The Prophet's Biography - nabi muhammad 19

The Prophet's Biography - nabi muhammad

19

THE EXCURSION OF DHAT-UR-RIQ’A

In the fourth year of the Hijrah, the Prophet of God (r) decided to make an excursion into Najd. Together with six companions that included Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, he took refuge from an oasis in that area. The group had to cover the distance mostly on foot, as only one camel was at their service. The incursion was called Dhat-ur-Riq’a as the companions taking part in the expedition had to bandage their injured feet and toes. (Al-Bukhaari, Chap. Expedition of Dhat’ur-Riq’a).

The Prophet (r)’s party approached the enemy, but there was no fighting for each feared the other. The Prophet (r) led the prayer of fear in this expedition. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, p. 204).

 

WHO CAN NOW SAVE YOU?

While the Prophet (r) was on his way back to Medinah, he stopped and leaned back to take rest under the shade of a thicket of acacia trees after hanging his sword to a branch.

Jabir relates that he was taking a nap along with his friends when they heard the Prophet (r) calling them. They saw a Bedouin sitting by the side of the Prophet (r) and when they went to him, he said, “I was sleeping when this man came and took hold of my sword. As I woke-up, I saw him with the sword drawn over my head and he was asking me, ‘Who can now save you from me?' I replied 'Allah.' Now he is sitting before you. The Prophet (r) did not, however, punish the Bedouin. (Al-Bukhaari, Chap. Expedition of Dhatur-Riq’a)

 

EXPEDITION without FIGHTING

The same year, in Sh’aban, the Prophet (r) went forth to Badr to keep his appointment with Abu Sufyan at Uhud. He remained at Badr for eight days with a large force waiting arrival of the Makkan army. Abu Sufyan did come out of Makkah to honor his call, but he did not venture to advance more than a few miles in the desert. He pursuaded his men to return since it was a season of drought in which his people were in a bad shape. There was thus no fighting and the Muslims returned with their prestige and morale bolstered higher than before.

The Prophet (r) undertook another expedition of Dumatul-Jandal a few months later. But the Muslims returned to Madinah once more without any fighting. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 209-213).

 

THE BATTLE OF THE TRENCHES

The reason for this battle was to eliminate the Muslims once and for all. The Jews were the real instigators of hostilities leading to the composing of this alliance.

The battle of the Trenches, or, of Al-Ahza’b (confederates) as it is sometimes called, took place in the month of Shawwal, 5 A.H. The location was Madinah itself.

The Muslim force was 3,000 soldiers, where the alliance force were 10 thousand soldiers

Seven Muslims laid down their lives in the battle of the Trenches while they killed four of the enemy, and on a cold and cloudy night, a violent hurricane from the desert uprooted the tents of the nomads and overthrew their cooking pots. The severe weather, sent by Allah, disheartened the enemy.

The battle resulted in utter defeat for the Quraysh-led alliance under Abu Sufyan and a complete triumph for the Muslims under the Great Prophet (r).

“O ye who believe! Remember Allah’s favor unto you when there came against you hosts and we sent against them a great wind and hosts ye could not see. And Allah is ever Seer of what ye do,” [Qur'an 33:9]

 

“And Allah repulsed the disbelievers in their wrath; they gained no good. Allah averted their back from the believers. Allah is strong, Mighty.” [Qur'an 33:25]

 

ACTION AGAINST BANI QURAYDA

The reason for this battle was the treason of Bani Qurayda for their breaking their treaty withthe the Prophet (r) in order to help the Quraysh in their attack on madinah.

It took place on the end Dhul-Qidah 5 A. H., few kilometers to the southeast Madinah. The Muslim force was 3000 soldiers, and 36 horses.

The Prophet (r) and his people surrounded and occupied the district inhabited by the Jewish clan of Bani Qurayda, whereupon the beleaguered Jews defied the siege for twenty-five days, finally succumbing up to the pressure and then offered to surrender. Bani Qurayda submitted to the Prophet’s decision.

The decision was made in the hands of an arbitrator which was the chief of Al-Aus (one of the Al-Ansaar clans), S’ad Ibn. Mu’adh, who gave his decision: “I decided that the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives.” Al in all, round 400 soldiers of Banu Qurayda were killed.


BENEVOLENCE AND LARGE-HEARTEDNESS

The Prophet (r) sent some of his men on an excursion into Najd who captured Thumama b. Uthal, the chieftain of Banu Hanifa. When the party returned to Madinah, they tied him to a stump in the Prophet’s Mosque.

God’s Messenger (r) approached him and asked, “What do you expect, Thumama?”

He replied, “If you kill me, Muhammed you will kill one whose blood will be avenged; if you show me a favor, you will show it to one who is grateful; and if you want property, you will be given as much as you wish.”

The Prophet (r) left him and when he passed by him the next time, he asked him the same question. Thumama repeated his earlier reply and the Prophet (r) left him again. When the Prophet (r) passed by him for the third time, he ordered Thumama to be set free.

Thumama went away to a grove of palm-dates and returned to the Prophet (r) after taking a bath. He accepted Islam and said to the Prophet (r), “I swear to God, Muhammed that there was no face on earth more detested by me than yours, but now your face is the dearest of all to me. And, I swear to God that there was no religion more hateful to me than yours in the entire world, but now the dearest of all to me. What happened to me is that your cavalry seized me when I was going to perform ‘Umra.”

The Prophet (r) congratulated him and bade him for it. When Thumama reached Makkah, someone asked him if he had turned a disbeliever. He replied, “No, by God, I swore that not a grain of corn will reach you from Al-Yamamah until God’s Messenger accords permission to it.”

Al-Yamamah was the chief market of food grains in Arabia from where the Makkahns used to import their requirements. When Thumama went back to Al-Yamamah, he prevented the caravans from bringing wheat to Makkah. So the people of Makkah wrote to the Prophet (r) requesting him to get the ban lifted. The kind-hearted Prophet (r) asked Thumama to repeal the ban and allow the rationing and supply of food grains back to them. (Zad al-Ma’ad, Vol. I, p. 377, Saheeh Muslim, Kitab-ul-Jihad was Siyar)

 

EXPEDITION OF BANU AL-MUSTALIQ AND THE AFFAIR OF IFK

After sometime, the Prophet (r) led an expedition up to the hills and went to Dhu Qarad against Banu Lihyan in pursuit of some raiders, but there was no fighting. In Sha’ban, 6 A.H., he was informed that Banu Al-Mustaliq were plotting for an attack on him. He went out with a group to face the enemy. A large party of the hypocrites, still skeptical and reticent, accompanied the Prophet (r) with their leader ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy b. Salul. The hypocrites had never before gone out with the Prophet (r) in such large numbers in any earlier expedition. (Ibn S’ad, Kitab ut-Tabaqat al-Kabirat, Vol. II, Part I, p. 45).

The failure of the Quraysh in the battle of the Trench despite having mustered all the warriors of their confederate clans for the destruction of Islam, had made the hypocrites bitter and sour, indeed burning with hostility in their souls. The Muslims were gaining victory after victory, the star of their fortune was on the rise, and this had sent the Quraysh, the Jews and their allies in distress. They knew that they could not humble the Muslims in an open combat and hence the only way to defeat them was by sowing dissension within their ranks and pitting them against one another. They also knew that the only way they could undermine the confidence of the Muslims in Islam and its Prophet (r) as well as trigger a rift between them were debasement of the noble Prophet (r) and arousing pre-Islamic sentiments of tribal pride. With this view in mind, the hypocrites started a clandestine campaign of casting doubts upon the honor of the Prophet (r). An entirely new type of society had, however, evolved and had been in existence in Madinah at such time, whose members loved and respected every other man bound by the common ideal. These pretenders had, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that nothing could sap the foundations of this ideological fraternity more effectively than a slanderous campaign aimed at creating misgivings against the leader and his family.

Undoubtedly, this was a well-maneuvered conspiracy of the hypocrites, which was vigorously pursued during the expedition of Banu al-Mustaliq, when, for the first time, as stated earlier, a large number of them accompanied the Prophet (r). The Prophet (r) met the enemy at a watering place of Banu al-Mustaliq, in the direction of Qudaysh towards the shore, known as al-Muraysri, where the battle brought Banu al-Mustaliq to defeat and exodus from the area. While the Prophet (r) was still at this place, a hired servant of Banu Ghifar, belonging to the Muhaajirun got into a row with another man coming from the tribe of Juhinah, which was an ally of al-Khazraj. The Juhini called out, “O ye Ansaar!” and the hired servant shouted, “O ye Muhaajirun.”

‘Abdullah b. Ubayy b. Salul at once flared up and said to his friends who happened to be present with him, “Didn’t they dare it? They set themselves against us in our own country and tried to outnumber us. By God, it is just the same as the ancient saying: Feed the dog and it will bite you. I swear by God that when we return to Madinah those who are worthy and noble will drive out the unworthy wretches.” Then, admonishing his men, ‘Abdullah continued, “You have yourselves to blame for it. You allowed them to settle in your country and shared your property with them. By God, had you held back and not been so generous, they would have certainly gone elsewhere.”

The Prophet (r) came to know about the incident and he at once gave orders to break the camp and then set off, although he was not accustomed to traveling at such a difficult hour. He wanted the people to get rid of the vain disputations and provocations of the devil. The Prophet (r) continued to move all day long and braved the night till dawn extending up to the following day till the sun became annoying. He finally made a halt when the people had become so exhausted that they readily fell asleep as soon as they laid themselves over the ground.

 ‘Abdullah was the worthy son of the unworthy ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy. He rushed to Madinah ahead of the troops and waited for his father’s arrival. When ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy came, his son brought his camel to its knees, thereby obstructing the passage of his father whom he ordered not to enter Madinah until he had acknowledged that he was indeed an unworthy wretch while the Prophet (r) was commendable and noble. In the meanwhile, the Prophet (r) also showed up. He said to ‘Abdullah, “Nay, let us deal kindly with him while he is with us.” (Tabaqat Ibn S’ad, Vol. II, p. 46)

The Prophet (r) used to cast lots, whenever he intended to go on an expedition, to decide who among his wives should accompany him. In the expedition of Banu al-Mustaliq the lot had fallen on ‘Aisha and she had accordingly accompanied the Prophet (r). At one of the stopovers in their journey back to Madinah, the Prophet (r) spent a part of the night before he ordered to break the camp. ‘Aisha had gone to answer the call of nature, and when she came back she discovered that she had dropped her necklace. She went back to hopefully recover it, but by the time she returned the army had already left. Then the camel drivers in charge of ‘Aisha’s transport saddled her covered litter thinking that she was in it as usual. However, ‘Aisha was small and very light, so no one noticed that her litter was empty.

When ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) came back she found no trace of the army, so she wrapped herself in her smock and laid down in the hope that as soon as they would discover the real situation, someone would come to fetch her.

Safwan b. al-Mu’attal al-Salam, had earlier followed behind the army for a purpose. He happened to pass by ‘Aisha and stopped at her. He saw her. “Inna Lillah”, he called out, “The Prophet’s wife!” Then he brought his camel near her and turned back a few paces.

After ‘Aisha rode the dromedary, Safwan took hold of the camel’s halter and went ahead quickly in search of the army. Safwan overtook the army when it had again rested. Nobody noticed the incident, for such mishaps were not unusual in the caravans trekking the vast emptiness of the Arabian wilderness. To wayfaring Arabs, it was just a familiar misfortune and their code of honor, even in the days of pagan past, never tolerated the disgrace of their daughters. The Arabs, both pagans as well as after embracing Islam, were chivalrous enough to lay down their lives defending the honor of their women rather than to support any disgrace.

A poet of pre-Islamic days expresses the Arab sentiment of chastity and virtuousness in a couplet, which depicts a lovely picture of Arab womanhood. “If my glance meets the looks of a neighboring maiden, I cast my eyes low until her abode takes her in”.

The companions held the Prophet (r) in the same esteem and reverence as one has for one’s father while the wives of the Prophet (r) all served as ‘Mothers of the Faithful’ to every Muslim. In fact, never had any people loved anyone so dearly than how the companions cherished the Prophet (r). Safwan b. al-Mu’attal was, as they say, a man of sterling qualities---noble, true-souled and God-fearing who had the reputation of being least interested in women.

In short, nobody paid any attention to the incident and the matter would have been forgotten had not ‘Abdullah b. Ubbay walked into the picture. On coming back to Madinah, ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy thought it an ideal opportunity for their plans to succeed to capitalize on the adversity. He had found out, as he would though, something that he could bank upon to humiliate the Prophet (r) and his household and thus weaken Muslims’ sentiments of love and admiration for him and his family. His treacherous disposition was ample enough to assure him that his shameless attack on the Prophet’s honor would create sufficient misgivings to destroy even the mutual trust among the Muslims. And true enough, the crafty conspirator, had thus convinced a few circumspect Muslims who were accustomed to jumping into conclusions without verification.

'Aisha had no idea of the defamation against her. As it normally happens in such cases, she came to know of it very late, and when she did, she was bewildered. Plunged into sorrow, her anguish had kept her sobbing until tears overflowed her eyes.

The scandal was even more distressing to the Prophet of God (r). When he found out the architect of this intrigue, he proceeded to the mosque and ascending the pulpit he said, “O ye believers, who would allow me to say something about the man, who I have come to know, has caused trouble to my family? What I know of my family is naught but good and what they say concerning a man, I have known only good about him. Whenever he enters my house, he enters with me.” The people of Aus were filled with indignation at the grief of the Prophet (r). They said, “We are prepared to behead the man, whether he belongs to Aus or Khazraj, who has given tongue to this calumny.” ‘Abdullah b. Ubayy belonged to Khazraj, and hence his tribesmen took the remark as an affront to tribal honor. Pent up emotions reigned until the two tribes were about to grapple with one another, but the presence of the Prophet (r) calmed them down finally preventing the outbreak.

‘Aisha knew her innocence. She was distressed, but was also confident and composed, so typical of the one who knows that the truth ultimately prevails in the end. She knew in the depths of her heart that God would ultimately protect her honor and bring shame to the slanderers. But it had never crossed her mind that God would send down a revelation concerning her, which would be read in the mosques during prayers, a reality that will abide ‘till the end of time. She had not waited for long when the verses attesting her innocence were sent down by God, hence:

“Lo! They who spread the slander are a gang among you. Deem is not a bad thing for you: nay, it is good for you. Unto every man of them (will be paid) that which he hath earned of the sin; and for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be an awful doom. “Why did not the believers, men and women, when ye heard it, think good their own folk, and say: it is a manifested untruth?” [Qur'an 24:11-12]

 

And thus ended the frightful menace which was forgotten completely by the Muslims of Madinah who devoted themselves once again to a great task which determines not only their own success, but that of the salvation of the entire humanity as well. (Ibn Hisham, Vol. II, pp. 289-302 and Al-Bukhaari)



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Date : 4/5/2010
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