Friday Sermon – Muhammad (sa): The great exemplar (9 June 2023)


Friday Sermon

9 June 2023

Muhammadsa: The great exemplar

Mubarak Mosque

After reciting the tashahudta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:

The initial events that took place following the migration, the factors that led to the Battle of Badr and the actions taken by the Holy Prophetsa to counter the schemes and ploys of the disbelievers of Mecca had briefly been mentioned. There were some expeditions and ghazwat [expeditions accompanied by the Holy Prophetsa] that took place prior to the Battle of Badr as well. I will mention these briefly and then also mention some details in regard to the preparations made by the disbelievers of Mecca for battle, insha-Allah [God willing].

The expedition of Hazrat Hamzahra was the first expedition that took place during Ramadan in the first year after the migration to Medina. This expedition was sent by the Holy Prophetsa, and it is also known as the expedition of Saif al-Bahr. The flag for this expedition was white and it was carried by Abu Marsad Ghanawira. The Holy Prophetsa sent this expedition during Ramadan 1 AH and he appointed his paternal uncle, Hazrat Hamzahra bin Abd al-Muttalib, as its leader. 30 Muhajirun [migrants] accompanied them. These individuals reached the coast of the Red Sea by passing through Ais and encountered a caravan led by Abu Jahl that was returning from Syria. Ais is the name of a place, located approximately 30 kilometres to the north of Rabigh, which is in the surroundings of Thaniyyah al-Marah and at a distance of approximately 240 kilometres from Medina. There was a well by the name of Zunabah al-Ais, which was densely surrounded by acacia trees and other greenery. For this reason, the area was called Ais. This was home to Banu Sulaim. The trading caravans of the Quraish en route to Syria passed through this area. In any case, both parties formed their rows for battle and faced each other. It was very possible that a battle would break out, but a chief of their tribe settled the matter and both parties returned. (Atlas Sirat Nabawi, pp. 193-194, Dar al-Islam Riyad, 1424 AH)

Then, there is the Expedition of ‘Ubaidah bin Harithra. During Shawwal 1 AH, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat ‘Ubaidah bin Harithra towards Thaniyyah al-Marah, near Rabigh, along with 60 Muhajirun. There, they encountered Abu Sufyan and his cavalry of 200 men. Both parties fired some arrows, but a formal battle did not ensue. Hazrat Sa‘dra bin Abi Waqas was the first individual to fire an arrow that day. Prior to this, an exchange of arrows between Muslims and disbelievers had never occurred. As such, this was the first arrow shot in Islamic history, which Hazrat Sa‘dra was rightfully proud of. Following this, both parties returned to their dwellings. Thaniyyah al-Marah is located to the northeast of the city of Rabigh, at a distance of approximately 55 kilometres and at a distance of 200 kilometres from Medina.

Following this is the Expedition of Hazrat Sa‘dra bin Abi Waqqas. This took place in 1 AH and according to some opinions, it took place in 2 AH. The Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Sa‘dra bin Abi Waqqas as the leader of 20 individuals and sent them with the instruction not to cross the valley of Kharrar. They set off on foot. They remained hidden during the day and travelled at night until they reached Kharrar. Their objective was to stop the trade caravan of the Quraish. However, when this group reached Kharrar, they came to know that the caravan had already passed through the previous day. As such, they returned without any confrontation. In relation to Kharrar, it is written that the name means water that flows whilst producing a loud sound. Kharrar is the name of a place near Juhfa, in the region of Hijaz. (Atlas Sirat Nabawi, p. 199)

Then there is the Ghazwah Waddan, or Ghazwa Abwa which took place in Safar 2 AH. In Safar 2 AH, the Holy Prophetsa set out towards Abwa, or Waddan with 60 to 70 Muhajirun. According to the historian Ibn Sa‘d, this was the first expedition in which the Holy Prophetsa took part himself. The Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Sa‘d bin Ubadahra as the leader of Medina in his absence. The Holy Prophetsa reached Abwa with the intention of stopping a trade caravan of the Quraish; however, it had already left by the time he got there. Whilst there, the Holy Prophetsa established a peace treaty with Makhshi bin Amr Zamri, chief of the Banu Zamrah. The treaty set out that the Holy Prophetsa would not attack the Banu Zamrah, nor would the Banu Zamrah take any action in opposition to him or join in any opposition to him. Furthermore, they would not assist any enemy against him. During this journey, the Holy Prophetsa remained outside of Medina for 15 days. Regarding Waddan, it is recorded that this is a place between Mecca and Medina and is at a distance of 13 kilometres from Abwa, where the blessed mother of the Holy Prophetsa is buried. It is also about 100 kilometres from Juhfa. (Atlas Sirat Nabawi p. 202)

I mention the names of these places along with some details because some Ahmadis who travel to that region for Umrah wish to visit these places upon learning of their history. In this way, they become acquainted with these areas.

Ghazwah Buwat took place in Rabi‘ al-Awwal 2 AH and the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Sa‘d bin Mu‘azra as the leader of Medina and, along with two companions, set out to stop a caravan belonging to the Quraish. This caravan consisted of Umayyah bin Khalaf along with a hundred other people from the Quraish and 2,500 camels. The Holy Prophetsa reached Buwat, near Razwa; however, they did not come face to face with anyone there, and following this, the Holy Prophetsa returned to Medina. The colour of the flag for this expedition was white and the flag bearer was Hazrat Sa‘dra bin Abi Waqqas. Regarding Buwat, it is recorded that it comprised two mountains belonging to the Juhainah tribe located along the route between Mecca and Syria and beside them is the famous mountain Razwa. Buwat is located about 100 kilometres from Medina. (Atlas Sirat Nabawi p. 204)

Ghazwah Ushairah: The Holy Prophetsa received intelligence that a trade caravan belonging to the Quraish had departed from Mecca and the Meccans had invested all of their wealth into this caravan. They intended to use the profits in order to battle against the Muslims. Hence, in Jumadi al-Ula, or according to another narration in Jumadi al-Thani, 2 AH, the Holy Prophetsa departed Medina with 150 to 200 people. When the Holy Prophetsa reached Ushairah, he learned that the trading caravan had already departed from there a few days before. Ushairah was the name of an area between Mecca and Medina near the area of Yanbu, which belonged to the Banu Mudlij. The Holy Prophetsa remained there for a few days, formed peace treaties with the allies of Banu Mudlij and Banu Zamrah and then returned to Medina. This caravan belonging to the Quraish was the same one that the Holy Prophetsa pursued a second time upon its return from Syria, which ultimately resulted in the Battle of Badr. (Subul al-Huda, Vol. 4, p. 17, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilimiyyah, Beirut, 1993); (Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 201, Zawar Academy, Karachi, 2003)

Ghazwah Badr al-Ula: Within ten days of the Holy Prophetsa returning to Medina after the Ghazwah Ushairah, Kurz bin Jabir attacked a grazing ground in Medina. The Holy Prophetsa set out after him and appointed Hazrat Zaid bin Harithahra as leader [of Medina] in his stead. The Holy Prophetsa reached a valley near Badr called Safawan. Safawan is a valley located in the area surrounding Badr. However, Kurz bin Jabir was quick to get ahead, and the Holy Prophetsa could not reach him. (Sirat Ibn Hisham, p. 412, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah Beirut 2001); (Atlas Sirat Nabawi, p. 206, Dar al-Islam Riyad, 1424 AH)

This expedition is also called Badr al-Ula. The Holy Prophetsa then returned to Medina. This is called Badr al-Ula because the Muslim army reached Safawan, which is near Badr. (Al-Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p.177, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

This is what has been stated in Sirat al-Halabiyyah. Regarding Kurz bin Jabir, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has written the following details: 

“This raid of Kurz bin Jabir was not a minor Bedouin act of plunder, rather, it is definite that he had set out against the Muslims on behalf of the Quraish, with a particular motive. As a matter of fact, it is very likely that he had specifically come with the intention of inflicting injury upon the very person of the Holy Prophetsa, but upon finding the Muslims vigilant, he settled upon the robbery of their camels and ran off. This also demonstrates that the Quraish of Mecca had planned to raid Medina so as to utterly destroy the Muslims. It should also be remembered that the Muslims had already been given permission for Jihad by the sword prior to this, and in a sense of self-defence, they had begun to employ an initial plan of action in this regard as well. However, until now, they had not practically suffered any loss in terms of wealth or lives. However, the raid of Kurz bin Jabir was one that practically inflicted harm upon the Muslims. In other words, even after the acceptance of the challenge of the Quraish, it was the disbelievers who practically initiated the battle.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, p. 102)

Then there was the Expedition of Abdullahra bin Jahash. This expedition took place towards a valley near Mecca called Nakhlah. Regarding this expedition, it is recorded that in the month of Rajab, the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Abdullah bin Jahashra along with eight Muhajirun; no one from the Ansar [natives of Medina] was among them. The Holy Prophetsa gave them a letter and instructed that it should only be opened after two days of travelling and that the instructions within it should be followed; however, no one would be compelled to continue the journey. After completing two days of travel, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jahash opened the letter containing their orders and read it. The letter stated, “When you open and read my letter, you should continue your journey and go to Nakhlah, which is between Ta’if and Mecca and observe the Quraish’s movements and then inform us about them.” When Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jahash read this letter, he said, “I must hear and obey.” Then he told those accompanying him, “The Holy Prophetsa has instructed me to continue towards Nakhlah and observe the movements of the Quraish so that I may be able to inform the Holy Prophetsa about what they are doing. He forbade me from compelling any of you to join me. Those of you who desire martyrdom can accompany me and whoever wishes to return may go.” However, none of them left and they all set out towards Hijaz. Along the way, Hazrat Sa‘dra bin Abi Waqqas and Hazrat ‘Utbahra bin Ghazwan lost their camel and both were left behind as they searched for it while Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jahsh and the rest of those accompanying him continued until they reached Nakhlah. While there, they happened to pass by a caravan carrying raisins, leather, and other trading merchandise of the Quraish. This caravan also included Amr bin Hazrami. When the Quraish of Mecca saw the Muslims, they became fearful. Hazrat Ukashah bin Mihsanra, who had a shaved head, came before them. Upon seeing him, the disbelievers became content, saying there was nothing to fear because these people were simply going for Umrah. Then, the Muslims consulted with one another about the fact that it was the last day of the month of Rajab.

They considered that if they fought and killed them, they would be doing so during a sacred month. Alternatively, if they were to wait, the enemy would enter the sacred boundary by night and become unreachable. Ultimately, everyone unanimously agreed that the caravan should be attacked. The details of this incident have already been mentioned before in reference to the Companions. Hazrat Waqidra bin Abdullah Tamimi shot an arrow at ‘Amr bin Hazrami, which killed him. The Muslims also captured two individuals, while a third was successful in escaping. Thereafter, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jahash brought the camels and two prisoners before the Holy Prophetsa in Medina. When Hazrat Abdullahra bin Jahash entered Medina, the Holy Prophetsa addressed him and said, “I did not command you to take up arms during the sacred month.” The Holy Prophetsa gave the camels and captives a place to stay and refused to accept any spoils. (Sirat Ibn Hisham, pp. 412-414, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Some claim that the objective of this expedition was to loot and plunder. This was not the objective. If it were so, the Holy Prophetsa would commend their actions. Instead, the Holy Prophetsa deemed their actions wrong.

“On the other hand, the Quraish also raised a huge hue and cry, that the Muslims had violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month. Since the person who had been killed, ‘Amr bin Al-Hadrami, was a chieftain, and was also a confederate of ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah, a chieftain of Mecca, this occurrence greatly enraged the Quraish’s fire of fury. They began to prepare for an attack upon Medina with even greater zeal and uproar. Hence, the Battle of Badr […] was primarily a result of this very preparation and vehement enmity. Therefore, upon this occurrence, there was murmuring both among the Muslims and disbelievers, and finally, the following Quranic verse was revealed, which provided a means of relief for the Muslims (“I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed”, Allah the Almighty states):

يَسۡـَٔلُوۡنَکَ عَنِ الشَّہۡرِ الۡحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيۡہِ  قُلۡ قِتَالٌ فِيۡہِ کَبِيۡرٌ  وَصَدٌّ عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَکُفۡرٌۢ بِہٖ وَالۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَرَامِ  وَاِخۡرَاجُ اَہۡلِہٖ

 مِنۡہُ اَکۡبَرُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ  وَالۡفِتۡنَةُ اَکۡبَرُ مِنَ الۡقَتۡلِ وَلَا يَزَالُوۡنَ يُقَاتِلُوۡنَکُمۡ حَتّٰي يَرُدُّوۡکُمۡ عَنۡ دِيۡنِکُمۡ اِنِ اسۡتَطَاعُوۡ

‘People ask thee about fighting in the Sacred Month. Tell them: “Undoubtedly, fighting in the Sacred Month is a great transgression, but to forcefully hinder men from the religion of God in the Sacred Month; rather, to disbelieve in relation to the Sacred Month and the Sacred Mosque, i.e., to violate their sanctity, and then to turn out by coercion, the inhabitants of the Haram, as you are guilty of doing, O ye idolaters, is a greater sin with Allah than fighting in the Sacred Month; and verily, to persecute in the land during the Sacred Month is worse than such fighting, which is for the purpose of preventing persecution. O Ye Muslims! The state of the disbelievers is such that they have become so blinded in their enmity towards you that they will not cease fighting you at any time and at any place, until they turn you back from your faith, if they find the power to do so.’” [Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.218]

In any case, Allah the Almighty knew that the disbelievers would persist in their attempts to turn the Muslims away from their faith. For this reason, Allah the Almighty did not express any displeasure over the incident that had occurred.

“Therefore, history establishes that the chieftains of the Quraish would spread their bloody propaganda even in the Sacred Months. As a matter of fact, they became even more active in their evil designs during these months, taking benefit of the gatherings and journeys which would take place in the Sacred Months. Furthermore, with great shamelessness, in order to gratify themselves with false satisfaction, they would re-arrange the order of the Sacred Months, which was known as nas’i […]. Hence, it was only natural for the Muslims to find comfort in this response, but the Quraish were also brought to a level. (They came to know that a revelation had been sent down.) During this time, two of their men arrived in Medina in order to have their two captives released. However, until now, Sa‘dra bin Abi Waqqas and ‘Utbahra had not returned. On their account, the Holy Prophetsa greatly feared that if the Quraish happened to seize them, they would not release them alive. Hence, for this reason, the Holy Prophetsa refused to release the captives until they returned and said, ‘When my men safely reach Medina, I will release yours.’ Therefore, when they both reached Medina, the Holy Prophetsa released both captives for a ransom.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, pp. 106-108)

Ghazwah Badr al-Kubra:  The Holy Quran has referred to this expedition as Yaum al-Furqan [The Day of Distinction]. The First Caliphra states “The Furqan [distinction] of the Holy Prophetsa occurred on the day of Badr, when the staunch and powerful leaders of the enemy perished, and the Muslims attained victory.” (Haqaiqul Furqan Vol. 3, p. 235)

At another instance, while defining the word Furqan, The First Caliphra  states, “I have learned from the Quran that Furqan is the name of such a victory that results in breaking the spine and strength of the enemy.” (Haqaiqul Furqan Vol. 1, p. 306)

This was demonstrated on the occasion of the Battle of Badr. This battle is also referred to as Badr al-Thani, Badr al-Kubra, Badr al-‘Uzma and Badr al-Qital. (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 197, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah Beirut 2002) (Tarikh Ibn Khaldun Vol. 2, p. 426, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 2000)

The Holy Prophetsa learned that Abu Sufyan was returning from Syria with the Quraish’s trading caravan, comprising 1,000 camels. This caravan possessed a large amount of wealth from the Quraish. If a person possessed even a small amount of gold, then they had contributed to funding this caravan; It is said that a vast amount of wealth was invested in it. This caravan comprised 30 to 40 men, or, according to one narration, 70 men. This was the same caravan that the Holy Prophetsa set out in pursuit of and reached ‘Ushairah, however, the caravan was already on its way to Syria. For this expedition, the Holy Prophetsa set out in Jumadi al-Ula or Jumadi al-Akhir in 2 AH. Upon learning about this caravan’s return, the Holy Prophetsa invited the Muslims to go forth with him and said, “This is a trading caravan of the Quraish carrying much of their wealth. Go forth, for it may be that Allah grants you spoils of war.” (Subul al-Huda Vol. 4, p. 30, Translated by Maulana Ubaidur Rahman, Maktabah Rahmaniyyah, Lahore; Al-Rahiq al-Makhtum (Urdu), p. 272, Al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, Lahore, 2000)

Some people who are accustomed to seeking out opportunities to raise allegations, or perhaps those who lack knowledge, claim that Muslims began to loot and plunder after going to Medina. As an example, they cite the incident of the pursuit of this caravan. Such claims arise from utter ignorance, lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with the conditions of war at that time. The act of intercepting the Quraish’s trading caravan was not blameworthy at all. The details of this incident have been mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra in his book The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets. He writes:

“To set out in order to intercept the caravan is not at all objectionable. The reason being that, firstly, this particular caravan that the Muslims had set out to pursue was not an ordinary caravan. Every man and woman from among the Quraish held shares in it. This demonstrates that, with regard to this caravan, the intention of the chieftains of the Quraish was that this profit would be used in order to wage war against the Muslims; history proves that this very profit was used to prepare for the Battle of Uhud. As such, the interception of this caravan was a necessary part of the tactics of war. Secondly, it was also necessary in general to intercept these caravans of the Quraish because they were armed and would pass by very close to Medina. The Muslims remained in constant danger of them and it was necessary to put an end to this. Thirdly, wherever these caravans would travel, they would heavily incite the tribes of Arabia against the Muslims, due to which the state of the Muslims was becoming more and more vulnerable; as such, blocking their passage was a part of their protection and self-defense programme. Fourthly, the Quraish’s livelihood primarily depended on trade, and for this reason, the interception of these caravans was an excellent means by which to bring the Quraish to their senses, stop them from their acts of war, and to press them towards reconciliation and the establishment of peace.”

To prevent such wars, nowadays, some nations impose sanctions, yet these too are imposed wrongfully and in an unjust manner. As it were, this was an action similar to imposing a sanction. “Furthermore, the purpose of intercepting these caravans was not to pillage and plunder. On the contrary, as the Holy Quran clearly states, in this specific campaign, the Muslims were not interested in the caravan due to its wealth; rather, it was because there was a lesser concern of difficulty and hardship in fighting it.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 2, pp. 120-121)

In any case, the Holy Prophetsa sent forth two of his Companions, Hazrat Talhahra bin Ubaidullah and Hazrat Sa’idra bin Zaid, to obtain intelligence about this caravan. These two Companions departed from Medina, and after gathering information about the caravan and returning to Medina, they came to learn that the Holy Prophetsa had already left. Therefore, both of them set out towards Badr, but they only met the Holy Prophetsa en route when he was already returning after the Battle of Badr had concluded, and this is why these two Companions were unable to take part in the Battle of Badr. However, the Holy Prophetsa still assigned a portion of the spoils of war to them. (Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 203, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002)

On the other hand, Abu Sufyan received word from his spies that the Holy Prophetsa had departed with his Companions to attack his trade caravan. It is also stated that Abu Sufyan met someone who informed him that the Holy Prophetsa wanted to stop this caravan in its tracks from the very beginning, and that the Holy Prophetsa was waiting for the caravan to return. Hearing this news, Abu Sufyan became frightened, and paid a man named Zamzam bin Amr Ghiffari to head towards Mecca, telling him to inform the Meccans that Muhammadsa and his Companions had set forth to attack their caravan. Hence, Zamzam set off rapidly.  (Sirat al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 197, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002.)

“When this emissary of Abu Sufyan reached Mecca, according to the Arab custom, he made himself appear extremely terrified and began to scream loudly, saying, ‘O ye people of Mecca! Muhammadsa and his Companions have set out to attack your caravan. Go forth and save it!’” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophetsa, Vol. 2, p. 132)

At the same time, Abu Sufyan continued to cleverly obtain information, and carried on his journey whilst avoiding the Muslim army. Upon arriving at the spring of Badr, he asked someone if they had seen anyone else arrive there. He replied that two people came here, sat their camels near a hill and went to get water. Abu Sufyan went to where the camels had been. There, he found camel droppings. He picked one up, split it and found a datestone in it. Seeing this, he said that this was the food of Yathrib [Medina], and understood that these people from Medina were close by. Therefore, he swiftly returned to his caravan, diverted from the regular path, and took them via the shoreline. Thus, he left Badr from one side and went forth in haste. (Al-Rahiq al-Makhtum [translated], pp. 282-283, Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, Lahore, 2000)

Regarding this, there is an extraordinary dream of Atikah bint Abdul Muttalib, and it proved to be a true dream. The dream is as follows: Atika bint Abdul Muttalib was the paternal aunt of the Holy Prophetsa and the mother of Umm al-Momineen, Hazrat Umm Salamahra. There are two opinions regarding her acceptance of Islam: according to some, she accepted Islam, however, the majority are of the opinion that she did not accept Islam. Nonetheless, three days before Abu Sufyan’s messenger, Zamzam, reached Mecca, she saw a dream that frightened her. She called for her brother, Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, and said: “My dear brother! By God, last night I saw a dream that has left me petrified. I fear that a calamity or trial will most certainly befall your people. Keep what I am about to tell you a secret.” According to one narration, Atika said: “Unless you give me a solemn promise that you will not tell this to anyone, I will not tell you the dream, because if the Quraish of Mecca find out about this dream, they will cause us trouble and curse us.” Thus, Hazrat Abbasra promised her and then he asked her what she had seen in the dream. Atikah said, “I saw in a dream that a man came riding on a camel and stood in the plains of Abtah (Mecca and Mina were both known as Abtah and it is closer to Mina.) Then, at the top of his voice, he screamed: ‘O People! Go to the place of your slaughter within three days.’” Atikah further says:

“I then saw that people had gathered around him as he entered the mosque, i.e., the Ka’bah and people were walking behind him. I then saw that, while people were still gathered around him, his camel had taken him onto the roof of the Ka’bah. He then screamed again: ‘O People! Go to the place of your slaughter within three days.’

I then saw that his camel took him to the peak of Mount Abu Qubais. (It is written that Mount Abu Qubais was a prominent mountain peak to the east of Mecca.) From there, he again bellowed at the top of his voice. He then took a rock and rolled it down the mountain. As soon as it reached the bottom, the rock broke into smaller fragments. There was not a single house or abode in Mecca upon which a rock fragment did not fall.” After hearing this, Hazrat Abbasra said to Atikah: “By God! This is a very significant dream! Keep this a secret and do not tell a soul.”

After this, Hazrat Abbasra left the house of Atikah and along the way, he met Walid bin ‘Utbah, who was his friend. Although he had told his sister, Atikah, not to tell anyone, he mentioned the dream to Walid and told him not to tell anyone, however, once something is revealed, it cannot be kept hidden. Walid in turn told his father, ‘Utbah, and like this, the news of the dream spread throughout Mecca. If two people met each other, they would speak about the dream. Abbasra says: “The next morning, when I went to perform circuits of the Ka’bah, Abu Jahl was sitting with a few people of the Quraish. Upon seeing me, he said: ‘O Abu Al-Fazl! (This was the filial appellation of Hazrat Abbasra.) After completing your circuit, come to see me.’” Hazrat Abbasra further says: “After finishing my circuits, I went to see Abu Jahl. He said: ‘O Banu Abdul Muttalib! Since when have female prophets started appearing among you?’ I asked him what he meant. He replied: ‘Men from among you have claimed prophethood (referring to the Holy Prophetsa). Now your women have also started claiming to be prophets. What is this dream which Atikah has seen?’” Hazrat Abbasra asked, “What dream?” Upon this, Abu Jahl said, “She says that she saw someone coming on a camel, who then cried out at the top of his voice, and thereafter, rolled a rock down from the mountain.” He then went on to narrate the entire dream. Abu Jahl then said, “We shall wait for three days and see whether the events unfold as mentioned in the dream; if it is fulfilled, then that is fine, and if this is not the case, then we shall place a written declaration on the Ka’bah wherein it would state that you people are the greatest liars in the Arab land.” Abbas further narrates, “By God, I had to deny the dream and I told him that Atikah did not see any such dream. Thereafter, we all left the gathering. In the evening, when I returned home, all of the women of the Banu Abdul Muttalib came to me and said, ‘That wretched and evil man first levelled all kinds of allegations against our men and you did not take any action. Now, he has started to speak ill of your women and you are silently listening to him and not refuting him. Where is your sense of honour?’” In this way, the women of his tribe impassioned him. Abbas further narrates, “Upon this, I said, ‘By God, this is exactly what I did and I believe that there is no greater wrongdoing than this, thus, by Allah, I shall go to him and if he says anything like this again, I shall put an end to him in order to avenge you.’” Hazrat Abbasra further narrates, “On the third day following the dream Atikah had seen, I left my home in the morning and I was in a state of great anger and intended to seek revenge for the wrong I had done that day. As I entered the mosque, I saw Abu Jahl, who had a slim build and a sharp tongue. By God, I went towards him so that he could say something again, as he had done previously and as a result, I would take revenge. However, I saw Abu Jahl running towards the door of the mosque, i.e., the Ka’bah. I thought to myself at the time, ‘What is the matter with him, may Allah the Almighty’s curse be upon him, what has happened to him; is he running in fear lest I say something ill to him?’ However, the fact was that he had heard the loud cry of Zamzam bin Amr Ghiffari, which I had not heard, and Zamzam was loudly calling out whilst he was mounted on the camel in the middle of the valley. He had cut the nose and ears of his camel and had turned over his saddle and torn his upper garment, crying, ‘Caravan, caravan! (In other words, he was asking for their caravan to be saved.) ‘This caravan, under the lead of Abu Sufyan, is carrying your trade goods and Muhammadsa and his Companions have attacked it. Reach them as quickly as you can, however, I do not think you will be able to reach in time to aid them.’” Abbasra further narrates, “We both became so occupied with this new incident that had unfolded that we were unable to pay attention to the earlier matter.” (Al-Seerah al-Nabawiyya li Ibn Hisham, pp. 216-217, Ghazwah Badr al-Kubra/Zikr Ru’ya Atikah bint Abdul Muttalib, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001; Al-Sirah al-Halabiyya, Vol. 2, p. 198, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002; Kitab al-Maghazi li al-Waqidi, Vol. 1, p. 30, Alam al-Kutub, Beirut, 1984; Al-Asabah, Vol. 8, p. 229, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1995; Usd al-Ghabah, Vol. 7, p. 183, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilimiyyah, Beirut, 2016; Mu‘jam al-Buldan, Vol.1, p. 95, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut; Farhang-e-Sirat, p. 230, Zawar Academy, Karachi, 2003)

It is written that when the Quraish heard the cry of Zamzam, they became enraged and began to prepare their people for battle.  They said, “Do Muhammadsa and his Companions think that this caravan is like that of Ibn Hazrami’s trade caravan? This is certainly not the case. By God, they shall soon find out that is not the case.”

The caravan of Amr bin Hazrami and him being killed by the Muslims has been mentioned earlier in relation to the expedition of Abdullah bin Jahash, in which the Muslims were easily able to kill Ibn Hazrami and seize his possessions and wealth. In any case, now the Quraish of Mecca began to make preparations for battle and its people were either going personally for battle or sending someone on their behalf and paying for their expenses. One of their chieftains said, “Will you allow Muhammadsa, his Companions who have turned away from our faith and the people of Yathrib to seize our wealth? My wealth and food provisions are available to whoever is in need of them!” Similarly, some people gave 200 dinars and others 300 dinars, 500 dinars, etc. and said they could spend it however and wherever they desired. Some offered 20 camels for the battle and others took on the entire household expenses of those who were leaving for battle. Those who could not personally take part in the battle supported someone else to go for battle by paying for all their expenses. In this way, within two or three days, their preparations for battle were complete. (Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad, Vol. 4, p. 21, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1993)

It should be noted here that although he had announced for them to reach there immediately, they spent two or three days making full preparation for battle. Their efforts to make preparations prove that the disbelievers of Mecca were, in fact, searching for an excuse to engage in a full-fledged battle with the Muslims. If their intention was to simply protect the caravan, then they would have immediately reached there upon hearing the news; whatever weapon they could have gotten hold of, they would have taken it and arrived there. However, this was not the case, and instead of protecting the caravan, they were preparing for a battle.

In relation to the chiefs of the Quraish, it is written that five chiefs; Umaiyyah bin Khalaf, ‘Utbah bin Rabi‘ah, Shaibah bin Rabi‘ah, Zam’ah bin Aswad and Hakim bin Hizam drew lots by throwing their arrows to determine whether they ought to go for battle or not. They drew the arrow that signified that they should not go forth for battle, in other words, the arrow they selected was the one upon which it was written that they should not go forth for battle. And so, they all unanimously decided that they should not proceed for battle, however, Abu Jahl came to them and insisted that they should go. Uqbah bin Abu Mu‘ait and Nazar bin Harith supported Abu Jahl and insisted on taking everyone along with them. Upon this, the slave of ‘Utbah and Shaibah said, “By God, you are not going forth for battle; rather, you both are heading towards the places where you shall be killed.” Subsequently, they both decided not to go to battle, but Abu Jahl insisted so much that in the end, they both decided to go along with the others and then they would later turn back during the journey. (Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah,Vol. 2 pp. 200-201, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002)

Further details in relation to the preparations made by the disbelievers for the battle, their departure and various incidents in relation to this shall, God-willing, be mentioned in the future, as there are quite a lot of details in this regard.

(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 30 June 2023, pp. 2-6. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here