Showing posts with label Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Show all posts

Thursday 9 June 2022

Why do Non Muslims tend to debase the very revered personality of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

The word debase means an attempt  to lower in status, esteem, quality, or character of someone who is generally revered or held in very higher esteem by a large community or a vast majority of people. Generally the revered personality of Prophets of God are spared for they are the chosen ones by God Himself and therefore are above all criticism. Yet it is astonishing to see that a large segment of Non Muslims leave no stone unturned to debase the very revered personality of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - the last of all the prophets through whom Allah spread Islam; the last of all the Divine Religions.

This is very strange that while Allah in Qur'an ordains all Muslims to respect and revere all of the prophets sent by Him, others whose prophets are respected by Muslims and their names suffixed by  Arabic " علي السلام " (peace be on him), yet Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is more often than not is not even a prophet of God and not given due respect. Derogatory caricatures of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are printed and allowed to be published under the garb of freedom of speech. But caricature of any other prophet is ever published for they are given due respect and honour.
There is a big difference between free speech and abuse. Freedom of speech doesn’t apply to abusing someone. Freedom comes with certain responsibilities and is always subjected to limitations. Unrestricted freedom is enjoyed only by animals and beasts. Sometimes even these creatures don’t cross limits. The popular proverb says “your freedom ends where my nose begins.” But nowadays unlimited freedom of expression has become a fashion and license to abuse and insult those you don’t like and this is creating a war-like situation in many societies.[1]

Thus when non Muslims debase the revered personality of  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ they are certainly hurt and their reaction is very severe. Unlike other religions whose followers have not very significant attachment to their prophets, Muslims feel betrayed when they see their prophet being abused due to many  a misconception instilled in the hearts and minds of non Muslims by their clerics.

The genesis of hate of Jews and Christians for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is his birth in the family of Prophet Ismail, not in the family of Prophet Ishaq. Prophets Moses and Jesus belonged to the family of Ishaq, and so Jews and Christians were expecting that the last prophet of God (foretold in the Torah and Bible) will be born in the family of their prophets. History books record that during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, Jews and Christians had expressed these feelings. [1]

They envy Muhammad because of the popularity and respect he receives worldwide even 1400 years after his death. They hate Muhammad because of the love and devotion he receives from his followers. They hate Muhammad because of the command he holds worldwide. They try to defame Muhammad to get some cheap popularity in their societies in the name of freedom of expression. 

Another reason of debasement of very personality of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the fear of spread of Islam, which is spreading worldwide at a very faster pace and many fear that by 2050 Islam may be the leading religion of the world, bypassing Christianity.

The recent derogatory remarks about Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by two members of ruling Indian party BJP has drawn a strong reaction by all Muslim countries and many Muslim countries are considering reduction of economic ties with India. In India, otherwise, the life and property of Muslims is under threat specially since taking over the country by BJP. Many Muslims have been tortured and killed and their houses and properties destroyed and a lot many masjid desecrated. There seems a systematic effort to condemn Muslims in India, specially in the Indian Occupied Kashmir where the entire Muslim population is under siege for many years. 

The very personality of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is beyond any doubt. Michael H. Hart (born April 27, 1932), an American astrophysicist and author, to the surprise of many placed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ at number one in his best selling book ever "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History." Hart believed that Muhammad was "supremely successful" in both the religious and secular realms, being responsible for both the foundations of Islam as well as the Early Muslim conquests uniting the Arabian Peninsula and eventually a wider caliphate after his death. Hart also believed that Muhammad played an unusually singular and personal role in the development of Islam. [2]

While the ordinary non Muslims, charged by their biased clerics, may downplay the image and status of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, many a men of letters have eulogized the personality of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in their writings and analyses: [3] 
Sir George Bernard Shaw in "THE GENUINE ISLAM, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936"
" He (Muhammad) was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.." 

"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesized about the faith in Muhammad (pbuh) that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe today."

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it would be Islam. I have always held the religion of Muhammad (pbuh) in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilation capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal in every age. I have studied him (Muhammad (pbuh)) - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the savior of humanity."

EDWARD GIBBON and SIMON OCKLEY speaking on the profession of ISLAM write: "'I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET, AN APOSTLE OF GOD' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet has never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion." (HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRES, London, 1870, p. 54) 

Dr. Gustav Well in "History of Islamic Peoples.": Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and stainless. His house, his dress, his food - they were characterized by a rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service from his slave which he could do for himself. He was acceptable to all and at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care for the welfare of the community. 

Annie Besant "The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, page 4": "It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher." 

There are countless accounts by non Muslims who describe  Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as one of the most revered person ever lived in the history of mankind and religions. I wonder why then what leads to people to belittle such an extremely eulogized personality and make him hate target. Mere fear perhaps!!

Here We would also like to restrain the Muslims and caution them not to use power of any kind to respond the debasement of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  for violence breeds violence. Muslims should instead try to organize lectures and use social and print media to introduce to the world the real and original image of all prophets including Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and tell the world how we revere and respect all prophets before Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and have never debased anyone till date. In fact due to the efforts of many learned Muslim scholars, many non Muslims are being attracted to Islam and every day more and more non Muslims are entering the fold of Islam and have since never regretted their ultimate decision of their lives. 

I would request my non Muslim readers to listen to accounts of so many newly reverted Muslim from the links given at our reference page: Embracing Islam: Revert Experiences

May Allah helps us understand Islam better by pondering over the verses of the Qur'an and acting upon the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and listening to eminent Muslim scholars and watching their video to know Islam better. Also refer to our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam and listen to Muslim scholars talking on some of the important issues which may answer many queries about Islam. Remember ignorance may lead you to draw wrong conclusions about Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Photo | references: | 1  | 2 | 3

To understand more about various misconception about Islam by the rest of the Non Muslim world, please refer to our reference page: Islam and the rest of the World. You may also refer to our reference page: Understanding Islam - Frequently asked Q&A to know more about Islam.

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Wednesday 12 June 2019

Siege of Madinah - The Battle of Trench

In Ayats 9-27 of Surah Al Ahzab, an appraisal has been made of the Battle of the Trench or the Siege of Madinah by the combined forces of various clans of Arabia and the raid against the Bani Quraizah. These were revealed at the end of the raid. Since the details of Battle of Trench and circumstance before and after it are quite lengthy, these were skipped at the time of posting the exegesis  / tafseer of Surah Al Ahzab and it was mentioned while explaining the exegesis of Ayat 9 that a separate post is being written to apprise the readers to know the reference to the context. Thus this post explains the reference to the context.

The Battle of the Trench (Arabic: غزوة الخندق‎, romanized: Ghazwat al-Khandaq), also known as the Battle of the Confederates (Arabic: غزوة الاحزاب‎, romanized: Ghazwat al-Ahzab), was a 30-day-long siege of Yathrib (now Medina) by Arab and Jewish tribes. The strength of the confederate armies is estimated around 10,000 men with six hundred horses and some camels, while the Medinan defenders numbered 3,000. 

This post should also be read in conjunction with the narration of Battle of Uhud, the bitter outcome of which resulted into the attack on Madinah by the combined forces of clans of pagans and Jews of the Arabia. 

Historical Background
The Islamic army's setback in the Battle of Uhud (A. H. 3) that resulted from the error of the archers appointed by the Holy Prophet so boosted up the morale of the Arab pagans and the Jews and the hypocrites that they started entertaining the hope that they would soon be able to exterminate Islam and the Muslims completely. Their high state of morale can be judged from the events that occurred in the first year after Uhud. Hardly two months had passed then the tribe of Bani Asad of Najd began to make preparations for a raid on Madinah, and the Holy Prophet had to dispatch an expedition under Abu Salamah to counteract them. In Safar A. H. 4 some people of the tribes of Adal and Qarah asked the Holy Prophet to send some men to instruct them in Islam. Accordingly six of the Companions were allowed to accompany them for the purpose. But when they reached Raji (a place between Rabigh and Jeddah), they summoned Hudhail against them, who killed four of the Companions, and took the other two (Hadrat Khubaib bin Adi and Hadrat Zaid bin ad-Dathinnah) to Makkah and sold them to the enemy. Then in the same month of Safar, on the request of a chief of Bani Amir, the Holy Prophet sent another deputation of 40 (according to others, 70) preachers, consisting of the Ansar young men, to Najd. But they were also betrayed. The people of Usayyah and Ri'l and Dhakwan, tribes of Bani Sulaim, surrounded them suddenly at Bir Maunah and slew all of them. Meanwhile the Jewish tribe of Bani an-Nadir of Madinah, getting encouragement, continued to commit breaches of the treaties; so much so that in Rabi'ul Awwal, A.H. 4, they plotted against the life of the Holy Prophet himself. Then in Jamadi al-Ula, A. H. 4, Bani Thalbah and Bani Muharib, the two tribes of Bani Ghatafan, started making preparations to attack Madinah and the Holy Prophet had to go to punish them. Thus, after their setback at Uhud, the Muslims went on encountering repercussions continuously for seven to eight months.

However, it was the Holy Prophet's determination and wisdom and his great Companions' spirit of sacrifice that changed these adverse conditions completely within a short span of time. The economic boycott by the Arabs had made life hard for the people of Madinah. All the polytheistic tribes around Madinah were becoming rebellious. Inside Madinah itself the Jews and the hypocrites were beat upon mischief. But the successive steps taken by a handful of the sincere Muslims, under the leadership of the Holy Prophet, not only restored the image of strength of Islam in Arabia but also increased it manifold.

Raids Preceding the Battle of the Trench
The first such step was taken immediately after the Battle of Uhud. The very next day when quite a large number of Muslims lay wounded and the martyrdom of the near and dear ones was being mourned in many houses, and the Holy Prophet himself was injured and sad at the martyrdom of his uncle, Hadrat Hamzah, he called out to the devoted servants of Islam to accompany him in pursuit of the pagans so as to deter them from returning and attacking Madinah again. The Holy Prophet's assessment was absolutely correct. He knew that, although the Quraish had retreated without taking any advantage of their almost complete victory, they would certainly regret their folly when they would halt and consider the whole matter coolly on the way, and would return to attack Madinah again. Therefore, he decided to go in pursuit of them, and 630 of of the Muslims at once volunteered to accompany him. When they reached Hamra al-Asad on the way to Makkah and camped there for three days, the Holy Prophet came to know through a sympathetic non- Muslim that Abu Sufyan had stayed at Ar-Rauha, 36 miles short of Madinah, with an army 2,978 strong: they were regretting their error and were, in fact, planning to return and attack Madinah once again. But when they heard that the Holy Prophet was coming in pursuit of them with an army, they lost heart and gave up their plan. Thus, not only were the Quraish deterred by this action but the other enemies living around Madinah also realized that the Muslims were being led by a person, who was highly well informed, wise and resolute, and that the Muslims were ever ready to lay down their lives at his command.(For further details, see Introduction to Surah Al-i-`Imran and E.N. 122 thereof).

Then as soon as the Bani Asad started making preparations for a raid on Madinah, the Holy Prophet's secret agents gave him timely information about their intention. Thus, before they could come in force to attack Madinah, he sent a contingent of 150 strong, under Hadrat Abu Salamah (the first husband of Hadrat Umm Salamah) to punish them. They took Bani Asad by surprise, who fled in panic leaving all their possessions behind, which fell into the Muslim hands.

After this came the turn of the Bani an-Nadir. The day they plotted against the life of the Holy Prophet, and the secret was disclosed, the Holy Prophet ordered them to leave Madinah within ten days and warned that anyone who remained behind after that would be put to death. Abdullah bin Ubayy, the chief of the hypocrites of Madinah, encouraged them to defy the order and refuse to leave Madinah. He even promised to help them with 2,000 men, and assured them that the Bani Ghatafan from Najd also would come to their aid. Accordingly, the Bani an- Nadir sent word that they would not leave no matter what the Holy Prophet might do.

As soon as the time limit of ten days come to an end, the Holy Prophet laid siege to their quarters, but none of their supporters had the courage to come to their rescue. At last, they surrendered on condition that every three of them would be allowed to load a camel with whatever they could carry and go away leaving the rest of their possessions behind. Thus, the whole suburbs of the city which were inhabited by the Bani an-Nadir, and their gardens and their fortresses and other properties fell to the Muslims, and the people of this treacherous tribe became scattered in Khyber, Wad il Qura and Syria.

Then the Holy Prophet turned his attention to the Bani Ghatafan, who were preparing for a war against Madinah. He took 400 of the Muslims and overtook them at Dhat ar-Riqa. They were so taken by surprise that they fled their houses without a struggle and took refuge in the mountains.

After this in Shaban A. H. 4, the Holy Prophet went forth to Badr to fight Abu Sufyan. At the end of the Battle of Uhud, he had challenged the Holy Prophet and the Muslims, saying, "We shall again meet you in combat at Badr next year." In reply the Holy Prophet announced through a Companion: "All right: we accept your challenge." But when the appointed time arrived, Abu Sufyan's courage failed him on account of the famine prevailing in Makka that year. As a face-saving device Abu Sufyan arranged to send an agent to Madina who spread the rumour that tremendous war preparations were afoot among the Quraysh, and that they were trying to muster a huge army which would be so powerful that no other power in the whole of Arabia would resist it. The purpose of this rumour was to overawe the Muslims and discourage them from advancing towards Makkah, so that when the confrontation did not take place it would be blamed on the timidity of the Muslims. The effect of this measure was such that when the Prophet (peace be on him) urged the Muslims to accompany him to Badr the initial response was not encouraging. Finally, the Prophet publicly announced that if no one would accompany him, he would go alone. In response, fifteen hundred devotees expressed their willingness and accompanied him to Badr. Abu Sufyan set out with two thousand men but after travelling for two days, could not have the courage to march beyond Marr-az-Zahran (modern, Wadi Fatimah). He thus told his men that it seemed unwise to fight and that they would return the following year for the proposed encounter. Thus he and his men retreated. 

The Holy Prophet waited for him at Badr for eight days and returned triumphantly. The Muslims during these days did profitable business with a trading party. This incident helped more than restore the image of strength of the Muslims that had been tarnished at Uhud. It also made the whole of Arabia realize that the Quraish alone could no longer resist Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings). 

This image and position of the Muslims was further strengthened by another event. Dumat al-Jandal (modern, Al-Jauf) was an important place at the border between Arabia and Syria. When the caravans of the Arabs, trading between Iraq in the south and Syria and Egypt in the north, passed that way, they were harassed and looted by the natives. In Rabi al- Awwal, A. H. 5, the Holy Prophet himself went to punish them with an army of 1,000 men. They could not muster up courage to come out and fight him and, therefore, fled the place. This caused the whole of northern Arabia to dread the power of Islam, and the tribes began to realize that the great power emerging from Al-Madinah was formidable and could no longer be resisted by one or a few of the tribes.

The Battle of the Trench
Such were the conditions when the Battle of the Trench took place. It was in fact a combined raid by many of the Arab tribes, who wanted to crush the power of Madinah. It had been instigated by the leaders of the Bani an-Nadir, who had settled in Khyber after their banishment from Madinah. They went round to the Quraish and Ghatafan and Hudhail and many other tribes and induced them to gather all their forces together and attack Madinah jointly. Thus, in Shawwal, A. H. 5, an unprecedentedly large army of the Arab tribes marched against the small city of Madinah. From the north came Jews of Bani an-Nadir and Bani Qainuqa who after their banishment from Madinah, had settled in Khyber and Wad il Qura. From the east advanced the tribes of Ghatafan, Bani Sulaim, Fazarah, Murrah, Ashja, Sad, Asad, etc. and from the south the Quraish, along with a large force of their allies. Together they numbered from ten to twelve thousand men.

Had it been a sudden attack, it would have been disastrous. But the Holy Prophet was not unaware of this in Madinah. The sympathizers of the Islam and the people influenced by it were present in every tribe, who kept Prophet of Allah  informed of the enemy's movements. So when the news of march of huge contingent reached him, especially by some men from Banu Khuza'a warning him of the Confederate armies that were to arrive in a week, he consulted his companions to draw out a strategy as how to contest the invading armies. 

To under the strategy adopted, one must understand the layout of the city of Madinah at that time. To the south of Madinah there were many gardens (even now there are) so that it could not be attacked from that side. To the east there are lava rocks which are impassable for a large army. The same is the case with the south western side. The attack, therefore, could be made only from the eastern and western sides of the Uhud.

The options of meeting the enemy in the open (which led to victory at Badr), and waiting for them inside the city (a lesson learnt from the defeat at Uhud) were discussed. However, a third option emerged owing to the outnumbered strength of Muslims to engage in a defensive battle by digging deep trenches to act as a barrier along the northern front. The tactic of a defensive trench was suggested by Salman the Persian. Every capable Muslim in Medina including Muhammad contributed to digging the massive trench in six days. The ditch was dug on the northern side only, as the rest of Medina was surrounded by rocky mountains and trees, impenetrable to large armies (especially cavalry). The digging of the ditch coincided with a near-famine in Medina. Women and children were moved to the inner city.The Medinans harvested all their crops early, so the Confederate armies would have to rely on their own food reserves.
The Battle of Trench - Map [Wikipedia]

Muhammad established his military headquarters at the hillock of Sala' and the army was arrayed there; this position would give the Muslims an advantage if the enemy crossed the trench. The final army that would defend the city from the invasion consisted of 3,000 men,and included all inhabitants of Medina over the age of 14, except the Banu Qurayza (the Qurayza did supply the Muslims with some instruments for digging the trench).

The disbelievers were not at all aware that they would have to counter the trench outside Madinah. This kind of a defensive stratagem was unknown to the Arabs. Thus, they had to lay a long siege in winter for which they had not come prepared.

After this, only one alternative remained with the disbelievers: to incite the Jewish tribe of Bani Quraizah, who inhabited the south eastern part of the city, to rebellion. As the Muslims had entered a treaty with them that in case of an attack on Madinah they would defend the city along with them, the Muslims had made no defensive arrangement there and had even sent their families to take shelter in the forts situated on that side. The invaders perceived this weakness of the Islamic defenses. They sent Huyayy bin Akhtab, the Jewish leader of the Bani an-Nadir, to the Bani Quraizah so as to induce them to break the treaty and join the war. In the beginning, they refused to oblige and said that they had a treaty with Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) who had faithfully abided by it and given them no cause for complaint. But when Ibn Akhtab said to them, "Look, I have summoned the united force of entire Arabia against him: this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of him. If you lose it, you will never have another opportunity," the anti Islamic Jewish mind prevailed over every moral consideration and the Bani Quraizah were persuaded to break the treaty.

The Holy Prophet received news of this. He at once told Sad bin Ubadah, Sad bin Muadh, Abdullah bin Rawahah and Khawwat bin Jubair, chiefs of the Ansar, to go and find out the truth. He advised them that if they found Bani Quraizah still loyal to the treaty, they should return and say so openly before the Muslim army; however, if they found that they were bent upon treachery they should only inform him so that the common Muslims would not be disheartened. On reaching there the Companions found the Bani Quraizah fully bent on mischief They told the Companions openly, "There is no agreement and no treaty between us and Muhammad." At this they returned to the Islamic army and submitted their report to the Holy Prophet, saying, "'Adal and Qarah." That is, "The Quraizah are bent upon doing what the Adal and Qarah had done with the preachers of Islam at Raji."

This news spread among the Muslims and caused great consternation among them, for they had been encircled and their city had been endangered on the side where there existed no defensive arrangement and where they had also sent their families to take shelter in the forts. This further increased the activities of the hypocrites and they started making psychological attacks to break the morale of the Muslims. One said, "How strange! We were being foretold that the lands of Caesar and Chosroes would fall to us, but here we are that not one of us can go out even to relieve himself." Another one asked for permission to leave his post at the Trench so that he could go and protect his own house which was in danger. Another one started making secret propaganda to the effect: "Settle your affair with the invaders yourselves and hand over Muhammad to them." This was a highly critical hour of trial, which exposed every person who harbored any hypocrisy in his heart. Only the true and sincere Muslims remained firm and steadfast in their resolve and devotion.

In the meantime Nuaim bin Masud, a member of the Ashja branch of the Ghatafan tribe, became a Muslim and came before the Holy Prophet and submitted: "No one as yet knows that I have embraced Islam: You can take from me whatever service you please." The Holy Prophet replied: "Go and sow the seeds of discord among the enemy."' So, first of all, Nu'aim went to the Quraizah with whom he was on friendly terms, and said to them, "The Quraish and the Ghatafan can become wearied of the siege and go back, and they will lose nothing, but you have to live here with the Muslims. Just consider what will be your position if the matter turns that way. Therefore, I would advise you not to join the enemy until the outsiders should send some of their prominent men as hostages to you." This had the desired effect upon the Bani Quraizah and they decided to demand hostages from the united front of the tribes. Then he went to the chiefs of the Quraish and the Ghatafan and said to them, "The Bani Quraizah seem to be slack and irresolute. May be they demand some men as hostage from you, and then hand them over to Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) to settle their affair with him. Therefore, be very firm and cautious in your dealing with them." This made the leaders of the united front suspicious of Bani Quraizah. and they sent them a message, saying, "We are tired of the long siege; let there be a decisive battle; let us, therefore, make a general assault simultaneously from both the sides." The Bani Quraizah sent back the word, saying, "We cannot afford to join the war unless you hand over some of your prominent men to us as hostages." The leaders of the united front became convinced that what Nuaim had said was true. They refused to send hostages. And the Bani Quraizah, on the other side, also felt that Nuaim had given them the correct counsel. Thus, the strategy worked: it divided the enemy against itself.

The siege of Medina began in January 627 and lasted for 27 days. Since sieges were uncommon in Arabian warfare, the arriving confederates were unprepared to deal with the trenches dug by the Muslims. The Confederates tried to attack with horsemen in hopes of forcing a passage, but the Medinans were rigidly entrenched, preventing such a crossing. It was winter and the supply of food and water and forage was becoming more and more scarce everyday for both the invaders and the defenders, moresoe for the invaders since the harvest had been gathered and the besiegers had some trouble finding food for their horses, which proved of no use to them in the attack. To make the matters worse,  suddenly one night a severe windstorm accompanied by thunder and lightning hit the camp, as mentioned in the Ayat 9 of Surah Al Ahzab:
O you who believe! Remember Allah's Favour to you, when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a wind and forces that you saw not. And Allah is Ever All-Seer of what you do.
It added to the cold and darkness. The wind overthrew the tents and put the enemy in disarray. They could not stand this severe blow of nature. They left the battleground even during the night and returned to their homes. When the Muslims awoke in the morning, there was not a single enemy soldier to be seen on the battlefield. The Holy Prophet, finding the battlefield completely empty, said: "The Quraish will never be able to attack you after this: now you will take the offensive." This was a correct assessment of the situation. Not only the Quraish but the united front of all the enemy tribes had made their final assault against Islam and had failed. They could no longer dare invade Madinah; now the Muslims were on the offensive.

The siege was a "battle of wits", in which the Muslims tactically overcame their opponents while suffering very few casualties. Efforts to defeat the Muslims failed, and Islam became influential in the region. As a consequence, the Muslim army besieged the area of the Banu Qurayza tribe, leading to their surrender and enslavement or execution. While for pagans of Makkah, the defeat caused them to lose their trade and much of their prestige.

Raid on Bani Quraizah
When the Holy Prophet returned from the Trench, Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) came to him in the early afternoon with the Divine Command the the Muslims should not lay aside the arms yet but should deal with the Bani Quraizah as well. On receipt of this Command, the Holy Prophet got announced: "Everyone who is steadfast in obedience should not offer his Asr Prayer till he reaches the locality of the Bani Quraizah." 

Immediately after this, he dispatched Hadrat Ali with a contingent of soldiers as vanguard towards the Quraizah. When they reached there, the Jews climbed on to their roof tops and started hurling abuses on the Holy Prophet and the Muslims, but their invectives could not save them from the consequences of their treachery. They had committed breach of the treaty right at the most critical moment of the war, joined hands with the invaders and endangered the entire population of Madinah. 

When they saw the contingent of Hadrat Ali, they thought that they had come only to overawe them. But when the whole Islamic army arrived under the command of the Holy Prophet himself and laid siege to their quarters, they were very frightened. They could not stand the severity of the siege for more than two or three weeks. At last, they surrendered themselves to the Holy Prophet on the condition that they would accept whatever decision Hadrat Sad bin Muadh, the chief of the Aus, would give. They had accepted Hadrat Sad as their judge because in the pre-Islamic days the Aus and the Quraizah had been confederates and they hoped that in view of the past ties he would help them quit Madinah as had happened in the case of the Bani Qainuqa and the Bani an-Nadir before. 

The people of the Aus themselves wished that Hadrat Sad treat their previous allies leniently. But Hadrat Sad had just experienced and seen how the two Jewish tribes who had been allowed to leave Madinah previously had instigated the other tribes living around Madinah and summoned the united front of ten to twelve thousand men against the Muslims. He was also aware how treacherously this last Jewish tribe had behaved right on the occasion when the city was under attack from outside and threatened the safety of the whole of its population. Therefore, he decreed that all the male members of the Quraizah should be put to death, their women and children taken prisoners, and their properties distributed among the Muslims. The sentence was carried out duly. 

When the Muslims entered their strongholds they found that the treacherous people had collected 1,500 swords, 300 coats of mail, 2,000 spears and 1,500 shields in order to join the war. If Allah's succor had not reached the Muslims, all this military equipment would have been used to attack Madinah from the rear right at the time when the polytheists were making preparations for a general assault on the Muslims after crossing the Trench. After this disclosure there remained no doubt that the decision of Hadrat Sad concerning those people was absolutely correct.

Watch a video below that graphically explain the events before, during and after the siege of Madinah / Battle of Trench:
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

The above details have been taken from the introduction of the Surah Al Ahzab [1] given in the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites. 

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Tuesday 5 February 2019

Why do Muslims Follow a Prophet Who was Illiterate?

Prophets are specially chosen people of Allah since Prophet Adam was created from nothing. Since these specially chosen people are favourites of our Creator, there can be no questions asked as to how and why these were chosen. We do not know weather the earlier prophets were men of letter or not, but we do know that the last Prophet of Allah was an unlettered man. And this became a big excuse for the followers of other faiths as to how an illiterate man could be a prophet?

For those who object to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) being illiterate, the simple answer is that although he was illiterate, the revelations upon him came through the Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) who would reveal a  particular revelation, make him understand its context and explanation. The Prophet (ﷺ ) of Allah would then memorize it, and read out to a few trusted companions who would the memorize it. And that is how the Qur'an slowly and gradually built up. And that is why it took 23 years for the whole Qur'an to be revealed so that it could understood and memorized completely.

In fact, it is a miracle that despite his illiteracy, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) received the Quran as a last testament. This is a sign that the Quran is a divine revelation. And despite all hindrances, the Divine commandants spread all over the world in the shape of the Holy Qur'an revealed on to an unlettered world.

Please read our earlier post "Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) - The Dawn of Prophethood" which gives details how Angel Gabriel first approached the Prophet of Allah i the Cave of Hira, outside the city of Makkah and brought to him the very first revelation of the Holy Qur'an. These initial verses are the opening verses of Surah Al Alaq.

In fact when a revelation used to descend on the Prophet of Allah, it used to in-grind on his heart, as has been mentioned in Surah al-Shu’ara’, 194:
26:192) And indeed, the Qur'an is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. 26:193) The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down, 26:194) Upon your heart, [O Muhammad] - that you may be of the warners, 26:195) In a clear Arabic language 
He thus always felt as though the Qur’an had been engraved on his heart. His reading and reciting of the Qur’an was coming from the heart and was targeting people’s hearts as well before anything else. Such was happening effortlessly and naturally.

Here it would be pertinent to mention an incident which has been oft misquoted to show that the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) was literate by the pagans of Makkah. Rejecting his Prophet-hood, they wished to prove that the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) was able to read and write and that he read the scriptures of the former nations and composed the Qur’an from them. They brought as evidence that during the pact of Al-Hudaibiyah the people of Quraysh refused to write the Prophet’s title “Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah” and asked to remove it. So, he commanded `Ali to replace it with “Muhammad son of `Abdullah” but `Ali, in reverence to the status Muhammad (ﷺ) refused to erase it. So, the Prophet (ﷺ) himself erased it with his own hand. They maintain that erasing means that he could identify it and he was able to write and read. However, the actual happening was different from what has been quoted. In fact when Ali refused to erase the word, the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) asked `Ali where was the word “the Messenger of Allah” written. When Ali indicated with his finger, then Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) himself erased it.

Some critics of Islam even claim that when Allah had ordained Muhammad (ﷺ), why he still remained illiterate and why he did not learn to read and write. In fact some critics go  to the extent of accusing the Prophet (ﷺ) for deifying the Divine commandment by not learning to read and write. What such critics fail to understand is that after the heavy burden of prophet hood was placed on his shoulder, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was more worried about the spread of Divine message to the belligerent audience who confronted him with all means available to them in order to stop him from spreading the world of Allah. He was many a times physically assaulted, stoned and strangled. Under such trying conditions, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) still confronted his opponents and finally won over a majority of them through his resilience and hard efforts. And if an unlettered man could overawe many learned and wise men of pagans of Makkah and other areas of Arabia of the time, it goes to his credit rather than a discredit.

Watch the answer to the question beautifully explained by none other than Ahmed Deedat (Ahmed Hoosen Deedat (1918-2005) was a South African writer and public speaker. He was best known as a Muslim missionary, who held numerous inter-religious public debates with evangelical Christians, as well as video lectures on Islam, Christianity, and the Bible):
May Allah grant us wisdom to understand Qur'an and Sunnah to be able to dispel any misconceptions that non Muslims have against Islam. Aameen

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

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