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In the confrontation of battle; nor are they hollow

men who fled!

This caused Abu Sufyan and those who were with him to change their minds.
Then a small caravan belonging to the people of the tribe of `Abdu'l-Qays passed by on their way to Medina for trade. Abu Sufyan said to them: “Go and tell Muhammad that I intend to return to his Companions in order that I might exterminate them. As for you, I would fill your loading sacks with raisins when you come to the Market of `Ukaz (in Mecca).” The men conveyed the message to the Prophet and the Muslims with him in Hamra'u'l-Asad, and they all exclaimed: “Allah is sufficient for us; He is the best trustee.” The Messenger of Allah then returned to Medina on Friday.

It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah went for the raid of Hamra'u'l‑Asad, a lewd woman of the tribe of Khatmah called al‑`Asma' Umm al‑Mundhir ibn al‑Mundhir went around the assemblies of the Aw,, and Khazraj tribes reciting verses inciting people against the Prophet. There was then only one Muslim in the tribe of the Banu Khatmah, called `Umayr ibn `Adiyy. When the Messenger returned, `Umayr went to the woman and killed her. He then came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “I have killed Umm al­-Mundhir because of the invective poetry which she recited.” The Messenger of Allah struck his shoulders, exclaiming “This is a man who lent support to Allah and His Apostle in his absence! By Allah, not even two rams shall butt one another concerning her (i.e., no two men shall fight over her blood).” `Umayr ibn `Adiyy said: “I passed by her home the next day while she was being buried; no one stopped me or spoke to me.”

The Battle of Ar‑Raji`

After this came the Battle of ar‑Raji`. The Messenger of Allah sent Marthad ibn Abi Marthad al‑Ghanawi, who was Hamzah's ally, Khalid ibn Bukayr, `Asim ibn Thabit ibn al‑Aflaj, Khubayb ibn `Adiyy, Zayd ibn Dathnah, and `Abdullah ibn Tariq, all under the leadership of Marthad, with a delega­tion of the tribes of `Adl and ad‑Dish who came requesting that some Muslims go with them to teach them the Qur'an and the fundamentals of the faith. They travelled with the people until they reached the depression of ar‑Raji`, a spring of water belonging to the tribe of Hudhayl. Some men of one of the quarter of Hudhayl called Banu Lihyan then killed the entire company.

Aban reported that the people of Hudhayl, when they killed `Asim, wanted his head to sell to Sulafah daughter of Sa'd, she had vowed after he had killed her son in the Battle of Uhud that if she were able to obtain his head, she would drink wine in his skull. They were, however, prevented from cutting off his head by wasps. As they were unable to ap­proach `Asim's corpse, they agreed to leave it to the night, when the wasps would have left it. At night, however, Allah caused a heavy rainfall, so that the valley was flooded and the waters carried the corpse away. This was because `Asim had made a covenant with Allah that he would never touch an Associator, nor an Associator touch him all his life. Thus Allah protected him after death against that which he had protected himself during his life.

The Raid of Ma'nnah

Four months after the Battle of Uhud, the raid of Ma`u­nah took place. This was when Abu Bara' Amir ibn Malik ibn Ja'far, nicknamed `Muld'ibu'l-Asinnah' (the welder of spears) came to the Messenger of Allah in Medina and ac­cepted Islam. The man then suggested to the Prophet that he send men to the people of Najd to call them to Islam. “I hope,” the man continued, “that they will answer your call.” The Prophet answered: “I fear lest the people of Najd do you harm.” But Abu Bard' insisted saying: “I have a pact of protection with them.” The Messenger of Allah sent al­-Mundhir ibn `Amr with twenty some men. It is also reported that they were forty, or seventy men of the best Muslims. Among them were al‑Harith ibn as‑Simmah, Haram ibn Milhan and `Amir ibn Fuhayrah, Abu Bakr's client.

They all travelled until they reached the well of Ma'unah, which was located between the land of the Banu `Amir and the plain of the Banu Sulaym. From there, they sent Haram ibn Milhan with a letter from the Messenger of Allah to `Amir ibn at‑Tufayl. But `Amir did not take the time to look at the letter before he rushed at Haram and killed him. He then cried out: “Allah is Most Great; I have achieved victory, by the Lord of the Ka'bah! ” He called the men of Banu `Amir to aid him in fighting against the Muslims, but they refused saying: “We shall not betray the covenant of Abu Bard'.” He then called upon some of the clans of the tribe of Sulaym: `Asiyyah, Ri'l and Dhakwan, who answered his call. These were the people against whom the Prophet invoked Allah's curse. They surrounded the Muslims as they sat around their goods. Seeing this, the Muslims took up their swords and fought with them until they all died.

`Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri had taken out the animals of the Muslims to pasture along with a man of the Ansar. They were so close to the battlefield that they could see birds flying over the fighters. They said to one another: “No doubt these birds mean something.” When they went to see, they found the men lying dead in their blood. The man of the Ansar asked `Amr: “What do you suggest?” He answered: “I suggest that we go immediately to the Messenger of Allah and tell him what happened.” But the man of the Ansar replied: “I would not save myself and leave a place where al‑Mundhir ibn `Amr is.” He thus fought against the enemies of the Muslims until he was killed.

`Amr returned to Medina and related to the Messenger of Allah what had happened. The Prophet said: “This was the deed of Abu Bard'; I did not wish to engage in it.” When Abu Bard' heard the news, he was angry with `Amir for betraying his covenant of protection, and for what had happened to the people of the Messenger of Allah. Abu Bard', however, died soon after. His son Rabi`ah attacked `Amir ibn at‑Tufayl, stabbing him as he sat in the assembly of his people. He missed killing him, and instead stabbed him in the leg. `Amir said: “This must be the deed of my uncle Abu Bard'. If I die, my blood belongs to my uncle, and no one should demand it from him. But if I live, I shall decide what to do about it.”

The Battle against the Banu 'n‑Nadir

These events were followed by the battle against the Jewish tribe of Banu 'n‑Nadir. This happened when the Messenger of Allah went to Ka'b ibn al‑Ashraf to ask for a loan. The man welcomed him saying: “You are welcome to our home, O Abu 'l-Qasim! ” When the Messenger of Allah and his Companions had settled down, Ka'b got up as though to prepare some food for them. But he thought to himself that he should kill the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel came down and told him about the treacherous intentions which the people had for them. The Prophet, therefore, went out as though to answer a call of nature, knowing that they would not kill his friends while he was alive.

He thus took the road to Medina where he met with a group of Ka`b's people on whom Ka'b had called to help him against the Messenger of Allah. Ka'b was informed of what had happened, and the Muslims got up and left quickly for their homes. Then `Abdullah ibn Suriya, who was the most learned for the Jews, said: “It was his Lord, by Allah, who informed him of the treachery you had planned for him. Soon, by Allah, the emissary of Muhammad shall come to you commanding you to migrate, all of you. Obey me, therefore, in two things, for there is no good in any third ‑ either you accept Islam and thus be secure in your homes and properties, or depart when a man shall come to order you to leave your homes.” They replied: “The second is preferable to us.” Ibn Suriya then said: “The first is surely better for you. Had I not wished not to disgrace you, I would have myself accepted Islam.

The Prophet soon sent Muhammad ibn Maslamah to them ordering them to vacate their homes and properties and depart. He instructed him to give them only three days respite.1

The Battle against the Tribe of Lihyan

The next battle was that against the tribe of Lihyan. It was the battle during which the Prophet offered salatu'l ­khawf (the prayer of fear, which is usually attenuated and hurriedly offered in times of war) in a place called `Asfan, near Medina, where he then received revelation from Allah informing him of what the Associators were intending. It is reported that this battle took place after that of the tribe of Banu Qurayzah (6 /627) .

After this the raid of Dhatu'r‑Riqa' took place, two months after that of Banu'n‑Nadirl,2 the Prophet met a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafan in a place called Dhatu'r‑Riqa', but there was no fighting between them. This was because both groups feared the other. The Prophet offered salatu'l khawf and departed with his people. It is reported that the place was so called because it was a moun­tain with red, black and white patches (riqa'). It is also reported that the reason was that the skin of men's feet began to crack, so that they were obliged to cover them with patches of cloth.

The Prophet stood at the side of a valley and his Com­panions on the other side. In the meantime the valley filled with water, so that he was separated from his men. A man of the Associators called Ghawrath saw him alone. He said to his people: “I shall kill Muhammad for you!” He thus took his sword and came to the Prophet saying: “Who shall save you now from me, O Muhammad!” “My Lord shall save me! ”, the Prophet answered. The man fell flat on the ground. The Prophet took the sword from him, and sitting on his chest, asked: “Who shall save you from me now, O Ghawrath?” He answered: “Your clemency and generosity, O Muhammad! ” The Prophet let him go. He stood up repeating: “You are more generous and more noble than I ! ”

Then came the second journey to Badr in Sha'ban of that year, in response to the challenge of Abu Sufyan of the pre­vious year after the Battle of Uhud. He remained at the well of Badr for eight days. Abu Sufyan came to meet him with the people of Tihamah (that is, the district of Mecca), but when the two groups met, Abu Sufyan decided to turn back. The Messenger of Allah and his Companions, however, stayed on for the market, where they traded and made good profit.

The Battle of the Trench (Al‑Khandaq )

This was followed by the Battle of the Trench (Khandaq), also known as the Battle of the Confederates (al­-Ahzdb). This was during the month of Shawwal in the 4th year of the hijrah (March, 626). Huyayy ibn Akhtab, Kina­nah ibn ar‑Rabi`, and Sallam ibn Abi 'l-Huqayq with a group of their fellow Jews came to Mecca. They were accompanied by other men of the Quraysh, Kinanah and Ghatafan tribes. They all went to Abu Sufyan and others of the chiefs of Quraysh to call them to wage war against the Messenger of Allah. They promised them: “Our hands shall be with your hands, and we shall fight together with you until we extermi­nate them utterly.”

They also went to the tribe of Ghatafan and called them to war against the Messenger of Allah. They assured them of the agreement of Quraysh; they thus all prepared for war. The fighters of Quraysh were led by Abu Sufyan. The leader of the men of Ghatafan was `Uyaynah ibn Hisn of the Fazarah clan. Leading the tribe of Banu Murrah was al‑Harith ibn `Awf. Mis'ar ibn Rukhaylah ibn Nuwayrah ibn Tarif led his people, the men of the tribe of Ashja`. These together were ‑the Confederates.

The Messenger of Allah heard their coming, and thus went out to meet them after consulting with Salman, the Persian who suggested that a trench be dug. In this action there were clear signs of the Prophethood of Muhammad. One of these signs was that reported by Jabir ibn `Abdillah. He said that the men encountered a hard rock in the trench which they could not break. They complained of this to the Apostle of Allah, who then had a vessel filled with water and brought to him. He expectorated in the water and prayed silently to Allah, then sprinkled the water on the rock. An eye‑witness reported: “By Allah Who sent him as a prophet with the truth, no sooner had he done this, than it became like sand, repulsing neither axe or shovel.”

Another miracle, also reported by Jabir, was the feeding of a large multitude of people on a small quantity of food. We have already recounted this event. A third miracle was that reported by Salman the Persian who said: “As I was digging in one corner of the trench, the Messenger of Allah turned towards me, as he was standing nearby. Seeing me exerting myself in a hard spot, he came down and took the pick‑axe from my hand and struck a rock. A spark, as though of lightning, shone forth from beneath the pick‑axe. He struck a second time, and another spark shone forth. A third time he struck, and again a spark glittered.

I asked in amazement `O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be a ran­som for you, what is this I see?' `As for the first', he replied: `It is a sign that Allah shall grant me conquest of Yemen. The second is a sign that Allah shall grant me Syria and the West (that is, North Africa and Southern Spain). As for the third, it is a sign that Allah shall grant me victory over the East (that is, the Asian domains of Islam).' ”

When the Confederate armies came to meet the Prophet in battle, the Muslims were troubled and afraid. They encamped at one side of the trench, where they remained for twenty some days. No actual fighting occurred between them and the Muslims except with arrows and stones. Finally, some fighters of the Quraysh came out calling for single combat.

Among them were `Amr ibn `Abd Wadd, `Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, Hubayrah ibn Wahb and Dirar ibn al‑Khattab. They made ready for fighting and rode their horses to the edge of the trench. When they looked at it they said: “By Allah, this is a trick which the Arabs never before practised.” They then came to a narrow spot of the trench and spurred their horses on, so that they in fact jumped over it. The horses, however, galloped aimlessly with them in a salty marsh between the trench and a mountain on the edge of Medina called as‑Sulay` (or Sal').

`Ali ibn Abi Talib went out with a few men and blocked that breach in the trench which had been penetrated, so that they were unable to go back. `Amr ibn `Abd Wadd came forth and challenged the Muslims for single combat. 'Ali came out to meet him, and slew him. (We shall return to this event in greater detail later, if Allah wills.)3 When `Ikrimah and Hubayrah saw `Amr dead, they fled. The Com­mander of the Faithful composed verses concerning this event, some of which are:

He (`Amr) foolishly lent support to stone idols,
But I have wisely lent support to Muhammad's Lord.
I thus struck him and left him,
Hugging the earth like a dry branch between quick sands and hills.
His rich garments I did not pillage,
Even though he would have pillaged my garments, were I the one killed.
Think not that Allah shall abandon His religion,
Nor abandon His Prophet, O people of the Confederates!

Then Ibnu'l-`Araqah shot an arrow which hit Sa'd ibn Mu'adh in the medial vein of the arm. He exclaimed: “Take this from me, for I am Ibnu'l-`Araqah!” Sa'd retorted: “May Allah cause your face to sweat in the Fire!” Sa'd went on: “O Allah, if you will that war shall continue between us and the Quraysh, then preserve me, if only for the sake of this war; for there is no people against whom I desire to wage war more than those who have rejected your Apostle and driven him out of your sanctuary (haram). O Allah, if you so will that war shall end between us and them, then let this (injury) be the cause of martyrdom for me. Yet, do not cause me to die until you grant me the satisfaction of (defeating) the tribe of Banu Qurayzah.” The Messenger of Allah had him brought to him, and there the man spent the night on the ground.

Aban ibn `Uthman reported on the authority of a man who heard Abu `Abdillah (the sixth Imam) say: “The Mess­enger of Allah one dark and cold night stood on the hill on which now stands Masjidu'l-Fath (the mosque named after the conquest, `Fath' of Mecca). Addressing his Companions, he said: “Who shall go and bring us news of the (fighters) and have Paradise for a reward? ” He repeated this a second and a third time, but no one came forward. Finally, Hudhayfah ( a man well‑known for his strict moral and spiritual discipline) arose. The Prophet said to him: “Go and listen to their words and bring me news of them.” As Hudhayfah set out, the Prophet prayed: “O Allah, watch over him in the front and in the back, on his right and on his left until you bring him back to me.” The Prophet said further: “Do not do anything until you return to us.”

When Hudhayfah departed, the Apostle of Allah rose up and prayed, then cried out with a most sorrowful voice: “O You Who hear the cry of those who are in sorrow, You Who answer the prayers of those who are in distress, remove my sorrow and distress, for You see my state and the state of those who are with me!” Gabriel came down to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, Allah, be He exalted, has heard your cry and answered your prayer! He shall spare you dread of those who have allied themselves against you and opposed you.” The Messenger of Allah then knelt down on his knees and let his eyes shed tears. He cried out again: “All thanks be to You for sheltering me and those who are with me! ” Gabriel then said: “O Apostle of Allah, He has indeed granted you support, for He has sent against them a wind from the heaven of this world carrying pebbles, and another wind from the fourth heaven carrying stones.”

Hudhayfah reported: “As I reached the place, I saw the fires. of the people put out and utterly extinguished. This was because the first army of Allah had come ‑ a strong wind blowing pebbles. Thus it left no fire of the enemy but that it extinguished it, a tent but that it blew it away, or a spear but that it broke it. This went on until they had to shield themselves from the pebbles, and I heard the clatter of the pebbles against the shields.

Then the greater army of Allah came! Abu Sufyan rushed up to his mount and cried out: `Save yourselves, save yourselves! '`Uyaynah ibn Hisn did likewise, and so also did al‑Harith ibn `Awf. Thus the Confederates went away.” Hudhayfah then returned to the Apostle of Allah and recounted to him what had happened. Then Allah sent down to His Apostle:

Remember the favor of Allah towards you when great hosts came against you, and We sent against them a wind and hosts whom you did not see (Qur'an 33 :9).

The Messenger of Allah presented himself early next morning before the Muslims of Medina, and Fatimah his daughter prepared water to wash his head (in special cel­ebration of the occasion). But suddenly Gabriel came to him on a mule, his face covered with a white turban and clad in a garment of brocade adorned with pearls and rubies. He was, however, covered with dust. Thus. the Messenger of Allah rose and wiped away the dust from his face. Gabriel exclaimed: “May your Lord have mercy upon you; you have laid down your arms, yet the denizens of heaven have not laid theirs down! I have pursued them until they reached ar‑Rawha.' ” Gabriel continued: “Rise now against their brethren of the People of the Book, for by Allah, I shall crush them as would an egg be crushed against a rock! ”

The Messenger of Allah then called `Ali and ordered him, saying: “Carry the banner of the Immigrants against the tribe of Banu Qurayzah.” He further ordered his Com­panions: “I charge you not to offer the mid‑afternoon prayers except in the quarters of Banu Qurayzah.” 'Ali arose with the Immigrants, the men of the Banu `Abdi 'l­Ashhal and those of Banu'n‑Najjar all of them; not even one was left behind. The Prophet continued to send men to assist `Ali. Some of the men did not pray the mid‑afternoon prayers until after the time for the night prayers.

The people of Banu Qurayzah came out to 'Ali and cursed him, saying: “May Allah curse you and your cousin (that is, the Prophet).” But 'Ali stood in his place and did not answer them. When the Messenger of Allah arrived with the men of faith all around him, the Commander of the Faithful met him saying: “Do not come near them, O Apostle of Allah, may Allah make me a ransom for you! Allah shall surely punish them.” The Messenger of Allah knew that they had insulted 'Ali. Thus he said: “If they see me, they will say nothing of what they said against you.” He thus approached them and said: “You brothers of the apes!4

Thus have we come to the quarters of a people to warn them, evil be the morning of those who are warned! O servants of Satan, be you humbled, may Allah humiliate you! ” They (Banu Qurayzah) cried from right and left: “O Abu 'l-Qasim (that is, Muhammad), you have never been a lewd man; what has happened to you? ” as‑Sadiq reported that a lance which he was holding fell from his hand, and his outer garment fell off behind him. He began to walk backward, ashamed of what he had said to them.

The Messenger of Allah besieged them for twenty‑five days until they agreed to abide by the judgment of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh which was that their men be slain and their women and children be taken as slaves. He further decreed that their homes and lands be given to the Immigrants, and their wealth divided among the Muslims. The Prophet said to him: “You have judged them according to Allah's judgment, which issues from above, from the seven heavens.”

When the captives were brought, they were imprisoned in a house. Ten were brought out, whom the Commander of the Faithful beheaded. Another ten were brought out whom az‑Zubayr beheaded. A man of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “Would it not be better to kill one or two men at a time?”

The wound which Sa'd had suffered in his arm suddenly opened and the blood continued to gush out until he died. The Messenger of Allah took off his outer garment (as an expression of grief ) and walked with his funeral without an outer garment. He then sent `Abdullah ibn `Atik to Khay­bar (another Jewish settlement) where he killed Abu Rafi` (Sallam) ibn Abi ' l-Huqayq (one of the chiefs of the Banu Qurayzah).

The Battle of Banu 'l‑Mustaliq

The siege of the Trench was followed by the Battle of Banu'l‑Mustaliq of the tribe of Khuza'ah, whose chief was al‑Harith ibn Abi Dirar. This battle is also known as the Battle of al‑Muraysi' (named after a spring of water in the district of Qudayd on the coast between Medina and Mecca). The men of Banu 'l-Mustaliq prepared to advance against the Messenger of Allah in Sha'ban of the fifth or sixth year of the Hijrah. It is reported that Juwayriyyah, daughter of al‑Harith and wife of the Prophet, said: “The Messenger of Allah came to us while we were at the spring of al‑Muraysi`, and I heard my father say, `There has come to us one whom we cannot withstand.' ”

She continued: “I saw on that day horses and arms beyond description. When I became a Muslim and the Messenger of Allah married me and we returned to Medina, I began to look at the Muslims, and they were not as I saw them before. I thus knew that it was dread which Allah had instilled in the hearts of the Associators (i.e., by making the Muslim fighters look more in number and of greater strength than they actually were).” Juwayriyyah went on: “I saw in a dream, three nights before the coming of the Prophet, that the moon came from Yathrib and fell in my lap, I did not wish to tell my dream to anyone, but when we were taken captive, I hoped that my dream would come true. It did, as the Messenger of Allah freed me and took me in marriage. ”

In battle, the Messenger of Allah commanded his men to assault their opponents as a single man. Thus no man of the enemy was able to escape; ten were killed, and the rest captured. The war cry of the Muslims was, “O mansur (victorious one), kill!” The Messenger of Allah captured men, women and children, and took cattle and sheep. When men knew that he had married Juwayriyyah, daughter of al‑Harith, they said: “These are now marriage relatives of the Apostle of Allah.” They thus sent whatever captives they held to the Prophet. I know of no woman who was of greater blessing to her people than she.

During this battle `Abdullah ibn Ubayy said, using the words of the Qur'an:

When we return to Medina, the honourable shall drive out the lowly (Qur'an. 63:8).

During that year many revelations were sent down, and in it the incident of `A'ishah occurred.5

In the sixth year (A.H.) during the month of Rabi `u ' l­Awwal, the Messenger of Allah sent `Ukkashah ibn Mahsan with forty men to a place called al‑Ghamrah (on the road to Mecca). Seeing them come so early, the inhabitants of the place fled. `Ukkashah took two hundred camels which they had left behind as spoils and led them into Medina.

During that year also the Prophet sent Abu `Ubaydah ibn al‑Jarrah to a place called Dhu'l-Qassah, with forty men. Abu `Ubaydah raided the people, who fled into the mountains. One man was captured and became a Muslim.

In the same year, there was a detachment led by Zayd ibn al‑Harithah to a place called al‑Jamum (a piece of land belonging to the tribe of Banu Sulaym). In this raid, the Muslims took cattle and sheep as booty and captured some men. In Jumada 'l-Ula of the same year, Zayd also led another raid against al‑`Is tribe. In yet another raid which he led against the tribe of Banu Tha'labah, with twenty‑five men, he captured twenty‑five camels after the people were put to flight.

In the same year, `Ali ibn Abi Talib led a raid against a Jewish settlement called Fadak belonging to the people of `Abdullah ibn Sa'd. This action was prompted by information which the Messenger of Allah had received concerning the plan of the people of Fadak to send armed men to aid the Jews of Khaybar.

Another Companion, `Abdu'r‑Rahman ibn `Awf, was sent with a detachment in the same year against the people of a place called Dumatu'l-Jandal. This took place in the month of Sha'ban. The Messenger of Allah said to `Abdu'r­Rahman: “If they yield without fighting, marry the daughter of their king.” The people did in fact accept Islam, and `Abdu'r‑Rahman married Tumadir, daughter of al‑Asbagh, whose father was their king and chief.

Al‑Waqidi, the famous historian of the wars (maghazi) of the Prophet, reported that in the same year the Messenger of Allah sent a detachment against the `Arniyyin, a tribe living near Medina. This was a reprisal for their killing the Messenger of Allah's shepherd. Both men and camels were captured, and twenty horsemen were brought leading camels as booty to the Prophet. He ordered that their hands and feet be severed and that their eyes be put out. They were thus left in al‑harrah until they died. Jabir ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari related that the Messenger of Allah invoked Allah against them saying: “O Allah, make them blind, unable to find their way,” and it was as he prayed.

In that year also the goods of Abu 'l-`As ibn ar‑Rabi' were captured. He had gone to Syria to trade, and had with him much merchandise belonging to the men of Quraysh. On his way back, he met a detachment belonging to the Messenger of Allah. The men seized his caravan, but he escaped. They brought the booty to the Messenger of Allah, who divided it among them. Abu 'l-`As, however, came to Medina and sought protection (jiwar) of Zaynab, daughter of the Apostle of Allah. He requested that she intercede with the Prophet on his behalf to return his goods to him, for he carried much wealth which people had entrusted to him. The Messenger of Allah called the men and said: “This man is one of us, as you well know. If, therefore, you see fit that you return his wealth to him, it is best that you do so.” They gave back to him whatever they had taken.

Abu 'l-`As then returned to Mecca and gave the people back their trusts. He then said: “By Allah, nothing prevented me from becoming a Muslim before I came to you except the fear that you may think that I had done so in order that I may run away with your wealth. But now. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Apostle.”

The Treaty of Al‑Hudaybiyyah

In the same year, in the month of Dhu'l-Qi'dah (7/629) the treaty of al‑Hudaybiyyah was concluded between the Prophet and the people of Quraysh. The Prophet set out with a large company of his Companions intending to perform the `umrah, or lesser pilgrimage. He led before him seventy large animals (camels and cattle) for sacrifice. News of this reached the Associators of Quraysh, who sent a group of horsemen to prevent him from the Sacred House of worship (i.e., the Ka'bah). The Prophet had thought that they would not fight with him, because he had set out during a sacred month.

The story of Suhayl ibn `Amr and his son Abu Jandal and the way in which the Apostle of Allah dealt with them, and which caused the man who claimed to have never doubted Islam except on that day to cast suspicion on the Prophet, is well‑known.6 A man called Burayd ibn Warqa' came to the men of Quraysh and said: “O people of Quraysh, do not be troubled, for he has come not with the intention of fighting with you. Rather, he came intending to make pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah.” They answered: “By Allah, we shall not listen to your advice! Nor will the Arabs have cause to talk among themselves about him having entered Mecca with ease! We shall not consent to anything except that he turn back and leave us,” They then sent Bakr ibn Hafs and Khalid ibn al‑Walid, who prevented the animals to be sacrificed from reaching their destination.

The Prophet then sent `Uthman ibn `Affan (the third caliph) to ask permission of the Quraysh to enter Mecca as a pilgrim to perform the `umrah. But the people of Quraysh detained him and would not let him go. The Messenger of Allah thought that they had killed him. He thus said to his Companions: “Would you give me allegiance (bay `ah) of support even till death?” They agreed and pledged their support under the Tree (see Qur'an 48:18) , and affirmed that they would never desert him.

The Meccans then sent Suhayl ibn `Amr to the Prophet who addressed him saying: “O Abu 'l-Qassim, Mecca is surely our sacred place (haram) and a source of honour for us. The Arab (tribes) have already heard that you have come to us. If you were to enter Mecca by force, they would consider us an easy prey, and we would be pillaged. We, therefore, remind you of your blood relations with us. Mecca is your home (literally `egg') which hatched you.” “What do you wish?” the Prophet asked. Suhayl replied: “I wish to estab­lish in writing a truce between you and me, that I vacate Mecca for you this time next year. Then you may enter it without fear or trouble. Nor would you need to have any arms except that of the horseman. Your swords shall remain in their sheaths and your arrows in their quivers.”

The Mess­enger of Allah called `Ali ibn Abi Talib, who took a piece of red skin, and placing it on his lap, wrote: “In the name of Allah, the All‑merciful, the Compassionate.” Suhayl ibn `Amr retorted: “This is a document between you and us, O Muhammad. Open it, therefore, with words known to us. Write instead, `In your name O Allah.' ” The Prophet said to 'Ali, “Write `In your name O Allah', and erase what you have written.” `Ali answered: “Were it not an act of obedience to you, O Apostle of Allah, I would not erase it.” The Prophet said: “Write `This is what Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah has agreed upon with Suhayl ibn `Amr.' ” Suhayl objected: “Were I to accept this phrase in our docu­ment, I would have professed your claim to Prophethood. Erase this name, therefore, and write instead, 'Muhammad ibn `Abdillah.' ” 'Ali said to him: “By Allah, he is indeed the Messenger of Allah, and that in spite of your disdain! ” The Prophet repeated: “Erase it, O `Ali.” 'Ali answered: “O Apostle of Allah, my hand cannot erase your name from Prophethood.” “Then put my hand over it”, the Prophet ordered. The Messenger of Allah then erased it with his own hand, and said to 'Ali: “You too shall be called upon to do the same, and you shall consent, however unwillingly.”

He thus wrote: “In your name O Allah ‑ This is what Muhammad ibn `Abdillah ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib and those who are with him of the Muslims have agreed upon with Suhayl ibn `Amr and those who are with him of the people of Mecca ‑ that war shall cease, nor will there be any acts of deception, infiltration, or fighting. Furthermore, no one shall be coerced in his faith, and (Muslims) in Mecca shall be able to worship Allah openly. Muhammad shall sacrifice the animals (intended for the Ka'bah) in the place where he now is. In return, Mecca shall be vacated for him for three days, when he shall enter it only with the arms of the horse­men. All the people of Quraysh shall leave Mecca, and only one man shall be left behind with Muhammad and his Companions. It is further agreed that, as for any person of the people of Quraysh who might come to Muhammad (after becoming a Muslim), Muhammad shall turn him over to them. But as for any man of the Muslims who may go to Mecca, the people of Quraysh shall not be obliged to turn him over to Muhammad.” The Messenger said addressing Suhayl: “If a man, after hearing my words, returns to you, I have no need of such a man. As well, the Quraysh shall not lend anyone support against Muhammad with men or arms”, and so forth.

Then Abu Jandal came to the Prophet and sat beside him. His father Suhayl demanded, “Turn him over to me!” The Muslims replied: “We shall not give him back to you!” The Prophet got up, and taking Abu Jandal by the hand, exclaimed: “O Allah, if you know that Abu Jandal is sin­cere in his faith, then provide for him a way of release and escape!” He then turned to the people and said: “There is no danger for him; he is only returning to his father and mother. I do wish to fulfill the conditions of the people of Quraysh.”

The Messenger of Allah then returned to Medina. On the way, Allah sent down to him the surah entitled al‑Fath (the Conquest) which begins:

We have surely bestowed up­on you manifest victory. .. (see Qur'an 48).

The sixth Imam as‑Sadiq commented: “By the time this period (that is, of the Prophet's migration before the final conquest of Mecca) had come to an end, Islam had all but gained complete con­trol over the inhabitants of Mecca.”

After the return of the Messenger of Allah to Medina, Abu Basir `Utbah ibn Asid ibn Jariyah ath‑Thaqafi (a man of the tribe of Thaqif captured by the Quraysh), escaped from the Associators. al‑Akhnas ibn Shurayq (a chief of the Quraysh) sent two men after him. Abu Basir killed one of the two men, and came to the Messenger of Allah as an Immigrant Muslim. Seeing him, the Prophet exclaimed, “A kindler (mis`ar) of war! Would that he had another man to give him support.” He then said to the man: “Your task now is to overpower your companion (that is, the other man sent after him). Then go wherever you wish.” Abu Basir left with five men who had come with him as Muslims. They settled in a coastal spot on the caravan route of the Quraysh, between al‑`Is and Dhu 'l-Marwah in the land of Juhaynah on the way to Ghirat.

Likewise, Abu Jandal ibn Suhayl ibn `Amr escaped with seventy horsemen who had accepted Islam. They joined Abu Basir, who already had a large company of men of the Ghifar, Aslam and Juhaynah tribes. Altogether they were three hundred fighters, all Mus­lims. Thus, no caravan of the Quraysh passed by them but they captured it and killed its owners.

Finally, the people of Quraysh sent Abu Sufyan ibn Harb to the Messenger of Allah beseeching him to send to Abu Basir, Abu Jandal and their men to come to him. They conceded further, “Anyone who comes to you from us, you may retain without restriction.” Thus, those who had counselled the Messenger of Allah to protect Abu Jandal against his father, realized that obeying the Apostle of Allah was better for them than whatever they might have liked or disliked.

When Abu 'l-`As ibn Rabi ` with some men of Quraysh were returning from Syria, they passed by Abu Basir and Abu Jandal with their companions. They captured them and seized their goods, but did not kill anyone of them, because Abu 'l-`As was the son‑in‑law of the Messenger of Allah. They released Abu 'l-`As who came to his wife in Medina, for he had previously allowed her to go to Medina to be with the Messenger of Allah. Abu 'l-`As was the son of the sister of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.

The Battle Of Khaybar

In Dhu 'l-Hijjah of 8/ 630 the Battle of Khaybar took place. According to al‑Waqidi, this battle took place at the beginning of the 7th year of the Hijrah.7 There were at the time of the settlement of Khaybar (near Medina) fourteen thousand Jews, living in well fortified strongholds. The Messenger of Allah besieged them for twenty some days, and began to break down their fortifications one by one. The strongest of these and most populated with fighters was the stronghold called al‑Qumus.
First Abu Bakr took the banner of the Immigrants to lead them in battle, but he soon returned defeated. The next day `Umar ibn al‑Khattab carried it, but he too suffered defeat.

Thus he began to accuse men of cowardice, as well as being himself similarly charged. This angered the Apostle of Allah. At last he said: “I shall give the banner tomorrow to one who attacks (karrar), and does not retreat. He is one who loves Allah and His Apostle, and whom Allah and His Apostle love. He shall not return until Allah opens (Khaybar) at his hands.” The people of Quraysh wondered who such a man could be. “As for `Ali”, they said to one another, “you need not think of him, because he is sore‑eyed, unable to see even the ground under his feet.” But when `Ali heard what the Apostle of Allah said, he exclaimed: “O Allah, there is no one who can give what you withhold, nor is there anyone who can withhold what you give!”

Next morning people gathered around the Messenger of Allah. Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas reported: “I sat facing him; I knelt, then stood up. He turned to me and said: `Call `Ali for me.' Men cried out all around: `He is so sore‑eyed that he is unable to see the ground under his feet!' The Prophet replied: `Send someone to bring him here.' He was brought, and the Prophet laid his head on his knee and spat in his eyes. Immediately they became as clear as Yemenite glass beads.”

The Prophet then gave 'Ali the banner and prayed for him. `Ali went out running. Sa'd said: “By Allah, even before I had reached the last men in the line of fighters, 'Ali had already entered the stronghold.” Jabir ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari added: “He did not even allow us enough time to put on the arms.” Sa'd cried out: “O Abu 'l-Hasan, stop and wait awhile until the men are able to join you! ” But 'Ali went on until he fixed the banner near the stronghold. A man called Marhab came out to meet him in single combat. He came out well armed and surrounded by other Jewish fighters. `Ali met him and they fought until 'Ali struck him with his sword and cut off his leg. He fell down, and `Ali with the other Muslims rushed at him, but he and his Companions fled quickly.

Aban related on the authority of Zurarah that (the fifth Imam) al‑Baqir said: ” 'Ali reached the gate of the stronghold, which was shut in his face. He pulled it off its hinges and used it as a shield. He then carried it on his back and broke into the fortification with great force. The Muslims then attacked as well, while the gate was still on his back.” The Imam continued: ” 'Ali suffered greater hardship from the men who were with him than from carry­ing the gate itself. He finally threw the gate away from him, while a crier went out to announce to the Messenger of Allah that `Ali had entered the fortification. The Messenger of Allah hastened to the spot and 'Ali went out to meet him. The Prophet said: `I have learnt of your welcome news and your worthy deeds. Allah is well pleased with you, and I too am pleased with you.' 'Ali wept, and the Prophet asked: `What makes you weep?' `I weep for joy' 'Ali answered, `because Allah and His Messenger are well pleased with me.”'

It is reported that among the captives whom 'Ali took was Safiyyah daughter of Huyayy. He called Bilal and gave her to him saying: “Do not deliver her to anyone except the Apostle of Allah, so that he may decide what to do with her.” Bilal took her and passed by the dead (of her people) on his way to the Messenger of Allah. She nearly died of weeping for them. The Prophet said to him, “Has mercy been removed from your heart, O Bilal?” The Prophet then chose Safiyyah for himself; he freed her and married her.

It is reported that after the Messenger of Allah had con­cluded the affair of Khaybar, he raised a banner of war and demanded; “Who will rise and take this, and be worthy of it?” He did this because he wished to send an army under it to the gardens of Fadak. az‑Zubayr stood up and said: “I would.” The Prophet answered, “Leave it alone.” Sa'd then stood up, and the Prophet likewise told him to leave it aloe. The Prophet then said: “O 'Ali, rise up and take this standard! ” He took it to Fadak, with whose people he made a treaty that he would spare their lives in return for the gardens. Thus the gardens of Fadak belonged exclusively to the Messenger of Allah.

Gabriel then came to him and said: “Allah commands you to give your next of kin their due.” He asked: “O Gabriel, who are my next of kin, and what is their due?” He answered: “It is Fatimah; give her, therefore, the gardens of Fadak and whatever in them belongs to Allah and to His Apostle.” The Messenger of Allah thus called Fatimah and wrote a document to that effect, which she brought to Abu Bakr after her father's death. She presented it saying: “This is the will of the Messenger of Allah to me and my two sons.”

It is further reported that when the Messenger of Allah had conquered Khaybar, news came of the return of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib and his Companions from Abyssinia to Medina. The Prophet exclaimed: “I do not know with which of the two I should be more joyful, whether with the conquest of Khaybar or the coming of Ja`far ! ” Sufyan ath‑Thawri ( a well‑known traditionist and theologian of the second cen­tury) reported on the authority of Jabir that when Ja`far returned from Abyssinia, the Messenger of Allah went out to meet him.

When Ja'far ibn Abi Talib saw the Apostle of Allah, he advanced toward him with short modest steps, as an expression of reverence. The Messenger of Allah kissed him on the forehead. Zurarah ibn A'yan (a disciple of the fifth and sixth Imams) reported on the authority of the former that when the Messenger of Allah received Ja'far, he kissed him on the eyes.

It is reported that before the Messenger of Allah set out for Khaybar, he sent `Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri to an­-Najashi (Negus), ruler of Abyssinia to bring back Ja'far and his Companions. `Amr, however, invited an‑Najashi to Islam, and he in fact became Muslim. `Amr then brought back Ja'far and his Companions. an‑Najashi provisioned Ja`far and his Companions well, and ordered that each be given a suit of clothes. He had them transported on board two ships.

The Messenger of Allah then sent, as related on the auth­ority of az‑Zuhri, `Abdullah ibn Rawahah (a well‑known Companion who was martyred in the Battle of Mu'tah) with thirty horsemen, among whom was `Abdullah ibn Anis, to Yasir ibn Rizam, the Jew. The Prophet did so after learn­ing that Yasir had gathered the men of the tribe of Ghatafan to attack the Muslims with them. The Muslim horsemen came to him and said: “The Messenger of Allah sent us to you wishing to appoint you as the Governor of Khaybar.” They continued to plead with him until he gave in and followed them with thirty of his men, so that each one of them would accompany one of the Muslims. After they had gone only six miles, Yasir regretted his decision.

He thus turned to snatch 'Abdullah ibn Anis's sword, but 'Abdullah was on the alert. He spurred on his camel and continued to drive on the men before him until he caught up with Yasir. He then struck him with his sword on the leg, cutting it off. Yasir rushed at him with a thick staff of hard wood having a twisted handle like that of a sceptre. He struck 'Abdullah with it and split open his skull. Seeing this, every man of the Muslims rushed at his Jewish com­panion and killed him. Only one of the Jews was able to escape. No one of the Muslims was killed. When they came to the Messenger of Allah, he spat in `Abdullah's wound, which then never caused him any pain until he died.

The Prophet then sent a man named Ghalib ibn `Abdillah al‑Kalbi (with a detachment) on a raid to the land of the tribe of Banu Murrah. He fought valiantly, but was finally taken captive. The Prophet also sent `Uyaynah ibn Hisn al‑Badri on a similar raid to the land of the tribe of Banu `Anbar. He too killed some men and was captured.

The Engagement of `Umratu 'l‑Qada'

Then came the engagement of `umratu'l‑qada' (the lesser pilgrimage performed in compensation for the one missed the year before) in 7 A. H. The Messenger of Allah and those who had witnessed the engagement of Huday­biyyah with him set out for the lesser pilgrimage. When, however, the people of Quraysh heard of this, they vacated the city hastily and in disarray. He thus entered Mecca and circumambulated the Ka'bah on his camel. He held in his hand a stick with which he touched the Black Stone. `Abdullah ibn Rawahah led his camel by its rope reciting:

Move away, O children of the rejecters of faith, and hinder not Allah's way.
Move away, for all goodness is in His Apostle.
The All‑merciful has declared in His Revelation,
That we should strike you sorely on account of its exegesis;
As we struck you on account of its revelation;

  • 1. al‑Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharu 'l-Anwar, 110 vols. 2nd ed. (Beirut: Mu'assasatu'l-Wafa', 1403/1983), vol. 20, pp. 164‑6.
  • 2. al‑Bukhari reported that it was after the Battle of Khaybar 7/ 628.
  • 3. See the Arabic text of this book, p. 195.
  • 4. This refers to the narrative in the Qur'an concerning the Jews unlawfully fishing on the Sabbath, upon which they were trans­formed into apes. See Qur'an 2 :65 and 7:166. For a variety of views of the commentators on this narrative, see Ayoub, M., The Qur'an and its Interpreters, pp. 109‑16.
  • 5. This refers to the controversy of hadithu'l-ifk, during the raid of Banu 'l-Mustaliq, where `A'ishah was suspected of adultery. See Ibn Hisham, vol. 3, pp. 341‑ 55, and Guillaume, pp. 493‑ 9.
  • 6. The reference here is to `Umar ibn al‑Khattab and his protest against the truce of Hudaybiyyah between the Muslims and the Quraysh, represented by Suhayl ibn `Amr. See Ibn Hisham, vol. 3, pp.365‑6, and Guillaume, p.504.
  • 7. See al‑Waqidi; vol. 2, p. 364.

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