Madinah on the Verge of Civil War... Here Is How the Prophet Defused It | About Islam
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Madinah on the Verge of Civil War… Here Is How the Prophet Defused It

Madinah on the Verge of Civil War… Here Is How the Prophet Defused It

After the immigration of Muslims from Makkah to Madinah, one may imagine that Makkah can live now in peace, away from Muslims. However, the people of Makkah have another opinion; for many reasons, they see a great danger in the fact that Muslims and Islam have found a new home in Madinah:

– Madinah is on the road of the business caravans to Levant.

– Muslims will build their strength and return to Makkah to take back their homes and wealth that they left behind when they migrated. The Muslims might also try to take revenge for the torture they went through in Makkah.

– Muhammad and his Companions will never stop promoting their message and calling people to their religion, something that will threaten Makkah’s leadership in the peninsula and will, consequently, threaten Makkah’s financial sources.

– Given the strength of the two main tribes of Madinah which is expected to increase significantly if the two tribes should unite, Madinah can form a real threat.

– Also, Jews make a large portion of the inhabitants of Madinah; they believe in one God and in messengers and they anticipated the arrival of a final messenger. So, they may believe in Islam and join Muhammad with their wealth, forts, and weapons.

Thus, Makkah is determined to do something about this new power arising in Madinah, especially if this power is led by Muhammad and his powerful message. Many political and military moves are to be taken to make sure this power is terminated before it gets stronger.

Makkah tries to spark civil war in Madinah

As narrated in Abu Dawud, one of the actions that Makkans took shortly after the Prophet arrived to Madinah is to send a threatening message to the tribes of Madinah and to their leader `Abdullah ibn Ubai ibn Salool who was a polytheist and had a huge hatred for Islam, the Muslims, and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him).

The message was, “You have hosted our man and we swear by Allah if you do not fight him or expel him, we will all come to you and kill your men and take your women!”

Ibn Salool got the message and gathered the polytheists of Madinah from his tribe Al-Khazraj and from their life-long enemy Al-Awas and decided to fight the Muslims from both tribes. They prepared themselves to fight the Prophet and the Muslims.

When the Prophet heard about that he went to them and told them,

The threat of Quraish has really affected you. They wouldn’t have harmed you more than that which you will do to yourselves. Do you want to fight your sons and brothers?

When they heard that they cooled down and left.

A few thoughts …

– Despite the fact that Muslims left Makkah altogether, Makkah did not leave Muslims alone. As mentioned above in the story, Makkah never stopped working against the Prophet, his Companions and Islam. They declared hatred and accordingly war against Islam, its Messenger, and its people. They even declared war on any one who allies with the Messenger even if he is not Muslim. As Allah said,

{They will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they can …} (Al-Baqarah 2:217)

– It is amazing how the Muslims from the life-long enemy tribes, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj became brothers and forgot all the differences and all the past war. This is obviously attributed to the faith entering their heart and the continuous effort of the Prophet in instilling brotherhood in their hearts.

However, it is very interesting, too, that the polytheists from those two tribes have got together. It is very important to know that enemies of the truth get together despite their disagreements only to oppose the truth, for that is the only thing they agree on [check the end of Surat Al-Anfal].

– Here is the essence of the story: the power of citizenship. In this difficult time where Muslims and the non-Muslims stood against one another in a very possible civil war, the Prophet could not preach Islam at that moment; he could not remind people about Allah and His orders since that would never convince the polytheists. He had to remind them about something else; that was citizenship.

The Prophet reminded them about the consequences of what they were trying to get in; the amount of killing and destruction that could take place. He actually took away the threat of the Makkans in a very smart way: what you are doing to yourself now–by fighting one another and killing each other–is more harmful than what the Makkans threatened you with. They threatened to kill you and you are now doing that for free.

He reminded them of their citizenship, their belonging to Madinah, their belonging to same tribes and same families. He simply said, “Do you want to fight your sons and brothers?

What a statement! How dare you kill your son or brother? How dare you kill someone from your tribe? How dare you kill someone who shares with you your land and will share with you your future? That is absolute citizenship in its clear form.

– Peace in Madinah and around was a main goal. The Prophet would have let this civil war happen and he would have joined the Muslims’ side. It would have been a decisive war. But that was not the intent of the Prophet nor was it going to be healthy. The Prophet always solved problems by peace and patience and resorted to war only when he had to.

Please share some of your thoughts and comments in the comment section.


About Dr. Wael Hamza

Wael Hamza is a Muslim writer, thinker and an active figure in MAS (Muslim American Society ), U.S.A.

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