The Battle of Badr: The Reasons

The Battle of Badr: The Reasons

News reached the Muslims about a very large Makkan trading caravan that was headed northwards towards Ash-Sham loaded with a large quantity of wealth and merchandise.

News reached the Muslims about a very large Makkan trading caravan that was headed northwards towards Ash-Sham loaded with a large quantity of wealth and merchandise.

By Dr. Ali Al-Salabi

News reached the Muslims about a very large Makkan trading caravan that was headed northwards towards Ash-Sham (Syria and surrounding regions) and that was travelling with a large quantity of wealth and merchandise.

The caravan was headed by Abu Sufyan and was guarded by thirty-four men. Seeing an opportunity of getting back at least part of what the Quraish had stolen from the Muslims, the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent a man named Basbas ibn `Amr to gather information about the caravan. When Basbas returned with sure news of the caravan, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) exhorted his Companions to accompany him in order to go out and overtake the caravan. He said to them, “This is the caravan of the Quraish (coming), and in it is their wealth, so go out to it, and perhaps Allah will grant it to you as booty.” (Muslim) The Prophet then left Madinah on the twelfth of Ramadan, in the year 2 AH.

The Muslims of Al-Madinah and the polytheists of Makkah were in a state of war. Muslims knew that the wealth that the Quraish men were carrying with them towards Ash-Sham was wealth that belonged to Muhajirun (migrant) Muslims. I should note that when the Muslims of Makkah left to migrate to Al-Madinah, they left, for the most part, in a hurry, afraid of being captured by Quraish to be returned to Makkah, and then tortured for trying to escape. And so the vast majority of them left their wealth behind in Makkah, and even if some of them took part of their wealth with them, they could not take along their properties and houses.

What the Quraish then did was truly vile and reprehensible: they wrongly seized all of the wealth that the Muslims left behind, claiming it for themselves. So it was not just a matter of war – which it partly was – but it was also a matter of getting back some of the wealth that was unjustly taken away from the Muhajirun (Muslim migrants).

When he set out for Badr, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) charged `Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum with the duty of leading Muslims in prayer in Al-Madinah during his absence. Later on during the expedition, when he (peace be upon him) had reached Ar-Rauha, the Prophet sent Abu Lubabah  back to Al-Madinah, appointing him as its temporary governor.  The Prophet also sent two of his Companions ahead to act as scouts and to bring back news about the caravan; they went and later returned, informing the Prophet (peace be upon him) about what they saw.

As for the Prophet’s army, even authentic sources differ slightly over the number of Companions that accompanied the Prophet on his expedition to Badr. Imam Al-Bukhari mentioned that they were three hundred and Bid`a (Bid`a means any number from three to ten, so it is a word used to express an approximation) men; Imam Muslim was more explicit, saying that they were three-hundred and nineteen men. Meanwhile, other sources mentioned the names of three-hundred and forty Companions that participated in the Battle of Badr.

The Muslim contingent that was headed for Badr in no way represented the full military potential of Al-Madinah. Many Muslims remained behind in Al-Madinah, since the purpose of the expedition was only to confront and overtake the Makkan trading caravan that was headed by Abu Sufyan. The Muslims did not know that the expedition was going to end in a full-scale battle against the army of the Quraish, which consisted of one-thousand fighters, two-hundred horses that rode alongside their camels, and even female singers that accompanied the soldiers in order to give them encouragement and to sing songs in which they satirized the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Meanwhile, the Muslims had with them only two horses and only seventy camels, a shortage that made it necessary for them to take turns riding the camels on their way to Badr.

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Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s “The Noble Life of the Prophet Muhammad”.

 

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The Battle of Badr: The First Decisive Battle in the History of Islam

The Battle of Badr: The First Decisive Battle in the History of Islam

Battle of Badr

In the battle of Badr, the Muslim army was made up of about 300 men and the polytheists’ army was about 1000 men.

By: Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri

The Reason of the Battle of Badr

A caravan belonging to Quraish had escaped an imminent military encounter with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his men. When their return from Syria approached, the Prophet dispatched Talhah ibn `Ubaidullah and Sa`id ibn Zaid northward to scout around for any movements of this sort. The two scouts stayed at Al-Hawra’ for some days until Abu Sufyan, the leader of the caravan, passed by them. The two men hurried back to Madinah and reported to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) their findings.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) immediately exhorted the Muslims to rush out and waylay the caravan to make up for their property and wealth they were forced to give up in Makkah. He did not give orders binding to everyone, but rather gave them full liberty to go out or stay back, thinking that it would be just an errand on a small scale.

The Muslim army was made up of 300-317 men, 82-86 Emigrants, 61 from Aws and 170 from Khazraj. They were not well-equipped nor adequately prepared. They had only two horses belonging to Az-Zubair ibn Al-‘Awwam and Al-Miqdad ibn Al-Aswad Al-Kindi, 70 camels, one for two or three men to ride alternatively. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), at the head of his army, marched out along the main road leading to Makkah. He then turned left towards Badr and when he reached As-Safra’, he dispatched two men to scout about for the camels of Quraish.

Abu Sufyan, on the other hand, was on the utmost alert. He had already been aware that the route he was following was attended with dangers. He was also anxious to know about the movements of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). His scouting men submitted to him reports to the effect that the Muslims were lying in ambush for his caravan. To be on the safe side, he hired Damdam ibn ‘Amr Al-Ghifari to communicate a message asking for help from the Quraish people. The messenger rode fast and reached Makkah in frenzy. Felling himself from his camel, he stood dramatically before Al-Ka‘bah, cut off the nose and the ears of the camel, turned its saddle upside down, tore off his own shirt from front and behind, and cried: “O Quraish! Your merchandise! It is with Abu Sufyan. The caravan is being intercepted by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his companions. I cannot say what would have happened to them. Help! Help!”

The effect of this hue and cry was instantaneous and the news stunned Quraish and they immediately remembered their pride that was wounded when the Muslims had intercepted Al-Hadrami caravan. They therefore swiftly mustered almost all of their forces and none stayed behind except Abu Lahab,. Soon an excited throng of 1300 soldiers including 100 horsemen and 600 mailed soldiers with a large number of camels, was clamoring to proceed to fight the Muslims.

They moved swiftly northward to Badr. On the way they received another message from Abu Sufyan asking them to go back home because the caravan had escaped the Muslims. Incidentally, Abu Sufyan, on learning the intention of the Muslims, led his caravan off the main route, and inclined it towards the Red Sea. By this maneuver, he was able to slip past the Madinese ambush and was out of their reach.

On receiving Abu Sufyan’s message, the Makkan army showed a desire to return home. The tyrant Abu Jahl, however haughtily and arrogantly insisted that they proceed to Badr, stay three nights there for making festivities. Now they wanted to punish the Muslims and prevent them from intercepting their caravans, and impress on the Arabs that Quraish still had the upper hand and enjoyed supremacy in that area.

Muslims Prepare for the Battle

On account of these new grave developments, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) held an advisory military emergency meeting to review the ongoing situation and exchange viewpoints with the army leaders. They assured the Prophet (Peace be upon him) of the unreserved obedience to his command. Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh said: “O Prophet of Allah! We give you our firm pledge of obedience and sacrifice. We will obey you most willingly in whatever you command us, and by Allah, 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 man of us will stay behind.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was impressed with the fidelity and the spirit of sacrifice which his companions showed at this critical juncture.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) spent the whole night preceding the day of the battle in prayer and supplication. That was Friday night, Ramadan 17th., the year 2 A.H.

In the morning, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) called his men to offer the prayers and then urged them to fight in the way of Allah. As the sun rose over the desert, the Prophet(Peace be upon him) drew up his little army, and pointing with an arrow which he held in his hand, arranged the ranks.

When the two parties approached closer and were visible to each other, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) began supplicating Allah. He also gave strict orders that his men would not start fighting until he gave them his final word.

The Battle Starts

The first disbeliever to trigger the fire of the battle and be its first victim was Al-Aswad ibn `Abdul Asad Al-Makhzumi, a fierce bad-tempered idolater. He stepped out swearing he would drink from the water basin of the Muslims, otherwise, destroy it or die for it. He engaged with Hamzah ibn Abdul Muttalib, who struck his leg with his sword and dealt him another blow that finished him off inside the basin.

The battle had actually started and it was the help of Allah with them. The Makkans suffered terrible defeats in all the combats and lost some of their most precious lives. They were too much exasperated and enraged and fell upon the Muslims to exterminate them once and for all. The Muslims, however, after supplicating their Lord, calling upon Him for assistance, were made to hold to their position and conduct a defensive war plan that was successful enough to inflict heavy losses on the attackers. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to pray to his Lord ceaselessly persistently and day and night to come to their succor. Immediate was the response from Allah, Who sent down angels from the heavens for the help and assistance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions.

The ranks of Quraish began to give way and their numbers added nothing but confusion. The Muslims followed eagerly their retreating steps, slaying or taking captive all that fell within their reach. Retreat soon turned into ignominious rout; and they flied in haste, casting away their armor, abandoned beasts of burden, camp and equipage.

The Battle Ends

When the war activities had been concluded, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered that the corpses of the polytheists be dropped into an empty well.

The polytheists having received a large dose of disciplining and heavy defeat, fled away in great disorder in the vales and hillocks heading for Makkah panicked and too ashamed to see their people. The defeat was a matter of great shame and grief for the Makkans. In almost every house there were silent tears for the dead and the captives. They were burning with humiliation and were thirsting for revenge. Wailing, lamenting and crying however were decreed strictly forbidden lest the Muslims should rejoice at their affliction.

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Source: Taken from the author’s “Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum

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Badr: The First Decisive Battle in the History of Islam

Badr: The First Decisive Battle in the History of Islam

Battle of Badr

In the battle of Badr, the Muslim army was made up of about 300 men and the polytheists’ army was about 1000 men.

By: Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri

The Reason of the Battle of Badr

A caravan belonging to Quraish had escaped an imminent military encounter with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his men. When their return from Syria approached, the Prophet dispatched Talhah ibn `Ubaidullah and Sa`id ibn Zaid northward to scout around for any movements of this sort. The two scouts stayed at Al-Hawra’ for some days until Abu Sufyan, the leader of the caravan, passed by them. The two men hurried back to Madinah and reported to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) their findings.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) immediately exhorted the Muslims to rush out and waylay the caravan to make up for their property and wealth they were forced to give up in Makkah. He did not give orders binding to everyone, but rather gave them full liberty to go out or stay back, thinking that it would be just an errand on a small scale.

The Muslim army was made up of 300-317 men, 82-86 Emigrants, 61 from Aws and 170 from Khazraj. They were not well-equipped nor adequately prepared. They had only two horses belonging to Az-Zubair ibn Al-‘Awwam and Al-Miqdad ibn Al-Aswad Al-Kindi, 70 camels, one for two or three men to ride alternatively. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), at the head of his army, marched out along the main road leading to Makkah. He then turned left towards Badr and when he reached As-Safra’, he dispatched two men to scout about for the camels of Quraish.

Abu Sufyan, on the other hand, was on the utmost alert. He had already been aware that the route he was following was attended with dangers. He was also anxious to know about the movements of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). His scouting men submitted to him reports to the effect that the Muslims were lying in ambush for his caravan. To be on the safe side, he hired Damdam ibn ‘Amr Al-Ghifari to communicate a message asking for help from the Quraish people. The messenger rode fast and reached Makkah in frenzy. Felling himself from his camel, he stood dramatically before Al-Ka‘bah, cut off the nose and the ears of the camel, turned its saddle upside down, tore off his own shirt from front and behind, and cried: “O Quraish! Your merchandise! It is with Abu Sufyan. The caravan is being intercepted by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his companions. I cannot say what would have happened to them. Help! Help!”

The effect of this hue and cry was instantaneous and the news stunned Quraish and they immediately remembered their pride that was wounded when the Muslims had intercepted Al-Hadrami caravan. They therefore swiftly mustered almost all of their forces and none stayed behind except Abu Lahab,. Soon an excited throng of 1300 soldiers including 100 horsemen and 600 mailed soldiers with a large number of camels, was clamoring to proceed to fight the Muslims.

They moved swiftly northward to Badr. On the way they received another message from Abu Sufyan asking them to go back home because the caravan had escaped the Muslims. Incidentally, Abu Sufyan, on learning the intention of the Muslims, led his caravan off the main route, and inclined it towards the Red Sea. By this maneuver, he was able to slip past the Madinese ambush and was out of their reach.

On receiving Abu Sufyan’s message, the Makkan army showed a desire to return home. The tyrant Abu Jahl, however haughtily and arrogantly insisted that they proceed to Badr, stay three nights there for making festivities. Now they wanted to punish the Muslims and prevent them from intercepting their caravans, and impress on the Arabs that Quraish still had the upper hand and enjoyed supremacy in that area.

Muslims Prepare for the Battle

On account of these new grave developments, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) held an advisory military emergency meeting to review the ongoing situation and exchange viewpoints with the army leaders. They assured the Prophet (Peace be upon him) of the unreserved obedience to his command. Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh said: “O Prophet of Allah! We give you our firm pledge of obedience and sacrifice. We will obey you most willingly in whatever you command us, and by Allah, 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 man of us will stay behind.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was impressed with the fidelity and the spirit of sacrifice which his companions showed at this critical juncture.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) spent the whole night preceding the day of the battle in prayer and supplication. That was Friday night, Ramadan 17th., the year 2 A.H.

In the morning, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) called his men to offer the prayers and then urged them to fight in the way of Allah. As the sun rose over the desert, the Prophet(Peace be upon him) drew up his little army, and pointing with an arrow which he held in his hand, arranged the ranks.

When the two parties approached closer and were visible to each other, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) began supplicating Allah. He also gave strict orders that his men would not start fighting until he gave them his final word.

The Battle Starts

The first disbeliever to trigger the fire of the battle and be its first victim was Al-Aswad ibn `Abdul Asad Al-Makhzumi, a fierce bad-tempered idolater. He stepped out swearing he would drink from the water basin of the Muslims, otherwise, destroy it or die for it. He engaged with Hamzah ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, who struck his leg with his sword and dealt him another blow that finished him off inside the basin.

The battle had actually started and it was the help of Allah with them. The Makkans suffered terrible defeats in all the combats and lost some of their most precious lives. They were too much exasperated and enraged and fell upon the Muslims to exterminate them once and for all. The Muslims, however, after supplicating their Lord, calling upon Him for assistance, were made to hold to their position and conduct a defensive war plan that was successful enough to inflict heavy losses on the attackers. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to pray to his Lord ceaselessly persistently and day and night to come to their succor. Immediate was the response from Allah, Who sent down angels from the heavens for the help and assistance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions.

The ranks of Quraish began to give way and their numbers added nothing but confusion. The Muslims followed eagerly their retreating steps, slaying or taking captive all that fell within their reach. Retreat soon turned into ignominious rout; and they flied in haste, casting away their armor, abandoned beasts of burden, camp and equipage.

The Battle Ends

When the war activities had been concluded, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered that the corpses of the polytheists be dropped into an empty well.

The polytheists having received a large dose of disciplining and heavy defeat, fled away in great disorder in the vales and hillocks heading for Makkah panicked and too ashamed to see their people. The defeat was a matter of great shame and grief for the Makkans. In almost every house there were silent tears for the dead and the captives. They were burning with humiliation and were thirsting for revenge. Wailing, lamenting and crying however were decreed strictly forbidden lest the Muslims should rejoice at their affliction.

Source: Taken from the author’s “Ar-Rahiq Al-Makhtum

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Prophet’s Marriage to Lady Aishah: What Is the Story?

Prophet’s Marriage to Lady Aishah: What Is the Story?

By Editorial Staff
Story of the Prophet’s Marriage to Lady Aishah

Prophet’s enemies did not say that he was a child molester.

If a 15 years old man marries a 9 years old girl, it is definitely wrong today. In Cairo, New York or London, it is wrong because it is a violation of the law.

Theodora Komnene, the wife of King Baldwin III of Jerusalem, was born in 1145. She became the wife of King Baldwin III at the age of 13.

But, maybe today in some other parts of the world it is not wrong because it is not violating the law or the customs and traditions of people.

Maybe in those three cities Cairo, London or New York few centuries ago, it was not wrong because it was not violating anything too. So, to say that something is wrong or not, we have to say it is wrong because of what, because it is violating what?

Now, let’s go through the European palaces to see more of these cases. In the twelve century, 14, September, 1169, a Byzantine Emperor named Alexios II Komnenos married a beautiful girl named, Agnes, when her age was only 9 years old. It was an official or a natural marriage back at that time.

Also, when do people get married? Usually, people get married after they finish their studies because it is very difficult to study and be married at the same time. So, in the cities, you find girls getting married in the age of 22 or 23 after they finish college. In the villages where usually people do not go to college, you find girls getting married in the age of 18 or 19 after they finish school. What do you think was the case when there were no schools or colleges? What were girls doing? They were just getting married as soon as they reach puberty.

Mary (peace be upon her) gave birth to the Messiah or Jesus (peace be upon him) when she was only 13 years old.

Actually, today after 1500, you find in the USA girls getting married by the law at the age of 13. In New Hampshire, the age of marriage starts at 13 years old for girls by the consent of their parents, in Texas 14 years old, in Missouri and Mississippi 15 years old by the consent of their parents.

Also, in Spain until 1995 it was 12 years old and now it is 13 years old. In Canada, 100 years ago, it was about 11 years old. So, it is unfair to judge people according to today’s laws and customs.

You have to judge people, whether they are doing something wrong or not, according to their own laws and their own customs.

To prove that this was norm at that time, you will find much evidence actually. First of all, Prophet Muhammad was not the first man in the life of lady Aishah.

Lady Aishah, in the age of 6, was actually engaged to another man called Jubayr ibn Mutam ibn Adiyy. You will find also that one of the Prophet’s wives was Lady Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the daughter of one of the biggest names of the Jewish tribes in Arabia, Huyayy ibn Akhtab, he (i.e. the Prophet) married her according to some records in the age of 14 and he was her third husband.

What was her age when she got married to her first husband? Maybe 10, 9 or eleven! So, even the Jews at that time were marrying their girls in that early age.

Also, you will find that Prophet Muhammad married lady Aishah at the age of 6 but he did not consummate the marriage except in the age of 9. So, what was he waiting for, for 3 years? If he was a child molester, he could have consummated the marriage at the age of six. But, what he was waiting for, for three years? Puberty!

Some people here may say, “Who said that once a girl reaches puberty that she can get married?” Simply, the Encyclopedia Britannica. I open the Encyclopedia Britannica, the fifteenth edition, volume number 26, page number 850, and I found the following definition for puberty. It says: “In human physiology, puberty is the stage or period of life when a child transforms into an adult normally capable of procreation.”

In 1184, Margaret, the Empress of Hungary, got married to Isaac II, the Byzantine Emperor when she was only nine years old. This is why it is illogical to criticize the marriage of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Aishah, the daughter of the Prophet’s closest Companion Abu Bakr.

One may ask himself, “Did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have any enemies?” You will find that the hypocrites in the Muslim community were enemies, the pagans were his enemies, and the Jews of Arabia were his enemies. You will find that they tried by all means to tarnish his image and they called him all the possible bad names that they can, but they did not say that he was a child molester. Why? Did they forget? That would have been an excellent way to damage this man and this new religion, but they never used it because simply it was the norm to get married to girls at that age at that time.

For those who say that she was a molested child, molested by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), I ask them, “Do molested children love their molesters?” If you want to read the perfect love story,

Shakespeare, we all know this famous British outstanding playwright  in his famous play “Romeo and Joliet” who said the age of Joliet, the hero in this play, was not more than 13 years old.

I recommend that you do not read Romeo and Joliet because actually Romeo committed suicide at the end of the story. Read Muhammad and Aishah. In the very word of Aishah herself explaining how beautiful this relationship was between her and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Lady Aishah explains that he used to race with her, and she says that when he used to drink from her glass, he used to make sure that she sees him putting his lips in the same place where she was putting her lips to drink from the glass. Lady Aishah says that when she used to say “O my God I have a headache,” he used to say, “It’s me, you can sense your headache in my head.” Lady Aishah was so proud that he died in her arms.

 

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Who Is Muhammad: (Part 4) Attacks by the Makkans

By Khurram Murad
Who Is Muhammad: Attacks by the Makkans

The Prophet sent letters to various neighbouring Arab and non-Arab rulers, including Chosroes of Iran and Heraclitus of the Byzantine Empire.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) after arriving in Madinah, first formed an alliance with the Jews. Next, he approached all the nearby tribes and tried to persuade them to make an alliance or at least enter into a no war-pact. Many did. Thus the small group evicted from Makkah assumed strategic importance.

The Makkans who had earlier planned to kill the Prophet, were now determined to annihilate this nascent community of Islam. Having failed in all other ways, they decided on a military solution.

A heavily armed Makkan force marched towards Madinah in the second year after Hijrah, on the pretext of protecting their trade caravan. The Prophet, despite his community’s small number and lack of arms, decided to face their threat boldly.

On the 17th of Ramadan, at Badr, the two forces met and fought a battle in which 313 Muslims defeated the 1,000- strong Makkan army. Seventy of the Makkan chiefs who had been most active and vehement in persecuting the Muslims were killed; many others were taken prisoner, later to be released for ransom.

For the first time, prisoners of war were treated humanely and kindly; they were fed and housed in the same way as their captors ate and lived. In the third year after Hijrah, a 3,000-strong Makkan force again marched on Madinah, both to avenge the defeat at Badr and to make another attempt to defeat the Muslims; 700 of them were mailed and 200 mounted. The Muslims numbered only 700. The two sides met just outside Madinah near the Uhud Mountain.

The initial Muslim victory was, however, reversed; the Muslim contingent posted to protect the rear, violated the Prophet’s instructions and abandoned its position. The Quraysh attacked from behind, and victory was turned into defeat, resulting in the deaths of about 65 Muslims. The Makkans, however, failed to pursue their advantage and clinch victory.

The Makkans now planned to make a final assault on Madinah to settle the matter once and for all. All Bedouin tribes, Jews, and hypocrites within Madinah joined forces with them.

In the fifth year after Hijrah, 24,000 of them advanced on Madinah. It was impossible to fight them on the open battlefield, or defend Madinah which was without walls. The Muslims therefore defended themselves by digging ditches all round Madinah. After laying siege to Madinah for 25 days, due to inner dissension, lack of supplies, cold weather and high winds, the Makkan army was forced to withdraw.

This was the turning point in the history of confrontation with the Makkans. Madinah was never to be attacked again. From the beginning, the Jews were given full rights of citizenship, yet they still committed acts of treason and treachery. Some had to be expelled; some were killed as a result of judgements given by an arbitrator appointed by them.

However, subsequent generations of Jews were never held responsible for the misdeeds of the Jews of Madinah, as they were in Christendom for 2,000 years, for the crucifixion of Jesus. Instead, the Muslims always treated them justly and kindly.

The next year, the sixth after Hijrah, the Prophet and 1,400 Companions journeyed to Makkah to perform Umrah, the lesser Pilgrimage, in accordance with several traditions of the time. They were unarmed. The Quraysh chiefs, against all established and accepted traditions, refused them admission. However, the Quraysh were now so low in morale and strength that they had to sign a peace treaty with the Prophet, the Hudaybiyah Treaty.

Though the terms appeared highly unfavourable, even humiliating, for the Muslims, they made tremendous gains by virtue of this Treaty. They, who were driven out of Makkah and attacked thrice, were now recognized as an equal force, to be treated respectfully, taken seriously.

Peace provided an opportunity for the wavering and the neutral, even the hostile, to witness Islam at first hand, and many sensed the imminent victory of Islam. The result was that many Makkans and Arab tribes either embraced Islam or made peace with the Prophet.

As soon as the Hudaybiyah Treaty was signed, the Prophet sent letters to various neighbouring Arab and non-Arab rulers, including Chosroes of Iran and Heraclitus of the Byzantine Empire. He invited them to Islam, and assured them that he did not covet their kingdoms or riches. They could retain both, but only if they surrendered themselves to serve and worship the One God.

The Quraysh, however, soon broke the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. It was, thus, time to deal with their continuing hostility. The Prophet marched to Makkah, and captured the town. The fall of Makkah witnessed unparalleled acts of mercy, forgiveness and generosity. Not a single drop of blood was shed. Everybody who remained indoors was granted security of life and property. The Prophet forgave all who had been his bitterest foes all his life, who had persecuted him and planned to kill him, who had driven him out of Makkah, and who had marched thrice to Madinah to defeat the Muslims.

The neighbouring Byzantine Empire now prepared to attack and destroy the Muslim community in Madinah. However, when the Prophet marched to Tabuk on the northern border, his determination, courage and timely response made the enemy lose heart and withdraw.

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Source: Taken from the author’s Who Is Muhammad? Published by Islamic Foundation, London, 1998.

Read also:

Who Is Muhammad? (Part 1) Early Life in Makkah

Who Is Muhammad? (Part 2) The Prophet at Makkah

Who Is Muhammad? (Part 3) The Prophet at Madinah

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Who Is Muhammad? (Part 3) The Prophet at Madinah

By Khurram Murad
Who Is Muhammad? (part 3) The Prophet at Madinah

More and more people over the course of a year – tribal leaders, men and women – in Yathrib became Muslims.

The Message that Makkah and Taif rejected, found responsive hearts in Yathrib, a small oasis about 400 kilometres to the north of Makkah. Now known as Madinatun Nabi, the city of the Prophet, or Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, the radiant city, it was destined to be the centre of the Divine light that was to spread to all parts of the world for all times to come.

In quick succession, the Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered the terrible loss of Khadijah, his intimate and beloved companion for 25 years, and of Abu Talib, his guardian and protector against the bloodthirsty Makkan foes, and encountered the worst ever rejection, humiliation and persecution at nearby Taif.

As the Prophet reached the lowest point in his vocation, God brought him comfort and solace. On the one hand, spiritually, He took him during the Night of the Ascension to the highest of highs, realities and divinities, face to face with the Unseen.

And on the other, materially, he opened the hearts of the people of Yathrib to the Message and mission of Muhammad. Soon after Muhammad’s return from Taif and the Night Journey, at the time of the Pilgrimage, six men from Yathrib embraced Islam.

They delivered the Message of Islam to as many as they could, and at the time of the next Pilgrimage in the year 621 CE, 12 persons came. They pledged themselves to the Prophet, that they would make no god beside God, that they would neither steal nor commit fornication, nor slay their infants, nor utter slanders, nor disobey him in that which is right.

The Prophet said: ‘If you fulfil this pledge, then Paradise is yours.’ This time the Prophet sent Mus`ab ibn `Umayr with them to teach them the Quran and Islam and to spread the Message of Islam.

More and more people over the course of a year – tribal leaders, men and women – in Yathrib became Muslims. At the time of the next Pilgrimage, they decided to send a delegation to the Prophet, make a pledge to him, and invite him and all Muslims in Makkah to Yathrib as a sanctuary and as a base for spreading the Divine Message of Islam. In all 73 men and two women came. They met the Prophet at [Aqabah.

They pledged to protect the Prophet as they would protect their own women and children, and to fight against all men, red and black, even if their nobles were killed and they suffered the loss of all their possessions.

When asked what would be theirs if they fulfilled their pledge, the Prophet said: ‘Paradise’. Thus, the beginning was made, the foundations of the Islamic society, state and civilization were set. The road was now open for the persecuted and tortured followers of the Prophet to come to the House of Islam, that was to be Madinah. He, therefore, instructed them to emigrate, and gradually most of them found their way to Yathrib.

Their Makkan foes could not bear to see the Muslims living in peace. They knew the power of the Prophet’s Message, they knew the strength of those dedicated believers who cared nothing for the age-old Arab customs and ties of kinship, and who if they had to would fight for their faith.

The Makkans sensed the danger that the Muslims’ presence in Madinah posed for their northern trade caravan routes. They saw no other way to stop all this but to kill the Prophet. Hence they hatched a conspiracy: one strong and well-connected young man was to be nominated by each clan, and all of them were to pounce upon and kill the Prophet one morning as he came out of his house, so that his blood would be on all the clans’ hands.

Thus, the Prophet’s clan would have to accept blood-money in place of revenge. Informed of the plot by the Angel Gabriel, and instructed to leave Makkah for Madinah, the Prophet went to Abu Bakr’s house to finalize the travel arrangements.

Abu Bakr was overjoyed at having been chosen for the honour and blessing of being the Prophet’s Companion on this blessed and momentous, sacred and epoch-making journey. He offered his she-camel to the Prophet, but the Prophet insisted on paying its price.

On the fateful night, as darkness fell, the youths selected by the Quraish leaders to kill the Prophet surrounded his house. They decided to pounce on him when he came out of his house for the dawn Prayers.

Meanwhile, the Prophet handed over all the money left by the Makkans with him for safe keeping to Ali. Ali offered to lie in the Prophet’s bed.

The Prophet slipped out of his house, threw a little dust in their direction, and walked past his enemies, whose eyes were still on the house. He met Abu Bakr at his house, and they both travelled to a nearby cave, the Jabal Thawr.

When the Quraish realized that the Prophet had evaded them, they were furious. They looked for him everywhere and on all roads; they also offered a reward of 100 she-camels for anybody who would bring them the Prophet, dead or alive.

A tribal chief, Suraqa, sighted the Prophet and followed him, hoping to earn the reward. The Prophet, with bloodthirsty foes in pursuit and an uncertain future ahead of him in Madinah, told Suraqa: ‘A day will soon come when Kisra’s golden hand bracelet will be in Suraqa’s hands.’

Thereafter, Suraqa retreated, and the Prophet proceeded towards Madinah. This was Hijrah, the emigration – a small distance in space, a mighty leap in history, an event that was to become a threshold in the shaping of the Islamic Ummah.

This is why the Muslims date their calendar from Hijrah, and not from Hira or from the birth of the Prophet.

In Qubah, 10 kilometres outside Madinah, the Prophet made his first sojourn. Here he built the first mosque. Here he also made his first public address: ‘Spread peace among yourselves, give away food to the needy, pray while people sleep – and you enter Paradise, the house of peace.’ Three days later, the Prophet entered Madinah.

Men, women, children, the entire populace came out on the streets and jubilantly welcomed him. Never was there a day of greater rejoicing and happiness. ‘Come is the Prophet! Come is the Prophet!’, sang the little children.

The first thing the Prophet did after arriving in Madinah was to weld the Emigrants (called Muhajirs) and the hosts, called the Helpers (or Ansar) into one brotherhood. Still today this brotherhood remains the hallmark of the Muslims.

One person from the Emigrants was made the brother of one from amongst the Helpers. The Helpers offered to share equally all that they possessed with the Emigrants. So the Muslims were forged into a close-knit community of faith and brotherhood, and the structure of their society and polity was being built.

The first structure was also raised. This was the Mosque, or Masjid, the building consecrated to the worship of One God – called Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque.

Since then the Masjid has also remained the hallmark of the Muslims’ collective and social life, the convenient space for the integration of the religious and political dimensions of Islam, a source of identification, a witness to Muslim existence.

At the same time, steps were taken and the required institutions built to integrate the entire social life around the centre and pivot of the worship of One God.

For this purpose, five daily Prayers in congregation were established. Ramadan, fasting every day from dawn to sunset for an entire month, was also prescribed. Similarly, to establish ‘giving’ as the way of life, zakah, a percentage of one’s wealth to be given in the way of God, was made obligatory.

As long as there was no different instruction from God, the Muslims followed the practices observed by the Jews and Christians. Hence, they used to pray with their faces turned towards Jerusalem.

But soon this direction to which the Muslims faced in Prayer was changed from Jerusalem to Makkah. This historic episode signalled the formation of a new Muslim community, charged with Divine trust and the mission of God’s guidance, replacing the earlier Jews and Christians, and following the most ancient message of Abraham, turning towards the most ancient House of God, built by him.

Source: Taken from the author’s Who Is Muhammad? Published by Islamic Foundation, London, 1998.

Read also:

Who Is Muhammad? (Part 1) Early Life in Makkah

Who Is Muhammad? (Part 2) The Prophet at Makkah

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