Grace and Truth
04. THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD ACCORDING TO IBN HISHAM
9 - Muhammad's CONQUEST of Mecca and Its Environs -- (January to March 630 A.D.)
The Final Conquest of Mecca (Jan. 630 A.D.) - The Campaign of Hunain and its Consequences (March 630 A.D.)
9.01 -- Muhammad's CONQUEST of Mecca and Its Environs -- (January to March 630 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
9.02 -- The Final Conquest of Mecca (Jan. 630 A.D.)
9.02.1 -- What Brought About the Military Campaign to Mecca
Following the sending of Mu’ta, Muhammad remained the months of Jumada al-Akhira (6th month) and Rajab (7th month) in Medina. Then the hostilities of the Banu Bakr ibn Abd Manat against the Khuzaites began while they were camping at a water supply called “al-Watir” in the lowland of Mecca. The trouble came about in the following manner: Malik ibn Abbad, from the Banu al-Hadrami - at that time an ally of Aswad ibn Razn - went trading in the area of the Khuza’a and was there robbed and slain by the Khuzaites.
After that the Banu Bakr fell upon a Khuzaite and killed him. Then, shortly before they accepted Islam, the Khuzaites killed the three sons of Aswad ibn Razn al-Dili: Salma, Khultum and Dhuaib - in Arafa near the holy monuments. They had constituted the crown and nobility of the Banu Kinana. During this conflict between the Banu Bakr and Khuz’a, Islam came to them, which restrained them and occupied them fully. It also belonged to the peace conditions of Hudaibiya that anyone was free to contract an alliance with Muhammad or with the Quraish. The Banu Bakr allied themselves with the Quraish, the Khuzaites with Muhammad. Following the peace pact, the Banu al-Dil, who belonged to the Banu Bakr, wanted to take revenge on the Khuzaites for having slain the sons of al-Aswad. Nawfal ibn Mu’awiya, who was responsible for the Banu al-Dil, moved out with his people and attacked by night the Khuzaites at the spring of Watir and killed a man. The Quraish supported the Banu Bakr with weapons. Some even fought secretly by night in their ranks, until they had pushed the Khuza’a to the holy area. When they arrived there, the Banu Bakr called out: “Nawfal! We are in the sacred area, fear Allah!” He, however, spoke out the grievous words: “There is no Allah today, you Banu Bakr! Take revenge, for by my life you will yet commit numerous excesses in the holy area. Why do you shy back from taking revenge here?”
During the night, in which the Banu Bakr attacked the Khuza’a by the spring of Watir, they killed a man by the name of Munabbih, who had a heart condition. He had gone out with Tamim ibn Asad, another Khuzaite, and had said to him: “Save yourself Tamim, for I, by Allah, am surely as good as dead. If they kill me or not, my heart is too weak.” Tamim ran away and escaped, but Munabbih was killed.
9.02.2 -- ‘Amr ibn Salim's Journey to Muhammad
When the Quraish and the Banu Bakr united to fight against and strike the Khuza’a, thereby breaking their covenanted agreement with Muhammad - since the latter were Muhammad's allies - ‘Amr ibn Salim, the Khuzaite of the Banu Ka’b, went to Muhammad in Medina. His journey was to lead to the conquest of Mecca. ‘Amr went and stood before Muhammad, who was sitting in the mosque among his people, and composed this poem:
O Lord! I summon Muhammad because of the alliance between our and his progenitor. / You were as his children and we were as his fathers. / Later we contracted peace and did not lift again a hand. / Stand with us! May Allah grant you the victory he has prepared! / Give summon to the servants of Allah, that they help us. / In their midst is the messenger of Allah, / the one who draws his sword, / whose face changes colour when he is insulted,* / with a horde that rages like the foaming sea. / The Quraish have broken their word to you, / and injured the firm alliance, / and in their lowness they laid in wait for me. / They think I will call to no one for help. / They, the lowest and least in number, / have attacked us by night by Watir and murdered, / as we were bowing and falling down for the prayer.
* This was a description of Muhammad from one of his contemporaries.
Muhammad said: “You are to be helped, ‘Amr ibn Salim!” It was then that a cloud from heaven appeared to Muhammad and he said: “This cloud announces the victory of the Banu Ka’b.”
9.02.3 -- The Journey of Budail ibn Warqa’ to Muhammad
Following Amr there also came Budail ibn Warqa’ with a number of Khuzaites and reported to Muhammad what had happened to them, and how the Quraish had united together with the Banu Bakr against them. Then they returned to Mecca. Muhammad said to his people: “It is as if I could see Abu Sufyan coming now to strengthen the alliance and to extend the contract.”
Budail and his companions met Abu Sufyan in Usfan. The Quraish had actually sent him in order to strengthen and extend the contract, for they feared the consequences of the conflict. Abu Sufyan asked Budail where he was coming from - he had a suspicion that he had visited Muhammad. Budail answered: “I was with some Khuzaites on this bank and inside this valley.” Abu Sufyan asked: “Were you not with Muhammad?” Budail answered: “No!” After Budail left, Abu Sufyan said: “If he was in Medina then he will have fed his camels with date pits.” He then went to the site where Budail had camped and examined the camel dung, and finding date pits in it, he said: “I swear, by Allah, Budail has already been to see Muhammad.”
9.02.4 -- Abu Sufyan's Arrival in Medina
When Abu Sufyan arrived in Medina, he made his way to his daughter Habiba. When he wanted to lie down on the bed of Muhammad, she shoved it to the side. He then asked: “Whom do you like more - me or this bed?” She answered: “It is the bed of the messenger of Allah and you are an unclean idolater; therefore I do not want you to sit on this bed.” He responded: “By Allah, you have become wicked since our separation.” He then made his way to Muhammad and spoke with him. But Muhammad gave him no answer. He then went to Abu Bakr and implored him to intercede for him with Muhammad. But Abu Bakr refused. He then went with the same request to Umar, who then cried out: “Am I supposed to intercede with Muhammad for you? By Allah, if I only had command over a single ant I would fight you with it!” He then went to Ali, whose wife Fatima was with him, and whose small son Hassan was crawling around in front of her. Abu Sufyan said to him: “You are the closest to him. I have come here on account of a certain matter and I do not want to return without having fulfilled it. Intercede with Muhammad on my behalf!” Ali said: “Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, by Allah, Muhammad has reached a decision and there is nothing we can do to change it.” Abu Sufyan then turned to Fatima and said: “O daughter of Muhammad! Do you not want to ask your small son to announce mutual protection? He would then be lord of the Arabs until the end of time.” She answered: “My small son is still too young to guarantee protection; besides that, no one can protect anybody from Muhammad.” Abu Sufyan then said: “O Abu Hassan, I see that the circumstances for me are unfavourable. Give me some advice!” Ali answered: “By Allah, I know of nothing that could help you, however you are the leader of the Banu Kinana. Go ahead, announce mutual protection and then return home!” Abu Sufyan asked: “Do you think this will be to any avail?” Ali answered: “No, by Allah, I do not think so, but I know of nothing else.” Abu Sufyan then went to the site of worship and said: “O you people, I announce mutual protection.” He then mounted his camel and rode off.
When he returned to the Quraish and they asked him what news he was bringing, he said: “I spoke with Muhammad but he gave me no answer. I also received nothing good from Abu Bakr, and Umar showed himself as the greatest enemy. I then went to Ali. I found him to be the most compliant. He also gave me a piece of advice that I followed. But, by Allah, I do not know if it will avail us any.” They then asked him what it was he had advised, and when he told them, they asked: “Did Muhammad give you the permission to do so?” -- “No. By Allah, the man was only toying with me.” -- “Of what value were your words?” -- “Of no use, but, by Allah,* I knew nothing else to do.”
* The constant use of the name of Allah when swearing represents a continuous violation of the third commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
9.02.5 -- Muhammad's Preparations to Conquer Mecca
Muhammad gave the command to arm and ordered his people to prepare what was necessary for a military campaign. When Abu Bakr visited his daughter Aisha and found her occupied with preparations for a military campaign, he asked her: “Did Muhammad command you to get things ready?” -- “Yes, you do the same!” -- “And where do you think he is heading?” -- “By Allah, I don't know.” -- Muhammad told the people later that he was going to Mecca, and commanded them to energetically prepare the equipment. He also prayed: “Allah, withdraw the Quraish spies and every other report, so that we might take them in their land by surprise!”
9.02.6 -- Hatib's Letter of Warning
Once Muhammad had reached the decision to march against Mecca, Hatib ibn Abi Balta wrote a letter to the Quraish, in which he shared with them Muhammad's decision. He gave the letter to a woman from Muzaina with the instruction to give it to the Quraish. The woman hid the letter in her hair, plaided her locks over it and journeyed off. Muhammad, however, received news from heaven of Hatib's action. He then sent Ali and Zubair to catch up to the woman, who was to carry Hatib's writing to the Quraish. They caught up with her in Khaliqa, where the Banu Abi Ahmad lived, had her dismount and searched her baggage, yet found nothing. Ali then said: “I swear by Allah, that nothing untruthful was revealed to the prophet and that nothing untrue was conveyed to us. Give us the letter or we will strip you!” When she saw that he was in earnest, she asked him to turn aside. She undid her locks, took the letter and handed it to Ali, who brought it to Muhammad. He then had Hatib called and asked him what had led him to do this. He answered: “By Allah, I believe in Allah and his messenger. I have not changed or taken up another faith. I also have no tribe or clan among the Meccans, and yet a son of my wife and I lives there, whom I wanted to show favour.”
Umar cried out: “Permit me, messenger of Allah, to chop off his head, for he is a hypocrite!” Muhammad responded, however: “Did not Allah observe the warriors on the day of Badr and say to them: ‘Do what you want, I forgive you!’” In consideration of Hatib's deed, the following was revealed to Muhammad: “1 O believers, take not my enemies and your enemies for friends, offering them love ...” Until it says: “4 You have had a good example in Abraham, and those with him, when they said to the people, ‘We are quit of you and what you worship besides Allah. We disbelieve in you, and between us and you enmity has shown itself, and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah alone …’” (Sura al-Mumtahana 60:1,4). Muhammad then set out and placed Abu Rahm Kulthum ibn Hussain over Medina. He departed Medina when ten days of the month of Ramadan (9th month) were over. He fasted and all the people fasted with him, until he came to Kadid, between Usfan and Amaj. There he broke off the fast.
9.02.7 -- Muhammad's Camp in Marr al-Zahran*
Muhammad moved out with 10,000 believers as far as Marr al-Zahran. The Banu Sulaim numbered 700 men and the Muzaina 10,000. According to some others, the number of Banu Sulaim was 1,000 men, and there were numbers of believers with him from all the other tribes. Everyone from among the Emigrants and the Helpers went along. There was not one left behind. Muhammad was already camped in Marr al-Zahran, without a single word of this reaching the Quraish. They did not know what he was going to do. In those nights Abu Sufyan, Hakim ibn Hizam and Budail ibn Warqa’ went out to try and get news of what Muhammad was doing. Al-‘Abbas had also left Mecca. He met Muhammad on the way to Juhfa** with his family as Emigrants. Al-‘Abbas had remained until then in Mecca and had the duty, with Muhammad's permission, to provide the pilgrims with something to drink.
* ”Marr al-Zahran” lies approx. 25 km west of Mecca.
** “Juhfa” lies on the Red Sea, approx. 180 km north of Mecca, on the way from Medina to Mecca.
9.02.8 -- Abu Sufyan Confesses Islam
Abu Sufyan and Abd Allah ibn Umaiyya also encountered Muhammad. In Niq al-‘Uqaab, between Mecca and Medina, they tried to get near to him. Umm Salama relayed it to him and said: ”O messenger of Allah, here is the son of your uncle and the son of your aunt and your brother-in-law.” Muhammad responded: “I don't want to know anything about them. The son of my uncle attacked my honour, and the son of my aunt and brother-in-law spoke words in Mecca toward me that are known. When this answer of Muhammad reached them, Abu Sufyan said, who had his young son with him: “By Allah, he must grant us entrance, otherwise I will take this son and travel about the land with him until we die of hunger or thirst!” When these words reached Muhammad, he had pity with them, and he let them enter. They came in and confessed Islam.
Abu Sufyan then composed the following poem:
By your life, when I used to carry a banner, / under which the riders of al-Lat sought to conquer the / riders of Muhammad, / I resembled one who groped about in the darkness. / But now my time has come, / for I am being led and I follow the leading. / I have been led by another, and not from my own heart. / The one whom I cast out at every effort, / has joined me to Allah. / I took great effort to hold the people back from Muhammad. / I did not count myself to be one of his, / and yet I was called by him. / They are what they are. / He who speaks contrary to their mind / may well have so much understanding, / yet he is reproached and labelled a liar. / Although I was not one with the people, / I still strove to please them at every occasion, / even before I was rightly guided. / Tell the Thaqifites I do not want their war. / Tell them they should threaten others, not me. / I was not with the army that attacked Amir, / Both my tongue and my hands are innocent. / Other tribes had came from distant lands, / strangers from Saham and Surdud.
9.02.9 -- ‘Abbas Encounters Abu Sufyan
“When Muhammad was camped in Marr al-Zahran, I thought,” so al-‘Abbas explained, “Woe to the Quraish! By Allah, if Muhammad enters Mecca by force before they come and ask him for mercy, then it is over for them until the end of time. Therefore I mounted al-Baida, the mule of Muhammad, and rode with it as far as al-Arak, thinking to myself I might find someone collecting wood, selling milk or on business, who might be travelling to Mecca and could tell the Quraish where Muhammad was holding up, so that they could go out to him and plead for mercy before he entered with violence. I then swore by Allah that I myself would go to Mecca in hopes of accomplishing something.”
“There I became witness to a nightly discussion between Abu Sufyan and Budail ibn Warqa’. Abu Sufyan said: ‘I have never before seen so many fires and so many troops as I have this night!’ Budail responded: ‘These, by Allah, are the Khuza’a on a war campaign.’ But Abu Sufyan responded: ‘The Khuza’a are too few to have so many fires and troops!’”
“I called out: ‘Abu Handhala!’ He recognized my voice and called: ‘Abu al-Fadl?’ -- ‘It is I!’ -- ‘What are you doing? You are more precious to me than father and mother!’ -- ‘Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, here is Muhammad with his people! Woe to the Quraish!’ -- ‘What should we do? I would gladly give my father and mother for you.’ -- ‘By Allah, if he gets hold of you, he will cut off your head. Climb up behind me on this mule. I will take you to him and implore him for a guarantee of protection for you!’ He climbed up and his companion turned back. Every time we passed a Moslem fire we were challenged: ‘Who is there?’ As soon as they saw the mule of Muhammad, on which I was riding, they cried out: ‘It is the uncle of the messenger of Allah!’ When I finally passed by the fire of Umar, he cried out: ‘Who is there?’ Then he came up to me. When he saw Abu Sufyan on the back part of the mule, he called out: ‘It is Abu Sufyan, the enemy of Allah. Praised be Allah who has delivered you up to us without a treaty or pact.’ He then ran to Muhammad. But I spurred the mule on and won by the distance a lethargic mule outruns a slow man. I jumped down and entered into Muhammad's tent. Umar came also and cried out: ‘O messenger of Allah! Here is Abu Sufyan, whom Allah has given to us without a treaty. Permit me to chop off his head!’ I said: ‘Messenger of Allah, I have taken him into my protection.’ I then sat down by Muhammad, took hold of his head and said: ‘By Allah, no one but me is to come near him tonight.’ When Umar continued with further accusations, I said: ‘Slowly, Umar, by Allah, if he belonged to the Banu ‘Adi ibn Ka’b, then you would not talk so. But you know that he belongs to the sons of Abd Manaf!’ Umar responded: ‘Gently! ‘Abbas, by Allah, I rejoiced more on the day of your conversion than I would have, had al-Khattab (my father) become a Moslem, because I knew that it brought great joy to Muhammad! Go with him to your camp and bring him to me tomorrow morning again!’ I led him to my camp and he spent the night with me.”
“On the following morning I went with him again to Muhammad . When Muhammad saw him he cried out: ‘Woe to you, Abu Sufyan! Do you still not comprehend that there is no God except Allah?’ He answered: ‘You are as precious to me as my father and my mother. How mild, how noble, how tender you are toward your kindred! By Allah, I believe that if there were other gods besides Allah, they would continue to avail me!’ Muhammad responded: ‘Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, do you still not recognize that I am a messenger of Allah?’ He answered: ‘You are as precious to me as my father and my mother. How noble, how mild, how tender you are toward your kindred. But, by Allah, as far as Islam is concerned, my interest still contains resistance!’ ‘Abbas then said: ‘Woe to you! Become a Moslem and confess that there is not God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, before someone strikes your head off!’ He then made a confession and became a Moslem. I then said to Muhammad: ‘Abu Sufyan is a proud man! Give him what he wants!’ Muhammad said: ‘Good, whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is to be in safety, as well as those who lock themselves in his house or those who enter the area of the Ka’ba.’”
9.02.10 -- Abu Sufyan Sees the Hordes of Allah
When Abu Sufyan wanted to go, Muhammad said to ‘Abbas: “Detain him at the narrow part of the valley, there where the mountain juts out, so that he might see the armies of Allah passing by.” -- “I obeyed this command,” ‘Abbas explained, “and the tribes passed by with their banner. As often as one group passed by, he asked: ‘Who are these?’ When I mentioned Sulaym, he said: ‘What do those of Sulaym have to do with me?’ He said the same thing when Muzaina and the others passed by, whose names he asked me to say. When finally Muhammad passed by with the steel-grey army -- they were called, ‘dark green army’* because of the many weapons that jutted out and because of the iron coats of armour -- he said: ‘Praised be the Lord! ‘Abbas, who are these?’ I answered: ‘It is the messenger of Allah with Emigrants and Helpers.’ He then cried out: ‘By Allah, father of Fadl, no one will be able to do anything against these. The kingdom of your nephew has become mighty!’ I responded: ‘His prophet¬hood!’ He asked: ‘And what then?’ I answered: ‘Hasten to your own people!’” When he came to them he called out with a loud voice: “O you Quraishites! Muhammad advances in such a manner that no opposition is possible. Whoever enters the house of Abu Su-fyan is safe!” Hind, the daughter of ‘Utba, then rose up, grabbed him by his moustache and called out: “Kill the filthy, useless bladder, which is already putting the vanguard of the enemy to shame!” Abu Sufyan said: “Woe to you! Do not be deceived by her! Something is advancing, against which you have no power. Whoever goes into the house of Abu Sufyan is safe!” They then cried out: “May Allah kill you! What help can your house offer us?” Then he added: “Whoever closes the door behind him is also safe, and also the one who goes into the courtyard of the Ka’ba.” The people then scattered. Some locked themselves up in their houses, while others went into the area of the Ka’ba.
* The “dark green” army referred to the warriors in their shiny green-grey armour, who were the better-outfitted riders.
9.02.11 -- Muhammad's arrival in Dhu Tawa
Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr told me: “When Muhammad came to Dhu Tawa and saw what a victory Allah's grace had given him, he raised himself up from his saddle, covered himself with part of his red, striped overcoat and humbly bowed his head before Allah, so that his beard nearly touched the middle of his saddle.” When Muhammad stood in Dhu Tawa, Abu Quhafa said to one of his daughters, who was one of his younger children: “O my small daughter, help me to climb Abu Qabis (a mountain by Mecca).” (He was blind.) When she led him up the mountain, he asked: “What do you see, my little daughter?” She answered: “I see a dark mass pressed together.” “Those are the riders”, he said. “I further see,” she continued, “a man running back and forth beside this dark green mass.” He said: “That is the commander and leader of the riders.” She further added: “By Allah, the dark green mass is expanding.” He then said: “That means the riders have set out, bring me home quickly!” She descended the mountain with him, but the riders encountered him before he reached his house. One of the riders cut off the silver necklace the girl was wearing around her neck.
While Muhammad was in the Ka‘ba, Abu Bakr came leading his father to him. Muhammad asked: “Why did you not leave the old man at home, so that I could visit him there?” Abu Bakr answered: “It seemed more fitting for him to visit you than for you to go to him.” He had him sit before him, touched him on the chest and said: “Become a Moslem!” And he did confess Islam. As Abu Bakr had entered with him, the hair on his head looked like a wildflower. Muhammad said: “Fix his hair differently!” Abu Bakr then grabbed the hand of his sister and said: “I beseech you by Allah and Islam, give me back the necklace of my sister.” Yet no one answered. He then said: “O my sister, hide your necklace or keep it in a safe place! By Allah, honesty has become rare these days!”
9.02.12 -- How Muhammad Conquered Mecca (January 630 A.D.)
Abd Allah ibn Najih reported: “As Muhammad was arranging his troops when they set out from Dhu Tawa, he commanded Zubair to march in from Kuda with a division. He commanded the left wing. Sa’d ibn Ubada was to move in with a detachment from Kadaa.” Some of the scholars maintain Sa‘d said the following when entering: “Today is a day of war. Today the holy place will be desecrated!” An Emigrant (namely, Umar) who heard it, said to Muhammad: “Hear what Sa‘d said! We are not certain but he will assault the Quraish.” Muhammad then said to Ali: “Catch up to him, take the flag and you go in with it!” Abd Allah further reported: “Khalid ibn Walid, who commanded the right wing, received instruction to enter in by way of al-Lit, through the low lying areas of Mecca. The Banu Aslam, Sulaim, Muzaina, Juhaina and other Bedouin tribes were with him. Abu Ubaida ibn al-Jarrah marched toward Mecca with hordes of believers ahead of Muhammad. Muhammad himself made his entry via Adsakhir. When he reached the high point above Mecca, he pitched his tent there.”
9.02.13 -- The Men of Khandama Resist
Safwan ibn Umaiyya, ‘Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl and Suhail ibn Amr gathered people in Khandama in order to lead them against Muhammad. Himas ibn Qays, a brother of the Banu Bakr, had forged and improved weapons before the entry of Muhammad. His wife asked him why he needed the armament. He answered: “Against Muhammad and his companions!” She then said: “By Allah, I do not think anyone can prevail against Muhammad and his companions.” He responded: “I hope to bring one of them as a slave to you.”
He then made his way to Khandama, to Suhail, Safwan and Ikrima. When believers from the division of Khalid encountered them, there arose a small skirmish between them. Kurz ibn Jabir and Khunais ibn Khalid, am ally of the Banu Munqidh, who approached from another way separated from Khalid, were killed. Khunais fell first. Kurz took him between his legs and protected him, until he, too, was killed. Among Khalid's riders, Salama ibn al-Maila, from the tribe of Juhaina, also fell. Twelve or thirteen men of the unbelievers were killed, and then they fled. Himas also fled to his house and commanded his wife to lock the door.
The watchword of Muhammad's companions on the day of the conquest of Mecca, as well as of Hunain and Ta’if, was: “O sons of Abd al-Rahman!”; for the Emigrants, “O sons of Abd Allah!”; and for the Khazraj and the Aus, “O sons of Ubaid Al-lah!”
9.02.14 -- The People Muhammad Ordered to be Executed
Muhammad had commanded his emirs to only fight against those who opposed them when they entered Mecca. But he named some persons who were most definitely to be killed, even if they were to hide themselves behind the curtains of the Ka‘ba.* To them belonged Ibn Sa‘d**, a brother of Banu Amir ibn Lu’ayy. He had converted to Islam, written down the revelation for Muhammad, and then had again apostatized and returned to the Quraish. Now he fled to his foster brother Uthman ibn ‘Affan, who took him to Muhammad, once things had settled down, and pled for his pardon. It is said that Muhammad waited long before he granted Uthmann’s request. When Uthman had gone off, Muhammad said to his companions: “I was silent so that one of you would rise up and strike off Ibn Sa‘d's head. One of the helpers then said. “Why then didn't you give me a sign?” Muhammad answered: “A prophet does not kill by signs.” Ibn Sa‘d converted (to Islam) again. Umar and later Uthman granted him a governorship.
* Muhammad's judgments of war and revenge were to fortify and establish his rule over Mecca.
** Ibn Sa’d was one of the men known to have put the text of the Qu’ran into written form.
Beyond that, Abd Allah ibn Khatal, of the Banu Taim ibn Ghalib, was to be killed. He, too, had converted to Islam. Muhammad had sent him out with a Helper to collect the tax for the poor. He had a freed Moslem slave with him, who served him. When they made a stop underway, he commanded his servant to slaughter a ram and prepare a meal for him. But his servant fell asleep. When Abd Allah woke up and found no meal prepared, he attacked his servant and killed him. Then he fell back into idolatry. He also had two female singers (one was named Fartana) who sang songs to mock Muhammad. They, too, were to be killed, along with their master.
Al-Huwairith ibn Nuqaidh, who had mishandled Muhammad in Mecca, was also to be executed. When al-‘Abbas led Fatima and Umm Kulthum out of Mecca, in order to bring them to Muhammad in Medina, Huwairith struck them and threw them to the ground. Miqyas ibn Hubaba was also to be executed, because he killed the Helper who had accidentally killed his brother and then returned to the Quraish as a polytheist.
Sara, the freed slave of a man of the Banu Abd al-Muttalib, and ‘Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl, were also to be executed. Sara had insulted Muhammad in Mecca. ‘Ikrima fled to Yemen. His wife, Umm Hakim, the daughter of Harith ibn Hisham, converted and then implored Muhammad for ‘Ikrimas’ pardon. Muhammad pardoned him. She then left to search for him, brought him to Muhammad and he became a Moslem. Abd Allah ibn Khatal was killed by Sa’id ibn Huraith Makhzumi and Abu Barza al-Aslami acting together. Miqyas was killed by Numaila, a man from his clan.
Regarding the two female singers of Ibn Khatal, one was killed and the other escaped and was later pardoned by Muhammad. Sara was also pardoned. She died during the caliphate of Umar in the valley of Mecca as a result of being kicked by a horse. Huwairith was killed by Ali. Umm Hani, the daughter of Abu Talib, related: “When Muhammad temporarily halted on the heights above Mecca, two of the Makhzumites from the kindred of my father-in-law fled to me. My brother came around and called out: ‘By Allah, I am going to kill them!’ I locked them inside my house and went to Muhammad, who was just washing himself at a wooden vessel, which still contained the remains of a dough, while his daughter Fatima was holding up his garment for him. When he finished washing, he put on his garment and prayed the Morning Prayer with eight knee-bendings. He then went to me, welcomed me and asked me what brought me to him. I told him about the two men and about Ali's intention. He then said: ‘Whomsoever you protect we also protect and to whom you give safety we also give safety. He may not kill these two!’ The two were al-Harith ibn Hisham and Zubair ibn Abi Umaiyya.”
9.02.15 -- Muhammad Circumambulates the Ka‘ba
After Muhammad had taken up residence in Mecca and all had become quiet, he circumambulated the holy district seven times on his camel and touched the pillar with a staff curved at the top. When he had circled the sanctuary courtyard, he called Uthman ibn Abi Talha, took the key of the Ka‘ba from him, had it opened and went in. Inside he found a dove made of aloe wood, which he broke and threw away. He then remained standing at the door of the Ka‘ba, while the people were standing around and waiting in the mosque. A scholar reported to me: “When Muhammad stood at the gate of the Ka‘ba, he said: ‘There is no God except Allah alone. He has no associates. Allah has made good his promise and helped his servant. He alone put the enemies to flight. Every privilege, every debt of blood and every theft of money -- for which demands are still being made -- I hereby abolish, with the exception of the temple care and the providing of the pilgrims with water. For the unintentional killing with the whip or the stick, sizeable expiation is to be paid: One hundred camels, with forty of them in gestation. O you Quraish, Allah has taken away from you the veneration of ancestry and the arrogance of heathendom. All mankind comes from Adam, and Adam was created of earth.’ He then recited before them the following verse: ‘O Mankind, we have created you from a male and a female, and set you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. The noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most god-fearing of you ...’ (Sura al-Hujurat 49:13). Then he continued: ‘O you Quraish, what do you expect from me?’ They answered: ‘Only good; you are a noble, generous brother and cousin!’ He responded: ‘Go! You are free!’* Muhammad then sat down and Ali came before him, with the key to the Ka‘ba in hand, and said: ‘May Allah be merciful to you, messenger of Allah. Let us unite the temple custody and the watering of the pilgrims!’ Muhammad asked: ‘Where is Uthman ibn Talha?’ He was then called and Muhammad said: ‘Here is your key, Uthman, this is a day of honesty and faithfulness.’”
['--* The triumphal sermon Muhammad delivered in the Ka‘ba, following his victory over Mecca, is depressing. No thanks to God or worshipful praise is rendered. The victory sermon ultimately consists of mere legal regulations and the humiliation of the enemy. Islam remains a religion under the law and, apart from innumerable legal regulations, has little to offer.''-]
9.02.16 -- Bilal Calls to Prayer at the Ka‘ba
When Muhammad had entered the Ka‘ba with Bilal, in the year of the conquest, he commanded him to call to prayer. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, ‘Attaab ibn Asid and Harith ibn Hismah were sitting in a corner of the Ka‘ba. ‘Ataab ibn Asid then said: “Allah was merciful to Asid, that he did not let him hear this, for it would have made him angry.” Harith spoke: “By Allah, if I knew that he was speaking the truth, then I would follow him.” Abu Sufyan added: “I will say nothing, for if I would speak, then this pebble would betray me.” Muhammad went out to them and said: “I know what you talked about,” and he repeat-ed their words to them. Al-Harith and ‘Attaab ibn Asid then said: “We confess that you are a messenger of Allah, for, by Allah, there was no one with us who knew this and could have told it.”
9.02.17 -- Muhammad's Sermon on the Day Following the Conquest
Al-Khuza‘i reported: “When Amr ibn Zubair came to Mecca, in order to fight against his brother, Abd Allah, I went to him and told him: ‘We were present when Muhammad conquered Mecca.’ Muhammad said in his sermon: ‘O you people! Allah hallowed Mecca on the day he made heaven and earth. It will remain sacred until the Day of Resurrection. No believer is permitted to shed blood in this city or to fell a tree. It was allowed to no one before and it will be allowed to no one after me. It was permitted me only in this hour, because Allah was angry with its inhabitants. Then the city became hallowed ground again as before. Let those present announce it to those absent. If someone says to you: ‘Muhammad fought war in it,’ then answer: “Allah permitted it to his messenger, but not to you.’ O you Khuzaites! Restrain yourselves from murder, even when it would be to your advantage! There has been enough murder! You have committed a murder for which I will pay the atonement money. If someone should later be killed, so the kindred of the murdered one have the choice between the blood of the murdered or the atonement money.’* Mu-hammad then paid the expiation money for the one killed by the Khuzaites.”
* So, too, the second sermon of Muhammad - apart from confirming the “holiness of Mecca,” contained nothing but emergency laws, ordinances and prohibitions. The hallowing of Mecca meant that Allah had made Mecca -- and especially the Ka‘ba-district -- inviolable. A Moslem is forbidden to shed blood or to wage war in Mecca and within the district of the Ka‘ba.
The prohibition of war and killing in Mecca was broken more than once in 1979, during the occupation and liberation of the central mosque, when Moslem agitators were defeated with modern weapons and auxiliary troops from both Moslem and non-Moslem nations. The family members of a French anti-terror unit beforehand had to formally convert to Islam!
9.02.18 -- The Talk of the Helpers
Following the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad stood up in Safa and prayed. The Helpers that surrounded him spoke among themselves: “Do you think Muhammad will remain in his re-conquered homeland? When Muhammad had completed his prayer, he asked them what they had talked about and pressured them until they told it to him. He then answered: “I take my refuge with Allah; I will live and die with you.”
9.02.19 -- When Fadaala Wanted to Kill Muhammad
Fadaala ibn ‘Umayr ibn al-Mulawwih al-Laithi wanted to kill Muhammad in the year of the conquest, while he was circumambulating the Ka‘ba. When he drew near, Muhammad asked: “Are you Fadaala?” He answered: “Yes, messenger of Allah.” What have you purposed to do?” Muhammad asked. He answered: “Nothing, I was thinking on Allah.” Muhammad smiled, and then he said: “Implore Allah for forgiveness!” He then laid his hand upon his breast, and immediately his heart was at rest. “By Allah,” Fadaala related, “he had not yet removed the hand from my breast before he was already the most precious of Allah's creations. I then went back to my family.”
9.02.20 -- Safwan ibn Umaiyya
Safwan ibn Umaiyyah fled to Jidda, in order to take a ship there to Yemen. ‘Umayr ibn Wahb then said: “O prophet of Allah, Safwan, the ruler of his people, has fled from you so as to plunge himself into the sea. Grant him protection! May Allah also be merciful to you!” Muhammad said: “Protection is to be granted him!” ‘Umayr then said: “O messenger of Allah, give me a sign, one in which he can recognize his pardon.” Muhammad handed him the turban he had worn at his entrance into Mecca. ‘Umayr went with it to Safwan, who was already standing ready for his departure, and said to him: “O Safwan, you are more precious to me than father or mother. Allah! Allah! You are about to bring ruin to yourself. Here I am bringing to you Muhammad's guarantee of protection.” Safwan responded: “Woe to you! Go away and speak no more with me! You are more precious to me than my parents, but your cousin is the kindest, purest, mildest and the best person there is. His strength is your strength, his honour is your honour and his kingdom your kingdom. But I fear for my life.” -- “He is too noble and mild to take your life.” ‘Umayr then led him to Muhammad, to whom Safwan said: “This man maintains that you granted me a guarantee of protection.” -- He has spoken truthfully!” -- “So then give me still two months to consider!” -- “You shall have four months to consider!”
9.03 -- The Campaign of Hunain and its Consequences(January to March 630 A.D.)
9.03.1 -- The Words of Duraid ibn al-Simma
Once Malik decided to go out to field with Muhammad, his people had to take with them their possessions, their wives and their children. When he was camping in Autas, the people gathered together around him -- among others there was also Duraid -- who had been brought along in a sedan-chair. When Duraid dismounted, he asked: “In which valley have we dismounted?” He was given the answer: “In Autas.” Then he said: “It is a good battle ground for the riders, not too rough and stony, and also not too tender and soft. But why do I hear camels, the cry of donkeys, the crying of children and the bleating of sheep?” He was answered: “Malik wanted the people to take along their possessions, their wives and their children.” He then asked for Malik, and when he was called, he said: “Malik, you are the leader of your people, and this day will decide the fate of all others. Why do I hear the braying of camels and donkeys, the crying of children and the bleating of sheep?” Malik answered: “I commanded the people to take with them their possessions, their wives and their children.” -- “And why?” -- “I wanted every man to have his family and his possessions behind him, so that he could more decidedly fight for them.” Duraid clicked with his tongue and said: “You are a herder of sheep! By Allah, can anything hold back a man that is fleeing away? If you are to be victorious, then only the man with sword and lance can avail you. If you are defeated you will also come to shame with your family and your possessions.” He then asked: “What are Ka‘b and Kilab doing? Someone answered: “Neither of the two is here.” He then said: “Then keenness and initiative are also lacking. If it were a day of glory and honour, then these two would not be missing. I had hoped you would have done the same as Ka‘b and Kilab. Who from among you is here?” They answered: “Amr ibn Amir and Auf ibn Amir.” He said: “Those are two clans of Amir that neither help nor hinder. You have, O Malik, done nothing by sending forth the best from among the Hawazin as far as the cavalry horses. Take them rather to a high, secure place of their homeland. Then let the young men climb onto the horses. If you are victorious, then those remaining back will come to you. If you are beaten, then it will only affect you, and you will have saved your possessions and your family.”
Malik swore by Allah that he would not do this. “You are already old,” he said to Duraid, “and your reason has been affected by your age. By Allah, if the Hawazin do not obey me, I will fall upon my sword here until it comes out my back.” He did not want Duraid's council to be obeyed, and his only to be mentioned. -- The Hawazin shouted out: “We will obey you!”
Duraid then said: “I have never seen or experienced such a day as this! O if I was only a young man in this battle, trotting back and forth, mowing off heads and driving the fearful on like young sheep!”
Malik then commanded: “When you see the enemy, then break the sheaths of your swords and attack like one man!” Umaiyya ibn Abd Allah told me it had been reported to him that Malik ibn Auf was to have sent out spies. They came back with dislocated joints. Malik cried out: “Woe to you! What has happened?” They answered: “We saw white men on dappled horses and, by Allah, before we knew it, we suffered what you see.” But, by Allah, that mishap did not keep him from further pursuing his intention.
9.03.2 -- The Sending of Ibn Abi Hadrad
When Muhammad heard about the Hawazin, he sent Abd Allah ibn Abi Hadrad al-Aslami to them. He commanded him to sneak in and remain long enough to find out their intentions, and then to return and inform him of them. Abd Allah made his way to their camp and stayed long enough to learn they were arming and planning to wage war against Muhammad. He then returned to Muhammad and gave him the news. As Muhammad reached the decision to go out against them, he learned that Safwan ibn Umaiyya, who at that time was still a heathen, had some armaments and various weapons. He said to him: “Loan us your weapons, that we might use them tomorrow against our enemy.” Safwan responded: “Do you want to take them by force?” Muhammad answered: “We only want to borrow them and preserve them well, and then bring them back to you again.” “Well then,” Safwan answered, “I have nothing against that!” He gave him one hundred coats of mail and the weapons that went with them. It is maintained that Muhammad requested him to provide the transport to carry them, and that he did so.
9.03.3 -- The Departure of Muhammad (January 630 A.D.)
Muhammad set out with 2,000 Meccans and 10,000 companions. Altogether the total was 12,000. He appointed ‘Ataab ibn Asid ibn Abi al-Is ibn Umaiyya to be the emir over those remaining behind in Mecca. He then moved out against the Hawazin.
Zuhri reported to me about Sinan ibn Abi Sinan, who heard it from Harith ibn Malik: “We went forth with Muhammad to Hunain*. Shortly before that we were still in heathendom. The unbelievers among the Quraish and the Bedouins went every year to visit a large, green tree. It was given the name Dhatu al-Anwat. They hung their weapons on its branches, sacrificed and spent an entire day near it. When we marched out, we saw a large lotus tree, so that we cried out: “O messenger of Allah, give us a Dhat al-Anwat, just like the others have!” Muhammad spoke: “Allah is greater! By the one in whose hand Muhammad's soul lies, you speak as the people of Moses spoke to him: ‘138 … Moses, make for us gods, as they have.” He said, “You are surely a people who are ignorant. 139 Surely what they are engaged upon shall be shattered, and void is what they have been doing (Sura al-A’raf 7:138-139)’”
* Hunain lies approx. 110 km east of Mecca.
9.03.4 -- The Moslems Flee
Asim reported to me of Abd al-Rahman ibn Jabir, whose father was to have told him: “When we came into the valley of Hunain, we descended down a sloping ravine before morning had even broken. But the enemy had occupied the valley before us and were prepared to ambush us in full armament in the canyons, bends and narrow passes. Before we noticed anything they attacked us as one man, so that we quickly withdrew with none giving any attention to the other.”
9.03.5 -- Muhammad Stands Firm
But Muhammad turned to the right and shouted: “Over here, you people, to me! I am the messenger of Allah. I am Muhammad ibn Abd Allah”, but the people fled further away, and what the camels carried was all in disarray. Some individual Helpers, Emigrants and family members, however, stayed with Muhammad. Jabir further declared: “One of the Hawazites rode on a reddish camel. He had a black flag in hand that was attached to a long lance. He stood at the head of the Hawazites. When he could reach an opponent, he thrust at him with the long lance. When the Believers had gone from him, he raised the lance into the air, and then the one standing behind him followed him. When the evil-minded among the Meccans, who had marched out with Muhammad, saw the ones fleeing, some of them made their resentments known. Abu Sufyan ibn Harb mocked: ‘They will flee as far as the sea. He had his divining arrows (without tips) in his quiver.’ Jabala ibn al-Hanbal cried out: ‘Today the magic will be to no avail!’ Safwan said to him: ‘Silence! May Allah dismember your mouth. By Allah, I would rather have a Quraish as lord than a Hawazite.’ Shaiba ibn Uthman said: ‘I think I will get revenge on Muhammad this day!’ -- His father had been killed at Uhud. -- ‘Today I will kill Muhammad.’ I then walked around Muhammad with the intention to kill him. But something came over me and enveloped my heart, so that I was not able to do so, and I recognized that I had no power over him.”
9.03.6 -- The Victory after the Flight
Zuhri reported to me from Kathir ibn ‘Abbas, whose father had explained to him: “I was with Muhammad and led his white mule by the reins, when Muhammad called back to those fleeing, even while no one heeded him. He then called out: ‘O ‘Abbas, shout loudly: O you hordes of Helpers, O you hordes of the allegiance!’ The people answered: ‘Here we are! Here we are!’ They wanted to turn back with their camels, but were not able to do so. So they took their coat of armour and threw it over the neck of their camels. They then jumped down so that they could, with shield and sword, clear a way to Muhammad. When one hundred had come together, they went out to meet the enemy and fought. At first the cry was still: ‘O you Helpers!’ but finally it was: ‘O you Khazrajites!,’ for they held out bravely in battle. Muhammad then dismounted his camel, went to the fighters and cried: ‘Now the war is raging!’ While the Hawazinite who was carrying the banner kept fighting forward in the described manner, Ali and one of the Helpers went after him. Ali approached him from the rear and hamstrung his camel on the hind feet, so that it fell backwards. The Helper sprang upon the man and gave him a blow that struck off half of his upper leg, so that he fell out of his saddle. The Helpers fought so bravely that the others -- when they returned from their flight -- found the prisoners already bound with Muhammad. Muhammad then turned to Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harith -- who had persevered with him and whose conversion proved to be sincere -- and asked: ‘Who are you?’ He answered: ‘I am the son of your mother, messenger of Allah.’”
9.03.7 -- Umm Sulaim
Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr reported to me: “When Muhammad turned around, he saw Umm Sulaim, the daughter of Milhan, riding toward him. Her husband Abu Talha and his camel followed her. Since she was pregnant she put her hand into the nose ring of the camel, out of fear she could not restrain Abu Talha's camel. Muhammad cried: ‘Are you Umm Sulaim?’ She answered: ‘Yes,’ and added: ‘you are more precious to me than father of mother. Kill all of those who fled before you and all who fight you. They deserve it.’ Muhammad responded: ‘Allah himself is enough to punish them, O Umm Sulaim!’ Muhammad then asked her what the dagger was for, which she had with her. She answered: ‘It is for killing the unbeliever who gets too close to me.’”
9.03.8 -- Abu Qatada and his Spoils of War
Abu Qatada said: “On the day of Hunain I observed how a Moslem fought with an idolater. Suddenly there came around an unbeliever, who wanted to help his companion. I fell on him and struck off his hand. But he grabbed me with the other hand and wanted to strangle me. And he would have killed me, had not the loss of blood exhausted him. So he fell to the ground and I gave him a lethal stab. The battle then drew me away from the fallen man. A Meccan came around and took the booty from him. When the battle ended and we had defeated the enemy, Muhammad said: ‘Whoever has killed an enemy can also take the spoils from him!’ Then I said: ‘O messenger of Allah, I have killed a man from whom spoils were to be taken, but the battle drew me away from him, and I do not know who it was who took the spoils from him.’ The Meccan then said: ‘He has spoken truly, o messenger of Allah. Give him satisfaction instead of me.’ But Abu Bakr responded: ‘No, by Allah, he will not satisfy him. How do you intend to exalt yourself against one of the lions of Allah, who fights for the faith of Allah, and to have share in his booty? Give back to him what you have taken as spoils from the man slain!’ Muhammad said: ‘He is right; give him back the spoils.’ -- ‘I took them,’ so Abu Qatada continued, and sold them and acquired from the proceeds a piece of land with dates.’ On the day of Hunain, Abu Talha alone took spoils from twenty slain men.’”
9.03.9 -- The Help of the Angels
Abu Ishaq ibn Yasar reported to me that Jubair had said to him: “I saw, before the enemy took flight, even while the battle was still going on, how a dark wall was let down from heaven and settled between us and the enemy. Then I saw black ants crawling all over the valley, and had no doubt about it, that they were angels.* That immediately brought about the flight of the enemy.”
* What a primitive superstition! This stands closer to the reality of demons than it does to the holiness of God's messengers.
9.03.10 -- What Happened after the Battle
When the Hawazin fled, many of the Banu Malik were slain. Nevertheless, seventy men remained under their banner, among them Uthman ibn Abd Allah, who carried and defended the banner after the death of Dhu al-Khimar (a nickname of Auf ibn Rabi’), until he, too, was killed. When Muhammad heard of Uthman's death, he said: “Allah damn him! He was an enemy of the Quraish!” Ya‘qub ibn ‘Utba ibn al-Mughira reported to me: “There was killed with Uthman a Christian slave who had not been circumcised.”
When a Helper found the slain Thaqifites and the uncircumcised slave, he called out as loud as he could: “O you Bedouins, Allah knows that the Thaqifites are uncircumcised!” Mughira ibn Shu‘ba, who feared these words could get around to the Bedouins, grabbed him by the hand and said: “Don't say that, for you are more precious to me than father or mother. But this slain man is one of our Christian slaves.” He then exposed other corpses and cried: “Do you not see that they are all circumcised?”
The banner of the allies was in the hand of Qarib ibn al-Aswad. When the Moslems fled, he leaned the banner up against a tree and took to flight with his cousins and tribal companions, so that only two men from the allies were killed: Wahb, from the Banu Ghiriya, and al-Julah, from the Banu Kubba. But the polytheists fled to Ta’if*, along with Malik ibn Auf. Others camped in Autas, while still others, in any case only the Banu Ghiyara from Thaqif, went to Nakhla. Muhammad's riders pursued the Banu Ghiyara, but not those that had withdrawn into the mountains.
* ”Ta’if” lies high in the mountains, approx. 90 km southeast of Mecca.
9.03.11 -- Duraid ibn al-Simma Lets Himself be Killed
Rabi‘a ibn Rufai’ caught up to Duraid ibn al-Simma. He thought he was a woman, because he sat in a sedan chair. But when he stopped the camel and had it kneel down, he found an old man in the sedan. It was Duraid, whom the young man did not recognize. “What do you want?”, Duraid asked. “To kill you,” so the young man answered. -- “Who are you?” -- “I am the Sulamite Rabi‘a ibn Rufai’.” -- He then swung with a sword at Duraid, but with no effect. Duraid then said: “Your mother outfitted you with bad weapons. Take my sword from the back part of the saddle in the sedan and strike with it above the collarbone. That is how I used to strike at men. When you return to your mother, tell her you killed Duraid ibn al-Simma. By Allah, for many are the days I protected your women.
The Banu Sulaim allege that Rabi’a said: “When I killed him he fell to the ground and became exposed. His crotch and the inside of his legs were hairless like paper from all of his riding.” When Rabi’a returned to his mother and reported to her of the killing of Duraid, she said: “By Allah, he set free three of your mothers!”
9.03.12 -- Abu ‘Amirs Story Ends
Abu ‘Amir encountered ten brothers on the Day of Autas. They belonged to the unbelievers. One of them attacked him. Abu ‘Amir opposed him, challenged him to convert to Islam and said: “May Allah bear witness against him!” Then he struck and killed him after he had summoned him to Islam and called Allah as witness against him. He then killed one after the other, until finally the tenth attacked him. When Abu ‘Amir also called Allah to be a witness against him, the man responded: ”O my Allah, do not bear witness against me!”, whereupon Abu ‘Amir discontinued fighting. The unbeliever departed and later became a good Moslem. When Muhammad saw him, he said: “This is the refugee of Abu ‘Amir. Abu ‘Amir was later killed with arrows by the brothers Ala and Aufa, the sons of Harith from the Banu Jusham. One struck him in the area of the heart and the other in the knee. Abu Musa then led his people against the two men and killed them.
9.03.13 -- Muhammad Forbids the Killing of Women
One of my friends reported to me: “Muhammad one day went past a woman that had been killed by Khalid ibn Walid. Many people had gathered around her. Muhammad asked: ‘What has happened here?’ He was given the answer: ‘It is a woman that Khalid has killed!’ Muhammad then commissioned one of those present: ‘Catch up with Khalid and tell him: The messenger of Allah forbids you to kill children, women and servants.’”
9.03.14 -- Of Bijad and Shaima
Muhammad said that day: “If you should get hold of Bijad, a man from the Banu Sa‘d, do not let him escape. He has committed a crime.” When the Moslems overpowered him, they led him with his family to Muhammad. Shaima, the daughter of Harith ibn Abd al-‘Uzza, a foster sister of Muhammad, was also with him. When she was treated roughly during the transport, she said: “You know, by Allah, I am the foster sister of the messenger of Allah. But they did not believe her until she was brought before Muhammad. As she was led before him, she said: “O messenger of Allah! I am your sister.” He asked: “What kind of distinctive mark do you have?” She answered: “The bite on my back that you gave me once when I had you on my lap.” Muhammad recognized the marking. He spread out a cloak before her and had her sit upon it. He gave her the choice of either remaining with him, where she would be cherished and honoured, or returning to her people with gifts. She chose the latter. Muhammad gave her presents and sent her back to her people. According to Banu Sa‘d, he gave her one of his slaves named Makhul and a female slave, who married each other and whose progeny still exists. Allah revealed about the Day of Hunain: “Allah has already helped you win in many homelands, and on the day of Hunain, when your being many pleased you …” (Sura al-Tawba 9:25).
9.03.15 -- The Campaign of Ta’if*(Feb. 630 A.D.)
When the refugees from Thaqif reached Ta’if, they closed the gate behind them and made preparations for their defence.
* ”Ta’if” lies high in the mountains approx. 90 km southeast of Mecca.
‘Urwa ibn Mas’ud and Ghailan ibn Salama were not present at Hunain, and neither at the siege of Ta’if. They were in Jurash learning how to construct besiegement towers, catapults and other sorts of defence.
Muhammad, as well, made his way to Ta’if, after he was finished with fighting in Hunain. He went over al-Nakhla al-Yamaaniyya (50 km east of Mecca), Qarn (115 km east of Mecca) and Mulaih toward Buhra al-Rugha’ near Liyya, where he built a mosque and prayed. In Buhra al-Rugha Muhammad had a murderer executed.* It was the first blood expiation in Islam. The murderer was from the Banu Laith. He had killed a man of the Hudhayl. When Muhammad was in Liyya, he had the fort of Malik ibn Auf destroyed. He then set out on a path called “al-Daiqa” (narrow, difficult). But he called it “al-Yusra” (broad, easy). This path brought him to Nakhb. He halted under a lotus tree that was called “al-Sadirah”, near the property of a Thaqafite. Muhammad had word sent to the Thaqafite: “Either you come out to us, or we will ruin your garden!” And this is just what happened, when he did not appear before them.
* Muhammad did not only understand himself to be the religious leader of his people, but also as the responsible ruler in all worldly, judicial and so-cietal matters.
Muhammad then continued his march until he got near Ta’if, and there he set up camp. Several of his people were killed by arrows, because they had camped too near the city wall. They were unable to advance further, since the gates were locked. After some of the companions had been killed, Muhammad had his troop camp on the site where now a mosque stands. The siege lasted twenty days. Muhammad had two of his wives with him; one was Umm Salama, the daughter of Abu Umaiyya. He had tents pitched for them and prayed between the tents. When the Thaqifites became Moslems, Amr ibn Umaiyya had a mosque built on the site where Muhammad prayed. During the siege there was heavy fighting with arrows being exchanged. Muhammad had rocks thrown into the city with catapults. The inhabitants of Ta’if were supposedly the first to be attacked with battering rams.*
* What manner of mission! Violent chases, conquest expeditions, building mosques and defences. The principle of force reigns in Islam. It is no religion of peace, but a state religion, one that demands the complete subjugation of those conquered.
On the Day of Shadkha some of Muhammad's companions drew near to besiege the wall under a siege tower. But the Thaqifites threw glowing hot plowshares over them and when the companions came out from the siege tower they shot them with arrows and killed several men. Muhammad then commanded the vineyards of Thaqif to be cut down. His order was immediately carried out. During the besiegement of Ta’if, Muhammad said to Abu Bakr: “I saw in a vision how a bowl full of cream was handed to me, that a rooster pecked at it until everything flowed out.” Abu Bakr answered: “This time I do not think you will reach your goal with the Thaqifites. Muhammad responded: “Neither do I!”
Later, Khuwaila, the daughter of Hakim ibn Umaiyya, said to Muhammad: “If Allah grants you to conquer Ta’if, then give me the jewelry of Badia, the daughter of Ghailan ibn Salama, or the jewelry of Faria, the daughter of ‘Aqil!” -- These two belonged to the most bejewelled among the women of the Thaqif. To the request Muhammad is to have answered: “But what if I am not granted power over them, o Khuwaila?” Khuwaila then went to Umar and informed him of these words. Umar said to Muhammad: “What kind of words were these that Khuwaila delivered to me from you?” Muhammad answered: “Those which I have spoken!” Umar asked: “Has no power been granted to you over the city?” “No”, Muhammad answered. Umar responded: “Then let me give the command to depart!” “Do that,” Muhammad replied.
When Umar gave the order to set out and the people were departing Sa’id ibn Ubaid cried: “Thus shall this tribe continue to exist!” ‘Uyayna ibn Hisn replied to this: “Yes indeed, by Allah, in fame and honour!” Then one of the believers said to him: “Might Allah damn you, ‘Uyayna! Do you praise the polytheists because of their opposition to the messenger of Allah, and that after you came to help him?” -- “By Allah, I did not come to fight the Thaqifites. I was only hoping Muhammad would conquer Ta’if, so that I could get one of the Thaqifite girls. I was hoping a son would be born to me through her, for the Thaqifites are clever people.”*
* The purpose of marriage for Moslems is not the fellowship of husband and wife in the sense of a union in spirit, soul and body. Some purpose only the procreation of gifted and successful sons, thereby increasing the fame and esteem of one's own tribe.
While Muhammad was camping before Ta’if, some slaves of those being besieged came over to him. They converted to Islam and Muhammad gave them their freedom.
When years later the inhabitants of Ta’if converted to Islam, one of the Thaqifites spoke about these deserted slaves to Muhammad -- it was al-Harith ibn Kalada. But Muhammad said: “They have been freed by Allah.” The Thaqifites had taken captive the family of Marwan ibn Qays al-Dausi, who had converted to Islam and gone out with Muhammad against the Thaqifites. The Thaqifites maintain they are descendents of Qays, and rest their claim on Muhammad, who said to Marwan ibn Qays: “Take as hostage for your family the first Qaysite you meet.” Marwan encountered Ubayy ibn Malik al-Qushayri and took him captive. Dahhak ibn Sufyan al-Kilabi took the matter in hand and spoke with the Thaqifites, who then immediately sent Marwan's family back. Marwan then let Ubayy also go free.
9.03.16 -- The Names of the Moslems that Fell on the Day of Ta’if
The following Moslems fell as martyrs on the Day of Ta’if: From the Banu Umaiyya ibn Abd Shams: Sa’id ibn Sa’id ibn al-‘As and one of their allies (Ghurfuta ibn Jannab [Hubbab] from the tribe Asid ibn al-Ghauth). From the Banu Taim ibn Murra: Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr, who was struck by an arrow and, after the death of the prophet, died in Medina from his wound. From the Banu Makhzum: Abd Allah ibn Abi Umaiyya ibn al-Mughira, as the result of a thrown spear. From the Banu ‘Adi ibn Ka’b: Abd Allah ibn Amir Rabi‘a, one of their allies. From the Banu Sahm ibn Amr: Al-Saib ibn al-Harith ibn Qays ibn Adi and his brother Abd Allah. From the Banu Sa‘d ibn Laith: Julaiha ibn Abd Allah.
Of the Helpers, the following remained: Thabit ibn al-Jadha’ of the Banu Salama and al-Harith ibn Sahl of the Banu Mazin. The total number of Muhammad's companions that fell was twelve. There were seven Qurayshites, four Helpers and a man of the Banu Laith.*
* At the beginning of their battles, the Moslems were not prepared for long sieges of fortresses and fortified cities; much more, they were adapted to mobile warfare and quick raids and attacks.
From Ta’if, Muhammad went to Dahna and set up camp with his people in Jirana (approx. 8 km north of Mecca). Many captured Hawazin were with him. On the day he departed from Ta’if, one of his companions summoned him to curse the Thaqifites. Muhammad spoke, however: “May Allah guide the Thaqifites and lead them to me!” In Ji‘rana a deputation of the Hawazin came before Muhammad, where he held 6,000 women and children and countless camels and sheep of theirs. The representatives of the Hawazin came to Muhammad, after they had converted to Islam and said: “O messenger of Allah! We are one tribe and one family. You know what has befallen us. Be merciful toward us! Allah will also be so toward you!” One of the Hawazin, Abu Surad Zubair, of the Banu Sa‘d ibn Bakr, then rose up and said: “O messenger of Allah! Among your prisoners are your maternal and paternal aunts and milk nurses that looked after you. Had we nourished Harith ibn Abi Shimr or Nu‘man ibn al-Mundhir, and something similar had happened to us, so we would hope that he would have pity with us and pardon us. You are the best among all those to whom honour is rendered.”
Muhammad answered: “Which are dearest to you - your children and your wives or your possessions?” He responded: “O messenger of Allah! Do you give us the choice between our possessions and our honour? Most certainly our wives and our children are more precious.” Muhammad then said: “Concerning my portion and that of the sons of Abd al-Muttalib: those we will give to you, and when I have performed the midday prayer, come and say: ‘we implore the intercession of the messenger of Allah with the Believers and the intercession of the Believers with the messenger of Allah for our wives and our children to be returned to us!’ I will then grant you your request and intercede for you.” When Muhammad had prayed they spoke, just as Muhammad had instructed them to do. Muhammad then confirmed: “Concerning my portion and that of the sons of Abd al-Muttalib, we give them to you!” The Emigrants said: “We give our portion to the messenger of Allah.” The Helpers said the same. But al-Aqra ibn Habis retorted: “So far as I and the Banu Ta’min are concerned, we shall not relinquish!” ‘Uyayna ibn Hisn said: “I and the Banu Fazaara shall also not relinquish!” ‘Abbas ibn Mirdas also demanded his share and that of the Banu Sulaim. But the Banu Sulaim cried out: “Not so! We give what is ours to the messenger of Allah.” ‘Abbas then said to the Banu Sulaim: “You cause me shame.” And Muhammad added to that: “All those of you who lay no claim to the prisoners are to receive, for every future prisoner we take, six portions.” Abu Wajza Yazid ibn ‘Ubaid al-Sa‘di reported to me: “Muhammad gave Ali a girl named Raita. She was the daughter of Hilal ibn Hayyan. He gave Zainab, the daughter of Hayyan, to Uthman ibn ‘Affan. He also gave to Umar a girl, who then gave her to his son Abd Allah.”*
* Muhammad gave girls as slaves to his closest friends as if they were lifeless commodities.
Nafis, a freedman of Abd Allah, reported: “I sent the girl to my uncle of the Banu Jumah to prepare and make her ready, for I first wanted to circumambulate the Ka‘ba and then come to them and live with her. When I came out of the sanctuary, I noticed a throng. To my question of what was happening, they answered: ‘Muhammad has given back to us our wives and our children!’ I then said: “Your woman is with the Banu Jumah. Go and take her!’ They went and brought her home.”
‘Uyayna ibn Hisn had taken an old woman of the Hawazin, thinking she would have relatives in the tribe who would pay a large ransom for her. When Muhammad demanded the freedom of the prisoners in exchange for six portions, he did not want to return the woman. Zubair Abu Surad then said: “Let her go! By Allah, her mouth is not fresh, her breasts flat, her body cannot conceive, her husband finds no pleasure in her and her milk has dried up.” After Zubair said these words, ‘Uyayna ibn Hisn let her go in exchange for six portions.*
* Not her personhood as such, but the gain to be gotten from her, determined the fate of this poor woman.
9.03.17 -- The Conversion of Malik ibn ‘Auf al-Nasri
Muhammad inquired after Malik ibn Auf with the deputies of the Hawazin. They answered: “He is in Ta’if with the Thaqifites.” Muhammad commissioned them to inform him that, should he want to come to him as a believer, he would give him back his possessions and one hundred camels as well. When Malik heard this, he departed from Ta’if and made his way to Muhammad. Out of fear the Thaquifites might detain, he had kept a camel ready outside of Ta’if, and had a horse brought to him, upon which he rode out of the city in the night. At the agreed place, his camel was waiting for him. He mounted it and went to meet Muhammad in Ji‘rana. Others say it was in Mecca. Muhammad gave him back his family and his goods and also one hundred camels. Malik became a good Moslem.*
* Malik was one of many who, with money, goods or the release of family members, was won to Islam.
Muhammad put him in command of the tribes belonging to him, the Thumala, Salima and Fahm, who had also accepted Islam. Malik fought at their head the Thaqifites and cornered them, for he attacked all their herds.
9.03.18 -- The Distribution of the Booty
When Muhammad returned the prisoners of Hunain to their family members, he rode off. But the people followed him and said: “O messenger of Allah, divide among us the camels and sheep taken as booty.” Finally they pressed him to a tree and tore the overcoat from his body. He then cried: “O you people, give me back my overcoat! By Allah, even if you had taken so many animals as booty, as there are trees in Tihama, I would still divide them among you. You have never found me to be greedy, cowardly or untruthful and violent.” He then turned to a camel, pulled out a hair from its hump, took it between the fingers and said: “O you people, apart from one-fifth, I have not taken so much as much as this hair from your booty and even this is to be returned to you. But now bring all you have stolen - down to the thread and needles. Theft brings to the one who does it shame, the fire of hell and disgrace on the Day of Resurrection.” One of the Helpers then brought a bundle of hair strands and said: “O messenger of Allah, I have taken this to make a pillow of it for a wounded camel.” Muhammad then said: “I relinquish my portion of that.” He meant: “If a bad punishment results from that, then I want nothing to do with it,” and he threw it away.*
* The taking of spoils was and remained one of the primary motives in Holy War. Property, buildings, animals and people were considered to be special gifts from Allah. The distribution, however, remained a critical point. Muhammad continually claimed a fifth of the booty for himself.
Jesus conducted himself very differently toward money and possessions. He said to His followers: “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). He preferred poverty and contentment over greed and riches. The taking of spoils was unthinkable for Him and His apostles. Jesus summoned Christians to sacrifice and self-denial, not to the taking of plunder.
Zaid ibn Aslam reported from his father: “Aqil bin Abu Talib came on the Day of Hunain with a blood-smeared sword to his wife Fatima, the daughter of Shaiba ibn Rabi‘a. She then said: ‘I see that you have fought. What booty do you bring back from the unbelievers?’ He answered: ‘Here you have a needle with which you can sew your clothes!’ And he gave it to her. He then heard how Muhammad's caller called out: ‘Whoever has taken anything, let him bring it back down to the needles and thread!’ Immediately Aqil returned and said: ‘I believe your needle is gone!’ He took it and threw it to the rest of the booty.”
9.03.19 -- Many Quraish are Offered Gifts
Muhammad gave gifts to respected men, in order to win their heart and that of their tribal companions.* He gave Abu Sufyan one hundred camels and also one hundred camels to his son; the same he did for Hakim ibn Hizam and Harith ibn Harith ibn Kalada, a brother of the Banu Abd al-Dar. Furthermore, those also receiving one hundred camels were Harith ibn Hisham, Suhail ibn Amr, Huwaitib ibn Abd al-‘Uzza ibn Abi Qays, Ala ibn Jariyya, a Thaqifite, an ally of the Banu Zuhra, ‘Uyayna ibn Hisn, Aqra ibn Habis, Malik ibn Auf and Safwan ibn Umaiyya. Other Quraishites received less than one hundred camels. To them belonged Makhrama ibn Nawfal al-Zuhri, ‘Umayr ibn Wahb, al-Jumahi and Hisham ibn Amr, a brother of the Banu Amr ibn Lu’ayy. I no longer know exactly how much he was given, but less than one hundred camels. Sa’id ibn Yarbu ibn Ankatha received fifty and al-Sahmi also fifty camels. ‘Abbas ibn Mirdas only received from Muhammad some male camels. ‘Abbas held it against Muhammad and scolded him in the following verses:
Many were fleeing, whom I commanded to halt, / when I renewed my attack riding on my horse, / keeping the people awake who desired sleep. / For I did not sleep as did the others. / But the booty due me and ‘Ubaid / was divided between ‘Uyayna and al-Aqra. / Although I was a strong warrior, / I only received young camels, / as many as one camel has feet. / But neither Hisn nor Habis surpassed my two grandfathers / in this gathering, / neither do either of them surpass me. / But he whom you humble shall rise no more.
* Muhammad manipulated his former enemies with large gifts. He got them used to Islam. He aroused in them the lust and greed for wealth and power. All of this Muhammad did “in the name of Allah” for the “spread of Islam”.
Contrary to this, Jesus said: “Whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).
Jesus Christ did not entice His followers with gold and silver, but placed before their eyes sacrifice, self-denial, the bearing of the cross and persecution in following Him.
Muhammad then said: “Take him away and cut off his tongue from me!” They then gave him as many camels as he wanted. That is what Muhammad meant when he said “cut off the tongue.”
When some Quraish and others paid homage to Muhammad, he gave gifts to them on the Day of Ji‘rana with the booty of Hunain. Those paying him homage were: From the Banu Umaiyya: Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, Taliq ibn Sufyan ibn Umaiyya, Khalid ibn Asid. From the Banu Abd al-Dar: Shaiba ibn Uthman, Abu al-Sanabil ibn Ba’kak, ‘Ikrima ibn Amir. Of the Banu Makhzum: Zuhair ibn Abi Umaiyya, Harith ibn Hisham, Khalid ibn Hisham, Hisham ibn Walid, Sufyan ibn Abd al-Asad and al-Saib ibn Abd al-Saib. Of the Banu ‘Adi ibn Ka’b: Muti ibn al-Aswad, Abu Jahm ibn Hudhaifa. From the Banu Jumah: Saf-wan ibn Umaiyya, Uhaiha ibn Umaiyya, ‘Umayr ibn Wahb. From the Banu Sahm: Adi ibn Qays. Of the Banu Amir ibn Lu’ayy: Huwaitib ibn Abd al-‘Uzza and Hisham ibn Amr. From other tribes: Of the Banu Bakr ibn Abd Manat: Nawfal ibn Mu‘awiya. Of the Banu Kilab, the branch of the Banu Qays: ‘Alqama ibn Ulatha and Labid ibn Rabi‘a. From the Banu Amir ibn Rabi‘a: Khalid ibn Haudha and Harmala ibn Haudha. Of the Banu Nasr: Malik ibn Auf. Of the Banu Sulaim: ‘Abbas ibn Mirdas. From the Banu Fazaara, the branch of Ghatafan: ‘Uyayna ibn Hisn. From the Banu Handhala, the branch of the Banu Ta’mim: Al-Aqra ibn Habis, of the clan of Banu Mujashi ibn Darim. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Harith reported to me: “One of Muhammad's companions said to him: ‘O messenger of Allah, you have given to both ‘Uyayna and al-Aqra one hundred camels and passed over Ju’ail ibn Suraqa al-Damri!’ Muhammad answered: ‘By him in whose hand my soul lies, Ju’ail is better than all others on earth. All others are like ‘Uyayna and al-Aqra. I only gave to these two so that they would become good believers, while I already have full trust in the faith of Ju’ail!’”
89.03.20 -- The Contradiction of Dhu al-Khuwaisira al-Tamimi
A man by the name of Dhu al-Khuwaisira stood before Muhammad, as he was bestowing gifts on the people, and said: “O Muhammad, I have seen what you have done today.” Muhammad answered: “So then, what do you think of it?” He responded: “I see that you have not proceeded justly.”* Muhammad fell into a rage and cried: “Woe to you! If I am not just, then who is?” Umar asked Muhammad if he should kill him. Muhammad responded: “No, leave him alone! He will find followers that will go so deeply into religion until they come out of it (that is, until they abandon the religion) like an arrow comes out of the target it hit. You look at the tip and there is nothing on it, the same with the arrow shaft and notch. It penetrated before blood and excrement could adhere to it.”**
* The voices of dissatisfaction from Medina were increasing. They disapproved of Muhammad's generous diplomatic gifts to the former enemies and lords of Mecca. They themselves, as loyal fighters, had received little or nothing.
** This hadith is disputed among Orientalists, because it appears in other hadith collections having to do with certain sectarian movements in Islam, and was invented to legitimize fighting against them.
When Muhammad had given gifts to the Quraish and the other tribes, and yet gave nothing to the Helpers (from Medina), Hassan ibn Thabit took him to task with the following poem:
Sorrow has increased and water flows freely from the eyes, / they are flooded by a stream of tears, out of painful love for Shamma, / the handsome and slim one, without weakness or imperfection. / But leave Shamma now, since her love was very weak, / and weak love is the misfortune of those languishing for union. / Come to the messenger and speak: / “O you, whom believers among all peoples trust the most, / why did the distant Sulaim receive preference over them, / the ones that took you in and gave you support, / before those whom Allah has called Helpers, / because they supported the faith of the leadership, / even as war was repeatedly raging? / They hastened hereby to the path of Allah, / and patiently exposed themselves to misfortune, / yet not becoming anxious or despairing. / The people rallied together against us because of you. / We had no other help than the sword and the lance. / We fought them and spared no one, / and left nothing undone of what was revealed to us. / The leaders of war hated our assembly. / When the war was raging, we were a burning flame. / Thus we drove back the hypocrites in Badr and remained victors. / We were your horde on the heights of Uhud, / when Mudhar united the forces in his haughtiness. / We were neither weak nor despondent. / They did not catch us in fault, / even while all others were stumbling.
9.03.21 -- What the Helpers (from Medina) Said
When Muhammad gave gifts to the Quraish (from Mecca) and the other tribes and nothing to the Helpers (from Medina), they were very offended. They let all sorts of words fly until one of them even said: “By Allah, Muhammad is going again to his own people!” Sa‘d ibn Ubada then went to Muhammad and said to him: “O messenger of Allah, the Helpers are very troubled by your handling of the distribution of booty. You have distributed it among your tribesmen, given to other tribes large presents while the Helpers have received nothing.” Muhammad then said: “And what do you think of it?” Sa‘d answered: “O messenger of Allah, I am nothing else than one of my own people.” -- “Then let your people come here”, Muhammad responded, “into this enclosed area.” Sa‘d assembled the Helpers. Some Emigrants also came. Some were admitted, others were turned back. When the Helpers were together, Sa‘d gave the news to the prophet. He went to them and spoke, following the usual praise to Allah: “O you Helpers, what talk is this I have heard from you and what pain has entered your hearts? Did I not come to you while you were in error and did Allah not lead you? Were you not destitute and Allah made you rich? Were you not divided among yourselves and did not Allah unite your hearts? They answered: “Most certainly, Allah and his messenger were good and merciful to us!”
“Well then”, Muhammad said, “why don't you answer me?” They said: “What should we answer? Allah and his messenger are dearer to us.” Muhammad then said: “By Allah, if you want you can say in all truth and credibility: ‘When you came to us, they called you a liar, but we believed you. You were abandoned, we protected you. You were driven out, we took you in. You needed help, we gave you help.’* Do you want to trouble yourselves because of worldly trinkets that I have given to the people, in order to win them to Islam, even while I trust alone in your faith? Would you be satisfied if others return home with sheep and camels, but you with the messenger of Allah? By him in whose hand Muhammad's soul rests, were it not for the migration I would want to be one of the Helpers, and if all the people went to one side and the Helpers to the other, so I would follow the Helpers. Allah! Be merciful to the Helpers and to their sons and grandchildren!” The people cried so hard as to soak their beards and said: “O messenger of Allah, we are satisfied with our share and with our lot!” Muhammad then departed and the people dispersed.**
* See also Sura al-Duha 93:7-9
** The dialogue Muhammad held with his Helpers from Medina can be described as a masterful achievement in human leadership. Islam was in danger of breaking apart, when Muhammad appealed to the loyalty and faith of his Helpers. He gave them the choice: they could also receive boo-ty, like those just beginning in Islam, or they could be assured of his presence and the revelations of Allah, but without having a share of the booty. It was later to be seen that his Helpers would frequently take much booty as well; they did not fall short.
9.03.22 -- The Lesser Pilgrimage from Ji‘rana (March 630 A.D.)
From Ji‘rana, Muhammad left to embark on a pilgrimage, leaving the rest of the booty in Majanna with Marr al-Dharan. When the pilgrimage ended, he returned to Medina and appointed ‘Attaab ibn Asid as the governor of Mecca. He left Mu’adh ibn Jabal with him, so that he could instruct the people in the Qu’ran and religion. The rest of the booty followed after him.
When Muhammad named ‘Attaab to be the governor of Mecca, he gave him a dirham a day for his sustenance. When ‘At-taab held the sermon, he said: “May Allah let the body of him be hungry who is still hungry when he has one dirham! The messenger of Allah has granted me a dirham a day for my sustenance. I need nothing from anyone.”
* Similarly, Paul had appointed Timothy to do the follow up work in his newly established churches. Yet this responsibility had nothing to do with politics, defence or legal undertakings. The Gospel was to be preached and spiritual leadership structures were to be established. There were also other qualified elders appointed to fulfil this purpose.
9.03.23 -- Ka‘b ibn Zuhair Finds Grace
When Muhammad returned from Ta’if, Bujair ibn Zuhair wrote his brother Ka’b that Muhammad had condemned several people in Mecca to death that had mocked and mistreated him. All that were left of the Quraish poets were Ibn al-Ziba’ra and Hubara ibn Abi Wahb and they had fled in all directions. He might, if he wanted to do so, hasten to Muhammad, for Muhammad had no one killed who penitently came to him. Or Ka‘b could seek to save his life by going to a distant land.
When Ka‘b received this writing, he grew very anxious and distressed. He feared for his life and his enemies around him instilled in him even more fear by saying: “He will be killed!” When he saw there was no other way, he composed an ode in which he praised Muhammad and mentioned the fear and dread his enemies had caused him.
He then went to Mecca and dismounted next to an acquaintance from the tribe of Juhaina. This man led him one morning to Muhammad, who was just performing his morning prayer. He joined in the prayer, and then pointed out Muhammad and said to the poet: “This is the messenger of Allah! Rise up and plead for his mercy!” As it was reported to me, he went to Muhammad, sat down before him, took his hand (Muhammad did not know him) and said: “Ka‘b ibn Zuhair has come as a repentant believer to plead for your mercy. Will you accept him if I bring him to you?” Muhammad answered: “Yes.” He then answered: “I am Ka‘b, messenger of Allah!” One of the Helpers leaped up and cried: “Permit me, messenger of Allah, to strike off his head!” Muhammad answered: “Leave him alone, he has converted and is penitent!” Ka‘b harboured resentment toward the Helpers because of these words of one of theirs, for the Emigrants had only good things to say about him.
9.04 -- Test
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