Surely the guilty shall not prosper!

 

إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ 

 

The Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) used in the above verse (last part of verse 10:17) has been understood by some to signify such things as longevity, worldly prosperity and other worldly attainments. Under this false impression, they tend to believe that if a claimant to prophethood attains material prosperity and longevity or if his message is spread around, then he ought to be considered a genuine Prophet because he has indeed attained 'prosperity'. Had he been an impostor, it is argued, he would soon have been assassinated, or would have starved to death, and, in any case, his message would not have spread around. Such an absurd line of argument can only be pursued by those who are altogether ignorant of the concept of falah (prosperity) as envisaged in the Qur'an, who are unaware of God's law of respite regarding evil-doers, and who are altogether unappreciative of the special meaning in which the term has been employed in the present context.
In order to fully understand what is meant by saying that 'the guilty shall not prosper', a number of things ought to be borne in mind. In the first place, the Qur'anic statement that "the guilty shall not prosper' is not made with a view to providing a yardstick that might be applied by people so as to determine the truth or falsity of the claimants of prophethood. The verse does not seek to stress that all those who 'prosper' after claiming to be a Prophet are truly Prophets, and that those who do not prosper after making such a claim are not so. The point of emphasis here is altogether different. Here the Prophet (peace be on him) is being made to say that since he knows fully that those guilty of inventing lies against Allah could not prosper, he would not dare make any claim to prophethood if such a claim was false.
On the other hand, the Prophet (peace be on him) also knew that the unbelievers were guilty of rejecting the true signs of God and of declaring a true Prophet of God to be an impostor. In view of that monstrous guilt, it was quite apparent to the Prophet (peace be on him) that they would not prosper.
Moreover, the Qur'anic term falah (prosperity, success) has not been used in the limited sense of worldly success. Rather, it denotes that enduring success which admits of no failure regardless of whether one is able to achieve success in the present phase of one's existence or not. it is quite possible that someone who calls people to falsehood might enjoy life and nourish in a worldly sense, and he might even be able to attain a substantial following for his message. But this is not true prosperity or success; rather it constitutes total loss and failure. Contrarily, it is also possible that someone who calls people to the truth might be exposed to much persecution and be overwhelmed by pain and suffering. It is possible that even before he is able to create any significant following, he is continually subjected to persecution and torture. In the Qur'anic view, such an apparently tragic end constitutes the very zenith of such a person's success rather than his failure.
Moreover, it should be remembered that it has been amply elucidated in the Qur'an that God does not punish evil-doers instantly: that He rather grants them a fair opportunity to mend their ways. Not only that, if the evil-doers misuse the respite granted by God to perpetrate further wrongs, they are sometimes granted an even further respite. In fact, at times a variety of worldly favours are bestowed upon such evil-doers in order that the potential for wickedness inherent in them might be fully exposed by their actions, proving that they do indeed deserve a very severe punishment. Hence, if an impostor continues to enjoy periods of respite and if worldly favours are lavished upon him this should not in any way give rise to the notion that he is on the right path.
In the same way as God grants respite to other evil-doers. He also grants respite to impostors. There are no grounds whatsoever for believing that the respite granted to other evil-doers would not be granted to those impostors who lay false claim to prophethood. We may well call to mind that Satan himself has been granted a respite until Doomsday, It has never been indicated that although Satan is granted a free hand to misguide human beings, as soon as he throws up an impostor claiming prophethood such a venture is instantly nipped in the bud.
In order to refute the view expressed above it is possible that someone may refer to the following verse of the Qur'an: Now if he [i.e. Muhammad] would have made up, ascribed some sayings to Us, We would indeed have seized him by the right hand, and then indeed would have cut his life-vein (al-Haqqah 69: 44-6).
Even a little reflection makes it obvious that the verse in question does not contradict the view we have expressed above. For, what the present verse says relates to a principle which God follows in dealing with true Prophets. Were any such Prophet to falsely claim something to be a revelation from God, he would instantly be seized by God's wrath. To argue to the contrary that all those who are not seized by God's wrath are necessarily genuine Prophets is simply a logical fallacy devoid of any justification. For the threat of instant Divine wrath embodied in this verse is applicable only to true Prophets, and not to impostors who, like other evil-doers, are granted a respite.
This can be well understood if we bear in mind the disciplinary rules laid down by different governments for their officials. It is obvious that those rules are not enforced in respect of ordinary citizens. Were the latter to lay any false claim to being a government official, he would be subjected to the normal rules of the criminal code relating to the conviction of those who are guilty of fraud rather than to the disciplinary rules meant for government officials. Under this analogy, an impostor who claims to be a Prophet, would be dealt with by God along with other evil-doers who commit evil, and who, as we know, are not necessarily punished immediately.
In any case, as we have pointed out earlier, the verses quoted above were not revealed so as to provide the criterion to judge the truth of anyone who lays claim to prophethood. This verse should not be considered to mean that if a celestial hand stretches forth to cut off the life-vein of a claimant to prophethood, such a person is an impostor; and if that does not happen, he is a genuine Prophet. Such a weird criterion would have been needed only if no other means were available to judge the genuineness of a claimant to prophethood. But as things stand, a Prophet is known by his character, by his work, and by the contents of his message. (Tafheemul Quran)

Competing in Sin

If there is a phrase that can describe the world today, it has to be "Competing in Sin!"

Many Muslim governments, groups and individuals have taken an un-Islamic path and are trying to do what non-Muslim governments, groups and individuals are doing. It is a competition in sin and Muslims are losing. About fourteen hundred years ago, one of the most beloved person of the Muslim ummah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to a military commander and said:

Sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got. Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.  

Competing in Sin!

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The Invasion of Tabuk in Rajab, in the year 9 A.H.

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The Invasion of Tabuk in Rajab, in the year 9 A.H.

 

The invasion and the conquest of Makkah was considered a decisive one between the truth and the error. As a result of which, the Arabs had no more doubt in Muhammad’s mission. Thus we see that things went contrary to the pagans’ expectations. People started to embrace Islam, the religion of Allâh, in great numbers. This is manifested clearly in the chapter — The delegations, of this book. It can also be deduced out of the enormous number of people who shared in the Hajjatul-Wadâ (Farewell Pilgrimage). All domestic troubles came to an end. Muslims, eventually felt at ease and started setting up the teachings of Allâh’s Laws and intensifying the Call to Islam.

 

 

The Underlying Reasons

 

The Byzantine power, which was considered the greatest military force on earth at that time, showed an unjustifiable opposition towards Muslims. As we have already mentioned, their opposition started at killing the ambassador of the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him), Al-Harith bin ‘Umair Al-Azdi, by Sharhabeel bin ‘Amr Al-Ghassani. The ambassador was then carrying a message from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the ruler of Busra. We have also stated that the Prophet consequently dispatched a brigade under the command of Zaid bin Haritha, who had a fierce fight against the Byzantines at Mu’tah. Although Muslim forces could not have revenge on those haughty overproud tyrants, the confrontation itself had a great impression on the Arabs, all over Arabia.

Caesar — who could neither ignore the great benefit thMu’tah Battle had brought to Muslims, nor could he disregard the Arab tribes’ expectations of independence, and their hopes of getting free from his influence and reign, nor he could ignore their alliance to the Muslims — realizing all that, Caesar was aware of the progressive danger threatening his borders, especially Ash-Sham-fronts which were neighbouring Arab lands. So he concluded that demolition of the Muslims power had grown an urgent necessity. This decision of his should, in his opinion, be achieved before the Muslims become too powerful to conquer, and raise troubles and unrest in the adjacent Arab territories.

To meet these exigencies, Caesar mustered a huge army of the Byzantines and pro-Roman Ghassanide tribes to launch a decisive bloody battle against the Muslims.

 

 

General News about the Byzantines and Ghassanide Preparations for War

 

No sooner news about the Byzantine’s preparations for a decisive invasion against Muslims reached Madinah than fear spread among them. They started to envisage the Byzantine invasion in the least sound they could hear. This could be clearly worked out of what had happened to ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab one day.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) had taken an oath to stay off his wives for a month in the ninth year of Al-Hijra. Therefore, he deserted them and kept off in a private place. At the beginning, the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh were puzzled and could not work out the reason for such behaviour. They thought the Prophet (peace be upon him) had divorced them and that was why he was grieved, disturbed and upset. In ‘Umar’s version of the very story he says: “I used to have a Helper friend who often informed me about what happened if I weren’t present, and in return I always informed him of what had taken place during his absence. They both lived in the high part of Madinah. Both of them used to call at the Prophet alternatively during that time of suspense. Then one day I heard my friend, knock at the door saying: “Open up! Open up!” I asked wondering, “What’s the matter? Has the Ghassanide come?” “No it is more serious than that. The Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) has deserted his wives.”

In another version, ‘Umar said, “We talked about Ghassanide preparations to invade us. When it was his turn to convey the news to me, he went down and returned in the evening. He knocked at the door violently and said ‘Is he sleeping?’ I was terrified but I went out to meet him. ‘Something serious had taken place.’ He said. ‘Has the Ghassaindes arrived?’ Said I. ‘No,’ he said, ‘it is greater and more serious. The Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) has divorced his wives.’”

This state of too much alertness manifests clearly the seriousness of the situation that Muslims began to experience. The seriousness of the situation was confirmed to a large degree by the hypocrites behaviour, when news about the Byzantines’ preparations reached Madinah. The fact that the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) won all the battles he fought, and that no power on earth could make him terrified, and that he had always proved to be able to overcome all the obstacles that stood in his way - did not prevent the hypocrites, who concealed evil in their hearts, from expecting an affliction to fall upon the Muslims and Islam.

They used to harbour evil and ill-intentions against the whole process of Islam and the Muslims. On grounds of illusory hopes of destroying this great religious edifice, they erected a hotbed of conspiracy and intrigue in the form of a mosque — Masjid-e-Darar (the mosque of harm). They approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) with the request that he should come and consecrate the place by praying in it himself. As he was at the moment about to start for Tabuk, he deferred compliance with their request till his return. Meanwhile he came to know through Divine Revelation that it was not a Mosque for devotion and prayer but a meeting place for the anti-Islamic elements. On his return, therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent a party to demolish the new structure.

 

 

Particular News about the Byzantine and Ghassanide Preparations for War

 

A magnified image of the prominent danger threatening the Muslims life was carried to them by the Nabateans who brought oil from Ash-Sham to Madinah. They carried news about Heraclius’ preparations and equipment of an enormous army counting over forty thousand fighters besides Lukham, Judham and other tribes allied to the Byzantines. They said that its vanguard had already reached Al-Balqâ’. Thus was the grave situation standing in ambush for the Muslims. The general situation was aggravated seriously by other adverse factors of too much hot weather, drought and the rough and rugged distance they had to cover in case they decided to encounter the imminent danger.

The Messenger of Allâh’s (peace be upon him) concept and estimation of the situation and its development was more precise and accurate than all others. He thought that if he tarried or dealt passively with the situation in such a way that might enable the Byzantines to paddle through the Islamic controlled provinces or to go as far as Madinah, this would — amid these circumstances — leave the most awful impression on Islam as well as on the Muslims’ military credibility.

The pre-Islamic beliefs and traditions (Al-Jahiliyah) which were at that time dying because of the strong decisive blow that they had already had at Hunain, could have had a way to come back to life once again in such an environment. The hypocrites who were conspiring against the Muslims so that they might stab them in the back whereas Byzantines would attack them from the front. If such a thing came to light and they succeeded in their evil attempts, the Prophet and his Companions’ efforts to spread Islam would collapse and their profits which were the consequences of successive and constant fights and invasions would be invalidated. The Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) realised all that very well. So — in spite of the hardships and drought that Muslims were suffering from — the Prophet (peace be upon him) was determined that the Muslims should invade the Byzantines and fight a decisive battle at their own borders. He was determined not to tarry at all in order to thwart any Roman attempt to approach the land of Islam.

When the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) had made up his mind and took his final decision, he ordered his Companions to get ready for war and sent for the Makkans and the other Arab tribes asking for their assistance.

Contrary to his habit of concealing his real intention of the invasion by means of declaring a false one, he announced openly his intention of meeting the Byzantines and fighting them. He cleared the situation to his people so that they would get ready, and urged them to fight in the way of Allâh. On this occasion a part of Surat Bara’a (Chapter 9 — The Repentance) was sent down by Allâh, urging them to steadfastness and stamina.

On the other hand, the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) cherished them to pay charities and to spend the best of their fortunes in the way of Allâh.

No sooner had the Muslims heard the voice of the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) calling them to fight the Byzantines than they rushed to comply with his orders. With great speed they started getting ready for war. Tribes and phratries from here and there began pouring in Madinah. Almost all the Muslims responded positively. Only those who had weakness at their hearts favoured to stay behind. They were only three people. Even the needy and the poor who could not afford a ride came to the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) asking for one so that they would be able to share in the fight against the Byzantines. But when he said:

  • “...‘I can find no mounts for you’ they turned back while their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend (for Jihad).” [9:92]
  • The Muslims raced to spend out money and to pay charities to provide this invasion. ‘Uthman, for instance, who had already rigged two hundred, saddled camels to travel to Ash-Sham, presented them all with two hundred o(of gold) as charity. He also fetched a thousand dinars and cast them all into the lap of the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him), who turned them over and said: “From this day on nothing will harm ‘Uthman regardless of what he does.” Again and again ‘Uthman gave till his charity toped to nine hundred camels and a hundred horses, besides the money he paid.

    Abdur Rahman bin ‘Awf, on his side, paid two hundred silver ounces, whereas Abu Bakr paid the whole money he had and left nothing but Allâh and His Messenger as a fortune for his family. ‘Umar paid half his fortune. Al-‘Abbas gifted a lot of money. Talhah, Sa‘d bin ‘Ubadah and Muhammad bin Maslamah, gave money for the welfare of the invasion. ‘Asim bin ‘Adi, on his turn, offered ninety camel-burdens of dates. People raced to pay little and much charities alike. One of them gave the only half bushel (or the only bushel) he owned. Women shared in this competition by giving the things they owned; such as musk, armlets, anklets, ear-rings and rings. No one abstained from spending out money, or was too mean to grant money or anything except the hypocrites:

  • “Those who defame such of the believers who give charity (in Allâh’s cause) voluntarily, and those who could not find to give charity (in Allâh’s cause) except what is available to them, so they mock at them (believers).” [9:79]
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    The Muslim Army is leaving for Tabuk

     

    Upon accomplishing the equipment of the army, the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) ordained that Muhammad bin Maslamah Al-Ansari should be appointed over Madinah — in another version Siba‘ bin ‘Arftah. To ‘Ali bin Abu Talib he entrusted his family’s safety and affairs and ordered him to stay with them. This move made the hypocrites undervalue ‘Ali, so he followed the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) and caught up with him. But the Prophet made ‘Ali turn back to Madinah after saying: “Would it not suffice you to be my successor in the way that Aaron (Harun) was to Moses’?” Then he proceeded saying: “But no Prophet succeeds me.”

    On Thursday, the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) marched northwards to Tabuk. The army that numbered thirty thousand fighters was a great one, when compared with the previous armies of Islam. Muslims had never marched with such a great number before.

    Despite all the gifts of wealth and mounts the army was not perfectly equipped. The shortage of provisions and mounts was so serious that eighteen men mounted one camel alternatively. As for provisions, members of the army at times had to eat the leaves of trees till their lips got swollen. Some others had to slaughter camels — though they were so dear — so that they could drink the water of their stomach; that is why that army was called “The army of distress”.

    On their way to Tabuk, the army of Islam passed by Al-Hijr — which was the native land of Thamud who cut out (huge) rocks in the valley; that is “Al-Qura Valley” of today. They watered from its well but later the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) told them not to drink of that water, nor perform the ablution with it. The dough they made, he asked them to feed their camels with. He forbade them to eat anything whatsoever of it. As an alternative he told them to water from that well which Prophet Salih’s she-camel used to water from.

    On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar: “Upon passing by Al-Hijr the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

  • “Do not enter the houses of those who erred themselves lest what had happened to them would afflict you, but if you had to do such a thing let it be associated with weeping.”
  • Then he raised his head up and accelerated his strides till he passed the valley out.”

    Shortage of water and the army’s need to it made them complain to the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) about that. So he supplicated Allâh, who sent a rainful cloud. It rained and so all people drank and supplied themselves with their need of water.

    When they drew near Tabuk, the Prophet said: “If Allâh will, tomorrow you will arrive at Tabuk spring. You will not get there before daytime. So whoever reaches it should not touch its water; but wait till I come.” Mu‘adh said: “When we reached the spring it used to gush forth some water. We found that two men had already preceded us to it. The Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) asked them: ‘Have you touched its water?’ They replied: ‘Yes’. He said what Allâh inspired him to say, then he scooped up little water of that spring, thin stream which gathered together, he washed his face and hand with it and poured it back into it; consequently plenty of water spouted out of it so people watered. ‘Mu‘adh’, said the Messenger of Allâh, ‘if you were doomed to live long life you will see in here fields full of vegetation.’

    On the way to Tabuk, or as soon as they reached Tabuk, the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) said: ‘Severe wind will blow tonight, so none of you should stand up. Whoever has a camel should tie it up.’ Later on when the strong wind blew, one of the men stood up and the wind carried him away to Tai’ Mountain.

    All the way long the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) was intent on the performance of the combined prayer of noon and the afternoon; and so did he with sunset and evening prayers. His prayers for both were either pre-time or post-time prayers.

     

     

    The Army of Islam at Tabuk

     

    Arriving at Tabuk and camping there, the Muslim army was ready to face the enemy. There, the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) delivered an eloquent speech that included the most inclusive words. In that speech he urged the Muslims to seek the welfare of this world and the world to come. He warned and cherished them and gave them good tidings. By doing that he cherished those who were broken in spirits, and blocked up the gap of shortage and mess they were suffering from due to lack of supplies, food and other substances.

    Upon learning of the Muslims’ march, the Byzantines and their allies were so terrified that none of them dared set out to fight. On the contrary they scattered inside their territory. It brought, in itself, a good credit to the Muslim forces. That had gained military reputation in the mid and remote lands of Arabian Peninsula. The great and serious political profits that the Muslim forces had obtained, were far better than the ones they could have acquired if the two armies had been engaged in military confrontation.

    The Head of Ailah, Yahna bin Rawbah came to the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him), made peace with him and paid him the tribute (Al-Jizya). Both of Jarba’ and Adhruh peoples paid him tribute, as well. So the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) gave each a guarantee letter, similar to Yahna’s, in which he says:

  • “In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

    This is a guarantee of protection from Allâh and Muhammad the Prophet, the Messenger of Allâh, to Yahna bin Rawbah and the people of Ailah; their ships, their caravans on land and sea shall have the custody of Allâh and the Prophet Muhammad, he and whosoever are with him of Ash-Sham people and those of the sea. Whosoever contravenes this treaty, his wealth shall not save him; it shall be the fair prize of him that takes it. Now it should not be lawful to hinder the men from any springs which they have been in the habit of frequenting, nor from any journeys they desire to make, whether by sea or by land.”

  • The Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) dispatched Khalid bin Al-Waleed at the head of four hundred and fifty horsemen to ‘Ukaidir Dumat Al-Jandal and said to him: “You will see him hunting oryxes.” So when Khalid drew near his castle and was as far as an eye-sight range, he saw the oryxes coming out rubbing their horns against the castle gate. As it was a moony night Khalid could see Ukaidir come out to hunt them, so he captured him — though he was surrounded by his men — and brought him back to the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him), who spared his life and made peace with him for the payment of two thousand camels, eight hundred heads of cattle, four hundred armours and four hundred lances. He obliged him to recognize the duty of paying tribute and charged him with cit from Dumat, Tabuk, Ailah and Taima’.

    The tribes, who used to ally the Byzantines, became quite certain that their dependence oinn their former masters came to an end. Therefore they turned into being pro-Muslims. The Islamic state had therefore enlarged its borders to an extent that it, touched the Byzantines’ and their agents’ borders. So we see that the Byzantine agents role was over.

     

     

    Returning to Madinah

     

    The Muslim army returned from Tabuk victoriously, undeceived or wronged. That was because Allâh had sufficed them the evils of fight.

    On the way back and at a mountain road, twelve hypocrites sought the Prophet’s life and that was while he was passing along that mountain road with only Ammar holding the rein of his she-camel and Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman driving it, at the time that people had already gone down into the bottom of the valley.

    The hypocrites seized that opportunity to seek the Prophet’s life. As the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) and his two companions were moving along, they heard thrusts of people coming towards him from behind with their faces veiled. Hudhaifa, who was sent by the Prophet to see what was going on, saw them and stroke their mounts’ faces with a crook in his hand and Allâh cast fear into their hearts. They fled away and overtook their people.

    However, Hudhaifa named them to the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) and informed him of their intentions. So that was why Hudhaifa was called the “confidant” of the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him). About this event Allâh, the Exalted says:

  • “And they resolved that [plot to murder Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)] which they were unable to carry out.” [9:74]
  • When his headquarters, Madinah, began to loom at the horizon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “This is a cheerful sight. This is Uhud, which is a mountain, we like it and it likes us.” When the Madinese learnt of their arrival they set out to meet the army. Women, youths, youngsters and small children went out of town to celebrate their home-return wholeheartedly singing:

  • “The full moon shone down upon us, through the traits of Al-Wada‘ Mountain.
    Thanks is due to us, as long as a supplicator invokes to Allâh..”
  • The Messenger of Allâh ’s march to Tabuk was in Rajab and his return in Ramadan. So we see that this Ghazwah took fifty days, twenty days of which were spent in Tabuk and the others on the way to and fro. Tabuk Invasion was the last one made by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

     

     

    The People Who lagged Behind

     

    Due to its particular circumstances, this invasion was a peculiar severe trial provided by Allâh only to try the believers’Faith and sort them out of others. This is Allâh’s permanent Will in such circumstances. In this respect He says:

  • “Allâh will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good.” [3:179]
  • Lagging and hanging back from full participation in that invasion amounted to the degree of hypocrisy. Whenever the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) was informed of a man’s lingering, he would say: “Leave him alone! If Allâh knows him to be good He will enable him to follow you; but if he were not so, Allâh would relieve us of him.”

    Nobody stayed behind except those who were either hindered by a serious excuse or the hypocrites who told lies to Allâh and His Messenger.

    Some of those hypocrites’ lingering was due to an excuse based on forgery and delusion. Some others tarried but didn’t ask for an instant permission. But there were three believers who unjustifiably lingered. They were the ones whom Allâh tried their Faith, but later on He turned to them in mercy and accepted their repentance.

    As soon as the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) had entered Madinah, he prayed two Rak‘a then he sat to receive his people. The hypocrites who were over eighty men came and offered various kinds of excuses and started swearing. The Prophet acknowledged their excuses and invoked Allâh’s forgiveness for them but he entrusted their inner thoughts and Faith to Allâh.

    As for the three faithful believers — Ka‘b bin Malik, Murara bin Ar-Rabi‘, and Hilal bin Omaiyah — who favoured telling the truth, the Messenger of Allâh ??? ???? ???? ???? bade his Companions not to talk to them.

    Consequently they were subject to a severe boycott and were excluded from the life of the community. Everybody turned them their back. So they felt as if the whole land had become constrained to them in spite of its spaciousness and they felt awkward and uneasy. The hard times they lived and which lasted for over forty days were towered by an order to them to forsake their wives. After fifty days’ boycott Allâh turned to them and revealed that in Qur’ân:

  • “And (He did forgive also) the three [whom the Prophet (peace be upon him)] left (i.e. he did not give his judgement in their case, and their case was suspended for Allâh’s Decision) till for them the earth, vast as it is, was straitened and their ownselves were straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allâh, and no refuge but with Him. Then, He accepted their repentance, that they might repent (unto Him). Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” [9:118]
  • Allâh’s turning to them was a great joy for both Muslims and the three concerned. The joy of the stayers behind was unaccountable in aim and degree. It was the happiest day in their lives. The good tiding cherished them and filled their hearts with delight. As for those who lingered due to disability or sickness or any other serious excuse, Allâh, the Exalted said about them:

  • “There is no blame on those who are weak or ill or who find no resources to spend [in holy warfare (Jihad)], if they are sincere (in duty) to Allâh and His Messenger.” [9:91]
  • When he approached Madinah, the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) said:

  • “Inside Madinah, there are certain men, who though being left back due to serious excuses, they have, all the time, been with you. Lingerers as they are, they have been while you were passing valleys or walking along roads.” “Do you mean that they have done that while they are still in Madinah?” They wondered. “Yes though they are in Madinah.” The Prophet said.
  •  

     

    The Invasion of Tabuk and its Far-Reaching Ramifications

     

    The effect of this invasion is great as regards extending and confirming the Muslims’ influence and domination on the Arabian Peninsula. It was quite obvious to everybody that no power but Islam’s would live long among the Arabs. The remainders of Jahiliyin and hypocrites — who used to conspire steadily against the Muslims and who perpetually relied on Byzantine power when they were in need of support or help — these people lost their expectations and desires of ever reclaiming their ex-influence. Realizing that there was no way out and that they were to submit to the fait accompli, they gave up their attempts.

    From that time on, hypocrites were no longer treated leniently or even gently by the Muslims. Allâh not only bade Muslims to treat them severely but He also forbade them to take their gift charities or perform prayer on their dead, or ask Allâh’s forgiveness for them or even visit their tombs. Allâh bade the Muslims to demolish the mosque, which they verily appointed and used as a hiding place where they might practise their plots, conspiracy and deceit. Some Qur’ânic verses were sent down disclosing them publicly and utterly so that everybody in Madinah got to know their reality.

    The great impact that this invasion produced could be perceived in of the great number of delegations who came successively to meet the Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him). Naturally, deputations used to come to meet him at the end of an invasion particularly after Makkah Conquest but they were not as many as these nor were they as frequent as they were then in the wake of Tabuk event. It was certainly the greatest.

     

     

    The Qur’ânic Verses Relating to this Invasion

     

    Many a verse of Bara’a (Tauba) Chapter handling the event of Tabuk were revealed. Some verses were revealed before the march, while others after setting out for Tabuk, i.e.in the context of the battle. Some other verses were also revealed on the Prophet’s arrival in Madinah. All of which covered the incidents that featured this invasion: the immanent circumstances of the battle, exposure of the hypocrites, the prerogatives and special rank earmarked for the strivers in the cause of Allâh, acceptance of the repentance of the truthful believers who slackened and those who hung back, etc.

    Some Important Events that featured that Year:

    During this year many events of great significance took place. They were:

    1. After the Messenger’s return from Tabuk, the sworn allegation of infidelity between ‘Uwaimir Al-‘Ajlani and his wife took place.
    2. Pelting with stones the Ghamidiyah woman who confessed committing adultery. She was pelted with stones only after weaning her child off her breast milk.
    3. Negus Ashama; the king of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), died so the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed prayer in absentia for him.
    4. The death of Umm Kulthum, the daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Prophet felt extremely sad at her death. “Had I got a third daughter, I would let you marry her.” He said to ‘Uthman.
    5. The death of ‘Abdullah bin Abi Salool, the head of hypocrites, after the Prophet’s return from Tabuk. The Messenger of Allâh (peace be upon him) asked Allâh’s forgiveness for him. He also prayed for him in spite of ‘Umar’s disapproval and his attempt to prevent him from doing that. Later on a Qur’ânic verse was revealed attesting to ‘Umar’s right viewpoint.

    Short Quotes

    Some commandments to Israelites

    وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَ

    (2:83) Remember that We made a solemn covenant with the children of Israel to this effect: worship none save Allah: be good to your parents, to your relatives, to the orphans and to the helpless; speak aright with the people: establish the Salat and pay the Zakat. But with the exception of a few, you all slid back from it and are paying no heed to it even now.