The story of the elephant and the coming of Abraha to destroy the Ka`bah is established both in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah.
By Dr. `Ali Muhammad As-sallabi
The story of the elephant and the coming of Abraha to destroy the Ka`bah is established both in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah, and its details are related in various history books. Abu Hatim related this story in some detail; A king in Yemen captured and tamed an elephant. That king was originally from Abysinia, and his name was Abraha. He built a church in Sinai, and called it Al-Qulais, claiming that he would be able to make Arab pilgrims congregate at Al-Qulais instead of at the Ka`bah, in Makkah. But he felt that he first needed to do away with his competition, which meant destroying the Ka`bah, so he made an oath to go to the Ka`bah and fulfill his goal of destroying it. He then set out with his army, clearly intending to go to the Ka`bah.
One of the kings of Himyar, Duh Naf ar, came out to fight Abraha; the latter defeated the former and took him as a prisoner. Upon being taken to Abraha, Dhu Nafar said, “O king, do not kill me, for keeping me alive (to help you) is better for you than killing me.” Abraha spared him, though he made sure to tie him up.
From Al-Maghmas, Abraha sent a man named Al-Aswad ibn Maqsud to the forefront of his army. Al-Aswad and those with him were met by the dwellers of Makkah, and were able to seize 200 camels that belonged to `Abdul-Muttalib.
Then Abraha sent Hunatah Al-Humairi to the people of Makkah, giving him the following instructions, “Ask for the most honorable one among them; then inform him that I have not come to fight, but only to destroy this House (i.e., the Ka`bah).” After Hunatah entered Makkah, he met `Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim and said, “Verily, the king has sent me to you, to inform you that he has not come to fight, unless you fight him; rather, he comes only to destroy this House. As soon as he accomplishes his mission, he will leave you.”
`Abdul-Muttalib said, “We will not fight him; we will free up all that lies between him and the house (i.e., we will not stand in his way, but will instead depart Makkah for a while). If Allah puts nothing in his way to stop him from reaching it, then, by Allah, we have no strength against him.”
`Abdul-Muttalib accompanied Hunatah back to the encampment of Abraha’ s army. `Abdul-Muttalib was a huge, muscular, and handsome man; so when Abraha saw him, he welcomed and honored him. Disliking both for `Abdul-Muttalib to sit with him on his bed, and for `Abdul-Muttalib to sit beneath him, Abraha descended to the carpet beneath the bed and sat down beside `Abdul-Muttalib.
– “O king’ said `Abdul-Muttalib, “You have taken a great deal of wealth from me, so return it to me.”
– “You indeed impressed me when I saw you, but I withdraw (that admiration) from you.”
– “And why?” asked `Abdul-Muttalib.
– “I have come to the House that is your religion and the religion of your fathers and that is your sanctuary and protection – for the purpose of destroying it. You do not speak to me about that, yet you speak to me about (a meager) 200 camels that belong to you!”
– “I am the lord of these camels,” said `Abdul-Muttalib. “This House has a Lord Who will defend it.”
– “He would not defend it from me,” said Abraha.
– “Then that is your affair,” said `Abdul-Muttalib.
Abraha issued a command, upon which ‘ Abdul-Muttalib’ s camels were promptly returned to him. `Abdul-Muttalib returned to the Quraish, informed them of what was happening, and ordered them to seek shelter in the mountain passes of Makkah. From Al-Maghmas, Abraha was poised to enter Makkah. He ordered his army to reload their supplies. His elephant was brought to him, and he had it loaded with supplies while it was standing on all fours.
When they were ready to proceed towards Makkah, the elephant was prodded into marching forward, but it stood still. It almost bundled itself up and knelt to the ground. They struck it with a pickaxe in the head, but it still refused to move even an inch forward. They tried again to make it move, but it stood there, motionless. They directed it back towards Yemen, and it raced in that direction; but no sooner did they make it face Makkah again than it stopped. The elephant then made its way to one of the mountains in that area.
As for the army, Allah sent from the sea birds like Balasan (starling birds). With each bird were three stones, two in its legs and one in its beak. The stones they carried were like chickpeas or lentils. When they flew over the army, they hurled the stones down upon them. If any person in the army was hit with a stone, he died, but not all of the people in the army were hit. Allah said:
Have you (O Muhammad) not seen how your Lord dealt with the owners of the elephant? (The elephant army which came from Yemen under the command of Abraha Al- Ashram intending to destroy the Ka`bah at Makkah). Did He not make their plot go astray? And sent against them birds, in flocks, striking them with stones of Sijjil (back clay) . And made them like an empty field of stalks (of which the corn has been eaten up by cattle). (Al-Fil 105: 1-5)
And Allah sent upon Abraha a disease in his body. His soldiers fled back towards Yemen, and (their body parts) were falling off in every land (they passed through). Abraha’s fingertips began to fall off. After each fingertip fell off, it was followed by a discharge of pus and blood. When he reached Yemen, he was like a young bird among those who remained from his companions, perhaps this refers to how few they were in number. And then he died.
Lessons from the Story
1) A sense of the inviolability of the Ka`bah is one of the most important of things that one should take away from this story. Even Arab polytheists from pre-Islamic times honored and sanctified the Ka`bah. The significance that the Ka`bah had in their minds is one of the remnants of Ibrahim’s religion that remained in Makkah even throughout the dark years of its history when polytheism was the dominant religion of its inhabitants.
2) The traitors of a nation ultimately bring disgrace upon themselves. Some Arabs volunteered to be Abraha’s spies; others agreed to guide him to the Ka`bah, so that he could then destroy it. Such people are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter.
3) No matter how strong and numerous the enemies of Allah are, they cannot withstand, not even for the smallest, minutest fraction of a nanosecond, the Might and Power of Allah He. It is He Who grants life, and He can take it away at any moment He pleases.
4) Many scholars – such as Al-Mawardi and Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on them both – maintain that the story of the elephant is one of the signs of the Prophethood of Muhammad. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The events that took place during Abraha’ s attempted attack on Makkah occurred in the year during which the Prophet was born. Those who lived beside the House (i.e., the Ka`bah) were polytheists – they worshipped idols. This sign (the miraculous destruction of Abraha’ s army) did not take place for the sake of those who lived beside the Ka`bah at that time, but instead for the sake of the House itself, or for the sake of the Prophet who was born that year beside the House.
5) In remembering the story of Abraha, we should feel consolation and hope when we see the imperial designs of those who greedily look at our lands – and especially our holy lands – with hopes of conquest. Allah protected His House from the People of the Book when Makkah was inhabited by polytheists; now both Makkah and Al-Madinah are inhabited by Muslims, and so He certainly will defend and protect both holy lands from evildoers.
 As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Abu Hatim As-Subti (pgs. 34-39); also refer to As-Sirah An~Nabawiyyah by Ibn Kathir (1/pgs. 30-37).
 Al-Jawab As-Sahih (4/122).
Source: Taken with Modifications from the author’s “Noble Life of the Prophet”, translated by Faisal Shafeeq
It was from the wisdom of Allah that people were being prepared for the Prophethood of Muhammad.
By Dr. `Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi
It was from the wisdom of Allah that people were being prepared for the Prophethood of Muhammad in various ways, some of which are as follows:
Previous Prophets gave their people glad tidings of the coming of Prophet Muhammad. Ibrahim invoked Allah to send a Messenger from among the Arabs. Allah answered his supplication by sending Prophet Muhammad. Allah says:
Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad ), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood, etc.), and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All- Wise. (Al-Baqarah 2:129)
Also, Allah mentioned the glad tiding that Prophet `Isa (Jesus) gave to his people:
And (remember) when `Isa (Jesus), son of Mary am (Mary), said : “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. But when he (Ahmad, i.e., Muhammad came to them with clear -proofs, they said : “This is plain magic. “ (As-Saff 61: 6)
There was a concerted effort on the part of some Jews and Christians to distort their revealed books and to completely remove from them any mention of Muhammad. Despite their efforts, the Prophet’s name remained preserved in the Torah of As-Samirah and the Gospels of Barnabas. As for the latter book, it was still in the hands of people prior to the advent of Islam, but around the end of the fifth century (of the Christian calendar), the church forbade its circulation. The scrolls that have recently been uncovered near the Dead Sea support what is mentioned in the Gospels of Barnabas about the Prophet.
The native dwellers of Al-Madinah from the Aus and Khazraj tribes – who then became known as the Ansar – related in Mutawatir form that the Jews of Al-Madinah would inform them about the imminent appearance of the Messenger of Allah. They knew that he was from the Arabs, and they were waiting for him. The fact that the Ansar were foretold about the coming of the Prophet is one of the main reasons that prompted them to believe in the Prophet when he invited them to Islam.
Salamah ibn Salamah ibn Waqsh, a man from the Ansar, was one of the Muslim participants in the Battle of Badr. He said, “We had a Jewish neighbor who lived among the clan of Banu `Abd Al-Ash-hal (which was an idol-worshipping clan). Just prior to the advent of the Prophet, this neighbor left his house, came out to us, and sat in the gathering of `Abd Al-Ash-hal. That day, I was the youngest person in the gathering. Upon me was a robe, within which I was lying down in the courtyard of my family. He (his Jewish neighbor) mentioned resurrection, the Day of Resurrection, the accountability, the scale (in which good and bad deeds will be measured), Paradise, and the Hellfire. He was speaking to people who were polytheists and idol- worshippers, people who didn’t believe in resurrection after death (here, he is speaking about his own clan, the Banu `Abd Al-Ash-hal clan). They said to him, “Woe upon you, O so-and-so. You really feel that people will be resurrected after death to an abode that contains in it a Garden and a Fire? And do you really believe that, in that abode, they will be rewarded for their deeds?’ He said, ‘Yes, in Whose name oaths are taken, I believe this. He then said that, in the place of having his share of that Fire (in the Hereafter), he wished to enter the greatest oven on earth after it is first heated and before it is then closed upon him. That is how badly he wanted to be saved from that Fire (i.e., the Hellfire) tomorrow (i.e., in the Hereafter). They said to him, ‘Woe unto you, and what is the sign of that happening?’ He said, ‘A Prophet will be sent in the direction of these lands.’ And he pointed towards Makkah and Yemen. They asked, ‘And when will we see him.’
The Jewish man looked at me – and I was one of the youngest people among them – and said, ‘When this boy exhausts his years (i.e., reaches old age), he will be around when that Prophet is sent. By Allah, the days and nights did not depart [for me (i.e., I did not die)] until Allah sent His Messenger , who was alive in our midst. We believed in him, but that very same Jewish man disbelieved in him, out of jealousy and as a form of transgression.
We said to him, ‘Woe upon you, O so-and- so. Were you not the one who said about him what you said.’ He said, ‘Yes, but that is not him.’” (Sahih As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Ibrahim Al-`Ali)
Before the advent of Islam, scholars from the People of the Book -at least the sincere ones among them- gave glad tidings of the coming of Prophet Muhammad. For example, while Salman Al-Farisi was travelling from one land to another in search of the truth, he spent some time under the guidance of a monk, who once said to Salman, “Verily, the time of a Prophet who will be sent with the religion of Ibrahim draws near. He will appear in the land of the Arabs, and he will migrate to a land that is situated between Harratain (land that is replete with volcanic rocks; this refers to the lands that border Al-Madinah to the east and to the west). Between them (i.e., between Harratain, or in other words, in Al-Madinah) are date-palm trees. He will have with him signs that are not hidden: He eats from what is given (to him) as a gift, but he doesn’t eat what is given as charity; and the stamp of Prophethood is located between his shoulders. If you are able to go to those lands, then do so.”
Eventually, Salman made it to Al-Madinah, though in the process he was wrongfully taken captive and turned into a slave. Shortly after Salman arrived there, the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah. Wanting to put the monk’s words to the test, Salman went to the Prophet and gave him food, saying that he was giving it as charity. The Messenger of Allah gave the food to his Companions, but did not eat any of it himself. Later on, Salman returned with more food; this time, he told the Prophet that he was giving him the food not in charity, but as a gift. The Prophet gave some of the food to his Companions , and ate some himself. Then on another occasion, Salman saw with his own two eyes the third and final sign: The stamp of Prophethood between the Prophet’s shoulders. Salman then immediately embraced Islam.
Then there is the story of Abu At-Taihan, who moved from his homeland in Ash-Sham in order to live in Al-Madinah, among the Banu Quraizah tribe. Abu Taihan died two years before the beginning of Prophet Muhammad’s Prophethood. When he was on his deathbed, Abu Taihan said to the members of the Banu Quraizah tribe, “O group of Jews, what do you think prompted me to move from the land of wine and leavened bread -Ash-Sham – to the land of suffering and hunger -Al-Hijaz (Al-Madinah)?” They said, “You know best.” He said, “I came to this city in order to wait for the appearance of the Prophet whose time is near at hand. I had hoped for him to be sent (during my lifetime), so that I could follow him.”
Besides Abu Taihan, other rabbis and scholars were also coming forth with information about the awaited Prophet. News of his arrival spread among Jews and other peoples; in fact, all of the Jews of Al-Madinah believed with certainty that the awaited Prophet was soon to arrive.
The Jewish tribes of Al-Madinah waged intermittent wars against the Aus and Khazraj tribes, both of which also fought against one another frequently. The Jewish tribes often changed alliances, sometimes siding with the Aus, and sometimes siding with the Khazraj. The Jews of Al-Madinah would often say to their Arab neighbors, “Indeed, the time draws near when a Prophet will be sent. We will fight alongside him against you.” Such threats had an unintended effect on the people of Aus and Khazraj, some among whom later said, “Along with the mercy of Allah and His guidance, one of the factors that prompted us to embrace Islam is what we would hear from the Jews. We were the people of polytheism and idol-worship, and they were the People of the Book. They had knowledge that we did not possess. There was enmity between us, and when we would inflict upon them that which they disliked, they would say to us, ‘Indeed, the time draws near when a Prophet will be sent. We will fight alongside him against you.’”
When the leader of the Romans, Haraql, received a letter from the Prophet, he said, “I knew that he (the awaited Prophet) had come out, but I never thought that he would be one of you (i.e., an Arab).’ (Ibn Hisham)
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s “Noble Life of the Prophet”, translated by Faisal Shafeeq
The Fudul Alliance was formed after the Quraysh returned from the Fijar War.
By Dr. `Ali Al-Salabi
The Fijar war pitted the Quraysh, along with their allies from the Kinanah tribe, against the Hawazin tribe. Like most Arab wars that were fought during the p
re-Islamic days of ignorance, the Fijar War began with a trifling dispute and escalated into an all-out war.
A man named `Urwah Ar-Rahhal ibn `Utbah ibn Hawazin granted his protection to Nu`man ibn Al-Mundhir and his trading caravan, which was travelling to the marketplace of Ukazh. Al-Barrad ibn Qays ibn Kinanah said to `Urwah, “Will you protect him against the Kinanah tribe?” `Urwah said, “Yes, and for that matter, I will protect him against all of mankind.” When `Urwah set out with Nu`man and his trading caravan, Al-Barrad followed close behind, waiting for an opportune moment to ambush `Urwah and kill him by surprise.
Al-Barrad’s tribe, the Kinanah, found out about what was happening, and so they too followed in close pursuit, hoping to take their stronger adversaries from the Hawazin tribe by surprise. When `Urwah and the Hawazin found out that they were being followed, they turned around and headed towards the Kinanah tribe, now becoming the hunters instead of the hunted.
They overtook the Kinanah tribe before they were able to enter the inviolable city of Makkah, and the two tribes fought until nightfall, at which time the members of the Kinanah tribe were able to enter Makkah. Since Arabs considered Makkah to be holy,
the Hawazin tribe did not pursue their enemy. But on the following day, the fighting began anew, except that this time around, the Quraysh entered into the fray, lending their support to the Kinanah tribe. In the battles that ensued, the Messenger of Allah participated alongside the Quraysh, albeit playing a very minor role. The word Fijar means wickedness. The reason why the war was given this name is that the inviolability of Makkah was being defiled, and Arabs considered any defilement of Makkah’s sanctity to be a wicked and heinous crime. When he mentioned the war later on his life, the Prophet said, “I used to hand arrows to my uncles.”
The Fudul Alliance
The Fudul Alliance was formed after the Quraysh returned from the Fijar War. It began when a man from Zubayd -a region in Yemen- went to Makkah with some merchandise. Al-`As ibn Wa’il purchased the merchandise from him, took possession of the merchandise, but refused to pay for it. The man from Zubayd pleaded with Quraysh’s chieftains to help him, but they refused, simply because, like them, Al-`As was a nobleman and a chieftain and was therefore not to be opposed.
The Zubaydi man didn’t give up hope; instead, he stood beside the Ka`bah and called out, asking for help from the descendants of Fihr (the Quraysh) and reproaching them for their refusal to help him against the man who had wronged him. Zubayr ibn `Abdul-Muttalib, one of the Prophet’s uncles, stood up and exclaimed, “Will no one help him!”
As a result of Zubayr’s display of anger, a meeting was convened at the house of `Abdullah ibn Jud`an; present at the meeting were the clans of Banu Hashim, Zuhrah, and Banu Taym ibn Murrah. The meeting occurred in Dhul Qi`dah, one of the four inviolable months, and those who were present pledged and swore by Allah that they would be as one hand in their support of any victim against his wrongdoer. They then went together to Al- `As ibn Wa’il, seized from him the merchandise he had wrongfully taken, and returned it to its rightful owner.
The Quraysh referred to what happened in the house of Ibn Jud`an as the Fudul Alliance. Fudul was an appropriate name for the alliance since Fudul comes from the word Fadl, which means nobility, superiority, and virtue. The Prophet (peace be upon him) who was present at the above-mentioned meeting, said later on in his life, “When I was a boy, I attended the Al-Mutibin Alliance (i.e., the Fudul Alliance) with my uncles. I would not love to have even red camels as a recompense for me breaking (the terms) of that alliance.” The owner of red camels during those times would today be equivalent to a millionaire. The Prophet said in another hadith, “I was present in the house of `Abdullah ibn Jud’an when an alliance (i.e., the Fudul Alliance) was formed, and I would not love to have in place of that alliance red camels. And if I were invited by it in Islam, I would answer it.”
Morals and Lessons
1) The Messenger of Allah felt honored for being able to participate in an alliance that was formed on the basis of establishing justice, which shows that justice has an absolute and not a relative value; or in other words, no matter who it is that is carrying out justice, the act itself deserves to be praised.
2) The Fudul Alliance was like an oasis within the darkness of pre-Islamic ignorance. That the Fudul alliance was formed proves that, just because evil pervades a given society, it does not mean that that society is completely void of virtuous acts and deeds. Makkan society was an ignorant society; within it, all of the following evils were rampant: the worship of idols, base manners, wrongdoing, fornication, and usury.
Nonetheless, within the ranks of Makkan society were some men of noble breeding and character, men who despised evil and wrongdoing. This reality should provide an important lesson for Du`ah (callers to Islam) who live in societies wherein Islam is not applied or is being fought against.
3) No matter what form it takes, wrongdoing is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter whether the person being wronged is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, a pious man or a sinner, a rich man or a poor man; whoever he is, others in society must come to his help.
4) It is permissible to form an alliance with non-Muslims if justice is being served in the process; in fact, doing so is a part of enjoining good and forbidding evil.
5) It is permissible for Muslims to form alliances that are similar in intent and content to the Fudul Alliance because they establish a goal that is recognized by and encouraged in the Shar`iah; however, in doing so, Muslims must take into consideration what is best for Islam and for Muslims in the short term and in the long run.
6) A Muslim must strive to have a positive effect on society, to be a person who is remembered for the positive influence he has on the events that take place during his lifetime. Even prior to receiving revelation for the first time, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was known for his many positive contributions to society, to the degree that everyone in the Quraysh called him by the name Al Amin (The Trustworthy One). People’s hearts were attracted to him when he was still at a very young age, and that attraction, in addition to love, continued to grow throughout his entire life, but especially during the years of his Prophethood.
 Sahih As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Ibrahim Al-`Ali (pg. 59), and Al- Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) ruled it to be authentic.
 As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Hisham (1/134), and Fiqh As-Sirah by Al-Ghadban (p. 102).
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s “The Noble Life of the Prophet Muhammad”.
The claim that Muslims did not respect the ancient civilizations is a false and unjust allegation.
The claim that Muslims did not respect the ancient civilizations is a false and unjust allegation. In fact, they benefited from the positive aspects of these civilizations and they translated many Greek, Persian and Indian books into Arabic, solemnly believing that human heritage includes the skills, the experience and the learning of different nations all of which should be employed for the benefit of mankind. One should seek to acquire knowledge even in a land that does not believe in one’s faith and even if it were at the other end of the world.
The Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes) explained the Muslim’s attitude concerning the ancient civilization in the following passage. He said, “The religion of Islam urges us to read the books of the civilizations that preceded us provided that their aim was to guide people to the truth which our faith urges us to follow. This includes the use of our powers of comprehension and reasoning in studying all created beings.” Ibn Rushd then added: “We must study and understand what they wrote in their books. It is then up to us to accept what is consistent with our beliefs to be grateful to them. However, whatever is not consistent with our beliefs should not confuse us, but we should reject it, warn others about it and not blame them in any way.” (The Philosophy of Ibn Rushd)
It is a historical fact the Muslims did not set fire to the Library of Alexandria. This unjust and unfounded accusation has been ascribed to the Muslims by the enemies of Islam who spread this rumor, which was confirmed in peoples’ minds as if it were an established fact. This false accusation was spread during the thirteenth century A.D. as a result of the aggressive attitude of the Crusaders, and it is still repeated up to this very day in spite of the authentic proof of objective historians who have refuted it.
The origin of this false allegation goes back to `Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim Caliph, who was falsely accused of having given the order to set fire to the Library. He was also falsely accused of having said that if the books in the library contained what was written in the Qur’an, then they were useless and if these books contained any contradiction to what was written in the Qur’an, then they must be destroyed. It has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt that `Umar never made such a statement. Another accusation which is equally false and unjust is that the Muslim Arabs used books in the library as fuel for the public baths for six whole months.
Sigrid Hunke presented documentary evidence in her books: “Allah is completely different”, proving that the Arabs entered Alexandria in the year 642 A.D. and that there had been no library in Egypt then, since the library had been burned and destroyed centuries before that date. She also added that there were no public baths in Egypt during that era. Sigrid Hunke stated that the old library annexed to the academy founded by Ptolemy the First (Soter) about the year 300 B.C. was burned in the year 47 B.C. when Julius Caesar besieged the city. The library was later rebuilt by Cleopatra who furnished it with books from Bergamun.
The third century A.D witnessed the beginning of the organized destruction of the Library of Alexandria. Emperor Caracal suspended the Academy, and religious fundamentalists set fire to the library, which they considered to be a manifestation of Paganism. In the year 391 A.D. Patriarch Theophilos obtained the permission of Emperor Theodosios to destroy what remained of the Academy and to set fire to the annexed library which at that time, contained three hundred thousand scrolls, in order to found a church and a monastery in its place. Destruction of the library was resumed in the fifth century A.D. during the attack launched upon the Pagan men of learning and scholars and their places of worship in addition to the destruction of their library.(1)
The aforementioned facts prove that the allegations concerning setting fire to the library of Alexandria were spread in order to distort the image of Islam so that the Muslims would appear to be the enemies of learning and civilization, when in fact they were completely innocent of the crime they had been accused of.(2)
(1) Hunke, Sigrid, Allah ist ganz anders Pp. 85-90.
(2) Zakzouk. M. Hamdy. Islam in the Mirror of Western Thought P. 110.
Source: Taken from the book entitled “Islamic Facts” prepared by a number of scholars and printed by the Egyptian Ministry of Awkaf.
The Ansar opened their homes and their hearts to the Muslim migrant.
By Dr. `Ali As-Sallabi
Being persecuted and tortured, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) had to leave their homelands to other places where they can practice and promulgate their religion freely. Some of them migrated to Abyssinia, and some others, including the Prophet (peace be upon him), chose to move to Al-Madinah, which marked a new phase in the Islamic history. This migration represented a matchless historical experience, in terms of sacrifice, brotherhood and love of Islam, which can never occur again.
The Ansar (Muslims of Medina) opened their homes and their hearts to the Muhajirun (Muslim migrants), sharing with them their wealth, their homes, and their food, with utmost love and generosity. Many of the Ansars’ homes were used to accommodate members of the Muhajirun’, these are some examples:
1) The house of Mubashir ibn `Abdul-Mundhir ibn Zanbar at Quba’
A number of Muhajirun stayed there: `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, his family, some of his fellow clansmen, his daughter Hafsah, and her husband, and `Ayyash ibn Abu Rabi`ah.
2) The house of Khubaib ibn Isaf
Khubaib was the brother of Balharith ibn Al-Khazraj, and his house was situated in As-Sunh. Those who stayed with him were Talhah ibn `Ubaidullah ibn `Uthman, his mother and Suhaib ibn Sinan.
3) The house of As`ad ibn Zurarah, which was situated among the homes of the Banu An-Najjar clan
It is said that Hamzah ibn `Abdul-Muttalib stayed in As`ad’s house.
4) The house of Sa`d ibn Khaithamah
Khaithaman was a brother of the Banu An-Najjar, and his house was called the Bachelors House, since unmarried Muhajirun men stayed there.
5) The house of `Abdullah ibn Salamah at Quba’
All of the following Muhajirun stayed there under the hospitality of `Abdullah ibn Salamah: `Ubaidah ibn Al-Harith, his mother Sakheelah, Mistah ibn Uthathah ibn `Abbad ibn Al-Muttalib, At-Tufail ibn Al-Harith, Tulaib ibn `Umair, and Al-Husain ibn Al-Harith.
6) The house of the Banu Jahjaba clan
The host there was Mundhir ibn Muhammad ibn `Uqbah, and his Muhajirun guests were Az-Zubair ibn Al-`Awam, his wife Asma daughter of Abu Bakr, Abu Sabrah ibn Abu Ruhm, and Abu Sabrah’s wife Umm Kulthum daughter of Suhail.
7) The house of the Banu `Abdul-Ashhal clan
The host there was Sa`d ibn Mu`adh ibn An-No`man. His Muhajirun guests were Mus`ab ibn `Umair and his wife Hamnah daughter of Jahsh.
8) The house of the Banu An-Najjar clan
The host there was ‘Aws ibn Thabit ibn Al-Mundhir. His guests were `Uthman ibn `Affan and his wife Ruqayyah daughter of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him).
True, the Muhajirun left behind their homes and wealth; but the Ansar did not let them remember that reality, bestowing upon them such wonderful hospitality as made them feel welcome and at ease in their new surroundings.
What is truly striking about the Muhajiruns’ early days in Al-Madinah is that, even though many people -from different tribes and backgrounds- shared the same home, one cannot find in any history book even a single example of a difference of opinion or quarrel that took place in those houses. Imagine the chaos that results when women from different families and backgrounds have to share the same house for months at a time; yet that is precisely what happened in Al-Madinah, minus the chaos. To the contrary, the meanings of sacrifice, sharing, and loftiness pervaded Al-Madinah’s streets and homes. Peace reigned in that fledgling country even before the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) arrived there. Everyone worked for the benefit of everyone else. Throughout the annals of history, no immigrant population has ever lived in such harmony with the native dwellers of a land as did the Muhajirun with the Ansar. And it was nothing other than Islam and faith in Allah M that brought them together.
We must keep in mind that it was many people from Al-Ansar, and not just a few among them, who opened their doors to guests from the Muhajirun. Furthermore, the Muhajirun stayed on as guests not for days but for months, and so on a daily basis throughout that period, their hosts from Al-Ansar spent their wealth and gave their time in the service of their guests.
We must also remember that the Muhajirun had previously set an example for the Ansar, in terms of how to sacrifice wealth and comfort for the cause of Islam. For the Muhajirun had not previously been poor; to the contrary, they owned wealth and houses; yet they left all of that behind in Makkah, seeking the pleasure of Allah (Glory be to Him). They were as the Qur’an described them to be:
(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking Bounties from Allah and to please Him. And helping Allah (i.e., helping His religion) and His Messenger. Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say). (Al-Hashr 59: 8)
One of the outstanding features of the new Muslim society was a lack of distinction according to class or rank or tribe. The most telling example of this new reality was the fact that Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifah, was leading the Muslims in prayer. He deserved to lead because he knew the most Qur’an. We must remember that others more wealthy and of nobler lineage were present in Al-Madinah; tribal chieftains of Al-Ansar and many of Makkah’s most prominent members were in Al-Madinah, yet they chose a freed slave to lead them in prayer, showing that it was piety and knowledge, not wealth and status, that they valued most.
It behooves us to compare the two lands of migration, Abyssinia and Al-Madinah. The main distinction between the two lands was that – and this was something new to the Muhajirun – the Muhajirun were able to spread Islam throughout Al-Madinah, whereas the Muslims in Abyssinia were more akin to political refugees than to propagators of their religion. True, Muslims in Abyssinia enjoyed the freedom to practice their religion; nonetheless, they were strangers and were isolated from Abyssinia’s Christian society. If they had a palpable impact on Abyssinia’s people, it was an impact that was incomplete and lacked comprehensiveness. To be sure, the Muslims in Abyssinia enjoyed a better atmosphere than they had enjoyed in Makkah, but still, they weren’t free to spread the message of Islam.
Meanwhile, the Muhajirun enjoyed both freedoms: the freedom to practice their religion and the freedom to spread it to others. And so no sooner did the Muslims in Abyssinia hear news about the migration to Al-Madinah than they headed there themselves, either directly or through Makkah – except for those who were ordered to remain there. Only one city or country had as of then become a completely Islamic society, and that was Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah.
Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s Noble Life of Prophet Muhammad.
Enjoy watching this amusing video to know the full story of the honorable Prophet Yusuf, what happened between him and his brothers…
By Editorial Staff
After long and painful years of childlessness, Almighty Allah blessed the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) and his wife Sarah with their new child Is-Haq (Isaac, peace be upon him). It was a very pleasant moment as they patiently waited for it for long, but finally Allah complied with their wishes and granted them their beloved child, who became the grandfather of the Israelis. Is-Haq begot Ya`qub (Jacob, peace be upon him) who begot numerous children, including Prophet Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him), the hero of the story at hand.
Yusuf (peace be upon him) is one of Allah’s most chosen and honorable Prophets as he was singled out with a full Qur’anic chapter named after him “Surah Yusuf” that begins with,
Alif, Lam, Ra. These are the verses of the clear Book. Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand. We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware. [Of these stories mention] when Yusuf (Joseph, peace be upon him) said to his father, “O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me.” (Surah Yusuf 12:1-4)
The story of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) is exceptionally interesting as it abounds with numerous incidents that went through the life of this blessed Prophet. So early, Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) saw a dream in which the sun, the moon and eleven stars prostrated before him. He related the dream to his father Prophet Ya`qub (peace be upon him) who asked Yusuf not to tell his brothers of this dream because this will stir extreme grudge inside them against Yusuf as it predicted high levels for Yusuf (peace be upon him). However, the hatred towards Yusuf was so severe to the extent that it led them to take the child Yusuf and throw him inside a well to get rid of him because of his father’s increased love for him. However, the care and mercy of Allah towards Yusuf preserved him as some of the wayfarers came to take water from the well and left up Yusuf by their bucket. Then, they took him with their caravan and sold him to an Egyptian. New things and situations came to happen.
Enjoy watching this amusing video to know the full story of the honorable Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him), what happened between him and his brothers, his life in Egypt, his story with the wife of the ruler of Egypt and many very interesting incidents in his life.
Source: The Islamic Guidance Youtube Channel