The Prophet of Islam (s), his signs, miracles, biography and family life, and a biography of his daughter Lady Fatima (a).
A Partial translation of I'lamu 'l Wara bi Alami 'l-Huda by Abu Ali al Fadl ibn al Hasan ibn al Fadl at Tabarsi (c. 468/1076 - 548/1154)
It has been our intention for a long time to translate into English a book that would narrate the lives of the fourteen ma`sumin (sinless ones) ‑ the Prophet, peace be upon him and the people of his household, his righteous and pure daughter Fatimah az‑Zahra', peace be upon her, and the Twelve Imams, peace be upon all of them.
Such a book would, it was hoped, discuss the circumstances of the Prophet, his daughter Fatimah and the Imams of his descendants. It would present proofs of their special favor with Allah, and the exalted status with which He favored them. The book would also present proofs of the obligations with which Allah has charged all men to obey and follow them.
When Kitabul‑Irshad ila Hujaj Allah 'alal-'Ibad (The Book of Guidance to the Proofs of Allah over Mankind) of ash‑Shaykh al‑Mufid was recently translated into English by I. K. Howard, we felt that it had largely fulfilled our hopes for the author, Abu `Abdillah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn an‑Nu'man al‑`Ukbari al‑Baghdadi, known as ash‑Shaykh al‑Mufid (336‑413/948‑1022), was one of the foremost scholars of the Imami Shi`i community, and one of its greatest jurists and theologians. We therefore decided to republish the book ourselves with a special introduction, which is now in the process of being translated. As soon as this introduction is ready, we shall, with Allah's help, proceed with our task.
It is clear, however, that Kitabul-Irshad lacks two important sections which are necessary for the purpose of giving an account of the fourteen sinless ones. The first would be concerned with the most honored Prophet, peace be upon him and the people of his household, and the second would deal with the righteous and pure Fatimah az‑Zahra', peace be upon her.
We have also explained in the introduction to our forthcoming edition of Kitabul-Irshad that these two sections would not have been appropriate for the purpose of the book of our ash‑Shaykh al‑Mufid, who was only concerned in it with the Twelve Imams and the proofs of the imamate. But they are crucial for the aim which we are seeking to achieve here.
It is important to observe that the author of the book I'Iamu 'l-Wara bi A'lami 'l-Huda, of which this volume is a partial translation, used, in writing it the same methodology as Kitabul-Irshad, and was in fact guided by it. In fact, most of the chapters of I'Iamu 'l‑Wara are summaries of the chapters of Kitabul-Irshad, with important additions which the author found suitable for the subject matter as he treated it. More significant for our purpose, however, is the fact that the author added the two sections which are absent from Kitabul-Irshad. Finally, a translator was found who agreed to undertake the task of rendering these two sections into English.
Here we must refer to an important matter which has been treated at length in our introduction to Kitabul-Irshad ‑ namely that at ‑Tabrisi, like his predecessor al‑Mufid, relies, in many of the discussions of his book, on the works of the historians and hadith transmitters of our Sunni brothers. In our introduction also we discuss in detail the reasons which compelled them, as well as others of our worthy scholars, to do so. With regard to the book I'lamu 'l-Wara, the author frequently cites his compatriot the famous traditionist and learned Shafi`i jurist Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn al‑Husayn al‑Bayhaqi (384‑ 458/ 994 ‑1066) , while dealing with the biography of the Holy Prophet.
This is particularly the case with al‑Bayhaqi's book Dala'ilu 'n‑Nubuwwah. at‑Tabrisi's use of al‑Bayhaqi's work may lead to some misunderstandings of the position of Imami Shi`is on some of the traditions cited from this book in I'lamu 'l-Wara. An example of this is certain traditions which at‑Tabrisi quotes from al‑Bayhaqi asserting that Abu Talib (the Prophet's uncle) died without believing in the Muhammadan dispensation (see below, p. 81) .
Yet all the Imams have agreed on the falsity of this view, and were followed in this by Imami Shi`i, and even the entire Shi'i community. The authenticity of yet another tradition concerning particular men among the Prophet's companions spending of their wealth in provisioning the army for the Battle of Tabuk (see below, p.188), which at‑Tabrisi also quotes from al‑Bayhaqi, is questioned by non‑Shi'i traditionists. They held a different view of this event, which we omit to mention here in order that we might not be accused of sectarian fanaticism.
As at‑Tabrisi himself says concerning the verse of the Cave (see at‑Tawbah, 9:40): “The Shi'ahs have something to say in connection with this verse concerning the Prophet (may the prayers of Allah and peace be upon him and his family) and the sakinah (i.e., the peace or tranquility which was sent down by Allah), which we have thought better not to relate so as not to be accused of anything (i.e., fanaticism).”1
The author of I'lamu'l‑Wara bi A'lami'l‑Huda, Ash-Shaykh Aminu'd‑Din Abu 'Ali al‑Fadl ibn al‑Hasan ibn al‑Fadl at ‑Tabrisi (c. 468 ‑ 548/1076 ‑1154), was one of the foremost scholars, jurists and Qur'an commentators of the Imami Shi`i community. He is the author of the well‑known commentary on the Qur'an, Majma'u'l‑Bayan li `Ulumi'l Qur'an.
The author studied with a large number of both Shi`i and Sunni scholars. His disciples and those who transmitted ahadith (traditions) from him were likewise numerous, and all were well‑recognized scholars. at ‑Tabrisi wrote books and treatises on many religious, scientific and literary subjects.
A detailed account of at‑Tabrisi and of his life, teachers, students and works (already written) will accompany the preface to a future complete translation of this important work. of the author ‑ as it is our hope that Allah, the Exalted, will soon provide us the means to complete this work. Here, however, we will confine ourselves to what was said concerning him by two figures prominent in the fields of, belles‑lettres, and biography.
At‑Tabrisi's contemporary and townsman the well known historian, 'Ali ibn Abi 'l-Qasim ibn Funduq al‑Bayhaqi (493 ‑ 565/ 1100 ‑1169 or 70) says: “al‑Imam as‑Said Abu 'Ali, was originally from Tabris, a place between Qashan and Isfahan. He then settled in Mashhad‑i Sanabad (i.e., present day Mashhad) at Tus, and his tomb is now to be found there near the Qatlagah Mosque . . .
The Imam was unique in his age in the science of grammar . . . and had expertise in the other sciences such that many were able to benefit and learn from him. He moved to Bayhaq in 523/1129, and settled there, where a school was founded for him in the quarter of Darwazah‑i `Iraq (`Iraq Gate). He also composed a great quantity as well of poetry in his youth . . ., and has many other words also. He was distinguished in arithmetic and algebra. He died in the capital city of Sabzawar (i.e., Bayhaq) on the night of al‑Adha, on the 10th Dhi'l‑Hijjah, 548 (26th February, 1154), and was taken to his resting‑place in Mashhad (Tarikh‑i Bayhaq, ed., Qari Sayyid Kalim Allah Husayni”.2
Another learned and well‑known scholar, the Wazir Jamalu'd‑Din, Abu 'l‑Hasan 'Ali ibn Yusuf al‑Qifti (564 ‑646/1172‑1248), says: “He lived in Bayhaq where he was a grammarian and exegete, and foremost teacher of these sciences. Students flocked to him to benefit from his great knowledge, and from his eloquence both in poetry and in prose.”
I'lamu 'l‑Wara bi A'lami 'l‑Huda, is divided into four parts. The first part deals with the Prophet and Fatimah az-Zahra', and the second part deals with the Commander of the Faithful, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. The third part narrates the lives of the rest of the Imams, except the Twelfth. The fourth part discusses the imamate of the Twelve Imams, as well as the birth and occultation of the Twelfth lmam.
The edition used for this translation (ed., `Ali Akbar Ghifari, pub. Dar al‑Ma'rifah, Beirut, 1399/1979), based on a manuscript in the private collection of the well‑known traditionist as‑Sayyid Jalalu'd‑Din al‑Urmawi, as well al-Majlisi's Biharu'l-Anwar, where the entire book is copied in various contexts in several volumes. Another important source used in preparing the edition was Kitabu'l‑Irshad, which was extensively used by at‑Tabrisi himself, used in this translation. Finally, the editor consulted all the sources which at‑Tabrisi himself cites in the book.
This small volume was translated and annotated by Dr. Mahmoud M. Ayoub, research associate of the Centre of Religious Studies, and Lynda G. Clarke, doctoral candidate of the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Toronto, Canada. It is our hope that the rest of the book I'lamu'l‑Wara bi A'lami'l‑Huda, will be one day translated into English by Dr. Ayoub and Mrs. Clarke, or that someone else qualified would undertake this worthy task.
World Organization For Islamic Services,
(Board of Writing, Translation and Publication ).
17/ 3/1406 30/11/1985 Tehran ‑ IRAN.
Praise be to Allah, the One and only God:
The eternal refuge, who did not beget, nor was He begotten. Nor is there anyone equal to Him (Qur.112) .
Far exalted is He over having mate or offspring, or being subject to number and effort. Sanctified over resemblances is His essence. His greatness transcends the minds of men, and His majesty has baffled the subtleties of human reason. Through clear testimony does His proof shine forth, and His wisdom is manifest in all things. He established truth, and made clear His proofs and elucidations through the beacons (that is, the Imams) and the clear evidences which He raised up. He destroyed falsehood, as He utterly refuted its errors.
Allah's blessings be upon His chosen servant and Prophet, the most excellent of prophets and messengers, and of people who have come and those who are yet to be ‑ the bearer of glad tidings who invited men to Allah by His leave, the luminous lamp (see Qur'an. 33:45‑6) and master of the masters of the Arabs and non‑Arabs ‑ Muhammad ibn `Abdillah ibn `Abdi 'l‑Muttalib.
Peace be upon his vicegerents, the rightly guided Imams, who are satisfied with Allah's pleasure: they who are the chosen of Muhammad's fragrant shoot; who are the guardians of his sacred law; they who are protected (by Allah) from all impurity and abomination; they who are chosen over all humankind and the jinn. Through them anyone promised good by Allah shall receive His promise; nor will anyone be able to traverse the sirat 1, except by their permission. They are the cushion of the middle course (upon which all must lean).2
Anyone who seeks to precede them shall go astray, and he who turns away from them shall perish. Yet he who abides with them shall achieve his goal. They are like the gate of forgiveness (bab hittah),3 and like the Ark of Noah ‑ he who enters it shall be saved, arid he who abandons it shall drown and perish. They are the elect of the Apostle and the chosen of his descendants. Allah linked their knowledge to knowledge of the Prophet, and made love for them as binding as love for him. They are the foundations of Islam: the Imams of humankind and the proofs of the Guardian, the (Lord of ) Peace4.
They are lamps in the darkness and guides to every desire. The best of blessings and peace be upon them, so long as lightening flashes, clouds pour down their rain and gardens adorn themselves with fruits and herbage.
(The author) has thus determined to write a book containing the names of the guiding Imams: the masters of authority, the people of command, the people of remembrance (see Qur'an. 4:59 and 16:43 ) and the people of the household of revelation from whom Allah has removed all impurity, and purified with a great purification5 (. It shall contain their biographies: the times of birth, and the spans of their lives and reports of their private lives and righteous deeds. It shall present proof texts supporting the truth of their imamate, as well as the signs which Allah manifested concerning them and which testify to their exalted status over all others.
The author contemplated all this, pondering it well, then said to himself: “If indeed the Apostle of Allah is the tree of which the Imams are the branches, the garden of which they are the flowers, the wellspring of knowledge of which they are the repositories, the essence of wisdom of which they are the treasurers, the legislator of the religion of which they are the keepers, and the recipient of the Book of which they are the bearers; he would then be more worthy to be first mentioned. The miracles which bespeak his apostleship, the signs pointing to the truth of his Prophethood, his great miracles and incontrovertible proofs, must all be set forth.
He thus sought Allah's aid in beginning and completing such a work, and entitled it ” I`lamu 'l‑wara bi a A`lami 'l-huda ”. He divided it into four parts: the first deals with the Messenger of Allah; the second concerns itself with the Commander of the Faithful, 'Ali ibn Abi Talib; and the third deals with the Imams of his descendants, beginning with al‑Hasan ibn 'Ali and ending with al‑Hasan al‑`Askari (the eleventh Imam), peace be upon them. The fourth and final part discusses the imamate of the twelve Imams, as well as the twelfth Imam. Each part is in turn divided into different chapters and sections, rich with precious knowledge and wisdom, each separately and all together.
For in this book I have brought forth a brilliant pearl for the hearts of the faithful, and the noblest sounds to be poured upon the ears of the people of certainty. Allah the Exalted grants support; He guides to the right course and to wise counsel. In Him do I trust, and to Him do I turn.
This section deals with the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah's blessings be upon him and the people of his household: his lineage, birth, the time of his call by Allah to apostleship, his age and the time of his death, his epithets and characteristics, the proofs of his Prophethood, and his miracles, his children and wives, and his paternal and maternal uncles. It provides information concerning some of his battles and other events of his life. It consists of six chapters; the first, divided into three sections, deals with his lineage and birth, his age and the time of his death.
The Prophet Muhammad was born on Friday before sunrise on the 17th of Rabi `u 'l‑Awwal in the `Year of the Elephant', 570/71.
According to Sunni tradition, he was born on Monday. Traditionists have, however, differed concerning the date. Some said it was on the second night of Rabi'u'l-Awwal, others on the tenth. This was after thirty‑four years and eight months of the reign of Anushirwan son of Qubad, King of Persia, who killed Mazdak and exterminated the Dualists.
It is to this that the hadith attributed to the Messenger of Allah refers: “I was born during the reign of the just and righteous King.” His birth occurred also after eight years and eight months of the reign of `Amr ibn Hind, King of the Arabs. His agnomen was Abu 'l‑Qasim. Anas ibn Malik reported that, “When Ibrahim son of the Prophet was born, Gabriel came to him and said, `Peace be upon you, O Abu Ibrahim'. ”
His genealogy is as follows: Muhammad ibn `Abdillah ibn `Abdi 'l‑Muttalib ‑ whose name was Shaybatu'l-Hamd ‑ ibn Hashim ‑ whose name was `Amr ‑ ibn `Abd Manaf ‑ whose name was al‑Mughirah ‑ ibn Qusayy ‑ whose name was Zayd ‑ ibn Kilab ibn Murrah ibn Ka'b ibn Lu'ayy ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn an‑Nadr ‑ known as Quraysh ‑ ibn Kinanah ibn Khuzaynah ibn Mudrikah ibn Ilyas ibn Mudar ibn Nizar ibn Ma'add ibn `Adnan. It is reported that the Prophet said, “When my genealogy reaches `Adnan, then go no further”. It is also related on the authority of Umm Salamah the wife of the Prophet, who said, “I heard the Prophet say (recounting his own lineage), `Ma'add ibn `Adnan ibn Udad ibn Zayd ibn Thara ibn A'raqu 'th‑Thara'.” Umm Salamah also said: “Zayd is Hamaysa'; and Thara is Nabt; and A'raqu 'th Thara is Isma'il (Ishmael) ibn Ibrahim (Abraham).” She continued: “Then the Apostle of Allah recited,
' Ad, Thamud and the people of the well (Rass) and many generations between' (Qur'an. 25:38) ,
which only Allah knows.”
Ash‑Shaykh Abu Ja'far ibn Babawayh, may Allah be pleased, with him, reported another genealogy as follows: `Adnan ibn Udd ibn Udad ibn Yamin ibn Yashjub ibn Munhar ibn Sabugh ibn Hamaysa` ; or in another version: `Adnan ibn Udad ibn Zayd ibn Yaqdud ibn Yaqdum al‑Hamaysa` ibn Nabt ibn Qaydar ibn Isma'il ibn Ibrahim. It is generally believed by most historians and genealogists that `Adnan was Udd ibn Udad ibn al.‑Yasa` ibn al‑Hamaysa` ibn Salaman ibn Nabt ibn Hamal ibn Qaydar ibn Isma'il ibn lbrahim ibn Tarih ibn Takhar ibn Sarakh ibn Ar'awa' ibn Faligh ibn `Abir, who was the Prophet Bud. Had was the son of Shalikh ibn Arfakhshadh ibn Sam (Shem) ibn Nah (Noah) ibn Lamk ibn Mattushalakh (Methuselah) ibn Ukhnakh, who was the Prophet Idris (Enoch). Ukhnakh was the son of Yarid ibn Mahla'il ibn Qaynan ibn Unash ibn Shith (Seth) ibn Adam, the father of humankind.
The Prophet's mother was Aminah bint (daughter of) Wahb ibn `Abd Manaf ibn Zuhrah ibn Kilab ibn Murrah ibn Ka'b ibn Lu'ayy ibn Ghalib.
Halimah daughter of `Abdullah ibn al‑Harith ibn Shijnah as‑Sa'diyyah of the (tribe of) Bana Sa'd ibn Hawazin nursed him until he reached the age of weaning. Thuwaybah, the servant of Aba Lahab ibn `Abdi l-Muttalib, also nursed him while nursing her own son Masrah. This was before Halimah accepted the task. Thuwaybah died a Muslim in the seventh year of the Hijrah, and her son died before her. She had also nursed Hamzah ibn `Abdi'I‑Muttalib, the Prophet's paternal uncle. Thus the Messenger of Allah said of Hamzah's daughter: “She is the daughter of my nursing brother.” Hamzah was four years older than the Apostle of Allah. As for his grandmother, the mother of his father `Abdullah, she was Fatimah daughter of `Amr ibn `A'idh ibn `Imran ibn Makhzum. The mother of `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib was Salma daughter of `Amr of the tribe of an‑Najjar. Hashim's mother was `Atikah daughter of Murrah ibn Hilal of the tribe of Sulaym. Qusayy and Zuhrah's mother was Fatimah daughter of Sa'd of the tribe of Azdu 's‑Sarat.
The Prophet proclaimed his apostleship on the twenty-seventh of the month of Rajab. He was then forty years of age, and died on Monday, two nights before the end of Safar in the eleventh year of the Hijrah. He was then sixty-three years old.
Among his names are those which are in the Qur'an; they are as follows: the Apostle, and the unlettered Prophet, as Allah says:
They who follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet whom they find inscribed in the Torah and the Gospel (Qur'an. 7:157).
Others are: al‑muzammil (enshrouded) and al‑mudaththir (enwrapped), as in Allah's saying:
O you who are enshrouded, and O you who are enwrapped (see Qur'an. 73:1 and 74:1 ) .
Still others are: an‑nadhir al‑mubin (the clear warner), as Allah says:
Say, I am the clear warner (Qur'an. 15:89) ,
and Ahmad, as Allah says:
and announcing the coming of an apostle after me, whose name is Ahmad (Qur'an. 61:6) .
His name Muhammad is also mentioned, where Allah says:
Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah (Qur'an. 48:29) ,
and al‑Mustafa, as in Allah's saying:
Allah elects Messengers from among angels and men (Qur'an. 22:75).
He is also called karim (noble), as in Allah's saying:
It is surely the speech of a noble Messenger (Qur'an. 69:40) .
Allah called him nur (light), as in His saying:
There have come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book (Qur'an. 5:15 ) .
He also called him ni`mah (favor) in His saying:
They know Allah's favor, yet they deny it (Qur'an. 16:83 ) ,
and rahmah (mercy), as He says:
We have not sent you, except as a mercy to humankind (Qur'an. 21:107 ) .
He also called him abd (servant), as Allah says:
It is He who sent down the criterion (Furqan) to His servant (Qur'an. 25:1 ) .
He is called ra`uf rahim (kindly and compassionate), as in Allah's saying:
He is kindly and compassionate toward the people of faith (Qur'an. 9:128) .
Allah called him shahid (witness), mubashshir (bearer of glad tidings) nadhir (warner) and da`i (summoner), as He says:
We have sent you as a witness, bearer of glad tidings, warner, a summoner to Allah by His leave, and a luminous lamp (Qur'an. 33:45 ‑ 6) .
Allah also called him mundhir (warner), as in His saying:
You are surely a warner (Qur'an. 13:7).
Allah called him `abd Allah (God's servant) as in His saying:
When the servant of Allah rose up to summon him, they nearly rushed at him in crowds (Qur'an. 72:19) .
Allah called him mudhakkir (reminder) in His saying:
You are surely a reminder (Qur'an. 88:21 ) .
Allah also called him Taha and Yasin.1
Others of the Prophet's names and epithets are reported in the hadith. Thus Muhammad ibn Isma'il al‑Bukhari reported on the authority of Jubayr ibn Mut'im that he heard the Apostle of Allah says: “I have many names: I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad. I am al‑mahi (the effacer), for through me Allah shall efface rejection of faith. I am al‑hashir (the gatherer), for all men shall be gathered at my heels (on the last day). I am al‑aqib (the last to follow), after whom there shall be no other (prophet).”2
In another tradition: “I am the effacer” is taken to mean, he through whom the sins of those who follow him shall be effaced. In yet another tradition he is called al‑muqaffi (that is he who followed all other prophets), nabiyyu't‑tawbah (the prophet of penitence), nabiyyu'I‑malhamah (the prophet of war), al‑khatim (the seal), al ghayth (the succorer), and al‑mutawakkil (he who trusts in Allah).
The names of Muhammad in ancient scriptures are also numerous. Some of these are: ma'udh ma'udh, which is in Hebrew in the Torah.3 In the Psalms his name is Faruq (the one through whom falsehood is distinguished from truth).
Ash‑Shaykh Abu Bakr Ahmad al‑Bayhaqi related in his book Dala'ilu'n‑Nubuwwah on the authority of Ibn `Abbas, who said that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah, exalted is He, divided creatures into two groups, and placed me in the best group. Thus Allah speaks of the people of the right and the people of the left (see Qur'an. 90:18‑19) ; I am of the people of the right, and I am the best of the people of the right. Allah then divided the two groups into three, and placed me in the best third. This is clear from His saying:
And the people of the right hand, who are the people of the right hand? And the people of the left, who are the people of the left? And those who precede, precede: they are the ones brought near (Qur'an. 56:8‑10) .
I am among those who precede, and I am the best of those who precede (that is in accepting true faith and in the performance of good deeds). Allah then divided these three groups into different tribes and placed me in the best tribe. Thus He says: We made you into nations and tribes (Qur.49:13). I am the most righteous of the children of Adam, and the noblest of them in the sight of Allah. I do not boast. Allah then made of the tribes different houses and placed me in the best house. Thus He says:
Surely Allah wishes to remove all abomination from you people of the house and purify you with a great purification (Qur'an. 33:33).
I and the people of my household are therefore purified from all sins.”4
Al‑Hakim Abu `Abdillah reported on the authority of Sufyan ibn `Uyaynah who said: “The best verse which the Arabs recited is that which Abu Talib recited concerning the Prophet
And (Allah) derived for him a name from His name in order that He might exalt him;
The Lord of the Throne is Mahmud, and he is Muhammad.5
Others said that this verse was composed by Hassan ibn Thabit (the famous poet of the Prophet) as part of a poem which begins with the words:
Do you not see that Allah sent His servant with His clear proof;
For Allah is Most High and Most Glorious.
Among the Prophet's epithets mentioned in the hadith are: `the camel rider', `eater of the shoulder' 6, `prohibiter of the eating of dead animals', `he who accepts gifts',7 `the seal of Prophethood', `holder of the thick staff' (as a sign of authority), and `the messenger of mercy'. It is said that his agnomen (kunyah) in the Torah is Abu 'l‑Aramil (the man who cares for widows), and his name is the man of the thick staff.
It is reported that the Prophet said: “I am qutham, `the perfect one' and `the possessor of all goodness' ”. He also said, “I am the first and the last, the first in Prophethood and the last to be sent by Allah as a messenger.”
Muhammad lived to be sixty‑three years of age, two years and four months of which he lived with his father. He lived with his grandfather `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib for eight years. After the death of `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib, his uncle Abu Talib cared for the Prophet, greatly honoring and protecting him. Abu Talib stood by the Prophet and supported him all his life. Ibn Ishaq (the famous biographer of the Prophet) also reported that the Prophet's father died before his birth. It is also related that he died when the Prophet was seven months old.
Ibn Ishaq reported that Aminah, the Prophet's mother, took him to his maternal uncles, the sons of `Adiyy of an-Najjar tribe, in Medina. On her way back to Mecca, she died in a spot called al‑Abwa'. The Messenger of Allah was then six years old. It is related on the authority of Buraydah (al‑Aslami, one of the Prophet's Companions) that one day the Prophet came to a grave. He sat at it, and all those who were with him also sat down around him. He then began to turn his head, as though he was talking to someone. Then he wept. He was asked, “What causes you to weep O Messenger of Allah?” He answered, “This is the grave of Aminah daughter of Wahb. I asked permission of my Lord to visit her grave, and He permitted me. I felt compassion for her and wept.” (Buraydah continued) “I never saw anyone weep so bitterly as he did at that time.” In yet another tradition, it is reported by Muslim in his as‑Sahih that the Prophet said: “I asked permission to visit the grave of my mother, and it was granted me. Visit the graves, therefore, because they remind you of death.”8
The Prophet married Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid at the age of twenty‑five. His uncle Abu Talib died when he was forty‑six years, eight months and twenty‑four days old. Khadijah also passed away three days after Abu Talib. Therefore, the Apostle of Allah called that year `the year of sorrow'. `Urwah ibn az‑Zubayr (his father az‑Zubayr being a cousin and close Companion of the Prophet) related from his father that the Apostle of Allah said, “The people of Quraysh continued to stay away from me until Abu Talib died.”
The Prophet remained in Mecca after his call to Prophethood for thirteen years. Then he left it and migrated to Medina, after hiding in the cave for three days. It is also reported that he hid for six days. He entered Medina on Monday the 11th of Rabi `u 'l‑Awwal, 1 A H., where he lived for ten years. He died on Monday, two nights before the end of Safar 11/632. His relatives and Companions differed on where he was to be buried. Then the Commander of the Faithful ('Ali) said: “Allah, be He exalted, received the soul of His Prophet in the purest of spots; let him, therefore, be buried there.” They accepted his advice and buried the Prophet in the room where he died.
These signs fall into two categories: those which occurred before his apostleship and those which occurred after. Among those which took place prior to his prophetic mission, and which are reported in great detail in the hadith, is that when his mother gave birth to him she saw a great light which illuminated the palaces of Syria. She also reported that she was told when she conceived the Messenger of Allah: “You have conceived the master of this community! When he shall fall on the ground, say: `I seek refuge for him in the One God from the evil of every envious person'.
The sign of this is that a great light shall come out with him, which will fill the palaces of Basra in Syria. When he is born call him Muhammad. His name in the Torah is Ahmad (most praised), for all the inhabitants of the heavens and earth shall praise him. In the Gospel his name is Hamid (greatly praised); all the inhabitants of the heavens and earth shall praise him. His name in the Furqan (the Qur'an) is Muhammad.” She said: “Thus I called him Muhammad.”
Abu Umamah related that the Prophet was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what is your status?” He answered: “I am the answer to the prayer of my father Abraham, and the fulfilment of the prophecy of Jesus (see Qur'an. 2:129 and 61:6) . My mother also dreamt that a light would proceed from her which would illuminate the palaces of Syria.”
The great scholar Abu Said `Abdu'l-Malik al‑Kharkushi1 related that on the night in which the Messenger of Allah was born, the palace (Iwan) of Kisra (Khusraw) was so shaken that twenty‑four of its terraces fell. The sacred fires of Persia, which had not been extinguished for a thousand years before, died. Lake Sawah disappeared into the ground. The Mu'badhan (chief Zoroastrian priest) dreamt that strong camels were leading Arab horses. They crossed the River Tigris and spread about in its lands. When Khusraw awoke next morning, he was frightened and despondent.
Nevertheless he decided not to hide the matter from his ministers and notables. He gathered them and recounted what had happened. As they were all assembled, a letter came announcing the extinguishing of the sacred fire. The priest also related his dream of the night before. The King asked him: “What is the meaning of all this?” He answered: “A great event shall take place in the land of the Arabs.”
The King wrote to his vassal an‑Nu'man ibn al‑Mundhir, King of the Arabs, saying: “Send me herewith a man of great learning whom I can question (concerning some important matters).” an‑Nu'man sent `Abdu'l‑Mash ibn `Amr (ibn Hayyan) ibn Buqaylah al Ghassani. The King related what he had seen, and the man answered: “Knowledge of the meaning of this is with my maternal uncle who lives in eastern Syria. His name is Satih.” The King thus ordered him to go and come back with the interpretation of these portents.
When `Abdu 'l‑Masih arrived, he found Satih on his death‑bed. He greeted him, but received no answer. `Abdu l‑Masih told him what he had seen, in verse. Satih then opened his eyes and exclaimed in rhymed prose ‑ ” `Abdu'l Masi`h comes wandering on a camel to Satih. Yet Sati`h is near the grave. The Sasanid King has sent you because of the shaking of his palace, the extinguishing of the fires and the dream of the priest. He saw strong camels leading Arab horses which crossed the River Tigris and spread all around in its lands.
O `Abdu'l-Masih, when recitation (of the Qur'an) shall increase, and the man of the staff appears; when the Samawah Valley (near Kufah) shall be flooded; when Lake Sawah shall disappear and the sacred fire be extinguished; then Syria, shall no longer be Syria for Sati`h. Among them (Muslims), kings and queens shall rule, who are as numerous as the terraces (of Khusraw's palace). For all that is to be shall indeed come to pass.” Sati`h then breathed his last. `Abdu'l-Masih returned to Khusraw and related to him what Sati'h had said. The King said: “But this shall be only after the reign of fourteen of our kings! ” Events followed one another, and ten kings ruled in four years; the reign of the rest lasted only till the time of `Uthman.
'Ali ibn lbrahim ( al‑Qummi) (a well‑known Shi`i traditionist) related from his father that there was in Mecca a Jew called Yusuf. One night he saw stars moving and meteors falling. On that night the Prophet was born. Yusuf exclaimed: “A prophet was born this night! For we find written in our books that when the last of the prophets shall be born, devils will be stoned (with meteors) and prevented from approaching heaven.” In the morning, he went to the assembly of Quraysh and asked: “Was there a child born among you last night?”
They answered: “A child was born to '`Abdullah ibn `Abdi 'l‑Muttaiib last night.” “Show him to me”, he said. Thus, they all went to the door of Aminah's house and demanded that she bring her son out to them, and he was brought out in his swaddling clothes. Yusuf looked into his eyes and uncovered his back. He saw a black mole between his shoulders, covered with a few soft hairs. When the Jew saw him, he fell down unconscious. The people of Quraysh laughed at him. But he said: “Do you laugh, O people of Quraysh? Shall he not soon come to destroy you? Prophethood shall, moreover, now depart from the Children of Israel to the end of time.” Everyone went his way still discussing what the Jew had told them.
The Prophet Moses referred to Muhammad in the Torah. A man whom I trust told me that Muhammad's appearance from the progeny of Ishmael and his character are depicted in the Torah in these words: “I have heard the prayers of Ishmael and have blessed him. I shall increase him and multiply his numbers through a descendant of his called Muhammad. The numerical value of the letters of his name is ninety‑two. I shall bring forth from his progeny Twelve Imams, who shall be rulers. I shall grant him great multitudes of followers.”2
Another of his signs is what the Trusted One (perhaps the sixth Imam) said that he read in the Gospel: “I am God the Everlasting who shall never cease to be. Believe in the unlettered prophet, the man of the camel, woollen garment and of the crown (which is the turban) and the two sandals and the staff (which is the rod). He is a man of large eyes and broad forehead, bright complexioned with narrow nose and parted teeth. His neck is like a silver pitcher, and it is as though gold runs down the two sides of his neck. A thin and fine line of hair runs from his chest to his navel, but he has no hairs on his stomach and chest. He is of a dark colour. He shall have large hands and feet. When he turns to look, he turns altogether.
When he walks, it is as though he is pulled out of a rock, or comes out of a hard stone (i.e., he walks with confidence). When he walks with people, he overtakes them. The sweat on his face is like pearls, and the fragrance of musk shall emanate from him. No one like him was ever seen before, or will ever be seen after him. His breath is fragrant. He shall marry many women, yet he shall have few children. His descendants shall come from a blessed woman (that is, his daughter Fatimah), who has a mansion prepared for her in Paradise. In him there shall be neither clamor nor vanity. He shall be her guardian in the last days as Zechariah was the guardian of your (Jesus's) mother.3 She shall have two young ones (that is Hasan and Husayn) who shall be martyred. His speech shall be the Qur'an, and his religion shall be Islam; for I am (the Lord of) Peace. Blessed (tuba) is he who shall see his time, witness his days and hear his words.”4
Jesus asked: “My Lord, what is tuba?” He answered: “It is a tree in Paradise which I planted with my own hand. Its shade covers the gardens (of Paradise). Its roots are of ridwan (this term is generally used as the name of the guardian angel of Paradise, but here it is used to mean Divine Pleasure). Its water is of tasnim (a river running down from a mountain in Paradise nearest the Throne). Its coolness is like that of kafur and its taste is like that of zanjabil (paradisial aromatics frequently mentioned in the Qur'an). Anyone who drinks once of that spring shall never be thirsty.” Jesus said: “O God, give me to drink of it.”
He answered: “It is forbidden the prophets to drink of it until that Prophet first drinks of it; it is forbidden the nations to drink until the community (ummah) of that Prophet first drinks of it. I shall take you up to me,5 and send you down at the end of time to see wonders from the community of that Prophet, and that you might assist them against the accursed Dajjal. (the Antichrist). I shall send you down at prayer time that you may pray with them, for they are indeed a community favored with mercy.”6
Another tradition is the account of Salman al‑Farisi, who continued to rove from one savant to another and from one jurist to another seeking ancient texts and reports. Thus, he waited for four hundred years for the appearance of Muhammad, the master of those who lived in former times and those who are yet to come. When at last he was told of his birth, and was filled with certainty that relief (faraj) was near at hand, he sat out for the Tihamah (Mecca), but was captured.
Still another tradition is that of King Tubba` (a semi legendary Jewish King of ancient Yemen), who said: “A prophet shall appear in Mecca, whose place of migration shall be Yathrib.” King Tubba` then moved sortie people from Yemen to Yathrib and made them settle with the Jews in order that they might support Muhammad. These were the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj. The King then declared:
I bear witness concerning Ahmad that he is a messenger from Allah, the Creator of souls.
Were my life to last until it joined with his, I would be a minister to him and a cousin.
I would be a scourge against the Associators, giving them the cup of fear and sorrow.
In yet another tradition, it is related that Ibn `Abbas said: “A special cushion used to be placed for `Abdu 'lMuttalib in the shade of the Ka'bah, whereupon, in reverence for him, no one dared sit. His sons used to sit around that cushion until `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib came out. The Messenger of Allah, however, while still a child, used to come and sit on the cushion. His uncles would hasten to remove him, but `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib would say: `Leave my son alone, for by Allah, he shall have a great future. I see that a day shall come upon you when he will be your master. I see his forelock as one that will exercise authority over men.'
Then he would take Muhammad up and place him beside him, fondly pat his back and kiss him. As he did so, he would explain, `I have never seen anyone before him so sweet and pure as he.' He then would turn to Abu Talib, who had the same mother as `Abdullah, the Prophet's father, and say: `O Abu Talib, this child will have great significance. Guard him well, therefore, and care for him, for he shall be unique. Be to him like a father who would never let anything that may disturb him come near.' `Abdu'l‑Muttalib would then carry Muhammad on his neck and circumambulate the Ka'bah seven times. Because `Abdu'l-Muttalib knew that Muhammad hated al‑‑Lat and al‑`Uzza (the two goddesses of Mecca), he never brought him near them.”
At the end of his sixth year, his mother Aminah died in al-Abwa', a place between Mecca 'and Medina. She had brought him there to visit his maternal uncles of the tribe of `Adiyy. Thus the Messenger of Allah became an orphan, having neither father nor mother. This increased the love and care of `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib for him, and he continued in this manner until he was on his death‑bed. He then sent for Abu Talib, who came and saw him embracing Muhammad close to his breast. As he lay in the grip of death, he wept and said: “O Abu Talib, take care that you be a protector for this child who is left alone, neither smelling the odour of his father, nor tasting the love of his mother. Be sure, O Abu Talib, that he be as precious as your heart to your body. I have bypassed all my sons and put him in your trust because you are the son of his father's mother. O Abu Talib, if you live to see his days (that is, the time of his call to Prophethood), know that I was the most informed concerning him, and the most caring of men towards him. If you are able to follow him, do so. Support him with your tongue, hand and wealth. Soon he shall exercise authority and dominion, the like of which no one of his forefathers attained.
O Abu Talib, I know no one among the Arabs whose father died in the state in which he was when his father died, or one whose mother died in the state in which he was when his mother died. Protect him, therefore, as he has no one. Do you accept my trust? ” “Yes”, Abu Talib answered: “I accept, and Allah shall be my witness.” `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib then said: “Give me your hand!” He put out his hand, and `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib struck it with his own (as a sign of binding agreement), saying: “Now death has become easy for me.” Finally, he embraced Muhammad and exclaimed: “I bear witness that I have never kissed anyone of my children who is of sweeter fragrance than you, or of more beautiful countenance.” He then fervently wished that he could live to witness his time.
Thus, `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib died when the Prophet was eight years old. Afterwards Abu Talib took him into his home. He never left him, even for an hour, day and night. He went so far as to have him sleep in the same room with him until he reached adulthood, not trusting anyone with him.
The account of Sayf ibn Dhi Yazan concerning Muhammad's Prophethood, reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas, is another well‑known tradition. It was two years after the birth of the Prophet that a group of the Quraysh, among whom were: `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib ibn Hashim, Umayyah ibn `Abd Shams, `Abdullah ibn Jud'an, Asad ibn Khuwaylid and Wahb ibn `Abd Manaf, went to Ibn Dhi Yazan. When they arrived, he was in a palace called Ghumdan, concerning which Umayyah ibn Abi 's‑Salt recited:
• Drink in good health, reclining with a crown upon your head;
• while you sit at the top of Ghumdan in good fortune and prosperity.
They asked permission to enter, and went in. After talking at length, the King sent for `Abdu 'l-Muttalib and said to him: “O `Abdu 'l-Muttalib, I am about to disclose a secret to you which I know and would not disclose to anyone but you. This is because I see that you are one who is worthy of keeping it; so I shall relate it to you. Let it remain a secret until Allah permits that it come to pass. I find it in the hidden book and treasured knowledge which we have kept only for ourselves. For it is a great and momentous secret which others would not be able to bear. There is in it for all men ‑ but especially for your kinfolk and you personally ‑ honor in this life and virtue in the hereafter.”
`Abdu'l-Muttalib enquired: “Only a man like you, O King, can impart glad news and words of amity ‑ what is it that you wish to say? May all the people of the desert be a ransom for you, one group after another!” The King continued: “When a child shall be born in Tihamah (Mecca) between whose shoulders there is a mole (that is, the seal of Prophethood), then to him shall belong the imamate, and through him you (the clan of Hashim) shall enjoy leadership till the Day of Resurrection.” `Abdul-Muttalib answered: “May you never be cursed! I shall return with news, the like of which no traveler has ever received. Had it not been for the great awe, majesty and high honor of the King, I would have asked him to tell me more of his secrets, that my happiness might increase.”
Ibn Dhi Yazan then said: “This is the time in which he is to be born, or perhaps he has already been born. His name shall be Muhammad. Both his father and mother shall die, and his grandfather and uncle shall care for him. His birth shall be a secret, but Allah shall send him (with the apostleship) openly. He shall grant him helpers from our people. Through him Allah shall honor his friends and dishonour his enemies. With him and his people Allah shall smite many men, and with them He shall pillage the best portions of the earth. He shall break the idols, and extinguish the fires (that is, of Persia). Then will the All‑merciful be truly worshipped, and Satan be expelled.
His word shall be decisive, and his judgement just. He shall command the good and himself perform it, and shall forbid indecency and destroy it.” `Abdu 'l-Muttalib exclaimed: “O King, may your status be forever honoured, may your power prosper, and may your reign last forever! Has the King any advice to give me? For he has stated the matter with some clarity.”
Ibn Dhi Yazan said: “By the House with curtains (i.e., the Ka'bah), and the signs on stone idols, you `Abdu 'l-Muttalib are his grandfather without a lie!” `Abdu 'l-Muttalib then fell prostrate. But the King said to him: “Lift up your head! May your breast be cooled (that is, be happy and without weariness); may your status be uplifted. Do you see anything in what I say?”
He answered: “I had a son with whom I was pleased, and towards whom I was compassionate. I therefore had him married to a noble woman from among the best of my people, whose name was Aminah daughter of Wahb. She gave birth to a male child whom I called Muhammad. His father and mother died and his uncle took charge of him.” Ibn Dhi Yazan answered: “This is what I have told you. Guard well your son. Beware of the Jews, for they are his enemies ‑ but Allah will not permit them to do him any harm. Keep what I have told you hidden from the men who are with you. This is because I am afraid that they may be filled with envy if he is to have leadership.
They would then seek to conspire against him and set up obstacles in his way. They, or their sons, shall do that without any doubt. Did I not know that death would strike me before his call, I would gather my men and horses and go to Yathrib (Medina), the city of his dominion, for I find in the `speaking book' and ancient knowledge that Yathrib shall be the house of his dominion. In it shall his affair be confirmed; in it shall be his supporters, and the spot of his tomb.
Had I feared that hardships would befall him, or that infirmities would afflict him, I would have even as a youth announced all concerning him. I would have made all the leaders of the Arabs follow him. But I shall leave that to you, for I shall not be inhospitable toward any guests who are with you.” Then the King ordered that each of the men be given ten slaves and ten slave girls, two silk garments, a hundred camels, five weights of gold and ten of silver, and a skinful of amber. He ordered that `Abdu'l-Muttalib be given ten times what was given to his companions. He then said to him: “When a year will have passed, come. back to me” ‑ but Ibn Dhi Yazan died before the year had elapsed.
`Abdu'l-Muttalib used to repeat often: “O people of Quraysh, no man among you should envy me, no matter how much wealth you might bestow upon me, for it shall be exhausted. Rather envy me for what remains for me and my descendants after me of its fame, pride and honor.” When it was said to him: “What shall this thing be?”, he would answer: “You will know the truth of what I say, even if it be after a time.”
Another proof of Muhammad's Prophethood is the account of the monk Bahira'. Thus Ibn Ishaq reported that Abu Talib went with a caravan to Syria. As he was about to set out, the Messenger of Allah stood up and, holding on to the halter of his she‑camel, said: “O uncle, in whose care would you leave me, since I have neither father nor mother!”
Abu Talib felt compassion towards him and said: “By Allah, I shall take him with me and we shall never be separated from one another.” He thus took him along with him. The caravan arrived at Basra in Syria, where a monk lived called Bahira'. He was the most learned of the Christians. Often did they pass by his cell, but he had never spoken to them. This time, however, when they came to rest near his cell, he prepared food for them. It is claimed that this was because of something which he saw from his cell in that caravan. It was a white cloud shading the Prophet alone of all the people. The caravan alighted beneath a tree near the monk, where he again saw the white cloud moving until it shaded the tree, whose branches bent over the Messenger of Allah so that he sat in its shade.
When Bahira' saw this, he came out of his cell and ordered that food be prepared. He then sent word to them, saying “I have prepared food for you, O people of Quraysh. I invite you all, young and old, slaves and freemen.” A man said to him: “O Bahirah', it is something strange you do today! You never did' that in the past. Often did we pass by you; why is it that you do this today?” Bahira' answered: “You tell the truth, it is as you say. Yet you are guests; I wish, therefore, to treat you with due hospitality. I have prepared food for you, and I ask that you all eat of it.”
Thus they all gathered around him, but the Messenger of Allah because of his youth stayed behind with the caravan under the tree. As Bahira' looked around, he did not find the characteristics he sought in anyone. He thus said: “Let no one of you stay away from my banquet.” They answered: “No one who should have come is absent, except a youth, the youngest of us. He remained to guard the caravan.” But Bahira' declared: “You ought not to have done that, call for him.” A man of Quraysh exclaimed: “By al‑Lat and al-`Uzza, it is shameful for us that the son of `Abdu 'I‑Muttalib be absent from our banquet.” He then went and brought Muhammad over and seated him among the people.
When Bahira' saw him, he examined him intently, looking for signs which he knew to be on his body. After they had all eaten and dispersed, Bahira' approached the Prophet and said: “O youth, I adjure you by al‑Lat and al‑`Uzza that you inform me concerning the things I wish to ask you.” Bahira' swore by these two gods because he had heard the people of the caravan do so. The Messenger of Allah answered: “Do not adjure me by al‑Lat and al‑`Uzza, for I despise nothing more than I despise them.”
Bahira' then said: “I adjure you by Allah that you inform me concerning the things I wish to ask you.” The Prophet answered: “Ask whatever you wish.” The monk began to ask him some things about himself, his sleep, his appearance, and other matters. The Messenger of Allah answered his questions, all of which agreed with the description which Bahira' had read concerning him in his ancient books. He then looked at his back and saw the seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, exactly in the spot where he knew it to be.
When at last Bahira' was done with him, he came to his uncle Abu Talib and asked: “Who is this youth?” “He is my son”, he answered. “No”, the monk said, “he is not your son. The father of this youth must not be living.” Abu Talib then said: “He is my brother's son.” “What happened to his father?” asked Bahira'. Abu Talib answered, “He died while his mother was pregnant with him.”
The monk then counselled him, saying: “Return with your nephew to his home, and beware of the Jews, for by Allah if they see him and discover in him what I know, they would surely seek to do him harm. Your nephew will be a man of high status. Hasten, therefore, with him back to his country.” His uncle thus quickly finished his trade in Syria and hastened back with the Prophet to Mecca.
It is said that a few men of the People of the Book noticed some signs in the Messenger of Allah when they saw him with his uncle on that journey. They wished to seize him, but Bahira' restrained them. He adjured them by Allah not to do so, reminding them of what they had found in their scriptures concerning him and his characteristics. He also told them that even if they were to attempt all together to do whatever they had intended to do to him, they would not be able to do him any harm. He thus continued to admonish them until they were convinced; they finally believed him and went away. Concerning this event Abu Talib said in his poem which rhymes with the letter dal (`d ') : ‑
Surely the Prophet Muhammad, son of Aminah,
Is for me like my own child.
When he held on to the halter of my camel, I felt compassion for him,
Even as the white camels were being loaded,
Copious tears flowed from my eyes
Tears like scattered pearls.
I treated him kindly as befits a close relative,
And guarded well the trust of his forefathers concerning him.
I ordered him to ride among paternal uncles,
With white faces, brave swordsmen.
They travelled to the furthest known station
Far indeed was the station where their camels lay down!
When at last the people of Busra saw him,
They met a learned monk who was keeping close watch.
He related to them a true account concerning him,
And thus turned back the people of envy.
A group of Jews also saw what he saw:
The shade of a white cloud and the glory of a close relative (Muhammad).
They went seeking to kill Muhammad, and he restrained them,
And thus engaged in the best of struggle.
There are in fact many more examples of what we have narrated here. Had we attempted to recount all of them, however, we would have deviated from the intended purpose of this book.
As for the signs and wonders which were wrought by Muhammad's hands (peace be upon him and his progeny) after his call to Prophethood, they were of two kinds. The first is the Qur'an which Allah sent down to him, and with which He strengthened him, and the second consists of his other miracles.
As for the proof from the Qur'an: any rational man who heard the hadith reports and was acquainted with their transmitters would have undoubtedly recognized the manifestation of the Prophethood of our Prophet, and the truth of his claim to be a messenger sent by Allah. Moreover, he challenged the Arabs with the Qur'an, and in spite of the lapse of a long period of time, they did not oppose him ‑ for opposition was impossible for them. This impossibility is in itself a miracle, violating the norms of general custom. That he challenged people with the Qur'an can be proven by the fact that he claimed that Gabriel used to bring the Qur'an down to him, and that Allah had distinguished him by it. Knowledge of all this is certain, and it is the strongest sort of challenge, properly understood. Furthermore, some verses of the Qur'an present clear instances of challenge, such as Allah's saying: Bring therefore ten fabricated Surahs like it, and again:
Bring forth even one Surah like it (Qur.11:13 and 10:38).
As for the argument that people were unable to present any opposition, it can be argued that if opposition had occurred, it would have been necessary for it to be known and reported. The fact that it was never reported must imply that it never occurred. We say this because all the things necessitating the transmission of the Qur'an, such as the strong reasons and need for it as well as the close familiarity of the people with it, all strengthen the possibility of opposition. This possibility would be further strengthened because opposition would itself be the argument, and the Qur'an would then be the specious argument. Reporting a true argument is more worthy than reporting a specious one. How could opposition not have been reported if it had occurred, while men reported the words of Musaylimah (the false prophet), meaningless and unworthy though they were.
If it is claimed that it was fear of the Muslims, who became so numerous as to be greatly feared, that prevented men from reporting such opposition, the answer is that fear alone does not necessitate the disruption of report in every way. It only prevents men from doing so openly. Do you not see that the excellences of the Commander of the Faithful (`Ali) were widely transmitted, in spite of the great fear of those who disclosed them of the Umayyads?
It would rather have been natural for the enemies of Islam to report such opposition, or at least do so in secret among themselves. Furthermore, the great increase of Muslims happened after the Migration (hijrah). It would, therefore, have been possible to report it before that time, and during the Prophet's stay in Mecca. Had opposition then been widely reported, no Muslim power would have been capable of concealing it. It may be argued that opposition did not occur during that time.
This, however, would itself be an argument in support of the miraculous nature of the Qur'an. For even though Islam grew in power in Medina, the people of `rejection of faith' (kufr) had their own strong and vast domains. The Persian Empire was strong still, and Byzantine and other domains were just as vast. Naturally then, opposition should have arisen.
As for the argument for the lack of opposition due to impossibility: we know that any action not executed by its doer, when all conditions for its execution are present, must by necessity be because of his inability to do so. If this be true ‑ and we know that the Arabs talked much about the Qur'an, yet did not oppose it in spite of their great need to do so ‑ we can conclude that they were unable to oppose it.
If we add to all this the fact that the Arabs were in the habit of undertaking many hardships, such as war, in order to achieve their aims ‑ yet that they did not oppose the Qur'an, although there was no (apparent) reason for them not to do so ‑ then it becomes certain that (the real reason they did not oppose it was because) they were incapable of such opposition. They were a people of proud and arrogant nature, yet the Prophet called upon them to abandon their religions: to relinquish their high status, dissociate themselves from their own forefathers, fathers and sons, and even to fight against anyone who opposed the new faith, even if he were to be one of their closest relations. They would have known that through successful opposition to the Qur'an all this would vanish, and be nullified. What greater reason would there have been, then, to attempt such opposition?
Instead, they resorted to war, wasting their wealth and composing polemical poetry, when all this availed them nothing. Thus, had opposition been possible for them they would have surely hastened to it, if for no other reason but that it would have been far easier than the other hardships which they undertook. It would have, moreover, been far less costly than any of the other things they did.
As for the argument which states that the abandonment of opposition was because of the miraculous nature of the Qur'an, it may be objected that the Prophet was more eloquent than all the men of his time, and that only through this was he able to achieve what they could not. It may be further objected that he was active for too short a time for them to present any opposition.
If, however, both of these objections could be refuted, then it would have to be concluded that this inability was unnatural, and hence was itself a miraculous phenomenon. It may be argued in refutation of the first objection that for any opposition to be effective, the two opposing parties must have similar abilities of eloquence.
Since the Arabs did not even come close to the eloquence of the Qur'an, then the accepted norms were indeed miraculously suspended. It is not possible for the less eloquent to imitate or closely approximate him who is more eloquent in all his speech. R is, however, possible for the less eloquent to approximate him who is more eloquent in some of his speech. This is usually the case. It is for this reason that later poets have equalled those of ancient times, and may have excelled them in some respects.
If the Qur'an challenged the Arabs to produce the like of one of its shorter Surahs, although it is more eloquent than they, that does not mean that they could not have equalled it in so small a portion. Moreover, it was not the case that the Prophet himself was of greater eloquence in his speech than others of his people. Had he been of greater eloquence, while this special quality belonged only to the Qur'an, and had the Qur'an been his speech, then all his words should have been of eloquence equal to the Qur'an.
The invalidity of the second objection, namely that the Prophet was active for only a short time and that therefore if they too were able to labor for an equal period of time they would have been able to imitate the Qur'an, can be easily demonstrated. If, however, it can be proven that inability is itself a miraculous phenomenon, then one of two possibilities must follow ‑ either that the Qur'an itself was a miracle in its eloquence which they could not match, or that Allah, the Exalted, Himself turned them away from imitating the Qur'an, and had He not turned them away, they would have done so. Either of these two possibilities would not invalidate Muhammad's claim to Prophethood. This is because Allah would not vouchsafe a liar, or miraculously suspend natural custom for a man of falsehood.
Were we to reproduce all that has been written on this subject ‑ the arguments and counter arguments ‑ this book would have become too long. What we have here presented should be sufficient to convince those who are possessed of understanding.
As for the clear miracles other than the Qur'an which prove without a doubt the Prophethood of Muhammad, these are many. We have here given the texts dealing with them and eliminated chains of transmission because these miracles are well‑known to both the (Sunni) majority and (Shi`i) minority, and because the Muslim community has generally accepted them without question.
It is related on the authority of the Commander of the Faithful ('Ali) that he said: “I was with the Prophet when the notables of Quraysh came to him and said: `O Muhammad, you have surely made grave claims which were never made by your forefathers or anyone else of your clan. We shall, therefore, test you with a request, and if you can fulfill it, we shall know that you are a prophet and messenger. But if you cannot, then we shall know that you are a magician and a liar.'
He answered: `What do you wish to ask of me?' They said: `We ask that you call that tree so that it uproots itself and comes and stands before you.' He said: `Allah has power over all things. If He does this for you, would you have faith, and witness to the truth?' `Yes', they answered. `I shall then show you what you ask for', he replied, `even though I know that you shall not turn to the good. Some of you will be thrown in the well (qalib) and others will gather parties (ahzab)7 against us'.
Then he exclaimed: `O tree, if you truly have faith in Allah and the Last Day and know that I am the Messenger of Allah, then uproot yourself and come and stand before me, by Allah's permission.' By Him who sent Muhammad with the truth (continued `Ali), it did uproot itself and came to him with a soft buzzing sound and a thunderous noise like the sound of the flapping of the wings of many birds.
Thus it came, and stood before the Messenger of Allah with its branches spread out. It placed its highest branch lightly upon his head, placing others on my shoulders, as I stood at his right hand. When the people saw this, they said with haughty arrogance, `Order now that only half of it come to you and the other half remain in its place.' He commanded the tree, and only half of it came to him, with haste and great noise, so that it nearly wrapped itself around the Messenger of Allah.
Still remaining in their rejection of faith and stubbornness, they exclaimed: `Command this half, that it return to the other half.' He commanded it and it returned. Then I exclaimed: `There is no god but Allah, and I am the first of those who accept faith in you, O Messenger of Allah, and the first to testify that the tree did what it did by Allah's command, and in proof of your Prophethood and in reverence of your word.' But the people said: `No, but you are a liar and a skillful magician! Would any other believe in you except this man?' By this, they meant me.”
Still another miracle was the water gushing out from between the Prophet's fingers. One day the people accompanying him on a journey ran out of water. They complained that they were near death from thirst. He said: “My Lord is with me; in Him do I trust.” He then called for a jug into which he poured a little water, not enough to satisfy even a weakling. He then placed his hand in the jug and the water gushed out from between his fingers. A crier went out and called the people, who then gathered in the thousands. They drank, watered their flocks and filled their water‑skins. All the while the Prophet was exclaiming: “I bear witness that I in truth am the Messenger of Allah.”
Another one of his miracles was the longing of a dry palm branch for him. At the beginning, the Prophet used to stand leaning on a thick palm branch when he spoke to the people in the Mosque of Medina. As the number of his followers began to increase, they built a pulpit for him. When he stood on it to speak, however, the branch cried out in longing as would a she‑camel cry when she loses her young. The Prophet descended and embraced it, and the branch moaned contentedly as would a child when it quiets down.
The story of the ewe of Umm Ma'bad is yet another miracle in testimony to Muhammad's Prophethood. When the Prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina, accompanied by Abu Bakr and `Amir ibn Fuhayrah, with `Abdullah ibn Urayqit al‑Laythi as their guide, they passed by Umm Ma'bad, a woman of the Khuza'ah tribe. She sat by her tent wrapped in a long garment. They asked if they could buy from her some dates and meat. She had nothing to offer them; the people were hungry.
She insisted, however: “Had we anything to offer you, you would not have been deprived of our hospitality.” The Prophet saw a ewe standing beside her tent. He asked: “What is this ewe, O Umm Ma'bad?” She answered: “It is a sick ewe, unable to go out with the sheep to graze.” He asked: “Does she have milk?” “No”, she answered, “she is too weak for that.” He then asked: “Would you permit me to milk her?” “Yes”, she replied, “may my father and mother be a ransom for you! If you see that she has any milk, then go ahead and milk her.”
The Messenger of Allah had the ewe brought to him. He passed his hand over its udders, praying, “O Allah, bless the ewe of this woman.” The ewe spread its legs, and its milk flowed copiously. The Messenger of Allah called for a vessel, big enough only to quench the thirst of the group. The milk came pouring until a thick foam brimmed over. He then gave the woman to drink, and she drank her fill. Then he gave his Companions to drink, and they drank their fill as well. Finally he himself drank, and said: “The one who gives others to drink, must himself be the last to drink!” He repeated the process once more, and they all drank again their fill. They remained with the woman till the morning, then they departed.
Soon after, her husband Abu Ma'bad returned, driving before him a few emaciated goats, with little marrow in their bones. When he saw the milk he asked “Where did this come from, while the ewe is dry, and there is no other animal to give milk in the house?” She answered: “By Allah it was so, except that a blessed man passed here who did thus and thus . . . ”, and she related the story.
Another miracle concerned Suraqah ibn Malik ibn Ju'shum. Suraqah was famous among the Arabs; they composed poems about him and he was the talk of their assemblies. He pursued the Prophet ‑ who was on his way to Medina ‑ seeking to capture him and receive a reward from the Quraysh. Yet, when he thought that he was about to attain his object, the legs of his horse sank into the ground so that they could not be seen, even though he was in a smooth and firm spot. He knew that what had happened to him was a heavenly punishment.
He thus cried out: “O Muhammad, pray to your Lord that He release my horse, and I give you Allah's covenant (dhimmah) that I tell no one of your whereabouts.” The Prophet prayed, and Suraqah's horse jumped up as though he had freed himself from a tightly knotted rope. Suraqah was a cunning man, and he saw that the Prophet would soon be a man of note. He therefore asked that the Prophet write him a 'pledge of security' (aman), which he took and went away.8
Ibn Ishaq related that Abu Jahl recited some verses in disapprobation of Suraqah. The latter answered him also in verse:
O Abu'l‑Hakam, if you had seen what happened,
To my horse when his legs sank into the ground;
You would have known through a clear sign that
Muhammad is a prophet;
This fact no one can hide. .
Hold your men, then, from him,
For I see that his affair will soon be manifest. 9
It is related that the Prophet said to Abu Bakr on that journey, “Keep men away from me, for it is not fit for a prophet to lie.” Thus, when Abu Bakr was asked, “What are you?”, he would answer only, “A traveller”, and if he was asked, “Who is with you?”, he would answer, “A guide to guide me.”
Still another of the Prophet's miracles concerns the account of the cave (al‑ghar). This was the time when he took shelter in a cave near Mecca which was frequented by many travellers, and in which many shepherds sought shelter. It was the time of his migration to Medina. The people of Mecca went out seeking to capture him, but Allah concealed all traces of him from their sight, even though he was right before their eyes ‑ Allah prevented them from reaching him and veiled their eyes, so that they could not see him. Yet, they were the most scheming of men among the Arabs. Allah sent a spider which wove its web at the entrance of the cave, which concealed him. The spider's web convinced them that he was not there.
Finally, they despaired of finding him. as‑Sayyid al‑Himyari (a well‑known Shi`i poet of the second century) composed the following verses concerning this incident in his famous ode known as `The Gilded' (al‑Mudhahhabah ):
When at last they came to the entrance of his cave,
Allah placed over him a woven spider's web.
Allah concealed him, so that the advance party declared,
`There is no one in the cave to be sought'.
The Great King prevented them from harming him,
For anyone whom the King wishes to protect is never harmed.
Allah also sent two wild doves which sat at the entrance of the cave. The young men of Quraysh came, one from every clan with their sticks and swords, until they were the distance of forty cubits from the Prophet. A man ran ahead to see who was in the cave, but he turned back. His companions asked: “Why do you not look in the cave? ” He answered: “I saw wild doves at the mouth of the cave, so I knew that there was no one inside.” The Prophet heard what he said, and prayed for the two doves, requesting a special reward for them. They were thus directed by Allah to the 'sacred precincts' (haram) of Mecca, where they lived in safety ever after.
Another miraculous proof was the testimony of a wolf to the truth of Muhammad's claim to apostleship. A man was grazing his sheep one day when he neglected his flocks for a brief hour. A wolf attacked the flocks and snatched a sheep. The man ran after the wolf until finally the wolf threw the sheep on the ground and spoke to the man, saying: “Why do you deprive me of the sustenance which Allah has sent me?” The man exclaimed: “A great wonder, the wolf speaks!” The wolf answered: “Rather you people are more strange, and in your behaviour is a lesson for those who wish to be admonished! Here is Muhammad calling men to the truth in the valley of Mecca, yet you are oblivious to his call!”
The man was guided by this admonition and hastened to the Prophet to declare his Islam. He left a great honor for his progeny after him among both Arabs and non-Arabs. His descendants used to say: “We are the posterity of him with whom the wolf spoke.”
The warning of the lamb shoulder is yet another miracle. A Jewish woman of Khaybar (an oasis near Medina) offered the Prophet a lamb shoulder, which she had poisoned. She enquired: “Which part of the lamb would the Messenger of Allah prefer?” “The shoulder”, she was told.
She thus poisoned the shoulder, which she offered to him and his Companions. As they all sat to eat, the Prophet stopped them, saying: “Do not touch it, for it tells me that it is poisoned! Had it not been that I did not wish the Jewish woman to be in doubt (that is, concerning his Prophethood), I would not have accepted it in the first place.” Nor would he have gathered his Companions to eat of it.
He himself ate a tiny morsel before the shoulder spoke to him. The effect of this poison used to recur every year, until finally Allah made it the cause of the Prophet's martyrdom. This was a trial from Allah, so that it may be known that Muhammad was a mortal.
During the Siege of the Trench (al‑Khandaq, see below) the Prophet's companions had no food to eat and to feed their families. They came close to death from hunger and thirst. One of them invited the Prophet one day to a meager meal. All his Companions came along with him, yet there was food only for one or two people. The Messenger of Allah said: “Fill your vessels”, addressing all the people present. He prayed and blessed the food, then distributed it among the people, who were thousands. They all ate their fill as though they had never been hungry or thirsty before. The food, however, remained as it was, as though untouched.
On yet another occasion, during the Battle of Tabuk (see below), the Prophet's Companions and the poor among the people came to him complaining of hunger. He called for any food in their possession to be brought, but they had no more than a few dates. He placed his hand on the dates and said: “Eat in the name of Allah! ” All the people ate until they were full and the dates remained as they were, while they all looked on.
Another time, during one of his battles, the Prophet passed by a well which had so little water that it would not wet the throat of one person. The people with him complained of thirst. He took an arrow from his quiver and gave it to one of his Companions, saying: “Go down and stick it in the well.” No sooner had he done so than the water gushed out with great force until it flowed over the mouth of the well. Thus the crowds, numbering thirty thousand, all drank and filled their vessels as provision for the journey. There were among them as well men of the Hypocrites, who were present in body, but not in mind.
One day the Prophet came upon a she‑gazelle that had fallen into a trap which a man had set up for hunting. The gazelle said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have a young kid that needs milk. I have fallen into this trap; set me free that I might go and feed my kid. The Messenger of Allah said: “How can I let you go, when the owner of the trap is absent?” She answered: “I shall return.” He thus let her go and sat waiting until she returned. When the owner of the trap also returned, the Messenger of Allah interceded for the gazelle, and the man set her free. In commemoration of this event, people built a mosque on that spot.
A small community complained to the Prophet about the brackish water of their well. They were suffering great thirst because they could not drink the salty water. The Prophet came with a group of his Companions to the well, and expectorated in it. The well was not only brackish, it was also nearly dry. Soon, however, it burst out with cool and pure water. To this day it has come down as a highly prized source of pride from one generation to the next. Their testimony is surely valid. It was one of the miracles by which Allah attested to the veracity of His Prophet. This is because the followers of Musaylimah, when they heard of this miracle, asked him to perform one like it. He came to a well and expectorated in it, but its water turned so salty and foul, that it was like the urine of donkeys. Both its location and the people who own it are to this day known to all.
On another occasion, a woman came to him with her young son requesting that the Prophet touch him and bless him, for the child had a deformity. The Prophet had mercy upon her ‑ for mercy is one of his attributes, Allah's blessings and peace be upon him and the people of his household. He passed his hand over the boy's head, and immediately his hair became straight and his illness was cured.
News of this reached the people of Yamamah (Musaylimah's district). A woman came with a sick boy to Musaylimah. He passed his hand over his head, but immediately his hair fell off. His descendants are to this day bald.
One day some men of the tribes of `Abdu 'l-Qays brought the Prophet some of their sheep. They asked him to give the animals some mark by which they could be distinguished. He placed his fingers at the base of their ears, which immediately turned white. The miracle of these sheep stands as a testimony to this day through their descendants.
Still another miracle concerns the account of the prayer for rain. It rained one day so hard over Medina that the people were afraid that their houses might be destroyed. The Messenger of Allah prayed: “Let it rain around us, O Allah, not over us!” Immediately the clouds moved away from Medina and gathered around it like a wreath, and thus the sun was shining in Medina while the rain was coming down in torrents all around it. This was seen by all: the rejecters of faith as well as the people of faith. The Messenger of Allah smiled until his teeth could be seen and said: “Would that Abu Talib were alive to see, so that his eyes would be consoled!. Who can recite for us his verses?” The Commander of the Faithful (`Ali) said: “Perhaps, O Messenger of Allah, you wish to hear the verses:
Of radiant countenance is he,
Through his face rain clouds may be prayed for.
A help for orphans is he,
And a protector of widows.
The poor and errant of the clan of Hashim circle around him,
For with him they find favor and generosity.
His miracle on the day of the Battle of Badr is also well known. He took a handful of sand and threw it in the faces of the enemy, exclaiming: “May these faces be dishonored!” Allah immediately made these grains of sand so effective that no man of the Associators (mushrikun) was spared. Their eyes were filled with sand. The Muslim warriors and the angels (with whom Allah aided them)10 began to slay and capture the rejecters of faith. They found every man they captured face down and unable to see.
One day the Prophet's she‑camel was lost. The Hypocrites (of Medina) were filled with doubt. They said: “He informs us of the affairs of heaven, yet he knows not where his she‑camel is! ” Fearing that the people of faith might fall prey to the whisperings of Satan, the Prophet told them where she was, describing in detail her circumstances and the tree by which she was entangled. When they went to see, they found her exactly as he had described.
Another well‑known miracle was the splitting of the moon in two for the Prophet. This happened towards the beginning of his prophetic career. This miracle is alluded to in the Qur'an11 . It is related in a sound tradition on the authority of `Abdullah ibn Mas'ud that: “The moon was split into two parts. The rejecters of faith of Mecca said: “This is magic with which the son of Abu Kabshah (The Associators used to identify the Prophet as Abu Kabshah's son because Abu Kabshah, a man of the tribe of Khuza'ah, opposed the people of Quraysh by refusing to worship idols. Thus, when the Prophet also refused idol‑worship, they identified him with Abu Kabshah.
It is also said that Abu Kabshah referred to the Prophet's maternal grandfather, whom he resembled. (ed.)) has charmed you. Enquire of travellers if they have seen what you saw; then he would be truthful. But if they did not see it, then it is simply magic with which he has charmed you.' Travellers coming from many different directions were asked; they all confirmed that they had seen the moon split into two.”12
It is also related that one of the Prophet's Companions was hit in the eye in a battle. His eye was gouged out so that it fell upon his cheek. He ran to the Prophet for help. The Prophet took the eye and placed it back in its socket, and it became the better of the man's two eyes: more healthy and more sharp‑sighted than the other.
In yet another tradition, it is related that a man called Abu Bard', known as Muld'ibu'l-Asinnah (`the skilful wielder of spears'), suffered from dropsy. He sent to the Prophet a man called Labid ibn Rabi `ah with a gift of two thoroughbreds and a number of dromedaries. But the Prophet refused the gift, saying: “I will not accept the gift of an Associator.” Labid said: “I would not have thought that any Arab of the Mudar lineage would refuse the gift of Abu Bard'!”
The Prophet insisted, however, saying: “If I to accept a gift from any Associator at all, I would have accepted the gift of Abu Bard'.” Labid said: “He seeks healing from you for a serious ailment which has afflicted his stomach.” The Prophet took a handful of earth, spat on it and said: “Soak this in water and give him to drink.” The man took it, thinking that the Prophet was mocking him. But when the sick man drank the water, he was immediately cured. It was as though he was released from a fetter.
Another of the Prophet's miracles was the complaint of an old camel to him after returning to Medina from the battle of Banu Tha'labah. The Prophet asked: “Do you know what this camel is saying?” Jabir (the transmitter of this tradition) answered: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” The Prophet said: “He tells me that his owner had worked him hard, but now that he has become old and sores have appeared on his back and he is no longer able to work, his owner has decided to slaughter him and sell his meat. O Jabir, go with him to his owner and bring him to me.”
Jabir answered: “By Allah, I do not know his owner.” The Prophet said: “The camel shall lead you to him.” Jabir went with the camel until they came to the quarter of Banu Hanzalah, or Banu Waqif. There he asked: “Who among you is the owner of this camel?” One of the men answered: “I am.” Jabir said: “The Messenger of Allah has sent for you.” Jabir then brought him and the camel to the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet said to the man: “Your camel tells me so‑an‑so.”
The man answered: “It is as he says, O Messenger of Allah.” “Sell him to me”, the Prophet demanded. “He is yours”, answered the man. The Prophet, however, insisted on buying the camel. Having done so, he marked him on the side and left him grazing in the environs of Medina and when one of us needed a ride for a short distance the Prophet used to loan it to us. Jabir later reported that: “I saw the camel when his wounds had healed and his strength had returned.”
One day Abu Jahl swore by Allah that he would break the Prophet's head with a stone when he fell prostrate in prayer. When the Messenger of Allah stood at prayer, praying and prostrating between the two rukns (corners) ‑ the Black Stone and the Yemenite ‑ and facing the Ka'bah, Abu Jahl carried a stone and came toward him. But as he approached, he suddenly turned away, pale with fear, his hands gripping the stone tightly until at last he threw it away from him. Some men of the Quraysh came to him, enquiring: “What has happened to you O Abu 'l-Hakam?” He answered: “A powerful camel stood between me and him, the like of its head, thick neck and sharp teeth as I had never seen. It was about to devour me.”
Among the Prophet's miracles was that Abu Jahl bought camels from a man in Mecca, paying him less than the agreed price. The man went to the assembly of Quraysh seeking their help and reminding them of the sanctity of the Ka'bah. They mockingly referred him to the Prophet. The man went to him calling for help. The Prophet went with him and knocked at the door of Abu Jahl, who recognized him and came out to meet them. He met them as though deranged. Abu Jahl recognized the man, and turning to the Prophet said: “Welcome to you, O Abu 'l-Qasim!” The Prophet said: “Give this man his due.” “I will”, he said, and immediately gave the man what he owed him. When he was asked concerning this, he said: “I saw what you did not see! I saw over his head a dragon with open mouth; by Allah, had I refused, it would have swallowed me up! ”
It is also reported that Asma' daughter of Abu Bakr said: “When the Qur'anic verses: Perish the hands of Abu Lahab . . . (Qur'an. 111 ) were sent down, the one‑eyed Umm Jamil daughter of Harb (and wife of Abu Lahab), came to the Prophet, screaming and saying: “We have refused to listen to mudhammam (`the disgraced one' which Abu Lahab and his wife used as an epithet of derogation of the Prophet Muhammad). His religion we have abandoned, and his command have we disobeyed.” All the while, the Prophet was sitting in the mosque with Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr warned him: “O Messenger of Allah, here she is coming; I am afraid that she may see you!” The Messenger of Allah answered: “She will not see me.” He then recited a portion of the Qur'an with which he protected himself. It is related that he recited:
When you recite the Qur'an, we place a thick veil between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter (Qur'an. 17:45).
Thus, she stood by Abu Bakr's side, but did not see the Messenger of Allah. She said: “O Abu Bakr, I was told that your companion has composed satirical verses against me.” He answered: “No, by the Lord of this House (the Ka'bah), he did not satirize you!” She turned away exclaiming: “The people of Quraysh know well that I am the daughter of the best man among them!”
It is related on the authority of Ibn `Abbas that a group of men of the Makhzum tribe conspired to kill the Prophet. Among them were Abu Jahl, al‑Walid ibn al‑Mughirah, and some men of the Makhzum tribe. As the Prophet was praying one day, they sent al‑Walid to kill him. He came to the spot where the Prophet was praying; he could only hear his voice, but could not see him. He thus returned to them and told them what had happened. They sent Abu Jahl with al‑Walid and others for the same purpose. When they carne to the spot where the Prophet was praying, again they could only hear his voice in prayer. As they approached, they heard the voice behind them. When they turned towards it, it again was heard behind them. Finally they departed, without being able to touch him. This is in accordance with Allah's saying:
Before them have We placed a barrier, and behind them a barrier, so that they cannot see (Qur'an 36:9).
It is also related that the Prophet set out by night on his she‑camel for the Battle of at‑Ta'if (a town near Mecca). He travelled through a valley called Najib, with thick and dense trees. He ran into a sidr tree as he dozed upon his mount. The tree, however, was split into two halves in order that he might pass through it. It has remained standing thus, on two halves of a trunk, to our own time. It is well‑known, and is called the `sidr tree of the Prophet.'
Were we to recount all the miracles and signs of the Prophet (Allah's blessings and peace be upon him and the people of his household) related by traditionists, this book would have become far too long, for our Prophet possessed many more signs than any other prophet. Some authors have even asserted that his signs exceed a thousand. It is best, therefore, that we limit ourselves, for the sake of brevity, to a few accounts. In the following traditions shall briefly recount, if Allah wills, some of his signs and miracles which deal with his call to Prophethood, the people of his household, his battles, the coming of delegations to him, and so on till the time of his death.
His signs‑in foretelling unknown and future events are beyond number. Allah says in the Qur'an:
He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance, and the religion of truth, in order that He make it prevail over all religion even though the Associators may detest it (Qur'an. 9:33).
It is related on the authority of Ubayy ibn Ka'b (a well‑known Companion, one of the scribes of revelation and an important authority on Qur'an exegesis) in reference to this verse, that the Messenger of Allah said: “Convey to this community glad tidings of glory, exaltation, Divine support and a firm standing in the earth. Anyone of them who performs the work of the life to come only for the sake of this life, shall have no portion in the hereafter.”
It is also reported on the authority of Buraydah al‑Aslami (one of the Companions) that the Prophet said: “Armies will be dispatched to war. Be among those who go to Khurasan, and dwell in the city of Maru. This is because it was built by the man of the two horns,13 who blessed it and said: `No evil shall befall its inhabitants.”'
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “The Day of Resurrection will not come until Khuzistan and Kirman (two provinces in Iran) are vanquished by a group of non‑Arabs, with red faces, snub noses and small eyes. Their faces are like shields.”
Anas ibn Malik (a well‑known Companion and traditionist) reported that the Messenger of Allah related that one night he dreamt that he was in the house of `Uqbah ibn Rafi` (one of the Companions) and that dates of high quality were brought before them. The dream was interpreted by the Prophet to me: “Exaltation shall belong to us in this world and good health in the world to come, and our religion has prospered.”
Accounts of other miracles are those which deal with the Prophet predicting what was to happen to his community (ummah) after him. Thus, he is reported to have said: “Do not turn to be rejecters of faith (kuffar) after me, beheading one another.” It is also related on the authority of Sahl ibn Hunayf that the Prophet said: “I shall be the first to get to the hawd;14 whoever comes shall be given to drink, and whoever. drinks shall never thirst. Then groups of people shall come to me; I know them and they know me. But they shall be prevented from coming to me.”
Abu Hazim (the transmitter of this tradition) said: “an‑Nu'man ibn Abi `Ayyash heard me relating this tradition to the people. He asked: `Did you hear Sahl say that?' `Yes', I answered.” He continued: “I bear witness that Abu Said al‑Khudri (a very well‑known Companion and traditionist) heard the Prophet say further: `These are my community, but it will be said to me, “You do not know what they did after you!” Then will I say: “Perish those who deviated after me.” ' ” Qays ibn Abi Hazim also reported that when `A'ishah (the Prophet's wife) arrived at al‑Haw'ab, 15 she heard the barking of dogs. She said: “I am sure that I will return. For I heard the Prophet say to us, `At whom among you shall the dogs of al‑Haw'ab bark?”' az‑Zubayr said to her, “Perhaps Allah will make peace through you among the people.”
It is reported that one day az‑Zubayr met 'Ali at the Saqifah of Banu Sa'idah,16 where the Prophet was present. The Prophet asked az‑Zubayr, “Do you love him?” az-Zubayr answered: “What prevents me from so doing?” The Prophet then said: “How would it be then if you were to fight against him, and you are the wrongdoer?” Abu Jarw al‑Mazini reported that he heard 'Ali say to az‑Zubayr (on the day of the Battle of Camel): “I adjure you by Allah that you tell me, did you not hear the Messenger of Allah say to you that you shall fight with me and that you shall be doing me wrong?” “Yes, but I forgot”, said az‑Zubayr.
It is also related by Muslim in his as‑Sahih17 that the Prophet said to `Ammar ibn Yasir: “You shall be killed by a transgressing group of people.” Abu ' l-Bakhtari has reported that `Ammar was brought a drink of milk. He smiled; when asked why, he answered: “The Messenger of Allah told me that it shall be the last drink I have before I die.”
Still another of Muhammad's prophecies was what he said concerning al‑Khawarij (`the seceders', a group of zealous men who left `Ali's camp during the Battle of Sniffing) “There shall be a group in my community who speak good words, but act wickedly. They shall call others to the Book of Allah, but they themselves have nothing to do with it. They shall recite the Qur'an, but their recitation will not penetrate further than their throats. They shall slip out of the faith as would an arrow slip out of its bow. They shall no more return to the faith than would an arrow, after being shot, return to its bow. They are the most evil of character among men. Blessed is he whom they shall slay, and blessed is he who shall slay them. Anyone slaying them would be more worthy (of obedience) to Allah than they.” People asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what are their distinguishing marks?” He answered: “Shaved heads.”
Another of the Prophet's signs is his saying to the Commander .of the Faithful ('Ali): “This community shall betray you after me.” He also said to him: “You shall fight after me against those who shall violate their covenant (nakithin), those who shall deviate from the truth (qasitin) and those who shall abandon their faith altogether (mariqin).
Among his prophecies is his foretelling of the slaying of Hujr ibn `Adiyy and his companions by Mu'awiyah. It is related that Mu'awiyah went to see `A'ishah, who asked: “What made you slay the people of `Adhra',18 Hujr and his companions?” He answered: “O mother of the faithful, I considered their death to be for the good of the community, while their remaining alive would have been evil for the community.” She said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: `Some people shall be killed in `Adhra' for whom Allah and the inhabitants of heaven will be filled with wrath.' ” It is also related that 'Ali said: “O people of Iraq, seven men of `Adhra' shall be slain. They shall be like the people of the Trench.”19 This was a reference to the slaying of Hujr ibn `Adiyy and his companions.
Still another prophecy was the Prophet's‑ foretelling of the martyrdom of al‑Husayn ibn 'Ali, peace be upon them both.
It is related on the authority of Umm Salamah (one of the Prophet's wives) , that the Prophet one day lay down to sleep and woke up disturbed. He lay down again and woke up less disturbed than the time before. A third time he lay down to sleep, but when he awoke this time, he held some red soil which he began to turn over in his hand. “I asked”, Umm Salamah said: ” `What is this soil, O Messenger of Allah?' He replied: 'Gabriel has informed me that this one (and he pointed to al‑Husayn) shall be killed in the land of Iraq. I said: “O Gabriel, show me the soil of the spot on which he shall be slain,” and this is its soil.' ”
Anas ibn Malik reported that the angel of rain one day asked permission to visit the Messenger of Allah, and it was granted him. The Prophet said to Umm Salamah: “Keep the door closed, so that no one comes in to disturb us.” al‑Husayn ibn 'Ali, however, came and forced his way in. He began to throw himself on the Prophet's back. The angel asked: “Do you love him?” “Yes”, replied the Prophet. The angel continued: “Your community shall kill him. I will, if you wish, show you the spot on which he shall be slain.” The angel then showed him some red soil, which Umm Salamah carefully wrapped up in the end of her garment. She concluded: “Thus we always knew that al‑Husayn would be slain in Karbala'.”
Another of the Prophet's signs was that he foretold the martyrdom of the people of his household. al‑Hakim Abu `Abdillah al‑Hafiz reported on the authority of the `Master of all worshippers', 'Ali ibn al‑Husayn (the fourth lmam), who related from his father on the authority of his grandfather (`Ali), who said: “The Messenger of Allah visited us one day, and we made for him a meat dish. Likewise, Umm Ayman brought him another meat dish and a bowlful of dates. The Messenger of Allah ate, and we ate with him. Then he performed the prayer ablutions, rubbing his head and face with his hand. He then turned towards the qiblah (direction of prayer) and invoked Allah as he willed. He then fell on his face, with copious tears running down his cheeks like rain.
We stood in too great awe before the Messenger of Allah to ask him the reason for his weeping. But al‑Husayn jumped up, and, throwing himself over the Messenger of Allah, said: `O father, I see you act as you never did before.' He answered: `My son, I was never as happy before as I was today with you. But my beloved Gabriel came to me and told me that you shall be slain, and that your deaths shall be in diverse places; this caused me great sorrow. Thus, I prayed Allah that He be gracious toward you.' al‑Husayn asked: `But who shall make pilgrimage (ziyarah) to us, scattered and far apart as our tombs shall be?' The Messenger of Allah replied: `A group of my community, wishing by this only to show kindness and love to me. When the Day of Resurrection shall come, I will myself visit them and take them all by the shoulders to save them from its fears and calamities.' ”20
His prediction of the massacre of the people of al-Harrah (a district of Medina strewn with volcanic rocks, known as al‑harrah) was yet another sign of Muhammad's Prophethood. It is related on the authority of Ayyub ibn Bashir who said: “The Messenger of Allah went one day with his Companions on a journey. As he passed by Harrah of Zuhrah, he stopped and exclaimed: `To Allah do we belong, and to Him we shall return!' (Qur'an. 2 :156) . Those who were with him were troubled, thinking that this was concerning their journey. `Umar ibn al‑Khattab asked: `O Messenger of Allah, what was it that you saw?' He answered: `This does not concern your journey.' `What is it then, O Messenger of Allah?' they asked. He answered: `In this Harrah the best of my community after my Companions will be slain.'”
Anas ibn Malik said: “On the day of the Battle of al-Harrah seven hundred men, all Qur'an reciters, were slain. Among them were three of the Prophet's Companions.” al‑Hasan (son of `Ali and grandson of the Prophet) used to say: “In the Battle of al‑Harrah, the people of Medina were slain; hardly anyone escaped. Among those who were slain were the two sons of Zaynab, a foster‑daughter of the Messenger of Allah. They were her sons by Zam'ah ibn al‑Aswad. The Battle of al‑Harrah took place on Wednesday, three days before the end of Dhi'l‑Hijjah, 63 A.H. (August, 683).”
The Prophet also foretold that Ibn `Abbas would lose his sight in old age, and that he would be granted great knowledge. Likewise, he said to Zayd ibn Arqam (a well‑known Companion), after the latter had suffered a serious illness: “No harm shall befall you in your illness. But what would you say if you were to grow old after me and become blind? ” Zayd answered: “I shall take Allah as my sufficient trust, and endure it patiently.” “Then you will enter Paradise without reckoning”, the Prophet assured him.
The Prophet also foretold that al‑Walid ibn Yazid was to be an evil man, as he indeed turned out to be. It is reported that Said ibn al‑Musayyab (an important traditionist) said: “A male child was born to a half‑brother of Umm Salamah, whom they named al‑Walid. The Prophet reproached them saying: `So you give the names of your Pharaohs (that is, oppressive rulers) to your children! Change his name and name him `Abdullah. This is because a man shall be born in my community called al‑Walid, who shall be more wicked towards my community than Pharaoh was towards his people.' Thus people thought that he meant al‑Walid ibn `Abdi 'l-Malik, but then we found out that it was al‑Walid ibn Yazid (an Umayyad ruler).”
Another prophecy was the Prophet's saying concerning Banu Abi 'l-`As and Banu Umayyah, as related on the authority of Abu Said al‑Khudri : “When the number of the children of Abu 'l-`As shall reach thirty men, they shall use the religion of Allah as means of corruption, the servants of Allah as slaves and Allah's wealth as a commodity among themselves.” In another tradition, related on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, it is forty men.
Ibn Murhib reported: “I was with Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan when Marwan (ibn al‑Hakam, the first of the Marwanid rulers) came in to talk to Mu'awiyah about a matter that concerned him. He pleaded: `Grant me my need, for by Allah, my burden is heavy ‑ I am the father of ten, the uncle of ten and the brother of ten.' When Marwan turned to go, Mu'awiyah turned to Ibn `Abbas, who was sitting with him on his couch, and said: `I bear witness before Allah, O Ibn `Abbas ‑ do you not know that the Messenger of Allah said that when the sons of al‑Hakam (that is, Marwan's father) shall reach the number of thirty men, they will use Allah's wealth among them as a commodity; that they will oppress His servants as their own slaves, and will use Allah's religion as cause of corruption? When, however, their number will reach four hundred and ninety‑nine, their destruction will come more quickly than it takes to chew a date.'
Ibn `Abbas replied: `By Allah, yes.' Marwan left without having his need granted. His son `Abdu'l-Malik came to Mu'awiyah to discuss the matter further. When he left, Mu'awiyah again turned to Ibn `Abbas and said: `I ask you in the name of Allah, O Ibn `Abbas, do you not know that the Apostle mentioned this man and said that he shall be the father of four tyrants?' Ibn `Abbas again answered: `By Allah, yes.' ”
A man called Yusuf ibn Mazin ar‑Rasibi related that a man reproached al‑Hasan ibn `Ali (a. s.) saying: “You have indeed brought dishonour upon the people of faith.” al‑Hasan said: “Do not reproach me, may Allah have mercy upon you! The Messenger of Allah foresaw the sons of Umayyah delivering speeches upon his pulpit one man after another, and that displeased him. Thus, Allah revealed to him:
We have surely given you al‑kawthar (abundance) (Qur'an. 108: 1) ,
which is a river in Paradise. He also sent down:
We have surely sent it (the Qur'an) on the night of determination (laylatu'l-qadr). Would that you knew what the night of determination is! The night of determination is more excellent than a thousand months (Qur.97:1‑3) .
This means the thousand months reign of the sons of Umayyah. We counted the months of their reign, and it was neither more no less.”
The signs belonging to this category are too many for this book to contain. What we have here reported must thus be sufficient for people of understanding.
This chapter will present a brief account of the life of the Messenger of Allah (Allah's blessings and peace be upon him and the people of his household) from the time of his call until his migration to Medina. It will indicate the time when he was commanded to fight, and will present some of the signs and miracles which were wrought at his hands during that period. It consists of eight sections.
'Ali ibn Ibrahim (al‑Qummi, who is one of our most respected traditionists, related that when the Prophet was thirty‑seven years of age, a person used to come to him in his dreams, addressing him and saying: “O Apostle of Allah ! ”, but he used to ignore this. After a long time had passed, and as he was among the hills grazing the sheep of his uncle Abu Talib, he saw and heard a person addressing him: “O Messenger of Allah ! ” He asked: “Who are you?” “I am Gabriel”, the person answered; “Allah has sent me to you so that He may take you for a messenger.” The Messenger of Allah told Khadijah of what happened. Khadijah had already been informed of the accounts of the Jews and Bahira', and what Muhammad's mother Aminah had also recounted.
Thus, she answered: “O Muhammad, I do hope that it is true!” The Prophet used to hide all this, until one day Gabriel came to him with heavenly water and said: “O Muhammad, rise and perform your ablutions for prayers! ” Gabriel taught him the ablutions ‑ washing the face and the two hands from the elbows down, rubbing the head and the two feet to the two heels. He also taught him prostration (sujud) and kneeling (ruku'). When the Prophet attained his fortieth year, Gabriel commanded him to perform the prayers and taught him their rites, except their prescribed times. The Messenger of Allah used to pray two rak`ahs every time he prayed.
'Ali ibn Abi Talib was very much attached to the Prophet, accompanying him wherever he went. One day he saw him praying. He asked: “O Abu 'l-Qasim, what is this that you are doing?” The Prophet answered: “It is the prayer which Allah commanded me to perform.” He then called 'Ali to Islam; he accepted, and used to pray with him. Khadijah also entered into Islam. Thus at that time only the Messenger of Allah, 'Ali and Khadijah used to pray.
After a few days, Abu Talib came in to see the Messenger of Allah, accompanied by Ja'far (the Prophet's cousin). He saw the Prophet and `Ali standing beside him in prayer. Abu Talib said to Ja'far, “Stand by the side of your cousin.” As he stood at the other side of the Prophet, the Messenger of Allah stepped forward and stood in front of the two men (as prayer leader). Seeing them, Abu Talib recited the following verses:
In truth, Ali and Ja`far are my trust,
In times of hardship and sorrow.
By Allah, I shall never abandon the Prophet,
Do not abandon, but rather support your cousin,
The son of my brother from my mother as well as my father.
Al‑Qummi related further that the Prophet used to trade for Khadijah before he married her. When he was working for her, she sent him with a caravan belonging to the people of Quraysh to Syria. He was accompanied by a servant of hers called Maysarah. They encamped one day beneath a hermitage belonging to one of the monks living in the area. The monk came down from his cell and looked intently at the Messenger of Allah. He then asked: “Who is this man?” The people answered: “He is the son of `Abdu'l-Muttalib.” The monk retorted: “His father could not be alive.”
Then looking at his eyes and between his shoulders, he exclaimed: “This is the Prophet of the people! This is the Prophet sent with the sword!” When Maysarah returned, he told Khadijah what happened and what had convinced her to offer herself to the Prophet in marriage. Khadijah gained a thousand dinars from that caravan.
One day the Prophet went into a market of the Arabs where he saw Zayd (ibn al‑Harithah). Zayd was a smart youth; the Prophet thus bought him for Khadijah. When, however, the Prophet married her, she gave him Zayd as a gift. When the Messenger of Allah received the call to Prophethood, and 'Ali accepted Islam, Zayd also became a Muslim after him. Thus `Ali, Ja'far, Zayd and Khadijah used to pray behind the Messenger of Allah.
Ash‑Shaykh Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn al‑Hasan al‑Bayhaqi reported in his book Dala'ilu'n‑Nubuwwah on the authority of `Ali, who said: “We were with the Messenger of Allah in Mecca when he went out into its suburbs. He did not pass by a tree or mountain but that it met him with the greeting `Peace be upon you O Apostle of Allah.' ”1 It is reported that 'Ali said: “I remember when I used to go with the Prophet into the valley, how he did not pass by a stone or tree but that it exclaimed, `Peace be upon you O Apostle of Allah', while I stood and listened.”
A man called `Afif (al‑Kindi) related that, “I was a merchant; I came to Mina one day during the hajj (pilgrimage) season. al‑`Abbas ibn `Abdi'l-Muttalib was also a merchant. I therefore came to trade with him.. As we were thus occupied, a man came out of a tent to pray: He faced the Ka'bah, and soon a woman came out and likewise stood in prayer. A youth also came out to pray with them. I exclaimed, `O `Abbas, what is this religion? We do not know what this religion is.' He answered, `This is Muhammad ibn `Abdillah, who claims that Allah called him to be a messenger, and that the treasures of Kisra (Khusraw, the Sasanid Persian Emperor) and Qaysar (Caesar, the Byzantine Emperor) will be opened for him. This is his wife Khadijah, daughter of Khuwaylid, who has believed in him. The youth is his cousin 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, who also believed in him.' ” `Afif then concluded: “Would that I had believed in him on that day so that I would have been the second man to follow him.” Ibn Ishaq reported that when the Prophet came out of the tent he looked at the sky, and when he saw the sun had inclined, he rose up to pray. Ibn Ishaq also mentioned Khadijah's standing in prayer behind him.
It is related on the authority of Mujahid ibn Jabr ( a well‑known Qur'an interpreter and traditionist), who said: “Among the favors which Allah bestowed upon 'Ali ibn Abi Talib and the great good He willed for him, was this: The people of Quraysh suffered a great shortage of food. Abu Talib had many children. Thus the Messenger of Allah said one day to his uncle `Abbas, who was one of the wealthiest men among the sons of Hashim, `O `Abbas, your brother Abu Talib is a man with many children, and you can see for yourself how people are suffering as a result of this crisis. Come let us go and relieve him and his children.'
They thus went to him and discussed the matter. He answered: `Leave `Aqil (a brother of 'Ali) .and take whomever you wish.' The Messenger of Allah took . 'Ali into his home, and `Ali remained with the Messenger of Allah until Allah called him to be a prophet. `Ali then followed him, believed in him and assented to him.”
'Ali ibn Ibrahim (al‑Qummi) related that three years after this, Allah revealed to the Apostle of Allah: Declare openly what you have been commanded and be not concerned with the Associators (Quran S : 94) . The Messenger of Allah therefore went out, stood up at al‑Hijr (that space which encompasses the Ka'bah on the north) and proclaimed: “O people of Quraysh and you Arab people, I call you all to the worship of Allah alone, and call you to reject all partners with Him, and all idols. I call you all to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. Heed my call that you may through it have dominion over all the Arabs. Through it also would non‑Arabs submit to your authority. Through it you would be kings in Paradise.” But they mocked and laughed at him, exclaiming: “Muhammad son of `Abdullah has gone mad!” They caused him much hurt with their tongues.
Abu Talib asked: “O son of my brother, what is this?” He answered: “Uncle, this is Allah's religion which He chose for His angels and prophets. It is the religion of Abraham and the prophets after him. Allah has sent me also as a messenger to humankind.” Abu Talib said: “O son of my brother, surely your people will not accept this from you! Desist, therefore, from proclaiming it to them.” “I shall not do so”, the Prophet answered, “because Allah has commanded me to call (people to Islam).” Thus, Abu Talib left him alone. The Messenger of Allah intensified his effort in calling the people and warning them at all times.
Those among the People of the Book who heard the news accepted Islam. When, however, the people of Quraysh saw people entering Islam, they were alarmed. They thus went to Abu Talib and demanded: “Restrain your nephew from us, for he has declared our mind to be foolish, and has insulted our gods! He has corrupted our youths, and has dissolved our unity!” Abu Talib then called him and said: “O my brother's son, the people have come to me asking that you desist from insulting their gods.”
The Prophet answered: “O uncle, I cannot disobey the command of my Lord.” Thus he used to call them and warn them of the impending divine punishment. The people of Quraysh gathered in assembly and enquired: “To what does Muhammad call us?” He answered: “I call you to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and to reject all associates with Him.” They protested: “Shall we then abandon three hundred and sixty gods and worship only one God?” Thus Allah mentions in the Qur'an their saying:
They marvel that a warner from among them came to them, and the rejecters of faith said, “He is a magician, a liar. Does he wish to render all gods one? This, indeed is a strange thing”. . ., and so on to His saying, No! But they have not yet tasted the torment (Qur'an 38: 4 ‑ 8) .
The people then came together to Abu Talib and said: “O Abu Talib, if poverty is the cause of your nephew's action, then we will gather so much wealth for him that he would be the wealthiest man of Quraysh.” Abu Talib called him and informed him of their offer. The Messenger of Allah, however, said: “Uncle, I have no need of wealth! Heed my call, so that you may be kings in this world and in the world to come! Then will both Arabs and non‑Arabs submit to your authority.” They dispersed, but soon returned to Abu Talib and said: “O Abu Talib, you are one of our foremost notables! You see that your nephew has declared us to be of foolish mind. He has cursed our gods and dissolve our unity! Let us give you `Umarah ibn al‑Walid, the most handsome and bright youth of Quraysh, the freshest youth and the noblest of lineage to be your son ‑ on condition that you turn over Muhammad to us that we may kill him.” He answered: “You have not dealt justly with me! Would you give me your son that I may bring him up, and yet take my son to kill him?” Finally, despairing of convincing him, they desisted.
Al‑Hafiz (al‑Bayhaqi) related in his book Dala'ilu'n-Nubuwwah on the authority of Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Talhah, that Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah said: “I was present one day at the market of Busra, where I heard a monk who lived in a cell say: `Enquire of the people of this fair if there is anyone among them of the people of the Sanctuary (that is, Mecca).' I replied: `Yes, I am.' He asked: `Has Ahmad come forth yet?' `Who is Ahmad?' I asked. He replied: `The son of `Abdullah ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib. This is the month in which he should come forth. He is the last of the prophets. The place of his appearance is the Sanctuary, and that of his migration is a place of date‑palms and black stones (that is, Medina). Beware lest anyone accept him before you do.' ”
Talhah continued: “I kept what he said in my heart, and .hastened to Mecca. I enquired if anything unusual had happened, and was told that, 'Muhammad ibn `Abdillah al‑Amin has declared himself a prophet. Ibn Abi Quhafah (that is, Abu Bakr) has followed him.' I thus went to Abu Bakr and said: `Have you really become a follower of this man?' `Yes', he answered. `You too go to him and follow him, for he invites men to the truth.' ”
Talhah then told Abu Bakr what the monk had said. Abu. Bakr took Talhah to the Apostle of Allah, whereupon Talhah became a Muslim. He told the Messenger of Allah what the monk had said, which gladdened the Apostle of Allah.2
When both Abu Bakr and Talhah had accepted Islam, a man called Nawfal ibn Khuwaylid ibn al‑`Adawiyyah took them and tied them together with one rope. The people of Taym (the tribe to which Abu Bakr belonged) did not protect them. Nawfal ibn Khuwaylid was known as the harshest man of the Quraysh.
The Messenger of Allah never ceased to insult the gods of the Associators, nor did he cease reciting the Qur'an to them. But they used to say: “This is only the poetry of Muhammad.” Some of them also said: “It is rather oratory discourse.”
There was an old man called al‑Walid ibn al‑Mughirah who was a judge among the Arabs, whom they brought difficult cases. They likewise used to recite their poems to him in order that he might judge among them. Whatever he judged to be good, that was chosen by all. He had many sons, who never left Mecca. He also possessed ten slaves, every one of whom had one thousand dinars to use as capital in trade. At that time he alone owned a qintar, (the skin of a bull filled with gold). al‑Walid was one of those who mocked the Messenger of Allah and he was the uncle of Abu Jahl ibn Hisham.
The people went to al‑Walid and asked: “O Abu `Abd ash‑Shams, what is this which Muhammad is uttering? Is it magic, soothsaying, or oratory?” He replied: “Let me hear his words.” He thus came to the Messenger of Allah while he was sitting in the Ka'bah and said: “O Muhammad, recite for me some of your poetry! ” He answered: “It is not poetry, but rather the word of Allah, with which He sent His prophets and apostles.” al‑Walid insisted: “Recite some of it to me.” The Messenger of Allah then recited:
“In the name of Allah, the All‑merciful, the Compassionate. ”
When al‑Walid heard the name ar‑Rahman (the All‑merciful), he mockingly said: “Do you call us to follow a man of Yamamah who is called ar‑Rahman?” The Prophet answered: “No, rather I call men to Allah, Who is the All‑merciful, the Compassionate.” He then recited the beginning of
”Ha mim: as‑Sajdah ”, (Surah 41)
until he reached verse 13.
But if they turn back, say: “I have warned you of a great catastrophe like the catastrophe of Ad and Thamud. ”
When al‑Walid heard this, he trembled and every hair on his head and in his beard stood on end. He then rose and went to his home, and did not return to the people of Quraysh. The people said to Abu Jahl, “O Abu 'l-Hakam, (that is, al‑Walid) has abandoned his religion for the religion of Muhammad! Do you not see that he has not returned to us? He must have, therefore, accepted his claim and gone to his home.” The people of Quraysh became exceedingly saddened by this. Abu Jahl went to al‑Walid the next day and said: “O uncle, you have brought low our heads and disgraced us!” He answered: “How have I done that, O son of my brother?” “Have you turned to the religion of Muhammad?” he asked. “No”, answered al‑Walid, “I did not do so. Rather, I stand by the religion of my people and my forefathers. I have, however, heard great words which cause skins to shudder.” Abu Jahl asked: “Is it poetry?” “No, it is not poetry”, answered his uncle. Abu Jahl asked further: “Is it oratory discourse?” al‑Walid answered: “No, for oratory discourse is of connected rhymed prose; yet this is free prose whose different parts do not resemble one another. It is possessed of great beauty.” Abu Jahl insisted: “So it is oratory.” “No”, answered his uncle. Abu Jahl asked: “What is it then?” al‑Walid said: “Let me think about it for a while.”
The next day, the people asked al‑Walid: “O Abu `Abd ash‑Shams, what do you say?” He answered: “Say it is magic, for it has truly attracted the hearts of the people.” Thus, Allah sent down concerning him in the Qur'an –
Leave me to deal with him whom I have alone created, and whom I have granted great wealth and sons, constantly present with him . . . and so on to Allah's saying: Over it (that is, Hell) stand nineteen (angels) (Qur.74:11‑30).
In a tradition related by Hammad ibn Zayd on the authority of `Ikrimah (a slave and pupil of Ibn `Abb5s and a well‑known traditionist), he reported that al‑Walid ibn al‑Mughirah came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him to recite some verses of the Qur'an. He recited:
“Allah surely commands justice and doing good, and giving (of one's wealth) to near relatives. He likewise forbids lewdness, indecency and insolence. He thus admonishes you, that perhaps you may remember” (Qur'an. 16:90) .
al‑Walid said: “Recite the verse once more!” He did, and al‑Walid exclaimed: “By Allah, it indeed is possessed of great sweetness and adorned with great beauty. Its top is indeed fruitful, and its bottom is like a palm‑tree laden with fruits! Nor can any mortal utter such speech.”
It is related that those who mocked the Messenger of Allah were five: al‑Walid ibn al‑Mughirah, al‑`As ibn Wail as‑Sahmi, al‑Aswad ibn al‑Muttalib, who was also known as Abu Zama'ah, al‑Aswad ibn `Abd Yaghuth of the tribe of Zuhrah and al‑Harith ibn at‑Tulatilah al‑Khuza`i. It is said that al‑Walid ibn al‑Mughirah passed one day by the Messenger of Allah, while the angel Gabriel was with him. Gabriel addressed the Prophet, saying: “Here comes al-Walid ibn al‑Mughirah, who is one of the mockers.” “Yes”, he answered. Then al‑Walid passed by a man of the tribe of Khuza'ah, sharpening his arrows at the door of the mosque. He accidentally stepped on some of them, a silver went into the bottom of his foot, and blood gushed out.
Gabriel pointed to that spot, and blood continued to flow until it stained the bed of his daughter. Frightened, the girl cried out: “O maid, the mouth of the water skin has come untied! ” “This is not the water of the water skin”, said al‑Walid, “it is the blood of your father. Call together for me my sons and the sons of my brother, for I am about to die.” When they all gathered, he made his will, and immediately breathed his last.
Al‑Aswad ibn al‑Muttalib passed one day by the Messenger of Allah. Gabriel pointed to his eyes and he became blind, and soon after died. al‑Aswad ibn `Abd Yaghuth also passed by the Prophet one day; Gabriel pointed to his stomach, and he drank so much water that his belly swelled until it burst. al‑`As ibn Wail passed also by the Prophet, and Gabriel pointed to his foot. Soon a splinter went into the bottom of his foot and came out of the top. His foot swelled up, and soon he died. at‑Tulatilah passed by the Prophet, and Gabriel spat in his face. The man then went out into the Tihamah mountains (in the vicinity of Mecca), where he was hit by a burning sand storm. He was burnt and turned black. When he returned home. his family would not let him in, saying, “You are not of this family.” He went away and was afflicted with great thirst. He thus drank until his stomach burst, and he died. All this happened in fulfilment of Allah's saying:
We have surely protected you against the mockers (Qur'an. 15:95).
When the people of Quraysh intensified their harsh treatment of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, he ordered some of his Companions to migrate to Abyssinia. He delegated Ja'far son of Abu Talib to take charge of them, and he set out with seventy men until they took to sea. When the people of Quraysh knew of their departure, they sent `Amr ibn al‑`As as‑Sahmi and `Umarah ibn al‑Walid to an‑Najashi (Negus) .of Abyssinia, requesting him to return the men to the people of Quraysh. They were also instructed to tell the King that these men had gone against the wishes and traditions of their people.
`Umarah was a handsome and wealthy man. `Amr ibn al`As set out with his wife. When they boarded the ship, they became intoxicated with wine. `Umarah then said to `Amr ibn al‑`As : “Tell your wife to kiss me!” The latter answered: “Glorified be Allah! Is this possible?” `Umarah waited until `Amr got drunk, then he pushed him overboard. `Amr was on the edge of the ship; thus he held on to the edge, and people rushed to his rescue. When `Amr saw what `Umarah had done to him, he said to his wife, “Kiss him! ”, which she did.
When they reached Abyssinia, they went straight to an-Najashi bearing presents for him. `Amr addressed him saying: “O King, these people have gone against our religion and sought refuge with you. Return them, therefore, to us! ” The King sent for Ja'far and said to him: “These men are requesting that I return you all to them.” He answered: “O King, ask them, are we their slaves?” “No”, answered `Amr, “rather they are free and noble men.” “Ask them,” Ja'far continued, “do we then owe them debts which they have come to claim from us?” `Amr answered: “They owe us no debts which we have come to claim.” Ja'far continued:
“Have they come then to avenge any blood of theirs that we had wrongfully shed?” `Amr answered: “They have shed no blood for which we come to exact vengeance or blood money.” Ja'far asked: “What then do you want from us?” `Amr said: “They have opposed us in our religion and the religion of our forefathers and insulted our gods. They have corrupted our youths and spread dissension among us. Return them to us, therefore, that our unity might be restored.”
Ja'far then addressed the King saying: “O King, we have opposed them in order to follow a prophet whom Allah has raised among us. He commands us to repudiate equals to Allah, and that we abandon chance games by means of arrows. He enjoins prayers and almsgiving upon us. He has prohibited wrongdoing, oppression and the unlawful shedding of blood. He has prohibited adultery, usury, and eating the flesh of dead animals which have not been properly slaughtered, as well as eating blood. He has enjoined decency and good works upon us, and that we show kindness to near relatives. He forbids grave immorality, indecency and insolence.”
The King said: “It is with such (teachings) that Allah also sent Jesus son of Mary! ” Then addressing Ja`far, he continued: “Do you know by heart any of the revelations which Allah sent down to your prophet?” “Yes”, he answered. “Recite then! ” the King demanded. Ja'far recited the Surah of Maryam (Surah 19). When he reached the words –
Shake down towards you the branch of the palm‑tree, and it shall drop down before you ripened dates ready to be picked. Eat and drink, therefore, and be of good cheer (Qur'an. 19 : 25 ‑ 26 ) –
an‑Najashi wept and exclaimed: “By Allah this is the truth!” `Amr protested: “O King, this man has abandoned our religion; give him to us that we may take him back to our country! ” an‑Najashi lifted his hand and slapped him saying: “If you utter any evil against him, I will kill you!” `Amr finally said: “O King, if this is what you say, then we shall not interfere with him.”
A young maid stood by an‑Najashi keeping flies away from him. She kept her eyes on `Umarah ibn al‑Walid, as he was a handsome young man. When they went to their lodgings, `Amr said to him: “Why do you not send a message to the King's maid?” `Umarah sent a message to her, and she answered him. `Amr said: “Tell her to bring you with her some of the King's perfumes. She did so, and `Amr ibn al`As took the perfume. He had kept in his heart what `Umarah had done to him when he attempted to throw him overboard. Thus, he took the perfume and went to an‑Najashi, and said to him: “O King, it is fitting that we take cognition of the King's honour and magnanimity toward us, and that we do not betray him in his own realm. Yet, my companion who is with me has sent messages to your maid and tempted her. She even brought him some of your perfumes.”
He then showed the King the perfume. an‑Najashi was exceedingly angry and was about to kill `Umarah. But he changed his mind and said: “It is not right that I kill him, for they entered our realm under a pledge of protection.” He thus called his magicians and said to them: “Do something to him that would be worse than death! ” They took him and injected mercury into his generative organ. He lost his mind, so that he lived with the wild beasts and shunned human company. 3
The people of Quraysh sent men to bring `Umarah back home. The men lay in wait for him until he came with wild beasts to drink at a spring. Thus they caught him, but he continued to struggle and scream in their hands until he expired. `Amr, however, returned to the people of Quraysh and recounted to them his story.
As for Ja'far, he remained in Abyssinia enjoying the best of hospitality and honour. He remained there until he heard that the Messenger of Allah had established a truce with the people of Quraysh and that peace had prevailed between them and the Muslims. He then returned with a large company of people. He arrived to find that the Messenger of Allah had conquered Khaybar (a Jewish settlement near Medina).
A son was born to Ja'far by Asma', daughter of `Umays. an‑Najashi also had a son, whom he called Muhammad. Asma' gave an‑Najashi's son of her own milk to drink (thus making him a nursing brother of her own son). Abu Talib recited these verses urging an‑Najashi to support the Prophet and his followers:
Know, O King of the Ethiopians, that Muhammad is a prophet like Moses and Jesus son of Mary.
He came with guidance such as they brought, for each of them was by Allah's command well ‑protected.
Concerning him, you recite verses in your own scriptures; a true account it is, not a fantastic tale.
Do not, therefore, set up equals with Allah; rather become Muslims, for the way of truth is not obscured in darkness.
The traditionist Abu `Abdillah (al‑Bayhaqi) transmitted on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ishaq that the Messenger of Allah sent `Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri to an‑Najashi regarding Ja'far ibn Abi Talib and his Companions. He sent a letter with him which read thus:
“In the name of Allah, the All‑merciful, the Compassionate ‑ From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to the Negus, the King of Abyssinia ‑ I convey to you the praises of Allah
the King, the Holy, the Accepter of Faith, the Guardian (Qur.59:23).
I furthermore bear witness that Jesus son of Mary is the Spirit of Allah
and His Word, which He sent down to Mary (Qur'an. 4 : 171) ,
the pure and chaste virgin who then conceived Jesus, whom Allah created of His Spirit which he breathed into him ‑just as he created Adam with His Hand and breathed of His Spirit into him. I thus call you to the worship of the One and only Allah alone Who has no associate, and that you obey Him, follow me and believe in me and the message which was vouchsafed me. For I indeed am the Messenger of Allah. I have, moreover, sent to you my cousin Ja'far with a company of the Muslims. When they come to you, show hospitality to them and do not be arrogant. I call you and your hosts to Allah! I have conveyed my message to you and given good counsel. Peace be with those who follow true guidance.”
An‑Najashi wrote in answer to the Messenger of Allah:
“In the name of Allah, the All‑merciful, the Compassionate ‑ to Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah ‑ from the Negus al‑Ashamah ibn Abhar: peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah and Allah's mercy and blessings ‑ there is no god but He Who guided me to Islam. I have received your letter, O Messenger of Allah, concerning the importance you give in the case of Jesus. By the Lord of the heaven and earth, Jesus does not exceed what you have mentioned concerning him. We acknowledge what you have written to us, and have thus shown hospitality to your cousin and Companions. I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah truly and that you tell the truth. I have, therefore, given allegiance (bay `ah) to you and your cousin. I have accepted Islam to Allah, the Lord of all beings at his hands. I have sent to you, O Messenger of Allah, Arijan ibn Ashamah ibn Abhar, I have‑indeed no authority except over myself alone. If, therefore, you wish that I come to you, I would come, O Messenger of Allah. For I bear witness that what you say is the truth.”
An‑Najashi then sent presents to the Prophet. He sent him also Mariyah the Copt, the mother of the Prophet's son Ibrahim. He sent him much clothing and aromatics, and a mare. He also sent him thirty learned men to hear his words and observe his conduct. When they arrived in Medina, the Messenger of Allah called them to. Islam, and they accepted Islam and returned to the Negus. Jabir ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari reported that, “When an‑Najashi died, the Messenger of Allah prayed over Ashamah, the Negus.”
The people of Quraysh redoubled their efforts in troubling the Messenger of Allah. The harshest of men toward him was his uncle Abu Lahab. One day the Prophet was sitting in the precincts of the Ka'bah, when the people sent for a birth sack of a sheep and threw it at him.( According to al‑Jazari, the well‑known lexicographer and traditionist, this happened while the Prophet was praying. (ed. ))
The Messenger of Allah was greatly saddened by this, and went to Abu Talib to complain, saying: “O uncle, how is my status among you?” Abu Talib asked: “What is the matter O son of my brother?” He replied: “The people of Quraysh threw a birth sack at me.”
Abu Talib then said to Hamzah: “Take up the sword!” The people of Quraysh were assembled in the Mosque. Both Hamzah and Abu Talib went in with their swords. Abu Talib ordered Hamzah, saying: “Rub the birth sack over their moustaches, and if anyone resists, cut off his head!” But no one moved while he rubbed the birth sack over their moustaches.. He then turned to the Messenger of Allah, and said: “O son of my brother, this is your status among us!”
In the book Dala'ilu'n‑Nubuwwah (of al‑Bayhaqi),4 it is reported on the authority of Abu Dawud who reported from Shu'bah who reported from Abu Ishaq (as‑Sabi`i), who heard `Amr ibn Maymun relate on the authority of `Abdullah (ibn Mas'ud), who said: “While the Messenger of Allah was prostrating in prayer one day, with some men of Quraysh sitting all around him, and the birth sack of a she‑camel lying around, some dared others men saying: `Who would take this birth sack and throw it at his back?' A man called `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt took up the birth sack and threw it at the Prophet's back. Fatimah (the Prophet's daughter) came and took the camel's birth sack off the Prophet's back, and cursed those who did that to him.”
`Abdullah continued: “I never saw the Messenger of Allah invoke Allah against them except on that day. He said: “O Allah, I leave to you the people of Quraysh! O Allah to you do I leave Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, `Utbah ibn Rabi `ah, Shaybah ibn Rabi `ah, `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt, Umayyah ibn Khalaf or Ubayy ibn Khalaf (Shu'bah was confused). The Prophet enumerated seven men in all.” `Abdullah went on: “I saw them all slain in the Battle of Badr and thrown into a well. Umayyah ibn Khalaf, however, was a very fat man. His body disintegrated as it was dragged along before reaching the well.' ”5
It is related on the authority of Khabbab (a well‑known Companion), who said: “I came one day to the Messenger of Allah, while he lay in the shade of the Ka` bah using his mantle as a pillow. We had endured much suffering at the hands of the people of Quraysh. Thus I asked: `O Messenger of Allah, would you not invoke Allah on our behalf?'
He sat up, red in the safe, and said: `Those who were before you ‑often were their flesh and nerves scraped with sharp iron combs. Yet they did not turn away from their faith. A man would be sawed in half from his head down, yet he would not be turned away from his faith. But Allah shall indeed bring this affair to fruition, so that a horseman would travel all the way between San'a and Hadramawt fearing no one but Allah, or the wolf that may attack his sheep.' ”6
It is also related on the authority of Jabir (son of the famous Companion, `Abdullah al‑Ansari) that the Messenger of Allah passed one day by `Ammar ibn Yasir and his family while they were being tortured for Allah's sake. He said: “Be of good cheer, O family of `Ammar, for you shall soon enter Paradise! ” It is reported on the authority of Mujahid ( ibn Jabr) (a well‑known traditionist of the second generation) that the first martyr in Islam was Sumayyah, the mother of `Ammar, whom Abu Jahl stabbed in the heart.
'Ali ibn Ibrahim al‑Qummi reported that Abu Jahl met the Messenger of Allah one day and spoke harsh words to him. All the men of the Hashimite clan angrily assembled. Hamzah had just returned from hunting, when he saw the crowd and enquired about the commotion. A woman called down to him from one of the roof‑tops saying: “O Abu Ya'la, `Amr ibn Hisham (i.e., Abu Jahl) confronted Muhammad and insulted him.” Hamzah enraged, went to Abu Jahl hit him with his bow on the head and picked him up and beat him hard against the ground. People crowded around them, and it was feared that great conflict might ensue.
People then asked Hamzah: “O Abu Ya'la, have you then turned to the religion of your nephew?” “Yes”, he answered: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.” He said this only as a result of anger and feeling of support for his nephew. When, however, he returned to his home, he regretted his decision. Thus he went to the Messenger of Allah and asked: “O son of my brother, is what you say the truth?” The Messenger of Allah recited to him a Surah of the Qur'an, and Hamzah saw the truth and stood firm in the faith of Islam. The Messenger of Allah was exceedingly happy. Abu Talib also was glad to learn of Hamzah's Islam, and recited the following verses:
Be steadfast, O Abu Ya`la in the faith of Ahmad;
Show forth your faith; may you be strengthened inShow forth your faith; may you be strengthened in
Follow the footsteps of him who came with true' faithFollow the footsteps of him who came with true' faith
from his Lord; Do not, O Hamzah, be a rejecter of faith!
It made me glad when you said that you are a man of faith; Be then a true supporter of the Messenger of Allah in Allah's cause.
Call openly the people of Quraysh to that which youCall openly the people of Quraysh to that which you
yourself have been given; Proclaim to them that Ahmad is indeed not a magician!
The Messenger of Allah was transported by Allah from Mecca to Jerusalem, (see Qur'an. 17 :1) . Gabriel carried him thither on al‑Buraq (a celestial horse), and showed him the prayer chambers of the prophets before him. After the Prophet had led them all in prayer, Gabriel brought him back to Mecca. On his way back, the Prophet passed by a caravan belonging to the people of Quraysh. They had with them water in a vessel, from which he drank, and poured out the rest. They also lost one of their camels and went out in search of it.
Next morning Muhammad recounted to the people of Quraysh: “Allah transported me by night to Jerusalem where He showed me the signs and stations of the prophets. I have also passed by a caravan in such and such a place, where they lost one of their camels. I drank from a vessel of water which they had, and poured out the rest of the water.” Abu Jahl said: “You have now an opportune moment; ask him, therefore, how many columns and lamps are in Jerusalem! ” They thus said to him: “O Muhammad, here is someone who has been to Jerusalem! ” Describe for us its columns, lamps, and prayer chambers! ” Gabriel came and suspended an image of Jerusalem before the Prophet's eyes, and he told them whatever they wished to know about the holy city. When he had informed them, they said: “Let us wait until the caravan returns and we question the people about what you have told us:” “The sign of the truth of what I have said is that the caravan will appear at sunrise led by a red camel carrying two white sacks”, the Prophet said.
Next morning, they went out looking towards the hill outside the city and saying: “The sun shall soon rise.” As they were thus wondering, the caravan appeared, led by a red camel, just as the disk of the sun was becoming visible. They asked the men with the caravan about the things which the Messenger of Allah had told them. The men answered: “It is true, it was as he said. We lost a camel in such and such a place; we left water by night, but when we woke up next morning, the water was all poured out.” Yet, all this only increased the people of Quraysh in their stubbornness.
They then all gathered in their assembly hall and prepared a written pledge neither to share food with the sons of Hashim, nor to speak to them. Nor would they transact any trade with them, or intermarry with them. They would not even socialize with them in any way, until they turned Muhammad over to them that they might kill him. They agreed to be as one hand against Muhammad, either to assassinate him, or kill him openly.
When Abu Talib learned of all this, he gathered the sons of Hashim, forty men in all, and went into a secret ravine. Abu Talib swore to them by the Ka'bah, the haram, the rukn and the station (maqam of Abraham) that if even a thorn was to prick Muhammad, “I will steadfastly fight against you all, 0 sons of Hashim.” Abu Talib fortified the ravine and set up guards over it night and day. At night he kept guard himself with his sword, while the Messenger of Allah slept. Then he had him get up and sleep in another spot, guarded by his own sons and the sons of his brother. They watched over the Prophet during the day as well.
In the end, they endured much hardship. Thus it was that no one of the Arabs entering Mecca dared buy from or sell anything to the family of Hashim, for fear that his wealth would be seized. To that end, Abu Jahl, al‑`As ibn Wail as-Sahmi, an‑Nadr ibn al‑Harith ibn Kaladah and `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt used to go out to the roads leading to Mecca, and anyone they saw carrying goods, they forbade to trade with the sons of Hashim. Otherwise they threatened to seize his wealth. Khadijah, however, had much wealth, which she spent in caring for the Messenger of Allah while he was in the ravine. Mut'im ibn `Adiyy ibn Nawfal ibn `Abdi'lMuttalib refused to sign the pledge, saying: “This is wrongdoing.” The document was, nonetheless, sealed with forty seals, representing all the notables of Quraysh. They then hung it in the Ka'bah. Abu Lahab also concurred with them in this action.
During the special seasons (when fighting was banned), the Messenger of Allah would go around the Arab tribes and plead with them: “If you would protect me, I would recite to you the Book of my Lord, and your reward with Allah shall be Paradise.” Abu Lahab would follow close behind him and say: “Do not accept his offer! He is my brother's son. He is a magician and a liar.” Thus it went on, and the sons of Hashim remained in the ravine for four years, having no security except during special seasons, nor could they buy or sell anything except during these seasons. There were two seasons held in Mecca every year: that of the `umrah (lesser pilgrimage) during Rajab, and the pilgrimage season in Dhi'l‑Hijjah (the 7th and 12th months respectively). Hence, only when either of these two special seasons come did the sons of Hashim leave their ravine to buy and sell. Then no one of them dared venture out till the next season. They therefore suffered much hardship and hunger.
The people of Quraysh sent a message to Abu Talib, saying: “Turn Muhammad over to us that we may kill him; then we would make you king over us.” In response, Abu Talib recited a long poem, in which he says:
When I saw that these people had no love,
having cut off all ties and means of friendship;
(I said): Do you not know that we do not regard our son as a liar,
Nor does he utter vain words.
Pure is he, that for the sake of his face prayers for rain are answered;
Generous towards orphans is he, and a protection for widows.
The errant of the clan of Hashim crowd around him;
For with him they find bounty and generous gifts.
You lie, by Allah's house! We shall never abandon Muhammad;
Rather we shall wield the sword and strive to protect him.
We shall never betray him, until we fall slain before him;
For his sake we shall neglect our sons and wives.
By my life! I have been charged with great affection for Ahmad!By my life! I have been charged with great affection for Ahmad!
I loved him with the love of a faithful lover.
I have sacrificed willingly my soul for him and protected him;
I have defended him with all that is precious,
Even the bones of my breast!
He remains an object of beauty in this world for its inhabitants;
A harsh match to anyone showing enmity toward him is he, and the ornament of every assembly.
He is clement, wise, unwavering and not foolish;
Friend of the Lord of Truth, never indulging in vain disputation.
Thus the Lord of human servants has strengthened him with His victory;
He caused a religion to prevail whose truth knows no falsehood.
When they heard this poem, they despaired of convincing Abu Talib.
Abu 'l-`As ibn Rabi', who was the Messenger of Allah's son‑in‑law, used to bring by night camels laden with wheat and dates to the entrance of the ravine and call out loudly to them, so that they would rush in, and the sons of Hashim would have provisions. The Messenger of Allah used to say: “Abu 'l-`As has established a tie of marriage with us and has honoured well this marriage relation. He brought laden camels to us when we were besieged and delivered them to our ravine by night.”
When the Messenger of Allah had spent four years in the ravine, Allah sent against the hostile document of the Quraysh an earthworm which licked clean all words of unkindness to next of kin, and all wrongdoing and oppression. It only spared the name of Allah.
Gabriel came down to the Messenger of Allah and told him about it. The Messenger of Allah then told Abu Talib, who went to the men of Quraysh as they assembled in the mosque. When they saw him they said: “Abu Talib has finally given in; he has now come to turn his nephew in.” He drew near and greeted them with the salutation of peace. They all rose up and received him with deference. They then said: “O Abu Talib, we know that you wish our friendship and return to our society! You will turn your nephew over to us.” He answered: “No, by Allah, it is not for this that I have come to you. Rather my nephew tells me ‑ and he utters no lies ‑ that Allah has told him that He sent an earthworm against your hostile document, which ate every word of unkindness to next of kin, of wrongdoing and oppression. It only spared the name of Allah. Bring your document, and if what he says is true, then fear Allah and abandon your wrongdoing, oppression and unkindness toward blood relations. If, on the other hand, what he says is false, I will turn him over to you. If you wish, you may kill him, or if you wish you may spare his life.” They brought the document down from the Ka'bah, still bearing forty seals. When it was brought before them, every man saw his seal. When, however, they .opened it, they found no letters except the phrase: `in your name, O Allah.' Abu Talib then pleaded with them saying: “O people, fear Allah and desist from what you are doing! ” But the people dispersed, and no one spoke a word. Abu Talib then returned to the ravine and recited his poem rhyming with the letter `b' and which begins as follows:
Who shall endure standing on guard till night's end,
Or the retreat which your divided people have decreed.
In the document there was indeed a lesson;
Anyone knowing about it would surely marvel.
Allah had Himself erased from it their rejection of faith and insolence,
As well as their hostility toward him who proclaimed the truth openly.
Thus what they said came to nought,
For anyone inventing falsehood only tells lies.
Yet the son of Abdullah has been truthful among us,
in spite of our people's wrath.
Do not think that we shall betray Muhammad; For neither our honour nor fidelity would permit it!
A strong Hashimite hand shall protect him;
He whose deeds among men are the best of deeds.
Then some of the sons of `Abd Manaf and the sons of Qusayy, as well as other men of Quraysh who were born to women of the sons of Hashim ‑ among whom was Mut'im ibn `Adiyy ibn `Amir ibn Lu'ayy, an old man of great wealth and many children, and Abu 'l-Bakhtari ibn Hisham and Zuhayr ibn (Abi) Umayyah al‑Makhzumi and other of their notables ‑ said: “We dissociate ourselves from this document.” Abu Jahl likewise said: “This is a matter which was decided in the dark.” Thus the Prophet and those who were with him were able to leave the ravine.
Two months later, Abu Talib died. Khadijah also died soon after. These were two grave occurrences which the Messenger of Allah had to endure, and he was greatly saddened. He went in to see Abu Talib while he was breathing his last. He said: “O uncle, you cared for a child until he grew up. You supported him when he was a grown man, and cared for him as an orphan. May Allah, therefore, reward you on my behalf with the best reward. Give me a word (that is, the shahadah) that I may intercede with it on your behalf with my Lord.” Abu Talib replied: “O son of my brother, were I not to fear the reproach of people after me, I would have gladdened your heart.” Saying this he died.
Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid, and Abu Talib died in the same year.7 Thus afflictions followed one another for the Messenger of Allah after the death of Khadijah and Abu Talib ‑ for she was a true helper (wazir) to him in Islam, and he found comfort in her. Abu `Abdillah ibn Mandah reported in the Kitabu'l-Ma`rifah that Khadijah died three days after Abu Talib,8 al‑Waqidi claimed that they all left the ravine three years before the Migration. In that year Khadijah and Abu Talib died within the space of thirty‑five nights.
It is reported in the book entitled Dala'ilu'n‑Nubuwwah 9 on the authority of az‑Zuhri (a well‑known traditionist), that the Messenger of Allah used to offer himself as a prophet to the Arab tribes every year during the pilgrimage season. He used to speak to the chief of every tribe, requesting only that they give him shelter and protection. He said: “I shall not ask anyone of you to do anything he does not wish to do. For anyone of you who accepts what I have come to call you to, it is well. But I shall not compel anyone who would refuse. I only ask that you protect me from those who wish to kill me, so that I might convey the messages of my Lord ‑ and Allah decrees what He wills for me and those who will follow him.” Yet no one of them accepted him. Everyone he spoke to of these tribes would say: “The people of this man know best his claims. Do you think that a man can reform us when he has corrupted his own people, and who have therefore, abandoned him? ”
When Abu Talib died, trials increased greatly as never before for the Messenger of Allah. He thus turned to the tribe of Thaqif in the city of at‑Ta'if in the hope that they might give him shelter. He sought three men, who were the notables of Thaqif in those days. They were brothers: `Abd Yalayl ibn `Amr, Habib ibn `Amr and Mas'ud ibn `Amr. He offered himself to them and told them of the trials that had afflicted him at the hands of his people. One of them exclaimed: “I swear that I would even steal the curtains of the Ka'bah, if Allah had truly sent you with anything! ” The other said: “Could not Allah send someone other than you?” The third exclaimed: “By Allah, I shall never speak to you henceforth. By Allah, if you are truly the Messenger of Allah, you would be of too great honour for me even to speak to you. If, on the other hand, you lie concerning Allah, you would be too evil for me to speak to you.” They mocked him and revealed to their people their conversation with him.
The men then placed people in two lines in his way. When the Messenger of Allah passed between the two lines, he did not lift his feet or put them down but that they pelted them with stones. They repeated this until his feet bled. He escaped from them with his feet gushing blood, and ran to one of their gardens and took shelter under a tree, sad and suffering much pain.
`Utbah ibn Rabi `ah and Shaybah ibn Rabi `ah were in the garden. He therefore did not wish to remain with them, as he knew their great hostility to Allah and His Messenger. When they saw him, they sent to him a servant of theirs called `Addas who was of the people of Naynawa (Nineveh), with grapes. When `Addas came to him, the Messenger of Allah asked: “From which land are you?” He answered: “I am of the people of Nineveh.” He said to him: “So you are from the city of the righteous man Yunus (Jonah) son of Mitts (Matthew).” `Addas asked him: “How do you know who Yunus was? ”
The Messenger of Allah, who never looked down at anyone so much as not to convey to him the message of his Lord, answered: “I am the Messenger of Allah. Allah, exalted be He, informed me of the account of Yunus ibn Mitts.” When he had told him what Allah had revealed to him concerning Yunus ibn Mitts, `Addas fell prostrate before Allah and began to kiss the Prophet's feet while they continued to gush blood. When `Utbah and Shaybah saw what their servant was doing, they kept silent. But when he returned to them they asked: “Why did you prostrate yourself before Muhammad and kiss his feet, while we never saw you do so to any of us?”
He answered: “He is a righteous man who told me things which I recognized concerning a messenger whom Allah had sent to us, whose name was Yunus ibn Mitts.” They laughed and said “Let him not tempt you away from your Christianity, for he is a deceitful man.” The Messenger of Allah then returned to Mecca.
`Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim (al‑Qummi) reports that when the Messenger. of Allah returned from the city of at-Ta'if and approached Mecca with the intention of performing the `umrah (lesser pilgrimage), he did not wish to enter Mecca where he had no protector. He saw a man of the Quraysh who had secretly embraced Islam and said to him: “Go to al‑Akhnas ibn Shurayq and tell him that Muhammad asks you to protect him until he performs the circumambulations ( tawaf , around the Ka'bah) and the running (sa`i) between the two hills of as‑Safa and al‑Marwa, for he has come to perform the `umrah.” The man went to al‑Akhnas and conveyed to him what the Messenger of Allah had said.
Al‑Akhnas answered: “I am not of the Quraysh, but only an ally, and an ally cannot offer protection. I fear that they would violate my protection, and that would be an insult.” The man returned to the Messenger of Allah and told him. The Messenger of Allah was hiding in the ravine of Harra' with Zayd ibn al‑Harithah. He said to the man: “Go to Suhayl ibn `Amr and ask him to protect me only until I circumambulate the House (that is, the Ka'bah) and perform the sa`i (running between as‑Safa and al‑Marwa).”
The man went and told Suhayl, but he answered: “No, I will not.” The Messenger of Allah sent the man to Mut'im ibn `Adiyy (ibn `Amir) to make the same request. When the man went to him he asked: “Where is Muhammad?” The man, however, did not wish to tell him where the Prophet was. He rather answered: “He is nearby.” Mut'im said: “Go to him and say that I shall give you protection. Come, therefore, and circumambulate and run as you wish.”
The Messenger of Allah entered the city. Mut'im said to his sons, his sister, and to his brother, who was called Tu'aymah ibn `Adiyy: “Take up your arms, for I have offered Muhammad protection! Stay around the Ka'bah until he performs the circumambulation and running.” There were ten men in all who took up arms. Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, then came in to the mosque. Abu Jahl saw him and said: “O people of Quraysh, here is Muhammad alone. His supporter has died; do with him, therefore, as you please.” Tu'aymah ibn `Adiyy said to him: “O uncle, do not speak, for Abu Wahb (that is, Mut'im) has offered Muhammad protection.” Abu Jahl went to Mut`im and asked: “Are you a protector, or one who has abandoned his religion for another?” He answered: “I am only a protector.” Abu Jahl said: “In that case your protection will not be violated.”
When the Messenger of Allah had finished his circumambulation and running, he came to Mut'im and said: “O Abu Wahb, you have protected and done well! Release me now from your protection.” Mut'im replied: “What would prevent you from remaining in my protection?” He answered: “I detest remaining in the protection of an Associator for more than one day.” Mut'im then exclaimed: “O people of Quraysh, Muhammad has released himself from my protection! ”
'Ali ibn Ibrahim (al‑Qummi) reported that As'ad ibn Zurarah and Dhakwan ibn `Abd Qays, both of whom were of the Khazraj tribe of Medina, came to Mecca during one of the pilgrimage seasons. At that time a state of war, which had already lasted for a long time, existed between the Aws and Khazraj (both of which were Medinan tribes). The people did not lay down their arms by day or night.
In the last engagement between them on the day of Bu'ath (40), the Aws tribe had prevailed over the Khazraj. As'ad ibn Zurarah and Dhakwan came to Mecca for the `umrah of the sacred month of Rajab seeking an alliance against the Aws tribe. As'ad ibn Zurarah was a friend of `Utbah ibn Rabi `ah. He thus came to him as a guest and said: “A long period of war has prevailed between us and our people. We have come, therefore, seeking alliance against them.”
`Utbah answered: “Your dwellings are far from ours, and we have an important preoccupation which prevents us from undertaking any other.” As'ad asked: “What is your preoccupation, when you live securely in your sacred city? ” “A man has appeared among us who claims that he is the Messenger of Allah”, answered `Utbah. He continued: “This man has declared our minds foolish, and insulted our gods. He has also corrupted our youths and dissolved our unity.” “Who is he?”
`Utbah replied: “He is the son of `Abdullah son of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib. He is of a family that is of high honour and status among us.” As'ad and Dhakwan as well as all the people of the Aws and Khazraj tribes used to hear from the Jews of an‑Nadir, Qurayzah and Qaynuqa' ‑ who lived among them ‑ that: “The time has come when a prophet shall appear in Mecca, whose migration shall be to Medina. With him we shall slay you all, O people of the Arabs! ”
When As'ad heard all this from `Utbah, the things which he had heard from the Jews came back into his mind. He thus asked: “Where is he?” `Utbah answered: “He is sitting in the Ka'bah. They do not come out of their ravine except during the pilgrimage season. As for you, do not listen to him or speak to him, for he is a sorcerer who would bewitch you with his words.” All this took place at the time when the men of Hashim were besieged in the ravine. As'ad said: “What shall I do when I have come for the `umrah and it is necessary for me to circumambulate the House? ” He answered: “Plug your ears up with cotton.”
As'ad then went into the sanctuary, having stuffed his ears with cotton. He circumambulated the House while the Messenger of Allah was sitting in the sanctuary with some of the men of Hashim. He looked at the Prophet and passed him by. As he passed by, however, performing the second circumambulation, he said to himself: “Truly, there is no one more foolish than I ! Should all this occur in Mecca, and I know not what it is so that I might go back to my people and tell them? ” He thus took the cotton out of his ears, threw it away and addressed the Messenger of Allah, saying: “Have a happy morning!” This was the greeting of the Arabs before Islam. The Messenger of Allah turned to him and said: “Allah has given us another greeting instead which is better than this one; it is the greeting of the people of Paradise: `as‑Salamu `alaykum' (peace be upon you) .” As'ad said: “You must have come recently to this! What do you call men to, O Muhammad?”
He replied: “To the witness (shahadah) that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah! I enjoin upon you that:
`You associate nothing with Him, and that you act kindly towards your parents. Do not kill your children for fear of poverty, for We shall provide both for you and them. Do not come near vile transgressions, be they disclosed or hidden, and do not kill a soul, which Allah has made unlawful except with justice. With all this you have been charged that perhaps you may understand. Do not come near the wealth of an orphan except in the fairest manner, until he reaches the age of discretion. Give full and just measure and weight. Yet We do not charge a soul except in accordance with its capacity. When you speak, speak justly, even if it be against one who is nearest of kin. Fulfil Allah's covenant. You are enjoined to all this, that perhaps you may recollect.' ” 10
When As'ad heard this, he exclaimed: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, having no associate, and that you are the Messenger of Allah! O Messenger of Allah, may my father and my mother be a ransom for you! I am of the city of Yathrib (Medina), of the Khazraj tribe. All relations between us and our brothers of the Aws tribe are cut off. If Allah were to re‑establish them by means of you, I would find no one more honoured than you. Another man of my people is accompanying me. I trust that he too will enter into this matter, and that Allah will set our affairs right through you. By Allah, 0 Messenger of Allah, we often heard reports of you from the Jews. They used to announce to us your coming forth and inform us of your characteristics. I trust that our abode shall be the abode of your migration, and that with us shall be your dwelling. The Jews have informed us of this. Praise be to Allah Who led me to you! By Allah, I came only to seek some alliance against our opponents. Yet Allah has given us something better than the purpose for which I came.”
Dhakwan then came, and As'ad told him: “This is the Messenger of Allah whom the Jews announced and of whose characteristics they informed us. Come, therefore, and declare your Islam.” Dhakwan thus accepted Islam and said: “O Messenger of Allah, send with us a man who would teach us the Qur'an and call the people to your message.” The Messenger of Allah sent Mus'ab ibn `Umayr, a youth who had lived in luxury with his parents, who preferred him over all their other children, and who had never left Mecca. But when Mus'ab became a Muslim, his parents disowned him, and he remained with the Messenger of Allah in the ravine until the signs of exhaustion were visible on his changed face. The Messenger of Allah ordered him to go with As'ad, as he had learned much of the Qur'an. Dhakwan then left for Medina with As'ad accompanied by Mus'ab ibn `Umayr.
When As'ad and Dhakwan came to their people, they told them about the Messenger of Allah and his message. From every family one or two men accepted Islam. Mus'ab lived with As'ad ibn Zurarah, and every day he would go around the assemblies of the men of Khazraj calling them to Islam, but only the youths would accept his call. There was a man called `Abdullah ibn Ubayy who was a notable of the Khazraj tribe. They all agreed to appoint him as king over them because of his honourable status and generosity. They had made a crown for him which they then presented to him, seeking by this mediation in their long hostilities, for he had not fought on the side of his people of the Khazraj in the war of Bu'ath, nor had he supported them against the Aws tribe. He had said, rather, “You commit wrongdoing towards the Aws tribe, and I will not support wrongdoing.” Thus both the Aws and Khazraj accepted him.
When As'ad returned, `Abdullah ibn Ubayy did not like what he and Dhakwan brought back with them. He was, for this reason, indifferent. As'ad then said to Mus'ab: “My maternal uncle Sa'd ibn Mu'adh is one of the chiefs of the Aws tribe. He is a wise and honourable man, and is well respected among the people of `Amr ibn `Awf. If he were to enter into Islam, our cause would triumph. Let us, therefore, go to their dwellings.” Thus, Mus'ab went with As'ad to the quarter of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and sat at one of their wells. A number of their youths gathered around him (Mus'ab), while he recited the Qur'an to them. When Sa'd ibn Mu'adh learnt of this, he said to Usayd ibn Hudayr, who was also one of their notables: “I have heard that Abu Umamah, As'ad ibn Zurarah has returned with a man of Quraysh to corrupt our youths. Go, therefore, to him and order him to desist.” Usayd ibn Hudayr went to them, and As'ad, looking at him, said to Mus'ab: “This is an honourable man, and if he joins our cause, I have hope that it will be strengthened. Exert yourself with him in the cause of Allah.”
When Usayd came near them, he said: “O Abu Umamah, your uncle says that you should not come to our assembly, nor should you corrupt our youths. Beware of the men of the Aws, for your own safety! ” Mus'ab said: “Would you not sit down that we may put before you a cause, which you may join if you so wish; otherwise, we shall remove from you anything you may dislike.” He sat down, and Mus'ab recited to him a Surah of the Qur'an. Usayd asked: “What do you do when you join this cause? ” Mus`ab answered, “We purify ourselves, wear two clean garments, proclaim the profession of faith (shahadah) and pray two rak'ahs.
Usayd threw himself with his clothes into the well; he came out, he wrung his garments and said: “Put it before me!” Mus'ab thus taught him the profession of faith that, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Usayd repeated the shahadah and offered two rak'ahs of prayers. He then said to As'ad: “O Abu Umamah, I shall now send your uncle to you; I shall use every persuasion to make him come to you.” Usayd then went back to Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, and when the latter looked at him, he said: “I swear that Usayd has returned to us with a different face from that with which he left us.”
Sa'd ibn Mu'adh then went to them, and Mus'ab recited to him:
Ha mim, a revelation from the All‑merciful, the Compassionate (Qur'an 41:1‑ 2) . “
By Allah,” the two men exclaimed, “we saw Islam in his face even before he uttered a word! ” He sent for two clean garments from his home; he proclaimed the two shahadahs and offered two rak'ahs of prayer. He then rose, took Mus'ab by the hand and took him to his home. He said to him: “Declare your cause and do not fear anyone!” Then Sa'd went and stood before the people of `Amr ibn `Awf and exclaimed: “O people of `Amr ibn `Awf, let there be Do man, woman, virgin or married woman, neither old man, nor youth but that they should come forth; this is not a day of hiding or seclusion! ” When they had all gathered, he said: “What is my status with you?” With one voice they said: “You are our master who is obeyed among us, nor shall we‑oppose you in anything! Command us then to do whatever you wish.”
He said: “It shall be unlawful for me to speak to your men, women or children until you bear witness that, `There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.' Praise be to Allah Who has honoured us with that (faith). He (Muhammad) is the one of whom the Jews informed us.” There was not a house of the people of `Amr ibn `Awf but that a man or woman of its inhabitants then accepted Islam. He then said to Mus'ab ibn `Umayr: “Declare your cause and call the people openly to it.” Thus, Islam spread widely in Medina. All the notables of the two tribes (that is, the Aws and Khazraj) entered into Islam, because of what they remembered of the reports of the Jews.
The Messenger of Allah was then informed of the coming of the Aws and Khazraj into Islam, for Mus'ab had written to him concerning this matter. But anyone of the Quraysh who had accepted Islam was beaten and tortured by his people. For this reason the Messenger of Allah ordered all such people to migrate to Medina. They used to escape secretly one man at a time and when they arrived in Medina, the people of the Aws and Khazraj opened their homes to them and received them with hospitality and kindness.
It is reported that when the people of the Aws and Khazraj came to Mecca (for the pilgrimage), the Messenger of Allah came to them and pleaded: “Would you protect me so that I may recite to you the Book of your Lord, and that your reward with Allah be Paradise? ” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah”, they answered. “You shall have whatever you wish for yourself and your Lord.”
He then said to them: “Your appointment with me shall be at the `Aqabah (a place outside Mecca) on the middle night of the nights of tashriq (that is, the three days following the Day of Sacrifice, which concludes the pilgrimage rites).” After they had performed the pilgrimage rites, they returned to Mina (one of the stations of the pilgrimage), many of them having accepted Islam, but the majority still adherents of their old religion. Among them on that journey was `Abdullah ibn Ubayy. The Messenger of Allah said to them on the second day of the days of tashriq, “Gather all of you in the house of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib, which is in the `Aqabah. Let each one come alone stealthily so that you wake up no one who is asleep.”
The Messenger of Allah was staying in the house of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib along with Hamzah, `Ali and al‑`Abbas. Forty men of the people of the Aws and Khazraj gathered together with him at the house of `Abdu 'l-Muttalib. When they had all settled down, the Messenger of Allah repeated his former plea: “Would you protect me so that I may recite to you the Book of your Lord, and that your reward with Allah be Paradise?” As'ad ibn Zurarah, al‑Bard' ibn Ma'rur and `Abdullah ibn Hizam all answered: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah, lay upon us whatever conditions you wish for yourself and your Lord.” The Messenger of Allah went on: “You shall protect me as you would protect yourselves, and protect my family as you would your families and children.” They enquired: “What shall be our benefit from all this?” He answered: “You shall have Paradise. You shall also rule over the Arabs and non‑Arabs in this world, and you shall be kings.” “We accept”, they all concurred.
Then al‑`Abbas ibn Nadlah of the Aws tribe arose and spoke to the people thus: “O people of the Aws and Khazraj, do you know full well where are you going? You are indeed headed for warfare with peoples both red and white (an expression indicating great scope and variety), as well as with the kings of this world! If you think that you will abandon him whenever calamity befalls you, then do not imperil him. For even though the people of the Messenger of Allah have opposed him, still he lives here in security and honour.” `Abdullah ibn Hizam, As'ad ibn Zurarah and Abu 'l-Haytham ibn at‑Tayyihan said: “Why should you be dismayed by such words, O Messenger of Allah? Rather, we shall ransom your blood with our blood and your soul with our souls. Lay down, therefore, whatever conditions you wish both for yourself and for your Lord! ”
The Messenger of Allah demanded: “Appoint for me twelve chiefs from among you who would guarantee all this for me, just as Moses took from among the Children of Israel twelve chiefs.11
They said: “Rather, choose them yourself if you so wish.” Gabriel pointed them out to him. Thus the Prophet, chose nine ‑of the Khazraj pointing to each man: As'ad ibn Zurarah, al‑Bard' ibn Ma'rur, `Abdullah ibn Hizam, Abu Jabir ibn `Abdillah, Rafi` ibn Malik, Sa'd ibn `Ubadah, al‑Mundhir ibn `Amr, `Abdullah ibn Rawdhah, Sa'd ibn ar‑Rabi` and `Ubadah ibn as‑Samit. Of the Aws tribe, he chose: Abu'lHaytham ibn at‑Tayyihan ‑ who was a man from Yemen and an ally of the people of `Amr ibn `Awf ‑ Usayd ibn Hudayr and Sad ibn Khaythamah.
When they had all come together to pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah, Satan cried out among the people of Quraysh saying: “O people of Quraysh and all you Arabs, behold Muhammad and the apostates with him at `Aqabah pledging their allegiance to him that they may wage war against you! ” His voice was so loud that it was heard by all the pilgrims who were in Mina. The people of Quraysh were greatly stirred up so that they rushed to arms. The Messenger of Allah heard the clamour, and ordered the Helpers (al‑Ansar) : “Disperse!” But they all said: “O Messenger of Allah, if you were to command us to rush at them with our swords, we would do so.” The Messenger of Allah replied: “I was not commanded to do this. Allah has not permitted me to wage war against them.” They persisted, saying: “O Messenger of Allah, would you then come out with us? ” “I must wait for Allah's Command”, he answered.
All the people of Quraysh to the last one came forth, heavily armed. Hamzah went out with his sword, accompanied by 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and stood at the `Aqabah. When they saw Hamzah, they asked: “To what purpose have you all gathered together?” He answered: “No, we have not gathered together; nor is there anyone here. By Allah, no one shall go through this `Aqabah, but that I shall smite him with my sword! ”
They thus turned back and went to `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and said: “It has reached us that your people have pledged allegiance to Muhammad that they will wage war with him against us! ” But `Abdullah swore to them that his people had done nothing of the sort, that he had no knowledge of it and that they had not informed him of any such intention. The people of Quraysh believed him; the Ansar went their way, and the Messenger of Allah returned to Mecca.
Following these events, the people of Quraysh assembled in the House of Assembly (Daru'n‑Nadwah), where forty of their notables were present. It was the custom that no one was allowed to enter that house until he was over forty years of age, except `Utbah ibn Rabi `ah, even though he was less than forty years old.
The accursed Satan came to them in the image of an old man. The door‑keeper asked him: “Who are you?” “I am an old man of Najd”, Satan replied. He asked permission to enter, and was permitted to do so. He then addressed the people saying: “I have come to know about your meeting regarding that man (that is, Muhammad) and have therefore come to advise you, so that you should not lose the opportunity of having my sound advice.”
When they had all taken their seats, Abu Jahl spoke and said: “O people of Quraysh, there was once no one among the Arabs with more honour than we had ‑ living as we were in the safety of Allah's sanctuary. The Arabs came to us from far and wide twice a year. No one coveted our fortunes until Muhammad grew up among us. Because of his goodness, we called him `al‑Amin' (the Trustworthy). Then he claimed to be the Messenger of the Lord of all beings. He insulted our gods and mocked us as men of foolish mind. He corrupted our youth, and dissolved our unity. My opinion is that we should send a man secretly to assassinate him. If the people of Hashim demand the price of his blood, we will give them the blood price of ten men.” Satan retorted: “This is bad advice, for the sons of Hashim would never allow Muhammad's assassin to walk on the earth. Wars would then be waged between you and them in your sanctuary.”
Another man said: “We should rather imprison him in a house, which he would not be allowed to leave. We would provide him with essential food until he dies, as did Zuhayr and an‑Nabighah. 12
Satan rejected this view: “The sons of Hashim would never agree to this course of action”, he objected. He went on: “When the pilgrimage season of the Arabs comes, they would all gather against you until they release him. Then he would surely deceive them with his sorcery.”
Another man suggested: “We should rather expel him from our lands, and thus be free to serve our gods.” Satan again said: “This view is even worse than the two preceding. This is because you are dealing with one who is of the fairest countenance, and the most eloquent of the Arabs. You shall only be sending him out to the desert dwellings of the Arabs that he may deceive them with his magic and eloquence. You will not have long to wait until he overwhelms you with men and horses.” Thus were they all bewildered.
Finally they asked Satan: “What do you advise?” He answered: “The only way is that you bring one notable from every clan of the Quraysh; one man of the sons of Hashim should also be included. They should each take an iron bar or a sword and rush at him, dealing him altogether one single blow! Then would the responsibility of his blood fall on all the people of Quraysh. The sons of Hashim would be unable to demand revenge for his blood, since they themselves would share in shedding it. Their only recourse would be to accept the blood price. Give them blood money for three ‑ or even ten ‑ men, if they so wish.” Then with one voice, they all said: “The right opinion is that of the old man of Najd! ”
They thus chose fifteen men, among whom was Abu Lahab (the uncle of the Prophet), and agreed that they would enter into the house of the Messenger of Allah and kill him. Allah then sent down to His Apostle:
Remember when those who rejected faith plotted against you: to imprison, kill or drive you out. . . (Qur'an 8:30) .
Thus agreed, they dispersed with the plan to attack the Prophet by night, keeping their plan secret. Abu Lahab suggested: “We should rather keep watch over him till the morning, then go in to attack him! ” They thus spent the night around the Messenger of Allah's house.
The Messenger of Allah asked that a bed be spread out for him. Then he said to `Ali: “O 'Ali, would you defend me with your own soul?” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah”, he readily agreed. The Prophet continued: “Sleep in my bed, and use my mantle as cover.” 'Ali then slept in the bed of the Messenger of Allah and covered himself with his mantle. Gabriel came and said to the Messenger of Allah, “Depart!”. The people gathered around the house, and seeing someone sleeping in his bed, they surmised that it was the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah went away reciting Surah Yasin till Allah's saying:
Thus have We enveloped them, so that they do not see (Qur'an 36:1‑9).
He took a handful of dust and threw it at them while they slept, and went on his way. Then Gabriel (directing the Messenger of Allah) said to him: “O Muhammad, take the route of Thawr ‑ a mountain located on the way to Mina, the shape of which resembles the hump of a bull (in Arabic: `thawr' ). Thus the Messenger of Allah continued on; Abu Bakr met him on the way and the Prophet took hold of his hand and went with him. Then when he reached the mountain of Thawr he entered the Cave.
Next morning, at the break of dawn, the people of Quraysh rushed into the room and went for the bed. `Ali jumped up, and facing them, asked: “What do you want?” They demanded: “Where is your cousin Muhammad?” He answered: “Did you set me as a guard over him! Did you not tell him to depart your town? He is gone; what more do you want? ” They rushed at `Ali, beating and reviling him. Abu Lahab, however, restrained them, saying: “It is you (`Ali) who have been deceiving us since last night.”
They thus scattered themselves in the mountains (in search of the Prophet). There was a man among them called Abu Kurz, of the tribe of Khuza'ah, who was known for his ability in tracking. They said to him: “Today is your day!” He continued to track the Messenger of Allah until he stood with them at the door of his room. He said: “This is the footprint of Muhammad, for it is, by Allah, a match of his footprint which is in the Ka'bah. These also are the footprints of Abu Quhafah (that is, Abu Bakr's father) and his son. He then said: “The son of Abu Quhafah (that is, Abu Bakr) went this way!” He then went on with them until they came to the entrance of the Cave, whereupon he said to them: “They did not go beyond this spot. Either they went up to heaven, or went into the ground.”
Allah, however, sent a spider which wove its web at the Cave's entrance (as we have already mentioned). It is reported that an angel came down in the image of a horseman and stood at the entrance of the Cave. He said to them: “Look for him around these ravines, for he is not here.” They began to search around in the countryside, while the Messenger of Allah remained in the Cave for three days. Finally, Allah permitted him to migrate.
It was revealed to the Messenger of Allah: “O Muhammad, depart from Mecca, for there is no longer a supporter in it after Abu Talib.” When the Messenger of Allah left the Cave, he met a shepherd who worked for a man of the Quraysh called `Abdullah ibn Urayqit. The Messenger of Allah called him and said: “O Ibn Urayqit, can I trust you with my life?” He answered: “If you do, I would guard you, keep your trust and never tell anyone of your whereabouts. Where do you wish to go, O Muhammad?” He answered: “To Yathrib.” The shepherd exclaimed: “By Allah, I shall take you through a way that no one will ever be able to find.” The Messenger of Allah said: “Go to 'Ali and tell him that Allah has permitted me to migrate, and that he should prepare for me provisions and a mount.”
Abu Bakr also said: “Go to my daughter Asma' and tell her to make ready for me provisions and two mounts. Also, inform `Amir ibn Fuhayrah of our decision.” `Amir was one of Abu Bakr's clients who had accepted Islam. “Tell him”, Abu Bakr directed, “to bring us, the provisions and two mounts.” Ibn Urayqit went to 'Ali and told him what the Prophet had requested. 'Ali thus sent to the Messenger of Allah provisions and a mount, and `Amir ibn Fuhayrah sent provisions and two mounts.
The Messenger of Allah finally left the Cave and Ibn Urayqit took the road to Nakhlah, a tortuous road between mountains. They did not join the main road until they reached Qudayd, a place near Mecca. They came as guests to Umm Ma'bad, the story of whose ewe and its miracle has already been related. Likewise, the account of Suraqah ibn Malik ibn Ju'shum al‑Mudliji and the sinking of the legs of his horse in the ground has been related; hence there is no need to repeat them.
After Suraqah had, however, left the Prophet, the people of Quraysh saw him. They asked if he knew where Muhammad was, and he answered: “I came to know that he had departed from you, and I combed this whole area for you, and saw no trace of anyone. Return, therefore; he is not here.”
News of the coming of the Messenger of Allah reached the Ansar, who continued to expect his arrival. Men and women would go out every morning to meet him, but when the heat grew stronger, they would return. It is related on the authority of Ibn Shihab az‑Zuhri that between the night of al‑`Aqabah and the Migration of the Messenger of Allah there were three months. The pledge of allegiance (bay `ah) of the Ansar to the Messenger of Allah took place on the night of al‑`Aqabah in the month of Dhi'l-Hijjah, and he arrived in Medina on the 12th of Rabi`u'l-Awwal, on Monday.
The Ansar used to go out seeking news of him. When, however, they despaired of his arrival, they returned to their homes.
Finally, the Apostle of Allah did arrive. When he reached Dhu'l-Hulayfah (a small village around six miles distance from Medina), he asked the way to the quarters of the people of `Amr ibn `Awf, and people directed him. The sun's glare showed his shadow clearly. A Jewish man sitting on a hillock in his land, when he saw three riders coming towards the quarter of Banu `Amr ibn `Awf, cried out: “O Muslims, here is your companion; he has arrived.” A great clamour arose in Medina, and men, women and children came out to meet him, overtaking one another in their haste.
As soon as he arrived, the Messenger of Allah went straightway to the Mosque of Quba, where he dismounted. The people of `Amr ibn `Awf gathered around him rejoicing. He went as guest to the home of Kulthum ibn al‑Hidm, an old and pious blind man. All the families of the Aws tribe gathered, but because there were old hostilities between the Aws and Khazraj tribes, they did not dare come to the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah looked carefully at the faces of the assembled people, but did not see among them any men of the Khazraj. A few men of the Immigrants (muhajirun) had already come to Medina and settled at the quarter of `Amr ibn `Awf. It is reported that when the Prophet arrived in Medina, women and children met him chanting:
The full moon has arisen over us from Thaniyyatu'l- Wada`.
Gratitude is due from us so long as there is someone who invites to Allah.13
Salman, the Persian (a well‑known Companion and an important personality in Shi'i piety) was a slave of one of the Jews. He had left his home in Persia in search of the pure (hanif) religion of which the people of the scriptures (Jews and Christians) had informed him. He came one day upon a Christian monk in Syria with whom he stayed for a while and whom he questioned concerning this religion. The monk said: “Go look for him! In Mecca shall be his appearance, and to Yathrib (Medina) shall be his migration; seek him out there.” Salman thus set out for Yathrib, where some Bedouins captured him and sold him to a Jew. He set him to work on his date‑palm. As he was one day in the tree pruning it, another Jew came to his master and said: “O father of so‑and‑so, are you aware that the Prophet of these Muslims has come to them?” Salman exclaimed: “May I be a ransom for you what is it that you say?” “What is it to you” ‑ his master retorted, “that you ask concerning this? Go on with your work!”
Salman climbed down and filled a tray with the dates of that palm and took it to the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah asked: “What is this?” “It is only a freewill gift (sadaqah) of our dates”, Salman answered. He continued: “We heard that you people are strangers who have come to these lands. I wish, therefore, that you eat of our charitable gift.” The Messenger of Allah said to his Companions: “Go ahead and eat.” Salman said to himself in Persian and counted on his fingers, “This is one (test).” Later, he brought the Prophet another tray of dates. The Messenger of Allah again asked: “What is this?” Salman answered: “I see that you do not eat of a freewill gift. This is, therefore, a gift (hadiyyah), which I present to you.” The Prophet said to his Companions: “Mention the name of Allah and eat.” He too ate. Salman counted again on his fingers saying: “This is a second (test)”, again muttering to himself in Persian.
Salman then went around to the back of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah took down his shirt off his shoulders, and Salman saw the seal of Prophethood and the mole, which he began to kiss fervently. The Messenger of Allah asked: “Who are you?” He answered: “I am a man of the Persians. I left my home since such and such a time.” He then recounted to him his long story.
Salman entered into Islam, and the Messenger of Allah gave him the glad tidings: “Be patient and of good cheer, for Allah shall find a way of relief from the yoke of this Jewish man.”
That evening, Abu Bakr left the Prophet and went to Medina where he stayed with one of the Ansar. The Messenger of Allah, however, remained in Quba, in the house of Kulthum ibn al‑Hidm. After the Messenger of Allah had offered the sunset and night prayers, As'ad ibn Zurarah came to him masked. He greeted the Messenger of Allah and was glad at his coming. As'ad then said: “O Messenger of Allah, I would not hear that you are in a place and stay so long away from you. It is rather because of the things you know which exist between us and our brothers of the Aws. For this reason, I did not wish to come to them. But I could no longer bear to stay away from you.”
The Messenger of Allah cried out to the people of Aws: “Who among you would give him protection?” They all answered: “O Messenger of Allah, our protection is yours to grant; you grant him protection! ” “No”, he replied, “rather let some of you take him into their protection.” Then `Uwaym ibn Sa'idah and Sa'd ibn Khaythamah said: “We shall do so, O Messenger of Allah.” They thus took As'ad into their protection, and he used to come daily to the Messenger of Allah, listening to his words and praying behind him.
The Messenger of Allah remained there fifteen days. Abu Bakr then came to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, enter Medina, for the people are eager for you to dwell among them.” He answered: “I shall not leave this place until my brother 'Ali joins me.” The Messenger of Allah had already sent to him saying: “Bring the family and come.” Abu Bakr said: “I do not think that `All would join you.” “Yes”, the Prophet said, “soon he shall come, if Allah wills.”
After these fifteen days had passed, `Ali came with his family. When he arrived, Sa'd ibn ar‑Rabi` and `Abdullah ibn Rawahah were busy smashing the idols of the Khazraj. Every man of high status had an idol in his house, which he cleaned and perfumed. As well, every clan of the Aws and Khazraj had their special idol in their house of assembly. They honored such idols, covering them with a special cloth and offering to them animal sacrifices. When, however, the twelve men of the Ansar (whom the Prophet had chosen) came to the city, they cast out the idols from their homes and the homes of those who heeded them. When later the seventy (chosen men) came, Islam spread rapidly among the people, who then began to break their own idols.
After `Ali's arrival, the Messenger of Allah remained (in Quba) for one or two days, after which he mounted his she‑camel and prepared to depart. All the people of `Amr ibn `Awf came to him saying: “O Messenger of Allah, stay with us, for we are indeed a people of serious purpose and constant striving. We are a people of true alliance and protection.” He answered: “Rather she (his mount) has been so commanded.”
The tribes of the Aws and Khazraj heard of the coming of the Messenger of Allah, and they took up arms and came running around him and his she‑camel. He did not pass by any quarter of the Ansar but that they jumped up before him and, taking hold of the rope of his she‑camel, beseeched him to stay with them. All the while the Messenger of Allah would say: “Let her go, for she is so commanded.” He went on until he arrived at the quarter of the tribe of Salim.
The Messenger of Allah left Quba on Friday, and arrived at the quarter of Banu Salim around noon. The men of the tribe of Salim came to him and exclaimed: “Come O Messenger of Allah to men of serious purpose, steadfastness, true allegiance and protection.” His she‑camel knelt down at the door of their mosque ‑ they had in fact built a mosque before the arrival of the Messenger of Allah. He dismounted at their mosque and offered the noon prayer and delivered a sermon. This was the first mosque in which the Messenger of Allah delivered a Friday sermon. He prayed towards Jerusalem, and the number of those who prayed behind him on that day was around one hundred.
The Messenger of Allah rode his she‑camel and let loose her rope, and she roamed freely until she halted at the dwelling of `Abdullah ibn Ubayy. The Prophet stopped, thinking that the latter would offer him hospitality. As dust rose, `Abdullah ibn Ubayy placed his sleeve over his nose and said: “Go you to those who have beguiled and deceived you, and brought you here. Go enjoy their hospitality, but do not impose yourself on us in our homes.” Allah then sent against the people of Banu l-Hubla small ants which destroyed their houses, so that they had to beg hospitality of others. The people of Banul-Hubla were so called because the grandfather of `Abdullah ibn Ubayy was nicknamed `Ibnu'l-Hubla' (son of the pregnant woman).
Sa'd ibn `Ubadah (a well‑known Companion of the Ansar) said: “O Messenger of Allah, let not your heart be troubled by anything which this man may say. For we had all agreed to set him up as king over us, but now he sees that you have despoiled him of an opportunity which was close at hand. Come and be my guest, O Messenger of Allah, for there is no one in the Aws or Khazraj who owns as many wells as I do. We are people of steadfastness and honour. Do not, therefore, bypass us, O Messenger of Allah.”
The Messenger of Allah, however, let loose his she camel's rope, and she trotted until she halted in the spot of the Mosque of Medina, which was then not a mosque but a resting ground for animals, belong to two orphans called Sahl and Suhayl. The two boys were in the protection of As'ad ibn Zurarah. The she‑camel knelt down at the door of Abu Ayyub Khalid ibn Yazid. The Messenger of Allah dismounted and immediately people gathered around him offering their hospitality. The mother of Abu Ayyub, however, quickly ran and removed the she‑camel's saddle and took it into her home. As the men continued to insist, the Messenger of Allah asked: “Where is the saddle?”, and was told that Abu Ayyub's mother had taken it into her home.
The Prophet said: “A man should always be with his goods.” As'ad took hold of the she‑camel's rope and led her into his home. Abu Ayyub had a room over his house, and he did not wish to be higher than the Messenger of Allah. Thus he asked: “O Apostle of Allah, which is preferable to you, an elevated house, or one at ground level?” He answered: “Ground level is more suitable for us on account of the people who will come to see us.” Abu Ayyub later recounted: “Thus my mother and I lived in the upper room. But I was afraid any time I brought in a pail full of water that a drop may fall on the Messenger of Allah. My mother and I, moreover, used to go up to the room carefully in order that he might not notice us, and we spoke in whispers. When he slept, we made no movement. Whenever we cooked in our room, we used to close the door for fear that the Messenger of Allah might be affected by the smoke. An earthenware jug of water fell one day so that the water was spilled. The mother of Abu Ayyub took a velvet garment which, by Allah, was the only one we had, and used it to mop the water for fear that it might drip down over the Messenger of Allah.”
Muslims of the Aws, Khazraj and the Immigrants (muhajirin) used to come to have audience with the Messenger of Allah. Abu Umamah (the agnomen of) As'ad ibn Zurarah used to send every day to the Prophet a large dish of tharid (that is, of sopped bread with broth), covered by a large chunk of meat. All present would eat to satiation, but the dish would be returned as though untouched. Likewise, Sa'd ibn `Ubadah used to send to the Prophet supper every day which he would share with whomever was present. The dish was also returned full as it was brought. As'ad ibn Zurarah, Sa'd ibn Khaythamah, al‑Mundhir ibn `Amr, Sa'd ibn ar‑Rabi ` and Usayd ibn Hudayr used to take turns in sending lunch and supper to the Prophet. It is reported that one day Usayd cooked for him a large earthenware pot full of food, which he himself carried to him because he found no one else to do so. He was a noble man, chieftain.
He came to the Messenger of Allah just as the latter had returned from offering prayers. “Did you yourself carry it?” asked the Prophet. “Yes”, answered Usayd, “I found no one else to carry it.” The Prophet exclaimed: “Allah's blessings be upon such a household! ”
It is reported in the book entitled Dala'ilu'n‑Nubuwwah 14 on the authority of Anas ibn Malik who said: “The Messenger of Allah came to Medina; as soon as he entered it, the men and women of the Ansar came to him begging, `Come stay with us, O Messenger of Allah!' He answered: `Let the she‑camel go, for she is so commanded.” The she camel finally knelt down at the door of Abu Ayyub. Thereupon, a few maidens of the tribe of Banu'n‑Najjar came forth with tambourines which they beat as they chanted: `We are maidens of Banu'n‑Najjar! How we would love to have Muhammad as a guest in our protection.' The Messenger of Allah came out to them and asked, `Do you love me?' They answered: `Yes, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah!' He repeated three times: `I too love you O Banu'n‑Najjar.' ”
'Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim reported that the Jews of the Qurayzah, an‑Nadir and Qaynuqa` tribes came to the Prophet and asked: “O Muhammad, to what are you inviting people?” He answered: “I call men to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Apostle of Allah, whom you find described in the Torah15 and of whom your own learned men have already informed you ‑ my appearance shall be in Mecca, and my migration shall be to this land. One of your own learned men who came from Syria also spoke to you saying: `I left both wine and leavened bread and came to privation and a diet of dates, seeking a prophet who shall be sent forth in this plain (that is, Medina).
His appearance shall be in Mecca and his migration to this city. He is the last of the prophets and the most excellent of them. He shall ride a donkey, wrap himself in an outer garment, and will be satisfied with a piece of dry bread. In his eyes there is redness, and between his shoulders is the seal of Prophethood. He shall carry his sword upon his shoulder, and will not be dismayed by anyone he confronts. He shall be a smiling man, but also a slayer. His authority shall spread to the furthest regions that can be reached by the hoof of a camel or that of a horse.' ”
They answered: “We have heard what you have to say, and have come to ask for a truce between us, that we shall be neither with you, nor against you. We would not support anyone against you. In return, you shall neither trouble us, nor anyone of our coreligionists until we see how it shall be with you and your people.” The Messenger of Allah. agreed with them on these conditions. Thus, they drew up a written agreement that they would not support anyone against the Messenger of Allah or anyone of his Companions, be it with the tongue or hand, with arms or horses, neither openly nor in secret, neither by night nor by day. “To all this, Allah shall be an All‑knowing Witness. If they revoke this covenant, then it shall be lawful for the Messenger of Allah to shed their blood, capture their children and women and seize their wealth.” The Messenger of Allah then wrote a pledge to each tribe separately.
The man who represented the tribe of Banu'n‑Nadir was Huyayy ibn Akhtab. When he returned to his home, his brothers Judayy ibn Akhtab and Abu Yasir ibn Akhtab asked: “What do you say?” He answered: “He is indeed the one whom we find described in the Torah, and of whom our learned men had informed us. Yet I shall continue to be his enemy, because Prophethood has ceased to be in the progeny of Isaac and has instead been established in the line of Ishmael. Nor should we ever become followers of the descendants of Ishmael.”
The man who represented the tribe of Qurayzah was Ka'b ibn Asad. A man called Mukhayriq represented the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa`. He‑was the wealthiest man among them, possessing much wealth and orchards. He said to his people: “If you know for certain that he is the Prophet sent by Allah, then let us believe in him. In this way, we would possess both scriptures.” But the tribe of Qaynuqa` did not agree with him on the matter.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah continued to pray with his Companions in the animal fold. He said one day to As'ad ibn Zurarah: “Go and buy this animal fold from its owners!” He thus went to purchase it from the two orphans, .but they said: “Rather, we give 'it to the Messenger of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah objected saying: “No, only if you accept its price.” He bought it for ten dinars. There was a swamp .of stagnant water in it which the Messenger of Allah ordered drained. Then the Messenger of Allah had baked mud bricks prepared, which he used to build it into a mosque. He dug the foundations and had stones carried from al‑Harrah (at the outskirts of Medina). As the Muslims were carrying them, the Messenger of Allah came carrying a stone on his chest. Usayd ibn Hudayr met him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, give it to me that I may carry it for you! ” “No”, he answered, “go and carry another one.”
In this way, they carried the stones which they used to build the foundations, until they reached ground level. The Prophet first used regular mud bricks, one over the other. He then used samit, that is, bricks equalling one and a half bricks each. Finally, he used two alternate bricks at a time which fit into one another. Thus he raised up the walls to the height of a man. The width of the Mosque in the back was 100 cubits.
As the heat became intolerable, the people made a request of the Prophet, saying: “O Messenger of Allah, would that you raise up some shade over us! ” He thus raised up columns of wood as far as the vestibule, over which he laid palm branches. They were then able to stay in it. The people again suggested: “O Apostle of Allah, would that you build an actual roof!” “No”, he replied, “rather an awning made of branches like the booths of Moses. Matters are too urgent for all that.”
The Messenger of Allah then built his houses and those of his Companions around the mosque. He plotted a space for his Companions wherein they built their houses. Every one of them opened a door of his house into the mosque. He plotted a space for Hamzah and had the door of his house opened into the mosque. He plotted a similar space for `All ibn Abi Talib. They were all able to come out of their homes directly into the mosque. Gabriel, however, came down to him and said: “O Muhammad, Allah commands you to order everyone whose house opens out into the mosque to close that door. Let no one have a door which opens out into the mosque except you and `All. This is because whatever is made lawful for you in this matter, is also made lawful for `Ali.”
The Prophet's Companions became angry because of this. Hamzah angrily complained: “I am his uncle, yet he orders that my door be closed, and leaves open the door of my nephew who is younger than me.” The Prophet came to him and said: “O uncle, be not dismayed because your door was closed, while 'Ali's door was left open. By Allah, it was not I who ordered that; rather Allah commanded that all your doors be closed but that `All's door be left open.” Hamzah answered: “O Apostle of Allah, I accept and willingly submit to Allah and His Apostle.”
It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah built his houses Fatimah was with him; and that Abu Bakr asked for her hand in marriage, upon which the Messenger of Allah said to him, “Wait for the command of Allah, glorified and exalted be He.” Then `Umar asked for her hand, and the Prophet replied in a similar manner. It was asked of 'Ali, “Why do you not ask for Fatimah's hand? ”, he answered, “By Allah, I have nothing! ” He was told, “The Messenger of Allah will not ask for anything.” He then came to the Prophet, but found himself shy to ask him and thus left. He came another time the next day, but again was too shy and left. Again he came a third day, and the Messenger of Allah said to him, ” 'Ali, is there something you want?” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah”, he answered. The Messenger of Allah said: “Perhaps you come as a suitor?”, and 'Ali replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet then asked, “Do you have anything, `All?” “I have nothing”, 'Ali replied, “save my armour.”
Thus the Messenger of Allah married him for twelve and one‑half awqiyyahs (that is, two hundred and fifty dirhams), for which `All sold his armour. Then the Messenger of Allah said to him, “Prepare a house so that Fatimah can move into it”, to which 'Ali replied, “O Messenger of Allah, there is no house here except a house of Harithah ibn an‑Nu'man. And on the day the Commander of the Faithful consummated his marriage with Fatimah she was nine years of age. But the Messenger of Allah said, “By Allah, we are ashamed before Harithah, for we have already taken almost all of his houses!” News of this reached Harithah, and he came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I and my wealth belong to Allah and His Messenger, and by Allah there is nothing which I would like more than that you take it (the house), for what you take from me is then more dear than that which you leave.” The Messenger of Allah thus blessed him and sent Fatimah to 'Ali in the house of Harithah. And their bed was of the skin of a ram, the fleece of which they placed facing up under them.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah used to pray toward Jerusalem during his stay in Mecca, and also during his Migration (to Medina) for a period of seven months. When he had passed seven months there, however, the Jews reproached him, saying, “You are our follower, praying toward our qiblah (direction of pray) and we precede you in prayer!”
The Messenger of Allah was greatly troubled by this, and wished that Allah would change his qiblah to the Ka'bah. He went out in the middle of the night and gazed at the horizons of heaven, awaiting the command of Allah. The next day he went to the Mosque of the Banu Salim, in which the first commual Friday prayers in Medina had been held, and there he prayed the afternoon (zuhr) prayers with them, two rak'ahs toward Jerusalem and two toward Mecca. Thus was sent down:
We have seen you turning your face to the heavens, and We shall surely give you a qiblah with which you shall be pleased (Qur'an 2 :144) .
Then the Verse of Fighting (ayatu'l‑qital) was sent down to the Messenger of Allah permitting him to fight against the Quraysh, as He says:
Sanction is given to those who fight because they have been wronged, and Allah is well able to give them victory (Qur'an 22:39) ,
to those who have been driven unjustly from their homes only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah”. . . (Qur'an 22:40).
Biographers of the Prophet and Qur'an commentators have reported that the number of the battles: which the Messenger of Allah himself led was twenty‑six. As for the detachments which he sent out for battle but in which he himself did not take part, they were thirty‑six. In nine of his battles, he himself took part in the fighting. These were: Badr, Uhud, al‑Khandaq (the Trench), the battle against the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah, al‑Mustaliq, Khaybar, al‑Fath (the Conquest of Mecca), Hunayn and the battle of at‑Ta'if.
The first detachment which the Prophet dispatched, consisting of thirty horsemen, was led by Hamzah ibn `Abdu'l‑Muttalib. The men travelled until they reached the coast of the land of Juhaynah (a tribe), where they encountered Abu Jahl ibn Hisham with one hundred and thirty horsemen of the Associators. A man called Majdi ibn `Amr al‑Juhani came between the two groups, which then separated without any outbreak of fighting.
The first engagement which the Messenger of Allah led took place in Safar, the second month of the year 2/623, twelve months after he arrived in Medina. He set out to attack the Quraysh and the tribe of Banu Damrah but returned without encountering the enemy, having reached al‑Abwa' (a mountain between Mecca and Medina). He remained in Medina the rest of Safar and half of Rabi `u 'l-Awwal (that is, the following month).
During this time, he dispatched `Ubaydah ibn al‑Harith with sixty horsemen of the Immigrants; not even one of the Ansar was among them. The first war standard which the Messenger of Allah raised was also in that battle. He also met the Associators in battle at a spring called Ahya. They exchanged arrows, the Associators being led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. The Messenger of Allah also undertook another raid during the next month of Rabi `u 'l-Akhir. He set out seeking the men of Quraysh, going as far as Buwat (a mountain range of Juhaynah a few dozen miles from Medina), but he encountered no hostilities.
After this, the Prophet led an engagement known as Ghazwatu'l-`Ushayrah (a place between Mecca and Medina) at the valley of Yanbu'. He also sought the men of Quraysh, staying the rest of the month of Jumada'l‑Ula and a few days of Jumada'l‑Akhirah. There he made a peace agreement with the tribe of Banu Mudlij and their allies of the tribe of Banu Damrah.
It is related. on the authority of `Ammar ibn Yasir who said: “I was with 'Ali, as we were companions during the raid of al‑`Ushayrah. 'Ali said to me: `Would you like, O Abu Yaqzan, that we go and see the men of Banu Mudlij working in their orchards near a spring of water belonging to them?'
We went and observed them for a while until we were overcome by sleep. Then we went to a but made of palm branches, in a barren spot, where we slept. We did not wake up until the Messenger of Allah nudged us with his foot. We sat up startled and covered with the soil of that barren place. Seeing `Ali thus, the Prophet called him, `O Abu Turab (man of the soil or dust)!' He then asked, `Shall I tell you who is the most miserable of humankind?' `Yes, O Apostle of Allah', we said. He went on: `They are the Uhaymar of Thamud who slew the she‑camel,1 and he who shall smite you, O 'Ali, here (and he placed his hand upon his head) until this (and he placed his hand upon his beard) shall be soaked with blood!' ”
The Messenger of Allah returned from al‑`Ushayrah to Medina, where he remained not more than ten nights before a man called Kurz ibn Jabir al‑Fihri led an assault on a suburb of Medina. The Messenger of Allah went out after him until he reached a valley called Safwan near Badr. This was the first battle of Badr. The bearer of the Prophet's banner was 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and his representative in Medina was Zayd ibn al‑Harithah. Kurz, however, escaped, and the Messenger of Allah returned to Medina. He remained at home for the months of Jumada, Rajab and Sha'ban. During this period he dispatched Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas with eight men, but they encountered no hostilities.
After that the Messenger of Allah dispatched `Abdullah ibn Jahsh to a place called Nakhlah (on the road to Mecca), ordering him to remain there until he returned with news of the Quraysh. But he did not command him to fight, because it was the sacred month (that is, Rajab). He handed him a letter and told him: “Set out with your Companions until you have travelled a journey of two days; then open your letter and see what it says, and execute my command.” After having travelled for two days he opened the letter, which said: “Continue on until you arrive at Nakhlah. Bring us back whatever news of the Quraysh may reach you.”
`Abdullah exclaimed before his Companions, after having read the letter, “I hear and obey! Let any one of you desiring martyrdom set out with me.” The people accompanied him until they reached Nakhlah. A man called `Amr ibn al-Hadrami passed by them with al‑Hakam ibn Kaysan, and `Uthman and al‑Mughirah ‑ the two sons of `Abdullah ‑carrying goods which they had bought in at‑Ta'if: raisins and condiments. When the people saw them, Waqid ibn `Abdillah came forth and stood before them. He had previously cut his hair (which was a sign of entering into, or being released from, the state of consecration). Thus `Amr and his Companions said to one another: “These men are here to perform the lesser pilgrimage; you have nothing to fear from them.”
The Companions of the Apostle of Allah consulted among themselves ‑ it being the last day of Rajab ‑ saying: “If you kill them, you would have killed during a sacred month. Yet if you were to let them go, they would enter Mecca tonight and would be well protected against you.” They thus agreed to kill them. Waqid ibn `Abdillah shot `Amr ibn al‑Hadrami with an arrow and killed him. `Uthman ibn `Abdillah and al‑Hakam ibn Kaysan requested and obtained a pact of security. As for al‑Mughirah, he escaped, and they were unable to capture him.
`Abdullah ibn Jahsh and his Companions brought the camels and the two captives to the Apostle of Allah. He said to them: “By Allah, I did not command you to engage in any fighting during the sacred month! ” He then withheld the two captives and the camel loads, and did not touch them. The people themselves were filled with remorse. This is because they thought that they would perish with their transgression. The people of Quraysh also reproached the Muslims saying: “Muhammad has violated the sanctity of the sacred month.” Allah, therefore, sent down the verse:
They ask you concerning the sacred month, shall there be fighting in it? . . . (Qur'an 2:217) .
When this verse was revealed, the Messenger of Allah accepted the goods and the ransom of the two captives. The Muslims said: “We can never hope for the reward in the hereafter for this battle, but only for the material reward of the booty.” Thus Allah sent down to console them:
Those who have accepted faith and have migrated. . . until He says: such are those who hope in Allah's mercy ( Qur'an 2 218 ) .
This event took place two months before the Battle of Badr.
The Battle of Badr took place as the Messenger of Allah learnt that Abu Sufyan ibn Harb with a caravan of forty horsemen of the Quraysh carrying goods from Syria was returning to Mecca. The Messenger of Allah went out to meet them with three hundred and some men. The majority of his Companions, however, went out on foot, having only one horse and eighty camels. It is reported that the horse belonged to al‑Miqdad (a well‑known Companion). Men took turns riding the few camels available. The Messenger of Allah himself shared one camel with Marthad ibn Abi Marthad al‑Ghanawi.
This great battle took place in the month of Ramadan 2 /624. When the Prophet left Medina, Abu Sufyan, having heard the news, directed the caravan to travel along the coast to Mecca to seek help from the people of Quraysh. About one thousand men from the various clans of Quraysh responded to his call and went out with him. They had with them two hundred horses. They were also accompanied by young maidens singing poems to the accompaniment of tambourines denigrating the Muslims. al‑Akhnas ibn Shurayq ath‑Thaqafi who was an ally of the Quraysh, turned back along the way taking with him Banu Zuhrah. So the Quraysh were left with nine hundred and ninety fighters, among them al‑`Abbas (the Prophet's uncle), `Aqil (son of Abu Talib ), and Nawfal ibn al‑Harith ibn `Abdi 'l‑Muttalib. These, however, went out under duress. The most honoured elders of the Quraysh were al‑`Abbas ibn `Abdi'l-Muttalib, `Utbah ibn Rabi'ah, Tu'aymah ibn `Adiyy, Abu'l-Bakhtari ibn Hisham, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, Hakim ibn Hizam, an‑Nadr ibn al‑Harith ibn Kaladah, Abu Jahl ibn Hisham and Suhayl ibn `Amr.
When the Prophet reached Badr, a well so called after a man of the tribe of Ghifar by that name, he learnt of the escape of the caravan and the coming of the army of Quraysh. He thus consulted with his Companions as to whether they should encounter them or turn back, and they all said, “We leave the decision to you. If you so wish, we shall confront the people! ” He confronted the people of Quraysh at the well of Badr on the seventeenth of Ramadan. The Apostle raised a white standard which was carried by Mus'ab ibn `Umayr. His banner was entrusted to `Ali.
Allah strengthened the Muslims with five thousand angels. Moreover, He made the Muslims look many more than their actual number to the rejecters of faith, and diminished the number of the Associators in the eyes of the people of faith. This He did in order that they might not lose heart. The Messenger of Allah took a handful of dust and threw it at them exclaiming: “Let these faces be disgraced!” There was not one among them but that he was preoccupied with rubbing his eyes.
Allah caused approximately seventy of the Associators to be slain and the same number to be captured. Among these were al‑`Abbas ibn `Abdu 'l‑Muttalib, `Aqil ibn Abi Talib and Nawfal ibn al‑Harith, all of whom accepted Islam. Two others `Uqbah ibn Abi Mu'ayt and an‑Nadr ibn al‑Harith, the Messenger of Allah had slain in a nearby spot called as‑Safra'. He said to al‑`Abbas, “Ransom yourself, your two nephews `Aqil and Nawfal, your ally `Utbah ibn `Amr and the man of the tribe of al‑Harith ibn Fihr, for you are a man of great wealth. al ‑`Abbas answered, “I was a Muslim, but the people coerced me! ” The Prophet answered: “Allah knows best your Islam; if it were true, He shall reward you for it. As for your manifest action, it was against us.” al ‑`Abbas retorted: “I have no wealth! ”
The Prophet asked, “Where is the wealth which you entrusted to Umm al‑Fadl in Mecca, when no one was with you? You then said to her, `If I shall be slain on this journey, this wealth shall be given to my sons al‑Fadl, `Abdullah and Qutham.' ” al‑`Abbas exclaimed with amazement: “O Apostle of Allah, I now know that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah ! For this is something which no one else besides me and Umm al‑Fadl knew! Calculate then, O Apostle of Allah, the amount of wealth which falls to you as booty from me. I had with me twenty ounces (of precious metal).” The Messenger of Allah said: “May that which Allah has granted us through you be never exhausted!” al ‑`Abbas then ransomed himself with one hundred ounces and each of the others with forty.
'Ali slew among the Associators in the Battle of Badr al‑Walid ibn `Utbah ibn Rabi`ah, who was a brave warrior. He also killed al‑`As ibn Said ibn al‑`As ibn Umayyah, the father of Said ibn al‑`As and Tu'aymah ibn `Adiyy ibn Nawfal, whom he pierced with a spear. As he did so, `Ali exclaimed: “By Allah, this man shall never contend with us concerning Allah after today!”
'Ali also killed Nawfal ibn Khuwaylid, who before the hijrah had tied Abu Bakr and Talhah together with a rope and tortured them for a whole day. Nawfal was the paternal uncle of az‑Zubayr ibn al`Awwam (the well‑known Companion and relative of the Prophet). When the fighting abated, the Prophet rose and exclaimed: “Praise be to Allah Who answered my prayers concerning him.”
Jabir (ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari, a notable Companion and supporter of `Ali and his descendants) related on the authority of `Ali that he said: “I marvelled at the bravery of the people on the day of Badr. No sooner had I slain al‑Walid ibn `Utbah then Hanzalah ibn Abi Sufyan rushed at me. As he drew close to me, I struck him with my sword so that his eyes ran down on his face and he fell dead on the ground. The people who were with Hanzalah were also killed. They were Zam'ah ibn al‑Aswad, al‑Harith ibn Zam'ah, `Umayr ibn `Uthman, Ka'b ibn Taym, the uncle of Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah, and `Uthman and Malik, who were the brothers of Talhah. They had with them thirty‑six men.”
Hamzah ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib killed Shaybah ibn Rabi `ah ibn `Abd Shams and al‑Aswad ibn `Abd al‑Aswad al‑Makhzumi. `Amr ibn al‑Jamuh killed Abu Jahl ibn Hisham. He struck him with his sword on his leg and severed it. Then `Abdullah ibn Mas'ud came and slew him with his sword, and carried his head to the Apostle of Allah, saying: “I found him breathing his last, and I recognized him. I then placed my foot on his neck, and said: `Has Allah not now disgraced you, O enemy of Allah?' He answered: `You little shepherd! You have now reached high status.' ” Ibn Mas'ud continued: “I then cut off his head and brought it to the Messenger of Allah and said: `This is the head of the enemy of Allah, Abu Jahl.' ” Also, `Ammar ibn Yasir killed Umayyah ibn Khalaf.
The Messenger of Allah ordered that those who were slain of the Quraysh be thrown in the well of Badr. He then stood over them and called out to them one by one by their names and the names of their fathers. He then exclaimed: “We have indeed found what our Lord had promised us to be true! Have you too found what your Lord had promised you to be true? ” The Prophet then said to his Companions: “They hear as you hear, but they have been prevented from uttering a response.”
Fourteen men among the Muslims were martyred in the Battle of Badr. Among them were `Ubaydah ibn al‑Harith ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib, Dhu'sh‑Shimalayn `Amr ibn Nadlah, the ally of Banu Zuhrah, Mihja` (ibn Salih) (The client of `Umar (ibn al‑Khattab) was also killed by an arrow; he was the first martyr of the Muslims. (ed.)), `Umayr ibn Abi Waqas and Safwan ibn Abi 'l-Bayda'. All these were of the Immigrants; the rest were of the Ansar.
The Messenger of Allah returned to Medina where he rested only for seven nights before he himself led a detachment against the tribe of Banu Sulaym. When he arrived at one of their water springs called al‑Kudr, he remained for three nights before returning to Medina. This mission met with no resistance.
The Prophet remained in Medina the rest of Shawwal and Dhu'l-Qi'dah (the tenth and eleventh month, which are sacred months during which no fighting is allowed). During this respite, the Prophet ransomed most of the Muslims captured by the men of Quraysh during the Battle of Badr.
The next military engagement of the Muslims with the people of Quraysh was known as the Battle of Suwayq. This was provoked by Abu Sufyan who had vowed after the defeat of Badr that he would never perform the ritual washing (after sexual intercourse) until he had waged war against Muhammad.
He therefore set out with a hundred horsemen of the Quraysh in order to fulfill his vow. When he was a short distance from Medina, he went by night to the quarter of the tribe of Banu 'n‑Nadir, and knocked at the door of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, who refused to let him in. He thus left him and went to Sallam ibn Mishkam, who was the chief of Banu'n‑Nadir. He requested and was granted permission to enter, and thus went in and spoke secretly to him.
Abu Sufyan returned next morning to his men and sent a few men as raiders to Medina. They came to a spot called al‑`Arid, where they came upon a man of the Ansar and his ally, both of whom they killed, and then ran away. The men of Medina also vowed revenge. The Messenger of Allah went out after them until he reached Qarqaratu'l-Kudr near the quarter of the tribe of Sulaym, about eight miles from Medina. The Prophet, however, returned without overtaking Abu Sufyan. The Muslims found some provisions which Abu Sufyan and his men had left on the road in order that they might lighten their load and thus run more swiftly to safety. The Muslims asked the Apostle of Allah when they returned to Medina: “O Apostle of Allah, do we deserve to consider this a battle (that is, an act of jihad in Allah's way)?” “Yes”, he replied.
This was followed by the raid of Dhu Amarr, which the Prophet undertook after remaining in Medina for the months of Dhu 'l-Hijjah and Muharram (the last and first months of the Muslim calendar, which are also sacred months). He set out on this mission after hearing that a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafan had assembled to launch a raid against the suburbs of Medina. They were led by a man called Du'thur ibn al‑Harith ibn Muharib. The Prophet set out with four hundred and fifty men with a number of horses. But these Bedouins fled before him to neighbouring mountain peaks. The Prophet then encamped with his men in the spot of Dhu Amarr. It rained heavily while they were in that place. The Messenger of Allah went out to answer the call of nature across the valley from the camp. He took off his clothes and hung them on a tree to dry out, having been soaked by the rain. He lay down under the tree, while the Bedouins watched intently his every movement.
One of the men said to Du'thur, who was their chief and the bravest man among them: “See now, Muhammad has given you control! He has separated himself from his Companions, so that if he were to cry out for help, they would not hear him. Go and kill him!” He thus chose a sharp sword and hastened until he stood at the head of the Apostle of Allah with his sword outstretched. He then exclaimed: “O Muhammad, who shall protect you against me today?” “Allah”, he answered. Gabriel struck the man in the chest so that he fell back, dropping the sword from his hand. The Messenger of Allah took up the sword and, standing at the man's head, asked: “Who shall protect you against me now?” The Bedouin replied: “No one! But I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah! By Allah, I shall never again join any group against you! ” The Messenger of Allah returned his sword to him. The man turned to go, but then turned back and said: “By Allah, you are a better man than me!” The Messenger of Allah replied: “I am indeed worthy of that.”
When the man returned to his people, they questioned him: “Where is all your talk now ‑ he was unprotected before you, and you had a sword in your hand!” He replied: “By Allah, this was the case! But I saw a bright and tall man who struck me in the chest, and I fell flat on my back. I knew that he was an angel. Thus I bore witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah ! By Allah, I shall never add to the number of any group that would assemble against him.” The man then began to invite his own people to Islam. Then Allah sent down the verse:
O you who have faith, remember the bounty of Allah towards you, when some people intended to stretch out their hands against you; yet He restrained their hands from harming you (Qur'an 5 :111).
This was followed by the raid of al‑Qaradah. The Messenger of Allah sent Zayd ibn al‑Harithah with a detachment, six months after his return to Medina from Badr. At the well called al‑Qaradah, Zayd and his men came upon a caravan of the Quraysh led by Abu Sufyan, who had much silver. After the Battle of Badr, the Quraysh (of Mecca) did not feel safe taking their usual route to Syria. They therefore travelled the Iraq road, having hired as a guide a man of the tribe of Bakr ibn Wail called Furat ibn Hayyan. Zayd ibn al‑Harithah was able to capture the caravan, but the men eluded him and escaped. According to the report of al‑Waqidi,2 the caravan was led by Safwan ibn Umayyah. The Muslims captured one or two men, whom they brought with the caravan to the Messenger of Allah. Furat was himself a captive. But he accepted Islam, and was thus spared.
The reprisal against the tribe of Banu Qaynuqa` for this action took place on Saturday, in mid‑Shawwal, twenty months after the Migration. The Messenger of Allah assembled the people of the tribe in their market and warned them saying: “Beware lest Allah afflict you with the same punishments as those with which He afflicted the people of Quraysh! Enter into Islam, for you know well the grace with which Allah has favored me, and you recognize my characteristics, which are in your scriptures.” They answered: “O Muhammad, be not deceived by the fact that you met your own people in battle and defeated them. Yet if we were to wage war against you, you would, by Allah, know that we are not like them! ” They nearly came to blows. It was concerning the people of Qaynuqa` that the verse:
There was a sign for you (the Muslims) in the two groups which encountered one another: the one fighting in the way of Allah, the other rejecting faith . . . (Qur'an. 3:13) , was sent down.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged them for six days until finally they surrendered to him. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy came to him and interceded on their behalf saying: “O Apostle of Allah, these are my allies and clients who have defended me against the black and the red (that is, against all kinds of people). They were three hundred armoured soldiers and four hundred without armour. Would you now cut them down all in one morning? By Allah, I can then find no security; rather I dread the turns of fortunes!” The people of Banu Qaynuqa` were allies of the Khazraj tribe only, and not of the Aws. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy persisted in his entreaties until the Prophet relented and granted him their blood. But seeing the humiliation which they had suffered, the people of Banu Qaynuqa` left Medina altogether and settled in Adhri'at in Syria. Then Allah sent down concerning `Abdullah ibn Ubayy and others of the Khazraj tribe:
O you who have faith, take not the Jews or the Christians as patrons . . . (Qur'an. 5 : 51‑ 52) .
Then the Battle of Uhud followed, a year after that of Badr. The leader of the Associators in that battle was Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. The Companions of the Apostle of Allah were on that day seven hundred and the Associators numbered two thousand.
The Messenger of Allah set out for the battle after consulting with his Companions. Although his own opinion was that the men should engage in street fighting, while those who were not strong enough for fighting should shoot arrows from the rooftops, yet they insisted on going out to meet the Quraysh in the battle. But on the way they changed their minds and asked to turn back. He refused saying: It is not fit for a prophet to turn back once he has decided to set out to engage a group in the battle.”
They were actually a thousand men. On the way, however, `Abdullah ibn Ubayy deserted with a third of the men. They said in justification of their decision, “By Allah, we know not for what are we going to kill ourselves, while the enemy are his own people! ” The men of Banu Harithah and Banu Salmah likewise were at the point of deserting. However, Allah, be He exalted, restrained them, as He says:
When two groups of you had nearly lost heart; yet Allah was their Master . . . ( Qur'an. 3 :123 ) .
The Messenger of Allah woke up next morning ready for fighting. He charged 'Ali with the banner of the Immigrants, and that of the Ansar, Sa'd ibn `Ubadah. The Messenger of Allah joined the banner of the Ansar. He then went to inspect the archers, who were fifty men led by `Abdullah ibn Jubayr. He admonished them and reminded them of their duty saying: “Fear Allah and be steadfast. Even if you see us snatched by wild birds, do not leave your spot until I send you a word.” The Prophet then stood at the top c: the valley. At first the Associators were clearly defeated, so that the Muslims slew them with the sword.
The archers under the leadership of `Abdullah ibn Jubayr, seeing this, cried out, `The booty! Your people have vanquished the enemy; what are you waiting for!” `Abdullah said to them, “Have you forgotten the words of the Messenger of Allah? As for me, I shall never abandon the spot which the Apostle of Allah assigned to me.” But they disregarded his command and disobeyed him, when they saw what they had desired. They thus hastened to the spoils of war. Khalid ibn al‑Walid, who lay in ambush with other men of the Associators, rushed out at them, and Khalid came to `Abdullah and killed him.
The Muslims were put to the sword as men rushed at them from behind. Satan cried out, “Muhammad has been slain!” In the meantime, the Messenger of Allah called out to them as they turned back, “O people, I am the Apostle of Allah! Allah has promised me victory; why are you fleeing?” They heard the voice, but did not turn around. The outcry of Satan went on until it was heard in the houses of‑Medina. Thus Fatimah raised the wail; nor was there any Hashimite or Qurayshite woman but that she placed her hand upon her head, wailing.
It is related on the authority of the sixth lmam Ja'far as‑Sadiq that as people deserted the Apostle of Allah, he was filled with rage. Whenever he became angry, sweat dripped from his face and forehead like pearls. He looked around, and there was `Ali by his side. He asked him: “Why did you not run to the sons of your father?” 'Ali answered: “O Apostle of Allah, should I reject faith after I have become a Muslim! Rather, I shall stay with you and endure your fate.” “If it be so”, the Prophet said, “then spare me the evil of these men! ” 'Ali rushed out at them, and as he struck the first man he encountered, Gabriel exclaimed: “This ‑is indeed true consolation, O Muhammad! ” “He is of me, and I am of him”, said the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel added ” I too am of you.”
A group of men then turned to the Messenger of Allah and gathered around him. Seventy men of the Muslims were slain. Of these, four were of the Immigrants: Hamzah ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib, `Abdullah ibn Jahsh, Mus'ab ibn `Umayr and Shammas ibn `Uthman ibn ash‑Sharid; the rest were of the Ansar.
It is reported that at that time Ubayy ibn Khalaf came on his horse to the battlefield saying: “So this is the son of Abu Kabshah (meaning the Prophet)! Turn back with your own misdeeds! May you never be saved, even if you are spared (this time).” The Messenger of Allah was standing between al‑Harith ibn as‑Simmah and Sahl ibn Hunayf, leaning upon them. Ubayy rushed to attack him, but Mus`ab ibn `Umayr shielded him with his body. Ubayy thus stabbed Mus'ab and killed him. The Messenger of Allah then took a lance which was in the hand of Sahl ibn Hunayf and struck Ubayy with it above the collar of his armour. Ubayy fell over his horse embracing it, and ran to his camp lowing like a bull.
Abu Sufyan said to him: “Woe to you, what is it that frightens you? It is only a scratch; it is nothing! ” He answered: “Woe to you O son of Harb, do you know who stabbed me? It was Muhammad who stabbed me! He said to me in Mecca, `I shall kill you'. I thus knew that he would be the one to kill me. By Allah, if all the people of the Hijaz were to suffer what I am suffering, it would finish them all! ” The accursed man continued to moan until he went to the Fire.
It is reported in the book of Aban ibn `Uthman3 that when Fatimah and Safiyyah (the Prophet's paternal aunt) came to the Messenger of Allah, he said to `All, “As for my aunt, keep her away from me, but let Fatimah come.” When Fatimah came close to the Apostle of Allah and saw that he had been wounded in the face, and that blood was gushing out of his mouth, she began to wipe away the blood, weeping and saying: “May Allah's wrath rage against those who caused the face of the Messenger of Allah to bleed!” The Messenger of Allah took in his hand the blood that ran down his face and threw it up in the air, and not one drop returned to earth. The sixth Imam as‑Sadiq is said to have declared: “By Allah, if one drop of that blood had come down to the ground, severe punishment would have come down to earth.”
Aban ibn `Uthman said: “This was told to me on his authority by as‑Sabbah ibn Suyyabah. I asked him, “Were his upper interior teeth broken, as these people claim?' He replied: `No, by Allah, Allah always protected him from all disfigurement. It was rather that he was wounded in the face.' I asked: `What about the cave on Mount Uhud to which they claim that the Apostle of Allah fled?' He answered: `By Allah, he did not move from his spot.' ”
Someone said to the Prophet, “Would you not invoke Allah against them?” He said: “O Allah, guide my people aright, for they do not know.” Ibn Qami'ah threw a stone at the Messenger of Allah which hit him on the palm so that the sword fell from his hand. The man exclaimed: “Take it from me, for I am the son of Qami'ah ! ” The Messenger of Allah replied: “May Allah humiliate and bring you low!” `Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas struck the Prophet with a sword so that blood gushed out of his mouth, and `Abdullah ibn Shihab threw a stone at him, hitting him on the wrist. No one of these died a natural death. As for Ibn Qami'ah, a ram came to him while he was sleeping in Najd and struck its horns in his stomach. The man cried out with pain until the ram penetrated him with its horns to the neck.
Wahshi (the man who killed Hamzah) reported: “Jubayr ibn Mut'im, whose slave I was, said to me, `All you know that `Ali killed my uncle Tu'aymah in the Battle of Badr. If you therefore kill Muhammad, Muhammad's uncle, or Muhammad's cousin, you shall be free.' I thus went with the army of Quraysh to Uhud with a lance, only seeking freedom. I wished for nothing else, nor did I wish to kill Muhammad. I said to myself, `Perhaps I will meet with 'Ali or Hamzah at whom I would throw my lance', I never missed in throwing lances, an art I learnt in Abyssinia. Hamzah used to rush out on his attacks, after which he would return to his spot.” Abu `Abdillah (the sixth Imam) reported that Wahshi struck Hamzah in the chest. He fell, and the men rushed at him and killed him. Wahshi went to Hamzah and splitting his stomach, took his liver and ran with it to Hind daughter of `Utbah (and wife of Abu Sufyan), who took it and began to chew it. But the flesh became as hard as a knee bone, so that she spat it out.
It is reported that al‑Halls ibn `Alqamah saw Abu Sufyan on a horse stabbing Hamzah's corpse in the mouth with a spear. al‑Halls exclaimed: “O people of Ban& Kinanah, look at this man who claims to be the chief of Quraysh ‑ look at what he is doing to his cousin who has become dead flesh!” Abu Sufyan repeated as he did so, “Taste death, you rebel! ” He then said to al‑Hails: “You are right; it is a grave fault which I have committed. Keep it a secret.”
Abu Sufyan stood up and called out to some of the Muslims: “Is Ibn Abi Kabshah (that is, the Prophet) still alive? As for ( `Ail) ibn Abi Talib, we see him still standing in his spot.” 'Ali replied: “Yes, by Him Who sent him with the truth, he hears your words!” Abu Sufyan said: “In this battle with you, some mutilation has taken place. By Allah, I neither ordered it nor did I prevent it. Our next appointment with you shall be the time of Badr, next year.” The Messenger of Allah said to `Ali, “Say yes.” “Yes,” `Ali repeated. Abu Sufyan then said to `Ali: “Ibn Qami'ah told me that he had killed Muhammad. But you are more truthful and righteous in my sight.” He then went back to his Companions and said: “Take the night as your camel (that is, travel without stopping) and depart.”
The Messenger of Allah then called `Ali and said to him, “Follow them. See where they are going. If you see them riding their horses and leading the camels, it means that they will go to Medina. But if they are riding their camels and leading the horses, that means that they are going to Mecca.” It is also reported that the Prophet sent Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, who returned and said: “I saw the horses beating around with their tails tied behind and being led by camels, and the men all riding on camels” (i.e., readying for travel and not for war). The Muslims were glad to see their enemies gone, and scattered about to look for their dead.
Every corpse was mutilated except that of Hanzalah ibn Abi `Amir whose father was with the Associators; thus he was spared for him. They found Hamzah with his stomach split open, his nose and ears cut off and his liver taken away. When the Messenger of Allah saw him in this condition, he was choked with tears and said: “I shall mutilate seventy men of Quraysh ! ” But Allah sent down:
If you punish, then punish in the same manner as you were punished (Qur'an. 16:126) .
The Prophet then said: “I would rather be patient.” He then asked: “Who is that man whom the angels are washing on the side of the mountain?” They answered: “Here is his wife”, and she said: “He left the house impure through sexual intercourse.” This was Hanzalah ibn Abi `Amir, who was known thereafter as `the washed one'.
Aban reported further on the authority of Abu Ja'far (the fifth Imam, Muhammad al‑Baqir ‑ a. s.) who said: “A man called Quzman ibn al‑Harith al‑`Absi (the Hypocrite concerning whom the Messenger of Allah said, `Allah shall strengthen this religion with a reprobate man') was mentioned to the Apostle of Allah, who said, `He is of the people of the Fire.' Someone came to the Messenger of Allah and told him that Quzman was martyred. He observed: `Allah does whatever He wills.' Again, someone came and told him that Quzman had killed himself. The Prophet exclaimed: `I bear witness that I am the Apostle of Allah.' ”
It is reported that Quzman fought valiantly and killed six or seven of the Associators. When he was finally incapacitated by his wounds, he was carried to the quarter of the tribe of Zafar. The Muslims said to him: “Be of good cheer, O Quzman for you have done well today! ” He replied: “Of what do you bring me such glad tidings? By Allah I did not fight except for the sake of my people's noble genealogies; had it not been for this, I would have never fought! ” Thus, when his wounds had become too painful to bear, he took a sharp arrow from his quiver with which he killed himself.
It is also reported that a woman of the Banu'n‑Najjar whose father, husband and brother were killed with the Apostle of Allah, approached the Messenger of Allah while the Muslims stood all around him. She asked a man: “Can I greet the Messenger of Allah and gaze upon him?” “Yes”, he answered. The people made room for her, and she came close to him and said: “Every calamity is light since you have returned safe and sound;” having said this, she went away.
After burying the dead, the Messenger returned to Medina. As he passed the quarters of the `Abdu'l-Ashhal and Zafar tribes, he heard the women mourning their dead. The eyes of the Messenger of Allah were filled with tears. He wept saying: “But there are no women mourning for Hamzah today! ” When Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and Usayd ibn Hudayr heard this, they said: “Let no woman mourn over her loved one until Fatimah comes and aids her.” Thus when the Messenger of Allah heard the wail raised for Hamzah, as he stood by Fatimah at the door of the Mosque he addressed the women saying: “Return, may Allah have mercy upon you. You have indeed consoled us with your grief.”
The Battle of hamra'u'l‑Asad (a place about eight miles distance from Medina) took place immediately after that of Uhud. Aban ibn `Uthman reported that the day after the Battle of Uhud, the Messenger of Allah called upon the Muslims to prepare for battle. They all responded, even though they had suffered much pain and many wounds in the previous battle. 'Ali preceded him with the banner of the Immigrants until they reached Hamra'u'l-Asad. But they all returned to Medina without fighting. These were :
Those who answered the call of Allah after they had been afflicted with wounds (Qur'an. 3:172) .
Abu Sufyan departed and came to a place called ar-Rawhd', where he remained intending to return and again attack the Messenger of Allah. He said: “Now that we have killed their great warriors, if we return we shall be able to exterminate them!” He met a man called Ma'bad al‑Khuza'i, whom he asked: “What news have you, O Ma'bad?” He answered: “By Allah, I left Muhammad and his people burning with the passion of war against you! 'Ali ibn Abi Talib has come leading the men. All those who deserted him before have now rejoined his forces. This has inspired me to compose some verses.” Abu Sufyan asked: “What did you recite?” “I recited: ”, Ma'bad answered.
My mount came, nigh collapsing from all the clamor,
When the ground was covered with flocks of warring vultures.
You shall fight with noble lions, not cowards,
men who fled!
This caused Abu Sufyan and those who were with him to change their minds.
Then a small caravan belonging to the people of the tribe of `Abdu'l-Qays passed by on their way to Medina for trade. Abu Sufyan said to them: “Go and tell Muhammad that I intend to return to his Companions in order that I might exterminate them. As for you, I would fill your loading sacks with raisins when you come to the Market of `Ukaz (in Mecca).” The men conveyed the message to the Prophet and the Muslims with him in Hamra'u'l-Asad, and they all exclaimed: “Allah is sufficient for us; He is the best trustee.” The Messenger of Allah then returned to Medina on Friday.
It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah went for the raid of Hamra'u'l‑Asad, a lewd woman of the tribe of Khatmah called al‑`Asma' Umm al‑Mundhir ibn al‑Mundhir went around the assemblies of the Aw,, and Khazraj tribes reciting verses inciting people against the Prophet. There was then only one Muslim in the tribe of the Banu Khatmah, called `Umayr ibn `Adiyy. When the Messenger returned, `Umayr went to the woman and killed her. He then came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “I have killed Umm al-Mundhir because of the invective poetry which she recited.” The Messenger of Allah struck his shoulders, exclaiming “This is a man who lent support to Allah and His Apostle in his absence! By Allah, not even two rams shall butt one another concerning her (i.e., no two men shall fight over her blood).” `Umayr ibn `Adiyy said: “I passed by her home the next day while she was being buried; no one stopped me or spoke to me.”
After this came the Battle of ar‑Raji`. The Messenger of Allah sent Marthad ibn Abi Marthad al‑Ghanawi, who was Hamzah's ally, Khalid ibn Bukayr, `Asim ibn Thabit ibn al‑Aflaj, Khubayb ibn `Adiyy, Zayd ibn Dathnah, and `Abdullah ibn Tariq, all under the leadership of Marthad, with a delegation of the tribes of `Adl and ad‑Dish who came requesting that some Muslims go with them to teach them the Qur'an and the fundamentals of the faith. They travelled with the people until they reached the depression of ar‑Raji`, a spring of water belonging to the tribe of Hudhayl. Some men of one of the quarter of Hudhayl called Banu Lihyan then killed the entire company.
Aban reported that the people of Hudhayl, when they killed `Asim, wanted his head to sell to Sulafah daughter of Sa'd, she had vowed after he had killed her son in the Battle of Uhud that if she were able to obtain his head, she would drink wine in his skull. They were, however, prevented from cutting off his head by wasps. As they were unable to approach `Asim's corpse, they agreed to leave it to the night, when the wasps would have left it. At night, however, Allah caused a heavy rainfall, so that the valley was flooded and the waters carried the corpse away. This was because `Asim had made a covenant with Allah that he would never touch an Associator, nor an Associator touch him all his life. Thus Allah protected him after death against that which he had protected himself during his life.
Four months after the Battle of Uhud, the raid of Ma`unah took place. This was when Abu Bara' Amir ibn Malik ibn Ja'far, nicknamed `Muld'ibu'l-Asinnah' (the welder of spears) came to the Messenger of Allah in Medina and accepted Islam. The man then suggested to the Prophet that he send men to the people of Najd to call them to Islam. “I hope,” the man continued, “that they will answer your call.” The Prophet answered: “I fear lest the people of Najd do you harm.” But Abu Bard' insisted saying: “I have a pact of protection with them.” The Messenger of Allah sent al-Mundhir ibn `Amr with twenty some men. It is also reported that they were forty, or seventy men of the best Muslims. Among them were al‑Harith ibn as‑Simmah, Haram ibn Milhan and `Amir ibn Fuhayrah, Abu Bakr's client.
They all travelled until they reached the well of Ma'unah, which was located between the land of the Banu `Amir and the plain of the Banu Sulaym. From there, they sent Haram ibn Milhan with a letter from the Messenger of Allah to `Amir ibn at‑Tufayl. But `Amir did not take the time to look at the letter before he rushed at Haram and killed him. He then cried out: “Allah is Most Great; I have achieved victory, by the Lord of the Ka'bah! ” He called the men of Banu `Amir to aid him in fighting against the Muslims, but they refused saying: “We shall not betray the covenant of Abu Bard'.” He then called upon some of the clans of the tribe of Sulaym: `Asiyyah, Ri'l and Dhakwan, who answered his call. These were the people against whom the Prophet invoked Allah's curse. They surrounded the Muslims as they sat around their goods. Seeing this, the Muslims took up their swords and fought with them until they all died.
`Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri had taken out the animals of the Muslims to pasture along with a man of the Ansar. They were so close to the battlefield that they could see birds flying over the fighters. They said to one another: “No doubt these birds mean something.” When they went to see, they found the men lying dead in their blood. The man of the Ansar asked `Amr: “What do you suggest?” He answered: “I suggest that we go immediately to the Messenger of Allah and tell him what happened.” But the man of the Ansar replied: “I would not save myself and leave a place where al‑Mundhir ibn `Amr is.” He thus fought against the enemies of the Muslims until he was killed.
`Amr returned to Medina and related to the Messenger of Allah what had happened. The Prophet said: “This was the deed of Abu Bard'; I did not wish to engage in it.” When Abu Bard' heard the news, he was angry with `Amir for betraying his covenant of protection, and for what had happened to the people of the Messenger of Allah. Abu Bard', however, died soon after. His son Rabi`ah attacked `Amir ibn at‑Tufayl, stabbing him as he sat in the assembly of his people. He missed killing him, and instead stabbed him in the leg. `Amir said: “This must be the deed of my uncle Abu Bard'. If I die, my blood belongs to my uncle, and no one should demand it from him. But if I live, I shall decide what to do about it.”
These events were followed by the battle against the Jewish tribe of Banu 'n‑Nadir. This happened when the Messenger of Allah went to Ka'b ibn al‑Ashraf to ask for a loan. The man welcomed him saying: “You are welcome to our home, O Abu 'l-Qasim! ” When the Messenger of Allah and his Companions had settled down, Ka'b got up as though to prepare some food for them. But he thought to himself that he should kill the Apostle of Allah. Gabriel came down and told him about the treacherous intentions which the people had for them. The Prophet, therefore, went out as though to answer a call of nature, knowing that they would not kill his friends while he was alive.
He thus took the road to Medina where he met with a group of Ka`b's people on whom Ka'b had called to help him against the Messenger of Allah. Ka'b was informed of what had happened, and the Muslims got up and left quickly for their homes. Then `Abdullah ibn Suriya, who was the most learned for the Jews, said: “It was his Lord, by Allah, who informed him of the treachery you had planned for him. Soon, by Allah, the emissary of Muhammad shall come to you commanding you to migrate, all of you. Obey me, therefore, in two things, for there is no good in any third ‑ either you accept Islam and thus be secure in your homes and properties, or depart when a man shall come to order you to leave your homes.” They replied: “The second is preferable to us.” Ibn Suriya then said: “The first is surely better for you. Had I not wished not to disgrace you, I would have myself accepted Islam.
The Prophet soon sent Muhammad ibn Maslamah to them ordering them to vacate their homes and properties and depart. He instructed him to give them only three days respite.1
The next battle was that against the tribe of Lihyan. It was the battle during which the Prophet offered salatu'l khawf (the prayer of fear, which is usually attenuated and hurriedly offered in times of war) in a place called `Asfan, near Medina, where he then received revelation from Allah informing him of what the Associators were intending. It is reported that this battle took place after that of the tribe of Banu Qurayzah (6 /627) .
After this the raid of Dhatu'r‑Riqa' took place, two months after that of Banu'n‑Nadirl,2 the Prophet met a group of men of the tribe of Ghatafan in a place called Dhatu'r‑Riqa', but there was no fighting between them. This was because both groups feared the other. The Prophet offered salatu'l khawf and departed with his people. It is reported that the place was so called because it was a mountain with red, black and white patches (riqa'). It is also reported that the reason was that the skin of men's feet began to crack, so that they were obliged to cover them with patches of cloth.
The Prophet stood at the side of a valley and his Companions on the other side. In the meantime the valley filled with water, so that he was separated from his men. A man of the Associators called Ghawrath saw him alone. He said to his people: “I shall kill Muhammad for you!” He thus took his sword and came to the Prophet saying: “Who shall save you now from me, O Muhammad!” “My Lord shall save me! ”, the Prophet answered. The man fell flat on the ground. The Prophet took the sword from him, and sitting on his chest, asked: “Who shall save you from me now, O Ghawrath?” He answered: “Your clemency and generosity, O Muhammad! ” The Prophet let him go. He stood up repeating: “You are more generous and more noble than I ! ”
Then came the second journey to Badr in Sha'ban of that year, in response to the challenge of Abu Sufyan of the previous year after the Battle of Uhud. He remained at the well of Badr for eight days. Abu Sufyan came to meet him with the people of Tihamah (that is, the district of Mecca), but when the two groups met, Abu Sufyan decided to turn back. The Messenger of Allah and his Companions, however, stayed on for the market, where they traded and made good profit.
This was followed by the Battle of the Trench (Khandaq), also known as the Battle of the Confederates (al-Ahzdb). This was during the month of Shawwal in the 4th year of the hijrah (March, 626). Huyayy ibn Akhtab, Kinanah ibn ar‑Rabi`, and Sallam ibn Abi 'l-Huqayq with a group of their fellow Jews came to Mecca. They were accompanied by other men of the Quraysh, Kinanah and Ghatafan tribes. They all went to Abu Sufyan and others of the chiefs of Quraysh to call them to wage war against the Messenger of Allah. They promised them: “Our hands shall be with your hands, and we shall fight together with you until we exterminate them utterly.”
They also went to the tribe of Ghatafan and called them to war against the Messenger of Allah. They assured them of the agreement of Quraysh; they thus all prepared for war. The fighters of Quraysh were led by Abu Sufyan. The leader of the men of Ghatafan was `Uyaynah ibn Hisn of the Fazarah clan. Leading the tribe of Banu Murrah was al‑Harith ibn `Awf. Mis'ar ibn Rukhaylah ibn Nuwayrah ibn Tarif led his people, the men of the tribe of Ashja`. These together were ‑the Confederates.
The Messenger of Allah heard their coming, and thus went out to meet them after consulting with Salman, the Persian who suggested that a trench be dug. In this action there were clear signs of the Prophethood of Muhammad. One of these signs was that reported by Jabir ibn `Abdillah. He said that the men encountered a hard rock in the trench which they could not break. They complained of this to the Apostle of Allah, who then had a vessel filled with water and brought to him. He expectorated in the water and prayed silently to Allah, then sprinkled the water on the rock. An eye‑witness reported: “By Allah Who sent him as a prophet with the truth, no sooner had he done this, than it became like sand, repulsing neither axe or shovel.”
Another miracle, also reported by Jabir, was the feeding of a large multitude of people on a small quantity of food. We have already recounted this event. A third miracle was that reported by Salman the Persian who said: “As I was digging in one corner of the trench, the Messenger of Allah turned towards me, as he was standing nearby. Seeing me exerting myself in a hard spot, he came down and took the pick‑axe from my hand and struck a rock. A spark, as though of lightning, shone forth from beneath the pick‑axe. He struck a second time, and another spark shone forth. A third time he struck, and again a spark glittered.
I asked in amazement `O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be a ransom for you, what is this I see?' `As for the first', he replied: `It is a sign that Allah shall grant me conquest of Yemen. The second is a sign that Allah shall grant me Syria and the West (that is, North Africa and Southern Spain). As for the third, it is a sign that Allah shall grant me victory over the East (that is, the Asian domains of Islam).' ”
When the Confederate armies came to meet the Prophet in battle, the Muslims were troubled and afraid. They encamped at one side of the trench, where they remained for twenty some days. No actual fighting occurred between them and the Muslims except with arrows and stones. Finally, some fighters of the Quraysh came out calling for single combat.
Among them were `Amr ibn `Abd Wadd, `Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, Hubayrah ibn Wahb and Dirar ibn al‑Khattab. They made ready for fighting and rode their horses to the edge of the trench. When they looked at it they said: “By Allah, this is a trick which the Arabs never before practised.” They then came to a narrow spot of the trench and spurred their horses on, so that they in fact jumped over it. The horses, however, galloped aimlessly with them in a salty marsh between the trench and a mountain on the edge of Medina called as‑Sulay` (or Sal').
`Ali ibn Abi Talib went out with a few men and blocked that breach in the trench which had been penetrated, so that they were unable to go back. `Amr ibn `Abd Wadd came forth and challenged the Muslims for single combat. 'Ali came out to meet him, and slew him. (We shall return to this event in greater detail later, if Allah wills.)3 When `Ikrimah and Hubayrah saw `Amr dead, they fled. The Commander of the Faithful composed verses concerning this event, some of which are:
He (`Amr) foolishly lent support to stone idols,
But I have wisely lent support to Muhammad's Lord.
I thus struck him and left him,
Hugging the earth like a dry branch between quick sands and hills.
His rich garments I did not pillage,
Even though he would have pillaged my garments, were I the one killed.
Think not that Allah shall abandon His religion,
Nor abandon His Prophet, O people of the Confederates!
Then Ibnu'l-`Araqah shot an arrow which hit Sa'd ibn Mu'adh in the medial vein of the arm. He exclaimed: “Take this from me, for I am Ibnu'l-`Araqah!” Sa'd retorted: “May Allah cause your face to sweat in the Fire!” Sa'd went on: “O Allah, if you will that war shall continue between us and the Quraysh, then preserve me, if only for the sake of this war; for there is no people against whom I desire to wage war more than those who have rejected your Apostle and driven him out of your sanctuary (haram). O Allah, if you so will that war shall end between us and them, then let this (injury) be the cause of martyrdom for me. Yet, do not cause me to die until you grant me the satisfaction of (defeating) the tribe of Banu Qurayzah.” The Messenger of Allah had him brought to him, and there the man spent the night on the ground.
Aban ibn `Uthman reported on the authority of a man who heard Abu `Abdillah (the sixth Imam) say: “The Messenger of Allah one dark and cold night stood on the hill on which now stands Masjidu'l-Fath (the mosque named after the conquest, `Fath' of Mecca). Addressing his Companions, he said: “Who shall go and bring us news of the (fighters) and have Paradise for a reward? ” He repeated this a second and a third time, but no one came forward. Finally, Hudhayfah ( a man well‑known for his strict moral and spiritual discipline) arose. The Prophet said to him: “Go and listen to their words and bring me news of them.” As Hudhayfah set out, the Prophet prayed: “O Allah, watch over him in the front and in the back, on his right and on his left until you bring him back to me.” The Prophet said further: “Do not do anything until you return to us.”
When Hudhayfah departed, the Apostle of Allah rose up and prayed, then cried out with a most sorrowful voice: “O You Who hear the cry of those who are in sorrow, You Who answer the prayers of those who are in distress, remove my sorrow and distress, for You see my state and the state of those who are with me!” Gabriel came down to him and said: “O Messenger of Allah, Allah, be He exalted, has heard your cry and answered your prayer! He shall spare you dread of those who have allied themselves against you and opposed you.” The Messenger of Allah then knelt down on his knees and let his eyes shed tears. He cried out again: “All thanks be to You for sheltering me and those who are with me! ” Gabriel then said: “O Apostle of Allah, He has indeed granted you support, for He has sent against them a wind from the heaven of this world carrying pebbles, and another wind from the fourth heaven carrying stones.”
Hudhayfah reported: “As I reached the place, I saw the fires. of the people put out and utterly extinguished. This was because the first army of Allah had come ‑ a strong wind blowing pebbles. Thus it left no fire of the enemy but that it extinguished it, a tent but that it blew it away, or a spear but that it broke it. This went on until they had to shield themselves from the pebbles, and I heard the clatter of the pebbles against the shields.
Then the greater army of Allah came! Abu Sufyan rushed up to his mount and cried out: `Save yourselves, save yourselves! '`Uyaynah ibn Hisn did likewise, and so also did al‑Harith ibn `Awf. Thus the Confederates went away.” Hudhayfah then returned to the Apostle of Allah and recounted to him what had happened. Then Allah sent down to His Apostle:
Remember the favor of Allah towards you when great hosts came against you, and We sent against them a wind and hosts whom you did not see (Qur'an 33 :9).
The Messenger of Allah presented himself early next morning before the Muslims of Medina, and Fatimah his daughter prepared water to wash his head (in special celebration of the occasion). But suddenly Gabriel came to him on a mule, his face covered with a white turban and clad in a garment of brocade adorned with pearls and rubies. He was, however, covered with dust. Thus. the Messenger of Allah rose and wiped away the dust from his face. Gabriel exclaimed: “May your Lord have mercy upon you; you have laid down your arms, yet the denizens of heaven have not laid theirs down! I have pursued them until they reached ar‑Rawha.' ” Gabriel continued: “Rise now against their brethren of the People of the Book, for by Allah, I shall crush them as would an egg be crushed against a rock! ”
The Messenger of Allah then called `Ali and ordered him, saying: “Carry the banner of the Immigrants against the tribe of Banu Qurayzah.” He further ordered his Companions: “I charge you not to offer the mid‑afternoon prayers except in the quarters of Banu Qurayzah.” 'Ali arose with the Immigrants, the men of the Banu `Abdi 'lAshhal and those of Banu'n‑Najjar all of them; not even one was left behind. The Prophet continued to send men to assist `Ali. Some of the men did not pray the mid‑afternoon prayers until after the time for the night prayers.
The people of Banu Qurayzah came out to 'Ali and cursed him, saying: “May Allah curse you and your cousin (that is, the Prophet).” But 'Ali stood in his place and did not answer them. When the Messenger of Allah arrived with the men of faith all around him, the Commander of the Faithful met him saying: “Do not come near them, O Apostle of Allah, may Allah make me a ransom for you! Allah shall surely punish them.” The Messenger of Allah knew that they had insulted 'Ali. Thus he said: “If they see me, they will say nothing of what they said against you.” He thus approached them and said: “You brothers of the apes!4
Thus have we come to the quarters of a people to warn them, evil be the morning of those who are warned! O servants of Satan, be you humbled, may Allah humiliate you! ” They (Banu Qurayzah) cried from right and left: “O Abu 'l-Qasim (that is, Muhammad), you have never been a lewd man; what has happened to you? ” as‑Sadiq reported that a lance which he was holding fell from his hand, and his outer garment fell off behind him. He began to walk backward, ashamed of what he had said to them.
The Messenger of Allah besieged them for twenty‑five days until they agreed to abide by the judgment of Sa'd ibn Mu'adh which was that their men be slain and their women and children be taken as slaves. He further decreed that their homes and lands be given to the Immigrants, and their wealth divided among the Muslims. The Prophet said to him: “You have judged them according to Allah's judgment, which issues from above, from the seven heavens.”
When the captives were brought, they were imprisoned in a house. Ten were brought out, whom the Commander of the Faithful beheaded. Another ten were brought out whom az‑Zubayr beheaded. A man of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “Would it not be better to kill one or two men at a time?”
The wound which Sa'd had suffered in his arm suddenly opened and the blood continued to gush out until he died. The Messenger of Allah took off his outer garment (as an expression of grief ) and walked with his funeral without an outer garment. He then sent `Abdullah ibn `Atik to Khaybar (another Jewish settlement) where he killed Abu Rafi` (Sallam) ibn Abi ' l-Huqayq (one of the chiefs of the Banu Qurayzah).
The siege of the Trench was followed by the Battle of Banu'l‑Mustaliq of the tribe of Khuza'ah, whose chief was al‑Harith ibn Abi Dirar. This battle is also known as the Battle of al‑Muraysi' (named after a spring of water in the district of Qudayd on the coast between Medina and Mecca). The men of Banu 'l-Mustaliq prepared to advance against the Messenger of Allah in Sha'ban of the fifth or sixth year of the Hijrah. It is reported that Juwayriyyah, daughter of al‑Harith and wife of the Prophet, said: “The Messenger of Allah came to us while we were at the spring of al‑Muraysi`, and I heard my father say, `There has come to us one whom we cannot withstand.' ”
She continued: “I saw on that day horses and arms beyond description. When I became a Muslim and the Messenger of Allah married me and we returned to Medina, I began to look at the Muslims, and they were not as I saw them before. I thus knew that it was dread which Allah had instilled in the hearts of the Associators (i.e., by making the Muslim fighters look more in number and of greater strength than they actually were).” Juwayriyyah went on: “I saw in a dream, three nights before the coming of the Prophet, that the moon came from Yathrib and fell in my lap, I did not wish to tell my dream to anyone, but when we were taken captive, I hoped that my dream would come true. It did, as the Messenger of Allah freed me and took me in marriage. ”
In battle, the Messenger of Allah commanded his men to assault their opponents as a single man. Thus no man of the enemy was able to escape; ten were killed, and the rest captured. The war cry of the Muslims was, “O mansur (victorious one), kill!” The Messenger of Allah captured men, women and children, and took cattle and sheep. When men knew that he had married Juwayriyyah, daughter of al‑Harith, they said: “These are now marriage relatives of the Apostle of Allah.” They thus sent whatever captives they held to the Prophet. I know of no woman who was of greater blessing to her people than she.
During this battle `Abdullah ibn Ubayy said, using the words of the Qur'an:
When we return to Medina, the honourable shall drive out the lowly (Qur'an. 63:8).
During that year many revelations were sent down, and in it the incident of `A'ishah occurred.5
In the sixth year (A.H.) during the month of Rabi `u ' lAwwal, the Messenger of Allah sent `Ukkashah ibn Mahsan with forty men to a place called al‑Ghamrah (on the road to Mecca). Seeing them come so early, the inhabitants of the place fled. `Ukkashah took two hundred camels which they had left behind as spoils and led them into Medina.
During that year also the Prophet sent Abu `Ubaydah ibn al‑Jarrah to a place called Dhu'l-Qassah, with forty men. Abu `Ubaydah raided the people, who fled into the mountains. One man was captured and became a Muslim.
In the same year, there was a detachment led by Zayd ibn al‑Harithah to a place called al‑Jamum (a piece of land belonging to the tribe of Banu Sulaym). In this raid, the Muslims took cattle and sheep as booty and captured some men. In Jumada 'l-Ula of the same year, Zayd also led another raid against al‑`Is tribe. In yet another raid which he led against the tribe of Banu Tha'labah, with twenty‑five men, he captured twenty‑five camels after the people were put to flight.
In the same year, `Ali ibn Abi Talib led a raid against a Jewish settlement called Fadak belonging to the people of `Abdullah ibn Sa'd. This action was prompted by information which the Messenger of Allah had received concerning the plan of the people of Fadak to send armed men to aid the Jews of Khaybar.
Another Companion, `Abdu'r‑Rahman ibn `Awf, was sent with a detachment in the same year against the people of a place called Dumatu'l-Jandal. This took place in the month of Sha'ban. The Messenger of Allah said to `Abdu'rRahman: “If they yield without fighting, marry the daughter of their king.” The people did in fact accept Islam, and `Abdu'r‑Rahman married Tumadir, daughter of al‑Asbagh, whose father was their king and chief.
Al‑Waqidi, the famous historian of the wars (maghazi) of the Prophet, reported that in the same year the Messenger of Allah sent a detachment against the `Arniyyin, a tribe living near Medina. This was a reprisal for their killing the Messenger of Allah's shepherd. Both men and camels were captured, and twenty horsemen were brought leading camels as booty to the Prophet. He ordered that their hands and feet be severed and that their eyes be put out. They were thus left in al‑harrah until they died. Jabir ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari related that the Messenger of Allah invoked Allah against them saying: “O Allah, make them blind, unable to find their way,” and it was as he prayed.
In that year also the goods of Abu 'l-`As ibn ar‑Rabi' were captured. He had gone to Syria to trade, and had with him much merchandise belonging to the men of Quraysh. On his way back, he met a detachment belonging to the Messenger of Allah. The men seized his caravan, but he escaped. They brought the booty to the Messenger of Allah, who divided it among them. Abu 'l-`As, however, came to Medina and sought protection (jiwar) of Zaynab, daughter of the Apostle of Allah. He requested that she intercede with the Prophet on his behalf to return his goods to him, for he carried much wealth which people had entrusted to him. The Messenger of Allah called the men and said: “This man is one of us, as you well know. If, therefore, you see fit that you return his wealth to him, it is best that you do so.” They gave back to him whatever they had taken.
Abu 'l-`As then returned to Mecca and gave the people back their trusts. He then said: “By Allah, nothing prevented me from becoming a Muslim before I came to you except the fear that you may think that I had done so in order that I may run away with your wealth. But now. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Apostle.”
In the same year, in the month of Dhu'l-Qi'dah (7/629) the treaty of al‑Hudaybiyyah was concluded between the Prophet and the people of Quraysh. The Prophet set out with a large company of his Companions intending to perform the `umrah, or lesser pilgrimage. He led before him seventy large animals (camels and cattle) for sacrifice. News of this reached the Associators of Quraysh, who sent a group of horsemen to prevent him from the Sacred House of worship (i.e., the Ka'bah). The Prophet had thought that they would not fight with him, because he had set out during a sacred month.
The story of Suhayl ibn `Amr and his son Abu Jandal and the way in which the Apostle of Allah dealt with them, and which caused the man who claimed to have never doubted Islam except on that day to cast suspicion on the Prophet, is well‑known.6 A man called Burayd ibn Warqa' came to the men of Quraysh and said: “O people of Quraysh, do not be troubled, for he has come not with the intention of fighting with you. Rather, he came intending to make pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah.” They answered: “By Allah, we shall not listen to your advice! Nor will the Arabs have cause to talk among themselves about him having entered Mecca with ease! We shall not consent to anything except that he turn back and leave us,” They then sent Bakr ibn Hafs and Khalid ibn al‑Walid, who prevented the animals to be sacrificed from reaching their destination.
The Prophet then sent `Uthman ibn `Affan (the third caliph) to ask permission of the Quraysh to enter Mecca as a pilgrim to perform the `umrah. But the people of Quraysh detained him and would not let him go. The Messenger of Allah thought that they had killed him. He thus said to his Companions: “Would you give me allegiance (bay `ah) of support even till death?” They agreed and pledged their support under the Tree (see Qur'an 48:18) , and affirmed that they would never desert him.
The Meccans then sent Suhayl ibn `Amr to the Prophet who addressed him saying: “O Abu 'l-Qassim, Mecca is surely our sacred place (haram) and a source of honour for us. The Arab (tribes) have already heard that you have come to us. If you were to enter Mecca by force, they would consider us an easy prey, and we would be pillaged. We, therefore, remind you of your blood relations with us. Mecca is your home (literally `egg') which hatched you.” “What do you wish?” the Prophet asked. Suhayl replied: “I wish to establish in writing a truce between you and me, that I vacate Mecca for you this time next year. Then you may enter it without fear or trouble. Nor would you need to have any arms except that of the horseman. Your swords shall remain in their sheaths and your arrows in their quivers.”
The Messenger of Allah called `Ali ibn Abi Talib, who took a piece of red skin, and placing it on his lap, wrote: “In the name of Allah, the All‑merciful, the Compassionate.” Suhayl ibn `Amr retorted: “This is a document between you and us, O Muhammad. Open it, therefore, with words known to us. Write instead, `In your name O Allah.' ” The Prophet said to 'Ali, “Write `In your name O Allah', and erase what you have written.” `Ali answered: “Were it not an act of obedience to you, O Apostle of Allah, I would not erase it.” The Prophet said: “Write `This is what Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah has agreed upon with Suhayl ibn `Amr.' ” Suhayl objected: “Were I to accept this phrase in our document, I would have professed your claim to Prophethood. Erase this name, therefore, and write instead, 'Muhammad ibn `Abdillah.' ” 'Ali said to him: “By Allah, he is indeed the Messenger of Allah, and that in spite of your disdain! ” The Prophet repeated: “Erase it, O `Ali.” 'Ali answered: “O Apostle of Allah, my hand cannot erase your name from Prophethood.” “Then put my hand over it”, the Prophet ordered. The Messenger of Allah then erased it with his own hand, and said to 'Ali: “You too shall be called upon to do the same, and you shall consent, however unwillingly.”
He thus wrote: “In your name O Allah ‑ This is what Muhammad ibn `Abdillah ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib and those who are with him of the Muslims have agreed upon with Suhayl ibn `Amr and those who are with him of the people of Mecca ‑ that war shall cease, nor will there be any acts of deception, infiltration, or fighting. Furthermore, no one shall be coerced in his faith, and (Muslims) in Mecca shall be able to worship Allah openly. Muhammad shall sacrifice the animals (intended for the Ka'bah) in the place where he now is. In return, Mecca shall be vacated for him for three days, when he shall enter it only with the arms of the horsemen. All the people of Quraysh shall leave Mecca, and only one man shall be left behind with Muhammad and his Companions. It is further agreed that, as for any person of the people of Quraysh who might come to Muhammad (after becoming a Muslim), Muhammad shall turn him over to them. But as for any man of the Muslims who may go to Mecca, the people of Quraysh shall not be obliged to turn him over to Muhammad.” The Messenger said addressing Suhayl: “If a man, after hearing my words, returns to you, I have no need of such a man. As well, the Quraysh shall not lend anyone support against Muhammad with men or arms”, and so forth.
Then Abu Jandal came to the Prophet and sat beside him. His father Suhayl demanded, “Turn him over to me!” The Muslims replied: “We shall not give him back to you!” The Prophet got up, and taking Abu Jandal by the hand, exclaimed: “O Allah, if you know that Abu Jandal is sincere in his faith, then provide for him a way of release and escape!” He then turned to the people and said: “There is no danger for him; he is only returning to his father and mother. I do wish to fulfill the conditions of the people of Quraysh.”
The Messenger of Allah then returned to Medina. On the way, Allah sent down to him the surah entitled al‑Fath (the Conquest) which begins:
We have surely bestowed upon you manifest victory. .. (see Qur'an 48).
The sixth Imam as‑Sadiq commented: “By the time this period (that is, of the Prophet's migration before the final conquest of Mecca) had come to an end, Islam had all but gained complete control over the inhabitants of Mecca.”
After the return of the Messenger of Allah to Medina, Abu Basir `Utbah ibn Asid ibn Jariyah ath‑Thaqafi (a man of the tribe of Thaqif captured by the Quraysh), escaped from the Associators. al‑Akhnas ibn Shurayq (a chief of the Quraysh) sent two men after him. Abu Basir killed one of the two men, and came to the Messenger of Allah as an Immigrant Muslim. Seeing him, the Prophet exclaimed, “A kindler (mis`ar) of war! Would that he had another man to give him support.” He then said to the man: “Your task now is to overpower your companion (that is, the other man sent after him). Then go wherever you wish.” Abu Basir left with five men who had come with him as Muslims. They settled in a coastal spot on the caravan route of the Quraysh, between al‑`Is and Dhu 'l-Marwah in the land of Juhaynah on the way to Ghirat.
Likewise, Abu Jandal ibn Suhayl ibn `Amr escaped with seventy horsemen who had accepted Islam. They joined Abu Basir, who already had a large company of men of the Ghifar, Aslam and Juhaynah tribes. Altogether they were three hundred fighters, all Muslims. Thus, no caravan of the Quraysh passed by them but they captured it and killed its owners.
Finally, the people of Quraysh sent Abu Sufyan ibn Harb to the Messenger of Allah beseeching him to send to Abu Basir, Abu Jandal and their men to come to him. They conceded further, “Anyone who comes to you from us, you may retain without restriction.” Thus, those who had counselled the Messenger of Allah to protect Abu Jandal against his father, realized that obeying the Apostle of Allah was better for them than whatever they might have liked or disliked.
When Abu 'l-`As ibn Rabi ` with some men of Quraysh were returning from Syria, they passed by Abu Basir and Abu Jandal with their companions. They captured them and seized their goods, but did not kill anyone of them, because Abu 'l-`As was the son‑in‑law of the Messenger of Allah. They released Abu 'l-`As who came to his wife in Medina, for he had previously allowed her to go to Medina to be with the Messenger of Allah. Abu 'l-`As was the son of the sister of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.
In Dhu 'l-Hijjah of 8/ 630 the Battle of Khaybar took place. According to al‑Waqidi, this battle took place at the beginning of the 7th year of the Hijrah.7 There were at the time of the settlement of Khaybar (near Medina) fourteen thousand Jews, living in well fortified strongholds. The Messenger of Allah besieged them for twenty some days, and began to break down their fortifications one by one. The strongest of these and most populated with fighters was the stronghold called al‑Qumus.
First Abu Bakr took the banner of the Immigrants to lead them in battle, but he soon returned defeated. The next day `Umar ibn al‑Khattab carried it, but he too suffered defeat.
Thus he began to accuse men of cowardice, as well as being himself similarly charged. This angered the Apostle of Allah. At last he said: “I shall give the banner tomorrow to one who attacks (karrar), and does not retreat. He is one who loves Allah and His Apostle, and whom Allah and His Apostle love. He shall not return until Allah opens (Khaybar) at his hands.” The people of Quraysh wondered who such a man could be. “As for `Ali”, they said to one another, “you need not think of him, because he is sore‑eyed, unable to see even the ground under his feet.” But when `Ali heard what the Apostle of Allah said, he exclaimed: “O Allah, there is no one who can give what you withhold, nor is there anyone who can withhold what you give!”
Next morning people gathered around the Messenger of Allah. Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas reported: “I sat facing him; I knelt, then stood up. He turned to me and said: `Call `Ali for me.' Men cried out all around: `He is so sore‑eyed that he is unable to see the ground under his feet!' The Prophet replied: `Send someone to bring him here.' He was brought, and the Prophet laid his head on his knee and spat in his eyes. Immediately they became as clear as Yemenite glass beads.”
The Prophet then gave 'Ali the banner and prayed for him. `Ali went out running. Sa'd said: “By Allah, even before I had reached the last men in the line of fighters, 'Ali had already entered the stronghold.” Jabir ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari added: “He did not even allow us enough time to put on the arms.” Sa'd cried out: “O Abu 'l-Hasan, stop and wait awhile until the men are able to join you! ” But 'Ali went on until he fixed the banner near the stronghold. A man called Marhab came out to meet him in single combat. He came out well armed and surrounded by other Jewish fighters. `Ali met him and they fought until 'Ali struck him with his sword and cut off his leg. He fell down, and `Ali with the other Muslims rushed at him, but he and his Companions fled quickly.
Aban related on the authority of Zurarah that (the fifth Imam) al‑Baqir said: ” 'Ali reached the gate of the stronghold, which was shut in his face. He pulled it off its hinges and used it as a shield. He then carried it on his back and broke into the fortification with great force. The Muslims then attacked as well, while the gate was still on his back.” The Imam continued: ” 'Ali suffered greater hardship from the men who were with him than from carrying the gate itself. He finally threw the gate away from him, while a crier went out to announce to the Messenger of Allah that `Ali had entered the fortification. The Messenger of Allah hastened to the spot and 'Ali went out to meet him. The Prophet said: `I have learnt of your welcome news and your worthy deeds. Allah is well pleased with you, and I too am pleased with you.' 'Ali wept, and the Prophet asked: `What makes you weep?' `I weep for joy' 'Ali answered, `because Allah and His Messenger are well pleased with me.”'
It is reported that among the captives whom 'Ali took was Safiyyah daughter of Huyayy. He called Bilal and gave her to him saying: “Do not deliver her to anyone except the Apostle of Allah, so that he may decide what to do with her.” Bilal took her and passed by the dead (of her people) on his way to the Messenger of Allah. She nearly died of weeping for them. The Prophet said to him, “Has mercy been removed from your heart, O Bilal?” The Prophet then chose Safiyyah for himself; he freed her and married her.
It is reported that after the Messenger of Allah had concluded the affair of Khaybar, he raised a banner of war and demanded; “Who will rise and take this, and be worthy of it?” He did this because he wished to send an army under it to the gardens of Fadak. az‑Zubayr stood up and said: “I would.” The Prophet answered, “Leave it alone.” Sa'd then stood up, and the Prophet likewise told him to leave it aloe. The Prophet then said: “O 'Ali, rise up and take this standard! ” He took it to Fadak, with whose people he made a treaty that he would spare their lives in return for the gardens. Thus the gardens of Fadak belonged exclusively to the Messenger of Allah.
Gabriel then came to him and said: “Allah commands you to give your next of kin their due.” He asked: “O Gabriel, who are my next of kin, and what is their due?” He answered: “It is Fatimah; give her, therefore, the gardens of Fadak and whatever in them belongs to Allah and to His Apostle.” The Messenger of Allah thus called Fatimah and wrote a document to that effect, which she brought to Abu Bakr after her father's death. She presented it saying: “This is the will of the Messenger of Allah to me and my two sons.”
It is further reported that when the Messenger of Allah had conquered Khaybar, news came of the return of Ja'far ibn Abi Talib and his Companions from Abyssinia to Medina. The Prophet exclaimed: “I do not know with which of the two I should be more joyful, whether with the conquest of Khaybar or the coming of Ja`far ! ” Sufyan ath‑Thawri ( a well‑known traditionist and theologian of the second century) reported on the authority of Jabir that when Ja`far returned from Abyssinia, the Messenger of Allah went out to meet him.
When Ja'far ibn Abi Talib saw the Apostle of Allah, he advanced toward him with short modest steps, as an expression of reverence. The Messenger of Allah kissed him on the forehead. Zurarah ibn A'yan (a disciple of the fifth and sixth Imams) reported on the authority of the former that when the Messenger of Allah received Ja'far, he kissed him on the eyes.
It is reported that before the Messenger of Allah set out for Khaybar, he sent `Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri to an-Najashi (Negus), ruler of Abyssinia to bring back Ja'far and his Companions. `Amr, however, invited an‑Najashi to Islam, and he in fact became Muslim. `Amr then brought back Ja'far and his Companions. an‑Najashi provisioned Ja`far and his Companions well, and ordered that each be given a suit of clothes. He had them transported on board two ships.
The Messenger of Allah then sent, as related on the authority of az‑Zuhri, `Abdullah ibn Rawahah (a well‑known Companion who was martyred in the Battle of Mu'tah) with thirty horsemen, among whom was `Abdullah ibn Anis, to Yasir ibn Rizam, the Jew. The Prophet did so after learning that Yasir had gathered the men of the tribe of Ghatafan to attack the Muslims with them. The Muslim horsemen came to him and said: “The Messenger of Allah sent us to you wishing to appoint you as the Governor of Khaybar.” They continued to plead with him until he gave in and followed them with thirty of his men, so that each one of them would accompany one of the Muslims. After they had gone only six miles, Yasir regretted his decision.
He thus turned to snatch 'Abdullah ibn Anis's sword, but 'Abdullah was on the alert. He spurred on his camel and continued to drive on the men before him until he caught up with Yasir. He then struck him with his sword on the leg, cutting it off. Yasir rushed at him with a thick staff of hard wood having a twisted handle like that of a sceptre. He struck 'Abdullah with it and split open his skull. Seeing this, every man of the Muslims rushed at his Jewish companion and killed him. Only one of the Jews was able to escape. No one of the Muslims was killed. When they came to the Messenger of Allah, he spat in `Abdullah's wound, which then never caused him any pain until he died.
The Prophet then sent a man named Ghalib ibn `Abdillah al‑Kalbi (with a detachment) on a raid to the land of the tribe of Banu Murrah. He fought valiantly, but was finally taken captive. The Prophet also sent `Uyaynah ibn Hisn al‑Badri on a similar raid to the land of the tribe of Banu `Anbar. He too killed some men and was captured.
Then came the engagement of `umratu'l‑qada' (the lesser pilgrimage performed in compensation for the one missed the year before) in 7 A. H. The Messenger of Allah and those who had witnessed the engagement of Hudaybiyyah with him set out for the lesser pilgrimage. When, however, the people of Quraysh heard of this, they vacated the city hastily and in disarray. He thus entered Mecca and circumambulated the Ka'bah on his camel. He held in his hand a stick with which he touched the Black Stone. `Abdullah ibn Rawahah led his camel by its rope reciting:
Move away, O children of the rejecters of faith, and hinder not Allah's way.
Move away, for all goodness is in His Apostle.
The All‑merciful has declared in His Revelation,
That we should strike you sorely on account of its exegesis;
As we struck you on account of its revelation;
The Prophet stayed in Mecca for three days. There he married Maymunah al‑Hilaliyyah, daughter of al‑Harith. He left Mecca and went into her in a place called Sarf (outside the city); he then returned to Medina, where he remained till the beginning of the eighth year of the Hijrah.
The engagement of Mu'tah (on the borders of Syria) took place in Jumada 'l-Ula (August, 629). The Prophet dispatched a large army under the leadership of Zayd ibn al‑Harithah. He directed that if Zayd were killed, then Ja'far ibn Abi Talib would take his place. If Ja`far were also slain, then `Abdullah ibn Rawahah should succeed him. Should he too be slain, then the Muslims must choose one from among themselves to be their leader. In a tradition related by Aban ibn `Uthman on the authority of the sixth Imam as‑Sadiq, we are told that the Prophet appointed Ja'far as their leader. Should he be killed, then Zayd would succeed him, and if Zayd were also to be slain, then `Abdullah ibn Rawahah would assume the leadership of the army.
The men set out, and when they reached Ma'an (on the pilgrimage route between Mecca and Syria), they heard that Hiraql (Heraclius) had encamped at a nearby place called Ma'rib with an army of 100,000 Byzantine and a similar number of Arabized people. According to Aban ibn `Uthman, they heard of the great multitudes of the rejecters of faith, both Arabs and non‑Arabs: the Lakhm, Judham, Baliyy and Quda'ah. The Associators then moved to a place called al-Masharif. Swords are called `al‑mashrafiyyah' because they were manufactured for Solomon son of David in that place.
The Muslim fighters encamped in Ma'an for two days. After consulting with one another, they decided to send word to the Messenger of Allah telling him of the large numbers of their enemies, and await his instructions. But `Abdullah ibn Rawahah objected saying: “O people ‑ by Allah, we fight not with our numbers, but with this faith with which Allah has honoured us.” They all agreed saying: “You speak the truth! ” Thus they prepared for war, even though they were only three thousand. They met the Byzantine armies in a town of the land of Balqa' called Sharf. The Muslims then moved to Mu'tah, a small town near al‑Ahsa'.
It is related on the authority of Anas ibn Malik that: “Allah announced to the Prophet the death of Ja`far, Zayd ibn al‑Harithah and `Abdullah ibn Rawahah before the news reached him.” His eyes were filled with tears, as related by al‑Bukhari in his as‑Sahih.1 Aban related on the authority of Abu Ja'far (the fifth Imam): “Ja'far fell on that day having sustained fifty wounds, twenty‑five of which were to his face.”
Ja'far's son `Abdullah said: “I remember when the Messenger of Allah came to my mother to announce to her the death of my father. I looked at him while he stroked me and my brother on the head, his eyes flowing with tears until his beard was soaked. He then said: `O Allah, behold: Ja'far has come to you, to the best of rewards. Grant that his progeny be among the best you have granted any of your servants.' He then addressed my mother saying: `O Asma', shall I announce the good news to you?' `Yes', she answered, `may my father and mother be a ransom for you, O Apostle of Allah!' He said: `Allah has granted Ja'far two wings with which to soar in Paradise.' `Tell people about it', she demanded.
The Messenger of Allah then arose and took me by the hand, all the while patting me on the head, until he went up on to his pulpit and seated me before him on the lowest step. Sorrow was visible in his face. He addressed the people saying: `A man feels great sorrow at the death of his brother or his cousin. Ja'far has been martyred. He was given two wings with which to soar in Paradise.' He then came down and went into his home. He took me with him and ordered that some food be prepared for me. He also sent for my brother, so that we both ate with him a blessed meal.
We stayed in his home for three days, accompanying him wherever he went around his wives' chambers. When at last we returned to our home, the Messenger of Allah came to us while I was bargaining to sell a sheep belonging to one of my brothers. He prayed: `O Allah, bless his bargain for him.' ” `Abdullah then concluded: “I never thereafter bought or sold anything but that Allah blessed it for me.”
It is related on the authority of as‑Sadiq that the Apostle of Allah said to Fatimah: “Go and mourn your cousin. Do not cry, `O my bereavement!' Anything else you say about him (that is, enumerating his virtues), would be speaking the truth, for many are his virtues.” Muhammad Ibn Ishaq related on the authority of `Urwah ibn az‑Zubayr that: “When the men of the Battle of Mu'tah returned, the Apostle of Allah met them with the other Muslims, who then began to throw dust upon them saying: `You retreaters! You have indeed taken to flight in the way of Allah! ' The Messenger of Allah retorted: `No, they are not retreaters. Rather, they are brave attackers, Allah willing.' ”
The Battle of Mu'tah was followed in Ramadan of the same year (8 AH. = December, 629) by the Conquest of Mecca. When the Messenger of Allah agreed on the truce of Hudaybiyyah, the Khuza'ah tribe entered into a pact of alliance with the Prophet, and the Kinanah tribe established a similar pact with the Quraysh.
After two years had elapsed, a man of the Kinanah sat relating disparaging tales about the Messenger of Allah. A man of Khuza'ah objected saying: “Do not say such things.” The man asked: “What is it to you?” He threatened, “If you repeat this, I will revoke our covenant.” As the man dared him and repeated his words, the man of Khuza'ah struck him with his hand. Both men cried out to their people for support. The men of Kinanah were more numerous, so they beat the others back until they forced them into the Sacred Mosque, even killing some of them. The people of Quraysh aided the men of Kinanah with arms and horses.
`Amr ibn Salim (a man of the Khuza'ah tribe) rode to the Messenger of Allah with the news and recited the following verses:
No matter, but I have come to remind Muhammad, of the old alliance between him and us.
The people of Quraysh have broken their promise to you;
they have indeed revoked your binding covenant,
They killed us while we were kneeling and prostrate at prayer!
The Messenger of Allah answered: “You have said enough O `Amr ! ” He then immediately arose and, entering the chamber of his wife Maymunah, ordered water to be brought to him. He began to wash himself and repeat, “No, may I never be given support if I do not come to the aid of the people of Ka'b (i.e., the Khuza'ah).” Thus the Apostle of Allah resolved on going to Mecca. He prayed: “O Allah, remove all spies of the Quraysh, so that we might surprise them in their own home.”
A man called Hatib ibn Abi Balta'ah wrote a letter to the people of Quraysh which he sent with Sarah, a servant of Abu Lahab, telling them that the Messenger of Allah would come to punish them on such and such a day. The woman set out, avoiding the main road, and going instead to the left across the Harrah district. But Gabriel came down and told the Prophet. He called 'Ali and az‑Zubayr and said to them: “Go overtake her and seize the letter from her!” 'Ali and az‑Zubayr set out, not stopping to speak to anyone until they reached Dhu 'l-Hulayfah (a place outside Medina on the way to Mecca).
The Prophet had previously set guards over Medina, headed by al‑Harithah ibn an‑Nu'man. 'Ali and az‑Zubayr asked the guards if they had seen the woman, but they said that they had seen no one. They then met a woodcutter and asked him; he said, “I saw a dark woman who turned down towards al‑Harrah.” Thus they caught her; 'Ali took the letter from her and took her back to the Messenger of Allah.
The Prophet called Hatib and said to him: “See what you have done! ” The man answered: “By Allah, I have faith in Allah and His Apostle. I have never doubted, but I am a man who has close relatives and family in Mecca. I therefore wished to do the people of Quraysh a good turn in order that they in turn act kindly towards my family.” `Umar ibn al‑Khattab said: “Let me cut off his head, O Apostle of Allah; for‑by Allah, he has acted hypocritically!” The Prophet replied: “He is of the people of Badr, whom Allah has looked kindly on and forgiven.”
He then commanded: “Expel him from the Mosque!” As men began to push him cut, he turned and looked at the Messenger of Allah, hoping that he would show mercy towards him. The Prophet at last ordered that he be brought back, and said to him: “I have pardoned your crime. Seek forgiveness of your Lord, therefore, and do not commit such an act again.” Allah then sent down:
Do you who have faith, do not take my enemies and your enemies as allies . . ., and so on to the middle of the surah (see Qur'an 60:1 et seq.).
Aban related on the authority of Abu `Abdillah (as-Sadiq) that when Abu Sufyan learnt of what the people of Quraysh had done to those of Khuza'ah while he was in Syria, he went to the Messenger of Allah and said to him: “O Muhammad, stop the blood of your people from being shed! Allow that pacts of protection (jiwar) be established among the people of Quraysh, and give us longer respite! ” The Prophet replied: “But you have committed treachery, O Abu Sufyan.” “No”, Abu Sufyan answered. The Prophet then declared: “We remain committed as we have been.” Abu Sufyan met Abu Bakr soon after he left the Prophet. He requested him to grant protection to the people of Quraysh. Abu Bakr objected: “Alas for you, can anyone grant protection against the Messenger of Allah? ”
Abu Sufyan then met `Umar and repeated to him the same request. He then went to Umm Habibah, wife of the Prophet, and went to sit on a mattress she had on the floor. Umm Habibah, however, quickly folded the mattress and took it away. Abu Sufyan asked: “O daughter, would you consider me unworthy to sit on this mattress?” “Yes”, she retorted, “this belongs to the Messenger of Allah. You ought not to sit on it while you are an abominable Associator! ” He then went to Fatimah and addressed her saying: “O daughter of the Apostle of Allah and master of the Arabs, would you offer protection to the people of Quraysh and extend our period of truce, and thus be the noblest lady among the people? ”
She answered: “My pact of protection is that of the Apostle of Allah.” He begged again: “Would you order your two sons to offer protection to the people?” “By Allah”, she said: “my sons would not know to whom of the people of Quraysh they should offer protection.” Abu Sufyan then met 'Ali and said to him: “You are the closest in kinship to me. Matters have become difficult for me; find a way out for me.” `Ali answered: “You are the chief elder of Quraysh. Stand, therefore, at the door of the mosque and establish pacts of protection among the men of Quraysh. Then ride out and go to your people.” “Do you consider this to be of benefit to me?” Abu Sufyan asked. “I do not know”, 'Ali answered. Abu Sufyan did as `Ali suggested and cried out: “O people, I hereby declare a covenant of protection (jiwar) among the people of Quraysh ! ”
Abu Sufyan then mounted his camel and went to his people. They asked: “What news have you?” He replied: “I went to Muhammad and spoke to him, but by Allah, he gave no answer to me. I then went to Ibn Abi Quhafah (Abu Bakr), but I found no good with him. I likewise went to `Umar ibn al‑Khattab, but to no avail. I went to Fatimah, but she did not answer me. I finally met `Ali, and he advised me to declare a covenant of protection among the people, and they accepted. The men of Quraysh asked: “Did Muhammad allow it?” “No”, he answered. “Alas for you”, they retorted, “the man (that is, `Ali) is playing tricks on you, while you declare covenants of protection among the people of Quraysh! ”
The Messenger of Allah set out for Mecca on Friday after the mid‑afternoon prayers on the second of Ramadan (9/630), leaving Abu Lubabah ibn `Abdi 'l-Mundhir as his representative in Medina. He then summoned the chief of every tribe and asked him to call his people to arms. It is reported on the authority of (the fifth Imam) al-Baqir that the Messenger of Allah set out for the Battle of Conquest observing the fast along with the people until they reached a place called Kura'u'l-Ghamim, where he broke his fast. The people also broke their fast except a few who were then called `the rebellious ones'. He journeyed on until he reached a place called Marru'z‑Zahran. He was accompanied by around ten thousand men and four hundred horsemen, but the people of Quraysh did not learn of his coming.
On that night Abu Sufyan, Hakim ibn Hizam and Badil ibn Warqa' set out wondering if they would hear any news. al‑`Abbas ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib had previously gone out to meet the Messenger of Allah, accompanied by Abu Sufyan ibn al‑Harith and `Abdullah ibn Abi Umayyah. He met him at a spot called Niqu'l-`Iqab. The Messenger of Allah was sitting under a canopy guarded by Ziyad ibn Usayd. Ziyad met them and said: “As for you O Abu 'l-Fadl, you may go to the canopy. But as for the two of you, you must go away.” al‑`Abbas went to the Messenger of Allah and greeted him with the salutation of peace, and said: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you, here is your cousin (that is, Abu Sufyan) and your maternal aunt's son (that is, `Abdullah ibn Abi Umayyah) coming to you repentant.” He answered, “I have no need of them. My cousin has violated my family's honour. As for the son of my aunt, he is the one who says in Mecca:
`We shall not believe you until you cause a cool spring to gush forth for us from the earth”' (Qur'an 17:90) .
When al‑`Abbas left, Umm Salamah (the Prophet's wife) pleaded with him saying: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you, here is your cousin coming to you repentant! Let him not be the most wretched of men through you. Here also is the brother of your aunt's son, and brother to your son‑in‑law; let him not be wretched through you! ” Abu Sufyan ibn al‑Harith then called out to the Prophet:
“O Apostle of Allah, say to us what Allah's righteous servant (Joseph) said to his brothers: `There is no blame on you”' (Qur'an 12:92 ) .
The Prophet then called both Abu Sufyan and `Abdullah ibn Abi Umayyah and accepted their repentance.
al‑`Abbas commented: “If the Messenger of Allah had entered Mecca as a conqueror, it would have been the destruction of Quraysh to the end of time.” He continued: “Thus I mounted the Messenger of Allah's white mule and went out of the city looking for a woodcutter or shepherd that I might send to the people of Quraysh and convey my advice that they ride to the Apostle of Allah and beg for a promise of security (aman). On the way I met Abu Sufyan, Badil ibn Warqa” and Hakim ibn Hizam, just as Abu Sufyan was asking Badil, `What are these fires?' He answered, `They must belong to the tribe of Khuza'ah.' Abu Sufyan answered, `The Khuza'ah are too few for these to be their fires. They must rather belong to either the Taym or Rabi'ah tribe.' ”
al‑`Abbas went on: “I recognized Abu Sufyan's voice, and called out, `Is that Abu Hanzalah?' He answered: `Here I am; who are you?' I answered, `I am al ‑`Abbas.' Abu Sufyan asked, `To whom do these fires belong?' `This is the Messenger of Allah with ten thousand of the Muslims', I replied. He asked further, `What is to be done?' I said, `You must ride behind me on this mule and come with me that I may beg the Messenger of Allah for a promise of security for you.' I thus put him behind me and rode with him (to the Prophet). Whenever we passed by an assembly of men, they rushed at him. But as they saw me, they turned back saying, `This is the uncle of the Apostle of Allah; let him go.' When I reached `Umar's door, he recognized Abu Sufyan and exclaimed, `Here is the enemy of Allah; praise be to Allah Who brought you into my hands!' The mule, however, galloped on until we all gathered at the entrance to the canopy.
`Umar went in and said (to the Prophet), `Here is Abu Sufyan; Allah has brought him into your hands without him having any covenant or agreement of protection. Let me, therefore, strike off his head.' ”
Al‑`Abbas continued his narrative. “I sat at the feet of the Apostle of Allah and begged him, saying: `Here is Abu Sufyan whom I have taken into my protection.' He answered, `Bring him in.' Abu Sufyan stood before him, and the Prophet asked, `O Abu Sufyan, is it not time for you to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Apostle of Allah?' Abu Sufyan exclaimed, `May my father and mother be a ransom for you! How noble and kind to your next of kin you are, and how clement! By Allah, had there been any other god beside Him, he would have assisted on the days of Uhud and Badr. But as for the fact that you are the Messenger of Allah, I still have some doubt in my heart concerning it.' ”
Al‑`Abbas warned him saying: “He will strike off your head right now unless you bear witness that he is the Apostle of Allah! ” Abu Sufyan finally exclaimed: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that you are indeed the Apostle of Allah.” He barely mumbled it with his lips. Abu Sufyan asked al ‑`Abbas, “What shall we do with al‑Lat and al‑`Uzza (the two goddesses of Mecca)?” “Defecate on them!” `Umar retorted: Abu Sufyan said: “Fie on you, how lewd you are! What makes you intervene in a conversation between me and my cousin?” The Messenger of Allah asked Abu Sufyan, “With whom will you spend the night?” “With Abu 'l-Fadl”, he replied. The Prophet said: “Take him, O Abu 'l-Fadl, and let him sleep at your home tonight, and bring him back to me in the morning.”
Next morning, Abu Sufyan heard Bilal raising the call to prayer. He asked: “Who is that calling out, O Abu 'lFadl?” al‑`Abbas answered: “He is the mu'adhdhin of the Messenger of Allah. Rise, therefore, perform your ablutions and offer your prayers.” “How shall I perform my ablutions?” Abu Sufyan enquired. al‑`Abbas then taught him how.
It is reported that Abu Sufyan looked at the Prophet performing his ablutions, while the Muslims placed their hands beneath his head so that not one drop fell on a man but that he rubbed his face with it. He exclaimed in astonishment: “O Abu 'l-Fadl, by Allah, I have never seen the like of this day in the courts of Kisra (the Emperor of Persia) or Qaysar (the Emperor of Byzantium)! ” After Abu Sufyan had performed his prayers, al‑`Abbas took him to the Messenger of Allah. Abu Sufyan addressed him, saying: “O Apostle of Allah, I wish that you would permit me to warn your people (that is, the Quraysh of Mecca) and invite them to the Messenger of Allah.” He was granted permission.
Abu Sufyan asked al‑`Abbas, “What shall I say to them? Advise me of a way in which they would be pleased.” The Prophet answered: “Say to them, `Anyone who says there is no god but Allah alone, having no associate, and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, and also restrains his hand (that is, from fighting against the Muslims), shall be granted security. Anyone who lays down his arms and sits by the Ka'bah shall have safety.' ” al‑`Abbas said: “O Apostle of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who loves boasting. Would you, then, grant him a special favour?” The Prophet then added: “Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe.” Abu Sufyan enquired, again with astonishment, “Do you mean my house?” “Yes, your house”, the Prophet answered. He went on: “Anyone who remains in his home and shuts his door, shall be safe.”
When Abu Sufyan left, al‑`Abbas said: “O Apostle of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who behaves perfidiously, and he has observed the disunity prevailing among the Muslims. The Prophet replied: “Pursue him and keep him in the narrow passes of the valley until Allah's legions overtake him.”
It is reported that al‑'Abbas pursued Abu Sufyan and called out to him: “O Abu Hanzalah.” Abu Sufyan called back: “Is it treachery that you intend against me, O sons of Hashim? ” “Treachery is not our custom, as you shall know”, al‑'Abbas replied, “but stay here till the morning so that you might see the legions of Allah.” al‑'Abbas reported that Khalid ibn al‑Walid passed first, and Abu Sufyan said: “This is the Messenger of Allah.” “No”, answered al‑`Abbas, “this is Khalid ibn al‑Walid coming with the first ranks.” Then az‑Zubayr passed by leading the tribes of Juhaynah and Ashja`.
Abu Sufyan exclaimed: “O `Abbas, this is Muhammad! ” “No”, he answered, “this is az‑Zubayr.” Thus legions followed past him one after the other until the Messenger of Allah came leading the legion of the Ansar. Then Sa'd ibn `Ubadah came up to Abu Sufyan, bearing in his hand the standard of the Messenger of Allah, and said: “O Abu Hanzalah, today is the day of war! Today shall womenfolk be taken captive! O men of the Aws and Khazraj, today is the day of your revenge for the day of the mountain (that is, for those who were killed in the Battle of Uhud).”
When Abu Sufyan heard these words from Sa'd, he left al‑'Abbas and made his way through the crowds and under the spears of the men, until he stood by the Messenger of Allah. He took hold of his stirrup and kissed it. He then addressed him saying: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you; do you hear what Sa'd is saying? ” He then repeated Sa`d's words to the Prophet. The Prophet answered: “Nothing of what Sa'd has said will happen.” He then turned to 'Ali and said: “Go to Sa'd and take the banner from him and carry it gently into Mecca.” 'Ali carried it thither as the Prophet had commanded.
It is reported that on that day Hakim ibn Hizam, Badil ibn Warqa' and Jubayr ibn Mut`im accepted Islam. Abu Sufyan ran hastily to Mecca. Even though a thick cloud of dust appeared over the mountains, the people of Quraysh knew nothing of what was taking place: Abu Sufyan came running up the valley. The men of Quraysh met him and asked the reason for his excitement, and the meaning of the dust which they saw. He said: “Here comes Muhammad with the multitudes! ” He then cried out: “O people of Ghalib, run to your houses! Whoever enters my home, he shall be safe! ” When Hind learnt of what was happening, she began to expel the people (from Abu Sufyan's home).
She then cried out: “Kill the wicked old man (meaning the Prophet). May Allah curse such a leader, coming at the head of such a people! ” Abu Sufyan retorted: “Hold your peace, woe to you! I saw the men of horns (that is, the Byzantines, descendants of Alexander the Great who was known as Dhu 'l-Qarnayn, the man with the two horns) ‑ I saw the noble sons of Persia, the King of Kindah (an important Arab tribe) and the young men of Himyar (a large tribe of Yemen) ‑ I saw them all accepting Islam at the end of the day (of battle). Hold your peace; alas for you, Truth has come, and calamity is near! ”
The Messenger of Allah had previously bound the Muslims with a promise that they would kill in Mecca only those who might fight against them, except a few men who used to insult the Prophet ‑ Miqyas ibn Subabah, `Abdullah ibn Sa'd ibn Abi Sarh, `Abdullah ibn Khatal and two singing girls who used to sing songs denigrating the Messenger of Allah. He commanded the Muslims, saying: “Slay them, even if you find them holding on to the curtains of the Ka'bah.” `Abdullah ibn Khatal was indeed found holding on to the curtains of the Ka'bah. Said ibn Hurayth and `Ammar ibn Yasir ran to him, but Said overtook `Ammar and slew him. Miqyas ibn Subabah was killed in the market place.
'Ali killed one of the two singing girls, but the other escaped. 'Ali also killed al‑Huwayrith ibn Naqidh ibn Ka'b. He learnt that Umm Hani daughter of Abu Talib had given shelter to some men of the Makhzum tribe, among whom were al‑Harith ibn Hisham and Qays ibn as‑Sa'ib. 'Ali went to her house heavily clad with iron armor. He cried out: “Bring forth the men you have sheltered!” The men began to urinate on themselves in fear of him. Umm Hani came out to him, not knowing who he was, and said: “O servant of Allah, I am Umm Hani, cousin of the Messenger of Allah and sister of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib ! Go away from my house.” 'Ali, however, insisted: “Bring them out!” She answered: “By Allah, I shall accuse you before the Apostle of Allah! ” But as he took the helmet off his head, she recognized him. She thus ran and embraced him, saying: “May I be a ransom for you! I have sworn by Allah that I would accuse you before the Apostle of Allah.” “Go and fulfill your oath”, 'Ali replied, “there he is at the head of the valley.”
Umm Hani related: “I came to the Messenger of Allah as he was under a canopy bathing, while Fatimah stood sheltering him. When the Messenger of Allah heard my words, he exclaimed: `Welcome to you, O Umm Hani!' I replied, `May my father and mother be a ransom for you, I have endured much from 'Ali today.' He answered: `I shall grant protection (jiwar) to anyone you have taken into your protection.' Fatimah added: `So you come to accuse `Ali in that he frightened the enemies of Allah and His Apostle.' I said to the Prophet: `Bear with me, may I be a ransom for you.' The Messenger of Allah replied: `May Allah accept well his effort! As for me, I shall grant protection to anyone in Umm Hani's protection because of her relationship to 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.' ”
Aban reported on the authority of (the sixth Imam) Abu `Abdillah that when Mecca was conquered, the Apostle of Allah asked: “Who has the key (of the Ka'bah)?” They answered: “It is with Umm Shaybah.” He thus called Shaybah and said to him: “Go to your mother and ask her to send the key.” She said to her son: “Tell him, `You have killed our fighters; do you now wish to seize our honour!' ” Shaybah threatened: “You either send the key, or I shall kill you!” She finally placed it in the hand of the youth, who took it to the Prophet. The Prophet then called `Umar and said: “This is the fulfilment of my dream which I had.” He then rose and opened (the Ka'bah) with the key and hung a curtain over its door. From that day on, it has become custom to cover it. The Prophet then called the youth, spread his garment, placed the key in it and said: “Take it back to your mother.”
It is reported that the valiant men of Quraysh entered the Ka'bah thinking that they would not be spared the sword. The Messenger of Allah came to the House, and taking hold of the two posts of the door, exclaimed: “There is no god but Allah; He fulfilled His promise, granted His servant victory, and He alone defeated the Confederates (al‑Ahzab).” Then, addressing the people of Quraysh, he asked: “What do you think, and what have you now to say?” Suhayl ibn `Amr answered: “We think well and say good: `A noble brother and a cousin.' ” The Prophet replied: “I say to you what Joseph said to his brothers,
`There is no blame on you today; may Allah forgive you, for He is most merciful' (12:92) .
Let every wealth (wrongfully seized), every blood (wrongfully shed), and every revenge to be exacted belonging to the days of jahiliyyah be trampled under my foot, except the guardianship of the Ka'bah and the bearing of water at the time of the pilgrimage (siqayatu 'l‑hajj); they shall be returned to their people.
Behold, the sanctity of Mecca (that is, against any kind of violence), was made inviolable by Allah. It was never allowed to be violated by anyone before me, nor was it made violable for me except for one hour of one day. It shall henceforth remain inviolable until the coming of the Hour. Its herbs shall not be cut off, nor shall its trees be cut down. Its animals shall not be hunted, nor will any valuable (thing) be picked up except by one wishing to identify it and its owner.”
He then said: “Bad hosts indeed you were to the Prophet! You have rejected, expelled, forcefully driven out and beaten (the Muslims). Yet, you were not satisfied until you came to me to fight against me in my own home. No matter ‑ go, for you are free! ” The people went out as though they had been raised up from the tomb, and they all entered into Islam.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah entered Mecca without being in the state of consecration (ihram). This is because the Muslims had entered Mecca with their arms. He likewise entered the House neither performing the greater or lesser pilgrimage. He went in at the mid‑afternoon hour, and ordered Bilal to go up to the roof of the Ka'bah and raise the call to prayer. `Ikrimah (ibn Abi Jahl) exclaimed: “By Allah, I hate to hear the voice of Ibn Rabah (that is, Bilal) braying on the roof of the Ka'bah.” Khalid ibn Usayd said: “Praise be to Allah Who favored Abu `Attab today in not letting him see Ibn Rabah standing on the Ka'bah.” Suhayl ibn `Amr objected saying: “It is Allah's Ka'bah, and He sees all things. Had He willed otherwise, He would have altered (the situation).” It is reported that Suhayl was the most sober among the men of Quraysh.
Abu Sufyan said: “As for me, I shall say nothing. If I were to speak, by Allah, these walls would, I think, inform Muhammad of what I say! ” The Prophet did, in fact, send for them and tell them what they had said. `Attab confessed: “By Allah, we did say all that, 0 Apostle of Allah. We therefore beg Allah's forgiveness and repent to Him.” He thereafter accepted Islam and sincerely lived by it. The Messenger of Allah set him over Mecca as governor.
Mecca was conquered thirteen nights into Ramadan. Three Muslims were martyred. They were left alone at the lowest district of Mecca; they thus lost their way and were killed.
The Messenger of Allah then sent detachments of men all around Mecca calling people to Allah, but he did not command them to fight. He sent Ghalib ibn `Abdillah to the tribe of Mudlij; they said: “We are neither against you, nor are we with you.” The people said: “Attack them, O Apostle of Allah! ” He answered: “They have a magnanimous and prudent chief. Many a fighter of the Banu Mudlij shall be a martyr in the way of Allah.”
The Prophet sent `Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri to the tribe of Banu 'l-Hudhayl to call them to Allah and His Apostle, but they vehemently refused his call. The people again said: “Attack them, O Apostle of Allah! ” He answered: “Their chief shall now come to you. He has become a Muslim. He shall say to them, `Become Muslims', and they will answer, `Yes, we shall.' ” Then the Prophet sent `Abdullah ibn Suhayl ibn `Amr to the tribe of Banu Muharib. They accepted Islam, and a group of them came back with him to the Messenger of Allah.
The Prophet also sent Khalid ibn al‑Walid to the tribe of Judhaymah ibn `Amir. During the time of jahiliyyah they had captured some women of the tribe of Banu'I‑Mughirah, and killed Khalid's paternal uncle. They thus received him in full armour saying: “O Khalid, we have not raised arms against Allah and against His Apostle, for we are Muslims. If the Apostle of Allah has sent you as an emissary, then there are our camels and sheep; go at them.” Khalid, however, insisted, “Lay down your arms.” They answered: “We fear that you will attack us because of a feud left over from the time of jahiliyyah.
Yet, Allah and His Apostle have declared such feuds dead.” He and the men who were with him then left them and encamped nearby. Still he attacked them with horses, slaying some and capturing others. He then ordered his men, “Let every one of you kill his captive.” Thus they killed the captives. The emissary of the tribe then went to the Messenger of Allah and told him what Khalid had done. On hearing this, the Prophet lifted his hands to the heaven and exclaimed: “O Allah, I dissociate myself from that which Khalid has done!” He wept, and called for 'Ali and said to him: “Go to them and look into their affair.” He also gave 'Ali a sackful of gold. 'Ali did what the Prophet commanded him to do, and pacified them.
The engagement of Hunayn took place in 8/ 630. The tribe of Hawazin gathered a large multitude of men against the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah was told that Safwan ibn Umayyah had a hundred suits of armour in his possession. He asked him for them, and Safwan enquired: “Would you seize them by force, O Muhammad?” “No”, he answered: “rather a loan guaranteed.” He thus agreed and gave them to him.
The Messenger of Allah left Mecca with two thousand fighters. He had with him as well an additional ten thousand men. One of his Companions observed: “If you are defeated today, it will not be for reasons of inadequate numbers.” The Messenger of Allah was troubled by this observation; thus Allah sent down:
On the day of Hunayn when you were pleased with your own large numbers . . . (Qur'an 9:25).
A man called Malik ibn `Awf an‑Nasri came with some men of the tribes of Qays and Thaqif. The Messenger of Allah sent `Abdullah ibn Abi Hadrad as a spy, and he heard Ibn `Awf saying: “O people of Hawazin, you are indeed the quickest to anger and most numerous among the Arabs. This man, moreover, has not yet met a people who would engage him in a true fight. When you meet him, break the tips of your swords in fighting; rush at him as one man!” Ibn Abi Hadrad then came to the Apostle of Allah and recounted all this to him. `Umar rejoined, “Do not listen, O Apostle of Allah, to what Ibn AN Hadrad is saying.” He answered: “O `Umar, you were gone astray, then Allah guided you. Ibn Abi Hadrad is a truthful man.”
As‑Sadiq related that it was Durayd ibn as‑Sammah who accompanied the men of Hawazin. Although Durayd was an old man, they brought him with them in order that they might benefit from his wise counsel.
When they reached Awtas (a place three days' journey from Mecca), the old man exclaimed: “A goodly place this is for horses to gallop. There is neither rough terrain nor a plain of quicksand. Why then do I hear the braying of camels and donkeys and the cries of infants?” He was told that Malik ibn `Awf had had men bring their wealth, womenfolk and children with them. He called for Malik, and when he came he said to him: “O Malik, you have become the chief of your people. This, moreover, is a day which will be important for many days to follow. Why do I then hear the braying of camels and donkeys, the cries of infants and the bleating of sheep? ” He answered: “I wish to have behind every man his family and wealth (so that he will be forced) to defend them.”
Durayd objected: “You fool, you will accomplish nothing if you do not place the power of Hawazin on the horses at the front. For would anything stand in the face of a retreating man? If you win, it will be only because men welded their swords and spears. But if you lose, you will have exposed your family and wealth.” Malik retorted: “You are an old man; you have lost your mind!” Durayd replied: “I may have become old, but you shall bring your people to humiliation because of the foolishness of your reason and of your views. Yet, I have not for a moment taken leave of my reason.” He then exclaimed: “It shall be a hard war. Would that I were a strong young man (i.e., at the time of Muhammad's proclamation of his Prophethood), so that I could run (in battle) with speed and agility.”
Jabir ibn `Abdillah al‑Ansari said: “Thus we continued our journey until we reached the valley of Hunayn; there we were overwhelmed by troops of men brandishing swords, spears and iron bars, waiting in ambush in the bends and narrows of the valley. As they saw us, they rushed at us as one man in their determination. People retreated quickly, so that no one even stopped to look at another. The Messenger of Allah stepped aside to the right, and nine of the sons of `Abdu'l-Muttalib surrounded his mule to defend him. Malik ibn `Awf ran out crying, `Show me Muhammad!' and rushed at the Messenger of Allah. He was tall and well‑built, but a rash person.
One of the Muslims met him in single combat, but Malik killed him.” It was reported that the man was Ayman the son of Umm Ayman (the Prophet's wet‑nurse). Malik then spurred his horse on, but it would not advance toward the Messenger of Allah. A man called Kaladah ibn al‑Hanbal, who was a step‑brother to Safwan ibn Umayyah (Safwan being still an Associator) cried out: “Magic has indeed been rendered ineffectual today! ” Safwan reproached him saying: “May Allah break your mouth; by Allah, I prefer that a man of Quraysh lord over me than a man of Hawazin ! ”
Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that a man called Shaybah ibn `Uthman ibn Abi Talhah of the tribe of `Abdu'dDar, said: “I shall now take my revenge; today I shall kill Muhammad.” This was because his father had been killed in the Battle of Uhud. “Thus,” he continued, “I sought Muhammad to kill him, but something came over me so that my heart felt as though pressed down, and I was unable to endure it. I knew then that he was (divinely) protected.” It is further related on the authority of `Ikrimah that Shaybah said: “When I saw the Messenger of Allah on the day of Hunayn totally abandoned, I remembered my father and uncle and how `Ali and Hamzah killed them.
Thus I thought to myself, `I shall today take my revenge on Muhammad.' When, however, I came to attack him on his right, I saw al‑`Abbas ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib standing by him clad with a white suit of armour as though made of silver. He was brushing the dust off it. I thought, `He is his uncle; he would not abandon him.' Then I came at him from behind, and was about to cut him down with my sword. But a fiery wall of hot flame looking like a thunderbolt stood between me and him. I was afraid that it would consume me. I covered my eyes with my hand and ran away. The Messenger of Allah turned to me and called out, `O Shubayb, come close to me.' He then prayed, `O Allah, remove Satan from him.' I lifted my eyes toward him, and he was indeed dearer to me than my hearing and my sight. He then said to me, `O Shubayb, fight against the rejecters of faith!' ”
It is reported on the authority of Musa ibn `Uqbah that the Messenger of Allah stood up in the stirrups of his donkey and said: “O Allah, I beg of You to fulfil what You had promised me. O Allah, they should not gain victory over us! ” He then called his Companions and reproached them saying: “O you men who gave the oath of allegiance (bay`ah) on the day of Hudaybiyyah! O Allah, hasten to the aid of your Prophet!” It is also related that he cried out: “O supporters of the Messenger of Allah, O sons of the tribe of Khazraj!” He then commanded al‑`Abbas to call the people together, and the Prophet's Companions came to him running. It is reported that the Prophet exclaimed: “Now the fighting has become fierce! I am the Prophet without doubt, I am the son of Abdu'l-Muttalib!”
Salamah ibn al‑Akwa' reported that the Messenger of Allah then dismounted his mule, took a handful of dust and threw it at their faces saying: “May these faces be disgraced! ” There was not a creature of Allah among them but that his eyes were filled with dust. Thus they turned and quickly fled. The Muslims followed them and slew them. Allah, moreover, granted the Muslims their women, children, livestock and wealth. Malik ibn `Awf fled to the stronghold of at‑Ta'if with some of their notables. At that time, when they saw Allah's support and the great honour He bestowed on His religion, many of the people of Mecca became Muslims.
Aban reported on the authority of Abu `Abdillah (as-Sadiq) that the Messenger of Allah captured in the Battle of Hunayn four thousand head of cattle and twelve thousand she‑camels, in addition to unknown quantities of other spoils. The Messenger of Allah left the booty, both wealth and captives, in a place called al‑Ji'irranah (near Mecca). The Associators then split into two groups. The Bedouins and their followers went in the direction of Awtas. The tribe of Thaqif and their followers went to at‑Ta'if. The Messenger of Allah then sent 'Abu `Amir al‑Ash'ari to Awtas, where he fought until he fell in battle. His cousin Abu Musa al‑Ash'ari (the famous Companion) took up the banner and fought until Allah granted him victory.
In the month of Shawwal of the year 8/630, the Messenger of Allah led an army to at‑Ta'if, which he then besieged for about fifteen days. A man called Nafi` ibn Ghaylan ibn Mu'attab went out for battle with the Muslims with a number of horsemen of the tribe of Thaqif. 'Ali encountered him in the midst (batn) of Wajj (a valley in at‑Ta'if). 'Ali killed him, and the Associators fled defeated. Some men and a number of their relatives came down from the stronghold of at‑Ta'if to the Messenger of Allah; among them was Abu Bakrah, who was a slave to a man called al‑Harith ibn Kaladah al‑Munba'ith.
Abu Bakrah was called `al‑Mudtaji” (the man lying down), but the Apostle of Allah changed his name to `al‑Munba'ith' (the man who was raised up). Another man was Wardan, who was a slave of `Abdullah ibn Rabi `ah. They both accepted Islam. When the peace delegation from at‑Ta'if came to the Messenger of Allah, they too became Muslims and requested the Prophet to return the two slaves to them. “No”, the Prophet said, “they are Allah's freemen.”
Al‑Waqidi reported from his masters that the Messenger of Allah consulted with his Companions regarding the fortress of at‑Ta'if, and Salman the Persian suggested that he set up a mangonel against it. He thus ordered that one be made. It is reported that a man called Yazid ibn Zam'ah brought a mangonel and two battering engines. It is also reported that it was Khalid ibn Said who brought them. But the men of Thaqif threw hot iron bars at them which burnt one of the engines.
The Messenger of Allah ordered that their vineyards be cut down and burnt. Sufyan ibn `Abdillah ath-Thaqafi, however, called out to him and said: “Why do you wish to cut down and burn our properties? You either seize them if you prevail over us, or you should leave them for Allah and for the sake of our blood relationship.” The Apostle of Allah replied: “Rather, I leave them for Allah and for the sake of our blood relationship.” He thus spared them.
The Messenger of Allah sent 'Ali during the siege of at‑Ta'if with men and horses and ordered him to break any idol he found. He was confronted by a large crowd of the tribe of Ithath'am. A man of the group came forth for single combat, challenging `Ali with the demand, “Is there any one to engage me in single combat?” No one took up the challenge. Finally `Ali stood up to face him, but `Abu'l`As ibn ar‑Rabi ` (the husband of the Prophet's daughter) jumped up and asked `Ali: “Would you wish to be spared fighting him, O commander?” “No,” he answered, “but if I am killed, you shall assume the leadership of the people.” He then came forth to meet the man saying :
Duty is upon every chief,
(either) to nourish his spear (with blood) or have it broken (in battle).
He then struck the man and slew him. He went on his way until he broke all the idols he saw and then returned to the Messenger of Allah while he was still besieging at‑Ta'if. When he saw him, the Prophet cried out: “Allah is most great! ” He then took `Ali and conferred with him alone.
It is reported on the authority of Jabir ibn `Abdillah al-Ansari that when the Messenger of Allah took `Ali aside on the day of at‑Ta'if, `Umar ibn al‑Khattab came to him and said: “You confer with him alone and spend time alone with him instead of us!” The Prophet answered: “O `Umar, it is not I who chose him; rather Allah chose him.” `Umar turned away saying: “This is the same as when you told us on the day of Hudaybiyyah: `
You shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, in safety, with your heads shaven (i.e., for consecration)' (Qur'an 48: 27) ;
yet we have not entered it. Rather, we were prevented from approaching it.”
The Prophet called him back and said: “I did not say that you would enter it that year.” When `Ali returned, the Apostle of Allah looked as though he was afraid (that 'Ali had returned defeated), and he stood up. A man called Said ibn `Ubayd exclaimed (slanderously): “Indeed, the quarter (to be conquered) still stands intact (i.e., 'Ali has returned without fulfilling his mission).” The Prophet retorted: “May you not be able to stand or have strength! ” Sa'id immediately fell and broke his leg.
Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that the Messenger of Allah besieged the people of at‑.Ta'if for thirty some days. He then departed from them without raising among them the call to prayer (as sign of victory). In the following Ramadan, however, a delegation from them came to him, and they accepted Islam.
The Messenger of Allah then returned to al‑Ji'irranah, where he divided the booty which the Muslims had seized on the day of Hunayn. It was divided among `those whose hearts were reconciled' of the people of Quraysh, 2 and the rest of the Arabs; but nothing at all went to the Ansar. It is, reported, however, that the Prophet allotted a small share to the Ansar, but gave the largest portion to the Hypocrites.
Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that the Prophet gave Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and his son Mu'awiyah a hundred camels each. He also gave a hundred camels each to Hakim ibn Hizam of the tribe of Asad ibn `Abdi'l-`Uzza ibn Qusayy, an Nadir ibn al‑Harith ibn Kaladah, al‑Harith ibn Hisham of the Banu Makhzum, Jubayr ibn Mut'im of the tribe of Banu Nawfal ibn `Abd Manaf, and Malik ibn `Awf an‑Nasri. These men were thus known as `the people of the one hundred.' It is also reported that he gave `Alqamah ibn `Ulathah, al-Aqra` ibn Habis and `Uyaynah ibn Hisn a hundred camels each. But he gave a man called al‑`Abbas ibn Mirdas only four, which he disdained with manifest displeasure, reciting the following verse:
Would you then make my share of the booty like that of slaves,
Even less than those of `Uyaynah and al‑Aqra `!Even less than those of `Uyaynah and al‑Aqra `!
Yet neither Hisn nor HabisYet neither Hisn nor Habis
Ever excelled Mirdas in the assembly,
Nor was I ever below any man of their status;
Yet whomever you debase today will never be raised up.
In battle I was indeed a man of courage;
Still I was given nothing, nor was I protected.
Hearing of this, the Apostle of Allah said to him: “Are you the man who said, `Would you then make my share of the booty even less than that of the slaves al‑Aqra` and `Uyaynah?' ” Abu Bakr observed: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you, you are not a poet!” (that is, the Prophet broke the rhyme). The Messenger of Allah asked: “How did he recite?” Abu Bakr then recited al`Abbas's verses to him. Then addressing 'Ali, the Prophet ordered, “Go and cut off al‑`Abbas's tongue!”
Al‑`Abbas, relating the incident, said: “This command was, by Allah, for me harder to bear even than the day of Khath'am. 'Ali took me by the hand and led me away. I said, `O 'Ali, will you cut off my tongue?' `I shall do with you as I was commanded', he answered. Thus we went until he brought me into the stables. He then said to me, `Take for yourself, excluding the four you have already received, the remainder of a hundred.' I said: `May my father and mother be a ransom for you; how generous, clement, noble and endowed with great knowledge are you (the Prophet and his family)!' He said to me, `The Messenger of Allah gave you only four camels, thus counting you among the Immigrants. If you wish, take them, or else take the one hundred. You would then be one of the people of the one hundred.'. I replied, `O 'Ali, is this what you advise me?' He answered: `I enjoin you to take what he has given you and be contented.' `I will indeed do so', said I”
It is reported that a group of the Ansar were angered by what the Prophet did. Vile words issued from their mouths, so that one of them said: “The man has favored his own family and cousins, yet we are the people who have endured every hardship.” When the Messenger of Allah learnt of what the Ansar were thinking, he ordered them all to assemble, without anyone joining them. He came to them as though in great rage, with 'Ali following behind, and sat in their midst.
He began to reproach them saying: “Did I not come to you while you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and Allah delivered you from it through me?” “Yes”, they answered, “to Allah and His Apostle belong all the favour and magnanimity toward us.” He went on: “Did I not come to you while you were enemies, and He reconciled your hearts?” “Yes indeed,” they replied. He said: “Did I not come to you while you were few in number, and Allah increased you through me?”3
He thus reproached them as Allah had wished; then he fell silent. After a while, he asked, “Will you not answer me?” “Yes”, they said, “we shall answer you, O Apostle of Allah. May our fathers and mothers be a ransom for you, to you belong all magnanimity, generosity and favour toward us.”
The Prophet answered: “No, rather if you so wish you could say, `You came to us rejected and driven out by your people, yet we sheltered you and believed you. You came to us frightened, yet we gave you security.' ”
They raised their voices to him entreatingly, and their chiefs rose and kissed his hands and feet and knees. They exclaimed: “We are pleased with Allah and His Apostle. This is our wealth and property; divide them among your people, if you so wish!” He replied: “O people of the Ansar, are you displeased because I have divided some wealth unevenly in order that I may reconcile some men, and yet I left you to your faith? Are you not happy that others return with sheep and cattle, when you and the Messenger of Allah return with your portion?” He then declared: “The Ansar are my trusted people and keepers of my secrets! If other people would traverse an easy valley, and the Ansar choose a hard terrain, I would walk with the Ansar. O Allah, forgive the Ansar, their children and the children of their children!”
It is reported that among the women who were captured was the Prophet's sister (in nursing), the daughter of Halimah. She stood before him and exclaimed: “O Muhammad, your sister is a captive! ” The Messenger of Allah took off his outer garment and spread it for her to sit on. He then bent down and began to console her. She used to carry him in her arms while her mother nursed him.
A delegation met the Messenger of Allah in al‑Ji'irranah where they accepted Islam. They said: “O Apostle of Allah, we are a people of well‑known lineage, and we are a large tribe. You know well what tribulations we have endured. Bestow upon us some favour, therefore; may Allah bestow His favour upon you! ” Their spokesman, Zuhayr ibn Sard, then stood up and said: “O Apostle of Allah, had we been so kind to al‑Harith ibn Abi Shimr and an‑Nu'man ibn al‑Mundhir, and if they had vanquished us as you had, he (an‑Nu'man) would have pitied us and bestowed his bounty upon us. You are the best of those who care for others. You know that among the captives are your maternal aunts, your nurses and the daughters of your nurses. We do not ask you for any wealth, but we do ask you for them.” The Messenger of Allah had, however, already divided them among the people. But when his sister spoke to him, he said: “As for my share as well as the shares of the sons of `Abdu'l Muttalib, they are yours. As for those whom the Muslims took, you may use me in interceding for them.”
After they had offered the noon prayers, the Prophet's nursing sister rose and spoke, and the people spoke also. Everyone gave her their women captives, except al‑Aqra' ibn Habis and `Uyaynah ibn Hisn. They refused saying: “O Apostle of Allah, these people have captured some of our women, and we too have captured some of their women.” The Messenger of Allah cast lots for them and prayed, “O Allah, let their lot be lost.”
Thus one of them won a servant of the clan of `Aqil and the other a servant of the clan of Numayr. When they saw this, they gave what they had withheld (in exchange for what they had won). It is reported that had the women not fallen into the shares of other people, he would have given them all to her, as he did with those who did not fall into anyone's share. But because they were included in the shares of the booty of the people, he did not wish to take them back except with their consent.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Anyone of you who gives up his rightful booty shall have six shares from the first booty we seize. Return, therefore, to the people their women and children.” His sister, likewise, spoke to him on behalf of Malik ibn `Awf, and he said: “If he comes to me, he shall have my pledge of security.” When Malik came to him, he fulfilled his promise and gave him a hundred camels.
It is reported by az‑Zuhri on the authority of Abu Said al‑Khudri who said: “As we were sitting around the Messenger of Allah while he was dividing the booty, a man of the tribe of Tamim called Dhu 'I‑Khuwaysirah came to him and said: `O Apostle of Allah, divide with justice!' He answered: `Alas for you, who shall act justly if I do not act justly? For I will fail and lose if I do not act justly.' `Umar ibn al‑Khattab said: `O Apostle of Allah, give me permission that I may cut off his head!' The Messenger of Allah replied: `Let him go, people; he shall have certain Companions beside whose prayers anyone of you would look at his prayers with disdain, and would disdain his fasting beside their fasting.
However, they will recite the Qur'an, but it will not penetrate further than their throats. They shall as easily slip out of Islam as would an arrow from its bow. It is as though a man would then look at the shafts (of his arrows), but find nothing. He would then look at the quivers of his arrows, but would find nothing. He would also look at his arrows before being sharpened, but would also find nothing. Finally, he would look at the tips of his arrows, but would find nothing there. Yet, his arrow would penetrate faster than the flow of excrement and blood. Their sign shall be a black man whose arm shall be like a woman's breast, or like a piece of flesh as it shakes up and down. They shall rise against the best group among men.”4
Abu Said said: “I bear witness that I heard this from the Apostle of Allah. I also testify that `Ali ibn Abi Talib fought against them while I was with him. The man described by the Prophet was brought, and I looked at him. I found him to be exactly as the Messenger of Allah had described.”5
Then the Messenger of Allah rode away and the people followed him demanding: “O Apostle of Allah, give us our share of the booty! ” They thus continued until they brought him to the foot of a tree. He then took off his garment and said: “O people, give me back my garment! For by Him in Whose hand is my soul, had I possessed the number of all the trees of the earth in cattle, I would have divided them among you. You would have never found me miserly, or a coward.”
He then went to a camel and took a hair from its hump, which he held between his fingers and said: “O people, by Allah, I do not possess of your booty even as much as this hair, except the fifth, and the fifth shall be returned to you. Give over then even the needle and thread, for hiding things is a shame for those who are guilty of it, an offence whose punishment shall be the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.”
A man came to the Prophet with a ball of hair threads. He said: “O Apostle of Allah, I took this to sew the saddle of my camel.” The Messenger of Allah answered: “As for my share of it, it is yours.” The man said: “If the matter is so grave, I have no need of it.” He then threw it down from his hand.
The Messenger of Allah left al‑Ji'irranah in Dhu'lQi'dah for Mecca, where he performed the lesser pilgrimage, after which he left for Medina. He left as his representative in Mecca Mu'adh ibn Jabal.
Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported that the Prophet left as his representative `Attab ibn Usayd, but that he left Mu'adh with him to instruct the people in the principles of the Faith and to teach them the Qur'an. `Attab ibn Usayd led the people in that year, which was the eighth year of the Hijrah, in the rites of the pilgrimage.
The Prophet remained in Medina from the month of Dhu 'l-Hijjah to Rajab (that is, the last month of year 8 to the seventh month of the following year).
In Rajab, the Prophet sent letters and emissaries to the Arab tribes which had entered into Islam in order to invite them to the jihad. This was the Battle of Tabuk, which the Prophet led against the Byzantines and their Arab clients. He wrote to the tribes of Tamim, Ghatafan and Tayy. He also sent a message to `Attab ibn Usayd, his representative in Mecca, to make ready for battle against the Byzantines.
When all was ready for the journey, the Prophet stood up and delivered a sermon wherein he first praised Allah with fitting praise, then invited the people to help one another and assist the weak among them and to spend of their wealth in Allah's cause. The first man to give was Uthman ibn `Affan (the third caliph). He brought vessels filled with silver, which he poured in the lap of the Prophet. He also provisioned an army of poor people.
He was thus known as, `he who provisioned the army of hardship' (jayshu'l-`usrah). al‑`Abbas also came to the Messenger of Allah and gave generously, donating provisions for the fighters. The Ansar hastened to do likewise. Other Companions also gave handsome donations: `Abdu'r‑Rahman ibn `Awf, az‑Zubayr and Talhah. Some of the Hypocrites also gave of their wealth, but only for a show of hypocrisy. Allah sent down concerning this certain verses of the Qur'an.6
The Messenger of Allah encamped at Thaniyyatu'l Wada' with those who followed him of the Immigrants, the Arab tribes, the tribe of Kinanah, the people of Tihamah and Muzaynah, Juhaynah, Tayy and Tamim. He set `Ali as his representative over Medina, saying to him: “It is necessary that either you or I should stay in Medina.” He entrusted the banner of the Immigrants to az‑Zubayr and placed Talhah ibn `Ubaydillah at the head of the right flank, and `Abdu'rRahman ibn `Awf at the head of the left one. Then he set out until he reached a place called al‑Jurf. There `Abdullah ibn Ubayy returned (to Medina) without the Prophet's permission. The Apostle of Allah said: “Allah is my sufficient Helper.
It is He Who strengthened him (that is, the Prophet) with His support and with the people of faith, and reconciled their hearts. ” (Qur'an 8:63)
At al‑Jurf 'Ali hastened to the Prophet and, taking hold of his stirrup, complained saying: “O Apostle of Allah, the people of Quraysh are claiming that you have left me behind because you find me bothersome!” He replied: “Communities (of faith) have always caused their prophets much hurt! Are you not content to be in the same station to me as was Aaron to Moses?” “Yes, I accept”, 'Ali answered; he then returned to Medina.
The Messenger of Allah arrived at Tabuk in Sha'ban, on Tuesday, where he remained the rest of the month and a few days of Ramadan. While in Tabuk, a man called Yuhannah ibn Ru'bah, the Governor of Aylah (Ilat), came to him. Yuhannah agreed to give the Apostle of Allah the jizyah and thus he wrote a truce agreement for him. The letter is still with them (that is, the Christians of the city). The Prophet likewise wrote an agreement of security for the people of al‑Jarba' and Adhruh (two towns in Syria).
Also while in Tabuk, the Messenger of Allah sent Abu `Ubaydah ibn al‑Jarrah with a man called Zinba` ibn Rawh al‑Judhami against a group of the tribe of Judham. Abu `Ubaydah was able to seize much wealth and women captives. The Prophet also sent Sa'd ibn `Ubadah against some people of the tribe of Sulaym and others of the tribe of Baliyy. But as they approached, the people fled.
The Prophet then sent Khalid ibn al‑Walid to Ukaydir, a chieftain of a place called Dumatu'l-Jandal. He predicted to Khalid: “Allah will deliver him into your hand by means of the chasing of a cow.” As Khalid and his Companions were spending a clear night near Ukaydir's fortress and while he sat within drinking wine with two of his wives, a cow came and vehemently began to butt the door. He rode after it with Hassan his brother and the men who owned the cow. Khalid and his Companions sat in ambush for him. Thus they captured him while he was chasing a cow. They killed Hassan his brother, who was wearing a garment woven with gold threads.
The other men escaped and ran into the fortress and closed its gate. Khalid brought Ukaydir to the gate and ordered the men to open for him, but they refused. Ukaydir then asked Khalid to let him go and open the gate. He sent a man to guard him, and Ukaydir opened the fortress for Khalid and his Companions. Ukaydir gave him eight hundred heads of cattle, two thousand camels, four hundred suits of armour, four hundred spears and five hundred swords. Khalid accepted this gift from him and brought him to the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet spared his life and concluded a truce with him upon payment of the poll‑tax.
It is reported in Bayhaqi's Dala'ilu'l‑Nubuwwah on the authority of Abu 'l-Aswad that when the Messenger of Allah was on his way back from Tabuk, some of his Companions plotted against him. They agreed to travel with him through a steep road and throw him over the cliff. The Messenger of Allah was, however, informed of their plot. He thus advised: “Let anyone of you who wish, take the road through the valley, for it is more spacious for you! ” Yet he himself took the steep road. All the men took the road through the valley, except those who had plotted against him; they made ready and masked themselves.
The Messenger of Allah commanded Hudhayfah ibn al‑Yaman and Ammar ibn Yasir to walk with him. He ordered `Ammar to lead his she‑camel, and Hudhayfah to drive her on from behind. As they were thus going, they heard the hastening footsteps of the men who had all surrounded him. The Apostle of Allah became angry, and ordered Hudhayfah to turn them away from him. Hudhayfah ran after them with a thick staff with a twisted handle and struck them with it in their faces. The men scattered, and Allah caused them to be frightened as they saw Hudhayfah. They thought that their malicious scheme had been discovered. They thus ran until they intermingled with the people, and Hudhayfah returned to the Messenger of Allah.
The Prophet ordered Hudhayfah to drive the she‑camel on, and `Ammar to lead her quickly until they came out of the steep road, where they halted to wait for the men. The Prophet asked: “O Hudhayfah, did you recognize the horse or camel of any of these men?” “Yes”, he answered, “I recognized the mount of this and that man” ‑ even though the darkness of the night had covered them, and they were masked. The Prophet asked: “Do you know what these riders wished to do?” “No, O Apostle of Allah”, they said.
He continued: “They plotted to travel at my side through this steep road, so that when darkness had covered the road, they would push me down the cliff!” Hudhayfah and `Ammar asked: “When the people come, will you not, O Apostle of Allah, order that they be beheaded?” “I do not wish that men talk later and say that Muhammad has finally attacked his own Companions”, he answered. He then named the culprits all for them, and said: “Keep their names a secret!” It is reported in Aban ibn `Uthman's book that they were twelve men, seven of whom were of the Quraysh.7
It is reported that the Prophet then returned to Medina. Whenever he returned from a journey, he was received with Hasan and Husayn. He would take them in his arms and go straight to the house of Fatimah, with the Muslims crowding all around him. They would wait for him at the door until he came out, then they would walk with him to his home, when they would disperse.
It is related on the authority of Abu Hamid as‑Sa'idi (a well‑known Companion) who said: “We returned with the Messenger of Allah from the Battle of Tabuk. When we came within sight of Medina, he said: `This is Tabah (the good place, another name for Medina), and this is Mount Uhud. It loves us and we love it.' ” It is further reported on the authority of Anas ibn Malik that when the Messenger came close to Medina, he said: “There are in Medina certain people who are with you on whatever journey you make through any valley or plain.” The people asked: “O Apostle of Allah, even though they remain in Medina?” “Yes”, he answered, “even though they remain in Medina, for there they shall be obliged to stay.”
The engagement of Tabuk was the last battle which the Messenger undertook. `Abdullah ibn Ubayy (the well‑known Hypocrite) died shortly after the Messenger of Allah's return from this engagement.
During the last days of the pilgrimage of the ninth year of the hijrah the surah which begins: This is
a declaration of immunity from Allah and His Apostle… (surah 9)
was sent down. The Prophet delivered the sacred writ to Abu Bakr, who set out with it (for Mecca). Gabriel, however, came down and said to the Prophet: “No one can execute your affairs except you or 'Ali.” He thus dispatched 'Ali on his own she‑camel, called al‑`Adba', after Abu Bakr. When he caught up with him, he took the writ from him. Abu Bakr asked: “Has anything been revealed concerning me?” “No,” 'Ali answered, “but no one can execute the Apostle of Allah's affairs except he himself, or I .”
`Ali went on with the sacred text, which he then recited repeatedly and with a loud voice in Mecca on the Day of Sacrifice (Idd al‑Adha) and the three days following. He was enjoined to abrogate the covenant of the Associators; and he was (also) to announce that no naked person should henceforth circumambulate the Sacred House (the Ka'bah), and that no Associator should henceforth be allowed to enter the Sacred Mosque; and that any covenant made with the Prophet, should be allowed to run its stated term; but anyone who had no such covenant would be given respite for four months. If after four months we capture him, we shall slay him. This is the meaning of Allah's saying:
But when the (four) sacred months have elapsed. . ., until His saying: lie in wait for them in every place of ambush (Qur'an 9 : 5 ).
It is reported that when `Ali entered Mecca, he unsheathed his sword and, welding it, exclaimed: “By Allah, no naked man shall circumambulate the House, but that I shall strike him with my sword!” He thus forced them to wear their clothes, and they performed the rite of circumambulation dressed. It is reported that a man called `Urwah ibn Mas'ud ath-Thaqafi came to the Apostle of Allah declaring his Islam. He then requested permission to return to his people (i.e., the tribe of Thaqif). The Prophet answered: “I fear that they might kill you.” He assured him saying: “Even if they find me sleeping, they would not disturb me.” The Messenger of Allah gave him permission, and he returned to at‑Ta'if, where he called his people to Islam and offered them good counsel, but they did not obey him. They even hurled insults at him.
One day, as he stood on the roof of his house and raised the call to prayer, a man shot an arrow at him and killed him. Shortly after his death, however, a delegation of about fifteen men of the notables of Thaqif came to the Messenger of Allah declaring their Islam. The Messenger of Allah showed them hospitality and kindness. He sent with them as his representative `Uthman ibn Abi 'l-`As ibn Bishr, who had learnt a number of surahs of the Qur'an.
It is reported that he said: “O Apostle of Allah, Satan has come between my prayers and recitation (i.e., of the Qur'an in prayer).” He answered: “This is a Satan called Khinzub (which means a piece of filthy flesh). If you fear him, take refuge in Allah from him (i.e., by reciting the formula: a'udhu bi'llahi mina'sh‑Shaytani 'r‑rajim), and spit three times to your left.” `Uthman went on: “I did this, and Allah removed him from me.”
After the tribe of Thaqif had entered into Islam, numerous delegations of other Arab tribes followed one another to the Messenger of Allah: entering into the religion of Allah in droves, as Allah the Exalted says (see Qur'an 110) . Among them was `Utarid ibn Hajib ibn Zurarah who came to him with a delegation of the notables of the tribe of Tamim, among whom were al‑Aqra` ibn Habis, az‑Zibriqan ibn Badr, Qays ibn `Asim, `Uyaynah ibn Hisn al‑Fazari and `Amr ibn al‑Ahtam. al‑Aqra` and `Uyaynah had already witnessed with the Messenger of Allah the conquest of Mecca and the battles of Hunayn and at‑Ta'if. Thus, when the delegation of Tamim came, they too came with them.
The Messenger of Allah offered them a pact of protection (jiwar) and treated them hospitably. Another of the delegations which came to him was that of the tribe of `Amir, among whom was `Amir ibn at‑Tufayl and Arbad ibn Qays, the stepbrother of Labid ibn Rabi'ah. `Amir, however, said to Arbad: “I shall stand before him so that he will not be able to see you. When I do this, then strike him with your sword!” Thus `Amir said to the Prophet, “O Muhammad, embrace me! ” “No, not until you believe in Allah alone”, the Prophet answered. `Amir repeated his demand twice, but when the Messenger of Allah refused, he said: “By Allah, I shall fill the place with red horses and men against you! ” When he left, the Messenger of Allah prayed saying: “O Allah spare me `Amir ibn at ‑Tufayl ! ”
On the way, `Amir enquired of Arbad, “Why did you not do as I had ordered you?” He replied: “By Allah, every time I came close to executing your command, you came between me and the man ‑ would I want to strike you with the sword?” While still on his way, Allah sent against `Amir a plague in his neck which killed him while he was in the house of a woman of the tribe of Salul. After his companions buried him, they went home. Allah also sent against Arbad and his camel a thunderbolt which burnt them both.
It is further reported in Aban ibn `Uthman's book that `Amir and Arbad came to the Messenger of Allah after the engagement with the Jewish tribe of Banu 'n‑Nadir. As `Amir was breathing his last, he repeated, “A disease (I have) that would kill even a young camel, and I shall suffer death in the house of this Salulite woman! “He states further that the Messenger of Allah prayed concerning `Amir and Arbad, “O Allah, grant me in their stead the two strongest horsemen of the Arabs!” Thus the well‑known warrior Zayd ibn Muhalhal at‑Tai known as `Zaydu'l-Khayl' (Zayd of the many horses) and `Amr ibn Ma'dikarib (another well‑known fighter) came to him.
Among those who came to the Messenger of Allah were the delegation of the tribe of Tayy, among whom were Zaydu'l-Khayl and `Adiyy ibn Hatim. He invited them to Islam, and they all accepted and lived a good Muslim life. The Messenger of Allah renamed Zayd `Zayd of goodness' (Zaydu'l-Khayr). He granted him a place called Fayd (near Mecca) and two plots of land in addition. He also gave him a written deed. When Zayd left the Apostle of Allah to go back to his people, the Prophet predicted: “Would that Zayd be spared the fever of Medina and the pain of death!” As Zayd crossed the district of Najd and reached a spring of water called Faradah, he fell ill with fever and died there. His wife took whatever epistles and pledges he had and consigned them to the fire.'
Ibn Ishaq reported that `Adiyy ibn Hatim first fled before the Muslim armies, but the horsemen of the Messenger of Allah captured his sister and brought her to the Prophet. He, however, gave her clothes, money and other gifts. She travelled with different caravans until she arrived in Syria, where she advised her brother to go to the Prophet. He went and accepted Islam, and the Messenger of Allah treated him honorably, seating him on a cushion and offering him his hand (as a sign of friendship).
Another man who came to the Messenger of Allah was `Amr ibn Ma'dikarib, who accepted Islam. He then looked at Abu 'I‑`Ath'ath al‑Khath'ami pulling him by the neck and brought to the Messenger of Allah saying: “Help me to kill this wicked man, for he killed my father.” The Prophet answered: “Islam has annulled everything that was in the jahiliyyah.” `Amr then departed an apostate. He thus attacked a people of the tribe of Banu Harith ibn Ka'b. The Messenger of Allah dispatched `Ali to the tribe of Banu Zubayd and entrusted to him the banner of the Immigrants.
He also dispatched Khalid ibn al‑Walid at the head of a detachment of the Bedouins. He commanded Khalid to set out for a place called Ju'fiyy. He instructed further that when Khalid and 'Ali met, then 'Ali ibn Abi Talib was to be the leader of the men. 'Ali went on, placing at the head of the advance troops of his army Khalid ibn Said ibn al‑`As. When the people of Zubayd saw him, they said to `Amr : “What would you think, O Abu Thawr, if this Qurayshite youth were to encounter you and force you to pay the land tax?” “He shall know when he meets me”, `Amr retorted.
`Amr set out, as did the Commander of the Faithful, 'Ali; 'Ali uttered a loud cry, and `Amr fled. His brother and brother's son were slain, and his wife Rukanah, along with other women, was taken captive. 'Ali left as his representative over the tribe of Zubayd Khalid ibn Said to receive their zakat (obligatory alms) payments. He was also instructed to grant a pledge of safety (aman) to any man who had fled, if he returned a Muslim. `Amr himself returned and declared his Islam to Khalid ibn Said. He also spoke to him concerning his wife and children, and Khalid gave them back to him.
'Ali chose for himself from among the women captives a youthful maiden.
Thus Khalid sent Buraydah al‑Aslami to the Prophet, and said to him: “Proceed before the army and inform the Prophet of what 'Ali has done, in that he chose a maiden for himself from the fifth of the booty” ‑thus criticizing `Ali (because the fifth belongs to the Prophet, (see Qur'an 8:41 ) ). Buraydah hastened to the Prophet carrying Khalid's letter. As he began to read it to the Messenger of Allah, the latter's face began to change (with displeasure). Buraydah observed: “Did you, O Apostle of Allah, permit people to do such a thing? The men have been deprived of their share of the booty.”
The Messenger of Allah answered: “O Buraydah, you have spoken words of hypocrisy. For, surely whatever is lawful for me of the booty, is also lawful for 'Ali. 'Ali is indeed the best of men for you and for your people. He is the best man whom I would leave as my representative over my community after me. O Buraydah, beware that you do not hate 'Ali, for Allah would then despise you.” Buraydah reported that, “I wished then that the earth would open up and swallow me. I exclaimed, `I take refuge in Allah from Allah's wrath and the wrath of His Apostle. O Apostle of Allah, beg Allah's forgiveness for me! I shall never again hate 'Ali, nor will I say anything but good about him.' ” Thus the Prophet asked Allah to forgive Buraydah. Buraydah said: ” 'Ali became henceforth the most beloved of men to me after the Apostle of Allah.”
A delegation from Najran, including a number of the notables of the city, came to the Messenger of Allah. There came also three men who held authority over them. There was al ‑`Aqib, whose name was `Abdu'l-Masih. He was their commander and man of counsel, and no decision was 'taken without his approval. The second man was as‑Sayyid, who was their chief and leader in all matters. His name was al‑Ayham. The third was Abu Harithah ibn `Alqamah the bishop, who was their great man of learning, their leader (imam) in matters of faith and overseer of their houses of study. He was held in great honour, and enjoyed high status among them. Even Byzantine kings had built great churches for him, showering upon him all manners of special favours because of his great learning and diligence in the study of their faith.
On their way to the Messenger of Allah, Abu Harithah rode a mule, with his brother Kurz beside him; and a man called Bishr ibn `Alqamah walking with him. Abu Harithah's mule stumbled, and Kurz exclaimed: “Perish that man!” meaning the Messenger of Allah. Abu Harithah replied: “Rather, perish you, yourself!” “Why, O brother?” Kurz asked. He said: “By Allah, he is indeed the Prophet for whom we have been waiting.” Kurz objected: “What prevents you then from following him?” “It is what these people have done for us”; .Abu Harithah said, “they have treated us with great honour and generosity, yet they have insisted on opposing him. Were I to follow him, they would take away from us all that you see.”
Abu Harithah's brother Kurz kept what he told him a secret until he accepted Islam. He hurried beating his mount and reciting To you (Muhammad) this mount anxiously hastens; Even though its fetus is protruding big in its belly. Its faith is indeed opposed to the faith of the Christians. When Kurz arrived in Medina, he went to the Prophet and declared his Islam.
It is reported that the delegation of Najran arrived at the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah at the mid‑afternoon hour. They were clad in silks and rich apparel ‑ none of the Arabs had ever come to the Prophet so richly dressed. Abu Bakr said: “May my father and mother be a ransom for you, O Apostle of Allah, if you would wear your rich apparel which the Byzantine Emperor (Qaysar) presented to you, so that they would see you dressed in it!” It is reported that they came to the Messenger of Allah and greeted him with the salutation of peace, but he neither returned their greeting nor did he speak to them. They went out looking for `Uthman ibn `Affan and `Abdu'r‑Rahman ibn `Awf, who were acquaintances of theirs. They found them in an assembly of the Immigrants, and complained to them:
“Your Prophet wrote to us a letter, and here are we come in answer to his call. We greeted him, but he did not even return our greeting or speak to us. What is your advice to us?” `Uthman and `Abdu'r‑Rahman asked 'Ali: “What is your advice, O Abu 'l-Hasan (that is, 'Ali's agnomen) to these people?” He answered: “I suggest that they take off their rich attire and rings, and then go back to him.” They did as he suggested and went to the Prophet; they greeted him, and he returned their greeting. He then said: “By Allah, they came to me the first time, and Iblis (that is, Satan) was with them.”
They spent that day questioning and debating with him. The bishop asked: “What do you say concerning the Lord Christ, O Muhammad?” “He is the servant of Allah and His Apostle”, he replied. They then engaged in hot disputation concerning the status of Jesus with Allah. Finally, Allah sent down to the Prophet the beginning verses of surah 3, `The House of `Imran', around seventy verses following one another. Among the verses which Allah sent down were:
Surely the similitude of Jesus with Allah is like that of Adam. He created him out of clay; then He said to him “be ” and he was. This is the truth from your Lord, so be not among the doubters. Whoever, therefore, shall dispute with you concerning him after the knowledge that has come to you, say: “Come! Let us call together our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves; then let us pray and invoke Allah's curse upon the liars. ” (Qur'an 3 : 59 ‑ 61 ).
They said to the Prophet: “We shall engage you in this test of prayer (mubahalah) tomorrow morning.” But Abu Harithah said to his Companions: “Consider well! If Muhammad comes to you for the mubahalah with his grandsons and people of his Household, beware that you not engage him in this test of prayer. If, however, he comes with his Companions and followers, then you may enter into this contest with him.”
Aban reported on the authority of Hasan al‑Basri (an important theologian and traditionist of the second generation) that the Messenger of Allah went next morning holding Hasan and Husayn by the hand; he was followed by Fatimah, and 'Ali walking by his side. al‑`Aqib and as‑Sayyid likewise came with two sons, one of whom was decorated with two pearls as large as dove's eggs.
They all surrounded Abu Harithah. Abu Harithah asked: “Who are these who are with him?” He was told, “This is his paternal cousin and husband of his daughter, these are their two sons, and this is his daughter. They are the dearest people to him and nearest to his heart.”
The Messenger of Allah stepped forward and knelt on his knees. Abu Harithah exclaimed: “By Allah, he knelt as would prophets for the mubahalah ! ” He then stepped back frightened, and refused to engage in the contest. as‑Sayyid said: “Come forth, O Abu Harithah, for the mubahalah ! ” Abu Harithah answered: “I see here a man coming for the mubahalah with courage and resolution. I am afraid that if he be truthful, the year would not elapse with any Christian remaining alive to drink water.” It is reported that, had they engaged the Prophet in the mubahalah, torment would have come down from heaven against them.
They finally, said: “O Abu 'l-Qasim, we shall not enter with you into a test of prayer, but rather we wish to make peace with you.” The Messenger of Allah thus concluded a truce with them with the agreement that they remit two thousand costly garments, the value of each being forty sound dirhams. He had a document drawn up concerning this agreement. He then said to Abu Harithah, the bishop: “I see that you shall go to your saddle sleepy and thus will tie it onto your mount front to back.” When he prepared to leave, he did actually saddle his mount upside down. He then exclaimed: “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah! ”
Then the Messenger of Allah sent 'Ali to Yemen to call its people to Islam. It is also reported that he was sent in order to receive the fifth of their obligatory alms (zakat), teach them the precepts of Islam and clarify for them the things that are lawful and those that are unlawful. He was also sent to the people of Najran to collect their freewill gifts, and to bring back to the Prophet their jizyah.
It is related by Abu `Abdillah, al‑Hafiz on the authority of `Amr ibn Shas al‑Aslami who said: “I was with 'Ali ibn Abi Talib with a group of people. 'Ali acted somewhat coolly towards me, and I felt some hostility in my heart toward him. When I returned to Medina, I accused him to anyone I met. I came one day to the Mosque where the Messenger of Allah was sitting. He gazed at me until I sat near him. He then said: “O `Amr ibn Shas, you have hurt me.” I answered: “To Allah do we belong, and to Him we shall return. I take refuge in Allah and in Islam from injuring the Apostle of Allah.” He declared: “Anyone who hurts 'Ali has hurt me.”
The Prophet had previously sent Khalid ibn al‑Walid to the people of Yemen to call them to Islam, but they did not listen to him. al‑Bard' (a well‑known Companion) related: “I was with 'Ali when we came near the people; he led us in prayer. Then seating us all in one line, he began to read to them the Messenger of Allah's letter.
Thereupon the tribe of Hamdan in its entirety entered Islam. 'Ali wrote concerning this to the Apostle of Allah, who fell prostrate when the letter was read to him. Then lifting his head up, he said: “Peace be upon the people of Hamdan.” It is also related that 'Ali said: “The Messenger of Allah sent me to Yemen. I asked, `O Apostle of Allah, would you send me when I am yet a youth, to judge among the people without knowing what judging really is?' He struck me with his hand in the chest and prayed, `O Allah, guide well his heart and confirm his tongue!' By Him in whose hand is my soul, I never thereafter doubted any judgment I passed between any two people. ”
On the 25th Dhu'l-Qi'dah, the last month of 10/632, the Apostle of Allah set out from Medina for the pilgrimage. He declared the call for the hajj (greater pilgrimage) to all the Muslims. People made ready to set out with him; thus the suburbs of Medina and its districts were crowded with pilgrims. When they reached Dhu'l-Hulayfah, Asma' daughter of `Umays gave birth to Muhammad son of Abu Bakr. The Prophet remained there that night for her sake, entering, however, with the people into the state of consecration in Dhu'l-Hulayfah. He intended that ihram (state of consecration) be for both the lesser and .greater pilgrimages. He thus led the animal sacrifices ‑ leading with him sixty six head of cattle and camels.
`Ali also set out for the hajj from Yemen, leading with him thirty‑four head of cattle and camels for sacrifice. He set out with the fighters who accompanied him to Yemen, and brought the rich garments which he had received from the Christians of Najran. As the Messenger of Allah approached Mecca on the road from Medina, the Commander of the Faithful, 'Ali, approached it at the time on the road from Yemen. He preceded the army in order to meet the Messenger of Allah, who was gladdened by his coming. He asked `Ali: “How did you determine the rising of the crescent, O 'Ali?” He answered: “O Apostle of Allah, you did not write to me concerning your sighting of the moon. I therefore made my intention to agree with yours; I prayed, `O Allah, grant me sighting of the moon similar to that of your Prophet.' ” The Prophet concurred saying: “You are my partner in my pilgrimage rites, my devotions and sacrifices. Continue, therefore, in your state of consecration, and hasten to your army so that we may all meet in Mecca.
It is also reported on the authority of the Imam as‑Sadiq that the Messenger of Allah led with him one hundred head for sacrifice, but slaughtered only some sixty animals. He gave the rest, some thirty animals, to `Ali. When 'Ali reached his army, he found that the people had donned the garments which he had brought from Najran. He reproached his representative saying: “Woe to you, how could you do this without the permission of the Apostle of Allah?” He answered: “They asked me to give them the garments, so that they would adorn themselves with them, and perform their ihram in them.” He retorted: “Bad indeed is that which both you and they have done! ” He thus took the garments away from them and packed them in sacks. Men began to complain against 'Ali from all sides. Then the crier of the Messenger of Allah went around calling: “Hold your tongues from any accusations against 'Ali, for he is harsh in Allah's cause!”
When the Prophet arrived in Mecca and performed the rites of circumambulation (tawaf of the Ka'bah) and running (sa`i, between the two hills of as‑Safa and al‑Marwah), Gabriel came down to him while he was on al‑Marwa with this verse:
Complete the pilgrimage and the lesser pilgrimage for Allah . . . (Qur'an 2 :196) .
He thus delivered a sermon, praising Allah, then said: “The `umrah has entered into the hall' in this manner, and shall remain so till the Day of Resurrection” ‑ and he intertwined his fingers.
He continued: “Had I encountered at the start of my journey what I encountered at its end (that is, meeting 'Ali and his army), I would not have brought animal sacrifices with me.” He then ordered his crier to declare to the people: “Anyone of you who has not brought animal sacrifices with him, let him release himself from the state of consecration and make his pilgrimage only an `umrah. But as for those who did bring their animal sacrifices with them, let them remain in their state of consecration.”
A man of the tribe of `Adiyy came to the Prophet and objected: “O Apostle of Allah, would you lead us to Mina (one of the pilgrimage stations) while our hairs drip with the water of washing after sexual relations with our wives?” He answered: “You shall not believe in it until you die! ” (The reference here is to the mut'ah (enjoyment) of the hajj, which means release from the state of ihram for the `umrah and then renewing one's consecration for the hajj. ) Another man, Suraqah ibn Malik ibn Ju'shum, came forth and enquired: “O Apostle of Allah, is this for this year only, or for ever?” “No”, he answered, “but forever.” Thus all the people, except those who had brought their animal sacrifices with them, were released from the sate of ihram.
On the day of leaving Mina, the Messenger of Allah spoke again to the people and bade them farewell. When he had completed his pilgrimage rites and set out for Medina, the Messenger of Allah reached the place known as Ghadir Khumm. Even though it was not a suitable spot for stopping, because of the lack of water and pasturage, still Gabriel came down to the Prophet and ordered him to halt and appoint `Ali as imam (spiritual and temporal leader) of the people. The Prophet protested saying: “My community is still too close to the jahiliyyah.” It was, however, revealed to him that this was a command which could not be revoked. The verse:
O Apostle, convey that which has been sent down to you from your Lord! For if you do not, you would not have conveyed His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people (Qur'an 5 :67) ,
was sent down.
Thus the Messenger of Allah and all the Muslims around him dismounted in the spot which we have already mentioned, on an exceedingly hot day. The Messenger of Allah ordered that canopies be spread over some trees. He likewise ordered that saddles be brought and stacked one on top of another (so as to make a pulpit). He then ordered his crier to cry out to the people “Hasten to congregational prayer! ” The people gathered to the Prophet from all sides, many of them wrapping their feet with their garments because of the heat.
The Prophet mounted the saddles until he stood at the top, then called. 'Ali to his side. As `Ali stood at the right hand of the Prophet, the latter spoke to the people, first praising Allah and exalting His Name, then admonishing the people and informing them of his impending end. He said: “I have been summoned, and I shall soon answer. My time to depart your company has come. Yet I am leaving with you that to which, if you hold fast, you shall never go astray: the Book of Allah and my progeny, the people of my Household.
They shall not be separated until they come to me at Hawdu'l-Kawthar (a paradisial pool).” He then cried out with a loud voice: “Am I not more master over you than your own selves?” “By Allah, yes!” they all answered. He said: “Then continue in this manner.” He then took hold of 'Ali's two arms and lifted them high until people could see his white underarms. He said: “Of whomever I am the master, 'Ali is his master. O Allah, befriend those who hold loyalty to him, and be an enemy to those who hold hostility towards him. Grant support to those who support him, and abandon those who abandon him! ”
Following this, the Prophet came down; it was the noon hour. He offered two rak`ahs of prayer, and when the sun reached its meridian his mu'adhdhin raised the call of prayer, and the Prophet led the people in the noon prayer. He then sat in his tent and ordered `Ali to sit in a tent close by. The Prophet then ordered all the Muslims to go into `Ale's tent in groups to congratulate him on appointment to the imamate, and greet him with the title of “Amiru'l mu'minin” (Commander of the Faithful). For the rest of the day, people went in and out of `Ale's tent in accordance with the Prophet's command. He then ordered his wives and all the wives of the men of faith to enter with him into `Ale's tent and greet him with the title of “Commander of the Faithful”. They all did as he ordered. The man who was most lavish in his congratulations was `Umar ibn al‑Khattab. He said among other things, “Well well! O `Ali, you have now become my master (maula) and the master of every man and woman of faith.”
Hassan (the Prophet's poet) recited in honour of this occasion the following verses:
On the day of Ghadir Khumm their Prophet called them,
With a voice loud for all to hear.
They replied, without a trace of' hostility:
“Your Cod is our Master, and you are our patron;
Have chosen you as imam and guide after me.
Anyone whose master I am, lie too shall be his patron;
There did lie pray: “O Allah, be a friend to his friend,
And are enemy to anyone who shows Ali hostility!"And are enemy to anyone who shows Ali hostility!"
The Messenger of Allah said to Hassan, “You shall be fortified always with the Holy Spirit (that is, Gabriel) so long as you render us support with your tongue. The Messenger of Allah did not depart that spot until Allah sent down to him:
Today have I perfected your religion for you; I have completed my favour unto you, acid leave chosen Islam as a religion for you (Qur'an 5 :3) ;
He concurred: “Praise be to Allah for the perfection of faith, the fullness of His favor, His pleasure with my apostleship, and the authority (walayah) of 'Ali after me.”
When the Messenger of Allah arrived in Medina from the farewell pilgrimage, he appointed Usamah ibn Zayd a leader of a large army and ordered him to set out for the spot wherein his father had been slain. He said to him: “Let your horses reach the end of Syria and the beginnings of the lands of Byzantium.” He included in Usamah's army the notables of the Immigrants and the Ansar. Among them were Abu Bakr, `Umar, and Abu `Ubaydah. Usamah set up camp in a place called al‑Jurf (just at the outskirts of Medina). The Apostle of Allah, however, fell ill; it was the illness of which he died. He repeated often during his illness: “Send off Usamah's army.” He did so in order that there would be no people remaining in Medina after his death who would show discord concerning the imamate of the Muslims, or covet command. This position (he hoped) would be assumed without opposition by its rightful claimant.
It is reported that when the Prophet sensed the illness which had come upon him, on a Saturday or Sunday towards the end of Safar the second month of 10/632, he took 'Ali by the hand, and accompanied by a few of his Companions, went to al‑Baqi` (the graveyard of Medina). There he exclaimed: “Peace be upon you O people of the graves; be of good cheer in what you have attained over (living) people. Seditions have come, thick and dark as a black night; the beginnings of some follow quickly upon the ends of others! ” He said further: “Gabriel used to review the Qur'an with me once a year, but this year he reviewed it with me twice.
I see this as an indication of the coming of my end.” Then addressing `Ali, he continued: “I was, O 'Ali, given the choice of the treasures of this world and eternal life besides, or Paradise, but I chose Paradise and meeting my Lord. When I die, you should wash me and cover my nakedness, for no one shall look upon it except a man born blind.”
The Prophet then returned to his home, where he remained ill for three days. On Wednesday, he went out to the mosque with his head tightly bandaged with a cloth. He was leaning on 'Ali with his right hand, and on al‑Fadl ibn al‑,`Abbas with the other. He sat on the pulpit and praised Allah repeatedly, then said: “O people, my term among you shall soon come to an end. Let, therefore, anyone who has entrusted me with an object of value, come to me that I may return it to him. Anyone to whom I am in debt, let him come and declare it to me.” A man rose up and said: “O Apostle of Allah, you owe me a promise; I married, and you promised me three ounces of precious metal.” He said: “Give them to him, O al Fadl.”
He remained thus Wednesday and Thursday, but on Friday, he again sat on the pulpit and spoke to the people. He said: “O people, there is nothing which can stand between Allah and anyone that could benefit a man or ward off evil from him except good deeds. O people, let no ambitious man claim anything, or one full of desires, desire anything! For by Him Who sent me with the truth, only good deeds coupled with Allah's mercy can lead to salvation. Even I, had I rebelled against Allah, would have fallen. O Allah, I have thrice conveyed (that is, Allah's command concerning `Ali).” He then stepped down and led the people in prayer, then entered his chamber. He was at the time in the house of Umm Salamah. He remained there one or two days; then `A'ishah came asking him to move to her chamber in order that she might nurse him. He agreed and moved to the house in which `A'ishah lived.
His illness persisted for some days, until he became seriously ill. Bilal then came at the time of the dawn prayers, while the Apostle of Allah was overwhelmed by his illness, and called out: “Time for prayers, may Allah have mercy upon you! ” The Prophet answered: “Let one of the men lead the rest in prayers.” `A'ishah added: “Order Abu Bakr (i.e., her father) that he lead the people in prayers!” Hafsah said: “Order `Umar (i.e., her father)!” The Prophet retorted: “Cease, for you two are like Joseph's little women! ”1
He then rose, even though he was unable to stand because of weakness. He leaned on `Ali and al‑Fadl and went to the mosque dragging his feet because of weakness. When he entered, he found that Abu Bakr had already stood facing the niche. He beckoned to him, and Abu Bakr stepped back. The Messenger of Allah stood up, and uttering the formula of consecration (that is, takbiratu'l‑ihram), he began the prayers. When he had done and returned to his chamber, he called for Abu Bakr and `Umar along with others who were present and said: “Have I not commanded you to send off Usamah's army?” Abu Bakr replied: “I had already set out, but I returned to see you.” `Umar said: “I did not go because I did not wish to be absent, and thus have to enquire of the caravan to get news about you.” He repeated three times: “Send off Usamah's army!”
He then fell into a swoon because of the fatigue which he suffered. He remained thus unconscious for a while, so that the Muslims began to weep and his wives and children began to wail loudly. But he regained consciousness and said: “Bring me a pen and shoulder blade that I may inscribe for you a writ after which you shall never go astray! ” Again, he lost consciousness. One of his Companions present was about to go and fetch a pen and shoulder blade, but `Umar said to him: “Come back, for he is hallucinating!” When the Prophet again regained consciousness, some of his Companions said: “O Apostle of Allah, should we not bring you a pen and shoulder blade?” “No”, he said, “not after what you have said! Rather, keep well my memory through kindness to the people of my Household. Treat with kindness the people of dhimmah (that is, Jews and Christians), and feed the poor. Observe regular prayers, and be kind to the women whom your right hands possess.”
He continued to repeat these injunctions until he could endure no longer, and turned his face away from the people. Everyone got up and left except al‑`Abbas, al‑Fadl, 'Ali and others of his close family; they stayed by his side. al‑`Abbas said: “O Apostle of Allah, if this affair (that is, the succession) shall remain forever with us (that is, the tribe of Hashim) after you, then announce to us the good news! If, however, you know that we shall be forced to abandon it against our will, then commend us to the people.” He said: “You are those who shall be oppressed after me.”
He then fell silent. The people wept as they got up to leave. When they had all gone, he demanded: “Let my brother `Ali ibn Abi Talib and my uncle return to me! ” When they had sat down, the Messenger of Allah said: “O al‑`Abbas, uncle of the Apostle of Allah, would you accept to execute my will, carry out my funeral rites and remit my debts? ” He replied: “Your uncle is an old man with many dependants, and you are more powerful than a strong gale in generosity and bounteous giving! There are incumbent upon you such expectations, that your uncle shall be unable to fulfill.”
The Prophet then turned to 'Ali and put to him the same questions. `Ali replied: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” “Come close to me”, the Prophet said. As 'Ali bent down, he embraced him and, taking his ring from his finger, said: “Take it and put it on your finger! ”
The Prophet then called for his sword and suit of armour ‑ or according to some reports Gabriel brought them down from heaven - and gave them to the Commander of the Faithful saying: “Receive these during my life! ” He also gave him his mule and saddle, and said: “Go to your home with Allah's blessings.”
Next morning, he allowed no one to come in to see him because of his grave illness. 'Ali, however, stayed beside him, not leaving him except for necessary errands. As `Ali left briefly for a special need, the Prophet awoke and said: “Call my friend back to me.” He again was overcome by weakness. `A'ishah said: “Call Abu Bakr.” When he came, the Prophet looked at him and turned away his face. He insisted: “Call back for me my brother and friend! ” Hafsah said: “Call `Umar for him! ” When he came, the Prophet likewise turned his face away from him. Again he demanded: “Call my brother and friend to me!” Umm Salamah then said: “Call 'Ali for him, for he wants no one else.”
When Ali came close to him, he bent down and the Messenger of Allah spoke to him privately for a long time. `Ali then went and sat a little to the side. He dozed for a while until the Messenger of Allah fell asleep. He then went out, and the people asked him: “O Abu 'I‑Hasan, what did he confide to you?” He said: “The Messenger of Allah instructed me in a thousand branches of knowledge. Each branch opened to, me a thousand other branches. He also charged me with things which I shall, if Allah wills, fulfill.”
The condition of the Messenger of Allah became grave, and lie was near death. As his soul was about to depart, he said: “O 'Ali, place my head in your lap, for Allah's command is about to be fulfilled. When my soul is released, take it in your hand and rub it on your face. Turn then my face towards the qiblah, prepare me and be the first to offer the funeral prayer over me. Do not leave me until you have put me in my tomb. Seek Allah's help.”
'Ali placed the Prophet's head in his lap, whereupon he lost consciousness. Fatimah bent over him, gazing at his face and raising the dirge for him as she cried, and said:
“A radiant face has he, for which the rain clouds pour down;
sufficient help for orphans and a protection for widows was he! ”
The Messenger of Allah opened his eyes and said in a feeble voice: “O daughter, this was the saying of your uncle Abu Talib. Do not repeat it; rather say,
'Muhammad was only an apostle, before whom messengers came. Were he to die or be slain, would you then turn back upon your heels?' ” (Qur'an 3 :144) .
She wept bitterly for a long time; then he beckoned to her to come close. When she drew near to him, he whispered secret words in her ears, and her face brightened with a smile.
The Prophet finally breathed his last, while the right hand of the Commander of the Faithful rested beneath his jaw. As his soul flowed forth, `Ali lifted it up and rubbed his face with it. He then turned him to the qiblah, closed his eyes, spread his garment over him and looked after the rest of the burial preparations. Fatimah was later asked: “What did the Messenger of Allah say to you that you became so happy?” She replied: “He told me that I shall be the first of the people of his Household to follow him, and that in a short time I shall see him. This made me happy.”
It is related that Umm Salamah, the Prophet's wife, said: “I placed my hand on the Messenger of Allah's breast on the day he died, and for a long time, even though I ate and performed my ablutions, the fragrance of musk did not leave my hand.” It is related on the authority of Anas ibn Malik that Fatimah said: “When the Prophet's condition worsened and the pain of death had covered his face, I mourned him saying:
`O my father whose death Gabriel has announced (to creation);
O my father whose Lord has taken him close to His presence;
O my father whose abode shall be the gardens of Paradise;
O my father who has answered the summons of the Lord Who called him forth!”'
It is reported on the authority of (the fifth Imam) al-Baqir that when the Messenger of Allah was at the point of death, Gabriel came down to him and asked: “Do you wish to return to this world?” “No”, he answered, “I rather wish to be with the Lord Most High.” as‑Sadiq is said to have reported that Gabriel came down to the Prophet and said: “This is the last time I come down to this world, for you were my only object of interest in it.”
It is reported that Fatimah and all the Muslims wailed in a loud voice and threw dust over their heads. The Prophet died two nights before the end of Safar in the tenth year of his migration. It is also reported that it was on Monday, the twelfth of Rabi `u 'l‑Awwal.
When 'Ali wished to wash the Prophet's body for burial, he called al‑Fadl ibn al‑`Abbas to pour the water for him, after he had him blindfolded. 'Ali rent the Prophet's shirt from the top to his navel (so as not to expose his nakedness) before he washed, embalmed and shrouded him. Having finished with his washing and other preparations, `Ali prayed over the Prophet. Aban related on the authority of Abu Ja'far (the fifth Imam al‑Baqir) that the people later asked 'Ali, “How should the funeral prayer over the Prophet be performed?”
He answered: “The Messenger of Allah was our imam during his life, and he remains our imam after his death. The people, therefore, both young and old, went in groups of ten and prayed over him. This took all day Monday and Tuesday. They all prayed, male and female of the inhabitants of Medina and its neighbouring districts, without an imam.
The Muslims vehemently disputed as to where the Prophet was to be buried. `Ali then observed: “Allah did not receive the soul of a prophet in any place but that He chose that same place to be the spot of his grave. I shall therefore bury him in the chamber in which he was received. The Muslims all agreed with' this view. After the Muslims had prayed over him, al‑`Abbas sent a man to Abu `Ubaydah al‑Jarrah, who used to dig graves with a hollow in the middle (darih) for the people of Mecca.
He also sent Zayd ibn Sahl to Abu Talhah, who used to dig graves with a hollow in the side (lahd) for the people of Medina. al‑`Abbas prayed: “O Allah, choose which of the two you wish for your Prophet.” Abu Talhah was found and was told to dig a grave for the Messenger of Allah. He dug a lahd for him, and the Commander of the Faithful, al‑`Abbas, al‑Fadl and Usamah ibn Zayd went in to perform the burial rites of the Messenger of Allah.
The Ansar called in from behind the house saying: “O `Ali, we remind you of Allah and our right to the Messenger of Allah, that it should not be lost today. Let a man of us go in, so that we too may have a share in the burial of the Messenger of Allah.” 'Ali answered: “Let Aws ibn Khawli, who was a man of the `Awf ibn al‑Khazraj tribe, come forth. He was one of those who took part in the Battle of Badr. He entered the house, and `Ali told him to go into the grave.
He then placed the Messenger of Allah on the man's arms, who then lowered him into his tomb. `Ali then asked the man to come out, which he did. `Ali went down into the grave and uncovered the Prophet's face and placed his cheek on the ground, facing the qiblah, and laid him on his right side. He laid grave slabs and covered the tomb with earth.
The people took advantage of the preoccupation of the sons of Hashim with the Apostle of Allah, and of 'Ali's self‑seclusion for mourning, to decide the matter of the Prophet's succession. Abu Bakr won the day because of the disagreement of the Ansar among themselves, and also because the people did not wish to postpone the decision until the men of Banu Hashim had completed all the funeral rites of the Apostle of Allah. Had they done so, the matter would have been decided in the proper manner. However, they gave allegiance (bay ah) to Abu Bakr because he was present. This book is not the proper place to explain all this; the subject is treated in its proper sources.
It is reported that Abu Sufyan came to the door of the Apostle of Allah and declared in verses:
O Sons of Hashim, Let not people take advantage of you;
Especially the people of Taym ibn Murrah (the clan of Abu Bakr) and Adiyy (the clan of `Umar).
This matter must remain with you, for with you must be its determination;
There is no one more appropriate for it (that is, the caliphate) than Abu'l Hasan Ali.
For you are most suitable for this much‑coveted office.
He then cried with a loud voice: “O sons of Hashim, sons of `Abd Manaf, would you accept Abu Fasil (that is, Abu Bakr), a despicable man and son of a despicable man, to rule over you? By Allah, if you so wish, I will fill the place for you with horses and men! ” The Commander of the Faithful called out to him: “Go away Abu Sufyan, for by Allah, you do not mean what you say. Rather, you continue to plot against Islam and its people. We are still preoccupied with the Apostle of Allah. To every man shall belong what he has earned, and he alone shall be responsible for what he has done.”
It is reported that the people of Quraysh sent for `Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl and his uncles al‑Harith ibn Hisham and others and appointed them leaders of armies destined for Yemen and Syria, to which they were dispatched on that same night. They likewise sent for Abu Sufyan, whom they silenced by appointing Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan as a provincial governor.
It is reported that when people pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, he was advised to recall Usamah's army and use it against any of the Arab tribes which might rise up against him. Most of the Immigrants had joined Usamah's army. Usamah asked Abu Bakr : “What would you yourself say?” He answered: “You see what the people have decided! I request that you exempt me and `Umar.” Usamah assented: “I shall exempt you.”
It is reported that no sooner had Usamah reached Syria than Abu Bakr dismissed him and appointed Yazid ibn~ Abi Sufyan as leader in his place. Thus only forty days elapsed between Usamah's departure from Medina and his return to it. When he arrived, he stood at the door of the mosque and declared: “O Muslims, I marvel at a man over whom the Messenger of Allah had set me as leader, yet who now sets himself up as commander over me and dismisses me! ”
This chapter consists of four sections. It deals with the wives and children of the Messenger of Allah, as well as his paternal uncles and aunts, and others of his relatives. It also discusses his male and female servants (mawali) as well as his maidservants (jawari ).
The first woman whom the Messenger of Allah married was Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid ibn Asad ibn `Abdi 'I` Uzza ibn Qusayy. He married her when he was twenty‑five years old. She had been previously married to `Atiq ibn `A'idh al‑Makhzumi, whom she had borne a daughter. She was then married to Abu Halah al‑Asadi, whom she bore a son, Hind ibn Abi Halah. Finally the Messenger of Allah married her, and brought up her son Hind.
When the Messenger of Allah grew up and reached manhood, he was a man of little means. Thus Khadijah hired him to trade for her at the market of Khubashah. On his return, he sought Khadijah's hand, and she was married to him by her father Khuwaylid ibn Asad. It is also reported that her uncle `Amr ibn Asad gave her away in marriage. Abu Talib addressed the men of Quraysh, who were present for the marriage ceremony, as follows: “Praise be to Allah Who made us of the seed of Abraham and the progeny of Ishmael. He granted us a Sacred House and a place of pilgrimage. He made us to dwell in a secure sanctuary (haram), to which the fruits of everything are brought.1
He made us, moreover, arbiters in men's affairs, and blessed for us this land in which we dwell.” Abu Talib then said: “Were Muhammad, the son of my brother `Abdullah son of `Abdu'l-Muttalib, to be weighed against any man among the Arabs, he would excel him. Nor would any man be comparable to him. He is peerless among men, even though he is a man of little wealth. Yet riches are only transient possessions, and an ephemeral security. He has expressed a desire for Khadijah, and she likewise has shown interest in him. As for any bride gift (mahr) you demand ‑ both the part to be presented now and the one presented at a later date ‑ it will be of my own wealth.” Abu Talib was a man of note and high status; as well, he possessed a tongue of superior eloquence and persuasion.
The Prophet married Khadijah, and took her into his home the next day. The Messenger of Allah took no other wife until she died. She lived with him for twenty‑four years and one month. Her bride gift was twelve and a half ounces of precious metal. The Prophet fixed this amount as the bride gift for all his other wives. The first child Khadijah bore was `Abdullah son of Muhammad, whose epithets were at ‑Tayyib (the Good or Wholesome) and at ‑Tahir (the Pure). She also gave birth to another son called al‑Qasim. It is also reported that al‑Qasim was the eldest son, and the Prophet's firstborn, as he was known as Abu 'l-Qasim (father of al-Qasim). Some traditionists have mistakenly assumed that the Prophet had four sons from Khadijah: al‑Qasim, `Abdullah, at‑Tayyib and at‑Tahir. The truth is that he had from her two sons and four daughters: Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah.
As for Zaynab, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, she was married to Abu 'l-`As ibn Rabi' ibn `Abdi 'l-`Uzza ibn `Abd Shams ibn `Abd Manaf. Zaynab bore him a daughter called Umamah, whom `Ali ibn Abi Talib married after Fatimah's death in accordance with her own will. When `Ali was martyred, Umamah was married to al‑Mughirah ibn Nawfal ibn al‑Harith ibn `Abdi 'l-Muttalib, in whose house she died. The mother of Abu 'l-`As was Halah, daughter of Khuwaylid; thus Khadijah was Abu 'l-`As's aunt. Zaynab died in Medina in the seventh year of the hijrah.
As for Ruqayyah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, she was married to `Utbah son of Abu Lahab, but he divorced her before the marriage was consummated. Moreover, he ill-treated her. Thus the Prophet prayed: “O Allah send against `Utbah a dog (that is, a beast of prey) from among your dogs! ” A lion did in fact pick him out from among his Companions. Ruqayyah was then married to `Uthman ibn `Affan in Medina, for whom she bore `Abdullah, who died in infancy. A cock picked at his eyes, and the child fell ill and died. Ruqayyah died in Medina at the time of the Battle of Badr. `Uthman stayed behind in Medina to bury her; thus he was prevented from taking part in the battle.
Ruqayyah had previously accompanied `Uthman when he migrated to Abyssinia. `Uthman also married Umm Kulthum after the death of her sister Ruqayyah. She too died with him. The Prophet's daughter Fatimah will be discussed in a special chapter devoted to her alone.
The Messenger of Allah had no children by any wife other than Khadijah except lbrahim. He was born in Medina to Mariyah al‑Qubtiyyah in the eighth year of the hijrah and died in Medina at the age of one year, six months and a few days. His grave is in al‑Baqi` (an ancient graveyard in Medina containing the graves of a number of the imams, and other relatives and Companions of the Prophet).
The second wife of the Prophet was Sawdah daughter of Zam'ah, who was previously married to Sakran ibn `Amr. Sakran, however, died a Muslim in Abyssinia.
The third was `A'ishah daughter of Abi Bakr, whom the Prophet married in Mecca when she was only seven years of age. She was the only virgin whom the Prophet married. He went into her when she was eight years and three months old, after his migration to Medina. `A'ishah lived well into Mu'awiyah's caliphate (she died in 56/678).
The fourth wife of the Prophet was Umm Sharik, who offered herself to the Prophet (that is, no one acted as her guardian, nor did she demand a bride gift). Her name was Ghuzzayyah, daughter of Dudan ibn `Awf ibn `Amir. Before the Prophet, Ghuzzayyah was married to Abu 'I‑`Ikr ibn Samiyy al‑Azdi, whom she bore Sharik.
The fifth wife was Hafsah daughter of `Umar ibn al‑Khattab, whom the Prophet married after the death of her husband Khunays ibn `Abdillah ibn Hudhafah as‑Sahmi. The Messenger of Allah had sent him as an emissary to Kisra (Khusraw, the King of Persia). Khunays died, leaving no offspring. Hafsah died during the caliphate of `Uthman.
The sixth wife of the Prophet was Umm Habibah daughter of Abu Sufyan, whose name was Ramlah. She was previously married to `Ubaydullah ibn Jahsh al‑Asadi. She accompanied him to Abyssinia, where he died a Christian. The Messenger of Allah then married Umm Habibah, `Amr ibn Umayyah ad‑Damri acting as his deputy.
The seventh was Umm Salamah, who was the daughter of `Atikah, daughter of `Abdu'l-Muttalib, the Prophet's paternal aunt. It is also reported that Umm Salamah's mother was the daughter of `Amir ibn Rabi'ah of the tribe of Firas ibn Ghanam, whose name was Hind daughter of Abu Umayyah ibn al‑Mughirah ibn `Abdillah ibn `Amr ibn Makhzum; she was the paternal cousin of Abu Jahl. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah sent word to Umm Salamah: “Order your son to give you away in marriage.” Thus her son Salamah ibn Abi Salamah gave her in marriage to the Messenger of Allah. Salamah was at the time a youth who had not become of age. He fixed her bride gift, while he was with an‑Najashi in Abyssinia, at four hundred dinars, to be received at the time of the marriage ceremony.
Umm Salamah was one of the last women whom the Prophet married. She died long after him. She was previously married to Abu Salamah ibn `Abdi'l-Asad, whose mother was Barrah, daughter of `Abdu'l-Muttalib. Thus Abu Salamah was the Messenger of Allah's maternal cousin. Umm Salamah bore for him Zaynab and `Amr. The latter fought on 'Ali's side in the Battle of the Camel (36/656). 'Ali appointed him as the Governor of Bahrayn. `Amr had a number of children who were born in Medina. Among Umm Salamah's clients were Shaybah ibn Misah, who was the foremost authority on Qur'an recitation in Medina. Another client of Umm Salamah was Khayrah, the mother of Hasan al‑Basri.
The eighth wife of the Prophet was Zaynab daughter of Jahsh of the Asad tribe. She was the daughter of Maymunah daughter of `Abdu'l-Muttalib, the Prophet's paternal aunt. She was the first of the Prophet's wives to die after him, during the caliphate of `Umar. Before marrying the Prophet, Zaynab was the wife of Zayd ibn al‑Harithah. Zayd divorced her, and the story of Zayd and his wife Zaynab has been mentioned by Allah in the Qur'an.2 She was also the first woman for whom a bier was constructed. This was done by Asma' daughter of `Umays who saw it being used in Abyssinia.
The ninth was Zaynab daughter of Khuzaymah al‑Hilabyyah of the descendants of `Abd Manaf ibn Hilal ibn `Amir ibn Sa'sa'ah. Before the Prophet married her, Zaynab was the wife of `Ubaydah ibn al‑Harith. Zaynab died before the Prophet. She was known as `the mother of the poor'.
The tenth wife was Maymunah daughter of al‑Harith, of the descendants of `Abdullah ibn Hilal, ibn `Amir ibn Sa'sa'ah. The Prophet took Maymunah in marriage in Medina, where Abu Rafi` acted as his deputy. The Prophet went into her in Sarf ‑ a place about ten miles distance from Mecca ‑ on his way back to Medina, after performing the lesser pilgrimage. Maymunah died in Sarf where she was also buried. Before that, she was married to Abu Sabrah3 ibn Abi Ruhm al‑`Amiri.
The eleventh woman whom the Prophet married was Juwayriyyah daughter of al‑Harith ibn al‑Mustaliq, whom the Prophet took captive. He then freed her and married her. Juwayriyyah died in 56 A. H.
The twelfth was Safiyyah daughter of Huyay ibn Akhtab of the tribe of Banu 'n‑Nadir. The Prophet chose Safiyyah for himself of the booty, then he freed her and married her. He gave her as a bride gift her own freedom. Safiyyah died in 36 A. H.
The Messenger of Allah thus married twelve women with whom he actually consummated the marriage. Eleven of these he married, and one offered herself to him as a gift. He also married `Aliyah daughter of Zabyan, but then divorced her as soon as she was brought in to him. He also married Qutaylah daughter of Qays, and sister of al‑Ash'ath ibn Qays, but he died before uniting with her. It is also reported that he divorced her before their coming together, and before he died4 she was then after married to a man called `Ikrimah.
The Prophet also married Fatimah daughter of ad‑Dahhak after the death of his daughter Zaynab. When, however, ayatu't‑takhyir (verse of choice)5 was revealed, he offered her the choice between `Allah, His Messenger and life in the hereafter', or `the life of this world', but she chose the life of this world. He thus let her go. It is reported that thereafter she used to pick animal dung and repeat, “I indeed am a miserable woman, for I have chosen the life of this world.”
The Prophet married Sana daughter of as‑Salt, but she also died before she was brought in to him. He married Asma' daughter of an‑Nu'man ibn Shurahil, who exclaimed when she saw him, “I seek refuge in Allah from you! ” The Prophet replied: “I too will grant you refuge; go back to your people!” One of the Prophet's wives had instructed her to say this. Thus he divorced Asma' before uniting with her.
Another woman whom the Prophet married was Mulaykah al‑Laythiyyah. When he went in to her, he said: “Offer yourself to me! ” She answered: “Would a queen offer herself to one of the rabble! ” As he lifted his hand to touch her, she exclaimed: “I seek refuge in Allah from you! ” He replied: “You have indeed sought refuge in One Who is worthy of refuge!” He thus let her go, and offered her, her bride gift.
The Prophet also married a woman called `Amrah daughter of Yazid, but he found in her traces of leprosy. He thus said: “You (meaning her family) have deceived me! ”, and returned her to her parents. He also married Layla daughter of Khatim al‑Ansariyyah, who begged, “Let me go” ; and he sent her back. He sought the hand of a woman of the tribe of Banu Murrah; her father said: “She has leprosy”, but in reality she did not. When, however, her father went home, he found her to be leprous.
The Prophet sought the hand of another woman whose father described her to him and said: “I wish to add that she has never been sick.” The Prophet retorted: “Allah has nothing good for this woman!” It is also reported that he did marry her, but when her father said this, he divorced her. The Messenger of Allah thus married or sought the hands of twenty‑one women. He died having united with nine or ten of them. These were: `A'ishah, Hafsah, Umm Salamah, Umm Habibah, Zaynab daughter of Jahsh, Maymunah, Safiyyah, Juwayriyah and Sawdah. Sawdah, however, gave her night to `A'ishah. When the Prophet wanted to divorce her, she argued: “I have no desire for men; I only wished to be gathered (on the Day of Resurrection) among your wives.”
The Messenger of Allah had nine uncles, all sons of `Abdu'l‑Muttalib. They were: al‑Harith, az‑Zubayr, Abu Talib, Hamzah, al‑Ghaydaq, Dirar, al‑Muqawwam, Abu Lahab, whose name was `Abdu'l‑`Uzza, and al‑.`Abbas.
Only four of the Prophet's uncles left offspring: al-Harith, Abu Talib, al‑`Abbas and Abu Lahab. As for al-Harith, he was the eldest of `Abdu'l‑Muttalib's children, and `Abdu'l‑Muttalib's agnomen was Abul‑Harith. al-Harith assisted his father `Abdu'l‑Muttalib in digging the well of Zamzam. al‑Harith had five male children: Abu Sufyan, al‑Mughirah, .Nawfal, Rabi'ah and `Abd Shams. Abu Sufyan became a Muslim during the year of the conquest of Mecca. He left no offspring. Nawfal, who was older than Hamzah and al‑`Abbas, accepted Islam during the siege of al‑Khandaq (the Trench). He left offspring after him. As for `Abd Shams, the Apostle of Allah changed his name to `Abdullah. His children lived after him in Syria.
As for Abu Talib, he and `Abdullah, the Prophet's father, were children of the same mother. Their mother was Fatimah daughter of `Amr ibn `A'idh ibn `Imran ibn Makhzum, Abu Talib's name was `Abd Manaf, and he had four male children. These were: Talib, `Aqil, Ja'far and 'Ali. His female children were Umm Hani, whose names were Fakhitah and Jumanah. The mother of all these children was Fatimah daughter of Asad. `Aqil was ten years older than Ja'far. Talib had no children, and he died three years before the Prophet migrated to Medina.
The Messenger of Allah was protected from all harm in Mecca with his status secure, until Abu Talib died. Then Mecca rejected him, nor could he carry out his mission, until Gabriel finally came to him and said: “Allah sends you salutations of peace and says to you, `Depart Mecca, for your supporter is dead!' ” When Abu Talib died, 'Ali went to the Apostle of Allah and informed him of this. The Prophet said to him: “Go O `Ali, and take charge of washing, shrouding and embalming him, but when you have laid him out on his bier, come and inform me!” `Ali did so, and the Prophet stood before the corpse and exclaimed: “You have indeed acted kindly towards your next of kin; may you therefore be well rewarded, O uncle, for you were a good guardian of the one whom you brought up as a youth. You also assisted him and offered support to him as a grown man! ” The Prophet then turned to those present and said: “By Allah, I shall intercede on my uncle's behalf with an intercession at which both men and jinn shall marvel! ”
As for al‑`Abbas, his agnomen was Abu 'l-Fadl, and to him belonged the rite of offering water to the pilgrims, as well as the guardianship of the well of Zamzam. He accepted Islam at the time of the Battle of Badr. He also received the Prophet at al‑Abwa' at the time of the conquest of Mecca, and accompanied him when entered it. With him the hijrah (migration of the Muslims) was completed. al‑`Abbas died in Medina during the caliphate of `Uthman, after losing his sight due to old age. He had twelve children, nine males and three females. They were: `Abdullah, `Ubaydullah; al‑Fadl, Qutham, Ma'bad, `Abdu 'r‑Rahman and Umm Habib. The mother of all these was Lubabah daughter of al‑Fadl ibn al-Harith al‑Hilaliyyah, the sister of Maymunah daughter of al‑Harith, the wife of the Prophet. The other children of al`Abbas were born to different mothers; they were: Tammam, Kathir, al‑Harith, Aminah and Safiyyah.
As for Abu Lahab, his children were `Utaybah, `Utbah, `Uqbah and Mu'attab. Their mother was Umm Jamil daughter of Harb and sister of Abu Sufyan, `the carrier of wood' (see Qur'an 111 ).
The Prophet's paternal aunts were six, the children of different mothers. They were: Umaymah, Umm Hakim, Barrah, `Atikah, Safyyah and Arwa. Umaymah was the wife of Jahsh ibn Ri'ab al‑Asadi. Umm Hakim ‑ known as al‑Bayda' (the fair one) ‑ was the wife of Karir ibn Rabi'ah ibn Habib ibn `Abd Shams. Barrah was the wife of `Abdu 'l Asad ibn Hilal al‑Makhzumi, for whom she bore Abu Salamah, who was the husband of Umm Salamah (before the Prophet married her). `Atikah was the wife of Abu Umayyah ibn al‑Mughirah al‑Makhzumi. Safiyyah was the wife of al-Harith ibn Harb ibn Umayyah. She then married al‑`Awwam ibn Khuwaylid, for whom she bore az‑Zubayr (a well‑known Companion and second cousin of the Prophet). Arwa was the wife of `Umayr ibn `Abdi 'l= Uzza ibn Qusayy. The only one among the Prophet's aunts who accepted Islam was Safiyyah. It is also reported that three became Muslims: Safiyyah, Arwa and `Atikah.
The Messenger of Allah had no maternal relatives except those in nursing. This is because his mother Aminah daughter of Wahb had no brothers or sisters, who would have been the Prophet's uncles or aunts. Yet the men of the tribe of Banu Zuhrah claimed to be his uncles because Aminah was a member of that tribe. Nor did his parents `Abdullah and Aminah have any other children, who would have then been his blood brothers or sisters.
The Prophet had a maternal aunt in nursing called Salma, who was the sister of Halimah (as‑Sa'diyyah, his nursing mother), daughter of Abu Dhuwayb. He also had two brothers in nursing, `Abdullah ibn al‑Harith and Anisah ibn al‑Harith, whose father was al‑Harith ibn `Abdi 'l-`Uzza ibn Sa'd ibn Bakr ibn Hawazin.
Among the Prophet's male clients was Zayd ibn al‑Harithah, who was bought as a youth for Khadijah by Hakim ibn Hizam at the market of `Ukaz for four hundred dirhams. But after the Messenger of Allah married Khadijah, she gave him Zayd as a gift. The Prophet, however, set him free and adopted him. He also married him to Umm Ayman, who bore him Usamah. Zayd was known as `the son of the Apostle of Allah' until Allah sent down:
Let sons be called only after their fathers (Qur.33:5).
Another of the Prophet's clients was Abu Rafi`, whose name was Aslam. He belonged to al‑`Abbas (the Prophet's uncle), who gave Abu Rafi` to the Prophet as gift. When al‑`Abbas accepted Islam, Abu Rafi` hastened with the news to the Prophet, who was so pleased that he set him free. The Prophet also had Abu Rafi` married to Salma, his maidservant, who bore him `Ubaydullah ibn Abi Rafi`, who was 'Ali's scribe during the latter's caliphate. Another client was a man called Safinah, whose name was Rabah. The Messenger of Allah bought him and set him free. Nawban, a man of the tribe of Himyar, whose agnomen was Abu `Abdillah, was taken captive, and the Apostle of Allah also bought him and set him free.
Yassar, a Nubian slave, was also bought by the Messenger of Allah and set free. Yassar was killed by the man from the tribe of `Uraynah who raided the orchard of the Messenger of Allah. Other clients were Shuqran, whose name was Salih, and Abu Kabshah, whose name was Sulayman. Another client was Abu Danmirah, whom the Prophet set free and for whom he wrote a deed of surety which remained with his descendants after him. Mud'im, who was also a client of the Prophet, was shot with an arrow at Wadi 'l-Qura (near Mecca), where he died.
Other clients were Abu Muwayhibah, Anasah, Fudalah, Tahman, Abu Ayman, Abu Hind and Anjashah. Anjashah was the man to whom the Prophet said: “Be not in haste O Anjashah, be gentle with the crystals (that is, women, as being fragile) ! ”6
Others also were: Salih, Abu Salma, Abu `Usayb, `Ubayd, Aflah, Ruwayfi`, Abu Laqit, Abu Rafi` al‑Asghar (the younger), Yassar al‑Akbar (the elder) and Karkarah. Karkarah was given by a man called Hudah ibn `Ali al‑Hanafi to the Prophet, who set him free. There was also Rabah, Abu Lubabah, and Abu 'l-Yusr, who alone left offspring.
As for the Prophet's maidservants, first al‑Muqawqis, the ruler of Alexandria (Egypt), presented to him two maidservants, one of whom was Mariyah al‑Qubtiyyah. She bore him lbrahim, dying five years after the Prophet in 16 A.H. The other maidservant (who was given him along with Mariyah), he gave to Hassan ibn Thabit.
Umm Ayman was the Prophet's special maid, whom he inherited from his mother. She was a black woman, and her name was Barakah. The Prophet set her free and gave her in marriage to `Ubayd al‑Khazraji in Mecca. She bore `Ubayd a son called Ayman. Then he died, and the Prophet married her to Zayd, for whom she bore Usamah, who was also black resembling her. Thus Usamah and Ayman were two brothers of the same mother.
Another was Rayhanah, daughter of Sham'un, whom the Prophet captured with the booty from the tribe of Banu Qurayzah.
The Prophet's freemen and women servants were: Anas ibn Malik, and Hind and Asma', daughters of Kharijah of the tribe of Banu Aslam.
This chapter deals with Fatimah az‑Zahra' (the Radiant), the daughter of the Messenger of Allah. It treats her birth, span of life and the time of her death, as well as some of her excellences and characteristics. It consists of three sections.
The most predominant view in the traditions transmitted by our traditionists is that Fatimah az‑Zahra' was born in Mecca, on the twentieth of Jumada 'l-Akhirah, in the fifth year of the Prophet's apostolic career. It is also asserted that when the Prophet died, Fatimah was eighteen years and seven months old.
It is reported on the authority of Jabir ibn Yazid that (the fifth Imam) al‑Baqir was asked: “How long did Fatimah live after the Messenger of Allah?” He answered: “Four months; she died at the age of twenty‑three.” This view is close to that reported by the traditionists of the (Sunni) majority. They have asserted that she was born in the forty-first year of the Messenger of Allah's life. This means that she was born one year after the Prophet was sent by Allah as a messenger. The scholar Abu Said al‑Hafiz relates in his book Sharafu'n‑Nabiyy that all the children of the Messenger of Allah were born before Islam except Fatimah and Ibrahim, who were born in Islam.1
It is reported that the sixth Imam Ja'far as‑Sadiq said:
“Fatimah has nine names with Allah. They are: Fatimah, as‑Siddiqah (the Righteous), al‑Mubarakah (the Blessed), at‑Tahirah (the Pure), az‑Zakiyyah (the Unblemished), arRadiyah (the one content with Allah's pleasure), al‑Mardiyyah (the one pleasing to Allah), al‑Muhaddathah (the one spoken to by angels) and az‑Zahirah (the Luminous).
In the Musnad (collection of transmitted hadiths) of the eighth Imam ar‑Rid5, it is reported that the Prophet declared: “I named my daughter Fatimah (the Weaned One) because Allah weaned her and those who love her from the Fire.” The Prophet also called her al‑Batul (pure virgin), and said to `A'ishah: “O Humayra' (a redish white, a well‑known epithet of `A'ishah), Fatimah is not like the women of human kind, nor does she suffer the illness you (women) suffer! ”
This is explained in another prophetic tradition which asserts that she never menstruated. It is likewise reported by Sunni traditionists on the authority of Anas ibn Malik, who heard Umm Salim, the wife of Abu Talhah al‑Ansari, say: “Fatimah never experienced the blood of menstruation or parturition, for she was created from the waters of Paradise.” This is because when the Messenger of Allah was transported to heaven, he entered Paradise, where he ate of its fruits and drank its water.
One of the most incontrovertible proofs of Fatimah's sinlessness is Allah's saying:
Surely Allah wishes to remove all abomination from you, O People of the House, and purify you with a great purification (our. 33 : 33) .
The argument in favour of this, is that the Muslim community has unanimously agreed that the `People of the House' (i.e., ahlu'l-bayt), intended in this verse are the People of the Household of the Messenger of Allah. Traditions (ahadith) of both the Shi`i and Sunni communities have asserted that this verse particularly refers to 'Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn. The Prophet, moreover, spread over them all one day a Khaybarite mantle and prayed: “O Allah, these are the People of my Household, remove all abomination from them and purify them with a great purification!” Umm Salamah said: “I too, O Apostle of Allah, am of the People of your House!” He answered: “Your lot shall be good!”
The Divine Will expressed in this verse must by necessity be either an abstract will not implemented by an action, or a will accompanied by an action. The first option is untenable because it implies no particular applicability to the People of the Prophet's House; such a will is shared by all obligated (mukallafin) human beings. Nor is abstract will by itself cause for praise. The entire community has concurred on the view that this verse proclaims the excellence of the People of the Prophet's House over all others, and that the verse refers to them alone.
Thus the second option (that the Divine Will referred to in the verse is a will accompanied by action) is true, and in it is clear proof of the sinlessness of those who were intended in the verse. It implies further that it is impossible for them to commit any evil action. Moreover, any others whom we have not named here are no doubt not held by general consensus as possessing `ismah (protection from error). Thus since the verse necessarily implies sinlessness it must apply to them (the People of the Prophet's House), because it pertains to no other individuals.
Another proof of Fatimah's sinlessness is the Prophet's saying concerning her: “Fatimah is part of me. Whatever causes her hurt, hurts me.” He also said: “Whoever hurts Fatimah, hurts me, and whoever hurts me, hurts Allah, exalted be His Majesty! ” The Prophet said further: “Allah becomes wrathful for Fatimah's anger, and is pleased at her pleasure.” Had she been one who was guilty of committing sins, it would not be that anyone causing her hurt would by this cause the Prophet himself hurt in any way. On the contrary, if anyone were to disgrace and hurt her deservedly ‑ even if he were to inflict upon her the severest punishment permitted by the limits set by Allah ‑ if her action necessitated such retaliation, it would be pleasing to him.
Among the signs indicating Fatimah's exalted status with Allah is an incident related by both Shi'i and Sunni traditionists on the authority of Maymunah (the Prophet's wife), who reported that Fatimah was found asleep one day, the handmill beside her turning of its own accord. She informed the Apostle of Allah of this, and he said: “Allah knew the weak condition of His handmaid; He thus inspired the handmill to turn by itself, and so it did.” Among the reports asserting her excellence and high distinction over all other women is the tradition reported on the authority of `A'ishah who said: “I never saw a man more beloved of the Apostle of Allah than `Ali, or a woman more dear to him than Fatimah.”
Sunni traditionists also reported on the authority of the Commander of the Faithful who said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah, `Who is more beloved to you, Fatimah or I?' He answered, `Fatimah is more beloved to me, and you are dearer to me than she is.' ” These traditionists also reported from Anas ibn Malik that: “Fatimah is the most excellent of all the women of the world.” In another tradition it is reported that the Prophet said: “The most excellent among the women of the world are: Maryam daughter of `Imran (that is, the virgin Mary), Asiyah daughter of Muzahim (wife of Pharaoh), Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid and Fatimah daughter of Muhammad.”
It is also related on the authority of Ibn `Abbas who said: “The most excellent of the women of Paradise are: Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid, Fatimah daughter of Muhammad, Maryam daughter of `Imran and Asiyah daughter of Muzahim.” Traditionists report that `Abdu 'r‑Rahman ibn `Awf said: “I heard the Apostle of Allah say, `I am a tree, Fatimah is its trunk and 'Ali is its pollen. Hasan and Husayn are its fruits, and our followers (Shi'ah) are its leaves. The roots of the tree are in the Garden of Eden, and its trunk, fruits and leaves are in Paradise.' ”
Traditionists further report on the authority of `A'ishah that: “Whenever Fatimah came to the Messenger of Allah, he would rise from his seat, kiss her on the forehead, and make her sit with him.” Traditionists have also reported on the authority of 'Ali ibn Ibrahim al‑Qummi in his commentary of the Qur'an, as related on the authority of the sixth Imam as‑Sadiq, Ja'far ibn Muhammad, who said: “We were told that our forefathers said that the Messenger of Allah often indulged in kissing the mouth of Fatimah the mistress of the women of the world, so that `A'ishah finally protested saying, `O Messenger of Allah, I see you indulge so often in kissing the mouth of Fatimah and placing your tongue in her mouth.'
He answered, `Yes, O `A'ishah, when I was taken up to heaven, Gabriel took me into Paradise and brought me near the tree of Tuba (beatitude). He gave me an apple of its fruits which I ate, and which became a sperm in my loins. Thus when I returned to earth, I laid with Khadijah, and she conceived Fatimah. Whenever, therefore, I yearn for Paradise, I kiss her and place my tongue in her mouth, for I find in her the fragrance of Paradise. I also sense in her the fragrance of the tree of Tuba. Fatimah is thus a celestial human being.' ”
The traditions which our Companions (that is, Shi'i hadith transmitters), may Allah be pleased with them, have reported in proof of Fatimah's special place among the children of the Apostle ‑ her honoured status and distinction over all the women of humankind ‑ are beyond number. We shall, therefore, limit ourselves to the reports which we have already mentioned.
Among the things which Allah completed the great honour of the Commander of the Faithful in this world and the world to come was His special favour towards him in having him unite in marriage with the noble daughter of the Messenger of Allah, who was the most beloved of all creatures to him, the consolation of his eyes and mistress of the women of the world. Among the many ahadith (traditions) concerning this event is the sound hadith reported on the authority of Anas ibn Malik, who said: “As the Apostle of Allah was sitting one day, 'Ali came to see him. He addressed him saying, `O 'Ali, what brings you here?'
`I came only to greet you with the salutation of peace', `Ali replied. The Prophet declared: `Here comes Gabriel to tell me that Allah has willed to unite you in marriage with Fatimah, peace be upon her. He has, moreover, called as witnesses to her marriage a thousand angels. Allah has revealed to the tree of Tuba, “Scatter your pearls and rubies! ” Black‑eyed houris rushed to pick the precious stones up, which they shall exchange as presents among them till the Day of Resurrection.' ”
It is related on the authority of Ibn `Abbas, who said: “On the night when Fatimah was married to 'Ali, the Messenger of Allah stood before her. Gabriel stood at her right hand and Michael at her left. Seventy thousand angels stood behind her, praising and sanctifying Allah. The Commander of the Faithful prided himself on his marriage to her on numerous occasions.” Abu Ishaq ath‑Thaqafi reported on the authority of Hakim ibn Jubayr, who reported from al‑Hajari who related from his uncle who said: “I heard `Ali say one day, `I shall utter words which no other man would utter but that he would be a liar. I am `Abdullah (Allah's servant), and the brother of the Apostle of Allah. I am the one whose guardian is the Prophet of mercy, for I have married the mistress of all the women of the community. I am the best of the vicegerents.' ” Numerous reports expressing similar ideas have been transmitted.
Ath -Thaqafi reported on the authority of Buraydah, who said: “On the nuptial night of `Ali and Fatimah, the Prophet said to 'Ali, `Do not do anything until you see me.' He then brought water ‑ or the traditionist reported that he called for water ‑ which he used to perform his ablutions for prayers, pouring the rest over 'Ali. The Prophet then prayed, `O Allah, bless them! Shower your blessings over them, and bless for them their two young lions (that is, their two sons Hasan and Husayn).”' ath-Thaqafi also related on the authority of Shurahil ibn Abi Sa'd, who said: “On the morning after Fatimah's wedding, the Prophet brought a skinful of milk, and said to Fatimah, 'Drink! May your father be a ransom for you.' He likewise said to `Ali, 'Drink! May your cousin be a ransom for you.'”
It is reported that Fatimah died on the third of Jumada 'l-Akhirah in the eleventh year of the hijrah. She survived the Prophet by only ninety‑five days. It is also reported that she survived him by four months.
The Commander of the Faithful (`Ali) himself took charge of her washing. It is reported that Asma' daughter of `Umays assisted him in washing her. Asma' related: “Fatimah had stated in her will that no one should wash her corpse except 'Ali and I. Thus we washed her together, and the Commander of the Faithful prayed over her along with Hasan and Husayn, `Amman ibn Yasir, Miqdad, `Aqil, az‑Zubayr, Abu Dharr, Salman, Buraydah and a few men of Banu Hashim. They prayed over her in the night, and in accordance with her own will 'Ali the Commander of the Faithful buried her in secret.”
There is much disagreement among traditionists as to the exact spot of her grave. Our own traditionists have asserted that she was buried in the Baqi `. Others said that she was buried in her own chamber, and that when the Umayyad rulers enlarged the Mosque of Medina, her grave came to be in the sanctuary. Still others argued that she was buried between the grave and pulpit of the Prophet. It is to this that the Prophet alluded in his saying: “There is between my grave and pulpit a garden of the gardens of Paradise.” The first view is unlikely, while the two other views are nearer to the truth. Thus, those who wish to apply the principle of caution (ihtiyat) when performing ziyarah, or pilgrimage, to her grave, should do so in all three places.
This is all that we wished to say concerning Muhammad, the Elect Prophet (al‑Mustafa) and his daughter Fatimah, the Radiant (az‑Zahra'). From Allah alone comes success.