## Muhammad (Pbuh) The Benefactor of Humanity (Muhsin-e-Insaniyat) By Nayeem Siddiqi Content Preface 1. Introduction 2. A light in the prevailing darkness 3. Revolution erupts 4. An Order -A Movement 5. The spirit of the revolution 6. A new man born 7. The Prophet’s great sacrifice 8. How to study the Prophet’s life Chapter one - The personality at a glance 1. The physical appearance of the Prophet and his manners 2. Home life 3. Personal habits 4. Human feelings 5. Recreation 6. Some special traits Chapter Two - His life at Makkah 1. First phase of secret preaching 2. Public call 3. Violent phase begins 4. Organized opposition 5. Migration to Abyssinia 6. The conversion of Omar 7. Boycott and confinement 8. Ascent to Heaven 9. Farewell Makkah Chapter Three - Life at Medina-History takes a turn 1. Medina welcomes the Prophet 2. Islamic state - - - 2 / 252 - - - 3. The treachery of the Jews 4. Insolvent questions 5. Public treasury 6. The Jewish fifth column 7. Allegations and aspersions 8. Calumny against Hazrat Ayesha 9. Good comes out of the evil 10. Plots to kill 11. Vindictiveness of Quraish Chapter Four - Under the shadow of the sword 1. Prophet’s military policy 2. Strategic position 3. Subsequent events 4. The siege 5. Treaty of Hudaibiya 6. Campaign to Khyber 7. The conquest of Makkah 8. Consolidation of victory Chapter Five - Argument and appeal The moral force Chapter Six - Political contacts The missionary spirit Chapter Seven -The Prophet’s relationship 1. Prophet’s marriages Chapter Eight -The final stage 1. Address at Arafat 2. At the pond of Ghadir and Uhad - - - 3 / 252 - - - ## Introduction 1. Preface 2. Introduction 3. A light in the prevailing darkness 4. Revolution erupts 5. An Order -A Movement 6. The spirit of the revolution 7. A new man born 8. The Prophet's great sacrifice 9. How to study the Prophet's life Introduction Before we study the life history of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we must have a clear idea of the mission for which he worked all his life, its true nature and scope and its main features. If we scan the wide range of history we come across great reformers, founders of religions and philosophic systems and great rulers and revolutionaries who changed the course of history. But the common feature of all of them is that while they influenced only one part of human life they left loopholes open for evils creeping into others aspects. We do not find any movement or ideology which has transformed the whole nature of man, his entire being from within and without and his individual as well as his community life. This is what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accomplished as we will see in the following pages. This transformation of man from within and without in his individual and social aspects was unique in history and no such example can be found elsewhere. The transformation was such that human society from mosque to market, from school to court and from home to public field -the entire gamut of human life-was changed, and as a result of this change, there was goodness and virtue without the least tinge of evil. In fact, human life received a new base and the foundation was laid for all round progress and a virtuous life on an international scale. - - - 4 / 252 - - - A Light In The Prevailing Darkness At the time of the advent of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the entire world was steeped in darkness. Beliefs in multiplicity of gods and idol worship had shaken the foundation of civilized life. The light of civilization had faded over the then known world from Egypt to India and from Greece to China. Banners of Roman and Iranian empires, immersed in the worst forms of tyranny, and terrorism fluttered over the degraded humanity. Rulers had become not only the representatives of God but in some cases claimed to be gods, with whom were allied fiefdoms and religious orders, and the combined forces of the three had strangled the common man, who already overburdened with heavy taxes, bribes and graft and forced to labour under duress. No one seemed to take any notice of this malaise or provided any remedy or escape from this course. Sensuous and ease- going overlords were sunk in moral degradation, while devastating wars and frequent changes in ruling dynasties instead of giving any relief to the common man further ground him under heavier strain. And new orders introduced newer forms of oppression. The Roman and Iranian empires were frequently at war and large territories at intervals passed from one empire to the other and the new masters after consolidating their powers unleashed still greater forces of oppression. Churches and temples on changing hands became places of worship of the conqueror. All over the world armed clashes were the order of the day and humanity suffered most. The common man was deprived of the most essential necessities of life and could not even raise his voice of protest. Freedom of conscience was unknown. Man groped in darkness and no light from any religion or philosophy could guide him. Teachings of seers and prophets were lost in corruption and erroneous interpretations and whatever religion was left had become a profitable trade in the hands of religious orders which were in alliance with the ruling class. Greek philosophy had lost its force, teachings of Confucius and Mani were forgotten, and Buddhist Vedantic ideologies were discarded. When humanity despaired, found no way of escape, - - - 5 / 252 - - - the crisis reached a critical stage that the light of the redeemer of the humanity emerged. The very country where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born was steeped in utter moral degradation. Great civilizations of Ur and Nineva, of Aad and Thamud and of Aden and Saba were lost in ancient history and there was barbarism and disruption all over Arabia. Debaucher, drinking and gambling was rampant. The idol- worshipping Quraish were trading in religion with the custody of the Kaabah Tribes fought with one another on flimsy grounds. The Jews were engaged in religious controversies, usurer of Makkah and Taif had large-scale dealings in money-lending at exorbitant interest rates and traffic in slavery was rife. In short, men lived according to their whims while the strong were oppressing the weak. In the midst of this degradation, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had to redeem humanity and prove to the world the phenomenal success of his great mission. He stood up single-handed to change the entire human outlook. Those who hated evil but were unable to reform their surroundings retired to forests and mountain caves and became recluses. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the other hand, boldly faced the situation and reformed the humanity. To resolve the cultural crisis brought about by the clashes of Iranian and Roman powers, he rose as a third power which, having consolidated itself by then, challenged both the Iranian and Roman empires and crushed them, restoring freedom to the common man to rise. God selected Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the most suitable man for bringing about this great revolution, the desert as the most suitable place for making such an attempt; the Arabs as the most suitable people to received and propagate the message. It was also the most suitable age, as the feudal era was about to end and be replaced by the era of brotherhood, and history was all set to enter the scientific arena. The Prophet's advent coincided with these two phases of history and it was necessary to revive and reassert the truth and justice and enlighten the world with the Divine message. Then, humanity having lost all hope was ready to accept the message of peace in Islam. Despite being a land of desert, Arabia occupied a central place in the then known world where all caravan routes from - - - 6 / 252 - - - east and west met and the foreign trade of different countries passed through the hands of Arab merchants. There were regular caravans from Oman, Yemen, Makkah, Jeddah, Yanbu, medina, etc., which could not pass safely without the Arab guides and Quraish passports. Thus Arabia and, in particular Makkah, Taif, Medina, Yanbu had contacts with India, china, Iran, Iraq, Rome, Abyssinia, etc., and was ideal as an effective centre for a world movement. Makkah and Medina were important towns from religious and commercial points of view. The uncivilized, disorganized and economically weak condition of Arabia, though disadvantageous in certain respects, was ready to take up message of hope from any quarter. Furthermore, the country was more or less free from outside political control while internally also there was no such power which held political sway throughout the country and which could crush a new movement as was done in the case of several former messengers of God. The Quraish tribe was no doubt influential but, despite being strong in its religion and commercial influence, it could not take the place of an established government. From the religious point of view wherever the prophets had preached the truth, archaeological remains of their cities had been preserved. In the north, Abraham was born at Ur. Further north was the land of Noah and Lot, and Madain of Saleh, and there were Palestine and Jerusalem where the Israelites rose and fell and where Christ gave his message of truth and godliness. In the south were the lands of Aad and Thamud and the Ma'arib dam which had burst and deluged the ungodly land, and across the sea in the west was Egypt where Joseph and Moses had brought light of God, and then Makkah where Abraham and Ismael had established the centre of monotheism. A call to truth here was most likely to rekindle in the minds of men the fading light of the teachings of these prophets. And lastly, the human resources were rich and untapped in Arabia and untainted by the decadence of the oppressive civilizations of Iran and Rome. Nomadic life had produced certain defects in their character but it also had its merits. Due to their simple life they had their habits free from ostentation or artificialities and having proximity to nature they could read its signs in the universe. - - - 7 / 252 - - - The extremely hot climate desert winds, day and night travels, experiences of hunger and thirst frequent murders and robberies had made them hardy and engendered in them a spirit of bravery which could be most valuable in sponsoring a world movement. They were generous and possessed powerful memory which enabled them not only to recall their own genealogy but even the pedigree of their horses. They also possessed self-respect and sense of dignity and so could preserve their independence. They had highly developed language which had been well polished and could be used effectively in propagating a mission. They were firm in their determination and if they adopted even a wrong course they pursued it wholeheartedly and faced all obstacles and difficulties. At the same time they had the capacity to follow the right path with the same determination without wavering. Thus, as the Prophet in his own person was the ideal leader of his movement he was also given the most suitable human material to work on and the best geographical location where a great culture could evolve and flourish. The Arabs were restless in their search for the path of progress and already some intelligent persons had their minds stirred and looked for some Divine guidance Politically, in cities like Makkah and Medina a system of government was slowly emerging and a crude form of democratic state had already come into existence, while the limited economic resources of the country were creating an urge in the population to expand. In is a well-known historical fact that when the existing civilizations were deepening the crisis and political leadership stagnated, a new poser arose form Beduins to challenge it, as Israelites rose against the power of the pharaohs. Arabia was thus the ideal place for inspiring men to carry out the prophet's revolution. Revolution Erupts This all embracing programme was not taken up haphazardly but was the result of firm conviction, deep meditation and contemplation. For years the deep thoughts of life's meaning and purpose engaged the Prophet's mind and in the cave of Hira he examined his own capacities and thought over the world condition, devoted his mind to basic problems which afflicted human society but did not take any practical step without receiving guidance in Divine revelation. The - - - 8 / 252 - - - greatest truth was that God is Master of the universe and man is His servant. It was from this seed that the tree of wholesome civilisation grew with its roots deep in the earth and its branches over the earth (heavens). The revolutionary slogan of the Prophet (La Ilaha Illallah), although brief, has tremendous significance. There is no divine being except Allah, the only God, Who should be obeyed, loved, worshipped, praised and remembered, from Whom we expect all good and Whose displeasure we fear, Who will reward the virtuous and punish the wicked, Who is regard as the Master, Ruler and Law-giver, Whose orders must be obeyed and prohibitions avoided and Whose prescribed injunctions are to be strictly observed. Life must be moulded according to His will. Those favoured by Him are to be respected and those frowned upon by Him must be resisted. Everything must be sacrificed on His command and His pleasure to be made the ideal of life. It was this comprehensive meaning of divinity that was condensed into a single phrase. These attributes of divinity were separated from God and appropriated by different peoples, and innumerable divinities ruled over the society, viz. man's wishes and desires, social rites, tribal and group traditions, feudal and priestly dominance, kingly and court prestige, under which man was powerless, La Ilaha Illallah struck at the root of all this. One who believed in this pronouncement declared that he did not recognize any other greatness except that of God, did not submit to any other rule, did not recognize any other law or code conduct and would not bow before any other power, nor seek any one else's pleasure or shape his life ordained by anyone else. All edicts except those of the one God must be discarded This slogan was in fact the declaration of man's freedom. The second part of this slogan prescribed that the only means of uplift and social reform was the prophet hood established by God, that real knowledge given by revelation, which guided thinking Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) completed the prophethood, that life's purpose can be secured from this source alone and it is only through Divine guidance that humanity can successfully advance towards its true goal. It was this interpretation of the slogan that was made the foremost item of Islam. - - - 9 / 252 - - - It was proclaimed by muazzins and given the status of the most exalted recitation and from every point of view it became the criterion of the Islamic movement and it was this pronouncement that when it entered the heart, changed the entire outlook of man and gave birth to a new humanity on the march towards progress and rectitude. In order to gain profit from the Prophet's life, it is necessary to find the answer to the question as to what ideal the Prophet had in view, for the reformation of society and the extent of work in that direction? Did he want a partial change in social structure or a complete metamorphosis? Was his call only religious and moral or did it also have a political significance? In other words, what was his aim in the social field? The Qur'an answers these questions in full detail and in different forms the aim of Islamic mission has repeatedly been explained. Here we quote only two passages. The aim of all prophetic missions has been stated in the following words: (Translation Of Ayah – Al Hadeed, LVII-25) "We have sent Our prophets with clear arguments and revealed to them the laws and given them the scale to measure truth with the object that they establish justice among me." (LVII: 25) The meaning is clear that the aims for moulding human lives according to absolute justice and for creating social balance. The use of the rod is implied as essential for the purpose, that is for the establishment of justice and its preservation the use of political and military force may also be inevitable. The mission of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself has clearly and repeatedly been specified: "It is Allah Who has sent His Prophet with guidance and the Way of Truth so that he may make it dominate over all other ways of life howsoever unpleasant it may be to those who assign partners to Allah."(LXI:9) Let us now study the Prophet's life to find the ideal, which he taught. In the earliest stage of his ministry, the Prophet invited the clan of Hashim to a feast to deliver his message which he assured them - - - 10 / 252 - - - would ensure their welfare in this world and in the Hereafter. Some time later, while talking to a deputation, he repeated this by saying: 'If you accept my message, it will be for your own good here and in the Hereafter." It will be futile to attribute partial good to some aspects of this life. Partial good can be seen in every mission. And even in a bad system there is random good. The aim is total reform of life, social uplift, the establishment of justice and attainment of a virtuous life. In the first stage, in the course of his early preaching, the Prophet said: "It is just one phrase; and if you accept that from me, the whole of Arabia will be under your rule as also the non-Arab lands." In the markets and public places and in the congregations of Hajj, the Prophet used to tell every head of the tribe: "Take me with you, let me have the chance to work and cooperate with you till I have explained the mission for which God has sent me." Bayhara bin Firas, chief of the Banu Amir clan, was so impressed by the Prophet's mission, his personality and his devoted zeal that he declared: "If we accept this young man and include him among us, we will dominate the whole of Arabia". His mind foresaw a bright future and he tried to strike a bargain. He offered to cooperate with the Prophet on the condition that when all opposition had been subdued, the Prophet would transfer power to him. Bayhara's eyes were on the distant future, and if the Prophet's mission were confined to mere preaching he would have said: 'My brother, I am just a servant of God, what have I to do with power and there is no question of gaining power in my mission?" Instead, he said, "Power is in the hands of God and He confers it on whomsoever He likes," and refused to enter into the bargain with Bayhara. In connection with the Prophet's mission the talk of domination over the Arabs and the non-Arabs was so widespread that it looked as if Islam would succeed, and everybody talked of it, so much so that the opponents had taken it as a pretext for ridicule and taunt. The slaves and the poorer classes were rallying under the banner of Islam and those who had been oppressed by the Quraish were taunted by their - - - 11 / 252 - - - oppressors thus: "Look at these people, who aspire to become leaders of the Arabs and the non-Arabs!" Despite all these taunts, opposition and obstruction, the sensible people among the Quraish believed that this mission was not an ordinary one but had great potentialities. On one occasion when the chiefs of Makkah sent Utbah to negotiate with the Prophet, he offered all kinds of temptation to deflect the Prophet from his mission, but the Prophet recited before him some verses of Sura Ha-Mim. Utbah was so moved that when he left the colour of his face had changed and he told the Quraish on return: "This mission carries with it something very great and portends a profound change. A revolution is in the offing which will entirely transform our lives". Then he advised them that Muhammad (PBUH) should be left alone and not be interfered with. If the Arabs defeated him they might be relieved but "if he gained power his kingdom will be yours and his power will be yours and you will become the most respected among the people". Thus when even Utbah could see the potentialities of this mission (that it would set forth a great power), how could the Prophet and his Companions remain in any doubt about it? At one time when oppression had reached its peak, some of the Prophet's followers told him of their woes and requested that he should call a curse upon the oppressors; the Prophet at first explained that the path of mission like his was always fraught with difficulties and obstacles. What tribulations were not faced by those who treaded this path earlier! With full confidence he gave them good tidings saying: "By God this campaigns will meet with success with Divine Grace" and then he gave a picture of what would happened in the end-"a rider will journey from Sanaa to Hadramaut and he will not have any fear except that of God". He forecast such a bright future that as compared wit the existing conditions where there were robberies and murders and men were killed in broad daylight and women openly outraged, an order of justice and peace would prevail when a traveler could go on his journey unhampered and no one would dare attack him. On another occasion the Prophet had said that the time was not far off when caravans would come to Makkah without escorts. How clear and unambiguous was his goal! - - - 12 / 252 - - - Once the Prophet asked Usman bin Talha, the key-bearer of the Kaabah, to open the door of the sacred House, which he refused. The Prophet felt embarrassed but declared that a time would come when the key would be in his hand and he would entrust it to whomsoever he liked. If one considers the historical pledges of the Ansar at Aqabah one will find that even the Ansar had foreseen the fears of the political strife involved in this mission of truth, which would have to be decided on the battlefield. On the one hand, the Ansar pledged their complete support to the Prophet in his struggle and welcomed the sacrifice of their elders and destruction of their property, and on the other hand, they secured a promise from the Prophet that when God gave him power he would not leave them and return to Makkah. Struggle, sacrifices and power! Did not all these concepts clearly bring out the aim which the Prophet had before him? On the eve of his migration to Medina the prayer which was revealed to the Prophet had its end. "And grant me your help and power" Power and domination were needed to support this holy mission. When the Prophet's uncle Abu Talib was urged to stop his support to him and Abu Talib entreated him not to put him in difficulties, the Prophet made his famous declaration that even if they placed the sun on his right hand and the moon on his left hand, he would not give up his mission… "Till the mission triumphs or I sacrifice my life in the struggle". It implies that the struggle was such that it involved danger of life. At Medina Adi bin Hatim came to the Prophet, studied his personality, tried to understand the nature of his mission and examined the manners of the Prophet and was greatly impressed. The Prophet, reading his mind, told him not only of the prospects of the white palaces of Babylon coming under his control, of abundance of wealth pouring in and the vast numerical strength of Muslims but also explained to him the system of Islamic justice declaring that soon conditions would improve so much that a woman starting from Qadisiya alone for the Prophet's Mosque would reach it in perfect safety. Obviously he, who in the most distressing conditions of migration could foresee the bracelets of the monarch of Iran on the wrist of Saraga, could not be ignorant of his ultimate aim and social - - - 13 / 252 - - - idea! He did not struggle for it but it came to him as a gift from God. It can be said that government was not sought for personal dominance or for worldly gains but for the establishment of the mission, enforcement of the order of justice for redeeming the humanity and constructing a social order! In fact, while the Prophet had spiritual and moral revolution in view, he had before him, and in equal measure, a political revolution as well. An Order -A Movement Philosophy is a mental attitude. A philosopher has no direct concern with practical life or history. He draws conclusions from events and conditions but takes no practical part in the efforts to change them. Religion (in its current restricted sense) goes a little further. It sets forth certain beliefs, and separating the individual from society, also gives him some moral lessons. But the path of religion lies outside any collective system. It neither interferes with the political conditions nor seeks any comprehensive change in social institutions, nor challenges the leadership of the time. The preaching of religion is on the lines of a sermon. The preacher makes some exhortations in idealistic words and passes on. He cares little about the condition of his hearers, whether they are free or in bondage, nor worries how the public mind and character are moulded by the activities of interested groups, nor does he think about what influences the trend of daily events, nor even about ideologies acting against his own exhortations or to what social system his most ardent followers belong. He has no social ideal nor any plan of changing it. He has no political sense nor capacity for leadership. He does whatever he can to instil partial virtue in one department of life, while the rest continues to flourish unchecked. What has a man of God to do with it! Our Prophet, on the other hand, was neither a philosopher to be contented with just propounding some lofty ideals without taking any note of the factual conditions nor a mere preacher who gave only pleasant sermons and shut his eyes to the pervasive evil and never bothered about the consequences. This redeemer of the humanity was gifted with social awareness and planned a complete transformation of human society. He comprehended the forces and elements dominating the society, kept in view the leadership which - - - 14 / 252 - - - was at the helm of the crude social order, argued against it, criticized it and even challenged it. He kept his eyes on the trend of history and watched every event. He looked upon every move with the insight of a leader and with a political consciousness and whether it would be a help or hindrance in his campaigns of reform. He kept his eyes on all elements of society to ascertain at what time each may be expected to help. He matched his strength against that of the enemy and waited for the most appropriate time to strike and when that time arrived he boldly advanced. He minutely studied the movements of public opinion and smashed every propaganda of the enemy. Hostile fronts of poets and orators were formed and to meet them he set up rival groups of poets and orators. He strictly followed his principles but not with closed eyes, rather watched the conditions and expediencies and adopted the wisest course. Wherever he found opportunity he advanced his steps but when the occasion was unfavourable he retraced his steps. Where two evils were faced he avoided the one and dealt with the other. When war was inevitable he did not shirk it and when peace was possible he would not shun it but readily extended his hand of friendship. And what is most remarkable is that in all his dealings he not only observed but also advocated fear of God and the moral approach. When we consider this in the light of the Quranic teachings, we can easily discover the difference between a religion and a system mere preaching and a revolutionary call, individual purity and collective transformations. Since the Prophet had launched a new order, he selected persons of sound intellect and everybody who had his heart illumined by truth was absorbed in the order after a severe test and whatever organized forces were available at a particular time were put under his guidance to fight against the barbarous system, intellectually and politically, and, as a last resort, on the battlefield. He did not make Sufis and derveshes of those who gathered around him and did not lead them on to the path of hermits and ascetics. He did not expect them to dread evil or fear those in authority. They were not simple-minded and inert worshippers, but bold, fearless, conscientious, wise, self-respecting dignified, intelligent, sensible, active, energetic, initiators and restless workers. They did not adopt - - - 15 / 252 - - - the ways of priest and sadhus but were endowed with ability to lead. Men of refinement after the best training and association with the finest order under the best guidance became an invincible force. It was thus in spite of being a small minority they dominated over the pagan Arabs. When in Makkah the number of Muslims was just forty, it created such a stir in the city and the surrounding areas that for years it was the main topic of conversation. In Medina, while the supporters of the Islamic movement hardly exceeded a few hundred, an Islamic state was established in the face of a non-Muslim majority. For establishing a collective order, the Prophet did not wait for the whole of Arabia to accept Islam or till the majority of them was reformed. Nor was it his idea to go on preaching and reforming thoughts and beliefs till at last a wholesome order emerged or God fulfilled Himself by making them dominant. He knew from history that the bulk of the common people remains passive while only a small minority becomes active, and one section of it becomes the bearer of reform or revolution while another section obstructs it. The real struggle is between these two factions of active elements, and when the scores are settled the masses are aroused of their own accord. He was full aware that so long as evil leadership stood in the way and continued its campaign of contaminating the people or at least in keeping them stagnant, they could not accept a call for reform nor bring about a change in their lives. Even for those who had responded to the call, it was not possible to reform their lives to the full extent in the prevailing corrupt atmosphere. On the other hand, if the revolution is delayed it becomes difficult for those who have achieved a position after long efforts as the bearers of truth to maintain that position, since the adverse conditions exert their full force in pushing them back. Thus the only course open to a collective movement is to gather as much strength as possible by selecting right-minded persons from among the active elements and to put them in the struggle against the opponents and break their ranks. History proves that all revolutions have been accomplished by active minorities. Since the movement for reform attracts comparatively larger numbers from among the active elements, rouses their latent sentiments and enhances their moral strength by training, the - - - 16 / 252 - - - opposing group despite its power and influence, wealth and resources and also numerical superiority is defeated in the struggle. The Battle of Badr is a clear proof of this. So when the Prophet collected a sufficient number of right-minded persons, who, steeled by moral force, could confront the evil leadership and its supporters, he did not hesitate in taking the necessary steps to achieve his political aim. The real significance of the victory over Makkah is that the evil leadership was totally subjugated and as soon as it was routed people voluntarily began to respond to the call of truth. There is not a single example in history where any virtuous system has ever prospered under evil leadership or that a collective revolution was accomplished by mere preaching and sermons and individual reform without political struggle. During the last thirteen centuries after the Caliphate, there has been so much preaching and sermonising in the schools, khanqahs and mosques where people are actively engaged in individual reforms that even today the amount of work being done by the Ulema, Sufis, teachers and writers is gigantic in its magnitude, and yet no reform has been accomplished to the desired extent nor the society been so far developed as to bring about a transformation in the collective life as Prophet Muhammad's revolution had brought about in Arabia fourteen centuries ago. Obviously, there is some missing link in the theory of revolution, and that is without political supports, change of leadership is impossible and so individuals are approached leaving the general social order untouched. Unfortunately, the political aspect of the Prophet's accomplishment has been so much obscured that it is difficult to form a true concept of his mission and aims, and unless this aspect is fully kept in view, it is impossible to understand the difference between limited religiousness and the wider concept of the Islamic order. The Prophet had come with a complete system to establish an order based on virtue and to enforce the Divine laws. We should understand that the Prophet launched the movement for comprehensive reform in the widest sense and to establish a new society, for carrying out this movement he was fully endowed with the ability of leadership and political consciousness and just as there is no other person equal to him in other respects, in - - - 17 / 252 - - - the same way he has no match in the greatness of his political leadership. The prophet ceaselessly advocated virtue, struggled for the supremacy of truth and established a complete system, on this basis. This cannot be comprehended within the narrow meaning of religion. It was a mission, and a movement. The glorious movement of the Prophet, which established a Divine system of life by bringing about a revolution, had as its distinguishing feature caused the essence of its creed pervaded all aspects of life with equal strength. It dominated the entire social order. All the institutions absorbed its impact. The one God, Who was worshipped within the four walls of the mosque, was also Omnipresent and Omnipotent. The Qur'an that was recited was the same Qur'an that formed the basis of court judgements. Moral principles which were obeyed in the homes were also followed in international relations. The truth which was preached from the pulpits was also practiced in administration. The beliefs which were impressed on the minds of individuals were also enforced on collective institutions. The mode of thinking which guided the educational system also moulded the entire culture. The Divine pleasure which was sought in prayer was also sought on the battlefield and in wielding the bow and the sword. It was a system in which the entire human life was under one Divine law and different values and codes were not followed in different areas. There were no contradictions in the system and its different parts never clashed with each other. There was no confusion. There was no eclecticism. It was due to this phenomenon that the humanity progressed under it with no parallel in history. The Spirit of the Revolution It has probably been the greatest misfortune of the humanity that whosoever found an opportunity to come to power, by force of arms or by intrigue, by democratic means or by accident, presumed that he was also a teacher a reformer. When such teachers and reformers gain power, they appropriate all wisdom to themselves. They regard themselves as the greatest thinkers. Discarding all sources of knowledge and dismissing the wisest and most sensible elements of - - - 18 / 252 - - - society wantonly, they embark on things which prove disastrous at every turn. They want to mould the humanity by violence reform life by using the rod. Often these sponsors of reform and revolution are quite ignorant of human nature and do not possess even the elementary knowledge about it. They have never given thought to the subject of the correct methods of reforming life or to the causes of degeneration and how best to remove them. Without learning from the experience of the past, they start experiments of their own. In order to remove all obstacles in their ventures, they reject all advice or criticism. They have only one remedy for every evil, and that is wholesale violence. They enact oppressive laws, subjecting people to unmitigated tyranny. The revolution brought about by the Prophet, on the other hand, had no element of violence in it, but a spirit of affection and concern for human welfare marked every step. The Prophet was most merciful to the humanity and had real love for all mankind. He explained the nature of his mission by the example that he was saving them from falling into the abyss towards which they were madly rushing. Hence, the Qur'an described him as the Apostle of Mercy. Just imagine how he accomplished such a great revolution without a single instance of his having resorted to undue force. The decade of the Prophet's life at Medina was a period of continuous emergency. Three large-scale attacks were made by the Quraish while small clashes and frontier attacks were quite frequent. Different tribes attacked Medina at different time from different places. Patrol parties were regularly sent from Medina and military expeditions were undertaking to deal with disturbing elements while guards had to be kept ready at night. In addition to this, there were constant conspiracies by the Jews and the hypocrites. In short, it was the life of a military camp. There were intrigues for disrupting Muslim society, for creating dissension, for defeating the Prophet's mission and for even killing the Prophet. Could there be any greater emergency? But the Prophet never assumed dictatorial powers, nor promulgated despotic laws. No one was ever imprisoned or punished by emergency powers. No fines or punitive taxes were imposed and no citizen was taxed beyond the impositions ordained by the Divine law. The right of opposition and criticism was never taken away nor was anyone silenced or confined. Even the most mischievous person, Abdullah bin Ubay, was left unhindered. - - - 19 / 252 - - - The Prophet had full trust in the righteousness of his mission and excellence of his character. He never imposed his superiority over others. He never indulged in extravagant talk nor insulted anyone but patiently bore the affront of enemies, who, in fact, were weaker. It was this attitude which won the hearts of his enemies, while his followers were loyal to him with all their souls. His opponents appeared meek and inferior before him and when they bow end their heads before truth and nobility, they were completely transformed. The love of God which the Prophet bore in his heart manifested itself in another form: he loved God's creation with the same intensity. Illustration of his love for the humanity can be had from the fact that for the very people of Makkah who opposed him with all their might, the Prophet sent a supply of food when they were afflicted with famine and also five hundred gold coins for the relief of the poor. One night when the wailings of the prisoners of Badr reached his ears, he was so upset that he could not sleep till the ropes which bound them were loosened. Then by his order six thousand prisoners of Banu Hawazin were freed on their appeal. The greatest demonstration of his love for the humanity was at the time of his triumphant entry into Makkah. When those who had fought against him for 20 years came to him defeated, he pardoned them all. A conqueror on such an occasion would have ordered a general massacre or perennial imprisonment as the people of Makkah were legally and morally guilty and deserved to be punished, but because of the Prophet's love for the humanity, they were generously forgiven for their crimes and excesses, and the Prophet declared: 'There is no punishment for you today. You are all free!" to win their hearts, he showered wealth on them and instead of humiliating them, he gave them responsible work. The Prophet knew the revolution which degrades itself by taking revenge digs its own grave while the revolution which forgives and pacifies wins the hearts of even enemies and gains the support of those who had opposed it. The Quraish forced the Prophet into war and once on the battlefield, the Prophet fought with courage and determination but his military and defensive policies were such that they did least harm to the enemy; he took every possible care that even during war respect for the humanity was maintained. No other revolution can present such outstanding - - - 20 / 252 - - - and generous examples of love for the humanity. His revolution was purely educative, and based on goodwill towards all mankind. A New Man Born We have before us histories of numerous movements of reform, uplift and revolution, but each one of them accepted man as he was and concentrated only on external change. Such changes were superficial and totally failed in solving the problems of life. the most striking achievement of the Prophet was that man was changed from within and completely transformed. The self-seeking animal which existed in the shape of man was totally effaced by the power of truth and in his place emerged a God-fearing and principled man. If you look at the mesmeric spell of this man you will be wonder-struck. A young drunkard of Makkah like Hazrat Umar was transformed and to what great heights he rose! Fuzala was elevated and to what greatness! Look to Zul Bajadain, how he spurned wealth and comforts and took to the life of simplicity! Look at Hazrat Abu Zarr and his revolutionary spirit that challenged the unbelievers at the Kaabah and suffered much beating at their hands. Look at the character of Ka'ab bin Malik and condition of Abu Khaisma and to the revolutionary courage and determination of the maid servants like Lubaina and Summaiyya and also see Ma'iz bin Malik Aslami and Ghamidiya. Take a lesson from the boldness of Hazrat Jafar at the court of Negus and the independent spirit of Rabie' bin Amir at the court of the Iranian commander-in-chief and who among the galaxy of heroes does not display the courage of his conviction! These personalities formed the society and such leaders and workers were produced to run the organization of truth, that when the prohibition of wine was proclaimed the cups raised to the lips were promptly thrown away and the casks of the best of wines were emptied on the streets. When women were ordered to cover their heads and bosoms, immediately scarf's were prepared. When the call of Jihad was made, children stood on their tiptoes to increase their heights so that they might not be disqualified. When subscription were called forth, rich merchants like Hazrat Usman presented a long line of camels laden with wealth and the devoted companion like Abu Bakr placed all his belongings at the feet of the Prophet Similarly, even the - - - 21 / 252 - - - labourer surrendered the dates earned as the day's wages and kept nothing for himself. When the Ansar were called to rehabilitate the Muhajirin they equally divided their property, their houses, corns fields and orchards and gave evidence of exemplary brotherliness. When officers were called for civil service, the world found for the first time governors working on the token salary of just one dirham per month. When the spoils of war were ordered to be deposited with the army commander, even needles were brought before the commander and it will be recorded in history in its brightest page that a soldier named Amir came with a large treasure of Madain and before anybody could discover it, he carried it in the darkness of the night and quietly deposited it with commander. These were the people who introduced an era of righteousness, where crimes became rare and during the ten years of Prophet's life at Medina only a few cases came to the court. The conditions were so ideal that there was no need for the crime investigation body. The conscience of the people was sufficient as their guard and guide. This was the revolution which while changing the external order also changed the mind and heart of man and produced a new character. It succeeded in solving the basic problems of life and thus the salvation of the prevailing crisis. The Prophet's Great Sacrifice The Islamic revolution is unique in another respect in that its sponsor, in spite of its accomplishment with innumerable sacrifices, did not take any compensation or reward for it. He sacrificed everything for the good of the humanity but did not take in return even as much as was rationally, legally and conventionally, permissible and just. Not the slightest stain of selfishness or avarice is found in this great triumph. Can one find any other example to equal that? From the economic point of view, the Prophet sacrificed his successful trade, a gave away all his earnings for the mission and when its success was assured, he distributed all his wealth with his own hands; he preferred a life of extremely modest and simple living for his own. He did not leave behind any money for his family nor acquire any property or establish any financial rights for his household during his - - - 22 / 252 - - - lifetime nor did leave behind any hereditary office of succession. He did not recruit any guards or servants or acquire conveyance and did not like to have any furnishings in his home. From the political point of view, he did not claim any prerogative for himself and never used his authority against anyone beyond that prescribed by God. He did not issue any arbitrary law to exalt his political position. Although a serious state of emergency persisted in Medina, and he had to face ever increasing intrigues and conspiracies of the Jews and hypocrites, he never interned anyone or imposed any restrictions of issued any conscience-killing orders, or established any emergency courts or ordered flogging. On the other hand, he gave perfect liberty for criticism, advice and difference of opinion. He also allowed people to reject his personal suggestions. These rights and privileges were not merely on paper but were actually practiced. Occasionally, the Prophet discarded his own valuable opinion and accepted others point of view. If he wanted to give some concession to someone he obtained permission from his companions. For instance, once when Hazrat Abul Aas came as a prisoner and Hazrat Zainab sent a necklace as his ransom, which was gift from Hazrat Khadija (the Prophet's first consort), the Prophet appealed at a public meeting for the return of that necklace. Similarly, when the property of Abul Aas came as a booty he returned it but only after taking permission from the public. Once, a deputation arrived at Jaarana for the release of prisoners of the Battle of Hunain appealing to the Prophet in the name of his foster mother. The prisoners had already been distributed and when the Prophet released prisoners attached to the Quraish on his own initiative, he appealed for others at a public meeting and when the people, found that the Prophet had released prisoners allotted to his relatives, all of them released those given to them. In such cases the Prophet never used any pressure. From the social point of view, the Prophet preferred equal status for himself and never claimed any preferential treatment, nor did he adopt any higher standard in the matter of food or dress, nor did he like a distinctive place at public gatherings. He would not see people standing before him as a mark of respect or encourage others to - - - 23 / 252 - - - address him with the title of master or chief. On the battlefield or while travelling, digging the ditch or building mosques, he worked with his companions in carrying building material, breaking stones and collecting wood with his own hands. He allowed the people to make a stern demand from him for the recovery of a loan and he offered himself to the public for taking revenge if he had done any wrong to anyone. It was this lofty ideal of the redeemer of the humanity which was entrusted to us, and it was to popularize this message that we were raised to the high position of "witnesses over men" and the "balanced community". This slogan of truth was given to us as a trust so that as successors of the Prophet we play the role of redeemer of the humanity and whenever mankind is in difficulties and the society is involved in a crisis, we rush to their rescue. But we failed to keep aloft this banner of truth, rather we destroyed it with our own hands. The result was that when the modern age took a turn towards materialism, we were unable to check it. It is the bitter fruit of our failure that the entire human life is now facing a crisis, world leadership is in ungodly hands, conflicting materialistic ideologies clashing with one another are disturbing the peace of mind, and we ourselves have become their slaves. No amount of misfortunes instils in us a sense of shame, and neither the disorders in Islamic society nor the crisis in human ranks infuse in us a sense of duty. Behind the deceptive curtains of the modern materialistic civilization, let us survey the conditions of the humanity and a distressing spectacle will be before our eyes. The mankind is caught in the clutches of strange values and everywhere there is a struggle for wealth and power. The light of moral consciousness in man has extinguished, crimes are increasing with the advance of civilization and as psychological perplexities prevail, mental peace is altogether gone. Confusion prevails in the human mind and character. No sector of human life is uncontaminated. The spirit of truth has gone out of philosophy and science and there is no sincerity in beliefs and ideas. Spiritual values have declined while the law has become devoid of the spirit of justice, and self-seeking mentally has replaced the deep urge for service in politics. In the social sphere, groups of oppressors and - - - 24 / 252 - - - the oppressed have emerged. Sex dominates the fine arts and contradictions are found in every part of social life. Rival forces are at war and the whole history is turned into a dreaful drama. Learning has advanced but its follies continue to pester us. Fountains of knowledge are there but these very fountains foster misconception which enslave humanity. Piles of wealth lie scattered all over but a vast majority still lives in abject poverty, penury and want. Thousands of organizations, political groups, ideological parties and contradicted relationships exist but there is no brotherly attachment between man and man. There is the talk of development of rational, political, moral and social consciousness, but the most hateful weapons of oppression and violence are still being used against humanity. History is a vast battleground in which there are horrifying clashes between imperialism and freedom, Communism and capitalism, democracy and dictatorship, individualism and collectivism, and the Orient and the Occident. This is the world in which we live. We are facing the challenge of global crisis. Modern materialistic civilization or the man fostered by it is incapable of taking up the challenge. There is no new philosophy which can provide even a momentary relief. Nowhere can salvation be found. In this perplexing period when darkness is enveloping man from all sides there is only one light which can be seen, far off, fourteen hundred years away. This is the light of the greatest benefactor of the humanity, light of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which we claiming to be the followers of Muhammad (PBUH), have eclipsed by our confused thinking and unprincipled conduct. How To Study The Prophet's Life To our mind the only object of studying the Prophet's life is that the light of his message becomes again fresh before us and before humanity, and in the midst of prevailing darkness life again finds the path of felicity just as the way was found in the crisis-ridden sixth centuries of Christian era. Unfortunately, we do not study the Prophet's life in appropriate spirit with the understanding that we have to adopt him as our model and mould our lives accordingly. On the other hand, some other considerations have come in the way and are multiplying. - - - 25 / 252 - - - Muslims take interest in the Prophet's life just for the sake of heavenly reward. It is true that every attempt to get access to the Prophet is a virtue in the sight of God and we expect reward for it, but should not the foremost aim of such an effort be to reform our lives? We hold gatherings on the Prophet's birthday in the belief that the Prophet's soul is present at these gatherings and is pleased to see the devotion of his followers. Trays of sweets, garlands of flowers, qawwalis and poems in praise of the Prophet, burning incense, and illuminations are all mere ostensible indications of this devotion. But the picture of the Prophet's life which is presented to us in such gatherings is not the picture of a man-a man of flesh and blood. We are introduced to a superhuman being whose body has a halo of light, whose shadow does not fall on the ground, whose entire life is full or miracles and all his duties and prayers are performed by angels and everything and about his is a mystery. It is not denied that the Prophet's spiritual and moral level is supreme among the human beings. Many superhuman factors can be seen as also miracles and the presence of angels. But in any case the holy life was that of a human being and this is the very basis of its greatness because a life with no parallels was presented by a man. Every activity of his is carried on under the laws of nature and conventions of history and culture, and sacrifices are made at every stage of success. His life can be a model for us to emulate only as a man and only as a man can we take lessons from him, learn adherence to principles and recognition of duties, acquire courage determination from him, cultivate the spirit of service to the humanity from his example and create in ourselves an urge to fight against the forces of evil. If you make the Prophet's life all miracles and give it the colour of the life of a superman, where will then be the model for this earthly man? We can feel dreaded for such a person but cannot imbibe any of his attributes. We can adore him but cannot follow him. Of late, a tendency has crept in from the West which is called hero worship under which great personalities of history are adored and idolized and their birthdays are celebrated with all pomp. But such demonstrations are hollow and although a particular kind of sermonising is common in all such celebrations they have the least effect on our lives. - - - 26 / 252 - - - Another tendency is to regard the Prophet's message not as a code of conduct of life, but just as a religion only for reverence. Those who think like this feel that the Prophet came to teach a few beliefs, some rites and prayers, some recitations, some moral principles and some religious laws and his object was just to produce people who would call themselves Muslims. For them the Prophet's life is nothing more than the combination of some rules of cleanliness, prayers, recitations and individual moralities. But in the wider field of social life they serve every evil purpose with perfect ease and league themselves with any mischief. Such people have missed the brightest chapters of the Prophet's life and got themselves lost itself in its preface alone. This picture of the Prophet's life cannot have any effect on other nations of the modern age, even the Muslim youths cannot conceive that the Prophet can also be a leader of civilised life and that some of the most complex and difficult problems can be satisfactorily solved through him. This had led a curtain being drawn before the Prophet's life. These erroneous conceptions flourish only because the atmosphere is congenial to them. The political and social system which is before us and the kind of life we lived need a particular type of man and want to see a particular type of character in him. In other words the practical life here does not at all need the type of man which is presented by the Prophet's life, and the mind and character which can acquired from the Prophet's life has no relevance. Parents are fostering their children on the model of their choice and years are devoted to educate the young for this life. now entire world which has been consciously or unconsciously adjusting itself to this model can gain nothing by writing or reading books on the Prophet's life or by hearing and delivering sermons on the subject. They will never have the urge to follow the real model of the Prophet's life. The fact is that we have completely missed the correct concept of the Prophet's life because other extraneous viewpoints are at work. Thus despite the presence of all the spectacles of devotion and love and the minds devoted to the study of the Prophet's life, the man whose model the Prophet has presented never appears. The Prophet's life cannot enter into us in any other way except by our determination to work for the ideal to which he dedicated himself. - - - 27 / 252 - - - The Prophet's life is not the story of Rustam and Sohrab or the tale of a Thousand And One Nights. It is not the story of an imaginary character and its study is not to be treated as a literary pastime! It is not the life of a person but the story of a historical force which appeared in the form of a man. It is not the story of a darvesh who cut himself off from the world and sitting in seclusion had devoted himself to self-purification. On the other hand, it is the biography of one who was the moving spirit of a movement. It is not the story of a man but of a man-maker. It covers the noble deeds of the builder of a new world. The achievements of a whole community, a revolutionary movement and a collective effort are comprised in it. The Prophet's life from the cave of Hira to the cave of Thaur, from the sanctuary of the Kabaa to the market of Taif, from the closets of the Mothers of Muslims to the battlefield, is all-embracing. His impress is the hallmark of many lives. Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Ammar, Yasir, Khalid, Khwailid, Bilal and Suhail are different chapters of one life. There is a whole garden where every flower and petal narrates the gardener's life. The prophet, in fact, is not a "great man" in the limited sense of the term. His life is not the story of any great or famous man as are indicated among the heroes. His personality is far above that of any of the great and famous men. The world has produced many great men and is still producing them. There have been great men who presented a constructive idea, and those who thought over moral and legal codes, and those who worked for social reforms and those who conquered countries and left mark of glorious achievements, and those who administered kingdoms and those who presented surprising examples of spiritual life and those who showed the world the highest models of personal morality. But when we study the lives of these great men we find that their energies were concentrated on one branch only, leaving the other branches bare. We find one part very bright while the others are quite dark. There is excess on one side and deficit on the other. But in the Prophet's life, every part is well-balanced and the whole is the model of perfection. There is warmth as well as coolness, spiritualism as well as materialism, prayers as well as respect for the individual, leadership of the community as well as household engagements, relief for the oppressed and restraint on the oppressor, and all features are evenly - - - 28 / 252 - - - balanced and supplement one another. There is a model for every aspect of human life and once a man takes a lesson from it, he needs no other guidance from anywhere and it is a light for all ages to come and for all climes and communities, the hottest or the coldest, the black or the white. Many great men have taken light and guidance from this greatest of men and prospered and wherever there is progress and advancement it is because of examples set by him. The community organized by him had the responsibility of fostering and propagating his great message, but the community itself has strayed away from the right path and is in disorder. There are volumes and volumes of books describing his great achievements and the methods by which they were accomplished, but there is not a trace of this in the lives of the community or its actions or mental attitudes. Some faded lines of his thinking, politics, life, conduct, character and culture are still visible but they are being eroded by a mixture of many new features and as the community stands today it gives no evidence of being representative of those traditions. Rather, it stands as a beggar at the door of every perverse ideology and is ashamed of its own proud inheritance. The Qur'an has been kept wrapped up in covers and the Prophet's life has become a forgotten chapter. Worst of all, the Muslim community has lost its universal character and degraded itself into a religious and communal group and assigns to the Prophet the role of only religious and national leader and confines this international personality and his universal message to a specified group although the Prophet's role was that of a world teacher and a redeemer of the humanity. It was necessary to present the Prophet as a model for the humanity so that anyone casting himself in its mould could become a source of happiness for himself and for the human race and disentangle himself from perplexing problems and achieve a purified system of life. The example of Prophet's life is a universal boon like the light of the sun or the rain or the air. It is we who have shut ourselves in the shell of ignorance and inaction. Today we try to gain something from the teachings of Plato, Socrates, Machiavelli, Marx, Freud and Einstein without any prejudice but there are innumerable prejudices in the way of seeking any guidance from the light and enlightenment of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). - - - 29 / 252 - - - There is a notion prevailing that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Prophet of the Muslims and since others have no concern with the Muslims, Muslims have no concern with them. Whey should others have anything to do with the Prophet and teacher of the Muslims? Unfortunately, our own attitude is to a large extent responsible for this trend. The western nations which held the leadership in later rationalistic and democratic age could not comprehend the Prophet's message and the order established by it. The European mind could not visualize the personality which shines in the background of the European renaissance and whose hand could be traced behind the democratic and international movements and religious reforms. There are various factors to account for it but the major factor is the religious prejudice of the minority among them which became dominant and confronted the Muslim power with all available weapons making them subservient in the end. The bitterness created by the crushing defeat of the Crusades was also partly responsible for this. Furthermore, the life of the Prophet is not studied as a whole but in fragments, giving prominence to the features regarded as unfavourable by the Western mentality. That method of studying a mission can never lead to a correct appraisal and the result is an overdose of biased and hostile literature on the subject, prejudicing the minds of even those who are not absolutely averse to the truth. This book is a humble attempt to remove the cobwebs of prejudice and misconception and to present the Prophet's life in a manner that will appeal to a wider circle of the humanity, to bring out clearly the universal aspects of the Prophet's message, his concern for the entire mankind, for the whole world of the East and the West, of both black and white for the classes and the masses, for labourers and the elite class, for men and women of all walks of life and of all religions and political persuasions, for the rulers and the ruled, for the learned and the ignorant and for every man in every field of activity. - - - 30 / 252 - - - ## Chapter One The personality at a glance 1. The physical appearance of the Prophet and his manners 2. Home life 3. Personal habits 4. Human feelings 5. Recreation 6. Some special traits The personality at a glance The physical appearance of the Prophet and his manners Those who accomplish great deeds in the world, particularly the prophets and reformers, are gifted with a charismatic personality and it is this personality which is the power behind all their works of reform and leadership of movements and building up of a new order, based on a particular way of thinking. Thus, while studying the Prophet's life we should first assess the personality of this redeemer of the humanity. The appearance of a man helps a great deal in understanding his personality. The body structure, physical features and symmetry of body parts are indications of his mental and moral makeup. The face being the index of the mind, it is an open book in which a man's character and the history of his future achievements can be clearly read. We do not have any picture or image of this greatest man whereby we can have the privilege of looking at his elegance because the Prophet himself prohibited the drawing or sculpturing of his picture as he feared this would be abused and might even be worshipped, which would annul the most basic tenet of Islam. All pictures of him, drawn by non-Muslims are imaginary and are based on their biased view of the Prophet. We, therefore, have only some pen-portraits drawn by his companions, which give us a glimpse of his appearance. Abdullah bin Salam was a Jew of great learning; the moment he saw the Prophet, he was convinced of the truth of his mission and embraced Islam. He said, "As soon as I saw the Prophet, I realized that this face cannot be that of an impostor." Another companion, Abu - - - 31 / 252 - - - Ramsa Taimi says, "I went to the Prophet with my son and the people there pointed him out to me. Immediately my son and the people there pointed him out to me. Immediately on seeing him I was convinced that he was truly a messenger of God." A caravan of merchants came to Medina and camped outside the city. The Prophet incidentally passed that way and purchased a camel, promising to send its price from home. The owner of the camel felt worried that he had trusted a man whom he did not know whereupon his mother said, "Do not worry. I have seen the face of a man which was bright like the moon. A man with such features cannot be false and if he does not send the price of the camel. I will give it to you myself." Later, however, the Prophet sent to him dates worth more than the price of the camel. The mother and aunt of Qarsafa had said. "We have not seen more handsome man than the Prophet. We saw light coming out of his lips." Abu Huraira remarked, "The Prophet was like a bright sun. I have not seen a more handsome than the Prophet. Rab'ee, daughter of Mu'awwaz. Had said, "If you had seen the Prophet, you would have felt as if the sun had risen." Hazrath Ali said, "On the very first sight of him you would feel awe." Hazrath Jabir Samra said, "I was once looking at the Prophet in the moonlight and comparing his face with the moon. At last I realized that the Prophet was much more handsome than the moon." Ka'ab bin Malik said, "When the Prophet was pleased, his face became as bright as the moon and we could find from his face that he was pleased." Now let us see the statements of people about different parts of his physical features: Face : "His face shone like the moon." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) "His face was round like the moon." -(Bara bin Azib) "His face was not quite round but inclined to roundness." -(Hazrat Ali) "Broad forehead, slanting thick brows parted in the middle. A vein protruded between the two parts which became more prominent in anger." (Hind bin Abi Hala) Colour : "Neither white like lime, nor tanned, but brown with whiteness predominant." -(Hazrath Anas) - - - 32 / 252 - - - "White, reddish." -(Hazrath Ali) "White but wholesome." -(Abu Tufail) "White and bright." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) Eyes :"Black, with long eyelashes." (Hazrath Ali) "Black and drooping. Habit of looking from the corner of the eyes in shyness." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) "Red lines in the white parts, wide sockets, and natural grey corners." -(Jabir bin Samra) Nose :"Somewhat high with unique brightness whereby it looked large at first sight." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) Cheeks :"Even and soft, a bit of flesh drooping at the lower end." (Hind bin Abi Hala) Mouth :"Wide." -(Jabir bin Samra) "Moderately wide." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) Teeth :"Thin and bright, symmetrical, openings in front teeth." (Hazrath Ibn Abbas) "When talking a light seemed to sparkle from the teeth." -(Hazrath Anas) Beard :"Full and thick." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) Neck :"Thin and long, beautifully chiselled like a statue Colour of the neck white like silver and handsome." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) Head :"Large but symmetrical."-(Hind bin Abi Hala) Hair :"Neither quite straight, nor sheep like." -(Qatada) "Slightly curly." -(Hazrath Anas) "Thick, sometimes touching ear lobes and sometimes reaching upto shoulders."-(Bara bin Azib) "Parted in the middle." -(Hind bin Abi Hala) "The body did not have much hair. A line of hair running from the chest to the navel." -(Hazrath Ali and Hind bin Abi Hala) - - - 33 / 252 - - - "There were some hair on shoulders, arms and upper chest." (Hind bin Abi Hala) General Structure :"Body well built, bones joining limbs large and strong."-(Hind bin Abi Hala) "Body was not fat." (Hazrath Ali) "Neither tall nor short, small but middle-sized." -(Hazrath Anas) "Inclined to be tall. Among the people he appeared to rise higher than others." -(Bara bin Azib) "The abdomen was not protruding." -(Umme-e-Mabad) "Despite has poor conditions and lack of proper food his body was stronger and more virile than those of better nourished persons." -(Al- Mawahib) "I have not seen a braver and stronger man than the Prophet." -(Ibn Umar) Shoulder and Chest : "Chest broad and even with the abdomen." ( Hind bin Abi Hala) "Chest broad." -(Bara bin Azib) "Width between shoulders more than usual." -(Hind bin Abi Hala and Bara bin Azib) "Portion between shoulders fleshy." -(Hazrath Ali) Arms and Hands :"Wrists large, palms wide and fingers symmetrically large." (Hind bin Abi Hala) "I have not touched any thick or thin silk or anything else which was softer and fleshier than Prophet's palms." -(Hazrath Anas) Calfs and Feet :"Calfs were not fleshy but symmetrical." -(Jabir bin Samra) "Feet were fleshy, lower parts of feet little hollow and feet so smooth that they could not retain water." -(Jabir bin Samra) "Very little flesh on heels." -(Jabir bin Samra) - - - 34 / 252 - - - The most graphic description of the Prophet was given by an old woman at whose house the Prophet stopped on his way from the cave of Thaur to Medina and her goats gave so much milk that the Prophet and his companions were fully satisfied and yet there was much left over. When the old woman's husband returned home and expressed his surprise, the woman gave the description of the Prophet as follows: "Handsome features, bright face, likeable temperament, neither the abdomen protruding nor hair of the head fallen out, graceful, handsome, eyes black and large, hair long and thick, voice clear, long neck, bright black of the eye, natural grey corners, thin and drooping eyelashes, black and curly hair, silent with dignity inclined to cordiality, graceful and captivating at a distance and very sweet and most handsome from near, talk sweet and words clear, neither more nor less than necessary, all talk consistent, middle-sized, neither short so as to look insignificant nor tall to look unbecoming, a fresh twig of handsome plant, charming to look at and well-built. His companions are so devoted that they always surround him, quietly listen to what he says and promptly obey what he orders. Obeyed, liked, neither verbose nor cryptic." The original Arabic has been translated into Urdu in the book Rahmatul Lil Alamin. Dress: The Qur'an says: "Oh ye children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame as well as be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness is the best." (VII 26) At another place: "He made you garments to protect you from heat and coats of mail to protect you from (mutual) violence." -(XVI: 81) Thus the Prophet's dress was governed by these conditions. It was protective and dignified and with all that a dress which indicated the fear of God. It served needs and followed some strict moral principles and good taste. The Prophet hated pride and ornamentation. He said, "I am a servant of God and dress up as such." Usually the Prophet's - - - 35 / 252 - - - dress consisted of loose cloth tied above the navel and reaching up to a little above the ankles, the front portion somewhat lower than the back, a little long shirt (Kurta) and turban. When he saw some of his companions wearing trousers he liked it and purchased a pair for himself. It was also found among the things he left after his death. Sometimes he also put on a cap and also socks. A pair of socks sent as a gift by the Negus was worn by him and he passed his hands on them in ablution (instead of washing the feet). A pair of socks presented by Wahiawa Kalbi was used by him till they were worn out. He preferred white clothes and directed that dead bodies also should be wrapped in white. His footwear was like a Chappal. He also put on a ring on his little finger which had the words "Muhammad Rasul Ullah" engraved on it and was also used as a seal. His clothes were always clean and though he disliked ostentation he never dressed like anchorites. He was very careful about his hair and particularly of his beard and ordered that those who kept beard should keep it and tidy. He always kept the following seven articles near his bed whether at home or traveling: (1)A bottle of oil,(2)Comb,(3) Surma dani, (4) Scissors, (5) Stick for tooth-brush, (6) Mirror and (7) A thin chip of wood. He was very fond of perfumes and was pleased to accept gifts of these. He walked with firm and dignified steps always looking ahead. Despite his very heave responsibilities he found time to participate in social conversations in which all kinds of religious and mundane subjects were discussed. He always spoke slowly and pronounced each word so distinctly that his listeners could memorise them. The modulation of his voice in talking was most striking. Arabic language was already well-know for its brilliance and polish and the Prophet's language as he himself claimed was inspired, so in clarity, and style and comprehensiveness, his language was unique and brevity of expression was its chief characteristic, so that his few words carried great meanings. If it were possible to render into translation some of his most beautiful expressions and remarks, we may have given here some but those interested in the subject are referred to the original of these. Two of his greatest orations are, one on the conquest of Makkah and the second on his last Hajj. The last one in a way opens a new chapter of history. - - - 36 / 252 - - - The Prophet greeted everyone whom he met on the way when he went out and was always ahead in wishing others. If he sent a message to anyone he also sent his wishes with it. If someone sent a message to him he greeted both the sender and the messenger. Once he passed by a group of children and greeted them. When he passed by a group of women he greeted them too. He used to wish everyone at home when going out and while coming in. He shook hands with friends and also embraced them and sometimes even kissed them on the forehead. While shaking hands he never withdrew his hands till the other man had withdrawn his. In the assembly of people he always chose the corner place to sit and never jumped over others to go ahead. He used to say, "I sit as a servant of God should sit." He disapproved of people rising for him in respect. If someone came to visit him he spread a sheet of cloth for him to squat on and did not dismiss the visitor till he himself wanted to leave. He never introduced any irrelevant subject in the talk but participated in the general topic of discussion and talked with his companions most cordially. Stories of pre-Islamic days were told and laughed at. Verses were also recited and commented upon. If the Prophet found from the faces that people were disinterested in any subject he would at once change the topic. He treated all those present with equal cordiality so that no one could complain of indifference or discrimination. If someone interjected an irrelevant topic in the course of the conversation, the Prophet overlooked it, reverted to the subject of discussion and then turned to the person who had talked irrelevantly. He never turned away his face from anyone unless the other one looked away or finished his talk if he was speaking in confidence. He even gave a hearing to the talk he did not like but admonished in a general way. Even for those whom he disliked the Prophet had smiling face. Once a person came to him whom he used to call the worst of his group but he talked to him with all cordiality and on Hazrath Ayesha's expressing surprised said, "By God, the man whom people avoided because of his discourtesy will have the worst place on the Day of Judgement." When he went to meet anyone he sent his greetings from outside and sought permission, and if it was night he wished in such a way that the person concerned might hear if he was awake and if he was asleep he might not be disturbed. If he did not receive a response, he returned - - - 37 / 252 - - - without any annoyance. If anyone removed a straw or dust from his clothes he thanked him and said, "May God keep away from you everything that you dislike." He accepted gifts and offered gifts in return. If someone was harmed by him accidentally he gave him the right to retaliate or sent him some gift. If anyone came to him putting on new clothes, he would say, "Very Good, Very Good. Wear it for long till it is worn out.' He did not retaliate for ill-treatment from others but forgave them. If anyone accosted him even if he was one from his family, he always responded with a respectful 'yes'. He was particularly keen on calling upon a sick person and on visiting him, he enquired about his health, sat by his side, passed his hands over his forehead and if he asked for anything to eat, he would send for it if it was not harmful. He caressed the patient, pacified him and told him "God willing, you will recover soon." He even went to call on ailing relatives who had not accepted Islam. He called on a sick Jewish child, who then accepted Islam. There was no fixed time for such visits but the moment he heard of an illness and he was free, he went to see the patient. He even called on Abdullah bin Ubayy, the leader of the hypocrites, when he was ill. When he heard of the death of anyone he visited the bereaved family members and consoled them; he prohibited loud lamentations. He insisted on the dead body being shrouded in clean white cloth. If any dead body passed before him he stood up even if the dead man was not a Muslim. He also insisted on the burial taking place immediately after death. He led the funeral prayers of Muslims and accompanied the bier. He advised that people should send food to the house where a death had occurred. He embraced the person who returned from a journey and bade farewell to those departing, saying "Please remember me in your prayers." He was particularly interested in children whom he called flowers of the garden of God and said that it was they who would be future leaders of the Islamic movement. He patted the children and prayed for them. If a baby was brought to him he took him on his lap. If he met a child on a journey he took him on his conveyance. When he received a seasonal fruit for the first time he gave it to the children. Occasionally, he also found time to play with them. - - - 38 / 252 - - - His treatment of the people is best illustrated by Hazrath Anas. This is what he said, "I had been with the Prophet for ten years and he never snubbed me even once. He never criticized anything I did for him and he never resented if I failed to do something. He treated all his servants and dependents the same way. He never beat any of his servants." This is further corroborated by Hazrath Ayesha who said that the Prophet never beat any of his servants or dependents nor took revenge on anyone. Home Life The Prophet's public and private life was governed by one common principle. Replying to a question Hazrat Ayesha is reported to have said, "He was just like other men. He himself took care of his clothes, milked his goats, stitched his tore apparels and mended his shoes and leather buckets. He carried loads, gave fodder to animals. If there was a servant he also worked with him and shared his labour. He himself brought provisions from the market and carried them in a sheet of cloth." Hazrath Ayesha also said, "The Prophet was the most lenient man at home, smiling and cordial. In fact, there was no one more affectionate to his people than the Prophet." According to Hazrath Ali, the Prophet was occupied at home in three kinds of activities: he spent some time in prayers and some time on his dependents and some time in rest. At the same time he spent some time for general meetings at the mosque and for friends and guests, and to receive people who came to him for their personal needs. In fact, he found very little time for rest. He had to arrange provisions for his consorts and for their training and the work of reforming women was also carried on through them. Many women came to him with their problems which they conveyed on him through his consorts. But despite that, his domestic life was never artificial or onerous. It was a man's home in which there were natural feelings. There were smiles and also tears, affections were at work and at times strains of jealousy. There were worries and also enjoyments and whenever the Prophet arrived at once the home was bright and glowing. There was conversation on general topics and sometimes there was story-telling and interesting titbits. It is related, for instance, that once Hazrath Ayesha cooked a preparation of minced meat and wheat flour when - - - 39 / 252 - - -- Hazrath Sauda was present and the Prophet was sitting between them. An atmosphere of informality prevailed in which Hazrath Ayesha asked Hazrath Sauda to take some of her preparation not agree to take it. On Hazrath Sauda's again refusing it, Hazrath Ayesha actually pasted it on her face whereupon the Prophet had a hearty laugh and told Hazrath Sauda to do the same with Hazrath Ayesha to make her stop and when Hazrath Sauda did it the Prophet laughed again. Once Hazrath Abu Bakr came and finding Hazrath Ayesha talking to the Prophet impertinently, lost his temper and wanted to beat her when the Prophet intervened and pacified him and said that it did not matter. When Hazrath Abu Bakr left, the Prophet said to Hazrath Ayesha, "Did you see how I saved you from the old man?" Throughout his life the Prophet woke up in the latter half of the night, cleansed his teeth, did ablution and offered Tahajjud prayers and recited the Qur'an very peacefully. Sometimes he stood in the prayers for such a long time that his feet became swollen and when his companions said where was the need of his putting himself to so much trouble when God had promised him forgiveness of all his lapses of the past and future, the Prophet replied, "Shall I not become a grateful servant of God?" The Prophet's idea about the house and its furnishing was that man should pass his life as a traveller who takes a little rest under a shade and then continues his journey. It meant that those who make the next life as their goal should live in this world just to do their duties and to live on probation. And how could those who have to struggle here for a high ideal think of building mansions and equipping them with costly furniture and enjoying life in blissful comfort? So neither the Prophet nor his companions built large houses or furnished them. Their houses were just like rest-houses where there was provision for protection from heat and cold and preventive measures against wild animals and for privacy in regard to hygienic necessities. The Prophet had built small rooms by the mosque for his consorts in which the only decoration was cleanliness. The Prophet was so keen on cleanliness that he always exhorted his companions to keep their courtyards quite clean. Very few utensils were kept in the Prophet's house. There was a wooden bowl covered with iron which was mostly used for eating. - - - 40 / 252 - - - There could be no question of stocking provisions as daily necessities were often hardly available. His bedding was of leather filled with straw. His cot was strung with jute ropes which he often used without the bedding and the marks of the rope were found on his body over which Hazrath Umar once shed tears and said that while emperors of Rome and Iran lived in all luxury the Prophet was in that condition. The Prophet asked him if he was not pleased to find that while those people gained this world, the Prophet gained the next. Gunny bag sheets were also used as bedding and once when they were four- folded and the Prophet got such a sound sleep that he could not wake up for his? Tahajjud prayer, he resented it and strictly prohibited making for him such 'comfortable' bedding. His taste of food and drink was very refined. He liked meat in particular and preferred shank, neck and lion of animals and also bones of ribs. A special Arab dish prepared with soup and bread was also relished by him. Honey, vinegar, melon, cucumber, gourd, butter and rice cooked with pulses were particularly liked by him. He also liked dates mixed with milk or with butter. He also ate cucumber with salt and melon with sugar. He also put dates into water and drank from it till the evening and then threw away as keeping it longer would ferment it. While drinking he never made a noise and raised the cup from his lips three times, each time thanking God. He liked people sitting together to eat. Use of table and chair was contrary to ascetice life. Also he did not like food served in small dishes. Silver and gold utensils were prohibited and generally glass, earthen, zinc and wooden vessels were used. Before sitting on the dinner mat, he removed his shoes and washed his hands. He used only right hand while eating and always took from his side of the vessels, never dipping his fingers in the middle. He did not like to lean while eating. Generally he sat cross-legged or on folded legs with the feet put behind like in prayers. If he disliked anything he quietly left it and did not criticize. He avoided very hot food. Sometimes he cut the meat with eating he used only three fingers and did not soil them. Sometimes he also ate a fruit while standing and sometimes took two fruits together like melon and dates. Sweet dish was his favourite. He also used fried barley powdered and mixed with water. Once when almond powder was substituted he rejected it saying that it was a rich - - - 41 / 252 - - - man's food. When soup was prepared he asked to increase its quantity so that the neighbours could also have it. At every morsel he used to thank God. He was very particular in washing his hands after eating. If there was a guest he urged him again and again to eat freely and well. He never refused invitation and if someone else went with him he always asked the permission of the host to include him. In offering thanks to God after dinner he also blessed the host. He got up only when others of the company had risen. If others had finished before him he rose along with the rest. He disliked blowing over hot food or drink or smelling them. Since he disliked bad breath he never used onions or garlic. If any food was sent to him, he insisted on those present to partake of it, and set apart the share of the friends who were absent. Ever since the attempt made to poison him he always enquired of the name of the food brought from elsewhere and insisted on the person who brought it to take at least a morsel from it. In spite of this refinement of taste the Prophet had often to go without food and used to say, "I eat and drink as a servant of God should do." Personal Habit The Prophet often sat on his haunches and sometimes put his arms round his legs, sometimes covering his legs with some cloth. He usually rested on his left arm. While deeply thinking he was found digging the earth with some stick. When sleeping he lay on the right side and put the palm of his right hand under his cheek. Sometime he also slept on his back, sometime putting one leg over the other but always careful to see that no part of his body was uncovered. He very much disliked lying with the face downward and forbade others also to do so. He did not like sleeping in a dark room or an open roof without parapets. He performed ablutions before retiring to bed and recited prayers till he fell asleep. He snored softly in sleep. When he woke up in the night for easing himself or passing urine he generally washed his hands and face on return. A separate long cloth was kept for using at bed time when he usually removed his shirt. Since there were no latrines in the houses those days the Prophet used to go out upto two miles out of the city so as to be completely out of sight and he selected soft earth to avoid water spilling over the body. He also took care to take the cover of some rock or raised ground. He always took - - - 42 / 252 - - - his bath behind a curtain or used a long cloth when bathing in a shower of rain. When sneezing he always put some cloth to his nose. He usually liked to begin his journey on Thursday and herd his conveyance at a fast speed. While taking rest during the journey he would start afresh the next stage early in the morning and while camping he worked with others on different chores. On one occasion when his fellow travelers divided the work of various items of cooking the Prophet took upon himself the task of collecting wood for fuel and in spite of others desiring to spare him he insisted on doing it and did it cheerfully. He always took some pedestrian fellow-traveller on his conveyance. When he returned from a journey he first prayed in the mosque and when the household was informed he went in without any fuss. Human Feelings The Prophet like any other human being was moved by feelings, shared in the joys as well as in the sorrows of others. He had great affection for his consorts and used to eat and drink in the same utensil with Hazrath Ayesha. He invited Ansar girls to play with her and once while showing her the acrobatic feats of the Abyssnians, her chin was resting on the Prophet's shoulders, and he repeatedly asked her if she was satisfied but Hazrath Ayesha continued her interest and this lasted for a long time. For Hazrath Safiah the Prophet bent his knees to let her step over them to mount the camel for conveyance. On one occasion the camel stumbled and both the Prophet and Hazrath Safiah fell down and when people rushed to help them, the Prophet cried that the lady should be attended first. His son, Ibrahim, was put on the second floor of an iron-monger's house during the nursing period and the Prophet went there covering long distance and despite suffocating smoke he sat by the child and fondled and kissed him. When his daughter, Fatimah, came to him he stood up to receive her. Her sons, Hasan and Husain, were very much loved by the Prophet who used to carry them on his shoulders and played with them. Even at the time of prayers they were permitted to sit on his shoulders. To a person who was surprised on seeing the Prophet kissing Hussain, he said, "One who does not feel compassion for others should not expect for himself." When his son, Ibrahim, died his eyes were filled with - - - 43 / 252 - - - tears. Again when one of his daughters died before his eyes and the maidservant Umm-e-Aiman began loud lamentation, the Prophet stopped her and on her retort that the Prophet himself was weeping, he said that such weeping comes from a feeling which is a Divine blessing. At the grave of his daughter, Umm-e-Kulsoom also, the Prophet was in tears. Before the dead body of his foster brother, Usman bin Mazoon, the Prophet was in tears and kissed the forehead of the corpse. The Prophet himself explained his weeping in the following words: "The eyes are full of tears and the heart is sad but we can say nothing except that whatever is the Will of God must prevail." Often in grief he uttered the following verse: "For us God sufficient and He is the best dispenser of affairs." (III:173) He never raised his voice in weeping but sighed like a boiling kettle. His sensitive heart was also moved while praying to God and pearls shone in his eyes. On one occasion he asked Abdullah ibn Masud to recite the Qur'an and when he came to the verse: "How then if We brought each people a witness and We brought thee as a witness against these people" -(IV : 41) a flood of tears rolled down his eyes. It is a matter of great surprise how the Prophet with such delicately sensitive heart could demonstrate such patience and fortitude in times of distress and difficulties! As mentioned above the Prophet had a cheerful disposition and used to say "Your meeting a friend with a smiling face is also a virtuous act." The Prophet said that a smiling and cheerful disposition of a person who intended to accomplish stupendous tasks helped to win the hearts of the people. He has been described as: He met people with such cordial cheerfulness that his affection became rooted in the hearts of his companions. His interesting and cheerful talks enlivened those around him, although he never lost balance and modesty. The portion of jest was mild like salt in the bread and there, too, never anything against truth could be found nor anyone's feelings were hurt, nor did he indulge in boisterous laughter. His laughter was a smile like the opening of flower-buds in which only teeth were visible and never the gullet. - - - 44 / 252 - - -- Hazrath Abu Huraira once asked in surprise, "Do you joke with us also?" The Prophet replied, "Yes, but I never say anything contrary to truth." Some examples of the Prophet's sense of humour will not be out of place here. Once a man asked the Prophet to give him a conveyance and the Prophet said "I will give you a camel calf ." The man said, "What shall I do with a calf?" And the Prophet said "Every camel is born of a she- camel as a calf." An old woman came to him and requested that he may pray for her to be given a place in Paradise. The Prophet humorously said, "No old woman can enter Paradise." When the woman was leaving in tears, the Prophet asked those present to recall her and inform her that God does not send to Paradise anyone in the state of senility but has promised: "We have created (their companions) of special creation and made them virgins pure (and undefiled)." -(LVI : 35-37) It means that those entering Paradise will be given the bloom of youth. A beduin friend of the Prophet who was on friendly terms with him was usually sent by him to market on business. Once when the beduin was selling something in market the Prophet went quietly to him and put his hands over his eyes and asked him to recognize who he was. At first the beduin was flabbergasted and when he recognized he began to rub his shoulders against the Prophet's chest. The Prophet then called out, "Who is going to purchase this slave?" The beduin said in humility, "Whosoever purchases this worthless slave be at a loss." The Prophet then remarked, "You are not worthless in the sight of God." Once the Prophet was eating dates with his companions and playfully he threw the seeds in front of Hazrath Ali and when they became a heap the Prophet said to Ali, "You have taken a lot of dates." Hazrath Ali replied, "I have not eaten them seeds and all." Once in the thickness of the Battle of the Ditch the Prophet found an occasion to laugh. It so happened that Sa'ad, the father of Amir, was aiming his arrows against an enemy who was promptly warding them - - - 45 / 252 - - - off with his shield. Sa'ad then put the arrow in the bow and waited till the enemy put his face out of the shield and then threw the arrow with such precision that it struck the enemy's forehead and he swirled and fell in a way that his legs were lifted above, creating a ludicrous situation. The figure of religious and godly men as generally conceived is identified with a wry face and morose disposition, and it is difficult to understand as to how the Prophet with his devotion in prayers, his God-fearing nature, his stupendous responsibilities and overhanging worries could find time for such relaxation in the scheme of life. But in this scheme, faith and godliness do not mean abstention from relaxation. In reply to a question Ibn Umar said that the companions of the Prophet used to laugh although faith was firmly rooted in their hearts like a rock. They used to compete in archery exercises and heartily laughed together. There was a general assembly after the morning prayer at which pre-Islamic stories were also told and the Prophet laugh along with his companions. With the children and with his household he was always full of cheer. Recreation Recreation within bounds is an essential element of well-balanced life in order to remove its monotony and scheme of life which has no place for diversion cannot be tolerated for long by any society. The Prophet also occasionally liked to enjoy some permissible diversion. He liked to go to the gardens sometimes alone and sometimes in company and discussions on various topics were often held there. Sometimes swimming exercises were also held in which pairs of two competed with one another. Hazrath Abu Bakr was once partner of the Prophet in this. When it rained after a long break the Prophet bathed in the shower wearing a long cloth. He took keen interest in all running and archery exercises and wrestling bouts and heartily laughed there along with others. On joyous occasions he liked playing of drum open from one side, and singing by young girls. Once on the day of Eid two girls were singing near Hazrath Ayesha when Hazrath Abu Bakr came and snubbed them; the Prophet intervened and allowed them to continue. On occasions of marriage also he allowed - - - 46 / 252 - - - the beating of such drums. At the wedding of an Ansar girl who lived with Hazrath Ayesha, the Prophet said that the Ansar were fond of music and so a singing girl should be sent with the bride who should sing: We have come to you. We have come to you. So you live long and we live long. On one such occasion some girls were singing when Hazrath Amir bin Sa'ad came and snubbed them upon which those present said, "If you want to listen, sit down, otherwise go away. We have the Prophet's permission for it." The Prophet had also a taste for poetry which somewhat differed from the prevailing style. The stream of revelation did not give him time to indulge in poetry but his taste in it was polished and he appreciated a good couplet. In fact, he gave a new trend to poetry. Jabir bin Samrah says that he attended more than a hundred meetings of the Prophet at which tales of pre-Islamic days were told and the companions recited poems. Once the Prophet greatly appreciated a line of poet Labid which said: Beware, everything besides God is mortal. Its other line was: And all pleasures are bound to fade. Once the Prophet heard one hundred verses of Umayya bin Abi Salt, recited by Hazrath Sharid and said at the end that this man had reached very near Islam. Sometimes, especially on the battlefield, the Prophet unintentionally talked poetically. He asked Hazrath Hassan and Ka'ab bin Malik to compose verses in reply to abusive verses of the enemies of Islam, and often asked Hassan to recite verses from the pulpit and remarked that these verses were more effective against the enemies than daggers. He also once said, "A Muslim performs Jihad with the swords as well as with his words." Some Special Traits The Prophet used his right hand in taking or giving anything. In dictating letters he asked the writer to begin with the name of Allah and then put the names of sender and of the addressee. The text then followed and the seal was affixed at the end. The Prophet was free from all superstitions and never consulted omens. Nevertheless, he - - - 47 / 252 - - - appreciated good names and disliked bad ones. While camping on the way during a journey he selected places whose names indicated happiness or blessing or success. Similarly he did not entrust any work to a person whose name smacked of quarrel or loss. He gave work to such men whose names meant joy or success. He also changed some names for better ones. In the use of conveyance he preferred the horse and used to say that in the hair of the horse's neck there was blessing till the Day of Judgement. He cleaned the eyes, nose and mouth of the horse with his own hands. He did not like noise and turmoil and preferred calm, dignity and order in everything. Even for going to prayers he prohibited running and undue haste. He used to say "Calmness and dignity is for you." Once at the time of Hajj there was much noise and confusion and the Prophet restored order by raising his whip and said, "Undue hurry is no virtue." A description of the Prophet's good manners needs a separate volume as his whole life was a portrayal of elegance in manners. Hazrath Ayesha said, "His etiquette is the Qur'an." What Anas bin Malik said about him was most comprehensive. He said, "He was the best of men, most generous of men and the bravest of men." Never in his life did he hurt anyone except under the Divine law and never took revenge for any injury from others. He forgave everyone to the extent that he even forgave his most cruel persecutors of Makkah and Taif. He never refused anyone's request for help and even borrowed to help others if he could not arrange it himself or asked the person to come some other time or kept silent. The proof of his courage is that he stood up single-handedly to proclaim the truth and bravely faced all troubles and tribulations, never giving way to fear even in the most dangerous situations nor did he ever show any weakness. In the most critical times of his stay at the cave of Thaur and in the Battles of Uhad and Hunain, his faith remained unflinching and his steadfastness unparalleled. - - - 48 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Two His life at Makkah 1. First phase of secret preaching 2. Public call 3. Violent phase begins 4. Organized opposition 5. Migration to Abyssinia 6. Extreme Outrage 7. The conversion of Omar 8. Boycott and confinement 9. Ascent to Heaven 10. Farewell Makkah His life at Makkah On the 9th of Rabi-ul-Awwal (22nd April, 571 A.D.), the Prophet was born in Makkah in a poor but esteemed and highly connected family of the Quraish and was according to the Arab custom sent to a village to be nursed by a very respectable lady. He was thus brought up in the healthy atmosphere of the countryside and living in the desert, he became habituated to the hard life that lay ahead; while rearing goats he was trained for the leadership of the nations. He was a posthumous child as his father had died a few months before his birth and his mother died a few years later. His grandfather who then took charge of him did not too live long and at last his uncle became his guardian. Thus devoid of all earthly support he prepared himself for the discharge of his stupendous responsibilities with the sole support of Almighty Overlord. As a boy, he did not associate himself with playful children or waste his time in idleness but displayed the serenity of his elders and, despite the prevailing atmosphere of corruption, debauchery, gambling, drinking and other vices, kept himself aloof, chaste and pure. He never bowed before the idols as was the practice of the Quraish. He always refused to take the meat which was sacrificed for idols and brought to him. In addition to these vices, the Quraish started the practice of going round the Kabah naked and avoiding the stay at Arafat. But this child never followed them and kept himself strictly aloof from all malpractices. While he was a small boy - - - 49 / 252 - - - he participated in the Battle of Fajjar, on the side of the Quraish whom he thought were in the right but did not soil his hands with the blood of anyone. At the most impressionable youthful age he offered his services to a body of like-minded young men who had formed into a reformist association to help the poor and the oppressed and check the excesses of oppressors. This association known as Halful Fuzool had pledged itself to the aforesaid objects. During the days of his prophethood, he once recalled this incident and said, "In return for this pledge I will not accept a gift of red camels and even now if I am called upon for such a pledge I will not refuse." The wisdom and tact of this young man can be judged from the act the once at the time of rebuilding of the Kabah there was tension among the tribes over the right of fixing the black stone, and swords were drawn but the delicate and difficult task of defusing the tense feelings fell on the shoulders of this youth who suggested that the stone be placed on a sheet of cloth and leaders of all tribes hold the sheet, raise the stone and put it in its place. This settlement pleased all. When this young man came of age, he chose the honourable and honest profession of trade in which the most prominent capitalists wished to invest their money through him because traders like Sa'ib, Qais bin Sa'ib Makhzoomi and Hazrath Khadija had already had practical experience of his integrity and fair dealings and had given him the title of the "Trustworthy Trader". One instance of his staunch steadfastness is that long before revelations began to come to him, one Abdullah bin Abil Hamsa had asked him to stay at a place and wait for him, but the man forgot all about it. After full three days when Abdullah passed that way he still found the young man standing there and waiting. When the time came for him to enter into matrimonial life, he did not run after young girls of tantalising beauty but preferred a well- connected lady of reputed integrity. The offer came from the lady herself-Hazrath Khadija-which he readily accepted. This choice clearly indicates his most refined taste, his farsightedness, his greatness of soul and his unimpeachable character. And who were his close friends and associates? Not a single person of doubtful - - - 50 / 252 - - - character or shady habits or mischievous nature is found in this list. His most intimate friend was Hazrath Abu Bakr who was of the same age and of same tastes. Another of his friends was Hakim bin Hazam, a cousin of Hazrath Khadija, who held the office of looking after the pilgrims of the Kabah. Although he did not accept Islam till the eighth year of Hijra the Holy Prophet regarded him with great affection and as a token of this he once sent to him a robe costing 50 gold coins, but the young man prevailed upon him to accept its price. Another of his friends was Zomad bin Tha'alaba Azdi who practiced surgery. If a person could be judged by one's friends and associates here was another proof of the Prophet's sterling character. What is most significant is that when this young man could spare time from his business and household work he did not spend it in useless pursuits or in indolence, but retired to the cave of Hira and in seclusion he prayed to God according to his own wisdom, searched his mind for the truth and pondered over the degradation of his country and the world at large and the remedies to overcome it. It is not at all difficult to understand the nature and outlook of the young man who had been devoting his leisure in such contemplations. This young man who was to proclaim himself as the Messenger of God presented himself to his people with a definite scheme of life. He was born and bred among them, spent his childhood and youth in their midst and attained his maturity before their eyes. His life was an open book before them. Could anyone discern the least spot of blemish in his character to arouse a suspicion that he could cheat his people with some untruth or act in any selfish way or exploit name of God in trade in order to gain fame or cheap popularity? His people repeatedly acknowledged his integrity, trustworthiness, wisdom, moral uprightness and exalted character and did it even when their relations with him were most strained. The Prophet's life itself was presented as an argument in his favour: "A whole life-time before this have I tarried amongst you. Will ye not then understand?" -(X:16) But when this jewel of his community came forward to proclaim the truth as the Prophet of God, there was a sudden change in the people's attitude and his integrity, nobility and trustworthiness at once - - - 51 / 252 - - - lost their value, became questionable and the very person who till the previous day was the pride of is people was considered as their enemy. Did he suddenly become a counterfeit coin? No, certainly not. The defect was not in him but in the eyes of the people. The Quraish fully knew and understood the Prophet but had deliberately shut their eyes because their selfish interests and prejudices had made them blind. "They have eyes wherewith they see not." -(VII:179) In fact, under a traditional system, the Quraish had attained a position of leadership in the Arab society and this position could only be maintained if the same system continued. All political and religious offices were in their hands; they had become leaders in trade and guides in a particular form of religion and this leadership could be retained only under the existing system which they had to preserve at all costs whereas the Prophet came forward to assail and destroy it. In fact, it was just on his account that leaders of a perverted society, religious guides and upholders of selfish interests made common cause against the call of truth and reform. Before relating the story of the cruel persecution of the Prophet and his little band of followers and their forbearance and fortitude, I would like to refer to a few beams of light which were seen in this overwhelming darkness as they indicated the preparation for the floodlight which was restlessly waiting to emerge and which showed that men's minds were seeking the light and were disgusted with the darkness. Before the revelation came to the Prophet sensible people were preparing to rebel against the prevailing evils of the society and were awaiting Divine guidance. One day while the Quraish were celebrating a festival, singing praises of their idols, offering presents to them and going round them in reverence, four persons, viz. Warqa bin Nofal, Abdullah bin Jahsh, Usman bin Alhowairis and Zaid bin Amr bin Nofail were holding a secret meeting away from the din of festivities and taking pledges of secrecy. They were dismissing that their community was going the wrong way, had drifted from the religion of their ancestor Abraham and were worshipping idols of stone, which could neither see nor hear, nor could they do any harm or confer any boon. And they resolved to - - - 52 / 252 - - - go about in search of the true followers of Abraham. Later Waraqa bin Nofal became a Christian, Abdullah bin Jahsh in his restlessness first adopted Islam and then went over to Christianity, Usman went to the emperor of Rome and became a Christian. But Zaid did not adopt Christianity or any other religion and continued his search for truth and gave up the religion of his community. He gave up idol worship, refrained from eating the sacrificial food presented to the idols and preached against killing of newborn daughters, proclaiming that he was following the religion of Abraham. He used to say that he did not know the right manner of worshipping God and would have adopted the way if he knew it. He often used to recite the following verses: God should be one or a thousand, Is that a religion which divides its Affairs among so many deities? I have forsaken Lat and Uzza and all (idols of the Quraish). And this is what the firm and patient men do. But I worship my God, the Sustainer. That He, the Lord, forgive my sins. So you maintain the fear of God alone. And so long that you retain it you will not be at a loss. His wife, Safiah, daughter of Al-Hazrami, always teased him and whenever he wanted to leave his home in search of truth she informed Khattab bin Nofail who forced him not to give up the religion of his forefathers. Whenever he entered the Kabah he cried. I am present, my Lord, as an obedient worshipping servant with all sincerity. He also prayed that he was seeking the protection of the Lord whose protection was sought by Abraham. Khattab bin Nofail's hostility to him grew to the extent that he expelled him from the city and deputed some youngsters to guard against his re-entering Makkah. Whenever he secretly went there he was driven out and beaten. At last he left his country and wandered about Mosul, Aljazira (Iraq), Syria, etc. in search of the unadulterated religion of Abraham. At last he met a learned anchorite of Damascus who told him that he could not find any follower of the religion of Abraham anywhere, but a prophet would arise from the place he had left and he would proclaim the religion of Abraham. As advised by him Zaid started for Makkah but someone - - - 53 / 252 - - - killed him on the way at Lakhim. His son said, and Hazrath Umar asked the Prophet later if they could pray for his salvation and the Prophet said; "Certainly. He will be raised as a community by himself." The urge for true religion which stirred the hearts of thinking people sometime manifested itself in the verses that the poets composed just before Islam. A prominent figure among them was Umayya bin Salt whose ideas about the unity of God and reward and punishment of sins were admirable and he also composed verses advocating virtue and good conduct. The Prophet appreciated his verses and said that he had reached very near Islam. The revolutionary force which history awaited with anxiety and sought for a life-giving message appeared at the right time in the person of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), whose message was not a negative protest against the existing order but a comprehensive ideal and a system of life for a complete collective transformation of society. How could this revolutionary call be ignored? First Phase Of Secret Preaching In the earliest stage of Prophethood, Hazrath Muhammad (peace be upon him) sometimes had Divine dreams and sometimes saw angels. One day the first Divine message proclaimed. "Read in the name of-thy Lord, the Creator!" -(XCVI: 1) This first experience of revelation gave him such fright that he returned home shivering and narrated the incident to his wife who comforted him and said that his God would never forsake him. Warqa bin Nofal also confirmed this and assured him that this was the same message which was revealed to Moses. He added that people would not believe him but persecute him and expel him and also wage war against him. If he were destined to be alive at that time, he promised to support him. Now Muhammad (peace be upon him) was duly installed as the Messenger of God and entrusted with a very heavy responsibility. The message was first presented before Hazrath Khadija who accepted Islam and became the first Muslim. Then preaching continued slowly and secretly. His friend of childhood (Hazrath Abu Bakr) and temperamentally closest to him was next approached and he readily - - - 54 / 252 - - - embraced Islam as if his soul had already been seeking it. Then the Prophet's slave Zaid who was fostered by him and had seen his life and character declared his firm faith in his message. The fact that those nearest to him and fully acquainted with every detail of his life and character were the first to enter into the faith proves its absolute truth and sincerity. Hazrath Abu Bakr became a zealous companions of the faith and began to work in his circle of influence. Several important personalities like Sa'ad bin Waqqas, Hazrath Usman, Hazrath Zobair, Hazrath Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Hazrath Talha joined the ranks of the faithful due to his efforts. The enthusiastic workers of the faith began to spread the message secretly and in due course Ammar, Khabbab, Arqam, Saeed bin Zaid, Abdullah bin Masud, Usman bin Mazoon, Ubaidah, Sohaib Roomi were enlisted in this first phase of secret preaching. The mission was kept so secret that the Prophet had to go out to some mountain caves and perform his prayer with his companions hidden from others. Once his uncle Abu Talib happened to witness this worship and asked his nephew what was this new faith he had adopted. The Prophet replied that it was the faith of his ancestor Abraham. Abu Talib then said that although he would not accept this faith, he would allow the Prophet to follow it and extend his protection to it. One of the persons enlisted in the faith in this period was Hazrath Abu Zarr. He had already given up idol worship and used to pray to God according to his wisdom. When he heard of the Prophet's preaching he sent his brother to him to ascertain the facts and when on return the brother told him that the people called the Prophet irreligious although he taught good conduct and recited something strange which was quite unlike poetry and that his ways were like the ways of Abu Zarr. Thereafter, he personally went to the Prophet and accepted Islam. The Quraish did not mind so long as the message was spreading secretly and thought that it was the act of some unbalanced young man who would soon repent because before the power of Quraish no such movement could flourish, while the idols whom they worshipped and to whom they offered sacrifices would protect their religion. But - - - 55 / 252 - - - the movement continued to grow and spread its roots and branches in secret. Public Call Three years passed like this. God willed that the truth must stand up against falsehood and clash with it in order to triumph "Nay We hurl the truth against falsehood." -(XXI : 18) Then the order came for the next stage: "Therefore, expound openly what thou hast been commanded." (XV:94) Thus the Prophet with all his faith and determination prepared himself to meet the new situation. He went to the top of Mount Safa and called in the manner in which the Quraish used to rally people at the time of a crisis. People collected to hear what the matter was. The Prophet called in a loud voice. "Will you believe me if I say that an aggressive army is behind this mountain?" Those assembled responded with one voice: "Yes why not! We have never found you speaking falsehood." On this reply the Prophet said, "Then I tell you to believe in God. O children of Abdul Muttalib, of Abd Manaf, of Zahra, of Makhzoom, of Tamim, of Asad. Listen carefully, otherwise, a great calamity will befall you." In these most concise words the mission was proclaimed but the Prophet's uncle Abu Lahab, red with rage, cursed his nephew and said: "Was it for this that you called us all?" Abu Lahab, with the elite of the Quraish, left in disgust complaining that their time was unnecessarily wasted. Next, the Prophet invited the entire family of his grandfather to a dinner at which he made a brief speech and said that if they accepted the message which he had brought for them they would prosper in this world and in the world to come. All those present were dumbfounded but a child came forward and said, "I have sore eyes, my legs are - - - 56 / 252 - - - weak and I am still a child, yet, I will follow you in this mission." This was Hazrath Ali who later became on of the strongest pillars of Islam. Others present laughed, cracked joked and said to themselves that a preacher with such follower was not going to perform any miracles. It was only a joke and madness which could be dismissed with ridicule. Violent Phase Begins Once while the Prophet and his companions were praying secretly in a mountain pass, their enemies passed that way and began to hurl abuses and ridicule at those engaged in prayers and gesticulated at every movement of the prayer and when the Prophet and his party did not retaliate they fell upon them with blows and swords and in the scuffle Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas received a sword cut. This was the beginning of the wave of violence against the Prophet which erupted when revelation came to the Prophet to proclaim the truth publicly. In compliance with this revelation the Prophet made a public call in the precincts of the Kaabah and the opposing people taking it as an insult and defilement of the Kaabah assaulted the Prophet. See the irony: in this house built for the worship of one God all sorts of obscene rites were performed in the name of religion and it was not defiled but when truth and unity of God were proclaimed from there they said it was defiled! When the clamour grew and people from all sides gathered, Haris bin Ubayy came to pacify the mob but he was attacked and killed. A peaceful call to truth was now being opposed at the point of sword and then other violent methods were adopted. Hazrath Bilal was thrown on hot sand with his face down and a heavy stone was put on his back. But despite these obstacles the call of truth continued to gain ground and in due course a devoted band of 40 followers had gathered about the Prophet. When ridicule and violence did not succeed in silencing the call of truth, malicious propaganda was set against the Prophet and new forms of abuses were coined for him. People were prevented from listening to him by alleging that he was irreligious or that he was a Sabian, a system much disliked by the Quraish. One nickname given to the Prophet was "Ali Kabsha" or the father of Kabsha, who was a worshipper of stars against the general custom of the Arabs. It was also alleged that he had become mentally unbalanced due to the - - - 57 / 252 - - - curse of the idols. Sorcerer, mystic, astrologer and poet were other names given to the Prophet by the opponents. In fact, the effect of abuses and ridicules is not permanent and dies out soon in the face of truth. So new abuses were invented everyday and propaganda to prevent people from coming to him. But could people collect around a movement run by a mad man, sorcerer or a poet? In the teeth of opposition, hostility, ridicule and abuses, the Prophet continued to stand firm and organize his movement. The Divine injunction was revealed: "Hold to forgiveness, command what is right, but turn away from the ignorant." -(VII:199) Here three injunctions were given, viz., not to take notice of the abuses, to carry on proclaiming the truth and not to quarrel with the recalcitrant. And Divine revelation refuted the allegations of the opponents: It is not the word of a poet. Little it is you believe. "It is not the word of a soothsayer. Little admonition it is you receive." ( LXIX:41-42) Then the Prophet was challenged: "O God, if this is indeed the truth from thee, rain down on us a shower of stones from the sky or send us a grievous penalty." -(VIII:32) "Now cause a piece of sky to fall on us." -(XXVI:187) It was also alleged that some jinn came to the Prophet and taught him strange things. Also that a Christian slave of Makkah named Jabir taught him a religion and even dictated to him notes for his lectures. And it was said in the presence of the Prophet that they had found out that a man named Ar-Rahman of Yamama had taught him this, "But by God, we will never believe in Ar-Rahman." It was intended to prove these allegations that the Prophet was a mere tool in the hands of others. Also that it was neither a revelation from God nor any extraordinary ability of the Prophet which he related in the form of Divine revelation. The Qur'an answered these allegations most effectively and challenged them to produced one - - - 58 / 252 - - - small chapter or even one verse like it after taking all help they could from men and jinns. Furthermore, it was alleged that there was nothing but the stories of old in what the Prophet said and such ancient tales could not solve the problems of the day. Then a group of poets was organized to compose obscene and foul verses degrading the Prophet. And all this was done under a well-thought out scheme as they had decided: "Listen not to this Qur'an but talk at random in the midst of its reading that ye may gain the upper hand." -(XLI:26) Then Aas bin Wail As-Sahammi spoke the following biting words: Leave him alone. He is a man without a heir. There is none whom he will leave behind and will be forgotten as soon as he dies. Thus was the Prophet belittled and ridiculed for being without heirs. But the Prophet's heirs were his deeds and his followers who would carry on his mission. And the Qur'an said that it was the unbelievers who were unconnected and would be forgotten after their death, while the Prophet had been blessed with abundance of goods and fountain of bounties. The Prophet was also challenged to bring a manifest sign: "Why not a sing is sent to him from his Lord?" -(X:20) "Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord?" -(XXV:21) They also said that if what the Prophet said was really from God why not let a written book descend before them from heaven or the Prophet himself ascend the heaven and bring the book. They also ridiculed his normal human life and natural needs. For, if he were really appointed by God, angels would have formed his bodyguard or that a treasure would have come to him from above, or that he would have possessed a beautiful garden with luscious fruits and canals running through it. On the other hand, the Prophet and his followers were poor people in the lower rung of the ladder in the material sense of the world. How could they believe such a person to be a prophet and wherever the Prophet passed people jeered at him: "Is this the person sent by God as a Prophet?" -(XXV:41) - - - 59 / 252 - - - How the Prophet should have felt about these ridicules, affronts and grotesque vituperations can well be imagined. But that nothing deterred him from his chosen path proves his great forbearance and fortitude. Far worse than these, the non-believers indulged in worst kind of hooliganism. It was the Prophet's daily experience to see that thorns were thrown on his way by the chiefs of the community, noisy demonstrations made at his prayer time, entrails of animals with all their filth were place on his back while he was prostrating in prayer, cloth was put round his neck and tightened till his eyes bulged and mischievous children were urged to clap and jeer after him and abuse God while he was reciting verses of the Qur'an, and bucketfuls of refuse were thrown on his head from roof tops as he passed on the road. The wife of Abu Lahab was foremost in teasing the Prophet and spreading thorns on his way whereupon the Qur'an has cursed her in a verse. All this hooliganism failed to serve the Prophet from his determined goal. His nobility of character and tenacity of faith triumphed. The non-believers were making dubious efforts to kill the Prophet but he was under the protection of his uncle Abu Talib and so long as this protection continued, any attempt at the Prophet's life meant enmity with the whole clan of Banu Hashim. Whenever Banu Hashim thought of declaring their wholehearted support to the Prophet, Banu Umayya who were their rivals and did not wish that a prophet should emerge from the house of Banu Hashim, always dissuaded them. And then efforts were made to persuade Abu Talib to withdraw his support from his nephew. A deputation of influential people like Utbah and Shaiba, sons of Rabia, Abu Jehl, Walid bin al-Moghira, Nabia and Munabba, sons of Hajjaj bin Amir and Aas bin Wail called on Abu Talib an addressed him thus: "O Abu Talib, your nephew abuses our gods, criticises our religion, calls our ancestors fools and regards them on the wrong path. So you should either stop him from these activities or do not stand between us and your nephew and oppose his religion along with us. In his place we will be enough for your." - - - 60 / 252 - - - Abu Talib listened to this calmly and sent back the deputation with pacifying words. This effort having died out another deputation, more determined than the first one, came to Abu Talib and its leader spoke as follows: "O Abu Talib, you hold an important position among us in respect of age and nobility. We had asked you to protect us from your nephew but you did not do it. Now the way in which our ancestors are being abused and degraded and our gods criticised is beyond our endurance. So unless you stop him from this, we will fight both you and him till one of us is eliminated." Abu Talib called his nephew and explained the situation and entreated him not to put any strain on him by antagonising the tribes. The Prophet faced a great crisis and the only support he could depend upon was now wavering. The movement was face to face with the greatest peril. Yet, the Prophet, with his characteristic fortitude born of his conviction, replied: "Dear uncle, by God, if these people even put the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left and ask me to give up my mission, I will not do it, even if I lose my life in the struggle. This was the voice which changed the course of history and crushed all opposition and obstacles, but the Quraish could not realise its force. Abu Talib, however, was impressed and said to the Prophet: "Now dear nephew, preach whatever you wish. I will never give you up on any account." A third deputation came to Abu Talib with Amara bin Walid and its leader declared: "Just see, this Amara bin Walid is a handsome young man, well built and strong. Take him and adopt him as your son. His wisdom and strength will serve you well and hand over Muhammad (peace be upon him) to us. He is abusing our ancestors and disrupting our community. We will kill him. We are giving one in place of him." In view of the impending danger Abu Talib called together Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib and appealed to them to support the Prophet. The majority was agreeable but Abu Lahab strongly opposed - - - 61 / 252 - - - them and the meeting dispersed without coming to any decision. In the meantime, the movement was spreading and rising above the common folk, and was winning over some influential people. The opponents again gathered and met Abu Talib who was sick in bed. They demanded an agreement to bind both the parties to leave each other alone and do as it liked without hostility from the other. The Prophet was summoned and there was a dialogue. After listening to the demand of the opponents, the Prophet said, "It is only a simple creed which, if you accept, you will be masters of Arabia and the non- Arabs will be subject to you." It is to be noted how in the midst of overwhelming opposition and turmoil the Prophet expressed such high hopes for the potentialities of his movement. Abu Jehl walked out in a rage saying. "Yes, by your father, not one but ten slogans will flow." The non-believers then tried a new gimmick. They asked the people to withdraw protection to the supporters of the Prophet and so the clan of Banu Makhzoom demanded from Abu Talib to deny Abu Salma his protection to which Abu Talib said, "He is my nephew and has sought my protection. You people are oppressing him and always persecuting him. No, by God, if you do not stop oppressing him I will stand by his side to support him wherever he is." Similarly, one Ibnud Dughunna had extended his protection to Hazrath Abu Bakr who used to recite the verses of the Qur'an in melodious voice which influence the listeners. The Quraish went to Ibnud Dughunna and complained to him that the melodious recitation of the Qur'anic verses by Hazrath Abu Bakr was affecting their weak-minded women and children and so Ibnud Dughunna should withdraw his protection to Hazrath Abu Bakr. Ibnud Dughunna went to Abu Bakr and told him to desist from loud recitation of the Qur'an to which he refused to agree and absolved Ibnud Dughunna from the responsibilities of protecting him. Organised Opposition In spite of all efforts of the opponents to defeat the Prophet's mission the work of preaching continued and began to spread. The Quraish had a hold on Makkah and could freely carry out their designs but Makkah was the centre of Arabia and caravans of merchants and pilgrims to the Kaabah used to flock there and people from outside were not under the influence of the Quraish or had any particular - - - 62 / 252 - - - prejudice against a movement based on reason. Some of these were clear-headed men to judge any movement on the basis of its logic and to protect Makkah alone was not sufficient when the world outside was being affected by the call of truth and the Qur'an had also prophesied: "That we gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders." -(XXI : 44) The most vulnerable point was the occasion of Hajj when men from all parts of Arabia thronged Makkah and encamped there and the Prophet went over to each camp one by one and delivered his message. When the time of Hajj approached the opponents of the Prophet gathered and discussed plans to counter the effect of the Prophet's mission and on the advice of Walid bin Moghira it was decided that although the Prophet was neither a soothsayer nor affected by a jinn, nor was he unbalanced mind, nor a poet or a sorcerer and his talk was sweet and touching but they should organise a campaign to refute the Prophet by alleging that he was sorcerer and his words were magical and he was creating dissensions between men and class, husband and wife, brother and brother and father and son. This plan was put through but its effect was contrary and the voice of the Prophet reached all corners, and the people who did not know it at first learnt that a movement of this type had been launched and its sponsor was Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The working of these two opposing movements can be seen from the following statement of Rabia bin Ubada. "At Mina I was present as a young boy with my father I saw that the Prophet went to each camp of the clans and called the people with the words: 'I am a Prophet sent to you by God. I tell you to worship God and do not assign any partner to Him and abandon the worship of all other idols, and have faith in me, believe me and cooperate with me till I clearly expound to you all for which God has appointed me." Rabia reports that a man in a robe followed the Prophet and as soon as he had finished, this man in the robe advanced and said, "O men of the clan, this man is prohibiting you from the worship of Lat and Uzza and leading you astray. So do not listen to him and do not follow him." On Rabia's enquiry, his father said that this man was no other than the - - - 63 / 252 - - - Prophet's uncle Abu Lahab. On the occasion of Hajj gatherings, the Prophet made public speeches and Abu Lahab who followed him threw bagfuls of dust over the Prophet and cried "Do not be deceived by him. He is against the worship of Lat and Uzza." In view of this widespread hostility, Abu Talib composed a poem and hung it in the Kaabah in which he said that while he himself had not accepted the religion of Muhammad he could in no way forsake him and would stake his life to defend him. Every newcomer to Makkah was watched. Men were deputed to prevent him from meeting the Prophet. One such instance was of Tofail bin Umar Dausi who was a talented poet. When he went to Makkah, men of the Quraish surrounded him and said, "O Tofail, you have come to our city, but the activities of Muhammad (PBUH) have become intolerable to us. He has disrupted our unity and subverted our interests. His words are like magic. He is creating dissensions between father and son, husband and wife and brother and brother. So we implore you not to come under his spell and the best thing would be not to talk to him or listen to him." Tofail said these men did not leave him till he promised not to talk or listen to the Prophet and whenever he went to the Kaabah he plugged his ears with cotton wool. But one day, while the Prophet was praying near the Kaabah, he went and stood near him and thought of himself that he had commonsense, was a poet and could discriminate between good and evil. So he would surely listen to what the Prophet said and accept it if it was reasonable and reject it if it was not. Tofail was thus arguing within himself when the Prophet finished his prayer and was returning home. Tofail followed him and related to him the whole story saying that he was perplexed by this message and requested the Prophet to explain his mission which the Prophet did and recited some verses of the Qur'an which charmed Tofail so much so that he promptly accepted Islam and on returning home he propagated the message with such enthusiasm that his entire clan accepted Islam. Another instance is of Aasha bin Qais who was also a prominent poet and was in the same way jeered by the Quraish. In fact, he had come with the avowed object of accepting Islam but the Quraish did not leave him till he promised to return home that year and return next - - - 64 / 252 - - - year if he wanted to accept Islam. Unfortunately, Qais died before he could return to Makkah the following year. Another story concerns Arashi from whom Abu Jehl had bought a camel but did not pay its price. Arashi went from one man to another entreating them to intervene and secure his due from Abu Jehl. No one had the courage to do it and some of them in jest pointed to the Prophet, that he alone could do it. Knowing Abu Jehl's hostility to the Prophet they thought that they would be able to humiliate the Prophet. But when he went to the Prophet he asked him to follow him, knocked at the door of Abu Jehl and on his enquiry said that he was Muhammad (PBUH) and asked Abu Jehl to come out. He did and promptly paid the price of the camel to the complainant. Imagine the effect of this incident on Arashi and on the people of Makkah! When the Prophet's message reached Medina through migrants, groups of people came to Makkah, listened to what the Prophet said, heard verses of the Qur'an which moved them and overwhelmingly they accepted Islam. The Quraish pursued them and tried to wean them away but they remained firm. The second pledge of Aqaba with the people of Medina was taken in great secrecy in the darkness of night because of the hostility of the Quraish but when those who had taken the pledge returned to their camp the chiefs of Quraish attacked them and questioned them if they were taking Muhammad (PBUH) to Medina and creating dissension among the people of Makkah. The Ansar of Medina settled the matter by keeping the fact of the pledge a secret but the Quraish kept a watch on the caravan of Medina and at last caught two of its members who were deputed as preachers to their community. One of them, Munzar bin Amr, was a weak man and escaped somehow but the other, Sa'ad bin Ubadah was caught by the Quraish, brought to Makkah, bound hand and foot and was severely beaten, Jubair bin Mutim and Haris bin Harb rescued him. Nazr bin Haris was one of the prominent leaders of opposition to the Prophet who devised a novel plan to wean away Prophet's supporters. He often used to visit Iran for his business dealings and from there brought stories of ancient heroes of Iran in addition to fiction of the - - - 65 / 252 - - - region and collected people around him to listen insisting that the stories of Rustam and Asfandiar were more interesting than the terse tales of Aad and Thamud related by the Prophet. The Qur'an presents the character of the man in the following words: "And there are among men those who purchase idle tales without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the path of God and throw ridicule (on God's signs)." -(XXXI:6) He also engaged a singing girl to entertain those who were found to show some learning towards the Prophet. And strangely enough, it was this very Nazr bin Haris who had once spoken to Abu Jehl at a meeting of the Quraish: "O the clan of Quraish, you are faced with a problem which in future will not give you any means of escape Muhammad (PBUH) was once a fascinating child among you. More honest than any among you, and more trustworthy. When he started greying at the temples, he delivered to you his message. Now you say he is a sorcerer, he is a soothsayer, he is a poet, he is mad. None of these allegations is true. O the clan of Quraish, just ponder over the stand you have taken, for by God something great is in store for you. This proves that the man had full comprehension of the Prophets' message potentialities and his opposition was deliberate and carefully thought out. But appeals to passions and emotions could not stand before a solid constructive programme and a firm movement and died out not long afterwards. After failing in all attempts of violence and propaganda and realising the great future of this movement, its opponents began to make moves for a compromise and bargaining but a movement based on solid principles has no room for such compromises. One of the compromises was that the Prophet should not say anything against their idols and their prevailing religious practices and confine himself to preach moral precepts or anything else he liked. This meant the continuation of the existing social structure and political and religious leadership of the Quraish and as it meant the end of the Islamic movement, it was promptly rejected. Another compromise move is mentions in the Qur'an as follows: - - - 66 / 252 - - - "Bring us a reading other than this or change it." -(X:15) The Prophet replied to it in the words of revelation: "I have no authority to make any changes in the Qur'an myself. I cannot follow anything except what is revealed to me. I fear retribution of the great day (Resurrection) if I disobey my Lord." -(X:15) "Who doth more wrong than such a one as forges a lie against God or denies in his sign." -(X:17) Another proposal of compromise put before the Prophet was that he should turn out the low class people who surrounded him and had become leaders of the movement for men of higher status who could not sit with them. If the prophet cleared the place for men of status they would flock to him. The motive behind the move was not any anxiety to join the movement but to deprive the Prophet of the services of those who stood by the movement under the most sever persecution and were struggling the service of the mission and the Qur'an saw through the deception and revelations came to the Prophet that those who were praying to God day and night should not be deprived of the Prophet's company in order to placate the opponents of the movement: "And lower thy wing to the believers who follow thee." -(XXVI:215) The Qur'an even snubbed the Prophet for showing scant attention and affection towards a blind follower of his (Ibn Umm-Maktum) during the Prophet's crucial meeting with the elite of the Quraish. Once at a meeting of Quraish, Utbah bin Rabia was authorized to approach the Prophet with certain proposals. He argued the case very politely laced with some flattery. The proposals were: If in this movement he wanted riches they would collect for him such wealth that he would become the richest man among them. If he wanted leadership they would make him their chief and take no decision without its consent. If he wanted to become ruler they would elect him as their king. If he was under influence of some jinn they would all subscribe to meet the expenses of exorcising him. - - - 67 / 252 - - - The Prophet listened to these proposals and when Utbah had finished, the Prophet recited the first five verses of Surah Ha-Mim which said: "Ha-Mim. By the Book that makes things clear, We have made it a Qur'an in Arabic that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom), and verily it is in the matter of the Book in our presence, high ( in dignity) full of wisdom. Shall we then take away the message from you and repel (you) for that ye are a people transgressing beyond bounds." -(XLIII:1-5) Utbah quietly listened to these verses and at the end, the Prophet said: "Now you have heard what I have to say. It is now for you to do as you like." When Utbah returned to his people they were disturbed to see the pallor of his face. Then on their enquiry Utbah said: "I have never heard such a recitation as this. By God it is neither poetry, nor magic nor soothsaying. Now O clan of the Quraish, accept my word and leave its responsibility to me. You leave this man to do as he likes and do not disturb him. By God, the recitation I have heard is fraught with some very great consequences. If the people of Arabia accept his message, you will be ousted without any effort. But if he dominates over Arabia, his kingdom will be your kingdom and his power yours and you will become the most fortunate of men through him." The Quraish ridiculed Utbah and said: "O father of Walid! You also come under magic!" Another effort was made in which leaders of the clan like Utbah bin Rabia, Shaiba bin Rabia, Abu Sufian bin Harb, Nazr bin Haris, Kaldah Abdul Bakhtari bin Hisham, Aswad bin Muttalib, Zamaa bin Aswad, Walid bin Moghira, Abu Jehl bin Hisham, Abdullah bin Abi Umayya, Aas bin Wail, Nabia and Munabba and Umayya bin Khalf assembled near the Kaabah at sunset and sent for the Prophet who hopefully rushed to them when the offer of Utbah was once more repeated. The Prophet replied: "My object is quite different from what you have said. I have not come to you with my call for the purpose of amassing wealth, or to secure leadership of the clan or to become your king. In fact God has sent me - - - 68 / 252 - - - to you as His messenger and has revealed to me the Law and has ordered me to warn you and to give glad tidings. So I have conveyed to you the injunctions of God and have done my responsibility for your welfare. Now if you accept what I have conveyed to you it will be good for you here and in the Hereafter. But if you reject it, I will patiently wait for the Divine dispensation when God shall decide between you and me." After this reply the non-believers lost all hope and began to make ridiculous demands. For instance, they said that their country was too small and water was scarce and the living very hard, and added. "So you should ask God to widen our land, remove the mountains surrounding it and produce rivers flowing in it like Syria and Iraq." Then they asked that God should raise their ancestors from the graves in which there should also be Qusay bin Kelab who was an elder of proved integrity. "We will ask his view about your message if it is true or false. Then if our ancestors are raised and testify to the truth of your message, while you should accomplish what we have demanded, we will endorse your truth and agree that God has really sent you as His prophet to us." Then the said, "If you cannot do any of these things, then bring on us Divine wrath." The Prophet listened to these demands and replied: "I have not been sent for this purpose." When the Prophet left the meeting Abdullah bin Abi Umayya also followed declaring that since "the Prophet rejected all the proposals put to him he would not believe in him even if he saw him ascending the sky by a ladder and coming down the same way bringing with him four angels testifying to the truth of his message. By God, he would never accepted him." When in the course of the Prophet's preaching amongst the clans, the chief of the clan of Banu Amir, Bayhara bin Firas, came to the Prophet and listened to his message and turning to his clansman said: "If I could take this young man with me the whole of Arabia would fall under my rule," and then turning to the Prophet asked him, "If we accept your message and you overcome your opponents, do you promise to leave this movement in my hands after your death?" The Prophet's reply was, "It is up to God to appoint whomsoever he likes as my successor." On this reply Bayhara tauntingly said, "How - - - 69 / 252 - - - plausible! To think that we face the onslaughts of your opponents, but when you achieved victory its fruit go to others. Go away. We want nothing to do with your movement." It is clear from this incident that Bayhara realised the force behind the Prophet's mission and its potentialities and on the other hand the implication of this mission. If the Prophet were a non-political preacher or moral reformer on mystic lines he would have simply said, "What are you dreaming, my friend! This is just a reform movement of godly men. Where is the question of benefits or chieftainship or succession in this?" But the Prophet had full knowledge of the comprehensive nature of his movement and its political dimensions, which Bayhara also understood too well. These ulterior designs were intended either to make the Prophet stoop to save his party from persecution and thereby weaken the tempo of his movement or if he was found unyielding, then the Quraish could propagate that he was so hot-headed that he did not agree to any of the hundred and one compromise proposals placed before him. The situation was so critical that the Qur'an again and again asked the Prophet to stand firm and on one occasion assured him of Divine help: "And had We not given thee strength thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case We should have made thee taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life and an equal portion in the Hereafter." -(XVII: 74-75) Extreme Outrage Violence against the Prophet and his followers had begun as soon as his message was publicly declared but after the failure of peace missions and attempts at bargaining and more so after the death of Hazrath Khadija and Hazrath Abu Talib, the lava of violence erupted with greater force; instead of weakening the mission, those who joined the movement emerged as sterling gold. The biggest target of violence was, of course, the Prophet himself. What his other companions and followers suffered has not been remembered fully, but whatever has been recorded by historians, is most heart-rending. Some instances are briefly quoted hereunder. - - - 70 / 252 - - - It is obvious that apart from the persecution the Prophet himself had suffered his sensitive heart was immensely pained and bruised by the sufferings of the poor people who had joined his movement. Khabbab ibn-ul-Irs Tamimi was sold as a slave in pre-Islamic days to Umm-e-Numar. He accepted Islam when the house of Arqam was the centre of the movement from where the Prophet used to organize it. The hooligans of the Quraish threw Khabbab on live cinders and a man stood over him to prevent him from turning sides. The fire cooled under him. Later he once showed his back to Hazrath Umar which was all white due to this atrocity. He was an iron-smith by profession and when after accepting Islam he demanded his dues from the people, they said that he would not get a single shell until he had forsaken Islam. This was economic strangulation but his reply was: "Even if you die and rise again I will not recant." Hazrath Bilal was a slave of Umayya bin Khalaf and when he accepted Islam was thrown on the burning sand at noon time and a heavy stone was placed over him. When Umayya said he would die like this if he did not forsake Islam, his reply was only "One, One god". Umayya got further enraged and tightening a rope round his neck asked children to drag him in the streets. Sometimes he was wrapped in cow-hide and sometimes he was forced to put on steel armour and seated in the hot sun. At last Hazrath Abu Bakr purchased him in return for another slave and freed him. Ammar bin Yasir was from the clan of Qahtan. His father Yasir went to Makkah with his two brothers in search of a missing brother. His two brothers returned home but Yasir remained in Makkah and married there. His entire family accepted Islam and suffered cruel persecution. Ammar was thrown on burning sand and severely beaten till he became unconscious. His parents also suffered untold oppression. They were thrown in the water and forced to lie on live cinders. The Prophet used to console them and raised their morale with assurance of better end. Summaiyya, the mother of Ammar, on accepting Islam was cruelly stabbed to death by Abu Jehl. Yasir, the father of Ammar, died as a result of most cruel oppression. Suhaib had also accepted Islam at the - - - 71 / 252 - - - same time as Ammar and he was beaten so severely that he lost his mental balance. At the time of migration the Quraish permitted him to go to Medina on the condition that he leave all his belongings in Makkah. Suhaib agreed and left without taking anything with him. Abu Fakih Juhani was a slave of Safwan bin Umayya and accepted Islam at the same time as Hazrath Bilal. When Umayya heard of it he tied his legs with a rope and dragged him on the burning sand. On the way they saw a beetle and Umayya asked Abu Fakih if that was his God. Abu Fakih said, "My God is Allah, Who is also your God." On this Umayya strangled with such force that he seemed to have died. But he survived. Once a very heavy stone was put on his chest which brought his tongue out. Sometimes he was chained and thrown on hot sand. He was also purchased and freed by Hazrath Abu Bakr. Lubaina was a slave girl whom Hazrath Umar, before accepting Islam, used to beat mercilessly till he himself became exhausted. Zunaira was also a slave girl of the house of Hazrath Umar who used to cruelly beat her. Once Abu Jehl beat her with such force that she lost her eyes. Hazrath Abu Bakr bought and freed her. Nahdia and Umm-e-Abis were also slave girls who were cruelly treated on accepting Islam. Hazrath Usman who deserved respect for his age and status was bound and beaten by his own uncle Hakam Ibn-ul-Aas on his accepting Islam. Hazrath Abu Zarr on accepting Islam rushed to the Kaabah and proclaimed his conversion whereupon the Quraish fell upon him and beat him so severely that he fell down unconscious. Prophet's uncle, Hazrath Abbas, rescued him. But next day he again went to Kaabah and reiterated his conversion and suffered severe beating. When Hazrath Zubair ibn-ul-Awwam accepted Islam his uncle wrapped him in a mat and passed smoke through his nose but he continued to declare firmly, "Now I will never return to idol worship." Saeed ibn Zaid was a cousin of Hazrath Umar. Who bound him with ropes on his accepting Islam. - - - 72 / 252 - - - Sa'ad ibn Waqqas also suffered cruel oppression on his accepting Islam. Abdullah ibn Masud on accepting Islam for the first time loudly recited the Qur'an in the Kaabah. The Quraish ruffians fell on him and mercilessly beat him, but he continued to recite and returned home with a wounded face. Usman bin Mazoon was not molested in the beginning because he was under the protection of Walid bin Moghira. But when he saw his fellow converts suffering cruel persecution he thought that it did not befit him to remain under the protection of a non-believer and he released himself and when he made public announcement and demonstrated firmness he was so severely beaten that he lost one eye. Walid came to him and said that he would not have lost his eye if he continued to be under his protection, upon which Usman said that he was now under the protection of One Who is much superior in respectability and honour than Walid and so he would not mind even if he had to sacrifice his other eye also. When Hazrath Umm-e-Shareek accepted Islam her relatives forced her to stand under the hot sun and did not give her water after food. For three days she was kept under this torture and then she was asked to renounce Islam. Her mind had been so upset that at first she did not understand what was wanted and when she understood it she declared: "By God, I am firm in my conviction." Khalid ibn-ul-Aas on accepting Islam was so severely beaten by his father that his head was fractured. He was also starved but stood firm. Besides these Hazrath Abu Bakr and Talha, Walid bin Walid, Ayash bin Abi Rabia and Slama bin Hisham suffered extremely cruel oppression. Hazrath Omar's barbarous treatment of his sister and her husband is another example of the rage of the non-believers against the new converts. But these are, however, just a few examples of the great sufferings and undaunted firmness of all those who joined the Prophet's camp and none who did so escaped the furnace of tortures. - - - 73 / 252 - - - Migration To Abyssinia The power of human endurance is not unlimited and the new converts had demonstrated to the world their exemplary behaviour in the face of oppression. On the other hand, the wave of persecution was still mounting and even the Prophet with his unbounded faith in God was beginning to realise that despite his comforting and soothing words, the patience of his small band of followers was on the breaking point. It had become clear that the soil of Makkah was not suited for the growth of the plant of new light and the Muslims were tired of waiting for the promise help of God. The Prophet, however, could not make any move unless revelation came to order it as had happened in the case of the preceding prophets. Abyssian was a country where a just ruler was on the throne and the Prophet used to call it. "The land of truth". When the revelation came to the Prophet in the fifth year of his ministration permitting migration from Makkah, a group of eleven men and four women headed by Hazrath Usman left for Abyssinia in the darkness of night. With Hazrath Usman was also his wife Hazrath Ruqayya, a daughter of the Prophet, who blessed with the prospect of the mission making headway elsewhere and as soon as they got the news of their having left Makkah, they sent their men after them but the migrant party had already left the port and was out of reach. The migrants stayed in Abyssinia for few days when they heard that the Quraish had accepted Islam and started back for Makkah, but on the outskirts of the city they found that the rumour was incorrect. Some of them entered Makkah secretly and some under the protection of their supporters. But as was expected, the return of this group inflamed the fire of oppression even more. Now a larger group of 85 men and women migrated to Abyssinia and found the freedom to pursue their own way of life. The King, Negus, welcomed them but the priests and vested interest around him were not pleased and it was through them that the Quraish cast their nets to poison the mind of the Negus. A deputation of the Quraish headed by Abdullah bin Rabia and Amr ibn-ul-Aas went to Abyssinia with costly presents for the king and his courtiers, bribed the court officers and demonstrated to them that some hot-headed young men of their place - - - 74 / 252 - - - had concocted a new religion which was a dangerous to their ancestor's religion as to the people of Abyssinia. Their main object was to achieve their end without the matter being known to the king. But when they had won over the court officials and priests, they went to the king with their presents and told him that they had been sent by the elders of Makkah to secure the return of their men. The priests and courtiers supported the demand but the king said he could not decide the matter without hearing both sides. The following day both the parties were summoned before the king. The migrants held consultation and felt hesitant to express their viewpoint before the Negus whose religion was different. But it was decided that whatever the result they would not say single word against what they had been taught by Prophet. And when they reached the king's court they did not prostrate as was customary and on objection being raised by the courtiers the migrants said that they did not prostrate before anyone except God and even to their Prophet they offered simple salutation. History has no parallel to this firmness of faith and conviction! Now the deputation of the Quraish presented their claim that the migrants, who were absconding criminals and had raised subversion and concocted a new religion, should be handed over to them. The king asked the migrants what religion besides idol worship and Christianity they had adopted. Hazrath Jafar as spokesman of the migrants sought the king's permission to question the Quraish delegation before presenting their case. And once the permission was granted, the following question and answers took place: Hazrath Jafar: "Are we slaves of some people or have we deserted our masters that we deserve to be sent back?" Amr ibn-ul-Aas: "No, they are not slaves but free respectable men." Hazrath Jafar: "Have we absconded after murdering anyone? If so we may be handed over to the relatives of the murdered person." Amr ibn-ul-Aas: "Nor they have not shed a drop of blood." Hazrath Jafar: "Have we stolen anyone's property? If so, we are prepared to compensate." - - - 75 / 252 - - -- Amr ibn-ul-Aas: "No. they do not owe a single coin to anyone." Having thus proved their moral uprightness Hazrath Jafar, as spokesman of the migrants, represented as follows: "Your majesty! We were ignorant people, worshipping idols, eating carrion, oppressing neighbours, brother fighting brother, the strong dominating the weak, when amidst us was raised a man whose nobility, integrity and trustworthiness were already well-known. He invited us to Islam, taught us to abandon idol worship, speak truth refrain from bloodshed, not to misappropriate the property of orphans, give comfort to neighbours, not to defile chaste women, offer prayers, keep fasts and give alms. We believed in him and renounced our bad habits whereupon our people became hostile to us and swore to take our lives. So we fled here with our lives and our faith. If our people had permitted us to live in our homes peacefully we should not have left them." Negus was moved by this frank talk and he asked Hazrath Jafar to read some portion of the Book revealed to their Prophet. Hazrath Jafar recited some verses of Sura Mariam which brought tears to the eyes of the Negus and he cried, "By God, the verses and the Bible are lights from the same lamp." Further, he said "I am sure Muhammad (PBUH) is the same Prophet whose advent was prophesied by Jesus Christ, and I thank God that he is born in my lifetime." At the same time he decided that the migrants would not be turned back. The meeting was ended and the intrigue of the Quraish had failed. After mutual consultation they decided to make another effort. They thought that as the Negus was a Christian, if the migrants were asked to express their views about Jesus Christ it was likely that religious prejudice might be aroused and he would turn out the migrants. When the migrants were summoned before the king the next day they also had the same forebodings, but they finally decided to speak out the truth regardless of consequences, and Hazrath Jafar said before the Negus: "Our Prophet has told us that Jesus was the servant of God and His Word." The Negus picked up a straw from the ground and said, "By - - - 76 / 252 - - - God, Jesus is not different even by this straw from what you have said of him." Courtiers and priests who had been won over with present and bribes smarted under the blow but the Negus did not care for them and ordered that the presents brought by the Quraish should be returned to them. Thus their intrigue failed. The Conversion Of Umar Perhaps the most dramatic chapter of the oppression of the converts by the Quraish is provided by the pre-Islamic attitude of Umar and it may be said to his credit that his conduct before Islam and after was not motivated by any material consideration but just as it was his duty to preserve the existing social structure and thereafter in the sincere service of the new cause he had espoused. That he accepted the truth as soon as he comprehended it shows that he was a realist and not biased by any extraneous consideration. He was a young man of 27 when Islam was proclaimed and it soon penetrated into his own house. His brother-in-law Saeed had already embraced Islam and through him his wife Fatima, the sister of Umar, also accepted the new faith. An influential member of the family, Nuaim bin Abdullah had also responded to the call of Islam. At first Umar was unaware of these developments but as soon as he was informed about it, his rage knew no limits. We have already described how mercilessly he beat his slave girl Lubaina and now he resolved to strike at the very root of Islam and kill the Prophet. So he started, sword in hand, determined to kill the Prophet. On the way he met Nuaim bin Abdullah to whom he mentioned what he was going to do, on which Nuaim told him first to take care of his own house. Umar immediately rushed to his sister's house. She was reading verses of the Qur'an and on hearing Omar's footsteps she stopped and concealed the material on which the verses were written. Umar asked her what she was reading and when she tried to evade him he burst out and said that he had learnt that both she and her husband had forsaken their religion. Then he feel upon his brother-in-law. When his sister intervened, she received such a severe beating that she began to bleed and with blood stains all over her body she cried out, "Umar, you may do whatever you like but cannot give up Islam." A blood-stained woman, and that too his own - - - 77 / 252 - - - sister, in tears and declaring such firm determination, conquered the strength of Umar and his heart was moved. He asked her to recite before him what she was reading. She brought out the verses of the Qur'an and began to recite and Hazrath Umar was at once transformed when his sister reached the verse: "Declare your faith in God and his Prophet." Hazrath Umar called out: "I witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) is His servant and Prophet." Thus enlightened with true faith, he walked to the house of Arqam which was the centre of Islam and gave his pledge to the Prophet. The conversion of Hazrath Umar raised the morale of the Muslims. It may be noted here that so long as Hazrath Umar was against Islam he worked sincerely and zealously to oppose it, but when he joined the faith, he devoted himself with equal sincerity and zeal in its service. Thus the conversion of a man of such character was a great acquisition and a turning point in the history of Islam. It may also be noted that although his confrontation with his sister and brother-in-law was the immediate cause of his conversion, there were also other factors in the background which gradually helped to change his mental attitude. He was not a blind witness to the affairs of Makkah; there were many incidents that touched his heart and prepared the ground for his conversion. He was receiving daily reports of the progress of the Islamic mission and the character of the Prophet and his followers and the mean and fraudulent game of his opponents. There was much discussion in Makkah which also should have influenced his frame of mind. Besides these general features there were also some particular incidents which must have touched his feelings. One of those was when umm-e-Abdullah, daughter of Abi Hashma, was preparing to depart for Abyssinia with the caravan of the migrants, Hazrath Umar went to see her and tried to dissuade her from leaving. But when she said that the cruel persecution was now beyond endurance and she resolved to leave, Hazrath Umar was so moved that everyone who saw him at the time felt pity on him. It is not unlikely that this shock might have prepared the ground for his ultimate conversion. The conversion of Hazrath Umar was of great significance because it took place at a time when the forces of oppression working against the Muslims were at their peak and his conversion created a great stir in - - - 78 / 252 - - -- Makkah, because Umar immediately challenged the opponents of Islam. He selected Jamil bin Mamar Jamhi, and announced through him that he had joined the new faith. This man went to the gate of the Kaabah and cried aloud that Umar had become a Sabi. Hazrath Umar who was just behind shouted that he was wrong. He had become a Muslim and confessed that there is one Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) is His servant and Prophet. The Quraish then attacked him and beat him with all severity and released him only when Aas bin Wail Sahmi rescued him and took him under his protection. Hazrath Umar also went to the house of Abu Jehl and knocked at his door and when he came out he informed him of his conversion on which Abu Jehl immediately shut his door saying "God's curse on you and your news!" Then Hazrath Umar advanced further and offered the prayer in the Kaabah publicly alongwith other Muslims. Before this Muslims used to pray secretly. Hazrath Umar was again beaten for this but the way was cleared for Muslims to pray openly in the Kaabah itself. Thus, while the oppression against the Muslims was mounting with ever-increasing intensity, new converts were coming to its fold and important personalities were being weaned away from the group of oppressors. One event of importance in this connection is the conversion of Hazrath Hamza. This man, the only one among the surviving uncles of the Prophet, who was intelligent, brave and influential despite religious differences was very affectionate towards the Prophet. Being just two or three years older than the Prophet, the uncle and nephew were friends from the childhood. Once Abu Jehl assaulted the Prophet near the mountain of Safa and abused him which the Prophet patiently bore and did not retaliate. Incidentally, the slave girl of Abdullah bin Judan who was an eye-witness to the whole incident reported it to Hazrath Hamza who was returning from the hunting with bow and arrow, and remarked! "Oh! I wonder how you would have felt if you had seen the pitiable condition of your nephew." Hazrat Hamza went straight to the meeting where Abu Jehl was sitting with other. He struck the head of Abu Jehl with his bow, saying, "Did you abuse Muhammad? If so, I also go over to his faith and I repeat whatever he says." A man of Bani Makhzoom clan rose to support - - - 79 / 252 - - - Abu Jehl who stopped him saying that he had much abused his nephew. Now with the conversion of Hazrath Hamza the importance of Islam was greatly enhanced. Boycott And Confinement When every kind of oppression failed to stop the spread of Islam and when all efforts to remove the protection of Abu Talib from the Prophet were unsuccessful, the Quraish hatched another plot to socially boycott the entire clan of Banu Hashim, to have no relations with them, to stop all provisions reaching them and to have no dealings with them till Banu Hashim handed over the Prophet to them with permission to kill him. In the seventh year of the Prophet's preaching, all the clans of the Quraish joined in an agreement to boycott Banu Hashim nature of which is beyond description. The entire clan moved to Sha'ab Abi Talib and suffered confinement for the sake of the Prophet's call to truth. The confinement lasted for three years during which they suffered indescribable miseries. They ate leaves of trees, boiled and drank the juice of dried skins, and when their children cried in hunger their cries reached far and wide, the Quraish heartlessly gloated over it. Once Hakim bin Hazam secretly sent some wheat to the imprisoned people but the surveillance was so strict that Abu Jehl saw it and tried to snatch it away, but incidentally Abul Bakhtari intervened and allowed the wheat to be delivered. Also Hisham bin Amr used to send occasionally some provisions secretly. At last the move to end the boycott was initiated by Hisham bin Amr and when he secured support from some others he challenged the boycott agreement but Abu Jehl opposed him. But the supporters of Hisham stood by him and it was resolved by majority that the boycott agreement be annulled despite the chagrin of Abu Jehl. When they went to remove the document from the gate of the Kaabah it was found that its text was eaten away by white ants leaving only the words: "In the name of God our Lord". The tenth year of the Prophet's mission was a year of sorrow. His first bereavement was the death of his uncle Abu Talib, whose protection was like a fortress against the hostility of the entire Quraish. The loss of this protector left the Prophet without any material support in the midst of his enemies. The same year his wife Hazrath Khadija died. - - - 80 / 252 - - - Her moral support and mature advice was a solace to the Prophet in the most critical times. She used to conduct business in foreign trade and the Prophet looked after her interests which after their marriage became more intimate. She wholeheartedly cooperated with the Prophet in all his endeavours and helped his cause financially and when the call came she gave away all her wealth in the service of Islam and lived a poor life. Her death disrupted his home life as his outside life was shattered by the death of his uncle. How the Prophet would have felt at these bereavements can well be imagined, but at the same time the fire of hostility of the Quraish against the unprotected Prophet rose with greater fury Mischievous children were asked to follow the Prophet and clap and shout. Dirt was occasionally thrown over his head on his way and thorns were strewn before his door. Sometimes he was smothered to suffocation and often publicly assaulted and filthy abuses were hurled at him. Dust was thrown on his face and some people even spat at him. On one occasion Umm-e-Jamil, wife of Abu Lahab came with the dubious aim to kill the Prophet but could not spot him and eased her heart by using hot words before Hazrath Abu Bakr. She also recited the following verses: "I have disobeyed Muzammam and hated his religion." She used Muzammam for Muhammad (PBUH) as mutilation of name was considered worst degradation among the Quraish. But when the Prophet heard of it, he said that her abuses did not affect his as she abused Muzammam while he was Muhammad. One Abu Jehl also swore to kill the Prophet with the blow of a heavy stone but was so overawed by the prophet that he could not do it. Once a mob fell upon the Prophet and severely assaulted him. While his enemies were sitting together and talking about the Prophet, declaring that his activities had now become quite intolerable, the Prophet happened to pass that way and they asked him if he had said such and such things. The Prophet with his usual moral courage affirmed that what he said was nothing but truth, whereupon the mob pounced upon him from all sides and he was brutally manhandled. When the attackers got tired the Prophet again boldly warned, "I have - - - 81 / 252 - - - brought this message to you that you are about to be butchered" meaning thereby that their atrocities were soon to recoil on them. Hazrath Usman relates an incident that Aqaba bin Mueet, Abu Jehl and Umayya bin Khalaf used to sit inside the Kaabah and whenever the Prophet passed by them, they abused him. When it happened for the third time, the Prophet became angry and he declared, "By God, you will not give up your ways until Divine curse falls on you," Everyone present there was overawed and shivered. The Prophet then left for his home followed by Hazrath Usman and others. On the way the Prophet spoke as follows: "Glad tidings for you. God will certainly make his religion victorious and propagate His word and help the faith and these people whom you see before you, will son be cut down by your hands." This declaration at this time of desperation indicated the indomitable courage of the Prophet and how magnificently the prophecy was fulfilled in such a short time! One day the Prophet got up early in the morning and made a round of the city visiting every street and lane proclaiming his mission but he did not find a single person to listen to him or talk to him. In fact, the Quraish who had failed in all their efforts to suppress the Prophet by violence had now decided to discredit him by completely ignoring him: so any person who saw him coming hurried away, while some evil persons ridiculed him and jeered at him. The Prophet returned home with a heavy heart and with a feeling of dejection. The day's experience convinced him that the soil of Makkah had become quite barren and it was no use any longer to sow any seed of enlightenment there. The Prophet, therefore, resolved to go out and work in the neighbouring areas. The first of these places was Taif which was a fertile town with gardens of fruits and green fields and where the people were prosperous and happy. So the Prophet taking Zaid bin Harisa with him left on foot for Taif and preaching at all the places on the way he reached Taif and first met the chiefs of Saqif clan. They were three brothers, viz. Abd Yalil, Masud and Habib, and explained to them his mission and sought their cooperation and help, but their replies were like poisoned arrows: - - - 82 / 252 - - - One said, "If really God had sent you then He wants the cover of the Kaabah to be torn away." The second said, "Could not God find some other suitable person than you to make him His Prophet?" The third said, "By God, I will not talk to you at all. For if as you say you're a Prophet, then it is disrespectful to exchange words with you and if you have misrepresented God then you are not fit to talk to." These replies greatly annoyed the Prophet but he endured it patiently and asked them not to say to others what they had said to him. But these men, on the other hand, incited the street urchins, servants and slaves to drive the Prophet out of the city. And they did more. They abused the Prophet and pelted him with stones mostly on his legs and hurled abuses. The Prophet bled profusely but when he was too weak to walk and sat down they raised him up by his shoulders and pelted again. His feet and footwear were smeared with blood. A large crowd gathered to witness this spectacle and the crowd of miscreants drove him up to the gate of the garden belonging to Utbah and Shaiba, sons of Rabia. The Prophet took the support of a vine creeper and after offering prayers called to his God as follows: "O God, I come to Thee alone, helpless and without resources. Thou art the most Merciful of all the merciful. Thou art the Sustainer of the weak and helpless. Thou art my Lord To whom art Thou going to entrust me to an unknown enemy who is bitter with me or to an enemy who has dominance over my affairs? But if Thine curse is not on me I do not care for anything. Thy Protection is a great shield for me. In place of Thy curse or anger descending on me I seek the refulgence of Thy face which dispels all darkness, and which sets right all worldly affairs. I seek Thy will and pleasure. No force or strength can come except from Thee." In the meantime, the owners of the garden who had witnessed the whole episode arrived and they called their Christian slave named Addas and sent through him a bunch of grapes to the Prophet Addas presented the grapes to the Prophet who took them, "In the name of God." Addas who had sat before the Prophet asked him what was the creed that he had preached to the people his city. The Prophet asked - - - 83 / 252 - - - him where was his native city and what was his religion to which he replied that he belonged to Nineva and he was a Christian. The Prophet then said, "You belong to the sacred city of Jonah, son of Matta," and Addas asked in surprise how he knew Jonah, son of Matta and the Prophet said, "He was my brother. He was a Prophet and I am also a Prophet." On this Addas touched the Prophet's feet and rubbed his eyes on them and when on his return he was snubbed by his masters of defiling his religion, Addas said, "O my master, there is nothing better than this on the earth. He told me something which no one but a prophet could know." From Taif the Prophet came to Nakhla and stayed there for some time and then came to the cave of Hira and sent word to Mut'im bin Adi seeking his protection. Under the Arab custom no one seeking protection could be refused even if he was an enemy and so Mut'im accepted and sent his sons to go armed and bring the Prophet to the Kaabah and then announced from the back of a camel that he had given protection to the Prophet. Zaid bin Harisa, who carried the Prophet on his shoulders when he had become unconscious due to loss of blood, asked the Prophet on the way to curse those people to which the Prophet replied, "Why should I curse them?" If they have not accepted Islam, future generations will certainly accept it." The experience of Taif was such that it touched the most excruciating torture that human beings could endure, physically as well as mentally, and it was usually on such occasions that Divine help came to the prophets. The Qur'an says. "They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken inspirit that even the Apostle and those with him cried. When (will come) the help of God? Ah! Verily, the help of God is (always) near." -(II 214) Ascent To Heaven As a compensation, the Prophet was honoured by the Ascent to Heaven and the "Revelation which God willed." The Prophet was called to Allah's presence and witness the Reality with his own eyes. The story of the ascent is narrated in the Qur'an from which it appears that it was revealed to him that "The truth has come and the falsehood - - - 84 / 252 - - - vanished." It was also revealed that he would be forced to leave Makkah but his enemies would not remain in peace for long. And he was taught the prayer of migration which is thus "O my Lord! Take me out (of the present state) by the gate of truth and let me enter (the stage) by the gate of truth and grant me from Thy presence, Thy help and authority to aid (me)." There is a prophecy in this that the time after migration will be of power and domination and at the same time fundamental principles of Islamic system are given on the basis of which the new society and new culture was to be built. A warning was also given that on gaining power, they should not go the way of the Israelites. All this can be found in the second Sura of the Qur'an. The Ascent to Heaven was the greatest event between the episode of Taif and migration to Medina and it created a great stir in Makkah. The Prophet stated before a public gathering his observations and gave such definite details of the visit to Jerusalem that were later confirmed. After facing disappointment at Makkah, Taif proved even worse than Makkah. Then news came from Medina that it was prepared to become the centre of Islamic movement and the headquarters of the Prophet of Islam. In the eleventh year of the Prophet's ministration a deputation of six men from Medina came to the Prophet and pledged their support. The following year a larger deputation of twelve men came and after detailed talks pledged their support at what is called the first pledge of Aqaba and on the occasion of Hajj a much larger group came and in the second pledge of Aqaba at a secret meeting in the darkness of night a full-fledged political agreement was arrived at and the people of Medina, later called the Ansar, expressed their willingness to face the hostility of the entire world in the cause of Islam. Farewell Makkah In the midst of all-round hostility and mounting force of oppression, the great event of ascension provided new strength to the Prophet and his small band of followers and the pledge of Ansar opened a new chapter. It was clear that Makkah had now become quite intolerance and it had lost the honour of becoming the centre of Islamic movement which was now bestowed on Medina. What Makkah lost, Medina - - - 85 / 252 - - - gained. In the meantime, a revelation gave implicit permission to migrate. While the Prophet was still waiting for a clear injunction he allowed his followers to migrate to Medina and streams of people began to flow towards it. In a short time several quarters of the city were deserted. Once Abu Jehl and some elders passed by the deserted house of Banu Jashs clan and Abu Jehl sadly remarked: "What has our cousin gained? He has disrupted our society, destroyed our unity and created a schism among us." Now there were hardly any Muslims left in Makkah except those who were forcibly detained by the Quraish or were suffering tortures. The Quraish realised that at last the Muslims had got a place of refuge and one by one they were migrating there. Soon Muhammad (PBUH) would also go beyond the reach of their influence, would organise himself and then return with force to settled accounts with them. So they collected in the public hall called Dar-un-Nadva to consult about the future plan of action against the Prophet. Several proposals were made and rejected. One of the proposals suggested that the Prophet should be confined in a house with an iron gate, but then it was thought that his voice would be heard even outside the gate and it was likely that his followers on become stronger would get him released, and so the proposal did not find full support. Another proposal was to ex-communicate the Prophet and then no one should care what he did outside. This was also rejected on the ground that his sweet words would enlist more followers and they would pose a threat. Then Abu Jehl proposed that stout men chosen from every clan, and armed with swords should all strike the Prophet together at the same time so that the responsibility of his blood was shared by all the clans and the Prophet's clansmen would not be able to take revenge on them all. This proposals was unanimously approved and the meeting dispersed after passing this resolution. The Qur'an makes the following comment on the happenings of this meeting: "Remember how the unbelievers plotted against thee to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan and Allah too plans, but Allah is the best of planners." -(VII : 30) - - - 86 / 252 - - - Among the closest associates of the Prophet left behind in Makkah were Hazrath Abu Bakr and Hazrath Ali and when clear revelation came permitting migration, the Prophet went to the house of the former and confidentially informed him that permission had come for migration. Hazrath Abu Bakr sought the Prophet's permission to accompany him which he readily granted and the former was so overjoyed that his eyes were filled with tears. Hazrath Abu Bakr had already readied two she-camels by proper feeding and offered to the Prophet anyone of them which he liked as a gift. But the Prophet insisted on buying one and paid for the she-camel he selected which was named Jadaa. As advised by the revelation, the Prophet did not sleep in his house that night and asked Hazrath Ali to occupy his bed without any fear. He then gave him the things which people kept in his custody and directed him to deliver them to their respective owners next morning. Then he returned to the house of Hazrath Abu Bakr. His daughter Asma tore away her waist-band and wrapped some food at one end of it and tied the mouth of water bucket with the other. Then the caravan of two left in the dead of night. Thus the greatest benefactor an sympathizer of the humanity was leaving Makkah that day. He was leaving that day those streets and lanes which he had frequented since his childhood, had loved the city so much and where he had made the call to truth because of which he suffered abuses and tortures. He was also leaving that centre of spirituality where he had prostrated thousands of times and prayed for the well-being of his people. The Will of God and his life's mission demanded this sacrifice and he willingly offered it. Before leaving Makkah he cast his eyes at the Kaabah and declared: "By God, you are the most sacred spot in the sight of God and I would have never left you if I was not forced to leave." The route was chosen by the Prophet himself and Abdullah bin Oraiqat was hired as a guide. The travellers remained in the cave of Saur for three days. Abdullah bin Abu Bakr used to bring has goats to the cave at night and the Prophet and his companion took their milk according to their need. The Quraish who had kept an all-night vigil over the Prophet's house were distressed to find that the Prophet had left and after unleashing - - - 87 / 252 - - - their ire on Hazrath Ali they left. The Quraish then sent their men in pursuit and announced a reward of 100 camel to anyone who could capture the Prophet or his companion, dead or alive. The pursuers at one time reached near the entrance of the cave and Hazrath Abu Bakr was fearful. The Prophet pacified his companions and said, "Have no fear, for God is with us." Emerging from the cave the Prophet took to the longer route by the sea shore to avoid the pursuit and Suraqa bin Jusham, coveting the prize announced, followed this routed and approaching the travellers he galloped his horse but its feet stuck in the dust and did not come out when Suraqa repented, apologized, and appealed for promise of safety from the Prophet. It is most remarkable that under these outwardly desperate conditions the Prophet told Suraqa. "O Suraqa, how happy will you feel when the bracelets of the emperor of Iran will be on your hands?" The Prophecy was fulfilled on the conquest of Iran during the caliphate of Hazrath Umar. - - - 88 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Three Life at Medina-History takes a turn 1. Medina welcomes the Prophet 2. Islamic state 3. The treachery of the Jews 4. Insolvent questions 5. Public treasury 6. The Jewish fifth column 7. Allegations and aspersions 8. Calumny against Hazrat Ayesha 9. Good comes out of the evil 10. Plots to kill 11. Vindictiveness of Quraish Life At Medina-History Takes A Turn Before entering into the details of the Prophet's life at Medina, it will be of interest to describe briefly the conditions there at the time of the arrival of the Prophet. This town was colonised by the Jews and was named Yasrib and as their population increased, new control grew around the place and small fortresses were built by them, so that the entire area remain under the occupation and control of the Jews. Another element of the population of Medina was the Ansar whose ancestor was Qahtan and when after the deluge of Iran on population dispersed, two brothers, Aus and Khazraj came to Medina and settled there. Other people might have followed them but the new element of the population of Medina sprang mainly from these two brothers. In the beginning the new element intended to remain aloof from the Jews but due to their domination they were forced to make peace with them in a subordinate position. Unfortunately, an adulterer chief named Fatyun rose among the Jews who ordered that every newly married bride should have shared bed with him on the first night. The Jews and Ansar obeyed this order but one of the Ansar named Malik bin Ajla revolted, killed Fatyun and fled to Syria. When the ruler of Syria, Abu Jabla heard the story of the misdeeds of the Jews, his army attacked and after killing many Jews and most of their leading men, - - - 89 / 252 - - - completely subdued them. This broke the power of the Jews, and the Ansar who were rewarded by the Syrian king became uppermost. Since the Ansar lacked unity, frequent clashes occurred between the clans of Aus and Khazraj. At the historic Battle of Boas between the two clans, most of the leading men of both the sides were killed. This greatly weakened both. They sought alliance with the neighbouring clans. In this connection they also approached the Quraish of Makkah but did not succeed and the Jews continued to dominate them. there were also factors which contributed to the dominance of the Jews: they were unified by a religion moral code, a code of religious laws and some traditions and a common pattern of offering prayers while the Ansar did not possess any of these. An interesting fact to be noted here is that the Jews used to threaten the Ansar that the last Prophet was soon to arise and with the support of the Prophet, they would fight with them. This prophecy had also raised some hope among the Ansar and they anxiously waited for the advent of this Prophet to secure his support before the Jews could approach him. In fact, the feelings of inferiority among the Ansar had made them more receptive and responsive to a new movement. Even before the Prophet's migration to Medina, the ground was already prepared there for the peaceful penetration of Islam and with the six people who came to Makkah in the eleventh year of the Prophet's mission one of the trusted followers of the Prophet, Mus'ab bin Umair bin Hashim, was sent to Medina to instruct the new converts in the basic principles of Islam, teach them the Qur'an and prayers and good conduct and propagate Islam among non-Muslims. Two young men of the Ansar, Sa'ad bin Muaz and Usaid bin Hudair who were leaders of Bani Abdul Ashhal clan accepted Islam at the hands of Mus'ab which gave further strength to the Islamic group. Even before the first pledge of Aqaba the first group of six representatives of the Ansar which came to Makkah at the time of Hajj and had a lengthy discussion with the Prophet returned to Medina after making the following declaration: "We have separated ourselves from our community which is immersed in degradation and disruption. Perhaps your personality will unify us again. We will go to them and call them to your faith and put before - - - 90 / 252 - - - them the impression which we have received about it. If God brings them round and they accept this faith, you will become more powerful than anyone." Thus the movement which was considered disruptive by the people of Makkah was taken by the people of Medina as a unifying force. In the first pledge of Aqaba the six representatives of the Ansar declared: "We will not assign any partners to God. We will not steal or commit adultery, will not slay our children, will not knowingly make false allegations and will never disobey the Prophet." But it was in the second pledge of Aqaba at the time of Hajj the following year that a definite defensive alliance was made with a larger number of Ansar who met the Prophet secretly. The Islamic movement had, in the meantime, advanced in Medina. While the Ansar bound themselves to remain firm and face all dangers and risks in the cause of Islam, the Prophet had promised to live with them and share their joys and sorrows and never to leave them. One of the clauses of the contract was that the Ansar declared: "We will listen to every order of the Prophet in ease or strain happiness or misery and obey it, and give preference to the Prophet's order over everything else and we will not mind the criticism of the people in our quest to follow the Divine Path." Abbas bin Ubada warned the Ansar in the following words: "O men of the clans of Ansar! Do you realise with what man you are taking the pledge? It is an alliance for peace and war with the people." And the deputations said they fully realised their responsibility: "Yes, we are accepting this pledge despite the risk of destruction of our properties and loss of our leaders in fighting." Along with the pledge, the foundation was also laid for a collective system, after consultation with the members of the deputation the Prophet appointed a committee of nine men of the Khazraj clan and three of the Aus clan to look after all the affairs of their respective clans. The - - - 91 / 252 - - - appointment of this committee gave a start to the construction of an organized social order. The Quraish were greatly disturbed when this news reached them and men were sent in pursuit of the deputation which was now beyond their reach. They, however, caught Sa'ad bin Ubada and Manzar bin Umar and poured their wrath over them, but the matter had gone out of their hands. Nevertheless, when those who had accepted Islam began to march towards Medina individually or in groups were cruelly and mercilessly manhandled by the Quraish. The stories of those whose belongings were snatched from them, their relatives separated and their conveyances taken away are most heart-breaking, but only one instance will suffice to give an idea of the brutality of the Quraish and the unflinching faith of the new converters. The first migrant who left Makkah for Medina was Abu Salam Abdullah ibn-ul-Asad Makhzoomi. His wife and children accompanied him seated on a camel. His wife was of the clan of Banu Moghira. Just when the party was departing her relatives rushed and caught the camel carrying the wife and children and took them back saying that they would not allow her to wander about with her migrating husband. Then the people of the clan of Abu Salama came up and snatched away the child from her mother and thus husband, wife and child were separated from one another and Abu Salama was left alone. His wife used to visit daily and weep at the place where she was separated from her husband and child and it was only after a year that someone took pity on her and seating her with her child on a camel drove it towards Medina. She was thus travelling unguarded when Usman bin Talha met her on the way and took her to the suburbs of Medina. Such harassments were of daily occurrence and yet the Muslims continued to march towards Medina. Gradually Makkah was depopulated of the Muslims and the only persons who remained were the Prophet with some of his closest associates and some others forcibly detained by the Quraish. Later the Prophet also left with Hazrath Abu Bakr. Medina Welcomes The Prophet Medina had already received the message of Islam with the first pledge of Aqaba. The second pledge had given it momentum. In a short time with the exception of one or two clans, every house of - - - 92 / 252 - - -- Ansar had given its best blood for the service of Islam and the vitality of this new blood gave a new impetus to the movement. The people of Makkah were deeply agitated on finding that Islam had secured a foothold in Medina where it would flourish outside their influence and in due course would come down upon them with full force to settle accounts. In spite of all their vigilance to prevent the Muslim's migration to Medina and efforts to bring back those who had left, Makkah was almost denuded of those who were enlightened by the new message. Hazrath Umar had also left under the greatest secrecy accompanied by Ayash bin Abi Rabia and Hisham bin Aas bin Alwail, but Abu Jehl bin Hisham and Haris bin Hisham who were deputed to capture them succeeded in prevailing upon Hisham, who in spite of every effort by Hazrath Umar to proceed decided to return Hazrath Umar gave him a sturdy she-camel asking him to use it to rush to Medina if he found himself in danger. But as soon as he was out of the city he was deprived of the she-camel and brought to Makkah bound hand and foot and was tortured-the Quraish boasted that they had given the migrants what they deserved. It was only when Hazrath Umar sent him a letter with the Qur'anic verse: "O my servants who transgress against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of God: for God forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."(XXXIX:54) that he understood and immediately left for Medina. Now it was for the Prophet himself that the Ansar began to wait day and night as stipulated in the second pledge of Aqaba. They came out of the city every morning and watched the route from which the Prophet was expected to come and returned disappointed only when the heat of the noon became intolerable. One day while they were about to return, a Jew watching from the upper storey of his house saw the Prophet's party coming and called out to Ansar that the person for whom they had been waiting had arrived. Ever since the news came that the Prophet had left Makkah there was no other talk in Medina except that the Prophet was coming and even children were innocently joyous about it. So the enthusiasm on the arrival of the Prophet at Medina was unbounded, and the whole city was happy. - - - 93 / 252 - - - First the Prophet halted at Quba, a suburb of Medina three miles away, and was welcomed by the family of Amr bin Auf whose house was in fact the centre of Islamic movement and the honour of playing host to the Prophet went to him. At Quba the Prophet halted for fourteen days and Hazrath Ali also joined him here after he had returned the property kept with the Prophet to its respective owners in Makkah. In Quba the Prophet laid the foundation of a mosque. While building the mosque, the Prophet worked with the others and handled heavy stones. All those engaged in construction recited: "Successful are the men who build mosques and recite the Qur'an standing and sitting and keep awake in the night for prayers." The Prophet reached Quba on 8th Rabi, 11 Nabavi (23rd September, 622 A.D.) and entered Medina on 12th Rabi, 1 Hijra. His mother's relatives at Medina made special preparations to receive him. Women stood on roof-tops singing: Full moon has risen on us from the Wada hilltops. Our thanks are ever due to Allah. Young girls ran about in groups, beating drums and singing. We are the daughters of Bani Najjar. Welcome to you, O Muhammad. The Prophet selected the house of Hazrath Abu Ayyub Ansari and stayed there for seven months. Soon after his arrival, the Prophet started his missionary work and the first thing was the building of the mosque for which the site was acquired by Hazrath Abu Ayyub who paid its price to its two orphan owners. This mosque, called the Prophet's Mosque, was intended not only for prayers but also as the centre of Islamic movement, as a court, a consultation centre, a democratic hall, and an official guest house. In the building of it the Prophet again worked with others. The worker's songs was: If the Messenger of Allah is working and we remain sitting all our work is wasted. And also: There is no life but the abiding life of the next world, O Allah have mercy on Ansar and migrants. - - - 94 / 252 - - - The most important item in the constructive work was to expand missionary activities and in the seven months of the Prophet's stay at Hazrath Abu Ayyub Ansari's house this work had greatly expanded. Now the Prophet renewed this missionary endeavour with public speeches. In his first speech he declared: (After the praise of Allah) "O you people! Earn something for your souls. Understand, by God, everyone of you shall have to face death and he will have to leave his people without a provider. Then he will be questioned by his God when there will be no one to intercede? He will be asked: Did not our Prophet reach you and deliver Our Message? Then what have you earned for your soul? He will then look around and will not see anything, so that there will be nothing for him but the Hellfire. So anyone who can do good, should do it, however small it may be, to save himself from the fire. But if he cannot do even this much he should at least save himself just by a good word. For the reward of good is from ten to seven hundred times. May you have safety and may Allah's blessings and mercies be showered on you!" His second public speech was as follows: "All praise is for Allah and I praise Allah alone and seek His help. We all seek Allah's protection from the mischief's of our hearts and evil actions. Whomsoever Allah gives guidance cannot be driven to the wrong path by anyone. And whosoever is deprived of God's guidance cannot find any other guide. I witness that God is One without a partner and none else is worthy of worship and obedience. There is no doubt that the best of books is the Book of Allah. Whosoever has made it dear to his heart and who has been led to Islam after unbelief and whosoever from among the whole of the humanity has chosen it for his heart secures felicity. It is the best narrative and most effective also. You like what is liked by Allah and love Him with all sincerity. Do not show indifference to the word of God and let not your hearts be hardened against. Since it is a fact that Allah selects the best from among His creatures, He has specified the best from among the acts and selected the holiest and the most significant of narrations. And among whatever man has been given there is some permissible and some prohibited. So take up the service of God. Do not assign any partner to Him and save yourself from his wrath to the best of your - - - 95 / 252 - - - ability. And confirm before God all those pious words which you speak and through God's mercy strengthen the bonds of affection amongst you. Certainly God is enraged if the pledge given to Him (faith) is broken. May you live in safety." Islamic State The third politically constructive act was to knit the Jews of Medina and the Muslims into one social system for which a written agreement was made which may justly be called the first written constitution of the world. Some of the provisions of this agreement were as follows: The Overlordship of Allah and the Divine law were given fundamental importance in the organised society of Medina. The final political, legal and judicial authority was given to the Prophet. In the matter of defence the entire population of Medina and its neighbourhood was united into a single unit with no loopholes for any element to support the Quraish, while in the matter of defence also the central and decisive authority was vested in the Prophet. This constitutional agreement laid the foundation of an Islamic state and Islamic system of life and when we look at it and other subsequent developments and agreements we realise that the Prophet possessed unparalleled political vision and persuasive ability and that he was not a mere saint or anchorite but had the capacity to manage the affairs of the world and was fully competent to carry out such responsibilities with tact and wisdom. The greatest event of the Prophet's life at Medina was his organisation of brotherhood between the Muhajirin and the Ansar. The small population of Medina had to absorb hundreds of migrants who were pouring in as refugees with few provisions and inadequate clothing. Whenever such situations arose in history very grave political and economic problems had to be faced and Pakistan had experienced similarly at the time of the partition of the country, but the solution which the Prophet gave it and the great sacrifice of the Ansar made in implementing it is most remarkable and unparalleled in history. The Prophet established brotherly relations between each Ansar and migrant and the Ansar responded to it by handing over half of their - - - 96 / 252 - - - property and belongings, houses, groves and corn fields to their migrant brothers. Some of them who had more than one wife even went to the extent of divorcing one of them to give her in marriage to his migrant brother. In return, the migrants upheld their self-respect. Unwilling to be a burden on their benefactors, the Muhajirin asked their Ansar brethren to show them the way to the market and agricultural lands so that they would maintain themselves by working, trading or farming. Then there was a group of young migrants particularly those who were unmarried who wanted to devote themselves to preaching and educational work and they were assigned a portion of the Prophet's Mosque. They were called men of the order of Suffa (platform), and their maintenance was the responsibility of the entire society. The Treachery Of The Jews The Jews soon adopted the same attitude as the Quraish of Makkah and threw all their weight on the side of the idol worshipping Quraish as against Muslims who were religiously very near the Jews. In fact, when they concluded the agreement with the Prophet they were under the impression that these uprooted persons numbering a few hundred would soon come to their fold and their dominant position would absorb them. But they became perturbed when they found Islam entering into their own strongholds. At first, some common men among the Jews were attracted to Islam which they did not mind, but when men of learning and status among them began to accept the new faith they resolved to oppose it. How Islam penetrated among the Jews can be seen from one or two instances which are recorded here. One of their prominent men, Abu Qubais bin Abi Anas was dissatisfied with Jewish society as it was at that time and first accepted Christianity and not being satisfied with that, built a mosque in his house which no one who was not clean was allowed to enter. He announced that he was serving and worshipping the God of Abraham. He was an elderly man and undaunted in telling the truth. Possibly he had discussions with the Jews, who might have tried to retain him in the Jewish society, but he revolted and soon after the arrival of the Prophet in Medina he went over to him and embraced Islam. Another learned man belonging to the Jewish clan of Qainqa, who was also a - - - 97 / 252 - - - religious leader but had heard of the preaching of the Prophet, was attracted to Islam. He brought his entire household into the Islamic fold. His Jewish name was Hussein bin Salam but on accepting Islam, he changed his name to Abdullah bin Salam. The high position which he held among the Jews was a great shock to them when he became a Muslim as he knew all the weakness of his community and would be very dangerous if relations between the Jews and the Muslims became estranged. A third prominent Jew, also a well-known rabbi, joined and army of the Prophet in the Battle of Uhad declaring that it was his duty to stand by the side of justice and truth. These cracks in the citadel of the Jewish society disturbed their equanimity and despite their being a contracting party in a social agreement they organised themselves into a hostile camp. The Prophet found the Jewish group much worse than the Quraish, for the Quraish hostility was open and frank but the Jews having entered into an agreement with the Prophet could not revolt openly and resorted to treacherous methods. The hostility of the Quraish aimed at maintaining their dominance but the hostility of the Jews was based on the fear of losing their superiority. The former emerged from a superiority complex and the latter from an inferiority complex. The working of the Jewish mind can best be illustrated from an episode related by Hazrath Safia, daughter of Huyayy bin Akhtab, who later became the Prophet's consort. She said that she was the most loved child of her father and uncle but when one day they returned after meeting the Prophet at Quba late in the evening and seemed to be quite tired, they did not attend to her and her uncle was heard asking her father, "Is he the promised Messiah?" Her father swore by God that he was certainly so. The uncle again asked, "Did you quite recognise him and are you sure?" And on the father's affirmative reply, he asked, "Now what will be your attitude towards him?" And the father replied, "Hostility, hostility by God, hostility till the end of my life." Another instance illustrating their mentality was their attitude on the death of Abu Amama Asa'ad bin Zorara, a prominent associate and enthusiastic worker in the early stages of Islam. The Prophet had appointed him head of Banu Najjar. He died soon after the Prophet's - - - 98 / 252 - - - arrival in Medina and his death created a big gap in the ranks of the brave soldiers of Islam. The Prophet was much grieved on his death but the Jews started the Propaganda that if the Prophet were really appointed by God, he would not have been deprived of the services of such a zealous worker. With a painful heart the Prophet said, "The death of Abu Amama was inevitable. They are traitors who say that if I was really a prophet I would not have allowed such an associate of mine to die, for before God's will neither can I avoid death not prevent the death of my associates." When the people of Banu Najjar came to the Prophet and asked him to appoint another chieftain, the Prophet took the responsibility upon himself saying. "You are my brethren and I am from among you and I am your chief." Then, as always happens when a constructive movement is launched, a destructive movement always opposes it and this began in the Muslim camp itself with the People who publicly professed Islam but were secretly in league with its enemies. Imagine the Prophet's predicament in such conditions. He had a comprehensive and many-sided constructive plan before him but the odds with which he was confronted were overwhelming. He had to rehabilitate hundreds of destitute migrants continuously pouring in; every moment an attack from the Quraish was apprehended for which defensive measures had to be taken and in addition to all this, the Jews and their secret agents among the Muslims were hatching new conspiracies. How critical and delicate were the responsibilities of the Prophet and how he had to face such multifarious and grave problems single-handed! While the message of Islam was spreading and penetrating into unexpected quarters, the internal and external onslaughts of the enemies of Islam were also mounting and taking new forms. Insolvent Questions Failing in their efforts to stop the march of Islam, the Jews tried to involved the Prophet in irrelevant discussions and they put tricky and trifling questions to the Prophet to embarrass him and mislead the Muslims. At a gathering of the Muslims, the Jews asked the Prophet: "If God has created men, then who created God?" - - - 99 / 252 - - - The question was obviously not to clarify any point as the Jews were not ignorant of the nature of God or His creation as their religious books had answered this question. But the Prophet calmly listened to the question and in replying to this awkward question gave simple answer by reciting the verses of Sura Ikhlas, which are as follows: "Say (O Muhammad) He is God, the One and Only. God the eternal, absolute. He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him." (CXII: 1-4) On another occasion a group of rabbis came to the prophet and told him that if he could satisfactorily answer four of the questions they would accept Islam. The questions were not on the basic principles of Islam or concerning problems of worldly life or of reward and punishment, but perplexing as ever. They asked: 1. Why does a child take after his mother when he is from the seed of the father? 2. What is the condition of your sleep? 3. What things had Israel (Prophet Jacob) prohibited for himself and why? And lastly 4. What is the Angel who brings revelation to you? The Prophet answered each question calmly and at the end of each, the Jews said, "True, by God." They did not contradict any answer except the last one on which the Jews said, "But, O Muhammad! Gabriel is our enemy. Whenever he comes he brings warnings of troubles and disasters for us. We are not on good terms with him. If this enmity had not come in the way, we should certainly have come to you and obeyed you." The Prophet's reply to this was most significant. He recited the following verse of the Qur'an: "Say (O Muhammad) whoever is an enemy to Gabriel should note it well that he brings down the revelations to thy heart by the Will of Allah, a confirmation of what went before and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe." -(II:97) - - - 100 / 252 - - - The Jews also ridiculed the revelation about Solomon and said that Solomon was not a Prophet but only a sorcerer. This was refuted by the revelation which declared: "The blasphemers were not Solomon, but the evil ones teaching men magic and such things as came down at Babylon." -(II:102) The Islamic movement took a decisive turn when Divine injunctions came for the change of Qibla. So far the Jews had some solace and a faint hope that in course of time Muslims would return to the religion of Moses but the change of Qibla completely disillusioned them and firmly established the uniqueness of Islam. Jerusalem as mentioned in the Bible was built by Prophet Solomon about four hundred years after Prophet Moses, while the Kaabah was built by Prophet Abraham, eight or nine centuries before Prophet Moses and it was the first centre for the worship of One God. When the Prophet came to Medina the Qibla was Jerusalem and the object was to smash the sanctum of Arabia as the Arabs could never entertain any sanctity outside their own circle and now the change of Qibla towards the Kaabah crushed the sanctorum of the Israelites. Jerusalem is to the north of Medina and Makkah to the south and the revelation came just when the Muslims were engaged in prayer. But immediately on hearing the revelation the entire congregation turned round and faced the Kaabah. The revelation on the subject read as follows: "Now shall We turn thee to the Qibla that shall pleased there turn then thy face in the direction of the sacred mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that directions." -(II:144) The Jews began to say that because of hostility to them, the Prophet had changed the Qibla of the prophets. If he were a Prophet, he would have never done so. But the believers declared: "We heard and we obey...We believe in the Book: the whole of it, it is from our Lord." -(II:285 and III:7) And the revelation also declared: - - - 101 / 252 - - - "The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakkah (Makkah): full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings. In it are signs manifest: for example the place of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security, pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah-those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures." -(II:96-97) The Jews who did not posses any constructive plan nor were able to lift humanity from degradation, purify its soul or morals, give it any promise of security of even reform themselves had to be deprived of their vaunted superiority and in desperation they resorted to very mean tactics. They used ambiguous words when talking to the Prophet which carried double meanings and by turning their tongues in the mouth emphasised the meaning which was abusive or cursing. In the same way they ridiculed the Muslim's call to prayers by pronouncing its words with mutilation and laughing. Furthermore, when the revelation came "Who is he that will lend to Allah a beautiful loan which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times". ( II:245), the Jews instead of taking it in the right sense began to ridicule Allah that He had become such a pauper that He was seeking loan from his servants. Then the Qur'an used the words flies and mosquitoes in the course of some arguments and the Jews laughed at this saying how could this be the word of God when it mentioned such lowly creatures as flies and mosquitoes. The revelation counted this in the following words: "God disdains not to use the similitude of things lowest as well as the highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject faith say: "What means God by this similitude?" (II:26) The Jewish mentality continued to descend deeper and deeper into degradation and now when confronted with the question that it were the Jews who had prophesied the coming of a new prophet with those help they would settle accounts with the Ansari, they blatantly said it was not the Prophet for whom they were waiting and if Muhammad was a true Prophet he should bring to them a decisive sign and this should be according to the wishes of the Jews. Their demand was: "O Muhammad, bring to us a written book which should descend from - - - 102 / 252 - - - heaven and which we ourselves should be able to read, and then we will follow you." Another demand was: "O Muhammad, if you are really a Prophet of God as you claim to be, then tell your God to talk to us that we may hear Him." The Prophet told them, "You know it well that the Qur'an is from God and that I am the Prophet of God and you have found this written in your Taurah." And the Jews again said, "O Muhammad, it is a fact that when God sends a prophet, He does or him anything that the prophet wants. So you bring to us a written book from the heaven which we can read." Now there was no question of the merits of the Prophet's message, the arguments which supported it, the life which this message envisaged, the nature of his teachings, the social system which was to be evolved by it and the character which its constructive plan intended to build. Leaving all these matters aside the demands was "bring a written book from heaven," and this was taken as a propaganda stunt against the Prophet and whenever they were confronted with the Prophet's message their reply was: "We are ready to have faith in him, but first tell him that if he is the true Prophet he should at least bring to us this sign. True prophets of God always prevail upon God to do whatever they want. And what is this Prophet whose word carries no weight in the heaven above?" The economy of Median and its material resource were limited and when the ever-increasing flow of migrants from Makkah caused a further strain and the destitute refugees began to build a new life, most of the workers of the movement had to face acute lack of food and malnutrition which fell to the lot of the Prophet and his family as well. In fact, the largest share went to the Prophet himself. The climate of Medina did not suit the migrants from Makkah. This together with the absence of proper food supply and availability and malnutrition caused many of them to fall ill. Fever kept them confined to be, and made them unable to earn their living. While the Muslims were faced with difficulties and hostilities from all sides and the new state was still in the early stages of construction, its workers were exposed to all strains and stresses-they lacked even proper clothing to cover their bodies, thus undergoing the most severe test. It should be said to the credit of this small group of Muslims who bore all these hardship with exemplary fortitude which their unbounded faith in the movement and their unflinching loyalty to the leader could alone make possible. - - - 103 / 252 - - - Notwithstanding the physical afflictions, these men kept their spirits high. A few examples of these difficult conditions will not be out of place: Hazrath Abu Bakr while smarting from pain on his sick-bed was reciting the following verse: "Every morning finds a man with the members of his family, but death is nearer to him than his shoe-lace." That is, he finds death nearer than his shoestring. Hazrath Bilal was restlessly turning sides on his sickbed but he preferred to recall the shrubs and water springs of Medina in the following verses: "If only I knew I could pass a night in the valley (Makkah) with Jalil and Izkhar shrubs around me. Would that I could come down on the waters of Majna, and Shama and Tufail hills were in sight. Hazrath Amir sensed the death approaching fast but managed to recite: "I have found death before tasting it, And the death of a coward descends from above." Hazrath Shaddad was lying ill on bed and the Prophet went to him, and in desperation he told the Prophet that he could be cured if he could find the water of Makkah to drink and the Prophet replied, "You may go. Who stops you? But wherever you go you will remain a migrant." When the Muslims went to Makkah at the time of the Treaty of Hudaibiya, under-nourishment and disease had emaciated their bodies so much that non-believers of Makkah taunted them that was what they got from migration. Then the Prophet ordered them to walk erect to conceal their physical weakness. Hazrath Abu Talha narrates an episode of those days that one day when their situation had gone beyond endurance they went to the Prophet for some solace and showed that in order to contain hunger, - - - 104 / 252 - - - they had tied a stone on their stomachs. The Prophet coolly raised his shirt and there were two stones tied to his stomach! Those who had gone to complain were greatly impressed. One day Hazrath Abu Bakr went to the Prophet with the intention of getting some solace by describing to him his pitiable condition, but then thinking that it would cause distress to the Prophet, remained silent. In the meantime, Hazrath Umar also came and frankly stated that hunger was killing him. The Prophet confessed that his own condition was no better and suggested they should go to Abul Haisham who owned groves and was prosperous. When the three reached there Abul Haisham welcomed and embraced them and put grapes before them on a sheet of cloth which the three ate, drank water and left after blessing Abul Haisham. Once the Prophet's close companion, Hazrath Abu Huraira, fell unconscious between Hazrath Ayesah's room and the Prophet's pulpit when people thought him to be struck with madness and began to treat him for it. But he was not at all mad as unconsciousness was because of persistent hunger. Once Abu Huraira was with Hazrath Umar discussing the meaning of a verse of the Qur'an when suddenly he became unconscious. Bad food situation had reduced him to this state. Public Treasury The Prophet had established a Baitul mal (public treasury) in which income from the state resources and charities from those who could afford were collected. Whenever a demand was made for monetary sacrifice Ansar and migrants, who were in a sound position to give, contributed generously regardless of their own needs. The Prophet's order was that the needy should be generously helped. But all the collections of Baitul mal were insufficient to meet the actual needs and to eliminate starvation. Hazrath Bilal was in charge of Baitul mal and in compliance with the Prophet's orders he did not allow any cash or the provisions to remained locked up. Once a massive amount of dirham came and was piled up on a mat and distributed on the sport without leaving a single coin. After everything had been distributed a needy person came and the Prophet ordered that he should be helped by - - - 105 / 252 - - - taking a loan. Once the Prophet say a heap of dates lying with Hazrath Bilal who on enquiry said that he had retained it for an emergency. The Prophet snubbed him and said, "Are you not afraid that for retaining this, you will taste the smoke of the hell on the Day of Judgement? Spend it and do not fear shortage from All-Powerful." While the Muslims were suffering financial difficulties, the Jews had planned to exploit the situation. Once a non-Muslim came to Hazrath Bilal and offered to advance him money whenever he needed and so Hazrath Bilal began to take loans from him to replenish the meager resources of Baitul mal. One day the same man came to Hazrath Bilal, who after making ablutions was going to give the call for prayer, and shouted at him abusing and threatening him that if he did not clear the loan by the end of the month, he would be again taken a slave. Hazrath Bilal was very much upset with this threat and came to the Prophet to narrate the story and proposed that he should hide himself somewhere till arrangements could be made for repayment. But before he could go into hiding he was called by the Prophet next morning, where he saw that four camels loads of wealth had come from the chief of Fadak. So the loan was cleared and the remainder distributed among the needy. Abu Hadrat Aslami was indebted to Jews and had no means to pay. But the Jews did not give him any respite, took him to the Prophet and insisted that the debt must be cleared then and there. Since he was unable to pay, the Jews snatched away his lower garment and the poor man had to cover his nakedness with his turban. Hazrath Jabir bin Abdullah, though well-to-do, had to take loans from a Jewish money-lender whenever in need. Once the produce of the dates was poor and the loan could not be paid in time Jabir secured time until the following crop. But the crop was again poor and the Jew refused to give him further time. Jabir came to the Prophet who went to the Jew and appealed to him, but when he was adamant in spite of repeated appeals, the Prophet went to the grove of Jabir and ordered that the trees should be shaken. There was so much fruit-enough and to spare-with which not only Jew's debt was cleared but more dates were left over. - - - 106 / 252 - - - A mail cloak of the Prophet was pawned with a Jewish money-lender and he never had enough money to redeem it. Once a man who had lent some money to the Prophet came to him and demanded his dues with very harsh words. When the Prophet's companions intervened, the creditor said he was demanding only his dues, whereupon the Prophet told his companions that they should support the man in his demand, and ordered that his account be cleared and something more than his dues was given to him. Zaid ibn Sa'na was a rabbi who was sincerely observing the Prophet's claim to prophethood and closely witnessing the wants. One day in the presence of Zaid ibn Sa'na, a Beduin came to the Prophet and told him that his clan had accepted Islam and he had promised to them that if they accepted Islam God would make them rich. Instead of that they were faced with severe famine and if they were not helped they might go back to their old religion. Zaid ibn Sa'na offered to pay 80 measures (about 360 gms.) of gold to be repaid with the produce of dates in the next season. On the expiry of the time, Zaid came to the Prophet and demanded repayment in rude manner and harsh words saying, "O Muhammad, you are not paying my dues. By God, I knew well that all children of Abdul Muttalib are defaulters." Hazrath Umar snubbed Zaid and said, "To whom are you talking? If I did not have regard for the Prophet I would have cut off your head with a stroke of my sword." The Prophet pacified Hazrath Umar and said that on such an occasion he should have advised him (the Prophet) to make payment gracefully and told the money-lender to make his demand more politely. "Now go and repay his dues and for your snubbing him, pay him 20 measures of dates more than his dues." This was the last test of Zaid ibn Sa'na and the conduct of the Prophet won him over. He then introduced himself to Hazrath Umar and making him a witness accepted Islam and gave away half of his wealth and property for the welfare of the Muslims. Zaid was different from other Jewish money-lenders, but the episode shows that difficult times the Muslims had to face. They were forced to borrow and endure the harsh treatment of the cruel creditors. - - - 107 / 252 - - - Not satisfied with their Shylock-like treatment of the indebted Muslims, the Jews and other wealthy non-Muslims decided to strangle the movement of Islam by closing the door of loans or charities on the poor Muslims in the hope that on becoming bankrupt the movement would wither away. The elders of the Jewish community even went to the Ansar and advised them not to waste their wealth on Muslims as it would reduce them to poverty, warning them of what might happen in future. The fifth column of the Jews and their agents were holding secret consultations to stop all financial aid to the Muslims. The Qur'an says this is what they said: "Spend nothing on those who are with God's Apostle that they may disperse (and quit Medina)" -(LXIII:7) The poor Muslims were in the most desperate situation-either no economic aid was made available to them or when available, they were subjected to severe Shylock tactics. But what is to be noted in this connection is the outstanding character of the Prophet and his followers in the face of such meanness of their opponents. The Jewish Fifth Column The Islamic movement had now assumed the status of a state which was developing and growing but the Jews did not possess superior ideology to win the public or a code of morals to meet the higher Islamic culture. Not only this. Their morality was on the lowest ebb and there was nothing to rescue them from their degradation. They were suffering from an inferiority complex which produced envious and hostile feelings among them. But since they could not oppose Islam openly, they resorted to treacherous and mean tactics by which they created a fifth column among the Muslims. Besides their own hostile feelings, the fact was that some people seeing the growing power of Islam and to safeguard their own future began to infiltrate in the ranks of Muslims from the back door which the Jewish evil genius had opened for them and while they publicly professed Islam, they worked among the Muslims with an eye on sabotage. Among the prominent men of the clan of Bani Qainqa who formed this group were Sa'ad ibn Hanif, Zaid ibn Lusait, Noman ibn Ufi ibn Amr, Rafey bin Huraimila, Rifaa bin Zaid bin Tabut, Silsila ibn Burhan and Kinana ibn Surya. The leader of this group was Abdullah bin Ubayy who had gained notoriety - - - 108 / 252 - - - in the slander against Hazrath Ayesha as will be described later. What is interesting to note in this connection is that this group consisted mainly of old men with resources whose hearts were hardened and who feared their interests to be at stake. The young man found in this fifth column is Qis ibn Amr bin Sahl. Zaid ibn Lusait once fought with Hazrath Umar in the market place and it was he who had taunted the Prophet on the loss of his she- camel saying, "although he claims knowledge of things in the heaven, he does not know where his she-camel is at this time". In reply to this the Prophet had said, "By God I know nothing except what god reveals to me. God has informed me about my she-camel and I say that she is in the adjoining valley with the rope attached to her nose entangled in a bush" and when the people went in search of her, they found her exactly at the same place and in the same condition. Another of the mischief-makers, Rafey bin Huraimila was most prominent in his group so that when he died the Prophet said, "Today one of the chiefs of mischief-makers is dead". Rifaa bin Zaid bin Tabut had also a prominent place in the group when a storm came and people became afraid the Prophet comforted them saying that the storm had been raised to punish one of the leaders of the mischief- makers. When the storm subsided and people returned to Medina, they found that Rifaa had been killed in the storm. Abdullah bin Ubayy had a grudge against the Prophet because before his advent the people of Medina had wanted to select him as their chief and in fact a crown for him was being prepared. As this plan misfired, he gave vent to the chagrin by joining the group of those who were apparently Muslims but, in fact, Islam's bitterest enemies. Once the Prophet went to see Sa'ad bin Ubada who was ill. He was riding and mule and with him on the same animal was Usama bin Zaid. When they passed a place where Abdullah bin Ubayy was holding a meeting with his confederates, he was annoyed at the Prophet's coming that way and turned his face away when the Prophet greeted him. But the Prophet stopped, recited some verses of the Qur'an, reminded them of God and warned people against His displeasure. When the Prophet had finished, Abdullah bin Ubayy burst out in the most insolent manner saying. "O man, this manner of your talking is - - - 109 / 252 - - - not proper. Sit at home and talk to such people only who come to you, but do not pester those who do not come to you and do not come to this house to talk where it is not liked." One can see how much saturated with poison are these words and how patiently the Prophet bore them. In fact it was not Abdullah who was speaking in that strain, but the entire vanishing ear of ignorance, which was venting its rage against the Islamic movement. In the same gathering was Abdullah bin Ruwaha who retorted. "Why should not the Prophet come? We want him and he must come to our houses and to our meetings. We love him and it is through him that we received guidance and have been uplifted." But the mischief was not confined to these hypocrites. In fact they were the leaders of the fifth column which recruited others from the Muslims camp, searched people of wavering minds and exploited them, created doubts and suspicions, held secret meetings and poisoned the atmosphere with their scornful acts. They went to the mosques, listened to important talks and reported them in their secret meetings designed to obstruct the progress of Islam. Still their hidden hostility was often unmasked and revelations also warned the Prophet against their mischief. On one occasion their whispering in the mosque became so audible and irritating that the Prophet ordered all of them to leave and when they resisted they were driven out forcibly. Allegations and aspersions The mischief-mongers were, however, constantly expanding the range of their nefarious activities. Any occasion or incident which could provide a handle for false propaganda was exploited to the fullest extent and false allegations and aspersions against the Prophet and his movement were set in motion. On one occasion a rumour was circulated by the Jews that the real aim of the Prophet in launching his movement was to secure the position of Jesus Christ and be worshipped. When a deputation of the people of Najran came to the Prophet it was probably brainwashed by this propaganda as one of the members of the deputation directly put the question to the Prophet, "Do you want us to worship you as Christians worship Jesus Christ"? Another member of the deputation asked: "O Muhammad, do you want this from us and want to call us to this?" The Prophet's reply - - - 110 / 252 - - - was, "God forbid that I worship anyone except God or call upon the people to worship anyone else except God. God has never raised me for this purpose nor has He ordered this." The Qur'an also clearly says that knowledge and wisdom given to a prophet do not mean that he should be worshipped instead of God. After the Prophet's migration to Medina, the vindictive motivations of the Quraish had taken a new turn and consultations held and conspiracies were constantly hatched to wage a war, while their spies roamed around Medina and secret correspondence was carried out with the Jews of Medina. The Prophet also organised a patrol system as a defensive measure and military and non-military parties were daily sent out to watch the movements of the Makkan spies and movements of their military contingents. The aim was to warn the Quraish that Muslims were in no way complacent and that if they disturbed the peace of Medina, this route would be banned for their trade caravans. One such party of eight was sent to Nakhla in Rajab of the second year of migration which was asked to note the military movements and future designs of the Quraish but was not authorized to take any offensive action. This party met a group of Quraish merchants and tension developed during the conversation to the extent that the Muslim party killed one man of the Quraish and arrested others and brought them with all their belongings to Medina. Since the incident took place sometime between the end of Rajab and beginning of Sha'ban the time factor was exploited by non-Muslims of Makkah and Jews and their confederates of Medina to link the incident to the month of Sha'ban and to incite people on that score. Soon a series of vituperative propaganda was unleashed to the effect that, "These people claim to be men of God and yet they do not refrain from bloodshed in the prohibited month." This campaign was very harmful to the new Muslim state and was likely to alienate the sympathies of the public from it. But the Muslim state itself did not approve of the action of its patrol party and released the prisoners, returned their property and admonished the patrol party for its action. Thus corrective steps were taken to set the matter right but the storm of the propaganda raised by the enemies had to be met with a more convincing answer and the Qur'an said: - - - 111 / 252 - - - "They ask the concerning fighting in the prohibited month. Say, 'Fighting therein is a grave (offence) but graver in the sight of God is to block access to the path of God, to deny Him, to block access to the sacred mosques, and drive out its worshippers. Uprising and oppression are worse than bloodshed." -(II:217) It meant that non-believers of Makkah who were themselves guilty of obstructing people from the right path, of denying God and of driving people out of Kaabah, with what face could they come forward as champions of the sanctity of the sacred month? When the system of Zakat, an annual tax on the spare wealth and capital, was established and large amounts were collected and freely distributed among the needy, the Jews who were so far the sole custodians of this wealth and spent the money extracted from the poor on themselves, were angry at this turn of the flow of wealth from the rich to the poor. They accused the Prophet of nepotism and charged that the wealth collected in Baitul mal was spent on relatives and friends of the Prophet to consolidate his leadership. Such accusations against the custodian of a public fund were most harmful to any movement. But it would be beyond even the imagination of anybody to level such charges against a person of stature of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who did not only keep a single coin of public money for himself but prohibited the acceptance of charity by his family and the entire class of Bani Hashim. A heinous aspersion cast against the Prophet was to attribute to him sensuality in connection with his marriage with his cousin Hazrath Zainab. In fact, the Prophet wanted to break two customs of the days of ignorance in respect of marriage and to establish new laws. The first was about status and the second about conventional relationship. Hazrath Zainab was the daughter of the Prophet's aunt (father's sister) and he married her to his freed slave Hazrath Zaid whom he had adopted as his son. But the marriage did not prove happy and despite the Prophet's efforts to save it, it ended in divorce. Now that Hazrath Zainab was left without any support, the Prophet took her as his own wife. Her marriage with a freed slave, herself belonging to the highly connected family of Quraish, gave a new turn to the concept of status that family background alone was not the hallmark of respectability - - - 112 / 252 - - - and then the Prophet marrying Hazrath Zainab himself established the other convention that adoptive relationship was not like blood relationship. Hazrath Zainab's first marriage was with a non-Muslim, the second with Hazrath Zaid and it was her third marriage with the Prophet and so she must have been of a mature age and then being the Prophet's cousin she must have been known to him since her childhood and the allegations of the non-Muslims that the Prophet was charmed by the beauty of Hazrath Zainab on seeing her for the first time is not convincing. The Qur'an says in this connection: "But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make itself manifest. Thou didst fear people, but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. When Zaid had dissolved (this marriage) with her, with necessary (formality), we joined her in marriage to thee: in order that marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them, may be no sin for believers. And Allah's Command must be fulfilled. -(XXXIII:37) This verse means that change of the convention must be publicly proclaimed. Since the Islamic social order could not be attacked in public, the nonbelievers launched a whispering campaign against it and the Qur'an repeatedly cautioned the Prophet against its dangers. The polite manners of the Prophet had encouraged such campaigns and the Qur'an is most outspoken in this respect. These verses concerning it are as follows: Turnest not thou thy sight towards those who were forbidden secret counsels, yet revert to that which they were forbidden (to do)? And they hold secret counsels among themselves for inequity and hostility and disobedience to the Prophet. -(LVIII:8) O ye who believe! When you hold secret counsels, do it not for inequity and hostility and disobedience to the Prophet; but do it for righteousness and self-restraint and fear Allah to whom ye shall be brought back. -(LVIII:9) Secret counsels are only (inspired) by the evil one, in order that he may cause grief to the believers; but he cannot harm them in the least, - - - 113 / 252 - - - except as Allah permits, and in Allah let the believers put their trust. (LVIII:10) They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah, seeing that He is in their midst when they plot in the night in words that He cannot approve: and Allah doth compass round all their affairs. -(IV:108) There is not a secret consultation between three but He makes the fourth among them, -nor between five but he makes the sixth, -nor between fewer nor more but He is in their midst wheresoever they be. -(LVIII:7) They have obedience on their lips; but when they leave thee, a section of them meditates all night on things different from what thou tellest them. But Allah records their nightly (Plots). -(IV:81) These verses make it clear that secret confabulations should be for advancing the cause of Islam and not for obstructing it and clearly cautioned the Prophet against the designs of hypocrites who were secretly planning to stab in the back. Another plot of the hypocrites was to seek private audience with the Prophet, while sitting in public and talk to him in whispering way, not to solve any problems but to show their importance and to create the impression in public mind that they had direct approach to the head of the movement. The Prophet in his usual politeness did not refuse anyone who wanted to talk to him privately, but when the practice assumed the form of a conspiracy and much of the Prophet's time was wasted, Divine measures were taken to put an end to this mischief. O ye who believe! When ye consult the Apostle in private, spend something in charity before your private consultation. -(LVIII:12) Thus a fee was put for private consultation with the Prophet which the miserly Jews would not pay and so a hurdle was placed against the whispering campaign but, in the meantime, the Jews and their confederates opened a new front and began to ridicule and disparage every new turn that the Islamic movement took. For instance, when the Muslims were ordered to restrain their hands from violence, endure all oppression and cruelties of the enemies and devote - - - 114 / 252 - - - themselves to prayers and charity (IV:77), the mischief-makers were not satisfied but when order came for raising arms against their aggressors they were afraid of men more than of God. The Qur'an says: "When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! A section of them feared men as -or even more than-they would have feared God. They say, "Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordered us to fight'? Another front of attack on the Prophet is mentioned in the Qur'an as follows: If some good befalls them they say, this is from God; but if evil, they say This is from thee (O Prophet). -(IV:78) At the time of reverses, they blamed the Prophet but they would not give him credit if good came their way. With this mean mentality the mischief-mongers obstructed every movement and even went so far as to say, "We do fear lest a change of fortune bring us disaster." They meant to convey that so long as the movement was in such hands a disaster might fall upon them any moment. What mental tortures the Prophet should have suffered in the face of such frontal attacks and secret whisperings can be well imagined. But it was his firm faith in God and truth of his mission that sustained him. Calumny Against Hazrath Ayesha The most serious mischief of the evil-doers was the calumny against Hazrath Ayesha in which unfortunately some prominent members of the Muslim society also got involved and which was fully exploited by traitors like Abdullah bin Ubayy and the slanderers included persons like Hazrath Hassan, Mistah bin Asasa and hamna, a daughter of Jahsh. This is what happened: Hazrath Ayesha who was travelling with a caravan lost her necklace and went in search of it. The caravan proceeded on its way without her. She was suffering this predicament when Safwan bin Almotal who was travelling behind respectfully offered to carry her to the place where the caravan was camping. The mischief-mongers concocted a shameful and slanderons tale and spread it with so much force that it travelled swiftly from mouth to - - - 115 / 252 - - - mouth. The Prophet suffered great anguish and kept away from at first Hazrath Ayesha who did not comprehended the situation but when she heard about the slander she began to spend sleepless nights in weeping. She appealed to her father and mother to intercede and clear her character but both expressed their inability to intercede and even the Prophet, her husband, who knew her character was helpless and with the rumours and the mental torture that he suffered, he could not find any answer. At last he decided to enquire into the matter personally and called Hazrath Ali and Usama bin Zaid for consultation. Hazrath Usama frankly said that he knew nothing except good about the Prophet's consort, but Hazrath Ali's reply was hostile. He pointed out that there was nor dearth of women in Medina and the Prophet could take another wife instead of Hazrath Ayesha and if he wanted he might ask about the slander from his maidservant. The Prophet accepted the latter part of Hazrath Ali's advice and sent for the maidservant whom Hazrath Ali warned to tell the truth before the Prophet. The maidservant said that she never found anything bad in Hazrath Ayesha except that when at times she went out leaving the dough and Ayesha quietly slept away and the dough was eaten up by the goat. There could be no better testimony to the character of Hazrath Ayesha than this-she was painted as a simple, unsophisticated and pure girl with whose conduct no blemish could be associated. But in the meantime, the allegations continued to persist and the Prophet called a public meeting and addressed it in the following words: "Praise be to God, after all what is the motive of these people who tease me in respect of my wife and go about telling things which are contrary to fact? By God, I have nothing but good wishes for them and they say these things about a person about whom I know nothing but good and who never entered my home in my absence. On this chief of Aus clan got up in a rage and said that "If this man is in our clan we will deal with him, but if he is of the clan of Khazraj I will await your order to cut off his head, as such men deserve nothing less." Since the person involved belonged to the clan of Khazraj, the chief of that clan, Sa'ad bin Ubada, flared up and said, "By God, we will not kill - - - 116 / 252 - - - him. You have said this because the man concerned belongs to the Khazraj clan." There was some bitterness between the two clans and swords were about to be drawn when the Prophet came down from pulpit and pacified them and dispersed the meeting. For about a month rumours about the allegation continued to circulate in the city and both the Prophet and Hazrath Ayesha suffered mental tortures until the light of revelation set all doubts at rest. The revelation was Sura Nur which began with the words: "A surah which We have sent down and which We have ordained: in it We have sent down clear signs in order that ye may receive admonition." -(XXIV:1) Those who brought forward the lie are a body among yourselves;... To every man among them (will come punishment) of the sin that he earned, and to him who took the lead among them, will be grievous penalty. -(XXIV:11) The last words obviously refer to Abdullah bin Ubayy, who was the first to raise the scandal and fan it. The revelation also asks the Muslims Why did not the believers -men and women-when they heard of the affair,-put the best construction on it in their own minds and say: "this charge is an obvious lie'?" -(XXIV:12) And also Behold, ye received it on your tongues, and said it out of your mouths things of which ye had no knowledge, and yet ye thought it to be a light matter while it was most serious in the sight of God. -(XXIV:15) And then the calumniators were chastised in the most solemn and awesome words: Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the hereafter, for them is a grievous penalty. (XXIV:23) - - - 117 / 252 - - - While the calumny was taken up by some indiscreet Muslims the main body of the society kept itself clear of it as was indicated from the attitude of Hazrath Abu Ayyub Ansari. When his wife told him of this obscene rumour he asked her, "O mother of Ayyub, would you have done any such thing if you were in place of Hazrath Ayesha?" And on her firm negative reply he said, "Then Ayesha is much better than you. And if I were in a place of Safwan I could not have thought of it, and Safwan is a better Muslim than myself". In fact when Safwan heard the slandering verses of Hazrath Hassan he flew into a rage and struck Hazrath Hassan with his sword. Sabit bin Qais happened to pass that way and he separated the two and took Safwan to the house of Bani Hars. The matter was then referred to the Prophet who cooled their tempers and asked Safwan to pay damage to Hassan for his sword cut. When legal punishment was administered Mistah bin Asasa, Hassan bin Sabit and Hamna, daughter of Jahsh, offered themselves for punishment and cleared their guilt by receiving eighty strokes of the lash. Hassan further washed away his guilt by composing following verses: "She is a chaste lady covered in veil Above all doubts and suspicions She disdains interfering with the respectability of chaste women. Her manners are polite. God has sanctified her disposition And purified her from sins and evils. Whatever has so far been said about her does not fit her. It was in fact a concocted story from a man who spiced it and told me." And the dignity and character of Hazrath Ayesha was enhanced to the highest degree after the incident as when the revelation on the subject concluded and Prophet smilingly congratulated Hazrath Ayesha that God had cleared her conduct. Her mother asked Hazrath Ayesha to rise and thank the Prophet but the dignified reply of Hazrath Ayesha was such that it could never come from guilty conscience. This is what she said on the occasion: - - - 118 / 252 - - - "I will thank neither the Prophet, nor you, nor my father but my God who has cleared my character while none of you even rebutted the false charge". Good Comes Out Of The Evil The whole episode, though painful, was in a way laden with wholesome fruits in as much as it shook the entire Muslim community and forced it to realise its weak points and rectify them. The revelation itself sympathised with the Muslims and asked them not to lose heart. It said: Think it not be an evil to you; on the contrary it is good for your. (XXIV:11) It did good to the Muslims in a way that they emerged from it more dignified and firm in faith, while the conspirators and agents of the enemies among them were fully exposed. In practical life when their weaknesses became manifest they became more conscious and watchful and each individual emerging from the test became stronger and introspective. Along with Hazrath Ayesha the person who was put to the greatest strain all the time that rumours went from mouth to mouth was the Prophet himself and the extraordinary dignity, forbearance and unheard of patience which he displayed was most surprising. It provided a model for all leaders of Islamic movements and organised institutions who came after him. It was a torture of the greatest intensity which he endured as he wanted to enrich the humanity with an organisation of mercy which would safeguard the honour of the whole human race, but the world responded him with an attack on his own honour. Any other man in his place would have either crushed the aggressors or, leaving everything in desperation, gone into seclusion. But this great symbol of patience and determination firmly walked on his path of duty caring little for the thorns strewn all-around. The Jews, although linked as a community with the Ansar by a written agreement, still entertained the desire of domination over them and were deeply disturbed when they found the Muslim community expanding and getting stronger and their jealousy and hatred of the Muslims came to the fore. But unable to launch a frontal open attack - - - 119 / 252 - - - they adopted mean tactics and spread their espionage activities among the Muslims to cause disruption and dissensions. One incident further inflamed these feelings when a Muslim woman who went to the market of Bani Qainqa, a distinct clan among the Jews, was molested and stripped of her clothes in the main market and the Jews present there instead of condemning this heinous act gloated over it. So the injured woman cried for help. A Muslim Youngman rushed to her help and in excitement killed the offending Jew. This caused great anguish and anger on both sides and a riot between the Jews and Muslims was in the offing. When the Prophet heard of it, he hurried to the place and pacified both sides admonishing Bani Qainqa on this indecent act. He warned them that if they did not reform themselves they might have to face the fate of the Quraish at the Battle of Badr. On this the leader of Bani Qainqa taunted, "O Muhammad, do not have presumption about yourself. If you killed some men of the Quraish it was because they were weak and did not know how to fight. By God, if you lift your sword against us you will know that we can fight well. You have not yet confronted people like us." The Prophet's only response to this boastful talk was dignified silence to stop further trouble. The Jews also tried to create dissensions between two clans of the Ansar. When a guileful old man among them, Shas bin Qais passed by a gathering of the Ansar and migrants, he was chagrined at the spirit of cordiality and friendliness among them; so he hatched a plan that some Jews should go and mix with them and recall the stories of the Battle of Boas and other battles between the two clans of the Ansar before their accepting Islam. The plot worked when at a meeting Ansar clans were reminded of the part they played in those battles while recollecting the details of the battles, tempers flared up and cry for arms rose from both sides. But in the meantime, the Prophet with some of his companions arrived and exhorted them as follows: "O you Muslims, remember God! When God showed to you the path of Islam, uplifted you by it, released you from the chain of the days of ignorance, freed you from idolatry and knit you in the bonds of affection and unity, you are raising these cries of ignorance while I am still among you". - - - 120 / 252 - - - This exhortation opened their eyes and they realised that it was the evil one who had worked up their feelings. They hung their heads in shame and repentantly left with the Prophet. One of the greatest mischiefs of the conspirators was to build a mosque as a rival centre to the Prophet's Mosque. This was built by one Abu Amir, a monk of the Khazraj clan, who wielded considerable influence in Medina due to his knowledge of the Scripture and his religious attire. But his reputation declined after the Prophet's advent, so he immediately began to work against the Prophet and when he visualised his future after the Battle of Badr, he began to instigate chiefs of Makkah for another Battle at Uhad, conspired with other Arab chiefs, incited the Ansar to revolt against the Prophet and invited the emperor of Rome to invade Medina and, to add insult to injury, he built a mosque as a rival centre to the Prophet's Mosque and tried to persuade the Prophet to sanctify it but the Prophet was warned against it by a revelation, which said: "And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity-to divide the believers-and in preparation for one who warned against God and His Apostle beforehand. They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good; but God doth declare that they are certainly liars. Never stand thou forth therein, there is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of thy standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and God loveth those who make themselves pure". -(IX:107-108) This mosque was later demolished by the order of the Prophet. Another mischievous act of the Jews was their effort to interfere in the administration of justice. Under the terms of agreement with the Jews the Prophet was given final authority in all political and legal matters and so when a case of adultery by a Jews was brought before the Prophet, he wanted to give his judgement according to the Jewish religious code and sent for their sacred book, the Taurah. The punishment of adultery according to the Taurah was stoning the culprit to death. But since the Jews did not want the guilty to be punished this way they put their hand over the portion of the book which said this. But Abdullah bin Salam who was a rabbi before he accepted Islam, - - - 121 / 252 - - - knew of the text and removed the hand of the Jews who was hiding the relevant portion of the text and the Prophet decreed accordingly. Before the advent of the Prophet, the Jews in Medina were discriminatory in the dispensation of justice, a man of influence was leniently punished than a poor man accused of the same guilt. The Prophet abolished this discrimination and established the system of even-handed justice. Like all perverted societies the Quraish were also used to make such discrimination in judicial matters and when at the time of the victory of Makkah a woman of Makhzoomi clan named Fatima was charged with theft the Quraish wanted to persuade the Prophet to judge her leniently and Usama bin Zaid was prevailed upon to speak to the Prophet on the subject. But when Usama broached the subject before the Prophet he was enraged and angrily asked Usama, "Are you recommending the suspension of a Divine order?" Usama immediately appraised the situation, repented and apologized to the Prophet. That evening the Prophet addressed the gathering of Muslims as follows: "One of the causes of the decline and fall of nations preceding you was that when any prominent man committed theft it was overlooked but if a man of lower status committed the same crime he was duly punished. But for myself I swear to God that even if my daughter Fatima committed theft I will see that her hand is cut off". The Jews also tried to disrupt the civil administration of the Muslim state. One such instance is that after the victory of Khyber the Jews of the town were allowed on their request to retain their lands as tenants and pay half of the produce. But when for the first harvest Abdullah bin Ruwaha was sent to collect half of the produce the Jews tried to bribe him on which Abdullah flatly told them, "O enemies of God! Do you want me to accept something that is prohibited?" And he said that he had to realise the share by the exact measure of the scale and added, "The Prophet has not sent me here to appropriate your share, but to divide the produce equally between you and the Muslims. If you like it I may make an estimate and give half of it to you, or you make the estimate and give half of it to me." So Abdullah estimated the produce to be 40 measures and took 20 measures for the Muslims. - - - 122 / 252 - - - The most reprehensible act of the Jews was to attempt to disrupt the domestic life of the Prophet and create dissensions in his family. It may be noted here that women of Medina were slightly different from the women of Makkah as the society of Medina had given greater freedom to its women than the strict Quraish conventions of wife's obedience to her husband. As an instance once Hazrath Umar snubbed his wife who replied in the same tone on which Hazrath Umar said, "You talk to me like this?" But immediately he realised that the atmosphere of Medina had greatly affected the marital relations of Makkah traditions. Now the Jews plotted to work on this concept and they deputed some women to incite the Prophet's consorts to revolt against him on account of their inadequate allowance. One such woman whose name is found in the traditions is Umm-e-Jaldah who was deputed to incite the Prophet's consorts in revolt and it was through such women that seeds of disruption were sown in the Prophet's household, and there were a number of unhappy incidents which might have taken a serious turn but the help of God, the Prophet's character, his companions' cooperation and nobility of the Prophet's consorts themselves saved the situation and matters were soon set right. On one occasion the conspiracy succeeded to the extent that the consorts of the Prophet joined in a united demand for the increase of their maintenance allowances. Hazrath Abu Bakr and Hazrath Umar severely reprimanded their respective daughters against this move and then came the momentous revelation: O Prophet! Say to thy consort: 'If it be that ye desire the life of this world and its glitter, -then come! I will provide for you maintenance and set you free in a handsome manner. But if ye seek God and his Apostle and the home of the Hereafter, verily God has prepared for the righteous you a great reward. -(XXXIII: 28-29) The two alternatives put before the consorts were either to be freed from marital bond and allowed to live their lives as they liked, or to stay with the Prophet of God which meant an austere life here but great reward in the Hereafter. The noble consorts at once understood and they repented. Hazrath Ayesha, who due to her superior intellect was leader of the revolt, came forward first and said that she would leave everything else and live a life of austerity with the Prophet. - - - 123 / 252 - - - Plots To Kill Many attempts were made on the life of the Prophet but God protected him and he was always cautioned in time. Some instances are as follows: Once in the fourth year of migration when Amr bin Umayya Damri had killed two men of the clan of Amir, the Prophet went to Banu Nodair clan to demand compensation and to remind the Jews of the provisions of the agreement; the people there made the Prophet sit under the shadow of a fortress and were plotting to drop a heavy stone on his head and kill him on the spot. But the Prophet had a premonition; he left the place and came away. There was a notable Jewish chief, Ka'ab bin Ashraf, whose father was from the clan of Tai and whose mother was the daughter of a wealthy Jew, Abu Rafay ibn Abi Haqiq, and with this twin relation, he was influential among the Jews as well as Arabs. Besides his wealth, he was also a poet but his mind was full of poison against Islam. So he hired some men in Medina and plotted to kill the Prophet. But the Prophet knew this and kept away. At the time when the prophet renewed agreement with Banu Quraizah clan, representatives of Banu Nodair sent word to him that he should come to them with three men and their clan would depute three learned men from their side to discuss with the Prophet's men and if convinced, they would all embrace Islam. But the Prophet, while still on the way, was informed that the Jews were sitting for him with drawn swords determined to kill him, and so he returned. An attempt was also made to poison the Prophet and a Jewish woman, Zainab, daughter of Al-Hars, prepared roasted mutton and put poison in it, and learning that the Prophet liked the flesh of goat's shank, she mixed a larger quantity of poison in that portion and sent it as gift to the Prophet and his companions. The Prophet took a morsel from it and immediately spat it out saying that it appeared to be poisonous and prohibited his companions from touching it. But one of the companions Bara bin Ma'roor, who had taken a morsel but due to his regard for the Prophet swallowed it with all its bitterness died immediately. The Jewish woman was summoned and she confessed it - - - 124 / 252 - - - saying that she wanted to test that if the Prophet was truly an Apostle of God he would be forewarned, otherwise "we would be relieved if he died." The Prophet, however, pardoned her. The Battle of Tabuk had given a great shock to the enemies of Islam as they had suffered unexpected debacle and so a conspiracy was hatched to kill the Prophet at Aqaba while he was returning from the battlefield. They were twelve person, viz. Abdullah bin Ubayy, Sa'ad bin Abi Sarah, Abu Qatir Arabi, Amir, Abi Amir Rahib, Jalas bin Sowaid, Mijma bin Jaria, Malih Taimi, Hisn bin Nomair, Taima bin Ubairaq, Abdullah bin Qyaina, and Murra bin Rabi. Each one of them took the pledge turn by turn and the plot was to inflict a severe blow on the Prophet when he passed by Aqaba and these people kept vigil for an opportunity. When the Prophet reached near Aqaba he ordered that those who wanted to go by the open route through the valley might go that way and a large number of the companions took that route while the Prophet himself took the route through Aqaba. Soon the Prophet's suspicions were roused and he took with him two of his companions, Ammar bin Yasir and Hozaifa bin Yaman, asking the former to hold the rope of the camel and walk in front and the latter to follow. When the Prophet neared Aqaba the party of plotters rushed towards him. The night was dark and these people wore masks but the Prophet on hearing the footsteps asked his companions to drive them back. Hozaifa advanced towards them and aimed an arrow at the mouth of one of their camels and recognised the rider of the camel. Soon the attackers realised that the plot was exposed and turned back and mingled with others. The Prophet asked Hozaifa if he had recognised any of them. Hozaifa replied that although he could not see their faces he recognised the conveyances of two or three of them. In the morning the Prophet guided by inspiration called all the twelve plotters by name and narrated to them every word of their talk at the time of laying the plot. They confessed their guilt; some of them apologised and some invented lame excuses while one Hisn bin Nomair declared that he was convinced now that the Prophet was a true apostle and pledged his faith. One of the companions suggested that the chieftain of each of the plotters' clan should be called upon to strike off the head of the plotter of his clan and bring it to the Prophet, but the Prophet pardoned all of them. - - - 125 / 252 - - - Another attempt on the life of the Prophet was made by invoking sorcery. A man of the clan of Bani Ruzaiq named Labeed bin Asim who was an ally of the Jews tried this very mean act. A Jewish boy used to serve the Prophet and through him the Prophet's hair and the teeth of his comb were secured and a charm was prepared and put in a well called Zarwan. The charm had disturbing effect on the Prophet's mind for some time until inspiration revealed to him the cause and the charm was taken out from the well and the Prophet recovered. That the enemies o Islam could stoop so low to invoke the help of sorcery to kill him made the devoted followers of the Prophet more watchful and anxious about him. We can well understand that they were much perturbed whenever the Prophet went out and if he was not seen for some time, they would go out anxiously in search of him. On one such occasion when the Prophet was not seen for sometime Hazrath Abu Huraira became anxious about his safety. He searched for the Prophet in all likely places and went up to the grove of Banu Najjar which was surrounded by a wall. He searched for a door but could not find it in his confusion and so entered it by squeezing through a hole for the outlet of water and was relieved only when he found the Prophet there. But while the companions were so anxious about his safety the Prophet himself had firm faith in God and fully trusted God's assurance that He would protect him. So once when some of his companions deputed guards to keep a watch on him the Prophet dismissed them saying that he was under God's protection. And once when Prophet pardoned and released a man who was caught red-handed while trying to kill him, his words were, "Release him. He would not kill me even if he wanted to". After their debacle at the Battle of Badr the people of Makkah were burning with the fire of revenge but in order not to give vent to their feelings at the losses and also to hide their shame it was proclaimed that lamentation on the losses of Badr was prohibited. Aswad who had lost his three sons in the battle and was suppressing his tears on this loss, heard the cry of a woman and sent his servant to find out if ban on mourning had been lifted, but the servant on return said that the woman was crying on the loss of her camel. Aswad expressed his grief in verses which have found a high place in Arabic literature. Three of these verses are translated as follows: - - - 126 / 252 - - - "She weeps for her camel and cannot sleep. Weep not for the camel. If you want to weep, then weep for the tragedy of Badr, where luck had failed. If you want to weep, then weep for Aqil or for Haris who was a lion of lions." (Two of his sons killed). In this mournful atmosphere Umair bin Wahb and Safwan bin Umayya were once sitting together and lamenting the loss of those killed in that battle when Umair said, "There is no joy in life now. If I was not indebted and had not to provide livelihood for my children I would have rushed to Medina and killed the Prophet. My son is also a prisoner there." Umair went home, took a poisoned sword and left for Medina where he met Hazrath Umar who read his evil intention from his face, caught him by the neck and brought him to the Prophet, who asked Hazrath Umar to release him and asked Umair to come near and then enquired about his plans. Umair said he had come to secure the release of his son. The Prophet then asked, "Why this sword?" Umair said, "What the sword did at Badr." The Prophet exposed the game," You and Safwan had plotted a conspiracy in a closed room to kill me." Umair was confounded and confessed, a declaring: "By God, you are a true Apostle for no one else had any knowledge of it except Safwan and myself". The Quraish of Makkah, smarting under the defeat of Badr and anxious to take revenge with the meanest type of tactics, found in the arch traitor, Abdullah bin Ubayy, a willing tool and so they wrote to him, "You people have given protection in your city to our man (meaning the Prophet). We swear to God that either you should kill him or turn him out of your city or we will all join hands to attack you and kill your men, capturing your women for our enjoyment." If Abdullah bin Ubayy had any sense of decency, he should have taken the letter to and urged upon the people of Medina to rise for the of the defence of their honour and freedom against the aggressors from Makkah. But, on the contrary, he resolved to help in the fulfillment of the designs of non-Muslims of Makkah. Meanwhile, the Prophet was informed of the letter and he personally went to Abdullah bin Ubayy and explained to him that their own sons, nephews and other relatives were zealous supporters of Islam and if there was war they would see that their own children were opposing them and they would have to - - - 127 / 252 - - - fight against their own near and dear ones. Abdullah bin Ubayy understood and agreed and refrained from his treacherous designs. He, however, committed another act of treachery. When the Jews of Banu Nodair, after repeated violation of the terms of agreement were ordered to evacuate Medina in 10 days and while these men were preparing to leave, Abdullah bin Ubayy sent word to them that they should defy the order of expulsion, and that he was coming to their help with a force of 2000 men, and both Banu Quraizah and Banu Ghatfan clans would support them. Emboldened with this Banu Nodair sent word to the Prophet that they were not leaving and challenged the Prophet to do whatever he liked. The Prophet then had to take military action to enforce the order. Again on the occasion of the Battle of Uhad when the Muslim army marching from Medina reached a particular spot, he retreated to Medina with 300 other hypocrites. This was a betrayal at a most critical time. In fact, he did not want the Muslim army to leave the confines of Medina for defense and make preparations within the city itself. As his advice was not accepted by the general body of Muslims, he asked why he risks his life in battle. Another prominent conspirator against the Muslims was Abu Amir who had become infamous in connection with the building of a mosque for conspirators. Amir, who had a large hand in bringing about the Battle of Uhad, went to Makkah and incited the chiefs of Quraish. He was also present in the battlefield and had assured them that the people of his clan of Aus would desert the Prophet and join the Quraish. After the Battle of Uhad he went to the emperor of Rome, instigated him to invade Medina and called upon the hypocrites of Medina to be ready to help the Roman army. Amir had also dug pits on the occasion of the Battle of Hunain so that the Prophet might fall into them. The Prophet did fall into one of them and was badly hurt. In this atmosphere of conspiracies and treacherous activities of the enemies of Islam, Muslims had to make special arrangements for security and guards were deputed to keep watch at night in which the Prophet and his companions took their turns to stand on duty. Once the Prophet said that a strong man should take up the vigil that night. - - - 128 / 252 - - -- Hazrath Sa'ad bin Waqqas armed himself and kept the watch throughout the night. And to safeguard against sudden unexpected attacks a patrolling system was organised which continued to expand as the needs grew. Armed parties were sent out to watch the movement of the enemy and to make them realise that the Muslims were alert and could not be caught unprepared. The fifth column of the enemies found opportunity to strike at the time of actual clashes when they could betray the Muslims. There was hardly any occasion when they did not act treacherously. The Quraish continued to smart under the severe defeat inflicted on them at Badr. The Battle of Uhad, despite the treachery of Abdullah bin Ubayy and his followers, ended indecisively but the conspirators renewed their activities and some chiefs of the clan of Banu Nodair joined the chiefs of Banu Wail and incited the Quraish to make another bid with larger preparations. They succeeded in bringing round a number of clans so that an army of 10,000 besieged Medina and the Battle of Ahzab (clans) or Ditch took place in which the new Muslim strategy of building a ditch around their town and the tactful handling of clans by Nuaim ibn Masud gave another crushing defeat to the overwhelming force of non-Muslims. The conspirators were, however, active in different spheres. One party went to Rome to urge the emperor to invade Medina and once the rumour spread that the emperor was marching against the Muslims with a force of 40,000. The Muslim were not at all prepared to confront this huge army while the season was hot and the army had to march a long distance for which adequate provisions of food and water had to be made. The traitors found their chance of persuading the more cowardly to abstain from following the Prophet under various pretexts and succeeded in weaning away a large number of them. Yet the Prophet marched with whatever men he could find and encamped at Tabuk, but the Roman army did not appear and the Muslims returned after consolidating the areas already under their control. Vindictiveness Of Quraish The vindictive activities of the Quraish were, meanwhile, mounting and taking them to such low acts which worked against their own influential position. Even before the actual warfare started one of the prominent men of the Aus clan, Sa'ad bin Ma'az, went for pilgrimage - - - 129 / 252 - - - to Makkah and stayed with his friend, Umayya bin Khalaf. He went with his host to do the tawaf, the customary round of the Kaabah. Abu Jehl who, was passing by, angrily told Umayya that he was taking into protection those renegades from religion and then told Sa'ad, "I can never tolerate that you should enter the Kaabah. If you were not under the protection of Umayya, you could not have returned alive." Sa'ad, who was not to be cowed down by such threats, retorted, "If you will stop us from the pilgrimage, we will cut off your trade route through Medina". This would have meant severing the lifeline of the economy of Makkah and Abu Jehl repented for his threat vented in a fit of anger. The Muslim state of Medina had to modify its policy accordingly. Then the Qur'an openly challenged their monopoly of the custody of the Kaabah. It said, "And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of God, God's name should be celebrated? -whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them?" -(II:114) Further it said, "They ask thee concerning fighting in the prohibited month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque and drive out its members. Uprising and oppression are worse than bloodshed". -(II:217) "But what plea have they that Allah should not punish them, when they kept out (men) from the Sacred Mosque and they are not its guardians?" -(VIII:34) These words of the Qur'an began to have their impact on Arabia and the influence of the Quraish began to diminish. But the vindictive activities of the Quraish continued. At the time of the Treaty of Hudaibiya (Ziqada, 6H) the injustice of stopping Muslims from entering the Kaabah was perpetrated on a much larger scale. The Prophet under the Divine inspiration proceeded to perform Umrah unarmed and without any intention to fight. Many people accompanied him voluntarily. They carried with them animals for sacrifice and as customary the animals were marked at Zulhalifa and rope were tied to their necks which clearly indicated that these animals were meant for sacrifice and that no aggression was intended. But on the way a patrol, Bishr bin Sufian Alkabi, brought the information that the people of Bani Ka'ab bin Lowi were preparing to fight and would not let the - - - 130 / 252 - - - Muslims enter the Kaabah. On reaching Hudaibiya the Prophet sent word that they had not come to fight but just to perform Umrah. Budail bin Waraqa Khuzai tried to bring about peace and then Urva bin Masud also carried negotiations to that end. Then one of the clans of Bani Kinana intervened and came to the Muslim camp where he saw with his own eyes the sacrificial animals moving about in the valley and the spectacle deeply moved him. This man whose name was, Hulais, on returning to the Quraish spoke as follows: "O the clan of Quraish! Our agreement with you is not for preventing such men from entering the Kaabah who are coming to enhance its dignity, nor have we entered into alliance with you for this purpose. I swear to God who sustains my life that you must allow Muhammad to do as he likes, otherwise we will withdraw all our clans and return home". The Quraish were disturbed by this threat, but they, however assured him that their object was not to stop the Muslims but to negotiate some reasonable terms and in the meantime he should keep silent and watch. Then they stipulated the term that the Muslims should return without performing Umrah postponing it to the next year. The Qur'an again exposes the mischief of the Quraish as follows: They are the ones who denied revelation and hindered you from the Sacred Mosque and the sacrificial animals detained from reaching their place of sacrifice. -(XLVIII:25) This prevention of the performing of religious rites, agreed by all since the time of Prophet Abraham, greatly weakened the position of the Quraish who by their vindictiveness gave rise to feelings of animosity against them throughout Arabia as it was realised that their actions were not based on any religious precepts but only on arrogance. But the most malicious act of the Quraish was to force the husbands of the Prophet's daughters to divorce them in order to cause the most acute pain to the Prophet. Two daughters of the Prophet, viz. Hazrath Ruqayya and Hazrath Umm-e-Kulsum, were married to two sons of Abu Lahab, viz. Utbah and Utaiba, a longstanding alliance between close relations. When the revelation came to the Prophet that Abu - - - 131 / 252 - - - Lahab's hands were incapacitated from doing any harm to the Muslim movement he demanded that his sons divorce the daughters of the prophet, saying that now it would be a profanity to keep these daughters in their home. Hazrath Ruqayya was living separately at her home and at the instance of his father, Utbah promptly divorced her. But Utaiba was even more malicious than his father and he not only divorced his wife but went straight to the Prophet and impertinently addressed him, "I have denied your religion and divorced your daughter. Neither have you affection for me nor do I like you." Then he tore away the Prophet's shirt. This atrocious behaviour by a relative could not be tolerated even by the most forbearing Prophet who pronounced the only curse of his life. "O Allah! Set some of your voracious animals on him!" When Abu Talib heard of it he told Utaiba that nothing could save him from his nephew's curse. Soon afterwards when Utaiba was staying for the night in Syria with a trade caravan, a lion searched him out and devoured his head. The Quraish also tried to persuade Hazrath Abul Aas to divorce Hazrath Zainab, another daughter of the Prophet, offering him to select any girl of the Quraish who would be married to him. But Abul Aas flatly refused saying, "By Allah I can never do it, and I do not like that any other girl of the Quraish should come to my house to replace Zainab." This nobility of Abul Aas was recognised by the Prophet on two subsequent occasions: once when Abul Aas came as a war prisoner and offered the necklace of Hazrath Zainab to secure his release. The Prophet with the consent of the Muslims returned this necklace and next, after the Battle of Badr, when Abul Aas was released at the instance of the Prophet who on the occasion, took a promise from Abul Aas that he would permit Hazrath Zainab to come to Medina. On the appointed day the Prophet sent his two companions, Zaid bin Harisa and an Ansari, to wait at Yajij, eight miles away from Makkah, and bring Hazrath Zainab with them when she arrived. When Hazrath Zainab started in the morning with her brotherin- law, Kin'an bin Rabi, the people of Quraish pursued her and caught her at Zi Towa where Habbar bin Aswad struck the seat of the camel with an arrow on which Hazrath Zainab was sitting Zainab, who was pregnant, had a miscarriage. And it was only when Kinana challenged them with arms that the pursuers retreated and fled. In the meantime, - - - 132 / 252 - - - Abu Sufian also arrived there and persuaded Kinana to take her back to Makkah and carry her secretly another time to Medina. Soon after coming to Medina the Prophet had started the system of sending preaching delegations to neighbouring areas. One such delegation consisting of six persons was sent to the clan of Banu Huzail at the instance of the leader of the clan who had prepared a trap to kill them. Four persons of the delegation were murdered on the way while two, viz., Hazrath Zaid bin Dasna and Hazrath Khobaib, were captured and brought to Makkah. The story of these prisoners is gruesome. There were two prisoners of Banu Huzail in Makkah and they were exchanged with these Muslims. Now Hazrath Khobaib was taken by Hajir ibn Ahhab Tamimi who handed him over to Utbah bin Haris, whose father was killed by Khobaib in the Battle of Badr, to be killed in revenge for his father. Thus the revenge for the Battle of Badr was to be taken from a helpless prisoner. The other prisoner, Zaid bin Dasna, was taken by Safwan who handed him over to his slave Fastas to be taken to Taneem outside the Kaabah, and killed there. To watch the murder of this helpless victim a large crowd or revelers had collected. Abu Sufian himself was present among the crowd and he went to Zaid and whispered to him, "Do you want to be released and live happily with your family and instead of you we kill your Prophet?" Zaid's reply was: "I would not like to be freed even in exchanged for injury to a hair of the Prophet". Hazrath Khobaib remained in captivity for sometime and continued to preach even during his imprisonment and as a result, a slave girl of Hajir bin Ahhab accepted Islam. It was she who narrated the prison story of Hazrath Khobaib. According to her, one day he asked for a razor and a child of the enemy was on his lap. Sensing the fear of the slave girl Hazrath Khobaib assured her that he was not going to take the life of the innocent child and immediately put him down. What nobility of character was that the child of the enemy was within his reach and he held a weapon also but did not strike! And on the day he was to be hanged, he demonstrated still greater firmness of character. When he was taken to Taneem for his execution he offered optional prayer and then prayed, "O God, I have conveyed the message of the Prophet who should be informed how cruelly I have been treated. O - - - 133 / 252 - - - God, reduce the number of enemies, create dissensions among them and do not let any of these murderous people alive!" He was hanged and then given the fatal blow with a weapon. At his death he was joyfully reciting a poem, one line of which may be translated as follows: "When I am being killed after being enriched with Islam I do not mind on which side I fall in the path of Allah". It was stipulated in the historic Treaty of Hudaibiyyah that all the clans would be free to make alliance either with the Prophet or with the Quraish and no force would be used by either side in this connection. Under these terms Banu Bakr allied themselves with the Quraish and Banu Khaza'a with the Prophet. Now these two clans were engaged in tribal feuds and a series of retaliatory killings had continued for a long time before the advent of Islam. But as soon as Islam appeared on the scene all feuds were forgotten and they all united in opposing Islam. But after the peace of Hudaibiya they were revived again. Now a branch of Banu Bakr was Banu Wail and the head of this clan, Nofal bin Muaviya, in order to take the revenge of the murdered sons of one Aswad bin Razan of their clan took some men with him and taking advantage of the period of peace, attacked Banu Khaza'a and killed one of their men at Alwateer well. When other men of the Banu Khaza'a confused by this unexpected attack fled, they were pursued and killed by these marauders. The Quraish in violation of the peace terms supplied arms to Banu Bakr and attacked Banu Khaza'a secretly. Thus they committed the double crime of violation of th4e peace treaty and assisting the enemy of a clan allied to the Prophet. Not content with this, they pursued Banu Khaza'a to the Kaabah and the latter, taking sanctuary in Kaabah, called out the head of Banu Bakr, "O Nofal! We have now entered the Sacred Mosque. Desist now, for God's sake, for God's sake." But Nofal inebriated by his success replied, "There is no God today. Take your full revenge, O Banu Bakr. Will you forget to avenge your honour for the sake of the sanctity of the Kaabah?" Thus these bloodthirsty people spilled blood in the Kaabah and only a few men of Banu Khaza'a could save their lives by fleeing and taking shelter in the house of Budail bin Waraqa and his slave Rafay. - - - 134 / 252 - - - The Quraish committed their greatest folly by this atrocity as it led to the conquest of Makkah. Amr bin Salim Khaza'a left for Medina and narrated the story of the atrocities of Banu Bakr and the Quraish to the Prophet who was addressing the congregation in the mosque. Amr narrated his story in most moving poetry. The following are a few lines: "O God! I will remind the Prophet of the alliance which was entered into between our old families. O Prophet! Help us and call the votaries of God to collect round you and march with an army moving like the waves of the sea and raising clouds of dust, because the Quraish have violated the treaty and attacked us near Water at the dead of night. They fell on us while we were sleeping and mercilessly slaughtered our men in their prayers." The Prophet's response was: "You will be helped, Amr bin Salim!" At last the Quraish realised that they had committed a suicidal folly and Abu Sufian rushed to Medina, but the atmosphere there was such that when Abu Sufian went to his daughter's house and wanted to sit on the bed, she removed the bed sheet saying that this bedding was being used by the Prophet and a polluted non-believer should not sit on it. Abu Sufian returned frustrated and soon after found a very large army about to enter Makkah. What a gracious gesture of the Prophet, who in the face of such treacherous and murderous acts during war with the Quraish, while Makkah was in the grip of famine, and the chief of Yamama having accepted Islam stopped the usual supply of grain to Makkah, he personally persuaded the chief of Yamama to resume supplies and in addition sent 500 gold coins for the relief of the poor people of Makkah! - - - 135 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Four Under the shadow of the sword 1. Prophet's military policy 2. Strategic position 3. Subsequent events 4. The siege 5. Treaty of Hudaibiya 6. Campaign to Khyber 7. The conquest of Makkah 8. Consolidation of victory Under The Shadow Of The Sword The leaders of the non-believers had in their arrogance assumed that they had achieved something very great by turning out the Prophet and his companions from Makkah, but soon they realised that through the pledge of Aqaba the Prophet had secured the cooperation of Ansar which meant that Medina was to become a powerful centre of Islamic movement where a system of government would gradually develop and then confront them with such strength that it would not be possible for them to check or control its expansion. Then on reaching Medina the Prophet contracted treaties with the Jews and other clans when the danger became all the more pronounced. Then the Prophet organised a defence system and began to send patrolling parties to look after the borders of the state of Medina and to watch the movements of the enemy in the neighbouring areas. Soon the Quraish were confronted with many new dangers. Their trade route to Syria which passed through Medina faced the danger of being snapped. And when Abu Jehl prevented Sa'ad bin Ma'az from performing Umrah, there was every danger of their economic life-line being cut off. The Prophet and his companions were outside their range of influence. In Makkah he was only a preacher but now he was the head of the Islamic state, too: There he was oppressed and used to bear all this with patience but now he was in a position to repulse oppression by force. The Quraish in opposing the call to truth at different stages had reached a point where war was inevitable. But while the Quraish - - - 136 / 252 - - - with their oppressive activities and nefarious plots had developed a blood-thirsty mentality, the limited resources for constructing a new era which the Prophet had achieved and on whose basis the new state was launched could not be endangered as their destruction would have undone all the work accomplished so far. Its preservation and defence were of vital importance. An adequate defence system had to be established to meet all eventualities. It was essential for the new movement to keep a strict surveillance on the movement of its opponents and to preserve its own power. The Prophet and his companions fully realised that the next stage after migration was a full- fledged warfare and they had to be fully prepared for it. This stage did not take long to come, but before we deal with this it will be of interest to describe briefly the Islamic concept of Jihad and its philosophy according to Qur'an. When a revolutionary movement is launched to change a corrupt social system and reform it from its core, it generally meets opposition from vested interests who think that their position, both social and economic, will be affected in the new order and they use all methods, mostly foul, to crush the movement. In such cases the sponsors of the movement cannot remain content with merely defensive measures, but must confront the opposition and break its obstructive power to clear the path of social reform. It is, therefore, a mistake to assume that the Islamic concept of Jihad or holy war was merely of a defensive character. It is, however, unfortunate that some of our educated elite influenced by anti-Islamic propaganda against Jihad, are trying to explain away some of its basic features and use all the force of logic and even misrepresentation of basic facts to prove that the Islamic Jihad is merely defensive which is absurd. The objectives of Jihad are. It must safeguard the Muslim state and Muslim society. Its main purpose is the preservation of the ideology on which the system of truth is based. Its aim is to crush all such destructive forces which pose danger to the success achieved by the Islamic revolution and stand in the way of its further implementation. - - - 137 / 252 - - - It aims at removing and totally destroying all the obstacles in the way of social evolution and human welfare. Now order to clarify these points I would like to refer to some relevant passages of the Qur'an: "To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight) because they are wronged; -and verily Allah is most powerful for their aid; -(they are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, -(for no cause) except that they say; 'Our Lord is Allah'. Had not Allah checked one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly and those who aid. His (cause); -for verily Allah is full of strength, exalted in might (able to enforce His will). (They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayers and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: With Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs." ( XXII:39-41) "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits: for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter, but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there, but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, All is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult of oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression." -(II:190-193) "And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect, one who will help'." -(IV:75) "But if they violate oath after their covenant and taunt you for your faith-fight ye the chiefs on unfaith for their oaths are nothing to them that thus they may be restrained. Will ye not fight people who violated - - - 138 / 252 - - - their oaths, plotted to expel the Apostle and took the aggression by being the first to assault you." -(IX 12-13) "Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with grievous penalty, and put others in your place, but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things." -(IX:39) There are several other important and thought-provoking verses in the Qur'an on the subject but the above-mentioned have been selected for their greater clarity and basic principle. A careful study of these verses will enable the reader to grasp and understand the true significance of the clashes between the Prophet and those who opposed and oppressed him and his followers and helpers. For years Muslims had been persecuted. The oppressors did not allow the Muslim society to flourish, suppressed freedom of thought and conscience, and obstructed the propagation of truth. The Muslims endured all this with extraordinary patience never retaliating against their oppressors and at last it became impossible for them to remain in their homes. They had to seek asylum elsewhere. Islam allows maximum latitude to its opponents to understand and respond to the movement of reform and with this object it takes Muslims through a stage of endurance, but it cannot tolerate that its members should suffer oppression indefinitely or fall easy prey to their opponents. In fact, the period of their patient suffering is only training to enable them to confront oppression and suppress it to make way for unobstructed progress in human welfare. It is vital to eliminate oppressive and destructive force, for if evil is not crushed by force but left unhindered to do mischief, all virtue, nobility and fear of Allah would be destroyed. The revolutionary ideology of Islam stipulates that gradually power should be taken from those who stand for anarchy, ignorance, vice and oppression and entrusted to those who establish the order of virtue, prayer and charity, and destroy the sources of evil. "Fight those who fight against you" does not mean that only when your opponents attack, only then you do something to defend yourself. The indication here is that there is a group among the opponents which is - - - 139 / 252 - - - not active and may not be interfered with. But in the case of those who obstruct you in your work and are bent upon killing you and your system by force, use of force against them is inevitable, and, it is not necessary for you to wait till they actually attack the Islamic state, but they should be put down wherever they may be. Although bloodshed is not intrinsically good, attempts to obstruct the Islamic movement are much greater evils and in order to safeguard the movement and the system the lesser evil of resort to arms and war should be pressed with all the force till all the forces standing in the path of truth are completely subdued. While the necessity for the maintenance of sanctity of religious conventions is stressed, the Muslims are also warned of the false notion of piety that if the enemy violates the sanctity and commits excesses in the prohibited month, they should quietly allow themselves to be slaughtered. On the other hand if they violate the sanctity they should be crushed. The religious and moral duty of the Muslims in not only confined to care for the safety of their own lives but it is also incumbent on them that wherever the weak are oppressed, and cry out for help, they should do everything to relieve them. Thus the Islamic movement has been made responsible for the redemption of the entire human race, and its wider responsibility is to preserve higher cultural and religious values. Treaties and covenants are also useful means of breaking the forces of opposition. The Prophet made full use of them. In this respect, the Qur'an has sounded a solemn warning that those who violate the covenant must be forced to abide by it. In particular, those who make plans in contravention of their pledges to destroy Islam and remove its leader, every act of conspiracy and intrigue should be interpreted as a declaration of war even if no such formal declaration is made. In this connection the Islamic state is cautioned that the real purpose of a military action is not to kill the people but to destroy the leadership of the enemies of the movement. Evading the duty of Jihad means the end of the state, your power and your system and blocking of your progress while opposing forces will - - - 140 / 252 - - - come forward, remove your or rather totally crush you and establish their own rule and you will be able to do nothing. You must realise what grievous penalty you will suffer. It is only in the light of the above observations that we can comprehend the nature of the warfare between the sponsors of the revolutionary movement of Islam and its enemies. The basic fact to be noted is that two forces were arrayed against each other in the history of Arabia. One aimed at rescuing the people from the grip of an evil and oppressive system of ignorance and the other was using all its forces to retain this system and kill the new movement. There was no room for a compromise between the aims and objects of the two, nor could the parties strike a bargain between them. The situation was in the nature of "do or die", or as the proverb says, "If you do not kill him, he will kill you." If this situation is realised the question as to whether these wars were defensive does not arise and the criticism that the force was used to enforce belief becomes irrelevant and it is no longer necessary to discuss the immediate causes of each battle and to distort facts to prove that these wars were defensive and forced on the Muslims by the other side. It is unfortunate that some of our educated people are advancing hairsplitting arguments to refute the charges of the European writers, particularly in respect of the Battle of Badr. If they had grasped this basic fact they would have been saved from adopting an apologetic attitude or appealing for justice from their court. We could tell them plainly that the best authority for judging the conduct of our Prophet are the Muslims and it is not the business of the writers of the West or East or North or South to question our authority. To explain the significance of our past achievements and the meaning of our technical terms is our business and not that of anyone else. In testing our beliefs, our history and our Prophet's life we can never accept the standards framed by the Christian Church or those formulated by the new materialistic age. We absolutely refuse to judge our past by these false standards. It should be clearly understood that the nature of military measures of the Islamic state was not like a war between two kingdoms or a conflict between two religious groups. There was no idea of conquering the world like Alexander, Napoleon or Hitler or of - - - 141 / 252 - - - establishing colonies by depriving free nations of their freedom like Holland, France and England. It was a conflict between two groups of people of the same country and the same race on the point that one group was selflessly struggling to build a new life based on new values and the other was bent upon obstructing it or destroying it completely. The basic conflict was that while the Prophet and his followers were taking up a new line under Divine guidance and discarding the blind following of a system of ignorance, the Quraish were not conceding them the right of freedom of conscience. Against this healthy revolution, the Quraish, the Jews and the Beduin clans were reacting with the meanest type of strategy, mischief, conspiracies, and murder as mentioned above. After years of suffering under hostile acts the only alternative left to them was to come in the open, sword in hand, and if possible to end the conflict for ever. The Quraish formed the staunchest opposition and other elements followed suit but they were all beaten. The outstanding feature of these ten years of military activities in Medina can be understood by looking at the total loss of life incurred and it will become clear that the Prophet had always in his mind to gain the Maximum loss of life he established a state which extended to over a million square miles. The total number of killed in all the wars was 255 Muslims and 279 enemies. With this small number of casualties, all opposition was suppressed and the path was cleared for the felicity of hundreds of thousands of Arabs. If these wars were for proselytizing non-Muslims, innumerable atrocities would have been committed as in the case of the Christians and the Jews and in a single war alone their would have been far more losses of life than this. If the Prophet was motivated by conquest, he would have done what other conquerors had done in history and every patch of the desert of Arabia would have been soaked with blood. If it were a conflict between hostile kingdoms the loss of life would have been still greater. Then the number of prisoners taken in all the wars was only 6,564 and of these, only two were executed for proved crimes, while 6,347 were released. The fate of the remaining 215 prisoners is not known; probably they accepted the Islam and merged into the Muslim society. The proof that the Prophet was not a military hero in the accepted sense is further established by the fact that in the Battle of Badr he asked his men to spare the men - - - 142 / 252 - - - of Banu Hashim as they were not willing partners of the enemy and not to kill Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib and Abul Bakhtari bin Hisham (the latter was, however, accidentally killed). When he learned about suffering of the prisoners of war at Badr he could not sleep and himself got their bonds loosened, in the midst of war he intervened with the chief of Yamama to renew the supply of foodgrains to Makkah which was stopped on the people of Yamama accepting Islam and further sent 500 gold coins for the relief of the poor in Makkah, and lastly at the time of the conquest of Makkah he forgave all their inhuman excesses perpetrated on him and his followers during the past 15-20 years and declared, "There is no retaliation today. Go, you are free. In fact, although the Prophet was forced to draw sword against the enemy as no other alternative was left, his eyes were not on the conquest of land but on the conquest of hearts and he did not want to subjugate human bodies by use of force but to convert the people's minds by arguments and their hearts by kindness and moral force. Prophet's Military Policy The basic principle of the Prophet's military policy was not to kill the enemy but to weaken him until either he cooperated or at least gave up his opposition. One prominent historian, Dr. Hamidullah Siddiqui has said: "In fact, the Prophet preferred to weaken the enemy instead of destroying him." Also the Prophet's policy was not based on destroying or annihilating the Quraish but on making them humble and powerless. On the basis of these principles the Prophet adopted the following measures: He quickly developed his defensive apparatus in numbers, organisation, military preparedness, hard work and moral training and made them move about in such formation as to frighten the enemy. He weakened the Makkans by blockading their trade route. By treaty alliances he gradually persuaded several tribes to join him and leave the enemy camp. In military tactics he sometimes took the enemy by surprise without allowing him time or chance to prepare for defence, as in the case of - - - 143 / 252 - - - conquest of Makkah; sometimes he marched through an unexpected route and kept the enemy ignorant of his movements, as in the Battle of Banu Mustalaq; sometimes he adopted strategy of which the enemy had no experience as in the Battle of the Ditch. Some examples of this generosity and large-heartedness towards the enemy are recorded here: When the oppression against the prophet was at its peak and anyone in his place would have demanded the destruction of all his oppressors, the Prophet, finding that the most active among his oppressors were Abu Jehl and Umar Ibn ul Khattab, devoutly prayed to God that at least one of them be brought to the Islamic fold and this prayer was answered in the conversion of Hazrath Umar. It is obvious from this that the Prophet wanted to reform his enemies rather than destroy them. The treatment which the people of Taif meted out to him when he went there for their welfare was such as to cause them lose all sympathy and invite completed destruction. The Prophet suffered all tortures patiently and hopefully said that if these people did not accept the Divine message of truth, their children certainly would. In the Battle of Uhad, when due to their mistakes the Muslims had met with a debacle and feelings were greatly strained, some of the companions of the Prophet asked him to curse the enemy and pray for their destruction. The Prophet replied that he had not been sent to curse but to convey to the people the message of mercy, and he prayed: "O God, send Guidance to my people for they do not know (what they do)". At the time of the Battle of Khyber the Prophet gave Hazrath Ali the command to capture the fort of Qumus and directed him thus: "O Ali, even if one man gets right guidance through you it will be the greatest blessing." The long list of Ghazwas and Siryas found in the books of Traditions had given rise to some misconceptions not only among the non- Muslims but among Muslims themselves. It should therefore be understood that the words Ghazwas and Sirya have been used in a specific sense. The contingents sent out even of two persons only for - - - 144 / 252 - - - the purposes of strategic or defensive measures or for patrolling or surveying or for punishing the rebels or criminals or for preaching and propaganda or for negotiating alliances are called Siryas. But if the Prophet himself went with the parties they were called Ghazwas. Even if there was a clash with an enemy party or border clash or any other military action they are included in the Siryas. If all such activities are excluded, the full-scale battles are few. They are Badr, Uhad, Ahzab, Khyber, Makkah (with Hunain). The army sent to meet the danger of a foreign invasion from Sirya was a different nature. Now we will briefly discuss these battles. Before taking up this subject we should take note of the position of the two parties. The foregoing pages have made it clear that the Quraish had an offensive mentality and ever since the Prophet's migration to medina the danger of invasion from Makkah had become more imminent as they did not like that the small band of Muslims should find a refuge where it could flourish and grow strong. A number of plots, conspiracies and treacherous activities mentioned earlier were clear indications which the Prophet could not overlook. Furthermore, the Quraish conspiring with the Jews of Medina sent a clear challenge that they would soon go to Medina to settle accounts. The provocation of Kurz bin Jabir Fahri plundering and lifting the camels and other animals from the pasturelands of Medina showed that the enemy was bold enough to enter their territory from a distance of 300 miles and commit excesses; it was a clear challenge and almost a declaration of war from Makkah. In the meantime, small parties from Makkah continued to plunder and make mischief and as soon as the Prophet was informed, a patrol party was sent and the raiding party fled finding the Muslims alert. On the other hand, the position of the Prophet and his small revolutionary party was such that nothing was more disgusting to them than war. It was a group of displaced persons that had entered a new environment, half of the population facing economic distress was struggling to rehabilitate itself, preparing a new society for a revolutionary call, uniting various tribal clans into one brotherhood, giving them moral and intellectual training and building up administrative structure of various departments of new state. All these - - - 145 / 252 - - - issues were faced by the sponsors of Islamic revolution, each of them requiring utmost attention and continuous effort. A small group burdened with these difficult problems could never think of initiating a war. But then they had before them a great international mission and the sacred ideal of welfare of the entire humanity. For the sake of enlightening the society with the Divine message hey had sacrificed all their comforts and interest, and were enduring all the ordeals with patience and sacrifice. Their only asset was the ideal of truth. It was a small group and the state of Medina was newly established. Their whole future was bound up with this small asset which they had to preserve and consolidate. They ate less and spent their all for the mission and with their emaciated bodies were ready to crush any opposition which intended to obstruct their mission. And yet they were neither anchorites nor Darweshes but were building up a new world order with all tact and wisdom, with peace if possible, but with war if inevitable, and were prepared to answer force by force. The migrants who had come to Medina with the Prophet were not just seeking a haven of peace and comfort, nor cherishing any economic ambitions. They had a higher aim before them and did not lose themselves in searching for means of economic advancement. The Prophet had welded them together as never before and established social and economic links between them and the Ansar and then, through social centres of mosques, knit them into an organised social order, and had immediately begun to work for their intellectual, moral and practical training through prayers, preachings, teaching of the Qur'an and other means and speedily expanded this work, while at the same time reorganised them into a strong state. Thus the resourceless migrants who had left everything behind at Makkah to unite with Ansar became a potent force which continued to expand and develop. Strategic Position The position of Medina was very well suited for defence. The city was spread over an area of ten square miles. At some distance from the town, villages of different clans were spread here and there. In the middle o this undulating plain was Sala Mountain besides other small hills. Eir and Thaur mountains surrounded it, while there were a number of clan fortresses of the name of Ajam which at one time - - - 146 / 252 - - - numbered one hundred. Medina situated in the centre of this area with the mosque and residential quarters was the capital of the Islamic state. Important countries like Syria and Iraq face it; the important trade route of Arabia had its terminus there while the seacoast was only 70-75 miles away. To the southeast were the villages of Quba and Awali with their gardens. In the east from Quba to Uhad were the Jewish quarters spreading from east to west. Near Bab-ush-Shami, the gate of the old city wall of Medina, the clan of Banu Sa'ida and further ahead over the Sala Mountain were the quarters of Banu Haram. On the northwest there were many groves from Wadi-ul-Atiq to B'ir-i-Roma and on the south were large hills. To the east and south of Medina were stony plains of lava which were not suited either for a military camp or as a battleground and could be passed through difficult valleys and canyons. The only route open for an attacking army was on the north and it was from this side that the Quraish came for the Battles of Badr and Uhad. But the route for the army of Makkah to attack Medina from this side created difficulties which went in favour of Medina. Thus with natural defences the city was like a fort which with some preparedness, organisation and proper defensive measures could become still stronger. Its geographical and strategic position could be utilised to the best advantage if its population was unified. So the most outstanding work of the Prophet was to organise the Jews, Aus, Khazraj, and the nearby clans into one unit despite their religious, social and cultural differences. For a person quite new to the region, to organise various conflicting elements into one political unit was a stupendous task and that he achieved this is the highest point of the Prophet's political wisdom. Still more surprising is that in the written constitution of this political unit the judicial, military and economic authority was vested in the Prophet and this document was based on the basic spirit of the Sovereignty of God. All the participants in this political agreement expressly pledged their allegiance to the Muslims cooperating with them in war and peace, that every war would be a war for all, military service was to be compulsory, that they would not give any refuge to the Makkans and would not create any obstacles when the Muslims attacked the Quraish. Military expenses were to be borne by each party proportionately. The Jews also expressly agreed that they would fight with everyone with whom the - - - 147 / 252 - - - Muslims fought and would be at peace with all those who were at peace with them. They should all equally share the defence of Medina. If the Muslims were attacked, the Jews would help them and inversely if Jews were attacked, the Muslims would help them. These clauses of the constitutional document of Medina clearly showed that the Prophet had an intuition of the danger of aggression from Makkah which was adequately safeguarded. One of the most important items of this agreement was that Medina was declared a city of peace whose sanctity must be preserved by its inhabitants at all costs. This put the sanctity of Medina on a par with that of Makkah and was a challenge to the people of Makkah that if they violated the sanctity of Medina the sanctity of Makkah would also be in danger. These details are given with a view to enable the world to judge by the subsequent conduct of the Jews and Muslims as to how far they conformed to the various provisions of this solemn pact. In order to delineate the boundary of the city of peace the Prophet deputed Ka'ab bin Malik to erect boundary pillars around the heights of Medina, so pillars were erected at Zat-ul-Jaish (on the route to Makkah), Mushairib (near Zat-ul-Jaish), Makhiz hills (on the route to Syria), Hafiyya (forest on the north of Medina), Zil Ushair (on the side of Hafiyya) and Taim hill (east of Medina). Remains of these pillars can be seen even today. After consolidating the internal administration of Medina the prophet gave immediate attention to the clans inhabiting the surrounding areas and made several tours of the south-western districts and coastal areas of the Red Sea, and concluded pacts with Bani Hamza inhabiting Waddan on the way to Makkah with the clans inhabiting places around Yanbu; with Banu Damra, Banu Zura, Banu Ar-Raba and Banu Mudlij. Some of these pacts were of offensive and some of defensive nature, others just to guard against friendship with the enemy and yet others to secure neutrality in case of war. Thus the political strategy of the Prophet was flexible, and it became part of his permanent policy to extend the area of such alliances and use every occasion with he went out of Medina to conclude pacts with the clans on his way. It is obvious that the Prophet and his companions had full comprehension of the fact that the small island which they had - - - 148 / 252 - - - secured as their refuge in the vast ocean of hostility was always in danger of an attack from the enemy and if they were not able to turn the tide they would themselves into be annihilated; so they immediately transformed themselves into a quick moving military force and when the call was given at Medina for a holy war they did not hesitate even for a moment to change their position and follow the new line. This small group of people while acting as most enthusiastic workers in the cause of propagation of the truth, also proved themselves as the best soldiers for defending their city of peace, their centre of education and Islamic culture. Thus it had also to become a strong military camp and the Prophet had also to perform the duties of a commander which he did with such commendable tact, wisdom and efficiency despite his very poor resources that its details would fill a volume. Four or five months after the migration the Prophet started sending out military contingents for patrolling the neighbouring areas. The following parties were sent out before the Battle of Badr: 1.A party of 30 was sent towards Sif al-Bahr under the command of Amir Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib to watch the movements of the enemy. Abu Jehl had come out from Makkah with 300 men, but returned on finding that the Muslims were alert. 2. A party of six sent under Rabe Ubaida bin Haris to watch the military activities in Makkah. A party of 200 men under Ikrima or Abu Sufian was seen near Saniatul Murra. The Muslim party after patrolling returned safely to Medina. 3. A contingent of 80 was sent on patrol to Jahfa under Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas and it returned without any incident. 4. The Prophet himself went to Abwa' with 70 men on the trade route of Quraish. After concluding a pact with Amr bin Fahshi Damri he returned without any confrontation. 5. The Prophet marched with 200 men towards Buwat in the Radwa hill area near Yanbu and found a party of 100 men of the Quraish under Umayya bin Khalaf on the way, but there was no clash. - - - 149 / 252 - - - 6. Kurz bin Jabir ul-Fahri lifted the cattle of Medina and immediately on learning of it the Prophet marched with 70 men in pursuit. Kurz beat a hast retreat and could not be caught but the effect of this pursuit was a warning that people of Medina were an active and alert force. 7. The Prophet marched with a party of 150 to Zul Oshaira near Yanbu between Makkah and Medina and returned after concluding the pacts with Banu Mudlij and Bani Damra. 8. A party of 125 was sent under Abdullah bin Jahsh on patrol towards Nakhla and clashed with a party of the Quraish. These parties were not sent for confrontation and the clash at Nakhla was accidental which the Prophet resented, compensated for those killed, released prisoners and returned the captured property. The purpose of sending these patrol parties was to guard the frontiers of the state of Medina, to keep a watch on the movements of the enemy and to impress on the Quraish and other tribes that now there was a regular government and Medina was its capital. It was also intended that the volunteer army of the revolutionary Muslims might be acquainted with the ups and downs of the surrounding areas, its roads and springs of water. They should also be trained to command, carry out duties under one another's command, acquire the tacts of division of labour and time, think out plans and take on-the-spot decision without which no system of defence could accomplish its object. The patrols were also to warn the Quraish that artery of their economic life was now lying in Medina which could at any moment block their trade route and stop the passage of their caravans. The Prophet in his childhood had visited Busra and Medina and had gone twice to Syria in his youth. In these tours he had grasped the geographical and political importance of Medina and become familiar with all the features of the trade route of the Quraish. Besides being himself a member of a Quraish clan and having traded commercial source of the economy of the Quraish. Thus in the light of these experiences the Prophet had no difficulty in formulating the policy of infusing fear in the Quraish. These patrols were so arranged that they might gain experience of organised military activities, moving like a machine - - - 150 / 252 - - - under a central command, learning military tactics and secrets, keeping regular fasts and observing prayers and acquiring capability of carrying out their duties as ordered even under the most difficult conditions and at the same time organise a regular system of couriers to keep the Prophet fully informed of the movements of the people of Makkah and the clans of surrounding and border areas. The clouds of war, however, gathered sooner than expected. The incidents of Kurz bin Jabir Fihri and the clash at Nakhla as mentioned earlier provided the provocation. In Makkah the war fever was already mounting but the actual confrontation was delayed till the second year of Hijra (migration). One of the most important obstacles between Makkah and Medina was the colony of Banu Kinana which had a longstanding hostility with the Quraish. This problem was solved when the representatives of the Banu Kinana went to Makkah and assured them of their cooperation against the Muslims. The problem of manpower was solved when the Quraish were able to conclude a pact with the Ahabish clans of Banu Nazeer, Banu Malik and Mutyyebins who were better soldiers. Lastly, the problem of war expenses was met by all the people of Makkah accumulating all their available resources including ornaments, and profit in their trade with Syria which was earmarked for war expenses. The entire population of Makkah participated in this campaign of adding to the funds of the Syrian trade. The Battle of Badr was the result. At the news of a large trade caravan of the Quraish returning from Syria whose intentions were not peaceful, the pretext of trade was used to invade Medina with full force. The leader o the trade caravan, Abu Sufian, had already surveyed the position of Medina while going towards Syria and on return its movements were so mysterious that they revealed their evil intentions. So the Prophet marched out with a little more than 300 men in which there were 86 migrants, 170 of the Khazraj and 61 of the Aus clans of Ansar as a precautionary measure to defend Medina in case of war. Meanwhile, Abu Sufian had sent an urgent summon to Makkah for reinforcements to protect the caravan which he said was in danger of attack from Medina and changed the route of the caravan, while a large force of over a thousand men fully armed and including the elite of Makkah marched from Makkah. The problem before the Prophet was that with the small force under his command - - - 151 / 252 - - - he could not deal effectively with both the forces of the trade caravan and of the one from Makkah and on reaching the valley of Zafran he held consultations and accepted proposal of those who had followed him. The migrants and the Ansar assured the Prophet of their wholehearted cooperation in whatever action he might deem fit to adopt. The Prophet marched from Medina in such a manner that its ultimate objective was not clear to the enemy. He had one eye on the trade caravan to impress upon Abu Sufian that the route was dangerous while his other eye was on the army marching from Makkah. It was, therefore, necessary to know the location of the trade caravan and the army and the distance between the two and whether there was any possibility of their uniting. On reaching Safra he sent Basbas bin Amr Al-Johni and Adi bin Abi Raghba to Badr to discover the location of the two and soon he himself reached the valley of Zafran. It was reported that the trade caravan had changed its route and taken the longer trip through coastal area and had covered a long distance. The Prophet then decided to march to Badr. Abu Sufian sent word to the Makkan army that the caravan of trade had marched to safety and the Makkan army might return. But men like Abu Jehl and others who sided with the army insisted on marching on and striking a severe blow to Medina. Some of the clans which were recruited for protecting the trade caravan tried to return while Hakim bin Hazam and Utbah also wanted to prevent war. But Abu Jehl grew enraged and with taunts and threats blocked any defection. The Prophet on the other hand selected and occupied a suitable position at Badr and arranged the battlefront. He also enquired about the number of the enemy force and the main figures in the lead and when he learnt all the details and the names of the leading men he told his followers that Makkah had dispatched the best of its men to confront them. The Makkan force consisted of 1,000 men of which 600 were in mailarmour, 100 horses, a host of camels and an abundance of arms. Provisions were plentiful and there was wine and singing girls for the entertainment. The Muslims numbered only a little more than 300 men, malnourished and with meager provisions. But they had the strength of faith in their mission and their future depended on the outcome of the clash. So the Prophet prostrated and prayed: - - - 152 / 252 - - - "O Allah! Here are the Quraish inebriated with pride, who have come to stop Thy servants from worshipping Thee and to falsify Thy Prophet. So send to us Thy promised help." And further, "O Allah! If this small number is routed today there will be no one left to worship Thee till the end of the days!" This earnest prayer was answered and the hopeful prospect of victory was revealed. The confrontation took place on Ramazan 17 in which 22 soldiers of Islam lost their lives, taking a toll of 70 from the enemy. None of the Muslims was captured by the enemy while 70 men of the enemy were made prisoners of war, who were released on a ransom of 4,000 dirhams each (some richer prisoners had to pay more). Thus the Quraish had to suffer a loss of over 2 1/2 Lakh dirhams under this account in addition to a large quantity of booty. Most of the leaders of the Quraish like Abu Jehl, Abul Bakhtari, Zam'a bin Aswad, Aas bin Hisham, Umayya bin Khalaf, Munnabbah bin Alhajjaj were killed in the battle, and this loss broke the fighting strength of Makkah. It was for this reason that the Qur'an called the Battle of Badr as the day of justice and victory. The Qur'an also calls this change of status of the Muslims as a great boon and says: "Call to mind when ye were a small (band), despised through the land, and afraid that men might despoil and kidnap you; but He provided a safe asylum for you, strengthened you with His aid and gave you good things for sustenance that ye might be grateful." -(VIII:26) At the same time a challenge has been thrown to the non-believers: "(O unbelievers!) If ye prayed for victory and judgement, now hath the judgement come to you: if ye desist (from wrong), it will be best for you: if ye return (to the attack) so shall We." -(VIII:19) And the Muslims have been advised not to become complacent but to continue the struggle: "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in God." -(VIII:39) - - - 153 / 252 - - - The Battle of Badr made it manifest which of the two forces, Muslims or the Quraish, was fated to live and flourish and which was to perish. Some of the incidents which may clear the point can be cited: Two Muslims youths, Abu Huzaifa bin Yaman and Abu Usail, came from Makkah and the non-Muslims stopped them on the way saying that they would not let them help the Prophet, Only when they promised not to help the Prophet, were they allowed to proceed, and coming to Medina they related the whole story to the Prophet and now at a time when the least assistance could not be discarded the Prophet allowed them to keep their promise. The dead bodies of the non-Muslims slain in the battle were properly buried and none was desecrated. The general practice about the war booty was that everyone possessed whatever came to his hand and so on the slightest sign of victory there was great confusion and anarchy. The Qur'an gave a new concept that booty belonged to God and his Prophet. So all the war booty was collected by the commander and taking one-fifth for the general use of the state the rest was distributed among the army. War prisoners who were generally at the mercy of the captors, were harshly treated and even made slaves. But the Prophet gave a new status to the prisoners of war and directed that they should be kept in comfort. Thus many of the companions of the Prophet lived on mere dates and provided good food to the prisoners. Those who did not have clothes were provided for. One of the prisoners, Suhail bin Amr, used to spend all the force of his virulence in speaking against the Prophet and Hazrath Umar suggested that his teeth should be pulled out to stop his vituperative utterances. But the Prophet firmly replied that if the Prophet mutilated anyone, his own body would be mutilated in the same proportion despite the fact that he was a Prophet. The victorious party in a moment of triumph descends to undecorous acts. But no such thins was found in the Prophet's party and the Prophet himself bowed in earnest thanks to God. The victorious army entered Medina quietly and there was no celebration of victory. On the other hand the victors prostrated before God in gratitude indicating that their victory was a Divine blessing. - - - 154 / 252 - - - Instead of boasting of his strength the Prophet recited the verses of the Qur'an which criticised the shortcomings and urged them to strengthen consolidation. Subsequent Events Although the non-Muslims of Makkah had suffered defeat at the Battle of Badr at the hands of a small band of Muslims, and with most of their leadership killed in the battle their fighting strength was broken, they were, however, not chastened and like a wounded snake smarted under it and were preparing for another round as was evident from the repeated pinpricks. On the other hand, the Prophet had fully realised that the enemy's sword once drawn would not go back in sheath till it was totally broken and so he did not relax his arrangements and kept his party continuously prepared. Trade from India and Europe passed through Makkah and Yemen and the Quraish earned at least 2 1/2 Lakh dirhams annually from their Syrian trade alone which passed through Medina. Now that this route was in danger, the caravans had to take a longer route which adversely affected the profits. Then they had spent 2 1/2 Lakh on military measures to safeguard their trade route and had to pay another 2 1/2 Lakh as ransom for the release of the prisoners of war. Since the people of Makkah faced an economic crisis, they had to overcome it by another attempt to defeat the Muslims. Some of the incidents which led to the second great Battle at Uhad may be summarised as follows: Just seven days after the Battle of Badr news came that some tribes of Bani Ghatfan were gathering in force with the intention of attacking Medina and the Prophet marched out with a small contingent to Ma-ul- Kuzar but the enemy did not show up and the Prophet returned to Medina after encamping there for three days. Later, the amassing of troops of these tribes was again reported and Ghalib bin Abdullah Laisi went with a small force to meet them. There was some clash and the enemy fled. The Jewish clan of Banu Qainuqa, violating its pledge, had rebelled while the Prophet was out of Medina in the Badr campaign and such action if tolerated would have destroyed Medina. In the month of Shawwal of the second year of Hijra, police action was taken against them and in the arbitration as desired by them they were ousted from Medina. Two months after the Battle of Badr, Abu Sufian - - - 155 / 252 - - - came to Medina with 200 men and tried to launch military action in secret conspiracy with Salma bin Mishkam but being unsuccessful he beat a hasty retreat but only after destroying trees at Ariz and killing one Ansari. The Prophet went in pursuit to Qarqaratul Kuzar but the invaders escaped and in order to lighten their burden they dropped bags of fried flour on the way which were very useful to the Muslims. The incident is therefore called Ghazwa Sawiq (fried flour). In Muharram of the third year of Hijra news came that Banu Tha'alaba and Banu Maharib clans had gathered for an attack, so the Prophet marched to Najd at the end of the month where he stayed for the whole of the next month but the enemy did not appear and the Prophet returned to Medina without any clash. He, however, concluded pacts with the tribes of the area with a view to blocking this route for the trade caravans of Makkah. In Rabi II report came of the danger of the invasion of Quraish and the Prophet deputing Ibn Umme- Maktum at Medina marched out to Bohran and encamped till the following month in order to consolidate the borders. He returned to Medina without any clash. The same month a trade caravan of the Quraish left Makkah and military action was taken to give it a warning in its new route. In Jumada II Zaid bin Harisa was sent with a contingent of 100 men, and the guide of the caravan, Qarat bin Hayyan was captured who joined the Islamic ranks while silver worth a Lakh of dirhams was also confiscated. In Makkah famous poets like Amr Jamhi and Masaf'e were using all their poetical skill in inflaming the people while the women of Makkah whose brothers and sons were killed in the battle were determined that in the next battle they would drink the blood of the Muslims killed. Prominent women of eminent households like Hind (wife of Abu Sufian), Umm-e-Hakim (wife of Ikrama bin Abu Jehl), Fatima (sister of Hazrath Khalid), Barza (daughter of Masud Thaqfi, chief of Taif), Raitah (wife of Amr ibn-ul- Aas), Hannas (mother of Hazrath Mus'ab bin Umair) and others were prepared to go with the Makkan army, while the Quraish sent Amr ibnul- Aas, Abdullah bin Azzaba'ra, Hubaira bin Abi Wahb, Masaf'e bin Abd Manaf and Amr ibn Abdullah Jamhi, to different Arab tribes to incite them against the Muslims, and thus collected a large force of 3,000 men, in which 700 wore mail -armour and 200 were mounted on horseback. After a year's preparation this large force marched from - - - 156 / 252 - - -- Makkah, fed their animals in the pastures of Medina and then encamped at Uhad. Hazrath Abbas, who was affectionate to the prophet and supported the Islamic movement, at the Prophet's instance was staying at Makkah to watch the war preparation and report to him, sent the news with a messenger while the Prophet himself learnt from his system of news a report on the Shawwal 5 of the third year of Hijra that the Makkan army had reached Medina and its animals had cleared the pastures of Ariz. Then the Prophet also received reports of the real strength of the Makkan force and he made arrangement for the night watch of Medina and next morning called an emergency consultative meeting at which the majority of the migrants and elders of the Ansar leadership suggested that they should prepare to fight in the city itself while the younger people who were more eager proposed to go out and confront the enemy, and the Prophet accepting the latter proposal put on mail-armour. Abdullah ibn Ubayy who connived with the Quraish was in support of the former suggestion and was angered at his suggestion being rejected. He proposed a second strategy of forming another front which was also unacceptable. After the Friday prayers the Prophet marched out with a force of 1,000 men including Abdullah ibn Ubayy who, however, deserted at Shut with three hundred of his followers. This also demoralised some others like Banu Salma and Banu Harisa who wanted to return but were persuaded by others to stay. On the outskirts of Medina the Prophet surveyed his force and several children who had come along in their zest for Jihad were asked to return. Some of them stood on their toes to increase their height. One of them, Sumra, wrestled with Rafe and defeated him thereby proving his ability as soldier. Many Muslim women like Hazrath Ayesha, Umme- Sulait (mother of Abu Saeed Khudri), Umm-e-Sulaim (mother of Hazrath Anas), Umm-e-Ammara and others also accompanied the Muslim army and did valuable service. The total Muslim army was now 700 including 100 in mail-armour. With his back to the Uhad Mountain the Prophet placed his men in the best possible battle formation. Zubair ibn Awwam was given the command of cavalry. Hamza was to command the infantry without mail-armour while the back side of the pass of Mount Ainain, fifty archers were stationed under Abdullah bin Jubair. With the experience - - - 157 / 252 - - - of last battle the Quraish also imitated the plan of the Muslim army. Then a group of 14 Quraish women began a war song with the beat of drum, which said: "We are daughters of the stars and walk on carpets. If you advance boldly in action we will embrace you, but if you turn back we will leave you." Just at this juncture the infamous monk, Abu Amir, called out the Ansar, who, aware of his false identity, retorted, "O traitor, we know you very well." At first Hazrath Ali fought and killed Talha and then his son was dispatched by Hazrath Hamza. Despite being greatly outnumbered the Muslims showed great courage. Hazrath Hamza, Hazrath Ali and Hazrath Abu Dujana greatly distinguished themselves and the enemy was forced to move. Then the Muslims finding themselves victorious, began to plunder the enemy. There was confusion in which the battle plan was disrupted while the archer force stationed at the pass which was ordered not to retreat even if they found vultures eating flesh of their comrades, left their position and joined in the melee, with the result that the greatest warrior of the Quraish, Khalid bin Walid attacked from that side. In the meantime, some fleeing soldiers of the Quraish also returned and the Muslim victory was soon turned into defeat in which many brave Muslims were killed. The Prophet himself was wounded and rumours circulated that he was also killed and the confusion was so great that when the Prophet called out no one seemed to listen. With much difficulty some semblance of order was restored and the fleeing Muslims returned which again turned the tide of battle and the Quraish, fearing that their victory gained in the first round might be lost, began to retreat. Then Abu Sufian went over the tope of the hill and called out the names of prominent Muslims and not finding any response declared that all were killed on which Hazrath Umar loudly cried out, "O enemy of God! We are all alive." Abu Sufian cried out: "Exatled be O Hubal." The response was: "God is the highest and most worthy of praise." Abu Sufian again called: "We have Uzza with us. None is with you." Again Muslims responded: "Our Lord is God. You have none." - - - 158 / 252 - - - These brief sentences represented two ideologies whose confrontation created history. At Uhad, 70 Muslims were killed and 40 wounded, while the Quraish lost only 30 of their men. Brave generals like the Prophet's uncle Hazrath Hamza, his cousin, Abdullah bin Jahsh, the prominent companions Mus'ab bin Umair, Raf'e bin Malik, Abdullah bin Amr of Khazraj clan, Amr ibn Jumah and others lost their lives. As soon as order was restored in the Muslim camp and contact was established with the high command the enemy began a hasty treat. A lapse of the Muslims had cost them a heavy loss but they were not beaten and their spirits were high. At the instance of the Prophet a contingent of 70 went in pursuit of the retreating Quraish. Abu Sufian, when he surveyed the position on reaching Roha, greatly regretted that he was too hasty in leaving the conquered battlefield and the task of crushing Medina could not be accomplished. So he thought of reversing the tide but it was too late. On the other hand, the Prophet had the lurking fear of the retreating army returning again, and so instead of returning to Medina he marched on with his force to Hamra-ul-Asad, eight miles from Medina. Meanwhile, Ma'bad, the head of Khuza'a clan who had not accepted Islam but was sympathetic to the movement, went to Abu Sufian and warned him that the Prophet was coming with a large army, which frightened him and he hastily fled to Makkah. The reverses the Muslims suffered in the Battle of Uhad were due to their lapses in discipline which taught them a lesson and as subsequent events proved they fully benefited from it. The comments the revelation made on it were most significant, criticising their lapses and sounding solemn warnings for the future. Thus says the Qur'an: "Allah did indeed fulfill his promise to you when ye with His permission were about to annihilate your enemy-until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after he brought you in sight of (the booty) which ye covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you. But He forgave you: For Allah is full of grace to those who believe. Behold! Ye climbed up the high ground, without even casting a side glance at anyone and the Apostle in the rear was calling you back. There did Allah give you one distress - - - 159 / 252 - - - after another by way of requital, to teach you not to grieve for (the booty) that had escaped you and for (the ill) that had befallen you. For Allah is well aware of all that ye do." -(III:152-153) After this frank criticism of the shortcomings of the Muslims the Qur'an advises them to bear their misfortune with fortitude. It says: "So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith. If a wound hath touched you, be sure a similar wound touched the others. Such days (of varying fortunes) We give to men and men by turns: that God may know those that believe, and that He may take to Himself from your ranks martyr-witnesses (to truth). For Allah loveth not those that do wrong." -(III: 139-140) At the same time the Muslims are told of the rewards of the next world which are greater than the benefits of this world. It says: "If any do desire a reward in this life. We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve Us with) gratitude." -(III:145) The devotion and love which his followers showed for the Prophet in this battle are unique in history. Some instances may be cited here: When the enemy converged with full force against the vastly outnumbered Muslims the Prophet called out: "Who will come forward to give his life for me! Zaid bin Sakan with some Ansar came forward and one after another seven of them offered themselves. One of them was Zaid himself who when brought to the Prophet mortally wounded summoned all his sinking strength and put his head on the Prophet's feet. When Abdullah bin Qumayya struck the Prophet with his sword Umm-e-Ammara rushed and shielded the Prophet taking a deep wound on her shoulder but thereby reducing the force of enemy's sword. Abu Dujana covered the Prophet with his whole body and received many arrows on his back. Talha took many sword cuts on his hand to save the Prophet and lost his one hand. Abu Talha stood before the Prophet with shield at the same time aimed his arrows at the enemy with such force that several bows were broken. At the end of the battle when the Prophet enquired about the casualties and called out for Sa'ad bin Rabi, who was brought to him fatally wounded his last words were salutation and blessings for the Prophet and the declaration that even if one eye among them was left open when the - - - 160 / 252 - - - enemy's hand reached the Prophet, God would hear no excuse for this negligence. A youth of Median, Amr bin Samit, who had not accepted Islam but was sympathetic to it was roused to the call of truth in the Battle of Uhad, accepted Islam, joined in the battle and was killed. The Prophet declared on his dead body, "He is such a one who had deserved paradise without offering a single prayer. "Then a Jew, Mokhairiq (of Bani Tha'alaba) accepted Islam as a call of true Jewish religion, decided to join the Prophet and invited the other Jews but they excused themselves on the plea of it being their Sabbath. But Mokhairiq said "Sabbath or no Sabbath this is the moment of crisis," went into the battle and died in fighting. The code of conduct in the battle taught by the Prophet had also its effect and when Abu Dujana tearing the ranks of the enemy went forward, he found Hind in front of him and although she was with the enemy and had very bitter feelings against the Muslims, Abu Dujana restrained his hand saying that the sword given by the Prophet should not be defiled by striking a woman. And this Abu Dujana, on receiving the Prophet's sword, tied a red handkerchief on his head and attacked the enemy walking stiff on which the Prophet remarked that such stiff walk though not liked by God was permissible on such occasions. This clarified the point that while displaying pride in walking in daily life was not advisable, one should not display meekness and humility in the field of battle. And the role of the Muslim women in this battle was also noteworthy. Hazrath Hamza's sister Hazrath Safia on hearing the sad news came to Uhad; the Prophet asked her son, Zubair, not to take her to Hazrath Hamza's body as the gory sight might disturb her, to which she boldly remarked that she had already heard everything and such sacrifice in the cause of truth was meager. She was then permitted to see the body on which she cast a lingering look, prayed for his soul and returned. An Ansar woman whose father, brother and husband were killed in the battle came and enquired if the Prophet was safe and on getting a reply in the affirmative remarked, "When you are safe no calamity is too great and can be endured." Hazrath Ayesha, Umm-e- Sulaim and Umm-e-Sulait discarding their seclusion were in the battlefield, fetching water and giving it to the wounded. Hazrath Fatima, on hearing the false report of the Prophet's death rushed to the battlefield and washed and bandaged the Prophet's wounds. - - - 161 / 252 - - - On the other hand, the conduct of the non-Muslims in the battle was most reprehensible. They mutilated the dead bodies of Muslims, and their women, to fulfill their oaths tore the dead bodies and cutting their noses and ears made garlands of them. Hind, who was the leader of the female contingent, acted most barbarously. She mutilated Hazrath Hamza's face, tore his abdomen and took out his liver and chewed it. The body of Hazrath Abdullah bin Jahsh was also mutilated, while Abu Sufian struck the face of Hazrath Hamza saying, "Now, taste the fruit." Jalis bin Zaban of Kanana clan when he saw Abu Sufian doing it told his clansman: "Look to the great chief of Quraish! What he is doing with his kinsman! When Abu Sufian heard it he was ashamed. As compared to this the Prophet did not stoop down to the level of the enemy. He had given strict orders to his men not to desecrate any dead body of the enemy and had them properly buried. There was no cloth available to use as shrouds, so most of the bodies were buried without a shroud. Mus'ab bin Umair had only his face covered with cloth and the rest of the body with straw. This shows in what circumstances the Muslims had to face this battle. The Qur'an criticising the shortcomings of the Muslims and awakening political consciousness in them also encouraged their fighting spirit: "Say: O God! Lord of Power (and Rule) Thou givest power to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou stripes off power from whom Thou pleasest: thou endowest with honour whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: in Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast Power. Thou causest the night to gain on the day and Thou causest the day to gain on the night; Thou bringest the living out of the dead, and Thou bringest the dead out of living; and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou pleasest without measure." -(II:2627) When the Prophet was wounded some of his companions asked him to curse the oppressors that God might destroy them, to which the Prophet replied, "I have not been sent to curse but as a mercy to humanity," and then prayed, "O God give right guidance to my people They do not understand me and my mission and the realities of life." - - - 162 / 252 - - - The Battle of Badr was decisive but in Uhad the decision remained in suspense and although the Prophet had demonstrated his unshaken courage by going out in pursuit of the treating Makkan army, the reverses suffered by the Muslims encouraged some neighbouring clans to revolt. The Prophet was prompt in dealing with them. The first to revolt. The Prophet was prompt in dealing with them. The first to revolt were Talha bin Khwailad and Salma bin Khwailad of Qatan clan. They incited Asad bin Khozaima to rebel against Medina. The plan was probably for armed robbery. So the Prophet sent Abu Salma Makhzoomi with 150 men to meet the danger. But when the Muslim contingent reached Qatan the robbers dispersed leaving their cattle which were taken by the Muslims party and distributed among the volunteers. This was on the first of Muharram in the fourth year of Hijra; and immediately following it news came on the 5th of Muharram that Khalid bin Sufian Alhazli had collected some forces to attack Medina Abdullah bin Anis Johni Ansari was sent to confront him and he crushed the revolt and brought the head of the leader to the Prophet. For this single handed act of bravery the Prophet gave him his stick as reward. Two or three days later came the incident of Azal Waqara clan in which five Muslims out of seven sent as preachers were treacherously killed and the remaining two were sold as slaves to the Quraish as mentioned earlier. The same month saw the gruesome murder of 69 Muslims out of 70 sent to Najd for preaching, on the surety of Abu Bara Amir bin Malik. The Muslim party consisted of well-known Qaris and Huffaz (leaned men who knew Qur'an by heart), teachers and preachers. When the party reached Bi'ri Mauna between the territories of Bani Amir and Harra Bani Sulaim, Haram bin Malhan went with the Prophet's letter to Amir bin Tofail and was killed by the latter who did not even care to read the letter. Then he called on Bani Amir to attack the Medina party but they desisted for consideration of the safety of Abu Bara. Then Amir bin Tofail prevailed upon Ra'al, Zakwan, Usayya and Bani Lahyan to attack. They surrounded the Medina party and in spite of their assurance that they had not come to fight and would not even stay there but proceed further, 69 of them were mercilessly slain. The lone person left alive was Ka'ab bin Zaid who was found lying among the dead and severely wounded. He, however, survived, returned to Medina and reported full - - - 163 / 252 - - - details to the Prophet who was greatly shocked and for the first time cursed the perpetrators of this most heinous crime continuously for a month after his morning prayers. To execute his challenge given at the end of the Battle of Uhad, Abu Sufian marched from Makkah with a force of 2,000 infantry and 50 horses and the Prophet also marched with 1,500 infantry and 10 horses and encamped at Badr for eight days. But due to its being a year of famine Abu Sufian returned from Zahran, a place not far from Makkah and the Prophet also returned to Medina without clash. In Muharram (or Jamada) of the fourth year of Hijra news came that Bani Maharib and Bani Tha'alaba branches of Bani Ghatfan clan were preparing for an attack and the Prophet marched with 400 (or 700) volunteers and saw the enemy forces collected but they did not advance to attack. It was on this occasion that a non-Muslim, Ghauras, came out of the enemy rank, with the intention of killing the Prophet, and the Prophet was resting alone under the shade of a tree with his sword hanging from a branch. Ghauras took up this sword and said to the Prophet, "Now who can save you?" The Prophet fearlessly replied, "God is the saviour," which confounded the challenger. Dumatul Jandal was a junction of trade caravans where Jewish religious preachers and political agents were at work and because of Bani Nodair Jews residing in Khyber it was becoming centre of enemy conspiracies against Medina. The Jews of Khyber conspired with the Christian leader Ukaidir in attacking the caravans bringing provisions to Medina and subsequently report came to the Prophet that the enemy was mustering forces at Dumatul Jandal to attack Medina. In Rabi I, 5 Hijra the Prophet marched out with a force of 1,000, but the enemy on hearing of the arrival of the Muslim force dispersed. The Prophet shelved the pursuit and stayed on to extend alliances and a pact was concluded with Uyaina bin Hisn. Then came the news of Banu Mustalaq making preparations to attack and the Prophet sent Buraida Aslami to ascertain facts. The report being correct the Prophet marched out and hurriedly reached Marisi (a spring of water). The sudden appearance of the Muslim force confounded the enemy who dispersed. Haris ibn Abi Zarar, chief of Bani Mustalaq, was eager to fight but he found only the men of his own clan left who were routed in the very first onslaught. A large - - - 164 / 252 - - - number of animals and much booty came in Muslim's possession, while the entire enemy force was captured. Among these prisoners was also Jowairia who accepted Islam and the Prophet married her. Thereupon, all the prisoners were set free as Muslims decided that the Prophet's relatives should not be detained as captives. The people of Makkah had never forgotten their crushing defeat at Badr and their unfinished work at Uhad, they were preparing for striking a decisive blow at Medina. The preparations that they made in a year were foiled as the Makkan army returned from half way thinking that it was a lean year and not suited for a confrontation which was postponed for another year. Although these two years of uneasy truce were favourable to Medina, they entailed still greater effort for Makkah. The Muslim state, despite its difficulties and travails, was prospering and expanding while the virtual blockade of the trade route of Makkah entangled the Quraish in a financial crisis. The Quraish by themselves could not amass an adequate force for a larger onslaught. Different enemies of the Muslim state forced by circumstances pooled their resources together. The exiled Jews at Khyber and Wadiul Qura were more active than others in trying to organise an army against Medina. When they heard that Abu Sufian was thinking of another war they were further encouraged and by giving half of the produce of dates of Khyber and promising a share in future output they were able to take Bani Ghatfan with them. Then they sent to Makkah an influential deputation with top men like Salam ibn Abil Haqiq, Salam bin Mishkam, Huyayy bin Akhtab, Kinana ibn-ur-Rabi (of Banu Nodair), and Houza bin Qais and Abu Ammara (of Banu Wail) urging them to invade Medina and promising full support till they were able to completely suppress the Prophet's party. With their success at Makkah, members of the deputation went about to canvass help from other clans, while the Quraish also called together their allies and secured the support of Ahabish. Abu Sufian marched out with a force of 4,000 men, with 300 horses and 1,000 camels and were joined on the way by Banu Salim, Banu Asad, Fazara, Ashja and Banu Murra, while Banu Ghatfan also marched out, under Uyaina bin Hisn. The total strength of the Makkan army is variously stated from 6-7 thousand to 10 or even 24 thousand, but the middle figure is - - - 165 / 252 - - - supported by the majority of traditions. Thus Makkah was supported by almost the whole of Arabia. The Prophet was informed of these preparations at Dumatul Jandal and so he hurriedly returned to Medina where consultations were held. It was decided to make defence arrangements within the city and the proposal of Hazrath Salman Farsi to dig a ditch around the encampment was accepted and work started with utmost speed. The Prophet himself planned the ditch which was needed on the north side of the city only as the other sides were covered by houses and enclosed groves. The ditch was in a semi-circle reaching up to Mount Sala, but some of the clans extended it further to protect their houses. Three thousand volunteers who were to perform military duties were employed as labourers and were divided into groups of ten, each group being allotted a piece of 20 yards. Its length was 3 1/2 miles, width about 10 yards and depth probably five yards. Thus the entire work of digging and removing 3 Lakh and 8 thousand sq yards of earth was accomplished in the record time of three weeks which was a unique performance in history. The resources were so poor that some digging equipment were taken on loan from Banu Quraizah under an agreement while baskets were so scarce that besides other Muslims, men like Hazrath Abu Bakr and Hazrath Umar carried the earth in the laps of their apparel. Posts were erected at vantage points to keep guard. It is needless to mention that the Prophet himself worked like a labourer with others. With the completion of the ditch swarms of enemy forces began to pour in the month of Shawwal, 5 Hijra, and different clans took their assigned posts around the ditch. On the other side, beside the Mount Sala was the central camp of the Muslim army and on the spot where the Prophet's camp was fixed a mosque was erected and it still exists as the Mosque of Victory (Masjid-e-Fatah). The Siege Although the enemy forces were very large, the ditch was something new for them. They had never come across such resistance. Their horses and camels were useful only up to the ditch and one or two riders who tried to jump over it fell into the ditch and were killed with - - - 166 / 252 - - - their mounts. Wherever they tried to cross the ditch Muslim archers hit them, and turned them back. Swords and lances were useless. Only arrows were used from both sides. After several days of siege the enemy assaulted with force from several points but were pushed back. Then the noted old wrestler and rider Amr bin Abd Wudd came forward in great excitement and taking some others with him crossed the ditch at a vantage point. Reaching the other side, he challenged the Muslims. Hazrath Ali came forward and after receiving a wound from him, killed him on the spot. It was such a hard day for the Muslims that in defending their lines from repeated onslaughts they had to delay four out of their five daily prayers. The length of the siege was troublesome to the Muslims but it caused no less anxiety to the enemy who went consultation and decided to urge Banu Quraizah to break their pact with the Prophet and Huyayy bin Akhtab took up this mission. He went to Ka'ab bin Asad, chief of Banu Quraizah, and explained to him his object Ka'ab at first refused and said that the Prophet had always kept his word and it would not be proper to break the pact with him. But then Ibn Akhtab assured him that the entire Arabia was with them and thirsted for the Prophet's blood and the time had come for exterminating Islam for which no opportunity should be lost. The persuasive skill of Ibn Akhtab worked and Ka'ab agreed to attack the Muslims from behind. This was really treachery but when the Prophet heard of it he only said, "God is great! For us God sufficeth and He is the best Disposer of affairs." (III:173). The expanse of the battle front, the length of the siege, sleepless nights and the hypocrites deserting daily on the pretext of their homes being unguarded were severed tests for the Muslims, and when news came of the perfidy of Banu Quraizah who had about two thousand fighting men among them and ready to inflict a betrayal, the feelings of 3,000 poorly provided Muslims can well be imagined. Hazrath Abu Bakr says, "On hearing this report we became very anxious about the safety of our women and children left behind and went over Mount Sala again and again to see if anything had happened and thanked God on finding that nothing unusual had happened." The Prophet sent back a contingent of 300 to guard Medina. The Qur'an describes this condition as follows: - - - 167 / 252 - - - "Behold! They came for you from above and from below you; and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about God." -(XXXIII: 10) In fact, the Muslims were never put to such a severe test in the previous two battles. At Uhad they met with many difficulties, but everything was settled in a single day. Now it was prolonged torture and facing them as enemies were not only the Quraish but many other groups. To ease the situation the Prophet devised a plan aimed at reducing the number of enemy forces by persuading some of the clans to quit. He approached Bani Ghatfan (who prized their economic interests more than others) and called their two chiefs, Uyaina bin Hisn and Haris bin Auf and after negotiations a compromise was reached on giving them one-third of the produce of Medina. The terms of the agreement were drafted but before signing the pact the Prophet consulted Sa'ad bin Ma'az and Sa'ad bin Ubada (representatives of Aus and Khazraj, respectively) and explained to them that they had been besieged by a very large force and this was the only way out of the plight. But when the two heard of the terms of compromise they greatly resented it and said, "When we were unbelievers these people could not get our wealth this way and now that we are richer with the light of Islam and stronger than before we can never hand over our wealth like this. By God, this can never be done and we do not need such a compromise." The Prophet was very pleased to hear this and gave the draft to Hazrath Ma'az who tore it to pieces. At this critical time the Divine aid came forth and a person named Nuaim bin Masud came out of the enemy ranks, declared before the Prophet that he had accepted Islam but his conversion was not yet known to others. If the Prophet had no objection he might remain with the Quraish and try to break their pact with Banu Quraizah. With the Prophet's permission he went to Banu Quraizah and told them that if they were victorious all would be well, but in case of defeat the Quraish and Banu Ghatfan would all leave and they alone would be the Prophet's target. So as precaution they should ask the Quraish and Banu Ghatfan to give some of their men as hostages to them and if they agreed, that was well, otherwise they should leave them. Then Nuaim went to the Quraish and told them that he had learnt some - - - 168 / 252 - - - important things which he thought his duty to convey to them. One was that Banu Quraizah had changed their mind and they would demand from them some of their men (Quraish) as hostages. So when the Quraish sent word to Banu Quraizah that they had now become tired of the long siege and if they would come forward a combined assault could be made, Banu Quraizah demanded hostages and the Quraish were convinced that what Nuaim had said was correct and they lost hope of Banu Quraizah's help. This brought about a complete change in the situation and the Quraish felt the pinch of the siege more acutely. They had been out of their homes for over a year, their business was dwindling, large expenses had to be met and the result was nil while provisions for a large army of men and fodder for animals had become an acute problem and the weather had become inclement with the coming of winter. Natural calamity further aggravated their misery; for, suddenly there was a disastrous storm during the night which blew up their tents, snapped the ropes and poles and strewed utensils and stoves while their animals fled and their fighting spirit died out. Terrific confusion now raged in the enemy camp and Abu Sufian decided an immediate retreat. This unexpected Divine help is mentioned in the Qur'an as follows: "O ye who believe! Remember the grace of God (bestowed) on you, when there came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you); but We sent against them a hurricane and forces that ye saw not." -(XXXIII: 9) The field was soon cleared of the enemy forces and the Prophet was relieved to feel and declare that "the invasion of the Quraish have now ended." Thus the Quraish who had already tried their strength at Badr and Uhad had now invaded with all the forces collected from the whole of Arabia but did not succeed and lost all hope of success in the future also. There were very few casualties in this battle with only six Muslims being killed but among these six was the great personality of Sa'ad bin Ma'az who received a fatal wound from an arrow and died several days later. The most important event of this battle was the digging of the ditch in which Muslims participated and they recited: - - - 169 / 252 - - - We are men who have pledged to Muhammad, To fight the holy war till the end of life, And also: Enemy forces have assaulted us. They want to stop us from the path of truth. But we budge not, and loud repetitive cries of "We budge not" filled the atmosphere strengthening further their spirit of determination. In groups of ten formed for digging, the Prophet himself was in one of them. He left his house and pitched his tent on the digging site and participated in digging, shovelling, removing the earth and breaking the rocks; the Prophet was second to none in the digging work. It is related by Hazrath Salman who was in the group working with the Prophet that in the case of a rock which had defied others the Prophet broke it in three strokes. And what he said on this occasion was most significant. On the first blow he said, "Yemen has been conquered for us," on the second stroke, "Syria and Al-Maghrib bowed to us," and on the third "Iran has been subjugated.' These prophetic declarations clearly indicate that the Prophet had from the very beginning visualised the ultimate objectives of his great movement and was encouraged by the Divine revelations. The paucity of resources of the Muslims has already been mentioned. Besides the insufficiency of digging implements for removal of earth, there was also acute shortage of provisions. Then with three thousand men engaged in digging the ditch for three weeks and in the battle for another two or three weeks all business was suspended and an economic crisis was inevitable. Muslim soldiers sweating at work went without food sometimes for three days continuously. But they endured all this because of their leader also shared in their difficulties, while in the case of lack of food the Prophet's share was greater. When others showed him their sunken stomachs supported with stones the Prophet exposed his stomach to show not one but two stones there. The experience of previous two battles had infused among the Muslims a greater sense of discipline and no one was found to have deserted his post for a moment till the last day. The proposed compromise with Bani Ghatfan indicated the direction that a strategic retreat on some - - - 170 / 252 - - - occasions was permissible while the Prophet's talks with Ansar before signing the pact established the principle of consultation in all affairs of the state. The part played by Nuaim bin Masud in splitting Banu Quraizah from the Quraish made such tricks within limits permissible in warfare. Nuaim accomplished this without telling a lie or violating any moral principles. Although Muslim women were lodged in fortresses, they did not lag behind in demonstrating their high sense of duty and character. One lady Rashida went to the battlefield with equipment of dressing wounds and she devotedly served the wounded. The wound of Hazrath Ma'az was also dressed by her. A Jew was seen loitering around a female camp in which there was also Hazrath Safia (Prophet's aunt). She called Hazrath Hassan, who was left behind due to illness, to deal with that man, and on his reluctance she herself rushed out and clubbed the suspicious Jew to death and cutting off his head threw it out of the fortress. Thereafter, no one from the enemy camp ventured to come nearby. In one fortress with Hazrath Ayesha was also the mother of Ma'az hearing some footsteps she same out to find Hazrath Ma'az running towards the battlefield holding a weapon and singing the verse: Tarry a while, let another young man participate in the battle. Why fear death when death is at the door. When the mother of Hazrath Ma'az heard the voice of her son she called out, "My son go ahead running. You have delayed much." Although the Prophet insisted that Muslims should not blindly imitate other people but construct their own culture and follow their own code of moral values, his acceptance of the proposal of trench strategy establishes that accepting new technique and new experience from others is not banned in Islam. There were some important political events and brief military actions during the next two years following the Battle of the Ditch. The Jews of Banu Quraizah clan were the worst specimen of mental and moral degradation. Despite their being citizens of the Islamic state and bound by constitutional pact they were always engaged in plotting and conspiring. Their open complicity with the enemy in the Battle of the Ditch was such a breach of faith that no society would condone it and - - - 171 / 252 - - - it became absolutely necessary to give proper punishment to them. So as soon as the Muslims returned to Medina after the retreat of the Makkan forces and the Prophet took his bath after removing his armour, revelation came ordering a march against Banu Quraizah and while most of the Muslims were still in their battle dresses, they were called upon for a new campaign. They marched out in no time and besieged the fortress of the clan. The siege lasted 25 days and the clansmen used obscene language against the Prophet from the top of the fortress. At last they were defeated and their chief, Ka'ab bin Asad, sued for peace and submitted several proposals which were unacceptable, and they surrendered unconditionally. After some negotiations with the clansmen and with their consent the Prophet left the decision to the arbitrations of Sa'ad bin Ma'az who pronounced his judgement according to the Jewish sacred book, Taurah, that all their able bodied men should be killed. Thus the power of a mischievous group was broken as a political force. But even in the midst of these bitter feelings a light shone in the heart of a member of Banu Quraizah clan, Umair bin Sa'ad, who came to the Prophet and accepted Islam. A few days after this one of the most active leaders of mischief- making enemies, Abu Rafe Abdullah bin Abi Haqiq (also called Sallam) who was a prime mover in forging a combined anti-Muslim force in the Battle of the Ditch, met his death at the hands of some young men of the Khazraj clan. Mohammad bin Muslima of the Ansar clan was patrolling the frontiers with a body of 30 horsemen when he confronted Thamama bin Athal, chief of Najd territory, and finding that he was going towards Medina, arrested him and brought him before the Prophet Thamama said to the Prophet, "O Muhammad! If you kill me you will kill one who deserves it and if you leave, you will gain the gratitude of a grateful man and if you want ransom, name the amount and it will be given." The Prophet then honourably acquitted him. This magnanimous gesture so impressed him that he accepted Islam and frankly declared: "Upto this time your face was most hateful to me but from now on it will be most lovable." Thamama's acceptance of Islam opened the way for the spread of Islam in the politically important area of Najd. - - - 172 / 252 - - - The Prophet with men on horses undertook action against the people of Raji, who were guilty of cruelly murdering a party of the Medina preachers. The enemy fled and the Prophet returned without a clash, sending from there party of 10 for patrol to warn the Quraish that Medina was alert. Adjoining the territory of Bani Ghatfan was a water spring named "Ziqard" on the side of which pasture for the cattle of Medina. Uyaina bin Hisn Fazari (or Abdur Rahman bin Uyaina) attacked this pasture and carried away camels grazing there. Salma bin Alaku, who was guarding this area and was patrolling it at the time, attacked the robbers who had also killed the herdsman, Rai', and abducted his wife. After some shore exchanges on uneven ground Salma challenged them saying, "I am son of Alaku. Let anyone who has courage come forward." The robbers fled in confusion leaving the camels and even throwing away some of their weapons. In response to Salma's message to Medina for help, the Prophet sent Miqdad bin Amr, with some men and then himself marched with a force and the robbers were relentlessly pursued. Abdur Rahman bin Uyaina (or Habib bin Uyaina) was killed and after some further pursuit the Muslim party returned after capturing two horses of the enemy. When the expedition returned, Salma told the Prophet that if he were given a force of one hundred men he would have completely finished them. The Prophet replied "Now that you have won, you should be lenient." On a report that the Bani Asad clan had collected a force to attack Medina, a patrol party under "Akasha bin Hisn attacked it and they left their houses and fled. One hundred of their camels were captured from their pasture. A deputation of Muslim preachers which was sent to Bani Tha'alaba under Mohammad bin Muslima in the 6th year of Hijra was treacherously murdered. To punish this crime Hazrath Abu Ubaida was sent with forty men. The enemy fled and their property was confiscated. A woman named Halima brought the report that Banu Sulaim tribes were mobilising forces for attack when a patrol party under Zaid bin Harisa attacked them. The enemy fled and Zaid after a mild skirmish - - - 173 / 252 - - - captured some men and cattle and brought them to Medina. But the Prophet ordered them to be released as the report of Halima was found to be incorrect. Zaid bin Harisa with fourteen men took police action against criminals of Zilqissa, who fled and their twenty camels were captured. A missionary party under Hazrath Abdur Rahman bin Auf was sent towards Dumatul Jandal and by their effort a Christian chief of the largest clan there named Asm bin Amr Kalbi embraced Islam and through him men of his clan also became Muslim. Asm gave his daughter, Tomazar, in marriage to Abdur Rahman and thus entered into relationship with the Muslims. News came from Fadak that the Bani Sa'ad bin Bakr clan was collecting forces to help the Jews of Khyber in attacking Medina. Hazrath Ali with 200 men marched out cautiously against them hiding during the day and marching at night and attacked them before they could prepare themselves. The sudden attack confused the enemy who ran for their lives. The Muslims did not suffer any loss and captured the cattle of Banu Sa'ad. Zaid bin Harisa had gone to Syria with some commodities of his own and of other companions of the Prophet. On his return he was waylaid by Bani Badr at Wadiul Qura and the robbers being larger in number killed nine men of the party and wounded one and looted all the commodities. Two months later a contingent was sent under Hazrath Abu Bakr to punish them. Some of the robbers were killed and others took to their heels. Some members of the Aqal and Oraina clans came to Medina and accepted Islam, but the climate did not suit them and they fell ill. They were lodged outside Medina and medically treated at the expense of the Muslim state. But when they recovered they blinded and cruelly killed herdsmen and fled with the animals. The Prophet sent a contingent of 20 horsemen to arrest them. They were arrested, brought to Medina and executed for their multiple crimes. Such drastic measures were necessary to consolidate the administration and maintain law and order. Treaty Of Hudaibiya - - - 174 / 252 - - - The most important event of the period was the Treaty of Hudaibiya in the sixty year of Hijra. But before dealing with this event it would be worthwhile to assess the political situation at the time and the position of parties in the field. The Jews exiled for treason and revolt had established themselves in Khyber, Taima and Wadiul Qura and Medina was now wedge in between two hostile fronts which had marshaled a vast force against Medina in the Battle of the Ditch. Now the problem facing the Prophet, before settling scores with the Quraish which had become inevitable, was that if he marched towards Makkah, the Jews of Khyber and Bani Ghatfan would attack Medina if he turned towards Khyber, the Quraish might do the same from the opposite side. Yet the latter course alone was left for the Prophet to curb and contain the hostile elements and then to make a final assault on the enemy stronghold of Makkah. Besides, the time was opportune. The leadership of the Quraish was in confusion and their fighting strength was crushed in the three Battles of Badr, Uhad and the Ditch, in which they had lost most of their top warriors, while their economy was badly shattered and most of their Jewish adherents were subdues. Although they were making a show of strength they had lost their power of resistance, while around Medina were clans which were supporters of the Prophet whose tactical measures had further strengthened them. The Muslims had been refuses for the last six years; they longed to return home. Simultaneously, they wanted to establish their right of reviving the mission of Abraham which they had taken upon themselves and to pray in the House of God built by him. So they restlessly looked forward to the opportunity of entering the Kabaah. Then it was revealed to the Prophet in a dream to go for Hajj and he began immediate preparations to perform Umrah in the prohibited month. Fourteen hundred people voluntarily accompanied him. He appointed Nomaila ibn Abdullah Laisi as his deputy to look after the administration in Medina, leaving with him and adequate number of Muslims to guard the city. He also took with him 70 camels for sacrifices and marched towards Makkah unarmed. The Quraish now faced a dilemma, for if they attacked the Prophet's party they would be violating the sanctity of the prohibited month, - - - 175 / 252 - - - especially when the Prophet had declared his peaceful intentions and was unarmed and the presence of sacrificial animals with the party further confirmed the peaceful nature of the march. And if they made no resistance it would be said that they became afraid of the Prophet's strength and had given him way due to this fear and at this crucial time their chief Abu Sufian was out of Makkah on tour. The Prophet's foresight had given him assurance that the Quraish had no other alternative than to come to terms. Nevertheless, they began preparations for war and collected their allied clans together with a force of Ahabish clans and immediately peace moves were set on foot. The first to make the move was the chief of Khuza'a clan, Budail bin Warqa, who came to the Prophet with his other companions. The Prophet explained to him his objective which was not hostile while the Quraish who were militant would be themselves at a loss in case of battle. Thus there could be no harm if a temporary peace pact was concluded. On his return Budail explained to the Quraish that hasty action was not wise and the Prophet who was coming with peaceful intentions should not be resisted. The people of Makkah listened to him and sent the leader of Ahabish, Hulais bin Alqama, to negotiate with the Prophet and when Hulais saw the herd of sacrificial animals moving about he was much impressed and on his return frankly told the Quraish that it was not proper to resist those who were coming on pilgrimage and wished to withdraw his clan. He was, however, satisfied by the assurance that they had no intentions to fight but only wanted favourable terms of peace. Then the Quraish sent Urwa bin Masud Saqafi who told the Prophet that he would not gain anything if he destroyed his own community, for these homeless people whom he had collected around him would soon disperse leaving him alone. Because of this impertinence, Hazrath Abu Bakr became very angry and rebuked him. In the customary familiar manner of the Arabs, Urwa frequently carried his hand towards the Prophet's beard and each time Hazrath Moghira bin Sh'aba turned it away with the point of his sword. The Prophet again explained his viewpoint to Urwa who returned so much impressed that he told the Quraish that they could not succeed against the Prophet as the devotion and love of his people for him was such as was not found even in the courts of the greatest of monarchs. To move further the negotiations the Prophet sent Kharash bin - - - 176 / 252 - - -- Umayya to the Quraish but in the confused state of the leadership of the Quraish, some people killed the camel on which Kharash was mounted and Kharash himself saved his life with difficulty. Then Hazrath Usman was sent and a party of the patrolling Quraish clashed with the Muslims but they were arrested and brought before the Prophet who set them free. Hazrath Usman was detained by the Quraish and when his return was delayed a rumour spread that he had been killed. The Prophet then summoned his men and accepted their pledge that they would not return without fighting the enemy. When the news reached the Quraish they immediately released Hazrath Usman, as in fact the Quraish themselves were not prepared to fight. Then the Quraish sent Mikraz bin Hafs but the Prophet did not talk to him saying that he was a treacherous man. Then the Quraish sent Suhail bin Amr and the Prophet saw that they were really ready to conclude peace pact and after some negotiations on certain terms Hazrath Ali was asked to write the draft of the treaty but the situation was so tense that passions were roused at every step. The Prophet ordered to begin it with "Bismillahir-Rahman-ir-Rahim" but Suhail objected that they did not know what is Rahman and Rahim and the draft should begin with the customary "Bi-ismika Allahumma". The Prophet agreed and then dictated that the agreement was concluded between Muhammad, the Prophet of God, and Suhail bin Amr to which Suhail again objected and said that if they had acknowledged him as the Prophet of the God, they would not have taken arms against him. The Prophet conceded this too and although Hazrath Ali had already written Muhammad the Prophet of God and did not want to scrape out these words the Prophet himself took the document and erased the words in place of which Muhammad bin Abdullah was written. The companions of the Prophet were enraged at the hostility of Suhail but out of respect for the Prophet they kept silent. The following terms were settled and written in this momentous document: 1.There will be no war between the parties for two years and they will live at peace. - - - 177 / 252 - - - 2.Muslims should return this year and come for pilgrimage of the Kaabah next year keeping their swords sheathed and stay for just three days in Makkah. 3.Arab tribes will be free to conclude alliances with any of the contracting parties. 4.Trade caravans of the Quraish passing through Medina will not be attacked. 5. If anyone from the Quraish goes to Medina without the consent of the party he would be returned but a Muslim coming to Makkah from Medina will not be returned. The last item was humiliating to the Muslims. It was partial towards the Quraish and this upset the Muslims so much so that when after the signing of the treaty the Prophet told them to shave their heads, sacrifice the camels, no one moved. When his third call remained unresponded he became dejected and complained to Hazrath Umme- Salma of the indifference of his people. She explained to him that the people were dissatisfied with the terms of the treaty and so he should himself offer the sacrifice and others would follows. The Prophet did and the Muslims complied in anger, irritated and perturbed. The general feelings of the Muslims were represented by Hazrath Umar who frankly asked the Prophet: "O Prophet of God: are you not a Prophet?' Prophet: "Surely, why not?" Hazrath Umar: "Are we not Muslims?" Prophet : "Why not?" Hazrath Umar: "Are these people not unbelievers?" Prophet: "Certainly, they are." Hazrath Umar: "Then why should we contract with them as inferiors. Prophet: "I am a servant of God and His Prophet. I cannot disobey His orders. Otherwise he will deprive me of His help." - - - 178 / 252 - - -- Hazrath Umar was not quite satisfied with this conversation but he obediently put his signature as a witness on the document, thereby indicating that the Prophet's wishes were above his personal feelings. While the treaty was not yet signed, Abu Jandal, son of the Quraish representative Suhail, came in chains; he had been badly beaten. He appealed to the Prophet and the Muslims that he should not be returned to Makkah to suffer oppression at the hands of non-Muslim. Suhail at once rose and said that he was the first man who had to be returned under the treaty. The Prophet pleaded that since the treaty had not yet been signed this man might be exempted, but Suhail insisted that there would be no treaty unless Abu Jandal was returned. The Prophet appealed that for his sake he might be allowed to remain. But even this appeal had no effect and the Prophet had to concede the demand on which Abu Jandal appeald to the Muslims and said that they were handing him over to the non-Muslims. This must have greatly moved the Muslims but the Prophet conclusively said that having agreed to the treaty he could not go against it and so Abu Jandal should have patience and God would find some way out for him. Another victim to the stringent provision of the treaty was Abu Bakr Utbha bin Usaid who somehow fled from Makkah and reached Medina. The Quraish sent a deputation of two to bring him back and the Prophet in compliance with the treaty sent him back advising him to be patient and wait for the help but on the way he killed one of his guards and again came to Medina. Abu Busir said to the Prophet, "You have complied with the terms of the treaty and handed me over to the non-Muslims, but I could not endanger my faith under the oppressions of the Quraish and so I took the action on my own and no responsibility rests on you. God has saved me". The Prophet significantly remarked "If this man gathers some men around him he will start war". Abu Busir feared that he might be sent back again to Makkah and so he quietly left Medina and went over to Ais in the coastal area. Abu Jandal also joined him there and after that whoever fled from Makkah also took refuge there. In due course a group of 70 persons collected there and began to plunder the trade caravans of the Quraish. They were not a party to the treaty nor were they citizens - - - 179 / 252 - - - of Medina, so nothing could be done to stop them and the Quraish were so harassed by the activities that this stringent clause was removed from the treaty. Later, the Prophet called these men to Medina and the path was cleared for migration of new converts from Makkah to Medina. One important issue arose when Umm-e-Kulsum, daughter of Makkan chief, migrated to Medina and her two brothers, Amara and Walid, followed to secure her return. But since the wording of the treaty was such that it did not apply specifically a women the Prophet refused to return her and the Quraish had to comply. While the Muslims in general did not comprehend the implications of this apparently humiliating treaty, the Prophet had foreseen its great benefits and the soundness of his strategy. Some of the immediate benefits which resulted from this treaty were that in the first place it opened the avenue of amicable contacts between the peoples of Makkah and Medina. Traffic was opened between the two cities and men separated for long from their family began to meet freely with one another. Matters were discussed and the misunderstandings which the people of Makkah had about the Prophet and the Muslims came forward and were cleared. Muslims answered their questions and explained the spiritual, moral, intellectual and material progress they had made while the call of truth and the Islamic ideology became a subject of conversation in every home and Islam spread to rapidly that the number of people who joined the ranks of Muslims in the two years following the Treaty of Hudaibiya was more than the number who had accepted Islam in the course of the last twenty years preceding it. It was this treaty which brought men of the caliber of Khalid and Amr ibn-ul-Aas to the fold of Islam. Secondly, relieved from the worries of wars Muslims found time to devote their energies to the constructive work of moral and intellectual reform and strengthen the administration. It also opened ways for conveying the message of Islam to other countries. Thirdly, the state being at peace with Makkah could attend to the hostile front of Khyber which was subdued very soon after the peace of Hudaibiya. Fourthly, the Arab clans were now free to enter into alliance with Medina or Makkah and this brought many new elements in support of Medina to which the Quraish could - - - 180 / 252 - - - not object and just at this moment Banu Khaza'a clan entered into an alliance with the Muslim state. And lastly, only a year later Muslims could enter Makkah without any fear. Thus to conclude such a peace which brought such bitter enemies as the Quraish on the path of amity was the wisest stroke of the Prophet's policy. Just after conclusion of this treaty, while the Prophet was on his way to Medina Sura Fatha was revealed which reviewed past events, gave its prophecy of future victories and applied solace to their tense feelings. On the other hand, the Quraish who had presumed that the treaty gave them the upper hand were greatly perturbed with its actual consequences which greatly expanded the circle of Muslim adherents within Makkah disrupting the collective strength of the Quraish. The incident of Abu Bakr and Abu Jandal who had formed a group of 70 men and were obstructing the trade caravans of the Quraish has already been related. Then Banu Bakr and Banu Khaza'a clans who had suspended their longstanding feuds to unite in opposition to Islam now renewed their mutual hostility and when Banu Khaza'a after the peace of Hudaibiya allied themselves with the Muslims and Banu Bakr went over to the Quraish the latter at first killed a man of Banu Khaza'a and then attacked them with full force, committing all sorts of atrocities even to the extent of attacking them inside the Kaabah and killing them while they were engaged in prayers. The Quraish gave them full support and thus committed the folly of going against the treaty. On behalf of Banu Khaza'a Amr bin Sulaim appealed to the Prophet and then a deputation under Budail bin Warqa waited on the Prophet and apprised him of all the details. Now under the treaty, the Prophet had to help Banu Khaza'a and he sent a challenge to the Quraish putting before them three alternatives, viz., to pay blood money for those killed or to give up support to Banu Kanana or lastly to announce annulment of the treaty of Hudaibiya. The Quraish having lost their balance of mind agreed to the last alternative and the treaty was declared null and void. But realising its grave consequences frantic efforts began from the side of the Quraish to renew the treaty. The first person to make a move was Abu Sufian who rushed to Medina and tried in every way to placate the Muslims but received such a rebuff that he returned home disappointed. - - - 181 / 252 - - - Campaign To Khyber The Prophet returned from Hudaibiya in Zulhijja 6th and on the 7th of Muharram, 7 H marched out against Khyber which was a stronghold of conspirators against Islam. The Jews of Khyber had not only played a treacherous role in the Battle of Uhad but had been very active supporters of the enemy in the Battle of the Ditch and the state of Medina could not allow this treachery to remain unpunished. The campaign against the Jews of Khyber was thus purely of a political nature and so the treatment meted out to them after their defeat was also on political lines. It is interesting to note that in this campaign a large number of Muslim women also marched with the Muslim force. The Prophet not only allowed them to serve the Muslim soldiers but even gave them a share of the booty. Appointing Sabbaa bin Arfata as his deputy at medina, the Prophet marched with a force of 1,400 and encamped at Raji'. The Jews finding the Muslim force in front of them fled and took refuge in their fortresses. The first assault was made on An-Natat fortress which was soon captured. Then the fortress of Sa'ab besieged. A Jew named Marhab came out, challenged and killed Amir bin Alaku. The fort was, however, captured after some fighting. The strongest fortress Qumus, was the next target and Marhab again came out challenging the Muslims. Muhammad bin Muslima advanced to meet him and cut off his legs and Hazrath Ali killed him. After Marhab his brother Yasir came out and was killed by Hazrath Zubair ibn-ul-Awwam. After a siege of 20 days the fort was captured by Hazrath Ali for which he is called the conqueror of Khyber. The Prophet could not participate in this campaign due to a severe headache and so the command was given to Hazrath Ali. When the Jews fled from this fortress Safia, the daughter of the noted enemy of Islam Huyayy bin Akhtab, with her two cousins came as prisoner and in view of her status the Prophet, after consulting his companions took her as his consort. The Jews then gathered in the fortress of Az-Zobair and after a siege of three days came out and fought desperately. Ten Jews and a few Muslims were killed and the fortress was captured. In the remaining three fortresses of Alkatia, Alwateeh and As-Sulalam, the Jews amassed all their forces. The siege lasted for 14 days and when the Muslim decided to - - - 182 / 252 - - - blow it up, the Jews sued for peace. At first they were asked to vacate but were afterwards allowed to remain and retain their agricultural field and groves as tenants on payment of half produce. Two Jewish youth Hawaisa and Mahisa embraced Islam in this campaign while a goatherd on accepting the faith was asked to return the goats under his charge to their owners although when they had been taken as enemy property it would have been quite justified to keep them. Immediately after the conquest of Khyber Hazrath Jafar bin Abi Talib joined the Pro[phet at Medina with many others and this greatly enhanced the joy of the conquest. Hajaj bin Alat Salmi who owned the mines of Bani Sulaim territory and had just accepted Islam went to Makkah and brought his family and his vast wealth from there. After concluding the campaign of Khyber, the Muslim forces marched to Wadi-ul-Qura where some Arabs had joined the Jews and made it a stronghold of the enemies of Islam. The enemy threw stones from the fortress while one man after the other came out everyday to fight and was killed. This lasted eleven days and the enemy lost their eleven men after which they submitted themselves and like the Jews of Khyber were allowed to retain their agricultural lands and groves as tenants. The Jews of Wadi Taima accepted these terms of peace on their own accord. Out of the vast fertile lands which came under the possession of Muslims as a result of these campaigns, some areas of Khyber and Fadak were treated as crown lands for the maintenance of Muslim workers, their dependants and the poor. There was some dispute about these areas after the Prophet's death, but Hazrath Abu Bakr in consultation with other companions of the Prophet retained their status. Hazrath Umar went with a patrol party to warn Banu Hawazin and they withdrew. Bashir bin Daram (or Osair bin Rizam) a Jew, was reported to be busy inciting Banu Ghatfan to attack Medina. Abdullah bin Rawaha went - - - 183 / 252 - - - with a party and after some talk persuaded Bashir to accompany him and meet the Prophet. On the way, Bashir caught the sword of Abdullah and there was a fight between the two which others also joined. Thirty-one Jews were killed in this clash. News came in Muharram, 7 H. that Banu Ghatfan, Banu Maharib, Banu Tha'alaba and Banu Ammar were preparing for attack and the Prophet marched against them with a party of 400 but they dispersed. This is called the campaign of Zat-ur Riqa'a. To punish Banu Malooh, who had killed the men of t Bushair bin Sowaid, a party was sent against them under Abdullah Laisi. There was a clash but the enemy soon fled and some of their property was confiscated. Banu Kilab were preparing for aggression but when Hazrath Siddiq marched against them they ran away after some skirmishes. News of brewing trouble came from Jahaina territory and Usama bin Zaid was sent to deal with it. After some preliminary talks there was a clash and the enemy fled. While Usama was pursuing them, their chief, Sahik bin Mardas, called out Kalima. But Usama thought it was a trick to save his life and killed him. When the Prophet heard about this, he was much grieved. Reform and not annihilation of his adversaries was his aim. Bushair bin Sa'ad bin Tha'alaba of the Khazraj clan was sent against the people of Fazarah and 'Azrah who had helped the Jews at Khyber. They surrendered after a light skirmish. The contingents sent to deal with the uprising of Banu Sulaim and Banu Qaza'a were massacred since the enemy hordes far outnumbered the Muslim parties. Banu Hawazin who had helped the enemies of Islam in several battles were reported to be amassing forces for attack at some distance from Medina. A small patrol party sent against them under Shuja' bin Wahb Asadi met with no resistance. It was reported that Qais bin Rifa'a (or Rifa'a bin Qais) was gathering forces to attack Medina. Abu Hazrath Aslami was sent with just two men for patrol and acted so tactfully that the enemy fled in panic and their cattle were confiscated. - - - 184 / 252 - - - Reports came that Banu Qazama were collecting some other elements for an attack on Medina and Amr bin A'as was sent with a force of 300. When he reached Zat-us-Salasi he learnt that the enemy force was too strong and he sent word for reinforcement of 200 more was sent under Abu Ubaida Ibn-ul-Jarrah. But the enemy fled on the very first assault and some of their cattle were captured. Abu Qatada and Muhlam bin Jusama while patrolling met Amr bin Alazbat Ashjai saluted Abu Qatada in the Islamic manner. But Abu Qatada thought this was a deception and killed him on which he was rebuked in the revelation in the following words. " O ye who believe! When ye go abroad in the cause of God, investigate carefully, and say not anyone who offers you a salutation: "Thou art none of a believer'." -(IV: 94) The Prophet also expressed his disapproval. Later, the chief of the clan, Uyaina bin Badr, came to demand ransom. The Prophet gave him 50 camels at once and the chief agreed to take 50 more later. In Rajab, 8H. at the instance of the Prophet, Abu Ubaida went to the coastal areas with 300 men and after staying there for a few days returned to Medina without a clash. The object of this campaign was to guard the way and impress upon the Quraish that Medina was interested in this route. As stipulated in the Treaty of Hudaibiya that the Prophet should return that year and come to perform Umrah next year, the Prophet marched out with 2,000 men, 100 horses and 60 (or 80) camels for sacrifice in the 7th year of Hijra. The arms were covered but they were left at Yahaj. In compliance with the treaty, the Quraish had to open the gates of the Kaabah. Some of the bitterest enemies left Makkah and went over to Mount Quiquan and elsewhere to avoid the sight of this caravan but other men, women and children stood on both sides of the route to watch the procession. Abdullah bin Rawaha held the string of the Prophet's camel singing a poem some of whose lines are as follows: In the name of One Whose path is the only right path. In the name of One Whose Prophet is Muhammad. Get out of our path O progeny of non-Muslims. - - - 185 / 252 - - - This had been taught to us by Ar-Rahman in his revealed book. The best of wars is one fought for His Cause. O my Lord! I believe in what the Prophet says. In these few lines the entire call of truth was being announced from which Makkah had been deprived for years. Supporters of Islam who had been concealing their faith must have been overjoyed. For three days the atmosphere reverberated with this call while on the fourth day when the Prophet was sitting with the Ansar, Sohail bin Amr and Howaitab bin Abdul Uzza came to him and said that since three days had passed they should leave the place. Sa'ad bin Ubada flared up at this impertinence and said, "The land is not yours or your father's. We will never quit." But the Prophet adopted a more lenient attitude. He had recently married Hazrath Maimuna and said to the messenger: "I have just married. What is the harm if food is cooked and you participate in the feast." The messengers were however, adamant and curtly said: "We do not want any food. You must go away. The Prophet had ordered his men to walk erect to counter the propaganda that under-nourishment and fever had made the Muslims physically very weak. The spectacle had a great publicity value on the general population. The Conquest Of Makkah Now that the Prophet had established his superiority over his enemy, the only way of completely crushing the opposition was to attack their stronghold of Makkah. The previous Battles of Badr, Uhad and the Ditch were fought near Medina to defend it from enemy assault and after the last of these battles the Prophet with his great foresight had declared that the aggression of the Quraish had been crushed and had prophesied the invasion of Makkah. But with the Treaty of Hudaibiya the period of armistice was utilised by the Prophet in further consolidating his power. After prompt measures used against traitors and insurgents, peace reigned supreme around Medina and its neighbourhood. Everyone knew that the emerging Islamic state was significant. To their utter misfortune, the Quraish had themselves annulled the Treaty of Hudaibiya. - - - 186 / 252 - - - The Prophet mobilised his forces and ordered the arms to be burnished. He kept his intention secret and even Hazrath Ayesha who arranged his armour did not know what was the objective of the campaign. Ten thousand volunteers were called and only the size of army indicated invasion of Makkah was intend. On the 10th of Ramazan the Prophet with his force of 10,000 marched out from Medina and took a circuitous route which confused the patrol parties of the Quraish and while they wandered about elsewhere, the Muslim army was suddenly in the vicinity of Makkah. When the Prophet reached Haifa, his uncle Abbas joined him with his family. Then at Abawa came Abu Sufian (the Prophet's cousin) and Abdullah bin Umayya (cousin of the Prophet and stepbrother of Hazrath Umme- Salma). But due to the tortures they had inflicted on the Prophet despite their being his close relatives, he refused to meet them. Abu Sufian declared in desperation that they would lie with their families on the burning sands of the desert and starve themselves to death. Then Hazrath Umm-e-Salma pleaded for her stepbrother and Hazrath Ali advised them to ask pardon of the Prophet in the words of the brothers of Prophet Joseph, viz., "By God you have got mastery over us and surely we have been at fault." When the Prophet heard these words he also answered in the words which Prophet Joseph had said to his brothers, "There is no charge against you today, May God forgive you for He is the most Merciful and Beneficient. The army encamped at Marr-us-Zahran and the Prophet ordered that each man should light a separate hearth for cooking Abu Sufian bin Harb (the most prominent leader), Hakim bin Hazm and Budail bin Warqa watched the camp from an elevated position and were moved by the sight of ten thousand hearths alight. Hazrath Abbas, while passing by, recognised the voice of Abu Sufian and greeted him. Hazrath Abbas told Abu Sufian that the Prophet had marched with a large force and the Quraish would be annihilated. Abu Sufian asked if there was any remedy and Hazrath Abbas advised him to ride with him on his pony and plead with the Prophet. They were checked at every step but allowed to proceed on the intervention of Hazrath Abbas. - - - 187 / 252 - - - On the way Hazrath Umar saw them and rushed to the Prophet for his permission to kill Abu Sufian. Hazrath Abbas also spurred his pony but Hazrath Umar was ahead of him and while he was still talking, Hazrath Abbas said he had brought Abu Sufian under his protection. The Prophet asked Abu Sufian: "Are you still in doubt that there is no deity except God?" Abu Sufian: "If there were any other deity he would have come to our help." The Prophet: "Do you still doubt that I am Prophet of God." Abu Sufian: "There is some doubt in it." Hazrath Abbas then demanded of Abu Sufian, "Accept Islam." And by the morning the most prominent leader of Makkah and the bitterest enemy of Islam had become a Muslim. Before the army entered Makkah Abu Sufian was kept under such secret surveillance that he never knew it. When the army marched through Kada for entry into Makkah, Hazrath Abbas at the instance of the Prophet took Abu Sufian to a convenient spot to show him the strength of the force, and the clan after clan with its chief bearing its standard passed along and Abu Sufian asked about each contingent. When Hazrath Sa'ad bin Ubada passed by them the long history of the oppressions of the Quraish passed before his eyes and he shouted, "Today is the day of great expedition. Today the sanctity of Haram (Kaabah) will be for us." When the Prophet heard of this cry he immediately ordered that the standard be taken from him and given to his son. At the same time he said, "This is the day of the greatness of the Kaabah and of virtue and generosity", and his conveyance passed with utmost simplicity with Hazrath Zubair ibnul- Awwam hoisting the standard before him. In one brief sentence the Prophet had declared his policy as a victor. Then it was publicly announced that whoever entered the precincts of the Kaabah would be safe, whoever went into the house of Abu Sufian would be safe and whoever had not raised his sword against the Muslims would be safe, provided that he was not guilty of any culpable offence. Abu Sufian himself went forward and loudly cried out this proclamation. When Hind, daughter of Utbah (wife of Abu Sufian), heard it she - - - 188 / 252 - - - pulled out the moustache of her, husband and cried out, "O Banu Kinana! Kill this man. What is he talking?" She continued to abuse and the people gathered there but Abu Sufian quietly said that it was no use talking like that for no one could confront the Prophet now. Unlike other conquerors; the Prophet on his triumphant entry into Makkah had lowered his head so much in thanksgiving to God that his forehead touched the seat on the camel while he was reciting Surah Fatha. Ikrama bin Abu Jehl, Safwan bin Umayya and Suhail bin Amr gathered some mischief-makers from the Quraish near Khandama Hill to create trouble. Hams bin Qais bin Khalid also joined them. Two companions of the Prophet, Kurz bin Jabir Alfahri and Khonais bin Khalid bin Rabi' who had strayed from the camp and were passing that way were killed by these men. 'When Hazrath Khalid heard of it he promptly rushed to deal with them. Twelve of the mischief-makers were killed and the rest including Hams fled. Another group collected in the city to make trouble. The Prophet called a contingent of the Ansar through Hazrath Abu Huraira and told them of the activities of these mischief-mongers, at the same time ordering that if they created trouble they should be killed immediately. When Abu Sufian heard this order he came to the Prophet and pleaded that the Quraish had already suffered much and they might not be wiped out altogether. After brief resistance and having received a beating, the troublemakers ran away. When the Ansar saw this great leniency of the Prophet to the Quraish there was some discontent among them and they apprehended that the Prophet was after all moved by the love for his ancestral home and its people. They feared that they might be deprived of this most lovable personality. When the Prophet heard about it, he promptly came forward and addressed the Ansar, "By God that is far from me. I am a servant of God and His Prophet. I want to live with you as directed by God and now I must live with you until death." Much moved, the Ansar apologised for their misapprehensions and the Prophet accepted it. People asked the Prophet if he would like to stay in his ancestral home to which most pathetically he replied, "Aqil has left no trace of - - - 189 / 252 - - - my house that I may stay there." His standard was planted at Hajun (Jannatul Mualla) where he decided to stay. He first went to the historic place of Khaif where he had spend his days of confinement with his people. Next, he went to the Kaabah with some close associates, and kissed the black stone. Then he went over to each of the idols and touched them with his bow declaring, "Truth has (now) arrived and falsehood perished; for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." (XVII: 81). At the touch of the bow the idols fell down. Then he called for the keys of the Kaabah and its gate opened. Inside he saw the portraits of Hazrath Ibrahim and Ismail with arrows as dice in their hands which he ordered to be erased, saying, "God's curse on these unbelievers. Both of these were Prophets of God and they never gambled!" later under his orders all the idols which had long been fixed around the Kaabah were broken and then the Prophet knelt down for prayer. Large crowds waited outside the Mosque to know their fate and the Prophet came out and addressed them: "There is no deity except Allah and He has no partner. He fulfilled His promise and helped His servant, who single-handedly routed all armies. Today all pride, all claims of blood and ransom are under my feet. Only the guardianship of the Kaabah and supply of water to the pilgrims are exempt. "O Quraish! Now your pride of ignorance and boast of nobility of birth has been suppressed. All men are the progeny of Adam who was raised from the earth". Then he recited the verse of the Qur'an: "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye despite each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous." -(XLIX: 13) Then he made a legal announcement: "God had forbidden trade in wine" Then the Prophet asked those assembled: "Can you tell me how I am going to treat you?" - - - 190 / 252 - - - At this time the history of 21 years of oppression and cruelties inflicted on the Muslims must have passed before the eyes of the Quraish. But in all humility and penitence they replied. "You are a noble brother and son of a noble brother". And the Prophet responded, "there is no charge against you today. Go, you are all free." It will be recalled that the key-bearer of the Kaabah, Usman bin Talha, had once refused to open the door of the Kaabah for the Prophet and the Prophet had prophesied that a day would come when "the key will be in my hand I will entrust it to whomsoever I like", whereupon Usman had said, "That will by the day when all the people of the Quraish would have been killed". And the Prophet had said, "No that will be the day of the true dignity of the Quraish". The Prophet, ignoring the request of Hazrath Ali for the custody of the key, gave it over to the same Usman bin Talha who recalled what he had once said and declared, "Truly, you are a Prophet of God". The Prophet then said, "Today is the day of generosity and trust". At the command of the Prophet, Hazrath Bilal climbed to the top of the Kaabah and called Azan, which was a declaration of the victory of the Islamic revolution. Then the Prophet took a bath at the house of Umme- Hani and offered eight Rak'ats of thanksgiving prayer. Next day the Prophet again addressed the people from the Safa hill and explained the sanctity of the Kaabah which was permanently established. Then followed a glorious spectacle of cases wherein justice was tampered with mercy. Although a general amnesty was proclaimed, a few persons who had committed very grave offences were named and ordered to be killed wherever they were found. The list included the names of some women as well as some men. Most of them were later pardoned. Four men at the most were killed under this order, while one report says that only one was killed and this was Abdul Uzza ibn Hanzal, who had been sent to collect charitable funds after he had accepted Islam, but on the way he killed the other Muslims accompanying him and fled taking with him the sacrificial animals Safwan bin Umayya was among the bitterest enemies of Islam who tried to flee to Yemen but on his way at Jeddah received pardon from - - - 191 / 252 - - - the Prophet through Umair bin Wahb Jamhi and returned to Makkah. Later he embraced Islam. Ikrama bin Abu Jehl had also fled to Yemen, but his wife Umm-e-Hakim, niece of Abu Jehl, became a Muslim, secured pardon for her husband and brought him herself. He was much surprised to find that a bitter enemy like him could be excused. Abdullah bin Abi Sa'ad bin Abi Sarah had accepted Islam and was deputed to keep a record of revelations. Later, he conspired with the enemies and even claim that it was he who received revelations and that the Prophet had noted down them after hearing from him. The offence was very grave but on very strong recommendations of Hazrath Usman he was pardoned. He continued to remain a Muslim thereafter. Miqyas bin Sababa had joined the Muslims as an enemy spy and treacherously killed a Muslim of the Ansar clan and fled. He was also guilty of other offences and was executed. Habbar ibn-ul-Aswad, besides committing other inimical acts, had ill-treated Hazrath Zainab on her way from Makkah to Medina as a result of which she had suffered a miscarriage. He remained underground for sometime and then surrendered, apologised and expressed regret and also accepted Islam. The Prophet pardoned him. Even the man who had killed Hazrath Hamza was pardoned when he surrendered and accepted Islam. The Prophet, however, asked him not to come before him as his face recalled the grief. Abdullah bin Zib'ar used to write hostile poems against Islam. He also surrendered, accepted Islam and was pardoned. Ka'ab bin Zuhair also used to write inflammatory poems against Islam. He presented himself with his brother, apologised and accepted Islam and as atonement composed the famous poem "Baanat Su'aad". The Prophet not only pardoned him but also rewarded him with a piece of his apparel. While the Prophet was circum-ambulating the Kaabah during his stay at Makkah, Fuzala bin Umair secretly came with the intention of killing the Prophet who himself went to Fuzala and exposed his evil intentions. The man expressed regret, accepted Islam and was pardoned. The greatest offender among the women was Hind bint-e-Utbah who, besides her other acts of bitter hostility, had mutilated the dead body of Hazrath Hamza and chewed his liver. She came to the Prophet with her face - - - 192 / 252 - - - covered to conceal herself from others and her talk with the Prophet was still full of rancour. The conversation was as follows: Hind: "O Prophet of God! What do you want from us?" The Prophet: "That you should not assign any partner to God." Hind: "You did not take this pledge from the men. Nevertheless I agree." The Prophet: "That you should not commit theft." Hind: "I sometimes steal some money of my husband Abu Sufian. I wonder if this is permissible." The Prophet: "Do not kill your children." Hind: "We nursed them in childhood. When they were grown up, you killed them in the Battle of Badr. Now you settle with them." No one could have tolerated this insolence but she was exploiting the most forgiving nature of the Prophet. Qartana was a slave girl of Ibn Hanzal and used to sing defamatory songs against the prophet. She absconded after the victory of Makkah, but later returned, expressed regret and accepted Islam. A victory was greater than the victory over Makkah was that the Prophet sat on the Safa hill and people came in crowds and pledge to Islam. The pledged was taken in the following terms: "I will not assign any partner to God, in His person or attributes or in my prayers or seeking aid. "I will not commit theft, fornicate, kill without just reason, or kill daughters or unjustly accuse anyone. "In reasonable matters I will obey God's Prophet as far as I can." After staying for about a fortnight the Prophet left Makkah, and appointed Hazrath Muaz ibn Jabal as his deputy for real missionary work. He was directed to give instruction to the people in Islamic way of life, Islamic tenets, Islamic morals, Islamic law and Islamic culture. How the Prophet enforced Islamic law is illustrated by the fact that he carried out the punishment of cutting the hand of Fatima, daughter of Abil Asad, on the charge of theft despite pressure of recommendations against it. When the Prophet returned to Makkah after the campaigns of Hunain and Taif he appointed Itab bin Usaid as his deputy on a remuneration of one dirham a day. - - - 193 / 252 - - - After the victory of Makkah the greatest obstacle to the spread of the mission of truth was removed as Makkah was the stronghold of the leadership of the days of ignorance and its removal opened the avenues of rapid progress for Islam. Many of the clans which hesitated to accept Islam because of their alliance with Quraish or their economic dependence on them or fear of their religious and social dominance, now accepted Islam. The path was now cleared for them to come forward freely and accept Islam and many clans came forward of their own accord to become the servants of Islam and followers of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.0. When the Prophet marched with his army towards Makkah he was very careful from the very beginning to accomplish it without any bloodshed and he adopted measures to this effect. He kept his intentions and his movements quite secret so that the Quraish could not make any preparations or secure any aid from surrounding areas and suddenly appeared at the gate of Makkah. Abu Sufian had already surrendered and steps were taken to instil fear in him and with Abu Sufian removed from the scene, the people of Makkah were incapable of offering any resistance. The Prophet forgave the bitterest enemies of his movement. Those who had oppressed him and his familiar associates for years, ridiculed him, thrown filth on him, strewed thorns in his way, imprisoned him, made attempts on his life, exiled him and then took up sword against him in the battles were all forgiven and a general amnesty was proclaimed. Even those who had to pay ransom for murders were not punished. This lenient policy was appropriate to the mission of reform for a more stern policy as adopted by worldly conquerors in general could not meet the requirements of a moral revolution. The conquered people, subjugated by force and compelled to obey by the use of force, could never accomplish the desired end. What he needed was a change of heart and the change of heart could be brought about by leniency and generosity, by making people repentant and prepared to start a different life. As a careful observer of human nature in general and of the Quraish in particular, to which clan he himself belonged, the Prophet had realised that the Quraish were best suited for leadership and service to a great cause and that no other clan in Arabia was as capable of this. They had fought bravely for preserving the system of - - - 194 / 252 - - - the days of ignorance to which they were accustomed and they could be equally brave in fighting for the cause of Islam when the truth was given to them. It is true that faith and piety are the first requirements of leadership but it also needs intellectual and practical capabilities, dignity and influence, experience of rule and command, tact and the ability to achieve through others, understanding of human psychology and above all they should be men whose superiority has already been recognised and established in the public esteem. The Quraish possessed these qualities which could be fostered under the new system. Forcibly crushed and humiliated, the Quraish could be of no use. And the Prophet's lenient and forgiving policy accomplished this goal and brought about a change for the better in them. The Prophet triumphantly entered Makkah without any ceremony or beating of drums but with his head bowed in prayer and gratitude to God. "Enter the gate with bowed heads" was the general order. Prayers and calls for prayers filled the atmosphere of Makkah. Nothing was gained in personal interest, but even the properties forcibly taken by the Quraish were left with them and all the ceremonial offices were left with their erstwhile incumbents. He snatched the banner from the person who had cried that it was the day of tough fighting and announced that it was the day of sanctity of the Kaabah which he permanently established. No one deserved greater sympathy and consideration than the Quraish. Being intellectually superior and custodians of the Kaabah they were leaders of the Arabs in politics and religion and had waged relentless war to retain it for twenty years. They had lost the battle and with it their social superiority. What would haven their feelings when despite their being close relatives of the Prophet they had to stand behind the Ansar. After having fought against Islam for twenty years they were defeated and demoralized. Only leniency could revive them. The Prophet fully comprehended this situation and acted with great foresight. Thus he showed utmost leniency and large-heartedness to the Quraish and men like Abu Sufian, Hakim bin Hazm, Nadar bin Haris, Safwan bin Umayya, Akra' bin Habis and others like them who had slandered the Prophet for years, called him a liar, taunted and derided him, inflicted on him physical tortures, plotted to kill him, - - - 195 / 252 - - - expelled him from home and having waged war against him did not let him live in peace even in exile, and were recipients of larger share of generosity than the Ansar. A large quantity of booty-24,000 camels, 400,000 goats 4,000 measures of silver -was collected at Ja'arana and taking its one-fifth portion for collective use and for relieving poverty the rest was distributed. Its object, besides restricting the fighting power of the enemy, was also to bring into circulation accumulated wealth and reduce the economic imbalance. The share of the Quraish in this was larger. Some of the Ansar were angered at this generosity at the cost of those who had staked their lives to support him and fought his battles. There were rumours in some quarters that the Prophet had rewarded the Quraish most generously while the Ansar had been poorly treated although their swords were still dripping with the blood of his enemies. "We are called for help in adversity but the fruit of victory goes to others." When the Prophet heard this he got a tent pitched, called together the Ansars and asked them if the rumours were true. The Ansar confessed that there was such talk but only among irresponsible youths. Then the Prophet said: "Is it not true that you were in the wrong and God gave you right guidance through me? That you were divided and God united you through me? That you were poor and God made you prosperous through me?' At every sentence the Ansar cried, "Truly, we are greatly indebted to God and His Prophet." The Prophet again said, "No, you should say, O Muhammad! When people denied you we believed in you. When you were abandoned by the Quraish we sheltered you. When you came to us in poverty we gave you every help. And at every sentence I will say, 'Yes, it is true.' But O Ansar! Do you not like that while others take with them camels and goats, you take Muhammad with you." This moved the Ansar so much that torrents of tears began to wet their beards and they emotionally cried out, "We want only Muhammad and nothing else." Then the Prophet quietly explained to them the reasons which necessitated sympathetic treatment of the Quraish. There were six thousand war prisoners awaiting their fate and the Prophet waited for two weeks for someone to come and talk about - - - 196 / 252 - - - them. Distribution of the booty was also held over for the same reason, but when no one came, the booty and the prisoners were distributed. Then a deputation of the clan of Halima Sadia (the Prophet's fostermother) under Zuhari bin Sard came to talk about these prisoners and Zuhair made a very moving speech before the Prophet in the course of which he said. "Among the women who are detained under the thatched roof's are your father's sisters and your mother's sisters. By God, if any of the rulers of Arabia had bee n nursed by a woman of our family we would have expected much from him. And from you we expect even more." The Prophet said that he was himself waiting for someone to come and talk about those prisoners and they were distributed when no one was forthcoming. "Now I am handing over to you the prisoners who went to the share of the Quraish and for others you should talk to the Muslims in general assembled after prayers." Then Zuhair again repeated his request before the Muslims. The Prophet said, I am responsible for my own family but I recommend to all Muslims for sympathetic consideration." Then all migrants and Ansar cried with one voice that they all agreed to return their share. Only Banu Sulaim and Banu Fazara hesitated and considered it unusual that prisoners captured in war should be released without ransom. So the Prophet gave them six camels for each prisoner and thus released all the prisoners. Some of them were even provided with clothes and provisions. This won the hearts of the entire clan. Consolidation Of Victory Some minor campaigns were undertaken to consolidate the victory of Makkah and to ensure law and order. The Banu Tamim clan instigated some other clans and together they stopped payments of taxes. this campaign was an act of treason and a force of 50 horsemen was sent under Uyaina bin Hisn to punish them. on the very first attack Banu Tamim fled. some prisoners were brought to Medina but were later released. It was reported that Khas'am clan was preparing for revolt. a small force of 20 was sent under Qutba bin Amir to deal with them. the - - - 197 / 252 - - - mischief-makers dispersed and some prisoners were brought but later the Prophet set them free. Hazrath Zahhak was sent to punish Banu Kelab and with him was also Usaib bin Salma who belonged to this clan. in the skirmish that took place Usaid's father was killed. Reports came that a gang of sea pirates from Abyssinia had gathered near Jeddah. Abdullah bin Huzafa was sent with a force of 300 to deal with them. the pirates fled without offering any resistance. There was a large temple of Bani Tayy which had become the stronghold of conspirators against the Muslim state and in the famous house of Hatim, Adi bin Hatim had collected a large force for attacking Medina. some other clans might also have joined him. Hazrath Ali was sent with a contingent of 150 to demolish this temple, which besides being the den of conspirators was a symbol of the ideology of ignorance. Hazrath Ali attacked them, but Abi bin Hatim fled to Syria to secure more help. Others dispersed after slight resistance and the temple was demolished. among the prisoners brought was also Hatim's sister who pathetically appealed to the Prophet as follows, "My father is dead and my guardian has fled leaving me helpless. I am an old woman and can to do no service. be merciful to me and God will be merciful to you." At her request the Prophet released her and arranged conveyance for her return. Returning home she recalled the generosity and politeness of the Prophet to her brother asking him not to think of fighting against him. she persuaded him to go to the Prophet and gain enlightenment. soon afterwards Adi bin Hatim went to Medina and accepted Islam. The Prophet had started letters to the rulers of surrounding countries calling to them to the path of truth and even sending his emissaries to some places. One emissary, Haris bin Umair Uzdi who was sent to Syria was killed by the Christian governor of the Roman emperor, Heracles. this was a flagrant violation of the international law and no government could tolerate it without risking its self-respect. in the eighth year of Hijra the Prophet sent an army of 3,000 under the command of Zaid bin Haris (a freed slave of the Prophet whom he had adopted as his son) towards Balqa in Syria. That the command of - - - 198 / 252 - - - such an important campaign was given to a freed slave in preference to many highly placed men among the migrants and the Ansar and even his own very close relatives and friends was to establish the rule of human equality and to show that Islam allows a person to rise from the status of a slave to the commander of armies. To bid farewell to this army the Prophet himself went up to Saniatul Wada. When this army reached Ma'an it was learnt that Heracles had come to that side on a tour and had a very large army with him. Christians of Bani Lakham, Bani Jazam and Balqin and Bahra had joined him. the total strength must have been a hundred thousand. after consultations the move for return was rejected and it was resolved to confront the Roman army leaving the result to God. when the Muslims advanced they confronted a very large Roman army collected at Masharif. A stiff fight took place in which Zaid bin Haris was killed and the command was taken up by Hazrath Jafar. when he lost his one hand he held the standard in the other hand and when even that hand was cut off he balanced the standard on his chest and was at last killed with 90 wounds. Then, according to the order predetermined by the Prophet, Abdullah bin Rawaha took up the command and when even he was killed the command, by common consent, was given to Hazrath Khalid bin Walid and he fought with such ferocious courage that nine swords were broken in his hand. At last the Roman army retreated and Hazrath Khalid brought back his army safely. only twelve Muslims were killed but they included some very important personalities. since the enemy force was very much superior, the land was alien, supplies of provisions were scant and no reinforcements could be expected, it was decided not to pursue the Roman army but to remain content with the victory already gained. For the great bravery shown by Hazrath Khalid he was given the title of the "Sword of Allah". When the army returned to Medina the Prophet and others came to meet it. Some youngsters jokingly called them runaways, but the Prophet said they were not cowards but would return again. In Rajab, 9 Hijra a caravan returning from Syria reported that the Caesar's armies were preparing for the invasion of Medina. The Caesar (Heracles) was the ruler of a vast empire extending to nearly half of the then known world and recently he had routed the armies of the great Iranian empire. On the other hand, the Prophet had - - - 199 / 252 - - - established an Islamic state to spread faith and enlightenment all over the world and could not at any cost afford to endanger it. so, military preparations were at once set on foot and it was decided to confront the Roman army at a distance from Medina to avoid devastation of its territories. This was during the hot season and there was famine and poverty, so the Prophet appealed for war subscription and its response was unparalleled in the history of the world. Hazrath Usman offered 900 camels, 100 horses, and 1,000 gold coins. Hazrath Abdur Rahman bin Auf brought 40,000 dirhams and Hazrath Umar donated the greater part of his possessions but Hazrath Abu Bakr Siddiq brought everything that he had. When the Prophet asked him if he had left anything for his dependents he said that the Prophet and God were enough for him and his people. the greatest sacrifice, however, was of an Ansar labourer who after toiling in a date palm grove all day earned four measures of dates and reserving half of it for his family brought the rest to the Prophet who ordered that they should be strewn over all the collected dump of donations. Women donated their jewellery. An army of 30,000 including 10,000 horsemen marched from Medina but when it reached Tabuk it was learnt that the Roman army had abandoned the idea of invading Medina. it was found that a false report was conveyed to the emperor that the Prophet of Medina was dead and he thought that it was the most opportune time to attack Medina but when he learnt that the Prophet was alive and Medina was fully prepared he changed his mind and returned. But the campaign proved useful in other ways. the Prophet remained encamped with the army for a month and successfully worked for the expansion of his political influence. The first to come was the chief of Aila who made peace and agreed to pay Jizia (military tax in lieu of active service). Men from Jaraba and Azrah also came and entered into alliance on the same terms. at the same time a force of 400 was sent to Dumatul Jandal under Hazrath Khalid. The chief, Okaidir, and his brother were hunting and in the skirmish his brother was killed and Okaidir was brought to the Prophet who entered into alliance on payment of Jizia. The Prophet appointed him chief of Dumatul Jandal, Tabuk, and Taima under the state of Medina and gave him a written - - - 200 / 252 - - - document to this effect. On his return to Medina the Prophet was most enthusiastically received. The Prophet then attended to the hypocrites who has stayed away from the campaign and committed other acts of treason. When the defaulters were questioned they offered lame excuses but the Prophet pardoned them. Among those who had stayed away was Abu Khaisma who was resting in the cool shade with his two wives when all of a sudden a light dawned on his mind and he told his wives. "Bt God! I will not enter your rooms. Just prepare for my departure.", and he called for his camel, mounted on it and immediately left and joined the army. Three Muslims, Ka'ab bin Malik, Hilal bin Umayya and Murara ibn-ur-Rabi, when asked why they stayed back, frankly confessed their guilt and unconditionally apologised. The Prophet ordered that till the Divine revelation exonerated them, they should remain as social outcasts and keep aloof from their family. This was solitary confinement without prison or chains and being self-imposed it must have acted as a powerful purge. When the Ghassani Chief heard of it he wrote to Ka'ab that he had been ill-treated by the Prophet despite his great capabilities and if he joined Ghassan he would be given rank and position. But Ka'ab threw his letter into the fire and faithfully continued to remain as ordered by the Prophet. The revelation came after 50 days which testified their repentance as sincere and a wave of joy swept through Medina, congratulations pouring on the three from all sides. Hazrath Ka'ab, overjoyed with his repentance being accepted, gave away most of his wealth in charity. While the Prophet was still at Tabuk Abdullah Zulbajadin died and the Prophet buried him with full honours, himself putting bricks on the grave and praying. This youth had accepted Islam at an early age but kept his sentiments suppressed for fear of his cruel uncle. When the Prophet returned after the victory of Makkah he told his uncle: "Dear uncle! I have been waiting for years to see as to when your heart accepts the light of Islam, but I find no change in you. Now permit me to go and join the ranks of Islam." The heartless uncle said that in that case he would deprive him of his inheritance and would not let him take even his clothes. Abdullah's firm reply was, "Uncle! You may do whatever you like, but I now renounce idol worship and want to - - - 201 / 252 - - - embrace Islam." So he was deprived of everything and even divested of the clothes he was wearing. His mother gave him a blanket to cover his bare body, which he tore in two, half of which he wrapped his waist and with the other half covered his body. He followed the army in the campaign of Tabuk but died of fever. The burial took place in the darkness of night with Hazrath Bilal holding the lamp and the Prophet himself performing the burial. On seeing all this Hazrath Ibn Masud said: "I wish I were buried in this grave." This concludes the account of the military campaigns of the Prophet which must have dispelled the widespread misunderstanding that the sword was used to spread Islam; none of the campaigns was conducted in the spirit of sheer conquest but a change of heart was always intended rather than destruction of life; all defeated parties were treated most generously and no vindictive action was ever taken against even the bitterest enemies and oppressors. the approach of Islam was by argument, appeal and the natural laws. This will, however, be the subject of the next chapter. - - - 202 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Five Argument and appeal 1. The moral force Argument And Appeal Causes the world over are either won or lost on the force of the spoken word. If the approach is made in persuasive terms, an effective impact is created and the party is won over. Everything depends upon how we express our message and make it appealing to one's head and heart. The question of the approach of Islam on the subject will be clearer if some relevant and passages of the Qur'an are quoted here. The appeal of Islam was to the emotions and the words used are therefore filled with sympathy and love of mankind which reach the innermost corners of the heart directly and are thus models of eloquence and effectiveness. Here are some of the verses: "Say: O my servants who transgress against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God. For God forgives all sins; For He is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful. Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will) before the penalty comes on you; after that ye shall not be helped. And follow the Best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you -suddenly, while ye perceive not! -Lest the soul should then say! Ah, woe is me! -in that I neglected (my duty) to towards God, and was among those who mocked! -or (lest) it should say, "If God had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous'! Or (lest) it should say when it actually sees the penalty: "If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do well!" -(XXXIX: 53-58) In this brief passage there are all those fundamental truths which were represented in the Prophet's call. There is in it logical argument as well as appeal stirring the hearts. There is warning as well as hope. Then the entire progeny of Adam is addressed: "Did I not enjoin on you, O ye children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed! And that ye should worship Me (for that) this was the straight way." -(XXXVI: 6062) - - - 203 / 252 - - - "Say, O ye men! Now the truth hath reached you from your Lord: Those who receive guidance do so for the good of their own souls, those who go astray, do so to their loss; and I am not set over you to arrange your affairs!" -(X: 108) The Qur'an also appeals to different communities and classes of people touching their basic nature and in the most eloquent words. Even those who were in hostile camps and on bitterest terms were approached in words which appealed to their better sense. Even traitors were called upon to mend their ways and reform themselves. Some of these gems of the highest eloquence are cited here: To non-believers of Makkah: "God sets forth a parable: a city enjoying security and quiet, abundantly supplied with sustenance from every place. Yet was it ungrateful for the favours of God, so God made it taste of hunger and terror in extremes (closing on it) like a garment (from every side) because of the (evil) which (its people) wrought." -(XVI: 112) To the people of the Book: "O people of the Book! There hath come to you Our Apostle revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book and forgiving much ( that ye did against him)." -(V: 61) "Say: O people of the Book! Exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper) trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by -who misled many and strayed (themselves) from the Straight Path." -(V: 80) "O people of the Book! Now hath come unto you Our Apostle, after the break in (the series of) Our apostles, lest ye should say: "There came unto us no bringer of gland tidings and a Warner (from evil)' and Allah hath power over all things." -(V: 21) "And We gave (clear) warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)! When the first of the warning came to pass, We sent against you Our servants give to warfare: they entered the very inmost parts of your homes and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled. Then did We grant you the return - - - 204 / 252 - - - as against them: We gave you increase in resources and sons, and made you the more numerous in manpower. If ye did well, ye did well for yourselves; if ye did evil (ye did it) against yourselves. So when the second of the warnings came to pass (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your temple as they had entered it before, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power. In may be that your Lord may (yet) show mercy unto you; but if ye revert (to your sins) We shall revert (to our punishment); and We have made well a prison for those who reject (all faith)." -(XVII: 4-8) "Say: O people of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you, that we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him that we erect not, from among ourselves, lords and patrons other than God." -(III: 64) To Christians: "And nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say "We are Christians"; because amongst them are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Apostle thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth; they cry, "Our Lord! We believer, write us down among the believers'." -(V: 8586) To hypocrites: "See they not that they are tried every year once or twice? Yet they turn not in repentance, and they take no heed. Whenever there cometh down a Sura, they look at each other (saying) "Doth anyone see you?' then they turn aside. Allah hath turned their hearts (from the right); for they are a people that understand not. Now hath come to you an apostle from amongst yourselves it grieves him that ye should perish; ardently anxious is he over you. To believers is he most kind and merciful." -(IX: 126-128) There are many other such gems of touching eloquence in the Qur'an, which are addressed not only to Muslims but to the entire humanity indicating that the message of Islam is universal and most awe- inspiring, Gems of though full of meaning and significance conveyed through the medium of language with universal and eternal appeal! No - - - 205 / 252 - - - work produced by man can be so sweet, thorough and meaningful and this is the miracle of the Qur'an. The call of Islam did not confine itself to argument and appeal alone, there was also effective use of criticism along with these. In the Sufi orders entreaties, supplications or gratification of vanity alone can work. And where the individual's personality and his restricted personal life is concerned, no question of collective order or reform or a new order arises, there is no need of going beyond that. In Sufi orders and personal religious preferences the only aim is to enhance men under their influence with certain beliefs and some personal virtues and to teach them to make their own effort to avoid evil. But there is no advice to fight against the collective force of evil or to confront the prevailing vicious environment. Oppression by the leadership may continue to flourish and humanity may be crushed under it, but what those worldly affairs have to do with a godly man steeped in piety? In such a limited spiritual order the greatest merit of man is considered to remain aloof from the affairs and politics of the world and remain humble, entreating before everyone without using a harsh word. In such systems where it is not intended to throw man into the field of struggle, but take him out of the social conflicts and send him to caves and monasteries, there can be no question of criticism which brings about mental conflicts. But such ideologies and preachings which aim at revolutionising the social order regard criticism as of primary importance along with argument and appeal. They cannot confine themselves only to establish truth but must assert that there is only One God; we have to reject all other deities. Starting as a revolutionary movement against the system of ignorance and opening a new chapter in history, Islam relentlessy criticised every form of falsehood, oppression and mischief and completely exposed all those elements which dominated the system of ignorance and ungodly environments as leaders and agents. It clarified right guidance and distinguished it from the wrong path as light from darkness, thus enabling the people to grasp the real meaning of good and evil and to establish an order based on truth and justice. Those who wielded power in an evil system were paralyzed by argument and appeal to reason; and those that were shining in borrowed feathers or under false pretences were exposed before the public gaze. Soon the - - - 206 / 252 - - - people reached the conclusion that salvation lay in repudiating the old leadership and accepting the Islamic movement. The first target of criticism was, of course, the Quraish who held the religious and intellectual leadership of Arabia. Effective measures were taken to expose their idol worship, their superstitions, their religious rites, their moral degradation and their pride of leadership. It was proved by specific instances that their favourite idols were utterly powerless and with all their combined forces could not create even a fly. Every aspect of the life of Prophet Abraham was shown to prove that those who were heavily involved in ignorance and polytheism had no right to claim that they followed Abraham who suffered all tribulations and was even thrown into the flames but fought all his life to establish the unity of God and adherence to the Right Path. Nor had they any right to be the custodians of the House of God built by Abraham for the worship of One Absolute God without any rival or partner. Then the history of hundreds of years of the misdeeds of the people of the Book was laid bare and how they disobeyed and inflicted mental anguish on Prophet Moses, their mutilation of the revealed law and, lastly, their rejection of the last Prophet which their own sacred books had foretold, was narrated in detail and their blemishes of character were fully exposed. The hypocrites were also put under a psychological test and their perverted thinking and conduct was exposed. The poets who had formed a hostile front against Islam and the prominent personalities of the time who opposed Islam were shown in their true colours and without naming anyone, the blemish of every character was prominently painted in the most eloquent words. Thus the Islamic movement through the Prophet made use of argument, appeal and criticism for twenty-three years to conquer the hearts of millions of Arabs which mere victory on the battlefield could never accomplish. The Moral Force Any call which is not backed by a moral force will sound hollow, howsoever beautifully expressed in ornate words. Argument devoid of - - - 207 / 252 - - - force of character, appeal lacking in sincerity, and criticism if it is not constructive cannot influence humanity. It is the moral force and character which give weight to any movement. In a society which had no higher aim in life than to earn and eat and drink, where every assembly was a wine bar and a gambling den, where bravery was wasted in attacking one another, creating mischief, murder, revenge and counter-revenge and plunder, where civilisation had become a forest in which voracious animals in human shape roamed and humble respectable people were their easy prey, the Prophet appeared leading a virtuous band of men and became at once a distinctive entity and men watched in wonder the new type of humanity. Every morning and evening people saw that their best men were being attracted towards Islam. An urge suddenly started in the hearts and they joined the revolutionary movement. Those who ferociously fought against the Prophet meekly surrendered themselves as if charmed by magic. Everyone who accepted Islam immediately began to show wholesome changes in his mode of thought and character. His friendships were transformed into enmities and vice versa. His tastes and habits were transformed and his activities took new shape and at once he became the most virile personality. A new force awoke in him and his dormant capabilities were revived and, in short, everyone after becoming a Muslim was transformed into a new man and was no longer the same person. Murderers were metamorphosed into guardians of life. Thieves were changed into men of trust, robbers began to teach peace and amity, adulterers were transformed into me of high morals, impudent men became humble and docile, men of weaker intellect found abilities emerging from their inner selves. There was something unique in the Muslim character that brought about a welcome transformation in man, his manners and his disposition. And so it will be till the end of the world. Was it not surprising that the Ansar gave away half of their homes, belongings and property to the migrants? Would not the hearts of the people have been thrilled by such spectacles of equality that the humblest slave stood on the same level as men of the highest families, the poor stood shoulder to shoulder with the rich and uprooted refugees were aligned with the local inhabitants of Medina, all equally respected and - - - 208 / 252 - - - possessing equal importance with their opinions and views commanding equal respect and weight? Everyone found opportunities to undertake responsibilities and demonstrate his capabilities. What a brotherhood in which all its members joined together in joys and sorrows and shared one another's joys and troubles! They thought alike and acted alike. In adversity, the leader had a greater share of the suffering while in prosperity his share was the smallest. The new social order which was brought about after removing the bonds of burdensome customs should have inspired the hearts of the people when they found men emerging from the new order as men of letters, jurists, farmers or traders, all of the first rank, while still others proving their superiority as commanders of armies, as responsible administrators or ambassadors, everyone with a new personality, with new forces emanating from his upright character to impress upon the people of the superiority of this model of humanity which if emulated will lead to felicity and well-being, and no wonder it attracted people from all walks of life? Some examples of this magnetic force may be cited here: In the Makkan period the famous poet Tofail Dausi came and the Quraish tried to prevent him from meeting the Prophet but he did meet him and after listening to some verses of the Qur'an from the Prophet accepted Islam. Amr ibn Asba arrived in Makkah on hearing about the Prophet and was converted. The Prophet's childhood companion, Zoman bin Tha'alaba, wanted to advise and admonish the Prophet but after hearing some of the praises of God from the Prophet was himself conquered. Abu Zarr, a young man of a desert clan, whose profession was robbery, on hearing about Islam, and avoiding the hostile elements, met the Prophet, listened to his message and was converted. He was so zealous in his new faith that he went to the Kabaah and proclaimed the message of Islam, as a result of which he suffered severed beating. Anyone who joined the ranks of Islam himself became a preacher in his sphere of influence and in some cases the entire clans were converted. Suwaid ibn Samit contacted the Prophet and returned very much impressed. Ayas bin Muaz hailing from Medina was impressed by the Prophet's message and on his return created an urge in Medina for the call of Islam. A deputation of 20 Christians arrived from Najran and learnt about Islam from the - - - 209 / 252 - - - Prophet and despite dissuasions by the Quraish left enlightened by Islam. The people of Yemen were influenced by Islam. The people of Yemen were influenced by the Muslim migrants to Abyssinia and through them even emperor Negus received the truth. In Medina, even before the Hijra, the Ansar clans of the Aus and Khazraj were being converted to Islam. when the Prophet arrived, there was not a single home left in which the light of Islam had not penetrated. A rabbi, Abdullah bin Salam, approached the Prophet and after some serious discussion, embraced Islam. Then a well-known Christian priest Abu Qaish Sarma bin Anas responded to the call of Islam. Jubair bin Mut'im came to talk about the release of the prisoners of Badr, but after hearing some verses from the Prophet, his heart was won over to the truth of Islam. a slave of the Quraish. Abu Raf'e, arrived from Makkah as an emissary but was so impressed by Islam that he did not want to return to Makkah. The Prophet explained to him that it was not proper to detain an emissary and so he should go back to Makkah and if Islam attracted him he might return to Medina. This he did joined the ranks of Islam. An expedition went to punish the Jewish Banu Quraizah for their crimes and a member of the clan, Amr bin Sa'ad, accepted Islam. Thomama bin Athal Hanafi, chief of Yamama, reached Medina as a prisoner and impressed by the treatment of the Prophet, joined the ranks of his followers. Just at the time of the Battle of Uhad, Amr bin Sabit Asiram (of Bani Abdul Ashhal clan) bowed his head at the call of truth, joined in the battle and gained martyrdom. At the critical time of the Battle of the Ditch, Nuaim bin Masud joined the Islamic movement. Abul Aas came to Medina unexpectedly and declared his faith in Islam. A goatherd seeing the war preparations of the Jews enquired against whom war was to be fought and on learning that it was against Muhammad who claimed to be an Apostle he rushed up to him and on learning facts embraced Islam. Prominent persons like Hazrath Khalid and Amr bin Aas disassociated themselves from the Quraish and joined Islamic ranks. Fuzala and Shaiba bin Abi Talha plotted to kill the Prophet, one at the time of the conquest of Makkah and the other at the time of the Battle of Hunain, but instead of carrying out their plans they embraced Islam. the cases of the famous Hatim's daughter and brother of the poet Ka'ab bin Zuhair, of Abdullah Zulbajadin, of the merchant Minqaz bin - - - 210 / 252 - - -- Habban have already been mentioned and they show how steadily Islam was attracting persons from the most hostile ranks. "When comes the help of Allah and victory and thou dost see the people enter into Allah's religion in troops, celebrate the praises of thy Lord and pray for His Forgiveness: for He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy)." (CX: 1-3) The 8th of Hijra is called the year of deputations as from this year started a stream of deputations from all over Arabia and people accepting Islam en masse. It lasted till the last three years of the Prophet's life. This was the harvest of the seeds sown by the Prophet. This is the most significant period of the Prophet's life and requires details. Nevertheless I will confine myself to important facts as a detailed narration cannot be covered in a chapter of the book. In fact, deputations had arrived even before the 8th year of Hijra and we cannot ignore them because of their great importance. 1. Deputation of Muzaina Clan: This was a very large clan which had a distant genealogical link with Quraish. In the fifth year of Hijra a large deputation of 400 men of this clan came to the Prophet and accepted Islam. This was probably the first representative deputation to come to Medina. On their return the Prophet presented them with some dates. 2. Deputation of Banu Tamim Clan: This deputation also came in early years with great enthusiasm. Prominent chiefs of the clan (Aqra bin Habis, Zarqan, Amr ibn-ul-Ahtam, Nuaim bin Yazid, Uyaina bin Hisn Fazari) were in the deputation. There was a great deal of activity on its arrival. When its members entered the mosque they rudely called at the door of the Apostle: "Muhammad, O Muhammad! Come out! "The revelation also gave them a lesson in good manners. They had started from home with Islam in their hearts but the Arab pride was still in their nature. So they wanted poets and orators of both sides to compete. In fact, the Arabs wanted recognised intellectual superiority for leadership. Utarid bin Hajib was a well-known orator of Banu Tamim and he eloquently spoke of the leadership and nobility of Banu Tamim and challenged anyone who had such qualities to come forward. The Prophet called Muslim orator Thabit bin Qais, who in a spontaneous - - - 211 / 252 - - - address conveyed the call of Islam as the greatest asset of pride. Some of its sentences may be cited here: Our thanks are due to God who created the Heaven and Earth. His Decree defined their functions and His Knowledge gave them their vast expanse. It is due to His Might and Bounty that He made us rulers and conferred Apostleship on one, who is among the select of His creation, very high-placed as regards family status, most truthful in his speech and most magnanimous among men. He then called people to faith in Allah and His Apostle. The migrants of his community responded to this call of truth. They were all related to him. They were a noble group, and in appearance too most becoming. They accomplished most remarkable deeds. So we are the helpers of (the religion of) Allah, and the helpers of His Apostle in His sacred mission. Then the prominent poet of Banu Tamim, Zibriqan bin Badr, recited a poem which said: "We are noble and no living man can equal us. We have rulers among us and we built houses of worship. Hazrath Hassan was called to recite something in reply to this poem. Ibn Hisham has quoted this lengthy poem in full. The deputation acknowledged the superiority of the Muslim orators and poets and the entire deputation accepted Islam. 3. Deputation of Bani Abdul Qais Clan: The message of Islam had already reached Bahrain territory through Minqaz bin Habban and was spreading rapidly. In the 5th year of Hijra a deputation of 13 men came to Medina and the Prophet, learning that they belonged to the family of Rabia, received them with due respect. The members represented that since their home was far away and there were colonies of non-Muslims on the way they could only come in the sanctified months, so they might be given some specific lessons to follow in the meantime and propagate. The Prophet told them about unity of God, prayers and fasts and payment of the fifth of their income for charity and in the matter of prohibition of distilling wine he prohibited the use of four kinds of vessels, viz. Dubba, Hantam, Naqir and Muzaffat, which were used in their territory as containers of wine. They were surprised to find how much local knowledge the Prophet - - - 212 / 252 - - - had, and returned after taking the pledge of Islam. One Christian member of the deputation named Jarud bin Al-ala, asked the prophet that if he changed his religion would the Prophet guarantee his salvation? The Prophet assured him that since Islam is better than the religion which he followed he could surely be given the certainty that he wanted. Jarud at once accepted Islam with his other co-religionists in the deputation. 4. Deputation of Banu Sa'ad (Bin Bakr) Clan: This clan sent Zoman bin Tha'alaba as its representative to the Prophet. He came as a simple Bedouin and entering the mosque told those present which of them was from the family of Abdul Muttalib, and on ascertaining it he approached the Prophet and said to him, "O son of Abdul Muttalib! I will ask some question concisely and hope that you will not be offended!" The Prophet asked him to go ahead, whereupon he asked about unity of God, prophethood, prayers, etc. the Prophet explained to him his teachings and then he said, "My name is Zomam bin Tha'alaba, my clan has sent me to you as its representative. Now I will go and report to them word by word what you have said." On return to his clan he preached with such fervour that before evening the whole clan had embraced Islam. 5. Deputation of Asharin (Yemen): This was a very respectable clan of Yemen and Abu Musa Ash'ari belonged to it. They had received the call of Islam in Makkan period through Tufail Dausi and the migrants to Abyssinia. Three persons of the clan who had been impressed by Islam started for Medina to meet the Prophet but the wind being unfavourable their ship drifted to the coast of Abyssinia where they met the first Muslim migrants from Makkah and stayed there for sometime and then accompanied by Hazrath Jafar and some Abyssinia converts they came to Medina and met the Prophet. They were so eager that when they came near Medina they sang: "Tomorrow we shall meet our comrades, i.e., Muhammad and his party." When the Prophet learnt of their arrival he said to his companions, "Some people are coming to you from Yemen, sensitive and tenderhearted." Then he further said, "The faith is of Yemen, the learning - - - 213 / 252 - - - that of Yemen." The meeting took place. There were questions and answers and for sometime there was new life in Medina. 6. Deputation of Daus (Yemen): Tofail Dausi who had embraced Islam early in Makkah began preaching in his clan with all zest but besides his father, his wife and few others, none responded. The clan was not impressed. As Tofail was short-tempered, his mission did not make much headway. Thereafter, Tofail went to Medina and reported the situation. The Prophet directed him to preach mildly and prayed for the clan. When Tofail returned and began preaching with mildness many houses received the light of Islam and in the 7th Hijra 80 families came to Medina as migrants among whom was Hazrath Abu Huraira. 7. Deputation of Suda: Zaid bin Haris was the first of this clan who met the Prophet and began preaching to his clan on return. Then in the 8th year of Hijra a deputation of 15 came and embraced Islam and on the occasion of the last Hajj of the Prophet one hundred men from this clan joined the pilgrims. These seven deputation which came before the conquest of Makkah are mentioned with some detail in history, but after the conquest of Makkah the stream gathered momentum and people came en masse to join the ranks of Islam. Some important deputations may be mentioned briefly here. 8.Deputation of Thaqif (Taif): When the Prophet returned to medina after the victory of Makkah, Urwa bin Masud Saqafi came to the prophet, accepted Islam and expressed his intention to preach Islam among Banu Thaqif clan. The Prophet knowing the pride and hot temper of the clan advised caution. But Urwa had confidence in his influence and he insisted on securing permission from the prophet and then after returning home he stood on the roof of his house and called people to Islam. Unexpectedly, a barrage of arrow killed him. The clan, however, repented and had some soul-searching. A month later the elders of the clan assembled and realistically surveyed the situation. It was assumed that when all of Arabia had accepted Islam they could not take up the sword against the whole country. It was decided to send a representative deputation to medina. Usman bin Abil-Aas, Aus bin Auf, Behz bin Kharsha (of Bani Malik), Hakam bin - - - 214 / 252 - - -- Amr bin Wahb, Shurahbil bin Ghailan (from allied clans) were selected and the chief of Taif, Abd Yalil, was to lead it. This is the same Abd Yalil who twelve years ago had refused to listen to the prophet and had exhorted mischievous urchins to pelt him with stones. The deputation reached medina after the prophet's return from Tabuk and a tent was pitched for them outside the mosque. Khalid bin Saeed bin Al-Aas negotiated with them. They demanded several strange conditions but no one had any authority to make any change in the Divine laws. At last a compromise was reached exempting them from payment of Zakat for sometime and participation in Jihad and an agreement was drawn on these lines, although when Islam entered the hearts of the people these demands were automatically met. A zealous young man of the deputation, Usman bin Abil-Aas was appointed their chief. The deputation on return first dramatically announced that they had returned unsuccessful and preparation should be made for war. But the people themselves insisted that they could not fight the Prophet with entire Arabia supporting him. Then they explained the main points of Islam and the entire clan came round. Abu Sufian bin Harb and Moghira bin Sha'ba, who were by the Prophet to break the idols, also came with the deputation and when they began breaking the idols there was panic and women bewailed fearing some great calamity would befall them but nothing happened and Taif which was the stronghold of the order of ignorance was peacefully conquered without any violence. 9. Deputation of Bani Hanifa: This clan belonged to Yamama territory and Islam reached them through Thamama bin Usal. Then they sent a deputation from there which promptly accepted Islam. One man who had accompanied the deputation was Musilima "the Liar". He wanted the Prophet to agree to make him his successor. When the Prophet refused and the deputation returned, Musailima actually proclaimed himself to be a prophet, abolished prayer and permitted drinking and fornication. 10. Deputation of Bani Tayy: Members of this clan came under the leadership of Zaid ul-Khail and they all accepted Islam. Adi bin Hatim, a Christian, was one of the chiefs of the clan and very hostile to the Prophet. He was preparing for war against the Prophet but when the - - - 215 / 252 - - - Muslim armies unexpectedly reached Yemen, he fled to Syria. When his sister came to Medina as a war prisoner, she was released and sent back with due respect. Then she related the kind treatment of the Prophet and persuaded his brother to go to Medina and meet the Prophet. He did not was so impressed with the treatment he received that he accepted Islam. Immediately on his arrival the Prophet had comprehended the misgivings which Adi had in his mind and he very briefly cleared them. The Prophet told him that if he hesitated because of the poverty of Muslims, "By God you will soon find wealth flowing among them to the extent that no one will care for it. Similarly, the lack of their numbers will soon be compensated when a woman on a camel will start alone from Qadisiya for these mosques and will reach here safely." 11. Deputation of Bani Al Hars (or Bani Al Haris) bin Ka'ab: This deputation was from Najran territory and had learnt about Islam from Hazrath Khalid bin Walid in the 10th year of Hijra. On his return Khalid brought with him some members of the clan who possessed some desirable traits and the Prophet after talking to them appointed Qais bin Hisn as their chief. 12. Deputation of Najran: The Prophet also used letters to propagate his mission. One such letter was sent to the Christians of Najran which said: "I begin with the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and call upon you to give up the worship of men and accept the Sovereignty of God. If you refuse you must pay Jizia and accept political submission. But if you reject this also then it is a declaration of war." When the bishop read this letter, he began to shiver. He first called elders for consultation and then held a public meeting. There were 73 colonies in the valley and the population was so thick that a hundred thousands soldiers could be drawn from it. The gathering was very large and the question before the meeting was whether it was the same Prophet who was to come from the house of Bani Ishmael. After full deliberations it was decided that a deputation of elders should go to Medina and talk to the Prophet and ascertain the facts. Shurahbil, - - - 216 / 252 - - -- Abdullah and Hubar were nominated and they after negotiation returned with the Prophet's Farman for political submission and payment of tax to secure peace and civic rights. The bishop and other chief came a long distance to receive the Farman, which the bishop began to read while riding. His cousin Bishr bin Muaviya was so absorbed in reading it that he fell down from his camel and cursed the Prophet who caused him to fall. The bishop rebuked him and told him not to use any disrespectful word about the Prophet as he was a true Apostle. Bishr was moved, so much so that he swore that he would not dismount from his camel unless he reached Medina, met the Prophet and remained with him till he met with his martyrdom. A Christian monk on return of this deputation and hearing their report immediately left for Medina and presenting to the Prophet a cup, a stick and a shawl, stayed for sometime at Medina. While returning home he promised to return soon but was unable to do so in the lifetime of the Prophet. The bishop of Najran who was much honoured by the emperor of Constantinople and was known to perform miracles, came to Medina with a Christian judge and jurist of the place and twenty-four other elders. They stayed at Medina for several days. The companions objected to their offering prayers in the mosque according to the rites of their religion but the Prophet allowed it. An important event at this time was that the Christians, misled by the Jews, challenged the prophet to swear by his wife and children that if he was not a true prophet, God's curse might descend on him and a similar oath was to be taken by the Christians. But when the next morning the prophet came out with his daughter and grandsons accompanied by Hazrat Ali, the Christians relented fearing that if he was really a true Apostle of God they would face total destruction and offered him unconditional obedience leaving it entirely to him the amount of tax he should levy. Next day the Farman was written down giving complete religious freedom to the Christian and social independence and stipulating that their persons and properties would enjoy perfect safety, retain all their existing rights and that there would be no change in their religious orders nor would the administration of religious endowments be taken from them. There would be no - - - 217 / 252 - - - punishment for the crimes committed in the days of ignorance. No army would enter their territory, no forced labour would be taken from them and no one would be charged for offence of another. For this large population the tax imposed was only 2,000 coins. It should be noted that there were two sections of the population of Najran, one was Christian and the other knows as Ummiyin. The former agreed on political subjection while the latter accepted Islam. 13.Deputation of Banu Asad: Banu Asad clan was a strong supporter of the Quraish in their military campaigns. In the 9th year of Hijra a deputation of this clan came to medina and offered themselves to Islam. The Arab pride was still in them and so they said to the Prophet that although he had not sent anyone to them they came of their own accord, whereupon the Qur'an spoke through the Prophet, "Do not think I am obliged by your accepting Islam." In fact, it was God's mercy on them that they had the good fortune of becoming Muslims. Then they asked about foretelling and fixing the price of grain before harvesting and casting lots. The Prophet disapproved of all these. Then they asked about writing and the Prophet said that the art must have been invented by some Prophet and no knowledge was better than this. This clan also produced a false prophet, Talha bin Khwailid, during the Caliphate of Hazrath Abu Bakr Siddiq. 14.Deputation of Banu Fazara: This was a powerful and recalcitrant clan. Uyaina bin Hisn belonged to this clan. In the 9th year of Hijra on the Prophet's return from Tabuk a deputation of this clan came and accepted Islam. The Prophet asked them about conditions of their territory and they pathetically related the conditions of famine, saying that their towns were deserted, cattle had died, groves withered, children malnourished, "O Prophet, you should intercede for us to God and ask God to have mercy upon us." The Prophet rebuked them and said that he could plead before God but to whom can God intercede, for there was no one worthy of worship except He and the heaven and earth were under Him. Then he prayed for rain which came as a welcome relief to the famine-affected people. - - - 218 / 252 - - - 15. Deputation of Banu Amir: This clan was a branch of the famous clan Qais Ailan and there were three prominent chiefs among them, viz. Amir bin Tufail, Arbad bin Qais and Jabbar bin Salma. A large deputation came from them. The first two chiefs were self-seekers and Amir had already shown his mischief. This time also the two had come planning to kill the Prophet. The spokesman of the delegation addressed the Prophet as "My Lord" to which the Prophet objected saying that the title was fit for God alone. Then they used other flattering words which the Prophet resented. Amir bin Tufail tried to bargain with the Prophet asking him to limit his (Prophet's) control to the villages and leave the towns to him (Amir), or that the Prophet should nominate him as his successor otherwise they would join the Ghatfan clan and declare war. Amir had conspired with Arbad that while he would engage the Prophet in talk Arbad should strike and kill him. But Arbad was so overawed that he did not lift a finger. The Prophet knew what was in their minds and prayed for God's protection from their mischief. Soon after Amir died of plague and Arbad bin Qais was killed by lightning. 16. Deputation of Azra: In Safar, 9 Hijra, 12 persons from this clan came and accepted Islam. When the Prophet learnt that their genealogy merged with his, he cordially welcomed them and predicted the end of Syria and that Heracles would lose his throne and flee from the country. They were asked to refrain from all sacrifices except that of Abraham. They were also given some provisions on their return. 17. Deputation of Baliy: The territory inhabited by this clan had great political importance. In Rabi I, 9 Hijra these people came to Medina and stayed with their clansman Ruwaifa bin Thabit who introduced them to the Prophet. All of them accepted Islam and left after three days. The Prophet gave them provisions and dates. 18. Deputation of Kindah: This was a prominent clan of Yemen. Hazrath Ash'as bin Qais came with a deputation of 80 (or 60) men on horseback. When they came to the Prophet they were wearing costly silk gowns. They Prophet asked them if they had accepted Islam and on their affirmative reply asked them, "why then these silks gowns?" immediately they tore their gowns to pieces and threw them away. - - - 219 / 252 - - - 19. Deputation of Azd: This clan also lived in Yemen. Their deputation came led by Sarw bin Abdullah and accepted Islam. Hazrath Sarw was appointed their chief. 20. Deputation of Jurash: Many areas and districts of Yemen had become part of the Islamic state, but there were still some pockets of hostile clans, which also possessed strong fortresses, Jurash clan was one of them. The aforesaid Sarw bin Abdullah was asked to take police action against them. They were defeated after a long siege and thereafter the deputation of Jurash clan came to Medina. 21. Deputation of Hamdan: This deputation consisted of 120 persons among whom were such prominent men as Malik bin Namt, Abu Thaur, Malik bin Anfa Salmani, Humair bin Malik Kharqi (or Amr bin Malik) and Zomam bin Malik. Malik bin Namt recited a poem in praise of the Prophet who appointed him chief of the clan. In Hamdan, at first Hazrath Khalid was deputed for religious educational mission and worked for six months without success. Then Hazrath Ali was sent with the Prophet's letter which read out after prayers and a large number of men immediately embraced Islam. When Hazrath Ali sent his written report, the Prophet bowed before God and then raising his head he said "peace be to Hamdan". 22. Messenger from Farwa Al-Juzami: Farwa was governor of Ma'an under Roman Empire. The area included part of Syria and Arabia. When the call reached him he risked his position and post and accepted Islam. He informed the Prophet of his conversion and also sent a white mule as gift. When the Roman government heard of it he was arrested and hanged at Afra. 23. Deputation of Tujib: This was a branch of the Kindah clan of Yemen and had already accepted Islam. Thirteen men of the clan came to Medina and brought money and cattle as Zakat. The Prophet asked them to take these back and distribute among the local deserving people. But they insisted that the local people had been served and this was left after local distribution. They asked some question and wrote down the Prophet's reply and returned in haste to report to the rest of the clan. Among them was a youth of Bani Abdi who had been left by the deputationist to look after their conveyance - - - 220 / 252 - - - and luggage. When the Prophet called him he said that his only desire was that the Prophet should pray for the forgiveness of his sins, which the Prophet did. When apostasy spread in Yemen, this youth saved the entire clan. The deputation was given provisions for their return. 24. Deputation of Bani Sa'ad Huzaim (Quzaa): Some men of this clan waited in a deputation. The clan had accepted Islam but some of them had done so for political motives. Now they all pledged to accept Islam at the hand of the Prophet. 25.Deputation of Bahra: This was also a clan from Yemen. Thirteen persons came in a deputation to Medina, embraced Islam and returned after taking lessons in duties and obligations. As tradition they were given provisions. 26.Deputation of Zi Murra: Thirteen persons of this clan came in deputation to Medina. Their leader was Haris bin Auf who introduced himself to the Prophet as a descendant of Luayy bin Ghalib, an ancestor of the Prophet. They said that their territory was in the grip of famine and requested the Prophet to pray for rain which he did. The deputation on returning found that it rained just when the Prophet had prayed for it and the famine conditions disappeared. The deputation stayed for a few days to learn the duties and obligations of Islam and was given provisions for their return. 27. Deputation of Khaulan: A deputation of ten persons of this clan which had already accepted Islam came to Medina and expressed their sincere attachment to Islam. They confessed that formerly they used to worship an idol called "Umm-e-Anas" which some elders of the clan were still worshipping but henceforth they would repudiate idolatry. They also related stories of the sacrifices offered to "Umm-e- Anas" and then after learning some essentials of Islam they returned. They were given some provisions for the journey. 28. Deputation of Maharib: This clan was very hot-tempered and ill- mannered before Islam and when the Prophet approached them in early days they had been rude to him. Now a deputation of ten recanting their former attitude came to Medina. The Prophet looked intently at one of them who said that he had met the Prophet at Ukaz and had talked rudely. In fact no one of his clan was more bitter in - - - 221 / 252 - - - hostility of the Prophet than he. But now he had the light of faith and apologized for his past conduct requesting the Prophet to pray for the forgiveness of his sins. The Prophet said that Islam cleansed him of all the sins committed in the days of the ignorance. 29. Deputation of Ghassan: This tribe had become Christian and was granted by the Caesar the control of a territory in Arabia. In the year 10 Hijra three men of the clan came and accepted Islam and on return tried to persuade others to do the same but did not succeed. One of them met Hazrath Abu Obaida at the time of the Battle of Yarmuk and said that he was still firm in Islam. The other two had died. 30. Deputation of Salaman: A deputation of seven persons of this clan came to Medina in which Habib bin Umar was also included. The Prophet exhorted them that offering of prayers on time was the greatest virtue. They also said that there was severe famine in their territory and requested the Prophet to pray for rain, which he did. Later, it was found that it rained just at the time the Prophet had prayed. 31.Deputation of Bani Ais: This was also a Yemeni clan which came to Medina in the year 10 Hijra. They enquired about migration and said that if it was necessary they would sell their herds of cattle and migrate. The Prophet said wherever they were they should fear God. Migration was needed when it was necessary to collect the forces of Islam together but now each man should propagate the message in his own sphere and there was no need of migration. 32.Deputation of Ghamid: A deputation of ten from this clan came in the year of 10 Hijra and accepted Islam. Hazrath Ubayy ibn Ka'ab was deputed by the Prophet to give them instructions in the Qur'an and other essentials of Islam. Then they were provided with provisions for the return journey and given permission to depart. 33. Deputation of Abdul Qais No.2: The first deputation of this clan was mentioned earlier had come in the fifth year of Hijra. The second deputation consisting of forty men came in 10 Hijra. 34. Deputation of Bani Al-Muntafaq: Naheek bin Asam and Laqeet bin Amir came in deputation from this clan and asked certain questions regarding the Day of Resurrection, the Paradise and Hell to which the - - - 222 / 252 - - - Prophet gave detailed replies. When asked about the knowledge of the unseen, the Prophet said that such knowledge was with God. 35.Tariq bin Abdullah and His Associates: Tariq was so much impressed by the Prophet's keeping his promise for payment of the price of a camel that he had bought from Tariq that the latter came with his associates to the Prophet and embraced Islam. 36. Representative of Bani Zubaid: This clan sent as its representative its chief Amr bin Ma'dikarab to ascertain facts about the Prophet and on learning these he accepted Islam along with his clan. But Amr changed his faith after the Prophet's death. 37.Messenger from Humair Rulers: Humair clan belonged to a ruling family. A messenger brought a letter from them mentioning that Hars bin Abd Kulal, Nuaim bin Abd Kulal, Noman Qail Zudurain, Ma'afar and Hamadan have accepted Islam and given up idol worship. The Prophet explained the basic principles of Islam in a letter to their ruler, which were payment of Zakat from Muslims and Jizia from non- Muslims, that the right of religious freedom should be established and those who wanted to remain Christians or Jews should not be forced to change their religion. At the same time it was stated that a party led by Muaz bin Jabal and consisting of Abdullah bin Ziad, Malik bin Ubaida, Aqaba bin Numair, Malik bin Murra and others was sent to explain to them the Prophet's injunctions and to realize and bring the remuneration of Zakat and Jizia. 38. Deputation of Nakh'a: This was also a Yemeni clan, the last deputation which came in the year 11 Hijra, consisting of 200 persons. They had already embraced Islam at the hands of Muaz bin Jabal but were anxious to reaffirm it in the presence of the Prophet. They returned after a brief stay. - - - 223 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Six Political contacts 1. The missionary spirit Political Contacts Simultaneously, with the extending of invitations to tribes to accept Islam, the Apostle also explored the possibility of widening his area of political activity. The political contacts of the Prophet were based on three outstanding documents, viz., the first and second pledges of Aqaba, and the constitution of the Islamic state of Medina. In the first pledge of Aqaba which some young men of the Ansar clans of Medina executed with the Prophet, there were matters of belief and morality such as those offering the pledge would not assign partners to God, would not steal or commit adultery, would not kill their children, would not unjustly accuse anyone and would not disobey the Prophet in any act of virtue. In the second pledge of Aqaba the following items were also included: "That we will listen to and obey the Prophet in everything whether in ease or in difficulties and whether we like or dislike any of his injunctions and whether we hold different views and that we will not be afraid of calumnies and never dispute the leadership." Thus the Prophet established political contact with the Ansar and the foundation was laid for an Islamic state. This pact also declared that when the Prophet migrated to Medina the Ansar would protect him as they protected the members of their own family. The Prophet at the same time appointed twelve person of the Ansar as a representatives to be responsible to the Prophet for all matters concerning them. According to Abdullah bin Abu Bakr, the Prophet told these representatives, "You will be responsible for your community just as the companions of Prophet Jesus were responsible to their Prophet, while the Prophet himself will be responsible for his community (of Makkah)." Thus the representatives were entrusted not only with religious responsibility but also political, and the administrative from given to Medina was not only religious but also political and that on the very first opportunity it would form itself into a state as was done just a few months later. The constitution intended for this state is the monument of the genius of the Prophet which has - - - 224 / 252 - - - no equal in history. No new state had ever been established without use of some force. When the state is based on an ideology, and is established in alien atmosphere with the cooperation of divergent elements its peaceful establishment is a unique phenomenon and its constitution indicates the rare genius and political foresight of its framer. The parties to the contract included Muhajirs, the two great clans of Ansar, Aus and Khazraj, their non-Muslim clansmen, the Jews and various Jewish warring clans. The prophet had material relationship with the people of Medina and had spent some of his childhood there. Thus he was not unfamiliar with the place, and after establishing contact with the people of Medina in the early days of his preaching he had very carefully studied its political situation and obtained knowledge of the affairs of its various elements. The entire population of Medina at the time must have been about 5,000 in which nearly half were the Jews and the Muslim group including the migrants and the Ansar could not have been more than 500. With this virilely organized minority the Prophet had taken up the leadership of a population of 5,000. The two clans of the Ansar which were divided into twelve sub-clans had a history of intermittent clashes and the general population was tired with these clashes and counter-clashes, for it always happened that some Arabs and some Jews on the one side and some of both on the other side fought their battles. People were thus hankering after peace and constructive leadership. The two great clans of the Jews were also divided into ten sub-clans and when they saw the Ansar aligned with the prophet they found themselves isolated and when the prophet tried to appease the Jews and appealed to their finer feeling the ground was prepared for creating a politically unifying force. To understand the different elements of the population of Medina and to comprehend their political interests and problems and then to turn their psychological trend in a particular direction and all this the briefest period was a feat of the highest political acumen which was awe-inspiring. All these factors helped in the drafting of a constitution which contained 53 clauses. It began with the benediction "In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful" and the very first sentence clarified - - - 225 / 252 - - - the basic ideology of Islam. It declared: "This document is from Muhammad the Apostle, salutation and peace upon him" The vital factor of this organized group were the Muslims and its scope was indicated thus: "Between men of the faith and Muslims of the Quraish and Medina and those who follow them and are attached to them and fight along with them", The Jews were included with the words "and those who are with the men of the faith", and constituted into one community (Clauses 25-35). Then it said, "In contrast to others, men of the faith are knit into one brotherhood" (Clause15). In peace and war all Muslims are joined together (Clause17). It was made incumbent on the men of the faith to stand together to avenge bloodshed and that no one should give protection to a murderer, and if excesses were committed on them and blood was shed they should avenge it (Clause 19,21,22). It was also enjoined that no Muslim should kill a Muslim or a non-Muslim nor any Muslim should help a non-Muslim against a Muslims (Clause 14). In case of any doubt or difference reference should be made to God and the prophet (Clause23). Muslims of the humblest position could give protection to anyone and all should respect it in the name of God (clause 15). It was enjoined on all pious men of the faith to stand together in suppressing any crime or sin or oppression (Clause13). Certain clans were specifically named to observe virtue and justice on lines agreed upon among the Muslim (Clause 3 to 12). The Islamic term "in the path of God" was included in the constitution (Clause 19) as also the term "tyranny", "virtue" and "sin" (Clause 36). It was also specified that pious men or faith were on the best and straight path (Clause 20) and the word "The help is to the oppressed" as a specific Islamic principle was established as an international principle and that God was with him who was the most sincere and faithful in obeying the provisions of this constitution (Clause 42,46,47). The geographical boundary of Medina of about one hundred square miles was declared not only as the primary base of Islamic state but also a sacred city (Clause 39). All the constituent units of the constitution were declared to be one single community (Clause 1). The Jews who cooperated with the Muslims would have equal civic rights (Clause 16). The responsibility for oppression or murder would be on the person concerned or his family (as the family had to participate in the blood money) and on no other - - - 226 / 252 - - - (Clause 25,26). In the matter of defence it was resolved that if Medina was attacked, all the constituent would be bound to defend it (Clause 37). If any of the constituents of the constitution was attacked, all the other constituents would join against the aggressor (Clause 37). It was also enjoined that no one would take a military action without the permission of the prophet (Clause 36) but in the case of a religious fight of any party others would not be bound to participate in it (Clause 45). If the constituent were called to make peace everyone would participate (Clause 45). In order to keep the Quraish out of this alliance it was resolved that no non-Muslim citizen would protect the person or property of anyone belonging to the Quraish nor would stand against a Muslim in this respect (Clause 20). In the matter of expenses of war it was considered that some people, particularly the Jews might prove miserly and so it was resolved that every constituent should bear its own war expenses (Clause 37 and 44). The responsibility of blood money and ransom for prisoners was as prevalent among the Arabs as also the responsibility of paying the debt of a poor debtor. Religious freedom was assured to all with the word "for you your religion and for us ours" (Clause 25). Thus while the Muslims were one community both in politics and religion and had a double responsibility non-Muslims had only political responsibility and were assured of religious freedom. Thus it was on basis of this constitution that the Islamic state of Medina was founded and the prophet's leadership was established while an area of 100 square miles with a population of 5,000 was made its headquarters where for the first time ground was cleared for the spread of the Islamic message. All the agreements and pacts with the Arab clans were based on the principles enunciated in this constitution and as soon as the internal order was established the prophet started his international campaign, as Islam being a universal message could not remain confined within the boundaries of Arabia. The success of the Prophet's works is most astounding because within the brief period of 13 year he completed his preliminary mission and prepared a body of workers and in eight years time he established an Islamic state after winning over all hostile forces and within his lifetime carried the message to the surrounding states. - - - 227 / 252 - - - After performing his postponed Umra in 7 Hijra, the Prophet sent letter through special messengers to the rulers of neighbouring countries. It may be noted here that under the government of those days the people had no civic right and the kings did not like any foreigner to approach their subjects directly. That is why the letter were addressed to the kings directly and the form of address was "To the Chief of Rome" or "Chief of Iran" or "Chief of Qibt", and in the letter to the rulers of Iran and Rome it was specifically state that if they rejected the message the responsibility of the wrong action of their people would be on them. The form of address adopted in these letter was the prophet's own and seal was prepared with the words of "Muhammad, Apostle of God". Each letter began with the name of God, the Benevolent and the Merciful after which was the name of the prophet as the writer and then the name of the addressee and then in the briefest and most comprehensive words the object was mentioned. A special phrase written in these letters was "Accept Islam and be safe" which was full of meaning: on the one hand declaring that Islam is the only path of peace, and on the other warning that if they rejected it they would not remain safe. The letters were not stereotyped but took into consideration the peculiar conditions and religious trends of each country. Besides, the messenger sent to each ruler was one who knew their language. There were men among the Prophet's companions who knew the languages of the neighbouring countries on account of their commercial contacts while some of the companion were especially instructed to learn a foreign language. 1. The first letter sent to Asham bin Abjar Negus (It seems that this was not the first Negus before whom the case of the migrants was put and who had accepted Islam at the hands of Hazrath Jafar and whose funeral prayer in absentia was offered by the Prophet. It is, however, a controversial matter) was sent through Amr bin Umayya in which the group of Muslims migrating to Abyssinia was mentioned with particular reference of Hazrath Jafar and the ruler was requested to treat the migrants properly, at the same time calling the ruler and his people to embrace Islam! The Negus [It seems that this was not the first Negus before whom the case of the migrants was put and who had accepted Islam at the hands of Hazrath Jafar and whose funeral prayer in absentia was offered by the Prophet. It is, however, a controversial, - - - 228 / 252 - - - matter.] was already influenced by Islam and he wrote a detailed reply. 2. Munzir bin Sadi was a rulers of Bahrain under the emperor of Iran. Ala'bin Hazrami was sent with a letter to him. He accepted Islam along with a number of others and wrote in reply that while some people were enlightened by Islam, there were some other opposed to it and wanted to remain sending his son as an emissary to the Prophet adding that if desired, he would himself come to the Prophet. The Prophet wrote again that those who wanted to remain Christians and Jews should not be forced to change their religion. They should be given religious liberty but asked to pay only Jizia. 3. Jafer and Abd were two sons of Jalandi and ruled over Oman. Amr bin Aas went to them with the Prophet's letter and first met the younger Abd, and then a darbar was held at which in the presence of two brothers Amr bin Aas read the Prophet's letter and answered question put to him. They remained in suspense for sometime and then both the brothers along with most of their people accepted Islam. 4. Munzir bin Haris bin Abu Shimr was the ruler of Damuscus to whom Shuja' bin Wahb Alasadi carried the Prophet's letter. At first he was angry but subsequently cooled and honourably sent back the Prophet's emissary although he did not accept Islam. 5. Hauza bin Ali was the ruler of Yaman and a follower of Christianity. Sulait bin Amr went to him with the Prophet's letter. Without realizing the purpose of the Prophet's invitation he began to bargain and offered to accept Islam if half of the Islamic sate was given to him as his share. He died soon after and when the report reached the Prophet he declared that he could not surrender an inch of land or a site for date tree as a bargain. Every part of the land on which Islamic system was established became a sacred trust. 6. Jarih bin Mati Maquqas was the ruler of Alexandria and Egypt and a Christian, Hatib bin Abi Balt'aa went to his court with Prophet's letter. The emissary talked to Maquqas very frankly and warned him that someone there had once claimed to be the highest God but met with Divine punishment. They should take lesson from others they should themselves become an example to others. Then he explained the - - - 229 / 252 - - - superiority of Islam over Christianity and said that he was presenting to them the religion of Christ himself as Islam was not a new religion. Although Maquqas did not agree to accept Islam, he paid great respect to the Prophet's emissary, put the Prophet's letter in his treasury in box of ivory and sent gifts to the Prophet which included the famous white mule. He wrote in reply that he knew that the last Prophet was to come but thought that he would be borne in Syria. 7. Heracles, the Roman emperor, ruled over the eastern empire and Constantinople was his capital. The Prophet sent to his court Wahiyya bin Khalifa Kalbi with his letter. Wahiyya met the emperor at Jerusalem. Heracles held a great congress in honour of the emissary of Medina and asked a number of details about the Prophet. Then he asked that if any other person from Makkah was there he should be presented. Incidentally the leader of the Prophet's hostile front Abu Sufian had gone to Syria on a commercial trip and he was brought to Heracles with his business partners. Heracles told his companions that he was going to ask Abu Sufian some question and they should correct him if he made any wrong statement. Abu Sufian said later that if he were not afraid that he would be deceived by his own partners, he would have told lies but the situation was such that even an enemy of the Prophet could not tell a lie about him. Heracles asked Abu Sufian about the Prophet's family, his clan, his manners, the life of his companions, progress of the mission, position of Muslims in wars, Islamic teachings and some other things. Having listened to all this attentively he told Abu Sufian, "If all that you say is true, then this man will one day occupy the place where I am sitting today. I wish I could go over to the Prophet and wash his feet." Therefore, the Prophet's letter was read out which upset the courtiers as the state of the mind of Heracles had perturbed them and so they hastened to send back the people of Makkah. This conversation greatly impressed Abu Sufian. 8. Khusro Parvez, ruler of Iran, ruled over a vast kingdom and was a follower of Zoroster. The prophet sent Abdullah bin Rawaha as his emissary with his letter. Khusro was enraged and tore up the prophet's letter saying how a subject of his could be so impertinent as to dare address a letter to the king. He then directed Bazan, his - - - 230 / 252 - - - governor of Yemen to arrest the man at once and produce him before the court. Bazan sent a military contingent for the purpose and when it passed through Taif the elders of the place rejoiced that no one could escape Khusro's wrath. When the contingent reached Medina and its leader stated the object of his visit the Prophet asked him to see him the next morning. And when they met next morning the Prophet told them that the king had been killed by his own son and they could verify it. When Bazan found out the truth of the Prophet's prophecy and learnt about the Prophet's teachings and his conduct he accepted Islam along with his entire court, followed by most of the people of his realm. When the Prophet heard that Khusro had torn up his letter he replied "he has torn up his empire," and within 10-15 years this vast empire lay at the feet of the Muslim conquerors the cause of its downfall being internal strife. Among the smaller rulers to whom the message was sent was Farwa bin Amr, governor of the Roman Empire, who accepted Islam and not only spurned his position and honour but also gave his life in the service of Islam. Next was Tamam, ruler of Najd, who embraced Islam in 6 Hijra. The third was Jibila Ghassani, who became a Muslim in 7 Hijra. The fourth was Ukaidir, ruler of Dumatul Jandal, who also accepted Islam. The fifth was Zulekah Humeri who once claimed to be God and made people bow to him. At last he also became Muslim and as a gesture of thanksgiving freed 18,000 slaves. During the Caliphate of Hazrath Umar, he abdicated his throne and settled in Medina to spend the rest of his life in seclusion. The Missionary Spirit The state of Medina arranged to send missionary deputations to neighbouring territories even under the most trying conditions of war time with the result that at least on four occasions member of missionary deputations were brutally massacred by recalcitrant elements. Simultaneously, a number of men were trained to work in different areas. On much wider scale its civil officers did missionary work and advanced the cause of Islam. Civil officers of the Muslim state were not mercenaries and were quite different from officers of - - - 231 / 252 - - - other states. They carried out the highest responsibilities for token remuneration. The governor of Makkah, for instance, Hazrath' Atab bin Usaid, was given only one dirham per month. The civil practices of the modern politicians were unknown to them. There was no transgression, no paraphernalia and trappings, no aloofness from the people, no indifference to needs and requirements of the public, no guards and no security staff during their rounds, no bribes, no sycophants or flatterers, no indiscriminate largesse's, no drinking parties, dance or music. They were a different breed of officers who worked for nominal pay, lived very simply, did their work with honesty, dispensing impartial justice and sincere worshippers of God. Their conduct must have won over the people and when they conveyed the message of truth it must have gone deep into their hearts and in some places the entire population was attracted to Islam due to the impact created by their ideal life. For instance, when Hazrath Abu Musa Ash'ari was appointed governor of Zabeed and Aden, the whole population accepted Islam in a short time, while Jarir bin Abdullah Bajli converted all members of the Humair ruling families. Thus the message of Islam continued to penetrate the remotest corners of Arabia bringing about a mental revolution and moral transformation. The beduin population of Arabia was poor and lived nomadic life on the meager income from their cattle or resorted to armed robbery. In the hamlets and villages their chiefs snatched away all the produce of their labour. Large cities were few and comparatively better off but even there, the gulf between the upper and lower classes existed, the former living in affluence and the latter condemned to starvation level. The rich spent their income on women and wine, gambling and other vices and some of them, particularly the Jews, carried on moneylending business and exploited their customers. The masses in Arabia lived in abject poverty, and ate even dried blood, boiled skin of animals. Education and medical aid were lacking and even those who had learnt something had learnt it by practical experience. For treatment of disease they prayed to their idols or used charms and potions, and the soothsayers and astrologers exploited them. In short, the basic need in Arabia was bread and in a population whose only problem was how to keep the body and soul together no lessons in higher truths could be taught or learnt. Any ideology which aimed at - - - 232 / 252 - - - raising the level of a people steeped in abject poverty could never succeed by mere preaching or sermons on moral values. Even if the rod is used to establish order and teach morality the system will become an anathema to the public. Humanity can be conquered by a moral ideology only when along with concern for the Hereafter the problems of this world are also trackled, when along with moral uplifts, economic problems are also solved. The movement which the Prophet launched while giving the light of faith and moral values also propagated the most effective methods of providing the fill for the stomach. In the brief moral code of the earliest Islam, feeding of the hungry was given the highest importance, while care of the orphans, widows and wayfarers was an incumbent duty of every Muslim. In this poverty-stricken land there were vested interests which had the monopoly over cash and kind, agricultural produce and cattle. To take this wealth from the rich for the use of the poor was not an easy task and unless this problem was solved the higher problems of life could not be tackled. The economic laws of Islam received by stages sufficed for the distribution of wealth in a modes economy, but the vested interest had to be attacked. Jihad solved this problem automatically in the most efficient manner. Islam retained its share in the war booty and under this right the accumulated wealth wherever it exist, was brought into circulation. Jewish usury which was extorted from the poor was swept away by the booty. The wealth of the people of Thaqif was taken from them and spread all over Arabia. Similarly, wherever the mischief-making clans raised their heads the greater portion of the wealth of their chiefs and men of wealth was taken from them and put into circulation. Then the Muslim state realised, from all owners of land and commercial assets, taxes in the form of Zakat from Muslims and Jizia from non-Muslims and the greater part of them particularly Zakat, was earmarked for the poor and every year large quantities of foodgrains, dates and cattle were transferred from the rich to the poor. The moral approach was also made in solving the economic problem and the central society of Medina was the most successful experiment in social equality mingled with economic fraternity. The whole of Arabia saw the grand spectacle of uprooted people, penniless slaves, starving beduins and destitute youths rising to new heights after coming under Islam. They not only stood on an - - - 233 / 252 - - - equal status of the highest families and fearlessly challenged the proudest men but at the same time got relief from all their worries, were provided with shelter, work and weapons and sometimes even with conveyance and no obstacles were placed in their marriages. And this order of Islamic brotherhood was not confined to Medina alone but was gradually spreading on all sides, and a day came when the whole of Arabia was enjoying these benefits. Then the Prophet himself, in view of the Problems affecting the common man, adopted the most generous methods both in his own person and also as head of the state. He kept nothing in his personal possession and whatever wealth came to him, he promptly distributed it among the poor and the needy. Wealth was not allowed to accumulate in the Baitul mal and whenever any deserving man came he was helped to the utmost limit and when nothing was left, he even borrowed to help a needy caller. Accounts of the Prophet's generosity were carried far and wide and needy persons from all quarters came and received help. The aim of this generous distribution of wealth was not a bribe to attract people to Islam but to equalize wealth and bring about a unified economic system. To sustain the people grounded down by economic distress and to lift the community from economic degradation was among the basic demands of Islam. Those who were victims of economic oppression and were so much worried by hunger could not be moved by higher aims of life and were eligible for sympathetic and generous treatment. Most of the Arab population was in this condition and while they needed the light of Islam they were also in need of food and clothing. The people of Medina who under the Islamic system of economic brotherhood received the opportunity for the first time to rise above the physical worries and think of higher values of life must have cleared all obstacles for the spread of Islam. The economic system of Islam would have taken some time to develop in full but from the very beginning people must have begun to look to Medina for solution of their economic problems in addition to receiving the light of Islam. - - - 234 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Seven The Prophet's relationship 1. Prophet's marriages The Prophet's Relationships The Prophet's genealogy to Prophet Abraham reached 32 stages and most of the clans of Arabia traced their descent from one or the other of the ancestors of the Prophet and this lineage, which the Prophet always respected, must have in some way helped in the spread of Islam. In fact most of the prominent personalities of Islam and close companions of the Prophet were linked with him through ancestral ties. For instance Hazrath Umar descended from the Prophet's ancestor, Ka'ab, from whom Hazrath Ubaida also descended. Hazrath Amina (the Prophet's mother) descended from Kilab from whose brother Tiam descended Hazrath Abu Bakr. Sa'ad traced his descent from Manaf. Usman bin Talha, key-holder of the Kaabah, was a descendant of Quasayy from whom also descended Hazrath Zubair. Hazrath Khadija also came from one of the descendants of Qussayy and Waraqa bin Nofal was her brother. Haris bin Abdul Muttalib bin Abd Manaf had three sons, Abu Ubaida (killed in Badr), Tofail and Hisein, well-known companions. Imam Shafe'I joins the ancestry through Abdul Muttalib. Hazrath Usman is linked with him through Abd Manaf. Chronicles differ in the number of the Prophet's uncles. The accounts of two of them are missing. One Uncle Zerar died very earlier. The following uncles of the Prophet rose into prominence in the Islamic history and their accounts are recorded. One of his uncles was Haris who died before the advent of Islam. His four sons Nofal, Abdullah, Rabi'a and Abu Sufian Moghira became Muslims and rendered valuable service to Islam. It was Rabi'a whose blood claim was given up by the Prophet at the time of the conquest of Makkah when all blood claims of the days of ignorance were annulled. Another uncle was Abu Talib who protected the Prophet and despite refusal to embrace the faith rendered great service to Islam. Out of his four sons three accepted Islam and no Muslims is ignorant of the names and fame of Aqil bin Abu Talib, Hazrath Jafar and Hazrath Ali. Similarly the - - - 235 / 252 - - - two daughters of Abu Talib, Umm-e-Hani and Jaman became Muslims and the former's name came into prominence in connection with the Prophet's ascension (Meraj). One of his uncles was Hazrath Hamza who was killed in the Battle of Uhad and Hind had brutally mutilated his dead body and chewed his liver, which had greatly shocked the Prophet. It was Hazrath Hamza who had been enraged at Abu Jehl's harassment to the Prophet and challengingly declared his Islam. Another uncle was Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib who while remaining at Makkah kept the Prophet informed of all developments there and declared his Islam when the movement had passed out of its critical stage. One uncle Zubair died before the Prophet assumed apostleship. He was very good natured and had done much work in connection with the formation of Halful Fuzul. His son, Abdullah ibn Zubair, rose to great prominence in Islam. Another uncle was Abu Lahab who was not only his bitterest opponent but the most active leader of the opposition front. His wife was also a very bitter enemy of Islam and derived pleasure in oppressing the Prophet. His end was very deplorable. He died of plague and for three days his body lay unattended. People were afraid to go near it. At last stones were thrown over it from the roof till the corpse was covered and his became his grave. His wife committed suicide by hanging herself with a rope tied to her neck. Two sons of Abu Lahab died as non-Muslims and two accepted Islam at the hands of the Prophet in the Battle of Hunain. His daughter Durrah also accepted Islam. Among the Prophet's aunts (father's sisters) was Umm-e-Hakim Baiza, wife of Kuzair bin Rabi'a (of the Abd Manaf branch). Her son Amir accepted Islam on the day of the conquest of Makkah and then Abdullah bin Amir also became a companion and during the Caliphate of Hazrath Usman was made governor of Khorasan. Urdi, the daughter of Umm-e-Hakim, was the mother of Hazrath Usman. His other aunt was Onaima who was married to Jahsh bin Rabab. One of her daughters umm-e-Habiba was the wife of Abdur Rahman bin Auf and another daughter Hamna was first married to Mus'ab bin Umair and then to Talha bin Abdullah. From her second marriage there were two sons, Muhammad and Imran, who became staunch Muslims. Abdullah bin Jahsh was killed in the Battle of Uhad and buried with his maternal uncle Hamza. The third aunt was Atika who had a dream - - - 236 / 252 - - - before the Battle of Badr and was taunted that even the daughters of Banu Hashim began to claim prophethood. The fourth aunt was Hazrath Safia who was first married to Haris bin Umayya and after becoming a widow was taken into marriage by Awwam bin Khawailid. From this marriage was born Hazrath Zubair and also said ibn-ul- Awwam who took a prominent part in Jihad. When she saw the mutilation of the body of her cousin Hamza, she set an example of patience and forbearance. His fifth aunt was Barah who was the wife of Abdul Asad bin Hilal and Abu Salma was her son who was the first husband of Hazrath Umm-e-Selma. One of his aunts who were married to Umair bin Wahb on receiving the news of her son Tolaib's acceptance of Islam wrote to him: "Your maternal uncle's son is most deserving of your service. By God, if we women were as strong as men we should have protected him and countered his enemies." In these words there is the light of faith as well as an aunt's true affection for her nephew. The mother of the Prophet's father Abdullah, Fatima binte Amr, belonged to the well-known family of Banu Najjar of Medina. The Prophet's great-grandfather Hashim had also married a daughter of the Khazraj clan, Hind binte Amr ibn Tha'alaba, and because of this the Prophet's father Abdullah had very intimate relations with Medina and incidentally he died there while on a trade journey and was buried there. The Prophet's mother went to Medina to meet her relatives and visited the grave of her husband taking the Prophet (at the age of 5) with her. The Prophet stayed there for a month at Dar-un-Nabigha. When he migrated there he recalled the incidents of earlier 47 years. Sometimes, the Prophet in reminiscent mood remembered that there was a girl Anisa who used to play with him, how his mother used to sit at a particular place in that house, and about his father's grave at that place. The Prophet also said that he had learnt swimming in the pond of Bani Adi bin An-Najjar. It was while returning from this journey that the Prophet's mother died at Abwa. Obviously while the Islamic movement was developing, these relationships proved beneficial. The people of Medina, particularly Banu Najjar must have regarded him as - - - 237 / 252 - - - their close relative and in welcoming him Banu Najjar were in the forefront while the girls of the clan sang welcome songs. The Prophet was suckled for a few days by a slave woman of Abu Lahab, Thaubia, and the Prophet was so considerate to her that he used to send her clothes from Medina. Her permanent nurse was Halima Sa'dia of Banu Hawazin clan. Her elder daughter, Huzafa (know as As-Shama), had served the Prophet in his childhood. When she came as a prisoner of war in the Battle of Hunain she told her guards that she was foster sister of their leader. She was brought before the Prophet who most respectfully welcomed her and spread a sheet for her to sit on and his eyes became wet. Then he told her that if she wanted she might stay with him and if she wanted to return to her clan he would send her back. She wished to return to her clan and the Prophet made arrangements accordingly and gave her generous gifts. Later, she became Muslim. It was to this foster relationship that the deputation of Banu Hawazin which came to talk about the prisoners of the Battle of Hunain and the Prophet released all of them which had been allotted to the Quraish and following this all others released the prisoners of their share. Hazrath Zainab had already been married to Abul Aas bin Rabi'a in Makkah. The mother of Abul Aas was the sister of the Prophet's consort Hazrath Khadija and thus the Prophet was his maternal uncle. Hazrath Zainab had accepted Islam with her mother and migrated to Medina. Later Abul Aas also accepted Islam and went to Medina. The husband and wife enjoyed very affectionate relations to the extent that when before accepting Islam he was pressed by the people of Makkah to divorce her, he flatly refused. It was on account of this relationship that when he came as a prisoner of war he was released without ransom with the consent of Muslims, while his commercial goods captured earlier were returned to him. Hazrath Ruqayya was married to Hazrath Usman in Makkah and this was the first couple who migrated together to Abyssinia. She died in the second year of Hijra and in the third year the Prophet gave his other daughter, Umm-e- Kulsum, in marriage to Hazrath Usman. Hazrath Fatima was married to Hazrath Ali and thus two most prominent leaders of the Islamic movements besides being related by blood were also connected by - - - 238 / 252 - - - marriage and this relationship was very helpful in the activities of the movement. Prophet's Marriages Biased European Orientalists have raised much controversy over the Prophet's marriages and it is, therefore, necessary to clarify points in this respect. The early period of history which extends to the time of the Prophet was the age of multiple marriages and polygamy was an integral part of every social system. Large tracts of land were lying vacant and wherever there was population it was sparse, while vast resources of living were still lying untapped and naturally it was necessary to increase the population. So, with few exceptions, the prophets including Israelite Prophets had several wives. The Prophet came at the end of this trend of increasing population and it was only through him that for the first time a limit was put on the number of marriages and the Prophet's marriages were according to prevailing custom and he did not contract any marriage after injunctions on restriction of marriage were revealed to him. In fact, the Prophet had only two genuine marriages on his own, one with Hazrath Khadija and the other with Hazrath Ayesha. The other marriages were contracted on various urgent consideration. And it were these considerations which moved the Prophet, despite his active life and frugal living, to take so many wives which was in fact a sacrifice on his part. Then we must take into consideration that a young man, who had spent 25 years of his life as a model of chastity and modesty in a social environment of wine and adultery selected at the age of 25 not a tantallising beauty, but a widow of 40 years and spent another 25 years with this single wife, could be accused of sensuousness, particularly when he had himself declared that he had no sexual attraction for women. Then the time of his multiple marriages began from his age of 55 and extended to the age of 59, while among these wives all except two were above 36 and 50. could he not get younger and lovelier girls to marry? Then we have to consider that the Prophet had taken a stupendous task upon himself which did not give him much time for rest or relaxation, whose greater part of the time was devoted to the affairs of the state and society and who even in his hours of privacy stood in prayers till his - - - 239 / 252 - - - feet were swollen. How could such a person be accused of sexual indulgence. On the other hand we find no resemblance between him and the indulgent conquerors and rulers. He was neither oppressive, nor fond of wine music or dance, or costly apparel, did not load his consorts with silk and gold and never put their interests above the interests of his mission. On one occasion when his consorts demanded increase of their allowances he told them that if they were content with a frugal life, they could remain with him otherwise he would release them with due consideration. The last point to be considered is the exclusive and well-defined tribal system of those days with prejudices against men of other clans. In Arabia, no one could carry on the work of reform and uplift unless he belonged to some specific and respectable clan and so in the interests of his mission the Prophet needed inter-tribal relationship. Taking each case separately we find that Hazrath Jowairia belonged to Banu Mustalaq robber clan which was very powerful. Her father was a notorious robber and the entire clan was the bitterest enemy of Islam from the start. They were in the forefront of every opposition party and never consented to enter into any pact. At last, it was suppressed by military action, but when the Prophet married Hazrath Jowairia, the Muslims released all their prisoners saying that they could not keep the Prophet's relatives in bondage, and it was due to this marriage that the whole clan gave up robbery, and became peaceful and obedient to the laws of the Islamic state. Hazrath Maimuna came from a very powerful and recalcitrant clan of Najd and was sister of the wife of its chief. It was this clan which had brutally murdered 70 members of a missionary deputation. This marriage changed the whole atmosphere and Najd accepted Medinite authority. Hazrath Maimuna's many other sisters were also married to prominent chieftains of the clan. Hazrat Umm-e-Habiba was the daughter of the Quraish chief Abu Sufian and after this marriage Abu Sufian never fought against the prophet. This marriage was largely responsible for the conquest of Makkah. Hazrat Safia was the daughter of a very prominent Jewish chief, Huyayy bin Akhtab and in consideration of her family status she could - - - 240 / 252 - - - not be merged into ordinary household. So the prophet himself married her. After this marriage, the Jews did not dare to revive their opposition. With the permission of the prophet, Hazrat Safia used to give financial help to her Jewish relatives. In the case of marriage with Hazrat Hafsa, it was the prophet's desire to bind in relationship those of his companions who were his advisers and trained for leadership. He had married Hazrat Abu Bakr's daughter, married two of his daughters to Hazrath Usman and one, Hazrat Fatima, to Hazrat Ali and so Hazrat Umar could not be kept outside of the circle of relationship and by marrying his daughter Hafsa the prophet forged a strong bond of relationship among the leaders of the Islamic movement. Sometime a marriage was contracted to placate distressed feelings. The prophet had married his first cousin Hazrat Zainab to his freed slave Zaid bin Haris, whom the prophet had adopted as his son. It was intended to break the family barrier but the marriage did not prove a success and ended in divorce. Now Hazrath Zainab was left alone and the prophet felt his responsibility in the matter. He also had to break another convention that an adopted son did not become a real son. So the difficult problem was solved by marrying Hazrat Zainab (as mentioned in the Qur'an). The political significance of the prophet's marriage with Umme-e- Habiba, daughter of Abu Sufian, has been mentioned earlier. There is also more significance to it. She was first married to Ubaidullah and migrated with him to Abyssinia, where Ubaidullah became a Christian and a drunkard. Excess of wine killed him. Umm-e-Habiba held tenaciously to Islam. It was a double shock to her that her husband became a Christian and died and she badly needed solace. The prophet sent Amr bin Umayya Az-Zamri to king Negus with the proposal of marrying Umm-e-Habiba, who was so overjoyed that she gave away all her ornaments to her slave girl. King Negus himself performed the marriage in absentia and paid her a dower of 400 gold coins and gave a feast. It is also reported by some that marriage was renewed at Medina and another marriage feast was given. - - - 241 / 252 - - - Umm-ul-Masakin Zainab, daughter of Khuzaima bin Haris, belonged to Hawazin clan. Her husband was killed in the Battle of Uhad and to rescue her from widowhood the Prophet took her as his wife. Eleven marriages of the Prophet have been established. Reports of larger number are exaggerated and unconfirmed. Of these, Hazrat Khadija died before the Hijra and Hazrat Zainab, daughter of Khuzaima, died only three months after her marriage in the third year of Hijra. In his last days the Prophet had nine consorts with him and out of these Hazrat Sauda had given up sexual relations. After the restrictions were imposed the prophet did not marry but despite the restriction of keeping four wives at a time the prophet was permitted by revelation to continue all these, for, besides the aforesaid considerations, the prophet's wives were mothers of the faithful and if divorced they would have been left unprotected. Furthermore, these consorts were helpful in spreading the Islamic way of life to the women. If we ponder over political significance of the prophet's marital relations we find that following clans were thus linked up with the Prophet: (1) Bani Asad bin Abdul Uzza, (2) Bani Amir bin Luayy, (3) Bani Tiam, (4)Bani Adi, (5) Bani Makhzoom, (6) Bani Umayya, (7) Bani Asad bin Khuzaima, (8) Banu Mustalaq, (9) Arab Jews, (10) Banu Kelab, Kalb and Salim, (11) Banu Kinda. Distributing these clans geographically we find that the Prophet's position had become inter-tribal, which succeeded in uniting all the important clans and which ended opposition and resisting ambitions, even suppressing longstanding feuds. For a movement which aimed at establishing universal peace and justice it was beneficial to pave its way to polygamy which was in fact a great sacrifice. - - - 242 / 252 - - - ## Chapter Eight The final stage 1. Address at Arafat 2. At the pond of Ghadir and Uhad The Final Stage Hajj is a basic pillar of Islam and of great significance. Only those who take part in this annual congregation of the world fraternity of Muslims at Makkah and imbibe the spirit of universal brotherhood can testify to the unparalleled grandeur, uniqueness, equality and union that manifest themselves on this occasion. The sacred Mosque which was the center of Abraham's call, every particle of which is impressed with precious gems of Islamic religious history, whose atmosphere is replete with the prayers of Prophet Abraham, the friend of God, and in the whole environment of which are scattered the great deeds of the Prophet, was declared world's centre of Islamic call and movement. It is incumbent on every Muslim, who can afford it, to perform all the rites and requirements, to revive the sanctified example of Abraham, which is sacrifice, to contact the coworkers and comrades of Islamic order of brotherhood and turning away the face from all sides to surrender to God in all humility. This injunction of the duty of Hajj came in the 9th year of Hijra and the same year the Prophet nominated Hazrath Abu Bakr to see that Hajj was performed under his guidance and Hazrath Ali was entrusted with the duty of reciting before the gathering the first 40 verse of Surah Tauba (Repentance) of the Qur'an and to convey the necessary declarations to the people as ordered by God. The declarations were that those who were still influenced by the custom of the past and those who still assigned partners to God and those who had preserved their interests by entering into pacts with the Islamic state should be notified that after the period of four months all such pacts would be annulled. During this period they were asked to decide their line of action, either to give up the citizenship of that state, resort to war or live within the Islamic state as Muslims. There was no room any longer of a state within the state and the Islamic state could not properly perform its functions with pockets of rebels within its - - - 243 / 252 - - - jurisdiction. It was necessary to give public notice of annulment of these pacts and the four months time given to the contracting party was sufficient. Further concession was given that those of the idolaters who wished to come to Medina to understand Islam during this period would be given full protection while coming and going. And for those of non-Muslims who had honestly worked on the provisions of the pact concession was given that the pact with them would remain in force for the stipulated period. Those really affected were the non-Muslims who had formed into a hostile front against Islam and repeatedly violated the provisions of the pact, obstructed the right path, criticized the true faith and planned to oust the Prophet from his home, and were first to start war. The second declaration was that in future the custody of the sacred Kabaa and other mosques would not be given to non-Muslims. The announcement was that henceforth no idolater would be allowed to enter the sacred precincts of the Kabaa. Hazrath Ali also mentioned the further clarification of the Prophet that no one should henceforth make the circumambulation of the Kabaa naked as was done by the idolaters. The fourth announcement was the confirmation of the sanctity of four months by God and the door was closed for marking arbitrary changes. It was made perfectly clear that God had raised his Apostle for fully enforcing the system of the right path in all aspects of life and this task had to be carried out despite the annoyance of the idolaters. We now come to that momentous gathering of the Islamic movement in which the Prophet himself participated and which was in the tenth year of Hijra and in which the force of Islamic movement was seen like the waves of the ocean. News about this Hajj was sent to all parts and large caravans of Muslims began to collect at Medina, which was further increased on the way by joining of groups from different clans. All the consorts of the Prophet were with him. He wore the special ihram of the Hajj at Zulhalifa and from here the cries for the participants of Hajj began to be raised. "We are present. O our Allah! We are present. Thou hast no partner. We are present at Thy court. All praise is for Thee. All the blessings are with Thee. The Kingdom is Thine. None is Thy partner." - - - 244 / 252 - - - On the way wherever a hill had to be crossed the entire gathering joined its voice with the Prophet's "We are present O God! Thou art great!" Nearing Makkah he stopped for some time at Zi Towa, then along with the host of pilgrims, entered Makkah from its northern side, made rounds of the Kabaa, went to Safa and Marwa and from there facing the Kabaa again raised the cry of Oneness of God. On the ninth Zilhijja he climbed down at Wadi Namra and in the afternoon went to Arafat and riding on the she-camel named Qaswa went to the top of the hill and from there delivered his address. Those who stood close on all sides repeated every phrase and thus the Prophet's words reached the ears of the entire gathering. How the Prophet must have felt satisfied to see this product of his life's work! This gathering of one Lakh forty-four (or twenty-four) thousand was a unique spectacle. The spectacle created no feeling of pride in the Prophet. On the other hand, he was more humble than ever, more fervent in offering thanks to God. Then this prophetic insight revealed to him that it was his last opportunity to address the community and he included in the address his last will, of which every word is important. Furthermore, this was the most appropriate occasion to give the message to the humanity on behalf of the Islamic movement. Lastly, these addresses are unique specimen of his oratory and his masterly exposition. They help us in our appreciation of the greatness of this sacred personality. Address At Arafat Addressing the gathering at Arafat, the Prophet said: "All praise is for God. We praise Him and seek His help and ask Him for forgiveness of our sins and express our repentance before Him. We seek protection against mischiefs of our hearts and our evil actions. Whomsoever God guides on the right path no one can lead him astray and whomsoever God does not give guidance no one can guide him aright. "And I declare this truth that there is no god except Allah and I declare this truth that Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle. - - - 245 / 252 - - - "O servants of God! I advice you to worship Him and I persuade you to do so. "I begin with these sacred words. "After this, I tell you, O people! Listen to me carefully as I speak clearly, for I do not think I will have the opportunity to meet you here after this year. "O people! Your blood and your property have been sanctified to one another till you are presented to your Lord, just as this month, year, this day in this city are sanctified. "Beware that I have conveyed the word to you. O God! Be our witness! "So whosoever has anything in the trust should return it to its owner. "Amounts of interest of the days of ignorance are remitted and first of all I remit the claims of interest of my uncle Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib. "All claims of blood of the days of ignorance are cancelled and first of all I cancel the blood demand of Rabia bin Haris bin Abdul Muttalib. All titles and offices of the days of ignorance are abolished with the exception of Sadana (caretaking of the Kaabah) and Saqaya (providing drinking water for Hajj pilgrims). "Deliberate murder shall be avenged. For the death caused unintentionally by club or stone the compensation fixed is a hundred camels. Anyone increasing it will be considered as belonging to the days of ignorance. "O people! After the establishment of the order of truth the devil has lost hope that he will be worshipped in this land. But he will be pleased if he is obeyed through such other sins which you consider light. "O people! The change of months (i.e. sanctified months) is an addition to the ways of apostasy and through it the idolaters fall into further wrong path that a month made permissible one year and prohibited next year so that by manipulation they substitute the number of the months prohibited by God. - - - 246 / 252 - - - "Surely, the world has today returned to the time when God created the earth and the heavens. Before God the number of months is definitely twelve and when God created heaven and earth this number was entered into His Book (the charter of destiny) and is still there. Of those four months are sanctified. three continuous, viz. Zulqada, Zilhijja and Moharram and one separate, i.e. Rajab, which is between Jumada II and Sha'aban. "Beware that I have conveyed the word. O God! Be Thou the Witness. "O people! Your women have been given some rights in respect of you and you have been given some rights in respect of them. It is incumbent on them to let no one enter into their sleeping chambers except you and do not let any one enter into your house whose entry is not liked by you. And they should not commit any adultery. If they commit it God has permitted you to part with them, keep them out of your sleeping chambers and give them such bodily punishment which does not leave a mark on the body. If they desist and obey you their maintenance is your responsibility. Surely, women are subject to you and cannot act of their won accord You have taken them as your companions as a trust form God and have made use of their bodies with God's permission. So fears God in respect of women an train them in the right manner. "Beware that I have conveyed the word O God! Be Thou the Witness. "So do not, after me, go back to the ways of idolatry and slay not each other. "I am leaving with you a thing that as long as you follow it, you will never go astray, and that is the Book of God. "Beware that I have conveyed the word. O God! Be Thou the Witness. "O people! Your God is one, and your ancestor is also one You are all the progeny of Adam who was created from earth. The most respected before God amongst you is one who is most God-fearing. No Arab has preference over a non-Arab or a non-Arab over an Arab. Preference, if any, is on the basis of the fear of God. "Beware that I have conveyed the word. O God! Be Thou the Witness. - - - 247 / 252 - - - "And you people will be asked about me. Now tell me what you will say. "All cried out, 'We affirm that you have conveyed the message, carried out the responsibility of instructing the people, raised all curtains from the face of truth and faithfully conveyed the trust of God." "O God! Be Thou the Witness! O God! Be Thou the Witness! O God! Be Thou the Witness! "Those who are present here should convey these things to those who are absent. Possibly those who are absent may remember and observe these things more carefully than those present. "O people! God has assigned a specific share of inheritance to each heir. To will more than one-third of one's property is not permitted. "The child belongs to one on whose bed (in marriage) it is born and the adulterer shall be stoned. "Whosoever calls someone else his father besides his real one and the slave who calls someone else his master besides his real one, will meet the curse of God and angels and all men and no amends will be accepted from him on the Day of Judgement. "God's protection and blessings descend on you!" Addressing the gathering at Mina, the Prophet said: "O people! No prophet is to come after me and no community will be raised after you. So listen carefully and devote yourself in submission to God, offer prayers five times daily, perform pilgrimage of your Lord's Sacred Mosque and carry out the orders of your chiefs and rulers that you may find a place in Paradise." Human thinking cannot improve on these speeches and no social system has in practice been able to create such an order as indicated in these edicts. Wherever and whenever Islamic movement commences and the system of truth is established it must be founded on these very firm ideologies and concepts. This is the basic Islamic proclamation to which humanity may be called and any plan of life built without regard to these words of reality will be un-Islamic and no true Muslim will be content with it. This is the last message of our - - - 248 / 252 - - - beloved Apostle and it is we who have been addressed. Its nature is that of the last will of the Prophet and its appeal must move our hearts. The Prophet performed all the rites and requirements of Hajj with ease, mingled with the people, answered their questions and at last after performing the last round of the Kaabah he returned to Medina. At The Pond Of Ghadir And Uhad The manner in which the Prophet participated in this Hajj, addressed his people, advised, stressed and expressed his last wishes indicated that the Prophet was collectively saying farewell. On his way back, he stopped at the pond of Ghadir and delivered another address in which the feelings of parting were more pronounced. After his usual praise of God he said. "After this I have to say that after all I am a man and probably I will soon receive the call from God which I shall welcome. I am leaving with you the burden of two responsibilities. One of them is the Book of God which contains the rules of guidance and knowledge. So hold fast to the Book of God and take light from it." Then after fervent appeals on the importance of the Qur'an he said: "And the second is my household. For the members of my household remind one of God." In a special address the Prophet dealth with the differences of opinion among the leaders of his movement. The companions who had gone to Yemen with Hazrath Ali expressed different opinions and such differences are natural among conscientious men. The matter was brought before the Prophet who was pained to learn that a personality of the status of Hazrath Ali was the subject of dispute. He, therefore, spoke as follows: "One who is my friend, Ali is also his friend. O God who is friendly with Ali, Thou too be friendly to him and who bears enmity to Ali, Thou too be his enemy." - - - 249 / 252 - - - From the month of Safar of the eleventh year of Hijra the Prophet began his preparations for parting from this world. One day he visited Uhad and after praying for the martyrs of Uhad he spoke: "O people! I am going to depart from this world before you and to be a witness about you. By God, I see the tank of Paradise (Kausar) from here and the keys of the treasures of kingdoms have been given to me (that is many nations to be conquered as a result of the Islamic call). I have no fear that after me you will assign partners to God. But my fear is that you may be involved in the struggle for worldly benefits." Then at midnight he went to the graveyard of Baqee and prayed for those dead and declared, "I am also to join you soon." One day he called his select companions together and addressed them as follows: "Prosperity be to you, O Muslims! May God keep you under His Mercy, remove your poverty, give you sustenance and keep you in security. I advise you to fear God and commit you to His care, instil in you His fear, for I am a clear Warner. Beware, do not take to pride and recalcitrance among God's creatures in the land of God. God has told me and you that the home of next world will be assigned to those who will not aim at mischief and recalcitrance in this world and the success in the next world is for the God-fearing. Best wishes to all of you and to all those who will pledge to me by accepting Islam." He had slight headache on his return from the graveyard of Baqee which increased on 29th of Safar when he went with a funeral procession and returned. For eleven days in the early stage of illness he went to the mosque and conducted the prayers. For only one week at the height of illness was he bed-ridden and securing the consent of his other consorts he went to Hazrath Ayesha's room. Even in the serious condition of his last illness he continued to attend to the responsibilities of his mission. The campaigns of Tabuk and Mutah had not yet been completed and any complacency in these would have strengthened the opposing forces. So in this very condition he ordered preparations for the campaign against the - - - 250 / 252 - - - Roman Empire on 26th of Safar and the next day appointed Usama bin Zaid its supreme commander addressing him as follows: "Proceed and reach the place of your father's martyrdom and attack everyone who denies God." With his own hands he prepared the standard and gave it to Buraida bin Husaib Aslami. One or two men murmured about the inexperience (and also the family status) of Usama that such a boy was appointed to command over Migrants and Ansar, which greatly pained the Prophet and in spite of great pain he came to the mosque with a headband and spoke. "It has been reported to me that you have said such and such things about Usama. Before this also you had criticised the appointment of his father as commander although by God he was worthy of it and his son is also deserving. He (Zaid bin Haris) was most dear to us and after him his son (Usama bin Zaid) is most dear to us." Prior to this, just five days before passing away, he had seven buckets of water poured over him. When this bath gave some relief, he came to the mosque with support and addressed as follows: "People who had gone before you had made the tombs of prophets and saints objects of worship. You must not. Do not make my tomb an object of worship. Those who made prophet's tombs places of worship met with terrible Divine punishment. I prohibit this. I have conveyed the word to you. O God, Thou art the Witness of it. "I especially appeal to you about the Ansar. They are apparels of my body and the source of my strength in the journey of life. They have fulfilled their responsibilities. Now your responsibilities to them remain. Others will expand, but they will remain where they are. You should value their good work and forgive their shortcomings; God has given the choice to His servant either to take all that is in this world or that which is in God's hands. This servant has chosen what is in the hands of God." - - - 251 / 252 - - - Although all his addresses were in the nature of farewell messages, the last phrase of this one foretold his death which was understood by Hazrath Abu Bakr. When he was unable to attend the congregational prayers due to the seriousness of his illness he appointed Hazrath Abu Bakr to lead the prayers in his place. But as his illness increased peoples' anxiety also grew and they began to collect around and the mosque. To pacify the public he took the support of Hazrath Ali and Hazrath Fazal ibn Abbas and came to the mosque walking lamely and sitting on the step of the pulpit, delivered his last address: "O people, I have learnt that you are worried about my death. Has any prophet remained alive forever? I will soon meet God and you will also meet Him. I advised you to do good to the first Migrants and I advised Migrants to treat, one another well". Then reciting Sura Al-Asr he continued "All affairs are carried on by the order of God. If there is delay in any matter do not try to hasten it. God will not hasten anything because of anyone. And I advise you to do good to the Ansar. They made Medina their home before you and took up the faith with eagerness. Did they not share with you their fruits? Did they not give you preference over themselves although they were needy themselves. Listen, I am going ahead and you will also meet me. We promise to meet at the tank of Paradise". On Monday* [There is much controversy about the date, 12th Rabi I is generally accepted.] he rallied. He brushed his teeth, looked through the curtain, smiled at his assembled companions and after some moments repeated thrice. "O God! the Highest Companion!" and resting his head on the lap of Hazrath Ayesha, passed away to Immortal God! "We all belong to God, and Him shall we return!" Thus passed away one who had enriched the world with new message and new life, who suffered excruciating tortures in his efforts to take the humanity safely to the right path, faced all reverses unflinchingly and accepted no remuneration for this great task. The hostilities he encountered for our sake, the most dangerous paths he treaded without taking anything from us, sacrificed everything for - - - 252 / 252 - - - the establishment of the Islamic system and then created a new era of history, prepared a great nation, brought forth new worlds of though and knowledge, made every part of our being indebted to him. And for this indebtedness no compensation that we can possible pay will be adequate we, therefore, pray to God to accept out gratitude and from His unlimited treasure of Mercy, shower blessing on the Prophet's soul, raise it to the highest honour and status and give further life to his message and mission Amen!