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Some Important Events during the Holy Prophet's Mission in Madinah

Some Important Events during the Holy Prophet's Mission in Madinah

Some Important Events during the Holy Prophet's Mission in Madinah

 

THE DECLARATION OF BROTHERHOOD
After his arrival in Madina, the Holy Prophet (S) was faced with a new challenge. For the first time, the Muslims were centralised and arrangements had to be made to run this new Muslim state.
The Holy Prophet (S) faced three main problems. These were:
The danger of attack from the Quraish in Makka and other idol worshippers from the rest of Arabia.
The presence of the Jews of Madina who lived within and outside the city and possessed enormous wealth.
The differences which existed between his own supporters.
He tackled the issue concerning the Muslims first. The people who had migrated with him from Makka (Muhajireen) and the local Muslims who lived in Madina (Ansar) had been brought up in different environments and there was a great difference in their thinking and culture. Moreover, the tribes of Aws and Khazraj, who made up the Ansar, were sworn enemies of each other and had been fighting for over a hundred years.
The first thing the Holy Prophet (S) did was to create peace between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj. He united them on the basis of their common faith in Islam, and told them to forget their old differences.
Then, the Holy Prophet (S) turned his attention to the needs of the Muhajireen. These brave Muslims had left all their wealth and possessions in Makka to come with the Holy Prophet (S) to Madina. They had no wealth or property. On the command of Allah, the Holy Prophet (S) established brotherhood between the Muhajireen and Ansar. He paired off each Muhajir with one Ansar and declared them brothers. The generous Ansar gave over one half of their wealth to their new brothers so that they could live comfortably in Madina.
At the end of all the pairings, only Imam Ali (A) was left. He asked the Holy Prophet (S) who his brother would be. The Holy Prophet (S) declared, "O Ali, you are my brother in this world as well as the next."
By this simple method, the Holy Prophet (S) ensured the unity of the Muslims and this unity enabled him to concentrate on the other two problems as well. To tackle the issue of security for all citizens of Madina, the Holy Prophet (S) drafted an agreement to establish peace between the Muslims and the Jews. The contents of that document represented a great leap forward for the unprincipled Arabs.
For the first time, the Arabs were introduced to a Constitution that outlined the principles of freedom, order and justice. We have quoted only a part of that agreement here.
"In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
The signatories of the agreement form one nation. If a Muslim kills someone by mistake or becomes a captive, blood-money or ransom should be paid as necessary. The Muslims should support such a person with the expenses of the payment.
Anybody from amongst the Jews who embraces Islam shall be entitled to the assistance of the Muhajireen and the Ansar. There will be no difference between such a person and any other Muslim, and nobody shall oppress him or be his enemy.
Groups of Muslims should go for Jihad (Holy War) alternately, so that the blood shed in the path of Allah is divided equally.
If a Muslim kills another Muslim without a just cause and his crime is proved legally, he shall be executed, unless the heirs of the murdered person forgive him. In either case, it is the duty of the Muslims to be united against the murderer.
The authority of resolving differences shall always rest with Allah and Muhammad.
When the Muslims fight for the defence of Madina, the Jews must pay their share in the expenses of war.
The Muslims and Jews are free to practise their law and religion.
Lives of neighbours and those who have been granted asylum are like our own lives, and must be respected. No asylum shall be granted to the Quraish or their allies.
The signatories of this agreement take joint responsibility for the defence of Madina.
When the Muslims invite the Jews to conclude peace with the enemy, they should accept the proposal. The Muslims should also accept any such proposal made by the Jews, except when the enemy is opposed to the religion of Islam.
Allah is the Protector of the good and the pious, and Muhammad is His Prophet."
This far-sighted document was gladly accepted by most people in Madina. The few Jews who rejected it at first also added their signatures at a later date.
Having made arrangements to secure Madina, the Holy Prophet (S) could now concentrate on the threat of the Quraish of Makka.

THE MARRIAGE OF BIBI FATIMAH (A)
Bibi Fatimah (A), the best of all women, was the only daughter of the Holy Prophet (S). Whenever she came into his presence, the Holy Prophet (S) would stand up in respect, not because she was his daughter, but because she possessed the highest qualities of piety and faith amongst all women.
Because of the excellence of Bibi Fatimah (A), the Holy Prophet (S) received numerous offers for her hand in marriage from wealthy families and chiefs of tribes. He refused them all, saying that he was waiting for the order of Allah regarding the person to whom his daughter should be married.
The Muslims realised that the person who married this great lady would not need to be rich and powerful, but would have to possess her qualities of truthfulness, piety and excellence. Therefore, some people suggested to Imam Ali (A) that he should go to the Holy Prophet (S) and place a proposal for himself. Imam Ali (A) also wished this, and he approached the Holy Prophet (S). Imam Ali (A) felt shy at his request but when the Holy Prophet (S) encouraged him to speak what was on his mind, he managed to tell him.
When the Holy Prophet (S) heard the proposal he was so pleased that he smiled and said, "It is a welcome and happy proposal." However, he asked Imam Ali (A) to wait till he asked his daughter. When the Holy Prophet (S) mentioned the proposal of Imam Ali (A) to Bibi Fatimah (A), she remained quiet due to her modesty. The Holy Prophet (S) declared, "Her silence means her consent."
In those days, Imam Ali (A) owned nothing except his sword and battle armour. He was advised by the Holy Prophet (S) to sell the armour to meet the expense of marriage. With the money from the sale, the items of dowry for Bibi Fatimah (A) were purchased.
These consisted of some perfume, a shirt, a black bath robe, a head-dress, a bed made of wood and date palm fibre, two mattresses of Egyptian linen, four pillows, a curtain, a mat, two millstones (for grinding flour), a water skin, a wooden bowl for milk, a container for water, some jars, two silver bangles and one copper vessel.
The marriage ceremony was performed by the Holy Prophet (S) in the month of Ramadhan 2 A.H. All the Muhajireen and Ansar gathered for the wedding, and Imam Ali (A) arranged for a feast (Walimah) in honour of his wife.
The Holy Prophet (S) informed his daughter of the virtues and qualities of her husband. Then he turned to Imam Ali (A) and mentioned the excellence of his daughter and said that if Imam Ali (A) had not been born, there would have been none else to match her. He then divided the duties of life between them. He told Bibi Fatimah (A) to take care of all the household affairs while he made Imam Ali (A) responsible for the outdoor duties.
From this marriage Imam Ali (A) and Bibi Fatimah (A) were blessed with two sons, Imam Hasan (A) and Imam Husain (A), and two daughters, Bibi Zainab (A) and Bibi Umme Kulthum (A).

THE CHANGE OF QIBLAH
When Allah first ordered the Holy Prophet (S) and all Muslims to offer the daily Namaaz, they were required to pray facing Baytul Muqaddas (Jerusalem). This was the practice in Makka and continued in Madina until the seventeenth month after Hijrat.
In Madina, the Jews also said their prayers facing Baytul Muqaddas. They did not like the fact that the Muslims had the same Qiblah as they did, and tried to use this fact to discredit Islam and the Holy Prophet (S). They said to the Muslims, "Muhammad claims to have a religion whose laws supersede all other previous laws, yet he does not have an independent Qiblah, and offers his prayers facing the Qiblah of the Jews."
After the Holy Prophet (S) received this news he used to come out at night and look into the sky awaiting the revelation from Allah about this matter. The following verse was revealed at this time:
Many a time We have seen you turn your face towards heaven. We will make you turn towards a Qiblah that will please you...
Surah al-Baqarah, 2:144
The fact that the Qiblah was the same as that of the Jews was also because it was a test of the faith of the people. The true faith of the followers would be tested by seeing if any of them refused or delayed to turn towards the new Qiblah as chosen by Allah . This is confirmed in the Holy Qur'an in the following verse:
…We decreed your former Qiblah only so that We may know the Prophet's true followers and those who were to deny him. It was indeed a hard test, but not for those whom Allah guided...
Surah al-Baqarah, 2:143
One day, while the Holy Prophet (S) and the Muslims were praying together, the command came from Allah to change the Qiblah from Baytul Muqaddas to the Holy Ka'ba in Makka. After the Holy Prophet (S) had already completed two raka'ats of the noon prayer, the Angel Jibraeel (A) communicated to him the command of Allah.
He held the hand of the Holy Prophet (S) and turned him towards the Holy Ka'ba in Masjidul Haraam in Makka. The Holy Prophet (S) at once changed his direction in the middle of Namaaz. Imam Ali (A) followed this change immediately. The other Muslims were confused by this action and only a few followed the example of Imam Ali (A).
The mosque where this happened is known as "Masjide Dhul Qiblatain" which means "The Mosque with the Two Qiblahs". This mosque still exists in Madina today.
With modern instruments and science we can pinpoint the exact location of Madina to be at latitude 24 degrees and longitude 39 degrees. This makes the Qiblah 45 degrees south of Madina.
The Holy Prophet (S) turned towards the new Qiblah without hesitation. The old and new Qiblahs can still be seen today in Masjide Dhul Qiblatain. It was one of the Holy Prophet's (S) miracles that he turned exactly to face the Holy Ka'ba without the use of any scientific instrument or computation.
The Holy Ka'ba which serves as the Qiblah for all Muslims today has always been respected by the Arabs, even before the Holy Prophet (S). It was for this reason that this new Qiblah served to attract more Arabs towards Islam.

THE BATTLE OF BADR
In the middle of Jamadil Awwal of 2 A.H., a report was received in Madina that a trade caravan was going from Makka to Syria under the leadership of Abu Sufyan.
The Holy Prophet (S) decided to send two men to find out more facts about this caravan. He told them to find out about its route, the number of guards, as well as the nature of the goods they were carrying. The two men gathered the following information:
It was a big caravan and all the Makkans had shares in its goods.
The leader of the caravan was Abu Sufyan and it was guarded by 40 men.
The goods were loaded on 1,000 camels and were valued at about 50,000 Dinars.
The Quraish had confiscated the property of all the Muslims who had migrated from Makka, and therefore the Holy Prophet (S) decided to also seize the property of the Makkans as compensation. Although the Muslims pursued Abu Sufyan, they could not reach him. However, the time of the return of the caravan was almost certain because the Quraish always used to return from Syria to Makka in the early autumn.
The Holy Prophet (S) left Madina and proceeded towards the valley of Badr, 80 miles away, where he awaited the return of the caravan.
Abu Sufyan realised that the Muslims would wait for him at Badr which was a stopping place on the route to Makka, so he sent an urgent message to Makka for help. The Makkans immediately sent out a large army under the command of Abu Jahl to fight the Muslims at Badr. The Holy Prophet (S) was informed of the march of the Makkan army and he asked the Muslims what they thought about engaging in a battle. Although Abu Bakr and Umar wanted to return to Madina, Miqdaad, who was a true Muslim, stood up and declared, "O Prophet of Allah, we are with you and we shall fight."
Meanwhile Abu Sufyan decided to take a longer and different route back home, and avoid Badr. Once he was safely in Makka, he sent a message to Abu Jahl to return, but Abu Jahl was too proud to go back and wanted to crush the Muslims with his large army.
The two armies clashed on 17th of Mahe Ramadhan 2 A.H. The Muslim army consisted of 313 soldiers, having between them only 2 horses and 70 camels. The Makkan army had 900 soldiers, 100 horses and 700 camels. They were much better equipped than the Muslims.
According to Arab custom, there was single combat before the battle began. Three famous warriors, Utbah bin Rabiyyah, Shaybah bin Rabiyyah and Walid bin Utbah challenged the Muslims. Three Muslims, Awf, Ma'uz and Abdullah Rawahah came forward. Because these men were from the Ansar of Madina, Utbah said, "We have no fight with you. Send us our equals."
The Holy Prophet (S) then sent 'Ubaydah, Hamza and Imam Ali (A). Ubaydah faced Utbah, Hamza faced Shaybah and Imam Ali (A) faced Walid. Hamza and Imam Ali (A) soon killed their opponents, but Ubaydah was badly hurt and later died. Imam Ali (A) then killed Utbah. The Quraish were disturbed to see the skill of the Muslim warriors and began to attack together.
The Holy Prophet (S) held back his small army and ordered them to fire arrows at the enemy. This organised attack broke up the ranks of the Makkans and, seeing their confusion, the Holy Prophet (S) ordered a general attack. The Muslims began to fight with conviction and the valley of Badr rang with the sounds of battle. Then Imam Ali (A) tore into the heart of the Makkan army, killing enemy soldiers with terrifying ease. His power and skill with the sword struck terror into the hearts of the Makkans, who began to flee.
Before long, the battle was over and the Muslims had achieved a great victory, despite being outnumbered.
In this battle the Muslims lost 14 men, while 70 Makkans, including their chiefs Abu Jahl, Nawfal, Umayyah and others were killed. Out of these, Imam Ali (A) killed 36 men himself and helped in killing several others.
70 prisoners were taken by the Muslims. The prisoners were treated with much kindness by the citizens of Madina and some became Muslims. "Blessing be on the men of Madina", said one of these prisoners in later days, "they made us ride, while they themselves walked, they gave us wheat and bread to eat when there was little of it; contenting themselves with dates".
The rich prisoners paid ransom and were set free. Others were asked to teach 10 children each to read and write while the rest were released by the Holy Prophet (S), and allowed to return to Makka.
The victory at Badr strengthened the faith of the Muslims and warned the unbelievers of Makka that Islam was now a force to be reckoned with. During the same year Allah sent down the command making fasting compulsory on Muslims. The following verse of the Holy Qur'an was revealed in this respect:
The month of Ramadhan (is) that in which the Qur'an was sent down; a guidance for mankind and clear evidence of guidance and discrimination (between right and wrong). So whoever of you witnesses the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is ill or on a journey, (he shall fast) the same number of other days...
Surah al-Baqarah, 2:185

THE THREE GHAZWAS
The news of the defeat of the Quraish by the Muslims in the Battle of Badr spread throughout Arabia. In Makka, the unbelievers were shocked at their defeat and many said they would not rest till they took revenge for their dead companions. The rich Jews of Madina, Khaybar and Wadiul Quraa became alarmed at the rapid increase in the power and popularity of the Muslims. For these reasons, these two groups became deadly enemies of the Muslims.
The Jews of Bani Qaynqaa lived in Madina with the Muslims, and they controlled most of the businesses in the city. To try to break the strength of the Muslims, they spread rumours against Islam and made fun of the verses of the Holy Qur'an.
The Holy Prophet (S) decided to bring an end to their harmful activities and delivered a warning speech to the Jews in the market-place of Bani Qaynqaa. He said to them, "The fate of the Quraish serves them right. It is a lesson to you as well. I am afraid the same fate will overtake you if you continue with your ways. There are many religious scholars amongst you, and they will confirm that I am the Prophet of Allah because this fact is recorded in your own Book, the Tawrat".
Instead of remaining silent at the words of the Holy Prophet (S), the proud Jews replied that they were not as weak as the Quraish and went on to say many disrespectful things. In reply, the Holy Prophet (S) reminded them of the Islamic Constitution that governed the city of Madina and warned them not to break the law.
The Jews were overconfident due to their strength, so they continued to act arrogantly against the Muslims. They were waiting for an excuse to force the Muslims into attack.
One day a Muslim woman went to the market place of the Bani Qaynqaa and a Jew shopkeeper demanded that she remove her veil so that he could see her face. When the lady refused, somebody stitched up her dress in such a way that when she rose, a part of her body was revealed. On seeing the poor woman being insulted in this shameful manner, a Muslim who was present struck the shopkeeper and killed him. At once all the Jews turned on the Muslim and put him to death.
When the Muslims learnt of the massed attack of the Jews on a single Muslim they were extremely angry. The Jews realised that the situation was now serious and so they left their businesses and took refuge in their homes in strong forts outside Madina. The Holy Prophet (S) ordered the Muslims to lay siege on the forts and after 15 days, the Jews surrendered. In return for mercy, the Jews agreed to leave their weapons and wealth behind and leave Madina forever.
Although the Muslims were now free of the poisonous influence of the Bani Qaynqaa, several other plots were being hatched against them all the time and brief accounts of some Ghazwas are given below. Ghazwa means a battle in which the Holy Prophet (S) himself participated.

1. Ghazwatul Kadar.
The tribe of Bani Salim lived in an area called Kadar. News reached Madina that the people of that tribe were gathering arms to attack the Muslims. The Holy Prophet (S) went with a small army towards Kadar. The enemies, however, scattered when they heard of his march and the Holy Prophet (S) returned without any fighting. Later, he sent a second force and this time they engaged the Bani Salim in battle and returned to Madina victorious.

2. Ghazwatus Saweeq.
Abu Sufyan in Makka had vowed to take revenge for the defeat at Badr and came out with 200 men to cause trouble. He did not have an army strong enough to attack Madina directly, so with the help of the chief of the Jewish tribe of Bani Nuzayr, he attacked the Muslims in the region of Ariz. He killed one Muslim and set fire to a palm grove. When the Holy Prophet (S) heard about the incident he came out with a group of men and pursued Abu Sufyan and his warriors. The enemy ran away, leaving behind bags of "Saweeq", (a food prepared with flour and palm dates). The Muslims took possession of these bags and gave this Ghazwa the name Ghazwatus Saweeq.

3. Ghazwa Zil Amr.
Reports were received in Madina that the tribe of Ghaftaan had gathered to attack the Muslims and conquer Madina. The Holy Prophet (S) came out with 450 men to face the enemy. The enemy lost heart and ran to hide in the mountains. In the meantime, due to heavy rain, the clothes of the Holy Prophet (S) had become wet, so he took off some of his clothes and put them to dry on a tree branch. One of the enemy saw that the Holy Prophet (S) was unarmed, so he came down from the mountain and threatened him with a sword, saying, "Who can save you today?" The Holy Prophet (S) calmly replied, "Allah." The man was so stunned by this confident reply that he lost his nerve and began to tremble. At once the Holy Prophet (S) grabbed the sword and said to him, "And who can save you now?" The man was an idol worshipper and knew that his wooden gods could not help him and he admitted, "None can save me."
The Holy Prophet (S) did not take any action against this man and he became a Muslim and stayed steadfast to the religion till his last days.
In these early days of Islam, the Muslims were called to defend their religion time and time again. But they never gave in to the pressure from their neighbouring tribes, who could not stand and watch the increasing strength of Islam.

THE BATTLE OF UHUD
The Makkans were determined to take revenge for their defeat at Badr. Their women could not accept that their brave champions had been so easily killed by the Muslims, and they mocked their men for their weakness. Abu Sufyan wanted to keep the anger of the people high and he forbade any mourning within Makka until they had fully avenged their dead companions. The emotions of the people were further fuelled by some Jews, who composed poems to incite them to war.
The final straw was when the Holy Prophet (S) blocked the trade routes of the Quraish to Iraq. The chiefs of the Makkans decided that they now had enough reasons to march against the Muslims. The Quraish traders would regain access for their caravans if the Muslims were defeated, so they agreed to pay all the expenses of the proposed war.
Abu Sufyan was aware of the bravery of the Muslims, and he knew that he would have to outnumber them if he wanted to win. He therefore enlisted the tribes of Kanaanah and Saqeef, promising them weapons and full provisions for the journey.
A large number of slaves also joined the Quraish army tempted by promises of freedom. Amongst them was Wahshi, an Ethiopian slave. He possessed great skill in the use of the throwing spear, and had been promised his freedom if he killed the Holy Prophet (S), Imam Ali (A) or Hamza.
Abu Sufyan managed to prepare a large army consisting of 700 armour-clad men, 3,000 camel soldiers, a cavalry of 200 men and a group of foot soldiers. This army marched towards Madina and camped at the foot of the hills of Uhud, on 5th Shawwal 3 A.H.
The Holy Prophet (S) had already received news of the plans of the Quraish from his uncle Abbas, who lived in Makka. After consultation with the Muslims he decided to meet the enemy outside the city limits of Madina for three reasons. These were:
Hand to hand fighting in the narrow streets of Madina would be very disorganised and the soldiers could not be used together against the enemy. Moreover, once the enemy was allowed into the city, the lives of the women and children would be in danger.
The enemy could surround the city and control all roads leading out of the city. Such a siege could break the morale of the Muslims.
The Holy Prophet (S) did not trust some hypocrites like Abdullah Ubayy, and feared that they might harm the Muslims from within the city.
The Holy Prophet (S) came out to meet the Quraish with 1,000 men at Uhud, 3 miles outside Madina. Abdullah Ubayy, who had wanted to fight in Madina, then deserted the Muslim army with 300 of his men.
He gave the excuse that the Holy Prophet (S) had taken the advice of younger men over his own. Thus, the Holy Prophet (S) was left with only 700 men. Only 100 of them were armour-clad and between them they had only two horses.
The Holy Prophet (S) began to set up his army in fighting formations. 50 archers were posted at a pass between the hills of Uhud to guard the army from any attack from the rear. They had strict orders not to leave their post, whatever the outcome of the battle.
The Holy Prophet (S) knew that the Muslims would be worried at being outnumbered in the battle, so he strengthened their morale with an address. He said to them, "It is a difficult task to fight the enemy, and only those who are guided and supported by Allah can remain steadfast.
Remember that Allah is with those who obey Him, while Shaitan is the companion of those who disobey Him. Remain firm in Jihad and use it to acquire the blessings that Allah has promised you. None dies in this world until Allah decides." He then told them not to start fighting until orders were given to fight.
On the side of the Makkans, Abu Sufyan had divided his army into 3 parts. The armoured men were placed in the middle. Preparations were now complete and the small band of Muslims stood against the large army of unbelievers, ready to give their lives away for the sake of the defence of Islam.
The man who began the Battle of Uhud was Talha bin Abi Talha, a great warrior from the army of Abu Sufyan. He entered the battlefield and challenged the Muslims to individual combat. The challenge was accepted by Imam Ali (A) and very soon Talha's dead body lay on the ground. The standard was taken by his two brothers but they were both cut down by arrows from the Muslims.
Thereafter nine people of the Makkan army took the standard, one after the other, but every one of them was sent to Hell by Imam Ali (A). After them, an Ethiopian soldier by the name of Sawaab came to the field. He had a frightening figure and on seeing him none of the Muslims dared to come forward. This man was killed by Imam Ali (A) by a single blow.
Seeing his men being so easily killed, Abu Sufyan ordered a general attack. The two armies met and the air was filled with the sound of weapons. From the side of the Muslims, Hamza, Abu Dujana and Imam Ali (A) gave a heroic account of their valour and began to create chaos in the army of Abu Sufyan.
At this time, the Ethiopian slave Wahshi got behind Hamza unnoticed. With a swift and accurate throw, the accursed man managed to pierce the abdomen of Hamza and kill him.
The Muslims continued to attack the enemy successfully and the Makkans began to lose heart. After losing a lot of men they decided that they had had enough and fled the battlefield.
It was at this point that the Muslims made a grave error that cost them dearly. Instead of following the Holy Prophet's (S) orders and pursuing the enemy out of the battlefield, they lay down their own weapons and started gathering the booty.
Thinking that the battle was over, the majority of the archers guarding the passage in the hill left their posts to gather the spoils, against the orders of their leader.
One of the Makkan commanders, Khalid bin Walid, was fleeing when he saw the opportunity to attack the Muslims from behind. He gathered his men and launched a furious attack from the rear.
The Muslims were taken so much by surprise that they did not know what to do. In the confusion, their ranks became disorganised. The retreating Makkan forces rallied again and began a fresh onslaught from the front.
The Muslim army's standard bearer, Mus'ab bin Umair was killed. He bore a great facial resemblance to the Holy Prophet (S) and so the Makkans raised a cry that the Holy Prophet (S) had been killed. This threw the Muslims into further chaos and utter dismay.
Many of their famous personalities were disheartened. Some of the weak hearted like Abu Bakr and Umar bin Khattab threw away their swords saying there was no use fighting when the Holy Prophet (S) was no more. Uthman also fled, running so far away that he returned to Madina after 3 days.
On the other hand, many valiant soldiers remained faithful and entered the middle of the Makkan ranks determined to fight to their last breath. This went on until a Muslim saw the Holy Prophet (S) and shouted at the top of his voice that he was still alive. The spirit of the Muslims revived but the Holy Prophet (S) now became the chief target of the Makkan forces. The Makkans attacked him and his two upper teeth were broken by the sword of one of them. He had fallen into a pit where Imam Ali (A) found him and protected him against the continuous furious attack of the Makkans. Other faithful companions, including the brave lady Umme Ammaarah, also prevented the enemy from getting too close to the Holy Prophet (S) and shielded him against the rain of arrows.
It was in this battle that the reputation of Imam Ali (A) was confirmed and he was acknowledged as a master in the field of sword fighting. He fought so hard that his sword broke. The Holy Prophet (S) then gave him own sword "Zulfiqar". In appreciation of the bravery of Imam Ali (A) the voice of the angel Jibraeel (A) was heard from above saying, "There is no warrior except Ali; there is no sword except Zulfiqar."
The Makkan forces had turned the tables but they were too exhausted to push their advantage either by attacking Madina or by driving the Muslims from the heights of the hills of Uhud. They satisfied their desire for revenge by committing horrible brutalities upon the slain and the injured, cutting off their ears and noses and mutilating their bodies. The brave Hamza was amongst the martyrs. His liver was torn out and chewed by Hind, wife of Abu Sufyan.
In this battle, 70 Muslims were martyred and 70 wounded. Imam Ali (A) was also heavily wounded. The Makkans lost 22 warriors, 12 of them at the hands of Imam Ali (A).
The defeat of the Muslims was a test for them and through the ashes of the battle they emerged more eager and determined to defend their faith and the cause of Islam.

THE MISSIONARIES OF ISLAM
After the defeat of the Muslims in the Battle of Uhud, many tribes became bold and started thinking that they could send in their armies to take over Madina.
The Muslims, however, had only lost at Uhud because of a lapse in their discipline and they had learnt from their experience very well. They were still a very powerful force. As a warning, the Holy Prophet (S) silenced the tribes who were thinking of attacking Madina, by sending small military units to them to suppress any plots against the Muslims. These military units also prepared the ground for the Holy Prophet (S) to send groups of missionaries to teach the various tribes about Islam.
Some of the enemy tribes resorted to deceitful means to weaken Islam. The representatives of some tribes living outside Madina came to the Holy Prophet (S) and claimed that they wished to become Muslims and that they needed someone to teach them and their people about Islam. It was the duty of the Holy Prophet (S) to give this request a positive reply, because the men represented several large tribes. Accordingly, he authorised 10 trained missionaries to accompany the representatives of the tribes.
Once the group were out of the zone of authority of the Muslim government, they revealed their evil intentions. Suddenly they encircled the missionaries. The Muslims had no choice but to draw their swords to defend themselves. Their enemies, however, swore that all they wanted to do was to arrest them and hand them over to the Quraish and claim a reward.
The Muslims looked at one another and decided to fight. They replied that they did not believe the words of idol worshippers and bravely resorted to lay down their lives in the path of Islam. All of them were killed, except three. These three persons put away their swords and surrendered, trusting the goodwill of the enemies.
While they were being led away , one of them felt ashamed at having surrendered. He managed to release his hands and took a sword to attack the enemies. The enemies retreated and overcame him by throwing stones at him. When he fell, they stoned him so much that he died and was buried on the spot.
The other two prisoners were handed over to the Quraish in Makka and exchanged for two prisoners of their own. In Makka, a man whose father was killed in the Battle of Badr by the Muslims, purchased one of the missionaries. As revenge, he hanged him. The second man was kept in prison for a time before he too was hanged. Before his death he bravely asked the Makkans for some time to offer his Namaaz. Thus, even as he died, he impressed upon his murderers the strength of his faith in Islam.
When the Holy Prophet (S) heard about the fate of the missionaries, he was very grieved and sent two men secretly to bury the second missionary, whose body had been left hanging on the gallows for several days.
A few months later, a man of the tribe of Bani Aamir came to Madina. The Holy Prophet (S) invited him to Islam. The man requested that some people be sent to his tribe in Najd as missionaries. When the Holy Prophet (S) expressed concern for their safety, in view of past experiences, the man said that he himself would stay in Madina so that his tribe would not harm the Muslims.
The Holy Prophet (S) then decided to send 40 learned Muslims to Najd under the leadership of a man called Munzir. He also sent a letter to the chief of one of the other tribes in Najd, inviting him to Islam.
However, the chief did not even bother to read the letter and immediately put the bearer to death. He then asked for assistance from the neighbouring tribes to attack the missionaries, who had camped at Najd. Although the tribe of Bani Aamir tried to change his mind, they were outnumbered.
Two of the Muslims were grazing the camels when the attack took place. One was killed but the other, whose name was Amr, managed to escape. The rest of the Muslims were not only senior missionaries, but also brave and well trained in warfare, so they considered it a shame to surrender.
They all took up their arms to fight, but they were hopelessly outnumbered by the treacherous enemies. After a brave fight, they were all martyred, except for one man whose name was Ka'b . He was wounded, but managed to reach Madina and gave information about what had happened.
These events teach us about the great sacrifices made by the early Muslims in the spreading and defence of Islam. May Allah bless their efforts.

THE BATTLE OF AHZAB
When the Jews of Bani Qaynqaa were expelled from Madina because of their trouble making, their sister tribe, the Bani Nuzayr, were very angry. They became deadly enemies of Islam and waited for an opportunity to do the Muslims harm.
Once the Holy Prophet (S), together with a few companions, went to the fort of the Bani Nuzayr. While he waited outside the fort, the Jews sent one of their men to climb out from inside and kill him by throwing a huge rock on his head. The Holy Prophet (S) came to know of this treacherous scheme just in time and immediately left the place. Since the Bani Nuzayr had broken the treaty which they had signed, the Holy Prophet (S) gave them ten days to leave Madina. After some resistance, they left Madina, demolishing their houses so that the Muslims could not occupy them. They were allowed to take away all the possessions that they could carry, except for weapons of war. Some of them went to Syria and others settled with the Jews of Khayber.
On settling down at Khayber, the Banu Nuzayr became determined to take revenge on the Muslims. They contacted the Quraish in Makka and 20 leaders from the Jews and 50 from Quraish signed an agreement in the Holy Ka'ba that so long as they lived, they would fight the Holy Prophet (S). Thereafter, the Jews and Quraish contacted their allies and sent agents to a number of tribes for help. In this way, 10,000 soldiers gathered. They then marched upon Madina under the command of Abu Sufyan.
When the news of these preparations reached Madina, the Holy Prophet (S) consulted his companions. Salman Farsi advised to dig a deep and wide ditch on the unprotected side of Madina. This plan was accepted and the Muslims were divided into parties of 10, and each party allotted 10 yards to dig.
The Holy Prophet himself participated in this task. The ditch or moat (Khandaq) was completed in time, just three days before the forces of the enemy reached Madina. The Muslims could gather only 3,000 men to oppose this huge army. They camped a few miles outside Madina.
Meanwhile, the leader of Bani Nuzayr met secretly with some Jews who still lived in Madina. He convinced them to violate the treaty which they had concluded with the Muslims. Thus, the Muslims were exposed to danger within Madina, and the Jews began terrorising the women and children. When the Holy Prophet (S) learnt about what was happening he sent back 500 men to patrol the city.
The enemy was astonished to see the moat because it was a new thing for Arabs. They tried day and night to cross over, but each time they were repelled by the Muslim soldiers. The enemy began to shower arrows and stones at the Muslims in their frustration.
Finally, some of the Quraish's warriors - including the famous Amr bin Abdiwad - succeeded in crossing the moat at a point where it was not very wide. Amr was one of the best warriors in all of Arabia. In battle he was considered equal to 1,000 warriors. He began to challenge the Muslims to fight, but his reputation made them hesitate. Three times the Holy Prophet (S) urged the Muslims to fight Amr. Each time only Imam Ali (A) stood up. Finally, the Holy Prophet (S) allowed him to go, giving him his own sword and tying a special turban on his head. As Imam Ali (A) went to the battle field, the Holy Prophet (S) exclaimed, "The whole Faith is going to fight the whole Infidelity".
When Amr learnt who Imam's (A) identity, he refused to fight him, saying that Abu Talib had been his friend and he did not want to kill his friend's son. Imam Ali (A) told him not to be concerned about his death because if he died he would be blessed with a place in Heaven while Amr would end up in Hell.
He then reminded Amr that he had once said that if any opponent made three requests, Amr would always grant one of them. Amr agreed to this. Imam Ali (A) then invited Amr to accept Islam or to return to Makka or to come down from his horse as Imam (A) had no horse and was on foot.
Amr agreed to the last request and came down from his horse. A fierce battle followed.
For a time, so much dust covered both warriors that nobody knew what was happening. Amr sent a murderous blow to the head of Imam Ali (A).
Although Imam Ali (A) blocked it with his shield, Amr's sword broke through and inflicted a serious cut on his head. Imam Ali (A) then struck a blow to Amr's feet which brought Amr down. Suddenly the shout of "Allahu Akbar" was heard from Imam Ali (A) as he chopped off Amr's head. The killing of Amr shocked the other warriors who had crossed the moat, and they fled away.
The battle was brought to an end because of three factors:
The Holy Prophet (S) signed an agreement of peace with some of the tribes who had gathered to fight the Muslims.
The enemy was demoralised at the death of Amr ibn Abdiwad.
The severe winter caused the enemies' horses to perish and their food was almost finished.
Finally, the Holy Prophet (S) went to the place where the Mosque of Victory (Masjid-ul-Fath) now stands, and prayed to Allah for help. A fierce storm raged which uprooted the tents of the enemies, sending their belongings flying on all sides, and causing terror in their ranks. The Makkans and Jews fled away from the battle field. This battle is known as Ahzab (Battle of the Tribes) or Khandaq (Battle of the Moat) and the Muslims emerged victorious in spite of their fewer numbers. The Holy Qur'an says:
O you who believe! Remember the blessing of Allah unto you when the tribes came to you. We sent upon them a strong wind and an army that you did not see. And Allah sees all that you do.
Surah al-Ahzab, 33:9

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