In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. All praise be to Allah and prayers and blessings be upon His Messenger (SAWS). Yesterday was the anniversary of the battle of Badr, and today we will talk about it. This battle occurred on Friday the 17th of Ramadan in the second year after migration.
When the Prophet (SAWS) arrived to Madinah, there were many challenges: The migrants from Makkah who left their families, homes and properties were homeless and unemployed in Madinah. The nature of work in Madinah (farming) was different from what they were used to in Makkah (trade). Accordingly, their financial status was getting worse and they were getting poorer. Many of the poor migrants were called
"Ahlul-Soffa" due to their abject poverty. The Prophet (SAWS) assigned a small place for them in his mosque, where they were to live until they find a better option. Furthermore, the customs in Madinah and the health atmosphere were totally different. The migrants felt lonely and estranged, being away from their homeland.
As for the Ansaar (Muslims from Madinah), there was rivalry between the two tribes
"Aws" and "Khazraj" even after they embraced Islam. They were challenging each other: which of them would play the key role in the new society? Besides, there were still some disbelievers from Aws and Khazraj in Madinah. As the power of Islam was growing, there appeared the new category of hypocrites in the Muslim society. They declared themselves Muslims, yet they held grudges and hatred towards Muslims and plotted against them. In addition, there were three major Jewish tribes controlling the economy of Madinah: trading grains, dates, liquors, and clothes, and even owning the water wells. The Jews felt they were far better than the Arabs, as they thought the last Prophet would be one of them. Hence, when the Prophet came from the Arabs, the Jews felt angry and envious. Outside Madinah, Quraysh was still there, monitoring the events and bearing in mind that the struggle did not end.
To control the internal affairs, the Prophet (SAWS) implemented the following three tactics:
1- Building the mosque: not only for worshipping but also as a place where all Muslims (migrants and Ansaar, Aws and Khazraj) would meet, and their hearts and minds would converge.
2- Establishing brotherhood between migrants and Ansaar: by making one Muslim from the migrants live with a Muslim from the Ansaar. Hence, the problem of residence would be solved for the migrants, the migrants would teach the Ansaar about Islam, and the society would experience collaboration.
3- Setting a constitution of the rights and duties of citizenship for the inhabitants of Madinah: This would apply to the Muslims and the Jews, as they were to live together and co-exist in a new society based on the principles of Islam.
Accordingly, the society started to move towards charity and goodness. People were very positive and reacted positively to what the Prophet (SAWS) did. Unfortunately, nowadays people in our countries are the exact opposite. Let us examine an example of charity in Madinah. A poor migrant went to the Prophet as he was homeless. The Prophet asked the Muslims to host that poor man for the night. A man and his wife from the Ansaar took the man to their home, and started preparing dinner; unfortunately, the food was not enough, and their children were hungry. They were really poor, but they wanted to do something good. We have to learn that charity and generosity are not restricted to rich people only; any body who loves Islam can do this. Well, the poor couple put their children to sleep without dinner, dimmed the light, and placed the food before their guest. They pretended that they were eating with him so that he would have all the food. They did this without intending to tell anybody in order to gain Thawab (reward) and be rewarded by Allah (SWT). In the morning, when they went to perform the morning prayer, they found that the revelation was sent with an Ayah to the Prophet (SAWS). Allah sent what can be translated as,
" ... and prefer (the Muhajirn) above themselves, even though penury be (their
portion)" (TMQ, 59:9). They wanted to keep it as a secret, but Allah (SWT) wanted to announce it; they wanted to do it faithfully for the sake of Allah, and Allah wanted the news to spread and good to prevail. After the prayer, the Prophet (SAWS) told them,
"Allah is satisfied with what you did with your guest last night". Allah (SWT) did this because the society was very poor and needy, hence values of good and beneficence had to prevail. When we started the projects of Life Makers (collecting clothes and Ramadan bags), some people suggested doing it secretly without announcing the numbers. Well, announcing such acts helps people to imitate each other and accordingly, good prevails. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as,
"secretly and in public" (TMQ, 2:274).
On the economical level, the society was very poor, but they moved towards developing all aspects of life. At that time the role of businessmen started. Othman Ibn-Affan, who was very rich, bought a water well from the Jews and offered it to the Muslims as a gift. The Prophet also set up a new market in Madinah, as the Jews were controlling the trade. This was to prepare new Muslim businessmen who would be able to shoulder the mission, e.g. Abdel-Rahman Ibn-Ouf. Youths also started having a role; 70 youths from the companions established a group to teach Ahlul-soffa some crafts (small projects) to practice by day like; turnery and smithery. At night, these youths used to teach them
Qur'an. Those 70 companions were named "The Readers" because they taught people the Noble
Qur'an. For their help in solving the economic problem in the society, Allah (SWT) rewarded them all with martyrdom at the same day. You can have a message in media, art, or business, and this would still be considered a big deed for Islam. Dear brothers and sisters! we have to note that good and beneficence does not only mean spending on orphanages or teaching
At this time, the duties of Islam started to be revealed. Prayer was obligated during Al-Israa and
Al-Mi'raj, but each prayer consisted of 2 Raka'as (unit of the prayer). However, in Madinah they were set to what we know now. Forms of worship were set here because Muslims were in need for a huge spiritual boost. Fasting was ordained for the first time in Madinah, two years after the migration. Hijab was set as a duty, and Zakat too because the society needed money and funding. Notice that everything in our religion was revealed at the right time, when the society needed it.
Creativity found an outlet as well: using the Mimbar (pulpit) was the idea of a woman from the companions. She told the Prophet (SAWS) that to achieve better communication, he should stand on a high place to see the people and to be seen by them while delivering his speeches. As for the Adhan (call for prayers), Muslims were wondering how to gather people for prayers. They wanted to have some method that is different from other religions. Abdullah Ibn-Zaid, one of the companions had a dream that a man taught him the words of the Adhan. He told the Prophet about the dream and the Adhan wording, and the Prophet said that it was a good vision. This man was thinking hard for the sake of Islam, and this was why Allah (SWT) guided him to what he was seeking. If you love Islam and dream for it, Allah (SWT) will send you ideas. Can you see that Abdullah is gaining Thawab until the Day of Judgment because he cared for Islam and dreamt for it? Notice that the Prophet (SAWS) asked Belal to make the call for prayers with the Adhan because he had a beautiful voice. Islam cares a lot for values of beauty, and the Prophet wanted the Adhan to be performed in the best way.
The Prophet (SAWS) represented a role model for the people in this society. They were very poor, and when one of them went to the Prophet to complain of hunger, he found the prophet in the same state too. The Prophet never ate except after the people ate; months would pass before any cooking would be done in his house, and he mainly ate dates and water. Being such an example, the Prophet helped the people to be patient. If you can visit the houses of his wives, you will find them very small, although at that time they used to have big and nice houses.
Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) set an example in selflessness as well. One time when it was very cold during a winter in Madinah; a woman from the Ansaar weaved a woolen outfit for the Prophet (SAWS). The Prophet was very happy to have it, and wore it for Fajr prayer. One of the Ansaar saw it and said,
"What a beautiful outfit! Would you give it to me, Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet (SAWS) immediately took it off and put it on the man. The companions blamed the man for doing this, but the man said,
"I didn't want it because of the cold, but to be shrouded with it in my grave".
As for the situation outside of Madinah, the conflict between truth and falsehood did not end, although the
"truth" left Makkah. Actually the battles and wars would start. There is something very important we have to note: within the current world events, we are not ashamed of Jihad, or of the
Prophet's ahadith about martyrs and mujahedoon (fighters for the sake of Allah). We have to understand the reasons behind the
Prophet's jihad. Remember the first words for the Prophet (SAWS) when he entered Madinah,
"O people! Spread peace among you ...You will get in Jannah peacefully". The Prophet hated spilling blood; the total number of those who got killed during all the battles of the Prophet was 400, in 17 or 18 battles. The Prophet could have turned battles into blood baths, especially when conquering Makkah, but he did not. The Prophet (SAWS) got into these wars only for the sake of the Message. The Prophet wanted Quraysh to allow him to convey his message to the whole of mankind. Then they would be free to choose, because embracing the message cannot be enforced. Leaving Makkah was a solution for the Prophet because he was at a safe place where he was able to communicate his message freely to people. The Prophet (SAWS) did not escape from Makkah to live a luxurious life. Nevertheless, Quraysh was still an obstacle in the way of delivering the message. Arab tribes refused to listen to the Prophet because they had treaties and they allied with Quraysh, so they feared spoiling their relations and interests with them. The Prophet (SAWS) insisted on delivering the message of Allah, even if he was obliged to go into war.
On the day of the battle of Badr, Otba
Ibn-Rabi'a said, "O people of Quraysh! Let's get back to Makkah. Let Muhammad deliver his message to the people. If the Arabs kill him, you will be relieved. If he conquers the Arabs, his glory and honor is then
yours." Abu-Jahl told him, "What a coward you are! Do we leave our money?" Again the problem was the personal interests: money, positions, superiority, idols, and the treaties with Arabs. The Prophet (SAWS) felt that if there would be no solution but war in order to deliver the message, then he would go for it, even he would get killed.
Remember that many of the companions were deprived of their money and properties when they left Makkah; even the
Prophet's house was taken and sold. The Prophet would never leave the rights of these people, and the ones who were killed, like Somaya. One may ask, why
didn't the Prophet fight them when he was in Makkah? No! The Prophet respected his home and its system; he respected the rights and duties of citizenship. He knew he had no right to destroy his hometown. But after going to Madinah, he and Quraysh became two separate entities. Above all, Quraysh was preparing itself to fight the Prophet anyway. So the
Prophet's wars were not defensive, and at the same time Islam did not prevail by the sword. The whole issue lies in the fact that the prophet (SAWS) wanted Quraysh to give him the opportunity to deliver his message to the people, but they refused.
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