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Jamadil Awal 18 Friday Hijrah 1445
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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  

Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims

By Sayed Ali Asgher Razawy


Chapter# /Title

1: Title
2: Chapter 1: Introduction
3: Chapter 2: The Geography of Arabia
4: Chapter 3: Before Islam
5: Chapter 4: Banu Hashim – Before the Birth of Islam
6: Chapter 5: The Birth of Muhammad and the Early Years of his Life
7: Chapter 6: The Marriage of Muhammad Mustafa and Khadija
8: Chapter 7: The Birth of Ali ibn Abi Talib
9: Chapter 8: On the Eve of the Proclamation of His Mission
10: Chapter 9: The Birth of Islam and the Proclamation by Muhammad of his Mission
11: Chapter 10: Early Converts to Islam and their persecution
12: Chapter 11: The Two Migrations of Muslims to Abyssinia (A.D. 615-616)
13: Chapter 12: Hamza Accepts Islam – A.D. 615
14: Chapter 13: Umar’s Conversion to Islam – A.D. 616
15: Chapter 14: The Economic and Social Boycott of the Banu Hashim (A.D. 616-619)
16: Chapter 15: The Deaths of Khadija and Abu Talib – A.D. 619
17: Chapter 16: Muhammad’s Visit to Ta’if
18: Chapter 17: The New Horizons of Islam
19: Chapter 18: The Hijra (Migration)
20: Chapter 19: The First Year of Hijra
21: Chapter 20: The Battles of Islam
22: Chapter 21: The Second Year of the Hijra
23: Chapter 22: The Battle of Badr
24: Chapter 23: The Marriage of Fatima Zahra and Ali ibn Abi Talib
25: Chapter 24: The Battle of Uhud
26: Chapter 25: The Birth of Hasan and Husain
27: Chapter 26: The Battle of the Trench
28: Chapter 27: The Muslims and the Jews
29: Chapter 28: The Treaty of Hudaybiyya
30: Chapter 29: The Conquest of Khyber
31: Chapter 30: The Battle of Mootah
32: Chapter 31: The Campaign of Dhat es-Salasil
33: Chapter 32: The Conquest of Makkah
34: Chapter 33: The Battle of Hunayn
35: Chapter 34: The Expedition of Tabuk
36: Chapter 35: The Proclamation of Surah Bara’ah or Al Tawbah
37: Chapter 36: The Last Expedition
38: Chapter 37: The Farewell Pilgrimage
39: Chapter 38: The Coronation of Ali ibn Abi Talib as the Future Sovereign of the Muslims and as Head of the Islamic State
40: Chapter 39: Usama’s Expedition
41: Chapter 40: Abu Bakr as Leader in Prayers (s)
42: Chapter 41: The Unwritten Testament of the Messenger of God
43: Chapter 42: The Wives of the Muhammad the Apostle of God
44: Chapter 43: The Death of Muhammad, the Messenger of God
45: Chapter 44: The Reaction of the Family and the Companions of Muhammad Mustafa to his Death
46: Chapter 45: Muhammad Mustafa and his Succession
47: Chapter 46: The Sunni Theory of Government
48: Chapter 47: The Struggle for Power I
49: Chapter 48: The Struggle for Power II
50: Chapter 49: The Struggle for Power III
51: Chapter 50: The Struggle for Power IV
52: Chapter 51: A Critique of Saqifa
53: Chapter 52: Saqifa and the Logic of History
54: Chapter 53: Saad ibn Ubada, the Ansari Candidate for Caliphate
55: Chapter 54: Abu Bakr the first Khalifa of the Muslims
56: Chapter 55: Principal Events of the Caliphate of Abu Bakr
57: Chapter 56: Democracy and the Muslims
58: Chapter 57: Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims
59: Chapter 58: Uthman, the Third Khalifa of the Muslims
60: Chapter 59: Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Fourth Caliph of the Muslims
61: Chapter 60: Prelude to the War
62: Chapter 61: The Battle of Basra (the battle of Camel)
63: Chapter 62: The Change of Capital from Medina to Kufa
64: Chapter 63: The Revival of the Umayyads
65: Chapter 64: The Battle of Siffin
66: Chapter 65: The Death of Malik al-Ashtar and the Loss of Egypt
67: Chapter 66: The Assassination of Ali
68: Chapter 67: Some Reflections on Ali’s Caliphate
69: Chapter 68: Ali’s Internal and External and Internal Policy
70: Chapter 69: Ali as an Apostle of Peace
71: Chapter 70: Ali and the Ideals of Freedom and Liberty
72: Chapter 71: A List of “Firsts” in Islam
73: Chapter 72:The “Indispensability Equation” of Islam
74: Chapter 73: The Sacrifices of Muhammad for Islam
75: Chapter 74: The Major Failure of Abu Bakr and Umar
76: Chapter 75: Who Wrote the History of Islam and How?

Chapter 48:

The Struggle for Power II

The Meeting of the Ansar in Saqifa

In A.D. 622, the Ansar invited Muhammad, the blessed Messenger of God, into Medina, and they acknowledged him as their spiritual and temporal leader. Other Muslims of Makkah, i.e., the Muhajireen, also migrated to Medina, and the Ansar welcomed them with open arms. They shared their homes and their bread with them. On numerous occasions, they deprived their own children of food which they gave to the hungry Muhajireen. 

Muhammad made Medina the capital of Islam, and in due course, the city began to acquire the characteristics of a state. As time went on, the tiny city-state burgeoned into a well-organized government with its own sources of revenue, its own treasury, army, system of justice and administrative and diplomatic apparatus.

It was inevitable that it would occur to the Ansars (and other Muslims) that a day would come when Muhammad, the founder of the State of Medina, would bid farewell to them and would leave this world. This possibility confronted them with some new and rather uncomfortable questions such as:

1.    What will the death of Muhammad Mustafa, mean to the young State of Medina and to the Muslim umma?

2.    Who would succeed Muhammad as the new head of the State of Medina when he dies?

3.    What will be the status of the Ansar after the death of Muhammad? Would the new head of the State be just as fair and impartial as he is?

4.    Would the Ansar still be masters in their own home – Medina – after the death of Muhammad?

The Ansar had heard the speech of the Apostle of God at Ghadeer-Khumm appointing Ali as his successor, and they had given this arrangement their whole-hearted support. But they had also sensed the under-current of hostility of the Muhajireen toward Ali, and they were not sure if his succession would be peaceful or if it would take place at all. It was very much obvious to them that there was massive opposition, among the Muhajireen, to his succession, and that, among them he was a minority of one. Once the Ansar grasped this fact, they decided to act for themselves. It was for this reason that they assembled in Saqifa.

One may condone the action of the Ansar even if one may not commend it because the thought uppermost in their minds, following the death of their master, Muhammad, was self-preservation. Though they ought to have deferred their political rally until after the burial of the body of their master, at the moment it appeared to them that they had to act immediately or else it would be too late. 

As noted before, the Ansar had given sanctuary to Islam at a time when its situation was most forlorn. For the sake of Islam, they had made all Arabs their enemies. For the sake of Islam, they had pitted themselves against all Arabia. In every battle of Islam, they had acquitted themselves most honorably. Many of their young men were killed in these battles. (In the battle of Uhud 75 Muslims were killed; out of them four were Muhajireen, and the rest were all Ansars). They demonstrated their devotion to Islam and their loyalty to the Prophet at every juncture.

The Ansar knew that caliphate was Ali’s right but they also knew about the “resolution” of the “Arabs” to keep caliphate out of the house of the Prophet. Their interpretation of this “resolution” was that the Muhajireen would not let Ali reach the throne of caliphate.

But if not Ali, then who else would be Muhammad’s successor? The only obvious answer to this question was: some other Muhajir. But any Muhajir other than Ali was not acceptable to them – to the Ansar. They, therefore, decided to put forward their own candidate for the leadership of the umma. After all it was their support, they argued, and not the support of the Muhajireen, that had made Islam viable.

The anxiety of the Ansar is perfectly understandable. To them, the prospect of the government of Medina falling into the hands of the Umayyads, the traditional enemies of God and His Messenger, who had now become Muslim, was extremely frightful. They (the Ansar) had killed many of them in the battles of Islam. If the government of Medina which was consolidated with their (the Ansars’) support, was ever captured by the children of those pagans whom they (the Ansar) had killed, how would they treat them (the Ansar), was the unspoken question in the heart of every Ansari. Events proved that their fears were not generated by any hallucination. 

The Umayyads had fought bitterly against Islam and its Prophet. When the latter captured Makkah, they “accepted” Islam because there was little else they could do then. As noted before, the Prophet never gave them any positions of authority even though he gave them a generous share out of the spoils of the battle of Hunayn. On his part, it was a gesture of reconciliation but it did not mitigate their hostility to Islam. 

But Muhammad, the Messenger of God, had not been dead long when Abu Bakr elevated these traditional enemies of Islam, and the dynastic foes of its Prophet, to the highest ranks in the army. He made Yazid, the son of Abu Sufyan, a general in his army. When Syria was conquered, Umar who had succeeded Abu Bakr as khalifa, made him (Yazid) its first governor. Yazid died a few years later whereupon Umar made his younger brother, Muawiya, the new governor of Syria. As if he had not done enough for the Umayyads, Umar, on his deathbed, manipulated the situation in a manner that guaranteed the succession of Uthman, another Umayyad. In the caliphate of Uthman, the members of his clan, the Umayyads, were ruling every province in the empire and they were commanding every division in the army.

The Ansar also feared that if the Muhajireen seized the government of Medina, then they (the Muhajireen) would belittle their (Ansars’) services to Islam, and would relegate them to play a minor, if any, role in Islam.

Gifted with prescience as they were, the Ansar had made a correct and a realistic assessment of the situation. Their assembly in Saqifa was purely defensive in nature. It was prompted by the sheer instinct for survival. But unfortunately, they were dogged by their own jealousies. Their jealousy caused their aims to be miscarried. Their tribal components – the Aus and the Khazraj – were suspicious of each other, and it was this suspicion that gave them away to the Muhajireen.

As already noted, the action of the Ansar in gathering in Saqifa is open to question, but their instinct was sound. The subsequent events amply proved that they were right and justified in questioning the intentions of the Muhajireen toward them. Among the Muhajireen, the only protector of their interests was Ali ibn Abi Talib. But when the Quraysh succeeded in blackballing him from power, they also succeeded in downgrading the Ansar to a mere rank-and-file status.

When Muhammad died, and Ali’s succession was precluded, the Ansar ceased to be the masters in their own home – Medina!





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