Friday 6 July 2018

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ): Establishment of Islamic State at Medina and Rise of Islam

With the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in Yathrib (now Medina), the life of people of city changed altogether. The Muslims who had migrated from Makkah and been wholeheartedly welcomed by the locals and accommodated in their houses till the made their own in due course of time. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)too had temporarily lived in the house of Abu Ansari till he moved to his own small hujra (a living room adjacent to a masjid). The locals who gave sheltered to the immigrants (henceforth called the Muhajreen) from Makkah were started to be called as Ansars (brothers, supporters or helpers).

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) after his arrival in Yathrib, straightaway concentrated his efforts to bring about peace and reconciliation on among the troubled   tribes including the local Jews and people of the book, and set into motion a number of efforts that later laid the foundation of what is still called the Welfare State of Medina. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) specially emphasized on relations with the People of the Book, that is Jews and Christians. 

Side by side, the open invitation of Islam was given to the people of Media, who started to accept Islam slowly first and then the pace picked up at a faster rate when the rich and influential also accepted Islam. And by and by a Islam had spread amongst a sizable number of the local community. With the Arrival of the Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) himself, the city of Yathrib now started to be called as Madina tun-Nabi (city of the Prophet), which later changed to Al-Madina al Munawara (illuminated city) - a name that Medina is still continued to b e called so. 

While immigrants of Makkah started to make their own small houses, they along with Ansars started to make the first masjid in city, called Masjid ul Nabavi, the Masjid of the Prophet. Besides others, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) also took part in the construction of the masjid with mud and palm tree husks. Soon after its completion, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) shifted to small adjacent mud house. After its completion, five times prayers started to be held regularly, attended by all Muslims. The five times a day gatherings also allowed the prophet to educate the newly converted Muslims about basics of Islam and how to resolve issues in the light of teachings of the Qur'an as commanded by Allah.

The consolidation and emergence of a social and political system along with rise in number of people embracing Islam threatened the rich traders and merchants of Makkah as one of the important trade route from Syria passed close to Medina. and by and by these trade caravans started to be raided by the Muslims. In one instance, a trade caravan spotted the presence of Muslims and were under threat and conveyed the news to Makkah. Thus a strong army of 1,000 was dispatched from Makkah which reached near the place of Badar. In the meantime the caravan changed its course and safely reached Makkah but the chieftains at Makkah decided to embattle the Muslims and break their strength. 

Thus the first battle between the Muslims and infidels of Makkah was fought at Badar in which 313 Muslims included the prophet participated. The Muslims brought about a humiliating defeat on the infidels and inflicted heavy casualties. The victory raised the morale of Muslims while the defeated infidels returned to Makkah welcomed by lamenting women. 

Thereafter, many battles were fought between the armies of Makkah and Medina generally tilting in favour of the Muslims with some setbacks. Read detailed account of some of the important and decisive battles under the heading MORE on the blue bar and drop down sub menu of Decisive Battles of Islam.

As mentioned earlier, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) wanted to have cordial relations with the people of the Book that is Jews and Christians. But Jews did not whole heartedly accepted a non Jew to be at the helms of the affairs in Medina. The Jews ridiculed him and did not view Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) as a true messenger of Allah. The Jews also started to contrive with the infidels of Makkah to ensure any future role of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in the affairs of running of the Medina government.

After the Battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) expelled  Banu Qaynuqa, one of the three prominent tribes of the Jews from Medina for they were in the forefronts to reject the Prophet hood of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

In the meanwhile, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) started to enter into alliances with other tribes friendly to Islam to strengthen ands secure his boundaries. As Muslims strength and influence expanded, the tribes in Makkah started to raise army to stop the expanding influence of Islam and the send battle with the Muslims was fought at the semi mountainous terrain of Uhud. Although Muslims initially gained an upper edge over the army of Makkah, Muslims broke ranks after the fleeing Makkah army and also left a vantage post held by Muslims archers specially positioned by the Prophet. This was spotted by a segment of army of Makkah which came at the back of Muslims and inflicted heavy casualties. Muslims got hold of themselves and retreated to a higher ground to suffer any other further losses. In the process one of the teeth of the Prophet was also broken due to an arrow. Seeing the Muslims back into dominating position, the army of Makkah also retreated and went back to Makkah without completely destroying the Muslim army.

After the Battle of Uhud, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) started taking stock of its followers and army and also started monitoring the Jews of Medina who had been taking the sides of the tribes of Makkah. He therefore expelled the second Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir. But despite that the tribes at Makkah with connivance of tribes around Medina once again started to threaten Muslims.

Thus Abu Sufyan, the leading trade merchant and dominating personality of Makkah contrived with the expelled Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir and raised an army of 10,000. At that time Muslim army only numbered 3,000 and was in no position to fight a battle in the open. Therefore when the army of Makkah marched towards Medina, Muslims changed their tactics and dug a trench around Medina. The siege of Medina that started on 31 March 627, continued for weeks and the army of Makkah got weary of such kind of battle tactics and compelled their leaders to break the siege and go back. During the battle that ensued the last Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza changed sides and retreated from coalition. When the siege of Median was finally lifted, Muslims besieged the Jewish tribe who surrendered. 

Thereafter, the Muslims influence started to expand northwards which almost made it possible for the trade caravans of Makkah to freely use the Medina route and drastically reduced their trade with Syria.

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