Battle of Tabuk and the demolition of Masjid Ziraar
Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that during summer a caravan from Shaam arriving at Medina, with garments and provisions for sale, gave information that the army of Rum, commanded by the emperor Harqal in person, who had been joined by many of the Arab tribes, like Ghassan, Kharam, Qahar and Hamla, had arrived at Humus, the main body of the army having advanced as far as Balqa, their object being to attack the Muslims.
The Prophet immediately made preparation to march to Tabuk, and summoned all the tribes of Medina and Mecca, like Qaza-a, Marina and Jahinia, with others, to the scared war. He ordered that those who had property should assist the poor in the expedition. Great and general contribution were made to defray the expense of outfit and charges of the war. After leaving the city and encamping at Sinyatul Wida, he made the following address to his army: Praise and thanksgiving be to Allah: O you people, verily the truest word is the book of Allah; the best discourse is that of piety; the best of community is that of Ibrahim, and the best of religious observances are those of the Prophet.
The most excellent utterance is praising Allah, the best of narratives are those of the Qur’an, the best of works are those which are moderate, and the worst of deeds is heresy. The best of religious directions are those of the prophets, and the best death is martyrdom. The worst of the blind are those of a blind heart, who wander after receiving religious instruction; the best deeds are those which confer advantages in the future world.
The best guidance is that which is followed and the worst blindness is the blindness of the heart. The hand that gives is better than the hand that receives and small charity is better than great wealth, which makes man forgetful of Allah. The best excuse is the excuse asked at the time of death. The worst regret is to ask for pardon at death, and the most degraded of penitents are those that appear as such at the judgment.
There are those who do not except rarely, assemble for worship on Friday, and same only occasionally think of Allah. But the worst sinners are those who are liars. The most perfect independence is that from appetite, and the best of necessaries is fearing the wrath of God. The beginning of wisdom is to fear God, and the best thing that comes to the heart of man is assurance in faith. Doubt in religion is infidelity, and distance from truth is part of ignorance.
Stealing from spoils is portion of Hellfire, drunkenness is a flame of Hell, poetry is of Satan, wine is the gatherer of all sins, and women are the nets of the devil. Youth is a branch of insanity. The worst earnings are the earnings of women and the worst of frauds is defrauding orphans. He is of a fortunate mind who receives admonition from states of others, and unfortunate whom Allah knows to be such before his birth.
Everyone of you will at last go to a narrow cell (grave), toward which all your acts tend. The worst device is that of lying. Whatever is to come soon arrives. Enmity to believers is corruption, fighting them is infidelity, and slandering them is sin against Allah. Their property is as sacred as their blood.
Whoever trusts in God will be sufficiently assisted, and to the patient and persevering Allah will give the victory. Whoever pardons the fault of others, Allah will pardon his; whoever quells his anger, Allah will give him a great reward; whoever is patient under calamity, Allah will bestow on him a good recompense. Whoever wishes to make known his good deeds to men, Allah will degrade and expose him in their estimation.
Whoever keeps fasts will receive a double reward, but Allah will punish all that sin against Him. The Prophet then repeated several times: Lord, pardon me and my community, and turning to his followers, said: I ask forgiveness of Allah for you and for myself. He then incited them to fight manfully for faith.
The people after hearing this address, became eager for battle and all tribes whom the Prophet had invited became ready for Jihad. There was, however, a party of hypocrites who would not go to the war, and among them a man named Jadd bin Qays, to whom the Prophet said, “Will you not go with us? perhaps you may take a daughter of Rum prisoner.”
The wretch replied, “It is well known that there is no man fonder of women than myself; but what I fear is that on seeing the daughter of Rum, I shall not be able to restrain myself within proper bounds: do not therefore expose me to such temptation, but allow me to remain at Medina.” Jadd then advised his neighbors not to march in such a hot climate, saying there was nothing to be gained by it but fatigue.
His son reproved, and admonished him that presently some verses would be revealed from heaven denouncing his infidelity, and which men would read and curse him down to the Judgment Day. This apprehension was soon realized, for directly the Almighty Allah sent down his verse:
æóãöäúåõãú ãóäú íóÞõæáõ ÇÆúÐóäú áöí æóáóÇ ÊóÝúÊöäøöí ۚ ÃóáóÇ Ýöí ÇáúÝöÊúäóÉö ÓóÞóØõæÇ ۗ æóÅöäøó Ìóåóäøóãó áóãõÍöíØóÉñ ÈöÇáúßóÇÝöÑöíäó
“And among them there is he who says: Allow me and do not try me. Surely into trial have they already tumbled down, and most surely hell encompasses the unbelievers.”
Jadd further observed, “Muhammad thinks an engagement with armies of Rum is like the battles he has already fought, but none of his army will return.” But when these verses were revealed he and his followers were exposed and armies from all around gathered at Sinyatul Wida. The Holy Prophet (S) set out from there and Ali was left in command at Medina, which arrangement was so scandalized by the hypocrites, that at last Amirul Momineen (a.s.) took his arms and overtook the Prophet at Jarf.
The Prophet asked him why he had come. Ali replied that the hypocrites declared that he had been left, lest he should bring misfortune on the expedition. “That is false,” said the Prophet; “and are you not satisfied with being my brother, and holding in respect to me the rank of Harun to Musa, and to be Caliph among my people, as there will never be a Prophet after me?” Thus consoled, Ali returned to Medina.
Then Amr bin Auf tribe and Salam bin Umair who were present in Badr came to the Prophet wailing and Bani Waqif Muddai bin Umair and Bani Haritha, Aliya bin Zaid and one who had revealed his hidden wealth to the Prophet and it was because one day the Prophet asked them to donate something to charity and people brought their contributions.
Aliya swore that he had nothing which he can give and he gave all his hidden wealth to the Prophet, who said that Allah has accepted his contribution. So Abdur Rahman bin Kaab, alias Abu Laila from Bani Mazin and from Bani Salma came Aman bin Ghalma and Bani Zariq bin Zajar, Bani Arna bin Saria came to the Prophet wailing and said that they were financially incapable to accompany him. The Almighty Allah revealed the following verse about them:
áóíúÓó Úóáóì ÇáÖøõÚóÝóÇÁö æóáóÇ Úóáóì ÇáúãóÑúÖٰì æóáóÇ Úóáóì ÇáøóÐöíäó áóÇ íóÌöÏõæäó ãóÇ íõäúÝöÞõæäó ÍóÑóÌñ ÅöÐóÇ äóÕóÍõæÇ áöáøóåö æóÑóÓõæáöåö ۚ ãóÇ Úóáóì ÇáúãõÍúÓöäöíäó ãöäú ÓóÈöíáò ۚ æóÇááøóåõ ÛóÝõæÑñ ÑóÍöíãñ
“It shall be no crime in the weak, nor in the sick, nor in those who do not find what they should spend (to stay behind), so long as they are sincere to Allah and His Apostle; there is no way (to blame) against the doers of good; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that these people only wanted a pair of slippers, which they can wear and march forward. So the Almighty Allah said:
ÅöäøóãóÇ ÇáÓøóÈöíáõ Úóáóì ÇáøóÐöíäó íóÓúÊóÃúÐöäõæäóßó æóåõãú ÃóÛúäöíóÇÁõ ۚÑóÖõæÇ ÈöÃóäú íóßõæäõæÇ ãóÚó ÇáúÎóæóÇáöÝö
“The way (to blame) is only against those who ask permission of you though they are rich; they have chosen to be with those who remained behind…”
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that eighty people remained behind from various tribes. Who were physically fit and had good intentions and there was no doubt about them. But they said that they will meet the Prophet ahead. Abu Khatima was one of them. He had two wives and owned two grape orchards, in which he had constructed thatches. His women performed the function of irrigating the garden. He provided his wives in the best way.
He said that it was not just for the Holy Prophet (S) whose past and future sins are forgiven to be exposed to sun and go for Jihad while people like me should enjoy life. He loaded his she-camel and joined the Prophet. When people saw him approach the Prophet said that it was Abu Khathima. Abu Zar lagged behind for three days as he had a very thin camel who refused to move. Abu Zar left it to walk on foot.
When the sun rose high, Muslims saw a person approach. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “It is Abu Zar. Give him water, he is very thirsty.” He drank the water although he was already having a pot of water with him. The Holy Prophet (S) asked why he was thirsty when he had water, he said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), I found some rain water collected in a depression in a rock, but when I tasted it, I found that it was extremely sweet and cool.
So I vowed that I will not taste it till I have given it to my beloved, Messenger of Allah (S).” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “O Abu Zar, may the Almighty Allah have mercy on you. You will live alone, die alone, will be raised alone on Judgment Day and enter Paradise alone. Some people from Iraq will perform your last rites.”
The Prophet now ordered his army to be numbered, and it was found to be twenty-five thousand strong, besides slaves and servants. He then commanded the believers to be counted, and there were twenty-five persons who had not opposed him in that expedition.
Some believers and some hypocrites had not accompanied in the expedition. Believers were those who had wisdom in religion and sign of hypocrisy had not been seen in them. They were: Kaab bin Malik, Marara bin Rabi and Hilal bin Umayyah. Kaab says: “I was never as healthy and powerful as I was at the time of the Battle of Tabuk and I never was given two quadrupeds to ride. I thought that if I departed in a day or two I would be able to join the Prophet; but I continued to lie in laziness for many days.
Meanwhile I went to the market but I could not achieve anything. I saw Hilal bin Umayyah and Marara bin Rabi that they had also remained behind. We conferred among ourselves that the following day we will go to the market, complete our business and then leave for the battle. But the following day also, we could not achieve anything. This went on till we learnt that the Prophet was returning from Tabuk and we were much ashamed. When the Holy Prophet (S) reached near Medina we went out to congratulate him on his safe return. When we saluted, the Prophet did not respond. He turned away from us.
We saluted the believers, but they also did not respond. Our family members learnt about this and they also stopped talking to us. When we came to the Masjid, no one saluted us or spoke to us. Finally our wives went to the Holy Prophet (S) and said: “We know that you are infuriated with our husbands. If you want, we will separate from them.”
The Holy Prophet (S) said, “No, but do not go near them.” when Kaab bin Malik and his companions saw this, they said: “Why should we remain in Medina, when neither the Prophet speaks to us nor our friends or family members? Let us go to a mountain and stay there till the Almighty Allah accepts our repentance. Or we will die there only. Thus they climbed the Zubab mountains. They fasted during days and their family members brought them food which they placed in a corner without speaking to them. Thus they continued to cry and seek forgiveness for a long time.
After many days passed in this condition, Kaab said: “All are angry with us and no one is willing to talk to us; so let us separate from each other also?” So they took a vow that they will not speak to each other till death or that their repentance is accepted. Three days passed when they did not even look at each other. On the third day when the Messenger of Allah (S) was at Umm Salma’s place the Almighty Allah accepted their repentance and revealed the following verse:
áóÞóÏú ÊóÇÈó Çááøóåõ Úóáóì ÇáäøóÈöíøö æóÇáúãõåóÇÌöÑöíäó æóÇáúÃóäúÕóÇÑö ÇáøóÐöíäó ÇÊøóÈóÚõæåõ Ýöí ÓóÇÚóÉö ÇáúÚõÓúÑóÉö
“Certainly Allah has turned (mercifully) to the Prophet and those who fled (their homes) and the helpers who followed him in the hour of straitness…”
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said: The verse is revealed like this and not like how the people recite:
áóÞóÏú ÊóÇÈó Çááøóåõ Úóáóì ÇáäøóÈöíøö æóÇáúãõåóÇÌöÑöíäó
“Certainly Allah has turned (mercifully) to the Prophet and those who fled (their homes)…”
One whose repentance was accepted was Abu Zar, Abu Khathima, Amr bin Wahab, who lagged behind and then finally joined the Prophet. But the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse about Kaab and his two companions:
æóÚóáóì ÇáËøóáÇóËóÉö ÇáøóÐöíäó ÎõáøöÝõæÇú
“And to the three who were left behind…”
Imam (a.s.) said that the verse revealed like this:
æóÚóáóì ÇáËøóáÇóËóÉö ÇáøóÐöíäó ÎõáøöÝõæÇú
“And to the three who were left behind…”
That is the Almighty Allah accepted the repentance of the three who disobeyed the Prophet and did not go out to fight.
ÍóÊøٰì ÅöÐóÇ ÖóÇÞóÊú Úóáóíúåöãõ ÇáÃóÑúÖõ ÈöãóÇ ÑóÍõÈóÊú
“until the earth became strait to them notwithstanding its spaciousness…”
Imam (a.s.) said: It implies that the Prophet, their brothers in faith and their family members had boycotted them so it became difficult for them to live in Medina and hence they retired to the hills.
æóÖóÇÞóÊú Úóáóíúåöãú ÃóäÝõÓõåõãú
“…and their souls were also straitened to them…”
Imam (a.s.) said: “It implies that they stopped interaction between themselves and separated from each other.” At last the Almighty Allah accepted their repentance as He was aware of their true intentions.
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that a group of hypocrites set out for the Battle of Tabuk with the Prophet and on the way conferred among themselves that Muhammad thinks that the Battle of Rum is like the other battles that he has fought. None of them will return alive. Some of them sarcastically said: “How learned is that God, Who informs Muhammad about that which we talk among ourselves and that which passes through our minds and He reveals verses about them so that people may continue to read them forever.
The Holy Prophet (S) told Ammar Yasir to join their group, because he was so bold in words that he would irritate them. Ammar came to them and said: “What nonsense have you spoken that the Almighty Allah has informed your Prophet?” They said: “We have not said any untoward thing and it was all by way of jest.” At that juncture, the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses:
íóÍúÐóÑõ ÇáúãõäóÇÝöÞõæäó Ãóäú ÊõäóÒøóáó Úóáóíúåöãú ÓõæÑóÉñ ÊõäóÈøöÆõåõãú ÈöãóÇ Ýöí ÞõáõæÈöåöãú ۚ Þõáö ÇÓúÊóåúÒöÆõæÇ Åöäøó Çááøóåó ãõÎúÑöÌñ ãóÇ ÊóÍúÐóÑõæäó. æóáóÆöäú ÓóÃóáúÊóåõãú áóíóÞõæáõäøó ÅöäøóãóÇ ßõäøóÇ äóÎõæÖõ æóäóáúÚóÈõ ۚ Þõáú ÃóÈöÇááøóåö æóÂíóÇÊöåö æóÑóÓõæáöåö ßõäúÊõãú ÊóÓúÊóåúÒöÆõæäó
“The hypocrites fear lest a chapter should be sent down to them telling them plainly of what is in their hearts. Say: Go on mocking, surely Allah will bring forth what you fear. And if you should question them, they would certainly say: We were only idly discoursing and sporting. Say: Was it at Allah and His communications and His Apostle that you mocked?”
áóÇ ÊóÚúÊóÐöÑõæÇ ÞóÏú ßóÝóÑúÊõãú ÈóÚúÏó ÅöíãóÇäößõãú ۚ Åöäú äóÚúÝõ Úóäú ØóÇÆöÝóÉò ãöäúßõãú äõÚóÐøöÈú ØóÇÆöÝóÉð ÈöÃóäøóåõãú ßóÇäõæÇ ãõÌúÑöãöíäó
“Do not make excuses; you have denied indeed after you had believed; if We pardon a party of you, We will chastise (another) party because they are guilty.”
Ali bin Ibrahim, in the commentary of this verse, has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that these were the ones who brought faith with sincerity, but they had doubt in religion and became hypocrites; and they were four persons, one, Mujtabir bin Himyar was such that the Almighty Allah promised to forgive him. He confessed to his mistake and repented for it saying that his name was responsible for his calamity. So the Holy Prophet (S) named him as Abdullah bin Abdur Rahman.
He prayed: “O Allah, give me martyrdom at such a place that no one should come to know about my whereabouts.” The Almighty Allah accepted his prayer and he was martyred in the Battle of Musaylima and no one knew where he was. Thus he was forgiven by the Almighty Allah. But Ayyashi has through reliable chains narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that these verses were revealed about Abu Bakr and Umar and ten persons of Bani Umayyah, because these twelve had planned to assassinate the Prophet at the Uqbah of Tabuk.
They had planned that if they were detected, they would claim that they were joking, and if the remained undetected, they would eliminate the Holy Prophet (S). At that time the Almighty Allah had revealed these verses and forgiveness of some of them implies that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) under an exigency forgave Abu Bakr and Umar in the world by the order of Allah and cursed them from the pulpit and also cursed those ten persons.
When the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the Battle of Tabuk, believing companions objected to the hypocrites and condemned them. So they swore that they were steadfast on faith they had not become hypocrites so that believers may refrain from harassing them. So the Almighty Allah revealed the following verses about their falsehood:
ÓóíóÍúáöÝõæäó ÈöÇááøóåö áóßõãú ÅöÐóÇ ÇäúÞóáóÈúÊõãú Åöáóíúåöãú áöÊõÚúÑöÖõæÇ Úóäúåõãú ۖ ÝóÃóÚúÑöÖõæÇ Úóäúåõãú ۖ Åöäøóåõãú ÑöÌúÓñ ۖ æóãóÃúæóÇåõãú Ìóåóäøóãõ ÌóÒóÇÁð ÈöãóÇ ßóÇäõæÇ íóßúÓöÈõæäó ﴿٩٥﴾ íóÍúáöÝõæäó áóßõãú áöÊóÑúÖóæúÇ Úóäúåõãú ۖ ÝóÅöäú ÊóÑúÖóæúÇ Úóäúåõãú ÝóÅöäøó Çááøóåó áóÇ íóÑúÖóìٰ Úóäö ÇáúÞóæúãö ÇáúÝóÇÓöÞöíäó
“They will excuse themselves to you when you go back to them. Say: Urge no excuse, by no means will we believe you; indeed Allah has informed us of matters relating to you; and now Allah and His Apostle will see your doings, then you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did. They will swear to you by Allah when you return to them so that you may turn aside from them; so do turn aside from them; surely they are unclean and their abode is hell; a recompense for what they earned.”
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that those hypocrites who took part in Battle of Tabuk on the night of Uqbah, the wicked infidels plotted to assassinate the Prophet on the Uqbah pass and those of the hypocrites who had remained behind in Medina decided to eliminate Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).
But they could not surpass Allah (Who was the protector of both of them). It was due to the fact that the Holy Prophet (S) had appointed Ali (a.s.) to a lofty position. At the time of departing for the Battle of Tabuk, the Messenger of Allah (S) appointed Ali in Medina as his representative and said: Jibraeel had come and said: After greetings, the Almighty Allah says: O Muhammad, either you go out and Ali (a.s.) remain in Medina or Ali (a.s.) may go and you remain in Medina. There is no other choice, so I have chosen Ali for one of the options. None except me knows the great rewards and majesty of one who will obey me in both these matters.
At last when the Holy Prophet (S) set out for the battle of Tabuk after appointing Ali (a.s.) as his deputy in Medina, the hypocrites began to say many things about it. They said: Muhammad has had a tiff with Ali and he is displeased with his company. That is why he did not take him along on this expedition. Ali (a.s.) became very sad on hearing this, so he set out after His Eminence (S) and met him on the outskirts of Medina. On seeing him, His Eminence (S) asked: Why did you leave your place?
Ali (a.s.) said: “O Allah’s Messenger (S), I heard such remarks from the people and I could not bear them.” His Eminence (S) said: “O Ali, are you not pleased that you are to me as Harun was to Musa (a.s.), except that there will be no prophethood after me?” Thus Ali (a.s.) returned to Medina and the hypocrites devised a plot to eliminate him.
So they dug out a pit, fifty yard long, on the way, covered it with palm leaves and spread some mud upon it to conceal it. It was dug at a spot that he had to cross in any way, and it was dug quite deep, so that the Imam may fall into it along with his horse; and then stones may be thrown over him to bury him alive. When Ali (a.s.) reached near the pit, the horse turned its neck and by the power of God it became so long that its mouth reached to the ear of His Eminence (a.s.), and then it said: O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), the hypocrites have dug a pit over here and have planned to kill you. You know better that you must not pass from here.
His Eminence (a.s.) said: May Allah give you a good reward, as you are my well-wisher and concerned for my well being. Almighty Allah will not deprive you of His great kindness. Then His Eminence (a.s.) drove the horse till they came to the edge of that pit. The horse stopped, fearing that it would fall into it. His Eminence (a.s.) said: Go on by the order of Allah, you will pass over it safe and sound; and Allah will give an outstanding rank and make this matter of yours unique. At last the horse began to gallop over it and the Almighty Allah made the earth hard and smooth and filling up the pit, made it like other grounds.
When Ali (a.s.) passed over it, the horse turned its neck and putting the mouth on his ear said: Indeed your status is very venerable near the Lord of the worlds, that He enabled you to pass over this empty pit. His Eminence (a.s.) said: The Almighty Allah has rewarded you for your concern about me and made you pass over it safe and sound. Then the head of the horse turned to the back and the people who had planned it were also present there.
Some were at the back and some ahead. His Eminence (a.s.) told them to uncover the pit. When it was opened, it was found empty from inside, such that if anyone had stepped over it, he would have fallen into it. Seeing this miracle, the hypocrites were shocked and amazed. His Eminence (a.s.) asked: Do you know who has done this? They replied: We don’t know. His Eminence (a.s.) said: But my horse knows. Then he turned to his horse and asked: What is the truth and who has done it?
The horse said: O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), when Allah wants, He makes something firm and ignorant people want to spoil it or when ignorant people want to make something firm and Allah wants to destroy it, then only Allah gains the upper hand and people are subdued. O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), this is the handiwork of so-and-so ten hypocrites and twenty-four other men whose advice was taken but who have gone along with Allah’s Messenger (S); and they have planned to kill His Eminence (S) at Uqbah, and Allah is the protector of His Messenger (S) and His Wali (a.s.).
Some companions of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Let us inform the Prophet about it and send a message through a fast messenger. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Allah’s messenger and His letter will reach sooner than my messenger and letter. Don’t worry, they can never succeed in this.
Thus when the Prophet reached near the cliff where the hypocrites had planned to kill him, he halted there and gathering the hypocrites said: “The Trustworthy Spirit has brought news from the Lord of the worlds that hypocrites planned to kill Amirul Momineen (a.s.) on the outskirts of Medina and Allah, by His Grace, made the ground hard below the hooves of his horse and feet of his followers and they passed over it safely.
Then they turned back and opened the pit. Allah emptied it just as the hypocrites had prepared it before, thus disclosing their wickedness. Some believers advised him to send a message to the Prophet but he replied that Allah’s messenger and His letter will reach sooner than his messenger and message.” But the Prophet did not tell them about the prophecy that Ali (a.s.) had mentioned to his companions at the gates of Medina.
That some hypocrites who were in the company of the Prophet intend to eliminate him and that the Almighty Allah will ward off their wickedness from him. When these twenty-four hypocrites heard this discourse of the Prophet that he delivered about Ali (a.s.), they began to talk among themselves: Muhammad is an expert in deception; some fast messenger or a carrier pigeon must have brought news that Ali has been killed in this way as it is the same thing that our associates had taken advice on, now he is hiding the facts from us, relating it in another way so that his companions may rest content and may not turn upon him.
It is a remote possibility and it cannot be to the contrary. By Allah, Ali’s death has retained him in Medina and his death has brought him here. Ali has definitely been killed there and he will surely be killed here. Anyway, lets go and show joy at Ali’s escape so that he may be content with regard to us and we may carry out our plan easily. So they came to His Eminence (S) and congratulated him of Ali’s escape from the enemies.
Then said: O Allah’s Messenger, tell us, who is excellent? Ali or the proximate angels? His Eminence (S) said: Angels are honored only because they love Muhammad and Ali (a.s.) and they have accepted their guardianship. And there is no devotee of Ali (a.s.) who is not purified of all spiritual dirt and made purer than the proximate angels. Angels were ordered to prostrate to Adam (a.s.) because they had the notion that if Allah takes them up and create others in their stead in the earth, they (the angels) would be superior to them and more cognizant of divine religion.
Thus Allah intended to make them aware that their thinking was wrong, so He has created Adam (a.s.) and taught him all the names and presented these named ones before the angels, but they failed to recognize them. After that He commanded Adam (a.s.) to mention the names and identify those personalities, so that the angels may know that Adam was superior to them in knowledge.
Then He separated a progeny from Adam’s loins, that included all prophets, Muhammad (S) and his progeny, which is superior to all; his virtuous followers and companions were all included. In this way, Allah made them aware that they are superior to angels. They are entrusted such duties that if angels are with them they would find it dreadful. They will have to contend with Shaitan and struggle with evils, fulfill family responsibilities and try to earn lawful sustenance.
They will suffer hardships and trouble from kings, cruel persons and thieves. They will bear difficulties of straits, mountains, hills, seas and jungles. Allah made them realize that virtuous people have to fight Shaitans and defeat them; keep their selves from desires and lustfulness. Besides this, Allah has collected in them lust and need of clothes, food, desires, prestige, kindness, pride etc. as a result of which they have to suffer a lot.
The shaitaans will try to create fear and temptations in their mind and mislead them, but they will overcome their evil suggestions. They will have to tolerate taunts, abuses, the desire for food and to escape from the enemies and bear difficulties in travel. Almighty Allah told His angels: O My angels, you are free from all this. You are not having lust and desires and have no fear of enemies of the world and Shaitan is unable to mislead you as he cannot interfere in this kingdom. I have kept you safe from his hands.
O My angels! One who obeys My orders from the children of Adam and tries to save the religion from troubles and difficulties, is deserving of My rewards that angels are nor eligible for. He has obtained some things from Me, that you have not. In short, Allah told His angels about the excellence of the followers of Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.), his successors and their believers and proved that the children of Adam (a.s.) were superior to them.
Then Allah ordered them to prostrate to Adam (a.s.) for the reason that the future generations were in him. This prostration was not for Adam (a.s.); he was their Qiblah and they prostrated to Allah. This prostration was for Adam’s respect and not because he was deserving for it; and none is deserving of prostration except Allah.
If I order anyone to prostrate to other than Me I will order him to prostrate to that person who is the medium of the knowledge of the Wasi of the Messenger of Allah (S) and is sincerely devoted to the best of men after Muhammad, that is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). And who in order to explain the rights of Allah is prepared to undergo untold great hardships and from His rights that Allah had revealed to him he does not deny anyone of them, whether he knew about them beforehand or came to know later.
After that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Iblis disobeyed Allah and was ruined because he became arrogant about Adam (a.s.). And Adam (a.s.) disobeyed Allah when he ate the fruit of the tree forbidden by Allah, but was saved, because he did not add to his disobedience with pride against Muhammad and Aale Muhammad; so Allah revealed to Adam (a.s.): Shaitan disobeyed Me with regard to you and was proud against you and that is why he was ruined.
If he had prostrated to you under My command and respected My order and majesty, he would have indeed become successful. And you disobeyed Me in eating the fruit of that tree and gained deliverance by according respect for Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.); and the shame that you earned through your mistake will go away.
So you must pray to Me through the sake of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad that I will fulfill your need. Thus Adam (a.s.) made Muhammad and Aale Muhammad his intercessors and prayed through their sake and obtained a great status of victory and deliverance, because he held on firmly to the love of us, Ahlul Bayt.
After that the Prophet (S) ordered his companions to march at midnight and announced to all Muslims not to ascend the hill until he (S) passes it. Then His Eminence (S) ordered Huzaifa to sit below the hill and watch who is passing first over it before him and inform him. Huzaifa (r.a.) was instructed to hide behind a rock but he said: If I see the faces of the leaders of your army sitting at the foothill and if they plan to kill they would come before you and if somebody finds me and thinks that I will inform you, they would kill me.
His Eminence (S) said: When you reach foothills, there is a big rock towards the jungle, you go to it and say that the Prophet (S) orders you to crack open for me, so that I can enter. Then say that the Prophet (S) orders you to keep a hole, so that you can watch who passes by and also that it may enable you to breathe and not die of suffocation. When you tell the rock, by the order of Allah the rock will act accordingly.
Thus Huzaifa (r.a.) gave the message of His Eminence (S) to the rock, it happened as predicted and he sat watching through the hole. At that time, the twenty-four persons arrived on camels; footmen walked before them saying to each other: If you see anyone here, kill him at once, so that he cannot inform Muhammad and hearing this, they might return from here and not climb till morning, and our plot may fail. Huzaifa (r.a.) heard them and they searched everywhere but could not see anyone as the Almighty Allah had concealed him in the rock.
After that, some of them climbed the hill, some left the usual path and some stood to the left and right of the foothills; other were saying: See how the plan to kill Muhammad is succeeding. He himself forbid the people to climb the hill before him so that we get privacy and can carry out our plan. Thus we shall be free before his companions arrive. Huzaifa (r.a.) could hear them from near and far and he memorized everything.
When they had settled in their places in the mountain, that rock spoke up by the command of Allah and asked Huzaifa (r.a.) to go to the Prophet and tell him what he had heard. Huzaifa (r.a.) said: How can I go out? Because if they see me, they would kill me, so that I may not reveal their plan. The rock said: Allah provided a place in me for you and through the hole He made in me, conveyed air to you.
The same Allah will take you to His Eminence (S) and save you from the enemies. At last when Huzaifa (r.a.) intended to go, the rock split and Allah turned him into a bird and he started flying in the air and went to His Eminence (S). When he landed, Allah again changed him to his original form. Huzaifa (r.a.) told everything he had seen and heard. His Eminence (S) asked: Did you recognize them by their faces?
He said: They had veiled their faces but I recognized them by their camels. But later when they had inspected the place and could not find anyone there, they lifted the veils and I saw their faces and recognized them that they were such and such twenty-four persons. His Eminence (S) said: O Huzaifa! When Allah wants to save Muhammad (S) no one in the world can harm him. Because Allah will effect His affair through Muhammad (S) even if disbelievers do not like.
Then he said: O Huzaifa! You, Salman and Ammar come along with me and trust in Allah. And when we pass the difficult terrain, the people may be permitted to follow us. Then His Eminence (S) mounted his beast and climbed the hill. From Huzaifa and Salman (r.a.), one held the camel’s nose string and the other drove it from behind, whereas Ammar (r.a.) walked by the side. The accursed hypocrites were on their camels and their footmen stood on various mounds of the hill.
Those who were above the pass, had with them pots filled with stones, so that when His Eminence (S) comes up, they will roll down the pots so that the camel along with His Eminence (S) may fall into the valley, which is so deep that one feels uneasy seeing it. At last when the pots filled with stones came rolling to the camel, they rose very high by the order of Allah and when the camel passed by, all the pots fell into the valley and the camel did not feel anything.
Then His Eminence (S) asked Ammar (r.a.) to climb the hill and beat their camels with his staff and make them fall down. Ammar (r.a.) did this. The camels started running helter skelter. Some of them fell down, some lost their hands and some their legs and ribs. On account of this, they suffered a lot and even after the wounds were healed, the marks remained on their bodies till death.
That’s why His Eminence (S) said that Huzaifa (r.a.) and Ali (a.s.) know all these hypocrites very well because Huzaifa (r.a.) saw all of them from the foothill, whoever climbed the hill before the Holy Prophet (S) and Allah protected His Apostle and Messenger (S) from the enemies and he returned to Medina safe and sound. Allah disgraced those who had not accompanied the Prophet to the battle, and those who had planned to kill Ali (a.s.), Allah kept their wickedness away from His Wali (a.s.) and made them disgraced.
Kulaini has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that when people tried to provoke the she-camel of the Prophet, she began to speak by the power of Allah: “By Allah I will not move from my place even I am cut up into pieces.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Huzaifa bin Yaman that when the Prophet was returning from the Battle of Tabuk, those who tried to provoke the Prophet’s she-camel were fourteen persons: Abu Bakr, Umar, Muawiyah, Abu Sufyan father of Muawiyah, Talha, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Abul Awar, Mughira bin Shoba, Salim, the freed slave of Abi Huzaifa, Khalid bin Walid, Amr Aas, Abu Musa Ashari and Abdur Rahman bin Auf, may Allah keep His mercy from them. These were the ones regarding whom the Almighty Allah said:
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“…and they had determined upon what they have not been able to effect…”
It is narrated in reliable traditions that the Holy Prophet (S) cursed Abu Sufyan on seven occasions, one of which was when they attacked the Prophet at Uqbah. They were twelve persons, seven from Bani Umayyah and five others. The Messenger of Allah (S) cursed them at that time.
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated through Shia and Sunni channels that when the Holy Prophet (S) returned from the Battle of Tabuk, twelve hypocrites were hiding on the top of the cliff to eliminate him. Jibraeel came down and warned him of the impending danger and suggested to him to send someone to beat their camels. On that night Ammar was leading the Prophet’s she-camel and Huzaifa was driving it from behind.
The Holy Prophet (S) told Huzaifa to hit on the snouts of the camels of those who stand on the cliff. Huzaifa drove them and returned to the Prophet, who asked him if he had recognized them and he replied in the negative. The Holy Prophet (S) said
: “They were such and such… they had come to assassinate me.” Huzaifa said: “Why don’t you send someone to eliminate them?” The Holy Prophet (S) replied: “I don’t want the Arabs to accuse me of eliminating ones who helped me gain victory once.”
Qutub Rawandi has through trustworthy chains narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one night the Messenger of Allah (S) was traveling on his she-camel during the journey to the Battle of Tabuk and people were walking ahead of him. When he reached near Uqbah, Jibraeel came down and said
: “Fourteen persons from your companions, six of whom are from Quraish,” or he mentioned their names and said, “they wait on the cliff to provoke your she-camel and eliminate you.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) called them by names that “you are waiting on the cliff to kill me,” at that time, Huzaifa was behind the Prophet’s she-camel and he was listening to the Prophet’s discourse. The Holy Prophet (S) called him and asked if he had heard whatever he said to which he replied, “Yes.” The Prophet told him to keep it confidential.
It is narrated from the same Imam through another channel that whatever the hypocrites used to talk, was revealed in Qur’an and they used to be exposed. So much so that they stopped talking out and they restricted their interaction through gestures of the eyes. Some of them said
: “We are not content that a few verses should be revealed about us and we should be exposed forever. Let us wait for Muhammad on that cliff and finish him off and get rid of him.”
That cliff was called Uqbah Zeefataq. So they scaled the cliff and waited there. Huzaifa was driving the camel and he says
: “When the Prophet wanted to sleep, I used to leave the camel so that it may amble slowly. That night I thought that it was a dark night and I should not leave the beast alone. So I was present with the Prophet.
Jibraeel arrived and warned that some persons sat on the cliff to provoke the she-camel. The Holy Prophet (S) called them by their names
: “O so and so, O enemies of Allah.” Then he noticed me and he asked: “Did you see them?” “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (S).” “Did you recognize them?” “Yes, they have veiled their faces, by I recognized them from their beasts.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Don’t reveal this to anyone.” Huzaifa said: “They are from Quraish.”
Shaykh Mufeed and Shaykh Tabarsi have narrated that the Prophet set out for the Tabuk expedition in the month of Rajab in 8th Hijri because the Almighty Allah had revealed that they should proceed to the Battle of Rum and had informed him that they will not have to take part in actual fighting and that they will achieve their aims without fighting.
The aim of this battle was in fact to distinguish between the believers and hypocrites from the sincere companions, and that their hypocrisy should be exposed. So the Messenger of Allah (S) called them for the Battle of Rum at the time of harvest season in Medina and it was extremely hot. So the people found it very painful to set out at that time. It was an extremely long journey, the climate was hot, the enemy was stronger and they feared loss of their crops. So many companions made excuses and many came out reluctantly.
Then the Holy Prophet (S) wrote to the Arab tribes who had embraced Islam and motivated them for Jihad. When they were setting out from Medina he delivered an eloquent sermon and after divine praise motivated people to finance the journey of poor and spend in the way of Allah. Many hypocrites donated for show-off and some sincere believers also donated whatever was possible.
Uthman bin Affan gave some Awqiya silver and Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Talha and Zubair also contributed. Abbas donated a substantial amount. Then they camped at Saniyatul Wida and whoever had accepted the invitation of the Prophet gathered there from Muhajireen and Ansar and Arab tribes like Bani Kanana, Mazniya, Jahniya, Wati, Tamim and Meccans.
The Holy Prophet (S) appointed Imam Ali (a.s.) in charge of Medina so that he may oversee the affairs of Medina and family of the Prophet etc. and stop any mischief that may appear. And he said
: “O Ali, it is necessary that one of us should remain in Medina,” because the Holy Prophet (S) was aware of the true intentions of Arabs and most Meccans as he fought all of them and had slain their relatives and he feared that if he goes far away from Medina they may join with the hypocrites of Medina and may attack his family members and create mischief.
The Almighty Allah also knew that except for the sword of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) nothing could douse the flames of their enmity, so He revealed that Ali (a.s.) should be left in Medina. And since the hypocrites of Medina were against the Caliphate of Ali and they knew that in his presence they will not be able to create any mischief. And they also feared that if something happened to the Prophet, the Caliphate of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) will be permanent.
So they spread rumors about his being left in Medina that the Holy Prophet (S) had not left him in Medina because of his excellence, actually he is fed up with his company and he hates his companionship. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) thus came to the Prophet to expose those allegations. The Messenger of Allah (S) said
: “My brother, go back to Medina, because your presence is necessary there and you are my caliph in my family and my town.
Are you not satisfied that you are to me as Harun was to Musa (a.s.), except that there will be no prophet after me?” Since the Holy Prophet (S) issued a correct text about the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s.) it exposed the allegations of those hypocrites.
After that the Messenger of Allah (S) gave the standard of Muhajireen to Zubair and Talha was appointed on the right wing and Abdur Rahman to the left. They halted at Jarf where Abdullah bin Ubayy took some of his companions and went away without the permission of the Prophet. So the Prophet said
: “Allah is sufficient for me and He is the One who supported me by His help and with the believers and united their hearts.” Then they set out from there and reached Tabuk on a Tuesday of Shaban and stayed there for the remaining days of that month and some days of the month of Ramadan and conducted expeditions from there. Bakhta bin Ruwaiya agreed to pay tribute and the Prophet wrote a document of amnesty for him.
Similarly the people of Arba and Azra accepted suzerainty and were issued amnesty. During the Tabuk expedition, the Holy Prophet (S) sent Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah to a group of Bani Khazan under the leadership of Nasnan bin Ruh Jazami, who brought some booty and prisoners. Saad bin Ubadah was sent to Bani Salim group and some groups of Bali tribes, who fled on seeing the Muslims. Khalid bin Walid was sent with some persons to Akidar, the king of Domatul Jundal and the Holy Prophet (S) miraculously said that the Almighty Allah would perhaps give him victory because of mountain goats.
: When you reach near the wall of his palace, Allah will send a herd of deer and mountain goats to the gate, who would rub their horns on the door. When Akidar hears the animals, he will ask his men to go out and hunt them down. His wife will restrain him saying: Don’t tell them to go out at this time of the night because Muhammad has landed near our fort. I am afraid he will send his men here and they would capture you.
: Who can dare to split from the army? Our people will detect them from a distance in this moonlight. The whole sky is illuminated and no one is here and if anyone were near the palace, these wild animals would have run away. At last the king will came out to hunt the animals that fled from there. He followed them and was surrounded by Khalid and his men.
Thus what the Prophet (S) had said came to be true and they arrested him. Akidar said
: I have a request. They said: You may ask whatever you want, but don’t ask us to release you. Akidar said: Remove my royal garments and sword etc. and take me to His Eminence (S) in a simple shirt so that he does not see me in rich garments.
Perhaps he would have pity on me in that case. They did that and when the Muslims and Arabs saw the rich embroidered clothes in moonlight, they remarked
: O Messenger (S), these garments and ornaments look like garments of heaven. His Eminence (S) said: No. These are the garments of Akidar and this is his sword. If my cousin, Khalid and Samak are firm on my command, they will surely meet me at the Kauthar pool.
Their one handkerchief is better than all this. The companions asked: Their handkerchief would be better than this? His Eminence (S) said
: Even if the space between the earth and sky is filled with gold, one thread of the handkerchief they will hold in Paradise, would be better than that.