From the writings of these non-Muslim authorities and orientalists, it is established that Toynbee’s criticism and fault finding is totally baseless and opposed by historical record. The truth is that by coming to Madinah, the Holy Prophet was able to fulfill the holy duties of his prophetic mission much more vigorously and comprehensively than in Makkah.
The first and most important duty of a prophet and a messenger of God is to continuously draw the attention of the people to the worship of God. To fulfill this purpose, the Holy Prophet spent every moment of his life, drawing the attention of the people to this most important duty, by his own pure and holy example. His very first act upon reaching Madinah was to build a mosque for the worship of Allah, the Exalted. He worked, with his own hands, along with the ordinary workers, lifting the bricks and placing them in the appropriate places, in the walls. With his own holy hands, he made mortar from earth and water, and took it to where it was needed. He helped in every other building work that was necessary to complete the mosque. That holy place of worship, exists even today, and is known as Masjid-e-Nabwi (The mosque of the Prophet). A special reward by Allah for praying in this mosque, so that there should develop a love for worship in the believers. Thousands, nay hundreds of thousands, of servants of God come to this place of worship every month, every week and every day to prostrate in front of the Almighty.
During the time of the Holy Prophet, the Muhajireen (migrants from Makkah) and the Ansar (natives of Madinah) used to occupy themselves day and night in the remembrance of God in this mosque. They illumined this place of worship with a special brilliance. Moreover, the Holy Prophet instructed the Muhajireen and the Ansar, in the methods of remembrance of Allah and the recitation of the Holy Quran. This process was continued, and was developed from many angles throughout his life.
The work of the completion of the shariah (the religious code of laws) took place during the Madinite period. The major portion of the commandments of the Holy Quran pertaining to the Shariah of Islam was revealed to the Holy Prophet during this period. The religious commandments and duties were progressively put into practice, and completed in this period. History bears witness that the obligation to fast, the commandments relating to Zakat and spending on the poor, the duties relating to the Pilgrimage (Hajj), the celebration of the two Eids (annual festivals), and the establishment of other acts of worship were finalized during this era. The obligation of the Jihad (striving in the way of Allah) — its importance and need — the prohibition of wine and liquor, and the prohibition of interest were also enjoined in Madinah. The change of the Qibla (the direction that Muslims face during prayers), the building of mosques and their sanctity and their upkeep, the beginning of the call to the prayer, the establishment of brotherhood amongst the Ansar and the Muhajireen were achievements of the Madinite period. The constant reminder of the importance of treating one’s relative well, helping the poor, looking after the orphans, the needy and the helpless was also prescribed in Madinah, The obligation regarding the offering of the Friday afternoon prayer, the establishment of the rights of women, and dozens of other similar matters, which relate purely to the duties of a prophet, were achieved in the best possible manner, during the Madinite period. Who is unaware of the historical facts, that the timings of five deity prayers, and the number of raka’ats (various postures during the prayer) offered in each prayer, were also prescribed in Madinah?
The various schemes for calling unto Allah, and the discharge of the prophetic obligation to preach and instruct the people were completed w a degree of excellence in the Madinite period, If the Holy Prophet’s achievements in this regard are compared to those of all other prophets that have gone before, it would become clear, how elevated a position, is occupied by the Holy Prophet. Who is unaware of the tremendous victory wrought by the Holy Prophet by accepting apparently humiliating terms at Hudaibiyya (a place near Madinah) with Makkans? It was an act of great wisdom and source of success in spreading the message of Islam. It was indeed during the Madinite period that the letters were sent to the heads of state inviting them to Islam. The Holy Prophet occupied himself in the discharge of all his prophetic mission related responsibilities and obligations, in particular, the duties related to the propagation and establishment of the commandments of God.
All of these are very well known, and easily discernible facts. Toynbee’s statement that upon arrival in Madinah the Holy Prophet bid farewell to his Prophetic mission and obligations of his Messengership of God, displays a complete lack of judgment and is a serious misrepresentation of the true facts of the situation. It seems appropriate that this criticism be responded to by citing the events and circumstances from the life of the Holy Prophet. His sayings, deeds, his high morals, and the blessed personality show that indeed he continued to be engaged in the discharge of his great and noble duties as the Messenger of Allah till the last breath of his life.
Admittedly, in Madinah he was granted sovereignty by mutual consent. But he dispensed and established such moral rules and set such examples as only a Messenger of God could have done. Only a perfect Prophet could provide a living example. A worldly and politically motivated ruler could never display the kinds of characteristics and practices of the Holy Prophet. The following details from his life in Madinah provide manifest proof that the Holy Prophet was not a worldly king, nor a Caesar.