The Unlettered Prophet (43)

The Unlettered Prophet (43)


Khalid Masud

Conquest of Makkah

Abu Sufyan's acceptance of Islam

There are two different narratives about Abu Sufyan's acceptance of Islam. According to one, when he came to the presence of the Prophet (sws), he asked him: "Abu Sufyan has the time not come when you would accept that there is no god but Allah?" He answered: "By God, had there been anyone other than Allah, he would have helped us." Then the Prophet (sws) asked: "Has the time not come for you to accept that I am a messenger from Allah?" Abu Sufyan said: "My mother and father be sacrificed upon you! You are so merciful and forgiving. By God, I am not fully convinced of this yet." At this, 'Abbas (rta) said to him: "May you be destroyed. Before you are killed, witness upon the fact that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger." Abu Sufyan gave this statement. After this, 'Abbas (rta) pleaded to the Prophet (sws) that Abu Sufyan was the leader of his nation and that he liked to be appreciated. So he may be awarded a special honour. Thus, the Prophet (sws) said that whoever entered the house of Abu Sufyan would be safe.

In this narrative, forcing Abu Sufyan to accept Islam on the threat of being killed is evidence of ignorance of Islam. Such an exchange could not have happened in the presence of the Prophet (sws). The rules for idolaters in the context of Islam had been laid out in the initial verses of Surah Bara'ah. These said that idolaters should be given four months and if, during this period, they did not accept Islam, they could be killed. As far as the appreciation and honour for Abu Sufyan was concerned, when the purpose of arrival of the leaders of Makkah was to seek safety for their nation, it was appropriate to honour them by declaring their homes as safe havens. To do this, any mention of a special consideration for their desire to be honoured is unnecessary. Every person in Makkah who would close the door of his house had been promised safety, so why would be Abu Sufiyan's preference be relevant here?

In contrast to this, al-Dhahabi has presented another narrative. According to this, in answer to the Prophet (sws)'s question, Abu Sufyan said: "I had sought help from my gods in this struggle and you had done the same from your God. Not even once did it happen that we fought each other and you were not dominant upon me. Had my gods been truthful and your God been false, I would have overcome you. Therefore, I give witness to the fact that there is no god but God and Mohammed is the messenger of God." This narrative seems to be the true one in the context explained above.

Entry of the Mujahidin into Makkah

When the army received orders to march towards Makkah, the Prophet (sws) instructed his soldiers to give a demonstration of the grandeur of Islam to Abu Sufyan. He stood with 'Abbas (rta) on top of a hill, and observed the armies of the mujahidin, Ansars and other Arab tribes march past with great aplomb. Narratives state that when Sa'd ibn 'Ubadah, who was the leader of the Ansars and commander of one of the battalions, marched by Abu Sufyan, he said: "This is the day of an intense battle; the sanctity of the Ka'bah will not remain. Today, God shall vanquish the Quraysh." Abu Sufyanwas horrified by these words because they negated the promise of safety which the Prophet (sws) had made to him. He complained of these taunts to the Prophet (sws), who reassured him by saying: "This is the day of kindness; today, the sanctity of the Ka'bah shall be restored. Today, God shall honour the Quraysh." After this, he ordered that Sa'd (rta) surrender the command of his battalion to his son so that the people of Makkah would not be concerned about their safety. After observing the army, the members of the Quraysh delegation proceeded to Makkah to announce general amnesty. They made an announcement to this effect once they reached Makkah and advised people to remain inside their homes. During this period, the Prophet (sws) gave instructions to his army to stop in the suburban region, Dhu Tuwa of Makkah.

In Dhu Tuwa, the Prophet (sws) reorganized the army and gave strict orders to them not to kill anyone or to be the first to use weapons. The entry into Makkah was to be completely peaceful and orders for safety of the people of Makkah were to be obeyed fully. He instructed Khalid ibn Walid (rta) to enter Makkah from the south and Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam (rta) from the north. Qays ibn Sa'd (rta) entered with his army from Kida, the west and the Prophet (sws) himself entered through Adhakhir. At this stage of completion of his mission, he was reciting Surahs Nasr and Fath. It has been made clear from the discussion above that both these surahs contain predictions related to the conquest of Makkah. Thinking of this great favour from God, that He made this peaceful entry into Makkah possible, the Prophet (sws)'s heart was overflowing with feelings of gratitude and humility, as was demonstrated by his bowed head as he entered, riding his camel.

A group of young men from the Quraysh tried to stop Khalid ibn Walid's battalion. This had been arranged by three Quraysh leaders: Safwan ibn Umayyah, 'Ikramah ibn Abi Jahal and Suhayl ibn 'Amr, who had been against the decision to surrender. But this resistance was so weak that Muslims did not suffer any loss but 12-13 persons from the rioters were killed. The rest of the army entered completely peacefully. When the Prophet (sws) found out that Khalid ibn Walid's battalion had engaged in a fight, he was very upset. However, when investigations revealed that this was not a mistake by Khalid, but some mischief makers from among the Quraysh had initiated it, he declared it as fate.

All Muslim soldiers gathered in the centre of the city, where a tent for the Prophet (sws) was set up at a place called Hajun. This great incident of the conquest of Makkah took place on 20th Ramaḍan, 8th AH. Thousands of years old predictions came true through this incident. The Torah says: "The LORD came from Mount Sinai and dawned upon us from Mount Seir; he shone forth from Mount Faran with 10,000 holy ones. He held a flaming shari'ah in his right hand." (Deuteronomy 33:2)

According to research by 'Inayat Rasul Chiriyyakuti, Sinai is the region between two gulfs at the north side of the Red Sea, where prophethood was bestowed upon Moses (sws) and where he was given the Torah on top of one of its hills. There is a mountain between the salty lake of the Sinai desert and the Suez Canal which is called Seir in Hebrew. The Israelites lived nearby, after they had crossed the river and made a covenant with God. Faran is the place where Ishmael (sws) settled down. Thus, this meant the valley of Makkah. Holy means those with pious values, God fearing, kind and who worship God. At the conquest of Makkah, the number of companions was 10,000.

The prediction means that God had given prophethood to the great son of the Israelites at Sinai, Moses (sws); bestowed the Torah to him in the desert of Seir; then God demonstrated the completion of His guidance through the prophethood of Muhammad (sws) and gave him dominance over Makkah. He entered Makkah with 10,000 of his pious companions and established shari'ah here.

Initial Activities

When all sections of the Muslim army had gathered at Hajun, the Prophet (sws) decided to move towards the Ka'bah, which had remained the centre of his entire struggle. When he entered the mosque, the grounds seemed too small for the large number of Muslims. He, therefore, performed circumambulation while riding his camel, Qaswa. When he came in front of hajr-i aswad, he performed istilam with his stick. After the circumambulation, he got down from his camel and said Allah O' Akbar loudly. This was repeated by all the companions. After performing two rak'at, he drank the Zam Zam.

After this, he called 'Uthman ibn Talhah who kept the keys of the Ka'bah. He opened the door, accompanied by Usamah (rta) and Bilal (rta) and performed two rakahs. He observed some idols and pictures on the walls. He threw down the idols and with the help of his companions, wiped out the pictures. After removing these, he then had the Ka'bah washed, while reciting the verse: "Truth has [now] arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is [by its nature] bound to perish." (17:81)

When he came out, 'Ali (rta) requested that as the Banu Hashim possessed the responsibility to give water to the pilgrims, if they could be awarded custody of the Ka'bah and given its keys, this would be a great point of honour for them. The Prophet (sws) had no intention to restore custodianship of the Ka'bah to the Quraysh. So, he called Uthman ibn Talhah and, handing over the key to him, said: "This is the day of loyalty. Keep this key with you always. Except for the evil doer, no one shall be able to steal it from you."

Address in the Haram

As part of celebrations for the victory over Makkah, the Prophet (sws) gave orders for the people of the city to gather in the Haram. When they had all come, the Prophet (sws) stood at the door of the Ka'bah and addressed them. At the very beginning, he declared tawhid and openly admitted that the promise made by God to His servant had been fulfilled and all his enemies had been defeated. He said: "There is no god but God; there is no one associated with Him. He has fulfilled His promise, helped His servant and defeated all of His enemies single handedly."

The central point of his 20 year long teaching was that God is one, He is the one to be worshipped, He has no partner and no associate. The religion of the idolaters was rebellion against God, and it had no authority. The Ka'bah had been built by God's servant who worshipped one God, Abraham (sws) who had declared it the centre of monotheism. Therefore, the possession of the Ka'bah by the idolaters was illegal. This content of monotheism was most appropriate for it to be made the focus of the address to the people of Makkah. Idolaters had always denied this message of the Prophet (sws). They were under the misconception that the message would soon die out of its own accord after some noise and it would never be accepted by the Arab mind. The Prophet (sws) had tried to make the fact clear to them time and again that whenever a prophet from God comes to his people, the only way of salvation for them was to accept his message. If his nation denied or refused him, it basically prepared for its own destruction. This fact that the Prophet (sws) had explained to his people many times was then being put before them in terms of its consequences. God had fulfilled His promise, He had helped His servant and defeated his enemies. If one keeps this part of the Prophet (sws)'s address against verses 171-173 of Surah Saffat, its real power can be appreciated. It was said:

"Already has Our Word been passed before [this] to our Servants sent [by Us], That they would certainly be assisted, And that Our forces,- they surely must conquer." (37:171-173)

It is evident that the above three sentences of the Prophet's address were based on these verses.

After this, the Prophet (sws) announced an end to the claims of superiority of various tribes of the Quraysh over each other and demands of money and blood and said: "Understand that all preferences and demands of blood or money are under my feet. However, the service of protecting the Ka'bahand giving water to pilgrims shall remain." This meant that work related to protection of the Ka'bahand giving water to pilgrims would be given to the Quraysh but all other administrative or political authority would be taken away. In other words, these responsibilities would be fulfilled by the Islamic government. For example, if it was a matter of war, this would not be necessarily handed over to the Banu Umayyah, but the centre would decide upon whoever it wished to give responsibility to. For ambassadorship, it would not be given automatically to the Banu 'Adi, but the Islamic government would take this service from various individuals, depending upon its requirements. In actual fact, this was an announcement to take over the control of the Ka'bah. Serving the Haram or giving water to the pilgrims were not laden with perquisites or authority, but were religious responsibilities, so they were allowed.

On this occasion, addressing the Quraysh directly, the Prophet (sws) advised them that Islam did not consider familial elitism to be of any value. Thinking oneself to be above others because of the greatness of one's forefathers was useless. All humans were equal and children of the same father, created from the same dust. Therefore, declaring oneself to be superior and belittling others as being inferior did not suit an honourable person. He said: "O' people of Quraysh, God Almighty has removed from you the arrogance of the days of jahiliyyah and claims of superiority over others by naming your forefathers. All humans are children of Adam and Adam was created from dust." He said that the characteristic of the greatest value in the eyes of God was piety. The person who fears God the most and stays away from disobeying Him would receive the most honour from God. He recited these verses from Surah Hujurat:

O mankind! We created you from a single [pair] of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other [not that ye may despise each other]. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is [he who is] the most righteous of you."(49:13)

After this, addressing the people of Makkah in general and the Quraysh in particular, he asked: "Are you aware how I shall be treating you?" This is the same question that every victor asks of his enemies who have been conquered. He is drunk with power. Sometimes, he orders mass killing, sometimes declares their wealth, property and honour open to his army and sometimes finds new ways to torture and ridicule his enemies. But God's prophet never behaves in this fashion. He does not consider any inappropriate behaviour acceptable for either himself or his soldiers even in the battlefield, let alone for those who have surrendered. The people of Makah were well aware of the Prophet's nobility and kindness of nature. They understood the purpose of the Prophet's question. They answered: "Brotherly treatment. You are a kind brother and the son of a kind brother." At this, the Prophet (sws) said: "I say to you what my brother Joseph (sws) had said to his brothers: there is no accusation upon you today. Go, you are free."

The Prophet's reference to what Joseph (sws) had said is of great significance. He was pointing to the incident related in Surah Yusuf. This surah had been revealed when the Prophet (sws) was burdened with the oppression of the Quraysh in Makkah, before migration. In order to reassure him and to give him a sign of change of circumstances for the better, the story of Joseph (sws) life had been related in this surah. Joseph (sws) had shown immense perseverance and piety in the face of back to back tribulations. Then, a time came when he was given authority over management of the country's resources by the king. When the country faced famine, his brothers had to approach the state for help and arrived in the court of Joseph (sws). Seeing their poor condition, Joseph (sws)'s heart melted and he forgave them, ignoring all the troubles they had caused him and said to them: "Today, there is no accusation upon you. May God Almighty forgive you."

At the time of the conquest of Makkah, the Quraysh were exactly in the same situation as Joseph's brothers were in front of the senior administrator of Egypt. The behaviour of the Quraysh towards the Prophet (sws) in the past was also the same as that of Joseph's (sws) brethren towards Joseph (sws). At the time of migration, the Quraysh had expected that the Prophet (sws) would not be able to establish himself anywhere, far from Makkah, after cutting himself away from his tribe, nor would his message receive acceptance. The reality was the opposite. This message found a very suitable environment in Madinah. The Prophet (sws) found very sincere and loyal companions. In contrast, the Quraysh became weaker and weaker, until they were forced to surrender in front of the Prophet (sws).

The last words of the Prophet's address were: "Go, you are free." This did not mean that the people of Makkah had been captured and the Prophet (sws) freed them. After surrender by Abu Sufyan and his obtaining the promise of freedom for his people, there was no possibility of anyone being captured, nor was anyone captured. Therefore, the Prophet's announcement meant that this day, he had the authority to take revenge of all the oppression of the Quraysh and was observing their helplessness, but despite this, he had no enmity towards them in his heart and he was freeing them after forgiving them.

General Amnesty from the Prophet (sws)

The Prophet (sws) made the announcement for general amnesty not only for those who had collected in the grounds of the Ka'bah, but the people who had dedicated their lives to oppose the Prophet (sws) also benefitted. When they were informed of this, they could not believe their ears.

The biggest enemies of the Prophet (sws), and especially those who had formulated a group and tried to stop Khalid ibn Walid's troops either ran away or hid themselves. All biographers, including the Orientalists agree that they were neither chased nor was an attempt made to find them. From those who ran away, some leaders, such as 'Ikramah ibn Abi Jahal, Safwan ibn Umayyah, Suhayl ibn 'Amr and Huwaytib ibn 'Abd al-'Uzza are mentioned in biographies. It is said that they were trying to hide in order to save their lives. People informed them that if they appeared before the Prophet (sws), they would be forgiven. They did so, one by one and this is exactly what happened.

'Ikramah was defeated by Khalid ibn Walid (rta) and ran away to Yemen. His wife, Umm Hakim bint Harith accepted Islam and requested the Prophet (sws) to save 'Ikramah's life. He accepted the request. Umm Hakim went after 'Ikramah and asked him to return. He remembered all the problems he had created for the Prophet (sws) and could not believe that he would be safe once he returned to Makkah. His wife removed his doubts and told him that the Prophet (sws) was the most loyal, considerate of his people's rights and kind hearted of men. She had asked for his protection and he had surely forgiven 'Ikramah. Therefore, 'Ikramah came to the Prophet (sws). Seeing him coming, the Prophet (sws) asked his companions to greet him warmly and refrain from mentioning either his own or his father's previous enmity towards Islam. Impressed by this treatment, 'Ikramah accepted Islam and took an oath to leave no stone unturned in serving the cause of Islam. Safwan ibn Umayyahran away to Jeddah after the conquest of Makkah. One of his relatives, 'Umayr ibn Wahb who had become a Muslim, said to the Prophet (sws) that Safwan, a leader of his tribe had run away. He would probably commit suicide by drowning in the sea. He requested the Prophet (sws) for amnesty for him. The Prophet (sws) granted him protection and gave him his turban as a sign of this promise. 'Umayr went to Jeddah and informed him of this amnesty and asked him to return. Safwan was hesitant. At this, 'Umayr convinced him that the Prophet (sws) was extremely kind and forgiving. He was his paternal cousin. His dignity was his dignity; his honour was his honour and his government was his government. At this, Safwan came to Makkah, presented himself before the Prophet (sws) and said: " 'Umayr thinks that you have given me protection." The Prophet (sws) answered: "Yes, this is true." Safwan asked for two months in which to make his decision. The Prophet (sws) gave him four months. After a few weeks Safwan accepted Islam.

Suhayl ibn 'Amr had signed the treaty of Hudaybiyyah but afterwards, he was guilty of its violation. He was among those who had tried to resist the Muslim army on the day of conquest of Makkah. After his defeat, he shuttered himself inside his home. Based on his enmity of the past, he was certain that he would not be forgiven. His son, 'Abdullah, obtained agreement on his safety for him. Suhayl did not accept Islam immediately, but took part in the Battle of Hunayn, and on the way back, at a place called Ji'ranah, he accepted Islam.

Huwaytib was hiding in some ground when Abu Dharr (rta) arrived there. As he started to run, Abu Dharr (rta) said that he was safe. If he wished, he could take him to the Prophet (sws) or to his home. Huwaytib asked in astonishment: "Who would allow me to reach my home? I would be killed on the way." Abu Dharr (rta) went with him and, making an announcement of his safety, deposited him at his house. Later, he obtained a validation of his action from the Prophet (sws).

The impact of this safety and general amnesty from the Prophet (sws) was that the suspicions of the people of Makkah about the Prophet (sws) and Islam were removed and they realized that they had been under misconceptions and had perceived the Prophet (sws) to be their enemy and did not value his message.

The Period for accepting Islam for People of Makkah

Some Orientalists have spread the misunderstanding that because the people of Makkah had been overpowered, they were forced to accept Islam. The actual facts do not provide evidence of this assumption. The leaders mentioned above did not accept Islam immediately, but requested some time to ponder over the matter: this was granted. Practically, these leaders became Muslims after a few weeks, in Ji'ranah or later. According to narratives, the Prophet (sws) had bestowed considerable quantities of the war booty to console the Quraysh leaders. The purpose behind this was to open up their hearts to the message of Islam so that they would accept it. Had they been forced to do so earlier, there would have been no need for this encouragement and giving of alms.

The instructions that had been given with the revelation of Surah Bara'ah have been explained above. A four month period was given to the idolaters according to these instructions. If they did not accept Islam by then, they were to be killed. This instruction was implemented upon the people of Makkah. After their surrender, they were allowed this period during which they could decide either upon Islam or denial. In the case of Safwan ibn Umayyah, it has been stated above that he had requested two months but the Prophet (sws) said that he could take four months to decide. The reason for this was that the Qur'an had mentioned four months. It had also been instructed to make the Quraysh aware of the teachings of Islam during this period. As people began to develop a better understanding of Islamic teachings and its code of morality, they began to be attracted towards it. Some accepted it at the time Makkah was conquered. Others took a few days or weeks. Within the stipulated period of four months, the entire population of Makkah had become Muslim. There was no need to use the sword in this matter.

The Second Address to the People of Makkah

Two of the tribes, Hudhayl and Khuza'ah had enmity with each other. A person from the Hudhayl, Ibn al-'Athwa' had killed a brave man, Ahmar from the Khuza'ah tribe. The day after the conquest of Makkah, Khuza'ah's Kharash ibn Umayyah saw Ibn al-'Athwa' and, finding an opportunity, killed him. When the Prophet (sws) came to know of this, he addressed the people of Makkah and informed them of the obligations towards sanctity of the Haram. He said:

O' People! Ever since God made this earth and this sky, He has made the land of Makkah sacred. This land shall remain sacrosanct until the Day of Judgement. It is not legitimate for he who believes in God and the Day of Judgement to shed blood within the boundaries of the Haram, or to cut down any of its trees. It was not allowed for all those who have come before me and it shall not be allowed for those who come after me. Even for me, its sanctity had been lifted for a while only, and it has now been restored as if it were yesterday. The people present here should take this message to all who are absent. O' Khuza'ah, stay your hands from killing. There is no benefit in killing. I shall pay the blood money for the man whom you have killed. But after this, if anyone is killed, the victim's family shall have the right to take the life of the killer or to demand blood money.

Also know that anyone who is killed in error is the same as one who is killed deliberately through whipping or by stick. In case of a killing by mistake, the full blood money shall be paid; i.e. 100 camels including 40 pregnant she camels.

The last part of the address has been included in the first day's address by biographers, although it is completely unrelated. The need for it arose after the incident of the murder and it was suitable for the second address. In our view, it is not appropriate to make it a part of the first address.

This was a timely warning about the sanctity of the Haram and it was witnessed by people who had come from various tribes of Arabia, as well as the people of Makkah. The aim of this warning was to ensure that people, under the excuse of his conquest of Makkah, did not use it as a pretext and attempt to trample its sanctity. This sanctity was postponed for himself because the direct addressees of his prophet hood were the people of Makkah and the law of God for prophets is that if their nation is a denier, it is destroyed and if the numbers of believers is large enough, the deniers are killed through their swords. In any case, God keeps His messengers dominant over their enemies.

Information about withholding the sanctity of the Haram had already been given to the Prophet (sws) previously. The Qur'an said: "And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they [first] fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith." (2:191)

This charter, given by the Prophet (sws) about the sanctity of the Haram shall remain a shining light for people of Islam until the end of the world.

Missionto purify the Haram from Signs of Polytheism

Soon after the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet (sws) sent delegations to the people of Makkah and nearby tribes to invite them to Islam and end the signs of polytheism but not wage a war with anyone. While he, himself, took part in destroying the idols and pictures placed within the Ka'bah, he had it announced that people should do the same for any such items within their homes. On the day after the conquest of Makkah, a large number of people accepted Islam. The Prophet (sws) was seated atop the Mount of Safa and people would come, take an oath to listen and obey upon his hand and leave. After the men, women came to accepted Islam. Later, during the Prophet's two week's stay, people from around Makkah also came and accepted Islam.

A few days after the conquest, he set up groups to break down idols around Makkah. A statue of 'Uzza was placed at a place called Nakhlah. This was a special idol of the Quraysh, Kananah and Muḍar. The Banu Shayban were its custodians. Khalid ibn Walid (rta) went to bring it down with 30 men. When he returned, the Prophet (sws) said: "Now, no one shall worship 'Uzza." A special statue of Hudhayl stood three miles outside the boundaries of Makkah. 'Amr ibn al-As (rta) was sent to bring it down. The Banu Khuza'ah and the Banu Kalab were particularly attached to Manat, and the tribes Of Aws and Khazraj of Madinah also used to worship it. The Prophet (sws) assigned one of the Ansars, Sa'd ibn Zayd Ashhali (rta) to break it. Along with 20 other men, he destroyed it completely. In this manner, the qiblah of the Muslims was free and purified from every idol or sign of idolatry and made specific for the worship of God Almighty. The Prophet (sws) laid out the boundaries of the Haram while he was there and asked Tamim ibn Usayd Khuza'i to lay out stones alongside these boundaries. He obeyed this order. The Haram was thus returned to its original form that had been built by Abraham (sws). It was then in the possession of the real inheritors of the faith of those who were on the straight path.

Some Important Decisions

At this stage of the conquest of Makkah, many problems arose about which the Prophet (sws) took critical decisions which help to understand the nature of Islam. For example:

a) After the conquest, some people who had migrated to Madinah were under the impression that their property which they had left behind would be returned to them. The Prophet (sws) was also advised to stay in his own house. The Prophet (sws) asked such people not to think about their previous houses in Makkah after they had migrated but to expect that they would be rewarded with better homes on the day of Judgement.

The message behind this advice is that migration in itself means giving up everything in the name of God. If once, property had been sacrificed, the greed to have it returned would only contribute to spoil the real spirit of migration. Therefore, for him who had migrated, there should remain no desire to re-acquire his old home.

The Ansars were concerned that with the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet's love for his homeland may reawaken. When the Prophet (sws) realized this, he reassured them that after migrating, he would live and die among them.

b) Majasha' ibn Mas'ud (rta) brought his brother to the Prophet (sws) and requested him to take his oath on migration. The Prophet (sws) answered that those who had migrated earlier had obtained its benefits. There was to be no migration after the victory of Makkah. Now, he would take oaths only in the name of Islam, faith and jihad.

This was an important point. Migration does not mean every displacement. It was only meant for establishment of one's faith and its protection. Religious struggle before the conquest of Makkah necessitated all Muslims to gather together. This is why Muslims from all over the country were asked to migrate to Madinah as their centre. Thus, migration before the victory over Makkah became the distinction between Islam and conflict. When Islam had spread from Makkah to Madinah, what would be the need for migration? The next stage would be one of jihad so that the religion could be spread out over the entire Arabian Peninsula. Hence, the Prophet (sws) clarified that from then on, one would need to conduct jihad and to keep this intention in mind. This meant that every Muslim was to bear in mind that if he needed to leave home to protect his religion, he was not to refrain from migrating.

c) During his stay in Makkah, a case of theft was brought to the Prophet (sws), in which a Qurayshite woman, Fatimah, was the culprit. Her relatives were worried and they sent Usamah ibn Zayd (rta) to plead to the Prophet (sws), saying that she was a member of a dignified family. She should be forgiven. The Prophet (sws) said in severe tones that these were the kind of actions committed by previous nations that had destroyed them. They would forgive crimes of the wealthy and implement laws on the poor. He said: "By God, if my daughter Fatimah (rta) had committed such a crime, I would have had her hand cut off." Saying this, he sentenced her.

This was a demonstration of the concept of equity and social justice of Islam. The Prophet (sws) taught that laws should be meant for everyone, whether young or old, poor or wealthy, and making an exception on the basis of social status takes a nation to the brink of destruction. At that time, the Prophet (sws) looked angrily at Usamah ibn Zayd (rta) for pleading the case of implementing the law.

d) In other cases during the same period of time, the Prophet (sws) laid out some key principles of the shari'ah such as:

i. A will cannot be made for direct inheritors, but only for those who do not inherit.

ii. Inheritance should reach only those who belong to the same nation

iii. A child who is born in a house will be considered to belong there. An adulterer will be damned. (This decision was made by the Prophet (sws) in case of the claim by Utbah ibn Abi Waqqas who said that the child born to the maid of Zama'ah was his and not Zama'ah's. The Prophet did not accept this claim.)

(Translated by Nikhat Sattar)

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