Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How it all begin (42)

Enter into Mecca

' Then he recited this verse to them:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
"O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes so you may know each another. Surely the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is All-knowing, All-aware". (Koran xlix.13)

After this he said to them: 'O Quraysh, what do you think I am going to do to you?' The people thought carefully before answering because they knew that according to the laws of war they could all be taken prisoner. They also knew, however, that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was generous, so they replied, 'You will treat us as a kind nephew and a generous brother would.'

To this he replied with the words used by the Prophet Joseph when his brothers came to Egypt: 'God forgives you and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.' Later the Prophet (pbuh) went to the hill of Safa and there the crowd followed him and surged forward,taking his hand one by one, to declare themselves Muslim. He then turned to the Ka'bah and, pointing his staff at the three hundred and sixty-five idols which were placed there, recited from the Koran:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

". Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away. Lo! Falsehood is ever bound to vanish". (Koran xvii.81)

At this, each idol fell over onto its face. Together with his followers the Prophet (pbuh) then proceeded to purify the Ka'bah, after which he ordered Bilal to climb on top of it and perform the call to prayer. Since then the call to prayer has been heard five times a day in Mecca.

The Ka'bah, the House of Allah, has served the purpose for which it was built by Abraham thousands of years ago, as a sanctuary for the worship of Allah, our Creator, and Mecca continues to be the spiritual centre of Islam.

On the day Mecca was conquered,the Prophet (pbuh) addressed the people saying: 'Allah made Mecca holy the day He created heaven and earth and it is the Holy of Holies until the Resurrection Day. It is not lawful for anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day to shed blood therein, nor to cut down trees therein. It was not lawful for anyone before me and it will not be lawful for anyone after me.

Indeed it is not lawful for me except at this time, only Allah's anger against his people makes it permissible. Mecca has now regained its former holiness. Let those here now go forth and tell others.'

The Lesson Of Pride At The Valley Of Hunayn

Islam flourished in Mecca and the Muslims became stronger and stronger. But south of Mecca lived a tribe of warriors called Hawazin, who had not become Muslim. They made an agreement with another tribe from Ta'if, called Thaqif to fight the Muslims and destroy them before they could spread their religion throughout Arabia.

The Thaqif, who were known for their courage, soon won the support of other tribes living around the Ta'if area, especially when such tribes were told: 'Look what has happened! If Quraysh, the largest tribe of all, have fallen to Muhammad, it is only a matter of time before the same will happen to the rest of us. We should strike now before the Muslims are established in Mecca and have the support of Quraysh.' The Chief of one of these tribes, a fearless warrior called Malik Ibn 'Awf, was chosen as the leader. He put forward a plan: 'You should all go out to battle accompanied by your families, your tents, your sheep and goats, for with all your belongings at stake, none of you will dare give up the fight.'

Everyone agreed with Malik except an old, blind man called Dorayd. He had been a great warrior in his day and because of his experience and valuable advice still accompanied the men into battle. 'I don't like Malik's plan', he insisted. 'If a man is so cowardly as to leave a battle,then he will leave his family as well. The women and children will be a great worry to us and if we are defeated all our wealth will fall into enemy hands.' But Malik ignored this advice and stuck to his original plan. When the Prophet (pbuh) heard what the enemy tribes were planning, he found himself forced to fight and ordered his army towards Ta'if. He had twelve thousand men and the enemy only four thousand. The Muslims were proud of their strength and as they looked around at their number, said to themselves, 'We will never be defeated!' On hearing this the Prophet (pbuh) knew that the Muslims had become too proud and because of this would not succeed.

He warned them, 'Look to Allah and not to your own strength.'

The time for battle came. The Muslim army advanced along the Hunayn path, a narrow way in the rugged mountains, towards the valley where the Hawazin and the other tribes were waiting. It was very early morning and not yet light. The Muslims were unaware that,under cover of darkness, the Hawazin warriors had already climbed up the mountain and were waiting for them. As soon as all the Muslims were trapped in the narrow passage-way below, the Hawazin ambushed them. First they threw rocks down upon them and then attacked with arrows and swords.

In surprise and fear, the Muslims started to retreat. The Prophet (pbuh) was bitterly disappointed to see them fleeing in terror but he stayed firmly in his place with Abu Bakr, 'Ali, his uncle al-'Abbas, and a few companions at his side. Al-'Abbas then called to the Muslims to return and not to abandon the Prophet (pbuh). Ashamed at what they had done, and seeing the Prophet (pbuh) facing the enemy almost alone, the Muslims quickly returned to fight.

Then Allah sent His angels-the hosts ye cannot see-to their aid. A fierce battle followed. The Muslim warriors advanced, attacking furiously, driving the Hawazin back from the path into the valley, where the fighting went on long and hard. At the end of the day the Muslims won but not before having learned a hard lesson about the danger of pride.



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