The Prophet's Biography - nabi muhammad 14

The Prophet's Biography - nabi muhammad

14

Third: Jewish and the Christian Solidarity with the Pagan Arabs Against Islam

The Jews and Christians in Arabia were jealous because the newly revealed divine guidance was not revealed directly to them, so they were openly hostile to the message of Muhammed (r). The pagan Arabs respected and admired the Jews and the Christians because of the books and knowledge that they possessed. Since the Arab's idolatry was fundamentally opposed to the message of monotheism, they took the attitude of the People of the Book as a legitimation for their resistance to the message of Muhammed (r). Since the Jews and the Christians, who were the inheritors of books that had been previously revealed and more knowledgeable than them in matters of religion, denied the message of Muhammed (r) that they too should deny it as well! This argument turned out to be one of the strongest arguments that the pagan Arabs used to encourage each other to reject Islam. Allah says:

“And the leaders among them went about (saying): “Go on, and remain constant to your gods! Verily, this is a thing designed (against you)! We have not heard (the like) of this in the religion of these later days (i.e. Christianity). This is nothing but an invention!” [Qur'an : Sad : Verse 6-7]

This argument was apparently (and Allah knows best) based upon statements that the People of the Book made to the pagan Arabs in opposition to the Messenger Muhammed (r) since the Arabs did not have much knowledge about what was contained in the previously revealed books. Allah says in another place in the Qur’an, referring to statements that the Jews made to the pagan Arabs against those who believed in Allah’s oneness:

“Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and Taghut and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way than the believers (Muslims). They are those whom Allah has cursed, and he whom Allah curses, you will not find for him any helper.” [Qur'an 4:51-52]

This was because the Jews allied themselves with the pagan Arabs in the fight against the Messenger of Allah (r) and gave credibility to their religion of idolatry, and because they preferred the pagan Arabs to the believers.

In a hadith narrated upon the authority of Ibn Abbas who said: “When K’ab ibn Al-Ashraf (a Jew) arrived in Makkah the Quraysh said to him: ‘Are you the best of the people of Medinah and their chief?’ He said: ‘yes.’ They said (asking about the Prophet (r)): ‘Have you not seen that man who has no sons who claims that he is better than we are? We are the people of Makkah who host the pilgrims and supply them with water and we are the caretakers of the Ka'bah.’ He (K’ab ibn Al-Ashraf) said: ‘You are better than him.’

(Then Allah) revealed the verse: “For he who hates you (O Muhammed), he will be cut off (from posterity and every good thing in this world and in the Hereafter)” [Soorah Al-Kauthar:Verse 3]

 

And Allah also revealed: “Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the scripture? They believe in Jibt and Taghut}…until the statement of Allah {and he whom Allah curses, you will not find for him (any) helper.” [Soorah An-Nisa:Verses 51-52]

 

These characteristics accurately portray Ka’b ibn Al-Ashraf (a Jew) who went to the pagan Arabs of the tribe of Quraysh hoping to mobilize an army to fight against the Prophet (r) saying to them: ‘Verily we will fight along with you against him…’

So those who were corrupt amongst the followers of the previously revealed religions who joined the ranks of the idolaters out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth that Muhammed is Allah’s Messenger became manifest unto them. They joined the ranks of the idolaters even though they were the first people who should have believed in the Qur’an and helped the Messenger and disbelieved in the idolatry of the pagan Arabs.

It is now possible for us to imagine some of the hardships that the Prophet Muhammed (r) had to endure along with those few believers who were with him. It was as if the whole world was against them and all of the different groups had unified in opposition to the believers. This was their condition from the very beginning of this new message until Allah caused Islam to take firm root in the hearts of the Ansaar in the city of Medinah and the first Islamic state was established.


Fourth: Authority Held By Tribal Chieftains

The Arabs were a tribal people with deep-rooted practices that governed most aspects of their lives. These included their notions of nobility, rulership, and political power and led to tribal conflicts and struggles for dominance.

When Allah chose Muhammed (r) to be a Prophet and Messenger, he was from amongst the elite of his people since he had the blood of two noble families. The family of Abdu-Manaf on his father’s side and Zuhra on his mother's. He was from amongst the nobles of the tribe of Quraysh and from the clan of Bani Hashim, which was the noblest bloodline of the Arabs. Muhammed was also known to be very well mannered, generous and kind natured. Far from having any of the defects in his character that the people commonly boasted about in their ignorance and untouched by any blemishes on his reputation because Allah the Most High was always protecting him and guarding him from every suspicion or short coming.

However in spite of all that, he did not become leader of his tribe for many reasons related to age and other circumstances on the one hand, and on the other because of Allah’s divine wisdom and secret protection of the message of Islam from being mixed up with worldly ambitions that insincere people are drawn to.

As a result, one of the reasons the pagan Arabs rejected Islam was because they wondered amongst themselves why Muhammed was chosen for this mission.

That was because they did not fully realize the virtue of his moral excellence and the special quality of his personality. Therefore they were not of the opinion that he was better than them or their equal rather they thought that such and such person from the great, important men of distinction from one of the tribes should have been chosen to bring the message. Allah the Most High says:

And they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Ta’if)?” [Soorah Az-Zukhruf, Verse 31]

 

Obviously the pagan Arabs had no business trying to involve themselves in the matter of Allah’s divine choosing of whomever He wills as a Prophet. Especially since they, with their corrupt souls and confused intellect and bad natures, refused to even follow the chosen Prophet of Allah (r)!

They even went to the extreme of requesting from Allah that every single one of them be raised to the position of a Prophet and Messenger and that angels come to them and that they be given revelation! As if each one of them could never follow anyone else! Allah the Most High says:

"And when there comes to them a sign (from Allah) they say: “We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah had received.” Allah knows best with whom to place Message. Humiliation and disgrace from Allah and a severe torment will overtake the criminals (polytheists, sinners) for that which they used to plot." [Soorah Al-An’aam, Verse 124]

 

They attached great importance to themselves and haughtily refused to follow another human being even if he was a Prophet (r) who received revelation from the heavens. They proclaimed: “If you were to obey another human being like yourselves, then verily you indeed would be losers.” [Soorah Al-Mu’minun, Verse 34]

 

As a result of the importance of adhering to tribal customs regarding leadership, the people who were from the same clan as the Messenger Muhammed (r) refused to follow him, arguing that he was not a chieftain of their clan nor was he one who held a leadership position amongst them. Meanwhile those who were from a different clan refused in order to protect the status of their clan's. Those who were from a different tribe altogether rejected the message of Islam hoping to protect the status of their tribe by not following someone from a different tribe!

Once Abu Jahl and Abu Sufyan and Al-Akhnas ibn Shareeq listened to the Qur’an night after night. One morning Al-Akhnas ibn Shareeq went to Abu Jahl and asked: ‘O Abu Al-Hakam what do you think about that which you have heard from Muhammed?’ He replied: ‘What have I heard? He disputes with us and the honorable tribe of Abdu Manaf: they provided food and we have provided food, they have carried a burden and we have carried a burden, they gave and we gave until we became firmly united as if we had already mounted our fastest horses. They said: ‘Is there a Prophet (r) from amongst us who receives revelation from the sky! When will we ever be able to say this? By Allah we will never listen to him and we will never believe in him.’ Then Al-Akhnas ibn Shareeq arose and departed from Abu Jahl.

The opposition of the tribe of Quraysh heavily influenced the rest of the Arabs to oppose Islam. The influence of the Quraysh was so great that even if they had not exerted themselves in their resistance to Islam and in the defamation of the Prophet (r), they still would have swayed the people. That was because all of the Arabs looked to the Quraysh and waited for their approval. The tribe of Quraysh enjoyed a high status among the Arabs. The Arabs revered the Quraysh for many reasons, especially because they were the people who lived close to the Ka'bah and were the caretakers of Allah’s house.

 

Emigration to Madinah

 

THE EMIGRATION

Thanks to the allegiance and support offered by the Ansaar, the Muslims found a new rock of refuge. The Prophet (r) commanded the Muslims in Makkah to emigrate from Makkah and join their brothers-in-faith, the Ansaar, in Madinah. He told his companions, “God has provided to you some brethren and homes where you will live in safety.” So the Muslims departed, one small group after another, from Makkah to Yathrib, leaving the Prophet (r) behind in Makkah in anticipation of the command of Allah as to when he should leave the city.

But it was not easy to emigrate as the Quraysh decided at once to take stringent measures against them. The pagan Quraysh did everything they could to stop the exodus such as creating obstacles along the way of the emigrants to prevent their departure. The Muslims, though, were equally determined to leave at all costs. Some, like Abu Salama, had departed alone, leaving their wives and children, while others, like Suhayb, had to give up their life-long earnings before leaving Makkah. Umm Salama relates the following about her and her husband's departure:

“When Abu Salama had made up his mind to set out for Madinah, he saddled his camel and mounted me on it with my son Salama. Then, taking hold of the camel’s halter, he went ahead. When some of the men belonging to Bani al-Mughari saw him, they came near us saying, “It is alright so far as you are concerned, but how can we allow your wife to go with you?” They snatched the camel’s headstall from his hand and took me with them. At this crucial point, Banu ‘Abdul Asad, the clansmen of Abu Salama, got angry. They said: ‘By God, you have torn her from our brother, but we will not allow our son to go with her.” A scuffle started between them for the child Salama, until his arm was dislocated, and Bani Asad took him away leaving me with Bani al-Mughira while my husband went away to Madinah. Thus, all the three of us -- my self, my husband and my son were separated. I used to go out every morning to Abtah weeping till nightfall. A whole year passed in this manner when one of my cousins from Al-Mughira took pity on me and said to Bani al-Mughira: “Why don’t you let this poor woman go? You have separated her from her husband and son.” So they said to me: “You can go to your husband if you like.” Then Banu Asad reunited me with my son. I saddled my camel and taking the child with me, set out for Madinah in search of my husband accompanied by not a blessed soul with me. When I arrived at Tan’im I happened to meet ‘Uthman Ibn Talha of Bani ‘Abdul-Dar who asked me where I intended to go. I replied that I was going to my husband in Medinah. He asked if I had anybody with me to which I said in reply, ‘None save this child and God.’ He said, ‘By God, it is not easy for you to reach your destination’. He took hold of the camel’s rope and went ahead leading it. I swear, I have never met a man nobler than he. Whenever we had to stop, he used to kneel the camel and withdraw; after I had got down, he used to unload the camel, tie it to a tree and go away to take rest under a tree. In the evening, he used to saddle the camel and load it, and then withdrew asking me to ride; he came back after I had mounted and taking the halter in his hand, he went ahead to the next destination…thus he escorted me until I reached Madinah. When he saw Quba, the habitation of Bani ‘Amr Ibn ’Auf, he said, ‘Your husband is in this village. Now go to him with the blessing of God.” Thus he bade me farewell and went off on his way back to Makkah.”

She also used to say that no family in Islam suffered the hardships the way that the family of Abu Salama did. (Ibn Kathir, Vol.2, PP.215-17)

When Suhayb tried to leave for Madinah, the disbelieving Quraysh said to him, “You came to us as a destitute beggar and have grown rich among us, and now you want to go away safely with your life and wealth. By God, it shall never be so!” Suhayb asked, “Would you allow me to go if I give my property to you?” When they replied in the affirmative, Suhayb said, “I will give you the whole of it.”

When the Prophet (r) was told about the incident, he exclaimed, “Suhayb has made a profit! Suhayb has made a profit!” (Ibn Kathir, Vol.2, P.233)

The emigrants to Medinah during this period were ‘Umar, Talha, Hamza, Zayd Ibn Haritha,’ Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf, Zubayr Ibn al-Awwam, Abu Hudhayafa, ‘Uthman Ibn’ Affan and several other companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them all). Thereafter, the emigrants trickled away one by one. The only ones left in Makkah, besides the Prophet (r), Abu Bakr and ‘Ali (t) were either those who are detained because of some restraints or those who had fallen victims of their own shortcomings. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 470-79)


AN UNSUCCESSFUL CONSPIRACY

The emigration of Muslims to Madinah frightened the Makkahns. For they fully understood that the Prophet (r) had already established a base with a large number of adherents in a foreign territory beyond their reach, and if he were also to join them there, then they would be rendered helpless, deprived of all authority over him. They held a council in Dar al-Nadwa where all the chiefs of the Quraysh had assembled to deliberate on the possible solutions to the problem.

They debated and scrutinized the various suggestions and finally decided unanimously that each clan should provide a young, courageous and blue-blooded warrior so that all of them would fall upon Muhammed to jointly kill him. Thus, the responsibility of shedding his blood would lie equally on all the clans, and no single clan whatsoever would then be held responsible for it and ‘Abdu Munaf for sure, would not dare take up a hatchet against all the people. Determined to slay the Prophet (r), the pagans dispersed to execute their treacherous scheme.

But the Prophet (r) was warned of their wicked plan by the All-Knowing God and thus, had asked ‘Ali instead to lie on his bed and wrap himself in his mantle, assuring him that no harm would come to him.

The shrewd and determined gang stood outside the Prophet’s house with scimitars, prepared to attack the Prophet (r) as he emerged. When Muhammed (r) came out, he threw a handful of dust. God instantly obscured their eyesight and the Prophet (r) went through their ranks, sprinkling the dust over their heads and reciting the Soorah Ya Sin:

"And we have set a bar before them and a bar behind them, and (thus) have covered them so that they see not.” [Qur'an 36:9]

He passed right through them but nobody was able to see him. Then, there came a man who asked them, “What are you waiting for?” When they replied that they were waiting for Muhammed, he said, “May God confound you! He has already gone away.” They peeped through the chink of the door and saw ‘Ali sleeping on the bed wrapped in the Prophet’s mantle. They had mistaken him for the Prophet (r) and decided to wait till morning when ‘Ali got up from the bed. All of them were abashed by the incident. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. Pp. 480-83)

 

A STRANGE INCONSISTENCY

The unbelieving Quraysh of Makkah were bitterly set against the Prophet (r). Yet they were absolutely convinced of his truthfulness and trustworthiness, nobility and magnanimity. If anybody in Makkah apprehended loss or misappropriation of his property, he usually deposited it with the Prophet (r). The Prophet (r) had thus a number of things committed to his care. He, therefore, charged ‘Ali to return these to their owners before leaving Makkah. Of a fact, such strange behavior from Quraysh and such noble behavior from the Prophet at such a critical moment is a testimony to the nobility of the Prophet (r) as well as to the callousness of Quraysh.

“We know well how their talk grieveth thee, though in truth they deny not thee (Muhammed) but evil-doers flout the revelations of Allah.” [Qur'an 6:33]

 

The fact that the polytheists trusted Allah's Messenger (r) with their possessions, even though they were fighting against him and insisting upon his death, is an evidence that the enemies of the mission, deep in their hearts, believed in the righteousness, honesty, and nobility of the reformer. They believed that he was better off than them in his behavior and that his heart was purer than theirs. But the insensitivity or indifference of their hearts, their stubbornness, and their resolute grip towards their errant customs and beliefs, aptly known as resistance to change, lured them to fight against him, harm him and finally conspire to kill him.



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Section : The Biography of the Prophet muhammad
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Date : 4/5/2010
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