In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

Love for All, Hatred for None.

Browse Al Islam

An outline of

Early Islamic History

by N. R. A. G. Soofi

Chapter 11

Wine Forbidden, Women Honoured

It was soon after the battle that the Prophet received a revelation in favour of women. God commanded Muslims to give share to their women-folk in the property of their parents, their husbands, their brothers and sons. Women had no share in property anywhere at the time.

The same year Muslims were forbidden to drink wine. When this order was received, a man went round the city proclaiming the prohibition. Abu Talha Ansari sat drinking with a few friends. When they heard the cry of the man, they first wanted to make sure. One of the party said,

"Break the jars first and then make sure."
They did so at once; that wine flowed like water in the lanes of Medina.

Enemy Uses Foul Methods

Muslims were in great danger at this time. The outcome of the battle of Uhud had turned many more tribes against them. Most of them made ready to attack Medina. The Prophet was very watchful. He met danger half way whenever he heard a tribe was preparing to march on Medina. The tribes decided to use foul methods to finish the Muslims. The Banu Qara came with a request to the Prophet to send some Muslims with them to teach Islam. The Banu Adl made a similar request. The Prophet sent a party of Muslims with the Qara tribesmen and another party with the Banu Adl. Both parties were treacherously killed by these tribes. Only two men escaped. It was later known that they were slain in a most cruel manner. But they remained steadfast till the end. They accepted death with good cheer. One Fahira, a servant of Abu Bakr, died with these words on his lips:
"By Allah, my wish is granted."
His slayer was amazed. He became a Muslim later. Another Muslim named Zaid was put to death in Mecca. He had been sold to the Quresh. Before he was murdered, Abu Sufiyan asked him,
"Would you not wish that Muhammad was here in your place?"
Zaid said,
"By God, I would not wish the Prophet even as little harm as a scratch on his foot by a thistle."
Abu Sufiyan exclaimed,
"By God, I have never seen any one loving anybody more than Muhammad's men love Muhammad."
The Prophet was deeply grieved when he learnt of these terrible events. He prayed long, begging of God His mercy and help.

Jews Prepare to Fight

Some elements of the Jewish community again started giving trouble. Banu Nadhir made a plot to kill the Prophet. They invited him to their place with thirty men. They said they would have the same number of their own men there. They wanted to know the truth. They said, they would accept Islam if it was the truth. Actually, they had no such wish. They wanted to have the Prophet at their place to kill him. The plot became known to Muslims through a Jewish lady. The Prophet asked the Jews to make a new treaty. They refused. There was open fighting. The Jews lost and sued for peace. They agreed to leave Medina and went away to Khaibar.

The Quresh army did not turn up at Badr as promised. But the Prophet kept his word. He went with a small force and came back after camping out for a week.

In the fourth year of Hijra another son was born to Fatima and Ali. He was named Hussain. The Prophet was very fond of him. The same year Ali's mother Fatima bin Asad died. This good lady had brought up the Prophet like her own child. He was deeply grieved at her death. When her body was laid down in the grave, he prayed,

"May God reward thee for being a mother to me. Thou wert a good mother indeed."
In the fifth year of Hijra, some tribes made trouble in Daumatul Jandal. They were busy in loot. They were a public danger. The Prophet set out with a thousand companions. He reached there after fifteen days, long journey. He found the miscreants had fled. There was peace there after that.

A famine raged in Mecca the same year. The Prophet sent to help their poor. Abu Sufiyan visited the Prophet in Medina. He requested him to pray that the famine might be lifted.

The Prophet gave away in marriage to Zaid bin Harith, a freed slave, his own cousin Zainab.

Muslim women were ordered to cover their faces.

Jews and Muslims

The same year another army made ready to attack Medina. Banu Khaza and the Muslims joined battle at Marisi. First the Prophet invited them to peace. They answered back with an arrow. A general attack was ordered. Muslims surrounded the enemy force. When the Banu Khaza found their retreat cut off, they sued for peace. One Muslim was killed. Ten men of the enemy fell in the battlefield.

All Tribes Attack

The Jews who had left Medina were now free to make trouble. They visited the Quresh and several other tribes. Soon they had them on their side. It was agreed to mount an all-tribes attack on Muslims. A force twenty thousand strong took to the field with Abu Sufiyan as their commander. When the news reached Medina, the Prophet decided to dig a ditch to make the city safe. The Prophet and his companions worked hard for many days together.

During this period many went without food. The Prophet missed his meal for days. One day Jabir bin Abdullah saw the Prophet in a very weak condition. He went home and asked his wife if she had any foodstuff. She said that she had a goat and some barley. The goat was killed. She told Jabir to bring to meals the Prophet and a few friends. Jabir spoke to the Prophet aside. He invited him to dinner at his house, with a party of friends to share. The Prophet asked how much food he had. Jabir told him the position. The Prophet said, "That is a lot." Turning round he called out,

"O Ansar, O Muahjirs, come, Jabir has asked us to meals."
One thousand starving companions followed him. The Prophet asked Jabir to hurry home and tell his wife not to bake bread until he was there and not to remove the meat-pot from the fire. When the Prophet reached Jabir's house, he blessed the pot and the dough. Then Jabir's wife started baking bread with another woman to help. The Prophet started serving out meals. Jabir said,
"I swear by God who holds my life in His hands, all the people were satisfied while my wife was still baking bread and the meat-pot was still on the fire."

Medina Under Attack

The enemy attack on Medina was heavy. Muslims were without means. They had no rations. The Banu Qaraiza had also joined the enemy. But the Muslims fought back bravely. Many times the enemy tried to cross the ditch but failed. The fight went on, growing fierce. Muslims requested the Prophet to pray to God for help. And God did help. They were in great trouble and pain. At night a dust storm blew out the campfire of the enemy. It was considered a bad omen among the Quresh. Abu Sufiyan decided to run. So did the others. Some time before dawn the Prophet asked his companions,
"Would any of you go and get news about the enemy?"
They were very weak because of hunger, cold and fatigue. They heard but did not have the strength to answer. The Prophet then called Hazifa bin Yaman. He was shivering when he turned up. The Prophet patted his head and asked him to go and find all about the enemy. "Fear none!" said he.

Hazifa felt a new courage in him. He went and saw the Quresh preparing to decamp. He reported this back to the Prophet. The Prophet was overjoyed. He said it was all due to God's grace.

"They will never dare take to the field against us again."
Saad bin Maaz, the great Ansar leader, was fatally wounded in this battle.

Banu Qaraiza, the Jewish tribe, had been secretly in league with the enemy during the battle. They had to defend Medina in terms of the Treaty of Medina signed early. When required to explain their conduct, they prepared to fight and shut themselves up in their forts. After twenty days they agreed to end the war, proposing Saad bin Maaz as the judge. He decided against them. Their fighting men were put to death under Mosaic Law. The rest were asked to leave Medina. Saad died soon after this. The Prophet was moved to tears at the death of this devoted companion.

This year Hajj (pilgrimage) became obligatory.

[ Early Islamic History ]