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The Prophet's Major proceedings in Medina

The Prophet's Major proceedings in Medina

The Prophet's Major proceedings in Medina

Having settled in Yathrib,[1] the Holy Prophet deemed necessary to construct a mosque in order to provide Muslims with a center for religious education and a place for their congregation at Friday Prayers. For this reason, he purchased the ground on which the camel had sat on his first arrival and which belonged to the two orphans, from their guardian and constructed a mosque with the assistance of Muslims.[2] This mosque came to be called Masjid al-Nab¢. This was the Holy Prophet's first social act after Hegira. Upon the completion of the mosque, two chambers were erected close to it as a house for the Holy Prophet and his wives.[3] Then, he left Ab£-Ayy£b's home to live in his new chambers[4] until his demise.

The ¯uffah Followers

Upon the migration to Yathrib, the An¥¡r housed the Muh¡jir£n and prepared their accommodation to the best of their abilities.[5] However, the ¯uffah followers were a group of strangers and poor individuals who were deprived of everything. A shade was established at the end side of the mosque as a temporary resort for them. The Holy Prophet took good care of them so far as he provided them with food and encouraged the rich An¥¡r to help them. This group who were zealous in their religion, passionate and virtuous Muslims came to be called the ¯uffah followers.[6] Any new comer to Medina would join his relatives; otherwise, he joined the ¯uffah group. The number of this group varied: those who could find accommodation would leave the group and at times new comers would join them.[7]

General Treaty (Contract)

Having settled in Medina, the Holy Prophet worked for guaranteeing better social conditions for its people. In order to envisage and achieve great ultimate goals, he had to have peace and tranquility within the community. Of course, this was hard to achieve because the social structure in Medina was quite heterogeneous. There were different groups of Arabs who belonged to either the tribe of Aws or that of Khazraj. There were also some Jews living in this city who were in touch with those Arabs. There were also new Muslim comers from Mecca. This state of affairs could have ended in social unrest and disasters. For this reason, the Holy Prophet initiated the draft of the first constitution or the greatest historic document in Islam. This contract defined the rights of the citizens of the various groups and secured peace and justice for all citizens. Here, we will mention some items and paragraphs of this great contract:

(1) Muslims and Jews[8]constitute a single nation (ummah).

(2) Muslims and Jews are free to follow their faith.

(3) The emigrants of Quraysh, like the pre-Islamic days, should pay blood-money. If anyone of them commits homicide or becomes captive, others should pay the ransom in accordance with accepted terms among believers and free the captive in this way.

(4) Ban£-`Amr ibn `Awf (a tribe of An¥¡r) and other branches should pay blood-money like others.

(5) Nobody is allowed to give asylum to anybody's slaves, children or other family members without his consent.

(6) The signers of this contract collectively have to defend the city of Medina.

(7) Medina is a sacred city and any kind of bloodshed is forbidden there.

(8) The final judge and arbitrator for the settlement of the probable disagreements and conflicts will be Mu¦ammad (¥).[9]

A cursory look at the events of those days shows that this contract, which was concluded in the earlier months of the Holy Prophet's arrival at Medina,[10] was effective in securing tranquility for citizens. Up to the second year of Hegira, i.e. until the Battle of Badr which occurred due to the conspiracies of Ban£-Qaynuq¡`, no disturbance or turbulence is recorded.

A Brotherly Contract between Muh¡jir£n and An¥¡r

The Prophet's second social act of significance during the first year of Hegira[11] was the convention of a brotherly treaty between the Muh¡jir£n and An¥¡r. Previously, these two Muslim groups had some rivalry over business and racial issues, because An¥¡r had migrated from the south (Yemen) and were from the Qa¦§¡ni race, and Muh¡jir£n belonged to the Northern Arabs and to the `Adn¡ni race; and during the days of Ignorance, there were severe racial conflicts between the two.

An¥¡r also used to work in agriculture and gardening, while the Meccan Arabs were traders who considered agriculture lowly and classless affair. Furthermore, these two groups had been brought up in two quite different social settings and now they were considered religious brethren. They had gathered in Medina and the probabilities existed that the remnants of the previous cultures still remained in their souls and minds; and that some ancient obstacles might be renewed. For this reason, the Holy Prophet initiated a brotherly contract between these two groups designating each Muh¡jir (Meccan emigrant) as a brother for a corresponding An¥¡r,[12] except for `Al¢ who was proclaimed a brother for every Muslim although the Holy Prophet fraternized him with himself.[13]

Of course, in concluding this brotherly convention between Muh¡jir£n and An¥¡r, their degrees of faith and virtue were taken into consideration.[14] The brotherhood of the Holy Prophet and `Al¢, both of whom belonged to Muh¡jir£n is justifiable.

This treaty brought forth more unity among Muh¡jir£n and An¥¡r. This is shown in the financial support of An¥¡r to Muh¡jir£n.

At the time of the distribution of the booties of the Battle of Ban£’l-Na¤¢r, An¥¡r gave them all to Muh¡jir£n[15]. An¥¡r’s immense generosities caused Muh¡jir£n to thank them in the presence of the Holy Prophet.[16] God has appreciated their benevolence in the following words:

It is the poor who fled, those who were driven from their homes and their possessions, seeking grace of Allah and His pleasure, and assisting Allah and His Apostle: These it is that are the truthful.

And those who made their abode in the city and in the faith before them love those who have fled to them, and do not find in their hearts a need of what they are given, and prefer them before themselves though poverty may afflict them, and whoever is preserved from the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones.

[1] Y¡q£t al-°amaw¢, Mu`jam al-Buld¡n 5:430.

[2] Ibn Sa`d, Al-±abaq¡t al-Kubr¡ 1:239; ±abar¢, T¡r¢kh 2:256; al-Bayhaq¢, Dal¡'il al-Nubuwwah 2:187; Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, al-Man¡qib 3:215; al-°alab¢, al-S¢rah al-°alabiyyah 2:252; al-Majlis¢, Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r 19:124.

[3] One of these two chambers was for Sawdah and the other for `ª'ishah. See Ibn Sa`d, al-±abaq¡t al-Kubr¡, op cit, pp. 240; al-S¢rah al-°alabiyyah, op cit, pp. 273.

[4] Ibn Hush¡m, Al-S¢rah al-Nabawiyyah 2:143; Ibn Shahr¡sh£b, Man¡qib, op cit, pp. 186.

[5] Ibn W¡¤i¦, T¡r¢kh al-Ya`q£b¢ 2:34.

[6] Ibn Sa`d, op cit, pp. 255; N£r al-D¢n al-Samh£d¢, Waf¡' al-Waf¡' 2:453-458; al-Majlis¢, Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r 17:81, 22:66, 118, 310, 70:128-129, 72:38; Majma` al-Bay¡n 2:386; `Abd al-°ayy al-Kitt¡n¢, al-Tar¡t¢b al-Id¡riyyah 1:473-480.

[7] Ab£-Na`¢m  I¥fah¡n¢, °ilyat al-Awliy¡' 1:339-340. Ab£-Na`¢m has given a detailed account of the ¯uffah Followers. He introduces all the members of this group who were fifty-one in number one by one. Among them, there is no name of any woman. Some of them were Bil¡l, al-Bar¡' Ibn M¡lik, Jundab ibn Jan¡dah, °udhayfah ibn al-Yam¡n, Khabb¡b ibn al-Aratt, Dhu’l-Bi¦¡dayn, Salm¡n, Sa`¢d  ibn Ab¢-Waqq¡¥, Sa`d ibn M¡lik (Ab£-Sa`¢d al-Khidr¢), S¡lim (Ab£-°udhayfah’s freed slave) and `Abdull¡h ibn Mas`£d.

[8] These are the Jews of Ban£-`Amr ibn `Awf and other native Jews of Medina. However, the other three Jewish tribes of Ban£-Qaynuq¡`, Ban£’l-Na¤¢r, and Ban£-Quray¨ah signed another treaty with the Holy Prophet the description of which will be given later.

[9] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 2:147-150. For more information concerning the paragraphs of this contract, see Fur£gh Abadiyyat 1:462-465.

[10] Muslim historians have asserted that this treaty was signed after the Holy Prophet's first sermon in Medina, which shows that it was one of the first actions of the Holy Prophet in this city.

[11] That was five or eight months after Hegira. See al-Samh£d¢, op cit, 1:267; al-Majlis¢, Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r 19:130.

[12] Ibn Hush¡m. op cit, 2:150; Ibn Sa`d, op cit, 1:238; °alab¢, op cit, 2:292; al-Majlis¢, op cit, 19:130. This fraternization was based on the common Faith, as confirmed in the following narration, “Allah’s Messenger associated as brothers between Muh¡jir£n and An¥¡r by the brotherhood of faith.” See ±£s¢, al-Am¡l¢, pp. 587.

[13] Ibn Hush¡m, op cit, 2:150; `Asqal¡n¢, al-I¥¡bah 2:507; Qanad£z¢, Yan¡b¢` al-Mawaddah 1:55; Sib§ ibn al-Jawz¢, Tadhkirat al-Khaw¡¥¥, pp. 20, 22,23; Musnad A¦mad; Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Is¢`¡b 3:35; °alab¢, op cit, 2:292; Samh£d¢, op cit, 1:268; Al-Mu¨affar, Dal¡'il al-¯idq 2:268-271.

[14] Qanad£z¢, op cit, 1:55 as quoted from Musnad A¦mad; Am¢n¢, al-Ghad¢r 3:112; Murta¤¡ al-`ªmil¢, al-¯a¦¢¦ min S¢rat al-Nab¢ al-A`¨am 3:60; ±£s¢, al-Am¡l¢, pp. 587.

The reports of the brotherhood between Imam `Al¢ and the Holy Prophet are authentic. Accordingly, the statements of Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Kath¢r reveal their personal attitudes. They lack any scientific authenticity. See al-Ghad¢r 3:112-125, 174, 227 and 7:336.

[15] Al-W¡qid¢, al-Magh¡z¢ 1:379; Ibn Shabbah, T¡r¢kh al-Mad¢nah al-Munawwarah 2:289.

[16] Musnad A¦mad 3:204; °alab¢, op cit, 2:292; Ibn Kath¢r, op cit, 3:338; Ibn Shabbah, op cit, pp. 490.

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