Friday, 13 February 2009

Sirah 2


[ ...Continued: The shia version of life of the Prophet by Jafar Subhani ]


The government of the Makkans resembled a constitutional government. Their Darun Nadwah was like a national consultative assembly where the heads of the tribes met at the time of crisis and exchanged views on complicated matters and took collective decision. In the thirteenth year of Rasul's prophetic mission the people of Makkah were faced with a great danger from the Muslims. It threatened their very existence and freedom. The great base which the Muslims set up in Yathrib and the responsibility taken by the residents of Yathrib for the protection of Rasul were clear signs of this threat. In the month of Rabiul Awwal of the thirteenth year of the prophetic mission, when Rasul's migration took place, none of the Muslims was left in Makkah except Rasul, Ali, Abu Bakr and a few other Muslims who had been detained by Quraysh or those who were old or sick. There was however, every possibility of these persons also leaving Makkah for Yathrib.
In the meantime Quraysh suddenly took a categorical and dangerous decision. A consultative meeting of the chiefs took place in Darun Nadwah. A man from among them spoke at the outset about the centralization of the forces of Muhammad at Yathrib and the agreement made by Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj. Thereafter he added: "We, the people of the Haram, were respected by all tribes. However, Muhammad sowed the seeds of discord and thus posed a great danger for us. Now we have lost all patience. The only path of safety for us is that a brave man should be selected from among us, and he should put an end to his life secretly. And in case Bani Hashim stand up to quarrel and dispute with us, we may pay the blood-money to them. An unidentified old man who introduced himself as 'Najdi' rejected this idea and said: "This plan is not at all practicable, because Bani Hashim will not spare the life of the murderer of Muhammad and the payment of blood-money will not satisfy them. Hence, whoever volunteers to execute this plan should first part with his own life, and no such person is found amongst you". One of the chiefs named Abul Bakhtari said: "The best thing would be to imprison Muhammad and to provide him food and water through a hole and thus prevent the spreading of his religion". The old Najdi spoke again: "This scheme is also not very much different from the first one, because in that event Bani Hashim will wage war against you to get him released. And even if they themselves are not successful in achieving this object they will seek help from other tribes at the time of Haj and will get him released with their assistance". A third man put forward another suggestion and said: "It will be better if we make Muhammad mount a refractory camel and tie both of his feet and make the camel run so that it may strike him on hills and stones and thus shatter his body. And if, by chance, his life is saved and he alights in the land of some other tribe and wants to propagate his religion amongst them they themselves, who are zealous idolaters, will settle their accounts with him and will save us and themselves from his mischief". The old Najdi once again disapproved of this plan and said: "You are aware of Muhammad's attractive and fascinating way of speaking. By his sweet speeches and oratory he will make the other tribes his allies and will then swoop down on you". Perfect calmness prevailed over the whole assembly. Suddenly Abu Jahl, and according to another version the old Najdi himself, expressed his view and said: "The only proper and easy way is that some persons should be selected from all the families and they should jointly attack his house at night and cut him into pieces, so that all the families might be held responsible for the murder. It is evident that in that case Bani Hashim will not be in a position to take revenge on all the families". This proposal was endorsed unanimously and the would-be assassins were selected. It was then decided that when night fell those persons should carry out their mission.
These muddle-headed persons were under the impression that like other mundane affairs the institution of prophethood, too, could be destroyed with such schemes. They could not conceive that like other Prophets, Rasul was also blessed with Divine assistance and the hand that had protected this luminous torch from the hurricanes of accidents for thirteen years could also frustrate the present plan of his enemies. According to the exegetes the Archangel Gabriel came and informed Rasul of the nefarious designs of the polytheists. Quran makes a reference to this incident in these words: Remember how the unbelievers plotted against you. They sought to take you captive or kill you or banish you. They devised plans-but God too made a plan and God is the best planner. (Sura Anfal, 8:30). Rasul was ordered by God to proceed to Yathrib. However, it was not an easy task to get rid of the cruel hands of the idolaters, especially when they were on the look-out for him and the distance between Makkah and Yathrib was also long. In case he had not left Makkah after proper planning it was probable that the Makkans might have overtaken and arrested him and had shed his blood before he could join his friends. The historians and biographers have given different versions about the migration of Rasul and the differences between them about the particulars of the incident are unusual. The writer of Seerah (biography), Halabi, has succeeded to some extent in making the different narratives compatible with one another, but has failed to eliminate the contradictions in some cases. The thing which deserves attention is that most of the traditionalists of various opinions have put Rasul's migration in such a way that one concludes that it was a miraculous feat to get rid of the enemy, whereas a careful study of the incident reveals that Rasul's escape was the result of his foresight, careful planning and the precautionary measures taken by him; and God had willed to provide him safety through natural channels and not by means of miraculous acts. The thing which bears testmony to this view is that Rasul availed of natural causes and rational means (like making Ali sleep in his own bed and concealing himself in the cave etc. and thus ensured his safety.
The Archangel Gabriel informed Rasul about the wicked plan of the unbelievers and asked him to migrate. Rasul ordered Ali to sleep in his bed, and pass through the terrible ordeal for the safety of Islam, so that the unbelievers might not think that Rasul had left, but should remain under the impression that he was in the house. Thus Ali remained contented with remaining in the house, so that he himself could move freely through the streets of Makkah and in its precincts. The advantage underlying this plan was that the enemies kept guarding Rasul's house only, and he himself gained time to move to a place of safety. Now we should see as to who offers to sleep in Rasul's bed and to sacrifice his own life for him? You will naturally say: "He who believed in him first and whirled round him from the day of his appointment to the prophetic mission just as a moth whirls round a candle". It is he who should make sacrifice in this path and that self-sacrificing person is Ali. Rasul, therefore, turned to Ali and said: "Sleep in my bed tonight and cover yourself with the green sheet which I use during sleep, because the enemies have conspired to kill me and it is, therefore, necessary that I should migrate to Yathrib". Ali occupied the bed of Rasul early in the night. When three-fourth of the night had passed, forty persons encircled the house and peeped into it through a hole. They saw the condition of the house to be as usual and thought that the man who was sleeping in the bedroom was Rasul himself. Rasul decided to leave the house when the enemies had surrounded it from all sides and were keeping perfect vigil. God willed to save the great leader of Islam from the clutches of these mean people. Rasul recited those verses of Sura Yasin which suited his condition at that time and after having read up to the verse: "so that they cannot see" he came out of the house immediately and went to the appointed place.
It is not clear as to how Rasul succeeded in crossing the blockade, and, why the besiegers could not see him. It is learnt from the tradition quoted by the renowned pious traditionalist, the late Ali bin Ibrahim, that, when Rasul left the house, all of them had gone to sleep, and wanted to attack the house in the morning, and did not imagine that Rasul was aware of their plot. He was commenting on the verse: "Remember how the unbelievers plotted against you. They planned, and God too planned. And God is the best of planners." (Sura Anfal, 8:30). However, other historians clearly narrate that the enemies remained awake till the time they attacked Rasul's house and he came out of the house miraculously and they could not see him. There is no doubt about the fact that such a miracle is possible. But the question is: Was such a miracle necessary on this occasion? Complete scrutiny of the circumstances of migration proves positively that Rasul was aware of the plot of the enemies before they besieged his house and the plan which he chalked out for his escape was perfectly natural and had nothing supernatural about it. By making Ali sleep in his bed he wanted to free himself from the idol-worshippers by natural means and not through miracle. Hence, he could very well leave the house before it was besieged and did not need any miracle for the purpose. It is, however, possible that Rasul's stay in the house till the siege took place was due to reasons which are not known to us at present. Hence, the discussion about this matter (Prophet's leaving the house at night) is not final in the eyes of all historians, because according to some of them Rasul left his house before it was besieged and before sunset.
The forces of infidelity surrounded the house of Rasul and were awaiting orders to make a rush and to cut Rasul into pieces in his bedroom. Some of them insisted that they should attack at midnight and implement their scheme. However, Abu Lahab stood up and said: "Women and children of Bani Hashim are within the house and it is possible that they may be hurt during the course of attack". Some say that the reason for their delay was that they wanted to kill Rasul in broad daylight before the very eyes of Bani Hashim, so that they (Bani Hashim) might see that his murderer was not a particular person. Evenutally they decided to execute their plan at dawn, when there was light. It was now dawn. A great zeal and enthusiasm was visible amongst the unbelievers. They were under the impression that they would soon achieve their desired object. With their hands on the hilts of the swords they entered the bedroom of Rasul making a great noise. Simultaneously Ali raised his head from the pillow, threw aside the green sheet and said very calmly: "What is the matter?" They replied "We want Muhammad. Where is he?" Ali said: "Did you hand him over to me so that I may deliver him back to you? Anyway, he is not in the house at present". The faces of the agents flushed with anger and their throats were choked on this account. They regretted having waited till morning and blamed Abu Lahab who had restrained them from making an attack at night. Quraysh became very much excited owing to the frustration of their plan and the defeat which they had to suffer. They began thinking that Muhammad could not manage to go out of the environments of Makkah within such a short time and concluded that he had either concealed himself within Makkah or was on his way to Yathrib. They, therefore, planned to capture him.
It is an established fact that Rasul spent the night of migration, along with Abu Bakr in the cave of Thaur, which is situated in the south of Makkah (a spot opposite Madina). It is not, however, clear as to how this companionship took place and this point is perfectly ambiguous in history. Some believe that this companionship was a mere chance and Rasul having seen Abu Bakr on the way took him along with himself Others say that Rasul went to Abu Bakr's house that night and at midnight both of them left the house for the cave of Thaur. Still others say that Abu Bakr came in quest of Rasul and Ali guided him to his hiding place. In any case many biographers of Rasul consider this companionship to be a proof of the Abu Bakr's greatness and quote this incident prominently in connection with his virtues.
The defeat suffered by Quraysh made them change their strategy They, therefore, decided to block the roads, to post watchmen on all the paths leading to Yathrib and also to procure the services of those who could locate a person by his foot-prints, so that, by this means, they might trace him out at any cost. They also declared that whoever gave correct information about the hiding place of Muhammad would be rewarded with one hundred camels. The Qurayshites became active and proceeded towards north of Makkah to the road which leads to Madina, whereas Rasul in order to frustrate their plan, had hidden himself in the cave of Thaur. Abu Karz, a famous physiognomist of Makkah, was acquainted with the foot-prints of Rasul. On this account he came near the cave and said: "It appears that Rasul intended to come to this place. It is possible that he is hidden in the cave". He, therefore, deputed someone to enter the cave. When that man came near the cave he saw that a very thick web had been woven on the mouth of the cave and the wild pigeons had laid eggs there. He returned without entering the cave and said: "There are cobwebs on the mouth of the cave, which show that there is no one inside it". These activities continued for three days and three nights and then Quraysh lost all hope and abandoned the quest. [Note: Most of the writers have quoted this miracle. In view of what we have said regarding miracles in connection with the narrative about Abraha it does not appear appropriate that we should unnecessarily explain away or amend this series of miracles.]
The most important point in regard to this event is the self-sacrifice of Ali in the path of reality. Self-sacrifice in the path of reality is the quality of those who are wedded to it- persons who ignore their lives, property and position, and spend their entire spiritual and material capital for the revival of truth. Such persons are decidedly the lovers of reality and the perfection and auspiciousness which they observe in their pursuit for it make them surrender their temporary life and to embrace the eternal one. Ali's sleeping in Rasul's bed during that tumultuous night is an outstanding specimen of this love for reality. There was no other stimulant for this hazardous feat except love for the survival of Islam, which is a surety for the prosperity of the society. This kind of sacrifice is so valuable that God has called it sacrifice made to acquire the pleasure of God and, as quoted by many commentators, the following verse was revealed in this behalf: Among men, there are those who sacrifice their lives to seek God's pleasure. God is Compassionate to His servants. (Sura Baqarah, 2:207) The greatness and importance of this act has made the great sages of Islam consider it to be one of the greatest virtues of Ali and they have introduced him as a brave and self-sacrificing person. And wherever this event has been mentioned in exegetes and history it has been admitted that the said verse was revealed about him. This truth can never be forgotten. The face of reality always shines through the inner folds of superstition and the scattered patches of a cloud cannot diminish the light of the sun. The enmity of Mu'awiyyah with the family of Rasul and especially with the Leader of the Believers needs no mention. He planned to bribe some of the companions of Rasul so as to get falsehoods forged with a view to stain the luminous pages of history, but he could not succeed. Samrah bin Jundab who lived during the time of Rasul and later attached himself to the court of Muawiya used to tamper with facts and was paid for doing so. One day, while he was present before Muawiya, the latter asked him earnestly to mount the pulpit and refute that the said verse was revealed about Ali. He also asked him to tell the people that this verse was in fact revealed for the assassin of Ali (i.e. Abdur Rahman, bin Muljam). As a reward for this act, which would have ruined Samrah's faith, Muawiya offered him one hundred thousand dirhams. Samrah did not agree. Thereupon Muawiya raised the amount and the deal was finally settled for four hundred thousand dirhams. The greedy old man began falsifying the facts of history and worsened his guilt-stained reputation. He said before a gathering that the said verse had been revealed about Abdur Rahman bin Muljam and not about Ali. The stupid and simple-minded people believed in what he said and it did not occur to them that at the time of the revelation of the said verse Abdur Rahman was not in Hijaz and was not perhaps born. The face of reality did not, however, remain concealed with these fabrications. Muawiya and his family fell victims to vicissitudes of time. The signs of those who fabricated lies during his time were obliterated. Once again truth prevailed. Great and renowned exegetes and traditionalists of all times have admitted that the verse: Among men, there are those who sacrifice their lives to seek God's pleasure (Sura Baqarah, 2:207) was revealed during the 'night's stay' about the self-sacrifice of Ali. [Note: Samrah bin Jundab was one of the criminal elements of the Umayyad period. He did not only tamper with facts to the extent mentioned above, but as quoted by Ibn Abi Hadid he also added something to it and said that what was actually revealed about Ali was this verse: And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and be calls on God to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries (2:204). During the period of the governor-generalship of Ziyad bin Abih in Iraq, Samrah was the Governor of Basrah. One of the crimes of this man was that he killed eight thousand Muslims and devotees of the family of Rasul. When Ziyad called for his explanation and said: "How did you pick up courage to kill all these people? Did it not cross your mind that possibly there might be some innocent persons amongst them?" He replied: "I won't mind killing even more than these". His shameful acts are too many to be inserted in these pages. This obstinate man was the very person who rejected the recommendation of Rasul about respecting rights of a neighbour, and Rasul said to him: "You are a harmful person and Islam does not allow that one should do harm to others or tolerate harm from them".]
Ahmad bin Abdul Halim Harani Hanbali [known as Ibn Taymiyah] who died in the prison of Morocco in the year 728 of Hijra, was one of the unreasonble scholars and most of the false beliefs of originate from him. He held special views about Rasul, Ali and other members of Rasul's family and has recorded most of his beliefs in his book entitled "Minhajus Sunnah". Owing to his deviated beliefs most of his contemporary ulema accused him of heresy and showed disgust for him. However, discussion of these matters is beyond our aim. He has said something about this distinction which may be placed before you with minor amendments. It is seen at times that some incapable persons with scant or superficial knowledge are influenced by his words and they propagate his view among common people without any investigation and without consulting those learned in the field, and the irony is that people may consider them to be research scholars. They are, however, oblivious of the fact that these words are those of a heretic who has been refuted by his co-religionists and has been charged with heresy. He says "Ali's sleeping in Rasul's bed is not a matter of distinction for him, because Ali was aware for two reasons that he would not meet any harm that night. Firstly it was the remark of Rasul which was absolutely true, for he said to him that night: "Sleep in my bed and you will not meet any harm". And secondly Rasul handed over to him the things which the people had kept with him for safe custody, and naturally knew that his representative would not be killed, for, otherwise, he would have entrusted those things to some other person. And on account of this recommendation Ali himself also understood that he would not meet any harm and would be successful in discharging the responsibility which had been entrusted to him by Rasul.
Before giving detailed replies to the abovementioned two points we may say briefly: "By denying one distinction Ibn Taymiyah has proved a still greater distinction for Ali, because his faith about the truthfulness of Rasul was either an ordinary faith or it was a strong and extraordinary faith and all the words of Rasul were clear before him. According to the first assumption (i.e. in case his faith was ordinary) Ali did not at all possess any definite knowledge of his remaining immune from any harm. This is so because the words of Rasul do not create a definite knowledge in the hearts of such people (and Ali was decidedly not one of them). Even if they apparently accept his words to be true they entertain anguish in their hearts. And in case they sleep in his place at times of danger their disturbance of mind increases all the more and the monster of death appears before their eyes every moment. According to this assumption, therefore, Ali undertook this task with the possibility of being killed and not with the knowledge that he would remain safe. According to the second assumption Ibn Taymiyah has proved a greater distinction for Ali, because if the faith of a man is so firm that the words of Rasul are crystal clear to him and the excellence of such a faith surpasses everything else. The result of such a faith is that when Rasul tells him: "Sleep in my bed and you will not meet any harm from the enemies". He walks with perfect peace of mind and occupies his bed and does not feel the least fear in his heart. And if the view expressed by Ibn Taymiyah (that Ali had knowledge of his safety, because the truthful Prophet had told him so) be a proof of the highest degree of faith, he should know that he has unconsciously proved this greatest distinction for Ali.
As regards the first argument it may be said that the sentence, "Sleep in my bed and you will not suffer any harm", has not been quoted by any reliable historian. No doubt Ibn Athir and Tabari have quoted this sentence but it appears that their source is Seerah by Ibn Hisham who has quoted the matter in this way-especially because the text of these historians in this regard is exactly the same as that of Ibn Hisham. Besides this, so far as we are aware, this matter is not found in the writings of true scholars. Shaykh Muhammad bin Hasan Tusi has quoted the event of migration in his 'Amali' in great detail and has also mentioned the said sentence with a minor alteration. However, what he says is different from that quoted in the writings of these scholars, for he clearly quotes that, when the night of migration had passed, Ali and Hind bin Abi Hala (son of Khadijah and step-son of Rasul met him [Rasul] ) during the following nights. During one of those nights Rasul said to Ali: "O Ali! Henceforth these people will never be able to overpower you". As will be observed, this is almost the same sentence which has been quoted by Ibn Hisham, Tabari and Ibn Athir. However, according to the quotation of Shaykh Tusi, Rasul gave this assurance to Ali in the second or third night and not in the first night. Besides all this, the words of Ali himself are the best testimony on the subject. As is evident from his couplets (translated below) he himself has treated this act to be a sort of self-sacrifice in the path ot truth: "I have protected with my life the best man, who has laid his feet on earth, and the noblest man, who has performed 'Tawaf' of the 'House of God' and 'Hajar-i Ismail'. That dignified person is Muhammad bin Abdullah. And I acted in this way when the unbelievers were plotting against him. At that time the Great God protected him from their plot. I remained in his bed from night till morning and kept waiting for the enemy, and prepared myself for captivity and death". (Suyuti has quoted these lines from Ali in his exegesis entitled 'Durre Manthur'). In the presence of these expressive sentences and clear explanations there remains no justification to rely upon the words of lbn Hisham, because there are more chances of his committing mistake. And there is a great probability that, as Ibn Hisham desired to narrate things in a compressed manner, he contented himself with quoting only the actual sentence. And as it was immaterial for him as to when this sentence was uttered (which was actually uttered during the second night) he ignored to quote the time and narrated things in a way as if all these incidents occurred during the very night of migration. Another evidence which confirms this statement is the well-known tradition which has been quoted by many different scholars. According to this report, God addressed the Archangels Gabriel and Michael that night, and said: "If I decide to grant one of you life, and the other death, which of you would be ready to accept death, and leave life for the other?" Neither of them agreed to this proposal. God then said: "Now Ali has preferred death for himself and sacrificed his life for Rasul". Then He ordered them to descend to earth and undertake the safety and protection of Ali. The second argument advanced by Ibn Taymiyah about Ali's being aware of his eventual safety is the order given to him by Rasul to return to their owners the things which they had entrusted to him for safe custody. According to him this would go to show that Rasul knew that Ali would not suffer any harm and, therefore, asked him to return those things. However, we think that if the trail of events is studied properly this difficulty may also be solved. And here is the trail of the events of migration:
The initial stages of the escape of Rasul assumed a practical shape with the help of proper planning. Rasul took refuge at night in the Cave of Thaur and foiled the plan of the conspirators. He did not feel any disturbance of mind. So much so that at critical moments he consoled his companion with the words: "Don't worry. God is with us". For three days and three nights they enjoyed the blessing of God. According to Shaykh Tusi (in 'Amali'), Ali and Hind bin Abi Hala (the son of Khadijah) and according to many historians, Abdullah bin Abu Bakr and Amr bin Fuhayrah (the shepherd of Abu Bakr) used to go and meet Rasul. Ibn Athir writes: "During nights Abu Bakr's son informed his father and Rasul about the decisions taken by Quraysh and his shepherd made the sheep pass by the cave on their way to Makkah so that Rasul and his companion might use their milk. At the time of his return Abdullah walked before the sheep so that his footprints might be
obliterated. Shaykh says in 'Amali: "During one of the nights (after the night of migration) when Ali and Hind had the honour to reach in the presence of Rasul he ordered Ali to arrange two camels for them (i.e. for Rasul and his companion). At that time Abu Bakr said: "I have already arranged two camels for you and myself". Rasul replied: "I am preapred to accept this offer on payment". He then ordered Ali to pay the price of the camel. Among the directions given by Rasul that night in the Cave of Thaur some were that Ali should declare on the following day in broad daylight with a loud voice that in case someone had kept something with Muhammad for safe custody or if he (Muhammad) was indebted to any person, the persons concerned should receive their property back. Then he gave directions about the departure of 'Fawatim' (which means his own dear daughter Fatimah and Fatimah daughter of Asad and Fatimah daughter of Zubayr) and ordered Ali to make arrangements for their journey as well as for such other members of the family of Hashim as were inclined to migrate. And he pronounced on this occasion the sentence which has been relied upon by Ibn Taymiyah for his first argument. He said: "Henceforth these people will never be able to overpower you". As you can observe Rasul ordered Ali to return the things entrusted to him by the people when the 'night of stay' had already passed. These orders were given by him to Ali when he himself was getting ready to leave the cave. Halabi writes: "When one night Ali presented himself before Rasul in the Cave of Thaur the latter told him inter alia to return to the people the things which they had entrusted to him (Rasul) and also pay off his debts". Then he turns to the statement that Ali did not meet Rasul after the 'night of stay', but does not accept it himself and quotes from the author of the book 'ad-Durr' that Ali did meet Rasul again after the night of
'migration'. In short Shaykh Tusi quotes reliable authorities saying that orders regarding the return of things entrusted to Rasul by their owners were given by him after the 'night of stay' we need not refute this authentic version and get busy in amusing the people. And as regards those historians having quoted the matter in a manner which apparently gives the impression that all directions were given by Rasul during one and the same night viz. the night of migration, it needs explanation and it is not improbable that their object was to quote the original facts and they did not attach any importance to the determination of time at which these recommendations were made and directions given to Ali.
As directed by Rasul, Ali sent three camels to the cave during the fourth night along with a reliable guide named 'Urayqit'. Rasul heard the bellowing of the camels and came out of the cave along with his companion. They mounted the camels and proceeded to Yathrib (Madina) from the lower side of Makkah, along the coastal route. The details of this journey are recorded in books.
The darkness of night commenced. The Qurayshites, who had been roaming about in the city of Makkah and its environments to find out Rasul, returned to their homes extremely tired and had lost all hope of the big reward (100 camels) which had been fixed for capturing Rasul. The roads leading to Yathrib, which had been blocked by the watchmen posted by Quraysh, were also reopened. At this moment the low voice of the guide, who had three camels and some food with him, reached the ears of Rasul and his companion. He was saying with a calm voice: "It is necessary to take advantage of the darkness of night and get beyond the reach of the Makkans as early as possible and to select an unfrequented path". The history of the Muslim era commenced from that very night. Hence, they determine the dates of all events according to the Hegira calendar and record them in history accordingly.
Why did this event of migration became the era of Islamic history? Islam is the most perfect heavenly religion and adapts the religions of Moses and Jesus in a more perfect form suited to all the conditions and situations. It has brought blessing for mankind. Although Jesus and his birth are respectable in the eyes of the Muslims, they did not adopt his birth as the origin of their era, because they are an independent and distinguished nation and it is not appropriate that they should follow others in adopting their era. For quite some time the 'Year of the Elephant' (the year in which Abraha came to Makkah with an army of elephants and wished to demolish the Kaba) was treated by the Arabs to be the origin of history and the birth of Rasul also took place in the same year. However, the Muslims did not treat it to be the first page of the history of Islam. The year of Be'that (appointment to the prophetic mission) was also not treated to be the starting point of the history of the Muslims, because at that time there was no trace of Islam and the Islamic faith, and the number of the Muslims in those days did not exceed three. However, in the first year of migration, Islam and the Muslims were blessed with a great success. An independent government came into existence in Madina. The Muslims got rid of homelessness and freely gathered at a central place. On account of this very success and victory, therefore, they decided to treat that year to be the starting point of their history and till today they reckon the date of everything; good and evil in accordance with it. [Note: In the 16th year of 'migration' the second caliph determined to fix a starting point of the history of the Muslims. He wished that it should be the date of the birth of Rasul or the date of his appointment to the prophetic mission, but Ali did not endorse his views and said that 'migration' should be the origin of Islamic history.]
The journey which Rasul had to perform consisted of a distance of about 400 kilometers, and covering this distance in the scorching heat of summer necessitated correct planning. Furthermore, they (i.e Rasul and his companions) were also afraid of the Arabs, who met them on the way, for they might report their whereabouts to Quraysh. They, therefore, performed the journey at night and rested during day-time. It seems that a camel-rider, having seen Rasul and his companions from a distance, went to Quraysh at once and informed them of the itinerary of Rasul. In order to earn the prize alone, Saraqah bin Malik bin Ja'sham Madlaji dissuaded others from pursuing the matter and told them that they (i.e. the persons seen by the said camel-driver) were some other persons. Then he came to his house, armed himself, rode a swift horse and reached, as quickly as possible, the spot where Rasul and his companions were resting. Ibn Athir writes: "This state of affairs
made Rasul's companion very sad and Rasul had to console him once again with the words: 'Don't worry. God is with us'. Saraqah was very proud of his physical strength and sharp weapons and was quite ready to shed the blood of Rasul to earn the biggest prize offered by the Arabs. In the meantime Rasul prayed for himself and his companions with a heart overflowing with faith and confidence and said "O God! Save us from the mischief of this man". Suddenly Saraqah's horse got startled and threw him violently on the ground. Saraqah realized that a Divine hand was at work and these developments were due to the bad intention which he had against Muhammad. He, therefore, turned to Rasul in a beseeching manner and said: "I surrender my slave and camel to you and am prepared to do whatever you like". Rasul then replied: "I want nothing from you". However, the late Allamah Majlisi says that Rasul said to him: "Return and dissuade others from pursuing us". Hence Saraqah told whomsoever he met: "There is no trace of Muhammad on this route". Many different writers have quoted miracles which were performed by Rasul during his journey from Makkah to Madina. For brevity's sake, however, we refrain from narrating them.
Quba, which is situated at a distance of two leagues from Madina, was the seat of the tribe of 'Bani Amr bin 'Auf'. Rasul and his companions reached there on Monday the 12th of Rabiul Awwal and stayed at the house of Kulsum ibnul Hadam, the chief of the tribe. A number of 'Muhajirs' (migrants) and 'Ansar' (helpers) were then awaiting the arrival of Rasul. Rasul stayed there till the end of the week and during this time he laid the foundation of a mosque for the tribe of Bani 'Awf. Some persons insisted upon his proceeding to Madina as early as possible. He was, however, waiting tor the arrival of his cousin, Ali. After the migration of Rasul, Ali stood up at a place in Makkah and said: "Whoever has entrusted anything to Muhammad should come and take it back from me". Those concerned came and took back their things after mentioning the marks of identification. Thereafter, according to the directions given by Rasul, Ali had to take to Madina, along with
himself, the Hashmite women including Fatimah, the daughter of Rasul and his own mother Fatimah binte Asad, and also those Muslims who had not till then been able to migrate. Ali adopted the route of 'Zi Tuwa' and proceeded to Madina at night. Shaykh Tusi writes: "The spies of Quraysh came to know about the migration of Ali and his party. They, therefore, pursued him and came face to face with him in the area of 'Zajnan'. Hot words were exchanged between them. During that time the cries of women were reaching the sky. Ali realized that he had no alternative left but to defend the honour of Islam and the Muslims. He, therefore, turned to the opponents and said: "Whoever wishes that his body should be cut into pieces and his blood should be shed should come forward". Signs of wrath were visible on his face. The agents of Quraysh felt that the matter had become serious. They, therefore, adopted a conciliatory attitude and took to the way they had come".
Ibn Athir writes: "When Ali reached Quba, his feet were bleeding. Rasul was informed that Ali had arrived, but was not in a position to come up before him. Rasul immediately went to the place where Ali was, and took him in his lap, and when he saw the swollen feet of Ali tears began to flow from his eyes".Rasul arrived at Quba on the twelfth of Rabiul Awwal and Ali joined him there in the middle of the same month. This view is supported by Tabari: "Ali stayed in Makkah for three days after the migration of Rasul and during this period he returned to their owners the things which they had entrusted (to Rasul)".
There was a great excitement and jubilation among the people who had expressed faith in Rasul three years ago and sent their representatives to him every year and used his sacred name every day in their prayers, when they learned that their great leader had arrived at a distance of only two leagues and was likely to enter their city soon. What their feelings and emotions were cannot be described in words. The Ansar had thirst for Islam and its sublime and invigorative programme, and in order to purify Madina of all traces of polytheism and idol-worship they had burnt the idols and had removed all signs of idolatry from the homes, the streets and the bazaars of the city. It will be appropriate if we quote here an example of the interest taken by the Ansar in Islam. 'Arnr bin Jumuh, who was one of the chiefs of Banu Salmah tribe, had placed an idol in his house. In order to make him realize that the wooden idol was a useless thing, the men of his tribe took it away and threw it upside down in a pit which was used in those days for easing nature. He got up in the morning and, after making a good deal of search, found the idol in that pit. He picked it up, washed it and restored it to its place. This drama was repeated many times. Eventually Amr tied a sword round the neck of the idol and said: "If you are the origin of any strength in this world defend yourself". One day, however, he found the idol in a well, tied to the dead body of a dog, and without the sword. Observing these events he realized that the status of man was much higher than that he should bow his head before every stone, wood or mud. Then he recited some verses whose purport is this: "By God! If you had been a true god you would not have been lying in a well tied to a dead dog. Praise be to God Who owns all blessings. It is He Who is Merciful and Who nourishes and gives reward. It is He Who grants us salvation before we are consigned to the grave". Rasul proceeded to Madina. When his mount descended at Thaniyatul Wida' and set its foot on the land of Yathrib the people warmly welcomed and greeted him and began singing mirthful songs to this effect: "The moon rose from Thaniyatul Wida'. It is our duty to be thankful for this blessing till the day when even one person on the face of the earth prays to God and worships Him". "O you, who hate been sent by God for our guidance! It is necessary for all of us to obey your orders". The tribe of Bani Amr bin 'Awf insisted that Rasul might stay on in Quba and said: "We are assiduous, steadfast and brave people". Rasul did not, however, agree to this. When the people of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj came to know about the migration of Rasul, they armed themselves and hurried to welcome him. While he was proceeding on his way the people encircled his camel and the chiefs of the tribes held its bridle. Every one of them insisted that Rasul might stay in his area, but he replied to all of them: "Don't obstruct the camel. I shall dismount wherever it kneels down". The camel stopped and bent its knees in a spacious piece of land which belonged to two orphan boys named Sahl and Suhayl who lived under the protection and guardianship of As'ad bin Zurarah [or Muaz bin Afra]. This land was used for drying palm-dates and for agriculture. The house of Abu Ayub was situated nearby. His mother, therefore, availed of the opportunity and took the belongings of Rasul to her own house. Hence competition and solicitations began for taking Rasul. He, however, cut the argument short and said, "Where are my belongings?" He was told that Abu Ayub's mother had taken them to her house. Thereupon he said: "Let somebody go to the place where my belongings are". And As'ad bin Zurarah took the camel of Rasul to his own house.
Abdullah bin Ubay is considered the chief of the hierarchy of hypocrites. Before the people of Madina concluded an agreement with Rasul they had decided to select Ubay as their absolute ruler. However, on account of the relationship which Aws and Khazraj developed with Rasul this decision was automatically dropped, and from this very moment he nursed a grudge against the great leader of Islam and did not believe in him till the last moment of his life. On observing the welcome accorded by the people of Aws and Khazraj to Rasul he was very much disturbed and could not help uttering a sentence, which fully indicates his envy and enmity against him. He turned his face to Rasul and said: "Go to the people who have deceived you and don't deceive us here". Said bin Ubadah, fearing that Rasul might treat his words to be true (i.e. indicative of the sentiments of the Ansar or take them to heart, apologized for his remark and said to Rasul: "He has said these
words on account of grudge and enmity, because it had been decided that he should be the absolute ruler of Aws and Khazraj and now, by your arrival, his rulership has become out of question. The historians generally say that Rasul arrived in Madina on Friday and offered Friday prayers along with his companions at a spot which was situated in the area of Bani Salim tribe. Here he delivered an eloquent sermon which made deep impression on the hearts of the people who had never heard such words before. The text of this sermon has been quoted by Ibn Hisham, Miqrizi in Amta'ul Asma' and by Allamah Majlisi. However, the wording and contents of the sermon as quoted by the first two are different from those quoted by Allamah Majlisi.
What events took place in the first years after this migration? The glowing and fervent faces of the Ansar and the hearty welcome which the people of Aws and Khazraj had accorded to Rasul prompted him to construct, before doing anything else, a public centre for the Muslims with the name of 'masjid', so that matters relating to instruction, development, politics and justice might be accomplished there. And as invitation to the worship of the One Lord and Nourisher was the first item in his programme, he considered it necessary, first of all, to build a place of worship where the Muslims should engage themselves in remembering God and glorify His name at the time of offering prayers. It was also necessary that he should create a centre where the common members of the Islamic party (the party of God) should assemble every week on a fixed day and conduct discussions and consultations regarding the interests of Islam and of the Muslims, and should, besides
meeting every day, offer Eid prayers there twice a year. The mosque was not only a central place for worship. It was a place, where all types of Islamic instructions and orders were given and every sort of religious and scientific education was imparted including reading and writing. Till the commencement of the fourth Islamic century the mosques served as schools which functioned at all times, except those fixed for offering prayers. Thereafter the educational centres assumed a special shape. Most of the great scholars graduated from the educational circles which had been set up in the mosques. At times the Mosque of Madina assumed the shape of a literary centre also. Great poets of Arabia, whose compositions conformed with the moral and educational spirit of Islam recited their verses before Rasul. Ka'b bin Zuhayr read out his famous laudatory poem in praise of Rasul before him in the mosque and received a large prize and robe of honour from him.
Hassan bin Thabit, who defended the honour of Islam by means of his verses, used to read out his poems in the Mosque of Rasul. Educational meetings in the Mosque of Madina, during the time of Rasul, were so impressive that the representatives of the tribe of 'Saqif' were very much impressed by the scene; they wondered at the interest taken by the Muslims in acquiring knowledge. Judicial matters and law-suits were settled, and punishments were awarded to the offenders in the mosque, and it was, for all intents and purposes, a court of law where the complaints of the people were settled. Furthermore, Rasul used to deliver his stirring speeches there to make the people perform jihad and campaign against infidelity. Possibly one of the secrets of combination of religious and educational matters in the mosque was that the great leader of Islam desired to show it practically that knowledge and faith are complementary to each other, and if a place is a centre of faith, it must also be a centre of knowledge and wisdom. And if the judicial and other affairs including matters relating to jihad were decided in the mosque it was for the reason that he wanted to make it clear that his religion is not only spiritual which should have nothing to do with material matters, it is a religion which, while inviting people to piety and faith, does not also ignore the worldly matters and social welfare. This harmony (between knowledge and faith) is the motto of the Muslims even today. When educational centres with a special shape were set up later, the schools and universities were always established by the side of Jami' Masjids (central mosques) so as to prove to the world that these two factors of prosperity are not separate from each other.
The place where Rasul's camel bent its knees was purchased for ten diners for the construction of the mosque. All the Muslims participated in its construction and in providing materials for it, and even Rasul collected stones along with others. Usayd bin Huzayr went forward and said: "O Prophet of God! Permit me to carry it (the stone)". Rasul said: "Go and bring another''. In this manner he showed a glimpse of his sublime character. He said: "I am a practical man. I am a man of action and not of words only". On that occasion Muslim read out a couplet meaning: "If we sit and Rasul works, it will be a source of deviation and adversity for us". While engaged in work Rasul and the Muslims uttered these sentences: "Real life is the life of the Hereafter. O God! Be kind to the Ansar and the Muhajirs". Uthman bin Maz'un was very particular about the neatness of his dress and wished to keep it clean. He did not therefore, participate in the construction of the
mosque, lest his dress should become soiled. Ali criticized him in these words: "A person who constructs a mosque, whether sitting or standing, constantly endeavours for its progress is not like him, who keeps away from dust and is not prepared to stain his clothes for constructing the mosque''. Ammar bin Yasir, who was a strong man, collected some stones and carried them for the construction of the mosque. Some persons took undue advantage of his simplicity and loaded on him stones, which were too heavy for him. He was heard saying: "I am carrying one stone on my own behalf and the other on behalf of Rasul". One day Rasul saw him bearing a heavy burden, when three stones had been loaded on him. Ammar complained: "Your companions nurse ill-will against me and want to kill me. They themselves bring one stone each but load as many as three on me". Rasul held him by the hand, cleansed the dust on his back, and uttered this historical sentence: "They are not your murderers. You will be killed by a group of oppressors while you will be inviting them to truth and reality". This prediction is one of the proofs of the prophethood and truthfulness of Rasul. Eventually the same thing, which he had predicted happened, because Ammar, who was with Imam Ali in the Battle of Siffin and was 90 at that time was killed at the hands of the supporters of Muawiya. This occult news continued to have a wonderful effect on Ammar throughout his lifetime. After this event Muslims considered him to be the pivot of truth and every rightfulness was measured by its association with him. When Ammar was killed in the battle, a strange tumult appeared in the ranks of the Syrians. People who entertained doubts about the rightfulness of Ali on account of the venomous propaganda of Muawiya and Amr Ibn Ass became enlightened. Huzaymah bin Thabit Ansari had gone to the battlefield with Imam Ali, but was double-minded about taking part
in the battle. However, when he heard that Ammar had been killed he drew his sword and attacked the Syrians. Zul Kala' Himyari accompanied by twenty thousand men of his tribe came to fight against Ali. This was the man on whose support Muawiya mainly relied and did not decide to wage war until he was sure of his co-operation. When this misguided chief came to know that Ammar Yasir was with Ali he was very much upset. The agents of Muawiya endeavoured to make matters doubtful for him and said: "There is no question of Ammar being in Siffin. The Iraqis do not mind coining such lies". Zul Kala' was not however, convinced. He turned to Amr Ibn Ass and said: "Has Rasul said such and such words about Ammar? Ibn As said: "Yes, he has said so, but Ammar is definitely not in Ali's army". He said: "I shall investigate the matter personally". Then he deputed some persons to verify the position. Muawiya and Amr Ibn Ass realized at this critical moment that if Zul Kala' became aware of Ammar's presence in Ali's army or about his martyrdom in the service of Ali a split might take place in the Syrian army. On this account, therefore, this famous Syrian chief was killed mysteriously. This tradition is so well known amongst the common as well as the distinguished traditionalists that it does not require the production of a documentary evidence. Ahmad bin Hanbal quotes thus: "When Ammar was killed in the Battle of Siffin, Amr bin Hazm came to Amr Ibn Ass and said: "Ammar has been killed and Rasul has said about him that a group of oppressors will kill him". Amr Ibn Ass cried and recited the verse: "We are from God and we have to return to Him", and conveyed the news to Muawiya. Muawiya said: "We are not the murderers of Ammar. He has been killed by Ali and his friends, who brought him with them and exposed him to our swords''. However, it is evident that this false interpretation which was put forward by Muawiya, the son of Abu Sufyan to stupefy the senses of the Syrian soldiers, cannot at all be acceptable in the court of God and every intelligent person can well understand that his argument is baseless.
We have not been able to find a better sentence than this to indicate the character of the historian who has chosen to support Muawiya and writes: "It is not necessary that because Rasul had declared the murderers of Ammar to be oppressors that they should in fact be infidels, because though they chose the wrong path and rose against Ali, yet as they took this step on account of their faith in the correctness of their action (ijtihad), it is not possible to refute them or to call them infidels". He adds: "What is meant by Rasul's sentence Ammar invites them to Paradise, but the murderers of Ammar invite him to Hell, is that Ammar invites them to acknowledge the Oneness of God and to unite (and this is the very Paradise), but the murderers of Ammar endeavour to give Muawiya priority over Ali, who is most suited for the office of caliph and thus they create a ruler in each one of the Islamic regions and consequently a deep fissure comes into existence amongst the Muslims, although they themselves might not have taken notice of such a result (and that is the very Hell)". [see Al Bidayah wal Nihayah]. Howmuchsoever we ponder as to what name to give to this interpretation we cannot think of any appropriate name for it except that of falsification of facts. Inspite of all the skill which this rebellious group of persons possessed in the matter of falsification and alteration of facts they could not deny the prediction which had been made about them by Rasul and a historian like Ibn Kathir has played the part of a nurse kinder to the child than the mother, and has resorted to an alteration of fact of which they themselves were not aware. Ahmad bin Hanbal says: "Two men came to Muawiya and each one of them claimed that he had killed Ammar. The son of Amr Ibn Ass (Abdullah) said: "One of you should spare the other, for I have heard Rasul saying that Ammar would be killed by a group of oppressors". Muawiya said to Abdullah: "If we are a group of oppressors why have you joined our circle?" He replied: "One day my father Amr complained against me to Rasul and Rasul ordered me to obey my father. I am, therefore, with you but do not fight''. The apology of Abdullah is like the interpretation of Ibn Kathir who says that Muawiya fought this battle on the basis of ijtihad and faith, notwithstanding the fact that he erred in his ijtihad, because obedience to one's father is necessary only when it does not result in disobedience to a religious law. Quran says: If they (your parents) bid you to associate (others) with Me of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them". (Sura Ankabut, 29:8) Similarly ijtihad (expression of one's view) is correct only when a clear version of Rasul is not found, otherwise ijtihad of people like Muawiya and Amr Ibn Ass, opposed to the clear tradition of Rasul, is wrong and void. And if the door of ijtihad is opened in such a manner, it will be necessary for us to excuse all the polytheists and hypocrites for having campaigned against Rasul and Islam, and we shall also have to say that persons like Yazid and Hajjaj were justified in shedding the blood of the pious and innocent people of the nation and were also entitled to a good recompense for their action. The construction of the mosque was completed and its area was expanded every year. A terrace was also erected by the side of the mosque for the helpless and the indigent Muhajirs, so that they might stay there, and 'Ubadah bin Samit was directed to teach them reading and writing of Quran.
The centralization of Muslims in Madina opened a new chapter is the life of Rasul. Before his arrival there he had been engaged in attracting the hearts and in propagating his religion, but from that day onwards it was necessary that he should protect his own existence as well as that of his followers like an experienced statesman and should not permit the internal and external enemies to penetrate into the Muslim society. At this juncture he was faced with three main difficulties: 1. Danger from Quraysh and other idol-worshippers of the Arabian Peninsula. 2. The Jews of Yathrib who lived within and outside the city and possessed enormous wealth and resources. 3. The differences which existed between his own supporters. As the Muhajirs and the Ansar had been brought up in two different environments there was a vast difference between their ways of thinking and culture. And then there were the two components of Ansar (Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj) who had
been fighting for one hundred and twenty years and were the sworn enemies of each other. With all these dangers and differences there was no possibility of their continuing to lead a peaceful religious and political life. However, Rasul overcame these difficulties in a perfectly wise manner. As regards the first two problems he took measures the details of which will be recorded later, and as regards the differences between his followers he removed them with perfect wisdom and ingenuity. He was ordered by God to establish brotherhood between the Muhajirs and the Ansar. One day he turned to his followers in a general meeting and said: "Now you should become brothers in faith in pairs". The particulars of persons who became brothers of each other have been recorded by the Muslim historians including Ibn Hisham. Hence, by this method Rasul ensured the political and spiritual unity of the Muslims and this unity enabled him to think about ways and means of solving the other two difficulties as well.
Most of the historians and traditionalists have mentioned two great distinctions of Ali which we record here briefly: Rasul established brotherhood between a pair of two among three hundred persons out of the Muhajirs and Ansar and told every one of them that he was the brother of such and such person. When the establishment of brotherhood was completed Ali, with tears in his eyes, said to Rasul: "You have established brotherhood amongst your companions but have not made me the brother of anyone". Thereupon Rasul turned to Ali and said: "You are my brother in this world as well as in the Hereafter". Qandozi has quoted this incident in a more comprehensive manner and says that Rasul replied to Ali: "By God (who has appointed me to guide the people) I postponed the question of your brotherhood for the reason that I desired to become your brother when brotherhood among all others had been completed. Your position vis-a-vis myself is similar to that of Harun and Moses, except that there will be no Prophet after me. You are my brother and my successor". Ibn Kathir has, however, doubted the authenticity of this incident. But as his doubts are the product of his special mentality and are nothing short of the apology which he has tendered on behalf of Muawiya and his supporters, we refrain from quoting his remarks and refuting them.
The construction of the mosque was completed. Around the mosque there were the houses of Rasul and his companions. There were also the houses whose doors opened into the mosque, and whose inmates entered the mosque through those doors. Suddenly an order was received from God that all the doors which opened into the mosque, except the door of the house of Ali, should be closed. Thereupon some persons became fussy about the matter and thought that this exception had been made on sentimental grounds. In order to enlighten the people on the subject Rasul delivered a sermon and said inter alia: "I have not given orders about the closing or otherwise of the doors on my own account. In fact it was an order from God and I had no alternative but to implement it". In short, by establishing Islamic brotherhood, Rasul removed the differences between his followers which had existed for some years and consequently one of the difficulties was solved. The second problem was that of the Jews of Madina. They lived within and outside Madina and had assumed control of the economy and trade of the city. Rasul was fully aware that until the internal affairs were settled and he had obtained the co-operation of the Jews and consequently created a political unity in the seat of his government, the sapling of Islam would not grow up and he would not be able to think about any measures with regard to the idol-worshippers of the Peninsula, especially Quraysh (i.e. the first difficulty). He also knew that until peace and tranquillity prevailed within the seat of government it would not be possible to defend it from external enemies. In the early days of the arrival of Rasul in Madina an understanding existed between the Muslims and the Jews in some respects, because both the communities worshipped God and were opposed to idolatry and the Jews thought that if Islam gained strength they themselves might become immune from the attacks of the Byzantine Christians. Furthermore, old relations and pacts existed between them on the one hand and between Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj on the other. On these accounts Rasul wrote an agreement for the establishment of unity between the Muhajirs and the Ansar, and the Jews of Madina (of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj) also signed it and Rasul agreed to respect their religion and property on mutually settled conditions. The biographers of Rasul have recorded complete text of this agreement. Since this agreement is a living historical document and clearly shows how Rasul respected the principles of freedom, order, and justice in life, and created by means of this agreement a united front against external attacks, we mention here some of its essential points as an evidence of the political victory in that age of the newly-formed Government of Islam. This is how the greatest documentary agreement in history was drawn:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. This is the agreement which has been concluded by Muhammad, God's Messenger between the Muslims of Quraysh and of Yathrib and those persons who have followed them and risen up along with them for jihad. PART ONE 1. The signatories to the agreement form one nation. In the matter of blood-money the Qurayshite Muhajirs are allowed to follow their old custom which prevailed before Islam. If one of them kills someone else or becomes a captive, they should pay the blood-money by mutual help and purchase the captive. 2. Bani 'Awf (a tribe of Ansar) can also safeguard their ways of life like the Qurayshite Muhajirs and can pay collectively the ransom for the release of their men who have been captured. Thereafter other tribes of Ansar namely Bani Saidah, Bani Harth, Bani Jasham, Bani Najjar, Bani Amr bin 'Awf, Bani Nabit and Bani Aws, have been reminded and made incumbent on everyone of them that they should collectively pay the blood-money and get their captives released on payment of ransom. 3. Muslims should support indigent persons and should help a believer in the matter of heavy expenses to be incurred by him on account of payment of blood-money or for the release of a captive. 4. Pious Muslims should unite against a person who rebels or commits cruelty and injustice, even though the offender is the son of one of them. 5. No one is authorized to conclude an agreement with a Muslim slave or a Muslim child without the permission of his master and father respectively. 6. A believer does not have a right to kill another believer, who has killed an unbeliever. He is also not at all entitled to assist an unbeliever against a Muslim. 7. God's agreement and promise with all the Muslims is one. As such even the lowest of them is entitled to take responsibility for an agreement with the unbelievers. 8. The Muslims are the friends and supporters of one another. 9. Everyone from amongst the Jews who follows us and embraces Islam shall be entitled to our help and assistance and there will be no difference between him and other Muslims and none shall be entitled to oppress him or to instigate anyone else to oppress him, or to help his enemy. 10. The Muslims should be united in concluding a peace agreement and no Muslim can conclude peace without consulting another Muslim except on the basis of justice and equality. 11. Groups of the Muslims should go for jihad alternately so that their blood which is shed in the path of God is divided equally. 12. The Muslims possess the best religion and the most firm law. 13. None of the polytheists (of Madina) has a right to protect the lives and property of the polytheists of Quraysh or to conclude an agreement with them or to prevent a Muslim from overpowering them. 14. If a Muslim kills another Muslim without a just cause and his crime is proved legally, he shall be
executed, unless the heirs of the murdered person forgive him, and in either case it is the duty of the Muslims to be united against the murderer. 15. Whoever acknowledges the contents of this agreement and believes in God and in His Prophet is not entitled to assist a heretic or a criminal or to give him asylum, and whoever assists him or provides him asylum shall become subjected to the wrath of God, and compensation and damages shall not be acceptable from him. 16. The authority for resolving the differences shall always rest with God and Muhammad. PART TWO 17. When the Muslims fight for the defence of Madina the Jews must pay the former's share of the expenses of war. 18. The Jews of Bani 'Awf (a tribe of Ansar) are allies of the Muslims and they are tantamount to one nation. The Muslims and the Jews are free in the matter of their law and religion. Their slaves are not exempt from this clause i.e. they too are free in the matter of their law,
except the sinners and the oppressors who only ruin themselves and the members of their family (because usually the members of the family of a tyrant follow him). (The intention of this exemption is that relations and unity exist between those Jews and Muslims who are not tyrants and oppressors). 19. The Jews of Bani Najjar, Bani Harith, Bani Sa'adah, Bani Jasham, Bani Aws, Bani Tha'labah and Bani Shatibah are like the Jews of Bani 'Awf and there is no distinction between them in the matter of rights and privileges. The tribe of Jafnah is a branch of the tribe of Tha'labah and the orders applicable to the Jews of Bani 'Awf are also applicable to the branch of Bani Shatibah. 20. The signatories to this agreements should make their virtues triumph over their sins. 21. Those who have made agreements with Bani Tha'labah are at par with them. 22. Those who are on friendly terms with, and confidants of, the Jews are at par with them. 23. No one enjoys the right to abandon this agreement without the permission of Muhammad. 24. From amongst these persons the blood of everyone who is wounded (not to speak of one who is killed) is respectable. Whoever kills anyone is liable to pay blood-money and eventually ruins himself and the members of his family, except when the murderer happens to be an oppressed person. 25. The respective expenses of wars which are fought by the Jews and the Muslims jointly are the responsibility of each one of them and when anyone else fights against the parties to this agreement, it is their duty to fight with him jointly. 26. The relations of the parties of the agreement are based on goodness and it is necessary that they should refrain from evil. 27. None should oppress anyone who has made the agreement with him, otherwise the oppressed one should be helped. 28. The interior of Madina is declared to be 'haram' for the signatories of the agreement. 29. Lives of neighbours and of
those who have been granted asylum are like our own lives and should not be molested. 30. No woman can be granted asylum without the permission of her people. 31. Muhammad is the arbiter to decide the differences between the signatories of the agreement -whether they be Muslims or non-Muslims. God is with him who accords more respect to this agreement. 32. Asylum shall not be granted to Quraysh and to those with whom they have concluded pacts. PART THREE 33. The signatories to this agreement take joint responsibility for the defence of Yathrib. 34. When the Muslims invite the Jews to conclude peace with the enemy they should accept the proposal and the Muslims should also accept any such proposal made by the Jews except the fact that the enemy is opposed to the religion of Islam and its propagation. 35. The Jews of Aws, whether slaves or masters, are also covered by this agreement. PART FOUR 36. This agreement does not support a tyrant or a criminal. 37. Whoever remains in Madina is protected and whoever leaves it is protected provided that he is not an oppressor and a criminal. This agreement was concluded with the following sentence: "God is the Protector of the good and the pious and Muhammad is God's Messenger''.

This political agreement and the basic law of Islam of that time, briefly mentioned, is a perfect specimen of the spirit of freedom of faith, social welfare and necessity of co-operation in collective matters in Islam, and has, above all things, clarified the limits and the authority of the leader and the responsibilities of all its signatories. The Jews of the tribes of Bani Qurayzah, Bani Nuzayr and Bani Qaynqa' did not participate in the conclusion of this agreement, and only the Jews of Aws and Khazraj tribes became parties to it. However, these people concluded agreements with Rasul later and the following sentences have been taken from the contents of those agreements: "Rasul makes this agreement with the three groups to the effect that they will not harm him and his friends with their tongues and hands, and will not supply arms and mounts to his enemies. In case they act against the contents of this agreement Rasul would be at liberty to shed their blood, confiscate their properties and make their women and children captives. Then Hay bin Akhtab signed on behalf of Bani Nuzayr, Ka'b bin Asad on behalf of Bani Qurayzah and Mukhayriq on behalf of Bani Qaynqa'. By this means Yathrib and the dependencies lying near it were declared to be an area of peace and security and a 'sanctuary'. Now the time had arrived that Rasul should consider ways and means of tackling the first problem viz. that of Quraysh, because, so long as this enemy stood in his way, he could not succeed in spreading Islam and enforcing its laws.
The sublime teachings of Islam and the high morals and manners of Rasul became the cause of daily increase in the number of the Muslims. Their military, economic and political conditions also improved considerably. This continuous advancement of Islam created a strange agitation and unrest in the religious circles of the Jews, because they had been thinking that with their strength they would be able to attract Rasul to themselves and had never imagined that one day his own strength would surpass even that of the Jews and the Christians. In the circumstances they began to indulge in disruptive activities. By asking knotty religious questions they endeavoured to shake the faith of the Muslims in Rasul, but these blunt weapons did not have any effect on the compressed ranks of the Muslims. A large part of these debates has been narrated by Quran in Sura Baqarah and Sura Nisa. By studying the said two Suras the dear readers can very well understand the
enmity and the obstinacy of the Jews. They received a clear reply to every question asked by them but in order to avoid shouldering the burden of Islam they replied very obstinately to Rasul's invitation to Islam: "Our hearts are sealed and we do not consider what you say to be correct".
These debates increased the enmity and the grudge of the Jews, but at times they became the cause of some persons embracing Islam. Abdullah bin Salam was one of the priests and scholars of the Jews. He embraced Islam after having detailed discussions with Rasul. Soon afterwards another scholar of theirs named Mukhayriq also joined him. Abdullah thought that if his kinsmen came to know about his embracing Islam they would abuse and slander him. He, therefore, requested Rasul that until an acknowledgement of his learning and piety had been obtained from his tribe he might not make public the fact of his embracing Islam. Rasul, therefore, asked the Jews: "What is your opinion about Abdullah?" All of them replied "He is our religious leader and the son of our religious leader and an eminent scholar". Then Abdullah proceeded to his own area and informed the people of his tribe about his embracing Islam. As soon as the news of his becoming a Muslim spread amongst the Jews they got excited with anger. Though they had collectively acknowledged his learning and piety only a few hours ago, yet, now all of them began calling him a characterless and ignorant person.
Debates and knotty questions of the Jews not only strengthened the faith of the Muslims in Rasul but also became the cause of his sublime personality and Divine knowledge becoming clearly known to everyone. As a result of these very discussions different groups of the idolaters and the Jews inclined to him. To achieve their ends, therefore, the Jews formed another plan and, resorting to their method of 'divide and rule', thought of reviving the 120-year-old feud of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj, which had petered out under the auspices of faith, Islam, brotherhood and equality. They wished that fighting and bloodshed might start within the ranks of the Muslims and they might be consumed by the flames of internal strife. One day some men of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj were sitting together. The unity and brotherhood of the members of this group, who had been till a few days back the bloodthirsty enemies of one another, was very much disliked by a mischievous
Jew who had joined them with a view to starting the evil plot of creating dissension and discord among the Muslims. He reminded the men of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj of the bitter memories of the past wars between the two tribes and narrated in detail the events of the Battle of Bu'ath, in which Bani Aws had eventually emerged victorious. He dilated upon these old and long-forgotten events so much that strife and self glorification started between the two groups of Muslims (Aws and Khazraj). It was quite possible that a regular battle might have commenced but in the meantime the news reached Rasul and he became aware of the nefarious plot of the Jews. He, therefore, reached the spot with some of his companions and reminding the two groups of the aim of Islam and his own sublime programme said: "Islam has made you brothers of each other and has made all the enmities and the grudges a forgotten thing of the past". He counselled them for some time and reminded them of the result of their discord. Suddenly all of them began to cry and weep and embraced one another to strengthen their brotherhood and prayed to God for forgiveness. The schemes of the Jews did not end here, but they extended the scope of their treachery, crime and breach of promise and established special contacts with the unbelievers of Aws and Khazraj and also with those persons who were doubleminded in the matter of their Islam and faith. They openly intervened in the battles fought by the Muslims against Quraysh and were very active in promoting the interests of the idol-worshippers. The open and secret collaboration of the Jews with the polytheists of Quraysh resulted in bloody wars between the Muslims and the Jews which eventually ended with the extirpation of the Jews from Madina. The details of these occurrences will be given later with the events of the third and fourth years of migration and it will become clear as to how the Jews rewarded Rasul for his good treatment (which is evident from the two agreements concluded with them) by the breach of promises, open activities against Islam and the Muslims, conspiracies against Rasul, and lending support to his enemies, and thus compelled Rasul, by their actions, to ignore the above-mentioned agreements.
It is proposed to explain here the secrets of a chain of warlike demonstrations which continued from the eighth month of the first year of migration till the month of Ramadan of the second year and were in fact the first military demonstrations and war manoeuvres by the Muslims. The correct interpretation and narration of the secrets of these events is possible for us only when we obtain the text of the events from history books without any addition or subtraction and place the decisive view of research scholars of history before the readers. Here is a gist of these events: 1. Not more than eight months had yet passed since the arrival of Rasul in Madina when he gave the first standard to his brave commander named Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib and sent, under his command, thirty mounted soldiers from amongst the Muhajirs up to the coast of Red Sea, which was the route adopted by the caravans of Quraysh. At a place named 'Ais he came across a caravan of
Quraysh which was being managed by three hundred men under the leadership of Abu Jahl. However, through the mediation of Majdi bin 'Arnr, who had good relations with both the parties, they kept away from each other and the Muslim soldiers returned to Madina. 2. Simultaneously with the despatch of this body of men 'Ubaydah bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib was sent towards the caravan of Quraysh along with sixty or eighty mounted soldiers from amongst the Muhajirs. He went up to the waters lying below Thaniyatul Murrah and met the caravan of Quraysh which consisted of two hundred men led by Abu Sufyan. However, the two parties kept away from each other without anyone of them striking the other. Only Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas shot an arrow. Moreover, two Muslims who were in the caravan of Abu Sufyan joined the party sent on the mission. 3. Once again Saad was sent to the Hijaz with eight other men. He also returned without confronting anyone. In the terminology of the historians the campaigns in which Rasul did not participate are called Sariyyah and those in which he participated personally are called 'Ghazwah'. 4. In the tenth month of 'Migration' Rasul entrusted the religious affairs of Madina to Saad bin Muaz, and himself went up to Abwa' with a group of Muhajirs and Ansar to pursue the caravan of Quraysh and also to conclude a treaty with the tribe of Bani Hamzah. He did not meet the caravan of Quraysh but concluded a treaty with the said tribe. 5. In the first month of the second year he nominated Saib bin Uthman or Saad bin Muaz to be his representative in Madina and himself went up to Bawat along with two hundred men to pursue the caravan of Quraysh. He did not, however, find the caravan, manned by one hundred persons, and led by Umayyah bin Khalaf, and returned to Madina. 6. In the middle of Jamadiul Awwal a report was received that a caravan of Quraysh was proceeding from Makkah to Syria under the supervision of Abu Sufyan Rasul appointed Aba Salmah to be his representative and himself went up to 'Zatul 'Ashirah' along with a group of persons. He waited there for the caravan till the beginning of Jamadiul Akhir but could not lay hands on it. During his stay there he concluded a treaty with the tribe of Bani Madlaj. A description of this treaty is recorded in history books. Ibn Athir says: "At this place, where Rasul and his companions were then staying, Rasul came one day to the bed-side of Ali and Ammar and found them asleep. Later he woke both of them up. At that moment he observed that particles of fine dust were resting on the head and face of Ali. He turned to him and said: "O Abu Turab! What is the matter with you?" From that day onwards Ali became known amongst the Muslims as 'Abu Turab' (father of earth). Then be turned to both of them and said: "Would you like me to tell you as to who are the most vicious persons on earth?" They replied:
"O Prophet of God! Yes". He said: "The most vicious persons on the face of earth are two. One was he who cut off the feet of the she-camel of Saleh. And the other is he who will strike a sword on your skull (pointing to Ali) and will colour your beard with the blood of your head". 7. After having lost hope of the caravan Rasul returned to Madina. However, ten days had not yet passed since his arrival there when it was reported that Karz bin Jabir had raided and taken away camels and sheep of Madina. In order to pursue this plunderer Rasul, accompanied by a group of persons, went up to the area of 'Badr', but had to return without achieving any success. Thereafter he stayed on in Madina till the end of Sha'ban. 8. During the month of Rajab of the second year of migration Rasul despatched eighty men out of the Muhajirs under the command of Abdullah bin Jahash. At the time of their departure he gave a letter to the commander and said: "Open this letter
after you have performed your journey for two days and act according to its contents and don't compel anyone of your companions to do a job". After journeying for two days he opened the letter and found that Rasul had given these orders: "When you look at my letter proceed on your way and camp in the land of 'Nakhlah' which is situated between Makkah and Taif and wait there for Quraysh and inform me about their activities". He acted according to the contents of the letter and all his companions followed him and alighted at that place. In the meantime there came up suddenly a caravan of Quraysh which was going from Taif to Makkah under the supervision of Amr Khazrami. The Muslims had also camped near them. To ensure that the enemy might not become aware of their secret they cut the hair of their heads, to give the impression that they were proceeding to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage of the House of God. Their appearance satisfied Quraysh and they said
to one another: "These Muslims are going to perform 'Umra' and have nothing to do with us". At this moment the Muslims assembled for war consultations and began exchanging views. Eventually they realized that in case they waited on that day, which was the last day of Rajab, the sacred month would no doubt come to an end but if in the meantime Quraysh moved away from that spot they would enter the area of 'haram' and fighting in that area was also prohibited. They therefore, concluded that it was preferable to fight in the sacred month than to do so in the area of 'haram'. Thus, taking the enemy by surprise, they killed Amr Khazrami, the head of the caravan, with an arrow. [Note: Some historians have mentioned his name as Waqid bin Abdullah and others Amr bin Abdullah]
As regards his subordinates all of them fled except Uthman bin Abdullah and Hakam bin Kaysan, who were captured by the Muslims. Abdullah bin Jahash brought the merchandise and the two captives to Madina. Rasul was annoyed to find that the commander of the group had transgressed his orders and had fought in the sacred month instead of performing his duty. He said: "I had not at all ordered you to fight in the sacred month". Quraysh used this incident as a propaganda weapon and spread the news that Muhammad had violated the respect of the sacred month. The Jews took this incident to be a bad omen and wanted to create trouble. The Muslims rebuked Abdullah and his companions. Rasul did not take possession of the booty of war and was awaiting Divine revelation. All of a sudden the Archangel Gabriel brought this verse: (O Prophet!) They ask you about fighting in the sacred month. Tell them it is a great sin and amounts to obstruction of the path of God.
However, it is a greater sin before God to turn out the residents of Masjidul Haram and disbelief in God is worse than committing murder. (Sura Baqarah, 2:219). By means of this verse Quraysh have been told that if Muslims have waged war in the sacred month and have thus done something unlawful, but they (Quraysh) have committed a greater crime, because they turned out the residents of Masjidul Haram (the Muslims) from their homes and created mischief by persecuting and torturing them. In view of these big crimes of theirs they have no right to object to the steps taken by the Muslims. The revelation of this verse infused a fresh spirit into the body of the Muslims. Rasul distributed the war booty. Quraysh desired to purchase the two persons captured by the Muslims. In reply to their request Rasul said: "You should return two Muslim soldiers who were captured by you as a consequence of their being at a distance from others so that I may also release
your captives. And if you kill them we shall also kill your men". They were obliged to return the Muslim captives and with their return, orders were also given for the return of the Quraysh captives. However, one of them embraced Islam and the other returned to Makkah.
The real object of dispatching these groups and concluding military pacts with the tribes who lived near the trade route of Makkan's was to inform Quraysh of the military strength and power of the Muslims-especially when Rasul himself participated in these maneuvers and stayed on the trade route of Quraysh accompanied by large groups of men. The illustrious leader of Islam wished to make the Makkan Government realize that all their trade routes had come under the control of the Muslims and they could stop their trade as and when they liked. Trade was something very vital for the people of Makkah, and the merchandise, which was transported from there to Taif and Syria, constituted the very basis of their economic life. And if these routes were threatened by the forces of a vigorous enemy and his allies like Bani Zumrah and Bani Madlaj the very foundation of their life would topple down. The object of dispatching these military missions and groups towards the routes of the enemy was that Quraysh might know that their trade routes had fallen in the hands of the Muslims and if they persisted in their obstinacy and prevented the propagation of Islam and presecuted the Muslims residing in Makkah their vital arteries would be cut off with the strength of Islam. In short the object was that Quraysh should ponder over the matter and by taking all these facts into account they should allow the Muslims to preach Islam freely and should open the path for them to perform pilgrimage of the House of God and to propagate the Divine religion, so that Islam might influence the hearts by means of its rational and sublime teachings and the light of this religion might spread throughout the Peninsula and the centre of Arabia under the auspices of freedom. A speaker may be very eloquent and forceful, and a tutor may be very sincere and persevering, but unless they find free environments and unless the principles of freedom and democracy are established they cannot achieve proper success in guiding others and in propagating their points of view. The greatest impediment in the path of advancement of Islam was the lack of absolute freedom and the distressed conditions of environments which had been created by Quraysh. Hence, the only way to remove this impediment was to threaten the routes of their economy which were the very arteries of their life and this plan was given a practical shape by means of war maneuvers and military pacts.
The orientalists have been gravely mistaken in the analysis of these events and have said things which are completely opposed to the principles of Islam and the aims and objects of this sublime religion. They say that the aim of Rasul was to increase his own strength by plundering and confiscating the properties of Quraysh. This view does not, however, conform to the spirit of the people of Yathrib, because plundering and robbery are the activities of nomadic tribes who dwell in deserts, far away from civilization, and the Muslims of Yathrib were usually agriculturists who had never attacked any caravan throughout their lives and had never plundered the properties of tribes residing beyond their own environments. The fighting between Aws and Khazraj was a local affair and its fire had been kindled by the Jews to promote their own interests and to weaken the strength of the Arabs. Now as regards the Muhajir Muslims who were associated with Rasul, although their properties had been confiscated by the Makkans, they were not planning to recover their loss. This is proved by the fact that they did not attack any caravan of Quraysh after the Battle of Badr. Moreover, most of the groups had been despatched to collect information and to furnish necessary reports. Groups of eighty or sixty eight persons were evidently not strong enough to plunder when the number of those who guarded the caravans was much larger than this. Sometimes they say: "The object was to take revenge on Quraysh, because when Rasul and his companions thought of the persecution and torture to which they had been subjected, their sense of revenge and tribal honour was stirred and they determined to draw their swords, take revenge and shed blood". This view is also as feeble and baseless as the first one, because a good deal of evidence is available in the texts of history which contradicts it and shows that the real aim of dispatching these groups was certainly not to engage in battles or to shed blood or take revenge. Here are some points which refute this view of the orientalists: 1. If Rasul's aim in dispatching these groups had been war and acquisition of booty it was necessary that he should have increased their number and sent a well-equipped army to the coastal areas. The fact, however, is that he sent only thirty pesons with Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib, sixty persons with 'Ubaydah bin Harith and a negligible number with Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas and the number of persons who had been appointed to guard the caravans was many times larger than these. Hamzah and 'Ubaydah were confronted with three hundred and two hundred men of Quraysh respectively. And especially when Quraysh came to know that the Muslims had concluded treaties with various tribes they increased the number of the guards of their caravans. If, therefore, the Muslim Commanders had been dispatched to wage war, why did it so happen that in most of these expeditions not a drop of blood was shed and at one time both the parties did not want to confront each other on account of intervention by Majdi bin Amr? 2. The letter which Rasul gave to Abdullah bin Jahash clearly shows that warfare was not the aim at all, because in that letter he gave him the following instructions: "Camp in the land of Nakhlah which is situated between Makkah and Taif and wait there for Quraysh and inform me about their intentions". This letter clearly shows that Abdullah was not at all dispatched to be engaged in fighting, for his only assignment was to collect information and the fight in Nakhlah, as a consequence of which Amr Khazrami was killed, was the result of his consultations with his companions about war. Hence, when Rasul became aware of bloodshed, which had taken place, he sternly rebuked and reproached Abdullah and his companions and said: "I did not order you to wage war". It is evident
that the aim of all or most of these expeditions was simply to seek information, and it cannot at all be said that Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib was dispatched along with thirty persons to wage war. As regards Abdullah bin Jahash he was sent with eighty persons to collect information and the position is that the party which was sent to collect information was about three times as big as that which, according to the orientalists, was dispatched to wage war. And the reason for usually selecting Muhajirs to form these parties was that at 'Aqabah the Ansar had concluded only a defence pact with Rasul and had promised to safeguard his life in the event of an attack by the enemy. He did not, therefore, like to make them responsible for such expeditions at the very outset and to stay on in Madina himself. Later, however, when he went out of Madina himself he also took some Ansar with him to strengthen the ties between them and the Muhajirs. It was for this reason that the Muhajirs and the Ansar had the honour of accompanying him jointly during his journeys to Bawat and Zatul Ashirah. In view of these arguments the baselessness of the view of the orientalists about the dispatch of these parties becomes crystal clear, and by honestly studying what has been said above, their view about the expeditions in which Rasul participated personally is also falsified, because those who accompanied him to Bawat and Zatul Ashirah were not Muhajirs only but a group of Ansar also went with him. And when the Ansar had not concluded a military pact with him, how could he invite them to war and bloodshed? The Battle of Badr, a description of which will be given later, bears testimony to our statement. Rasul did not decide to fight this battle until Ansar consented to participate in it. And the reason why the Muslim historians have given these expeditions the name of 'Ghazwa' is that they wanted to collect all these incidents under one heading-otherwise, the real aim of these manoeuvres was neither plundering nor war booty.
Sexual inclinations appear in every individual at a particular stage of life and at times it so happens that due to lack of proper training and because of the availability of means to satisfy sexual appetite a young person finds himself at the edge of a precipice. At this stage there happen such things as ought not to happen. Marriage is the best means for the protection of our chastity. In conformity with the law of nature Islam has also made men and women responsible to marry in specified conditions and has given various directions in this behalf. Quran says: Women and men should marry, and the fear of poverty and indigence should not stop them from performing this ceremony: God will make them rich. (Sura Nur, 24:23) Rasul says: "He who wishes to appear before God with a pure soul should marry''. He has also said: "I shall pride myself on the Day of Judgement over other communities on account of the excessive number of my followers".
Difficulties of marriage during our age are not a few. Men and women of modern times are not prepared to marry on account of unfavourable circumstances and adverse conditions. The national publications point out a number of problems in the frame-work of the family, but most of the difficulties revolve on this point that the men and women of our society do not intend to set up a family which should ensure their real prosperity. Some persons wish to acquire high public offices and wealth by means of marriage. The thing to which least attention is paid in these days is chastity and modesty, and though it may at times be taken into consideration, usually no importance is given to it. The proof of this is that men are very fond of those girls, who belong to high families, although they may not at all be praiseworthy from the moral point of view, and many virtuous and pious girls live in extreme poverty in some corners of the society and no one cares for them.
Above all, there are the ceremonies of marriage which are a great source of harassment for the bridegroom and also for the parents of the bride. Another great difficulty is the question of dowry. Owing to these problems there are many persons who avoid marriage and satisfy their sexual appetite by unlawful means.
These are some of the social problems which exist to a considerable extent in every society and the period of Rasul was also not free from them. The nobles of Arabia gave their daughters in marriage to those persons who were their equals in regard to pedigree, strength and wealth, and they rejected other suitors. On account of this old custom the members of noble families were desirous of marrying Fatimah, the dear daughter of Rasul. They were under the impression that Rasul would not be severe in the matter of the marriage of his daughter, because, according to their own thinking, they possessed everything which could attract a bride and her father, and then Rasul had not been severe with regard to the marriages of his other daughers (Ruqayyah, Zaynab etc.). They were, however, oblivious of the fact that this daughter of Rasul was different from others. She was the daughter who enjoyed a high position in the light of the verse (of Sura Ale Imran, 3:61)
pertaining to 'Mubahilah' (contest with the Christians). The suitors were mistaken in their thoughts, because they did not understand that only that person who was like her in the matter of piety and faith could be her equal and a march for her. As according to the verse of 'Tathir' (purification) Fatimah had been declared to be free from all sins, hence, her husband must also be masum (free from sins). Wealth and material manifestations are not the standard of equality. Although Islam recommends that daughters should be given in marriage to their equals, but it also explains that their equality, should be in the matter of faith and Islam. Rasul had been directed by God to tell the suitors that the marriage of Fatimah would take place according to Divine orders and in offering this apology he removed, to some extent, their misunderstandings. The companions of Rasul realized that the marriage of Fatimah was not a simple matter and none could marry her on
account of his affluence. They also became aware that her husband could be only that person who was next to Rasul in the matter of truthfulness, faith, spiritual merit and moral excellence and such a person could be none but Ali. To put the matter to a test they encouraged Ali to ask for the hand of Rasul's daughter. Ali also desired this and was only waiting to fulfil the necessary conditions before he made such a request. Imam Ali went before Rasul personally. Modesty and shyness had overpowered him. He had cast his head down and it seemed that he wanted to say something but was feeling shy. Rasul encouraged him to speak and he made his purpose known in a few sentences. This type of suit is a sign of sincerity. However, our training institutions have not yet been able to teach the prospective suitors such freedom coupled with piety, faith and sincerity. Rasul agreed to meet the request of Ali and said: "You should wait a little so that I may mention
the matter to my daughter". When he spoke about it to Fatimah she remained absolutely quiet. Rasul then said: "God is Great! Silence means consent". In those days, however, Ali owned nothing except a sword and a coat-of-mail. He was advised by Rasul to sell the coat-of-mail to meet the expenses of marriage. He gladly sold his coat-of-mail and brought the proceeds of sale to Rasul. Rasul gave a handful of the money to Bilal, without counting it, to purchase some scent for Zahrah. He entrusted the remaining amount to Abu Bakr and Ammar to procure, from the bazaar of Madina, the necessities of life for the couple. They got up as ordered by Rasul and purchased the following things (which were in fact the dowry of Zahrah) and brought them to Rasul.
A shirt which was purchased for seven dirhams; a head-dress costing one dirham; a black bath-robe which did not suffice the entire body; a bed which was made of wood and date-palm fibre; two mattresses of Egyptian linen, one of which was woolen and the other was made of date-palm fibre; four pillows out of which two were made of wool and the other two of date-palm fibre; a curtain; a hajri mat; a pair of millstones; a water-skin; a wooden bowl for milk; a skin container for water; a green pitcher, some jars; two silver armlets; and one copper vessel. When the eyes of Rasul fell on these articles, he said: "O Lord! Bless the lives of those whose untensils are mostly earthen". The dowry of Rasul's daughter deserves consideration. Her dowry did not exceed 'Mehrus Sunnah' which is five hundred dirhams. In fact it was an example for others i.e. for the girls and boys, who cry under the heavy burden of dowry and at times shun the obligation of marriage on this
account. The matrimonial life should basically become agreeable and pleasant by means of sincerity and love, for, otherwise, heavy dowry do not provide any brightness to life. Nowadays the guardians of the bride subject the son-in-law to a heavy burden of dowry to strengthen the position of the girl so that he may not on one day resort to divorce on account of his greed. This action does not, however, provide total guarantee for the achievement of the said purpose and the real and true treatment of this malady is the reformation of the moral conditions of men. Our cultural and social environments should be such that thoughts of this kind do not take root in the brains of men. Otherwise, it so happens at times that the girl agrees to forego her dowry to get rid of her husband.
A number of persons were invited from the sides of the bridegroom and the bride and Ali arranged a feast (walimah) in honour of his dear spouse. After the feast was over Rasul called for Fatimah. She came before Rasul feeling very shy. When her eyes fell on Rasul her foot slipped and she was about to fall on the ground. Rasul held his dear daughter by the hand and prayed for her saying: "May God protect you from all slips". That night Rasul displayed such devotion and sincerity, as is not displayed in the present societies in spite of their growth and evolution. Holding the hand of his daughter he gave it in the hand of Ali and informed her of the virtues of her husband. He also made a mention of the sublime personality of his daughter and said that if Ali had not been born there was none else to match her. Then he divided the domestic affairs and the duties of life between them. He entrusted the household affairs to Fatimah and made Ali responsible for
outdoor duties. The marriage took place after the Battle of Badr. According to some narratives Rasul then asked the Muhajir and the Ansar women to encircle the she-camel of his daughter and take her to her husband's house and with this the marriage ceremonies of the greatest woman of the world came to an end. We reproduce below a tradition which gives an idea of the high position enjoyed by the daughter of Rasul. Ans bin Malik says: "For a period of six months Rasul used to come out from his house at the time of Fajar (dawn) and proceeded to the mosque and regularly stopped at that time in front of the house of Fatimah and said: "O people of my household! Attend to prayers. God desires to keep every sort of uncleanliness away from you Ahl al Bayt (People of the Household)".
Not a few months had yet passed since the migration of Rasul to Madina when the Jews rose to oppose him. Exactly in the seventeenth month of migration a mandatory Divine command came that from then onwards the 'qiblah' of the Muslims would be the Kaba and while offering their prayers they should turn their faces to Masjidul Haram. Details of the above event: During the thirteen years of his prophetic mission in Makkah Rasul used to offer his prayers with his face towards 'Baytul Maqdis'(Jerusalem) and even after his migration to Madina the Divine order was that 'Baytul Maqdis' would continue to be the 'qiblah' and while offering their prayers the Muslims should also turn their faces to the same 'qiblah' to which the Jews turned theirs. This was in itself a sort of collaboration and a means of bringing the two religions -one old and the other new-nearer to each other. But the Jews became panicky on account of the advancement of the Muslims, because their
ever-increasing successes went to show that very soon the religion of Islam would spread to the entire Peninsula and the strength and influence of the Jews would come to an end. They, therefore, began indulging in obstructionist activities and hurt the Muslims and their dignified leader in many ways. Amongst other things they put forward the question of offering prayers facing 'Baytul Maqdis' and said: "Muhammad claims that his is an independent religion and his law supersedes all previous laws, but he does not yet have an independent 'qiblah' and offers his prayers facing the 'qiblah' of the Jews". This news hurt Rasul. He came out of his house at midnight and looked at the sky. He was awaiting revelation. In the meantime an order was revealed to him as contained in the following verse: Many a time We have seen you turn your face towards heaven. We will make you turn towards a 'qiblah' that will please you. (Sura Baqarah, 2:144) It appears from the
verses of Quran that change of qiblah was not due only to the objection of the Jews, but there was also another reason for it. It was that the matter possessed an aspect of test. The intention was that the true believers and those who were not sincere in their faith should be identified and Rasul should fully recognize such persons, because the second order, in obedience to which he turned his face towards Masjidul Haram, while performing prayers, was the sign of faith in the new religion and disobedience and delay is a sign of double-mindedness and hypocrisy. Quran itself mentions this fact clearly in the following verse: We decreed your former qiblah only in order that We might know Rasul's true adherents and those who were to disown him. It was indeed a hard test, but not for those whom God guided. (Sura Baqarah, 2:143 ) No doubt, there are other reasons also for this change which we find from the history of Islam and from a study of the conditions
then prevailing in the Peninsula, for example: 1 The Kaba, which had been constructed by Prophet Ibrahim, was respected by the entire Arab society. To declare such a place the 'qiblah' ensured satisfaction of the Arabs in general and attracted them towards Islam. And there could be no target sublimer than that the obstinate polytheists who were far behind the caravan of civilization should embrace the true faith, and Islam should spread through them in all parts of the world. 2. There was no hope that the Jews of those days would embrace Islam and it, therefore, appeared necessary that the Muslims should remain at a distance from them, because they indulged in obstructionist activities and wasted the time of Rasul by putting forward knotty questions, whereby, according to their own thinking, they displayed their knowledge and wisdom. Change of qiblah was one of the manifestations of seeking distance from the Jews, just as fasting on the day of 'Ashurah'
(10th of Muharram) was abolished for that very purpose. Before the advent of Islam the Jews used to fast on the day of 'Ashurah' and Rasul and the Muslims had also been ordered to fast on that day. Later, however, orders regarding fasting on 'Ashurah' day were withdrawn and instead fasting during the month of Ramadan was made obligatory. After all, Islam, which is superior to other religions in all respects, should manifest itself in such a way that the points of its perfection and superiority should become absolutely clear. On account of these reasons the Archangel Gabriel came when Rasul had already performed two rak'ats of noon prayers and communicated to him the Divine command that he should thence forward turn to Masjidul Haram. In some of the narratives it has been said that the Archangel held the hand of Rasul and turned him to Masjidul Haram. Men and women who were present in the mosque followed suit and from that day onwards the Kaba became the permanent qiblah of the Muslims.
According to the computation of the former astronomers Madina lies at a latitude of 25 degrees and at a longitude of 75 degrees and 20 points. According to this computation the direction of qiblah as determined for Madina was not in confirmity with Rasul's 'mehrab' (place of offering prayers) which is still in its original position. This difference was surprising for some experts and at times they offered explanation to remove the difference. However, recently Sardar Kabuli, the famous scientist has proved, according to modern computations, that Madina is at a latitude of 24 degrees and 75 points and at a longitude of 39 degrees and 59 points. The result of this computation turned out to be this: The qiblah of Madina inclines 45 degrees from the southern point and this extraction tallies exactly with the position of Rasul's pulpit. This in itself is a scientific miracle because in those times, no scientific instruments were available, and there was nothing like computation. Rasul while offering prayers, turned from Baytul Maqdis to the Kaba in such a way that there was not the least deviation from the direction of Kaba and as has been stated above the Archangel Gabriel held his hand and turned him to the Kaba.


The Battle of Badr is one of the greatest and most famous battles of Islam and those who participated in it enjoyed a special distinction amongst the Muslims. Whenever one or more mujahids of Badr participated in or gave evidence about any matter the people used to say: "So many Badris agree with us". The word 'Badri' is used in the biographies of the companions of Rasul for those persons who participated in the Battle of Badr and the reason for their importance will be known from the details ot this event. It has already been mentioned before that in the middle of Jamadiul Awwal of the second year of migration a report was received in Madina that a caravan was going from Makkah to Syria under the leadership of Abu Sufyan, and Rasul went up to Zatul Ashirah to pursue the caravan and stayed there till the beginning of the following month, but could not lay hands on it. The time of the return of the caravans was almost certain, because in early autumn the caravans of Quraysh used to return from Syria to Makkah. In all campaigns procurement of information is the first step towards victory. Unless the commander of an army is aware of the strength of the enemies, the point of their centralization and the morale of their soldiers, it is very likely that he may be defeated in the very first encounter. One of the praiseworthy policies adopted by Rasul in all the battles (the details of which will be given later) was that he used to collect information about the strength of the enemy and his location. And even till today the question of procurement of information enjoys great importance in global as well as local wars. According to Allamah Majlisi Rasul sent Adi (and according to the writer of 'Hayat-i Muhammad, as quoted by him from history books, he sent Talha bin 'Ubaydullah and Saeed bin Zayd) for collecting information about the route and itinerary of the caravan, the number of its guards, and the nature of their merchandise. The information received was as under: 1. It is a big caravan and all Makkans have shares in its merchandise. 2. The leader of the caravan is Abu Sufyan and there are about forty persons who guard it. 3. The merchandise is loaded on one thousand camels and its value is about fifty thousand dinars. As Quraysh had confiscated the property of Muslim Muhajirs residing in Madina, it was only appropriate that the Muslims should also confiscate their merchandise and if they persisted in withholding the property of the Muhajir Muslims on account of their enmity and obstinacy, the Muslims should, as a retaliatory measure, divide their merchandise amongst themselves as war booty. Hence, Rasul turned to his companions and said: "O people! It is the caravan of Quraysh. You can go out of Madina to take possession of the property of Quraysh. It is possible that your condition may improve". In the circumstances Rasul left Madina with 313 men in the month of Ramadan of the second year of migration to confiscate the property of Quraysh encamped by the side of the well of Badr. While going to Syria Abu Sufyan had realized that Rasul was pursuing his caravan. He was, therefore, careful at the time of his return and enquired from other caravans whether Muhammad had occupied the trade routes. It was reported to him that Rasul had left Madina along with his companions and might be pursuing the caravan of Quraysh. Abu Sufyan refrained from proceeding further. He did not see any alternative except to inform Quraysh about the impending danger to the caravan. He, therefore, hired a swift camel-driver named Zamzam bin Amr Ghafari and gave him the following instructions: "Go to Makkah and inform the valiant men of Quraysh and the owners of the merchandise to come out of Makkah to guard the caravan against the attack of the Muslims". Zamzam hastened to Makkah. As ordered by Abu Sufyan he cut off the ears of his camel, pierced its nose and turned its saddle upside down and tore his shirt from the front as well as from the back side. He then stood up on his camel and cried: "O people! The camels which are carrying musk are in danger. Muhammad and his friends intend confiscating the merchandise. I am doubtful whether it will reach your hands. Help! Help!" The pitiable condition of the camel from whose ears and nose blood was trickling and the impression which Zamzam created by his continuous wailings and cries for help roused the Makkans and all their brave men and warriors got ready to go, with the exception of Abu Lahab, who did not participate in this battle, and hired As bin Hisham for four thousand dirhams to go and fight on his behalf. Umayyah bin Khalaf, who was one of the chiefs of Quraysh, did not wish, for some reasons, to participate in this battle and had been told that Muhammad had said: "Umayyah shall be killed at the hands of Muslims". The
leaders of the community felt that the absence of such an important person would certainly be harmful for their cause. While Umayyah was sitting in Masjidul Haram with some other persons, two men, who had volunteered to fight against Muhammad, came and placed a tray and a collyruim-box before him and said: "O Umayyah! Now that you have declined to defend your land, wealth and trade, and have chosen to lead a secluded life like women instead of fighting on the war front, it is only proper that you should apply collyrium to your eyes like women and your name should be struck off the list of brave men". This taunt had such a great effect on Umayyah that he immediately collected the provisions for his journey and proceeded along with Quraysh to safeguard the caravan.
The time for departure was announced by special means. However, the chiefs of Quraysh were reminded of the fact that they had also a mortal enemy like the tribe of Bani Bakr, and it was quite possible that they might attack them from behind. The enmity of Bani Bakr with Quraysh was due to the bloodshed, the details of which have been given by Ibn Hisham. In the meantime Saraqah bin Malik, who was one of the elders of Bani Kananah (a sect of Bani Bakr) assured Quraysh that nothing of the sort would happen and they could leave Makkah without the least worry.
The forces of truth and falsehood faced each other for the first time in the Valley of Badr. The number of the army of truth did not exceed 313 whereas the army of falsehood was three times as big as that. The Muslims were not properly equipped. Their means of transport consisted of about seventy camels and a few horses, while the enemy had come with full strength to knock down Islam. In spite of all this, however, truth was victorious and the enemy returned to Makkah after having sustained heavy losses. Rasul encamped in the northern passage of Badr at the foot of the mountain called "al Udwatud Dunya" and was waiting for the caravan to pass when a fresh report was received. It changed the thinking of the commanders of the Islamic army and opened a new chapter in their lives. It was reported to Rasul that the people of Makkah, who had come out to protect the caravan, were centralized in the same environs and various tribes had participated in forming
this army. The grand leader of Muslims saw himself on the crossroads. He and his companions had come out of Madina to confiscate the merchandise and were not in a position, whether from the point of view of numbers or that of military equipments, to confront a big Makkan army, and now if they had returned from the way they had come, they would have lost the glory which they had earned by means of manoeuvers and military demonstrations. As it was very much likely that the enemy might continue his advance and attack the centre of Islam (Madina), Rasul considered it expedient not to retreat but to put up a good fight with the available strength up to the last moment. The point worth consideration was that the majority of the soldiers consisted of the Ansar and there were only seventy four Muhajirs amongst them and the agreement which the Ansar had made with Rasul at 'Aqabah was a defence pact and not a war pact. In other words, they had agreed to defend
his person in Madina like their own kith and kin but had not undertaken to go with him out of Madina and wage war against the enemy. Now the question was as to what the commander of the entire force should do. He, therefore, saw no alternative but to consult his companions about engaging in the battle and to solve the problem in the light of their views.
Rasul stood up and said: "What is your view in the matter? " Abu Bakr stood up first and said: "The chiefs and warlike men of Quraysh have joined this army. Quraysh have not at all expressed faith in a religion and have not fallen from the zenith of glory to the abyss of degradation. Furthermore, we have not come out of Madina fully prepared". (He meant to say that it was not appropriate to fight, and they should return to Madina). Rasul said: "Sit down". Then Umar rose and repeated what Abu Bakr had said. Rasul asked him also to sit down. Thereafter Miqdad stood up and said: "O Prophet of God! Our hearts are with you and you should act according to the orders given to you by God. By God! We shall not tell you what Bani Israel told Moses. When Moses asked them to perform jihad they said to him: 'O Moses! You and your Lord should go and perform jihad and we shall sit here'. We, however, tell you quite the reverse of it and say: Perform jihad under the auspices of the blessings of God and we are also with you and shall fight". Rasul was very much pleased to hear Miqdad's words and prayed for him.
Why the facts are hidden by historians? Although bias and concealment of facts and fanaticism are improper for all writers, they are all the more unbecoming to a historian. History is a mirror in which the faces of the people can be seen clearly. For the benefit of future generations, therefore, a historian should steer clear of all fanaticism. Ibn Hisham, Miqrizi and Tabari have mentioned the war consultations of Rasul and have also reproduced the texts of the replies of Saad bin Muaz and Miqdad in their history books, but have avoided quoting the detailed replies of Abu Bakr and Umar. They have said briefly that these two persons stood up and expressed their views and said good things. Now, one can very well ask these champions of history that if the views expressed by two shiekhs (Abu Bakr and Umar) were good, why they have refrained from quoting their text. However, their replies were the same as mentioned above, and if the aforesaid historians have concealed facts, others have reproduced their text. And as you can very well observe they did not say good things. Their words indicate that fear had over-taken them and they considered Quraysh to be so much honoured and powerful that they (Abu Bakr and Umar) could not even think that they (Quraysh) could be defeated. The adverse effect of their speeches on the feelings of Rasul can very well be realized from the fragments of history, which Tabari has reproduced on the same page, because as you can observe that Abu Bakr and Umar were the first persons who opened their lips and Miqdad and Saad bin Muaz expressed their views afterwards. Tabari quotes Abdullah bin Masud as having said: "On the day of Badr I wished that I had been in the position of Miqdad, because he started speaking and said: "We are not at all like Bani Israel (children of Israel, the Jews) so that we may say that you and your God may go and fight and we shall sit here... at a time when the face of Rasul was flushed with anger. Then he said these words (and provided means for the pleasure and happiness of Rasul), and I wished that I had enjoyed that position". Now, was the anger of Rasul due to anything other than the words of despair uttered by Abu Bakr and Umar and their insistence on returning to Madina? No doubt it was a consultative meeting and everyone had a right to express his views before the supreme commander. However, it was proved that the views expressed by Miqdad were nearer to reality than those expressed by the two shiekhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). The views which were expressed had an individual aspect. However, the main object of holding consultations was to find out the viewpoint of the Ansar. Until and unless they co-operated, it was not possible to take a final decision. Hence, Rasul repeated his words to find out the views of the Ansar and said: "Make your views known to me". Saad bin Muaz Ansari stood up and said: "Do you mean us?" Rasul replied in the affirmative. Thereupon Saad said: "O Prophet of God! We have faith in you and testified that your religion is a true one, and we have promised and agreed that we will obey you and stick to all the decisions taken by you. We swear by God Who has appointed you to the prophetic mission that if you go into the sea, we shall follow suit and none of us shall lag behind in following you. We are not at all afraid to face the enemy. It is possible that we may render services and make sacrifices in this regard which may brighten your eyes. In obedience to the command of God you may send us to any place you consider fit". The words of Saad made Rasul extremely happy and the inauspicious shadow of despair disappeared in the face of invigorative rays of hope, steadfastness, patience and forbearance in the path of the target. The words of Saad were so exciting that Rasul gave immediate orders to move and said: "Move and I give you good tidings that you will either come across the caravan and confiscate the goods or you will fight against the forces which have come to help the caravan. I can now see the defeat of Quraysh and find that they have suffered heavy losses". The Muslim army proceeded under the command of Rasul and encamped near the wells of Badr.
The modern military principles and war tactics have undergone great changes as compared with the past. The importance of acquiring information about the conditions of the enemy and knowledge of his military secrets, and war strategy and the force which he brings in the field is still there. Even now this matter has much to do with the winning and losing of battles. No doubt this subject has now assumed an educational aspect and classes and schools have been set up for teaching the principles of espionage. The heads of eastern and western blocs now consider a major part of their success to lie in the expansion of their spying organizations so that they may become aware of the war plans of the enemy before the commencement of hostilities and may frustrate them. The forces of Islam took their position at a place which accorded with the principles of camouflage, and every such movement as could result in the divulgence of secrets was stopped. Different
parties started collecting information about Quraysh as well as about their caravan. Ihe information was collected from different sources in the following ways: 1. First of all Rasul himself set out, accompanied by a brave soldier, and met the head of a tribe and said to him: "What information do you have about Muhammad and his friends?" He said in reply: "It has been reported to me that Muhammad and his companions left Madina on such and such day. If the reporter be a truthful person he (i.e. Rasul and his companions) should now be at such and such place (he mentioned the place where the Muslim troops had encamped). I have also been informed that Quraysh moved out of Makkah on such and such day. If this report be true they must be at such and such place by now (he mentioned exactly the same place where Quraysh were centralized). 2. A patrol party which included Zubayr, Awam and Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas went to the well of Badr under the command of Ali to
obtain more information. This was a rendezvous where news were exchanged. Near the well the said party met two slaves of Quraysh along with a camel which carried water. They intercepted both of them and brought them before Rasul. After interrogating them it was known that one of the slaves belonged to 'Bani Hajjaj' and the other to 'Bani As' and they had been commissioned to supply water to Quraysh. Rasul said to them: "Where are Quraysh?" They replied that they were on the other side of the mountain which was situated in the desert. Then he asked them about their numbers, and they replied that they did not know it for certain. He asked: "How many camels do they slaughter every day?" They replied that they slaughtered ten camels on one day and nine on the other. Rasul then remarked that their number was between nine and ten hundred. Thereafter he enquired from them about the chiefs of Quraysh. They replied that Utbah bin Rabiyyah, Shaybah bin Rabiyyah,
Abul Bakhtari bin Hisham, Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Hakim bin Hizam, Umayyah bin Khalaf etc. were amongst them. Rasul turned to his companions and said: "The city of Makkah has thrown out the pieces of its heart (i.e. its dearest children)". Thereafter he ordered that the two persons should be held captives so that investigations might continue. 3. Two persons were deputed to the village of Badr to collect information about the caravan. They dismounted by the side of a mound which was situated near the well and pretended that they were thirsty and had come to drink water. By chance they saw two women by the side of the well conversing with each other. One of them said to the other: "Why don't you pay my debt? Don't you know that I too am in need". The other said in reply: "The caravan will be arriving tomorrow or day after tomorrow. I shall work for the caravan and then repay your debt". Majdi bin Amr who happened to be there confirmed what the debtor had
said and then set them apart. The two riders were very happy to hear this news. Observing the rules of camouflage they came to the Supreme Commander of the forces of Islam and informed him of what they had heard. Now that Rasul had received complete information about the arrival of the caravan and the position of Quraysh, it became necessary for him to turn to the preliminaries of his job.
Abu Sufyan, the leader of the caravan, who had been attacked by a party of the Muslims at the time of his outward journey, knew well that at the time of return he would certainly be attacked by them again. Hence, when he reached the zone of influence of Islam he stopped the caravan at a certain point and went to the village of Badr to collect information. There he met Majdi bin Amr and asked him whether he had seen in that area any persons about whom he might have been suspicious. He replied: "I have not seen anything which might have aroused my suspicion. I saw only two camel-riders. They made their camels sit on the mound, came down, drank water and then went away". Abu Sufyan ascended the mound, broke some pieces of the dung of the camels and finding date-stones in them realized that the persons concerned belonged to Madina. He, therefore, changed the course of the caravan and, covering two stages of the journey at a time, took it out of the zone of
influence of Islam. He also appointed a man to go and inform Quraysh that the caravan had been saved from attack by the Muslims and they should, therefore, return to Makkah and leave it to the Arabs to settle the affairs with Muhammad.
The news of the escape of the caravan circulated amongst the Muslims. Those who had greedily kept an eye on the merchandise were very much disturbed by this development. God revealed the following verse to strengthen their hearts: God has promised to grant your victory over one of the two bands, but you wished to fight the one that was unarmed. He sought to fulfil His promise and to annihilate the unbelievers, so that truth should triumph and falsehood be uprooted, though the wrongdoers wished otherwise. (Sura Anfal 8:7)
When Abu Sufyan succeeded in taking away his caravan safely by adopting a route other than that of Badr, he immediately sent a messenger to the people who had come to the rescue of the caravan to inform them about the safety of the caravan and to tell them to return the way they had come, because the real object of mobilization was to protect the caravan and it had been achieved. When the representative of Abu Sufyan conveyed his message to the chiefs of Quraysh a strange split appeared amongst them. The people belonging to the tribes of Bani Zohrah and Akhnas Shariq with their allies returned the way they had come. They said: "Our object was to protect the large merchandise of Bani Zohrah and that object has been achieved". Talib son of Abu Talib, who had been compelled by Quraysh to leave Makkah, also returned after a verbal dispute during which it was said to him: "The hearts of you Hashimites are with Muhammad". As opposed to the suggestion of Abu
Sufyan, Abu Jahl insisted that they should go to the region of Badr, stay there for three days, kill camels, drink wine and hear the minstrel girls sing so that their valour might reach the ears of the Arabs and they should have a high regard for them for ever. The fascinating words of Abu Jahl made Quraysh wait at that place and halt at an elevated point in the desert behind a mound. Heavy rain made movement difficult for them and kept them from proceeding further. However, rain did not have any bad effect on the slope of the desert (al Udwatud Dunya) where Rasul had encamped. The Muslims, therefore, moved, as ordered by Rasul, and occupied a place by the wells of Badr. Badr is a vast region. Its southern side is high (al Udwatul Qaswa and the northern area is low and sloping (al Udwatud Dunya). Water was available in this desert in large quantities from the wells which had been dug and it had always been the halting place for the caravans. Hubab bin
Manzar, who was one of the experienced soldiers said to Rasul: "Have you alighted here in accordance with the command of God, or because you have considered this place to be fit for fighting a battle?" Rasul said: "No specific order has been revealed in this regard and if you have a more appropriate place in view you may mention it so that I may change the place if the exigencies of war make it necessary. Hubab said: It is expendient that we should occupy the place by the side of the water which is nearest to the enemy. We should build a tank there so that water may be available regularly for men and animals". Rasul appreciated the viewpoint of Hubab and ordered the army to move. This incident shows clearly that Rasul attached extraordinary importance to consultations and respected the views of the people in public matters.
Saad bin Muaz said to Rasul: "We propose to set up for you a shelter on a high mound from where the entire battlefield will come into view. It will be looked after by the guards, and the orders of the Supreme Commander will be communicated from there to the subordinate commanders. Over and above all these things if the Muslim army is successful in this battle, well and good, and in case their men are defeated and killed, you may reach Madina by means of swift camels accompanied by the guards of the Tower of Command after employing some delaying tactics, which may stop the enemy from making an advance. There are many Muslims there who are not aware of our present condition and if they come to know about the situation they will give you full support and will act till the last moments of their lives according to the agreement which they have made with you". Rasul prayed for Saad bin Muaz and ordered the construction of a shelter on the mound, which should
overlook the field, and the seat of command should be transferred there.
The construction of the shelter for Rasul and its guarding by Saad bin Muaz and a group of the Ansar is an event which has been quoted by Tabari from Ibn Ishaq, and others have followed him. For certain reasons, however, the story is somewhat doubtful. Firstly such an action has a bad effect on the morale of the soldiers. A commander who makes plans for his own safety and is not anxious about the safety of his soldiers cannot command and control their minds. Secondly such a thing does not conform to the good tidings which Rasul had given to his companions on the basis of Divine revelation. Before coming face to face with Quraysh he had spoken to the Muslims in these terms: God has promised to grant you victory over one of the two bands (the caravan and those who had come to defend it), but you wished to fight the one that was unarmed. He sought to fulfil His promise and to annihilate the believers, so that truth should triumph and falsehood be uprooted,
though the wrongdoers wished otherwise. (Sura Anfal, 8:7) When, according to Tabari, a shelter was being set up for Rasul the caravan had escaped and there were left only those people, who had come from Makkah to defend it. And, according to the above-mentioned positive promise, they (the Muslims) were sure that the victory was theirs. In the circumstances any talk about the defeat of the Muslims and setting up of a shelter for Rasul and stationing swift camels near the shelter would have been out of place. Ibn Saad quotes thus from Umar bin Khattab. When the verse: Their army would be routed and put to flight, (Sura Qamar, 54:45) was revealed, I said to myself: "Which is the army whose decisive defeat has been predicted in this verse?" Then I saw on the day of Badr that Rasul had put on the coat-of-mail and was reciting this verse with great vehemence. At that moment I understood that this army was going to be defeated and annihilated". Keeping this
fact in view can it be imagined that Rasul and his companions could think of their own defeat and flight? Thirdly, the character of Rasul, whose posture in the battlefield was described by Ali, the Leader of the Believers, does not at all conform to this technique. He says about Rasul: "Every time when fighting became intense we took refuge with Rasul. None of us was nearer to the enemy than he". Can it be imagined that a person, whose first disciple describes him in these terms, should adopt the path of personal security and flight in the very first battle fought by the Muslims? We think that the setting up of the shade was only to provide Rasul with a place higher than the battlefield so that he might have a full view of the battle, and from there he could give accurate instructions to his army.
On the 17th of Ramadan of the second year of migration Quraysh descended, early in the morning, from behind the sandy mound into the desert of Badr. When Rasul saw them he raised his face to the sky and said: "O God! Quraysh are up, with pride and arrogance, to fight against You and to deny Your Prophet! Send the aid which You have promised me and destroy them today! "
The forces of Quraysh were centralized at a certain point in Badr, but they were not aware of the strength of the Muslims. They dispatched 'Umayr bin Wahab, who was a brave man and an expert in assessing the strength of the armies to find out the number of Muhammad's companions. Riding his horse he went round the encampment of the army of Islam and reported on his return that they were about three hundred. He said, however, that he would take another round and see whether there were any others lying in ambush and also whether or not there was any reinforcement. He roamed about the desert in all directions and then brought very alarming news. He said: "Muslims don't have any ambush or shelter. However, I have seen some camels which are bringing the news of death for you from Madina". Then he added: "I have seen a group of men who have no other asylum than their own swords. Until each one of them has killed one man of yours they will not be killed. And in
case they kill from amongst you as many as they are themselves what will be the use of life? Take your final decision". Waqidi and Allamah Majlisi have quoted another sentence as well i.e. "Don't you see that they are silent and don't speak even a word and their faces tell what their intentions are and they are moving their tongues in their mouths like deadly serpents?"
The words of the brave soldier created an uproar amongst Quraysh. The entire army of the enemy became panicky. Hakim bin Huzam went to Utbah and said: "O Utbah! You are the chief of Quraysh. Quraysh had come out of Makkah to safeguard their merchandise. This object has been achieved and there is no other matter left except the blood-money of Hazrami and the price of the property which was plundered by the Muslims some time ago. You should pay his blood-money yourself and refrain from fighting with Muhammad". The words of Hakim had a strong effect on Utbah. He got up and made a very impressive speech before the people and said: "O people! You should leave it to the Arabs to settle the affairs with Muhammad. If Arabs succeed in overthrowing his religion and pulling down the foundation of his strength we too shall be happy on that account. And if Muhammad succeeds we shall not meet any harm from him, because we shall be keeping away from fighting with him
in spite of our being at the zenith of our strength. It would, therefore, be better if we return the way we have come". Hakim communicated the views of Utbah to Abu Jahl and saw that he was busy wearing his coat-of-mail, Abu Jahl was very much annoyed to learn about the speech of Utbah and sent a man to 'Amir Hazrami, the brother of Amr Hazrami, with this message: "Your ally (Utbah) is stopping people from realizing the blood-money of your brother. You can see the blood of your brother with your own eyes. Get up and remind Quraysh of the pact which they made with your brother and sing mournful verses for him. Abu 'Amir got up, stripped off his head-covering and said imploringly: "Alas! O Amr !" The wailings and lamentations of Abu 'Amar roused the sense of honour of Quraysh and made them decide to fight. They thus ignored the views of Utbah regarding withdrawal from the scene. However, the same Utbah, who had recommended withdrawal, was influenced by
the transient sentiments of his companions. He rose at once, put on his military uniform and got ready for the battle. Some times man loses his wisdom on account of the influence of sentiments and baseless passions, and fails to brighten his life. The man who was of peaceful disposition and had invited others to live and let live became so sentimental that he was the first to lay himself out to fight.
Aswad Makhzumi was a hot-tempered person. When he saw the tank of water which had been constructed by the Muslims he swore that he would do one of these three things: either he would drink water from the tank, or demolish it or be killed. He came out of the ranks of unbelievers and met the brave commander of Islam, Hamzah, near the tank. Fighting ensued between them. Hamzah gave a blow on his foot and it was severed from his leg. He, therefore, fell down by the side of the tank, with his leg bleeding. In order to act according to his oath he reached the bank of the tank to drink water. Hamzah gave him another blow and he was killed. This incident made fighting unavoidable, because nothing is more instrumental in rousing the sentiments of a crowd than bloodshed. Some persons whose hearts were burning with grudge and rancour revere keen to find an excuse to fight and now that this was the best excuse for them, they considered themselves under the
obligation to fight.
It was an old custom of the Arabs that in the beginning of a battle single combats were resorted to, and later general fighting began. After Aswad Makhzumi had been killed, three famous warriors of Quraysh came out of their ranks and challenged for a fight. They were two brothers Utbah and Shaybah, sons of Rabiyyah, and Walid bin Utbah and all of them were fully armed. They roared and ran their horses in the field and called their opponents to fight. Three brave men from amongst the Ansars named 'Awf, Ma'uz and Abdullah Rawahah came out of the ranks of the Muslims. Utbah, however, realized that they were from Madina and said to them: "We have nothing to do with you". Then a man (from amongst Quraysh) shouted: "O Muhammad! Send our equals to fight with us!" Rasul turned his face to 'Ubaydah, Hamzah and Ali and said: "Get up". The three brave men covered their heads and faces and of they went to the battlefield. All the three persons introduced
themselves. Utbah accepted all of them for a combat and said: "Yes, you are our equals". Some say that in this combat each warrior fought with his rival of the same age. Ali, who was the youngest of them met Walid (maternal uncle of Muawiya), the middle-aged amongst the Muslims (Hamzah) faced Utbah (maternal grandfather of Muawiya) and Ubaydah, who was the oldest amongst the Muslim combatants fought with Shaybah, who was oldest from the other side. Ibn Hisham, however, says that the opponent of Hamzah was Shaybah and that of Ubaydah was Utbah. Now let us see which of the two views is correct. By assessing these views, the real position becomes clear: 1. Historians write that Ali and Hamzah killed their opponents in the very first moment and then hurried to help 'Ubaydah and killed his adversary as well. 2. In a letter written by Ali to Muawiya he reminds him in these words: "The sword with which I finished off your maternal grandfather (Utbah, father of
Muawiya's mother, Hind) and your maternal uncle (Walid bin Utbah) and your brother (Hanzala) is still with me (i.e I still possess the same strength)'. This letter clearly shows that Ali had a hand in the killing of the maternal grandfather of Muawiya, and then we also know that Hamzah and Ali killed their opponents instantly. If the opponent of Hamzah had been Utbah (grandfather of Muawiya) Ali could not say: "O Muawiya! Your grandfather (Utbah) lost his life on account of the blows of my sword". Hence it cannot be gain said that the adversary of Hamzah was Shaybah and that of 'Ubaydah was Utbah and after killing their own opponents Hamzah and Ali went towards Utbah and killed him with the blows of their swords.
As a consequence of the warriors of Quraysh being killed general attack started, and Quraysh began attacking in groups. Rasul ordered that the Muslims should refrain from attacking and should prevent the advance of the enemy by means of archery. Then he came down from the Tower of Command and arranged the lines of his soldiers with a stick. At that moment Sawad bin Ghazbah was standing somewhat forward as compared with the line. Rasul hit the stick on his belly and said: "Don't stand ahead of other soldiers". Sawad then said: "This blow given to me was unjustified and I want to take revenge". Rasul pulled up his shirt immediately and said: "Avenge yourself on me". And then all the soldiers saw that Sawad kissed the chest of Rasul and put his arm round his neck and said: "I wished to kiss your chest during the last moments of my life." Then Rasul returned to the seat of command and with his heart overflowing with faith, turned his face to the Aimighty and
said: "O Lord! If this group is annihilated today, none else will worship you on the face of the earth." The particulars of the general attack have been recorded to some extent in the history of Islam. It is, however, certain that as and when Rasul came down from the seat of command he encouraged the Muslims to fight in the path of God and to attack the enemy. Once he came suddenly and said to the Muslims with a loud voice: "I swear by God who controls Muhammad's soul that whoever fights steadfastly today and his fighting is for God's sake and is killed shall be sent by God to Paradise". The words of the Supreme Commander were so effective that some Muslims removed their coats-of-mail from their bodies and began fighting so that they might achieve martyrdom as early as possible. 'Umayr Hamam asked Rasul: 'How much distance is there between me and Paradise?" Rasul replied: "Fighting with the chiefs of blasphemy". He threw away a few palm-dates which he
had in his hand and began fighting. Then Rasul picked up some dust and, throwing it towards Quraysh, said: "May your faces be metamorphosed!" Thereafter he gave orders for general attack. The signs of victory of the Muslims began to appear soon. The enemies were stricken with terror and began to flee. The Muslims, who were fighting with the help of their faith, and knew that both killing and being killed were blessings of God, were perfectly undaunted and nothing stopped their advance.
Regard for the rights of two groups of persons was necessary. Some of them were those who had meted out good treatment to the Musims in Makkah and had supported them, for example Abil Bakhtari, who had rendered great services to the Muslims by bringing to an end their economic blockade. The others were those persons who had come out of Makkah under compulsion and were actually the supporters of Islam and of Rasul, for example, most of Bani Hisham, like Abbas, the uncle of Rasul etc. As Rasul was the Messenger of blessings and peace, he gave strict orders that the blood of these two groups should not be shed.
Umayyah bin Khalaf and his son were captured through Abdur Rahman bin 'Awf. As mutual friendship existed between Umayyah and Abdur Rahman, the latter wished to take him and his son out of the battlefield alive so that they might be taken prisoners. Bilal, the Ethiopian, was a slave of Ummayyah in the past. As Bilal had embraced Islam while he was a slave, Umayah used to torture him severely. In order to make him abjure Islam he used to make him lie on hot sand during the summer season and placed a big stone on his chest. Even in that condition Bilal used to say: 'Ahad! Ahad!' (God is One. God is One). The Ethiopian slave suffered a good deal until a Muslim purchased him and set him free. In the Battle of Badr Bilal's eyes fell on Umayah and he realized that Abdur Rahman wanted to favour him. He, therefore, cried aloud: "O friends of God! Ummayyah is one of the chiefs of unbelievers. He should not be allowed to live". The Muslims encircled Ummayyah from
all sides and put him and his son to death. Rasul had ordered that Abil Bakhtari, who had helped Bani Hashim in the days of economic blockade, should not be killed. It so happened that a man named 'Majzar' captured him and was trying to bring him before Rasul alive, but he, too, was killed.
In this battle fourteen men from amongst the Muslims were killed. As regards Quraysh seventy of them were killed and seventy others were captured. Those captured included their chiefs named Nazar Harith, 'Uqbah Mu'it, Abu Ghurrah, Suhayl Amr, Abbas and Abul As. The martyrs of Badr were buried in a corner of the battlefield. Their graves still exist and devoted Muslims visit them to offer their respects. Later Rasul ordered that the dead bodies of Quraysh might be collected and thrown in a well. When the body of Utbah was being brought to the well the eyes of his son (Abu Huzayfah) fell on it and he turned pale. Rasul observed this and said: "Has any doubt crossed your mind?" He replied: "No, but I imagined that my father possessed wisdom, learning and patience and thought that these qualities might guide him to Islam. However, I have now realized that whatever I had been thinking was wrong". Then Rasul went by the side of the well. He uttered the names
of everyone of the chiefs of unbelievers and said: "O Utbah! O Shaybah! O Umayah! O Abu Jahl! Did you find what your god had promised you to be correct? I have found that which my God had promised to be correct and firm". The companions of Rasul said: "Are you speaking to the dead bodies?" He replied: "They are hearing my words but are not able to give any reply".
Many Muslim historians believe that in the Battle of Badr single combats and collective attacks continued till midday and the battle came to an end after noontide, when Quraysh fled and some of them were captured. After burying the martyrs Rasul performed afternoon prayers at that place and came out of the desert of Badr before sunset. Now Rasul was faced for the first time with differences between his companions over the division of war booty, and every group claimed that it enjoyed precedence over others. Those who guarded the Tower of Command of the Supreme Commander claimed that they had protected the life of Rasul and nothing could be more important than this. Those who had collected war booty claimed precedence over others. And those who had pursued the enemy till the last moment and had made the collection of war booty possible considered themselves to be more deserving than others. There is nothing more harmful for an army than that the disputes
should arise amongst the individuals. In order to curb material desires and suppress all hue and cry, Rasul entrusted the entire booty to Abdullah Ka'b and appointed some persons to help him in its transport and safe custody until a solution of the problem was found. The rules of equity and justice demanded that the entire army should have shared the booty, because all had worked and shouldered responsibility and none of the individuals could achieve anything unless others were also active. While he was on the way, Rasul divided the booty equally. As regards the Muslims who had been martyred he separated their shares and delivered them to their successors. The action of Rasul (dividing the war booty equally) annoyed Saad Waqqas, who said to Rasul: "Do you consider me, who am one of the noble men of Bani Zohrah, at par with these water-carriers and gardeners of Yathrib?" Rasul was very much grieved to hear these words and said: "My object in this battle
has been to support the weak against the strong and I have been appointed to the prophetic mission to uproot all imaginary discriminations and privileges and to replace them by equality in the rights of men". As explained in Quranic verses relating to khums: One fifth of war booty belongs to God, His Prophet, the hindered, the orphans, the needy and those who need money while on a journey. (Sura Anfal, 8:41). However, on this occasion, Rasul distributed khums also amongst the army. It is possible that the verse relating to khums had not been revealed yet or Rasul, exercising the authority vested in him, refrained from taking khums to increase the shares of the mujahids.
At one of the halting places the captives were made to appear before Rasul. Out of them Nazar bin Harith, who was one of the sworn enemies of the Muslims, was executed in the strait of 'Safra' and Uqbah bin Abi Muit was killed under Rasul's orders in 'Irquz Zabiyyah. Now the question arises as to why, in spite of the fact that the orders of Islam about the prisoners of war are that they are the slaves of the Muslims and the mujahids, and may be sold in the bazaar at reasonable prices, Rasul agreed to the execution of these two persons, and how he took such a decision, when he had already said to the Muslims about the captives of Badr: "Be good to the captives". Abu Aziz, the standard-bearer of Quraysh in the Battle of Badr, says: 'From the day Rasul made recommendation for us we became so honourable before the Muslims that they did not touch food until we had been fed first'. In the circumstances the execution of these two captives was ordered for the
sake of general welfare of the Muslims and not as an act of vengeance, because these two persons were the chiefs of unbelievers and were the plotters against Islam and the instigators of the tribes. Possibly Rasul was sure that if they were set at large they would once again indulge in such dangerous activities.
Abdullah Rawahah and Zayd Harithah were deputed by Rasul to reach Madina as soon as possible and to convey good news to the Muslims that Islam had been victorious and the leaders of the unbelievers like Utbah, Shaybah, Abu Jahl, Zam'ah, Abul Bakhtari, Umayyah, Nabiyya, Manbah etc. had been killed. They arrived at the time when the Muslims were returning after burying the daughter of Rasul, who was the wife of Uthman, and the joy of victory in the war was thus mingled with grief on account of her death. At the same time the polytheists and the Jews were very much perturbed and unnerved, because they never expected that the Muslims would be blessed with such a victory. They, therefore, endeavoured to make the people believe that the news was false. However, the fact was proved beyond any doubt by the arrival of the army of Islam along with the captives of Quraysh.
Haysaman Khazai was the first to reach Makkah to inform the people of the bloody events at Badr as well as of their chiefs being killed in the battle. Abu Rafe', who was the slave of Abbas in those days and later became a companion of Rasul as well as of Imam Ali, says: "In those days Islam had illuminated the house of Abbas. He, his wife Ummul Fazal, and myself had embraced Islam, but had kept our faith concealed for fear of the people. When the news of the death of the enemies of Islam at Badr spread we were extremely happy. However, Quraysh and their supporters were very much grieved and disturbed. Abu Lahab who had not participated in this battle and had sent someone else in his own place was sitting by the well of Zamzam. Suddenly people brought the news that Abu Sufyan Harth had arrived. Abu Lahab said: "Tell him to see me as early as possible". He came, sat by the side of Abu Lahab, and gave a detailed account of the happenings at Badr. Agitation
and fear struck Abu Lahab's heart like lightening. After burning in high fever for seven days he died of some mysterious disease. The story of the participation in the Battle of Badr of Rasul's uncle Abbas (who was one of the persons who were captured by the Muslims) is one of the problems of history. How can it be that he insisted upon the people of Madina, at the time of the agreement of 'Aqabah, to support Rasul and he is reported to have participated in this battle. The solution of this problem lies in what his slave Rafe' says. He says that he was one of the persons who, like his brother Abu Talib, believed in the Oneness of God and the Prophethood of his nephew, but concealed his faith, keeping in view the exigencies of the time, so that he might assist his nephew and keep him informed of the nefarious plots of Quraysh, just as he had done at the time of the Battle of Uhud. The spreading of the news of the death of seventy persons from amongst the
dear ones of Quraysh caused harassment in many families and made them sad and gloomy.
In order to keep Quraysh in a state of anger and indignation and to ensure that the people should be always ready to avenge the blood of their warriors Abu Sufyan gave orders that nobody had a right to weep or wail nor should a poet recite mournful verses because these things diminish the sense of revenge and occasion taunts by the enemies. To incite resentment among the people he also declared that he would not lie with any woman until and unless he had taken revenge upon the Muslims for the blood of those who were killed in Badr. Aswad Muttalib felt strong indignation on account of losing three of his sons. Suddenly he heard the wailings of a woman. He was pleased and thought that crying for those killed had been allowed. He sent some one to verify his suspicion. However, the result of investigation was not the same as he had wished, because the woman was crying as she had lost her camel and weeping for a lost camel was not prohibited according to the
orders of Abu Sufyan. Aswad felt this very much and composed verses. The translation of two of them is given below: "Is she crying for her lost camel and does she keep awake during nights for having lost it? No. It is not proper at this moment that she should cry for her camel. Rather it is necessary that she should weep for those who have been killed and with whose death joy, honour and glory have also been lost".
According to the Islamic law the prisoners of war become slaves of the Muslims and everyone of them is required to work according to his capacity. Educated persons are employed on educating others and industrialists impart instruction in the field of industry. These slaves cannot become free in any case unless they are first purchased by someone, and this had been the practice of Rasul and of the Muslims during the battles fought and the conquests made by them. As regards this battle (i.e. Badr), however, it was declared that educated persons could become free if they taught ten boys how to read and write. Others could also purchase their freedom by paying an amount ranging from one thousand dirhams to four thousand dirhams. As regards the poor persons they could be set free without payment of any ransom. This news caused a thrill in Makkah amongst the relatives of the captives and they sent ransom money to Madina to get them released. When Suhayl Amr
was set free on payment of ransom, one of the companions of Rasul requested for permission to pull out his front teeth, so that he could not be able thereafter to speak against Islam. Rasul did not grant permission to do that and said that it amounted to 'mutilation' which is not permissible in Islam. Abil As, the son-in-law of Rasul and husband of his daughter Zaynab, was a respectable tradesman of Makkah. He had married Zaynab during the Age of Ignorance and did not embrace Islam after the appointment of Rasul to the prophetic mission. He also participated in the Battle of Badr and was taken prisoner. At that time his wife, Zaynab, was in Makkah. To get her husband released she sent to Madina a necklace which was given to her by her mother Khadijah at the time of her marriage. Rasul chanced to see the necklace sent by his daughter. He wept and was reminded of the great sacrifices made by Khadijah for the cause of Islam and the enormous wealth spent by
her for the advancement of the Divine religion. To ensure respect for public property he turned to his companions and said: "This necklace is your property and you have full right over it. If you are agreeable it may be returned and Abil As may be set free without realizing any ransom". His companions accepted his suggestion.
Ibn Abil Hadid says: "I mentioned the incident of Zaynab's necklace before my teacher Abu Ja'far Basri 'Alavi and he confirmed it, but added: "Was it not appropriate that the caliphs should have consoled Fatimah by returning Fadak to her, even if it be supposed that it belonged to the Muslims?" I said: "According to a tradition the Prophets don't leave behind any inheritance and as such Fadak belonged to the Muslims. In the circumstances how could the property of the Muslims be given to the daughter of Rasul?" The teacher said: "Did not the necklace, which Zaynab sent for the release of Abil As, belong to the Muslims?" Abil Hadid says: "I said that Rasul was the lawgiver and possessed authority in all matters, whereas the caliphs possessed no such authority". The teacher said: "I don't say that the caliphs should have taken Fadak forcibly from the Muslims and given it to Fatimah. What I say is that the ruler of the time didn't consult the Muslims
regarding the return of Fadak. Why did he not stand up like Rasul and say: 'O people! Fatimah is the daughter of your Prophet. She desires that the garden of Fadak should be under her control as it used to be during the lifetime of Rasul. Do you agree that Fadak be returned to her?' Ibn Abil Hadid writes in the end: "I could say nothing in reply to the eloquent remarks of the teacher and only said this much in his support: 'Abul Hasan Abdul Jabbar has also criticized the caliphs in this behalf and says that though their action was according to law, no regard was shown to the respect and position, to which Zahrah was entitled".
What was the reaction of the Jews of Medina? The Battle of Badr was a dreadful storm which blew in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. This was a storm which pulled out many old roots of polytheism and idol-worship. Some of the heroes and champions of Quraysh were killed or were made captives and the others fled away very ignominously. The news of Quraysh having been routed spread through Arabia. However, after this storm, there was a sort of lull coupled with fear and disturbance of mind - a lull which was occasioned by reflection about the future general conditions of the Peninsula. The idolatrous tribes, the rich Jews of Madina and the Jews of Khaibar and Wadiul Qura were very afraid of the ever increasing advancement of the new government and saw their very existence in danger, because they had never believed that Rasul would become so strong that he would annihilate the century old strength of Quraysh. The Jews of Bani Qaynqa' tribe, who lived in
Madina and controlled the economy of the city, were more afraid than others, because their life was completely intermingled with that of the Muslims and there was a difference between them and the Jews of Khaibar and Wadiul Qura', who lived outside Madina and away from the zone of authority of the Muslims. On this account, therefore, the tribe of Qaynqa' became more active than others and started the cold war of propaganda by spreading biting slogans and slanderous verses. Thus they ignored practically the general agreement which was made in the first year of migration. However, this cold war did not justify that the forces of Islam should give a reply with sharp weapons, because, if a knot can be opened with fingers it should not be necessary to use teeth for the purpose. Furthermore, Rasul attached much importance to the maintenance of political unity and general law and order. As a last warning to the Jews Rasul delivered a fiery speech in the bazaar
of Bani Qaynqa'. In this speech he said to the Jews inter alia: The fate of Quraysh serves them right. It is a lesson to you as well. I am afraid that the same misfortune may overtake you. There are many learned men and religious scholars amongst you. You should verify from them so that they may tell you clearly that I am God's Messenger and that this fact is recorded in your Scripture (the Torah)". The obstinate and proud Jews not only did not keep silent after hearing Rasul's words but replied to him in a very offensive tone and said: "Do you think that we are weak and unaware of the war strategy like Quraysh? You confronted a group who did not know the principles and tactics of fighting. However, the strength of the children of Qaynqa' will become known to you when you meet them in the battlefield". The biting and disrespectful words of Bani Qaynqa' and the singing of slogans and epic poems by the champions of the Jews did not have even the slightest
adverse effect on the morale of the Muslims. However, an ultimatum was served on them in accordance with the principles of Islamic politics and it became clear that this time the knot would have to be opened by other means or else their courage, transgression and oppression would increase day by day. Rasul, therefore, waited for an opportunity to administer them a severe castigation.
At times it so happens that small phenomena lead to great revolutions and social upheavals i.e. an insignificant event leads to great occurrences and the parties resort to the settlement of many other accounts as well (besides that event). The reason for the commencement of the First World War, which is one of the greatest events of human history, was a small happening, which provided an excuse to the big powers to wage war. The event which served as a cause for the commencement of the said war was the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the crown prince of Austria. This happened on the 28th of June 1914 and after one month and a few days the First World War started with Germany's attack on Belgium. As a result of this ten million persons were killed and another twenty million were wounded. The Muslims were extremely annoyed at the obstinacy and arrogance of the Jews and were awaiting an offensive act of theirs so that they might rise
against them. One day it so happened that an Arab woman came in the Bazaar of Bani Qaynqa' to sell something near the shop of a Jewish goldsmith. She had taken care that nobody should see her face. The Jews of Bani Qaynqa', however, insisted that she should unveil her face. As she declined to do so the shopkeeper came out of his shop and sewed the lap of her dress on her back. Consequently when the woman rose after a few moments a part of her body became visible. Thereupon the men (of Bani Qaynqa') ridiculed her. The question of reputation and honour, which is something vital for every society, enjoyed extraordinary importance amongst the Arabs and especially amongst the nomadic tribes who resorted to bloodshed on account of the slightest aspersion on their honour. The pitiable condition of the stranger women, therefore, aroused the sense of honour of a Muslim and he killed the Jewish goldsmith. Naturally this act, committed in the area of the Jews
themselves, could not pass without a reaction on their part. They therefore, attacked that Muslim en masse and put him to death. We are not concerned about the fact whether or not the killing of the Jew for his having insulted the woman conformed to principles and reason. However, a Muslim's having been attacked by hundreds of Jews collectively was decidedly very shocking. Hence, the news of the tragic and pitiable murder of a Muslim stirred the moral sense of the Muslims, who determined to set the matters right and to destroy the centre of mischief. The reciters of epic verses of Bani Qaynqa' realized that the matter had become serious and it was no longer advisable for them to continue their business in the bazaars and streets of Madina. They, therefore, considered it expedient to take refuge, as early as possible, in their houses, which were situated in high and strong forts, and to retreat there in spite of all their recitations of epic poems with
great valour! They also committed a mistake in acting on this scheme. If they had regretted what they had done and had asked for forgiveness they would certainly have been able to reconcile with the Muslims on account of the forgiving nature of Rasul. However, to shut themselves in the forts was a sign of continuance of hostilities and enmity. Rasul ordered the fort of the enemy to be besieged. The Muslim forces encircled the entire fort from one end to the other. The siege continued for fifteen days and entry of provisions into the fort was stopped. Any contact with those people was also prohibited. The Jews knelt down as a consequence of the economic blockade. They opened the gate of the fort after making requisite signs, surrendered to the Muslim army. They also declared that the decision of Rasul, whatever it was, should be adhered to. Rasul intended to award severe punishment to the obstructionists and the opponents of political unity in Madina.
However, he refrained from taking such action on account of the insistence of Abdullah Ubay who was one of the hypocrites of Madina and had ostensibly embraced Islam. It was, therefore, decided that the Jews should surrender their weapons and wealth and quit Madina as early as possible and this task should be accomplished under the supervision of an officer named 'Ubadah bin Samit. The Jews saw no alternative but to leave Madina for Wadiul Qura' and then to proceed to Azra'at in the region of Syria. The political unity of Madina was restored once again with the expulsion of the Jews of Qaynqa'. This time the political unity was combined with religious unity also, because, besides the Muslims, no other considerable majority was now visible in Madina and the number of idolatrous Arabs and hypocrites was insignificant as compared with that of the believers.
In small surroundings news usually circulates like lightning from person to person. For this reason news regarding most of the conspiracies and gatherings against the Muslims in every region reached the centre of Islam immediately through impartial travellers or vigilant friends. Furthermore, Rasul himself was extraordinarily perceptive and nipped most of the conspiracies in the bud. As soon as a report was received that a tribe was planning to collect arms and men he immediately dispatched a force to curb the spirit of the enemy, or went personally at top speed, with an appropriate force, and besieged the area of the enemy and frustrated his plans. Here is a brief account of some of the 'ghazwahs' (battles in which Rasul participated) which took place in the second year of migration.
The Battle of Kadar. The central region of Bani Salim tribe was called Kadar. A report was received in Madina that the people of that tribe were planning to collect arms to attack the centre of Islam. As and when Rasul went out of Madina he appointed another person as his representative and entrusted the governmental matters to him. This time he appointed Ibn Umme Maktum to deputize for him in Madina, and himself went, with a force, to the central region of Kadar. However, the enemies had scattered before the arrival of the Muslims. Rasul however, returned to Madina without any fighting but for his own satisfaction he again sent an army to the same spot under the command of an officer named Ghalib Abdullah. The army in question returned victorious after a small skirmish in which three of their men were killed.
The Battle of Saweeq. The Arabs of the Age of Ignorance made strange vows. For example, Abu Sufyan had vowed after the Battle of Badr that until he had taken revenge for the murder of the Quraysh upon the Muslims, he would not go near his wife. To fulfil his vow he was obliged to conduct an attack. He marched with two hundred men and, at the insistence of Salam bin Mushkam, the chief of the Jewish tribe of Bani al-Nuzayr, who lived out of Madina, he killed a Muslim and set fire to a palm-grove in the region of 'Ariz'. A man immediately reported the incident to Madina. Rasul came out of Madina and pursued the enemy up to a certain distance. However, Abu Sufyan and his warriors fled away. On the way the enemies left behind some bags of 'saweeq' (a food prepared with flour and palm-dates). The Muslims took possession of these bags and gave this ghazwah the name of 'Ghazwatus Saweeq'.
The Battle of Zil Amr. A report was received in Madina that the people of the tribe named 'Ghatfan' had gathered together and intended conquering Madina. Rasul with 450 men rose to face the enemies. The enemies became panicky and took refuge in the mountains. In the meantime there was a heavy downpour and the clothes of Rasul became wet. He therefore, went at a distance from the army. There he took off his clothes and spread them on a tree, and sat down under the shade. The enemies were observing the movements of Rasul. A warrior from amongst them took advantage of the situation. He came down from the mountain with a naked sword and standing by the side of Rasul said with a harsh voice: "Who can save you today from my sharp sword?" Rasul replied loudly: "God ". This word had such an effect on that man that he began to tremble with fear, and the sword fell down involuntarily from his hand. Rasul stood up immediately, picked up the sword, attacked him and
said: "Who can save you from me now?" As the man was an idolater and knew that his wooden gods were incapable of defending him at that crucial moment he replied: "None". Historians say that the man embraced Islam there and then, but this action of his was not on account of fear, because he remained steadfast in his faith. The reason for his adopting Islam was the waking up within him of his pure nature, because his unexpected and miraculous defeat turned his mind to the other world and he realized that Rasul had connections with that world. Rasul took him at his word (regarding his embracing Islam) and returned his sword to him. After going a bit forward he returned and surrendered his sword to Rasul, and said: "As you are the leader of this reformatory army, you are much more entitled to own this weapon".
The coast of the Red Sea had become dangerous (for Quraysh) on account of the Islamic army and the people who had concluded pacts with the Muslims. Once again, therefore, Quraysh held consultations and studied the situation. They said among themselves: "If our trade is suspended we will gradually lose our capital and will consequently have to surrender to the Muslims. And in case we remain engaged in trade we have no hope of success, because the Muslims usually confiscate our merchandise en route". One of them suggested that they should go to Syria via Iraq and his suggestion was accepted unanimously. Arrangements were, therefore, made to send a caravan along with the merchandise. Abu Sufyan and Safwan Umayyah personally supervised the caravan and a man named 'Furat Hayyan', who belonged to the tribe of Bani Bakr, acted as their guide. Maqrizi writes: "A man belonging to Madina observed the proceedings. On his return to Madina he mentioned the fact to a
friend of his. Rasul became aware of the fact soon and dispatched an army towards the route of the caravan under the command of an officer named Zayd Harith. By capturing two men and confiscating the merchandise they prevented the enemies from pursuing their journey."


The third year of migration began with minor encounters and some scattered battles which had a defensive aspect and were fought with a view to nip the conspiracies of the idolatrous tribes in the bud. However, the Battle of Uhud deserves attention amongst the events of the third year. This battle is a glaring example of the defence of the sacred religion of Islam, belief in the 'Oneness of God' and the freedom of faith. It is not at all appropriate to give the name of 'battle' or 'Ghazwah' to the sacrifices made by Muslims, because they had not planned to fight a battle, but had resorted to arms only to defend Islam and to ensure freedom of faith. They repulsed, after sustaining heavy losses, those people, who had come from Makkah and the adjoining areas, and had attacked Madina to destroy the worshippers of God and the seekers of freedom, and the Muslims had no alternative left but to reply to the cruel tyrants and oppressors with force and with fiery
The collective attack by the idolaters was the result of a chain of internal and external factors which brought a strong army to Madina to take revenge. A dangerous element by the name of Ka'b bin Ashraf kindled this fire. He was a Jew from his mother's side, but himself professed to be an idolater. He enjoyed the protection of the Islamic State and did not meet any harm in the Battle of Badr, but on account of the enmity which he had against Rasul he went to Makkah and shed crocodile tears in the assemblies of Quraysh and reminded them how their chiefs had been killed and captured. He displayed so much dexterity in this task that the old and young of Quraysh became ready to fight with Rasul and to topple down the Islamic State. In order to rouse the passions of the Makkans Ka'b praised the beauty of Muslim women in such a way that all the Makkans expressed a wish to fight against the Muslims so that they might defeat them and capture their women to
satisfy their base desires. He also sang some verses in this behalf and inserted in them, with utter shamelessness, the names and particulars of Muslim women and gave indecent descriptions about them. After having carried out his plan he returned to Madina and took refuge in his fortress. What was the duty of Rasul and the Muslims with regard to this man, who provoked these passions? He kindled a fire, whose flames reduced to ashes seventy brave soldiers of Islam including Hamzah, and caused the blood of the righteous persons to flow in the land of Uhud. Men of Aws tribe decided to relieve the Muslims of the mischief of Ka'b. Two persons named Muhammad bin Maslamah and Abu Nailah arrived in his fortress in the guise of friends and blamed Rasul and his religion. They added that since the arrival of Rasul in Yathrib all of them had been encircled by calamities and their persons and belongings had been destroyed. They enlarged on this topic so much that
Ka'b felt that their views on the subject were identical with his. Then they said: "We have come now to purchase some grains from you and are obliged to pawn something, because we do not possess any cash at present". Ka'b agreed to sell grains, but as regards the things to be given as security he uttered words which clearly displayed his base and impure spirit, for he said with utter shamelessness: "Your women and children should remain under my control by way of pledge". His remark disturbed the two persons so much that they said in reply: "Is it possible?" These two persons did not actually want to purchase grains. They came back to chalk out a plan to murder him. They, therefore, made an offer at once to leave their weapons with him as security. Their object in making this offer was that when the armed persons approached his fortress he should imagine that they had come to leave their weapons with him as security and not that they had conspired
against him. At night an armed group of the men of Aws gathered round his fortress, ostensibly with the purpose of purchasing grains. Muhammad bin Maslamah, who was Ka'b's foster-brother, called him. Ka'b's wife objected to his going out in the darkness of night, but in view of the conversation which Ka'b had already had with them he came out of the fortress with perfect confidence and did not entertain any doubt on account of their being armed. Having encircled him they proceeded to a valley as if to show the commodity or to take possession of it. They had not yet gone far from the fortress when the men of Aws suddenly fell upon him and cut him to pieces. In this way a dangerous enemy, a mischievous spy and a dreadful element, whose most ardent desire had always been to inflict a blow upon the Muslims, was removed from their path. Soon after the murder of Ka'b a Jew named Abu Rafe', who followed in Ka'b's footsteps and was one with him in the matter of
spying and instigating, was also killed. Ibn Athir has recorded the details of this event in his history.
Seeds of subversion and disturbance had already been sown in Makkah for quite some time. Prohibition of mourning had strengthened the sense of revenge. Closure of the trade route of the people of Makkah via Madina and Iraq had made them extremely uneasy. Ka'b bin Ashraf added fuel to this fire and set it ablaze. For these reasons Safwan bin Umayyah and 'Ikramah bin Abi Jahl suggested to Abu Sufyan that as the chiefs and soldiers of Quraysh had been killed for the sake of the protection of the trade caravan of Makkah, it was expedient that everyone of those who owned a part of the merchandise which was carried by their caravan should contribute his share to meet the expenses of war. This proposal met Abu Sufyan's approval and was put in action immediately. The chiefs of Quraysh who were aware of the strength of the Muslims and had observed their bravery and self-sacrifice from a very near quarters in the Battle of Badr, considered it expedient to face
Muhammad with an organized army consisting of brave and experienced men of various tribes. Amr Ibn Ass, and some others were deputed to contact the tribes of Kananah and Saqif and to seek their help. They were instructed to invite their brave men to fight with Muhammad, fully equipped, and to promise them that the expenses of war and all necessities of the journey would be provided by Quraysh. They succeeded, after a good deal of activity, in procuring the services of a number of brave men belonging to the tribes of Kananah and Tahamah and in preparing an army consisting of three to four thousand men to participate in the battle. What has been stated above is the number of men only, who participated in the battle, and if the number of the women, who were present on the scene, is added, the figure will go up. It was not the custom amongst the Arabs to take women to the battlefield, but this time women also participated in the battle along with men. And
their plan was that they should walk between the formations of the troops, beating drums, and instigate them to take revenge, by reciting verses and making moving speeches. They had brought the women along with them so that the path for soldiers fleeing the battlefield might be closed, because fleeing meant leaving the girls and women to be captured by the enemy, and the element of bravery in the Arabs could not yield to such a disgrace. A large number of slaves joined the army of Quraysh on account of tempting promises made to them. Wahshi bin Harb was an Ethiopian slave of Mut'am. He possessed extraordinary skill in the use of javelin and had been promised freedom if he killed anyone of the three towering personalities of Islam (namely Muhammad, Ali, or Hamzah). In short, after taking great pains, they organized an army which consisted of seven hundred armour-clad men, three thousand camel-soldiers, a cavalry of two hundred men, and a group of
Abbas, uncle of Rasul, who was in fact a Muslim but had not yet declared his faith openly, informed him about the war plans of Quraysh. He wrote a letter under his signature and seal, handed it over to a messenger belonging to the tribe of Bani Ghifar taking promise from him that he would deliver it to Rasul within three days. The messenger brought the sealed letter to Rasul when he was in a garden outside the city and handed it over to him after paying his respects to him. Rasul read the letter but did not mention its contents to his companions. [Note: Some historians believe that the messenger brought the letter to Madina when Rasul was in the mosque and Abi bin Ka'b read it out for him] Allamah Majlisi quotes from Imam Jafar Sadiq that Rasul did not write but could read a letter. Evidently it was necessary for Rasul to inform his companions about the plan of the enemy as early as possible. Hence, on his return to the town, the letter was read over for
their information.
The army of Quraysh decided to move and after covering some distance reached Abwa where the mother of Rasul lies buried. Some frivolous men from Quraysh insisted that her body might be exhumed. However, the far-sighted amongst them severely condemned this suggestion and added: "It is possible that this may become a custom in future and our enemies belonging to the tribes of Bani Bakr and Bani Khuza'ah may open the graves of our dead". Rasul deputed Anas and Munis bin Fazalah to go and bring information about Quraysh. These two persons brought the news that the army of Quraysh had reached near Madina and they had left their animals of mount in the fields of Madina to graze. Hubab bin Munzir brought information that the advance guard of the army of Quraysh had reached near Madina. Thursday afternoon it was confirmed that most of the army of Quraysh had advanced towards Madina. The Muslims were afraid lest the enemies should harm Rasul by carrying out a
night-attack. The chiefs of Aws and Khazraj, therefore, decided to arm themselves and to spend the night in the mosque so as to guard the house of Rasul and the gates of the city till they were assigned other duties according to war plans after sunrise.

The big and lengthy valley which joined the trade route of Syria with Yemen is called Wadiul Qura. Different Arab tribes and the Jews took up their abode at a spot where necessities of life were available. A number of villages, therefore, came into existence and their sides were fenced by stones. Yathrib (which was later named Madinatur Rasul i.e. city of Rasul) was considered to be the centre of these villages. Whoever came from Makkah to Madina was obliged to enter there from the southern side. However, as this region was stony and it was difficult for an army to move into it, the army of Quraysh bent its route and established itself in the north of Madina in the valley named 'Aqiq, situated at the foot of Mount Uhud. This area was fit for all sorts of military operations as there was no palm-grove in it and the land was also even. Madina was more vulnerable from this side because there were very few natural obstacles in this part. The forces of
Quraysh encamped at the foot of Mount Uhud on Thursday, the 5th of Shawwal, 3 Hijra Rasul remained in Madina on that day and also on the night preceding Friday. He formed a military council on Friday and asked the officers and other experienced men to offer suggestions regarding the defence of the city.
God had ordered Rasul to consult his companions in important matters and to keep their suggestions in view while taking decisions and by doing so he set a great example for his followers and created a spirit of democracy, truthfulness and realism amongst them. Did he profit from their views or not? The learned ulemah and scholars of scholastic theology have given replies to this question. However, it is an established fact that these consultations are living examples of our constitutional regulations which have come down to us from Rasul. This method of his was so instructive and impressive that the caliphs of Islam also followed it after his death and accepted in toto the lofty views of Imam Ali with regard to military matters and social problems. In a big assembly in which the officers and brave soldiers of the army of Islam were present, Rasul said, "Let me have your views" i.e. he asked the officers and soldiers to express their views regarding the
protection of Islam which was being threatened by Quraysh. Abdullah bin Ubayy, who was one of the hypocrites of Madina, suggested fortified defence. It meant that Muslims should not go out of Madina but make use of towers and buildings, the women should stone the enemy from the roofs of the buildings and the towers and the men should fight hand to hand in the streets. He said: "In the past we used to practice the method of fortified defence and women helped us from the roofs of the houses and it is for this reason that the city of Yathrib has remained untouched. The enemy has not so far been able to utilize this method. Whenever we defended ourselves in this way we were victorious and whenever we went out of the city we met with harm". The old and experienced persons from amongst the Muhajirs and the Ansar supported this view. However, the young people, and especially those who had not participated in the Battle of Badr and were keen to be engaged in a
battle, severely opposed this view and said: "This method of defence will encourage the enemy and we shall lose the honour which we acquired in the Battle of Badr. Is it not a shame that the brave and self-sacrificing worshippers of God should confine themselves to their homes and allow the enemy to reach there? At the time of the Battle of Badr our strength was far less than the present one and in spite of that we were victorious. We have been waiting for long for such an opportunity and now we have got it". Hamzah, the brave officer of Islam, said: "By God, who has revealed Quran, I shall not take my meals today until I have fought against the enemy outside the city". This group insisted that the army of Islam should go out of the city and give a fight to the enemy.
A pious old man named Khaysamah stood up and said: "O Messenger of God, Quraysh have been active for full one year and have been able to align the Arab tribes with themselves. If we don't go out now to defend this place it is quite possible that they may besiege Madina. It is also possible that they may lift the siege and return to Makkah. However this very thing will encourage them and we shall not remain secure from their attacks in future. I am sorry that I could not participate in the Battle of Badr when my son and I were both very keen to take part in it and each one of us wished to steal a march on the other. In the Battle of Badr I said to my son: "You are young and have many aspirations and can spend the vigour of your youth in such a way that you may gain the pleasure of God. So far as I am concerned my life is now almost finished and my future is not bright. It is, therefore, necessary that I should participate in this sacred jihad (Battle of
Badr) and you should shoulder the responsibilities with regard to my dependents". "However, my son was so keen to participate in the battle that we decided to draw lots. The lot fell upon him and he met martyrdom in the Battle of Badr. Last night every one was talking about the siege by Quraysh and I went to sleep with these thoughts in my mind. I saw my son in a dream. He was walking in the gardens of Paradise and was enjoying its fruits. He addressed me with great love and said "Dear father! I am waiting for you ". "O Prophet of God! My beard has become grey and my bones have lost flesh. I request you to pray to God for my martyrdom in the path of truth". You will come across many such brave and self-sacrificing persons in the pages of the history of Islam. The training schools, which are not founded on faith and belief in God, and in the Day of Judgement, can rarely train self-sacrificing soldiers like Khaysamah. This spirit of self-sacrifice, which
makes a soldier seek his death in the path of righteousness with tears in his eyes, cannot be inculcated in any school except in the school of godliness. In the industrial countries of the world today great importance is attached to the living conditions of the officers and other ranks of the armed forces. However, as the object during the modern wars is better life and maintenance for them, their main aim is to save their lives. In the school of the godly people, however, the object of fighting is to seek the pleasure of God and, if this object can be achieved by being killed, the soldier of God faces all dangers unswervingly.
Rasul treated the view of the majority to be final and preferred going out of the city instead of resorting to fortified defence and hand to hand fight. It was not at all appropriate that after all the insistence by officers like Hamzah and Saad bin 'Ubadah he should accord preference to the suggestion of Abdullah Ubayy, who was one of the hypocrites of Madina. Although, from the viewpoint of defence and war principles, his suggestion guaranteed victory, or at least ensured that the Muslims should not meet defeat, but it was totally erroneous from the psychological viewpoint for the following reasons: 1. Disorderly hand to hand fighting in the narrow streets of Madina and allowing women to participate in these defensive operations and to remain confined in their homes and leaving the path open to the enemy would have been a sign of the weakness and helplessness of the Muslims and would not have been in keeping with the strength displayed by them in the
Battle of Badr. 2. The siege of Madina by the enemy and his control over the roads of the city and the silence of the Muslim soldiers in the face of all this could have very well killed the spirit of warfare in them. 3. It was not impossible that Abdullah Ubayy who nursed a grudge against Rasul, wished to give him a hard blow by this means.
After determining the line of defence Rasul entered his house. He put on the coat of mail, girded a sword, put a shield on his back, hung a bow on his shoulder, held a spear in his hand, and, having thus equipped himself, reappeared before the people. This scene gave a severe jolt to the Muslims. Some of them thought that their insistence on going out of the city was not in accordance with Islamic principles and they had persuaded Rasul unnecessarily to go out for fighting. To make amends, therefore, they said that they submitted to his views and would abide by whatever decision he might take i.e. if it was not expedient to go out they were prepared to remain in the city. Rasul, however, replied "When a Prophet wears a coat of mail it is not proper for him to take it off unless he has fought against the enemy".
Rasul offered Friday prayers and then left Madina for Uhud with an army consisting of one thousand men. He did not take with him persons like Usamah bin Zayd Harith and Abdullah bin Umar on account of their tender age, but two young men named Samurah and Rafe', who were not more than fifteen years of age, participated in the battle, because, in spite of their being young, they were good archers. On the way some Jews, who were allies of Abdullah Ubayy, expressed their desire to participate in the defence of the city, but Rasul did not consider it expedient, for some reasons, to allow them to do so. In the meantime Abdullah Ubayy also declined to participate in jihad on the excuse that Rasul had accepted the suggestion of young men in preference to his. He, therefore, returned from half-way along with three hundred men belonging to the tribe of Aws, who were his kinsmen. Rasul and his companions were keen to proceed by the shortest route so as to reach
their camping-place soon. For this purpose they were obliged to pass through the garden of a hypocrite named Jumuh. He expressed great annoyance in a mulish way on account of the entry of the Islamic army into his property and was disrespectful to Rasul. The companions of Rasul wanted to kill him but Rasul said: "Leave alone this misguided and obstinate person".
At one point Rasul reviewed his soldiers. Their self-sacrificing mettle and brilliant faces were shining through the lights of the swords. The army which Rasul brought to the foot of Mount Uhud consisted of persons in whose ages there was much divergence. Most of them were old men with white heads and faces but there could also be seen brave boys, whose ages did not exceed fifteen years. The thing which prompted these persons to participate in the battle was nothing else except the love for perfection which could be achieved only under the auspices of the defence of Islam. In support of this statement we narrate hereunder the stories of two persons i.e. an old man and a young man who had been married only one night earlier. 1. Amr bin Jumuh: He was an old man with a bent back, whose physical strength was exhausted and one of whose feet had also been injured in an incident. He had four brave sons whom he had sent to the battlefield and he was happy that
they were fighting for the sake of truth and reality. However, he thought within himself that it was not proper for him to remain away from the battle and thus to lose the blessings (of jihad). His kinsmen severely objected to his participating in the battle and said that the laws of Islam had absolved him from all such responsibilities. Their words did not, however, satisfy him and he approached Rasul personally and said: "My kinsmen prevent me from participating in jihad. What is your view in the matter?" Rasul replied "God considers you to be excused and no responsibility devolves upon you". He, however, insisted and entreated for the acceptance of his request. While his kinsmen were encircling him, Rasul turned to them and said: "Don't prevent him from meeting martyrdom in the path of Islam". When he came out of his house he said: "O God! Make me successful in laying my life in Your path and don't make me return to my home". A person who goes to
meet death with open arms is sure to achieve his end. The attacks of this lame person were very exciting. He attacked in spite of his lame foot and said: "I am desirous of Paradise". One of his sons was also advancing along with him. Consequently both of them fought till they achieved the honour of martyrdom. 2. Hanzalah: He was a young man who had not yet completed twenty four years of his age. It has been said: "He brings into existence pure children from impure parents". He was the son of Abu 'Amir, an enemy of Rasul. His father participated in the Battle of Uhud from the side of Quraysh and was one of those mischievous elements who instigated Quraysh to wage war against Rasul. He worked against Islam till his death and was one of the founders of Masjid-i Zirar. A detailed account of it will be given in connection with the events of the ninth year of migration. Filial sentiments did not make Hanzalah deviate from the right path. The night preceding
the day on which the Battle of Uhud took place was his wedding night. He had married the daughter of Abdullah Ubayy, the well-known member of the tribe of Aws and was obliged to consummate the marriage rites the same night. When he heard the call to jihad he was perplexed. He found no alternative but to seek permission from the supreme commander to spend that night in Madina and reach the battlefield on the following day. As quoted by Allamah Majlisi the following verse was revealed about him: The true believers are those who have faith in God and His Messenger, and when they are dealing with the Messenger in important matters, they do not leave without his permission. Muhammad, those who ask your permission believe in God and His Messenger. When they ask your leave to attend to their affairs, grant permission to whomever you please and implore God to forgive them. God is forgiving and merciful. (Sura Nur, 24:62) Rasul granted him permission for one
night to consummate the nuptial rites. In the morning he reached the battlefield even before taking ceremonial bath. When he wished to come out of his house tears came in the eyes of the bride whose marriage had taken place only a night earlier. She put her arms round the neck of her husband and asked him to wait for a few moments. She then called four persons, who had stayed on in Madina on account of some excuse, to witness that marriage had taken place between them during the previous night. When Hanzalah went, the bride turned to the four persons mentioned above and said: "Last night I dreaMt. that the sky was split and my husband entered it and thereafter the two parts of the sky rejoined each other. I feel, on account of this dream, that my husband and his soul will fly to Paradise". Hanzalah joined the army. His eyes fell on Abu Sufyan who was parading between the two armies. He made a brave attack on him with his sword but it struck the back of
Abu Sufyan's horse and he himself fell down. The cries of Abu Sufyan attracted the attention of the soldiers of Quraysh. Shaddad Dulaythi attacked Hanzalah, as a consequence of which Abu Sufyan made good his escape. A spearhead from amongst the soldiers of Quraysh attacked Hanzalah and thrust his spear into his body. In spite of the wound Hanzalah pursued that man and put him to the sword. He himself also fell down on the ground and breathed his last on account of the wound sustained by him. Rasul said: "I have seen that the angels were washing Hanzalah". That is why he is called 'Ghasilul Malaikah' (i.e. one who was washed by the angels). When the people of the tribe of Bani Aws recounted the causes of their glory and honour they used to say: "One of us was Hanzalah who was washed by the angels". Abu Sufyan used to say: "If they killed my son Hanzalah in the Battle of Badr I also killed Hanzalah of the Muslims in the Battle of Uhud". No doubt the
mentality, sincerity and faith of this couple is surprising, because their fathers were the sworn enemies of Islam. The father of the bride was Abdullah bin Ubayy Salul, who was the chief of the hypocrites of Madina, and Hanzalah was the son of Abu 'Amir, who was a monk during the Age of Ignorance and after the advent of Islam joined the idolaters of Makkah. He was the person who invited Hercules to attack and destroy the newly-formed Islamic State.
In the morning of the 7th of Shawwal, 3 Hijra, the Islamic forces arrayed themselves opposite the invading and aggressive forces of Quraysh. The Muslim army selected as their camping-place a point which had a natural barrier and protection at the back of it in the shape of Mount Uhud. There was, however a particular gap in the middle of the mountain and it was probable that the enemy forces might turn round the mountain and appear at the back of the Muslim army through that gap and might attack them from behind. In order to obviate this danger Rasul posted two groups of archers on a mound and addressed their Commander Abdullah Jabir in these words: "You should drive away the enemies by shooting arrows. Don't allow them to enter the battlefield from behind and take us by surprise. Whether we are victorious or defeated, you should not vacate this point. The events of the Battle of Uhud show clearly that this passage was extraordinarily sensitive and the
defeat of the Muslims after they had achieved victory was due to the fact that the archers displayed indiscipline and vacated this important passage and the defeated and retreating enemy made a quick surprise attack through it. The strict orders given by Rasul to the archers not to move from their place were an evidence of his perfect knowledge of the principles of warfare. However, a commander's knowledge of the principles of warfare does not guarantee victory if the soldiers display indiscipline.
Rasul did not ignore strengthening of the morale of the soldiers in the battles. This time, too, when seven hundred Muslims were arrayed against three thousand persons, he strengthened their morale by an address. The great Historian of Islam, Waqidi, says: "Rasul posted fifty archers on the isthmus of Ainayn and kept Mount Uhud in the back and Madina in front of the Muslim forces. While walking on foot he arrayed the troops and fixed the place of every officer. He kept one group in the front and another in the rear. He arrayed the rows so minutely that if the shoulder of any soldier was ahead of others he immediately asked him to move behind. After arraying the rows Rasul addressed the Muslims in these words: "I advise you to follow what has been enjoined by God in His Book. I remind you to obey the orders of God and refrain from opposing Him ". Then he added: "It is a difficult and onerous task to fight with the enemy, and there are very few, who can
remain steadfast before them except those, who have been guided and supported by God, for God is with those, who obey Him and Satan is with those, who disobey God. Above anything else you should remain steadfast in jihad and should acquire by this means the blessings, which God has promised you. The messenger, the Archangel Gabriel has said to me that none dies in this world unless he has eaten the last little bit of his daily portion fixed by Providence, and until orders are given to start fighting none should resort to it".
Abu Sufyan divided his army into three parts. He placed the armour-clad infantry men in the middle, a group under the command of Khalid bin Walid on the right and another group under the command of 'lkrimah on the left. He also posted a special platoon in front of the army by way of vanguard, and this group also included the standard-bearers, all of whom belonged to the tribe of Abdud Dar. Then he addressed them saying: "Victory of an army depends on the steadfastness and perseverance of the standard-bearers. On the Day of Badr we were defeated in this field. If the tribe of Abdud Dar don't display competence in protecting the standard, it is possible that the honour of bearing the standard may be transferred to another tribe". Talhah bin Abi Talhah, who was a brave man and the first standard bearer felt these words. He stepped forward immediately and challenged the adversary to fight.
Before the battle commenced Rasul held a sword in his hand and, in order to stir the blood of the brave soldiers, turned his face towards them and said: "Who is the person, who holds, this sword in his hand, and gives it its due? " Some persons stood up but Rasul did not hand over the sword to them. Then Abu Dujanah, who was a brave soldier, stood up and said: "What is due to this sword and how can we give it?" Rasul said: "You should fight with it so much that it should bend". Abu Dujanah said: "I am prepared to pay its due". Then he tied to his head a red handkerchief which he called 'the handkerchief of death' and took the sword from Rasul. Hence, by tying this head-band to his head he meant that he would fight till his last breath. He walked like a proud leopard and was very happy to receive the honour which he did and the red handkerchief added to his dignity. No doubt such ostentation is the best stimulant to encourage an army, which fights for the
defence of truth and spirituality, and which has no aim other than the spreading of freedom of faith, and no motive except the love for perfection. Perhaps this action of Rasul was not only to stimulate the person of Abu Dujanah, for by this means he also encouraged others and impressed upon them that their bravery and determination too should be of such a standard that they should deserve such military medals. Zubayr Awam, who was himself a brave soldier, felt somewhat uneasy because of Rasul's not giving the sword to him. He, therefore, said to himself: "I should pursue Abu Dujanah to see the standard of his bravery". He said: "I followed him in the battlefield. He cut down every warrior that faced him". Then he said: "There was a champion amongst Quraysh, who quickly cut off the heads of wounded Muslims, and I was very much disturbed on account of this unusual act of his. By some lucky chance he came face to face with Abu Dujanah. A few blows were
exchanged between them and eventually the champion of Quraysh was killed at the hands of Abu Dujanah. Abu Dujanah said: "I saw someone encouraging Quraysh to fight. I went up to him and when he saw the sword hanging on his head he began to bewail and cry. Suddenly I realized that it was a woman (Hind wife of Abu Sufyan) and I considered the sword of Rasul too pure to be struck on the head of a woman (like Hind)".
Ibn Hisham writes: "The battle commenced through Abu 'Amir who was one of those who had fled Madina. He belonged to the tribe of Aws but, on account of his enmity with Islam, had taken refuge in Makkah and fifteen persons of Bani Aws were with him. He was under the impression that if the people of Aws tribe saw him they would desert Rasul. He, therefore, stepped forward to achieve this end. However, when he confronted Muslims he had to face their taunts and abuses. After a short fighting, therefore, he kept himself aloof from the front. Self-sacrifices of some warriors in the Battle of Uhud are well-known amongst the historians, and the sacrifices made by Ali are specially worthy of appreciation. Ibn Abbas says: "In all the battles Ali was the standard-bearer and a standard-bearer was always selected from amongst experienced and steadfast persons and in the Battle of Uhud the standard of Muhajirs was in the hands of Ali". According to many historians,
after Mus'ab bin Umayr, the standard-bearer of the Muslims, was martyred Rasul gave the standard to Ali and the reason for Mus'ab having held the standard in the first instance was perhaps that he belonged to the family of Bani Abdud Dar and the standard-bearers of Quraysh also belonged to the same family". (This view has been taken from Balazari). Talhah Abi Talhah, who was called Kabshul Katibah (a man equal to a vanguard of an army) entered the battlefield shouting and said: "O companions of Muhammad! You believe that our people, who are killed, go to Hell whereas yours go to Paradise. In the circumstances is there anyone amongst you whom I may send to Paradise or he may send me to Hell?" His voice was ringing in the battlefield. Ali went forward and after the exchange of some blows Talhah fell down. After Talhah was killed, his two brothers became the standard-bearers, one after the other. However, both of them succumbed to the arrow shots of 'Asim
bin Thabit. It is learnt from the speech which Ali made before the consultative body which was formed to select a caliph after the death of the Second Caliph that the army of Quraysh had kept nine persons in reserve for the office of standard-bearer and it had been decided that they would bear the standard in a specified order and if the first person was killed the second would bear the standard and so on and so forth. All these standard-bearers who belonged to the tribe of Bani Abdud Dar were killed at the hands of Ali. After them an Ethiopian slave named Sawab, who had a frightening figure and a dreadful mien, picked up the standard and asked for an adversary. He too fell to a blow of Ali. In a big assembly, in which the companions of Rasul were present, Ali said: "Do you remember that I relieved you of the mischief of nine persons of the tribe of Bani Abdud Dar, everyone of whom held the standard by turn and asked for an adversary?" All those present
confirmed the statement of Ali. He added: "Do you remember that after the nine persons, the Ethiopian slave Sawab entered the field and had no object but to kill God's Messenger. He was so furious that his mouth was emitting foam and his eyes had become red. On seeing that dreadful warrior all of you were astonished and retreated, whereas I went forward and, striking a blow on his back, brought him to the ground". Those present confirmed these remarks as well.
It is learnt from the verses, which Hind and other women were reciting with tambourines to instigate the warriors of Quraysh and to incite them to blood-shed and revenge, that these people were not fighting for the sake of spirituality, purity, freedom and moral virtues. On the contrary they were prompted by sexual and material consideration. The song which the women sang with tambourine and a particular tune amongst the rows of the army was: "We are the daughters of Tariq. We walk on costly carpets. If you face the enemy we shall sleep with you, but if you show your back to the enemy and flee, we shall disengage ourselves from you". It is an admitted fact that there is a clear contrast and a vast difference between people, whose warfare is prompted by sexual desires and who have no aim other than the satisfaction of material gains and beastly pleasures and the people, who fight for a sacred spiritual object like establishing freedom, raising the level
of thinking and relieving man of the worship of wood and stone. On account of the two different stimulants which existed in the minds of these two groups it was not long before as a consequence of the self-sacrifice of the brave officers of Islam like Ali, Hamzah, Abu Dujanah, Zubayr and others, the army of Quraysh threw their weapons and provisions on the ground and ran away disgracefully from the battlefield. Another glory was thus achieved by the warriors of Islam.
Why did Muslim lost after gaining advantage? We may mention here as to why the warriors of Islam were victorious. It was due to the fact that till the last moment of their victory they had no motive except that of jihad in the path of God, acquisition of His pleasure, conveying the message of God and the removal of every impediment in its path. Why were they defeated thereafter? It was because, after achieving victory, the aim and intention of most of the Muslims underwent a change. Attention towards the booty, which the army of Quraysh had themselves thrown in the battlefield and had fled, affected the sincerity of a large group and they ignored the orders given by Rasul. Here are the details of the event: While explaining the geographical conditions of Uhud we had mentioned that there was a particular gap in the middle of Mount Uhud and Rasul had entrusted fifty archers under the command of Abdullah Jabir to guard the valley behind the battle front and
had given these orders to the commander of the group: "Prevent the enemy from passing through the gap in the mountain by shooting arrows and don't vacate this point at any cost whether we are defeated or victorious". The fire of warfare blazed up on both the sides. Every time the enemies wished to cross his valley they were repulsed by the archers. When the army of Quraysh threw away their weapons and property on the ground and ignored everything else to save their lives, a few brave officers of Islam whose oath of allegiance was perfectly sincere pursued the enemy outside the battlefield. But the majority ignored the pursuit and placing their weapons on the ground began collecting the booty and imagined that the battle had come to an end. The persons guarding the valley behind the battle front also decided to avail of the opportunity and said to themselves: "It is useless for us to stay here and it is profitable that we too should collect the booty".
Their commander, however, reminded them that Rasul had ordered that whether the Muslim army gained victory or was defeated they should not move from their post. Majority of the archers, who were guarding the passage, opposed their commander and said: "Our staying here is useless and Rasul meant only that we should guard this passage when the battle was in progress, but now the fighting has ended". On the basis of this false presumption forty men came down from the vigilance post and only ten persons remained there. Khalid bin Walid, who was a brave and experienced warrior and knew from the very start that the mouth of the passage was the key to victory and had attempted many times to reach at the back of the war-front through it, but had to face the archers, took advantage of the small number of the guards this time. He led his soldiers towards the back side of the Muslim army and making a surprise attack reached at the party of the Muslims. The
resistance by the small group which was stationed above the mound could not prove effective till all the ten persons after putting up a tough fight were killed at the hands of the troops of Khalid bin Walid and 'Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl. Soon after that the unarmed and neglectful Muslims were subjected to a severe attack of the enemy from behind. After having gained possession of the sensitive point Khalid sought the collaboration of the defeated army of Quraysh, which was in a state of flight, and strengthened the spirit of resistance and perseverance of Quraysh with repeated shootings and cries. On account of disruption and confusion which prevailed in the ranks of the Muslims, the army of Quraysh soon surrounded the Muslim warriors and fighting commenced between them once again. This defeat was due to the negligence of those persons who vacated the passage for their material gains and unintentionally cleared the way for the enemy in such a manner that
the mounted soldiers under orders of Khalid bin Walid entered the field from behind. The attack by Khalid was supported by an attack by 'Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl and unprecedented and surprising disorder prevailed in the forces of Islam. The Muslims had no alternative but to defend themselves as a scattered group. However, as liaison with the command had also been disrupted they did not succeed in defending themselves and suffered heavy casualties, so much so that some Muslim soldiers were inadvertently killed by other Muslims. The attacks by Khalid and 'Ikrimah strengthened the morale of the army of Quraysh. Their retreating forces reentered the field and lent them support. They encircled the Muslims from all sides and killed a number of them.
A brave warrior of Quraysh named Laythi attacked Mus'ab bin Umayr, the daring standard-bearer of Islam, and after exchange of a number of blows between them the standard-bearer of Islam was killed. As the Muslim warriors had hidden their faces Laythi thought that the person killed was Rasul. He, therefore, shouted and informed the chiefs of the army that Muhammad had been killed. This rumour spread from man to man in the army of Quraysh. Their chiefs were so happy that their voices were ringing in the battlefield and all of them were saying "O people! Muhammad has been killed! O people! Muhammad has been killed! " Publicity of this false news encouraged the enemy and the army of Quraysh came into motion. Everyone of them was keen to participate in cutting the limbs of Muhammad so that he might secure a high status in the world of polytheism. This news weakened the morale of the warriors of Islam much more than it gave strength to the morale of the army
of the enemy, so much so that a considerable majority of Muslims abandoned fighting and took refuge in the mountains and none of them, except a few, who could be counted on fingers, remained in the field.
It is not possible to deny that some companions fled the field and the fact that they were companions of Rasul or that later they acquired status and honour amongst the Muslims should not prevent us from accepting this bitter reality. Ibn Hisham, the famous historian, writes thus "Anas bin Nazr, the uncle of Anas bin Malik says: "When the army of Islam came under pressure and the news of the death of Rasul was afloat, most of the Muslims thought of their own lives and every person took refuge in one corner or the other". He adds: "I saw a group of Muhajirs and Ansar, including Umar bin Khattab and Talhah bin Ubaydullah Taymi, who were sitting in a corner and were anxious for themselves. I said to them with a tone of protest: "Why are you sitting here?" They replied, "Rasul has been killed and it is, therefore no use fighting". I said to them: "If Rasul has been killed it is no use living. Get up and meet martyrdom in the same path in which he has been
killed". According to many historians, Anas said: "If Muhammad has been killed his Lord is alive". And then he added: "I saw that my words had no effect on them. I put my hand to my arms and began to fight with determination". Ibn Hisham says that Anas sustained seventy wounds in this battle and none could identify his dead body except his sister. A group of Muslims were so much depressed that in order to ensure their safety they planned to approach Abdullah Ubayy so that he might obtain security for them from Abu Sufyan.
The verses of Quran tear the veils of fanaticism and ignorance and make it abundantly clear that some companions thought that the promise given by Rasul about victory and success was baseless and God says thus about this group: To some others (a group of companions) of you, your lives were so important that, you, like ignorant people, began thinking suspiciously of God saying, 'Do we have any say in the matter?" (Sura Ale Imran, 3:153 ) You can learn the hidden facts about this battle by studying the verses of Sura Ale Imran. These verses fully bear out the facts in which the righteous believe. The true Muslims believe that all the companions were not self-sacrificing or lovers of Islam, and some persons with weak faith were hypocrites who were amongst them. And at the same time there were among the companions a large number of true believers and pious and sincere persons. Nowadays a group of dishonest writers attempt to draw a curtain on many of these
unworthy acts of the companions (their specimens have been seen by you in connection with the events of this battle). They protect the position of all of them by offering unrealistic explanations which only show their fanaticism and cannot hide the real facts of history. Who can deny the substance of this verse which says clearly: (Believers, remember) when you were fleeing without even glancing to either side even though the Messenger was calling you back. (Sura Ale Imran, 3:152) This verse is about the same persons, who were seen by Anas bin Nazr with his own eyes when they were sitting in a corner and were anxious about their future. The following verse is more clear than that quoted above: Those of you, who ran away on the day when the two armies met, must have been seduced by Satan on account of some evil they had done. But now God has pardoned them, He is Forgiving and Forbearing. (Sura Ale Imran, 3:154) God reprimands in the following verse those
persons who made the news about Rasul's assassination an excuse for abandoning fight and were thinking of approaching Abu Sufyan through Abdullah bin Ubayy to guarantee their safety: Muhammad is only a Messenger. Other Prophets have passed away before him. If he dies or be slain, would you then turn back to your pre-Islamic behaviour. Whoever does so can cause no harm to God. God will reward the thankful. (Sura Ale Imran, 3:144)
When we study the events of Uhud some bitter and sweet experiences are gained; the strength of the perseverance and steadfastness of one group and the instability of the other group can be clearly observed. The historians, annalists and others who record facts; it becomes crystal clear that all companions cannot be considered inherently pious and just, only because they were companions, hence, the persons, who vacated the mound of archers, and those, who climbed the mountain in delicate moments and ignored the call of Rasul consisted of the same dignified companions. The great historian of Islam, Waqidi, says: "On the day of Uhud eight persons swore allegiance to Rasul assuring him of laying down their lives for him. Out of them three were Muhajirs (Ali, Talhah and Zubayr) and the remaining five were Ansar and with the exception of these eight persons took to their heels at the delicate moment". Ibn Abil Hadid writes: In the year 608 Hijra I was present
in an assembly in Baghdad in which some persons were reading the book of Mughazi-i Waqidi in the presence of the great scholar Muhammad bin Ma'ad 'Alavi. When they reached the stage at which Muhammad bin Maslamah narrates clearly: "On the day of Uhud I saw with my own eyes that the Muslims were climbing the mountain and Rasul was calling them with their particular names and was saying: 'O such and such! O such and such!' But not even one of them gave a positive reply to Rasul's call". The teacher said to me: "By 'such and such' the same persons are meant who acquired position and office after Rasul", and the narrator has not mentioned their actual names on account of fear, and because of the respect, which he was expected to accord to them". He has also narrated in his commentary that most of the narrators are agreed upon it that the Third Caliph was one of those persons who were not constant and stable in the battlefield at delicate moments. Later you
will read a sentence of Rasul about a self-sacrificing lady of Islam named Nasibah who defended Rasul in the battlefield of Uhud. In that sentence there is also an allusion to the lowering of the position and personality of those who had run away. We have not to settle accounts with any one of the companions of Rasul. Our object is to bring realities to light and to state facts. We blame their running away to the same extent to which we praise the perseverance and steadfastness of the other group and consider their character to be commendable.
At the time when the army of Islam was faced with disorder and chaos, Rasul was being attacked from all sides. Five notorious men of Quraysh determined to put an end to his life at any cost. They were: 1. Abdullah bin Shahab who wounded the forehead of Rasul. 2. Utbah Abi Waqqas who, by flinging four stones, broke his rubaiyat teeth of the right side. [Note: 'Rubaiyat' are the teeth (four in number) which are between the front teeth and the canine teeth.] 3. Ibn Qumi'ah Laythi who inflicted a wound on the face of Rasul. The wound was so severe that the rings of Rasul's helmet penetrated into his cheeks. These rings were extracted by Abu 'Ubaydah Jarrah with his teeth and he lost four of his own teeth in doing so. 4. Abdullah Hamid, who was killed, at the time of attack, at the hands of the hero of Islam, Abu Dujanah. 5. Abi Khalf. He was one of those persons who fell at the hands of Rasul himself. He faced Rasul at the time when he (Rasul) had managed to
reach in the valley and some of his companions had come round him, on having identified him. Abi Khalf advanced towards Rasul. Rasul took a spear from Hasis bin Simmah and thrust it in the neck of Abi Khalf as a consequence of which he fell down from his horse. Although the wound sustained by Abi Khalf was minor, he had become so much terrified that when his friends consoled him he could not compose himself and said: "l said to Muhammad in Makkah that I would kill him and he said in reply that he would kill me, and he never tells a lie". All was over with him on account of the wound and fear, and after some time he breathed his last on his way back to Makkah. No doubt this event indicates one extreme meanness of the polytheists. Notwithstanding the fact that they admitted that Rasul was truthful and never uttered a lie, but as they had become his enemies, they wanted to shed his blood. Rasul did not move from his place. He remained as firm as a rock and
continued to defend his own person as well as Islam. Notwithstanding the fact that the distance between his life and death had become extraordinarily short and he could very well see that the army of the enemy was turning towards him like a wave, he did not move from his place nor uttered any word which might betray any fear or anguish on his part. Only at the time of cleansing his forehead of blood he said: "How can the people achieve salvation if they besmear the face of their Prophet with blood when he invites them to the worship of God". And this shows his extreme compassion and kindness even for his enemies. Ali says: "Rasul was nearest to the enemy in the battlefield and provided us asylum as and when matters became difficult. Hence one of the reasons for Rasul remaining safe was his defending himself and Islam personally, but there was another reason, which guaranteed his life, and that was the self-sacrifice of a few of his sincere and faithful
friends and companions who purchased his life at the cost of their own lives, and kept this luminous candle safe from being extinguished. Rasul gave a tough fight on the Day of Uhud and shot all the arrows in his quiver, so much so that his bow was broken and its bow-string was also severed. The number of those who defended Rasul did not exceed a few persons. However, the steadfastness of all of them is not indisputable, but it is definite from the viewpoint of the art of history. What is definite and final amongst the historians is the perseverance of a very small group. An account of the defence conducted by them is given here.
It will not be inappropriate if we give the name of 'renewed victory' to this part of the history of Islam. What is meant by this victory is that contrary to the expectations of the enemies, the Muslims succeeded in saving Rasul from death. And this was the renewed victory which fell to the lot of the army of Islam. If we are associating this victory with the entire army of Islam we are doing so as a mark of respect to the warriors of Islam. In fact, however, the heavy burden of this victory fell on the shoulders of a few persons who could be counted on fingers. These were the persons who protected Rasul by risking their own lives and in fact it was due to the self-sacrifice of this minority that the State of Islam remained intact and this luminous candle did not extinguish. Here is a brief account of the feats of these self-sacrificing persons: 1. The first constant and steadfast person was a brave officer, who had by then completed only twenty six
years of his life, and who had been in attendance upon Rasul since his very childhood up to the moment of the death of Rasul and did not forsake self-sacrifice and assisting him even for a moment. This senior officer and real devotee was Imam Ali, the Chief of the Pious and the Leader of the Believers, whose services and devotion to the cause of Islam has been recorded in history Basically this renewed victory was achieved, like the first victory, by means of the valour and self-sacrifice of that devoted person, because it is evident that the cause of the flight of Quraysh in the initial stages of the battle was that their standard-bearers were killed, one after the other, at the hands of Ali and as a consequence of it the army of Quraysh became so much aghast that they lost their power of stay and resistance. The contemporary Egyptian writers, who have analysed the events, have not done justice to Ali commensurate with his position or with the real
facts recorded in history and have considered the services of the Leader of the Believers to be at par with those of others. We, therefore, consider it necessary to give here a brief account of his devotion and the sacrifices made by him. Ibn Athir says:"Rasul became the object of the attack of various units of the army of Quraysh from all sides. Ali attacked, in compliance with Rasul's orders, every unit that made an attack upon him (Rasul) and dispersed them or killed some of them, and this thing took place a number of times in Uhud. In the meantime the Archangel Gabriel came and praised the devotion of Ali before Rasul and said: 'It is the height of sacrifice which this officer is displaying'. Rasul confirmed the remark of Gabriel and said 'I am from Ali and Ali is from me'. Then a voice was heard in the battlefield saying: La Saifa illa Zulfiqar, La Fata illa Ali (i.e. There is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar (which was in the hands
of Ali) and there is no brave man except Ali). Ibn Abil Hadid has given a more detailed account of this event and says: "Everyone of the units which were trying to kill Rasul consisted of fifty persons and although Ali was on foot he dispersed them all". Then he has given an account of the coming of Gabriel and says: "Besides the fact that this event is an admitted phenomenon from the viewpoint of history, I have read about the coming of Gabriel in Muhammad bin Ishaq's book entitled Kitabul Ghzawat and chanced to enquire one day about its authenticity from my teacher Abdul Wahhab Sakinah. He said: 'It is correct'. I then asked him: 'Why has this tradition not been mentioned by the compilers of the Sihah?' (the six authentic books of Hadith amongst some groups). He replied: 'We have a number of authentic traditions which the compilers of the Sihah have neglected to insert in their books". In the detailed speech which Ali delivered for "Ra's al-Yahud" in
the presence of a group of his own companions he refers to his sacrifices in these words: "....When the army of Quraysh attacked us like one single force the Ansar and the Muhajirs proceeded to their homes and I sustained seventy wounds defending Rasul". Then he (Ali) drew aside his garment and pointed out the places where the signs of the wounds were still present. Moreover, as recorded in 'Ilalush Sharai' Ali, while defending Rasul, exhibited so much valour and self-sacrifice that his sword broke into two. Rasul then gave him his own sword named Zulfiqar and with this sword he continued jihad in the path of God. In his valuable book Ibn Hisham has mentioned the figure of those killed from amongst the idolaters to be twenty two and has also mentioned their names and particulars giving also the name of tribe etc. Out of these twenty two persons twelve were killed by Ali and the remaining ten were killed by other Muslims. The said biographer has
mentioned clearly the names and particulars of those who were killed. We admit that it has not been possible for us to depict in these pages the services rendered by Ali as mentioned in various different books and especially in the book entitled Bihar al Anwar [Rivers of Light]. It is learnt from the study of different narratives and traditions that in Uhud none was as constant as Ali and even Abu Dujanah who was a brave and valiant officer of Islam could not equal him in the matter of defence. 2. Abu Dujanah: After Ali, Abu Dujanah was the second officer who defended the person of Rasul in such a manner that he made himself a helmet for him. Arrows were settling on his back and he was thus protecting Rasul from becoming their target. The late Sipahr, has recorded a sentence about Abu Dujanah in his book entitled Nasikhut Tawarikh, it has not been possible for us to locate its source. He writes: When Rasul and Ali were encircled by the idolaters Rasul's
eyes fell upon Abu Dujanah and he said to him: "O Abu Dujanah! I absolve you from your allegiance. However, Ali is mine and I am his". Abu Dujanah wept bitterly and said: "Where should I go? Should I go to my wife who has to die? Should I go to my house which will be ruined? Should I go to my wealth and property which will be destroyed? Should I run towards death which must come?" When Rasul saw tears in the eyes of Abu Dujanah he permitted him to fight and both he and Ali protected Rasul from the severe attacks of Quraysh. In the books on history we also come across the names of other persons like 'Asim bin Thabit, Sahl Hunayf, Talhah bin 'Ubaydullah etc. in the capacity of those who remained steadfast, and some historians have mentioned the number of such persons to be near thirty six. However, what is decisive from the viewpoint of history is the constancy of Ali, Abu Dujanah, Hamzah and the lady named Umme 'Amir and the constancy of those excepting
these four persons is suspected and in some cases dubious. 3. Self-sacrifice of a brave officer: There have been a number of brave and self-sacrificing officers and strong and powerful champions in the army of Islam but the bravery of Hamzah bin Abdul Muttalib is recorded in the pages of history and in fact constitutes the golden leaves of the history of the battles of Islam. Hamzah, the uncle of Rasul, was one of the most brave men of Arabia and a well-known officer of Islam. It was he, who insisted earnestly that the army of Islam should go out of Madina and fight against Quraysh. It was Hamzah, who protected Rasul in Makkah during the delicate moments with all his might and in order to avenge the insult and harm done to Rasul by Abu Jahl, he broke, the latter's head in a big assembly of Quraysh and none dared to oppose him. He was the same senior and valiant officer who killed the brave champion of Quraysh Shaybah and others and also wounded a group
of the enemies in the Battle of Badr. He had no object in mind except to defend truth and virtue and to maintain freedom in the lives of human beings. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, was the daughter of Utbah. She nursed a grudge against Hamzah and was determined to take her father's revenge on the Muslims at any cost. Wahshi, an Ethiopian warrior, was the slave of Jabir Mut'am and an uncle of Jabir had also been killed in the Battle of Badr. He (Wahshi) had been appointed by Hind to help achieve her object by hook or by crook. She asked him to kill one of the three persons (Rasul, Ali or Hamzah) so that she might avenge her father's death. The Ethiopian warrior said in reply: "I cannot approach Muhammad at all, because his companions are nearer to him than anyone else. Ali too is extraordinarily vigilant in the battlefield. However, Hamzah is so furious that, while fighting, he does not pay any attention to any other side and it is possible that I may be
able to make him fall by some trick or by taking him unawares". Hind was contented with this and promised that if he was successful in performing the job she would set him free. Some believe that Jabir made this promise with his slave (Wahshi) as his (Jabir's) uncle had been killed in the Battle of Badr. Wahshi, the slave, says: "On the Day of Uhud I was pursuing Hamzah. He was attacking the centre of the army like a ferocious lion. He killed every one whom he could approach. I hid myself behind the trees and stones, so that he could not see me. He was too busy in fighting. I came out of ambush. Being an Ethiopian, I used to throw my weapon like them (i.e. like the Ethiopians) and it seldom missed the target. I, therefore, threw my javelin towards him from a specific distance after moving it in a particular manner. The weapon fell on his flank and came out from between his two legs. He wanted to attack me but severe pain prevented him from doing so. He
remained in the same condition till his soul departed from his body. Then I approached him very carefully and having taken out my weapon from his body returned to the army of Quraysh and waited for my freedom. After the Battle of Uhud I continued to live in Makkah for quite a long time until the Muslims conquered Makkah. I then ran away to Taif, but soon Islam reached that area as well. I heard that however grave the crime of a person might be, Rasul forgave him. I, therefore, reached Rasul with Shahadatayn on my lips (i.e. I testify that there is no god but God and I also testify that Muhammad is His Prophet). Rasul saw me and said: "Are you the same Wahshi, an Ethiopian?" I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon he said: "How did you kill Hamzah?" I gave an account of the matter. Rasul was moved and said: "I should not see your face until you are alive, because the heart-rending calamity fell upon my uncle at your hands". It was the same great spirit
of Rasul which made him set this man free although he could execute him on many grounds. Wahshi says: "So long as Rasul was alive I kept myself hidden from him. After his death the battle with Muslayma Kazzab took place. I joined the army of Islam and used the same weapon against Muslayma and succeeded in killing him with the help of one of the Ansar. If I killed the best of men (i.e. Hamzah) with this weapon, the worst man, too, did not escape its horror" The participation of Wahshi in the battle against Muslayma is something which he himself claims, but Ibn Hisham says: "During the last days of his life Wahshi was like a black crow who was always hated by Muslims on account of his being a drunkard and was punished twice on account of drinking wine. On account of his indecent actions his name was struck off the army records and Umar used to say: "The murderer of Hamzah does not deserve to be pardoned in the other world". 4. Nasibah, the
self-sacrificing lady: It is indisputable that jihad is unlawful for women in Islam. It may be mentioned in this connection that a representative of the women of Madina who had the honour of presenting herself before Rasul spoke to him about this deprivation and complained in these words: "We meet all the needs of life of our husbands and they participate in jihad with a peaceful mind, whereas we women are deprived of this great blessing". Thereupon Rasul sent the following message, through her, to all the women of Madina: "If you are deprived of this great blessing on account of some natural and social reasons you can acquire the blessing of jihad by carrying out the responsibilities of married life". In this connection he also uttered the following historical sentence: "Performance of the duties of married life (by a woman) in a proper manner is equal to jihad in the path of God". At times, however, some experienced women came out of Madina with the
mujahids (who were mostly their sons, brothers and kinsmen) to help them, and they assisted the Muslims in achieving victory by providing water to the thirsty, washing the clothes of the warriors and dressing the wounds of the wounded. Umme 'Amir, whose real name was Nasibah, says: "I joined (the Battle of Uhud) to provide water to the warriors and saw that the fragrant air of victory was blowing towards the Muslims. But, soon afterwards, the tables were suddenly turned and the defeated Muslims began to flee. I also saw that the life of Rasul was in danger, and I considered it my duty to save his life even at the cost of my own. I, therefore, placed the water-skin on the ground and began repelling the attacks of the enemy with a sword which had come into my hand. At times I also shot arrows". Then she mentions the wound which she had sustained on her shoulder and says: "At the time when the people had turned their backs to the enemy and were running
away the eyes of Rasul fell upon a person who was in the condition of flight and he said to him: "Now that you are running away throw your shield on the ground". He did so and I picked it up to utilize it myself. Suddenly I saw a man named Ibn Qumi'ah shouting and saying: 'Where is Muhammad?' He recognized Rasul and rushed towards him with a drawn sword. Mus'ab and I prevented I him from achieving his purpose. In order to keep me back he struck a blow on my shoulder. Although I also gave him some blows but his blow had a serious effect on me; it continued for one year, while my blow had no effect on him as he was wearing two coats of mail. The blow which I received on my shoulder was very serious Rasul saw that blood was flowing profusely from my wound. He at once called one of my sons and asked him to bandage my wound. He did so and I again resorted to fighting. In the meantime I came to know that one of my sons had been wounded. I at once picked up
the pieces of cloth which I had brought with me to dress the wounds of the wounded including that of my son. However, as the life of Rasul was in danger every moment I turned to my son and said to him: "My son! Get up and engage yourself in fighting". Rasul was very much surprised to see the bravery and valour of this self-sacrificing woman. When, therefore, he saw the person who had struck her son he at once pointed him out to her and said: "This is the man who struck your son". The cheerless mother who was hovering round Rasul just as a moth hovers round a candle at once attacked that man like a ferocious lion and struck a blow on his calf which brought him to the ground. This time the surprise of Rasul about the bravery of the woman increased further and he laughed on account of this in such a manner that his hind-most teeth became visible and then he said to her: "You have avenged the attack made on your son". On the following day, when Rasul made
his army corps march towards Hamra'ul Asad, Nasibah wished to go with the army, but the severe wound, which she had sustained, did not permit her to do so. On return from Hamra'ul Asad Rasul sent someone to the house of Nasibah to enquire about her health and was very much pleased to learn that her condition was better. As a reward for all these sacrifices this lady requested Rasul to pray to God that she might be allowed to remain in his service in Paradise. Rasul prayed for her and said; "O Lord! Make them my companions in Paradise". [Note: The chain of the services of this self-sacrificing woman did not end here. She later participated, along with her son, in the campaign against Muslayma Kazzab (the impostor) and lost one hand in that battle.]
The way in which this lady fought was so much delightful to Rasul that he said about her: "Today the position of Nasibah daughter of Ka'b is better than that of such and such persons ". Ibn Abil Hadid says: "The narrator of this tradition has been dishonest with Rasul, because he has not mentioned clearly the two persons whom Rasul named on this occasion". I, however, think that the words 'such and such persons' refer to the same persons who acquired high positions amongst the Muslims after Rasul's death and the narrator has not mentioned their names openly on account of the respect and the fear demanded by their position.
Rasul's life was saved from the real danger by means of the self-sacrifice of a minority. Fortunately the majority of the enemies were under the impression that Rasul had been killed and they were making a search for his dead body amongst the martyrs. And as regards the minority among the enemies who were aware of his being alive their attacks were being repulsed by Ali and Abu Dujanah and (possibly) by some others. In the meantime it was decided that the news of the death of Rasul might not be denied and Rasul should move to the valley along with his companions. While on his way to the valley Rasul fell down in a pit which had been dug by Abu 'Amir for the Muslims. Ali held his hand at once and brought him out of the pit. The first man to recognize Rasul was Ka'b Malik. He saw the eyes of Rasul shining from under his helmet and shouted at once: "O Muslims! Rasul is here! He is alive! God has saved him from being harmed by the enemies!" As the publicity
of the news of Rasul's being alive was likely to invite renewed attacks by the enemies, Rasul advised Ka'b to keep the matter secret. He, therefore, kept quiet, till Rasul reached the valley. In the meantime the Muslims who were in the neighbourhood of that place were very happy to find Rasul alive and felt ashamed in his presence. Abu Ubaydah Jarrah pulled out two rings of the helmet which had penetrated into the face of Rasul whereas Ali, the leader of the believers, filled his shield with water to enable Rasul to wash his face. While washing his face (Rasul) uttered these words: "The wrath of God became severer on the people who besmeared the face of their Prophet with blood"
When the Muslims were faced with a great defeat at Uhud the enemy seized the opportunity and started such devices against the Islamic view of Oneness of God as had an immediate influence on simple-minded persons. A contemporary writer says: "No opportunity is more favourable for influencing the beliefs and thoughts of the people than the time when they are faced with defeat, adversity, affliction and great distress. At the time of severe hardship the morale of an afflicted people becomes so weak and unstable that their intellect loses the power of decision and assessment and it is at such time that evil propaganda influences the minds of the defeated people". Abu Sufyan, 'Ikrimah and others, who were holding big idols in their hands and were feeling very jubilant, fully availed of this opportunity and cried: "Exalted be Hubal! Exalted be Hubal!" (Hubal was the name of an idol). By this they wished to tell the Muslims that their victory was on account of
their worshipping idols and if there had been any other god and the worship of One God had been the true religion, the Muslims should have been victorious. Rasul realized that the enemies were propagating something very dangerous in those delicate moments and were taking full advantage of the opportunity which they had got at that time. He, therefore, forgot all his sufferings, and immediately ordered Ali and other Muslims to reply to this proclamation of idolatry in these words: "God is Great and Powerful" (i.e. this defeat suffered by us is not due to the fact that we worship God but is the result of some persons disobeying the orders of the commander). Abu Sufyan did not, however, stop propagating his venomous ideas and said: "We have an idol like Uzza whereas you do not have its like". Rasul seized this opportunity and ordered the Muslims to say in reply: "God is our Lord and you don't have a lord like Him". (i.e. if you depend on an idol which is
nothing more than a piece of stone or wood we depend on "God " who is Great and Powerful). The proclaimer of polytheism said for the third time: "This day is in retaliation for the Day of Badr". To this the Muslims replied in compliance with Rasul's orders: "These two days are not equal to each other, because our brothers who have been killed are in Paradise, whereas yours are in Hell". Abu Sufyan was very much upset by these sharp replies which were coming out of the throats of hundreds of Muslims. Hence, after saying: "We shall meet again next year" he left the battlefield and decided to return to Makkah. The Muslims, of whom seventy were killed and many wounded, were, however, obliged to perform their Divine duty (noon and afternoon prayers). On account of excessive weakness Rasul offered the prayers in congregation in a sitting posture, and then performed shrouding and burial of the martyrs.
The flames of warfare were put out, and the two parties separated from each other. The casualties of Muslims were three times as many as those of Quraysh. It was necessary for them to perform the requisite religious duties and to bury their dear ones as early as possible. Before the Muslims were able to bury their dead, the women of Quraysh, who had seen the battlefield free from all sorts of criminal acts, had resorted to very great crimes after victory . Crimes which are unparalleled in the history of mankind. They were not contented with their apparent victory and, in order to take more revenge, cut off the limbs, ears and noses of the Muslims who were lying dead on the ground and thus settled a shameful stain on their character. In all the nations of the world the dead ones of the enemy, who are helpless and undefended, are accorded respect. However, the wife of Abu Sufyan made a necklace and earrings of the limbs of the Muslims. She also pierced the
belly of the devoted officer of Islam, Hamzah, and took out his liver. She tried her best to chew and eat it, but failed to do so. This action of hers was so shameful and abominable that even Abu Sufyan said: "I renounce this act and did not give orders that this should be done. However, I am not much displeased with this thing either". On account of this indecent act, Hind became known amongst the Muslims as 'Hind, the liver-eater' and later her children also became known as 'children of the liver-eating woman'. The Muslims arrived in the battlefield along with Rasul to bury their dead. Rasul's eyes fell on the corpse of Hamzah and he was moved extraordinarily to see his tragic condition. A storm of anger rose up in his mind and he said: "The anger and wrath which I am feeling in myself now is unprecedented in my life". The historians and exegetes write unanimously that the Muslims pledged their word (and at times they also include Rasul amongst them)
that if they gained control over the idolaters they would treat their killed ones in the same manner and would mutilate the bodies of thirty of them as against one of a Muslim. Soon after their determination to do so the following verse was revealed: If you want retaliation, let it be equal to that which you faced. But if you exercise patience it will be better for you. (Sura Nahl, 16:126) By means of this verse, which is in itself an established principle of Islamic justice, Islam once again displayed its spiritual and sentimental aspect and proved that this Divine faith (Islam) is not a religion of vengeance. It does not ignore the principles of justice and moderation even in the most difficult moments, when one is overpowered by wrath; and implements justice in all events. Safiyah, the sister of Hamzah, insisted on seeing the dead body of her brother, but, as ordered by Rasul, her son Zubayr prevented her from approaching it. She said to her son: "I
understand that they have mutilated his body. I swear by God that if I come near him I shall not display any annoyance and shall bear this calamity in the path of God". This trained lady came near the dead body of her brother with a dignified composure, offered prayers for him, prayed for his salvation and returned. No doubt the strength of faith is the greatest strength. It controls the most severe excitement and tension and lends dignity and solace to the afflicted person. This in itself is a separate topic which has been discussed by the scholars in connection with prophethood and doctrines of faith. Thereafter Rasul offered prayers for the martyrs of Uhud and then buried them singly or in pairs. He ordered in particular that Amr bin Jumuh and Abdullah Amr might be buried in one grave, as they were friends when alive, and it would be better if they also remained together after death.
Saad Rabi' was one of the sincere followers of Rasul. His heart was imbued with faith and devotion. When he fell down on the ground after having sustained twelve wounds, a man passed by him and said: "They say Muhammad has been killed". Saad said to him: "Even if Muhammad has been killed the Lord of Muhammad is alive and we are performing jihad to spread the Divine religion and to defend monotheism". When the flames of war were extinguished Rasul thought of Saad Rabi' and said: "Who can bring me news about Saad?" Zayd bin Thabit undertook to bring authentic news for Rasul about Saad's being alive or killed. He found Saad lying amongst those who had been killed and said to him: "Rasul has deputed me to ascertain your condition and to communicate to him the correct news about you". Saad replied: "Convey my salam (regards) to Rasul and tell him that not more than a few moments of the life of Saad are now left and O Prophet of God! May God give you the best
recompense worthy of a Prophet". He also added: "Convey my salam to the Ansar and to the companions of Rasul and tell them that in case Rasul meets any harm while they are alive they will not be extenuated by God". The man deputed by Rasul had not yet left Saad when the latter breathed his last. The love of man for himself is so strong that he never forgets his own self and sacrifices everything belonging to himself for its preservation. However, the power of faith and love for one's object and interest in one's ideal is something stronger, because as clearly stated in history, this brave soldier forgot himself at the most critical moment when he was not far away from death and remembered Rasul, whose protection was the greatest means of the achievement of his ideal. And the only message which he sent through Zayd bin Thabit was that the companions of Rasul should not be negligent of his safety and protection even for a moment.
The sun is moving towards the west and throws its golden rays on the other side of the hemisphere. Uhud is now perfectly calm and quiet. The Muslims, some of whose companions have been killed and others wounded, are obliged to return to their homes to regain their strength and to dress the wounds of the wounded. The supreme commander gave orders to his men for moving to Madina. Rasul as well as the Muhajirs and the Ansar later arrived in the city of Madina-the same city from some of the houses the cries of the bereaved mothers, and of the wives, who had lost their husbands, could be heard. Rasul reached the houses of Bani Abdul Ashhal. The wailings of their women moved him. Tears began to flow from his eyes and he said in an undertone: "It gives me great pain that none is weeping for Hamzah". When Saad bin Muaz and some others became aware of what Rasul desired they asked some women to observe mourning for Hamzah, the devoted soldier of Islam. When Rasul
became aware of this he prayed for the women and said: "I have always enjoyed the material and spiritual assistance of Ansar". Then he asked the women to return to their homes.
The life of self-sacrificing women in the early period of Islam is something wonderful and inspiring. When we say that it is wonderful, it is because we rarely find women like them in the modern history. Nowadays slogans of bravery and heroism come out of the throats of the women of the world, and they claim to possess strength and stability enough to face the shaking events of the time, but they cannot equal the faithful and self-sacrificing women of the early days of Islam. This strength and stability of those women was the direct result of their faith in the Divine Judgement and their hope of recompense in the Hereafter. A lady belonging to the tribe of Bani Dinar, who had lost her husband, father, and brother, was sitting amongst some women and shedding tears, and the other women were bewailing. Suddenly Rasul chanced to pass by that group of women. This bereaved lady enquired about Rasul from the people, who were present near her. All of them
replied: "Thanked be God, he is quite well". She said, "I am keen to see him from a near distance". The place where Rasul was standing was not far off. They therefore, pointed her out Rasul. When the woman saw the face of Rasul she immediately forgot all her woes and said something from the core of her heart, which created a revolution in the minds of those present there. She said: "O Prophet of God! All unpleasant things and adversities are easy in your path". (i.e. if you are alive we consider every calamity, which befalls us to be insignificant, and we ignore it). Praised be this steadfastness and praised be this faith which keeps a person safe from instability just as an anchor keeps a boat safe from storms while it travels over the seas!
In the foregoing pages we have made a brief mention of Amr bin Jumuh. Although he was lame and it was not obligatory for him to perform jihad, he insisted upon taking part in it and, having obtained permission from Rasul, he joined the vanguard of the mujahids (soldiers of Islam). It was not only he who joined the rows of the mujahids, but his son Khallad and his brother-in-law (wife's brother) Abdullah bin Amr also participated in this sacred jihad and all of them met martyrdom. His wife Hind, daughter of Amr bin Hazm and paternal aunt of Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, came to Uhud. She picked up the dead bodies of her martyrs and dear ones from the battlefield, loaded them on a camel and left for Madina. The rumour had spread in Madina that Rasul had been killed. The women left for Uhud to gain the correct news about Rasul. On the way Hind met the wives of Rasul who enquired from her about Rasul's welfare. Notwithstanding the fact that she was carrying the
corpses of her husband, brother and son on the camel she said to them with great composure, as if no calamity had befallen her: "I have a happy news for you. Rasul is alive and as compared with this blessing all hardships are insignificant. Secondly God turned back the unbelievers while they were filled with anger and wrath. [Note: She recited Quranic verse: God turned back the unbelievers in their rage; they did not obtain any advantage, and God sufficed the believers in fighting; and God is Strong, Mighty. Then he says: "Surely she uttered the purport of the first part of the verse, because this verse was revealed at the time of the Battle of the Ditch, which took place after the Battle of Uhud] Then she was asked about the dead bodies which she was carrying on the back of the camel. She replied: "They are related to me. One of them is my husband, the other is my son and the third is my brother. I am carrying them to Madina to bury them there". Here
we find, in the history of Islam, one of the sublimest marks of faith (i.e. considering all calamities to be easy, and bearing all sorrows and hardships for the achievement of one's spiritual aim). The school of materialism cannot train such self-sacrificing men and women. These persons fight for the achievement of a spiritual purpose and not for material gains or for acquiring status. The latter part of this story is even more wonderful and does not at all agree with the material criteria and with the principles which materialism has laid down for the analysis of historical problems. Only the godly persons and those who have firm belief in God and His assistance can analyse the following story and consider it to be totally true. She (Hind) had the bridle of the camel in her hand and was driving it to Madina. However, the camel was moving with great difficulty. One of the wives of Rasul said: "The burden on the camel is certainly heavy". Hind replied:
"This camel is very strong and can carry the load of two camels and there is certainly some other reason for its doing so, because whenever I turn it to Uhud it walks quite easily, but whenever I turn it to Madina it is either moves on great difficulty or kneels down on the ground. Hind decided to return to Uhud and to inform Rasul of the matter. She, therefore, came to Uhud along with the camel and the dead bodies and informed Rasul about the condition of the camel. Rasul said: "What did your husband pray for to God when he was going to the battlefield?" She replied: "He said: O Lord! Don't make me return to my home". Rasul said: "The reason for (the camel's) refusal to go to Madina has become clear. Your husband's prayer has been granted. God does not desire that this dead body should go to Amr's home. It is necessary that you should bury all the three dead bodies in this land of Uhud and you should know that these three persons will remain together
in the other world also". Hind, while tears were trickling from her eyes, requested Rasul to pray to God that she too might be with them. Rasul arrived in his house. The eyes of his dear daughter Fatimah Zahrah fell on his wounded face and tears began to flow from her eyes. Rasul gave his sword to his daughter so that she might wash it. Ali bin Esa Arbali, the traditionalist and historian of the 7th century writes: "Rasul's daughter brought water to wash off blood from her father's face. Imam Ali poured water and Zahrah washed blood from the sides, but as the wound on the face was deep, the blood did not stop. At last a piece of mat was burnt and its ashes were applied to the wounds and then the blood stopped flowing from the wounds of his faced.
The night, during which the Muslims rested in their houses in Madina after the event of Uhud, was a very delicate night. The hypocrites and the Jews and the followers of Abdullah bin Ubayy were jubilant over this happening. The cries and wailings of the bereaved persons could be heard from most of the houses. Above all there was a danger that the hypocrites and the Jews might revolt against the Muslims, or might at least destroy the political unity and integrity of the centre of Islam by creating differences and dissensions amongst its inhabitants. The harm which is done by internal differences is much more than that which is caused by the attacks of external enemies. It was, therefore, necessary that Rasul should admonish the internal enemies and make them understand that the strength of Islam could not be weakened by disorder and chaos and every activity or propaganda which threatened the foundation of Islam would be nipped in the bud with full force.
Rasul was ordered by God to pursue the enemy on the day following that night. He, therefore, appointed a person to make a proclamation in all parts of the city in these words: "Persons who were in Uhud yesterday should get ready to pursue the enemy tomorrow. However, those who didn't participate in the battle have no right to join us in this jihad". No doubt this restriction was imposed with some good purposes in view, which cannot remain hidden from intelligent political-minded persons; firstly this restriction was a sort of attack upon those persons who had failed to participate in the Battle of Uhud; it was in fact a negation of the competence of that group, which did not possess worthiness for defence and for participation in a battle; and secondly it was a chastisement for those, who had participated in the Battle of Uhud. As Islam had suffered this blow on account of their indiscipline it was necessary that they themselves should make amends for
this defeat so that they might not display such indiscipline in future. The announcement made by Rasul's proclaimer reached the ears of a man belonging to the tribe of Bani Abdul Ashhal, when he was sleeping, with his wounded body, along with his brother. This proclamation shook both of them in such a manner that though both of them had no means of transport except one animal for riding and their departure was also difficult for certain reasons, they said to one another: "It is not at all proper that Rasul should proceed for jihad and we should remain behind". Although these two brothers had to perform the journey by riding alternately they managed to join the soldiers of Islam.
Rasul appointed Ibn Umme Maktum as his representative in Madina and encamped at Hamra'ul Asad which is at a distance of eight miles from Madina. Ma'bad Khuzai, the chief of the Khuza'ah tribe, although a polytheist, offered his sympathy to Rasul. The members of the tribe of Khuza'ah, including Muslims or non-Muslims, had always supported Islam. In order to render service to Rasul, Ma'bad went from Hamra'ul Asad to Rowhah, the headquarters of the army of Quraysh, and met Abu Sufyan. He found that Abu Sufyan was determined to return to Madina and destroy the remaining strength of the Muslims. Ma'bad dissuaded him from doing so and said: "O Abu Sufyan! Beware of Muhammad, who is in Hamra'ul Asad now. He has come out of Madina with a larger army and those, who didn't participate in the battle yesterday, are also with him today. I have seen faces which are flushed with anger and I have not seen similar faces throughout my life. They are very much regretful
for the disorder which took place yesterday". He dilated so much upon the apparent strength and the high morale of the Muslims that he made Abu Sufyan abandon his decision. Rasul, along with his companions, remained in Hamra'ul Asad during the first part of the night and ordered that fire might be kindled at various spots in the desert so that the enemy might imagine that the strength of the Muslims was greater than that which they had witnessed in Uhud. Safwan Umayyah addressed Abu Sufyan thus: "The Muslims are angry and vexed. It is better that we should content ourselves with what we have already achieved and should return to Makkah".
The above sentence is the resume of the remarks of Rasul who said: "A true believer is not stung from the same hole again". He said these words when Abu 'Azza Jumahi requested him for freedom. He had been captured in the Battle of Badr and Rasul had set him free and had taken a promise from him that he would not join the idolaters in their activities against Islam. However, he broke the promise by participating in the Battle of Uhud against Islam. It so happened that, while returning from Hamra'ul Asad, the Muslims again captured him. This time also he requested Rasul to forgive him and to set him free. Rasul did not, however, pay any heed to his request, and by uttering the above sentence, (true believer is not hurt from the same hole twice), gave orders for his execution. With this the tragedy of Uhud, which was perfectly instructive, came to an end.
What were the events in Madina after this battle? The political effects of the defeat suffered by the Muslims in the Battle of Uhud became crystal clear with its end. Although they displayed steadfastness before the victorious enemy and prevented his return (to Madina), but after the Uhud incident the internal and external movements to overthrow Islam increased. The hypocrites and the Jews of Madina and the polytheists residing out of the city as well as the idolatrous tribes at distant places developed unusual courage and did not refrain from conspiring and collecting forces and weapons against Islam. Rasul silenced the internal movements with great skill, and suppressed, by sending forces, those external tribes which intended to attack Madina. In the meantime a report was received that the tribe of Bani Asad intended conquering Madina and killing the Muslims and looting their property. Rasul immediately sent a unit consisting of 150 persons under the
command of Abu Salman to the centre of conspiracy. He ordered the commander to keep his object hidden, to travel by a deviated path and to take rest during daytime and travel at night. He acted on the instructions of Rasul and, besieging the tribe of Bani Asad at night, nipped the plot in the bud and returned to Madina victorious with some war booty. This event took place in the 35th month of migration.
Rasul frustrated the plans of the conspirators by dispatching military units, and attracted the impartial tribes to the teachings of Islam by sending missionary groups to the different tribes and the centres of populated areas. Trained missionaries, who had memorized Quran as well as the commandments and traditions of Rasul, were prepared heart and soul to convey the teachings of Islam to the residents of distant areas, in an elucidated and elegant manner, at the cost of their very lives. By sending the military units and the missionary groups Rasul discharged two great responsibilities attached to the lofty office of prophethood. In fact the purpose of dispatching the military units was to maintain place and to eliminate insecurity and chaos so that the missionary group should perform, in an atmosphere of peace and freedom, its momentous responsibility which consisted of ruling over hearts and guiding the thoughts of the people. However, some savage and
mean tribes practiced deceit upon the missionary group, who constituted the spiritual force of Islam and who had no aim other than advancement of justice and freedom and eradicating infidelity and idolatry. They murdered them in a very tragic manner. We give below an account of what happened to some trained missionaries of Islam, whose number was six according to Ibn Hisham and ten according to Ibn Sad.
A group consisting of the representatives of the tribes residing in the adjoining areas practiced deceit to diminish the strength of Islam and to take revenge. They came before Rasul and said "O Prophet of God! Our hearts are inclined towards Islam and our environments are ready for its acceptance. It is necessary that you should depute some of your companions to go with us so that they may propagate Islam in our tribe and teach us Quran and inform us about things which have been made lawful or unlawful by God". It was the duty of Rasul to give a positive reply to this group, which consisted of representatives of big tribes, and the Muslims are under obligation to avail of such an opportunity at any cost. Hence Rasul ordered a party to proceed to those areas under the leadership of Marsad, along with the representatives of the tribes. This group, accompanied by the representatives of the tribes, left Madina and went out of the zone of authority of the
Muslims and reached a place named Raji'. There the representatives of the tribes manifested their evil intentions and decided, with the help of the tribe named Huzayl, to arrest and kill the persons deputed by Rasul. While the Muslims had been encircled from all sides by armed groups they had no means of protecting themselves. They could not do without resorting to draw their swords. They, therefore, unsheathed their swords and got ready to defend themselves. Their enemies, however, swore that they had no other object except that they should arrest them so that they might deliver them alive to the authorities of Quraysh and get money in reward. The Muslims looked towards one another and decided to fight. They, therefore, replied that they did not rely upon promises of the polytheists and the idolaters, and then resorted to arms and laid down their lives bravely in the path of propagation and defence of Islam. However, three persons named Zayd bin
Dasinah, Khubayb Adiy and Tarah sheathed their swords and surrendered. While they were on their way Tarah regretted and felt ashamed of having surrendered. He, therefore, managed to release his hand from the chain, took the sword in his hand and attacked the enemies. The enemies retreated and made him yield by flinging stones at him. They stoned him so much that he fell down on the ground and succumbed to his injuries. He was buried at the same place. The two other prisoners were, however, handed over to the official authorities of Quraysh and against them two prisoners who belonged to the tribe which had arrested the Muslims, were set free. Safwan Umayyah, whose father was killed in the Battle of Badr, purchased Zayd so as to take revenge of his father. It was decided that Zayd should be hanged in the presence of a big gathering. The gallows was set up at Tan'im. [Note: Tan'im is a point which is considered to be the beginning of 'Haram' and the end of
'Hil' and ehram is worn at that spot for Umra-i Mufradah].
Quraysh and their friends gathered at that spot on a particular day. The condemned person was standing by the side of the gallows and only a few minutes of his life were left, when Abu Sufyan, who was the Pharaoh of Makkah and whose hand worked behind the curtain in all these events turned to Zayd and said: "I put you on oath to tell me in the name of the Lord in whom you believe whether you wish that Muhammad may be killed in your place and you may be set free and may return home". Zayd replied bravely: "I don't wish that even a thorn may prick the foot of Rasul, although I may be set free in lieu thereof". Zayd's reply had a great effect on Abu Sufyan. He wondered at the extraordinary devotion of the companions of Rasul and said: "During my entire life I have not seen such devoted and self-sacrificing friends of anyone as those of Muhammad". Immediately after that Zayd was hanged on the gallows and his soul departed to the other world. He sacrificed
his life for the sake of Islam. The second person namely Khubayb was kept under detention for some time. The Council at Makkah then decided that he too should be hanged at Tan'im. Arrangements were made to set up the gallows. While standing by the side of the gallows Khubayb sought permission from the official authorities to offer two rak'ats (units) of prayers. The permission having been granted he offered two rak'ats of prayers with perfect brevity. Then he turned to the chiefs of Quraysh and said: "If it had not been the fact that you might have thought that I was afraid of death I would have offered more prayers and would have prolonged ruku' and sujud (kneeling and prostration) of the prayers." Then he raised his face to heavens and said: "O God! We performed the duty which was entrusted to us by Rasul". Order was given and Khubayb was hanged to death. While on the gallows he said: "O God! You can see that there is not even one friend around me who
could convey my salam to Rasul. O Lord! You may kindly convey my salam to him". It would appear that the religious sentiments of this godly person upset Abu 'Uqbah. He rose and killed him by giving a blow on his body. Ibn Hisham has quoted that Khubayb recited some couplets before he breathed his last on the gallows: "By God! If I die as a Muslim I am not worried about the region in which I am buried. This tragic death of mine is in the path of God and if He wishes he can make this martyrdom auspicious for my dismembered limbs". This heart-rending event deeply moved Rasul and also overwhelmed all the Muslims with grief. Hassan bin Thabit, the great poet of the Muslims, recited doleful verses which have been quoted by Ibn Hisham in his Seerah. Rasul feared that this incident might be repeated and the missionary force, which was trained after taking great pains, might, in this way, sustain an irreparable blow. He also feared that this sacred force, which
was superior even to the mujahids who fought on the war-front, might fall prey to the evil designs of the enemies of Islam. The dead body of Khubayb remained on the gallows for a long period and a group of persons kept a watch on it. Eventually however, as ordered by Rasul two brave Muslims went at night and buried it.
The third year of migration, with all its bitter and instructive events, came to an end and the fourth year started with the sighting of Muharram moon. In the month of Safar of the same year Abu Bara'a came to Madina and Rasul invited him to embrace Islam. To this he did not agree, but he also did not seek aloofness. He said to Rasul: "If you send a strong missionary force to the people of Najd it may be hoped that they will embrace Islam as they are much inclined to it". Rasul replied: "I am afraid of the deceit and enmity of the people of Najd. I apprehend that the tragedy of Raji', which resulted in a number of learned and missionary persons being killed may be repeated". Abu Bara'a said: "The force to be deputed by you will be under my protection and I guarantee that I will protect them from every harm". Forty learned Muslims who had memorized Quran and various religious tenets of Islam left for Najd under the leadership of Munzir and encamped by the
side of Bi'r Ma'unah. Rasul wrote a letter (consisting of invitation to the religion of Islam) to one of the chiefs of Najd named 'Amir. Not only that 'Amir did not read the letter but he also put its bearer to death. He also sought assistance from the adjoining tribes, and the area where the missionary force had encamped was encircled by his men. The persons forming the missionary force of Islam were not only senior and proficient missionaries but they were also considered to be brave and war-like persons. They, therefore, thought it a shame for themselves to surrender. Hence, they took up arms and all of them, except one, met martyrdom after giving a tough fight. The only survivor was Ka'b bin Zayd who reached Madina with a wounded body and gave information about what had happened. These two tragic events were the evil results of the defeat sustained by the Muslims at Uhud, which encouraged the adjoining tribes to resort to their killing.
The orientalists, who make capital of a scratch on the face of an idolater and cast aspersions on Islam and the Muslims to prove that Islam was spread with the force of sword, close their lips with regard to these two tragic events and do not utter even a word about them. Where in the world learned and sacred people are put to sword? If Islam has flourished under the shadow of sword what for did these missionary groups sacrifice their lives? These two events possess certain vital and instructive points. The strength of faith, self-sacrifice, valour and moral heroism of these great souls is the ground on which the fate of the Muslims is based. It deserves their admiration and should serve as an example for them.
The tragic events of Raji' and Bi'r Ma'unah which culminated in the murder of the missionary force of Islam grieved the Muslims very much. At this juncture most of the readers may be automatically inclined to ask as to why Rasul resorted to this action. When he had bitter experience of the first event (Raji') why did he send forty persons to Bi'r Ma'unah? Had not Rasul himself said: "A true believer is never stung from the same hole twice?" Reply to this question becomes clear when we refer to the texts of history, because the safety of the second group had been guaranteed by Abu Bara'a 'Amir bin Malik bin Ja'far who was the chief of the tribe of Bani 'Amir, and a tribe never acted against the intentions of its chief. Furthermore, in order to give more assurance, he himself decided to remain in Madina till the return of the missionary party. The plan drawn out by Rasul was correct and capable of yielding results. The fact is that the members of the
Muslim missionary party were not killed at the hands of the tribesmen of Abu Bara'a. No doubt his nephew viz. 'Amir bin Tufayl instigated the tribe of Abu Bara'a against the missionary party but none of them listened to him and all of them said: "Your uncle has guaranteed their safety". Eventually 'Amir bin Tufayl obtained help from other tribes like Salim and Zakwan and killed the members of the missionary party of Islam. When the Muslim missionary party proceeded to the region of Abu Bara'a they selected two persons from amongst themselves named Amr bin Umayyah and Harith bin Simmah so that they might take the camels for grazing and look after them. These two persons were performing the duty entrusted to them and were not aware of the fate of their companions. Suddenly 'Amir bin Tufayl fell upon them. As a result of this Harith bin Simmah was killed, whereas Amr bin Umayyah escaped. While on his way back to Madina Amr bin Umayyah came across two men
and felt sure that they belonged to the tribes whose members had killed the missionary party of Islam. He, therefore, killed both of them while they were asleep and then returned to Madina. Amr had made a wrong conclusion. Those persons belonged to the tribe of Abu Bara'a (Bani 'Amir tribe) who respected the blood of the Muslim missionaries because of the respect which they had for their own chief. This incident also added to the grief of Rasul and he decided to pay the blood money for the two men.
The hypocrites and the Jews of Madina were very happy on account of the defeat of the Muslims and the annihilation of their missionary force. They were awaiting an opportunity to create disturbances in Madina and to make the tribes residing outside Madina realize that there was no unity in the city so that the young State of Islam might be toppled down by means of attacks by the external enemies. In order to gain information about the intentions and the way of thinking of the Jews belonging to Bani Nuzayr tribe Rasul visited their fortress along with some of his companions. However, the apparent object of Rasul's meeting Bani Nuzayr was to obtain assistance from them in the matter of payment of blood-money for the two men who had been killed by Amr bin Umayyah, because the tribe of Bani Nuzayr were living under the protection of the Islamic State and it was only proper that on such an occasion they should contribute towards the compensation which was
due to be paid. Moreover they had also concluded treaties with the Muslims as well as with the tribe of Bani 'Amir and the tribes which had concluded mutual treaties always assisted each other on such occasions. Rasul dismounted opposite the gate of the fortress and mentioned the purpose of his visit to the chiefs of the tribe. They received him warmly and promised to contribute towards the blood-money. Then, while addressing Rasul with his patronymic, Abul Qasim, they requested him to enter the fortress and spend the day with them. Rasul did not, however, accede to their request and, as quoted by some historians, he only dismounted opposite the fortress and after taking his seat in the shade of the wall of the fortress along with his companions began conversing with the chiefs of Bani Nuzayr. [Note: Some say that Rasul arrived in their meeting.]
Rasul felt that this glib talking was coupled with a chain of mysterious activities. There was heavy movement of people in the precincts of the place where Rasul was seated. Whispering in one another's ears which creates suspicion and pessimism was abundant. In fact the chiefs of Bani Nuzayr had decided to take Rasul unawares. They had appointed one of their men named Amr Hajjash to ascend the roof and kill Rasul by throwing a big stone on his head. Fortunately their plan was frustrated. Their evil plots and designs were divulged on account of their activities, and, as quoted by Waqidi, Rasul learned about the conspiracy of the Jews through Divine revelation. He left that place in such a manner that the Jews thought that he was going on account of some business and would return. In fact Rasul decided to go to Madina direct and did not inform even his companions about his decision. They also kept waiting for his return, but it was all in vain. The Jews of
Bani Nuzayr were greatly perturbed. They thought that Rasul had probably become aware of their plot and would, therefore, accord them severe chastisement. They also thought within themselves: "Now that Rasul is beyond our reach we may take revenge on his companions". But then the thought crossed their mind immediately that in that event the matter would become very serious and Rasul would certainly take revenge on them. At this juncture Rasul's companions decided to follow him and to find out his whereabouts. They had not yet gone far away from the fortress when they met a man who told them that Rasul had already arrived in Madina. They visited him and became aware of the design of the Jews which had also been confirmed by revelation.
Now what should have been the duty of Rasul with regard to this band? These were the people who enjoyed privileges granted by the Islamic State and whose property and honour were protected by the Muslim soldiers! They were a community who witnessed clear signs of prophethood in Rasul and read in their own books about the proofs of his prophethood and the evidence of his truthfulness. What was the proper way to deal with this group of people who, in spite of enjoying all the privileges, plotted against his life and decided to assassinate him instead of showing hospitality? What were the demands of justice in this behalf? And what should have been done so that such incidents were not repeated in future? The way to solve the problem was the same which Rasul adopted. He ordered all the soldiers to remain alert. Then he called Muhammad bin Maslamah, a member of the Aws tribe, and ordered him to convey the message to the chiefs of Bani Nuzayr as early as
possible. He contacted the chiefs of Bani Nuzayr and said to them: "The exalted leader of Islam has sent you a message through me that you should quit this place as early as possible and within ten days at the latest, because you have acted in a deceitful manner. And if you do not depart from this region within ten days your blood will be shed". They were dejected on hearing this message and every one of them held others responsible for the developments. One of their leaders suggested that all of them should embrace Islam. This suggestion was, however, not accepted by the obstinate majority. They felt a strange helplessness. Eventually they turned to Muhammad bin Maslamah and said to him: 'O Muhammad! You belong to the tribe of Aws and before the arrival of Rasul we had a defence pact with your tribe. Why are you on war terms with us now?" In reply he said with perfect valour which behoves every Muslim: "That time has passed. Now the hearts have
changed". The basis of Prophet's determination was the very pact which the Muslims had concluded with the tribes of the Jews in the early days and which had been signed by Hay bin Akhtab on behalf of Bani Nuzayr. We have already reproduced the text of this pact in early pages and quote here an extract from it: "Rasul concludes a pact with every one of the three groups (Bani Nuzayr, Bani Qaynuqa'a and Bani Qurayzah) that they will not take any steps against God's Messenger and his companions and will not harm him with their hands or tongue. As and when any one of these tribes acts contrary to the text of the pact Rasul will be free to shed their blood, to confiscate their property and to captivate their women and children".
At this juncture also the orientalists have shed crocodile tears in sympathy with the treacherous Jews, who violated the pacts and have said that the action of Rasul was not consonant with equity and justice. The deception and cavilling practiced by the orientalists is to hide the facts, because the reference to the text of the pact shows that the punishment imposed by Rasul was much lighter than that stipulated in the pact. Nowadays hundreds of crimes and oppressions take place in the east and west at the hands of the masters of these very orientalists and none of them raises the least objection to them. However, when Rasul awards even lesser punishment to a group of conspirators than that agreed on earlier, some writers who analyse the event with various personal motives, raise a hue and cry against it.
The most dangerous enemies of Islam were the group of hypocrites who were wearing a mask of friendship on their faces and Abdullah Ubayy and Malik bin Ubayy Nawfal etc. were their ring leaders. They immediately sent a message to the leaders of Bani Nuzayr that they (the hypocrites) would help them with two thousand warriors and their allies, i.e. the tribes of Bani Qurayzah and Ghatfan, would also not leave them alone. This false promise encouraged the Jews, and, though they had decided in the beginning to surrender and quit the place, they now changed their decision. They shut the gates of their fortresses and, having equipped themselves with ammunition would defend themselves at any cost from the towers and would not willfully allow the army of Islam to assume control of their gardens and farms. One of the leaders of Bani Nuzayr (Salem bin Mushkam) considered the promise of Abdullah to be futile and said: "It is expedient for us to depart". However,
Hay bin Akhtab advised them to remain firm and steadfast. Rasul became aware of the message sent by Abdullah to the Jews. He appointed Ibn Umme Maktum to be his representative in Madina and with Takbir (God is Great) on his lips moved to besiege the fortress of Bani Nuzayr. He made the area between Bani Qurayzah and Bani Nuzayr his encampment place and thus cut off the liaison between the two tribes. According to Ibn Hisham, the fortress was besieged for one day and one night and according to some others it was besieged for fifteen days. However, the Jews became more steadfast and perseverant. Rasul ordered that the date palm trees around the fortress might be cut down so that the cause for the Jews coveting the territory might be removed once and for all. At this moment the cries of the Jews became loud from within the fortress and all of them said: "O Abul Qasim! (addressing Rasul) You have always prohibited your soldiers from cutting the trees! Why
are you doing this thing now?" However, the reason for resorting to this action was as mentioned above. Eventually the Jews submitted to their fate and said: "We are prepared to be exiled, provided that we are permitted to take away our belongings with us". Rasul agreed that they might carry away their belongings, except the weapons which they had to surrender to the Muslims. The greedy Jews made their best efforts to take away their property, so much so that they pulled out the doors of their houses to take them away and then destroyed the buildings. Some of them proceeded to Khaibar and others to Syria. Two from amongst them embraced Islam. In order to hide their defeat the vanquished and helpless Jews left Madina beating drums and singing songs. Hence, they wanted to give an impression that they were not at all unhappy to leave the place.
According to Quran (Sura Hashr, 59:6) the booty which the Muslims acquired without fighting belonged to Rasul and he could spend it for the welfare of Islam and the Muslims, as he deemed fit. Rasul considered it proper to distribute the farms, water reserves and gardens (left behind by Bani Nuzayr) amongst the Muhajirs, because, since their migration from Makkah, they were hard up and in fact they were dependent upon the Ansar of Madina and were their guests. Saad bin Muaz and Saad bin 'Ubadah also supported this view. Hence, the entire property was distributed amongst the Muhajirs and none from amongst the Ansar got any share except Sahl bin Hunayf and Abu Dujanah, who were extremely poor. In this way the financial position of the Muslims improved generally. A costly sword, which previously belonged to one of the chiefs of Bani Nuzayr, was given to Saad bin Muaz. This event took place in the month of Rabi'ul Awwal of fourth year of migration when Sura
Hashr was also revealed to mention the causes of this event and to invite the attention of the Muslims. Most of the historians of Islam believe that no bloodshed took place in this event. However, the late Shaykh Mufid says that during the night of this conquest a brief skirmish did take place and ten Jews were killed and their death provided a basis for the surrender of the Jewish forces.
Wine and the intoxicating drinks in general have been and are one of the greatest ruinous calamities for human society and it is sufficient to say in reproof of this deadly poison that it wages war against the greatest blessing of man which distinguishes him from other living beings viz. intellect and reason. The prosperity of man depends upon his wisdom and the difference between him and other living beings is because of his power of intellect, and alcohol is considered to be the greatest enemy of wisdom and intellect. It is on this account that all the divine Prophets have prohibited the use of alcoholic drinks. In fact they have been declared unlawful in all the revealed religions. In the Arabian Peninsula drinking prevailed like a general calamity and a contagious disease, decisive campaign against which needed quite a long time, and the state of affairs prevailing in the society and the conditions of the Arabs in general did not also permit that
Rasul should declare it unlawful without taking preliminary steps. He was also obliged to prepare the temperament of the society for waging a decisive war against it. Hence, the four verses which have been revealed to express aversion to wine are not alike. Rasul commenced with advice till he was successful in declaring its use to be unlawful. A careful study of these verses tells us about the method adopted by Rasul regarding the propagation of the laws of Islam and it is appropriate that the proficient writers and orators should adopt this method of instruction and should campaign against social evils in the same manner. The basic condition for campaigning against an evil practice at the first stage is to awaken the thinking of the society and to invite its attention to its disadvantages and harmful effects. Until there is spiritual preparedness and internal stimulation in a society and the people themselves are responsible it is not possible to
undertake a campaign against an evil practice. Hence, in the first instance Quran told the society, the part of whose life was drinking, that preparation of wine with dates and grapes was inconsistent with good nourishment and this way of speech was in fact a warning to awaken the thoughts of the people. It says: (We provide you) fruits of the date palm and vine from which you derive strong drink and wholesome food. (Sura Nahl, 16:67 ) The Holy Book announced for the first time that making wine with these things is not 'good nourishment'. 'Good nourishment' means that they should be eaten in their natural shape. This verse gave a jolt to the thoughts of the people and made their temperaments ready so that Rasul might make his tone more strong and declare through other verses that 'some material utility' derived from wine and games of chance is insignificant as compared with their evil effects. This fact has been mentioned in this verse: They question
you about strong drink and game of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some material) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. (Sura Baqarah, 2:219) No doubt such comparison between profit and loss, which shows that something is more evil than good, is sufficient to make intelligent people express aversion to it. However, the people at large do not avoid an evil practice unless it is totally forbidden. Notwithstanding the fact that the verse quoted above had already been revealed Abdur Rahman bin Awf arranged a feast and also served wine on the dining cloth. Those present began offering prayers after drinking wine. One of them read a verse incorrectly whereby its meaning was changed i.e. instead of saying '(O idolaters!) I worship not that which you worship' he uttered a sentence with an opposite meaning by dropping the word 'la' (not) from it. These incidents made the temperaments of the people ready that so far as the
conditions permitted drinking of wine should be prohibited at least in certain special circumstances. In the light of these conditions it was declared openly that no Muslim was entitled to offer prayers while he was intoxicated and this Divine order was proclaimed in these words: Believers, do not pray when you are drunk, till you know what you say. (Sura Nisa, 4:46). The effect of this verse was that a group of persons gave up drinking permanently, and their argument for doing so was that a thing which was harmful for prayers deserved to be entirely eliminated. However, some others did not forsake this habit, so much so that a person from amongst Ansar arranged a feast and notwithstanding the fact that he was aware of the said verse he served wine as well on the dining cloth. The guests, after having drunk wine, began to dispute and hurt one another. Thereafter they complained to Rasul. The Second Caliph, who used to drink wine till that time, being
under the impression that the above-mentioned verses did not make drinking of wine totally forbidden, raised his hands in prayer and said: "O God! Reveal clear and convincing orders for us". It is evident that such unpleasant occurrences had made the atmosphere ready for this that if the use of wine was totally banned, all the Muslims would have accepted this ban wholeheartedly. Hence, at the last stage, this verse was revealed: Wine, gambling, idols and Azlam (a sort of lottery) are filthy acts of Satan and all of you should refrain from them. As a result of this eloquent and emphatic order those persons who had been drinking wine till that time on the excuse that orders regarding giving it up were not final also refrained from it. On hearing this verse the Second Caliph said, "I renounce it from now onwards".
In the Arabic language Riqa' means a 'Patch'. This sacred jihad is called Zatur Riqa' for the reason that at this front the Muslims came across a chain of high and low places which appeared like patches. According to another version it is called Za'tur Riqa' for the reason that to alleviate the hardship of walking the soldiers had wrapped their feet with rags. In any case this battle was not a primary campaign so that the army of Islam should have fallen upon a community on the plea of their being polytheists. In fact their aim was to extinguish a spark which was about to flare up i.e. to suppress the enthusiasm which was being displayed by two families of Ghatfan (Bani Maharib and Bani Sa'labah) against Islam. It was customary for Rasul to depute wise and intelligent persons to different areas so that they might inform him about their general conditions. Suddenly a report was received that the above-mentioned two families were gathering arms and men to
conquer Madina. Rasul proceeded to Najd with special columns and encamped near the territory of the enemy. The brilliant past record of the army of Islam and their self-sacrifice and valour which had astonished the Arabian Peninsula made the enemy retreat and take refuge in mountains and high regions without fighting. However, as Rasul offered the obligatory prayers in this battle, along with the soldiers of Islam, as Salat-i Khawf (offering prayers during the time of danger) and taught the Muslims the method of offering it by means of 103rd verse of Sura Nisa, it may be conjectured that the enemy's forces were well-equipped and that the fighting had assumed a very delicate shape, but eventually Muslims were victorious.
Although in this battle the army of Islam returned from the headquarters of the enemy to Madina without fighting, they acquired a small booty. On their way back they stayed at night in an extensive valley to take rest. Here Rasul appointed two brave soldiers to undertake guarding the mouth of the valley. These two soldiers named 'Abbad and Ammar divided the hours of the night between themselves and it was agreed that 'Abbad should guard the mouth of the valley during the first half of the night. A man belonging to the tribe of Ghatfan was pursuing the Muslims so that he might do them some harm and then return immediately. This man took advantage of the darkness of the night and shot an arrow at the person guarding the valley while the latter was offering prayers. The sentry was so much absorbed in invocations that he did not much feel the prickly sensation caused by the arrow. He pulled out the arrow from his foot and continued his prayers. However, the
attack was repeated thrice. The last arrow of the enemy struck his foot so severely that he could not continue his invocations as he wished. He, therefore finished his prayers immediately and then awakened Ammar. The tragic condition of 'Abbad moved Ammar very much and he said by way of protest "Why did you not awaken me at the very outset?" The wounded sentry replied "I was praying and was reciting a Sura of Quran when suddenly the first arrow hit me. The enjoyment of invocations and the deliciousness of attention towards God kept me from breaking my prayers. If Rasul had not made me responsible for guarding this point I would not at all have broken my prayers and the Sura which I was reciting and would have surrendered my very life making invocations to God before I intended to break my prayers.
At the end of the Battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan declared: "Next year we shall meet you in the desert of Badr at this very time and shall take a greater revenge upon you". Under orders of Rasul the Muslims announced their readiness to fight. The fixed time of one year expired and Abu Sufyan, who then ruling over Quraysh, was involved in various difficulties. Naim bin Masud, who had friendly relations with both the parties arrived in Makkah. Abu Sufyan requested him to return to Madina immediately and dissuade Muhammad from deciding to come out of Madina. He added: "It is not possible for us to leave Makkah this year and the demonstrations and military manoeuvres of Muhammad in Badr, which is a common market of the Arabs, will bring about our defeat". Whatever motive he might have, Naim returned to Madina. His words did not, however, make the least effect on the morale of Rasul. He encamped in Badr in the beginning of the month of Zilqad with 1500 warriors
and some horses and a quantity of merchandise, and stayed there for eight days, which coincided with the annual public market of the Arabs. The Muslims sold their merchandise there and earned enormous profit. Thereafter the people who had come from different areas dispersed, but the army of Islam continued to wait for the arrival of the army of Quraysh. Reports reached Makkah that Muhammad had arrived in Badr. The chiefs of Quraysh had no alternative left to save themselves from disgrace, except to leave Makkah for Badr. Abu Sufyan, who was well-equipped, came up to Marruz Zahran, but returned from mid-way making an excuse of famine and dearth. The return of the army of the idolaters was so shocking that Safwan protested to Abu Sufyan and said: "By this retreat we have lost all the honours that we had gained, and if you had not made a promise last year of waging a war we would not have been faced with this psychological defeat''. [Note: Waqidi says this
took place in the 45th month of migration].
The most important historical events of the fifth year of migration are the Battle of Ahzab, the story of Bani Qurayzah and Rasul's marriage with Zaynab daughter of Jahash. According to the historians the first event which took place was the marriage of Rasul with Zaynab. Quran has narrated the above-mentioned story in the 4th, 6th and 36th to 40th verses of Sura Ahzab and has left no room for fabrication of falsehoods by the orientalists and the novelists. We shall study this event in the light of the most authentic source (the Holy Quran), and shall also scrutinize the remarks of the orientalists very minutely.
Zayd was a person who was captured during his childhood from a caravan by the nomadic Arab plunderers and was sold as a slave in the market of 'Ukaz. He was purchased by Hakim bin Hizam for his paternal aunt, Khadijah, and she made a gift of him to Rasul after their marriage. Zayd was enamoured of the pure spiritual mind, sublime sentiments and good morals of Rasul; so much so that when, after some time, his father came to Makkah and requested Rasul to set him free, so that he might take him to his mother and other members of his family, Zayd declined to go and preferred remaining with Rasul. He gave complete authority to Rasul whether he should stay with him or return to his homeland. This spiritual attachment and these deep sentiments existed on both the sides. If Zayd was fond of the morals and sentiments of Rasul, he also loved him in such a way that he selected him as his son and people began calling him Zayd bin Muhammad instead of Zayd bin Harith.
To make this matter formal Rasul held his hand one day and said to the people of Quraysh: "This is my son and we inherit from each other". This cordial relationship continued to exist till Zayd breathed his last in the Battle of Mo'ta and Rasul was so much moved on this account as if he lost his own son.
One of the sacred aims of Rasul was to reduce class distinctions and to bring together all human beings under the banner of humanity and piety and to introduce moral excellence and natural human qualities as the standard of superiority and distinction. Hence, it was necessary that he should uproot, as early as possible, the old despicable customs of the Arabs (that the daughters of the nobility should not be married to indigent people) and nothing could be better than that he should commence this programme from his own family and should marry his cousin Zaynab, the grand-daughter of Abdul Muttalib, to his former slave, who had since been set free, so that people should know that these imaginary barriers should be removed as early as possible and they should also know that when Rasul says: "The criterion of superiority is piety and a Muslim woman is equal to a Muslim man" he himself was the first to enforce this law and the first to act upon it. In order
to do away with this wrong custom Rasul went to Zaynab's house personally and formally asked for her consent to marry Zayd. In the first instance she and her brother were not inclined to accept the proposal, because the ideas of the Days of Ignorance had not yet been completely wiped out from their minds. Hence, notwithstanding the fact that it was an unpleasant task for them to refuse to comply with Rasul's orders, they excused themselves on the plea of Zayd having been a slave in the past. Soon afterwards Divine revelation condemned the action of Zaynab and her brother in these words: The believing men and women must not feel free to do something in their affairs other than that which has been already decided for them by God and his Messenger. One who disobeys God and His Messenger is in plain error. (Sura Ahzab, 33:36) Rasul immediately recited the verse to them. The pure and perfect faith of Zaynab and her brother Abdullah in Rasul and his sublime
ideals was instrumental in the daughter of Jahash giving her consent without any delay and as a result, a lady of noble birth was married to a freed slave of Muhammad. In this manner, therefore, a part of the invigorative programme of Islam was implemented and a wrong custom was dispensed with in a practical way.
Eventually, for certain reasons, this marriage culminated in divorce. Some say that the reason for this separation was the mentality of Zayd's wife, as she mentioned the lowness of her husband's descent to his very face and prided herself on account of the greatness of her own family and had thus made his life bitter for him. However, it is probable that Zayd himself might have been responsible for the divorce, because his biography shows that he led a sequestered life, as he married many women and divorced all of them (except the last one who was still alive when he was killed in a battle) and these successive divorces show that Zayd possessed a spirit of unsociability. The second testimony about the view that Zayd had a share in this incident is the harsh manner in which Rasul addressed him. Because, when Rasul came to know that Zayd had decided to divorce his wife, he was annoyed and said: "Keep your wife and fear God's wrath". In case the fault was
entirely his wife's, Zayd's separating from her was not contrary to piety and virtue. Eventually, Zayd separated from Zaynab.
Before we look into the basic cause of this marriage it is necessary to keep in view the role of lineage which is a vital factor for a sound society. Admittedly the relationship like that of father and son has a creative basis and in fact a father is the material source for the birth of a child and the child is the heir of the corporeal qualities and mentality of his parents. On account of this oneness and common blood the father and the child inherit the property of each other and specific laws regarding marriage and divorce become applicable to them. Hence, a relationship, which has a congenital basis cannot be established verbally, and an adopted son of a person cannot become his real son, (see surah Ahzab verse 4).. As such, various orders regarding inheritance, marriage divorce etc., as applicable to a real son, cannot also apply to an adopted son. For example, although a real son inherits from his father and vice versa and although it is unlawful
for a person to marry the divorced wife of his real son it cannot at all be said that an adopted son has also the same rights in these matters as the real son has. Undoubtedly the chain of such a right besides being devoid of a correct basis, is also a sort of buffoonery in respect of an important factor (lineage) of a sound society. In the circumstances, if adoption is resorted to with the aim of expressing sentiments it is very appreciable and proper, but if it is proposed to associate the adopted child with various social laws, all of which originate from matters relating to birth, this act will be far beyond social limits. The Arab society considered an adopted son to be as good as a real son. Rasul, therefore, was called upon to eradicate this wrong practice by marrying Zaynab, who was previously the wife of his adopted son (Zayd) and thus to remove this unwholesome custom in a practical way from amongst the Arabs, because this method is more
effective than enunciating a law. This marriage had no other reason besides this, because in those days none could pick up courage to take such an action in view of the fact that it was imagined to be a very shameful act to marry the former wife of an adopted son. God, therefore, formally invited Rasul to perform this task. He says: When Zayd set her free, We gave her in marriage to you so that the believers would not face difficulties about the wives of their adopted sons when they are divorced. (Sura Ahzab, 33:37). We think that this marriage, besides doing away with a wrong custom, also became a great manifestation of equality, because Rasul married a lady who was previously the wife of his freed slave and in those days such a marriage was also considered to be socially undignified. This brave step of Rasul brought forth a torrent of criticism by the hypocrites and the short-sighted persons and they were spreading the news: "Muhammad has married the
wife of his adopted son". In order to crush such thinking God revealed this verse: Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is God's Messenger and the last of the Prophets. (Sura Ahzab, 33:40). Quran did not content itself with this only. God praised His Prophet, who had displayed great valour and bravery in carrying out His orders vide the 38th and 39th verses of Sura Ahzab. The gist of these two verses is this: Muhammad is like other Prophets who conveyed God's messages to the people and he does not fear anyone in carrying out His order. This is the philosophy of the marriage of Holy Rasul with Zaynab. Now we study minutely the viewpoint of the orientalists on the subject.
The marriage of Rasul with Zaynab is a simple matter which is free from all ambiguities. However, as some orientalists have made this incident a pretext for misleading the simple-minded and ignorant people and have in this way tried to weaken the faith of those who do not have correct information about the character of Rasul, it appears necessary that we should examine the remarks of this group of the orientalists and make matters clear. As is well-known, the colonial powers do not utilize their military and economic power only to dominate the countries of the East, but at times they also enter through the door of learning and research and try, by means of carefully worked out schemes, to impose the worst type of colonialism (intellectual cultural colonialism) on these people. In fact an orientalist is that very expansionist colonialist who acts in a particular manner in the heart of the society and amongst the enlightened people and pursues his colonial
ends by stupefying the intellects of the educated class. It is possible that most of the western writers and lovers of knowledge and learning may not endorse our above remarks and may accuse us of stiffness and fanaticism and may think that national or religious bias has made us express this opinion. However, the writings of the orientalists and their concealment of facts and partial behaviour in matters relating to the history of Islam is a clear proof of the fact that most of them have not been motivated by thirst of knowledge and search for truth and their writings have been contaminated by a series of anti-religious and anti-national thoughts. The subject under discussion bears testimony to this fact. With the imagination peculiar to the people of the West they have given this marriage, the sole object of which was to abolish a false custom, the colour of 'love' and, fabricated a story, like the novelists and the story-tellers, associated it with
the most sacred personality of the human world. In any case the basis of this fiction are the sentences which have been quoted by Tabari and by Ibn Athir and some exegetes to the effect that one day Rasul chanced to see Zaynab, the wife of Zayd. Zayd felt that Rasul had fallen in love with Zaynab. On account of the excessive regard which he had for Rasul he came before him and proposed to divorce Zaynab, so that there might be no impediment in the way of Rasul marrying her. Rasul repeatedly forbade him to divorce his wife, but he eventually divorced her and Rasul married her. However, the orientalists, instead of studying authentic history, have not contented themselves even with this fabricated story and have embellished it so much that it has assumed the shape of the stories of the Arabian Nights. No doubt those persons, who are acquainted with the lofty character of Rasul have treated the original story and the embellishments thereon to be fabricated
and a mere fancy and whim as they are absolutely incompatible with the positive standards of the life of Rasul. Moreover, scholars like Fakhr Razi and Alusi have clearly contradicted this story and say that it has been fabricated by the enemies of Islam and circulated amongst the Muslim writers. How can it be said that this historical fragment was believed in by Tabari and Ibn Athir, when dozens have quoted the reverse of it and consider Rasul to be free from every corruption. However, we should like to mention in these pages the signs and symptoms of the story being a fabricated one and to make the position too clear to need any further explanation and defence. Here are our testimonies: 1.The above-mentioned story is opposed to the final authority of Islam and the Muslims, because as evidenced by the 38th verse of Sura Ahzab Rasul's marriage with Zaynab was to contradict the false notion of the Arabs that a person was not permitted to marry the former
wife of an adopted son and this marriage took place in compliance with the Command of God and not as a consequence of love and romance. In the early days of Islam none contradicted this fact and in case the remarks of Quran had been opposed to reality the Jews, the Christians and the hypocrites would have immediately stood up to criticize them and would have kicked up a row, when, in fact, they could not prove anything adverse, although they were always keen to find fault with Rasul. 2. Zaynab was the same lady who had, before her marriage with Zayd, offered to marry Rasul. However, notwithstanding her inclination, Rasul insisted that she should marry his freed slave, Zayd. If Rasul had really desired to marry her, there was no impediment in his way to do so. Then why did he not marry her? On the contrary we see that in spite of all the inclination which he observed in Zaynab he not only did not give her a positive reply but persuaded her to marry
another person. When their views are refuted by history there is no ground for embellishments by the colonialist intellectuals. And we consider the life of Rasul, (who spent his time till the age of fifty years with a lady who was seventeen years older than he) to be too pure and superior to justify any repulsive remarks about him. We, therefore, refrain from quoting here the narrations of the orientalists.
To complete the discussion we reproduce here the verse which has been revealed on this subject including its two parts, which are the cause of hesitation and doubt among some persons who are not well-informed, and also give their explanation. Here is the text of the verse: Say to the person to whom you and God have granted favour: "Keep your wife and have fear of God ". ( Sura Ahzab, 33:39) There is no ambiguity about this part of the verse. But the following two parts need explanation: 1. ''You hide within yourself what God wants to make public". Now the question is while giving advice to Zayd what was Rasul hiding which God was to bring to light? It may possibly be imagined that what Rasul was keeping secret was that although he was prohibiting Zayd from divorcing his wife he wished that he should divorce Zaynab so that he might marry her himself. Such an eventuality cannot be correct for any reason, because if Rasul was secretly thinking on these
lines why did God not mention this fact through other verses when He says in this very part that whatever Rasul was keeping secret would be divulged by Him? Our great exegetes, therefore, say that what is meant by the thing which he was hiding is the revelation sent to him by God. To state explicitly: God had revealed to him that Zayd would divorce his wife and he (Rasul) would marry her so as to contradict the false notion (i.e. it is unlawful for a person to marry the former wife of his adopted son). Hence, when he was advising Zayd he had this revelation in mind but kept it secret from Zayd and others. However, in the verse mentioned above, God tells Rasul that He would make manifest what he has in his mind. What has been stated above is supported by the fact that at the bottom of the same verse Quran mentions the matter in these words: When Zayd set her free, We gave her in marriage to you so that the believers would not face difficulties about the
wives of their adopted sons when they are divorced. From the portion of the verse reproduced above it is learnt that what Rasul was hiding was the very Divine revelation that to nullify a wrong custom he should marry the wife of his adopted son when the latter had divorced her. 2. You are afraid of people while it is God whom one should fear. This portion is the second part which is less ambiguous as compared with the first portion, because to abolish a custom which has been prevalent in the polluted surroundings for some years or more (i.e. marriage with the former wife of an adopted son) is naturally coupled with mental uneasiness which is eliminated from the hearts of the Prophets by their paying attention to the Divine orders. If Rasul felt uneasy or was worried, it was because he was thinking that the Arabs, who had dissociated themselves from him, through ignorance and unclean thoughts would say: "Rasul has resorted to something indecent"
although, in fact, it is not indecent.


In this battle the forces of the idolatrous Arabs and the Jews were mobilized against Islam and, after forming a strong military alliance, they besieged Madina for about one month. As various tribes and groups participated in this battle and as the Muslims dug a ditch around Madina to check the advance of the enemy, this battle is called the Battle of Ahzab (i.e. Battle of the Tribes); it is also named Battle of Khandaq (i.e. Battle of the Ditch). Those, who sparked off this war, were the leaders of the Jewish tribe of Bani Nuzayr and also a group of Bani Wail. The strong blow which the Jews of Bani Nuzayr had received at the hands of the Muslims and the manner in which they left Madina under compulsion and settled in Khaibar, made them draw out a minute plan for toppling down the very foundation of Islam. And, in fact, they did draw out a dangerous plan and confronted the Muslims along with various tribes. This occurrence was unprecedented in the
history of the Arabs. Their planning was that the leaders of the tribe of Bani Nuzayr, like Salam bin Abil Haqiq and Hay bin Akhtab arrived in Makkah along with some persons belonging to the tribe of Wail and, having contacted the chiefs of Quraysh, spoke to them thus: "Muhammad has made you and us his targets and compelled the Jews of Bani Qaynuqa' and Bani Nuzayr to quit their homeland. You people of Quraysh should rise and seek help from your allies and we have seven hundred Jewish swordsmen (Bani Qurayzah) who will rush to assist you. The Jews of Bani Qurayzah have ostensibly concluded a defence pact with Muhammad but we shall persuade them to ignore the pact and join you. The chiefs of Quraysh were disillusioned and tired of fighting with the Muslims but the boasting of these three persons impressed them and they liked and approved their plan. However, before expressing their approval they questioned the leaders of the Jews thus: "You are the
people of the Scriptures and followers of Heavenly Books and can very well distinguish between truth and falsehood. You know that we have no differences with Muhammad except on account of his religion which is opposite to ours. Now please tell us frankly which of the two religions is better - ours or his which is based on the worship of One God and breaking of the idols and pulling down of the idol-temples." Let us see what reply these people (who considered themselves to be the supporters of the doctrine of Oneness of God and the standard-bearers of monotheism) gave to the ignorant and uninformed group who had acknowledged them to be learned and had placed their difficulties before them. They shamelessly replied: "Idolatry is better than the religion of Muhammad. You should remain steadfast in your faith and should not show the slightest inclination to his religion. It was a shameful stain on the character of the Jews, who made the face of the history
of Judaism, which was already dark, still darker. This blunder on their part is so unpardonable that the Jewish writers express great sorrow for it. Dr. Israel writes thus in his book entitled History of the Jews and Arabia: "It was not proper that the Jews should have committed such a mistake even though Quraysh might have rejected their request. Furthermore, it was not at all proper that they should have sought protection of the idolaters, because such an action is not in conformity with the teachings of the Torah". In fact this is the policy which the materialist politicians of today adopt for the achievement of their aims and objects. they earnestly believe that one should utilize all permissible and unpermissible means to achieve one's object and in fact, according to their thinking, achievement of a purpose makes unpermissible things permissible for them, and morality is only that which helps then achieve their object. Quran says thus about this
bitter incident: Haven't you seen how those who had been given a share of the Scripture believe in idols and Satan and say the disbelievers are better guided than the believers!. (Sura Nisa, 4:51 ) The word of these so-called scholars impressed the idolaters. They, therefore, expressed agreement with their plan and the time of their advance to Madina was also settled. Those people who there keen to trigger off the war came out of Makkah with happy hearts and first proceeded to Najd to contact the tribe of Ghatfan, who were the sworn enemies of Islam. Out of Ghatfan tribe the families of Bani Fazarah, Bani Murrah and Bani Ashja' conceded to their request on the condition that, after victory was achieved, they would be given one year's proceeds of Khaibar. The matter did not, however, end here, because Quraysh corresponded with their allies-Bani Salim, and Ghatfan with their allies - Bani Asad, and invited them to join this military alliance. Bani Salim
and Bani Asad accepted their invitation and on the appointed day all these tribes rushed from different parts of Arabia to invade and conquer Madina.
From the day Rasul had settled down in Madina he always sent clever persons to different sides, so that they might inform him about the conditions prevailing in those areas as well as the activities of people residing outside the territories of Islam. The informants reported that a strong military alliance had been formed against Islam and those people would march on an appointed day to besiege Madina. Rasul immediately formed a consultative council so that they might take decisions keeping in view the bitter experiences gained from the Battle of Uhud. Some persons preferred fortified defence from the towers and the high places instead of going out of the city to face the enemy. However, this scheme was not adequate, because the huge pack of warriors of Arabia with thousands of soldiers could destroy the fortresses and the towers and could overpower the Muslims. It was, therefore, necessary to take steps to ensure that the enemy did not succeed in
approaching Madina. Salman Farsi, who was fully conversant with the art of Iranian warfare, said: "In Persia, as and when people are threatened with an attack by the enemies, they dig a deep ditch around the town and thus check their advance. Hence, it would be appropriate to safeguard the vulnerable points of Madina by means of a ditch and thus to hold back the enemy in those areas. Simultaneously, towers and sentry posts should be constructed by the bank of the ditch for purposes of defence and the enemies should be prevented from crossing the ditch by shooting arrows and hurling stones on them from the towers and the fortresses". The suggestion made by Salman was accepted unanimously and this defensive scheme contributed a good deal towards the safety of the Muslims accompanied by some persons, personally inspected the vulnerable points and marked out the spots where the ditch was to be dug. It was decided that the ditch should be dug from Uhud up to
Ratij and, in order to maintain a good order, every forty cubits were entrusted to ten men. Rasul himself struck the first pick on the ground and began digging the earth when Ali busied himself with throwing the clay out. The face and forehead of Rasul was perspiring and he was uttering, "Real life is the life of the Hereafter. O God! Forgive the Muhajirs and the Ansar! " By engaging himself in this work Rasul manifested a part of the programme of Islam and made the Muslim society understand that a commander of the army and a leader of the society should endure hardships like others and should alleviate their burden. Rasul's labour created a peculiar enthusiasm amongst the Muslims and all of them, without any exception, started work, so much so that the Jews belonging to the tribe of Bani Qurayzah who had concluded a pact with the Muslims also rendered help by providing implements. The Muslims were very hard up in those days for provisions, and the
well-off families were rendering help to the soldiers of Islam. When the digging of the ditch became difficult on account of the appearance of big stones they approached Rasul, who himself broke the big rocks with a strong blow. The length of the ditch can be estimated by taking into account the number of workers. According to a popular version the number of the Muslims in those days was 3000, and if digging of 40 cubits was performed by ten persons the length of the ditch would come to 12,000 cubits and its breadth was so much that clever and experienced riders could not cross it on horseback.
When the workers were being distributed a dispute cropped up between the Muhajirs and the Ansar with regard to Salman. Each of the two parties claimed that Salman belonged to them and should work along with them. At this juncture Rasul put an end to the dispute with a decisive order and said: "Salman is one of the members of my household". Rasul spent his days and nights by the bank of the ditch till the work was completed. However, the hypocrites failed to do the work on various excuses and at times went away to their houses without obtaining permission from Rasul, while the true believers remained busy in their work with firm determination, and discontinued work on good excuse after obtaining permission from the commander, and returned to work again when the excuse ceased to exist. This matter has been narrated in the 62nd and 63rd verses of Sura Nur.
The Arab army encamped like swarms of ants and locusts on the bank of the deep ditch, which was dug by the Muslims only six days before their arrival. They had been expecting to face the army of Islam at the foot of Mount Uhud, but when they reached the desert of Uhud they did not find any trace of the Muslims there. They, therefore, continued their march till they reached the bank of the ditch. They were surprised to see the ditch round the vulnerable parts of Madina and all of them said: "Muhammad has learnt these war tactics from an Iranian, because the Arabs are not acquainted with this type of warfare".
The army of the Arabs exceeded 10,000 persons. The lustre of their swords from behind the ditch dazzled the eyes. As quoted by Maqrizi in al-lmta', Quraysh alone encamped on the bank of the ditch with 4000 soldiers, three hundred horses and 1500 camels, and the tribe of Salim joined them in Marruz Zahran with 700 men. The tribe of Bani Fazarah with 1000 men and the tribes of Bani Ashja' and Bani Murrah with 400 men each and other tribes, whose total number exceeded 10,000 men, encamped in another part. The Muslims did not exceed three thousand and their camping place was in the foot of Mount Sala', which is an elevated spot. This point fully controlled the ditch as well as its outer parts and all the activities and movements of the enemy could be seen clearly from there. Some Muslims had been posted to protect the towers and the sentry posts and to control traffic over the ditch, and they prevented the enemy from crossing the ditch by means of natural
and artificial fortifications. The army of the Arabs stayed on the other side of the ditch for about one month and during this period not more than a few persons were able to cross it. And those who tried to cross the ditch were repulsed by means of special stones which were used in those times instead of the bullets of today. During this period the Muslims had some interesting adventures with the transgressing Arabs which are recorded in history.
The Battle of Ahzab took place in winter. Madina was faced with drought that year and a state of semi-famine prevailed. The provisions available with the army of the Arabs were not sufficient to permit them to stay on any more, because they had never thought that they would be detained on the bank of a ditch for full one month. On the contrary they were sure that with a single attack they would be able to overcome the warriors of Islam and would put them to the sword. Those who had sparked off the war (i.e. the Jews) realized this critical situation after a few days. They understood that with the passage of time the resolution of the commanders of the army would be weakened and they would succumb to the rigours of winter and the shortage of fodder and foodstuffs. They, therefore, thought of seeking help from Bani Qurayzah, who were residing within Madina, so that they might trigger off the war within the city and thus open the way for the army of the
Arabs to enter it.
Bani Qurayzah were the only Jews who were residing in Madina, side by side with the Muslims, in perfect peace and tranquility and respected the pact which they had concluded with Holy Rasul. Hay bin Akhtab felt that victory could be gained by seeking help for the army of the Arabs from inside Madina. He decided to instigate Bani Qurayzah to repudiate the pact made with the Muslims so that fighting might flare up between them and this internal disturbance might facilitate victory for the army of the Arabs. With this plan in his mind he approached the fortress of Bani Qurayzah and introduced himself. Ka'b, who was the chief of Bani Qurayzah, ordered that the gate of the fortress might not be opened. However, Hay insisted and entreated and said aloud: "O Ka'b! Are you not opening the gate because you are afraid of your bread and water (i.e. because you are afraid that you will have to feed me?) This sentence reflected upon the generosity and manliness of an
indisputable chief like Ka'b. It, therefore, prompted him to order that the gate might be opened for Hay. The war-monger sat by the side of his co-religionist and spoke to him thus: "I have brought a world of honour and greatness towards you. The chiefs of Quraysh, the nobles of Arabia and the princes of Ghatfan who are fully equipped, have encamped on the bank of the ditch to destroy the common enemy (Rasul), and have given me a promise that until they have killed him and his companions they will not return to their homes". Ka'b replied: "I swear by the Almighty that you have brought humiliation and disgrace. In my view the army of the Arabs is like a rainless cloud which thunders but does not rain. O son of Akhtab! O war-monger! Keep your hands off us. The fine qualities of Holy Rasul prohibit us from ignoring the pact which we have concluded with him. We have seen nothing from him except truthfulness, sincerity and righteousness. So how can we betray
him? Like a skilled camel-man who tames a refractory camel by rubbing its hump, Hay bin Akhtab said so many things to Ka'b that eventually he agreed to repudiate the pact. Hay also promised Ka'b that if the army of the Arabs was not victorious over Muhammad, he (Hay) himself would come to the fortress and share the fate of Ka'b. Ka'b called the chiefs of the Jews in the presence of Hay and formed a consultative council and invited their opinions. All of them said: "You may decide whatever you consider expedient and we shall obey you". Zubayr Bata, who was an old man, said: "l have read in the Torah that in later times a Divine Prophet will rise from Makkah. He will migrate to Madina. His religion will spread throughout the world and no army will gain a victory over him. If Rasul Muhammad is the same Prophet this army will not be victorious over him". The son of Akhtab said at once: "That Prophet will be from amongst Bani Israel, whereas Muhammad is a
descendant of Ismail; he has collected these people around him by means of deceit and magic". He talked so much on the subject that he succeeded in making them decide to violate the pact. He also called for the pact which had been concluded between Rasul and Bani Qurayzah and tore it into pieces before their very eyes. Then he said: "The matter is now finished. You should get ready to wage war".
Rasul was informed by his skilled functionaries about the violation of the pact by Bani Qurayzah at this critical juncture. He was very much worried on this account. He at once deputed Saad bin Muaz and Saad 'Ubadah, who were brave soldiers of Islam and chiefs of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj, to collect authentic information. He also instructed them that if the betrayal by Bani Qurayzah was found to be a fact they should inform him about it by using the code-word of 'Azal and Qarah (names of two tribes who invited Muslim missionaries to their lands and then cut off their heads) and if they were firm with regard to the pact they should contradict the accusation openly. Both of them went up to the gate of the fortress of Bani Qurayzah along with two other persons. On their first encounter with Ka'b they heard nothing from him except abusive and foul language. One of them then said with occult inspiration: "By God! The army of the Arabs will go away from
this territory and Rasul will besiege this fortress and will chop off your heads and will make time difficult for your tribe". Then they returned immediately and said to Rasul: 'Azal and Qarah ". Rasul said loudly: "God is Great! O Muslims! There are good tidings for you that victory is near". This sentence, which manifests the perfect bravery and sagacity of the great leader of Islam, was uttered to ensure that the morale of the Muslims might not be weakened on hearing about the violation of the pact by Bani Qurayzah.
The initial plan of Bani Qurayzah that in the first instance they should plunder Madina and frighten the women and the children of the Muslims who had taken shelter in their houses. They, therefore, put this plan in to practice in Madina gradually. For example the brave men of Bani Qurayzah began going to and fro in the city in a mysterious manner, so much so that Safiyah, daughter of Abdul Muttalib, said: "I was staying in the house of Hassan bin Thabit and Hassan and his wife were also residing there. Suddenly I saw a Jew loitering about around the fort in a mysterious manner. I said to Hassan: "The intentions of this man are not good. Get up and drive him away". Hassan said: "O daughter of Abdul Muttalib! I don't possess enough courage to kill him and I am afraid that if I go out of this fort I shall meet harm". I, therefore, got up myself, girded my loin, picked up a piece of iron and killed the Jew with one blow. The person appointed by the Muslims
to collect information reported to Rasul that Bani Qurayzah had asked Quraysh and Ghatfan to make available two thousand soldiers who should enter Madina from within the fortress and plunder the city. This report was received when the Muslims were guarding the bank of the ditch lest the enemy should cross it. Rasul immediately appointed two officers named Zayd Harithah and Maslamah Aslam, along with five hundred soldiers, to patrol the city, to shout loudly the takbir (God is the Greatest, Alaho Akbar) in order prevent Bani Qurayzah from committing transgression, and so that the women and the children should feel comforted by hearing the Takbir.
By the time the Battle of Ahzab took place the idolaters and the Jews had fought various battles against Islam. However, all these were special battles limited to one community or group only, and did not possess a general aspect to involve the entire Arabian Peninsula in a battle against Islam. As, however, they did not succeed, in spite of all their efforts, to topple down the newly-founded State of Islam, but on this occasion, a mixed army, consisting of the people of different tribes, so as to finish Islam. Speaking idiomatically, they shot the last arrow in their quiver at the Muslims. Hence, after spending much money and also requesting others for help, they mobilized a big army so that if the Muslims did not take any precautionary measures to defend Madina they might gain an easy victory over them and thus achieve their goal. For this purpose they also brought with them the great champion of Arabia (Amr bin Abdiwad) so that all difficulties might
be solved through the strength of his arm. On this account, during the days of the Battle of Ahzab and in fact at the time of the encounter between the two respective champions of polytheism and Islam, infidelity and Islam faced each other and this combat was between infidelity and Faith (Islam). One of the reasons for the failure of the army of the Arabs was the very ditch which had been dug in their way. The army of the enemy tried day and night to cross the ditch, but every time they were faced with the furious attacks of the sentries as planned by Rasul. The biting winter of that year and the shortage of foodstuff and fodder were threatening the lives of the Arab army and their animals. Hay bin Akhtab (who had initiated the war) obtained twenty camel-loads of palm-dates from the Jews of Bani Qurayzah but the same were confiscated by the Muslims and distributed amongst the soldiers of Islam. One day Abu Sufyan wrote the following letter to Rasul: "I
have come with a big army to overthrow your religion. But what to do? For it appears that you have considered confrontation with us to be abominable and have dug a ditch between us and yourself. I do not know from whom you have learnt this military strategy, but I have to tell you that until I have waged a bloody battle like Uhud I will not return". Rasul sent him this reply: "From Muhammad, God's Messenger to Abu Sufyan bin Harb.......You have been priding yourself since long and imagine that you can extinguish the light of Islam. However, you should know that you are too humble to do this. You will return soon after suffering defeat and I shall later, break the big idols of Quraysh before your very eyes". Reply to the letter, which was indicative of the firm determination of the writer settled in the heart of the commander of the enemy like an arrow. As those people believed in the truthfulness of Holy Rasul their morale was weakened. In spite of
this, however, they did not give up their efforts. One night Khalid bin Walid attempted to cross the ditch along with a special battalion. However, he had to retreat on account of the vigilance of two hundred soldiers of Islam serving under the command of Usayd Khizr. Rasul was not negligent of strengthening the morale of the soldiers of Islam even for a moment and encouraged them with his stirring and impressive speeches, to defend the freedom of their faith. One day he turned his face to the soldiers and the officers in a magnificent gathering and after a brief invocation to God addressed them thus: "O soldiers of Islam! Remain steadfast before the enemy and remember that Paradise is under the shadow of those swords which are drawn in the path of truth and justice".
Five champions named Amr bin Abdiwad, 'Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl, Hubayrah bin Wahab, Nawfal bin Abdullah and Zirar bin Khattab put on their military dress and, standing in front of the army of Bani Kananah, said with peculiar vanity: "Get ready for fighting. Today you will realize as to who are the real champions of the Arab army". Then they galloped their horses and jumped over the ditch at a point at which its breadth was a little lesser. These five champions went beyond the reach of the arrows of the soldiers who were guarding the ditch. However, the point at which they had crossed was encircled immediately and trespassing by others was prevented. The halting place of these five champions who had come for single combat was situated between the ditch and the Sal'a mountain (the headquarters of the army of Islam). The Arab champions were playing with their horses with a peculiar vanity and pride, and were challenging their adversaries by means of hints and
signs. Out of these five persons, however, the one who was most famous for his valour and skill, came forward and formally challenged his opponent to fight. Every moment he was raising his voice and his demand for an adversary was ringing in the field and making the hearers shiver. The silence of the Muslims made him bolder and he said: "Where are the claimants of Paradise? Don't you, Muslims, say that those who are killed from amongst you will go to Paradise and those who are killed from amongst us will go to Hell? Is not even one of you prepared to send me to Hell or to go to Paradise at my hands? He also composed some verses in this behalf, the purport of the first verse is: "I have got tired of shouting and challenging (to a single combat) and my voice has become hoarse". Perfect silence prevailed in the army of Islam in reply to Amr's shouting. Although Rasul kept asking that one man should get up and relieve the Muslims from the mischief of that
man (Amr), but none was prepared to fight with him (except Ali ibn Abi Talib). [Note: Waqidi says: Perfect silence prevailed amongst the Muslims when Amr was challenging (for a single combat).]
No alternative was, therefore, left except that this difficulty should be surmounted through Ali, the brave. Rasul gave him his own sword, tied a special turban on his head and prayed for him in these words: "O God! Protect Ali from all sides. O Lord! 'Ubaydah bin Harith was taken away from me on the Day of Badr and, the lion of God, Hamzah was taken away in the Battle of Uhud. O Nourisher! Protect Ali from being harmed by the enemy''. Then he recited this verse: "O Nourisher! Don't leave me alone and you are the best inheritor". (Sura Anbiya, 21:89) Ali walked as quickly as possible to cover the delay already caused. At this moment Rasul uttered this historical sentence: "Entire faith is facing entire infidelity". Ali composed rajaz (epic verses), whose rhythm and rhyme conformed with that of his adversary's, and said: "Don't be in a hurry, because a strong person has come in the field to give you a reply". The entire body of Ali was covered with iron
armour and his eyes were shining through the helmet. Amr desired to identify his adversary. He said to Ali: "Who are you?" Ali, who was famous for the clearness of his accent, replied: "I am Ali, son of Abu Talib". Amr said: "I shall not shed your blood, because your father was one of my old friends. I am thinking about your cousin who has sent you in the field with so much confidence. I can pick you up on the point of my lance and keep you suspended between the earth and the sky so that you are neither dead nor alive". Ibn Abil Hadid says: "Whenever my teacher of history (Abul Khayr) explained this portion he used to say: "In fact Amr was afraid of fighting with Ali, because he was present in the Battles of Badr and Uhud and had witnessed his valour. He therefore, wished to dissuade Ali from fighting with him". Ali said: "You need not bother about my death. In both the cases (i.e. whether I kill or am killed) I shall be blessed and my place shall be in
Paradise, but in all cases Hell awaits you". Amr smiled and said: "O Ali! This division is not just. Both Paradise and Hell belong to you ". Ali reminded him that one day he (Amr) had put his hand into the coverings of the Holy Kaba and had made a promise to God that as and when any warrior made three suggestions to him in the battlefield he would accept one of them. Ali, therefore, suggested to him that he should embrace Islam. He replied: "O Ali! Leave this for it is not possible". Then Ali said: "Abandon fighting and leave Muhammad to himself". He replied: "It is a matter of shame for me to accept this proposal, because tomorrow. the poets of Arabia will satirize me and will imagine that I did so on account of fear". Then Ali said: "Your opponent is on foot. You should also dismount so that we may combat with each other". He said: "O Ali! This is a very insignificant suggestion and I had never thought that an Arab would make such a request to me''.
Fierce fighting started between the two champions and both of them were enveloped in dust, so that the on-lookers were not aware of the developments. They could only hear the clashing of their swords. Amr aimed his sword at the head of Ali and although the latter warded off the blow with his special shield his head was, nevertheless, wounded. He, however, availed of the opportunity and gave a sharp blow on his feet. Consequently one or both of the feet of Amr were cut off and he fell down on the ground. The voice of Takbir was heard from within the dust which was a sign of Ali's victory. The scene of the fall of Amr on the ground created such a fear in the hearts of other warriors, who were standing behind him, that they galloped their horses involuntarily towards the ditch and all of them, except Nawfal, returned to their camping-place. Nawfal's horse fell into the ditch. Those who were posted on the bank of the ditch began to stone him. He, however,
said loudly: "To kill a person like this is contrary to the code of bravery. Let one of you come down so that we may fight with each other". Ali plunged into the ditch and killed him. Fear overtook the entire army of the polytheists and Abu Sufyan was more terrified than every one else. He thought that Muslims would mutilate the body of Nawfal to take revenge of Hamzah. He, therefore, sent some one to purchase the dead body of Nawfal for ten thousand Dinars. Rasul, however, said: " Hand over the dead body to them and it is not permissible in Islam to take the price of the dead."
Although, ostensibly Ali killed a fierce enemy of Islam, but in reality he restored to life those persons who had been trembling to hear the heart-rending roarings of Amr and also terrified the ten thousand strong army which had determined to finish the newly-formed State of Islam. The value of this self-sacrifice would have become known if the victory (in the absence of Ali) had fallen to the share of Amr. When Ali had the honour to present himself before Rasul the latter assessed the value of the blow given by him to Amr in these words: "The value of this self-sacrifice excels all the good deeds of my followers, because, as a consequence of the defeat of the greatest champion of infidelity the Muslims have become honourable and the community of infidels has become degraded and humble''.
The coat-of-mail of Amr was very costly but Ali was too magnanimous to touch it, although the Second Caliph criticized him for not having removed it from the body of Amr. Amr's sister came to know about the incident and said: "I am not at all sad on account of my brother being killed, because he has been killed at the hands of a magnanimous person. If it had not been so I would have been shedding tears throughout my life."
The motive of the Arab and the Jew armies for fighting against Islam was not one and the same. The Jews were afraid of the ever-increasing expansion of Islam, whereas Quraysh were motivated by their old enmity for Islam and the Muslims. As regards the tribes of Ghatfan and Fazarah and other tribes they had participated in this battle for the sake of the proceeds of Khaibar which the Jews had promised them. Hence, the motive of the last group was purely material and if their object could be achieved through the Muslims they would very gladly have returned to their homes, especially because winter and shortage of provisions and prolonged siege of the city had made them dejected and their animals were on the brink of death. Rasul, therefore, appointed a body of men to conclude a pact with the chiefs of the said tribes to the effect that the Muslims were prepared to give them one-third of the fruits of Madina, provided they dissociated themselves from the
ranks of Ahzab (tribes) and returned to their own areas. The representatives of Rasul drew up an agreement with the chiefs of the tribes and brought it to him for his endorsement. However, Rasul placed the matter before two brave officers namely Saad bin Muaz and Saad 'Ubadah. Both of them stated unanimously that if this pact was to be concluded in compliance with the command of God it would be acceptable to the Muslims, but if it was according to the personal view of Rasul and their opinion was being sought they thought that the proposal should end then and there and should not be approved. As regards the reason for their saying so they stated: "We have never paid tribute to these tribes and none of them could pick up courage to take even one palm-date from us by force and coercion. And now that we have embraced Islam by the grace of God and under your guidance and have become honourable and respectable by means of Islam the question of our paying them
any tribute does not arise. By God! We shall reply to their vain and hollow demand with our swords until the matter is settled by Divine commandment". Rasul said: "The reason for my thinking about such a pact was this that I saw that you had become the target of the Arab army and were being attacked from all sides. I, therefore, thought that this problem should be solved by creating a rift between the enemies. However, now that your firm resolution has become evident, I hereby stay the conclusion of the pact and say to you-and believe in what I say that God will not humiliate His Prophet and will carry out His promise about the victory of monotheism over polytheism". At this stage Saad bin Muaz deleted the contents of the deed with the permission of Rasul and said: "The idolaters may do whatever they like. We are not a people who pay tribute".
What were the factors which divided the army? 1. The first factor of success was the talks between the representatives of Rasul and the chiefs of the tribes of Ghatfan and Fazarah. For, although this agreement was not approved finally, its violation and rejection was also not announced. In this way the said tribes became double-minded with regard to their allies and were continuously awaiting the confirmation of the agreement and whenever they were asked to carry out a general attack they rejected such demands on one excuse or another in the hope of the conclusion of the agreement in question. 2 Many persons had pinned their hopes on the success and victory of Amr, the mighty champion of Arabia. Consequently, when he was killed, intense fear prevailed among them. It was especially so, because, after Amr being killed, other champions fled the battlefield. 3. Naim bin Masud, who had embraced Islam recently, played a great part in creating differences
between the tribes. He chalked out an excellent espionage plan which was not less shrewd than the activities of the spies of the present times; it was rather superior and more effective. He came in the presence of Rasul and said: "I have embraced Islam recently and have very old friendly relation with all these tribes, but they are not aware of my conversion to Islam. If there are any orders you may like to give, I shall carry them out". Rasul said: "Do something to scatter these people" i.e. there is no harm if planning is done and a remedy is sought to safeguard some sublimer interests. Naim thought over the matter for some time. Then, in the first instance, he went to the tribe of Bani Qurayzah who were in fact the fifth column of the enemy and were threatening the Muslims from the back door. He arrived in the fortress of Bani Qurayzah and expressed deep affection and friendship with them and said all sorts of things whereby he could gain their
confidence. Then he added: "Your position is different as compared with the allied tribes (Quraysh and Ghatfan), because Madina is the residence of your women and children and all your property is here and you cannot at all afford to shift elsewhere, whereas the centres of life and business of the allied tribes, who have come to fight against Muhammad, are outside Madina and far away from it. If they are successful in the war they will achieve their object, but if they are defeated they will at once march off to their places which are beyond the reach of Muhammad. You should, however, know that if the tribes are not successful and return to their places abandoning warfare, you will be left at the mercy of the Muslims. I think that now, as you have associated yourselves with the tribes, it is better that you should stick to this decision. However, in order to ensure that the tribes will not leave you alone during the war and return to their homes you
should take some of their nobles and chiefs as hostages so that when the circumstances become difficult they should not abandon you and should settle the affairs, because they will be obliged to fight against Muhammad to the last in order to get their men released". The views of Naim were endorsed unanimously and he was satisfied that his words had the desired effect on them. Then he left their fortress and went to the camping-place of the tribes. The chiefs of Quraysh were his old friends. Hence, during his conversation with them he said: "Bani Qurayzah are very much ashamed and repentant to have violated their pact with Muhammad and now wish to make amends for it. They have, therefore, decided to take some of your men as hostages and hand them over to Muhammad. In this way they will prove their sincerity and Muhammad will kill your men immediately. They have already discussed this matter with Muhammad and have assured him that they will henceforth
support him to the last moment of their lives and Muhammad has also endorsed their plan. Hence, if the Jews demand hostages from you, you should not agree at all. You should know that the result of such an action will be dangerous. A clear proof of this fact is that in case you ask them tomorrow to take part in the battle and attack Muhammad from behind you will see that they will not at all agree to do so and will put forth different excuses. Then he went to the camping-place of Ghatfan and had a talk with them in a particular manner. He said: "You, the tribe of Ghatfan are my kith and kin. I don't think you will accuse me for what I say. I will talk with you about something but I wish that you will not mention it to anyone. All acknowledged him to be a truthful person and their friend. Then he told them in detail what he had already told Quraysh and warned them about the activities of Bani Qurayzah and said: "You should not give them a positive reply
in any circumstances". He discharged his responsibility creditably well. Then he came to the camping-place of the Muslims secretly and published all this gossip amidst the army of Islam (i.e. the Jews wanted to take hostages from the forces of the Arabs and to surrender them to the Muslims). No doubt the object of this publicity was that the matter should cross the ditch and reach the ears of the Arabs.
Abu Sufyan decided during the night preceding Saturday to settle the affair. The chiefs of Quraysh and Ghatfan sent their representatives to the fortress of Bani Qurayzah and they said to them (i.e. to Bani Qurayzah): "This is not the region of our residence, and our animals are dying. You should attack the Muslims tomorrow from the back door so that we may settle this affair". The chief of Bani Qurayzah said in reply: "Tomorrow is Saturday and we Jews don't undertake any work on that day, because some of our ancestors resorted to work on this day and were subjected to Divine wrath. Furthermore, we are prepared to participate in fighting only if some of the nobles of the tribes are available in our fortress as hostages, so that you may fight to the last moment to ensure their release and may not leave us friendless". The representatives of Quraysh returned and informed the chiefs of the tribes of the position. All of them said: "Naim was correct in
expressing sympathy with us and Bani Qurayzah want to deceive us". The representatives of Quraysh contacted the chiefs of Bani Qurayzah and said: "It is not possible for us to surrender our nobles to you as hostages and we are not prepared to give you even one of our men as a surety. In case you are inclined to attack the Muslims you should do so tomorrow and we shall assist you with all our resources". The words of the representatives of Quraysh and especially their saying that they were not prepared to surrender even one person as a hostage convinced Bani Qurayzah that whatever Naim had said was correct. It confirmed their fears that Quraysh were far-sighted and if they did not succeed in the matter they would return home and leave them (i.e. Bani Qurayzah) at the mercy of the Muslims.
Another factor, which may, in fact, be called Divine assistance, was added to the above-mentioned factors and scattered the tribes. This factor was that suddenly the atmosphere became stormy and the weather grew very cold. The change in the atmosphere became so radical that the tents were pulled off, the pots in which food was being cooked were turned upside down, the lamps were extinguished and burning fire was scattered in the desert. At this juncture Rasul deputed Huzayfah to cross the ditch and collect information about the enemy. He says: "I managed to reach near Abu Sufyan and saw him addressing the commanders of the army. He was saying: "The spot at which we have encamped is not the place of our residence. Our animals are dying and the wind and storm has not spared tents, sheds and fire for us. Bani Qurayzah, too, have not helped us. It is better if we march off from here". Then he mounted his camel whose knees were tied and whipped it repeatedly.
The poor man was so much afraid and puzzled that he could not realized that the knees of the camel were tied. It was not yet dawn, when the army of the Arabs left the place and none of them could be seen there any longer."
What were the plots of the Jews? During the first year of his arrival in Madina Rasul drew up a vital document and a basic law for Madina and its suburbs to put an end to factions and internal differences and the Jews and the tribes of Aws and Khazraj generally agreed to defend this region. The articles and all the particulars of this document have already been studied by the readers. Besides this he also concluded another pact with the Jews of Madina. It was endorsed generally by different groups of the Jews. It was agreed that if they did any harm to Rasul or to his companions or supplied arms or animals of riding to their enemies Rasul would be free to execute them confiscate their property and captivate their women and children. The agreement was, however, violated and ignored by all groups of the Jews in different ways. Bani Qaynuqa killed a Muslim. Bani Nuzayr plotted to kill Rasul and he, therefore, compelled them to leave their country and go
out of the zone of the Muslims. As regards Bani Qurayzah, they co-operated wholeheartedly with the army of the Arabs to harm Islam. Now let us see how Rasul chastised and punished Bani Qurayzah. Before the day dawned the last unit of the tribes left the territory of Madina under extreme fear. Notwithstanding the fact that the signs of fatigue and weariness were apparent in the faces of the Muslims, Rasul was ordered by God to settle the affair of Bani Qurayzah. The muazzin called the people to prayers and Rasul offered noon prayers along with the Muslims. Then the muazzin announced under the orders of Rasul: "The Muslims should offer their afternoon prayers in the area of Bani Qurayzah". Then Rasul gave the standard to Ali. Brave soldiers marched off under his command and besieged the fortress of Bani Qurayzah. The watch-man reported the movements of the army of Islam to the inmates of the fortress. The gates of the fortress were closed immediately but
cold war commenced with the arrival of the army of Islam. The Jews of Bani Qurayzah abused Rasul from the windows and the towers of the fortress. The standard-bearer of the army, Ali, proceeded to Madina to prevent Rasul from coming near the fortress so that he might not hear the indecent words of the Jews. Rasul, however, told Ali that if they (the Jews) saw him they would refrain from using abusive language. He, therefore, came near the fortress and spoke to them somewhat harshly and said: "Did God not humiliate you?" This sort of harshness and vehemence on the part of Rasul was unprecedented for the Jews. In order to pacify Rasul, therefore, they said immediately: "O Abul Qasim! You were not a hot-tempered person!" These words stimulated the sentiments of Rasul so much that he turned back involuntarily and his cloak fell down from his shoulder.
Hay bin Akhtab Nuzayri, who had sparked off the Battle of Ahzab participated in these discussions, because, according to the promise made by him with Ka'b As'ad, the chief of Bani Qurayzah, he did not go to Khaibar after the dispersion of the tribes and instead came to the fortress of Bani Qurayzah. The chief of the community put up three proposals and requested the people to accept any one of them. He said: 1. "All of us should embrace Islam, because the Prophethood of Muhammad is an established fact and proved to all, and the Torah also confirms it. 2. We should kill our women and children and then come out of the fortress and fight with the Muslims with a free hand. If we are killed we have nothing to worry and if we are victorious we can acquire women and children once again. 3. This night is the night preceding Saturday. Muhammad and his companions must be thinking that the Jews don't do anything on the night preceding Saturday and on Saturday.
Hence we should take advantage of their negligence and attack them at night". The consultative body rejected all the three proposals and said: "we shall not renounce our religion and the Torah, and our lives also will not be pleasant after our women and children (are killed). As regards the third proposal it cannot be acted upon in view of our religious beliefs, because if we do so we may become subjected to Divine wrath in the same manner in which former communities had to face God's punishment on account of their not having accorded due respect to Saturday". The speeches of the members of the consultative body are best guides for us to understand their mentality. Their rejection of the first proposal shows that they were an obstinate and inimical people, because if they really believed in the prophethood, (as stated by their chief) their opposition to him meant nothing except obstinacy. As regards the second proposal the conversation which took place
among them shows that they were a cruel and hard-hearted people, because killing of innocent women and children is not possible without acute hard-heartedness. It deserves attention that the members of the consultative body rejected this proposal on account of the fact that their lives would not be pleasant without the women and the children. Not even one person enquired as to what offence these helpless persons had committed on account of which they should be put to death and how could they, their kind and benevolent fathers, do such an act when Rasul would never kill them if he gained control over them. The third proposal shows that they had not properly assessed the spiritual strength of Rasul and his knowledge of military arts and principles of defence, and thought that Rasul would not take necessary precautions during the night and day of Saturday -and that too about an enemy like the Jews who are well-known for their deceit and cunning. The study
of the incident of Ahzab proves that there were only a few clever and wise persons amongst this community, or else they could protect their existence in a diplomatic manner without aligning themselves with any party (i.e. Islam or infidelity). In fact they could remain on-lookers of the fight between Rasul and the army of the Arabs and, whichever party succeeded, their existence and supremacy would have been ensured. Unfortunately, however, they were deceived by the glib-tonguedness of Hay bin Akhtab and they aligned themselves with the army of the Arabs, and their misfortune became acute when, after co-operating with the Arab army for a month, they declined to assist Quraysh and, while surrendering to the design of Naim bin Masud, sent a message to Quraysh that they would not assist them against Rasul unless they handed over to them some of their noble persons as hostages. At this moment these stupid persons completely lost their good sense. They did
not realize that, on the one hand, they had risen up against Rasul and if, on the other hand, they cut off their relations with Quraysh and, if the Arab army felt weak and returned to their homes abandoning warfare, they (Bani Qurayzah) would be at the mercy of the Muslims. If they had chalked out a proper political plan they should have, immediately, on breaking off their relations with the Arab army, expressed regret for having violated their pact with the Muslims, so that they should have remained safe from the danger of their (Muslims) probable victory. However, they fell prey to ill luck, for they cut off their relations with Quraysh and did not also join the Muslims. After the departure of the Arab army Rasul could not afford to leave Bani Qurayzah to themselves, because it was probable that they ( the Arab army) might come once again at some appropriate time, with sufficient equipment, to conquer Madina and endanger the very existence of Islam
with the cooperation of Bani Qurayzah, who were the key to the victory and defeat of Islam and were considered to be its internal enemies. For this reason the solution of the problem of Bani Qurayzah and settlement of their affair was a vital matter for the Muslims.
After having been besieged, the Jews of Bani Qurayzah requested Rasul to send Abu Lubabah of Aws tribe to them so that they might consult him. Abu Lubabah had already concluded an agreement of friendship with Bani Qurayzah. When he arrived in the fortress the women and men gathered round him wailing and said: "Is it proper that we should surrender without any pre-conditions?" Abu Lubabah said: "Yes". However, he made a sign with his hand towards his throat which meant that if they did so they would be executed. Abu Lubabah knew that Rasul would not tolerate the existence of this community which was the most dangerous enemy of Islam. However, he regretted very much to have betrayed the higher interests of Islam and of the Muslims and to have divulged their secrets. He, therefore, came out of the fortress trembling and disturbed, and went straight to the mosque. There he tied himself to one of the pillars of the mosque and made a vow that if God did not
forgive him he would spend the rest of his life in the same condition. The exegetes say that this verse was revealed with regard to the betrayal by Abu Lubabah: Believers, do not be dishonest to God and the Messenger or knowingly betray your trust. (Sura Anfal, 8:27) The news about Abu Lubabah reached Rasul. He said: "If he had come to me before making a vow, I would have prayed for his forgiveness and God would have forgiven him, but now he should wait till he is forgiven by God". His wife used to come at the time of prayers and untied the rope with which he had tied himself to the pillar. And after he had offered his prayers she tied him to the pillar again. After six days the Archangel Gabriel came early in the morning with the following verse when Rasul was in the house of Umme Salamah: Some of them have already confessed their sins and have mixed virtuous deeds with sinful ones. Perhaps God will forgive them. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.
(Sura Taubah, 9:102) The eyes of Umme Salamah fell on the face of Rasul, while he had a smile on his lips. Rasul said to her: "God has forgiven Abu Lubabah's sin. Get up and convey this good news (to the people)". When Rasul's wife informed the people of this good news they rushed to untie him but Abu Lubabah said: "It would be appropriate if Rasul himself removes my cords". Later, Rasul arrived in the mosque to offer morning prayers and set him free. The story of Abu Lubabah is instructive. His mistake was due to his injudicious sentiments. Wailings of treacherous men and women deprived him of his power of self-control and he divulged the secrets of the Muslims. However, the strength of faith and fear of God was even greater than that and he repented of what he had done in such a way that the thought of betrayal should never cross his mind again.
One day Shas bin Qays descended from the fortress in the capacity of a representative of the Jews and contacted Rasul. He requested Rasul to permit the tribe of Bani Qurayzah to pick up their belongings like other Jews and quit Madina. Rasul did not, however, accept his suggestion and said: "They should surrender unconditionally". Shas amended his suggestion and said: "Bani Qurayzah are prepared to surrender their property to the Muslims and to leave Madina". Rasul declined to accept that suggestion also. The reason for Rasul's not agreeing to these suggestions was absolutely clear, because it was quite probable that, like the tribe of Bani Nuzayr, these people, too, while they were beyond the reach of the Muslims, might have confronted the Muslims in a very dangerous way, in collaboration with the forces of idolatrous Arabs and might have become the cause of more bloodshed. For this reason, therefore, Rasul did not agree with Shas, who returned and made
the position known to his high-ups. Bani Qurayzah eventually decided to surrender to the Muslims without any conditions or, as stated by some historians, to accept as final the decision of Saad bin Muaz, with whom they had already concluded a pact. In view of this the gates of the fortress were opened by them. The Leader of the Believers, therefore, entered the fortress with a special corps and disarmed all the Jews. He then detained them in one of the houses of Bani Najjar till their fate was finally decided. As the Jews of Bani Qaynuqa', who had been arrested in the past by the Muslim army, had been forgiven on the intercession of Bani Khazraj and especially of Abdullah Ubayy and Rasul had refrained from shedding their blood, the people of Bani Aws also pressed Rasul, with a view to vie with Bani Khazraj, that as Bani Qurayzah had concluded a pact with them he might forgive them. Rasul did not, however, concede to their request and said: "I leave the
decision to Saad bin Muaz, your elder and the chief of Bani Aws. Whatever he says will be acceptable to me". All those present sincerely accepted this offer of Rasul. Moreover, Bani Qurayzah themselves had also agreed to abide by the decision of Saad. As quoted by Ibn Hisham and Shaykh Mufid, the Jews of Bani Qurayzah had sent a message to Rasul that Saad should arbitrate their case. In those days Saad's hand had been wounded by an arrow-shot and he was confined to bed for its treatment in the tent of a woman named Zamidah, who was expert in surgery. Rasul used to go there occasionally to enquire after his health. The young men of Bani Aws got up and brought the chief of their tribe before Rasul with special ceremonies. When Saad arrived Rasul said: "All of you should pay respect to your chief". All those present stood up as a mark of respect to Saad. Those who had accompanied Saad had also requested him repeatedly on the way that he should do good to
Bani Qurayzah and save them from death. However, as opposed to all this insistence, he gave his decision that all their soldiers should be put to death, their property should be distributed (amongst the Muslims) and their women and children should be made captives.
There is no doubt about the fact that if the sentiments of a judge overcome his intellect and reason the judicial machinery is disturbed and the entire order in the society gets topsy-turvy. Sentiments are like false hunger which displays harmful and undesirable things to be useful and profitable, whereas, by acting upon such sentiments the interests of thousands of persons including the welfare of the whole society are violated. The sentiments and feelings of Saad, the heartrending scene of the women and children of Bani Qurayzah, the tragic condition of their men who were under detention and the general thinking of Bani Aws who seriously insisted that the judge should ignore their offence-all these things demanded that the judge appointed by both the parties should base his judgement on the interests of a minority (Bani Qurayzah) in preference to the interests of a majority (the Muslims in general) and should acquit the criminals of Bani Qurayzah on
some excuse or, at least, reduce their punishment as much as possible or to act upon one of the suggestions mentioned above. However, logic, reason, freedom and independence as a judge, and regard for public interest guided him towards a path which he eventually adopted and gave his decision for the execution of the soldiers, confiscation of their property and captivity of their women and children. His judgement was delivered keeping in view the following arguments: 1. Some time earlier the Jews of Bani Qurayzah had concluded a pact with Rasul stipulating that if they rose in opposition to the interests of Islam and the Muslims or assisted the enemies of Islam and created disturbance or instigated people to rise against the Muslims they (the Muslims) would be at liberty to kill them. The judge was of the view that if he punished them according to the terms of that pact he would not be acting against the principles of justice. 2. These people had, in
violation of the pact, kept Madina in a state of insecurity for quite some time under the shadow of the spears of the Arab forces and had poured into the houses of the Muslims to intimidate them. And if Rasul had not taken precautionary measures and had not sent a unit from the army headquarters to the inner parts of the city to maintain law and order it was quite possible that Bani Qurayzah might have succeeded in the execution of their plan. In that event they would have killed the Muslims, confiscated their property and captivated their women and children. Saad thought that as he gave a similar judgement against them he would not be acting against truth and justice. 3. Saad bin Muaz, who was the chief of Aws tribe, had concluded a pact with Bani Qurayzah and they had very good and friendly mutual relations. It is, therefore, possible that he was aware of the penal laws of the Jews. The text of the Torah of the Jews is this: "When thou comest nigh
unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee". (Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 20:10-14). Possibly Saad thought that if he, who had been nominated as judge by both the parties, punished the transgressors according to their own religious laws, he would not be doing anything other than the administration of
justice. 4. We think that the greatest reason for Saad giving his decision was that he had seen with his own eyes that Rasul had excused the people of Bani Qaynuqa' on the intercession of Bani Khazraj and had contented himself with only banishing them from the environments of Madina. These people had not yet vacated the Islamic territories fully when Ka'b Ashraf went to Makkah and shed crocodile tears for those who had been killed in the Battle of Badr and did not rest till he had prepared Quraysh for war. As a consequence of this the Battle of Uhud took place. In that battle seventy soldiers of Islam were martyred. Similarly Bani Nuzayr were forgiven by Rasul. In response to this kind gesture, however, they formed a military alliance and brought about the Battle of Ahzab. And, but for the ingeniousness of Rasul and the plan of digging the ditch, Islam would have been destroyed, and thousands of Muslims would have been killed. Saad visualized all these
events. Past experiences did not permit him to succumb to sentiments, because there was no doubt about the fact that this time they would form a more extensive alliance and would endanger the security of the centre of Islam by instigating the Arab forces to rise against the Muslims as well as by chalking out other schemes. He, therefore, considered the existence of this group to be totally harmful for the Muslim society. If these reasons had not been there it would have been very important for Saad to respect the public views on the subject, because the chief of a tribe needs most the support of his people, and to annoy them and to reject their recommendations and requests is very harmful for him. However, he considered all these requests to be opposed to the interests of the Muslims and consequently obeyed the dictates of reason and logic. A testimony of his deep foresight and rational judgement is that when they (the Jews) were being taken away for
execution they spoke out what they had in their hearts. The eyes of the war-monger Hay bin Akhtab fell at that time on Rasul and he said: "I don't regret my being inimical towards you. However, he, whom God wishes to humiliate, is humiliated". Then he turned to the people and said: "Don't be anxious on account of the Command of God. God has finally destined suffering and humiliation for Bani Israel". From amongst the women one of them was put to death, because she had killed a Muslim by flinging a stone of the handmill at him. And out of those condemned to death one person viz. Zubayr Bata was forgiven on the recommendation of a Muslim named Thabit bin Qays; even his women and children were set free and his property was also returned to him. Four persons from amongst Bani Qurayzah embraced Islam. The war booty was distributed amongst the Muslims after deducting out of it one-fifth, which fell to the share of the Finance Department of Islam. The mounted
soldiers were given three shares each and the infantrymen one share each. Rasul gave one-fifth of the booty to Zayd with instructions that he should go to Najd and procure horses, arms and war provisions from its sale-proceeds.
The fifth year of migration had not yet come to an end when the attack by the tribes was repelled and the revolt of Bani Qurayzah was also suppressed. Madina and its environs came entirely under the control of the Muslims. The foundations of the young State of Islam became firm and relative tranquillity began to prevail in the Islamic territories. This tranquillity was, however, temporary. It was necessary that Rasul should keep watch over the affairs of the enemies and should nip all conspiracies against Islam in the bud with the help of the forces available. The tranquillity in the surroundings provided an opportunity to punish some of those persons who had sparked off the Battle of Ahzab and had gone out of the control of the Muslims after the tribes had decamped. Hay bin Akhtab, who was one of those, who made the first move towards the battle of Bani Qurayzah, but his comrade Sallam bin Abil Haqiq was residing in Khaibar. It was an established fact
that this dangerous man would not sit still until he had instigated the tribes once again to rise against the Muslims, especially because the Arab idolaters were ready to wage a war against Islam and if the expenses of war were guaranteed the conditions of the Battle of Ahzab could be renewed. Taking these matters into account Rasul appointed the brave men of Khazraj to get rid of this impudent and spiteful element. This was, however, subject to the condition that they should not molest his family. The warriors of Khazraj arrived in Khaibar at night and fastened from outside the gates of the houses adjoining that of Sallam, so that if there was any noise his neighbours might not be able to come out of their houses. Then by means of a stair-case they reached the first floor of the house where Sallam was residing. They knocked at the door. His wife came out and enquired as to who they were. They replied: "We are Arabs and have some business with the
chief. We need grains". She was deceived by this introduction, opened the door without verification, and guided them to the room of Sallam, who had just then gone to bed. In order to prevent every sort of hue and cry they entered the room immediately, shut the door, and put an end to the life of a dangerous and mischievous element, who had deprived the Muslims of their peace of mind for quite a long time. Then they came downstairs at once and hid themselves in the place of entrance of water outside the fort. The cries of Sallam's wife awakened the neighbours, and all of them pursued the warriors of Khazraj, holding lamps in their hands. However, although they searched a good deal but could not find any trace of them and eventually returned to their homes. The bravery of Muslims was at such a high pitch that one of them volunteered to go amongst the Jews incognito and find out the result of what they (i.e. the Muslims) had done, because they were under
the impression that Sallam was still alive. He joined the circle of the Jews when they were surrounding Sallam, and his wife was giving the details of the incident. Suddenly she looked at the face of Sallam and said: "By the Lord of the Jews! He is dead". He (i.e. the Muslim who had gone to collect information) then returned and informed his companions about the state of affairs. They, therefore, quitted their hiding place and proceeded to Madina. There they informed Rasul of what had happened.
A band of far-sighted Quraysh, who were very much frightened on account of the ever-increasing advancement of Islam, proceeded to Ethiopia to settle there. They thought that, if Muhammad eventually gained mastery over the Peninsula, they should be already safe in Ethiopia and, if Quraysh were victorious, they would return to their homes. Amr Ibn Ass was a member of the band which left the Hijaz for Ethiopia with many presents. Their arrival coincided with the arrival of the representative of Rasul named Amr bin Umayyah, who had brought a message of Rasul regarding Ja'far bin Abi Talib and other Muhajirs. In order to gain favour of the chiefs of Quraysh, Amr Ibn Ass said to his companions: "I am going to seek an audience with the King of Ethiopia along with my particular presents and shall seek his permission to behead the representative of Muhammad". He arrived in the royal court and made a curtsey to the king according to the old custom. The king spoke
to him kindly and said: "Have you brought any gift for me from your land?" He replied: "Yes, your Majesty". He then presented the gifts and said, "The man who had just now taken leave of your Majesty is the representative of a man who has killed our elders and warriors. It will be a matter of great satisfaction for us if I am permitted to cut off his head as a measure of revenge". The words of Amr Ibn Ass made the Negus very angry, so much so that he involuntarily slapped his own face so forcefully that it almost broke his nose. Then he said in a fit of rage: "Are you asking me to surrender to you the representative of a man, on whom the Archangel Gabriel descends, as it used to descend on prophet Moses, so that you may kill him? By God! He is true and shall be victorious over his enemies". Amr Ibn Ass says: "On hearing these words I became inclined to the religion of Holy Rasul but didn't disclose this thing to my friends".
The bitter and unpleasant event of Raji', as a consequence of which the families of 'Azal and Qarah, who belonged to the tribe of Bani Lihyan, had killed the members of the missionary party of Islam in a cruel and cowardly manner and even arrested two persons alive and sold them to the authorities of Quraysh, who hanged them as a measure of revenge, had deeply grieved the Muslims and brought the journeys of missionary groups to a stand-still. Now that all the obstacles had been removed from the path of the Muslims and the disturbances caused by the tribes and the Jews had also been suppressed, Rasul considered it expedient to chastise Bani Lihyan so that other tribes might become aware of their duties and might not molest the missionary groups of Islam. In the fifth month of the sixth year of migration Rasul left Madina appointing Ibn Umme Maktum as his representative. He did not inform anyone of his intentions as he feared that Quraysh and Bani Lihyan
might become aware of his plan. He, therefore, adopted the northern route which went up to Syria, and after covering some distance changed his path and encamped in Gharan which was the territory of Bani Lihyan. However, the enemies had become aware of his intention and had taken refuge in the hills. This armed attack and the humiliation of the enemies had its psychological effect and they were extremely frightened and overawed. In order to achieve his end Rasul undertook a military manoeuvre and personally marched, with two hundred men, from Gharan to Asfan, which is situated near Makkah. Then he sent ten persons to the border of Makkah (Kira'ul Ghamim) in the capacity of an exploratory unit in such a manner that the movements of the soldiers of Islam and their display of strength could be known to Quraysh. Thereafter he gave them orders to decamp and all proceeded to Madina. Jabir bin Abdullah says that after return from this battle Rasul said: "I seek
God's refuge from the sufferings of journey, the toils of transport and the unpleasant events in the material and family life of man''.
Only a few days after Rasul returned to Madina 'Uyainah bin Hisn Fazari plundered a herd of camels, which was grazing in the pastures of Madina, killed their herdsmen and made a Muslim woman captive and took her away with him. Salamah Aslami, who had come out of Madina for hunting, saw this occurrence. He at once came to the mound of Sala' and called the Muslims for help and said: "Wa Sabaha" (Arabs used to utter this sentence when they needed help). Then he pursued the plunderers and, by shooting arrows, prevented them from fleeing. Rasul was the first person to hear Salamah crying for help. He immediately dispatched some of his companions to pursue the plunderers. A skirmish took place between them. In it two Muslims and three persons of the opposite party were killed. The Muslims were however successful in recovering a large part of the camels from them as well as in getting the Muslim woman freed. The enemy, however, took refuge in the region of the
Ghatfan tribes. Rasul stayed at a place called 'Zi Qarad' for a day and a night. Although the mounted soldiers of Madina insisted that the enemy should be pursued, Rasul did not consider it expedient to do so and returned to Madina.
The Muslim woman who had been freed came before Rasul and said: "When I was being taken away as captive along with this camel (she pointed to a camel which belonged to Rasul) I vowed that if I got rid of the enemy I would slaughter this camel". Rasul said to her with a charming smile on his lips: "What a bad recompense you have decided to give to the camel! It procured your freedom and you are going to kill it? Then he made the matter more clear and said: "A vow which involves a sin or which is made with regard to something which belongs to another person is not permissible. You dedicated by your vow a camel which belonged to me. Hence, it is not necessary for you to act upon your vow".
In the sixth year of migration the military power of the Muslims was appreciably strong, so much so that their special units could freely approach places adjoining Makkah and then return. However, this military strength had not been acquired to conquer the territories of the tribes or to seize their properties. If the polytheists had not deprived the Muslims of their freedom, Rasul would not have purchased even one sword and would not have dispatched even one soldier. As, however, the Muslims and their missionary parties were continuously threatened by the enemies, Rasul was naturally and morally obliged to strengthen the defensive power of Islam. The real causes of these battles, which took place up to the sixth year of migration and in fact up to the last moment of Rasul's life were as follows: To give replies to the cowardly attacks by the idolaters (like the Battles of Badr and Uhud and the Battle of the Ditch). To punish the tyrants, who had
killed the Muslims or their missionary parties in the deserts or at far-off places, or those who had violated the pacts concluded by them with the Muslims. To this category belong the battles fought against the three tribes of the Jews and the one against Bani Lihyan. 3. To neutralize the enthusiasm which was brewing up amongst the tribes who wished to collect force to attack Madina. Most of the skirmishes took place on this account.
Bani Mustaliq were a branch of the tribe of Khuza'ah who were the neighbours of Quraysh. Reports were received in Madina that Harith bin Abi Zirar (chief of the tribe) intended to besiege Madina. As on other occasions, Rasul decided to check this mischief and, therefore, marched towards the tribe of Bani Mustaliq along with his companions and encountered them by the Well of Marysi'. Fighting started between the two parties. The valour of the Muslims and the fear which had overtook the Arab tribes on this account made the enemies disperse after a brief skirmish, in which ten of their men and one Muslim by mistake were killed. Consequently a large booty fell to the share of the army of Islam and the women of the enemies were also taken prisoners. The instructive points of this battle are the policies which Rasul adopted afterwards keeping in view the events of this battle. Dissensions, however, flared up between the Muhajirs and the Ansar for the first
time and but for the prudence of Rasul their unity would have been destroyed on account of the avarice of some short-sighted persons. The cause of this incident was that after the conclusion of the battle two Muslims, one of whom was named Jahjah bin Masud (a Muhajir) and the other Sinan Juhani (an Ansar) quarrelled over water. Each of them called his people for help. The result of these calls for help would have been that the Muslims should have fought with one another at a place far off from the centre and should have thus put an end to their own existence. Rasul came to know about the incident and said: "Leave these two persons to themselves. This call for help which is very abominable, resembles the calls of the Days of Ignorance and the inauspicious relics of ignorance have not yet been removed from their hearts. These two persons are not acquainted with the programme of Islam and do not know that Islam considers all Muslims to be the brothers of
one another and every call which creates dissensions is against the religion of monotheism."
In this way Rasul prevented differences and kept the two groups from attacking each other. However, Abdullah Ubayy, one of the hypocrites of Madina, who nursed extraordinary grudge against Islam and participated in the battles only to share the war booty, expressed his enmity and hypocrisy and spoke thus to those who had gathered around him: "All this is the result of our own doing. We provided quarters to the Muhajirs of Makkah in our land and protected them from their enemies. Our condition conforms with the well-known saying: Nourish your dog and it will bite you. By God! When we return to Madina it will be necessary that the strong and dignified people (of Madina) should turn out the weak ones (i.e. the Muhajirs)". The speech of Abdullah before the people, in whose minds the Arabian party-spirit and the ideas of the Age of Ignorance still lurked, had a very unwholesome effect on them and it was possible that their unity might be jeopardized.
Fortunately, however, a zealous Muslim named Zayd Arqam, who was also present there, replied to his satanic words with full force and said: "By God! You are the person, who is mean and humble. You are the person, who doesn't enjoy the least position amongst his kinsmen. On the contrary Holy Rasul is respectable amongst the Muslims and their hearts are filled with love for him". Then he departed from there and came to Rasul and informed him of the seditious speech of Abdullah. To keep up appearances Rasul rejected the words of Zayd thrice and said: "Maybe you are mistaken. Probably anger has actuated you to say this. It is possible that he considered you to be low and foolish and meant nothing else". However, Zayd replied in the negative with regard to all these possibilities and said: "No; his intention was to create differences and to fan dissensions. The Second Caliph requested Rasul to permit him to kill Abdullah. Rasul, however, replied: "It is not
proper to do so, because the people will say that Muhammad kills his own friends''. [Note: A study of the biography of the second Caliph proves the fact that he never displayed his strength in the battlefields and was always in the rear rows. However, whenever an enemy was captured he was the first person to request Rasul for permission to execute him Here are some of the examples: (i) One of such occasions was that he wanted to kill Abdullah, the hypocrite. (ii) Just before Makkah was conquered he requested Rasul to grant him permission to cut off the head of Hatib bin Abi Balti'ah, who had been spying for the idolaters. (iii) When Abbas, the uncle of Rasul brought Abu Sufyan to the camping-place of the Muslims he (the second Caliph) requested Rasul to permit him to kill him (i.e. Abu Sufyan) immediately.]
Abdullah learned about Zayd bin Arqam's conversation with Rasul. He came before Rasul immediately and said: "I never said any such words". Some well-wishers of his also supported him and said that Zayd had erred in quoting him. However, the matter did not end there, because temporary stillness is just like lull before the storm. The Holy leader of Islam wanted to do something which might make the parties concerned forget the matter completely. To achieve this end he ordered the people to move, although otherwise it was not the time for departure. Usayd came to Rasul and said: "It is not the appropriate time for departure. What is the reason for this order?" Rasul replied: "Are you not aware of the speech of Abdullah and what he has sparked off?" Usayd swore and said: "O honourable Prophet! The power is in your hands. You can turn him out. Dear and respectable are you. Mean and humble is he. Be lenient to him, for he is a defeated person. Before your
migration to Madina the Aws and Khazraj tribes had agreed to make him the Ruler of Madina and were thinking of collecting gems so that he might be crowned. However, with the rising of the star of Islam his position underwent a change and the people deserted him. And he considers you to be the cause of all this". Orders for departure were given and the soldiers of Islam continued their march for more than twenty four hours and did not stay at any place except for offering prayers. On the second day when the atmosphere was very hot and all had lost strength to continue their march any longer orders were given for them to encamp. As soon as they dismounted, all of them went to sleep on account of fatigue and all the bitter memories were washed away from their minds. By acting on this plan, therefore, their dissensions subsided.
Abdullah bin Ubayy was a pious Muslim. In accordance with the sublime teachings of Islam he was more kind than anyone else to his father a hypocrite though he was. He came to know about what his father had done and thought that Rasul would put him to death. He, therefore, said to Rasul: "If it has been decided that my father should be executed I myself am prepared to enforce the sentence and would request that this job may not be entrusted to any other person. I make this request because I am afraid that, on account of Arabian emotions and filial sentiments, I may lose my self-control and may kill the person who executes my father and may thus smear my hands with the blood of a Muslim and may consequently spoil my own life. The remarks of this man are the most excellent manifestation of faith. Why did he not request Rasul to forgive his father? He did not do so, because he knew that whatever Rasul did was in compliance with the orders of God. However,
the son of Abdullah found himself in a peculiar psychological predicament. Filial sentiments and Arabian code of morality prompted him to take revenge on his father's executioner and thus to shed the blood of a Muslim. On the other hand love for peace in the zone of Islam made him think that it was necessary that his father should be killed. To overcome this mental conflict he chose the third course so that the superb interests of Islam might remain safe and his sentiments might not also be injured. And the third course was that he himself should enforce the order of his father's execution. Although such an action is tormenting and heart-rending but the strength of faith and submission to God's will provides consolation to some extent. However, the kind Prophet said to him: "Nothing of the sort is intended, and I will be lenient towards him". These remarks got circulated amongst the Muslims and all of them wondered at the spiritual greatness of Rasul. A
shower of objections and reproaches were let loose at Abdullah. He was so much humiliated in the eyes of the people that thereafter none paid any heed to him. During these events Rasul taught memorable lessons to the Muslims and manifested some wise political policies of Islam. After this incident the leader of the hypocrites did not attract attention and was hated and despised by people in all matter. Once Rasul said to Umar: "You asked for my permission to kill him. The people who might have been moved on that day on his being killed and might have risen in his support, despise him so much today that if I give orders for his execution they will kill him instantaneously".
Rasul married the daughter of Harith, the leader of the insurgents. Different versions of this marriage are given in various books on Rasul's biography. However, the result of this marriage was that an unbreakable relationship was established between Rasul and this community and most of the women of this tribe who had been captured by the Muslims were released unconditionally as a gesture of respect for the relationship between them and Rasul. This marriage was a blessed one because it resulted in the freedom of one hundred women.


The sixth year of migration was terminating with all its bitter and sweet events when suddenly Rasul dreamt a pleasant dream that the Muslims were performing ceremonies of Haj in Masjidul Haram. He related this dream to his companions and took it to be a good omen for the Muslims as they would achieve their heart's desire soon. Rasul ordered the Muslims to get ready to perform the journey for Haj and also invited the neighbouring tribes, who were still polytheists, to accompany the Muslims in that journey. He also made it known at all places in Arabia that the Muslims would be proceeding to Makkah in the month of Zilqad. This spiritual journey, besides possessing spiritual benefits, also carried a number of social and political advantages. It bettered the position of Muslims in the Peninsula and became the means of spreading Islam amongst the Arabs on account of the following facts: 1. The polytheist Arab tribes were under the impression that Rasul was
opposed to all their national and religious beliefs and ceremonies including Haj and Umra which were memorials of their ancestors and for this reason they feared Rasul and his religion. The participation of Rasul and his companions in the ceremonies of Haj and Umra on this occasion could diminish the fear and disturbance of mind of some polytheist tribes and make it clear in a practical manner that Rasul was not only not opposed to the pilgrimage of the House of God and the Haj ceremonies which is one of their religious rites and national observances but considered them to be an obligatory act. Furthermore, that he was also endeavouring, like their grand-parent Ismail for the revival and preservation of these ceremonies. By this means he could attract to himself those tribes who considered Islam to be totally opposed to their national and religious observances and could diminish their fears. 2. If the Muslims succeeded in performing Haj and carried out
their religious obligations freely in Masjidul Haram before the very eyes of polytheist Arabs, this act would itself be a great source of the propagation of Islam, because during Haj season the polytheists and the Arabs from all parts of the Peninsula would come together at Makkah and would, on return to their places, carry with them the news about the Muslims. In this manner the message of Islam would reach all those places where Rasul could not send missionaries, and would have its effect there. 3. Rasul reminded the people in Madina of the sacred months and said: "We are going for the pilgrimage of the House of God". He also ordered the Muslims not to carry any arms with them, except a sword which a traveller usually carries while performing a journey. These actions of his made many non-Muslims inclined towards Islam, because, as opposed to the propaganda which Quraysh had been carrying on against Islam, they observed that, like others, Rasul also
considered fighting in these months to be unlawful and was in favour of treating them as sacred months of peace. Rasul thought that if the Muslims were successful at that time they would be achieving one of their ardent desires (i.e. performing the ceremonies of Umra and Haj) and those who had been away from their homes would be able to meet their relatives and friends. And in case of obstruction Quraysh would lose their position in the Arab World, because the representatives of neutral tribes would see as to how they behaved towards the Muslims, who wished to perform Umra and Haj and were not carrying any weapons except the weapons of a traveller, although Masjidul Haram and the ceremonies of Haj are common for all Arabs, and Quraysh are only the custodians of the sanctuary. Hence the righteousness of the Muslims and the oppression by Quraysh would become evident, and it would not be possible for Quraysh to join other tribes against Islam and form an
alliance, because they would have prevented the Muslims before thousands of pilgrims from enjoying their lawful right. Rasul considered the pros and cons of the matter and ordered the people to move. He put on ehram at a place named Zul-Hulayfah along with [according to differents writers] 1400 or 1600 or 1800 persons and specified seventy marked camels for slaughtering and thus made the purpose of this journey clear. The intelligence organization of Rasul proceeded in advance so that if they encountered the enemy on the way they should immediately inform Rasul. At a place near Asfan a Khuzai, who was a member of the intelligence organization of Rasul, came to him and reported thus: "Quraysh have become aware of your journey. They have collected their forces and have sworn by Lat and Uzza that they will obstruct your arrival in Makkah. The elders and influential persons of Quraysh have gathered in Zi Tuwa (a place near Makkah) and in order to thwart the
advance of the Muslims they have sent their brave commander Khalid bin Walid to Kira'ul Ghamim (a desert eight miles away from Asfan) along with two hundred horse-soldiers and have encamped there, either to stop the Muslims from entering (Makkah) or will lay down their lives for the achievement of this purpose". After hearing the report Rasul said: "Woe be to Quraysh! War has wasted them! I wish they had left me to deal with other idolatrous tribes. In case they (i.e. other tribes) had been victorious over me, Quraysh would have achieved their purpose, and if I had gained victory over those tribes, they (Quraysh) could fight with me with their reserve forces. By God! I shall continue my endeavours for the propagation of monotheism either until God makes that religion victorious or I lay down my life for the achievement of this purpose". Then he asked for a guide who might take them (i.e. Rasul and his companions) by a route on which they did not
encounter Khalid. A person belonging to the tribe named Aslam undertook to guide the caravan and made them pass through rough valleys and made them land at a place called Hudaybiyah. Rasul's camel knelt down at that spot and he said: "This animal has stopped at this spot under the order of God so that our duty may become manifest". Then he ordered all of them to dismount and pitch their tents. The horsemen of Quraysh became aware of the itinerary of Rasul and made themselves reach near the Muslims. If Rasul had wished to continue his journey it would have been necessary for him to split the rows of the horsemen of Quraysh and shed their blood. But all were under the impression that he had no other motive except to perform pilgrimage of the Holy Kaba. At this place conflict and bloodshed would have dealt a blow to the position and claim of peaceful intentions of Rasul. Moreover, even killing of these horsemen would not have removed the obstacles in the
way because reinforcements were being sent by Quraysh continuously and the matter was not coming to an end. Besides this, the Muslims did not possess any weapon other than the weapons of travellers and it was not advisable to resort to fighting in such conditions. Rather it was expedient to solve the problem by means of discussions. For these reasons Rasul turned, after dismounting, to his companions and said: "If Quraysh demand from me today something which strengthens the ties of kinship I shall give it to them and shall adopt a conciliatory attitude". The words of Rasul reached the ears of the people and the enemies also became aware of them. Quraysh, therefore, sent some persons to Rasul to collect the correct information.
Quraysh sent many representatives to Rasul to find out the object of his undertaking this journey. Budayl Khuzai and some members of the tribe of Khuza'ah contacted Rasul as representatives of Quraysh. He said to them: "I have not come to fight. I have come to perform pilgrimage of the Kaba". They returned and informed Quraysh about the position. However, the incredulous Quraysh did not accept their version and said: "By God! Even if he has come for the pilgrimage of the Kaba, we shall not let him enter Makkah". Then Mikraz as a representative of Quraysh met Rasul. He also returned and confirmed what Budayl had said, but Quraysh did not believe in the report submitted by him. In order to put an end to the conflict they sent to Rasul, Hulays bin 'Alqamah, who was the chief archer of Arabia. He was still at a distance when Rasul got sight of him and said: "This man belongs to a pure and pious tribe. Sacrifice the camels before him, so that he may know
that we have not come to fight and have no aim except performing the pilgrimage of the Kaba". Hulays saw seventy camels which were so hungry that they were eating the wool of one another. He returned from the same spot and did not meet Rasul. He addressed Quraysh with great vehemence and said: "We have not at all concluded a pact with you to prevent the pilgrims of the Kaba from performing pilgrimage. Muhammad has no aim except performing pilgrimage. By God, who controls my life! If you prevent Muhammad from entering (Makkah) I along with all men of my tribe who are mostly archers shall fall upon you and cut you to pieces". The words of Hulays were not liked by Quraysh. However, fearing his opposition, they deliberated over the matter and said to him: "Rest assured. We ourselves shall find solution which will be acceptable to you". At the fourth stage, however, they sent to Rasul 'Urwah bin Masud Saqafi in whose wisdom, intelligence and honesty they had
full confidence. In the beginning he declined to represent Quraysh as he could very well see how they had behaved with their former representatives, but they assured him that his position in their eyes was fully established and they would not accuse him of breach of trust. 'Urwah bin Masud came to Rasul and said: "O Muhammad! You have gathered different groups around you and have now decided to attack your birth-place (Makkah). Nevertheless, Quraysh will prevent your advance with full force and will not allow you to enter Makkah. I am, however, afraid that tomorrow these groups will leave you in the lurch". When he had said this Abu Bakr, who was standing behind Rasul, turned to 'Urwah and said: "You are mistaken. In no circumstances will Rasul's friends desert him". 'Urwah used all the arts of diplomacy in his speech and tried to prove the strength of Quraysh and weaken the morale of Rasul; and with a view to degrading the position of Rasul he touched
his beard while talking. Mughayrah bin Sh'obah repeatedly struck his hand and said: "Be respectful and don't misbehave towards Rasul". 'Urwah asked Rasul: "Who is he?" (It appears that the persons, who were around Rasul, had concealed their faces). Rasul said: "He is your nephew Mughayrah bin Sh'obah". 'Urwah was displeased and said: "O cunning person! I purchased your honour yesterday. You killed thirteen persons of the tribe of Saqif a short time before embracing Islam and I paid the blood-money from my own pocket to prevent the flames of war flaring up amongst the families of Saqif". Rasul interrupted 'Urwah and explained to him the purpose of his journey as he had already explained to the former representatives of Quraysh. However, in order to give a knockdown reply to the threats held out by 'Urwah, he got up and performed wuzu (ablution). 'Urwah saw with his own eyes that the companions of Rasul did not allow even a drop of the water of his wuzu
to fall on the ground. 'Urwah got up and arrived in the assembly of Quraysh. He informed the chiefs of Quraysh, who had assembled at Zi Tuwa, about his meeting with Rasul and the latter's aim. He also added: "I have seen great kings. I have observed great powers like the power of the Emperor of Iran, Kaiser of the Roman Empire and the King of Ethiopia but have not seen the position of anyone of them amongst their nations as high as enjoyed by Muhammad amongst his followers. I have seen with my own eyes that they didn't let even a drop of the water of his wuzu fall on the ground and divided it amongst themselves as tabarruk (i.e. a sacred gift which brings blessings). If one of his hair falls they pick it up immediately. Hence the chiefs of Quraysh should ponder over this dangerous situation''.
The contacts which the representatives of Quraysh had with the great leader of Islam did not produce any result. Rasul could very well imagine that the representatives of Quraysh could not convey the facts to the elders of Quraysh or did not do so clearly fearing reproach. He, therefore, decided to send his own representative who should clarify to them the real object of his undertaking the journey, which was nothing except the pilgrimage of the Kaba. Khirash, a clever man of the tribe of Khuza'ah, was selected for the purpose and Rasul placed a camel at his disposal. He met the groups of Quraysh and discharged his duty. However, contrary to expectations as well as the custom of the nations of the world that an ambassador is always immune from any harm, they (i.e. Quraysh) cut off the feet of his camel and were about to kill him, but his life was saved through the archers of Arabia. This foul act proved that the Quraysh had no intention to settle the
matter peacefully and were bent upon fighting. Soon after this incident fifty experienced men of Quraysh were deputed to go round the area where Muslims had encamped and, if possible, to pillage their property and take some of them captives. However, this plan of theirs was frustrated and on the other contrary they were arrested and brought before Rasul. Although they had shot arrows and hurled stones at the Muslims, Rasul directed all of them to be set free. Hence, he once again proved his bonafides and made it clear that he had no intention to fight.
In spite of all this Rasul did not lose hope for peace and sincerely wished that he might be able to solve the problem through discussions and by changing the thinking of Quraysh. This time he wanted to send a representative who had not shed the blood of Quraysh. Hence Ali, Zubayr and other champions of Islam, who had combated with the heroes of Quraysh and Arabs and had killed some of them, were not qualified to act as representatives. Eventually he decided to depute Umar bin Khattab for the purpose, because till that day he had not shed even a drop of blood of the idolaters. Umar, however, excused himself from assuming that responsibility and said: "I am afraid of Quraysh as I am in fear of my life, and in Makkah there is no one of my family who might lend me support. However, I suggest Uthman bin Affan who is closely related to Abu Sufyan and can convey your message to the chiefs of Quraysh. Uthman was however entrusted with this task and he proceeded
to Makkah. While on his way he met Aban bin Saeed bin As and entered the city under his protection. Aban promised that none would interfere with him, until he had conveyed the message of Rasul in clear terms. However, Quraysh replied to the message of Rasul that they had decided on oath that they would not permit Muhammad to enter Makkah forcibly and on account of this oath any discussion with regard to the entry of Muslims in Makkah is out of the question. Then they permitted Uthman to perform tawaf of the Kaba, but he refrained from doing so, as a mark of respect to Rasul. What Quraysh did with regard to Uthman was that they prevented him from returning and possibly their idea was that in the meantime they would find out a solution of the problem.
The Muslims got extremely perturbed on account of Uthman's delay in getting back. It was then rumoured that Uthman had been killed. Hearing this the Muslims were flared up and wanted to take revenge. In order to strengthen their determination Rasul said: "I shall not leave this place until I have settled the affair". At this moment, when danger was so near and the Muslims were not equipped with arms, Rasul decided to take the oath of allegiance from the Muslims de novo and sat under a tree for this purpose. All his companions shook his hand as a mark of fealty and swore that they would defend the sacred religion of Islam till the end of their lives. It is the very pledge of Rizwan, which has been mentioned in Quran in these words: God is pleased with the believers for their pledging obedience to you under the tree. He knew what was in their hearts, thus he granted them confidence, and rewarded them with an immediate victory. (Sura Fath, 48:18) After they
had taken the oath of allegiance the duty of the Muslims became clear -either Quraysh should allow them to proceed to Makkah and perform the pilgrimage of the Kaba or they should oppose the obstinacy of Quraysh at the cost of their lives. Rasul was thinking about this when Uthman appeared from a distance and this in itself was the vanguard of the peace which Rasul desired so much. Uthman came to Rasul and said: "The difficulty in the way of Quraysh is the vow which they have taken and a representative of Quraysh will have a talk with you regarding the solution of this difficulty ".
Suhayl bin Amr was deputed by Quraysh with special instructions to put an end to the dispute through a pact about which we shall read later. When the eyes of Rasul fell on Suhayl he said: "Suhayl has come to conclude a peace pact between us and Quraysh". Suhayl came and sat down. He said all sorts of things and, like a skilled diplomat, aroused the sentiments of Rasul for the accomplishment of certain things. He said: "O Abul Qasim! Makkah is Haram and the seat of our dignity. The Arab World knows that you have fought against us. If you enter Makkah in the present state, which is coupled with force and strength, you will make our weakness and helplessness known to the entire Arab World. Tomorrow all the Arab tribes will think of occupying our land. I appeal to you in the name of God to regard the kinship which you share with us, and also remind you of the respect which Makkah enjoys and which is also your birth-place". When Suhayl said this Rasul
interrupted him and said: "What are you aiming at?" He replied: "The chiefs of Quraysh are of the view that you should return to Madina this year and postpone the pilgrimage till the next year. Next year the Muslims may perform Haj like all other tribes of Arabia, subject to the condition that they should not stay in Makkah for more than three days and should not bring with them any weapons except those which are usually carried by a traveller". As a result of the discussions between Rasul and Suhayl it was decided that a general and extensive pact should be concluded between the Muslims and Quraysh. Suhayl was displaying extraordinary severity regarding the conditions and particulars of the pact and at times it appeared that the peace negotiations would break down. However, as both the parties desired peace and reconciliation the thread of discussion was picked up once again. In spite of all the severity on the part of Suhayl the negotiation came to an
end and it was decided that its text should be drawn up in duplicate and the same should be signed by both the parties. As written by most of the historians, Rasul directed Ali to write the Peace Pact; and said: "Write: In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful", and Ali wrote it. Suhayl said: "I am not acquainted with this sentence. Write: "In Your name O God." Rasul agreed that the sentence as uttered by Suhayl may be written. Ali wrote it accordingly. Then Rasul asked Ali to write: "This is the pact which Muhammad, God's Messenger, has concluded with Suhayl, the representative of Quraysh". Suhayl said: "We don't formally recognize your Prophethood, and if we had recognized you as a Messenger of God, we wouldn't have waged war against you. You should write your own name, and that of your father, and should omit this title from the pact". Some of the Muslims were not agreeable that Rasul should surrender to Suhayl to this extent. However, Rasul
agreed even to this by keeping in view some higher interests, which will be explained later, and asked Ali to delete the phrase 'Messenger of God'. At this stage Ali requested with due reverence: "It is not possible for me to erase your title 'Messenger' and 'Prophet' from beside your sacred name". Rasul asked Ali to put his my finger on the word so that he might delete it personally. Ali put Rasul's finger on the word and he deleted the title 'Messenger of God'. [Note: Historian Tabari mistakenly stated that Rasul himself wrote his name.]
The indulgence and temperament which Rasul displayed in drawing up this pact is unparalleled in the world. As he was not influenced by material thoughts and egotistic sentiments and knew that realities do not change by writing something or deleting it, he, in order to ensure peace, adopted a conciliatory attitude and accepted the suggestions of the opponent in spite of all his severity.
The first distinguished pupil of the school of Rasul was also faced with the same embarrassment and on this account, Ali, the perfect model of Rasul became, for various reasons, an embodiment of his personality and they conformed with each other at many stages. When the Leader of the Believers excused himself from deleting the words 'Messenger of God' Rasul turned towards him and informed him about his future, which fully resembled his own, in these words: "The descendants of this band will invite you to a similar act and you will give in under extreme oppression". Ali remembered this thing till the Battle of Siffin took place and the simple-minded followers of Imam Ali were impressed by the deceptive demonstrations of the soldiers of Syria who were fighting under the patronage of Muawiya and Amr Ibn Ass and persuaded him to agree to make peace. A meeting was held to write the Peace Pact. The secretary of Ali named Ubaydullah bin Abi Rafe' was directed
by him to write the Peace Pact on these lines: "This is what has been settled upon by the Leader of the Believers." At this moment Amr Ibn Ass (who was the official representative of Muawiya and the Syrian army) turned to the secretary of Ali and said: "Write the name of Ali and his father, because if we had formally recognized him to be the Leader of the Believers, we would not have fought with him at all." The discussions on this point were prolonged. Imam Ali was not ready to provide any excuse to his simpleminded friends. A part of the day was spent in dispute by the parties till, on the insistence of one of his own officers, he allowed that the phrase 'Leader of the Believers' might be deleted. Then he said: "God is Great! This is the observance of the tradition of Rasul". Thereafter he repeated before the people the event of Hudaybiyah and what Rasul had said to him at that time.
This is the text of the pact: 1. Quraysh and the Muslims agree that they will not fight or commit aggression against each other for a period of ten years so that social security and general peace may be established at various places in Arabia. 2. If a person from amongst Quraysh leaves Makkah without the permission of his elder and embraces Islam and joins the Muslims, Muhammad must return him to Quraysh. However, if one of the Muslims goes away to Quraysh they will be under no obligation to surrender him to the Muslims. 3. The Muslims and Quraysh will be at liberty to conclude pacts with any tribes they like. 4. This year Muhammad and his companions will return to Madina from this very spot. However, in the coming years they will be at liberty to visit Makkah and perform the pilgrimage of the Kaba, subject to the condition that they will not stay in Makkah for more than three days and will not carry with them any weapon other than that usually carried
by a traveller. 5. According to this pact the Muslims residing in Makkah are free to perform their religious rites and Quraysh will not be entitled to torture them or compel them to abjure their religion or to ridicule their religion. 6. The signatories to the pact agree to respect the property of each other and to abandon deceit and artifice against each other and to keep their hearts free from mutual grudge. 7. The life and property of the Muslims who arrive in Makkah from Madina will be respected. This is the text of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah, which has been collected from different sources. The pact was drawn up in duplicate. Some persons from amongst Quraysh and the Muslims witnessed the pact whereafter one copy was given to Suhayl and the other to Rasul.
Glad tidings of freedom as contained in this pact reached every person. Although every clause of this pact deserves discussion, the delicate point which demands very serious consideration is the second clause which aroused the indignation of some persons on that day. Notwithstanding the fact that the companions of Rasul felt very uneasy on account of this discrimination and uttered words which should not have been uttered regarding the decision taken by a leader like Rasul, this clause still brilliant, shows the way of thinking of Rasul in the matter of the propagation of Islam. It fully shows the great respect which that great leader accorded to the principles of freedom. In reply to the objection raised by some of the companions of Rasul as to why they should surrender the refugees from Quraysh whereas Quraysh should be under no obligation to surrender their men, he replied: "If a Muslim who adopts polytheism and runs away from the standard of Islam,
and prefers the environments of idolatry and anti-human religion to the environments of Islam and monotheism, it shows that he has not embraced Islam wholeheartedly and his faith has not acquired the proper base which should satisfy his nature and such a Muslim is of no use to us. And if we surrender the refugees from Quraysh it is on this account that we are satisfied that God will provide the means of their deliverance''. The future proved that the prediction of Rasul about this matter (that God will provide the means of their deliverance) was absolutely correct, because soon afterwards Quraysh themselves requested the cancellation of this clause on account of the various unpleasant events which they had to face owing to this clause. This clause is a silencing reply to the partiality of most of the orientalists who insist that the cause of the advancement of Islam was the use of sword. They cannot afford to see that the glory of Islam lies in the fact
that within a very short time it spread in many regions of the world. On account of personal motives and with a view to poison the minds, therefore, they are obliged to say that the cause of the advancement of Islam was material force. This Peace Pact was concluded in the early days of Islam in the presence of the great leader of Islam, as it fully reflects the spirit of Islam and the sublime teachings and human principles which are contained in all its laws, it is quite unfair that we should say that Islam has been spread with the force of the sword. In the light of the third clause, the tribe of Khuza'ah concluded a defence pact with the Muslims and the tribe of Bani Kananah, who were old enemies of Bani Khuza'ah, declared their alliance with Quraysh.
The preliminaries of the Peace Pact and its text show clearly that a large part of it had an educational aspect, and the reason for Rasul accepting this pact, and agreeing to the deletion of the phrase 'Messenger of God' and to its commencing with the words "In your name, O' God" (as it was in vogue during the Days of Ignorance) was that be was desirous of maintaining peace in Arabia. And when he agreed that the Muslim refugees from amongst Quraysh might be surrendered to the authorities of the idolatrous government, it was due to the acute obstinacy of Suhayl. In case, therefore, Rasul had not agreed with Suhayl on this point with a view to protect the rights of this group (i.e. the Muslim refugees from amongst Quraysh) and had respected the general thinking which was opposed to discrimination in the matter of surrender of refugees, the general peace would certainly have fallen in jeopardy and this great blessing would have been lost. Hence, with a view
to achieve a higher and nobler object, Rasul bore up against all these pressures and requests so that the great opportunity of ensuring peace, in the face of which all these inconveniences were insignificant, might not be lost. And if he had shown regard for the general opinion and the rights of the said group, Suhayl, on account of his being very obstinate, would have sparked off war and the following incident is a clear proof of this fact: Negotiations with regards to the contents of the Peace Pact ended and Ali was busy writing it when suddenly Abu Jandal bin Suhayl, the representative of Quraysh, for the conclusion of the Peace Pact, appeared on the scene with chains in his feet. Ali wondered on his arrival, for he had been imprisoned and chained by his father since long. He was an innocent prisoner and his only offence was that he had embraced Islam and was considered to be one of the devotees of Rasul. Abu Jandal had learned from the conversation
which took place around his prison that the Muslims had arrived in Hudaybiyah. He therefore, managed to escape from the prison by some special contrivance and arrived in the midst of the Muslims by adopting a deviated path through the mountains. [Note: Hudaybiyah is at a distance of six to nine miles from Makkah and most of its lands are a part of the Haram.]
When the eyes of Suhayl fell on his son he was so much displeased that, filled with acute anger, he gave him a hard slap in the face. Then he turned to Rasul and said: "This is the first person who should return to Makkah in accordance with the second clause of the pact". He meant to say that Abu Jandal being a Quraysh who had fled Makkah should be surrendered to them. There is no denying the fact that the demand of Suhayl was unjustified and baseless, because the pact had not yet been finally recorded and signed by the parties. How could a party rely on a pact which had not yet passed through its final stages? For this reason Rasul said to Suhayl: "Our pact hasn't been signed yet". Suhayl replied: "In that case I ignore all these proceedings and render them null and void". He was so stubborn in the matter that Mikraz and Huwaytab, two big personalities of Quraysh were very much displeased with his severity. They at once extracting Abu Jandal from his
father, made him enter a tent and said to Rasul: "O Muhammad! Abu Jandal is now under your protection". They wanted to settle the dispute in this manner but Suhayl's insistence frustrated their plan. He stuck to his words and said: "From the point of view of negotiations the pact has been concluded". Rasul was obliged to make the last effort for the preservation of the basis of peace which was extremely valuable for the propagation of Islam. He, therefore, agreed to the return of Abu Jandal to Makkah along with his father. To console the chained Muslim who was to be surrendered to the infidels in the presence of hundreds of brave Muslims he said: "O Abu Jandal! Be patient. We wished that your father should hand you over to us by way of love and affection. Now that he hasn't agreed to do so you should be patient and forbearing and should know that God will open a path of relief for you as well as for others who are under arrest". The meeting came to an
end. The copies of the pact were signed. Suhayl and his friends left for Makkah and Abu Jandal, too, proceeded to Makkah under the protection of Mikraz and Huwaytab. With a view to put an end to the state of ehram Rasul slaughtered his camel and got his head shaved and others also followed suit.
The Peace Pact was concluded between Rasul and the leaders of polytheism and after staying at Hudaybiyah for nineteen days, the Muslims returned to Madina and the idolaters went back to Makkah. Differences and disputes cropped up between the companions of Rasul at the time of writing the pact as well as after that. One group of them considered it to be beneficial for Islam and another group, whose members could be counted on fingers, assessed it to be against its interests. Now that fourteen centuries have passed since the conclusion of this pact we proposed to evaluate it in an unbiased and realistic manner and shall conclude this chapter after alluding to the differences mentioned above. We are of the view that this Peace Pact proved to be perfectly beneficial to Islam and made its victory final. Here are the arguments which we should like to offer: 1. The continuous battles and attacks of Quraysh and their internal and external instigations which have
been mentioned briefly in connection with the accounts of the Battles of Uhud and Ahzab did not leave any time at the disposal of Rasul to resort to propagation of Islam amongst the various tribes, as well as in areas beyond Arabia, and his valuable time was mostly spent in defence and in neutralizing the dangerous plots of the enemy. After the conclusion of the Peace Pact, however, the Muslims and their great leader were relieved of the danger from the south, and ground was prepared for the propagation of lslam in other areas. The effects of the peace came to light after two years, because when the Hudaybiyah pact was concluded Rasul was accompanied by 1400 persons, but, two years later, when he proceeded formally to conquer Makkah, as many as ten thousand persons marched along with him under the shadow of the standard of Islam and this clear contrast in the number of persons accompanying him was the direct consequence of the Hudaybiyah pact. It was
due to the fact that previously many people did not join the Muslims owing to fear of Quraysh, but when Quraysh themselves formally recognized the presence of Islam and left the tribes free to associate themselves with it, the fear in the minds of most of the tribe disappeared and the Muslims became in a position to propagate Islam freely. 2. The second thing which the Muslims achieved from the pact was that the iron-curtain which the idolaters had placed between the common man and the religion of Islam was removed and consequently the traffic to Madina became free. The people had more contacts with the Muslims during their journeys to Madina and they became acquainted with the sublime teachings of Islam. They were wonder struck when they saw the discipline and order amongst the Muslims and their sincere devotion and obedience to Rasul. The cleanliness of the Muslims and their performing wuzu at the time of prayers, their organized rows, the effective
and enthusiastic sermons of Rasul and the sweet verses of Quran, with their simplicity and eloquence, attracted them automatically towards Islam. The Muslims, who travelled to Makkah and its suburbs for different purposes, after the conclusion of the pact, came in contact with their relatives and old friends, propagated Islam amongst them and informed them of the merits, laws and regulations, and the permissible and unpermissible things of this religion. And this thing in itself became the cause of a large number of the leaders of polytheism like Khalid bin Walid and Amr Ibn Ass joining the Muslims before the conquest of Makkah. In fact this sort of acquaintance of the people with Islam laid the foundation of the conquest of Makkah and became the cause of this great base of the world of idolatry coming under the control of the Muslims. ConsequentIy the people embraced Islam in large numbers. This great victory was the result of close contacts, removal
of fear from the hearts and propagation of Islam among the idolaters without any let or hinderance. 3. Close contact with Rasul at the time of the conclusion of the pact removed many misunderstandings from the minds of the leaders of polytheism, because the sublime morality of Rasul and his softness and forbearance as against the stubbornness of the other party proved him to be the fountain of greatest human virtues. Notwithstanding the fact that he had suffered a great deal at the hands of Quraysh, his heart was still full of sentiments of human love. Quraysh witnessed that in concluding the pact and accepting its forced clauses, he differed with the views of a large number of his own companions and preferred the honour of the Haram and the Kaba, and of his own birth-place (Makkah) to the inclinations of a group of his. This behaviour neutralized the adverse propaganda which had been carried on about the temperament of Rasul and proved that he was a
friend of humanity and a peaceable person, who would not show grudge and enmity to his enemies, even if he happened to gain control over Arabia one day. There is no denying the fact, however, that if Rasul had engaged himself in battle on that day he would have been victorious and as stated by Quran his enemies would have fled: Had the disbelievers fought against you they would run away from the battle and would have found no friend or helper. (Sura Fath, 48:22) However, he displayed kind sentiments and love for humanity by his mildness and neutralized the adverse propaganda against him. The readers should realize, in the light of these arguments, the grandeur of the remark of Imam Ja'far Sadiq about this Peace Pact. He says: "No event during the life of Rasul was more useful than the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah". The future events proved that the objections raised by a few companions of Rasul (whose ring leader was Umar bin Khattab) to this pact and its
contents were totally baseless. The historians have given complete particulars of the remarks of the objectors. The value of the pact becomes evident from the fact that Rasul had not yet reached Madina when Sura Fath, which gave good tidings to the Muslims, was revealed and it treated this act (conclusion of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah) to be a victory in jihad. It says: "Surely, we have granted you (O' Muhammad!) a manifest victory".
Soon after that, however, bitter events obliged Quraysh to request Rasul to cancel the second clause of the Peace Pact. It was the same clause, which had annoyed the companions of Rasul and which he had accepted on account of unusual stubbornness on the part of Suhayl. It says: "If a person from amongst Quraysh leaves Makkah without the permission of his elder and embraces Islam and joins the Muslims, Muhammad must return him to Quraysh. However, if one of the Muslims goes away to Quraysh they will be under no obligation to surrender him to the Muslims". This clause roused the indignation of some persons on that day, but Rasul accepted it from his heart and said: "God will open a path for the relief of the weak Muslims who are prisoners in the hands of Quraysh" The path of such relief and the reasons for the cancellation of this clause were as follows: A Muslim named Abu Basir who had been imprisoned by the idolaters for a long time somehow managed to
escape to Madina. Two big personalities named Azhar and Akhnas wrote to Rasul and reminded him that according to the second clause of the pact Abu Basir should be returned to them. They gave their letter to a man belonging to the tribe of Bani 'Amir, who was accompanied by a slave of theirs, and asked him to deliver it to Rasul. In accordance with the pact concluded by Rasul he said to Abu Basir: "You should return to your people and it is not at all proper that we should practise cunning against them. I am sure that God will provide means of relief to you as well as to others". Abu Basir said: "Are you handing me over to the idolaters so that they may make me abjure the religion of God?" Rasul, however, repeated the said sentence and handed him over to the representatives of Quraysh. The three men then left for Makkah. When they reached Zil Hulayfah. [Note: lt is a place six or seven miles away from Madina. People put on ehram there while going to
Abu Basir leant on a wall on account of fatigue. He then asked the man belonging to Bani 'Amir in a friendly way to give him his sword so that he might have a look at it. When the sword came in his hand he immediately killed the 'Amiri. The slave ran away on account of fear. He came to Madina and said to Rasul: "Abu Basir has killed my companion". Soon thereafter Abu Basir also came up and related his story and said: "O Prophet of God! You have acted according to the agreement made by you. However, I am not prepared to join the people who ridicule my religion". Having said these words he proceeded to the coast of the sea which was the route of the caravans of Quraysh and settled at a place named 'Eis. The Muslims of Makkah came to know about the story of Abu Basir and about seventy of them somehow got rid of Quraysh and joined him. These seventy Muslims, whose lives had been made miserable by Quraysh, decided to loot the trade caravans of Quraysh or to
kill anyone on whom they could lay their hands. They carried out their programme so skilfully that Quraysh were put out of patience by harassment. So much so that they wrote to Rasul to cancel the clause in question by mutual agreement and to call back Abu Basir and his companions to Madina. Rasul cancelled the said clause by mutual agreement and directed the fugitives who had settled in 'Eis to return to Madina. This provided a great relief to the people at large and Quraysh realized that a true believer could not be kept in captivity for ever and it was more dangerous to keep such a person as a captive, because whenever he escaped he would resort to taking revenge.
Hudaybiyah pact was signed. Umme Kulsum, daughter of 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'ayt, came to Madina from Makkah. Her brothers named Ammarah and Walid requested Rasul to return her to them in accordance with the second clause of the pact. Rasul replied to them: "Women are not covered by the said clause as that clause applies to men only". And Sura Mumtahinah made the position clear with regard to women. It says: Believers, when believing immigrant women come to you as fugitives, test them. God knows best about their faith. If you know that they are believers, do not return them to the disbelievers. They are not lawful for the disbelievers, nor are the disbelievers lawful for them. And give the disbelievers whatever they have spent (upon them as dowry). (Sura Mumtahinah, 60:10) This was the story of Hudaybiyah. As a consequence of the peace provided by this pact, Rasul was in a position to correspond with the kings and rulers of the world and to extend his call and
Prophethood to the humanity at large.
Hod did the Messenger of God invite the leaders of other nations to Islam? The Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah relieved Rasul of worries from the southern part of Makkah and hence a group from amongst the chiefs of Arabia got attracted towards Islam. In the meantime Rasul seized the opportunity and started correspondence with the rulers of the time, the chiefs of the tribes and the religious leaders of the Christians and presented his religion to the nations living during that period. lt was a religion which had by that time gone a step forward from a merely simple belief and had assumed the shape of a universal faith and could bring entire humanity under the banner of monotheism and sublime social and ethical teachings. This was the first step which Rasul took after nineteen years' conflict with the obstinate Quraysh. And if the internal enemies had not kept him busy in bloody battles he would have invited the distant nations to Islam much earlier. However,
the cowardly attacks of the Arabs obliged him to spend a major part of his time in the defence of Islam. The letters which Rasul wrote to the princes, kings. chiefs of the tribes and distinguished spiritual and political personalities shed a light on the method of his invitation. At present the texts of 185 letters which Rasul wrote for the propagation of or invitation to Islam or by way of agreements and pacts are available with us and the traditionalists and historians have preserved them in their records. All these letters show that the method of invitation to, and propagation of Islam, adopted by Rasul was that of logic and not that of war and sword. When Rasul felt secure from the attacks of Quraysh he made his voice reach the inhabitants of the world by sending letters and missionaries.
Some indiscreet persons view the universal prophethood of Rasul with suspicion and doubt and imitate the melody sung by some hired writers whose leader is an orientalist named Sir William Muir, who says: "the idea of the universality of the message of Muhammad came into existence later and from the time of the commencement of his prophetic mission till his death Muhammad invited only Arabs to Islam and he was not acquainted with any place other than Arabia". This British writer has followed the method peculiar to his own race. Notwithstanding numerous verses which testify that Rasul invited the entire humanity to monotheism and to his own prophethood, he (Sir William Muir) conceals facts and says that Rasul's invitation was extended to the Arabs only. We quote below some verses of Quran which go to show that the prophethood of Rasul is meant for the entire mankind: Muhammad, tell them: O' mankind! Certainly I have come to you all as God's Messenger.
(Sura Araf, 7:158) (It should be noted that the people addressed are not only the Arabs but the entire mankind). We have sent you as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner to the entire mankind, but most people do not know. (Sura Saba, 34:28) Quran is nothing but a reminder from God to mankind. (Sura Qalam, 68:28) No religion other than Islam will be accepted from anyone. Whoever follows a religion other than Islam will be loser in the Hereafter (Sura Ale Imran, 3:85). This verse supersedes all religions except Islam and makes it obligatory for the entire mankind to follow only Islam. Quran has been revealed, to warn to those who are living and the words of God may be fulfilled against the unbelievers. (Sura Yasin, 36:70) It is God Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and a true religion that will prevail over all other religions, though the polytheists may be averse. (Sura Tawbah, 9: 33 ) Now we ask the British writer as to how he says, in spite of
the universal invitation manifested in these verses, that the idea of the universality of Islam came into existence later? Is one justified in doubting the universality of the prophethood in spite of these and other verses and the messengers sent to far-off places and the texts of the letters of Rasul which are recorded in the pages of history? (Some of the original letters sent by him to different persons at far-off places are extant and adorn various museums of the world). The British writer says with shameless impudence that Holy Rasul was not acquainted with any place other than Arabia (the Hijaz) although he went to Syria along with his uncle when he was sixteen years of age and during his manhood he traded on behalf of Khadijah and used to accompany the trade caravans. No doubt, as and when we read in history books that Alexander the Macedonian wished to become the ruler of the world, or Napoleon was anxious to build up a world-empire, we are not
at all surprised, but when the orientalists hear that Rasul invited under the command of God, two great emperors of the world (with whose subjects the Arabs had trade relations) to embrace Islam, they, with all their obstinacy and baseless doubts, declare this to be something impossible.
Like all other important matters the question of inviting the rulers of various countries to Islam was also placed by Rasul before a big consultative council for discussion. One day he said to his companions: "All of you should be present tomorrow morning so that I may consult you about a very important matter". On the following day he addressed his companions, after morning prayers, as follows: "Exhort the servants of God to do good. God has disallowed Paradise to one, who becomes the guardian of the affairs of the people, but does not endeavour to guide them and show them the right path. You should rise and convey the message of Islam to far-off regions and should make mankind hear the voice of monotheism. However, you should not oppose me in the manner in which the disciples of Prophet Jesus opposed him". Rasul was asked as to how the disciples of Prophet Jesus opposed him. He replied: "Like me, he also deputed some pesons to act as his messengers in
different areas. From amongst them those who had to cover a short distance obeyed his command but those who had to travel a long distance disobeyed him". Thereafter Rasul sent six most proficient persons to different places along with letters in which his universal prophethood was reflected. These ambassadors of guidance proceeded to Iran, Byzantium, Ethiopia, Egypt, Yamamah, Bahrain and Hira (Jordan) on the same day. When the letters of Rasul had been written by special scribes people who were acquainted with the etiquette of the royal courts of those times, submitted to Rasul that he should seal the letters, because the various rulers did not condescend to read unsigned letters (and in those days signatures were subscribed by means of a seal). In view of this a silver seal-ring was prepared, as ordered by Rasul himself, and the sentence "Muhammad Rasul Alah" (Muhammad Messenger God ) was engraved upon it. The engraving was in this order: The word
'Alah' was at the top, 'Rasul' in the middle, and 'Muhammad' at the bottom, (God Messenger Muhammad). This order, and subtlety, was resorted to prevent imitation and forgery. The reader was required to commence reading the signatures from the bottom, till he reached the word 'Alah'. He did not content himself with even this, and having stuck down the envelope of the letter with a special wax (instead of the 'lac' of the present times) affixed the seal on it.
In those days the power of the world was in the hands of two big empires and the rivalry and wars between them had continued since long. War between Iran and Rome started in the days of Achaemenians and continued till the period of Sasanians. East was then ruled by the Iranian Emperor and Iraq, Yemen and a part of Asia Minor were treated to be satellites and colonies of Iran. The Roman State was then divided into two blocs (Eastern and Western), because in 395 AD Theodosius the Great, the Roman Emperor, divided his empire between his two sons and thus brought into existence two countries with the names of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. The Western Empire was overthrown in 476 A.D. at the hands of the savages and barbarians of Northern Europe. However, the Eastern Roman Empire which had its capital at Constantinople and which also controlled Syria and Egypt held the reins of world politics in its hands at the time of the advent of
Islam. It continued to exist till 1453 A.D. when Constantinople was conquered by Sultan Muhammad II Fateh (the Conqueror). Its existence then came to an end and it was completely shattered. Arabia was surrounded by these two super powers. However, as its land was not fertile and its inhabitants were nomads and were scattered, neither of the two empires showed inclination to conquer it. Their pride, tyranny and mutual wars also prevented them from becoming aware of the revolutions and political changes in this region and they could not at all visualize that a nation far away from civilization would put an end to their empires with the strength of its faith, and the areas which had fallen into darkness on account of their tyranny would be illuminated with the bright dawn of Islam. If they had gained knowledge about the existence of this shining light they would have extinguished it at the very first stage.
Kaiser, the Roman King, had vowed to God that if he was victorious in the war against Iran he would, as a mark of thanksgiving for this great victory, go from his capital (Constantinople) to Jerusalem on foot to perform pilgrimage of the Holy place. After gaining victory he acted according to his vow and proceeded to Jerusalem on foot. Dihyah bin Kalbi was deputed by Rasul to carry his letter to Kaiser. He had performed many journeys to Syria and was fully acquainted with the various places of that region. His impressive appearance, and sublime morals made him fully eligible for carrying out this important duty. Before leaving Syria for Constantinople he came to know at one of the towns of Syria called Busra that Kaiser had proceeded to Jerusalem. He, therefore, immediately contacted Harith bin Abi Shamir, the Governor of Busra and informed him of his important assignment. The author of Tabaqat-i Kubra writes: "Rasul had ordered Dihyah to give the letter
to the Ruler of Busra so that he might deliver it to Kaiser. Possibly this order was given in view of the fact that Rasul was personally aware of the journey of Kaiser or because the conditions and possibilities of Dihyah were limited and his journey to Constantinople was not free from difficulties and hardships. However the ambassador of Rasul contacted the Ruler of Busra. The governor called for Addi bin Hatim and ordered him to accompany the ambassador of Rasul to Jerusalem and deliver the letter of Rasul to Kaiser. The ambassador was to see Kaiser in the city of Hams. He sought an audience with Kaiser and requested that a time might be fixed for it. The officers concerned said to him: "You will have to prostrate before Kaiser thrice, because otherwise he will not attend to you and will not accept your letter". Dihyah, the wise ambassador of Rasul said: "I have taken all this trouble in coming here to put an end to these wrong customs. I have been
directed by Rasul to tell Kaiser that the worship of man should cease and none except God should be worshipped. How can I, with this assignment and belief, accept your viewpoint and prostrate before anyone except God?" The firmness, steadfastness and strong logic of the ambassador was admired very much by the employees of the royal court. A benevolent courtier said to Dihyah: "You should leave the letter on the special table of the Emperor and return. None except Kaiser touches the letters lying on that table. As and when Kaiser reads the letter he will call you". Dihyah thanked that man for the guidance, left the letter on that table, and returned. Kaiser opened the letter. The opening words of the Ietter, Bismillah (In the name of God) attracted his attention and he said: "I have not so far seen such a letter except that of Solomon. Then he called his interpreter so that he might read the letter and translate it for him. He translated Rasul's letter
as under: "From Muhammad bin Abdullah to the great Hercules of Rome. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. I invite you to the religion of Islam. Accept Islam so that you may be in safety (peace). God will give you double the rewards. But if you turn your face away from Islam, you will be responsible for the sins of the Arisiyans as well. O People of the Scriptures, we invite you to a common foundation that we should worship no one except God, we should not make partners to Him, we should not accept other gods; and if they turn away from this call, say: Be witnesses that we are Muslims (who submitted to God)". [Note: Arisiyans. There is a difference of opinion between the scholars about the meaning of this word. Some say that it means the employees of the court. Others say that it means the farmers, because in those days the majority of the people were farmers. This view is supported by the fact that in some books the word Akarin has been used
instead of the above word and Akar means a farmer. It is also considered probable that Aris was the name of a community which resided in the Roman Empire].
The wise Roman Ruler considered it probable that the writer of the letter was the same promised prophet, as referred to in the Gospel and the Torah. Hence, he decided to collect detailed information about him. He, therefore, called for the head of administrative department and said to him: "Make a thorough search throughout Syria. It is possible that you may be able to find out some relatives or kinsmen of Muhammad or some other persons who may be aware of his antecedents so that I may get some information from them. By chance, in those very days Abu Sufyan and some other persons from amongst Quraysh had come to Syria for trade. The representative of Kaiser contacted them and took all of them to Jerusalem. They were received in audience by Kaiser who said to them: "Is there anyone amongst you who may be related with Muhammad?" Abu Sufyan pointed to himself and said: "He and I belong to the same tribe and our fourth grand-parent (Abd-i Munaf) was common.
Kaiser ordered that Abu Sufyan should stand facing him and others should stand behind his back so that if he was partial in his replies they should at once point out his mistake or falsehood. Having made these arrangements Kaiser asked Abu Sufyan the following questions to which the latter gave replies seriatim: Kaiser: What do you know about the descent of Muhammad? Abu Sufyan: He belongs to a noble family. Kaiser: Was there any one amongst his ancestors who ruled over the people? Abu Sufyan replied in the negative. Kaiser: Did he refrain from falsehood or not, before claiming to be a prophet? Abu Sufyan: No doubt Muhammad was a truthful person. Kaiser: Which class of people supports him and believes in him? Abu Sufyan: The nobility is against him and the common and middle class people are his earnest supporters. Kaiser: Are his followers increasing? Abu Sufyan: Yes. Kaiser: Has anyone of his followers turned apostate so far? Abu Sufyan: No. Kaiser:
Has he been victorious while fighting or has he been defeated? Abu Sufyan: On some occasions he has been victorious and on others he has been defeated. Kaiser asked the interpreter to tell Abu Sufyan and his companions that if this account was correct he (Muhammad was definitely the last Promised Prophet. Then he added: "I have information that such a Prophet would appear, but I didn't think that he would belong to the tribe of Quraysh. However, I am ready to pay homage to him and to wash his feet as a mark of respect and in the near future his power and glory will capture the Roman territories". Kaiser's nephew said: "In the letter Muhammad has written his own name above yours, but he has not been punished for this sedition". Kaiser angrily said: "lt is appropriate that the name of the person on whom the Archangel Gabriel descends should precede mine". Abu Sufyan says: "Kaiser's keen partiality for Muhammad created a murmur in the court and I felt very
uneasy on account of this development lest the position of Muhammad should become so high that the Roman nation should be afraid of him. Although, when questioning commenced, I tried to belittle Muhammad in the eyes of Kaiser and told him that Muhammad was smaller as compared with what he had heard about him, but Kaiser did not pay any heed to my derogatory remarks and said: "Only give replies to the questions which I ask you."
Kaiser did not content himself with the information gained from Abu Sufyan but he wrote a letter about the matter to one of the sages of Rome. The sage wrote in reply: "He is the very Prophet who is awaited by the world". Kaiser arranged for a big gathering in one of the monasteries to find out the way of thinking of the Roman chiefs and, after reading out Rasul's letter before them, said: "Do you agree that I should accept his religion?" Immediately a great convulsion took place in the meeting, so much so that the opposition of the people frightened Kaiser out of his life. He at once rose from his place which was at an elevated point and spoke to the people thus: By making this proposal I wished to test you. Your firmness and steadfastness in the religion of Prophet Jesus has aroused my admiration and appreciation for you". Kaiser called Dihyah and honoured him. He wrote a reply to Rasul's letter and also sent some presents through Dihyah. In his letter
he showed his faith and devotion to him.
When the Ambassador of Rasul left for the Iranian court the ruler of that vast territory was Khusro Perviz. He was the second ruler after Anushirwan who ascended the throne thirty two years before the migration of Rasul and had to face many bitter and pleasant incidents during this period. During his reign the strength of Iran was completely in a state of vacillation. At one time Iran penetrated into Asia Minor and extended its authority up to the proximity of Constantinople and the Cross of Prophet Jesus, which was the most sacred thing amongst the Christians, was taken away by him to his capital Taisfun (Madain). The Roman Emperor requested for peace and sent an ambassador to the Iranian court to conclude a peace treaty. Now the frontiers of Iran coincided with the frontiers of the territories of the Achaemenians. Then, however, Iran came on the brink of downfall on account of wrong policies, immense pride and lavish living of the ruler. The conquered
territories went out of control one after the other and the enemy's forces reached the very heart of Iran (Dastgard near Taisfun). Consequently Khusro Perviz was obliged to flee on account of the fear of Romans. This shameful act on his part roused the wrath of the nation and eventually he was killed at the hands of his own son Shirviyah. The historians consider the decline of Iran to be the consequence of the pride, egotism and luxurious life of the ruler. If he had accepted the message brought by the ambassador of peace, the splendour of Iran would have remained safe and peaceful. If Rasul's letter did not make the desired impression on the mind of Khusro Perviz it was not due to anything wrong with the letter or because the person who brought it was at fault. In fact his peculiar mentality and excessive egotism did not permit him to ponder over the invitation of Rasul even for a few moments. Consequently when the interpreter had not yet finished the
letter he shouted and having snatched the letter tore it into pieces. Here are the details of the incident: In the beginning of the seventh year of migration Rasul appointed one of his brave officers named Abdullah Huzafah Sahmi Qarashi to carry his letter to Khusro Perviz inviting him to Islam. [Note: Ibn Saad says that Rasul sent the envoys in the month of Muharram, 7 Hijra] The letter of Rasul is given below:
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. From Muhammad, God's Messenger, to the great Kisra of Iran. Peace be upon him, who seeks truth and expresses belief in God and in His Prophet and testifies that there is no god but God and that He has no partner, and who believes that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Under the Command of God, I invite you to Him. He has sent me for the guidance of all people so that I may warn them all of His wrath and may present the unbelievers with an ultimatum. Accept Islam to find peace. And if you refuse to accept Islam, you will be responsible for the sins of the Magi". The ambassador of Rasul arrived in the Iranian court. Khusro Perviz ordered the letter to be taken from him. But the ambassador, said that it was necessary that he should deliver the letter to the king himself, and then he handed it over to him. Khusro Perviz called for an interpreter and he translated it thus: "This is a letter from Muhammad,
God's Messenger, to the great Kisra of Iran", The interpreter had not yet finished reading the letter when the Ruler of Iran got very much agitated, shouted loudly, took the letter from his hand, tore it into pieces and cried: "Look at this man! He has written his own name before mine". He ordered at once that Abdullah should be turned out of the palace. Abdullah came out of the palace, mounted his horse and left for Madina. On reaching there he reported the matter to Rasul. Rasul was displeased to learn about the disrespect shown by Khusro and signs of anger appeared on his face. He cursed him in these words: "O Lord! Break his kingdom into pieces."
As opposed to the fact generally accepted by historians Ya'qubi says in his history: "Khusro Perviz read Rasul's letter and sent him some musk and silk through his ambassador as a mark of respect to him. Rasul distributed the perfume and said that silk was not fit for men. He also said: "The power of Islam will enter his territories and the Divine decree will be enforced soon". However, none of the historians agrees with him, except Ahmad bin Hanbal, who writes that Khusro Perviz sent a present for Rasul.

The fertile territory of Yemen is situated towards the south of Makkah and its rulers had always ruled as satellites of the Sasanian Kings. The Ruler of Yemen in those days was Bazan and the Sasanian King wrote in a proud and self conceited tone: "It has been reported to me that a person from amongst Quraysh in Makkah claims to be a Prophet. Send two of your brave officers to him to him so that they may arrest him and bring him to me". Ibn Hajar Asqalani has quoted in al-lsabah that Khusro Parviz ordered Bazan that these two officers should persuade Rasul to revert to the religion of his ancestors and if he declined to do so his head should be cut off and sent to him. This letter clearly shows the ignorance of the ruler of the time. He did not even know that the claimant of prophethood had migrated from Makkah to Madina six years earlier. He also did not realize that it was not possible to arrest, by sending two officers, or at least to summon to Yemen,
a person who claimed to be a Prophet in a region whose influence had extended so much that he was sending ambassadors to the courts of the rulers of the world. As ordered by the centre, the Ruler of Yemen sent to the Hijaz two brave and strong officers name Firoz and Kharkhusrah. They first contacted a Qurayshite in Taif. He guided them and said: "The person whom you wish to contact is in Madina these days". They then went to Madina and presented themselves before Rasul. They delivered Bazan's letter to him and said: "According to the orders received from the capital, we have been deputed to take you to Yemen and we think that Bazan will correspond about you with Khusro Perviz and will do what he says, otherwise, however, war will start between you and us and the Sasanian power will destroy your houses and kill your men". Rasul heard their words with perfect calmness. Before giving them a reply he invited them to embrace Islam. He did not like their
appearances as they had grown long moustaches, and said to them: "My Lord has ordered me that I may grow my beard and shorten my moustaches". They were so much overawed by the greatness, formidableness and calmness of Rasul that when he invited them to Islam, they were trembling. Then he said to them: "You may go today. I will let you know my decision tomorrow". In the meantime revelation came and the Archangel Gabriel informed Rasul about the assassination of Khusro Perviz. On the following day, when the Yemenite officers came to Rasul, he said: "The Nourisher of the world has informed me that when seven hours of the last night had passed Khusro Perviz was assassinated by his son (Shirviyah) who has now ascended the throne. The night which Rasul specified was the night of Tuesday, the 10th of Jumadi al Awal, 7 Hijra. The representatives of Bazan were very much astonished on hearing this and said: "Responsibility for what you have said is greater by far
than the claim of prophethood which annoyed the Sasanian King. We have no alternative but to inform Bazan about it. He will send a report in this behalf to Khusro Perviz". Rasul said: "I shall be glad if you inform him about the matter and also tell him that my religion and power will reach those regions where fast steeds reach and if he embraces Islam I will leave to him the territories which are under his control at present". Then, in order to encourage the two persons deputed by Bazan, Rasul gave them a costly belt which was ornamented with gold and silver and had been presented to him by some chiefs of the tribes. Both of them were perfectly satisfied and took leave of him and proceeded to Yemen. On reaching there they conveyed to Bazan the message of Rasul. Bazan said: "If this news is correct he is certainly a Prophet of God and should be obeyed". In the meantime he received a letter from Shirviyah with these contents: Be it known to you that I
have killed Khusro Perviz. The wrath of the nation prompted me to kill him because he killed the nobles (of Persia) and dispersed the elders. As soon as you receive my letter you should obtain oath of allegiance for me from the people, and until you receive further orders from me don't be harsh to the man, who claims to be a Prophet and against whom orders had been issued by my father". Thc letter of Shirviyah provided means for the embracement of Islam by Bazan and the government employees, all of whom were Iranians. Bazan corresponded with Rasul and informed him about his own conversion to Islam as well as that of the employees of his government.
Egypt was the origin of old civilization, the centre of the Kingdom of the Pharaohs and the seat of Government of the Copts. Since the advent of Islam in the Hijaz, Egypt lost its power and independence. The Maqauqis had accepted the governor-generalship of Egypt from the Roman Emperor against payment of 19 million Dinars per annum. Hatib bin Abi Balta'ah was a brave and skilled rider and was associated with a famous event in the history of Islam. He was one of the six persons who were deputed to carry the missionary letters of Rasul to the rulers of the world. Rasul ordered him to carry the following letter to the Maqauqis, the Ruler of Egypt: "In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is a letter from Muhammad son of Abdullah to the Maqauqis, the head of the Copts. Peace be upon the followers of truth. I invite you to the religion of Islam. Come to Islam in order to find peace. Embrace Islam so that the AImighty may grant you double
rewards. And if you turn your face away from Islam you will be responsible for the sins of the Copts as well. O people of the Scriptures! We invite you to a common foundation that we should worship no one except God, we should not make partners to Him, we should not accept other gods; and if they turn away from this call, say: Be witnesses that we are Muslims (who submitted to God)".
The ambassador of Rasul proceeded to Egypt and learnt that the ruler was then residing in a lofty palace in AIexandria, situated on the bank of the river. He then proceeded to Alexandria and entered the palace of the Maqauqis by boat. Hatib was received in audience by the king, who opened the Ietter, read it and pondered over its contents for some time. Then he raised his head and addressed the ambassador of Islam in these words: "If Muhammad is really a Prophet of God, why were his opponents able to turn him out of his birth-place and why was he obliged to settle in Madina? Why did he not curse them so that they might have been destroyed by God " The intelligent and judicious ambassador of Islam replied: "Prophet Jesus was a Prophet of God and you too acknowledge him to be so. Why did he not curse the Children of Israel when they plotted to kill him so that God might have destroyed them?" The ruler, who did not expect such a prompt reply, yielded to the
strong logic of the ambassador and praised him saying, "Bravo! You are a wise man and you have brought a message from a wise and a fully accomplished person". The ambassador was emboldened by the cordial reception accorded to him by the Ruler of Egypt and spoke thus with a view to invite him to embrace Islam: "before you a person (the Pharaoh) ruled over this country; he oppressed the people for a long time. God destroyed him so that his life might be a lesson for you. However, you should endeavour that your life like his may not serve as a lesson for others. Our Prophet invited people to a pure religion. Quraysh campaigned against him and the Jews also opposed him with peculiar grudge. The people nearest to him are the Christians. I swear by my life that just as Prophet Moses son of Imran gave good tidings to the people about Prophet Jesus, the latter also has given good tidings about the Prophethood of Muhammad. I invite you to the religion of Islam
and our Heavenly Book (Quran), in the same manner in which you have invited the people of the Torah to the Gospel (of Jesus). Every nation which hears the call of a Prophet should follow him. And now that I have made the call of this Prophet reach your land it is only proper that you and the Egyptian nation should follow his religion. I do not at all restrain you from believing in the religion of Jesus. I should rather tell you that you should follow his religion but must know that the complete form of the religion of Jesus is Islam itself." The meeting of the ambassador with the Ruler of Egypt came to an end, but the Maqauqis did not give him a final reply. It was therefore, necessary that Hatib should stay on for some time more so that he could obtain a reply and carry it to Rasul. One day the Maqauqis called him and had a meeting with him in the palace in seclusion, and enquired from him about the programme and religion of Rasul. The ambassador
replied: "He invites people to worship only God. He orders that people should offer prayers five times during day and night and should also fast during the month of Ramadan. They should also perform pilgrimage of the House of God and must keep their promises. They should refrain from eating dead bodies and drinking blood .........." Hatib ended his words with explaining the sublime qualities of Rasul. The Ruler of Egypt said to him: "These are the signs of prophethood. I knew that the last Prophet had not yet come. However, I was under the impression that he would appear, not in the Hijaz but in Syria, which has been the centre for the appearance of the Prophets. But O Ambassador of Muhammad! You should know that if I embrace Islam the Copts will not cooperate with me. I hope that the power of this Prophet will extend to Egypt and his companions will come to our land and gain victory over the local forces and over the false beliefs. And I desire you to
keep this conversation secret and none of the Copts should know about it''.
The Ruler of Egypt called his Arabic scribe and ordered him to write a letter to Rasul as follows: "This is a letter to Muhammad bin Abdullah from the Maqauqis, chief of the Copts. Peace be upon you! I have read your letter, understood its contents and realized the truthfulness of your call. I knew that a Prophet would appear but thought that he would rise from Syria. I have welcomed the arrival of your ambassador." Then he mentioned in his letter the presents which he was sending to Rasul and ended it with the words: "Peace be upon you". The respect which the Maqauqis showed to Rasul in his letter and his writing the name of Muhammad first, as well as the precious gifts which he sent to Rasul and the welcome which he accorded to his ambassador, show that he had secretly accepted the invitation of Rasul, but his interest in his position as a ruler prevented him from making his faith public. From Egypt Hatib came to Syria under the protection of a group
of persons appointed by the Maqauqis. There he allowed those persons to return and proceeded to Madina along with a caravan. He delivered the letter of the Maqauqis to Rasul and also conveyed his message. Rasul said: "He has not accepted Islam on account of fear for his rulership, but his rule and authority will come to an end soon.
Ethiopia is situated at the far end of Eastern Africa. Its area is 18,000 sq. kilometres and its present capital is the city of Addis Ababa. The orientals were acquainted with this country for more than a century before Islam. The acquaintance commenced with the attack of the Iranian army during the Rule of Anushirwan and was matured with the migration of Muslims from Makkah to Ethiopia. When Rasul decided to send six distinguished and brave delegates to far-off places as envoys for making his universal prophethood known to the people of the world he appointed Amr bin Umayyah to proceed to Ethiopia with his letter and to convey his message to the Negus, the just ruler of that country. This was not the first letter which Rasul wrote to the Ruler of Ethiopia. He had written a letter earlier also about the Muhajirs asking the Negus to be kind to them. The text of that letter is recorded in history. Some times confusion takes place between the two letters
(between the one making recommendations for the Muhajirs, and the other written to communicate Rasul's universal prophethood), and the text of both of them is mixed up. When Rasul sent his envoy to Ethiopia with a letter some Muslim Muhajirs were still residing there whereas others had come over to Madina and had praised the justice of the great ruler of that country and his kindness to his subjects. In case, therefore, we find a sort of inclination, kindness and softness in the tone of the letter written by Rasul to that ruler, it is, because he was aware of the mentality of the Negus. In letters addressed to other rulers he warned them of the time of Divine wrath and told them that if they did not express their faith in Islam the sins of those who refrained from embracing Islam owing to fear would also be recorded in their account. However, no such thing has been said in the following letter to the Negus: "In the name of God, the Beneficent, the
Merciful. This is a letter from Muhammad, God's Messenger to the Negus, the King of Ethiopia. Peace be upon you! I praise God except Whom there is no god. He is God who is free from all defects and faults; and His obedient servants are safe from His wrath. He sees and witnesses the conditions of His servants. I testify that Prophet Esa Ibnay Maryam (Jesus son of Mary) is a Spirit of God and a 'Word' (of God), which settled in the womb of pious Maryam. God created him in the womb of his mother without a father with the same Power with which He created Adam without parents. I invite you to the One God Who has no partner, and require you to obey Him and to follow my religion. Profess faith in God Who has appointed me to the prophetic mission. The King of Ethiopia should know that I am God's Messenger. I invite you and all your soldiers to God and I have, by sending this letter and my envoy, discharged the onerous responsibility which devolved upon me and
have given you advice. Peace be upon those who follow guidance". Rasul commenced his letter with the Islamic salutation of Salamun Alayk and sent personal greetings to the King of Ethiopia. In other letters (sent to the Kisra, the Kaiser and the Maqauqis, the Rulers of Iran, Rome and Egypt respectively), however he began with a general salutation (Peace be upon the followers of guidance). In this letter he sent personal greetings to the Ruler of Ethiopia and thus accorded him superiority over other contemporary rulers of the world. In this letter a reference has been made to a number of salient attributes of God, which indicate His Oneness and Greatness. Thereafter Rasul propounded the question of 'Divinity' (whether Jesus was God) which is the creation of decayed thinking of the Church and refuted it by arguments inferred from Quran. As regards Prophet Jesus being born without a father he explained this event by making a comparison with the birth of
Adam and proved that if birth without father be an argument for one's being the son of God the same argument should apply to Adam, whereas the Christians hold no such belief about him. At the close of the letter he offered advice to him and thus manifested his own status.
When the necessary formalities ended the ambassador of Islam was received in audience by the Ruler of Ethiopia. He spoke to the ruler thus: "It is my duty to convey the message of Rasul to you, and your pure nature also demands that you should kindly listen to my submission. O Just Ruler of Ethiopia! Your sympathy for the Muslim migrants cannot be forgotten and these sentiments of yours have pleased us so much that we consider you as one of us and have a great confidence in you, as if we were your friends. Your Heavenly Scripture is a firm and indisputable witness. This Book is the best judge which doesn't do injustice and this just judge clearly testifies to the prophethood of Rasul. If you follow this universal Messenger and the Last Prophet of God you will acquire great blessings; otherwise you will be like the Jews who did not accept the religion of Prophet Jesus which superseded the religion of prophet Moses and continued to follow the superseded
religion. And the religion of Islam supersedes earlier religions like the religion of Jesus and in a sense completes them". The Ruler of Ethiopia replied to the envoy of Rasul in these words: "I testify that he is the same Prophet who is awaited by the people of the Scriptures and believe that just as prophet Moses informed the people about the prophethood of Jesus, the latter also specified the signs of the Last Prophet. I am prepared to proclaim his prophethood before the public. However, as the environment is not yet ready for such a proclamation and my strength is also insufficient, it is necessary that the requisite ground should be prepared so that the hearts of the people might be attracted towards Islam. If it had been possible for me I would have hastened to reach your Prophet at once''. Then he wrote a letter in reply to Rasul.
"In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. It is a letter to Muhammad, Messenger of God from the Negus. The blessings of One except Whom there is no god and the greetings of One Who guided me towards Islam be upon you. I have read your letter pertaining to the prophethood and human attributes of Jesus. I swear by the Lord of the heavens and the earth that whatever you have said is absolutely correct and I do not have the least difference with this belief. I have also become acquainted with the reality of your religion and have rendered such services to the Muslim migrants as were expedient. I testify by means of this letter that you are God's Messenger and a truthful person whose prophethood has been confirmed by the Heavenly Scriptures. I have performed the ceremonies of embracement of Islam and allegiance to you in the presence of your cousin (Ja'far bin Abu Talib). I am sending my son, Rarha, to your sacred presence to communicate my message
and embracement of Islam. And I state clearly that I am not responsible for anyone except myself. In case, therefore, you order me I shall present myself to your august presence. Peace be upon you O Prophet of God. The Negus sent special presents to Rasul and later two more letters were also sent to him by Rasul.
It is possible that the extension of universal invitation by Rasul to the various rulers might have appeared to some of the politicians of that age to be something beyond moderateness. However, the passage of time proved that Rasul had no other alternative. Firstly deputation of six envoys to different parts of the world and that too with firm and convincing letters closed the path of doubt for the opponents in the future. After the performance of this great act by Rasul none can entertain any doubt today about the universal nature of his invitation. Moreover, besides the verses revealed on the subject, sending of envoys is in itself the greatest proof of the universality of Islam. Secondly, the rulers of the time, excepting Khusro Perviz, who was a proud and despotic person, were generally impressed by the invitation and the letters. They showed great respect to the representatives of Rasul and the appearance of the Arabian Prophet became the subject of
discussion in religious circles. These letters awakened those who were asleep, gave a severe jolt to the heedless persons and stirred the sense of the civilized nations so that they might once again undertake discussion and investigation about the promised prophet of the Torah and the Gospel, and the religious personalities of the time might come in contact with the new religion in different ways. For this reason most of the leaders of different religions of those days came to Madina, during the last days of the life of Rasul and even after his death and studied his religion from near. In the foregoing chapters we have mentioned in detail the impression which the letters of Rasul made on the Rulers of Rome, Iran and Egypt. Now we should see what was the result of his letter to the Negus. After delivering presents to the representative of Rasul, the Negus, in order to acquaint the religious organization of Ethiopia with the truthfulness of Islam, sent
thirty proficient priests to Madina, so that they might study the simple and pious life of Rasul from near, and might not think that he too possessed an organization like the monarchs of the time. The persons deputed by the King of Ethiopia were received in audience by Rasul and they enquired from him about his belief with regard to Prophet Jesus. Rasul informed them of his belief about Jesus by reciting this verse: When God said, "Jesus, son of Mary, recall My favours to you and your mother. Recall how I supported you by the Holy spirit, made you speak to people from your cradle and when you grew up, taught you the Book, gave you wisdom, the Torah and the Gospel. Recall when, by My will, you made a sculpture of a bird out of clay, blew into it and it turned into a real bird. Recall how, by My will, you healed the deaf, the lepers and raised the dead. Recall when you came to the Israelites in the house with clear miracles and I saved you from their
mischief, even though the disbelievers among them said, "This is obviously magic". (Sura Maida, 5:110) The contents of the above verse moved them so much that tears began to flow down involuntarily from their eyes. Those deputed by the Negus returned to Ethiopia after a minute study of the invitation of Rasul and narrated their experiences to the king. His eyes were also filled with tears like those of the priests." Ibn Athir has narrated the story of the priests sent by the Negus in a different manner. He says: "All of them were drowned in the sea and Rasul sent a letter of condolences to the king". However, the text of the letter to which he has referred does not at all show that the Negus had faced any such calamity".
Ghassanians were a family of the Qahtani tribe named Azd who had been living in Yemen for a long time, and their lands were irrigated by means of Ma'rib Dam. When the dam was destroyed they were compelled to leave that place and come to Syria. Their power and influence eclipsed that of the natives and eventually they established a State named Ghassaniyah. They ruled in that area under the suzerainty of the Roman Emperors and when Islam disbanded their organization, thirty two persons out of them had ruled over Golan, Yarmuk and Damascus. Out of the six envoys who were sent to big countries to communicate the message of universal prophethood, the fifth was Shuja' bin Wahab, who proceeded to the State of Ghassaniyah to deliver Rasul's letter to their ruler, Harith bin Abi Shamir at Ba'uzah. When the envoy reached the territory of Harith he came to know that the ruler was busy making preparations to receive Kaiser who was coming from Constantinople to
Jerusalem on foot as a mark of thanksgiving for his gaining victory over his enemy, Iran. In the circumstances Shuja' bin Wahab had to wait for some time before his meeting with the ruler could be fixed. In the meantime he developed friendship with the Hajib (the chief of ceremonies) and informed him of the attributes of Rasul as well as about Islam. The impressive and penetrating words of the envoy brought about a peculiar change in the Hajib's thoughts, so much so that tears began to flow from his eyes and he said: "I have studied the Gospel very minutely and have read in it the attributes of Rasul and I hereby express my faith in him. However, I am afraid of Harith lest he should kill me. And Harith, too, is afraid of the Kaiser and even if he believes your words, he will not be able to proclaim his faith, because he as well as the ancestors of this family have been the satellites of the Kaiser. When Shuja' was received in audience by the ruler. he
saw him sitting on a throne and wearing a crown. He delivered Rasul's letter to him. It was as follows: "In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is a letter from Muhammad, God's Messenger to Harith bin Abi Shamir. Peace be upon the followers of truth and the guides and the true believers. O Harith! I invite you to the One God Who has no partner. If you embrace Islam your kingdom will continue to exist". The words at the end of the letter which threatened the destruction of his kingdom in the event of his failing to express faith (in God and Rasul) annoyed Harith and he said: "None can deprive me of my power. I must arrest this newly-risen Prophet". Then, in order to impress the envoy, he ordered that the army should march past before him so that the envoy of Rasul might see his military power from near. By way of rendering supererogatory service he also wrote a letter to the Kaiser and informed him of his decision to arrest Rasul. By
chance, his letter was received by Kaiser at the time when Dihyah Kalbi, another envoy of Rasul, was present in the court of Kaiser and the Roman Emperor was thinking about Islam. The Kaiser was displeased with the excessive zeal of the Ghassani Ruler and wrote to him in reply: "Give up your idea and see me in the city of Ailya." However, in accordance with the maxim: "People follow the path of their rulers", the reply of Kaiser altered the attitude of Harith and hence he gave the envoy of Rasul a robe of honour and, before he left for Madina, said to him: "Convey my greetings to Rasul and tell him that I am one of his real followers". However, Rasul did not attach any importance to his diplomatic reply and said: "In the near future his power will collapse". Harith died in the 8 Hijra, i.e. one year after this event.
The last envoy of Rasul proceeded to Yamamah, a territory situated between Najd and Bahrain, and delivered his letter to the ruler of that place named Hawzah bin Ali Hanafi. The text of Rasul's letter is as follows: "In the name of God. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. You should know that my religion will spread in the east and the west up to the remotest corners of the earth. Embrace Islam so that you may remain safe and your power and kingdom may continue to exist". As the Ruler of Yamamah was a Christian the envoy, chosen for that place, was a man, who had resided in Ethiopia for a long time and was fully conversant with the logic and ceremonies of Christianity. This man was Salit bin Amr who had migrated to Ethiopia under the orders of Rasul at the time when the Muslims were severely oppressed by the idolaters of Makkah. The sublime teachings of Islam and his contacts with different classes of people during his journeys had made him so brave
and strong that he impressed the Ruler of Yamamah by his words and said to him: "Honoured is he, who is blessed with faith and piety. The people who under your leadership will never be unsuccessful. I invite you to the best thing and restrain you from the worst acts. I invite you to worship God and prevent you from obeying Satan and following temptations and lusts The result of worshipping God is Paradise and that of following Satan is fire (Hell). If you do against what I have said, you should wait till reality dawns upon you". The face of the Ruler of Yamamah showed that the words of the envoy had made a good impression on him. He asked for time to ponder over the prophethood of Rasul. By chance one of the Archbishops of Rome happened to arrive in Yamamah at that time and the Ruler of Yamamah placed the matter before him. The bishop said: "Why did you abstain from acknowledging him?" He replied: "I fear for my kingdom and my authority". The bishop
said: "It is proper for you to follow him. He is the same Arabian Prophet whose appearance has been foretold by Jesus and it is written in the Gospel that Muhammad is God's Messenger". The advice tendered by the bishop encouraged the ruler. He called the envoy to deliver a letter from him to Rasul. The letter reads as follows: "You have invited me to the best religion. I am the poet, orator and spokesman of my community and enjoy a position amongst the Arabs which is recognized by all. I am prepared to follow your religion, subject to the condition that you allow me to share some high religious status". He did not content himself with this only. He sent a delegation to Madina headed by Muja'ah bin Murarah so that they might convey his message to Rasul and tell him that if this religious distinction was to devolve upon him after Rasul's death he was prepared to embrace Islam and to assist him, but otherwise he would wage war. Members of this delegation
presented themselves before Rasul and embraced Islam without any preconditions. As regards the Ruler of Yamamah Rasul said in reply to his message: "If his faith is conditional he is not fit for rulership and succession and God will protect me from his mischief ".
The letters written by Rasul inviting the princes, kings, rulers and religious personalities (to Islam) are more in number than those mentioned above and even now the research scholars have reproduced in their books twenty nine letters of invitation sent by him. For brevity's sake, however, we content ourselves with those mentioned above.


From the day Islam was preached in Madina the Jews became more inimical towards Rasul and the Muslims than even Quraysh, and rose with all their intrigues and strength to destroy this religion. The Jews who lived in Madina itself or in its suburbs met the fate they deserved on account of their noxious activities. A group of theirs was put to death, and others like the tribes of Bani Qaynuqa' and Bani Nuzayr were expelled from Madina, and they settled in Khaibar and Wadiul Qura'. The extensive fertile plain situated in the north of Madina at a distance of thirty two leagues is called the Valley of Khaibar and before the appointment of the prophetic mission the Jews had constructed seven strong forts in that area for their residence and safety. As this area was very suitable for agricultural purposes its residents were fully conversant with matters relating to farming, accumulation of wealth, procurement of arms and principles of defence. Its population
exceeded twenty thousand and many brave and warlike persons could be seen amongst them. The greatest crime committed by the Jews of Khaibar was that they instigated all the Arab tribes to destroy the State of Islam, and with their financial support the army of polytheism marched from different places in Arabia and reached the very walls of Madina. As a result of this the Battle of Ahzab took place (details of which have been given earlier). The measures taken by Rasul and the self-sacrifice of his companions made the attacking army, including the Jews of Khaibar, return to their homes after staying on the other side of the ditch for one month and peace and tranquility was restored in the Capital of Islam. Foul play by the Jews, who were previously respected by the Muslims, made Rasul decide to destroy this central place of danger and to disarm all of them, because it was not improbable that these obstinate and adventurous people might once again spend
large sums to instigate the idolatrous Arabs to rise against the Muslims, and the story of the Battle of Ahzab might be repeated, as their intolerance in the matter of religion far exceeded the love of Quraysh for idolatry and it was on account of this blind faith that while thousands of polytheists had embraced Islam, not even one Jew showed his readiness to forsake his religion. Another factor which prompted Rasul to destroy the power of the Jews of Khaibar, to disarm them, and to appoint his own officers to watch their movements, was that he had corresponded with the princes, kings and rulers of different countries of the world and had invited all of them in a decisive tone to embrace Islam, and in the circumstances it was not improbable that the Jews might become tools in the hands of Kisra and Kaiser and might decide to take revenge on the Muslims with the help of these two emperors and destroy the spiritual movement of Islam or instigate these
emperors to rise against Islam, just as they had instigated the idolaters earlier, as in those days the Jews had sided with one emperor or the other during the wars between Iran and Rome and so Rasul considered it necessary to nip this evil in the bud. This was the best time for carrying out this step, because after having concluded the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah Rasul was free from all embarrassment from the southern side (Quraysh) and knew that if he lays his hands on the organization of the Jews they would not receive any help from Quraysh. As regards prevention of other tribes in the north (like the families of Ghatfan who were the allies and friends of the people of Khaibar during the Battle of Ahzab) from helping the Jews, he had a plan in mind about which we will speak later. Prompted by these factors, Rasul ordered the Muslims to get ready to conquer the last centres of the Jews in Arabia. He added that only those persons, who were present at the
time of conclusion of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah, could participate in this battle. As regards to others they could join as volunteers but were not entitled to any share in the booty. Rasul appointed Ghayla Laythi to be his representative in Madina. He gave a white standard in the hands of Ali and ordered the Muslims to march. And in order that the caravan might reach the destination as early as possible he permitted his camel-driver, 'Amir bin Akwa' to recite verses while driving the camels. He, therefore, recited these verses: By God! If we had not been blessed by Him, we would have been misguided; we would neither have given alms nor offered prayers. We are such a nation that if a nation oppresses us or creates mischief against us, we would not tolerate it. O God! Grant us perseverance and keep us steadfast in this path. The subject-matter of these verses clarifies the motive and causes of this battle. It means that, as the Jews have oppressed us
and started mischief at the very threshold of our house, we have undertaken this journey to stop this danger. The contents of the verses pleased Rasul so much that he prayed for 'Amir. It so happened that 'Amir achieved martyrdom in this battle.
Rasul was very much interested in camouflage in the movement of troops. He wished that none should know his destination so that he might come upon the enemies unawares and besiege their environs before they could take any necessary decision. It was also his idea that everyone of the allied enemies should think that he was Rasul's target and they should, therefore, remain confined to their houses as a measure of precaution and should not join one another. [Note: At times it is said that in spite of this perfect camouflage the chief of the hypocrites (Abdullah Sallul) informed the Jews of Khaibar of the plan and advised them that besides defending themselves from above the forts they should also fight with the Muslims outside the forts.]
Some people thought that possibly Rasul had undertaken this journey towards north to suppress the tribes of Ghatfan and Fazarah who were the allies of the Jews in the Battle of Ahzab. However, after reaching the desert of Raji', he directed the forces to move towards Khaibar and thus cut off liaison between these two allies, and prevented the said tribes from coming to the help of the Jews of Khaibar. The result was that, although the siege of Khaibar continued for one month, the said tribes could not render any assistance to their allies. The great leader of Islam advanced towards Khaibar with 1600 warriors who included two hundred mounted soldiers. When they came near the region of Khaibar Rasul made the following invocation which is a proof of his pure intentions: "O God, Who are the Lord of the heavens and of whatever is below them, and the Lord of the earth and of whatever has thrown weight on it!........ I seek from You the goodness of this
habitation and the goodness of its inhabitants and of whatever is in it and seek refuge in You from its evil and from the evil of its inhabitants and from the evil of whatever is placed in it". This invocation, made as an entreaty and that too in the presence of 1600 brave soldiers, is an evidence of the fact that he had not come to this land for conquest i.e. to expand his territory, or to take revenge. On the contrary he had come to destroy this centre of danger which could possibly become a base for the idolaters, and his object was that the Islamic movement should not be threatened from this quarter. And, as the respected reader will observe, Rasul, after conquering the fort and disarming the Jews, made over their farms to them and contented himself with providing them full protection and exempted them from paying jizyah (tribute).
The seven forts of Khaibar had a particular name as: Naim, Qamus, Katibah, Nastat, Shiq, Watih and Sulalim. Out of these forts some were at times associated with the names of the chiefs of the particular forts. For example, one of them was called the Fort of Marhab. In order to protect the forts and to remain informed of the external state of affairs, watch towers had been constructed at the corners of all the forts so that the sentries posted there might report the external events to the inmates. The towers and the forts were constructed in such a manner that their inhabitants were in full control of the area outside the forts and could stone the enemies by means of catapults etc. This population of twenty thousand included two thousand brave and warlike persons who were perfectly well-off from the point of view of water and food reserves. These forts were so strong that it was not possible to drive a hole in them and those who attempted to approach
them were wounded or killed by the stones flung from within. These forts were considered to be strong fortifications for the Jewish warriors. It was necessary for the Muslims who were faced with a well-equipped and powerful enemy to make maximum use of military skill and war tactics to conquer these forts. The first thing which was done was that all the important points and paths and gates were occupied by the soldiers of Islam overnight. This job was performed so secretly and so quickly that even the sentries of the watch towers did not become aware of it. In the morning, when the farmers, having no knowledge of the developments, came out of all the forts of Khaibar with agricultural implements, their eyes fell on the brave soldiers of Islam, who had, with the strength of faith and strong hands and sharp weapons, closed all paths for them; so much so that if they had come one step forward they would have been arrested. This scene frightened them so
much that they took to their heels at once and all of them began saying: "Muhammad is here with his soldiers". They immediately fastened the gates of the forts tightly and held war councils inside. When the eyes of Rasul fell on the destructive equipment like spades and picks, he considered it to be a good omen and said these words for strengthening the morale of the soldiers of Islam: "God is Great! Ruined be Khaibar. When we descend upon a nation what a bad time it will be for those who have been warned!" The Jews decided, after discussions among them, that the women and children should be accommodated in one fort and the stores of foodstuffs should be shifted to another. Then the brave and warlike persons of every fort should defend themselves from above by means of stones and arrows. On some particular occasions the champions of every fort should come out of it and fight with the Muslims. The Jewish warriors did not abandon this plan till the end of
hostilities and were consequently able to withstand the strong army of Islam for a month. At times it took ten days making efforts to conquer a fort but the purpose was not achieved.
The place chosen by the officers of Islam as the headquarters of the army in this Islamic jihad was not very important from the military point of view. The Jewish army had complete control over it and there was no obstacle or impediment to their taking aims upon the headquarters of the army of Islam. In view of this one of the experienced warriors of Islam named Hubab bin Munzir came to Rasul and said: "If you have encamped at this spot under the orders of God, I don't have the least objection to it, because the commandments of God are above all our opinions and precautions. However, if it is a usual matter on which the officers can express their opinions, I am obliged to say that this point is within the view of the enemies and is situated near the Fort of Natah and as there are no trees or houses here the archers of the fort can very easily take aim at the centre of our army". Rasul, acting on one of the most important principles of Islam (consultation
and according respect to the views of others), spoke thus: "If you mention a better place I shall shift my camp there". After examining the land of Khaibar, Hubab suggested a place which was situated behind the date-palm trees and the army staff and headquarters were accordingly transferred there. Thereafter, till the conquest of Khaibar, the officers and Rasul came to the forts everyday from that place and returned to their camping place at night. No decisive view can be expressed with regard to the details of the war of Khaibar. However, it is learnt from all the books on history and biography of Rasul that the soldiers of Islam besieged the forts one by one and endeavoured to cut off communication of the besieged fort from other forts and resorted to besiege another fort after conquering the former one. The conquest was delayed of those forts which were connected with one another by underground passages or whose warriors put up a stubborn resistance,
whereas those forts, whose commanders were over-awed or whose connection with other forts was completely cut off were conquered easily. In such cases much lesser bloodshed took place and matters were settled expeditiously. According to some historians the first fort of Khaibar which surrendered to the Islamic forces after great effort and sufferings was the Fort of Naim. The conquest of this fort cost the martyrdom of Mahmud bin Maslamah Ansari, one of the greatest commanders of Islam. In this battle fifty soldiers of Islam were wounded. Mahmud bin Maslamah was struck by a stone which was flung from above and died instantly. However, according to Ibn Athir, he died after three days. As regards the fifty soldiers who were wounded they were carried to a place in the camping place which was meant for dressing of wounds. A group of the women of Bani Ghifar tribe came to Khaibar with the permission of Rasul to assist the Muslims, to dress their wounds and to
render all other services permissible for women in the army encampments. They rendered these services whole-heartedly and sincerely. The war council decided that after conquering the Fort of Naim, the Muslim soldiers should attack the Fort of Qamus. Its chief was Ibn Abil Haqiq. As a consequence of the self-sacrifice of the soldiers of Islam, this fort was also conquered and Safiyah, daughter of Hay bin Akhtab, who later became the wife of Rasul, was arrested. These two great conquests strengthened the morale of the soldiers of Islam and awe and fear prevailed over the Jews. However, the Muslims were in a great fix on account of foodstuffs, so much so that they were obliged to eat the meat of some animals, whose meat is abominable (though not unlawful). The fort which contained abundant foodstuffs had not yet come into the hands of the Muslims.
At a time when the Muslims were faced with extreme hunger and satisfied it by using the meat of animals, whose meat is disapproved, there came before Rasul a black faced shepherd who served as a cattle-man of the Jews and requested that the reality of Islam might be explained to him. On hearing the impressive and penetrating words of Rasul, he embraced Islam at once and said: "All these sheep have been entrusted to me (by the Jews). What am I to do with them now when my contact with their masters has been cut off?" Rasul said to him in clear terms in the presence of hundreds of hungry soldiers: "In my religion breach of trust is one of the greatest crimes. It is necessary that you should take all the sheep to the gate of the fort and hand them over to their masters". He complied with Rasul's orders and then participated in the battle immediately and met martyrdom in the path of Islam. No doubt, Rasul who had acquired the title of Amin (righteous) during
his early age continued to be righteous and honest in all circumstances The traffic of the herds was free in the morning as well as in the afternoon throughout the period of siege and not even one Muslim thought of taking away the sheep of the enemy, because Muslims too had become righteous and honest under the sublime teachings of their great leader. Only on one day, when all of them were fully overpowered by hunger, he permitted them to catch only two sheep from the herd and let the others enter the fort. This too would not have been done if acute hunger had not obliged them to do so. Hence, as and when the soldiers complained of hunger Rasul raised his hands in prayer and said: "O Lord! Make the soldiers conquer the fort in which foodstuffs are stocked". He did not, however, allow them to acquire the property of the people until victory had been achieved. [Note: Some historians believe that the said forts were occupied peacefully through negotiations
and the events now being narrated, relate to the Forts of Qamus or Nastat.]
By taking these facts in view the baselessness of the statements of some biased contemporary orientalists become patent, because, in order to belittle the sublime aims of Islam, they endeavour to prove that the battles fought by the Muslims were aimed at plundering and collecting booty, and the rules of justice at the time of fighting battles were not observed by them. However, the incident mentioned above as well as other similar incidents recorded in history prove the falsehood of these statements, because Rasul did not permit, even in the most difficult circumstances (e.g. when his self-sacrificing soldiers were faced with hunger and death), that the shepherd should commit breach of trust with his Jewish employers, although he could confiscate all the sheep at that time.
After the conquest of the said forts the besieging forces turned their attention to the Forts of Watih and Sulalim. However, the attacks by the Muslims were strongly resisted by the Jews outside the fort and the warriors of Islam could not gain victory in spite of their dauntless courage. The figures of the heavy losses sustained by them have been recorded by the great biographer of Islam, Ibn Hisham, under a special column. They fought with the Jews for ten days but returned to the camping-place everyday without achieving any success. On one of these ten days Abu Bakr was nominated to fight for victory. He came up to the edge of the fort carrying a white standard and the brave soldiers of Islam moved under his command. However, after some time they returned without achieving any result and the commander and the army held each other responsible for failure and fleeing the battlefield. On the following day the command of the army was entrusted to Umar. He
also repeated the story of his friend and, according to Tabari, frightened the companions of Rasul by praising the chief of the fort, Marhab, for his extraordinary valour and bravery. Rasul and the commanders of Islam were very much displeased at this. In the meantime Rasul called the officers and warriors of the army together and uttered the following stirring sentences which are recorded in the history: "Tomorrow I shall give this standard to a man, who does not show his back to the enemy, nor flees the battlefield; man who loves God and His messenger, and whom God and His mesenger love; and at whose hands, God will give victory."
And as quoted by Tabarsi and Halabi, Prophet used the words 'Karraran Ghayri Farraran' (Combat Warrior not a Runner), which mean one who attacks the enemy repeatedly and does not run away (reference that is quite the opposite of the previous commanders). This sentence, which is an evidence of the superiority, spiritual excellence and valour of the commander, who was destined to be the victor, created a clamour of joy coupled with agitation of mind amongst the soldiers and commanders of the army, and everyone of them was desirous that this great military medal might fall to his share.
[Note: Historian Halabi says that when Ali heard these words of Rasul in the tent he said with a strong desire in his mind: "O Lord! If you reward somebody, nobody can deprive him; and if you deprive somebody, nobody can reward him". The story of the fleeing of the two commanders touched Ibn Abi Hadid, the great historian of Islam, extremely. He says in his famous Qasidah (poem ): "Even if I forget everything I cannot forget the story of these two great commanders of Islam, because they proceeded towards the enemy with swords in their hands, but turned their backs towards the enemy and ran away although they knew that it is unlawful to run away from jihad. They took the great standard of Islam towards the enemy, although, in fact, their lot was humiliation and degradation. A swift man from amongst the descendants of prophet Moses was turning them away. He was a tall man who was mounted on a swift-running horse".

The darkness of night spread everywhere. The soldiers of Islam went to sleep and, the sentries took their positions at elevated places to watch the movements of the enemy. At last the day dawned. The commanders came round Rasul. The two defeated commanders also attended with protracted necks and were anxious to know as early as possible as to whom the glorious standard was going to be given. The silence of the anxiously waiting persons was broken by Rasul's words "Where is Ali?" He was informed that he was suffering from an ailment of the eyes and was resting in a corner. Rasul said: "Bring him". Tabari says: "Ali was mounted on a camel and was made to alight before the tent of Rasul". This sentence shows that the ailment of the eye was so severe that it had made the commander incapable of movement. Rasul drew his own hand on his eyes and prayed for him. This action and this prayer had an effect like the breath of Prophet Jesus, for thereafter the eyes
of Ali, the great commander of Islam, had no complaint throughout his life. Rasul ordered Ali to advance. He reminded him in this connection that before resorting to fighting he should send his representatives to the chiefs of the fort and should invite them to embrace Islam. In case, however, they declined to do so he should inform them of their obligations under the banner of the Government of Islam viz. that they should disarm themselves and lead a free life under the protection of Islam on payment of jizyah. In case, however, they refused to accept any of these proposals he should resort to fighting. And the last sentence which Rasul uttered as a guideline to Ali was this: "If God guides even one person through you it is better than that you should be possessing red-haired camels and should spend them in the path of God". There is no doubt that Rasul thought of showing the right path to the human beings even during the battle and this in itself
shows that these battles were fought for the guidance of the people.
The historians and biographers of Islam have written in detail, on the conquest of Khaibar and one learns a number of facts by studying these writings. We mention here what has been written by the biographers of Rasul by way of narration of events, and shall undertake its scrutiny later. The texts and pages of the history of Islam relating to this battle show that, without the bravery and self-sacrifice of the Leader of the Believers, it would not have been possible to conquer the dangerous forts of the Jews of Khaibar. Though some writers have tampered with facts and replaced them by myths, yet a considerable number of research scholars have paid due tributes to Ali in the matter. A summarized version of this historical event as collected from various history books is given below: When Ali was appointed by Rasul to conquer the Forts of Watih and Sulalim (the same forts which the two earlier commanders had failed to conquer and had dealt an irreparable
blow to the prestige of the army of Islam by showing a clean pair of heels) he put on a strong coat of mail and fastened his sword, Zulfiqar, to his belt. He then proceeded to the fort with the special courage which behoves the champions in the field and installed the standard of Islam, which Rasul had given him, at a place near Khaibar. In the meantime the Gate of Khaibar was opened and the brave men of the Jews came out. First of all Marhab's brother came forward. His formidable mien and yelling voice was so terrifying that the soldiers, who were behind Ali, stepped back involuntarily. However, Ali stuck to his place like a mountain. Soon after Ali struck Harith down, his wounded body lay on the ground, and he breathed his last. The death of Harith made Marhab very sad. He came forward to avenge his brother's death in such a state that he was armed to teeth.He had put on a Yemen coat of mail on his body and was wearing a cap made of a particular stone
on his head which he had covered with a helmet. According to the custom of the champions of Arabia he recited the following epic verses: "The doors and walls of Khaibar testify that I am Marhab. I am an experienced warrior and am equipped with weapons of war. If time is victorious I too am victorious. Warriors who face me in the battlefield are coloured with their blood". Ali also recited epic verses in reply and cast his own position as a soldier, and the strength of his arms, and said: "I am the same person whom his mother called Haydar (lion). I am a valiant person and a lion of the jungles (of bravery). I have powerful hands and a strong neck. In the battlefield I strike the people with awe like a lion". The epic verses from both the sides came to an end. The thunderous sound of the blows of swords and spears of the two warriors created a peculiar awe in the minds of the on-lookers. Suddenly the sharp and knocking sword of the hero of Islam struck
the head of Marhab and cut his shield, helmet, stone-cap and head up to teeth into two parts. This blow was so severe that some Jewish soldiers, who were standing behind Marhab, ran away and took refuge in the fort, and some others who did not flee fought hand to hand with Ali and were killed. Ali pursued the fleeing Jews up to the gate of the fort. During this struggle one of the Jewish soldiers struck the shield of Ali with his sword and it (i.e. the shield) fell down from his hand. Ali immediately turned to the fort, pulled off its gate and used it as a shield till the end of the fight. And when he threw it on the ground ten strong soldiers of Islam including Abu Raf'e tried to turn it upside down but failed to do so. As a result of this the fort, for the conquest of which the Muslims had been waiting for ten days, was conquered in a short time. Ya'qubi says: "The gate of the fort was made of stone and was four zara' long and two zara' wide. [Note:
One zara' is about 15 inches].
Shaykh Mufid quotes the story of pulling off the Gate of Khaibar from the Leader of the Believers on the authority of a special source in these words: "I pulled off the gate of Khaibar and used it as a shield. After the end of the combat I placed it like a bridge on a ditch which had been dug by the Jews. Then I pitched it into the ditch". A person asked him: "Did you feel it heavy?" Ali replied: "I felt it to be as heavy as my shield". The historians have quoted very surprising things about the gate of the fort of Khaibar and its peculiarities and the valour which Ali displayed in conquering this fort. The fact is that such feats cannot be performed with the usual human strength. However, Ali has explained the matter himself and has thus removed all doubts and suspicions. For, in reply to an enquiry made by a person, he said: "I didn't pull off that gate with human strength. I did it with the strength granted me by God, and on account of my firm faith
in the Day of Judgement".
Justice demands that we should admit that Ibn Hisham and Abu Ja'far Tabari have given a comprehensive account of the fighting of Ali in Khaibar and have narrated the minutest details of the event. However, in the end, they have mentioned the imaginary possibility of Marhab having been killed at the hands of Muhammad bin Maslamah and say: "Some believe that Marhab was killed at the hands of Muhammad bin Maslamah, because he was appointed for the purpose by Rasul so that he might avenge the killing of his brother by the Jews at the time of the conquest of the Fort of 'Naim and he might have succeeded in accomplishing this task". This possibility is so unfounded that it cannot at all compare with the authentic and successively narrated history of Islam. Moreover, a number of difficulties are inherent in this fiction as we mention below: 1. Tabari and Ibn Hisham have quoted this fiction from a distinguished companion of Rasul viz. Jabir bin Abdullah and the
narrator of this story has quoted this anomalous matter from that great man, when the fact is that Jabir had the honour of accompanying Rasul in all the battles, but he could not participate in this battle. 2. Muhammad bin Maslamah was not so brave that he could have become the Conqueror of Khaibar and he did not show any proof of bravery in his life. In the second year of migration he was appointed by Rasul to kill the Jew, Katb bin Ashraf, who was inciting the idolaters to rise against Islam, after the Battle of Badr, and to fight with the Muslims once again. He was, however, so much frightened that he did not eat or drink anything for three nights and days and Rasul criticized him on account of this fear. He said in reply: "I don't know whether or not I shall succeed in this task". On observing this state of affairs Rasul sent four persons with him so that they might put an end to the mischief of Katb bin Ashraf, who was trying for the renewal of
hostilities between the idolaters and the Muslims. They chalked out a special plan for the purpose and killed the enemy of God at midnight. However, on account of excessive fear and dread, Muhammad wounded one of his own companions. Certainly a person with such a morale could not push back the warriors of Khaibar. 3. The Conqueror of Khaibar did not only combat with Marhab and kill him, but after Marhab was killed some persons fled and some others came in the battlefield one by one and engaged with him in single combat. The Jewish warriors who fought with Ali after Marhab had been killed were (i) Dawud bin Qubus (ii) Rabi' bin Abil Haqiq (iii) Abul Baith (iv) Marrah bin Marwan (v) Yasir Khaibari (vi) Zajih Khaibari. These six persons were the champions of the Jews outside Khaibar and were considered to be the greatest obstacle in the way of the conquest of the forts of Khaibar. And all of them, while singing epic verses and challenging the opponent for
a fight were killed at the hands of the Leader of the Believers. In the circumstances it should be judged as to who could be the Conqueror of Khaibar and the killer of Marhab. Because, if Muhammad bin Maslamah were the killer of Marhab he could not have returned to the camping-place of Islam after killing Marhab and ignored the warriors at the back of Marhab, because he should have fought with those persons as well, whereas all historians are unanimous that these persons fought with Ali and were killed at his hands. 4. This myth of history is opposed to repeated traditions quoted from Rasul, because he said about Ali: "I shall give this standard to a man at whose hands victory will be accomplished", and on the following day he gave the standard of victory in his hand. And one of the greatest impediments in the way of victory was Marhab of Khaibar, whose bravery had made two commanders of Islam flee the field. Now if the killer of Marhab had been
Muhammad bin Maslamah it was only appropriate that Rasul should have uttered the aforesaid sentence about him and not about Ali. The famous historian Halabi says: "There is no doubt about the fact that Marhab was killed at the hands of Ali''. Ibn Athir says that the biographers and traditionalists consider Ali to be the killer of Marhab and repeated narrations have been quoted confirming this fact. Tabari and Ibn Hisham have been somewhat disturbed and have mentioned the event of the defeat and return of the two commanders, who were appointed to conquer the fort before Ali, in such a manner that it does not conform with the purport of the sentence which Rasul uttered about Ali. For Rasul had said about Ali: "Who does not run away" i.e. he is a commander who does not run away, whereas the two earlier commanders had actually run away and had vacated the entrenchments. The aforesaid two writers have not, however, mentioned this point and have narrated the
event in such a way as if they performed their duty fully but could not succeed in conquering the fort.
We bring the topic to an end here after mentioning three virtues of the Conqueror of Khaibar. One day Muawiya criticized Saad Waqqas for not cursing Ali. He said in reply: "Whenever I am reminded of three virtues of Ali, I earnestly desire that I might have possessed at least one of them: 1. On the day on which Rasul appointed him as his representative in Madina and himself departed for the Battle of Tabuk, he said to Ali: "You enjoy the same relationship with me which Harun enjoyed with Moses except that no prophet will come after me. 2. On the Day of Khaibar Rasul said: "Tomorrow I will give the standard to a person who is loved by God and Rasul." All the great officers and commanders of Islam were anxious to acquire this honour. On the following day, however, Rasul called Ali and gave him the standard and God granted us a great victory which was solely due to the self-sacrifice of Ali. 3. When it was decided that Rasul should engage in Mubahilah
(cursing) with the leaders of Najran, he held the hands of Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn, and said: "O God! These are the members of my family''.
The gates of the forts of Khaibar were opened and the Jews surrendered before the army of Islam under certain special conditions. However, it should be seen as to what were the factors responsible for this victory and they are of course the distinguished points of this episode. This remarkable victory of Muslims was the consequence of the following facts: 1. Military plan and tactics. 2. Procurement of information and becoming aware of the secrets of the enemy. 3. Perfect bravery and self-sacrifice of Ali, the Leader of the Believers.
1. The army of Islam encamped at a place from where it cut off contacts between the Jews and their friends (the tribes of Ghatfan). Generally speaking there were a large number of swordsmen and dauntless persons in the families of Ghatfan and if they had come to the help of the Jews and had fought side by side with them, the conquest of the Forts of Khaibar would have been impossible. When the tribesmen of Ghatfan came to know about the march of the army of Islam they moved immediately with sufficient equipment to assist their allies. However, while they were on their way it was rumoured amongst them that the companions of Muhammad were proceeding to their own territory from a deviated path. This rumour gained so much strength that they returned from half-way and did not move from their place till Khaibar was conquered by the Muslims . The historians consider this rumour to be the result of an occult voice. However, it is not improbable that this rumour
might have been spread by the Muslims of the tribe of Ghatfan and the inventors of this rumour were the persons who were actually Muslims and were living amongst their tribesmen in the garb of unbelievers and were so expert in designing this plan that they prevented the forces of Ghatfan from proceeding to help their allies. And this action had a precedent in the Battle of Ahzab, because as a consequence of the espionage of a Ghatfani Muslim named Naim bin Masud, the army of the infidels had scattered and had withheld their assistance from the Jews.
2. Rasul attached great importance to the procurement of information in connection with the wars. Before besieging Khaibar, therefore, he sent twenty persons to that place as fore-runners under the command of 'Abbad bin Bashir. They met one of the residents of Khaibar near that locality. After conversing with him 'Abbad realized that he was one of the well-informed persons of the Jews. He, therefore, ordered his immediate arrest and sent him to Rasul. When he was threatened with death he divulged all the secrets of the Jews. It was learnt from him that the Jews had become very nervous after receipt of report from the chief of the hypocrites (i.e. Abdullah bin Sallul) and they had also not yet received any assistance from the Ghatfan tribe. During the sixth night of the battle the sentries of Islam arrested a Jew and brought him before Rasul, who enquired from him about the conditions and affairs of the Jews. He said: "I will tell that provided my life
is guaranteed". When he got an assurance, he said: "This night the soldiers of Khaibar will shift from the Fort of Nastat to the Fort of Shiq to defend themselves from there. O Abul Qasim! You will conquer the Fort of Nastat tomorrow. Rasul said: 'If God wills'. In that fort you will find hidden underground large quantities of catapults, military vehicles, coats of mail and swords, and with these weapons you can stone the Fort of Shiq. The great leader of Islam did not utilize these destructive weapons, but the information furnished by the captured person was important since he made it clear as to which fort was to be attacked on the following day, and it became known that the conquest of the Fort of Nastat would not require a large force and a greater care was needed for the conquest of the Fort of Shiq. After the conquest of one of the forts was delayed for three days a Jew came to Rasul, possibly to save his own life, and said: "Even if you stay at
this place for one month you will not be able to over-power them. However, I can point out the source of supply of water to this fort and if you desire you may cut off their water supply". Rasul did not agree to this proposal and said: "We don't cut off the supply of water to anyone lest he should die of thirst". However, in order to weaken the morale of the enemy he ordered that supply of water to them to be suspended temporarily. This thing frightened them so much that soon after a brief fighting, they surrendered to the army of Islam.
3. We have briefly mentioned earlier the self-sacrifice made by Ali and now we quote here his own remark: "We were stationed opposite a bigger force and the strong forts of the Jews. Their warriors came out of the forts and challenged their adversaries to fight and killed some persons every day. In the meantime Rasul ordered me to get up and proceed towards the fort. I faced their champions and killed some of them and pushed back others. They took refuge in the fort and shut its gate. I pulled off the gate and entered the fort alone. None opposed me and in this matter there was none who assisted me except God".
When the Fort of Qamus was conquered Safiyah daughter of Hay bin Akhtab and another woman were made captives. Bilal let these two women pass by the dead bodies of the Jews, who had been killed in the battle, and brought them before Rasul. When Rasul learnt about the matter he got up, placed a cloak on Safiyah's head, showed her respect and provided for her a special place for rest in the encampment. Then he said to Bilal harshly: "Are you completely devoid of kind feelings, that you made these women pass by the dead bodies of their dear ones?" He did nor content himself with this only but selected Safiyah for himself and formally adopted her as his wife and thus compensated for her broken heart. Good treatment meted out to her by Rasul and his kind sentiments had such a good effect on her that she was later considered to be one of his most affectionate and faithful wives, and she wept more than others when he was about to die.
Ever since the Jews of the tribe of Bani Nuzayr had been expelled from Madina and had settled in Khaibar they had formed a common chest for public matters and war expenses and for the payment of blood-money on account of those, who were killed at the hands of Bani Nuzayr. The reports received by Rasul showed that this money was under the control of Kananah, husband of Safiyah. Rasul summoned Kananah and enquired from him about the details of the chest. He, however, denied having any knowledge about it. Orders were, therefore, given that he might be kept in custody and more information about the chest might be collected. Those appointed for locating the money commenced investigation. Eventually a person said, "I think that this treasure is hidden at such and such place (a ruined place), because I have seen Kananah visiting that place very often during the battle and thereafter. Rasul called Kananah once again and said: "It is said that the chest is at
such and such place. If the treasure is found from there you will be killed". He again pleaded ignorance. As ordered by Rasul the place in question was dug and the treasure of Bani Nuzayr fell in the hands of the soldiers of Islam. It now became necessary to punish Kananah for his deeds. Besides concealing this fact (i.e. the location of treasure) he had also assassinated one of the of officers of Islam in a dastardly manner (i.e. he had suddenly thrown a big stone at the head of Mahmud bin Maslamah, who died instantly). In order to take revenge and also to chastise the Jews, so that they might not practise deceit and falsehood on the Government of Islam in future, Rasul handed over Kananah to the deceased's brother, who killed him as a measure of revenge. Kananah was the last person to be put to death for assassinating a distinguished officer of Islam.
After the conquest of the enemy forts, and general disarmament and collection of the booty, Rasul ordered the entire booty to be brought at a particular place. As directed by Rasul a man proclaimed loudly amongst the soldiers of Islam: "It is incumbent upon every Muslim to return to the public treasury whatever booty has come into his hands even though it may be a thread and a needle, because breach of trust is a matter of shame and will prove to be a fire for his soul on the Day of Judgement". The real leaders of Islam have been very strict in the matter of trusteeship; so much so that they have considered the return of deposits to be one of the signs of faith, and breach of trust to be one of the signs of hypocrisy. Hence, when stolen property was found in the property left behind by a soldier Rasul did not offer his funeral prayers. The details of this incident are as follows: On the day of departure from Khaibar an unexpected arrow hit a slave who
was responsible for fastening the camel-litters for Rasul and he died instantly. Persons appointed for the purpose made investigations but no result was achieved. All said: "May he be blessed with Paradise". However, Rasul said: "I don't concur with you in the matter, because the cloak on his body is a part of war booty and he committed a breach of trust, and it will encircle him in the shape of fire on the Day of Judgement" In the meantime one of the companions of Rasul said: "I have taken two shoe-laces out of the booty without permission''. Rasul said: "Return them; otherwise they will be fastened to your feet on the Day of Judgement in the shape of fire". It is here that the ulterior motives of the biased orientalists become evident, because they describe the battles of Islam as plundering, but shut their eyes from their spiritual aims, as this type of discipline cannot be expected from a plundering group. It is not possible for the leader of a
plundering community to treat honesty as the sign of faith and to train his soldiers in such a manner that he should be able to restrain them from taking even a shoe-lace from the public property.
Before proceeding to Khaibar Rasul sent Amr bin Umayyah to the court of the Negus. The purpose of sending his envoy to the Ethiopian court was that he should convey a message of Rasul to the King of Ethiopia and ask him to provide facilities for the departure of all the Muslims residing in Ethiopia. The Negus arranged two boats for them. The boats of the Muhajirs cast the anchor on the coast near Madina. The Muslims came to know that Rasul had proceeded to Khaibar and they also arrived in Khaibar without any delay. The travellers of Ethiopia arrived at the time when all the forts had been conquered. Rasul took sixteen steps forward to receive Ja'far bin Abu Talib, kissed his forehead and said: "I don't know for which thing I should be more happy-whether for that I have met you after so many years or for that God has opened the forts of the Jews for us through your brother Ali" . Then he added: "Today I wish to give you a gift". People thought that the
gift would be just like other material gifts consisting of gold or silver. Suddenly, however, Rasul broke the silence and taught him a prayer which later became known as the 'Prayer of Ja'far Tayyar.'
The casualties of the Muslims in this battle did not exceed twenty. The casualties of the Jews were ninety three as recorded in the history books.
When great and pious persons are victorious they show love and kindness to their vanquished and helpless enemies. As soon as the enemy surrenders they show indulgence to him
and refrain from taking revenge and from nursing a grudge against him. After the conquest of
Khaibar the great leader of the Muslims showed kind sentiments to the people of that place
(notwithstanding the fact that they had spent large sums of money to instigate the idolatrous Arabs
to rise against him and had subjected Madina to attack and possible fall) and conceded their
demand that they might stay on in Khaibar and continue to possess the lands and trees of that
area subject to the condition that they would pay half of the produce to the Muslims. Not only
this according to Ibn Hisham's own quotation Rasul made the above suggestion himself
and thereby accorded freedom to the Jews to remain engaged in agriculture and to plant and bring
up trees. Rasul could put all of them to sword or expel them from Khaibar or compel them to
0embrace Islam. However, as opposed to the thinking of the biased orientalists and the hirelings
and theoretical soldiers of colonialism who imagine that Islam has been spread at the point of
sword, he Rasul did not do any such thing, but granted them complete asylum, and allowed
them to follow the principles, rules, regulations and ceremonies of their religion. If Rasul
waged war against the Jews of Khaibar it was on account of the fact that Khaibar and its
residents were the centre of danger for Islam and always collaborated with the idolaters to topple
down the newly established Government of the Muslims. Rasul, was, therefore, obliged to
fight with them and to disarm them so that they might engage themselves freely in agriculture and
might perform their religious functions under the suzerainty of the Islamic Government. Otherwise
life would have become very difficult for the Muslims and advancement of Islam would have come
to a halt. If he took jizyah from them it was for the reason that they enjoyed security under the
Islamic Government and it was obligatory upon the Muslims to protect their lives and property. And
according to minute calculations the taxes which every Muslim was obliged to pay the Islamic
Government, exceeded the jizyah which the Jews and the Christians were required to pay. The
Muslims had to pay zakat and khums and at times they had also to make payments out of their net
property to meet the needs of the Islamic Government. As compared with this the Jews and the
Christians, who lived under the banner of Islam and enjoyed collective and individual rights, had to
make payments, like the Muslims, by way of jizyah, for the security of this banner. The imposition
of Islamic jizyah is something different from taking tribute. The representative of Rasul, who
was nominated every year to assess and divide (into two halves) the produce of Khaibar, was a
virtuous and just person, who commanded admiration of the Jews for his impartiality and justice.
This person was Abdullah Rawaha, who was later killed in the Battle of Mota. He used to assess
the share of the Muslims out of the produce of Khaibar and at times the Jews thought that he had
been mistaken in his assessment and had ear-marked (the share of the Muslims) in excess (of
what it ought to have been). He used to say in reply: "l am prepared to hand over the fixed portion
to you and the rest should be the property of the Muslims." The Jews praised his justice by saying,
"The skies and the earth are stable under the shadow of such equity and justice". When the
war booty was collected a fragment of the Torah fell in the hands of the Muslims. The Jews
requested Rasul that the same might be given to them. Rasul directed the person
holding charge of the public treasury to return it (to the, Jews).
Notwithstanding these highly kind sentiments, the Jews did not give up their obstinacy and
treachery. They sat in ambush for Rasul and his companions and made plots against them.
Here we quote two examples of their perfidies: 1. Some persons instigated a woman named
Zaynab, who was the wife of one of the nobles of the Jews, to poison Rasul's food. The
woman sent someone to one of the companions of Rasul and asked him as to which part of
a sheep Rasul liked most. He replied that the arm of a sheep was his favourite food. Zaynab
roasted a sheep and poisoned the entire meat, but put more poison in the arm. Then she sent it to
Rasul as a present. When Rasul put the first morsel in his mouth he felt that it was
poisoned. He, therefore, threw it out of his mouth immediately. However, Bishr bin Bara' Ma'rur,
who was sharing the meals with him, ate some more morsels unconsciously and passed away
after some time. Rasul ordered that Zaynab should be summoned in his presence, and, on
her arrival, asked her as to why she had tried to play with his life. She put up a childish excuse and
said: "You have upset the conditions of our tribe. I thought that if you were the ruler you would die
of the poison and if you were a Prophet of God you would certainly become aware of it and would
refrain from eating the meat". Rasul forgave her and did not also prosecute the people, who
had incited her to commit that crime. However, if such a thing had happened to some other ruler,
who had not been a Prophet, he would have mercilessly put the culprits to death or would have
sentenced them to long imprisonment. [Note: lt is well-known that on the occasion of the illness of Rasul which resulted in his death he said: "This ailment is due to the effects of the poisoned food which that Jewess had brought for me after the conquest (of Khaibar)". Although Rasul threw out the very first morsel, the dangerous poison got mixed with his saliva to some extent and affected his health.] On account of such evil intentions of a Jewish woman
most of the companions of Rasul also did not trust in the Jewess Safiyah, who had now
become his wife, and considered it probable that she might make an attempt on his life during
night. Hence, Abu Ayub Ansari took responsibility to guard the tent of Rasul at Khaibar as
well as on way back to Madina, although Rasul was not aware of the sympathy on his part.
Hence, when Rasul came out of his tent in the morning he saw Abu Ayub pacing it with a
drawn sword in his hand. On Rasul inquiring about the reason for this he replied: "Traces of
fanaticism and infidelity have not yet been effaced from the heart of this woman (Safiyah) who is
now one of your wives and I put little confidence in her intentions. Hence I have been pacing your
tent from night till morning so as to protect your life". Rasul was thankful for the kind feelings
of his old friend and prayed for him. 2. Once Abdullah bin Sahl was appointed by Rasul
to transfer the proceeds of Khaibar to Madina. While he was performing his duty he was attacked
by an unidentified group of Jews. As a result of this attack his neck was seriously injured. He fell
down on the ground with a broken neck and breathed his last. The attacking group threw his body
in a pool. The elders of the Jews sent some persons to Rasul to inform him of the mysterious
death of his representative. The brother of the murdered person named Abdur Rahman bin Sahl
came to Rasul along with his cousins and informed him of the incident. The brother of the
murdered person wished to initiate conversation on the subject, but as he was the youngest
amongst all those present, Rasul alluded to one of the social manners of Islam and said,
"Kabir, Kabir" i.e. he should let the older persons speak first. Eventually Rasul said: "If you
can identify the murderer of Abdullah and swear that he is the murderer, I shall arrest him and
place him at your disposal". They, however, displayed piety and righteousness and,
notwithstanding their anger, did not conceal the truth and said: "We can't identify the murderer".
Rasul then said: "Do you agree that the Jews should state on oath that they have not killed
him and should, on the basis of such oath, be acquitted of the murder of Abdullah?" They,
however, replied that the agreements and oaths of the Jews could not be relied upon. In the
circumstances Rasul ordered a letter to be written to the elders of the Jews telling them that
the dead body of a Muslim had been found in their land and they should, therefore, pay blood-
money on this account. In their reply the Jews swore that they had not at all killed Abdullah and
were also not aware about the murderer. Rasul realized that the matter had reached a stage
of deadlock. In order, therefore, to obviate renewed bloodshed he personally paid the blood-money
for Abdullah. By this act he once again showed the Jews that he was not a warmonger and in
case he had been an ordinary statesman he would have made the incident of Abdullah like the
shirt of Uthman and put a number of the Jews to death. However, as Quran introduces
him, he was a messenger of blessings and a manifestation of the kindness of God and did not
unsheathe his sword unless he was compelled to do so.
The excesses of the Jews were not confined to these incidents and they harassed the
Muslims every now and then with their different schemes. Eventually, during the Caliphate of
Umar, his son Abdullah, who had gone to Khaibar along with some other persons to conclude an
agreement was tortured by the Jews. The Caliph came to know about the incident and thought of
solving the problem. Then, relying on a tradition of Rasul which had been quoted by some
persons, he said to the companions of Rasul: "Whoever has to realize a debt from the people
of Khaibar should realize it, for I am going to give orders that they should leave this place". Soon
afterwards the Jews of Khaibar were banished from there on account of repeated excesses
committed by them and they left the Peninsula.
A merchant named Hajjaj bin 'Ilat was present in Khaibar. He had trade dealings with the people of Makkah.
The grandeur of Islam and the affection and kindness shown by Rasul to this obstinate nation
(i.e. the Jews) enlightened his heart and he came to Rasul and embraced Islam. Then he
drew up a plan to realize his dues from the people of Makkah. He entered the city of Makkah
through a gate and saw that the chiefs of Quraysh were awaiting news and were very much
anxious about the developments at Khaibar. All of them encircled his camel and enquired
impatiently about the condition of Muhammad. He replied: "Muhammad has suffered an
unparalleled defeat and his companions have been killed or captured. He himself has been
captured and the chiefs of the Jews have decided to bring him to Makkah and to execute him
before the very eyes of Quraysh". This false report pleased them immensely. Then he turned to the
people and said: "In view of this good news I request you to pay me my dues as early as possible
so that I may go to Khaibar earlier than other merchants and may purchase the slaves". The duped
people paid him his dues in a very short time. The circulation of this news extremely upset Abbas,
the uncle of Rasul, and he desired to meet Hajjaj. He, however, winked at Abbas which
meant that he would let him know the real facts later . A short time before his departure he met the
Prophet's uncle secretly and said: "I have embraced Islam and I chalked out this plan only to
realize my dues. The correct news is that on the day on which I left Khaibar all the forts had been
conquered by the Muslims and the daughter of their leader named Hay bin Akhtab (Safiyah) had
been captured and had become a wife of Rasul. Please make these facts known to the
people after three days of my departure". After three days Abbas put on his best dress, scented
himself with the costliest perfume and entered the mosque with a staff in his hand and began to go
round the Kaba. Quraysh were surprised to see the dress of Abbas which displayed his joy and
happiness, because they thought that, in view of the calamity which had befallen his nephew, he
should have worn a dress of mourning. He, however, relieved them of their surprise by saying: "The
report which Hajjaj furnished you was a clever device to realize his dues. He has embraced Islam
and he had left Khaibar when Muhammad had gained the greatest victory, and the Jews had been
disarmed and some of them had been killed and others had been made captives". The chiefs of
Quraysh became very sad on hearing this news and soon afterwards they heard the same thing
(from other sources as well).
A developed and fertile territory which was situated near Khaibar and at a distance of 140 kilometres from Madina and was considered to be the stronghold of the Jews of the Hijaz, after the forts of Khaibar, was called the village of Fadak. After destroying the strength of the Jews of Khaibar, Wadi'ul Qura' and Tayma' and filling up, with the military force of Islam, the vacuum which was felt in the north of Madina, Rasul thought of destroying the strength of the Jews of this area who were considered to be a danger to Islam and the Muslims. He therefore sent an envoy named Muhit to the elders of Fadak. Yush'a bin Noon, who was the chief of the village, preferred peace and surrender to fighting, and the residents of that place agreed to place at the disposal of Rasul half of the produce every year and to live under the protection of Islam and not to conspire against the Muslims. The Government of Islam, in its turn, guaranteed the security of their
territory. According to Islam the areas which are conquered through war and military power are the property of all the Muslims and their administration rests with the ruler of Islam. However, lands which fall into the hands of the Muslims, without any military operations pertain to the person of Rasul and after he to the Imam. He (i.e. Rasul or Imam) exercises full authority over such lands and is entitled to gift them away or give them to lease. And one of the purposes for which he can utilize this property is that he may meet the lawful needs of his near ones out of this property in a respectable manner. On this basis Rasul made a gift of Fadak to his dear daughter Lady Fatimah Zahrah. As the later circumstances go to show Rasul had two things in view while making a gift of this property:
1. As expressly mentioned by Rasul time and again the rulership of the Muslims was to rest, after his death, with Ali, the Leader of the Believers and occupation of such a position necessitated incurring of heavy expenditure. Ali could, therefore, make maximum use of the income from Fadak to safeguard this position. It would appear that the organization of the caliphate had become aware of this precautionary measure and they, therefore, divested Rasul's family of Fadak during the very early days of their assumption of authority. 2. It was necessary that after the death of Rasul his family, consisting of his dear daughter Fatimah Zahrah and her sons Hasan and Husayn, should lead a respectable life and the dignity of Rasul should remain secure. Rasul made a gift of Fadak to his daughter to achieve this very end. The genuine traditionalists and exegets and some other scholars write: "When the verse: Give the kinsmen his due, and the needy, and the
wayfarer........(Sura Isra, 17:26) was revealed Rasul called his daughter Fatimah and made over Fadak to her". And the narrator of this incident is Abu Saeed Khadri who was one of the distinguished companions of Rasul. All the true and less reliable exegetes are agreed that this verse was revealed for the near relatives of Rasul and the words 'the near ones' (kinsmen) are best applicable to his daughter. So much so that when a Syrian asked Imam Sajjad to introduce himself the Imam recited the aforesaid verse to make himself known to that man. And this fact was so well known to the Muslims that the Syrian, while shaking his head in confirmation, said to the Imam: "On account of the special relationship which you enjoy with Rasul, he was ordered by God to pay you your due". In short, all the scholars of Islam believe that this verse was revealed with respect to Fatimah Zahrah and her children. However, as regards the fact whether, at the time of
revelation of this verse, Rasul made over Fadak to his daughter, all the true scholars are unanimous that he actually did so, and some other scholars also agree with them. When Mamun desired to return Fadak to the descendants of Zahrah he wrote a letter to one of the famous traditionalists (Abdullah bin Musa) to enlighten him on the subject. He wrote the above-mentioned hadith (which in fact tells about the
occasion of the revelation of the verse) and sent it to him and consequently he (i.e. Mamun)
returned Fadak to the descendants of Fatimah and wrote to his governor in Madina: "The
Prophet of Islam made a gift of Fadak to his daughter Fatimah. This is an admitted fact and there is
no difference about it amongst the descendants of Fatimah. When Mamun occupied a special
chair to hear complaints and grievances the first application which came into his hand was one in
which the writer had introduced himself as the defender of Lady Fatimah. Mamun read the
application, wept a little, and said: "Who is her defender?" An old man stood up and introduced
himself as her defender. The court of justice was then converted into a session of debate between
the man and Mamun. Eventually Mamun realized that he had lost the case. He, therefore, ordered
the chief justice to write a deed with the heading: "Return of Fadak to the descendants of Zahrah".
The deed was written and received the assent of Mamun. At this moment Da'bal Khuzai who was
present at the time of debate stood up and recited some verses. In order to prove that Fadak
was the absolute property of Lady Fatimah Zahrah, the true believers do not stand in need of evidence produced above, because the most truthful person of Islam, Ali, the Leader of the Believers, has clearly mentioned this fact in a letter written by him to Uthman bin Hunayf, the Governor of Basra. He writes: "Yes! Out of that which is under the sky, the only appreciable property available with us was Fadak. Some people felt jealous. Some great persons connived at this on account of some interests. And God is the best Judge". Is it possible to entertain any doubt about the matter after this clear statement?
After the demise of the Prophet his dear daughter was deprived of her ownership of Fadak on account of political motives
and the functionaries and employees of the State expelled her from the court of the Caliph, where
she had gone to lay claim to Fadak. She, therefore, decided to take back her right from the Caliph
by legal means. In the first place the village of Fadak was in her possession and this very
possession was the sign of her ownership. However, in opposition to all standards of Islamic
justice, the Caliph asked her to produce witnesses when we know that the one, who is in
possession of some property, is never asked to produce witnesses. She was, therefore, obliged to
take before the Caliph as witnesses a person like Ali and a woman named Umme Ayman (about
whom Rasul had testified that she would go to Paradise) and, (as quoted by Balazuri vide
Futuhul Buldan), Rabah, a freed slave of Rasul. However, on account of some
motives the Caliph did not accept their testimony and Rasul's daughter was finally deprived
of the property which her father had bestowed as gift to her. According to the verse of purification
(Sura Ahzab, 33:33) Zahrah, Ali and their children are free from all kinds of impurity and if this
verse is taken to cover the wives of Rasul also its applicability to his daughter is absolutely
certain. Unfortunately, however, this aspect of the matter was also ignored and the Caliph of the
time did not accept her claim. Nevertheless, the true scholars believe that eventually the Caliph
accepted the view of Rasul's daughter and wrote a certificate to the effect that Fadak was
owned by her absolutely and gave it to her. But while she was on her way the old friend of the
Caliph chanced to meet her and came to know about the contents of the certificate. He took the
certificate from her and brought it to the Caliph and said to him: "As Ali is a beneficiary in this case,
his evidence is not acceptable and Umme Ayman being a woman, her testimony too has no value"
Then he tore up the certificate in the presence of the Caliph.
Halabi, the well-known biographer, gives another version of the incident and says: "The Caliph accepted the ownership of
Fatimah. Suddenly Umar arrived and asked: "What is this certificate about? The Caliph replied: "I
have confirmed Fatimah's ownership (of Fadak) in this deed". Umar said "You stand in need of
income derived from Fadak. If tomorrow the idolaters of Arabia rise against the Muslims, from
where will you meet the expenses of war?" Then he held the certificate in his hand and tore it
up". It is here that one acknowledges the reality mentioned by a genuine theologian, who
narrates that Ibn Abil Hadid said: "I said to a pious theologian named Ali bin Naqi: The village of
fadak was not very extensive and such a small place which did not contain more than a few date-
palm trees was not so important that the opponents of Fatimah should have coveted it". He said in
reply: "You are mistaken here. The number of the date-palm trees of that place was not lesser than
that of trees available in Kufa at present. Admittedly the family of Rasul was deprived of this
fertile land, lest Ali should have utilized its income to campaign
against the Caliph. Hence they not only deprived Fatimah of Fadak but also deprived the entire
family of Bani Hashim and the descendants of Abdul Muttalib of their legal rights (khums i.e. 1/5th
of war booty), because people who have to lead their lives in difficult financial circumstances do
not think of changing the prevailing conditions". And then the same writer quotes the sentence
mentioned below, from one of the distinguished teachers of Madressa-i Gharbi Baghdad, named
Ali bin Faruqi. He says: "I said to him: 'Was the daughter of Rasul truthful in making the
claim?' He said: 'Yes'. I said: 'Did the Caliph know that she was a truthful woman?' He said: 'Yes'. I
said: 'Why did the Caliph not give her that to which she was admittedly entitled?' At this moment
the teacher smiled and said with great dignity: 'if he had accepted her word on that day and had
returned Fadak to her on account of her being a truthful woman and without asking for any
witnesses she could very well avail of this position for the benefit of her husband on the following
day and say: 'My husband Ali is entitled to the caliphate' and then the Caliph would have been
obliged to surrender the caliphate to Ali on account of his having acknowledged her to be a truthful
woman. However, in order to obviate any such claim or dispute he deprived her of her admitted
right". The foundation of the deprivation of the descendants of Fatimah's claim of Fadak was
laid in the time of the First Caliph. After the martyrdom of Ali, Muawiya assumed the reins of
government and divided Fadak amongst three persons (Marwan, Amr bin Uthman and his own son
Yazid). During the period of the Caliphate of Marwan all the three shares were assumed by him
and he gifted them to his son, Abdul Aziz. He in turn gave the same to his son, Umar. On account
of the fact that Umar bin Abdul Aziz was an upright person from amongst Bani Umayyah the first
heresy which he removed was that he returned Fadak to the descendants of Fatimah. After his
death, however, the succeeding Umayyad Caliphs again took away Fadak from Bani Hashim and it
continued to remain in their possession till their rule came to an end. During the Caliphate of Bani
Abbas the question of Fadak vacillated in a strange manner. For example, Saffah gave it to
Abdullah bin Hasan and after him Mansur Dawaniqi took it back, but his son Mahdi returned it to
the descendants of Zahrah. After him Moses and Harun took it away from them on account of some
political considerations. When Mamun assumed the office of caliph he handed it over formally to
its owner. After his death the conditions of Fadak vacillated once again and it was returned at one
time to the descendants of Fatimah and then taken away again from them. During the periods of
the Caliphate of Bani Umayyah and Bani Abbas, Fadak assumed largely a political aspect as
compared with its pecuniary aspect. And even if the First Caliphs were in need of income from
Fadak the later caliphs and nobles were so rich that they did not stand in any need of income from
it. Hence, when Umar bin Abdul Aziz handed over Fadak to the descendants of Fatimah, Bani.
Umayyah reproached him and said: "By this act of yours you have found fault with the two
venerable men" (Abu Bakr and Umar)". They, therefore, persuaded him to distribute the income
from Fadak among the descendants of Fatimah, but to keep its ownership with himself.
Rasul decides to perform pilgrimage to Makkah. When the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah was signed, the Muslims were entitled to visit Makkah after a year from the date of the conclusion of the pact and were to leave Makkah after staying there for three days and performing Umra. During these days they could not carry with them any weapon other than the weapon of a traveller (a sword). [Note: Umra consists of particular ceremonies which can be performed at any time during the year, as distinguished from, to Haj ceremonies, which can be performed during the month of Zilhaj only.]
A year passed from the date of the conclusion of the pact and the time thus arrived when
the Muslims could avail of the facility provided for in the pact, and the Muslim migrants who had
abandoned their homes seven years ago for the sake of Islam and had chosen their abode in a
foreign land could proceed to Makkah once again to visit pilgrimage of the Kaba and also to see
their kith and kin. As such, when Rasul declared that those persons, who had been deprived
of visiting the Kaba a year earlier, should get ready for proceeding to Makkah, an unprecedented
enthusiasm appeared amongst them and tears of delight trickled down their cheeks. If a year
earlier Rasul had travelled along with 1300 persons the number of those, who accompanied
him a year later reached two thousand. Great personalities from amongst the migrants and the
Ansar could be seen among those who got ready to proceed on the journey. They followed the
Prophet at all places and took along with them eighty camels which bore marks of sacrifice round
their necks. Rasul put on ehram in the mosque and others also followed him. Thus two
thousand persons clad in ehram and with the word Labbayk (here am I) on their lips proceeded to
Makkah. This caravan possessed so much grandeur and dignity, and was so attractive for the
Muslims as well as for the idolaters, that it made many idolaters inclined towards the spirituality
and reality of Islam. If we say that this journey was a missionary journey and these persons were in
fact an army of Islam we shall not be exaggerating. The spiritual results of this journey appeared
soon and the sworn enemies of Islam like Khalid bin Walid, the hero of the Battle of Uhud, and
Amr Ibn Ass, the politician of Arabia, became inclined towards Islam on observing this grandeur,
and soon afterwards embraced this religion. Rasul had no confidence in Quraysh on account
of their deceit and jealousy. It was probable that they might attack Rasul and his companions
unawares in the region of Makkah and shed the blood of some of them, especially when they (the
Muslims) were not carrying any arms other than the weapons of a traveller, because, according to
the terms of the pact they could not enter Makkah armed. To obviate every kind of anxiety the
Prophet appointed one of his officers named Muhammad bin Maslamah along with two hundred
men who were armed with necessary weapons like coats of mail and lances and had one hundred
swift horses with them to move before the caravan and to encamp in the Valley of Marruz Zahran
(which is situated near the area of Haram) and to wait there for the arrival of Rasul. The spies
of Quraysh who were watching the activities of Rasul, reported the matter to the chiefs of
Quraysh. Mikraz bin Hafs met Rasul in the capacity of the representative of Quraysh and
conveyed their objection to him. Rasul said in reply: "I or my companions will not do any
thing contrary to the pact and all of us shall enter the Haram unarmed. As regards this officer and
the two hundred men who are equipped with arms they will stay at this point". By this sentence the
Prophet made the representative of Quraysh realize that if they made a surprise attack at night and
took undue advantage of the Muslims being unarmed this auxiliary forces which was stationed at
the very edge of Haram along with equipment, would rush to their help immediately and would
place the arms at their disposal. Quraysh became aware of the foresight of Rasul and
opened the gates of the city for the Muslims. The leaders of idolaters and their subordinates
vacated the city and moved to the nearby mounds and hills, so that they might not face Rasul
and his companions and might observe all their activities from a distance.
Rasul entered Makkah mounted on his special camel, along with two
thousand persons who had encircled him and the sound of their saying, God humma labbayk
(Here am I. O Lord! Here am I) was resounding throughout the city. The voice of this select
gathering was so attractive that all the people of Makkah were impressed by it, and they began to
entertain special interest and sentiments for the Muslims in their hearts. At the same time the unity
of the Muslims created a peculiar fear in the hearts of the idolaters. As and when the resounding of
the word Labbayk uttered by the Muslims broke of, Abdullah Rawahid who was holding the rein of
Rasul's camel in his hands recited these verses with a sonorous and imposing voice: "O
children of blasphemy and idolatry! Vacate the path for God's Messenger. You should know that
he is the source of prosperity and goodness. O Lord! I believe in his words and am aware of Your
order regarding the acknowledgment of his prophethood". Rasul performed tawaf of the
Kaba while mounted on his camel. At this stage he ordered that Abdullah bin Rawahid should
recite the following special invocation and others should also join him: "There is no god but God
He is One and matchless. He has acted according to His promise (He had promised that the
Muslims would visit the Kaba soon). He helped His servant. He made the army of monotheism
exalted, and condemned the armies of blasphemy and polytheism to loneliness". On that day all
the centres of pilgrimage and the places where ceremonies of Umra are performed, including the
mosque, the Kaba, the Safa and the Marwah were under the control of the Muslims. Ardent and
enthusiastic rites at a place, which had been the centre of idolatry and polytheism for a very long
period, dealt such a strong mental blow to the leaders of polytheism and their followers that the
victory of Holy Rasul stood proved throughout Arabia. Time for noon prayers arrived. It
was now necessary that the Muslims should carry out this divine obligation congregationally in the
mosque and their muazzin (announcer) should loudly pronounce the call to prayers (azan). As
ordered by Rasul, Bilal, the Ethiopian slave, who had been tortured in this city for a long time
on account of his having embraced Islam ascended the roof of the Kaba, and, placing his hands
on his ears, pronounced in his special tone the sentences, well known to all of us, at a place where
declaration of the oneness of God and the Prophethood of Muhammad, had once been the
greatest crime according to the infidels of Quraysh. His voice and the acknowledgments which
Muslims repeated after hearing every part of azan reached the ears of the idolaters and the
enemies of monotheism, and disturbed them so much that Safwan bin Umayyah and Khalid bin
Usayd said: "Praised be god that our ancestors died and did not hear the voice of this Ethiopian
slave". On hearing Bilal pronounce Alahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), Suhayl bin Amr hid his face with
a handkerchief. They did not only feel very uneasy on account of the voice of Bilal, but felt mental
torture because of the various parts of azan, which were totally opposed to their hereditary beliefs.
Rasul began performing Saee between the hills of Safa and Marwah. As the hypocrites and
the idolaters had spread the rumour that the unwholesome climate of Madina had made the
Muslims feeble, he resorted to harwalah in a part of Saee, and the Muslims also imitated him. [Note: harwalah is a type of walking which is more brisk than usual but short of running.] After performing Saee, the Muslims sacrificed the camels and ceased to be in the state of ehram and had their hair cut. Rasul then ordered that two hundred persons should proceed to Marruz
Zahran to look after the weapons and other military equipment so that the persons, previously
entrusted this duty, might come to the Haram and perform the rites of Umra. The rites and
ceremonies of Umra came to an end. The Muhajirs went to their homes and met their relatives.
They also invited some Ansar to their homes and thus made amends for the services which the
Ansar had rendered to the Muhajirs during the period of seven years.
The grandeur and glory of Islam and the Muslims made a deep impression on the minds
of the people of Makkah, and they became more acquainted with the mentality of the Muslim
community. The chiefs of Quraysh realized that the stay of Rasul and his companions had
weakened the morale of the people of Makkah with regard to their faith in idolatry and enmity with
monotheism and had created love and attachment between the two parties. Hence, when the last
moment out of the three days had passed, a representative of Quraysh named Huwaytab came to
Rasul and said: "The period of three days stipulated in the pact for your stay in Makkah has
expired and you should, therefore, leave our territory as early as possible". Some of the
companions felt uneasy on account of the bluntness of the representative of Quraysh. However, the
Prophet was not a person who practiced delay in acting upon an agreement. The Muslims were,
therefore, ordered to depart and they left the region of Haram immediately. Maymunah (sister of
Umme Fadl, wife of Abbas) was so much impressed by the fervour of the Muslims that she told her
brother-in-law, Abbas, the uncle of Rasul, that she was prepared to marry Rasul and
considered it an honour for her. Rasul accepted her offer and thus strengthened his ties with
Quraysh. Inclination of a woman towards a man, who was much older than her is in itself a
sufficient proof of his spiritual influence. Rasul also asked the representative of Quraysh to
give him time so that he might perform the wedding ceremonies in Makkah and might also invite all
the chiefs of Makkah to participate in the Walimah (feast). However, the representative of Quraysh
did not agree to this proposal and said: "We don't stand in need of your food". Rasul ordered
that the Muslims should leave Makkah by mid-day. He directed only his slave Abu Rafe' to stay
there till evening and bring his (Rasul's) wife with him. After the departure of the
Muslims, the enemies of Rasul reproached Maymunah, but, as she had developed spiritual
attachment with Rasul and had, therefore, offered to marry him, their words did not have any
effect on her. Thus the promise, based on the true vision of Rasul, which he had made with
the Muslims a year earlier about the pilgrimage of the Kaba and the opening of the gates of
Makkah to the Muslims was fulfilled, the following verse was revealed: God made the dream of
His Messenger come true for a genuine purpose. If God wills, you (believers) will enter the Sacred
Mosque in security with your heads shaved, nails cut and without any fear in your hearts. (Sura Fath, 48:27)
The seventh year of migration came to an end and the Muslims were able, according to the terms of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah, to perform collectively the pilgrimage of the Kaba and to observe lovely and moving rites for the benefit of monotheism in the very centre of idolaters, so as to attract towards Islam the hearts of some chiefs of Quraysh like Khalid bin Walid, Amr Ibn Ass, and Uthman bin Talhah.
Soon afterwards these three chiefs came to Madina and expressed their attachment for Prophet
Muhammad and his religion, and severed their connections with Quraysh of Makkah of which
nothing more than a lifeless skeleton was left. Some biographers say that Khalid and Amr Ibn Ass
embraced Islam during 5 Hijra. It may, however, be stated for certain that adoption of Islam by them took place in 8 Hijra, because Khalid was the commander of a unit of the army of Quraysh at the time of the conclusion of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah and both of them embraced Islam
simultaneously. In the beginning of 8 Hijra, security prevailed in most of the localities in the Hijaz
and the call to monotheism had extended to many parts and the influence of the Jews in the north,
and attacks by Quraysh from the south, did not threaten the Muslims any longer. Rasul now
decided to extend his invitation to Syria and to open a spot for the penetration of Islam in the hearts
of the people who were then living under the sovereignty of the Roman Emperor. For this purpose
he sent Harith Umayr Azdi with a letter to the court of the Ruler of Syria. In those days Harith bin
Abi Shamir Ghassani was the despotic ruler of Syria, who ruled in the capacity of a satellite of the
Kaiser. The envoy of Rasul reached the border towns of Syria and continued his journey.
However, Shurahbil, who was the governor of the border areas became aware of the arrival of the
envoy. He imprisoned him in a village named Mota and made detailed enquiries from him. The
envoy admitted that he was carrying a letter from Rasul to Harith Ghassani, the
absolute Ruler of Syria. Disregarding all human and universal principles, according to which the life
and blood of an envoy is respected throughout the world, the governor ordered his hands and feet
to be tied and that he should be put to death. Rasul became aware of the crime of Shurahbil.
He was extremely disturbed on account of the murder of his envoy and informed the Muslims of the
dastardly act of Shurahbil and asked them to take revenge on the wild governor who had killed the
envoy without even obtaining permission from the higher authorities.
Simultaneously with this incident, a still more tragic event took place and further confirmed
the determination of Rasul to punish the Syrians who had curbed the freedom of the
propagation by the missionaries of Islam and had murdered his envoy and the Muslim missionaries
cruelly. The event referred above was this that in the month of Rabi' of 8 Hijra, Ka'b bin Umayr
Ghifari was deputed, along with fifteen others, all of whom were proficient missionaries, to proceed
to the region of Zat Atlah, situated on the other side of Wadiul Qura' and to invite the people of that
place to embrace Islam. They arrived there and performed the duty entrusted to them. Suddenly
they met with severe opposition from those people and all of them were attacked. The missionary
party found itself encircled by a large crowd. They defended themselves valiantly and preferred
martyrdom to humility. Only one of them, who was wounded and was lying amongst the dead, got
up at mid-night and proceeded to Madina. On reaching there he related the entire incident to the
Prophet. The massacre of the missionaries and the execution of so many innocent persons made
Rasul give orders for jihad. An army consisting of three thousand persons was, therefore
dispatched to punish the rebels, and those, who obstructed the spread of Islam. Orders for
jihad were given. Three thousand swordsmen gathered in the military station of Madina (Jurf). The
Prophet came to the military station personally and addressed the soldiers saying: "You should go
and invite those people again to embrace Islam. If they accept Islam you need not avenge the
murder of the envoy, but otherwise you should seek help from God and fight against them. Yes, O
soldiers of Islam! Perform jihad in the name of God! Punish the enemies of God and your own
enemies, who live in Syria. Don't interfere with the monks and nuns, who spend their time in
monasteries, far removed from the tumult of the world. Destroy all satanic elements, with these
very swords. Don't kill women, children and old people. Don't cut trees and don't destroy
buildings". "Yes! O Mujahids! The commander of the army is my cousin Ja'far bin Abu Talib. If
he sustains an injury, Zayd bin Harith will bear the standard and direct the army, and if he is killed
Abdullah Rawahid will assume the command. And if he too meets an injury, you may choose the
chief commander yourselves". Then orders were given to march and Rasul himself as well as
some other Muslims accompanied the army up to the point of Thaniyatul wida'. There those who
had escorted the soldiers bade them good-bye and said according to the old tradition: "May God
help you return safe and sound and with war booty". However, Abdullah Rawahid, who was the
second assistant or third commander, recited in reply this verse: I seek forgiveness from God and
from the hard blows out of which the foams of blood gush out. From this verse one can very
well assess the strength of the faith and the love for martyrdom of this valiant commander. In the
meantime people saw him weeping. When the reason for weeping was enquired from him he said:
"I am not at all interested in the world, but I have heard Rasul reciting this verse: "It is the
inevitable decree of God that all of you should arrive in Hell" (and from there the pious persons
should proceed to Paradise). My arrival in Hell is, therefore, certain but the end of this arrival is not
clear and it is not known what will happen thereafter".
Many biographers have written that the chief commander of the army
was Zayd bin Harith, the adopted son of Rasul and Ja'far and Abdullah were his second and
third in command respectively. However, as opposed to this idea, the true research scholars
treat Ja'far bin Abu Talib to be the chief commander of the army and the two other persons to be
the second and third in command. The question now is as to which of these views is correct. The
real position may be ascertained in two ways: 1. From the point of view of social standing as well
as piety and learning Zayd bin Harith did not equal Ja'far Tayyar. Ibn Athir says in Usudul Ghabah
about Ja'far: "He resembled Rasul in temperament and features, and declared his faith in the
Prophet only a short time after Ali. One day Abu Talib saw Ali offering his prayers standing on the
right side of Rasul. He then said to his son Ja'far: "You too should go and offer prayers
standing on Rasul's left side". He was the leader of the people, who abandoned their homes
for the sake of their religion and faith and left Makkah, under the orders of Rasul, to take
refuge in Ethiopia. He, in the capacity of the spokesman of the group of migrants, attracted the
King of Ethiopia towards Islam with his strong and penetrating logic and proved the falsehood of
the representatives of Quraysh, who had come to Ethiopia to arrange the return of the refugees to
the Hijaz. By reciting the verses of Quran relating to Rasul Jesus and his mother Maryam
he secured the sympathy and protection of the Negus for the Muslims migrants in such a manner
that he turned away the representatives of Quraysh from his court. Ja'far was the same
person who returned from Ethiopia at the time of the conquest of Khaibar and Rasul, on
hearing of his arrival, went twelve steps forward to receive him, put his hand round his neck, kissed
his forehead, wept for joy and said: "I don't know for which event I should feel more happy-for your
return from Ethiopia or for the conquest of Khaibar, and that too at the hands of your brother, Ali".
Ja'far was the same distinguished person, who was remembered by the Leader of the Believers
after his death for his bravery and valour. When Ali came to know that Amr Ibn Ass had taken
the oath of allegiance to Muawiya and they had settled that if they gained victory over Ali the
Governorship of Egypt would be given to Amr, he ( Ali ) felt
uncomfortable and remembered his uncle, Hamzah and brother, Ja'far and said: "If these two
persons had been alive, our victory would have been ensured". Does it stand to reason that in
spite of Ja'far's possessing the distinguished attributes, some of which have been mentioned
above, Rasul should have entrusted the command of the army to Zayd and should have
made Ja'far his first assistant? 2. The verses, which the great poets of Islam recited, mourning the
death of these commanders, show that the chief commander was Ja'far and the other two persons
were his assistants. On hearing about the tragic death of these commanders, Hassan bin Thabit,
the poet of Rasul, recited an elegy which is recorded in the Seerah by Ibn Hisham. He says:
"May the commanders who were killed one after the other in the Battle of Mota be blessed by
God. They were Ja'far, Zayd and Abdullah who successively welcomed death. (The word tanabi'u
used in these verses shows clearly that the three commanders were killed one after the other and
the first to be killed was Ja'far). The most explicit of the poems is the elegy written by Ka'b bin
Malik Ansari to lament the death of those killed at Mota. In it he specifies that the first commander
was Ja'far. This poet was himself a witness to the fact that Rasul had entrusted the chief
commandership to Ja'far. He says: "Remember the time when the soldiers of Islam were placed
under the standard of the First Commander viz. Ja'far bin Abi Talib and proceeded to perform
jihad". These verses which were written in those very days and have remained safe from the
vicissitudes of time are the most vital and authentic witnesses of the fact that whatever has been
written by the other writers on this point does not conform with historical facts and the narrators
have forged that version because of some political considerations and the biographers have
recorded it in their books without necessary verification. It is, however, surprising that
notwithstanding the fact that Ibn Hisham has quoted these elegies and has treated Ja'far to be
the second in command.
In those days Rome was faced with a strange chaos because of its continuous wars with Iran. Although the Romans wereelated by their victories over Iran, they were also aware of the bravery and valour of the soldiers ofIslam who had won laurels by means of their personal bravery and strength of faith. Hence, when the Roman Government received reports about the preparations and movement of the Muslim soldiers, Hercules and the Ruler of Syria set up a formidable force to face the three thousand strong army of Islam. Shurahbil alone collected one hundred thousand soldiers from different tribes of Syria and proceeded to the frontiers of the territory to stop the advance of the Muslim warriors. Not being contented with this, the Kaiser moved, with advance information, from Bayzantium with one hundred thousand soldiers and encamped at Ma'ab which is one of the cities of Balqa'. They stayed there as reservists and auxiliary force. Collection of all this
soldiery, to fight against an army which was comparatively much smaller, was on account of the reports which the Roman commanders had received about the conquests by the Muslims. Otherwise even one tenth of this force containing only three thousand soldiers, was sufficient to confront the enemies, however brave they might be. The notable fact is that, when the strength of the two armies is compared, the army of Islam was many times weaker than the army of Rome in view of their numbers as well as knowledge of war strategy and tactics. On account of their having participated in protracted wars between Rome and Iran, the Roman officers had gained many secrets of military superiority and victory, whereas the knowledge of the young army of Islam in these matters was only elementary.
And then the Muslims were not also at par with the Romans in the matter of military equipment
and means of transport. And the most important thing is that the Muslim forces were going to
invade a foreign country whereas the Romans, possessing all facilities, were in their own country
and had only to defend themselves. In such circumstances it is always necessary that the
attacking army should be well-equipped and strong enough to surmount the unfavourable
conditions. Keeping these points in view we shall now see that the commanders of the Muslim
army preferred steadfastness and fighting to flight from the battlefield, and thus added to their
historical honours, notwithstanding the fact that they could see death at a distance of a few steps
only. After their arrival at the frontiers of Syria, the Muslims became aware of the preparations and
the military strength of the enemy. They, therefore, immediately formed a military consultative
council to decide the strategy of war. Some persons were of the view that the matter might be
reported to Rasul and further instructions obtained from him. This view was likely to be
confirmed, but in the meantime Abdullah Rawahid, who was the second in command and had
sought martyrdom from God at the time of departure from Madina, rose up and delivered
a fiery speech. He said: "You have been dispatched to achieve an object which you don't like. You
have left Madina to achieve martyrdom. In the battlefield, Muslims don't depend upon superiority in
numbers. We are going to fight against these people in the path of God and Islam - the same
Islam which has made us honourable and respectable. If we are victorious we shall have won
laurels; and if we are martyred that, too, is one of our wishes". Abdullah's words changed the
thinking of the officers and the members of the consultative council. Hence, it was decided that
complying with the orders of Rasul, fighting should be resorted to at the place specified by
him. The two armies faced each other at a place called Sharaf. However, on account of some
military considerations, a part of the Muslim army retreated and encamped in Mota. Ja'far bin Abu
Talib, who was the chief commander of the army, divided it into three divisions and appointed a
commander for each division. Single combats commenced. It was now necessary for Ja'far to hold
the standard in his hand and guide his soldiers in making the attack and simultaneously being
engaged in fighting and defence. His bravery and steadfastness in the cause of his objective is
quite apparent from the epic verses which he recited while attacking the enemy. He said: "I am
happy that the promised Paradise has become nearer - the same pure Paradise which contains
cold beverages. On the contrary the destruction of Rome is also near. It is the nation, which has
been guilty of blasphemy according to the creed of monotheism and whose contacts and
connections with us have been severed. I am determined to strike a blow on them as and when I
face them". The chief commander of Islam put up a courageous fight against the enemies.
However, when he found himself encircled by them and realized that his martyrdom was certain,
he, in order that the enemies might not utilize his horse and also they might know that he had now
severed his ties with the world, dismounted his horse and struck it a blow which made it incapable
of movement, and then he continued to fight. In the meantime his right hand was cut off. In order
that the standard of Rasul might not fall on the ground he held it in his left hand and when his
left hand was also cut off he held it in his arms. Eventually, after having sustained eighty wounds
he fell down and breathed his last. Now the turn of Zayd bin Harith, the second in command
arrived. He carried the standard on his shoulder and performed his duty with unparalleled valour
and at last succumbed to his fatal wounds. Then Abdullah Rawahid the third in command took the
standard in his hand. He mounted his horse and recited his epic verses. During the course of
fighting he felt very hungry. A morsel of food was given to him so that he might get some relief from
hunger. He had not yet eaten anything out of it when he heard the noise of the torrent-like
swarming of the enemy. He then threw away the morsel of food, advanced towards the enemy and
continued fighting till he was martyred.
From then onwards the
distress and perplexity of the army of Islam commenced. The chief commander and his two
assistants had been killed. Rasul had, however, visualized this situation beforehand and had
authorized the soldiers that if things came to such a pass they might choose their commander
themselves. In the meantime, Thabit bin Aqram picked up the standard, turned towards the Muslim
soldiers and said: "Choose a commander for yourselves". All of them said: "You should become
our commander". He replied: "I am not at all prepared to assume this office. You should, therefore,
select someone else". Then Thabit as well as other Muslims selected Khalid bin Walid, who had
embraced Islam recently and was available in the army, to be their commander. When Khalid was
selected as the commander the situation was a very delicate one. Terror and awe prevailed over
the Muslims The commander of the army resorted to military tactics which were unprecedented.
He ordered that at mid-night when it was dark everywhere they should engage themselves in
transfer and change-over and that too making a hue and cry. The right wing should give its place to
the left wing and vice versa and similarly the front column should come to the centre of the army
and vice versa. This change-over continued till dawn. According to one narration he ordered that a
unit of the Muslims should move to a distant place at mid-night and then return in the morning and
join the army reciting La ilaha ilalah (There is no deity but God). The object of the entire scheme
was that the Roman army should think that an auxiliary force had arrived to join the Muslims. By
chance it was on account of this impression that they did not attack the Muslims on the following
day and said to themselves that when the Muslims had fought so valiantly in the absence of the
auxiliary force they would fight more bravely after they had been joined by additional troops. The
calmness of the Roman army provided the Muslims an opportunity to return the way they had
come. The greatest success which the Muslims achieved was that they fought against an
organized and powerful army for one day or for three days. The military scheme adopted by the
new commander was a good one, because it delivered the Muslims from death and made them
come back to Madina safely. Hence, it deserves praise.
Reports regarding the manner of fighting and retreat of the soldiers of Islam had
already reached Madina before they arrived there. The Muslims, therefore, went to meet them as
far as Juraf, the military station of Madina. The action taken by the new commander was a wise
tactics, but as it did not accord with the sentiments of the Muslims and with their natural and real
bravery, reared up under the auspices of faith, they did not look upon the retreat of the soldiers
favourably, and did not consider it to be something graceful. They, therefore, received them with
biting slogans like: "O fugitives! Why did you run away from Jihad?" and by throwing dust on their
heads and faces. The behaviour of the Muslims with this group was so rude that some of the
persons who had participated in the battle were obliged to remain confined to their houses for quite
some time and they did not come within the public view. And, if they did come out, the people
pointed to them with their fingers and said: "He is one of the those persons who ran away from
jihad''. Reaction of the Muslims to the wisely undertaken retreat by the soldiers of Islam is
indicative of the spirit of bravery and heroism which the faith in God and in the Day of Judgement
had created and perfected in them, and on account of which they preferred death in the path of
Islam to the insignificant benefit derived from such retreat.
As the Leader of the Believers, Ali ibn Abi Talib is known amongst the Muslims with the title of
Asadullah (Lion of God), some persons have thought it expedient to create, in comparison with
him, a commander, who should carry the title of Sayfullah (Sword of God) and such a person
should not be anyone except the brave commander of Islam, Khalid bin Walid. They, therefore, say
that on his return from the Battle of Mota Rasul gave him the title of Sayfullah. No doubt if the
Prophet had given him this title on some other occasion there could be no question about it, but the
conditions and circumstances after the return of the Muslim army from the Battle of Mota did not
necessitate that Rasul should give him such a title. Is it justifiable that Rasul should
give a title like Sayfullah to a person who is at the head of those people, whom Muslims call
fugitives and accord them reception by throwing dust on their heads and faces? And even if he
displayed the attribute of being 'the Sword of God' in other battles, his achievement in this battle
was nothing more than a praiseworthy military scheme, for otherwise he and his subordinates
would not have been given the title of fugitives. Ibn Saad writes: "At the time of retreat of the
soldiers of Islam, the Roman soldiers pursed them and killed some of them". The forgerers of
the myth of 'Sayfullah' have also added this sentence to support their statement; "When Khalid
became the commander, he ordered the soldiers to attack the enemy. He himself attacked bravely
and nine swords broke in his hand, and only a shield remained with him". However, the forgerers of
this myth have forgotten one thing that is, if Khalid and his soldiers performed such feats of bravery
in the battlefield why did the people of Madina call them fugitives, and why did they receive them
by throwing dust on their heads and faces when in that case (i.e. if they had fought as bravely as
mentioned above) they should have received them honourably, for example, by slaughtering sheep
and sprinkling scent and rosewater in their path?
Rasul burst into tears on the death and martyrdom of his cousin Ja'far.
He went to the house of Ja'far direct to inform his wife, Asma' daughter of Umays, about the death
of her husband and also to offer condolences to her. Addressing Asma', he said: "Where are my
children?" She brought Ja'far's sons, Abdullah, Awn and Muhammad before Rasul. On
observing Rasul's intense attachment for the children, she realized that her dear husband
was dead. She said: "It appears that my children have become orphans, because you are treating
them as such". Rasul wept bitterly at this moment. Then he asked his daughter, Fatimah, to
prepare food and entertain the family of Ja'far for three days. Even after this Rasul remained
sad for Ja'far bin Abu Talib and Zayd bin Harith and as and when he entered his own house he
wept bitterly for them.
From the day Rasul migrated to Madina and made that city the centre
of Islam, he was always watchful of the conditions of the enemies and their enthusiasm and
conspiracies, and attached great importance to the collection of information about their activities.
He sent skillful and proficient persons to Makkah and to the different tribes of idolaters at various
places so that they might inform him in time about the decisions and plots of the enemies. On
becoming aware of their conspiracies he often nipped their plots in the bud. In such cases the
warriors of Islam attacked the enemies unawares under the command of Rasul or some
brave officer of Islam and dispersed them before they could even move from their place. As a result
of this, Islam remained safe from the danger of the enemies, and much of the bloodshed was also
avoided. In the present times information of the strength and fitness of the enemy and of his secret
plans is considered to be one of the greatest factors contributing to victory, and the superpowers of
the world possess extensive organizations for the training of spies and their dispatch and
utilization. In Islam initiative in this direction was taken by Rasul himself, and after him the
caliphs of Islam and specially the Leader of the Believers also entrusted different duties to a
number of spies. As and when he appointed someone as the governor of a locality he ordered
some persons to watch his behaviour and activities and to submit reports to him (i.e. to Ali). He has
alluded to this matter in a number of letters written to the governors in which they have been
reprimanded. In 2 Hijra Rasul dispatched eighty persons from amongst the immigrants, under the command of Abdullah bin Jahsh, with instructions to encamp at a specified place and to inform him about the activities and schemes of Quraysh. If Rasul was not taken unawares at the time of the Battle of Uhud and concentrated his forces outside Madina before the arrival of the enemies and if, during the Battle of Ahzab, he dug a dreadful ditch in front of the enemies before they could reach there, it was entirely owing to the detailed reports which the Muslims, deputed for this purpose, submitted to him, and in this way performed their religious duty to save Islam from downfall. This wise method adopted by the Prophet is a great example for the Muslims to follow, and on this basis it is necessary that the great leaders of Islam should be fully aware of all types of anti-Islamic conspiracies within the Islamic countries as well as in different parts of the
world. By this means they should extinguish the sparks before they turn into flames and should achieve their object. However, during the present times this task cannot be accomplished without necessary equipment. During the Battle of Zatus Salasil which is the subject of our present discussion, a great mischief was suppressed quite easily by gathering minute details about the plot of the enemy. And in case Rasul had not
resorted to this method (i.e. collecting information in advance) he would have incurred irreparable
losses. Here are the details of this event: The intelligence department of Rasul reported to
him that in the valley of Yabis, thousands of persons had concluded a mutual agreement that they
would annihilate Islam with full force and would lay down their lives for the achievement of this
object or kill Muhammad and his brave and victorious officer, Ali. Ali bin Ibrahim Qummi writes:
"Divine revelation informed Rasul about their plots". But Shaykh Mufid, the great
research scholar says: "A Muslim submitted a report about this to Rasul and mentioned the
locality of the plot to be the valley of Raml and added that the said tribes had decided to carry
out a night attack on Madina and settle the matter finally. [Note: Possibly the Valley of
Raml (the sandy desert) and the Valley of Yabis (the dry desert) are one and the same place.] Rasul considered it necessary to inform the Muslims about this great danger. In those days the code word for calling the people to prayers or to hear some important news was Assalat Jami'ah. Hence, as ordered by Rasul, the announcer took his place at an elevated spot of the roof of the mosque and uttered the said sentence loudly. Immediately thereupon the Muslims gathered in the mosque. Rasul mounted the pulpit and spoke inter alia thus: "The enemies of God are sitting in ambush and have decided to attack you unawares at night. Some of you should stand up to ward off this mischief". At this moment a group of persons was appointed for the purpose and Abu Bakr was nominated to be its commander. He, along with the special unit, proceeded towards the tribe of Bani Salim. The distance which the soldiers of Islam covered consisted of a peculiar stony path and the area
of the valley inhabited by the said tribe was very vast. When the soldiers of Islam tried to enter the valley they had to face Bani Salim and the commander of the army of Islam could think of no other alternative except that he should return the way he had come. Ali bin Ibrahim writes in his Tafsir; "When the chiefs of the tribe said to Abu Bakr: 'What is the purpose of this military expedition?' he replied: 'I have been appointed by God's Messenger to present Islam to you and to fight against you if you decline to accept it'. At this moment the chiefs of the tribe terrified him by making him face a large number of men. He, therefore, ordered the soldiers of Islam to return, and brought them back to Madina, notwithstanding the fact that they were inclined to put up a good fight". The return of the army of Islam and that too in the said condition touched Rasul He now entrusted the command of the army to Abu Bakr's friend, Umar. This time the enemies were
more alert than before and had concealed themselves at the entrance of the valley behind the stones and the trees. At the time of the arrival of the army of Islam they came out of their hiding places and began to fight valiantly. The commander of the army was, therefore, obliged to retreat and to return to Madina. Amr Ibn Ass, the cunning politician of Arabia, who had then embraced Islam recently, came to Rasul and said: "War is deceit". He meant to say that victory in war does not depend on valour and strength only but is also due to ingeniousness and deceit which should be practiced upon the enemy to achieve success. He added: "If I am allowed to lead the soldiers of Islam I shall be able to do the needful". In view of some good purpose Rasul accepted his proposal, but he too like the two earlier commanders met the same fate.
The successive defeats had made the Muslims very sad.
Eventually Rasul organized a force and selected Ali to be its commander and gave the
standard in his hand. Ali entered his house and asked his wife Fatimah to give him the piece of
cloth, which he used to tie on his head in critical circumstances. Rasul's daughter wept
bitterly to see that her dear husband was proceeding on a very dangerous mission. Rasul
consoled her and cleared up the tears from her eyes. Then he accompanied Ali up to the Masjidul
Ahzab. Ali mounted on a piebald horse, and wearing two garments woven in Yemen, and carrying
in his hand a spear, made in (the town) Hind, set off. He completely changed his itinerary, so much so that the soldiers began thinking that he was proceeding towards Iraq. Rasul saw him off saying, "He is an attacking commander who never flees the battlefield". Associating this sentence specially to Ali, shows that the former commanders had not only been defeated but, contrary to the military principles of Islam, their retreat also meant defeat.
The secret of the victory achieved by Ali in this battle may be summarized in the
following three points: 1. He did not let the enemy become aware of his activities, because he
changed his course so that information regarding his tactics might not reach the enemy through
the nomadic Arabs and the neighbouring tribes. 2. He acted on an important military principle i.e.
camouflage. He travelled during night and concealed himself at some place during day time and
took rest. He had no yet reached the entrance to the valley when he ordered all the soldiers to take
rest. And in order that the enemy might not become aware of their arrival near the valley, he also
instructed the soldiers of Islam to tie the mouths of their horses lest their neighing should awaken
the enemy. In the morning he offered his prayers along with his companions and then made the
soldiers ascend the mountain from the back side, and moved them into the valley from above the
mountain. Under the command of a brave and valiant officer, the soldiers proceeded forth like a
torrent and attacked the sleeping enemies like lightening. Some of them were killed and others
took to their heels. 3. The unmatched bravery of Ali who killed seven of
his opponents, overpowered the enemy. They were so much terrified that finding themselves
incapable of further resistance, they ran away leaving a large booty behind them. The brave
commander returned to Madina, crowned with laurels. Rasul, accompanied by some of his
companions, received him. On seeing Rasul he dismounted immediately. Rasul, while
patting the back of Ali said to him: "Mount the horse. God and His Prophet are pleased with you".
At that moment tears trickled down his cheeks on account of excessive joy and Rasul then
uttered his historical sentence about Ali: "If I had not been afraid that a group of my followers might
say the same thing about you as the Christians say about Prophet Jesus, I would have said
something about you, as a consequence of which the people would have taken the dust lying
under your feet as an article of blessing from wherever you might have passed''. This bravery
and self-sacrifice was so valuable that Sura Adiyat was revealed about this event and its
peculiar and sensational oath aims at appreciating the military spirit and manliness of the valiant
soldiers who took part in this battle. Here are some verses of this Sura: By the snorting chargers
(of the warriors), whose hooves strike against the rocks and produce sparks while running during a
raid at dawn, and leave behind a trail of dust which engulf the enemy. (Sura Adiyat, 100:1- 5).
The above is the summary of the events of the Battle of Zatus Salasil as the pious exegetes and
historians have recorded on the basis of authentic authorities. However, other historians like
Tabari, have given another version of this event which differs much from what we have stated
above. It is not improbable that two battles bore the name of Zatus Salasil and each group has
narrated the events of one of them and has refrained on the basis of certain considerations, from
narrating those of the other.


Besides being one of the greatest events of the History of Islam, the
conquest of Makkah throws light on the sacred aims and objects of Rasul and his sublime
morals. In this period of history the good faith and sincerity of Rasul and his companions
with regard to all the clauses of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah, which was signed by them,
becomes clear and, over against it, the perfidy and breach of trust on the part of Quraysh in
connection with abiding by the terms of the pact also becomes evident. The study of this part of
history proves the skill and prudence of Rasul and the wise policy adopted by him to conquer
the last and the most solid stronghold of the enemy. It appears that this Divinely appointed man
had spent a part of his life in one of the greatest military academies, because he planned the
victory like an experienced commander in such a way that the Muslims achieved this greatest
success without the least labour and hardship. However, the love of Rasul for humanity and
his concern for the safety of the lives and property of his enemies is also evidenced from this
period of history. As we shall observe soon, this great man, exercising unusual foresight, ignored
the crimes of Quraysh after achieving victory and proclaimed general amnesty. Here are the details
of this event: In the 6 Hijra, a pact was concluded between the chiefs of Quraysh and Rasul and was ratified by both the parties. According to the third clause of the pact, Quraysh and
the Muslims were free to make agreements with such other tribes as they liked. In the light of this
clause, the tribe of Bani Khuza'ah made an agreement with the Muslims and Rasul
undertook to protect their water, land, lives and property. The tribe of Bani Kananah, who were old
enemies of their neighbouring tribe, Bani Khuza'ah, made an agreement with Quraysh. The matter
was concluded by a peace pact according to which maintenance of a general peace throughout
Arabia for ten years (and, according to another version, for two years) was agreed upon. According
to the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah, the two parties were not to rise against each other and were also
not to instigate the allies of the one to rise against the allies of the other. Two years passed after
the conclusion of this pact, and both the parties spent this time in peace and in the years following
the pact, the Muslims went freely for the pilgrimage of the Kaba and performed their religious
rites in the presence of thousands of idolaters belonging to the enemy camp. In the month of
Jamadi al Awal of the 8 Hijra, Rasul sent 3000 strong soldiers under the command of three brave officers of Islam, towards the frontiers of Syria, to punish the Roman authorities for their killing unprotected Muslim missionaries in a dastardly manner. The Muslim warriors saved their lives in this expedition and not more than three of their commanders and a few soldiers were killed, but they did not return with the victory which was expected of the mujahids of Islam and their operation was not dissimilar to the condition of strike and run. The publicity of this news encouraged Quraysh
and they began to think that the military strength of the Muslims had weakened and they had lost
the spirit of bravery and self-sacrifice. They, therefore, decided to disturb the atmosphere of peace
and tranquillity. In the first instance they distributed arms amongst the people of Bani Bakr and
instigated them to conduct a night attack on Bani Khuza'ah, who were the allies of Muslims, and to
kill some of them and arrest others. They were not, however, contented even with this, and a unit of
Quraysh participated in the night attack on Bani Khuza'ah. Thus they violated the Peace Pact of
Hudaybiyah and converted the two years' old peace and tranquillity into war and bloodshed. The
result of this night attack was that some of the people of the tribe who were in their beds, or were
offering prayers, were killed and others were made prisoners. A few of them abandoned their
houses and took refuge in Makkah which was considered to be a place of peace amongst the
Arabs. The refugees who had come to Makkah went to the house of Budayl bin Warqa' and
related the pitiable tale of their tribe to him. [Note: Budayl was one of the venerated and aged personalities of the tribe of Khuza'ah who resided in Makkah. He was then 97.]
In order that the news of their victimization might reach
the ears of Rasul they sent Amr Salam, the chief of their tribe, to him. On arriving in Madina
he went straight to the mosque and stood before the people. He recited, in a special tone, some
heart-rending verses indicating the oppression suffered by the tribe of Bani Khuza'ah and their
imploration for help and reminded Rasul to honour the agreement made with them. He
requested Rasul to help them and to avenge the blood of the oppressed. In the end of his
verses he said: "O Prophet of God! While some of us were at the bank of the water of Wateer and
others were offering prayers the idolatrous Quraysh, who had signed a non-aggression pact
covering a period of ten years, fell upon our unprotected and unarmed people at midnight and
massacred them". He repeated this verse: "They massacred us while we were Muslims", many
times to arouse the sentiments and the spirit of swordsmanship of the Muslims. The stirring verses
of the chief of the tribe had their effect. Rasul turned to Amr in the presence of a large
number of Muslims and said: "O Amr bin Salam! We shall assist you". This decisive reply gave a
wonderful peace of mind to Amr, because he became sure that Rasul would very soon
avenge the fate of Bani Khuza'ah upon Quraysh, who were the real cause of the tragic event.
However, he could not imagine that this task would bring about the conquest of Makkah and the
end of the oppressive rule of Quraysh. Soon afterwards Budayl bin Warqa' came to Rasul
along with a group of the people of Bani Khuza'ah to seek help. He informed him of the co-
operation of Quraysh with Bani Bakr about the striking and killing the men of Bani Khuza'ah, and
then they proceeded to Makkah.
Quraysh regretted very much what they had done, and realized that they had provided a very
dangerous pretext to the Muslims and had committed an act which violated the very spirit of the
pact and its terms. With a view to pacifying Rasul and to seek the confirmation and
strengthening of the ten years' pact, (and according to one version) for its extension, they sent
their leader, Abu Sufyan, to Madina so that he might hide their crimes and transgression by all
possible means. He proceeded to Madina and on the way he met Budayl, the leader of Bani
Khuza'ah, at a place called Asfan situated near Makkah. He enquired from Budayl whether he had
been to Madina and had informed Muhammad of the recent developments. Budayl replied that he
had gone to see his oppressed kinsmen and to console them, and had not at all been to Madina.
Saying this he proceeded to Makkah. However, Abu Sufyan broke the dung of his camel and found
in it the stones of the palm-dates peculiar to Madina. He, therefore, became sure that Budayl had
gone to Madina to see Rasul. Abu Sufyan arrived in Madina and went straight to the house of
his daughter, Umme Habibah, the wife of Rasul. He wanted to sit on the mattress used by
Rasul, but his daughter folded it up. Abu Sufyan said to his daughter: "Did you not consider
the bedding fit for me or your father fit for it? " She replied: "This bedding is specially meant for the
Prophet and as you are an unbeliever, I didn't wish that a person who is an unbeliever, and unclean
should sit on the bedding of Rasul". This is the logic of the daughter of a man, who worked
against Islam for a long period of twenty years, brought about revolutions, and perpetrated
massacres on this account. However, as this honourable lady had been nurtured in the cradle of
Islam, the school of monotheism, her spiritual ties were so strong that she subordinated all her
inner inclinations and filial sentiments to her religious fervour. Abu Sufyan felt very uneasy
regarding his daughter's behaviour, who was his only refuge in Madina. He left his daughter's
house and went to Rasul and spoke to him about the extension and strengthening of the
Peace Pact. However, he had to face the silence of Rasul which showed his indifference to
the proposal. Abu Sufyan contacted some companions of Rasul so that he might approach
him again through them and thus achieve his object. But these contacts too did not prove fruitful. At
last he went to the house of Ali and spoke to him thus: "You are the man nearest to me in this city,
because you are my kinsman. I, therefore, request you to intercede with Rasul on my behalf
". Ali replied: "We don't at all interfere in matters in which Rasul has taken a decision".
Having been disappointed from Ali's side, he turned to Lady Fatimah Zahrah, the wife of Ali and
daughter of Rasul, and saw that her two sons Hasan and Husayn were nearby. In order to
arouse her sentiments, he said to her: "O Prophet's daughter! It is possible that you may direct your
children to provide refuge to the people of Makkah and to become the chiefs of Arabia, till the earth
and time exist". Zahrah, who was aware of the evil intentions of Abu Sufyan, said at once: "This
matter rests with Rasul, and my children don't enjoy any such position at present ". He turned
to Ali again and said "Dear Ali! Guide me in this matter". Ali replied: "There is no way out, except
that you should go into the mosque and proclaim security for the Muslims". He said: "If I do so, will
it be of any use?" Ali replied: "Not much, but I can't think of anything else at present". Abu Sufyan,
who was aware of the truthfulness, uprightness and purity of Ali, went to the mosque and put his
suggestion into practice. He then left the mosque and proceeded to Makkah. In connection with the
report which he gave to the chiefs of Quraysh about his performance at Madina, he also mentioned
the advice given by Ali and said: "As suggested by Ali, I went into the mosque and proclaimed
security for the Muslims". Those present said to him: "Ali's suggestion was nothing more than a
jest because Rasul didn't pay any heed to your providing security to the Muslims and a one-
sided declaration is useless". Then they held more meetings to find out some other means to
pacify the Muslims.
The entire life of Rasul shows that he always
endeavoured that the enemy should surrender before truth and never thought of taking revenge on
him or of annihilating him. In many battles, in which Rasul either participated personally or
dispatched a group for fighting, his object used to be that the plot of the enemies might be
frustrated, their unity might come to an end and their men should disperse. It was because he
knew very well that if obstacles in the path of propagation of Islam were removed, the forceful logic
of Islam would make its impression in a free environment and if the very persons, whose
assemblage and forming factions prevented the penetration and propagation of Islam, were
disarmed and ceased to be in a state of war and did not entertain in their minds the hopes of
gaining victory over Islam, they would willy-nilly be attracted towards Islam and would naturally
become its supporters and friends. Hence, many vanquished nations which were defeated by the
military strength of Islam and later pondered over its sublime teachings, in an environment distant
from confusion and tumult, got attracted towards it and occupied themselves in the propagation of
the religion of monotheism. At the time of the conquest of Makkah, this phenomenon made its
appearance in its most perfect form. Rasul knew that if he conquered Makkah, disarmed the
enemy, and made the environments peaceful, the persons, who were his sworn enemies at that
time would soon become the faithful believers of Islam. It was, therefore, necessary to defeat and
overcome the enemy but not to annihilate him and also to avoid bloodshed as far as possible. In
order to achieve this sacred object (overpowering the enemy without bloodshed), the principle of
taking the enemy by surprise should be followed and he should be attacked and disarmed before
he thinks of collecting force and defending himself. The principle of surprise attack on the enemy
could, however, be acted upon only when all military secrets of the Muslim army remained secure
and the enemy did not know whether Rasul had decided to attack or was only thinking about
it. It was also necessary that the enemy should not become aware of the activities and tactics of
the army of Islam. Rasul ordered general mobilization to conquer Makkah and to subjugate
the most firm stronghold of idolatry. His aim was to topple down the oppressive government of
Quraysh which was the greatest impediment in the advancement of Islam. He also prayed to God
that the spies of Quraysh might not become aware of the activities of the Muslims. In order to
maintain perfect secrecy all the routes leading to Makkah were watched by the Muslims appointed
for the purpose and strict control was exercised on the traffic. The soldiers of Islam had not yet
moved when the Archangel Gabriel informed Rasul that a simpleton who occupied his place
in the ranks of the Muslims had written a letter to Quraysh and had entrusted it to a woman named
Sarah to deliver it to them on payment of wages, and in that letter some military secrets of Islam
including their imminent attack on Makkah had been disclosed. Sarah was a singing-girl of
Makkah who at times also sang dirges in the mourning parties of Quraysh. After the Battle of Badr
her business in Makkah slackened, because on account of a large number of important
personalities of Quraysh having been killed in that battle, Makkah was completely engulfed in grief,
and there was no occasion for musical and pleasure-seeking parties. Furthermore, in order that the
anger and grudge of Quraysh should survive and their desire to take revenge might not die away,
singing of mournful songs was strictly prohibited. For the reasons mentioned above Sarah came to
Madina after two years of Badr. When Rasul asked her whether she had embraced Islam
she replied in the negative. Then Rasul asked her as to why she had come to Madina. To this
she replied: "From the view point of origin and lineage I belong to Quraysh. However, some of them
have been killed and some others have migrated to Madina. After the Battle of Badr my business
slackened and I have come over here out of need". Rasul then ordered immediately that
necessary food and dress might be provided to her. Sarah was treated so kindly by Rasul,
but, on receiving ten Dinars from Hatib bin Abi Balta'ah, she undertook to spy against Islam and to
carry to Quraysh his letter containing information regarding the preparedness of the Muslims to
conquer Makkah. Rasul summoned three brave soldiers and asked them to proceed to
Makkah, arrest the said woman wherever they saw her and take the letter from her. The persons to
whom this task was entrusted were Ali, Zubayr and Miqdad. They arrested the woman at a place
called Rauzat Khakh and checked her luggage minutely but did not find anything. The woman also
strongly denied that she was carrying any letter from Hatib. Ali said: "By God! Our Prophet never
tells a lie. You must surrender the letter, or else we shall recover it from you by all possible
means". In the meantime Sarah realized that Ali was a soldier who would not give up the search
until he had carried out the orders of Rasul. She, therefore, requested him to keep aloof.
Then she took out a small letter from the inner folds of her hair and surrendered it to Ali. The
Prophet was very much perturbed to find that such a thing had been done by a Muslim, who had a
long record of service and was eager to assist Islam even in very critical times. He, therefore,
called Hatib and asked him to explain his position. He swore by God and Rasul and said:
"Not the least instability has taken place in my faith. However, as God's Messenger is aware, I
am living alone in Madina and my children and kinsmen are suffering pressure and torture in
Makkah at the hands of Quraysh. My object in sending the report in question, therefore, was that
Quraysh might diminish the torture to which my people are being subjected". The excuse offered by
Hatib shows that, in order to obtain information about the secrets of the Muslims, the chiefs of
Quraysh subjected their kinsmen residing in Makkah to torture and made their deliverance
conditional upon that they should obtain necessary information from their relatives in Madina.
Although the excuse offered by Hatib was not well-founded, Rasul accepted it on account of
various considerations, including his long past services for the cause of Islam, and set him free.
When Umar sought permission from Rasul to cut off Hatib's head, he replied: "I am setting
him free because he participated in the Battle of Badr and was one day the object of Divine
blessing" However, to ensure that such an incident might not be repeated, the first nine verses of
Sura Mumtahinah were revealed: O You who believe! Choose not My enemy and your
enemy for friends ......
In observance of the rule of surprise attack, the time of departure, the itinerary and the purpose of the expedition were not made known to anyone till orders for marching were given by Rasul.
Such orders were given on the 10th of Ramadan 8 Hijra, although instructions had been issued
earlier to the Muslims of Madina and its suburbs to keep themselves alert. On the day Rasul
left Madina, he appointed a person named Abu Ruhm Ghifari to act as his representative there and
reviewed his army in the vicinity of Madina. When he had covered some distance from Madina he
asked for water at a place named Kadid and broke his fast and also ordered all others to do so.
Most of them broke the fast, but some persons refrained from doing so under the impression that if
they performed jihad while fasting they would become entitled to greater recompense. These
simple-minded persons did not realize that the same Prophet who had given orders regarding
fasting during the month of Ramadan had also given orders now for breaking the fast, and if he
was the guide towards prosperity and truth, both of his orders were for the good of the people and
there was no discrimination in his orders. Rasul was displeased to learn that some persons
had abstained from complying with his orders and said: "These people are sinners and
rebels". Seeking of such precedence and lead over Rasul is a sort of deviation from truth
and shows lack of faith of these people in Rasul and in his religion. Hence, Quran
has reproached such people and says: O You who believe! Be not forward in the presence of God
and His Messenger, and be careful of your duty to God. (Sura Hujurat, 49:1). Abbas bin Abdul
Muttalib was one of those Muslims who were residing in Makkah. He was staying there under the
advice of Rasul and used to inform him about the decisions taken by Quraysh. He
demonstrated his Islam after the Battle of Khaibar, but his relations with the chiefs of Quraysh
remained intact. He decided to leave Makkah as a last Muslim family to settle in Madina. During
the days when Rasul was proceeding to Makkah, Abbas left for Madina and met Rasul
on the way at a place called Ju'fah. Presence of Abbas proved to be very useful for the conquest of
Makkah and resulted in the benefit to both the parties. It is possible that if he had not been present,
the conquest of Makkah might not have been accomplished without resistance by Quraysh. Hence,
it is not improbable that his departure from Makkah to Madina was under instructions from the
Prophet so that he might play a conciliatory role in the event.
The brilliant past of Rasul, his pleasing manners and his
truthfulness and righteousness were very well-known to the members of his family and to his
kinsmen in general and all his relatives knew that he had led an honourable life and had never
committed any sin or aggression or spoken anything false. Hence, from the very first day of his
general call, almost all the members of the family of Bani Hashim responded to his call and
gathered round him like moths round a candle. One of the unbiased British orientalists, considers
this fact to be a symbol of the purity and piety of Rasul and says: "Every person,
howmuchsoever careful and cautious he may be, cannot hide the particulars of his life from the
members of his family and his near relatives. If Muhammad had possessed bad mentality and
character these things would not have remained hidden from his kinsmen and they would not have
been attracted to him so soon''.[Heroes and Hero Worship, by Thomas Carlyle.]
However, there were a few persons amongst Bani Hashim
also who declined to express faith in him. Besides Abu Lahab the names of two such persons viz.
Abu Sufyan bin Harith and Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah may be mentioned in this behalf. They
displayed enmity and obstinacy against him and they not only did not express faith in him but also
became an impediment in the path of truth and hurt Rasul's feelings. Abu Sufyan was the
son of Harith, the uncle of Rasul and was also his foster brother. Before the appointment of
Rasul to the prophetic mission, Abu Sufyan loved him very much but became inimical to him
thereafter. Abdullah was the brother of Umme Salma and the son of 'Atika, the aunt of Rasul
and daughter of Abdul Muttalib. However, the publicity of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula
made these two persons decide to leave Makkah and join the Muslims. While Rasul was on
his way going to conquer Makkah, they met the army of Islam at a place known as Thanyatul 'Uqab
or Nabqul 'Uqab. Inspite of their persistent requests Rasul declined to meet them. And even
when Umme Salma interceded affectionately, Rasul rejected her recommendation and said:
"It is true that Abu Sufyan is my cousin, but he has annoyed me much. And the second man is the
same person who made foolish requests to me and has been preventing others from
embracing Islam". Ali who was acquainted with the temperament
of Rasul and the method of arousing his sentiments, said to the two persons: "Go and sit
before Rasul and utter the same sentence which the brothers of Joseph uttered while offering
apology". While offering apology the brothers of Joseph had said: "By God, He has given
preference to you over us and we have sinned". And Joseph on hearing these words forgave them
saying: "No one will blame you this day! God will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of all
those who show mercy". Then Imam Ali added: "If you recite the first
sentence he will certainly give you a reply in the second sentence, because he is a person who is
not at all willing that anyone should be more affable than him". They acted as advised by Ali and
Rasul also forgave them like Joseph. Both of them then put on the requisite dress for jihad
and remained steadfast in their faith till the end of their lives. To make amends for his past Abu
Sufyan recited a laudatory poem, the first verse of which is, "By your life! The day on which I
carried the standard on my shoulder so that the army of Lat (an idol in Makkah) might be victorious
over the army of Muhammad, I was like a perplexed night-traveller who gropes in the dark, but now
is the time when I should be under the auspices of the guidance of Rasul. Ibn Hisham
writes that Rasul's cousin Abu Sufyan bin Harith sent a message to Rasul saying:
"If you don't accept my faith (i.e. conversion to Islam) I shall hold the hand of my young child and
walk away into the desert". And in order to arouse the kind sentiments of Rasul, Umme
Salma said: "I have heard you saying time and again that 'Islam covers the past'. On this basis the
Prophet received both the persons in his presence.
Marruz Zahran is a few kilometres away from Makkah. Rasul led his ten thousand
strong army most skillfully up to the borders of Makkah so that Quraysh and their spies and agents
did not become aware of its movement. In order that the residents of Makkah might surrender
without any resistance, and that big fort and sacred centre should be conquered without bloodshed
Rasul, in order to create fear in the hearts of the Makkans, ordered that the Muslims should
kindle fire at the elevated places. He also ordered, to intimidate the Makkans still more, that every
person should kindle a fire independently so that the fire and the flames might make all the
adjoining hills and high places glow up. Quraysh and their allies had gone into deep slumber.
However, the flames which had given all the elevated places the shape of a mass of fire and
whose light was reaching the houses of the people of Makkah created fear and anxiety in their
hearts and attracted their attention to the high places. In the meantime the chiefs of Quraysh, like
Abu Sufyan bin Harb and Hakim bin Hizam, came out of Makkah for investigation and busied
themselves in observation and exploration. Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, who was accompanying the
Prophet thought that if the army of Islam was resisted by Quraysh many persons from amongst
Quraysh would be killed. He therefore, decided to play a part which might be beneficial to both the
parties and to persuade Quraysh to surrender. He mounted Rasul's white mule and
proceeded to Makkah in the dead hours of night, so that he might inform the chiefs of Quraysh,
through the thorn-pickers and wood-carriers, about the siege of Makkah by the army of Islam, and
to make the numerical strength and war-like spirit of the Muslims known to them, and let them
realize that they (Quraysh) had no alternative but to surrender. From a distance, however, he heard
the following conversation between Abu Sufyan and Budayl Warqa': Abu Sufyan: I have not so far
seen such a great fire and such a big army. Budayl bin Warqa': They are the people of the tribe of
Khuza'ah, who have prepared for war. Abu Sufyan: "Khuza'ah are too few to kindle such a great fire
or to make such a big army." At this moment Abbas interrupted their conversation and called Abu
Sufyan and said: "O Abu Hanzalah!'' Abu Sufyan immediately recognized the voice of Abbas
and said "O Abul Fadl, what do you say?" Abbas said: "By God! All this commotion has been
created by the warriors of God's Messenger. He has come towards Quraysh with a very strong
army and it is not at all possible for Quraysh to resist him". The words of Abbas made Abu Sufyan
tremble severely. In that state of fear he turned to Abbas and said: "May my parents be your
ransom! What is the remedy?" Abbas replied: "The remedy lies in that you should accompany me
to Rasul and seek security from him, otherwise the lives of all Quraysh are in danger". Then
he made him sit on the pillion of his mule and proceeded to the camp of the army of Islam. The
other two persons (Budayl bin Warqa' and Hakim bin Hizam), who had come with Abu Sufyan for
investigation, returned to Makkah. Now, as can be observed, Abbas acted for the benefit of Islam
and made Abu Sufyan so much afraid of the strength of the Muslims that he could not think of
anything other than surrender. And his most important action was that he did not let Abu Sufyan
return to Makkah but brought him to the Muslim encampment in the dead hours of night and thus
isolated him from all sides. Had he returned to Makkah it was possible that he might have been
influenced by the extremist elements and might have made a passive resistance for a few hours.
Rasul's uncle was mounted on the particular mule of Rasul and Abu Sufyan was accompanying him. He made him pass from between the masses of fires and the large army consisting of infantrymen and
mounted soldiers. The sentries recognized Abbas as well as the particular mule belonging to the
Prophet and, therefore, made way for him. While they were still on their way Umar's eyes fell on
Abu Sufyan sitting on the pillion of Abbas, and he wanted to kill him (Abu Sufyan) at once. As,
however, Rasul's uncle had provided him protection, he (Umar) desisted from doing so.
Eventually Abbas and Abu Sufyan reached the tent of Rasul. Rasul's uncle sought
permission and then entered the tent. There a very serious dispute took place between Abbas and
Umar in the presence of Rasul. Umar insisted that Abu Sufyan being an enemy of God
should be killed immediately whereas Abbas said that he had provided him protection. Rasul
silenced them by asking Abbas to keep Abu Sufyan in a tent during the night and to bring him in
the morning.
When the day dawned Abbas
brought Abu Sufyan before Rasul. The Muhajirs and the Ansar were then around Rasul.
When Rasul's eyes fell upon Abu Sufyan he said: "Has the time not yet arrived when you
should acknowledge their there is no god but God?" Abu Sufyan said in reply: "May my parents be
your ransom! How forbearing, generous and kind you are towards your kinsmen! I have now
realized that if there had been a god other than God he would have done, till now, something for
our benefit." When Rasul saw that he had acknowledged the Oneness of God, he added:
"Has not the time yet arrived when you should know that I am God's Prophet." Repeating the
former sentence, Abu Sufyan said: "How forbearing, generous, and kind you are towards your
kinsmen! At present I am reflecting about your Prophethood". Abbas felt annoyed at Abu Sufyan's
expressing doubt (about the Prophethood of Muhammad and said: "If you don't embrace Islam,
your life is in danger. You should, therefore, testify to the Oneness of God and to the Prophethood
of Muhammad as early as possible". Abu Sufyan followed the advice and joined the ranks of
Muslims. Abu Sufyan embraced Islam on account of fear, and such faith did not at all conform with
the aim of Islam, but in this case it was expedient that Abu Sufyan should join the Muslims, in
whatever manner it might be, so that the greatest obstacle in the path of the Makkans embracing
Islam might be removed, because he and those like him (i.e. Abu Jahl, 'Ikrimah, Safwan bin
Umayyah etc.) were the persons who had created fear and terror since long and none could pick
up courage to think about Islam or to show inclination towards it. Even if apparent embracement of
Islam by Abu Sufyan was not beneficial for him, it was very beneficial and useful for Rasul of
Islam as well as for those persons who were his kith and kin. Even then Rasul did not
release Abu Sufyan, because he was not confident about his activities till Makkah was conquered.
He, therefore, gave directions to Abbas that, for reasons to be mentioned later, he should keep him
confined within a narrow pass of a valley. Abbas turned to Rasul and said: "Abu Sufyan is
ambitious of social status and now that matters have taken such a turn you had better confer some
position on him". Notwithstanding the fact that during a long period of twenty years, Abu Sufyan
had done the greatest harm to Islam and the Muslims; Rasul, keeping some higher interests
in view, conferred a position on him and uttered the following sentence which is indicative of the
greatness of his soul: "Abu Sufyan is authorized to assure the people that whoever takes refuge
within the precincts of Masjidul Haram or lays down arms on the ground and declares his neutrality
or confines himself to his house or takes refuge in the house of Abu Sufyan (and, according to one
version, in the house of Abu Sufyan or in the house of Hakim bin Hizam) shall remain safe from
molestation by the army of Islam''.
The grand army of Islam had reached close to Makkah. However, Rasul desired that he should conquer the city without any resistance or bloodshed and the enemy should surrender without any
conditions. Out of the factors, besides camouflage and surprise, which helped much in achieving
this object, one was that Abbas, the uncle of Rasul, went to Makkah as a gesture of goodwill
to Quraysh and brought Abu Sufyan to the Islamic camp and the chiefs of Quraysh could not take a
final decision in the absence of Abu Sufyan. When Abu Sufyan submitted himself to the
unmatched greatness of Rasul and expressed his faith in him, Rasul decided
to take the maximum advantage from his presence to intimidate the idolaters. He, therefore, asked
Abbas to detain him in the narrow pass of the valley so that the units of the newly-formed army of
Islam might march past him with all their equipment, and he should observe the military strength of
Islam and then on return to Makkah, he might inform Quraysh about the strength of the army of
Islam and keep them from resistance. Some of the units of the army of Islam were as mentioned
below: 1. A strong regiment of one thousand soldiers of the tribe of Bani Salim under the command
of Khalid bin Walid which held two standards. One of these standards was being carried by Abbas
bin Mirdas and the other by Miqdad. 2. Two battalions of five hundred warriors under the command
of Zubayr Awwam who had a black standard in his hand. The majority of the soldiers of these two
battalions consisted of the Muhajirs. 3. A strong battalion of three thousand soldiers of the tribe of
Bani Ghifar under the command of Abuzar Ghifari, who was carrying the standard. 4. A strong
battalion of four hundred soldiers of the tribe of Bani Salim under the command of Yazid, son of
Khusayb, who was carrying the standard. 5. Two battalions consisting of five hundred men
belonging to the tribe of Bani Ka'b under the command of Busr bin Sufyan, who was also carrying
the standard. 6. A one thousand persons strong regiment of Bani Muzaynah which bore three
standards. These standards were in the hands of No'man bin Maqran, Bilal bin Harith and Abdullah
Amr. 7. A regiment consisting of eight hundred persons belonging to Bani Juhaynah, with four
standards which were being carried by Ma'bad bin Khalid, Suwayd bin Sakhra, Rafe' bin Makith
and Abdullah Badr. 8. Two groups consisting of two hundred persons from the tribes of Banu
Kananah, Banu Layth and Hamzah under the command of Abu Waqid Laythi, who was carrying
the standard. 9. A battalion consisting of three hundred persons belonging to the tribe of Bani
Ashja', which carried two standards. One of these standards was being carried by Ma'qal bin
Sanan and the other by Naim bin Masud. When these units passed by Abu Sufyan, he
immediately enquired about their particulars from Abbas and the latter gave him the reply. The
thing which added to the grandeur of this organized army was that when the commanders of the
units came before Abbas and Abu Sufyan, they shouted "God is the Greatest" three times with a loud
voice and thereafter the soldiers also pronounced it thrice with loud voices by way of the greatest
Islamic rite. This Takbir resounded in the valleys of Makkah in such a manner that the friends were
greatly impressed with the discipline of Islam and the enemies were filled with extreme fear and
terror. Abu Sufyan was waiting impatiently to see the unit in which Rasul had taken his place.
Hence, every time a unit passed by him he asked Abbas whether Muhammad was present in it.
Abbas continued to reply in the negative till their attention was attracted by a great force consisting
of about five thousand soldiers in which two thousand warriors were wearing coats of mail and the
company commanders were carrying many standards at specified distances. The name of this unit
was Katiba-i Khazra' i.e. the Green Army. Its soldiers were armed to the teeth. Their entire bodies
were covered with arms and nothing except their bright eyes could be seen. Swift Arabian horses
and red-haired camels could be seen in this unit in abundance. Rasul could be seen in the
middle of this unit riding his particular camel. Distinguished personalities had encircled him and he
was conversing with them. The grandeur of this unit overawed Abu Sufyan. He involuntarily said to
Abbas: "No force can resist this army. O Abbas! The kingdom of your nephew has flourished to a
great extent". Abbas replied reproachfully: "The source of the strength of my nephew is the
Prophethood bestowed upon him by God, and it has nothing to do with outward and material
Abbas had so far performed his role admirably
well and had impressed Abu Sufyan with the military strength of Rasul. At this moment the
Prophet considered it expedient to set Abu Sufyan free so that he might go to Makkah before the
arrival of the units of the army of Islam, inform the people of the unusual strength of the Muslims
and also tell the Makkans about the means of their safety, because merely frightening the people
without showing them the path to safety could not enable Rasul to achieve his object. Abu
Sufyan arrived in the city. The people who had spent the night in great anxiety and fear and had not
been able to take any decision in his absence, encircled him. With a distressed face and a
trembling body, and while he was pointing towards Madina, he said: "Units of the army of Islam,
whom it is not possible for anyone to resist, have besieged the city and will be entering it within a
short time. Their leader, Muhammad, has given me a promise that the life and property of everyone
who takes refuge in the mosque or in the precincts of the Kaba, or lays down his arms on the
ground and confines himself to his house as a mark of neutrality, or enters my house or that of
Hakim Hizam, will be respected and will remain secured. With this message Abu Sufyan
weakened the morale of the people so much that even if some persons had been thinking of
offering resistance, they abandoned the idea. Thus all the preliminaries, which had been settled
the previous night, owing to the steps taken by Abbas, proved fruitful and the conquest of Makkah
and that too without any resistance on the part of Quraysh, seemed imminent. The terrified people
took refuge in various places and, as a result of the wise plan of Rasul, the sworn enemy of
Islam rendered a great service to the Muslim army. In the meantime Abu Sufyan's wife, Hind,
incited the people to resist, and abused her husband. Nothing could, however, be done now and all
the cries and appeals were useless. However, some extremists like Safwan bin Umayyah, 'Ikrimah
bin Abu Jahl and Suhayl bin Amr (the champion and special representative of Quraysh for the
conclusion of the Peace Pact of Hudaybiyah) swore that they would prevent the army of Islam from
entering the city. Some persons were deceived by their words and they with swords in their hands,
blocked the path of the first unit of the army of Islam.
Before the forces of Islam reached the main roads of the city of Makkah, Rasul
summoned all the commanders of the army and said to them: "It is my earnest desire that Makkah
should be conquered without any bloodshed. Killing of non-combatant persons should, therefore,
be avoided. However, ten persons namely 'Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl, Habbar bin Aswad, Abdullah bin
Saad Abi Sarah, Miqyas Subabah Laythi, Huwairath bin Nuqayd, Abdullah Hilal and four women
who have been guilty of murder or other offences or have sparked off the war should be killed for
their offences immediately, whenever they are captured". This order was notified to all the
soldiers through their commanders. Notwithstanding the fact that the mental attitude of the people
of Makkah towards Rasul was very clear, he did not ignore military precautions at the time of
entry into Makkah. His plan was as follows: All the units forming one line reached Zi Tuwa (an
elevated point from where the houses of Makkah as well as the Kaba and the Masjidul Haram
can be seen), while Rasul was encircled by a regiment consisting of five thousand soldiers.
When Rasul's eyes fell on the houses of Makkah, tears of joy gathered in his eyes and as a
mark of thanksgiving for the victory which he had gained without any resistance on the part of
Quraysh, he, while riding the camel, bent himself so much that his beard touched the saddle fixed
on the back of the camel. As a precautionary measure, he divided the army and sent a part of it
from the upper side and another part from the lower side of Makkah. He did not content himself
with only this and also sent units by all the routes which led to the city. All the units entered the city
without any fighting and the gates of the city were opened for them, except the unit which was
commanded by Khalid bin Walid. At the instigation of 'Ikrimah, Safwan and Suhayl, a group of
persons resorted to fighting and displayed resistance by shooting arrows and using swords.
However, when twenty-eight of them were killed, the instigators went into hiding and the others
fled. Once again Abu Sufyan unknowingly rendered assistance to Islam in this incident. He
was still very much over-awed and knew that resistance was only harmful. To prevent bloodshed
he shouted and addressed the people thus: "O Quraysh! Don't endanger your lives, because
fighting against the organized army of Muhammad is useless. Lay down your arms and sit in your
houses or take refuge in the mosque and the precincts of the Kaba, for in that case your lives will
be safe". The words of Abu Sufyan had the desired effect and some persons confined themselves
to their houses whereas others took refuge in the mosque. Rasul saw the flashes of the
swords of the unit of Khalid from a point named Azakhir and, being aware of the cause of conflict,
said: "God 's Will is above everything". The camel of Rasul entered the city with great dignity
and grandeur from the highest point of Makkah (Azakhir). He alighted in Jahoon by the side of the
grave of his dear uncle, Abu Talib, and a special tent was pitched for him. Although the people
insisted that he might stay in the house of someone, but he declined.
The city of Makkah, which had been the centre of idol worship for a very
long time, surrendered before the army of Islam and all the points of the city came under the
control of the Muslim soldiery. Rasul took rest for some time in the tent. Thereafter he
mounted a camel and proceeded to the Masjidul Haram for pilgrimage and tawaf
(circumambulation) of the Kaba. He had put on military dress, was wearing a helmet on his head
and the Muhajirs and the Ansar encircling him reflected his greatness. The reins of the camel of
Rasul were being held by Muhammad bin Maslamah, and the Muslims and some of the
idolaters had lined up on his route. Some of them were astonished and over-awed whereas others
were expressing their joy. For some good purposes Rasul did not alight from his camel and
arrived in Masjidul Haram mounted on it and halted opposite the Black Stone. Instead of kissing
the Black Stone he pointed towards it with a special stick which he was carrying in his hand and
uttered Takbir. Imitating Rasul, his companions, who were gathered round their illustrious
leader uttered Takbir with a loud voice. The voice of Takbir reached the ears of the idolaters of
Makkah, who had taken refuge in their houses or at elevated places. A strange tumult prevailed in
the mosque and the hue and cry of the people prevented Rasul from performing tawaf
peacefully. Rasul made a sign to the people to remain quiet. Perfect silence prevailed
immediately and all those within and outside the mosque began looking at Rasul. He began
performing tawaf and during the first round of tawaf, turned towards the three big idols named
Hubal, Isaf and Nailah which had been installed above the gate of the Kaba. He knocked them
down with a stick or a spear which he was carrying in his hand and recited this verse: Say: Truth
has come and falsehood has been banished and falsehood is certainly doomed to banishment.
(Sura Isra, 17:81) As ordered by Rasul, Hubal was broken to pieces before the very eyes of
the idolaters. When this big idol, which had ruled over the minds of the people of the Peninsula for
a very long time, was toppled down, Zubayr said to Abu Sufyan jestingly, "Hubal, the big idol, has
been broken". Abu Sufyan said to Zubayr with great displeasure, "Desist from saying so. If Hubal
had been able to do something we would not have met this fate". He had realized that their destiny
was not in the hand of this idol. Rasul completed his tawaf and sat for some time in a corner
of the mosque. In those days Uthman bin Talhah was the custodian of the keys of the Kaba and
this office of his was hereditary. Rasul asked Bilal to go to Uthman's house and bring the
key of the Kaba from him. Bilal conveyed Rasul's message to the custodian. However, his
mother prohibited him from surrendering the key and said, "Custodianship of the Kaba is our
hereditary honour and we should not lose this honour". Uthman caught the hand of his mother and
took her into a closet and said, "If we don't give the key voluntarily, you should rest assured that
they will take it from us forcibly''. The custodian unlocked the Kaba and Rasul entered
the Kaba. Usamah bin Zayd and Bilal and the custodian himself followed him in. As ordered by
Rasul the gate of the Kaba was closed and Khalid bin Walid stood outside it to restrain the
people from swarming towards the gate. The inner walls of the Kaba were full of pictures and the
figures of the Prophets. As ordered by Rasul, the walls were washed with the water of the
well of Zam Zam and the pictures were rubbed off. Rasul ordered the gate of the Kaba to
be opened. Then, placed both of his hands on the wooden frame of the gate and the people could
see his sacred and luminous face, he addressed them thus: "Praised be God, Who has fulfilled
His promise and helped His servant and routed the enemies"'. God had promised
Rasul through revelation that He would make him return to his birth-place: (Muhammad)
God who has commanded you to follow the guidance of Quran will certainly return you
victoriously to your place of birth. (Sura Qasas, 28:85). By saying, "God has fulfilled His
promise" Rasul made a mention of the correctness of that Divine promise and once again
demonstrated his truthfulness. Complete silence prevailed over the precincts of the mosque and
outside it. The people, holding their breath, were thinking different things. At this hour the people of
Makkah were reminded of the cruelty, oppression and injustice which they had perpetrated and
various other thoughts came to their minds. The people, who had risen a number of times to fight
bloody battles against Rasul, had wounded and killed his friends and companions, and had
decided to conduct a night attack on his house and to cut him to pieces, were now in his control
and he could take any sort of revenge on them. These people, while mentioning the big crimes
committed by them, were saying to one another: "He will certainly put us to the sword or will kill
some of us and detain others and will make our women and children prisoners". They were
absorbed in different satanic thoughts when suddenly Rasul broke the silence and said,
"What are you saying and what are you thinking about me?" The astonished and frightened people,
keeping in mind the past favours of Rasul, said with broken voice: "We are not thinking of
anything about you except kindness and good. ess. We consider you to be our honourable brother
and the son of our honourable brother." When Rasul, who was inherently kind and forgiving,
heard these emotional sentences from them, he said in reply: "I too say to you the same thing,
which my brother Yusuf said to his unkind brothers i.e., "Have no fear this day! May God forgive
you, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful". The thing which made the people of Makkah
hopeful, besides these words, was the adverse reaction of Rasul to the words of one of his
own officers, who was reciting the following slogans at the time of his arrival in Makkah. "Today is
the day of battle. Today your lives and property are treated to be lawful (for Muslims)." Rasul
was annoyed by these unusual slogans and, in order to punish the officer concerned, gave
directions that the standard might be taken away from him and he might be dismissed from the
office of 'Commander'. Ali was appointed to take away the standard from him and according to
another version that officer's own son was appointed as commander in his place and he took away
the standard from his father. This officer was Saad bin Ubadah, the chief of the Khazraj tribe.
Demonstration of this kindness (for the Makkans) before the very eyes of the people of Makkah
made the defeated people somewhat hopeful that general amnesty might be granted. And then the
safety of those who took refuge in the Kaba or in the house of Abu Sufyan or confined
themselves within their houses and shut the doors thereof had already been guaranteed through
Abu Sufyan.
While granting general amnesty the
Prophet addressed the people of Makkah thus: "You have been my very unreasonable countrymen.
You refuted my prophethood and turned me out of my house. And when I took refuge in a far-off
place, you rose to fight against me. However, inspite of all these crimes of yours, I forgive all of you
and make you free and declare that you may go after the pursuits of your life."
The time for noon prayers arrived. Bilal, the official
muazzin of Islam, went on the roof of the Kaba and announced, with loud voice, the Oneness of
God and the Prophethood of Muhammad, making it reach the ears of those present in the general
gathering. The obstinate idolaters were saying all sorts of things. One of them said: " Such and
such person was lucky, because he died earlier and didn't hear azan". In the meantime Abu Sufyan
said: "I won't say anything in the matter, because the information department of Muhammad is so
skilful that I am afraid that these very particles of sand in the mosque may inform about our
conversation." This obstinate old man, who did not sincerely believe in Islam till the end of his life,
considered Divine knowledge and procurement of realities from Divine revelation to be at par with
the spying and espionage of the tyrants of the world and mixed them up with each other. However,
the fact is that Divine knowledge is received by a Prophet through an angel and the information
received bythe politicians is something quite different from this and is collected through persons
appointed for the purpose. Rasul offered the noon prayers. Then he called Uthman bin
Talhah and, returning the key of the Kaba to him, said: "This position belongs to you and will
remain safe in your family!" And nothing else could me expected from Rasul - the
Prophet, who takes orders from God and conveys the people: God commands you to return the
things entrusted to you to the rightful owners. (Sura Nisa, 4:58) he should certainly precede
others in returning such a big trust. He does not trample upon the rights of the people means of
military strength. Hence he announces in open terms: "Custodianship of the key of the Kaba is
the admitted right of the son of Talhah and nobody shares this right with him." Hence, he
cancelled all the offices related to the Kaba, except those which were useful to the people (e.g.
custodianship of the key, covering of the Kaba with a mantle and supplying water to pilgrims of
the Kaba).
In order that the near relatives of the
Prophet should know that their relationship with him had not only not removed the burden from
their shoulders but had made their responsibility heavier, he exhorted that they would not be
allowed, because of their relationship with him, to violate the laws of Islam or to take any undue
advantage of their kinship with the head of the State. In the speech which he made in a gathering
consisting of the members of the families of Bani Hashim and Bani Abdul Muttalib, he condemned
every discrimination and laid stress upon the necessity of justice and equality between all classes,
and said: "O Children of Hashim and Muttalib! I have been sent to you by God as His Messenger
and the ties of love and kindness between you and myself are also unbreakable. You shouldn't,
however, think that only relationship with me will ensure your salvation on the Day of Judgement.
All of you should understand that my friend from amongst you and others is he who is pious and
virtuous, and my connection with those, who come before God with a heavy burden of sins is cut
off. I shan't be able to do anything for you on the Day of Judgement. (On that day) I and you will be
responsible for our respective actions".
There was a large and magnificent gathering at Masjidul Haram, around the
Kaba. The Muslims, the idolaters, the friends and the enemies, were sitting side by side with one
another and the grandeur of Islam and the greatness of Rasul presented a grand spectacle in
the mosque. Tranquillity prevailed over Makkah and the time had now come when Rasul
should show the real features of his invitation to the people, and should complete the mission,
which he had commenced twenty years ago, but had not been able to finalize it owing to the
slackness of the idolaters. Rasul himself was an inhabitant of the same environments and
knew fully well the ailments of the Arab society and their remedy. He knew the reason for the
decline of the people of Makkah. Hence, he decided to look into the social ailments of the Arab
society and to remedy them fully. We reproduce here some of the directions of Rasul of
Islam. Each of them is intended to remedy a particular ailment. The question of self-glorification on
account of one's family, household or tribe was one of the deep-rooted ailments of the Arab society
and the greatest pride for a person was that he should belong to a branch of a well-known tribe like
Quraysh. Rasul condemned this imaginary basis of superiority. He said, "O people! God
has abolished from amongst you, under the tenets of Islam, the bases of pride of the Age of
Ignorance and self-glorification on account of lineage. All are the descendants of Prophet Adam
and Adam was created with clay. The best person amongst you is he who refrains from sin and
disobedience". In order to make the people understand that the criterion of superiority is only piety,
he, in one of his sermons, divided all human beings into two groups, and declared only pious
persons to be entitled to honour and superiority. By means of this division and classification, he
nullified all imaginary standards of rank and position and said: "Before God, people consist of only
two groups; one of those groups is that of the pious people, who are honourable before God, and
the second group is that of the transgressors and the sinners, who are abject and humble before
Rasul knew that the Arabs
considered being of Arabian descent to be a great honour for themselves; they were proud of being
of Arabian lineage. This spirit was like a contagious disease in them. To remedy this ailment and to
do away with the conception of this superiority he turned to the people and said: "O people! Being
an Arab is not the criterion of your personality or a part of your being, but only a mode of
expression. The genealogical pride is not of any use to a person who does not carry out his duties
properly, and it does not make amends for deficiency in his performances". Is it possible to find a
more eloquent and a more expressive statement than this? The real proclaimer of freedom did not
content himself with the foregoing sentences but to confirm the equality of the men and the
communities added: "All persons have been equal in the past and are also equal at present like the
teeth of a comb and an Arab does not enjoy any superiority over a non-Arab, nor is a red-coloured
person superior to a black one. The criterion of superiority is piety". By this statement he removed
all sorts of improper distinctions and unlimited restrictions amongst the nations of the world and
performed in those earlier times the duty, which the present 'Declaration of Human Rights' or the
'Charter of Human Freedom and Equality' have not been able to perform inspite of all the hue and
cry about them.
Owing to internal wars and
continued bloodshed the people of Arabia had become a revengeful nation and they were
constantly at war with one another. After assuming complete control over the Peninsula, the
Prophet took up this social problem, and it was necessary that he should remedy this ailment to
ensure the safety of the Islamic State. He found the remedy of this ailment in asking the people to
ignore the entire bloodshed which had taken place during the Period of Ignorance, and to treat all
such dossiers as sealed. In this manner he prevented bloodshed which disturbed peace and order,
and made the people forget transgression, plundering and murder, which could result in claims of
blood-money or in confrontation. To achieve this end he declared: "I reject all claims relating to life
and property and all imaginary honours of the past, and declare them to be baseless".
A part of what Rasul said on that day related to the unity of the Muslims
and the rights which a Muslim has on his brother Muslim. His aim in mentioning these advantages
was that by maintaining such ties of friendship and unity, as well by honouring the rights enjoyed
by the Muslims over one another, the non-Muslims might be inclined towards Islam and might join
the ranks of the Muslims. Here is the text of his remarks: "A Muslim is the brother of another
Muslim and all the Muslims are brothers of one another and constitute one hand as against the
non-Muslims. The blood of every one of them is equal to that of others and even the smallest
among them can make a promise on behalf of others''.
There is no doubt about the fact that Rasul was a great model of kindness and forgiveness,
and in spite of the strong sentiments of the extremist group he granted general amnesty. However,
there were a few persons, who had been guilty of serious offences and crimes, and it was not
appropriate that in spite of all their felonies they should move freely amongst the Muslims, because
it was quite possible that taking undue advantage of the forgiveness, granted to them, they might
have plotted against Islam. Some of them were killed at the hands of Muslims in the streets or in
Masjidul Haram and two such persons took refuge in the house of Umme Hani, the sister of Ali.
Ali, fully armed, besieged her house. On coming face to face with an unidentified officer, she
introduced herself immediately and said: "In the capacity of a Muslim woman, I have given asylum
to two persons and the asylum provided by a Muslim woman is respected like that provided by a
Muslim man". At this moment, in order to make himself known to her, Ali pulled off his helmet from
his head. The sister saw the brother whom the vicissitudes of time had separated from her for so
many years. Her eyes were immediately filled with tears and she put her arms round Ali's neck.
Thereafter both of them went before Rasul and he too treated the asylum provided by Umme
Hani to be respectable. Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarah, who embraced Islam but became
apostate later, was one of the ten persons who were to be killed. He too escaped death on the
intercession of Uthman.
'Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl, who had
sparked off battles which followed Badr, ran away to Yemen. However, he too was forgiven on the
recommendation of his wife. Safwan was the son of Umayyah, who had been killed in the Battle of
Badr. Besides his other crimes and felonies he had hanged a Muslim in Makkah in broad daylight,
to take revenge for the treatment meted out to his father. Fearing punishment, he decided to leave
the Hijaz by sea, especially because he had come to know that his name was also included
among the aforesaid ten persons. 'Umayr bin Wahab requested Rasul to forgive Safwan. The
Prophet accepted his recommendation and, as a token of protection given to Safwan, gave 'Umayr
the turban which he was wearing at the time of his arrival in Makkah. 'Umayr went to Jeddah with
that turban and brought Safwan to Makkah. When Rasul's eyes fell on the greatest criminal
of the time, he said to him with great magnanimity: "Your life and property are guaranteed.
However, it will be better if you embrace Islam". He requested for two months time to think over the
matter. Rasul said: "I am prepared to give you four months time instead of two months, so
that you may choose this religion with thorough understanding". The period of four months had not
yet passed when he embraced Islam. A glance at the time given by Rasul to Safwan
vindicates a positive reality which is opposed so obstinately by the selfish orientalists. The reality is
that the chiefs of polytheism enjoyed perfect freedom in the matter of embracement of Islam. It was
not only that no coercion was exercised in this matter, but effort was made that the Divine religion
should be adopted by them after careful reflection and study and not on account of fear and
The important and instructive events
related to the conquest of Makkah have already been narrated. However, there are two other
important events, which are mentioned below: After the oath of allegiance taken at 'Aqabah,
Rasul formally took for the first time an oath from the women to perform these duties: Not to
associate anyone with God as His partner; not to commit breach of trust; not to indulge in corrupt
practices; not to kill their own children; not to associate with their husbands, the children, who
actually belong to others; not to oppose Rasul in any matter. [Note: In the oath of
allegiance taken at 'Aqabah before Rasul's migration, three women were also included
amongst more than seventy persons who took the oath.] The ceremonies of the above
oath were on these lines. As ordered by Rasul a vessel full of water was brought to him, and
he mixed some perfume in it. Then he put his hand into it and recited the 12th verse of Sura Mumtahinah. Thereafter he rose from his seat and said to the women: "Those who are prepared to
take the oath of allegiance to me on the said conditions should put their hands in the vessel and
formally declare that they would faithfully abide by these conditions". The cause of taking this oath
was that there were many amongst the women of Makkah, who led a loose life and if a promise
from them to lead honourable life had not been taken, it was possible that they might have
continued their immoral activities, secretly. One of them was 'Hind', the wife of Abu Sufyan and the
mother of Muawiya, who had a dark past. Being extremely rude she imposed her will on her
husband Abu Sufyan; and even on the day on which he was inclined towards peace, she was
inciting the people to resort to fighting and bloodshed. It was due to the instigation of Hind that war
broke out in the field of Uhud and Rasul had to sacrifice seventy lives, including that of
Hamzah, to quench it. And this savage woman cut the side of the dead body of Hamzah with
unusual cruelty and taking out his liver cut it into two with her teeth. Rasul had no alternative
but to take the oath of allegiance from this and other such women, publicly. When Rasul,
while reciting the text of the agreement, read the clause, 'not to commit breach of trust', Hind, who
had fully covered her head and face, rose from her place and said: "O Prophet of God! You are
ordering women not to commit breach of trust. What am I to do? My husband is very miserly and
exacting master and for this reason I have been embezzling his property in the past". Abu Sufyan
rose from his seat and said: "I make lawful for you whatever you have taken in the past but you
must make a promise that you will not steal in future". Rasul recognized Hind on account of
the remarks of Abu Sufyan, and said to her: "Are you the daughter of Utbah?" She replied; "O
Prophet of God! Yes. Forgive our sins so that God may bless you". When Rasul
uttered the sentence: "Not to commit fornication" Hind rose from her place again and uttered a
sentence to exonerate herself, whereby she divulged to him unintentionally what was in her mind.
She said: "Does a free woman commit fornication? " From the psychological point of view such
defence was in itself a sort of unveiling of one's conscience. As Hind knew herself to be a woman
of that type, and was certain that on hearing the above mentioned sentence (from Rasul),
people would look up towards her, she at once enquired, by way of precaution, whether a woman
who was not a slave-girl could be guilty of fornication. However, some persons, who had illicit
connection with Hind during the period of ignorance, wondered and laughed at her denial, and their
laughter and her own defence became all the more the cause of her disgrace. Scrutinizing the
contents of this oath makes the duties of a Muslim woman abundantly clear. It is also evident from
it that in this case Rasul did not obtain any promise from women regarding defence, whereas
in the oaths obtained at 'Aqabah and under the tree (at Hudaybiyah) the most essential clause
which he exacted was the one relating to the defence of Islam and protection of Rasul.
A large number of idol- temples were situated around Makkah. They were the objects of respect for many tribes. In order to
uproot idol-worship from the region of Makkah Rasul sent battalions of soldiers to different
directions to destroy the idol-temples situated there. It was also announced in Makkah itself that
whoever happened to have an idol in his house should break it immediately. Khalid bin Walid
proceeded, at the head of a battalion, to the territory of the tribe named Jazimah bin Amir to invite
them to Islam. Rasul ordered him not to shed blood and not to engage in a battle. He also
sent Abdur Rahman bin Awf with him as his assistant. During the Age of Ignorance the tribe of
Bani Jazimah had killed Khalid's uncle and Abdur Rahman's father while they were returning from
Yemen and had plundered their property, and Khalid nursed a grudge against them on this
account. When he came face to face with the people of Bani Jazimah, he found all of them armed
and ready to defend themselves. The commander of the battalion then said aloud: "Lay down your
arms on the ground, because the period of idol-worship is over and Makkah has fallen, and all the
people have surrendered before the army of Islam". The chief of the tribe expressed the opinion to
his men that they should hand over their arms and surrender before the army of Islam. One person
out of them was intelligent enough to realize that the intentions of the commander of the army were
not good. Addressing the chiefs of the tribe, therefore, he said: "The result of surrendering will be
captivity and thereafter death". Eventually the opinion of the chiefs was acted upon and the arms
were made over to the soldiers of Islam. In the meantime the commander of the battalion ordered,
in a perfectly cowardly manner and in violation of the clear instructions of Islam that the hands of
the men of the tribe should be tied on their backs and they should be kept in detention. Later, in the
morning, some of them were executed under the orders of Khalid and the others were set free. The
news of the dreadful crime committed by Khalid reached Rasul and he was extremely
annoyed. He immediately appointed Ali to go to the said tribe and to pay them the damages of war
and the blood-money after a very careful computation. Ali reckoned their losses so minutely that he
paid the price of even a wooden vessel in which the dogs of the tribe drank water and which were
broken during their encounter with Khalid. Then he called all the afflicted chiefs and asked them
whether the entire war damages and the blood-money of the innocent victims had been fully paid
and all of them replied in the affirmative. Thereafter, keeping in view the fact that they might
possibly have sustained some loss of which they might not be aware, Ali gave them some money
gratuitously and then returned to Makkah and submitted his report to Rasul. Rasul
praised Ali for his performance and facing the Qibla raised his hands and said by way of
supplication: "O God! You are aware that I am disgusted with Khalid's crime and I never ordered
him to wage war". While making compensation for their losses Ali
also kept in view the spiritual and moral harm sustained by them and gave money to those
persons, who had become terror-stricken by Khalid's attacks and consoled them. When the
Prophet came to know about the righteous behaviour of Ali, he said 'O
Ali! I am not going to exchange this performance of yours with a large number of red-haired
camels. O Ali! you have gained my pleasure. May God be pleased with you! O Ali! You are
the guide of the Muslims. Lucky is he, who loves you and follows your path, and unfortunate is he,
who opposes you and deviates from your path. Your position to me is the same as it was of
Harun to Moses, except that no Prophet will come after me".
This was not the only offence which Khalid committed during his pretended Islamic life, for he
committed a still graver offence during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr. Briefly, the facts are that after the
death of Rasul some tribes apostatized or, to state more correctly, did not formally recognize
the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and declined to pay zakat. The Caliph sent various groups of men in
different directions to punish the apostates. Khalid bin Walid attacked the tribe of Malik bin
Nuwayrah, on the pretext that those people had apostatized. Malik and all the members of his tribe
were ready to defend themselves and were saying: "We are Muslims and shouldn't, therefore, be
attacked by the army of Islam". Khalid, however, disarmed them by practicing deceit and killed the
chief of the tribe, Malik bin Nuwayrah, who was a Muslim, and also molested his wife. Does this
dark dossier of Khalid justify that we should call him 'Saifullah' (the Sword of God) and should
consider him to be one of the senior officers of Islam?


It was the usual practice with Rasul that
whenever he conquered a region, he personally looked after its political problems and the religious
matters of its inhabitants, so long as he stayed there, and as and when he left that place he
appointed there suitable persons on different posts. Its reason was that the people of these
regions, who were acquainted with the old and wound-up systems, did not possess information
about the system which had replaced it. Islam is a social, moral, political and religious system, its
laws emanate from revelation, and acquainting people with these laws and their enforcement
amongst them needs distinguished, mature and learned persons, who should teach them correct
principles of Islam intelligently and should also enforce Islamic system amongst them. When the
Prophet decided to leave Makkah for the territories of the tribes of Hawazin and Saqif, he appointed
Muaz bin Jabal as a guide to educate and instruct the people and entrusted the government and
administration of the city and imamate (leading prayers) in the mosque to 'Atab bin Usayd, who
was a capable person. After staying in Makkah for fifteen days Rasul proceeded to the land
of Hawazin tribe.
On that day Rasul had twelve thousand
armed soldiers under his standard. Out of them ten thousand were those, who had accompanied
him from Madina and had taken part in the conquest of Makkah, and the other two thousand were
from amongst Quraysh, who had embraced Islam recently. The command of this group rested with
Abu Sufyan. In those days such an army was hardly found anywhere and this numerical strength of
theirs became the cause of their initial defeat. It was because, contrary to the past, they prided
themselves on the large number of their soldiers and ignored the military tactics and principles of
war. When Abu Bakr's eyes fell on the large number of men he said: "We shan't at all be defeated,
because our soldiers far outnumber those of the enemy''. He did not, however, pay attention to
this reality that numerical superiority is not the only factor for victory and in fact this factor is of little
importance. Quran itself mentions this fact and says: God has helped you on many
occasions including the day of Hunayn. When you were happy with the number of your men who
proved to be of no help to you and the whole vast earth seemed to have no place to hide you (from
your enemies) and you turned back in retreat (Sura Tawbah, 9:25)
After the conquest of Makkah great excitement and enthusiasm could be seen in
the areas inhabited by the tribes of Hawazin and Saqif. Special contacts existed between them.
The connecting link between them was a war like person named Malik bin 'Awf Nasri. The result of
their mutual contacts was that before the Islamic army could pay attention to them they themselves
came up to encounter it, so that, before the Muslims moved, they themselves should strike them
hard by military tactics. They also selected from amongst them a thirty year old brave and
courageous man to act as their commander. Besides the aforesaid two tribes, the tribes of Bani
Hilal, Nasr and Jasham also participated in this battle and all of them came up as a single striking
force. As ordered by the chief commander, all those who participated in the battle, stationed their
women and retinue, behind the rear of the army. When he was asked about the reason for this
decision he said: "These men will remain steadfast in their fighting to protect their women and
property and will not at all think of flight or retreat''. When Durayd bin Sammah, an old man
and an experienced warrior, heard the wailings of the women and the children, he quarrelled with
Malik, and, considering this act of his to be wrong from the point of view of principles of war, said
to him: "The result of this action will be that if you are defeated you will be surrendering all your
women and property to the army of Islam gratuitously". Malik did not pay heed to the words of this
experienced soldier and said: "You have grown old and have lost your wisdom and knowledge of
military tactics". However, the later events proved that the old man was right and the presence of
women and children in a sphere of operation in which one has to strike and run proved to be of no
use, except that the soldiers got involved in difficulties and their activities were hindered. The
Prophet sent Abdullah Aslami incognito to collect information about the equipment, intentions and
itinerary of the enemy. He roamed about in the entire army of the enemy, collected the necessary
information and placed it at the disposal of Rasul. Malik, too, sent three spies towards the
Muslims in a special manner so that they might bring the requisite information for him. They,
however, returned to Malik with their hearts full of awe and fear. The commander of the enemy
army decided to make amends for the numerical inferiority and weak morale of his soldiers by
means of a military trick, i.e. by making a surprise attack, create confusion among the army of
Islam so that the discipline of their units might be disrupted and the schemes of their high
command might be frustrated. To achieve this end, he encamped at the end of the pass which led
to the region of Hunayn. He then ordered all the soldiers to hide themselves behind the stones, the
rocks and gaps of the mountains and at elevated places around the pass, and as soon as the army
of Islam arrived in this deep and lengthy pass, all of them should come out of their places of hiding
and attack the units of Islam with arrows and stones. Thereafter, a special group should descend
from the mountains in an orderly manner and put the Muslims to sword under the cover of their
Rasul was aware of the strength and the obstinacy
of the enemy. Before leaving Makkah, therefore, he called Safwan bin Umayyah and borrowed one
hundred coats of mail from him and guaranteed its return. He personally put on two coats of mail,
put a helmet on his head, mounted a white mule, which had been presented to him, and moved on
behind the army of Islam. The army of Islam rested at night at the mouth of the pass and the day
had not yet dawned fully when the tribe of Bani Salim arrived in the passage of Hunayn under the
command of Khalid bin Walid. When a major part of the army of Islam was still in the pass, a
sudden noise of the buzzing of the arrows and roaring of the warriors, who were sitting in ambush
behind the rocks, was heard and it created a strange fear and terror among the Muslims. Arrows
were being showered upon them and a group of the enemy attacked them under the protection of
the archers. This sudden attack terrified the Muslims so much that they began to flee and created,
more than the enemy itself, disorder and disruption among their ranks. These developments were
a source of great joy for the hypocrites present in the army of Islam, so much so that Abu Sufyan
said: "Muslims will run up to the coast of the sea". Another hypocrite said: "The magic has been
counteracted". A third from amongst them determined to do away with Islam in that confused state
of affairs by killing Rasul and thus destroy the belief of the Oneness of God and the
Prophethood of Islam lock, stock, and barrel.
Rasul was disturbed immensely by the flight
of his friends which was the main cause of all the alarm and disorder, and felt that if matters were
allowed to take their own course, even for a moment longer, the pivot of history would be different,
humanity would change its course and the forces of polytheism would beat down the army of
monotheism. While riding his mule, therefore, he said loudly: "O supporters of God and His
Prophet! I am the servant of God and His Prophet". He uttered this sentence and then turned his
mule towards the battlefield which was occupied by Malik's men, who had already killed some
Muslims and were busy killing others. A group of self-sacrificing persons like Ali, the Commander
of the Believersl, Abbas, Fadl bin Abbas, Usamah and Abi Sufyan bin Harith, who had not left him
alone and unprotected ever since the battle started, also proceeded along with him. The
Prophet asked his uncle Abbas, who had a very loud voice, to call back the Muslims in this
manner: "O Ansar, who helped Rasul! O you who took the oath of allegiance to Rasul
under the tree of Paradise! Where are you going? Rasul is here!" The words of Abbas
reached the ears of the Muslims and stimulated their religious zeal and fervour. All of them
responded immediately by saying, Labbayk! Labbayk (Here am I! Here am I!) and returned bravely
towards Rasul. The repeated call by Abbas, which gave the good tidings of Rasul's
safety, made the fleeing men return to Rasul with a peculiar regret and remorse and made
them reorganize their rows. In compliance with the orders of Rasul and also to obliterate the
shameful stain of desertion, the Muslims launched a general attack and compelled the enemies, in
a very short time, to retreat or flee. In order to encourage the Muslims Rasul was saying: "I
am God's Messenger and never tell a lie and God has promised me victory". This war tactics
made the warriors of Hawazin and Saqif run away to the region of Autas and Nakhlah and to the
forts of Taif leaving behind their women and retinue and a number of those killed in the battle.
In this battle the casualties of the Muslims were large, but the biographers have not
mentioned the number of those killed. The Muslims, however, stood to gain and the enemies fled
leaving behind six thousand captives, twenty four thousand camels, forty thousand sheep and four
thousand Waqih of silver. [Note: One waqih is eual to 213 grams approximately]. Rasul ordered that all the men and the entire property should be taken to Ji'ranah. He also appointed some men to keep a watch. The captives were kept in a particular house and Rasul ordered that the entire booty should remain there as it was, till he returned from Taif.
What happened in the battle of Taif? Taif is one of the fertile country towns of the Hijaz. It is situated in the south-east of Makkah at a distance of twelve leagues from there. It is one thousand metres above sea level.
On account of its fine weather, gardens, and palm groves, the town of Taif was the centre of a group of people who led very comfortable lives. This town was inhabited by the tribe of Saqif who were one of the powerful and popular tribes of the Arabs. The Arabs of Saqif tribe were amongst those people, who fought against Islam in the Battle of Hunayn. After suffering a signal defeat they took refuge in their own town which possessed strong and elevated forts. In order to complete the
victory, Rasul ordered the fugitives of the Battle of Hunayn to be pursued. Abu 'Amar Ash'ari
and Abu Musa Ash'ari were deputed along with a unit of the soldiers of Islam to pursue some of
the fugitives who had taken refuge in Awtas. The first commander lost his life in the encounter, but
the second one scored complete victory and dispersed the enemies. Rasul himself
proceeded to Taif along with the remaining army and, while on his way, destroyed the fort of
Malik, (who had sparked off the Battle of Hunayn). Of course, the demolition of the fort of Malik did
not carry an aspect of revenge. What Rasul desired was that he should not leave a point
which could serve as an asylum to the enemies. The groups of the army of Islam moved one after
the other and made the various sides of the town their camping places. The Fort of Taif was
situated at a great height and had very strong walls, and its watch towers fully controlled the
outside area. The army of Islam proceeded to besiege the fort, but it had not yet been completely
encircled, when the enemies checked their advance with a shower of arrows and killed some of
them on the spot in the very first moment. Rasul ordered the army to retreat and to
transfer its encampment to a point which was beyond the reach of the arrows of the enemies.
Salman Muhammadi, from whose military plans the Muslims had availed at the time of the Battle
of the Ditch, suggested to Rasul that the fort of the enemy might be stoned by means of
catapults. During the battles of those days a catapult served the same purpose as artillery serves in
modern warfare. The Muslim officers erected a catapult under the guidance of Salman and stoned
the towers and the interior of the fort for about twenty days. However, the enemies, too, continued
to shoot arrows and thereby inflicted injuries on the soldiers of Islam. Now let us see as to how the
Muslims procured a catapult at that juncture. Some say that Salman made it himself and taught
the Muslim soldiers how to operate it. Others believe that the Muslims came in possession of this
military weapon at the time of the conquest of Khaibar and brought it with them to Taif. It is
not improbable that Salman himself made the catapult and taught the Muslims how to install and
use it. History tells us that this was not the only catapult available with the Muslims, because,
simultaneously with the Battles of Hunayn and Taif, Rasul had sent Tufayl bin Amr Dowsi to
pull down the idol-temples of the tribe of Dows. He returned after successfully carrying out his
assignment and came to Rasul at Taif along with four hundred soldiers, all of whom
belonged to his own tribe, as well as a catapult and a military vehicle. And during this battle these
military equipments, which had been acquired by Tufayl bin Amr Dowsi as war booty, came into
In order to make the enemy surrender, it was necessary to attack it from all sides. It was, therefore, decided that, simultaneously with the installation of the catapult and throwing stones, the military vehicles should also be utilized to create a rent in the wall of the fort, so that the army of Islam might enter it. However, the battalions of the army of Islam were faced with a great difficulty in accomplishing this task, because arrows were showered on their heads from the towers and other spots of the fort and none could manage to approach the wall. The best means of achieving this purpose were the
military vehicles which were available with the organized armies of those times in an imperfect
shape. A military vehicle was made of wood and was covered with a thick hide. Strong soldiers
took their places inside it and pushed it towards the fort and began making holes in the wall under
its cover. By making use of this military device the soldiers of Islam busied themselves bravely in
splitting the wall. However, the enemies threw melted iron and wires on the vehicle and burnt its
covering; inflicted injuries on them. This military device, therefore, proved to be unsuccessful on
account of the planning of the enemy and the Muslims failed to achieve victory. Hence, when a
number of Muslims were wounded and killed, they abandoned their attempt."
Achievement of victory does not depend on material military devices only. A skilful commander can diminish the power of the enemy by dealing economic and moral blows at
him and can thus make him surrender. More often than not moral and economic blows prove to be
more effective than corporal injuries which are occasionally sustained by the soldiers of the enemy.
Taif was an area of date-palms and vine and was well-known throughout the Hijaz for its fertility.
As its inhabitants had taken great pains in developing the palm-groves and the vineyards, they
were keenly interested in their safety. In order to threaten those, who had shut themselves within
the fort, Rasul announced that, if they continued to resist, their gardens would be plundered.
However, the enemies did not pay any heed to this threat, because they did not imagine that the
kind and merciful Prophet would resort to such an action. However, as they observed, all of a
sudden that compliance with the orders to pull down the gardens and to cut the date-palms and the
vines had already commenced, they began to wail and cry and requested Rasul to refrain
from this action as a mark of respect for the proximity and relationship which existed between
them. Rasul, notwithstanding the fact that those who had now taken refuge in the fort were
the very persons, who were responsible for the battles of Hunayn and Taif and these two battles
had proved very costly, he showed his mercy and kindness once again in the battlefield, which is
usually a theatre of wrath and vengeance. He ordered his companions to desist from cutting down
the trees. Though he had lost many officers and men in these two battles (which had been
occasioned by the conspiracy of the people of the Saqif tribe who had conducted a night attack on
the army of Islam and had now taken refuge in their burrow like a fox) and would have been
justified in destroying their farms and gardens as a measure of revenge, his kindness and mercy
subdued his anger and he asked his friends to refrain from taking punitive action. From the conduct
of Rasul and the manner in which he always treated his enemies, it can be safely said that
the orders given by him to cut down the trees were a mere threat and if this weapon had not proved
effective, he would certainly have refrained from using it.
The people of Saqif tribe were rich and affluent and possessed a large number of
slaves and slave-girls. In order to obtain information about the state of affairs within the interior of
the fort and to assess the strength of the enemy as well as to create differences amongst that
organized group, Rasul got announced that those slaves of the enemy, who came out of the
fort and took refuge with the army of Islam, would become free. This device proved effective to
some extent and about twenty slaves escaped from the fort very skillfully and joined the Muslims.
On enquiries having been made from them it was known that those within the fort were not
prepared to surrender at any cost, and even if the siege continued for one year they would not be
Rasul used all the physical and moral military devices in this battle, but the experience gained thereby proved that the conquest of the fort needed further activities and patience, whereas the conditions prevailing at the time, the prolongation of war, and the resources of the army of Islam, did not permit any further stay in Taif, because, firstly during the period of this siege thirteen persons had been killed. Out of them seven were from amongst Quraysh, four were Ansar and one belonged to some other tribe. Furthermore, some persons, whose number and names have not unfortunately been recorded in the books, were also killed as a result of the deceitful attack of the enemy in the
valley of Hunayn and consequently there appeared lack of discipline and morale in the Muslim
army. Secondly, the month of Shawwal was terminating and the month of Zilqad (during which
warfare was forbidden amongst the Arabs, and Islam later confirmed this tradition as well) was fast
approaching. [Note: This statement is supported by the fact that Rasul left Makkah on the 5th of Shawwal and the period of the siege was 20 days and the remaining five days of the month were spent in the Battle of Hunayn as well as in journeying. As regards the period of the siege being 20 days it is in accordance with a narrative quoted by Ibn Hisham. However Ibn Saad has mentioned the period of the siege to be 40 days].
In order to safeguard this tradition it was necessary that the siege should be
raised as early as possible so that the Arab tribe of Saqif might not be able to charge Rasul
with the violation of the good tradition. Moreover, the Haj season was near and the supervision of
Haj ceremonies was the responsibility of the Muslims, because before this all the ceremonies of
Haj were performed under the supervision of the polytheists of Makkah. A very large number of the
people came to Makkah from all parts of Arabia to participate in Haj ceremonies and it was the
best occasion to propagate Islam and to acquaint the people with the realities of the Divine faith. It
was necessary that Rasul should take full advantage of this opportunity, which had become
available to him for the first time and should think of much more important matters as compared
with the conquest of an outlying fort. Keeping all these matters in view, Rasul raised the
siege of Taif and proceeded, along with his soldiers, to Ji'ranah.
The war of Hunayn and Taif terminated and, without achieving any final result, Rasul proceeded
to Ji'ranah to distribute the booty of the Battle of Taif. The war booty which fell in the hands of the
Muslims in the Battle of Hunayn was the largest of the booties which had so far been acquired by
the army of Islam in different battles, because, when Rasul reached Ji'ranah, 6000 prisoners,
24,000 camels, more than 40,000 sheep and 852 grams of silver were with him and during
those days a part of the expenses of the army of Islam was also met from this source. Rasul
stayed in Ji'ranah for thirteen days. During this period he was engaged in distributing the war booty
in a special manner; setting some prisoners free and returned them to their kinsmen; drawing up a
plan for the surrender and embracement of Islam by Malik bin Awf (the man who was solely
responsible for the battles of Hunayn and Taif); manifesting the spirit of appreciation and
gratefulness for the services rendered by different persons; attracting, with his wise policies, the
hearts of the enemies of Islam to the true religion; and ending, by means of an attractive speech, a
dispute which had arisen between him and a group of the Ansar. Here are the details of the
matters mentioned above: 1. One of the distinguished qualities of Rasul was that he never
ignored the services rendered by the people or the rights belonging to them, however insignificant
and small they might be. And if any person rendered some service to him, he compensated him for
it to a longer extent than that. Rasul had spent his childhood amongst the tribe of Bani Saad,
which was a branch of the tribe of Hawazin, and Halimah Saadiyah had fostered him and had
brought him up in her tribe for five years. The tribe of Bani Saad who had taken part in the Battle of
Hunayn against Islam, a number of their women and children as well as property had fallen into the
hands of the Muslims, were now regretful for what they had done. However, they had in mind that
Muhammad had been brought up in their tribe and had been nurtured by their women, and being a
kind, magnanimous and grateful person, he would certainly set their prisoners free if he was
reminded of his childhood. Hence, fourteen chiefs of the tribe, all of whom had embraced Islam,
came to Rasul. They were headed by two persons one of whom was Zuhayr bin Saad and the
other was the foster-uncle of Rasul and spoke thus: "Among the prisoners are your foster-
aunts and foster-sisters as well as those, who served you during your childhood, and kindness and
affection demands that, keeping in view the rights, which some of our women have upon you, you
should free all our prisoners, including women, men and children. And in case we had made such
a request to No'man bin Munzir or Harith bin Abi Shamir, the rulers of Iraq and Syria, we would
have hoped for its acceptance by them, not to speak of yourself who are the embodiment of all
kindness and love". In reply to this, Rasul asked them: "What do you value more; your
women and children or your property?" They replied: "We would not exchange our women and
children for anything". Rasul said: "I am prepared to forego my own share as well as that of
the descendants of Abdul Muttalib, but the shares of the Muhajirs, the Ansar and other Muslims
concern them and it is necessary that they themselves should give up their rights. When I have
finished the noon prayers you should stand up between the rows of the Muslims and address them
thus: "We make Rasul our intercessor before the Muslims and make the Muslims our
intermediaries before Rasul so that our women and children may be returned to us". In the
meantime I shall stand up and shall return to you my own share as well as that of the descendants
of Abdul Muttalib and shall also advise others to do the same". The representatives of Hawazin
addressed the Muslims after the noon prayers as advised by Rasul and Rasul gifted
away to them his own share as well as that of the descendants of Abdul Muttalib. Imitating him the
Muhajirs and the Ansar also agreed to forgo their shares. However, only a very few persons like
Aqra' bin Habis and 'Uyainah bin Hisn Fazari declined to surrender their shares. Rasul said
to them: "If you hand over your prisoners, I shall give you, against every one of them, six prisoners,
who fall into my hands in the first battle to be fought hereafter''. The practical steps taken by
Rasul and his impressive words occasioned the release of all the prisoners of the Hawazin
tribe except one old woman whom 'Uyainah refused to release. Thus a good and pious action, the
foundation of which was laid by Halimah Saadiyah sixty years ago in the tribe of Bani Saad, proved
fruitful after a very long time and as a result of it all the prisoners of Bani Hawazin got freedom.
Then Rasul called Shaymah, his foster-sister and having spread his own cloak on the ground
made her sit on it and enquired about her own welfare as well as that of her family. By
releasing their prisoners Rasul made the people of Bani Hawazin incline towards Islam. All of
them, therefore, embraced Islam whole-heartedly and consequently Taif lost its last ally as well.
2. In the meantime Rasul availed of the opportunity to solve, through the representatives of Bani Saad, the problem of Malik, the headstrong chief of Nasr tribe, who had provoked the Battle of Hunayn, and to attract him towards Islam. In this connection he enquired about the state of his affairs and was informed that he (Malik) had taken refuge in Taif and was co-operating with Bani Saqif. Rasul said: "Convey my message to him, that if he embraces Islam and joins us, I shall release his people and shall also give him one hundred camels". The representatives of Hawazin conveyed Rasul's message to him. Malik had
realized that the strength of Bani Saqif had weakened and was also aware of the ever-increasing
power of Islam. He, therefore, decided to leave Taif and join the Muslims. He was, however, afraid
that if Bani Saqif became aware of his decision they would detain him within the fort. He, therefore,
chalked out a plan. He directed that a camel-litter might be kept ready for him at a place distant
from Taif. Reaching that place he came to Ji'ranah immediately and embraced Islam. Rasul
meted out the same treatment to him as he had already promised and later appointed him as the
chief of the Muslims belonging to the tribes of Nasr, Thamalah and Salimah. On account of his
pride and the honour which he gained from the side of Islam, he made life miserable for the people
of Saqif tribe and subjected them to economic distress. Malik felt ashamed of the kindness shown
to him by Rasul and recited verses in praise of his sublimity: "I have not seen or heard of
amongst the entire mankind anyone, who may be like Muhammad''.
3. The companions of Rasul insisted that the war booty should be distributed as early
as possible. Rasul, in order to prove his disinterestedness, stood by the side of a camel,
took some wool from its hump and, while holding it between his fingers, turned to the people and
said: "I don't enjoy any right in your booty, even in this wool, except khums and I shall return to you
even the khums to which I am entitled. Hence, everyone of you should return all kinds of booty,
even though it may be a needle and a thread, so that it may be distributed amongst you equally".
Rasul distributed the entire contents of the treasury amongst the Muslims and also
distributed its khums, which was his own share, amongst the chiefs of Quraysh, who were
converted to Islam only recently. He gave one hundred camels to each including Abu Sufyan, his
son Muawiya, Hakim bin Hizam, Harith bin Harith, Harith bin Hisham, Suhayl bin Amr Huwaytab
bin Abdul 'Uzza, 'Ala' bin Jariyah and others, all of whom had till a few days earlier been the chiefs
of blasphemy and polytheism and the sworn enemies of Islam. To persons belonging to another
group, whose position was lower as compared with the aforesaid persons, he gave fifty camels per
head. On account of these big gifts and special shares these persons began entertaining feelings
of love and affection for Rasul and were, however, drawn to Islam. In Islamic jurisprudence
such people are called Mu'allafatul Qulub (those whom it is desired to encourage) and one of the
purposes for which zakat can be spent is expenditure on them. Ibn Saad said: "All these gifts
were given from khums which was the personal property of Rasul and not even a Dinar was
spent out of the shares of the others for the encouragement of the people belonging to this
group." These gifts and expenditures allowed by Rasul were strongly resented by a
number of the Muslims and especially by some of the Ansar. They, who were not aware of the
higher interests kept in view by Rasul in making these gifts, thought that ties of kinsmanship
had prompted him to distribute the khums of the booty among his relatives. A man named Zul
Khuwaysirah who belonged to the tribe of Bani Tamim showed so much impudence that he said to
Rasul: "Today I have studied your activities very minutely and have seen that you have not
been just in distributing the booty". Rasul was annoyed on hearing his words. Signs of anger
appeared on his face and he said: "Woe be to you! If l don't act according to equity and justice who
else will do so?" The Second Caliph requested Rasul for permission to kill that man but the
Prophet said: "Leave him alone. In future he will be the leader of a group who will quit Islam in the
same manner in which an arrow quits a bow". [Note: Rasul said about him (i.e. Zul Khuwaysirah): "He will have friends as compared with whose worship your prayers and fasting will be insignificant. They will recite Quran but their recitation will not go beyond their larynx. They will go out of the religion of Islam just as an arrow flings away from the bow".]
As predicted by Rasul, this man became the leader of the Khawarij (apostates) during the Rulership of Ali and undertook the guidance of that dangerous group. However, as it is opposed to the principles of Islam that punishment be awarded before an offence is committed, Rasul did not take any action against him.
Representing the Ansar, Saad 'Ubadah communicated their grievances to Rasul, whereupon
Rasul said to him: "Assemble all of them at one place so that I may explain the matter to
them". Rasul arrived in the assembly of the Ansar with great dignity and addressed them
thus: "You were a misguided group of people and you received guidance through me. You were
poor and you became rich. You were enemies and became friends". All of them said: "O Prophet of
God ! All this is correct". Then Rasul said; "You can give me a reply in another way as well
and as against my services and can mention the rights which you have over me and may say: "O
Prophet of God! When Quraysh refuted you, we acknowledged you. They didn't help you and we
helped you. They made you shelterless and we provided you asylum. There was a time when you
were penniless and we helped you". O group of Ansar! Why have you been grieved because I have
given some small property to Quraysh so that they may become steadfast in Islam and have given
over Islam to you? Are you not satisfied that others should take away the camels and the sheep
whereas you should take away Rasul with you. By God! If all other people go one way and
the Ansar go the other way, I will choose the way adopted by the Ansar. Thereafter he invoked
God 's blessings for the Ansar and for their children. The words of Rasul aroused their
sentiments so much that all of them began to cry and said: "O Prophet of God! We are contented
with our share and don't have the least complaint in this behalf".
In the middle of the month of Zilqad of the eighth year of migration Rasul disposed of all the booty of Hunayn at Ji'rinah. Haj days were fast approaching and it was the first year when the polytheist Arabs and the Muslims were to perform Haj ceremonies together under the supervision of the Islamic Government of Makkah.
The participation of Rasul in these ceremonies would add to the pomp and grandeur of Haj, and it
was under his wise guidance that the true and basic propagation of Islam was to take place in that
grand gathering. However, Rasul had to discharge some duties in the centre (Madina) also,
because, after three months of his leaving that place, the matters, which should have been looked
after by him personally, had remained entirely unattended. Hence, after studying all the pros and
cons of the matter Rasul considered it expedient to leave Makkah after performing Umra
and reach Madina as early as possible. It was necessary that he should appoint some persons to
manage the political and religious matters of the newly conquered region so that no crisis might
take place in his absence and the affairs of the area might be administered properly. In view of this
he appointed a forbearing and wise young man named 'Atab bin Usayd, who was not yet more
than twenty years old, as the Governor of Makkah on a monthly salary of one dirham. Thus by
entrusting the Governorship of Makkah to a young man, who was newly converted to Islam, and by
preferring him to many old persons, he removed the barrier of groundless fears and proved it
practically that acquisition of public offices depends solely on capability, and young age should not
prevent a person from attaining to highest public position and offices. The Governor of Makkah
addressed a big gathering and said to them: "Rasul has fixed my salary and in view of this I
don't stand in need of any gift or assistance from you". Another good selection made by the
Prophet was that he appointed Muaz bin Jabal to teach Quran and the ordinances of Islam to
the people. He was distinguished amongst the companions of Rasul for his knowledge of Quran, jurisprudence, and the commands of Islam. When Rasul deputed him to Yemen
in the capacity of a judge, he asked him: "On what will you rely for resolving the differences". To
this he replied: "On the Book of God, Quran". Rasul said: "If nothing specific is found in
the Book of God on the point at issue, on what basis will you give the judgement? " He replied:
"On the basis of the judgements of God's Messenger, for I have observed your judgements in
different matters and have committed them to memory. If there crops up a matter, which is similar
to the one in which you have given a verdict, I shall make use of it and give judgement
accordingly". Rasul asked for the third time: "What course will you adopt when a problem
crops up about which there is nothing specific either in the Book of God or in my judgements?" He
replied: "In such cases I shall resort to Ijtihad (process of deducing Islamic laws) and give a
decision on the basis of Quran and your traditions with equity and justice". Rasul
then said: "Thanked be God that He has enabled His Prophet to choose for the administration of
justice a person, whose actions are commensurate with His Will".
Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma was one of the poets of the Age of Ignorance who
had written one of the seven Mu'allaqat i.e. the masterpieces of poetry, which remained suspended
on the walls of the Kaba for a long time before the revelation of Quran, and were a source of
pride and glory in the literature of the Arab world. He died before the commencement of the
prophethood of Rasul, leaving behind two sons named Buhayr and Ka'b. Buhayr was a
faithful supporter of Rasul but Ka'b was considered to be one of his ruthless enemies. As he
was endowed with a strong inherited talent (i.e. poetry) he calumniated and abused Rasul in
his verses and instigated the people to rise against Islam. Rasul arrived in Madina on the
24th of Zilqad. Buhayr, the brother of Ka'b had accompanied Rasul during the conquest
of Makkah and the siege of Taif as well as at the time of his return to Madina. He observed that the
Prophet had threatened with death some poets, who were scurrilous like his brother, and who
instigated people to rise against Islam, and had declared their blood to be lawful and eventually
one of them had been killed, and two others had fled to some unknown destination. Buhayr wrote
a letter to his brother Ka'b informing him of the situation and in the end of the letter mentioned, as a
gesture of goodwill, that if he remained inimical towards Rasul he would lose his life, but it
he came to Rasul and expressed regret for his activities he would be pardoned because the
Prophet used to accept the repentance and regret of the wrongdoers and pardoned them. Ka'b
who had full confidence in his brother came to Madina. When he arrived in the Masjidun Nabi, the
Prophet was ready to offer morning prayers. Ka'b offered prayers for the first time along with the
Prophet. Then he went and sat by his side and placing his own hand on his, said: "O Prophet of
God ! Ka'b is very much ashamed and regretful for his doings and has come now to embrace
Islam. Will you accept his repentance if he comes before you personally?" Rasul replied in
the affirmative. Thereupon, Ka'b declared: "I myself am Ka'b bin Zuhayr". In order to make amends
for the past calumnies and slanders Ka'b had already composed an eloquent panegyric in praise of
Rasul. He recited it in the mosque before Rasul and his companions. This
marvellous panegyric is the masterpiece amongst the panegyrics of Ka'b. Since the day it was
recited before Rasul, the Muslims have been memorizing and publishing it among others.
The Muslim scholars have also written commentaries on it. This panegyric has been written in
Lamiyah form and consists of fifty-eight verses. Like the poets of the Age of Ignorance who
began their panegyrics by addressing their beloved or by mentioning the ruined monuments, he
begins the panegyric by remembering his cousin and beloved Saad. When he reaches the stage of
repentance for his past bad deeds he says; "I was informed that God's Messenger had
threatened me, when what is desired from him is pardon and forgiveness". And then he says; "The
Prophet is a "Luminous candle" under whose radiation the people receive guidance direct, and he
is a "naked sword" of God which is always victorious"
In the end of 8 Hijra Rasul lost his eldest daughter Zaynab. She had been married to her maternal aunt's son, Abul 'As, before the prophethood of Rasul and had declared her belief in her father
immediately after his prophethood. However, her husband continued to remain a polytheist and
participated in the Battle of Badr against Islam and was taken prisoner. Rasul released him
on the condition that he would send Zaynab to Madina. Abul Ass kept his promise and sent her to
Madina but the chiefs of Quraysh deputed someone to bring her back from half way. The man so
appointed managed to reach near the camel-litter of Zaynab on the way and plunged his spear into
the litter. Due to excessive fear the unprotected daughter of Rasul had a miscarriage on the
way. She did not, however, give up the idea of going to Madina and reached there in an ailing
condition. She spent the remaining part of her life as an invalid and breathed her last in the end of
8 Hijra This grief turned into joy, because in the end of the same year Rasul was favoured
with a son by Marya (a slave-girl whom the Muqawqis, the Ruler of Egypt had presented to the
Prophet) and he named him Ibrahim. When the mid-wife (Salma) gave the good news to the
Prophet that God had granted him a son he gave her a valuable present. On the seventh day he
sacrificed a sheep to perform the aqiqah ceremony, of the child, and cut the child's hair and
gave silver of an equivalent weight in the path of God. [Note: Aqiqah ceremony involves shaving the hair of the head].
The eighth year of migration, with all its joys and sorrows, came to an end and the greatest base of polytheism fell into the hands of the Muslims. Rasul returned to Madina after achieving complete victory and the military power of Islam spread all over Arabia. The rebellious Arab tribes, who had never thought before, that Islam would achieve such a victory, now began to think gradually that they should get nearer to the Muslims and should adopt their religion. In view of this the representatives of different Arab tribes and at times their groups headed by their chiefs had the honour to present themselves before Rasul and to express their faith in Islam. During 9 Hijra so many representatives of the tribes came to Madina that it began to be called the year of
deputations. On one occasion a group comprising persons belonging to Tayyi' tribe came to see
Rasul under the leadership of Zaydul Khayl. Zayd began talking in the capacity of the chief of
the tribe and Rasul wondered at his coolness and intelligence. He said about him: "I have
met well-known personalities of Arabia and have found them of lesser qualities than what I had
heard about them, but I have found Zayd better than what he is renowned to be. It would be better if
he is called Zaydul Khayr (Zayd the good) instead of Zaydul Khayl ".
It was the foremost and basic duty of Rasul to propagate the religion
of monotheism and to eradicate polytheism totally. In order to reform the misguided persons and
the idol worshippers, therefore, he, resorted, in the first instance, to argument and logic and tried,
with forcelful arguments to make them understand the absurdity of polytheism. In case, however
he found that his logic cut no ice with them and they continued to be head-strong and obstinate, he
considered himself entitled to use force against these spiritual invalids, who were not amenable to
reason. If during these times cholera breaks out in some part of the country and some persons
decline to be vaccinated on account of lack of foresight, the Health Department of the State
considers itself entitled to vaccinate such persons by force in order to ensure their safety as well as
that of others from this contagious disease. Rasul had learnt in the light of the
Heavenly teachings that idol-worship is like the germs of cholera. It destroys virtue, excellence and
good morals, and, pulling down man from his high status, makes him humble even as compared
with stones, clay and other inferior beings. He was, therefore, appointed by God to eradicate the
disease of polytheism, to abolish all sorts of idol-worship, and to use force against those who
stood up to oppose him in the discharge of Divine mission. The military superiority of Islam
provided an opportunity to Rasul to depute parties to different parts of the Hijaz to
destroy all idol-temples and not to spare even one idol in this region. Rasul had received
information earlier that there was a big idol with the tribe of Tayyi' and some persons still had faith
in it. He, therefore, dispatched Ali, his wise and experienced officer along with one hundred and
fifty mounted soldiers to go and pull down the idol-temple and to break the idol. The Commander of
the Faithful came to know that the said tribe would oppose the action of the army of Islam and the
matter would not be settled without warfare. He, therefore, attacked, early in the morning, the spot
where the idol was placed and achieved complete success in the performance of his mission. He
also arrested some persons belonging to the opposing group and took them to Madina as a part of
war booty. Adyy bin Hatim, who later joined the ranks of the brave Muslim warriors and held
chiefship of that area after his generous and noble-minded father Hatim, narrates the story of his
flight in these words: "Before embracing Islam I was a Christian and had enmity against the
Prophet of Islam on account of the adverse propaganda which had been carried on against him. I
was also not unaware of the great successes of Islam in the Hijaz and was certain that one day its
power would also reach the area of Tayyi', of which I was the ruler. However, as I did not wish to
forsake my religion and did not also like to fall a prisoner in the hands of the Muslims, I had
ordered my slaves to keep the camels ready for journeying so that whenever I was faced with
danger I should immediately proceed to Syria and get beyond the approach of the Muslims. In
order that I might not be caught unawares I had posted sentries at different points of the highways,
so that they might inform me as and when they saw dust raised by the march of the army of Islam,
or observed the signs of their standards. One day one of my slaves came all of a sudden, gave the
alarm and informed me about the advance of the army of Islam. On that very day I, accompanied
by my wife and children, proceeded to Syria, which was the centre of Christianity in the East. My
sister, the daughter of Hatim, remained with the tribe and was arrested. After her being transferred
to Madina my sister was kept under detention in a house near the Masjidun Nabi where all other
prisoners were also accommodated. She has related her story thus: One day, while Rasul
was going to offer prayers in the mosque, he chanced to pass by the house where the prisoners
had been accommodated. I availed of the opportunity and standing opposite Rasul said to
him: "O Prophet of God! My father is dead and my guardian has disappeared. Do me a favour.
God will do favour to you.' Rasul asked me: "Who was your guardian? " I replied: "My
brother Adyy bin Hatim". Rasul said: "Is he the same person who ran away from God and
His Prophet to Syria?" Then he proceeded to the mosque. On the following day also the same
conversation took place between me and Rasul but it did not produce any result. On the third
day I had lost all hope of any such conversation with Rasul proving fruitful. However, while
Rasul was passing from the same spot I saw a man coming after him. He made a sign to me
to get up and repeat the same words which I had spoken on the previous day. The sign made by
that man revived my hopes. I, therefore got up and repeated the aforesaid sentence before the
Prophet for the third time. He replied: "Don't be in a hurry to go. I have decided to return you to your
place with a reliable person; but for the present the arrangements for your journey are not
complete". My sister says that the man who was walking behind Rasul and had made a sign
to her to repeat her words before Rasul, was Ali, the son of Abu Talib. One day a caravan
which contained some of our kinsmen also, was going from Madina to Syria. My sister requested
Rasul to permit her to go to Syria with that caravan and join her brother. Rasul
acceded to her request and managed all the facilities for her journey. I was sitting in Syria by a
window of my residence. Suddenly I saw that a camel stopped at my house. On observing carefully
I saw my sister sitting in the litter. I brought her down from the litter and took her in. She began
complaining of my leaving her in the area of Tayyi' and failing to bring her to Syria. I considered my
sister to be a wise and intelligent woman. One day I had a talk with her about Rasul and
enquired from her: "What is your opinion about him?" She replied: "I have observed excellent
virtues and sublime qualities in him and I consider it advisable for you to conclude a pact of
friendship with him as early as possible. I say this because, if he be a Prophet of God, the
superiority will be with him, who expresses his faith in him earlier than others, and if he be an
ordinary ruler you will not at all meet any harm from him and will benefit from the power that he
Adyy says: "My sister's words impressed me so much that I set my heart on leaving for Madina.
On reaching there I went straight to see Rasul and found him in the mosque.
I sat down by his side and introduced myself to him. When
Rasul came to know about me he got up from his place and holding my hand, took me to his
house. While we were on the way an old woman came up before him and spoke some words to
him. I saw him listening to the old woman attentively and giving replies to her. His high morals
impressed me and I said to myself: "He is decidedly not an ordinary ruler". When we arrived in his
house his simple life attracted my attention. He placed at my disposal a mattress made of palm
fibres which was available in the house and requested me to sit on it. The topmost person of the
territory of the Hijaz, who wielded authority over all powers, sat down on the ground. I was
extremely amazed to observe his modesty and realized from his excellent manners, high morals
and the respect which he extended to every person, that he was not an ordinary man or a common
place kind of ruler. In the meantime Rasul turned his face to me and mentioned minute
details of the particulars of my life and said; "Were you not a follower of the Rakusi religion? I
said: "Yes". Then he asked me: "Why did you appropriate one-fourth of the income of your nation
yourself? Did your religion allow you to do this?" I said: "No". I was convinced, on account of his
occult knowledge, that he had been sent by God. While I was thinking on these lines he spoke to
me for the third time and said: "The poverty and indigence of the Muslims should not restrain you
from embracing Islam, because a day is coming when the wealth of the world will flow towards
them, and there will be none to collect and retain it. And if the numerical strength of the enemies
and the comparative smallness of the numbers of the Muslims prevents you from adopting this
faith I swear by God that a day is coming when, on account of the prevalence of Islam and a large
number of the unprotected Muslim women will come from Qadisia for the pilgrimage of the Kaba
and none will molest them. And if you observe today that power and authority is in the hands of
others, I give you my word that a day will come when the forces of Islam will occupy all these
palaces of yours and will conquer Babylon". Adyy further says: "I remained alive and saw that
under the security provided by Islam, unprotected women came from far off places for the
pilgrimage of the Kaba and nobody interfered with them. I also saw that the territory of Babylon
was conquered and the Muslims occupied the throne and crown of Kisra. I hope that I shall see the
third thing as well i.e. the riches of the world will flow towards Madina and none will be inclined to
collect and retain them". [Note: Rakusi is a religion in between Christianity and Sabi'i.]


The lofty and strong fort, which had been built by
the side of a spring on the road leading from Hijr to Damascus in the border area of the territory of
Syria, was called Tabuk. In those times Syria was one of the colonies of the Eastern Roman
Empire. Its capital was Constantinople. Its frontier people were the followers of Christianity and the
chiefs of the districts were satellites of the Ruler of Syria who himself took orders directly from the
Roman Emperor. The rapid penetration and expansion of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula and the
brilliant conquests by the Muslims in the Hijaz were being noticed in areas beyond the Hijaz, and
were making their enemies tremble and think of ways and means to check this tide. The fall of the
Government of Makkah, the adoption of Islam by the prominent chiefs of the Hijaz, and the bravery
and sacrifices of the Muslim warriors, made the Roman Emperor decide to launch a surprise
attack on the Muslims with the help of a well-equipped army, because he felt his empire to be in
grave danger on account of the extraordinary influence and expansion of Islam. He was very much
afraid of the increase in the military and political power of the Muslims. In those days Rome was
the only powerful adversary of Iran and possessed the greatest political and military strength. It was
very proud on account of the victories which it had achieved against Iran and the defeat which it
had inflicted on the Iranian army. The Roman army, which consisted of 4000 mounted soldiers and
infantry-men and was equipped with the armour of the latest model available in those times,
encamped in the frontier strip of Syria. The tribes residing in the border areas (like the tribes of
Lakham, 'Amilah, Ghassan and Jazam) also joined them and the vanguard of the army advanced
up to Balqa'. News about the encampment of a group of the Roman soldiers in the frontier
strip of Syria reached Rasul through the caravans, which were travelling between the Hijaz
and Syria in connection with trade. He found no alternative except to give a reply to the aggressors
with a big army and to protect, from the surprise attacks of the enemy, the religion, which had
spread at the cost of the lives of the dear ones of Islam, and of his personal sacrifices, and had
since taken root, and was about to spread throughout the world. This unpleasant news reached
him at a time when the people of Madina had not yet properly collected their produce, and the
dates were about to ripen, and Madina and its suburbs were, so to say, in the grip of a sort of
famine. However, for the godly persons the spiritual life and the protection of high ideals, and jihad
in the path of God are preferable to everything else.
Rasul was aware to some extent of the capability and experience of
the enemy and was sure that besides necessitating spiritual capital (trust in God and fighting
for the sake of God), victory in this battle also depended on a big army. Keeping this fact in view
he sent men to Makkah as well as to the areas adjoining Madina to invite Muslims to fight in the
path of God and also to ask well-to-do Muslims to provide for the expenses of war by making
payment of zakat. Soon after the proclamation made by Rasul, 30,000 persons declared their
readiness to participate in the battle and gathered in the camping ground of Madina (Thaniyya tul
Wida'). The expenses of war were provided by collecting zakat. Out of these 30,000 men, 10,000
were mounted soldiers and the remaining 20,000 were infantry-men. Later Rasul ordered that
every tribe should choose a standard for itself.
The Battle of Tabuk was the best occasion on which the self-sacrificing persons and
the pretenders and hypocrites could be recognized, because general mobilization was ordered
when the weather was very hot and the business community of Madina was ready to harvest the
palm-dates. Refusal of some of them, on various pretexts, to take part in the battle cast off the veil
from their real faces and Quranic verses were revealed condemning their action. All these verses
are contained in Sura Tawbah. Some persons declined to take part in this sacred jihad for the
following reasons: 1. When Rasul proposed Jadd bin Qays, who was an influential man, for
joining the army against the Romans, he replied thus: "I have a fanatical attachment with women. I
am, therefore, afraid that I may chance to see Roman women and may not be able to control
myself". On having heard this childish excuse of his Rasul decided to leave him alone and to
contact others. Jadd was condemned by God in this verse: Some of them ask you, "Make us
exempt from taking part in the battle and do not try to tempt us by telling what we may gain from
the battle; many people have died in the battle". Hell certainly encompasses the unbelievers.
(Sura Tawbah, 9:49). 2. The hypocrites: those persons, who had ostensibly embraced Islam
but had, in fact, no interest in it, were preventing the people on different pretexts from taking part in
this jihad. At times they put forth the excuse that the weather was very hot. The Divine revelation
replied to their objection in these words: Say: The fire of Hell is much severer in heat, if they but
understood. (Sura Tawbah, 9:81). There were some persons who frightened the Muslims of
participation in this battle and said: "The Arabs are not competent to fight with the Romans and
consequently all the participants in the battle will be tied with ropes and sold in the free markets
". Discovery of the centre of espionage in Madina: The great leader of Islam attached great
importance to intelligence reports and half of his victories were the result of prior information about
the conditions of the enemies and the mischief-mongers. By this means he nipped many of their
satanic deeds and anti-Islamic schemes in the bud. A report was received by Rasul that the
house of a Jew named Suwaylam had become the centre of anti-Islamic activities and the
hypocrites gathered there and chalked out schemes to prevent the Muslims from participating in
this sacred jihad. Rasul therefore, decided to frighten the conspirators in such a way that
they might not entertain any such satanic thoughts in future. He ordered Talhah bin Ubaydullah to
go with some brave companions and set the house of Suwaylam on fire while their meeting was in
progress. As directed by Rasul, Talhah set the house on fire when the conspirators were
busy discussing anti-Islamic plans. All of them ran away from the flames of fire and one of them
injured his foot. This action was so effective that it served as a great lesson to the hypocrites for the
future. A group of persons who shed tears: some of the companions of Rasul, who were
very keen to take part in this sacred jihad came and requested him to provide them facilities for the
journey so that they could discharge that sacred religious duty. When Rasul told them that he
did not possess any animal for riding which he might place at their disposal, they wept bitterly and
tears trickled down their faces. If there were some persons amongst the companions of the
Prophet who conspired or indulged in hindrances or coined excuses, there were also others
amongst them, who were anxious to participate in jihad, which at times costs one one's life, and
non-participation in it made them weep bitterly. In the terminology of history these persons are
called criers and Quran makes a mention of their faith in these words: Those who come to you
(Muhammad) asking to be taken to the battle, but you cannot find the necessary means for them,
are exempt from the duty of fighting for the cause of God, even though they leave you with their
eyes flooded with tears because of not being able to help the cause of God. (Sura Tawbah,
9:92). 3. Another group consisted of persons like Ka'b, Hilal and Mararah who had full faith in
Islam and were also desirous of participating in jihad, but as they had not yet collected their
produce they decided that after collecting the produce they would join the warriors of Islam. In the
terminology of Quran (Sura Tawbah, 9:118), they are the same three violators who
were severely reprimanded by Rasul on return from Tabuk and the rebuke administered to
them also served as an example for others.
One of the distinctions of Imam Ali is that he accompanied Rasul and was his
standard-bearer in all Islamic battles except in the Battle of Tabuk, he stayed in Madina and did not
participate in jihad under the orders of Rasul himself. Rasul took this decision,
because he knew very well that the hypocrites and some persons from amongst Quraysh were
seeking an opportunity to bring about disorder and topple the newly established Islamic
Government in his absence. Tabuk was the farthest point to which Rasul travelled in
connection with the battles in which he participated. He realized perfectly that it was possible that
during his absence anti-Islamic groups might create disturbance and might call their sympathizers
from different places to join them for the success of their nefarious schemes. Hence, although he
had nominated Muhammad bin Maslamah to act as his representative in Madina during his
absence, he also said to Ali: "You are the guardian of the Ahl al-Bayt and my kinsfolk and the
group of the Muhajirs, and none except myself and you is suited for this task". The stay of the
Leader of the Believers in Madina upset the conspirators very much, because they realized that
they could not put their schemes into practice in the presence of Ali who was continuously vigilant.
Hence, in order to ensure the exit of Ali from Madina, they decided upon another plan and
circulated the rumour that Rasul had asked Ali very earnestly to take part in jihad but the
latter had declined to participate in this sacred battle on account of the very long journey and
excessively hot weather. In order to contradict these people Ali saw Rasul and placed the
matter before him. At this moment Rasul uttered his historical sentence which is a clear
proof of Ali's Imamate and his immediate succession as Caliph after the demise of Rasul. He
said: "O my brother! Return to Madina, because none is more suited to preserve the dignity and
position of Madina than myself and you. You are my representative amongst the Ahl al-Bayt and
my kinsfolk. Don't you feel happy when I say that your relationship with me is similar to the one
which existed between Harun and Moses except that no prophet will come after me. Just as Harun
was the immediate successor of prophet Moses you are my successor and Caliph after me".
The usual practice of Rasul was that, while performing a journey to chastise a people, who obstructed the advancement of Islam, or intended to attack the Muslims, or had evil designs against them, he did not make his aims and
objects known to the officers and the soldiers, and made the army march through comparatively
unfrequented routes. Thus he did not let the enemies become aware of his intentions and came
upon them absolutely unawares. However, in order to rout the Roman forces, who had
collected on the frontiers of Syria to attack the Muslim territories, he made his aim clearly known to
all concerned on the very day the general mobilization was proclaimed. The point in doing so was
that the mujahids (warriors) should become aware of the importance of the journey and the
hardships involved on the way, and should carry sufficient provisions with them. Furthermore, in
order to strengthen the army of Islam, Rasul was obliged to seek help from the tribes of
Tamim, Ghatfan and Tayyi' and they were residing at far-off places from Madina. In view of this the
Prophet wrote letters to the chiefs of these tribes and also wrote a letter to 'Atab bin Usayd, the
young Governor of Makkah, and invited the tribes as well as the Makkans to partake in this sacred
jihad as extension of such a general invitation was not possible secretly. Hence it was
necessary that he should make the particulars of the expedition and its importance clearly known
to the chiefs of the tribes so that they might place sufficient provisions and animals for riding at the
disposal of their mujahids.
The day for the departure of the army of Islam arrived. On that day Rasul reviewed his troops in the army headquarters of Madina. The magnificent scene of the march past of the faithful and self-sacrificing men who had preferred, for the sake of their objective, hardships and death to comfort and worldly gains with enthusiasm and faith, impressed the audience. At the time of departure Rasul addressed the soldiers to strengthen their morale, and explained to them his aim in ordering
After the army of Islam had marched off Malik bin Qays returned to Madina from
his journey. It was very hot on that day. He found that loneliness prevailed over Madina and came
to know about the departure of the soldiers of Islam. In the meantime he arrived in his garden and
saw that his beautiful wife had erected a shade for him. He cast a glance at the attractive face of
his wife and also stared a little at the food and water which she had prepared for him. Thereafter he
thought of the painful difficulties of Rasul and his companions who were proceeding to
perform jihad in the path of God and to face death in such a hot weather. Then he decided not to
avail of the water and food prepared by his wife or the shade erected by her but to ride his animal
immediately, and join the army of Islam as early as possible. He, therefore, turned to his wife and
said: "It is not at all fair that I should take rest under this shade along with my spouse and eat
delicious food, and drink cold and wholesome water, whereas my master should be proceeding for
jihad in such scorching heat. No. This doesn't accord with justice and the rules of friendship, and
faith and sincerity don't permit me to do so". He said these words, picked up some small
provisions for the journey and went his way. On the way he met 'Umar bin Wahab, who, it would
appear, lagged behind the Islamic army, and both of them reached Rasul when he was at
Tabuk. This man did not acquire the blessing of accompanying Rasul in the beginning,
still he eventually offered his services in this noble cause by means of his commendable self-
sacrifice. On the other hand there are some persons at whose door good luck knocks itself but they
remain away from it on account of their lack of suitability and competence and consequently throw
themselves into adversity and perdition. For example, Abdullah bin Ubayy, the chief of the
hypocrites, had pitched a tent in the camping place of Rasul so that he might participate in
this jihad in the company of Rasul. Since he was an ill-intentioned person and a ruthless
enemy of Islam, he changed his mind when the army was about to march off and returned to
Madina along with his supporters so that he might create disturbance there, in the absence of the
Prophet. Rasul did not also pay the least heed to him, because he was aware of his
hypocrisy and did not consider his participation in the jihad to be of any use at all.
The army of Islam was faced with great difficulties on its way from Madina to Syria
and it is for this reason that it had been given the name of Jayshul 'Usrah (the army of hardship).
However, their faith and fervour overcame all these difficulties and they welcomed all the hardships
that came in their way. When the army of Islam reached the land of 'Thamood' Rasul covered
his face with a cloth on account of the hot and scorching winds blowing there, and passed by that
place in great haste and said to his companions "Reflect over the end of the lives of the people of
Thamood who became subjected to the wrath of God because of their obstinacy and
disobedience, and remember that no true believer should think that the end of his life will not be
like that of those people. The death-like quietness of this place and the ruined houses which have
gone into deep silence are a lesson for other nations". Thereafter, Rasul ordered the soldiers
not to drink water of that place or prepare food or bread with it and that they should not even
perform ablution with it, and if they had, in some cases, prepared food or kneaded flour with that
water they should give it to the animals to eat. Then the army of Islam continued its march under
the guidance of Rasul and when a part of the night had passed they reached a well from
which the camel of Swaleh had drunk water. On reaching that spot Rasul gave orders that all
should encamp there and take rest.
Rasul was fully aware of the poisonous and fast winds and the violent storms of that area, which at times overtook the men
and the camels and buried them under the mounds of sand and dust. He, therefore, ordered that
the knees of the camels should be tied and none should go out of the camping place alone at
night. Experience proved that the precautionary orders given by Rasul were very useful,
because two men belonging to the tribe of Bani Saidah violated them and came out of the
camping-place alone at midnight with the result that the intense storm suffocated one of them and
flung the other on a hill. Rasul came to know about it and was very much unhappy for those
who lost their lives on account of their indiscipline. He, therefore, asked the soldiers once again to
maintain discipline. 'Abbad bin Bishr, who headed a group which was responsible for the
safety and security of the army of Islam, reported to Rasul that the Muslim soldiers had
become involved in difficulties owing to shortage of water, and the entire storage of water was
likely to be finished soon. Hence, some of them slaughtered very precious camels to utilize the
water available in their bellies, and others had submitted to the Divine will and were awaiting
anxiously the blessing of God. God, who had promised victory to His Prophet, once
again helped him and his faithful companions. Torrential rains came and all drank water to their fill.
Furthermore, those appointed to stock provisions, as well as the entire army, stored as much water
as they desired.
There is no gain saying the fact that, as clearly mentioned in Quran, Rasul could give information about occult matters of which other people knew nothing. However the knowledge of Rasul was limited and depended on what he was taught by God. It is, therefore, possible that he might not have been aware of certain matters. For example, he might lose some money or misplace the key of the house and might not have been able to locate it. At times, however, he gave occult information about most obscure and intricate matters and left the people wonder-struck. The reason for this
ascension and descent is the same as mentioned above viz. whenever God willed Rasul
gave information about matters related to the occult world. [Note: (He is) the Knower of the Unseen, and He reveals to none His secret, save to every messenger whom He has chosen. (Sura Jinn, 72:27)].
On the way the camel of Rasul
was lost and some of his companions went to search it. In the meantime one of the hypocrites got
up and said: "He says he is God's Messenger and gives information about the heavens, but it is
strange that he doesn't know the whereabouts of his camel". Rasul came to know about this
and made the position clear by means of an eloquent remark. He said: "I know only that what God
tells me. Just now God has informed me about the whereabouts of my camel. It is available in this
desert in such and such valley. Its bridle has got entangled in a tree and has prevented it from
moving further. Go and bring it". Some persons went immediately to that place and found the
camel exactly in the same position as was described by him.
The camel of Abu-Dharr became incapable of walking and Abu-Dharr was left
behind the army of Islam. He waited for some time but without any result. Eventually he left the
camel, loaded the provisions on his own back and walked on so that he might join the army of
Islam as early as possible. The Muslim soldiers had encamped on a spot as ordered by the
Prophet and were taking rest. Suddenly they saw, at a distance, the figure of a man who was
traversing the path with a heavy load on his back. One of the companions informed Rasul of
the position. He said: "It is Abu-Dharr. May God forgive Abu-Dharr! He walks alone, will die alone
and will be brought to life alone''. The later events proved that what Rasul had predicted
was absolutely correct, because Abu-Dharr died in a very pitiable condition, away from habitation
in the desert of Rabzah, when only his daughter was by his side.
The army of Islam arrived in the area of Tabuk in the beginning of the
month of Sha'ban 9 Hijra However, no trace of the Roman army could be seen there. It appears
that the commanders of the Roman army became aware of the numerical strength of the Muslim
soldiery and their bravery and unparalleled self-sacrifices, a small specimen of which had already
been seen by them from very close quarters in the Battle of Mu'tah. Hence, they considered it
expedient to recall their army within the frontiers of their own territories. By doing so they practically
wished to deny that they had mobilized forces against the Muslims, and wanted to give the
impression that they had never thought of launching an attack, and that any such report was a
mere gossip, and thus wished to prove their impartiality regarding the events which took place in
Arabia. At this juncture Rasul assembled his esteemed officers, and acting on the
established Islamic principle of consultation, asked for their views as to whether they should
advance into the territory of the enemy or should return to Madina. As a result of military
consultations it was decided that the army of Islam which had suffered innumerable hardships
while performing the journey to Tabuk should return to Madina to revive its strength. Furthermore,
by performing this journey the Muslims had already achieved their major aim, which was to scatter
the Roman army. The Romans were so much frightened and intimidated that for quite a long
period they did not think of launching an attack and during that period, therefore, the security of
Arabia from the northern side was ensured. In order to safeguard the position of Rasul and to
make it clear that their own suggestions could be rejected or withdrawn, the members of the war
consultative council added this sentence also: "If you have been ordered by God to
advance you should give orders, and we too shall follow you". Rasul said: "No order
from God has been received and if any such order had been received from Him I would not at all
have consulted you. According respect to the views of the consultative council, therefore, I have
decided to return to Madina from this very point". The rulers who inhabited the frontier areas of
Syria and the Hijaz and wielded influence amongst their people were all Christians and it was
possible that one day the Roman army might utilize these local powers and attack the Hijaz with
their assistance. It was, therefore, necessary for Rasul to conclude non-aggression treaties
with them so that he might acquire better security. He personally contacted those frontier rulers,
who belonged to areas adjoining Tabuk, and concluded non-aggression treaties with them, subject
to certain conditions. As regards areas lying at a greater distance from Tabuk he sent deputations
to the rulers concerned so that better security could be ensured for the Muslims. He also contacted
the Rulers of Aylah, Azri'at and Jarba' and non-aggression pacts were concluded between the
parties. Aylah is a coastal city situated on the coast of the Red Sea and is at some distance from
Syria. Its ruler named Yuhanna (John) son of Rowbah came from his capital to Tabuk, wearing a
golden cross round his neck. He presented a white mule to Rasul and expressed his
obedience to him. Rasul appreciated his gesture and also gave him a present in return. The
said ruler decided to remain a Christian and agreed to pay three thousand Dinars per year as jizyah
(tribute) and also to receive every Muslim who passed through the region of Aylah. A pact on the
following lines was signed by the parties: "This is a non-aggression pact from the side of God and
His Prophet, Muhammad for Yuhanna and the residents of Aylah. According to this pact all their
means of transport whether by sea or by land and all the persons belonging to Syria, Yemen and
the islands, who may be with them, shall be under the protection of God and His Prophet.
However, if anyone of them violates the rule his wealth shall not save him from punishment. All sea
routes and land routes are open for them and they are entitled to frequent them''. This pact
shows that if a nation co-operated with the Muslims in a peaceful manner it was provided all the
facilities, and its security was also guaranteed by them. Rasul also concluded pacts with the
frontiers-men like the people of Azri'at and Jarba' whose lands had great strategic importance, and
thus ensured the safety of the Islamic territories from the northern side.
The populous region with green trees, running waters
and a strong fort situated at a distance of about fifty leagues from Syria was called Dowmatul
Jandal. [Note: Dowmah is situated within ten miles of Madina.]

In those days the Christian Okaydar bin Abdul Malik Kindi ruled there. Rasul
feared that in the event of a renewed attack by the Roman army the Christian Ruler of Dowmah
would assist them and thus endanger the security of Arabia. For this reason he considered it
necessary to derive the maximum benefit from the force available with him, and to depute a unit
under the command of Khalid to subjugate the said region. Khalid reached near Dowmatul Jandal
along with mounted soldiers and lay in ambush outside the fort. During that moonlit night Okaydar
came out of the fort along with his brother Hassan for hunting. They had not gone far away from the
fort they came face to face with the soldiers of Khalid. During the brief encounter, which took place
between the two groups. Okaydar's brother was killed, and his men fled and took refuge in the fort
and shut its gate, and Okaydar was taken prisoner. Khalid promised him that if the inmates of the
fort opened its gate under his orders and surrendered their arms to the army of Islam he would
forgive him and would take him before Rasul . Okaydar was aware that the Muslims were
truthful and kept their promises. He, therefore, gave orders that the gate of the fort might be opened
and the arms surrendered to the Muslims. The arms available in the fort consisted of 400 coats of
mail, 500 swords and 400 spears. Khalid left for Madina along, with this booty and Okaydar also
accompanied him. Before arriving in Madina, Khalid sent to Rasul Okaydar's brocade mantle,
which the latter used to put on his shoulders like kings. The eyes of the worldly-minded persons
were dazzled to look at the mantle, but Rasul displayed perfect indifference towards it and
said: "The dress of the people who will go to Paradise will be more wonderful". Okaydar reached
Rasul. He declined to embrace Islam, but agreed to pay tribute to the Muslims and an
agreement was concluded between him and Rasul. Thereafter Rasul gave him costly
presents and appointed 'Abbad bin Bishr to convey him safely to Dowmatul Jandal.
As a consequence of this tedious journey the
Prophet did not come face to face with the enemy and no fighting took place, but a number of
benefits were achieved. Firstly, this expedition enhanced the prestige of the army of Islam and
Rasul was enabled to impress his greatness and strength on the hearts of the people of the
Hijaz and the frontiers-men of Syria. Consequently the friends as well as the enemies of Islam
came to know that its military power had grown so much that it could face the biggest powers of
the world and could frighten and intimidate them. Crime and rebellion had become second nature
with the Arab tribes. However, their becoming aware of the strength of the army of Islam could
restrain them for quite some time from opposing the Muslims and revolting against them. Hence,
after the return of Rasul to Madina the representatives of the tribes, which had not
surrendered till then, began coming to Madina and making declarations regarding their submission
to the Islamic Government and embracement of Islam, so much so that the ninth year of migration
began to be called the year of deputations. Secondly, on having concluded various agreements
with the frontiers-men of the Hijaz and Syria the Muslims ensured the safety of this region, and
were satisfied that the chiefs of these tribes would not co-operate with the Roman army. Thirdly, by
performing this painful journey Rasul made conquest of Syria easier. He made the
commanders of the army acquainted with the difficulties of this region and taught them the method
of warfare against the big powers of that time. Hence, the first region which the Muslims
conquered after the demise of Rasul was the territory of Damascus and Syria. Furthermore,
by general mobilization the true believers were distinguished from the hypocrites and profound
understanding was created among the Muslims.
Rasul stayed in Tabuk for ten days [note: some say twenty days] and returned to Madina after dispatching Khalid to Dowmah.
Twelve hypocrites, out of whom eight were from amongst Quraysh and the
remaining four were the inhabitants of Madina, decided to scare the camel of Rasul from the
top of a defile situated on the route between Madina and Syria and to make him fall into the valley.
When the army of Islam reached the first point of the defile, Rasul said: "Whoever desires to
go through the desert may do so because the desert is quite extensive". However, he himself went
above the defile while Huzayfah was driving his camel and Ammar was holding its bridle. When he
turned back his head he saw in the moonlit night that some mounted persons were pursuing him.
To ensure that they might not be identified they had covered their faces and were conversing in
very low voices. Rasul became angry and challenged them and ordered Huzayfah to turn
away their camels with his stick. The call of Rasul frightened them very much and they
realized that he had become aware of their plot. They therefore, immediately went back the way
they had come and joined other soldiers. Huzayfah says: "I identified them from the marks of their
camels and said to Rasul: "I can tell you who they are so that you may punish them". But the
Prophet instructed me in a kind voice not to divulge their secret, because it was possible that they
might repent. He also added: "If I punish them the non-Muslims would say that now that
Muhammad has achieved power, he has made a victim of his own companions".
No scene is more grand than the scene of the return of a victorious army to its homeland, and
nothing is more pleasant to a soldier than victory over the enemy which protects his honour and
ensures his safety and existence. It so happened that both of these things were apparent and
visible at the time of the return of the victorious army of Islam from Tabuk. After covering the
journey between Tabuk and Madina the army of Islam arrived in Madina with great splendour. The
soldiers of Islam were very much elated and the pride of distinction as a warrior and of
predominance was apparent from their gait and conversation. The reason for this pride was also
evident, because they had made a big power retreat; the power, which had defeated earlier its
powerful adversary (Iran). The Muslims had frightened and over-awed the Romans and had also
subjugated the frontiers-men of Syria and the Hijaz. These persons had admittedly secured an
honour by overpowering the enemy and were evidently justified in priding themselves over others,
who had stayed on in Madina without a just cause. However, it was possible that this way of
thinking and this victorious return might create undue pride in the narrow-minded persons, and
might result in insult to some of those persons, who had stayed on in Madina for some good
excuse, but their hearts were with the soldiers in the battlefield and they sincerely shared their weal
and woe. Hence, Rasul addressed the army of Islam, at a place near Madina where it had
stayed for a short time, in these words: "There are some persons in Madina, who joined hands with
you in this journey and kept step with you". Rasul was asked as to how it could be imagined
that those, who stayed in Madina also participated in the journey with the army. He replied: "They,
in spite of being very keen to take part in this sacred obligation (jihad), could not join on account of
some good excuse". By means of this brief speech Rasul alluded to one of the
instructional programmes of Islam and directed the people that good intentions and upright thinking
take the place of pious deeds, and those people, who are deprived of doing good deeds on
account of lack of strength or resources, can become partners of others in the matter of spiritual
reward and recompense for good deeds. If Islam desires outward reformation it is all the more
keen on spiritual reformation and purity of thinking, because the real source of reformation is
reformation of belief and the way of thinking, and all our actions originate from our thoughts. Thus
Rasul removed the unjustified pride of the mujahids and guaranteed the position of the
excusable persons, but he determined from that very moment that he would award exemplary
punishment to those violators, who had no just excuse to offer, and would make their lives
miserable. The following event is an example of such an action. On the day general mobilization
was proclaimed in Madina three Muslims named Hilal, Ka'b and Murarah came to Rasul and
requested that they might he excused from participating in the jihad. The reason mentioned by
them was that their produce from the jungle and from their gardens had not yet been collected and
was still half-ripe. They also promised Rasul that when their produce was collected within a
few days they would join the army of Islam at Tabuk. Those persons, who do not differentiate
between material gain and political independence, are the short-sighted people who consider the
transient worldly pleasures to be at par with respectable life, which is passed under the banner of
intellectual, political and cultural independence and at times even prefer the former to the latter.
Rasul was obliged, after his return, to punish such persons and incidentally to prevent this
disease penetrating into the minds of others as well. Not only that these persons had not
participated in the jihad but they had also not kept the promise made by them with Rasul.
They were still busy in their trade and in accumulating wealth when suddenly the news of the
victorious return of Rasul spread in Madina. These three persons, in order to make amends
for their misconduct and to deceive other Muslims, went to welcome Rasul like all others and
paid their respects to him and congratulated him; but he did not pay any heed to them. On reaching
Madina he addressed the people amidst all the rejoicing and tumult, and the first thing which he
said was this: " O people! These three persons belittled the Islamic orders and didn't keep the
promise they had made with me. They preferred worldly gains to the respectable life under the
banner of Islam. Hence you should cut off all relations with them" The number of the violators
reached ninety, but as most of them belonged to the group of hypocrites and it could not be
expected from them that they would join in jihad against the enemy, the pressure was directed
towards these three Muslims of whom, Murarah and Hilal, had participated in the Battle of Badr
and enjoyed a reputation amongst the Muslims. The wise policy of Rasul, which is an integral
part Islam, had a wonderful effect. The trade and business of the violators came to a perfect
standstill. Their commodities had no demand in the market. Their nearest ones cut off their
relations with them and refrained from even conversing with them or visiting them. Social boycott
by the people lowered the spirits and morale of these persons, so much that the spacious land of
Madina was nothing more than a cage for them. Hence, it was fortunate that these three
persons realized, through their intelligence and insight, that life in Islamic environments was not
possible without whole-hearted association with the Muslims, and the life of an insignificant
minority, opposed to the majority, could not last long, especially when the minority consisted of a
group of mischievous, quarrelsome, and spiteful persons. On the one side they had been called to
account and on the other side the natural and instinctive force pulled them once again towards real
faith, and they repented before God of their cowardly act. God also accepted their
repentance and informed His Prophet of their being forgiven. Orders regarding the termination of
the boycott were, therefore, promulgated immediately. [Note: Rasul's instructive method serves as an example for us, Muslims, in the matter of insignificant minorities. Such opposition can be tackled only by sincerity, determination and unity.]
In the Arabian Peninsula Madina and Najran were considered to be two extensive areas and big centres
for the people of the Scriptures. Hence some Arabs belonging to the tribes of Aws and Khazraj
were inclined towards Judaism and Christianity and had become followers of these religions.
During the Age of Ignorance Abu 'Amir, father of Hanzalah, the well-known martyr of the Battle of
Uhud, had become very much inclined towards Christianity and had become a monk. When Islam
dawned in Madina and absorbed the religious minorities, Abu 'Amir was upset and began co-
operating earnestly with the hypocrites of Aws and Khazraj. Rasul became aware of his
subversive activities and wanted to arrest him, but he ran away from Madina to Makkah and then to
Taif and after the fall of Taif, to Syria. From there he began guiding the spying network of the
hypocrites. In one of his letters Abu 'Amir wrote to his friends: "Construct a mosque in the village of
Quba' opposite the mosque of the Muslims. Assemble there at the time of prayers and on the
pretext of offering prayers, discuss and chalk out plans against Islam and the Muslims". Like the
present day enemies of Islam Abu 'Amir had also realized that in a country in which religion is fully
established, the best way to destroy it, is to use the name of religion itself, and religion can be
harmed more by using its own name rather than by any other factor. He knew fully well that the
Prophet would not permit the hypocrites to build a centre for themselves under any circumstances,
except when they gave that centre a religious tinge and erected a meeting-place for themselves
with the name of a mosque. When Rasul intended proceeding to Tabuk the representatives
of the hypocrites came to him and requested him to accord them permission to construct a
mosque in their own area, on the pretext that when the nights were dark or it was raining their old
men and invalids were not in a position to cover the long distance between their houses and Masjid
Quba. Rasul did not give them any reply, either in the affirmative or in the negative, and
postponed final decision in the matter till after his return from the intended journeys. The
hypocrites selected a place in the absence of Rasul and completed the construction of their
rendezvous as quickly as possible, giving it the name of mosque. On the day Rasul returned
to Madina they requested him to perform the opening ceremony of this place of worship by offering
a few rak'ats of prayers there. In the meantime the Archangel Gabriel came and informed the
Prophet of the position and called the building Masjid Zirar as it had been constructed to create
differences amongst the Muslims. Rasul ordered Masjid Zirar to be razed to the ground,
its beams to be burnt, and its rubbish thrown there for some period. [Note: Verses of Sura Tawbah were revealed in connection with Masjid Zirar.9:107-110] Destruction of Masjid
Zirar was a serious blow to the hypocrites and thereafter their group broke up and Abdullah bin
Ubayy, their sole supporter, also died after two months of the Battle of Tabuk. Tabuk was the last
Islamic campaign in which Rasul took part. After that he did not participate in any battle.
The Battle of Tabuk, with all the difficulties and
sufferings terminated, and all the mujahids returned to Madina, very exhausted. The soldiers of
Islam did not encounter any enemy on the way and gained no booty. For this reason some short-
sighted persons considered this expedition to be useless. They were not, however, aware of its
invisible benefits. Soon afterwards these benefits became distinct and the most obstinate Arab
tribes, who were not prepared to surrender themselves or to embrace Islam at any cost, sent their
representatives to Rasul and proclaimed their readiness to accept Islam, opened the gates of
their forts so that the idols fixed there might be broken, and the standard of Islam, the Divine
religion might be installed in their place. As a matter of principle the silly and short-sighted people
always attach importance to patent results. For example, if, during this journey, the soldiers of
Islam had encountered an enemy and having routed him, had confiscated his property, these
people would have said that the results of the battle had been very brilliant. However, far-sighted
persons analyse the events and consider good and fruitful the facts, which help in the achievement
of the real aims and objects. By chance, the Battle of Tabuk was very fruitful in the achievement of
the real target of Rasul viz. attracting the Arab tribes to the religion of Islam. It was
so, because the news spread throughout the Hijaz that the Romans (the same Romans, who had,
during the last war with the Iranians (who had for long ruled over Yemen and the adjoining areas)
defeated them and had taken back the cross from them and brought it to Jerusalem) had been
frightened of the military power of the Muslims and dared not fight with them. The circulation of this
news was sufficient to make the obstinate Arab tribes, who had not, till the previous day, agreed at
any cost to remain on peaceful terms with the Muslims, think of co-operating with them and to join
them to keep themselves safe from the transgression of the Rome and Iran, the two super powers
of the world of that time. Here is an example of the changes which took place amongst the most
obstinate tribes of Arabia.
The people of Thaqif were well-known amongst the Arabs for their obstinacy and stubbornness. They opposed
the army of Islam for full one month under the protection of the strong fort of Taif and did not agree
to surrender before them. 'Urwah bin Masud Thaqafi was one of the chiefs of Thaqif tribe.
When he came to know of the great victory of the army of Islam in Tabuk, he met Rasul
before his arrival in Madina, embraced Islam and sought his permission to go back to his tribe and
to preach the Divine faith amongst them. Rasul warned him about the result of this mission
and said: "I am afraid you may lose your life in this path". He replied, 'They love me more than their
own eyes". His tribe and other chiefs of Thaqif had not yet realized the greatness which 'Urwah had
acquired by means of Islam and took pride in themselves. They, therefore, decided that when the
first missionary of Islam was busy inviting people to Islam they should shower arrows on him and
kill him. Consequently 'Urwah was attacked and when he was about to die he said: "My death is a
blessing of which Rasul had informed me".
The people of Thaqif tribe regretted the killing of 'Urwah and realized that it was
impossible for them to live in the heart of the Hijaz when the standard of Islam was fluttering round
them and all their pasturages and trade routes were threatened by the Muslims. In a meeting which
they called to find out a solution of the problem it was decided that a representative might be sent
to Madina to meet Rasul and communicate to him their willingness to embrace Islam under
certain conditions. They unanimously asked one of their elders named 'Abd Yalayl to go to Madina
and convey their message to Rasul, but he declined to undertake the responsibility and said:
"It is not improbable that after my departure you may change your minds and then I too may meet
the fate of 'Urwah"; and added: "l am prepared to act as your representative on the condition that
five other elders of Thaqif should also go with me and all of us should be equally responsible for
the developments". The suggestion made by 'Abd Yalayl met the approval of all concerned. All the
six persons, therefore, left for Madina and halted at the bank of a spring situated near the city.
Mughirah bin Sh'obah Thaqafi who had brought the horses of the companions of Rasul for
grazing saw the chiefs of his own tribe at the bank of the spring. He approached them immediately
and came to know the purpose of their visit. Then he entrusted the horses to them and proceeded
to Madina as quickly as possible so as to inform Rasul about the decision taken by the
obstinate Thaqafi. While he was on his way he met Abu Bakr and informed him of the position. He
requested Mughirah to permit him to communicate the news of the arrival of the representative of
Thaqif to Rasul himself. Eventually Abu Bakr informed Rasul about the arrival of the
deputation of Thaqif and added that they were prepared to embrace Islam provided some of their
conditions were accepted and a pact was concluded with them. Rasul ordered a tent to be
pitched near the mosque for the representatives of Thaqif and that Mughirah and Khalid bin Saeed
should receive them. The members of the deputation came to Rasul. Mughirah had
advised them that they should refrain from all sorts of salutations of the Period of Ignorance and
should wish Salam like the Muslims. As, however, pride and self-conceit was the second nature of
this tribe they saluted Rasul in the manner used before the advent of Islam. They then
communicated to him the message of the Thaqif tribe and their readiness to embrace Islam and
added that this was subject to certain conditions which they would state during a later meeting.
The discussions of the representatives of Thaqif continued for some days and Khalid kept the
Prophet informed of their gist.
Rasul accepted many of the conditions put forward by them, so much so that he agreed to conclude a security pact
with them and guaranteed their lands. However, some of their conditions were so improper,
repulsive and indecent that Rasul felt annoyed. The conditions were as mentioned below:
The members of the deputation said that the people of Taif would accept Islam on the condition
that the big idol-temple of Taif might remain in the same condition for three years and the big idol
of the tribe named Lat should continue to be worshipped. However, when they realized that this
suggestion had annoyed Rasul they amended it and requested that the idol-temple might be
allowed to remain as it was for one month. Making such a request to Rasul, whose basic aim
was to introduce the worship of One God and to destroy the idol-temples and the idols, was very
shameful. It showed that they wanted an Islam which should not affect their interests and
inclinations, and if that was not so this religion was not acceptable to them. When they realized the
repulsiveness of their request, they began putting forward excuses and said: "We have made this
request just to keep our women and foolish persons quiet, and thus to remove all impediments in
the path of the arrival of Islam in Taif. Now that Rasul does not agree to this he may kindly
excuse the people of the tribe from breaking the idols with their own hands and may appoint some
other persons to perform this job". Rasul agreed to this, because his object was that the
false gods and ignorance should be eradicated and it was immaterial for him whether this task was
accomplished by those people themselves or by someone else. Another condition was that the
Prophet might excuse them from offering prayers. They were under the impression that like the
leaders of the people of Scriptures (of course, as supposed by them themselves) Rasul of
Islam could also interfere with the Commands of God and thus apply certain rules to one group
and exempt others from complying with them. They did not realize that he had to obey the Divine
revelations and could make no alteration in them. This condition showed that the spirit of absolute
surrender to the Will of God had not yet taken root in their minds and their acceptance of Islam
was a mere show. Otherwise there was no justification for their making distinction in the
commands of Islam and to accept some of them and to reject others. Islam and faith in God is a
condition of total surrender under which all Divine commands are obeyed unhesitatingly and no
distinction is made between them. Rasul said to them in reply: "There is no good in a
religion which does not contain prayers". In other words a person, who does not bow his head
before God during daytime as well as at night, and does not remember his Lord, is not a true
Muslim. Thereafter, when the conditions were settled finally, an agreement incorporating the same
was signed by Rasul and he then bade farewell to the members of the deputation, who were
returning to their tribe. Out of the six persons he selected for leadership the youngest of them who
had, during his stay in Madina, evinced great interest in learning Quran and the commands of
Islam. He appointed him his own religious and political representative amongst the people of Taif
and advised him that while leading congregational prayers he should also be mindful of the weak
persons and should not prolong the prayers. Then Mughirah and Abu Sufyan were appointed to
accompany the members of the deputation to Taif and to destroy the idols found there. Abu
Sufyan, who himself was till the previous day a protector of the idols and had occasioned a good
deal of bloodshed for their protection, now picked up an axe and a hatchet and broke them to
pieces which assumed the shape of a mound of fire-wood. He sold the ornaments of the idols and,
as directed by Rasul, paid the debts of 'Urwah and his brother Aswad, out of their sale
After this these happenings the son of Rasul died. "Dear Ibrahim! We can't do anything for you. Divine Will can't be changed. Your father's eyes shed tears, and his heart is sad and grieved for your death. However, I will not say anything which may invite the wrath of God. If there had not been the true and certain promise of God that we too shall come after you, I would have wept more and become more grieved at the separation from you".
These sentences were uttered by Rasul while mourning for his dear son Ibrahim, who was breathing his last in the lap of his kind father. Rasul had fixed his kind lips on the rosy face of his son and bade him goodbye with a very sad face and a heavy heart and at the same time with full submission to the Will of God. Love for one's off-spring is one of the purest and most sublime manifestations of human spirit and is a sign of health and purity of one's soul. Rasul used to say: "Be gentle to your children and display kind sentiments for them. Furthermore, kindness and love for children was one of his most pleasing attributes. During the past years Rasul had been faced with the death of three sons named Qasim, Tahir and Tayyib and
three daughters named Zaynab, Ruqayyah and Umme Kulsum and had been deeply grieved on
this account. After their death his only surviving child and the souvenir of his esteemed wife
Khadijah was Fatimah. [Note: Some scholars say that he had only two male children.]
In 6 Hijra Rasul sent ambassadors to foreign countries including
Egypt. He sent a letter to the ruler of Egypt inviting him to accept Islam. Although he did not
apparently give a positive reply to Rasul's call, he sent him a respectful reply along with some
presents including a slave-girl named Marya. This slave-girl later acquired the honour of becoming
Rasul's wife and gave birth to his son Ibrahim, who was loved very much by him. The birth of
Ibrahim diminished to some extent the unpleasant effects caused by the death of his six children,
and provided him consolation. However, to his great sorrow Ibrahim also passed away after
eighteen months. Rasul had gone out of the house on some business when he came to
know about the critical condition of his child. He returned home, took the child from his mother's
lap, and while signs of uneasiness were apparent from his face, he uttered the sentences quoted
before. The mourning of Rasul for his son is a sign of his human sentiments, which
continued even after the death of the child, and manifestation of sentiments and expression of grief
was a sign of his kind nature, which showed itself involuntarily throughout his life. As regards his
not uttering anything against the pleasure of God, was a sign of his faith and resignation to the
Divine Will, which none can escape.
Abdur Rahman bin Awf, who belonged to a family of the Ansar, was surprised to see Rasul shedding tears. He objected to
it saying: "You have been restraining us from weeping for the dead. How is it that you are now
shedding tears at the death of your son? " The objector was not only not aware of the sublime
basic principle of Islam but was also ignorant of the spirit and special sentiments with which the
Almighty has endowed human beings. All human instincts have been created for particular
purposes and it is necessary that everyone of them should manifest itself at its proper time and
place. A person who is not moved by the death of his near ones, whose heart does not move,
whose eyes do not shed tears, in short, who does not display any reaction on account of being
separated from them is nothing more than a stone, and should not be called a human being.
However, a delicate and appreciable point deserves attention here for although this objection was
baseless, it tells us that complete freedom and perfect democracy existed in the newly formed
society of the Muslims at that time, so that a person could pick up courage to comment upon the
action of his absolute ruler with perfect freedom and without any fear or awe and could also get a
reply. Rasul replied: "I have never said that you should not weep on the death of your dear
ones, because it is a sign of kindness and pity and a person whose heart is not moved for others
does not become entitled to the blessings of God. I have said that you should not make
excessive lamentations on the death of your near ones and neither utter indecent or objectionable
words nor tear your dress out of too much grief". As directed by Rasul, the Leader of
the Believers washed the dead body of Ibrahim and shrouded him. Then Rasul and some of
his companions escorted the funeral party and buried the child in the Baqi' graveyard. [Note: Halabi writes that the washing and shrouding of Rasul's son, Ibrahim was performed by Fadl, the son of Rasul's uncle Abbas.]
Rasul looked into the grave of Ibrahim and saw a pit in a corner thereof. In order to level it he sat down on the ground, smoothed the surface of the grave with his own hands, and uttered this
sentence: "Whenever anyone of you does a job he should endeavour to do it in a solid way".
Solar eclipse took place on the day Ibrahim passed away.
Some persons, who were ignorant of the laws of nature, thought that the sun had been eclipsed on
account of the death of Ibrahim. Although this thinking was absolutely baseless, it could apparently
be beneficial for Rasul. In case, therefore, he had been an ordinary and a worldly leader he
could very well confirm this view and thus prove his own magnificence and greatness. However, as
opposed to this thinking, he mounted the pulpit and informed the people of the factual position. He
said: "O People! Be it known to you that the sun and the moon are the signs of the Power of God.
They move in a particular course which God has prescribed for them according to the laws of
nature. They are not eclipsed on account of the death or birth of anyone. It is your duty, at the time
of solar eclipse, to offer prayers". As opposed to many people, who not only interpret facts in
their own favour but also take advantage of the ignorance and superstitious thinking of the people,
he did not conceal facts and did not try to profit from the ignorance of the people. If he had
endorsed this false thinking on that day he could not have been able to signalize himself and claim
to be the eternal leader of mankind and the representative and the chosen one of God during the
present age when astronomy has taken long strides and the reasons for the solar and lunar
eclipses have become clearly known to mankind. His law and call are not for Arabs alone and are
not confined to any time and space. If he is the leader of those, who lived in earlier ages, he is also
Rasul of the space age and of the period of the discovery of the secrets of nature. On
whatever subject he has spoken, his words are so sound and firm that the recent scientific
upheavals, which have disproved many of the theories of the past scholars, have not been able to
find even one weak point in his statements.
In the end of the ninth year of migration the initial verses of Sura Tawbah (Bara'at) were revealed and Rasul was ordered to send a person to Makkah during Haj season so that he might read out those verses along with a proclamation consisting of
four articles. In these verses security granted to the polytheists has been withdrawn and all the
treaties made with them (except those which the parties had acted upon faithfully and had not
violated them in practice) have been annulled and the chiefs of polytheism and their followers have
been told that they should clarify, within a period of four months, their position vis-a-vis the Islamic
Government which is based on monotheism and if they do not give up polytheism and idol-worship,
the immunity provided to them would terminate. As and when the orientalists reach this stage of
the history of Islam they violently attack this religion and consider this severity to be opposed to the
principle of 'freedom of faith'. However, if they undertake an unbiased perusal of the history of
Islam, and study the motive which prompted this action mentioned in the historical texts, as well as
in Sura Tawbah, they will probably realize their misunderstanding and will confirm that this action
was not at all opposed to the principle of 'freedom of faith', which is respected by all the wise men
of the world. Here are the causes for the issuance of this manifesto: 1. During the Age of Ignorance
a custom prevailed among the Arabs that a person who performed the pilgrimage of the Kaba,
gave away to an indigent person the dress with which he performed tawaf (circumambulation). If a
person had only one dress he usually borrowed another and performed tawaf with it so that he
might not have to give away his own dress to a poor man. And if it was not possible to borrow a
dress the tawaf was performed naked! One day a fat and beautiful woman entered the mosque. As
she did not possess more than one dress she was obliged, in observance of the superstitious
custom of that time, to perform tawaf with a naked body. It is evident as to what a bad effect the
tawaf by the naked woman in the most sacred place amidst a crowd must have produced! 2.
When Sura Tawbah was revealed, more than twenty years had passed since the appointment
of Rasul to the prophetic mission, and during this period the strong logic of Islam, regarding
the prevention of idol-worship, had reached the ears of the polytheists of the Peninsula. In case,
therefore, an insignificant group still persisted in polytheism and idol-worship, its reason was only
their fanaticism and obstinacy. Hence, the time had now arrived that Rasul should
use the last remedy for the reformation of the society, destroy all images of idol-worship by force,
consider it (i.e. idol-worship) a transgression against humanity and annihilate the source of
hundreds of other indecent habits in the society. However, the orientalists, who consider this action
to be opposed to the principle of freedom of faith, which is the basis of Islam and the foundation of
modern culture, have ignored one point, that is, the principle of freedom of faith is respectable only
so long as it does not harm the prosperity of the individual and the society. Otherwise, in
accordance with the dictates of reason and the course adopted by the thinkers of the world, it
should be opposed to the utmost extent. For example, in modern Europe, on account of some
wrong ideas, some sensual men support the movement of nudism in the society and on the basis
of an idea and a logic which is only childish (saying that covering of a part of the body is a source of
excitement and, therefore, corrupts the morals), they form secret clubs and become naked there
before others! Does human intellect permit that these people should be allowed to continue their
activities on the plea of 'freedom of faith' and should it be said that their 'faith' must be respected?
Or is it necessary that, to protect the welfare of these people as well as of the society, we should
fight against this way of thinking which is totally foolish? This method (of protecting society by force)
is not employed by Islam only, but intelligentsia of the world put up a tough fight against
all movements and ideas which result in harm to the interests of a society, and, in fact, such a fight
is a war against the foolish beliefs of the depressed people. Idol-worship was nothing more than a
handful of superstitions and ridiculous beliefs, which brought hundreds of abominable habits in its
train, and Rasul had paid sufficient heed towards the guidance of the idolaters. Time had,
therefore, arrived that he should, as a last resort, use military force to destroy this source of
corruption. 3. Haj is one of the greatest articles of Islamic worship and religious rites, and till the
day of the revelation of this Sura the conflicts and battles with the chiefs of polytheism had not
permitted that Rasul should practically teach the Muslims the ceremonies connected with
Haj in a correct and simple manner. It was, therefore necessary that Rasul should participate
personally in this great Islamic congregation and give practical training to the Muslims for the
performance of this great worship. However, Rasul could take part in it only when the Holy
Kaba and its precincts had been vacated by the polytheists, who had surrendered it to the
wooden and stone idols, and when the House of God was opened primarily for the worshippers of
God and His real servants. In view of the above-mentioned three factors Rasul called Abu
Bakr and taught him some initial verses of Sura Tawbah and ordered him to proceed to
Makkah along with forty [or according to Waqidi, three hundred] other persons and to recite on Eid al-Adha day the verses, which comprise estrangement from and disgust towards the polytheists. As ordered by Rasul, Abu Bakr proceeded to Makkah. In the meantime the Archangel Gabriel came and brought a message from God to the effect that disgust towards the polytheists should be proclaimed either by Rasul himself or by one from him. [Note: In some narratives the words "or one from your Ahl al-Bayt" occur.]
Hence, Rasul called Ali and informed him of the
position. He then placed his special animal for riding at Ali's disposal and ordered him to leave
Madina as early as possible so that he might contact Abu Bakr on the way and take the verses
from him and recite the same along with the requisite proclamation on the day of Eid al-Adha
before the grand gathering in which people from all parts of Arabia would be participating. The
contents of the proclamation were as under: The idolaters have no right to enter the House of God.
Performing tawaf with naked body is prohibited. No idolater will participate in the ceremonies of
Haj. If some people have concluded non-aggression pacts with Rasul and have carried out
their obligations under those pacts faithfully, the pacts made with them would be honoured and
their lives and property would be respected till the expiry of those pacts. However, the polytheists
who have not concluded any pact with the Muslims or have violated practically any such pact are
hereby given four months time from today (the tenth of Zilhaj ) to explain their position vis-a-vis the
Government of Islam. They should either join the monotheists (the Muslims) and give up every sort
of polytheism or get ready for war. The Leader of the Believers left for Makkah, riding the
special animal provided to him by Rasul. He was accompanied by some other persons
including Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari. He met Abu Bakr at Juhfah and conveyed the message of the
Prophet to him and he thereupon placed the verses at Ali's disposal. The reliable as well as many
other traditionalists quote Ali as saying to Abu Bakr: "Rasul has given you the choice either
to accompany me to Makkah or to return from here to Madina". Abu Bakr preferred to return to
Madina, and after reaching Rasul, he said: "You considered me fit to accomplish a task
which others were also keen to accomplish and thus earn glory, but when I had covered some
distance you relieved me of the responsibility. Has anything been revealed about me?" Rasul
replied affably: "Gabriel came and brought a Divine message to the effect that none except myself
or one belonging to me is competent to accomplish this task''. However, it appears from some
narratives that Abu Bakr held the office of supervisor of Haj ceremonies whereas Ali
was appointed only to recite the Divine verses and the proclamation of Rasul before the
people on Mina day. The Leader of the Believers arrived in Makkah. On the tenth day of Zil
Haj he mounted Jamrah 'Aqabah and recited the first thirteen verses of Sura Bara'at. He also read
out the proclamation of Rasul with a heart overflowing with valour and strength and with a
loud voice which could be heard by all those present, and made it clear to the polytheists who had
not concluded any pact with the Muslims that they had only four months' time at their disposal,
within which they should purify their environments from all types of corruption and perverse
thinking, and should give up polytheism and idol-worship, failing which the privileges granted to
them would be withdrawn. The effect of these verses and proclamation was that the prescribed
period of four months had not yet expired when the polytheists embraced Islam in groups, and idol-
worship was completely eradicated from the Peninsula by the middle of the tenth year of migration.
Divesting Abu Bakr of the responsibility to
read out the verses of Sura Bara'at and appointing the Leader of the Believers in his place
and that too in compliance with the Divine command is no doubt one of Ali's positive and
undeniable distinctions. However, a group of fanatical writers adopt a perverse view in the
assessment of this event. While assessing this event Alusi Baghdadi says in his Tafsir: "Abu Bakr
was known for his compassion whereas Ali was his reverse because of his bravery and strength.
As the recitation of the verses of Sura Bara'at and threatening the polytheists needed bravery and
strength of mind more than anything else and Ali possessed these elements more than Abu Bakr,
he was appointed in his place''. This explanation, which is based on fanaticism, does not
conform to the words of Rasul, because he said in reply to Abu Bakr: "Divine revelation has
ordered that these verses should be recited by me myself or by one who belongs to me". Kindness
or bravery have, therefore, nothing to do with the matter. Furthermore, Rasul himself was a
perfect manifestation of kindness. In the light of the above explanation, therefore, Rasul, too,
should not have been asked to communicate the verses of Sura Bara'at himself to the people
because the Divine order was that either he himself or someone from his Ahl al-Bayt should
discharge this responsibility. While commenting on the same Sura, Ibn Kathir Shami, following
the views of Maqrizi, has explained the matter in another way in Al-Imta'a. He writes: "The custom
amongst the Arabs with regard to the violation of agreements was that someone who is a party to
the agreement, or one of those related to him, should take the initiative in violating the agreement.
Failing this the agreement remained valid. And as Ali was one of the nearest relatives of the
Prophet, he was made responsible to recite these verses". However, this explanation, too, is not
valid because, amongst the relatives of Rasul there was also Abbas, his uncle, whose
relationship with him was in no way lesser than that of Ali. The question would, therefore, remain
as to why this task was not assigned to him. If we are asked to give an unbiased judgement about
this historical event we should say that this dismissal and appointment was not due to Ali's
strength of heart or his relationship with Rasul, but the real purpose of this change was that
the suitability of the Leader of the Believers with regard to matters related to Islamic
Government should become evident in a practical manner, and the people should come to know
that from the point of view of personal qualities and capability he is the associate and companion
of Rasul. And in case, after some time, prophethood comes to an end, the political affairs
and the matters connected with the authority of the caliphate should be handled by him and none
is more suited for them except he himself and after the demise of Rasul the Muslims should
not feel any difficulty, because they have seen with their own eyes that Ali has been appointed
under the orders of God to nullify the agreements and such nullification is the prerogative of the
ruler and his vicegerent only.


The pleasant territory of Najran
comprising seventy-two villages is situated on the border of the Hijaz and Yemen. In the early days
of Islam this was the only region in the Hijaz which was inhabited by the Christians, who had, for
some reasons, forsaken idol-worship and embraced Christianity. Simultaneous with the
letters which Rasul wrote to the heads of different countries of the world he also
wrote a letter to Abu Harith, the Bishop of Najran, and, through that letter, invited the people of that
area to embrace Islam. The text of the said letter runs as under: In the name the Lord of Ibrahim,
Ishaq and Ya'qub. This is a letter from Muhammad, the Prophet and the Messenger of God to the
Bishop of Najran. I praise and glorify the Lord of Ibrahim, Ishaq and Ya'qub, and invite you all to
worship God instead of worshipping His creatures, so that you may come out of the guardianship
of the creatures of God and take place under the guardianship of God Himself. And in case you
do not accept my invitation you must (at least) pay Jizyah (tribute) to the Islamic Government (in
lieu of which it will undertake the protection of your lives and property), failing which you are hereby
warned of dangerous consequences. Some of the genuine sources add that Rasul also
wrote down in his letter the verse relating to the people of the Scripture wherein all of them have
been invited to worship the One God. Here the 64th verse of Sura Ale Imran has been referred to
viz: Muhammad, say to the followers of the Bible, 'We must come to a common term: 'Let us
worship no one except God' . . . The representatives of Rasul arrived in Najran and delivered
his letter to the Bishop. He read the letter very carefully and then, in order to take a decision, called
a meeting of the religious and the secular personalities for consultation. One of the persons called
for consultation was Shurahbil, who was renowned for his knowledge, intelligence and experience.
He spoke thus in reply to the Bishop: "My knowledge of religious matters is very meagre, and I
have, therefore, no right to express my views about them, but in case you consult me regarding
some thing other than this I may be able to suggest a solution of the problem. However, I am
obliged to point out one thing that we have heard time and again from our religious leaders that
one day the Office of Prophethood will be transferred from the descendants of Ishaq to the
descendants of Ismail and it is not improbable that Muhammad, who is a descendant of Ismail,
may be the same promised Prophet!" The consultative council decided that a body of men should
go to Madina as representatives of Najran so that they might contact Muhammad from near and
should scrutinize the proofs of his prophethood. Sixty most distinguished and wise men of Najran
were selected for the purpose; they were headed by three religious leaders namely; 1. Abu Harith
bin 'Alqamah, the Grand Bishop of Najran, who was the official representative of the Roman
Church in the Hijaz. Abdul Masih, the chief of the representative body, who enjoyed great renown
for his wisdom, prudence and experience. 3. Ayham, an aged man, who was considered to be a
respectable person of the community of Najran. The members of the deputation arrived in the
mosque in the afternoon, wearing silken clothes, golden rings, and crosses round their necks;
saluted Rasul. However, their repulsive and improper posture and that, too, in the mosque
displeased Rasul. They realized that he had been displeased with them, but did not
understand the cause of his displeasure. They, therefore, immediately contacted Uthman bin Affan
and Abdur Rahman bin Awf, who were their former acquaintances, and mentioned the matter to
them. They were of the view that the solution of their problem lay with Ali ibn Abi Talib. They then
met the Leader of the Believers and he said in reply to them: "You should alter your dresses,
and come to Rasul in a simple dress without any ornamentation Then you will be accorded
honour and respect". The representatives of Najran put on simple clothes and removed the rings
and then came to Rasul. Rasul replied to their salutation with great respect and also
accepted some of the presents, which they had brought with them. Before the commencement of
mutual discussions the members of the deputation said that the time for their prayers had set in.
Rasul permitted them to offer their prayers in the Masjid with their faces turned towards the
A large number of books contain the text of the discussions between the representatives of
Najran and Rasul. However, the late Sayyid bin Tawus has quoted the particulars of the
discussions and the event of Mubahilah (challenge) in a comprehensive manner. We give here a
few aspects of the discussions, as given by Halabi in his Seerah. Rasul: I invite you to
the religion of monotheism, and the worship of One God, and submission to His commands. (Then
he recited some verses of Quran before, them). The representatives of Najran: If Islam
means faith in the only Lord of the World we already believe in Him and act according to His
Commands. Rasul: Islam carries a few signs and some of your actions show that you do not
believe in Islam. How do you say that you worship One God when you worship the cross and do
not abstain from the meat of the swine and believe that God has son? Representatives: We
believe him (Jesus) to be God because he brought the dead to life, cured the sick, made a bird
with clay and made it fly, and all these things show that he is God. Rasul: No. He is the
servant of God and is His creature. God placed him in the womb of Mary. And all this power and
strength was given to him by God. One of the represenatatives: Yes! He is the son of God,
because Mary gave him birth without marrying anyone, and it is, therefore, necessary that his
father should be the very Lord of the World. At this juncture the Archangel Gabriel came and
advised Rasul to tell them: "From this point of view the condition of Jesus resembles that of
Adam who was created by God with His unlimited power from clay without his having a father and
a mother and if one's not having a father is the proof of one's being the son of God, Adam is
all the more entitled to this position, because he had neither a father nor a mother". The
representatives: Your words do not satisfy us. The best way to resolve the issue is that we should
engage in imprecation with each other at an appointed time and may curse the liar and pray to
God that He may destroy the liar. [Note: It is, however, written in Seerah by Halabi that Mubahilah was suggested by Rasul himself.]
At this moment the Archangel Gabriel came and brought
the verse pertaining to imprecation and conveyed to Rasul the Divine command that he
should engage in imprecation with those, who contended and disputed with him and both the
parties should pray to God that He might deprive the liar of His blessings. Quran says, If
anyone disputes with you after the knowledge has come to you, say, 'Let each of us bring our
children, our women, our people and ourselves to one place and pray to God to curse upon the
liars among us'. (Sura Ale Imran, 3:62) Both the parties agreed to settle the issue through
imprecation and it was decided that all of them would be ready for it on the following day.
The incident of Mubahilah of Rasul with the representatives of Najran is one of the most attractive and wonderful events of the
history of Islam. Though some traditionalists and biographers have been negligent in quoting its
details as well as in analysing it, but a large number of them like Zamakhshari in Kashshaf,
Imam Razi in his Tafsir and Ibn Athir in Kamil have been most eloquent on this subject.
Here we reproduce a part of Zamakhshari's narrative on the subject. "The time for Mubahilah
arrived. Rasul and members of the deputation of Najran had already agreed that the
ceremonies of Mubahilah should take place at a spot outside the city of Madina in the desert. Out
of the Muslims and many relatives of his, Rasul selected only four persons who were to
participate in this significant event. These four persons were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Fatimah, daughter of
Rasul, Hasan and Husayn, as amongst all the Muslims no purer souls could be found. He
covered the distance between his house and the place fixed for Mubahilah in a special manner. He
stepped into the field of Mubahilah when he was carrying Husayn in his lap, and was holding the
hand of Hasan in his own hand, and Fatimah was following him and Ali ibn Abi Talib was walking
behind them''. [Note: In some reports it has been stated that Rasul was holding the hands of Hasan and Husayn in his own hands and Ali was walking in front of him and Fatimah was following him].
Before arriving at the place fixed for Mubahilah he said to his companions:
"Whenever I utter an invocation you should pray for its acceptance by saying Amin." Before facing
Rasul the chiefs of the representatives of Najran were saying to one another: "In case you
see that Muhammad has brought his warriors and officers in the field of Mubahilah and has
displayed his material grandeur and external strength you should conclude that his claim is not true
and he has no faith in his prophethood. If, however, he comes for Mubahilah along with his children
and the dearest ones and appears before God devoid of every sort of material might
and glory, it would mean that he is a true Prophet and has so much faith and self-reliance that he
is not only ready to be annihilated personally, but is fully prepared with perfect courage to let his
dearest ones also meet destruction and extinction". While the chiefs of the deputation were
engaged in conversation, Rasul made a sudden appearance before the Christians of Najran
along with four of his dear ones, out of whom three were his own offspring. All were wonder-struck
to see that he had brought into the field of Mubahilah even the innocent children of his dear
daughter and said: "This man has perfect faith in his call and claim, because a wavering person
does not bring his dearest ones into the arena of Divine wrath". The Bishop of Najran said: "I see
such faces that if they raise their hands in supplication and pray to God that the biggest mountain
may be moved from its place, the same will happen immediately. We should in no circumstances
engage in Mubahilah with these sacred and virtuous personalities because it is not improbable that
we may be annihilated and it is also possible that the Divine wrath may expand and engulf the
entire Christian world and not even one Christian may remain alive on the face of the earth!"[Note: Ibn Tawus states: "On the day of Mubahilah a large number of Muhajirs and Ansar had gathered near the place where Mubahilah was to take place. However, Rasul left his house with the said four persons only and none out of the Muslims was present at the appointed place except those five. Rasul removed his cloak from his shoulder and flung it on two trees which were situated near each other. He then sat under its shade along with the four others and invited the representatives of Najran to Mubahilah."]
On observing the aforesaid
situation the representatives of Najran made mutual consultations and unanimously decided not to
participate in Mubahilah at any cost. They also agreed to pay a fixed sum per year as jizyah and
requested that in lieu of this the Islamic Government might protect their lives and property. The
Prophet agreed to this and it was settled that against the payment of that petty amount they should
be entitled to the privileges granted by the Islamic Government. Then Rasul said: "Trouble
had spread its inauspicious shadow on the heads of the representatives of Najran and if they had
decided to participate in Mubahilah and cursing they would have lost their human shapes and
would have been burnt in a fire which was being kindled in the desert and the torture would have
spread up to the territory of Najran". It has been quoted by aisha that on the day of Mubahilah the
Prophet accommodated his four dear ones under a black cloak and recited this verse: O people of
Rasul's House! God intends but to ward off all sorts of pollution and blemish from you and to
purify you with a thorough purification. (Sura Ahzab, 33:33) Then Zamakhshari mentions the
points connected with the verse of Mubahilah and says in the end of the discussion: "The incident
of Mubahilah and the substance of this verse is the greatest evidence of the excellence of the
People of the Mantle and is a vital proof of the rightfulness of Islam".
The representatives of Najran requested
Rasul that both, the amount of annual tax payable by them, and the security of Najran region,
might be recorded and guaranteed by Rasul in the deed. As ordered by Rasul, the
Leader of the Believers wrote the deed as follows: In the name God, the Beneficent, the
Merciful. This is a deed from Muhammad, God's Messenger, in favour of the people of Najran
and its outskirts. The order and decision of Muhammad about the entire property and wealth of the
people of Najran is that they will supply to the Islamic Government every year two thousand
garments the price of everyone of which will not exceed forty dirhams. They will be at liberty to
supply half of this quantity in the month of Safar and the remaining half in Rajab. And in case there
is danger of war from the side of Yemen, they (the people of Najran) shall, as a mark of co-
operation with the Islamic Government, place thirty coats of mail, thirty horses and thirty camels at
the disposal of the army of Islam by way of guaranteed loan and shall also be responsible to
entertain the representatives of Rasul in the territory of Najran for a period of one month.
Furthermore, as and when a representative of his comes to them they shall receive him. And the
lives, property, lands, and places of worship of the people of Najran shall be under the protection of
God and His Prophet, provided that they will immediately give up usury, failing which Muhammad
will not be responsible for them and no commitment made by him will be operative. This deed
was written on a red skin. Two companions of Rasul signed below it as witnesses, and
thereafter Rasul sealed it. This Peace Pact, of which a summarized translation has been
given above, speaks of the justice and equity of the highest standard, as practiced by Rasul
and shows that the Islamic Government was not like the powerful states of the world which take
undue advantage of the weakness of others and impose tributes on them. Islam always kept in
view the spirit of conciliation and justice and the principles of humanity; it always shunned
transgression. The event Mubahilah and the verse revealed in connection with it have been the
greatest merit and glory for Islam and the followers of Ahl al-Bayt throughout the long span of
history, because the words and contents of this verse show the high status enjoyed by those, who
accompanied Rasul to the place appointed for Mubahilah. For besides calling Hasan and
Husayn the sons of Rasul and calling Fatimah, only the lady belonging to his household, it
calls Ali the "self" i.e. the very soul of Rasul. What honour could be greater then this for
anyone? Is this verse not an evidence of the superiority of the Leader of the Believers over all
other Muslims of the world? Fakhr Razi, whose attitude in the discussions of the nature of
scholastic theology and matters relating to Imamate is well known, has mentioned the reasoning of
the pious scholars and has ended the discussion with a petty and insignificant objection. Its reply is quite clear to the fair-minded people. It is learnt from the narratives quoted from our religious leaders that Mubahilah is not particular to Rasul, and every Muslim can combat his opponent by this means. The invocations connected with it are given in the books on Hadith and the book entitled Nur-al-Thaqalayn may be referred to for further information in this behalf. In the tract written by the respected teacher Allamah Tabatabai we read this: Mubahilah is one of the permanent
miracles of Islam and every true believer can combat with his opponent by means of Mubahilah to
prove the realities of Islam, following the first leader of this faith and can request God to punish the
opponent and condemn him.
What was the plot to kill the Messenger? The sharp and pungent proclamation read out by the Leader of the Believers during Haj season of the ninth year of migration at Mina, on behalf of Rasul, and official declaration by him to the effect that God and His Prophet were disgusted
with the idolaters and they (the idolaters) should decide once and for all within a period of four
months, either to embrace Islam and forsake idol-worship or to get ready for total war, had a very
deep and quick effect. The tribes of different regions of Arabia, which had so far declined to submit
to the logic of Quran, and the law of God, on account of enmity and grudge, and insisted on
sticking to their evil and indecent habits, superstitions, foolish beliefs, and worship of stones and
clay, became helpless now and sent their representatives to the headquarters of Islam (Madina).
Everyone of these deputations had discussions and conversation with Rasul. Ibn Saad in his
Tabaqat-i Kubra has recorded the particulars of seventy-two persons out of them. Arrival of
these deputations in large numbers and that too after declaring the proclamation, shows that in the
beginning of the tenth year of migration no dependable fort had been left for the polytheists of
Arabia, otherwise they would have taken refuge there and waged war with the help of one another.
The period of four months had not yet passed when the entire Hijaz came under the banner of
Islam and not a single idol-temple or idol or idolater was left in it, so much so that a number of
persons belonging to Yemen, Bahrain and Yamamah also embraced Islam.
The chiefs of the tribe of Bani 'Amir were widely known amongst the Arab tribes for their
obstinacy and mischief. Three persons from amongst their chiefs named 'Amir, Arbad and Jabbar
decided to arrive in Madina at the head of a deputation and somehow to kill Rasul while
having discussions with him in a meeting. Their scheme was that 'Amir should engage himself in
discussion with Rasul and while their conversation was in full swing Arbad should attack the
Prophet with his sword and kill him. Other members of the deputation, who were unaware of this
plot of the three persons, declared their fidelity for Islam and Rasul. However, 'Amir refrained
from expressing any inclination towards Islam and said to Rasul repeatedly, "I want to talk to
you in seclusion". Every time he uttered this sentence he looked towards Arbad. However, although
he looked at his face very intently he found him calm and tranquil. Rasul said to him in reply:
"Unless you embrace Islam this thing is not possible, (i.e. to see you alone)". At last 'Amir lost all
hope of Arbad's assistance in the success of their plot. It would appear that as and when Arbad
intended to put his hand on his sword he was stricken with terror and Rasul's greatness kept
him (Arbad) from carrying out his plan. When the meeting ended 'Amir stood up from his place,
declared his enmity for Rasul and said: "I will fill Madina with horses and soldiers to do harm
to you". On account of the great forbearance which he possessed, however, Rasul did not
give him any reply, but prayed to God to keep him safe from the mischief of the two men. The
supplication of Rasul was accepted soon. 'Amir had an attack of plague while he was on his
way, and died in a very bad condition in the house of a woman belonging to the tribe of Bani Salul.
As regards Arbad, he was struck by lightning in the desert and was burnt to death. And the fate
met by these persons, who had plotted against Rasul further intensified the people's faith (in
Acceptance of Islam by the people of the Hijaz and the security which Rasul felt from the side of the Arab tribes enabled him to extend the influence of Islam to the neighbouring areas of Hijaz. For the first time, therefore, he deputed one of his wise companions named Muaz bin Jabal to Yemen so that he might explain Islam to the people of that region. While giving him detailed instructions the Prophet also said to Muaz: "Avoid harsh treatment with the people, and inform them of Divine
blessings which are meant for the true believers. When you face the people of the Scriptures in
Yemen, and they enquire from you about the key to Paradise, you should tell them that it is the
acknowledgment of the Oneness and Uniqueness of God" It would appear that with all his
knowledge of the Book and the Sunnah, Muaz did not give a satisfactory reply when he was asked
about the rights of a husband over his wife. Rasul, therefore, decided to send his
distinguished disciple Ali to Yemen so that Islam might spread there under his continuous
teachings, logical arguments, the strength of his hands, and his unparalleled bravery and moral
heroism. Furthermore, Khalid bin Walid had also been dispatched by Rasul to Yemen
sometime earlier than Ali so that he might remove the obstacles in the way of advancement of
Islam, in that area. He did not, however, do anything in this behalf during that period. Rasul,
therefore, called Ali and said to him: "O Ali! I am sending you to Yemen so that you may invite its
inhabitants to Islam and inform them about the Command of God as well as about the things,
which are lawful, and which are unlawful. At the time of your return to Madina you should collect
zakat from the people of Najran as well as the taxes which they are liable to pay and should
deposit the same in the public treasury. Ali replied to Rasul most respectfully in these words:
"I am a young man and have never arbitrated throughout my life and have never occupied the seat
of justice". Rasul placed his hand on Ali's chest and prayed for him in these words: "O God!
Guide the heart of Ali and protect his tongue from errors". Then he said: "O Ali! Do not quarrel with
anyone and try to guide the people to the right path with logic and good behaviour. By God! If God
guides someone to the right path through you, it is much better than that on which the sun shines".
In the end Rasul made four recommendations to Ali: Make prayer and glorification of God
your profession, because prayer is usually accepted. Be thankful to God in all circumstances,
because thankfulness increases blessings. If you conclude an agreement with an individual or a
group of persons, honour it. Desist from cheating others, because the deceit of the evil-doers
returns to themselves". During his stay in Yemen, Ali passed spellbound judgements, most of
which are recorded in the books of history. Rasul did not content himself with guidance but
he also wrote a letter to the people of Yemen inviting them to Islam, gave it to Ali and directed him
to read it over to them. Bara' bin 'Azib was Ali's attendant in Yemen. He says that when Ali reached
the border of Yemen, he arranged the ranks of the Muslim soldiers who were already stationed
there under the command of Khalid bin Walid and offered the morning prayers in congregation.
Then he invited the tribe of Hamdan, which was one of the biggest tribes of Yemen, to hear the
message of Rasul. First he praised God. Then he read out Rasul's message to them.
The grandeur of the meeting, the sweetness of the narration and the greatness of the words of the
Prophet impressed the people of Hamdan tribe so much that they embraced Islam within a day.
Imam Ali wrote a letter to Rasul informing him of the developments. Rasul was greatly
pleased to learn the good news. He thanked God and said: "May the tribe of Hamdan be blessed".
The conversion of Hamdan tribe to Islam became the cause of other people of Yemen embracing
Islam gradually.


Amongst the congregational articles of worship of
Islam the ceremonies of Haj are the greatest and most magnificent worship performed by the
Muslims, because the performance of these ceremonies and that too once in a year is the sublime
manifestation of unity and fellowship, a perfect sign of freedom from belongings and place, a
prominent example of equality between different classes, a source of strengthening relations
between Muslims etc. Now if we Muslims make little use of the opportunity afforded by Haj for our
betterment and convene this annual Islamic congress (which can undoubtedly solve most of our
social problems and can bring about far-reaching changes in our lives) without deriving proper
benefit from it, it is not because the law is defective but the fault lies with the Muslim leaders who
do not, make proper use of this grand ceremony. Since the day Prophet Ibrahim had constructed
the Kaba and invited the monotheists to perform its pilgrimage, this place has always been the
centre of attraction, where tawaf was done by the godly peoples and every year groups of pilgrims
came from different parts of Arabia and from all corners of the world for the pilgrimage of this
House and performed the ceremonies taught by Prophet Ibrahim. However, as a consequence of
the passage of time and also because of the people of the Hijaz being deprived of the guidance of
the Prophets, the selfishness of Quraysh, and the rule of idols over the Arab world, the ceremonies
of Haj fell prey to change and alteration from the viewpoint of time and place and lost their real
features. For these reasons Rasul was ordered by God in the tenth year of migration to
participate in the Haj ceremonies personally so that he might practically teach the people their
obligations and might discard the old and unwanted practices of this article of worship and also
instruct the people about the limits of 'Arafah and Mina and tell them about the time of departure
from those places. As compared with its political and social aspect, therefore, this journey carried
a greater educational aspect. In the eleventh Islamic month (Zilqad) Rasul got it
proclaimed in the city as well as amongst the tribes that he intended to perform the pilgrimage of
the Kaba that year. This news inspired great interest in the Muslim ummah. Thousands of
persons pitched up tents in the outskirts of Madina and awaited the departure of Rasul.
Rasul appointed Abu Dujanah as his representative in Madina and proceeded to Makkah on
the 28th of Zilqad taking with himself sixty sacrificial animals. When he reached Zil Hulayfah
he put on, at Masjid Shajarah, ehram, which consisted of two plain sheets of cloth, and while
putting on ehram he recited the well-known supplication, which commences with the word
Labbayk (Here am I) which is a reply to the call of Prophet Ibrahim. He said Labbayk every time he
saw a rider or arrived at a high or a low spot. When he reached near Makkah he discontinued
reciting Labbayk. He arrived in Makkah on the 4th of Zilhaj went straight to the Masjid Haram
entering there through the gate of Bani Shaybah. He was then glorifying God and seeking
blessings for Prophet Ibrahim. During tawaf he stood opposite the Black stone. In the first instance
he performed its istilam and then went round the Kaba seven times. Thereafter he stood
behind Maqam-i Ibrahim and offered tawaf prayers consisting of two rak'ats. After offering the
prayers he commenced Saee between Safa and Marwah. [Note: Istilam means rubbing one's hands with the Black Stone before performing tawaf; the point underlying it is that, while constructing the
Kaba, Ibrahim stood on it. Hence this stone has acquired a peculiar honour. Safa and Marwah are the names of two hills which are situated near Masjidul Haram, and Saee means covering the distance between those hills. Saee commences from Safa and ends at Marwah. During his ten years' stay in Madina Rasul performed Umra twice -for the first time in the seventh year and for the second time in the eighth year of migration, it was after the conquest of Makkah. The present Umra was the third one which he performed along with the ceremonies of Haj.]
Then he turned to the pilgrims and said:
"Those who have not brought sacrificial animals with them should come out of the state of
ehram and all the things which are unlawful for them (during ehram) will become lawful with
taqseer (shortening the hair and/or cutting the nails). However, I and others who have brought
sacrificial animals with us shall remain in the condition of ehram till we have slaughtered the
animals in Mina. This thing weighed heavily on some persons and their excuse was that they did
not like that Rasul should continue to remain in ehram whereas they should go out of it, and
the things which were unlawful for him should become lawful for them. At times they said: "It is not
correct that we should be the pilgrims of the House of God and the drops of the water of
(ceremonial) washing should be falling from our heads and necks". [Note: It is an allusion to sexual intercourse and the washing necessitated by it, because one of the things prohibited, while one is in the state of ehram, is sexual intercourse with a woman and its prohibition ends with Taqseer.]
Rasul chanced to see Umar who was still in the state of ehram and asked him whether he had brought any sacrificial animal with him. He replied in the negative. Thereupon Rasul said: "Then why have you not come out of ehram. He replied: "I don't like that I should come out of ehram whereas you should continue to remain in the same state".
Rasul said "You will stick to this belief not only now, but till the day of your death".
Rasul was displeased on account of the doubt and indecision
of the people and said: "If the future had been as clear to me as the past, and I had been aware of
your unjustified indecision and doubt, I too would have come for the pilgrimage of the House of
God without a sacrificial animal just like yourselves. However, I can't help, because I have brought
the sacrificial animals with me and according to the Command of God, "Till the sacrificial (animal)
reaches its place". I must remain in the state of ehram till I have slaughtered those animals at the
sacrificial ground of Mina. However, every person who has not brought a sacrificial animal with him
should come out of ehram and should treat, whatever he has already performed, to be Umra and
should, thereafter, wear ehram for Haj.
The Leader of the Believers became aware of Rasul's departure to
perform Haj. He also proceeded to Makkah along with his soldiers to perform Haj and took thirty-
four sacrificial animals with him. He also brought with him the pieces of cloth which he had
collected from the people of Najran the prescribed tribute. While on his way he delegated the
command of the soldiers to an officer of his and himself hurried to Makkah. He met Rasul,
who was extremely pleased to see him and asked him: "How did you make your intention?" He
replied: "At the time appropriate for ehram I put on ehram with your intention and said 'O God! I
too am putting on ehram with the same intention with which Your Prophet has put it on'. Then he
informed Rasul about the sacrificial animals which he had brought with him. Rasul
said: "The obligation of both of us in this matter is one and the same and we must remain in the
state of ehram till the sacrificial animals are slaughtered". Then he ordered Ali to go back to his
soldiers and bring them to Makkah. When Ali rejoined his soldiers he found that all the pieces of
cloth, which he had collected from the people of Najran in accordance with the agreement
concluded on the day of Mubahilah, had been distributed amongst the soldiers and they were
wearing them by way of ehram. Ali was very much displeased on account of this action which had
been taken by his representative during his absence and said to him: "Why did you distribute the
pieces of cloth amongst the soldiers before I delivered them to Rasul?" He replied: They
insisted that I should lend the pieces of cloth to them and take back after the Haj ceremonies had
been performed". Ali said to him: "You were not authorized to do so". Then he took back the pieces
of cloth from them, packed them and delivered them to Rasul in Makkah. People, for whom
justice and discipline is painful, and who wish that events should always take the turn liked by
them, went before Rasul and expressed their annoyance at Ali's taking back the pieces of
cloth from them. Rasul asked one of his companions to go to the complainants and convey
to them his message: "Desist from speaking ill of Ali. He is dauntless in enforcing Divine laws and
is not a flatterer''.
Ceremonies of Umra came to an end. The
Prophet was not inclined to stay in the house of anyone during the interval between the
ceremonies of Umra and those of Haj. He, therefore, ordered his tent to be pitched outside
Makkah. The eighth day of Zilhaj arrived. The pilgrims of the House of God proceeded on the
same day from Makkah to ''Arafah so that they might perform the ceremony of ''Arafah from noon
of 9th Zilhaj till the sunset on that day. On 8th Zilhaj, which is also called the day of tarwiyyah the
Prophet proceeded to ''Arafah via Mina and stayed in Mina till sunrise on the 9th of the month.
Then he mounted his camel, left for ''Arafah and alighted at a place called Numrah, where his tent
had been pitched. Addressing the splendid gathering there he delivered his historical sermon while
he was mounted on the camel.
On that day the land of 'Arafah witnessed a great and splendid gathering,
the like of which had not till then been seen by the people of the Hijaz. The voice of monotheism
and the slogans of the worship of One God were ringing in that land. The place which had been,
till only a little time earlier, the residence of the polytheists and idolaters became, forever, the base
for the worshippers of One God. Rasul offered the noon and the afternoon prayers in
''Arafah along with 100,000 persons, and the victory of Islam over blasphemy became decisive and
final. Thereafter, Rasul mounted his camel, and delivered the historical sermon, which was
repeated by one of his companions, who had a loud voice, so that those at a distance might also
come to know what Rasul was saying.
On that day he commenced his sermon thus:
"O people! Hear my words, for it is possible that I may not meet you at this spot in future". "O people! Your blood and property (honour and reputation) are respectable for one another, like this day and this month, till the day on which you meet God, and every transgression in this behalf is
unlawful". In order to be sure of the desired impression of his words on the people about the
respectability of the lives and property of the Muslims Rasul asked Rabi'ah bin Umayyah to
ask them: "Which month is this?" -All of them replied: "It is a respectable month and warfare during
this month is prohibited and unlawful". Then Rasul said to Rabi'ah: "Tell them: God has
declared your blood and property unlawful and respectable for one another like this month until you
leave this world." He again said to Rabi'ah: "Ask them which land is this?" - All of them replied: "It
is a respectable land and bloodshed and transgression in it is strictly prohibited". He then said to
Rabi'ah: "Tell them your blood and property are respectable like this land and every sort of
transgression in it is prohibited ". Thereafter Rasul said to Rabi'ah: "Ask them which day is
this?"-They replied: "It is the day of Haj-i Akbar (the Great Haj)". Rasul said: "Tell them your
blood and property are respectable like this day". "Yes, O people! You should know that the
blood, which was shed during the Days of Ignorance should be forgotten and should not be
avenged. Even the blood of Ibn Rabi'ah (a relative of Rasul) should be forgotten. You will
return to God soon and in that world your good and bad deeds will be weighed. I tell you. One, to
whom something has been entrusted, should return it to its owner. Yes, O people! You must know
that usury is strictly prohibited in Islam. Those, who have invested their capital to earn interest can
take back their capital only. They should neither oppress nor be oppressed. And as regards the
interest which the debtors of Abbas owed to him before Islam the same has lapsed and he has no
right to claim it. "O people! Satan has lost hope of his being worshipped in your land. However, if
you follow him in small matters he will be happy and pleased. So do not follow Satan." Making
changes in the sacred months (i.e. those months in which warfare etc. is unlawful) shows
excessiveness of blasphemy, and those unbelievers, who are not acquainted with the sacred
months are misguided because of this change and consequently a sacred month becomes lawful
in one year and prohibited in another. They think that by doing so they change things made lawful
by God into unlawful and vice versa. [Note: The custodians of the Kaba used to change the sacred months after taking money from those people, who were keen to wage war during these months.] It is necessary that the arrangement of lawful and sacred months should be according to the days on which God created the skies, the earth, the moon and the sun. In the eyes of God the number of months is twelve and out of these He has declared four months to be sacred. They are the months of Zilqad, Zilhaj and Muharram, which are consecutive, and then the month of Rajab. "Yes, O people! Your women have rights over you and you too have rights over them. Your right is that they should not admit anyone in the house without your consent, and should not be guilty of something unfair, failing which God has authorized you to quit their beds and also chastise them. In case, however, they revert to the path of truth, you should treat them with kindness and love and should
provide them with comfortable means of life".
I recommend to you on this land that you should be kind to your women, because you hold them in
trust from God and they have become lawful for you according to His laws. "Yes, O people! Hear
my words carefully and ponder over them. I am leaving two memorable things amongst you-one of
them is the Book of God and the other is my speech and Sunnah, and if you abide by them
you will never get astray." "Yes, O people! Hear my words and think over them. Every Muslim is the
brother of another Muslim and all Muslims of the world are brothers of one another. And anything
out of the property of the Muslims is not lawful for a Muslim except when he acquires it with an
honest intention." "Yes, O people! Those present should communicate these remarks to
those who are absent. After me there will be no prophet and after you Muslims there will be no
ummah. "O people! You should know that I am announcing it today that I have banned all the
ceremonies and beliefs of the Age of Ignorance and am informing you of their falsity". At this
Juncture Rasul discontinued the sermon and making a sign towards the sky with his
forefinger said: "O God! I have communicated your message". Then after saying thrice: "O God!
Be witness to it", he brought the sermon to an end.
[Note: In this historical sermon Rasul recommended Quran
and the Sunnah to the people; and in the sermon delivered at Ghadir and at the time of his death
he recommended to them the Book of God and his own progeny. There is nothing contradictory
between these two versions which were delivered on two different occasions, because there can
be no objection to Rasul treating Sunnah as equivalent to Quran and announcing both of
them as memorable things on one occasion and recommending his family and successors on
another occasion and insisting upon their following them, which is in fact following Rasul and
his Sunnah. Some unreliable ulema have imagined in their exegeses that Rasul said
these words on one occasion only, and have mentioned his progeny in the footnotes as an
alternative, whereas we do not stand in need of any such correction, because, as a matter of
principle, there is no contradiction between the two narratives.]
Rasul stayed in Arafah on the ninth of Zilhaj till sunset and before the sun was hidden in the western horizon and the atmosphere became somewhat dark he mounted his camel and spent a part of the night in Muzdalifah, and the time between dawn and sunrise in Mash'ar. On the tenth day he proceeded to Mina and performed the ceremonies of Rami-i Jamrah, sacrifice and taqseer. Then he proceeded to Makkah to perform other ceremonies of Haj and thus he practically taught the same to others. In the terminology of Hadith and history this historical journey is called Hijjatul Wida' (the farewell Haj) and at times it is also named Hajul Balagh (Haj of the delivery of the message) and Hajul Islam (Haj of Islam). Each of these names has some associations, which are quite evident. In the end it may be mentioned that it is commonly known amongst the traditionalists that Rasul delivered this sermon on the day of 'Arafah, but some of them believe that this sermon was
delivered on the 10th day of Zilhaj.
From the viewpoint of true scholars khilafat (caliphate) is a Divine office which is entrusted to the most distinguished, the most appropriate and the wisest person of the ummah (nation). The most clear line of demarcation between a Prophet and an Imam (Prophet's successor) is that Rasul lays the foundation of a religion, receives revelation and possesses a Book. However, as regards the Imam, though he does not possess any of these positions, yet, besides possessing the position of a ruler he is one, who explains and conveys that part of the Divine religion which could not be publicly narrated by
Rasul on account of lack of opportunity or because of the circumstances being unfavourable
and, therefore, left it to his successors to tell them. Hence from the true believer's point of view the caliph is not only a ruler of the time, a leader of Islam, the executive authority, the protector of the rights and the defender of the forts and frontiers of the country, but he is also one, who explains the
knotty problems of the religion and completes that portion of the orders and laws which could not,
for some reasons, be narrated by the founder of the religion. According to the unreasonable scholars, however, caliphate is a customary and secular office and the object of its creation is only
to protect the worldly affairs and the material interests of the Muslims. According to them the caliph
is selected, by making a reference to the public opinion, for the administration of political, judicial
and economic matters. As regards disposal of religious matters including interpretation of laws,
which were enacted during the time of Rasul but could not be promulgated on account of
various reasons, it is the concern of the scholars of Islam and it is for them to solve such difficult
and knotty problems by means of Ijtihad. On account of this difference in the views of the Muslims
about the reality of caliphate two different wings appeared in them divided them into two groups
This difference continues even at present. According to the first view an Imam shares some
attributes with Rasul and is at par with him in that regard and the conditions, the fulfillment of
which is considered necessary for Rasul, are also necessary for the Imam. Here are the
conditions which must be fulfilled by Rasul as well as by the Imam: 1. Rasul must be
infallible viz. he should not commit any sin throughout his life and should not make any mistake
while narrating the orders and realities of the religion or replying to the religious queries of the
people. The Imam should also be like-wise and the argument in both the cases is the same. 2. The
Prophet should be the wisest person in the matter of religious law and none of the points relating to
religion should be hidden from him. And as the Imam is one who completes or narrates that portion
of the religious law which was not narrated during the time of God's Messenger, he (the Imam)
too should be the most knowledgable person with regard to the commands, and rules and
regulations of religion. 3. Prophethood is a status which comes through nomination by God and
not through selection by the people. A Prophet is introduced by God and is appointed to the office
of prophethood by Him, because it is only He who can distinguish between an infallible and a
fallible person and only He can understand as to who has attained such a position under the
auspices of His blessing that he should be aware of all the details of the religion. However,
according to the second point of view held by many, it is not necessary that any of the
conditions for prophethood should be found in the Imam. It is not necessary that he should
possess infallibility, righteousness, knowledge or conversance with religious law or should be
nominated or should have relationship with the occult world. It is sufficient that he should protect
the glory and worldly interests of Islam by making use of his own intelligence as well as by
consulting the Muslims and should ensure the security, of the area by enforcing penal laws and
should endeavour to extend the territories of Islam under the call for jihad.
Besides the logical and philosophical arguments which finally
prove the correctness of the first viewpoint the hadiths and the narrations which have come down
from Rasul also confirm the view of true Ulema. During the period of his
prophethood Rasul specified his successor time and again and excluded the subject of
Imamate (successorship) from the purview of selection or reference to the popular vote. He not
only specified his successor during the last days of his life, but, even at the outset of his
prophethood, when not more than two persons had embraced his religion, he introduced his
successor to the people. One day he was ordered by God to warn his near ones of Divine torture
and to invite them to Islam before extending an invitation to the public. In a meeting in which forty-
five elders of the family of Bani Hashim were present he said: "The first person amongst you who
assists me will be my brother and successor". When Ali stood up and acknowledged his
prophethood he turned to those present and said: "This young man is my brother and
successor." This hadith is very well known amongst the exegetes and the traditionalists with
the name of hadith Yaumud Dar and hadith Bid'ul Da'wah. Not only at the commencement of his
prophethood but on various other occasions also Rasul made declarations about the
mastership and the succession of Ali. However, none of these declarations equals the hadith of
Ghadir in its greatness, clarity decisiveness and universality. The ceremonies of Haj were over and
the Muslims directly learnt the religious acts connected with Haj from Rasul. Rasul
decided to leave Makkah for Madina. [Note: Rabigh is a place situated between Makkah and Madina. Juhfah is one of the Miqats (i.e. places where ehram is put on). From here the paths of the people of Madina, Egypt and Iraq were separated.]
Orders for departure were given. When the caravan reached the region of Rabigh, which is situated at a distance of three miles from Juhfah, the Archangel Gabriel descended at a place called Ghadir Khum and communicated the following verse to Rasul:
O Messenger! Convey what is revealed to you from your Lord, for if you do it
not, it would be as though you have not conveyed His message. God will protect you from the
people. (Sura Maida, 5:67). The tone of the verse shows that God entrusted a
very important task to Rasul. And what task could be more important than that he should
appoint Ali as his caliph and successor before the very eyes of hundreds of thousands of people.
Hence orders were given to all the persons to halt. People who had gone forward ceased to move
further and those who were left behind joined them. It was the noon time and the weather was very
hot. The people covered their heads with a part of their cloaks and placed the other part under their
feet. A shade was arranged for Rasul by means of a cloak which was thrown on a tree. He
offered the noon prayers in congregation. Thereafter, while the people were encircling him, he took
his place on a platform which had been prepared with the saddles of the camels, and delivered the
following sermon in a loud voice.
All glory is specially for God. We seek His help and have faith in Him and rely upon Him. We seek refuge in
Him from our evil doings and indecent deeds. He is the Lord besides whom there is no guide.
There will be none to mislead one whom He guides. I testify that there is no god but God and
Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. Yes, O people! I may soon accept the Divine
invitation and may depart from amongst you. I am responsible and you too are responsible. What
is your opinion about me?" At this stage those present said loudly: "We testify that you have carried
out your mission and made efforts in this behalf. My God reward you for this!" Rasul said:
"Do you testify that the Lord of the World is one and Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger
and that there is no doubt about life in the other world?" AII of them said: "lt's correct and we testify
it". Then Rasul said: "O my followers! I am leaving behind two valuable assets as legacies to
you and it is to be seen as to how you behave with these two legacies of mine". At this moment a
person stood up and said with a loud voice: "What do you mean by the two exquisite things? To
this Rasul replied; "One of them is the Book of God, one side of which is related to God and
the other side is in your hands. And the other thing is my progeny and my Ahl al-Bayt. God has
informed me that these too memorable things will not act separated from each other". Yes, O
people, Don't seek precedence over Quran and over my progeny and do not be negligent in
your behaviour towards them, lest you should be annihilated. At this moment he held the hand of
Ali and raised it so high that the whiteness of the armpits of both of them became visible to the
people. He introduced him (Ali) to all the people and then said: "Who enjoys more rights over
the believers than themselves?" All of them said, "God and His Prophet know better". Then the
Prophet said: "God is my Master (maula), and I am the Master of the Believers and I am more
deserving and enjoy more rights over them than they themselves. Yes, O people! He who takes
me as Master, this Ali is his Master. O God! Love those, who love Ali, and hate those who hate
hate Ali. O God! help Ali's friends, humiliate his enemies, and make him the pivot of truth".

[Note: In order to make sure that no misunderstanding arose afterwards, Rasul repeated this sentence thrice.]

In the meanwhile the Archangel Gabriel came and brought this verse:
This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favours to you, and
have chosen for you the religion Islam (Sura Maidah, 5:3)
At this moment Rasul pronounced Takbir loudly (God is Great), and then added:
"I thank God for His having perfected His religion and for having completed His
favour and for His having been pleased with the mastership and succession of Ali after me". Then
Rasul stepped down from the platform and said to Ali: "Sit in a tent so that the chiefs and
distinguished personalities of Islam may shake hands with you and congratulate you". The two
shaykhs (Abu Bakr and Umar) congratulated Ali before all others and called him their Master.
Hassan bin Thabit, the renowned poet, after obtaining Rasul's permission recited the
following verses: "He said to Ali: Stand up for I have selected you to succeed me and to guide the
people after me". "Of him whose Master I am, Ali is his maula. You love him sincerely and
follow him".
Amongst all the traditions and Islamic narrations no other hadith (tradition) has been published and quoted as much as Hadith Ghadir. From out of the even less reliable Ulema alone 353 have quoted it in their books and the number of authorities they rely upon reaches up to 110 companions. 26 great scholars of Islam have written independent books about the authorities and channels of this hadith. The famous historian of Islam, Abu Ja'far Tabari, has collected the authorities and channels of this hadith in two big volumes. Throughout the passage of history this hadith has been the greatest authority about the precedence of Imam Ali over all other companions of Rasul and Imam Ali, the the Leader of the Believers, himself argued on its basis in the consultative meeting which was held after the death of the Second Caliph as well as during the Caliphate of Uthman and his own Caliphate. Besides the Leader of the Believers, Imam Ali, many other distinguished
personalities amongst the Muslims have always relied on this hadith in reply to the opponents and deniers of the rights of Ali. The event of Ghadir enjoys so much importance that, as quoted by numerous exegetes and traditionalists, verses of Quran have been revealed in connection with the event of that day. [Note: For more details see the book Al Ghadir, by Allamah Amini.]
After the formalities regarding the appointment
of the successor had been completed at Ghadir Khum, all the people who had come from Syria
and Egypt to partake in the ceremonies of Haj took their leave of Rasul at Juhfah and
proceeded to their homes. And the persons, who had come from Hazramaut and Yemen, also
separated from the Haj caravan at this or an earlier point and left for their homes. However, the ten
thousand persons who had come with Rasul from Madina accompanied him back to Madina
and reached there before the close of the tenth year of migration Rasul and the Muslims
were happy that Islam had spread throughout Arabia, the rule of polytheism and idolatry had come
to an end throughout the Hijaz and all impediments in the way of the spread of Islam had been
removed. The Muharram moon of the 11th year of migration was about to be sighted in Madina
when two persons came there from Yamamah and brought a letter for Rasul from
Muslayma, who later became known as Muslayma Kazzab (Muslayma Liar). One of
the secretaries of Rasul opened the letter and read it over to him. The letter showed that a
man known as Muslayma claimed to be a prophet in Yamamah. He claimed to be a partner of
Rasul in the prophethood and desired by means of the said letter to inform Rasul about
this. The text of Muslayma's letter has been preserved in the books of biography and Islamic
history. The phraseology of the letter shows that the writer wants to imitate the manner of the Holy
Quran. However, this imitation has made his letter so insipid, degraded and worthless that his
other usual sentences are far better than it. In his letter he wrote to Rasul thus: "I have been
made your partner in the matter of prophethood. Half of the land belongs to us and the other half
belongs to Quraysh. However, Quraysh do not act justly". When Rasul came to know about
the contents of the letter he turned to those, who had brought it and said: "If you had not been the
ambassadors and messengers I would have ordered you to be put to death. When you had already
embraced Islam and acknowledged my prophethood, why did you follow such a blockhead and
give up the sacred religion of Islam? Rasul called his secretary and dictated a brief but pithy
and strong reply. Here is the text of Rasul's letter: "In the name of God, the Beneficent, the
Merciful. This is a letter from Muhammad, God's Messenger to Muslayma, the Liar. Peace be
upon the followers of guidance. The earth belongs to God and He gives it to those pious servants
of His, whom He wishes. And the pious persons meet a good end.
He was one of those persons, who came to Madina in the tenth year of migration and embraced Islam. However, after his return to his birthplace he himself claimed to be
a prophet and some simple-minded and also some fanatical persons responded to his call. His
popularity in Yamamah was not a manifestation of his real personality. Some people had gathered
round him knowing that he was a liar and their logic was this: "A liar of Yamamah is better than a
truthful person of the Hijaz". This sentence was uttered by one of the supporters of Muslayma
when he asked him: "Does an angel descend on you?" He said: "Yes. Its name is Rahman". The
man asked: "Is that angel in light or in darkness?" Muslayma replied: "In darkness". The man
said "I testify that you are a liar. However, a liar of the Rabi'ah tribe of Yamamah is better than a
truthful person of the Mazar tribe of the Hijaz" (By the truthful person of Mazar he meant the
Prophet of Islam.) It cannot be gain said that this man claimed to be a prophet and gathered some
persons round him. However, it is not at all established that he planned to contend with the Holy
Quran, and the sentences and verses which have been quoted in the historical texts as examples
of his contention with Quran cannot be the logic and wording of an eloquent person like
Muslayma, because his usual words and sentences carry great firmness and self-possession. In
view of this it may be said that whatever has been attributed to him is like the sentences which
have been attributed to his contemporary Aswad bin Ka'b 'Unsi who claimed to be a prophet in
Yemen simultaneously with Muslayma and it is not improbable that all these may be mere
embellishments, in both the cases, resorted to with some specific motives. The reason for holding
this view is that Quran possesses such an unusual greatness and eloquence that nobody
can pick up courage to think of contending with it and every Arab knew clearly that it was humanly
impossible to imitate. After the demise of Rasul campaign against the apostates was the first
action of the Islamic Caliphate. Hence, the zone of Muslayma's influence was besieged by the
forces of Islam. When the siege was tightened and the eventual defeat of this pretender became
evident some of his simple-minded friends said to him: "What has happened to the occult help and
support which you had promised us? Muslayma replied: "There is no news about occult law and
help. It was a false promise which I gave you. However, it is incumbent upon you to defend your
honour and greatness". However, defence of honour and greatness was of little avail! Muslayma
and a group of his friends were killed within the precincts of a garden and the false prophethood
met the end it deserved. The very sentence translated above shows that he was an eloquent
speaker and it also shows that he is not at all the speaker of those insipid sentences, which history
has attributed to him, as specimens of his contention with Quran.
Although the appearance of such impostors to prophethood in different parts of Arabia
constituted a danger for Islamic unity, Rasul was more worried about the Romans, who held
Syria and Palestine as a part of their colonies, because he knew that the able and competent
Governors of Yamamah and Yemen would be able to deal with the impostors to prophethood.
Hence, Aswad Unsi, the second impostor during the time of Rasul was killed, as a result of
the measures adopted by the Governor of Yemen, only one day before Rasul breathed his
last. Rasul was sure that the powerful Rulers of Rome, who were watching the ever
increasing influence of the Islamic Government, would be disturbed as Christianity has been losing
its influence in Arabia and Islam having obliged some Christians to pay tribute to the Islamic
Government. He had been apprehending very seriously the danger from the side of Romans for
quite some time. It was for this very reason that in the eighth year of Migration he sent an army to
the territory of the Romans under the command of Ja'far bin Abi Talib, Zayd bin Harith and
Abdullah Rawaha, and in this encounter all the three commanders were killed and the army of
Islam returned to Madina, as a result of the management of Khalid, without achieving victory.
When the news of the intended attack upon the Hijaz by Romans spread in Madina in 9 Hijra the
Prophet proceeded to Tabuk personally at the head of 30,000 strong army and, returned to Madina
without fighting and without encountering the enemy. In view of all this Rasul apprehended
very serious danger and for this reason he organized, after return to Madina, an army consisting of
the Muhajirs and the Ansar, which included distinguished persons like Abu Bakr, Umar, Abi
'Ubaydah, Saad Waqqas etc. In fact he ordered that all those Muhajirs who had migrated to Madina
earlier than others should participate in this battle. In order to arouse the religious sentiments
of the Muslim warriors Rasul fastened a standard for Usamah with his own hands and
gave him the following instructions: "Fight in the name of Alllah and in His path. Fight against the
enemies of God. Attack the people of Unba early in the morning and cover this distance so
quickly that you and your soldiers should arrive at that place before the news of your march
reaches there". Usamah gave the standard to Buraydah and fixed Jurf to be his camping-
place so that the Muslim soldiers might arrive there in groups and then all might depart at a fixed
time. [Note: Unba is a strip of land in the region of Balqa in Syria and is situated between 'Asqalan and Ramlah near Muta'. Jurf is an extensive place three miles away from Madina towards the side of Syria. According to most of the historical sources the standard for Usamah was fastened on the 26th of Safar and as, according to them also, the death of Rasul took place on the 12th of Rabiul Awwal; hence all the events which the readers will peruse are likely to have taken place during a period of sixteen days. However, as some scholars, followinf the descendents of Rasul, consider the date of his death to be 28th Safar, it would be necessary that these events should have taken place some days earlier than 28th Safar.]
Rasul had two things in view while he selected a young man to be the head of the
army and placed the elders from amongst the Muhajirs and the Ansar under his command; firstly
he wanted to compensate Usamah for the calamity which had befallen him on account of his
having lost his father in the Battle of Mutah and to exalt his personality; secondly he wished to
revive the law of distribution of work and position on the basis of personality and ability, and
wanted to make it clear that public offices and situations demand nothing except ability and skill
and have nothing to do with age, so that capable young men might prepare themselves for
important public responsibilities and should know that in Islam status and office have a direct link
with ability and skill and not with years and age. Islam is strict discipline in accordance with the
Divine teachings; and a real Muslim is he, who submits before God's orders like a soldier on the
battlefield, and accepts those orders sincerely-whether they result in his benefit or in his loss, and
whether they are according to his wishes or against them. Ali, the Leader of the Believers,
defines the reality of Islam in a brief but very pithy sentence. He says: IsIam is nothing except
submission to its orders''. Some persons resort to discrimination in the matter of rules and
regulations of Islam, and whenever they find them to be opposed to their personal wishes, they at
once raise objections and try to find some pretext to divest themselves of their obligations. These
people lack Islamic discipline, and do not possess the real spirit of submission, which is the basis
and root of Islam. [Note: Some of the biographers like Halabi have mentioned his age to be 17 and according to some others he was 18. However, all are agreed that his age at that time did not exceed 20.] The commandership of the young man, Usamah bin Zayd, whose age did not
then exceed twenty years, is a clear proof of what we have said above, because his status
annoyed a number of the companions, who were much older than he. They began to sneer and
object and utter words which showed lack of military discipline and absence of the spirit of
submission to the orders of the Supreme Commander of Islam (i.e. Rasul). Their main
objection was that Rasul had appointed a young man as the commander of senior
companions. They were, however, not aware of the greater interests involved in the matter as
explained by us in the foregoing lines, they assessed it in accordance with their limited wisdom
and personal interests. Notwithstanding the fact that they felt clearly that Rasul was
endeavouring to mobilize this army, some mysterious hands were delaying its departure from the
camping-place at Jurf and were plotting evil designs. The next day after Rasul fastened the
standard of war for Usamah, he fell sick with high fever and headache. This ailment continued for
some days and eventually resulted in his tragic demise. Rasul became aware, during his
illness, that the movement of the army from the camping-place was being obstructed, and some
persons were sneering at the commandership of Usamah. This annoyed him immensely and with
a towel on his shoulder and a piece of cloth tied to his head, he went into the mosque so that he
might speak to the Muslims from near and warn them with regard to the violation of his orders.
While he had high temperature, he mounted the pulpit and, after glorifying God,
spoke thus: "Yes, O people! I am very sad on account of delay in the departure of the army. It
appears that the commandership of Usamah has been disliked by some of you, and you have
started raising objections. However, your objections and disobedience is nothing new. Previously
you criticized the commandership of Usamah's father Zayd. I swear by God that he was fit for this
office and his son is also fit for it. He is dear to me. O people! Be good to him, and, also,
recommend to others that they should be good to him. He is one of your good ones". Rasul
finished his sermon at this juncture, dismounted from the pulpit and went into bed with a high fever
and a heavy body. He repeatedly recommended to the senior companions, who came to enquire
after his health "Make Usamah's army move''. And at times he said: "Equip Usamah's army"
or "Send Usamah's army". Rasul was so keen for the departure of Usamah's army that while
he was bed-ridden on account of illness, asked his companions to equip Usamah's army for
departure, he also cursed those, who wished to separate themselves from the army and to stay on
in Madina. These recommendations led to the elders from amongst the Muhajirs and the
Ansar coming to see Rasul to bid him farewell and then willy nilly leave Madina to join the
army of Usamah at the camping-place of Jurf. During the two or three days when Usamah was
busy arranging the preliminaries of the march, news about the serious condition of Rasul
were reaching from Madina and weakened the determination of the people to depart, until, on
Monday the commander of the army came to bid farewell to Rasul and noticed some
improvement in him. Rasul asked him to proceed to his destination as early as possible. He
returned to the camping-place and issued orders for the march of the army. The army had not yet
left Jurf (the camping-place) when news reached from Madina that Rasul was on the brink of
the grave. Some persons, who had delayed the departure of the army for sixteen days on different
excuses, made the serious condition of Rasul a pretext and returned to Madina, and others
also followed suit. Thus one of the earnest desires of Rasul could not be fulfilled during his
lifetime on account of the indiscipline of some of the officers of the army.
It is not possible to explain away such a mistake on the part of some of those companions who later held the reins of the Caliphate and assumed the title of the Caliph of Rasul! Some scholars who lack intelligence have endeavoured to explain away their disobedience in various ways. For the perusal of their unfounded apologies, refer to the books entitled al-Murajiaat and al-Nass wal
Some of the biographers have stated thus: "On the day Rasul's temperature became very high and he was confined to bed, he went to the graveyard of Baqi at midnight, accompanied by his servant Abi Muwayhabah to seek forgiveness for those buried there. [Note: Some say that he was accompanied by Abu Rafe' or by Burayrah, the servant of aisha].
Some historians believe that on the day Rasul felt unwell he caught the hand of Ali and proceeded to the graveyard of Baqi along
with a group of persons, who were following them, and said to those accompanying him: "I have
been ordered by God to seek forgiveness for the people of Baqi". When he set his foot in the
graveyard he greeted those buried there, and spoke thus: "I send my greetings to you, who are
buried under earth. May the condition in which you are, be happy and wholesome for you.
Disturbances have appeared like the parts of a dark night and are united with one another". Then
he sought forgiveness for the people of Baqi. Thereafter he turned to Ali and said: "The key of the
treasures of the world and prolonged life in it has been presented to me and I have been given a
choice between them and meeting God and entry into Paradise but I have preferred meeting God
and entry into Paradise. (As quoted by the narrators of Tabaqat etc. he turned his face to Abi
Muwayhabah) "The Archangel Gabriel used to present Quran to me once every year, but this
year he has presented it to me twice. There can be no reason for this except that the time of my
departure has drawn near". The people, who see this world with material eyes only, and do
not consider the aim of creation to be anything beyond matter and its manifestations, may perhaps
entertain doubts in this regard and may say to themselves: "How can one contact the souls and
converse with them and how can one become aware of the time of one's own death?" However,
the people, who have disavowed materialism and believe in the existence of a soul independent of
the elemental body, do not at all deny contact with the souls and consider it to be something
possible and real. [Note: However, as has also been stated in discussions relating to contact with the souls, it is not proper to listen to every claimant.]
A Prophet, who is connected with the world of revelation and other worlds independent of matter, and who is free from mistakes, can certainly give information regarding God's will about his death.


The last chapter of the life of the
Prophet of Islam, when he was confined to bed, is one of the most delicate and subtle chapters of
the history of Islam. In those days the Muslims were passing through very tragic moments. Open
disobedience on the part of some companions and their refusal to join the army of Usamah was an
evidence of a series of underground activities and the earnest determination of the persons
concerned that after the demise of Rasul they would take possession of the governmental
and political affairs of Islam, and would push back the person, who had been formally appointed on
the day of Ghadir as the successor to Rasul. Rasul also knew to some extent their
intentions and, in order to neutralize their activities, insisted that all the senior companions should
join the army of Usamah and should leave Madina as early as possible to fight against the
Romans. However, in order to put their own plans into operation, the political jugglers excused
themselves from joining Usamah's army on various pretexts and even prevented the army from
marching off, so much so that Rasul passed away but the army of Islam did not depart from
Jurf (camping-place at Madina) and returned to Madina after sixteen days. Their detention was due
to the death of Rasul. Thus the desire of Rasul that on the day of his death Madina
should be free from political mischief-makers, who might indulge in activities against his
immediate successor, was not fulfilled. They did not only fail to leave Madina but endeavoured to
forestall every action, which could possibly confirm the position of Ali as the uninterrupted
successor of Rasul and to prevent Rasul, by different means, from talking on this
subject. Rasul came to know about the shocking actions, and secret activities of some of
their daughters, who happened to be his wives. In spite of the fact that he was suffering from high
fever, he entered the mosque, stood by the side of the pulpit, turned his face to the people and said
with a loud voice which could be heard even outside the mosque: "O people! The mischief has
been sparked off and rebellion has appeared like the pieces of a dark night. You have no excuse
against me. I did not declare lawful anything except that which Quran declared lawful and did
not declare unlawful anything except that which Quran declared unlawful. This sentence
shows Rasul's grave anxiety about the future and about the fate of Islam after his own death.
What did he mean by the mischief which had been sparked off? Could it be anything other than the
mischief and dispersion which was created after the death of Rasul and its flames have not
yet extinguished but continue to flare up?
Rasul was aware of the activities which were in the offing outside his house,
to take possession of the caliphate. In order to check the deflection of the caliphate from its real
pivot and the appearance of differences and disputes he decided to affirm the Caliphate of Ali, the
Leader of the Believers, and the position of Ahl al-Bayt in writing so that the document in
question might serve as a clear-cut evidence on the subject of caliphate. One day, when the senior
companions came to enquire about his health, he lowered his head a little and reflected for some
time. Then he said to them: "Bring me a sheet of paper and an ink-pot so that I may write
something for you, after which you will never be misguided". [Note: Evidently what was meant was that Rasul might dictate the deed and one of his secretaries might write it out, because Rasul had never held a pen in his hand or written anything.]
At this moment the Second Caliph broke the silence and said: "Sickness has overpowered Rasul. Quran is with you. The Divine Book is sufficient for us". The view expressed by the Caliph became the subject of discussion, some persons opposed him and said: "The orders of Rasul must be obeyed. Go and bring him pen and paper so that whatever he has in mind should be recorded".
Some others took the side of the Caliph and prevented the procurement of pen and ink. Rasul was extremely annoyed on account of their dispute and presumptuous words and said: "Get up and leave the house". (Be off from here). After narrating this incident Ibn Abbas says: "The greatest calamity for Islam was that the discord and dispute of some companions prevented Rasul from writing the deed which he intended to write''. This historical event has been quoted by a number of genuine and less reliable traditionalists and historians, and from the viewpoint of a critical study of tradition they consider it as falling under the category of the authentic and correct reports.
The point, which needs attention is that the dishonest traditionalists have quoted only the purport of the words of Umar and have not reproduced his presumptuous remarks. Evidently they have refrained from quoting the original remarks not because reproduction of such presumptuous remarks amounts to taking liberty with Rasul but have altered the words of the Caliph with a view to protecting his position, so that the posterity might not form an adverse view about him on coming
across such insulting remarks of his. Hence when Abu Bakr Jauhari, author of al-Saqifa, reaches
at this point in his book he says, while quoting the remarks of Umar: "Umar said something the
purport of which is that the sickness had overpowered Rasul". However, when some of
them wish to quote the text of the remarks of the Caliph, they refrain, with a view to protecting his
position, from mentioning his name clearly and write only this: "And they said: God's Messenger
has spoken in a delirious state of mind''. It is an admitted fact that whosoever utters such an
indecent and repulsive sentence cannot be forgiven, because, as clearly mentioned by Quran
Rasul was immune from every kind of mistake and whatever he said was revealed to him.
The dispute of the companions in the presence of the infallible Prophet was so repugnant and
annoying that some of his wives, who were sitting behind a curtain, asked, by way of objection, as
to why his orders were not being obeyed. In order to silence them the Caliph replied: "You women
are like the companions of Prophet Yusuf. As and when Rasul falls ill you shed tears and
when he regains health you rule over him". Although some fanatics have apparently coined
excuses for the Caliph having opposed the demand of Rasul they have condemned him
from the standpoint of logic, and have considered his remark (The Book of God is sufficient for us)
to be baseless. All of them have admitted it very clearly that the Sunnah of Rasul is the
second pillar of Islam and the Book of God cannot at all relieve the Muslim Ummah from the need
of Rasul's Sunnah. [Note: Allamah Sharfuddin has collected all these excuses his book Al-Murajat and refuted them in a decent manner.]
It is, however, surprising that Dr Haykal, the author of the book Hayat-i Muhammad has undertaken to side with the Caliph by way of a hint and writes: "After this event Ibn Abbas believed that on account of not writing what Rasul wanted to be written the Muslims had lost something important but Umar stuck to his view, because God says in Quran:
We have neglected nothing in the book. If, however, he had studied the preceding and succeeding
words of the verse he would not have explained it in such an unjustified manner and would not
have risen in support of the Caliph against the clear-cut words of the infallible Prophet, because the
meaning of the word 'book' in the said verse is the creation and the pages of existence and the
various species in the world of existence are different pages of the book of creation and these
innumerable pages give shape to the book of creation. Here is the text of the verse: All the beasts
on land and flying birds have different communities just as you (men) have. We have not neglected
anything in the book. They will be brought into the presence of their Lord. (Sura An'am, 6:39)
As the words preceding the sentence under consideration relate to the animals and the birds and
the words succeeding it relate to the Day of Resurrection it can be said definitely that in this verse
the meaning of the word book, from which nothing has been left out, is the book of creation.
Besides this, even if we admit that what is meant by the word book in this verse of Quran is the
Quran itself even then, as specified by Quran itself, it is an admitted fact that it can be
understood only in the light of the hadith and the guidance of Rasul. Quran
says: Whom we had sent with miracles and revelations, 'Ask those who know about the Books, if
you do not know about this'. We have revealed Quran to you, so that you may explain to
mankind what has been revealed to them and so that perhaps they will think. (Sura Nahl,
16:44) In this verse it has not been said: "You may read to mankind". The words used are: "You
may explain to mankind". Hence even if the Book of God be sufficient for mankind it stands in
great need of explanation by Rasul. If the Muslim ummah could really dispense with such a
document (i.e. the one which Rasul proposed to write) why should Ibn Abbas have said the
following words, while tears were trickling down his cheeks: "What a painful day was Thursday;
when Rasul said: "Bring me a shoulder-bone and an ink-pot or a paper and an ink-pot so that
I may write something for you and you may not be misguided in future"; some persons said "The
Prophet is........" How can it be said that in spite of the sentiments expressed by Ibn Abbas
and the insistence made by Rasul himself, Quran has enabled the Muslim Ummah to
dispense with the will in question. And as Rasul did not succeed in dictating such a will, can
it be guessed by means of any definite indications as to what he intended to record in his will?
One of the best method of explaining the verses of Quran,
which even now commands the attention and favour of the research scholars and the ulema of the
present times, is that the brevity and the ambiguity of a verse which may have been revealed on a
subject, may be removed by means of another verse on the same subject, which may, from the
point of view of expression, be more clear than the former one. In the terminology of exegesis, it is
called explaining one verse with the help of another. This method is not peculiar to the explanation
of the verses of Quran; it applies to the Islamic traditions as well and the ambiguity of one
hadith can be removed with the help of another tradition, because our great leaders have given
emphatic and repeated directions on delicate and appreciable matters, the expression of which
with regard to the aim is not identical and at the same level. Sometimes the aim has been
expressed clearly and at another time it has been considered advisable only to allude to it. As has
been stated above Rasul, while confined to bed, asked his companions to bring him pen and
paper so that he might dictate a will and the same should be recorded. He also told them that the
will would ensure their not going astray at anytime. (As is clear, the reason mentioned by the
Prophet for writing the will was that people might not go astray). Later, on account of differences
between those present, Rasul abandoned the idea of writing the will. It may possibly be
asked: "On what subject did Rasul want to write a will?" Reply to this question is quite clear,
because, keeping in view the basic facts mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, it must be
said that the aim of Rasul in writing the will was nothing except confirming the Caliphate and
succession of Ali, the Leader of the Believers, and making it obligatory for the people to follow
the members of his household. This conclusion can be arrived at by studying the Hadith Thaqalayn
which has been accepted by the different traditionalists unanimously, because he
spoke thus with regard to the will which he wanted to execute: "I am writing this document to
ensure that you do not go astray after me". And in the Hadith Thaqalayn also he used identical
words and insisted that the people should follow the two Siqls (weighty or precious things viz. Quran and his progeny) so that they might not go astray after him. Here is the text of the
Hadith Thaqalayn: "I am leaving two weighty (valuable) things amongst you. So long as you follow
both of them you will not go astray: Book of God (Quran), and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt".
Can it not be concluded from the wording of these two
traditions, and the similarity present in them, that the aim of Rasul in asking for pen and
paper was to record the contents of the Hadith Thaqalayn in a more clear manner and to confirm
the rulership and direct caliphate of his successor, which had been announced verbally on the 18th
of Zilhaj when the Iraqi, the Egyptian and the Hijazi pilgrims were parting company (at Ghadir
Khum). Furthermore, the strong opposition of one, who immediately after the demise of the
Prophet constituted a consultative body in Saqifah bani Saidah for the selection of a caliph and
made his old friend a candidate for it in a special manner and the latter's nominating him as a
caliph in violation of all principles, perhaps in recompense for his help, shows that there were
indications in the gathering and into the speech of Rasul that he wanted to dictate something
about the caliphate and the rulership of the Muslims. He, therefore, strongly opposed the bringing
of pen and paper, for otherwise there was no reason why he persisted so much that the pen and
the paper should not be brought.
Why did Rasul not exercise his power to write the will when, in spite of the opposition
by some persons, he could very well call his secretary and dictate the same to him? The reply to
this question is also clear. If Rasul had persisted in writing the will, they, who were saying
that illness had overpowered him, would have persisted more in their impoliteness and their
supporters would also have given publicity to this view and endeavoured to prove their viewpoint. In
that case, besides the fact that impoliteness towards Rasul would have spread and
continued, the will, too, would have lost its value. Hence, when some persons in order to make
amends for the ill treatment, asked Rasul, whether they might bring pen and paper he was
much disturbed and said: "After all that has been said, do you want to bring pen and paper? l
recommend only that you should behave well with my progeny". Having said this he turned his face
from those present and they too got up and dispersed. Only Ali, Abbas and Fadl remained
Although the open opposition by some
companions made Rasul abandon the writing of the will, he made his object known in
another manner. History testifies that while he was very seriously ill he placed one hand on the
shoulder of Ali and the other on the shoulder of Maiymunah, his slave-girl, and proceeded towards
the mosque. In spite of severe pain and inconvenience he made himself reach the pulpit and
mounted it. Tears trickled from the eyes of the people and perfect silence prevailed over the
mosque. People were waiting to hear his last words and recommendations. Rasul broke the
silence of the gathering and said: "I am leaving two valuable things amongst you". At this moment
a man stood up and asked: "What is meant by two valuable things?" Then he added: "One of them
is Quran and the other is my progeny". Ibn Hajar Makki has given another version of
making amends for the matter and it is not incompatible with the former. He says: "One day, while
Rasul was unwell and his bed was encircled by his companions, he turned his face towards
them and said: "O people! The time of my death has arrived and I will be leaving you soon. Be it
known to you that I am leaving the Book of God and my progeny and Ahl al-Bayt amongst you .
Then he held and raised the hand of Ali and said Ali is with Quran and Quran is with Ali
and they will not separate from each other till the Day of Resurrection". Rasul had
narrated Hadith Thaqalayn on different occasions and in various ways, before he fell ill and had
drawn the attention of the people to these two weighty things but the fact that, even when bed-
ridden, he once again gave attention to the correlation between the Book and his progeny and
stressed their importance before the same persons, who had opposed his writing the will, would
make one believe that the object of this repetition was to make amends for the non-execution of
the will. [Note: The Hadith Thaqalayn is one of those traditions which are unanimously
accepted by the different traditionalists, and it has been narrated by the companions of
Rasul in sixty different ways. Ibn Hajar writes in his Sawaiq-i-Muhriqah: "Rasul invited the attention of the people to the correlation between the Book and his progeny on different occasions like the day of Arafah, the day of Ghadir, on return from Taif, and even while he was confined to bed." Mir Hamid Husayn of India has allocated a part of his book to the narration of authorities for the Hadith Thaqalayn. Its importance from the viewpoint of authorities and the esteem shown to it by the traditionalists in different eras of Islamic history have been quoted in it briefly.]
The policy of Rasul with regard to public treasury
(Baytul Mal) was that at the very earliest opportunity he distributed its property amongst the needy
persons and refrained from keeping the contents of the treasury in custody for a long time. Hence,
when he was confined to bed, and some Dinars were lying with one of his wives, he asked her to
bring them to him. When the Dinars were placed before him he took them in his hand and said:
"How will Muhammad expect anything of God if he meets Him and has these with him?" Then he
ordered the Leader of the Believers to distribute the money among the poor.
During her stay in Ethiopia Asma' daughter of 'Umays, who was a near relative of Rasul's wife, Maiymunah, had learnt the composition of a medicine which was the juice of some herbs. She imagined that
Rasul was suffering from pleurisy and in Ethiopia this ailment was treated with the said
syrup. When Rasul's condition was very serious and he was suffering from acute pain, she
dropped some of that medicine in his mouth. When the condition of Rasul improved
somewhat, and he came to know about the incident he was very much displeased and said: "God
does not at all make his Prophet suffer from such an ailment".
During the period of his illness Rasul used to come to the mosque sometime or other, and offered prayers along with the people, and also talked on some matters. On one of those days he arrived in the mosque, while he had tied a piece of cloth on his head, and Ali and
Fadl bin Abbas had placed their hands under his arm-pits, and he was walking with dragging feet.
He mounted the pulpit and began to speak, saying: "O people! The time has arrived when I should
leave you. If I have made a promise with anyone I am prepared to fulfil it, and if I owe something to
somebody, he should speak out, so that I may make payment to him". At this moment a man stood
up and said: "You promised me some time back that if I married, you would help me with money".
Rasul ordered Fadl to pay the required amount to him immediately. Then he dismounted the
pulpit and went home. Thereafter he came to the mosque again on Friday (i.e three days before his
death) and began to speak, and said inter alia: "Whoever has any right over me should get up and
mention it, for punishment in this world is lighter than the punishment on the Day of Judgement."
At this moment Sawadah bin Qays stood up and said: "At the time of return from the Battle of Taif,
when you were riding a camel, you raised your scourge to hit your animal, but by chance it struck
my belly. I now want to take revenge". The offer made by Rasul was not a mere formality for
he was seriously inclined to compensate others even for those rights, which are not usually cared
for by the people. He therefore, ordered the same scourge to be brought from his house.
Thereafter he pulled up his shirt so that Sawadah might take revenge. The companions of the
Prophet were watching the scene with grieved hearts, and with tears in their eyes, and were
awaiting as to where the matter would end, and whether Sawadah would actually take revenge.
However, they suddenly saw Sawadah kissing the belly and chest of Rasul. At this moment
Rasul prayed for him and said: "O God! Forgive Sawadah in the same manner in which he
has forgiven Rasul". [Note: Furthermore, as Rasul did not hit Sawadah's body intentionally he had no right to take revenge, but the act could be compensated by payment of 'diya' money (prescribed compensation). In spite of this Rasul decided to meet his demand.]
Madina was totally engulfed in confusion and anxiety. The companions of Rasul had gathered round his house with tearful eyes and grieved hearts. The reports which were pouring out from the house showed that his condition was extremely serious, and there was very little hope of his recovery. This showed that only a few moments of his precious life were left. A number of the companions of Rasul were desirous of seeing him from near, but his serious condition would not permit that anyone except the members of the family should visit the room in which he was lying. The honoured daughter and the only souvenir of Rasul viz Lady Fatimah was sitting beside her father's bed. She was looking at his sacred face and could see that the perspiration of death was flowing down his face and forehead. With a heavy heart, tearful eyes, and choked throat, she was reciting the following verse which Abu Talib had recited in praise of Rasul : "The luminous face in whose honour
rains are sought from the clouds. The person who is the asylum for the orphans and the guardian of the widows". At this moment Rasul opened his eyes and said to his daughter in a low voice: "This is a verse which Abu Talib recited about me. It will, however, be better if, instead of the same, you recite this verse of Quran: Muhammad is but a messenger. The messengers have already passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? He who turns back does no hurt to God, and God will reward the thankful. (Sura Ale Imran 3:144)
Experience shows that on account of excessive preoccupations the sentiments of big personalities with regard to their children become dim, because absorption in world affairs keep them so busy that their sentiments for their children remain suppressed. However, great spiritual personalities are an exception to this rule. Notwithstanding their great targets and universal ideals and ever-increasing activities they
possess such extensive and great souls that inclination towards one part does not keep them from
the other parts. Rasul's love for his only child was one of the most sublime manifestations of
human sentiments, so much so that he never proceeded on a journey without saying farewell to his
daughter and when he returned from a journey he first of all went to see her. He accorded her great
respect as compared with his wives and used to tell his companions: "Fatimah is a part of my
body. Her pleasure is my pleasure and her anger is my anger." Whenever Rasul saw
Fatimah he was reminded of Khadijah, the most pious and most kind woman of the world who
endured extraordinary hardships and spent her enormous wealth in the path of the sacred mission
of her husband. Throughout the period of Rasul's illness Fatimah remained by the side of his
bed and was not away from him even for a moment. Suddenly Rasul made a sign to her
asking her to speak to him. Rasul's daughter bent a little, brought her head near him and
conversed with him in low tones. The persons who were present round Rasul's bed did not
become aware of what they talked about. When Rasul ceased talking, Lady Fatimah wept
bitterly. However, soon after this Rasul made a sign to her again and spoke to her in low
tones. This time she raised her head in a happy mood and with smiling lips. Those present were
surprised to observe these two antithetical conditions at one and the same time and they
requested Fatimah to inform them of her conversation with Rasul. She replied: "I am not
going to divulge the secret of God's Messenger". After the passing away of Rasul, Fatimah
informed them of the factual position on account of the insistence of aisha and said: "In the first
instance my father informed me about his death and stated that he was not likely to recover from
his illness. Hence, I began weeping. However, when he talked to me for the second time he told
me that I would be the first person from amongst his Ahl al-Bayt who would join him. This made
me happy and I understood that I would be joining my dear father very soon''.
Rasul used to brush his teeth before going to sleep at night and after waking up in the morning. The tooth-brush of Rasul consisted of a piece of Arak wood which is very useful for strengthening the gums, cleansing the teeth and removing the particles of food from them. One day Abdur Rahman, brother of aisha, came to enquire about the health of Rasul. He was then holding a fresh and green piece of branch in his hand. aisha understood from the looks of Rasul that he wished to brush his teeth with that branch. She, therefore, took the branch from her brother immediately and gave it to Rasul, who brushed his teeth with it.
While he was confined to bed Rasul attached
great importance to reminding the people of the obligatory matters and in the last days of his
illness he strongly recommended the offering of prayers and good treatment of the slaves. He said:
"Behave well with your slaves, be careful about their food and dress, speak gently with them and
make sociability the business of your life". One day Ka'b Ahbar asked the Second Caliph "What did
Rasul say just before his death?" The Caliph pointed to the Leader of the Believers, who
was also present in the meeting, and said: "Ask him". Ali said: "While the head of Rasul was
resting on my shoulder, he said: "Prayers. Prayers." Ka'b Ahbar then said: "This has been the way
of the previous Prophets also''. During the last moments of his life Rasul opened his
eyes and said: "Call my brother so that he may come and sit by my side. All those present
understood that he meant no one other than Ali. Ali sat by the side of his bed but felt that he
wanted to rise from his bed. He, therefore lifted Rasul from his bed and made him rest on his
own chest. Soon afterwards signs of death began to appear in his sacred body. Some one
asked Ibn Abbas: "In whose lap did Rasul breathed his last?" Ibn Abbas replied: "The
Prophet departed while his head was in the lap of Ali." That person added: "aisha claims that
when Rasul breathed his last his head was resting on her bosom. Ibn Abbas contradicted her
claim and said: "Rasul breathed his last in the lap of Ali and Ali and my brother Fadl bathed
his body." In one of his sermons Imam Ali has mentioned this matter in these words: "The
Prophet breathed his last when his head was on my chest. I bathed his body while the angels were
assisting me". A number of the traditionalists have quoted that the last sentence which the
Prophet uttered before breathing his last was: "No. With the Divine Companion" . It appears that at
the time of his last breath the Archangel Gabriel gave him the option either to recover from the
illness and return to this world or the Angel of Death might take out his soul and he might proceed
to the next world, and lead his life there along with the persons, who have been alluded to in this
verse: These are with those upon whom God has bestowed favours from among the Prophets and
the truthful and the martyrs and they are the best friends that one can have. (Sura Nisa, 4:69)
Rasul uttered the above sentence and passed away.
The sacred and sublime soul of God's Messenger ascended the Paradise on Monday the 28th of Safar. A Yemen sheet was spread over his sacred body and it was placed for a short period, in a corner of the room. From the wailings of the women and the cries of the near ones of Rasul, the people outside the room knew that he had breathed his last. Soon afterwards the news of his death spread throughout the city. For reasons which have not become clear so far the Second Caliph shouted outside the house that Rasul had not died but had gone before God like prophet Moses. He persisted on this very much and it was possible that he might have made some others share his views, but, in the meantime one of the companions of Rasul [Abu Bakr according to Bukhari] read this verse before Him: Muhammad is but a messenger. The messengers have already passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, would you then turn back to your pre-Islamic behaviour. (Sura Ale Imran, 3:144) On hearing this verse he abandoned his claim and became tranquil.
Imam Ali bathed the sacred body of Rasul and shrouded him, as Rasul had directed that his body should be bathed by one, who was nearest to him and such a person could be no one except Ali. Then he opened Rasul's face while he was bitterly weeping, said, "O Prophet of God! I love you more than I have loved my parents. Your death put an end to the prophethood, to revelation, and to the messengers from the Lord. While death of other Prophets had not resulted in this way. Your death caused a grief that every other grief was forgotten. The grief of your separation became common sorrow and everybody felt it. If you had not ordered us to be patient and not to lament and bemoan loudly, we would have kept weeping and lamenting ceaselessly, though all this lamenting could not have compared with the actual loses of your separation. But death is an inevitable event, nobody can turn death back and nobody can stop it from coming. Please remember us before God". The first person who offered prayers for Rasul was Imam Ali. Thereafter the companions came in groups and offered prayers and these rites continued till Tuesday noon. Thereafter it was decided that the sacred body of Rasul might be buried in the same house in which he had breathed his last. The grave was prepared by Abu 'Ubaydah bin Jarrah and Zayd bin Sahl and the obsequies were performed by Imam Ali with the assistance of Fadl and Abbas. It was the most tragic event. That great personality who changed the very fate of humanity by his efforts and sacrifices and opened new pages for human civilization passed away.

[ Note: Human history has not witnessed any other person reaching a similar degree of perfection. Rasul made wonderful contributions for the welfare of humanity at large. First, he himself acted upon the Divine Message and then he asked others to follow him. After Rasul numerous difficulties cropped up in the path of his mission and the pursuance of his mission. The most patent among those was the question of the caliphate and the leadership of the Islamic society. Even before his passing away the signs of differences and dissensions could be clearly found among the Muslims. Notwithstanding the fact that this is one of the most sensitive and important chapters of the history of Islam, it is beyond the scope of our present discourse. Hence we now bring our narrative to an end and are grateful to the Almighty God for this great blessing.]

-- THE END --

"The Message of Holy Prophet of God"

By: Ayatollah Jafar Subhani


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