Sunday, October 9, 2011



You are familiar with the pressures, the distortion of the facts and the larger schemes that are at work. Much of it is expressed in a way that floods our senses, (probably you'll only hear this here), in particular there has been and continues to be a well thought out program to have Muslims lose interest in their independence and future. We want to go back to Allah's Prophet and see if we can scoop from his lifetime enough confidence that will recharge us and have us as stable as mountains when it comes to the poisonous information that circulates in public and private. We are going to go back to a particular incident (which is) very important in its details in the Prophet's life. First of all, we will take the ayaat from Allah's guiding book that pertain to this event. He says to us in Surah Al Faadiha, (in other words), Surah Al Bara'ah or At Tawbah in the ayah 25 through 27. What are these ayaat saying? Here is our attempt to bring to you the meanings in English- Allah is speaking to you as He was speaking to the 1st Muslims who were listening to these words- Allah says

Allah has given you help until victory on many occasions, and on the day of Hunain you were impressed by your numbers, but your numbers did you no good and this expansive earth turned phobic on you- you felt like you were suffocating with all the numbers you had- and then you began to retreat. And then Allah brought down upon His Messenger comfort and composure and He did so upon the committed Muslims and He brought down reinforcements that you could not see and He tormented the deniers of Allah's power and authority; and that is the recompense of these deniers. And then Allah will forgive after all of this whomever He wants and Allah is ever forgiving, very merciful. (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 24-27)

OK- these are the three ayaat in Surah At Tawbah- what are these ayaat speaking about? What's the context, history (and) the human variable in these ayaat? OK- here's where you should lock-in on these particulars. The Prophet and the committed Muslims with him had just liberated Makkah. This is the 8th year of the hijra in the month of Shawwal- that's the month that follows Ramadhan. The Muslims who came from Al Madinah and other areas in Al Hejaaz to liberate Makkah were about 10,000. Now, Makkah itself was liberated- finally- after all of these years and warfare by the chieftains and citizens of Makkah. Finally, Makkah was released from the forces of Kufr and Shirk; but as Makkah succumbed, its twin city, At Taif, was gearing up for a final and probably the last significant confrontation in Al Hejaz between the power and State of Islam and whatever is left i.e. the remnants of Shirk and Al Kafireen. So the Muslims heard about this impending military affair and they, with the leadership of Allah's Prophet, decided to go and take on this last stronghold of opposition and animosity to Islamic self-determination and Islamic independence. At Taif is about 75 miles, (or 115km or so), away from Makkah and it is located in a mountain area. It was like what we would consider today a summer resort. People who were affluent or well to do would go to At Taif. There were family relations between At Taif and Makkah. There were also commercial connections between At Taif and Makkah. So when Makkah fell At Taif felt it. Here, the Muslims, for the 1st time had a force of 12,000 warriors going from Makkah to At Taif. The original army that was made of 10,000 now had an extra 2,000 who have tagged along from Makkah to At Taif. The Muslims had entered into one of these valleys/areas called Hawaazin- that is why this same military issue is referred to as Hunain and Hawaazin. The day was called Hunain and the area where the two opposing forces confronted each other was called Hawaazin. And during the last portion of the night when the Muslims were beginning to decamp in this particular area they were attacked. (There was) a surprise attack upon them from all directions. They didn't know what to do. This was a surprise attack and this was the hour or so before fajr. It was night time and all of a sudden arrows, spears and whatever other forms of weapons were used against them. And what happened to all of this number of Muslims? Here they were with this type of number which they never had before when they were encountering their enemies. The Muslims were few and the enemies had the numbers, now it was the reverse- the enemies were fewer and the Muslims had the numbers. Here is where the meanings of these ayaat become pertinent.

Allah has given you help and triumph on many occasions and on the day of Hunain when you were exalted because of your multitudes, it did you no good… (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

When the committed Muslims and the Islamic armed force of the 12,000 was attacked, they began to run away.

… scurrying in every direction, they began to retreat and this expansive earth with all the extended regions to/in it began to feel as if you were suffocating in your own selves … (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

You i.e. the committed Muslims, the Islamic armed forces! And then you began to retreat, to abandon your positions and responsibilities; and then, in the middle of war and in the midst of hostilities,

… Allah brought down upon His Apostle comfort, calm (and) composure and He also brought down this serenity and tranquility upon the committed Muslims … (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

What are these ayaat speaking about as far as the details of this military encounter? When the Muslims were surprise attacked and they began to runaway, Allah's Prophet didn't run away. Remember- brothers and sisters, this is extremely important to think about and analyze we, (of course, we weren't born then, but as a continuum), had 12,000 of ourselves around the Prophet and they knew that they were much more than this enemy, but when they were attacked, they couldn't stand their ground so the Prophet began to call the defectors back to frontline positions (and) dangerous areas in this war. And out of 12,000 only about 100 responded in that 1st hour when the test between the two sides was crucial. These 100 were from the Muhajireen (radi Allahu anhum) and Ansaar (radi Allahu anhum). Please drill this into your memory. You can go through the books- ibn Is'haaq and other books of Seerah- go to whichever book you like (and) you're going to find that there's 100 who responded to him or in another book you will find 80 of them responded to him and then in the peripheral books, this is where it gets disproportional, they tell you only eight-to-ten responded to him. This is what you're going find. The most generous is 100 from these Muhajireen and Ansaar, which tells us that latter day Muslims i.e. those 1000's who became Muslims only in the past few months and couple of years could not withstand the heat of war. They were Muslims just like you and me, but when the test came "wait a minute, this is too much; we're leaving." And that's what they did. So back to the ayah- in this dynamic in these circumstances

… you felt like the whole earth was choking you… … (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

This is a big place/globe/planet but you felt like you were suffocating

… and then you began to run away, break rank or desert… … (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

Within this psychologically challenging time that

… Allah brought down an air of stability and tranquility upon His Messenger… … (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

The Muslims regrouped and they turned the tide of this battle.

… the pain, agony and torment was turned around and it inflicted alladheena kafaru… … (Surah Al Bara'ah verse 25)

What was the mechanism that turned this whole episode around? It was the Prophet and those 100 out of the 12,000 who fought with valor, honor and distinction against those who are deniers of Allah's power and authority. Now, we come to an important addendum to this. When alladheena kafaru themselves began to retreat- some of them went back to At Taif (and) others went to a place called Awtaas- but they were fleeing. When this happened, the Muslims had spoils of war. What you have to understand, (and what we didn't mention a little earlier is), when the inhabitants of At Taif came to this final clash with the Islamic force, they brought with them their women, children and their wealth. Their commander by the name of Malik ibn Awf thought that this was a smart military thing to do. He said I'll bring their wives, sisters and daughters to war and they are going to be forced to fight to defend their own families, honor, womenfolk and wealth because he also brought what amounts to roughly, (the Islamic terminology is), 4,000 uqiya. Each uqiya of silver is about 119 grams, so we're speaking may be about 40 kgs of silver (or whatever 4,000 uqiyahs come to). All of that was at the warfront, now when the men who were under arms fled, of course the children, babies, wives, mothers, daughters and the weaker ones couldn't run away and Muslims had spoils of war. They had a human factor/element and the wealth/possessions/silver and the Prophet wanted to distribute this among those who were there at the battlefront. One of the details that we think you should bear in mind (is)… Let's go back… there were 2,000 who had joined the Islamic force from Makkah who joined the 10,000 from Al Madinah. Those 2,000 were virtually tulaqa' i.e. the ones that the Prophet upon liberation of Makkah released. He told them you're free. There were no prisoners of war, captives (and) courts for these lifelong enemies of the Prophet. He said you may go now, you are free. So, 2,000 of these were in this force and among these 2,000 was Abi Sufyan and his two sons Muawiya and Yazid. When the time came to disperse the spoils of war- and the Prophet waited about two weeks, it wasn't like we would do it right now. He was hoping that many of these defeated occupants of At Taif would reconsider/think themselves through and say "we want to go back and claim what is ours. We will become Muslims." But they didn't do that. So after these two weeks of waiting with no response from the people of At Taif, the Prophet of Allah began to distribute whatever that was there i.e. camels, sheep, donkeys, silver and he gave Abu Sufyan 100 camels and (if we can recall correctly) 400 uqiya of silver. This was in the presence of all the other Muslims who were seeing this. Abu Sufyan did not participate in this battle. He was an observer. Neither did his children. And it doesn't stop here. The Prophet gave him this because of the channel of zakah called al muallafati qulubuhum to try to win over their hearts. Remember, these were people who had power and status and (when) Makkah was liberated they no longer had power and status. Allah's Prophet wanted them to become Muslims with dignity, so he dispensed this amount to them. Al Muhajirun did not complain but Al Ansar did. Why's this? This person was an enemy of Allah and His Prophet all of these years and he just, in the past few weeks, became a Muslim and the Prophet gives him this?! Maybe the Prophet is abandoning us and going back to his own people i.e. the people of Makkah. These are the type of internal thoughts that they had. They didn't feel good about this, so they told Saad ibn Ubada (radi Allahu anhum), one of their leaders, speak to the Prophet. Express to him how we feel. And he did. You see- they weren't hiding anything from themselves. There was no social courtesies, mujaamalat, ta'araf and all of these other things that we encounter in cultural Islamic life. So the Prophet, after listening to Saad ibn Ubada asked him how do you feel about this? He said I'm only one individual of Al Ansaar meaning I am one of them I basically understand what they are saying to you even though I am expressing it. He said OK- call them. And he called them and they had a meeting with Allah's Prophet and Allah's Prophet explained to them that the wealth and the spoils of war that were dispersed to al muallafati qulubuhum are the material things of this world. It has an impact on them- it can win them over, but you have me. Who do you prefer to have? Me or the material and physical things of life? They said no. We prefer to have you. And the Prophet of Allah said a du'a to bless the Ansaar, the children of Al Ansaar and the grand children. It was only a few decades after that and the sons and grandsons of Quraish were going to massacre and violate the honor of the children and grand children of Al Ansaar at a place called Al Hurra outside of Al Madinah when they rose up against Yazid whose uncle, father and grandfather were from al muallafati qulubuhum. There were others- plain Munafiqeen in the words of the Qur'an- who objected to the Prophet. A person by the name of Dhu Al Khuwaysira said this is not fair. When you think about it, your mind can understand what he is saying, not your heart. The heart and conscience remain with the Prophet and therefore the mind, but this person came and said you haven't done justice. He said Ya Muhammad- without any respect. He didn't say ya rasullula ya nabiAllah; he said Ya Muhammad you have not done justice. So what's his rationale. He says the people who were up there- in the hazards of the war, potentially going to die- deserve this booty, not the likes of Abu Sufyan, his sons and these. They were there physically, but they weren't fighting so why are they receiving some of the leftovers of this war? So, there was a campaign. It didn't succeed or go anywhere, but nevertheless it was there to try to erode the decision of the Prophet.

If Allah and His messenger decree a thing A committed Muslim or Muslimah have no choice but to except… (Surah Al Ahzaab verse 36)

So why these objections? But that's what we had. In the middle of this

… Allah will forgive whoever he wants to forgive, Allah is oft forgiving and He is merciful… (Surah At Tawbah verse 25)

This is who we are. This is part of our history. If it wasn't for the Muhajireen and Ansaar- those early committed, struggling and sacrificing Muslims- we wouldn't have known how the course of this encounter would have gone. You can't prove a negative. Who knows?! But they responded to the Messenger of Allah when he called on them to resume their military positions and responsibilities.

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