Battles between Uhud and Khandaq
Battle of Rajee: Shaykh Tabarsi and Ibn Shahr Ashob have narrated that a party from the tribes of Azul and Desh waited on the Prophet and requested him to send some of his kindred with them to teach their people Qur’an and precepts of religion. Marsad bin Abi Marsad Ghunwi, Khalid bin Bukair, Asim bin Thabit, Habib bin Adi, Zaid bin Sana and Abdullah bin Tariq were sent with these people and Marsad was appointed as their leader.
When the party and their teachers reached Rajee, a water hole which belonged to the tribe of Huzayl, a group of this tribe, Bani Lahiyan, attacked them and martyred the Muslims, one of whom was Asim bin Thabit, who had slain at the Battle of Uhud two sons of a woman named Salakah. She in revenge had vowed to drink wine from the skull of Asim.
Those that had slain him were intending to sell his head to Salakah, but by divine interposition, a swarm of wasps collected about him and stung all that approached. They concluded therefore to postpone their business till night, when the wasps would disperse, but providentially rain fell in such torrents that the body of Asim was swept away and never found.
It is narrated that Asim has prayed that his body never be touched by infidel, so the Almighty Allah didn’t allow his body to be touched by any infidel. It is mentioned in some traditions that they took Habib and Zaid as captives and eliminated their companions. They were taken to Mecca and sold to the idolaters of Mecca.
It is narrated that Habib was given to a girl of Harith. She says that she had not seen anyone better than Habib. One day a son of mine who had begun to crawl, was in his lap and Habib was handling a knife. I was afraid. Habib said: “Are you afraid that I will slay this boy? By Allah, it can never be so. We never resort to deceit.
The next day, I saw that people had tied him up in chains in such a way that he could not move. And he held a bunch of grapes, even though it was not a season of grapes. I asked: “From where did you get these grapes?” “My Lord has sent it,” he said: “Thus he was brought out of the sanctuary to be executed. He asked them to allow him to offer two units of prayers. After the prayer, he supplicated against Quraish and recited some couplets in devotion of the Almighty Allah.
He was finally crucified. He said: “O Lord, there is none who I can ask to convey my greetings to the Prophet, O Lord, You convey my salutations to him. When the Messenger of Allah (S) learnt of this, he sent Zubair and Miqdad to bring him down from the crucifix. When they reached Mecca, they found that forty idolaters were sleeping around him in an intoxicated condition. They removed him from the crucifix while his body had not dried.
He had placed his hand at his wound. When they removed his hand, he began to bleed, which though was colored like blood but smelt like musk. When the idolaters of Quraish came to know about it, they set out in their pursuit. They placed his corpse down to fight the idolaters and the earth swallowed his body and Zubair and Miqdad returned.
Battle of Maoonah: Shaykh Tabarsi, Ibn Shahr Ashob etc. have narrated that Abu Baraa Aamir bin Malik, who was an elder of Bani Saa-sa came to the Holy Prophet (S) with some gifts which the Prophet did not accept saying that he didn’t take presents from idolaters. He will accept from him only if he became a Muslim.
Although he did not agree to conversion, but he did not reject the offer also. He said: “O Muhammad; that to which you invite us is a nice thing. If you send a companion to the people of Najd to invite them to Islam, I am sure they will accept it.” Abu Baraa said: “They will be in my security and no one will dare to molest them.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) sent seventy persons and according to another version, forty persons; according to another version, somewhat less of those who were the best, were sent along with Manzar bin Amr. In the fourth year of Hijra, when four months had passed after the Battle of Uhud, they reached the well of Maoonah. Kharam bin Lamhan took the letter of the Prophet to Aamir bin Tufayl.
When Aamir did not accept the letter, Kharam said in a loud voice: “O people of the well of Maoonah, I have been sent by the Messenger of Allah (S). I witness to the oneness of Allah and prophethood of Muhammad, so believe in Allah and the Prophet.” After he made this call, an accursed man came out of his tent and attacked Kharam on his side with a dagger which came out from the other side.
Kharam said, “Allah is the greatest, by the Lord of the Kaaba, I have achieved perpetual success. Then Aamir bin Tufayl called his people to slay the Muslims. But they did not accept. They said: “We will not violate the surety of Abu Baraa. After that he called some persons of Bani Sulaym, Asba, Raal and Zakwan for help, who surrounded the Muslims from all sides.
Muslims drew their swords and fought with them and were finally killed. Kaab bin Zaid was seriously wounded and was lying among the dead. They thought that he was dead, so he escaped alive. He was martyred in the Battle of Khandaq. And Amr bin Umayyah Zumri and an Ansari had taken all the camels belonging to Muslims to graze them and they were unaware of this incident. When they returned, they found Muslims lying in blood and dust.
Ansari asked Amr, “What should be done?” He replied: “I will go to the Prophet.” “I will not leave the place where Manzar bin Amr was martyred,” and he drew the sword and fought them till he was also martyred. And Amr was taken as a prisoner by the idolaters. When they came to know that he was from the tribe of Zumar, they didn’t eliminate him. They said: My mother was supposed to free a slave, so I release him in lieu.
Thus Amr came to the Prophet and narrated the incident. The Messenger of Allah (S) was much aggrieved by this and he blamed Abu Baraa. Hassan bin Thabit and Kaab bin Malik composed poems to condemn the oath breaking of Abu Baraa. When Abu Baraa came to know about it, he was so infuriated that he died because of it.
And Rabia, son of Abu Baraa, to compensate for the oath breaking of his father, attacked Aamir with a dagger, but he turned on the horse and was not killed. The Messenger of Allah (S) imprecated him to be afflicted with plague and he finally died in this scourge as was mentioned in the chapters of miracles. According to some traditions, this verse:
وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا
“And reckon not those who are killed in Allah’s way as dead…”1
…was revealed in praise of the martyrs of the well of Maoonah. According to a report, the following verse was also revealed which was not included in Qur’an:
“That is convey to my people the message that we have met our Lord in such condition that He was pleased with us and we were pleased with Him.”
Battle of Bani Nuzayr: Shaykh Tabarsi, Ali bin Ibrahim and Ibn Shahr Ashob etc. have narrated that when the Messenger of Allah (S) migrated to Medina, the Jew tribe of Bani Nuzayr who were the best people of Medina had made a treaty of perfect neutrality with the Prophet on his first arrival at Medina.
When he won the Battle of Badr they concluded he was the predicted Prophet whose banner would never be turned back, but after his defeat at Uhud they began to doubt his claims, and breaking their pledge, plotted against him. One of their chiefs, Kaab bin Ashraf, with forty mounted Jews, went to Mecca and presented themselves at the Kaaba, where they were met by Abu Sufyan and forty of the Quraish, with whom the Jews concluded a league and then returned to Medina.
Jibraeel informed the Prophet of this treacherous act, and commanded him to slay Kaab, which was accordingly done by Muhammad bin Muslima as was mentioned previously. The first confrontation of Bani Nuzayr with the Prophet according to the account of Ali bin Ibrahim was that the Medinan Jews of Bani Harun had split into two parties: the Bani Nuzayr and Bani Quraiza, the former numbering one thousand and the latter seven hundred.
The clan of Nuzayr was much superior to that of Quraiza in wealth and rank, and was moreover in league with Abdullah bin Ubayy, the Khazraj chief. If one of the smaller clan had slain a member of the larger, the Bani Nuzayr were not satisfied that the slayer alone should be put to death. This arrogance occasioned many quarrels between the clans.
Till at last a treaty was ratified, stipulating that if a man of Nuzayr killed a man of Quraiza, he should be mounted, with his face blacked, the wrong way on an ass and pay half the ordinary blood-money. But if a man of Quraiza killed one of Nuzayr, the whole fine should be paid and the slayer was also put to death.
After the Prophet’s flight to Medina, and the tribes of Aws and Khazraj ennobled by embracing Islam, and Jew influence was weakened, a man of Quraiza killed a man of Nuzayr and the latter tribe demanded both the blood-money and the slayer. The Quraiza complained that this was not according to the statutes of the Taurat, and that the rule had been established by violence.
They offered therefore either the blood-money or the murderer, proposing if this was not satisfactory, that the Prophet should be arbiter in the case. The Bani Nuzayr procured Abdullah bin Ubayy to gain the Prophet over to their side and decide in their favor. However, when the case was submitted to his arbitration, he annulled the treaty into which the Quraiza had been forced, and decided against the Nuzayr on the basis of what Jibraeel had revealed from Allah:
يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لَا يَحْزُنْكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِنْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
“O Apostle! let not those grieve you who strive together in hastening to unbelief from among those who say with their mouths: We believe, and their hearts do not believe…”
That is Abdullah bin Ubayy who was a hypocrite.
وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُوا سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ سَمَّاعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ
“…and from among those who are Jews; they are listeners for the sake of a lie, listeners for another people who have not come to you…”
يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوَاضِعِهِ يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَٰذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِنْ لَمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُوا
“…they alter the words from their places, saying: If you are given this, take it, and if you are not given this, be cautious…”2
It is an allusion to the talks of Abdullah bin Ubayy that he had said to Bani Nuzayr till the end of the verse that the Almighty Allah has mentioned in this incident and the Messenger of Allah (S) rejected the proposal of Bani Nuzayr and ruled in favor of Bani Quraiza.
Another cause of the breaking of the pledge of Bani Nuzayr was that Amr bin Umaid returned from the well of Maoonah and on the way he met two infidels of Bani Aamir who were under the guarantee of the Holy Prophet (S). Amr was unaware that the Messenger of Allah (S) had accorded security to them. When they went to sleep, Amr killed them.
When he came to Medina and informed the Prophet of their killing, the latter said that he had wrongly killed them, because they were under his guarantee. After that the Holy Prophet (S) wanted to pay their blood money and he went with a group of companions to Qala bin Quraiza to take a loan from them to pay the blood money.
And according to the report Ali bin Ibrahim and Shaykh Tabarsi and some commentators, they went to Kaab bin Ashraf who was not killed yet. He was pleased to see the Prophet and arose to serve and entertain his guest but secretly planned to kill them. And according to another report, the Holy Prophet (S) went to Huyy bin Akhtab and some wealthy people of Bani Nuzayr and asked them for a loan. They apparently accepted it and seated the Prophet under the shade of a wall and came out.
Huyy bin Akhtab said: “Someone should go up to the terrace and throw a huge rock on Muhammad so that he is killed. Amr bin Amr bin Hajalish volunteered to do that. Salam bin Shakam told them to desist as the Prophet will come to know about it. Jibraeel came down and informed the Prophet about their intention.
The Holy Prophet (S) came out and returned to Medina. Abdullah bin Surya said to them: “Indeed the Almighty Allah informed him about your intention. And now the first to come to you will bring an edict from Muhammad ordering you to leave the town. So you must accept one of the two options that I offer you.
First that all you embrace Islam so that your lives and properties are safe or when he orders you to leave the town; you should leave without delay. But the first option is better. They said: “We can never accept the first option.” The Holy Prophet (S) sent Muhammad bin Muslima to Bani Nuzayr with the message: “The Almighty Allah informed me about what you planned against me. So either you leave the town or be prepared to fight.
I give you three days.” They initially agreed to leave the town after that Abdullah bin Ubayy sent a message to them not to leave Medina. On the contrary they must fight the Muslims. “I will help you with my relatives and the people of my community. And Bani Quraiza and their representatives, Bani Ghitfan would assist you.
If you leave Medina, we would also accompany you.” So they decided to remain in the town and prepared to fight. They constructed their forts and sent a message to the Prophet challenging him to do whatever he liked that they would not leave their forts. The Holy Prophet (S) arose and said: “Allah is the greatest,” which was echoed by his companions.
The Holy Prophet (S) said to Amirul Momineen (a.s.): “Take the standard and proceed to the forts of Bani Nuzayr.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) set out and the Prophet followed him. Imam Ali (a.s.) laid siege to the Jewish forts but Abdullah bin Ubayy and Bani Quraiza did not help them. The siege lasted for fifteen or twenty-one days.
Shaykh Mufeed and Ibn Shahr Ashob have narrated that when the Holy Prophet (S) set out against Bani Nuzayr, he said: “My tent should be fixed far away from Bani Hatma.” And so it was done. At night a person from Bani Nuzayr shot an arrow at the tent of the Holy Prophet (S) and by the command of the Prophet that tent was made in the lap of the mountains and Muhajireen and Ansar gathered around the tent. At night Imam Ali (a.s.) went out secretly on some business.
People said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), where is Ali?” “He must be busy in something for your good.” After sometime, Imam Ali (a.s.) arrived with the severed head of the Jew who had shot at the tent of the Holy Prophet (S); he was a man named Gharura. Imam Ali (a.s.) threw the head at the Prophet’s feet who asked him how he had managed to slay that man.
He said: “I knew that he would attack at night, do something like this. So I waited in ambush for him. He came with nine men in the dead of the night and all were armed. I attacked them all and killed him. His companions escaped from there. I will go again to finish them.” The Holy Prophet (S) sent ten men with Imam Ali (a.s.), including Abu Dujana and Suhail bin Hunaif.
They caught up with the Jews and killed them before they could enter the fort, and brought their severed heads. The Holy Prophet (S) told them to throw them into a certain well of Bani Hatma. Consequently the forts of Bani Nuzayr were conquered.
They have also narrated that Kaab bin Ashraf was also killed the same night. Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) destroyed their houses, which they themselves helped to do in some instances. He began likewise to cut down their date-trees, but desisted on their expostulating with him and representing that the trees would be useful to him if he overcame them.
After being reduced to great necessities, they offered to leave the country, provided they were allowed to take their personal property with them. The Prophet replied that they might take only what their camels could carry, which condition they rejected, but after several days of suffering would have gladly accepted it, but were at last compelled to leave it all. Shaykh Tabarsi however relates that the Prophet allowed a camel and a water skin to every three persons of these conquered Jews, and some even say that he allowed them to load and take away six hundred camels.
Their arms, consisting of fifty coats of mail, fifty helmets, and three hundred and forty swords, became the property of the Prophet. Their property also of right belonged to him, as it was taken by capitulation and not by battle, but he divided it among the Muhajireen and gave their houses, lands and fountains to Amirul Momineen (a.s.), who bequeathed them to his children by Fatima. The Bani Nuzayr dispersed themselves in various places, some going to Fadak and Wadiul Qura, some to Shaam and some to Khyber. The Almighty Allah revealed the following verses about them:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَخْرَجَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ لِأَوَّلِ الْحَشْرِ ۚ مَا ظَنَنْتُمْ أَنْ يَخْرُجُوا ۖ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ مَانِعَتُهُمْ حُصُونُهُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ
“He it is Who caused those who disbelieved of the followers of the Book to go forth from their homes at the first banishment; you did not think that they would go forth, while they were certain that their fortresses would defend them against Allah…”
فَأَتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَمْ يَحْتَسِبُوا ۖ وَقَذَفَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الرُّعْبَ ۚ يُخْرِبُونَ بُيُوتَهُمْ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَيْدِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَاعْتَبِرُوا يَا أُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ
“…but Allah came to them whence they did not expect, and cast terror into their hearts; they demolished their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers; therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes!”
وَلَوْلَا أَنْ كَتَبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْجَلَاءَ لَعَذَّبَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابُ النَّارِ
“And had it not been that Allah had decreed for them the exile, He would certainly have punished them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have chastisement of the fire.”5
ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ شَاقُّوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۖ وَمَنْ يُشَاقِّ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“That is because they acted in opposition to Allah and His Apostle, and whoever acts in opposition to Allah, then surely Allah is severe in retributing (evil).”6
مَا قَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ لِينَةٍ أَوْ تَرَكْتُمُوهَا قَائِمَةً عَلٰى أُصُولِهَا فَبِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلِيُخْزِيَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
“Whatever palm-tree you cut down or leave standing upon its roots, it is by Allah’s command, and that He may abase the transgressors.”7
Ali bin Ibrahim says that this angry tone was that which the Jews had told Muslims about the cutting down of the trees. Then the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses about Abdullah bin Ubayy and his companions:
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ نَافَقُوا يَقُولُونَ لِإِخْوَانِهِمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَئِنْ أُخْرِجْتُمْ لَنَخْرُجَنَّ مَعَكُمْ وَلَا نُطِيعُ فِيكُمْ أَحَدًا أَبَدًا وَإِنْ قُوتِلْتُمْ لَنَنْصُرَنَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
“Have you not seen those who have become hypocrites? They say to those of their brethren who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book: If you are driven forth, we shall certainly go forth with you, and we will never obey anyone concerning you, and if you are fought against, we will certainly help you, and Allah bears witness that they are most surely liars.”8
لَئِنْ أُخْرِجُوا لَا يَخْرُجُونَ مَعَهُمْ وَلَئِنْ قُوتِلُوا لَا يَنْصُرُونَهُمْ وَلَئِنْ نَصَرُوهُمْ لَيُوَلُّنَّ الْأَدْبَارَ ثُمَّ لَا يُنْصَرُونَ
“Certainly if these are driven forth, they will not go forth with them, and if they are fought against, they will not help them, and even if they help them, they will certainly turn (their) backs, then they shall not be helped.”9
لَأَنْتُمْ أَشَدُّ رَهْبَةً فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۚ ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ. لَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ جَمِيعًا إِلَّا فِي قُرًى مُحَصَّنَةٍ أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ جُدُرٍ ۚ بَأْسُهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ شَدِيدٌ ۚ تَحْسَبُهُمْ جَمِيعًا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ شَتَّىٰ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ.
“You are certainly greater in being feared in their hearts than Allah; that is because they are a people who do not understand. They will not fight against you in a body save in fortified towns or from behind walls; their fighting between them is severe, you may think them as one body, and their hearts are disunited; that is because they are a people who have no sense.”10
كَمَثَلِ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ قَرِيبًا ۖ ذَاقُوا وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
“Like those before them shortly; they tasted the evil result of their affair, and they shall have a painful punishment.”11
كَمَثَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ اكْفُرْ فَلَمَّا كَفَرَ قَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِنْكَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“Like the Shaitan when he says to man: Disbelieve, but when he disbelieves, he says: I am surely clear of you; surely I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”12
Ali bin Ibrahim has at the end of this story, narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) returned and wanted to distribute the booty among the companions even though it was his personal property, because when he came to Medina he stipulated with the Ansaris that they should provide for the Muhajireen, and he now offered them exemption from that burden and forgo their share in the spoils and they accepted this option. But Suhail bin Hunaif and Abu Dujana mentioned their difficulties, so the Holy Prophet (S) gave something to them also. And Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated that Ansar said: “We give the booty to Muhajireen but are ready to give them accommodation.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah said in their praise:
وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلٰى أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ
“…and prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them…”13
Battle of Zatur Riqa and Battle of Asfan: Shaykh Tabarsi has said in interpretation of the following verse:
وَإِذَا كُنْتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَاةَ
“And when you are among them and keep up the prayer for them…”14
…that this verse revealed about the prayer of fear when the Messenger of Allah (S) was camping at Asfan and the idolaters were in Sajnan. The Holy Prophet (S) recited prayer of fear and it is said that the apparent Islam of Khalid bin Walid was also because of this. And it is narrated from Abu Hamza Thumali’s Tafsir that when the Holy Prophet (S) went for the Battle of Bani Maharib and Bani Anmar, the Almighty Allah humiliated them and they were able to save their property and children.
The Holy Prophet (S) camped there with his army and since no enemy was seen, the men put away their arms and the Holy Prophet (S) went to a far off place to relieve himself. There was a valley between him and his companions. Meanwhile before the Prophet could relieve himself, there was heavy rain which flooded the valley. On relieving himself he rested under a thorn tree and Awras bin Harith Maharabi and his people saw the Prophet seated alone under the tree.
His companions said that he should go and kill him since Muhammad was alone. He said: “If now also I don’t kill him, may Allah destroy me.” He came down the mountain with a naked sword and the Prophet noticed him only when he was standing before him and saying: “O Muhammad, who will save you now?” He replied: “My Lord.”
As soon as the Prophet said this, Awras fell down and dropped the sword. The Prophet picked it up and then asked: “Now you tell me who can save you?” “No one,” he said helplessly. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Do you accept the oneness of Allah and my prophethood?” “No,” he said, “But I promise that I will never fight against you or help your enemy.”
The Holy Prophet (S) restored his sword to him. He said: “You are much better than me.” The Holy Prophet (S) said, “I am more deserving to do a good turn to you.” When Awras came to his people, they asked why he didn’t slay Muhammad even from close quarters, to which he replied that when he was about to attack, someone pushed me and I fell down, dropping the sword, but I don’t know who that was.
At last the flood receded in a short time and the Holy Prophet (S) returned to his men. Kulaini has narrated that this incident occurred in the Battle of Zatur Riqa and it is narrated in Alamul Wara that the Holy Prophet (S) after the Battle of Bani Nuzayr the Holy Prophet (S) turned his attention to the Battle of Bani Lahiyan. In that same battle, in Asfan, by the command of Allah he recited the prayer of fear and after that he set out for the Battle of Zatur Riqa.
And all historians have mentioned that the Holy Prophet (S) had gone to Bani Lahiyan to take the blood-money for the martyrs of Maoona and when they ran away, he turned to Asfan to threaten the Meccans. After that he returned. And it is narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) had gone to fight Bani Maharib and Bani Thalaba, branches of Ghitfan tribe and that was the Battle of Zatur Riqa.
There was no fighting and the Muslims captured a woman from there whose husband was not present. When he returned, he pursued the Muslim army and when the Prophet camped, he announced that he should be provided security that night. A Muhajir and an Ansar were appointed to this duty and they began to patrol the entrance of a defile.
One of those men fell asleep while the other was performing prayers. The husband of that woman approached and wounded the praying man with an arrow, which he drew out and continued his devotions. He was wounded in this way three times, but the only interruption he allowed himself was time to pluck out the arrows. After concluding his prayers, he awoke his companion, who on hearing what had happened, exclaimed, “Glory to God!
Why did you not wake me at the first attack?” He replied, “I was reciting a chapter of the Qur’an and would rather have been killed than cut it short, had I not feared to be an unfaithful guard.”
Battle of Minor Badr and events upto the Battle of Khandaq: Shaykh Tabarsi etc. have narrated that when Abu Sufyan threatened the Muslims that they would attack again the following year, and the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Tell him Insha Allah Taala.”
Arabs used to hold a fair at Badr during the month of Zilqad and used to buy and sell goods. When it was time of Badr fair the Holy Prophet (S) told his companions to be prepared for hostilities. But they displayed boredom and dislike to it. Abu Sufyan also regretted the threat he had issued. He sent Sahal bin Amr to Medina to threaten the Muslims about the big numbers and weapons of Quraish so that perhaps they will be cowed down. At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses:
فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفْسَكَ ۚ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ وَاللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْسًا وَأَشَدُّ تَنْكِيلًا
“Fight then in Allah’s way; this is not imposed on you except in relation to yourself, and rouse the believers to ardor; maybe Allah will restrain the fighting of those who disbelieve, and Allah is strongest in prowess and strongest to give an exemplary punishment.”15
When this verse was revealed, the Prophet prepared to set out for the battle and said: “I will go alone if there is no one with me.” Abdullah bin Rawaha was left in Medina and gave the standard to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and set out to Badr with seventy riders. Some say that they were 1500 men and 10 horses and a lot of merchandise and on the first night of Zilqad, 4th Hijri they reached Badr and camped there for eight days.
From their merchandise they continued to sell some goods and thus the infidels were overawed by the Muslims. The accursed Abu Sufyan set out from Mecca with 2000 mounted men, accompanied with 50 horses and reached upto Maral Zahran when he regretted coming there and remarked: “This a time of drought and there is scanty grass and fodder. We will go the following year when we would have enough for our quadrupeds.
Safwan bin Umayyah condemned Abu Sufyan, “I had told you not to promise war to them; they will be emboldened if we turn away now.” At last they returned and began to make preparations for the Battle of Khandaq. Some say that the verse:
حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
“…Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector.”16
Which was mentioned in the account of the Battle of Humraul Asad was in fact revealed in this battle.
Among the events of the fourth year was the incident of Bani Abi Raq. Ali bin Ibrahim and Shaykh Tabarsi etc. have narrated that three brothers from Bani Abi Raq, Bashr, Bashir and Mubashshir were hypocrites who used to ridicule the Prophet and Muslims and used to spread calumny through infidels. And they stole from the house of Qatada bin Noman’s uncle, who was from the fighters of Badr, grains, other provisions and his coat of mail.
Qatada complained to the Prophet. When Bani Abu Raq heard this, they said it was the handiwork of Labid bin Jahl. Labid pulled out his sword and went to their house and said: “You accuse me for the crime committed by you and you mimic the Prophet and attribute it to Quraish. By Allah, I will finish you off.” They pacified Labid in a gentle way and sent him back.” Then they came to Usaid bin Urwah of their clan and who was very outspoken.
They sent him to the Prophet to discuss that matter. He said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), Qatada has made false allegations of theft against the members of our clan.” The Prophet was aggrieved and when Qatada came to him, he expressed his displeasure and Qatada came back to his uncle and said: “How nice it would have been if I had died and not mentioned this matter to the Holy Prophet (S).” His uncle said: “I seek Allah’s help in this matter, and the following verses were revealed at that juncture:
إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَا أَرَاكَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَا تَكُنْ لِلْخَائِنِينَ خَصِيمًا ﴿١٠٥﴾ وَاسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا ﴿١٠٦﴾ وَلَا تُجَادِلْ عَنِ الَّذِينَ يَخْتَانُونَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ خَوَّانًا أَثِيمًا ﴿١٠٧﴾ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَهُوَ مَعَهُمْ إِذْ يُبَيِّتُونَ مَا لَا يَرْضَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطًا ﴿١٠٨﴾
“Surely We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between people by means of that which Allah has taught you; and be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous. And ask forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And do not plead on behalf of those who act unfaithfully to their souls; surely Allah does not love him who is treacherous, sinful; They hide themselves from men and do not hide themselves from Allah, and He is with them when they meditate by night, words which please Him not, and Allah encompasses what they do.”17
After that other verses were also revealed in their condemnation.
Ali bin Ibrahim narrates from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that the close relatives of Bashir decided to meet the Prophet and explain that Bashir was blameless in the said matter. When they arrived, the Messenger of Allah (S) recited the verses to them. So they went back to Bashir and said: “Repent for your vile deeds and seek forgiveness of the Almighty Allah.” He said: “By Allah, Labid has done it and I am free of blame.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses:
وَمَنْ يَكْسِبْ خَطِيئَةً أَوْ إِثْمًا ثُمَّ يَرْمِ بِهِ بَرِيئًا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلَ بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُبِينًا
“And whoever commits a fault or a sin, then accuses of it one innocent, he indeed takes upon himself the burden of a calumny and a manifest sin.”18
Imam (a.s.) said: “The Almighty Allah revealed the following verse regarding the relatives of Bashir who had come to the Holy Prophet (S) to get him acquitted from the blame:
وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَهَمَّتْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْهُمْ أَنْ يُضِلُّوكَ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلَّا أَنْفُسَهُمْ ۖ وَمَا يَضُرُّونَكَ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۚ وَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ ۚ وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيمًا
“And were it not for Allah’s grace upon you and His mercy, a party of them had certainly designed to bring you to perdition and they do not bring (aught) to perdition but their own souls, and they shall not harm you in any way, and Allah has revealed to you the Book and the wisdom, and He has taught you what you did not know, and Allah’s grace on you is very great.”19
When these verses were revealed, they were all exposed and Bashir fled to Mecca, disclosed his infidelity and became an apostate. There also he went to commit a theft, but a wall crashed on him and he was killed. So the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse about him:
وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلّٰى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا
“And whoever acts hostilely to the Apostle after that guidance has become manifest to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned and make him enter hell; and it is an evil resort.”20
According to Shaykh Tabarsi another incident of that year is that a Jew woman of noble rank having been guilty of adultery, her friends wished to free her, but the Prophet ordered her and her paramour to be stoned, according to the Taurat, and commanded it to be done in all cases where the guilty were detected in the act by four witnesses. Both the accused were married persons. The Jews of Khyber wrote to the Jews of Medina to ask Muhammad about it and they thought that perhaps he will not rule about stoning them. So they sent Kaab bin Ashraf, Kaab bin Usaid, Shoba bin Amr, Malik bin Saif and Kanana bin Abul Haqiq and all the Jew nobles came to him and asked him to judge the case of married adulterers.
The Holy Prophet (S) asked them if they will accept his decision to which they assented. Jibraeel came down with the command of stoning and the Prophet mentioned it to them. But the Jews refused to accept it. Jibraeel told the Prophet to appoint Abdullah bin Surya as the arbitrator. The Holy Prophet (S) told them: “Do you know a one-eyed young man of Fadak, named Ibn Surya?” “Yes,” they said.
The Prophet asked their opinion about him and they said there is no one as knowledgeable and intelligent as him among all the Jews of the world. The Prophet summoned him and Abdullah bin Surya arrived.
The Prophet adjured him in the name of the God who revealed Taurat to Prophet Musa (a.s.), Who split the sea, saved you from drowning, drowned Firon, shaded you with a cloud and sent Manna and Salwa; tell me if the command of stoning is mentioned in Taurat or not?” “Yes, by the God you have mentioned. If I had not feared that if I lied, the Lord of Taurat would burn me, I would have indeed denied this.
You tell, what is the command about this in your Book?” The Prophet said: “If four witnesses testify seeing the penetration and the accused are married, it becomes obligatory to stone them.” Ibn Surya said, “The Taurat has also mentioned the same order.” The Messenger of Allah (S) asked, “Why have you people changed this edict?” Ibn Surya said: “When our noble class commits this sin, we don’t apply this punishment to them, and when the accused are weak and poor, we subject them to this punishment.
That is why this sin has increased in our noble class. So much so that the king’s cousin has also committed adultery but we did not stone him. Whereas a poor man indulged in this and the king wanted to have him stoned; so the people told him, we would not allow you to stone him till you award the same punishment to your cousin.
Scholars reached an agreement to change the punishment of adultery that is fit for nobles as well ordinary people. Thus it was decided that when a person of noble class commits this sin, we give him forty lashes, make him sit on an ass the wrong way after blackening his face and take him around the town.
And this order is current among the Jews. Jews said: “Why did you confess all this? The opinion we expressed about you was wrong, because we didn’t want to backbite you.” Ibn Surya said: “Muhammad had put me under an oath, therefore I could not lie.” After that, by the order of the Prophet, they were stoned in the Masjid and the Holy Prophet (S) said: “I am the first to revive the divine law even though people wish to conceal it. At that juncture, the following verse was revealed:
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا كُنْتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ
“O followers of the Book! indeed Our Apostle has come to you making clear to you much of what you concealed of the Book and passing over much…”21
Ibn Surya jumped up and placing his hand on the knees of the Prophet said: “I seek your’s and Allah’s refuge from our mistakes which the Almighty Allah has said that He forgives.” Then he asked the Prophet about his sleep. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “My eyes sleep but my heart doesn’t.” Then he asked the Prophet what determined the resemblance of a child to its father or mother, he replied, “The excess of essence furnished by either parent. Then he asked which part of the child is created from the sperm of man which from the female elements.
The Holy Prophet (S) went into a swoon and when he recovered, his face was flushed and he was perspiring, a condition that overtook him at the time of receiving divine revelation. Then he told Ibn Surya: “Bones, veins and sinews were derived from the father, and the flesh, blood, nails and hair from the mother.
The Jew agreed that it was so, and became a Muslim. When those people wanted to return, Bani Quraiza caught hold of Bani Nuzayr and said: “O Muhammad, they are our brothers, Bani Nuzayr and we have a common ancestor and follow the same religion, but they oppress us. If one of us kills a person from their group, they kill the killer in retaliation and also take one hundred and forty loads of dates.
They even execute the killer even if the deceased is a woman and if it is a man, they kill two of our men in retaliation. If the deceased is a slave they kill our free man and consider our wounds equal to half of theirs. At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the verses of mercy and retaliation.
In 4th Hijri was revealed the prohibition of wine.
That same year the Holy Prophet (S) married Umm Salma, who was most pious among the wives of the Prophet. Same year, Zainab binte Khuzaimah, another wife of the Prophet, passed away and Abdullah bin Uthman, a son of Ruqaiyyah, passed away.
Lady Fatima binte Asad, mother of Imam Ali (a.s.) departed for her holy abode. Account of her final journey and her special excellence will be explained in the coming pages, if Allah wills. And it is narrated that on the 3rd of Shaban that year, the chief of the martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.) was born.
- 1. Surah Aale Imran 3:169
- 2. Surah Maidah 5:41
- 3. Surah Hashr 59:2
- 4. Surah Hashr 59:2
- 5. Surah Hashr 59:3
- 6. Surah Hashr 59:4
- 7. Surah Hashr 59:5
- 8. Surah Hashr 59:11
- 9. Surah Hashr 59:12
- 10. Surah Hashr 59:13-14
- 11. Surah Hashr 59:15
- 12. Surah Hashr 59:16
- 13. Surah Hashr 59:9
- 14. Surah Nisa 4:102
- 15. Surah Nisa 4:84
- 16. Surah Aale Imran 3:173
- 17. Surah Nisa 4:105-108
- 18. Surah Nisa 4:112
- 19. Surah Nisa 4:113
- 20. Surah Nisa 4:115
- 21. Surah Maidah 5:15