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Muharram 09 Tuesday Hijrah 1446
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

The Message

By Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani


Chapter# /Title

1: Title – The Message
2: Preface
3: Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture
4: Arabia before Islam
5: Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires
6: Ancestors of the Prophet
7: Birth of the Prophet
8: Childhood of the Prophet
9: Rejoining the Family
10: Period of Youth
11: From Shepherd to Merchant
12: From Marriage up to Prophethood
13: The First Manifestation of Reality
14: The First Revelation
15: Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?
16: Cessation of revelation
17: General Invitation
18: Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an
19: The First Migration
20: Rusty Weapons
21: The Fiction of Gharaniq
22: Economic Blockade
23: Death of Abu Talib
24: Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension
25: Journey to Ta’if
26: The Agreement of Aqabah
27: The Event of Migration
28: The Events of the First Year of Migration
29: Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration
30: The Events of the Second Year of Migration
31: Change of Qiblah
32: The Battle of Badr
33: Dangerous Designs of the Jews
34: The Events of the Third Year of Migration
35: The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration
36: The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam
37: The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration
38: The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration
39: The Battle of Ahzab
40: The Last Stage of Mischief
41: The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration
42: The events of the Sixth Year of Migration
43: A Religious and Political Journey
44: The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration
45: Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger
46: The Story of Fadak
47: The Lapsed ‘Umrah
48: The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration
49: The Battle of Zatus Salasil
50: The Conquest of Makkah
51: The Battle of Hunayn
52: The Battle of Ta’if
53: The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr
54: The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration
55: The Battle of Tabuk
56: The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina
57: The Prophet Mourning for his Son
58: Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia
59: Representatives of Najran in Madina
60: The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration
61: The Farewell Hajj
62: Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor
63: The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration
64: A Will which was not written
65: The Last Hours of the Prophet

26. The Events of the First Year of Migration

The glowing and fervent faces of the Ansar and the hearty welcome which the people of Aws and Khazraj had accorded to the Prophet prompted him to construct, before doing anything else, a public centre for the Muslims with the name of ‘masjid’, so that matters relating to instruction, development, politics and justice might be accomplished there. And as invitation to the worship of the One Lord and Nourisher was the first item in his programme, he considered it necessary, first of all, to build a place of worship where the Muslims should engage themselves in remembering Allah and glorify His name at the time of offering prayers.

It was also necessary that he should create a centre where the common members of the Islamic party (the party of Allah) should assemble every week on a fixed day and conduct discussions and consultations regarding the interests of Islam and of the Muslims, and should, besides meeting every day, offer Eid prayers there twice a year.

The mosque was not only a central place for worship. It was a place, where all types of Islamic instructions and orders were given and every sort of religious and scientific education was imparted including reading and writing. Till the commencement of the fourth Islamic century the mosques served as schools which functioned at all times, except those fixed for offering prayers. Thereafter the educational centres assumed a special shape. Most of the great scholars graduated from the educational circles which had been set up in the mosques.

At times the Mosque of Madina assumed the shape of a literary centre also. Great poets of Arabia, whose compositions conformed to the moral and educational spirit of Islam, recited their verses before the Prophet. Ka’b bin Zuhayr read out his famous laudatory poem in praise of the Prophet before him in the mosque and received a large prize and robe of honour from him. Hassan bin Thabit, who defended the honour of Islam by means of his verses, used to read out his poems in the Mosque of the Prophet.

Educational meetings in the Mosque of Madina, during the time of the Prophet, were so impressive that the representatives of the tribe of ‘Saqif’ were very much impressed by the scene; they wondered at the interest taken by the Muslims in acquiring knowledge. Judicial matters and law-suits were settled, and punishments were awarded to the offenders in the mosque, and it was, for all intents and purposes, a court of law where the complaints of the people were settled. Furthermore, the Prophet used to deliver his stirring speeches there to make the people perform jihad and campaign against infidelity. Possibly one of the secrets of combination of religious and educational matters in the mosque was that the great leader of Islam desired to show it practically that knowledge and faith are complementary to each other, and if a place is a centre of faith, it must also be a centre of knowledge and wisdom. And if the judicial and other affairs including matters relating to jihad were decided in the mosque it was for the reason that he wanted to make it clear that his religion is not only spiritual which should have nothing to do with material matters, it is a religion which, while inviting people to piety and faith, does not also ignore the worldly matters and social welfare.

This harmony (between knowledge and faith) is the motto of the Muslims even today. When educational centres with a special shape were set up later, the schools and universities were always established by the side of Jami’ Masjids (central mosques); so as to prove to the world that these two factors of prosperity are not separate from each other.

The story of ‘Ammar

The place where the Prophet’s camel bent its knees was purchased for ten diners for the construction of the mosque. All the Muslims participated in its construction and in providing materials for it, and even the Prophet collected stones along with others. Usayd bin Huzayr went forward and said:

“O Prophet of Allah! Permit me to carry it (the stone)”.

The Prophet said:

Go and bring another”.

In this manner he showed a glimpse of his sublime character. He said:

I am a practical man. I am a man of action and not of words only“.

On that occasion Muslim read out a couplet meaning:

If we sit and the Prophet works, it will be a source of deviation and adversity for us“.

While engaged in work the Prophet and the Muslims uttered these sentences:

Real life is the life of the Hereafter. O Allah! Be kind to the Ansar and the Muhajirs“.

Uthman bin Maz’un was very particular about the neatness of his dress and wished to keep it clean. He did not therefore; participate in the construction of the mosque, lest his dress should become soiled. Ali criticized him in these words:

A person who constructs a mosque, whether sitting or standing, constantly endeavours for its progress is not like him, who keeps away from dust and is not prepared to stain his clothes for constructing the mosque”.260

‘Ammar Yasir, who was a strong man, collected some stones and carried them for the construction of the mosque. Some persons took undue advantage of his simplicity and loaded on him stones, which were too heavy for him. He was heard saying:

I am carrying one stone on my own behalf and the other on behalf of the Prophet“.

One day the Prophet saw him bearing a heavy burden, when three stones had been loaded on him. ‘Ammar complained:

Your companions nurse ill-will against me and want to kill me. They themselves bring one stone each but load as many as three on me“.

The Prophet held him by the hand, cleansed the dust on his back, and uttered this historical sentence:

They are not your murderers. You will be killed by a group of oppressors while you will be inviting them to truth and reality“.261

This prediction is one of the proofs of the prophethood and truthfulness of the Prophet. Eventually the same thing, which he had predicted happened, because ‘Ammar, who was with Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful in the Battle of Siffin and was 90 at that time was killed at the hands of the supporters of Mu’awiyah. This occult news continued to have a wonderful effect on ‘Ammar throughout his lifetime. After this event Muslims considered him to be the pivot of truth and every rightfulness was measured by its association with him.

When ‘Ammar was killed in the battle, a strange tumult appeared in the ranks of the Syrians. People who entertained doubts about the rightfulness of Ali on account of the venomous propaganda of Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr ‘As became enlightened. Huzaymah bin Thabit Ansari had gone to the battlefield with Imam Ali, but was double-minded about taking part in the battle. However, when he heard that ‘Ammar had been killed he drew his sword and attacked the Syrians.

Zul Kala’ Himyari accompanied by twenty thousand men of his tribe came to fight against Ali. This was the man on whose support Mu’awiyah mainly relied and did not decide to wage war until he was sure of his co-operation. When this misguided chief came to know that ‘Ammar Yasir was with Ali he was very much upset. The agents of Mu’awiyah endeavoured to make matters doubtful for him and said: “There is no question of ‘Ammar being in Siffin. The Iraqis do not mind coining such lies”. Zul Kala’ was not however, convinced. He turned to ‘Amr As and said: “Has the Prophet said such and such words about ‘Ammar? Ibn As said: “Yes, he has said so, but ‘Ammar is definitely not in Ali’s army”. He said: “I shall investigate the matter personally”. Then he deputed some persons to verify the position. Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr As realized at this critical moment that if Zul Kala’ became aware of ‘Ammar’s presence in Ali’s army or about his martyrdom in the service of Ali a split might take place in the Syrian army. On this account, therefore, this famous Syrian chief was killed mysteriously.262

This tradition is so well known amongst the common as well as the distinguished traditionalists that it does not require the production of documentary evidence. Ahmad bin Hanbal quotes thus:

When ‘Ammar was killed in the Battle of Siffin ‘Amr bin Hazm came to ‘Amr As and said: “Ammar has been killed and the Prophet has said about him that a group of oppressors will kill him”. ‘Amr As cried and recited the verse: “We are from Allah and we have to return to Him”, and conveyed the news to Mu’awiyah. Mu’awiyah said: “We are not the murderers of ‘Ammar. He has been killed by Ali and his friends, who brought him with them and exposed him to our swords”.263

However, it is evident that this false interpretation which was put forward by Mu’awiyah, the son of Abu Sufyan to stupefy the senses of the Syrian soldiers cannot at all be acceptable in the court of the Almighty Allah and every intelligent person can well understand that his argument is baseless.

Nurse Kinder to the Child than its Mother

We have not been able to find a better sentence than this to indicate the character of the historian[264] of the 8th A.H. has chosen to support Mu’awiyah and writes:

It is not necessary that because the Prophet had declared the murderers of ‘Ammar to be oppressors that they should in fact be infidels, because though they chose the wrong path and rose against Ali, yet as they took this step on account of their faith in the correctness of their action (ijtihad), it is not possible to refute them or to call them infidels”. He adds: “What is meant by the Prophet’s sentence ‘Ammar invites them to Paradise, but the murderers of ‘Ammar invite him to Hell, is that ‘Ammar invites them to acknowledge the Oneness of Allah and to unite (and this is the very Paradise), but the murderers of ‘Ammar endeavour to give Mu’awiyah priority over Ali, who is most suited for the office of caliph and thus they create a ruler in each one of the Islamic regions and consequently a deep fissure comes into existence amongst the Muslims, although they themselves might not have taken notice of such a result (and that is the very Hell)“.

Howmuchsoever we ponder as to what name to give to this interpretation we cannot think of any appropriate name for it except that of falsification of facts. Inspite of all the skill which this rebellious group of persons possessed in the matter of falsification and alteration of facts they could not deny the prediction which had been made about them by the Prophet and a historian like Ibn Kathir has played the part of a nurse kinder to the child than the mother, and has resorted to an alteration of fact of which they themselves were not aware.

Ahmad bin Hanbal says:

Two men came to Mu’awiyah and each one of them claimed that he had killed ‘Ammar. The son of ‘Amr As (Abdullah) said: “One of you should spare the other, for I have heard the Prophet saying that Ammar would be killed by a group of oppressors”. Mu’awiyah said to Abdullah: “If we are a group of oppressors why have you joined our circle?” He replied: “One day my father ‘Amr complained against me to the Prophet and the Prophet ordered me to obey my father. I am, therefore, with you but do not fight”.265

The apology of Abdullah is like the interpretation of Ibn Kathir who says that Mu’awiyah fought this battle on the basis of ijtihad and faith, notwithstanding the fact that he erred in his ijtihad, because obedience to one’s father is necessary only when it does not result in disobedience to a religious law. The Qur’an says:

If they (your parents) bid you to associate (others) with Me of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them”. (Surah al-Ankabut, 29:8)

Similarly ijtihad (expression of one’s view) is correct only when a clear version of the Prophet is not found, otherwise ijtihad of people like Mu’awiyah and ‘Amr As, opposed to the clear tradition of the Prophet, is wrong and void. And if the door of ijtihad is opened in such a manner, it will be necessary for us to excuse all the polytheists and hypocrites for having campaigned against the Prophet and Islam, and we shall also have to say that persons like Yazid and Hajjaj were justified in shedding the blood of the pious and innocent people of the nation and were also entitled to a good recompense for their action.

The construction of the mosque was completed and its area was expanded every year. A terrace was also erected by the side of the mosque for the helpless and the indigent Muhajirs, so that they might stay there, and ‘Ubadah bin Samit was directed to teach them reading and writing of the Qur’an.

Brotherhood – The Greatest Gleam of Faith

The centralization of Muslims in Madina opened a new chapter is the life of the Prophet. Before his arrival there he had been engaged in attracting the hearts and in propagating his religion, but from that day onwards it was necessary that he should protect his own existence as well as that of his followers like an experienced statesman and should not permit the internal and external enemies to penetrate into the Muslim society. At this juncture he was faced with three main difficulties:

  1. Danger from Quraysh and other idol-worshippers of the Arabian Peninsula.

  2. The Jews of Yathrib who lived within and outside the city and possessed enormous wealth and resources.

  3. The differences which existed between his own supporters. As the Muhajirs and the Ansar had been brought up in two different environments there was a vast difference between their ways of thinking and culture. And then there were the two components of Ansar (viz. Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj) who had been fighting for one hundred and twenty years and were the sworn enemies of each other. With all these dangers and differences there was no possibility of their continuing to lead a peaceful religious and political life. However, the Prophet overcame these difficulties in a perfectly wise manner. As regards the first two problems he took measures the details of which will be recorded later, and as regards the differences between his followers he removed them with perfect wisdom and ingenuity.

He was ordered by Allah to establish brotherhood between the Muhajirs and the Ansar. One day he turned to his followers in a general meeting and said:

Now you should become brothers in faith in pairs“.

The particulars of persons who became brothers of each other have been recorded by the Muslim historians including Ibn Hisham.266

Hence, by this method the Prophet ensured the political and spiritual unity of the Muslims and this unity enabled him to think about ways and means of solving the other two difficulties as well.

Two Great Distinctions of Ali

Most of the Shi’ah and Sunni historians and traditionalists have mentioned two great distinctions of Ali which we record here briefly: The Prophet established brotherhood between a pair of two among three hundred persons out of the Muhajirs and Ansar and told every one of them that he was the brother of such and such person.

When the establishment of brotherhood was completed Ali, with tears in his eyes, said to the Prophet:

You have established brotherhood amongst your companions but have not made me the brother of anyone“.

Thereupon the Prophet turned to Ali and said:

You are my brother in this world as well as in the Hereafter“.

Qandozi has quoted this incident in a more comprehensive manner and says that the Prophet replied to Ali:

By the Almighty (who has appointed me to guide the people) I postponed the question of your brotherhood for the reason that I desired to become your brother when brotherhood among all others had been completed. Your position vis-a-vis myself is similar to that of Harun and Musa, except that there will be no Prophet after me. You are my brother and my successor“.267

Ibn Kathir has, however, doubted the authenticity of this incident.268 But as his doubts are the product of his special mentality and are nothing short of the apology which he has tendered on behalf of Mu’awiyah and his supporters, we refrain from quoting his remarks and refuting them.

Another Distinction of Ali

The construction of the mosque was completed. Around the mosque there were the houses of the Prophet and his companions. There were also the houses whose doors opened into the mosque, and whose inmates entered the mosque through those doors. Suddenly an order was received from Allah that all the doors which opened into the mosque, except the door of the house of Ali, should be closed. Thereupon some persons became fussy about the matter and thought that this exception had been made on sentimental grounds. In order to enlighten the people on the subject the Prophet delivered a sermon and said inter alia:

I have not given orders about the closing or otherwise of the doors on my own account. In fact it was an order from Allah and I had no alternative but to implement it“.

In short, by establishing Islamic brotherhood, the Prophet removed the differences between his followers which had existed for some years and consequently one of the difficulties was solved.

The second problem was that of the Jews of Madina. They lived within and outside Madina and had assumed control of the economy and trade of the city.

The Prophet was fully aware that until the internal affairs were settled and he had obtained the co-operation of the Jews and consequently created a political unity in the seat of his government, the sapling of Islam would not grow up and he would not be able to think about any measures with regard to the idol-worshippers of the Peninsula, especially Quraysh (i.e. the first difficulty). He also knew that until peace and tranquillity prevailed within the seat of government it would not be possible to defend it from external enemies.

In the early days of the arrival of the Prophet in Madina an understanding existed between the Muslims and the Jews in some respects, because both the communities worshipped Allah and was opposed to idolatry and the Jews thought that if Islam gained strength they themselves might become immune from the attacks of the Byzantine Christians. Furthermore, old relations and pacts existed between them on the one hand and between Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj on the other.

On these accounts the Prophet wrote an agreement for the establishment of unity between the Muhajirs and the Ansar, and the Jews of Madina (of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj) also signed it and the Prophet agreed to respect their religion and property on mutually settled conditions. The biographers of the Prophet have recorded complete text of this agreement.269

Since this agreement is a living historical document and clearly shows how the Prophet respected the principles of freedom, order, and justice in life, and created by means of this agreement a united front against external attacks, we mention here some of its essential points as an evidence of the political victory in that age of the newly-formed Government of Islam.

The Greatest Documentary Agreement of History

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

This is the agreement which has been concluded by Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah between the Muslims of Quraysh and of Yathrib and those persons who have followed them and risen up along with them for jihad.

Part One

1. The signatories to the agreement form one nation. In the matter of blood-money the Qurayshite Muhajirs are allowed to follow their old custom which prevailed before Islam. If one of them kills someone else or becomes a captive, they should pay the blood-money by mutual help and purchase the captive.

2. Bani ‘Awf (a tribe of Ansar) can also safeguard their ways of life like the Qurayshite Muhajirs and can pay collectively the ransom for the release of their men who have been captured. Thereafter other tribes of Ansar namely Bani Sa’idah, Bani Harth, Bani Jasham, Bani Najjar, Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Awf, Bani Nabit and Bani Aws, have been reminded and made incumbent on everyone of them that they should collectively pay the blood-money and get their captives released on payment of ransom.

3. Muslims should support indigent persons and should help a believer in the matter of heavy expenses to be incurred by him on account of payment of blood-money or for the release of a captive.

4. Pious Muslims should unite against a person who rebels or commits cruelty and injustice, even though the offender is the son of one of them.

5. No one is authorized to conclude an agreement with a Muslim slave or a Muslim child without the permission of his master and father respectively.

6. A believer does not have a right to kill another believer, who has killed an unbeliever. He is also not at all entitled to assist an unbeliever against a Muslim.

7. Allah’s agreement and promise with all the Muslims is one. As such even the lowest of them is entitled to take responsibility for an agreement with the unbelievers.

8. The Muslims are the friends and supporters of one another.

9. Everyone from amongst the Jews who follows us and embraces Islam shall be entitled to our help and assistance and there will be no difference between him and other Muslims and none shall be entitled to oppress him or to instigate anyone else to oppress him, or to help his enemy.

10. The Muslims should be united in concluding a peace agreement and no Muslim can conclude peace without consulting another Muslim except on the basis of justice and equality.

11. Groups of the Muslims should go for jihad alternately so that their blood which is shed in the path of Allah is divided equally.

12. The Muslims possess the best religion and the most firm law.

13. None of the polytheists (of Madina) has a right to protect the lives and property of the polytheists of Quraysh or to conclude an agreement with them or to prevent a Muslim from overpowering them.

14. If a Muslim kills another Muslim without a just cause and his crime is proved legally, he shall be executed, unless the heirs of the murdered person forgive him, and in either case it is the duty of the Muslims to be united against the murderer.

15. Whoever acknowledges the contents of this agreement and believes in Allah and in His Prophet is not entitled to assist a heretic or a criminal or to give him asylum, and whoever assists him or provides him asylum shall become subjected to the wrath of Allah, and compensation and damages shall not be acceptable from him.

16. The authority for resolving the differences shall always rest with Allah and Muhammad.

Part Two

17. When the Muslims fight for the defence of Madina the Jews must pay the former’s share of the expenses of war.

18. The Jews of Bani ‘Awf (a tribe of Ansar) are allies of the Muslims and they are tantamount to one nation. The Muslims and the Jews are free in the matter of their law and religion. Their slaves are not exempt from this clause i.e. they too are free in the matter of their law, except the sinners and the oppressors who only ruin themselves and the members of their family (because usually the members of the family of a tyrant follow him). (The intention of this exemption is that relations and unity exist between those Jews and Muslims who are not tyrants and oppressors).

19. The Jews of Bani Najjar, Bani Harith, Bani Sa’adah, Bani Jasham, Bani Aws, Bani Tha’labah and Bani Shatibah are like the Jews of Bani ‘Awf and there is no distinction between them in the matter of rights and privileges. The tribe of Jafnah is a branch of the tribe of Tha’labah and the orders applicable to the Jews of Bani ‘Awf are also applicable to the branch of Bani Shatibah.

20. The signatories to these agreements should make their virtues triumph over their sins.

21. Those who have made agreements with Bani Tha’labah are at par with them.

22. Those who are on friendly terms with, and confidants of, the Jews are at par with them.

23. No one enjoys the right to abandon this agreement without the permission of Muhammad.

24. From amongst these persons the blood of everyone who is wounded (not to speak of one who is killed) is respectable. Whoever kills anyone is liable to pay blood-money and eventually ruins himself and the members of his family, except when the murderer happens to be an oppressed person.

25. The respective expenses of wars which are fought by the Jews and the Muslims jointly are the responsibility of each one of them and when anyone else fights against the parties to this agreement, it is their duty to fight with him jointly.

26. The relations of the parties of the agreement are based on goodness and it is necessary that they should refrain from evil.

27. None should oppress anyone who has made the agreement with him, otherwise the oppressed one should be helped.

28. The interior of Madina is declared to be ‘haram’ for the signatories of the agreement.

29. Lives of neighbours and of those who have been granted asylum are like our own lives and should not be molested.

30. No woman can be granted asylum without the permission of her people.

31. Muhammad is the arbiter to decide the differences between the signatories of the agreement – whether they be Muslims or non-Muslims. Allah is with him who accords more respect to this agreement.

32. Asylum shall not be granted to Quraysh and to those with whom they have concluded pacts.

Part Three

33. The signatories to this agreement take joint responsibility for the defence of Yathrib.

34. When the Muslims invite the Jews to conclude peace with the enemy they should accept the proposal and the Muslims should also accept any such proposal made by the Jews except the fact that the enemy is opposed to the religion of Islam and its propagation.

35. The Jews of Aws, whether slaves or masters, are also covered by this agreement.

Part Four

36. This agreement does not support a tyrant or a criminal.

37. Whoever remains in Madina is protected and whoever leaves it is protected provided that he is not an oppressor and a criminal.

This agreement was concluded with the following sentence:

“Allah is the Protector of the good and the pious and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah”.270

This political agreement and the basic law of Islam of that time, briefly mentioned, is a perfect specimen of the spirit of freedom of faith, social welfare and necessity of co-operation in collective matters in Islam, and has, above all things, clarified the limits and the authority of the leader and the responsibilities of all its signatories.

The Jews of the tribes of Bani Qurayzah, Bani Nuzayr and Bani Qaynqa’ did not participate in the conclusion of this agreement, and only the Jews of Aws and Khazraj tribes became parties to it. However, these people concluded agreements with the Prophet later and the following sentences have been taken from the contents of those agreements:

“The Prophet makes this agreement with the three groups to the effect that they will not harm him and his friends with their tongues and hands, and will not supply arms and mounts to his enemies. In case they act against the contents of this agreement the Prophet would be at liberty to shed their blood, confiscate their properties and make their women and children captives. Then Hay bin Akhtab signed on behalf of Bani Nuzayr, Ka’b bin Asad on behalf of Bani Qurayzah and Mukhayriq on behalf of Bani Qaynqa’.”271

By this means Yathrib and the dependencies lying near it were declared to be an area of peace and security and a ‘sanctuary’. Now the time had arrived that the Prophet should consider ways and means of tackling the first problem viz. that of Quraysh, because, so long as this enemy stood in his way, he could not succeed in spreading Islam and enforcing its laws.

Obstructions of the Jews

The sublime teachings of Islam and the high morals and manners of the Prophet became the cause of daily increase in the number of the Muslims. Their military, economic and political conditions also improved considerably. This continuous advancement of Islam created a strange agitation and unrest in the religious circles of the Jews, because they had been thinking that with their strength they would be able to attract the Prophet of Islam to themselves and had never imagined that one day his own strength would surpass even that of the Jews and the Christians. In the circumstances they began to indulge in disruptive activities. By asking knotty religious questions they endeavoured to shake the faith of the Muslims in the Prophet, but these blunt weapons did not have any effect on the compressed ranks of the Muslims. A large part of these debates has been narrated by the Holy Qur’an in Surah al-Baqarah and Surah al-Nisa.

By studying the said two surahs the dear readers can very well understand the enmity and the obstinacy of the Jews. They received a clear reply to every question asked by them but in order to avoid shouldering the burden of Islam they replied very obstinately to the Prophet’s invitation to Islam:

Our hearts are sealed and we do not consider what you say to be correct“.

Abdullah Bin Salam Embraces Islam

These debates increased the enmity and the grudge of the Jews, but at times they became the cause of some persons embracing Islam. Abdullah bin Salam was one of the priests and scholars of the Jews. He embraced Islam after having detailed discussions with the Prophet of Islam.272 Soon afterwards another scholar of theirs named Mukhayriq also joined him.

Abdullah thought that if his kinsmen came to know about his embracing Islam they would abuse and slander him. He, therefore, requested the Prophet that until an acknowledgement of his learning and piety had been obtained from his tribe he might not make public the fact of his embracing Islam. The Prophet, therefore, asked the Jews:

“What is your opinion about Abdullah?”

All of them replied:

He is our religious leader and the son of our religious leader and an eminent scholar“.

Then Abdullah proceeded to his own area and informed the people of his tribe about his embracing Islam. As soon as the news of his becoming a Muslim spread amongst the Jews they got excited with anger. Though they had collectively acknowledged his learning and piety only a few hours ago, yet, now all of them began calling him a characterless and ignorant person.273

Another Plan to Overthrow the Government of Islam

Debates and knotty questions of the Jews not only strengthened the faith of the Muslims in the Prophet but also became the cause of his sublime personality and Divine knowledge becoming clearly known to everyone. As a result of these very discussions different groups of the idolaters and the Jews inclined to him. To achieve their ends, therefore, the Jews formed another plan and, resorting to their method of ‘divide and rule’, thought of reviving the 120-year-old feud of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj, which had petered out under the auspices of faith, Islam, brotherhood and equality. They wished that fighting and bloodshed might start within the ranks of the Muslims and they might be consumed by the flames of internal strife.

One day some men of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj were sitting together. The unity and brotherhood of the members of this group, who had been till a few days back the bloodthirsty enemies of one another, was very much disliked by a mischievous Jew who had joined them with a view to starting the evil plot of creating dissension and discord among the Muslims. He reminded the men of Bani Aws and Bani Khazraj of the bitter memories of the past wars between the two tribes and narrated in detail the events of the Battle of Bu’ath, in which Bani Aws had eventually emerged victorious. He dilated upon these old and long-forgotten events so much that strife and self glorification started between the two groups of Muslims (Aws and Khazraj). It was quite possible that a regular battle might have commenced but in the meantime the news reached the Prophet and he became aware of the nefarious plot of the Jews. He, therefore, reached the spot with some of his companions and reminding the two groups of the aim of Islam and his own sublime programme said:

“Islam has made you brothers of each other and has made all the enmities and the grudges a forgotten thing of the past”.

He counselled them for some time and reminded them of the result of their discord. Suddenly all of them began to cry and weep and embraced one another to strengthen their brotherhood and prayed to Allah for forgiveness.

The schemes of the Jews did not end here, but they extended the scope of their treachery, crime and breach of promise and established special contacts with the unbelievers of Aws and Khazraj and also with those persons who were doubleminded in the matter of their Islam and faith. They openly intervened in the battles fought by the Muslims against Quraysh and were very active in promoting the interests of the idol-worshippers.

The open and secret collaboration of the Jews with the polytheists of Quraysh resulted in bloody wars between the Muslims and the Jews which eventually ended with the extirpation of the Jews from Madina. The details of these occurrences will be given later with the events of the third and fourth years of migration and it will become clear as to how the Jews rewarded the Prophet for his good treatment (which is evident from the two agreements concluded with them) by the breach of promises, open activities against Islam and the Muslims, conspiracies against the Prophet, and lending support to his enemies, and thus compelled the Prophet, by their actions, to ignore the above-mentioned agreements.


260. Seerah-i Halabi, vol. II, pp. 76-77.

261. lbid.

262. Mustadrak-i Hakim, vol. III, page 385.

263. Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. II, page 199.

264. al-Bidayah wan Nihayah, vol. III, page 218.

265. Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. II, page 162.

266. Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. I, pp. 123 – 126.

267. Yanabi’ul Muwwadah, vol. I, page 55.

268. al-Bidayah wan Nihayah, vol. II, page 226.

269. Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. II, page 501.

270. Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. I, pp. 503-504 and al-Amwal, pp. 125 & 202.

271. Biharul Anwar, vol. XIX, pp. 110 – 111.

272. For the text of his discussions with the Prophet vide Biharul Anwar, vol. XIX, page 131.

273. Seerah-i Ibn Hisham, vol. I, page 516.

229. Tabaqat-i Ibn Sa’d, vol. VII, page 210.

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