The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets – Chapter VII

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Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra) was one of the sons of the Promised Messiah(as). Born on April 20, 1893 he passed his matriculation in 1910 with distinction, and according to the wishes of the Promised Messiah(as), attained an MA in Arabic in 1916. A great religious scholar and prolific writer, his books and speeches are easily understandable by the average reader. Some of his important works include Siratul Mahdi (Life of the Mahdi), Silsila-e-Ahmadiyya (The Ahmadiyya community), Tabligh-e-Hidayat (Propagation of Guidance), Kalimutal Fasl (The Decisive Word) and Hamara Khuda (Our God). He also contributed countless articles to magazines and periodicals of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, such as the daily Al-Fazl, and was Editor of The Review of Religions for many years. Sirat Khatamun Nabiyyin is his magnum opus; an outstanding biography of the Holy Prophet(saw), which includes insightful analysis and commentary on various aspects of his life. For the first time this book has been translated into English. The English rendering, “The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets,” will be serialised in various parts in The Review of Religions.

Commencement of War with the Tribes of Najd and the Jews, the Marriage of Hazrat Fatimahra and Hafsahra and a Few Miscellaneous Incidents

 

This is the first ever serialisation of the newly translated Volume II of Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra’s outstanding biography, Seerat Khatamun Nabiyyin, on the life and character of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.

 

Translated from the Urdu by Ayyaz Mahmood Khan

 

 

Ghazwah Qarqaratul-Kudr – Shawwal 2 A.H.

It has already been mentioned that after the migration, the Quraish of Makkah toured the various tribes of Arabia and turned many of them into deadly enemies of the Muslims. Among these tribes, with respect to strength and number, the most noteworthy were two tribes residing in the central region of Arabia, known as Najd. Their names were Banu Sulaim and Banu Ghatafan. The Quraish of Makkah had tied these two tribes to themselves and incited them against the Muslims. As such, Sir William Muir writes:

 

The Coreish now turned their eyes towards this territory [i.e., Najd], and entered into closer bonds with the tribes inhabiting it. Henceforth the attitude of the Bani Suleim and Ghatafan, especially of the former, became actively hostile towards Mahomet. Incited by the Coreish, and by the example of Abu Sofian, they now projected a plundering attack upon Medina.”1

 

Thus, when the Holy Prophetsa returned from Badr,, it had only been a few days2 since his arrival in Madinah, when he received news that a large army consisting of the tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan were assembling in Qarqaratul-Kudr with the intention of attacking Madinah.3 The arrival of this intelligence so promptly after the Battle of Badr demonstrates that when the army of the Quraish set out from Makkah with the intention of attacking the Muslims, at the very same time the chieftains of the Quraish must have relayed a message to the tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan, urging them to attack Madinah from the opposing front. It is also possible that when Abu Sufyan slipped away and escaped with his caravan, by means of an emissary, etc., he may have urged these tribes to go forth against the Muslims. In any case, the Holy Prophetsa had only just arrived in Madinah after becoming free from the Battle of Badr, when the horrific news was received that the tribes of Sulaim and Ghatafan were about to wage an onslaught against the Muslims. Upon receiving this news, as a pre-emptive measure, the Holy Prophetsa immediately assembled a force of the Companions and set out towards Najd. However, after undertaking an arduous journey of many days, when the Holy Prophetsa reached the Qirqirah, (i.e., the desolate plain) of a place known as Al-Kudr, he found that upon receiving news of the imminent arrival of the Muslims, the people of the Banu Sulaim and Banu Ghatafan had taken refuge in the nearby mountains. The Holy Prophetsa dispatched a detachment of Muslims in search of them and proceeded to the heart of the valley himself, but no trace of them could be found.4 Albeit, they were able to find a large herd of camels grazing in the nearby valley, which belonged to them, and according to the laws of warfare, the companions seized it; thereafter the Holy Prophetsa returned to Madinah. The shepherd of these camels was a slave named Yasar, who had been taken captive along with the camels. This person was so deeply influenced by the company of the Holy Prophetsa that after a short period of time he became a Muslim. Although according to custom, the Holy Prophetsa freed him as an act of benevolence,5 he still did not leave the service of the Holy Prophetsa until his last breath.6

 

Ghazwah of Sawiq – Dhul-Hijjah 2 A.H.

The mourning which rippled through Makkah as a result of the Battle of Badr has already been described. Almost all the chieftains of the Quraish had been slain, and now the rule of Madinah had come to the lot of Abu Sufyan bin Harb. After Badr he vowed that until he had sought revenge for those who had fallen at Badr, he would abstain from having relations with his wife7 and applying oil to his hair.8 As such, a few months after Badr, in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, Abu Sufyan set out from Makkah with a force of two-hundred armed men from the Quraish and reached a place close to Madinah via the route of Najd. Upon reaching there, he left his army at some distance from Madinah and in the veil of the darkness of night, reached the abode of Huyaiyy bin Akhtab, who was chief of the Jewish tribe, the Banu Nadir, and sought his aid. However, since Huyaiyy still somewhat remembered his treaty and agreement, he refused. Then, in the same manner, Abu Sufyan secretly went to the home of another chief of the Banu Nadir named Salam bin Mashkam, and sought his support against the Muslims. This wretched man, however, very audaciously ignored all of his treaties and agreements and warmly welcomed Abu Sufyan as a guest for the night, and transmitted secret intelligence to him pertaining to the Muslims.9 Before dawn, Abu Sufyan took leave and upon reaching his army, dispatched a contingent of the Quraish to raid a valley named ‘Arid, which was located close to Madinah.10 This was a valley where the animals belonging to the Muslims would graze, and which was situated at a distance of only three miles from Madinah. It is likely that Abu Sufyan was made aware of this through Salam bin Mashkam. When this contingent of the Quraish reached the valley of ‘Arid, fortunately, at the time, the animals belonging to the Muslims were not present. Albeit, a Muslim from among the Ansar and a companion of his were present at the time. The Quraish apprehended both of them and ruthlessly murdered them.11 Then, they set ablaze the date palms in the area12 and set fire to the homes and small huts which were located there,13 before returning to the camp of Abu Sufyan. Considering this success as being sufficient fulfillment of his vow, Abu Sufyan ordered the army to return. On the other hand, when the Holy Prophetsa was informed of the attack made by Abu Sufyan, he set out with a group of Companions in his pursuit. However, since Abu Sufyan did not fancy throwing the fulfillment of his vow to doubt, he fled so frantically that the Muslim army was unable to apprehend him. Ultimately, after an absence of a few days, the Holy Prophetsa returned to Madinah. This Ghazwah is known as the Ghazwah of Sawiq because when Abu Sufyan made haste to Makkah, he fled leaving his ration behind, which primarily consisted of ‘Sawiq’ or sacks of barley, partly due to anxiety and also in order to lighten his load.

 

‘Idul-Adha – Dhul-Hijjah 2 A.H.

With reference to ‘Idul-Fitr, the philosophy of Islamic festivals has already been discussed. In this very year, during the month of Dhul-Hijjah, the second Islamic festival, i.e., ‘Idul-Adha was ordained, which is celebrated on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah throughout the Islamic world.14 On this ‘Id, in addition to Salat, which is the true ‘Id of a true Muslim, it is obligatory upon every such Muslim who possesses the means, to sacrifice a four-legged animal and distribute its meat amongst his kith and kin, friends, neighbours, etc., and to partake of it himself as well. As such, on the day of ‘Idul-Adha, and for two days thereafter as well, hundreds of thousands, rather, millions of animals are slaughtered for the sake of Allah throughout the entire Islamic world. In this manner, by way of practice, remembrance of the magnificent sacrifice made by Hazrat Abrahamas, Hazrat Ishmaelas and Hazrat Hagaras – the greatest example of which was the life of the Holy Prophetsa – is kept alive; and each and every Muslim is exhorted that he too should be prepared to sacrifice his life, wealth, and all of his possessions in the way of his Master and Lord. Just as in the case of ‘Idul-Fitr, this ‘Id is also celebrated at the completion of a grand Islamic worship, and that worship is the Hajj,15 which shall, God-willing, be mentioned at its appropriate place ahead.

 

 

Endnotes

 

1. Reference 452/1.

2. As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 511, Ghazwatu Bani Sulaimin Bil-Kudr, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001).

3. At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, By Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, pp. 264-265, Ghazwatu Qarqaratil-Kudr, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

4. Sharhul-‘Allamatiz-Zarqani ‘Alal-Mawahibil-Ladunniyyah, By Allamah Shihabuddin Al-Qastalani, Volume 2, p. 345, Ghazwatu Bani Sulaim Wa Hiya Qarqaratul-Kudr, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

5. At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, By Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, pp. 265, Ghazwatu Qarqaratil-Kudr, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

6. Usdul-Ghabah Fi Ma‘rifatis-Sahabah, By ‘Izzuddin Ibnul-Athir Abil-Hasan ‘Ali bin Muhammad, Volume 4, p. 713, Yasar Ar-Ra‘i, Darul-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon (2003).

7. As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 512, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001).

8. At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, By Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, pp. 264, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

9. * As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 512, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

* At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, By Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, pp. 264, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

10. As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 512, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001).

11. * As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 512, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001)

* At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, By Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, pp. 264, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

12. As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, By Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, p. 512, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Darul-Kutubil-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (2001).

13. At-Tabaqatul-Kubra, By Muhammad bin Sa‘d, Volume 2, pp. 264, Ghazwatus-Sawiq, Daru Ihya’it-Turathil-‘Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition (1996).

14. Tarikhur-Rusuli Wal-Muluk (Tarikhut-Tabari), By Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Jarir At-Tabari, Volume 3, p. 51, Thumma Dakhalatis-Sanatuth-Thaniyatu Minal-Hijrah / Ghazwatu Bani Qainuqa‘, Darul-Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition (2002).

15. Pilgrimage to the Ka‘bah (Publishers)

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