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Episode 27: The Battles Of Honayn & Tabouk

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On the Path of the Beloved

 

Episode 27: the battles of Honayn & Tabouk

 

 

 

In the name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. Peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad.

 

We only have one episode left; that is for tomorrow. It is truly very difficult to separate from the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS[1]), not to mention leaving Madinah. However, our only solace is that we will be on his path, benefiting the earth, until we meet him in paradise.

 

Before starting this episode, we have two notes. Firstly, many people slacken as soon as they reach 27th of Ramadan, and they do not care much about the remaining days of Ramadan, concerning taraweeh (night prayers in Ramadan) or other kinds of worship. Here I would like to tell you that nobody could ever tell when he/she is forgiven. The last nights of this month could be those of mercy and forgiveness. You could spend the whole thirty days knocking His doors of forgiveness, and He Would not open it until right before the last athan (call to prayer) of maghrib (sunset) prayer of the last day of Ramadan. Just look at employees who work for a whole month; they are paid only on the last day. If they neglected their work on the last two days of the month, their salary would be reduced. Therefore, keep on the same pattern of your worshipping during these last two days. Who knows, there might be someone who would decide, right now, to exert the best of his/her effort, so that they would surpass others who started from the very beginning of this month.

 

Secondly, many people are saying that the program has been broadcast throughout the whole month. It was filled with such important details, yet they missed some episodes, so here I am assuring you that these episodes are to be broadcasted again after Ramadan on Iqra' channel, accompanied with English subtitling. Moreover, it will also be released on CD, audio and video cassettes, and books after Ramadan.

 

As for today's episode, we have three pivots. Firstly, what Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) did during the 19 days he spent in Makkah after the conquest; secondly, the battle of Honayn, and finally, the battle of Tabouk.

 

The conquest of Makkah took place in on 8th Ramadan A.H.[2]. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was by then 61 years old. He spent the 19 days in a tent, for his house was seized and sold by his cousin Aqeel Ibn-Abu-Lahab. People in Makkah then asked him why he would not settle in his house. He reminded them that Quraysh left him no house to settle in. Look at Prophet Muhammad, the seal of the prophets, who had just forgiven all those who harmed them, yet he had no house to settle in. He would bear the hardship of living in a tent for 19 days, while he could have seized any house belonging to Quraysh. Compare his noble stance with what is going on in our time, where countries are conquered, resources are seized, and wealth is stolen. This is a crucial point that should be learnt by the great powers.

 

Throughout the 19 days, all the powerful personalities that caused the Muslims a great deal of pain and torture, such as 'Akrima Ibn-Abu-Jahl, Safwan Ibn-Omaya, Sohayl Ibn-Amr who had signed the Treaty of Hudaybiya with the Prophet (SAWS), Hind Bint- Otba who mutilated Hamza's body in the battle of Uhud and Abdullah Ibn-Sa'ad-Ibn-Abu-As-Sarh, all embraced Islam. Let us ask, how did Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) deal with them and accept them after all the pains they had caused? This is a question I am asking the youths, who are dealing with their societies aggressively. I used to tell a rather funny story of an Imam in a Masjid in Upper Egypt, who was delivering the khutba of al-juma prayer (the speech delivered before Friday's prayer). No sooner had he got onto the pulpit, than he said, “We told you to pray, yet you did not. We told you to give zakat (mandatory alms-giving)[3], yet you did not. It is useless to talk to you anymore.” With nothing else said, he started the prayer.

 

What did the Prophet (SAWS) do with 'Akrima? After the conquest of Makkah, 'Akrima ran away towards Jeddah to reach for the shores so that he would escape to any place. However, his wife, who had embraced Islam, went to the Prophet and asked him to forgive her husband. He forgave him, so she went after her husband. At the same time, 'Akrima was about to get on a ship, when the captain said to him, “Be honest”. “What do you mean?” asked 'Akrima. “Declare that there is no God but Allah” said the captain. “This is exactly what I have escaped from,” said 'Akrima. Then he heard his wife calling for him, telling him that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) had forgiven him. Hence, he went back with his wife.

 

As 'Akrima was approaching the companions, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) told them not to insult his father, for insult would only harm 'Akrima, and not his dead father-Abu-Jahl. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) smiled at him, and then took off his cloak to let 'Akrima sit on it. This is the attitude of a person who cares for nothing but reform, love, peace, faith and that all people would be rightly guided.

 

“O, Muhammad, what do you call for?” asked 'Akrima. Although he had been fighting the prophet for about 20 years, yet he was still asking what the message of the Prophet was about. Here you can see the influence of the media, which distorts facts, not to mention the self-interests that would prevent a person from following the right path. “I am calling for strengthening the kinship ties, and that is why I had forgiven you; abiding by noble manners, praying, and worshipping none but Allah (SWT[4]),” said Prophet Muhammad. 'Akrima liked what he heard very much, so he declared the shahadah (declaration of faith). “I swear by Allah, that I will spend twice as much money and effort for the sake of Islam than that which I have spent against it,” said 'Akrima who, became a man who had a mission; he was a martyr at the battle of Yarmouk.

 

Safwan Ibn-Omayah also ran away to Jeddah. Omayer Ibn-Wahb then went to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and asked him to forgive Safwan. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) not only forgave him, but also he gave Omayer his own turban as a sign of security for Safwan. Omayer then went after Safwan and told him about the Prophet's forgiveness.

 

As for Hind Bint-Otba, she was one of those whom Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) ordered to be executed, for she cased Muslims many pains. When Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) sat with some women to teach them about Islam, she disguisedly approached him. He told them to worship none but Allah (SWT). “If they were real gods, they would have helped us,” she said. He told them also not to steal. Then she said, “Abu Sufyan (her husband) is a miser. Am I allowed to take from his money secretly?” The Prophet said to her, “You and your sons may take what is sufficient reasonably and fairly.”[5] Then he told them not to commit adultery. She was so offended that she said, “O Prophet, adultery is committed only by slaves not by free women,”

 

Then, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) asked about his cousins 'Otba and 'Otayba, sons of Abu-Lahab. Both of them were married to his daughters Roqaya and Om-Kolthom. They were shaking before the Prophet (SAWS), but he calmed them, for they were of his kinship, and he asked them to declare faith. They did so, but only out of their fear. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) felt it, so he took them by the hands, went to Ka'ba, stuck his body to al-Moltazam (the space between the stone and the door of Ka'ba, in which dua’a (supplication) is answered). He kept making dua'a that Allah (SWT) guide their hearts. Omar Ibnul-Khattab, as he was watching, reported that the more Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) supplicated for them, the more the brightness of faith lit their faces. When the Prophet left al-Moltazam, he was smiling and said, “All thanks are due to Allah for guiding their hearts,”

 

How then, after reading the Seerah, could anybody believe claims of orientalists that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) calls for violence, blood shedding and terrorism? You should never feel ashamed of Islam, especially after exploring the Seerah.

 

There were two men, who were supposed to be executed according to Prophet Muhammad's (SAWS) orders. They ran to hide in the house of Umm-Hani' Bint-Abu-Taleb, Prophet's cousin and sister of Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib (RA). They asked her to shelter them. She felt that they might embrace Islam then. Therefore, she agreed. At the same time, Ali knew that they were hidden in her house. He asked her to let them surrender. She refused and said that she gave shelter to them. “Women do not give shelter; this is restricted for men only.” said Ali. She went to the Prophet and told him about it, “O Allah's Prophet! My brother has told me that he will kill a person whom I gave shelter; and that person is so and so the son of Hubaira.” The Prophet said, “We shelter the person whom you have sheltered.” [6]

 

You should notice that at the time, giving shelter to a person was a political right, restricted only to men. However, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was the first one to give this right to women. He did so also when he let them give the pledge of Al-'Aqaba. He also let them participate in battles. On the other hand, in our time, we applaud for those who gave women the right of voting, taking this is an unprecedented event, although the Prophet (SAWS) had allowed it 1400 years ago. Therefore, nobody can ever claim that Islam has deprived women from their rights. The problem is with us, not with Islam, nor with the Prophet (SAWS).

 

Afterwards, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) asked Othman Ibn-Talha, whose ancestors used to posses the key of Ka'ba, to bring him the key.

 

lbn Umar (RA) reported: Allah's Messenger (SAWS) came during the year of victory on the she-camel of Usama Ibn-Zaid until he made her kneel down in the courtyard of the Ka'ba (and got down). He then sent for Othman Ibn-Talha and said, “Bring me the key. He went to his mother and she refused to give that to him. He said, “By Allah, give that to him or this sword would be thrust into my side. So she gave that to him, and he came with that to Allah's Apostle (SAWS) and gave that to him, and he opened the door.”[7]

 

At the Ka'ba, Al-Abbas, the Prophet's uncle, asked him to let their family posses the key, for it would be a great honour for them. However, he refused, and gave it to Othman, assuring him that it would last in his family's possession until the Day of Judgment, and nobody would dare take it from them for he would be unjust. The Prophet did so because he respected an agreement made between the tribes, before Islam, according to which Othman's family was to possess the key of Ka'ba forever. Hence, he did not neglect that agreement just because it was before Islam, but rather he respected it. Here you realize that Islam did not aim to abandon all that which was prior to Islam. On the contrary, it meant to keep the good and change the bad.

 

The key of Ka'ba is still in the possession of Othman's family that is called Bani- Shayba until this very day.

 

In the month of Shawwal, 8 A.H., news came to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) that the tribes of Hawaazin and Thaqeef were preparing to invade Makkah. These two tribes were as powerful as Quraysh. When they discovered that Quraysh had been defeated, they decided they wanted to take over the Arab peninsula and Makkah in particular. They thought they would be able to defeat Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) easily. They prepared an army of 20,000 warriors. Hence, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) decided to fight them back. He prepared an army of 12,000 warriors.

 

Here I would like to reemphasize that the Prophet never started a war just for the sake of war. He has never been a traitor nor has he been unjust; he never broke a promise and he never avenged himself.

 

While Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was preparing for the battle, he asked Safwan Ibn-Omaya to provide him with 300 shields, for he was an arms trader. “Would you force me to do so Muhammad?” asked Safwan. The Prophet assured him that it would be a loan, which he would pay back to Safwan.

 

Here you should know that after the battle of Honayn, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) returned the shields back to Safwan, but he refused to take them back. “I would give anything just for the sake of Islam, so I do not want them back anymore,” Safwan told the Prophet.

 

Howaazin chose a place called Honayn to be the battlefield; it is three nights away from Makkah. There, they searched the valley looking for a slope on which they would set up an ambush for Muslims. They camped in the tight passages in between the mountains there, which are called she'ebs.

 

Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was a role model of the cautious leader. He gave orders to explore this particular slope. However, there was a sort of slackness that filled the army. They were quite sure of their victory because of the large number of warriors they had. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “and on the day of Hunayn, when your multitude made you admire it yet it availed you nothing” (TMQ, 9:25).[8] This was just the same as the battle of Uhud, when they neglected the Prophet's orders. This is a lesson to be taught throughout history. Negligence in planning and preparing the means of victory leads to failure even if you have the Prophet amongst you. Therefore, it is not strange that a nation that has been suffering from severe negligence for two hundred years would fall this way. Some say, every Ramadan we make a lot of dua'a (supplication) that Allah (SWT) grants us victory, yet nothing happens. Dua'a is one part of the issue; it is not enough unless it is accompanied by proper planning, patience, determination, and real faith in the mission.

 

The Muslims approached the slope. Khaled Ibn-Al-Waleed was the leader of the front of the army. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) had a feeling that there was something suspicious. He ordered them to descend the slope in divisions. They did so, however, no sooner the third division descended the slope, than the army of Hawaazin attacked the Muslims. Nevertheless, they fought back so vigorously that Khaled lost consciousness out of his injuries.

 

A great chaos prevailed the army. Some were still descending the slope, while others were trying to escape by ascending it, so they were trampled on. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was unable to bring them back to the battlefield, so he started to call for them loudly, “I am the Prophet in truth: I am the son of 'Abdul Muttalib,” [9]

 

Prophet Muhammad then started to make Dua'a that Allah (SWT) to support them. The first one to run towards the Prophet was Al-Abbas. He had a loud voice, so he started calling upon Muslims to hurry to the prophet but nobody answered. Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) ordered him to call the believers who witnessed the pledge of 'Aqaba and that beneath the tree, the Muhajireen (immigrants), the Ansar (people of Madinah), and those who memorized Surat Al-Baqara. Accordingly, Abbas started repeating the call in this new manner.

 

Here I would like you to imagine that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is talking to you, “O, you who watched my Seerah for thirty days, cried and gave the pledge to do something good for your ummah (the Muslim nation). What did you do after Ramadan?

 

Both Muhajireen and Ansar, who were meant by that call, started to turn towards the direction of Al-Abbas's voice. Some of them were unable to stop their horses, which were panicked, so they took their shields and jumped away from their horses to join the Prophet (SAWS). One hundred companions surrounded the Prophet and fought back strongly. On that day, and for the first time, the sword of the Prophet broke out of the fierce fighting. Ali Ibn-Abu-Taleb narrated that on that day, when the fighting grew fiercer, they hid behind the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), although he was 61 years old at the time and Ali was 33 years old; can you imagine?

 

One more notable thing took place in this battle, and that is that angels came down to support the Muslims. They did not fight, for they fought only in the battle of Badr. Allah says what can be translated as, “Indeed Allah has already (granted) you victory on many battlefields, and on the day of Honayn, when your multitude made you admire it, yet it availed you nothing; and the earth, spacious as it is, was strait for you; thereafter you turned away, withdrawing. Thereafter Allah sent down upon His Messenger His serenity (The Arabic word is /sakînah/) and upon the believers, and He sent down hosts you did not see, and He tormented the ones who disbelieved; and that is the recompense of the disbelievers.” (TMQ, 9:25-26).

 

At the end, victory belonged to the Muslims. There was a huge amount of booty that the Muslims had never gained before. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) distributed the booty. He started with Abu-Sufyan and gave him 100 she-camels. Then Safwan Ibn-Omayyah and Hakim Ibn-Hizam who are the most recent to embrace Islam. The amount of the booty was so huge that Abu-Sufyan asked Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to grant his sons their shares as well, and Prophet Muhammad agreed. However, Abu-Sufyan failed to carry all the booty he had been granted, so he asked for help. The Prophet told him that as long as he had taken it for himself, then he should carry it himself.

 

At the same time, the people of the Ansar were watching the booty being distributed and yet none of them were granted any of it. They feared that the Prophet would abandon them, especially after the conquest of Makkah and his unity with his family. Abdullah Ibn-Zaid reported that when the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) conquered Honayn he distributed the booty, and he bestowed upon those whose hearts it was intended to win. It was conveyed to him (the Holy Prophet) that the Ansar cherished a desire that they should be given (that very portion) which the people (of Quraish) had received. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) stood up and, after having praised Allah and lauded Him, addressed them thus, “O people of Ansar, did I not find you erring and Allah guided you aright through me, and (in the state of) being destitute and Allah made you free from want through me, and in a state of disunity and Allah united you through me”, and they (the Ansar) said, “Allah and His Messenger are most benevolent”. He (again) said, “Why do you not answer me?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger are the most benevolent”. He said, “If you wish you should say so and so, and the event (should take) such and such course” (and in this connection he made a mention of so many things). He (the Holy Prophet) further said, “Don't you feel happy (over this state of affairs) that the people should go away with goats and camels, and you go to your places along with the Messenger of Allah? The Ansar are inner garments (more close to me) and (other) people are outer garments. Had there not been migration, I would have been a man from among the Ansar. If the people were to tread a valley or a narrow path, I would tread the valley (chosen) by the Ansar or narrow path (trodden) by them. And you would soon find after me preferences (over you in getting material benefits). So you should show patience till you meet me at the Haud (Kauthar).”[10]

 

Just look at the freedom Muslims were enjoying at the time, for who could ever face his ruler and speak with him as Sa'ad did. Moreover, if we are to ask, which of them has lasted more, the booty or the Prophet staying with the Ansar until the Day of Judgment? Undoubtedly, the second has.

 

Here I am asking you, which of them would make you happier, to be with the Prophet or to possess fortunes? We still have his Sunnah to abide by and follow.

 

After the battle had finished, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) asked about Khaled Ibn-Al-Waleed. They told him that he was suffering from severe injuries. He went to see him. He kept blowing in his own palm (SAWS) and patting Khaled's injuries while he was talking to him, calling him the sword of Allah, to get up, encouraging him to recover. It has been reported that they were surprised to see Khaled, who was just about to die, getting up and jumping onto his horse, as if he had never been injured.

 

I would like to ask you now, as we have just one episode left, have you felt the love for the Prophet? Remember what Allah says that can b translated as,” And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah” (TMQ, 49:7). Hence, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is still with us as long as we are abiding by his Sunnah. We still have the treasure he left us; that is his manners, mercy and love.

 

"I wish that I had seen our brothers!” The people with him said, “Messenger of Allah! Are we not your brothers?” “No,” he said, “You are my companions. Our brothers are those who have not yet come. And I will precede them to the hawd (the watering place of the Prophet (SAWS), from which he will give to the people of his community on the day of rising.)” They asked him, “Messenger of Allah! How will you recognise those of your community who come after you?”

 

He said, “Doesn't a man who has horses with white legs and white blazes on their foreheads among totally horses recognise which ones are his own?” They said, “Of course, Messenger of Allah.” He went on, “Even so will they come on the day of rising with white marks on their foreheads, hands and feet from wudu (ablution), and I will precede them to the hawd. Some men will be driven away from the hawd as if they were straying camels and I shall call out to them, 'Will you not come? Will you not come? Will you not come?' and someone will say, 'They changed things after you,' so I shall say, 'Then away with them, away with them, away with them!'”[11]

 

Allah says what can be translated as, “Indeed there has already come to you a Messenger from (among) yourselves. Mighty (i.e., burdensome) to him is whatever distresses you. Most eager is he for your (welfare), to the believers (he is) constantly compassionate, constantly merciful.” (TMQ, 9:128).

 

At the end of the year 8 A.H., many delegations from all over the peninsula came in troops to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to declare their faith. Then came down the revelation of Surat Al-Nasr (victory), which could be translated as, “When comes the victory of Allah, and the Conquest, And you see mankind entering the Religion of Allah in troops, So extol with the praise of your Lord, and ask Him forgiveness; surely He has (always) been Superbly Relenting” (TMQ, 110: 1-3).

 

No sooner had Abu-Bakr heard this surah did he start to cry, because he deduced that this is the death announcement of the Prophet.

 

Now it is nine A.H. in which the last battle in the prophet's life would take place. It is the battle of Tabouk. This place is 1000 km away from Madinah. It started when the news came to the Prophet that Al-Ghasasena and the Romans were preparing an army of 40,000 warriors to invade Madinah. Prophet Muhammad, as usual, took the initiative, and decided to go and fight them before they do. He started preparing the army. He asked all the tribes that have newly embraced Islam to contribute to the preparations.

 

By the way, you will notice that the Muslims will not fight in this battle, yet, it was of a great significance for tow reasons. Firstly, for the companions in Madinah, as if they were being asked: would you sacrifice yourself for the sake of your mission? It seems that the same question is directed to us as well, is it not? For it was such a hard battle for all Muslims. You know that the whole of Surat At-Tawbah was revealed commenting on this battle. Tabouk took place in August; and it was the harvest time, which meant that there was not enough food to take with them. Hence, it was a real test for all Muslims. Add to this the long distance they were to travel, while they did not have enough horses or camels to ride. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) had also put a condition that nobody was to take place in this battle unless he had enough clothes, for he knew how hard the battle would be for them. It was called al-'osra (difficulty) in the Qur'an. Allah Says what can be translated as, Indeed Allah has already relented towards the Prophet and the Muhajiržûn (The Supporters, i.e., the inhabitants) and the Ansar (The Supporters, i.e., the inhabitants of Al-Madînah who sheltered and helped those who emigrated from Makkah) who closely followed him in the hour of difficulty,”(TMQ, 9:117). The Muslims army was comprised 30,000 warriors. They all were ready to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the mission. Let me ask you, how many would remain steadfast after Ramadan? How many would say, we will abide by the Prophet's mission, benefit the earth, learn all the sciences, each one in his/her own field, and exert all we that which we can do to help this ummah rise again?

 

It took them 50 days to complete that mission. Fifty days of suffering from the hot weather, thirst, and muscle fatigue, and finally returning without fighting! As if Allah (SWT) was preparing the companions to be responsible for His (SWT) message after the Prophet’s (SAWS) death, which was the following year. On that march the companions stayed in continuous and close contact with the Prophet, learning and understanding more about issues in Islam.

 

Today, famous people believe that limiting their contact with the public will preserve their fame and make them always special. In contrast, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) cared so much about communicating with everyone, to convey Allah’s messages and teach the people.

 

Before they started the march, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) stood up in public and asked if there was someone willing to offer financial and material aids for the army. Consequently, Othman Ibn-Affan (RA) stood first and gradually offered 300 camels with their own needs, so the Messenger (SAWS) pledged that nothing Uthman did after this offer could harm him in any way. Then Othman Ibn-Awf offered 200 silver coins, followed by Omar Ibnul-Khattab (RA) who gave 5000 dirhams which were half of what he owned. Abu-Bakr (RA) gave 4000 dirhams and that was all he owned. There was a man who offered a date and another who offered a small amount of wrapped wheat. On seeing so, the hypocrites assumed that Omar and Abu-Bakr were showing off, and considered what the poor men offered as ridiculous things and made fun of them. As a result, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “The ones who defame the ones of the believers who volunteer (their) donations and the ones who find (nothing) except their endeavor, and so scoff at them; (i.e., they scoff at the believers who volunteer their donations, as well as the believers who do not donate) Allah has scoffed at them; and they will have a painful torment” (TMQ, 9:79)

 

The hypocrites also attempted to create a misunderstanding between the Messenger (SAWS) and Ali (RA), for Prophet Muhammad ordered Ali to stay behind to look after their people. They told Ali that he was left behind because the Prophet disliked his company. Ali could not bear hearing that, and followed Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to narrate what he was told. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (SAWS) said to him, “Aren't you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses but with this exception that there is no prophethood after me?”[12] Ali returned back to Madinah.

 

When the Romans were informed that Muhammad (SAWS) and his army of 30,000 soldiers were approaching them, they were frightened and they hid in their forts, for they were not yet ready to fight. Allah did not inform the Prophet (SAWS) that the Romans retreated and that no one had to fight, because the aim was to examine and prepare the companions.

 

The hypocrites refused to go on that march. They gave unreasonable excuses to stay behind. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And (some) Arabs (of the desert) came with ready excuses that they might be permitted (not to go out); and the ones who lied to Allah and His Messenger sat back (at home)”(TMQ, 9:90). Listen to another ayah that can be translated as, The ones who were left behind exulted with their seat (s) behind the back of Messenger of Allah, (i.e., against the wishes of the Messenger) and hated to strive with their riches and their selves in the way of Allah, and said, “Do not march out in the heat.” Say, “The fire of Hell is strictly hotter, “if they (really) comprehend. So, let them laugh a little and weep much in recompense for what they have been earning” (TMQ, 9:81, 82).

 

One of them, named Al-Jid Ibn-Qays, claimed that he feared the beauty of the blond Roman females to afflict him, so he preferred staying behind. In response, Allah (SWT) sent down the ayah, “And of them is he who says, “Give me permission (i.e., permission to be excused from fighting) and do not tempt me.” Verily they have already fallen down into temptation; and surely Hell is indeed encompassing the disbelievers” (TMQ, 9:49) Allah warns them by saying what can be translated as, “Say, “In case your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your spouses, and your kinsmen, and riches that you have scored (Literally: committed ) and commerce whose slackening you are apprehensive of, and dwellings you are satisfied with, in case these are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then await till Allah comes up with His Command; and Allah does not guide the immoral people” (TMQ, 9:24) This is our case at the present time; all these things have blinded our eyes and led us to a state of deterioration. Allah also gives us a strong meaning as he says what can be translated as, O you who have believed, how is it with you, (that) when it is said to you, “March out in the way of Allah, “ you sink down heavily to the earth? Are you satisfied with the present life, (Literally: the lowly life, i.e., the life of this world) rather than with the Hereafter? Yet in no way is the enjoyment of the present life, in the Hereafter anything except a little thing” (TMQ, 9:38).

 

This is the penultimate episode, so will you take positive moves or stand still after Ramadan? We do not have to declare war to be on the right path, but each can simply try to improve the environment around him as much as s/he can. We are obliged to move. Allah (SWT) then continues with the same meaning, saying what can be translated as, “March out, light and heavy! And strive with your riches and yourselves in the way of Allah. That is most charitable for you, in case you know” (TMQ, 9:41). Now that you have understood the messages of Allah (SWT), you have no excuse to stand still. Remember, this episode will be a witness on the Day of Judgment!

 

However, when the Prophet (SAWS) reached Tabook he found that there was no battle to fight, but he was reluctant to return without any achievement. Therefore he decided to sign peace agreements with the leaders of the tribes surrounding the Romans. He (SAWS) ordered Khaled Ibn-Al-Waleed (RA) to bring him the king of Dawmat-ul-Jandal named Eucaidal, to sign the agreement with him. Khaled thought it was impossible to capture that king who was hidden behind the great walls of his fort, but the Prophet assured him and advised him to take 400 soldiers to capture the King during his cow hunts. Though Khaled could not imagine the King hunting at war time, he still obeyed the Prophet’s commands, because he trusted him (SAWS). The Messenger (SAWS) was a very smart warrior for he used to study his enemy very well, through his own spies, before he fought them.

 

After Eucaidal joined Islam he narrated that one day, while he was hiding in his fort, he and his wife saw some cows running towards his own building, and they rubbed their bodies against the gates. They were amazed and he could not bear to miss out on such an opportunity that had come all the way to him. His wife warned him but he claimed that it would be a very easy hunt and that it should not take time. The cows then started to run in the direction of Khaled, leading him to Khaled by a command from Allah (SWT). Khaled was surprised to see the king falling into his capture very easily, and during a hunt, as had been told him. He was always sure that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) would never lie. The Messenger (SAWS) and the king signed a peace agreement. Before the king left to his fort he gave the Prophet his elaborate cloak, which fascinated all the companions. When that was noticed in their eyes, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) became upset and said “By Him in Whose Hands Muhammad's soul is, the handkerchiefs of Sad bin-Mu'adh in Paradise are better than this.” [13]

 

Soon after, the Muslim army began to return home. On their way back a companion named Adullah Zul-Bejadayn (RA), who was 33 years old, asked the Prophet to pray to Allah to let him die as a martyr. Abdullah was called Abd-El-Uzza but when he joined Islam at the age of 16, and migrated with the Prophet (SAWS) leaving behind everything he owned even his clothes, the Prophet changed his name Abdullah Zul-Bejadayn. Abdullah was a very wealthy young man; he used to live in luxury and comfort. He hid his belief in the prophet for three years, hoping that his uncle, who was his guardian, would join Islam. When time passed and his uncle stayed as he was, he went to him and declared his Islam, showing his desire to join the Prophet (SAWS). His uncle was furious and threatened to deprive him of his inheritance. The young man did not hesitate and chose the Prophet (SAWS) leaving behind everything he owned, even his clothes. He was half naked after his uncle took his clothes, therefore he searched for anything that would cover his body and found a sack (bejad) and tore it into two, wrapping both pieces around his body. On seeing him in such a state, the prophet smiled and promised him to be compensated with more wealth and far better clothes in paradise.

 

In this battle, Abdullah asked the prophet to supplicate for him to die as a martyr. On his request, the Prophet (SAWS) smiled and said, “He who goes forth in Allah's path and dies or is killed is a martyr, or has his neck broken through being thrown by his horse or by his camel, or is stung by a poisonous creature, or dies on his bed by any kind of death Allah wishes is a martyr and will go to paradise.”[14] Soon after, Abdullah got a fever and died. During his burial the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) dug Abdullah’s grave with his own hands and refused to receive help from anyone. Once he (SAWS) finished digging he went down the grave and lay there for a while to make it merciful for Abdullah until the Day of Judgment. Then he took his body into his arms and kept on crying and supplicating for him until the companions wished they were in the place of the dead man.

 

Later they continued their march. On one occasion the Prophet (SAWS) became so tired that he was about to fall off his camel but Abu-Kitadada (RA) supported him (SAWS), and gained the blessings of Allah all through his life since then, just because he pleased the Prophet (SAWS) when he supported him. The Messenger (SAWS) went through all this to pass the message on to us!

 

At last they returned home. Now those who stayed behind went to the Prophet (SAWS) and created false excuses for not participating, just to avoid his anger. They all lied except three who spoke the truth. All the others were hypocrites except those three, who were good companions who participated in the battle of Badr and others too. They could not lie. One of the three was Ka’ab Ibn-Malik (RA). Listen to the story as he narrated it himself:

 

“I never remained behind Allah's Messenger (SAWS) from any expedition which he undertook except the battle of Tabouk. I had the honor of being with Allah's Messenger (SAWS) on the night of 'Aqaba when we pledged our allegiance to Islam and it was dearer to me than my participation in the battle of Badr, although Badr was more popular amongst people as compared with that (Tabouk). And this is my story of remaining behind without Allah's Messenger (SAWS) on the occasion of the battle of Tabouk. Never did I possess sufficient means and circumstances more favorable than at the occasion of this expedition. And, by Allah, I had never before this expedition simultaneously possessed two means of transport. There were very few people who wanted to excuse themselves, and they were under the impression that they could easily conceal themselves (and thus remain undetected) until revelations from Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, descended in connection with them.”

 

Allah's Messenger (SAWS) and the Muslims made preparations. I also set out in the morning so that I should make preparations along with them but I came back and did nothing and said to myself: I have enough means to make preparations when I like. And I went on doing this (postponing my preparations) until the people were about to depart and it was in the morning that Allah's Messenger (SAWS) set out and the Muslims too along with him, but I had made no preparations. I went early in the morning and came back, but I made no decision. I continued to do so until they hastened and covered a large distance. I also made up my mind to march on and to meet them. I would have liked to have don that but perhaps it was not destined for me. After the departure of Allah's Messenger (SAWS) I went out amongst people, I was shocked to find that I did not find anyone like me but people who were labeled as hypocrites or the people whom Allah granted exemption because of their incapacity.

 

When this news reached me that Allah's Messenger (SAWS) was on his way back from Tabouk I was greatly perturbed. I thought of fabricating false stories and asked myself how I would save myself from his anger on the following day. In this connection, I sought the help of every prudent man from amongst the members of my family and when it was said to me that Allah's Messenger (SAWS) was about to arrive, all the false ideas banished (from my mind) and I came to the conclusion that nothing could save me but the telling of truth, so I decided to speak the truth and it was in the morning that Allah's Messenger (SAWS) arrived (in Madinah). It was his habit that as he came back from a journey he first went to the Masjid and observed two rak'ahs of nafl (optional) prayer (as a mark of gratitude) and then sat amongst the people. And as he did that, those who had remained behind him began to put forward their excuses and take an oath before him and they were more than eighty persons. Allah's Messenger (SAWS) accepted their excuses on the very face of them and accepted their allegiance and sought forgiveness for them and left their secret (intentions) to Allah, until I presented myself to him. He (the Holy Prophet) then said to me, “Come forward. What kept you back? Could you not afford to go in for a ride?” I said, “Allah's Messenger, by Allah, if I were to sit in the presence of anybody else from amongst the worldly people I would have definitely saved myself from his anger on one pretext (or the other) and I have also the knack to fall into argumentation, but, by Allah, I am fully aware of the fact that if I were to put forward before you a false excuse to please you Allah would definitely provoke your wrath upon me, and if I speak the truth you may be annoyed with me, but I hope that Allah would make its end well and, by Allah, there is no valid excuse for me. By Allah, I never possessed such good means, and I never had such favorable conditions for me as I had when I stayed behind you (failed to join the expedition).”

 

Thereupon, Allah's Messenger (SAWS) said, “This man told the truth, so get up until Allah gives a decision in your case. I stood up and some people of Banu' Salama followed me in haste, and they said to me, “By Allah, we do not know about you that you committed a sin prior to this. You, however, showed inability to put forward an excuse before Allah's Messenger (SAWS) as those who stayed behind him have put forward excuses.” By Allah, they continued to incite me until I thought of going back to Allah's Messenger (SAWS) and contradict myself. Then I said to them, “Has anyone else also met the same fate?” They said, “Yes, two persons have met the same fate as has fallen to you and they have made the same statement as you have made, and the same verdict has been delivered in their case as it has been delivered in your case.” I said, “Who were they?” They said, “Murara ibn-ar-Rabi'a 'Amiri and Hilal ibn-Umayya al-Waqafi.” They made a mention of these two pious persons to me who had participated in the battle of Badr and there was an example for me in them. I left when they named these two persons. Allah's Messenger (SAWS) forbade the Muslims to talk with three of us from amongst those (persons) who had stayed behind him. The people began to avoid us and their attitude towards us underwent a change and it seemed as if the whole atmosphere had turned (hostile) against us and it was in fact the same atmosphere of which I was fully aware and in which I had lived (for a fairly long time). We spent fifty nights in this very state and my two friends confined themselves within their houses and spent (most of the) time weeping, but as I was young and strong amongst them I left my house, participated in congregational prayers, moved about in the bazar; but no one spoke to me. I came to Allah's Messenger (SAWS) as he sat amongst (people) after the prayer, greeted him and asked myself whether his lips stirred in response to my greetings (or not).

 

Then I observed prayer beside him and looked at him with stealing glances and when I attended to my prayer, he looked at me, and when I cast a glance at him he turned away his eyes from me. And when the harsh treatment of the Muslims towards me extended to a (considerable) length of time, I walked until I climbed upon the wall of the garden of Abu Qatada, and he was my cousin, and I had the greatest love for him. I greeted him but, by Allah, he did not respond to my greeting. I said to him, “Abu Qatada, I adjure you by Allah, aren't you well aware of the fact that I love Allah and His Messenger (SAWS) the most?” He kept quiet. I again repeated saying, “I adjure you by Allah. Aren't you well aware of the fact that I love Allah and His Messenger (SAWS) the most?” He kept quiet. I again adjured him, whereupon he said, “Allah and the Messenger (SAWS) are best aware of it.” My eyes began to shed tears and I came back climbing down from the wall and as I was walking in the bazar of Madinah a Nabatean (villager) from amongst the Nabateans of Syria, who had come to sell food in Medina, asked people to direct him to Ka'b ibn-Malik. People gave him the indication by pointing towards me. He came to me and delivered to me a letter of the King of Ghassan and as I was a scribe I read that letter and it was written like this, “Coming to my point, it has been conveyed to us that your friend (the Holy Prophet) is subjecting you to cruelty and Allah has not created you for a place where you are to be degraded and where you cannot find your right place, so come to us that we should accord you honor. As I read that letter I said: This is also a calamity, so I burnt it in the oven. When out of the fifty days, forty days had passed and Allah's Messenger (SAWS) received no revelation, there came the messenger of Allah's Messenger (SAWS) to me and said, “Verily, Allah's Messenger (SAWS) has commanded you to remain separate from your wife.” I said, “Should I divorce her or what (else) should I do?” He said, “No, but only remain separate from her and don't have sexual contact with her.”

 

The same message was sent to my companions. So I said to my wife, “You had better go to your parents and stay there with them until Allah gives the decision in my case.” The wife of Hilal ibn-Umayya came to Allah's Messenger (SAWS) and said, “Allah's Messenger, Hilal ibn-Umayya is a senile person, he has no servant. Do you disapprove of my serving him?” He said, “No, but don't go near him.” She said, “By Allah, he has no such instinct in him. By Allah, he spends his time in weeping from that day to this day.”

 

Then Allah sent down these two ayahs that can be translated as, Indeed Allah has already relented towards the Prophet and the Muhajiržûn (The Supporters, i.e., the inhabitants) and the ‘Ansar (The Supporters, i.e., the inhabitants of Al-Madînah who sheltered and helped those who emigrated from Makkah) who closely followed him in the hour of difficulty, even after the hearts of a group of them had almost swerved aside; thereafter He relented towards them; surely He is Ever-Compassionate, Ever-Merciful to them. And to the three who were left staying behind, until, when the earth, spacious as it is, became strait for them, and their selves became strait for them, and they expected that there was no shelter from Allah except in Him; thereafter He relented towards them that they might repent; surely Allah, He, Ever He, is The Superbly Relenting, The Ever-Merciful. (TMQ, 9:117,118)

 

It was on the morning of the fiftieth night that I observed my dawn prayer and was sitting on one of the roofs of our houses, that I heard the noise of an announcer from the peak of the hill of Sal' saying at the top of his voice, “Ka'b bin-Malik, there are glad tidings for you.” I fell down in prostration and came to realize that there was (a message of) relief for me. Allah's Messenger (SAWS) had informed the people of the acceptance of our repentance by Allah as he offered the dawn prayer. So the people give us glad tidings and some of them went to my friends in order to give them the glad tidings and a person galloped on his horse and came from the tribe of Aslam. His horse reached me more quickly than his voice. And when he came to me, he whose voice I heard, he gave me the glad tidings. I took off my clothes and clothed him with them because of his bringing good news to me and, by Allah, I possessed nothing else (in the form of clothes) than these two on that occasion, and I asked someone to lend me two clothes and dressed myself in them.

 

I came to Allah's Messenger (SAWS) and on my way I met groups of people who greeted me because of (the acceptance of) repentance and they said, “Here is a greeting for you for your repentance being accepted by Allah.” (I moved on) until I came to the Masjid and Allah's Messenger (SAWS) had been sitting there amongst some people. Then Talha b. 'Ubaidullah got up and rushed towards me and he shook hands with me and greeted me and, by Allah, no person stood up (to greet me) from amongst the emigrants except he. Ka'b said that he never forgot (this good gesture of) Talha. Ka'b further said, “I greeted Allah's Messenger (SAWS) with asalamu alaikom (Peace be upon you) and his face was glistening with delight, and he said, “Let there be glad tidings and blessings for you, the like of which (you have neither found nor you will find, as you find today) since your mother gave your birth”, and it was common with Allah's Messenger (SAWS) that as he was happy his face brightened up and it looked like a part of the moon and it was from this that we recognized it (his delight)… I said, Allah has granted me salvation because of the truth and, therefore, (I think) that repentance implies that I should not speak anything but truth as long as I live.

 

In regard to those who told lies Allah used the harshest words used for anyone as He says in the revelation, “They will soon swear to you by Allah when you turn over to them, that you may veer away from them. So veer away from them, for they are an abomination, and their abode is Hell, a recompense for what they have been earning. They will swear to you (so) that you may be satisfied with them; yet, in case you are satisfied with them, then surely Allah will not be satisfied with the immoral people” (TMQ, 9: 95-96).[15]

 

Can you imagine that they were punished for leaving the Prophet’s path, yet without committing any great sins! Can you imagine now how long we should be punished for leaving the path of the Messenger for many years? Could you imagine the Prophet (SAWS) angry from you and ignoring you completely? Could you bear it? What excuse will you say when he (SAWS) asks you about leaving his path?

 

There is only one question in this episode, ‘Will you try to do anything to improve the ummah after Ramadan or you will cool down and relax?’

 

Which type of person will you be? Are you from the ones who will hold on to the path of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAWS), or those who repent and promise to start moving for the message of Allah, or are you a hypocrite?

 

I urge you to move! Try to improve things in the world and do something for Islam. Please hold on to the path of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAWS).

 

Tomorrow's episode is the last episode is the series. It is a beautiful one, yet it is a hard one. We will talk about the farewell pilgrimage and the death of the prophet (SAWS).

 

All Prayers and Blessings of Allah be upon our master, the most noble Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.

 

[1] SAWS=Sala-llahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.

 

[2] A.H= after Hijra of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah in 622 A.D.

 

[3] A proportion of the wealth (2.5%) of every Muslim to be paid annually for the benefit of the needy in the Muslim community.

 

[4] SWT=Suhanahu wa Ta'ala = Glorified and Exalted Be He.

 

[5] Authentic hadith in Sahih Bukhari, narrated by Aisha. volume 3, book 34, number 413.

 

[6] Authentic Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, narrated by Abu-Murra, volume 1, book 8, number 353.

 

[7] Authentic hadith in Sahih Muslim, book 007, number 3070.

 

 

 

[8] TMQ= Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

 

[9] Authentic hadith in Sahih Bukhari, narrated by abu-Ishaq, volume 4, book 52, number 116.

 

 

 

[10] Authenticated hadith in Sahih Muslim: Book 005, Number 2313

 

[11] Authenticated hadith. Book 2, Number 2.6.29: Translation of Malik's Muwatta, Book 2.

 

[12] Authenticated Hadith in Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5915:narrated by Sa'd Ibn-Aby-Wakkas.

 

[13] Authenticated Hadith by Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 785. Narrated by Anas.

 

[14] Authenticated hadith in Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 14, Number 2493: narrated by Abu-Malik al-Ash'ari

 

[15] The story is narrated here as it is found in Sahih Muslim: Book 037, Number 6670. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Zuhri with the same chain of transmitters.

 

 

 

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