Shaykh Mufeed, Shaykh Tabarsi and other historians and tradition scholars have narrated that after the conquest of Mecca, the Prophet sent out detachments to various areas in the vicinity, summoning the Arab tribes to embrace Islam, but giving no orders to fight. Ghalib bin Abdullah was sent to Madlaj tribe; they said: “Neither do we rely on you nor live in your neighborhood.”
The people urged the Prophet to declare a war against them. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “They are led by a wise and intelligent man and many people of that tribe will be martyred on the way of Allah.” Amr bin Umayyah was sent to Bani Dail tribe to invite them to Islam but they also flatly refused.
Companions advised war against them also but the Prophet said that they will soon embrace Islam. Abdullah bin Suhail was sent to Maharib tribe and they embraced Islam. Some of them also visited the Messenger of Allah (S). Ibn Babawayh and Shaykh Tusi have narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Khalid bin Walid was sent to Bani Mustaliq, a branch of Bani Khuzaimah against whom in his youth he was hostile, and to gratify that old enmity he killed many of them by trickery and took much of spoils, although they claimed to be Muslims.
The survivors came to the Prophet along with the letter of amnesty to the Prophet and complained about Khalid. The Prophet was highly offended at this. Khalid arrived with a lot of gold and other booty. The Holy Prophet (S) gave it all to Ali to make all possible reparations to the tribes. And raising his foot said, “Trample the method of Jahiliyya like this,” that is judge according to the law of Islam.
When Imam Ali (a.s.) reached there, he decided the matter according to divine law and after satisfying them, returned from there and the Holy Prophet (S) asked how did he fare. He replied: “First I paid the blood money for each deceased and in place of a fetus which was aborted, gave them a male or female slave. And I paid up all their damages.
Then I gave the remaining amount in lieu of their utensils in which their dogs drank water and in exchange of the ropes that their shepherds used. After that I gave something in lieu of the terror caused to their women and children and in lieu of unknown things. After that I divided the balance amount among them so that they may be sincerely pleased with you.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Since you paid them to make them pleased with me, I pray that the Almighty Allah be pleased with you. You are to me like Harun was to Musa except that there will no prophet after me. According to another tradition, he said: “O Ali, you have pleased me, may Allah be pleased with you. O Ali, you are the guide of my Ummah. O Ali, successful is one who loves you and who follows your practice and the worst enemy till Judgment Day is one who opposes you and who detests your practice.
Among the events of eighth Hijri it is narrated that Akrama, the son of Abu Jahl, became a Muslim and after the conquest of Mecca apostasied and ran away to Yemen. His wife took amnesty of the Prophet on his behalf. He returned and reconverted to Islam. It is narrated that the same year, the eighth of Hijrat, the Prophet sent Khalid to break Uzza, the greatest idols of the Quraish, and Amr bin Aas was ordered to break Sawa, the idol of Huzail and Saad bin Zaid was commanded to demolish Manat.
Shaykh Mufeed, Shaykh Tabarsi and Ali bin Ibrahim etc. have narrated that the cause of the Battle of Hunain was that when the Prophet set out for Mecca he had on the basis of exigency said that he was going to attack Hawazins, who made great preparations for defense, and having made Malik bin Auf Nazari, their general, advanced, with all their families, cattle, and property, to the valley of Autas, where they encamped and engaged in festivities in anticipation of victory.
Among these was a blind old chief named, Warid bin Alsamah Hashmi, the chief of Hasham, who drew his hand over the ground where they had encamped, and asked what valley it was, and being told, he said it was a fine place to maneuver cavalry, as the ground was neither too rough nor soft. He than inquired why he heard the cry of horses, cows, sheep and children. They replied that Malik bin Auf had brought the families and property as an inducement for the men to fight bravely.
He than swore by the Lord of the Kaaba, that Malik was a mere sheep feeder and knew nothing of war. He called for him and endeavored to persuade him to send back the families and cattle, admonishing him that he was to contend with a powerful enemy, demanding if he ever knew a flying army stop for wives, children, and property? Malik rejected this wholesome counsel, telling the chief that he was very old and his understanding was impaired.
Warid, the old chief, then inquired for Kaab and Kalab tribes, their allies, and finding they had not joined the army, sighed at the ill fortune that brooded over them. He asked who had come from Hawazin tribes and was told that Amr bin Aamir and Auf Aamir have arrived. He said neither they can benefit or harm and wished he were young again, to engage in the ensuing battle and pay the debt of heroism.
When the Messenger of Allah (S) heard that the clans of Hawazins were assembled in the valley of Autas, he collected the tribes of Islam, incited them to sacred war, and gave them assurance of victory and help from the Almighty Allah, who would cause them to triumph over their enemies, whose property and children and women should fall into their hands.
The people were now eager for the contest, and preparation for the march were quickly made. The Prophet gave the great standard to Ali, and ordered all battalions entering Mecca to join their respective colors. The Prophet then marched with the ten thousand men he had led to Mecca, and a division of two thousand who had joined him at the city.
According to the report of Abil Jarud from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.), one thousand men belonged to Bani Sulaym tribe under the leadership of Abbas bin Mardas bin Salma, and the other half of the tribes of Mazniah. The Prophet’s army encamped on approaching the position of Hawazin.
Their commander in chief, Malik bin Auf, hearing of the Prophet’s advance, ordered his men to station themselves in front of their families and property, break their scabbards, and secreting themselves in ravines and behind the trees, await the Prophet’s advance and attack him on all sides while the morning was very dark, and put him to rout. This order was followed by the declaration that the Prophet never had encountered any who understood the art of war.
After the Morning Prayers the Prophet commenced his march down the valley of Hunain, which abounded in defiles and declivities. The Bani Sulaym who composed the vanguard of the Prophet army being simultaneously attacked on all sides by division of the Hawazins, gave way and fled, throwing the whole army, into disorder and flight, with the exception of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the few companions of the Prophet, before whom the fugitives rushed without paying any regard to him.
Abbas held the bridle of the Prophet mule’s on the right, and Abu Sufyan bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib on the left. The Prophet cried to the fugitives, “O company of Ansaris, where are you going! Come to me; I am Messenger of Allah (S)!” But no one turned back. Nasiba, the daughter of Mazinah, cast dust at the faces of the fugitives, saying, “From God and the Prophet whither do you flee!”
At length Umar passed her, to whom she said, “What is this which you do?” He replied, “Such is the providence of God.” The Prophet than ran his mule to Amirul Momineen (a.s.), who with drawn sword was bravely defending the Muslims standard that he held. As Abbas was a tall man with a powerful voice, the Prophet ordered him to ascend an adjacent hill and shout to the people, “Where are you going? O companions of Baqarah and companions of the allegiance of the tree!
The Messenger of Allah (S) is here!” The Prophet raised his hand towards heaven and said, “O Lord, to You belongs praise and intercession, and You are help.” At this juncture, Jibraeel descended and assured the Prophet that he had offered the prayer at which the sea was parted for Musa to save him from Firon. The Prophet ordered Abu Sufyan1 to give him a handful of sand, which he cast at the idolaters, saying, “Ugly be your faces!”
He then raised his head towards heaven and said, “O Lord, if this company should be destroyed, no one will serve You hereafter.” The Ansaris hearing the call of Abbas, returned, broke their scabbards, and crying, “Here we are!” passed the Prophet, but from shame did not approach him, and joined the standard of Ali. The Prophet asked Abbas who they were, and being told they were the Ansaris, the Prophet replied, “Now the furnace of war is hot!”
At that moment, angels descended to give the Muslims victory, and the Hawazins were routed and fled in all direction. The Muslims heard the clang of angelic arms in the air, but saw no one. Thus the Prophet triumphed over the idolaters, whose property, women and children fell into his hands. The Almighty Allah describes this battle in the following manner:
لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ ۙ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ ۙ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنْكُمْ شَيْئًا وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُمْ مُدْبِرِينَ
“Certainly Allah helped you in many battlefields and on the day of (battle of) Hunain, when your great numbers made you vain, but they availed you nothing and the earth became strait to you notwithstanding its spaciousness, then you turned back retreating.”2
According to traditions “many battlefields” imply that the Almighty Allah helped the Prophet on eighty occasions. Then the Almighty Allah says:
ثُمَّ أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنْزَلَ جُنُودًا لَمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ
“Then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Apostle and upon the believers, and sent down hosts which you did not see, and chastised those who disbelieved, and that is the reward of the unbelievers.”3
Regarding the word Sakina in the above passage, the Imam Reza (a.s.) observes that it is the name of a fragrant and agreeable wind of Paradise, which has a human form and attends to prophets.
Ali bin Ibrahim narrates that a man from Bani Nazar bin Muawiyah, called Shajra bin Rabia who became a prisoner of Muslims asked the Muslims where have the white-clad youths riding pie-bald horses gone and by whom the Hawazin were routed and slain, and in comparison with whom the Muslims were nothing. They replied, “Those were angels whom Allah sent to our aid.” All this was according to the report of Ali bin Ibrahim.
Shaykh Tabarsi relates that before the Prophet marched to Hunain, hearing that Safwan bin Umayyah had a hundred coats of mail, he sent to borrow them on the condition of paying their value if they were damaged. According to traditions from this instance, a pledge given for borrowed articles was made binding in Islamic law. The Prophet divided these coats of mail among his companions, and marched against Hawazin at the close of Ramadan, or beginning of Shawwal, in the eighth year of Hijrat.
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) set out with ten thousand men for the Battle of Hunain and as the Muslims were so numerous, they had no doubt of being victorious. Abu Bakr remarked, “This is a wonderful army, and we shall now triumph.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Our army has been struck with an evil eye. But the Almighty Allah willed them to know that victory did not depend on their numbers and arms, but on His own aid.
When therefore they engaged the enemy, they all fled with the exception of ten men, nine of whom were from Bani Hashim; the tenth, Ayman, son of Umm Ayman who fell a martyr. The Almighty Allah said regarding the unplaced remark of Abu Bakr:
إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ
“…when your great numbers made you vain…”4
And the believers that the Almighty Allah mentioned with the Prophet that He sent tranquility on them were Amirul Momineen (a.s.) eight persons from Bani Hashim. One was Abbas, who was to the right of the Prophet and Fazl bin Abbas was to the left; Abu Sufyan bin Harith, the cousin of the Prophet was not Muawiyah’s father Abu Sufyan, he was holding the mule’s saddle when it was disturbed; and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) was in front of the Prophet slashing the idolaters and driving them away. Rabia bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib, Abdullah bin Zubair bin Abdul Muttalib, Atba and Motab, sons of Abu Lahab were around the Prophet and all Ansar and Muhajireen had fled from there.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains from Naufal bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib that on the day of the Battle of Hunain, all fled except seven sons of Abdul Muttalib: Abbas and his son, Fazl, Ali and his brother Aqil, Abu Sufyan, Rabia and Naufal, sons of Harith bin Abdul Muttalib. The Holy Prophet (S) had the sword drawn and mounted on Duldul was attacking the idolaters, reciting the following Rajaz:
“I am the Messenger of Allah (S) without any doubt. I am the son of Abdul Muttalib.”
Harith bin Naufal said: “I heard from Fazl bin Abbas that when my father saw that all had fled and Imam Ali (a.s.) was also not visible, he said: “The son of Abu Talib has also deserted the Prophet in spite of all the feats he had shown in previous battles.” I said: “Don’t pass such remarks about your nephew.” He asked: “Is Ali present here?” I said: “Look ahead in the front row, how he is fighting with his sword, in that flying dust, his Zulfiqar flashing, scorching the idolaters.” My father said: “He is righteous and son of a noble, may his uncles be sacrificed on him.”
Fazl says: “That day Ali clove forty of the enemy exactly into two, each at a blow.” And Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that on the day of Battle of Hunain Imam Ali (a.s.) eliminated forty daring men of the infidels.
Shaykh Tabarsi declares that when the Muslims fled, and the Prophet was left with only nine men about him, Malik bin Auf, the commander-in-chief of the Hawazin, rushed forward, shouting, “Show me Muhammad,” and seeing him, made a furious charge, and was met by Ayman Ibn Umm Ayman, whom he slew, but he could not force his horse against the asylum of prophecy. At that perilous junction, Kalah, the brother of Safwan bin Umayyah, shouted, “Now the sorcery of the Prophet is destroyed!” Safwan, who had not yet become a Muslim, ordered his brother to be silent, saying, “God break your jaws! It is better that a Quraishi should be our king than a Hawazini.”
Shaykh Tusi has narrated that when the Muslim army fled the battlefield it was yet dark; idolaters came out from ravines and bushes with weapons and the Prophet turned his luminous face towards the fugitives, beaming like the full moon, so that all saw him while he demanded what had become of the covenant they had made with Allah.
At this appeal they turned on the infields who were led on by a man mounted on a red camel and bearing a black flag on a spear. They slew every Muslim they overcome. The enemy advanced with great impetuosity, but black standard bearer, whose name was Abu Jardal, was met by Ali, who at one blow brought his camel to the ground, and with the next stroke clove him in two.
This put the Hawazin to rout, and the Muslims in turn pursued, led on by Ali, making great slaughter and taking many prisoners. Imam Ali (a.s.) went on fighting till he had killed forty infidels. After the sun had risen high, the Prophet ordered it to be proclaimed that no more of the enemy should be slain, nor any of the prisoners be put to death.
Ibn Alaku, a spy of Huzail tribe was taken a prisoner who had come to the Prophet on the day of the conquest of Mecca. Umar recognized him as a spy and had him killed; but when the Prophet learnt about it, he was very indignant at this disobedience. After that Humail bin Mamar was also killed while being a prisoner and the Prophet condemned Umar’s act. At last Umair bin Wahab came and asked the Prophet for forgiveness on behalf of the Ansar. Abu Bakr had displeased the Prophet at the beginning of the battle and in the end, Umar infuriated him.
Shaykh Tabarsi and Qutub Rawandi etc. have narrated that Shaibah bin Uthman bin Abi Talha Abdari was extremely inimical to the Prophet because Ali had killed eight standard bearers of his tribe in the Battle of Uhud. So he was always waiting for an opportunity to take revenge. But he was despaired on the day of the conquest of Mecca.
He joined the Battle of Hunain hoping to get a chance. He says: When Muslims fled, I came to the right side of the Prophet and saw Abbas and observed that he will not be deficient in defending his nephew. I came to the left and saw Abu Sufyan bin Harith and observed that he will not be deficient in helping his cousin. I came behind the Prophet and launched a blow but a flame came in between and was about to scorch me to death when I put my hand on my eyes.
But the Prophet called me, placed his hand on my chest and said: “O Lord, remove the Satan from him.” Now when I glanced at the Prophet deep love developed in my heart for him and I began to love him more than myself.” The Messenger of Allah (S) then said: “Shaibah, go and fight the idolaters.” He says: “I began to fight with such sincerity that even if my father had confronted me, I would have slain him too.”
After the battle, I came to the Prophet and he said: “Whatever the Almighty Allah intended about you was better than what you intended about yourself.” And whatever passed in my heart was known to none but me and the Holy Prophet (S) told me all about it and I embraced Islam as a result of it.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated from Saad bin Musayyab that a man from the infidel army told me: “When we confronted the Muslims they fled in a few minutes and we pursued them, till we reached the Messenger of Allah (S) who was astride the mule, Ashab. Some white-faced men addressed us and said: “Ugly be thy faces. Go away from here.” We turned back and the Muslims came out in our pursuit and we realized that they were angels.
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) through trustworthy chains on the day of the Battle of Hunain four thousands prisoners, and twelve thousands camels fell into the hands of Muslims besides other property. The Holy Prophet (S) sent the booty and captives to Jaranah under Budail bin Waraqa, while himself, with his army pursued the infidels, one hundred of whom are said to have been slain in the battle. And it is narrated from Zuhri that six thousand became prisoners and an unlimited number of properties and sheep, which Allah alone knows.
Shaykh Mufeed and Shaykh Tabarsi have narrated when the idolaters were defeated at Hunain they broke into two divisions and Arabs fled to Autas and Bani Thaqif to Taif, against both of which places the Prophet sent detachments. Malik bin Auf also went with them and they took refuge in the Taif fort.
The divisions under Abu Aamir Ashari and Abu Musa Ashari against Autas were successful after a sharp action in which Abu Aamir was killed. But the other, under Abu Sufyan bin Harb the accursed came back, saying that he was sent with those who could not even draw a bucket of water from the well. Upon this the Prophet himself immediately marched on Taif in Shawwal, which he took after a siege of more than ten days.
He sent some men with Imam Ali (a.s.) to destroy whatever he could lay his hands on and to destroy all the idols. Khatham tribe came with a huge army and attacked early in the morning and a stalwart Shahab from them challenged the Muslim army. Imam Ali (a.s.) set out to fight him but Abul Aas bin Rabi volunteered to get rid of him, but was restrained by Ali (a.s.) who said: “If I am killed you take over the command.” The people of Taif, on being conquered, become Muslims. The Holy Prophet (S) recited the Takbir and spoke at length with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in isolation.
Shia and Sunni have through many channels narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari that when the Messenger of Allah (S) was conferring with Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Umar came and said: “You talk secretly to him and keep us aloof?” the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “I am not telling him the secrets, the Almighty Allah is.” Umar returned infuriated saying: “This is also like he said on the day of Hudaibiya that we will enter Masjidul Haram, but we returned from there without it.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I never said that we will enter it the same year.”
Thus Nafih bin Ghilan came out from the Taif fort with some people of Thaqif. The Messenger of Allah (S) sent Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to fight them. They met at the Valley of Dajj and Nafih was killed. Idolaters fled from there and some persons housed in the fort were overawed and they came out to embrace Islam.
Shaykh Tabarsi etc. have narrated that during the siege, a group of slaves came out of the fort and converted to Islam, one of them being Abu Bakra, slave of Harith Kaldah. Another was Mambas, whose real name was Masjah. The Holy Prophet (S) named him Mambas. There was one named Darzan, slave of Abdullah bin Rabi. When at last the people of Taif embraced Islam, they requested the Prophet to return their slaves. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “No, it is not possible, because they have been freed by the Almighty Allah.”
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated from Abdur Rahman bin Auf that the Messenger of Allah (S) laid siege to Taif for ten or seventeen days; then one day the Holy Prophet (S) mounted a horse when it was very hot climate, and said: O people, I am your intercessor and your chief. Our promised place is Kauthar. I advise you to be nice to my progeny and my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
By the one in whose hands is my life, it is obligatory on you to establish prayer and pay the Zakat or I will send on you one who is from me and is like my soul, who will kill you and make your children captives. Some thought that he implied Abu Bakr and some expected him to be Umar, but the Messenger of Allah (S) held the hand of Imam Ali (a.s.) and said: “This is the one.”
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that when the Holy Prophet (S) concluded the Hawazin expedition and came to the forts of Taif and laid siege to the people of Dajj for some days, they sued for peace with some conditions, which the Prophet accepted and returned to Mecca. Their messengers came to the Prophet and said: “We accept Islam but please excuse us from prayer and Zakat.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “It is not a religion that has no prayer, by the one in whose hands is my life, it is obligatory on you to establish the prayer and pay the Zakat, otherwise I will send such a man to you who is like my self. He will cut off your heads and make captives of your sons.” Then he held the hand of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and said: “He is the one I am talking about.” When they returned to Taif and reported the conversation, they agreed to pray, pay Zakat and agreed to fulfill all the conditions laid by the Prophet.
Then the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “No one will disobey me from my Ummah, but that I will throw an arrow of God to him.” “Who is the arrow of God?” asked they. “Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), when I sent him on an expedition, I saw Jibraeel to his right, Mikaeel to his left. And an angel walked ahead of him and a cloud shaded him till the Almighty Allah helped that beloved of mine.”
Qutub Rawandi has narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (S) besieged the people of Taif, Uyyana bin Hasan said: “Please permit me to go and talk to the people of the fort.” The Prophet accorded the permission. He said: “Do you guarantee my safety, that I may discuss some points with you?” Abu Mahjan recognized him and said: “Come in.”
When he stepped inside he said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, your condition has pleased me. There is none like you among the Arabs. By Allah there is none like you among the companions of Muhammad.” Uyyana said: “You have sufficient stocks and we have less space of camping. Be patient, do not surrender the fort to him.” And he went away from there. Bani Thaqif said to Abu Mahjan: “We did not like his coming here and we fear that he will report all our weaknesses to Muhammad.”
Abu Mahjan said: “I know him better than you. There is none among us more inimical to Muhammad even though he is among their forces.” So when he came to the Prophet he said: “I told them to embrace Islam, by Allah, Muhammad will not move from here till you don’t surrender. So seek his amnesty and thus I threatened them much.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “You are lying, you spoke to them in such and such manner.” Companions condemned him and he sought divine forgiveness and promised not to repeat such a thing.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated that the Prophet conferred with his companions about the people of Taif. Salman Farsi said: “O Messenger of Allah (S). I think you should aim a catapult at the fort.” The Prophet accepted the proposal and a catapult was prepared and loaded with skin full of oil. The people of the fort burnt the catapult and their trees were burnt in retaliation.
Sufyan bin Abdullah Thaqafi called out from the fort and announced: “Why are you destroying our property? All this will be yours if you are victorious. And if you are not victorious, have mercy for the sake of God and leave our properties intact.” The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “Leave them for the sake of Allah.”
It is mentioned in one report that the Holy Prophet (S) laid siege to Taif for around thirty days and after that he returned. Then the people of Taif came and embraced Islam. Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (S) said that when the messengers of people of Taif arrived and I said that they must establish prayer and pay Zakat or “I will send to them one who is like my self, who loves Allah and His Messenger and Allah and His Messenger love him.
He will strike off your heads,” companions craned their necks in anticipation but I held aloft the hand of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and said: “He is the one.” Abu Bakr and Umar said: “I have never seen this excellence in anyone.”
Shia and Sunni scholars have mentioned that Imam Ali (a.s.) said on the Shura along with his other merits that: I adjure you before Allah, did the Messenger of Allah (S) say about anyone that: Bani Waliya should refrain from hostilities or I will send to them who is like my self. His obedience is my obedience and his disobedience is my disobedience.
One who will make them obey through the sword.” All Shura members said: “None of us is like that.” Then he said: I adjure you before Allah, is there anyone among you like me, to whom the Prophet spoke secretly on the day of the Battle of Taif and Abu Bakr and Umar had told him: “You speak to Ali in secret and conceal it from us.” And the Prophet had told them: “I did not say anything of my own. The Almighty Allah had ordered me to do so.” All said: “None of us is like that.”
Shaykh Tusi etc. have narrated that after this conquest, the Prophet retired with his army to Jaranah, where he divided the booty taken at Hunain among his Quraish followers and the Arabs, and gave none, or very little to the Ansaris. His reason for such a division was to attach firmly to him those who had recently become Muslims.
For this purpose he gave a hundred camels to Abu Sufyan bin Harb, and the same number to his son Muawiyah. Several other individuals, like Hakim bin Kharam of Bani Asad, Nazar bin Harith, Alaa bin Khalid Thaqafi, Harith bin Hasham and Jubair bin Motam and Malik bin Auf, al-Qama bin Alaqa, Aqra bin Habis, Uyyana bin Hasan enjoyed the same share.
A poet, Abbas bin Mardas, receiving only four camels was so enraged that he complained to the Prophet by chanting an extemporaneous ode. The Prophet hearing this, ordered Ali to go and cut out Abbas’s tongue. Accordingly he led away the confounded man, who earnestly asked him if he really intended to cut out his tongue.
“I shall obey the prophet’s order,” replied Ali, who now led him into the camel-yard and bade him take four camels and rank with the Muhajireen, or hundred camels be classed with those that had received that number. At Ali’s advice he contented himself with taking four camels.
Some Ansaris were also much offended at his division of spoils, and said, “the Prophet was for us in the day of his necessity, but now, when he has gained his own kindred to his cause, he forgets us.” On being informed of these reproaches, the Prophet ordered the Ansaris to be assembled by themselves, when he came to them in anger, attended only by the Amirul Momineen (a.s.), and thus addressed them:
“When you were all on the brink of Hellfire, did not Allah through me give you salvation? and when you were at swords’ points with each other, did not the Almighty Allah, through the blessing of my presence, inspire union and love in your heart?” To which they responded, “Yes, you were few and degraded when I came to you, and now, through my influence, you have become numerous and honorable.”
In the way he enumerated the many favors he had conferred upon them. As they continued silent after he had concluded his address, he said, “Why do you not answer me?” they replied, “What answer can we give, O Messenger of Allah (S)? All our fathers and mothers be your sacrifice! all that we enjoy is from you.” The Prophet replied, you might indeed say to me, “your people charged you with falsehood and expelled you from among them, but we acknowledged your truth and gave you an asylum, you came to us fearful, and we gave you assurance.”
At this, the whole company wept aloud, and the old men came to the Prophet kissed his blessed hands, and feet, and knees saying, “We are satisfied to have God and his Prophet; do what please with our own property.” He then said, “you were vexed with me for dividing the plunder among those that have recently embraced Islam, in order to attach them firmly to the faith, and make them your efficient coadjutors, while to you belonged the more excellent riches of the faith.
Are you not content that others should take the sheep and camels, while the Prophet is your portion?” He then declared the Ansaris peculiarly his own, the ark of his mysteries, and said if all the world were to go to one valley, and the Ansaris to another, he would certainly continue with them. He concluded by imploring pardon for them and their posterity.
Kulaini and Ayyashi has narrated through good chains of narrators from Zurarah that Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) was asked about the meaning of the phrase:
“…and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth)…”5
Imam (a.s.) said: “Those who adopted monotheism and gave up idol worship and confessed to the dictum of: There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, in spite of the fact that they continued to doubt whatever the Prophet liked for them so the Almighty Allah ordered His Prophet to make them incline to faith through wealth and good turns so that Islam becomes good and they remain steadfast in are religion they have embraced.
Doubtlessly on the day of Battle of Hunain, the Holy Prophet (S) went out of his way to please people like, Abu Sufyan bin Harb and Uyyana bin Hasan like the chiefs of Arabs and Mudhir tribe but Ansaris were dissatisfied with this and they gathered around Saad bin Ubadah. So the Holy Prophet (S) brought them to Jaranah. Saad bin Ubadah asked permission to speak and then said that if the distribution of booty was according to divine instructions, it was all right and if not, the Ansaris were not prepared to accept it.”
The Prophet asked them if what their chief was saying was claimed by all of them and they assented. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says: Since that day the light of their faith decreased. And the Almighty Allah fixed a portion for those inclined to faith. The following year the Ansaris received a very large share of plunder, more than twice the booty of Hunain.
And many groups embraced Islam. The Holy Prophet (S) recited a sermon and said: “Whatever I said was better or what you said? A booty equal to the booty of Hunain has come to me and a large number of people have embraced Islam. By the one in whose hands is the life of Muhammad, I would like to pay a 100 camels to everyone in order to attract them to Islam.”
Ayyashi has narrated that on the day of the Battle of Hunain, an Ansari objected to the Prophet’s method. A companion said: “You utter such nonsense about the prayer?” Then he came to the Prophet and reports the talk of that Ansari.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “My brother, Musa was harassed more by the people but he observed patience for the sake of Allah. On the day of the Battle of Hunain, the Prophet gave a hundred camel to each of those who were inclined to faith.
Shaykh Mufeed, Shaykh Tabarsi and all Shia and Sunni tradition scholars have narrated from Abu Saeed Khudri etc. that on the day of the Battle of Hunain, when the Messenger of Allah (S) was dividing the booty, when Zulkhaisra from Bani Tamim came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S) be just in distributing.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Woe be on you, if I don’t practice justice, who will?”
Umar bin Khattab said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), allow me to strike off his head.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Let it be, he will rise with a group whose prayers you will consider superior to yours whose fasts you will consider superior to yours. They will be constantly reciting the Qur’an but it will not go beyond their throat. They will go out of Islam like an arrow leaves the bow.
Their sign is that a black man will lead them whose arms will have flesh protruding. He will rise against the best company of men.” Abu Saeed said: “I testify having heard this from the Messenger of Allah (S) and testify that I was with Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in the Battle of Khawarij. Imam Ali (a.s.) told us to search for one whom the Prophet had indicated and he was found among the dead.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated that on the day of Battle of Hunain the Prophet was distributing the booty and after it was done, he mounted and set out from there.
People ran with him and beseeching him for more till they stopped him under a tree and pulled his robe off his shoulders. He said: “People, give my robe back. By the one in whose hands is my life, if I were to get as much booty as there are trees on the earth, I will give it all to you and you will not find me miserly then he plucked a hair from a camel and told them that he was not enriched by the spoil they had taken to the amount of that hair, except the fifth, which belonged to him, and even this he would give up to them.
And if you have taken even a needle from it wrongly, you must return it as it will make you liable for Hell. An Ansari came with a string saying that he had taken it to sew the sheet of his camel. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I leave my share in it.” That man said: “When the matter is so sensitive, I will leave it.” And he returned the thread.
In the month of Zilqad the Holy Prophet (S) marched back to Mecca, and performed the rites of Umrah. He appointed Maaz bin Jabal and according to another report, appointed Itab bin Usaid as the governor of Mecca and left Maaz bin Jabal with him to instruct the people in faith.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Prophet was never in greater danger than at Hunain, for most of the nomadic tribes were opposed to him in that battle.
Shaykh Tabarsi etc. have narrated that a daughter of his nurse, Halima was there taken prisoner, and on being brought to the Prophet, said she was his sister, the daughter of his nurse, and that she was now a prisoner. He spread his cloak for her to sit on, and conversed with her for a long time, asking her many question. He did not take as much notice of her brother, assigning as a reason, that the daughter had been more dutiful to her parents than brother.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated that when some delegations from Hawazin came to the Prophet and embraced Islam and said: “People from our clan are taken prisoners and you know what trouble has afflicted us. So please do us a favor with regard to them, may Allah bless you. Zuhair bin Surd stood up to speak: “O Messenger of Allah (S) if we had nursed Harith bin Abi Shimr or Noman bin Manzar and they had overcome us, they would have indeed done much favor on us and they are much better than you people.
These camps house your maternal aunts and their daughters in captivity. We don’t want money. Please free our women and children. Many of their prisoners had already been distributed among the companions. When his sister interceded on their behalf of the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “I have given up my share and the share of the sons of Abdul Muttalib; but you apply in my name for those who are in share of other Muslims, perhaps they will also free them.”
After Noon Prayer, Halima’s daughter began to canvass for her prisoners, which was immediately accepted by the Muslims and her people were released. But Afra bin Habis and Uyyana bin Hasan refused: “This community had taken many of our women prisoners, so we will not free their women prisoners. So lots were drawn for their shares and the Prophet prayed to Allah to decrease their shares. One got a servant from Bani Aqil and another got a servant from Bani Numair.
When they received their share they also gave up the claims. But regarding the women who were distributed first, the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Whoever gives up his share will get six shares from the next booty that we receive.” All freed their women and children. Then Halima’s daughter asked for amnesty for Malik bin Auf and the Prophet accepted. He came to the Prophet who returned his belongings and also gave him a hundred camels.
It is narrated that on the day the Holy Prophet (S) distributed prisoners in Autas Valley, he had it announced that pregnant women be not taken to bed, till the time of their deliveries and non-pregnant women must also not be touched till they have had one menstrual cycle.
It is narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) married Malika Kandia in the eighth year of Hijrat. Her father was killed on the day of the conquest of Mecca. Some of the Prophet’s wives said: “Are you not ashamed to marry a man who killed your father?” That unfortunate woman despised the Prophet and he separated from her.
The same year, in the month of Zilhajj, Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet by Mariya, was born. His midwife was Abu Rafe’s wife, freed slave girl of the Prophet. She told her husband that a son is born to the Prophet. Abu Rafe conveyed the good news to the Prophet who gave her a slave in reward and named his newborn son, Ibrahim. Seven days after the birth, the Prophet performed Aqiqa, gave the customary entertainment, shaved his son’s head and buried the hair, giving its weight in silver to the poor.
Ansar women competed with each other to nurse him, so the Holy Prophet (S) chose Umm Barda binte Manzar bin Zaid. It is said that in the same year, his adopted daughter, Zainab died; and he sent Kaab bin Umair on an expedition to Shaam, who, with his party, were all slain. He also sent Uyyana bin Hasan to Bani Ambar and he defeated them and took their women as prisoners.
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that during summer a caravan from Shaam arriving at Medina, with garments and provisions for sale, gave information that the army of Rum, commanded by the emperor Harqal in person, who had been joined by many of the Arab tribes, like Ghassan, Kharam, Qahar and Hamla, had arrived at Humus, the main body of the army having advanced as far as Balqa, their object being to attack the Muslims.
The Prophet immediately made preparation to march to Tabuk, and summoned all the tribes of Medina and Mecca, like Qaza-a, Marina and Jahinia, with others, to the scared war. He ordered that those who had property should assist the poor in the expedition. Great and general contribution were made to defray the expense of outfit and charges of the war. After leaving the city and encamping at Sinyatul Wida, he made the following address to his army: Praise and thanksgiving be to Allah: O you people, verily the truest word is the book of Allah; the best discourse is that of piety; the best of community is that of Ibrahim, and the best of religious observances are those of the Prophet.
The most excellent utterance is praising Allah, the best of narratives are those of the Qur’an, the best of works are those which are moderate, and the worst of deeds is heresy. The best of religious directions are those of the prophets, and the best death is martyrdom. The worst of the blind are those of a blind heart, who wander after receiving religious instruction; the best deeds are those which confer advantages in the future world.
The best guidance is that which is followed and the worst blindness is the blindness of the heart. The hand that gives is better than the hand that receives and small charity is better than great wealth, which makes man forgetful of Allah. The best excuse is the excuse asked at the time of death. The worst regret is to ask for pardon at death, and the most degraded of penitents are those that appear as such at the judgment.
There are those who do not except rarely, assemble for worship on Friday, and same only occasionally think of Allah. But the worst sinners are those who are liars. The most perfect independence is that from appetite, and the best of necessaries is fearing the wrath of God. The beginning of wisdom is to fear God, and the best thing that comes to the heart of man is assurance in faith. Doubt in religion is infidelity, and distance from truth is part of ignorance.
Stealing from spoils is portion of Hellfire, drunkenness is a flame of Hell, poetry is of Satan, wine is the gatherer of all sins, and women are the nets of the devil. Youth is a branch of insanity. The worst earnings are the earnings of women and the worst of frauds is defrauding orphans. He is of a fortunate mind who receives admonition from states of others, and unfortunate whom Allah knows to be such before his birth.
Everyone of you will at last go to a narrow cell (grave), toward which all your acts tend. The worst device is that of lying. Whatever is to come soon arrives. Enmity to believers is corruption, fighting them is infidelity, and slandering them is sin against Allah. Their property is as sacred as their blood.
Whoever trusts in God will be sufficiently assisted, and to the patient and persevering Allah will give the victory. Whoever pardons the fault of others, Allah will pardon his; whoever quells his anger, Allah will give him a great reward; whoever is patient under calamity, Allah will bestow on him a good recompense. Whoever wishes to make known his good deeds to men, Allah will degrade and expose him in their estimation.
Whoever keeps fasts will receive a double reward, but Allah will punish all that sin against Him. The Prophet then repeated several times: Lord, pardon me and my community, and turning to his followers, said: I ask forgiveness of Allah for you and for myself. He then incited them to fight manfully for faith.
The people after hearing this address, became eager for battle and all tribes whom the Prophet had invited became ready for Jihad. There was, however, a party of hypocrites who would not go to the war, and among them a man named Jadd bin Qays, to whom the Prophet said, “Will you not go with us? perhaps you may take a daughter of Rum prisoner.”
The wretch replied, “It is well known that there is no man fonder of women than myself; but what I fear is that on seeing the daughter of Rum, I shall not be able to restrain myself within proper bounds: do not therefore expose me to such temptation, but allow me to remain at Medina.” Jadd then advised his neighbors not to march in such a hot climate, saying there was nothing to be gained by it but fatigue.
His son reproved, and admonished him that presently some verses would be revealed from heaven denouncing his infidelity, and which men would read and curse him down to the Judgment Day. This apprehension was soon realized, for directly the Almighty Allah sent down his verse:
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ ائْذَنْ لِي وَلَا تَفْتِنِّي ۚ أَلَا فِي الْفِتْنَةِ سَقَطُوا ۗ وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمُحِيطَةٌ بِالْكَافِرِينَ
“And among them there is he who says: Allow me and do not try me. Surely into trial have they already tumbled down, and most surely hell encompasses the unbelievers.”6
Jadd further observed, “Muhammad thinks an engagement with armies of Rum is like the battles he has already fought, but none of his army will return.” But when these verses were revealed he and his followers were exposed and armies from all around gathered at Sinyatul Wida. The Holy Prophet (S) set out from there and Ali was left in command at Medina, which arrangement was so scandalized by the hypocrites, that at last Amirul Momineen (a.s.) took his arms and overtook the Prophet at Jarf.
The Prophet asked him why he had come. Ali replied that the hypocrites declared that he had been left, lest he should bring misfortune on the expedition. “That is false,” said the Prophet; “and are you not satisfied with being my brother, and holding in respect to me the rank of Harun to Musa, and to be Caliph among my people, as there will never be a Prophet after me?” Thus consoled, Ali returned to Medina.
Then Amr bin Auf tribe and Salam bin Umair who were present in Badr came to the Prophet wailing and Bani Waqif Muddai bin Umair and Bani Haritha, Aliya bin Zaid and one who had revealed his hidden wealth to the Prophet and it was because one day the Prophet asked them to donate something to charity and people brought their contributions.
Aliya swore that he had nothing which he can give and he gave all his hidden wealth to the Prophet, who said that Allah has accepted his contribution. So Abdur Rahman bin Kaab, alias Abu Laila from Bani Mazin and from Bani Salma came Aman bin Ghalma and Bani Zariq bin Zajar, Bani Arna bin Saria came to the Prophet wailing and said that they were financially incapable to accompany him. The Almighty Allah revealed the following verse about them:
لَيْسَ عَلَى الضُّعَفَاءِ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرْضٰى وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنْفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُوا لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۚ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“It shall be no crime in the weak, nor in the sick, nor in those who do not find what they should spend (to stay behind), so long as they are sincere to Allah and His Apostle; there is no way (to blame) against the doers of good; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”7
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that these people only wanted a pair of slippers, which they can wear and march forward. So the Almighty Allah said:
إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَسْتَأْذِنُونَكَ وَهُمْ أَغْنِيَاءُ ۚرَضُوا بِأَنْ يَكُونُوا مَعَ الْخَوَالِفِ
“The way (to blame) is only against those who ask permission of you though they are rich; they have chosen to be with those who remained behind…”8
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that eighty people remained behind from various tribes. Who were physically fit and had good intentions and there was no doubt about them. But they said that they will meet the Prophet ahead. Abu Khatima was one of them. He had two wives and owned two grape orchards, in which he had constructed thatches. His women performed the function of irrigating the garden. He provided his wives in the best way.
He said that it was not just for the Holy Prophet (S) whose past and future sins are forgiven to be exposed to sun and go for Jihad while people like me should enjoy life. He loaded his she-camel and joined the Prophet. When people saw him approach the Prophet said that it was Abu Khathima. Abu Dharr lagged behind for three days as he had a very thin camel who refused to move. Abu Dharr left it to walk on foot.
When the sun rose high, Muslims saw a person approach. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “It is Abu Dharr. Give him water, he is very thirsty.” He drank the water although he was already having a pot of water with him. The Holy Prophet (S) asked why he was thirsty when he had water, he said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), I found some rain water collected in a depression in a rock, but when I tasted it, I found that it was extremely sweet and cool.
So I vowed that I will not taste it till I have given it to my beloved, Messenger of Allah (S).” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “O Abu Dharr, may the Almighty Allah have mercy on you. You will live alone, die alone, will be raised alone on Judgment Day and enter Paradise alone. Some people from Iraq will perform your last rites.”9
The Prophet now ordered his army to be numbered, and it was found to be twenty-five thousand strong, besides slaves and servants. He then commanded the believers to be counted, and there were twenty-five persons who had not opposed him in that expedition.
Some believers and some hypocrites had not accompanied in the expedition. Believers were those who had wisdom in religion and sign of hypocrisy had not been seen in them. They were: Kaab bin Malik, Marara bin Rabi and Hilal bin Umayyah. Kaab says: “I was never as healthy and powerful as I was at the time of the Battle of Tabuk and I never was given two quadrupeds to ride. I thought that if I departed in a day or two I would be able to join the Prophet; but I continued to lie in laziness for many days.
Meanwhile I went to the market but I could not achieve anything. I saw Hilal bin Umayyah and Marara bin Rabi that they had also remained behind. We conferred among ourselves that the following day we will go to the market, complete our business and then leave for the battle. But the following day also, we could not achieve anything. This went on till we learnt that the Prophet was returning from Tabuk and we were much ashamed. When the Holy Prophet (S) reached near Medina we went out to congratulate him on his safe return. When we saluted, the Prophet did not respond. He turned away from us.
We saluted the believers, but they also did not respond. Our family members learnt about this and they also stopped talking to us. When we came to the Masjid, no one saluted us or spoke to us. Finally our wives went to the Holy Prophet (S) and said: “We know that you are infuriated with our husbands. If you want, we will separate from them.”
The Holy Prophet (S) said, “No, but do not go near them.” when Kaab bin Malik and his companions saw this, they said: “Why should we remain in Medina, when neither the Prophet speaks to us nor our friends or family members? Let us go to a mountain and stay there till the Almighty Allah accepts our repentance. Or we will die there only. Thus they climbed the Zubab mountains. They fasted during days and their family members brought them food which they placed in a corner without speaking to them. Thus they continued to cry and seek forgiveness for a long time.
After many days passed in this condition, Kaab said: “All are angry with us and no one is willing to talk to us; so let us separate from each other also?” So they took a vow that they will not speak to each other till death or that their repentance is accepted. Three days passed when they did not even look at each other. On the third day when the Messenger of Allah (S) was at Umm Salma’s place the Almighty Allah accepted their repentance and revealed the following verse:
لَقَدْ تَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ
“Certainly Allah has turned (mercifully) to the Prophet and those who fled (their homes) and the helpers who followed him in the hour of straitness…”10
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said: The verse is revealed like this and not like how the people recite:
لَقَدْ تَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ
“Certainly Allah has turned (mercifully) to the Prophet and those who fled (their homes)…”11
One whose repentance was accepted was Abu Dharr, Abu Khathima, Amr bin Wahab, who lagged behind and then finally joined the Prophet. But the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse about Kaab and his two companions:
وَعَلَى الثَّلاَثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُواْ
“And to the three who were left behind…”12
Imam (a.s.) said that the verse revealed like this:
وَعَلَى الثَّلاَثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُواْ
“And to the three who were left behind…”13
That is the Almighty Allah accepted the repentance of the three who disobeyed the Prophet and did not go out to fight.
حَتّٰى إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ
“until the earth became strait to them notwithstanding its spaciousness…”14
Imam (a.s.) said: It implies that the Prophet, their brothers in faith and their family members had boycotted them so it became difficult for them to live in Medina and hence they retired to the hills.
وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ
“…and their souls were also straitened to them…”15
Imam (a.s.) said: “It implies that they stopped interaction between themselves and separated from each other.” At last the Almighty Allah accepted their repentance as He was aware of their true intentions.
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that a group of hypocrites set out for the Battle of Tabuk with the Prophet and on the way conferred among themselves that Muhammad thinks that the Battle of Rum is like the other battles that he has fought. None of them will return alive. Some of them sarcastically said: “How learned is that God, Who informs Muhammad about that which we talk among ourselves and that which passes through our minds and He reveals verses about them so that people may continue to read them forever.
The Holy Prophet (S) told Ammar Yasir to join their group, because he was so bold in words that he would irritate them. Ammar came to them and said: “What nonsense have you spoken that the Almighty Allah has informed your Prophet?” They said: “We have not said any untoward thing and it was all by way of jest.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses:
يَحْذَرُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ أَنْ تُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُورَةٌ تُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ قُلِ اسْتَهْزِئُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مُخْرِجٌ مَا تَحْذَرُونَ. وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
“The hypocrites fear lest a chapter should be sent down to them telling them plainly of what is in their hearts. Say: Go on mocking, surely Allah will bring forth what you fear. And if you should question them, they would certainly say: We were only idly discoursing and sporting. Say: Was it at Allah and His communications and His Apostle that you mocked?”16
لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ نَعْفُ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ
“Do not make excuses; you have denied indeed after you had believed; if We pardon a party of you, We will chastise (another) party because they are guilty.”17
Ali bin Ibrahim, in the commentary of this verse, has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that these were the ones who brought faith with sincerity, but they had doubt in religion and became hypocrites; and they were four persons, one, Mujtabir bin Himyar was such that the Almighty Allah promised to forgive him. He confessed to his mistake and repented for it saying that his name was responsible for his calamity. So the Holy Prophet (S) named him as Abdullah bin Abdur Rahman.
He prayed: “O Allah, give me martyrdom at such a place that no one should come to know about my whereabouts.” The Almighty Allah accepted his prayer and he was martyred in the Battle of Musaylima and no one knew where he was. Thus he was forgiven by the Almighty Allah. But Ayyashi has through reliable chains narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that these verses were revealed about Abu Bakr and Umar and ten persons of Bani Umayyah, because these twelve had planned to assassinate the Prophet at the Uqbah of Tabuk.
They had planned that if they were detected, they would claim that they were joking, and if the remained undetected, they would eliminate the Holy Prophet (S). At that time the Almighty Allah had revealed these verses and forgiveness of some of them implies that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) under an exigency forgave Abu Bakr and Umar in the world by the order of Allah and cursed them from the pulpit and also cursed those ten persons.
When the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the Battle of Tabuk, believing companions objected to the hypocrites and condemned them. So they swore that they were steadfast on faith they had not become hypocrites so that believers may refrain from harassing them. So the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses about their falsehood:
سَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ لَكُمْ إِذَا انْقَلَبْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لِتُعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمْ ۖ فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ رِجْسٌ ۖ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿٩٥﴾ يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ لِتَرْضَوْا عَنْهُمْ ۖ فَإِنْ تَرْضَوْا عَنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَرْضَىٰ عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ
“They will excuse themselves to you when you go back to them. Say: Urge no excuse, by no means will we believe you; indeed Allah has informed us of matters relating to you; and now Allah and His Apostle will see your doings, then you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did. They will swear to you by Allah when you return to them so that you may turn aside from them; so do turn aside from them; surely they are unclean and their abode is hell; a recompense for what they earned.”18
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that those hypocrites who took part in Battle of Tabuk on the night of Uqbah, the wicked infidels plotted to assassinate the Prophet on the Uqbah pass and those of the hypocrites who had remained behind in Medina decided to eliminate Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).
But they could not surpass Allah (Who was the protector of both of them). It was due to the fact that the Holy Prophet (S) had appointed Ali (a.s.) to a lofty position. At the time of departing for the Battle of Tabuk, the Messenger of Allah (S) appointed Ali in Medina as his representative and said: Jibraeel had come and said: After greetings, the Almighty Allah says: O Muhammad, either you go out and Ali (a.s.) remain in Medina or Ali (a.s.) may go and you remain in Medina. There is no other choice, so I have chosen Ali for one of the options. None except me knows the great rewards and majesty of one who will obey me in both these matters.
At last when the Holy Prophet (S) set out for the battle of Tabuk after appointing Ali (a.s.) as his deputy in Medina, the hypocrites began to say many things about it. They said: Muhammad has had a tiff with Ali and he is displeased with his company. That is why he did not take him along on this expedition. Ali (a.s.) became very sad on hearing this, so he set out after His Eminence (S) and met him on the outskirts of Medina. On seeing him, His Eminence (S) asked: Why did you leave your place?
Ali (a.s.) said: “O Allah’s Messenger (S), I heard such remarks from the people and I could not bear them.” His Eminence (S) said: “O Ali, are you not pleased that you are to me as Harun was to Musa (a.s.), except that there will be no prophethood after me?” Thus Ali (a.s.) returned to Medina and the hypocrites devised a plot to eliminate him.
So they dug out a pit, fifty yard long, on the way, covered it with palm leaves and spread some mud upon it to conceal it. It was dug at a spot that he had to cross in any way, and it was dug quite deep, so that the Imam may fall into it along with his horse; and then stones may be thrown over him to bury him alive. When Ali (a.s.) reached near the pit, the horse turned its neck and by the power of God it became so long that its mouth reached to the ear of His Eminence (a.s.), and then it said: O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), the hypocrites have dug a pit over here and have planned to kill you. You know better that you must not pass from here.
His Eminence (a.s.) said: May Allah give you a good reward, as you are my well-wisher and concerned for my well being. Almighty Allah will not deprive you of His great kindness. Then His Eminence (a.s.) drove the horse till they came to the edge of that pit. The horse stopped, fearing that it would fall into it. His Eminence (a.s.) said: Go on by the order of Allah, you will pass over it safe and sound; and Allah will give an outstanding rank and make this matter of yours unique. At last the horse began to gallop over it and the Almighty Allah made the earth hard and smooth and filling up the pit, made it like other grounds.
When Ali (a.s.) passed over it, the horse turned its neck and putting the mouth on his ear said: Indeed your status is very venerable near the Lord of the worlds, that He enabled you to pass over this empty pit. His Eminence (a.s.) said: The Almighty Allah has rewarded you for your concern about me and made you pass over it safe and sound. Then the head of the horse turned to the back and the people who had planned it were also present there.
Some were at the back and some ahead. His Eminence (a.s.) told them to uncover the pit. When it was opened, it was found empty from inside, such that if anyone had stepped over it, he would have fallen into it. Seeing this miracle, the hypocrites were shocked and amazed. His Eminence (a.s.) asked: Do you know who has done this? They replied: We don’t know. His Eminence (a.s.) said: But my horse knows. Then he turned to his horse and asked: What is the truth and who has done it?
The horse said: O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), when Allah wants, He makes something firm and ignorant people want to spoil it or when ignorant people want to make something firm and Allah wants to destroy it, then only Allah gains the upper hand and people are subdued. O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), this is the handiwork of so-and-so ten hypocrites and twenty-four other men whose advice was taken but who have gone along with Allah’s Messenger (S); and they have planned to kill His Eminence (S) at Uqbah, and Allah is the protector of His Messenger (S) and His Wali (a.s.).
Some companions of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Let us inform the Prophet about it and send a message through a fast messenger. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Allah’s messenger and His letter will reach sooner than my messenger and letter. Don’t worry, they can never succeed in this.
Thus when the Prophet reached near the cliff where the hypocrites had planned to kill him, he halted there and gathering the hypocrites said: “The Trustworthy Spirit has brought news from the Lord of the worlds that hypocrites planned to kill Amirul Momineen (a.s.) on the outskirts of Medina and Allah, by His Grace, made the ground hard below the hooves of his horse and feet of his followers and they passed over it safely.
Then they turned back and opened the pit. Allah emptied it just as the hypocrites had prepared it before, thus disclosing their wickedness. Some believers advised him to send a message to the Prophet but he replied that Allah’s messenger and His letter will reach sooner than his messenger and message.” But the Prophet did not tell them about the prophecy that Ali (a.s.) had mentioned to his companions at the gates of Medina.
That some hypocrites who were in the company of the Prophet intend to eliminate him and that the Almighty Allah will ward off their wickedness from him. When these twenty-four hypocrites heard this discourse of the Prophet that he delivered about Ali (a.s.), they began to talk among themselves: Muhammad is an expert in deception; some fast messenger or a carrier pigeon must have brought news that Ali has been killed in this way as it is the same thing that our associates had taken advice on, now he is hiding the facts from us, relating it in another way so that his companions may rest content and may not turn upon him.
It is a remote possibility and it cannot be to the contrary. By Allah, Ali’s death has retained him in Medina and his death has brought him here. Ali has definitely been killed there and he will surely be killed here. Anyway, lets go and show joy at Ali’s escape so that he may be content with regard to us and we may carry out our plan easily. So they came to His Eminence (S) and congratulated him of Ali’s escape from the enemies.
Then said: O Allah’s Messenger, tell us, who is excellent? Ali or the proximate angels? His Eminence (S) said: Angels are honored only because they love Muhammad and Ali (a.s.) and they have accepted their guardianship. And there is no devotee of Ali (a.s.) who is not purified of all spiritual dirt and made purer than the proximate angels. Angels were ordered to prostrate to Adam (a.s.) because they had the notion that if Allah takes them up and create others in their stead in the earth, they (the angels) would be superior to them and more cognizant of divine religion.
Thus Allah intended to make them aware that their thinking was wrong, so He has created Adam (a.s.) and taught him all the names and presented these named ones before the angels, but they failed to recognize them. After that He commanded Adam (a.s.) to mention the names and identify those personalities, so that the angels may know that Adam was superior to them in knowledge.
Then He separated a progeny from Adam’s loins, that included all prophets, Muhammad (S) and his progeny, which is superior to all; his virtuous followers and companions were all included. In this way, Allah made them aware that they are superior to angels. They are entrusted such duties that if angels are with them they would find it dreadful. They will have to contend with Shaitan and struggle with evils, fulfill family responsibilities and try to earn lawful sustenance.
They will suffer hardships and trouble from kings, cruel persons and thieves. They will bear difficulties of straits, mountains, hills, seas and jungles. Allah made them realize that virtuous people have to fight Shaitans and defeat them; keep their selves from desires and lustfulness. Besides this, Allah has collected in them lust and need of clothes, food, desires, prestige, kindness, pride etc. as a result of which they have to suffer a lot.
The shaitaans will try to create fear and temptations in their mind and mislead them, but they will overcome their evil suggestions. They will have to tolerate taunts, abuses, the desire for food and to escape from the enemies and bear difficulties in travel. Almighty Allah told His angels: O My angels, you are free from all this. You are not having lust and desires and have no fear of enemies of the world and Shaitan is unable to mislead you as he cannot interfere in this kingdom. I have kept you safe from his hands.
O My angels! One who obeys My orders from the children of Adam and tries to save the religion from troubles and difficulties, is deserving of My rewards that angels are nor eligible for. He has obtained some things from Me, that you have not. In short, Allah told His angels about the excellence of the followers of Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.), his successors and their believers and proved that the children of Adam (a.s.) were superior to them.
Then Allah ordered them to prostrate to Adam (a.s.) for the reason that the future generations were in him. This prostration was not for Adam (a.s.); he was their Qiblah and they prostrated to Allah. This prostration was for Adam’s respect and not because he was deserving for it; and none is deserving of prostration except Allah.
If I order anyone to prostrate to other than Me I will order him to prostrate to that person who is the medium of the knowledge of the Wasi of the Messenger of Allah (S) and is sincerely devoted to the best of men after Muhammad, that is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). And who in order to explain the rights of Allah is prepared to undergo untold great hardships and from His rights that Allah had revealed to him he does not deny anyone of them, whether he knew about them beforehand or came to know later.
After that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Iblis disobeyed Allah and was ruined because he became arrogant about Adam (a.s.). And Adam (a.s.) disobeyed Allah when he ate the fruit of the tree forbidden by Allah, but was saved, because he did not add to his disobedience with pride against Muhammad and Aale Muhammad; so Allah revealed to Adam (a.s.): Shaitan disobeyed Me with regard to you and was proud against you and that is why he was ruined.
If he had prostrated to you under My command and respected My order and majesty, he would have indeed become successful. And you disobeyed Me in eating the fruit of that tree and gained deliverance by according respect for Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.); and the shame that you earned through your mistake will go away.
So you must pray to Me through the sake of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad that I will fulfill your need. Thus Adam (a.s.) made Muhammad and Aale Muhammad his intercessors and prayed through their sake and obtained a great status of victory and deliverance, because he held on firmly to the love of us, Ahlul Bayt.
After that the Prophet (S) ordered his companions to march at midnight and announced to all Muslims not to ascend the hill until he (S) passes it. Then His Eminence (S) ordered Huzaifa to sit below the hill and watch who is passing first over it before him and inform him. Huzaifa (r.a.) was instructed to hide behind a rock but he said: If I see the faces of the leaders of your army sitting at the foothill and if they plan to kill they would come before you and if somebody finds me and thinks that I will inform you, they would kill me.
His Eminence (S) said: When you reach foothills, there is a big rock towards the jungle, you go to it and say that the Prophet (S) orders you to crack open for me, so that I can enter. Then say that the Prophet (S) orders you to keep a hole, so that you can watch who passes by and also that it may enable you to breathe and not die of suffocation. When you tell the rock, by the order of Allah the rock will act accordingly.
Thus Huzaifa (r.a.) gave the message of His Eminence (S) to the rock, it happened as predicted and he sat watching through the hole. At that time, the twenty-four persons arrived on camels; footmen walked before them saying to each other: If you see anyone here, kill him at once, so that he cannot inform Muhammad and hearing this, they might return from here and not climb till morning, and our plot may fail. Huzaifa (r.a.) heard them and they searched everywhere but could not see anyone as the Almighty Allah had concealed him in the rock.
After that, some of them climbed the hill, some left the usual path and some stood to the left and right of the foothills; other were saying: See how the plan to kill Muhammad is succeeding. He himself forbid the people to climb the hill before him so that we get privacy and can carry out our plan. Thus we shall be free before his companions arrive. Huzaifa (r.a.) could hear them from near and far and he memorized everything.
When they had settled in their places in the mountain, that rock spoke up by the command of Allah and asked Huzaifa (r.a.) to go to the Prophet and tell him what he had heard. Huzaifa (r.a.) said: How can I go out? Because if they see me, they would kill me, so that I may not reveal their plan. The rock said: Allah provided a place in me for you and through the hole He made in me, conveyed air to you.
The same Allah will take you to His Eminence (S) and save you from the enemies. At last when Huzaifa (r.a.) intended to go, the rock split and Allah turned him into a bird and he started flying in the air and went to His Eminence (S). When he landed, Allah again changed him to his original form. Huzaifa (r.a.) told everything he had seen and heard. His Eminence (S) asked: Did you recognize them by their faces?
He said: They had veiled their faces but I recognized them by their camels. But later when they had inspected the place and could not find anyone there, they lifted the veils and I saw their faces and recognized them that they were such and such twenty-four persons. His Eminence (S) said: O Huzaifa! When Allah wants to save Muhammad (S) no one in the world can harm him. Because Allah will effect His affair through Muhammad (S) even if disbelievers do not like.
Then he said: O Huzaifa! You, Salman and Ammar come along with me and trust in Allah. And when we pass the difficult terrain, the people may be permitted to follow us. Then His Eminence (S) mounted his beast and climbed the hill. From Huzaifa and Salman (r.a.), one held the camel’s nose string and the other drove it from behind, whereas Ammar (r.a.) walked by the side. The accursed hypocrites were on their camels and their footmen stood on various mounds of the hill.
Those who were above the pass, had with them pots filled with stones, so that when His Eminence (S) comes up, they will roll down the pots so that the camel along with His Eminence (S) may fall into the valley, which is so deep that one feels uneasy seeing it. At last when the pots filled with stones came rolling to the camel, they rose very high by the order of Allah and when the camel passed by, all the pots fell into the valley and the camel did not feel anything.
Then His Eminence (S) asked Ammar (r.a.) to climb the hill and beat their camels with his staff and make them fall down. Ammar (r.a.) did this. The camels started running helter skelter. Some of them fell down, some lost their hands and some their legs and ribs. On account of this, they suffered a lot and even after the wounds were healed, the marks remained on their bodies till death.
That’s why His Eminence (S) said that Huzaifa (r.a.) and Ali (a.s.) know all these hypocrites very well because Huzaifa (r.a.) saw all of them from the foothill, whoever climbed the hill before the Holy Prophet (S) and Allah protected His Apostle and Messenger (S) from the enemies and he returned to Medina safe and sound. Allah disgraced those who had not accompanied the Prophet to the battle, and those who had planned to kill Ali (a.s.), Allah kept their wickedness away from His Wali (a.s.) and made them disgraced.
Kulaini has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when people tried to provoke the she-camel of the Prophet, she began to speak by the power of Allah: “By Allah I will not move from my place even I am cut up into pieces.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Huzaifa bin Yaman that when the Prophet was returning from the Battle of Tabuk, those who tried to provoke the Prophet’s she-camel were fourteen persons: Abu Bakr, Umar, Muawiyah, Abu Sufyan father of Muawiyah, Talha, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Abul Awar, Mughira bin Shoba, Salim, the freed slave of Abi Huzaifa, Khalid bin Walid, Amr Aas, Abu Musa Ashari and Abdur Rahman bin Auf, may Allah keep His mercy from them. These were the ones regarding whom the Almighty Allah said:
وَهَمُّواْ بِمَا لَمْ يَنَالُواْ
“…and they had determined upon what they have not been able to effect…”19
It is narrated in reliable traditions that the Holy Prophet (S) cursed Abu Sufyan on seven occasions, one of which was when they attacked the Prophet at Uqbah. They were twelve persons, seven from Bani Umayyah and five others. The Messenger of Allah (S) cursed them at that time.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated through Shia and Sunni channels that when the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the Battle of Tabuk, twelve hypocrites were hiding on the top of the cliff to eliminate him. Jibraeel came down and warned him of the impending danger and suggested to him to send someone to beat their camels. On that night Ammar was leading the Prophet’s she-camel and Huzaifa was driving it from behind.
The Holy Prophet (S) told Huzaifa to hit on the snouts of the camels of those who stand on the cliff. Huzaifa drove them and returned to the Prophet, who asked him if he had recognized them and he replied in the negative. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “They were such and such… they had come to assassinate me.” Huzaifa said: “Why don’t you send someone to eliminate them?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “I don’t want the Arabs to accuse me of eliminating ones who helped me gain victory once.”
Qutub Rawandi has through trustworthy chains narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one night the Messenger of Allah (S) was traveling on his she-camel during the journey to the Battle of Tabuk and people were walking ahead of him. When he reached near Uqbah, Jibraeel came down and said: “Fourteen persons from your companions, six of whom are from Quraish,” or he mentioned their names and said, “they wait on the cliff to provoke your she-camel and eliminate you.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) called them by names that “you are waiting on the cliff to kill me,” at that time, Huzaifa was behind the Prophet’s she-camel and he was listening to the Prophet’s discourse. The Holy Prophet (S) called him and asked if he had heard whatever he said to which he replied, “Yes.” The Prophet told him to keep it confidential.
It is narrated from the same Imam through another channel that whatever the hypocrites used to talk, was revealed in Qur’an and they used to be exposed. So much so that they stopped talking out and they restricted their interaction through gestures of the eyes. Some of them said: “We are not content that a few verses should be revealed about us and we should be exposed forever. Let us wait for Muhammad on that cliff and finish him off and get rid of him.”
That cliff was called Uqbah Zeefataq. So they scaled the cliff and waited there. Huzaifa was driving the camel and he says: “When the Prophet wanted to sleep, I used to leave the camel so that it may amble slowly. That night I thought that it was a dark night and I should not leave the beast alone. So I was present with the Prophet.
Jibraeel arrived and warned that some persons sat on the cliff to provoke the she-camel. The Holy Prophet (S) called them by their names: “O so and so, O enemies of Allah.” Then he noticed me and he asked: “Did you see them?” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S).” “Did you recognize them?” “Yes, they have veiled their faces, by I recognized them from their beasts.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Don’t reveal this to anyone.” Huzaifa said: “They are from Quraish.”
Shaykh Mufeed and Shaykh Tabarsi have narrated that the Prophet set out for the Tabuk expedition in the month of Rajab in 8th Hijri because the Almighty Allah had revealed that they should proceed to the Battle of Rum and had informed him that they will not have to take part in actual fighting and that they will achieve their aims without fighting.
The aim of this battle was in fact to distinguish between the believers and hypocrites from the sincere companions, and that their hypocrisy should be exposed. So the Messenger of Allah (S) called them for the Battle of Rum at the time of harvest season in Medina and it was extremely hot. So the people found it very painful to set out at that time. It was an extremely long journey, the climate was hot, the enemy was stronger and they feared loss of their crops. So many companions made excuses and many came out reluctantly.
Then the Holy Prophet (S) wrote to the Arab tribes who had embraced Islam and motivated them for Jihad. When they were setting out from Medina he delivered an eloquent sermon and after divine praise motivated people to finance the journey of poor and spend in the way of Allah. Many hypocrites donated for show-off and some sincere believers also donated whatever was possible.
Uthman bin Affan gave some Awqiya silver and Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Talha and Zubair also contributed. Abbas donated a substantial amount. Then they camped at Saniyatul Wida and whoever had accepted the invitation of the Prophet gathered there from Muhajireen and Ansar and Arab tribes like Bani Kanana, Mazniya, Jahniya, Wati, Tamim and Meccans.
The Holy Prophet (S) appointed Imam Ali (a.s.) in charge of Medina so that he may oversee the affairs of Medina and family of the Prophet etc. and stop any mischief that may appear. And he said: “O Ali, it is necessary that one of us should remain in Medina,” because the Holy Prophet (S) was aware of the true intentions of Arabs and most Meccans as he fought all of them and had slain their relatives and he feared that if he goes far away from Medina they may join with the hypocrites of Medina and may attack his family members and create mischief.
The Almighty Allah also knew that except for the sword of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) nothing could douse the flames of their enmity, so He revealed that Ali (a.s.) should be left in Medina. And since the hypocrites of Medina were against the Caliphate of Ali and they knew that in his presence they will not be able to create any mischief. And they also feared that if something happened to the Prophet, the Caliphate of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) will be permanent.
So they spread rumors about his being left in Medina that the Holy Prophet (S) had not left him in Medina because of his excellence, actually he is fed up with his company and he hates his companionship. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) thus came to the Prophet to expose those allegations. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “My brother, go back to Medina, because your presence is necessary there and you are my caliph in my family and my town.
Are you not satisfied that you are to me as Harun was to Musa (a.s.), except that there will be no prophet after me?” Since the Holy Prophet (S) issued a correct text about the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s.) it exposed the allegations of those hypocrites.
After that the Messenger of Allah (S) gave the standard of Muhajireen to Zubair and Talha was appointed on the right wing and Abdur Rahman to the left. They halted at Jarf where Abdullah bin Ubayy took some of his companions and went away without the permission of the Prophet. So the Prophet said:
“Allah is sufficient for me and He is the One who supported me by His help and with the believers and united their hearts.” Then they set out from there and reached Tabuk on a Tuesday of Shaban and stayed there for the remaining days of that month and some days of the month of Ramadan and conducted expeditions from there. Bakhta bin Ruwaiya agreed to pay tribute and the Prophet wrote a document of amnesty for him.
Similarly the people of Arba and Azra accepted suzerainty and were issued amnesty. During the Tabuk expedition, the Holy Prophet (S) sent Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah to a group of Bani Khazan under the leadership of Nasnan bin Ruh Jazami, who brought some booty and prisoners. Saad bin Ubadah was sent to Bani Salim group and some groups of Bali tribes, who fled on seeing the Muslims. Khalid bin Walid was sent with some persons to Akidar, the king of Domatul Jundal and the Holy Prophet (S) miraculously said that the Almighty Allah would perhaps give him victory because of mountain goats.
He said: When you reach near the wall of his palace, Allah will send a herd of deer and mountain goats to the gate, who would rub their horns on the door. When Akidar hears the animals, he will ask his men to go out and hunt them down. His wife will restrain him saying: Don’t tell them to go out at this time of the night because Muhammad has landed near our fort. I am afraid he will send his men here and they would capture you.
He replied: Who can dare to split from the army? Our people will detect them from a distance in this moonlight. The whole sky is illuminated and no one is here and if anyone were near the palace, these wild animals would have run away. At last the king will came out to hunt the animals that fled from there. He followed them and was surrounded by Khalid and his men.
Thus what the Prophet (S) had said came to be true and they arrested him. Akidar said: I have a request. They said: You may ask whatever you want, but don’t ask us to release you. Akidar said: Remove my royal garments and sword etc. and take me to His Eminence (S) in a simple shirt so that he does not see me in rich garments.
Perhaps he would have pity on me in that case. They did that and when the Muslims and Arabs saw the rich embroidered clothes in moonlight, they remarked: O Messenger (S), these garments and ornaments look like garments of heaven. His Eminence (S) said: No. These are the garments of Akidar and this is his sword. If my cousin, Khalid and Samak are firm on my command, they will surely meet me at the Kauthar pool.
Their one handkerchief is better than all this. The companions asked: Their handkerchief would be better than this? His Eminence (S) said: Even if the space between the earth and sky is filled with gold, one thread of the handkerchief they will hold in Paradise, would be better than that.
When they brought Akidar to His Eminence (S), he said: Spare me so that I can prevent your enemies, who live beyond my country, to attack you. His Eminence (S) said: What if you don’t fulfill your promise? He said: Yes, Allah’s Messenger, if I cannot; then if you are really are the Prophet of Allah, and Allah Who protected you and Who sent the herd of deer to my door and took me out of my palace and made me arrested by your companions; the same Allah will have me arrested again.
At last the Holy Prophet (S) signed a treaty with him that he would pay a thousand ‘Awqiya’ gold and two hundred robes in the month of Rajab and same in the month of Safar and whenever a Muslim passed through his territory, he would be provided rations for three days till he goes out of his boundaries. And if he breaks this promise, he would be out of the guarantee of Allah and the Messenger. After that His Eminence (S) returned to Medina
It is mentioned in some reliable books that on arriving at Tabuk, it appeared that the report of the emperor of Rum’s advancing against the Prophet was false. When Harqal learnt of the Prophet’s arrival, he sent a man of Anan tribe to ascertain if the signs mentioned about the prophet of the last age are present in him.
When he came to the Prophet and witnessed his praiseworthy qualities, he reported them back to Harqal who gathered his people and said: “The qualities we read in former books are all present in him. So let us go and accept faith at his hands.” The people opposed him vehemently and he feared his throne and believed in his heart without revealing to his people and did not agree to fight him. The Prophet also did not receive divine permission and he went to Medina.
Many miracles were displayed by the Prophet during this journey. First it is narrated in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) from Ali Ibnul Husain that: Like Mecca, in Medina also there were hypocrites and weak-hearted Muslims and they also desired the destruction of Masjids there and throughout the world.
Those cursed ones had desires and intended to kill Ali (a.s.) in Medina and the Holy Prophet (S) on his way while crossing the vale of Aqaba, the Almighty Allah, in order to multiply the intelligence and eyesight of the faithful and to wipe out the plots of the rebellious hypocrites, issued such wonderful miracles through the hands of the Holy Prophet (S), during the expedition of Tabuk, which showed Allah’s power and mercy towards His faithful servants.
One of those miracles is that when the companions of the Prophet, during the Tabuk journey, had, like Bani Israel, begged to the Holy Prophet (S): O Allah’s Messenger! We are not satisfied with only one kind of food. So, in this matter, the miracle shown by the Holy Prophet (S) was in no way lesser than one shown by Prophet Musa (a.s.) to his community. By the command of Allah, while leaving Medina for Tabuk, the Holy Prophet (S) made Ali (a.s.) his deputy in Medina.
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: O Allah’s Messenger! In no circumstances do I wish to disagree with you. But I also never desire to make myself deprived of seeing your holy and radiant face. The Holy Prophet (S) replied: O Ali! Do you not like that your rank, in my sight, should be like that of Harun (a.s.) in the sight of Musa (a.s.)? The only difference is that there will not be any prophet after me. So, O Ali! You will have to remain here.
You will get the same divine reward, which you would have gained in my company and also like of those who faithfully travel with me. Since you wish that you see every move and condition of mine, the Almighty Allah will call upon Jibraeel to raise up all the earth on which we move and all places where you remain and also to make your eyesight so powerful that you will be able to observe me and my companions during this journey. Thus you will also not need to write me any letter of inquiry.
When the statement of the Holy Imam (a.s.) reached this point, a hypocrite stood up and said: O son of Allah’s Messenger! How is such a thing possible for Ali (a.s.)? It is reserved only for prophets. Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) replied: That also was a miracle of the Holy Prophet, of no one else, because, just as the Almighty Allah, in reply to the Prophet’s prayer, raised up the ground, so also, responding to his request, made the eyesight of Ali (a.s.) powerful enough to observe all distant events.
Thereafter, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said: The people of this community are very unjust to Ali (a.s.). They describe the gracefulness of others but deny the same honor to Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), though he is higher than all others in this matter. How do they deny to Ali (a.s.) what they grant to others? The companions requested Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) to explain this matter.
The Holy Imam (a.s.) said: Those people befriend the friends of Abu Bakr bin Abi Qahafa and hate his enemies, whoever they may be. Similar is their attitude towards Umar bin Khattab and Uthman bin Affan. But in the matter of Ali (a.s.), they say: We do not love his friends and do not hate his opponents. Who knows how they adopted this attitude when the Holy Prophet (S) has already publicly pronounced: O Allah! Love those who love Ali and be the enemy of those who are inimical towards Ali (a.s.). Help the helpers of Ali and deny help to those who deny help to Ali (a.s.). Therefore, not being against the opponents of Ali (a.s.) is not a just attitude
Another injustice adopted by such people is that whenever graces and excellences are granted to Ali (a.s.) in response to the Prophet’s prayer, are described to them, they deny the same20 and when the same kind of praise is made for others, they accept it.
After all, what has prevented them from agreeing to the same excellence, which they have accepted for others?! For example, they describe that once Umar bin Khattab was giving a sermon. Suddenly he cried out loudly: O Saariya! Towards the hill! At the conclusion of his speech, when people asked about the said words of interruption, he replied: While giving sermon to you, I looked towards the grounds where your Muslim brothers are waging Jihad under the banner of Saad bin Abi Waqqas against the deniers.
The Almighty Allah removed all curtains from my eyes and I could see that some infidels had arrived there with the intention of surrounding the Muslims from behind to massacre them. Therefore, I cried out: O Saariya! Towards the hill! So that they may take cover in the mountains and be saved. The Almighty Allah has granted the villages and habitations of the disbelievers to your brothers-in-faith and so through their fight they may capture them victoriously. So remember this. Very soon, you will know about this event, though the distance between Medina and Nahavand is that of over 50 days’ journey.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said: When this can happen for Umar, why it cannot be for Ali (a.s.)? But these people do not understand anything. They are talking too unjustly.
Thereafter, he reverted to the speech of Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) and said that Imam Sajjad (a.s.) said: When the Holy Prophet (S) proceeded to Tabuk, the Almighty Allah raised the ground on which Ali (a.s.) stayed and moved, so that he could watch the conditions of the Holy Prophet (S) and his army’s movements.
Imam Sajjad (a.s.) also said: Whenever the Holy Prophet (S) set out to fight, he never mentioned the destination. But in case of Tabuk he spoke out openly and ordered all to prepare for the journey taking necessary materials with them. So they took with them flour, salted meat, honey and dates in large quantities. They did so because the Holy Prophet (S) had already informed them of the long distance and impending hardships and non-availability of food.
Finally, when many days passed in traveling and the eatables with them became stale, they did not like to eat the same things over and over again and desired for fresh food. So they said to the Holy Prophet (S): O Allah’s Messenger! We are fed up with this stale food which is about to be putrefied and to give out foul smell. Kindly make some arrangement.
The Holy Prophet (S) asked them: What are you having now? They replied: Loaves of bread, dry salted meat, honey and dates. The Holy Prophet (S) exclaimed: You have been like Bani Israel! They had said: We cannot pull on with one kind of food. Now tell me what you want? They replied: We want fresh and dried meat, chicken and sweetmeat. The Holy Prophet (S) said: Of course, you are differing from Bani Israel in one thing.
They had demanded cucumber, onion, garlic, masoor and vegetables. They desired to exchange good things for lower things but you desire higher in exchange of lower, However, I will soon request the Almighty Allah to fulfill your desires. At that time some of them said: We also have some who desire the lower grade things like Bani Israel. They also desire to eat onion, cucumber and vegetables etc. like Bani Israel. The Holy Prophet (S) said: All right, the Almighty Allah will soon grant you all that you want, you must testify my messengership and trust me and then said: O servants of Allah! The people of Prophet Isa (a.s.) asked him for a table of eatables from heaven. So when Isa (a.s.) prayed for it, the Almighty Allah said:
قَالَ اللهُ إِنِّي مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بَعْدُ مِنكُمْ فَإِنِّي أُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا لاَّ أُعَذِّبُهُ أَحَدًا مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ
Allah said: Surely I will send it down to you, but whoever shall disbelieve afterwards from among you, surely I will chastise him with a chastisement with which I will not chastise, anyone among the nations.21
Simply: Allah said: I will surely send down for you a table of eatables from the sky. But if after that, anyone from you becomes a disbeliever I will punish in a way none has been punished before.
Thereafter, the Almighty Allah sent down to them Maidah (Food Table) from heaven. But thereafter some of them became deniers. Consequently Allah changed their faces for worse. He turned some of them into pigs, some into monkeys, some into cats, some into bears and some into land and sea animals as well as birds.
They were transformed into 400 different kinds of creatures. That is why, I do not request Allah to fulfill your demand of a heavenly table of food (Maidah), because if some of you become infidels thereafter, they will also be punished by Allah like those in the past. I am very kind towards you and hence I don’t like to see you in punishment. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (S) observed a bird flying in the sky. He asked one of his companions: Go and tell that bird, that the Messenger of Allah (S) orders you to drop to the earth.
The command was conveyed and the bird fell down. Then the Prophet asked his companions: Surround this bird from all sides. They did so. The bird had, as ordered become so big that more than ten thousand persons could surround it. Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: O bird! By the command of Allah, dissect your wings and feathers. It complied with the order instantly. Only flesh and skin was visible with bones inside.
Then the Holy Prophet (S) ordered the bird to separate its beak and bones and legs. It did so. All these parts of the bird were scattered on ground and people were seated all around it. Then the Holy Prophet (S) ordered the bones to turn into cucumber. They did so. Then he said: The Almighty commands these wings and the big and small feathers to turn into onions, garlic and different kinds of vegetables. The order was complied with at once.
Then the Prophet asked his companions: Extend your hands and eat the provision using your hands as well as your knives. They did so. Then a hypocrite said: Muhammad imagines that in Paradise also there are birds, which will enable the people of Paradise to taste roasted meat on one side and cobwebs from their other side, but he has not yet shown this phenomenon in this world. The Almighty Allah made the Prophet (S) know what that hypocrite meant.
So the Holy Prophet (S) told his companions: O servants of Allah! Everyone of you should pick up his morsel reciting Bismillaahir Rah’maanir Rah’eem wa S’allallaahu a’laa muh’ammadinw wa aalihit’ t’ayyibeen.22 When you put that morsel into your mouth you will taste meat, gravy or sweet as desired by you. The companions did so and got what they had desired. All got gratified. Then they said: O Allah’s Messenger! We are satisfied with eatables.
Now we need some good drink. The Holy Prophet (S) asked: Do you want milk and other drinks? They replied: Yes, some of us do want it. The Holy Prophet (S) said: Take a piece from this bird’s meat and put it in your mouth reciting Bismillaahir Rah’maanir Rah’eem wa S’allallaahu a’laa muh’ammadinw wa aalihit’ t’ayyibeen. That morsel will turn into anything, giving you the desired taste of drinks. They did so and became fully satisfied.
Then the Holy Prophet (S) told that bird: O bird, the Almighty Allah orders you to revert to your original form and shape and all the organs and parts of your body which had become eatables should regain their earlier figure, form and size. So it happened. Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: O bird, the Almighty Allah commands your departed spirit to come back to you.
So that also happened. Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: O bird, now the Almighty Allah orders you to rise from ground and begin to fly in the sky as you were doing earlier. The bird, before the eyes of the companions, rose from the ground and flew away into the sky. When they looked on the ground they found none of the eatables.
Second Miracle: Qutub Rawandi has narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (S) camped at Tabuk and there was exchange of messengers between him and the King of Rum, and the period prolonged and there was shortage of rations; people complained to the Prophet and he told them to bring all the flour or dates that they may be having.
They brought a handful of flour and some dates. The Prophet spread a sheet and put the things on it. Then he called all of them to collect food from there. They brought their vessels and filled them up with flour and dates but there was no decrease in the original. When the Holy Prophet (S) came across a water hole that had gone dry, he took out an arrow and gave it to companions and asked him fix it at the bottom. When he did so, twelve springs of water gushed out from there and all drank from it and filled their water skins.
Third Miracle: Qutub Rawandi has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) set out to Tabuk and his she-camel Ghazba was lost and a hypocrite Ammara bin Kharam sarcastically remarked that Muhammad informs us of the earth and the heavens and is ignorant where his she-camel is.
The Messenger of Allah (S) was informed through divine revelation and he said: “I only know that which the Almighty Allah has taught me. At the moment the Almighty Allah has told me that the she-camel is in such and such pass and its rein has got caught up in a tree. People went there to find it in the same condition.
Fourth Miracle: Qutub Rawandi has narrated that during the Battle of Tabuk, there were 25000 companions with the Prophet in addition to slaves and servants. On the way, they reached a mountain from which water was dripping slowly but running water was not available. Companions said: “This is strange.”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “This mountain is weeping.” The companions were astonished. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Why are you weeping?” “O Messenger of Allah (S), one day Prophet Isa (a.s.) passed from here reciting the Injeel in which it is stated that there is a stone which will be used to burn fuel, so I am weeping from that day lest I also become such a stone.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Rest assured as you are not that stone. It is the stone of arrogance.” So the mountain was assured and no one saw it weeping again. Fifth Miracle: It is mentioned in some reliable books that when the Messenger of Allah (S) reached Wadiul Qura, he camped below a rock and informed that there will be strong wind that night and no one should venture out alone.
Also they must tie their camels securely. So a terrible storm appeared and no one came out alone except two persons from Bani Saida. One of them wanted to relieve himself and another went out in search of his camel. The first one was blown away by the wind and the next one was blown away to the mountain ranges of Bani Tai. The Holy Prophet (S) prayed for the first and he became alive and returned and the next one was sent back by Bani Tai when the Prophet returned to Medina.
Sixth Miracle: It is narrated that when the Prophet set out from below that rock and reached the next stage of journey none of the companions had any water and neither was it available there. People complained of thirst and the Prophet faced the Qiblah and prayed, soon clouds appeared and it rained so heavily that they drank to satiation and also filled up their water skins. Then the clouds disappeared.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated from Abu Hamza Thumali that three men of Ansar named: Abu Lubabah bin Abdul Manzar, Thalaba bin Rabia and Aws bin Khazam disobeyed the Prophet and remained in Medina and they came to know that Qur’anic verses were revealed about those who turned away from battle and they became sure of their death.
So they tied themselves to the pillars of the mosque and remained like that till the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the battle and inquired about them. He was told that they would not untie themselves till they are not released by the Prophet himself. He said: “I also swear that I will not release them till the Almighty Allah does not send a communication regarding them. At last the following verse was revealed about them:
عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ
“…may be Allah will turn to them (mercifully)…”23
The Holy Prophet (S) came to them and untied their hands and accepted their repentance by the order of Allah. They returned home and brought their wealth to the Prophet and offered them saying: “These were responsible for our misfortune. You may accept them as charity.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I have not received any communication of the Almighty Allah regarding this. At that juncture, the following verse was revealed:
خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that at last when Saad Ibn Maaz was satisfied after the extermination of the Bani Quraiza tribe and after sometime he passed away, the Holy Prophet (S) remarked: O Saad, may Allah have mercy on you, you were like a bone stuck in the throat of infidels, you would have prevented the appointing of the calf which they want to establish in Medina, like it was done at the time of Musa (a.s.).
Then he said: Yes, by Allah, they want to do this. If Saeed were alive, he would not have allowed their plan to succeed. They will devise some plans, but Allah will nullify them. The companions asked how it would happen. His Eminence (S) said: Let it be, till Allah manifests His plan.
Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) said: When Saad Ibn Maaz passed away and His Eminence (S) marched to Tabuk, the hypocrites from the Ummah of Muhammad made Abu Aamir Rahib their leader and gave him oath of allegiance; and decided to loot Medina and apprehend the family of Prophet, other families and children of companions; and made a plan to attack the Prophet and kill him on the way of Tabuk.
But Allah kept him safe in a beautiful way and disgraced these hypocrites. That is why the Holy Prophet (S) had said: You will follow the path of the previous nations just like a shoe follows another and one feather of the arrow is like another; and you will resemble them totally. So much so, that if they had entered a snake hole, you will also enter it.
The audience asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, please tell us, who that calf is and what their plan was. Imam Kazim (a.s.) said: Listen, the Prophet (S) was getting messages from the king of Domatal Jindal, a big province near Syria, who used to threaten that he would attack Medina and slay the companions. The companions were afraid of this and twenty of them guarded the Prophet every day in turns and any time and whenever anyone screamed, they thought the king’s army has arrived and the hypocrites also spreads false rumors making the companions fall in doubt and said that King Akidar has indeed prepared his army and horses and announced in all areas: I make it lawful for you to plunder Medina.
The hypocrites then created doubts in the minds of weak Muslims and said: How can the companions of the Prophet confront Akidar’s men; he is about to attack Medina to kill the men and take women and children as captives. At last the believers were much hurt by these statements of hypocrites and complained to the Holy Prophet (S). After that the hypocrites came together and paid allegiance to Abu Aamir Rahib, whom the Prophet had labeled as a transgressor; they made him their leader making incumbent his obedience on themselves.
He said: I think I should go out somewhere from Medina, so that I remain free from blame till your plot is complete. Thus he sent a letter to Akidar in Domatal Jindal saying: Lay siege to Medina and we will help you to eliminate your enemies. When the hypocrite finalized their plot, Allah informed the Prophet (S) and ordered him to march to Tabuk.
Before this, when the Prophet led an expedition, the destination used to be kept confidential and other places were mentioned to mislead the mischief-makers. But this time he openly announced his intention and ordered the people to collect necessary equipments. This was the battle in which hypocrites were disgraced and Allah censured those who abstained from joining it.
The Almighty Allah informed the Prophet through revelation and he announced: Allah, the mighty would make me victorious on Akidar; he would be captured and make peace with us on the condition to pay a thousand tolas gold and two hundred garments in the month of Safar and same in the month of Rajab and I shall return to Medina safely within eighty days.
Then he said to his companions: Musa (a.s.) promised his community forty nights and I promise that I will return to Medina safely without fighting after eighty nights and don’t have doubt on this. The hypocrites said: This will never happen thus, it would be his last defeat. After this, he will not recoup, because his companions will die of heat and polluted air and water of jungles; and those who escape, will be wounded and killed by Akidar or captured by him.
The hypocrites sought permission from the Prophet to exempt them, and put forth different kinds of excuses. Some said they were sick, some made the excuse of excessive heat and some mentioned their children’s illness and the Prophet continued to excuse them. When the departure to Tabuk was finalized, the hypocrites built a mosque outside Medina, which became known as Masjid Zirar.
Their intention was to gather there and tell the people they were gathering for prayer so that they succeed in their plan. After that some people came to the Prophet and said: Allah’s Messenger, we live far away from your mosque and we also don’t like praying solitary. That is why we have built a mosque there, please come and pray there once so that the mosque is blessed.
The Prophet (S) knew through revelation something but he didn’t say it; and ordered them to bring a donkey. He mounted it and he and companions tried to drive it, but it did not move from its place; however when it was turned to another direction, it was willing to move. The hypocrites said: This donkey is afraid of something and it doesn’t want to go this way.
The Prophet (S) dismounted and asked for a horse and mounted it. Again when he tried to ride to the mosque, the horse did not move; and when it was turned to another direction, it started moving. The hypocrites said: This horse is also afraid of something and doesn’t want to go this way. Then His Eminence (S) said: Let us go on foot.
But when the Prophet and others decided to walk to Masjid Ziraar, their feet became stiff and could not move at all; and when they turned to go the other way, they found it easy to walk; their bodies become light and their hearts, happy. Seeing this, the Prophet (S) said: Allah does not like that we go there at a time when we are ready for a journey.
Wait for a few days till we return. After that we will do what Allah wants. Thus His Eminence (S) made efforts to set out for Tabuk at the soonest and the hypocrites decided to eliminate the remaining people in Medina after the Prophet leaves for Tabuk. Hence Jibraeel (a.s.) came from Allah and said: O Muhammad (S) after Durood and salutation, Allah says: Either you go on the journey, leaving Ali (a.s.) in Medina or send him on the journey and you remain here.
The Prophet (S) conveyed this divine command to Ali (a.s.) who said: I happily accept the order Allah and His Messenger, even though I don’t want to leave the company of His Eminence (S) under any circumstance. His Eminence (S) said: Do you not accept that your status with regard to me is just as Harun was to Musa (a.s.) except that there will be no prophet after me? Ali (a.s.) said: O Allah’s Messenger, I accept.
His Eminence (S) said: O Abul Hasan, by staying in Medina you will get reward of traveling in this journey. Allah has made you a Nation like Ibrahim (a.s.) [That is just as Ibrahim (a.s.) was commanded to confront alone the polytheists of that time, in the same way you will have to confront these infidels and hypocrites alone] and due to your awe, the hypocrites will not be able to cause any harm to the Muslims.
Thus when the Holy Prophet (S) set out to Tabuk and Ali (a.s.) went along to see him off, the hypocrites said that Muhammad (S) did not take Ali (a.s.) along with him because of his displeasure with him. His intention is that we attack Ali (a.s.) and kill him. When this news reached the Prophet, Ali (a.s.) said: Allah’s Messenger, have you heard what these hypocrites say?
The Prophet (S) said: O Ali, is it not enough for you that you are to me like vision is to my eyes and the soul to the body? After that His Eminence (S) set out with his companions, leaving Ali (a.s.) as his representative in Medina. Whenever the hypocrites thought of attacking the Muslims, they used to be afraid of Ali, the victor of Khyber and dreaded that others may also rise up in Ali’s support and thwart their plans. But all the time they said that this would be the last journey of Muhammad and that he will not return.
At last, when there was only a short distance between Holy Prophet (S) and Akidar, one evening His Eminence (S) said to Zubair bin Awwam and Samak bin Khurasha to go with twenty Muslims to the palace of Akidar and capture him. Zubair said: Allah’s Messenger, how can we bring him here? He has a huge army as you know, besides thousands of slaves and maidservants etc. His Eminence (S) said: Capture him by some trick.
They said: How can we do that? First of all, it is a full moon night and secondly the path is through an open plain, how can we hide ourselves from their sight? His Eminence (S) said: Do you want Allah to hide you from their sight and make your shadow vanish, so that there is no difference between the moonlight and your light? They said: Yes, Allah’s Messenger, we want that.
His Eminence (S) said: Then it is obligatory on you to recite Durood on Muhammad and Aale Muhammad and have faith that Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is most superior among all my progeny; and O Zubair, specially you stick to the faith that Ali (a.s.) is most deserving of leadership in whichever community he is present, and no one else is allowed leadership. When you do this, and reach near the wall of his palace, Allah will send a herd of deer and mountain goats to the gate, who would rub their horns on the door.
When Akidar hears the animals, he will ask his men to go out and hunt them down. His wife will restrain him saying: Don’t tell them to go out at this time of the night because Muhammad has landed near our fort. I am afraid he will send his men here and they would capture you. He replied: Who can dare to split from the army?
Our people will detect them from a distance in this moonlight. The whole sky is illuminated and no one is here and if anyone were near the palace, these wild animals would have run away. At last the king will came out to hunt the animals but they fled from there. He followed them and was surrounded by Zubair and his men.
Thus what the Prophet (S) had said came to be true and they arrested him. Akidar said: I have a request. They said: You may ask whatever you want but don’t ask us to release you. Akidar said: Remove my royal garments and sword etc. and take me to His Eminence (S) in a simple shirt so that he does not see me in rich garments. Perhaps he would have pity on me in that case.
They did that and when the Muslims and Arabs saw the rich embroidered clothes in moonlight, they remarked: O Messenger (S), these garments and ornaments look like garments of heaven. His Eminence (S) said: No. These are the garments of Akidar and this is his sword. If my cousin, Zubair and Samak are firm on my command they will surely meet me at the Kauthar pool.
Their one handkerchief is better than all this. The companions asked: Their handkerchief would be better than this? His Eminence (S) said: Even if the space between the earth and sky is filled with gold, one thread of the handkerchief they will hold in Paradise, would be better than that.
When they brought Akidar to His Eminence (S), he said: Spare me so that so that I can prevent your enemies, who live beyond my country, to attack you. His Eminence (S) said: What if you don’t fulfill your promise? He said: Yes, Allah’s Messenger, if I cannot; then if you really are the Prophet of Allah, and it was Allah Who protected you and Who sent the herd of deer to my door and took me out of my palace and made me arrested by your companions; the same Allah will have me arrested again.
At last the Holy Prophet (S) signed a treaty with him that he would pay a thousand ‘Awqiya’ gold and two hundred robes in the month of Rajab and same in the month of Safar and whenever a Muslim passed through his territory, he would be provided rations for three days till he goes out of his boundaries. And if he breaks this promise, he would be out of the guarantee of Allah and the Messenger. After that His Eminence (S) returned to Medina.
Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) said: The calf of the time of the Holy Prophet (S) was Abu Aamir Rahib; whom His Eminence (S) had labeled as a transgressor. When His Eminence (S) became victorious and returned to Medina and Allah nullified the deceit of the hypocrites, the Prophet (S) ordered to burn the mosque of Zirar and Allah sent the following verse:
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۚ وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
“And those who built a Masjid to cause harm and for unbelief and to cause disunion among the believers and an ambush to him who made war against Allah and His Apostle before; and they will certainly swear: We did not desire aught but good; and Allah bears witness that they are most surely liars.”26
Then Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) said: Allah destroyed the calf that was present during the time of the Prophet (S). He became involved in leprosy and paralysis and this condition remained for forty days and after that he died and fell into a severe chastisement of Hell.
Ali bin Ibrahim and Shaykh Tabarsi etc. have narrated that when the Bani Amr Auf constructed a Masjid at Quba and asked the Prophet to pray there and he prayed there, some twelve or fifteen persons of Bani Ghanam bin Auf were jealous of this and they also said that we will also make a Masjid and not attend the prayers led by Muhammad. According to the report of Ali bin Ibrahim they came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), do you permit us to make a Masjid for old, sick and night-worshippers at Bani Salim?”
The Prophet gave them the permission. When the Masjid was ready, they came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S) we would like you to pray at our Masjid to bless us.” At that time the Prophet was leaving for Tabuk and he said: “I am already mounted. I will come on my return, Insha Allah.” So when he returned, they repeated the same request. At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the verses about the Masjid and Abu Aamir Rahib stood exposed for heresy.
The incident of Abu Aamir is that during the period of Jahiliyya, he had adopted asceticism and donned a jute garment. When the Holy Prophet (S) migrated to Medina that accursed one used to instigate the infidels against the Prophet and harass him in various ways. When after the conquest of Mecca, Islam became strong, he fled to Taif.
When people of Taif embraced Islam, he fled to Shaam and converted to Christianity. He was the father of Hanzala who was martyred in the Battle of Uhud and was bathed by angels. Afterwards that accursed one sent a message to the hypocrites of Medina that they should be prepared and that they should construct a Masjid in which they should gather. “I am going to the Caesar of Rum to bring an army to attack Medina to drive Muhammad out.” So the hypocrites of Medina were waiting for him as the Almighty Allah has alluded to it. And before that accursed one died before he can reach the King of Rum. Then the Almighty Allah restrained the Prophet from praying there and He said:
لَا تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا ۚ لَمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَىٰ مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَقُومَ فِيهِ ۚ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يَتَطَهَّرُوا ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ ﴿١٠٨﴾ أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَمْ مَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٠٩﴾ لَا يَزَالُ بُنْيَانُهُمُ الَّذِي بَنَوْا رِيبَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ إِلَّا أَنْ تَقَطَّعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿١١٠﴾
“Never stand in it; certainly a Masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it; in it are men who love that they should be purified; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. Is he, therefore, better who lays his foundation on fear of Allah and (His) good pleasure, or he who lays his foundation on the edge of a cracking hollowed bank, so it broke down with him into the fire of hell; and Allah does not guide the unjust people. The building which they have built will ever continue to be a source of disquiet in their hearts, except that their hearts get cut into pieces; and Allah is Knowing, Wise.”27
Kulaini, Ibn Babawayh, Shaykh Tusi and Ayyashi have narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Masjid about which the Almighty Allah says that its foundation was placed on piety, is Masjid Quba in Medina. Therefore the Almighty Allah has praised those who used water to purify themselves after urinating and Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that the building about which the Almighty Allah said that it is on the verge of Hell is Masjid Zirar, which was constructed by the hypocrites in deceit.
When these verses were revealed, the Holy Prophet (S) sent Malik bin Waqsham Khuzai and Aamir bin Adi from the Amr bin Auf tribe to burn and demolish the Masjid. When they came near, Malik said: “Wait, I will bring fire from my home,” and they put it on fire which destroyed the roof and pillars and it collapsed and the hypocrites ran away. After that they demolished the walls and returned from there. According to another report, Ammar bin Yasir and Wahshi were sent and the two of them destroyed it.
Shaykh Mufeed and Shaykh Tabarsi, rather all Shia and Sunni tradition and exegesis scholars have continuously related that since the Holy Prophet (S) had made a covenant with the infidels and they had broken the treaty, the initial verses of Surah Barat were revealed and the Messenger of Allah (S) was commanded by Allah to break the treaty and become aloof from them as mentioned:
بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهٖ إِلَى الَّذِينَ عَاهَدْتُمْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ. فَسِيحُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللَّهِ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مُخْزِي الْكَافِرِينَ.
“(This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Apostle towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement. So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers.”28
We should know that there is controversy regarding the four months in which the idolaters are given respite. Some say that it begins from the day of sacrifice to the 10th of Rabius Thani and this is verified by a true tradition from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and some say that they are from 1st Shawwal and others say that they begin from 10th Zilqad since those days, the idolaters used to perform Hajj and it was among their innovations that they rotated Hajj from one month to another.
وَأَذَانٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الْأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ۙ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ فَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللَّهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ.
“And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve.”29
We should know that there is controversy in the meaning of Hajj Akbar between the exegesists. Some say that it is the day of Arafah and in the report of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) the same is recorded and many reliable traditional reports from Kulaini and Tahdhib etc. from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the day of greater Hajj is day of sacrifice.
Then there is controversy with regard to the meaning of ‘greater Hajj’ some have said that which has come in Shia books that ‘greater Hajj’ is opposite of Umrah and Umrah is lesser Hajj although every Hajj is ‘greater Hajj’. Some say that ‘greater Hajj’ is that Hajj when all Muslims and infidels came for Hajj after which idolaters were banned from there and Hajj remained restricted to Muslims. After that the Almighty Allah said:
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ عَاهَدْتُمْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَنْقُصُوكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَمْ يُظَاهِرُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَحَدًا فَأَتِمُّوا إِلَيْهِمْ عَهْدَهُمْ إِلَىٰ مُدَّتِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٤﴾
“Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).”30
Some say that it implies Bani Kanana and Bani Zumrah that nine months remained from their period and the Almighty Allah ordered them to complete that period because they had not committed anything against the treaty. Some have said that this command was common for all groups who made treaty with the Prophet and did not violate its terms.
فَإِذَا انْسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ ۚ فَإِنْ تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”31
It is narrated that in the ninth year of Hijra when these and later verses till the tenth were revealed the Holy Prophet (S) gave them to Abu Bakr and sent him to Mecca to announce them to the idolaters on the occasion of Hajj. When Abu Bakr traveled for some distance, Jibraeel came down and said: “The Almighty Allah greets you and says that except for you or one who is from you,” and according to another report, “except you or Ali, no is eligible to convey My message.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) called for Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and said: “Take Ghazba, my she-camel and take Surah Barat from Abu Bakr and recite it to the idolaters, break the treaty with them and send Abu Bakr back.” According to another report: “Abu Bakr has the choice of going with you or returning to Medina.” Imam Ali (a.s.) mounted Ghazba and set out at speed and reached Zilhalifah and according to another report he reached Abu Bakr at Rauha.
When he saw Imam Ali (a.s.) he was dismayed and he asked: “O Abul Hasan, why have you come here?” “The Messenger of Allah (S) has sent me to take Surah Barat from you and deliver them to the Meccans.” Abu Bakr gave him the verses and returned to Medina and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S) you gave me the status that all were vying for it. But you dismissed me and called me back? Was some verse revealed about this?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Jibraeel came and stated such and such command.” The same matter is related through various channels by Ayyashi and other commentators and it is also reported in many Sunni books.
It is mentioned in reliable traditions from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) set out with the verses and recited the first ten verses of Surah Barat to the idolaters on the day of Arafah at Arafat and on the eve of Eiduz Zuha in Masharil Haram and on Eiduz Zuha near Jamarat and all the days of halt in Mina. He had drawn out his sword and was calling out that no one should perform the Tawaf of Kaaba in nude. And no idolater should perform the Hajj of Kaaba. Four months are given to those whose term has expired.
According to another report it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) told me to mention four points: First, only the believers should enter Kaaba. Second, no one should perform the Tawaf in nude. Third, that after this year believers and idolaters will not gather in Masjidul Haram. Fourth, whoever has a treaty with the Prophet should remain faithful to it till the end and who has no treaty would be given amnesty till four months.
It is mentioned in many traditions through Shia and Sunni channels that one of the names of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) in Qur’an is Azan; as the Almighty Allah has said:
وَأَذَانٌ مِّنَ اللهِ
“And an announcement from Allah…”32
Because he was one who conveyed these laws to Meccans on behalf of the Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (S).
Shaykh Tusi has narrated that on the 1st of the month of Zilhajj, the Messenger of Allah (S) gave Surah Barat to Abu Bakr and sent him to Mecca. Jibraeel came down and said that none except he or one who is from him can convey the divine message. The Holy Prophet (S) called Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and sent him in pursuit of Abu Bakr. Imam Ali (a.s.) caught up with him at Rauha stage on the third day, took the Surah from him and recited it to the people on the day of sacrifice and Arafah.
Sayyid Ibn Tawus has narrated through reliable chains from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) conquered Mecca and wanted to complete his arguments for the second time and call them to the religion of Allah, he wrote to them and warned them of divine chastisement and encouraged them to refrain from evil deeds, at the same time promising them divine forgiveness and wrote the ten verses of Surah Barat.
Then he gave that letter to companions to take it to the Meccans. All found it very tiresome and excused themselves. Then he called Abu Bakr. Jibraeel came down and said: “O Muhammad, no one can carry your message except one who is from you.” So Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) told me that the Almighty Allah has revealed thus and he sent me to Mecca. The enmity of Meccans towards me was obvious and if they had been capable they would have cut off each of my limbs and thrown it around the mountains. Thus I conveyed the Prophet’s message to them and each of them expressed their enmity to me. I paid no heed to all this in carrying out the Prophet’s instructions.”
Tabari a reputed Sunni historian has mentioned in the events of the sixth year of Hijra that when during the Umrah of Hudaibiyah the Prophet wanted to send Umar with a message for Meccans he became fearful and excused himself. In the ninth year of Hijra the Holy Prophet (S) called and asked him to take his message to the Quraish chiefs.
Umar said: “O Messenger of Allah (S) I am fearful of Quraish,” although he had not killed anyone from Quraish and was secretly supportive of them, yet he did not convey the message and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) whose sword blows had not spared the feelings of anyone in Mecca, did not care and stood among the thousands of idolaters and revoked their treaty and invalidated their religion.
Sayyid Ibn Tawus has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when the Holy Prophet (S) sent Abu Bakr with the initial verses of Surah Barat to Mecca, Jibraeel came down and said: “The Almighty Allah orders you to send Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) instead as other than him no one can convey your message.” The Messenger of Allah (S) ordered Imam Ali (a.s.) and he went took possession of the letter and sent Abu Bakr back to the Prophet who asked if some communication was revealed about him. Ali (a.s.) replied: “The Messenger of Allah (S) will inform you whatever is revealed.”
When Abu Bakr came to the Prophet he said: “O Messenger of Allah (S) did you think that I will not be able to deliver your message?” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “On the contrary, the Almighty Allah did not want anyone other than Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) to deliver this message.” When Abu Bakr protested further, the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “How was it possible for you to convey this to Meccans while you were so much frightened in the cave in spite of the fact that you were concealed from the idolaters?”
Thus Amirul Momineen (a.s.) went to Mecca and arrived in Arafat, from there he went to Masharil Haram and from there to Mina and sacrificed his animal, shaved his head and climbed a hillock, Shaab and called out thrice: “O people, I am sent by the Messenger of Allah (S).” Then he recited the initial verses of Surah Barat and continued to wave his sword. People asked who he was that stood alone fearlessly talking like that.
Someone said that he was Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). Whoever knew him said: “He is the cousin of Muhammad and no one except the family members of Muhammad can have such daring.” Thus Amirul Momineen (a.s.) made the announcement all through the three days, day and night in the same way. At last the idolaters told him: “Tell your cousin that except for swords, we have nothing for him.” From there Amirul Momineen (a.s.) hurried to the Messenger of Allah (S).
During this time no revelation came to the Prophet and he was so much worried about Imam Ali (a.s.) that it became obvious from his countenance and so upset was he that he did not even approach his wives. People thought that perhaps the Almighty Allah has informed him about his death or he is involved in some illness. So they asked Abu Dharr to ask the Prophet about it as he was having great proximity to him.
He came to the Prophet and asked him about it but he said that none of these reasons were valid and he was in fact worried about Imam Ali (a.s.) as no revelation had come to him for a long time and it was not known in what condition he was. Indeed the Almighty Allah has given nine things to Ali (a.s.) three are related to the world and three related to the hereafter. Two are such that I am satisfied with them and I am only worried regarding one thing.
The three matters connected to the world are that he will perform my last rites, he will manage my family affairs and that he will be my successor in the Ummah. The three matters connected to the hereafter is that I will hand him the standard of praise on Judgment Day, I will depend on him on the occasion of intercession and he will help me in keeping the keys of Paradise in custody. The two matters I am assured about is that he will not deviate after me nor will he commit heresy. And that which I am worried about him is that the Quraish will conspire against him.
It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (S) that after the Morning Prayers he continued facing the Qiblah reciting supplications till sunrise and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) used to turn back and permit the people to disperse so that they may go on their business. The Holy Prophet (S) had appointed Imam Ali (a.s.) for this task.
But when he sent Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to Mecca, he did not ask anyone else to take up this task; he fulfilled it himself. One day Abu Dharr sought the Prophet’s leave and went out to meet Imam Ali (a.s.) who was returning from Mecca. He met him, embraced him and kissed his forehead. He said: “Please allow me to first convey the good news of your arrival to the Messenger of Allah (S) as he was very much worried about you.”
Abu Dharr galloped to the Prophet and informed him that Ali (a.s.) has returned safe and sound. The Messenger of Allah (S) and other companions mounted and went out to meet Ali (a.s.). The Holy Prophet (S) embraced and kissed him and said: “I was worried about you because revelation came only after a long time.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) told him how he had completed the mission entrusted to him. The Prophet said: “The Almighty Allah was more knowledgeable about you that is why He ordered me to send you on this mission.”
Sayyid says that Ibn Ashnas Bazzaz in his book has narrated from Sunni channels that when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came to Mecca with the verses of Surah Barat, Kharrash and Shoba, brothers of Amr bin Abde Wudd, whom the Imam had killed in Khandaq came and said: “Is it you who has given us respite for four months?
We are aloof from you and your cousin, Muhammad. We have nothing for you but swords and spears. If you want, we can begin it now and finish you off.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Come, I will show you my sword strikes once again.” According to another report, in the same book, Imam Ali (a.s.) had it announced in Mecca: Henceforth no idolater will enter Mecca and neither will anyone perform the Tawaf in nude. And know that no one will enter Paradise, except Muslims and whoever has any treaty with the Prophet will be secure till the expiry of that agreement and there is no treaty with polytheists.
It is narrated that during the period of Jahiliyya, the Arabs had the custom of doing the Tawaf of Kaaba in nude saying how they can do Tawaf in clothes obtained through fraudulent means or in which they commit sins and that is why they claimed to do it ‘in the way they first came into the world.’33