The Prophet's Biography - nabi muhammad 17

The Prophet's Biography - nabi muhammad

17

Prophet in Madinah

News of the Prophet's departure from Makkah spread fast. Eagerly expecting his arrival, the Ansaars used to go out after morning prayers to the outskirts of the city and await his arrival until there was no more shade and the Sun became unbearable. Then, as it was the hot season, they returned to their homes, sad and disappointed.

At last, the Prophet (r) arrived. The Ansaar had already returned to their houses but a Jew who happened to see him, cried aloud announcing his arrival. Everybody rushed out to greet the Prophet (r) whom they found sitting beneath a tree with Abu Bakr (t) who was of like age. Many of them had never seen the Prophet (r) and did not know which of the two was he. They crowded round both, but now, Abu Bakr realized their difficulty. He rose up, stood behind the Prophet (r) shielding him with a piece of cloth from the sun, and thus the doubts of the people dissipated. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, p. 492)

More or less five hundred Ansaars rushed to pay their respects to the Prophet of Allah (r); they requested him to enter the city, saying, “Ride on! You two are safe and we shall obey you!”

The Prophet (r) went on, accompanied by his companions and the welcoming crowd. The inhabitants of Madinah stood in front of their doors, the women lined up on the roofs inquiring one another about the Prophet (r). Anas said that he never came across a happier day in his life.

The people thronged in the way at their doors and windows and on the roofs of the houses. The slaves and lads cried excitedly, “Allahu-Akbar, the Prophet (r) of Allah is come!

Bara b. Azib, who was then in his youth, had said: “I never saw the people of Madinah display warmth so great as the happiness they expressed on the arrival of the Prophet (r) of Allah where even the slave-girls were shouting that the Prophet (r) of Allah hath arrived!”

The faithful greeted the arrival of the Prophet (r) with the joyful cries of Allahu Akbar. No other welcome wore that festive glance to gladden their hearts. Madinah appeared to be jubilant and beaming into a smile. The young maidens of Aus and Khazraj felt elated and sang in chorus:

"On the hillside whence caravans are given a sendoff, The full moon comes up this day. All the while Allah is praised, We had better return our thanks The Holy One, O You sent us, Yours has brought binding commands.

Anas b. Malik had not come of age when the Prophet (r) came to Madina. He was present on the occasion and he says, “I never saw a day more graceful and radiant than the day when the Prophet (r) came to us.” (Darimi, On the authority of Anas)

 

 

THE MOSQUE OF QUBA

The Prophet (r) stayed for four days in Quba where he laid the foundation of a mosque. He left Quba on Friday; the time for Friday prayers found him among the clan of Banu Salim b. ‘Auf where he performed the prayer in their mosque. This was the first Friday prayer offered by the Prophet of Allah (r) in Medinah. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 494).


IN THE HOUSE OF ABU AYYUB ANSAARI

As the Prophet (r) rode through the streets of the city, people approached him in throngs with everyone offering to accommodate him in their homes. They said, “Live with us and enjoy our wealth, honor and protection.” Sometimes they took hold o his camel’s halter, but he said to one and all: “Let her go her way. She is guided by Allah.” This happened more than once.

While the Prophet (r) was going through the locality of Bani an-Najjaar, the slave girls of the clan recited these verses to greet him:

 

“Daughters of Bani Najjaar we are, What luck! Muhammed is our neighbor!"

 

On reaching the house of Bani Malik b. an-Najjaar, the Prophets camel knelt by herself at the place where now stands the gate of the Prophet’s mosque. The place was then used for drying the dates and belonged to two orphan boys who were related to the Prophet (r) on his mother’s side.

The Prophet (r) alighted from his camel. Abu Ayyub Khalid b. Zayd, who belonged to the clan of an-Najjaar, hastily unloaded the camel and took the luggage to his house. Thus, the Prophet (r) stayed with Abu Ayyub, who paid him the greatest respect and did all he could to entertain the honored guests. Abu Ayyub was loath even to live in the upper-story that he requested the Prophet (r) to occupy the place and came down with his family to live in the ground floor. The Prophet (r), however, said to him, “O Abu Ayyub, it would be more convenient for me as well as those who come to see me if I stay in the lower portion.”

Abu Ayyub Ansaari was not a man of means, but he was extremely happy on having the Prophet (r) as his guest. He was beaming with joy at the great honor bestowed by Allah on him. The loving regard he paid to the Prophet (r) was an indication of his genuine gratitude to Allah and the Prophet (r) himself. “We used to prepare the evening meal for the Prophet (r) of Allah, says Abu Ayyub, “and send it to him.” We used to take only what was left. Umm Ayyub and I took the food from beside the part that the Prophet (r) had eaten in order to partake in its blessings. In compliance with the Prophet’s preference, he lived in the ground floor, while we occupied the upper portion. Once, we broke a jar of water whereby Umm Ayyub and I mopped up the water with the only robe we had for fear that it would drop on the Prophet (r) thereby causing him inconvenience.

 

Construction of the Prophet's Mosque

The Prophet (r) sent for the two boys who owned the date-store and asked them to name the price of the yard. They answered, “Nay, but we shall make thee a gift of it, O Prophet (r) of Allah!” The Prophet (r), however, refused their offer, paid them its price and built a mosque from there.

The Prophet (r) himself carried the unburned bricks for construction of the building along with the other Muslims. He is reported to have recited as he worked.

“O Allah! The true reward is the reward of the hereafter, have mercy O Allah on the Ansaars and Mujajirun.” (Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 251)

 

Overjoyed to see the Messenger of Allah (r) invoking blessings on them, the Muslims, too, sang and thanked Allah.

The Prophet (r) lived in the house of Abu Ayyub Ansaari for seven months. (Ibn Kathir, Vol. II, p. 279)

In the meantime, the construction of the mosque and dwelling place for the Prophet’s family was already completed and so he moved to live in his house.

The Muslims who had been restrained from migration by the polytheist of Makkah, continued to emigrate to Madinah until the only ones left there were those who were either forcibly detained or had apostatized. On the other hand, not a house of Ansaar was left without the people having sworn allegiance to Allah and His Prophet (r). (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 499-500).

 

BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD BETWEEN THE ANSAARS AND MUHAAJIRUN

The Prophet (r) established bonds of brotherhood between the Muhaajirun and the Ansaar putting them under an agreement and obligation to mutual welfare, benevolence and assistance. Each Ansaari took a Muhaajir brother.

The former sometimes went so far as to give his Muhaajir brother half of whatever he possessed in the form of houses, assets, lands and groves. Such was the enthusiasm of the Ansaars to share everything with their brothers-in-faith that they divided everything into two parts to draw lots for allocating their share. In most cases, they tried to give the Muhaajirun the fairer portion of their property.

An Ansaari would say to his émigrant brother “Behold, I shall divide my possessions into two halves.”

The Muhaajir, who was often an expert in commerce, would refuse and would answer, “May Allah bless you in your family and your possessions! Just inform me of where the market is?”

The Ansaar were magnanimous and self-denying and the Muhaajir forbearing, self-reliant."

 

COVENANT BETWEEN THE MUSLIMS AND THE JEWS

Shortly thereafter, the Prophet (r) got a written document, which bound the Muhaajirun and the Ansaars to a friendly agreement. The covenant made the Jews a party to the treaty that guaranteed them the freedom of their rights and obligations. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. p. 501)


THE CALL TO PRAYER

After the Prophet (r) had settled down and Islam was deeply entrenched in the soil of Madinah, the mode of calling the faithful to prayer caught the attention of the Prophet (r). He disliked the customs being employed by the Jews and Christians such as kindling fire or the use of bell and horn to summon the people to such a spiritual obligation.

Initially, the Muslims used to come by themselves for prayer at the scheduled time without any announcement or call at all. While different proposals were being considered, Allah guided the Muslims to the method of giving the call to prayer. A number of companions had a vision of the call in their dreams, which was approved by the Prophet (r) and prescribed as the official procedure of assembling the Muslims for such a worship act. Bilal Ibn Rabah (may Allah be pleased with him) was entrusted by the Prophet (r) to give the call to prayer and thus he came to be known as the muadhin of the Prophet (r) and the leader of all those who would call the faithful to prayer ‘till the end of time.

 

Hypocrisy raises its head in Madinah

There was no motivation for deception and double dealing in Makkah. Islam was helpless, harried and harassed there. Moreover, none had the power to turn the tide in Makkah, nor could anyone think of gaining any worldly advantage by accepting Islam. Giving one’s faith to Islam meant one was prepared to set oneself at odds with the whole of Makkah and to risk one’s life. Only one venturesome in spirit and having the courage of convictions could bear to play with the fire of hostility raging in the hearts of Islam’s enemies, only a man of mettle could take a chance with his life and property, future and prosperity. In Makkah, there were not two powers equally poised; the heathens were brought out forcefully by the Qur'an in its elegant style.

“And remember, when ye were few and reckoned feeble in the land, and were in fear lest men should extirpate you.”

 

When Islam found a new safe haven in Madina and the Prophet (r) and his companions were blessed with peace and stability, Islam began to prosper. It brought into existence a new society, a new brotherhood of men united by the consciousness of a common outlook in life and common aspirations as expressed by the Islamic principles. The dazzling spectacle of an idealistic commonwealth meant a complete break with the past for the change was so radical so as to induce the fainthearted to sail under false colors. This was quite logical or rather based on the natural instincts of those who could not cope with the revolutionary movement. Also, hypocrisy shows up its mettle only where two contending powers or principles are pitted against each other, for the indecisive and the spineless are always wavering, swinging from one end to another. They are always of two minds, hesitant, and never able to take a final decision. Often they hang together with one of the two contenders, profess loyalty and try to go along with it, but their self-solicitude and vested interests do not permit them to cling on and sacrifice and endure with it. The fear that the other party might recover its strength someday does not elude them, nor are they ever able to make a total break with their past for the sake of new ideas or ideals. This is a delicate state of disloyalty or infirmity of purpose portrayed graphically by the Qur’an as follows:

“And among the mankind is he who worshipeth Allah upon a narrow marge so that if good befalleth him, he is content therewith, but if a trial befalleth him, he falleth away utterly. He loseth both the world and the hereafter. That is the sheer loss.” [Qur'an 22:11]

The distinctive trait of this group is delineated in another verse which says:

“Swaying between this (and that), (belonging) neither to these nor to those.” [Qur'an 8:26]

The leader of the hypocrites, drawn from the ranks of Aus and Khazraj as well as the Jews of Madinah, was Abdullah b. Ubayy b. Sal’ul. Exhausted by the battle of Buath that was fought between the Aus and Khazraj around five years before the arrival of the Prophet (r) of Allah in Madinah, both these tribes had agreed to recognize ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy as their leader. By the time Islam came to gain adherents in Madinah, preparations were already being made to formally crown him as the king of the city. When he saw that the people were being won over by Islam, quickly and in large numbers at that, he became so annoyed that his resentment grew to torture his mind.

Ibn Hisham writes: “When the Prophet (r) came to Madina the leader there was ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy Salul al-‘Aufi. None of his own people contested his authority and Aus and Khazraj never rallied to any one man before Islam as they did to him. ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy’s people had made a sort of jeweled diadem to crown him and make him their king when Allah sent His Prophet (r) to them. So when his people deserted him in favor of Islam, he was filled with enmity realizing that the Prophet (r) had deprived him of his kingship. However, when he saw that his people were determined to go over the fold of Islam, he did too, though unwillingly, retaining his enmity and dissimulation. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. I, pp. 277-8)

All those persons who had a suppressed desire concealed in their hearts or were ambitious for prestige, power or authority, felt cut to the heart at the success of religion that welded the Muhaajirun and the Ansaar as two bodies with one soul. A religion that inspired them with a dedication to the Prophet (r) which was even more intense than one had for one’s own father, son and wife. Hatred and ill will against the Prophet (r) filled their hearts and they started hatching up plots against Muslims. This was how a coalition of the double-faced discontented ones came into existence within the Islamic world who were in reality worthless and just a parcel of the Muslim society. People no better than a lowly but dangerous snake in the grass that Muslims had to be even more careful with than to Allah’s openly acknowledged enemies.

This is why the Qur’an repeatedly exposes their hypocrisy and warns against their concealed designs. Their surreptitious intrigues continued to undermine the stability of the Islamic society and hence the works on the life of the Prophet (r) cannot do otherwise than divulge their hidden agenda and activities.


BEGINNING OF THE JEWISH ANIMOSITY

After initially maintaining an attitude of indifference and neutrality, the Jews gradually began to show their hatred and rancor against Islam. In the beginning they steered a middle course between the Muslims and the pagans and the Arab tribes of Makkah and Madinah; or, were rather inclined towards the Muslims. The Jews of Madinah had, in the beginning, felt closer to the Muslims having found a striking resemblance of their own religious beliefs to such fundamental teachings of Islam - such as prophecy and Prophethood, belief in the Hereafter, Unity of Allah, - and their own faith. This is notwithstanding the differences in detail as well as the fact that undue veneration of certain Prophets ('alaihimus salaam) and adoption of pagan customs through their age-old association with heathens had beclouded their pristine faith in monotheism.

It was thus reasonably expected that if they did not side with the Muslims, they would at least remain non-partisan. At any rate, Islam testified the divine origin of scriptures and called upon the Muslims to have faith in all the Hebrew Prophets (r). This was later to become a fundamental tenet of faith in Islam as affirmed by the succeeding Qur’anic verse:

“Each one believeth in Allah and His Angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” [Qur'an 2:285]

 

Would that the Jews had understood the conciliatory mood of Islam; had it been so, the history of Islam or rather that of the world would have been entirely different today. Then Islam would not have faced the impediments it had to encounter in the dissemination of its message, especially in its initial stages, resulting from the strife between the early Muslims armed only with the strength of their faith and the powerful and influential, educated as well as wealthy Jews of old.

 This enmity can be attributed to two causes. One of these was envy and covetousness, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

Had there been a political leader in place of the Prophet of Allah (r) he would have tactfully met the Jews halfway, especially in view of their importance in the tangled politics of Madinah. Even if it were not possible to placate the Jews, a national leader would have at least avoided setting them at odds against him by concealing his ultimate objective. But, as Messenger of Allah (r), he had to proclaim the truth, interdict what was forbidden and countenance no vestiges of evil and peccantliness. He had been saddled with the responsibility to deliver the message of Allah to the whole World throughout all races and nations including the Jews and Christians as well as to invite them to accept Islam regardless of its costs or consequences. This was really the path taken by all the Prophets of old--a distinctive mark only akin to them, one which is in no way followed and cherished by politicians and national leaders alike.

But, this was what the Jews detested most for it struck at the very roots of their beliefs and outlook, leading them to become hostile to Islam and the Muslims. They gave up their earlier policy of steering the middle course and decided to oppose Islam in every way possible, openly as well as through intrigues. Israel Welphenson, quoted here, has been frank and straightforward in his analysis of the reasons for ill will between the Jews and the Muslims.

“If the teachings of the Prophet (r) had been restricted only to the denunciation of idolatry and the Jews had not been called upon to acknowledge his Prophethood, there would have been no conflict between the Jews and the Muslims. The Jews might have then commended and acclaimed the Prophet’s doctrine of monotheism and backed him or even supported him with men and other material resources until he had succeeded in destroying the idols and effacing polytheistic creed rampant in Arabia. But this depended on the condition that he left the Jews and their religion well enough alone and not demanded the acceptance of the new Prophethood. For the bent of Jewish temperament cannot take kindly to anything that tries to seduce it from its faith, they can never acknowledge any Prophet save one belonging to Bani Israel.” (Al-Yahud fi Balad il-‘Arab, p. 123)

 

The Jews were further shocked and agitated when some of their learned rabbis like ‘Abdullah Salam, whom they held in high esteem, embraced Islam. The Jews could never imagine that a man of his stature and erudition would accept the new faith. Thus, this only served to make the Jews all the more annoyed and jealous of the Religion.

The animosity of the Jews against Islam was not such as to be content with defying or putting up a bold front against it. Although Muslims shared their faith in monotheism, it was only but logical as well as reasonable to expect that if the Jews were called upon to give their verdict on the Prophet (r)’s faith vis-a-vis the idolatrous creed of the Quraysh, they would speak well of Islam. They would cite the soundness of its belief in one God against the multiplicity of deities taken for granted by the pagans of Makkah. But their hatred against Islam had so infuriated them that they were even willing to deny that gospel truth. Once, when some of the rabbis went to Makkah, the Quraysh asked them whether their idolatrous religion or that of the Prophet (r) was better, to which they answered: “Your religion is better off than his and you are more rightly-guided than them.” The comment of Dr. Israel Welphenson on the reply given by the Jews is worth repeating here.

“But, surely, the thing for which they deserved to be reproached and which would be painful to all those who believe in the Unity of Allah. Whether they be Jews and pagan Quraishites wherein they had given preference to the religion of the Quraysh over what had been brought by the Prophet of Islam.” (Al Yahud fi Balad il-‘Arab, p. 142).

 

The same writer further goes on to say:

“Deception, mendicity and similar means for entrapping the enemy have been sanctioned by the nations for achieving a military objective in times of warfare. Yet the Jews ought not to have committed the grievous mistake of declaring roundly that adoration of idols was preferable to the Islamic faith in the Unity of Allah. Not even if they feared to miss the distinction by doing so. For Bani Israel had, in the name of their forefathers, held aloft the banner of Allah’s Unity for ages amidst heathen nations of the old, had all along braved innumerable trials and tribulations and gone through fire and blood for its sake. It was their bounden duty to sacrifice their lives and whatever they held dear to humble the idolaters and polytheists.“ (Al-Yahud fi Balad il-‘Arab, p. 142).

 

As a matter of fact, the situation was sufficiently serious so as to warrant a reference in the Qur’an:

“Hast You not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities and how they say those (Idolaters) who disbelieve: These are more rightly guided than those who believe?” [Qur'an 4:51]



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