Category Archives: Seerah

The Expedition to Khaybar

REWARD FROM ALLAH:
Allah – glory be to Him and may He be exalted! promised those who had made the Pledge at Hudaybiyyah the reward of coming victory as well as booty. The Qur’an says:

Allah was well pleased with the believers when they were pledging allegiance to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down Tranquillity upon them, and rewarded them with a near victory and many spoils to take; and Allah is ever Mighty, Wise. (48: 18-19)

The Conquest of Khaybar was to be the first of these victories. Khaybar, seventy miles north-east of Madinah, was a Jewish colony with citadels and was the headquarters of the Jewish garrison. It was the last and most formidable Jewish stronghold in Arabia. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah wanted to be secure on that front because the Jews spent much of their wealth on stirring up the neighbouring Arab tribes to wage war against the Muslims.

AN ARMY OF BELIEVERS:
On his return from al-Hudaybiyyah, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah stayed in Madinah during the month of dhu’l Hijjah and for part of Muharram. At the end of Muharram, he set out for Khaybar. While travelling, one of the Companions, Amr ibn al-Akwa’ recited these verses:

By Allah, were it not for Allah, we would not have been guided nor given sadaqah, charity, nor prayed.

If people treat us unjustly or try to attack us we resist.

Send down tranquillity and make us firm against the enemy.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah advanced with his army which numbered fourteen hundred men including two hundred cavalry. Those who had lagged behind on the al-Hudaybiyyah expedition were refused permission to take part in the expedition. Twenty women accompanied the party in order to care for the sick and wounded and to prepare food and supply water during the fighting.

On the way, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called for food but only some dried up barley was brought. He asked for it to be moistened, then he and all those who accompanied him ate it. When he was approaching Khaybar, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah prayed for the benefits that would come from conquering the colony and sought refuge from its evil and the evil of its people. When he went on an expedition against a people, he would not attack until morning. When, if he heard the adhan from the locality, he held back, it was a sign that there were believers among the inhabitants. But if he did not hear the adhan, he would attack. The adhan was not heard the next morning so the army advanced. They met the early workers of Khaybar carrying their spades and baskets but when they saw the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and the army, they cried, ‘Muhammad with his army!’ and fled. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘Allah is great! Khaybar is destroyed! When we arrive in a community, it is a bad morning for those who have been warned.’

A VICTORIOUS GENERAL:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and his army overpowered the fortresses of Khaybar one by one. The first fortress to be conquered was that of Na’im. The Jews defended well against the Muslims but Ali ibn Abi Talib eventually crushed them. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had said, ‘Let the standard be taken by a man who loves Allah and His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and he will conquer this fort.’

All the great Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) vied for this honour, as each of them hoped to be the standard-bearer. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called Ali ibn Abi Talib, whose eyes were inflamed, to him and he applied spittle to his eyes while praying for his success. Ali’s eyes were soon cured and he received the standard. He said, ‘I will fight them until they are like us.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah replied, ‘Go ahead and invite them to Islam. Tell them the obligations they owe to Allah. By Allah, if one man is guided to the faith by you it is better for you than having red camels.’

ANOTHER VICTORY:
When Ali came near the fort, Marhab, the famous Jewish war-lord, appeared reciting verses about his bravery. They fell upon one another immediately. Ali’s sword ran through Marhab’s helmet, splitting his head in two. A great victory was gained through his death.

THE SLAVE’S REWARD:
A black Abyssinian slave was tending sheep for his Jewish master when he saw the Jews taking up arms. He was told that they were going to fight the man who claimed to be a Prophet. The slave was curious. He took his sheep right up to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and asked, ‘What is it that you say, and what do you invite people to?’

‘I invite people to Islam; that is, you testify that there is no god but Allah, that I am the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and that you worship only Allah.’

‘What will I get if I testify and believe in Allah!’ ‘You will enter Paradise if you die with this faith.’ The slave accepted Islam and then asked, ‘Prophet of Allah! I hold these sheep in trust. What should I do with the flock?’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah replied, ‘Abandon them in the field near the fort. Allah will make sure that they reach their master.’

The slave did as he was told and the sheep returned to their master. The Jew then discovered that his slave had become a Muslim. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah urged his people to fight for the sake of Allah. When the battle between the Muslims and Jews was under way, the black slave was among the Muslims who were fighting and were martyred. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah came to his Companions to say, Allah has blessed this slave and brought him to Khaybar. I saw two houris by him even though he had never prostrated to Allah.’

THE BEDOUIN’S REWARD:
A Bedouin also came to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and accepted Islam. He then went to accompany the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah in the campaign. Some of the Companions were asked to take care of him.

When, on the expedition to Khaybar, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah captured some booty, he allocated a share to the Bedouin who was some distance away grazing the Muslims’ flocks. When he came and was given his booty, he asked, ‘What is this?’

‘A share which the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah has allotted to you.
He then took it to the Prophet and asked, ‘What is this, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah?’
‘A portion of the booty which I have allotted to you .’

‘I did not follow you for this,’ he said, ‘I followed you so that I might be shot with an arrow here,’ and he pointed to his neck,’ and die and enter Paradise.’
‘If that is what you want,’ the Prophet told him,
‘Allah will confirm it.’
In a later battle the Bedouin’s dead body was brought to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.
‘Is it the same man?’ he asked.
‘Yes.’
‘He was true to Allah and Allah made his wish come true,’ said the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who shrouded him with his own cloak. Then he recited the funeral prayer over him. His words included, ‘O Allah, this is Your slave who went out as a Muhajir in Your way. He was killed as a martyr and I am a witness for him.’

CONDITIONS FOR REMAINING IN KHAYBAR:
The Jews of Khaybar were besieged in their fortresses. Fighting continued for days. At last they asked the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah for terms of peace. He allowed them to stay in Khaybar on condition that they gave to the Muslims in Madinah half of all the crops and fruit they produced on their farms. Each year the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah used to send Abdullah ibn Rawahah to Khaybar where he divided the produce in half and let the Jews choose the half they wanted. ‘On this the heavens and earth stand’ was the Jews’ comment on his sense of justice.

POISONED MEAT:
During the Khaybar expedition, an attempt was made to poison the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. A Jewess, Zaynab bint al-Harith, the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, presented him with roasted mutton, having enquired what joint he liked best. When she was told, ‘shoulder,’ she put a quantity of poison in it and took it to him. When he tasted it, he realised immediately that it was poisoned and spat it out.

He summoned the Jews who gathered round and asked them, ‘Will you be truthful about something I will ask of you?’
They said, ‘Yes.
‘Did you put poison in this mutton?’
‘Yes.
‘What made you do it?’
‘If you were false,’ they said, ‘we would get rid of you. But if you are really a Prophet, the poison would not harm you.
Zaynab was then brought to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. She confessed, ‘I wanted to kill you.
He answered, ‘Allah would not give you power over me.
His Companions asked, ‘Shall we kill her?’
‘No,’ he said, and she was set free.

However, when Bishr ibn al-Bara’ ibn Ma’rur, who had also eaten some of the mutton, died a painful death, Zaynab was killed.

BOOTY:
After the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had conquered Khaybar, he went on to Fadak and then to Wadi’l-Qura. He invited the Jews to Islam, telling them that if they became Muslims, their life and property would be safe and they would be rewarded by Allah. The Jews of Wadi’l-Qura decided to fight the Muslims but were soon forced to surrender.

The Jews handed over their possessions and the Muslims took them as booty. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah then divided things up between his Companions, leaving the land and property in the Jews hands.

When the Jews of Tayma’ learnt that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had defeated the people of Khaybar, Fadak and Wadi’l-Qura, they offered him peace terms which he
accepted. They were allowed to keep their land and property. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah then returned to Madinah.

‘UMRAT AL-QADA’
In the following year, 7 A.H., the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and the Muslims set out for Makkah. The Quraysh of Makkah vacated their houses and stayed up in the mountains overlooking the valley. The Muslims stayed in Makkah for three days and performed ‘umrah. The Qur’an says:

Allah has indeed fulfilled the vision He vouchsafed to His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) truly, ‘You shall enter the Holy Mosque, if Allah wills, in security, your heads shaved, your hair cut short, not fearing.’ He knew what you knew not, and appointed before that a nigh victory. (48: 27)

RIVALRY:
Islam changed dramatically the hearts and minds of the new Muslims. Baby daughters, who had been buried alive in the days of the Jahiliyyah, were now precious arrivals whose custody and upbringing were considered honourable,

When the Prophet left Makkah after ‘umrah, Umamah, the little daughter of Hamzah, followed him, calling out, ‘Uncle! Uncle!’
Ali took her hand and said to Fatimah, ‘Here is your niece, ‘ and Fatimah took care of her.
Ali, Zayd and Ja’far all claimed her guardianship.
Ali said, ‘I will take her. She is my uncle’s daughter.’
Ja’far said, ‘She is my uncle’s daughter too, and her aunt is my wife.’
Zayd said, ‘She is my brother’s daughter.’
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah dealt with the controversy. He gave her to her aunt, saying, ‘A maternal aunt is like a mother.’
To comfort Ali(R.A.), he Said, ‘You are mine and I am yours.’
And to Ja’far he Said, ‘You are like me in character and appearance.
He said to Zayd, ‘You are my brother and my mawla.’

Invitation to Kings and Rulers to Islam

AN INVITATION:
Peaceful conditions followed the treaty of Hudaybiyyah and the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah wrote letters to foreign sovereigns and to Arab chieftains, inviting them to accept Islam. He took great care to select a suitable messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) for each king and the letters were painstakingly prepared. He was told that foreign kings would not accept any letter without a seal so he had a silver signet ring made on which was inscribed, Muhammad, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.’

HERACLIUS:
Among the kings he contacted were the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, the Persian emperor, Chosroes Parvez the Negus, King of Abyssinia, and Muqawqis, King of Egypt.

Heraclius, the Negus and Muqawqis received their letters with respect and gave courteous replies. Heraclius wanted to know more about the Prophet and dispatched to find out all they could. Abu Sufyan happened to be in Ghazzah on a business trip and he was presented to the king. Heraclius proved to be an intelligent examiner who knew the history of religion and the qualities and behaviour of the Prophets. He had studied how nations reacted to them and how and when Allah would send them. Abu Sufyan was truthful in his answers in the tradition of the early Arabs who considered it beneath their dignity to tell a lie.

When Heraclius heard Abu Sufyan’s answers, he was certain that Muhammad was the Prophet of Allah. He said, ‘If what you say is true, he will come to possess the place on which my two feet are standing. I knew that one was due to come forth but I did not think that he would come from you. If I knew that I could reach him, I would set out to meet him. If I was with him, I would wash his feet.’

He summoned the Roman generals to the castle and commanded that the doors be shut. Then he went to them, declaring, ‘O Romans! If you want success and right guidance and to establish and strengthen your kingdom, give homage to this Prophet.’

They disliked what he was saying and tried to leave but they found that the doors were locked. When Heraclius saw their reaction, he despaired of their faith. He said, ‘Return those people to me,’ and to them he repeated, ‘What I said before was to test your faith. Now I have seen it.’

They prostrated before him and were pleased with what he had said.

Heraclius had preferred his kingdom to Islam. Wars and battles continued between him and the Muslims during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar when he lost both his kingdom and his power.

THE NEGUS AND MUQAWQIS:
The Negus and the Muqawqis were most courteous to the envoys sent by the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. The Muqawqis sent him gifts, including two slavegirls. One of them was Mariah, the mother of Ibrahim, the son of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.

CHOSROES:
When Chosroes, the emperor of Persia, read the letter, he tore it up indignantly, ‘How dare this person who is my slave write to me like this!’ he demanded. When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah heard about Chosroes’ reaction, he replied, ‘Allah will shatter his kingdom.’

Chosroes commanded Badhan, his governor in Yemen, to bring the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah to him. Badhan delegated the task to Babawayh. When Babawayh came to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah in Madinah, he said, ‘The King of Kings, Chosroes, wrote to King Badhan commanding him to send out men to bring you to him. He has sent me to fetch you.’

However, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah told him that Allah had given Shirawayh power and he would kill his father Chosroes. And indeed that was the truth. Allah shattered the Sassanid kingdom which had existed for four hundred years, and gave the Muslims power over it. He guided the Persian people to Islam.

The Peace Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

THE MESSENGER (SALLALLAHU ALAIYHI WASSALLAM) OF ALLAH’S DREAM:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah dreamt that he entered Makkah and did tawaf around the Ka’bah. His Companions in Madinah were delighted when he told them about it. They all revered Makkah and the Ka’bah and they yearned to do tawaf there.

The Muhajirun had even greater affection for Makkah. They had been born there and had grown up in the city. They loved it deeply but had been driven away from it. When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah told them of his dream, they started to prepare for the journey to Makkah. Hardly anyone wanted to stay behind.

MAKKAH VISITED AT LAST:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah left Madinah for al-Hudaybiyyah in Dhu’l-Qa’dah, 6 A.H. He intended to perform ‘umrah in peace. He was accompanied by fifteen hundred Muslims dressed as pilgrims for ‘umrah in order to show people that they had come to visit the Ka’bah out of respect for it. They took with them animals for the sacrifice.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah sent out a scout in advance to inform him about the reaction of the Quraysh. When he was near ‘Usfan the scout returned and reported, ‘I left Ka’b ibn Lu’ayy gathering an army against you to prevent you from reaching the Ka’bah.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah continued to travel until he reached the furthest part of al-Hudaybiyyah. He pitched camp although there was little water. The people started to complain to him of thirst. He took an arrow from his quiver and told them to put it in the waterhole. Immediately it began to gush with water and continued to flow until they had all quenched their thirst.

The Quraysh were extremely alarmed when they heard that the Muslims were at al-Hudaybiyyah, The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah decided to send one of his Companions to them and summoned Uthman ibn Affan. He was sent to inform the Quraysh that they had not come to fight but had come for ‘umrah, and that he should call them to Islam. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah instructed him to visit the believing men and women of Makkah, to give them the good news of victory and tell them that Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, would make His religion victorious in Makkah and it would no longer be necessary for them to conceal their belief.

Uthman went to Makkah and conveyed the message to Abu Sufyan and the Quraysh noblemen.

When Uthman had finished delivering the message, they said, ‘If you yourself wish to do tawaf of the House, go ahead.’

‘I will not do it,’ he said, ‘until the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah has done tawaf.’

BAY’AT-AR-RIDWAN:
Uthman was in Makkah longer than the Muslims had expected and the rumour spread that he had been killed. Then the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called for a pledge of allegiance. He sat beneath a tree and the Muslims promised that they would fight with him to the last man. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah took his own hand and said, ‘This is for Uthman.’ Later they heard that Uthman had not been murdered and he came back safely.

The Pledge took place under an acacia tree in al-Hudaybiyyah and is referred to in the Qur’an Allah revealed, ‘Allah was pleased with the believers when they were pledging their allegiance under the tree.'(48: 181)

The deadlock between the Quraysh and the Muslims continued until four envoys came to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who said to each one, ‘We did not come to fight anyone. Rather we came to perform ‘umrah.’

But the Quraysh remained stubborn and refused to allow them to proceed.

One of the envoys, ‘Urwah ibn Mas’ud ath-Thaqafi, went back to his people and said, ‘O people! By Allah, I have been in the presence of kings – from Chosroes, and Caesar to the Negus – and by Allah, I have never seen any king whose people respected him as much as the companions of Muhammad respect Muhammad.’ He described to them what he had seen.

TREATY AND TRUCE; WISDOM AND FORBEARANCE:
The Quraysh then sent Suhayl ibn Amr. When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah saw him coming, he remarked, ‘It is clear that they want peace since they have sent this man.’ He told his Companions to prepare a draft agreement.
He called for Ali ibn Abi Talib and told him, ‘Write: In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.’

‘By Allah,’ Suhayl said, ‘we do not know who this “Merciful” is. Rather write, “in Your name, O Allah” as you used to write.’
The Muslims said, ‘By Allah, we will only write, “in the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” ‘ The Prophet said, ‘Write, “In Your name, O Allah.” ‘
Then he said, ‘Write, “This is what Muhammad, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah has agreed.” ‘

‘By Allah,’ retorted Suhayl, ‘if we accepted that you were the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, we would not have prevented you from reaching the House of Allah nor fought you. Rather write, “Muhammad ibn Abdullah.”‘

The Prophet said, ‘I am the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah even though you do not believe me. Write, “Muhammad ibn Abdullah.” ‘

He asked Ali to erase what he had written but Ali Said, ‘By Allah no, I will not erase it.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘Show me the place,’ and he erased it himself. Then he said, ‘This is what the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah agrees provided that you give us leave to perform tawaf of the Ka’bah.’

Suhayl Said, ‘By Allah, we will not allow the Arabs to say that we submitted to pressure. It will have to be next year.’ It was also written: ‘On the condition that if any of our men, even if he has your religion, comes to you, you will return him to us.’

The Muslims said, ‘Glory be to Allah! How can we return someone to the idol-worshippers after he has become a Muslim’

While they were thus engaged, Abu Jandal ibn Suhayl came on the scene fettered by chains. He had escaped from Makkah, and threw himself down among the Muslims.
Suhayl looked at his son and commented, ‘Muhammad, here is the first man that you have to return under this treaty.’
‘We have not finished the document yet,’ countered the Prophet.
‘Then, by Allah, I will never agree to anything.’ ‘Let me keep him,’ said the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. ‘I will not allow you to keep him.’
‘Let him go for my sake.’
‘I will not.’

‘O Muslims!’ said Abu Jandal, Am I to be returned to the idol-worshippers when I have come to you as a Muslim? Do you not see what I have suffered?’ He had been severely tortured for his beliefs. However, the Prophet returned him as his father had demanded.

The two parties agreed to abandon war for ten years. During that period everyone would live in peace. Both sides would be safe and would refrain from fighting one another. Whoever came to Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) from the Quraysh without obtaining the permission of his guardian would be returned to them, but whoever came to the Quraysh from those with Muhammad need not be returned to him. Whoever wanted to enter into an alliance and agreement with Muhammad could do so and whoever wanted to enter into an alliance and agreement with the Quraysh would also be free to do so.

THE MUSLIMS’ DISTRESS:
When the Muslims saw the terms of the truce and what it meant to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, they were very distressed. The effect on them was so great that Umar ibn al-Khattab asked Abu Bakr angrily, ‘Did not the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah say to us that we were going to go to the Ka’bah and perform tawaf?’
‘Yes. But did he tell you that it was going to be this very year!’
‘No.’
Abu Bakr assured him, ‘You will go there and you will do tawaf.’

When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had finished drawing up the treaty, he sacrificed a camel and then shaved his head. This was a difficult time for the Muslims because all their hopes had been dashed. They had left Madinah with the firm intention of entering Makkah and doing ‘umrah. Now they felt beaten and crushed. However, when they saw that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had made the sacrifice and shaved his head, they rushed to follow his example.

A HUMILIATING PEACE OR A CLEAR VICTORY?
Then the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah broke camp and returned to Madinah. On his journey back, Allah confirmed that the truce of Hudaybiyyah was not a set-back but a victory:

Surely We have given you a clear victory, that Allah may forgive you your former and later sins, and complete His blessing on you and guide you on a straight path and that Allah may help you with a mighty help. (48: 1-3)

Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘Is this a victory then, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah!’

He replied, ‘Yes’.

OUTCOME OF THE TREATY:
Not long after the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had returned to Madinah, a man named Abu Basir Utbah ibn Usayd came from Makkah to join the Muslims. The Quraysh sent emissaries to fetch him back. They said, ‘Under the terms of the treaty which you made with us you must hand him over.’ So the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah allowed them to take Abu Basir with them. But on the way back to Makkah, he escaped from them and fled to the coast. Abu Jandal ibn Suhayl also escaped and joined Abu Basir. Then everyone who had become a Muslim and who had suffered persecution from the Quraysh joined Abu Basir until they comprised a group numbering seventy. They set themselves up on a trade route. Whenever they heard that a caravan of the Quraysh had left for Syria, they way laid it, killed the merchants and took the goods they were carrying.

The Hudaybiyyah treaty gave the idol-worshippers and Muslims an opportunity to mix. The idol-worshippers soon came to appreciate the good qualities of the Muslims. Before a year had passed, many of them had become Muslims, and the Quraysh leaders were worried about their influence.

They sent to the Prophet, begging him by Allah and by kinship, not to return the men to Makkah but to keep them in Madinah. From then on whoever of them came to him from Makkah was safe.

These moves indicated that the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyyah in which the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had accepted all the Quraysh conditions had been beneficial after all. The treaty had been a decisive step in gaining further victories for Islam and in spreading the faith throughout the Arabian peninsula with great speed. It led to the conquest of Makkah and the opportunity to invite the kings of the world – Caesar, Chosroes, Muqawqis and the Arabian princes – to accept Islam. Allah the Great revealed:

Yet it may happen that you will hate a thing which is better for you; and it may happen that you will love a thing which is worse for you. Allah knows, and you know not. (2: 216)

KHALID IBN AL-WALID AND AMR IBN AL-AS ACCEPT ISLAM:
Khalid ibn al-Walid, general of the Quraysh cavalry and the hero of great battles, was among those who accepted Islam. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called him the ‘Sword of Allah’. He fought bravely in the way of Allah and was the conqueror of Syria. Amr ibn al-As, another great commander and subsequently the conqueror of Egypt, also became a Muslim. Both of these strong leaders came to Madinah after the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyyah.

The Expedition against Banu Quraizah

THE BANU QURAYZAH BREAK A TREATY:
When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah came to Madinah, he had a covenant drawn up between the Muhajirun and Ansar to which the Jews were also a party. The Jews were given freedom of religion and protection of life and property. They had reciprocal obligations. The clauses included: ‘Each must help the other against anyone who attacks. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and piety rather than wrongdoing. They are bound to help one another against any attack on Yathrib.

However Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the Jew who was leader of the Banu’n-Nadir, encouraged the Banu Qurayzah to break the treaty and to collaborate with the Quraysh although another leader, Ka’b ibn Asad al-Qurazi, had said, ‘I have seen nothing but truthfulness and loyalty in Muhammad. But Ka’b ibn Asad broke his word and absolved himself of any promise made between himself and the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. When this news reached the Prophet, he sent Sa’d ibn Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with him), leader of the Aws (allies of the Banu Qurayzah) and Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah, leader of the Khazraj, with some Ansar representatives for confirmation. They found the situation even worse than they had feared.

‘Who is the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah? There is no treaty or agreement between us and Muhammad, ‘the Banu Qurayzah alleged.

They were preparing to attack the Muslims, threatening to stab them in the back. That was harder to bear and more harmful than any onslaught on an open battlefield. It is referred to in the Qur’an: ‘When they came against you from above you and from underneath you.'(33:10)
The situation was extremely perilous for the Muslims.

THE ADVANCE ON THE BANU QURAYZAH:
When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and the Muslims left the ditch to return to Madinah they laid down their weapons. Jibril appeared and asked, ‘Have you laid down your weapons, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah!’ ‘Yes,’ he answered.

‘The angels have not yet laid down their weapons. Allah the Mighty and Exalted commands you to go to the Banu Qurayzah. I am also to go there to shake them.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had it announced that:

‘Whoever hears and obeys should not pray ‘Asr before arriving at the Banu Qurayzah.’

He pitched camp and laid siege to the Banu Qurayzah for twenty-five days. By then they were so hard pressed that they surrendered for Allah had cast terror into their hearts.

Although the Banu Qurayzah submitted to the judgement of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, the leaders of the Aws interceded on their behalf. They maintained that the Banu Qurayzah were their allies against the Khazraj. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said,
‘Will you be satisfied, Aws, if one of your men gives judgement on them?’
‘Yes,’ they replied.
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘Sa’d ibn Mu’adh is the right man.’
When Sa’d was brought to him, the Aws people begged him, Abu Amr! Deal well with your friends. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah appointed you for that so that you could be good to them.’

When they persisted, he said, ‘A time has come when Sa’d is beyond caring about the praise or blame of anyone. I judge that the men be killed and their property divided up and that their children and women be taken as slaves.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah Said, ‘You have given the judgement of Allah regarding them.’

The judgement conformed with the law of war laid down for the Children of Isra’il given in the Torah. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh’s sentence was carried out on the Banu Qurayzah and the Muslims were made safe from any acts of treachery.

Sallam ibn Abi’l-Huqayq was one of the Jews who had formed the confederation against the Muslims. The Khazraj killed him at his house in Khaybar. The Aws had already killed Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf who had done his utmost to incite the Quraysh against the Muslims and to slander the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. Thus, the Muslims were saved from the leaders of enemy movements against Islam.

THUMAMAH IBN UTHAL:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah sent mounted soldiers towards Najd. They captured Thumamah ibn Uthal, the chief of the Banu Hanifah. When they returned to Madinah, they tied him to one of the columns of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s mosque.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah passed by him and said, ‘What do you expect, Thumamah!’

He answered, ‘Muhammad! If you kill me, you kill someone whose blood must be avenged. If you are gracious, you are gracious to someone who will be grateful. If you want money, ask what you like and it will be given!’ The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah left him. When he passed by him again he asked the same question and received the same reply. On the third occasion he said, ‘Release Thumamah,’ so they set him free.

Thumamah went to a palm grove near the mosque where he washed himself. He returned to the mosque and became a Muslim, declaring, ‘By Allah, there was no one on the face of the earth whose face was more detested by me than yours. Now your face has become the dearest of faces to me. By Allah, there was no religion on the face of the earth more hateful to me than yours and now it is the dearest of all to me. Your cavalry seized me when I was going to perform ‘umrah.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah congratulated him and invited him to perform ‘umrah.

When Thumamah came to Makkah, the Quraysh said, ‘Have you left your religion, Thumamah?’

‘No, by Allah, but I have become a Muslim with Muhammad. No, by Allah, not a grain of wheat will come to you from Yamamah until the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah gives permission for it.’ Yamamah had extremely fertile land and was the main supplier of grain to Makkah.

Thumamah went back home and forbade any caravans from transporting goods to Makkah. The Quraysh became so desperate that they wrote to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah asking him, because of their kinship, to write to Thumamah to get the food ban lifted. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) did just that, and grain was once again brought to Makkah.

Battle of the Trench

THE BATTLE OF THE DITCH:
The Battle of the Ditch took place in Shawwal 5 A.H. It was a decisive battle but it presented to the Muslims grave trials that they had not previously experienced. Allah says in the Qur’an:

When they came against you from above you and from below you, and when your eyes swerved and your hearts reached your throats, and you thought thoughts about Allah; there it was that the believers were tried, and shaken most mightily. (33: 11)

The Jews instigated these hostilities. People from the Banu’n-Nadir and the Banu Wa’il went to the Quraysh in Makkah, calling on them to fight the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. The Quraysh who had already experienced war with the Prophet were reluctant to get involved again. However, the Jewish delegation painted such a rosy picture of the outcome that they agreed to co-operate.

‘We will support you,’ the Jews promised, ‘until you obliterate him.’

That delighted the Quraysh. They were eager to carry out the Jews’ ideas. They gathered their forces and prepared for battle. The Jewish delegation then went to the Ghatafan tribes and invited them to join the Quraysh. After the Ghatafan agreed to join in, they went to other tribes, presenting them with the same plan backed by the Quraysh.

Thus an alliance was formed between the Quraysh, the Jews, and the Ghatafan against the Muslims.

Certain conditions were drawn up. The Quraysh had to gather four thousand fighters and the Ghatafan six thousand, making ten thousand in all. This vast army was to be commanded by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. The Jews agreed to give one year’s harvest of Khaybar to the Ghatafan to compensate them for their military expenses.

WISDOM IS THE LOST PROPERTY OF THE BELIEVER:
The Muslims decided to fortify themselves in Madinah and defend the city. Their army numbered less than three thousand so Salman al-Farsi suggested that a ditch should be dug around the city for protection.

‘In Persia,’ Salman said, ‘when we feared invaders, we would dig a ditch around us to keep them at bay.’ The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah agreed to his suggestion and a ditch was dug on the exposed side from where they feared the enemy would attack. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah planned the work and assigned forty cubits of digging to each group of ten Muslims. The length of the ditch was about five thousand cubits and its depth varied between seven and ten cubits. Its width was at least nine cubits.

THE SPIRIT OF EQUALITY AND MUTUAL SUPPORT AMONG THE MUSLIMS:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah helped to dig the ditch and encouraged the Muslims working alongside him. Although it was bitterly cold and food was in short supply, the work proceeded smoothly.

Abu Talhah said, ‘We complained to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah of hunger and we showed him the stones that we had tied round our bellies to ease the pain. Then the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah showed us that he had two stones on his belly.’

In spite of all this they were happy, praising Allah and chanting poems. No one complained or expressed any regrets.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah went out to the ditch when the Muhajirun and Ansar were digging in the bitterly cold morning air. They had no slaves to do it for them. Seeing their state of fatigue and hunger, he said:
O Allah! True life is the life of the Next World. So forgive the Ansar and the Muhajirun.
In response they said:
We are those who have given homage to Muhammad.
To fight in jihad as long as we have life.

The Muslims came upon a large rock which their picks could not shift. When they complained to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah about it, he took up a pick, saying, ‘In the name of Allah.’ His first blow broke off a third of the rock and sent sparks flying.

‘Allah is greater!’ he said, ‘I have been given the keys of Syria. By Allah, I see its red castles, if Allah wills.’

He struck at the rock a second time and another third broke off.

‘Allah is greater. I have been given the keys of Persia and, by Allah, I see the white castles of al-Mada’in.

With his third blow, he invoked the name of Allah and the rest of the rock shattered.

‘Allah is greater!’ he exclaimed, ‘Allah is greater! I have been given the keys of the Yemen. By Allah, I see the gates of San’a’ from here.

PROPHETIC MIRACLES:
A number of miracles were witnessed by the Companions at this time. Once when the ground was too hard to dig in part of the ditch, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called for some water, spat into it and prayed a supplication willed by Allah. When he poured the water over the hard ground, it became soft like sand. On other occasions, a great blessing would appear when a small amount of food could satisfy a large number of Muslims or even be sufficient for an entire army of three thousand workers.

“When they came to you from above you and from beneath you”

The Muslims had scarcely finished work on the ditch when the Quraysh and the Ghatafan arrived and pitched camp outside Madinah with ten thousand warriors. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah assembled his three thousand Muslims, keeping the ditch between them and the enemy.
A treaty existed between the Muslims and the Madinan Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah. Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of Banu’n-Nadir encouraged the Jews to break the treaty. When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah heard of this, he realised that it was a serious setback and everyone feared the consequences. Some of the hypocrites displayed their hypocrisy openly. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah even considered making a treaty with the Ghatafan, giving them one-third of Madinah’s dates in order to make things easier for the Ansar who always bore the greatest hardships during wars.

He rejected that option after Sa’d ibn Mu’adh and Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah advised him to remain firm, upright and resolute before the enemy and to refuse any compromise.

‘Messenger of Allah,’ they said, ‘We and these people all used to associate other things with Allah and worship idols; none of us worshipped nor recognised Allah. They would not eat a single date except through hospitality or purchase. Now that Allah has honoured us with Islam and guided us to it and made us mighty by you and Himself, shall we still give them our property? By Allah, we have no need to and, by Allah, we will not give them anything but the sword until Allah decides between us and them.’

QURAYSH CAVALRY:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and the Muslims remained besieged by their enemies but no fighting took place. However, some of the mounted Quraysh galloped their horses up to the edge of the ditch. When they saw the ditch, they Said, ‘By Allah, this is a device which the Arabs have never used!’

Then, having found the narrowest part, they beat their horses until they jumped over the ditch into the territory of Madinah. Among them was the famous horseman Amr ibn Abd Wudd who was said to be the equal of a thousand horsemen. He stopped and asked, ‘Who will face me?’

Ali ibn Abi Talib sprang forward and said, ‘Amr!

You swore by Allah that if a man of the Quraysh offered you two alternatives, you would accept one of them!’
‘Yes, I did.’
‘I call you to Allah and to His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and to Islam,’ Ali said.
‘I have no need of that.’
‘Then I call on you to encounter me.’
‘Nephew,’ said Amr to Ali, ‘By Allah, I do not want to kill you.’
‘But, by Allah,’ Ali replied, ‘I want to kill you.’
Amr was so furious that he leapt from his horse, hamstrung it, and slapped its face. Then he advanced on Ali who fought back. They circled one another, thrusting and parrying. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) eventually beheaded Amr with a sweeping blow of his sword. The other horsemen rapidly retreated back across the ditch.

A MOTHER ENCOURAGING HER SON TO FIGHT AND GAIN MARTYRDOM:
Before the veil was prescribed, A’ishah, Umm al-Mu’minin, said that she was with the Muslim women in the fortress of Banu Harithah when, ‘Sa’d ibn Mu’adh passed by wearing armour so short that his forearm was exposed. He was chanting some verses and his mother called, “Catch up, my son. By Allah, you are late.” ‘
A’ishah continued, ‘I said to her, “Umm Sa’d, I wish Sa’d’s armour were longer than that.”

What A’ishah feared took place. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh was hit by an arrow which severed a vein causing excessive bleeding. He died a martyr in the subsequent battle with the Banu Qurayzah.

TO ALLAH BELONG THE ARMIES OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH:
Their enemies laid siege to the Muslims for about a month. They invaded all the surrounding areas creating great hardship. The hypocrites showed their true colours; some even asked the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah if they could go into Madinah because they had left their houses unlocked. In reality, they only wanted to flee from the battlefront.

While the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and his Companions kept a close watch on the enemy besieging them, Nu’aym ibn Mas’ud from the Ghatafan came up to him to say,

‘Messenger of Allah, I have become a Muslim but my people do not know that. Tell me what you want me to do and I will do whatever you wish.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah replied, ‘You are the only Muslim there, so stay among our enemies and try to help us in whatever way you can. War is a clever device.’

Nu’aym ibn Mas’ud then went to the Banu Qurayzah and aroused doubts in their minds about their position. He mentioned their alliance with the Quraysh and Ghatafan who were distant tribes, and their antagonism towards the Muhajirun and Ansar who were their close neighbours. He suggested they should not fight alongside the Quraysh and Ghatafan until they had taken some leaders as hostages for security. They answered, ‘You have given us good advice.’

When he went to talk to the Quraysh, he told them that the Jews were regretting what they had done and would be asking for some of their leaders to be held hostage as security that the treaty would not be broken. He also said that when they handed them over to the Prophet and his Companions, they would strike off their heads. Then he told the Ghatafan the same story as he had told the Quraysh. The seeds of distrust that he planted in their minds put the two groups on their guard and made them angry with the Jews. A split developed between the allies as a result, and each of them feared the others.

When Abu Sufyan and the leaders of the Ghatafan were ready to fight a decisive battle with the Muslims, the Jews put it off, demanding hostages from both sides first. The Quraysh and Ghatafan were convinced that Nu’aym ibn Mas’ud had told them the truth so they refused to grant the Jews’ request. The Jews were also convinced that he had told them the truth. Thus their distrust of each other broke their unity and they split up.

Allah supported His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) by causing a hurricane to blow during the cold wintry nights. It blew down the enemy’s tents and overturned their cooking-pots. The men were disheartened. Abu Sufyan got up and said,

‘Company of Quraysh! By Allah, we are not in a permanent camp. The horses and camels are dying. The Banu Qurayzah have broken their promise to us and we have heard things about them which we dislike. We have suffered from the harshness of the wind as you can see and we are left without a cooking pot, or a fire. Not even a tent is standing up. Leave now, for I am going.’

Abu Sufyan went to his camel which was hobbled and mounted it. He beat it but did not unhobble it until it was standing.

When the Ghatafan heard that the Quraysh had departed, they also left. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was standing in prayer when his spy, Hudhayfah ibn al-‘Yaman, informed him of what had taken place. In the morning the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah left the ditch and returned to Madinah. All the Muslims followed him, laying down their weapons. Allah Almighty spoke the truth:

O you who believe, remember Allah’s blessing on you when hosts came against you, and We loosed against them a wind, and hosts you did not see. Allah sees what you do. (33: 9) and, Allah sent back those that were unbelievers in their rage and they attained no good. Allah spared the believers of fighting. Surely Allah is Strong, Mighty. (33: 25)

The hardships of war were over and the Quraysh never again returned to fight the Muslims.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘The Quraysh will never raid you after this year. Rather you will raid them.
Seven Muslims were martyred on the Day of the Ditch while four idol-worshippers were killed by the Muslims.

The Battle of Uhud

THE BATTLE OF UHUD:
REVENGE:
When their heroes were defeated on the Day of Badr and the remnants of the army returned to Makkah, it was a terrible blow for the Quraysh. Men who had lost their fathers, sons and brothers approached Abu Sufyan and others who had valuable merchandise in that caravan. They wanted the profits to be used for fighting the Muslims again. The merchants agreed to their request. The Quraysh decided to conduct a new war. Poets spurred the people on with their militant verses and provoked fanatical zeal in readiness for battle.

A well-equipped Quraysh army set out from Makkah in the middle of Shawwal 3 A.H. The leaders accompanied by their wives advanced until they set up camp at the gates of Madinah. The Quraysh had mustered three thousand soldiers.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah thought that the Muslims should stay in the city and fight only if the enemy came into Madinah. Abdullah ibn Ubayy agreed with him but some of the Muslim men who had missed fighting at Badr said, ‘Messenger of Allah, lead us out to face our enemies so that they will not think us cowards and weaklings.’

They kept urging on the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah until he went into his house and put on his armour. Then those who had suggested going out of the city regretted their insistence and said, ‘We have persuaded you, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, for which we had no right. If you wish, stay and may Allah bless you .’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah then said, ‘It is not fitting that a Prophet who has put on his armour should put it aside until he has fought.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah went out with a thousand of his Companions. When he was at ash-Shawt between Madinah and Uhud, Abdullah ibn Ubayy withdrew with a third of the men, saying, ‘He has obeyed them and rebelled against me.’

IN BATTLE POSITION:
When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, now with seven hundred men, reached the gorge of Uhud, a mountain about three kilometres from Madinah, he took up his position saying, ‘None of you should start fighting until we give the order.’

He prepared for battle. He put Abdullah ibn Jubayr in charge of the fifty archers, instructing them, ‘Keep the cavalry away from us with arrows so that they do not come up from our rear whether the battle is going for us or against us.’

He commanded them to hold their position and not to leave it, even if they saw birds snatching the army away. He put on two coats of armour and gave the banner to Mus’ab ibn Umayr (may Allah be pleased with him).

ANOTHER RACE FOR JIHAD:
On the day Of Uhud the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah sent back a group of boys because they were too young. They included Samurah ibn Jundub and Rafi’ ibn Khadij who were only fifteen years old. The father of Rafi’ interceded, saying to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah that his son Rafi’ was a good shot, so the Prophet allowed the boy to go.

Samurah ibn Jundud who was the same age as Rafi’ was presented to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who sent him back because he was too young. Samurah said, ‘You gave permission to Rafi’ but you sent me back. If I were to wrestle with him, I would throw him.’

They wrestled and Samurah threw Rafi’ so he was given permission as well. Consequently he was able to fight in the Battle of Uhud.

THE BATTLE:
The two sides faced each other and closed in. Hind bint Utbah stood among the women beating on drums behind the men to urge them on. A fierce battle was soon in progress. Abu Dujanah fought with the sword of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. He fought until he was deep in the enemy’s ranks and killed all those in his path.

Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib fought fiercely, killing many Qurayshi heroes. No one could stand against him until Wahshi, the slave of Jubayr ibn Mut’im, waited for him in ambush. He was expert at throwing the javelin and seldom missed his mark. Jubayr had promised him that he would set him free if he killed Hamzah. He had killed his uncle Tu’aymah in the Battle of Badr. Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan who was thirsting for revenge, also encouraged him to kill Hamzah. Wahshi attacked Hamzah with his spear, striking him so hard that it pierced the lower part of his body. Hamzah fell, a martyr.

Mus’ab ibn Umayr fought in front of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah until he was killed.

THE MUSLIMS’ VICTORY:
Allah Almighty sent down His help for the Muslims. He confirmed His promise until the idol-worshippers were cut off from their camp and were clearly defeated. The women turned in flight.

When the Muslim archers saw that the idol-worshippers had been routed and had turned in flight to the point that they caught up with their women, they themselves left their post. They headed for the camp, certain of victory, crying, ‘People! Booty! Booty!’

Their commander reminded them of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s order not to leave their post, but they did not listen. They assumed that the idol-worshippers would not come back and so they left the Muslim army unprotected. Then, the cavalry of idol-worshippers suddenly attacked from the rear. A shout went up, ‘Muhammad has been killed!’ Though the Muslims turned back straightaway, the idol-worshippers seized the opportunity to counter-attack.

It was a day on which all the Muslims were sorely tested. The enemy fought their way close to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who was hit with a rock. He fell on his side, one of his front teeth was smashed, his face was scratched and his lip cut. The blood ran down his face and he wiped it away, saying, ‘How can a people prosper who have stained their Prophet’s face with blood while he summoned them to their Lord!’

In the confusion, many of the Muslims did not know where the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was. Ali ibn Abi Talib took his hand and Talhah ibn Ubaydullah helped him to his feet. Malik ibn Sinan, very upset, licked away the blood from his face.

The Muslims, though not put to flight, were out-manoeuvred and forced to resume the fight.

The Muslims suffered greatly from this reversal. The archers’ behaviour led to the martyrdom of many strong and dedicated Companions.

The archers’ failure to hold to the instructions of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and his orders not to leave their specified position is referred to in the Qur’an:

‘Allah was true in His promise towards you when you blasted them by His leave; until you lost heart and quarrelled about the matter and were rebellious, after He had shown you that you longed for. Some of you there are that desire this world, and some of you there are desire the Next World. Then He turned you from them, that He might try you, and He has pardoned you and Allah is bounteous to the believers.'(3: 152)

WONDERS OF LOVE AND SACRIFICE:
During the battle, two links from the metal chainstrap of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s helmet had been forced into his cheek. Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah removed one link from his face and a front tooth fell out; he pulled out another link and a second tooth fell out. Thus he lost both of his front teeth. Abu Dujanah had positioned himself as a shield for the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. Countless arrows stuck in his back while he was leaning over him. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas shot arrows in defence of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who was handing him the arrows, saying, ‘Shoot, may my father and mother be your ransom.’

When the eye of Qatadah ibn an-Nu’man was injured it fell out of its socket on to his cheek. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah put it back in and it was subsequently his best and sharpest eye. The frenzied idol-worshippers had surged towards the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, trying to achieve something Allah had not willed. Ten Companions who were protecting him were killed. Talhah ibn Ubaydullah shielded the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah from arrows with his bare hand. His fingers bled profusely and his hand became paralysed. When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah wanted to climb a rock he was unable to do so because of his wounds and weakness. Talhah squatted down so that he could use him as a step. The time for the noon-prayer came and he led them in the prayer sitting down because of his wounds.

When the Muslims had been dispersed, Anas ibn an-Nadr, the uncle of Anas ibn Malik, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s servant, continued to fight on. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh asked him, ‘Where are you going, Abu Umar!’

‘Towards the scent of the Garden of Paradise, Sa’d, he replied. ‘I smell it near Uhud!’

He came upon some men of the Muhajirun and Ansar who were sitting down looking gloomy, and asked them, ‘Why are you sitting here!’

‘The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah has been killed,’ they said.

‘Then what use is life after him Get up and die as the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah died.

Then he went forward and fought the enemy until he was killed.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘We found seventy wounds on him that day. Only his sister could recognise him, and she recognised him by his fingertips.
Ziyad ibn as-Sakan fought alongside five of the Ansar in front of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah; they were killed one by one. Ziyad fought until he was badly wounded. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘Bring him to me.’ He used his foot as a support for Ziyad’s head. Ziyad died with his cheek on the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s foot.

Amr ibn al-Jamuh was very lame and had four young sons who used to go on expeditions with the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. When they went to Uhud, he wanted to accompany the Prophet. His sons said to him, ‘Allah has given you a dispensation. You stay and we will fight in your place for Allah has removed the obligation of jihad from you.

Amr came to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and said,

‘These sons of mine prevent me from doing jihad with you. By Allah, I hope that I will be martyred and then I will walk in the Garden of Paradise with this lameness of mine.

The Prophet replied, ‘Allah has removed the duty of jihad from you.
He asked his sons, What harm is there in letting him go!’ Amr went with the army and was indeed blessed with martyrdom at Uhud.

Zayd ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘On the day of Uhud, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah sent me to look for Sa’d ibn ar-Rabi’. “if you see him,” he said, “Greet him from me and tell him, ‘The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah says to you, “How do you feel?” ‘

‘I began to go among the slain and I came to him when he was breathing his last. He had seventy wounds spear wounds, sword-wounds and arrow wounds. I said, “Sa’d! The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah sends you his greeting and says to you, ‘How do you feel?’ ” He said, “And peace be upon the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. Say to him, ‘Messenger of Allah, I can smell the scent of the Garden.’ Tell my people the Ansar, ‘You have no excuse with Allah if anything happens to your Prophet while you still breathe.’ ” He died straight after saying that.’

Abdullah ibn Jahsh said on that day, ‘O Allah, I swear to you that if I meet the enemy tomorrow and they kill me and then split my stomach open and cut off my nose and my ears and You ask me what all that was for, I will say, “For you, my Lord.” ‘

THE AFTERMATH OF BATTLE:
When the Muslims realised that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was still alive, they rushed up to one another and advanced towards the gorge. Ubayy ibn Khalaf caught up with him, saying, ‘O Muhammad ! I will not be spared if you are spared!’ The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, however, said to his Companions, ‘Leave him alone.’ When he came closer, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah took a spear from one of his Companions, faced Ubayy and struck him in the neck causing him to sway and fall from his horse.

Ali ibn Abi Talib filled his shield with water and Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, washed the blood from his face. When Fatimah saw that the water only increased the blood flow, she burnt a piece of matting and dressed the wound with the ashes until the bleeding stopped .

A’ishah bint Abi Bakr and Umm Sulaym carried water in leather bags on their backs. They poured it into the mouths of the wounded. Repeatedly they went back for more water which Umm Sulayt drew for them.

Hind bint Utbah and the Quraysh women with her began to mutilate the bodies of the slain Muslims and cut off their ears and noses. She cut out Hamzah’s liver and chewed it, but could not swallow it and spat it out.

When Abu Sufyan wanted to leave, he went to the top of the mountain and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘The luck of war alternates. One wins today, the other tomorrow. Show your superiority, Hubal !’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘Get up, Umar and tell him, “Allah is the most High and Majestic. We are not the same. Our dead are in the Garden of Paradise and your dead are in the Fire!” ‘

Abu Sufyan retorted, ‘We have Uzza and you do not have Uzza!’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, ‘Tell him, “Allah is our Protector and you have no protector!” ‘

Before Abu Sufyan left, he cried out, ‘Your rendezvous is Badr next year.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah asked a Companion to say, ‘Yes, it is an appointment between us.’

The Muslims searched for their dead and buried them. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah grieved for Hamzah who was his uncle as well as his foster brother and who had always supported him.

A BELIEVING WOMAN’S BRAVERY:
Safiyyah bint Abdul-Muttalib came to look at Hamzah. She was his full sister. However, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah told her son, az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam to send her back. ‘She must not see what has happened to her brother.’

Az-Zubayr said to her, ‘Mother, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah orders you to go back.’

She asked, ‘Why I have heard that my brother has been mutilated and that it was for the sake of Allah. I assume he will be rewarded. I shall be patient if Allah is willing.

She then went to see her brother and prayed for him, saying, ‘To Allah we belong and to Him we return,’ and begged forgiveness for him. Then the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah commanded that he be buried at Uhud.

THE MARTYRS ARE BURIED:
Mus’ab ibn Umayr, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s standard-bearer, was one of the wealthiest young men of the Quraysh before becoming a Muslim. Only a small piece of cloth could be found for his shroud. When his head was covered, his feet showed and when his feet were covered, his head was exposed. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah advised, ‘Cover his head and put idhkhir, herbs, on his feet.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah put two of the dead of Uhud in a single shroud and asked, ‘Which of them knew the most Qur’an?’

The one who was pointed out was put into the grave first. ‘I will be a witness for them on the Day of Resurrection,’ said the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.

He ordered that they be buried still covered with blood, in the condition that they had fallen. They were not prayed for, neither were they washed.

A WOMAN’S JOY:
As they returned to Madinah, the Muslims passed by a woman of the Banu Dinar. She had lost her husband, brother and father in the battle. When she learnt of their deaths she only said, ‘What has happened to the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah?’

The Muslims Said, ‘He is well, Umm so-and-so!’ She praised Allah and requested them, ‘Point him out to me so that I can see him.

When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was pointed out to her she said to him, ‘Now that you are safe every misfortune is gone.

THE MUSLIMS’ DESPERATE STRUGGLE:
The idol-worshippers criticised one another and their leaders, saying, ‘You did not do anything. You have merely scratched the surface. You left without wiping them out.

The Muslims were still exhausted and many were wounded. The day after Uhud, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s crier announced that they should pursue the enemy. No one should leave except those who had fought the day before. All the Muslims went out with the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. None stayed behind. They reached Hamra’ al-Asad about eight miles from Madinah where they camped for three days – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – and then returned to Madinah when there were no signs of the
enemy returning.

Seventy Muslims were martyred in the Battle of Uhud, most of them Ansar (may Allah be pleased with them). Twenty-two idol-worshippers were killed.

DOUBLE-CROSSED:
In 3 A.H., some of the ‘Adal and al-Qarah asked for Muslims to teach them the faith. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah sent six of his Companions including ‘Asim ibn Thabit, Khubayb ibn Adi and Zayd ibn al-Dathinah. However the tribesmen double-crossed them and killed four.

When he was captured, Zayd was taken for execution and a group of Quraysh which included Abu Sufyan ibn Harb gathered round. Abu Sufyan called out, ‘I ask you by Allah, Zayd, don’t you wish that Muhammad was with us now in your place so that we might cut off his head, and that you were with your family?’

Zayd replied, ‘By Allah, I don’t wish Muhammad to be hurt even by a thorn when I should be safe with my family.’
Abu Sufyan said, ‘I have never seen a man so loved as Muhammad’s Companions love Muhammad.’
Then Zayd was killed.
When Khubayb was about to be executed he asked,
‘Could you let me pray two rak’ats?’
‘Go ahead,’ his captors replied.
He performed serenely two rak’ats and then turned and said to the people, ‘By Allah, if it were not that you would think that I prolonged it out of fear of death, I would have prayed more.’
He then recited these two verses of poetry:
I do not care if I am killed as a Muslim,
Whatever death I suffer is for the sake of Allah. It is all for Allah and if He wishes
He will bless the limbs which are torn apart.

AN AMBUSH:
‘Air ibn Malik asked the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah to send a group of his Companions to teach his tribe about Islam. Seventy of the best Muslims were sent. When they reached Bi’r Ma’unah they dismounted, but the tribes of the Banu Sulaym of ‘Usayyah, Ri’l and Dhakwan ambushed them by surrounding them with their camels. When they saw what was happening, the Muslims drew their swords and fought bravely, but they were all killed except Ka’b ibn Zayd. He survived until the battle of the Ditch where he, too, was martyred.

INFLUENTIAL LAST WORDS:
When Haram ibn Milhan was killed by Jabbar ibn Sulma, his killer became a Muslim when he heard what Haram had uttered as he was dying. Jabbar explained, ‘Part of the reason I became a Muslim was that on that day when I stabbed one of their men between the shoulders with a spear and saw its point come out of his chest, I heard him say, “I have won, by the Lord of the Ka’bah!” I said to myself, “What has he won! Haven’t I killed the man?” I enquired from others and they told me that he meant martyrdom. “He has won, by Allah!” I replied that was the reason I became a Muslim.’

THE BANU’N-NADIR ARE BANISHED:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah approached the Banu’n-Nadir, a large tribe of Jews, to ask for their help in paying the blood-money of two men of the Banu ‘Air who had been killed. An alliance had been made between the Banu’n-Nadir and the Banu ‘Air. Although they promised to co-operate with him, they were really plotting to assassinate him. While the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was sitting by the wall of one of their houses, they discussed what to do next. ‘You will never have such a good opportunity as this again. Who will go up to the top of this house and throw a rock down onto him and rid us of him!’

With the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was a group of his Companions including Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali.

Allah informed His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) about the treacherous plan. He went straight back to Madinah and ordered the Muslims to prepare for war against the Banu’n-Nadir. Then he led them to the enemy fortress. It was in the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal in 4 A.H.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah laid siege to the Jews for six nights, casting terror into their hearts. They then asked the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah if he would banish them from the city and spare their lives on condition that they take with them all their belongings on their camels, except their weapons. The offer was accepted and they left Madinah after destroying their houses, taking whatever their camels could carry.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah divided what property was left among the first Muhajirun.

THE DHAT AR-RIQA’ EXPEDITION:
In 4 A.H. the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah decided to make a raid into Najd, advancing with his Companions until he reached Nakhl. They had only one camel between six of them so their feet became raw from walking. They tore their clothes into strips to bandage their feet and toes. This expedition was called Ghazwah Dhat ar-Riqa, the expedition of Rags.

Though the two sides approached each other, no fighting ensued as they were too wary of each other. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah led the Prayer of Fear on this occasion.

The Battle of Badr

THE DECISIVE BATTLE OF BADR:
The Great Expedition of Badr took place in Ramadan, 2 A.H. Allah called this battle ‘The Day of Distinguishing.’ Allah says, ‘if you believe in Allah and what We sent down on Our servant on the Day of Distinguishing, the day the two hosts met.’ (8: 41)

The Messenger of Allah had heard that Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, who was extremely hostile to Islam, was coming from Syria with a large trading caravan belonging to the Quraysh. They were carrying a vast quantity of wealth and merchandise. War had been declared between the Muslims and the idol-worshippers and the Quraysh had been spending their wealth on fighting Islam. Their cavalry would occasionally reach the borders of Madinah and the grazing areas used by the Muslims’ animals.

When the Messenger of Allah heard about this caravan, he sent Muslims to attack it. He did not attach much importance to the confrontation and did not issue a compulsory order to wage war.

When Abu Sufyan heard that the Messenger of Allah was coming towards him he sent to Makkah for help from the Quraysh to protect him from the Muslims. When this plea reached the people of Makkah, they decided that it must be serious. They prepared themselves quickly and departed. All of their nobles, apart from Abu Lahab, went to help and he appointed a man to take his place.

ASSURANCE FROM THE ANSAR:
When the Messenger of Allah heard that the Quraysh had set out from Makkah to stop the Muslims, he consulted his Companions. He was concerned about the Ansar because their original homage included the condition that they only defend him in their home territory. Since he resolved to leave Madinah, he wanted to know where they stood The Muhajirun assured him of their support, but he consulted them a second time, and then a third time. The Ansar fully understood the reason why he was concerned about them. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh replied,

‘It seems that you are alluding to us. Perhaps you fear that the Ansar do not think that they have to help you outside their own territory. I speak for the Ansar and answer for them. Go where you wish, join whom you wish and cut off whom you wish. Take what you wish from our property and give us what you wish. What you take from us is dearer than what you leave. Whatever you command, we will follow it. By Allah, if you were to travel until you reached Bark Ghamdan, we would go with you. By Allah, if you were to cross this sea, we would plunge into it with you.’

Al-Miqdad said, ‘We do not say to you what the people of Musa said to Musa: “Go forth you and your Lord and do battle. We will be waiting here. “(5: 24) We will do battle on your right and on your left and in front of you and behind you.’

When the Messenger of Allah heard this, his face shone with happiness ‘Be Steadiest!’ he said to his Companions.

JIHAD AND MARTYRDOM:
When the Muslims went to Badr, a boy called Umayr ibn Abi Waqqas came out. He was sixteen and afraid that the Prophet would not accept him because he was too young to fight. He tried to avoid being seen but his elder brother, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, asked him what he was up to.

‘I was afraid that the Messenger of Allah would send me back when I wanted to go out. It might be that Allah will grant me martyrdom,’ he answered.

That was indeed the case. The Messenger of Allah did want to send him back because he was so young. Umayr wept. His tears weakened the heart of the Messenger of Allah who allowed him to go after all. And Umayr was killed as a martyr during the expedition.

DISPARITY IN NUMBERS:
The Messenger of Allah set off for Badr swiftly with three hundred and thirteen men but only two horses and seventy camels. Two or three men rode on a camel in turns without any distinction being made between a soldier and a general. The Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr, Umar and the great Companions were among them.

The Prophet gave the banner to Mus’ab ibn Umayr, the flag of the Muhajirun to Ali ibn Abi Talib and the flag of the Ansar to Sa’d ibn Mu’adh.

When Abu Sufyan heard that the Muslims had set out to intercept him, he turned his caravan towards the coast. When he saw that they were safe, he sent word to the Quraysh telling them to return as there was now nothing for them to do. The Quraysh wanted to turn back, but Abu Jahl insisted on attacking. The Quraysh army numbered more than a thousand, including all the warriors, leaders and horsemen. Of the fighters the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Makkah has sent you its treasures, dear and beloved ones.’

The Messenger or Allah and his Companions reached the water of Badr first. They arrived at midnight and built cisterns which they filled with water. The Messenger of Allah allowed unbelievers to drink of this water, too.

Allah sent down heavy rain that night. It prevented the idol-worshippers from advancing. It was a mercy for the Muslims, however, as it made the ground smooth and the sand firm. This blessing strengthened their hearts. Allah describes the scene:

‘He sent down water on you from heaven, to purify you thereby and to put away from you the defilement of Satan, and to strengthen your hearts and to confirm your feet.’ (8: 11)

PREPARATION FOR BATTLE:
A shelter was built for the Messenger of Allah on a small hill overlooking the battlefield. He went down to the battlefield and began to point with his hand, saying, ‘So-and-so will die here. So-and-so will die here. So-and-so will die here if Allah wills.’ None of those people went any further than where he had pointed.

When the idol-worshippers appeared and the two groups confronted one another, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘O Allah, this is the Quraysh who have come with their vanity and their pride. They have come to fight You and deny Your Messenger.’

It was the night of Friday, 17 Ramadan. In the morning, the Quraysh advanced in their squadrons and the two groups took up positions ready for battle.

SUPPLICATION AND ENTREATY:
The Messenger of Allah organised the ranks and returned to his shelter. He and Abu Bakr went inside. The Messenger of Allah prayed. He asked for the help of Allah Whose judgement cannot be turned aside and Whose decree cannot be averted. There is no help but from Allah. He said, ‘O Allah, if You let this group of men die, no one after them will worship You on the earth.’

He called out to his Lord, ‘O Allah, give me the help which You promised me.’

He raised his hands to the sky until the cloak fell from his shoulders. Abu Bakr consoled and comforted him.

A CONFRONTATION:
Then the Messenger of Allah went out to encourage the Muslims to fight. Utbah ibn Rabi’ah and his brother Shaybah and his son al-Walid stepped forward from the Quraysh. When they came forward between the opposing forces, they asked for other people to come forward as was the custom. When three youths of the Ansar went out to them they asked, ‘Who are you?’

‘We are from the Ansar.’

‘We demand our equals. Send some of our own tribe out to us.’

The Prophet said, ‘Go forward, Ubaydah ibn al-Harith [ibn al-Muttalib ibn Abd Manaf], Hamzah and Ali.’

‘Yes, these are our equals in nobility,’ they said.

Ubaydah, the oldest man chosen, went out against Utbah, Hamzah against Shaybah and ‘Ail against al-Walid ibn Utbah. Hamzah and Ali quickly killed their opponents. Ubaydah and Utbah exchanged blows and each of them floored the other. Hamzah and Ali turned their swords against Utbah and finished him off and carried back Ubaydah, who was wounded. He died a martyr.

WAR BREAKS OUT:
The people crowded together and drew near to one another. The idol-worshippers approached. The Messenger of Allah cried out, ‘Arise for a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth!’

Umayr ibn al-Humam al-Ansari got up, asking, ‘Messenger of Allah ! A Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth?’
‘Yes,’ he said.
‘Wonderful, wonderful, Messenger of Allah!’
‘What moved you to say “Wonderful, wonderful”?’
‘Nothing, by Allah, Messenger of Allah,’ he said, except the hope that I will be among its people.
‘You are one of its people,’ he was told.

Umayr took some dates from his quiver and began to eat. ‘If I live to eat these dates it will be a long life,’ he suddenly said.

So he threw away the dates and ran to the battlefield. He fought the enemy until he was killed. He was the first martyr that day.

The people were steadfast, constantly remembering Allah. The Messenger of Allah fought fiercely. He fought closely with the enemy and none was braver that day. The angels brought down mercy and victory and drove back the idol-worshippers.

BROTHERS COMPETING IN JIHAD:
The young men competed with each other as they raced for martyrdom and happiness. It was a race between friends, comrades and brothers.

Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf said, ‘I was in the ranks on the day of Badr. I turned and there were two young boys one on my right and the other on my left. I was not too happy about their position. One of them said to me, in a quiet voice that His companion could not hear, “Uncle, show me Abu Jahl.” I said, “Nephew, what will you do to him?” He replied, “I have made a covenant with Allah that if I see him, I will kill him or die before him.” The other boy then said the same thing to me, also keeping it from his companion.’ He added,’ I was so happy to be’ between two men like them. I pointed Abu Jahl out to them and they attacked him like two falcons until they struck him down.’

When Abu Jahl was killed, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘This Abu Jahl was the Pharaoh of this community.’

A CLEAR VICTORY:
When the victory of the Muslims and the defeat of the idol-worshippers became clear, the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Allah is greater! Praise belongs to Allah Who was true to His promise, helped His slave and defeated the parties alone.’

Allah certainly spoke the truth when He said: ‘Allah surely helped you at Badr when you were utterly abject. So fear Allah and perhaps you will be thankful.’ (3: 123)

The Messenger of Allah ordered the Quraysh dead to be thrown into a well. Then he stood over it and said, ‘O people of the well! Have you found what Allah promised you to be true? I have certainly found that what my Lord promised me is true.’

Seventy leaders of the unbelievers were killed and another seventy captured on the Day of Badr. Six Muslims of the Quraysh and eight of the Ansar were martyred.

The Messenger of Allah divided the captives among his Companions and told them to treat them well.

He then returned to Madinah confirmed in victory. All his enemies both in the city and in surrounding areas feared him. Many more people of Madinah were encouraged to become Muslims.

In Makkah the idol-worshippers mourned for their slain. Terror entered the hearts of all the Muslims’ enemies.

CAPTIVES AS TEACHERS:
The Messenger of Allah pardoned the captives and accepted ransom from them. He was gracious to those who had nothing and set them free. The Quraysh sent money to ransom the captives and he set them free too.

Among the captives were those who had nothing with which to ransom themselves. The Messenger of Allah allowed them to earn their freedom by teaching the children of the Ansar to write. Each prisoner taught ten Muslims. Zayd ibn Thabit was one of those who learned in this way from the captives of Badr.

The Banu Qaynuqa’ were the first Jews to break the agreement they had made with the Messenger of Allah by insulting him and harming the Muslims. The Messenger of Allah then laid siege to them for fifteen days until they surrendered unconditionally. Their ally, Abdullah ibn Ubayy, the head of the hypocrites, interceded for them and the Messenger of Allah raised the siege at his request. Seven hundred Jewish artisans and merchants were bearing arms on that occasion.

In Madinah

MADINAH RECEIVES THE MESSENGER (SALLALLAHU ALAIYHI WASSALLAM) OF ALLAH:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and his party continued their journey to Quba’ which is on the outskirts of Madinah. It was Monday the 12 of Rabi’ al-Awwal and this date marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

When the Ansar heard that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had left Makkah they waited for him even more eagerly than people who are fasting wait for the new moon of the ‘Id. Every day after the Morning Prayer they went to the outskirts of Madinah to look for him. They stayed there until the heat of the summer sun forced them to seek shade. They would go back into their houses feeling very disappointed.

On the day that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah arrived, the people had just gone back into their houses. The Jews had taken note of what was going on and the first person to see him was indeed a Jew. He shouted as loudly as he could to announce to the Ansar that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had arrived. Everyone went out to greet him. He and Abu Bakr, who was about the same age, were sheltering under a palm-tree. Only a few of them had seen the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah before so most of the people in the crowd were unable to distinguish between him and Abu Bakr. Realising their confusion, Abu Bakr stood up to shade him with his cloak from the sun, thus making it clear who was the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.

The Muslims were overjoyed at the arrival of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. It was the best thing that had ever happened to them. The women and children chanted, ‘This is the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who has come! This is the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah who has come!’ In their delight, the girls of the Ansar recited:

The full moon shines down upon us from Thaniyat al-Wada’.
We must all give our thanksgiving all the while praising Allah
You whom Allah sends among us,
what you bring, we will obey
You’ve ennobled Madinah.
Welcome now! Guide us to His way!

Anas ibn Malik al-Ans a boy at that time, said, ‘I saw the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah the day he entered Madinah. I have not seen a better or more radiant day than when he came to us in Madinah.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah spent four days at Quba’ where he established a mosque. On Friday morning, he set off again. At noon he stopped among the Banu Salim ibn Awf where he prayed the Jumu’ah. This was the first Jumu’ah in Madinah.

THE HOUSE OF ABU AYYUB AL-ANSARI:
In Madinah the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was greeted by people, all asking him to stay with them. They grabbed the halter of his camel but he said, ‘Let it go its own way. It is under orders.’ That happened several times. Eventually the camel stopped at the home of Banu Malik ibn an-Najjar. By herself she kneeled at a place which today marks the door of the Prophet’s mosque. At that time It was used for drying dates and belonged to two orphan boys of the Banu’n-Najjar who were the Prophet’s maternal uncles.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah got off his camel. Abu Ayyub Khalid ibn Zayd quickly carried his luggage into his house and the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah stayed with him. Abu Ayyub showed him generous hospitality and great respect. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah insisted on staying on the lower floor of the house although Abu Ayyub disliked occupying the top floor above him, thinking it an insult. The Prophet, however reassured him, Saying, Abu Ayyub, it is more convenient for me and those who call on me that I stay on the lower floor.’

MESSENGER(SALLALLAHU ALAIYHI WASSALLAM) OF ALLAH’S MOSQUE:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah called for the two orphans who owned the date store and asked them to name a price for it, so that a mosque could be built. They said, ‘We give It to you, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.’ He refused to accept it as a gift, however, and insisted on paying them.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah helped In the building of the mosque, carrying bricks alongside the other Muslims As he worked he recited, ‘O Allah, the true reward is the reward of the Next World, so show mercy to the Ansar and Muhajirun!’

The Muslims were happy, reciting poetry and praising Allah. Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah stayed in the house of Abu Ayyub for seven months until his mosque and the rooms for his family were ready.

The Muhajirun joined the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah until none were left in Makkah except those in person or awaiting trial. Every house of the Ansar became Muslim.

BROTHERHOOD:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah established brotherhood between the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and they were put under an obligation to assist one another. The Ansar were so eager to form a brotherhood that they had to draw lots to allocate their shares. The Ansar gave the Muhajirun authority over their homes, their furniture, their land and their animals and preferred them over themselves in every way.

An Ansari would say to a Muhajir, ‘Have whichever half of my property you want to take,’ and the Muhajir would say, ‘May Allah bless you in your family and property! Show me the market.’ From the Ansar there was great benevolence as they demonstrated their generosity to their Muslim brothers while the Muhajirun retained their self-respect.

THE PROPHET’S COVENANT:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah bound together the Muhajirun and the Ansar when he made a covenant with the Jews. They were confirmed in their freedom to practise religion and in their title to their wealth. Conditions were made for them and accepted from them.

ADHAN:
When the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was secure in Madinah and Islam had been strengthened, the people would join him at prayer without a call. He disliked the way the Jews and Christians used horns and bells to announce their calls to prayer. Then Allah honoured the Muslims with the adhan. One of them saw the method in a dream. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah confirmed it and prescribed it for the Muslims. He chose Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi to call the adhan. He was the mu’adhdhin of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and thus became the Imam of all the mu’adhdhins until the end of time.

THE HYPOCRITES:
Islam spread throughout Madinah and some of the rabbis and Jewish scholars also became Muslims. They included a learned rabbi named Abdullah ibn Salam whose acceptance of Islam annoyed other Jews. At that time the Jews were feeling anxious. They envied Islam, but at the same time they were frightened of it. Hence a group of hypocrites emerged. Their leader was Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, whose power was not questioned before the arrival of Islam, but now his people were flocking to the new faith. He and others like him who were greedy for power became open enemies of Islam while others became secret hypocrites.

THE QIBLAH:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and the Muslims prayed towards Jerusalem for sixteen months after he came to Madinah but he wanted to turn to the Ka’bah. Muslims, as Arabs, had grown up with both love and esteem for the Ka’bah. They did not consider any other house equal to it nor any qiblah equal to the qiblah of Ibrahim and Isma’il. They all would have preferred to turn towards the Ka’bah. They found that the qiblah towards Jerusalem was an irritation, but they declared, ‘We hear and obey’ and ‘We believe it. All is from our Lord.’ They always obeyed the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and submitted to the commands of Allah whether or not that was what they wanted.

First Allah tested their hearts for taqwa and their submission to the command of Allah. Then He turned His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and the Muslims towards the Ka’bah.
Qur’an says:

‘Thus We appointed you a midmost nation that you might be witnesses to the people and that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) might he! a witness to you; and We did not appoint the direction you were facing, except that We might know who followed the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) from him who turned on his heels it was a difficult thing except for those whom Allah has guided.’ (2: 143)

The Muslims turned to the Ka’bah out of obedience to Allah and His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and it became the qiblah of the Muslims for all time to come. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims turn their faces towards it when they pray.

THE QURAYSH ARE STILL HOSTILE:
When Islam was firmly established in Madinah, and the Quraysh knew that it was flourishing and spreading, they became hostile towards the Muslims. Allah commanded the Muslims to be steadfast and patient, saying, ‘Restrain your hands and establish the prayer.’ (4: 77)

When the Muslims were strong and secure, they were given permission to fight but were not obliged to do so. Allah said, ‘Leave is given against those whom war is made (to fight) because they were wronged. Allah is able to help them.’ (22: 39)

THE FIRST EXPEDITIONS:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah began to send delegations to visit other tribes and districts. Most of the time there was no war, only skirmishes. Even this much activity worried the idol-worshippers but their anxiety encouraged the Muslims to emerge triumphant.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah went on the raid of Abwa, the first he himself undertook. It was followed by other raids and expeditions.

THE FAST:
In the second year of the hijrah, fasting was made obligatory. Allah revealed, ‘O you who believe, the fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you – perhaps you will be God-fearing.’ (2: 183)

He says, ‘The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was sent down to be a guidance to the people and as clear signs of the Guidance and the Discrimination. Let those of you who are present at the month last it.’ (2: 185)

Hijrah

THE HIJRAH TO MADINAH BEGINS:
Once the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had taken this pledge, the Muslims had more security and some from Makkah took refuge with the Ansar. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah ordered his Companions and those Muslims who were with him in Makkah to leave for Madinah, and to join their brothers among the Ansar. He said, ‘Allah has given you brothers and an abode where you will be safe.’ They soon began to leave Makkah.

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, however, remained in Makkah waiting for Allah’s permission to emigrate to Madinah.

The emigration of the Muslims from Makkah was not easy. The Quraysh put many obstacles in their way and subjected the emigrants to considerable stress. However, the emigrants were determined to go. They did not want to remain in Makkah. Some, including Abu Salamah, were forced to leave their wives and children behind and to travel alone. Some had to relinquish all they had earned in their lifetime. Suhayb was among those who lost all their wealth.

Umar ibn al-Khattab, Talhah, Hamzah, Zayd ibn Harithah, Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Abu Hudhayfah, Uthman ibn Affan and others emigrated (may Allah be pleased with them) and the emigration continued apace. None were left in Makkah with the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah except for those who were imprisoned or awaiting trial, apart from Ali ibn Abi Talib and Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhafah.

THE QURAYSH’S FINAL PLOT FAILS:
When the Quraysh saw that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had Companions and helpers in Madinah over whom they had no power, they were alarmed about his departure. They knew that if that happened, they would have no means to stop him. So they assembled in the Dar an-Nadwah, the house of Qusayy ibn Kilab which the Quraysh used when decision-making, The Quraysh nobles consulted one another on what to do about the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah.

They finally agreed that each tribe would provide a young warrior and together they would attack the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, each man striking a blow. That way responsibility for his death would be divided among the tribes and the Banu Abd Manaf would not be able to fight them all.

Allah informed His Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of this plot, so he could tell Ali ibn Abi Talib to sleep in his bed wrapped up in his cloak, adding, ‘Nothing unpleasant will happen to you.

When the murderous gang gathered at the door intending to attack, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah came out and took up a handful of dust. Allah then instantly removed their sight and the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah scattered the dust over their heads while reciting verses from Surah Ya Sin, ‘We have covered them so that they do not see,’ (36: 9) Someone came to them and said, ‘What are you waiting here for’

‘Muhammad,’ they replied.

‘May Allah disappoint you!’ he said. ‘By Allah, he came out earlier and went about his business.’
When they looked and saw someone sleeping on the bed they did not doubt that it was the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. But in the morning when Ali got up from the bed, they were so embarrassed that they slunk away quietly.

THE HIJRAH OF THE MESSENGER(SALLALLAHU ALAIYHI WASSALLAM) OF ALLAH:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah went to Abu Bakr to tell him, ‘Allah has given me permission to emigrate.’

Abu Bakr exclaimed, ‘In company, Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah?

‘In company,’ replied the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, and Abu Bakr wept for joy.

Abu Bakr brought two camels which he had in readiness for the journey and hired Abdullah ibn Urayqit to act as their guide. Over the years, the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had developed such a reputation for honesty that the unbelieving Quraysh would deposit their valuables with him, certain that they would be safe. This day he charged Ali with the responsibility for returning all the property to its rightful owners.

THE CAVE OF THAWR:
The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and Abu Bakr left Makkah secretly. Abu Bakr asked his son, Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr, to find out what people were saying about them in Makkah and he asked ‘Air ibn Fuhayrah, his freed slave, to graze his milking sheep in the daytime but to bring them to the each night. Asma’ bint Abi Bakr would bring them food.

They went to the Cave of Thawr. Abu Bakr went in first to clean it up and to make sure that it was safe so that nothing could harm the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. Once he was satisfied he called him in.

When they were inside Allah sent a spider to spin a web from a bush across the entrance to the cave. It concealed the fact that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah and Abu Bakr had only just gone in. Allah also commanded two wild doves to fly down between the spider and the tree. They made a nest there and laid eggs. ‘To Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth.’ (48: 4)

The idol-worshippers followed the tracks of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s party, but when they reached the mountain they became confused. They climbed up the hillside passing close to the cave. However, when they saw the spider’s web they said, ‘If anyone had entered here, there would not be a spider’s web across the opening. Then, they rode on. Abu Bakr saw the idol-worshippers coming. In alarm he said, ‘Messenger of Allah, if one of them steps forward, he will see us.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah replied, ‘Why worry about two when Allah is the third!’

Allah says in the Qur’an, ‘… the second of the two; when the two were in the Cave, when he said to his companion, “Grieve not. Allah is with us.” ‘(9: 40)

SURAQAH’S EXPERIENCE:
When the Quraysh realised that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah had escaped, they offered a hundred camels to anyone who handed him over, dead or alive. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah remained in the cave for three days and then left with ‘Air ibn Fuhayrah who guided him along the coastal route.

Suraqah ibn Malik ibn Ju’sham was eager to get the reward offered for the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah. He was tracking his footsteps when his horse stumbled and he was thrown off. He refused to give up so he mounted again and rode on. His horse stumbled a second time and he fell again. Determined to capture his quarry, he rode on once more. Just as he caught sight of the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, his horse stumbled a third time. Its feet sank into the sand and Suraqah fell. Then he watched as dust rose from the ground like a sandstorm in front of him.

When Suraqah saw that happen, he knew that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah was under the protection of Allah. He realised that the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah would certainly have the upper hand over his enemies. He called out, ‘I am Suraqah ibn Ju’sham. Wait for me so that I can speak to you. By Allah, I will not harm you.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said to Abu Bakr, ‘Ask him what he wants from us.’
‘Write a document for me which will be a warrant of security.’

The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah asked ‘Air ibn Fuhayrah to write it and Suraqah kept the piece of leather (or bone) on which it was written for many years. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, looking ahead to the day when the Persian empire would crumble, said to Suraqah, ‘How will you feel when you are wearing the bracelets of Chosroes?’

And indeed that event took place. When Persia was conquered, the bracelets, belt and crown of Chosroes were brought to Umar. He summoned Suraqah ibn Malik and put the royal insignia on him.

Although Suraqah offered the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah provisions for his journey to Madinah, they were not accepted. He only asked, ‘Conceal our presence.’

A BLESSED MAN:
During their journey the Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah’s party passed the tent of Umm Ma’bad al-Khuza’iyyah who had a goat which was giving no milk during the drought. The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah stroked its udder, invoked the name of Allah and prayed for a blessing. Milk flowed. He gave Umm Ma’bad and his Companions milk to drink until they were satisfied. Then he drank last of all. The ewe was milked a second time and her milk filled a vessel. When Abu Ma’bad returned home, his wife told him what had happened, exclaiming, ‘By Allah, it could only have been a blessed man who passed by us.’

When she described the angelic stranger, he said, ‘By Allah, I think it is the man whom the Quraysh are seeking.’

After the Boycott

THE DEATHS OF ABU TALIB AND KHADIJAH:
Soon after the end of the boycott, in the tenth year of prophethood, Abu Talib and Khadijah died. They had been good companions noted for their loyalty, support, and devotion. Abu Talib, however, never became a Muslim. At this time, troubles fell on the Messenger of Allah one after another.

ISLAM SPREADS:
At-Tufayl ibn Amr ad-Dawsi came to Makkah. He was a noble man, a poet, and intelligent. The Quraysh warned him against the Messenger of Allah. As a result, he was afraid to go near him to listen to him.

‘By Allah,’ At-Tufayl said, ‘they kept at me until I decided not to listen to him at all nor to speak with him, to the extent that I stuffed my ears with cotton. I went to the mosque and the Messenger of Allah was standing there praying at the Ka’bah. I stood near him and Allah had decided that I should hear some of his words. I heard some good words and said to myself, “By Allah, I am an intelligent man, a poet. The difference between good and evil is not concealed from me. Why should I not listen to what this man says! If what he brings is good, I will accept it. If it is evil, I will leave it.” ‘

At-Tufayl met the Messenger of Allah in his house and told him what had happened. The Messenger of Allah offered him Islam and recited the Qur’an to him. At-Tufayl became a Muslim and returned to his people to call them to Islam. He refused to live with his family until they all became Muslims. Eventually the whole tribe of Daws turned to Islam.

THE JOURNEY TO TA’IF:
After Abu Talib’s death, the Messenger of Allah suffered more than ever before. The Quraysh had been restrained during the lifetime of Abu Talib but now they stepped up their victimisation campaign. One even accosted him and showered dust on his head.

When the insults from the Quraysh became unbearable and they refused to have anything to do with Islam, the Messenger of Allah went to Ta’if to ask help of the Thaqif people and to call them to Islam. He hoped they would be sympathetic to his call.

On arriving in Ta’if, he went to the leaders and nobles of Thaqif, talked with them and called them to Allah. They, however, were rude to him and ridiculed him. They incited the town’s riff-raff to shout insults at him and stone him. He retired, distressed, to the shade of a palm-tree where he sat down. Nowhere had he encountered worse treatment than that which he received at the hands of the idol-worshippers in Ta’if.

The townspeople formed a line on either side of his path. When he passed they stoned him until he was bleeding. His feet were streaming with blood. He was so dejected that he complained to Allah of his helplessness and pitiable state. He sought refuge with Allah, pleading:

O Allah, I complain to you of my weakness, lack of resources and humiliation before men. You are the Most Merciful, You are the Lord of the oppressed and You are my Lord. To whom will You entrust me? To someone far away who will frown on me or to an enemy to whom You have given power over me? If You are not angry with me, I do not care, but Your favour is better for me. I seek refuge with the light of Your face which illuminates the darkness, and by which the affairs of this world and the Next are put in order, from having Your anger descend on me or Your wrath fall upon me. I repent to You, seeking Your forgiveness and Your favour until You are well-pleased. There is no power nor strength except by Allah.

Allah sent the angel of the mountains to ask if he wanted him to bring together the two mountains between which Ta’if lay. The Messenger of Allah replied, ‘No, for I hope that Allah will bring forth from them those who will worship Allah alone and not associate anything with Him.’

When Utbah ibn Rabi’ah and Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah saw his distress, they were moved with compassion. They called a Christian slave of theirs named Addas and told him to take a bunch of grapes to him. As Addas carried out his orders he noticed the kindness of the Messenger or Allah. He was so impressed that he became a Muslim.

The Messenger of Allah returned from Ta’if to Makkah where his people were even more opposed to him than they had been previously.

THE ASCENT TO THE HEAVENS (MERAAJ):
At this time the Messenger of Allah travelled by night from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa. From there he was transported into the proximity to Allah that He wished him to experience. He travelled through the heavens, witnessed the signs of Allah and met the earlier Prophets .

‘His eye swerved not nor swept aside He saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord.’ (53: 1 7-18)

He received generous hospitality from Allah and solace and compensation for the distress he had endured in Ta’if.

Next morning, he told the Quraysh what had happened to him. They rejected it, thinking him mad, calling him a liar and mocking him. Abu Bakr Said, ‘By Allah, if he said it, he has spoken the truth. What makes you wonder at it! By Allah, he tells me that news comes to him from heaven to the earth in any hour of the night or day and I believe him, and that is more unlikely than what you are astounded by.’

During the Ascent, Allah made fifty prayers each day obligatory for his Ummah. The Messenger continued to ask Allah to reduce the number of prayers until He reduced them to five prayers each day. Allah decreed that all who perform their prayers with sincerity and in expectation of a reward will receive the reward of fifty prayers.

THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH OFFERS HIMSELF TO THE TRIBES:
The Messenger of Allah contacted members of various Arab tribes when they came to Makkah during their festivals. He explained the beliefs of Islam to them and asked them to protect him from his enemies, saying,

‘O people! I am your Messenger of Allah. He commands you to worship Him and not associate anything with Him and to abandon the worship of those you consider equal with Him. He commands you to believe in Him and confirm Him and to protect me so that I may make clear what Allah has sent to me.’

When the Messenger of Allah finished speaking, Abu Lahab usually got up to say, ‘O people! This man calls on you to abandon al-Lat and al-Uzza and your allies among the jinn for this innovation and misguidance he has brought! Do not obey him and do not listen to him!’

THE ANSAR ACCEPT ISLAM:
While the Messenger of Allah was at Aqabah during the festival he met a group of the Khazraj of Yathrib and called them to Allah, the Mighty and Exalted. He offered them Islam and recited the Qur’an to them.

They were neighbours of the Jews in Madinah and had heard mention of a Prophet who was about to come. They said to each other, ‘People! By Allah, you know that he must be the Prophet whom the Jews have promised you. Don’t let them get to him before us.’

They accepted his teachings and became Muslims, saying, ‘We have left our people and no people are more rent by enmity and evil as they are! Perhaps Allah will join us together by means of you. We will go to them and call them to this religion which we have accepted from you. If Allah gathers them to you, then no man will be mightier than you.’

They went back to their land having confirmed their faith. When they came to Madinah, they mentioned the Messenger of Allah to their brothers and called them to Islam. News soon spread among them until there was no house of the Ansar in which the Messenger of Allah was not discussed.

THE FIRST PLEDGE OF AQABAH:
The following year, twelve Ansar attended the festival in Makkah. They met the Messenger of Allah and gave him their pledge, the First Pledge of Aqabah, that they would believe in one God, abstain from theft, fornication and killing children, and obey him in what was right and proper.

When they left, the Messenger of Allah sent Mus’ab ibn Umayr with them. He commanded him to read the Qur’an to them, to preach Islam and to instruct them in the religion. He also led them in prayers. He was called ‘The Reader’ in Madinah where he stayed with As’ad ibn Zurarah.

ISLAM SPREADS THROUGHOUT MADINAH:
Islam began among the people of the Aws and the Khazraj in Madinah. Sa’d ibn Mu’adh and Usayd ibn Hudayr became Muslims. They were the leaders of their people, the Banu Abdul-Ashhal of Aws. They were convinced of the truth because of the wisdom and kindness of those who had become Muslims before them, particularly by the excellent presentation of Islam by Mus’ab ibn Umayr. All the people of the Banu Abdul-Ashhal became Muslims, and not a household of the Ansar remained in which some men and women had not accepted the faith.

THE SECOND PLEDGE OF AQABAH:
Mus’ab ibn Umayr returned to Makkah the following year and a number of the Muslim Ansar accompanied those of their people making hajj who were still idol-worshippers. The Muslims arranged to meet the Messenger of Allah at Aqabah. When they had finished the hajj, they met in the valley near Aqabah late at night. There were seventy-three men and two women. The Messenger of Allah came with his uncle, al-Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib who was still an idol-worshipper at that time.

The Messenger of Allah talked to them, recited the Qur’an and prayed to Allah and encouraged people to become Muslims. Then he said,’ ask for your allegiance on the basis that you protect me as you would protect your wives and children.’

They pledged their allegiance to him. They asked him to promise that he would not leave them and return to his people. The Messenger of Allah gave his promise, ‘I am from you and you are from me. I will fight those you fight and will be at peace with those with whom you are at peace.’

He chose twelve leaders from among them: nine from the Khazraj and three from the Aws.