Averros, Ibn Haitham, Ghazali or Al Khawarezm was given a cup of poison to drink rather they were honoured and encouraged. Subsequently they stand today, as the pioneers and the first educators of scientific research of the modern world. As a matter of fact the real cause of apathy between religion and science lies somewhere else as analysed by a modern scientist:
Dr. Maurice Bucaille writes comparing QUR’AN AND BIBLE: We have now come to the last subject: it is the confrontation, with modern knowledge, of passages in the Qur’an that are also referred to in the Bible.
We have already caught a glimpse of the problem when talking of the Creation. Earlier I stressed the perfect agreement between modern knowledge and verses in the Qur’an, and pointed out that the Biblical narration contained statements that were scientifically unacceptable. This is hardly surprising when we know that the great narration of the Creation contained in the Bible was the work of priests living in the sixth century BC, hence the term ‘Sacerdotal’ narration. This seems mainly to have been conceived as the theme of a preaching designed to exhort people to observe the Sabbath. The narration was constructed with a definite end in view, and, as Father de Vaux (a former head of the Biblical School of Jerusalem) has noted this end was essentially legalist in character.
The Bible also contains a much shorter and older narration of the Creation, the so-called “Yahvist” version, which approaches the subject from a completely different angle.
They are both taken from Genesis, the first book of the Pentateuch or Taurah: Moses is supposed to have been its author, but the text we have today has, as we know, undergone many changes.
They Sacerdotal narration of Genesis is famous for its whimsical genealogies, that go back to Adam, and which nobody takes very seriously. Nevertheless, such Gospel authors as Matthew and Luke have reproduced them, more or less verbatim, in their genealogies of Jesus. Matthew goes back as far as Abraham, and Luke to Adam. All these writings are scientifically unacceptable, because they set a figure on the age of the world and the time man appeared on Earth, which is most definitely out of keeping with what has today been established with certainty. The Qur’an, on the other hand, is completely free of data of this kind.
Earlier on, we also noted how perfectly Qur’an agrees with general, modern ideas on the formation of the Universe, whereas the Biblical narration stands in contradiction to them; the allegory of the primordial waters is hardly tenable, nor is the creation of light on the first day, before the creation of the stars which produce this light; the existence of an evening and a morning before the creation of the Earth; the creation of the Earth on the third day before that of the Sun on the fourth; the appearance of beasts of the Earth on the sixth day after the appearance of the birds of the air on the fifth day, although the former came first: all these statements are the result of beliefs prevalent at the time this text was written and do not have any other meaning.
As for the genealogies contained in the Bible, which form the basis of the Jewish calendar and assert that today the world is 5738 years old, these are hardly admissable either. Our solar system may be over 4.5 billion years old, and the appearance on Earth of man, as we know him today, may be estimated in tens of thousands of years, if not more.
It is absolutely essential, therefore, to note that the Qur’an does not contain any such indications as to date, and that these are specific to the Biblical text.
There is a second, highly significant, subject of comparison between the Bible and the Qur’an: this is the Flood. In actual fact, the Biblical narration is a fusion of two descriptions in which events are related differently. The Bible speaks of a universal flood and places it roughly 300 years before Abraham. According to what we know of Abraham, this would imply a universal cataclysm around the twenty-first or twenty-second century B.C. This would be untenable, in view of historical data.
How can we accept the idea that, in the twenty-first or twenty-second century BC, all civilization was wiped off the face of the Earth by a universal cataclysm, when we know that this period corresponds, for example, to the one preceding the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, at roughly the date of the first Intermediary period before the eleventh dynasty?
None of the preceding statements is acceptable according to modern knowledge.From this point of view, we can measure the enormous gap separating the Bible from the Qur’an.
In contrast to the Bible, the narration contained in the Qur’an deals with a cataclysm that is limited to Noah’s people. They were punished for their sins, as were other ungodly peoples. The Qur’an does not locate the cataclysm in time. There are absolutely no historical or archaeological objections to the narration in the Qur’an.
A third point of comparison, which is extremely significant, is the story of Moses, and especially the Exodus from Egypt of the Hebrews enslaved to the Pharaoh. Here I can only give a highly compressed account of the study of this subject that appears in my book. I have noted the points where the Biblical and Qur’anic narrations agree and disagree, and, for some details, I have found points where the two texts complement each other in a very useful way.
Among the many hypotheses concerning the position occupied by the Exodus in the history of the Pharaohs, I have concluded that the most likely is the theory which makes Merneptah, Rameses II’s successor, the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The confrontation of the data contained in the Scriptures with archaeological evidence speaks strongly in favour of this hypothesis. I am pleased to be able to say that the Biblical narration contributes weighty evidence leading us to situate Moses in the history of the Pharaohs: Moses was born during the reign of Rameses II, Biblical data are therefore of considerable historical value in the story of Moses.
The medical study of the mummy of Merneptah has yielded further useful information on the possible causes of this Pharaoh’s death.
The fact that we today possess the mummy of this Pharaoh, which to be exact, was discovered 100 years ago, in 1898, is one of paramount importance. The Bible records that it was engulfed in the sea, but does not give any deatails as to what subsequently became of the body. The Qur’an, in the sura Yunus, notes that the body of the Pharaoh, who was to be damned, would be saved from the waters.
So this day We shall save your (dead), body
That you may be a sign for those.
Who come after you !
And verily, many among mankind
Are heedless of Our signs. (10:92)
A medical examination of this mummy, has moreover, shown that the body could not have stayed in the water for long, because it does not shown signs of deterioration due to prolonged submersion.
Here again, the confrontation of the narration in the Qur’an with the data provided by modern knowledge does not give rise to the slightest objection from scientific point of view.
The Old Testament constitutes a collection of literary works produced in the course of roughly nine centuries and which has undergone many alterations. The part played by man in the actual composition of texts of the Bible is quite considerable.
The Qur’anic Revelation has a history which is radically different. From the moment it was first communicated to man, it was learnt by heart and written down during Muhammad’s own lifetime. It is thanks to this that the Qur’an does not pose any problem of authenticity.
A totally objective examination of it, in the light of modern knowledge, leads us to recognise the agreement between the two, as has already been noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad’s time to have been the author of such statements, on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are part of what gives the Qur’anic Revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning. (Dr. Maurice Bucaille in The Quran and the Modern Science P17-22).
Not only the scientific apathy, present day Holy Bible, carries many so holy passages, which even the most orthdox Christian priest would feel shame to teach his wise son or young daughter:
INCEST: “Sexual intercourse between two persons who are too closely related.” (New Collins Dictionary). For example, between father and daughter, son and mother, father-in-law and daughter-in-law, brother and sister, etc.
Incest in God’s Book (?) between a father and his daughters:
“That night they (both the daughters of Lot) gave him (their father Lot) wine to drink and then older daughter had INTERCOURSE with him….
“The next day the older daughter said to her sister, I slept with him last night: now let’s get him drunk again tonight, and you sleep with him. Then each of us will have a child by our father.
“So that night they got him drunk, and the younger daughter had INTERCOURSE with him….
“In this way both of Lot’s daughter became PREGNANT by their father.” Genesis 19:33-35 (From the “Good News Bible in Today’s English”). In the older Versions, like the King James and the Roman Catholic Versions,
“SEXUAL INTERCOURSE” is vaguely described as “COLLECTING THE SEED OF OUR FATHER.”
INCEST AND RAPE BETWEEN BROTHER AND SISTER:
“. . . he took hold of her (Thamar, his sister, not to be confused with Thamar above), and said unto her, come lie with me (have sex with me), my sister.
“And she answered him, Nay, my brother (Amnon, one of the sons of David, the man after God’s own heart), do not force me . . . “But he would not listen to her; and since he was stronger than she was, he over powered her and RAPED her (his sister).” 2 Samuel 13:5-14 (Combat kit by Sh. Deedat)
SONG OF SONGS 4
How beautiful you are, my darling !
Oh, how beautiful !
Your eyes behind your veil are doves
Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn.
coming up from the washing.
Each had its twin:
not one of them is alone.
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate
Your neck is like the tower of David
built with elegance.
on it hang a thousand shields.
all of them shields of warriors.
Your two breast are like two fawns
like twin fawns of a gazelle
that browse among the lilies.
Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee.
I will go to the mountains of myrrh
and to the hill of incense.
All beautiful you are, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride
come with me from Lebanon
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon.
form the lions dens
and the mountains haunts of the leopards.
You have stolen my heart, my sister my bride:
You have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
How delightful is your love, my sister my bride !
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!
Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon.
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.4:1-12 (Holy Bible NIV p506)
And further, Song of Songs 7
How beautiful your sandaled feet ,O prince’s daughter
Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftman’s hands
Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine
Your waist is a mond of wheat encircled by lillies
Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle
Your neck is like an ivory tower
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel
Your hair is like royal tepestry the king is held captive by its tresses
How beautiful you are and how pleasing
O love with your delights
Your stature is like that of the palm
And your breasts like cluster of fruits
I said “ I will climb the palm tree
I will take hold of its fruit”
May your breast be like the clusters of the vine
The fragrance of your breath like apples
And your mouth like the best wine.
May the wine go straight to my lover
Flowing gently over lips and teeth.
I Belong to my lover and his desire is for me
Come my lover, let us go to the countryside
Let us spend the night in the villages. 7:1-11 (NIVp508)
On the contrary, Holy Qur’an opens with beautiful prayer:
Praise be to Allah
The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds
Most Graciuos, Most Merciful,
Master of the Day of Judgment
Thee do we worship
And Thine aid we seek
Show us the straight way
The way of those on whom
Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace
Those whose (portion) is not wrath
And who go not astray (1:1-7 )
The Prophet was unlettered. He could not read the Arabic alphabets. It was humanly impossible for him to be the author of a book of such supernatural excellence. Unquestionably, the language denotes the man. There are thousands of speeches and sermons of the Prophet on record. The style of expression of these sayings of the Prophet is basically different from that of the Qur’an. This affords us irresistible evidence that the Holy Qur’an is a Divine scripture, and the Prophet is not its author. ( POM 30)
The Holy Qur’an is addressed to the entire human race transcending alll barriers of race, region and time. It contains Divine Guidance for mankind for all times and all phases of life, material as well as spiritual. It promises reward for good deeds and punishment for evil actions, giving glimpses of the life beyond. It is comprehensive code of conduct to bring mankind from darkness into light.”
“The Holy Quran is addressed to the entire human race transcending all barriers of race, region or time. It contains Divine Guidance for mankind for all times and in all phases of life materials as well as spiritual. It promises reward for good deeds and punishment for evil actions, giving some glimpses of the life beyond. It is a comprehensive code of conduct to bring mankind from darkness into light. The Holy Qur’an refers to this in the following words
“(This is) a Scripture which
We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad)
that thereby thou mayest bring forth mankind
from darkness unto light,
by the permission of their Lord,
unto the path of the Mighty,
the Praise worthy,” (14:1) (MMP viii)
HAJJAT AL VIDA : THE PERFECTION OF FAITH
Hajj of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is a land mark of human history. It is an event of the perfection of Divine Guidance and Completion of the assignment of Prophet-hood on earth. It is a mark of Universal Convocation. Now no more Schooling of the mankind and no more appointment of Doctors of Divine Law. This was the end of a long story that began, with the birth of Adam, when Almighty Allah said “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels, I will create a vicegerent on earth” (2:30) And then He sent down Adam to earth advising him that “Who so ever shall follow my Guidance shall not be in sorrow or in grief” And finally after few thousand years a word came to Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w).
And this day I have perfected your religion for you Completed My favour upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (5 :3 )
This long story of few milleniums passed through many stages. The man, with his ignorance, temptations and stubbornness, occasionally, revolted against Divine Law. Almighty Allah appointed noble persons from among them as His prophets and they all preached the eternal Truth of One-ness of God and submission to His Will (And this is Islam itself) throughout the human history. Noah, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were all the the Prophets or the chosen persons of God preaching the same message. But they all got the tough and tyrant attitude from the mis-guided people. Noah was the first to be rejected and ridiculed by his people. He was so much disgusted with his people that he submitted his appeal to Almighty Allah and implored Him for their severe punishment. Noah said :
“O my Lord I have called to my people night and day But my call only increases (their) flight( from the right) And every time I have called to them that Thou mightest forgive them, they have (only) thrust their fingers into their ears covered themselves up with their garments Grown obstinate and given themselves up to arrogance. ( 71:5-7)
And when his people did not move from Idolatory to Monotheism, Noah cried in wrath and he saw his own people (including his own son) drowned and devastated like moth in the great diluge:
And Noah said,O my Lord Leave not of the Unbelievers a single one on earth. For if Thou dost leave (any of ) them They will but mislead Thy devotees and They will breed none but wicked ungrateful ones. 71:26-27.
Abraham was another great person with Divine Guidance. His people dealt more harshly with him. With the help of their ruler Nimrud they decided to burn him alive and threw him into the blaze of fire. Here Almighty Allah helped his Prophet the other way. Instead of destroying his nation Almighty Allah saved Abraham miraculously. Being disappointed with his people he left his homeland. His father repelled him on his good advice :
O my father serve not Satan for Satan is a rebel against (Allah) Most Gracious. O my father I fear lest a penalty afflict thee from(Allah) Most Gracious so that thou bocome to Satan a friend (the father) replied, Dost thou hate my gods O Abraham? If thou forbear not I will indeed stone thee Now get away from me, for a good long while. (19:44-46)
Moses was another apostle raised among the rebellious tribes of Israel. They were enslaved, persecuted and tortured by Pharoes of Egypt. Almighty Allah saved them miraculously through His apostle. But this proud and arrogant nation expressed no thanks to Almighty Allah and when Moses called them to fight in the cause of Allah, they gave a very insulting reply to Moses saying :
They said O Moses in this land Are a people of exceeding strength Never shall we enter it until they leave it I f (once) they leave then we shall enter. (But )among their God fearing men were two On whom Allah had bestowed His grace, They said, Assault them at the proper Gate When once ye are in, victory will be yours. But on Allah put your trust if ye have faith. They said, O Moses while they remain there Never shall we be able to enter to the end of time. Go thou and thy Lord and fight ye two While we sit here (and watch). (5:24-27)
Yahya (John the Baptist) was another Prophet. He was son of Prophet Zakariyah and cousin to Jesus Christ from mother’s side. His wicked people stood against him. He was arrested and beheaded at very young age by King Herod to appease his dancer in the court.
Jesus the son of Marry was miraculously born and raised among Banu Israel to guide them to the path of Truth. But this rebellious tribe engaged themselves in machinations and ultimately (according to them) hanged him to death in a help-less situation. The Jews celeberated his death and took pride in getting Jesus Christ executed by Roman Court. But Holy Quran, dismayed all their pride and jubiliation when it revealed that it was not Jesus but a Jew of the same shape (named Simon the Cyrenean, POM p 65) who was actually hanged.
“Photius tells us that he read a book entitled “The journeys of the Apostles” relating the acts of Peter, John, Andrews, Thomas and Paul, and among other things contained therein , this was one, that Christ was not crucified, but another in his stead, and that, therefore, he laughed at his crucifiers, or those who thought they had crucified him.”(POM65)
Almighty Allah raised Jesus Christ honourably alive to the Heavens. This was a great news of rejoices to Christians against Jews. In our times the great occidentalist Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, the Muslim Authority on Holy Bible, of South Africa, winner of King Faisal Award, has challenged the myth of Crusifixion as Crusi-fiction and nobody has refuted it.
The Process of Divine Guidance to mankind continued from Adam to Jesus through Noah, Abraham and Moses (peace be upon them all) but the results were just a partial success.
No one, for instance, followed the Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist) and he died a martyr’s death. When Lot left his people, only two of his daughters accompanied him. According to the Old Testment, only eight people entered the ark along with Noah. When Abraham left his native country, Iraq, the only people to accompany him were his wife Sarah and his nephew Lot, although they were later joined by his two sons, Ishmael and Issac. Even after great missionary effort on the part of Jesus, only twelve of those who heard his teachings followed him, and even they forsook him at the moment of truth.This was the unhappy lot of most of the prophets. (W Khan 13-14).
“History has fully chronicled the lives of kings and soldiers, but not one single prophet’s life has been given its due place in the annals of history. Aristotle (384-322 BC) who was born one thousand years after the Prophet Moses, was not even acquanited with Moses’ name. The reason is not far to seek: most of the prophets were rejected by their peoples: their homes were demolished; they were treated as outcasts from society; they appeared so unimportant that no one deemed it necessary even to make any mention of them.” (W Khan 14.)
With all above repression to the apostles Almighty Allah decreed Grand success for Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.). He designated him a Prophet not to a tribe or nation but to the entire mankind. He honoured him with the perfection of Divine Message and declared that as the Message has been completed no other Prophet will appear after him. Almighty Allah did not allow the resistant people to over power him as was Jesus Christ or to kill him, as was the case with Prophet Yahya. The people who stood with Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) were very loyal and faithful to him. None of them left him as some of the Hawaries left Jesus Christ and none of them replied him in rude way as was the case of the Jews with Prophet Moses, rather they said :
“O Apostle of God ! Proceed where God directs you to, for we are with you. We will not say as the children of Israel said to Moses, ‘Go you and your Lord and fight and we will stay here;’ rather we shall say, ‘Go you and your Lord and fight, and we will fight along with you.’ By God ! if you were to take us to Bark al-Ghimad, we will still fight resolutely with you against its defenders until you gained it.” AHS P 222
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) never cursed his people as did Noah rather he prayed for them even, on the extremely painful behaviour to him in Taif and at the battle of Ohud. As a result, the people of Makkah Mukarramah and Taif who at one stage stood as blood thirsty enemies to him, came back later, in throngs and crowds, eagerly to embrace Islam. And he saw all his people flourishing with the mercy of Allah. This was a quite different scene, what Prophet Noah saw with all his people drowned and their corpses floating on the sea.
Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) toiled hard in the path of Allah. He was opposed, ridiculed, persecuted and finally forced to leave his home from Makkah Mukarramah to Madina Munawara. There again he was attacked, harassed and injured but he never deviated from the noble cause.
His diamond- heart decision sincerily may be summed up in his following words: “O my uncle ! by God, if they put the sun in my right hand and moon in my left on condition that I abandon this course, until God has made me victorious, or I perish therein. I would not abandon it. AHS P 86
His devotion and perseverance was superb and exemplary. Almighty Allah decided to show him the fruits of his long struggle of twenty three years in His cause. It is quite significant that at the end of Makkan phase he was taken to Mer’aj to show him the Great Signs and the whole Hereafter world where he met all the proceeding Prophet’s and lead a prayer with them. This was the prize of the heaven.
Now before the close of Madinian phase, Almighty Allah decreed to show him the prize on earth through the institution of Haj. This was the grand and universal convocation of the Divine Guidance, which began with Prophet Adam few milleniums ago.
IMPORTANCE OF UNITY IN ISLAM
Islam is the religion of monotheism, morality, unity and equality. Oneness of Allah is evident from the article of Faith that “There is not God except Allah. and Mohammed is His Messenger.” Equality has been established by the verse of Holy Quran: ”Verily all Muslims are One Brother-hood.” (49:10)
Unity is prescribed in Holy Quran: And hold fast all together By the cord of Allah. And be not divided among yourselves. (3:103)
The devotional aspect of a Muslim is strictly enshrined.in unity. In a Hadith Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said that the Salat (Prayer) of a person in Jamat (congregation) is 27 times more virtuous than his salat in alone. Subsequently millions of Muslims gather in thousands of mosques five times a day on the five continents of the world. According to rough estimates there are more than 1,000,000 Mosques around the globe. Salat or prayer to Almighty Allah is pivot of Muslim life. When a baby is born the first voice, it hears in his or her ear is Allaho-Akbar and when any person dies his last prayer, with Allaho-Akbar is said before burial. Whenever there is any joy and happiness or sorrow and grief or fear and disaster a salat is offered. Even at Solar and Lunar eclipse and for inviting rains in hot summer, a Salat is offered to Almighty Allah.
Besides the daily five times regular Salat, Muslim masses gather on Friday for weekly Salat. This is like a little celeberation to them. They take bath, wear nice dress, use perfume and go in throngs to Jamia Mosque at mid day. They attend Khutba,Holy sermon in Arabic (even in Europe, America and China) dealing with their socioreligious aspects of life and offer Grand Friday Prayer. It is a weekly Eid or festival to them.
On annual Eid (festival) the whole mass of Muslims from the villages, towns and cities comes out in thousands and they gather at a large open-air ground (called Musalla Eid or Eid Gah) offer the Grand Annual Eid Salat and attend the Khutba universally in Arabic. At some places this gathering crosses the limit of millions. This is the grand manifest of Islamic unity in every village, town, city and cosmopolitan avenue. In Europe and United States large public halls are booked in advance and Muslim families throng from hundred of miles to offer Salat al Eid.
Annually the largest universal Assembly is convened at Makkah Mukarramah for Haj where every capable Muslim male or female is invited once in a life to attend the Great Sermon and Grand attendance at Arafat on 9 th of Zilhajja (12th month of Hijra Calender) every year. This is the largest regular gathering of human race on this planet which is continued from the last millenium. More than 2,000,000 people from all over the world gather on this grand convention every year.
More than 1,400 sessions of this Grand Assembly have been convened. The world records are incapable to show event in history of such a mammoth gathering of the mankind. This was a gift of God to Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.) alone to show him his Ummah as the grand success established by him.
The institution of Haj was decreed in 09 AH. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Abu Bakr as Ameer Haj with 300 pilgrims to Makkah Mukarramah. But the more important was the declaration of ‘Bra-at’ in the large gathering of Makkah Mukarramah at Haj where clear injunctions were given that no pagan and non Muslim, from now on, will be allowed to enter the Harem territory and in the Masjid al Haram. The Haj will be performed according to Islamic injuctions and no body will be allowed to sing the songs in praise of of his ancestors or to perform Haj in nude.
This was a very significant decision as all the Christians, Jews, pagans and heretics were barred to enter the Holy precincts or to attend the Haj. The result was that when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) performed Haj next year there was no Kaafir who could boast of perfroming a Haj with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). It was a devotional Haj based on the pure rites and foot-steps of Prophet Abraham (AS) the Architect of Holy Kaaba and Father of a nation of true worshippers on this earth.
In 10th year of Hijrah Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) declared his intention to perform Haj.He sent his envoys to different tribes teaching the people about Haj. The people thronged in thousands. Every body wished to perform Haj with Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Ladies also took the lead. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) left Madina Munawara on 26th of Zi-Qaada, 010 AH appointing Abu Dajana Ansari as Viceroy and encamped at Zul-Halifa, few kilometers away from Madina Munawwara. About 90,000 Muslims joined him for Haj. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) donned Ihram for Qiran Haj and declared his submission to His Lord Allah saying Labbaik:
Here I am (Thy servant), O Allah
Here I am (to obey Thee).
Truly there is no partner to Thee.
All praise and all blessings belongs to Thee.
Soveregnity is Thine Alone. There is no associate to Thee.
Read carefully every word of this grand praise. Every letter is full of his submission to Allah. All praise, all blessings, all soverignty, all power and magnanimity is for Allah alone. And all submission all devotion and all humiliation to his Lord is for Mohammed (s.a.w.). This was adopted as the Universal Anthem which was enchanted by thousands of people in public when this Great of the Greatest man on earth was guiding the grand assembly of mankind on earth.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) moved from Zulhalifa on Sunday the 27th of Zilqaada. His wives and his daughter Fatima (RA) also accompanied him. He also took camels for sacrifice at Mina with him. He was joined by thousands pilgrims more on the way. This grand multitude marched and arrived at Makkah Mukarramah on Sunday the 4th of Zilhajja (Mar 631AC). Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) performed Tawaf of Holy Kaaba and Saii between Safa and Marwah (hillocks). He stayed at Hujoon for four days. On 8th of Zilhijja he went to Mina and stayed there overnight.
On 9th of Zilhijja he rode on his she-camel named Qaswa after sun rise and arrived at Arafat. There he saw a sea of his people around him. The whole valleys, plains and hill tops were full with people in one dress, Ihram and raising one Slogan of Labbaik. They were all thronging to him to listen his words. One man alone brought more than 100,000 to the court of Allah at open plain of Arafat. There he delivered a grand Khutba (Sermon) which is taken as the first declaration of Human Rights in the annals of world history. He said:
“ All praise be to Allah. We glorify Him and seek His help and pardon; and we turn to Him. We take refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and from the evil consequences of our deeds. There is none to lead him astray whom Allah guides aright, and there is none to guide him aright whom He leads astray. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah alone; having no partner with Him, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His bondman and His Messenger. I admonish you, O bondmen of Allah ! to fear Allah and I urge you to His obedience and I open the speech with that which is good.
Ye people ! Listen to my words: I will deliver a message to you, for I know not whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you here again. O people ! Verily your blood, your property and your honour are sacred and inviolable until you appear before your Lord, as this day and this month is sacred for all. Verily you will meet your Lord and you will be held answerable for your actions. Have I not conveyed the message ? O Allah ! Be my witnesses.
He who has any trust with him he should restore it to the person who deposited it with him.
Beware, no one committing a crime is responsible for it but himself. Neither the son is responsible for the crime of his father, nor the father is responsible for the crime of his son.
O people ! Listen to my words and understand them. You must know that a Muslim is the brother of the Muslim and they form one brotherhood. Nothing of his brother is lawful for a Muslim except what he himself allows willingly. So you should oppress not one another. O Allah ! have I not conveyed the message ?
Behold! all practices of paganism and ignorance are now under my feet. The blood-revenges of the days of Ignorance are remitted. The first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibn Rabi’ah Ibn Harith who was nursed in the tribe of Sa’d and whom the Hudhayl killed.
Usury is forbidden, but you will be entitled to recover your principal. Do not wrong and you shall not be wronged. Allah has decreed that there should be no usury and I make a beginning by remitting the amount of interest which ‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib has to receive. Verily it is remitted entirely.
O people ! fear Allah concerning women. Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their persons lawful unto you by words of Allah ! Verily you have got certain rights over your women and your women have certain rights over you. It is incumbent upon them to honour their conjugal rights and, not to commit acts of impropriety which, if they do, you have authority to chastise them, yet not severely. If your wives refrain from impropriety and are faithful to you, clothe and feed them suitably.
Behold ! Lay injunctions upon women but kindly.
O people! Listen and obey though a mangled Abyssinian slave is your Amir if he executed [the ordinances of] the Book of Allah among you.
O people ! Verily Allah has ordained to every man the share of his inheritance. The child belongs to the marriage-bed and the violator of wedlock shall be stoned. He who attributes his ancestry to other than his father or claims his clientship to other than his masters, the curse of Allah, that of the angels, and of the people, be upon him. Allah will accept from him neither repentance nor righteousness.
O people ! Verily the Satan is disappointed at ever worshipped in this land of yours, but if he can be obeyed in anything short of worship he will be pleased in matters you may be disposed to think of little account, so beware of him in your matters of religion.
Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Apostle which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray.
“And if you were asked about me, what wanted you say ?” They replied : “We bear witness that you have conveyed the message, and discharged your ministry.” (AHS 361-363)
After Khutba Bilal raised the call of Azan in the plain of Arafat and this great multitude of more than 124,000 Sahaba bowed their heads in Devotion to One Allah alone. This was the result of all his efforts, tolerance preservence and prayers to his Lord.
At the completion of Khutba Almighty Allah revealed the famous Ayah (verse) “And this day I have perfected your religion for you completed my favour upon you. And have chosen for you Islam as your religion”(3:5) which stamped the perfection of Divine Guidance on earth. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) moved to a place near Jabal Rahma (mount) and stayed there in the sun praying and praising his Lord Allah for long time until the sunset. Then Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) moved to Muzdallifa. Osama bin Zaid was sitting behind him on the camel. He came to Muzdalifa (few kilometers to wards Mina) and offered Maghrib and Isha Salat combined in the night and then had rest for few hours.
On 10th Zilhijja he offered Fajr Salat at Muzdalifa and after a prayer near Mash-aril-Haram, moved to Mina after sunrise. Now Fazal bin Abbas was sitting behind on his camel. He passed Mohasser Valley hurriedly, this is the place where Abraha with his large army was destroyed sixty years ago. Many eye witness of this incident were with him.
In Mina Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) performed Rami Jamar (throwing seven pebbles) of Jamrat-al-Uqba and then slaughtered 63 camels by his own hand. Remaining 37 wer slaughtered by Ali bin Abi Talib who came from Yemen and joined him at Haj. A piece of meat was taken from each slaughtered camel and cooked. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and Ali ate from this cooking. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) than rode to Makkah Mukarramah with thousands of Sahaba and performed Tawaf Ifada (thanks giving to Allah) of Holy Kaaba. After long prayer he went to Zamzam well, where Banu Muttaleb were at service of the pilgrims. He took a bucket, full of Zamzam and drank it standing near the well.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) addressed another sermon on Friday the 10th Zilhijja which was Eid day. He revised few points of Arafat and added few more to the sermon which read as under:
O people ! Verily the intercalation (of a prohibited month) aggravates infidelity. Thereby the unbelievers are led to wrong. For they make it lawful one year and forbid it in another year to be in conformity with the number [of months] which Allah declared unlawful so they consider violable that which Allah declared to be inviolable and they consider inviolable what Allah declared to be violable.
Verily the time has revolved in its own way from the day when the heavens and the earth were created. The number of months to Allah is twelve of which four are sacred; three are consecutive – Dhu al-Qa’dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab which is between Jumadah and Sha’ban.
O people ! Do you know what day it-, is what territory it is, what month it is ?”
To this the people answered: The day is the day of sacrifice; and the territory is the sacred territory, the month is the sacred month. At each reply the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
So I apprise you that your lives, your property and your honour must be as sacred to one another as this sacred day, in this sacred month, in this sacred town.
And your slaves ! See that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves; and clothe them with the clothes that you yourselves wear. And if they commit a fault which you are not inclined to forgive, then part with them for they are the servants of Allah and are not to be chastised.
Behold ! Listen to me. Worship your Lord; offer prayers five times a day; observe fast in the month of Ramadan; make pilgrimage to the House (Ka’bah); pay readily the Zakat (poor-rate) on your property and obey whatever I command you, only then you will get into the heaven.
Let him that is present convey it unto him who is absent. For haply, many people to whom the message is conveyed may be more mindful of it than the audience.”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) took upon the thread of his oration on the next day also and added:
O people ! Verily your lord is one and your father is one. All of you belong to one ancestry of Adam and Adam was created out of clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab; nor for white over the black nor for the black over the white except in piety. ‘Verily the noblest among you is he who is the most pious;
Behold, the nearer ones of you should convey the message to the remoter ones. I have conveyed the message.
Then looking up to the heaven, he said :
“O Lord ! I have delivered the message and discharged my ministry.” “Yes,” cried all the people crowding round him, “Yes, verily you have.” “O Lord ! I beseech Thee bear Thou witness unto it.”
And with these words, the Prophet concluded his address. (AHS 363-366)
His farewell address contains the real spirit and commandments of Islam for all regions and all generations to come. It should be decorated in every Muslim house with translation in local language. The farewell address of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is not only remarkable for its eloquence, it contains a sublime message for the whole of the human race also. The world has not been able to lay down better principles of ethics than those enunciated in it. Every word of it breathes a spirit of magnanimity and aims at establishing righteousness and fair dealing among men on a workable basis. It establishes brotherhood among Muslims irrespective of the divergences of their geographical, racial and colour backgrounds and puts finishing touches to a social order, perfectly free from oppression and injustice. AHS P 367
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stayed three days more on 11, 12 and 13th Zilhijja at Mina guiding the people on Islamic affairs. Then he departed from Mina for Makkah Mukarramah and stayed at Khaif Bani Kenana. Then after Isha Salat he went to Harem and performed his farewell Tawaf to Holy Kaaba. This was his last Tawaf of Holy Kaaba. Then he returned to Madina Munawara .
More than hundred thousand people performed Tawaf this day. All chieftains of Quraish of Makkah Mukarramah, Muhajireen and Ansars from Madina Munawara, hundreds of Tribes from, Tabuk, Yemen, Hijaz, Tihama and Bahrain bowed their heads to Almighty Allah alone and performed Tawaf of Holy Kaaba clean and pure from the age old idolatory. Within two years people forgot centuries old 360 Gods and Goddesses, who occupied Holy Kaaba. There was no Hubal, no Lat, no Manat, no Uzza, no Yauus, no Yaghuth and no Nasr any where on the Arabian Peninsula. This was a and still is, a living miracle of Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.).
THE LAST GLIMPSES
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) led a very purposeful life. With the performance of Hajjat-al-Vida the purpose of his life was perfected. And Almighty Allah signalled him the return to the same world where he had been in the night of Meraj – the unseen world of the Hereafter. Almighty Allah has given a meaningful definition of death to all the Muslims. Whenever any such calamity befalls upon them they are advised to say “To Allah alone we belong and unto Him we are to return”.
It reminds to every Muslim, male & female, that we are the creature of a different world. We have landed on this planet for a very short time. Our stay on this earth is very limited (not even 1:1,000,000) in comparison to our whole eternal life. We shall leave this world shortly and will never return to it again. We are like a soldier of Allah to complete the mission on earth and return to our camp. We shall be rewarded as per performance of our duty on this planet. This is a place of trial, a place of cultivating the harvest for the other world.
Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) was a mortal being. He reminded it repeatedly and warned Muslim not to add any Divinity to his person which is Kufr and has been committed by the followers of other religions. He led an exemplary life and experienced hunger, pain, joy sorrows and agonies all like a common man. There were nights after night when he had no food for himself and for his family. His three daughter and three sons died in his life but he never cried loudly. Only the tears poured out from his eyes.
Sometime the prangs of hunger were unbearable to him, Almighty Allah sent a message to him saying that We can convert the hills of Makkah into hills of gold but he declined and said, “ O Lord, I want to live like a needy person when I get something I eat and express thanks to Thee and when I have nothing to eat I implore Thee to feed me”. How beautiful is the expression of his dependence upon his Lord Allah. At another occasion he said, “ Poverty is my pride” The luxury pomp and show may be the insignia of others. My Crest and pride is that having every thing in my reach I keep nothing in my hands.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) gave an indication about his death in his address at Arafat saying that I do not know whether I could ever meet you again at this place after this year (Reheeq P471) Then again when Ayat “And today I have perfected your religion for you” were revealed Abubaker wept in tears. He was his life long friend he grasped the idea that the “Mission of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has been completed and now he will depart from them”. Similarly Sura Nasr (110) was revealed during Haj days. It was another indication that your mission has been completed and that you should now devote yourself towards the Oft Forgiving Lord. Subsequently Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) performed Aitekaf for twenty days in Ramadhan instead of usual ten days. He also recited Holy Qura’an twice in this Ramadhan instead of usual one. This all indicated his preparation for a return journey to his Lord Almighty Allah.
In early days of Safar 011 AH once Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) went to Ohud battle field and prayed long for the martyres as if he was departing from them. Then again on 18th Safar 011 AH one night he went to ‘Jannat-al-Baqie’ the graveyard near Harem and prayed for them long in the impressive style. Then he returned to Harem (Masjid Nabavi) and delivered the following address:
“O the People I am to precede you ahead and I am a witness upon you. By Allah you will meet me at my Haudh (stream) very soon. I have been given the keys of the worldly treasures (which are nothing for me and should not be anything for you) I have no fear that you will turn Mushrik (polytheists) after me, but I am afraid that you will compete with one another in hoarding the riches of the world.” (Chiragh 719)
THE SICKNESS BEGINS : Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) enjoyed good health throughout his life and performed all duties with full enthusiasm. He never suffered with any serious disease. But in the end of Safar when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) returned from a funeral he felt pain in his head. Suddenly high fever gripped him. This was Monday 29th Safar 011 AH. He was sick for 14 days before his final departure from this world. However he lead the daily prayers in his sickness for 11 days. In the last week taking permission from other wives he shifted with the help of Ali and Fazl bin Abbas to the Hujra (cell) of Aisha and stayed there upto the end. Just before five days from his death when he was informed about the anxiety of his followers for not seeing him for many days (though he was weak and under sever fever) he asked to pour upon him seven buckets of water from different wells. By this natural treatment his fever subsided and he got some relief. He went to the Mosque where his beloved followers were waiting him for a glance. He sat on pulpit and said:
“There is a Servant whose Lord has given him option between this life and that which is nigh unto the Lord, and the servant has chosen the latter.”Abu Bakr seems to have been the only one in the mosque who recognised what Muhammad (s.a.w.) really meant and tears filled his eyes at the idea that soon the Prophet would be no more among them. Then the Apostle of Allah (s.a.w.) continued :
There is none more bountiful to us for his unwavering loyalty and devotion and for his sacrifice of wealth than Abubakr. If I were to choose a bosom friend it would be he : but Islam has made a closer brotherhood among us all.The fact is that your companion is the friend of Allah. Let every door that leads into the mosque be closed, except the door of Abu Bakr.
O people ! It has reached me that you are afraid of the approaching death of your Prophet. Has any previous Prophet lived for ever among those to whom he was sent so that I would live for ever among you ? Behold, I am about to go to my Lord. You too will go sooner or later.I admonish you to do good to the first Muhajereen and I recommend the Muhajereen to do good among themselves. Verily Allah the Exalted says:
“By the time, Verily man is in loss,
Except those who themselves believe
And work righteous works,
And enjoin upon each other the truth
And enjoin upon each other endurance.” (103:1-3)
Verily, the affairs take their course according to the Will of Allah. Delay in dispensation should not in any way urge you to be impatient in demand. Allah – the Mighty and the Great does not submit to the haste of anybody. He who contends with Allah, Allah overpowers him. He who tries to play false and loose with Allah, he is outwitted by Allah. In the near future , if you get power in the world, then do not spread mischief on earth and do not cut off your blood relations. I admonish you to do good to the Ansars. They are those who provided shelter for you and provided facilities for the promotion of the faith. So you should behave unto them well. Did they not provide accommodation for you in their homes? Did they not give you preference over themselves, while they were confronted with poverty?
The number of Muslims would increase, but the Ansar would decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. They are my family and with them I found shelter.
By Him in Whose Hand is my life, verily I love you. The Ansars have acquitted themselves creditably of the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have to do. (this is for the whole Ummah of all times).
So he who from among you occupies a position of responsibility and is powerful enough to do harm or good to the people, he should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that has been shown by these benefactors and should overlook their faults.
Verily do not give preference to yourselves over them.
Beware, he who is anxious to come to the ‘Fountain’ along with me tomorrow, should hold his tongue and restrain his hands.
O people ! Verily sins deprive people of blessings and bring about changes in their lot. When people are good, their rulers do good to them and when the people are wrong-doers their rulers oppress them.
There may be some amongst you whom I owe anything. I am, after all a human being. So if there is any man whose honour I have injured, here I am to answer for it.
If I have done any injury to the skin of anybody, here is my skin ; he may take his recompense. If I owe aught to anyone here is my property ; he may take it.
Know that among you the most faithful to me is the one who has such a claim against me and then he either takes it from me or absolves me so that I meet my Lord after I have been absolved.
Nobody should say : “I fear enmity and grudge of the Apostle of Allah.” I nurse no grudge towards anyone. These are the things which are alien to my nature and temperament. I abhor them.” (AHS 371-73)
FOUR DAYS BEFORE “The Holy Prophet received the news that there was some grumbling in certain quarters about the appointment of Usama to the post of the commander of the intended expedition to Syria. He summoned the people in question and addressed them in the following words :
O people ! What is this which has reached my ears, that some amongst you murmur against my appointing Usamah as the commander ? Now if you criticise my appointing Usamah as Amir, [it is not a new thing for] you have indeed criticised my appointing his father [Zayd] as Amir before him. And I swear by the Lord, that he verily was well-fitted for the command, and that his son after him is well-fitted also. Truly, Usamah is one of the men mostly dearly loved by me, as his father was. They both are indeed loved by me.”
One day, while he was in a precarious condition, he said to his Companions around him : Come here, I will cause you to write something so that you will never fall into error. Upon this some of those present said : “The Prophet of Allah is suffering from acute pain and you have the Quran with you ; the Book of Allah is sufficient unto us.” Others, however, wanted the writing to be made. When Muhammad (s.a.w) saw them debating over it, he was perturbed and ordered them to go out and leave him alone. (AHS 374)
Later he bequeathed and advised three important points that all Jews, Christians and Mushrekeen (polytheists) should be expelled from Arabia (the peninsula) and (2) the delegations should be honoured as he used to do. The third one was missed by the narrator.
On Thursdays i.e. only four days before he led Maghrib Salat in the mosque. This was his last lead in Salat. He tried to come to the Mosque for Isha Salat but fainted few times. Then he sent a word to Abubaker to lead the people in Salat and Abubaker did it with broken heart and tearing eyes. Abubaker lead 17 Salats in the mosque during the last days of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
Just a day before Holy Prophet called Fatima his beloved daughter and whispered in her ear she burst in tears. Then again he whispered in her ears and then she smiled. Later she told that he told her that he will depart from the world in this very sickness, she wept but second time he told her that you are the one to meet me first in the Hereafter then she smiled. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) kissed Hassan and Hussain the two grandsons and departed them.(It was only after six months later that Fatima expired. She was the first from Holy Prophets’s family to meet him in the next world.)
Same day or a day earlier at noon time Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) with the help of two persons came to the Mosque. Abubaker was leading the Zuhur prayer. When he felt Holy Prophet coming he intended to move backward to leave the place of Imam for him to lead the prayer. But Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stopped him in doing so and sat in prayer on the left of him. Abubaker and other prayees followed him in Salat.
On Sunday the last day of his life he distributed all what he had in his possession. He set free the slaves, gave in charity all the three gold coins which were with Aisha and gave his arms to the Muslims in trust. There left nothing in the house as personal property. Aisha borrowed little oil for the lamp that night from the neighbours. His armour was in mortage outside for 30 Sa’ah (75 kg) of barley. This was the real estate left by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and he ruled the whole Arabian peninsula without a palace without a treasury and without a standing army.
On Monday the day of departure, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) removed the curtain and peeped into the mosque. This was early morning and Abubaker was leading the Fajr Salat for Sahaba. They were all excited to see Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) after few days. Abubaker tried to leave his place in salat for him but Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) signalled him not to do so and dropped the curtain of the door. This was the last glance of his beloved people and last look of the Sabaha to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) their virtuous guide. There approached no time of second Salat at noon that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) departed from this world.
In the morning of Monday Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) felt bit better. Abubaker and other few Sahaba went to their homes thinking that he is now feeling better but who knew that it was a silence before the last storm. Abubaker went to Sinh a place out side Madina to see his second wife Habeeba bint Kharja.
Suddenly the last attack of sickness gripped the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and he seemed quite exhausted. Aisha seeing him too weak raised his head from the pillow and laid it tenderly in her lap. She moistened his head with demp cloth. His fever was very high but he remained calm and made no complaint. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had resigned himself to the Will of Allah. In the mean while Abdur Rahman bin Abubaker entered the room he had a Miswak in his hand. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) saw it eagerly. Aisha understood the intention. She took it from her brother softened it by chewing herself and gave it to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to rub his teeth. Then Fatima entered and cried “O my father your severe pain.” He said “There will be no pain to your father after this day” It shows that he was in full control of his senses upto the last moment. Then he gave his last advise murmuring “Salat, Salat and the people under your hand”.
Then suddenly the last moment arrived he felt it and raised his right hand pointing his first finger towards the sky and said :
In the company of those upon whom Thou hast
bestowed Thy Grace, of the prophets,
the Sincere- ones,and the Righteous-ones.
O Allah forgive me and have mercy upon me
and join me to the companionship of High.
Then he repeated “ bal ela rafique al Aala “But towards the companionship of the Most High”. Suddenly his hand dropped his eyes became fixed and a light smile prevailed on his bright face. Cool and calm as a moon light glitters on a white rose.
Thus was the drop scene of the hectic life of the Last Guide to mankind the Last of Messenger, Apostle and Prophet of humanity upto the end of the world. Holy Prophet lived 22,330 days and 6 hrs or 63 years and 4 days by lunar and 61 years 84 days by solar calendar and expired on Monday the 12th Rabi 011 AH (8thJune 632 AC). A thunder gripped the whole Madina. The news went like a wild fire. The sun has set, Madina’s bright day turned into dark night. The people lost their senses.
They wished someone could belie this news. Every body was crying in grief. Usman bin Affan suffered a fix and became motion less. Ali wept bitterly and fainted. Umer ibn Al Khattab lost his senses. He was not ready to hear that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has expired. He unsheathed his sword and said “He will kill if someone said that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) is no more with us.” Anas bin Malik briefed the situation in the following words:
I never saw a day brighter and cheerful than the day when Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) entered to us (in Madina) and I never saw a darker and ugly day than the day Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) expired. Fatima wept in tears and so did Aisha, Hafsa and Um Ayman (who nursed Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in her lap). The whole city was gripped in grief. There was general chaos. No body knew what to do and how to console each other. The Masjid Nabvi and the house was surrounded with mourning crowds.
“His followers, who had received a heavenly life by his teachings, who had developed the consciousness of Allah in full glory through him, and had constantly witnessed the manifestations of Divine help, mercy and power in his words and actions, could not look upon him as a mere human being. They could not associate their master with anything which could be overtaken by death. It was indeed painful for them to imagine that the man who had brought them out of darkness and superstition into light and wisdom ; who had changed their lives from gross materialism to sublime spirituality, was no longer within their reach to guide them. Such a feeling was quite natural.
‘Umar stood there in throng with his sword unsheathed and announced that anybody who dared say that Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was dead, would do so at the peril of his life.” (AHS-379-80)
Abu baker his lifelong companion rushed from Sinh and entered the Mosque. He did not talk to any body and went direct to the room where Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was sleeping in rest under a Yemeni woven sheet. He removed the cloth from his face saw him and burst into tears. He kissed his forehead and said : “Sweet you were in life and sweet in death. Yes, you are dead.” He continued, “Alas ! my friend, my chosen one, dearer than father and mother to me : you have tasted the death which God had decreed, a second death will never overtake you.” (AHS 380) Then he covered the face balanced himself and came out where thousands of people were waiting to hear the authentic news: He pushed Umer with his sword aside and after praising Allah he said :
O The People Listen, who so among you worshipped Mohammad (s.a.w.) should know that Mohammad is dead. But he who worshipped Almighty Allah then He is Ever Living and Ever Lasting. Allah already revealed in Holy Quran:
“Muhammad is no more than an Apostle.
Many were the Apostles that passed away before him.
If he died or were slain, will Ye then
Turn back on your heels
And if any did turn back on his heels
Not the least harm will he do to Allah
But Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those
who (serve Him) with gratitude.” (3: 144)
Ibn Abbas said, by God it seems that as if the people had never heard this verse before till Abubaker recited it as a reminder. Umer Ibn Al Khattab said that when I heard this verse from Abu baker I was amazed. My legs were shivering and I fell down to the ground and realised that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had really departed us. Abu baker had the highest sorrow and grief but this was a time of patience and self control. The whole Muslim Ummah was in grave situation and demanded some one to handle the affairs mindfully.
Abubaker took the situation in hand and controlled it. Suddenly some of the Ansars gathered at Saqeefa Bani Saaida and talked about Prophet’s successor before his burial. Abubaker leaving Abbas and Ali with Prophet’s body rushed to Saqeefa for the integration of Muslim Ummah.
“On hearing the report that the Ansar had gathered in the Hall of Bani Sa’idah in order to decide the issue of Muhammad’s successor, he hurried to the spot. There was urgent necessity for his presence. ‘Umar and Abu ‘Ubaydah accompanied him to that place. Abubakr listened to the arguments of the Ansarss with perfect calm and then placed the matter before them dispassionately and asked them to decide the issue. He told them :
All that you speak of your excellence is perfectly true. There is no people upon earth deserving all this praise more than you do. But the Arabs will not recognise a chief other than a man of the Quraysh. Quraysh will be the administrators and you will be their ministers.
He spoke very persuasively, trying to make the Ansar realise the gravity of the situation and make them decide the matter coolly and in the best interest of Islam. Abu Bakr’s words touched a chord that vibrated in every heart and thus had the desired effect. The spirit of opposition soon disappeared and he was unanimously elected as the first Caliph of the departed Prophet.”(AHS-382)
On Tuesday Abbas, Ali, Fazal, Quthum, Usamah bin Zaid, Sheqran (freed slave of the Prophet) and Aus bin Khauli gave bath to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) in his clothes and dressed him in the three white sheets. (Raheeq U 755)
Then he was laid at the same place and the people entered to see the last glimpse of their Benefactors face and to offer his funeral prayer group after group. Banu Hashem were the first to offer the prayer then Muhajereen then Ansars and then others. Each group did that and moved on in tears. This went on the whole day long, women followed men and children followed women. About 30,000 persons offered salat for him ( Ch 731).
The question arose where to bury Holy Prophet. Abubaker said that he heard Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) saying: No Prophet dies but he is buried where he dies. So the bed on which he expired was removed and a sided grave was dug on its place. And the sacred body was lowered in the grave on Wednesday by Ali, Abbas, his two sons Fazal and Quthum while Bilal sprinkled water in the grave:
O the best among those
Whose bones were buried in the ground
The vale and valley were blossomed
With the fragrance of thy body
My life be sacrificed
Upon the grave thou occupies
There lies the greatness, the grandeur
Of chastity, generosity and benefection.
The moon of Madinah was set in. The whole city was gripped in grief. The person who led them for 23 years and faced all odds of life cheerfully was laid to rest eternally.
The greatness of man is epitomized in Prophet Mohammed. He illuminated the capabilities of man. By the test of history, he was the most exalted man in the long span of humanity. And right upto the end of his life, the human side of Muhammed shines with the same luster. When on his death-bed, what was his last anxiety? The same one anxiety, whether he owed any human obligation. “If there is any one,” he had it announced, “to whom I owe anything, let him come forward so that he may be paid. If there is any one whom I have wronged, let him come forward and avenge the wrong while I am yet alive.”( Islam by ATH P 15 )
The heights gained accesses
By his loftiness and perfectness
The darkness of horizons disappeared
By the shine of his lustrous face
All beauties of morals were perfected
By the beauty of his highest morals
He is the noble of the noblest on earth
Peace and Allah’s blessing be showered upon him.
Ever and for ever.
One is amazed while reviewing the greatness of his goal against meagreness of resources and yet he established the loftiest results. “The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers, which often crumbled before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, people, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world ; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls.”(AHS 390)
Judged by all standards of human greatness, we find him on the loftiest height which can possibly be conceived. The most amazing aspect of his life, however, is that in spite of his astounding achievements and his close intimacy with Allah, he never claimed to be anything but a mortal who had been bidden to announce the Message of his Lord to humanity so that it might live in harmony with the Will of the Creator. He not only forcefully disclaimed any divinity for himself, but also warned his followers to attribute any such thing to him. He was entrusted with the sacred task of propagating the Divinity of Allah, the Sole Creator, Sustainer, Master and Sovereign of the universe and this work he performed most eminently. (AHS 390)
Today and for the last 1430 years, this great soul rests under the eye soothing green dome of Madina Munawwarah and wave after wave of people from every parts of the world, throng towards his tomb and, standing in ovation in front of Mawajeh Shareef, praise him in beautiful words through out the day and through out the night and declare;
Peace be upon thee , O the Messenger of Allah
Peace be upon thee , O our Prince, our guide
Peace be upon thee, O thou art the Best of Allah’s creation
Peace be upon thee, whom Allah sent as Mercy to the mankind
Peace be upon thee, Allah called thee that”
thou art on the noble glorious ideal
and compassionate and the merciful unto the believers.
Peace be upon thee and unto all other messengers
and unto thy honourable pious family.
Peace be upon thee, and unto thy chaste hounrable wives,
like the mothers of the believers
Peace be upon thee, unto thy all companions ,
and the pious persons of the world.
Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon thee Until the Day of Judgement