Grace and Truth
04. THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD ACCORDING TO IBN HISHAM
10 - The EXTENSION of Muhammad's Realm -- (630 and 631 A.D.)
The Second Campaign against the Byzantines and the Outcome (October to December 630 A.D.) - The Delegations of Bedouin Tribes Honour Muhammad (631 A.D.)
10.03.18 -- The liars Musaylima al-Hanafi from Yamama (near Bahrain) and al-Aswad al-Ansi from San‘aa (Yemen)
10.01 -- The EXTENSION of Muhammad's Realm -- (630 and 631 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
10.02 -- The Second Campaign Against the Byzantinesand the Outcome (October to December 630 A.D.)
10.02.1 -- The Campaign Against the Christians and Jews in Tabuk* (October to December 630 A.D.)
Muhammad spent the time between Dhu al Hijja (12th month), in the eighth year after the Migration, and Rajab (7th month) of the ninth year after the Migration, in Medina. He then gave orders to wage war against the Romans of Byzantium.
* “Tabuk” was a Christian-Jewish settlement in Northern Arabia, lying on the main trade route from Mecca to Damascus, approx. 580 km northwest of Medina, at the latitude of modern day Sharm al-Sheikh. Tabuk was the most southerly point of Byzantime influence in Arabia.
When Muhammad gave the order to prepare (take up arms), the people were in distress. They suffered much from the heat and had barely enough to survive. It was harvest time. The people would rather have stayed home with their fruit crop and in the shade of their trees. Under such conditions they did not go gladly to the battlefield. As was the habit of Muhammad when he undertook a military campaign, he declared another goal of the campaign rather than what he actually intended. But with the campaign of Tabuk, he stated the true goal in advance, owing to the great distance, the difficult time of year and the strength of the enemy.* This was to enable the people to make the proper preparations.
* Muhammad was aware of the fact that all battles on the Arabian Peninsula could only be preliminary skirmishes. The decisive testing of strength with the great power on the Bosphorus - with Byzantium - still awaited them. Muhammad wanted to direct the view of the Moslems toward their future goal, as long as he still lived. The subjugation of Byzantium stood as the next great goal of Islam.
One day during the time of arming, Muhammad said to Jadd ibn Qays, a member of the Banu Salima: “Do you want to go fight against the sons of the Byzantines this year?” He answered: “If only you would pardon me and not expose me to seduction! By Allah, my people know that no one loves beautiful women more than me. I fear that as soon as I see the women of Byzantium, I will no longer be able to contain myself.” Muhammad turned away from him and allowed him to stay back. If he feared being seduced by Byzantine women (which was not the case), then the seduction he gave in to would be still greater, in that he did not follow the messenger of Allah and clung more to his own life than to that of the prophet. Hell awaits such people.
Some of the hypocrites advised: “Do not go out in such a heat!” They said all this due to their aversion to Holy War, because of doubt of the truth, and to try and stir up dissention against Muhammad. Allah revealed against them: “81 … And they said: ‘Do not go out in the heat!’ Say: ‘The fire of hell is hotter. If they would only reflect! 82 Let them laugh a little; they will weep much in recompense for what they do.’” (Sura al-Tawba 9:81-82).
Muhammad had heard that some of the hypocrites had assembled in the house of the Jew Suwailim, which lay near to Jasum. They incited opposition toward the campaign against Tabuk. Muhammad sent Talha ibn ‘Ubaid Allah with a number of Companions and commanded them to set fire to the house of Suwailim over the heads of the relatives. Talha carried out this command.* Dhahhak ibn Khalifa jumped from the roof and broke a leg. His companions did the same and got away. Dhahhad then composed:
Beside the sanctuary of the Lord, / little failed but had Dhahhak and the son of Ubairia / been burned to death in the fire of Muhammad. / After my jump I raised myself on broken leg and / elbow with difficulty. Save yourselves! I will not / repeat such a thing, for I fear, whoever is taken by / the fire will be burned!
* When on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus was denied the opportunity to stay overnight in a Samaritan village, and two of His disciple asked Him: “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, threatening them with the words: “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:52-56).
Nevertheless, Muhammad remained steadfast with his intention and commanded the people to speed up the military preparations. He challenged the rich to donate their money and beasts of burden for the cause of Allah. Some gave heed to his summons, for they trusted in the reward of Allah. Uthman ibn ‘Affan gave the largest gift of all. One man, who was certain about the situation, reported to me that Uthman gave 1000 dinars to help the needy army in the campaign against Tabuk, and that Muhammad was to have said: “Allah! Be pleased with Uthman; I am satisfied with him!”
10.02.2 -- The Weepers and the Doubters
One day seven Muslims from among the Companions and others came around - they were called the “weepers”. They were needy people that asked Muhammad to provide them with beasts of burden. Muhammad said: “I do not find any for your need!” They turned back and had tears in their eyes because of their poverty.*
* Where were the numerous camels that Muhammad had seized during his wars? He had no heart for the poor and the sick, even when they belonged to his followers.
When everything was prepared for the campaign, Muhammad determined to set out. Some Muslims were sluggish however, and ultimately remained behind, though without being included among the doubters. When Muhammad set out, he set up camp near Thaniyyat al-Wadaa’. He appointed Muhammad ibn Maslama al Ansari as governor over Medina. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy set up his camp not far from the camp of Muhammad, at Dhubab. As was believed, his army did not constitute the smaller division. When Muhammad moved on, Abd Allah remained behind with the hypocrites and doubters.
At the command of Muhammad, Ali also remained behind, in order to watch over his family. The hypocrites availed themselves of this situation to stir up dissentious talk. They maintained that Muhammad had only let Ali stay behind because he thought the military campaign was too burdensome for him, wanting to make it easy for him. When the hypocrites said this, Ali took up his weapon and followed Muhammad. He reached him in Jurf and brought word to him of the talk of the hypocrites. Muhammad said: “They have lied! I left you behind for the protection of our families. Turn back and be my representative before my and your family. Are you not pleased to take the position of me, the place that Aaron took for Moses, even though after me there will come no other prophets?”* After this Ali returned to Medina and Muhammad continued on with his journey.**
* The Shi’ites consider this to be an important proof that Ali - after Muhammad - should have been the first caliph.
** Ali was young at the time, about 25 years old.
10.02.3 -- Abu Khaithama
Some days after the setting out of Muhammad, Abu Khaithama returned on a hot day to his family. He found his two wives in two tents in his garden. They had moistened their tent and prepared for him fresh water and food. When he came to the entrance of the tent and saw what his wives had done for him, he said: “The messenger of Allah is out in the sun, wind and heat, and should I then tarry in the cool shade on my property before food prepared by a pretty woman? That is not right! By Allah, I will not enter your tent until I have caught up with Muhammad. Prepare for me the provisions!” The wives did this and he mounted the camel and followed the prophet, whom he caught up with in Tabuk. Underway he encountered ‘Umayr ibn Wahb al-Jumahi, who also wanted to find Muhammad. They rode together until they got close to Tabuk. Abu Khaithama then said to ‘Umayr: “I have committed a wrong. It will not harm you if you remain somewhat behind, until I have visited Muhammad.” ‘Umayr did this. When Abu Khaithama got near to Muhammad in Tabuk, the people said: “A rider is approaching us on our way.” Muhammad said: “May it be Abu Khaithama!” They then cried out: “By Allah, messenger of Allah, he it is!” When Abu Khaithama had dismounted, he went to Muhammad and greeted him. Muhammad said: “Be careful, Abu Khaithama!” When he reported to Muhammad what had happened, Muhammad spoke kind words to him and wished him well.
10.02.4 -- The Encampment in Hijr*
When Muhammad reached Hijr and dismounted, some went ahead of him in order to fetch water from the well there. But Muhammad said: “Do not drink from the water of the well, and do not wash yourselves with it before prayer! In case you have kneaded a dough with it, feed it to your camels and do not eat any of it. And tonight none of you should go out alone!” The people obeyed the command of Muhammad. But two men of the Banu Saida left the camp, the one to relieve himself and the other to search for his camel. The one was strangulated along the way and the other was hurled by a storm against the mountains of Tayyi’. When Muhammad got word of it, he said: “Did I not forbid you to go out alone?” He then prayed for the one who had been strangulated and he was healed. Later the Banu Tayyi’ sent back to Medina the one who had been hurled against the mountains of Tayyi’.
* ”Hijr” is an oasis along the caravan route approximately 340 km north-west of Medina, 20 km north of the Biblical Dedan.
When Muhammad came past Hijr, he pulled his garment over his face, spurred his camel on and said: “Do not enter the dwellings of the evildoers, except when crying out of fear. It could go with you just as it does with them!” When the people were without water, they complained to Muhammad. He then prayed and Allah sent a cloud with rain. The people quenched their thirst and could also fill their receptacles with water.
10.02.5 -- Muhammad Arrives in Christian-Jewish Tabuk*
When Muhammad came to Tabuk, he sought out Yuhanna ibn Ru’ba, the (Christian) prince of Aila**, and contracted peace with him. He also allowed him to collect a poll tax. He did the same with the residents of Jarba’ and Adhruh***. Muhammad gave them a written contract, which they are still guarding unto this day. To Yuhanna ibn Ru’ba he gave the following writing:
“In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate! This is a guarantee of safety from Allah and his prophet for Yuhanna ibn Ru’ba and the residents of Aila. Their ships and caravans on sea and land stand under the protection of Allah and his prophet, as do the residents of Syria, Yemen and the coast, who take sides with them. Whoever among you commits an injustice, his wealth will not be able to protect him. Everybody is permitted to take it. No water is to be denied them for drink-ing and neither any road they desire to travel, whether on land or by sea.”
* ”Tabuk” lies approx. 580 km northwest of Medina.
** “Aila” corresponds to modern day Eilat in Israel and lies approx. 210 km northwest of Tabuk, at the northernmost point of the Red Sea. There were Christians and Jews who lived there.
*** “Adhruh” was a Jewish town in the south of modern day Jordan, approx. 230 km north of Tabuk. It was primarily Jews who lived there.
10.02.6 -- Muhammad sends Khalid to the Christian Ukaidir in Dumat al-Jandal* (October 630 A.D.)
Muhammad then summoned Khalid to himself and sent him to Ukaidir in Duma*. He was called Ukaidir ibn Abd al-Malik and was a Christian from the tribe of Kinda and the prince of Duma. Muhammad said to Khalid: “You will meet him on the bull hunt!” Khalid went out until he had the mountain of Ukaidir before his eyes. It was a clear, moonlit night. Ukaidir stood with his wife on the terrace of his house. Wild bulls came and rubbed their horns on the gate of the fortress. His wife said to him: “Have you ever seen such a thing?” He answered, “No, by God!” Then she said: “Who might let them go further?” He answered: “Not a single person!” He immediately went down, had his horse saddled and rode with his brother Hassan and other family members out to the hunt. There the riders of Muhammad met them, who then took him prisoner and killed his brother. Ukaidir was wearing his silk, gold-embroidered coat, which Khalid took off him and sent back to Muhammad even before he returned. Asim told me from Anas ibn Malik: “I saw the coat of Ukaidir when it was brought to Muhammad. The Muslims touched it and were enthralled with it.** Muhammad then said: ‘You are awed by this coat. By him, in whose hand rests the soul of Muhammad, the handkerchiefs of Sa‘d ibn Ubada in paradise are more beautiful!’ Khalid then came with Ukaidir to Muhammad. He spared Ukaidir, contracted peace with him under the condition of the poll tax and let him depart.” Ukaidir returned to Dumat al-Jandal. Muhammad remained about ten nights in Tabuk and did not go any further. He then returned to Medina:***
* Duma”, or “Dumat al-Jandal” is a Christian village in the midst of the wilderness, about 620 km north of Medina and 380 km east of Tabuk.
** The brocade coat with gold embroidery of the Christian prince reflected the influence of the more elevated Byzantine culture upon the Arab Christians. The wealth, artwork and culture of the Byzantines had a strong influence on the Muslims.
*** The first campaign of Tabuk was more of an expeditionary encounter and served more to clear the way for future attacks. The subjugation of the Christian tribes in the northwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula began from this time on. They were degraded to the status of taxpayers for Muhammad.
10.02.7 -- How Muhammad's Prayer Caused Water to Gush Forth
On the return journey there was a water spring in the valley of Mushaqqaq. The water trickled down from a rock, yet was not enough to water even three riders. Muhammad commanded that those in the front should not drink of this water until he came. Nevertheless, some hypocrites went on ahead and drank all the water that there was. When Muhammad reached the spring and found it dry, he asked who it was who had come to this water ahead of him. When he was given the names, he said: “Did I not forbid drinking from this water until I came?” Therefore Muhammad cursed and confounded them because of it. He then dismounted and placed his hand below the crack in the rock. There then poured out so much water into his hand as it pleased Allah. Then he sprayed the water upon the crack in the rock, spread it out and prayed, as it should please Allah. Water then bubbled forth such that, as one reported who heard it, there was a loud noise like thunder. All the people drank and filled their receptacles.*
* Muhammad claimed to have imitated the example of Moses, who caused water to gush forth from a rock for the sake of his people. Almost all the Hadith, which report of comparable miracles of Muhammad, are considered, even by Islamic Hadith scholars, to not be very convincing, since the sources are primarily of Jewish descent. It is claimed that Muhammad needed no miracles, since the Qu’ran is his greatest and only miracle.
10.02.8 -- The Mosque of Enmity (Dec. 630 A.D.)
Muhammad then continued his march back until he reached Dhu Awaan, which is one hour away from Medina. There he dismounted. Already as he had begun arming for the campaign of Tabuk, the people of the Mosque of Enmity had come to him and said to him: “O messenger of Allah, we have built a mosque for the needy and the weak, for winter and for rainy nights. We would be pleased if you would lead prayer in it.” Muhammad had answered at that time: “I am now in preparation for departing and have numerous things to deal with. If Allah wills, we will pray in it when we return.” When he was now camped in Dhu Awaan, the things that were happening in this mosque came to his attention. He called Malik ibn al-Dukhsham, a brother of the Banu Salim, and Ma‘n ibn Adi and said to them: “Go to the mosque of the people who are evildoers and tear it down and burn it.” They went in haste to the Banu Salim, the clan of Malik. Malik said to Ma‘n: “Wait until I bring you fire from my people!” He then went inside, took a palm branch, lit it and ran, accompanied by Ma‘n, into the mosque. He set it on fire and tore it down. The people who were in it fled away. Therefore it is stated in the Qu’ran: “And those who adopted a mosque to do evil and in disbelief, and in order to divide the believers ...”* (Sura al-Tawba 9:107).
* This new Islamic sect on the Arabian Peninsula constituted an opposition movement to Islam in Medina. To be sure, these Muslims believed in Allah, yet they did not subject themselves to the political demands of Muhammad. On the other hand, Muhammad did not accept worship of Allah without unconditional submission to his authority. This was tied to the responsibility of participating in his war campaigns.
10.02.9 -- How Three Men who Remained Behind Were Chastened
Muhammad returned to Medina. Besides many hypocrites there were three other men who had remained behind, who were good believers, without doubt and hypocrisy. They were: Ka‘b ibn Malik, Murara ibn Rabi‘a and Hilal ibn Umaiyya. Muhammad said to his companions: “Speak with none of the three men!” The hypocrites who had remained behind then came to him, asked pardon and swore oaths. But Muhammad turned away from them. Neither Allah nor his messenger pardoned them. Not one Muslim spoke with the three named men. Ka‘b ibn Malik explained: “I was involved in all the campaigns of Muhammad, only not the one from Badr. Yet at that time neither Allah nor his messenger reprimanded those who remained behind, for Muhammad pursued the caravan of the Quraish only because of their merchandise, and Allah granted him to meet the enemy without prior announcement. On the other hand I was with Muhammad on the heights when we allied with him, and I prefer this agreement to my presence in Badr, even though this campaign has since become more famous.*
* This statement of one of his travelling companions is of great importance. It shows that the prophet of the Arabs was only pursuing material goals in his first military campaigns. His contemporaries openly admit that. The Battle of Badr had no religious objective, but only the taking of spoils.
Now concerning my staying behind for the campaign of Tabuk, I was never as strong and well off as then, for, by Allah, never did I have two camels like I had then. Muhammad would customarily announce another goal whenever he went out to battle, until he finally took up the campaign against Tabuk. This occasion was accompanied by great heat over a long distance against a strong enemy. There he announced the truth, so that the people could make the necessary preparations. The number of those who followed Muhammad was great, without having been written down, so that those who stayed behind could usually hope that it would not be noticed, providing Allah did not reveal anything concerning them. When Muhammad went out to Tabuk, the fruit was ripe. One sought out places in the shade and felt drawn to them. When Muhammad and the believers prepared themselves for the campaign, I wanted to do the same, refrained from it, however. I didn't do anything and thought I could do it as soon as I had the desire. This continued until the people took it seriously and Muhammad set out with the people. At that time I had still made no preparations to start out. I was thinking, I will follow after them either tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Following their departure I wanted to finally arm myself but again refrained from doing so. And so that continued until the army was far ahead. I continued to think about setting out and catching up with them. Oh, if only I had done so! But I didn't do it. How often, following the setting off of Muhammad, did I go among the people, only to be troubled by seeing only men who were suspected of hypocrisy, or were weak and pardoned by Allah. Muhammad did not think of me until he reached Tabuk. But when he sat here among the people, he asked: ‘What did Ka‘b ibn Malik do?’ One of the Banu Salima answered: ‘His silk coat and his sense of well-being kept him back.’ Mu‘adh then retorted: ‘Shame on you for these words! By Allah, O messenger of the Lord, we only know good of him.’ Muhammad said nothing.
When I heard that Muhammad had returned from Tabuk, my sad state became apparent to me. I thought up lies in order to escape his rage and got advice from reasonable members of my family. But when Muhammad's arrival was announced, I broke off lying, for I recognized that only the truth could save me. I determined to confess the truth to him. It was the habit of Muhammad, after returning from a journey, to first perform a prayer in the sanctuary with two prostrations before going out to join the people. When he did this, those who had stayed back came to him. It was about eighty men who adjured his pardon. Muhammad accepted their declarations and their oaths, implored Allah's mercy on their behalf and permitted Him to be judge over their secret thoughts. When I walked up and greeted him, he smiled like someone who is enraged and called me to him. When I sat before him, he asked: ‘What was it that kept you back? Did you not buy camels?’ I answered: ‘By Allah, if I were to sit with any other person I would have tried to appease him through any sort of excuse, for I could make up some excuses. But, by Allah, I know that if I lie and satisfy you today, then tomorrow Allah could again cause you to rage against me. But if I tell you the truth and you are then angry with me, then I hope at least that Allah will repay me for this. No, by Allah, I have no excuse. I was never stronger and better off.’ Muhammad then said: ‘Well then, in this you were sincere. Rise up now, until Allah announces judgment upon you.’ I stood up, and men from the Banu Salima followed me and said: ‘By Allah, we didn't know that you would ever have committed a sin. It was a weakness in you not to have made up an excuse like the others who stayed behind did. Muhammad's prayer for you would have made up for your wrong!’ The people so assailed me that I wanted to return to Muhammad and contradict my own words. I then asked: 'Has it happened to anyone else like it has to me?’ They answered: ‘Murara ibn Rabi al-Amri and Hilal ibn Abi Umaiyya al-Waqif spoke like you and Muhammad dealt with them like he did with you.’ When they named these two devout men to me, from whom I could take an example, I became silent. Muhammad then forbade anyone from speaking to us, and we were the only ones who stayed behind that this applied to. The people avoided us and changed their behaviour toward us, such that I appeared strange even to me. It appeared to me that the entire land was no longer familiar. This situation lasted for fifty nights. My two companions remained home out of humility. But I, since I was younger and stronger, was present at the public prayer, walked around in the markets, although not one person spoke with me.
I also went to Muhammad when he, following the prayer, held his meeting. I greeted him and asked myself: ‘Did he open his lips to return my greeting or not?’ I then prayed near him and cast some stolen glances at him. I noticed that when I prayed he looked at me and when I glanced at him he looked to the other side. When this sickening situation on the part of the Muslims kept drawing out, I climbed over the garden wall of my cousin Abu Qatada, who I was very fond of, and greeted him. But, by Allah, he did not return my greeting. I then said: ‘O Abu Qatada, I implore you by Allah, do you not know that I love Allah and his messenger?’ He remained silent. I implored him three times. He then said: ‘Allah and his messenger know better!’ Then tears flowed from my eyes. I again jumped over the wall and went to the bazaar.
As I was passing about there, a Nabatean from Syria asked about me, one of those who sold food items in Medina. He asked: ‘Who will take me to Ka‘b ibn Malik?’ The people pointed to me and so he came up to me. He gave me a letter from Prince Ghassan* enclosed in a silk covering. It had the following content: ‘Thus we have heard that your lord has offended you. But Allah will abandon you neither to scorn nor ruin. Come to us; we are with you.’
* The Ghassanides ruled one of the Christianised Arabic regions in the north-western part of the Arabian Peninsula. They began to recognize the danger that a strengthened Islam represented and attempted to induce the Muslims Muhammad had disciplined to come over to their side.
When I read this, I thought: ‘This is a new affliction. It has gone so far with me that an unbeliever wanted to win me over.’ I went with the letter to the oven and threw it in. In such a way there passed forty of the fifty days. Then there came a messenger of Muhammad to me and said: “The messenger of Allah commands you to separate from your wife.’ I asked: ‘Am I to divorce her or what was it he said?’ He answered: ‘No, only separate yourself from her and do not touch her!’ My two companions received the same message. I said to my wife: ‘Go to your family and remain with them until Allah determines His will in this matter.’ The wife of Hilal ibn Umaiyya went to Muhammad and said: ‘O messenger of Allah, Hilal is an old forsaken man, without servants. May I not serve him?’ Muhammad answered: ‘Do it, but do not go near him!’ I then said: ‘O messenger of Allah, he feels no desire for me. By Allah, ever since he became aware of what has become known, he does not cease from crying, such that I am troubled for his eyesight.’ Then a person from my family said to me: ‘Why do you not ask Muhammad for your wife as well, since he permitted the wife of Hilal to serve her husband?’ I answered: ‘I will not do it, for since I am a younger man I do not know what he would answer me.’ In this way ten more days passed. It was now fifty days since Muhammad had forbidden anyone from speaking to us.
On the morning of the fiftieth day, I performed the Morning Prayer on the terrace of one of our houses in a condition described by Allah concerning us: ‘… the earth became narrow (for us), despite all its breath, and my life became a burden for me …’ (Sura al-Tawba 9:118, see also verse 25). When I was then in the tent that I had built for me on the height of Sala, I heard a voice from above crying out to me in full strength: ‘Receive good news, Ka‘b ibn Malik!’ I fell down in prayer and realized that I was absolved. As Muhammad performed the Morning Prayer, he had announced to the people that Allah had forgiven us. The people went out in order to tell us. Some went to my two companions. A man spurred his horse on in order to come to me, but a man from Aslam ran up to the mountain and his voice reached me before the rider did.
When the man whose voice I heard came to me and brought me the joyous news, I took off my two garments and gave them to him as a messenger's reward, even though I, by Allah, had no others and had to put on that which I borrowed. I then set out to go to Muhammad and the people came to me and proclaimed to me Allah's grace, in that they said: ‘May Allah's forgiveness bring you good fortune!’ I finally came into the mosque where Muhammad sat encircled by people. Talha ibn ‘Ubaid Allah rose up, greeted and congratulated me. Apart from him no other Emigrant stood up before me. When I greeted Muhammad, he said to me with a radiantly joyous face: ‘Take joy in the best day you have experienced since your birth!’ I said: ‘Does it come from you or from Allah?’ He answered: ‘From Allah!’ (For whenever he announced good news, he had a face like a piece of the shining moon. We had often noticed this peculiarity with him.) When I sat before him, I said: ‘O messenger of Allah, besides my other deeds of repentance, I will consecrate all my possessions to Allah and his messenger!’ Muhammad responded: ‘Keep a share of it; that is better for you!’ I said: ‘Then I shall keep my portion from Khaybar.’ I then said: ‘Allah has saved me through my sincerity. As repentance I will now, as long as I live, only speak the truth.’ By Allah, since I said this to Muhammad, I have found no other person that Allah more tested in speaking the truth than me. By Allah, until this day I have never intentionally told a lie and hope that Allah will, until the end of my days, keep me from it.”*
* To speak the truth was not self-evident in Islam, but rather an exception. The “Spirit of Truth” does not indwell the Qu’ran or Muslims, such as Jesus promised His followers (John 14:16-17; 15:26 and 16:13).
Concerning this Allah revealed: “117 Allah has repented towards the prophet, the Emigrants and the Helpers, who followed him in the time of trial, after the heart of a part of them had nearly turned away from the right path. He then repented towards them, too. He is mild and merciful towards them, 118 also to the three men who remained behind, …” up to the words: “119 … Be of those who are truthful!” (Sura al-Tawba 9:117-119). Ka‘b went on to say: “Since He led me to Islam, Allah has granted me no greater favour than the day that he let me say the truth to Muhammad. Through lies I would have perished like the others who lied to him, about whom Allah revealed the worst that has ever been said of anyone, in saying: 95 ‘They will swear to you by Allah, when you turn back to them, that you may turn aside from them. So turn aside from them, for they are an abomination, and their refuge is Hell - a recompense for what they have been earning. 96 They will swear to you, that you may be well pleased with them. But if you are also well-pleased with them, then Allah will surely not be well-pleased with the people, who are heinous.’” (Sura al-Tawba 9:95-96). Ka‘b further said, “We three had remained behind those, whose apology Muhammad accepted after they had sworn to him, and for whom he implored Allah's forgiveness. Therefore he also postponed the matter with us, until Allah expressed himself regarding the matter. The words of Allah ‘and the three that remained behind’ (Sura al-Tawba 9:118), are related to this matter, in which a remaining behind from the military campaign is not intended, but rather remaining behind those who through their oaths received the pardon of Muham¬mad, while the decision concerning the three was still pending.”*
* Muhammad's disciplining his community made a deep impression on his faithful followers. The goal of this discipline, however, was not growth in faith and in love, but rather served the purpose of participation in Holy War. The goal of the Islamic training was not a more holy life or service to other believers, but rather a fighting to the death.
10.02.10 -- The Conversion of the Thaqifites* (December 630 A.D.)
In Ramadan (9th month) of the ninth year following the Emigration, Muhammad returned from Tabuk to Medina. In the same month there came deputies from the Thaqifites to him. When Muhammad left without them, the Thaqifite ‘Urwa ibn Ma’sud followed him. He caught up with him before Medina and confessed Islam. He then asked Muhammad if he could go back to his own people and proclaim Islam to them. Muhammad responded: “They will kill you!” Muhammad knew that they had shown great determination in their rejection of Islam. But ‘Urwa thought: “O messenger of Allah! I am more precious to them than their firstborn sons!” In truth he was loved and the people listened to him. Thus he went back to call his people to Islam and hoped, because of his standing, that he would not meet with opposition.
* The Thaqifites lived in a region approximately 100 km east of Mecca and approximately 340 km south of Medina. Their centre was in Ta’if, which Muhammad had vainly attempted to take in February 630 A.D.
When he climbed upon a hut to call them to Islam, revealing to them thereby his faith, they shot arrows at him from all sides. One arrow hit and killed him. When the dying man was asked: “How do you now regard your shed blood,” he answered: “I see it as a kindness of Allah and as martyrdom, which he has granted to me. I see myself as none other than one of the martyrs who was killed on the side of Muhammad before he startet out. Therefore bury me next to them.” And that is what happened. It is maintained that Muhammad said regarding ‘Urwa, that among his people he had the same standing as Yasin.*
* Because of ‘Urwa's death, the Muslims were compelled to take blood revenge. From then on the Thaqifites were outlawed and in constant danger of losing their lives along their journeys.
The Thaqifites persisted in their hostility for some months following the murder of ‘Urwa. They discussed among themselves and recognized that they were not strong enough to fight the Arabs around them that had already paid tribute to Muhammad and accepted Islam. Then they consulted among themselves. One said to the other: “Do you not see that none of us is any longer safe? No one can leave the city without being molested. After thorough consideration they determined to send a messenger to Muhammad, as they had sent ‘Urwa previously. They spoke with Abd Yaalil, who was the same age as ‘Urwa, and suggested he be the messenger. Abd Yaalil, however, refused, for he feared it would be done to him as it had been done to ‘Urwa. He responded: “I won't do it unless you send other men with me.” Finally they decided to send three more Thaqifites and two allies with him. Abd Yaalil, the leader and ruler of the delegates, travelled with them. He had taken the others along out of fear it would happen to him like it did to ‘Urwa. He hoped that, following their return, each would convince the members of his tribe.
When they dismounted near Qanat, in the vicinity of Medina, they encountered Mughira ibn Shu‘ba. It was his turn to take the camels of Muhammad's Companions out to pasture, for it was the practice of the Companions to take turns in this service. When he saw the Thaqifites, he left the herd with them and ran hastily to inform Muhammad. Before he got to Muhammad, he met Abu Bakr and told him the Thaqifites had come to pay homage to Muhammad and to accept Islam under the condition that he issue them a security contract for their people, their land and their possessions. Abu Bakr said to Mughira: “I implore you, by Allah, do not go before me to Muhammad so that I myself can tell it to him.” Mughira complied and Abu Bakr informed Muhammad of the arrival of the Thaqifites. Mughira then accompanied the delegates to his friends, let the camels take rest with them and instructed them on how they should greet Muhammad. They persisted, however, in their heathen greeting.
When they came to Muhammad, he let them pitch a tent next to his mosque. Khalid ibn Sa‘id was the mediator between the Thaqifites and Muhammad, until finally the contract had been drawn up, which Khalid himself wrote. The Thaqifites did not eat of the food that Muhammad had sent to them. Only after Khalid had tasted it and only after they had confessed Islam did they take from it.
They had requested Muhammad to let them have their idol Lat for three more years. When he refused they asked him for two years, then for one year and finally for one month. Muhammad, however, did not want to grant them any kind of extension. The delegates maintained their only purpose for the extension was to protect themselves from their own fools, wives and children. It was disagreeable for them to set their people in fear by the destruction of the idol before Islam had even entered among them. Nevertheless Muhammad insisted upon it. Abu Sufyan and Mughira ibn Shu‘ba were assigned the job of destroying Lat. Linked to the request to preserve their idol was another request, which was to be spared from prayer and that they should not be compelled to smash the idol with their own hand. To this Muhammad responded: “Concerning the smashing of the idol with your own hand, we will release you from it. We will not, however, excuse you from the prayer, for there is nothing good in a religion that has no prayer.” Finally they said to Muhammad: “We are in agreement with everything, even when it is a humiliation for us.” When they converted and the contract had been signed, Muhammad appointed Uthman ibn Abi al-‘As to be their superior. Although he was one of the youngest in the delegation, he was one of the most zealous in studying Islam and learning the Qu’ran.
10.02.11 -- The Destruction of the Idol in Ta’if
When the Thaqifites returned home, Muhammad sent Abu Su-fyan and Mughira with them. They were to destroy the idol. When they came to Ta’if, Mughira wanted to send Abu Sufyan on ahead. But he said: “You go first to your people.” He himself remained with his property in Dhu al-Hadm. When Mughira came into the city, he fell over the idol and destroyed it with an axe. His tribesmen, the Banu Mu’attib, stood around him, for they feared he could be struck with arrows or be injured like ‘Urwa. The women of the Thaqifites cried and screamed:
O let rivers of tears flow!
->The cowards have handed Lat over;
->They have fought poorly.
While Mughira was chopping up the idols with the axe, Abu Sufyan cried out: “Woe to you! You deserve this!” When Mughira had finished chopping up the idols, he handed their treasures and decorations to Abu Sufyan. The decoration was put together with different pieces; it consisted of gold and precious stones. Even before the delegation had gone to Muhammad -- soon after the murder of ‘Urwa, -- Abu Mulaih ibn ‘Urwa and Qarib ibn al-Aswad had made their way to Muhammad and broken off relations with the Thaqifites, with whom they wanted to have no more contact. They then converted to Islam. Muhammad said to them: “Take for your Lord whomever you like!” They answered: “We will take Allah and his messenger as our Lord.” Muhammad added: “And Abu Sufyan, your maternal uncle.” They said: “And Abu Sufyan, our maternal uncle.”
Following the conversion of the Thaqifites -- Muhammad sent Abu Sufyan and Mughira to Ta’if to destroy the idols -- Abu Mulaih asked Muhammad to settle a debt his father ‘Urwa had incurred from the treasure of the idol. Muhammad agreed. Qarib then said: “Settle also the debt of my father Aswad!” (Al-Aswad was the brother of Urwa on both his father's and his mother's side). Muhammad responded: “Al-Aswad died as an idolator!” Qarib responded: “But it concerns a Muslim who is related to me. The debt rests upon me and payment is demanded from me.” Muhammad then commanded Abu Sufyan to satisfy the debt of both from the treasure of the idols. When Mughira had gathered up the treasure, he reminded Abu Sufyan of Muhammad's command, whereby Abu Sufyan then paid the debt.
Muhammad's writing to the Thaqifites stated: “In the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate. From Muhammad, the prophet, the messenger of Allah, to the believers: The forests of Wajj and the hunting rights therein shall not be violated. Nevertheless, if anybody should do this then he is to be undressed and whipped. Whoever repeats transgression against this is to be taken captive and brought before the prophet Muhammad. It is a matter that concerns Muhammad, the prophet and messenger of Allah. Khalid ibn Sa‘id wrote this down at the command of Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. Let no man oppose him in the matter of what Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, commanded him. Otherwise he would be transgressing against his own soul.”
10.02.12 -- The Four Holy Months (January to April 631 A.D.)
Muhammad remained the remaining part of Ramadan (9th month) and the months Shawwal (10th month) and Dhu al-Qa’da (11th month) in Medina. He then appointed Abu Bakr to lead the pilgrims. He wanted to perform the pilgrimage with the believers in this ninth year following the Migration. But the unbelievers also made pilgrimage to their different camps. After Abu Bakr had departed, the Sura al-Baraa’a (another name for the ninth Sura, al-Tawba) was revealed and the agreement between Muhammad and the unbelievers was withdrawn, according to which no pilgrim was to be held back from the mosque and no one need fear anything during the holy month. This contract was a general agreement between Muhammad and the polytheists.* Furthermore there were special agreements between Muhammad and individual tribes, which had been contracted for a certain length of time, such as with the hypocrites that had not participated in the military campaign of Tabuk.
* In the beginning in Medina Muhammad had tolerated the unbelieving hypocrites and the strong non-Muslim Bedouin tribes. As soon as he had enough power, he became intolerant, dictatorial and demanded unconditional submission.
A revelation appeared concerning their words, one in which Allah revealed the innermost thoughts of those who wanted to appear as something they were not. Some of them were mentioned by name. There it states: “1 An acquittal, from Allah and his messenger, unto the idolaters with whom you made covenants. 2 ‘Journey freely in the land for four months; and know that you cannot frustrate the will of Allah, and that Allah degrades the disbelievers’” (Sura al-Tawba 9:1-2).*
* This verse is the most important basis in the Qu’ran for canceling existing contracts with unbelievers.
Jesus changed none of His promises and warnings and neither did He annul His Covenant or His threats of judgment. He never tried to subjugate people, families or clans with the sword so as to make them follow Him. He gained His followers through His word. This word of the Son of God is the lasting foundation of the New Covenant, so that He could say: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Jesus is the truth in person (John 14:6).
A further message from Allah and His messenger to the people on the day of the great pilgrimage was that Allah and His messenger were no longer obliged towards animists: “3 … and if you repent, it will be better for you, but if you turn your backs, know that you cannot hinder Allah. And proclaim a painful torture to those that disbelieved! 4 Excluded are those of the idolaters with whom you made covenants, and those that did not fail you in anything, neither lent support to any man against you. With them you must fulfill your covenant until the appointed time has elapsed. Allah loves the pious. 5 And when the (four) holy months are over, then kill the idolaters wherever you find them. Take them and besiege them, and lie in ambush for them everywhere.* But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the religious tax, then let them go their way. Allah is forgiving and merciful. 6 And if any of the idolaters seeks your protection, then grant him protection till he hears the words of Allah. Then determine for him a place of refuge. This is so because they are a people who do not know” (Sura al-Tawba 9:3-6).
* The killing of animists, the enemies of Muhammad and those who have fallen away from Islam, is regarded by Muslims as a command of Allah. Whoever does not carry through on this command is guilty of refusing to obey Allah's orders and will himself be punished.
It is just the opposite with Jesus! He taught us to love our enemies. Who-ever does not obey His word separates himself from the love of God (Mat-thew 5:43-48).
“7 How should the idolaters have a covenant with Allah and with his messenger, except those, with whom you made a covenant at the Holy Mosque? As far as they behave correctly towards you, behave you also correctly towards them. Allah truly loves the pious. 8 How (should there be such a covenant), if they do not abide by relationships or covenants, when they become more powerful than you. They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuses (to comply) and most of them are evildoers. 9 They have bought with the verses of Allah (things of) a little value, thus holding others back from His path. Truly, what they were doing became evil. 10 They regard neither relationship nor covenant. They are the ones, who act with enmity. 11 Yet if they repent, perform the prayer and give the religious tax, then they are your brothers in religion. And we make the verses distinct for those who know” (Sura al-Tawba 9:7-11).
Since Sura al-Baraa’a was revealed to Muhammad after he had already dispatched Abu Bakr as the leader of the pilgrims, he was asked: “O messenger of Allah, will you not send this revelation to Abu Bakr?” He answered: “Only someone from my family can represent me!” He then had Ali called and said to him: “Go out with the revelation, just as it stands written at the beginning of the Baraa’a Sura*, and make it known on the day of sacrifice, when the people are assembled in Mina (near Mecca), that no disbeliever will come to paradise, no idolater shall be permitted the pilgrimage after this year, and that none of them may circumambulate the Ka‘ba anymore. Moreover, the contracts entered into with Muhammad shall be considered valid only until their expiration.”
* ”Baraa’a” is another name for the 9th Sura, today usually known as Sura al-Tawba.
Ali then went on Muhammad's camel ‘Adhba (the sweet one) to Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr saw him, he asked: “Do you come as an emir or with a special commission?” Ali answered: “With a special commission.” They then continued on together. Abu Bakr led the pilgrims, while the remaining Bedouins encamped once more that year as if they were in heathendom. On the day of sacrifice Ali rose up and made known his commission from Muhammad. He said: “O you people! No disbeliever will enter into paradise. After this year it will no longer be allowable for an idolater to make pilgrimage to Mecca. None shall circumambulate the Ka‘ba naked. Only a contract that has been contracted with Muhammad will remain valid until its expiration.” He then gave the idolaters a four-month deadline, so that each of them could return to a safe place in his homeland. Only those contracts or protection agreements would continue that had been entered into with Muhammad for a specified time. After this announcement Ali and Abu Bakr returned to Muhammad.*
* The cancellation of contracts signified a declaration of war against all non-Islamic residents and rulers on the Arabian Peninsula. Muhammad wanted not only to bring a new religion, but desired also to fortify and extend his religious state - by force if necessary.
Jesus and His apostles, however, never attempted something of this sort.
Jesus did in fact admit before Pilate that He was a “king”, but He made it clear that His kingdom was not of this world. He demanded no taxes and did not issue a call to weapons, but rather called for humility, meekness, chastity and love in the Holy Spirit.
This was the dissociation from the idolaters, who possessed general contracts, and from those that held special contracts, valid for a specified time. Allah later commanded his messenger to also battle the idolaters, who in fact possessed a special contract, but had violated it. All without contracts were without protection after the four months. But if someone should commit a violent act, he was to be killed. It say: “13 Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at expelling the messenger, and who started out against you? Are you afraid of them? Allah has more right to be feared, if you are believers. 14 Fight them; Allah will torture them with your hands and will degrade them, and will help you win against them, and will heal the breasts of a people who believe 15 and He will let the rage of their hearts go away; and Allah will repent towards whomsoever he wills; and Allah is knowledgable and wise. 16 Or did you think that you would be left alone, with Allah not knowing those of you who struggled (in fighting) and (those of you) who did not associate with anybody, except with Allah and his messenger and the believers? And Allah has knowledge of what you do.”* (Sura al-Tawba 9:12-16).
* Revenge and hatred are often the driving forces in the hearts of Muslims. They know of no command for unconditional reconciliation, forgiveness and love of enemies - as is taught in the Gospel.
“28 … the idolaters are indeed impure; so let them not come near the Holy Mosque (with the Ka‘ba) after this, their year. If you fear poverty, Allah will surely enrich you from his overflowing goodness, if he wants. Truly, He is knowing and wise. 29 Fight (with weapons) against those who believe neither in Allah nor the Last Day and (against those who) do not declare forbidden what Allah and his messenger have declared forbidden and (against those who) do not judge with the right judgement, from those to whom the Book (of the Bible) has been brought (in revelation), until they pay the (minority) poll-tax out of hand (admitten) they are small (and insignificant)” (Sura al-Tawba 9:28-29).
(With this important verse in the Sura named “Repentance”, Muhammad commands all Muslims to engage in a bloody struggle against the Jews and the Christians - not in an effort to bring them to change their minds - but so that they will have to pay the discriminating polltax as inferior sujbects and thereby help cofinance the religious wars of the Muslims.)*
* With this revelation came the proclamation to war against all Jews and Christians. The Animists were to be ruthlessly killed if they did not accept Islam. Jews and Christians, however, were to be subjugated. They are to suffer the condition of those who have been humbled and made to be 2nd class citizens, because although they have holy books, they do not accept Islam.
But Jesus said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” The great commission of Jesus contains no call to practice violence - but only the command to evangelise, baptise and teach through His abiding presence (Matthew 28:19-20).
“O you, who have believed, many of the rabbis and monks indeed consume the possessions of people in vanity and bar from Allah's way. And those who treasure up gold and silver,* and do not expend them in the way of Allah - proclaim to them a painful torture ” (Sura al-Tawba 9:34).
“The number of months, with Allah, is twelve months, in the book of Allah (since) the day he created the heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred. That is the right religion. So do not wrong each other during these …” (Sura al-Tawba 9:36).
“The alms are for the poor and needy, and those involved in (collecting) it, as well as those whose hearts should become accustomed to Islam. Furthermore it should be used for slaves, for debtors, for the Holy War* and for travellers. This is an obligation from Allah. And Allah is knowing, wise” (Sura al-Tawba 9:60).
* The religious tax is not to be understood as a charitable social tax only, for it also helps to finance Holy War. It serves to buy Muslims free that have become slaves, or to redeem slaves that became Muslims, as well as a start-up help for new converts and to wipe out the debt that Muslims incurred against enemies of Islam, so that they do not remain dependent on them. Thus the religious tax is not just used for charitable causes, but also for helping to spread Islam.
“Those who reproach the volunteers among the believers concerning alms-giving, and those who find nothing (in this act of charity) than their labour and then mock them: Allah has mocked them; and they will have a painful torture” (Sura al-Tawba 9:79). The obedient were Abd al-Rahman ibn Auf and Asim ibn Adi, a brother of the Banu al-Ajlan. Muhammad had issued the urgent command to give alms. Abd al-Rahman then brought 4,000 dirhams and Asim 100 loads of dates. Then they criticised the two and said: “You are only pretending to pious.” The only one who really worked hard to come up with alms was Abu Aqil, a brother of the Banu ‘Unaif. He brought a Saa‘ (barrel-measure) of dates. They scoffed him for this and said: “Allah does not need such a measure from Abu Aqil!”
“Some Bedouins only take upon themselves to spend (for alms) under compulsion and await a turn of fortune against you. But the evil turn of fortune will be against them. Allah hears and knows!” (Sura al-Tawba 9:98).
Regarding the upright and believing Bedouins, however, we read: “And among the Bedouins there are some, who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and take that, which they give, as a means to approach Allah, and the prayers of the messenger. Certainly it is for them a means to approach Allah …” (Sura al-Tawba 9:99).
10.02.13 -- The Poem of Hassan
In the following poem, Hassan ibn Thabit recounts the battles in which the Helpers persevered with Muhammad and mentions the sites where they camped. Others maintain the poem is from Abd al-Rahman.
Are you not the most excellent of Ma’d, / alone and as comrades in-arms? / Might you be assessed together or alone? / They are a people that fought resolutely with the Messenger at Badr. / Not one runaway or apostate was among them. / They paid homage to him, and none among them broke his oath. / Their faith was beyond all doubting. / They were with him the day when in the Valley of Uhud / harsh blows came upon them, burning like the heat of fire. / Also on the Day of Dhu Qarad, when he called them to fight on noble horses. / They were not weak and cowardly. / They attacked Dhu al ‘Ushaira, their riders armed with helmet and lance, / and on the Day of Waddan they drove with their horses the dwellers before / them, until stony ground and mountains gave them a goal. / Some nights they sought out their enemies in the cause of Allah, / and Allah rewarded them for their doing. / In the Battle of Najd they also set out with the Messenger against the enemy, / and they found yet other spoils. / Also in the Night of Hunain they fought at his side. / There he led them once again to the watering place of war. / At the Battle of al-Qaa’ we scattered the enemy, / like a herd straying from the water hole. / On the Day of Tribute they pledged to fight for him, / and they stood with him and did not flinch. / At the conquest of Mecca they joined his host. / They were not irritable or hasty. / On the Day of Khaybar they were in his army, / and went about like heroes, despising death, / brandishing swords drawn in their right hands, / swords that are quick to curve in battle but soon straighten again. / On the day when the Messenger of Allah set out against Tabuk, / reckoning with the reward of the Lord, / they were his first standard-bearers and com-manders once the war came, / whenever it came to mind to advance forward or to turn back. / This people protected the Prophet. / They are my people; I belong to them. / They nobly offer their lives and do not transgress the covenant. / Should they be killed, they die in the path of Allah.*
* In this praise of slaughter, 12 of 38 military campaigns are cited that Muhammad commanded and in which, for the most part, he himself participated.
Concerning Jesus, we read of no wars, but of many miracles in which He healed the sick, cast out demons and saved His disciples from storm and hunger.
10.03 -- The Delegations of Bedouin Tribes Honoured Muhammad (631 A.D.)
10.03.1 -- The Year of Deputations (631 A.D.)
After Muhammad had conquered Mecca and had returned from Tabuk and after the Thaqifites had converted and paid homage to him, there came to him deputations from all regions of Arabia. This was in year 9 following the Hijra, and that is why it was also called the “Year of Deputations”. The Bedouins were waiting to see how the battle between the tribe of the Quraish and Muhammad would end. The Quraish were exemplary leaders on the Arabian Peninsula, lords of the holy Ka‘ba, the resurrected progeny of Ishmael, the son of Abraham. It was also the Quraish who first contradicted Muhammad and stirred up war against him. But after Mecca was conquered and the Quraish had submitted to Muhammad, the neighbouring Bedouins knew that they did not possess the strength to successfully battle Muhammad. Therefore they confessed faith in Allah. One reads: “1 When the victory of Allah comes with successful conquest, 2 and you see men entering Allah's religion in throngs*, 3 then laud with the praise of your Lord and seek his forgiveness. Truly he has often caused repentance.” (Sura al-Nasr 110:1-3).
* The mass conversions to Islam were mostly not out of conviction and faith, but for reasons of opportunism. In spite of this, Muhammad praised Allah for the spread of Islam on the Arabian Peninsula. For him, Islam was not only faith and religion, but above all power and subjugation.
“Faith” in Islam is frequently connected with subjugation out of fear. Such a faith has nothing to do with a faith resulting from love and trust, which Jesus brought.
The true angel Gabriel said to Joseph: “He (Jesus) will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and in Luke 24:46-47 Jesus prophesied: “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations”
10.03.2 -- The Contest of the Poets
Along with other delegations of the Bedouins, there also came the Tamimite Utarid ibn Hajib to Muhammad. He found himself in the accompaniment of noble Tamimites such as al-Aqra ibn Habis, Zibriqan ibn Badr and Amr ibn al-Ahtam al-Habhab. It was al-Hutat that Muhammad had linked in brotherly friendship with Mu‘awiya ibn Sufyan.
Among his companions Muhammad had established brotherhood among: Abu Bakr with Umar, Uthman ibn ‘Affan with Abd al-Rahman ibn Auf, Talha ibn ‘Ubaid Allah with Zubair ibn al-Awwam, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari with Miqdad ibn Amr al-Bahrani, Mu‘awiya with Hutat ibn Jazid al-Mujashi. Hutat died under the caliphate of Mu‘awiya, and Mu‘awiya took over Hutat's property on account of the brotherhood. Farazdaq (among others) then addressed the following verse to Mu‘awiya:
O Mu‘awiya, your father and uncle left behind inheritances. / Their relatives should be the ones to acquire these. / Why did you devour the allotment of Hutat, / when that which remained from Harb's share / clings to your hand?
When the delegates of the Tamim came to the Ka‘ba, they called out behind Muhammad's dwelling: “Come out to us, Muhammad!” This commotion displeased Muhammad, yet he still went out to them. They then said: “O Muhammad, we have come to engage you in a poetry competition. Permit our poets and speakers to recite.” Muhammad said: “I permit it.” Utarid then rose up and said:
Praise be to Allah, who is exalted above us. / To Him belongs the honour above all else. / He has made us to be princes and given us great possessions, / with which we are to do good. / He has made us to be the most powerful of all the / inhabitants of the east, / the most numerous and best equipped. / Who is like us among the people? / Are we not the leaders of mankind, / the most preferred of all? / Whoever seeks to contest our fame, / let him add up that which we can enumerate. / If we wanted to, we could say yet much more. / We are merely ashamed to speak much of what he gave us. / For this we are also known. / Speak this that you might bring forth the same as we, / or even better.
Following this he sat down again and Muhammad said to Thabit ibn Qays ibn al-Shammas:* “Rise up and counter the speech of this man!”
* Thabit was an Islamic poet of Christian background, which can be recognized by the Biblical elements in his poetry.
Thabit rose up and spoke:
May Allah be praised, who created heaven and earth, wherein he accomplishes his purposes, whose wisdom encompasses his throne, through whose goodness alone all things exist. In his omnipotence he made us to be princes and from the best of his creatures he chose a messenger, the most noble in lineage, the most truthful in his speech and the most excellent in nobility. He revealed his Scripture to him and entrusted to him his creatures. He is the chosen of Allah among all beings. He summoned the people to believe in him. His relatives and the Emigrants from his people believe in him, men of the noblest generation, the most attractive in appearance and the best in character. We were the first who lent ear to the Messenger of Allah, when he cried out to Allah. We are the Helpers of Allah and the deputies of his messenger. We fight the people until they believe in Allah. Whoever believes in Allah and his messenger, saves himself and his possessions. Whoever denies Allah we will incessantly fight and care but little about his death.* These are my words. May Allah forgive me and all believing men and women! Peace be with you!
* These fundamentals of Islamic thinking are not just the personal opinion of the poet, but rather an integral part of Islamic law. All Europeans, Asians, Africans and Americans should commit these Islamic principles to memory: “We fight against all people until they believe in Allah. Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger saves both himself and his possessions. Whoever denies Allah we shall fight incessantly and regard his death but little.”
Zibriqan then rose and spoke:
We are the noble ones! No tribe is equal to us. From among us the princes come. Trade blossoms through us. We have already subjected many tribes in mounted combat. Our might deserves to be recognized. We consume our roasts even in years of hunger, when the outside conditions of the country are severe. Therefore you see the noblest people among all the nations coming to us in the night. We busy ourselves in feeding them and slaughter entire herds of camels for the honour of our clan, so that guests that come to us might be satisfied. As often as we compete with another tribe for fame, you can see him humbled, walking away with downcast heads. Whom do we know in all this that wants to contest our fame? The people may return home. The news of this shall spread. We resist all while none resists us. Thus we rise up to ever increasing fame.
Hassan was not present, so Muhammad had him summoned. Hassan himself explained: “Muhammad's messenger came to me and said that Muhammad had called me to give an answer to the poet of the Banu Tamim. I went to Muhammad and composed the following:
We protected the messenger of Allah against the discontented and the unwilling in Ma’d, while he dwelled with us. We protected him from every blasphemer and evildoer with our swords, when he remained among us in an isolated house, whose strength and might lies in Jabiya al-Jaulan, in the midst of strangers. Does fame rest in something else than an age-old rulership, in generosity, in princely rank and in the bearing of arduous events?
When I reached Muhammad and the poet was reciting his verses to the people, I recited in similar fashion, refuting him. When he finished and Muhammad summoned me to answer him, I began:
The leaders of Fihr (a Bedouin tribe) and their brothers have marked the way people are to go. Whoever fears Allah in his soul, finds satisfaction, and all that is good will be his portion. Those are the people who bring destruction to their enemies when they wage war on them and profit to their own followers. That has been their nature from time immemorial; and know that the evil in people lies in their innovations. When yet others among the people took the lead, so is every forward initiative only a succession to the one that went before it. No one can mend what their hands tore apart in war, nor tear up what they have mended. When they compete with the people, it is they who gain the prize, and when they contend over generosity, it is they who excel over them. They are virtuous. Their virtue is extolled in the revelation. They do not pollute themselves, and no inordinate desire plunges them into destruction. They do not covet the possessions of their neighbours, and no greed brings them into contact with filth. When we go out against a tribe, we do not go slow of foot like the camel, behind which the hunter chases his game. We climb higher when the clutches of war reach us, when the cowards shrink back. When we strike the enemy, we do not boast and when we are struck we do not become faint hearted and fearful. In battle, when death is near to us, we are like the lions in Halya*, who have paw joints that are dislocated. Are we incensed, then accept from us what we generously offer. Seek not after things that we have already refused. If we wage war, then fear our animosity and consider it a ruin, into which you will sink, surrounded by poisonous plants and sala trees. Honourable are the people who follow the messenger of Allah, when other battle hosts disband in their passions. No heart offers him praise whose desire is upheld by an eloquent, proud tongue. It is the most excellent people among all the tribes, whether they speak of trifling or of weighty matters.
* An area of Yemen in which there are many lions (according to the dic-tionary: Lisan al-‘Arab).
Zibriqan then rose up and responded with the following verses:
We have come to you that the people might recognize our excellencies, should they argue about the approaching celebrations. We are the leaders of mankind in every place. Not one in all the Hijaz can measure himself against Darim. We strike back at the distinguished ones when they proudly walk about, and strike the heads of the arrogant leaders. To us belongs the fourth from every war campaign we undertake against Najd or some other place.
Hassan then rose and spoke:
Does fame lie in something else than ancient domination, generosity, and the bearing of difficult circumstances? We welcomed the prophet Muhammad and supported him, whether this pleases Ma’d or not, with an isolated tribe whose origin is in Jabia al-Jaulan, in the midst of foreign people. When he settled among us, we supported him with our swords against the wicked and evildoers. We sheltered him with our sons and daughters, and were not grievous for him when he took charge of the spoils. We struck the people with fine, cutting sword edges, until they followed his faith. We have given birth to the most excellent of the Quraish, the prophet of salvation from the clan of Hashim. O sons of Darim, do not boast, that your boasting should not lead to your undoing when virtues are mentioned. May you become orphaned! You wish to exalt yourselves above us, yet you are our possession, our servants and slaves. If you have come to safeguard your goods and blood, so that you will not be apportioned like other spoils, then associate no partner with Allah, become Muslims and do not dress according to the manner of foreigners!
When Hassan had recited his poem, al-Aqra said: “By my father, this man deserves to be followed. His representative is better than ours. His poet surpasses ours and their voices are louder than ours.” They then converted to Islam and Muhammad rewarded them with lavish gifts. Among the delegates, Amr ibn al-Ahtam had stayed with the camels, for he was the youngest. Qays ibn Asim, who hated him, said to Muhammad: “O Messenger of Allah! One of us stayed with the camels!” And he derogatorily added: “It is a young boy!” Nevertheless, Muhammad gave him gifts just as he did the others. When Amr heard how Qays had mocked him, he recited:
You have disgraced me from the rear, and insulted me before the messenger. You did not speak the truth and did not reach the intention. We have imposed a splendid rulership over you, whereas your rule is like one sitting on his tail and opening his mouth until his back teeth are ex-posed.
In the Qu’ran it states regarding this: “Surely, those who call you from behind (the walls of) the rooms are mostly foolish people!”* (Sura al-Hujurat 49:4).
* The battle of the poets was an intellectual form of duel and paraphrased in poetic form the perception and culture of the animists and Muslims liv-ing on the Arabian Peninsula at that time. Battle, victory, honour and right were thus more important than faith, love and hope. Humility and meek-ness were lacking and the forgiveness of sins was not sought after.
10.03.3 -- Two Enemies of Allah and Their Fate
Among the delegate of the Banu Amir* that came to Muhammad, there were Amir ibn Tufail, Arbad ibn Qays, Khalid ibn Ja’far and Jabbar ibn Salma. These were the leaders and the satans** of the tribe. Amir ibn Tufail, the enemy of Allah, came to Muhammad in order to betray him. His tribesmen had said to him: “All people are becoming Muslims! You, too, convert!” To this he answered: “By Allah, I have sworn not to rest until all Arabs follow in my footsteps! Should I then now follow this Quraish?” He then said to Arbad: “When we come to the man, I will draw his attention away from you. If this happens, then fall on him with your sword! When they came to Muhammad, Amir said: “O Muhammad, let me speak with you alone!” Muhammad answered: “By Allah, not before you believe in Allah, the one and only.” Amir repeated his request and said something else to Muhammad, whereby he expected Arbad to do as he had commanded him. But Arbad did not act as he had wished. When Amir saw this, he repeated his request, but Muhammad responded: “Not before you believe in Allah, the one and only without a partner. When Muhammad persisted in his refusal, Amir said: “By Allah, I will fill the earth with riders and men on foot against you!” When he withdrew, Muhammad spoke: “Allah, protect me from Amir ibn Tufail!”
* The Banu Amir ibn Sa’sa’a lived in an area approximately 300 to 550 km northeast of Mecca.
** The leading opponents of Muhammad were again and again called “satans”.
When both men had left Muhammad, Amir said to Arbad: “Woe to you! Why didn't you carry through the command I gave you? By Allah, I feared no man on the entire earth as I feared you. But from now on I fear you no more.” Arbad responded: “May you be a fatherless man! Do not be hasty in your judgment over me!”
“By Allah, as soon as I thought on your command, you stepped between me and that man, so that I only saw you. Should I have attacked you with the sword?” Then they sought to return to their homeland. But on the way home Allah sent a bubonic plague in Amir’s neck and killed him in the house of a woman of the Banu Salul. Amir said: “Should a boil like the boil of a young camel befall me - and this in the house of a woman of the Banu Salul?” After Amir had been buried, his companions made their way into the land of the Banu Amir, to winter there. When they reached home, the tribesmen of Arbad asked what he was bringing. He answered: “Nothing, by Allah. He summoned us to worship something that, if I had it here with me, I would shoot it with arrows to kill it!” A day or two after he had spoken these words, he went out with a camel that he wanted to sell. Allah then sent a bolt of lightning that consumed both him and his camel.
10.03.4 -- Dimam ibn Tha‘laba, the Delegate of the Banu Sa‘d ibn Bakr*
The Banu Sa‘d ibn Bakr sent one of their men by the name of Dimam ibn Tha‘laba to Muhammad. When he came to Medina, he had his camel kneel down before the door of the mosque and then he tied it firmly. Then he went into the mosque, in which Muhammad was sitting encircled by his companions. Dimam was a strong, hairy man with two fore-locks. When he stood before Muhammad, he asked: “Which one of you is the son of Abd al-Muttalib?” Muhammad an-swered: “I am!” -- “Are you Muhammad?” -- “Yes.” -- “I want to direct important questions to you. Will you take it amiss?” -- “No, ask what you will!” -- “I adjure you by Allah, your God, by the God of your forefathers and of those to follow you: Did Allah send you to us as a messenger?” -- “By Allah, yes!” -- “I adjure you by Allah, your God, by the God of your forefathers and of those to follow you: Did Allah command you to admon-ish us to worship Him alone, to associate no partner with Him, and to get rid of the gods that our forefathers served alongside Him?” -- “By Allah, yes.” -- “I adjure you by Allah, your God and the God of your forefathers and those who follow you: Did Allah command you to prescribe the five daily prayers?” -- “Yes”. He then mentioned the requisites of Islam, one after the other, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage, as well as other ordinances, imploring him each time, as he did at the beginning. When he was finished, he said: “I confess that there is no God besides Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. I will carry through on these ordinances, renounce all that is forbidden, adding nothing to them and taking nothing away.” He then returned to his camel. Muhammad said: “If this man with the forelocks is sincere, he will go to paradise.” Dimam untied his camel and returned to his tribesmen. When they gathered around him, his first word was: “Lat and Uzza have come to disgrace!” The people cried out: “Be still, Dimam! Fear leprosy, elephantiasis and madness!” But he said: “Woe to you! By Allah, they (the gods) can neither help nor harm you. Allah has sent his messenger and revealed a Scripture to him, whereby He redeems you from your present condition. I bear testimony that Allah is one, without associate, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger. I bring to you his commands and prohibitions.” Before evening fell, all the men and women in this camp had converted to Islam. Following the account of Ibn ‘Abbas, never was there heard of a more excellent delegate than Dhimam.
* The Banu Sa‘d ibn Bakr lived in a region approximately 130 km northeast of Mecca.
10.03.19 -- 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.”
10.03.5 -- Jarud the Christian* Becomes a Muslim
Following this, Jarud ibn Amr came to Muhammad. He was a Christian. When he came before Muhammad, the Prophet introduced him to Islam and instilled in him the desire to accept it.
* Jarud belonged to the Banu ‘Abd al-Qays, who lived in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula under Sassanid influence, approximately 1100 km east of Medina, on the Arabian Gulf, across from the modern day Emirate of Bahrain. He was probably a Nestorian Christian.
Jarud then said: “O Muhammad! I have a faith that I will now give up in favour of yours. Can you guarantee me an acceptable replacement for my faith?” Muhammad answered: “Yes, I guarantee you that Allah has guided you to a faith that is better than yours.” Jarud then converted to Islam and his companions also.* He then asked Muhammad for beasts of burden. Muhammad responded: “By Allah, I don't have any to give up!” He then said: “O messenger of Allah, between us and my homeland there are many people gone astray.** Should we return to our homeland to such as these?” Muhammad answered: “No, stay away from them. They are flames of hell.” Al Jarud then returned to his tribe and was a good Muslim, who remained firm in the faith until he died. He lived until the time of the Apostasy, when his tribesmen, along with Gharur ibn al-Mundhir, returned again to their former faith. But he spoke to the people and charged them to persevere in Islam and said: “I bear witness, you people, that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. I proclaim him who does not believe this to be a disbeliever.”
* Some Christians recognized, following their hasty acceptance of Islam, just what they had lost. They fell away from Islam and thus were later overrun and conquered by the Muslims.
** The ones “gone astray” are Christians, who in the desert of separation from Allah must die of thirst, for believing in God, the Father and the Son. Muhammad described them as being “fuel for (Hell) Fire”. (Sura Al ‘Im-ran 3:10)
10.03.6 -- The Arrival of the Delegations of the Banu Hanifa with Musaylima
Following this there came the delegates of the Banu Hanifa.* Among them was Musaylima** ibn Habib, the liar. They dismounted by the daughter of al-Harith, the wife of one of the companions of the Banu al-Najjar. The delegates of the Banu Hanifa came to Muhammad but left Musaylima behind in the camp. When they had confessed Islam, they mentioned him and said: “We have left behind one or our companions in camp with the camels, to tend to them.” Muhammad commanded them to give him the same as what his Companions had received and said: “He does not occupy the worst place among you.” They then left Muhammad and brought to Musaylima what Muhammad had given him. But when they came to Yamama, the enemy of Allah apostatized, claimed to be a prophet, lied to them and said: “I am his associate.” To the Delegates he said: “Did he not say to you, when you mentioned me, that my place is not the worst among you? This is because you know that I am his associate in this matter.” He then spoke to them in rhyme and said, while imitating the Qu’ran:
Allah has been merciful to the pregnant ones.
He brings forth from them living, moving beings
between the abdomen and the intestines.
Musaylima permitted them wine and harlotry and released them from their prayer obligation. And yet he still confessed that Muhammad was a prophet, and the Banu Hanifa agreed with him.
* The Banu Hanifa lived northwest of the Banu ‘Abd al-Qays, in the area of the Arabian Gulf, in a region lying 860 to 1100 km east of Medina.
** In Islam Musaylima became the embodiment of the false prophet, thus the saying: “He lies like Musaylima.” This diminutive form of “Maslama”, is to make him look ridiculous.
10.03.7 -- The Arrival of Zaid al-Khail with the Delegates from Tayyi’*
Among the Delegates coming to Muhammad from Tayyi’, there was also their chief Zaid al-Khail. Muhammad explained Islam to them. They converted and became pious Muslims. According to the report of a reliable Tayyi’ite, Muhammad said to them: “No Bedouin has ever been so praised to me who, when he came to me, did not turn out to be less than his reputation, except in the case of Zaid al-Khail, of whom not enough was said.” He then called him “Zaid al-Khair” (Zaid, the good or the best), gave him booty and some lands and gave him a deed accordingly. Following this Zaid returned to his tribe. Muhammad said: “Zaid will not escape the fever of Medina!” When Zaid came to the water of Farda in Najd the fever overcame him and he died.
* The Banu Tayyi’ lived in the heart of Arabia, approx. 380 to 550 km northeast of Medina.
10.03.8 -- The Christian Prince ‘Adi ibn Hatim becomes Muslim
‘Adi ibn Hatim explained: “No Bedouin that first heard of Muhammad hated him more than I. I was a respected man, a Christian. My people recognized me to be their chief, to whom they gave a quarter (of their income). I was, according to my understanding, in the true faith. Therefore I hated Muhammad when I first heard of him, and said to my Arabian slave, who tended my camels: ‘Will you be fatherless! Keep ready for me tame and fattened camels, and when you hear that Muhammad's troops come into this land, then tell it to me!’ The slave obeyed this command. One morning he came and said: ‘O ‘Adi, do now what you have determined to do when the riders of Muhammad attack. I have seen banners and sought information about them. I was told that it was the troops of Muhammad.’ I had my camels brought before me, set my wife and children upon them and determined to make my way to Syria, to my fellow believers in faith. I made my way to al-Jaushiya, but left my sister behind in camp. The riders of Muhammad, who soon followed, brought her to Muhammad, along with other captives from Tayyi’. He had already heard that I had fled to Syria. My sister was brought into a hut that stood before the door of the mosque, in which the captives were locked up. When Muhammad passed by her, she stood up and said: “O messenger of Allah! My father is dead and the man to provide for me has gone. Spare me, and Allah will also be merciful to you!’ Muhammad asked: “Who is the man who should care for you?’ She answered: “’Adi, the son of Hatim!’ He then asked: ‘Is it he who has fled before Allah and his messenger?’ He then went on his way.”
“On the next day”, so the girl explained, “he again passed by me. I spoke to him in the same fashion and he gave me the same answer. When on the next day he again passed by and when I had given up all hope, a man who stood behind him motioned for me to stand up and speak to him. I rose up and said: ‘O messenger of Allah, my father is dead, the one to care for me has gone, so pardon me and Allah will be merciful to you!’ He answered: ‘So be it, but do not be hasty in your departure until you find people from your tribe whom you can trust, that they might bring you back to your home country. Then give me news of it!’ He then asked about the man who had given a sign to me to speak to Muhammad. It was told me that it was Ali. I remained until a caravan from Baliy or Quda‘a came, for I wanted to go to my brother in Syria. I then said to Muhammad: “Some men from my tribe have come whom I can trust to take me to my homeland!’ Muhammad gave me a dress, a camel and the necessary foodstuffs and I travelled with the caravan to Syria.”
“By Allah,” ‘Adi recounted, “I sat with my family when I saw how a traveller came to us. I said: ‘That is the daughter of Hatim, and so it was. When she stood before me, words poured out of her: ‘You evildoer, who tears apart the bonds of kinship. You left with your wife and your children and abandoned the remains of your father, your pudency, behind!’ I answered: ‘Little sister, speak only good, I have no excuse. I did what you said.’ She then dismounted and remained with me. Since she was a discreet person, I asked her: ‘What do you think of this man?’ She answered: ‘My opinion is, by Allah, you should make your way quickly to him, for he is a prophet. Whoever comes to him first will receive an advantage. If he should become strong as a prince, you will not be humbled by this, for then the Yemen will also be strong.’ I answered: ‘By Allah, that is a right judgment,’ and so I went to Muhammad in Medina.
He was in the mosque. I went inside and greeted him. He asked: ‘Who is the man?’ I answered: ‘Adi, the son of Hatim.’ He stood up and went with me to his house. On the way we encountered a weak, old woman, who held him up. He remained standing with her a long time, and she made her request to him. I thought: ‘By Allah, that is no king!’ When he finally entered his house with me, he reached for a leather pillow filled with palm fibers and threw it to me, saying: ‘Sit on it!’ I responded: ‘No, you sit on it.’ He responded: ‘No, you!’ I sat down and he sat down on the bare floor. I thought: ‘By Allah, that is not a kingly manner!’ He then said: ‘Now then, Adi, are you not a Rakusian*?’ -- ‘Yes, indeed!’ -- Don't you receive one-fourth from your people?’ -- ‘Certainly!’ -- But your religion does not allow that!’ -- ‘By Allah, you are right!’ -- I now recognized that he was a prophet sent from God, who knew what remained unknown to others. He then said: ‘Perhaps you do not want to accept our faith, because the people are so poor.** But, by Allah, the time is not far when money and wealth will so be with us in abundance that there will be no one found to take it.*** Or does their small number and the great number of their enemies cause you to fear? But, by Allah, you will soon hear that a woman will ride here upon her camel without fear from Qadisiya to visit the Ka‘ba. Or will you not accept our faith because the power and dominion rests with others? But, by Allah, you will soon hear that the white marble castles of Babel have been conquered.’ Hereupon I converted.”****
* The Rakusians were the followers of a religion whose faith was a mixture of Christianity and Sabeanism.
** The Meccan Muslims had, following their migration to Medina, and in spite of their raids and wars, not become overly rich. The inhabitants of the fertile and water-rich Yemen possessed a higher living standard than the now settled Bedouins in the dry steppes and deserts of the Arabian Peninsula.
*** Muhammad's vision of great wealth for Islam was fulfilled through the later conquests and through the discovery of oil in more modern times. Yet the wealth of the Arabs remained limited to a few of the ruling clans. There are still Bedouins in Saudi Arabia today living in utter poverty alongside others in the most ostentatious luxury.
**** This report makes it clear that conversion to Islam primarily came about due to material enticements, yet without a change of inner heart. It shares little with Biblical conversion. In the Acts of the Apostles we read: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:37-38).
‘Adi later said: “Two of these conditions have already been fulfilled, and the third will, by Allah, also be fulfilled. I have seen how the white castles of Babel have been conquered* and how a woman travelled on her camel without fear from Qadisiya to the pilgrimage at the Ka‘ba. By Allah, the third prophecy will also be fulfilled; money will be in such abundance that no one will grasp for it anymore.”
* In the event these prophecies were the inspiration of Muhammad, they arose from a demonic source, similar to the temptation of Jesus: “Again the Devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’” (Matthew 4:8-9).
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall Serve.’” (Matthew 4:10). This shows that no one can strive for true worship and booty, the Holy Spirit and money, God and earthly power at the same time. One has to decide for the one as against the other. Islam chose money and earthly power.
10.03.9 -- The Arrival of Farwa ibn Musaik al-Muradi
Farwa ibn Musaik separated himself from the remaining princ-es of the (Christian) Banu Kinda* and came to Muhammad. Shortly before Islam became accepted a battle had broken out between the Hamdan and the Murad, in which the Hamdan gained a complete victory and the Murad were, on a single day called “al-Radm”, entirely subjected. The leader of the Murad was al-Adja’ ibn Malik. When he came to Muhammad, the Messenger asked him: “Are you disturbed at what befell your people on the Day of al-Radm?” He answered: “O mes-senger of Allah! What man would not be distressed if his peo-ple had to experience what mine had to on the Day of al-Radm?” Muhammad then answered: “But that will only bring your people all the more good fortune!” Muhammad then ap-pointed him governor over Murad, Zubayd and Madhhij and sent Khalid ibn Sa’id ibn al-‘As as the administrator of reli-gious tax with him. Khalid remained with him in his homeland until the death of Muhammad.**
* These Christian Banu Kinda lived in Hadramawt, approx. 1500 km south-east of Mecca on the Indian Ocean (today a part of Yemen).
** The Bedouins had an instinct for military strength and joined up with Muhammad. Muhammad sent commissioners with troops to the newly converted, who were to support their protectors and religious leaders with their religious tax. Sacrifice, humility and help were not the theme in the expansion of Islam, but military campaigns, victory and religious tax. Muhammad established an earthly kingdom, a kingdom of this world.
10.03.10 -- The Arrival of al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays With the Delegates of the Christian Banu Kinda
Then al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays, along with eighty riders from the Banu Kinda,* came to Muhammad in the mosque. Before this they had combed their hair, coloured their eyelids with coal and put on overcoats made of striped material, hemmed with silk. Muhammad asked them if they had not become Muslims. They answered: “Certainly!” Muhammad then said: “What then does the silk** around your necks mean?” They then tore it off and cast it away. Al-Ash‘ath then said: “O messenger of Allah, we are the sons of Aqil al-Murar, as you are.” Muhammad smiled and said: “You attribute this lineage to ‘Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib and al-Harith Rabi‘a, who, when they travelled about as merchants among the Bedouins, bragged when they were asked about their lineage, saying ‘We are sons of Aqil al-Murar,’ because the Banu Kinda were the rulers.” He then said: “Not so, we are the sons of Nadr ibn Kinana. We do not deny our mother and disown our father.” Al-Ash‘ath then said: “Did you finish, you Banu Kinda? By Allah, if I hear anyone say this again I will give him eighty lashes with the whip.”***
* This branch of the Banu Kinda lived in the region of Dumat al-Jandal, approx. 590 km north of Medina.
** Silk garments, as well as jewelry of gold and silver, have been despised and unwanted for men according to Islamic tradition.
*** Enemies of Islam must reckon with a whipping that will shred their backs to pulp if they disparage the name of Muhammad. The word of Muhammad applies to all those who fight Islam: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Prophet, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off, or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty torture” (Sura al-Ma’ida 5:33).
However, Jesus prayed for all those who were crucifying Him: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
10.03.11 -- The Arrival of Surad ibn Abd Allah al-Azdi*
Then Surad ibn Abd Allah al-Azdi came to Muhammad, along with additional people from his tribe, and became a good Muslim.** Muhammad placed him over the believers of his tribe and commanded him to do battle against the neighbouring unbelieving tribes of Yemen. Surad carried out the command of Muhammad, and besieged Jurash***. At that time Jurash was a fortified city in which some of the weaker tribes of Yemen dwellt. It was also the place where the Khath’am had fled when they heard about the arrival of the Muslims. Surad besieged the city for nearly an entire month. He then withdrew to the mountain of Shakar. When the people of the city believed he had withdrawn from them in flight, they pursued him. But when they overtook him, he turned around and killed a large number of them.
* This man belonged to the tribe of the Banu Azd Shanu’a, who lived in a region of the Red Sea 260 to 430 km south of Mecca, between Mecca and Yemen.
** A good Muslim is one who “fights for Islam with weapon in hand and fights trickfully" in order to annihilate the enemies of Allah”.
*** ”Jurash” lies approx. 490 km south of Mecca, in the vicinity of the caravan route to Yemen.
The people of Jurash had already sent two men to Muhammad. They were to look out for what was happening and to implore him for mercy. One evening while they were sitting with him following the afternoon prayer, Muhammad asked them: “In which country of Allah's is Shakr to be found?” The two men from Jurash then rose up and said: “In our country there is a mountain called ‘Kashar’”. (The people of Jurash called it by this name.) Muhammad responded: “It is not called ‘Kashar’ but ‘Shakar’”.* They then asked: “And what is it about this mountain?” Muhammad answered: “The camels sacrificed to Allah** are being slaughtered there now.” The two men then sat down with Abu Bakr or possibly Uthman. He then said: “Woe to you! Muhammad has announced the death of your tribesmen. Rise up and beseech him to pray to Allah that He might spare your tribe!” They went and asked Muhammad to do so, and he said: “Allah! Refrain concerning them!” They then returned to their homeland and discovered that their people had been smitten by Surad on the very day and hour that Muhammad had announced to them. Delegates from the Jurash then made their way to Muhammad and converted to Islam. Muhammad then had all their fields aound their towns marked with special signs of horses, camels and cattle for the purpose ploughing. If a stranger in spite of this allowed his animals to graze on these plots of land, he was to forfeit them.
* The transposition of consonants without any change in their meaning is a common phenomenon in the Arabic language.
** The opponents of Islam are here designated the “sacrifice camels of Allah” that are slaughtered (by having their throats slit). However, Jesus was the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world. Islam recognizes no vicarious, redemptive sacrifice. Nevertheless, Muslims who die in Holy War are designated as a type of “sacrifice” through which they secure their justification (Sura al-Baqara 2:207).
10.03.12 -- The Arrival of the Messenger of the Princes of Himyar*
Following Muhammad's return from Tabuk, a messenger brought a letter from the princes of Himyar. It contained the news of the conversion of the princes al-Harith ibn Abd Kulal, Nua’im ibn Abd Kulal, Nu‘man, who was called Dhu Ru’ayn, Ma’afir and Hamdan. The messenger's name was Malik ibn Murra al-Rahawi. He was sent from the Zur’a Dhu Yazan with the news that they had accepted Islam and abandoned polytheism and its adherents. Muhammad sent the following letter to them:
“In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. From Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, the prophet, to Harith ibn Abd Kulal, Nua’im ibn Abd Kulal, Nu‘man Dhu Ru’ayn, Ma’afir and Hamdan. I praise Allah, the one and only, before you. Then I confirm that your messenger came to us in Medina, following our return from the area of the Byzantines, and conveyed your message to us. He reported to us about your situation and conveyed to us that you have become Muslims and desire to fight against the unbelievers.** Allah has granted to you His leading. If you are pious, follow Allah and his messenger, perform the prayer, give alms and place a fifth of the booty at Allah's disposal, as well as that which is due his messenger. Give also what is prescribed for the religious tax! From the produce watered by fountains and rain, a tenth is to be given, and from that watered by the bucket, one-half. Of forty camels give (as relgious tax) a young female entering its third year; from thirty, give a young male; for five, give a sheep; for ten, give two sheep. From forty cattle, give a cow; from thirty, give a calf. From fourty sheep, give one that can graze on its own. This tax is prescribed by Allah for the Believers. Whoever does more good, does it for his own merit. But whoever fulfils only this, bearing witness to his Islam and supporting the believers against the polytheists, belongs to the believers and shares with them privileges and obligations. Allah and His messenger protect him.”
* The Banu Himyar lived in Yemen, more than 1,000 km south of Mecca, on the Indian Ocean.
** ”To be a Muslim and to fight with weapons for Islam” go together. Capturing booty remains the “driving force” in Islam, and every Muslim has it impressed upon him that paying the religious tax is an imperative duty.
“Jews and Christians that accepted Islam also share with the other believers privileges and obligations. Those that continue in their faith are not to be made to apostatize.* However, they must pay the poll tax (Jizya), namely, for every adult, whether female or male, free or slave, one full-weighted dinar according to the value of the Ma’afir, or something of equal value. Whoever pays this to the messenger of Allah receives the protection of Allah and His messenger. Whoever refuses it is an enemy of Allah and His messenger.”
* According to the Qu’ran and the Sharia, Jews and Christians need not necessarily become Muslims. They have the right to live as second-class citizens in the sphere of Islam as long as they pay the poll tax (Jizya), which is to be kept distinct from the religious tax of Muslims (Zakat).
“Then Muhammad, the prophet, the messenger of Allah, is sending delegates to Zur’a, namely Mu‘adh ibn Jabal, Abd Al-lah ibn Zaid, Malik ibn Ubada, Uqba ibn Namir, Malik ibn Murra and their entourage. Collect the religious and poll tax from your districts and give it to my envoys, whose superior is Mu‘adh ibn Jabal, so that they may return home satisfied!”
“Then confess that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger and slave!”
“Malik ibn Murra al-Rahawi reported to me that you were the first among the Himyar to become Muslim and have fought the polytheists. Therefore receive good news! Treat the Himyar well; practice no fraud and betrayal! The messenger of Allah is the guardian of the poor among you, as well as of the rich. The religious tax is inviolable for Muhammad as well as for his family. It serves to purify the soul of the giver* and is used as alms for the poor believers and travellers without means. Malik reported everything to me and kept the secret. I commend him to you. I send to you the best people, the most faithful believers and learned scholars. Treat them well, as can be expected. Peace and Allah's compassion be with you!”**
* Donations and the religious taxes serve to justify the giver in Islam.
** Peace in Islam is a peace that rests upon the sword. This is no spiritual peace, which “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Peace in Islam is brought about through subjection. Therefore the greeting of Muslims is “Peace be upon you.” The peace of Christ, however, is of an entirely different nature. It is offered and can be rejected. It is not something forced. The person is not robbed of his responsibility. Following His resurrection, Christ said to His disciples: “Peace be with you!” Therefore Arabic Christians say “Salam lakum” (peace is yours). With the expression: “Salam ‘aleikum”, one is recognized to be a Muslim.
10.03.13 -- The Sending of Mu‘adh to Yemen
Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr reported to me that it was told to him that when Muhammad dispatched Mu‘adh, he gave him all manner of admonitions for his mission. Finally he is to have said: “Make it easy, not difficult. Announce goodness to them, and do not repel them. You will come to men of the Scriptures, who will ask you: ‘What is the key to Paradise?’* Answer them: ‘The recognition that Allah is the one and only and that he has no partner.’” Mu‘adh then set off to Yemen and acted according to the commands of Muhammad.
* In Islam, the rejection of the Son of God and of the Holy Spirit is the “Key to Paradise”. In reality, with the Muslim's rejection of the Triune God, he locks himself out of paradise. Muslims thus harden their hearts against salvation in Christ.
One time in Yemen a woman came to him and said: “O companion of the messenger of Allah! Which rights may a husband claim from his wife?” Mu‘adh answered: “Woe to you! The wife can in no way meet all of her obligations towards her husband. Therefore apply yourself to fulfill as much as you possibly can.” She then responded: “If you are a companion of the messenger of Allah, then you must know what rights the husband may claim.”* Mu’adh responded: “Woe to you! When you go to your husband and observe that blood and puss are flowing from his nose, and you then suck it out so that it ceases, even then you have not done all for him that you should have.”
* The legal standing of the Muslim toward his wives is comprehensive in Islam. He is set over them and has the right to discipline them with corporal punishment as soon as he has the impression they are rebelling against him. On the contrary, his wives have the unqualified responsibility to serve him.
Paul, contrary to this, described the mystery of a happy marriage to be the love and humility of Christ. Just as a Christian submits to Jesus of his own free will, in the same way a wife submits to her husband. And just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, so should a husband love his wife and practice self-sacrifice for his family.
In Christian marriage power and violence are not to reign, but the spirit of love, of service and of mutual subordination. Where in marriage a husband exercises violence towards his wife, he acts contrary to the Spirit of Jesus (Ephesians 5:21-33).
10.03.14 -- The Conversion of the Governor of Mu’an
Farwa ibn Amr ibn al-Nafira sent a messenger to Muhammad to inform him about his conversion and gave him a white mule. Farwa was the Byzantine governor of Mu’an and over the Arabian region of Syria. When the Byzantines got word of his conversion they had him arrested and threw him into prison. When they then determined to crucify him beside the water of Afra in Palestine, Farwa composed the following:
Has Salma heard that her beloved / is by the water of Afra sitting upon a riding camel, / a camel whose mother no stallion ever mounted, / its branches shorn with sickles?
According to Zuhri he recited the following when they led him away to be beheaded and crucified:
Announce to the leaders of the believers, / that I surrender myself to the Lord, / my bones, body and entire being.*
* In the event this information is true, then the Arabian district administrator was unmasked as a spy of Muhammad by the Byzantines and executed. The hostility between Islam and Christianity grew. There was no more room for dialogue, for the Muslims were fixed upon conquest and victory.
10.03.15 -- The Conversion of the Christian Banu al-Harith Ibn Ka‘b (July to September 631 A.D.)
In the month of Rabi‘a al-Akhir (4th month) or Jumada al-Ula (5th month) Muhammad sent Khalid ibn Walid to the Banu al-Harith ibn Ka‘b in Najran* and commanded him to call them to Islam over a period of three days. Only if they paid no heed to him was he to attack them. When Khalid came to them, he sent out riders in all directions to call them to Islam. They cried out: “O you people, convert (to Islam) and you will be spared!”** The people heeded the call and converted. Khalid remained with them to teach them Islam, the book of Allah and the customs of the prophet, just as Muhammad had commanded in the event they converted and no longer waged war. Khalid then wrote to Muhammad: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the compassionate. To Muhammad, the prophet and messenger of Allah, from Khalid ibn Walid. Peace be upon you, messenger of Allah! Allah's compassion and blessing be upon you! I praise you, Allah, the one and only. O messenger of Allah, to whom Allah is gracious, you sent me to the Banu al-Harith and commanded me not to battle them for three days, but to call them to Islam, and to see them as believers if they adhere to the call, and to instruct them in the teaching of Islam, in the book of Allah and the customs of the prophet, yet to battle them should they not accept Islam. I have now, in accordance with the command of the messenger of Allah, called them to Islam for three days, sending out riders who cried out: ‘O you Banu al-Harith! Accept Islam, then you will be spared!’ They converted (to Islam) and waged no war. I now remain with them and instruct them in the laws of Islam and the customs of the prophet, until the time the messenger of Allah should write me. Peace be with you, messenger of Allah! Allah's compassion and blessing be upon you!”
* ”Najran”, the settlement area of the Christian Banu al-Harith ibn Ka‘b, lies approx. 640 km southeast of Mecca, in the northern part of Yemen.
** Coerced conversion to Islam, motivated by self-preservation, became increasingly the principle behind the spread of Islam.
Muhammad answered and wrote him: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, From Muhammad, the prophet and messenger of Allah, to Khalid ibn Walid. Peace be upon you! I praise Allah, the one and only, for you. Your letter has come to me by your messenger, in which you report to me that the Banu al-Harith have converted before you had to battle them, that they heeded the call to Islam and confess that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger and that Allah has guided them. Pro-nounce peace to them, admonish them and return from them with the deputation! Peace be with you and Allah's blessing and compassion!”
Khalid then returned to Muhammad. With him was the delegation of the Banu al-Harith: Qays ibn al-Husayn Dhu al-Ghusa, Yazid ibn Abd al-Madan, Yazid ibn al-Muhajjal, Abd Allah ibn Qurad al-Ziyadi, Shaddad ibn Abd Allah al-Qanani and Amr ibn Abd Allah al-Dibabi. When Muhammad saw them coming, he asked: “Who are these people that look like Indians?”* He received the answer: “They are the Banu al-Harith ibn Ka‘b.” When they stood before Muhammad, they greeted him and said: “We confess that you are a messenger of Allah and that there is no God except Allah.” Muhammad responded: “And I confess that there is no God except Allah and that I am a messenger of Allah.” Muhammad then asked: “Are you the people who are so often driven back and yet again and again press forward?” The people remained silent and no one answered. Even when he repeated this question twice no one answered. Only when he asked for the fourth time did Yazid ibn Abd al-Madan say: “Yes, messenger of Allah, we are those who when we are driven back continue to press forward.” He repeated this four times. Muhammad said: “If Khalid had not written to me that you had gone over to Islam without waging war, I would have had your heads thrown beneath your feet.” Yazid then said: “But, by Allah, we have neither you nor Khalid to thank for this.” Muhammad asked: “Whom then do you have to thank for this?” Yazid answered: “We praise Allah, who directed us through you, messenger of Allah.” Muhammad said: “You have spoken truthfully!” He then asked them: “By what means did you conquer the heathen, those who fought against you?” They answered: “We defeated them through our unity. We never became divided and not one of us ever committed an act of violence.” Muhammad said: “You have spoken truly!” He then appointed Qays ibn al-Husayn to be the superior over the Banu al-Harith, and then their delegation returned at the end of Shawwal (10th month) or the beginning of Dhu al-Qa’ada (11th month, namely in February of 632 A.D.) to their own people. It was not four full months later that Muhammad died. Allah be merciful to him and bless him!
* The southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula lies closer to India than it does to the Mediterranean. The Indian culture had intermixed there with the Semitic.
10.03.16 -- How Muhammad Sent Amr ibn Hazm to Them
Following the departure of the delegation, Muhammad sent Amr bin Hazm to the Banu al-Harith, in order to instruct them in the laws, customs and teaching of Islam, and to take receipt of the religious tax. He also gave them the following writing, which contained his conditions and commands :
“In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is a rule from Allah and His messenger.* O you who believe, fulfil the agreements! This is a mandate from Muhammad, the prophet and messenger of Allah, to Amr ibn Hazm, when he sent him to Yemen. He commanded him to fear Allah in everything, for Allah is with those who fear Him and do good. He commanded him to act uprightly, just as Allah commands. He should pronounce good news to the people and impress what is good upon them. He should teach the people the Qu’ran and explain its laws, as well as to keep them from touching the Qu’ran when they are unclean. He is to declare to them what they are to expect and what they are required to do. He is to treat them kindly when they are in the right and severe when they are in the wrong, for Allah despises the wrong and forbids it in that it says: ‘… Surely the curse of Allah shall rest upon the evildoers!’ (Sura Hud 11:18). He is to announce to the people Paradise and its wondrous signs and threaten with Hell and its consequences, and to occupy himself with the people until they are instructed in the faith and know the requirements and customs of the pilgrimage, the greater and the lesser pilgrimage. He is to forbid a person to wear the garment of someone who is smaller for prayer, if they are not able to wrap both ends around their shoulders. Also, no one is to put on the garment of another if it does not cover his private parts. Furthermore, forbid the men to let their hair hang upon their necks in braids, and also to cry out for help to their tribe or clan if they find themselves in an uproar. They are to call upon the one and only God, who has no partners. Whoever calls to his tribe or clan for help is to be afflicted with the sword until he calls out to Allah.
[-''* Whoever carefully reads this letter of Muhammad will find in it treaty responsibilities, commands, laws and ordinances, all of which the Muslim must follow. But in all these there is as good as nothing that states what Allah will do for them.
Islam remains, with its system of justification by works, on the level of a legalistic religion. It is no religion of grace and redemption, in which God has done everything, and from which the only expectation of Christ's followers is to receive His salvation by faith and to willingly obey out of gratitude.
If all evildoers, who stand under the curse of Allah, would be destroyed, who then could still be saved? No man is upright before God; we are all transgressors of the law. Therefore Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). With his vicarious death He made justification by grace available for all sinners, which is the only thing that has validity before God.''-]
He is also to command the people to wash themselves completely before the prayer, the face, the hands up to the elbows and the feet up to the ankle. They are also to wipe their heads, just as Allah ordered. They are to perform the prayer at specified times and entirely prostrate and humble themselves, that is, when morning breaks, when the midday sun begins to lean toward the west, in the afternoon when the sun is descending, at evening, when dusk approaches, and before stars can be seen, and in the first part of the night.* One is also to attend Friday prayer when it is called out, and one is to first wash himself before the prayer. Muhammad furthermore commands him to take one-fifth of the booty for Allah, as well as the taxes; one-tenth of the produce that is watered by springs or rain water, and one-half from the places where water must be brought to; from ten camels, two sheep; from twenty, four; from forty cattle one cow; from thirty a calf; from forty grazing sheep, one sheep. That is the ordinance of Allah concerning the believer's religious tax. Whoever does beyond this, does it to his own welfare.
* The five prayer times were already recognized in the early days of Islam as a lawful duty. These prayers allow the Muslim no personal discourse with God, but rather contain a simple liturgy, one that is so simple that it can also be recited and practiced by illiterates. Most of the words that are contained therein serve the worship and glorification of Allah. If Christians do not rethink and renew their minds and more consciously and intensively worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bringing all their questions and troubles openly before Him, they will not have the power to overcome Islam.
Jews and Christians that willfully and with pure motives convert to Islam and conduct themselves according to the faith are to be treated as believers with all benefits and obligations. Whoever remains in Judaism and Christianity is not to be made to apostatize. But take from every adult, whether free or salve, man or woman, a full dinar or its value in clothes.* Whoever pays this tax enjoys the protection of Allah and His messenger. The one who refuses it is an enemy of Allah, his messenger, and of all believers. Allah's mercy be upon Muhammad! Peace, compassion and blessing come upon him!”
* At that time a dinar corresponded to a large sum, one that had to be paid yearly by every Christian and by every Jew. In the course of time the price was continually increased, so that Christians and Jews became poor and Muslims grew rich.
10.03.17 -- The Arrival of the Delegates From Hamdan*
Among the delegates from Hamdan that came to Muhammad were Malik ibn Namat, Abu Thaur, Malik ibn Aifa’, Dimam ibn Malik al-Salmani and ‘Amira ibn Malik al-Khaarifiy. They came to Muhammad when he returned from Tabuk. They wore short, stripped clothes and turbans from Aden and had saddles made from the straw of maize on their camels from Mahra and Arhab (two tribes from Yemen). Malik ibn Namat recited:
The Hamdan are the best among all people, / and their princes seek the likes of them in the world. / His dwelling place is a mighty fortress / and from him heroes have gone forth. / There his princes sit upon thrones, / and there they find life's greatest enjoyments.
* The tribe of the Banu Hamdan lived in the eastern part of Yemen, on the border to the wilderness of Rub’ al-Khali, approx. 850 km south-east of Mecca.
Malik ibn Namat then rose up and said: “O messenger of Allah! The heads of the settled and wandering Hamdan come to you on young, fast camels, in order to apprehend the fold of Islam, that they may in no way offend concerning Allah. They come from the regions Kharif*, Yam and Shakir (two further Yemenic tribes) and are men of lordship and guidance. They have obeyed the call of the messenger of Allah and abandoned their idols and shrines. They do not break their word, as long as (the mountain) La’la stands and the deer runs on tender earth.”
* The area around today's San’aa, the capital of Yemen.
Muhammad gave them the following writing:* “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is a writing from Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, to the residents of the region of Kharif, and the tribes encamped near Mount Hadb and near the hill of sand, delivered through their delegates Dhu al-Mish’aar Malik ibn Namat. It also applies to the tribesmen who have converted to Islam with him. They are to remain the owners of their heights and lowlands, as long as they perform the prayer and give alms. They are to enjoy their food and lead their animals to the pastured lands. For that they have the promise of Allah and the protection of his messenger. The Emigrants and Helper Companions are witnesses.”
* These letters were letters of protection, contracts and agreements that were contracted between Muhammad and individual Arabic tribes. They were valid only as long as Muhammad lived. Later they were annulled or replaced by new ones.
10.03.18 -- The Liars Musaylima al-Hanafi From Yamama (Near Bahrain) and al-Aswad al-‘Ansi From San‘aa (Yemen)
During the time of Muhammad the two liars, Musaylima ibn Habib spoke to the Banu Hanifa in Yamama and al-Aswad ibn Ka‘b al-‘Ansi in San‘aa, two liars. It was trustworthily claimed that Muhammad once said from the pulpit concerning these two men: “O you people! I have seen the night of predestination and forgotten it again. I then saw on my arm two golden rings, but they displeased me. I blew on them and they flew away, and I understood them to be the two liars of Yemen and Yamama.” Muhammad further added: “The hour of resurrection will not come before thirty false antichrists* arise, claiming themselves to be prophets.”
* It is interesting that Muhammad accepted the person of the Antichrist from the Gospel and gave him a new interpretation. He warned his followers in advance regarding thirty false messiahs and anti-Islamic prophets. (Matthew 24:5; 1 John 2:18 and 22-23; 4:1-3).
10.03.19 -- The Sending of the Emir and Commissioners for the Collection of the Religious Tax
Muhammad sent out emirs and governors into all the areas of the Arabian Peninsula that had become subjected under Islam to collect the religious tax. He sent Muhajir ibn Abi Umaiya to San‘aa, yet al-‘Ansi, who was there, became indignant with him. In addition, he sent Ziyad ibn Labid, the Helper, to Hadramawt, in order to collect the tax. He set ‘Adi ibn Hatim over Tayyi’ and over the Banu Asad, Malik ibn Nuwaira over the Banu Handhala. In order to exact the tax from the Banu Sa‘d, he commissioned two men from among them. He set Zibriqan ibn Badr over the one part and Qays ibn Asim over the other. He sent Ala ibn al-Hadrami to Bahrain and Ali to Najran, to levy the religious tax and to bring him the poll-tax.*
* Collecting taxes in a region that was as large as that between Madrid and Warsaw was only possible through an organization that was largely built upon trust in commissioners.
10.03.20 -- The Writing of Musaylima*
Musaylima ibn Habib wrote to Muhammad: “From Musaylima, the messenger of Allah, to Muhammad, the messenger of Allah. Peace be upon you! Know then that I, as your companion, am entrusted with you in authority. One half of the world belongs to us and the other half to the Quraish; but they are evil-doers.” Two messengers brought Muhammad this writing. After Muhammad had read the letter, he asked the messengers: “And what do you think about this?” They answered: “We speak just as he does.” Muhammad then said: “If heralds were not untouchable, I would behead you!” He then wrote to Musaylima: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. From Muhammad, the messenger of Allah to Musaylima, the liar: Peace be upon the one who follows the guidance. The earth belongs to Allah! He gives it as an inheritance to His servants, to whomever He chooses.** To the god-fearing is due a good outcome.” This was at the end of the tenth year following the Hijra.
* Musaylima belonged to the Banu Hanifa, who lived near Bahrain, approx. 1100 km east of Medina.
** Here Muhammad must have meant himself. But it was not to him but to Jesus Christ that God gave the world (See Psalm 2 and 110; Matthew 28:18; John 17:2 and Hebrews 1:1-14). All power and authority has been given Him in heaven and on earth. What presumption on the part of Muhammad! More and more he understood his Islam to be an all-encompassing earthly power.
10.04 -- Test
- as an encouragement in future service for Christ.
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