The Prophet (pbuh) asked people to be just and kind. As the supreme judge and arbiter, as the leader of men, as generalissimo [head commander and chief] of a rising power, as a reformer and apostle, he had always to deal with men and their affairs. He had often to deal with mutually inimical and warring tribes when showing justice to one carried the danger of antagonizing the other, and yet he never deviated from the path of justice. In administering justice, he made no distinction between believers and nonbelievers, friends and foes, high and low. From numerous instances reported in the traditions, a few are given below.
Sakhar, a chief of a tribe, had helped Muhammad (pbuh) greatly in the siege of Taif, for which he was naturally obliged to him. Soon after, two charges were brought against Sakhar: one by Mughira of illegal confinement of his (Mughira's) aunt and the other by Banu Salim of forcible occupation of his spring by Sakhar. In both cases, he decided against Sakhar and made him undo the wrong. [Abu Dawud]
Abdullah Bin Sahal, a companion, was deputized to collect rent from Jews of Khaibar. His cousin Mahisa accompanied him but, on reaching Khaibar, they had separated. Abdullah was waylaid and done to death. Mahisa reported this tragedy to the Prophet (pbuh) but as there were no eye-witnesses to identify the guilty, he did not say anything to the Jews and paid the blood-money out of the state revenues. [Sahih Bukhari]
A woman of the Makhzoom family with good connections was found guilty of theft. For the prestige of the Quraish, some prominent people including Asmaa Bin Zaid interceded to save her from punishment. The Prophet (pbuh) refused to condone the crime and expressed displeasure saying,
"Many a community ruined itself in the past as they only punished the poor and ignored the offences of the exalted. By Allah, if Muhammad's (My) daughter Fatima would have committed theft, her hand would have been severed."[Sahih Bukhari]
The Jews, in spite of their hostility to the Prophet (pbuh), were so impressed by his impartiality and sense of justice that they used to bring their cases to him, and he decided them according to Jewish law. [Abu Dawud]
Once, while he was distributing the spoils of war, people flocked around him and one man almost fell upon him. He pushed the men with a stick causing a slight abrasion. He was so sorry about this that he told the man that he could have his revenge, but the man said, "O messenger of Allah, I forgive you." [Abu Dawud]
In his fatal illness, the Prophet (pbuh) proclaimed in a concourse assembled at his house that if he owed anything to anyone the person concerned could claim it; if he had ever hurt anyone's person, honour or property, he could have his price while he was yet in this world. A hush fell on the crowd. One man came forward to claim a few dirhams which were paid at once. [Ibn Hisham]
by Athar Husain
An excerpt from the book entitled "The Message of Mohammad," by Athar Husain.
Ignorant media, ignorant or hate-mongering "scholars" are busy in coining terms and propaganda of falsehood. Islam and its teachings are defined by the God, Almighty and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) and no one else!
A widely used term is "Islamic terrorists". Sorry, but there are NO Islamic terrorists. It is true that some with Muslim names have committed acts of murder and terror, but then there are governments, groups and individuals all over the world, some Muslim and some non-Muslims, engaged in such evil activities. When you use the word "Islamic", you associate it with the Islamic teachings. Islam does not teach evil. Islam asks for Faith, submission and obedience to God and God alone. Take it or leave it. Choice is yours. False definitions of Islam and propaganda of falsehood can only come from disciples of terror. Don't be one.
Now, let us read the following report:
Covering 150 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, Amnesty International Report 2006 is a commentary on the state of the world’s human rights. It covers a range of issues and the responsibilities of governments - big and small - armed groups and business. But the overarching message that comes through is that:
Powerful governments are playing a dangerous game with human rights.
Those with power and influence – the US, European Union members, China and Russia – have been either complicit or compromised by human rights violations in 2005 at home and abroad.
Governments continued to sacrifice principles in the name of “the war on terror”.
A year ago, almost to the day, here in this room, on behalf of Amnesty International (AI), I called for Guantánamo prison camp to be closed. What was then AI’s lone voice has now become a large and influential chorus, including opinion leaders in the US, religious figures, key governments and UN entities, including the UN Committee against Torture. The US Administration reacted strongly to our call, but in a recent interview on German TV, even President Bush said that he “would very much like to close Guantánamo and put the prisoners on trial”. We in AI strongly urge him to do that or to release them immediately.
A year is a long time in politics – but it is an even longer time if you happen to be a prisoner without charge, trial, or prospect of release in Guantánamo. Some 460 people of around 40 different nationalities remain in Guantánamo. Their desperation is evident in the large numbers of suicide attempts, in one case more than 12 times, and hunger strikes. Last Friday’s incident of the attack on prison guards was yet another sign of the desperate situation. Guantánamo is a pressure cooker waiting to explode.
Guantánamo is only the tip of the iceberg of a large network of detention centres in Iraq, Afghanistan and secret locations around the world where the US and its allies are holding thousands of prisoners without charge or trial. Last week the UN Committee against Torture asked the US delegation whether the US maintains secret detention centres, the delegate responded: “No comment”.
Duplicity and double speak have become the hallmark of the war on terror.
Senior US officials – including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and President George Bush – gave assurances that the US does not practice torture. Yet, our research over the past year has shown evidence of widespread torture and ill treatment in the US-controlled detention centres. Our research also shows that the CIA has forcibly transferred prisoners to countries where they have been tortured. The IT industry outsources software development to India – the US outsources torture to countries like Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
A new aspect of the “war on terror” in 2005 was the concrete evidence that European governments are partners in crime of the US in rendering or transferring prisoners forcibly to countries where they have been tortured. At least seven European countries have been implicated in the rendition of fourteen individuals – but so far only one country (Italy) has opened criminal prosecution against the CIA.
Public outrage has forced accountability, with investigations by the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and some national institutions, into renditions and US-run secret prisons.
Public institutions refused to undermine the prohibition on torture. The UK House of Lords rejected the argument of the government that it is lawful to introduce evidence in court proceedings that has been extracted as a result of torture by foreign agents abroad.
The US Senate adopted a law prohibiting the torture and ill treatment of prisoners in US custody anywhere in the world.
Sadly, instead of accepting and welcoming the efforts of courts and legislatures to reinstate respect for human rights, some governments found new ways to deny or dodge their international obligations
Bending to Republican pressure President Bush signed the bill prohibiting torture, but attached a statement effectively reserving the right of the executive to bypass the provision on national security grounds.
The UK professed to uphold the prohibition against torture but then, negotiated diplomatic assurances from countries that have a record of torture so that it could freely return people, including persons who had been tortured there previously. Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Egypt, Algeria are all countries with which the UK has obtained or is in the process of obtaining such guarantees.
The position in international law is clear. Nothing can justify torture and ill treatment. Just as we must condemn terrorist attacks on civilians in the strongest possible terms, we must resist claims by governments that terror can be fought with torture. Such claims are misleading, dangerous and simply wrong – you cannot extinguish a fire with petrol.
When the US government ignores the absolute prohibition on torture and fails to investigate abuses by its soldiers, when the European governments bury their collective heads in the sand and refuse to question their own record on renditions, racism or refugees, they damage their ability to champion human rights elsewhere in the world.
Not every human rights abuse can be attributed to the war on terror but there is no doubt that it has given a new lease of life to old fashioned repression in some parts of the world.
In 2005 it provided an effective smoke screen for governments in the Middle East and North Africa to carry on with arbitrary detention, torture, unfair trial, suppression of political dissent, ethnic persecution, for instance of Kurds and religious minorities. These governments today do with greater confidence what they did in the past with fear of criticism. The war on terror has seen the rehabilitation of Libya, formerly considered a terrorist state, with the US re-establishing diplomatic ties, and the UK negotiating diplomatic assurances. On Sunday a Swiss Amnesty member in Tunisia was expelled, and yesterday a Tunisian member was arrested and then released – just two cases among many of harassment of human rights defenders.
But the real cost of the war on terror has not only been in the curtailment of civil liberties but in the lives and livelihoods of the poor.
2005 saw the biggest ever mobilization of civil society and public support to eradicate poverty. But in response, the UN Summit showed governments miserably failing to match promise to performance on the Millennium Development Goals. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and riots in France, 2005 was also a year which showed the glaring disparity, discrimination and alienation in the heart of richest countries of the world.
Women’s human rights have been another hidden casualty of the war on terror. March 2005 marked the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Platform of Action for Women – but rather than building on the progress, it was spent resisting the backlash from conservative forces who have gained new lease of life in the current security environment. War on terror gets attention – the war on women goes unnoticed, with hundreds of women, for instance, in Mexico and Guatemala being killed with impunity; or 25% of women globally facing sexual abuse at the hands of their partner.
At a time of unprecedented globalization, with barriers to goods and capital being dismantled, 2005 saw the building of borders against refugees and migrants. Ignoring the economic exploitation of illegal migrants, governments focussed instead on building borders – whether against Burmese workers in Thailand, or African migrants in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and now in the US.
The security agenda of the powerful and privileged hijacked the energy and attention of the world from serious human rights crises.
Social development was not the only casualty. The forgotten conflicts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East took their toll. Israel and the Occupied Territories also slipped off the international agenda in 2005, deepening the distress and despair of Palestinians and the fear of Israelis.
Powerful governments squandered their resources and spend their capacity in pursuit of military and security strategies that reaped a bloody harvest.
The score card of continued conflict and mounting human rights abuses are there for all to see in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The failure to investigate or prosecute abuses committed by their own soldiers or private security contractors undermined the claims by the Multi National Forces (MNF) that they were restoring the rule of law in the country. The current strategies of the Iraqi government and the MNF are clearly not working. When the powerful are too arrogant to review and reassess their strategies the heaviest price is paid by the poor and the powerless: in this case ordinary Iraqi women, men and children.
Governments, collectively and individually, paralysed international institutions and squandered resources and capacity in misguided military and security strategies.
Darfur was the saddest case in point in 2005. Two million people have been displaced, over 200,000 have died, thousands have been raped and the atrocities continue unabated. Intermittent attention and feeble action by the United Nations and the African Union fell pathetically short of what was needed in Darfur. China and Russia paralysed the UN Security Council to protect their oil interests and arms trade with Khartoum. The US was keen but its capacity was sapped by Iraq, and its moral authority tarnished by the war on terror.
In a year in which the UN spent much of its time discussing reform and membership of the UN Security Council, it failed to give attention to the performance of two key members – China and Russia – who have consistently allowed their narrow political and economic interests to prevail over human rights and responsibilities domestically and internationally.
Russia’s behaviour sent a strong message on human rights to its close neighbours. Its hostility to its own human rights defenders did not go unnoticed by other states with similar desires to clamp down on civil society. Russia supported Uzbekistan when it refused to allow an independent investigation into the Andizhan killings. Russia’s own approach to Chechnya was based on impunity for the abuses committed by its own security forces.
China’s rise as a global economic power places upon it greater responsibility in international relations. But China continued to show little concern for human rights at home or abroad, entering into economic partnerships with some of the most repressive regimes around the world, and continuing to restrict human rights at home.
2005 has been a year of contradictions – with signs of hope wrestling against failed promises and failures of leadership.
The overall number of conflicts worldwide has been decreasing, thanks to international conflict management, prevention and peace-building initiatives, giving hope to millions of people in countries like Angola, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In Nepal, resistance by human rights defenders, journalists and political leaders, on the one hand, and firm pressure from allies abroad on the other, forced the King to hand power back to Parliament.
Despite the shortcomings of national judicial systems, the fight against impunity continues to gain new strength with steps being taken to bring Augusto Pinochet, Alberto Fujimori and Charles Taylor to justice. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first indictments against leaders of armed groups in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The much discredited UN human rights machinery was overhauled and a new Human Rights Council has been established.
And in 2005 we saw an extraordinary display of solidarity and resistance across borders of human rights activists and ordinary people. From indigenous groups rallying in Latin America, to women asserting their rights in Asia, to mass demonstrations of migrants in US cities, the human rights idea – and the world-wide movement of people that drives it forward – is more powerful and stronger than ever.
More and more, governments are being called to account: before legislatures, in courts and other public forums. Lines, however fragile, are being drawn. Voices are being raised. This offers hope for a more principled approach to human rights and security in the future. In the long-term, this growth of civil society and mass action bodes well for the protection of human rights. There is real potential here for change.
As we look forward to 2006 it is clear that there are both opportunities and risks – through our campaigns we are putting four challenges.
First, Guantánamo must close. President Bush should keep his word. His credibility will be held hostage until he ends this shameful symbol of US abuse of power. The US and its allies must disclose the names and locations of all others held in secret detention – the detainees should be prosecuted or released.
Second, small arms are the real weapons of mass destruction. They fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. The UN Review Conference this June is an opportunity for governments to agree to an Arms Trade Treaty. We call on all governments to support it.
Third, the new UN Human Rights Council machinery will meet for the first time next month. It must not be tainted with old power games. It must insist on equal standards by all governments, whether in Darfur or Guantánamo, Chechnya or China.
Finally, the killings, rape and displacement in Darfur must stop. The Darfour Peace Agreement contains strong human rights provisions that offer a way ahead, if properly implemented. But for it to work, the UN Security Council must urgently deploy UN peacekeepers, and must not allow itself to be manipulated by the government of Sudan. Pending their deployment, the African Union monitors must be supported by the international community to carry out their work. There is a particular responsibility on the Arab states to encourage Sudan to concede to the UN operation. Arab leaders do a disservice to themselves and their people when they use solidarity as a shield to avoid their human rights responsibilities.
More than ever the world needs countries with power and influence to behave with responsibility and respect for human rights. Governments must stop playing games with human rights.
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web: http://www.amnesty.org
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Allah Subhanuhu wa-T'ala says in the Holy Quran:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ يَهْدِيهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِإِيمَانِهِمْ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ
دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Surely those who believe (in the truths revealed in the Book) and do righteous deeds their Lord will guide them aright because of their faith. Rivers shall flow beneath them in the Gardens of Bliss. Their cry in it will be: 'Glory be to You, Our Lord!', and their greeting: 'Peace!'; and their cry will always end with: 'All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe. (10:9-10)
The sequence of ideas presented here is quite significant because answers have been systematically provided to a number of highly relevant basic questions. Let us look at these answers in their sequence. Why will the righteous enter Paradise? The answer is: because they have followed the straight way in their worldly life. That is, in all matters and in every walk of life, in all affairs relating to the personal or collective life they have been righteous and have abstained from false ways.
This gives rise to another question: how were the righteous able to obtain a criterion that would enable them to distinguish, at every turn and crossroad of life, between right and wrong, between good and evil, between fair and unfair? And how did they come to have the strength to adhere to what is right and avoid what is wrong? All this, of course, came from their Lord Who bestowed upon them both the guidance which they needed to know the right way and the succour required to follow it. In answer to why their Lord bestowed upon them this guidance and succour, we are reminded that all this was in consideration for their faith.
It is also made clear that this reward is not in lieu of merely a verbal profession to faith, a profession that is no more than a formal acceptance of certain propositions. Rather, the reward is in consideration for a faith that became the moving spirit of a believer's character and personality, the force that led him lo righteous deeds and conduct. We can observe in our own physical lives that a person's survival, state of health, level of energy, and joy of living all depend upon sustenance from the right kind of food. This food, once digested, provides blood to the veins and arteries, provides energy to the whole body and enables the different limbs to function properly.
The same holds true of man's success in the moral domain. It is sound beliefs which ensure that he will have the correct outlook, sound orientation and right behaviour that will ultimately lead to his success. Such results, however, do not ensue from that kind of believing which either consists of a mere profession to faith, or is confined to some obscure corner of man's head or heart. The wholesome results mentioned above can only be produced by a faith which deeply permeates man's entire being, shaping his mental outlook, even becoming his instinct; a faith which is fully reflected in his character, conduct and outlook on life. We have just noted the importance of food. We know that the person who, in spite of eating remains like one who has not partaken of any food, would not be able to enjoy the healthy results that are the lot of the person who has fully assimilated what he ate. How can it be conceived that it would be different in the moral domain of human life? How can it be that he who remains, even after believing, like the one who does not believe, will derive the benefit and receive the reward meant for those whose believing leads to righteous living?
"...their cry will always end with: 'All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe."
This should remove any misconceptions about Paradise which seem to have been formed by some people of frail understanding. Subtly, the verse suggests that when people are admitted to Paradise, they will not instantly pounce upon the objects of their desire as the starved and hungry are wont to do when they observe food. Nor will they frantically go about giving vent to their lusts, impatiently demanding their cherished objects of enjoyment - beautiful women, wine, dissolute singing and music.
The fact is that the men of faith and righteousness who are admitted to Paradise will be those who, during their life in the world, have embellished their lives with sublime ideas and noble deeds, who have refined their emotions, who have oriented their desires in the right direction, and who have purified their conduct and character. Thus, the nobility which they have developed in their personalities will shine in even greater splendour when they set their feet in the pure and clean environment of Paradise. Those same traits which characterized their behaviour in the world will appear with even greater lustre.
The favourite occupation of such people in Paradise will be the same as during their life on the earth - to celebrate the praise of God. Likewise, their relationships in Paradise will be imbued with feelings of mutual harmony and concern for each other's well-being as had been the case in this world.
|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]
|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: