4. The Prophet sets the Pattern
THE PROPHET SETS THE PATTERN
Prophecy about the Prophet
[A Jew from Syria had migrated to Medina some years before Muhammad proclaimed his prophethood in 610 CE.]
Later when he knew that he was about to die he said, �O Jews, what do you think made me leave a land of bread and wine to come to a land of hardship and hunger?� When we [the Jews] said that we could not think why, he said that he had come to this country expecting to see the emergence of a prophet whose time was at hand. This was the town where he would migrate and he was hoping that he would be sent so that he could follow him. �His time has come,� he said, �and don�t let anyone get to him before you, O Jews; for he will be sent to shed blood and to take captive the women and children of those who oppose him. Let not that keep you back from him.�
First Blood shed in Islam (Between 610 and 613 CE)
[To start with Muhammad had organised a secret society in Mecca. His followers used to congregate for prayers in unfrequented spots outside the city.]
When the apostle�s companions prayed they went to the glens so that their people could not see them praying, and while Sa�d b. AbU WaqqAS was with a number of the prophet�s companions in one of the glens of Mecca, a band of polytheists came upon them while they were praying and rudely interrupted them. They blamed them for what they were doing until they came to blows, and it was on that occasion that Sa�d smote a polytheist with the jawbone of a camel and wounded him. This was the first blood to be shed in Islam.
The Prophet promises Slaughter (Between 613 and 614 CE)
[Muhammad proclaimed his prophethood publicly only when he had acquired a following large enough to make him feel confident that his voice would carry weight.]
People began to accept Islam, both men and women, in large numbers until the fame of it was spread throughout Mecca, and it began to be talked about. Then Allah commanded His apostle to declare the truth of what he had received and to make known His commands to men and to call them to Him. Three years elapsed from the time that the apostle concealed his state until Allah commanded him to publish his religion, according to information which has reached me. Then Allah said, �Proclaim what you have been ordered and turn aside from the polytheists.�
YahyA b. �Urwa b. al-Zubayr on the authority of his father from �Abdullah b. �Amr b. al-�AS told me that the latter was asked what was the worst way in which Quraysh showed their enmity to the apostle. He replied: �I was with them one day when the notables had gathered in the Hijr and the apostle was mentioned. They said that they had never known anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow; he had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community, and cursed their gods. What they had borne was past all bearing, or words to that effect.�
While they were thus discussing him the apostle came towards them and kissed the black stone, then he passed them as he walked round the temple. As he passed they said some injurious things about him. This I could see from his expression. He went on and as he passed them the second time they attacked him similarly. This I could see from his expression. Then he passed the third time, and they did the same. He stopped and said, �Will you listen to me O Quraysh? By him who holds my life in His hand I bring you slaughter.� This word so struck the people that not one of them but stood silent and still; even one who had hitherto been most violent spoke to him in the kindest way possible, saying, �Depart, O AbU�l-QAsim, for by God you are not violent.� So the apostle went away, and on the morrow they assembled in the Hijr, I being there too, and they asked one another if they remembered what had taken place between them and the apostle so that when he openly said something unpleasant they let him alone. While they were talking thus the apostle appeared, and they leaped upon him as one man and encircled him, saying, �Are you the one who said so-and-so against our gods and our religion?� The apostle said, �Yes, I am the one who said that.� And I saw one of them seize his robe. Then AbU Bakr interposed himself weeping and saying. �Would you kill a man for saying Allah is my Lord?� Then they left him. That is the worst that anyone ever saw Quraysh do to him.�
Muhammad�s Faction acquires Strength (Between 614 and 616 CE)
[Hamza, one of Muhammad�s uncles, was a well-known warrior of Mecca. He heard that AbU Jahl, a leading citizen, had spoken harshly to his nephew.]
Hamza was filled with rage, for Allah purposed to honour him so he went out at a run and did not stop to greet anyone, meaning to punish AbU Jahl when he met him. When he got to the mosque he saw him sitting among the people, and went up to him until he stood over him, when he lifted up his bow and struck him a violent blow with it, saying, �Will you insult him when I follow his religion, and say what he says? Hit me back if you can!� Some of B. MakhzUm got up to go to AbU Jahl�s help, but he said, �Let AbU UmAra alone for, by God, I insulted his nephew deeply.� Hamza�s Islam was complete, and he followed the apostle�s commands. When he became a Muslim the Quraysh recognized that the apostle had become strong, and had found a protector in Hamza, and so they abandoned some of their ways of harassing him.
When �Umar became a Muslim, he being a strong, stubborn man whose protégés none dare attack, the prophet�s companions were so fortified by him and Hamza that they got the upper hand of Quraysh. �Abdullah b. Mas�Ud used to say, �We could not pray at the Ka�ba until �Umar became a Muslim, and then he fought the Quraysh until he could pray there and we prayed with him.� �Umar became a Muslim after the prophet�s companions had migrated to Abyssinia.
Abyssinian invasion invited (615 CE)
[Meanwhile, Muhammad had sent some of his followers to Abyssinia where Negus, the Christian emperor, was informed that what Muhammad was preaching in Mecca was the same as Christianity. The Negus was also reminded of earlier Abyssinian invasions of Arabia, and invited to intervene again in favour of Muhammad and his Muslims.]
When the apostle saw the affliction of his companions and that though he escaped it because of his standing with Allah and his uncle AbU TAlib, he could not protect them, he said to them: �If you were to go to Abyssinia (it would be better for you), for the king will not tolerate injustice and it is a friendly country, until such time as Allah shall relieve you from your distress.� Thereupon his companions went to Abyssinia, being afraid of apostasy and fleeing to Allah with their religion. This was the first hijra in Islam.
[But Abyssinian intervention failed to materialize because the Negus got involved in domestic trouble].
The Satanic Verses (615 CE)
When Quraysh perceived that the apostle�s companions had settled in a land in peace and safety, and that the Negus has protected those who sought refuge with him, and that �Umar had become a Muslim and that both he and Hamza were on the side of the apostle and his companions, and that Islam had begun to spread among the tribes, they came together and decided among themselves to write a document in which they should put a boycott on B. HAshim and B. Muttalib that they should not marry their women nor give women to them to marry; and that they should neither buy from them nor sell to them, and when they agreed on that they wrote it in a deed. Then they solemnly agreed on the points and hung the deed up in the middle of the Ka�ba to remind them of their obligations.
When the apostle saw that his people turned their backs on him and he was pained by their estrangement from what he brought them from Allah he longed that there should come to him from Allah a message that would reconcile his people to him. Because of his love for his people and his anxiety over them it would delight him if the obstacle that made his task so difficult could be removed; so that he meditated on the project and longed for it and it was dear to him. Then Allah sent down �By the star when it sets your comrade errs not and is not deceived, he speaks not from his own desire,� and when he reached His words �Have you thought of al-LAt and al-�UzzA and ManAt the third, the others�, Satan, when he was meditating upon it, and desiring to bring it (sc. reconciliation) to his people, put upon his tongue �these are the exalted GhAnIq whose intercession is approved.� When Quraysh heard that, they were delighted and greatly pleased at the way in which he spoke of their gods and they listened to him.
[Muhammad�s followers were annoyed with him for alienating them from their own people and then seeking reconciliation to save himself and his own clan from trouble. So Muhammad had to beat a hasty retreat and repudiate the latest revelation from Allah. Salman Rushdie has dramatised in his novel, The Satanic Verses, the tension which arose between Muhammad and his Muslims.]
Then Gabriel came to the apostle and said, �What have you done, Muhammad? You have read to these people something 1 did not bring you from Allah and you have said what He did not say to you. The apostle was bitterly grieved and was greatly in fear of Allah. So Allah sent down (a revelation), for He was merciful to him, comforting him and making light of the affair and telling him that every prophet and apostle before him desired as he desired and wanted what he wanted and Satan interjected something into his desires as he had on his tongue. So Allah annulled what Satan had suggested and Allah established His verses i.e. you are just like the prophets and apostles. Then Allah sent down: �We have not sent a prophet or apostle before you but when he longed Satan cast suggestions into his longing. But Allah will annul what Satan has suggested. Then Allah will establish his verses, Allah being knowing and wise.� Thus Allah relieved his prophet�s grief, and made him feel safe from his fears and annulled what Satan had suggested in the words used above about their gods by his revelation.
[This episode revealed the quality of Allah�s revelations. Muhammad received one kind of revelations when he felt weak and wanted to compromise with the Meccans, and another kind of revelations when his followers raised a storm against the concession he had made in favour of the Meccan Goddesses.]
Uncompromising Aggression (620 CE)
[The Meccans had made many attempts to persuade Muhammad against insulting their religion and their forefathers. They made another attempt at compromise when AbU TAlib, Muhammad�s uncle and protector, fell ill and was reported as dying.]
AbU SufyAn with sundry other notables went to AbU TAlib and said: �You know your rank with us and now that you are at the point of death we are deeply concerned on your account. You know the trouble that exists between us and your nephew, so call him and let us make an agreement that he will leave us alone and we will leave him alone; let him have his religion and we will have ours.� When he came AbU TAlib said, �Nephew, these notables have come to you that they may give you something and to take something from you.� �Yes,� he answered, �you may grant me one word by which you can rule the Arabs and subject the Persians to you.� �Yea,� said AbU Jahl, �and ten words.� He said: �You must say There is no God but Allah and you must repudiate what you worship beside him.� They clapped their hands and said, �Do you want to make all the gods into one God, Muhammad? That would be an extraordinary thing.� Then they said one to another, �This fellow is not going to give you anything you want, so go and continue with the religion of your fathers until God judge between us.� So saying they departed... Then AbU TAlib died.
Attempt to raise TA�if against Mecca (620 CE)
In consequence of the growing hostility of Quraysh after AbU TAlib�s death the apostle went to TA�if to seek help from ThaqIf and their defence against his tribe. Also he hoped that they would receive the message which Allah had given him. He went alone.
When the apostle arrived at al-TA�if he made for a number of ThaqIf who were at that time leaders and chiefs, namely three brothers... One of them had a Quraysh wife of the B. JumaH. The apostle sat with them and invited them to accept Islam and asked them to help him against his opponents at home. One of them swore that he would tear up the covering of the Ka�ba if God had sent him. The other said, �Could not God have found someone better than you to send?� The third said, �By God, don�t let me ever speak to you. If you are an apostle from God as you say you are, you are far too important for me to reply to, and if you are lying against God it is not right that I should speak to you!� So the apostle got up and went, despairing of getting any good out of ThaqIf. He said to them, �Seeing that you have acted as you have, keep the matter secret,� for he was loath that his people should hear about it, so that they would be still further emboldened against him.
Muhammad conspires with Medina (620 to 622 CE)
The apostle offered himself to the tribes of Arabs at the fairs whenever opportunity came, summoning them to Allah and telling them that he was a prophet who had been sent. He used to ask them to believe in him and protect him until Allah should make clear to them the message with which he had charged his prophet.
When Allah wished to display His religion openly and to glorify His prophet and to fulfil His promise to him, the time came when he met a number of the Helpers at one of the fairs; and while he was offering himself to the Arab tribes as was his wont he met at al-�Aqaba a number of the Khazraj whom Allah intended to benefit.
When the apostle met them he learned by inquiry that they were of the Khazraj and allies of the Jews. He invited them to sit with him and expounded to them Islam and recited the QurAn to them. Now Allah had prepared the way for Islam in that they lived side by side with the Jews who were people of the scriptures and knowledge, while they themselves were polytheists and idolaters. They had often raided them in their district and whenever bad feeling arose the Jews used to say to them, �A Prophet will be sent soon. His day is at hand. We shall follow him and kill you by his aid.� So when they heard the apostle�s message they said one to another: �This is the very prophet of whom the Jews warned us. Don�t let them get to him before us!� Thereupon they accepted his teaching and became Muslims, saying, �We have left our people, for no tribe is so divided by hatred and rancour as they. Perhaps Allah will unite them through you. So let us go to them and invite them to this religion of yours; and if Allah unites them in it, then no man will be mightier than you.� Thus saying they returned to Medina as believers.
In the following year twelve Helpers attended the fair and met at al-�Aqaba - this was the first �Aqaba - where they gave the apostle the �pledge of women�. This was before the duty of making war was laid upon them.
When Allah gave permission to his apostle to fight, the second �Aqaba contained conditions involving war which were not in the first act of fealty. Now they bound themselves to war against all and sundry for Allah and his apostle, while he promised them for faithful service thus the reward of paradise.
�UbAda b. al-WalId b. �UbAda b. al-SAmit from his father from his grandfather� UbAda b. al- SAmit who was one of the Leaders told me, �We pledged ourselves to war in complete obedience to the apostle in weal and woe, in ease and hardship and evil circumstances; that we would not wrong anyone; that we would speak the truth at all times; and that in Allah�s service we would fear the censure of none.� �UbAda was one of the twelve who gave his word at the first �Aqaba.
Formation of the Ummah (623 CE)
[Following the second �Aqaba, Muhammad migrated to Medina and laid foundation of his blood-thirsty brotherhood.]
The apostle wrote a document concerning the emigrants and the helpers in which he made a friendly agreement with the Jews and established them in their religion and their property, and stated the reciprocal obligations, as follows: In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful. This is a document from Muhammad the prophet [governing the relations] between the believers and Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib, and those who followed them and joined them and laboured with them. They are one community (umma) to the exclusion of all men. The Quraysh emigrants according to their present custom shall pay the bloodwit within their number and shall redeem their prisoners with the kindness and justice common among believers.
A believer shall not take as an ally the freedman of another Muslim against him. The Allah-fearing believers shall be against the rebellious or him who seeks to spread injustice, or sin or enmity, or corruption between believers; the hand of every man shall be against him even if he be a son of one of them. A believer shall not slay a believer for the sake of an unbeliever, nor shall he aid an unbeliever against a believer. Allah�s protection is one, the least of them may give protection to a stranger on their behalf. Believers are friends one to the other to the exclusion of outsiders. To the Jew who follows us belong help and equality. He shall not be wronged nor shall his enemies be aided. The peace of the believers is indivisible. No separate peace shall be made when believers are fighting in the way of Allah.
It shall not be lawful to a believer who holds by what is in this document and believes in Allah and the last day to help an evildoer or to shelter him. The curse of Allah and His anger on the day of resurrection will be upon him if he does, and neither repentance nor ransom will be received from him. Whenever you differ about a matter it must be referred to Allah and to Muhammad.
Muhammad turns against the Jews (623 CE)
About this time the Jewish rabbis showed hostility to the apostle in envy, hatred, and malice, because Allah had chosen His apostle from the Arabs. They were joined by men from al-Aus and al-Khazraj who had obstinately clung to their heathen religion. They were hypocrites, clinging to the polytheism of their fathers denying the resurrection; yet when Islam appeared and their people flocked to it they were compelled to pretend to accept it to save their lives. But in secret they were hypocrites whose inclination was towards the Jews because they considered the apostle a liar and strove against Islam.
It was the Jewish rabbis who used to annoy the apostle with questions and introduce confusion, so as to confound the truth with falsity. The Quran used to come down in reference to these questions of theirs.
The first hundred verses of the sUra of the Cow came down in reference to these Jewish rabbis and the hypocrites of Aus and Khazraj, according to what I have been told, and Allah knows best.
There were two parties: The B. QaynuqA� and their adherents, allies of Khazraj; and al-NaDIr and Qurayza and their adherents allies of Aus. When there was war between Aus and Khazraj the B. QaynuqA� went out with Khazraj, and al-NaDIr and Qurayza with Aus, each side helping his allies against his own brethren so that they shed each other�s blood, while the Torah was in their hands by which they knew what was allowed and what was forbidden them. Aus and Khazraj were polytheists worshipping idols knowing nothing about paradise and hell, the waking and the resurrection, the scriptures, the permitted and the forbidden.
The apostle summoned the Jewish scripture folk to Islam and made it attractive to them and warned them of Allah�s punishment and vengeance. RAfi� b. KhArija and MAlik b. �Auf said to him that they would follow the religion of their fathers, for they were more learned and better men than they. So Allah sent down concerning their words: �And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has sent down, they say: Nay, but we will follow what we found our fathers doing. What! even if their fathers understood nothing and were not rightly guided?�
Some Muslims remained friends with the Jews because of the tie of mutual protection and alliance which had subsisted between them, so Allah sent down concerning them and forbidding them to take them as intimate friends: �O you who believe, do not choose those outside your community as intimate friends. They will spare no pains to corrupt you longing for your ruin. From their mouths hatred has already shown itself and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have made the signs plain to you if you will understand.�
AbU Bakr went into a Jewish school and found a good many men gathered round a certain FinhAs, one of their learned rabbis, and another rabbi called Ashya�. AbU Bakr called on the former to fear Allah and become a Muslim because he knew that Muhammad was the apostle of Allah who had brought the truth from Him and that they would find it written in the Torah and the Gospel. FinHAS replied: �We are not poor compared to Allah but He is poor compared to us. We do not humble ourselves to Him as He humbles Himself to us; we are independent of Him while He needs us.�
AbU Bakr was enraged and hit FinHAS hard in the face, saying, �Were it not for the treaty between us I would cut off your head, you enemy of Allah!� FinHAS immediately went to the apostle and said, �Look, Muhammad, at what your companion has done.� The apostle asked AbU Bakr what had impelled him to do such a thing and he answered: �The enemy of Allah spoke blasphemy. He alleged that Allah was poor and that they were rich and I was so angry that I hit his face.� FinHAS contradicted this and denied that he had said it, so Allah sent down refuting him and confirming what AbU Bakr had said: �Allah has heard the speech of those who say: �Allah is poor and we are rich.� We shall write what they say and their killing the prophets wrongfully and we shall say, Taste the punishment of burning.�
A Cruel Custom revived by Muhammad (622 CE)
Jewish rabbis had gathered in their school when the apostle came to Medina. A married man had committed adultery with a married woman and they said: �Send them to Muhammad and ask him what the law about them is and leave the penalty to him. If he prescribes tajbIh (which is scourging with a rope of palm fibre smeared with pitch, the blackening of their faces, mounting on two donkeys with their faces to the animal�s tail) then follow him, for he is a king and believe in him. If he prescribes stoning for them, he is a prophet so beware lest he deprive you of what you hold.� They brought the pair to Muhammad and explained the position.
When the apostle gave judgement about them he asked for a Torah. A rabbi sat there reading it having put his hand over the verse of stoning. �Abullah b. SalAm struck the rabbi�s hand, saying, �This, O prophet of Allah, is the verse of stoning which he refuses to read to you.� The apostle said, �Woe to you Jews! What has induced you to abandon the judgement of Allah which you hold in your hands?� They answered: �The sentence used to be carried out until a man of royal birth and noble origin committed adultery and the king refused to allow him to be stoned. Later another man committed adultery and the king wanted him to be stoned but they said No, not until you stone so-and-so. And when they said that to him they agreed to arrange the matter by tajbIh and they did away with all mention of stoning.� The apostle said: �I am the first to revive the order of Allah and His book and to practise it.� They were duly stoned and �Abdullah b.�Umar said, �I was among those that stoned them.�
The apostle ordered them to be stoned, and they were stoned at the door of his mosque. And when the Jew felt the first stone he crouched over the woman to protect her from the stones until both of them were killed. This is what Allah did for the apostle in exacting the penalty for adultery from the pair.
According to a tradition from �Umar, the second caliph, Muhammad not only participated in stoning the Jewish couple but also received a revelation which is not found in the Quran as we have it at present. According to a hadis from �A�isha, the page on which the revelation was written was lying on her bed when it was eaten by a goat.
�Umar sat in the pulpit, and when the muezzins were silent he praised Allah as was fitting and said: �I am about to say to you today something which Allah has willed that I should say and I do not know whether perhaps it is my last utterance. He who understands and heeds it let him take it with him whithersoever he goes; and as for him who fears that he will not heed it, he may not deny that I said it. Allah sent Muhammad and sent down the scripture to him. Part of what he sent down was the passage on stoning; we read it, we were taught it, and we heeded it. The apostle stoned (adulterers) and we stoned them after him. I fear that in time to come men will say that they find no mention of stoning in Allah�s book and thereby go astray by neglecting an ordinance which Allah has sent down. Verily stoning in the book of Allah is a penalty laid on married men and women who commit adultery, if proof stands or pregnancy is clear or confession is made. Then we read in what we read from Allah�s book: �Do not desire to have ancestors other than your own for it is infidelity so to do.��
Allah sanctions War against Unbelievers (622 CE)
When Quraysh became insolent towards Allah and rejected His gracious purpose, accused His prophet of lying, and ill treated and exiled those who served Him and proclaimed His unity, believed in His prophet, and held fast to His religion, He gave permission to His apostle to fight and to protect himself against those who wronged them and treated them badly.
The first verse which was sent down on this subject from what I have heard from �Urwa b. al-Zubayr and other learned persons was: �Permission is given to those who fight because they have been wronged. Allah is well able to help them, - those who have been driven out of their houses without right only because they said Allah is our Lord. Had not Allah used some men to keep back others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques wherein the name of Allah is constantly mentioned would have been destroyed. Assuredly Allah will help those who help Him. Allah is Almighty. Those who if we make them strong in the land will establish prayer, pay the poor-tax, enjoin kindness, and forbid iniquity. To Allah belongs the end of matters.� Then Allah sent down to him: �Fight them so that there be no more seduction,� i.e. until no believer is seduced from his religion. �And the religion is Allah�s�, i.e. Until Allah alone is worshipped.
When Allah had given permission to fight and this clan of the Ans5r had pledged their support to him in Islam and to help him and his followers, and the Muslims who had taken refuge with them, the apostle commanded his companions, the emigrants of his people and those Muslims who were with him in Mecca, to emigrate to Medina and to link up with their brethren the AnSAr. �Allah will make for you brethren and houses in which you may be safe.� So they went out in companies, and the apostle stayed in Mecca waiting for Allah�s permission to leave Mecca and migrate to Medina.
Wars led by Muhammad in Person (623 to 631 CE)
Then the apostle prepared for war in pursuance of Allah�s command to fight his enemies and to fight those polytheists who were near at hand whom Allah commanded him to fight. This was thirteen years after his call.
The apostle took part personally in twenty-seven (T. six) raids:
WaddAn which was the raid of al-AbwA�.
BuwAT in the direction of RaDwA.
�Ushayra in the valley of Yanbu�.
The first fight at Badr in pursuit of Kurz b. JAbir.
The great battle of Badr in which Allah slew the chiefs of
Quraysh (T. and their nobles and captured many).
BanU Sulaym until he reached al-Kudr.
Al-SawIq in pursuit of AbU SufyAn b. Harb (T. until he reached Qarqara al-
GhatafAn (T. towards Najd), which is the raid of DhU Amarr.
BaHrAn, a mine in the HijAz (T. above al-Furu�)
DhAtu�l-RiqA� of Nakhl.
The last battle of Badr.
BanU LiHyAn of Hudhayl.
BanU�l-MuSTaliq of KhuzA�a.
Al-Hudaybiya not intending to fight where the polytheists opposed his passage.
Then he went on the accomplished pilgrimage.
The occupation of Mecca.
He actually fought in nine engagements: Badr; Uhud; al-Khandaq; Qurayza; al-Mustaliq; Khaybar; the occupation; Hunayn; and al-TA�if.
Expeditions and Raiding Parties sent by Muhammad (622 to 632 CE)
These were thirty-eight (T. thirty-five) in number (T. between the time of his coming to Medina and his death).
�Ubayda b. al-HArith was sent to the lower part (T. to the tribes) of Thaniyatu�l-Mara (T. which is in the Hijaz); Hamza b. �Abdu�l-Muttalib to the coast in the direction of al-�IS. (Some people date Hamza�s raid before that of Ubayda); Sa�d b. AbU WaqqAS to al-KharrAr (T. in the Hijaz); �Abdullah b. JaHsh to Nakhla; Zayd b. HAritha to al-Qarda (T. a well in Najd); Muhammad b. Maslama�s attack on Ka�b b. al-Ashraf; Marthad b. AbU Marthad al-GhanawI to al-RajI�; al-Mundhir b. �Amr to Bi�r Ma�Una: AbU �Ubayda b. al-JarrAH to DhU�l-QaSSa on the Iraq road; �Umar b. al-KhaTTAb to Turba in the B. �Amir country ; �AlI b. AbU TAlib to the Yaman; GhAlib b. �Abdullah al-KalbI, the Kalb of Layth, to al-KadId where he smote B. al-MulawwaH.
�Ali to B. �Abdullah b. Sa�d of Fadak; AbU�l-�AujA� al-SulamI to B. Sulaym country where he and all his companions were killed; �UkkAsha b. MiHSan to al-Ghamra; AbU Salama b. �Abdu�l-Asad to QaTan, a well of B. Asad in the direction of Najd. Mas�Ud b. �Urwa was killed there; Muhammad b. Maslama, brother of b. HAritha, to al-QuraTA� of HawAzin; BashIr b. Sa�d to B. Murra in Fadak; BashIr b. Sa�d in the direction of Khaybar; Zayd b. HAritha to al-JamUm in B. Sulaym country; Zayd also to JudhAm in Khushayn country. So says Ibn HishAm, but al-ShAfi�i from �Amr b. HabIb from Ibn IsHAq say �in HismA country�.
Violation of the Sacred Month (623 CE)
The apostle sent �Abdullah b. Jahsh b. Ri�Ab al-AsadI in Rajab on his return from the first Badr. He sent with him eight emigrants, without any of the AnsAr. He wrote for him a letter, and ordered him not to look at it until he had journeyed for two days, and to do what he was ordered to do, but not to put pressure on any of his companions.
When �Abdullah had travelled for two days he opened the letter and looked into it and this is what it said: �When you have read this letter of mine proceed until you reach Nakhla between Mecca and Al-Ta�if Lie in wait for Quraysh and find out for us what they are doing.�... A caravan of Quraysh carrying dry raisins and leather and other merchandise of Quraysh passed by them, �Amr b. al-HaDramI, �UthmAn b. Abdullah b. al-MughIra and his brother Naufal the MakhzUmites, and al-Hakam b. KaysAn, freedman of HishAm b. al-MughIra being among them. When the caravan saw them they were afraid of them because they had camped near them. �UkkAsha, who had shaved his head, looked down on them, and when they saw him they felt safe and said, �They are pilgrims, you have nothing to fear from them.� The raiders took council among themselves, for this was the last day of Rajab, and they said, �If you leave them alone tonight they will get into the sacred area and will be safe from you; and if you kill them, you will kill them in the sacred month,� so they were hesitant and feared to attack them. Then they encouraged each other, and decided to kill as many as they could of them and take what they had. WAqid shot �Amr b. al-HaDramI with an arrow and killed him and �UthmAn and al-Hakam surrendered. Naufal escaped and eluded them. �Abdullah and his companions took the caravan and the two prisoners and came to Medina with them.
When they came to the apostle, he said, �I did not order you to fight in the sacred month,� and he held the caravan and the two prisoners in suspense and refused to take anything from them. When the apostle said that, the men were in despair and thought that they were doomed. Their Muslim brethren reproached them for what they had done, and the Quraysh said �Muhammad and his companions have violated the sacred month, shed blood therein, taken booty, and captured men.� The Muslims in Mecca who opposed them said that they had done it in Sha�bAn. The Jews turned this raid into an omen against the apostle. �Amr b. al-HadramI whom WaqId had killed they said meant 'amarati�l-Harb (war has come to life), al-HaDramI meant hadarati�l-Harb (war is present), and WaqId meant waqadati�l-Harb (war is kindled); but Allah turned this against them, not for them, and when there was much talk about it, Allah sent down to his apostle: �They will ask you about the sacred month, and war in it. Say, war therein is a serious matter, but keeping people from the way of Allah and disbelieving in Him and in the sacred mosque and driving out His people there from is more serious with Allah.�
When �Abdullah and his companions were relieved of their anxiety when the Quran came down, they were anxious for reward, and said, �Can we hope that it will count as a raid for which we shall be given the reward of combatants?� So Allah sent down concerning them: �Those who believe and have emigrated and fought in the way of Allah, these may hope for Allah�s mercy, for Allah is forgiving, merciful.� That is, Allah gave them the greatest hopes therein.
Allah sanctions Booty and Terrorism (624 CE)
When [Battle of] Badr was over, Allah sent down the whole SUra AnfAl (eighth sUra) about it. With regard to their quarrelling about the spoils there came down: �They will ask you about the spoils, say, the spoils belong to Allah and the apostle, so fear Allah and be at peace with one another, and obey Allah and His apostle if you are believers.�
Then He taught them how to divide the spoil and His judgement about it when He made it lawful to them and said: �And know that what you take as booty a fifth belongs to Allah and the apostle.�
Then Allah reproached him about the prisoners and the taking of booty, no other prophet before him having taken booty from his enemy. Muhammad AbU Ja�far b. �Al? b. al-Husayn told me that the apostle said: �I was helped by fear; the earth was made a place to pray, and clean; I was given all-embracing words; booty was made lawful to me as to no prophet before me; and I was given the power to intercede; five privileges accorded to no prophet before me.�
Allah said, �It is not for any prophet; i.e. before thee, �to take prisoners� from his enemies until he has made slaughter in the earth,� i.e. slaughtered his enemies until he drives them from the land. �You desire the lure of this world,� i.e. its goods, the ransom of the captives. �But Allah desires the next world,� i.e. their killing them to manifest the religion which He wishes to manifest and by which the next world may be attained. �Had there not previously been a book from Allah there would have come upon you for what you took,� i.e. prisoners and booty, �an awful punishment,� i.e. had it not previously gone forth from Me that I would punish only after a prohibition - and He had not prohibited them - I would have punished you for what you did. Then He made it lawful to him and to them as a mercy from Him and a gift from the Compassionate, the Merciful. He said, �So enjoy what you have captured as lawful and good, and fear Allah. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.�
Captives killed after the Battle of Badr (624 CE)
Then the apostle began his return journey to Medina with the unbelieving prisoners, among whom were �Uqba b. AbU Mu�ayT and al-NaDr b. al-HArith. The apostle carried with him the booty that had been taken from the polytheists and put �Abdullah b. Ka�b in charge of it.
When the apostle was in al-SafrA, al-Nadr was killed by �AlI, as a learned Meccan told me. When he was in �Irqu�l-Zabya �Uqba was killed.
When the apostle ordered him to be killed �Uqba said, �But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?� �Hell�, he said, and �ASim b. ThAbit b. AbU�l-AqlaH al-AnSArI killed him.
Assassination of AbU �Afak (CE 624)
AbU �Afak was one of B. �Amr b. �Auf of the B. �Ubayda clan. He showed his disaffection when the apostle killed al-HArith b. Suwayd b. SAmit. [Suwayd�s fault was that he had killed his father�s murderer who happened to be a favourite of Muhammad.]
The apostle said, �Who will deal with this rascal for me?� whereupon SAlim b. �Umayr, brother of B. �Amr b. �Auf one of the sweepers�, went forth and killed him.
Assassination of �AsmA� D. MarwAn (624 CE)
She was of B. Umayya b. Zayd. When AbU �Afak had been killed she displayed disaffection. �Abdullah b. al-HArith b. al-FuDayl from his father said that she was married to a man of B. Khatma called YazId b. Zayd. Blaming Islam and its followers she said:
I despise B. MAlik and al-NabIt
And �Auf and B. al-Khazraj.
You obey a stranger who is none of yours,
One not of MurAd or MadhHij.
Do you expect good from him after the killing of your chiefs
Like a hungry man waiting for a cook�s broth?
When the apostle heard what she had said he said, �Who will rid me of MarwAn�s daughter?� �Umayr b. �AdIy al-KhaTmI who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he said, �You have helped Allah and His apostle, O �Umayr!� When �Umayr asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, �Two goats won�t butt their heads about her.� So �Umayr went back to his people.
Now there was a great commotion among B. Khatma that day about the affair of Bint MarwAn. She had five sons, and when �Umayr went to them from the apostle he said, �I have killed Bint MarwAn, O sons of Khatma. Withstand me if you can; don�t keep me waiting.� That was the first day that Islam became powerful among B. Khatma; before that those who were Muslims concealed the fact. The first of them to accept Islam was �Umayr b. �AdIy who was called �the Reader�, and �Abdullah b. Aus and Khuzayma b. ThAbit. The day after Bint MarwAn was killed the men of B. KhaTma became Muslims because they saw the power of Islam.
BanU QaynuqA� expelled from Medina (624 CE)
Meanwhile there was the affair of the B. QaynuqA�. The apostle assembled them in their market and addressed them as follows: �O Jews, beware lest Allah bring upon you the vengeance that He brought upon Quraysh and become Muslims. You know that I am a prophet who has been sent - you will find that in your scriptures and Allah�s covenant with you.� They replied, �O Muhammad, you seem to think that we are your people. Do not deceive yourself because you encountered a people with no knowledge of war and got the better of them; for by Elohim if we fight you, you will find that we are real men!�
A freedman of the family of Zayd b. ThAbit from Sa�Id b. Jubayr or from �Ikrima from Ibn �AbbAs told me that the latter said the following verses came down about them:
�Say to those who disbelieve: you will be vanquished and gathered to Hell, an evil resting place. You have already had a sign in the two forces which met�, i.e. the apostle�s companions at Badr and the Quraysh. �One force fought in the way of Allah; the other, disbelievers, thought they saw double their own force with their very eyes. Allah strengthens with His help whom He will. Verily in that is an example for the discerning.�
The apostle besieged them until they surrendered unconditionally. �Abdullah b. Ubayy b. SalUl went to him when Allah had put them in his power and said, �O Muhammad, deal kindly with my clients� (now they were allies of Khazraj), but the apostle put him off. He repeated the words, and the apostle turned away from him, whereupon he thrust his hand into the collar of the apostle�s robe; the apostle was so angry that his face became almost black. He said, �Confound you, let me go.� He answered, �No, by Allah, I will not let you go until you deal kindly with my clients. Four hundred men without mail and three hundred mailed protected me from all mine enemies; would you cut them down in one morning? By Allah, I am a man who fears that circumstances may change.� The apostle said, �You can have them.�
[This Jewish tribe was expelled from Medina.]
Assassination of Ka�b B. al-Ashraf (624 CE)
After the Quraysh defeat at Badr the apostle had sent Zayd b. HAritha to the lower quarter and �Abdullah b. RawAHa to the upper ,quarter to tell the Muslims of Medina of Allah�s victory and of the polytheists who had been killed.
Ka�b b. al-Ashraf who was one of the Tyyi� of the subsection B. NabhAn whose mother was from the B. al-NadIr when he heard the news said, �Is this true? Did Muhammad actually kill these whom these two men mention? (i.e. Zayd and �Abdullah b. RawAha). These are the nobles of the Arabs and kingly men; by Elohim, if Muhammad has slain these people �twere better to be dead than alive.�
enemy of Allah became certain that the news was true he left the town and
went to Mecca to stay with al-MuTTalib b. AbU WadA�a b. Dubayra al-Sahmi
who was married to �Atika d. Abu�l-�ls b. Umayya b. �Abdu Shams b. �Abdu
ManAf. She took him in and entertained him hospitably. He
began to inveigh against the apostle and to recite verses in which he bewailed
the Quraysh who were thrown into the pit after having been slain at Badr.
[Then Ka'b came back to Medina and recited more verses.] The apostle said, �Who will rid me of Ibnu�l-Ashraf?� Muhammad b. Maslama, brother of the B. �Abdul�l-Ashhal, said, �I will deal with him for you, O apostle of Allah, I will kill him.� He said, �Do so if you can.� So Muhammad b. Maslama returned and waited for three days without food or drink, apart from what was absolutely necessary. When the apostle was told of this he summoned him and asked him why he had given up eating and drinking. He replied that he had given him an undertaking and he did not know whether he could fulfil it. The apostle said, �All that is incumbent upon you is that you should try.� He said, �O apostle of Allah, we shall have to tell lies.� He answered, �Say what you like, for you are free in the matter.� Thereupon he and SilkAn b. SalAma b. Waqsh who was AbU NA�ila one of the B. �Abdul�l-Ashhal, foster-brother of Ka�b, and �AbbAd b. Bishr b. Waqsh, and al-HArith b. Aus b. Mu�Adh of the B. �Abdul�l-Ashhal and AbU �Abs b. Jabr of the B. HAritha conspired together and sent SilkAn to the enemy of Allah, Ka�b b. Ashraf, before they came to him. He talked to him some time and they recited poetry one to the other, for SilkAn was fond of poetry. Then he said, �O Ibn Ashraf, I have come to you about a matter which I want to tell you of and wish you to keep secret.� �Very well,� he replied. He went on, �The coming of this man [Muhammad] is a great trial to us. It has provoked the hostility of the Arabs, and they are all in league against us. The roads have become impassable so that our families are in want and privation, and we and our families are in great distress.� Ka�b answered, �By Elohim, I kept telling you, O Ibn SalAma, that the things I warned you of would happen.� SilkAn said to him, �I want you to sell us food and we will give you a pledge of security and you deal generously in the matter... I have friends who share my opinion and I want to bring them to you so that you may sell to them and act generously, and we will give you enough weapons for a good pledge.� SilkAn�s object was that he should not take alarm at the sight of weapons when they brought them. Ka�b answered, �Weapons are a good pledge.� Thereupon SilkAn returned to his companions, told them what had happened, and ordered them to take their arms. Then they went away and assembled with him and met the apostle.
The apostle walked with them as far as Baqi�u�l-Gharqad. Then he sent them off, saying, �Go in Allah�s name; O Allah help them.� So saying, he returned to his house. Now it was a moonlight night and they journeyed on until they came to his castle, and AbU NA�ila called out to him. He had only recently married, and he jumped up in the bedsheet, and his wife took hold of the end of it and said, �You are at war, and those who are at war do not go out at this hour.� He replied, �It is AbU NA�ila. Had he found me sleeping he would not have woken me.� She answered, �By Elohim, I can feel evil in his voice.� Ka�b answered, �Even if the call were for a stab a brave man must answer it.� So he went down and talked to them for some time, while they conversed with him. Then AbU NA�ila said, �Would you like to walk with us to Shi�b al-�AjUz, so that we can talk for the rest of the night?� �If you like,� he answered, so they went off walking together; and after a time AbU NA�ila ran his hand through his hair. Then he smelt his hand, and said, �I have never smelt a scent finer than this.� They walked on farther and he did the same so that Ka�b suspected no evil. Then after a space he did it for the third time, and cried, �Smite the enemy of Allah!� So they smote him, and their swords clashed over him with no effect. Muhammad b. Maslama said, �I remembered my dagger when I saw that our swords were useless, and I seized it. Meanwhile the enemy of Allah had made such a noise that every fort around us was showing a light. I thrust it into the lower part of his body, then I bore down upon it until I reached his genitals, and the enemy of Allah fell to the ground. Al-HArith had been hurt, being wounded either in his head or in his foot, one of our swords having struck him. ... We carried him and brought him to the apostle at the end of the night. We saluted him as he stood praying, and he came out to us, and we told him that we had killed Allah�s enemy. He spat upon our comrade�s wounds, and both he and we returned to our families. Our attack upon Allah�s enemy cast terror among the Jews, and there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life.�
General Order for killing the Jews (624 CE)
The apostle said, �Kill any Jew that falls into your power.� Thereupon MuHayyiSa b. Mas�Ud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. HuwayyiSa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When MuHayyiSa killed him HuwayyiSa began to beat him, saying, �You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?� MuHayyiSa answered, �Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off,� The other asked, �By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?� He said, �Yes, by Allah, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.� He exclaimed, �By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvellous!� and he became a Muslim.
A Blind Man killed on the way to Uhud (625 CE)
Then the apostle asked his companions whether anyone could take them near the Quraysh by a road which would not pass by them. AbU Khaythama, brother of B. HAritha b. al-HArith, undertook to do so, and he took him through the Harra of B. HAritha and their property until he came out in the territory of Mirba� b. QayzI who was a blind man, a disaffected person. When he perceived the approach of the apostle and his men he got up and threw dust in their faces saying, �You may be the apostle of Allah, but I won�t let you through my garden!� I was told that he took a handful of dust and said, �By God, Muhammad, if I could be sure that I should not hit someone else I would throw it in your face.� The people rushed on him to kill him, and the apostle said, �Do not kill him, for this blind man is blind of heart, blind of sight.� Sa�d b. Zayd, brother of B. �Abdu�l-Ashhal, rushed at him before the apostle had forbidden this and hit him on the head with his bow so that he split it open.
Assassination of KhAlid B. SufyAn (625 CE)
�Abdullah b. Unays said: The apostle called me and said that he had heard that Ibn SufyAn b. NubayH al-HudhalI was collecting a force to attack him, and that he was in Nakhla or �Urana and that I was to go and kill him. I asked him to describe him so that I might know him, and he said, �If you see him he will remind you of Satan. A sure sign is that when you see him you will feel a shudder.� I went out girding on my sword until I came on him with a number of women in a howdah seeking a halting-place for them. It was the time for afternoon prayer, and when I saw him I felt a shuddering as the apostle had said. I advanced towards him fearing that something would prevent my praying, so I prayed as I walked towards him bowing my head. When I came to him he asked who I was and I answered, �An Arab who has heard of you and your gathering a force against this fellow [Muhammad] and has come to you.� He said, �Yes, I am doing so.� I walked a short distance with him and when my chance came I struck him with my sword and killed him, and went off leaving his women bending over him. When I came to the apostle he saw me and said, �The aim is accomplished.� I said. �I have killed him, O Apostle,� and he said, �You are right.�
BanU Al-NadIr Jews expelled from Medina (625 CE)
According to what YazId b. RUmAn told me the