Category Archives: Inspirational/Motivational stories

OUR NOBLE PREDECESSORS – HOW THEY REACTED TO INSULTS

Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah  Bin  Jarraah (radhiyallahu  anhu),  the  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Muslim  army  despatched  by  Ameerul  Mu’mineen  Umar  Bin  Khattaab  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  to  conquer  the  Land  of  Shaam  (Syria),  had,  on  the  plea  of  the  governor  of  Qinnasreen  principality,  entered  into  a  peace  pact  for  one  year. 

The  boundary  of  Qinnasreen  was  marked  by  a  statue  of  Heracleus,  the  Roman  emperor. By  virtue  of  the  peace  treaty,  the  Muslim  army  was  not  to  go  beyond  this  limit.  One  day  a  group  of  Sahaabah  from  the  army  ventured  near  to  the  border  area.  The  statue  was  guarded  by  Roman  soldiers. The  Sahaabah  were  intrigued  by  the  statue.  With  their  horses  they  went  around  the  statue.  Hadhrat  Abu  Jandal  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  holding  a  large  spear.  As  his  horse  neared  the  statue,  the  spear accidentally  pierced  its  eye. 

The  Roman  guards  reported  the incident  to  the  governor  of  Qinnasreen,  who  flew  into  a  rage.  He  sent  a  thousand  horsemen,  all  clad  in  gaudy  silken  apparel,  with  a  golden  cross  to  complain  to  the Muslim  commander,  and  to  demand  compensation  for  the  desecration  of  the  statue  of Heracleus.

The  head  of  the  Roman  delegation  of  a  1,000  horsemen  was  instructed  to  protest  to  Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah,  and  say:  “You  have  acted  treacherously  with  us.  You  have  violated  your  pledge.  You  have  shirked  your  responsibilities. Those  who  commit  treachery  will  be humiliated.”

Istakhar,  the  chief  of  the  Roman  delegation  arrived  with  his  men  at  the  Muslim  camp,  holding  aloft  the  golden  cross.  When  the  Muslims  saw  the  cross  aloft  in  their  camp,  they  advanced  towards  the  Romans  and  pulled  down  the  cross.  Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  appeared  and  said  to  the  Christians: “Who  are  you?  Why  have  you come?”  

Istakahar:  “I  am  the  emissary  of  the  governor  of  Qinnasreen.  I  am  here  to  protest  against  the  treachery  you  people  have  committed.”  

Abu  Ubaidah:  “Who  committed treachery  and  in  which  manner?”  

Istakhar:  “Your  man  who  had damaged  the  eye  of  our  emperor’s  statue  has  violated the  treaty.”  

Abu  Ubaidah:  “I  take  oath  and say,  I  am  unaware  of  this.  I  shall  immediately  investigate  the  matter.”

Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah (radhiyallahu  anhu)  announced:
“O  people  of  Arabia!  Whoever has  damaged  the  eye  of  the  statue  should  report  to  me.”   

Hadhrat  Abu  Jandal  (radhiyallahu anhu)  stepped  forward  and  said:  “I  had  accidentally  committed  the deed.” 

Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah (radhiyallahu  anhu)  said  to Istakhar:  “Undoubtedly,  our  man did  it,  but  not  deliberately.  It  was  an  accident.  State  your  demand  for  compensation  and  it  shall  be  fulfilled.” 

The  Roman  said:  “We  shall  be satisfied  only  when  we  pierce  the  eye  of  your  king  in  the  same  way.”  

Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah  said: “Fine!  I  am  at  your  service.  Do with  me  whatever  was  done  to your  statue.” 

Istakhar:  “No,  not  you.  We  want  to  pierce  the  eye  of  your  king  who  is  the  ruler  of  entire  Arabia.”

Istakhar  demanded  the  eye  of Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  an hu).  But  Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah (radhiyallahu  anhu)  rebuffing  him  said:  “It  shall  never  be  so.”

When  the  Muslim  army  heard  the  insult  levelled  against  Ameerul  Mu’mineen,  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  they  became  enraged  and  were  about  to  settle  the  issue  with  their  swords.  However,  Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah  prevented  them from  any  action.  

The  Muslims  said:  “We  shall sacrifice  our  lives  for  the  honour  of  our  Ameer,  Umar  Bin Khattaab,  the  Khalifah  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam).  As  compensation  for the  eye  of  your  statue  we  are  prepared  to  offer  our  eyes.”  The  insult  to  Hadhrat  Umar (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  intolerable  to  the  Sahaabah  who  were  prepared  to  offer  any  other  sacrifice  to  compensate  for  the  eye  of  the  Christian’s statue. 

When  Istakhar  observed  the state  of  the  Muslim  army  and  the  attitude  of  the  Sahaabah,  he  said:  “My  intention  was  not  the  actual  eye  of  your  king.  Our  intention  is  to  make  a  statue  of  your  King  and desecrate  it  in  the  same  way  as  your  man  had  desecrated  the  statue  of  our  emperor.”

The  Muslims  retorted:  “Our companion  did  not  deliberately damage  your  statue.  It  was  an  accident  whereas  you  contemplate  doing  so  by  deliberate  design.” 

Hadhrat  Abu  Ubaidah (radhiyallahu  anhu)  addressing  the  Muslim  army  said:  “Let  us  conclude  this  dispute.  If  they  are  satisfied  with  making  a  statue  and  desecrating  it,  I  shall  grant their  request.  I  am  averse  to  any  charge  of  treachery  being  levelled  at  us.  I  do  not  wish  them  to  have  the  opportunity  of  claiming  that  we  had  committed  treachery.  These people  are  great  ignoramuses.”

He  then  gave  the  Romans  permission  to  make  his  statue  and  desecrate  it.  The  Romans  made  a  statue  and  one  of  their  horsemen  advanced  towards  the  image  and  pierced  its  eye  with  his  spear.  In  this  manner  they  avenged  the  ‘desecration’ of  their  statue.  

After  executing  this  task, Istakhar  reported  to  the  governor  who  commented:  “It  is  on  the  basis  of  such  attributes  that  these  people  are  so  victorious  in  their  mission.”

There  is  more  than  adequate lesson  in  this  episode  for  the  Muslim  protesters  who  went  on  rampage  against  the  insulting  cartoons.  Our  success  and  victory  over  the  kuffaar  are  embedded  in  emulation  of  the  life  pattern  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  his  noble  Sahaabah.  There  is  nothing  but  defeat,  failure  and  humiliation  in  emulating  the  cultures  of  the  aliens.

How Hadhrat Salman al-Faarisi (radhiyallahu anhu) find Islam

[By Abu Bakr ibn Ali Muhaddith al-Haythami (rahimahullah) from his book Majma uz Zawaa’id]

One of the greatest of companions, Salman the Persian, once Zoroastrian (Magian) narrates his story to Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) of his search for the true religion of Allah Ta’ala.  His Journey from Zoroastrianism to Christianity, then atlast, his long search finally ends with Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) meeting the promised Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and earning his freedom to become one of his closest companions.

The blessed Companion of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Salman al-Faarisi (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates his journey to Islam as follows:

“I was a Persian man from the people of Isfahaan [a city of Iran]  from a town known as Jayi.  My father was the town chief.  To him, I was the most beloved creature of God.  His love for me reached the point to which he trusted me to supervise the fire [his father was a Zoroastrian] he lit. He would not let it die down.

My father owned a large area of fertile land. One day, while busy with his construction, he told me to go to his land and fulfill some chores he desired. On my way to his land, I came across a Christian church.  I heard the sound of people praying inside.  I did not know how people lived outside, for my father kept me confined to his house!  So when I came across those people [in the church] and I heard their voices, I went inside to watch what they were doing.”

When I saw them, I liked their prayers and became interested in their religion.  I said [to myself], “By God, this religion is better than that of ours.”  By God, I did not leave them until sunset.  I did not return to my father’s Land.

I asked [i.e., the people of the church].  “From where did this religion originate?”

“They said, ‘In Al-Shaam.’ [It encompasses the areas known today as Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan]

I returned to my father who had become worried and sent [someone] after me.  Upon my arrival, he said, ‘O son!  Where have you been?  Didn’t I entrust you with an assignment?”

I said, “My father, I came across some people praying in their church and I liked their religion.  By God I stayed with them until sunset.”

My father said, “My Son!  There is no good in that religion; the religion of you and your forefathers’ is better.’ ”

“No, by God, it is better than our religion.”

He threatened me, chained me by my feet and kept me confined to his home.  I sent a message to the Christians requesting them to inform me of the arrival of any Christian trade caravan coming from Al-Shaam.  A trade caravan arrived and they informed me, so I then told [the Christians] to let me know once the people of the caravan finish their business and set off to return to their country.  I [indeed] was informed [by them] when the people of Al-Shaam finished their business and were about to set off to their country, so I then let loose the chains from my feet and accompanied [the caravan] until we reached Al-Shaam.

Upon my arrival I asked, “Who is the best amongst the people of this religion [of yours]?”

They said, “The bishop. [He is] in the church.”

I went to him and said, “I like this religion, and I would love to be with you and serve you in your church, in order that I may learn from you and pray with you.”

He said, “You may enter and stay with me,” so I joined him.

After some time, Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) discovered something of the bishop.  He was a bad man who ordered and motivated his people to pay charity, only to keep it for himself.  He did not give it to the poor.  He had heaped up seven jars of gold and silver!  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) continued:

I despised him because of his deeds.

He [the bishop] died.  The Christians gathered to bury him.  I informed them that he was a bad man who ordered and motivated people to give him their charity only to keep it for himself, and that he did not give any of it to the poor.  They said, “How do you know this?”

I replied, “I can show you his treasure.”

They said, “Show us!”

I showed them the place [where he kept it] and they recovered from it seven jars heaped up with gold and silver.  When they saw it they said, “By God we will never bury him.”  So they crucified him and stoned him.

They replaced their bishop.  I never saw anyone [from them] who prayed better than him [the new bishop]; nor a man more detached from this worldly life and attached to the Hereafter, nor a person more committed to working day and night.  I loved him more than anyone else I loved before.

I stayed with him for sometime before his death.  When his death approached I told him, “O [so and so], I stayed with you and loved you more than anything else I loved before.  Now the Decree of God [i.e., death] has come, so who do you recommend for me [to keep to], and with what do you order me?”

The bishop said “By God! People are in total loss; they have altered and changed [the religion] they were upon. I do not know of anyone who is still holding to the religion I am upon except a man in al-Musil, [modern-day Mosul, a city of Iraq  so join him [and he gave me his name].”

When the man died, Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) moved to al-Musil and met the person he recommended…

I said to him, “[Such & such person] at the time of his death  recommended me to join you.  He told me that you are holding to the same [religion] as him.”  I stayed with him and found him to be the best man holding on to the matter [religion] of his  companion.

Soon he died.  When death approached him, Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) requested of him [as he did earlier with his first companion] to recommend another person who was upon the same religion.

The man said, “By God!  I don’t know of anyone on the same matter [religion] as ours except a man in Naseebeen [A city on the road between Al-Musil and Al-Shaam]  and his name is [such and such], so go and join him.”

Following his death, I traveled to the man of Naseebeen.”  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) found the man and stayed with him for a while.  The same incidents occurred.  Death approached and before he died, Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) came to the man and asked for his advice as to whom and where to go.  The man recommended that Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) join another man in Amuria [A town that was part of the Eastern Region of the Roman Empire]  who was also upon the same religion.

Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) moved to Amuria after his companion died.  He found his new reference and joined him on his religion.  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) [at that time] worked and, “earned some cows and one sheep.”

Death approached the man of Amuria.  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) repeated his requests, but [this time] the answer was different.

The man said, “O son!  I don’t know of anyone who is upon the same [religion] as we are.  However, a Prophet will emerge in your lifetime, and this Prophet is on the same religion as Abraham.”

The man described this Prophet, saying, “He will be sent with the same religion as Abraham.  He will come from the land of Arabia and will migrate to a place located in between two lands filled with black stones [as if burned by fire].  There are palm trees spread in the midst of these two lands.  He can be recognized by certain signs.  He [will accept] and eat [from] the [food] which has been given as a gift, but will not eat from charity.  The seal of Prophethood will be between his shoulders.  If you can move to that land, then do so.”

The man died, and Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) stayed in Amuria.  One day, “Some merchants from the tribe of Kalb [An Arab tribe] passed by me,” Salman said, “I told them, ‘Take me to Arabia and I will give you my cows and the only sheep I have.’”  They said, “Yes.”  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) gave them what he offered, and they took him with them.  When they reached Waadi al-Quraa [close to Madinah], they sold him as a slave to a Jewish man.  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) stayed with the Jew, and he saw the Palm trees [his previous companion had described].

“I hoped that this would be the same place described by my companion.”

One day, a man who was a first cousin to Salman’s (radhiyallahu anhu) master from the Jewish tribe of Bani Quraidha in Madinah came visiting.  He bought Salman (rashiyallahu anhu) from his Jewish master.

“He took me with him to Madinah.  By God!  When I saw it, I knew it was the place my companion described.

Then God sent  His Messenger [i.e., Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him].  He stayed in Makkah as long as he did [thirteen years].   I did not hear anything about him because I was very busy with the work of slavery, and then he migrated to Madinah.

[One day,] I was on a palm-tree on top of one of its date-clusters doing some work for my master.  A first cousin of his came and stood in front of him [his master was sitting] and said, “Woe to Bani Qeelah [people of the tribe Qeelah], they are gathered in Qibaa” [The outskirts of Medinah]  around a man who came today from Makkah claiming to be a Prophet!”

I trembled so fiercely when I heard him that I feared that I would fall on my master.  I descended and said, ‘What are you saying!?  What are you saying!?’

My master became angry and punched me hard saying, “What business do you have in this [matter]? Go and mind your business.”

I said, “Nothing!  I just wanted to be sure of what he was saying.”

On that evening, I went to see the Messenger of God while he was in Qibaa.  I took something with me which I had saved.  I went in and said, “I was told that you are a righteous man and that your company [who] are strangers [here] are in need.  I want to offer you something I saved as charity.  I found that you deserve it more than anyone else.”

I offered it to him; he said to his companions, “Eat,” but he himself kept his hand away [i.e., did not eat].  I said to myself, “This is one [i.e., one of the signs of his Prophethood].”

Following this encounter with the Prophet(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) left to prepare for another test!  This time he brought a gift to the Prophet in Madinah.

“I saw that you do not eat from that given as charity, so here is a gift with which I wish to honor you.”  The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ate from it and ordered his companions to do the same, which they did.  I said to myself, “Now there are two [i.e., two of the signs of Prophethood].”

On the third encounter, Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) came to Baqee-ul-Gharqad [a grave yard in Medina] where the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was attending the funeral of one of his companions.  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“I greeted him [with the greeting of Islam: ‘Peace be upon you’], and then moved towards his back attempting to see the seal [of Prophethood] which was described to me by my companion.  When he saw me [doing so], he knew that I was trying to confirm something described to me.  He took the garment off his back and I looked at the seal.  I recognized it.  I fell down upon it, kissing it and crying.  The Messenger of God, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), told me to move around [i.e., to talk to him].  I told him my story as I did with you, Ibn ‘Abbaas [remember that Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) is telling his story to Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)].  He [the Prophet] liked it so much he wanted me to tell my story to his companions.

He was still a slave owned by his master.  The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to him, “Make a contract [with your master] for your freedom, O Salman.”  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) obeyed and made a contract [with his master] for his freedom.  He reached an agreement with his master in which he would pay him forty ounces of gold and would plant and successfully raise three hundred new palm trees.  The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then said to his companions, “Help your brother.”

They helped him with the trees and gathered for him the specified quantity.  The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) to dig the proper holes to plant the saplings, and then he planted each one with his own hands.  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “By Him in Whose hands is my soul [i.e., God], not a single tree died.”

Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) gave the trees to his master.  The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) a piece of gold that was the size of a chicken egg and said, “Take this, O Salman, and pay [i.e., your master] what you owe.”

Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “How much is this in regards to how much I owe!”

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Take it!  God will [make it] equal to what you owe.”

I took it and I weighed a part of it and it was forty ounces.  Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) gave the gold to his master.  He fulfilled the agreement and he was released.

From then on, Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) became one of the closest of companions to the Prophet.

The Search for the Truth

One of the great companions of the Prophet by the name of Abu Hurairah reported:

“We were sitting in the company of God’s Messenger when Surah al-Jumu’ah (Surah 62) was revealed.  He recited these words:

“And [God has sent Muhammad also to] others who have not yet joined them (but they will come)…” (Quran 62:3)

A person amongst them said, ‘O God’s Messenger!  Who are those who have not joined us?’

God’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made no reply.  Salman the Persian (radhiyallahu anhu) was amongst us.  The Messenger of God (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) placed his hand on Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) and then said, ‘By the One in Whose Hands is my soul, even if faith were near Pleiades (the seven stars), men from amongst these [i.e. Salman’s (radhiyallahu anhu) folk] would surely attain it.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Many in this world are like Salman (radhiyallahu anhu), searching for the truth about the True and Only One God.  This story of Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) is similar to stories of people in our own time.  The search of some people took them from one church to another, from church to Buddhism or Passiveness, from Judaism to ‘Neutrality’, from religion to meditations to mental abuse.  There are those who shifted from one idea to another, but don’t even think of wanting to know something about Islam!  When they met some Muslims, however, they opened their minds.  The story of Salman (radhiyallahu anhu) is that of a long search.  You could make your search for truth shorter by benefiting from his.

20th Ramadan – Fateh Makkah

[By Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri]

Al HUDAIBIYAH  TREATY  (Dhul  Qa‘dah  6  A.H.):

When  Arabia  began  to  witness  the  large impressive  sweep in  favour  of  the  Muslims,  the  forerunners  of the  great  conquest  and  success  of  the  Islamic  Call  started  gradually  to  loom  on  the  demographic horizon,  and  the  true  believers  restored  their  undisputed right  to  observe  worship  in  the  sacred sanctuary.

It  was  about  the  sixth  year  Hijri  when  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  saw  in  a  dream,  while  he  was still  in  Madinah,  that  he  had  entered  the  sacred  sanctuary in  Makkah  in  security  with  his  followers,  and was  performing  the  ceremonies  of  ‘Umrah  (lesser pilgrimage).  Their  heads  were  being  shaved  and  hair cut  off.  As  soon  as  he  informed  some  of  his  Companions  the  contents  of  his  dream,  their  hearts  leapt up  with  joy  since  they  found  in  it  the  actualization  of  their deep  longing  to  take  part  in  pilgrimage  and its  hallowed rites  after  an  exile  of  six years.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  his  clothes  washed,  mounted  his  camel  and  marched  out  towards Makkah  at  the  head  of fifteen  hundred  Muslims  including  his  wife  Umm  Salamah.  Some  desert  bedouins whose  Faith  was  lukewarm  hung  back  and  made  excuses.  They  carried  no  weapons  with  them  except sheathed  swords  because  they  had  no  intention  of fighting.  Ibn  Umm  Maktum  was  mandated  to  dispose the  affairs  of  Madinah  during  the  Prophet’s  absence.  As  they  approached  Makkah,  and in  a  place  called Dhi  Hulaifa,  he  ordered  that  the  sacrificial  animals  be  garlanded,  and  all  believers  donned Al-Ihrâm,  the pilgrim’s  garb.  He  despatched  a  reconnoiterer  to  hunt  around  for  news  of  the  enemy.  The  man  came back  to  tell  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  that  a  large  number  of  slaves,  as  well  as  a  huge  army, were gathered  to  oppose  him,  and  that  the  road  to  Makkah  was  completely  blocked.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) consulted  his  Companions,  who  were  of  the  opinion  that  they  would  fight  none unless  they  were  debarred from  performing  their  pilgrimage.
 
The  Quraishites,  on  their part,  held  a  meeting  during  which  they  considered  the  whole  situation  and decided  to  resist  the  Prophet’s  mission  at  all  costs.  Two  hundred  horsemen  led  by  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed were despatched  to  take  the  Muslims  by  surprise  during  Zuhr  (the  afternoon) prayer.  However,  the rules  of  prayer  of  fear  were revealed  meanwhile  and  thus  Khalid  and  his  men  missed  the  chance.  The Muslims  avoided  marching  on  that  way  and decided  to  follow  a  rugged  rocky  one.  Here,  Khalid ran  back to  Quraish  to  brief  them  on  the latest  situation. 

When  the  Muslims  reached  a  spot  called Thaniyat  Al-Marar,  the  Prophet’s  camel  stumbled  and  knelt down  and  was  too  stubborn  to  move. Prophet Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  swore  he  would  willingly  accede to  any  plan  they  put  forward  that  would  glorify  Allâh’s  sanctities.  He  then  reprovingly  spurred  his  camel and  it  leapt  up.  They  resumed  their march  and  came  to  pitch  their  tents  at  the  furthest  part  of  Al Hudaibiyah  beside  a  well  of  scanty  water.  The  Muslims  reported  thirst  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  who  took  an  arrow  out  of  his  quiver,  and  placed  it  in  the  ditch.  Water immediately  gushed  forth, and  his  followers  drank  to  their fill.  When  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  rested,  Budail  bin Warqa’  Al-Khuza‘i  with  some  celebrities  of  Khuza‘ah  tribe,  the  Prophet’s  confidants,  came  and  asked him  what  he  had  come  for.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  that  it  was  not  for  war  that  he  had come  forth:  “I  have  no  other design,”  he  said,  “but  to  perform  ‘Umrah  (the  lesser pilgrimage)  in  the Holy  Sanctuary.  Should  Quraish  embrace  the  new  religion,  as  some  people  have  done,  they  are  most welcome,  but  if  they  stand  in  my  way  or  debar  the  Muslims  from  pilgrimage,  I  will  surely  fight  them  to the  last  man,  and  Allâh’s  Order  must  be fulfilled.” The  envoy  carried  the  message  back  to  Quraish,  who sent  another  one  called  Mikraz  bin  Hafs.  On  seeing  him,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said  that  that was  a  treacherous  man.  He  was  given  the  same  message  to  communicate  to  his  people.  He  was followed  by  another  ambassador known  as  Al-Hulais  bin  ‘Alqamah.  He  was  very  much  impressed  by  the spirit  of devotion  that  the  Muslims  had  for  the  Sacred  Ka‘bah.  He  went  back  to  his  men  and  warned them  against  debarring  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  his  Companions  from  doing  honour  to Allâh’s  house  on  the  peril  of  breaking  his  alliance  with  them.  Hulais  was  succeeded  by  ‘Urwa  bin  Mas‘ud Ath-Thaqafi  to  negotiate  with Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .  In  the  course  of discussion  he  said  to the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) : “Muhammad!  Have you  gathered  around yourself  mixed people  and then  brought  them  against  your  kith  and  kin  in  order  to  destroy  them.  By  Allâh  I  think  I  see  you deserted  by  these  people  tomorrow.”  At  this  point  Abu  Bakr  stood  up  and  expressed  his  resentment  at this  imputation.  Al-Mugheerah  bin  Shu‘bah  expressed  the  same  attitude  and reprovingly  forbade  him from  touching  the  Prophet’s  beard.  Here,  Quraish’s  envoy  remarked  indignantly  and  alluded  to  the latter’s  treacherous  act  of  killing  his  companions  and  looting  them  before  he  embraced  Islam. Meanwhile,  ‘Urwah,  during  his  stay  in  the  Muslim  camp,  had  been  closely  watching  the  unfathomable love  and profound respect  that  the followers  of  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  showed  him.  He returned  and  conveyed  to  Quraish  his  impression  that  those  people  could  not  forsake  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  under  any  circumstances.  He  expressed  his  feelings  in  the  following  words: “I have  been  to  Chosroes,  Caesar  and  Negus  in  their  kingdoms,  but  never  have  I  seen  a  king  among  a people like  Muhammad  among  his  Companions.  If  he  performs  his  ablution,  they would  not  let  the  water  thereof  fall  on  the  ground; if  he  expectorates,  they  would  have  the  mucus  to rub  their faces  with; if  he  speaks,  they  would  lower  their voices.  They  will  not  abandon  him for  anything in  any  case.  He,  now,  offers  you  a  reasonable  plan,  so  do  what  you  please.”

Seeing  an  overwhelming  tendency  towards  reconciliation  among  their  chiefs,  some reckless,  fight-prone youngsters  of  Quraish  devised  a  wicked  plan  that  could  hinder  the  peace  treaty.  They decided  to infiltrate  into  the  camp  of  the  Muslims  and  produce  intentional  skirmishes  that  might  trigger  the  fuse  of war.  Muhammad  bin  Maslamah,  chief  of  the  Muslim  guards,  took  them  captives,  but  in  view  of  the farreaching imminent  results  about  to  be  achieved,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  set  them  free.  In  this context  Allâh  says: 

And  He it  is  Who  has  withheld  their  hands  from  you  and your  hands  from  them in  the  midst  of Makkah,  after  He  had  made  you  victors  over  them.”  [48:24] 

Time  passed.  Negotiations  went  on  but  with  no  results.  Then  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) desired  ‘Umar (rashiyallahu anhu)  to  see  the  nobles  of  Quraish  on  his  behalf.  ‘Umar excused  himself  on  account  of  the  personal enmity  of  Quraish;  he  had,  moreover,  no  influential  relatives  in  the  city  who  could  shield  him  from danger;  and  he pointed  to  ‘Uthman  bin  ‘Affan (radhiyallahu anhu),  who  belonged  to  one  of  the  most  powerful  families  in Makkah,  as  the  suitable  envoy.  ‘Uthman  went  to  Abu  Sufyan  and  other  chiefs  and  told  them  that  the Muslims  had  come  only  to  visit  and  pay  their  homage  to  the  Sacred  House,  to  do  worship  there,  and that  they  had  no  intention  to  fight.  He  was  also  asked  to  call  them  to  Islam,  and  give glad  tidings  to  the believers  in  Makkah,  women  and  men,  that  the  conquest  was  approaching  and  Islam  was  surely  to prevail  because  Allâh  would  verily establish  His  religion  in  Makkah.  ‘Uthman  also  assured  them  that after  the  performance  of  ceremonies  they  would  soon  depart  peacefully,  but  the  Quraishites  were adamant  and  not  prepared  to  grant  them  the  permission  to  visit  Al-Ka‘bah.  They,  however,  offered ‘Uthman  the  permission  to  perform  the  pilgrimage,  if  he  so  desired  in  his  individual  capacity,  but ‘Uthman  declined  the  offer  saying:  “How  is  it  possible  that  I  avail  myself  of  this  opportunity,  when  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  denied  of it?”  The  Muslims  anxiously  waited for  the  arrival  of  ‘Uthman with  mingled feelings  of  fear  and  anxiety.  But  his  arrival  was  considerably  delayed  and  a  foul  play  was suspected  on  the  part  of Quraish.  The  Muslims  were  greatly  worried  and  took  a  solemn  pledge  at  the hand  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)   that  they  would  sacrifice  their lives  to  avenge  the death  of their Companion  and  stand  firmly  by  their  master,  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,  under  all conditions.  This  pledge  goes  by  the  name  of  Bay‘at  Ar-Ridwan  (a  covenant  of  fealty).  The  first  men  to take  a  pledge  were  Abu  Sinan  Al-Asadi  and  Salamah  bin  Al-Akwa‘,  who  gave  a  solemn  promise  to  die  in the  cause  of  Truth  three  times,  at  the front  of  the  army,  in  the  middle  and  in  the  rear.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  caught  his  left  hand  on  behalf  of  ‘Uthman.  This  fealty  was  sworn  under  a  tree, with  ‘Umar  holding  the  Prophet’s  hand  and  Ma‘qil  bin  Yasar  holding  a  branch  of  the  tree  up.  The  Noble Qur’ân  has  referred  to  this  pledge  in  the  following  words: 

Indeed,  Allâh  was  pleased  with  the  believers  when  they  gave  their  Bai‘a  (pledge)  to  you  [O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  under  the  tree.” [48:18] 

When  Quraish  saw  the firm  determination  of  the  Muslims  to  shed  the  last  drop  of  blood for  the  defence of  their  Faith,  they  came  to  their  senses  and  realized  that  Prophet Muhammad’s  followers  could  not  be  cowed down  by  these  tactics.  After  some further interchange  of  messages  they  agreed  to  conclude  a  treaty  of reconciliation  and  peace  with  the  Muslims.  The  clauses  of  the  said  treaty  go  as  follows:

1. The  Muslims  shall return  this  time  and  come  back  next  year,  but  they  shall  not  stay in  Makkah for  more  than  three  days. 

2. They  shall  not  come  back  armed  but  can  bring  with  them  swords  only  sheathed  in  scabbards  and these  shall  be  kept  in  bags. 

3. War  activities  shall  be  suspended  for  ten  years,  during  which  both  parties  will  live  in  full  security and  neither  will raise  sword  against  the  other. 

4. If  anyone from  Quraish  goes  over  to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  without  his  guardian’s permission,  he  should  be  sent  back  to  Quraish,  but  should  any  of Prophet Muhammad’s  followers  return to  Quraish,  he  shall  not  be  sent  back. 

5. Whosoever  to  join Prophet Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  or enter  into  treaty  with  him,  should  have the  liberty  to  do  so;  and  likewise  whosoever  wishes  to  join  Quraish,  or enter  into  treaty  with them,  should  be  allowed  to  do  so. 

Some  dispute  arose  with  regard  to  the  preamble.  For example,  when  the  agreement  was  to  be  committed  to  writing,  ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib,  who  acted  as  a  scribe  began  with  the  words:  Bismillâh  irRahman  ir-Raheem,  i.e.,  “In  the  Name  of  Allâh,  the  Most  Beneficent,  the  Most  Merciful” but  the  Makkan plenipotentiary,  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr declared  that  he  knew  nothing  about  Ar-Rahman  and  insisted  upon  the customary formula  Bi-ismika  Allâhumma,  i.e.,  “In  Your  Name,  O  Allâh!” The  Muslims  grumbled  with uneasiness  but  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  agreed.  He  then  went  on  to  dictate,  “This  is  what Muhammad,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh  has  agreed  to  with  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr.” Upon  this  Suhail  again protested: “Had  we  acknowledged  you  as  Prophet,  we  would  not  have  debarred you  from  the  Sacred House,  nor  fought  against  you.  Write  your  own  name  and  the  name  of your father.”  The  Muslims grumbled  as  before  and  refused  to  consent  to  the  change.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  however, in  the  larger  interest  of  Islam,  attached  no  importance  to  such  an  insignificant  detail,  erased  the  words himself,  and  dictated instead: “Muhammad,  the  son  of  ‘Abdullah.”  Soon  after  this  treaty,  Khuza‘a  clan, a  former  ally  of  Banu  Hashim,  joined  the  ranks  of  Prophey Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  and  Banu  Bakr sided  with  Quraish.

It  was  during  this  time  while  the  treaty  was  being  written  that  Abu  Jandal,  Suhail’s  son,  appeared  on the  scene.  He  was  brutally  chained  and  was  staggering  with  privation  and fatigue.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  his  Companions  were  moved  to  pity  and  tried  to  secure  his  release  but  Suhail  was adamant  and  said:  “To  signify  that  you  are faithful  to  your  contract,  an  opportunity  has  just  arrived.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said:  “But  the  treaty  was  not  signed  when  your  son  entered  the camp.” Upon  this,  he  burst  forth  and  said,  “but  the  terms  of  the  treaty  were  agreed  upon.”  It  was indeed  an  anxious  moment.  On  the  one  hand,  Abu  Jandal  was  lamenting  at  the  top  of  his  voice,  “Am  I to  be returned  to  the  polytheists  that  they  might  entice  me  from  my  religion,  O  Muslims!” but,  on  the other  hand,  the  faithful  engagement  was  also  considered  to  be  necessary,  above  all  other considerations.  The  Prophet’s  heart  welled  up  with  sympathy,  but  he  wanted  to  honour  his  word  at  all costs.  He  consoled  Abu  Jandal  and  said,  “Be  patient,  resign  yourself  to  the  Will  of  Allâh.  Allâh  is  going  to provide  for you  and  your  helpless  companions  relief  and  means  of  escape.  We  have  concluded  a  treaty of  peace  with  them  and  we  have  taken  the  pledge in  the  Name  of  Allâh.  We  are,  therefore,  under  no circumstances  prepared  to  break it.”, in silent  resignation  was  therefore,  Abu  Jandal borne  away  with  his  chains. 

When  the  peace  treaty  had  been  concluded,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  ordered  his  Companions to  slaughter  their  sacrificial  animals,  but  they  were  too  depressed  to  do  that.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave  instructions  in  this  regard  three  times  but  with  negative response.  He  told  his  wife Umm Salamah  about  this  attitude  of  his  Companions.  She  advised  that  he  himself  take  the  initiative, slaughter  his  animal  and  have  his  head  shaved.  Seeing  that,  the  Muslims,  with  rended  hearts,  started to  slaughter  their  animals  and  shave  their  heads.  They even  almost  killed  one  another  because  of  their distress.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayed  three  times  for  those  who  shaved  their  heads  and once for  those  who  cut  their  hair.  A  camel  was  sacrificed  on  behalf  of  seven  men  and  a  cow  on  behalf  of the  same  number  of  people.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  sacrificed  a  camel  which  once  belonged to  Abu  Jahl  and  which  the  Muslims  had  seized  as  booty  at  Badr,  thus  enraging  the  polytheists.  During Al-Hudaibiyah  campaign,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  permitted  Ka‘b bin  ‘Ujrah,  who  was  in  a state  of  Ihram  (state  of ritual  consecration  of  the  pilgrim) for  ‘Umrah  (lesser pilgrimage)  to  shave  his head  due  to  illness,  on  the  condition  that  he  will  pay  compensation  by  sacrificing  a  sheep,  fasting  for three  days  or  feeding  six  needy  persons.  Concerning  this,  the  following  verse  was  revealed:

And  whosoever  of you  is  ill  or  has  an  ailment  in  his  scalp (necessitating  shaving),  he  must  pay  a Fidyah  (ransom)  of either fasting (three  days)  or  giving  Sadaqa  (feeding  six  poor persons)  or offering  sacrifice  (one  sheep).” [2:196] 

Meanwhile  some  believing  women  emigrated  to  Madinah  and  asked  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for  refuge  which  they  were  granted.  When  their families  demanded  their return,  he  would  not  hand them  back  because  the  following  verse  was  revealed: 

O you  who  believe!  When  believing  women  come  to  you  as  emigrants,  examine  them,  Allâh knows  best  as  to  their  Faith,  then  if you  know  them  for  true  believers,  send  them  not  back  to  the disbelievers,  they  are  not  lawful  (wives) for  the  disbelievers  nor  are  the disbelievers  lawful (husbands) for  them.  But  give  the  disbelievers  that  (amount  of  money)  which  they  have  spent [as  their  Mahr]  to  them.  And  there  will  be  no  sin  on  you  to  marry  them  if  you  have  paid  their Mahr  to  them.  Likewise  hold  not  the disbelieving  women  as  wives  …”  [60:10] 

The  reason  why  the  believing  women  were  not  handed  back  was  either because  they  were  not  originally included  in  the  terms  of  the  treaty,  which  mentioned  only  men,  or because  the  Qur’ân  abrogated  any terms  dealing  with  women  in  the  verse: 

“O  Prophet!  When  believing  women  come  to  you  to  give  you  the  Bai‘a  (Pledge),  that  they  will  not associate  anything  in  worship  with  Allâh  …”  [60:12] 
This  is  the  verse  which  forbade  Muslim  women  from  marrying  disbelieving  men.  Likewise,  Muslim  men were  commanded  to  terminate  their  marriages  to  disbelieving  women.  In  compliance  with  this injunction,  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) divorced  two  wives  he  had  married  before  he  embraced  Islam; Mu‘awiyah  married  the  first  woman,  and  Safwan  bin  Omaiyah  married  the  second. 

AL HUDAIBIYAH  TREATY:  SOCIO-POLITICAL  IMPACT:

A  series  of  events  confirmed  the  profound  wisdom  and  splendid results  of  the  peace  treaty  which  Allâh called  “a  manifest  victory”.  How  could it  be  otherwise  when  Quraish  had  recognized  the  legitimate Muslims’ existence  on  the  scene  of  political  life  in  Arabia,  and  began  to  deal  with  the  believers  on  equal terms.  Quraish  in  the light  of  the  articles  of  the  treaty,  had  indirectly  relinquished its  claim  to  religious leadership,  and  admitted  that  they  were  no  longer interested  in  people  other  than  Quraish,  and  washed their  hands  of  any  sort  of intervention  in  the religious  future  of  the  Arabian  Peninsula.  The  Muslims  did not  have  in  mind  to  seize  people’s  property  or kill  them  through  bloody  wars,  nor  did  they  ever  think  of pursuing  any  coercive  approaches  in  their  endeavours  to  propagate  Islam,  on  the  contrary,  their  sole target  was  to  provide  an  atmosphere  of freedom  as  regards  ideology  or religion: 

“Then  whosoever  wills,  let  him  believe,  and  whosoever  wills,  let  him  disbelieve.” [18:29] 

The  Muslims,  on  the  other  hand,  had  the  opportunity  to  spread  Islam  over  areas  not  then  explored. When  there  was  armistice,  war  was  abolished,  and  men  met  and  consulted  together,  none  talked  about Islam  intelligently  without  entering  it;  within  the  two  years  following  the  conclusion  of  the  treaty  double as  many  entered  Islam  as  ever before.  This  is  supported by  the  fact  that  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) went  out  to  Al-Hudaibiyah  with  only  1,400  men,  but  when  he  set  out  to  liberate  Makkah,  two years  later,  he  had  10,000  men  with  him.

The  article  of  the  treaty  pertaining  to  cessation  of  hostilities  for  ten  years  points  directly  to  the  utter failure  of  political  haughtiness  exercised by  Quraish  and its  allies,  and  functions  as  evidence  of  the collapse  and impotence  of  the  war  instigator. 

Quraish had  been  obliged  to  lose  those  advantages  in  return  for  one  seemingly  in  its  favour  but  does  not actually  bear  any  harm  against  the  Muslims,  i.e.,  the  article  that  speaks  of  handing  over  believing  men who  seek refuge  with  the  Muslims  without  their  guardians’  consent  to  Quraish.  At  first  glance,  it  was  a most  distressing  clause  and  was  considered  objectionable  in  the  Muslim  camp.  However,  in  the  course of  events,  it  proved  to  be  a  great  blessing.  The  Muslims  sent  back  to  Makkah  were  not  likely  to renounce  the  blessings  of  Islam;  contrariwise,  those  very  Muslims  turned  out  to  be  centres  of influence for  Islam.  It  was  impossible  to  think  that  they  would  become  apostates  or renegades.  The  wisdom behind  this  truce  assumed  its  full  dimensions  in  some  subsequent  events.  After  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  reached  Madinah,  Abu  Baseer,  who  had  escaped  from  Quraish,  came  to  him  as  a Muslim;  Quraish  sent  two  men  demanding  his  return,  so  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  handed  him over  to  them.  On  the  way  to  Makkah,  Abu  Baseer managed  to  kill  one  of  them,  and  the  other  one fled to  Madinah  with  Abu  Baseer  in  pursuit.  When  he reached  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,  he  said, “Your  obligation  is  over  and  Allâh  has  freed  you  from  it.  You  duly  handed  me  over  to  the  men,  and  Allâh has  rescued  me  from  them.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “Woe  is  his  mother,  he  would  have kindled  a  war  if  there  had  been  others  with  him.”  When  he  heard  that,  he  knew  that  he  would  be handed  back  to  them,  so  he fled  from  Madinah  and  went  as  far  as  Saif  Al-Bahr.  The  other  Muslims  who were  oppressed  in  Makkah  began  to  escape  to  Abu  Baseer.  He  was  joined  by  Abu  Jandal  and  others until  a  fair-sized  colony  was  formed  and  soon  sought  revenge  on  Quraish  and  started  to  intercept  their caravans.  The  pagans  of  Makkah  finding  themselves  unable  to  control  those  exiled  colonists,  begged the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  to  do  away  with  the  clause  which  governed  the  extradition.  They implored  him  by  Allâh  and  by  their  ties  of  kinship  to  send  for  the  group,  saying  that  whoever  joined  the Muslims  in  Madinah  would  be  safe  from  them.  So  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sent  for  the  group and  they  responded,  as  expected,  positively.

These  are  the  realities  of  the  clauses  of  the  truce  treaty  and  as  it  seems  they  all  function  in  favour  of the  nascent  Islamic  state.  However,  two  points  in  the  treaty  made  it  distasteful  to  some  Muslims, namely  they  were  not  given  access  to  the  Holy  Sanctuary  that  year,  and  the  seemingly  humiliating attitude  as  regards  reconciliation  with  the  pagans  of Quraish.  ‘Umar (radhoyallahu anhu),  unable  to  contain  himself for  the distress  taking full  grasp  of  his  heart,  went  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  said: “Aren’t  you the  true  Messenger  of  Allâh?” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  calmly,  “Why  not?”  ‘Umar  again spoke  and  asked: “Aren’t  we  on  the  path  of righteousness  and  our  enemies  in  the  wrong?”  Without showing  any resentment,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  that  it  was  so.  On  getting  this  reply he  further  urged: “Then  we  should  not  suffer  any  humiliation  in  the  matter  of  Faith.” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  unruffled  and  with  perfect  confidence  said: “I  am  the  true  Messenger  of  Allâh, I  never  disobey  Him,  He  shall  help  me.” “Did you  not  tell  us,”  rejoined  ‘Umar,  “that  we  shall  perform pilgrimage?”  “But  I  have  never  told  you,” replied  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  “that  we  shall  do  so this  very year.” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was  silenced.  But  his  mind  was  disturbed.  He  went  to  Abu  Bakr  and  expressed his  feelings  before  him.  Abu  Bakr   confirmed  what  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  told  him.  In  due  course  the  Chapter of  Victory (48th)  was  revealed  saying: 

Verily,  We  have  given  you  [O  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  a  manifest  victory.”  [48:1] 

The  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  summoned  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and  imported  to  him  the  happy  tidings. ‘Umar  was  overjoyed,  and  greatly regretted  his  former  attitude.  He  used  to  spend  in  charity,  observe fasting  and  prayer  and free  as  many  slaves  as  possible in  expiation  for  that  reckless  attitude  he  had assumed. 

The  early  part  of  the  year  7  A.H.  witnessed  the  Islamization  of  three prominent  men  of  Makkah,  ‘Amr bin  Al-‘As,  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed  and  ‘Uthman  bin  Talhah.  On  their  arrival  and  entrance  into  the fold  of Islam,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,  “Quraish  has  given  us  its  own  blood.”

CONQUEST OF MAKKAH

Ibn Al-Qayyim  described  the  conquest  of  Makkah  as  the  greatest  one  by  which  Allâh  honoured  His religion,  Messenger,  soldiers  and  honest  party.  He  thereby rescued  the  Sacred  House,  whose  guidance all  people  seek.  It  was  the  greatest  propitious  event  in  heaven  and  on  earth.  It  was  the  most  significant prelude  to  a  new  era  that  was  to  witness  the  great  march  of  Islamization  and  the  entry  of people  into the  fold  of  Islam  in  huge  hosts.  It  provided  an  ever  shining  face  and  a  most  glowing  source  of inspiration  to  the  whole  earth. 

Pre-Conquest  Events:

According  to  the  terms  of  the  treaty  of  Hudaibiyah,  the  Arab  tribes  were  given  the  option  to  join  either of  the  parties,  the  Muslims  or Quraish,  with  which  they  desired  to  enter  into  treaty  alliance.  Should  any of  these  tribes  suffer  aggression,  then  the  party  to  which  it  was  allied  would  have  the  right  to  retaliate. As  a  consequence,  Banu  Bakr  joined  Quraish,  and  Khuza’ah  joined  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They  thus  lived  in  peace for  sometime  but  ulterior motives  stretching  back  to  pre-Islamic  period  ignited by  unabated  fire  of revenge  triggered  fresh  hostilities.  Banu  Bakr,  without  caring  a  bit  for  the  provisions of  the  treaty,  attacked  Banu  Khuza’ah  in  a  place  called  Al-Wateer in  Sha’ban,  8  A.H.  Quraish  helped Banu  Bakr  with  men  and  arms  taking  advantage  of  the  dark  night.  Pressed  by  their  enemies,  the tribesmen  of  Khuza’ah  sought  the  Holy  Sanctuary,  but  here  too,  their lives  were  not  spared,  and, contrary  to  all  accepted  traditions,  Nawfal,  the  chief  of  Banu  Bakr,  chasing  them  in  the  sanctified  area  – where  no  blood  should  be  shed  – massacred  his  adversaries. 

When  the  aggrieved  party  sought  justice  from  their  Muslim  allies,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), as their leader,  demanded  an  immediate  redress  for  not  only  violating  the  treaty but  also  slaying  men allied  to  him in  the  sanctified  area.  Three demands  were  made,  the  acceptance  of  any  one  of  them  was imperative: 

a)  to  pay  blood  money  for  the  victims  of  Khuza’ah, 
b)  to  terminate  their  alliance  with  Banu  Bakr;  or 
c)  to  consider  the  truce  to  have  been  nullified. 

This  behaviour  on  the  part  of  Quraish  was  clearly  a  breach  of  the  treaty  of  Al-Hudaibiyah  and  was obviously  an  act  of  hostility  against  the  allies  of  the  Muslims,  i.e.  Banu  Khuza’ah.  Quraish  immediately realized  the  grave  situation  and  feared  the  horrible  consequences  looming  on  the  horizon.  They immediately  called  for  an  emergency  meeting  and  decided  to  delegate  their  chief  Abu  Sufyan  to Madinah  for  a  renewal  of  the  truce.  He  directly  headed for  the  house  of  his  daughter  Umm  Habiba  (the Prophet’s  wife).  But  as  he  went  to  sit  on  the  Messenger’s  carpet,  she  folded  it  up.  “My  daughter,”  said he,  “I  hardly  knew  if  you  think  the  carpet  is  too  good for  me  or  that  I  am  too  good for  the  carpet.”  She replied,  “It  is  the  Messenger  of  Allâh’s  carpet,  and you  are  an  unclean  polytheist.” 

Being disgusted  at  the  curt  reply  of  his  daughter,  Abu  Sufyan  stepped  out  of  her room  and  went  to  see the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  but  the  latter  was  well  aware  of  his  tricks  and  did  not  hold  him  any assurance.  He  then  approached  Abu  Bakr,  but  the latter  too  declined  to  interfere.  He  contacted  ‘Umar to  intercede but  this  great  Companion  made  a  point-blank  refusal.  At  last  he  saw  ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib  and began  begging  him  in  the  most  humble  words,  cunningly  alluding  to  the  prospects  of  mastery  over  all the  Arabs  if  he  were  to  intercede  for  the  renewal  of  the  treaty.  ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) also  briefly regretted  his  inability  to do  anything  for  him.  Abu  Sufyan  turned  his  steps  back  to  Makkah  in  a  state  of bitter disappointment and  utter  horror.  There  he  submitted  a  report  of  his  meeting  with  his  daughter,  Abu  Bakr,  ‘Umar  and ‘Ali’s  reaction  and  the  meaningful  silence  of  the  Prophet.  The  Makkans  were  dismayed,  but  did  not expect  imminent  danger. 

Preparations  for  the  Attack  on  Makkah,  and  the  Prophet’s  Attempt  at  imposing  a  News  Black out:

On  the  authority  of  At-Tabari,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  asked ‘Aishah (radhiyallahu anha)  his spouse  three  days  prior  to  receiving  news  relating  to  breaching  of  covenant,  to  make  preparations peculiar  to  marching  out  for  war.  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu),  meanwhile,  came  in  and  asked  ‘Aishah  (radhiyallahu anha)  what  the matter  was,  showing  surprise  at  the  preparations  being  made  as  it  was  not,  as  he  said,  the  usual  time for  war.  She  replied  that  she  had  no  idea.  On  the  morning  of  the  third  day ‘Amr  bin  Sâlim  Al-Khuza’i arrived  in  the  company  of  forty  horsemen  to  brief  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  on  the  plight  of  his people  and  seeking  the  Muslims’  help  for retaliation.  People  of  Madinah  then  got  to  know  that  Quraish had  breached  the  covenant.  Budail followed ‘Amr,  and  then  Abu  Sufyan  and  the  news  was  unequivocally confirmed. 

With  view  of  securing  a  complete  news  black-out  concerning  his  military intentions,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) despatched  an  eight-men  platoon  under  the  leadership  of  Qatadah  bin  Rab’i  in  the direction  of  Edam,  a  short  distance  from  Madinah,  in  Ramadan  8  A.H.,  in  order  to  divert  the  attention  of people  and  screen  off  the  main  target  with  which  he  was  pre-occupied. 

There  was  so  much  dread  and  fear everywhere  that  Hatib,  one  of  the  most  trusted  followers  of  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  secretly despatched  a  female  messenger  with  a  letter  to  Makkah  containing intimation  of  the  intended  attack.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) received  news  from  the  heaven  of Hatib’s  action  and  sent  ‘Ali  and  Al-Miqdad (radhiyallahu anhum) with  instructions  to  go  after  her.  They  overtook  the messenger,  and  after  a  long  search  discovered  the  letter  carefully  hidden  in  her locks.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) summoned  Hatib  and  asked  him  what  had  induced  him  to  this  act.  He replied,  “O Messenger  of  Allâh  peace  be  upon  him!  I  have  no  affinity  of blood  with  Quraish;  there is  only  a  kind  of friendly relationship  between  them  and  myself.  My  family is  at  Makkah  and  there  is  no  one  to  look  after it  or  to  offer protection  to  it.  My  position  stands  in  striking  contrast  to  that  of  the  refugees  whose families  are  secure  due  to  their blood  ties  with  Quraish.  I  felt  that  since  I  am  not  related  to  them,  I should,  for  the  safety  of  my  children,  earn  their gratitude  by doing  good  to  them.  I  swear  by  Allâh  that  I have  not  done  this  act  as  an  apostate,  forsaking  Islam.  I  was  prompted  only  by  the  considerations  I have  just  explained.” 

‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) wanted  to  cut  his  head  off  as  a  hypocrite,  but  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) accepted  his excuse  and  granted  him  pardon,  then  addressed  ‘Umar  saying:  “Hatib is  one  of  those  who  fought  in  the battle  of  Badr.  How  do  you  know  that  he is  a  hypocrite?  Allâh  is  likely  to  look favourably  on  those  who participated  in  that  battle.  Turning  then,  to  Hatib,  he  said:  “Do  as  you  please,  for  I  have  forgiven  you.” 

After  making  full preparation,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) proceeded  to  Makkah  at  the  head  of  ten thousand  soldiers  on  the  10th  of  Ramadan,  8  A.H.  He  mandated  Abu  Ruhm  Al-Ghifari  to  dispose  the affairs  of  Madinah  during  his  absence.  When  they reached  Al-Juhfa,  Al-‘Abbas  bin  ‘Abdul  Muttalib  and his  family  came  to  join  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  At  Al-Abwa’,  the  Muslims  came  across  Abu Sufyan  bin  Al-Harith  and  ‘Abdullah  bin  Omaiyah,  the  Prophet’s  cousins,  but,  on  account  of  the  harm they  had  inflicted,  and  their  satiric  language,  on  the  believers,  they  were  not  welcomed.  ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) addressed Abu  Sufyan  to  go  and  beseech  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for  pardon  and  confess  his  ill-behaviour in  a  manner  similar  to  that  of  Yusuf’s  (the  Prophet  Joseph)  brothers: 

They  said: ‘By  Allâh!  Indeed  Allâh  has  preferred  you  above  us,  and  we  certainly  have  been sinners.’”  [12:91]  Abu  Sufyan  observed  ‘Ali’s  (radhiyallahu anhu’s) counsel,  to  which  the  Prophet  quoted  Allâh’s  Words: 

He  said: ‘No  reproach  on  you  this  day,  may  Allâh  forgive  you,  and  He  is  the  Most  Merciful  of  those  who show  mercy!‘” [12:92] 

Abu  Sufyan  recited  some  verses  paying  a  generous  tribute  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and professing  Islam  as  his  only  religion.  The  Muslims  then  marched  on  in  a  state  of fasting  until  they reached  a  place  called  Al-Qadeed  where water  was  available.  There  they broke  fast  and  resumed  their  movement  towards  Mar  Az-Zahran.  The Quraishites  were  quite  unaware  of  the development  of  affairs,  but  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  did not  like  to  take  them  by  surprise.  He,  therefore,  ordered  his  men  to  kindle  fire  on  all  sides  for  cooking purposes.  The  idea  behind  this  was  that  Quraish  should  be  afforded  full  opportunity  to  assess  the situation  in  which  they  were  pitchforked  correctly,  and  should  not  endanger  their lives  by  leaping  blindly in  the  battlefield.  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab  was  entrusted  with  the  guard  duty.  In  the  meanwhile,  Abu Sufyan  along  with  Hakim  bin  Hizam  and  Budail  bin  Warqua’,  two  terrible  polytheists,  went  out  to reconnoiter.  Before  they  got  near  the  camp,  they  met  ‘Abbas,  the  Prophet’s  uncle.  He  apprised  Abu Sufyan  of  the  situation  and  advised  him  to  accept  Islam  and  persuade  his  people  to  surrender before Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) otherwise,  his  head  would  be  struck  off. 

Under  the  prevailing  compelling  circumstances,  Abu  Sufyan  went  in  the  company  of ‘Abbas  seeking  the Prophet’s  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  audience.  The  Muslims  were  furious  to  see  Abu  Sufyan  and  wanted  to  kill him  on  the  spot.  But  the  two  men  managed,  not  without  difficulties,  to  see  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  who  advised  that  they  see  him  the  following  day.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) addressed  Abu  Sufyan  saying: “Woe  to  you!  Isn’t  it  time for  you  to  bear  witness  to  the  Oneness  of  Allâh and  Prophethood  of  Muhammad?”  Here,  the  archenemy  of  Islam  began  to  beseech  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  in  the  most  earnest  words  that  testify  to  the  Prophet’s  generosity  and  mild  temper  begging for  pardon  and  forgiveness,  and  professing  wholeheartedly  the  new  faith.  On  request  by  ‘Abbas,  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  in  the  context  of  the  general  amnesty  he  proclaimed,  gave  Abu  Sufyan, who  had  a  liking  for bragging,  a  special  privilege,  saying:  “He  who  takes  refuge  in  Abu  Sufyan’s  house is  safe;  whosoever  confines  himself  to  his  house,  the  inmates  thereof  shall  be in  safety,  and  he  who enters  the  Sacred  Mosque  is  safe.”

On  the  morning  of  Tuesday,  17th.  Ramadan,  8  A.H.,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  left  Mar  Az Zahran.  He  ordered  Al-‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)  to  detain  Abu  Sufyan  at  a  commanding  gorge  that  could  afford  a  full view of  the  Muslim  army  parading  on  its  way  towards  Makkah,  and  hence  give  him  the  chance  to  see  the great  and  powerful  soldiers  of  Allâh.  The  different  tribes  successively  passed  with  their  banners  flown up,  until  at  last  the  battalion  of  the  Emigrants  and  Helpers  with  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at  their head  heavily  armed  marched  by.  Abu  Sufyan  began  to  wonder  who  those  people  were,  to  which  Al’Abbas  told  him  that  they  were  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  his  Companions.  Abu  Sufyan  said that  no  army  however powerful  could resist  those  people  and  addressing  Al-‘Abbas,  he  said: “I  swear by  Allâh  that  the  sovereignty  of your  brother’s  son  has  become  too  powerful  to  withstand.”  Al-‘Abbas answered,  “It  is  rather  the  power  of  Prophethood,”  to  which  the  former  agreed. 

Sa’d  bin  ‘Ubadah (radhiyallahu anhu) carried  the  flag  of  the  Helpers.  When  he  passed by  Abu  Sufyan,  he  said  “Today  will witness  the  great  fight,  you  cannot  seek  sanctuary  at  Al-Ka’bah.  Today  will  witness  the  humiliation  of Quraish.”  Abu  Sufyan  complained  about  this  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  who  got  angry  and  said “Nay,  today  Al-Ka’bah  will  be  sanctified,  and  Quraish  honoured,”  and  quickly  ordered  that  Sa’d  should be  stripped  off  the  flag,  and  that  it  should  be  entrusted  to  his  son  Qais ibn Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu),  in  another version,  to  Az Zubair. 

Al-‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) urged  Abu  Sufyan  to  hasten  into  Makkah  and  warn  the  Quraishites  against  any  aggressive behaviour  towards  the  Muslims.  There  in  Makkah,  he  shouted  at  the  top  of  his  voice  and  warned  against any  hostilities  advising  them  to  seek  safety in  his  house.  His  wife  got  indignant  and  tugged  at  his moustache  cursing  him  and  abusing  his  cowardly  stance.  The  people  within  Makkah  mocked  Abu  Sufyan and  dispersed  in  different  directions,  some  into  their  houses,  others  into  the  Holy  Sanctuary  while  some undisciplined  reckless  ruffians  led  by  ‘Ikrimah  bin  Abi Jahl,  Safwan  bin  Omaiyah  and  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr encamped  themselves  in  a  place  called  Khandamah,  with  a  murderous  intent  in  their  minds. 

The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  on  his  part,  was  quite  modestly  and  calmly  drawing  the  final  touches for  the  military  breakthrough  awaiting  the  Muslims,  by  Allâh’s  Will.  He  appointed  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed (radhiyallahu anhu) as  a  leader  of  the  right  flank  of  the  army  with  Aslam,  Sulaim,  Ghifar,  Muzainah  and  Juhainah  tribes under  his  command  to  enter Makkah  through  its  lower  avenues.  Az-Zubair  bin  ‘Awwam  was  to  lead  the left  flank  and  would  storm  Makkah  from  the  upper  side  holding  up  the  Messenger’s  banner.  Abu ‘Ubaidah  took  command  of  the  infantry  and  was  to  penetrate  into  the  city via  a  side  valley.  They  were given  full  and decisive  orders  not  to  kill  unless  in  self  defence  and  in  that  case  they  would  exterminate any  aggressive  elements  and  quell  any  opposition. 

The  Muslim  battalions  marched  out  each  in  its  already drawn  route  to  fulfill  the  missions  they  were supposed  to  carry  out.  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed  worked  his  way  into  the  heart  of  the  town  quite successively  killing  twelve  of  the ruffians  and  sustaining  two  martyrs.  Az-Zubair  set  out  and reached  the fixed destination  where  he  planted  the  banner  at  Al-Fath  (conquest)  Mosque  and  waited  there for  the arrival  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  A  tent  was  pitched  for  him  where  he  offered  prayers  of thanks  to  the  All-Mighty  Allâh,  Who,  out  of  His  immense  grace,  had  granted  him  a  splendid victory.  But he  did  not  repose  long.  He,  in  the  company  of  the  Helpers  and  Emigrants,  got  up  and  proceeded towards  Al-Ka’bah,  the  Sacred  House,  which  is  an  emblem  of  the  Oneness  and  Supremacy  of  Allâh.  It was  unfortunately  infested  with  idols  that  numbered  360.  He  knocked  them  down  with  his  bow  while reciting  the verse  of  the  Noble  Qur’ân: 

And  Say: ‘Truth  (i.e.  Islam has  come  and Batil (falsehood,  i.e.  Satan  or polytheism,  etc.)  has  vanished.  Surely!  Batil  is  ever  bound  to vanish.‘”  [17:81] 

And  Allâh  further  said:  “Say (O  Muhammad  sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “The  Truth  (the  Qur’ân  and  Allah’s  Inspiration)  has  come,  and Al-Batil (falsehood  –  Iblis)  can  neither  create  anything  nor resurrect  (any  thing).” [34:49] 

He  then started  the  usual  circumambulation  on  his  ride.  He  was  not  in  a  state  of  Ihram (ritual  consecration) then.  On  completion,  he  called for ‘Uthman  bin  Talhah,  the  janitor  of  Al-Ka’bah,  from  whom  he  took  the key.  He  went  in  and  saw  images  of  Prophets  Ibrahim  and  Ishmael (alayhimussalaam),  throwing  divination  arrows. He  denounced  these  acts  of Quraish  and  ordered  that  all  idols  be dismantled,  images  and effigies deleted.  He  then  entered  the  sacred  hall  to  face  the  wall  opposite  the door  and  there  again  performed devout  prostrations,  and  went  around  acclaiming  Allâh’s  Greatness  and  Oneness.  Shortly  afterwards,  he returned  to  the  door-way  and  standing  upon  its  elevated  step,  gazed  in  thankfulness  on  the  thronging multitude  below  and  delivered  the  following  celebrated  address: 

There  is  no  god  but  Allâh  Alone.  He  has  no  associates.  He  made good  His  Promise  that  He  held  to  His slave  and  helped  him  and  defeated  all  the Confederates  along.  Bear in  mind  that  every  claim  of privilege,  whether  that  of  blood,  or property,  is  under my  heel,  except  that  of  the  custody  of  Al-Ka’bah and  supplying  of  water  to  the  pilgrims.  Bear in  mind  that  for  anyone  who  is  slain,  even  though  semideliberately,  with  club  or  whip,  for  him  the  blood-money is  very  severe:  a  hundred  camels,  forty  of them  to  be  pregnant. 

O  people  of  Quraish!  surely  Allâh  has  abolished  from  you  all  pride  of  the  pre-Islamic  era  and  all  conceit in  your  ancestry,  (because)  all  men  are  descended  from  Adam,  and  Adam  was  made  out  of  clay.”  He then  recited  to  them  the  verse: 

O  mankind!  We  have  created you  from  a  male  and  a  female,  and  made  you  into  nations  and  tribes, that  you  may  know  one  another.  Verily,  the  most  honourable  of  you  near  Allâh  is  that  (believer)  who has  At-Taqwa  [i.e.  one  of  the  Muttaqûn:  i.e.  pious  and righteous  persons  who  fear  Allâh  much  (abstain from  all  kinds  of  sins  and  evil  deeds  which  He  has  forbidden),  and  love  Allâh  much  (perform  all  kinds  of good  deeds  which  He  has  ordained)].  Verily,  Allâh  is  All-Knowing,  All-Aware.”  [49:13]  He further  added:

O  you  people  of  Quraish!  What  do  you  think  of  the  treatment  that  I  am  about  to  accord  to  you?” They replied: 

O  noble brother  and  son  of  noble brother!  We  expect  nothing  but  goodness  from  you.”  Upon  this  he said: 

I  speak  to  you  in  the  same  words  as  Yusuf (the  Prophet  Joseph)  spoke  unto  his  brothers:  He  said:  “No reproach  on  you  this  day,” [12:92] go  your  way,  for you  are freed  ones.”  As  for  the  door-keeping  of  Al-Ka’bah  and  supplying  of  water  to  pilgrims,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered  that  these  jobs remain  in  the  hand  of ‘Uthman  bin  Talhah  and  that  the  key  will  stay  with  him  and  his  descendants  for ever. 

When  time  for prayer  approached,  Bilal (radgiyallahu anhu) ascended  Al-Ka’bah  and  called for  prayer.  Abu  Sufyan  bin  Harb, ‘Itab  bin  Usaid  and  Al-Harith  bin  Hisham  were  meanwhile  sitting  in  the  yard.  ‘Itab  bin  Usaid  commented on  the  new  situation  (Bilal  ascending  Al-Ka’bah  and  calling  for prayer)  saying  that  Allâh  honoured  Usaid (his  father)  having  not  heard  such  words.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approached  and  assisted  by Divine  Revelation  told  them  that  he  had  learnt  about  what  they  had  spoken  of.  Al-Harith  and  ‘Itab, taken  by incredible  surprise,  immediately professed  Islam  and bore  witness  to  the  Messengership  of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) adding  that  “We  swear  by  Allâh  that  none  had  been  with  us  to  inform you.” 

On  that  very  day,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  entered ‘Umm  Hani’s (radhiyallahu anha) house  where  he  washed  and offered  prayers  of victory.  ‘Umm  Hani  had  sheltered  two  Makkan  relatives  of  hers  in  her  house  in  which act  she  was  granted  support  by  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. 

Shedding  blood  of  nine  arch-criminals  was  declared  lawful even  under  the  curtains  of  Al-Ka’bah. Nevertheless,  only four  of  them  were  killed  while  the  others  were  pardoned  for  different  reasons.  As  for those  who  were  killed,  mention  could  be  made  of ‘Abdul ‘Uzza  bin  Khatal  who  had  become  a  Muslim  and then  deputed  to  collect  alms-tax in  the  company  of  a  Helper.  They  had  also  a  slave  with  them. ‘Abdullah,  in  a  fit  of  rage,  killed  the  Helper’s  slave  on  account  of  a  mere  trifling  dispute,  and  joined  the pagan  Arabs  as  an  apostate.  He  was  never repentant  at  this  heinous  crime  but  rather  employed  two women  singers  and  incited  them  to  sing  satirically  about  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). 

The  other  man  who  was  put  to  death  was  Miqyas  bin  Sababa.  He  was  a  Muslim.  A  Helper  accidently killed  his  brother  Hisham.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  arranged  the  payment  of  blood  money  to him,  which  he  had  accepted.  His  revengeful  nature,  however,  was  never  appeased,  so  he  killed  the Helper  and  went  to  Makkah  as  an  apostate. 

Similarly,  Huwairith  and  one  woman  singer  went  to  death. 

On  the  other  hand,  every  attempt  was  made  to  grant  pardon  to  the  people.  ‘Ikrimah  bin  Abu  Jahl,  who had  attacked  Khalid’s  detachment  at  the  time  of  the  entry  into  Makkah,  was  forgiven.  To  Wahshi,  the murderer  of  Hamzah,  the  Prophet’s  uncle,  and  to  Hind,  who  had  chewed  his  liver,  was  also  extended  his generous  clemency.  The  same  generous  treatment  was  accorded  to  Habar  who  had  attacked  the Prophet’s  daughter  with  a  spear,  while  on  her  way from  Makkah  to  Madinah,  so  grievously  that  she ultimately  died  of  the fatal  injuries. 

In  the  same  context  of  magnanimity  peculiar  to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  two  chiefs  of  Quraish were pardoned  once  they  had  embraced  Islam.  They  were  Safwan  bin  Omaiyah  and  Fudalah  bin  ‘Umair. The  latter  had  attempted  to  assassinate  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  while  circumambulating  in  the Holy  Sanctuary.  The  Prophet’s  matchless  tolerance  and  broad-mindedness  instigated  by  his  mission  as ‘A  mercy  to  all people’,  converted  a  terrible  hypocrite into  a  faithful  devout  believer. 

On  the  second  day  of  the  great  conquest,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stood  up  and  addressed  the people in  matters  relating  to  the  holy  status  of  Makkah.  After  entertaining  Allâh’s  praise,  he  proclaimed that  Makkah  was  a  holy  land  and  would remain  so  till  the  Day  of Judgement.  No  bloodshed  was  allowed therein.  Should  anyone  take  the  liberty  of fighting  within  Makkah  on  grounds  derived from  the  events that  characterized  the  conquest,  he  should  remember  that  it  had  been  a  licence  granted  temporarily  to the  Prophet,  and  virtually  does  not  go  for  others.  Ibn  ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)  narrated: The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:  “Allâh  has  made  Makkah,  a  sanctuary,  so  it  was  a  sanctuary before  me  and  will  continue  to  be a  sanctuary  after me.  It  was  made legal for  me (i.e.  I  was  allowed  to  fight  in  it)  for  a  few  hours  of  a day.  It  is  not  allowed  to  uproot  its  shrubs  or  to  cut  its  trees,  or  to  chase (or  disturb)  its  game,  or  to  pick up  its  fallen  things  except  by  a  person  who  would  announce  that  (what  has  found)  publicly.”  Al-‘Abbas said:  “O  Allâh’s  Messenger!  Except  the  lemon  grass  (for it  is  used)  by  our goldsmiths  and  for  our homes.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then  said: “Except  the lemon  grass.”  In  this  context,  out  of the  spirit  of revenge,  the  tribesmen  of  Khuza’ah  killed  a  man  from  Laith  Tribe.  Here  the  Prophet  was indignant  and  ordered  Khuza’ah  to  stop  those  pre-Islamic  practices.  He,  moreover,  gave  the  family  of anyone  killed  the  right  to  consider either  of  two  options,  blood-money  or  just  retribution  (the  killer is killed). 

After  having  delivered  his  address,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  rode  to  a  small  hill,  Safa,  not  far from  Al-Ka’bah.  Turning  his  face  towards  the  Sacred  House,  amidst  a  vast  admiring  and devotional multitude,  he raised  his  hand  in  fervent  prayer  to  Allâh.  The  citizens  of  Madinah  who  had  gathered round  him  entertained  fear,  as  Allâh  had  given  him  victory  over  his  native  city,  he  might  choose  to  stay here.  He  insisted  on  explanation  of  their fear  and  so  they  spoke  openly.  He  immediately  dispelled  their fears  and  assured  them  that  he  had  lived  with  them  and  would  die  with  them.

Immediately  after  the  great  conquest,  the  Makkans  came  to  realize  that  the  only  way  to  success  lay in the  avenue  of  Islam.  They  complied  with  the  new  realities  and  gathered  to  pledge  fealty  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  The  men  came  first  pledging full  obedience in  all  areas  they  can  afford.  Then  came the  women  to  follow  the  men’s  example.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  with  ‘Umar  bin  Al-Khattab receiving  the  pledge  of fealty  and  communicating  to  them  for  him.  Hind  bint  ‘Utbah,  Abu  Sufyan’s  wife, came  in  the  trail  of  women  disguised lest  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  should recognize  and  account for  her,  having  chewed  the  liver  of  Hamzah (radhiyallahu anhu),  his  uncle.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) accepted  their allegiance  on  condition  that  they  associate  none  with  Allâh,  to  which  they immediately  agreed.  He added  that  they  should  not  practise  theft.  Here  Hind  complained  that  her  husband,  Abu  Sufyan,  was tight-fisted.  Her  husband  interrupted  granting  all  his  worldly  possessions  to  her.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  laughed  and recognized  the  woman.  She  implored  him  to  extend  his  pardon  to  her  and  efface all  her previous  sins.  Some  other  conditions  were  appended  including  the  prohibition  of  adultery, infanticide  or  forging  falsehood.  To  all  these  orders,  Hind  replied  positively  swearing  that  she  would  not have  come  to  take  an  oath  of  allegiance  if  she  had  had  the  least  seed  of disobedience  to  him.  On returning  home,  she  broke  her  idol  admitting  her  delusion  as  regards  stone-gods. 

The  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stayed  in  Makkah  for  19  days.  During  that  period  he  used  to define  the  way  to  Islam,  guide  people  to  the  orthodox path.  He  ordered  Abu  Usaid  Al-Khuza’i  to  restore the  pillars  of  the  Holy  Sanctuary,  sent  missions  to  all  quarters  inviting  them  to  adopt  Islam  and  break down  the  graven  images  still  lying  in  the  vicinity  of  Makkah,  and  he  did  have  all  of  them  scrapped, inculcating  in  the  believers’  ears  his  words: 

Whoever  believes  in  Allâh  and  the  Hereafter is  supposed  to  scrap  out  the  idols  that  should  happen  to be  in  his  house.” 

Shortly  after  the great  conquest,  the  Prophet  peace  be  upon  him  began  to  despatch  platoons  and errands  aiming  at  eliminating  the  last  symbols  reminiscent  of  pre-Islamic  practices.  He  sent  Khalid  bin Al-Waleed  in  Ramadan  8  A.H.  to  a  spot  called  Nakhlah  where  there  was  a  goddess  called  Al-‘Uzza venerated  by  Quraish  and  Kinanah  tribes.  It  had  custodians  from  Bani  Shaiban.  Khalid,  at  the  head  of thirty  horsemen  arrived  at  the  spot  and  exterminated  it.  On  his  return,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi easallam)  him asked  him  if  he  had  seen  anything  there,  to  which  Khalid  gave  a  negative  answer.  Here,  he  was  told that  it  had  not  been  destroyed  and  he  had  to  go  there  again  and  fulfill  the  task.  He  went  back  again  and there  he  saw  a  black  woman,  naked  with  torn  hair.  Khalid  struck  her  with  his  sword into  two  parts.  He returned  and  narrated  the  story  to  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  who  then  confirmed  the  fulfillment of  the  task. 

Later,  in  the  same  month,  ‘Amr bin  Al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) was  sent  on  an  errand  to  destroy  another  idol,  venerated  by Hudhail,  called  Suwa’.  It  used  to  stand  at  a  distance  of  three kilometres  from  Makkah.  On  a  question posed by  the  door-keeper,  ‘Amr  said  he  had  been  ordered  by  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  to  knock down  the  idol.  The  man  warned  ‘Amr  that  he  would  not  be  able  to  do  it.  ‘Amr  was  surprised  to  see someone  still in  the  wrong,  approached  the  idol  and  destroyed  it,  then  he  broke  the  casket  beside it  but found  nothing.  The  man  immediately  embraced  Islam.  Sa’d  bin  Zaid  Al-Ashhali  was  also  sent  in  the same  month  and  on  the  same  mission  to  Al-Mashallal  to  destroy  an  idol,  Manat,  venerated  by  both  Al Aws  and  Al-Khazraj  tribes.  Here  also  a  black  woman, with  messy  hair  appeared  wailing  and beating  on  her  chest.  Sa’d  immediately killed  her,  destroyed  the  idol  and  broke  the  casket  and returned at  the  conclusion  of  his  errand. 

That  is  the  story  of  the  conquest  of  Makkah  and  the  decisive  battle  that  exterminated  paganism  once and for  all.  The  other  tribes  in  the  Arabian  Peninsula  were  waiting  and  closely  watching  the  final outcome  of  the  bitter  struggle  between  the  Muslims  and  idolaters,  already  convinced  that  the  Holy Sanctuary  would  not  fall  but  in  the  hands  of  the  righteous  party.  It  had  been  a  conviction  deeply established  in  their  minds  ever  since  the  elephant  army  of  Abraha  Al-Ashram  advanced  from  Yemen intending  to  destroy  the  Sacred  House  50  years  before. 

Al-Hudaibiyah  Peace  Treaty  was  the  natural  prelude  to  this  great  victory  in  which  people  believed deeply  and  over  which  people  talked  a  lot.  The  Muslims  in  Makkah,  who  had  feared  to  declare  their Faith  in  public,  began  to  appear  and  work  ardently  for  this  new  approach  of  life.  People  began  to convert  into  Islam  in  hosts,  and  the  Muslim  army  that  numbered  3000  only  in  the  previous  Ghazwah, now  came  to  reach  10,000  in  number.  In  fact,  this  decisive  change  provided people  with  the  keen insight  to  perceive  things  and  the  world  around  them  as  a  whole in  a  different  perceptive.  The  Muslims were  then  to  steer  the  whole  political  and  religious  affairs  of  all  Arabia.  They  had  monopolised  both  the religious  supremacy  and  temporal  power. 
The  whole  post-Hudaibiyah  phase  had  been  well-fledged  in  favour  of  the  new  Islamic  movement. Streams  of  the desert  Arabians  began  to  pour in  paying  full  homage  to  the  Messenger  of  Allâh  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  embracing  the  true  faith  and  then  carrying  it  to  different  quarters  for  propagation.

313 Righteous Men Vs a 1000 Oppressors! – How the Battle of Badr Unfolded

[By Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri (from “The sealed Nectar“)]

THE  PROPHET  ON  THE  BATTLEFIELD

The  Quraishites,  mortified  at  the escape  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  along  with  his  devoted companions,  and  jealous  of  his  growing  power in  Madinah,  kept  a  stringent  watch  over  the  Muslims  left behind  and  persecuted  them  in  every  possible  way.  They  also  initiated  clandestine  contacts  with ‘Abdullah  bin  Uabi bin  Salul,  chief  of  Madinese  polytheists,  and  president  designate  of  the  tribes  ‘Aws and  Khazraj  before  the  Prophet’s  emigration.  They  sent him  a  strongly-worded  ultimatum  ordering  him to  fight  or expel  the  Prophet,  otherwise  they  would  launch  a  widespread  military  campaign  that  would exterminate  his  people  and  proscribe  his  women. 

His  pride  wounded  and kingship  no  longer  his,  ‘Abdullah  bin  Uabi bin  Salul,  a  priori responded  positively to  his  Quraishite  co-polytheists.  He  mobilized  his  supporters  to  counteract  the  Muslims.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  on  hearing  about  this  unholy  alliance,  summoned  ‘Abdullah  and  admonished  him to  be  more  sensible  and  thoughtful  and  cautioned  his  men  against  being  snared  in  malicious  tricks.  The men,  on  grounds  of  cowardice,  or reason,  gave  up  the  idea.  Their  chief,  however,  seemingly  complied, but  at  heart,  he remained  a  wicked  unpredictable  accomplice  with  Quraish  and  the  envious  Jews. Skirmishes  and  provocations  started  to  pave  the  way  for  a  major  confrontation  between  the  Muslims and  polytheists.  Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh (radhiyallahu anhu),  an  outstanding  Helper,  announced  his  intention  to  observe  ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage)  and  headed  for  Makkah.  There  Ummaiya  bin  Khalaf provided  tutelage for  him  to observe  the ritual  circumambulation.  Abu  Jahl,  an  archenemy  of  Islam  saw  him  in  the  Sacred  Sanctuary and  threatened  he  would  have  killed  him  if  he  had  not  been  in  the  company  of  Umaiya.  Sa‘d (radhiyallahu anhu),  fearlessly and  defiantly,  challenged  him  to  committing  any folly  at  the  risk  of  cutting  their  caravans  off. 

Provocative  actions  continued  and  Quraish  sent  the  Muslims  a  note  threatening  to  put  them  to  death  in their  own  homeland.  Those  were  not  mere  words,  for  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) received information  from  reliable  sources  attesting  to  real  intrigues  and  plots  being  hatched  by  the  enemies  of Islam.  Precautionary  measures  were  taken  and  a  state  of  alertness  was  called  for,  including  the positioning  of  security  guards  around  the  house  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  strategic junctures.  ‘Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) reported  that  Allah’s  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) lay  down  on  bed  during  one  night  on  his  arrival  in  Madinah  and  said:  Were  there  a  pious  person  from amongst  my  Companions  who  should keep  a  watch  for me  during  the  night?  She  [‘Aishah (radhiyallahu anha)]  said:  We  were  in  this  state  when  we  heard  the  clanging  noise  of  arms.  He [the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  said:  Who  is  it?  He  said: This  is  Sa‘d bin Abi  Waqqas.  Allâh’s  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said  to  him:  What  brings  you  here?  Thereupon  he  said:  I  harboured  fear (lest  any harm  should  come  to)  Allah’s  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), so  I  came  to  serve  as  your  sentinel. Allah’s  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) invoked  blessings  upon  him  and  then  he  slept. 

This  state  of  close vigilance  continued  ceaselessly  until  the  Words  of  Allâh  were  revealed  saying: 

Allâh  will  protect  you  from  mankind.”[5:67] 

Here,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) peeped from  the  dome  of  his  house  asking  his  people  to  go away,  and  making  it  clear  that  Allah  would  take  the  charge  of  protecting  him. 

The  Prophet’s  life  was  not  the  only  target  of  the  wicked  schemes,  but  rather  the  lives  and  the  whole entity  of  the  Muslims.  When  the  Madinese  provided  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  his Companions  with  safe refuge,  the  desert  bedouins  began  to  look  at  them  all  in  the  same perspective, and  outlawed  all  the  Muslims. 

At  this  precarious  juncture  with  Quraish,  intent  on  pursuing  their  aggressive  and  devilish  plans,  Allah, the  All-High,  gave  the  Muslims  the  permission  to  take  arms  against  the disbelievers:

Permission  to  fight  is  given  to  those  (i.e.  believers  against  those  disbelievers),  who  are fighting them,  (and)  because  they (believers)  have  been  wronged,  and  surely  Allâh  is  Able  to  give  them (believers)  victory.” [22:39] 

This  verse  was  revealed  in  a  larger  context  of  Divine  instructions  to  eradicate  all  aspects  of falsehood, and  hold  in  honour  the  symbols  and  rites  of  Allâh: 

Those (Muslim rulers)  who,  if  We  give  them  power in  the land,  (they)  order for  Iqamat-as-Salât: [i.e.  to  perform  Salât  (prayer)  —  the  five  compulsory,  congregational  prayers  (the  males  in Mosques)],  to  pay  the  Zakat  (obligatory  charity),  and  they enjoin  Al-Ma‘ruf  (i.e.  Islamic Monotheism  and  all  that  Islam  orders  one  to  do),  and forbid  Al-Munkar  (i.e.  disbelief,  polytheism and  all  that  Islam  has  forbidden) [i.e.  they  make  the  Qur’an  as  the  Law  of  their  country  in  all  the spheres  of  life].”  [22:41]. 

Doubtlessly,  the permission  to  fight  was  revealed  in  Madinah  after  emigration,  not  in  Makkah,  still  the exact  date  where  of  is  in  doubt. 

The  permission  to  fight  was  already  there,  but  in  the  light  of  the  status  quo,  it  was  wise for  the  Muslims to  bring  the  commercial  routes  leading  to  Makkah  under  their  control.  To  realize  this  strategic  objective, the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  to  choose  either  of  two  options: 

1. Entering  into  non-aggression  pacts  with  the  tribes  inhabiting  either  the  areas  adjacent  to  the routes  or between  these routes  and  Madinah.  With  respect  to  this  course  of  action,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  already  signed,  together  with  the Jews  and  other  neighbouring  tribes, the  aforementioned  pact  of  cooperation  and  good  neighbourliness. 

2. Despatching  successive  armed  missions  for  harassment  along  the  strategic  commercial  routs. 

PRE-BADR  MISSIONS  AND  INVASIONS:

With  a  view  to  implementing  these  plans,  the  Muslims  commenced  real  military  activities,  which  at  first took  the form  of reconnaissance  patrols  delegated  to  explore  the  geopolitical  features  of  the roads surrounding  Madinah  and  others  leading  to  Makkah,  and  building  alliances  with  the  tribes  nearby.  The Prophet  wanted  to  impress  upon  the polytheists  and  Jews  of  Madinah  as  well  as  the  bedouins  in  its vicinity,  that  the  Muslims  had  smashed  their  old  fears,  and  had  been  too  strong  to  be  attacked  with impunity.  He  also  wanted  to  display  the  power  of  his  followers  in  order  to  deter  Quraish  from committing  any  military  folly  against  him  which  might  jeopardize  their  economic  life  and  means  of living,  and  to  stop  them  from  persecuting  the  helpless  Muslims  detained in  Makkah,  consequently  he would  avail  himself  of  this  opportunity  and  resume  his  job  of  propagating  the  Divine  Call freely. 

The  following  is  a  resume  of  these  missions  and  errands: 

1. Saif  Al-Bahr  Platoon  sent  in  Ramadan  1  A.H.,  i.e.  623  A.D.  led  by  Hamzah  bin  ‘Abdul  Muttalib  (radhiyallahu anhu) and comprising  30  Emigrants  with  a  definite  task  of  intercepting  a  caravan  belonging  to  Quraish.  It was  a  caravan  of  300  people  including  Abu Jahl bin Hisham.  The  two  parties  encountered  each other  and  aligned in  preparation  for  fighting.  Majdi  bin  ‘Amr,  on  good  terms  with  both  sides, happened  to  be  there  and  managed  to  prevent  an  imminent  clash. 

On  that  occasion,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) accredited  the  first  flag  in  the  history  of Muslims.  It  was  white  in  colour  and  was  entrusted  to  Kinaz  bin  Husain  Al-Ghanawi,  to  carry. 

2. In  Shawwal,  1  A.H.,  i.e.  April  623  A.D.  The  Messenger  of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) despatched ‘Ubaidah  bin Al-Harith  bin  Al-Muttalib  at  the  head  of  60  horsemen  of  Emigrants  to  a  spot  called Batn  Rabegh  where  they  encountered  Abu  Sufyan  at  the  head  of  a  caravan  of  200  men.  There was  arrow  shooting  but  no  actual fighting. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  that  two  Muslims,  Al-Miqdad  bin  ‘Amr  Al-Bahrani  and  ‘Utbah  bin  Ghazwan Al-Mazini (radhiyallahu anhum), defected  from  the  caravan  of  Quraish  and  joined  the  ranks  of  ‘Ubaidah. The  Muslims had  a  white  flag  carried  by  Mistah  bin  Athatha  bin  Al-Muttalib  bin  ‘Abd  Munaf. 

3. In  Dhul  Qa‘dah  1  A.H.,  i.e.  May  623  A.D.  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) despatched  Sa‘d bin Abi  Waqqas (rashiyallahu anhu)  at  the  head  of  20  horsemen,  and  instructed  them  not  to  go  beyond  Al-Kharrar.  After a  five-day  march  they reached  the  spot  to  discover  that  the  camels  of  Quraish  had  left  the  day before;  their flag,  as  usual,  was  white  and  carried by  Al-Miqdad  bin  ‘Amr. 

4. Ghazwa  Al-Abwa’  or  Waddan.  It  was  in  Safar  2  A.H.,  i.e.  623  A.D.  The  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) set  out  himself  at  the  head  of  70  men,  mostly  Emigrants,  to  intercept  a  camel caravan  belonging  to  Quraish,  leaving  behind  Sa‘d bin  ‘Ubadah  to  dispose  the  affairs  in  Madinah. When  he  reached  Waddan,  a  place  between  Makkah  and  Madinah,  he  found  none. 

In  the  process  of  this  campaign,  he  contracted  a  non-aggression pact  with  ‘Amr bin  Makhshi  Ad Damari.  The  provisions  of  the  pact  go  as  follows:

This  is  a  document  from  Muhammad,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh  concerning  Bani  Damrah  in which  he  established  them  safe  and  secure  in  their  wealth  and  lives.  They  can  expect support  from  the  Muslims  unless  they  oppose  the religion  of  Allâh.  They  are  also  expected to  respond  positively  in  case  the  Prophet  sought  their  help.” 

This  was  the first  invasion  under  the  leadership  of  the  Messenger  of  Allah.  It  took  fifteen  days, with  a  white  flag  carried  by  Hamzah  bin  ‘Abdul  Muttalib (radhiyallahu anhu). 

5. Buwat  Invasion.  It  took place in  Rabi‘  Al-Awwal  2  A.H.,  i.e.  623  A.D.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  at  the  head  of  200  companions,  marched  for  Buwat  to  intercept  a  caravan  belonging  to Quraish  comprising  100  Quraishites,  Umaiya  bin  Khalaf  among  them,  and  2500  camels.  When  he reached  Buwat,  the  caravan  had  left.  Before  leaving  Madinah,  he  mandated  Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh (radhiyallahu anhu)  to dispose  the  affairs  until  his  return. 

6. Safwan  Invasion.  In  Rabi‘  Al-Awwal  2  A.H.,  i.e.  623  A.D.  Karz  bin  Jabir  at  the  head  of  a  small group  of polytheists  raided  the  pastures  of  Madinah  and  looted  some  animals.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at  the  head  of  70  men  left  Madinah  to  fight  the  aggressors.  He  went  in  their pursuit  till  he reached  a  place  called  Safwan  near  Badr but  could  not  catch  up  with  them.  This invasion  came  to  be  known  as  the  preliminary  Badr  Invasion.  During  his  absence,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) entrusted  Zaid  bin  Harithah (radhiyallahu anhu) with  the  disposition  of  the  affairs  in  Madinah. The  standard  was  white  in  colour  and entrusted  to  ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) to  carry. 

7. Dhil  ‘Ushairah  Invasion.  It  was  in  Jumada-al-Ula  and  Jumada-al-Akhirah  the  first  or  second  2 A.H.,  i.e.  November-December  623  A.D.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at  the  head  of  150-200  Muslim  volunteers,  with  30  camels  which  they  rode  turn  by  turn,  set  out  to  intercept  a Quraishite  caravan.  He  reached  Dhil ‘Ushairah  but  the  camels  had  left  some  days  before.  These camels  were  the  same  that  he  went  out  to  intercept  on  their return  from  Syria,  and  were  the direct  reason  for  the  break  out  of  the  battle  of  Badr.  In  the  process  of  this  campaign,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  contracted  a  non-aggression  pact  with  Bani  Madlij  and  their  allies  Bani  Dhumrah. Abu  Salama  bin  ‘Abd  Al-Asad  Al-Makhzumi  was  mandated  to  rule  Madinah  in  his  absence. 

8. The  Platoon  of  Nakhlah.  It  took place in  Rajab  2  A.H.,  i.e.  January  624  A.H.  The  Messenger  of Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) despatched  ‘Abdullah  bin  Jahsh  Asadi to  Nakhlah  at  the  head  of  12 Emigrants  with  six  camels.  ‘Abdullah  was  given  a  letter by  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) but was  instructed  to  read  it  only  after  two  days.  He  followed  the  instructions  and  discovered  that  he was  asked  to  go  on  to  a  place  called  Nakhlah  standing  between  Makkah  and  At-Ta’if,  intercept  a caravan  for Quraish  and  collect  news  about  their intentions.  He  disclosed  the  contents  of  the letters  to  his  fellows  who  blindly  obeyed  the  orders.  At  Nakhlah,  the  caravan  passed  carrying loads  of raisins  (dried  grapes),  food  stuff  and  other  commodities.  Notable polytheists  were  also there  such  as  ‘Amr bin  Al-Hadrami,  ‘Uthman  and  Naufal,  sons  of  ‘Abdullah  bin  Al-Mugheerah  and others…  The  Muslims  held  consultations  among  themselves  with  respect  to  fighting  them  taking into  account  Rajab  which  was  a  sacred  month  (during  which,  along  with  Dhul  Hijja,  Dhul  Qa‘da and  Muharram,  war  activities  were  suspended  as  was  the  custom  in  Arabia  then).  At  last  they agreed  to  engage  with  them  in  fighting.  ‘Amr bin  Al-Hadrami  was  shot  dead  by  an  arrow, ‘Uthman  and  Al-Hakam  were  captured  whereas  Naufal  escaped.  They  came  back  with  the  booty and  the  two  prisoners.  They  set  aside  one-fifth  of  the  booty  assigned  to  Allâh  and  His  Messenger, and  took  the  rest.  The  Messenger disapproved  of  that  act  and  suspended  any  action  as  regards the  camels  and  the  two  captives  on  account  of  the  prohibited  months  already  mentioned.  The polytheists,  on  their part,  exploited  this  golden  opportunity  to  calumniate  the  Muslims  and  accuse them  of violating  what  is  Divinely  inviolable.  This  idle  talk brought  about  a  painful  headache  to Prophet Muhammad’s  Companions,  until  at  last  they  were  relieved  when  the  Revelation  came  down giving  a  decisive  answer  and  stating  quite  explicitly  that  the behaviour  of  the  polytheists  in  the whole  process  was  much  more  heinous  and far  more  serious  than  the  act  of  the  Muslims: 

They  ask  you  concerning  fighting  in  the  sacred  months  (i.e.  1st,  7th,  11th  and  12th  months  of the  Islamic  calendar).  Say,  ‘Fighting  therein  is  a  great  (transgression)  but  a  greater (transgression)  with  Allâh  is  to  prevent  mankind  from following  the  way  of  Allâh,  to  disbelieve  in Him,  to  prevent  access  to  Al-Masjid-Al-Harâm  (at  Makkah),  and  to  drive  out  its  inhabitants,  and Al-Fitnah  is  worse  than  killing.” [2:217] 

The  Words  of  Allâh  were  quite  clear  and  said  that  the  tumult  created  by  the polytheists  was  groundless. The  sacred  inviolable  sanctities  had  been  repeatedly  violated  in  the  long  process  of fighting  Islam  and persecuting  its  adherents.  The  wealth  of  the  Muslims  as  well  as  their  homes  had  already  been  violated and  their  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had been  the  target  of repeated  attempts  on  his  life.  In  short, that  sort  of propaganda  could  deservedly  be  described  as  impudence  and  prostitution.  This  has  been  a resume  of  pre-Badr  platoons  and  invasions.  None  of  them  witnessed  any  sort  of looting property  or killing people  except  when  the  polytheists  had  committed  such  crimes  under  the  leadership  of  Karz  bin Jabir  Al-Fahri.  It  was,  in  fact,  the  polytheists  who  had  initiated  such  acts.  No  wonder,  for  such  ill behaviour  is  immanent  in  their  natural  disposition. 

Shortly  afterwards,  the  two  captives  were  released  and  blood  money  was  given  to  the  killed  man’s father. 

After  this  event,  Quraish  began  to  realize  the  real danger  that  Madinah  could  present  with.  They  came to  know  that  Madinah  had  always  been  on  the  alert,  watching  closely  their  commercial  caravans.  It  was then  common  knowledge  to  them  that  the  Muslims  in  their  new  abode  could  span  and  extend  their military  activities  over  an  area  of  300  miles.  and bring it  under  full  control.  However,  the  new  situation borne  in  mind,  the  Makkans  could  not  be  deterred  and  were  too  obstinate  to  come  to  terms  with  the new  rising  power  of  Islam.  They  were  determined  to  bring  their fall  by  their  own  hands  and  with  this recklessness  they  precipitated  the  great  battle  of  Badr. 

The  Muslims,  on  the  other  hand,  and  at  the behest  of  their  Lord,  were  ordered  to  go  to  war in  Sha‘ban 2  A.H: 

And  fight,  in  the  way  of  Allâh  those  who  fight  you;  but  transgress  not  the  limits.  Truly,  Allâh likes  not  the  transgressors.  And kill  them  wherever you  find  them,  and  turn  them  out  from  where they  have  turned  you  out.  And  Al-Fitnah  (polytheism  or  calamity)  is  worse  than  killing.  And fight not  with  them  at  Al-Masjid-Al-Harâm  (the  Sanctuary  at  Makkah),  unless  they (first) fight  you there.  But  if  they  attack you,  then  kill  them.  Such  is  the  recompense  of  the  disbelievers.  But  if they  cease,  then  Allâh  is  Oft-Forgiving,  Most  Merciful.  And  fight  them  until  there  is  no  more Fitnah  (disbelief  and  worshipping  of  others  along  with  Allâh)  and (all  and  every  kind  of  )  worship is  for  Allâh  (Alone).  But  if  they  cease,  let  there  be  no  transgression  except  against  Az-Zalimûn (polytheists,  and  wrong-doers,  etc.)”  [2:190-193] 

Before  long,  Allah  again  sent  the  Muslims  a  different  sort  of  verses  whereby  teaching  them  ways  of fighting,  urging  them  to  go  to  war  and  demonstrating  relevant  rules: 

So,  when  you  meet  (in  fight  –  Jihâd  in  Allâh’s  cause),  those  who  disbelieve  smite  at  their  necks till  when  you  have  killed  and  wounded  many  of  them,  then  bind  a  bond  firmly  (on  them,  i.e.  take them  as  captives).  Thereafter (is  the  time)  either for  generosity  (i.e.  free  them  without  ransom), or ransom  (according  to  what  benefits  Islam),  until  the  war  lays  down  its  burden.  Thus  [you  are ordered  by  Allâh  to  continue  in  carrying  out  Jihâd  against  the  disbelievers  till  they  embrace  Islam (i.e.  are  saved  from  the  punishment  in  the  Hell-fire)  or  at  least  come  under your protection],  but if it  had  been  Allâh’s  Will,  He  Himself  could  certainly  have  punished  them  (without  you).  But  (He lets  you  fight),  in  order  to  test  you,  some  with  others.  But  those  who  are  killed  in  the  way  of Allâh,  He  will  never  let  their  deeds  be  lost.  He  will  guide  them  and  set  right  their  state.  And  admit them  to  Paradise  which  He  has  made  known  to  them (i.e.  they  will  know  their  places  in  Paradise more  than  they  used  to  know  their  houses  in  the  world).  O  you  who  believe!  If  you  help (in  the cause  of)  Allâh,  He  will  help  you,  and  make  your foothold firm.”  [47:4-7] 

Shortly  afterwards,  Allah  began  to  dispraise  the  hypocrites,  the  weak  at  heart  and  cowardly  elements: 

But  when  a  decisive  Sûrah  (explaining  and  ordering  things)  is  sent  down,  and fighting (Jihâd  — the  holy  fighting)  is  mentioned  (i.e.  ordained)  therein,  you  will  see  those  in  whose  hearts  is  a disease  (of  hypocrisy)  looking  at  you  with  a  look  of  one fainting  to  death.  ” [47:20] 

The  prevalent  exigencies  required  as  a  top  priority  exhorting  the  Muslims  to  fight.  Any leader  with  a deep insight  would  order  his  soldiers  to  get  ready  for  any  sort  of  emergency,  let  alone  the  All-Knowing Exalted  Lord,  Who  is  at  all  times  omniscient  of  the  minutest  details  of  affairs.  The  event  of  that  skirmish with  the  polytheists  dealt  a  heavy  blow  to  the  pride  of  Quraish  and  created  a  sort  of  horrible restlessness  amongst  them. 

The  aforementioned  Qur’anic  verses,  enjoining  the  Muslims  to  strive in  the  cause  of  Allâh,  betrayed  the proximity  of  blood  clashes  that  would  be  crowned by  a  decisive  victory  for  the  Muslims,  and  final expulsion  of polytheists  out  of  the  Sacred  City,  Makkah.  They referred  to  rules  pertinent  to  the treatment  of  captives  and  slaughtering  the  pagan  soldiers  till  the  war  ended  and  laid  down  its  burdens. All  of  these  could  act  as  clues  to  a  final  triumph  that  would  envelop  the  strife  of  the  Muslims  towards their  noble  objectives. 

Another  event  of  great  significance featured  the  same  month  Sha‘ban  2  A.H.,  i.e.  February  624  A.D., which  was  a  Divine  injunction  ordering  that  Al-Qiblah  be  changed  from  Jerusalem  to  the  Sacred  Mosque in  Makkah.  That  was  of  a  great  advantage  to  the  Muslims  at  two  levels.  First,  it  brought  about  a  kind  of social  sifting,  so  to  speak,  in  terms  of  the  hypocrites  of  the Jews  and  others  weak  at  heart,  and revealed  their  true  nature  and  inclinations;  the ranks  of  the  Muslims  were  thereby  purged from  those discord-prone  elements.  Second,  facing  a  new  Qiblah,  the  Sacred  Mosque  in  Makkah,  refers  gently  to  a new  role  awaiting  the  Muslims  to  take  up,  and  would  start  only  after  the  repatriation  of  the  Muslims  to their  Sacred  City,  Makkah  for it  is  not  logical  for  the  Muslims  to  leave  their  Qiblah  at  the  mercy  of  non-Muslims. 

The  Muslims,  therefore,  at  the  behest  of  Allah  and  on  account  of  those  Divine  clues,  augmented  their activities  and  their  tendency  towards  striving  in  the  cause  of  Allah  and  encountering  His  enemies  in  a decisive  battle  were  greatly intensified.

THE  BATTLE  OF  BADR 

REASON OF THE  BATTLE:

We  have  already  spoken  about  Al-Ushairah  Invasion  when  a  caravan  belonging  to  Quraish  had  escaped an  imminent  military  encounter  with  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  his  men.  When  their return from  Syria  approached,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) despatched Talhah  bin  ‘Ubaidullâh  and  Sa‘id bin  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhuma) northward  to  scout  around  for  any  movements  of  this  sort.  The  two  scouts  stayed  at  Al-Hawra’ for  some  days  until  Abu  Sufyan,  the  leader  of  the  caravan,  passed  by  them.  The  two  men  hurried  back to  Madinah  and  reported  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) their findings.  Great  wealth  amounting  to 50  thousand  gold  Dinars  guarded  by  40  men  moving  relatively  close  to  Madinah  constituted  a  tempting target  for  the  Muslim  military,  and  provided  a  potentially  heavy  economic,  political  and  military  strike that  was  bound  to  shake  the  entire  structure  of  the  Makkan  polytheists. 

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

The  Muslim  army  was  made  up  of  300-317  men,  82-86  Emigrants,  61  from  Aws  and  170  from  Khazraj. They  were  not  well-equipped  nor  adequately  prepared.  They  had  only  two  horses  belonging  to  Az-Zubair  bin  Al-‘Awwam  and  Al-Miqdad  bin  Al-Aswad  Al-Kindi,  70  camels,  one  for  two  or  three  men  to ride  alternatively. The  Messenger  of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  himself,  ‘Ali  and  Murthid  bin  Abi  Murthid Al-Ghanawi  had  only  one  camel.  Disposition  of  the  affairs  of  Madinah  was  entrusted  to  Ibn  Umm Maktum  but  later  to  Abu  Lubabah  bin  ‘Abdul  Mundhir.  The  general  leadership  was  given  to  Mus‘ab  bin ‘Umair  Al-Qurashi  Al-‘Abdari,  and  their  standard  was  white  in  colour.  The little  army  was  divided  into two  battalions,  the  Emigrants  with  a  standard raised  by ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib,  and  the  Helpers  whose standard  was  in  the  hand  of  Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh.  Az-Zubair  bin  Al-‘Awwam  was  appointed  to  the leadership of  the  right  flank,  Al-Miqdad  bin  ‘Amr  to  lead  the  left  flank,  and  the  rear  of  the  army  was  at  the command  of  Qais  bin  Abi  Sa‘sa‘ah.  The  General  Commander-in-Chief  was  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of  course. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), at  the  head  of  his  army,  marched  out  along  the  main  road  leading  to Makkah.  He  then  turned  left  towards  Badr  and  when  he  reached  As-Safrâ’,  he  despatched  two  men  to scout  about  for  the  camels  of  Quraish. 

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

The  effect  of  this  hue  and  cry  was  instantaneous  and  the  news  stunned  Quraish  and  they immediately remembered  their pride  that  was  wounded  when  the  Muslims  had  intercepted  Al-Hadrami  caravan. They  therefore  swiftly  mustered  almost  all  of  their forces  and  none  stayed  behind  except  Abu  Lahab, who  delegated  someone  who  owed  him  some  money.  They  also  mobilized  some  Arab  tribes  to contribute  to  the  war  against  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  All  the  clans  of  Quraish  gave  their consent  except  Banu  ‘Adi.  Soon  an  excited  throng  of  1300  soldiers  including  100  horsemen  and  600 mailed  soldiers  with  a  large  number  of  camels,  was  clamouring  to  proceed  to  fight  the  Muslims.  For food  supplies,  they  used  to  slaughter  an  alternate  number  of  camels  of  ten  and  nine  every  day.  They were  however  afraid  that  Banu  Bakr,  on  account  of  old  long  deep-seated  animosity,  would  attack  their rear.  At  that  critical  moment,  Iblis mardud (Satan)  appeared  to  them  in  the  guise  of  Suraqa  bin  Malik  bin Ju‘sham  Al-Mudlaji  —  chief  of  Bani  Kinana  —  saying  to  them:  “I  guarantee  that  no  harm  will  happen from  behind.” 

They  set  out  burning  with  indignation,  motivated  by  a  horrible  desire for revenge  and  exterminating anyone  that  might  jeopardize  the  routes  of  their  caravans: 

“…boastfully  and  to  be  seen  of men,  and  hinder (men)  from  the  path  of  Allâh.”  [8:47] 

Or  as  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: 

O  Allâh  these  are  the  haughty  and  conceited;  they  have  come  defying  Allâh  and  defying  His Messenger.” 

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

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

Abu  Jahl’s  threats  and  insistence  notwithstanding,  Banu  Zahrah,  acting  on  the  advice  of  Al-Akhnas  bin Shuraiq,  broke  away  and returned  to  Makkah.  Thenceforth  Al-Akhnas  remained ‘the  well-rubbed  palm tree’ for  Bani  Zahrah  and  was  blindly  obeyed  in  all  relevant  matters. 

Banu  Hashim  were  also  inclined  to  break  away,  but  Abu  Jahl’s  threats  made  them  desist  from  that  idea.

The  rest  of  the  army,  now  1000  soldiers,  approached  Badr  and  encamped  themselves  beyond  a  sand dune  at  Al-‘Udwat  Al-Quswa. 

‘The  intelligence  corps’  of  the  Madinese  army reported  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  that  a bloody  encounter  with  the  Makkans  was  inescapable,  and  that  a  daring  step  in  this  context  had  to  be taken,  or else  the  forces  of  evil  would  violate  the  inviolable  and  would  consequently  manage  to undermine  the  noble  cause  of  the  Islam  and  tread  upon  its  faithful  adherents.  The  Muslims  were  afraid that  the  pagan  Makkans  would  march  on  and  start  the  war  activities  within  the  headquarters  of  Islam, Madinah.  A  move  of  such  nature  would  certainly  damage  and  produce  an  infamous  impact  on  the dignity  and  stance  of  the  Muslims. 

On  account  of  the  new  grave  developments,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) held  an  advisory  military emergency meeting  to  review  the  ongoing  situation  and  exchange  viewpoints  with  the  army leaders. Admittedly,  some  Muslims  feared  the  horrible  encounter  and  their  courage  began  to  waver;  in  this regard,  Allâh  says: 

As  your  Lord  caused you  (O  Muhammad [Peace  be  upon  him) ]  to  go  out  from  your  home  with the  Truth,  and  verily,  a  party  among  the  believers  disliked it,  disputing  with  you  concerning  the Truth  after it  was  made  manifest,  as  if  they  were  being  driven  to  death  while  they  were  looking (at  it).” [8:5,  6] 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) apprised  his  men  of  the  gravity  of  the  situation  and  asked  for  their advice.  Abu  Bakr  was  the first  who  spoke  on  the  occasion  and  assured  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of  the  unreserved  obedience  to  his  command.  ‘Umar  was  the  next  to  stand  up  and  supported  the  views expressed  by  his  noble  friend.  Then  Al-Miqdad  bin  ‘Amr got  up  and  said:  “O  Messenger  of  Allâh! Proceed  where  Allah  directs  you  to,  for  we  are  with  you.  We  will  not  say  as  the  Children  of  Israel  said  to Moses  (Musa alayhissalaam): 

“Go  you  and your  Lord  and  fight  and  we  will  stay  here;” 

Rather  we  shall  say: 

“Go  you  and your Lord  and  fight  and  we  will fight  along  with  you.” 

By  Allâh!  If  you  were  to  take  us  to  Bark  Al-Ghimad,  we  will  still fight  resolutely  with  you  against  its defenders  until  you  gained  it.” 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) thanked  him  and  blessed  him. 

The  three  leaders  who  spoke  were from  the  Emigrants,  who  only  constituted  a  minor  section  of  the army.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wanted,  and  for  the  more  reason,  to  hear  the  Helpers’ view because  they  were  the  majority  of  the  soldiers  and  were  expected  to  shoulder  the  brunt  of  the  war activities.  Moreover,  the  clauses  of  Al-‘Aqabah  Pledge  did  not  commit  them  to  fighting  beyond  their territories. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then  said: “Advise  me  my men!”  by  which  he  meant  the  Helpers,  in  particular.  Upon  this  Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh  stood  up  and  said:  “By  Allâh,  I feel  you  want  us  (the  Helpers)  to  speak.” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  directly  said:  “Oh,  yes!” Sa‘d  said: “O  Prophet  of  Allâh!  We  believe in  you  and  we  bear  witness  to  what  you  have vouchsafed  to us  and  we  declare  in  unequivocal  terms  that  what  you  have  brought  is  the  Truth.  We  give  you  our firm pledge  of  obedience  and  sacrifice.  We  will  obey you  most  willingly  in  whatever  you  command  us,  and  by Allâh,  Who  has  sent  you  with  the  Truth,  if  you  were  to  ask  us  to  plunge  into  the  sea,  we  will  do  that most  readily  and  not  a  man  of  us  will  stay  behind.  We do  not  grudge  the idea  of encounter  with  the enemy.  We  are experienced in  war  and  we  are  trustworthy in  combat.  We  hope  that  Allâh  will  show  you through  our  hands  those  deeds  of valour  which  will  please your eyes.  Kindly  lead  us  to  the  battlefield  in the  Name  of  Allâh.” 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  impressed  with  the  fidelity  and  the  spirit  of  sacrifice  which  his companions  showed  at  this  critical  juncture.  Then  he  said  to  them:  “Forward  and  be  of  cheer,  for  Allâh has  promised  me  one  of  the  two  (the  lucrative  course  through  capturing  the  booty  or  strife  in  the  cause of  Allâh  against  the  polytheists),  and  by  Allâh  it  is  as  if  I  now  saw  the  enemy lying  prostrate.” 

In  the  immediate vicinity  of  Badr,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  his  cavemate  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) conducted  a  scouting  operation  during  which  they  managed  to  locate  the  camp  of  Quraish.  They  came across  an  old  bedouin  nearby  whom  they  manipulated  and  managed  to  extract  from  him  the exact location  of  the  army  of  the polytheists.  In  the  evening  of  the  same  day,  he  despatched  three  Emigrant leaders,  ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib,  Az-Zubair  bin  Al-‘Awwam  and  Sa‘d bin  Abi  Waqqas  to  scout  about  for  news about  the  enemy.  They  saw  two  men  drawing  water for  the  Makkan  army.  On  interrogation,  they admitted  that  they  were  water  carriers  working  for  Quraish.  But  that  answer  did  not  please  some Muslims  and  they  beat  the  two  boys  severely  in  order  to  exact  from  them  an  answer,  even  if it  isn’t true,  alluding  to  the  caravan  laden  with  wealth.  The  two  boys  thus  lied,  and  so  they  were released.  The Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  angry  with  those  men  and  censured  them  saying: “On  telling  the truth,  you  beat  them,  and  on  telling  a  lie,  you  released  them!”  He  then  addressed  the  two  boys  and after  a  little  conversation  with  them  he  learned  a  lot  about  the  enemy:  number  of  soldiers,  their  exact location  and  names  of  some  of  their  notables.   He  then  turned  to  the  Muslims  and  said: “Hearken, Quraish  has  sent  you  their most  precious  lives.” 

The  same  night  it  rained  on  both  sides.  For  the  polytheists  it  obstructed  further progress,  whereas  it was  a  blessing  for  the  Muslims.  It  cleaned  them  and  removed from  them  the  stain  of  Satan.  Allâh  sent rain  to  strengthen  their  hearts  and  to  plant  their  feet  firmly  therewith.  They  marched  a  little  forward and  encamped  at  the  farther  bank  of  the  valley.  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  stopped  at  the nearest  spring  of  Badr.  Al-Hubab  bin  Mundhir  asked  him,  “Has  Allâh  inspired  you  to  choose  this  very spot  or is  it  stratagem  of  war  and  the  product  of  consultation?” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  “It  is  stratagem  of  war  and  consultation.”  Al-Hubab  said: “This  place  is  no  good; let  us  go  and encamp  on  the  nearest  water  well  and  make  a  basin  or reservoir  full  of  water,  then  destroy  all  the  other wells  so  that  they  will  be  deprived  of  the  water.” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  approved  of  his  plan and  agreed  to  carry  it  out,  which  they  actually  did  at  midnight. 

Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh  suggested  that  a  trellis  be built  for  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  to  function  as headquarters  for  the  Muslim  army  and  a  place  providing  reasonable  protection  for  the leader.  Sa‘d began  to  justify  his  proposal  and  said  that  if  they  had  been  victorious,  then  everything  would  be satisfactory.  In  case  of defeat,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would  not  be  harmed  and  he  could  go back  to  Madinah  where  there  were  more  people  who  loved  him  and  who  would  have  come for  help  if they  had  known  that  he  was  in  that  difficult  situation,  so  that  he  would  resume  his  job,  hold  counsel with  them  and  they  would  strive in  the  cause  of  Allâh  with  him  again  and  again. 

A  squad  of  guards  was  also  chosen  from  amongst  the  Helpers  under  the  leadership  of  the  same  man, Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh,  in  order  to  defend  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  in  his  headquarters. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) spent  the  whole  night  preceding  the day  of  the  battle  in  prayer  and supplication.  The  Muslim  army,  wearied  with  their long  march,  enjoyed  sound  and refreshing  sleep,  a mark  of  the  Divine  favour  and  of  the  state  of  their  undisturbed  minds. 

(Remember)  when  He  covered you  with  a  slumber  as  a  security from  Him,  and  He  caused  rain  to descend  on  you  from  the  sky,  to  clean  you  thereby  and  to  remove  from  you  the  Rijz  (whispering, evil  suggestions,  etc.)  of  Satan,  and  to  strengthen  your  hearts,  and  make  your feet  firm thereby.” [8:11] 

That  was  Friday  night,  Ramadan  17th.,  the  year  2  A.H. 
In  the  morning,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  called  his  men  to  offer  the  prayers  and  then  urged them  to  fight  in  the  way  of  Allâh.  As  the  sun  rose  over  the  desert,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) drew  up  his  little  army,  and  pointing  with  an  arrow  which  he  held  in  his  hand,  arranged  the ranks. 

Quraish,  on  the  other  hand,  positioned  their forces  in  Al-‘Udwat  Al-Quswa  opposite  the  Muslim lines.  A few  of  them  approached,  in  a  provocative  deed,  to  draw  water from  the  wells  of  Badr,  but  were  all  shot dead  except  one,  Hakeem  bin  Hizam,  who  later became  a  devoted  Muslim.  ‘Umair  bin  Wahab  Al Jumahi,  in  an  attempt  to  reconnoiter  the  power  of  the  Muslims,  made  a  scouting  errand  and  submitted a  report  saying  that  the  Muslim  army  numbered  as  many  as  300  men  keen  on  fighting  to  the  last  man. On  another reconnaissance  mission  he  came  to  the  conclusion  that  neither  reinforcements  were  coming nor  ambushes  laid.  He  understood  that  they  were  too  brave  to  surrender  and  too  intent  on  carrying  out their military  duties  to  withdraw  without  slaying  the largest  number possible  of  the  polytheists.  This report  as  well  as  kindred  relations  binding  the  two  belligerent  parties  together,  slackened  the  desire  to fight  among  some  of  the  Quraishites.  To  counteract  this  reason-based  opposition  advocated  by  a  rival of  his,  ‘Utbah  bin  Rabi‘a  and  others,  Abu  Jahl  started  an  anti-campaign  seeking  vengeance  on Prophet Muhammad’s  followers  for  the  Quraishites  killed  at  Nakhlah.  In  this  way,  he  managed  to  thwart  the opposite  orientation,  and  manipulated  the people  to  see  his  evil  views  only. 

When  the  two  parties  approached  closer  and  were  visible  to  each  other,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  began  supplicating  Allâh  “O  Allâh!  The  conceited  and  haughty  Quraishites  are  already  here  defying You  and  belying  Your  Messenger.  O  Allâh!  I  am  waiting for  Your victory  which  You  have  promised  me.  I beseech  You  Allâh  to  defeat  them (the  enemies).”  He  also  gave  strict  orders  that  his  men  would  not start  fighting  until  he  gave  them  his  final  word.  He  recommended  that  they  use  their  arrows  sparingly and  never resort  to  sword  unless  the  enemies  came  too  close. 

Abu  Jahl  also  prayed  for  victory,  saying: “Our  Lord,  whichever  of  the  two  parties  was  less  kind  to  his relatives,  and  brought  us  what  we  do  not  know,  then  destroy  him  tomorrow.”.  They  were  confident, their  superior  number,  equipment  and  experience  would be  decisive.  The  Noble  Qur’ân,  with  a  play  on the  word,  told  them  that  the decision  had  come,  and  the  victory  — but  not  in  the  sense  they  had  hoped for: 

(O  disbelievers)  if you  ask for  a  judgement,  now  has  the  judgement  come  unto  you  and  if  you cease  (to  do  wrong),  it  will  be  better for you,  and  if you  return  (to  the  attack),  so  shall  we return,  and  your  forces  will  be  of  no  avail  to  you,  however  numerous  it  be,  and verily,  Allâh  is with  the  believers.” [8:19] 

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

The  battle  had  actually  started.  Protected  by  armour  and  shields,  ‘Utbah  bin  Rabi‘a  stepped  forth between  his  brother  Shaibah  and  his  son  Al-Waleed  bin  ‘Utbah  from  the lines  of  Quraish  and  hurled maledictions  at  the  Muslims.  Three young  men  of  the  Helpers  came  out  against  them: ‘Awf  and Mu‘wwadh  —  the  sons  of  Harith,  and  ‘Abdullah  bin  Rawaha.  But  the  Makkans  yelled  that  they  had nothing  to  do  with  them.  They  wanted  the  heads  of  their  cousins.  Upon  this  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked ‘Ubaidah  bin  Al-Harith,  Hamzah  —  his  uncle,  and  his  cousin  ‘Ali  to  go  forward  for  the  combat.  The  three duels  were rapid.  Hamzah  killed  Shaibah,  while  ‘Ali  killed Al-Waleed.  ‘Ubaidah  was  seriously  wounded  but,  before  he  fell,  Hamzah  fell  upon  ‘Utbah  and  with  a sweep  of  his  sword,  cut  off  his  head.  ‘Ali  and  Hamzah  carried  ‘Ubaidah  back  with  his  leg  cut  off.  He  died four  or five  days  later  of  a  disease  in  the  bile duct. 

‘Ali  was  possessed  of  a  deep  conviction  that  Allâh’s  Words  were  revealed: 

These  two  opponents  (believers  and  disbelievers)  dispute  with  each  other  about  their Lord.”  [22:19] 

These  verses  were revealed  in  connection  with  men  of  Faith  who  confess  their  Lord  and  seek  to  carry out  His  Will (i.e.  Prophet Muhammad’s  followers  at  Badr  Battle),  and  men  who  deny  their  Lord  and  defy  Him (the  people  of  Quraish). 

The  duel  was  followed  by  a  few  more  duels  but  the  Makkans  suffered  terrible  defeats  in  all  the  combats and  lost  some  of  their  most  precious  lives.  They  were  too  much  exasperated  and enraged  and  fell  upon the  Muslims  to  exterminate  them  once  and  for  all.  The  Muslims,  however,  after  supplicating  their  Lord, calling  upon  Him  for  assistance,  were  made  to  hold  to  their  position  and  conduct  a  defensive  war  plan that  was  successful  enough  to  inflict  heavy  losses  on  the  attackers.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used  to  pray  to  his  Lord  ceaselessly persistently  and day  and  night  to  come  to  their  succour.  When  the fierce  engagement  grew  too  hot  he  again  began  to  supplicate  his  Lord  saying: 

O  Allâh!  Should  this  group  (of  Muslims)  be  defeated  today,  You  will  no  longer  be  worshipped.” 

He  continued  to  call  out  to  his  Lord,  stretching forth  his  hands  and  facing  Al-Qiblah,  until  his  cloak  fell off  his  shoulders.  Then  Abu  Bakr  came,  picked  up  the  cloak,  and  put  it  back  on  his  shoulders  and  said: “O  Prophet  of  Allâh,  you  have  cried  out  enough  to  your  Lord.  He  will  surely fulfill  what  He  has  promised you.” 

Immediate  was  the  response  from  Allâh,  Who  sent  down  angels  from  the assistance  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  his  companions.  The  Noble  Qur’ân  observes: 

Verily,  I  am  with  you,  so  keep firm  those  who  have believed.  I  will  cast  terror into  the  hearts  of those  who  have  disbelieved.” [8:12] 

Allâh,  the  All-Mighty,  also  inspired  another message  to  His  Messenger,  saying: 

I  will  help you  with  a  thousand  of  the  angels  each  behind  the  other (following  one  another)  in succession.” [8:9] 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  in  his  trellis,  dozed  off  a  little  and  then  raised  his  head  joyfully crying: 

O  Abu  Bakr,  glad  tidings  are  there for you:  Allâh’s  victory  has  approached,  by  Allâh,  I  can  see Gabriel  on  his  mare  in  the  thick  of  a  sandstorm.” 

He  then  jumped  out  crying: 

Their  multitude  will  be  put  to  flight,  and  they  will  show  their backs.” [54:45] 

At  the instance  of  Gabriel,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  took  a  handful  of  gravel,  cast  it  at  the enemy  and  said:  “Confusion  seize  their faces!”  As  he flung  the  dust,  a  violent  sandstorm  blew  like furnace  blast  into  the  eyes  of  the  enemies.  With  respect  to  this,  Allâh  says: 

“And  you  [i.e.  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  threw  not  when  you  did  throw  but  Allâh threw.” [8:17] 
Only  then  did  he  give  clear  orders  to  launch  a  counter-attack.  He  was  commanding  the  army,  inspiring confidence  among  his  men  and  exhorting  them  to  fight  manfully  for  the  sake  of  their  Lord,  reciting  the Words  of  Allâh: 

And  be  quick  for forgiveness  from  your  Lord,  and for  Paradise  as  wide  as  are  the  heavens  and the  earth.” [3:133] 

The  spirit  he  infused  into  his  men  was  clearly  witnessed  by  the  valour  of  ‘Umair,  a  lad  of  sixteen,  who flung  away  some  dates  he  was  eating  crying  out:  “These  (the  dates)  are  holding  me  back from Paradise.”  So  saying  he  plunged  into  the  thick  of  the  battle  and  died  fighting  bravely.  Unique  deeds  of valour,  deep  devotion  and  full  obedience  to  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were  exhibited  in  the process  of  the  battle.  The  army  of  the  faithfuls  was  borne  forward  by  the  power  of  enthusiasm  which the  half-hearted  warriors  of Makkah  miserably lacked.  A  large  number  of  the  polytheists  were  killed  and the  others  began  to  waver.  No  wonder!  The  standard-bearers  of Truth  were  given  immediate  help,  and supernatural  agencies  (the  angels),  were  sent  to  their  assistance  by  their  Lord  to  help  them  defeat  the forces  of  evil. 

The  records  of  Hadith  speak  eloquently  of  the  fact  that  the  angels  did  appear  on  that  day  and  fought  on the  side  of  the  Muslims. Ibn  ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said:  “While  on  that  day  a  Muslim  was  chasing  a  disbeliever  and  he heard  over  him  the  swashing  of  a  whip  and  the  voice  of  the  rider  saying: ‘Go  ahead  Haizum’.  He glanced  at  the  polytheist  who  had  (now) fallen  down  on  his  back.  The  Helper  came  to  the  Messenger  of Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and related  that  event  to  him.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  replied: ‘You  have  told  the  truth.  This  was  the  help from  the  third  heaven.” 

One  of  the  Helpers  captured  ‘Abbas  bin  ‘Abdul  Muttalib,  who  said:  “O  Messenger  of  Allâh,  by  Allâh  this man  did  not  capture  me.  I  was  captured  by  a  man  who  was  bald  and  had  the  most  handsome face,  and who  was  riding  a  piebald  horse,  I  cannot  see  him  here  among  the  people.” The  Helper  interrupted:  “I captured  him,  O  Messenger  of  Allâh.” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied: 

Be  quiet,  Allâh  the  All-Mighty  strengthened  you  with  the  help  of  a  noble  angel.” 

Iblîs,  the  archsatan,  in  the  guise  of  Suraqah  bin  Malik  bin  Ju‘sham  Al-Mudlaji,  on  seeing  angels  working in  favour  of  the  Muslims,  and  Quraish  rapidly  losing  ground  on  the  battlefield,  made  a  quick  retreat despite  the  polytheists’  pleas  to  stay  on.  He  ran  off  and  plunged  into  the  sea. 

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

The  great  tyrant  Abu  Jahl,  however,  on  seeing  the  adverse  course  of  the  battle,  tried  to  stop  the  tidal wave  of  the  Islamic  victory  by  nerving  the  polytheists  and  encouraging  them  by  all  means  available  and adjuring  them  by  Al-Lat  and  ‘Uzza  and  all  symbols  of  paganism  to  stand  firm  in  place  and  retaliate against  the  Muslims,  but  to  no  avail.  Their  morale  had  already  been  drastically  reduced  to  zero,  and their lines  broken  down.  He  then  began  to  realize  the  reality  of  his  arrogance  and  haughtiness.  None remained  around  him  except  a  gang  of  doomed  polytheists  whose  resistance  was  also  quelled  by  an Islamic  irresistible  storm  of  true  devotion-based  valour  and  Islam-orientated  pursuit  of  martyrdom.  Jahl was  deserted  and  left  by  himself  on  his  horse  waiting  for death  at  the  hand  of  two  courageous  lads  of the  Helpers. 

‘Abdur-Rahman  bin  ‘Awf related  the following  interesting  story  in  this  regard:  I  was  in  the  thick  of  the battle  when  two  youths,  still  seemingly  inexperienced  in  the  art  of  fighting,  one  on  the  right  and  the second  on  the  left.  One  of  them  spoke  in  a  secret  voice  asking  me  to  show  him  Abu  Jahl.  I  asked  about his  intention,  to  which  he  replied,  that  he  had  a  strong  desire  to  engage  with  him  in  a  combat  until either  of  them  was  killed.  It  was  something incredible  to  me.  I  turned  left  and  the  other  said  something to  the  same  effect  and  showed  a  similar  desire.  I  acceded  to  their  earnest  pleas  and  pointed  directly  at their  target.  They both  rushed  swiftly  towards  the  spot,  and  without  a  moment’s  hesitation  struck  him simultaneously  with  their  swords  and  finished  him  off.  They  went  back  to  the  Messenger  of  Allâh  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,  each  claiming  that  he  had  killed  Abu  Jahl  to  the  exclusion  of  the  other.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) asked  if  they  had  wiped  the  blood  off  their  swords  and  they  answered  that  they had  not.  He  then  examined  both  swords  and  assured  them  that  they both  had  killed  him.  When  the battle  concluded,  Abu  Jahl’s  spoils  were  given  to  Mu‘adh  bin  ‘Amr bin  Al-Jumuh,  because  the  other Mu‘awwadh  bin  Al-‘Afrâ’  was  later  killed  in  the  course  of  the  same battle.  At  the  termination  of  the battle,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wanted  to  look  for  this  archenemy  of  Islam,  Abu  Jahl. ‘Abdullah bin  Mas‘ud  found  him  on  the verge  of  death  breathing  his  last.  He  stepped  on  his  neck  addressing  him: “Have  you  seen  how  Allâh  has  disgraced  you?” The  enemy  of  Islam  still  defiantly  answered:  “I  am  not disgraced.  I  am  no  more  than  a  man  killed  by  his  own  people  on  the  battlefield.”  And  then  inquired “Who  has  won  the  battle?”  Ibn  Mas‘ud  replied  “Allâh  and  His  Messenger.”  Abu  Jahl  then  said  with  a heart  full  of  grudge “You  have followed difficult  ways,  you  shepherd!”  Ibn  Mas‘ud  used  to  be  a  shepherd working  for  the  Makkan  aristocrats. 

Ibn  Mas‘ud  then  cut  off  his  head  and  took  it  to  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  who,  on seeing  it,  began  to  entertain  Allâh’s  praise: 

Allâh  is  Great,  praise is  to  Allâh,  Who  has  fulfilled  His  Promise,  assisted  His  servant  and  defeated the  confederates  alone.” 

He  then  set  out  to  have  a  look  at  the  corpse.  There  he  said: 

This  is  the  Pharaoh  of  this  nation.” 

SOME  SIGNIFICANT  INSTANCES  OF  DEVOTION:

1. The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  advised  his  companions  to  preserve  the lives  of  Banu  Hashim who  had  gone  out  to  Badr  with  the  polytheists  unwillingly  because  they  had feared  the  censure  of their people.  Among  them,  he  named  Al-‘Abbas  bin  ‘Abdul  Muttalib  and  Abu  Bukhtari  bin  Hisham. He  ordered  the  Muslims  to  capture,  but  not  to  kill  them.  Abu  Hudhaifah  bin  ‘Utbah  showed great surprise  and  commented  saying: “We kill  our fathers,  children,  brothers  and  members  of  our clan,  and  then  come  to  spare  Al-‘Abbas?  By  Allâh!  If  I  see  him  I  will  surely  strike  him  with  my sword.” On  hearing  these  words,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  addressing  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab,  said  “Is  it  fair  that  the  face  of  the  Messenger’s  uncle be  struck  with  sword?” ‘Umar got  indignant  and  threatened  to  kill  Abu  Hudhaifah;  the  latter  later  said  that  extreme  fear had  taken  firm  grip  of  him  and  felt  that  nothing  except  martyrdom  could  expiate  for  his  mistake. He  was  actually killed later  on  during  Al-Yamamah  events. 

2. Abu  Al-Bukhtari  bin  Hisham  had  already  done  his  best  to  restrain  his  people,  the  Makkans,  from committing  any  act  of folly  against  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) while  the latter  was  still  in Makkah.  He  also  neither  hurt  nor  was  reported  to  have  uttered  anything repugnant  with  regard to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  He  had  as  well been  among  the  people  who  tried  to invalidate  the boycott  alliance  taken  against  Banu  Hashim  and  Banu  ‘Abdul  Muttalib. 

Here,  however,  in  the  battle  of  Badr  he  insisted  on  fighting  unless  his  compatriot  was  spared.  Al-Mujdhir  bin  Ziyad  Al-Balwi,  with  whom  he  was  engaged  in  combat,  replied  that  the  other  was  not included  in  the  Prophet’s  recommendation.  The  combat  went  on  to  end  in  Al-Bukhtari’s  death. 

3. ‘Abdur-Rahman  bin  ‘Awf  and  Omaiyah  bin  Khalaf  had  been  close  friends  during  the  pre-Islamic era.  When  the  battle  of  Badr  ended,  ‘Abdur-Rahman  saw  Omaiyah  and  his  son  among  the captives.  He  threw  away  the  armour  he  had  as  spoils,  and  walked  with  them  both.  Bilal,  the Prophet’s  caller  for  prayer,  saw  Omaiyah  and  soon  all  the  torture  he  had  been  put  to  at  the  hand of  this  man  dawned  upon  him,  and  swore  he  would  have  revenge  on  Omaiyah.  ‘Abdur-Rahman tried  to  ease  the  tension  and  address  embarrassing  situation  amicably but  with  no  success.  The Muslims  gathered  around  and  struck  Omaiyah’s  son  with  swords.  At  this  point,  ‘Abdur-Rahman called  upon  his  old friend  to  run  for  his  life  but  he  was  put  to  swords  from  different  people  and lay  down  dead.  ‘Abdur-Rahman,  completely  helpless  and resigned  said:  May  Allâh  have  mercy  on Bilal,  for  he  deprived  me  of  the  spoils,  and  I  have  been  stricken  by  the death  of  my  two  captives.

4. On  the  moral level,  the  battle  of  Badr  was  an  inescapable  conflict  between  the forces  of  good  and those  of evil.  In  this  context,  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab  did  not  spare  the  life  of  any polytheist  even his  uncle  on  the  maternal  side  Al-‘As  bin  Hisham  bin  Al-Mugheerah. 

5. Abu  Bakr  shouted  at  his  son  ‘Abdur-Rahman,  still  a  polytheist  and  fighting  with  them,  “Where is my  wealth,  you  wicked  boy?” The  son  answered  that  it  was  gone  with  the  wind. 

6. When  the  battle  ended,  the  Muslims  began  to  hold  some  polytheists  in  captivity.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) looked  into  the face  of  Sa‘d bin  Mu‘adh,  the  Head  of  the  Prophet’s  guards, and  understood  that  he  was  hateful  to  taking  the  enemy  elements  as  prisoners.  Sa‘d  agreed  to what  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said  and  added  that  it  was  the first  victory for  the  Muslims over  the  forces  of  polytheism,  and  he  had  more  liking for  slaying  them  than  sparing  their  lives. 

7. On  the  day  of  Badr,  the  sword  of  ‘Ukashah  bin  Mihsan  Al-Asdi  broke  down  so  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave  him  a  log  of  wood  which  he  shook  and  it  immediately  turned  into  a  long strong  white  sword.  ‘Ukashah  went  on  using  that  same  sword in  most  of  the  Islamic  conquests until  he  died  in  the  process  of  the  apostasy  wars. 

8. When  the  war  activities  had  been  concluded,  Mus‘ab  bin  ‘Umair  Al-‘Abdari  saw  his  brother,  still  a polytheist,  being  handcuffed  by  a  Ansari.  Mus‘ab  recommended  that  the  Helper  tighten  the  knot for  the  prisoner’s  mother  was  wealthy enough  to  ransom  her  son.  ‘Abu  ‘Aziz,  Mus‘ab’s  brother, tried  to  appeal  to  his  brother  through  the  family  ties,  but  the  latter  firmly replied  that  the  Helper was  more  eligible  for brotherhood  than  him. 

9. When  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered  that  the  corpses  of  the polytheists  be  dropped into  an  empty  well,  Abu  Hudhaifah  bin  ‘Utbah  looked  sadly  at  his  dead  father,  who  fought  on  the side  of  the  polytheists.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) noticed  that  and  asked  him  about  it. Hudhaifah  said  that  he  had  never  held  the  least  doubt  that  his  father met  his  fate  deservedly,  but added  that  he  wished  he  had been  guided  to  the  path  of  Islam,  and  that  is  why  he  felt  sad.  The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) whispered  in  his  ears  some  comforting  words. 

The  outcome  of  the  battle  was  as  aforementioned  an  ignominious  rout  for  the  polytheists  and  a manifest  victory  for  the  Muslims.  Fourteen  Muslims  were  killed,  of  whom  six  were  from  the  Emigrants and  eight  from  the  Helpers.  The  polytheists  sustained  heavy  casualties,  seventy  were  killed  and  a  like number  taken  prisoners.  Many  of  the  principal  men  of  Makkah,  and  some  of Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  bitterest opponents,  were  among  the  slain.  Chief  of  these  was  Abu  Jahl. 

On  the  third  day,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) went  out  to  look  at  the  slain  polytheists, and  said: 

What  an  evil  tribe  you  were  as  regards  your  Prophet,  you  belied  me  but  the  others  have believed; you  let  me  down  while  the  others  have  supported  me;  you  expelled  me,  whereas  the others  have  sheltered  me.” 

He  stood  over  the bodies  of  twenty-four  leaders  of  Quraish  who  had  been  thrown  into  one  of  the  wells, and  started  to  call  them  by  name  and  by  the  names  of  their  fathers,  saying:  “Would  it  not  have  been much  better for you  if  you  had  obeyed  Allâh  and  His  Messenger?  Behold,  we  have found  that  our  Lord’s promise  do  come  true; did  you  (also)  find  that  the  promises  of your  Lord  came  true?”  Thereupon,  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab  said:  “O  Messenger  of  Allâh!  Why  you  speak  to  bodies  that  have  no  souls  in  them?” The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  answered: “By  Him  in  Whose  hand is  Muhammad ’s  soul!  You  do  not  hear better  what  I  am  saying  than  they  do.” 

REACTION  IN  MAKKAH:

The  polytheists  having  received  a  large  dose  of disciplining  and  heavy  defeat,  fled  away in  great disorder  in  the  vales  and  hillocks  heading  for  Makkah  panicked  and  too  ashamed  to  see  their people. 

Ibn  Ishaq  related  that  the  first  herald  of bad  tidings  was  Al-Haisaman  bin  ‘Abdullah  Al-Khuza‘i.  He narrated  to  them  how  their  notables  were  killed.  People  there  did  not  believe  him  at  first  and  thought that  he  had  gone  mad,  but  soon  the  news  was  confirmed  and  a  state  of incredible  bewilderment overwhelmed  the  whole  Makkan  scene.  Abu  Sufyan  bin  Al-Harith  gave  Abu  Lahab  a  full  account  of  the massacre  and  the  disgraceful rout  they  sustained,  with  emphasis  on  the  role  that  the  angels  played  in bringing  about  their  tragic  end.  Abu  Lahab  could  not  contain  himself  and  gave  vent  to  his  feelings  of resentment  in  beating,  abusing  and  slapping  Abu  Rafi‘,  a  Muslim,  but  reticent  on  his  conversion,  for reiterating  the role  of  the  angels.  Umm  Al-Fadl,  another  Muslim  woman,  greatly exasperated  by  Abu Lahab’s  thoughtless  behaviour,  struck  him  with  a  log  and  cracked  his  head.  Seven  days  later,  he  died  of an  ominous  ulcer  and  was  left  for  three  days  unburied.  His  sons,  however,  for fear  of  shameful rumours,  drove  him  to  a  pit  and  keeping  their distance,  hurled  stones  and  dust  at  him. 

The  defeat  was  a  matter  of  great  shame  and  grief  for  the  Makkans.  In  almost  every  house  there  were silent  tears  for  the  dead  and  the  captives.  They  were  burning  with  humiliation  and  were  thirsting  for revenge.  Wailing,  lamenting  and  crying  however  were  decreed  strictly  forbidden  lest  the  Muslims  should rejoice  at  their  affliction. 

MADINAH  RECEIVES  THE  NEWS  OF  VICTORY:

Two  heralds,  ‘Abdullah  bin  Rawahah  and  Zaid  bin  Harithah  were despatched  to  Madinah,  to  convey  the glad  tidings  of victory  to  the  Muslims  there. 

The  multi-ethnic  and  ideological  structure  of  Madinah  featured  different  respective reactions.  Rumourmongers  amongst  the Jews  and  hypocrites  spread  news  to  the effect  that  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  been  killed,  and  tried  to  impress  their false  assumption  on  the  fact  that  Zaid  bin  Harithah  was riding  Al-Qaswâ’,  the  Prophet’s  she-camel.  Having  reached,  the  two  messengers  imparted  to  the Muslims  the  happy  news  of victory,  and  furnished  accurate  information  about  the  course  of events  in order  to  establish  the  sense  of reassurance  deep  in  the  hearts  of  the  anxious,  but  now,  joyous  Muslims. They immediately  started  acclaiming  Allâh’s  Name  and  entertaining  His  praise  at  the  top  of  their voices. Their  chiefs  went  out  of  the  city  to  wait  and receive  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on  the  road leading  to  Badr. 

Usamah  bin  Zaid  related  that  they  received  the  news  of  the  manifest  victory  shortly  after  Ruqaiyah,  the Prophet’s  daughter,  and  the  wife  of  ‘Uthman  bin  ‘Affan  had  been  committed  to  earth.  She  had  been terminally  ill  and  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  asked ‘Uthman  to  stay  in  Madinah  and  look  after her. 

Before  leaving  the  scene  of  the  battle,  dispute  concerning  the  spoils  of  war  arose  among  the  Muslim warriors,  as  the rule  relating  to  their  distribution  had  not  yet  been  legislated.  When  the  difference  grew wider,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) suspended  any  solution  whereof  until  the  Revelation was  sent  down. 

‘Ubadah  bin  As-Samit  said:  “We  went  out  with  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  I witnessed  Badr  with  him.  The  battle  started  and  Allâh,  the  Exalted,  defeated  the  enemy.  Some  of  the Muslims  sought  and  pursued  the  enemy,  some  were intent  on  collecting  the  spoils  from  the  enemy camp,  and  others  were  guarding  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  were  on  the  alert  for any emergency  or  surprise  attack.  When  night  came  and  the  Muslims  gathered  together,  those  who  had collected  the  booty  said: “We  collected  it,  so  no  one  else  has  any  right  to  it.”  Those  who  had  pursued the  enemy  said: “You  do  not  have  more  right  to  it  than  we  do;  we  held  the  enemy  at  bay  and  then defeated  them.”  As  for  the  men  who  had  been  guarding  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  they  also made  similar  claims  to  the  spoils.  At  that  very  time,  a  Qur’ânic  verse  was  revealed  saying: 

They  ask  you  [O  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  about  the  spoils  of  war.  Say: ‘The  spoils  are for  Allâh  and  the  Messenger.’  So  fear  Allâh  and  adjust  all  matters  of  difference  among  you,  and obey  Allâh  and  His  Messenger [Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ],  if  you  are  believers.”  [8:1] 

On  their  way  back  to  Madinah,  at  a  large  sand  hill,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) divided  the  spoils equally  among  the  fighters  after  he  had  taken  Al-Khums  (one-fifth).  When  they  reached  As-Safra’,  he ordered  that  two  of  the  prisoners  should  be  killed.  They  were  An-Nadr  bin  Al-Harith  and  ‘Uqbah  bin  Abi Muait,  because  they  had  persecuted  the  Muslims  in  Makkah,  and  harboured  deep  hatred  towards  Allâh and  His  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .  In  a  nutshell,  they  were  criminals  of  war in  modern terminology,  and  their  execution  was  an  awesome  lesson  to  oppressors.  ‘Uqbah  forgot  his  pride  and cried  out,  “Who  will look  after  my  children  O  Messenger  of  Allâh?”  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) answered,  “The  fire  (of  Hell).”  Did  ‘Uqbah  not  remember  the day  when  he  had  thrown  the  entrails  of  a sheep  onto  the  head  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  while  he  was  prostrating  himself  in  prayer, and  Fatimah (radhiyallahu anha)  had  come  and  washed  it  off  him?  He  had  also  strangled  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) with  his  cloak  if it  had  not  been  for  Abu  Bakr  to  intervene  and  release  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The  heads  of  both  criminals  were  struck  off  by ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib. 

At  Ar-Rawhâ’,  a  suburb  of  Madinah,  the  Muslim  army  was  received  by  the  joyous  Madinese  who  had come  to  congratulate  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  on  the  manifest  victory  that  Allâh  had  granted him.  Usaid  bin  Hudair,  acting  as  a  mouthpiece  of  the  other  true  believers,  after entertaining  Allâh’s praise,  he  excused  himself for  not  having  joined  them  on  grounds  that  the  Prophet’s  intention  was presumably,  an  errand  aiming  to  intercept  a  caravan  of  camels  only,  he  added  that  if  it  had  occurred  to him  that  it  would  be real  war,  he  would  have  never  tarried.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  assured Usaid  that  he  had  believed  him. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  now  entered  Madinah  as  a  man  to  be  counted  for in  a  new  dimension — the  military  field.  In  consequence,  a  large  number  of  the  people  of  Madinah  embraced  Islam,  which added  a  lot  to  the  strength,  power  and  moral  standing  of  the  true religion. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) exhorted  the  Muslims  to  treat  the  prisoners  so  well  to  such  an  extent that  the  captors  used  to  give  the  captives  their  bread (the  more valued  part  of  the  meal)  and  keep  the dates  for  themselves. 

Prisoners  of  war  constituted  a  problem  awaiting  resolution  because  it  was  a  new  phenomenon  in  the history  of  Islam.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  consulted  Abu  Bakr  and ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhum) as  to what  he  should  do  with  the  prisoners.  Abu  Bakr  suggested  that  he  should  ransom  them,  explaining  this by  saying: “They  are  after  all  our relatives,  and  this  money  would  give  us  strength  against  the disbelievers,  moreover,  Allâh  could  guide  them  to  Islam.”  ‘Umar  advised  killing  them,  saying,  “They  are the  leaders  of  Kufr  (disbelief).” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) preferred  Abu  Bakr’s  suggestion  to that  of  ‘Umar’s.  The following  day,  ‘Umar  called  on  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  Abu  Bakr  to see  them  weeping.  He  with extreme  astonishment  and inquired  about  the  situation  so  that  he  might  weep if it  was  worth  weeping  for,  or  else  he  would  feign  weeping. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said  that  a  Qur’ânic  verse  had  been  revealed rebuking  them  for taking  ransom  from  the  captives  rather  than  slaying  them: 

It  is  not  for  a  Prophet  that  he  should  have prisoners  of  war (and free  them  with  ransom)  until  he had  made  a  great  slaughter  (among  his  enemies)  in  the  land.  You  desire  the  good  of  this  world (i.e.  the  money  of ransom  for freeing  the  captives),  but  Allâh  desires  (for you)  the  Hereafter.  And Allâh  is  All-Mighty,  All-Wise.  Were  it  not  a  previous  ordainment  from  Allâh,  a  severe  torment would  have  touched  you  for  what  you  took.” [8:67,68] 

The  previous  Divine  ordainment  went  as  follows, 

Thereafter (is  the  time)  either for generosity  (i.e.  free  them  without  ransom)  or ransom.”  [47:4]

Which  included  an  area  providing  permission  to  take  ransom,  that  is  why  no  penalty  was  imposed.  They were rebuked  only  for  taking  prisoners  before  subduing  all  the  land  of  disbelief.  Apart  from  this,  the polytheists  taken  to  Madinah  were  not  only  prisoners  of  war but  rather  archcriminals  of  war  whom modern  war penal law  brings  to  justice  to  receive  their  due  sentence  of death  or prison  for life. 

The  ransom  for  the  prisoners  ranged  between  4000  and  1000  Dirhams  in  accordance  with  the  captive’s financial  situation.  Another form  of ransom  assumed  an  educational  dimension; most  of  the  Makkans, unlike  the  Madinese,  were  literate  and  so  each  prisoner  who  could  not  afford  the  ransom  was  entrusted with  ten  children  to  teach  them  the  art  of  writing  and  reading.  Once  the  child  had  been  proficient enough,  the  instructor  would  be  set  free.  Another  clan  of  prisoners  were  released  unransomed  on grounds  of  being  hard  up.  Zainab,  the  daughter  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  paid  the  ransom  of her  husband  Abul-‘As  with  a  necklace.  The  Muslims  released  her prisoner  and  returned  the  necklace  in deference  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) but  on  condition  that  Abul-‘As  allow  Zainab  to  migrate  to Madinah,  which  he  actually  did. 

In  captivity,  there  was  also  an  eloquent  orator  called  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr.  ‘Umar  suggested  that  they pull out  his  front  teeth  to  disable  him  from  speaking,  but  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  turned  down  his suggestion  for fear  Quraish  should  retaliate  in  the  same  manner  on  one  hand,  and  on  the  other for fear of  Allâh’s  wrath  on  the  Day  of  Resurrection. 

Sa‘d bin  An-Nu‘man,  a  lesser pilgrim  detained in  Makkah,  was  released  in  return  for  setting  Abu Sufyan’s  son,  a  captive,  free. 

THE  BATTLE  OF  BADR  IN  ITS  QUR’ANIC CONTEXT:

The  Chapter  of  Al-Anfal  (spoils  of  war)  was  revealed  on  the  occasion  of  the  battle  of  Badr,  Ramadan 17th  2  A.H.  It  constituted  a  unique  Divine  commentary  on  this  battle. 

Allâh,  the  All-High,  in  the  context  of  this  Chapter  draws  on  major issues  relating  to  the  whole  process  of Islamization.  Allâh,  here  draws  the  attention  of  the  Muslims  to  the  still  lingering  moral  shortcomings  in their  character.  He  wants  them  to  build  an  integrated,  purified  society.  He  speaks  about  the  invisible assistance  he  sent  down  to  His  obedient  servants  to  enable  them  to  accomplish  their  noble  objectives. He  wants  the  Muslims  to  rid  themselves  of  any  trait  of  haughtiness  or  arrogance  that  might  sneak  in. He  wants  them  to  turn  to  Him  for  help,  obey  Him  and  His  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . 

After  that  He  delineated  the  noble  objectives  for  which  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) launched that  bloody  battle,  and directed  them  to  the  merits  and  qualities  that  brought  about  the  great victory.The  polytheists,  hypocrites,  the Jews  and  prisoners  of  war  were  also  mentioned,  being admonished  to  surrender  to  the  Truth  and  adhere  to  it  only.  The  question  of  the  spoils  of  war  was resolved  and  the  principles  and basics  relevant  to  this  issue  were  clearly  defined. 

The  laws  and  rules  pertinent  to  war  and  peace  were  legalized  and  codified,  especially  at  this  advanced stage  of  the  Islamic  action.  Allâh  wanted  the  Muslims  to  follow  war ethics  dissimilar  to  those  of  preIslamic  practices.  The  Muslims  are  deemed  to  outdo  the  others  in  ethics,  values  and  fine  ideals.  He wants  to  impress  on  the  world  that  Islam is  not  merely  a  theoretical  code  of life,  it  is  rather mind cultivation-orientated  practical  principles.  In  this  context,  He established  inter  and  intra-state  relations. 

The  fast  of  Ramadan  was  established  as  an  obligatory  observance  in  the  year  2  A.H.,  appended  by  the duty  imposed  upon  Muslims  of  paying  Zakat  (alms  tax,  poor-due) in  order  to  alleviate  the  burden  of  the needy  Emigrants. 

A  wonderful  and  striking  coincidence  was  the  establishment  of  Shawwal  ‘Eid  (the  Festival  of  the  Fast Breaking) directly  after  the  manifest  victory  of  Badr.  It  was  actually  the finest  spectacle  ever  witnessed of  Muslims  leaving  their  houses  praying,  acclaiming  Allâh’s  Name  and  entertaining  His  praise  at  the  top of  their voices  in  recognition  of  His  favour  and  grace,  and  last  but  not  least,  the  support  He rendered them  and  through  which  the forces  of  the  Truth  overpowered  those  of  evil. 

And remember  when  you  were few  and  were  reckoned  weak in  the  land,  and  were  afraid  that men  might  kidnap  you,  but  He  provided  a  safe  place  for  you,  strengthened  you  with  His  help, and  provided you  with  good  things  so  that  you  might  be  grateful.” [8:26] 

The Journey of Isra’ Wa’l Mi’raj

Praise and Glory are due to Allah, Who took His servant for a journey by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa which We have blessed, to show him from Our signs. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Surah al Isra’ 17:1)

Thus says Allah in the Qur’an of the miracle of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj, or The Night Journey and the Ascension to Heaven. It was the most magnificent trip ever taken it was a journey from Earth to Heavens, from the Lower Assembly to the Exalted Assembly; rather, it was a journey from the created to the Creator.

I wonder how great would have been the happiness that filled the Prophet’s sacred heart in the presence of Allah, in a place never reached except by him, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Oh Allah! All thanks and praise is unto You for allowing us to be among the followers of this great Prophet, whom You have blessed with this so high a station.

With the Isra’ and Mi’raaj, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), became the first and only human to cross the barrier between the seen and the unseen. He then returned to tell us about what he saw, and what was made obligatory on us. He returned to confirm the truthfulness of Allah’s previous messages and to tell us of what is going to happen in the distant future, things that would occur on the Last Day and beyond.

And while this miracle represented the first serious trial for the companions faith in Allah, it has remained until today a test of all believers faith in Allah and in the unseen. Allah Ta’ala says, “And We made not what We showed you but a trial for mankind.?” (Qur’an 17:60) A test that ascertains one’s faith. And for those who succeed in it, the Israa and Mi’raaj presents an endless source of inspiration and motivation with regard to the Deen, this life and the Hereafter.

ISRA’ AND MI’RAAJ AS RELATED IN SAHIH MUSLIM

Anas ibn Maalik (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “I was bought in the Buraaq, a long white beast slightly bigger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, which, when trotting , would place its next step as far as its eyesight can reach.” The prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “I mounted it till I reached al-Quds, Jerusalem. There, I tied it up to the same ring used by the prophets. Then I entered the Masjid, offered two Rakaats after which I went out where Jibraaeel (alayhis salaam) came to me with a pot of wine and another of milk. I chose to drink the milk, and Jibraaeel (alayhis salaam) said, “You chose Fitrah”.

Then, he took me to heaven, Jibraaeel (Alayhis salaam) then asked (for the gate of heaven) to be opened and he was asked who he was. He replied, Jibraaeel. He was again asked, “Who is with you??” he said, “Muhammad”. It was said, “Has he been sent for??” Jibraaeel replied, “He has indeed been sent for?” And (the door) was opened for us and then we saw Aadam (alayhis salaam). He welcomed me and prayed for my well being.

Then we ascended to the second heaven. Jibraaeel (alayhis salaam) asked (for the door of heaven to be opened), and he was asked who he was. He answered, Jibraaeel. He was again asked, “Who is with you??” He replied, “Muhammad”. It was asked, “Has he been sent for??” He replied, “He has indeed been sent for.” Then the gate was opened. When I entered, Eesa ibn Maryam and Yahya ibn Zakariyya (Alayhimas salaam), cousins from the maternal side, welcome me and prayed for my well being.

Then I was taken to the third heaven and I saw Yusuf (alayhissalaam), who had been given half of the (world’s) beauty. He welcome me and prayed for my welcome, and he ascended with us to the fourth heaven, and Idris (alayhissalaam) was there. Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious says about him, “We elevated him (Idris) to the exalted position.” (Qur’an 19:57). The he ascended with us to the fifth heaven, and then I was with Harun (alayhissalaam). He welcomed me and prayed for my well being. Then I was taken to the sixth heaven, and there I was with Musa (alayhissalaam). He welcomed me and prayed for my well being. Then I was taken up to the seventh heaven, and there I found Ibraaheem (alayhissalaam) reclining against al-Baytul Ma’mur (the much-frequented house), into which seventy thousand angels (who will never visit it again) enter everyday.

Then I was taken to Sidratul Muntaha, who leaves were like elephant ears and its fruit like big earthenware vessels. And when it was covered by the Command of Allah, it underwent such a change that none amongst the creation has the power to praise its beauty.

Then Allah revealed to me a revelation, and He made obligatory for me fifty Salaats every day and night. Then I went down to Musa who asked, “What has your Lord enjoined upon your Ummah?” I said, “Fifty Salaats”. He said, “Return to your Lord and beg for reduction (in the number of Salaat), for your community shall not be able to bear this burden. As I have been put to test by the children of Israel and tried them (and found them too weak to bear such a heavy burden).” The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “I went back to my Lord and said, My Lord, make things lighter for my Ummah.” (The Lord) reduced the number by five Salaats. I went down to Musa and said, “(The Lord) reduced it by five (Salaats) for me”. He said, “Verily your Ummah shall not be able to bear this burden; return to your Lord and ask Him to make things lights.” I then kept going back and forth between my Lord, Blessed and Exalted, and Musa, until He said, “There are five Salaats everyday and night O Muhammad, each being credited as ten, so that makes them fifty Salaats. He who intends to do a good deed and does not do it will have a good deed recorded for him; and if he does it, it will be recorded for him as ten. Whereas he who intends to do an evil deed and doesn’t, it will not be recorded for him; and if he does it, only one evil deed will be recorded.” I then came down and when I came to Musa (alayhis salaam) and informed him, he said, “Go back to your Lord and ask Him to make things lighter.” Upon this, the Messenger of Allah remarked,” I returned to my Lord until I felt ashamed before Him.”

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

ISRA’ (NIGHT JOURNEY)

Means betaking the Prophet from Makkah to al-Quds during the night by al-Buraq and then returning him back in the same night. Ibn al Qayyim said, “Allah’s saying ‘took His Servant for a journey by night? and not ‘sent His Servant’ implies that Allah accompanied the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). For the letter ‘baa’ in the Arabic means besides. And this is why the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), when setting out for a journey would say, “O Allah, You are the Companion during (my) travel.

MI’ RAJ (ASCENSION)

Refers to what happened to the Prophet when he ascended from al-Masjid al-Aqsa up to beyond the Seventh Heaven, where Salaat was prescribed, and then returning back in the same fashion in the same night.

In al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Imam Isma’eel ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said, “Ascension didn’t take place aboard al-Buraq as some people might think, for al-Buraq was tied to the door of Bayt-ul-Maqdis, so that he could ride it to Makkah. The prophet ascended from one heaven to another until he passed the Seventh Heaven.”

A JOURNEY OF REJUVENATION AND INSPIRATION

In the few years that preceded the incident of Isra’ and Mi’raj, the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the believers with him had gone through and suffered from many stressful and sad events.

He, first lost his most beloved wife, Khadijah (radhiyallahu anha), the first Muslim and his best friend, supporter and motivator, the woman who spent all of her wealth, used all of her family and tribal relationships to support him, the one who provided the best comfort and consultation he could possibly find. Then he lost protection against the hard aggression of the people of Makkah when his uncle, Abu Talib, died. As long as his uncle was alive, no one in Makkah was able to hurt him (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his followers, but after his death, they were forced to take exile in a valley close to Makkah, where there was no food or shelter.

Yet the biggest disappointment came when the prophet went to Ta’if seeking their acceptance and help, but they refused him and did all they could to hurt him. Such was the situation. Many of his followers had emigrated to Ethiopia and those who stayed with him were defenseless and hungry. What was most stressful for the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the fact that people knew him a person who was truthful at all time but still did not believe in him.

In the midst of all these sorrows, Allah took His prophet through the Israa and Mi’raaj to provide him with inspiration and support by showing him what no other human has ever been blessed with. In the heavens, he witnessed the great Signs of Allah, and the indication of Divine Providence toward him and the dawah, such that he became certain of the success of the dawah and of his victory over his enemies. The miracle of the Israa and Mi’raaj proved to the prophet that if the earth would straighten to him at certain times, then heavens gates are open for him at all times, and if some terrestrials would harm him, then the people of heaven would support and stand with him.

NOT AN OUT-OF-BODY-EXPERIENCE

Muslims believe that the Isra’ and Mi’raj was a real journey, not a dream or a vision. It was a physical journey by soul and body. Imam an-Nawawi (rahimahullah) wrote in his commentary on the Sahih of Muslim (2/209) that, “The truth cherished by the majority of people in general, and the Salaf in particular, the scholars of fiqh and scholars of Hadith is that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) went in the journey of Isra physically, i.e., with his body

And in his commentary on the Sahih of Bukhari (1/460). Imam ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) wrote that no one should dispute the fact that the Isra’ happened to the prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) while he was awake. This is what the Qur’an clearly said about it, and also because the people of Quraysh disbelieved he did it.

Had it been only a dream, they would not have found it necessary for them to reject and disbelieve what he said about it, for people can dream of whatever they want. But because he told them that he physically went to the heavens, they refused to believe him. In fact, even some of those who claimed to be Muslims reneged and announced their rejection of the story of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj.

WHEN DID IT ALL HAPPEN?

Imam ad-Dhahabi said that the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was taken for the Night Journey to al-Quds one year before Hijrah, the emigration to Madinah. Ibn al Qayyim said in his book, Zad al-Ma’ad (3/42), Ibn Abdul-Barr and others said that there was a period of fourteen months between the Isra’ and the Hijrah. Also, ibn Katheer quoted in al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah (3/108), a number of different scholarly views concerning defining an exact date of the Isra’, and concluded that none had a solid evidence as to the exact date of the Isra’. The majority of scholars are in agreement, however, that the Isra’ happened nearly a year before the Hijrah; they not only disagreed about a particular day, but the month as well.

LESSONS TO LEARN

IMAAN IS THE CRITERION

Imaan is belief, and practicing what you believe. One of the distinguishing factors in rank between Muslims, in the Sight of Allah, is the extent to which they believe in, and practice the teachings of Islam. Allah Ta’ala says describing the believers, “And who believe in the revelation sent to you, and sent before your time, and (in their hearts) have assurance of the hereafter. They are on (true guidance), from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.” (2:4-5)

How could they afford not to believe while knowing for certain that the informer is either Allah, And whose word can be truer than Allah’s? (4:122)

The Messenger, Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed. (53:3-4)

The incident of Isra’ and Mi’raaj was a major test of the companions belief in Allah. When they succeeded in overcoming the doubts caused in their minds by the Satan and the pagan Makkas, they felt a strong surge of Iman they had not experienced yet. They now know that their prophet is a true Messenger of Allah and that Allah will not abandon them to their enemies. They realized that acceptance of the “ghayb” or “unseen” news their prophet told them of, is the foundation to what belief is all about.

It was belief that distinguished Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radhiyallahu anhu) and placed him in a rank never to be equaled or surpassed by any of the companions or those who would come after them. Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was known by the nickname “as-Siddiq (the believer)” more than his real name. He gained that nickname because he immediately and unconditionally believed in what the prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said about his journey to the heavens. Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) had based his Imaan on his belief and practiced accordingly; Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) belief is that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the Informer. His practice of that was based upon the fact that Allah is the Legislator. Allah Ta’ala says,

The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from His Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. (They say), ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers? and they say, ‘ We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).? (al-Qur’an 2:285)

The lesson for us, the Muslims, is that if it is in the Qur’an or reported authentically as a Sunnah, then we should believe in it, and act upon it, through the expert jurists, nothing less, nothing more.

FITRAH – CHOOSING THE WAY

An-Nawawi said that the reply of Jibraaeel (to the prophet), “You chose the Fitrah“, meant that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had chosen the religion of Islam. That is, “You have chosen the emblem of Islam and Istiqamah (being steadfast on the Straight Path). The milk was a sign, because it is easy to drink, good and tasty, while wine is  the mother of all evil? and it is a case for different acts of malice.”

Look at the world today and you will see the manifestation of this. People have turned to wine, excelled in manufacturing and serving it; the result is that it has served to corrupt their minds, hearts, and spirit. Despite all of the technological advancements, humanity still witnesses horrible consequences of their anti-Fitrah practices; war, decease, depleted resources, wasted minds and efforts, greed, filth and, happy souls going into misery, to say the least. It all happened when the natural Fitrah was rejected, in search of a way of life other than the Way of Allah, the Creator of this life, and the next. Allah says, “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e., neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its teachings) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind.” (al-Qur’an 20:124)

“And whosoever is blind in this world (i.e., does not see Allah’s Signs and believes not in Him), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more stray from the Path.” (al-Qur’an 17:72)

Fitrah and acts of Fitrah should, therefore, be the choice of the Muslim. In fact, Fitrah is the state we are all created in but as mentioned in the authentic Hadith, Satan and his followers work hard to take us away from it. It is very important that Muslims know the characteristics of the acts of Fitrah so that they know how to choose. Life, after all and as shown by this incident, is about choice.

THE PROPHET’S STANDING WITH ALLAH

An-Nawawi (rahimahullah( said, ‘The Prophet’s saying ‘I was then ascended till a point where I could hear the squeak of the pens‘. The word, ‘squeak’ here means the sound made by the pens as they write.

Imam al-Khattaabi (rahimahullah) said, ‘It is the sound of what the Angels write of Allah’s Ordinances and Revelations.’

Al-Qadhi Iyadh (rahimahullah) said, ‘The highness of the Prophet’s rank over that of all the prophets, and his reaching far into the Kingdom of Heaven is an evidence of his higher rank and reverence.’

The prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) could not have achieved this high honour, except through the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala, with which the Prophet attained the highest level of ‘Uboodiyyah‘, worship and also the deepest level of sincerity that can reside inside the heart.

Degrees of worship are shared by lesser individuals, ‘A multitude of those (foremost) will be from the first generations, and a few of those (foremost) will be from the later generations.’ but the highest degree is only enjoyed by one person. This degree or, Darajah was explained by the Prophet’s saying, ‘Whenever you hear the Muadhin (caller to Salaat), repeat after him, and send your Salaah and Salaam to me. Whoever send Salaat and Salaam to me, Allah will send him Salaat ten times. then ask Allah to give me the Wasilah. The Wasilah is a station in Heaven that can only be for one person, and I hope that I am he. Whosoever would ask the Wasilah for me, would be granted Shafaa’ah, intercession.’ (Muslim)

ASSIGNING THE SALAAT

Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) says in his commentary on Sahih Bukhari (1/460), ‘The wisdom of prescribing the Salaat during the Mi`raaj is that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was hallowed internally and externally. He was washed with Zamzam water, and was showered with Imaan and wisdom. Since Salaat is preceded by ablution, it was thus appropriate that Salaat was prescribed in that state, i.e. after the Prophet was purified, as he led Prophets and angels in Salaat, and as he was apostrophizing his Lord; hence the person making the Salaat apostrophizes his Lord, Most High and Most Glorified.’

It is part of worship that we place matters in the position given to them by Allah, and to judge with the ‘Scale of Allah’, and not with that of the people.

One who really contemplates about the mandating of Salaat on the very night of the Mi’raaj, would come to understand that Allah has glorified the Salaat and has placed it in a very high position. Yet, many people are still unable to understand this high rank. What should we think of a prescribed worship that Allah had prescribed there above the Seventh Heavens, whereas the rest of our obligations were prescribed here on earth?? How should we regard a prescribed worship that the Prophet had received directly from his Lord, without any intercessor, whereas the rest of our obligations were conveyed to the Prophet through a mediator (Jibra’eel)? There are numerous verses and Ahaadith that talk about the obligation of Salaat and keeping and watching for it. The bonds of brotherhood even terminate between non-praying brothers, for Allah says, ‘But if they repent, perform Salaat and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion.’ (9:11) and he whoever understands and contemplates the truth of the Salaat, would never hesitate to accept the fact that there is no share of Islam for whosoever has no share of Salaat. The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) states this fact in his saying, ‘The covenant between us and them is Salaat, whosoever does not do it is considered a Kaafir.’ (Tirmidhi)

LESSENING THE NUMBERS

Ibn Hibbaan said in his Sahih (1/133), ‘Then he (the prophet) was obliged with fifty Salaats; this order was a trial, one that Allah wanted to test His beloved (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) with. When He prescribed fifty prayers on him, because Allah previously knew that He would only prescribe five Salaats for the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, but the order to pray fifty prayers was a test. This is similar to our saying that Allah might order something while willing that the ordered individual obey His order and not necessarily carry out the order literally. An example of this was when Allah Ta’ala ordered His beloved Ibraaheem to slay his own son. Allah’s Will behind this order was to have His Order obeyed and submitted to: when the had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah), and Ibraaheem had laid his son prostrate on his forehead (for slaughtering), Allah ransomed him with a great sacrifice. Had Allah willed the literal fulfillment of His Order, he (Ibraaheem) would have found his son really slaughtered. Similarly, prescribing fifty prayers was meant to have His Order obeyed and submitted to, without having it literally carried out.’

Allah rightly says, ‘And if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.’ (Qur’an 14:34) What is a greater blessing that having fifty Salaats reduced to five, and having the same reward of having made all fifty?

All praise is due to Allah Most High, Most Generous. Yet, many of the children of Aadam, either reject the blessings of Allah, or are unaware of the value of these blessings, or are not thankful to Allah. Such people deserve the displeasure of Allah, and many are described in the following verses, ‘But few of My slaves are grateful’ (Qur’an 34:13);

‘Verily, man is ungrateful to His Lord.’ (al-Qur’an 100:6);

‘Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate who denies Allah’s Blessings by disbelief).’ (al-Qur’an 14:34)

FULFILLING OUR PURPOSE

In light of what some Muslims practice in the so called Night of Mi’raaj there remains a question regarding whether Muslims are required to do a special worship in that night. Part of that question has been dealt with when we discussed the date on which Isra’ and Mi’raaj took place. And the answer was that the exact date is not known. And a logical conclusion would be: if you do not know when it happened, you cannot celebrate on a certain night. But let us further examine the matter of specifying certain worships and associating them with certain times as a matter of religion. Let us discuss what it meant by ‘Ibaadah or worship in Islam.

Allah has decided the purpose of our creation, ‘And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and the mankind except that they should worship Me (alone).’ (al-Qur’an 15:56)

Man would never attain this purpose unless he fulfils two requirements: First, he should find the right way to worship Allah, the way that Allah has promised its followers safety, success and happiness in this life and in the Hereafter; and promised its non-followers quite the opposite. Man would never find this Path among other deviating paths except through the Guidance of Allah. Second, following and holding to this Right Path in worshipping Allah is in want of Allah’s Support and Help to the worshipper. Allah has joined these two (requirements) in the greatest chapter of the Qur’aan, ‘You (alone) we worship, and Your Help alone we seek.’ (al-Qur’an 1:4)

Those who claim that Muslims should have a special celebration on the Night of Mi’raaj usually compare it to the Night of al-Qadr. Some say the opposite. If those who said the Night of Isra is better than the Night of al-Qadr, claim that the Night of Mi’raaj is better for the Muslims so that the spending of that night in Salaat and Du’a would be better than doing the same during the Night of al-Qadr, then such saying is wrong, and such was never claimed by any of the scholars. Such a claim is wrong Islamically and logically for as mentioned earlier, it does not make sense to celebrate an occasion the date of which is not known. And as it is clearly known, this is not the case with the Night of al-Qadr, for it is reported in Bukhari and Muslim that, ‘Wait for (i.e. expect) the Night of al-Qadr during the last ten days of Ramadhan.’ Also, Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an that it is better than one thousand nights, and that the Qur’an was revealed during it.

If on the other hand, those who have such a claim mean that the specific night on which the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was taken for Isra’, and during which the Prophet encountered what he had never experienced before or after, without specifying any night Salaat or worship for that night, then such a claim is correct. When Allah gives His Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) a blessed and an honoured occasion, place or time, this does not make such an occasion, place or time better than all other occasions, places and times. Specifying and associating such an honour with certain occasions, places or times require knowledge about the heart of these matters, and the value of blessings which can only be known through revelation ‘Wahy‘. Thus, no such a claim should be accepted unless it had evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

That is why we do not know of any evidence that the Night of Mi’raaj was to be better than other nights, and particularly, the Night of al-Qadr. Neither the companions, nor their rightful successors, ‘The Taabi`een’, made a point of associating certain doings during that night. They have never told us of its exact date. Even if the Isra’ and Mi’raaj was the best blessing for the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) the fact remains that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his companions were reported to have not prescribed any particular form of worship for that night nor that place. Why should we? There are many blessed occasions, places and times in Islam for which we have no prescribed worships associated with. The incident of Isra’ and Mi`raaj is one of them and it should remain as such.

The incident of Isra’ and Mi`raaj represents a great occasion in the history of Islam. its story and the circumstances that surrounded it at the time touches the heart and the mind of every Muslim willing to ponder and contemplate it. Muslims should celebrate it by studying it, learning from it and by exerting themselves to find inspiration and motivation in it so that they can keep steadfast on the way of Islam and struggle even harder in the Path of Allah.

The Value of serving a Mother – Heart Touching Story of Hadhrat Owais Qarni

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This story is about a man who cared for his mother and the value that Islam gives to mothers. It is one of my favorite stories. Owais Qarni (rahimahullah) was the only man who was mentioned by name by the Prophet ﷺ without him having met him. Even Mohammed al Fatih, who was mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ, was not mentioned by name, just by his victory. What did Owais do that was so great? He took care of his mother. This is the story of Owais Qarni (rahimahullah).

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One day, Umar ibn Khattab, Abu Bakr, Ali and other companions (radhiyallahu anhum) were sitting with the Prophet ﷺ at the mosque when the Prophet ﷺ said to them, “Tomorrow, a man will enter from this door to pray among you and he will be from the people of Paradise.”

Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that the next day he hurried to Fajr prayer at the Mosque and lined up in the first row in hopes that he would be the man that the Prophet ﷺ was referring to the day before. There were many other Companions standing alongside him who also had the same idea. The Prophet ﷺ conducted Fajr prayer and sat down. The Companions were eager to know who this man of Paradise was, but it didn’t seem the Prophet ﷺ was going to mention it. So they sat and waited for a while and some of them had to go, but others still waited. These included Abu Huraira, Abu Bakr, Ali, and Umar (radhiyallahu anhum).

Just then walked in a man, who was so poor his clothes were dirty and torn. The Prophet ﷺ immediately stood up and smiled from ear to ear and welcomed the man. The man asked the Prophet ﷺ to pray for him. The Prophet ﷺ raised his hands in duaa and said, “Oh Allah please grant this man a position in the highest levels of Paradise, Al Ferdous, with me.” So then when the man left, Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) asked the Prophet ﷺ,”Was that him?!” “Yes,” replied the Prophet ﷺ.

“But oh Messenger of Allah, he is nothing more than a poor slave, how can that be him?” asked Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu). “Oh Abu Huraira,” said the Prophet ﷺ. “What can I do for him if his fate in this world is to be poor? His position on the Day of Judgment is that of a king. Abu Huraira, the ones that have the most value to Allah are those that are pure, starving, whose faces are dusty, who are not known on this Earth, but known in the skies. If they want to get married, no one would marry them. And if they get sick, the do not pass on the sickness to anyone (they are alone), and if they attend something their presence is not felt, and if they leave, no one notices, and when they die, no one attends their funeral. These people however, are not forgotten by Allah and they are held with so much value.

“Oh Messenger of Allah, show me one of them,” said Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu).

I will tell you about Owais Al Qarni,” replied the Prophet ﷺ. The Companions looked at each other, each trying to recall if they know a man named Owais. They didn’t know that he was talking about a man that they will meet years after the Prophet ﷺ has passed away.

He is a man of medium height, head held high despite being poor with very dark skin. I can see him putting his right arm on his left arm and weeping as he reads Quran. He is wearing a cloak of poor wool,” said the Prophet ﷺ, smiling as if he can see him as Angel Gabriel is describing him. “On his left shoulder, there is a white mark the size of a dirham that is the effect of an illness. He is unknown among the people but known in the skies. His biggest sign is the mother he deeply cares for. When he makes duaa, it is granted. He will come among the people on the Day of Judgment and as they are entering Paradise, he will be stopped. When he asks why, Allah will tell him he can bring whomever he wants into Paradise with him, as much as 200,000 people (the amount of two large tribes).

Ali and Umar, if you are ever to find this man, ask him to make duaa for you and ask Allah for your forgiveness,” said the Prophet ﷺ.

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Elsewhere in Yemen, a young boy is herding his sheep, the sun beating down on his shoulders where a white mark stands alone on his dark skin. He is frustrated from being poor and having to struggle and take care of his mother. His father died when he was a young child, leaving him the man of the house. When the boy was seventeen, his mother lost her vision, and his responsibilities toward her increased as he now had to help her move around.

One night, he was carrying a candle and helping his mother move around the house when the candlelight went out and they were left in darkness. He could not see a thing. Then his mother, who was used to finding her way in the darkness, started leadinghim.  This turn of events affected him deeply and he started to ponder on the weight of light and darkness.

The next day, the seventeen-year-old Owais bumped into a Muslim man who was coming to Yemen to spread Islam. He stopped the man and asked him to tell him something from the Qur’an that his Prophet ﷺ has said. So the man recites a verse from Surat Al Nur:

{…And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light} (Quran 24:40)

This really hit home for Owais as he remembered what had happened the night before with his mother. “Tell me more about what your Prophet ﷺ says,” said Owais.

So the man, noticing that Owais was poor, chose this Hadith. “What am I to this world and what is this world to me? The example of me and this world is that of a man who walks in the heat of the desert and sits under the shade of a tree for an hour, then walks away and leaves it.

Owais (rahimahullah) upon hearing this Hadith, immediately said his shahadah and became a Muslim at the age of 17. Then came the question, will he migrate to see the Prophet ﷺ? As much as Owais (rahimahullah) wanted to, he couldn’t and wouldn’t leave his mother. Some people suggested that he let some neighbors take care of her while he was gone but he said that he was the one who should take care of her and turned down the opportunity to see the Prophet ﷺ. This sacrifice for his mother and the way Owais (rahimahullah) had devoted himself to his mother his whole life was the reason that he was mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ. Also because of his deep faith and his lack of attachment to the material things in this world.

So when Ali bin Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) left Yemen with a group of new Muslims to go back to Madinah, it was without the boy he bumped into on his way there. He had no idea that it the Owais (rahimahullah) that the Prophet ﷺ had mentioned and the boy didn’t know it was Ali bin Abu Talib (radhiyallahu anhu).

3 years later, the Prophet ﷺ passed away and years after that Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) also passed away. When Umar ibn Al Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) became Khalifa, he would go around all the people during Hajj and call out, “OWAIS, OWAIS, Is there anyone here named Owais??” He would go to the group that came from Yemen and ask them if a man named Owais (rahimahullah) is among them. But no one had heard of this man. Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) realized it was just as the Prophet ﷺ described to him, that he was a man who was unknown among the people.

Year after year, Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would go around at Hajj and call out and ask for Owais (rahimahullah). One year during Hajj, he stood at Mount Arafat and asked all the people making Hajj to stand up. Then he told everyone to sit down except those from Yemen. From that group, he told them all to sit down except those from Murad and from that group, he told them all to sit down except those from Qarn. One man was left standing. “Are you a Qarni?” asked Umar ibn Al Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu). The man replied in the affirmative. “Do you know Owais?” “Yes, he is my nephew. But what would you want with him. He is but a poor, forgotten man,” replied the Yemeni man.

Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) started to weep. “This man is not just a poor, forgotten man. He is a man who will choose 200,000 people to come with him into heaven. Is he with you?”

“No, he is not,” replied the man.

“Is his mother living,” asked Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).

“Yes,” replied the man.

“I know he will not ever leave her, as this is what the Prophet ﷺ said,” replied Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).

Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) searched for Owais (rahimahullah) for ten years. A year before the death of Umar(radhiyallahu anhu), Owais’s (rahimahullah) mother passed away. That year, Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) stood up at Mount Arafat again and said to the people of Yemen, “Is Owais al Qarni among you?” A Yemeni man said, “He is that shepherd standing over there.” Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) became so excited and went to look for Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). “Ali! Ali! We found him!” he called out.

Umar and Ali (radhiyallahu anhum) approached Owais and asked him, “Are you Owais al Qarni?”

“Yes,” replied a surprised Owais (rahimahullah). “Show me your shoulder,” replied Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Owais (rahimahullah) showed them his shoulder and they were able to see the mark that the Prophet ﷺ mentioned. “Is your mother with you?” asked Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Owais replied that his mother had passed away. “Ah, it is just as the Prophet ﷺ said it would be then,” said Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).

Owais (rahimahullah) actually did not know these men so he asked them who they were. “I am Umar ibn Al Khattab, the Khalifa, and this is Ali ibn Abu Talib, the man who came to Yemen to spread Islam,” said Umar(radhiyallahu anhu).

“Yes! I remember him! But, how do you know me?” asked Owais (rahimahullah).

So Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) told Owais the whole story about how the Prophet ﷺ had talked about him years ago and how Angel Gabriel had described him. They said how his signs were the mark on his shoulder, his care for his mother, and his lack of attachment to this world. He said how Prophet ﷺ told them that he would take 200,000 people with him into Paradise. They told him how they had been looking for him for years.

Umar and Ali (radhiyallahu anhum) then asked Owais to make duaa for them and ask forgiveness for him. “You are now my friend in this life and the next,” Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said to Owais (rahimahullah). However, Owais (rahimahullah) was not interested in the life of fame and ease that would come with being Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) friend, especially when people find out what the Prophet ﷺ had said about him. He kindly refused, and asked to be left as he is.

Owais (rahimahullah) said he was going to go to Kufa. “Would you like me to write to the leader of Kufa to await your arrival and look after you?” asked Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).

“No thank you. I would like to go unknown as I came,” replied Owais.

“Ok then at least let me give you some money to help you out,” said Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in an effort to do at least something for Owais (rahimahullah). “No thank you, my wool coat has still not worn out and neither have my shoes. I have four dirhams that I have still not used. When I run out, I will figure out how to get more. I am content this way,” replied Owais (rahimahullah).

“Please stay with me,” said Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). “Thank you Umar. But what I have is good for me and what you have is good for you and the Muslims,” said Owais (rahimahullah).

Owais left Makkah. He participated in the battle at Azerbaijan and died during the battle. His death came about 2 years after the death of Umar ibn Al Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu). Owais (rahimahullah) was about 35 years old.

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*This is one of my favorite stories. There are two things to learn here. One is the importance of taking care of your mother and that the reward for it is more than you can imagine. Once a companion asked the Prophet ﷺ whom he should befriend. The Prophet ﷺ replied, “Your mother.” The Companion then asked, “Who after her?” “Your mother,” replied the Prophet ﷺ. Then Companion then asked, “Then who should I befriend?” “Your mother,” replied the Prophet ﷺ. “Then whom after that?” asked the Companion. Your father,” replied the Prophet ﷺ. So much importance is placed on the mother-not just taking care of her and feeding her and clothing her. Befriend her. Your parents should be your friends. Bir Al Waleedain, your obligation to your parents, is not just a material obligation like putting a roof over their heads and making a phone call every week. Its being their friend and having them be a part of your life, especially in their old age. People say that Islam oppresses women, but how can anyone say that when they see a person like Owais, who will take 200,000 with him to heaven, just for sacrificing his friendship with the Prophet ﷺ to take care of his mother and for devoting his whole life to her. If you were in the same position, what would you choose?

Which leads me to the second lesson. Sacrifice. When you sacrifice something for Allah or leave something for the sake of Allah, Allah will reward you with something unbelievably greater than it. Owais (rahimahullah) didn’t get to be a Companion of the Prophet ﷺ because he chose to care for his mother, so Owais was given the honor of being his Companion in Paradise! This also goes for you in even the smallest things.

*Imagine how Owais (rahimahullah) must have felt to hear what the Prophet ﷺ had said about him!

*This story is also a reminder that our wealth, clothes and status are not an indication to how we are viewed by Allah. The story in the beginning of the man in the mosque was the Prophet’s ﷺ way of showing that to the Companions.

*Owais (rahimahullah) is going to take 200,000 people with him to Paradise! Even a martyr only gets 70,000.

HADHRAT UMAR AND THE ROMAN ENVOY

Once the ambassador of the Emperor of Rome came to Madinah with many gifts. Arriving at Madinah, he enquired from the people the whereabouts of the palace of the King of Madinah. The people replied: “Our King has no palace. However, our leader, the leader of the believers has a mansion – his respected self which has a special contact with Allah and which has become enlightened through the splendour of His nearness. Thus this has made him independent of the need for royal palaces. ”

They further informed him: “You will find the leader of the believers, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in the graveyard of Madinah”. The Roman Ambassador then went to the graveyard and there saw Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) lying down, having taken off his shirt with a sheet covering the lower part of his body. He was lying down fast asleep on the ground with no throne or crown on his head. Neither were there any soldiers nor any bodyguards. But as the ambassador looked at his face, he began shaking with fear. Within himself he said:

“I have seen many great Kings in this life

And have been the companion and confidant of many Rulers. Never have I any fear for any King.

But the awe and fear I feel for this one

Dressed in such tattered clothing is causing my senses to depart.

This person without any weapons and without any forces sleeping here alone on this ground.

What is it that causes my whole body to shake and tremble in awe of him?

Even if I had seven bodies, they would not bear it and all would tremble. ”

Then the envoy said to himself:
“This awe and fear that I feel is not for this one who is dressed in tattered clothes.

In fact, this is fear of Allah for this tattered clothed one has a heart that is blessed with Allah’s contact and nearness.”

Thus this envoy, through the blessings of Hazrat Umar’ s (radhiyallahu anhu) company and grace converted to Islam.

Maulana Rumi (rahmatullah alayh) says:

“He who fears Allah and adopts a life of righteousness, him the jinn and men fear .

And whoever sees him is overpowered by awe and fear. “

             Lesson from this Story

This story teaches us the lesson that true honour for men is brought about by true and deep contact with Allah and not by outward shows of beauty and adornment. But the foolish ones of our age are displeasing Allah and in spite of committing sins are endeavouring to acquire honour and respect by building beautiful mansions, dressing in expensive clothing and putting their trust in their businesses. But we see that the honour they acquire is such that in their absence, those very same people who honour them in their presence swear them.

Today, he may be the President of the country, but the moment he vacates that position or is removed from this position, then there is no more any honour for him in the newspapers. Similarly is the position of the Kings. But Saints of Allah, the Awliyaa Allah, are the true Kings. Hence they are called Shah. This is their true position and description in this world as well as after their demise. They continue to be mentioned with honour even after their death.

Read more about Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and get inspired! :

Story of Hazrat Umar radhiyallahu anhu’s conversion to Islam

Hazrat Umar [radhiyallahu anhu] and The Fear of Allah

WHO IS THE GREATEST CONQUEROR IN HISTORY: Alexander the Great or Hazrat Umar Al Farooq ﺭﺿّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨ?…