Grace and Truth
04. THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD ACCORDING TO IBN HISHAM
4 - The rise of the new power base of Muhammad in Medina -- (619 to 622 A.D.)
Muhammad Departs Mecca -- Muhammad's Migration to Medina -- The Establishment of a City State of Muslims, Jews and Animists.
4.01 -- The rise of the new power base of Muhammad in MEDINA -- (619 to 622 A.D.)
According to Muhammad Ibn Ishaq (died 767 A.D.) edited by Abd al-Malik Ibn Hisham (died 834 A.D.)
An edited translation from Arabic, originally by Alfred Guillaume
A selection with annotations by Abd al-Masih and Salam Falaki
4.02 -- Muhammad Departs Mecca (after approx. 619 A.D.)
4.02.1 -- How Muhammad sought help from the Thaqif
Following the death of Abu Talib, the insults Muhammad had to endure from the Quraish began to accumulate. Therefore, he went to Ta'if* and asked the Thaqifites to help support him and protect him from his clansmen. He was also hoping they would accept what he had received from Allah.
* Ta'if is a city along the great rift and lies as high as an eagle's nest above Mecca (or about 1,900 meters above sea level).
When Muhammad arrived in Ta'if, he made his way to the most noble of the Thaquifites. These were three brothers: Abd Jalail, Mas'ud and Habib, sons of Amr ibn 'Umayr. One of them had a wife from the Quraishites, of the clan of Banu Jumah. He sat down among them, challenged them to believe in Allah, to help Islam and to protect him from his people. Then the one who had torn the covering of the Ka'ba said to him: “If Allah has sent you?!” The other said: “Could not Allah have found another messenger besides you?” The third said: “By Allah, I will not speak more with you, for you are, as you maintain, sent from Allah, so you are too dangerous for me to be able to contradict you. If you lie, however, then I don't want to speak with you.” Muhammad then rose up, disappointed by the Thaquifites. As it was reported to me, he is to have said to them: “If you treat me so disrespectfully, then at least keep it secret.” He did not want his people to hear anything of it and, thereby, be even more incited against him.
The Thaquifites, however, did not pay heed to the wish of Muhammad, but stirred up their fools and slaves against him. These reviled him and screamed against him. Soon there gathered a crowd of people around him. Muhammad was compelled to flee into a garden that belonged to 'Utba and Shayba ibn Rabi'a. Both of them were present there at the time. Therefore his tormenters withdrew and Muhammad sat down in the shade of a grape vine. The sons of Rabi'a looked over to him and observed him.
4.02.2 -- Addas, the Christian, recognizes Muhammad as prophet
When 'Utba and Shayba, the sons of Rabi'a, saw what had happened to Muhammad, their compassion was stirred. They called a Christian servant by the name of Addas and gave him the following charge: “Cut off a grape bunch from this grape vine, put them on a platter, take them to the man there and tell him he is to eat them.” Addas did what was commanded him. When Muhammad stretched out his hand, he spoke: “In the name of Allah”, and only then did he eat. Addas looked at him and said: “By Allah, I have never heard such words from the residents of this city.” Muhammad asked: “Where are you from? To which faith do you belong? He answered: “I am a Christian from Nineveh.” Muhammad further asked: “From the city of the pious Yunus ibn Matta?”* Addas responded: “Where do you know anything about Yunus ibn Matta?” Muhammad answered: “He was my brother, for he was a prophet, and I, too, am a prophet.” Addas bowed down to Muhammad and kissed his head, his hands and his feet. The sons of Rabi'a, however, said one to the other: “He has seduced this young man.” When he came back to them they cried out: “Woe to you! Why did you kiss the head, the hands and the feet of this man?” He answered: “My lord, there is no better service on earth or nothing better at all than that what I just did. He said something to me that only a prophet can know.” They responded: “Woe to you, Addas! Do not let yourself become an apostate of your religion because of him. It is better than that he has!”
* Yunus ibn Matta is the Arabic name for the Prophet Jonah.
4.02.3 -- Regarding the Jinn that believed
After the prophet had despaired of the Thaquifites, he departed from Ta'if to return to Mecca. On his return trip he passed through Nakhla and performed his prayer there in the middle of the night. Thereby there gathered a number of spirits (jinn) to him to listen to him. (This event is recorded twice in the Quran: Sura al-Ahqaf 46:29 and al-Jinn 72:1.) It happened to be seven jinn from Nasibin who heard him. After Muhammad had completed his prayer, they returned back to their own and preached to them, for they had become believers and accepted what they had heard about Islam.
Allah revealed to Muhammad this event in the following verse: “And when we turned to thee a company of jinn”* … Say: “It has been revealed to me that a company of jinn listened to me …” **
* What kind of a god was it that would lead demons to be the helpers for his prophet? It was not the true God that did this!
** Sura al-Jinn 72:1-15: The jinn-spirits describe themselves in the Quran as Muslims. They did not have the right to enter heaven and had to remain outside. They assured Muhammad, however, that they would help him in the spread of Islam and that they would summon the people in their area of influence to accept Islam. According to the Quran, Muslims are not only people but also spirits, who aid in the spread of Islam. The opening of the city of Yathrib (later called Medina, see section 10.5 below) could be seen as a consequence of Muhammad's encounter with the jinn.
4.02.4 -- Muhammad proclaims Islam to the Bedouin tribes
Muhammad returned to Mecca. His clansmen resisted him even more so than before, with the exception of a few weaklings, who came to believe in him. During feast days, however, Muhammad presented himself to the Bedouins and summoned them to believe in Allah. He announced to them that he was a prophet sent from Allah and demanded they hold him to be true and protect him that he might explain to them why it was that Allah had sent him.
Husain ibn Abd Allah told me he had heard how his father was reported to have said the following to Rabi'a ibn Ibad: “I was a young boy with my father in Mina* when Muhammad stood before the camping sites of the Arabic tribes and called out to them: 'O you sons of so and so! Allah sends me to you and commands you to worship him, to associate none other with him, and to rid yourselves of all else that you worship or place equal to him. You are to believe in me, hold me to be true and protect me, that I might be able to declare to you Allah's revelation.' Behind Muhammad stood a clean and cunning looking man with two locks of hair, clad in a garment from Aden. As soon as Muhammad ceased speaking, he said: 'O you sons, this man summons you to abandon Lat and Uzza and your allies among the jinn from the Banu Malik ibn Ukaish, and for you to let yourselves be misled by what he has made up. Do not follow him and do not listen to him!'
* Valley to the east of Mecca.
I asked my father: 'Who is the man who follows Muhammad and contradicts his speech?' He answered: 'That is his uncle Abu Lahab.' ”
4.02.5 -- The beginning of Islam in Yathrib* (approx. 620 A.D.)
When Allah sought to grant Islam the victory, to glorify his prophet and to fulfill his promise, Muhammad went, as was his custom, to the Bedouin tribes during the time of the pilgrimage and presented himself to them as a prophet. On the 'Aqaba** he encountered a number of Khazrajites, through whom Allah intended to do good. Asim ibn Umar ibn Qatada told me about the sheikhs of his people: “Muhammad asked the Khazradj whom he met: 'Who are you?' They answered: 'We are Khazrajites.' Muhammad then further asked: 'Are you friends of the Jews?' They said: 'Yes.' He invited them to sit with him, presented to them the teaching of Islam and recited before them Suras from the Quran. It belongs to the works of Allah that the Jews, the men of the scripture, who had the knowledge of the law and who dwelt among the Khazraj, the polytheists, and who were oppressed by them, to often during quarrels refer to the time being near in which a new prophet would be raised up. They threatened them: 'We will follow him, and with his help destroy you polytheists, such as 'Aad and Iram.' As now Muhammad summoned these people to believe in Allah, they said one to another: Perhaps this is the new prophet, through whom the Jews have threatened us? Therefore let us go to him ahead of them!' And so it came about that they listened to Muhammad, believed in him, and converted to Islam. They also said to Muhammad: 'We come from a people in which much evil and animosity reigns. Perhaps Allah will unite us through you. We will summon our clansmen to the faith which we now confess, and when Allah unites us around you, there will no longer be a stronger man than you.' Following this they returned as believers to their homeland. As it was told to me, there were six Khazrajites. When these men came to Medina, they spoke with their clansmen about Muhammad and summoned them to embrace Islam. Soon there was talk in every house about the messenger of Allah.”
* Yathrib was later called Medina, which means “the city” that granted refuge to Muhammad. This was the first place where Islam was fully implemented, for here Muhammad was able to establish a city state.
** Al 'Aqaba is the name of a hill outside of Mecca, where Muslims today in the context of their pilgrimage to Mekka perform the ritual of "stoning" Satan.
4.02.6 -- Of the first gathering in al 'Aqaba (621 A.D.)
The following year there came twelve Ansar* to the pilgrimage feast (to Mecca). They encountered Muhammad upon the hill. This is referred to as the first meeting upon al-'Aqaba. There they gave an oath of allegiance to Muhammad according to the way in which women do so,** for holy war had not yet been prescribed.
* Ansar (literally: “the Helpers”) are Muslim believers from Medina that helped bring the cause of Allah to victory. They came from the polytheist tribes of the Aus and Khazraj, who lived in Medina.
** Giving allegiance according to the manner of women means: they committed themselves to not associate any partner to Allah, even while they were not obligated to participate in fighting for Allah.
Ubada ibn al-Samit shared the following: “I was counted among those who were present at the first meeting at al-'Aqaba. There were twelve of us, and we gave allegiance to Muhammad according to the manner of women, before war had been prescribed. We pledged to place no partner or companion alongside Allah, not to steal, not to commit fornication, not to kill our children, to make up nothing that was false and to obey Muhammad in all that is right. 'Fulfill you this,' he said, 'and you will come to paradise. If you transgress against it, it is then Allah's matter to punish or forgive you.'”*
* Jesus had received from God the authority to forgive men their sins on earth (Matthew 9:6). Jesus further gave this authority to forgive sins to His disciples, who were led of the Holy Spirit (John 20:21-23).
Muhammad had no authority to forgive sins. He had no certainty even of his own sins being forgiven. Thus no Muslim has the certainty that his sins will be forgiven.
Only with Jesus and through the word of His disciples is there full forgiveness of sin. Whoever trusts Him will be saved.
Ubada ibn al-Samit reported that Muhammad was to have further said upon his receiving allegiance: “If you commit a transgression and are punished for it in this world, so the sin is atoned for. However, if the sin remains hidden until the day of resurrection, then it is Allah's matter whether to punish or to pardon you.”*
* Islam is largely built upon a justification by works.
When the people were again ready to depart, Muhammad had Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr go with them in order to teach them the Quran and Islam and to instruct them in faith. In Medina Mus'ab was called “The Master Reader”*. He lived with Asad ibn Zurara. Mus'ad was the one to lead prayers before them, for the Aus and the Khazraj had rejected that one of their own should lead prayers before the others.
* He was commissioned by Muhammad to teach the newly-won Muslims to read, memorize and recite the Quran.
** The tribes of the Aus and the Khazraj were two settled Bedouin tribes that treated each other with hostility, who were ruled by the Jewish upper class in Yathrib, and who were played off against each other.
4.02.7 -- The conversion of two tribal princes in Yathrib
As'ad ibn Zurara accompanied Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr into the camp of the Banu Abd al-Aschhal and the Banu Zafar. In doing so they came into a garden of the Banu Zafar and sat down by a well called Maraq. There many believers gathered around them. When Sa'd ibn Mu'adh and Usayd ibn Hudhair, who were lords among their people as well as polytheists, heard about the two, Sa'd said to Usayd: “Curses! Go to the two men that have come to us in order to beguile our weaknesses. Drive them out and do not allow them to come into our quarters. If As'ad were not related to me, as you well know, I would spare you this duty. But he is the son of my aunt, and I cannot oppose him.” Usayd took up a sword and went after the two.
When As'ad saw him, he whispered to Mus'ab: “This man is the leader of his clan. He is coming to you. Remain true to Allah!” Mus'ab responded: “If he sits down I will speak with him.” Usayd remained standing before them, swore and cried out: “What brings you here to beguile our simple folk? If you value your life then depart from us!” Mus'ab responded: “Sit down and listen to me. If you like my message then accept it, if not, then nothing further unpleasant shall come to your ears.” Usayd said: “Your suggestion is good,” and then stuck his sword into the ground and sat down. Mus'ab spoke with him about Islam and recited to him from the Quran. When Mus'ab was finished, Usayd said: “How beautiful and lovely are these words! How can one enter into this religion?” They said: “You must wash yourself* and cleanse yourself and your clothes. Then you need to speak the religious confession of Islam and pray.”
* The ritual washings before every prayer show again and again the deep need for cleansing in Islam. But water only cleanses the outside. That which is inside, the heart and conscience, remain unclean in Islam.
Usayd did what he was told to do. He then said: “Besides me there is still one man, and if he follows you then not a single man will remain behind among his people. I will immediately send him to you. It is Sa'd ibn Mu'adh.” He took his sword and went to Sa'd. This one was sitting among the council of his people. As soon as Sa'd saw him coming, he cried out: “I swear by Allah, Usayd now wears a different face than when he departed.” When he finally came up to him, Sa'd said: “What did you do?” He answered: “I spoke with the two men and, by Allah, found no harm in them. I forbid them to linger on and they have submitted to my command. But I have heard that the Banu Haritha have gone out to kill As'ad ibn Zurara. They know that he is your cousin and want to break their agreement of protection with you.”
At this Sa'd fell into a rage, jumped up, ripped the sword out of the hands of Usayd and cried out: “By Allah, you have brought about no good!” When he came to the two men and found them in quietness and security, he observed that Usayd had only wanted to give him occasion to hear the two men. He began to curse and said to As'ad: “By Allah, if the two of us were not related you would not have dared to demand such a thing from us. Are you bringing into our own dwelling that which we find to be abominable?”
Mus'ab, who As'ad had just informed of how important it would be to win this leading man to Islam, said to Sa'd: “Sit down and listen to me! If what I say pleases you, then accept it, and if not we then free you from that which you find disagreeable.”
Sa'd said: “You are right.” He stuck his sword into the ground and then sat down. Mus'ab proceeded to make him acquainted with Islam and read to him from the Quran. Both explained how they could recognize Islam on his face, even before he spoke, for his face was friendly and radiant.* He then asked what one needed to do to enter this religion. They had him do the same thing as Usayd. He then took his sword and went with Usayd back to the council of his people. As soon as they saw Sa'd coming, they swore by Allah that he was coming back with a different face than when he left them. As he stood before his people's assembly, he said: “You sons of Abd al-Ashhals, what place do I occupy among you?” They answered: “You are our lord. You are the most tender, the most understanding and the most blessed among us.” - “Now then”, he said, “I promise solemnly not to speak a single word with your men or your women until you believe in Allah and his messenger!” And so it came about in the camp of the Banu al-Ashhal that not a single man or woman remained that did not become devoted to Islam.
* Enthusiasm and zeal in Islam, too, have a contagious effect.
Mus'ab then returned with As'ad back to his dwelling and remained with him. He preached Islam until not a house of the Ansar was left in which believing men and women were not to be found. The only exception was the Banu Umaiyya ibn Zaid, Khatma, Wa'il and Wakif, who were of the house of Aus ibn Haritha. It was namely under them that the poet Abu Qays ibn al-Aslat lived, whose name was Saifi and who was recognized as their leader, and to whom all gave obedience. He held them back from Islam. Yet after the migration of Muhammad from Mecca and after the encounters (battles) of Badr (624 A.D.), Uhud (625 A.D.) and Khandaq (627 A.D.) they, too, converted to Islam.
4.02.8 -- Of the second gathering in al-'Aqaba (622 A.D.)
Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr then returned, along with other men from Yathrib, partly Muslims, partly unbelievers, to Mecca for the pilgrimage feast. When Allah, in his grace, chose to support the prophet, to exalt Islam and its followers, and to humble the polytheists and their followers, these men agreed to a second gathering with Muhammad on the middle day of Taschrik (the second day after the feast). Abd Allah ibn Ka'b, one of the most learned among the Ansar, explained that his father Ka'b, who himself was present at this encounter on al-Aqaba and gave allegiance to Muhammad, was to have said to him: “We went out with other unbelieving pilgrims among our people, prayed and instructed ourselves in matters of faith. With us was al-Bara ibn Marur, our lord and chief. When we left Yathrib, to begin the travel, al-Bara said: “I have developed a plan but don't know whether you will be for it.” When we asked what it was, he continued: “In my opinion we should turn ourselves in the direction of this building - he meant the Ka'ba - when we pray. We said, “By Allah, we heard that Muhammad turns in the direction of Syria when he prays.* We will not act against him.” He responded: “I, however, will turn in the direction of the Ka'ba when I pray. However, we persevered in our understanding until we reached Mecca, and kept praying toward Syria, while he, in spite of our admonishment, kept praying toward the Ka'ba. When we arrived at Mecca, he said to me: “Let us go to Muhammad and ask him, for because of your rejection some doubt has come to me.” We proceeded to ask for Muhammad, whom we had never seen before, and thus would not have recognized him. A Meccan whom we encountered asked us if we would know 'Abbas, and when we answered in the affirmative (Abbas often came to Mecca because of the trade) he responded: “When you come into the worship site you will find Muhammad sitting beside his uncle 'Abbas.”
* The direction of prayer - toward Syria - gives indication that Muhammad, at the beginning of his mission, prostrated himself in prayer toward Jerusalem. He instructed all Muslims to pray in the same direction as the Jews and hoped, thereby, to win the Jews in his city for himself and Islam through this accommodation.
We entered into the sanctuary, sat ourselves down beside Muhammad and greeted him. He asked 'Abbas whether he would know these two men. This one answered: “Yes, the one is Bara ibn Marur, the lord of his people, and the other is Ka'b ibn Malik.” - “By Allah,” Ka'b further explained, “I will never forget how Muhammad then asked: 'Is he the poet?' And A'bbas answered: 'yes.'”
Al-Bara then proceeded to present his quarrel to Muhammad regarding the direction of prayer and went on to ask him his view. Muhammad answered: “You used to have the right direction - if you had only stuck to it!”
Al-Bara then accepted the direction of Muhammad and prayed with us toward Syria. His family maintained, however, that he continued to turn to the Ka'ba until his death. We know better however, that that is not so.
Ka'b then further recounted: “We proceeded to the pilgrimage festival and agreed with Muhammad to meet upon the second day after the festival. On the evening before the second day, we went out to our people. With us there was also Abd Allah ibn Amr, who was one of the leaders. We revealed to him our thoughts, even though we kept our meeting a secret from the unbelievers: 'You are one of our most noble and respected members, O Abu Jabir! We do not want you to remain so and thus become fuel for the flames of hell.' We challenged him to convert to Islam and informed him of our meeting with Muhammad. He accepted Islam, was with us on al-'Aqaba and became one of our leaders.” We then proceeded to sleep until a third of the night had passed. We then left the caravan and sneaked into the ravine by al-'Aqaba. We were 73 men and two women, namely Nusayba, the mother of Umaras, the daughter of Ka'b, and Asma, the mother of Mani. After we had waited a while in the ravine, Muhammad came, together with his uncle al-'Abbas, at that time still a heathen, yet who still wanted to be present in order to contract a valid alliance for his nephew. When all had sat down, 'Abbas began to speak. He said: “You Khazrajites know that Muhammad belongs to us. We have protected him from those in our people who share my opinion about him. He lives in vigor among his people and is protected in his homeland. Nevertheless, he wants to go to you* and to join himself to you. If you believe you can fulfill what you promise him and that you will protect him against his enemies, then carry the burden you have taken upon yourselves. If you believe, however, you will deceive him and deliver him up, then leave him here - for he is robust and protected in his homeland.”
* After Khadija and Abu Talib died, and Muhammad no longer had reliable protection anywhere, he began to systematically plan his migration. He did not flee without safety, but planned and prepared, through agreements with the responsible Muslims in Yathrib, the migration of the Muslims from Mecca. The contracts were to take place upon the legal basis and obligation of blood kinship.
We answered: “We have understood your words. Muhammad is free to say, how we should place ourselves under obligation to him and Allah.” Muhammad spoke words to us, called us to Allah, recited Suras from the Quran and awakened in us the love for Islam. He then said: “Swear to me that you will protect me from everything that you protect your wives and children from!” Al-Bara ibn Marur grabbed his hand and said: “Most definitely, by the one who sent you as prophet with the truth, we will protect you as we do our very own selves. Receive our allegiance, O messenger of Allah! By Allah, we are sons of war and men of weapons, which we have inherited from our forefathers.”
While al-Bara spoke Abu al-Haitham ibn al-Tihan interrupted him and said: “Messenger of Allah, there exist bonds between us and others - he meant the Jews - which we will now break. If we do this and Allah brings victory, will you then leave us and return to your homeland?” Muhammad answered: “Your blood is my blood. What you shed, I also shed. You belong to me and I to you. I will fight against whom you fight against, and will make peace with whom you make peace with.”
Ka'b further explained: “Muhammad had challenged them to name twelve leaders*, who should direct their affairs. They chose nine Khazrajites and three Ausites.”
* The number 12 corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Disciples of Christ. Muhammad did not make a covenant with the Muslims of Mecca. His covenants were protective contracts merely between men - without God as a covenant partner. They had no redemptive character and no eternal value.
When Jesus made His covenant with the 11 apostles - the twelfth had gone away so that he could betray Him - He began - under the signs of bread and wine - to indwell His disciples. He cleansed and sanctified them and made them be priestly kings, who were to serve His church (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Revelation 1:5-6). The New Covenant that Jesus instituted had no political kingdom as goal, which would be fought for with taxes and weapons. Jesus' intention was a spiritual kingdom, established upon truth and love, joy and peace, self-denial and sacrifice. Muhammad's covenant with the twelve leaders of Medina laid the basis for his later political activities and the violent spread of Islam.
Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr told me: “Muhammad was to have said to the leaders: 'You are the trustees of your people, just as the disciples of Christ were, and I am the trustee of my people.' ”*
* Muhammad described the Muslims as being his people, after the residents of Mecca had refused him.
Once the people had united together to give allegiance to Muhammad, al-Abbas ibn Ubada ibn Nadhla al-Ansari said: “Do you also know, you Khazrajites, with or upon what you give allegiance to this man?” They answered: “Yes!” - “You oblige yourselves”, so he continued, “to take up war against all tribes. If you think, however, to entertain the thought that when your supplies are perishing and your nobles are being killed to deliver him up, know you will heap upon yourselves disgrace in this life and in the next. Yet if you think you will persevere in that to which he has called you, even when your possessions and the lives of your nobles are being lost, then receive him; it will bring you happiness in this life and in the next.” They said: “We accept him, even if our possessions should perish and our best men should be killed!”* They then asked Muhammad about the reward they would receive for their faithfulness. He responded: “Paradise.” They cried out: “Stretch forth your hand!” He stretched forth his hand and they pledged allegiance to him.
* With these ordinances, Holy War and the preparedness for martyrdom became programmed in advance. Muhammad promised them - in the event of death - that they would be transported to paradise, with all of its material pleasures. Only those who fall in Holy War are considered justified in Islam, while all other Muslims remain in an in-between state, waiting for the Day of Judgment.
By grabbing Muhammad's hand, Al-Bara ibn Marur proceeded to pledge allegiance to Muhammad before all the others. Following this pledge the devil cried down with piercing voice from the summit of al-'Aqaba: “O, you dwellers of Jabajib, (the encampment, at nearby Mina) - do you also want to accept this blameworthy one and the apostates with him? They have already united together in order to fight against you.” Muhammad then responded: “This is the Satan of this height, he is the son of Azyab. Do you hear, you enemy of Allah? But by Allah, I will deal with you!”* Muhammad then summoned them to return to their caravans. At this al-'Abbas ibn Ubada then said: “By Allah, the one who has sent you with the truth: if you wish, we will attack the people of Mina tomorrow with our swords.” Muhammad answered: “That has not been commanded us. Return to your caravans!” They returned back and slept in their camp until morning.
* Up till today Muslims deal with Satan during their pilgrimage to Mecca. They must throw up to 70 pebbles at three pillars at Mina in the pilgrimage rite of 'stoning Satan'. The largest pillar is called 'Jamrat al-Aqab' (The Ember of Aqaba).''
4.02.9 -- How the Quraish came to the Ansar
On the following morning, so Ka'b further explained, the most esteemed men of the Quraish came to us and said: “We have heard that you Khazrajites came to the man from our city, wanting to take him away from us and have him swear to make war on us. By Allah, there is no other Arabic tribe that we would less prefer to make war against than you.” At this several unbelievers from our tribe rose up and swore by Allah that that was not so, and that they knew nothing of it. - Truly they spoke the truth, for they rightly knew nothing of it. We, however, looked one to another, and then the people stood up. Among them was al-Harith ibn Hisham, who wore a new pair of sandals. I spoke, as if wanting to concur with the people in what they were saying: “O Abu Jabir, you are in truth one of our lords, why do you not wear sandals like this other Quraishite?” Al-Harith listened to these words, immediately removed his sandals, threw them to me and said: “By Allah, you put them on.” Abu Jabir then said: “That's enough! By Allah, you have shamed the man; now give him back his sandals.” I responded: “By Allah, I will not give them back to him. It is, by Allah, a just omen, and if it is true then one day I will take his possessions from him.”
4.02.10 -- How Sa'd was captured and then freed
The pilgrims started off from Mina, and the people investigated the incident and found it to be correct. Therefore, they departed in order to pursue the caravan from Yathrib. They also overtook the two leaders Sa'd ibn Ubada and Mundhir ibn Amr in Adsakhir*. But Mundhir could not be taken, while Sa'd was taken captive. With a camel harness they tied his hands behind his back, led him to Mecca, struck him and pulled on his strong hair. While I was in their hands, Sa'd was to explain, “a number of Quraishites came around. Among them was also a white, thin, delicate and charming man. I thought, if but from one of these people there can be good expected then from this one.
* A suburb of Mecca.
But when he drew near me, he raised his hand and struck me with a powerful blow. I thought, by Allah, now there is nothing good that can be expected from them. I am in their custody and they will mistreat me. One of the men, however, took pity upon me and asked: “Does no protective obligation or covenant exist between you and a Quraishite?” I answered: “For certain, one time I protected and defended ones in my homeland from those who wanted to do them violence, men who contracted trade for Jubair ibn Mut'im ibn Adi; I did likewise for the people of Harith ibn Harb ibn Umaiyya.” He then said: “So name then these two men and tell what happened between you and them.” I did that and the man went right away to the two men, who were sitting in the holy place beside the Ka'ba. He said: “A man from the Khazraj is being beaten in the valley. He called to you and said that a protective relationship exists between you and him.” They asked: “What is the man's name?” He answered: “Sa'd ibn Ubada.” They said: “He has truly spoken. By Allah, he protected our merchants in his homeland from violence.” They then came and freed Sa'd and he journeyed on. The man who struck Sa'd was Suhail ibn Amr, one of the Banu Amir ibn Lu'ayy.”
4.02.11 -- The history of an Idol
When they came to Yathrib, they openly confessed Islam. Yet there were still some sheiks in their tribes who steadfastly held onto their idolatry. Among them was 'Amr ibn al-Jamuh ibn Zaid ibn Haram, whose son Sa'd had pledged allegiance to Muhammad on al-Aqaba. 'Amr was one of the first and most esteemed men of the Banu Salama. He had had in his house an idol made of wood named Manat* that he, like other leading people were accustomed to do, honored as god and which he regularly cleaned and polished. As now several young men of the Banu Salama, including his son Mu'adh and Mu'adh ibn Jabal, converted to Islam, they came and took away Amr's idol in the night and cast it head first into a refuse pit of the Banu Salama. When 'Amr got up in the morning he cried out: “Woe to you! Who has been at our god this night?” He then got up and began searching for him. When he found him, he washed him, cleansed him and then rubbed him with fine-smelling ointments. He then said: “By Allah, if I knew who did this, I would make a disgrace of him.” The following night the believers repeated the same with the idol, and 'Amr cleansed him again. When, however, this incident kept repeating itself 'Amr took a sword and hung it around the neck of the idol. After he had once again cleansed him, he said: “By Allah, I do not know who keeps treating you so evil. If you are worth anything, then defend yourself! Here you have a sword!” While 'Amr was again asleep the following night the believers came again, took the sword from the neck, and in its place bound a dead dog with rope and threw it into a well of the Banu Salama in which there was rubbish. When Amr found him on the following morning in such condition, he let the believers of his people talk him into accepting Islam. By the grace of Allah he became a good Muslim.
* Al-Manat was the name of a female idol in a sanctuary of the Aus and the Khazraj. It lay on the coast in a town called Qudaif, near the mountain Muschallal. Al-Manat was the name of one of the three most important idols of the pre-Islamic Arabs, along with al-Lat and al-'Uzza, that together were honored in the Ka'ba.
Following his conversion he composed the following verse:
4.02.12 -- The oath on the hill
When Muhammad was allowed by Allah to make war against the unbelievers, he bound the final allegiance to himself with the obligation to fight for him. At the first allegiance this was not the case, because at that time Allah had not allowed war. At the last allegiance, they had to swear to fight against the Black and the Red* and to fight for him and the Lord. As reward for their loyalty they were promised paradise. Ubada ibn al-Samit, one of the twelve leaders, said: “We have afforded to Muhammad the oath of war.”
* “The Black and the Red” was a figure of speech denoting all manner of people, by which Muhammad probably meant all of the Bedouins and the settled tribes.
Ubada was one of the twelve who had been present at the first pledge upon the hill. This occurred after the manner of women. They swore obedience and honor to Muhammad in time of need or abundance, in joy and suffering; not to strive with someone over what belonged to him; speaking the truth everywhere in the name of Allah and to fear no reprehension.
4.02.13 -- Muhammad receives the commandment to wage war
Before the second allegiance upon al-'Aqaba, Muhammad had received no permission from Allah to wage war and shed blood. He was only to call upon Allah, endure all insults with patience and to forgive the ignorant. The Quraish mishandled his followers, in order to get them to leave their faith, as well as banished them from their homeland. They either became apostate or were harassed and forced to flee to Abyssinia, Yathrib or other lands. As now the Quraish turned away from Allah, rejected the grace Allah intended for them, declared the prophet to be a liar, as well as tormented and banished those who worshiped Allah and believed in Muhammad, it was then that Allah permitted Muhammad to wage war* and to defend himself from those who were doing violence to his followers. As it was reported to me by 'Urwa ibn Zubair and others, the following verses were the first to permit him to wage war against those who were doing violence to the believers: “Those who fight (with arms) were allowed (to do so), because they were wronged. Allah is able to grant them victory” (Sura al-Hajj 22:39). That means, I have permitted them to wage war because wrong** had been done to them and they had done nothing else than to worship Allah, perform prayer, give alms, recommend that which is good and to restrain evil. Later it was revealed: “Fight them, till there is no more temptation (to forsake Islam) …”*** (Sura al-Baqara 2:193), that means, until Muslims are no longer made to renounce their faith “… and religion is towards Allah only” (Sura al-Anfal 8:39).
* With the migration of Muhammad to Medina, a new chapter started in the development of Islam. The religious state had been created. It was built upon the law of Holy War featuring the distinct following stages:
Stage 1: Public prayer and the oft repeated Islamic confession of faith.
Stage 2: Patient endurance of mockery and scorn.
Stage 3: Verbal defence of the faith and vehement wars of words, along with a numerical strengthening of the Muslims.
Stage 4: Migration and flight of persecuted believers is possible until a time, in which Islam has gained power and constitutes a majority.
Stage 5: Numerical superiority brings the expectation of being ready for battle, sacrifice and arming.
Stage 6: Holy War means defending oneself if attacked.
Stage 7: Ambushing enemy caravans and weaker groups may follow the stage of pure defense.
Stage 8: Part of Holy War is taking enemy hostages, with their release dependent on the payment of large ransom sums.
Stage 9: Strategically planned attacks to subdue the closer vicinity.
Stage 10: A world-wide declaration of war against all unbelievers. In this regard the earth was divided into two parts: a House of Islam and a House of War. “Fight them, till there is no more temptation (to forsake Islam) and the religion of Allah (i.e. Islam) encompasses all” (Sura al-Baqara 2:193).
** Khomeini said: “It is better to commit injustice than to suffer injustice. Jesus, however, chose to suffer injustice rather than to practice it (Luke 23:34).
*** Holy War will continue as long as unbelievers live in this world. Fighting with weapons is part of the Islamic mission. Islam literally implies the submission to Allah and His messenger - whether by choice or by force!
As Muhammad now received the permission to wage war, and the tribe of helpers (from Medina) swore to him that they accept Islam and will give support to his faithful followers, he commanded his Meccan companions - both those who had already migrated to Medina as well as those who had remained with him in Mecca - to go to Yathrib and there join their brothers from the Ansar (the Helpers). He said: “Allah has given you brothers* and a safe dwelling.” They then began to depart like troops. Muhammad himself, however, remained in Mecca and waited until Allah permitted him also to migrate to Yathrib.
* Islam sees itself as a brotherhood, which especially comes to play when a Muslim is oppressed or attacked by a non-Muslim. All Muslims then hurry to help him.
4.02.14 -- The emigration of the last companions (622 A.D.)
Umar ibn al-Khattab and Aiyash ibn Abi Rabi 'a, the Makhzumite, were among the last to migrate. Abd Allah ibn Umar reported that his father told him:
“When we wanted to migrate, we - Aiyash ibn Abi Rabi'a, Hisham ibn al-'As and I - determined to meet Tanadhib at one of the ponds of Banu Ghifar, above Sarif. In the event that one of us should not appear, we agreed among ourselves to begin the trip without him. Aiyash and I meet in Tanadhib, while Hisham was held back and brought to apostasy from Islam. When we came to Yathrib, we dismounted by the Banu Amr ibn 'Auf in Kuba. Abu Jahl ibn Hisham and Al-Harith ibn Hisham, the maternal cousins and brothers of Aisha, then came to Yathrib, while Muhammad was still in Mecca, and told Aiyash that his mother was to have made a vow not to take a comb to her head and to seek no protection from the sun until she sees him again. Thus he was to take pity upon her. I said to him: “O Aiyash, by Allah, the people only want to make you apostatize from your faith. Be careful! If your mother is plagued by vermin, so she will surely comb herself, and if the heat of Mecca torments her, she will seek for shade.” Aiyash said: “I only want to prevent my mother from breaking her oath and that she takes the money that I still have in Mekka.” I responded: “You know that I am one of the richest Quraishites. I will give you the half of my fortune, but only do not go with them!” Yet when Aiyash was determined to return to Mecca, I said: “If you do not let yourself be restrained, then at least take my camel and ride upon it, for it is a noble and obedient animal. If you grow suspicious of the people then save yourself by riding him!” Aiyash then journeyed with them riding Umar's camel. Along the way Abu Jahl said: “By Allah, my cousin, it seems that your camel has such a difficult gait that I would prefer to sit behind you on yours.” Aiyash gave him permission and had his camel kneel down. The others did the same so that Abu Jahl could mount Umar's camel. When they had dismounted, however, they attacked Aiyash, bound him, led him to Mecca and forced him to renounce Islam. In broad daylight they brought him bound to Mecca and said: “O, you residents of Mecca, deal with your fools just as we have dealt with ours here!”
Umar was later to have said the following: “Allah accepts no recompense from him who has fallen away from Islam, no atonement and no repentance, also not from those who recognized Allah and, because of a misfortune that struck them, turned back into unbelief.”* The apostates also said this to themselves.
* The merciless harshness of Islam toward any apostatized Muslim was becoming ever more apparent. They have no possibility of repentance unless they again become Muslims. If they persist in their apostasy from Islam, they are to be tormented and killed in this life and in the next life are to roast in the fire. Apostasy from Islam can never be forgiven by Allah or Muslims (Suras al-Baqara 2:217; al Ma'ida 5:54 and Muhammad 47:25). Islam recognizes no religious freedom and resists universal human rights.
When Umar came to Medina, together with his family and his tribal companions, he dismounted beside Rifa'a ibn Abd al-Mundhsir in Kuba.
With him there were: his brother Zaid, and beyond that Amr and Abd Allah, the sons of Suraqa and Khunais, the Sahmite, the spouse of his daughter Hafsa, whom later Muhammad married, Sa'id ibn Zaid ibn Amr, Waqid ibn Abd Allah, the Tamimite, a protected companion, Khawla and Malik, the sons of Abi Khawla, also protected companions, and the four sons of Bukair: Ijas, 'Aqil, Amir and Khalid, their protected companions, from the Banu Sa'd ibn Laith. Aiyash, too, dismounted with Umar near Rifa when he came to Yathrib.
Further immigrants followed them: Talha ibn 'Ubaid Allah ibn Uthman and Suhaib ibn Sinan, who dismounted in Suhn, along with Khubaib ibn 'Isaf, one of the brothers of the Banu al-Harith ibn Khazraj.
When Suhaib wanted to emigrate, the unbelievers of Mecca said to him: “You came as a poor beggar to us and got rich with us and obtained numerous things. And now you want to leave us along with your fortune? By Allah, that cannot be!”
Suhaib then said: “Will you let me leave if I relinquish my fortune to you?” They said: “Yes.” He then gave them all he possessed. When Muhammad heard this he said: “Suhaib has made a good deal! Suhaib has won!”
Muhammad remained in Mecca after his companions had already emigrated, until Allah gave him the permission to emigrate. Apart from those who were being held back by force or who had been made to again become apostate, there remained only Ali and Abu Bakr with him in Mecca. This one frequently asked for permission to emigrate. Muhammad said to him, however: “Make no haste; perhaps Allah will give you a companion.” And he hoped that Muhammad himself was to be this companion.
4.02.15 -- The leaders of the Quraish resolve to have Muhammad killed
The Quraish soon recognized that Muhammad had won followers for himself outside of their tribe and in foreign territory. His friends who emigrated found there protection and refuge. Now they feared that Muhammad could make his way to them and wage war against them. Therefore they came together in assembly, in the house of Qusai ibn Kilab, the place in which all decisions were made, where they took council and discussed what was to be done, for now they began to fear Muhammad.*
* Muhammad was no man of peace. He healed no one and did not reconcile his followers with God. He threatened his enemies with annihilation (slit throats and slaughter), cursed them in the name of Allah and harmed them with the help of his angel of revenge, who called himself Gabriel (Jibril), but was not Gabriel.
On the day determined, the Quraish came together to decide about Muhammad. This day was called the day of Zahma (troubles). Then Iblis (the devil) came in the form of an old man in a worn out outer garment and stood at the door of the meetinghouse. When the Quraish asked who he was, he answered: “An old man from Najd, who has found out about what brings you together to meet and who has now come to examine your words and will perhaps be able to offer you well-intentioned advice. They said “good” and let him enter.
Here the most noble among the Quraish were united. One said to the other: “You have seen where the matter of this man has led. By Allah, we are not certain that he will not attack us with his followers from foreign tribes. Therefore come to agreement over a measure against him!” Following some consultations one said: “Bind him with chains and lock him up. Then wait until it goes with him just as it did with other (pre-Islamic) poets before him, Nabigha, Zuhair and others, who in similar fashion perished.” At that the old man from Najd said: “That is no good advice. By Allah, if you lock him up the matter will make its way through the door by which you have enclosed him and reach his companions. They could easily attack you and free him from your hands, and then increase in number so that they will overcome you. Therefore come up with better advice!”
Following reiterated consultations one said: “We want to caste him out* from our midst and ban him from our land. If he is far away from us, then he can go wherever he wants; we, however, will have rest from him and can deal with our own matters and will restore harmony.* The old man from Najd retorted, however: “This advice is also useless. Have you not seen and heard his beautiful speech and his sweet words and how he thereby wins the hearts of men? By Allah, if you do this I cannot support you. He may go to a Bedouin tribe and settle there and win them over through his speech until they follow him. Then he will come against you and overcome you, take away your rule and proceed to do with you as he pleases. Therefore come up with a better solution!”
* Jesus had been excluded from the High Council of the Old Covenant. The Jews suspected him of misleading the people and of being a blasphemer, crimes that would have deserved immediate death. Yet with Jesus there never was the danger of an armed rebellion. He was the Prince of Peace and the true mediator of peace.
Abu Jahl then said: “By Allah, I have an idea of which none of you have come upon.” When they asked what it would be, he said: “My opinion is that we should choose one young, strong and esteemed man from each tribe and of good family and give to each one a sharp sword. As one man they should fall upon him and kill* him. Then we will have rest from him. If you do this, his blood will be divided amidst all the tribes. The sons of Abd al-Dars will not be able to fight against their entire people. They will be satisfied with the giving of atonement money that we will pay to them.” The old man of Najd then said: “The advice of this man is the only good advice.” The assembly agreed to this and then all went their separate ways.
* Likewise the Jews determined to kill Jesus as soon as an opportunity came up. He was watched and spied on. They took up stones to stone him. He, however, passed through the midst of them, for His hour was not yet come (John 8:59; 10:39).
4.02.16 -- Muhammad leaves his residence (622 A.D.)
Gabriel then came to Muhammad and said: “Do not spend this night in your bed, in which you normally sleep.” When a third of the night had passed, the Quraish assembled before his door and waited until he would have fallen asleep in order to attack him.
When Muhammad became aware of this, he said to Ali: “Sleep on my bed and wrap yourself in my green cloak from Hadramaut*” - in this Muhammad was accustomed to sleeping - “they will do you no harm.”**
* A region in South Arabia.
** Muhammad gave occasion for Ali, his nephew and adopted son, to delude his enemies. He placed him - in the night and without lighting - in danger of death, in order to save himself.
To the contrary, Jesus delivered himself up to his enemies by night and said: “If you seek Me, then let these go!” (John 18:8). He Himself was prepared to suffer and to die so that His followers would not be brought into danger.
Yazid ibn Ziyad reported to me from Muhammad ibn Ka'b of the clan of the Quraiza: “As the Quraish stood before Muhammad's door, Abu Jahl, who was among them, said: 'Muhammad thinks that if you follow him you will become lords of the Arabians and of the others - the “remaining world*”, and that after death you will rise again and obtain gardens like those on the Jordan River. If you do not follow him, however, he will wipe you out. After your death, however, you will awaken and be burning in hell.' Whereupon Muhammad came out, took up a handful of dirt, scattered it over their heads and then said to Abu Jahl: 'Yes, I said this and you are one of the latter ones.' Allah took away their ability to see so that they did not recognize Muhammad (Sura Ya-sin 36:9).”
* By this Abu Jahl surely only meant the other tribes of Arabia.
“Finally there came one who did not belong to them and asked them who it was they were awaiting. They answered: 'For Muhammad.' This one then said: 'May Allah disappoint you! Muhammad already came out to you, scattered dirt upon your heads and has gone his way. Do you not see what is upon you?' Then each one felt upon his head and found dirt upon it. They then entered the house and found Ali wrapped in Muhammad's cloak. They said: 'By Allah, here Muhammad sleeps wrapped in his cloak,' and they held to this opinion until the morning. When Ali finally rose from bed, they said: 'The man who talked to us certainly said the truth!'”
It was at this time that Allah allowed Muhammad to emigrate.* Abu Bakr, who was a rich man, had bought himself two camels, which he fed in his own house, in order to hold them ready for this emergency.
* Allah permitted Muhammad to flee in order to establish his political state in Medina. In Islam there is no mediator between God and man, no substitute sacrifice, no reconciliation and no outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a result of this sacrifice. The goal of the religion of Muhammad remains the Islamic State, not the spiritual renewal of mankind. Therefore Muhammad did not die for his followers. Jesus, however, offered up Himself upon Golgotha - so that we could receive eternal life!
PART III - The Ruler in Medina
4.03 -- Muhammad's migration to Medina* (622 A.D.)
Aisha, the Mother of the Believers, claimed: “Muhammad never failed to visit the dwelling of (my father) Abu Bakr, in the morning or in the evening. However, on the day Allah gave him the permission to emigrate, he came at the hour of midday. When Abu Bakr saw him, he cried out: 'Something must have happened to cause Muhammad to come at this hour.' When he entered, Abu Bakr rose up from the bench he had been sitting on, and Muhammad seated himself. At that time there was no one with Abu Bakr except me and my sister Asma. Muhammad said: 'Let these people leave the room!' Abu Bakr responded: 'You are as near to me as my father and my mother. These two are my daughters!' Muhammad then said: 'Allah has allowed me to migrate!' Abu Bakr asked: 'Will we travel together?' When Muhammad answered this question affirmatively, he cried for joy.' Aisha said: 'I have never before seen someone cry for joy!” Abu Bakr then said: 'O prophet of Allah! I have been keeping two camels ready for this event.'” They then engaged Abd Allah ibn Arkat - a man from the Banu** Dual ibn Bakr - to be the leader, and handed the camels over to him, which he let graze until the appointed time. Not a person knew anything of the departure of Muhammad except Ali, Abu Bakr and his family. Muhammad informed Ali of his departure and commanded him to remain in Mecca until he could give back to the people all they had entrusted to Muhammad for safekeeping.
* The emigration of Muhammad and his community from Mecca brought about a fundamental change for Islam. Muhammad lived in Mecca for 12 years as a persecuted prophet, with an exceptional ability to endure. The primordial community proved their worth as a hard pressed flock of companions in prayer.
In Medina Muhammad developed into a determined, unscrupulous statesman, who did not draw back from any hard decision. From a passive community awaiting the judgment of Allah, he formed, by way of systematic brainwashing, a fanatic, daring band of warriors.
The Meccan Suras possess an infectious prophetical verve; the Medinan Suras appear rather like an impenetrable judicial jungle. In Mecca Muhammad resembled a bubbling volcano, while in Medina the lava of his revelations hardened into regulations and laws.
Early on the Muslims recognized the decisive difference between the time in Mecca and the new age in Medina, and had the Islamic calendar begin with the date of Muhammad's migration (622 A.D.). This affirmation shows that neither the birth of the prophet nor the beginning of the so-called revelations of the Koran, nor even the emergence of his new religious community, can be considered to be “full-Islam”. Only after Islam had become a religious state (city-state), was it considered to have been fully constituted. Islam does not perceive itself to be a religion in the sense of the European enlightenment, which presupposes the separation of religion and state, rather it sees itself as a state-religion, one that demands the union of religion and politics. All that the Muslims experienced in Mecca served simply as preparation for the seizing of power and the emergence of a “full Islam”.
**Banu, Bana, Bani designates the sons or the descendents of a tribal father.
4.03.1 -- The sojourn of Muhammad and Abu Bakr in the cave
Muhammad and Abu Bakr departed Abu Bakr's house together from a back door. They made their way to a cave of the mountain Thaur, which lay below the city. Abu Bakr had commissioned his son Abd Allah to listen to what the people were saying about them during the day, and to bring the news down to them at nightfall. Abu Bakr's freed slave Amir ibn Fuhaira was to pasture his sheep on the meadow during the day and herd them into the cave when night came, while his daughter Asma' was to bring them by night the necessary food provisions. For three days Muhammad and Abu Bakr remained in the cave. The Quraish had, as soon as they noticed he was gone, offered one hundred camels to anyone who would bring him back. Abd Allah spent the day with the Quraish to hear what they were saying about Muhammad and his father. This he then told them at night. Amir ibn Fuhaira mingled among the other shepherds of Mecca, and then in the evening led the sheep of Abu Bakr to the cave, where they could be milked and one of them slaughtered for food. When in the morning Abd Allah left the cave, Amir followed him with the sheep, so as to hide him. When three days had passed and the people no longer occupied themselves with them, they had the man whom they had hired come to them with the two camels. He also brought along a third camel for himself.
Asma brought the food provisions but forgot to bring a cord so that they could bind the bag to the camel. So she removed her own belt and used it as a rope. Abu Bakr led the better camel to Muhammad and said: “Climb onto it! I would give my own parents for you.” Muhammad responded: “I will ride on no camel that does not belong to me.” Abu Bakr responded: “It belongs to you; you are like my own father and mother to me.” Muhammad said: “No, How much did you pay for it?” When Abu Bakr named the price, he said: “I will buy it at this price”, and Abu Bakr sold it to him.* Then they mounted and Abu Bakr let Amir sit behind him. He was to serve them along the way. After that they departed.
* Jesus owned no riding animal of His own. He commanded His disciples to borrow two donkeys and tell their owners that the Lord needed them. Jesus relied on the help of God, His Father, and the goodness of His friends, before He rode amid cries of “Hosanna” into Jerusalem as king. He did not run away from the city filled with animosity toward Him, but mounted a donkey and rode it willfully straight to the death on the cross. Jesus was meek and humble of heart He possessed the courage to remain unarmed and died a atoning sacrifice for all.
For Muhammad, however, his own passion for power and his drive for self-preservation drove him to embark on an emigration that he had prepared long in advance. It did not even think of dying for either friends or enemies; he wanted to live, rule and conquer.
Asma' said: “After Muhammad and Abu Bakr had departed, there came Abu Jahl with some other Quraishites to our house and remained standing in front of the door. I went out to them. They asked where my father was.” I answered: “By Allah, I do not know where my father is.” Abu Jahl, who was a rough, course man, then stood up and hit me on the cheek with such a strong blow that my earring fell out.”
4.03.2 -- How Abu Quhafa came to Asma'
Yahya ibn Abbad ibn Abd Allah ibn Zubair reported to me that his father Abbad had told him that his grandmother, Asma', was to have said: “When Muhammad departed, together with Abu Bakr, he took all his money with him - five or six thousand dirham. My grandfather, Abu Quhafa, who was blind, then came and said: 'I believe he left you bereft of his person and his goods.' I responded: 'In no way, my grandfather, he left many possessions behind.' I then took stones and laid them in a niche in the house where he was accustomed to putting his money, covered them with a cloth, and then grabbed his hand and said: 'Place your hand upon this money!' He did so and said: 'Now there is no need to worry, when he has left you with so much money. He did well to leave you this, and it is enough for you.' But, by Allah, he left nothing behind for us. I only said it to place the old man at ease.”*
* The use of ruse is an acknowledged and legal “means to an end” in Islam. See Sura Al 'Imran 3:54.
4.03.3 -- The stations of Muhammad's emigration
At first Abd Allah ibn Arkat led them from the lower city parts of Mecca along the embankment below 'Usfan (about 60 km northwest of Mecca), then in the depression of Amaj (about 30 km farther). When he got past Qudaid (12 km farther on the Red Sea), he crossed with them the street to Kharrar, then came to Thaniyet al-Mara and finally to Laqif. He then led them along the cisterns of Laqif, going past Majaj, or, as Ibn Hisham believes, to the cisterns of Maja. They then came through the date grove of Majaj and that of Dhu al-Ghadwayn. From here he led them through the valley of Dhu Kishd toward Jadayid, Ajrad, Dhu Salam, through the valley of Aada, toward the cisterns of Tahin and then on to 'Ababid.
He then took them past al-Faja and descended with them to al-'Arj (approx. 250 km north of Mecca). Since this was the site where supposedly one of their camels grew lame or ill, Aus ibn Hujr, a man of the tribe of Aslam, gave Muhammad one of his own camels named ibn al-Rida and brought him to Yathrib. He also gave him one of his servants, whose name was Mas'ud ibn Hunaida. From al-'Arj their leader brought them to Thaniyat al-Air, that lies to the right hand of Rakuba, down into the Rim Valley and from here to Quba (an outpost of Medina, about 350 km north of Mecca), where the Banu Amr ibn Auf dwelled. After twelve nights in the month of Rabi'a al-Awwal (the 3rd month of the Muslim calendar), on a Monday and during the heat of the day, as the sun had nearly reached its zenith, they entered Yathrib* (approx. 6 km east of Quba').
* Since the time of Muhammad's arrival in Yathrib, the city has been known as “Medina”, which means “the city”, one that granted refuge to Muhammad and his followers. According to another disputed view, the name "al-Medina" initially was said to have had the meaning “Place of Judgment” or “Seat of Judges”.
4.03.4 -- Muhammad's arrival in Quba', an outpost of Medina (September 622 A.D.)
Some of Muhammad's companions from my clan said: “When we heard that Muhammad had left Mecca, we looked forward to his arrival and after the morning prayer went out to the stony field to wait for him. We stayed until there were no more shadows to be found. Then we turned back, for they were hot days. We did the same on the day of his arrival. We had already returned home when he arrived. A Jew* was the first to spot him, and when he saw how we had waited for him, he cried out loudly: “O, you sons of Qaylah, your good fortune has arrived!”
* It just happened to be a Jew from Yathrib (Medina) who was the first to recognize Muhammad. The Jews made up the upper class in this city. They possessed the Torah as legal authority, had become skilled master craftsmen and were prosperous.
We went out and found Muhammad in the shadow of a date palm. Abu Bakr was with him, who was equal to him in years. Since most of us had never seen Muhammad previously, they did not know which one of the two he was. When the shadow departed from Muhammad and Abu Bakr gave him shade from his own outer garment, we recognized him.”
As it is told, Muhammad stayed with Kulthum ibn Hidm, who belonged to the Banu 'Ubaid. According to other reports he stayed with Sa'd ibn Khaythama. Those who claim that he stayed with Kulthum maintain, however, he only went to Sa'd's house for public meetings, because the man was unmarried and the single companions of Muhammad resided with him. Therefore, his house was called “the House of the Singles”. Only Allah knows what the truth is.
4.03.5 -- How Muhammad chose his dwelling in Medina
Ali* remained still three days and three nights in Mecca, in order to return to the people all they had entrusted to Muhammad. Then he followed Muhammad and dismounted with him at Kulthum.
* Ali, the cousin and adopted son of Muhammad, served as the administrator of his estate, because the clan of his father Abu Talib protected him and he was not yet 20 years old.
Muhammad remained in Quba' from Monday to Thursday, and there laid the foundation stone to a mosque. On Friday Allah led him to proceed further. The Banu Auf had thought he would stay longer with them.
At the time of the Friday prayer, Muhammad was staying with the Banu Salim ibn Auf, and he prayed there, where the mosque now stands in the midst of the Valley of Ranuna. It was the first Friday prayer that he performed in Medina. Itban ibn Malik and 'Abbas ibn Ubada, with other men from the Banu Salim, had requested him to remain with them, in order to protect him, since they were numerically strong and well armed. He, however, responded: “Let the camel go its way. It has received the command of Allah to rest where I am to stay.” They then let it proceed further. When it came to the dwelling of the Banu Bayada, Ziyada ibn Labid and Farwa ibn Amr with others came out and, in the same manner, requested Muhammad to remain with them. He, however, gave them the same answer. The same repeated itself before the dwelling of Banu Sa'ida, the Banu al-Harith, the Banu 'Adi, who were his distantly-related maternal uncles, for Salama, the daughter of 'Amr, one of their women, was the mother of Abd al-Muttalib (the grandfather of Muhammad).
The camel* went ever further, until it reached the place where the Banu Malik ibn al-Najjar dwelt. There it knelt down before the door of the present mosque, where at that time a drying place existed that belonged to two orphans - that is - Sahl and Suhail, the sons of 'Amr, from the Banu Malik ibn al-Najjar. When it knelt down and Muhammad did not dismount, it rose up again and took a few steps forwards. Muhammad had actually let go of the reins and was not leading it. Then it turned around again and knelt down at the same place, where it at first had lowered itself. There it remained, shook itself and laid its neck on the ground. Muhammad dismounted. Abu Ayyub Khalid ibn Zaid took off the baggage and carried it into his house. Muhammad then went in and stayed with him. He then asked to whom the place belonged. Mu'adh ibn Afra answered: “To the two orphans, Sahl and Suhail, who live with me.” “I will use it to build a mosque and will compensate them for it.”
* Jesus did not need to have an animal guide him. He sent out Peter and John and told them in advance where they would find the secret place where He would commemorate His final Communion with them (Luke 22:8-13).
4.03.6 -- The building of the first mosque
Allah commanded Muhammad to build a mosque*. He remained with Abu Ayyub until his house and mosque were built. He himself put his hand to the work, in order to encourage the believers. Both the emigrants (from Mecca) as well as the helpers (from Medina) worked zealously. A Muslim composed the following verse:
If we were to remain idle, while the prophet worked on, so it would be a wrong dealing of us.
During the construction the Muslims spoke forth the following verse:
Only what comes in the next world is true life. Allah! Have mercy upon the helpers and the emigrants.
Muhammad repeated the same words, mentioning, however, the emigrants first.**
*The Arabic word “Jaami' ” literally means “that which gathers, that which unites, that which encompasses”. In English it is translated as “mosque” (which comes from "Masjid", literally "the place of prostrations").
Jesus did not build any church buildings or synagogues for His followers, although he was a carpenter by trade. Instead, He gave His disciples His Spirit, in order that their bodies could become the temple of God. The construction of houses out of dead stone, for believers to have a place to meet in, was not the goal of Jesus Christ. Much more, He wanted God Himself to indwell believers. Today the church of Jesus Christ is the sanctified Temple of God.
** On occasion Muhammad gave preference to the emigrants from Mecca. That gave rise to significant tension between the Muslims from Mecca and those from Medina. These tensions openly came to light later in the choosing of his successor the first Calif.
Ammar arrived with a load of bricks and said to Muhammad: “O messenger of Allah! They are killing me. They heap more upon me than I can carry.” Umm Salama, the wife of Muhammad, declared: “I saw how Muhammad ran his hand through his curly hair and then said: 'Alas, son of Sumaiyya! These men will not kill you, but rather a band of apostates will kill you.'”
Muhammad remained in the house of Abu Ayyub until the mosque and houses were built. He then left. Abu Ayyub said: “When Muhammad came to live with me, he lived on the lower floor, and I and the mother of Ayyub on the upper floor. I said to him: 'O prophet of Allah, you are dearer to me than my father and mother. I am troubled and consider it a sin that you live below and I live above you. So you now go up and let us live below!' He answered: 'O Abu Ayyub! It is for us and for those that visit us more comfortable when we live below.' So Muhammad continued to live below and we above.”
“Once a vessel broke in which we kept water. We took a blanket - the only one we had - in order to dry the floor so that water would not drop below upon Muhammad and harm him.” The same one explained: “We prepared the evening meal for him and sent it to him. When he sent what was left back to us, we, my wife and I, grasped the spot his hand had touched, expecting a blessing from it. One evening we sent him a meal prepared with onions and garlic. He sent it back and we saw nowhere a trace of his hand. I went to him in astonishment and said: 'I did not find a trace of your hand on the food,' and further told him that we always had eaten from the spot his hand had touched in order to be blessed. He answered: 'I found the smell of garlic in it, and I am a man whom people come and inhale around in order to discover how he smells. You, however, can eat it!' So we then ate it but never again prepared him anything from such plants.”
4.03.7 -- How the emigrants followed Muhammad to Medina
The emigrants followed Muhammad to Medina and none were left in Mecca except those that had apostatized or been forcefully held back. Nevertheless, the emigrants did not flee with their entire families or with all of their possessions out of Mecca to Allah and his messenger. Exceptions were those who owned houses from among the Jumah clan, the Banu Jahsh ibn Riab. They were protected companions of the Banu Umaiyya and the Banu al-Bukair, who in turn were allies of the Banu 'Adi ibn Ka'b. Their homes were locked up when they emigrated and no one was left to live there.
When the Banu Jahsh migrated, Abu Sufyan sold their house to Amr ibn 'Alqama. When the sons of Jahsh heard this, Abd Allah ibn Jahsh told it to the prophet, who responded: “Are you not satisfied that Allah will give you for this a better house in paradise?” He answered: “Most certainly!” “Now then”, Muhammad rejoined, “you shall receive it.” When Muhammad conquered Mecca, Abu Ahmad spoke with him regarding their house. Muhammad hesitated with the answer, and the people said to Abu Ahmad: “Muhammad does not like it when it comes to financial loss suffered for the sake of Allah. Therefore, speak no more to him about it!”
Muhammad remained from the month of Rabi'a al-Awwal (3rd month) until Safar (the 2nd month) of the following year in Medina. During this time the construction of his mosque and his place of dwelling were completed.
4.03.8 -- Muhammad's first sermon
As it was reported to me from Abu Salama ibn Abd al-Rahman that Muhammad, in his first public sermon (may Allah keep us from putting something in his mouth he never said!) - after he glorified and praised Allah - , said the following: “O you people! Send forth good works ahead of you!* By Allah, if one of you be smitten by fear because of the coming day of judgment, then his flock will be without a shepherd. Then Allah will say to him without interpreter or steward: 'Did you not meet my Messenger and did he not bring you my message? I have given you possessions and shown you good deeds. What have you sent ahead for your soul?' He will then look to the left and to the right and find nothing, and he will look forward and see nothing but hell. Whoever can save himself (his face) from hell - be it with nothing more than a piece of a date - let him do it. But whoever finds nothing let him do so by a good word. Every good deed will be rewarded ten to seven hundredfold. Peace be with you and Allah's blessing and mercy!”
* Islam is a religion built upon the righteousness of works. Any righteousness through faith is of secondary importance, for faith and its proclamation are considered to be “good works”. Justification by faith on the basis of a vicarious sacrifice is foreign to Islam. Every person has to work to gain his own salvation. Fear of the judgment of Allah and of hell is the driving force in the behavior of a Muslim, not love or the will to serve. However, Paul revealed that no one can be justified by keeping the law or through good works. Here lies the fundamental error of Muhammad and Islam.
4.03.9 -- Muhammad's second sermon
On another occasion Muhammad preached the following sermon: “Praise the Lord! I praise him and plead to him for help. Allah is our refuge from our own malice and our own sinful deeds. 'Whomsoever Allah guides, he is rightly guided, but whomsoever He leads astray, you will not find for him anyone to rightly guide him' (Sura al-Kahf 18:17)”.
“I confess: there is no god besides Allah. He has no partner beside him. The best words in the world are the words of Allah. Blessed is he in whose heart Allah has sent his word, he whom Allah has led from disbelief to Islam, and he who prefers the Quran to all other speech of men. They are the best and the most striking words in the world.* Love that which Allah loves! Love Allah with your whole heart. Never tire of the word of Allah, and never cease to repeat it!** Do not harden your hearts to Allah's word, for it is the best and most noble of all that Allah has created. He called the Quran the choicest and the most excellent of all words and of everything - both permissible and impermissible - that was given to mankind. Worship Allah and associate none with him! Fear him in true reverence! Be sincere toward Allah in all that you speak with the mouth! Love one another in the spirit of Allah, for Allah becomes angry when one breaks covenant with him. Peace and Allah's mercy be with you!”
* The abbreviated form of this introduction (text in italics) serves until today as the obligatory introduction of the Friday message in a mosque.
Islam teaches a double predestination: Allah determines the one for salvation, the other for damnation (Suras Ibrahim 14:4; al-Nahl 16:93 among others). Individual freedom is very limited in Islam. Nevertheless, a Muslim is still responsible for his good and evil works on the Day of Judgment. Therefore, the Muslim is to fear Allah and worship, in the hope that Allah will later save him from the fire of hell because of his good works (Sura Maryam 19:72).
** The Arabic word “Quran” literally means: “the recitation, the text to be recited” and is used in Islam exclusively for the Suras of Muhammad.
The Quran is regarded as the final, inerrant word of Allah, which was dictated to Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel during Muhammad's epileptic seizures. This word is not only to come into the heads, but, above all, sink into the hearts. Every Muslim should memorize the Quran. This is regarded as a work that justifies. Submission to Allah is evident, among others things, in the memorization of the Quran, which will find its reward on the Day of Judgment.
4.04 -- The Establishment of a City State of Muslims, Jews and Animists (after 622 A.D.)
4.04.1 -- Muhammad decrees a fundamental law
Muhammad drew up a document. It was to be a contract for the emigrants and the helpers, and for the Jews, who were to be allowed to keep their faith and their wealth under a certain set of conditions. It read: In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful. This is the contract that Muhammad the prophet concludes between the believers from the Quraish and Medina, who follow them, who join them, and who fight along with them. Together they make up a community*, one that is set apart from all other people.
* At the beginning of his rule in Medina, Muhammad tried to bind together all who lived in this city - Muslims, Jews and Animists - through a contractual agreement. He regarded them all as his subordinates, who belonged together and who were - each and all - to stand up for one another.
The emigrants from Mecca, the Quraishites, in an emergency and corresponding to their domiciles, were to pay the ransom price for those from their kin, who were taken prisoner, to redeem them, as it is right and customary among believers. The Banu Auf were also, according to their domicile and custom, to pay the ransom price and redeem every section of their prisoners, according to right and custom. The same was true for the Banu Harith, the Banu Sa'ida, the Banu Jusham, the Banu al Najjar, the Banu Amr ibn Auf, the Banu al-Nabit and the Banu al-Aus.* The believers were not to have among them anybody who was burdened with great debt, whom they would not support, even if a redemption or ransom price was to be paid for him.
* This un-Islamic compromise was an attempt of Muhammad to gradually win all of the residents of Medina to Islam. He offered them equality, with the same duties and privileges that were also meant for Muslims. This contract stood in opposition to the later understanding of the Islamic Umma, whereby only Muslims could be fully authorized citizens. Whoever did not accept this first fundamental law in Medina became defenseless.
No believer is to show hostility to the allies of another (believer). The believers are to be watchful about those who practice violence, who covet ransom money*, or those who plot animosity and corruption among the believers. Everyone should raise his hand against those who do these things, even if he is their own son. No one shall kill a believer as revenge for a disbeliever. No one is to support a disbeliever against a believer.** Allah's protection is one and counts the same for all Muslims. Even the least of all Muslims can grant the disbelievers this protection! The believers are to reciprocally protect one another from all other people.***
* The ransom price is the money for the buying free or the setting free of disbelieving or non-Muslim captives of war, the amount being determined by the Islamic leader.
** This sentence is regarded as justification for the later Muslim massacre of the Medinan Jews of the Banu Qaynuqa. The allies of the Jews among the former animists had no right to help them against the Muslims, even when the latter were killing Jews in large numbers.
*** The unconditional, mutual duty of all Muslims to help each other against just and unjust attacks of non-Muslims is, to a certain extent, already present in this first fundamental law of Medina. Later it was to become a self-evident truth for all Muslims. In reality, however, in family feuds and in wars between Islamic peoples - this law has been broken countless times.
Jews that follow us receive help and the exact same right. No injustice is to be done them and no help is to be given their enemies against them.
The peace of the believers is indivisible. No peace is to be concluded with one believer and not with the other. Everything in the battle for Allah is to be done in equality and justice. In every campaign of battle, riders are to relieve each other. No one is to take revenge against another believer when blood has been shed during a holy war. The believers that fear Allah are under the best and most powerful guidance.
Furthermore, no polytheist (from Medina) is to take the property or the person of the Quraishite (from Mecca) under his protection or intervene in a quarrel between a Quraishite and another believer. If it be proven that someone has killed a believer, he shall also be killed for it, unless the nearest relative of the murdered victim becomes satisfied by other means (blood money). The Muslims are to rise as a single man against the murderer.*
* Following the principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, or the possibility of accepting a ransom payment from the relatives, the way for blood revenge was prepared and legalized with this ordinance. Islam knows no unconditional duty to forgive, as Jesus demanded from His followers (Matthew 6:14-15).
Neither is it allowed for a believer - who has agreed to the content of this document and who believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment - to give aid to a guilty party or offer him shelter. If he does it in spite of this interdiction, he will encounter Allah's curse and wrath on the Day of Resurrection. By nothing can he cleanse himself from this guilt.* In every questionable matter in which there is lack of consensus among you, turn to Allah and to Muhammad.**
* Islam warns its followers regarding several types of unforgivable sins: apostasy from Islam, faith in an alleged plural deity, such as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and from the premeditated murder of another Muslim.
** With this law Muhammad enthroned himself as mediator, judge, and absolute ruler in Medina. Jesus, however, refused to have Himself made a king or to be clad with any kind of worldly office, because His purpose was to build a spiritual kingdom (John 6:15; Luke 12:13-15).
If Jews fight alongside believers, they are to contribute equally to the costs. The Jews of the Banu Auf make up a community with the believers. The Jews retain their faith and the Muslims likewise theirs.* In like manner, their person and their freedmen and allies are untouchable. Only criminals or those who practice violence enjoy no protection, whereby they plunge both themselves as well as their families into ruin.
* This ordinance (temporarily) decreed equality in matters of civil law for the Jews and Muslims of Medina, as well as the equal validity of the Islamic and Jewish faiths.
The arrangement regarding the Jews of the Banu Auf is also valid for the Jews of the Banu al-Najjar, the Banu al-Harith, the Banu Sa'ida, the Banu Jusham, the Banu al-Aus, the Banu Tha'laba and Jafna, who make up a branch of the Jafna, as well as for the Jews of the Banu Shutayba, the pure, not the law-breakers. The freedmen of the Tha'laba are considered, like the Tha'laba themselves, to be a side-branch of the Jewish tribes. None of them are to leave Medina without the permission of Muhammad.*
* Muhammad reigned over his subjects like an absolute ruler. Islam permits only limited freedoms.
No one is to be prevented from taking revenge because of an injury. Whoever commits an injustice harms both himself and his family, unless violence has been previously committed against him. Allah desires that these ordinances be followed minutely.
The Jews are to take care of their own subsistence and likewise the believers for their own. Providing support is a mutual responsibility when anbody wages war against anyone named in this document. Mutual advice and consultation must be sincere in all cases. No one is to commit an injustice against those allied with him, and one is responsible to aid the one to whom violence has been done. The Jews are to bear the costs of war along with the believers, as long as they march into battle alongside each other.*
* In the event of war, the Jews were responsible to give assistance, and had to share in the financing of Muhammad's Holy Wars.
The city area of Medina is to be an inviolable zone for all those who consent to this contract. A person under protection is regarded equal to the person who gives him protection, so long as he is no criminal. A woman cannot be taken under protection without the permission of her family. Should an unforeseen event transpire between those mentioned in this document, or a quarrel break out in which the repeal of the agreed arrangements is to be feared, Allah or Muhammad is to be turned to. Allah can best look after the exact keeping of this contract. No protection is to be given the Quraish in Mecca or their helpers.* Whoever attacks Medina is to be beaten back by all. If the disbelievers are summoned to make peace and to live in peace, they are to heed the summons.
* The merchants in Mecca constituted the greatest danger to Muhammad. Whoever made a pact with them became Muhammad's enemy.
If they summon to live in peace, then the believers are to follow suit, except when they are fighting a religious war. Each is to keep his portion of the booty that they have gained (Sura al-Anfal 8:1 ff.) The Jews of the tribe of the Aus and their protected ward are assured the same rights as those who have agreed to this contract.
Allah demands that the contents of this contract* be kept meticulously without a criminal or an evildoer being protected thereby. Whoever enters or leaves Medina is secure apart from criminals and evildoers. Allah and his messenger Muhammad protect the pure and the God-fearing.**
* This contract became exemplary and served as the foundation and legitimation for many later contracts that were contracted between Muslims and other subjugated peoples entitled to protection.
** This contract between Muslims, Jews and Animists in Medina is an example of Muhammad's leadership skill. For a time he was - contrary to his religious principles - prepared to make compromises, yet only as long as he was in need of the help of other religions. At first Muhammad wanted to unite the fundamentally different partners of his city and by doing so establish a power base on which Islam could thrive.
4.04.2 -- The avowal of friendship of the Emigrants and the Helpers
Muhammad made an alliance between the emigrant companions from Mecca and the helpers from Medina. As I understand it, he said (may Allah protect us from subscribing anything to him he did not say!): “Become brothers (each two together) in the name of Allah!” He then grasped the hand of Ali and said: “This is my brother.”* Thus Muhammad**, the lord of the sent ones, the imam of the God-fearing, the messenger of the Lord of the Worlds, who has no one his equal - became a brother with Ali. Hamza, the Lion of Allah and the uncle of Muhammad, became a brother to Zaid ibn Haritha, the freedman of Muhammad. It was he whom Hamza commissioned to fulfill his last testament in the event he should perish in the Battle of Uhud. Ja'far, the son of Abu Talib, who floats around in paradise with two wings,*** became the brother of Mu'adh ibn Jabal, one of the brothers of the Banu Salama. Abu Bakr became the brother of Kharija ibn Zaid, Umar ibn al-Khattab with Itban ibn Malik. At the end Bilal is mentioned. This one was the freedman of Abu Bakr, as well as the muezzin of Muhammad, who became a brother with Abu Ruwaiha Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Rahman, the Kathamite, who then was counted among the Banu Fura.
* These words of Muhammad are interpreted by the Shiites to mean that Ali was the one who “stood closest” to Muhammad, thereby becoming the highest ranking Muslim.
** Muhammad is regarded in Islam as the lord and seal of all the messengers of Allah. To Muslims he is greater than Moses and Jesus. The “Lord of the World” is, however, one of the names of Allah, and Muhammad is considered to be his most important messenger. He became a brother with Ali, his nephew, adopted son, and later son-in-law. In doing so Muhammad once again bound himself to his clan.
*** Muhammad claimed that Ja'far, his cousin, had gained two wings at the spots of his body where he had lost both arms in battle.
These names were passed on to us by those whom Muhammad had bound in brotherhood. When Umar introduced the books into Syria, in which the names of all the combatants were listed, he asked Bilal, who also waged war there, where he wished to be entered. He answered: “Next to Abu Ruwaitha, from whom I never want to be separated, for Muhammad made us brothers.” Thus he became joined to Abu Ruwaitha, and the remaining Abyssinians to the tribe of Khatham, for Bilal belonged to it.*
* The uniting of the Muslims in brotherhood represented the attempt of Muhammad to create a new home in the religious community of Islam for the refugees, who had lost all tribal protection, with a new “we-awareness”. The blood-bonds were to be replaced with religious bonds. Nonetheless, this attempt only succeeded partially. The history of Islam shows an endless chain of wars based on family politics and clan rights.
4.04.3 -- The death of Abu Umama
In the month that the mosque was being built, Abu Umama Sa'd ibn Zurara died from a throat condition or breathing disorder. Muhammad said: “The death of Abu Umama looks to the Jews and the hypocrites among the Arabs like a misfortune for the Muslims. They will say, if I was a prophet then my companion would not have died.* Now they will be convinced that I can affect nothing through Allah, either for myself or for my companions.” After Abu Umama died, the Banu Najjar, whose leader he had been, assembled by Muhammad and asked him to determine a successor, who would order their matters just as his predecessor had done. So Muhammad said: “You are my uncle on my mother's side. I belong to you and want to be your leader.” Muhammad did not want to raise any of them above the other. The Banu Najjar considered it the earned reward of their lineage that Muhammad became their leader.
* Jesus was confronted with a similar question by Mary, the sister of Lazarus. He, however, possessed the authority to call the deceased one back from the grave and to life. Muhammad did not have this ability. Instead, he took advantage of the situation and the mourning by setting himself up as the head of the fatherless clan.
4.04.4 -- The beginning of the Call to Prayer
Once Muhammad found a secure abode* in Medina and his friends, the emigrants (from Mecca), could be with him, and also the matters regarding the helpers (from Medina) had been ordered, Islam became firmly established. Prayer was regularly performed, the times of fasting adhered to, the poor tax levied, penal law applied and that which was allowed and forbidden* prescribed.***
*Jesus said of himself: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). And Paul wrote about Jesus in 2 Corinthians 8:9: “that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.”
** “The allowed and the forbidden” are the extreme limits on the scale of values of Islamic jurisprudence; between these there are many levels, such as indifference, undesirable, despicable as well as others.
*** Islam thus became the singular law in Medina ordering its culture and way of life.
When Muhammad came to Medina, the people gathered around him at certain times for prayer, without having been called to it. Muhammad entertained the thought of having the believers called to prayer by a trumpet, as the Jews practiced, yet abandoned the idea. Later he wanted to introduce a “bell”. He actually had a “bell” made in order to have it rung for the times of prayer.*
* At the first Islamic gatherings, there were two pieces of wood of different lengths that were rhythmically struck together. That was the substitute for a trumpet, drum or bell, which at that time were not available.
In the meantime Abd Allah ibn Zaid had a vision in which he was taught how he was to call to prayer. He came to the prophet and said: “This past night there came to me a wandering phantom in the form of a man, clad in a green cloak and who had a bell in his hand. I asked him: 'Servant of Allah! Do you want to sell me this bell?' He asked: 'What do you want to do with it?' I answered: 'We want to call people to prayer with it.' He then said: 'I want to show you a better method!' When I asked him about this method, he answered: 'Call out four times: Allah is greater, and then: I confess that there is no god besides Allah. I confess that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah. Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Come to success! Come to success! Allah is greater! Allah is greater! There is no god beside him!'”* When Muhammad heard these words, he said: “That is a true vision. As Allah wills, go and teach it to Bilal! He shall call to prayer with it, for he has a better voice than you.” When Bilal called out to prayer, Umar heard it in his house. He hastened to Muhammad, dragging along his cloak and said: “O prophet of Allah, by him who sent you the truth, I had the same vision as he did!” Muhammad said: “Allah be praised!”
* Living together with Jews and Christians, Muhammad developed Islam into an independent religion with its own legislation, liturgy and customs. The prayer call of the Muslims contains a summary of the fundamental teachings of Islam:
1. “Allahu akbar” means that Allah is the great, distant and unknown god, who is equal to none and incomparable with anyone. He cannot be imagined, neither reached nor understood. He is the entirely “other” god, great and unknown, who can only be feared and worshipped by all.
2. Muhammad is called the “messenger of Allah”. For he is not only his prophet, but also his political representative, who is charged with seeing that Allah's law is enforced. Therefore, in the end Islam can be nothing other than set up a state-religion in a religious state.
3. Whoever submits to the prescribed order of prayer, shall have success in life and in eternity. These prayers are to procure privileges with Allah and count as meritorious work, that secure blessing in this and in the next world. Prayer in Islam is thus a means to an end, and not a giving of thanks to God for His blessings and grace. Here the justification by works in Islam can again be seen in comparison to the justification by grace in Christ.
'Ubaid ibn 'Umayr al-Laithi said: “Muhammad and his companions had determined to procure a bell, in order to call the people together for prayer. When Umar wanted to buy two beams for the bell, he had a vision in which he was commanded not to bring in a bell, but to call out to prayer. Umar went to Muhammad to inform him of his vision. Muhammad, however, had already become aware of the same through revelation. He said to Umar: 'This revelation has already preceded you!' Umar had hardly returned before Bilal started to make the call to prayer.”
A woman of the Banu Najjar said: “My house was the highest in the vicinity of the mosque. Bilal called from here every morning to prayer. He came very early, went up on top of the flat roof, sat down, and then waited for the morning star. Then he walked about (the flat roof) and cried out: 'Allah, I praise you and implore your help for the Quraish, that they might accept your religion.' He then called to prayer and, by Allah, I don't know that he even neglected this a single night.”
4.04.5 -- The names of the opponents among the Jews
With time, and as Islam became established, the Rabbis became the enemies of Muhammad. They were filled with envy and resentment that Allah had chosen his messenger from among the Arabs.* They were joined by the Ausites and Khazrajites, among whom there were still those who held firmly to heathendom and idolatry, just as their fathers were and as those that believed not in the resurrection. Yet they felt compelled to make an apparent confession to Islam - in order to save their lives. Nevertheless, they were hypocrites and inwardly stood on the side of the Jews, who had rejected Islam and called Muhammad a liar.
* The Jews mocked Muhammad because he claimed to be a prophet of the true God. They were neither envious nor resentful of him. However, they laughed at him, which deeply offended Muhammad.
The Rabbis asked questions of Muhammad, vexed him and presented him with tricky problems, all in order to mix truth with deceit, the only exception being a few questions believers put to him regarding that which is allowed and forbidden.*
* In this section of the Arabic original, there follows a long list with names of individual people from the Banu Nadir, the Banu Qaynuqa' and the Banu Quraiza. With this the enemies of Muhammad were mentioned by name. To this came the names of individual Jews from the Banu Zuraiq, the Banu Haritha and the Banu Amr.
These Rabbis were full of malice and were bitter enemies of Muhammad and his companions. They threw out questions and carried on polemic against Islam in order to destroy it. There were only two Rabbis that became Muslims.*
* The Jews were quick to recognize the discrepancies between the revelations of Muhammad and the texts of the Torah and the Prophets, and mockingly pointed these out to him. The Prophet of the Arabs, however, could not admit that he merely had re-set these oral Jewish traditions into Arabic rhyme verse, and by so doing had often united imprecise information, misunderstandings and intentional alterations. The avowal of an error would have brought into question his prophetic authority. Muhammad was, for the sake of his honor, not obedient to the truth. The spirit of Islam is no spirit of truth and humility, but rather one that uses countless tricks and lies to save its own honor and power.
Because the attacks of the Rabbis brought the matter of Muhammad's intrinsic authority into question, he called them his greatest and most dangerous enemies. The criticism, shrewdness and superiority of the Jews, along with their caustic mockery, created an unabated hatred in Muhammad and his followers that has endured until today.
Jesus also was tempted and mocked by his people, but was wiser than his opponents and overcame their trickery and spite with spiritual logic and pertinent words from the Old Testament. Jesus was the truth in person: He did not twist the law, but rather fulfilled it with word and deed.
4.04.6 -- The Conversion of the Jewish Rabbi Abdallah ibn Salam
As it was reported to me by one of his family, Abd Allah ibn Salam, a studied Rabbi, described the history of his conversion in the following way: “When I heard the messenger of Allah speaking, I recognized him by way of his attributes, his name and the time in which we expected him.* I was joyous, but remained quiet until he came to Medina.
* Muslims see in Muhammad the promised prophet of the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:15), who, however, according to the understanding of the New Testament, is Christ. In a grotesque way, Muslims also understand Muhammad to be the fulfillment of the promise of a Paraclete that Jesus gave (John 14-16), who is in reality the Holy Spirit, who came to fill the praying disciples at Pentecost.
When he (Muhammad) settled himself in Quba by the Banu Amr ibn Auf, there came a man and informed us of his arrival. I was just at that time in the crown of a date palm, under which sat my aunt Khalida, the daughter of Harith. When I heard the news, I cried out: 'Allah is almighty.' My aunt responded: 'May God shame you! You could not have said more if Moses, the son of Imran, had come.' I responded: 'By Allah, he is a brother of Moses, is from his same religion and was sent with the same as that which Allah sent Moses with. She asked: 'Is he the prophet who was prophesied to us that would come at this time?' I said: 'Yes.' She responded: 'Well then he it is!' I went straightaway to Muhammad, converted to Islam, went again to my house and commanded my entire family to follow Islam, and they did it. Nevertheless, I kept our conversion a secret from the Jews. I went again to Muhammad and said: 'The Jews are slanderous people. Hide me in one of your rooms and question them about me, before they know that I have become a Muslim, for as soon as they know of it they will slander and disparage me.' Muhammad hid him in one of his rooms, and when the Jews came and talked with him for a while and asked him some questions, he asked: 'What position does al-Husain ibn Salam occupy among you?' They answered: 'He is our lord and the son of our lord and our Rabbi and scholar.' As they said this, I came out and went forth to them and said: 'O you Jews! Fear Allah and receive what he sends you. By Allah, you know that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah. You will find him mentioned in the Torah, with his name and with his attributes.* For my part I confess that he is a messenger of Allah. I believe in him and recognize him to be truthful.' They cried out: 'You lie,' and began to revile me. I then said to Muhammad: 'Did I not say to you, o Prophet of Allah, that the Jews are a slanderous people, in whom treason, lies and lewdness (harlotry) dwells?'
* Muslims apply the promise of Deuteronomy 18:15 to Muhammad, yet overlook the fact that the promised prophet must be a member of the Old Covenant, something Muhammad never was nor could ever be.
I then openly proclaimed my conversion and that of my family. My aunt Khalida, as well, became a good Muslim.”
4.04.7 -- The Conversion of the Jewish Rabbi Mukhairiq
Of Mukhairiq it is said: “He was a studied rabbi who was rich in date palms. He recognized Muhammad by his characteristics and from what he had learned in his studies. He gained a love for Islam. His familiarity with this religion is what won him over. So he lived until the Battle of Uhud, which fell on a Sabbath. He then said to the Jews: “By Allah, you know it is your duty to help Muhammad.” They responded: “Today is a day of rest.” He called out: “May you never come to rest!” He then reached for his weapon and went to Uhud to Muhammad and his companions. He had previously decided that if he should be killed all of his property and goods were to fall to Muhammad, who could then proceed with them as Allah directed him. He then fought among the believers until he was killed. As I heard it, Muhammad was to have said: “Mukhairiq was the best among the Jews.” Muhammad then took possession of Mukhairiq's property. All the alms that Muhammad distributed in Medina were from Mukhairiq's estate.”*
* Through the conversions of Rabbis and other Jews to Islam, Muhammad gained more precise knowledge of the Law, the Talmud and the traditions of the pious Jews. So it is that up to 70% of the text of the Quran and the Hadith arise from Jewish sources that were, nonetheless, distorted and formed into Islamic rhyme.
4.05 -- TEST
- as an encouragement in future service for Christ.
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