LIFE HISTORYH OF PROPHET (contd)
The Expedition called Dhat-ur-Riqa‘ (in the year 7 A.H.):
Having subdued two powerful sides of the Confederates coalition, the Prophet started preparations to discipline the third party, i.e. the desert bedouins, who took Najd for habitation, and continued in their usual practices of looting and plundering. Unlike the Jews of Khaibar and people of Makkah, they had a liking for living in the wilderness dispersed in scattered spots, hence the difficulty of bringing them under control, and the futility of carrying out deterrent campaigns against them. However, the Prophet was determined to put an end to this unacceptable situation and called the Muslims around him to get ready to launch a decisive campaign against those harassing rebels. Meanwhile it was reported to him that Bani Muharib and Banu Tha‘lbah of the Ghatfan tribe were gathering army in order to encounter the Muslims. The Prophet proceeded towards Najd at the head of 400 or 700 men, after he had mandated Abu Dhar - in another version, ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan - to dispose the affairs of Madinah during his absence. The Muslim fighters penetrated deep into their land until they reached a spot called Nakhlah where they came across some bedouins of Ghatfan, but no fighting took place because the latter had agreed to go into reconciliation with the Muslims. The Prophet led his followers that day in a prayer of fear.
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari, narrated that they set out on an expedition with the Messenger of Allâh . "We were six in number and had (with us) only one camel which we rode turn by turn. Our feet were injured. My feet were so badly injured that my nails came off. We, therefore, bandaged our feet with rags, so this expedition was called Dhat-ur-Riqa‘ (i.e. the expedition of rags.)"
Jabir narrated: In the course of Dhat-ur-Riqa‘ expedition, we came to a leafy tree where the Prophet sat shading himself off the burning sun. The others dispersed here and there seeking shelter from heat. The Prophet had a short nap after he had hung his sword on the tree. A polytheist, meanwhile came, seized the sword and unsheathed it.
The Prophet woke up to find his sword drawn in the man’s hand. The bedouin here asked the Prophet (unarmed then): "Who would hold me back from killing you now?" The Prophet then answered: "It is Allâh." In another version, it was reported that the Prophet took the sword when it had fallen down and the man said: "You (the Prophet) are the best one to hold a sword." The Prophet asked the man if he would testify to the Oneness of Allâh and the Messengership of Muhammad. The Arabian answered that he would never engage in a fight against him, nor would he ally people fighting the Muslims. The Prophet set the man free and let him go to his people to say to them that he had seen the best one among all people.
A woman from the Arabians was taken prisoner in the context of this battle. Her husband, on hearing the news, swore he would never stop until he had shed the blood of a Muslim. Secretly at night, he approached the camp of the Muslims when he saw two sentries stationed there to alert the Muslims against any emergency. He shot the first one, Abbad bin Bishr, who was observing prayer, with an arrow but he did not stop prayer, he simply pulled it out. Then he was shot by three other arrows but would not interrupt his prayer. After he had done the closing salutations, he awakened his companion ‘Ammar bin Yasir, who remonstrated that he should have alerted him to which the latter replied that he was half way through a Chapter and did not like to interrupt it.
The victory at the expedition of Dhat-ur-Riqa‘ had a tremendous impact on all the Arabians. It cast fear into their hearts and rendered them too powerless to antagonize the Muslim society in Madinah. They began to acquiesce in the prevailing situation and resigned themselves to new geo-political conditions working in favour of the new religion. Some of them even embraced Islam and took an active part in the conquest of Makkah and the battle of Hunain, and received their due shares of the war booty.
From that time onward, the anti-Islam tripartite coalition had been subdued, and peace and security prevailed. The Muslims, then started to redress any political imbalance and fill in the small gaps that still triggered unrest here and there in the face of the great drive of Islamization that enveloped the whole area. We could in this context mention some of these incidental skirmishes which pointed markedly to the ever-growing power of the Muslim society.
1. A platoon headed by Ghalib bin ‘Abdullah Al-Laithi in Safar or in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal 7 A.H. was despatched to muffle the provocative behaviour of Bani Al-Muluh. The Muslims managed to kill a large number of the enemy soldiers and captured a great deal of booty. A large army of polytheists rushed in their heel but floods hindered the pursuit, and the Muslims managed to withdraw in safety.
2. ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, at the head of a 30-soldier group, set out to a spot called Turbah in Sha‘ban 7 A.H. to discipline the people of Hawazin. He no longer arrived at their habitation that they fled for their lives.
3. Thirty men with Basheer bin Sa‘d Al-Ansari headed for Bani Murrah in Sha‘ban 7 A.H. in Fadak area. He killed a large number of the enemy and seized a lot of their camels and cattle. On his way back, the enemy gathered up forces and overtook the Muslims at night. They showered Basheer and his men with arrows, and killed all the Muslims except Basheer, who took refuge in Fadak and stayed with the Jews there until his wounds healed.
4. Ghalib bin ‘Abdullah Al-Laithi at the head of a platoon of 130 men launched an attack against Bani ‘Awâl and Bani ‘Abd bin Tha‘lbah in Ramadan 7 A.H. They killed some of the enemy’s men and captured their cattle and camels. ‘Usama bin Zaid killed Mardas bin Nahik, a polytheist, but after he had pronounced the testimony of Allâh’s Oneness to which incident the Prophet commented addressing his Companions: "Would you rip open his heart to discern whether he is truthful or a liar?"
5. A thirty-horseman group headed by ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha marched towards Khaibar on reports that Aseer (or Basheer bin Razam) was rallying the ranks of Bani Ghatfan to attack the Muslims: They managed to persuade that Jew to follow them to Madinah encouraging him that the Prophet would institute him as a ruler of Khaibar. On their way back there occurred a sort of misunderstanding that gave rise to fierce fighting between the two parties resulting in the death of Aseer and the thirty men with him.
6. In Shawwal 7 A.H., Basheer bin Sa‘d Al-Ansari marched towards Yemen and Jabar at the head of 300 Muslim fighters to subdue a large mob of polytheists who gathered to raid the outskirts of Madinah. Basheer and his men used to march at night and lurk during the day until they reached their destination. Having heard about the advent of the Muslims, the polytheists fled away leaving behind them a large booty and two men who later embraced Islam on arrival in Madinah.
7. In the year 7 A.H., shortly before the Compensatory ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage), a man called Jashm bin Mu‘awiyah came to a spot called Ghabah where he wanted to gather the people of Qais and entice them into fighting the Muslims. The Prophet , on hearing these reports, despatched Abu Hadrad with two men to see to the situation. Abu Hadrad, through a clever strategy, managed to rout the enemy and capture a lot of their cattle.
The Compensatory ‘Umrah
When Dhul Qa‘da month approached towards the close of the seventh year A.H., the Prophet ordered his people, and the men who witnessed Al-Hudaibiyah Truce Treaty in particular, to make preparations to perform ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). He proceeded with 2000 men besides some women and children, and 60 camels for sacrifice, to visit the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah. The Muslims took their weapons with them fearing the treachery of the Quraishites, but left them with a party of two hundred men at a place some eight miles from Makkah. They entered the city with the swords in their scabbards, with the Prophet at their head on his she-camel, Al-Qaswa’, while the surrounding Companions attentively focusing their look on him, all saying: "Here I am! at Your service O Allâh!" The Quraishites had left the place and retired to their tents on the adjoining hills. The Muslims performed the usual circumambulation vigorously and briskly; and on recommendation by the Prophet they did their best to appear strong and steadfast in their circumambulation as the polytheists had spread rumours that they were weak because the fever of Yathrib (Madinah) had sapped their strength. They were ordered to run in the first three rounds and then walk in the remaining ones. The Makkans meanwhile aligned on the top of Qu‘aiqa‘an Mount watching the Muslims, tongue-tied at witnessing their strength and devotion. When they entered the Holy Sanctuary, ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha walked before the Prophet reciting:
"Get out of his way, you disbelievers, make way, we will fight you about its revelation with strokes that will remove heads from shoulders and make friend unmindful of friend."
After ritual walking and running between the two hills of Makkah, Safa and Marwah, the Prophet with the Muslims halted at the latter spot to slaughter the sacrificial animals and shave their heads.
The main body of the pilgrims had now performed the basic rites of the lesser pilgrimage, but there remained those who were entrusted the charge of the weapons. The Prophet had these relieved, and they went through the same devotions as the others did.
On the morning of the fourth day of the pilgrimage, the notables of Quraish asked ‘Ali bin Abi Talib to tell the Prophet to leave Makkah along with his Companions. He, of course, could not conceive of violating the terms of Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty, therefore he ordered his men to depart for a village called Sarif where he stayed for some time.
It was during this visit of the Prophet to Makkah for pilgrimage that his uncle ‘Abbas offered the hand of his sister-in-law, Maimuna — the daughter of Harith, to him. The Prophet was kind enough to accept this offer since it was an effective step towards cementing the ties of relationship between the Prophet and the influential men of Makkah. The wedding took place in Sarif. 
Narrators attached different designations to this lesser pilgrimage. Some called it the compensatory lesser pilgrimage, performed instead of that uncompleted of Hudaibiyah; and the other one, given preponderance by jurists, is the lesser pilgrimage consequent on certain terms of a treaty already agreed upon.
On the whole, compensatory, judicial consent, retribution and reconciliation are all terms applicable to that visit.
Some military operations, directed against some still obdurate desert Arabians, took place at the conclusion of the lesser pilgrimage, of which we could mention:
1. A platoon of 50 men led by Ibn Abi Al-‘Awja’ was despatched by the Prophet to the habitations of Bani Saleem inviting them to embrace Islam, but all the words fell on deaf ears. Fierce fighting erupted between both parties during which the Muslim leader was wounded, and two of the enemy were captured.
2. Ghalib bin ‘Abdullah at the head of 200 men was despatched to Fadak where they killed some rebels and a lot of booty fell to their lot.
3. Banu Quda‘a had gathered a large number of men to raid the Muslim positions. On hearing the news, the Prophet despatched Ka‘b bin ‘Umair Al-Ansari at the head of 15 men to deal with this situation. They encountered the army, and called them to enter into the fold of Islam but the rebels gave a negative response and showered the Muslims with arrows killing all of them except one who was carried back home later seriously wounded.
There was also an insignificant skirmish that occurred in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal 8 A.H. Shuja‘ bin Wahab Al-Asadi, along with 25 men, marched towards Bani Hawazin tribe where they encountered no resistance but managed to gain some booty.
The Battle of Mu’tah
It was the most significant and the fiercest battle during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allâh , a preliminary and a prelude to the great conquests of the land of the Christians. It took place in Jumada Al-Ula 8 A.H. / September 629 A.D. Mu’tah is a village that lies on the borders of geographical Syria.
The Prophet had sent Al-Harith bin ‘Umair Al-Azdi on an errand to carry a letter to the ruler of Busra. On his way, he was intercepted by Sharhabeel bin ‘Amr Al-Ghassani, the governor of Al-Balqa’ and a close ally to Caesar, the Byzantine Emperor. Al-Harith was tied and beheaded by Al-Ghassani.
Killing envoys and messengers used to be regarded as the most awful crime, and amounted to the degree of war declaration. The Prophet was shocked on hearing the news and ordered that a large army of 3000 men be mobilized and despatched to the north to discipline the transgressors. It was the largest Muslim army never mobilized on this scale except in the process of the Confederates Battle.
Zaid bin Haritha was appointed to lead the army. Ja‘far bin Abi Talib would replace him if he was killed, and ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha would succeed Ja‘far in case the latter fell. A white banner was raised and handed over to Zaid.
The Prophet recommended that they reach the scene of Al-Harith’s murder and invite the people to profess Islam. Should the latter respond positively, then no war would ensue, otherwise fighting them would be the only alternative left.
He ordered them:
# "Fight the disbelievers in the Name of Allâh, neither breach a covenant nor entertain treachery, and under no circumstances a new-born, woman, an ageing man or a hermit should be killed; moreover neither trees should be cut down nor homes demolished."
At the conclusion of the military preparations, the people of Madinah gathered and bade the army farewell. ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha began to weep at that moment, and when asked why he was weeping, he swore that it was not love for this world nor under a motive of infatuation with the glamour of life but rather the Words of Allâh speaking of Fire that he heard the Prophet reciting:
# "There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell); this is with your Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished." [19:71]
The Muslim army then marched northward to Ma‘ân, a town bordering on geographical Syria. There news came to the effect that Heraclius had mobilized a hundred thousand troops together with another hundred thousand men of Lakham, Judham and Balqain — Arabian tribes allied to the Byzantines. The Muslims, on their part had never thought of encountering such a huge army. They were at a loss about what course to follow, and spent two nights debating these unfavourable conditions. Some suggested that they should write a letter to the Prophet seeking his advice. ‘Abdullah bin Rawaha was opposed to them being reluctant and addressed the Muslims saying: "I swear by Allâh that this very object which you hold in abhorrence is the very one you have set out seeking, martyrdom. In our fight we don’t count on number of soldiers or equipment but rather on the Faith that Allâh has honoured us with. Dart to win either of the two, victory or martyrdom." In the light of these words, they moved to engage with the enemy in Masharif, a town of Al-Balqa’, and then changed direction towards Mu’tah where they encamped. The right flank was led by Qutba bin Qatadah Al-‘Udhari, and the left by ‘Ubadah bin Malik Al-Ansari. Bitter fighting started between the two parties, three thousand Muslims against an enemy fiftyfold as large.
Zaid bin Haritha, the closest to the Messenger’s heart, assumed leadership and began to fight tenaciously and in matchless spirit of bravery until he fell, fatally stabbed. Ja‘far bin Abi Talib then took the banner and did a miraculous job. In the thick of the battle, he dismounted, hamstrung his horse and resumed fighting until his right hand was cut off. He seized the banner with his left hand until this too was gone. He then clasped the banner with both arms until a Byzantine soldier struck and cut him into two parts. he was posthumously called "the flying Ja‘far" or "Ja‘far with two wings" because Allâh has awarded him two wings to fly wherever he desired there in the eternal Garden. Al-Bukhari reported fifty stabs in his body, none of them in the back.
‘Abdullah bin Rawaha then proceeded to hold up the banner and fight bravely on his horseback while reciting enthusiastic verses until he too was killed. Thereupon a man, from Bani ‘Ajlan, called Thabit bin Al-Arqam took the banner and called upon the Muslims to choose a leader. The honour was unanimously granted to Khalid bin Al-Waleed, a skilled brave fighter and an outstanding strategist. It was reported by Al-Bukhari that he used nine swords that broke while he was relentlessly and courageously fighting the enemies of Islam. He, however, realizing the grave situation the Muslims were in, began to follow a different course of encounter, revealing the super strategy-maker, that Khalid was rightly called. He reshuffled the right and left flanks of the Muslim army and introduced forward a division from the rear in order to cast fear into the hearts of the Byzantine by deluding them that fresh reinforcements had arrived. The Muslims engaged with the enemies in sporadic skirmishes but gradually and judiciously retreating in a fully organized and well-planned withdrawal.
The Byzantines, seeing this new strategy, believed that they were being entrapped and drawn in the heart of the desert. They stopped the pursuit, and consequently the Muslims managed to retreat back to Madinah with the slightest losses.
The Muslims sustained twelve martyrs, whereas the number of casualties among the Byzantines was unknown although the details of the battle point clearly to a large number. Even though the battle did not satisfy the Muslims’ objective, namely avenging Al-Harith’s murder, it resulted in a far-ranging impact and attached to the Muslims a great reputation in the battlefields. The Byzantine Empire, at that time, was a power to be reckoned with, and mere thinking of antagonizing it used to mean self-annihilation, let alone a three-thousand-soldier army going into fight against 200,000 soldiers far better equipped and lavishly furnished with all luxurious conveniences. The battle was a real miracle proving that the Muslims were something exceptional not then familiar. Moreover, it gave evidence that Allâh backed them and their Prophet, Muhammad, was really Allâh’s Messenger. In the light of these new strategic changes, the archenemies among the desert bedouins began to reconcile themselves with the new uprising faith and several recalcitrant tribes like Banu Saleem, Ashja‘, Ghatfan, Dhubyan, Fazarah and others came to profess Islam out of their own sweet free will.
Mu’tah Battle, after all, constituted the forerunner of the blood encounter to take place with the Byzantines subsequently. It pointed markedly to a new epoch of the Islamic conquest of the Byzantine empire and other remote countries, to follow at a later stage.
Dhat As-Salasil Campaign:
Dhat As-Salasil is a spot situated ten days’ walk north of Madinah. The Muslims are said to have encamped in a place with a well of water called Salsal, hence the terminology Dhat As-Salasil. In view of the alliance between the Arabian tribes on the borders of Syria and the Byzantines, the Prophet deemed it of top urgency to carry out a wisely-planned manoeuvre that might bring about a state of rapport with those bedouins, and would at the same time detach them from the Byzantines. For the implementation of this plan, he chose ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, whose paternal grandmother came from Bali, a tribe dwelling in that area. This motive in mind, combined with provocative military movements, by Bani Quda‘a, precipitated this preemptive strike which started in Jumada Ath-Thaniya, 8 A.H.
‘Amr bin Al-‘As was awarded a white flag with a black banner to go with it. He set out at the head of 300 Emigrants and Helpers assisted by a cavalry of 30 men, and was recommended to seek help from Bali, ‘Udhra and Balqain tribes. He used to march at night and lurk during the day. On approaching the enemy lines and realizing the large build up of men, he sent for reinforcements from Madinah, and these arrived on the spot headed by Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah leading further 200 men as well as other platoons including Abu Bakr and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab. All of them were given strict orders to cooperate, work in harmony and never leave any area for disagreement.
At noon, Abu ‘Ubaidah wanted to lead the Muslims in prayer, but ‘Amr objected on grounds that the former came only to assist, and leadership in prayer was given to ‘Amr.
The Muslim army reached the habitations of Quda‘a and penetrated deep in their land, destroyed the enemies and obliged the others to flee for their lives in different directions.
At the conclusion of the military operations, a courier was despatched to the Messenger of Allâh to brief him on the developments of events and the ultimate victory achieved.
In Sha‘ban month 8 A.H., news reached the Prophet of amassing troops by Bani Ghatfan, still outside the domain of Islam. He urgently summoned Abu Qatadah and sent him at the head of fifteen men to discipline those outlaws.
It took fifteen days to teach them an unforgettable lesson. Some were killed, others captured and all their property confiscated.
The Conquest of Makkah
Ibn Al-Qaiyim described the conquest of Makkah as the greatest one by which Allâh honoured His religion, Messenger, soldiers and honest party. He thereby rescued the Sacred House, whose guidance all people seek. It was the greatest propitious event in heaven and on earth. It was the most significant prelude to a new era that was to witness the great march of Islamization and the entry of people into the fold of Islam in huge hosts. It provided an ever shining face and a most glowing source of inspiration to the whole earth.
According to the terms of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Arab tribes were given the option to join either of the parties, the Muslims or Quraish, with which they desired to enter into treaty alliance. Should any of these tribes suffer aggression, then the party to which it was allied would have the right to retaliate. As a consequence, Banu Bakr joined Quraish, and Khuza‘ah joined the Prophet . They thus lived in peace for sometime but ulterior motives stretching back to pre-Islamic period ignited by unabated fire of revenge triggered fresh hostilities. Banu Bakr, without caring a bit for the provisions of the treaty, attacked Banu Khuza‘ah in a place called Al-Wateer in Sha‘ban, 8 A.H. Quraish helped Banu Bakr with men and arms taking advantage of the dark night. Pressed by their enemies, the tribesmen of Khuza‘ah sought the Holy Sanctuary, but here too, their lives were not spared, and, contrary to all accepted traditions, Nawfal, the chief of Banu Bakr, chasing them in the sanctified area — where no blood should be shed — massacred his adversaries.
When the aggrieved party sought justice from their Muslim allies, the Prophet , as their leader, demanded an immediate redress for not only violating the treaty but also slaying men allied to him in the sanctified area. Three demands were made, the acceptance of any one of them was imperative:
1. to pay blood money for the victims of Khuza‘ah,
2. to terminate their alliance with Banu Bakr; or
3. to consider the truce to have been nullified.
This behaviour on the part of Quraish was clearly a breach of the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyah and was obviously an act of hostility against the allies of the Muslims, i.e. Banu Khuza‘ah. Quraish immediately realized the grave situation and feared the horrible consequences looming on the horizon. They immediately called for an emergency meeting and decided to delegate their chief Abu Sufyan to Madinah for a renewal of the truce. He directly headed for the house of his daughter Umm Habiba (the Prophet’s wife). But as he went to sit on the Messenger’s carpet, she folded it up. "My daughter," said he, "I hardly knew if you think the carpet is too good for me or that I am too good for the carpet." She replied, "It is the Messenger of Allâh’s carpet, and you are an unclean polytheist."
Being disgusted at the curt reply of his daughter, Abu Sufyan stepped out of her room and went to see the Prophet , but the latter was well aware of his tricks and did not hold him any assurance. He then approached Abu Bakr, but the latter too declined to interfere. He contacted ‘Umar to intercede but this great Companion made a point-blank refusal. At last he saw ‘Ali bin Abi Talib and began begging him in the most humble words, cunningly alluding to the prospects of mastery over all the Arabs if he were to intercede for the renewal of the treaty. ‘Ali also briefly regretted his inability to do anything for him.
Abu Sufyan turned his steps back to Makkah in a state of bitter disappointment and utter horror. There he submitted a report of his meeting with his daughter, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Ali’s reaction and the meaningful silence of the Prophet. The Makkans were dismayed, but did not expect imminent danger.
Preparations for the Attack on Makkah,
and the Prophet’s Attempt at imposing a News Black-out:
On the authority of At-Tabari, the Messenger of Allâh asked ‘Aishah - may Allah be pleased with her - , his spouse three days prior to receiving news relating to breaching of covenant, to make preparations peculiar to marching out for war. Abu Bakr, meanwhile, came in and asked ‘Aishah - may Allah be pleased with her - what the matter was, showing surprise at the preparations being made as it was not, as he said, the usual time for war. She replied that she had no idea. On the morning of the third day ‘Amr bin Sâlim Al-Khuza‘i arrived in the company of forty horsemen to brief the Prophet on the plight of his people and seeking the Muslims’ help for retaliation. People of Madinah then got to know that Quraish had breached the covenant. Budail followed ‘Amr, and then Abu Sufyan and the news was unequivocally confirmed.
With view of securing a complete news black-out concerning his military intentions, the Prophet despatched an eight-men platoon under the leadership of Qatadah bin Rab‘i in the direction of Edam, a short distance from Madinah, in Ramadan 8 A.H., in order to divert the attention of people and screen off the main target with which he was preoccupied.
There was so much dread and fear everywhere that Hatib, one of the most trusted followers of the Prophet secretly despatched a female messenger with a letter to Makkah containing intimation of the intended attack. The Prophet received news from the heaven of Hatib’s action and sent ‘Ali and Al-Miqdad with instructions to go after her. They overtook the messenger, and after a long search discovered the letter carefully hidden in her locks. The Prophet summoned Hatib and asked him what had induced him to this act. He replied, "O Messenger of Allâh ! I have no affinity of blood with Quraish; there is only a kind of friendly relationship between them and myself. My family is at Makkah 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 refugees whose families are secure due to their blood ties with Quraish. 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 Allâh that I have not done this act as an apostate, forsaking Islam. I was prompted only by the considerations I have just explained."
‘Umar wanted to cut his head off as a hypocrite, but the Prophet accepted his excuse and granted him pardon, then addressed ‘Umar saying: "Hatib is one of those who fought in the battle of Badr. How do you know that he is a hypocrite? Allâh is likely to look favourably on those who participated in that battle. Turning then, to Hatib, he said: "Do as you please, for I have forgiven you."
After making full preparation, the Prophet proceeded to Makkah at the head of ten thousand soldiers on the 10th of Ramadan, 8 A.H. He mandated Abu Ruhm Al-Ghifari to dispose the affairs of Madinah during his absence. When they reached Al-Juhfa, Al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib and his family came to join the Prophet . At Al-Abwa’, the Muslims came across Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith and ‘Abdullah bin Omaiyah, the Prophet’s cousins, but, on account of the harm they had inflicted, and their satiric language, on the believers, they were not welcomed. ‘Ali addressed Abu Sufyan to go and beseech the Prophet for pardon and confess his ill-behaviour in a manner similar to that of Yusuf’s (the Prophet Joseph) brothers:
# "They said: ‘By Allâh! Indeed Allâh has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners.’" [12:91]
Abu Sufyan observed ‘Ali’s counsel, to which the Prophet quoted Allâh’s Words:
# "He said: ‘No reproach on you this day, may Allâh forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!’" [12:92]
Abu Sufyan recited some verses paying a generous tribute to the Prophet and professing Islam as his only religion.
The Muslims then marched on in a state of fasting until they reached a place called Al-Qadeed where water was available. There they broke fast and resumed their movement towards Mar Az-Zahran. The Quraishites were quite unaware of the development of affairs, but the Prophet did not like to take them by surprise. He, therefore, ordered his men to kindle fire on all sides for cooking purposes. The idea behind this was that Quraish should be afforded full opportunity to assess the situation in which they were pitchforked correctly, and should not endanger their lives by leaping blindly in the battlefield. ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab was entrusted with the guard duty. In the meanwhile, Abu Sufyan along with Hakim bin Hizam and Budail bin Warqua’, two terrible polytheists, went out to reconnoiter. Before they got near the camp, they met ‘Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle. He apprised Abu Sufyan of the situation and advised him to accept Islam and persuade his people to surrender before Muhammad ; otherwise, his head would be struck off.
Under the prevailing compelling circumstances, Abu Sufyan went in the company of ‘Abbas seeking the Prophet’s audience. The Muslims were furious to see Abu Sufyan and wanted to kill him on the spot. But the two men managed, not without difficulties, to see the Messenger of Allâh who advised that they see him the following day. The Prophet addressed Abu Sufyan saying: "Woe to you! Isn’t it time for you to bear witness to the Oneness of Allâh and Prophethood of Muhammad?" Here, the archenemy of Islam began to beseech the Prophet in the most earnest words that testify to the Prophet’s generosity and mild temper begging for pardon and forgiveness, and professing wholeheartedly the new faith.
On request by ‘Abbas, the Prophet , in the context of the general amnesty he proclaimed, gave Abu Sufyan, who had a liking for bragging, a special privilege, saying: "He who takes refuge in Abu Sufyan’s house is safe; whosoever confines himself to his house, the inmates thereof shall be in safety, and he who enters the Sacred Mosque is safe."
On the morning of Tuesday, 17th. Ramadan, 8 A.H., the Prophet left Mar Az-Zahran. He ordered Al-‘Abbas to detain Abu Sufyan at a commanding gorge that could afford a full view of the Muslim army parading on its way towards Makkah, and hence give him the chance to see the great and powerful soldiers of Allâh. The different tribes successively passed with their banners flown up, until at last the battalion of the Emigrants and Helpers with the Prophet at their head heavily armed marched by. Abu Sufyan began to wonder who those people were, to which Al-‘Abbas told him that they were Muhammad and his Companions. Abu Sufyan said that no army however powerful could resist those people and addressing Al-‘Abbas, he said: "I swear by Allâh that the sovereignty of your brother’s son has become too powerful to withstand." Al-‘Abbas answered, "It is rather the power of Prophethood," to which the former agreed.
Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah carried the flag of the Helpers. When he passed by Abu Sufyan, he said "Today will witness the great fight, you cannot seek sanctuary at Al-Ka‘bah. Today will witness the humiliation of Quraish." Abu Sufyan complained about this to the Prophet who got angry and said "Nay, today Al-Ka‘bah will be sanctified, and Quraish honoured," and quickly ordered that Sa‘d should be stripped off the flag, and that it should be entrusted to his son Qais, in another version, to Az-Zubair.
Al-‘Abbas urged Abu Sufyan to hasten into Makkah and warn the Quraishites against any aggressive behaviour towards the Muslims. There in Makkah, he shouted at the top of his voice and warned against any hostilities advising them to seek safety in his house. His wife got indignant and tugged at his moustache cursing him and abusing his cowardly stance. The people within Makkah mocked Abu Sufyan and dispersed in different directions, some into their houses, others into the Holy Sanctuary while some undisciplined reckless ruffians led by ‘Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Safwan bin Omaiyah and Suhail bin ‘Amr encamped themselves in a place called Khandamah, with a murderous intent in their minds.
The Prophet , on his part, was quite modestly and calmly drawing the final touches for the military breakthrough awaiting the Muslims, by Allâh’s Will. He appointed Khalid bin Al-Waleed as a leader of the right flank of the army with Aslam, Sulaim, Ghifar, Muzainah and Juhainah tribes under his command to enter Makkah through its lower avenues. Az-Zubair bin ‘Awwam was to lead the left flank and would storm Makkah from the upper side holding up the Messenger’s banner. Abu ‘Ubaidah took command of the infantry and was to penetrate into the city via a side valley. They were given full and decisive orders not to kill unless in self defence and in that case they would exterminate any aggressive elements and quell any opposition.
The Muslim battalions marched out each in its already drawn route to fulfill the missions they were supposed to carry out. Khalid bin Al-Waleed worked his way into the heart of the town quite successively killing twelve of the ruffians and sustaining two martyrs. Az-Zubair set out and reached the fixed destination where he planted the banner at Al-Fath (conquest) Mosque and waited there for the arrival of the Prophet . A tent was pitched for him where he offered prayers of thanks to the All-Mighty Allâh, Who, out of His immense grace, had granted him a splendid victory. But he did not repose long. He, in the company of the Helpers and Emigrants, got up and proceeded towards Al-Ka‘bah, the Sacred House, which is an emblem of the Oneness and Supremacy of Allâh. It was unfortunately infested with idols that numbered 360. He knocked them down with his bow while reciting the verse of the Noble Qur’ân:
# "And Say: ‘Truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism or this Qur’ân or Jihâd against polytheists) has come and Batil (falsehood, i.e. Satan or polytheism, etc.) has vanished. Surely! Batil is ever bound to vanish.’" [17:81]
And Allâh further said:
# "Say (O Muhammad ): "The Truth (the Qur’ân and Allah’s Inspiration) has come, and Al-Batil (falsehood - Iblis) can neither create anything nor resurrect (any thing)." [34:49]
He then started the usual circumambulation on his ride. He was not in a state of Ihram (ritual consecration) then. On completion, he called for ‘Uthman bin Talhah, the janitor of Al-Ka‘bah, from whom he took the key. He went in and saw images of Prophets Ibrahim and Ishmael, - peace be upon them - , throwing divination arrows. He denounced these acts of Quraish and ordered that all idols be dismantled, images and effigies deleted. He then entered the sacred hall to face the wall opposite the door and there again performed devout prostrations, and went around acclaiming Allâh’s Greatness and Oneness. Shortly afterwards, he returned to the door-way and standing upon its elevated step, gazed in thankfulness on the thronging multitude below and delivered the following celebrated address:
# "There is no god but Allâh Alone. He has no associates. He made good His Promise that He held to His slave 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 Al-Ka‘bah and supplying of water to the pilgrims. Bear in mind that for anyone who is slain, even though semi-deliberately, with club or whip, for him the blood-money is very severe: a hundred camels, forty of them to be pregnant.
"O people of Quraish! surely Allâh has abolished from you all pride of the pre-Islamic era and all conceit in your ancestry, (because) all men are descended from Adam, and Adam was made out of clay."
He then recited to them the verse:
# "O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you near Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqűn: i.e. pious and righteous persons who fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)]. Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware." [49:13]
He further added:
# "O you people of Quraish! What do you think of the treatment that I am about to accord to you?"
# "O noble brother and son of noble brother! We expect nothing but goodness from you."
Upon this he said:
# "I speak to you in the same words as Yusuf (the Prophet Joseph) spoke unto his brothers: He said: "No reproach on you this day," [12:92] go your way, for you are freed ones."
As for the door-keeping of Al-Ka‘bah and supplying of water to pilgrims, the Prophet ordered that these jobs remain in the hand of ‘Uthman bin Talhah and that the key will stay with him and his descendants for ever.
When time for prayer approached, Bilal ascended Al-Ka‘bah and called for prayer. Abu Sufyan bin Harb, ‘Itab bin Usaid and Al-Harith bin Hisham were meanwhile sitting in the yard. ‘Itab bin Usaid commented on the new situation (Bilal ascending Al-Ka‘bah and calling for prayer) saying that Allâh honoured Usaid (his father) having not heard such words. The Prophet approached and assisted by Divine Revelation told them that he had learnt about what they had spoken of. Al-Harith and ‘Itab, taken by incredible surprise, immediately professed Islam and bore witness to the Messengership of Muhammad adding that "We swear by Allâh that none had been with us to inform you."
On that very day, the Prophet entered ‘Umm Hani’s house where he washed and offered prayers of victory. ‘Umm Hani had sheltered two Makkan relatives of hers in her house in which act she was granted support by the Prophet .
Shedding blood of nine arch-criminals was declared lawful even under the curtains of Al-Ka‘bah. Nevertheless, only four of them were killed while the others were pardoned for different reasons. As for those who were killed, mention could be made of ‘Abdul ‘Uzza bin Khatal who had become a Muslim and then deputed to collect alms-tax in the company of a Helper. They had also a slave with them. ‘Abdullah, in a fit of rage, killed the Helper’s slave on account of a mere trifling dispute, and joined the pagan Arabs as an apostate. He was never repentant at this heinous crime but rather employed two women singers and incited them to sing satirically about the Prophet .
The other man who was put to death was Miqyas bin Sababa. He was a Muslim. A Helper accidently killed his brother Hisham. The Prophet had arranged the payment of blood money to him, which he had accepted. His revengeful nature, however, was never appeased, so he killed the Helper and went to Makkah as an apostate.
Similarly, Huwairith and one woman singer went to death.
On the other hand, every attempt was made to grant pardon to the people. ‘Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl, who had attacked Khalid’s detachment at the time of the entry into Makkah, was forgiven. To Wahshi, the murderer of Hamzah, the Prophet’s uncle, and to Hind, who had chewed his liver, was also extended his generous clemency. The same generous treatment was accorded to Habar who had attacked the Prophet’s daughter with a spear, while on her way from Makkah to Madinah, so grievously that she ultimately died of the fatal injuries.
In the same context of magnanimity peculiar to Muhammad , two chiefs of Quraish were pardoned once they had embraced Islam. They were Safwan bin Omaiyah and Fudalah bin ‘Umair. The latter had attempted to assassinate the Prophet while circumambulating in the Holy Sanctuary. The Prophet’s matchless tolerance and broad-mindedness instigated by his mission as ‘A mercy to all people’, converted a terrible hypocrite into a faithful devout believer.
On the second day of the great conquest, the Prophet stood up and addressed the people in matters relating to the holy status of Makkah. After entertaining Allâh’s praise, he proclaimed that Makkah was a holy land and would remain so till the Day of Judgement. No bloodshed was allowed therein. Should anyone take the liberty of fighting within Makkah on grounds derived from the events that characterized the conquest, he should remember that it had been a licence granted temporarily to the Prophet, and virtually does not go for others. Ibn ‘Abbas - may Allah be pleased with him - narrated: The Prophet said: "Allâh has made Makkah, a sanctuary, so it was a sanctuary before me and will continue to be a sanctuary after me. It was made legal for me (i.e. I was allowed to fight in it) for a few hours of a day. It is not allowed to uproot its shrubs or to cut its trees, or to chase (or disturb) its game, or to pick up its fallen things except by a person who would announce that (what has found) publicly." Al-‘Abbas said: "O Allâh’s Messenger! Except the lemon grass (for it is used) by our goldsmiths and for our homes." The Prophet then said: "Except the lemon grass."
In this context, out of the spirit of revenge, the tribesmen of Khuza‘ah killed a man from Laith Tribe. Here the Prophet was indignant and ordered Khuza‘ah to stop those pre-Islamic practices. He, moreover, gave the family of anyone killed the right to consider either of two options, blood-money or just retribution (the killer is killed).
After having delivered his address, the Prophet rode to a small hill, Safa, not far from Al-Ka‘bah. Turning his face towards the Sacred House, amidst a vast admiring and devotional multitude, he raised his hand in fervent prayer to Allâh. The citizens of Madinah who had gathered round him entertained fear, as Allâh had given him victory over his native city, he might choose to stay here. He insisted on explanation of their fear and so they spoke openly. He immediately dispelled their fears and assured them that he had lived with them and would die with them.
Immediately after the great conquest, the Makkans came to realize that the only way to success lay in the avenue of Islam. They complied with the new realities and gathered to pledge fealty to the Prophet . The men came first pledging full obedience in all areas they can afford. Then came the women to follow the men’s example. The Prophet with ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab receiving the pledge of fealty and communicating to them for him. Hind bint ‘Utbah, Abu Sufyan’s wife, came in the trail of women disguised lest the Prophet should recognize and account for her, having chewed the liver of Hamzah, his uncle. The Prophet accepted their allegiance on condition that they associate none with Allâh, to which they immediately agreed. He added that they should not practise theft. Here Hind complained that her husband, Abu Sufyan, was tight-fisted. Her husband interrupted granting all his worldly possessions to her. The Prophet laughed and recognized the woman. She implored him to extend his pardon to her and efface all her previous sins. Some other conditions were appended including the prohibition of adultery, infanticide or forging falsehood. To all these orders, Hind replied positively swearing that she would not have come to take an oath of allegiance if she had had the least seed of disobedience to him. On returning home, she broke her idol admitting her delusion as regards stone-gods.
The Messenger of Allâh stayed in Makkah for 19 days. During that period he used to define the way to Islam, guide people to the orthodox path. He ordered Abu Usaid Al-Khuza‘i to restore the pillars of the Holy Sanctuary, sent missions to all quarters inviting them to adopt Islam and break down the graven images still lying in the vicinity of Makkah, and he did have all of them scrapped, inculcating in the believers’ ears his words:
# "Whoever believes in Allâh and the Hereafter is supposed to scrap out the idols that should happen to be in his house."
Shortly after the great conquest, the Prophet began to despatch platoons and errands aiming at eliminating the last symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices.
He sent Khalid bin Al-Waleed in Ramadan 8 A.H. to a spot called Nakhlah where there was a goddess called Al-‘Uzza venerated by Quraish and Kinanah tribes. It had custodians from Bani Shaiban. Khalid, at the head of thirty horsemen arrived at the spot and exterminated it. On his return, the Prophet asked him if he had seen anything there, to which Khalid gave a negative answer. Here, he was told that it had not been destroyed and he had to go there again and fulfill the task. He went back again and there he saw a black woman, naked with torn hair. Khalid struck her with his sword into two parts. He returned and narrated the story to the Prophet , who then confirmed the fulfillment of the task.
Later, in the same month, ‘Amr bin Al-‘As was sent on an errand to destroy another idol, venerated by Hudhail, called Suwa‘. It used to stand at a distance of three kilometres from Makkah. On a question posed by the door-keeper, ‘Amr said he had been ordered by the Prophet to knock down the idol. The man warned ‘Amr that he would not be able to do it. ‘Amr was surprised to see someone still in the wrong, approached the idol and destroyed it, then he broke the casket beside it but found nothing. The man immediately embraced Islam.
Sa‘d bin Zaid Al-Ashhali was also sent in the same month and on the same mission to Al-Mashallal to destroy an idol, Manat, venerated by both Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj tribes. Here also a black woman, naked with messy hair appeared wailing and beating on her chest. Sa‘d immediately killed her, destroyed the idol and broke the casket and returned at the conclusion of his errand.
Khalid bin Al-Waleed at the head of 350 horsemen of Helpers, Emigrants and Bani Saleem was despatched once again in the same year 8 A.H. to the habitation of Bani Khuzaimah bedouins to invite them to the fold of Islam. He was instructed to carry out his mission with peace and goodwill. There, the people were not articulate enough to communicate their intentions, so Khalid ordered his men to kill them and take the others as captives. He even had in mind to kill the captives but some of the Companions were opposed to his plan. News of bloodshed reached the Prophet . He was deeply grieved and raised his hands towards the heaven, uttering these words: "O Allâh! I am innocent of what Khalid has done," twice. He immediately sent ‘Ali to make every possible reparation to the tribes who had been wronged. After a careful inquiry, ‘Ali paid the blood-money to all those who suffered loss. The remaining portion was also distributed amongst the members of the tribe in order to alleviate their suffering. Khalid, due to his irrational behaviour, had a row with ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Awf. Hearing this, the Prophet got angry, and ordered Khalid to stop that altercation adding that his Companions (meaning ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Awf) were too high in rank to be involved in such arguments.
That is the story of the conquest of Makkah and the decisive battle that exterminated paganism once and for all. The other tribes in the Arabian Peninsula were waiting and closely watching the final outcome of the bitter struggle between the Muslims and idolaters, already convinced that the Holy Sanctuary would not fall but in the hands of the righteous party. It had been a conviction deeply established in their minds ever since the elephant army of Abraha Al-Ashram advanced from Yemen intending to destroy the Sacred House 50 years before.
Al-Hudaibiyah Peace Treaty was the natural prelude to this great victory in which people believed deeply and over which people talked a lot. The Muslims in Makkah, who had feared to declare their Faith in public, began to appear and work ardently for this new approach of life. People began to convert into Islam in hosts, and the Muslim army that numbered 3000 only in the previous Ghazwah, now came to reach 10,000 in number. In fact, this decisive change provided people with the keen insight to perceive things and the world around them as a whole in a different perceptive. The Muslims were then to steer the whole political and religious affairs of all Arabia. They had monopolised both the religious supremacy and temporal power.
The whole post-Hudaibiyah phase had been well-fledged in favour of the new Islamic movement. Streams of the desert Arabians began to pour in paying full homage to the Messenger of Allâh , embracing the new faith and then carrying it to different quarters for propagation.
The Third Stage
The third and last stage of the life of the Messenger embodies the fruitful results of his call to Islam, which were the consequences of long-timed holy fights in the way of Allâh (Jihad), troubles, toil, disturbances, trials and a lot of bloody conflicts and battles, which lasted for over twenty years.
The conquest of Makkah was considered the most serious profit achieved by Muslims during those years. For it affected the course of events and consequently altered the Arabs’ whole life. It was a decisive distinction between preconquest and post-conquest periods. For Quraish, at that time, was in the eyes of Arabs the defenders and helpers of Arabs. Other Arabs are only their ancillaries. The submission of Quraish is, therefore, estimated to be a final elimination of paganism in the Arabian Peninsula.
This stage can be divided into two main phases:
The phase of: (1) holy wars and fighting.
(2) the tribes and people’s race to embrace Islam.
Being so close and rather inseparable, the two phases of this stage intervene in such a way that a happening of one phase occurs during the progress of the other. However, we have preferred — for expository purposes — to deal with these two phases distinctively. The fighting phase was given the priority in order, due to the fact that it is more intimate and fit than the other.
The conquest of Makkah which came forth as a consequence of a swift blow astounded both the Arabs and other tribes who realized that they were doomed and had to submit to the new situation as a fait accompli. Some of the fierce, powerful proud tribes did not submit and favoured resistance. Ahead of these were the septs of Hawazin and Thaqif. Nasr, Jashm and Sa‘d bin Bakr and people of Bani Hilal — all of whom of Qais ‘Ailan. They thought that they were too mighty to admit or surrender to such a victory. So they met Malik bin ‘Awf An-Nasri and made up their mind to proceed fighting against the Muslims.
The Enemy’s March and their Encampment at Awtas:
When Malik bin ‘Awf — the general leader — decided to march and fight the Muslims, he made his countrypeople take their wealth, women and children with them to Awtas — which is a valley in Hawazin land and is quite near Hunain. It differs from Hunain in its being adjacent to Dhi-Al-Majaz which is around ten miles from Makkah in ‘Arafat’s direction.
The War-experienced Man wrongs the Leader’s Judgement:
As soon as they had camped in Awtas, people crowded round Malik. The old sane Duraid bin As-Simmah, who was well-known as a war-experienced man, and who was among those who gathered round Malik, asked: "What valley are we in?" "In Awtas," they said. "What a good course it is for horses! It is neither a sharp pointed height nor a loosed soiled plain. What? Why do I hear camels’ growling, the donkeys’ braying, the children’s cries and the sheep bleating?" asked Duraid. They said: "Malik bin ‘Awf had made people bring their women, properties and children with them." So he called Malik and asked him what made him do such a thing. Malik said that his aim was to have everybody’s family and properties around them so that they fight fiercely to protect them." "I swear by Allâh that you are nothing but a shepherd," answered Duraid, "Do you believe that there is anything whatsoever, can stand in the way of a defeated one or stop him from fleeing? If you win the battle you avail nothing but a man with a sword and a spear; but if you lose you will bring disgrace on your people and properties," then he resumed his talk and went on wondering about some septs and their leaders. "O Malik, thrusting the distinguished people of Hawazin into the battlefield will avail you nothing. Raise them up to where they can be safe. Then make the young people mount their horses and fight. If you win, those whom you tarried will follow you, but if you were the loser it would be a loss of a battle, but your kinsmen, people and properties would not be lost."
But Malik, the general leader, refused this suggestion. "By Allâh," he said, "I will not do such a thing. You must have grown a senile. Hawazin have to obey me, or else I will lean my body against this sword so that it penetrates through my back." He rejected any sort of contribution of Duraid’s in that concern.
"We obey you," said his people, Duraid consequently said: "Today is a day that I have not missed but surely I will not be tempted to witness."
Reconnoitering the Weapons of the Messenger of Allâh :
The spies that Malik had already dispatched to spy Muslim forces, returned with their limbs cut off. "Woe unto you! What happened to you?" Said Malik. They said: "We have seen distinguished people on spotted horsebacks. What you see, would not have happened if we had been firmly together."
Reconnoitering the Enemy’s Weapons:
News about the enemy’s marching were conveyed to the Messenger of Allâh , so he sent out Al-Aslami with orders to mix with people, stay with them so that he would be able to know their news and to convey it to the Messenger of Allâh when he turns back. That was exactly what he managed to do.
The Messenger of Allâh leaves Makkah for Hunain:
On Shawwal, the nineteenth, the captive day, the Messenger of Allâh left Makkah accompanied by twelve thousand Muslims. Ten thousand of those had previously shared in Makkah Conquest. A great number of the other two thousand, who were Makkans, had recently embraced Islam. That march was on the nineteenth day of his conquest to Makkah. He borrowed a hundred armours with their equipment from Safwan bin Omaiyah. He appointed ‘Itab bin Usaid as a governor over Makkah. When it was evening time, a horseman came to the Messenger of Allâh and said: "I have climbed up so and so mountains and came across Hawazin with their riding camels, livestock and sheep. Hawazin wholly were gathered together there." The Messenger of Allâh smiled then and said: "They will all be Muslims’ spoils tomorrow, if Allâh will." That night Anas bin Abi Murthid Al-Ghanawi volunteered to guard.
On their way to Hunain they saw a great green Nabk plant, that was called Dhat-Anwat (the one with suspenders). That was because the Arabs used to hang their weapons on it, slay beasts under it and keep to it. So some of army members asked the Messenger of Allâh to make them a Nabk with suspenders as the one they had. "Allâh is the Greatest of all!" He said, "I swear by the One in Whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul, that you have just said what the people of Moses said to him. They said ‘Make us a god as the one they have.’ Surely you are ignorant people. These are Sunnah, but you will follow and comply with the modes of life of those who preceded you."
Seeing how great in number the army was, some of them said: "We shall not be defeated." Their statement sounded hard upon the Messenger of Allâh .
The Islamic Army stunned the Archers and the Attackers:
On Wednesday night the tenth of Shawwal, the Muslim army arrived at Hunain. Malik bin ‘Awf, who had previously entered the valley by night, gave orders to his army to hide inside the valley and lurk for the Muslims on roads, entrances, narrow hiding places. His orders to his men were to hurl stones at Muslims whenever they caught sight of them and then to make a one-man attack against them.
At early dawn the Messenger of Allâh started mobilizing his army and distributing posts and flags to people. In the dark and just before dawn the Muslims moved towards Hunain Valley. They started descending into it unaware of the presence of an enemy lurking for them inside the valley. So at the moment they were camping, arrows began showering intensively at them, whereas the enemy’s battalions started a fierce attack against the Muslims, who had to retreat in disorder and utter confusion. It was such a shatteringly defeat that Abu Sufyan bin Harb, who had recently embraced Islam, said that their retreat would not stop till they got to the Red Sea. Jablah or Kildah bin Al-Junaid commented on that by saying: "Surely magic has grown inactive today."
The Messenger of Allâh turned to the right and said: "Come on, people! I am the Messenger of Allâh. I am Muhammad, the son of Abdullah." Those who stoodfast by him were only few Emigrants and some of his kinsmen. The matchless bravery of the Prophet was then brought to light. He went on and on in his attempts to make his mule standfast in the face of the disbelievers while saying loudly:
# "Truly saying, I am the Prophet
I am the (grand) son of Abdul Muttalib."
However, Abu Sufyan, who was then holding the rein of the Prophet’s mule, and Al-‘Abbas, who was holding its stirrup; were endeavouring to make it halt. The Messenger of Allâh dismounted and asked his Lord to render him help.
# "O, Allâh, send down Your Help!"
Mulsims’ return to the Battlefield, and the fierceness of the Fight:
The Messenger of Allâh ordered his uncle Al-‘Abbas — who was a sonorous voiced man — to call out on the followers. As loudly as he could, Al-‘Abbas shouted: "Where are the lancers?" "By Allâh," Al-‘Abbas said, "Upon hearing my voice calling them back, they turned round to the battlefield as if they had been oryxes (wild cows) tending towards their calves."
"Here we are, at your service. Here we are." They said. There you see them trying to stop their camels and reverse to the battle. He who was unable to force his camel to turn back, would take his armour, fling it round his neck, and hastily dismount his camel with his weapon in his hand letting his camel move freely and run towards the voice source. Voices would grow louder and louder till a hundred of them gathered round the Prophet and resumed the fight.
Those who were called out upon next were Al-Ansar, the Helpers, "O, folks of Al-Ansar! Folks of Al-Ansar!"
The last group to be called out upon were Bani Al-Harith bin Al-Khazraj. Muslims battalions poured successively into the battlefield in the same manner that they had left it. The stamina of both parties was superb. Both of them stoodfast and fought fiercely. The Messenger of Allâh was so eagerly and furiously watching the battle that he said:
# "Now the fight has grown fierce."
Picking up a handful of earth, he hurled it at their faces while saying:
# "May your faces be shameful."
Their eyes were thick with dust and the enemy began to retreat in utter confusion.
Reverse of Fortunes and the Enemy’s utter Defeat:
Few hours had elapsed since the earth-handful was hurled at the enemy’s faces, when they were shatteringly defeated. About seventy men of Thaqif alone were killed, and the Muslims plundered all their riding camels, weapons and cattle.
Allâh, Glory is to Him, alluded to this sudden change in the Qur’ân when He said:
# "…and on the Day of Hunain (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight. Then Allâh did send down His Sakinah (calmness, tranquillity, and reassurance, etc.) on the Messenger (Muhammad ) and on the believers, and sent down forces (angels) which you saw not, and punished the disbelievers. Such is the recompense of disbelievers." [9:25,26]
Hot Pursuit of the Enemy:
After their defeat, some enemy troops headed for Ta’if, others to Nakhlah and Awtas. A group of Muslims headed by Abu ‘Amir Al-Ash‘ ari, were despatched to chase the enemy, some skirmishes took place during which Abu ‘Amir was killed.
A similar battalion of horsemen pursued the idolaters who threaded the track to Nakhlah and caught up with Duraid bin As-Simmah, who was killed by Rabi‘a bin Rafi‘. After collecting the booty, the Messenger of Allâh left for Ta’if to face the greatest number of the defeated idolaters. The booty was six thousand captives, twenty four thousand camels; over forty thousand sheep and four thousand silver ounces. The Messenger of Allâh gave orders that booty should be confined at Al-J‘iranah and ordained Mas‘ud bin ‘Amr Al-Ghifari to be in charge of it. It was only when he was entirely free from Ta’if Campaign, that one of the captives As-Shaimâ’, the daughter of Al-Harith As-Sa‘diya, the Messenger’s foster sister was brought to the Messenger of Allâh , she introduced herself to him. Upon recognizing her by a certain mark, he honoured her, spread for her his garment and seated her on it. He was graceful and released her and made her turn back to her people.
Ta’if Campaign is in fact an extension of Hunain Ghazwah; that is because the majority of the defeated troops of Hawazin and Thaqif went into Ta’if with the general commander — Malik bin ‘Awf An-Nasri — and fortified themselves within it. So upon finishing with Hunain Invasion, he gathered the booty at Al-Ji‘ranah in the very month (i.e. Shawwal) and in the eighth year A.H.
A vanguard battalion of a thousand men led by Khalid bin Al-Waleed marched towards At-Ta’if. Whereas the Messenger of Allâh proceeded passing through Nakhlah Al-Yamaniyah, Qarn Al-Manazil and through Laiyah. At Laiyah there was a castle that belonged to Malik bin ‘Awf, so the Messenger of Allâh gave orders to have it destroyed. He resumed his march till he got to Ta’if. There he dismounted, camped near its castle and laid siege to the castle inhabitants; but not for long.
How long the siege continued, is still a matter of disagreement. It however stands between 10-20 days.
A lot of arrow-shooting and rock-hurling occurred during the siege. For as soon as the Muslims laid siege round the castle, its people started shooting arrows against them. The arrows were so intense and fierce that they looked as if they had been locusts on the move. A number of Muslims were wounded and twelve were killed.
To be far from the arrow-range, the Muslims had to ascend to a higher location and camped on — i.e. to what is now called At-Ta’if Mosque. The Prophet set up a mangonel and shelled the castle. Eventually a gap was made in the castle wall, through which a number of Muslims managed to pass into the castle, sheltered by a wooden tank, with the purpose of setting fire into it. Anyway, the enemy poured down molten hot iron on them. Affected by this the Muslims stepped out of the tank and were again exposed to arrow shooting and consequently some of them were killed.
To force the enemy to surrender, the Prophet tended to a war policy of burning and cutting the enemy’s crops. His order was to cut their vineyards and burn them. Seeing that the Muslims started rapidly cutting and burning their vines, they implored the Prophet to stop and have mercy on them for the sake of Allâh and out of kinship motives. So the Prophet agreed. When the caller of the Messenger of Allâh called out unto people saying "He whosoever descends and steps out of the castle is free." Twenty-three men came out. One of them was Abu Bakrah who tied himself to a wall and let himself down by means of a small wheel, that would normally be used for drawing up water from a well. The way he let himself down made the Prophet nickname him "Abu Bakrah", i.e. the man with the wheel. The Messenger of Allâh set them all free and entrusted each one of them to a Muslim to care about their living affairs, which was too hard for the castle folkspeople to bear.
Seeing that the siege lasted too long and that the castle was immune and could stand any siege (for they had already stored a supply that suffices for over a year) and that the Muslims were suffering — day by day — from arrow-shots and heated iron hooks, the Messenger of Allâh consulted Nawfal bin Mu‘âwiyah Ad-Daili about that. He said: "They are like a fox hiding inside its burrow. If you stoodfast at it you would catch it, but if you parted with it, no harm would afflict you." The Messenger of Allâh decided to lift the siege and depart. ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, who was ordered by the Prophet to notify people, said to them "If Allâh will, we are leaving the castle and going back tomorrow." As it was too hard for the Muslims to go back and leave the castle unconquered they complained saying, "Should we go away while the castle is still unopened?" His reply was: "Then, start fighting in the morning." In the morning they fought and were wounded. So when he repeated this statement: "If Allâh will, we are leaving the castle and going back tomorrow", they were pleased and carried out the order submissively and started moving, which made the Messenger of Allâh laugh.
As soon as they mounted and started moving the Messenger said:
# "Say! Here we are returning, repenting, worshipping (Allâh) and to our Lord we offer praise."
When the Messenger of Allâh was asked to invoke Allâh against Thaqif, he said:
# "O Allâh, guide Thaqif and bring them to us as Muslims."
The Distribution of the Booty at Al-Ji‘ranah:
Upon returning and lifting the siege in Ta’if, the Messenger of Allâh had stayed over ten nights at Al-Ji‘ranah before starting to distribute the booty. Distribution delay was due to the Prophet’s hope that Hawazin’s delegation might arrive and announce their repentance and consequently reclaim their loss. Seeing that none of them arrived, he started dividing the booty so as to calm down the tribes’ chiefs and the celebrities of Makkah. The first to receive booty and the ones who obtained the greatest number of shares were the people who had recently embraced Islam.
Abu Sufyan bin Harb was given a hundred camels and forty (gold) ounces and yet he said, "What about my son, Yazeed’s Share?" So he was given the same quantity for his son as well. But yet he exclaimed: "And what about the share of Mu‘âwiyah, my second son?" So the Prophet gave Mu‘âwiyah as much as he gave his father and brother. Hakeem bin Hizam was given a hundred camels, but he was given a hundred more when he demanded. Safwan bin Omaiyah was given three hundred camels - a hundred camels at each time. It is thus mentioned in Shifâ’, Book by Qadi Iyadh. The Prophet gave Al-Harith bin Harith bin Kilda a hundred camels. He also gave some chiefs of Quraish and other clans a hundred camels; he gave others fifty and some others had forty.
Eventually it was spread among people that "Muhammad grants generously and fears not to grow poor." This made bedouins gather around him expecting to be given some wealth. They were so many that they forced the Prophet to seek refuge against a tree and they even took away his garment, "O people!" He said, "Give me back my garment! For I swear by the One in Whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul, that if I had as many numerous camels as the number of Tihama trees, I would distribute them among you. You know quite well that I am neither mean nor coward or a liar." Standing by his camel he plucked out a hair of his camel’s hump and held it between his two fingers, lifted it up and said: "O people, I swear by Allâh that I get nothing but one-fifth of your booty, and this very fifth goes back to you."
As soon as he had given the new converts, the Messenger of Allâh ordered Zaid bin Thabit to fetch the booty and summon people. Then he ordained shares to people. A footman’s share was four camels and forty sheep, and a horseman would take twelve camels and a hundred and twenty sheep. This distribution of booty was based on a wise policy. In this world there are lots of people who know the truth only when it comes through their stomachs and they do not recognize it if it comes through their brains. The similitude of such people is as the guidance of an animal to its herd by means of a bunch of clover held at a constant distance off its mouth. The animal would try all the time to catch it, so it would eventually go into the herd safely. In the same way you have to do various kinds of temptations to make certain kind of people familiarize Islam and be pleased with.
The Helpers (Al-Ansar) are furious at the Messenger of Allâh :
At first the Prophet’s policy of distribution was uncomprehended by many a man. Therefore sharp-tongued people started expressing their objections. The Helpers were among those who were afflicted by this policy. They were deprived of Hunain gifts though they had been the ones who were summoned at Hunain hard times and they were the first to rush to fight with the Messenger of Allâh and standfast till the defeat turned into victory. Now here they are watching those who escaped fill their hands with booty while they are given nothing.
On the authority of Ibn Ishaq: "When the Messenger of Allâh had given Quraish and Arab tribes those gifts and allotted nothing to the Helpers, a group of the Helpers felt so uneasy about it that a lot of ill-statements against the Prophet were spread among them to an extent that one of them said: "By Allâh, the Messenger of Allâh was ill-spoken of by his folksmen!" And those ill-statements went on spreading till Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah met the Messenger of Allâh , who in his turn faced his people after a while.
Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah said: "O Messenger of Allâh, this group of the Helpers are furious at you about the distribution of the booty that you had won. You have allotted shares to your own kinsmen and forwarded lots of gifts to the Arab tribes. But this group has obtained nothing." The Prophet asked Sa‘d exclaiming: "Sa‘d, what do you think of all that?" Sa‘d replied: "O Messenger of Allâh. You know that I am nothing but a member of this group." "Call out on your people and bring them forth to me into this shed." Said the Prophet .
So Sa‘d went out and summoned them. When some Emigrants came, he let them in but forbade others. When they were all gathered together, he informed the Prophet saying: "This group of the Helpers have just arrived to meet you in compliance with your orders." As soon as the Messenger faced them he thanked Allâh and praised Him, then said to them inquiring, "I have been told that you are angry with me. Didn’t I come to you when you were astray and Allâh guided you? You were poor and Allâh gave you wealth. Weren’t you foes and Allâh made you love one another." "Yes," they said, "Allâh and His Messenger are better and more gracious." Then he said: "What prevents you from replying to the Messenger of Allâh, O tribe of Helpers?" They said, "What should be the reply, O Messenger of Allâh, while to the Lord and to his Messenger belong all benevolence and grace."
The Prophet again said:
# "But by Allâh, you 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 to us as helpless and we helped you; a fugitive, and we took you in; poor and we comforted you’.
You Helpers, do you feel anxious for the things of this world, wherewith I have sought to incline these people unto the Faith in which you are already established?
Are you not satisfied, O group of Helpers that the people go with ewes and camels while you go along with the Messenger of Allâh () to your dwellings. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, had there been no migration, I would have been one of the Helpers. If the people would go through a valley and passage, and the Helpers go through another valley and passage, I would go through the valley and passage of the Helpers. Allâh! Have mercy on the Helpers, their children and their children’s children."
The audience wept until tears rolled down their beards as they said:
# "Yes, we are satisfied, O Prophet of Allâh ( )! with our lot and share."
Then the Prophet left the gathering and the people also dispersed.
Arrival of the Hawazin Delegation:
Hawazin’s delegation arrived a Muslims just after the distribution of spoils. They were fourteen men headed by Zuhair bin Sard. The Messenger’s foster uncle was one of them. They asked him to bestow upon them some of the wealth and spoils. They uttered so touching words that the Messenger of Allâh said to them: "You surely see who are with me. The most desirable speech to me is the most truthful. Which is dearer to you, your wealth or your women and children?" They replied: "Nothing whatsoever compares with kinship." Then when I perform the noon prayer, stand up and say: "We intercede with the Messenger of Allâh to exhort the believers, and we intercede with the believers to exhort the Messenger of Allâh to forego the captives of our people fallen to their lot." So when the Messenger of Allâh performed the noon prayer, they stood up and said what they had been told to say. The Messenger , then, said: "As for what belongs to me and to the children of Abdul Muttalib, you may consider them, from now on, yours. And I will ask my folksmen to give back theirs." Upon hearing that the Emigrants and the Helpers said: "What belongs to us is, from now on, offered to the Messenger of Allâh ." But Al-Aqra‘ bin Habis said, "We will grant none of what belongs to me and to Bani Tamim,"; so did ‘Uyaina bin Hisn, who said: "As for me and Bani Fazarah, I say ‘No’." Al-‘Abbas bin Mirdas also refused and said: "No" for Bani Saleem and him. His people, however, said otherwise: "Whatever spoils belong to us we offer to the Messenger of Allâh (.)" "You have undermined my position." Said Al-‘Abbas bin Mirdas spontaneously. Then the Messenger of Allâh said: "These people have come to you as Muslims. For this I have already tarried the distribution of the booty. Besides, I have granted them a fair option but they refused to have anything other than their women and children. Therefore he who has some of theirs and will prefer willingly to give them back, let them do. But those who favours to keep what he owns to himself, let them grant them back too, and he will be given as a recompense six times as much from the first booty that Allâh may provide us." People then said, "We will willingly offer them all for the sake of the Messenger of Allâh." The Messenger of Allâh said: "But in this way we are not able to find out who is content and who is not. So go back and we will be waiting for your chiefs to convey to us your decisions." All of them gave back the women and children. The only one who refused to comply with the Messenger’s desire was ‘Uyaina bin Hisn. He refused to let an old woman of theirs go back at first. Later on he let her go back. The Messenger of Allâh gave every captive a garment as a gift.
Lesser Pilgrimage (Al-‘Umrah) to Makkah and leaving for Madinah:
Having accomplished the distribution of the spoils at Al-Ji‘ranah he left it while wearing Al-‘Umrah clothes and proceeded to Makkah to perform Al-‘Umrah. The Messenger of Allâh turned back from there to Madinah after appointing ‘Itab bin Usaid on Makkah as governor. His arrival to Madinah was by the last six nights of Dhul-Qa‘dah, in the year 8 A.H. On this occasion Muhammad Al-Ghazali said:
"What a great change it is between the victorious period of Muhammad at present which Allâh has towered with a manifest conquest, and that period of the past during which Muhammad first arrived at this town, eight years ago."
When he first came to Madinah, he was pursued and wanted. He was seeking a secure shelter. He was a lonely stranger who sought companionship and comfort. The people of Madinah welcomed him, gave him residence and aided him and embraced the light of Islam, which had been sent down upon him. They, for his sake, did not care about the enmity of other peoples. Here he is entering Madinah again, after the lapse of eight years of that first visit. Madinah, the town that had received him once, when he was a frightened Emigrant; it receives him once again when Makkah has become in his hands and at his disposal. It is Makkah that has got rid of its pride and Jahiliyah (i.e. pre-Islamic period and traditions). It is now proud again and mighty in Islam. The Messenger of Allâh forgave all the errors and wrongs of its people.
# "Verily, he who fears Allâh with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allâh makes not the reward of the good-doers to be lost." [12:90]
Missions and Platoons
After the Conquest
Upon returning from this long successful travel, the Messenger of Allâh stayed in Madinah where he received delegates and dispatched agents and appointed preachers and callers to Islam everywhere. Those whose hearts were still full of prejudice against Islam and therefore were too proud to embrace Allâh’s religion, were decisively muffled on their non-acquiescence in the status quo prevalent then in Arabia.
Here is a mini-image about the believed ones. We have already stated that the Messenger’s arrival in Madinah was by the last days of the eighth year of Al-Hijra. No sooner the crescent of Muharram of the ninth year turned up than the Messenger of Allâh dispatched the believed ones, to the tribes as shown in the list below:
# 1. ‘Uyaina bin Hisn to Bani Tamim.
2. Yazeed bin Husain to Aslam and Ghifar.
3. ‘Abbad bin Bishr Al-Ashhali to Sulaim and Muzainah.
4. Rafi‘ bin Mukaith to Juhainah.
5. ‘Amr bin Al-‘As to Bani Fazarah.
6. Ad-Dahhak bin Sufyan to Bani Kilab.
7. Basheer bin Sufyan to Bani Ka‘b.
8. Ibn Al-Lutabiyah Al-Azdi to Bani Dhubyan.
9. Al-Muhajir bin Abi Omaiyah to Sana‘a’ (Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi called at him when he was in it).
10. Ziyad bin Labid to Hadramout.
11. ‘Adi bin Hatim to Tai’ and Bani Asad.
12. Malik bin Nuwairah to Bani Hanzalah.
13. Az-Zabraqan bin Badr to Bani Sa‘d (a portion of them).
14. Qais bin ‘Asim to Bani Sa‘d (a portion of them).
15. Al-‘Alâ’ bin Al-Hadrami to Al-Bahrain.
16. ‘Ali bin Abi Talib to Najran (to collect Sadaqa & Jizya).
Some of these agents were despatched in Muharram, 7 A.H., others were sent later until the tribes they were heading for had completely converted into Islam. Such a move clearly demonstrates the great success that the Islamic Da‘wah (Call) enjoyed after Al-Hudaibiyah Treaty. However, shortly after the conquest of Makkah, people began to embrace Islam in large hosts.
In the same way that the believed ones were dispatched to the tribes, we understand that dispatching some more platoons to all regions of Arabia is a necessity for the prevalence and domination of security on all lands of Arabia.
Here is a list of those platoons:
1. ‘Uyaina bin Hisn Al-Fazari’s platoon in Al-Muharram, the ninth year of Al-Hijra to Bani Tamim. It consisted of fifty horsemen, none of them was an Emigrant or a Helper.
2. This expedition was dispatched due to the fact that Bani Tamim had already urged other tribes not to pay tribute (Al-Jizya) and eventually stopped them from paying it.
3. Therefore, ‘Uyaina bin Hisn set out to fight them. All the way long he marched by night and lurked by day. He went on that way till he overtook them and attacked them in the desert. They fled back for their lives. Eleven men, twenty-one women and thirty boys were captured then. He drove them back to Madinah and were housed in Ramlah bint Al-Harith’s residence. Ten of their leaders, who came to the Prophet’s door, called out unto him saying: "O Muhammad come out and face us." When he went out they held him and started talking.
4. He exchanged talk with them for a while then left them and went to perform the noon-prayer. After prayer he sat in the mosque-patio. They proclaimed a desire to show boasting and self-pride. For this purpose they introduced their orator ‘Utarid bin Hajib who delivered his speech. The Messenger of Allâh asked Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas — the Muslim orator — to respond. He did that. In return, they brought forth their poet Az-Zabraqan bin Badr who recited some boastful poetry. Hassan bin Thabit, the poet of Islam, promptly replied back. When talks and poetry came to an end, Al-Aqra‘ bin Habis said: "Their orator is more eloquent than ours, and their poet is more poetically learned than ours. Their voices and sayings excel ours, as well." Eventually they announced their embracing Islam. Consequently, the Messenger of Allâh acknowledged their Islamization, awarded them well, and rendered them back their women and children.
5. A platoon headed by Qutbah bin ‘Amir to a spot called Khath‘am in Tabalah, a plot of land not far from Turbah. That was in Safar, 9 A.H. Accompanied by twenty men and only ten camels to mount alternatively on, Qutbah raided them and fought so fiercely that a great number of both parties were wounded and some others were killed. The Muslims drove back with them camels, women and sheep to Madinah.
6. The mission of Dahhak bin Sufyan Al-Kilabi to Bani Kilab in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal in the year 9 A.H. This mission was sent to Bani Kilab to call them to embrace Islam. Refusing to embrace Islam, they started to fight against the Muslims, but were defeated and sustained one man killed.
7. The three hundred men expedition of ‘Alqamah bin Mujazziz Al-Mudlaji to Jeddah shores in Rabi‘ Al-Akhir. This expedition was dispatched to fight against some men from (Al-Habasha) Abyssinia (Ethiopia), who gathered together near the shores of Jeddah and exercised acts of piracy against the Makkans. Therefore he crossed the sea till he got to an island. But as soon as the pirates had learned of Muslims’ arrival, they fled.
8. The task of the platoon of ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was to demolish Al-Qullus, which was an idol that belonged to Tai’ tribe. That was in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal in the year 9 A.H. ‘Ali was dispatched by the Messenger of Allâh with one hundred fifty men. A hundred of them were on camels. The other fifty were on horseback. He held a black flag and a white banner.
# At dawn they raided Mahallat Hatim, demolished the idol and filled their hands with spoils, camels and sheep booties, whereas ‘Adi fled to Ash-Sham. The sister of ‘Adi bin Hatim was one of the captives. Inside Al-Qullus safe, Muslims found three swords and three armours. On the way they distributed the spoils and put aside the best things to the Messenger of Allâh . They did not share the Hatims.
Upon arrival in Madinah, the sister of ‘Adi bin Hatim begged the Messenger of Allâh to have mercy on her and said: "O Messenger of Allâh, my brother is absent and father is dead, and I am too old to render any service. Be beneficent to me so that Allâh may be bountiful to you." He said: "Who is your brother?" She said: "It is ‘Adi bin Hatim." "Is he not the one who fled from Allâh and his Messenger?" Said the Prophet then went away from her. Next day she reiterated the same thing as the day before and received the same answer. A day later she uttered similar words, this time he made benefaction to her. The man who was beside the Prophet, and whom she thought to be ‘Ali, said to her: "Ask for an animal from him to ride on." And she was granted her request.
She returned to Ash-Sham where she met her brother and said to him: "The Messenger of Allâh has done me such noble deed that your father would never have done it. Therefore, willy-nilly, frightened or secure, you should go and see him." Unsecure neither protected by some one, not even recommended by a letter as a means of protection, ‘Adi came and met the Prophet. The Messenger of Allâh took him home with him. As soon as he sat before him, the Messenger of Allâh thanked Allâh and praised him, then said: "What makes you flee? Do you flee lest you should say there is no god but Allâh? Do you know any other god but Allâh?" "No" he said, then talked for a while. The Messenger of Allâh went on saying: "Certainly you flee so that you may not hear the statement saying ‘Allâh is the Greatest.’ Do you know anyone who is greater than Allâh?" "No" he said. "The Jews are those whose portion is wrath, and the Christians are those who have gone astray," the Prophet retorted. "I am a Muslim and I believe in one God (Allâh)." ‘Adi finally proclaimed with a joyous face. The Prophet ordered him a residence with one of the Helpers. From that time he started calling at the Prophet in the mornings and in the evenings.
On the authority of Ibn Ishaq, when the Prophet made him sit down in front of him in his house, the Prophet said, "O ‘Adi, were you not cast in disbelief?" "Yes". ‘Adi said. "Did you not share one quarter of your people’s gains?" "Yes". Said ‘Adi. The Messenger of Allâh said: "It is sinful in your religion to do such a thing, and you should not allow yourself to do it." "Yes, by Allâh, that is true", said ‘Adi. "Thus I worked out that he was a Prophet inspired by Allâh, and sent to people. He knows what is unknown."
In another version, the Prophet said: "‘Adi, embrace Islam and you shall be secure." "But I am a man of religion." Said ‘Adi. "I know your religion better than you." Said the Prophet. "Do you know my religion better than me?" ‘Adi asked. The Prophet replied, "Yes". He said: "Are you not cast in disbelief because you appropriate to yourself the fourth of your people’s gains?" "Yes". Said ‘Adi. "It is unlawful in your religion to do such a thing." The Prophet said, and ‘‘Adi added: "He did not need to say it again for I immediately acquiesced it."
Al-Bukhari narrates that ‘Adi said: While we were with the Prophet , a man came in and complained to him about poverty. Then another man came in and complained about highway robbery. The Messenger of Allâh then said: "O ‘Adi, have you ever been to Al-Hirah? If you were doomed to live long life, you would be able to see a riding camel woman travel from Hirah till it circumambulates Al-Ka‘bah fearing none but Allâh; and if you were to live long enough you would open the treasures of Kisra. And if you were to live long you would be able to see man offering a handful of gold or silver to others but none accepts to take it." At the end of this Hadith ‘Adi later on says: "I have seen a riding camel woman travel from Al-Hirah till it circumambulates the Ka‘bah fearing none but Allâh, I have also been one of those who opened the treasures of Kisra bin Hurmuz. If you were to live long life you would witness what the Prophet, Abul Qasim, had already said about ‘offering a handful of …’ i.e. the Prophet’s prophecies did really come true."
The Invasion of Tabuk
in Rajab, in the Year 9 A.H.
The invasion and the conquest of Makkah was considered a decisive one between the truth and the error. As a result of which, the Arabs had no more doubt in Muhammad’s mission. Thus we see that things went contrary to the pagans’ expectations. People started to embrace Islam, the religion of Allâh, in great numbers. This is manifested clearly in the chapter — The delegations, of this book. It can also be deduced out of the enormous number of people who shared in the Hajjatul-Wadâ‘ (Farewell Pilgrimage). All domestic troubles came to an end. Muslims, eventually felt at ease and started setting up the teachings of Allâh’s Laws and intensifying the Call to Islam.
The underlying Reasons:
The Byzantine power, which was considered the greatest military force on earth at that time, showed an unjustifiable opposition towards Muslims. As we have already mentioned, their opposition started at killing the ambassador of the Messenger of Allâh , Al-Harith bin ‘Umair Al-Azdi, by Sharhabeel bin ‘Amr Al-Ghassani. The ambassador was then carrying a message from the Prophet to the ruler of Busra. We have also stated that the Prophet consequently dispatched a brigade under the command of Zaid bin Haritha, who had a fierce fight against the Byzantines at Mu’tah. Although Muslim forces could not have revenge on those haughty overproud tyrants, the confrontation itself had a great impression on the Arabs, all over Arabia.
Caesar — who could neither ignore the great benefit that Mu’tah Battle had brought to Muslims, nor could he disregard the Arab tribes’ expectations of independence, and their hopes of getting free from his influence and reign, nor he could ignore their alliance to the Muslims — realizing all that, Caesar was aware of the progressive danger threatening his borders, especially Ash-Sham-fronts which were neighbouring Arab lands. So he concluded that demolition of the Muslims power had grown an urgent necessity. This decision of his should, in his opinion, be achieved before the Muslims become too powerful to conquer, and raise troubles and unrest in the adjacent Arab territories.
To meet these exigencies, Caesar mustered a huge army of the Byzantines and pro-Roman Ghassanide tribes to launch a decisive bloody battle against the Muslims.
General News about the Byzantines and Ghassanide Preparations for War.
No sooner news about the Byzantine’s preparations for a decisive invasion against Muslims reached Madinah than fear spread among them. They started to envisage the Byzantine invasion in the least sound they could hear. This could be clearly worked out of what had happened to ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab one day.
The Prophet had taken an oath to stay off his wives for a month in the ninth year of Al-Hijra. Therefore, he deserted them and kept off in a private place. At the beginning, the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh were puzzled and could not work out the reason for such behaviour. They thought the Prophet had divorced them and that was why he was grieved, disturbed and upset. In ‘Umar’s version of the very story he says: "I used to have a Helper friend who often informed me about what happened if I weren’t present, and in return I always informed him of what had taken place during his absence. They both lived in the high part of Madinah. Both of them used to call at the Prophet alternatively during that time of suspense. Then one day I heard my friend, knock at the door saying: "Open up! Open up!" I asked wondering, "What’s the matter? Has the Ghassanide come?" "No it is more serious than that. The Messenger of Allâh has deserted his wives."
In another version, ‘Umar said, "We talked about Ghassanide preparations to invade us. When it was his turn to convey the news to me, he went down and returned in the evening. He knocked at the door violently and said ‘Is he sleeping?’ I was terrified but I went out to meet him. ‘Something serious had taken place.’ He said. ‘Has the Ghassaindes arrived?’ Said I. ‘No,’ he said, ‘it is greater and more serious. The Messenger of Allâh has divorced his wives.’" 
This state of too much alertness manifests clearly the seriousness of the situation that Muslims began to experience. The seriousness of the situation was confirmed to a large degree by the hypocrites behaviour, when news about the Byzantines’ preparations reached Madinah. The fact that the Messenger of Allâh won all the battles he fought, and that no power on earth could make him terrified, and that he had always proved to be able to overcome all the obstacles that stood in his way - did not prevent the hypocrites, who concealed evil in their hearts, from expecting an affliction to fall upon the Muslims and Islam.
They used to harbour evil and ill-intentions against the whole process of Islam and the Muslims. On grounds of illusory hopes of destroying this great religious edifice, they erected a hotbed of conspiracy and intrigue in the form of a mosque — Masjid-e-Darar (the mosque of harm). They approached the Prophet with the request that he should come and consecrate the place by praying in it himself. As he was at the moment about to start for Tabuk, he deferred compliance with their request till his return. Meanwhile he came to know through Divine Revelation that it was not a Mosque for devotion and prayer but a meeting place for the anti-Islamic elements. On his return, therefore, the Prophet sent a party to demolish the new structure.
Particular News about the Byzantine and
Ghassanide Preparations for War:
A magnified image of the prominent danger threatening the Muslims life was carried to them by the Nabateans who brought oil from Ash-Sham to Madinah. They carried news about Heraclius’ preparations and equipment of an enormous army counting over forty thousand fighters besides Lukham, Judham and other tribes allied to the Byzantines. They said that its vanguard had already reached Al-Balqâ’. Thus was the grave situation standing in ambush for the Muslims. The general situation was aggravated seriously by other adverse factors of too much hot weather, drought and the rough and rugged distance they had to cover in case they decided to encounter the imminent danger.
The Messenger of Allâh’s concept and estimation of the situation and its development was more precise and accurate than all others. He thought that if he tarried or dealt passively with the situation in such a way that might enable the Byzantines to paddle through the Islamic controlled provinces or to go as far as Madinah, this would — amid these circumstances — leave the most awful impression on Islam as well as on the Muslims’ military credibility.
The pre-Islamic beliefs and traditions (Al-Jahiliyah) which were at that time dying because of the strong decisive blow that they had already had at Hunain, could have had a way to come back to life once again in such an environment. The hypocrites who were conspiring against the Muslims so that they might stab them in the back whereas Byzantines would attack them from the front. If such a thing came to light and they succeeded in their evil attempts, the Prophet and his Companions’ efforts to spread Islam would collapse and their profits which were the consequences of successive and constant fights and invasions would be invalidated. The Messenger of Allâh realised all that very well. So — in spite of the hardships and drought that Muslims were suffering from — the Prophet was determined that the Muslims should invade the Byzantines and fight a decisive battle at their own borders. He was determined not to tarry at all in order to thwart any Roman attempt to approach the land of Islam.
When the Messenger of Allâh had made up his mind and took his final decision, he ordered his Companions to get ready for war and sent for the Makkans and the other Arab tribes asking for their assistance.
Contrary to his habit of concealing his real intention of the invasion by means of declaring a false one, he announced openly his intention of meeting the Byzantines and fighting them. He cleared the situation to his people so that they would get ready, and urged them to fight in the way of Allâh. On this occasion a part of Surat Bara’a (Chapter 9 — The Repentance) was sent down by Allâh, urging them to steadfastness and stamina.
On the other hand, the Messenger of Allâh cherished them to pay charities and to spend the best of their fortunes in the way of Allâh.
No sooner had the Muslims heard the voice of the Messenger of Allâh calling them to fight the Byzantines than they rushed to comply with his orders. With great speed they started getting ready for war. Tribes and phratries from here and there began pouring in Madinah. Almost all the Muslims responded positively. Only those who had weakness at their hearts favoured to stay behind. They were only three people. Even the needy and the poor who could not afford a ride came to the Messenger of Allâh asking for one so that they would be able to share in the fight against the Byzantines. But when he said:
# "...‘I can find no mounts for you’ they turned back while their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend (for Jihad)." [9:92]
The Muslims raced to spend out money and to pay charities to provide this invasion. ‘Uthman, for instance, who had already rigged two hundred, saddled camels to travel to Ash-Sham, presented them all with two hundred ounces (of gold) as charity. He also fetched a thousand dinars and cast them all into the lap of the Messenger of Allâh , who turned them over and said: "From this day on nothing will harm ‘Uthman regardless of what he does." Again and again ‘Uthman gave till his charity toped to nine hundred camels and a hundred horses, besides the money he paid.
Abdur Rahman bin ‘Awf, on his side, paid two hundred silver ounces, whereas Abu Bakr paid the whole money he had and left nothing but Allâh and His Messenger as a fortune for his family. ‘Umar paid half his fortune. Al-‘Abbas gifted a lot of money. Talhah, Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah and Muhammad bin Maslamah, gave money for the welfare of the invasion. ‘Asim bin ‘Adi, on his turn, offered ninety camel-burdens of dates. People raced to pay little and much charities alike. One of them gave the only half bushel (or the only bushel) he owned. Women shared in this competition by giving the things they owned; such as musk, armlets, anklets, ear-rings and rings. No one abstained from spending out money, or was too mean to grant money or anything except the hypocrites:
# "Those who defame such of the believers who give charity (in Allâh’s cause) voluntarily, and those who could not find to give charity (in Allâh’s cause) except what is available to them, so they mock at them (believers)." [9:79]
The Muslim Army is leaving for Tabuk:
Upon accomplishing the equipment of the army, the Messenger of Allâh ordained that Muhammad bin Maslamah Al-Ansari should be appointed over Madinah — in another version Siba‘ bin ‘Arftah. To ‘Ali bin Abu Talib he entrusted his family’s safety and affairs and ordered him to stay with them. This move made the hypocrites undervalue ‘Ali, so he followed the Messenger of Allâh and caught up with him. But the Prophet made ‘Ali turn back to Madinah after saying: "Would it not suffice you to be my successor in the way that Aaron (Harun) was to Moses’?" Then he proceeded saying: "But no Prophet succeeds me."
On Thursday, the Messenger of Allâh marched northwards to Tabuk. The army that numbered thirty thousand fighters was a great one, when compared with the previous armies of Islam. Muslims had never marched with such a great number before.
Despite all the gifts of wealth and mounts the army was not perfectly equipped. The shortage of provisions and mounts was so serious that eighteen men mounted one camel alternatively. As for provisions, members of the army at times had to eat the leaves of trees till their lips got swollen. Some others had to slaughter camels — though they were so dear — so that they could drink the water of their stomach; that is why that army was called "The army of distress".
On their way to Tabuk, the army of Islam passed by Al-Hijr — which was the native land of Thamud who cut out (huge) rocks in the valley; that is "Al-Qura Valley" of today. They watered from its well but later the Messenger of Allâh told them not to drink of that water, nor perform the ablution with it. The dough they made, he asked them to feed their camels with. He forbade them to eat anything whatsoever of it. As an alternative he told them to water from that well which Prophet Salih’s she-camel used to water from.
On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar: "Upon passing by Al-Hijr the Prophet said:
# "Do not enter the houses of those who erred themselves lest what had happened to them would afflict you, but if you had to do such a thing let it be associated with weeping."
Then he raised his head up and accelerated his strides till he passed the valley out."
Shortage of water and the army’s need to it made them complain to the Messenger of Allâh about that. So he supplicated Allâh, who sent a rainful cloud. It rained and so all people drank and supplied themselves with their need of water.
When they drew near Tabuk, the Prophet said: "If Allâh will, tomorrow you will arrive at Tabuk spring. You will not get there before daytime. So whoever reaches it should not touch its water; but wait till I come." Mu‘adh said: "When we reached the spring it used to gush forth some water. We found that two men had already preceded us to it. The Messenger of Allâh asked them: ‘Have you touched its water?’ They replied: ‘Yes’. He said what Allâh inspired him to say, then he scooped up little water of that spring, thin stream which gathered together, he washed his face and hand with it and poured it back into it; consequently plenty of water spouted out of it so people watered. ‘Mu‘adh’, said the Messenger of Allâh, ‘if you were doomed to live long life you will see in here fields full of vegetation.’"
On the way to Tabuk, or as soon as they reached Tabuk, the Messenger of Allâh said: ‘Severe wind will blow tonight, so none of you should stand up. Whoever has a camel should tie it up.’ Later on when the strong wind blew, one of the men stood up and the wind carried him away to Tai’ Mountain.
All the way long the Messenger of Allâh was intent on the performance of the combined prayer of noon and the afternoon; and so did he with sunset and evening prayers. His prayers for both were either pre-time or post-time prayers.
The Army of Islam at Tabuk:
Arriving at Tabuk and camping there, the Muslim army was ready to face the enemy. There, the Messenger of Allâh delivered an eloquent speech that included the most inclusive words. In that speech he urged the Muslims to seek the welfare of this world and the world to come. He warned and cherished them and gave them good tidings. By doing that he cherished those who were broken in spirits, and blocked up the gap of shortage and mess they were suffering from due to lack of supplies, food and other substances.
Upon learning of the Muslims’ march, the Byzantines and their allies were so terrified that none of them dared set out to fight. On the contrary they scattered inside their territory. It brought, in itself, a good credit to the Muslim forces. That had gained military reputation in the mid and remote lands of Arabian Peninsula. The great and serious political profits that the Muslim forces had obtained, were far better than the ones they could have acquired if the two armies had been engaged in military confrontation.
The Head of Ailah, Yahna bin Rawbah came to the Messenger of Allâh , made peace with him and paid him the tribute (Al-Jizya). Both of Jarba’ and Adhruh peoples paid him tribute, as well. So the Messenger of Allâh gave each a guarantee letter, similar to Yahna’s, in which he says:
# "In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
This is a guarantee of protection from Allâh and Muhammad the Prophet, the Messenger of Allâh, to Yahna bin Rawbah and the people of Ailah; their ships, their caravans on land and sea shall have the custody of Allâh and the Prophet Muhammad, he and whosoever are with him of Ash-Sham people and those of the sea. Whosoever 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 men from any springs which they have been in the habit of frequenting, nor from any journeys they desire to make, whether by sea or by land."
The Messenger of Allâh dispatched Khalid bin Al-Waleed at the head of four hundred and fifty horsemen to ‘Ukaidir Dumat Al-Jandal and said to him: "You will see him hunting oryxes." So when Khalid drew near his castle and was as far as an eye-sight range, he saw the oryxes coming out rubbing their horns against the castle gate. As it was a moony night Khalid could see Ukaidir come out to hunt them, so he captured him — though he was surrounded by his men — and brought him back to the Messenger of Allâh , who spared his life and made peace with him for the payment of two thousand camels, eight hundred heads of cattle, four hundred armours and four hundred lances. He obliged him to recognize the duty of paying tribute and charged him with collecting it from Dumat, Tabuk, Ailah and Taima’.
The tribes, who used to ally the Byzantines, became quite certain that their dependence oinn their former masters came to an end. Therefore they turned into being pro-Muslims. The Islamic state had therefore enlarged its borders to an extent that it, touched the Byzantines’ and their agents’ borders. So we see that the Byzantine agents role was over.
Returning to Madinah:
The Muslim army returned from Tabuk victoriously, undeceived or wronged. That was because Allâh had sufficed them the evils of fight.
On the way back and at a mountain road, twelve hypocrites sought the Prophet’s life and that was while he was passing along that mountain road with only Ammar holding the rein of his she-camel and Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman driving it, at the time that people had already gone down into the bottom of the valley.
The hypocrites seized that opportunity to seek the Prophet’s life. As the Messenger of Allâh and his two companions were moving along, they heard thrusts of people coming towards him from behind with their faces veiled. Hudhaifa, who was sent by the Prophet to see what was going on, saw them and stroke their mounts’ faces with a crook in his hand and Allâh cast fear into their hearts. They fled away and overtook their people.
However, Hudhaifa named them to the Messenger of Allâh and informed him of their intentions. So that was why Hudhaifa was called the "confidant" of the Messenger of Allâh . About this event Allâh, the Exalted says:
# "And they resolved that (plot to murder Prophet Muhammad ) which they were unable to carry out." [9:74]
When his headquarters, Madinah, began to loom at the horizon, the Prophet said: "This is a cheerful sight. This is Uhud, which is a mountain, we like it and it likes us." When the Madinese learnt of their arrival they set out to meet the army. Women, youths, youngsters and small children went out of town to celebrate their home-return wholeheartedly singing:
# "The full moon shone down upon us, through the traits of Al-Wada‘ Mountain.
Thanks is due to us, as long as a supplicator invokes to Allâh.."
The Messenger of Allâh ’s march to Tabuk was in Rajab and his return in Ramadan. So we see that this Ghazwah took fifty days, twenty days of which were spent in Tabuk and the others on the way to and fro. Tabuk Invasion was the last one made by the Prophet .
The People Who lagged Behind:
Due to its particular circumstances, this invasion was a peculiar severe trial provided by Allâh only to try the believers’Faith and sort them out of others. This is Allâh’s permanent Will in such circumstances. In this respect He says:
# "Allâh will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good." [3:179]
Lagging and hanging back from full participation in that invasion amounted to the degree of hypocrisy. Whenever the Messenger of Allâh was informed of a man’s lingering, he would say: "Leave him alone! If Allâh knows him to be good He will enable him to follow you; but if he were not so, Allâh would relieve us of him."
Nobody stayed behind except those who were either hindered by a serious excuse or the hypocrites who told lies to Allâh and His Messenger.
Some of those hypocrites’ lingering was due to an excuse based on forgery and delusion. Some others tarried but didn’t ask for an instant permission. But there were three believers who unjustifiably lingered. They were the ones whom Allâh tried their Faith, but later on He turned to them in mercy and accepted their repentance.
As soon as the Messenger of Allâh had entered Madinah, he prayed two Rak‘a then he sat to receive his people. The hypocrites who were over eighty men came and offered various kinds of excuses and started swearing. The Prophet acknowledged their excuses and invoked Allâh’s forgiveness for them but he entrusted their inner thoughts and Faith to Allâh.
As for the three faithful believers — Ka‘b bin Malik, Murara bin Ar-Rabi‘, and Hilal bin Omaiyah — who favoured telling the truth, the Messenger of Allâh bade his Companions not to talk to them.
Consequently they were subject to a severe boycott and were excluded from the life of the community. Everybody turned them their back. So they felt as if the whole land had become constrained to them in spite of its spaciousness and they felt awkward and uneasy. The hard times they lived and which lasted for over forty days were towered by an order to them to forsake their wives. After fifty days’ boycott Allâh turned to them and revealed that in Qur’ân:
# "And (He did forgive also) the three (whom the Prophet ) left (i.e. he did not give his judgement in their case, and their case was suspended for Allâh’s Decision) till for them the earth, vast as it is, was straitened and their ownselves were straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allâh, and no refuge but with Him. Then, He accepted their repentance, that they might repent (unto Him). Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful." [9:118]
Allâh’s turning to them was a great joy for both Muslims and the three concerned. The joy of the stayers behind was unaccountable in aim and degree. It was the happiest day in their lives. The good tiding cherished them and filled their hearts with delight. As for those who lingered due to disability or sickness or any other serious excuse, Allâh, the Exalted said about them:
# "There is no blame on those who are weak or ill or who find no resources to spend [in holy warfare (Jihad)], if they are sincere (in duty) to Allâh and His Messenger." [9:91]
When he approached Madinah, the Messenger of Allâh said:
# "Inside Madinah, there are certain men, who though being left back due to serious excuses, they have, all the time, been with you. Lingerers as they are, they have been while you were passing valleys or walking along roads." "Do you mean that they have done that while they are still in Madinah?" They wondered. "Yes though they are in Madinah." The Prophet said.
The Invasion of Tabuk and its Far-Reaching Ramifications:
The effect of this invasion is great as regards extending and confirming the Muslims’ influence and domination on the Arabian Peninsula. It was quite obvious to everybody that no power but Islam’s would live long among the Arabs. The remainders of Jahiliyin and hypocrites — who used to conspire steadily against the Muslims and who perpetually relied on Byzantine power when they were in need of support or help — these people lost their expectations and desires of ever reclaiming their ex-influence. Realizing that there was no way out and that they were to submit to the fait accompli, they gave up their attempts.
From that time on, hypocrites were no longer treated leniently or even gently by the Muslims. Allâh not only bade Muslims to treat them severely but He also forbade them to take their gift charities or perform prayer on their dead, or ask Allâh’s forgiveness for them or even visit their tombs. Allâh bade the Muslims to demolish the mosque, which they verily appointed and used as a hiding place where they might practise their plots, conspiracy and deceit. Some Qur’ânic verses were sent down disclosing them publicly and utterly so that everybody in Madinah got to know their reality.
The great impact that this invasion produced could be perceived in of the great number of delegations who came successively to meet the Messenger of Allâh . Naturally, deputations used to come to meet him at the end of an invasion particularly after Makkah Conquest but they were not as many as these nor were they as frequent as they were then in the wake of Tabuk event. It was certainly the greatest.
The Qur’ânic Verses Relating to this Invasion:
Many a verse of Bara’a (Tauba) Chapter handling the event of Tabuk were revealed. Some verses were revealed before the march, while others after setting out for Tabuk, i.e. in the context of the battle. Some other verses were also revealed on the Prophet’s arrival in Madinah. All of which covered the incidents that featured this invasion: the immanent circumstances of the battle, exposure of the hypocrites, the prerogatives and special rank earmarked for the strivers in the cause of Allâh, acceptance of the repentance of the truthful believers who slackened and those who hung back, etc.
Some Important Events that featured that Year:
During this year many events of great significance took place. They were:
1. After the Messenger’s return from Tabuk, the sworn allegation of infidelity between ‘Uwaimir Al-‘Ajlani and his wife took place.
2. Pelting with stones the Ghamidiyah woman who confessed committing adultery. She was pelted with stones only after weaning her child off her breast milk.
3. Negus Ashama; the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), died so the Prophet performed prayer in absentia for him.
4. The death of Umm Kulthum, the daughter of the Prophet , the Prophet felt extremely sad at her death. "Had I got a third daughter, I would let you marry her." He said to ‘Uthman.
5. The death of ‘Abdullah bin Abi Salool, the head of hypocrites, after the Prophet’s return from Tabuk. The Messenger of Allâh asked Allâh’s forgiveness for him. He also prayed for him in spite of ‘Umar’s disapproval and his attempt to prevent him from doing that. Later on a Qur’ânic verse was revealed attesting to ‘Umar’s right viewpoint.
Abu Bakr - May ALlah be pleased with him -
performs the Pilgrimage
In the month Dhul-Qa‘dah or in Dhul-Hijjah of the very year (the ninth of Al-Hijra), the Messenger of Allâh dispatched Abu Bakr - may Allah be pleased with him -, the truthful, as a deputy prince of Al-Hajj (pilgrimage), so that he would lead the Muslims in performing of the pilgrimage rituals.
Soon after the departure of the Muslims, there came a Revelation from Allâh: the opening passages of the Chapter 9 entitled ‘Repentance’ (Surah Tauba or Bara’a) in which ‘freedom from obligation’ is proclaimed from Allâh in regard to those idolatrous tribes who had shown no respect for the treaties which they had entered into with the Prophet . Communication of this news went in line with the Arabian traditions of making public any change relating to declining conventions of blood and fortunes.
‘Ali bin Abi Talib was deputed to make this declaration. He overtook Abu Bakr at Al-‘Arj or Dajnan. Abu Bakr inquired whether the Prophet had put him in command or he had just been commissioned to make the announcement. "I have been deputed to make the proclamation only" replied ‘Ali. The two Companions then proceeded with the pilgrimage process. Towards the close of the rituals, on the day of the ritual sacrifice, ‘Ali stood at Al-Jamrah (a spot at which stones are pelted) and read aloud to the multitudes that thronged around him and declared quittance from covenants with idolaters and giving them four months’ respite to reconsider their position. As for the other idolaters with whom the believers had a treaty and had abated nothing of the Muslims’ rights nor had supported anyone against them, then the terms of the treaty would run valid until the duration of which expired.
Abu Bakr then sent some Muslims to declare publicly that no disbeliever would after that year perform pilgrimage, nor would anyone be allowed to make the Tawaf (going round) of the Sacred House unclothed.
That proclamation in fact vetoed all aspects of paganism out of Arabia and stated quite unequivocally that those pre-Islam practices were no longer in operation.
A Meditation on the Ghazawat
Meditation on the Prophet’s Ghazawat, missions, and the battalions he formed and dispatched, will certainly give us and everybody a true and clear impression that the Prophet was the greatest military leader in the whole world as well as the most righteous, the most insightful and the most alert one. He was not a man of superior genius for this concern but he was also the Master and the greatest of all Messengers as far as Prophethood and Heavenly Message are concerned. Besides, all the battles that he had fought were standard in their application to the requirements of strictness, bravery, and good arrangements that fitted the terms and conditions of war. None of the battles he fought was lost as a consequence of shortage of wisdom or due to any other technical error in army mobilization or a location in a wrong strategical position. The loss of any of his battle was not due to misjudgement about occupying the best and the most appropriate sites of battles, nor was it due to a mischoice of leaders of the fight, for he had proved himself to be a peculiar sort of leader that differs from any of those leaders that our world had known and experienced. As regards Uhud and Hunain events, there were consequences of weakness in some military elements in Hunain; and disobedience to orders in Uhud. Their non-compliance with wisdom and the plan of the battle played a passive role in the course of those two invasions.
His genius was clearly shown in these two battles when the Muslims were defeated; for he stoodfast facing the enemy and managed, by his super wisdom, to thwart the enemy’s aim as was the case in Uhud. Similarly he managed to change the Muslims’ defeat in Hunain into a victory. Nothwithstanding the fact that serious grave developments in military operations usually leave the worst impression on the military leaders and entice them to flee for their lives.
We have, so far, discussed the mere aspects of military leadership of the invasions. On the other hand, through these invasions he was able to impose security, institute peace, diffuse dissension and destroy the military might of the enemies through relentless struggle between Islam and paganism.
The Prophet had also profound insight and could differentiate the faithful from the hypocrites and plotters.
Great was the group of military leaders who fought and excelled the Persians and the Byzantines in the battlefields of Ash-Sham and Iraq with respect to war strategy and leading the fight procedures. The very leaders, who succeeded Muhammad , managed to drive off the enemies of Islam, from their lands and countries, their gardens and springs, and their farms. They drove them off their honourable residence and from the grace and provisions they owned and enjoyed. Those Muslim leaders were all Muhammad’s men. They were imbued with the spirit of Islam at the hand of the Prophet .
Thanks to these battles, the Messenger of Allâh managed accommodation, secured land and provided chances of work for all Muslims. He, even, made a lot of inquiries about the refugee problems who (then) had no houses or fortunes. He equipped the army with weapons, horses and expenditures. He had all that realized without exercising a particle weight of injustice. The Prophet has altered the standards and aims of pre-Islamic wars. Their war was no more than robbing, killing, plundering, tyranny and aggression-oriented wars. Those wars focused on winning victory, oppressing the weakling and demolishing their houses and constructions. For them, war was a means by which they can rape or unveil women, practise cruelty against the weakling, the babies and small children, spoil tillage and race, and spread corruption on the earth. Islamic wars are different from pre-Islamic wars. A "war" in Islam is a Jihad. That is to say it is a noble sacred fight in the way of Allâh for the verification of a Muslim society that seeks to free man from oppression, tyranny and aggression. It is a society that everyone everywhere and at all times should be proud of.Pre-Islamic thoughts and traditions of Al-Jahiliyah period have been turned upside down by Islam. These were so hard upon the weakling that they had to invoke Allâh to enable them to get away from that pre-Islamic environment by saying:
# "Our Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help."
The war of corruption, slaying and robbing that used to prevail has now turned into a sacred one, Al-Jihad. One of the greatest aims of Al-Jihad is to free man from the aggression, the oppression and the tyranny of men of power. A man of power, in Islam, is a weakling till after the right of the poor is taken from him. War, in Islam, is a Jihad for the purification of the land of Allâh from deception, treachery, sinful deeds and aggression. It is a sacred war that aims at spreading security, safety, mercy and compassion as well as observing the rights and magnanimity. The Messenger of Allâh had issued honourable strict rules about war and bade his soldiers and leaders to comply with them. They were forbidden to break those rules under any circumstances. In reference to Sulaiman bin Buraidah’s version, who said that his father had told him that whenever the Messenger of Allâh appointed a leader on an army or on a battalion, he used to recommend him to fear Allâh, the Great and All-Mighty, when dealing with those who were closest to him and to be good with all Muslims. Then the Prophet would say to him:
# "Let your invasion be in the Name of Allâh and for His sake. Fight those who disbelieve in Allâh. Invade but do not exaggerate nor commit treachery. Never deform the corpse of a dead person or kill an infant child."
The Messenger of Allâh asked people to facilitate but he forbade them to bear down hard on others or constrain. "Pacify", he said, "and do not disincline". When it happened that he arrived at the battlefield by night, he would never invade the enemy till it was morning. He utterly forbade burning (i.e. torturing people) in fire, killing children and women or even beating them. He also forbade theft and robbery and proceeded so far as to say gains acquired through plundering are not less forbidden than the flesh of a corpse. Corruption of tillage and race and cutting down of trees were all forbidden unless they were badly needed and there was no other substitute:
# "Do not kill a wounded person nor run after a fleeing one or kill a captive."
He decreed that envoys cannot be killed. He also stressed on not killing those who made covenants. He even said:
# "He whoever kills one who is under pledge to a covenant shall not smell Paradise, though its smell could be experienced at a forty-year distance from it."
There were some other noble rules which purified wars from their Al-Jahiliyah (pre-Islamic) filthiness and turned them into sacred wars.
People embrace the Religion
of Allâh in Large Crowds
The invasion and the conquest of Makkah was — as we have already stated — a decisive battle that destroyed paganism utterly. The Arabs as a result of that battle were able to differentiate the truth from the error. Delusion no longer existed in their life. So they raced to embrace Islam. ‘Amr bin Salamah said: "We were at a water (spring) where the passage of people was. So when camel riders passed by us we used to ask them: ‘What is the matter with people? What is this man (i.e. the Prophet) like?’ They would say, ‘He claims that Allâh has revealed so and so.’ I used to memorize those words as if they had been recited within my chest. The Arabs used to ascribe their Islamization to the conquest. They would say: ‘Leave him alone to face his people. If he were a truthful Prophet he would overcome them.’ So when the conquest took place, peoples hastened to declare their Islam. My father was the quickest of all my people to embrace Islam. Arriving at his people he said: ‘By Allâh I have just verily been to the Prophet . And he said: ‘Perform so a prayer at such a time, and so and so prayers at such and such time. When the prayer time is due let one of you call for the prayer and appoint the most learned of the Qur’ân among you to be an Imam (leader) of yours." This Prophetic tradition manifests the great effect of the conquest of Makkah on the phase of events. It certainly shows the influence of the conquest of Makkah upon the consolidation of Islam as well as on the Arabs’ stand and their surrender to Islam. That influence was absolutely confirmed and deeply rooted after the invasion of Tabuk. A clear and an obvious evidence of that influence could be deduced from the great number of delegations arriving in Madinah successively in the ninth and tenth years of Al-Hijra. The immense crowds of people who raced to embrace the religion of Allâh and the great army which included ten thousand fighters in the invasion of the conquest of Makkah had grown big enough to include thirty thousand fighters sharing in Tabuk
invasion. It was only in less than a year after the conquest of Makkah that this growth in Islamic army had taken place. A hundred thousand or a hundred and forty four thousand Muslim pilgrims shared in Hajjatul -Wada‘ (i.e. Farewell Pilgrimage); it was such an enormous number of Muslims surging — as an ocean of men — round the Messenger of Allâh , that the horizon echoed their voices and the expanses of land shook whereby while saying Labbaik (i.e. Lord, here we are worshipping), glorifying and magnifying Allâh, and thanking Him.
The number of delegations listed in Ahl Al-Maghazi were over seventy. Investigating such a large number is not an accessible thing; besides stating them in detail is not of a great benefit. Therefore, I am going to reveal an expose about what is historically wonderful or highly significant. Anyway a reader should always keep in mind that whilst the majority of tribes arrived in Madinah after the conquest, there were also pre-conquest delegations.
1. The delegation of ‘Abdul Qais: This tribe had two arrivals. The first was in the fifth year of Al-Hijra or before that date. Munqidh bin Haiyan, a member of that tribe, used to trade in Madinah. So, as soon as he heard of Islam when he had arrived in it for trading — that was after the migration — he embraced Islam and carried a pledge from the Prophet to his people who eventually became Muslims too. Thirteen or fourteen of them came to the Prophet in one of the Hurum Months. It was then that they asked the Prophet’s advice about the Faith and drinks. Their chief was Al-Ashaj Al-Usri, to whom the Messenger of Allâh said: "You have two qualities that Allâh likes: They are deliberatenessandclemency."
Their second arrival was in the Year of Delegations. They were forty men. Al-Jarud bin Al-‘Alâ’ Al-‘Abdi, who was Christian but turned to be a good Muslim, was one of that group.
2. Daws Delegation: The arrival of this tribe was in the early times of the seventh year and that was when the Messenger of Allâh was in Khaibar. At-Tufail bin ‘Amr Ad-Dawsi, that we have already talked about and explained how he became a Muslim at the time the Messenger of Allâh was in Makkah. He went back home to his people where he kept calling people to Islam but they tarried till he despaired of them and returned to the Messenger of Allâh and asked him to invoke Allâh against Daws but the Messenger of Allâh invoked Allâh to guide Daws. Later on, Daws embraced Islam. So At-Tufail arrived in Madinah accompanied by seventy or eighty families of his people in the early times of the seventh year of Al-Hijra, at the time that the Messenger of Allâh was at Khaibar, so he overtook him there.
3. Farwah Bani ‘Amr Al-Judhami’s messenger: Farwah was an Arab leader in the Byzantine army. He was a Byzantine agent ruler by proxy on the Arabs allied to the Byzantines. His home was at Mu‘an and the surrounding area of Ash-Sham lands. Seeing the stamina and courage of the Muslims he became a Muslim. The battle of Mu’tah — which took place in the eighth year of Al-Hijra — compelled his admiration. He sent a white mule gift with a messenger of his to the Messenger of Allâh to inform him of his conversion into Islam. When the Byzantines learnt of his embracing Islam, they sent him to prison. At first they gave him an opportunity to choose one of the two — "either he defects from Islam or death shall be his punishment." Refusing to defect they crucified him and cut his neck at a water (fountain) called ‘Afra’ in Palestine.
4. Sudâ’ Delegation: The arrival of this delegation was after the departure of the Messenger of Allâh from Al-Ji‘ranah in the eighth year of Al-Hijra. It was because the Messenger of Allâh had already dispatched a mission that comprised four hundred Muslims and asked them to go to where Sudâ’ was. Sudâ’ was (a fresh-water fountain) in Yemen. While the mission was camping there at the starting point of a canal. Ziyad bin Al-Harith As-Sudâ’i learned of their stay, so he came to the Messenger of Allâh and said: "I have come to you as a deputy of my people, so tell your army to go back and I guarantee of my people." The army were sent away off the canal. In his turn As-Sudâ’i went back, cherished and urged his people to come and meet the Messenger of Allâh . Eventually fifteen of them came and pledged allegiance to him as true Muslims. Returning home, they in their turn, urged the rest to be Muslims. Thus Islam spread among them. Later on, a hundred men joined the Messenger of Allâh in Hajjatul-Wada‘ (Farewell Pilgrimage.)
5. The arrival of Ka‘b bin Zuhair bin Abi Sulma: Ka‘b who was a member of a family of poets, was considered one of the most poetic Arab poets. He used to satirize the Prophet when he wasn’t a Muslim. In the eighth year of Al-Hijra and at the time that the Messenger of Allâh had already gone back from At-Ta’if invasion, Bujair bin Zuhair wrote a letter to his brother Ka‘b warning and advising him: "The Messenger of Allâh () had killed some men in Makkah who used to satirize and harm him, and that the other poets who had survived fled in all directions for their lives. So if you want to save your skin, hasten to the Messenger of Allâh . He never kills those who resort to him as repentant. If you refuse to do as I tell, it is up to you to try to save your skin by any means." The two brothers corresponded with one another for a long time till Ka‘b was awkward and felt as if the earth had constrained on him. Arriving in Madinah, he stayed at a man’s house from Juhainah as a guest. They performed the dawn prayer together; but when he was about to leave, the man suggested that he go to the Messenger of Allâh . He went there, sat by him, put his hand in his. The Messenger of Allâh who had never seen Ka‘b before, did not recognize him. Ka‘b then said: "O, Messenger of Allâh! Ka‘b bin Zuhair has come to you as a repentant Muslim; will he be secure and forgiven if I fetch him?" The Messenger of Allâh said, "Yes." "I am Ka‘b bin Zuhair," said he. Upon hearing that one of the Helpers rose to his feet and asked the Messenger’s allowance to cut his throat. "Leave him alone!" Said the Prophet , "He has become a repentant Muslim after his disposal of the past." Ka‘b then recited his well-known poem "Su‘ad appeared..." in which he praised the Prophet , thanked him and apologized for the wrongs he had done. He acknowledged Muhammad’s mission. Both Emigrants and Helpers were spoken of in this poem but differently. He praised the Emigrants but criticized the Helpers, for one of them demanded a Prophet’s permission to kill him. Later on Ka‘b tried to compensate for that by praising the Helpers too but that was in another poem.
6. ‘Udharah Delegation: This delegation which consisted of twelve men, had arrived in Madinah in Safar, the ninth year of Al-Hijra. They spent three days there. One of them was Hamza bin An-Nu‘man. When they were asked who they were, they said "We are Bani ‘Udharah, the foster brothers of Qusai to his mother. We are the ones who supported Qusai, and removed Khuza’a and Bani Bakr from the bosom of Makkah. We have relatives and kinspeople." So the Messenger of Allâh welcomed them and gave good tidings to them, which was Ash-Sham Conquest; but he, on the other hand, forbade them from consulting a soothsayer and from eating the slain animals they slaughtered. Eventually they became Muslims, stayed there for several days then went back.
7. Bali Delegation: Their arrival was in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, the ninth year of Al-Hijra. They embraced Islam, stayed in Madinah for three days. Their chief Abu Ad-Dabeeb wondered whether hospitality was rewarded by Allâh. The Messenger of Allâh said:
"Yes, and so is any charity you offer to poor or rich people that is Sadaqah."
He also inquired about the time allotted to hospitality. "Three days," said he. "What about the stray ewe?"The Prophet said: "It is either yours or your brother’s, otherwise it goes to the wolf." He inquired about the stray camel. "It is not of your business. Leave it alone! Its owner will try to find it."
8. Thaqif Delegation: Their arrival was in Ramadan, the ninth year of Al-Hijra, after the return of the Messenger of Allâh from Tabuk. As to how they became Muslims, this could be deduced from the following:
Their chief ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ud Ath-Thaqafi came to see the Messenger of Allâh after the latter’s return from At-Ta’if in Dhul-Qa‘dah in the year 8 A.H. ‘Urwah became a Muslim. He thought that when he will tell his people and call them to embrace Islam, they would obey him, because he had always been an obeyed Master. He was even more beloved to them than their own firstborn. But contrary to that, when he called them to Islam they shot arrows at him from everywhere and killed him. They remained as they were for months before they started discussing the situation again among themselves. Upon realizing that they were incapable of fighting the neighbouring Arabs who had paid allegiance to the Prophet and converted to Islam, they made up their mind to dispatch a man to the Messenger of Allâh . They concluded that ‘Abd Yalail bin ‘Amr would be the right messenger.
‘Abd refused to do such a thing lest they should kill him as they had killed ‘Urwah. "I will not do such a thing till you send some other men with me," said ‘Abd. So they sent two men of their allies and three others from Bani Malik. The six of them including ‘Uthman bin Abi Al-‘As Ath-Thaqafi who was the youngest among them all.
When they entered into the Prophet’s audience, a tent was pitched up in a corner of the mosque so that they might listen to the Qur’ân and see people at prayer. During their stay they came again and again to the Prophet who kept on calling them to embrace Islam, till their chief asked the Messenger of Allâh to enter into a peace treaty between him and Thaqif by means of which he allows them to commit fornication, drink wine and deal with usury. They also asked him not to injure their tyrant idol "Al-Lat" or to oblige them to perform the prayer. Finally they insisted that they would not knock down the idols themselves. But the Messenger of Allâh turned down all their requests. They went aside to council. Realizing that there were no other alternatives they yielded and professed Islam. The only condition that they insisted on was that the demolition of Al-Lat should be dealt with and handled by the Messenger of Allâh whereas Thaqif should in no way knock it down themselves. The Messenger of Allâh agreed and took a pledge with them.
Being the most attentive and the keenest to study jurisprudence and learn Qur’ân, ‘Uthman bin Abi Al-‘As was appointed by the Messenger of Allâh a prince on his people. His keenness and carefulness to learn the Qur’ân and study jurisprudence were clearly discernible through his behaviour during their stay.
Everyday morning, the group of delegates used to go and see the Messenger of Allâh . Being the youngest one, ‘Uthman bin Abi Al-‘As was left behind with their camels and things to keep an eye on. At noon when they came back and slept, ‘Uthman used to go to the Messenger of Allâh in order to learn the Qur’ân and inquire about religious matters. If it happened that the Messenger of Allâh was asleep, he would then go to Abu Bakr for the same purpose. With the passage of time, he turned out to be a source of blessing to his people. For at the Apostasy Times (Ar-Riddah) when Thaqif were determined to apostatize, he addressed them saying: "O, folkmen of Thaqif! You have been the latest at embracing Islam, so do not be the first to apostatize." Consequently they gave up apostasy and clung fast to Islam.
The group of delegates returned home but they were determined to conceal the truth for a while. They told their people to expect fight at any moment. They pretended to be grieved and depressed. They claimed that the Messenger of Allâh demanded that they should embrace Islam and abandon adultery, drinking wine and dealing with usury and some other things, or else he would fight them. Seized by the arrogance and zeal of Al-Jahiliyah (pre-Islamic traditions), Thaqif remained for days intent on fighting. Then Allâh cast terror and dismay in their hearts in such a way that they gave up fighting and thought that the delegation should go back to him and announce their approval. It was until then that the group of delegates told them the truth and revealed the items of their peace-talk with the Prophet, consequently Thaqif embraced Islam.
The Messenger of Allâh sent some men to demolish the idol called "Al-Lat" under the command of Khalid bin Al-Waleed. Al-Mugheerah bin Shu‘bah, stood to his feet, held the hoe and the ax and said: "By Allâh, I will make you laugh at Thaqif." He struck with them, and pretended to fall down while running. The people of Thaqif trembled at that sight and said: "May Allâh dismay Al-Mugheerah off. The goddess has killed him." Hearing that Al-Mugheerah leapt up to his feet and said: "May Allâh bring shame on you. Al-Lat is nothing but a mass of dirt and stones." Then he struck the door and broke it. He mounted its highest wall, and so did the other men. They knocked Al-Lat down till they levelled it with the ground. Then they dug up its foundation and brought out its jewels and garments; to the great astonishment of Thaqif. Khalid bin Al-Waleed and his group came back to the Messenger of Allâh carrying Al-Lat’s jewels and garments. The Messenger of Allâh distributed them and thanked Allâh for helping his Prophet and solidifying his religion.
9. The message of the Yemeni kings: After the return of the Messenger of Allâh from Tabuk, a message came to him from the kings of Himyar, Al-Harith bin ‘Abd Kilal, Na‘eem bin ‘Abd Kilal, An-Nu‘man bin Qeel Dhi Ra‘in, Hamdan and Mu‘afir. Their messenger was Malik bin Murrah Ar-Rahawi. They sent him in order to inform the Prophet about their embracing Islam and their parting with polytheism. In reply to their message, the Messenger of Allâh gave them the pledge of Allâh and the pledge of His Messenger provided they paid the tribute, which was still overdue. He sent to them some of his Companions under the command of Mu‘adh bin Jabal - may Allah be pleased with him -.
10. Hamdan Delegation: The arrival of this delegation was in the ninth year of Al-Hijra after the Messenger’s return from Tabuk. So the Messenger of Allâh gave them a pledge to guarantee the fulfillment of their demands. He sent to them Malik bin An-Namt as their chief, and appointed him as an agent on those of his people who embraced Islam. Khalid bin Al-Waleed was appointed for them all with a purpose of calling them to Islam. He stayed with them for six months calling them to Islam but no one responded to his call. Later on ‘Ali bin Abi Talib was dispatched there and Khalid was ordered to come back. Upon arriving at Hamdan, ‘Ali communicated to them a message from the Messenger of Allâh and called them to Islam. They responded to the call and became Muslims. ‘Ali wrote to the Messenger of Allâh informing him of the good tidings. The Messenger of Allâh was briefed on the content of that letter, so he prostrated, then raised his head up and said: "Peace be upon Hamdan. Peace be upon Hamdan."
11. The Delegation of Bani Fazarah: Upon the Messenger’s return from Tabuk, the delegation of Bani Fazarah came to see him. That was in the ninth year of Al-Hijra. The group of delegates were over ten men. They came in order to profess Islam and complain about the drought of their region. The Messenger of Allâh ascended the pulpit, lifted his hands up and implored Allâh to send rain forth onto them and said:
"O Allâh let rain fall down, and water Your country and animals, and spread Your mercy and bring to life the dead lands. O Allâh send rain that would be saving, comforting, and sprouting grass, and overwhelming vast areas sooner and later. Let it be useful rain and not harmful. O Allâh let it be rain of mercy and not rain of torture and chastisement. Let that rain not be destructive or floody. O Allâh send us down water and help to fight the enemies."
12. Najran’s Delegation: Najran is rather a big area of land. It was at a distance of seven trip stages southwards of Makkah towards Yemen. It included seventy three villages. It took a fast-rider one day ride to get there. Its military forces consisted of a hundred thousand fighters.
Their arrival was in the year 9 A.H. The delegation comprised sixty men. Twenty-four of them were of noble families. Three out of twenty-four were at one time leaders of Najran. Al-‘Aqib, i.e. who was in charge of princehood and government affairs. His name was ‘Abdul Maseeh. The second was As-Saiyid (the Master) under whose supervision were the educational and political affairs; his name was Al-Aiham or Sharhabeel. Abu Haritha bin ‘Alqamah was the third. He was a bishop to whom all religious presidency and spiritual leadership belonged and were his charge.
When that group of delegates arrived in Madinah, they met the Prophet , exchanged inquiries with him; but when he called them to Islam and recited the Qur’ân to them, they refused. They asked him what he thought about ‘Isa (i.e. Jesus), - peace be upon him - , he tarried a whole day till the following Qur’ânic reply was revealed to him:
"Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allâh is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ — and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt. Then whoever disputes with you concerning him (Jesus) after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, (i.e. Jesus being a slave of Allâh, and having no share in Divinity) say: (O Muhammad ) ‘Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves — then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the Curse of Allâh upon those who lie." [3:59-61]
When it was morning, the Messenger of Allâh told them what ‘Iesa (Jesus) was in the light of the recently revealed verses. He left them a whole day to consult and think it over. So when it was next morning and they still showed disapproval to admit Allâh’s Words about ‘Isa or to embrace Islam, the Prophet suggested Al-Mubahala that is each party should supplicate and implore Allâh to send His Curse upon him or them if they were telling lies. After that suggestion of his, the Prophet came forward wrapping Al-Hasan and Al-Husain under his garment whereas Fatimah was walking at his back. Seeing that the Prophet was serious and prepared to face them firmly, they went aside and started consulting. Al-‘Aqib and As-Saiyid (i.e. the Master) said to each other: "We shall not supplicate. For, I swear by Allâh, if he is really a Prophet and exchanges curses with us, we will never prosper nor will the descendants of ours. Consequently neither us nor our animals will survive it." Finally they made their mind to resort to the Messenger of Allâh’s judgement about their cause. They came to him and said: "We grant you what you have demanded." The Messenger of Allâh then admitted that agreement and ordered them to pay Al-Jizya (i.e. tribute) and he made peace with them for the provision of two thousand garments, one thousand of them to be delivered in Rajab, the other thousand ones in Safar. With every garment they had to pay an ounce (of gold). In return they will have the covenant of Allâh and His Messenger. He gave them a covenant that provides for practicing their religious affairs freely. They asked the Prophet to appoint a trustworthy man to receive the money agreed on for peace, so he sent them the trustworthy man of this nation Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah to receive the amounts of money agreed on in the peace treaty.
By the time Islam started to spread in Najran, naturally, they did not have to pay Al-Jizya that usually non-Muslims paid. Whatever the case was, it was said that Al-Aqib and As-Saiyid embraced Islam as soon as they reached Najran on their journey back home. It is also said that the Prophet sent to them ‘Ali too, for the collection of charities and tribute.
13. Bani Haneefa Delegation: They arrived in Madinah in the ninth year of Al-Hijra. They were 17 in number and included the Master of Liars, Musailima bin Thumamah bin Kabeer bin Habeeb bin Al-Harith of Bani Haneefa The group of delegates were housed in a Helper’s house. They came to the Prophet and declared their Islamization. As for Musailima the liar, versions vary concerning his embracing Islam. Contemplation of all these versions shows clearly that Musailima expressed disapproval and revealed haughtiness, boastful spirit and expectations to be a prince.
At first the Prophet attempted going on well with him. he dealt with him nicely and charitably but that did not do with him. The Messenger of Allâh perceived evil in his soul and recognized that he was one of those three evils he dreamt of while asleep.
The Prophet had already dreamt that he had been granted the treasures of earth. His hand fell upon two golden bracelets, which distressed and worried him a lot. He was taught by inspiration to blow them off, so he did that and they were gone off. They were interpreted to be two liars who would turn up after the death of Muhammad . So when Musailima acted that way and showed disapproval, he realized that he would be one of the two liars. However Musailima used to say, "If Muhammad appointed me a successor of his, I would be a Muslim. Later on the Messenger of Allâh came to him, with a piece of palm leaf in his hand, and in the company of his orator, Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas. He was among some of his friends. The Prophet talked to him but Musailima addressed him saying: "If you agree to transfer the whole thing to me after your death, I will not stand in your way." The Messenger of Allâh replied: "If you asked me to give you this (i.e. a piece of a palm leaf), I would not grant it to you. You are doomed. Even if you repented and stopped what you were doing, Allâh appointed that you would be slain. By Allâh, I swear, that I see you now in the very state that has been revealed to me. Here is Thabit! You will hear my answer (from him)." Then he went away.
Finally, the Prophet’s predictions of Musailima came true; for when Musailima returned to Yamama, he kept on thinking about the Prophet and how he would be his partner. His dreams and thoughts went so far as to claim that he himself was a prophet. To confirm his prophecy he started uttering rhymed statements. He said that it was lawful to drink wine and commit adultery. He, however, bore witness that the Messenger of Allâh was a real Prophet. His people, who were fascinated by what he allowed them to do, followed him and made bargains with him. He grew so prominent among them that they called him the beneficent of Al-Yamama. He wrote to the Messenger of Allâh saying: "I have been appointed an associate with you, so I will have a half and Quraish will have the other half of the people’s affairs." The Messenger of Allâh’s reply was a letter saying that:
"Verily, the earth is Allâh’s. He gives it as a heritage to whom He will of His slaves, and the (blessed) end is for the Muttaqűn (pious)." [7:128]
On the authority of Ibn Mas‘ud, he says: When the two messengers of Musailima — Ibn An-Nawaha and Ibn Athal — came to the Messenger of Allâh , he asked them: "Do you bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allâh?" Their reply was "We testify that Musailima is the Messenger of Allâh." "I believe in Allâh and in His Messenger," said the Prophet , "If I had ever thought of killing a messenger I would have killed you both."
Musailima’s pretence to prophethood was in the tenth year of Al-Hijra. But he was killed in Al-Yamama war during Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq era, in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the twelfth year of Al-Hijra. He was killed by Wahshi, the killer of Hamzah. The second person who claimed to be a prophet was Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi who was in Yemen. He was killed by Fairuz. His head was cut off a day and a night before the Prophet’s death. So when the delegates came he told them the news that reached him through Divine Revelation. News about his death reached Abu Bakr - may Allah be pleased with him - from Yemen.
14. The Delegation of Bani ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a: Among the group of delegates were ‘Amir bin At-Tufail — the enemy of Allâh, Arbad bin Qais — Labid’s maternal brother, Khalid bin Ja‘far, and Jabbar bin Aslam. All of them were the leaders and satans of their people. ‘Amir was the one who double-crossed the group of Ma‘una well. When this delegation made their mind to come to Madinah, ‘Amir and Arbad conspired to kill the Prophet . So when the group of delegates arrived, ‘Amir kept on talking to the Prophet whereas Arbad turned aside trying to draw his sword. He managed to draw a span of hand long but Allâh stilled his hand so that he was unable to proceed with its withdrawal. Allâh protected the Prophet . The Prophet invoked Allâh against them. So when they returned, Allâh sent down a thunderbolt unto Arbad and his camel and he was burnt. As for ‘Amir he called at a house of a woman who was from Bani Salul and had a gland sore. He eventually died while he was saying: "What am I like? I have a gland similar to a camel’s. And here I am dying in the house of the woman from Bani Salul."
In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is narrated that ‘Amir came to the Prophet and said: "I grant you an opportunity to choose one of two: you will have the flat land people and I will have townspeople; or I will succeed you. Otherwise, I will invade your people with a thousand he-camels and a thousand she-camels." But, later on he got plague-stricken in a woman’s house. So he said: "What! I have a gland similar to a camel’s, and here I am in a woman’s house of Bani so and so people. Fetch me my mare!" He mounted it but died on its back.
15. Tujeeb Delegation: They came to Madinah carrying the surplus of charities (Sadaqat) of their people. That is to say the extra charities they had after they had distributed the poor-due. They were thirteen men. They asked about the Qur’ân and Sunnah (the Prophet’s saying, deeds and sanctions) so that they might learn them. They demanded things from the Messenger of Allâh to which he gave them pledges. They did not stay long; so when the Messenger of Allâh acknowledged their demands and allowed them to depart, they sent him a boy whom they had already left at their property. The young man said to the Prophet : "By Allâh, I swear, I have left my home (for Madinah) with a purpose that you invoke Allâh, the Great and All-Mighty for me to forgive me and have mercy on me and to make my heart a source of content and sufficiency." The Messenger of Allâh supplicated Allâh to grant him what he demanded.
From that time on, he was the most contented person. In Ar-Riddah (i.e. the Apostasy Times), he stoodfast as a Muslim and warned his people and reminded them of Allâh and went on preaching them till they stoodfast and did not apostatize. The group of delegates met the Prophet again in the Farewell Pilgrimage in the tenth year of Al-Hijra.
16. Tai’ Delegation: One of that group of delegates who came to meet the Prophet was Zaid Al-Khail. They talked to the Prophet who urged them to embrace Islam. They agreed and grew good Muslims. About Zaid, the Messenger of Allâh said: "The Arabs are never exact at estimating people. They have never told me about the virtues of a man correctly; for when I see the man concerned I realize that they have overestimated him except Zaid Al-Khail, when I met him I knew that they had underestimated him." Then he named him ‘Zaid Al-Khair’ (i.e. Zaid, the bounteous).
The delegations arrived successively in Madinah during the ninth and tenth of Al-Hijra. Biographers and invasion-writers have written down about some of Yemen delegations. They were Al-Azd; Bani Sa‘d Hadheem from Quda‘ah, Bani ‘Amir bin Qais; Bani Asad, Bahra’, Khaulan, Muharib, Bani Al-Harith bin Ka‘b, Ghamid, Bani Al-Muntafiq, Salaman, Bani ‘Abs, Muzainah, Murad, Zabid, Kinda, Dhi Murrah, Ghassan, Bani ‘Aish, and Nakh‘ which were the last group of delegates. Nakh‘ Delegation comprised two hundred men and they arrived in the middle of Muharram in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra. The majority of these groups of delegates arrived during the ninth and tenth years of Al-Hijra. The arrival of some of them tarried till the eleventh year of Al-Hijra.
The succession of these delegations indicated the great degree of the entire acceptance which the Islamic Call reached. It manifested its influence and domination on vast areas of Arabia . The Arabs observed Al-Madinah with such a great respect and estimation that they could do nothing but surrender and submit to it. Al-Madinah had become the headquarters of all Arabia; so it was impossible to avoid it. We dare not say that all the Arabians were possessed and enchanted by this religion. There were lots of hard-hearted bedouins — among the Arabs — who surrendered (i.e. became Muslims) only because their master did so. Their souls were not sanctified yet. Their tendency to raids had been deeply rooted in their souls. The teachings of Islam had not crystallized their souls well yet. Accounting some of them the Qur’ân says:
# "The bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to be in ignorance of the limits (Allâh’s Commandments and His legal laws, etc.) which Allâh has revealed to His Messenger. And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise. And of the bedouins there are some who look upon what they spend (in Allâh’s cause) as a fine and watch for calamities for you, on them be the calamity of evil. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower." [9:97,98]
The Qur’ân praised others saying:
# "And of the bedouins there are some who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, and look upon what they spend in Allâh’s cause as approaches to Allâh, and a cause of receiving the Messenger’s invocations. Indeed these are an approach for them. Allâh will admit them to His Mercy. Certainly Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [9:99]
Those of them who were present at Makkah, Madinah and Thaqif and in many other areas of Al-Yemen and Al-Bahrain were different because Islam had been firmly rooted in their souls. Some of them were great Companions and Masters of Muslims.
The Success and Impact
of the Call
Before we move one more step and meditate on the last days of the Messenger of Allâh’s life, we ought to cast a quick glance at the great work that was a peculiarity of his. That very peculiarity that made him excel all other Prophets and Messengers and made him so superb that Allâh made him atop the formers and the latters. It was him that was addressed by:
# "O you wrapped in garments (i.e Prophet Muhammad )! Stand (to pray) all night, except a little." [73:1,2]
# "O you (Muhammad ) enveloped (in garments). Arise and warn!" [74:1,2]
So he arose and kept on like that for over twenty years. During those years he undertook to carry the burdens of the great expectations on his shoulders for the sake of the whole mankind and humanity, the Faith and Jihad in various fields.
The Messenger of Allâh undertook the burdens of struggle and Al-Jihad in the conscience of mankind which was then drowning in the illusions of Al-Jahiliyah and its images that were loaded with the ground weights and gravitations. He took upon his shoulder to free man’s conscience which was chained with desires and lusts. As soon as he had freed the conscience of his Companions from the burdens and heaps of Al-Jahiliyah and earthly life, he started another battle in another field or rather successive battles against the enemy of Allâh’s Call, and against those who conspired against it. It was a battle against those who conspired against the believers and against those who were so careful to tend that pure plant in its implantation before it grew up and stretched its roots in soil and extended its branches up into the air and thus dawned upon other areas. No sooner had he finished the battles in the Arabian Peninsula than the Byzantines began preparations to destroy this new nation on the northern borders.
The first battle — i.e. the battle of conscience — was not over yet. It was in fact a perpetual one. Satan, who was its leader did not spare a moment without exercising his activity in the depth of human conscience. Muhammad , on the other hand was attending on calling to Allâh’s religion there and he was keen on fighting that perpetual battle in all fields in spite of their hard circumstances and the world’s conspiracy against him. He went on calling effectively and actively surrounded by the believers who were seeking security through ceaseless toil and great patience.
The Companions acted perpetually and patiently by day and they spent the night worshipping their Lord, reciting and memorizing the Qur’ân glorifying and magnifying Allâh and imploring Him by night; all that at the behest of their Lord, the All-Mighty.
For over twenty years the Messenger of Allâh had been leading that progressive steady battle, disregarding any other affairs that kept him off that noble goal. He went on that way till the Islamic Call proved to be successful on a large scale that puzzled all men possessed of good reason.
The Islamic Call eventually prevailed all over Arabia. It removed all traces of Al-Jahiliyah from the horizon of the peninsula. The sick minds of Al-Jahiliyah grew healthy in Islam. They did not only get rid of idol-worship, but they also knocked them down. The general atmosphere began to echo "there is no god but Allâh." The calls to prayers were heard five times a day penetrating space and breaking the silence of the dead desert and bringing back life through the new belief. Reciters and memorizers of the Qur’ân set out northwards and southwards reciting verses of the Qur’ân and carrying out Allâh’s injunctions.
Scattered people and tribes were united and man moved from man’s worship of man to man’s worship of Allâh. There were no more oppressors nor oppressed; no masters nor slaves, nor people bound to other people, nor aggressors that would practise aggression. All people were slaves of Allâh. They were beloved brothers obeying Allâh’s rules. Thanks to Allâh they disposed of arrogance and the boastful spirit:
# "An Arab is no better than a non-Arab. In return a non-Arab is no better than an Arab. A red raced man was not better than a black one except in piety. Mankind are all Adam’s children and Adam was created from dust."
Thanks to the Islamic Call, the Arab unity had become a reality, and so was the case with human unity and social justice as far as their earthly and heavenly affairs were concerned. The time course of events had changed, the features on the earth’s surface and the crooked line of history had grown straight and the mentality had been rectified.
The spirit and the corrupted conscience of people, the distorted values and measures of Al-Jahiliyah had overwhelmed the whole world during that period of Al-Jahiliyah. The prevalence of slavery, injustice, extravagant luxury, adultery, depression, deprivity, disbelief, stray from the straight path and darkness; all of those were fait accomplis in spite of the existence of the heavenly religions. The teachings of those religions had grown weak and lost all influence on men’s souls and spirits and became mere lifeless ritual traditions.
When this Call had accomplished its role in human life, it freed mankind’s spirit of superstitions, illusions, white slavery, corruption and man’s worship of man. Islam had freed the human society of filth, dissolution, injustice and tyranny. There were no more social distinctions, nor clergymen’s or governors’ dictatorship. Islam had set up a world built on solid virtuous and clean foundations, it was based on positivity, righteous construction, freedom and renewal. Truth, faith, dignity active steady deeds, the development and improvement of means of living and reclaim of rights were all bases upon which the Islamic state was built.
Thanks to these evolutions, Arabia witnessed such an unprecedented blessed resurrection, since construction and establishment found its way to it. Never had its history been so religious, pious and brilliant as it had been during those peculiar days of its life.
The Farewell Pilgrimage
After the accomplishment of the Call, the proclamation of the Message and the establishment of a new society on the basis of ‘There is no god but Allâh,’ and on Muhammad’s mission, a secret call uprose in the heart of the Messenger of Allâh telling him that his stay in the Lower World was about to terminate. That was clear in his talk to Mu‘adh whom he had dispatched to Yemen in the tenth year of Al-Hijra: "O, Mu‘adh! You may not see me after this current year. You may even pass by this very Mosque of mine and my tomb." Upon hearing that Mu‘adh cried for fear that he would part with the Messenger of Allâh .
Allâh’s care was so bounteous as to let the Prophet see the fruits of his Call for the sake of which he suffered various sorts of trouble for over twenty years. Those twenty years had elapsed actively. He used to spend his last days meeting, at the outskirts of Makkah, members of tribes and their representatives who used to consult him and learn the laws and legislation of Islam from him, and in return he used to exact their testimony that he had delivered trust and communicated the Message and counselled the people.
The Messenger of Allâh announced an intention to proceed with this blessed pilgrimage journey himself. Enormous crowds of people came to Madinah, all of whom seek the guidance and Imamate of the Messenger of Allâh in the pilgrimage (Al-Hajj). On a Saturday of the last four days of Dhul-Qa‘dah, the Prophet started the departure preparations procedure. He combed his hair, applied some perfume, wore his garment, saddled his camel and set off in the afternoon. He arrived at Dhul-Hulaifa before the afternoon prayer. He performed two Rak‘a and spent the night there. When it was morning he said to his Companions:
# "A comer, sent by my Lord, has called on me tonight and said: ‘Pray in this blessed valley and say: I intend ‘Umrah combined with pilgrimage (‘Umrah into Al-Hajj).
Before performing the noon prayer, he bathed for Ihram (ritual consecration), and ‘Aishah - may Allah be pleased with him - perfumed him on both his body and head with her hand with a Dharira (a plant) and with a perfume containing musk. The thick sticky layer of perfume could be seen among his parts of hair and beard. He left it unwashed, wore his loincloth and garment. He performed the noon prayer shortened, two Rak‘a. He proclaimed pilgrimage procedure associated with ‘Umrah at his prayer-place. He, then mounted his she-camel ‘Al-Qaswa’, and proclaimed: ‘There is no god but Allâh’. When he moved into the desert, he acclaimed the Name of Allâh.
He proceeded with his journey till he approached Makkah. He spent the night at Dhi Tuwa and entered Makkah after performing the dawn prayer. He had a bath on Sunday morning, the fourth of Dhul-Hijjah the tenth year of Al-Hijra. He spent eight days on the way, which was an average period. As soon as he entered Al-Haram Mosque he circumambulated Al-Ka‘bah and walked to and fro (Sa‘i) between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. He did not finish the Ihram (ritual consecration) because he was Qarin (i.e. intending ‘Umrah and Al-Hajj associated). He then took Al-Hadi (i.e. the sacrificial animals) in order to slaughter them. He camped on a high place of Makkah — Al-Hajun. As for circumambulation, he performed only that of Al-Hajj (pilgrimage circumambulation).
Those of his Companions who had no Hadi with them to sacrifice, were ordered to observe Ihram (i.e. the state of ritual consecration) into ‘Umrah (i.e. lesser pilgrimage), and circumambulate Al-Ka‘bah and stride ritually to and fro between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. After that they could relieve themselves from Ihram. They, however, showed reluctance to do what they had been told. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allâh said: "Had I known beforehand what I knew afterward, I would not bring Hadi, and if I did not have Hadi, I would break Ihram. On hearing these words, his Companions obeyed the orders to the latter.
On the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah — that is the Day of Tarwiyah, he left for Mina where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset, the evening and the dawn prayers. — i.e. five prayers. Then he stayed for a while till the sun rose up then he passed along till he reached ‘Arafah, where there was a tent built for him at Namirah. He sat inside till the sun went down. He ordered that Al-Qaswa’, his she-camel, should be prepared for him. They saddled it and had it ready, so he went down the valley where a hundred thousand and twenty-four or forty-four thousand people gathered round him. There he stood up and delivered the following speech:
# " O people! Listen to what I say. I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year. It is unlawful for you to shed the blood of one another or take (unlawfully) the fortunes of one another. They are as unlawful, (Haram) as shedding blood on such a day as today and in such a month as this Haram month and in such a sanctified city as this sacred city (i.e. Makkah and the surrounding areas)."
"Behold! all practices of paganism and ignorance are now under my feet. The blood-revenge of the Days of Ignorance (pre-Islamic time) are remitted. The first claim on blood I abolish is that of Ibn Rabi‘a bin Harith who was nursed in the tribe of Sa‘d and whom Hudhail killed. Usury is forbidden, and I make a beginning by remitting the amount of interest which ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul Muttalib has to receive. Verily, it is remitted entirely."
"O people! Fear Allâh concerning women. Verily you have taken them on the security of Allâh and have made their persons lawful unto you by Words of Allâh! 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."
"Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah (Traditions) of His Messenger which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray."
"O people, I am not succeeded by a Prophet and you are not succeeded by any nation. So I recommend you to worship your Lord, to pray the five prayers, to fast Ramadan and to offer the Zakat (poor-due) of your provision willingly. I recommend you to do the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of your Lord and to obey those who are in charge of you then you will be awarded to enter the Paradise of your Lord."
"And if you were asked about me, what wanted you to say?"
# "We bear witness that you have conveyed the message and discharged your ministry."
He then raised his forefinger skywards and then moved it down towards people while saying:
# "O Allâh, Bear witness."
He said that phrase thrice.
The one who repeated the Prophet’s statements loudly at ‘Arafat was Rabi‘a bin Omaiyah bin Khalaf.
As soon as the Prophet had accomplished delivering the speech, the following Qur’ânic verse was revealed to him:
# "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]
Upon hearing this verse ‘Umar cried. "What makes you cry?" He was asked. His answer was: "Nothing succeeds perfection but imperfection."
Bilal called for prayer after the speech, and then made the second call. The Prophet performed both of the noon and the afternoon prayers separately, with no prayers in between. He then mounted his she-camel Al-Qaswa’, approached the location of the vigil, directed his face towards Al-Qiblah, kept on standing till sunset when the sky yellow colour vanished a bit and the disc of the sun disappeared. Osamah added that the Prophet moved onward to Muzdalifa. where he observed the sunset and the evening prayers with one ‘First call’ and two ‘second calls’. He did not entertain the Glory of Allâh between the two prayers. Then he lay down till it was dawn prayer time. He performed it with one first call and one second call at almost daybreak time. Mounting on his Al-Qaswa’, he moved towards Al-Mash‘ar Al-Haram. He faced Al-Qiblah and started supplicating: "Allâh is the Greatest. There is no god but Allâh." He remained there till it was clear morning and before the sun rose high, he made his way to Mina. He walked a little and threaded the mid-road leading to the big Jamrah where he stopped and pelted seven pebbles at it saying "Allâh is the Greatest" each time. They were like small pebbles hurled from the bottom of the valley. Then he set off to the sacrificial place, where he sacrificed sixty-three camels with his hands, and asked ‘Ali to slaughter the others, a hundred and thirty-seven altogether. He made ‘Ali share him in Al-Hadi. A piece of meat from each slaughtered animal was ordered to be cooked in a pot and from which both men ate, and drank the soup.
Then the Messenger of Allâh mounted his she-camel and returned to the House where he observed the noon prayer at Makkah and there he came upon the children of ‘Abdul Muttalib were supplying drinking water to people at Zamzam Well. "Draw up water, children of ‘Abdul Muttalib, I would draw up with you if I were not afraid that people would appropriate this honour after me." They handed him a pail of water and he drank to his fill.
At the daytime of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah on the Slaughtering Day (Yaum An-Nahr) The Prophet delivered another speech. That was at high time morning, while he was mounting a grey mule. ‘Ali conveyed his statements to the people, who were standing or sitting. He repeated some of the statements that he had previously said the day before. The two Sheikh (Bukhâri and Muslim) reported a version narrated by Abi Bakrah who said:
# The Prophet made a speech on Yaum An-Nahr (day of slaughtering) and said:
"Time has grown similar in form and state to the time when Allâh created the heavens and the earth. A year is twelve months. Four of which are Sacred Months (Hurum). Three of the four months are successive. They are Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Al-Muharram. The fourth Month is Rajab Mudar, which comes between Jumada and Sha‘ban."
"What month is this month?" He asked. We said: "Allâh and His Messenger know best of all." He kept silent for a while till we thought he would attach to it a different appellation. "Is it not Dhul-Hijjah?" He wondered. "Yes. It is." We said. Then he asked, "What is this town called?" We said: "Allâh and His Messenger know best of all." He was silent for a while till we thought he would give it a different name. "Is it not Al-Baldah? (i.e. the town)" asked he. "Yes. It is." We replied. Then he asked again, "What day is it today?" We replied: "Allâh and His Messenger know best of all." Then he kept silent for a while and said wondering: "Is it not ‘An-Nahr’ (i.e. slaughtering) Day?" "Yes. It is." Said we. Then he said:
"(Shedding) the blood of one another and eating or taking one another’s provisions (unwillingly) and your honour are all inviolable (Haram). It is unlawful to violate their holiness. They must be as sacred to one another as this sacred day, in this sacred month, in this sacred town."
"You will go back to be resurrected (after death) to your Lord. There you will be accounted for your deeds. So do not turn into people who go astray and kill one another."
"Have I not delivered the Message (of my Lord)?" "Yes you have." Said they. "O Allâh! Bear witness! 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,." said he.
In another version it is said that the Prophet had said in that very speech:
# "He whoever plunges into misfortune will certainly aggrieve himself. So let no one of you inflict an evil upon his parents. Verily Satan has utterly despaired being worshipped in this country of yours; but he will be obeyed at your committing trivial things you disdain. Satan will be contented with such things."
The Messenger of Allâh spent At-Tashreeq Days (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) in Mina performing the ritual teachings of Islam, remembering Allâh (praying), following the ways of guidance of Ibrahim, wiping out all traces and features or polytheism. On some days of At-Tashreeq he delivered some speeches as well. In a version to Abu Da’űd with good reference to Sira,’ the daughter of Nabhan; she said: "The Messenger of Allâh made us a speech at the Ru’us (Heads) Day in which he said: "Is it not this the middle day of At-Tashreeq Days."
His speech that day was similar to that of An-Nahr Day’s. It was made after the revelation of Surat An-Nasr.
On the second day of An-Nafr (i.e. Departure) — on the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah, the Prophet .proceeded with An-Nafr to Mina and stayed at a high place of a mountain side at Bani Kinanah from Al-Abtah. He spent the rest of that day and night there — where he performed the noon, the afternoon, the sunset and the evening prayers.
Then he slept for a short while and mounted leaving for the Ka‘bah. He performed the Farewell Circumambulation (Tawaf Al-Wada‘), after ordering his Companions to do the same thing.
Upon the accomplishment of his religious rituals he quickened his move to the purified Madinah. He went there not to seek rest but to resume the strife and struggle in the way of Allâh.
The Last Expeditions
The pride of the Byzantine State made it deny Muslims their right to live. The Byzantine arrogance made them even kill those agents of theirs, who embraced Islam. Killing Farwah bin ‘Amr Al-Judhami, who was their agent on Mu’an, was an evidence of their arrogance. Due to that arrogance and presumptuousness of the Byzantines, the Messenger of Allâh started to mobilize a great army in Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra and made it under the command of Osamah bin Zaid bin Haritha with orders to have the horses of Muslims tread on the lands bordering Al-Balqa’ and Ad-Darum of Palestine. His aim was to terrorize Byzantines and to implant confidence into the hearts of Arabs who were settled at the borders of the Byzantines. His other purpose was to deliver a message to everybody there, so that no one may dare say that the Church brutality can’t go with impunity; and that Islamization is not synonymous with fear and vulnerability.
The leadership of Osamah was subject to criticism. Because he was still too young, people tarried at joining his expedition. The Messenger of Allâh addressed people saying:
# "No wonder now you contest his leadership, for you have already contested the ex-leadership of his father. Yes, by Allâh, his father, who was one of the most beloved people to me, was quite efficient for leadership; and this son of his is one of the most beloved individuals to me after his father."
So people started tending towards Osamah and joined his army. The number of volunteers in his army was so enormous that they formed such a long queue that they had to descend the escarpment — which was a parasang off Madinah. The anxiety-provoking news about the Messenger of Allâh’s sickness, however, made the expedition tarry again in order to know what Allâh had willed as regards His Messenger .
It was Allâh’s Will that Osamah’s expedition would be the first one dispatched during the caliphate of the veracious Abu Bakr.
The Journey to Allâh, the Sublime
Symptoms of Farewell:
When the Call to Islam grew complete and the new faith dominated the whole situation. The Messenger of Allâh started to develop certain symptoms that bespoke of leave-taking. They could be perceived through his statements and deeds:
* In Ramadan in the tenth year of Al-Hijra he secluded himself for twenty days in contrast to ten, previously.
* The archangel Gabriel reviewed the Qur’ân twice with him.
* His words in the Farewell Pilgrimage (i.e. Al-Wida‘):
"I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year."
* The revelation of An-Nasr Chapter amid At-Tashreeq Days. So when it was sent down on him, he realized that it was the parting time and that Surah was an announcement of his approaching death.
* On the early days of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, the Prophet went out to Uhud and observed a farewell prayer to the martyrs. It looked like saying goodbye to both the dead and the living alike. He then ascended the pulpit and addressed the people saying:
# "I am to precede you and I have been made witness upon you. By Allâh, you will meet me at the ‘Fountain’ very soon. I have been given the keys of worldly treasures. By Allâh, I do not fear for you that you will turn polytheists after me. But I do fear that acquisition of worldly riches should entice you to strike one another’s neck."
* One day, at midnight he went to Al-Baqee‘ cemetry, and implored Allâh to forgive the martyrs of Islam. He said: "Peace be upon you tomb-dwellers! May that morning that dawns upon you be more relieving than that which dawn upon the living. Afflictions are approaching them like cloudy lumps of a dark night — the last of which follows the first. The last one is bearing more evil than the first." He comforted them saying: "We will follow you."
The Start of the Disease:
On Monday the twenty-ninth of Safar in the eleventh year of Al-Hijra, he participated in funeral rites in Al-Baqee‘. On the way back he had a headache, his temperature rose so high that the heat effect could be felt over his headband.
He led the Muslims in prayer for eleven days though he was sick. The total number of his sick days were either thirteen or fourteen.
The Last Week:
When his sickness grew severe he asked his wives: "Where shall I stay tomorrow?" "Where shall I stay?" They understood what he wanted. So they allowed him to stay wherever he wished. He moved to ‘Aishah’s room leaning — while he was walking — on Al-Fadl bin Al-‘Abbas and ‘Ali bin Abi Talib. Head banded as he was, he dragged his feet till he came into her abode. It was there that he spent the last week of his life.
During that period, ‘Aishah used to recite Al-Mu‘awwidhat (Chapters 113 and 114 of the Qur’ân) and other supplications which he had already taught her.
Five days before death:
On Wednesday, five days before he died the Prophet’s temperature rose so high signalling the severeness of his disease. He fainted and suffered from pain. "Pour out on me seven Qirab (water skin pots) of various water wells so that I may go out to meet people and talk to them." So they seated him in a container (usually used for washing) and poured out water on him till he said: "That is enough. That is enough."
Then he felt well enough to enter the Mosque. He entered it band-headed, sat on the pulpit and made a speech to the people who were gathering together around him. He said:
# "The curse of Allâh falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have made their Prophets’ tombs places of worship."
Then he said:
# "Do not make my tomb a worshipped idol."
Then he offered himself and invited the people to repay any injuries he might have inflicted on them, saying:
# "He whom I have ever lashed his back, I offer him my back so that he may avenge himself on me. He whom I have ever blasphemed his honour, here I am offering my honour so that he may avenge himself."
Then he descended, and performed the noon prayer. Again he returned to the pulpit and sat on it. He resumed his first speech about enmity and some other things.
A man then said: "You owe me three Dirhams." The Prophet said: "Fadl, pay him the money." He went on saying:
# "I admonish you to be good to Al-Ansar (the Helpers). They are my family and with them I found shelter. They have acquitted themselves credibly of the responsibility that fell upon them and now there remains what you have to do. You should fully acknowledge and appreciate the favour that they have shown, and should overlook their faults."
In another version:
# "The number of believers would increase, but the number of Helpers would decrease to the extent that they would be among men as salt in the food. 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 these benefactors have shown and overlook their faults."
# "Allâh, the Great, has given a slave of His the opportunity to make a choice between whatever he desires of Allâh’s provisions in this world, and what He keeps for him in the world, but he has opted for the latter."
Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: "Upon hearing that, Abu Bakr cried and said: ‘We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake.’ We wondered why Abu Bakr said such a thing. People said: ‘Look at that old man! The Messenger of Allâh says about a slave of Allâh who was granted the right between the best fortunes of this world and the bounty of Allâh in the Hereafter, but he says: We sacrifice our fathers and mothers for your sake!’ It was later on that we realized what he had aimed at. The Messenger of Allâh was the slave informed to choose. We also acknowledged that Abu Bakr was the most learned among us."
Then the Messenger of Allâh said:
# "The fellow I feel most secure in his company is Abu Bakr. If I were to make friendship with any other one than Allâh, I would have Abu Bakr a bosom friend of mine. For him I feel affection and brotherhood of Islam. No gate shall be kept open in the Mosque except that of Abu Bakr’s."
Four days before his death:
On Thursday, four days before the death of the Messenger of Allâh , he said to people — though he was suffering from a severe pain: "Come here. I will cause you to write something so that you will never fall into error." Upon this ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab said: "The Prophet of Allâh is suffering from acute pain and you have the Qur’ân with you; the Book of Allâh is sufficient unto you." Others however wanted the writing to be made. When Muhammad heard them debating over it, he ordered them to go away and leave him alone.
That day he recommended three things:
1. Jews, Christians and polytheists should be expelled out of Arabia.
2. He recommended that delegations should be honoured and entertained, in a way similar to the one he used to do.
3. As for the third — the narrator said that he had forgotten it. It could have been adherence to the Holy Book and the Sunnah. It was likely to be the accomplishment and the mobilization of Osamah’s army, or it could have been performance of prayers and being attentive to slaves.
In spite of the strain of disease and suffering from pain, the Prophet used to lead all the prayers till that Thursday — four days before he died. On that day he led the sunset prayer and recited:
# "By the winds (or angels or the Messengers of Allâh) sent forth one after another." [77:1]
In the evening he grew so sick that he could not overcome the strain of disease or go out to enter the Mosque. ‘Aishah said: The Prophet asked: "Have the people performed the prayer?" "No. They haven’t. They are waiting for you." "Put some water in the washing pot." Said he. We did what he ordered. So he washed and wanted to stand up, but he fainted. When he came round he asked again "Have the people prayed?" Then the same sequence of events took place again and again for the second and the third times from the time he washed to the time he fainted after his attempts to stand up. Therefore he sent to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer himself. Abu Bakr then led the prayer during those days. They were seventeen prayers in the lifetime of Muhammad .
Three or four times ‘Aishah talked to the Prophet to exempt Abu Bakr from leadership in prayer lest people should despair of him, but he refused and said:
# "You (women) are like the women who tried to entice Joseph (Yusuf) into immorality. Convey my request to Abu Bakr to lead the prayer."
A Day or Two prior to Death:
On Saturday or on Sunday, the Prophet felt that he was well enough to perform the prayer; so he went out leaning on two men in order to perform the noon prayer. Abu Bakr, who was then about to lead the prayer withdrew when he saw him coming; but the Prophet made him a gesture to stay where he was and said: "Seat me next to him." They seated him on the left hand side of Abu Bakr. The Prophet led the prayer, and Abu Bakr followed him and raised his voice at every ‘Allâhu Akbar’ (i.e. Allâh is the Greatest) the Prophet said, so that the people may hear clearly.
A Day before his Death:
On Sunday, a day before he died, the Prophet set his slaves free, paid as a charity the seven Dinars he owned and gave his weapons as a present to the Muslims. So when night fell ‘Aishah had to borrow some oil from her neighbour to light her oil-lantern.
Even his armour was mortgaged as a security with a Jew for thirty Sa‘ (a cubic measure) of barley.
The Last Day Alive:
In a narration by Anas bin Malik, he said: "While the Muslims were performing the dawn prayer on Monday — led by Abu Bakr, they were surprised to see the Messenger of Allâh raising the curtain of ‘Aishah’s room. He looked at them while they were praying aligned properly and smiled cheerfully. Seeing him, Abu Bakr withdrew to join the lines and give way to him to lead the prayer. For he thought that the Prophet wanted to go out and pray." Anas said: "The Muslims, who were praying, were so delighted that they were almost too enraptured at their prayers. The Messenger of Allâh made them a gesture to continue their prayer, went into the room and drew down the curtain."
The Messenger of Allâh did not live for the next prayer time.
When it was daytime, the Prophet called Fatimah and told her something in a secret voice that made her cry. Then he whispered to her something else which made her laugh. ‘Aishah enquired from her after the Prophet’s death, as to this weeping and laughing to which Fatimah replied: "The first time he disclosed to me that he would not recover from his illness and I wept. Then he told me that I would be the first of his family to join him, so I laughed."
He gave Fatimah glad tidings that she would become the lady of all women of the world.
Fatimah witnessed the great pain that afflicted her father. So she said: "What great pain my father is in!". To these words, the Prophet remarked:
# "He will not suffer any more when today is over."
He asked that Al-Hasan and Al-Husain be brought to him. He kissed them and recommended that they be looked after. He asked to see his wives. They were brought to him. He preached them and told them to remember Allâh. Pain grew so much severe that the trace of poison he had at Khaibar came to light. It was so sore that he said to ‘Aishah: "I still feel the painful effect of that food I tasted at Khaibar. I feel as if death is approaching." He ordered the people to perform the prayers and be attentive to slaves. He repeated it several times.
The Prophet breathes his Last:
When the pangs of death started, ‘Aishah leant him against her. She used to say: One of Allâh’s bounties upon me is that the Messenger of Allâh died in my house, while I am still alive. He died between my chest and neck while he was leaning against me. Allâh has mixed his saliva with mine at his death. For ‘Abdur Rahman — the son of Abu Bakr — came in with a Siwak (i.e. the root of a desert plant used for brushing teeth) in his hand, while I was leaning the Messenger of Allâh against me. I noticed that he was looking at the Siwak, so I asked him — for I knew that he wanted it — "Would you like me to take it for you?" He nodded in agreement. I took it and gave it to him. As it was too hard for him, I asked him "Shall I soften it for you?" He nodded in agreement. So I softened it with my saliva and he passed it (on his teeth).
In another version it is said: "So he brushed (Istanna) his teeth as nice as he could." There was a water container (Rakwa) available at his hand with some water in. He put his hand in it and wiped his face with it and said:
# "There is no god but Allâh. Death is full of agonies."
As soon as he had finished his Siwak brushing, he raised his hand or his finger up, looked upwards to the ceiling and moved his lips. So ‘Aishah listened to him. She heard him say: "With those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace with the Prophets and the Truthful ones (As-Siddeeqeen), the martyrs and the good doers. O Allâh, forgive me and have mercy upon me and join me to the Companionship on high." Then at intervals he uttered these words: "The most exalted Companionship on high. To Allâh we turn and to Him we turn back for help and last abode." This event took place at high morning time on Monday, the twelfth of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the eleventh year of Al-Hijrah. He was sixty-three years and four days old when he died.
The Companions’ concern over the Prophet’s Death:
The great (loss) news was soon known by everybody in Madinah. Dark grief spread on all areas and horizons of Madinah. Anas said:
# "I have never witnessed a day better or brighter than that day on which the Messenger of Allâh came to us; and I have never witnessed a more awful or darker day than that one on which the Messenger of Allâh died on."
When he died, Fatimah said: "O Father, whom his Lord responded to his supplication! O Father, whose abode is Paradise. O Father, whom I announce his death to Gabriel."
‘Umar, who was so stunned that he almost lost consciousness and stood before people addressing them: "Some of the hypocrites claim that the Messenger of Allâh died. The Messenger of Allâh did not die, but went to his Lord in the same way as Moses bin ‘Imran did. He stayed away for forty nights, but finally came back though they said he had been dead. By Allâh, the Messenger of Allâh will come back and he will cut off the hands and legs of those who claim his death."
Abu Bakr’s Attitude:
Abu Bakr left his house at As-Sunh and came forth to the Mosque on a mare-back. At the Mosque, he dismounted and entered. He talked to nobody but went on till he entered ‘Aishah’s abode, and went directly to where the Messenger of Allâh was. The Prophet was covered with a Yemeni mantle. He uncovered his face and tended down, kissed him and cried. Then he said: "I sacrifice my father and mother for your sake. Allâh, verily, will not cause you to die twice. You have just experienced the death that Allâh had ordained."
Then he went out and found ‘Umar talking to people. He said: "‘Umar, be seated." ‘Umar refused to do so. People parted ‘Umar and came towards Abu Bakr, who started a speech saying:
# "And now, he who worships Muhammad . Muhammad is dead now. But he who worships Allâh, He is Ever Living and He never dies. Allâh says:
‘Muhammad ()is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allâh, and Allâh will give reward to those who are grateful.’" [3:144]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: "By Allâh, it sounded as if people had never heard such a Qur’ânic verse till Abu Bakr recited it as a reminder. So people started reciting it till there was no man who did not recite it."
Ibn Al-Musaiyab said that ‘Umar had said: "By Allâh, as soon as I heard Abu Bakr say it, I fell down to the ground. I felt as if my legs had been unable to carry me so I collapsed when I heard him say it. Only then did I realize that Muhammad had really died."
Burial and Farewell Preparations to his Honourable Body:
Dispute about who would succeed him broke out even before having the Messenger of Allâh’s body prepared for burial. Lots of arguments, discussions, dialogues took place between the Helpers and Emigrants in the roofed passage (portico) of Bani Sa‘ida. Finally they acknowledged Abu Bakr - may Allah be pleased with him - as a caliph. They spent the whole Monday there till it was night. People were so busy with their arguments that it was late night — just about dawn of Tuesday — yet his blessed body was still lying on his bed covered with an inked-garment. He was locked in the room.
On Tuesday, his body was washed with his clothes on. He was washed by Al-‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Al-Fadl and Qathm — the two sons of Al-‘Abbas, as well as Shaqran — the Messenger’s freed slave, Osamah bin Zaid and Aws bin Khauli. Al-‘Abbas, Al-Fadl and Qathm turned his body round, whereas Osamah and Shaqran poured out water. ‘Ali washed him and Aws leant him against his chest.
They shrouded him in three white Sahooli cotton cloth which had neither a headcloth nor a casing and inserted him in.
A sort of disagreement arose with regard to a burial place. Abu Bakr said: "I heard the Messenger of Allâh say: ‘A dead Prophet is buried where he dies.’ So Abu Talhah lifted the bed on which he died, dug underneath and cut the ground to make the tomb.
People entered the room ten by ten. They prayed for the Prophet . The first to pray for him were people of his clan. Then the Emigrants, then the Helpers. Women prayed for him after men. The young were the last to pray.
This process took Tuesday long and Wednesday night (i.e. the night which precedes Wednesday morning). ‘Aishah said: "We did not know that the Prophet was being buried till we heard the sound of tools digging the ground at the depth of Wednesday night."
The Prophetic Household
1. Khadijah Bint Khuwailid: In Makkah — prior to Hijra — the Prophet’s household comprised him and his wife Khadijah bint Khuwailid. He was twenty-five and she was forty when they got married. She was the first woman he married. She was the only wife he had till she died. He had sons and daughters with her. None of their sons lived long. They all died. Their daughters were Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah.
Zainab was married to her maternal cousin Abu Al-‘As bin Al-Rabi‘ and that was before Al-Hijra. Ruqaiya and Umm Kulthum were both married to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan - may Allah be pleased with him - successively (i.e. he married one after the death of her sister). Fatimah was married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib; and that was in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The sons and daughters that Fatimah and ‘Ali had were Al-Hasan, Al-Husain, Zainab and Umm Kulthum.
It is well-known that the Prophet was exceptionally authorized to have more than four wives for various reasons. The wives he married were thirteen. Nine of them outlived him. Two died in his lifetime: Khadijah and the Mother of the poor (Umm Al-Masakeen) — Zainab bint Khuzaima, besides two others with whom he did not consummate his marriage.
2. Sawdah bint Zam‘a: He married her in Shawwal, in the tenth year of Prophethood, a few days after the death of Khadijah. Prior to that, she was married to a paternal cousin of hers called As-Sakran bin ‘Amr.
3. ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr: He married her in the eleventh year of Prophethood, a year after his marriage to Sawdah, and two years and five months before Al-Hijra. She was six years old when he married her. However, he did not consummate the marriage with her till Shawwal seven months after Al-Hijra, and that was in Madinah. She was nine then. She was the only virgin he married, and the most beloved creature to him. As a woman she was the most learnčd woman in jurisprudence.
4. Hafsah bint ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: She was Aiyim (i.e. husbandless). Her ex-husband was Khunais bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi in the period between Badr and Uhud battles. The Messenger of Allâh married her in the third year of Al-Hijra.
5. Zainab bint Khuzaimah: She was from Bani Hilal bin ‘Amir bin Sa‘sa‘a. Was nicknamed Umm Al-Masakeen, because of her kindness and care towards them. She used to be the wife of ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh, who was martyred at Uhud, was married to the Prophet in the fourth year of Al-Hijra, but she died two or three months after her marriage to the Messenger of Allâh .
6. Umm Salamah Hind bint Abi Omaiyah: She used to be the wife of Abu Salamah, who died in Jumada Al-Akhir, in the fourth year of Al-Hijra. The Messenger of Allâh married her in Shawwal of the same year.
7. Zainab bint Jahsh bin Riyab: She was from Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah and was the Messenger’s paternal cousin. She was married to Zaid bin Haritha — who was then considered son of the Prophet . However, Zaid divorced her. Allâh sent down some Qur’ânic verses with this respect:
"So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e., divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage." [33:37]
About her, Allâh has sent down some verses of Al-Ahzab Chapter that discussed the adoption of children in detail — anyway we will discuss this later. The Messenger of Allâh married her in Dhul-Qa‘dah, the fifth year of Al-Hijra.
8. Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith: Al-Harith was the head of Bani Al-Mustaliq of Khuza‘ah. Juwairiyah was among the booty that fell to the Muslims from Bani Al-Mustaliq. She was a portion of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas’ share. He made her a covenant to set her free at a certain time. The Messenger of Allâh accomplished the covenant and married her in Sha‘ban in the sixth year of Al-Hijra.
9. Umm Habibah: Ramlah, the daughter of Abu Sufyan. She was married to ‘Ubaidullah bin Jahsh. She migrated with him to Abyssinia (Ethiopia). When ‘Ubaidullah apostatized and became a Christian, she stoodfast to her religion and refused to convert. However ‘Ubaidullah died there in Abyssinia (Ethiopia). The Messenger of Allâh dispatched ‘Amr bin Omaiyah Ad-Damri with a letter to Negus, the king, asking him for Umm Habibah’s hand — that was in Muharram, in the seventh year of Al-Hijra. Negus agreed and sent her to the Prophet in the company of Sharhabeel bin Hasnah.
10. Safiyah bint Huyai bin Akhtab: From the Children of Israel, she was among the booty taken at Khaibar battle. The Messenger of Allâh took her for himself. He set her free and married her after that conquest in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.
11. Maimunah bint Al-Harith: The daughter of Al-Harith, and the sister of Umm Al-Fadl Lubabah bint Al-Harith. The Prophet married her after the Compensatory ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). That was in Dhul-Qa‘dah in the seventh year of Al-Hijra.
Those were the eleven women that the Messenger of Allâh had married and consummated marriage with them. He outlived two of them — Khadijah and Zainab, the Umm Al-Masakeen. Whereas the other nine wives outlived him.
The two wives that he did not consummate marriage with were, one from Bani Kilab and the other from Kindah and this was the one called Al-Jauniyah.
Besides these, he had two concubines. The first was Mariyah, the Coptic (an Egyptian Christian), a present gift from Al-Muqauqis, vicegerent of Egypt — she gave birth to his son Ibrâhim, who died in Madinah while still a little child, on the 28th or 29th of Shawwal in the year 10 A.H., i.e. 27th January, 632 A.D. The second one was Raihanah bint Zaid An-Nadriyah or Quraziyah, a captive from Bani Quraiza. Some people say she was one of his wives. However, Ibn Al-Qaiyim gives more weight to the first version. Abu ‘Ubaidah spoke of two more concubines, Jameelah, a captive, and another one, a bondwoman granted to him by Zainab bint Jahsh.
Whosoever meditates on the life of the Messenger of Allâh , will conceive that his marriage to this great number of women in the late years of his lifetime, after he had almost spent thirty years of his best days of youth sufficing himself to one old wife — Khadijah and later on to Sawdah, was in no way an overwhelming lustful desire to be satisfied through such a number of wives. These marriages were in fact motivated by aims and purposes much more glorious and greater than what normal marriages usually aim at.
The tendency of the Messenger of Allâh towards establishing a relationship by marriage with both Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and his marriage to ‘Aishah and Hafsah — and getting his daughter Fatimah married to ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, and the marriage of his two daughters, Ruqaiyah and Umm Kulthum to ‘Uthman — indicate clearly that he aimed at confirming the relationship among the four men — whose sacrifices and great achievements in the cause of Islam are well-known.
Besides this, there was that tradition of the Arabs to honour the in-law relations. For them a son or a daughter-in-law was a means by which they sought the consolidation of relationship and affection with various phratries. Hostility and fights against alliances and affinities would bring an unforgettable shame, disgrace and degradation to them.
By marrying the Mothers of believers, the Prophet wanted to demolish or break down the Arab tribes’ enmity to Islam and extinguish their intense hatred. Umm Salamah was from Bani Makhzum — the clan of Abu Jahl and Khalid bin Al-Waleed. Her marriage to the Messenger of Allâh produced good results. Khalid’s deliberately undecisive attitude at Uhud — for instance — was due to the Messenger’s marriage to Umm Salamah. Khalid went even further than that, in a short time he willingly became a keen obedient Muslim.
After the Messenger of Allâh’s marriage to Umm Habibah, Abu Sufyan, her father, did not encounter him with any sort of hostility. Similarly his marriage to Juwairiyah and Safiyah made the two tribes stop all sorts of provocation, aggression or hostility against Islam. Better still, Juwairiyah, herself, was one of the greatest sources of blessing to her own people. On the occasion of her marriage to the Prophet , his Companions set a hundred families of her people free. They said: "It is for their affinity with the Messenger of Allâh ." No need to say what great good impression this gratitude had on everybody’s soul. One of the greatest motives of all is Allâh’s bidding his Prophet to educate and purify the souls of people who had known nothing whatsoever about courtesy, education and culture. He had to teach them to comply with the necessities of civilization and to contribute to the solidification and the establishment of a new Islamic society.
An essential fundamental rule of the Muslim society is to prohibit mixing of men and women. Providing direct education for women, though highly compelling, is impossible in the light of this Islamic norm. Therefore, the Prophet had to select some women of different ages and talents, and indoctrinate them systematically in order to educate she-bedouins and townswomen, old and young, and thus furnish them with the instruments of propagating the true faith. The Mothers of believers (i.e. wives of the Prophet ) were in such a convenient position that they could convey the state of the Prophet and his affairs to people (men and women). Being educated and taught the teachings and rules of Islam, his wives, especially those who outlived him, played a very important role in conveying Prophetic traditions Ahadith to the Muslims. ‘Aishah, for instance, related a large number of the Prophet’s deeds and statements.
His marriage to his paternal cousin Zainab bint Jahsh was a peculiar case which aimed at eradicating a deeply rooted pre-Islamic tradition — i.e. the adoption of children. In Al-Jahiliyah the Arabs used to consider an adopted person exactly like a real son or daughter as far as rights and sanctities are concerned. That Jahiliyah tradition had been so deeply rooted in their hearts that it was not easy to remove or uproot it. This tradition in fact affronts the basic principles of Islam; especially those concerned with marriage, divorce and inheritance and some other cases, and brought about lots of corruptions and indecencies. Naturally Islam stands against such deeds, and attempts to remove them from the Islamic society.
For the eradication of this tradition, Allâh, the Exalted, bid His Messenger to marry his cousin Zainab bint Jahsh, who was an ex-wife to Zaid. She was at variance with Zaid to an extent that he intended to divorce her — that was at the time when the Confederates (Al-Ahzab) were making an evil alliance against the Messenger of Allâh and against the Muslims. The Messenger of Allâh feared that the hypocrites, the idolaters, and the Jews would make a propaganda out of it and try to influence some Muslims of weak hearts. That was why he urged Zaid not to divorce her, in order not to get involved into that trial.
Undoubtedly this hesitation and partiality were alien to the character of the Prophet . They did not apply to the power of determination and will with which he had been sent. Allâh, the Exalted, blamed him for that by saying:
# "And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin Haritha may Allah be pleased with him - — the freed slave of the Prophet ) on whom Allâh has bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favour (by manumitting him), ‘Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allâh.’ But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allâh has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allâh will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e. Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allâh had a better right that you should fear him." [33:37]
Finally Zaid divorced Zainab and the Messenger of Allâh married her at the time he laid siege to Bani Quraiza. That was after she had finished her Iddat (i.e. period during which a widow or a divorcee may not remarry). Allâh Himself had already ordained it, and so gave him no other alternative. Allâh had even started the marriage Himself by saying:
# "So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them)." [33:37]
And that was in order to break down the tradition of child adoption in practice after He had done it in words:
# "Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just near Allâh." [33:5]
"Muhammad () is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allâh, and the last (end) of the Prophets." [33:40]
Lots of deeply-rooted traditions cannot be uprooted or demolished or even adjusted by mere words. They must be matched and associated with the action of the advocate of the Message himself.
This could be perceived through the deeds practised by the Muslims at Al-Hudaibiyah ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage) during which ‘Urwah bin Mas‘ud Al-Thaqafi saw certain Muslims tend to pick up any expectoration that fell down from the Prophet . He also saw them race to the water of his ablution and they almost quarrelled for it. There were others who competed to pledge allegiance to death and some others pledged not to flee from (the battlefield). Among those people, were eminent Companions like ‘Umar and Abu Bakr, who although dedicated all their lives to the Prophet and to the cause of Islam, but refused to carry out the Messenger’s ordres with respect to slaughtering sacrificial animals after the ratification of Al-Hudaibiyah Peace Treaty, the thing that perturbed and caused the Prophet to feel anxious. However, when Umm Salamah - may Allah be pleased with her - advised that he take the initiative and sacrifice his animals, his followers raced to follow his example; a clear evidence in support of the saying: Actions speak louder than words, in the process of exterminating a deeply-established tradition.
Hypocrites aroused a lot of suspicions and made a broad false propaganda against that marriage. Their acts and talks about that marriage had ill-effects on those Muslims whose Faith was still weak, particularly that Zainab was the fifth wife — and the Noble Qur’ân limited the number up to four only; Zaid was traditionally his son, and so a father marrying his son’s divorcee was a heinous sin in the eyes of the Arabians.
Al-Ahzab Surah was revealed to shed full light on the two issues, i.e. Islam does not recognize adoption of children, and the Prophet is given (by Allâh) more freedom as regards the number of wives he can hold than other Muslims in order to achieve noble and honourable purposes.
However, the treatment of the Messenger of Allâh to his wives was of honourable, noble, and superb nature. His wives were on tops in respect of honour, satisfaction, patience, modesty, and service (that is to say the performance of housework and marriage duties). Although the Messenger’s house-life was hard and unbearable, none of his wives complained. Anas said about the Prophet’s life: "According to my knowledge, the Messenger of Allâh has never tasted a thin flattened loaf in all his lifetime, nor has he ever seen with his own eyes roasted mutton."
‘Aishah said: "Over two months have elapsed — during which we have seen three crescents — and yet no fire has been kindled in the houses of the Messenger of Allâh (i.e. they did not cook food)." "What did you eat to sustain yourselves?" ‘Urwah asked. She said "The two blacks: dates and water". Lots of information about the hard life of the Prophet were told.
In spite of these hardships, straits and adversity of life in the house of the Prophet , none of his wives uttered a word of complaint worthy of reproach — but once. This exception was required by human instinctive inclinations. However, it was not so important and consequently it did not require the decree of a legislative rule. Allâh has given them an opportunity to choose between two things, as clearly stated in the following verses:
# "O Prophet (Muhammad )! Say to your wives: ‘If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, — then come! I will make a provision for you and set you free in a handsome manner (divorce). But if you desire Allâh and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, then verily, Allâh has prepared for Al-Muhsinat (good doers) amongst you an enormous reward.’" [33:28,29]
They were so noble and honest that none of them preferred ‘the life of this world and its glitter’ to the abode in the Hereafter.
Although they were many in number, nothing of the dispute occurrences that normally happen among co-wives, took place in their houses. Very few cases could be the only exception; but they were quite normal. Allâh reproached them for that, so they ceased to do such a thing. This incident is mentioned in At-Tahreem Chapter:
# "O Prophet! Why do you ban (for yourself) that which Allâh has made lawful to you …" [66:1] (to the end of the fifth verse).
Discussing polygamy — in my opinion — is not a necessity; since a person who is familiar with the Europeans, and indecent practices, sufferings, wickedness, their sorrows and distresses, the horrible crimes they commit in this respect as well as the trials, the disasters that they are involved in, and which emanate directly from their disregard of the principle of polygamy form a good reason (to justify the soundness of polygamy). The distorted picture of life in Europe with the ill-practices featuring it, could truthfully justify the existence and practice of polygamy. In this, there are Divine signs for all people possessed of lucid mind.
The Prophet ,
Attributes and Manners
The Prophet combined both perfection of creation and perfection of manners.
This impression on people can be deduced by the bliss that overwhelmed their hearts and filled them with dignity. Men’s dignity, devotion and estimation of the Messenger of Allâh were unique and matchless. No other man in the whole world has been so honoured and beloved. Those who knew him well, were fascinated and enchanted by him. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of saving a nail of his from hurt or injury. Being privileged by lots of prerogatives of perfection that no one else had been endowed with, his Companions found that he was peerless and so they loved him.
Here we list a brief summary of the versions about his beauty and perfection. To encompass all which is, addmittedly, beyond our power.
Beauty of Creation:
Describing the Messenger of Allâh , who passed by her tent on his journey of migration, Umm Ma‘bad Al-Khuza‘iyah said to her husband:
# "He was innocently bright and had 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 eyebrows. His hair glossy and black, inclined to curl, he wore long. His voice was extremely commanding. His head was large, 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 intimate with him than 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 to look repulsive. He was a twig amongst the two, singularly bright and fresh. He was always surrounded 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 a commander. His utterances were marked by truth and sincerity, free from all kinds of falsehoods and lies."
‘Ali bin Abi Talib describing him said: "The Messenger of Allâh was neither excessively tall nor extremely short. He was medium height among his friends. His hair was neither curly nor wavy. It was in between. It was not too curly nor was it plain straight. It was both curly and wavy combined. His face was not swollen or meaty-compact. It was fairly round. His mouth was white. He had black and large eyes with long haired eyelids. His joints (limbs) and shoulder joints were rather big. He had a rod-like little hair extending from his chest down to his navel, but the rest of his body was almost hairless. He had thick hand palms and thick fingers and toes. At walking, he lifted his feet off the ground as if he had been walking in a muddy remainder of water. When he turned, he turned all. The Prophethood Seal was between his shoulders. He is the Seal of Prophets, the most generous and the bravest of all.
His speech was the most reliable. He was the keenest and the most attentive to people’s trust and was very careful to pay people’s due in full. The Prophet was the most tractable and the most yielding companion, seeing him unexpectedly you fear him and venerate him. He who has acquaintance with him will like him. He who describes him says:
# ‘I have never seen such a person neither before nor after seeing him.’ "
Jabir bin Samurah reported that Allâh’s Messenger had a broad face with reddish (wide) eyes and lean heels.
Abu At-Tufail said: "He was white, good-looking. He was neither fat nor thin; neither tall nor short."
Anas bin Malik said: "He had unfolded hands and was pink-coloured. He was neither white nor brown. He was rather whitish. In both his head and beard there were as many as twenty grey hairs, besides some grey hairs at his temples." In another version: "and some scattered white hairs in his head."
Abu Juhaifa said: "I have seen some grey colour under his lower lip." Al-Bara’ said: "He was of medium height, broad-shouldered, his hair went up to his earlobes. I saw him dressed in a red garment and I (assure you) I have never seen someone more handsome. At first he used to let his hair loose so as to be in compliance with the people of the Book; but later on he used to part it."
Al-Bara’ also said: "He had the most handsome face and the best character." When he was asked: "Was the Messenger’s face sword-like?" "No," he said: "it was moon-like." But in another version: he said, "His face was round." Ar-Rabi‘ bint Muawwidh said: "Had you seen him, you would have felt that the sun was shining." Jabir bin Samurah said, "I saw him at one full-moony night. I looked at him. He was dressed in a red garment. I compared him with the moon and found that — for me — he was better than the moon."
Abu Huraira said: "I have never seen a thing nicer than the Messenger of Allâh . It seems as if the sunlight were moving within his face. I have never seen one who is faster in pace than the Messenger of Allâh . It seemed as if the earth had folded itself up to shorten the distance for him. For we used to wear ourselves out while he was at full ease."
Ka‘b bin Malik said: "When he was pleased, his face would shine with so bright light that you would believe that it was a moon-piece." Once he sweated hot at ‘Aishah’s, and the features of his face twinkled; so I recited a poem by Abu Kabeer Al-Hudhali:
# "If you watch his face-features, you will see them twinkling like the lightning of an approaching rain."
Whenever Abu Bakr saw him he would say:
# "He is faithful, chosen (by Allâh), and calls for forgiveness. He shines like a full-moon light when it is far from dark (clouds)."
‘Umar used to recite verses by Zuhair describing Haram bin Sinan:
# "Were you other than a human being, you would be a lighted moon at a full-moon night."
Then he would add: "Thus was the Messenger of Allâh .
When he got angry his face would go so red that you would think it were "an inflected red skin-spot with pomegranate grains on both cheeks."
Jabir bin Samurah said: "His legs were gentle, delicate and in conformity. His laughter is no more than smiling. Looking at him will make you say ‘He is black-eyed though he is not so.’"
Ibn Al-‘Abbas said: "His two front teeth were splitted so whenever he speaks, light goes through them. His neck was as pure and silvery as a neck of doll. His eyelids were long haired but his beard was thick. His forehead was broad; but his eyebrows were like the metal piece attached to a lance, but they were unhorned. His nose was high-tipped, middle-cambered with narrow nostrils. His cheeks were plain, but he had (little hair) running down like a rod from his throat to his navel. He had hair neither on his abdomen nor on his chest except some on his arms and shoulders. His chest was broad and flatted. He had long forearms with expansive palms of the hand. His legs were plain straight and stretching down. His other limbs were straight too. The two hollows of his soles hardly touch the ground. When he walks away he vanishes soon; but he walks at ease (when he is not in a hurry). The way he walks seems similar to one who is leaning forwards and is about to fall down."
Anas said: "I have never touched silk or a silky garment softer than the palm of the Prophet’s ; nor have I smelt a perfume or any scent nicer than his." In another version, "I have never smelt ambergris nor musk nor any other thing sweeter than the scent and the smell of the Messenger of Allâh ."
Abu Juhaifa said: "I took his hand and put it on my head and I found that it was colder than ice and better scented than the musk perfume."
Jabir bin Samurah — who was a little child then — said: "When he wiped my cheek, I felt it was cold and scented as if it had been taken out of a shop of a perfume workshop."
Anas said, "His sweat was pearl-like." Umm Sulaim said: "His sweat smelt nicer than the nicest perfume."
Jabir said: "Whoever pursues a road that has been trodden by the Messenger of Allâh , will certainly scent his smell and will be quite sure that the Messenger of Allâh has already passed it." The Seal of Prophethood, which was similar in size to a pigeon’s egg, was between his shoulders on the left side having spots on it like moles.
The Perfection of Soul and Nobility:
The Prophet was noted for superb eloquence and fluency in Arabic. He was remarkable in position and rank. He was an accurate, unpretending straightforward speaker. He was well-versed in Arabic and quite familiar with the dialects and accents of every tribe. He spoke with his entertainers using their own accents and dialects. He mastered and was quite eloquent at both bedouin and town speech. So he had the strength and eloquence of bedouin language as well as the clarity and the decorated splendid speech of town. Above all, there was the assistance of Allâh embodied in the revealed verses of the Qur’ân.
His stamina, endurance and forgiveness — out of a commanding position — his patience and standing what he detested — these were all talents, attributes and qualities Allâh Himself had brought him on. Even wise men have their flaws, but the Messenger of Allâh , unlike everybody, the more he was hurt or injured, the more clement and patient he became. The more insolence an ignorant anybody exercised against him the more enduring he became.
"The Messenger of Allâh , whenever he is given the opportunity to choose between two affairs, he always chooses the easiest and the most convenient. But if he is certain that it is sinful, he will be as far as he could from it. He has never avenged himself; but when the sanctity of Allâh is violated he would. That would be for Allâh’s not for himself. He is the last one to get angry and the first to be satisfied. His hospitality and generosity were matchless. His gifts and endowments manifest a man who does not fear poverty."
Ibn‘Abbas said: "The Prophet was the most generous. He is usually most generous of all times in Ramadan, the times at which the angel Gabriel - peace be upon him - comes to see him. Gabriel used to visit him every night of Ramadan and review the Qur’ân with him. Verily the Messenger of Allâh is more generous at giving bounty or charity than the blowing wind."
"The Prophet would never deny anything he was asked for."
His courage, his succour and his might are distinguishable. He was the most courageous. He witnessed awkward and difficult times and stoodfast at them. More than once brave men and daring ones fled away leaving him alone; yet he stood with full composure facing the enemy without turning his back. All brave men must have experienced fleeing once or have been driven off the battlefield at a round at a time except the Prophet . ‘Ali said: "Whenever the fight grew fierce and the eyes of fighters went red, we used to resort to the Prophet for succour. He was always the closest to the enemy."
Anas said: "One night the people of Madinah felt alarmed. People went out hurriedly towards the source of sound, but the Prophet had already gone ahead of them. He was on the horseback of Abu Talhah which had no saddle over it, and a sword was slung round his neck, and said to them: ‘There was nothing to be afraid for.’"
He was the most modest and the first one to cast his eyes down. Abu Sa‘îd Al-Khudri said: "He was shier than a virgin in her boudoir. When he hates a thing we read it on his face. He does not stare at anybody’s face. He always casts his eyes down. He looks at the ground more than he looks sky-wards. His utmost looks at people are glances. He is willingly and modestly obeyed by everybody. He would never name a person whom he had heard ill-news about — which he hated. Instead he would say: ‘Why do certain people do so....’"
Al-Farazdaq verse of poem fits him very much and the best one to be said of:
# "He casts his eyes modestly but the eyes of others are cast down due to his solemnity, and words issue out of his mouth only while he is smiling."
The Prophet is the most just, the most decent, the most truthful at speech, and the honestest of all. Those who have exchanged speech with him, and even his enemies, acknowledge his noble qualities. Even before the Prophethood he was nicknamed Al-Ameen (i.e. the truthful, the truthworthy). Even then — in Al-Jahiliyah — they used to turn to him for judgement and consultation. In a version by At-Tirmidhi, he says that ‘Ali had said that he had been told by Abu Jahl that he (Abu Jahl) said to the Messenger of Allâh : "We do not call you a liar; but we do not have faith in what you have brought." In His Book, Allâh, the Exalted, said about them:
# "It is not you that they deny, but it is the Verses (the Qur’ân) of Allâh that the Zaliműn (polytheists and wrong-doers) deny." [6:33]
Even when Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan: "Have you ever accused him of lying before the ministry of Prophethood?" Abu Sufyan said: "No."
He was most modest and far from being arrogant or proud. He forbade people to stand up at his presence as other people usually do for their kings.
Visiting the poor, the needy and entertaining them are some of his habits. If a slave invited him, he would accept the invitation. He always sat among his friends as if he were an ordinary person of them. ‘Aishah said that he used to repair his shoes, sew or mend his dress and to do what ordinary men did in their houses. After all, he was a human being like others. He used to check his dress (lest it has some insects on). Milking the she-sheep and catering for himself were some of his normal jobs. The Prophet was the most truthful to his pledges, and it is one of his qualities to establish good and steady relationship with his relatives — ‘Silat-Ar-Rahim’. He is the most merciful, gentle and amiable to all people. His way of living is the simplest one. Ill-manners and indecency are two qualities completely alien to him. He was decent, and did not call anybody names. He was not the sort of person who cursed or made noise in the streets. He did not exchange offences with others. He pushed back an offence or an error by forgiveness and overlooking. Nobody was allowed to walk behind him (i.e. as a bodyguard). He did not feel himself superior to others not even to his slaves (men or women) as far as food or clothes were concerned.
Whoever served him should be served by him too. ‘Ugh’ (an utterance of complaint) is a word that had never been said by him to his servant; nor was his servant blamed for doing a thing or leaving it undone. Loving the poor and the needy and entertaining them or participating in their funerals were things the Prophet always observed. He never contempted or disgraced a poor man for his poverty. Once he was travelling with his Companions and when it was time to have food prepared, he asked them to slaughter a she-sheep. A man said: I will slaughter it, another one said: I will skin it out. A third said: I will cook it. So the Messenger of Allâh said: I will collect wood for fire. They said: "No. We will suffice you that work." "I know that you can do it for me, but I hate to be privileged. Allâh hates to see a slave of his privileged to others." So he went and collected fire-wood.
Let us have some of the description of Hind bin Abi Halah: "The Messenger of Allâh was continually sad, thinking perpetually. He had no rest (i.e. for long). He only spoke when it was necessary. He would remain silent for a long time and whenever he spoke, he would end his talk with his jawbone but not out of the corners of his mouth, i.e. (snobbishly). His speech was inclusive. He spoke inclusively and decisively. It was not excessive nor was it short of meaning. It was amiable. It was in no way hard discoroning. He glorified the bounty of Allâh; even if it were little. If he had no liking for someone’s food, he would neither praise nor criticize.
He was always in full control of his temper and he would never get seemed angry unless it was necessary. He never got angry for himself nor did he avenge himself. It was for Allâh’s sanctity and religion that he always seemed angry.
When he pointed at a thing he would do so with his full hand-palm, and he would turn it round to show surprise. If he were angry he would turn both his body and face aside. When he was pleased, he cast his eyes down. His laughter was mostly smiling. It was then that his teeth which were like hail-stones were revealed.
He never spoke unless it was something closely relevant to him. He confirmed the brotherhood relationship among his Companions; and thus he made them intimate and did not separate them or implant enmity among them. Those who were honourable with their peoples, were honoured and respected by him and were assigned rulers over their own peoples. His cheerfulness was never withdrawn at anyone’s face; even at those whom he warned his people from or those whom he himself was on the alert of. He visited friends and inquired about people’s affairs. He confirmed what was right and criticized the awful and tried to undermine it. He was moderate in all affairs. He was equal to others and was not privileged. He would never act heedlessly, lest the others should get heedless. Each situation was dealt with in its proper due.
Righteousness was his target; so he was never short of it nor indifferent to it. People who sat next to him were the best of their people and the best of them all were — for him — those who provided common consultations. For him, the greatest ones and the highest in ranks were the best at providing comfort and co-ordination and succour. Remembrance (of Allâh) was a thing he aimed at and established whenever he sat down or stands up. No certain position was assigned for him to sit on. He sits at the end of the group, seated next to the last sitter in the place. He ordered people to do the same. He entertained his participiants in social gatherings alike so that the one addressed would think that there was no one honoured by the Prophet but himself. He whoever sat next to him or interrupted him in order to ask for his advice about an affair of his, would be the first to start the talk and the one to end it. The Prophet would listen to him patiently till he ended his speech. He never denied a request to anyone, if unapproachable, then few gratifying words would work, instead.
His magnanimity, broad mindedness his tolerance could embrace all people and entitled him to be regarded as father for them all. In justice, all of them were almost equal. Nobody was better than another except on the criterion of Allâh fearing. A favoured one, to him, was the most Allâh fearing. His assembly was a meeting of clemency, timidness, patience and honesty. Voices were not raised in rows or riots. Inviolable things were never violable. Fearing Allâh and worship were their means to sympathy and compassion. They used to esteem the old and have mercy on the young. They assisted the needy and entertained strangers.
The Messenger of Allâh was always cheerful, easy, pleasant-tempered and lenient. He was never rude or rough nor clamorous or indecent. He was neither a reproacher nor a praiser. He overlooked what he did not desire, yet you would never despair of him. Three qualities he disposed of: hypocrisy, excessiveness, and what was none of his concern. People did not fear him in three areas: — for they were not qualities or habits of his —: He never disparaged, or reproached nor did he seek the defects or shortages of others. He only spoke things whose reward was Divinely desirable. When he spoke, his listeners would attentively listen casting down their heads. They only spoke when he was silent. They did not have disputes or arguments about who was to talk. He who talked in his presence would be listened to by everybody till he finished his talk. Their talk would be about the topic discussed or delivered by their first speaker. The Messenger of Allâh used to laugh at what they laughed at and admired what they used to admire. He would always show patience with a stranger’s harshness at talk. He used to say:
# "When you see a person seeking an object earnestly, assist him to get his need. And never ask for a reward except from the reward-Giver, i.e. Allâh."
Kharijah bin Zaid said: "The Prophet was the most honoured among the people with whom he sat. His limbs could hardly be seen. He was often silent and rarely talked when speech was not a necessity. He turned away from those whose speech was rude or impolite. His laughter was no more than a smile. His speech, which was decisive, it was neither excessive nor incomplete. Out of reverence and esteem and following the example of their Prophet , the Companions’ laughter at his presence — was smiling, as well."
On the whole the Prophet was ornamented with peerless attributes of perfection. No wonder to be like that for he was brought up, educated and taught (the Qur’ân) by Allâh. He was even praised by Allâh:
# "And verily, you (O Muhammad ) are on an exalted standard of character." [68:4]
Those were the attributes and qualities that the Prophet enjoyed which made the hearts of souls of the people close to him, draw near to him and love him. Those traits made him so popular that the restraint and enmity of his people grew less and they started to embrace Islam in large crowds.
This description is in fact no more than a rapid review or rather short brief lines of Muhammad’s aspects of full perfection. Trying to encompass the whole perfect picture of the Prophet . No one can ever claim to be possessed of full knowledge or complete mastery of the great attributes of the greatest man in this universe. No one can ever give this man, the top of perfection, his due descrpition. He was a man who always sought Allâh’s light, to such an extent that he was wholly imbued with the Qur’ânic approach.
# O Allâh! send your blessings (and the Holy Words of Yours) upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You have send blessings upon Ibrâhim and the family of Ibrâhim. You are worthy of all praise, All Glorious.
O Allâh! bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You have already blessed Ibrâhim and the family of Ibrâhim. You are worthy of all praise, All Glorious.
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