The Unlettered Prophet (39)

The Unlettered Prophet (39)


Biography

Khalid Masud

The Rewards of the Ḥudaybiyyah Treaty (cont)

1. 'Umrah al-Qaḍa'

According to the terms of the agreement, the Prophet (sws) could not offer 'umrah during that journey, but he was permitted to do so the next year, so he decided to offer the 'umrah during exactly the same days in Dhu al-Qa'dah 7th Hijri. The number of people embarking upon this journey was larger than that which had not been able to offer it the last time. The reason for this could be the environment of peace that may have prevailed after the agreement. As a preventive measure, weaponry was taken along but it was left outside the boundaries of the Ḥaram in a valley and a contingent of 200 soldiers was assigned to guard it. According to the agreement, the Quraysh leaders left Makkah for three days but the rest of the population stood in lanes and on rooftops to watch the arrival of the Muslims. After three days spent in offering the rituals of 'umrah and sacrifice of animals designated for this purpose, the Prophet (sws) gave orders for the Muslims to leave Makkah before sunset. This was the implementation of the dream which the Prophet (sws) had seen a year before. As promised by God, this entire journey was undertaken without any fear and no mischief was created from any source.

2. Acceptance of Islam by the Sons of the Quraysh

Some important sons of the Quraysh were forced to think realistically after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and subsequent successes of the Muslims and they became convinced of the truth of Islam. Thus, Khalid ibn Walid (rta) who had fought on behalf of the Quraysh in many battles was now ready to succumb to the attack of Islam itself. He left Makkah to go to Madinah to accept Islam. On the way, he met 'Amr ibn al-'As who asked him about his destination. He opened up his heart to him, thinking that he could no longer deny reality and told him that he was going to accept Islam. 'Amr ibn al-'As said that he had himself reached the same conclusion. Both of them came to the Prophet (sws) and entered the fold of Islam. Their services to the cause of Islam constitute a radiant period in the history of Islam. 'Uthman ibn Ṭalhah was friends with Khalid ibn Walid. When the latter told him that he was going to Madinah, he also was ready to go along and accepted Islam with the other two. It was also during the peace times that Mu'awiyyah ibn Sufyan came to Madinah and accepted Islam. It seems that he came in a state of great poverty. One Ḥadith relates that when a companion asked the Prophet's (sws) advice about giving Mu'awiyyah his daughter's hand in marriage, the Prophet (sws) said that he was poor. Obviously, if the son of the leader of the Quraysh was poor in Madinah, it was because he had migrated and it was not possible for him to bring any possessions, so he was still in want at that time. This is why the Prophet (sws) must have informed those asking for advice about his financial status.

3. Call to Faith during Peace Times

After the agreement on peace with the Quraysh, the believers had an opportunity to spread out within the country and preach Islam, as a result of which the new faith became well known throughout Arabia and many people embraced it. However, books of biography and history are silent on the details of this. 'Allamah Shibli writes in his Sirat al-Nabi that after the agreement, the Prophet (sws), addressing the believers, advised them that they should spread out in the country like the apostles of Jesus (sws) and call people towards Islam. Under the new circumstances, every Muslim worked for preaching according to his/her own capacity because then there was no danger of a backlash from anywhere. Obviously, every Muslim must have implemented this to the utmost possible.

It seems that during those times, tribes sent their own people to assess the situation, or to learn about the new religion. Some of the questions they raised and the answers given to them are found in books of Ḥadith. Mention is also found of the People of Safa, for whom a platform near the Masjid-e Nabawi had been built. This was their school. Some companions taught them about faith and, after gaining knowledge from the Prophet (sws), they would return to their tribe to preach themselves. It was during those times that the famous Companion, Abu Hurayrah (rta) came from the tribe Daws to learn about Islam.

Some of the tribes that had supported Muslims during the victory over Makkah and sent thousands, not even hundreds of men to serve as soldiers in their army included those that had never been mentioned before the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah such as the Banu Layth, the Banu Salim, the Banu al-Husayn etc. It is obvious that the call to religion reached them during times of peace, they were able to evaluate it and later, guided towards faith, they participated in jihad for the success of their religion. Ten thousand Muslims took part in the jihad at the time of the victory of Makkah. This could not have been possible without the Muslims, who, taking advantage of the peaceful environment, made efforts to spread the message of Islam in each and every corner of Arabia and the non believers, after having assessed the lifestyle of the Muslims at close range, recognized and accepted the truth of Islam.

Many groups were sent towards tribes in the days after the Treaty of Ḥudaybiyyah under orders to preach Islam and, if they faced resistance, to fight them. The members of these groups were few and limited. Some tribes showed an inclination towards Islam; some dispersed and others were ready to fight. Sometimes it so happened that tribes would recite the shahadah or greet them by saying al-salam u 'alaykum but the group members thought that they were doing so out of fear of getting killed and that they were really not Muslims at heart. Therefore, they dealt with them with severity. Such Muslims faced anger from the Prophet (sws). The natural result of the environment created by the agreement was that Arab tribes became curious to know more about Islam and when they thought about it without prejudice, they saw much in it to their benefit. This is why the number of Muslims increased exponentially during these times.

The Prophet (sws) also sent his ambassadors to some of the tribes. According to Ibn Sa'd, as a consequence of one such ambassadorship, Farwah ibn 'Amr, the leader of the Banu Jazam accepted Islam. Jayfar and 'Abd, leaders of the tribe Azd also came within the fold of Islam. Ghassan, Quḍa'ah and the Banu 'Adhra' also accepted Islam during this period. A large number of people from the Banu Ḥanifah came to Madinah and accepted Islam.

The tribes which had expressed their loyalty with the Prophet (sws) before the victory of Makkah are:

i. Banu Sa'd ibn Bakr

Ḍammam ibn Tha'labah, the leader of this tribe came to Madinah and tied his camel to the door of the mosque. When he entered the mosque, the Prophet (sws) was sitting among his companions. Ḍammam asked while standing: "Which among you is the grandson of 'Abd al-Muṭṭalib?" The Prophet (sws) answered that it was he. He asked: "Are you Muhammad (sws)?" the Prophet replied in the affirmative. He said: "O' Ibn al-Muṭṭalib! I will ask you a few questions, but in an abrupt manner. Do not take offence." The Prophet (sws) answered that he should go ahead and ask; he would not be offended. Ḍammam asked: "I ask you in the name of your Lord, the Lord of your forefathers and the Lord of the coming generations, is it true that God has sent you as His Messenger?" The Prophet (sws) answered: "Yes! God is witness". Ḍammam again asked him in the name of God, whether He had instructed him that they should worship Him only, not associate anyone with Him and forget all those idols that had been worshipped by their ancestors. The Prophet (sws) answered: "Yes! God is witness to this." He asked again: has God ordered us to offer the prayer five times a day?" The Prophet (sws) answered: "Yes! God is witness." In this way, Ḍammam asked about other obligations: the zakah, the fast, the hajj and the rest of instructions and the Prophet (sws) answered by holding God as witness. Finally, Ḍammam recited shahadah for the unity of God and the messengership of the Prophet (sws) and promised that he would implement the obligations advised by the Prophet (sws), and not add or subtract from them. After this, he turned and mounted his camel. He gave a full account to his tribe upon his return and the entire tribe accepted Islam.[1]

ii. Mazinah

Four hundred people of this tribe came and accepted Islam. Then they expressed a desire to migrate but their abode was not very far from Madinah, so the Prophet (sws) declared their place of residence as one of migration. They remained active in preaching Islam and took part in later battles fought for Islam.

iii. 'Abd al-Qays

A group comprising 14 members of this tribe came to accept Islam and gain knowledge about its instructions. They complained that they came across dangerous non-believers so they could come to Madinah only to the most famous Ḥaram. According to one narrative, the leadership of the group was with Mundhir ibn 'A'idh, but according to Ibn Hisham, Jarud ibn 'Amr was leading it. He was a Christian. He asked: "O Muhammad! I am already a follower of a divine religion. If I leave it for yours, are you a witness to your faith being the true one?" The Prophet (sws) said that he gave a guarantee that God had provided him with a religion better than his previous one. Thus, Jarud became a Muslim. The tribe of 'Abd Qays was famous for extracting wine by fermenting it in special utensils. They asked: "O Messenger of God! May we be sacrificed for you! Which ones from among drinks are allowed?" The Prophet (sws) answered: "Do not drink that which is made in naqir." The people, surprised, asked what he knew of naqir. The Prophet (sws) replied:" You empty the centre of the bark of a tree. That is the naqir." The Prophet (sws) also forbade drinking that which was made in dubba (pumpkin) and muzaffat (utensils that had their pores blocked) and forbade any use of such pots so that these people would change their livelihood. Then he instructed them about the basic tenets of Islam: shahadah, salah, zakah, fasting, giving one fifth of war booty towards the cause of God and His Prophet.[2]

iv. Ṭay

This was the tribe of the reputedly magnanimous leader, Ḥatim Ṭa'i. His son, 'Adi ibn Ḥatim was its king and very influential. He had accepted Christianity and believed that it was the right religion. Upon hearing of the Prophet's victories, he was angry, and when the Muslims turned their attention to North of Arabia, he went towards Syria. When Muslims attacked his region, his daughter was among the captives. She introduced herself to the Prophet (sws) and asked for her life to be saved. The Prophet set her free after giving her gifts of clothes, equipping her for the journey and giving her animals to transport her. When she reached Syria and met her brother, she was quite upset with him, saying that if Mohammed (sws) was a prophet, there was good in supporting him; if he was a king, there was no humiliation in agreeing to obey him. 'Adi decided to go to Madinah. He went there and introduced himself when the Prophet (sws) invited him to his house. On the way, an old woman stopped the Prophet (sws) and expressed her need. The discussion took longer than necessary and 'Adi thought that a person who gave so much time to a lowly old woman could not be a king. When they entered the house, the Prophet (sws) spread out his cushion on the floor and asked 'Adi to sit on it while he took the floor. This again impressed 'Adi. The Prophet (sws) asked: " 'Adi, do you belong to the Christian sect of Kurkusi?" 'Adi replied in the affirmative. The Prophet (sws) asked if he took one fourth of war booty from his people as their leader. 'Adi again said yes. The Prophet (sws) said that this was not allowed in his religion. 'Adi said that he was right and thought to himself that he must really be a messenger of God; ordinary people would not have known this fact. Then the Prophet (sws) said: "Perhaps the poverty of my companions, the large number of their enemies and their own lesser number is stopping you from entering my faith. Remember that soon these people shall possess so much wealth that they will wish to give it away but there will be no one to take it. You think that rule will always be with others, but remember that the white palaces of Babul will be with Muslims soon." Hearing this, 'Adi accepted Islam.[3]

A group under the lead of Zayd al-Khayl from the tribe of Ṭay reached Madinah. The Prophet (sws) presented the details of the religion to them and all of its members accepted Islam. The Prophet (sws) changed the name of the leader to Zayd al-Khayl.

v. Banu Tamim

Aqra' ibn Ḥabis, 'Aṭarud and Zabarqan ibn Badar were part of the group of this tribe. In accordance with their tradition, upon reaching Madinah, they sang praises in verse of their tribe and its leaders. The Prophet (sws) asked Ḥassan ibn Thabit (rta) to answer them. After this, one of their articulate orators gave a speech and the Prophet (sws) again asked one of his companions to answer. The group accepted that the orators and poets of the Prophet (sws) were better than their own. After accepting this superiority, the group members accepted Islam and the Prophet (sws) gave them leave to go after giving them gifts.

vi. Banu Azd

Under the leadership of Surad ibn 'Abdullah, a group of this tribe came to Madinah and accepted Islam. The Prophet (sws) made Surad (rta) the leader and asked him to spread knowledge of Islam in Yemen and bring the surrounding tribes under his control. Obeying this order, when Surad (rta) went to a city, its inhabitants fought him and were defeated. They accepted Islam and sent their delegation to Madinah.

vii. Banu Kindah

Eighty people from this tribe, under the leadership of Ash'ath ibn Qays reached Madinah. They entered the Masjid-e Nabawi such that they had combed their hair nicely and worn kohl in their eyes. They wore cloaks embroidered with silk. The Prophet (sws) asked if they had not accepted Islam. They answered that they had already done so. The Prophet (sws) then asked why he was seeing silk attire on their bodies. They answered that they were unaware of this instruction and tore off the silk part of their cloaks.

(Translated by Nikhat Sattar)

[1]. Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-nabawiyyah, vol. 2, 57.

[2]. Muslim, Al-Jami' al-sahih, vol. 1, 27.

[3]. Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-nabawiyyah, vol. 2, 580-581.

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