Abdullah Ibn Ubayy & The Hypocrites of Medina - Our Prophet 5 - Road To Medina

Now let us talk about some very fundamental issues in Madinah. When the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, arrives in Madinah and he chooses that spot and he wants to now construct a Mosque in Madinah, a man comes to the Prophet just as he had entered Madinah and he challenges the Prophet. That man is 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy Ibn al-Salul, the leader of the hypocrites later.

'Abdullah ibn Ubayy felt threatened by the presence of the Prophet. Why? Because the 'Aws and Khazraj, the main two tribes in Madinah, they were fighting for so long, just recently they decided to choose 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy to be their chief and leader. Then months after that, they went to Makkah and they made an allegiance with the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, inviting him to come. So, effectively, they changed their mind about 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy. No, we do not want you as the leader. Rasul Allah, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, will be our leader.

So, when the Prophet entered Madinah and 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy saw those masses cheering the Prophet, receiving the Prophet, supporting the Prophet, he grew very jealous of the Prophet. He saw the Prophet is taking his own position. So, from that first minute, he showed enmity to the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi. What did he say to the Prophet? When he met the Prophet, he told him go, go to the people who have deceived you and do not deceive us here. So, he asked Prophet to leave.

Now Sa'd Ibn 'Ubadah, he was also one of the tribal leaders in Madinah, he found this unacceptable. So, he told him, Ya Rasul Allah, do not listen to him, 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy does not represent us. He was about to become our chief, but things changed. He does not represent us. You are welcome to stay here. We shall support you as much as we can. Do not listen to this man, he has got a grudge in his heart, and he does not want you to be here. But we, the people of Madinah, we want you to be here.

This guy 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy, he created so many headaches for the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi. Later on, he became the leader of the hypocrites in Madinah. He had an army of hypocrites with him. Many verses in the Holy Qur'an, many chapters in the Holy Qur'an actually were revealed to attack him, his ideas and also the hypocrisy that he and many other hypocrites harboured in the city of Madinah.

For instance, we find that after the battle of Bani al-Mustalaq/Mustaliq [both correct], when the Prophet came back from that battle, 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy, he told Muslims or many of his followers, many of the hypocrites, he says, do not give money and assistance to the Muslims. Why? Because we want them to be weak. So, we drive them out of Madinah.

And they said the following phrase which Surat Al-Munafiqun quotes: "Yaqooloona la inraja'na ila al-madeena, layukhrijanna al-a'azzu min al-adhall" (63:8). They say, "If we return to Madinah, surely the more honourable (element) will expel therefrom the meaner." But honour belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers; but the Hypocrites know not.'

You know what he said? He said, let us weaken the Muslims. Let us weaken the Prophet. So that when we go back to Madinah, we have the 'Izzah [honour] and the power and we will drive the weak ones out, these Muslims, you know, the believers, we will drive them out.

Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, responds to him, in the Holy Qur'an. Allah says, 'I have the power. Say all the power is to Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. You think you can stop the Prophet?

So, this guy was really a big, big headache. The leader of the hypocrites. In fact, you know what he did at Uhud? We shall see at Uhud, he had 300 people with him, supporting him. His party, the Hypocrite party. At the battle of Uhud, suddenly he withdrew from the army of the Prophet. Imagine 300 people suddenly abandoning you. That is one reason why the Muslims, they suffered heavy casualties at Uhud. One was they disobeyed the Prophet, as we shall say. Number two was this guy. He played a very evil scheme. He was the leader of Hypocrites in Madinah.

Now you know what is very important about 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy? There is something extremely important about 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy. 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy was one of those Muslims in Madinah who participated in Bay'at al-Ridhwan or Bay'at al-Shajarah [the pledge of the pleasure of Allah or the pledge under the tree].

In the 6th year of the Hijrah [post migration], after Hudaybiyah, the Muslims came to pledge allegiance to the Prophet. Now, under pressure, he had to pledge allegiance, because the Prophet now became strong and Muslims supported him, every household in Madinah supported him. He could no longer openly fight the Prophet. So, he is like, let me go and pledge allegiance. Hypocrites, he is like let me destroy Islam from within. Why is this significant?

There is a very important verse in Surat al-Fath, Verse 18, which you will find other schools of thought citing this verse to state that all the Sahaba, Allah was pleased with them and they are good. What does Allah says in Surat al-Fath, Verse 18: "Laqad radiya Allahu 'ani al-mu'mineena idh yubayi 'unaka tahta ash-shajarati" (48:18). Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, "Allah has been pleased with the Mu'mineen, the believers, when they gave Bay'at to you under the tree."

This is called Bay'at al-Ridhwan or Bay'at al-Shajarah, it has two names. Bay'at al-Ridhwan, because Allah "Radhiya 'anhum"- 'He became satisfied with them'. Or the 'Shajarah' because it happened under a tree.

This is one of those verses that is commonly cited to state, see the Qur'an is witnessing the Sahabah [Companions] were all good. All those who participated in that Bay'at , Allah became pleased with them. So, why do you consider some of them to have deviated? Why do you not accept all of them as good people when the Qur'an is saying Allah was pleased with them?

So, we pose the following question: 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy, according to Sunni and Shi'a, was one of those people who was present at this incident. He was under the tree, giving the Bay'at to the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi.

And Sunni schools of thought agree that he was the leader of Hypocrites. He was not a believer. He deviated and his fate was hell. So, solve this dilemma for me. The verse says Allah was pleased with all of them, supposedly! But, then you have 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy, whom they acknowledge and admit was a hypocrite. So, what do you do with this verse?

'Fa 'alima ma fi qulubihim fa anzala al-sakinata 'alayhim' (48:18), 'He [Allah] knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-sakinah (calmness and tranquility) upon them'. Allah knows what is in their hearts. Then he sent down the Sakinah, the tranquility on them. This Bay'at is conditional. First of all, what is one word in the very beginning of the verse that tells us this Bay'at did not include all the companions. It included some of them. Exactly!

Did Allah say: "Laqad radhiya Allahu 'ani as-Sahaba"? [Allah is pleased with the companions?] Is that what the verse states? No. It says "Laqad radhiya Allahu 'ani al-mu'mineen"-'Allah was pleased with the believers.' So, any companion who was truly a believer, yes, Allah was satisfied with him. But is this verse stating all companions were believers? No, that is not what it is saying. And the proof is someone like 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy.

If you say that the verse is stating all the companions were believers, then how do you solve this dilemma of 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy? He participated for sure, so he should be included in the verse. Yet they acknowledge he died as a hypocrite, and he was an enemy to the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, and his fate was hell. So, what do we do with a person like that?

That is clear evidence that the verse is not talking about all companions, it is talking about those who were believers. And that is exactly what we say. We in the school of Ahlul Bayt, we say companions are two categories. One was were true believers and the others were not, they were not true believers. Maybe they believed some time in their life, then they changed, or they were hypocrites. And the Qur'an talks about many, many hypocrites in Madinah.

So, he died during the time of the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi. And the Prophet explained to his companions that he died as a disbeliever. See, he never openly fought the Prophet, like with an army, because the Prophet was too strong in Madinah. That is not something he could consider. So what he did, he would always come up with conspiracies, trying to conspire with others, trying to mobilize some people to abandon the Prophet. That is what he would do in Madinah, really.

But, then in the end, he never gained victory, and he died during the time of the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi? Yes, so he died before the Prophet, and he never achieved his victory of driving the Prophet out of Madinah.

Now this issue of hypocrites is something that we should examine in Makkah as well. We know the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, in Madinah, his daily headache was with hypocrites. And the Qur'an is filled with references. You have got an entire chapter called Al-Munafiqoon. You have got many verses in Surat al-Tawbah that says you are surrounded with hypocrites. Surrounded with hypocrites!

You know what is interesting about other schools of thought? During the time of the Prophet, there were many hypocrites, as the Qur'an states. The minute the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, passes away, they instantly become all good, Ya'ni [meaning] just instantaneously, they flip 180 degrees those hypocrites and they become believers. Isn't it so? Because they say their companions are all just. They are all just, then what happened to those hypocrites? What happened to them? Where did they go? Did the ground swallow them or what happened to them and what happened to those verses?

A hypocrite does not become a believer overnight. Especially when the Qur'an attacks them so much. And Allah says they are in the lowest levels of hell. "Inna al-munafiqeena fi ad-darki al-asfali min an-Nar..." (4:145)- 'Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire...'

So, what is going on over here? In fact, those who states all the companions became good after the Prophet, that is an insult to the Prophet. You know, why? Analyze a statement like that. That means the only barrier in their lifetime from becoming believers was the presence of the Prophet himself.

Because the minute the Prophet leaves, they all become good. So, the only thing that was stopping them from becoming believers was the Prophet himself. The Prophet who is Rahmatun li al-'alameen- 'Mercy to all the worlds' who is a source of guidance, is now the reason why they are not believing. Can you accept that? Really, that is what it boils down to.

As long as the Prophet was present, there were hypocrites. The minute he leaves, he is out of the picture, Allahu Akbar, they become so good and so just. And we should follow all of them and accept all of them as just companions.

So, that means the presence, the blessed presence of the Prophet was a barrier to their guidance. Who can accept that? How can a Muslim accept that? The Qur'an says the Prophet is a source of guidance. And what these guys state, no Bi 'l-aks [athe contrary]-the exact opposite.

The Prophet's presence was a barrier from having these Munafiqeen [hypocrites] becoming good people and joining the religion of Islam with a pure heart. Because the minute he leaves, somehow, they become good. So, the only thing that changed was the absence of the Prophet. So, the problem was his presence then. Can we accept that? What happened to those hypocrites?

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